Andrew Brown has discovered some cloak and dagger deeds by the Anglo-Catholics seeking to leave the Church of England for Rome:
An extraordinary correspondence has fallen into my hands showing some of the detail of the Anglo-Catholic intrigues about their departure from the Church of England. It shows the Anglican "flying bishop" of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, conspiring with a sympathetic Roman Catholic bishop in Australia to work behind the back of the Catholic bishops here. He talks about his "cloak and dagger" correspondence with a sympathiser in the Vatican, and suggests that he can write personally to Pope Benedict XVI to smooth things over if his correspondent is caught. This may come as news to the pope.
But the passage (of the email) which will cause discomfort in this country is this:"I am taking the liberty of mentioning, in confidence and with his permission, that we are in touch with Mgr Patrick Burke at the CDF [the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]. It has all felt a little bit like Elizabethan espionage but, truly, the informal contact with the CDF has been invaluable, and, if ever Mgr Burke got into trouble, I should write to the pope and say how splendidly helpful he has been.
This is not known about fully in England and Wales because we are trying to ensure that the whole Anglicanorum Coetibus project, which will begin in small ways, is not smothered by the management anxieties of a hierarchy, some of whom think that Anglicans are best off doing what they are presently doing and some of whom think the project would impact adversely on the Catholic Church in England. Needless to say Fr Pat's help, and the support of Archbishop DiNoia, need, to a lesser extent, to be protected from disapproval at higher levels of the dicastery [Vatican department]. Hence the cloak and dagger."