Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thanks, but no thanks

From my childhood I have been wholly unimpressed with Walt Disney's versions of Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, thinking he owed A.A. Milne and Lewis Carroll an apology; in recent years I have been mostly unhappy with the new Doctor Who series, because I liked the real one so much. As a life long Anglican, I am unhappy with the "Anglican" Use liturgies approved by Rome for much the same sort of reason. I love the genuine Book of Common Prayer tradition, and do not find a few crumbs from it satisfying, nor do I appreciate the unnecessary "corrections" and deletions. This has come from the same Apostolic See that failed to understand why the first English Ordinal did, in fact, specify each Order, indicating that "[Roman] Catholics don't read the Bible," so that even the Magisterium stubbornly clings even now to a position born of Biblical illiteracy, seeing a defect of Intention because, it seems, they do not notice actual quotations of Scripture appropriate to each Order (translated from a very old Latin rite commonly used with Rome's full approval in "the before time").

And, today I remain equally unimpressed by the announcement of a new "apostolic constitution" from Rome. Obviously, this must mean that I hate the idea of unity, that I refuse to grant the prayer of the Son of God (that He made to His Father, not to you or me), and that I stand in the way. The NOTE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH ABOUT PERSONAL ORDINARIATES FOR ANGLICANS ENTERING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH , (dated today, Oct. 20, 2009) closes with the words "In the light of these developments, the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution can be seen as another step toward the realization the aspiration [sic] for full, visible union in the Church of Christ, one of the principal goals of the ecumenical movement." So, if I am not leaping for joy, overwhelmed with excitement, eager to sign on, and ready to throw myself into the Tiber with full confidence in its currents, tides and waves, I must be against unity.

Or, maybe I do not see a group of people shifting from one denomination into another as particularly relevant to real unity. Perhaps that is because real visible unity has been described by St. Paul in these words: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."(I Cor. 1:10) On many essential issues Christians do, in fact, live up to this model more than is commonly appreciated. And, indeed, we have many areas of real agreement with the See of Rome; and to a very large degree it is to Rome's credit that they want to help those who have knocked on their door because of the general state of crisis in the Anglican Communion. But, even if all of the English Anglo-Papalists of Forward in Faith, United Kingdom (FiF/UK)* take advantage of this new constitution, it will not be the Church's answer to God's prayer (doesn't anybody notice a theological problem with the general misuse of John 17:21?). The various camps will vary yet, and within those camps "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3) will remain, as it has always been, mostly a local and pastoral duty.

That closing line of today's "Note," which I quoted, does reveal what Rome means by unity. They mean submission, pure and simple, to the pope and whoever will succeed him. "'The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans,' Cardinal Levada went on to say: 'They have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion.'"

To understand the full implications of this, we must put away all sentimental gobble-dee-gook for the moment, and, with our feet securely fastened to the ground, use our heads. Let us examine what their words really mean. To do that, we will have to look at the key phrases in the Note from the Vatican.

First, however, we ought to understand that the Church in Rome, or at least Pope Benedict XVI and maybe a few others, really believe what their church teaches about the Papacy: That without it there is no Church, and that it contains the special charism to combat all error, and that without it we all go to Hell in a hand basket. So, it was morally responsible for the Pope to bypass the unfriendly Roman Catholic bishops in England (with implications for other countries) and open the door to Traditionalists who have been made to feel unwelcome and unwanted by the majority of "liberal" modernist trendy Roman Catholic bishops, and by other clergy. Their goal had been to imitate the Church of England, following the lead of the Episcopal Church in the United States; but once again that old stick in the mud, Joseph Ratzinger, has foiled them. This entire thing is an example of pure papal power overcoming all dissent, not an example of unity, that is not as St. Paul described, among Roman Catholic bishops. So, we may applaud the Pope's charitable sense of pastoral responsibility, even though the situation itself demonstrates an area of real concern to those of us who do not believe in universal rule by one man instead of the collegiality of bishops and conciliar model of the ancient Church.

"In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony."

We must understand that only those "elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony" approved by Rome will be allowed to survive. Furthermore, because the Roman way is to rely on the authority of one Bishop in one See, none of these elements is guaranteed to survive beyond the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI himself.

"It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches."

This is no surprise, and I have been trying to make clear for many years that no body of Anglicans is going to simply have their Orders recognized by Rome. Some call it Infallibility, and others call it stubbornness. I call it wrong; Rome is wrong about Anglican Orders, as has been proved over and over. No answer from Rome has ever refuted the apologetic work Saepius Officio (1897), and it is unlikely that Rome ever has actually wanted to. Instead they have acknowledged, one after another, the historical errors of Apostolicae Curae (1896), except for their inexplicable insistence about a defect of Intention that ought, really, to embarrass them (for reasons stated in my opening paragraph). On The Continuum we have posted, as well, a brief and excellent summary by E. J. Bicknell (published first in 1919) that makes short work, and a mangled corpse, of the Roman position, in a few words.

But, what does this mean in practice? It means, first of all, that Anglicans swimming the Tiber en masse will lose their bishops. Forget anything to the contrary, despite the empty assurance from these words: "Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy." Please note the word "appointed." There will be no vote, and no court of appeals. In the pray, pay and obey Church your bishop will be appointed-maybe even someone with an Anglican past if you can find a celibate clergyman, and one hopes, a clergyman who is cream of the crop. This appointment will come from the same See that appointed such stellar examples as Bishop Weakland, Cardinal Law, and that other protector of child molesting priests, Cardinal Levada (yes, that Cardinal Levada whose quotes you have been reading). At least Cardinal Levada (yes, that Cardinal Levada) has been good enough to speak of "married" and "unmarried" clergy. Fair or unfair (as each case may be) the term "celibate clergy" has become hard to pronounce, with a straight face, throughout most of this decade.

And, how does this relate to the average Anglican in the pews (assuming that these Anglo-Papalist clergy will have anyone in their pews)? Well, your baptism is valid, so you will not have to become a Roman sort of Anabaptist (i.e. baptized again). But beyond that you have never had, in Rome's not so humble opinion, any valid sacraments. In addition to every clergyman needing to become an Anaordinand, everyone will have to become an Anaconfirmand. That means you will have to be "Confirmed" all over "again" simply because your bishop was only a layman in disguise. And, it means you have never really had Communion, or Absolution either, if you choose to be among the new former Anglicans. Frankly, I do not mean to say that this alone is reason not to go through with it, provided one really believes what Rome is teaching; but, if one really believes that, what has one been doing all along, and what will one do in the meantime?

My criticism in the opening paragraph deals with two matters. One is Anglican Orders, and the other is the insufficiency of the Anglican Use Liturgy. One issue of the Anglican Use Liturgy is a matter that I explained in my essay Anglican Identity, and it deals with very significant doctrinal clarity. I wrote:

"It is worth noting that the Liturgy of St. Tikhon and the so-called Anglican Use approved by Rome, have a very noticeable difference, one which shows a different approach to Anglicans and a different attitude about our patrimony. The Anglican Use Rite approved by Rome has nothing that approximates the perfectly sound theology, drawn clearly and obviously from the Epistle to the Hebrews, expressed so powerfully in these words: 'O God heavenly father, which of thy tender mercie diddest geve thine only sonne Jesu Christ to suffre death upon the crosse for our redempcion, who made there (by his one oblacion once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifyce, oblacion, and satysfaccyon, for the sinnes of the whole worlde…' (1549 BCP) But, the Liturgy of St. Tikhon contains the American version of this part of the Canon.

"To whatever degree we may have common ground with Rome, and aside from other differences, any real union with them would make it necessary that they receive from us a good healthy dose of this Biblical Doctrine: Christ’s sacrifice full, perfect and sufficient. This does not take away from the sacrifice of the Church on its many altars; rather it gives it its context and meaning. This example demonstrates that our Faith is Biblical, Patristic and thoroughly Catholic in ways that can enrich Rome, and that has been affirmed within Orthodoxy. In a rite designed to attract Anglicans, the removal of this irrefutably true doctrine, as though it needed to be subjected to some correction, shows that we have further cause, at present, to maintain our distinct identity. The line that provides the context of the sacrifice, the meaning of it and the joining of our own worship to the actual sacrifice of the cross on Calvary, indicates that we are better able than Rome, at this time, to declare the Gospel in its fullness with the power of directness and simplicity."

