Saturday, October 06, 2007

TAC College of Bishops

Yesterday was the final day of the meeting in Portsmouth, England of the Traditional Anglican Communion's College of Bishops. I have been eagerly awaiting news of a decision coming out of that meeting that, if it transpires, would represent an historic and ground-breaking development in the life of the Church.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to make contact with my correspondent at the meeting, either by phone or by email. If he reads this, would he please file his first dispatch?

For the moment, I am only at liberty to say that the matter relates to the TAC's ongoing discussions with the Vatican about closer relations.

A well-placed inside source told me that a measure was expected to be adopted at the CoB meeting that would substantially further those discussions. In the event that it was adopted, it was to serve as the key subject of further talks in Rome next week.

Contrary to what I was told to expect, I have received no communique from the TAC on the outcome of the CoB meeting. Furthermore, as of today, the only item I can find about it on the TAC's website is one about the consecration on Tuesday of the Revd Michael Gill as successor to the (late) Bishop Trevor Rhodes, Anglican Church in Southern Africa TR.

While this proves nothing, it leads me to wonder whether the measure in question failed or if action on it was postponed for some reason. As I said, I was told that the prospects for its adoption were very strong.

46 comments:

Abu Daoud said...

Can you tell us what the possible development is?

May God bless and guide them.

Sandra McColl said...

I think your correspondent is stuck, along with the bishops, under the Cone of Silence.

Albion Land said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Albion Land said...

For those of you of a conspiratorial bent who may be wondering what happened to the third comment on this post, it was mine and I deleted it because I thought it better to move it into the body of the post.

No censorship here.

Mark Newsome said...

Hi Albion,

I would urge extreme caution in online discussions of Rome and the TAC. Any contact between the two will be extremely delicate and could be hurt by speculations and debates among folks online. Such online talk can make it difficult for those of us on the ground in TAC parishes and missions around the world as well. Reliable information flows slowly indeed and online talk can create unnecessary fears and expectations among the people in the pews.

Most respectfully,

Mark Newsome

Albion Land said...

Hi Mark,

I have been extremely circumspect in what I said, and far more so than as a journalist I feel completely comfortable with.

Furthermore, there is nothing that I have been told that the people in the pews should not only have already been aware of, but also had the opportunity to express their views about to their bishops.

Michael said...

When the College of Cardinals gathers to elect a new pope, obviously there consultations are done in secret. However, there is a great deal that happens in public around the event itself, both with the burial of the deceased pope, but also some events preceeding the conclave that are on the record.

A meeting of this importance for the TAC should, ideally, have some sort of online coverage - not of private discussions of the college, and not endless speculation, but there should be some things in the public eye, and these things should be documented as much as possible. It allows the faithful of the communion to feel involved with what their spiritual fathers are doing on their behalf, and to guide their prayers appropriately.

One of the best things that the TAC could do to counter gossip and rumour online would be to have a real, official TAC website with accurate and detailed content about the communion, its bishops, provinces, dioceses, and parish churches, along with regular news updates. It isn't necessary to publish sensitive or private news items, but launching such a site would do something to elevate the tone of the discussion, if only through providing a reliable source for information. Right now, hearsay is often the only source there is!

Albion Land said...

Michael,

The TAC has long had a website, which contains much, if not all of the information to which you refer. It also intermittently publishes news items. Here is the one to which I referred earlier:

http://www.themessenger.com.au/news.htm

The TAC also has a newspaper, The Messenger.

As I am not a member of the TAC, it is not for me to comment on the extent to which deliberations on the future of that communion should be made public. I would, instead, speak on broader lines: it would seem to be that anything that affects the constitution of a jurisdiction, its essence, should be a matter for all to know, to discuss and to pray about. I have it on good authority that this has been the case with the deliberations underway within the TAC.

Mark Newsome said...

Thanks for responding Albion and I would agree that you have been circumspect in your comments, and I did not intend to suggest otherwise. But what you have said so far, I would contend, is more than most of the folks in the pews know, at least in the ACA. The TAC has very few bloggers, few communion wide (or in most cases individual province-wide) communications outlets, and no easy method for circulating information across the TAC. And I believe that many here may ascribe to the TAC a degree of organization and centralization that simply does not yet exist within the TAC and its constituent provinces (in fact, that apparent failing is one of the TAC's strengths - it has very little in the way of centralized bureaucracy).

The problem with internet coverage of Rome and the TAC is that the leadership of the TAC is still in the process of teaching its people that union with Rome is indeed a good thing. Internet speculation about something that may or may not happen simply feeds the hopes and fears of the common folk of the TAC. In the daily life of the TAC talk of union with Rome is rare and every time some discussion of it sweeps the Anglican blogs those of us "on the ground" in TAC parishes have to calm the hopes and fears of our people who pick up a line here or a line there from email or occasional surfing. We tend to speak internally more in terms of building up our own missions, fostering vocations and seeking Anglican unity than we do of communion with the Holy See ("on the ground" many TAC folk already enjoy a high degree of communion with Roman Catholics).

Whether it is intended or not, most online coverage of the Rome - TAC situation creates some degree of scandal for the laity. And it is that fact that troubles me.

-Mark Newsome

John A. Hollister said...

Mark Newsome wrote: "most online coverage of the Rome -- TAC situation creates some degree of scandal for the laity".

Mr. Newsome, that suggests that there has been insufficient preparation of the ground for the planting of the desired seeds. In less elliptical language, it sounds as though a good deal of teaching is needed at the local level, explaining to the TAC laity why a relationship with Rome is being pursued and what it is that makes that relationship necessary/desirable/beneficial.

It is, after all, the laity who are, by definition, the "people of the Church" and who, therefore, are the ones who will be led into whatever relationship results from these efforts. They certainly have the right to know whither they are being led and why they are being led thither.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

I doubt that Rome is interested in
a bunch of reluctant converts. And for those with a serious interest in becoming Romans Catholics, the RCIA program is already underway.
Laurence K. Wells+

PrayerBookCatholic said...

I want to interject here a comment I posted in response to another post on The Continuum. I do so not to cause any trouble for TAC and its conversations with Rome, but simply to state a fundamental principle of the original Continuing Church Movement in the U.S. and Canada. Perhaps the situation in Australia is different and perhaps the ACC of Canada has now "moved beyond" the Affirmation of St. Louis, but for those jurisdictions who hold to the Affirmation, it needs to be borne in mind.

Local congregations' inalienable right to their temporalities is one of the most bedrock principles of the Affirmation of St. Louis and the entire Continuing Church Movement. It is in fact really the way things mostly worked in the U.S. Episcopal Church up until the 1970s. It is also one of the reasons that the founders of the Polish National Catholic Church broke away from the Romans in the U.S., if memory serves. And many of the Eastern Orthodox in the U.S. operate similarly.

