Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rome Writes to Hepworth

His Grace, Archbishop John Hepworth has released the following message to the College of Bishops, Vicars General and those assisting the TAC to achieve unity with the Holy See.

My Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
It is my great pleasure to be able to attach a copy of a letter I received this morning (25 July 2008) from Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, via the Apostolic Nuncio in Australia. It is a letter of warmth and encouragement. I have responded, expressing my gratitude on behalf of "my brother bishops", reaffirming our determination to achieve the unity for which Jesus prayed with such intensity at the Last Supper, no matter what the personal cost this might mean in our discipleship.

This letter should encourage our entire Communion, and those friends who have been assisting us. It should also spur us to renewed prayer for the Holy Father, for Cardinal Levada and his staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and for all our clergy and people as we move to ever closer communion in Christ with the Holy See.

I am particularly thankful to the Cardinal Prefect for his generous mention of "corporate reunion", a pathway seldom travelled in the past, but essential for bringing about the plea of our Master to His Father "May they be completely one"’.

The Traditional Anglican Communion
Archbishop John Hepworth
Primate

Read the letter here

69 comments:

Death Bredon said...

"Don't call us, we'll call you."

Jorge said...

Hola amigo: quería invitarte que visites el blog que estoy realizando con mis alumnos de segundo año de la secundaria sobre LA DISCRIMINACIÓN.
http://nodiscrimine.blogspot.com
Tema arduo e interesante.
Seguro será de tu agrado.
Tu aporte será valioso
Un abrazo desde la Argentina.

Brian G. said...

I've never understood how some Anglican priests and bishops can desire so fervently to submit to the Papacy while continuing to offer Sacraments that the Magisterium considers invalid. It's clerical cognitive dissonance of the most ridiculous sort.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In fact, the 1896 Bull does not necessarily address the Orders that have been handed down to Continuing Anglicans. And, at no time have the TAC bishops shown any indication that they doubt the full validity of Anglican sacraments. This entire matter is enigmatic, somewhat veiled, and uncertain as to a final outcome. But, I think we can give them more credit than to suppose they have not thought about this.

Brian G. said...

With all due respect, Fr. Hart, the actions of the TAC are little different than the many English Anglo-Catholics who insist on using the Novus Ordo mass out of some sense of filial devotion--petty emotionalism based on a wrong-headed sense of ecclesiology wholly at odds with that we see in, say, the Apostolic Fathers.

Antonio said...

Fr. Hart, I would like to ask you something.
Do you think that real Anglicanism can be in "communion with rome"?
I mean, I've been reading your last posts about the essence of Anglicanism, and I would like to know what's your opinion about this issue: if there were an agreement between Rome and the TAC, do you think that the TAC would continue being "anglican"?
Thanks.

Sandra McColl said...

Some time ago I took a vow of silence about this issue until Rome had replied. Now that Rome has publicly replied in a small way (as if to say, your matter has come to the top of my to-do list just as I am about to go on vacation, I'll attend when I return), I allow myself to say a few things.

1. Brian G: There have been excellent articles on this blog before on The Great Leonine Insult of 1896. I agree that I find the spectacle of an Anglican priest continuing to function as a priest while publicly undergoing RCIA insulting, humiliating and contrary to reason. It is my fervent hope that the whole point of 'corporate reunion', however, is partly by way of coming to some form of agreement with Rome that Anglican orders and sacraments are real (and, I hope, always were, without the assistance of bishops from communities resulting from later schisms). Pope Paul VI apparently sought to reopen the question. Note that the Roman letter does not put 'Your Grace' or 'brother bishops' in quotation marks (as I just have--oops). I pray fervently that this is not simply a display of good manners.
2. I am in the unenviable position (especially in Australia) of finding myself applauding both Fr Hart's pieces on being Anglican and unashamed and the TAC bishops' Roman overtures. Bishop Langberg has been published on The Messenger's site and what he says is what I believe: we are commanded to unity, Our Lord prayed for it.
3. I'm not sure I fully trust the TAC bishops to be as Anglican and unashamed as I am (I am truly Anglican in that I have learned by experience to mistrust bishops and not to put my trust in princes--especially of the Church), and I'm not sure how much of our liturgical and cultural heritage they really want to maintain. Nevertheless, if they effect an honourable reconciliation with the largest communion within Christendom, I'll have a hard time justifying not going with them (for starters, there'll be nowhere else).

Anonymous said...

Someone should explain to Bishop Hepworth that our Lord's prayer "that they may be one" was not offered at the Last Supper, but shortly thereafter in the Garden of Gethsemane. A minor point, perhaps, but those responsible for handling the Word of God should be more mindful of detail.

If anyone wishes to read the letter which pleases him so much, it is available on the TAC website. Each can decide for himself how much "warmth and encouragement" is really there. I interpret it as Death Bredon does.
The lettter is remarkable as the first real evidence that Rome even knows who Bishop Hepworth is.

As for Cardinal Levada, well, there is much to be learned by checking the website of the SNAP organization. He was formerly Archbishop of San Francisco and earned quite a reputation as a defender of pederasts. Like Cardinal Law, he was brought to Rome for reasons of health. Such corrupt prelates are not part of what I respect and admire in the RC Church. If one embraces Rome, one must embrace the whole schtick, "warts and all." Cardinal Levada is definitely one of the warts. Too bad.
LKW

Fr. John said...

And this appears to be what their offer to TAC will consist of;

Read it yourself ay:

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=8205

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Brian G.

I cannot understand why any Anglican would use the Novus Ordo. I also do not understand anyone who paints his house bright pink, wears plaid with polka dots, or who thinks that Elvis was great. But, I was talking today with one of the men appointed by Archbishop Hepworth to work through the Rome-TAC business, and I am aware that at least someone knows that real issues are involved.

Antonio wrote:

Do you think that real Anglicanism can be in "communion with Rome"?

Right now, without progress that only serious theological discussion and straight talk can produce, no. At this moment, it is not possible. Somebody would be surrendering, and the Romans have not surrendered since the days of the Vandals.

Right now, without genuine ecumenical and theological progress, it would be a mass "conversion", and one I would want no part of.

The Lord's prayer, "that they may be one," was a Person of the Trinity speaking to a Person of the Trinity. It is spoken as a request, but for us it is a pronouncement, like, "I now pronounce that they are man and wife." The fact that couples sometimes fail to get along does not change the fact that they are one flesh. The divisions in the Church do not change the fact that we are one.

Anonymous said...

"I've never understood how some Anglican priests and bishops can desire so fervently to submit to the Papacy while continuing to offer Sacraments that the Magisterium considers invalid. It's clerical cognitive dissonance of the most ridiculous sort."

Hear, hear.

Caedmon

Canon Tallis said...

I am glad that Father Wells said what needed to be said about Cardinal Levada so that I do not need to say it. Given my experiences with the Roman Church as a teenager, plus having seen Levada at the opera surrounded by several of his priests while he was the archbishop of San Francisco, I wonder that any would find the Roman Church attractive.
On the other hand, I am apalled that those priests of the Church of England who use the Novum Ordo have not been deposed out of hand. There are some things which I will simply never understand - and I don't think I really want to do so!

Albion Land said...

I know nothing of Cardinal Levada's social proclivities, so will refrain from comment.

I am struck, however, by the strange character of the letter itself.

He talks about the past year, when not even 10 months have transpired; he writes on July 5 and speaks of the summer months "approaching." He gives the impression of being out of touch with time.

He also gives the impression of being out of touch with reality.

What on earth happenings in the Anglican Communion have to do with the TAC and its proposal is beyond me, especially when he goes straight from mentioning the Anglican Communion to promising a response to the TAC's proposals. It's as if he is saying that one flows out of the other; that they are linked.