About Anglican Orders, everything that needs to be said was written in the two works referenced above. Nonetheless, my one point about use of Scripture in the Ordinal needs to be drawn out a bit more. Even though the Rites in the Ordinal make very clear which office it is that a man is ordained to, Rome has clung to its position that the Imperative lines have failed to identify the Orders of bishop and priest (whereas the word "deacon" is in the Imperative of that Rite) until the 1662 revision. That is not true. The use of the Scriptures that were quoted most certainly (and clearly to those who know Scripture) identified the episcopate with the words from II Timothy 1:6, and the priesthood with words from John 20: 22, 23. This was not only commonly understood, but also it was already traditional, translated out of a Latin Ordinal that had been used for centuries. Simply put, there was no defect in Intention, and the whole argument by Rome in 1896 was completely bogus.

Furthermore, unity is a high priority, but visible unity requires theological and ecclesiastical discussion on some very important matters, ranging from practical issues of polity to issues of soteriology. We are in favor of such discussion with Rome and with Orthodoxy, and with all serious Christians who believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Today's approach from Rome, however, assumes full and complete agreement as an established fact. This is all the more serious inasmuch as they also require full and complete agreement as a matter of faith and obedience.

Considering what Rome teaches about Rome, today's announcement reveals a charitable and responsible position that is about the most they can offer without denying their burdensome extracurricular "dogmas" about the Petrine See. I am not writing to criticize the motivation, which I attribute only to one man, but to set the record straight, and once again to explain why the Anglo-Papalists will have to swim the Tiber without me.
_______________ _________
* It is not clear where the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) fits into this, except that Cardinal Levada is certainly aware of them, and that at one time in the past (before his elevation) Archbishop DiNioa was expected to have a role in some discussions. It is clear, however, that Archbishop John Hepworth had expected to lead the way even for English Anglicans (or so he told me himself, in Timonium, Maryland last Summer). But, obviously, this Constitution has been prepared first and foremost for members of FiF/UK. They had requested this, by the way, in the days of Pope John Paul II.

99 comments:

Fr. John said...

If this is part of a genuine letter from ++Rowan at least he is cognizant of the Continuum whether or not the Vatican is. I am amazed that an appeal to the continuing churches would be upsetting to him.

Read it here:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100014189/archbishop-of-canterbury-criticises-rome-for-springing-this-announcement-on-him/

Fr Theodore said...

Three questions come to mind in regards to the TAC. Are any of their bishops not married? Would they be willing to give up being bishops to make this work?

Also as I understand it, in the Anglican Use parishes, if you are already ordained and received in, you can be married. But all new priests have to be unmarried. What will happen to the parishes after their current priest dies? It would seem that many of these parishes will die with their priest due to lack of clergy.

Fr Theodore

Anonymous said...

This appears to be largely a Media event, and from the inundation of e-mails which began hitting both my e-addresses last evening, the Vatican seems to have arranged it that way.

But for all the hoopla (front screen of Google news, no less), I am unable to see that this does anything more than expand into UK and elsewhere the "pastoral provision" which has already been in place in this country for over a decade. That offer has brought only meager results. Perhaps it will find more takers and buyers across the ditch. We will see.

It has always been very easy to join the RC Church. Much easier than enduring the hardship and sacrifice of being a continuing Anglican. The stock explanation for the paucity of results for the hybrid and artificial "Anglican Use" is that it has not enjoyed much enthusiastic support from local RC bishops.

I should think not. Why would any RC diocesan make a place for a bunch of people who wish to join his church, but
insist on bringing their liturgical souvenirs with them, and can coming in only as some sort of reactionary enclave?

Imagine what one of our Rectors would do with a tiny coterie of ex-Baptists, who wish to preserve their unique Baptist heritage and hymnody, and sit at a special table during coffee hour?
I hope we would find words to tell them plainly, If you wish to join our Church, you are welcome to join it without reserve, and please leave your precious ethos at the door. No half-way covenants, please.

It remains to be seen exactly what the Vatican has in mind, or how it will play out in day-to-day parish life here or elsewhere. But something tells me that even if Rome permits a couple of prayers from the BCP, the theology of
Cranmer, Hooker, Andrews, and the whole Evangelical side of our tradition will get short shrift.

It is "unclear" how TAC fits into the unfolding picture. Does the phrase ugly bridesmaid seem to fit?
LKW

Albion Land said...

It is amusing to see the Pope having set the cat among the Anglican pigeons today. Much happy fluttering of wings among the biretta-and-lace crowd, but I prophecy that the ground will be covered with many bloody feathers before this is all over.

Anonymous said...

I, too, love the classical Book of Common Prayer, and am not greatly impressed by the BOOK OF DIVINE WORSHIP. essentially a slightly altered 1979 Episcopal liturgy book.

However, if one loves the 1928 BCP as I do, it is nearly impossible to find a continuum parish that actually uses the 1928 BCP, for anything other than Morning Prayer or Evensong. And that's only if you can find a rare continuum parish that still have Morning Prayer or Evensong.

I truly love classical prayerbook Anglicanism, but sadly it is so hard to find, even in the continuum, that I am not sure prayerbook Angicanism will survive, with or without the pope's offer.

What needs to happen is the formation, or restoration, of a true classical Anglican Church, based on the BCP, not Missals and imitating Rome. But I don't see that happening.

BCP Catholic

Anonymous said...

If Rome would approve the 1928 BCP as an acceptable liturgy, to be used as is, without the Missals, I'd be the first one to join them.

I don't see that happening anymore than much of the continuum actually using the 1928 BCP.

ACC Member

Cherub said...

I do not think this is a time for "sour grapes". Clearly most of the writers on this Blog maintain their strongly protestant stance which they have every right to do. Rome has offerd a way for those Anglicans who in good conscience want Full Communion now. But Cardinal Lavada also made it plain that the dialogue with mainsgtream Anglicanism is to continue, thereby showing its continuing repsect for Anglicans (the vast majority) who are in a different place theologically. And there is no point sniping at Archbishop Hepworth and the TAC. They have been offered what, in their public statements, they say they wanted and more besides. I have no private conversations upon which to rely but rely on what is on the record. It seemed that Archbishop Hepworth always knew that whatever Rome offered it would be offered to all. FiF must also be rejoicing to see this day. So let us thank God for the good things in this announcement. For those of us who are in a different situation let us show a generosity of spirit while still maintaining, albeit in a context of ready an open discussion, the theological positions of which we are convinced.

poetreader said...

Fr. Hart's comments are so good that I don't need to say much on a subject on which I've been very vocal. What is being proposed is a kind and charitable version of entire submission. It has to be. Rome fully believes in its claims for the papacy. I and many others do not and are not prepared to pretend we do. Yes, there are other issues, but that one trumps them all. Benedict's kind and well-meant gesture is going to cause a lot of confusion and more division.

ed

lukacs said...

So, Ed, your parish isn't flying the Vatican flag tonight?

Anonymous said...

I am an anglo-catholic, and have been all my life, and I'm sorry to say it Father, but your post is full of misinformation.
The Roman Catholic Church is a denomination?
The Roman Catholic Church thinks that without the papacy there exists no Church?
The Roman Catholic Church has no unity because they are not of the same mind on how to carry out ecumenical dialogue?
This whole post is not based on reality but rather on a caricature of the Catholic Church. Please read the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism before attempting to speak on issues for the Catholic Church.
I know, you're thinking right now that I'm just another Anglo-papalist, but I'm not.
I simply would advocate for reasonable dialogue between brothers and sisters in Christ where we actually listen to one another.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub wrote:

I do not think this is a time for "sour grapes".

This is not sour grapes, it is a response to today's news

Clearly most of the writers on this Blog maintain their strongly protestant stance...

How odd; often we have been characterized as Anglo-Catholic and too "high."

It seemed that Archbishop Hepworth always knew that whatever Rome offered it would be offered to all.

True, but what is your point?

Anonymous wrote:

Please read the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism before attempting to speak on issues for the Catholic Church.

What? read them again? How many times, in various posts over several years, do I have to quote from them in order for my obvious grasp of Vatican documents to be noticed?

poetreader said...

Lukacs,
You know me better than that by now.

