The editor and founder of StandFirm, the conservative Anglican news and commentary blog, Greg Griffith, has announced he is joining the Roman Catholic Church.
In a statement released on StandFirm, Mr. Griffith explained he believed he had little choice other than to quit Anglicanism. “So for me, a move to Rome is not about a revolution in my theology, and certainly not about a rejection of Anglicanism. It is about a very painful choice between two dilemmas:”
On the one hand there is Anglicanism, an expression of faith that in the abstract – its doctrines and theology – is as nearly perfect as I believe man has ever succeeded in achieving, but which in practice has unraveled into a chaotic mess. There is of course the heresy and false teaching that infects all but a handful of Episcopal parishes in this diocese – including its bishop, its cathedral, its dean, almost all of its clergy, and a distressing number of the few laypeople who have made the effort to pay attention and learn what’s happening – but the promise of the orthodox Anglican movement outside of The Episcopal Church never materialized either. Populated as that movement is by many good people, it has the institutional feeling of something held together by duct tape and baling wire. It is beset by infighting and consecration fever, and in several of its highest leadership positions are people of atrocious judgement and character.
On the other hand there is Roman Catholicism, some of whose doctrines give me serious pause, but which in practice has shown itself to be steadfast in its opposition to the caprices of the world. Even the horrific pedophile priest scandal forces one to concede that Pope Benedict’s purging of the ranks, while not complete, was at the very least spirited, and based on a firm rejection of the “everything is good” sexual sickness that’s all but killed the Episcopal Church.
Mr. Griffith states he will continue writing about the Anglican and Episcopal world on StandFirm, but from the perspective of an outsider. Writing in The American Conservative, columnist Rod Dreher said he sympathized with Mr. Griffith’s dilemma but believed his secession would weaken the voice of his blog. “[H]ow can you blog for something called Stand Firm, the title of which encourages Episcopalians to stiffen their spines, when you did not stand firm, but rather jumped ship,” he asked.