Despite the multitude of jurisdictions and jurisdiction-hopping that is perhaps one of the unintended consequences of this principle, it seems also to have worked quite well in keeping much of the Continuing Church honest and true to the reasons for its establishment. Any attempt to move away from local control of temporalities will be roundly rejected by those whom Bill O'Reilly calls "the folks." It would also represent an absolute betrayal of those who gave up everything in the 1970s to establish the Continuing Church.

This is also, by the way, one reason why TAC's purported attempts to join up with Rome will likely never be agreed to by most of the ACA. Rome will never stand for local control, and the Americans are simply not likely going to sign over the deeds to their hard-earned buildings and property to some bishop or diocesan office in another city or state.

Michael said...

prayerbookcatholic,

Another principle found in the Affirmation is that of seeking unity with others who hold to the Apostolic Faith. Which of these is more important, local control of property or the unity of the church?

The Affirmation is a document that I believe in wholeheartedly. Parts of it make my spine tingle every time I read it. But it is a document that points to things greater than itself, most importantly, the will of Christ the Lord.

With love,

Michael

poetreader said...

Exactly, Michael.

Prayerbookcatholic has twice brought up the matter of what the Affirmation has to say about property, as a 'bedrock principle', making the issue of property the defining impediment to unity. If that is really what he means, the words of Our Lord in Matthew 6:21: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - as well as in the surrounding passage. Property matters may indeed be worth attention, but if they rank anwhere other than last in the list, a serious problem is revealed. The Affirmation is indeed important and must be valued, but it must be so read as never to say other than what Our Lord and His Church have said. Thus, though local control of property becomes a desideratum, even an important one, it cannot be a 'bedrock principle' if we are to remain Christian.

ed

Anonymous said...

Poetreader: does your parish own any property? are you prepared to sign it over to your diocese? have you ever signed the Affirmation of St Louis? were your fingers crossed?
Would you treat the Creeds in this
manner: They are "indeed important and must be valued, but it must be so read as never to say other than what Our Lord and His Church have said."
If the small struggling congregations which were emerging in the era of St Louis had known that the Affirmation could be set aside in such a cavalier manner, I seriously doubt they would have sacrificed as we have. Your language "what Our Lord and His Church have said" is starting to sound like "what Poetreader has said."
Laurence K. Wells+

Sandra McColl said...

I am also not of a mind to do harm to delicate negotiations, but I think a few of us could do with cooling it. There are many whose opposition to the purported ordination of women was awakened by the damage it did to the ARCIC talks. (I was not one of them--my own 'way in' to the side of the angels was a realisation that the faith is a package, and priestesses could not be separated from the whole liberal agenda. I imagine many of us would have a different story, but I stray, as usual, from my point.) A while ago an edition of The Messenger was published with the old 1960s photo of the Archbishop of Canterbury on a dais with Pope Paul VI. Those were the heady days in which (I think it goes like this) the Pope suggested a reopening and re-examination of the Great Insult (sorry folks, but that's my word for Apostolicae Curae), and real talks got underway. The slogan (at least from the Anglican side) was 'United but not Absorbed'. I think it would be a major achievement if the TAC could take over where Canterbury left off before the edifice crumbled--and a miraculous achievement if it could quickly advance beyond that point. And if that's the case, I don't think property rights will be at the top of the agenda.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Hollister wrote:

It is, after all, the laity who are, by definition, the "people of the Church" and who, therefore, are the ones who will be led into whatever relationship results from these efforts. They certainly have the right to know whither they are being led and why they are being led thither.

and Fr. Wells wrote:

I doubt that Rome is interested in a bunch of reluctant converts. And for those with a serious interest in becoming Romans Catholics, the RCIA program is already underway.

I have been wondering as much as anyone about these things: What sort of unity or communion with Rome? Something as distant, although real, as the the communion between Rome and the PNCC? Or are we talking about the old idea of an Anglican Uniate?

The points raised by Fr. Hollister and Fr. Wells have, I would assume, crossed the minds of the principal players. Being under the Pope as a matter of conscience is necessary for any person who comes to believe in the Roman teaching about the See of Peter. Anyone who does not believe that teaching, or who does not believe it as Rome currently defines it, cannot be expected to go against conscience. In the big picture, hoping for a reunion of the whole Catholic Church (as we see ourselves in that Church when we say the Creeds), what will Rome place on the table, as subject to real discussion?

Michael said...

Fr. Hart,

Although I have little or no idea what could be on the table, I'll tell you what I'd very much like to see. My hopes are largely inspired by my time at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in Ottawa.

Even though I was at this school for only a year, I caught something of the direction that Eastern Catholic theology is taking these days, and I thought it had much to say to the Anglican situation. This institute, although under the authority of the Ukrainian Catholic hierarchy of Canada, has a number of Orthodox professors and students as well, and the question of unity between Catholics and Orthodox is right at the forefront of the discussion, including efforts to actually find theological solutions to old problems - for example, discussing whether it is possible to reconcile the Eastern and Western views of the Trinity, and how they might complement one another.

One of their leading professors has suggested that not only should Eastern Catholicism have greater involvement in Catholic missions (i.e. the Byzantine rites are not just for ethnic enclaves within Catholicism, but represent a major thrust of its future, even among unreached people groups), but also that it is possible for Eastern Christianity to remain fully faithful to its own theological patrimony and doctrinal development, while strongly insisting on unity with the Catholic Church under the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. This professor (Fr. Andriy Chirovsky), went so far as to question whether certain doctrines, such as papal infallibility, might be received differently within the Eastern context than within the Latin rite.

I would, in the long term (perhaps very long term) desire to see an Anglican Catholic Church, similar to the Ukrainian or Melkite Catholic Churches, with its own major archbishop and bishops, canon law, seminaries, parishes, liturgical books, missions, publications and media - the works.

This same tension observed in the Eastern rites - that of insisting on both faithfulness to the Anglican theological patrimony, so far as it can be reconciled with that of the universal church, while also insisting that our church must, if at all possible, maintain intercommunion with Rome and (if possible) the Churches of the East.

Since these "uniate" churches have their own canon law, perhaps the question of local ownership of property can be resolved in a way satisfactory to all concerned. At the same time, consider this:

When you are dealing with the Episcopal Church, or the Anglican Communion as a whole, or with a Continuing Church, you are dealing with a church that has been (despite claims, which I accept, to an apostolic and orthodox heritage) through schism and separation, doctrinal chaos and heresy. With a return to communion with Rome, you aren't saying that the Roman Catholic Church is perfect, or could never make any sort of mistake (here I'm not bringing up papal infallibility, since it obviously doesn't include the actions of all bishops, in any case). And yet, there is a statement being made that we are no longer interested in going it alone. That we want more than just to be faithful to the Gospel; we want to be faithful to the Gospel along with the rest of the Church, in full communion. Therefore, one would hope that the time to be asking questions about property would eventually come to an end.

