Come on in – it’s awful! (And beautiful!)

HT to Marco who sent me this link: There’s something in what she says, although I would like to think that the Ordinariates are not going to be “on the edge” of the Catholic Church. In fact, as full members of the Episcopal Conferences of the Latin-rite Catholic Church, they are rather more at the centre than some of our Eastern Rite brethren and sistern. They will add, not subtract, from the diversity which is the communion of churches that makes up the Catholic Church.

The phrase “come on in, it’s awful” comes from the title of the delightful book by the eccentric Joanna Bogle. Those of us who have “come on in” know exactly what the title means! We didn’t join the Catholic Church because (for eg.) She had wonderful and beatiful liturgies – although She is indeed capable of this when She tries – but for the sake of communion with the universal Church and the Bishop of Rome the Successor of Peter.

And just to show how varied the new comers may be, check this out.

And on top of all that, I think it is just wonderful that those planning to be part of the new Australian Anglican Ordinariate understand that the name of the game is Evangelisation!

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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24 Responses to Come on in – it’s awful! (And beautiful!)

  1. catherine says:

    I had a look at the book, ”Come on in it’s Awful”‘ and Piers Paul Read’s contribution that Catholics ” themselves are often the chief obstacles to other peoples conversion” amused me no end, as I think that when some Catholics refer to homosexuals using disparaging terms or rabbit on endlessly about sin, and how sins are to be categorised. On some catholic websites there is much attention given to how women should dress and it is evident that some catholics believe women should be attired as if they are joining the cast of LIttle House on the Prairie. Then one meets catholics who believe the husband should rule the house! I had to run and Google papal documents for reassurance that the infallibility had not been extended to all men! LOL. Thankfully, popes have placed so many caveats on the man being the head of the house, they are effectively nobbled, but if one didn’t research these things for oneself I could see some catholics repelling people from joining the Church. Really , the way many catholics carry on, I am suprised anyone converts to the faith.

    • Schütz says:

      You may be a little bit dismayed by my latest post, Catherine, in which I “rabbit on endlessly about sin”! I happen to think it is an important topic (perhaps that is the Lutheran in me!), but I believe in two much greater topics: repentance and forgiveness. I will try to “rabbit on” about them a bit more! :-)

      • catherine says:

        HI David, not dismayed by your post :)

      • catherine says:

        On a light hearted note David, I must bring this website to your attention, Yep, catholic planet is an appropriate name for this website, I think these people are from outerspace.
        Having enjoyed seeing photos of your family on this site, I see you let them wear trousers!! Apparently, this is an important Catholic no no!!! Now , I am surely going to hell for my extensive collection of jeans butI thought I should give everyone the heads up on this important topic. Do people become catholic because they need people to tell them what to wear?

        • catherine says:

          More worrisome than these crazy catholics insistence on women not wearing pants is their belief that women should not hold leadership positions over men.

          • Gareth says:

            That is pretty intolerant of you Catherine to label those Catholics who may ge giving women timely advice to look femine and pretty by wearing a skirt every once in a while to differentiate themselves from males or putting their hands for young men to act as provider and protector of the family (after all the Bible does say a man is head of the household), instead of sitting on the couch drinking beer and watching the footy.

          • Gareth says:

            different horses for different courses – think outside the square.

            • catherine says:


              Well I am sure no red blooded man in his right mind would find these sexy, but that’s the point of these crimes against fashion. It”s just too bad that the women who wear them are going to drown, but better to drown than leave any millimetre of skin uncovered.

            • Gareth says:

              I am sure you would think differently Catherine if you had a daughter and didn’t want dirty perves checking them out.

              Better than holier than thou than sexier than thou.

            • catherine says:

              I hear the Muslims are always looking for converts, you might fit in really well over there :)

            • Gareth says:

              Catherine showing hypcrosy – wanting everyone to be nice to the queer guys, but ridiculing those Catholics with a few moral standards.

              Shouldn’t these peoplebe treated with the utmost respect, instead of pouring scorn on them?

              Show tolerance – you might even learn something…

            • catherine says:

              Gareth, you need to loosen up, get a sense of humour. and put on a burqua:)

        • Peter says:

          I will have to ditch my fish-net stockings.This stuff could have been written by John Calvin.