Perhaps I am wrong, and that there is no disconnect here and that instead there is a profound and very important link. What conversations Rome and Canterbury can possibly have now beyond how to cooperate in meeting Millennium Development Goals is beyond me. Perhaps the cardinal is saying much: that the day looms when conversations with Canterbury on matters theological and ecumenical are to be no more, and that it is now the TAC that is to represent Anglicanism in that role. Somehow I doubt it.

In the end, I am inclined to agree with Death Bredon: "Don't call us ..."

poetreader said...

Fr. Wells,

1. John 13 is his account of what went on at the last Supper, specifically the description of the washing of the disciples' feet. Chapters 14, 15, and 16 contain no intimation of movement to another place, and seem to be presented as a sermon or discourse at the table after the meal. Chapter 17, the prayer. comes immediately after that, still with no indication of movement. After the prayer, John 18:1: When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron. where was a garden ...

Yes, I have heard the opinion of some scholars that this prayer was not a part of the Last Supper, but I cannot find any textual reason to hold this opinion. I have always read this passage as the concluding prayer of that very first Eucharist. Is there evidence I don't know of that would contradict what I seem to see in the text itself?

2. I've disagreed with you on some issues, sometimes strongly, but I have come to have a strong appreciation for your mind and your faith. This leaves me saddened to see you resorting to an ad hominem argument. The issue is one of truth. If the truth of Scripture ends up leading to reunion with Rome, then it is necessary to take what is there, as you put it, warts and all. If I were unwilling to endure rather obvious warts, I should never have become a Continuing Anglican. I could share stories, as, I am certain you could as well, but will not, as they are beside the point. The Church of God is indeed perfect in its intent and direction, but highly imperfect in actual practice. It is, after all, made up of sinful men. The truth or falsity of the Church (or any part of it, for that matter) is not dependent on the goodness of its ministers.

3. As I've made clear, I have distinct hesitations about some possible aspects of the approach my jurisdiction is making. I believe the objective is an essential one. I do not believe it can rightly happen unless Rome itself makes certain concessions which, humanly speaking, one would not expect to be made. However, I refuse to rule out the possibility of those changes occurring. After all, God is in charge, and is more than able to change hearts and minds.

ed

Michael David said...

It is nice to finally have something in writing indicating that, yes, Rome knows who we are. At the same time, there was never any doubt about that for anyone who knows the bishops involved. It bears mentioning again that the two bishops who accompanied +Hepworth to the Vatican (+Mercer and +Wilkinson) each have many years experience in Anglican-Catholic dialogue, Bp. Mercer as a former Anglican Communion bishop in Zimbabwe.

The mention of the Anglican Communion, although it does not concern the TAC as it is now, is understandable. The TAC is not the only group of Anglicans who have an interest in being reconciled with the Holy See, and thus Rome needs to consider how best to proceed, not simply to bring the TAC into communion, but to bring the greatest number of Anglicans into communion at the same time.

Elijah said...

albion land said:
What on earth happenings in the Anglican Communion have to do with the TAC and its proposal is beyond me, especially when he goes straight from mentioning the Anglican Communion to promising a response to the TAC's proposals.

Reverend Warren Tanghe, speaking for the Society of the Holy Cross in the recent lectures at St. Vladamir's Seminary entitled "Rome, Constantinople and Canterbury, Mother Churches?" said that the SSC was involved in the discussion between Rome and the TAC. He claims that the SSC has worked with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to establish protocols for parishes to flee the Anglican Communion to Rome, and that the current talks were an effort to expand those protocols or create new ones for larger bodies (i.e. the TAC). The lectures are available for download from Ancient Faith Radio.

http://ancientfaith.com/
specials/svs_jan2008

The conclusion that I draw from this is that Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith feels it should broaden its work so that should a large group of Anglicans in England ,recalling the July 7th decision by the Church of England regarding women Bishops, decide to leave, the road would be partially paved. I don't know much about the SSC, but from what Reverend Tanghe said, the SSC forbids its members from concelebration with women "priests" and "bishops." 1300 clergy said they would leave the Church of England over this (see their letter below), and the SSC could tell its members who fall under a female "bishop" to leave as well.
http://timescolumns.typepad.com
/gledhill/files/final_letter.pdf

Anonymous said...

Poetreader:

1. You may have a valid point regarding the high priestly prayer
of John 17. But what do you make of John 14:31b, "Arise, let us go hence"? I should not be too dogmatic here, as John is not absolutely clear about movements or locations.

2. What ad hominem argument? I simply brought up facts about Cardinal Levada's professional history. Those facts would probably keep him from passing a security check for an entry level job in a daycare center. If that is the moral atmosphere you choose to live in, then don't let me stand in your way. But I am amazed that people who go into paroxysms of indignation over VGR and SSB in TEC are willing to overlook the scandals of the RC Church. This inconsistency is hard to explain.

3. "If the truth of Scripture ends up leading to reunion with Rome, ..." Huh?

I don't know what texts you have in mind. But allow me to point out that our dear Lord prayed: "that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I in you..."
This is a prayer, Ed, for the spiritual unity of believers modelled upon the unity of the Blessed Trinity; it is hardly a prayer for submission to any particular patriarchate, and there is nothing in it which alludes even remotely to submission to the holy see. This text has been bandied about irresponsibly by all manner of ecumaniacs, trying to promote everything from the World Council of Churches to the Blake-Pike proposal of the 1960's, which led to the now dead COCU. It was bad eisegesis then and it is bad eisegesis now.
LKW

An Anglican Cleric said...

Father Hart,

The question of Anglican Orders in the Continuum, to my mind, is the same as the issue of Anglican Orders in general. Most Roman stuff I've read says that the Ordinal itself is defective, and that valid Orders cannot be conveyed via the 1662 Ordinal, so if any Continuum cleric was made a priest or bishop via the 1662 or 1928 service, the are simply not priest or bishops (even if there may be some Old Catholic or Orthodox blood in those lines, once the 1662 or 1928 Anglican service is used again this "good blood" dries up).

Of course, this is petty nonsense, given that the Anglican wording was simply taken back to make it conform with earlier Western Ordinals. If Rome was right (which it isn't) then none of the priests or bishops before the Roman use of the late Middle Ages would be valid priest or bishops--but this is how the Apostolic Succession was conveyed to that point. Ah, the doctrine of "development" can make everyone else invalid if you aren't doing what Rome is doing right now.

Coming from the TAC/ACA (and having left it because of not being able to receive a coherent answer as to what this process even meant: "Trust your bishops, and please don't ask such questions in the future"), I can't take much of this stuff seriously. I'll wait and see, but if anything comes about it looks like it will be conversion en masse.

John said...

I agree with BrianG's comment to a degree.

It is true that a few lay and clergy really ought be across the Tiber, and I do not understand why they are not there all ready. But lets not forget on the other end of the spectrum that many from Truro and the Falls Church went to the Anglican Rite meetings held in DC and these are supposed to be Evangelicals. How do I know? It was a public meeting. How about the recent Episcopal defections from TEC? I read a lot about TEC or C of E defections to Rome but rarely from the Continuing Church. There were indeed a couple of Anglo Catholics present in DC at the AR use conference but AC's view Roman Liturgy as generally goofy and closer to the 79' Faux Prayer Book- not an attractive option. Could it be we are simply comfortable with who we are as Anglicans?

I hopre Brian’s remarks as stated are not a mindless stereotype: very few actually fall into the 'category' described. Let us not forget that if some individuals, whomever they may be, represent an extreme, there is always an opposite extreme such as Puritan/Calvinist school who attempted to infect the English Church centuries ago and was quashed by the Elizabethan Settlement to a degree. The Articles are equally aimed at this party as they are of the Papalists. (Neo)Puritanism is still present today and ever waging it's partisan head in trying to distort Anglicanism. Typically those who cry "Papists" with no other concern other than to rekindle the wars of generations past are of this ilk. Their sole consuming, if irrelevant, issue always identifies them.

