Andrew Sullivan links to a feline blog by Chris Dierkes. Dierkes studied for the Jesuits before becoming an Anglican. Commenting on Benedict’s overture to Anglicans, Dierkes has this to say:

And, if personal experience and lifelong immersion in a sub-culture is any form of persuasive evidence, I can tell you that conservative Anglo-Catholicism–at the clerical level–is totally dominated by gay men.  Mostly repressed.  What used to be called when I was in seminary, the pink mafia.

Anglo-Catholics do have that bad reputation; but I doubt that things are much worse than in the Catholic clergy. The Anglicans just do things more colorfully. One Anglican foundation is especially amusing:

A slightly less bizarre foundation was the “Anglican Congregation of the

Primitive Observance of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict.” This was founded in 1896by a former medical student, Benjamin (Aelred) Carlyle, who had been fascinated by the monastic life since the age of fifteen, when he had founded a secret religious brotherhood at his public school. His choice of the religious name of Aelred, after a twelfth-century Cistercian abbot of Rievaulx who had written treatises on “spiritual friendships,” was a deliberate one, for a biography of St. Aelred by Newman’s companion, J. O. Dalgairns, had revealed to him “a monastic world in which natural and spiritual relations could be fused” (Anson,

Building up the Waste Places, p. 134).

Aelred Carlyle was a man of dynamic personality, hypnotic eyes, and extraordinary imagination. In 1906 his community made its permanent home on Caldey Island, off the coast of south Wales (outside Anglican diocesan jurisdiction), where, largely on borrowed money, he built a splendidly furnished monastery in a fanciful style of architecture. The life of this enclosed Benedictine community centred upon an ornate chapel where the thirty or so tonsured and cowled monks sang the monastic offices and celebrated Mass in Latin according to the Roman rite. As there was nothing like it anywhere else in the Church of England the island abbey inevitably became a resort for ecclesiastical sightseers, and many young men were drawn to join the community out of personal affection for Carlyle.

The self-styled Lord Abbot of Caldey introduced practices into the life of his monastery which many outsiders, accustomed to the austere atmosphere of the existing Anglican men’s communities, found disconcerting. “Stories Toto Told Me” by “Baron Corvo” (Frederick Rolfe), which had originally appeared in The Yellow Book, were often read aloud to the assembled monks at recreation time, and during the summer months they regularly went sea-bathing in the nude. Nor did Carlyle make any secret of his liking for charming young men. Spiritual

friendships were “not discouraged,” recalled his biographer, himself a former

member of the Caldey community:

… and their expression sometimes took a form which would not be found In any normal monastery to-day. . . . Embraces, ceremonial and non-ceremonial, were regarded as symbolical of fraternal charity, so our variant of the Roman rite permitted a real hug and kisses on the cheek between the giver and the recipient of the Pax Domini at the conventual Mass. (Anson, Abbot Extraordinary, pp. 125-126)

(From UnEnglish and Unmanly: Anglo-Catholicism and Homosexuality by David Hilliard)

The current Cistercian community at Caldey is not continuous with the Anglican foundation; from Carlyle they have inherited only the building, not, I trust, the eccentricities.

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