    • Stephen K says:

      Absolutely, Catherine! You’ve said it. But taking up the theme a little, I think it would be a useful study to see why, where and who became a Catholic. My suspicion is that it may frequently have less to do with doctrines than with needs, comfort zones, and as David alluded to in another post, language. There are many people identifying themselves as Catholics and a great diversity in their emphases. The Anglo-Catholics may have needed little prompting to enter officially a Church that is slowly reasserting the emphasis on ornate, hieratic liturgy, and their outsider position in the Anglican church would naturally attract them to the traditionalist segment of the contemporary RCC. Someone else might in fact be more attracted to the plainer robustness of other apostolates etc. In any case, they all then find themselves ostensibly part of the same census group but to a significant degree, perhaps not part of the same community, psychologically.

      What do you think, Catherine? Do you think it would be fair to say that the mental divisions between at least some of the significant sub-groups identifying as Catholic are such as to render their common identity meaningless or hollow? Do all these sub-groups really “celebrate” diversity? From the mutual rebuking that is inevitably engaged in, would you agree that each thinks the other is not quite “kosher”? Or not “kosher” at all?

      Some posts back, David expanded a little on the theme of whether or not there could ever be a “minimal” Christianity, that is, short of the full RCC box-and-dice. Pastor Mark Henderson also discussed this topic. I think this whole ordinariate issue opens the elephant-in-the-room that is that, contrary to the insistence of – well, probably, most, but particularly traditionalists that Catholicism is monolithic and monochromatic – it is in fact an exotic, hybridic variety in the larger religious greenhouse. The consequence must surely be that if the ordinariate and the LH-on-Prairie can be Catholic, surely it’s time to make room on the sofa for Teilhard and Liberation theologists.

      If that’s not possible, it may be time to reassess the significance of the word “Catholic” and openly acknowledge that it is not an equivalent term for “Christian”. (And if that’s the case, my goodness, what are Catholics on about?!)

      Let’s nail this one down: perhaps by the end of the day – or by the end of this thread – one of three things might have happened: (1) there’ll be a consensus that only Catholics of a particular theological and pastoral direction are Christians, worthy of the name; (2) there’ll be a consensus that Catholics by definition are not Christians at all; or (3) there’ll be no consensus, on anything – which will demonstrate my initial hypothesis in any case!

      Over to the panel.

      • catherine says:

        Yes, SK, it would be interesting for the CHurch to conduct entrance and exit surveys of their members. Needs, comfort zones and language would all be factors in people’s choices. I could never join some “happy clappy”, hand holding church as that would make me feel ill, but then again some people seek that out when choosing a church. Certainly I know people who choose their church for a sense of community and belonging and the Catholic Church in Australia, I would argue is pretty poor at that, at least in the last 40 or so years.
        I could argue SOME people join the Catholic Church because they like rules, regulations and not having to think for themself. I swear I have met people who would not blow their nose, until they had checked CAnon law to be sure that it was not a sin. But then we have the people who believe in the CAtholic Church of ” the warm fuzzy”, ie anyone from Generation X down tends to be a “warm fuzzy” as a Catholic school education from the 60s on is guaranteed to have been content free. “Warm fuzzies” are derided as ” Cafeteria catholics” and the ” warm fuzzies” just cannot understand why anyone would think they were closer to God because they stuck a ” doyley” on their head. ( referring to chapel veils/mantillas here) and had a dozen children.

        Catholicism is definitely not monolithic and monochromatic and never will be. We have the churches that cater to specific ethnic groups, we have the charimatics, we have our Latin masses goers ( Good luck to you all, it has no appeal for me).The vast majority of catholics actually know very little about what the Church teaches and I don’t think that will change much as on a ” need to know basis””.
        , I believe most people feel they don’t need to know much and don’t care enough to put the effort in to alter their ignorance.. Frankly , the more I know, I wish I didn’t as it seems ignorance is bliss:). But I often findthose least educated ( and less informed about what the Church teaches) feel very close to God.
        Steven K asks how little does one to have to know or believe to get the tag ” catholic”? Catholic is definitely not an equivalent term for Christians as if Catholics follow all the rules, the Christians certainly can have much more fun;)

  2. PM says:

    My favourite in the ‘Come on in it’s awful’ vein is Belloc’s quip that the Church is ‘an institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight’.

  3. matthias says:

    Catherine not just “crazy catholics” who have developed a checklist of faith. In the Churches of Christ where I grew up,there were people who believed the same:
    -no pants to be worn by a woman
    -women missionaries have no place talking to mixed male and femal congregations about their work.
    -women are to wear their hair long and cover it (just like the Exclusive brethren)
    – taking out the tonsils is unscriptural ( where this is written I did not know)

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