Anonymous,
I believe Fr. Hart is spot on in analyzing the stance of the Roman Church. I've read the same document he and you have read. Apparently you interpret them differently. Close reading indicates a very different mindset from that of Classic Anglicanism, beginning from the assumption of a unitary organization. We are Christians, by that mindset, but only because we in some way partake of what the Roman Church has in and of itself. That is not scriptural and is very patronizing besides.

ed

Shaughn said...

Fr. Theodore,

In response to your questions:
Ordinaries, so far as I know, do not have to be bishops in the Roman Church; they can be priests, and thus be bishops in all but name. One suspects that they know this going into any agreement and that they would be amenable to such an arrangement.

As far as answers about new married clergy go, I expect they'll cover that in the Apostolic Constitution due out in the near future.

Me? I agree with the comments made in the past by my Archbishop and Metropolitan. "Those who can be Roman Catholic should be." I cannot, for numerous reasons, and so I will stay right where I am, though I definitely appreciate the true spirit of charity made in the offer.

--S.

Fr. John said...

Let us pray.

Grant we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who are afflicted by the burden of discord may by the glorious intercession of thy Abbess, the Virgin Hilda, who through the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit was instrumental in unifying thy Church in England, be brought to the safe harbour of unity and peace and delivered from all adversities and attain to everlasting salvation, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God.

R. Amen

wnpaul said...

Mostly agreeing with Fr Hart's analysis I would like to point out that Rome makes no pretense about caring for classical Anglicanism but only about making provision for those who approached them.

If this offer assumes complete submission, it is not only because Rome obviously believes to be right, but because those the offer is responding to have already expressed their complete submission by signing the CCC.

And to be fair to Abp Hepworth & Co: Hepworth at least has publicly expressed awareness that Rome will not allow him to remain a bishop, so I assume his fellow bishops also know what to expect. But then Levada's statement expessly points out that ordinaries do not have to be bishops.

Also, several of the reports on the press event in Rome mention the possibilty of married men being ordained in the future, as in the Eastern Rite juridictions, so oft that will actually be in the Constitution it will allow this provision to be self-perpetuating provided they have enough aspirants.

Finally I find it interesting that the reasons for disallowing married bishops are called "historic and ecumenical" rather than advancing some high-sounding pseudo-theological argument for celibacy.

So much from an interested outsider.

Canon Tallis said...

I am very glad that Father Hart can handle this issue with such calmness. I am unable to do so especially when I must deal with Rome's claims to be 'The Catholic Church' as if their faith and practice were one with that of the Church of the first five centuries. Indeed it has been come less and less so with the passing of each of the last fifteenth centuries.

If the Roman Church had paid more attention to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles as set forth in the New Testament, Europe might not now be on the verge of drowning in a new Islamic sea. Indeed it would pay all of the prelates of the Roman Church to heed the final words of Cardinal Wolsey.

Our Lord said that his kingdom was not of this world, but the Vatican state is proof that the popes think and have acted otherwise. Few European monarchs have accorded themselves the grandeur which the popes have created for themselves. I think they sometimes even confuse themselves with the person of Jesus. They clearly believe that they can rewrite what he and his apostles taught. They have certainly done a great deal of it since the days of Clement II.

I think Albion is quite right about what the result of all this is going to be and some of the blood may be real and not merely emotional. But will Benedict XVI and those he has elevated to positions in the Roman curia really care? I think not. There has got to be a point at which the self delusional begin to realize just how much of the violence of the last century began and was perpetuated in lands and by people dominated by the Roman faith. But not even the recent filing for the protections of bankruptcy by the seventh American diocese for reason which we all know but would prefer not to acknowledge will dent their belief in the Roman myth. They absolve themselves of the sins of the Fathers, but will Jesus or His Father do likewise?

Brian said...

I can't help but think this is a kind and well-intentioned offer from the Holy Father, a man whom I deeply respect, and I hope that those in the "official" Communion who are unwilling to join the Continuum will take him up on it. But at the same time, I must disagree with both Shaugn and the Archbishop in saying that those who can join the RCC should do so. As Fr. Hart has demonstrated time and again, there are a small collection of issues on which Roman theology is just flat-out wrong. I do not all think this makes the Roman church invalid, and would not hesitate to swim the Tiber were there not a Continuuing parish for me to attend, but willingly submitting yourself to error when there are better options does not make sense.

RC Cola said...

First, I guess I have a little egg on my face, because in another thread on this blog I said that prelates like Cardinal Kasper and the other liberals running (ruining) the circus would prevent TAC from getting what they have been asking for.

Even happier than the Anglo-Papists are the Traditionalist RCs, who have been asking for this exact structure for YEARS. So, all of my Trad RC friends are full of high hopes that they, too, will be granted a personal ordinate as the Anglo-Papists have just been given. Honestly, I hope the Trad RCs do get this structure.

As for the TAC and other Anglo-Papists. If that is what they really wanted, then good for them. I have a problem with the way the BCP will be adjusted. I always thought that the "Anglican Use" in years for a couple decades in the RCC is clumsy. Here's all of this fine Elizabethan language and suddenly a clunky Contemporary English Eucharistic prayer is cut-and-pasted in. What? Jarring to say the least; galling is more like it.

I wonder, too, if the Anglican priests will continue to be allowed to marry. I haven't read the AC yet, so I do not know.

I wonder, also, how future Anglican Use (for lack of a better term) priest will be educated. Will they have their own seminaries? Will they be sent to mainstream seminaries, and of so, how will they keep their unique character? I can only foresee assimilation into the Novus Ordo if that happens.

Benedict XVI is the kind of man who would not consciously force assimilation. However, his successor may not be so friendly. This is one of the main problems with Papal Primacy. Yes, it can be the source of unity, but it can also be the cause of much ambivalence and ambiguity because the Papacy is fickle from man to man. Paul VI was by and large a disaster, John Paul II was theological improvement and an administrative and moral disaster. Benedict XVI? So far a massive improvement over his predecessors.

I've run out of time mid-thought.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to offer a second comment, one not quite so flippant as my last one.

Both JP II and Benedict XVI were/are truly great men, world class theologians in their own right, and gifted Christian leaders who have been a blessing to the entire Chrisan world.

Secondly, if the Lord renews the gift of visible unity to His people on earth before the Parousia, the Roman See will serve as the most logical center of that unity.

Thirdly, not all reasons for remaining separate from the Holy See are valid or acceptable. Much that is said on behalf of "classical Anglicanism" is hardly more than an esthetic heritage.

Fourth, there are serious unresolved doctrinal issues, centering around the papal claims, Mariology, and (most urgently) Rome's synergistic view of salvation. Christ has not commanded or prayed for a "unity" which is not truly unity in the Faith.
LKW

Brian said...

I just want to clarify that I appreciate that the "Those who can be Roman Catholic should be" statement is a call to intellectual honesty: If you accept the whole of Roman dogma, then the consistent thing to do is to don your swim trunks and paddle on over, rather than maintain an unnecessary division. But is it not incumbent upon us who do not accept this to try to politely convince others of their mistakes?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The subject of married clergy in the future has come up more than once. I am surprised, because nothing in today's announcement is new. The combination of Pastoral Provision and "Anglican" Use is simply being extended beyond the United States, and it has taken the forceful hand of the Pope to make it happen because the English Roman Catholic bishops were standing in the way.

This whole thing is designed to last no more than one generation. Look at the exact words of Cardinal Levada: "It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches." The sons born and raised in these "Anglican" Use RC parishes will not be allowed to both marry and seek ordination, but will have to choose. The supply of ex-Anglican clergy, over time, will dry up or become a supply of truly worthless potential. The disastrous failed experiment of required clerical celibacy will simply pick up after a generation, and do the same harm it has always done.

Which leads me to wonder why anyone would say, "those who can be RC should be." It is my practice, when good Anglican alternatives are available, to talk them out of it for their own good. I know many Tiber swimmers on a personal level, and except for one man only, they all have become terribly unhappy with their decision. Some have managed to come back, and the others want to. My sampling is not wide enough to be a scientific poll, but it is telling.

Death Bredon said...

First, the Vatican's pre-announcement of he new Constitution is mostly a Church of England [and TAC] event. This is so for the C of E because the bulk of English Anglo-Catholics have always been much, much closer to Rome than most American Anglo-Catholics, and this includes a penchant for the Novus Ordo and Vatican II's homosexual policy as well as a high estimation of the Papacy. Additionally, given that the C of E is on the threshold of Bishopettes, the expectation that many English ACs are likely to jump at B16's offer is heightened.