Marriage is a good analogy here. The Affirmation of St. Louis was written in a time of schism, when it was understood that the church would be going through trials and tribulations. The church had been betrayed by its leaders, and there was an understanding that perhaps you should not be too trusting. In one sense, this is a reaffirmation of something that the TAC considers essential to the Anglican ethos: the idea of a synod (bishops, clergy, and laity) coming together. Lay involvement and ownership is critial. And yet, perhaps after thirty years of division, the time has come to trust someone again.

With warm regards,

Michael

John said...

The only thing we CC's love as much as we profess to love Christ is speculating on what the other guy is doing! I seem to remember Jesus had something to say to Ss James and John about that sort of thing.
Since no one here seems to have a copy of a meeting agenda, what if there was no discussion at all regarding the 'Rome" thing? Would that make y'all a bunch of murmering mice?
In an age of one liners, photo ops, sound bites, publicity hounds, charlitans making sweeping claims, Clanging cymbals saving the Anglican Communion, B.S. concordats , is it not refreshing to think that maybe a group ofr Bishops got together to advance the cause of Christ rather than advance your gossiping?
Here is a thought... let us see what their 'news" is when they are ready to say something. Then you can chime in with the usual hot air.
Most of the speculation here on the Rome talks reflected here is months old and based on old rumor and half truths.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

John and Mark,

The key problem with your criticisms of this thread and its purportedly rumour-based speculations is that you obviously did not read Albion's post. His information is inside information and I know who the source is. This is NOT about rumours but explicitly communicated prior information, so most of what you say is irrelevant. There is no point criticising Albion or other commenters for talking about this issue when one of those directly involved was the person responsible for building expectations.

Also, to echo Canon Hollister's comments, if discussing the possibilities is scandalous to TAC laity, that may indicate poor communication to those laity by their hierarchy, since this is supposed to be the central ecumenical priority for the TAC. And those of you who read The Messenger would know that it was the TAC paper itself that was publishing very positive speculations on this very issue in the past that did not come to pass.

John said...

I think I articulated what is scandalous quite sufficiently.

I happen to have someone on the inside as well, my Bishop.

There is nothing new in any of the comments..

Fr Kirby since you are not in the ACA / TAC why should your comments be "relevant" concerning a meeting of Bishops you are not in Communion with?

I think that any notion that what the Bishops of the ACA are doing might be "scandalous" to the laity is simply wishful thinking on behalf of the "Deerfeild Beach" crowd. Who but that crowd is suggesting anything scandalous?

If Rome is interested in talking why not talk, but any innuendo or suggestion that ACA bishops are planning to give up their Anglican identity is a bit of a stretch. Talking with other Christians who have much in common is only scandalous to those who are outside that commonality.

Rome is but an easy swim for any who want to get wet. No need for talks and that is why your speculation is silly. Want to be Roman? you can do it tommorow no need for discussions. No need for Bishop Florenza to take his Diocese to the ACA just to engage in secret negotiations that would alarm his or any other ACA parishes.

Anybody here from the ACA concerned?

Not me.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It looks to me as if the TAC-ACA is possibly trying to pick up the mantle that Canterbury stopped wearing, in any meaningful sense, a long time ago. Anglican bishops were having meaningful conversations with both Rome and Orthodoxy, all turned into nothing more than polite but meaningless conversation due to women's "ordination." I would find it very difficult to believe that they expect thousands of Anglicans, en masse, simply to jump into the Tiber. What they are doing must be, or so I assume, to try to pick up where ++Michael Ramsey left off whe he retired.

Caedmon said...

Why on EARTH would any Anglican Catholic body consider "discussions with the Vatican about closer relations"? One flees the Episcopal Church for Rome only to find - more Episcopalians?

Honestly, I don't get it. SSPX or Orthodoxy before neo-Catholicism.

Albion Land said...

John said:

"Since no one here seems to have a copy of a meeting agenda, what if there was no discussion at all regarding the 'Rome" thing? Would that make y'all a bunch of murmuring mice?"

Murmuring Mouse asks, will this do?

Agenda for Wednesday 3rd October

7.00am: Breakfast (Hotel)
8.30am: Morning Prayer Saint Agatha’s
9.00am - 11.30am Working Session 3: The TAC and the Holy See
Morning Tea will be available
Noon: Requiem Mass for the Faithful Departed of our Communion:
Lunch
1.30pm – 4.30pm Working Session 4: Holy See cont.
Afternoon Tea will be available
4.30 Evening Prayer
6.00pm: Dinner (Hotel)
7.30pm – 9.00pm: If necessary to complete business relating to Holy See, otherwise meetings of regional groupings as desired (eg not all African delegates have had the opportunity to meet as yet).

John said:

"I happen to have someone on the inside as well, my Bishop."

Murmuring Mouse replies:

Pardon the poker analogy, but one archbishop trumps one bishop. The Most Revd John Hepworth, primate of the TAC, is my source.

Not only did he send me a copy of the agenda, but we discussed the matter by telephone at some length. Properly or not, from a journalistic standpoint, I promised him discretion in the matter until the meeting was over, which it now is.

Not only did he not communicate with me during the course of the meeting, as promised, but he has neither returned my telephone calls nor answered my emails.

Depending on the outcome of the CoB meeting, a second meeting was to be held either yesterday or today. As today is not over, I shall maintain my discretion about that, and hope that Archbishop Hepworth will communicate with me.

John said:

“Fr Kirby since you are not in the ACA / TAC why should your comments be "relevant" concerning a meeting of Bishops you are not in Communion with?”

Might I suggest, Murmuring Mouse that I am, that John is following a rather narrow interpretation, if any at all, of the Affirmation of St Louis, which says, in part:

“We declare our firm intention to seek and achieve full sacramental communion and visible unity with other Christians who "worship the Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity," and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith in accordance with the foregoing principles.”

Who is John thinking about when he sees the word “we”? To me, in the narrowest sense, it is the people who issued the Affirmation and eventually formed what is now the Anglican Catholic Church. But in the broadest sense, “we” are all those people and jurisdictions that ascribe to the Affirmation. And what any one of us does with regard to the above stated principle affects the others.

In that respect, I would draw everyone’s attention to the August 22 letter to Archbishop Hepworth from the Most Revd Mark Haverland, metropolitan of the ACC, in which he refers to the question of the TAC and Rome:

“A great deal of confusing information and many doubtful claims have circulated within the last three years concerning the TAC and the Roman Catholic Church. Careful attention to all press reports and official statements on the matter have not resolved the confusion in our minds. We do not understand if the TAC seeks to become a part of the Roman Catholic Church, whether as a Uniate Church or merely a personal prelature, if it seeks a relationship of full communio in sacris with Rome without any organic and organizational unity, or if it seeks some other goal.

