I often feel sorry for St Jude since he has been tarred with possessing the same name as Judas (surnamed Iscariot). Of course I also have a sympathy for the Iscariot as well. If ever there was one who made the wrong decision, it was he. However in the citation of Judas Iscariot as an example of perfidy and treachery, St Jude Thaddeus, the rather subtle and more background apostle, only is asked to pray as a last resort, hence his patronage of lost causes.
Might St Jude be the saint who ought to be praying for Anglicanism in the West?
It's interesting that in his epistle, St Jude says:
3 ἀγαπητοί πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος γράφειν ὑμῖν περὶ τῆς κοινῆς ἡμῶν σωτηρίας ἀνάγκην ἔσχον γράψαι ὑμῖν παρακαλῶν ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι τῇ ἅπαξ παραδοθείσῃ τοῖς ἁγίοις πίστει
4 παρεισέδυσαν γάρ τινες ἄνθρωποι οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα ἀσεβεῖς τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριτα μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι
5 ὑπομνῆσαι δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι εἰδότας ὑμᾶς πάντα ὅτι ὁ κύριος ἅπαξ λαὸν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου σώσας τὸ δεύτερον τοὺς μὴ πιστεύσαντας ἀπώλεσεν
6 ἀγγέλους τε τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀρχὴν ἀλλὰ ἀπολιπόντας τὸ ἴδιον οἰκητήριον εἰς κρίσιν μεγάλης ἡμέρας δεσμοῖς ἀϊδίοις ὑπὸ ζόφον τετήρηκεν
7 ὡς Σόδομα καὶ Γόμορρα καὶ αἱ περὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις ἐκπορνεύσασαι καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας πρόκεινται δεῖγμα πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι
8 ὁμοίως μέντοι καὶ οὗτοι ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι σάρκα μὲν μιαίνουσιν κυριότητα δὲ ἀθετοῦσιν δόξας δὲ βλασφημοῦσιν
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. (Epistle of St Jude vv3-8)
Personally, I just don't see how the Liberals in the United States can come to any conclusion other than that their blessing of same sex marriages can be anything other than futile at the least and corrupting at the most. There are plenty of other of scriptural references which say the same thing. Yet I cannot possibly be right because I am not a U.S Bishop who are obviously so much more learned than I and who can show me that "going after strange flesh" doesn't really mean homosexual practice between a committed couple.
Conservative members would I'm sure be forgiven for thinking that ECUSA is a hopeless cause, and around the Catholic members, there must be several prayers aimed in the direction of St Jude. You see, like St Jude, faithful Episcopalians ar being tarred with the same brush as those who seek to reinterpret Holy Scripture to their own devices. While some strive to get out, for others it is not so easy, and yet they still remain faithful.
The same is true of the Church Of England as it languishes in its "re-invention" as a trendy and "relevant" church. There are Traditional parishes but far and few between. Similarly, this is true of parishes of the Roman Catholic Church in its swapping of dignified hymn singing for the twang of guitars and trendification of the Mass.
The future for Anglicanism looks bleak, as does Traditional Catholicism. I still maintain my Anglo-Papalist course remembering that the movement is very much temporary in its nature. So what does St Jude say to those who are trying to overcome vast obstacles?
20 ὑμεῖς δέ ἀγαπητοί ἐποικοδομοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ὑμῶν πίστει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι
21 ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ τηρήσατε προσδεχόμενοι τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον
22 καὶ οὓς μὲν ἐλεᾶτε διακρινομένους
23 οὓς δὲ σῴζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ μισοῦντες καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς σαρκὸς ἐσπιλωμένον χιτῶνα
24 τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ φυλάξαι ὑμᾶς ἀπταίστους καὶ στῆσαι κατενώπιον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ ἀμώμους ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει
25 μόνῳ θεῷ σωτῆρι ἡμῶν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν δόξα μεγαλωσύνη κράτος καὶ ἐξουσία πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ νῦν καὶ εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμήν
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
So there's the message for Anglo-Catholics and Anglo-Papalists alike. Just keep at it. Just keep holding to the Catholic Faith. There are so many in both the Holy See and in the Anglican Church who are just trying too hard to include what cannot be included and who say that Anglo-Catholicism is just clinging to the past, and that the Anglo-Papalists are confusedly clinging to the past. There is much that both aspects of the via media have to be hopeful for. For the Anglo-Papalists, we have a Pope who seeks to reinstate the Traditional Mass and remove the insipidity of modern song-writing. For the Anglo-Catholics, there is a fresh and strengthening recourse in the Anglican Catholic and Traditional Anglican Churches.
Still much to pray for. Are the Prayers of St Jude still welcome?