Second, while I agree with everything that Fr. Hart wrote in his post, I do believe that the comments by "BCP Catholic" and "ACC Member," are quite cogent and need to be acknowledged and nourished by the Continuum. That is to say, either the Anglican Mass has been sound from get go [1549] -- without any of the Romish interpolations made by Victorian Anglo-Catholics only in the past century -- or we all need to either jump at B16's offer or look Eastward.

John A. Hollister said...

We will not know the details of the Vatican's proposal until we can read the text of its forthcoming Apostolic Constitution. Nevertheless, it seems fair to assume that its news releases were very carefully crafted, are based upon the same materials as have been given as guidance to the drafters of that Constitution, and, like most official Vatican utterances, are as significant for what they do not say as for what they do say.

From these perspectives, when that Constitution is issued, we should read it with several points in mind.

On the positive side, in effect the "Pastoral Provisions" and, to a degree, the "Anglican Use", which have until now been available only in North America, are being expanded world-wide. Further, they will be made available independently of the local "Latin Rite" diocesan bishops. This may remove one major obstacle that has kept the "Anglican Use" from growing beyond some eight congregations.

However, as the national Conferences of Bishops seem to have some say in implementing these new arrangements, we must wait and see if what is being given with the right hand may be taken away with the left. That provision also positions these personal ordinariats firmly within the existing Latin Rite, thus assuring they will not be "churches sui juris" or Uniate Rites. Nor do they look likely to have much of the infrastructure needed to assure longn-term viability and growth.

(Of course, even Uniate Rite status is no guarantee of fair treatment in the future, although it was supposed to assure such groups’ historic Canon Law and related traditions. Just recall how Rome unjustly and illegally deprived Byzantine Catholics in North America of their historic married parish clergy at the behest of the Irish-Italian "Latin Rite" hierarchy.)

While the releases mentioned structural arrangements, and hinted at liturgical ones, there was absolutely no discussion of any doctrinal matters. Thus it seems that anyone transferring to Roman jurisdiction under these new arrangements will still be required to accept and declare assent to all of the peculiarly Roman dogmas such as the Pope’s infallibility, his universal ordinary jurisdiction, his power to pronounce binding dogma in his own person, the 1854 and 1950 Marian dogmas, Purgatory, the Treasury of Merits, Indulgences, and other embarrassments.

Related to this, the news releases consistently refer to "the Catholic Church" in a sense restricted to the Roman Communion, which suggests Roman triumphalism is alive and well despite any friendlier terminology that may have been contained in the documents of Vatican II.

(To be continued)

John A. Hollister said...

(Continued.)

Any possibility of married bishops is categorically denied, which means Rome still prefers its idiosyncratic practices over the clear prescriptions of Scripture. Also, whatever bishops there may be will be "appointed" by Rome, not elected by their subjects as is the Anglican (and ancient Catholic) practice. This assures that such bishops will only be men who are favorable toward cultural and ecclesial assimilation. It is also contrary to the situation in the historic Unia where the people still choose their bishops subject only to very rare Roman vetoes.

There is equivocation on whether future ordinands will be permitted to be married men, so the safe assumption is that this will turn out the same as it has for the Anglican Use: only convert clergy will be married, after one generation they will die out, and thereafter the sexually ambiguous Latin Rite clergy will be the norm for all.

Related to this, there is a clear warning that these personal ordinariats will not be permitted to maintain their own training establishments but the preparation of their future priests will be in the hands of the same institutions that have given the Roman Communion, at least in Western Europe and the Americas, a solidly "liberal" and even revisionist clergy.

There is also a clear indication that there will be no revisiting of Apostolicae Curae, because all references to convert clergy say uncompromisingly that they will be "ordained". That is a definite signal that they are not viewed as being already ordained in any valid sense.

Liturgy is referred to only in the vaguest of terms. Recall, however, that as the Anglican Use discovered, in Roman eyes the 1979 "Book of Common Prayer" is a legitimate Anglican liturgy, especially when cut and pasted with portions of its almost identical sibling, the Novus Ordo Missae. So one cannot hold out much hope for what these ordinariats will be saying and singing on Sundays and holy days.

In sum, it appears that the present, highly unsatisfactory "Pastoral Provision" situation will continue virtually unchanged, only being expanded in the scope of its geographical coverage.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Deth Bredon wrote:

Second, while I agree with everything that Fr. Hart wrote in his post, I do believe that the comments by "BCP Catholic" and "ACC Member," are quite cogent and need to be acknowledged and nourished by the Continuum. That is to say, either the Anglican Mass has been sound from get go [1549] -- without any of the Romish interpolations made by Victorian Anglo-Catholics only in the past century -- or we all need to either jump at B16's offer or look Eastward.

Yes, it has been sound from the beginning. But, can you reconcile your comment with Article XXXIV?

Of the Traditions of the Church.
IT is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one or utterly alike; for at all times they have been diverse, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Whosoever through his private judgement willingly and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly that other may fear to do the like, as he that offendeth against common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the magistrate, and woundeth the conscience of the weak brethren.

Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying.


Are, for example, the Minor Propers (all from Scripture) included among what may be "traditions and ceremonies of the Church which be not repugnant to the word of God"? I am trying to understand the comment in light of a tradition that has accepted a few revisions from very early on. That we may not like some of those revisions is a separate issue. Are you insisting on more uniformity than the Article requires?

RC Cola said...

I want to "defend" celibacy because it seems to be taking it on the chin when it is not the real issue here. Before I go on, though, let me be clear that I hope that "Anglican Use" RC clergy will be allowed to be married, just as the Eastern Rite priests are. (BTW, always found the US-specific Eastern Rite marriage prohibition completely unjust.)

Clerical celibacy should not be scorned, as it is the ideal that St. Paul suggested, and lived himself. There is always a place for celibate clergy, just as there is a place for married clergy.

Not all unmarried clergy are mired in scandal, but rather the majority live happily celibate lives. In fact, some resources I have read say that married men commit a far greater amount of sexual abuse than priests. The last time I looked at the numbers (which was a while ago, granted) about 10% of RC priests committed sexual abuse while 25% of married men had. These numbers were given to me by a professor who HATED the RCC, so he had no reason to "pad the numbers" in favor of RC priests.

In short, to say that the RCC has sexual problems because of celibacy is the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc. They do not have problems because of the rules regarding celibacy, but despite them. If it were because of celibacy, would we also say that there is teenage pregnancy because the Church has rules condemning pre-marital sex? No, because we recognize it as false.

The only Apostle that we know to have been married was Peter. And we don't even know if his wife was still alive when he became an Apostle, since his mother-in-law is mentioned, not his wife. We know that Paul was celibate and never married. We don't know about the others. Thus, there is no scriptural "proof" that bishops ought to marry because the Apostles did. We know that bishops were able to marry for some time into late antiquity, but that the practice ended until the Anglicans revived it. It is not, however, an unbroken tradition.

It strikes me as a very interesting fact that out of all of the Churches claiming historic Apostolic succession, the Anglican Church is the only one that allows married bishops. Neither the 20+ sui juris Catholic Churches, nor the 20+ Orthodox Churches do. I also find it interesting that out of all 40+ historic, Apostolic Churches, all of them allow celibate priests, but only one makes it mandatory. I find it even more interesting that the one Church with the demand of celibacy is the largest and most mission-oriented. It is clear from scripture and history that celibacy is an esteemed practice, and according to some, a gift.

These observations do lead me to a few conclusions which you are free to agree or disagree:

a. We Anglicans have a lot of explaining to do as to why we allow married bishops. Are we the Mac Users of the Church world? The only apostolic Church to have it right while the rest of these dolts, east and west, have lived lies for 1500 years? I have to disagree with Fr. Hollister (and probably everyone else here) about who is idiosyncratic, and just how clear the Scriptural prescriptions are. However, the fact that I chose to become Anglican despite this rub shows that I am open to that possibility that Anglicans are right. Please show me.

b. The Romans have a lot of explaining to do as to why they disallow married parish priests, when all of the other Churches with just as much historic and Apostolic street-cred allow it. I would agree with folks here that this is idiosyncratic.

c. There does seem to be some correlation between celibacy and ability to dedicate oneself to the service of God. There is something compelling about celibacy that nearly everyone recognizes as being an authentic witness to the Faith. (Being married is also an authentic witness to the faith, but in a different way that should also not be scorned.)