I do not infer that you Brian are of this narrow stripe but many who press the Magisterium button are. This kind of thing does little for the cause of Christ or for addressing the heresies of our time as division, deception and distraction are preferred tools of Satan.

If you are over 35 or 40 and history means something more than the phrase "Back in the day" you will know that the very same goal as outlined in the TAC letter was well under way with both the Orthodox and Romans for decades up and until WO destroyed any serious discussion between these Communions regarding a closer relationship. Recognition between Communions with the Orthodox was at hand! Satan crept in with his 'social justice' deception (WO) and wrecked it.

Archbishop George Langberg of the ACA has publicly stated that a rekindling of those efforts- a reunion, a recognition, Communion, but not absorption. Yes there are some things that Archbishop Hepworth of the TAC has said I find worrisome but I am compelled as a Christian to trust authority unless I see heresy and none of these people concerned are heretics. The heretics belong unchecked to the Canterbury communion… are we to suppose that is your communion? Are we somehow less Christian than you because our leadership seeks a relationship biblically mandated, the words of Christ, to other Christians? Should we follow your communion’s example and ordain those who cannot be ordained thereby destroying unity and a conduit of Grace in the Eucharist? Should we sue each other into the ground against the Scriptural admonition against such? Would you have us all be separated forever?

Now to be fair lets try a shoe on the other foot one we can easily identify as ‘Anglo-Baptist who have willingly been absorbed into the extremes of generic protestantism; many so as not to be even recognizable as Anglican-anything.

This would include their theology as well as churchmanship. My point is not suggestive or speculative but is hard fact and easily demonstrable.

Until actions prove otherwise I am going to support my Archbishop in good faith. Because that is the rule of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

My advise to you is not to judge the whole cart by a couple of apples especially when your own cart may be tipping too far in the other direction.

Fr. John said...

I informally polled those attending morning and evening Mass today, Trinity X, and found not a soul interested in becoming Anglican Use RCs.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

An Anglican Cleric wrote:
The question of Anglican Orders in the Continuum, to my mind, is the same as the issue of Anglican Orders in general.

The fact that the "Dutch Touch" (for Americans, the Polish Touch) led to a conditional ordination in the case of Graham Leonard means that Rome has yet to address Anglican orders after that. With women being "ordained," however, I can't blame them.

Frankly, I couldn't care less about the Dutch Touch one way or the other. It would have served its ecumenical purpose (which was really to help Rome save face, by not having to admit to how idiotic Apostolicae Curae is) if not for W "O".

Sandra McColl said...

Fr Hart, I think it's the Polish Pat.

William Tighe said...

There is a difference between the "Dutch Touch" and the "Polish Pat" -- whether or not it is of any significance is another matter.

From 1932 to 1959 (and again in 1974, at the consecration of Eric Kemp as Bishop of Chichester), the Dutch touchers laid their hand or hands on the head of the consecrand(s) and loudly recited in Latin the formula from the Roman Pontifical (which the Dutch OCs used in Latin up to the 60s for ordinations and consecrations), "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum ..." etc., while the Anglican archbishop and/or bishops recited that from the 1662 BCP. After the ceremony, a formal notarized was recorded (in Latin) stating both the participation of the Dutch touchers and their intention of joining "the Utrecht succession" to that of Canterbury. By contrast, whenever, between 1946 and 1971, PNCC bishops participated in the consecration of ECUSA or Canadian Anglican bishops, the Polish patters simply laid on their hands in silence at the appropriate point in the rite.

"An Anglican cleric" wrote:

"Of course, this is petty nonsense, given that the Anglican wording was simply taken back to make it conform with earlier Western Ordinals. If Rome was right (which it isn't) then none of the priests or bishops before the Roman use of the late Middle Ages would be valid priest or bishops--but this is how the Apostolic Succession was conveyed to that point."

This is simply untrue, as a matter of historical fact. To explain why, I will simply cut-and-paste below the beginning of an e-mail that I sent to Fr. Glenn Spencer (APA) some years ago:

"Dear Fr. Spencer,

I am glad that we were able to speak at long last this evening. What I am sending you below is self-explanatory: it is a long excerpt from a letter that I had from my English friend Fr. John Hunwicke in October 2003, and which I excerpted for Fr. Tom Cairns in December of that year. Fr. Hunwicke's point is that the "Dutch Touch" will not necessarily overcome all Roman objections to Anglican Orders. Why? We know know that the original Roman (and also in all other ordination rites) was the imposition hands accompanied by, or after, prayer. In the Middle Ages, in the West, beginning ca. the 12th century, two other things entered the ordination rites, originally separately: (1) an imperative formula "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum ../Receive the Holy Spirit.. which originally was part of the final blessing/dismissal of the ordination rites, but to which an imposition (the second or third in the rite) of the ordaining bishop's hands soon came to be added; and (2) the "porrectio instrumentorum" or "handing-over of the tools" (such as the paten and chalice for priests), which came after the (original) prayer and imposition of hands, but before #1 just above. In 1443 Rome decreed that it was this "porrectio instrumentorum" that was the "form" (or essential part) of the rite. Cranmer believed that it was #1 above, and in the course of the 19th century many RC scholars came to the same conclusion. But by the 1920s and 30s it had become clear that neither of these were the original "form" but the first imposition of hands in the rite, and the prayer that either accompanied or preceded it, and in 1947 Pius XII issued a decree to that effect. So what Fr. Hunwicke is arguing is that Rome has never recognized the formula "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum ..." as sufficient in itself to constitute the "form" of the sacrament, and that while it could conceivably do so there is no compelling historical reason why it should do it.

This is relevant because from 1932 onwards, at least until the early 1960s, on every occasion that a Dutch (or other European Old Catholic) bishop participated in a Church of England episcopal consecration, the OC bishop laid on his hands at the same moment that the English Archbishop laid on his, but instead of pronouncing the "formula" (words) from the BCP, he pronounced instead the Latin formula "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum ..." (etc.) from the Roman Pontifical (which the Dutch OCs used till the 1970s and didn't translate into Dutch till the 1960s), and after each such consecration an official instrument was drawn up (in Latin) which the OC co-consecrating bishop subsequently signed, and in which he declared that his purpose had been to act as co-consecrator with the Anglican archbishop and to confer on the consecrand the OC "stream" of episcopal orders. By contrast, here in the USA when (as on various occasions between 1946 and 1971, as, for example, when one of the 12 bishops who laid their hands on Albert A. Chambers when he was consecrated bishop of Springfield, Illinois on October 1, 1962 was the PNCC bishop of their "Western Diocese" Francis C. Rowinski) bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church participated in (P)ECUSA episcopal consecrations they either recited the words from the 1928 BCP or else laid their hands on in silence. (This I had in a personal conversation with the Rt. Rev'd Anthony Rysz, the last surviving PNCC bishop who actually participated in such a consecration.)"

Anonymous said...

John writes:

"Archbishop George Langberg of the ACA has puiblicly stated that a rekindling of those efforts--a reunion, a recognition, Communion, but not absorption."

Bishop Langberg (to give him his correct title) may say such things to placate his own restless flock, but Rome, not the TAC/ACA, will determine the rules of the game.
TAC/ACA is petitioning Rome; Rome is not petitioning TAC/ACA.

John continues:

"Yes, there are things that Archbishop Hepworth of the TAC has said I find worrisome, but I am compelled as a Christian to trust authority unless I see heresy and none of these people concerned are heretics."

I suggest, John, that you learn what St Anselm meant when he wrote
"Nondum considerasti quantum ponderis sit peccatum." ("You have not yet considered the gravity of sin.") My church treasurer is anything but heretical, but I expect regularly accounting and an annual audit. This sort of blind submission to authority (or purported authority) is what brought Hitler to power. It also has characterized the worst chapters in Church history. You do well to worry about Archbishop Hepworth.
LKW

Brian G. said...