“Again, this matter has important ecclesiology implications which need to be clarified if fruitful dialogue with the ACC is to occur. It is not for the ACC to dictate the TAC’s policy towards Rome. But there is little point in the ACC talking to the TAC if the TAC merely seeks to become absorbed into the Roman Catholic Church.”

Perhaps a central issue here, in light of the Affirmation, is the question of whether the search for unity should be done on a scattergun basis, with each jurisdiction following its own game plan, or whether it should be pursued following the achievement of unity among the Affirmation Jurisdictions.

My personal feeling is that the latter course is the preferable one, if we are to retain a discreet Anglican ethos with, as Michael so helpfully enumerated: our own “major archbishop and bishops, canon law, seminaries, parishes, liturgical books, missions, publications and media - the works.”

And of course, Michael also alludes in his comment, as Fr Kirby often has, to the question of how what we do will be understood and received by the Orthodox and if that helps or hinders the prospect of eventual communion with them as well.

Albion Land said...

I have been asked by its author to post this comment:

Fr. Hollister wrote:

"They certainly have the right to know whither they are being led and why they are being led thither."

And I would like to add that the parishioners should have the right to decline to join the Roman Catholic Church, as many of us left it and joined an Anglican (or Episcopal, as it was in the good old days)Church for good reasons, and have not the least desire to return to the old institution.

I don't like to think that the Bishops have such authority that they can transfer our parishes to the RC Church without so much as discussing the matter with the people, and obtaining the peoples' permission. I can't understand Mark Newsome's opinion that the matter shouldn't be discussed. Of course it should.

B. Thompson

acamusician (formerly apckmusician)

Mark Newsome said...

I do regret having contributed to getting the ball rolling on this discussion. I simply wished to urge caution and discretion in discussing the matter of Rome and the TAC because we have folks within the TAC who have a great deal of hope regarding possible reunion as well as folks who have a great deal of fear regarding possible reunion with Rome. Any time a related story (along with its accompanying comments) hits the blogs I find myself consoling those who hopes are dashed or fears are inflamed. While I understand Albion that you had a good source, I would urge the same discretion on his grace as well (were it up to me I would eliminate all electronic - phone, fax, email, internet - forms of communication for those under Holy Orders!). If and when greater unity happens on a global scale it will happen in God's time not ours - centuries not seconds.

Were we to find ourselves on the verge of such unity in this age, I would also advocate for full disclosure though and I fully expect to have such disclosure when and if the time comes. I would suspect though that this is not that time.

Respectfully,

Mark Newsome

Anonymous said...

The amount of electronic ink being spilled over speculation is startling--unless, of course, there is an intent to stir up controversy (Ooh, ooh, you'd better watch out, the papists are coming to get you!) where none exists.
Copies of meeting agendas and claims to "highly-placed sources" notwithstanding ("my archbishop trumps your bishop"-really, boys and girls), there has been no official statement on the topic, and this Toad doubts that there will be unless and until there is some real news to report.
In fact, the Toad, having actual, real, genuine, highly-placed sources in all major religions and and fringe denominations is willing to bet his spectator shoes that Rome moves at a glacial pace on any talk of reunification, revivification, or conflation. Or,do we all simply like conspiracy theories and gossip about things which may or may not come to pass, particularly when we think we can score a few points on, or rustle some sheep from, those with identical origins, theology and sacraments?
In the meantime, it seems that we all have pressing problems of mission, unity and sanctity (remember those, pally?), not to mention the counterfeit clergy, specious seminaries and collection plate artistes who plague the movement. As for the Toad, he's got enough to do shining the light on real ecclesiastical wowsers than taking up valuable martini time on what the legit guys are up to.
Just a thought or two before cocktail hour.
Yr. Obed. Serv.,
R. Toad, DD-VS (Very Specious), LSMFT

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Caedmon wrote:
Why on EARTH would any Anglican Catholic body consider "discussions with the Vatican about closer relations"? One flees the Episcopal Church for Rome only to find - more Episcopalians?

Honestly, I don't get it. SSPX or Orthodoxy before neo-Catholicism.


Such discussions were a well known feature of the kind of Anglicanism that I thought we were continuing, namely the Anglo-Catholic/Oxford Movement kind. I would doubt very much that the TAC bishops are unaware of the matters of belief and conscience that separate Anglicans from the See of Rome. However, if anything leads to a possible reunion with the Patriarch of the West (even though that term is not currently in the Tiber's swimmer's fashion manual), and to a Reunion of East and West, and all that good Catholic unity stuff, it is worth the efforts of the bishops of the largest Continuing Church to make headway.

John said...

Murmuring Mouse asks, will this do?

Wow!
Well David Virtue would be envious.

Now I see what you are talking about. It is plainly obvious; drinking tea with Romans! Boy you sure are a stealthy guy. And then once again they had... Tea! I see what you are talking about.
Twice they had Tea and then they had.... a Prayer Service!!! and then some time set aside for business in case there might be anything to... discuss!

Trumping you I sent smoke signals to Calypso Louie and asked if there were any numeric qualities or other hidden meanings here and he divined this ... Tea: "T" = 20, e =4, a = 1, that adds up to 25: there are three parts of the sum, 25 +3 = 28, 20 -1 =19, there'4' 1928! Which was the last BCP, 2007-1928=79! The TAC meets the Romans in 2007 while using the 1928 and they are afflicted by the 79! Therefore TEA =The End of Anglicanism! So they discussed the end of Anglicanism and had some Sherry. Bigfoot and Elvis were there as well... plainly by picking out the letters they are telepathing their presence:
7.00am: "B" r "e" akfast (Hotel)
8.30am: Morning Prayer Sa"i"nt A"g"atha’s
9.00am - 11.30am Working Session 3: The TAC and the Holy See
Morning Tea will be available
Noon: Requiem Mass for the "F" aithful Departed of our C"o"mmuni"o" n:
"L" unch
1.30pm – 4.30pm Working Session 4: Holy See con "t".
Afternoon Tea will be a"v"a"i"able
4.30 Evening Prayer
6.00pm: Dinner (Hotel)
7.30pm – 9.00pm: If necessary to complete business relating to Holy "S"ee,


Were you able to secure some of the tea leaves used so we can read them instead of this ridiculous thread?

John A. Hollister said...

Just one small correction, please. In one of Fr. Hart's comments, he referred to "the communion between Rome and the PNCC".

For an accurate appreciation of any unity discussions between Rome and any other party whatever, we need to remember that the Roman Church is NOT "in communion with" the PNCC any more than it is "in communion with" the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The state of both those cases is that Rome recognizes the PNCC and the "canonical" Eastern Orthodox as what Rome calls "particular churches". That means it accepts the Sacraments they administer as valid, including the Sacrament of Orders. Therefore, Roman Catholics, at need, may resort to the clergy of those churches and ask to receive the Sacraments. Similarly, the people of those other churches, at need, may resort to Roman clergy and ask to receive the Sacraments.

Similarly, if clergy from those churches were to transfer to Rome, Rome would not reordain them.