Back to the current issue at hand next post, but I just couldn't let the anti-celibacy comments go unchallenged.

RC Cola said...

What I find more interesting than the celibacy issue is the matter of Rites.

Prior to the edition of the Roman Missal ordered by Pius V, England had some particular uses as the Hereford, and the Sarum Rite (which I've heard some people call a Use) but every source I have read considers it a variation of the Roman Rite rather than a distinct rite, as the Syro-Malankar, Ukranian, or Maronite Rite, etc.

Pius V was at least kind enough to allow any Use still in use that was at least 200 years old. (I've read that he did this to spare the Dominican Use.) Paul VI was not so generous, as the Novus Ordo forcibly changed every rite and use existing prior to 1969. Hmmm.

In the Anglican Use parishes existing under the prior pastoral provision, parishes could use the 1928 or 1979 BCP according to what they used before. The main drawback being the clunky contemporary anaphorae. Leaving the issue of whether the Anglican prayers needed to be changed or not, if they are going to change it, they should have at least had the courtesy to do it well instead of in the slipshod fashion it was done. I'm curious to see what will happen under the provisions of the current document.

This may end up being a "deal with the devil"...that is to say, the Anglicans may be doomed to bland assimilation into the mainstream of the RCC, which is not a heck of a lot better than the mainstream Anglican Communion.

Those Anglicans who choose to go along with this offer must have provisions that allow a) the continued practice of married priests; b) their own seminaries, or at least their own residences and liturgies at RC seminaries; and c) the 1928 BCP and Anglican Missal intact.

I'm not holding my breath.

Death Bredon said...

Fr. Hart,

Inclusion of minor propers (and then most properly when taken from the Sarum Use) has never been considered contrary to the rubrics of the English Religious Settlement. For example guidance for the same is set out in the 1962 Canadian Book of Common Prayer, one of the last authentic editions of that great book.

In contrast, large-scale interpolation of, and reordering of, the BCP Mass to conform to Pope Pius VI's Latin Missal -- which aside is exactly what the "Anglican Missals" are -- is just as grave a breach of catholic consensus amongst the members of the English-Speaking Church as is the 1979 Common Book of Prayer (sic), if not more so.

And, I believe Article XXXIV most excellently defines the Anglican understanding of the limits of liturgical latitude. Indeed, the Victorian Anglo-Catholics and their successors "through [their] private judgement willingly and purposely [have] openly broken the traditions and ceremonies" duly authorized by their ethnic Church, and this is what I oppose.

The ornaments rubric still stands today as a constitutive formulary of Anglican Identity and is just as fundamental to historically authentic Anglicanism as are the Authorized Version, the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal, and the Articles of Religion. To replace the principle of the Ornaments Rubric with the Romanizing Ritual Notes is a perversion of Anglicanism proper as well as the letter and spirit of the St. Louis Statement.

Anonymous said...

I have seen several allusions now to the tensions between Benedict XVI and local bishops over accepting conservative Anglicans (whose spiritual instincts and sympathies are deeply different from modernist RC's).

Some may recall that JP II (whom I do NOT consider a moral disaster as one comment asserts) set forth a revised form for the Stations of the Cross, in which non- Biblical episodes were replaced with Biblical material. This never caught on. One knowledgeable RC layman explained that to me in these words: "The Pope proposes, but the Church disposes." So it will be with the additional "luminous" mysteries to the Rosary. And while my analogy between devotioal experiments and jurisdiction is a tad far-fetched, so it will be with the Holy Father's Anglican adventure. Next week we will be discussing something else.
LKW

David said...

For Anglican priests and bishops contemplating a Tiber dip and swim to Rome, what does it mean to you to have your orders declared null and void? Every mass a mockery? Every absolution given and received now meaningless?

As Anglican Catholics we need to be serious about understanding the nature of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. Does anyone believe the Branch theory - that the Roman Church, Anglican Church and Eastern Church conjointly constitute THE Catholic and Apostolic Church? ( OK add in the Polish National Catholics and several others...)

For me this question is far more fundamental than whether the Anglican Use is the awful Novus ordo tacked onto a few BCP collects. It is more consequential than married bishops or priests - and I can see a lot of value in Anglicans deciding that humility demands that we give up married bishops to at least have consensus with the Eastern Churches and Rome to a point.

Church or non-Church? Catholic or heterodox? Believer or schismatic? Are we Anglicans in schism from Rome or are we the Catholic Church of the English - whether in the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth or former colonies?

anglirich said...

After all the RC hoopla in the news, I knew when I came to read The Continuum, I would once again be comforted in the sweet fellowship of brethren of like minds.
Thank-you Fr. Hart for this blog. Let us continue to maintain the traditions that have been handed down to us, not with outstretched necks to see what peace offering Rome is waving in our face, but faithfully fulfilling our ordination vows, such as " Will you reverently obey your Bishop, and other chief Ministers, who, according to the Canons of the
Church, may have the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions,and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?" I don't recall my Abp. ever telling me that if I ever get antsy or weary, I could always opt out of my vows and go to Rome.

Fr. Richard+
UECNA

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Despite Fr. Hollister's analysis that "In sum, it appears that the present, highly unsatisfactory "Pastoral Provision" situation will continue virtually unchanged, only being expanded in the scope of its geographical coverage", he is incorrect.

While none of us can intelligently comment on a document we have not yet seen (the Apostolic Constitution referenced in the press conference), what was talked about in the press conference is not the same as the Pastoral Provision in the U.S. The key here is "Personal Ordinariate"; there will be an ordinary (which is a description of someone with jurisdiction), which will be on a national/regional basis (coterminous with the RC bishops conferences). The Pastoral Provision parishes have no such ordinary; each parish is a part of its local, territorially-based diocese, subject to the bishop of that dioceses as is any other parish. That's a definite change.

As for the comments on the Book of Divine Worship, its defects are as well known to its users as to anyone here. However, unlike the English monarchs who had no problem bankrupting the parishes of the 16th century with their repeated new prayer book editions (along with sacristy and fabric plundering), the decision was made to proceed with a new version of the book in a slower, more thoughtful manner. But the liturgy is being revised, and while I am not privy to all the details, I expect that this involves a wide-range of churchman. What the Apostolic Constitution will detail about the liturgy is unknown yet; but the original Pastoral Provision did not impose the BDW; this was developed with the input of the clergy who came to the Roman communion from TEC. I expect a similar process will be allowed under the new Constitution; it seems congruent with the style of Pope Benedict.

Steve Cavanaugh
editor, Anglican Embers
www.anglicanuse.org

Fr. John said...

And before I enter into any union, I want it clearly understood that the individual parishes have the right of secession. Too many faithful Christians have been robbed by apostate and heretic bishops of their church property to ever allow such to occur again.

Maybe we should invite the Romans to come into communion with us and state our terms. If they disagree later they can go and take their property with them.

"Still, a union by the force of bayonets hath no enchantments for me." R.E. Lee

Fr. Robert Hart said...

What we may rightly gather from Cardinal Levada's comment rules out the possibility of ordination for married men who are already in the Roman Catholic Church, and restricts it, still, to "convert" clergy.

RC Cola:

There have been no comments here against celibacy. In fact, Anglicans restored Religious Orders long ago. The issue is making it mandatory for priesthood, which rule does quite clearly contradict the Pastoral Epistles of St. Paul. Furthermore, in I Cor.9 Paul makes it clear that he is the one and only apostle who does not have a wife; and what we glean from that is that a wife for such a man must be a Christian herself: "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" (I Cor. 9:5. In the context of this early Epistle, "a sister, a wife" meant she was a Christian too; no more, no less).

As for the restriction to unmarried men as bishops, the actual historical context for the origin of that practice, which was late in Antiquity, led to practices that we would regard as sinful. Priests divorced their wives on some occasions just to become bishops, thus setting aside one sacrament for another, and setting an evil example. In places that required episcopal celibacy, they had become corrupt to the point where their ideology blinded them to the sin of these divorces, and to what it taught about marriage (which is why the North African churches did not have the same rule until it was imposed on them). But, the origin itself was practical rather than spiritual, and meant to meet the needs of a time of severe persecution, not meant to be permanent. As Pope St. Gregory reminded his readers in Pastoral Care, the bishops were first in line for martyrdom. Who sends married men on a "suicide mission," if I may use the term?