John, I apologize for what were probably some overly harsh words, but I do not think I have indulged in a mindless stereotype, though, because it seems Hepworth and others like him seem to hold two contradictory ideas at once.

As anyone who's ever considered swimming the Tiber--and this certainly includes me--knows, one must embrace all the doctrinal positions of the Roman Catholic Church to be accepted as a true convert. Hepworth certainly asserts that he believes Roman doctrine in its fullness, yet he and his bishops and priests continue to perform sacramental acts that Roman doctrine considers invalid (based, as An Anglican Cleric pointed out, on the allegedly faulty Ordinal).

Certainly, if Rome is correct about the deficiency of Anglican orders, then such an act would be gravely sinful. Yet Hepworth et al continue in their priestly ministries unabated. To do so is the very definition of cognitive dissonance, unless they believe Rome is wrong on this point, which would preclude an honest conversion. No cafeteria catholics allowed.

poetreader said...

Fr. Wells.

1. My point on John 17 is not that my assumption as to when Our Lord prayed that prayer is accurate (It may not be), but rather that it is at least as possible an assumption as that it was prayed at another time.

2. If condemning a unity outreach because of the unworthiness of one or even several ministers of the other party is not an ad hominem argument, I don't know what that term might mean. I'm not even addressing the evaluation of Levada himself as I don't myself have sufficient facts.

3. I delierately left the question of biblical imperative open for the moment, stating (as you accurately quoted me) that IF it be an imperative, then the warts are not sufficient reason not to fulfill it. What I actually see as imperative is the attempt to achieve unity. There are certainly obstacles that need to be overcome before unity can come about. I am not now a Roman Catholic, and cannot conceivably become one unless some things change, but I am passionate in urging that Catholic Christians be searching for ways to heal these divisions.

4. Unity with Rome does not have to mean submission to an authority which is merely the biggest fragment of Catholic Christianity. Perhaps Rome sees it that way, but Anglicans doi not need to. Rome does not seem minded to change its attitude in this matter, but RCs are Christians, whose primary submission is to Christ. He indeed can lead them to a change. For that I earestly pray.

Fr. John,

I'm certain a similar poll, worded that way, in my parish would have similar results. I certainly am not interested in becoming an "Anglican Use RC". However, if the question were worded as to the desire to be an Anglican in full communion with the RCC, there are at least many who would enthusiastically respond YES (myself included). The problem with polls is that the way a question is phrased does have a huge effect upobn the results obtained.

in general:

I both trust and distrust those over me in the Lord. The presumption needs to be that they speak truth. It is incumbent on every Christian, however, to be watchful less his or her shepherd should lead falsely. I, consequently, am very watchful as to some of the things being said and done on behalf of my jurisdiction, and am waiting to see how this all works out. Blind obedience and disrespect of authority are twin errors, boit to be avoided at all costs.

ed

Anonymous said...

"If condemning a unity outreach because of the unworthiness of one or even several ministers of the other party is not an ad hominem argument, I don't know what that term might mean. I'm not even addressing the evaluation of Levada himself as I don't myself have sufficient facts."


I am not aware of having "condemned a unity outreach." I have merely pointed out to you what your "unity outreach" (as you call it) implies. If you will google in "Survivors Network Abused by Priests" then you will be better informed. If you can give a blind-eye to this stuff, then mail your humble apology to VGR and Louie Crew for maintaining a double standard.

I would seriously challenge your euphemism "unity outreach." While mouthing the threadbare cliches abot "unity," (cliches originally minted by the liberal Protestant ecumenical movement of the lart century), the ACA has ripped itself apart, losing major parishes in Texas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and very likely more in the near future. To call this a "unity outreach" is downright Orwellian.
LKW

An Anglican Cleric said...

William Tighe almost proves my point--we can never get away from what Rome says is the "form" for a rite at any given time, because she may not be able to say. If it is the giving of a chalice and paten and we don't have it, we're invalid.

When Rome says a Eucharist with no Institution narrative is valid, it is valid. . .when Rome says our Orders are invalid because she isn't certain as to what makes the rite right at a given time, Rome has spoken. So, we have to go back to questions of 1) intent and 2) our not having a "full" understanding of the Eucharist.

It's maddening. It's almost Orwellian; the truth is whatever Rome says it is at any given time. Please count me out of that shell game.

Anonymous said...

I almost overlooked this:

"Unity with Rome does not have to mean submission to an authority which is merely the biggest fragment of Catholic Christianity."

Ed, this reminds me of the experience some friends of mine had when they went through RCIA, as they were dog-paddling across the Tiber. They made the mistake of imagining that the class would be run in the manner to which they were accumstomed, with open discussion, unlimited questions, much give-and-take. Too bad for them, they had more theological knowledge than the lady who was teaching the class. When they tried to help her out by sharing information, they were sharply informed that they were there to be instructed and not there to instruct. IOW, sit down, be quiet, and listen.

Unity with Rome will means whatever Rome says it means. It is not for you, Bp Langberg, or Abp Hepworth to define that unity. Rome has only one pope, and his name is Benedict XVI. While I cannot speak for him, I doubt that he will be willing to share his teaching authority with ex-Anglicans. And he would not be flattered to read that he is head of "merely the biggest fragment of Catholic Christianity." Tell that to Cardonal Levada, and he will probably show you the door. Get a grip!
LKW

Millo Shaw said...

FYI on this topic: a brief report by Father Warren Tanghe in the FIF International News at:

http://www.forwardinfaith.com/artman/publish/article_442.shtml

John said...

LKW
I am always amused when one has to press the Hitler button to make a point. Is it right next to the magisterium button? If I did not know the meaning of Anselm’s quote you have demonstrated it here quite successfully.
No doubt the TAC letter is equal to one of histories worst moments and is akin to millions of deaths suffered under Hitler. Attending a D of Virginia Conference I remember deaconesses and priestesses saying that not ordaining them and their peers was akin to rape. Maybe you were there as well.
I am quite aware of the difference between swallowing whole, death by frog soup, and rejection of dogma’s unsupportable by Scripture, Creed or Tradition.
Thank you for pointing out my lemming like blindness. It is what led me to to Continuum from TEC in the first place.

As to ‘restless’ flocks I know of no Communion or denomination that is not ‘restive’ in some manner.

Brian,

I am not sure what two contradictory ideas you are referring, as I have not been able to read the original letter in order to determine anything. I don’t disagree with you statement Hepworth believes and embraces Roman doctrine, let’s look at his own words:

"What is important, and we are having to learn as a community, is to ask not what we think, but what the Church says, and "five centuries of bad habits" are going to die hard," he said, "but if you ask us if we accept the Magisterium of the Church, yes, and we all have the Catechism of the Catholic Church on our desks and many of us preach from it."- ++Hepworth

All that being said the question is whether, as LKW infers, that Bishop Langberg is a liar because Langberg has been clear on the intent. As for me I will wait and see before I send ny knees into my forehead again… because what else can anyone do.

Rome’s trap is ‘always having to be right’ I could give a rat’s behind what Rome thinks about Anglican Orders. I will say that if something does happen and the proposal moves forward under conditional re-ordination my parish will be gone in a heart beat as that is tantamount to admitting we have been knowingly subjected to lay presidency and any clergy who submits / admits to such in my view is no different than woman clergy. I will accept no nuanced explanations. Either you are or you are not.

There is no way ++Hepworth would be allowed to enter as a Bishop anyway so while I understand the point regarding cognitive dissonance it matters little as the vast majority do not see their orders as invalid. We know this not because of the old arguments but because of the reality in the Sacraments delivered in our churches. That is something all of the controversialists cannot change.