However, there are no concelebrations between the clergy of those churches and Roman clergy, whether of the Eucharist or of any other Sacrament.

So the PNCC and the EO are what we might term "recognized" by Rome but they are not "in communion with" Rome.

Nor will they be in communion with Rome until and unless some formal institutional arrangement is entered into between either one of those jurisdictions, on the one hand, and Rome, on the other hand.

It took the PNCC twenty years to achieve just that state of mutual recognition. In the sixteen years or so since that was achieved, there appears (to an outsider, at least) to have been essentially no further movement between those two groups.

That is something that should be looked at very carefully by anyone who is considering attempting to open dialogue with Rome. An important preliminary step would have to be an investigation of what has happened, or not happened, between the PNCC and Rome, and the actual reasons therefor.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

John (Not Fr. John Hollister, the other "John")

Only because I know and respect Albion, as a big boy who can handle your sarcasm, did I push the "publish" button. In case you did not notice, his source was Archbishop Hepworth himself. Do you think, maybe, that is worth something?

You should know, from reading the blog, that I am very pro-TAC-ACA in my own thinking and sentiments, not least because I have so many friends there, friends worthy of respect and admiration. But, Albion is dealing here with facts in a very fair and unbiased manner, and his reports have been simple and straightforward. Furthermore, he has not attacked the TAC in any way

Albion Land said...

Fr Hart,

Thank you for your comment on John's latest post. You have said all that needs to be said on that subject, so I will add nothing more.

As to the topic at hand, it is now Oct 10, and the second meeting to which I referred should have taken place if it was going to. I await news.

John said...

My apologies to Albion.

My intent is not attack anyone Fr. Hart, but rather the statements which encourage the conspiratorial.
I am simply making much ado about making much ado. I understand and appreciate your concern to post my comment. I would not have been offended if you had not printed it. It is sarcastic but it is not speculative and not meant to hurt or cause concern. The original is not sarcastic but has it uplifted anyone or just brought more of what divides back to the surface? Had you possibly considered applying the same editoral restraint on the original post or was it too juicy?

Albion has stated what he believes, and in fact he produced some 'proof' of what he believes and appears to be encouraged by Hepworth. But the proof hardly supports the inuendo or the fears it seems to generate through the whole of the replies. The proof is trotted out like some great trophy of a battle with only concern to prove Albion's contention. Was that selfish act to be looked at with less disdain than my attempt at humor? What exactly has the "proofs" proven? What exactly was the post trying to induce or to provoke or attempt? Would it not have been better to wait to hear something from the horse's mouth (news release)and then make a point about any inconsistancies, etc?

My point is that reading the whole of this thread, even with the cautions, the jist of it 'reads' to jumping to conclusions which, as I have attempted to point out, is a central tendency of Continuing Clergy and lay people that I have observed in my few years in the movement. I do not know if this trait is from being in the 'wilderness' for decades or not but as someone who still remembers what it is like not to be a Continuer maybe you ought to attempt to see what it is I am trying to point out here and not take it personally as it is not meant personally.

If anyone can soberly show me how anything can be drawn from the scant evidence presented, without resorting to relying on past rumors that have all faded or fallen I would like to be first in line to hear them. Otherwise we are looking at the CC version of The GLOBE or National Enquirer. Now sometimes the "G" or "NE" get it right, but it does not change anyones view of such publication does it?

As to Hepworth, I do not know what to say, that he would apparently discuss the general content of a meeting with someone outside his own Communion before it is released to those inside and thereby cause problems and concerns demonstratesd to me he, like most of the Continuing "Archbishops" falls far from the mark required of such a position. Frankly this should be the focus of this thread and not Rome... I hope he retires.
That still does not excuse the fanning of speculation here.

The Rome thing has been a big concern but never been proven to be a 'surrendering'. Homosexual clergy and episcopate has been a big concern for many regarding the jurisdiction of some of the commentors above but it has never been proven, should we venture into speculation on the latest Synod's topics ?

Shame on me? Shame on you!

Maybe when the CC learns to stop attacking and counter attacking it will move forward.

poetreader said...

John (not Canon H),

As a lay member of ACA/TAC, I have a strong interest both in knowing what is going on that would concern me directly, and also in the avoidance of hysteria. a phenomenon that is always destructive. There's a balance to walk, the true meaning of Via Media, in which one keeps to the center of the truth without nbeing drawn off into extremes. The four of us running this board, different though we may be in many ways, together with most of our commenters, are committed to this balance, and are desirous, by it, to work toward Christian unity, among the Continuing Churches and with the rest of Catholic Chrstendom. This makes this kind of meeting and the projected action and/or discusssion of vital interest to all of us.

Thus I find it impossible to keep strictly within the request of my own hierarchy to refrain from speculation and public discusssion of these issues (as, apparently, so does my archbishop). It's too much to ask, as these matters have such direct personal import. The issues and possibilities need to be discussed, and rather openly. However, the request made does have its reasonable side. If such matters are to be discussed, they must be discussed on a level-headed and rational level, always with a purpose to fulfill the will of Christ, especially as expressed in His High Priestly Prayer, and excesses of emotion and hot-button reactions are entirely out of place, as is sarcasm.

Had I the job of moderating comments, I'm afraid I would have made a different choice from what Fr. Hart made, and would have refused to publish that particular comment. I found it disturbing, not so much because of content, but because of tone. Rather than constructive addition to the debate, it became a destructive thing, making further discourse far more difficult.

In the rest of this discourse, I've noted a lot of jumping to conclusions as to what might ultimately result. Inappropriate. Even the official participants in the discussions have no idea just where this all can lead, and whatever possibilities are advanced, they simply won't happen without substantial agreement of all involved (which includes laypeople like me). To approach any of this with fearfulness is inappropriate indeed. What we all seek is the will of God. Is that not so? Can't we discuss issues like adults, approach each other with humility, and try sincerely to find just what God's will is, rather than assuming that my pet opinions reflect His will?
---------------------------

Fr. Wells,

Please try to calm yourself. No one is suggesting any action of any sort with regard to property. You seem to find that issue at the heart of every discussion, and act as though your very livelihood has been directly threatened. Can't you just let it be one issue among many? I happen to agree that what is advocated in the Affirmation is indeed the best way to handle temporalities. I'd be very resistant to handing title of my parish's property over to anyone else. My problem is the making of such a secondary issue into the major obstacle to unity. There's nothing in Scripture or Tradition to justify such an extreme stand. My raising of scriptural issues is not intended to establish any doctrine of who should own church property, but do demonstrate that it is a real problem when we make such a secondary issue into a bedrock principle. Property is a tool, not a credal issue.

