An unsigned editorial running in The Guardian's Observer says the Anglican bishops who were ordained yesterday as Catholic priests simply demonstrate a "Catholic church fixated on stealing a march on Anglicanism.... as if the Reformation was a recent score to be settled."
The establishment of a special ordinariate where former Anglicans who reject women's ordination can carry on much as before, but within the Catholic fold, can only cause tension between the two churches. That in its turn will focus attention once again on disputes between different branches of Christianity, and make religion look out of touch with the real world.
Meanwhile, those aspects of the church beneficial to the whole of society – its work for social justice, with the poor, the marginalised – are once again pushed into the background. Many British Catholics who want no part of this game of ecclesiastical power politics are left despairing. Those of other faiths or none, and of even moderately enlightened disposition, will be more inclined to turn their backs in anger.