Anyway as always people try to make the circumstances fit their world view rather than waiting and seeing what actually happens.

I hope you see my point on the fact that much of what passes for 'Anglicanism" in the USA has crossed the Potomac and become Southern Baptist.

Funny I was the guy who railed against all of this when first reported here and I got my clock rung then for being on the opposite side of the argument!!!! Controversialists always and forever. Amen.

Fr. John said...

Having been a communicant in the RCC I must share Fr. Wells' concern about who the players are and where they stand on the great issues of our day. I don't call this a personal attack, it is an examination of fruits produced by certain men so that we may know them.

The American branch of the RC Church is every bit as corrupt as TEC. The only difference is that they have the bridle of papal authority to restrain them somewhat. If Ratzinger had not been elected pope there is no telling what might be happening in the RCC right now. That communion is as deeply divided as the Anglican communion. Many people are simply waiting for Benedict to die so they can finally get their dream pope and become just like TEC.

Why would we want to place ourselves under Roman prelates when we spent over thirty years trying to recover from being under a similar set in TEC?

If we have an ecumenical imperative it is more towards Orthodoxy. Rome will need five more popes like John Paul and Benedict to recover from the damage that the social revolutions of the late twentieth century did to that communion.

Brian G. said...

John,

My point is simply that it's self contradictory for Hepworth and his ilk to believe these mutually exclusive propositions:

A) "Roman Catholic doctrine is correct"; and

B) "My Anglican orders and sacraments are valid, even though Roman Catholic doctrine says they are not."

We seem to be in agreement here.

I cannot get past how arrogant one must be to hold that the Roman Catholic Church is the One True Church, yet feel that you have the right to form your own club within it or enrich it with your traditions. Immediate conversion and embracing the Church's established liturgies would be the only logical approach for someone who feels called to put themselves under papal authority.

The heart of this contradiction lies in pride. Sincere RCs should be deeply offended.

You are correct in your observation that many of the neo-Anglican conservative groups are little more than Baptists with bishops. Let's hope that a rediscovery of classical liturgy and catholic spirituality will save Anglicanism in the United States. It certainly won't come from trying to remake part of the Roman church in a Cranmerian image--or importing "Global South" Pentecostalism wrapped in an alb.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"What is important, and we are having to learn as a community, is to ask not what we think, but what the Church says, and 'five centuries of bad habits' are going to die hard," he said, "but if you ask us if we accept the Magisterium of the Church, yes, and we all have the Catechism of the Catholic Church on our desks and many of us preach from it."- ++Hepworth

I hope that Archbishop Hepworth merely stumbled in his choice of words. But "five centuries of bad habits" and, on another occasion, "the mistakes of the last five hundred years," are sufficient to cause everything from worry to panic, to bolting of people and whole parishes from his jurisdiction.

I have been an Anglican for half a century, and am very happy to be with Anglicans who have not succombed to the bad habits of modern times. It may be that Archbishop Hepworth is speaking of mistakes made by Rome too, maybe even of the executions that Roman Catholics and Anglicans once inflicted on each other in the 16th century, and of the cold and closed ecumenical doors in later centuries. I would like to think that he sees the 1896 Roman Bull on Anglican Orders as a mistake (and a contemptable one at that).

But, the statement could be read as a dismissal of Anglican thought, of all our classic formularies and the scholarly and theological greatness that raised the standards of many others, including Rome itself. Such a dismissal would offend me.

If the Archbishop of the TAC wants to stop the widespread speculation, possible rumors, and so forth, he needs to stop scaring people.

poetreader said...

From within TAC, and speaking as respectfully as I am able, I have to agree pretty much with Fr, Hart. My confidence in our current Archbishop is a bit less than I would like it to be. I'm never altogether sure what he is thinking and his public statements don't help a great deal. He does scare people a bit, myself sometimes among them.

If we were like Rome, that would be a serious problem indeed, but we are not. ++Hepworth is not a "mini-pope", but a first-in-dignity among quite equal bishops. If he were able to embody TAC in himself, I'd be unsure if I were in the right place, but he is not so able. Those parishes that have bolted, I'm tempted to consider as woefully premature (though I try to convince myself to avoid a judgmental stance, as that is beyond my sphere of influence).

Archbishop Hepworth, if you should be reading this, I beg you to demonstrate the respect I trust you actually have for those under your leadership and give some attention to putting out the brushfires you've inadvertently started.

ed

John said...

Brian,

I think we are pretty close but this: "I cannot get past how arrogant one must be to hold that the Roman Catholic Church is the One True Church, yet feel that you have the right to form your own club within it or enrich it with your traditions. Immediate conversion and embracing the Church's established liturgies would be the only logical approach for someone who feels called to put themselves under papal authority. "
confuses me.

You still seem to be assuming something about the man based on what you believe he believes and what you think he is saying. I am not as sure as you and I have had opportunity to speak directly and casually with him in the past and I do not draw the same conclusions. I think Fr. Hart has it right- that until ++Hepworth clarifies what he means we need not to pass judgement. He will have to clarify sooner or later and then the whole deal is fair game. And he may be the leader who walks forward and turns around to se no one following. The question really seems to me to be whether or not Rome will actually ever respond clearly themselves. If as +Langberg has said that a restart of ARCIC type talks is the thrust then should we really expect an answer anyway? It is Rome after all and what is a few decades to them?

Being a Continuer is not an easy road to follow- you get beaten from all sides. If Rome was the answer we would be nuts to go such a hard path so why would we? Why would not even ++Hepworth have already 'Poped' just like TEC's Bishop Pope (assuming he did which is not clear)?

So if the Anglo Catholics are "Pope-ing" does this mean the Baptists with Bishops (sorry Brian I am going to steal this phrase I love it) have Calvinized?

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Dr Tighe,

The problem with the historical argument you quote is that it takes no account of three theological facts universally accepted in the controversy, and even admitted in the various Roman attacks on our Orders. One, there is no intrinsically necessary or fixed Form for Orders. Two, therefore any prayer that verbally expresses the Intent to convey the grace specific to the particular Order in question is a sufficient Form, assuming it is associated with the correct Intention, Matter , Minister and Subject. Three, the meaning of the prayer identified as the Form itself does not need to be interpreted as an autonomous unit, but takes its full significance from the context of the "moral unity" of the rite.

Given that there is explicit reference to the priesthood -- unlike the implicit reference in the Cranmerian Form -- and its power of absolution in the 1928 Form, and repeated explicit reference to the priesthood and other graces of that ministry in the related prayers, it would indeed be Orwellian for Rome to ignore the PNCC contribution due to deficient Form alone. Especially since the 1928 BCP actually uses the word "sacerdotal" with reference to priestly ministry in other places.

And nobody, to my knowledge, claims that multiple consecrating bishops are only all considered ministers of the sacrament if they all recite the Form while laying on hands. Otherwise the majority theological opinion that all bishops in consecrations are co-consecrators becomes historically untenable and absurd, as my understanding is that it has been uncommon for all to recite the Form simultaneously.

Fr. John said...

I may be wrong, but I think the TAC may have their answer already.

If I am reading the news story correctly (see url on my earlier posting)the extending of the offer of the "pastoral provision" of the Anglican Use to the continuing churches by the Vatican is the big story here.

This was announced several weeks back at the Anglican Use Conference in San Antonio, TX. and the story was carried on Roman Catholic news services.

If the letter to ++Hepworth is a separate offer, then what does the extension of the pastoral provision to continuing churches mean? Are there to be separate deals cut with the various continuing jurisdictions? That does not make sense to me, unless the RC left hand does not know what the RC right hand is doing.

Fr. John said...

From "Catholic on Line"

The Most Rev John J Myers, Archbishop of Newark and Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, told a conference of ex-Anglicans on Friday that "we are working on expanding the mandate of the Pastoral Provision [of Catholic parishes using Anglican-inspired services] to include those clergy and faithful of 'continuing Anglican communities'.