Furthermore, to put the Affirmation on the level of the Creeds, as you did, is to be deliberately schismatic. The Creeds are a statement of the whole Church. The Affirmation is the supplementary statement of a mere part of the whole Church. To insist that the local statements of such a tiny fragment of Christians as we represent be the bedrock of what must be accepted for unity to exist is to guarantee that Christ's body will never be united as He Himself prayed that it would. I tremble at the hui
bris of such a statement. Father, we are in agreement as to what we feel should be done regarding property, but we are in strong disagreement as to the relative importance of this compared with issues such as unity. We need to enter all our discussions with an earnest desire to find out how Our Lord's expressed will for His Church (it's His, after all, not really ours)can be achieved.

ed

Anonymous said...

Poetreader, I fear that we are talking past each other and not quite grasping each other's points. You are quite right when you contrast the Creeds and decrees of the ancient ecumenical councils with the Affirmation of St Louis. They are not nearly on a par, and it would be absurd to suggest that they are. And within the St Louis document, the matter of local control of temporalities (real estate is mentioned only indirectly) is probably not the most important item. I am far from suggesting this is any kind of theological test.

You are talking about what, in your judgment, OUGHT TO BE; I am talking about what, rightly or wrong, already IS THE CASE. I grant your point that the unity of Christ's Church is far more important than
who holds title to the real estate.

As an obiter dictum, I happen to have great admiration for the current crop of Episcopal Churches (like several in my city of Jacksonville Florida) which are simply leaving their buildings behind without legal contest and moving into school gymnasia and other rented facilities. That shows real sacrifice and conviction on their part.

I have tried, obviously without success, to point out to you what the Affirmation in fact says. You are free to disagree with the Affirmation. Your Church can re-write it. If your branch of the Church wishes to sign over its property to jurisdictions higher than the parish, that is your affair and I would be the last to criticize your conscientious decisions. And if your bishops can convince Rome to adopt the Affirmation of St Louis, that also would be nice.

But the reality of the Affirmation and the ensuing tradition of 30 years cannot be airily swept away by calling it "secondary." These "secondary" matters (or even tertiary or quarternary) have a way of coming back to bite you in the you-know-where. This seems to have escaped you.

Let me emphasize that I desire as much as anyone the reunion of Christendom around the Bishop of Rome, as the Petrine successor and Patriarch of the West, primus inter pares in the whole college of successors to the apostles. Nothing would delight me more than
a continuing Anglican community within this reunited Christendom.
This is a dream worth pursuing and praying for. But nothing will be achieved if we are not honest and realistic about obstacles great and small. ("For the want of a nail the horseshoe was lost...") I see this lack of honesty and realism in many who advocate this concept nowadays.

Your sarcasm has been duly noted.

Anonymous said...

I fear that I neglected to sign my last post, and if the moderator sees fit to approve it, I beg of him to add my name. Also, I note that Fr Hart, in his fine contribution "Howe to be one of the good old boys,"
speaks of the "temporalities" clause in ASL as "very important." Ed Pacht
regards it as "secondary." Seems to be a slight difference in perspective here.
Laurence K. Wells+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Wells:

Let's be fair to Ed. he has not said that it is not important. "Secondary" is a relative word, and when he says secondary to the will of God and the unity of the Church, his statement becomes a theological one that is pretty hard to refute. Right now, the protection of parish properties among Continuing Anglicans is not under a threat that we know of.

John:

If Archbishop Hepworth wanted things to be entirely confidential he would not have approached a journalist like Albion, who also administrates his own blog. He must have wanted some kind of word to get out.

Frankly, for someone like me who approaches the relations between Rome and Anglicans as of great interest, and in line with a history gone bad due to the official AC's deliberate shipwreck, the subject is intriguing. If there is an opportunity in the whole thing, it is a creative one.

John said...

Poet reader says:
Thus I find it impossible to keep strictly within the request of my own hierarchy to refrain from speculation and public discussion of these issues (as, apparently, so does my archbishop).

This seems beyond the scope of the stated intent of this blog on the home page. Mission creep?

With all due respect and appreciation for the many quality posts on this blog, and it is yours and you can do as you will, but I think you have slipped into a state of sanctimony if you think for a minute that somehow you can arbitrarily interfere in the deliberations of any jurisdiction much less the hierarchy of your own, disregard their authority, and claim to advance the cause of Catholic Christianity admittedly ignoring their wishes and assume you are working for and not against Jesus Christ much less the concerns or interests of all of us who have a stake in some sane Anglican presence. I hope what I read is not unbridled arrogance but it sure sounds like it. Just who appointed you?

Do you suppose that the things you write here have no consequences or that those consequences will always reflect the desire and effect you claim to want- your blog trying to be news outlet for the TAC prior to it's own release? What gives you the right to act on my behalf without my consent as another layman or any of our Bishops when you judge what is of such “personal import” that it trumps others?

How do you establish "balance with only four men, albeit talented, who are willing to write or publish anything that they in such a small number deem to be of value to save the Church Catholic? Where is the "consensus" of St Vincent's rule so often referred to on this blog when acting unilaterly against the wishes of your own Bishops (your words not mine

Pray we are so that you understand the "Via Media" at such a transcendent level so as to decide what is "vital" for my interest (as a member of the ACA /TAC) and the interest of my parish, our souls, and our painful financial sacrifice, years of local social ostracization and marginalization, the general abuse received from other Continuers regardless of choice of affiliation, all this will be solved by Poetreader because he ignores authority when he deems it necessary.

Why bother to worry about TAC's discussions with Rome when you seem to be establishing your own Magisterium? Had I the ability to ‘monitor’ the original post would not have been made without something more substantive.

Fr Hart: I can’t begin to say how riled I am that Hepworth feels free to discuss with Albion what I am not permitted to avail myself of through the ACA. I am about fed up with the Continuing Church, all of it.

Is a blogger a journalist? Come on!

Sandra McColl said...

John, if 'Archbishop Hepworth' sticks in your throat, then I should think at least to refer to the gentleman as 'Dr Hepworth' would be to show some courtesy. He's a real, living person, and he reads this blog (if not, perhaps, the combox). He's on our side (if we can work out what that is). You're not in the schoolyard now, and I doubt you were ever in it with him.

Albion Land said...

John,

As this is my blog, and as Fr Hart, Fr Kirby and Ed Pacht are my co-hosts, I will respond to your post. That said, while the comments I make here are entirely my own, my knowledge of these gentlemen is such that I suspect they will disagree with little, if anything I have to say. Moreover, Ed is free to post his own reply, and no doubt he will.

You say:

Poet reader says:
Thus I find it impossible to keep strictly within the request of my own hierarchy to refrain from speculation and public discussion of these issues (as, apparently, so does my archbishop).

This seems beyond the scope of the stated intent of this blog on the home page. Mission creep?

My response:

I am not sure how you draw that conclusion, but it is well within the stated intent of this blog, as expressed at the top of the page: “A place where those who live in the Anglican Continuum, or who are thinking of moving there, might share in robust, if polite, discussion of matters theological and ecclesiological.”