What we glean from the New Testament is that celibacy is allowed for clergy, from the one example of St. Paul; and yet from his own writings it is clear that in the normal life of the Church it was the man who was a good husband and father who, by his family life, already demonstrated that he was able to care for the Church of God, to exercise authority with love and patience. From this we glean that celibacy for the clergy is allowed, but should never become some kind of requirement, and that it is normally best for a good family man to become ordained; the celibate clergyman is the exception to the rule. The same applies for all three orders, as there are no other requirements but those laid out (so, we Anglicans are not the ones who need to explain anything). When we compare I Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and recognize that the Order which has evolved is not the Order of ἐπισκοπή (episkopē), but rather that of πρεσβύτερος (presbyteros), the picture comes into even sharper focus.

The problem is not clerical celibacy, but rather the requirement of clerical celibacy. The very men whom Paul told Titus and Timothy to look for are automatically rejected. This has created not only a very severe clergy shortage in the RCC, but also rejection of millions of men who could have been fine priests (and I will dare add, bishops). The rule is self-destructive, and obviously a failed experiment.

We have been making this case for 500 years, so understand why it is easy for me to respond quickly and thoroughly. Ours is the truly Biblical and most ancient practice.

RC Cola said...

Fr Wells, I consider John Paul II a moral disaster because most of the bishops who either engaged in sexual abuse themselves or covered up for their protege priests were his appointees.

Other than that, and his hideous liturgies, I have no beef with him or his reign.

RC Cola said...

Fr. Hart, Thank you for your clarification. I misread the prior comments as being against celibacy itself rather than being against the requirement.

palaeologos said...

I wonder how many of the Prayer-Book-Only Anglicans now coming out of the woodwork to comment use the Agnus Dei, or the Centurion's Prayer, at Holy Communion?

As I've said before, I don't think the argument is coherent unless a strict adherence to the BCP is contemplated (and actually implemented). If a Missal is authorized by the Ordinary of a diocese, then its use is licit, full stop. The American and Anglican Missals incorporate the whole of the BCP 1928 rite, and thus are in compliance with the directives of the St Louis Affirmation. No clergy or parish is under any obligation to use any of the additional material provided in the Missals.

The BDW appears to provide rites in both traditional and contemporary language, including the Canon (the Gregorian Canon is substituted for the BCP Canon). If a parish uses the "Rite I" option and cuts & pastes in the ICEL translation of the Canon, then criticize the parish for its sloppy and incoherent liturgy, not the BDW. That aside, there's still the issue of the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church being gutted and re-arranged, and the bizarre avoidance of the General Absolution, and probably a number of other annoying little differences...

All of which is to say that I appreciate Rome's overtures and the spirit in which I prefer to read them, but I won't be converting either. What's being offered is a half-measure. If Rome were to recognize Anglican orders and rites as valid, then I might think about it, but the offer as it currently stands is far from compelling.

Fr Wells has a good point when he offers the Baptist analogy. If one truly accepts RC theology and claims, then the consideration of liturgical aesthetics should be relatively minor. While I don't believe that hymns, vestments, and liturgical norms are the only things holding FiF and the TAC back from converting, I can certainly see how it might look that way from the outside. Can you imagine any more prissy (and ultimately irrelevant) reasons for staying in a religious community?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Richard+,UECNA,

You stated the following:

" Will you reverently obey your Bishop, and other chief Ministers, who, according to the Canons of the
Church, may have the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions,and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?"

The spirit of this helps get at the crux of the matter for me regarding the relevant difference between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

First off, I am a Roman Catholic. The spirit of the above statement is, I believe, vital to orthodox ecclesiology. (I say the 'spirit' of the statement is vital because I do not wish to quibble about the actual words). I wish to discuss just how far this statement can be taken as a matter of doctrine/dogma. IOW, as a Roman Catholic I believe that the Papacy and Magisterium are a part of the Divinely Revealed Faith. The Living voice of Christ's Church is found in every generation through this organism-Papacy/Magisterium. Is your adherence to your Bishop believed to be and taught to the faithful as being part of the Divinely Revealed Faith? Is it taught as and believed to be the Living Voice of Christ's Church? Also, is there such a thing anymore or has there ever been as a "Living Voice" that teaches with authority given from Christ for each generation? I suspect from reading this site regularly that you would at least believe that this existed in the first 5 centuries. And, that the authority was episcopal/conciliar. However, do you believe these 5 Council's to be binding on all christians? And, was the authority these Council's spoke with of divine origin or merely because the majority of Bishops attended? It seems to me that anything short of saying that these Council's were Divinely guided would call into question just about anything they stated. I mean, after all, Who is to say? Also, if they were Divinely guided then what could possibly stop this (or start this again for that matter) from being true still? IOW, there are some very simple yet foundational things that never seem to be addressed in order to arrive at a proper understanding of authority. At least for me. I have never been satisfied by the answers I have received on this blog. Fr. Hart is amazing and I have been blessed by his work. Ed has also been helpful and Fr. Kirby and others, yet I often wonder when I reflect upon some of their answers how they themselves even continue to believe what they say they believe about authority. It almost seems like it all filters down to a mere human blind faith. Anyway, I have tremendous respect and love for all of you here. I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Pat(rick)

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola said he wanted to defend clerical celibacy. So, to second Fr. Hart’s comment on this, no one has attacked that practice per se. The problem is in making it normative for the entire clergy, let alone for the parish clergy, let alone for the episcopate. It is much healthier for most of the clergy to live personal lives that are as close as possible to those of their parishioners than it is for them to live in some sort of quasi-monastic way. The monastic life, while a valuable contribution to the Church, is both sub-Apostolic in origin and very much a minority way of life among Christians.

“Not all unmarried clergy are mired in scandal, but rather the majority live happily celibate lives.” It would be interesting to see some evidence about how happy the compulsorily celibate clergy actually are but it is incontestable that this compulsion has made the celibate clergy an ideal lurking place for those whose reasons for not marrying are rooted in pathology rather than in any commitment to service.

Nor have I seen any effective refutation of the appreciation – by the President-Rector of a large R.C. seminary, among others – (a) that there is, in fact, an homosexual subculture prevalent among the R.C. clergy, at least in Western Europe and North America, and (b) that mandatory celibacy has contributed to the growth and concealment of this cultural shift. Worse, what is apparently true for those whose impulses are merely misdirected toward adults of the same sex is also true of those, more dangerous men whose impulses are misdirected toward the under-aged. While a small number of girls were molested by erring clergy, the vast majority of the victims were not females but young men.

“We know that bishops were able to marry for some time into late antiquity, but that the practice ended until the Anglicans revived it.” Yes, and it ended in the East for purely financial reasons. The Emperor Justinian determined that, after a bishop’s death, there would be no future disputes with legal heirs over what was family property and what was diocesan property. So he arranged it that, while the bishops might still have children, those children, being illegitimate, would not have any rights of inheritance.

Then, several hundred years later, this same practice was adopted by the Papacy, although in that instance it was part of a misdirected effort to change the whole Church over to a monastic model. That effort ignored what was said above, namely that monasticism is supposed to be a gift from the few to the many, not a strait jacket imposed on the many by the few.

(To be continued.)

John A. Hollister said...

(Continued.)

“It strikes me as a very interesting fact that out of all of the Churches claiming historic Apostolic succession, the Anglican Church is the only one that allows married bishops.” That is because, out of all those Churches, only the Anglican one took the opportunity afforded by the Reformation to return to Apostolic practice and to abandon the counter-scriptural regime adopted by those other Churches well after the Apostolic model of the Church was established.

“We Anglicans have a lot of explaining to do as to why we allow married bishops.” I disagree. The others have to explain why they have departed from the Apostolic model, especially where their original reasons for doing so were rather less than defensible.

“Are we the Mac Users of the Church world? The only apostolic Church to have it right while the rest of these dolts, east and west, have lived lies for 1500 years?” Well, we are the only Apostolic Church to have returned, in this respect, to the original Apostolic model of the ministry. So it may be that we are called to witness to the others and to hope and pray that they will eventually see the light and, yes, see it our way.