Anonymous said...

From Fr Kirby's comment:
"Especially since the 1928 BCP actually uses the word "sacerdotal" with reference to priestly ministry in other places."

Yes indeed. You find that language
in the "Letter of Institution" on page 569, in the Office for the Institution of Ministers into Parishes. This office reflects Seabury's High-churchmanship, also containing such expressions as "altar," "Eucharist," and "Ministers of Apostolic Succession" not found elsewhere in the BCP. It has been in our Prayer Book since 1804.

I do not doubt that Dr Tighe's account is accurate historically. That being the case, the Roman position is kaleidoscopic, incoherent, and self-refuting.
LKW

Steve Cavanaugh said...

While Dr. Tighe certainly doesn't need me to defend him, I would point out that he did not state a "Roman position" in his presentation of the participation of Old Catholic and Polish National Catholic bishops in Anglican ordinations, he presented the difference in their modes of participation. Fr. Hart notes that Apostolicae Curae doesn't necessarily address the Orders that have been handed down to Continuing Anglicans. There has been no official Roman judgment about the ordinations involving OC and PNCC bishops and whether they affect the judgment rendered in the 1896 bull.

As for Archbishop Myer's talk at the Anglican Use Conference in San Antonio, it applies only to what happens in the United States. The Pastoral Provision, which allows Episcopal priests to become Catholic priests after their reception into the RCC and for parishes to be set up when a body of Episcopalians are received into communion pertains to the U.S. only. Until now, the terms had been understood to apply only to those coming from the Episcopal Church...Archbishop Myers is speaking about expanding that provision for any from the Continuing Churches who seek to be in communion with the Roman Church. This is particularly because of the situation at St. James in Kansas City which was reported about here on The Continuum. His talk does not have anything to do with the TAC petition nor what the Anglo-Catholics in the CofE might petition.

Finally, both Sandra and Fr. Wells mentioned priests or other Episcopalians going through RCIA. I don't doubt that this happened. But it is completely against the rules for a baptized Christian to be put through RCIA. Baptized Christians from other communions are to be catechized, certainly, but only to the extent needed...necessarily an individualized course. But all that is needed for full communion is a profession of faith. The problem of Christians being put through RCIA is twofold: 1) parishes with small staffs and insufficient resources who combine RCIA and "convert classes" and 2) lay people who have been entrusted with this ministry and who seek to build a little empire, and lay claim to everyone walking in the door. Both of which are due to poor catechesis of the RCs, with an unhealthy dollop of pride and other sin in the latter case.

Fr. John said...

"As for Archbishop Myer's talk at the Anglican Use Conference in San Antonio, it applies only to what happens in the United States."

and;

"Until now, the terms had been understood to apply only to those coming from the Episcopal Church...Archbishop Myers is speaking about expanding that provision for any from the Continuing Churches who seek to be in communion with the Roman Church. This is particularly because of the situation at St. James in Kansas City..."

I don't think so. I very much doubt that the Roman Church would take such a dramatic veer over a non-event (theologically speaking) in Kansas City. The timing of the letter so closely with the announcement of the extension of the pastoral provision to the "continuing churches" makes me think that there is a connection.

Certainly the pastoral provision is nothing if not a model of how Rome will accept English speaking Anglo-Catholics.

It would be nice if the Vatican would regard Anglicans the way they do the Eastern Churches, but they do not. England and the West in general is "their territory" and the Reformation was only a few years ago in their reckoning. Compared against the ancient patriarchates of the East we are very new and the idea that Rome would accept entire Anglican bodies as autocephalic churches seems fantastic.

I surmise that Rome is trying to take maximum advantage of the chaos in the Anglican world right now. They have rightly concluded that the Anglican Communion, as we have known it, is in its death throes. The overture from the TAC is viewed as a sign of weakness and vacillation by Rome. The extension of the Anglican Use option to continuers is a weather vane to see how many of the troops are interested in such a change.

And one thing for certain the Anglican Use book is not going away. There are parishes that have been using it for well over a decade now.

Can anyone envision a situation where Anglican Use parishes exist side by side with autocephalic Anglican bodies using the 1928 BCP and Anglican Missals that are in communion with, but not subservient to Rome?

John said...

If I am not mistaken there are only a couple of dozen "Anglican Use" parishes in the entire USA. Must not be a very good option. If you want the 1979 "BCP" why not stay if ECUSA?

Anybody got an exact figure?

An Anglican Cleric said...

Excellent points by Fathers Wells, Kirby, Hart, and John+.

Anonymous said...

Just to keep the record straight, I have never been opposed in principle to the concept of conversations between Rome and the Continuing Church. I am critical of Abp Hepworth's project because (1) the TAC is only a fragment of the Continuing Church and cannot represent the entire movement, and (2) Abp Hepworth's personal history as a RC priest who abandoned that ministry to get married makes him anything but a credible leader with Rome.
I believe that meaningful and profitable conversations could take place if (1) the major branches of the CC come together in unity, (2) all extravagant claims to membership (like those tossed around by TAC) are relinquished, (3) the united CC clearly asserts that Anglican orders are absolutely valid and always have been, (4) likewise makes it clear that it does not accept papal claims, (5) furthermore asserts that Marian dogmas of IC and Assumption are lacking in true Catholic consensus,
(6) asserts that the Reformational understanding of justification is the only correct reading of Scripure. When Rome understands our position, then we can talk.
LKW

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Fr. John, you are free, of course, to disagree with my assessment of Ab. Myers talk, but Fr. Phillips of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, who hosted the recent Anglican Use conference, I think, would back up my characterization.

This expansion to include Continuing Anglicans within the scope of the Pastoral Provision is not all that dramatic. There have been questions about this for many years. When the Pastoral Provision was being set up in the late 70s and early 80s the Continuing Churches were also just getting off the ground. It is not surprising that they were not included within the scope of the Provision...who could have said how things would work out back then.

As for the Book of Divine Worship, well, no, it probably isn't going away any time soon, but it will have to be revised within the next 5 years or so, because parts of it contain elements from the Novus Ordo missal, the third edition of which is being translated into English, which will yield very different texts for use at Mass. Some of these would need to be included in a new edition of the BDW. Other changes have been proposed as well, some of which draw on the texts of the 1928 American BCP, others drawing on the Anglican or Knott Missals.

Should some sort of larger Anglican Catholic body emerge that is in communion with Rome, that would no doubt have an impact on the Anglican Use in the US. But no one knows what shape that might take.

As for the AU parishes, there are far fewer than the couple of dozen that John wonders about. Currently there are only these parishes that have come about via the Pastoral Provision
Good Shepherd, South Carolina (which doesn't use the BDW);
St. Thomas More, Pennsylvania;
St. Athanasius, Massachusetts;
St. Mary the Virgin, Texas;
Our Lady of the Atonement, Texas;
Our Lady of Walsingham, Texas;
St. Anselm's, Texas.
There are nascent groups in New Orleans, Phoenix, Kansas City and Connecticut. There were parishes, as I understand, in Nevada and Georgia, which didn't last, and whose members are members of other RC parishes now.

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Fr. Wells,

If a united Continuing Church were to adopt your positions 3-6, what exactly would there be for the CC and Rome to talk about? Those positions seem to add up to: "We're right about everything; you're wrong about everything. Give up?"

That seems a less than promising way to begin a conversation. I agree that ecumenical dialogue without commitment to truth is absolutely essential. But dialogue that starts with one party demanding that the other side concede everything, and that refuses to admit any possibility of error on its own part isn't dialogue...it's a waste of time. Or so it seems to me.

Fr. John said...

John,

By all sources I can access there are five Anglican Use parishes in the U.S., most of them in Texas.