That is precisely what we are doing, though I would say the discussion on this topic is far less robust that it could be, because I choose for it to be that way.

You say:

With all due respect and appreciation for the many quality posts on this blog, and it is yours and you can do as you will, but I think you have slipped into a state of sanctimony if you think for a minute that somehow you can arbitrarily interfere in the deliberations of any jurisdiction much less the hierarchy of your own, disregard their authority, and claim to advance the cause of Catholic Christianity admittedly ignoring their wishes and assume you are working for and not against Jesus Christ much less the concerns or interests of all of us who have a stake in some sane Anglican presence. I hope what I read is not unbridled arrogance but it sure sounds like it. Just who appointed you?

My response:

I am not sure if you are directing yourself here solely to Ed or to all of us, but I will speak for the blog.

You cover a lot of ground in what you have just said, but sadly give nothing of substance to grasp hold of and respond to in any sort of cogent way. I will try to respond as best I can. None of us is interfering, or attempting to interfere, in the deliberations of the TAC. The purpose of this thread was to do the best I could to report on a matter of suprme interest to the faithful of the TAC, but also of import to those of other continuing jurisdictions. Yes, that included speculation, something for which I do not apologise. If there is to be reasoned discourse, sometimes pointed questions need to be asked.

You also speak of ignoring the wishes of various hierarchies, and I assume you are referring here to that of the TAC. It is not clear whether you are referring to others as well. I have done no such thing, in either case.

You say:

Do you suppose that the things you write here have no consequences or that those consequences will always reflect the desire and effect you claim to want- your blog trying to be news outlet for the TAC prior to it's own release? What gives you the right to act on my behalf without my consent as another layman or any of our Bishops when you judge what is of such “personal import” that it trumps others?

My response:

I would hope that what we write here is of great consequence. That is why we are here. And no, I cannot be sure that those consequences will always be what I want. We can only try to be fair and balanced, and as thorough as possible in presenting the issues that we do. There is no attempt here to be a news outlet for the TAC, or for anyone else. I expected to receive the news on the TAC meeting at the same time everyone else did, under embargo, so that it would be published by everyone at the same time. That is what I was promised.

That said, one of the stated purposes of this blog has from its outset to become the premier site for news about the continuing movement. We are a long way from achieving that goal, but I have no intention to forego pursuing it.

You say:

How do you establish "balance with only four men, albeit talented, who are willing to write or publish anything that they in such a small number deem to be of value to save the Church Catholic? Where is the "consensus" of St Vincent's rule so often referred to on this blog when acting unilaterly against the wishes of your own Bishops (your words not mine).

Pray we are so that you understand the "Via Media" at such a transcendent level so as to decide what is "vital" for my interest (as a member of the ACA /TAC) and the interest of my parish, our souls, and our painful financial sacrifice, years of local social ostracization and marginalization, the general abuse received from other Continuers regardless of choice of affiliation, all this will be solved by Poetreader because he ignores authority when he deems it necessary.

My response:

You seem to be suggesting here that four men, or forty men, are not entitled to express their views on matters of interest, and possibly, of import to them. As far as I know, all of the continuing jurisdictions are synodical in their governance – they are not absolute dictatorships run exclusively by their clergy, much less by their bishops. And being synodical, they can only be run well if all those people who should be involved in taking decisions are as fully apprised as possible of the facts that affect them.

You say:

Why bother to worry about TAC's discussions with Rome when you seem to be establishing your own Magisterium? Had I the ability to ‘monitor’ the original post would not have been made without something more substantive.

My response:

I’m not sure what you mean in your first sentence. As for the second, the post would have been chock full of substance had I not acceded to Archbishop Hepworth’s quite reasonable request to refrain, as it were, from stealing the thunder of the very people who would be making the announcements. And as I have been unable to make contact with the archbishop since the CoB meeting began, it was a veiled appeal to him to provide us with the news.

You say:

Fr Hart: I can’t begin to say how riled I am that Hepworth feels free to discuss with Albion what I am not permitted to avail myself of through the ACA. I am about fed up with the Continuing Church, all of it.

My response:

Archbishop Hepworth told me that the substance of the TAC’s approach to Rome had been approved by the synods of all the national churches, but two, and that he hoped to have those approvals by the time of the CoB meeting. I would therefore assume that the laity were aware of them, as they should be. But as I have not provided substance, how can you conclude that you are not aware?

You say:

Is a blogger a journalist? Come on!

My response:

I can’t speak for “bloggers,” I can only speak for myself. And the answer is yes. I am a 1972 graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, and have spent my entire adult life working as a journalist – for newspapers, magazines, wire services and, now, a blog as well.

C. David Burt said...

I would like to address the question that seems to be implicit in much of the recent discussion, and this is it: Is the TAC's approach to Rome consistent with the mandate of the Affirmation of St. Louis?

Let's be clear that the interpretation of the Affirmation of St. Louis varies a lot depending on who is doing the interpreting, but it seems unavoidable to me to conclude that the search for Catholic unity is very high on the list of goals set forth in the Affirmation.

Now for some this means Rome and Orthodoxy, and for others it means anything but Rome and Orthodoxy. When I served on the Ecumenical Commission of the ACC under Bishop Lewis, we were severely criticized at Synod by Perry Laukhuff among others for initiating formal contact with the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church "without the consent of Synod"! I was under the impression that it was implicit in the mandate of an ecumenical commission to initiate contact with any and all catholic bodies. What this showed me, however, was that achieving some kind of Anglican unity was higher in the minds of some than achiving some kind of catholic unity. Well now thirty years later, Anglican unity is just as elusive as ever, and catholic unity seems to be within reach due to the tremendous step of Pope John Paul II in establishing the Pastoral Provision for Anglicans.

Many of the "Fathers" of St. Louis have led the way by taking up the Pope's offer even in the face of difficulties. Father James Parker was prominent at St. Louis, and he was the first married priest ordained through the Pastoral Provision.

I was at St. Louis, and I remember very clearly that we were not setting out to start a new church. We were continuing the old church and we were going to seek unity with other catholic bodies because we realistically understood that the whole Episcopal Church was not going to follow us. It is precisely this, the seeking of catholic unity, that has not been undertaken by the leaders of the continuing churches up to now.

Perhaps the present defections from the Episcopal Church have disabused many of the hope that great numbers of people would eventually come in the direction of the Continuum. They seem much more intent on forming some kind of Evangelical Anglicanism based on the rapidly growing church in Africa and clinging on for dear life in the Anglican Communion, than seeking any kind of meaningful catholic unity. Let's face it, most of them accept the ordination of women, and if you listen to what many of them are saying, it is more about the 39 Articles, the Homilies, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer than it is even about the Chicago/Lambeth Quadrilateral, or the Vincentian Canon.

So the Continuum is not going to get many of these folk, and few continuers are interested in going with them.