“There does seem to be some correlation between celibacy and ability to dedicate oneself to the service of God.” This ignores something we can see merely by looking around us, which is that married people routinely live lives of selfless service. Just think of all the dedicated law enforcement, safety services, military, and missionary people – in the case of missionaries, often missionary couples – who devote themselves to the welfare of others while still maintaining marriages. Where God chose to implement our incarnate Faith through the agency of real human beings with body temperatures hovering around 98.6˚ F, it is just as feasible that He wished that Faith to be ministered through healthily married people as through artificially unmarried ones.

“Those Anglicans who choose to go along with this offer must have provisions that allow … their own seminaries, or at least their own residences and liturgies at RC seminaries….” Actually, it is essential that they have their own seminaries because if the formative influences on Anglican seminarians are those of the faculty at the mainstream R.C. seminaries, they will never acquire the Anglican culture and ethos. This is probably why the press releases expressly state that there will be no Anglican seminaries.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Patrick asked

...is there such a thing anymore or has there ever been as a "Living Voice" that teaches with authority given from Christ for each generation?

First, let us consider the three most relevant statements of Scripture:

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak on his own; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." John 16:13

"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." I Cor. 2:16

"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." I Tim. 3:15

So we see that the Scriptures and the Church go together, and we need both in order to know the truth; furthermore, this is because of the Holy Spirit speaking through both (II Tim. 3:16). It is significant that whereas modern Anglicans (of the trendy sort) think of Richard Hooker as promoting a threefold idea of Scripture, Right Reason and Tradition, what he really taught, though making use of the word "tradition" twice, was a twofold idea of the Scriptures and the Church with her Authority. Indeed, this is the authority of the Church that learned from the Right Reason or wisdom of the Church throughout its past generations, that spoke with authority to teach and interpret the doctrine that is in Scripture, and also that establishes matters of polity. So, to answer your earlier question, "Is your adherence to your Bishop believed to be and taught to the faithful as being part of the Divinely Revealed Faith? Is it taught as and believed to be the Living Voice of Christ's Church?"- the answer is yes.

Part of this involves one important fact, however: The Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself. Doctrines that contradict Scripture, or that cannot be found to be taught within Scripture, have no basis in the highest source of teaching authority, namely revelation, which is recorded in Scripture. The distinctions are first of all the distinction between what is based on genuine revelation and what is based solely on human reason; and also, the distinction between truth and error, which can involve both human reason and doctrines of demons (I Tim.4:1). Furthermore, the Catholic Fathers in Antiquity were convinced that anything truly revealed by God had been recorded in Scripture during the first generation of the Church, while the Apostles were present.

You mentioned Councils as five in number. I believe you meant four Councils in five centuries; and these first four Ecumenical Councils (Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon) were formulative, and therefore get the most attention from theologians. By formulative I do not mean that the Church learned what it believed in those Councils, for that particular twist on Doctrinal Development is just plain wrong. Rather, the Successors of the Apostles, guided by the Spirit of Truth and having the Mind of Christ, speaking for the Pillar and Ground of the Truth (the Church), clarified from Scripture major points of doctrine in order to defend the teaching that had been passed down from the earliest times, and this was, in each case, due to the emergency of specific heresy. There were three more Ecumenical Councils, just as authoritative though less studied. These were not formulative, but their decisions stand.

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20

David said...

I would welcome, as I said in my previous post comment from bloggers about the loss of validity of orders that is incumbent on any convert to Rome - bishop or priest.

It seems to me the Roman claim to primacy and universal Catholicity excludes both the Orthodox and Anglicans and of course the protestants.

Either the Catholic Faith rests in the triunal Roman, Eastern and Anglican Churches or the other two are plain wrong.

There are of course many Orthodox jurisdictions - the Russian, especiallly ROCOR, the Old Calendarist jurisdictions for whom the full repository of Catholicism rests squarely within the Eastern Orthodox Church. They argue that the Copts and non-Chalcedonian Eastern Churches are heretics, as are Romans and Anglicans and protestants.

Surely the recognition of Anglican orders - at least those not contaminated by the ordination of women should be considered afresh by Rome?

On another tack - I do not concede that clerical celibacy has any connection to pedophile priests. The celibacy is coincidental. To those Anglicans who think that the Anglican Communion has not had a history of married pedophile priests, who sexually violated children, please read the Diocese of Tasmania's Not the Way of Christ 1997 Report - an inadequate but eye-opening revelation of decades of sexual abuse of children by Anglican priests.

As someone who sent an Archdeacon to prison along with 10 other victims, who tried to confront the Diocese of London about two priests serving in that jurisdiction, I can attest to the fact that clergy sexual abuse of altar boys has nothing to do with what side of the Tiber one is on.

Pedophiles get drawn to ways to access children - priests, scout leaders, teachers and even doctors have had their vocation and profession challenged by men who put sexual pleasure ahead of ethical and moral values.

Finally, back to lirurgics, I agree with the comment that once a Diocese has approved the American or English Missal then that liturgy is licit and quite acceptable. I myself treasure the straight BCP Mattins and Evensong offices, and am an advocate for the Missal although I think the straight 1549 mass is perhaps the best expression of Anglican eucharistic worship, but given the significance of the Gregorian canon to our liturgical history, I can see the place for this for Anglican Catholics today.

RC Cola said...

Fr. Hollister,

No need to tell me about the homosexual subculture in the seminaries. I was there. I suffered greatly from their attacks. They drove me out of the seminary and eventually out of the RCC.

At the same time, they are a smaller group than generally given credit for, but they are powerful--extremely powerful, and their network is vast.

Homosexual clergy cannot be blamed on celibacy or the requirement for celibacy, but only on those bishops and their vocation directors who "nudge-nudge-wink-winked" the discipline. No one was ever injured, either physically or spiritually, by being celibate.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The fact is that required clerical celibacy has closed the door to most of the men who would have been good priests, and it also created a clericalism culture in the RCC that resulted in protection and reassignment of known pederasts. Having a shortage of priests added to this protection, as did the clericalism; for there are already not enough priests to go around, that even the worst are worth their weight in gold (as far as the business of the church is concerned). Yes, there has been such abuse among other clergy; but even the liberal, way out Episcopal Church does not protect its pederasts; even the liberal and heretical bishops have refused to protect such men, and let the police take them away without the slightest effort to shield them. Not so with RCC bishops, who protected their known sexual predators and reassigned them. And, that is the scandal.

palaeologos said...

David : the RCC recognizes the validity of Orthodox orders (though that is not mutual), and considers Anglican and Protestant orders null and void. This is, of course, an official position, and individual Catholics (clergy and laity) have expressed quite differing opinions on the topic.

I think a distinction needs to be drawn between homosexual clergy and pedophiles. Pedophilia is a disorder that transcends sexual orientation; a pedophile is attracted to children primarily, and the sex of the child is a secondary (if not tertiary) consideration. As to the connection between sexual disorders and clerical celibacy, I can't help but think that the requirement of celibacy attracts a number of men who are running away from something within themselves; men who seem to think that the discipline of celibacy will order their lives so that they don't have to. Many of these are in for a rude awakening; becoming a clergyman won't help you run away from yourself.

And of course, the discipline of celibacy may also attract a certain number of men who welcome it as a cover for their depravity. I don't think there are many of these, but I'm sure anyone who's spent time in a RC seminary could come up with suspects.

John A. Hollister said...

David wrote, "I do not concede that clerical celibacy has any connection to pedophile priests. The celibacy is coincidental." And, in a related vein, RC Cola wrote, "Homosexual clergy cannot be blamed on celibacy or the requirement for celibacy, but only on those bishops and their vocation directors who 'nudge-nudge-wink-winked' the discipline."

What our two commentators are overlooking is that, while the state of being unmarried does not, by itself, produce either pedophilia or homosexuality, the requirement that seminarians and ordinands be unmarried creates a climate in which men of deviant impulses can blend into the background and be overlooked in ways they could not were they living out in the obviously heterosexual majority culture.

As RC Cola acknowledged, it only requires a few wrong 'uns to begin to cultivate a very unhealthy atmosphere, one in which heterosexual men are made so uncomfortable -- and sometimes are made outright victims -- that they are driven to leave the profession. This, of course, is the reason that the military does not want active homosexuals among its ranks; sad experience has taught that it their presence is very subversive of discipline.

It is quite true that, in general, every denomination will experience some pedophiles and some homosexuals, at least in the same proportions as they are represented in the general population. That, however, is a far cry from deliberately creating conditions that attract such persons and that encourage them to congregate.