And yes, the Anglican Use Book is akin to the 1979 "BCP." Why didn't the Anglican Use people cut a better deal with Rome over their liturgy?

Whether the Anglican Use crowd knows it or not, they are in the belly of the beast now. A quick review of the traditionalist RC pubs and web sites is like "deja vu all over again." If you want to relive the take over of the Episcopal Church by the loony left then become a Roman Catholic. This is not only true in the U.S. but Germany, Holland, and to a lesser extent the U.K.

Many, if not most, RC seminaries in the U.S. have been taken over by the organized "gay rights" movement.

Leaving the Anglican Communion for Rome is like leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

I do not believe that we are the only true church. I do however believe that orthodoxy is imperiled everywhere. The continuing churches, exemplified by the flagship Anglican Catholic Church, may well become one of the last bastions of orthodoxy. As our late Archbishop John Cahoon used to say, "The ACC is our English Orthodox Church."

I have no confidence in the American branch of Roman Catholicism. If nothing else, the Anglican Use people are now hamstrung and sidelined in the global fight to maintain orthodoxy. What can they do as long as they owe ecclesiastical and canonical obedience to the American franchise of the Roman Church?

Fr. John said...

Steve,

You wrote;

"As for the Book of Divine Worship, well, no, it probably isn't going away any time soon, but it will have to be revised within the next 5 years or so, because parts of it contain elements from the Novus Ordo missal, the third edition of which is being translated into English, which will yield very different texts for use at Mass. Some of these would need to be included in a new edition of the BDW. Other changes have been proposed as well, some of which draw on the texts of the 1928 American BCP, others drawing on the Anglican or Knott Missals."

I pray that you are correct and that I am am wrong. However my experience tells me that I am sadly right. I know the Roman Church pretty well.

I attended graduate school in the School of Theology at Catholic University of America in 2004-05. The CUA is supposed to be "conservative" as compared to Georgetown across the city. If that is so then Georgetown must be flying the Red flag.

One course that I took was Eucharistic Theology. We were shown the galley proofs (I still have copies)of the new translation of the Roman Mass. Yes it does look a lot like the 1928 BCP, excepting the words of consecration. I found this a hopeful sign and am deeply appreciative to the Holy Fathers John Paul and then Cardinal Ratzinger for their courageous work to correct the obvious flaws of the mangled English language version used by the U.S. RCC.

Unfortunately my professors, all RC clerics, did not share my warm feelings towards these efforts. They viewed it as a step back and a road block to ecumenism. The conclusion I had to draw from the ICEL's handling of the work was that they intended to stall with administrative tactics until John Paul II died and hope that the new pope would discontinue the work.

A few days later I was watching EWTN as Cardinal Ratzinger took his turn at delivering a homily to the cardinals while awaiting the election of a new pope. I was electrified by the sermon and astounded at his acumen of the real issues facing the Church of Christ. I prayed that this man would become our pope, that is to say, the patriarch of the West. With such a sermon I thought that perhaps he had sunk his chances at being selected.

The very next day as I pulled into a parking space in front of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (the largest church in the Western Hemisphere)the bells began to toll and the black bunting was pulled up and replaced by the yellow and white colours of the papacy.

I rushed to the student cafeteria to be able to watch the T.V. there. It was still lunch time and the cafeteria was packed. A small groups of about twenty students gathered right in front of the T.V., minutes late an old Cardinal came onto the balcony and announced "Josephus Ratzinger." The small knot of students in front cheered. The rest of the cafeteria groaned or booed or threw things onto the lunch table to show their disgust.

As I walked to my class afterwards, as usual dressed in clericals, several Roman priests paused to address me with various statements of disgusted surprise at Ratzinger's elevation. I did not know these men, they assumed they were speaking to another Roman priest and their frank expressions of disgust to a stranger priest indicated to me their confidence that their colleagues shared their disappointment. One quipped "well...we'll be doing this (electing a pope) again soon." Alluding to Ratzinger's advanced age.

I will reiterate that there are major problems with the U.S. RCC.

it is not, in my opinion, a safe place for an orthodox Anglican to be.

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Fr. John,

when you write, "I have no confidence in the American branch of Roman Catholicism. If nothing else, the Anglican Use people are now hamstrung and sidelined in the global fight to maintain orthodoxy. What can they do as long as they owe ecclesiastical and canonical obedience to the American franchise of the Roman Church?" I think that many Roman Catholics share the feeling, to some degree, at least about having little confidence in some of our bishops.

However, I don't think things are so bleak as all that...in part because despite our duty of obedience to our diocesan ordinary (and not to an "American franchise"...the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' ability to legislate for the Church in America is very limited, unlike General Convention's for TEC), we have a path of appeal within the RCC, based in canon law that is not available within the Episcopal Church, for example.

As for being sidelined in the "global" fight for orthodoxy, it seems to me that that fight tends to be fought locally most of the time. And it is well fought in the AU parishes, and not only there. Despite the small number of AU parishes, they have a greater influence that one would expect. There are few gatherings of a couple hundred Roman Catholics that could expect to garner the attendance of three bishops, yet the recent Anglican Use Conference in San Antonio did just that.

Most of us "traditional" RCs would say that your diagnosis of "deja vu all over again" is a misdiagnosis. Seminaries and Catholic colleges are more solid now than 20 years ago (when they were indeed in a terrible state!), and liturgies are celebrated with more reverence now than 20-30 years ago.

Steve Cavanaugh said...

I see I mistyped in my response to Fr. Wells. It should read "I agree that ecumenical dialogue with a commitment to truth is absolutely essential"

mea cupla

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Steve Cavanaugh:

I agree with Fr. Wells about the stand Anglicans must take in dialogue with Rome. Discussions must begin at the points of disagreement in order to move forward honestly. We have to say, this is what we believe: Let us begin our talks from point A, not make presumptions that take us to point G, only to discover later that we have to backtrack.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Cavanaugh says:
"Those positions seem to add up to: "We're right about everything; you're wrong about everything. Give up?"

I have never suggested that Rome is
wrong about "everything," just the things listed here, along with a few other things. When Rome is right, Rome is very very right. But when Rome is wrong, Rome is horrid. And how do you suggest that dialogue can occur with an "infallible" Church?

John said...

(1) the major branches of the CC come together in unity,

LKW
I don't generally disagree with what you say in your points but I think most of us could agree that unity between TAC and Rome is more likely than between Continuers.

Pot calls kettle black.
As to inflating numbers ACC/PCK and UECNA are all guilty: a reasonably accurate 'census' was circulated a year or so ago done by a RC his numbers have been tested and found reliable. ACC and APCK both were around or less than 4000 apiece the UEC about 300. There are a number of parishes on the web sites that are hardly more than 3 old ladies and a cat. Look I don't believe there 1.2 billion RCS But then I have not had a chance to count them either.

If your down to three hundred people and you still have your own Bishop(s) that says it all for any desire to unify. Is there any excuse for such a small jurisdiction other than geographical isolation? Silly concordats aside the ACC went to Fon Du Lac a few years ago to make a statement- "we are not in communion" by boycotting the Altar. ++Morse on the other hand was offered the whole enchilada, thats right the whole enchilada- by Hepworth and co. but he refused because in his paranoia he thought it was some kind of trick. The ACA was there to bury the hatchet and got rebuffed. I was there (not ACA member then) and had access to the players and I am not the only one who knew about that offer.

The Continuing Church has been around for 30 years and for the most part each parish welcomes newcomers and travelers from other jurisdictions as brothers and sisters so a general unity not unlike Canon Hart (can we call you Boom Boom? ;-)) has pointed to in his remarks about John 17 exists now.

