In 1839 Ward became the editor of the British Critic, the organ of the Tractarian party, and he excited suspicion among the adherents of the Tractarians themselves by his violent denunciations of the Church to which he still belonged.
As principal of Pusey House Mr Gore exercised a wide influence over undergraduates and the younger clergy, and it was largely, if not mainly, under this influence that the "Oxford Movement" underwent a change which to the survivors of the old school of Tractarians seemed to involve a break with its basic principles.
His friendship towards the Tractarians exposed him to considerable persecution, but his simple manly character and zealous devotion to parochial work gained him the support of widely divergent classes.
Processions, with singing of the litany or of hymns, appear also to have been always usual on such occasions as the consecration of churches and churchyards and the solemn reception of a visiting bishop. Under the influence of the Catholic revival, associated with the Oxford Tractarians, processions have become increasingly popular in the English Church, pre-Reformation usages having in some churches been revived without any legal sanction.
The people, thoroughly Protestant, were excited by the proofswhich they thought were afforded that the real object of the Tractarians was to reconcile England with Rome; and practices which are now regarded as venial or even praiseworthysuch as the wearing of the surplice in the pulpit, and the institution of the weekly offertorywere denounced because they were instituted by the Tracta.rians, and were regarded as insidious devices to lead the country ROmewards.