My conclusion, then, is that seeking unity with the Roman Catholic Church and/or with the Orthodox Church is fully within the mandate of the Affirmation of St. Louis and is in fact the most reasonable thing to do given the aparent inability of the Continuum to forge any meaningful unity of its own, and also due to the magnanimous offer of Pope John Paul II to make a place within the Catholic Church for Anglicanism, as well as the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church which openly welcomes Anglicans.

C. David Burt

poetreader said...

Welcome Mr. Burt,

Yes, these are hopeful times, even at the same time that they are stressful. There is a lot of movement beginning to show toward the eventual union of Catholic churches, but there still is a lot to be dealt with. While I do indeed see the successors of Peter as the most logical center of christian unity, I am one of many who simply cannot swallow the unfortunate definition of Papal Infallibility, even in its most restricted sense, and couldn't accept a union that required me to make such an affirmation. The Roman Church may be the largest of the Christian churches, but, I firmly believe, in this it has erred. If Rome remains unable to yield in some way, a serious bock continues to exist. I'm afraid that many of us, for that reason and for other smaller ones, find ourselves unable to follow your lead in swimming the Tiber. With regard to Anglo-Catholic reunion, I am unswerving that this has to come to pass. It isn't optional. Thus, though, in some ways it would be a very good thing if TAC found some acceptable accord with Rome, I would regard it as a matter of deep sorrow if this happened without out brethren of the ACC. Neither that or the reverse (nor an accord of one or the other separately with Orthodoxy) would be an occasion of unrestrained joy. Partial unity is still partial, and therefore a continuation of disunity. May we all be really one.

ed

Michael said...

Thank you, Mr. Burt, for your comments about St. Louis.

Two of the bishops of the TAC's Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Bps. Wilkinson and Reid) were at St. Louis as well. So, there is at least some human connection between what went on at the beginnings of the Continuum, and this effort for Anglican-RC unity.

I am hoping that these efforts will be added to those that forged the current Anglican Use. Perhaps, in a future time when Orthodox come back into communion with Rome, those Western rite Orthodox parishes that use the Prayer Book (Liturgy of St. Tikhon) will be united in the same jurisdiction as well.

The silence is quite encouraging to me actually, by this point. If there was nothing to report at this time, some sort of statement would have been issued to rally the troops to continue hoping and praying. That there is no substantial announcement yet leads me to believe that whatever's going on isn't quite finished yet (at least I hope that's the case).

Anonymous said...

Fr. Robert Hart, whom I HIGHLY esteem, writes the following in response to my inquiry as to why any Continuing Anglican would consider Modernist Rome:

"Such discussions were a well known feature of the kind of Anglicanism that I thought we were continuing, namely the Anglo-Catholic/Oxford Movement kind. I would doubt very much that the TAC bishops are unaware of the matters of belief and conscience that separate Anglicans from the See of Rome. However, if anything leads to a possible reunion with the Patriarch of the West (even though that term is not currently in the Tiber's swimmer's fashion manual), and to a Reunion of East and West, and all that good Catholic unity stuff, it is worth the efforts of the bishops of the largest Continuing Church to make headway."

Let me pose the question a different way, Fr. Hart: Why would any *Continuing* Anglican seriously consider the increasingly *discontinuous* Rome? I personally don't give a tinker's damn about the "Patriarch of the West", and I'm fairly certain my personal view coheres substantially with historical Anglican-Catholic thinking on the matter. I want the Catholic faith, not the Roman one.

Just a bit of personal information that might shed some light on where I'm coming from: I am an American Orthodox Christian who is disgusted by much of the corruption and nominalism I see in "World Orthodoxy". In addition, I have come to appreciate the "ethnic" or culturally particularist dimension of Christianity, which to my thinking complements the Catholic nature of Christianity. English Christianity, not Slavic or Greek or Latin Christianity, constitutes my spiritual/cultural roots.

In sum, I want to be an Anglo-Celt Christian of the Catholic sort. Which my my lights is definitely not the ROMAN Catholic sort. Among other things which I've hinted at above, I am as adamently against Roman ecclesiology as I have ever been.

My options then seem to be Western Rite Orthodoxy or the Continuum. Seeing as I have problems with the former (Byzantine and umarried bishops, etc.), I am very much drawn to the Continuum.

That will cease to be the case, however, if it becomes apparent to me that the Continuum is contemplating leaving the Episcopalianism of the ECUSA/TEC for the Episcopalianism of the Church of Rome.

That "saint" JPII kissed the Koran.

The *Koran.*

And remember the gatherings at Assisi?

-- Caedmon

Anonymous said...

Continuing on the thought of David Burt above, wouldn't it make sense for there to be a truly directed search for unity between the Orthodox (Western Rite), the Anglican Use (Roman Rite), and at least one of the Continuing bodies? Isn't the fact that there is an "Anglican" liturgical rite in all 3 reason enough that the adherents of these Rites in each particular Church should come together for common worship and discernment? Why wait for the Patriarch, the Pope and the TAC/ACC leaders to make decisions at a higher level, without more contact of the laity with each other, for the laity to be an understanding catalyst in the quest for unity? We all have a very nearly identical form of worship, Roman, Orthodox, and Anglican in these various Anglican rites- what a miracle! And that it is an Anglican form of worship that is found in all three!

Last month, the Anglican Use Congregation of St. Athanasius in West Roxbury, Mass. hosted an Anglican Use Evensong, for which invitations went out to all the Continuing Churches in the greater New England area. A group of four of us, including our priest, attended from our ACA parish in Manchester, CT. It was a beautiful, traditional, solemn Anglican Evensong, using all the material from The Hymnal 1940 (which the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite uses), a fine sermon by Fr. Richard Sterling Bradford, chaplain to the Congregation of St. Athanasius (a priest of the Pastoral Provision) on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, on Mary, our Mother of all the Church. It was a beautiful expression of unity among those Catholics who worship as Anglicans, of the real unity that exists among us. Sadly, the numbers in attendance were few. These types of liturgical or paraliturgical services in common need to continue, and need to happen from the point of all 3 branches (Orthodox, Roman, and Anglican). We need to remember that we as Anglicans are very privileged in the common form of worship that exists in the church catholic, and that that form is Anglican. As Anglicans, we belong to all 3 streams of the Church Catholic. As Anglicans, we have a unique responsibility and opportunity for unity. To those to whom much has been given, much will be expected. May Mary, our Mother, bring us to the unity for which her Son prayed, and prays.

poetreader said...

Mmmm. I missed hearing about that one. I'm not sure I'd have been able, but I would have wanted to be there. I gre up in Roslindale, the part of Boston that adjoins West Roxbury, and I was an occasional visitor to All Saints' Ashmont whence many of St. Athanasius' people came. If we had an AU or a WRO parish anywhere near Rochester NH, I'd be advocating just such an Evensong. It should be a frequent event.

ed