Moses led about 20% of the Jews out of bondage. Even with that small percentage they had to endure the desert for 40 years so those who still thought as slaves could die and those who were brought up in faith in the desert could handle going to the Promised Land. Over a generation of correction! Think about it... in 40 years most of the pioneers will have died and that is good because pioneers, as a good friend of mine (we were just talking about this very topic) has said, can only be pioneers. They make lousy settlers and get restless waiting for corn to grow. Trail blazers are not crop sharers.

It is 2008, in about 10 years the Continuing Church will have survived the pioneer stage and a new generation who will see a little clearer will settle the land the old issues. The slave mentality will have 'aged out'.

Deerfield Beach is a good example of the mentality of slaves. One side sees it at the level of dogma.

The question LKW is are you a pioneer or a settler? The question will have to answered by each of us the answer one way or the other is not something to be offended at. It is a matter of gifts and roles and of recognition of those roles. Sooner or later it is going to be about settling.


Fr John,

I could not agree with you more. In fact I think we all are in agreement for the most part. (Lemming like blind obedience of mine aside).
In regards to the actual number od AR Use parishes - they ought have their answer with those numbers.

poetreader said...

Fr. Wells,

Yours is really good statement, and expressive of some of the hesitations I have with the way my jurisdiction has apparently (I so qualify it because another of the problems is the paucity of real information being given) been proceeding. I've been passionate in expressing the necessity that we be making a real effort toward unity, but I do feel my Archbishop and some of our leadership may have been going about it in a less than satisfactory manner.

I don't believe your list of conditions can be an absolute and non-negotiable set of demands, but that we need to start from a firmly expressed stance as to what we do believe and what we do see as separating us, and your little list seems a really good place to start from. Let the Holy Spirit guide events from that point.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

John wrote:

...a reasonably accurate 'census' was circulated a year or so ago done by a RC his numbers have been tested and found reliable.

I have a few questions. Was this strictly American, or international? Who tested his results? Why is it reliable?
I was in the APCK a few years ago, and I remember nothing about a census. How was this census taken? No one contacted me when I was the Vicar of a church in Arizona, to ask me any questions about our numbers.

Nonetheless, I would guess that it would have been a strictly American thing.

John said...

Fr. Hart

I have a copy and will look for it. I use the word census very loosely since most of these bodies would be embarrassed to divulge their actual numbers. One can arrive at much the same numbers by simply doing the math. If an average CC parish has 35- 50 people it is doing ok an average mission might only have 15 - 20. Many have a great deal less and some are in name only.

As to the PCK many parishes in the Diocese of the west were down to a handful each. APCK guards this info vigorously. But you can still average it by counting the parishes and missions listed.

As to the veracity it proved to be quite accurate from what I knew of the PCK and that was before Bishop Florenza took most of his diocese to calmer waters. I doubt the APCK has more than 1500 to 2000 people as Florenza's diocese was the strongest and most robust by far. Diocese of the South is very thin and the so called missionary Diocese of Washington DC was allowed to collapse.

I am surprised you never saw it it was widely circulated on the internet and often quoted on Dick Kim's list.

John said...

PS
I think the idea was Rome was interested in doing a study on how many people are in the Continuing movement. I can find out his name as well.

There was great interest in the number of people in the TAC of course and verifying the claims made by the TAC. To my knowledge they are not far off and may be more now. One thing about dealing with numbers in the Third World is that there are significant repercussions if the wrong people get hold of to much info. And communication in a village is not the same as being on the internet here either. Over here you might get a raised eyebrow. Over there you could get killed for just about anything. Of course it is hard to tell hom many are in the Church of Nigeria at any given time because growth is unfettered in many places . Perhaps people don't tend to be as cynical to the Gospel in other parts of the world.

Anonymous said...

Ed wrote,

"I don't believe your list of conditions can be an absolute and non-negotiable set of demands,"

The list I proposed would indeed seem "absolute and non-negotiable."
But no more so than the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral seems to Protestants, the target audience of that nearly forgotten document.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Wells wrote:

(3) the united CC clearly asserts that Anglican orders are absolutely valid and always have been, (4) likewise makes it clear that it does not accept papal claims, (5) furthermore asserts that Marian dogmas of IC and Assumption are lacking in true Catholic consensus,
(6) asserts that the Reformational understanding of justification is the only correct reading of Scripure. When Rome understands our position, then we can talk.


This is no arbitrary list. I would say that at least all of these points are necessary. I would add one more: "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

Nathan said...

The ACA was there to bury the hatchet and got rebuffed.


What hatchet is that?


Nathan

An Anglican Cleric said...

Father Wells and Father Hart--

That is indeed "the list." I'll note its faint similarity to the the Old Catholic Theses. Sadly, I know many Anglicans (self-styled in the "Catholic" mode) who would sign their name to neither the aforementioned list nor the Old Catholic Theses.

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Fr. John,

I am not surprised that you had those kinds of experiences at the Theology School at CUA. Having been at CUA in the early 80s, I can only say that things were worse then. I hold out little hope for most "professional" theologians, such as you would have encountered there...we always quipped that St. Mary M's line in John's Gospel about "They have taken away my Lord and I don't know where to find him" was written with such theologians in mind.

In fact, I left the Religion department as an undergrad and took up Philosophy. The clergy there were much more orthodox, as were the Oblate Fathers at the college across the street.

But my son is a current student at CUA in Classics, and again, there are some wonderful things going on there. No doubt he and his friends were among the cheering students you saw at the election of our current Pope.

You are right to say there are major problems in the RCC in the U.S. But it is a very large church, and there is much good wheat growing amongst the tares, and there are many good shepherds who are not mere hirelings. I don't think that anyplace is "safe" for a Christian. We are always at war.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the "List", I'd perhaps clarify what exactly is the "correct" Reformation doctor that's being referred to.

If it's that "one is justified by faith alone", then I'd disagree because it contradicts James. However, if one clarifies that "one is justfied by a faith which worketh through love", then I would give a hearty "Amen" to that "List"

--Doubting Thomas

Steve Cavanaugh said...

John,

In writing "In regards to the actual number of AR Use parishes - they ought have their answer with those numbers."

I'm not sure which question is being answered, actually.

One problem that Anglican Use Catholics have had is that the erection of such parishes are [currently] subject to the local ordinary. Two parishes were attempted in Los Angeles, but the RC Abp there would have none of it. I have argued elsewhere that the Anglican Use needs a firmer juridical basis within the RCC, because the whims of the local ordinary cause all sorts of problems. This has been true, as well, for Eastern Catholics who have migrated to the US and for those attached to the Tridentine rite. It took many years, but the Eastern Church's autonomy from the Latin bishops is, mostly, finally established in the US. With Summorum Pontificum the "Latin Mass" Catholics are beginning to be freed from the pointless restrictions that have been imposed. Hopefully, something will be put in place for the Anglican Use Catholics as well.

But there hasn't been any general answer such as John suggests. Anglican Use parishes aren't erected ought of naught...there has to be a group that comes into communion that requests it, and there haven't (California aside) been that many.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I will post new information, from a private conversation with Archbishop Hepworth to- ...actually, yesterday.

John A. Hollister said...

Dr. Tighe wrote that "between 1946 and 1971, [whe] PNCC bishops participated in the consecration of ECUSA or Canadian Anglican bishops, the Polish patters simply laid on their hands in silence at the appropriate point in the rite."

And his point was, exactly, what?

If one peers into the current Roman Ordinal, one finds that the Romans lay on hands in silence, too, and have done ever since they discovered that Leo XIII was talking through is triple-crowned hat.

So if ordination "sub silencio" does not invalidate Roman Orders, it can't very well invalidate anyone else's, either.

John A. Hollister+

William Tighe said...

My "point" was that whatever the PNCC bishops may have been doing, it wasn't what the European Old Catholic bishops were doing between 1932 and 1959/74 when they joined in Anglican episcopal consecrations.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Well, Bill, yes and no. The Intention was the same, even if they did not use the same exact form.