That is the dysfunction of mandatory, as opposed to voluntary, celibacy. The second factor that distinguishes the Roman Communion from many other jurisdictions is the matter of institutional willingness to refer malefactors for prosecution and to cooperate with the prosecutorial authorities. Many church groups may have been slow to start turning cases over for outside investigation, although they are getting better about that, but so far as I know, it is only the Roman one that has facilitated, and subsidized, suspects' flight and maintenance abroad, to put them, Polanski-like, out of the reach of local law enforcement.

Ironically, one of the worst U.S. offenders in terms of ignoring clear signs of wrongdoing was that same Cardinal Levada who was responsible for making Monday's announcement.

John A. Hollister+

Nathan said...

Fr. Hart wrote:
The fact is that required clerical celibacy has closed the door to most of the men who would have been good priests...


I believe the travesty is NOT that the door has been closed to those men, but to the Holy Spirit Who was precluded from choosing those men through the Church established by Our Savior.

The advantages of a healthy supply of Religious Communities to form men not only for the priesthood but also the Episcopate, I think, are easy enough to detect. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a pool of Friaries and monasteries from which to nominate Godly men to the Episcopate? However, should we as men or man made bureaucracies restrict the choice of the Holy Spirit to only those, and disallow Godly men in marital vocations or even those among the laity?

I would agree that it is not we Anglicans who must answer, but those who have decided that the Holy Spirit may have those, but not these.

Nathan
(mistater)

John A. Hollister said...

Nathan said, "I believe the travesty is NOT that the door has been closed to those men, but to the Holy Spirit Who was precluded from choosing those men through the Church established by Our Savior."

A superb insight.

The callings to marriage and fatherhood, on the one hand, or to the single state, on the other, are completely independent of the callings to the clerical or lay states. The tragedy of Rome and Orthodoxy's positions is that some men are required to disregard one valid calling from the Holy Spirit in order to comply with another.

That is perhaps the strongest argument against mandatory celibacy. It is certainly a strong explanation for the psychic and spiritual dangers created by mandatory celibacy.

John A. Hollister+

Andrew said...

Fr. Hart - This is the future of the Anglo-Catholic movement. Outside of Rome, it will die within a generation or two. Try as you may to convince others that this is bad, all will not be deceived.

This is a great day, and I give thanks to the Holy Father for this breathtaking gesture of real Christian leadership - something I have not seen in a long time. Glory to God!

This provision is very generous, and it is uncharitable to throw it back in his face, even if you do not accept the invitation.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Perhaps Andrew could explain what he means by "the Anglo-Catholic movement." Then, if such a movement exists outside of Rome, what, pray tell, could such a term possibly mean inside of Rome?

If he is trying to speak of Anglo-Catholics inside the Anglican Communion, we really don't care. If he is trying, in this dubious way, to refer to the Continuing Church, he is simply wrong. Furthermore, such a prediction displays nothing in the way of knowledge, and indeed contradicts the whole life many of us are living. What it reveals is simple malice, a death wish for people he has designated as his enemies. We plan to disappoint him, but we will pray for him.

Furthermore, I see nothing in any of the Vatican's approach that I would consider as an invitation. If I have been invited to something, I do not recognize it. There is nothing ungracious about refusing to join a large denomination just because they wish to "convert" us.

Anonymous said...

Many comments here seem to assume that the Patriarch of the West was thinking of Anglicans in the USA, with particular reference to the Continuing Churches.
I believe his focus was primarily on the United Kingdom. As far as the CC are concerned, we are scarcely noticed. I am beginning to wonder if the proposed arrangement really deserves the attention we are bestowing upon it.

It will continue to fascinate a certain type of Anglo-catholic romantic esthete, those who dream of the Perfectly Wonderful Perfect Church at the end of the rainbow. But they will never be happy at the Friday nite bingo game in the KoC hall over at St Philomena's by the trailor park.
"Mankind cannot bear too much reality."
LKW

Death Bredon said...

"If a Missal is authorized by the Ordinary of a diocese, then its use is licit, full stop."

This is the sort of autonomous, non-conciliar thinking that justly earns Missal Anglicans the appellation "Protestants in (extraordinary) Roman raiment," and that also violates Article XXXIV, which place ceremonial authority in the National Church as a whole, not with individual fetishes. Indeed, this "to Hell with traditional Anglican identity, ethos, and, patrimony, and, hooray for Pius VI, the Council of Trent, and the Counter-Reformation" attitude is the very reason why most self-styled "Anglo-Catholics" are neither. A couple of lace-wearing bishops, a new Constitution and Canons, does not in anyway constitute "Continuing Anglicanism;" rather just a role-playing club for Romish liturgical anachronisms.

Moreover, the much abused "aidaphora argument" is completely unpersuasive as it proves too much. Indeed, if the liturgical norms of the Anglican Tradition are not binding upon Anglicans, then what is? (Nothing, of course.) And, this "make it up as we please" methodology is the precisely the sectarian approach that the Liberals and Evangelicals have employed to disfigure and distort authentic Anglican Churchmanship beyond all recognition. Indeed, the fact that Anglo-Catholics invoke the word "Catholic" to name their narrow party does not thereby decrease it sectarianism, especially when the word "Catholic" is employed as a synonym for "Roman."

David said...

I hope and pray that the Anglican Catholic Church will continue to witness to the integrity of the Anglican tradition of Catholic and Apostolic faith and order, without feeling the need to jump in the Tiber.

In a sea of continuing jurisdictions, it is time for those Continuing Catholic Anglicans to say that we are in this for the long haul, and that we will witness the Anglican Catholic faith no matter what the official Anglican Communion, the women-ordaining ACNA or TEC say or do.

Is there a charism that is uniquely Anglican that is our gift to the Apostolic Church, to the Catholic faith? It has to be that solid Biblical foundation, that appeal to the faith and practice of the undivided Church.

Just as the Russian Church has repented for some of the actions of the Church in it's response to the Bolshevik State - acquiescence by some bishops in church closures and persecution etc, maybe it is time for Anglicans to repent for the sins of our forefathers.

The destruction of monasteries, the desecration of icons, statues, relics and altars was profound. Philosophically the understanding of Church order, of submission to episcopal authority was weakened, and too many men interpreted Scripture and tradition privately, and to their own ends.

The martyrdom of King Charles I was both a political crime and spiritual sin, which many generations of English bishops preached repentance for in the annual commemoration of the martyrdom which ceased in Victoria's reign.

We in the Continuum have to look long and hard at the multitude of jurisdictions and diocese and say "Is this division necessary?" Granted, I cannot contemplate sharing the communion of the ACNA with it's women priests in some places, and complete lack of submission to Catholic order and tradition. But surely we need to look in the light of the Pope's overtures to Anglicans, at the issue of unity not with Rome, but within the Continuum, and I suggest that the logical place to start this is under the Original Province of the ACC.

That the ACNA is given any credence as a legitimate expression of Anglican orthodoxy when the ACC, and others date back to the St. Louis Congress beggars belief. Clearly it is a public relations problem, that the ACC United Episcopal Church and Diocese of Christ the King have failed to adequately get our presence, history and legitimacy in the media.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

David wrote:

...the sins of our forefathers.

The destruction of monasteries, the desecration of icons, statues, relics and altars was profound. Philosophically the understanding of Church order, of submission to episcopal authority was weakened, and too many men interpreted Scripture and tradition privately, and to their own ends.


I am not sure exactly what he has in mind concerning private interpretation, since that goes on all the time. As for the other things, actions undertaken by Thomas Cromwell when Henry VIII was being a tyrant, I think "our forefathers" would rightly include those against whom these offenses were committed (Indeed, in time Anglicans restored Religious Orders, and restored quite a lot more). In the second secession, in Elizabeth's reign, none of the heavy handed actions of Thomas Cromwell were ever repeated (his grandson's anti-Church of England revolution not counting at all, since that was a war against us).

About King Charles I, it is an interesting fact of history that he is the only person ever canonized by an Archbishop of Canterbury. We have always considered him to be one of our martyrs, killed by Puritan radicals who had waged war on the Church of England itself.

palaeologos said...

"Indeed, if the liturgical norms of the Anglican Tradition are not binding upon Anglicans, then what is? "

The duly established canons of their jurisdiction. Canons are binding; special personal feelings about the 39 Articles aren't. The 34th Article refers to "particular or national Church[es]," not merely to the National Church. There is no National Church in the United States, and there never has been in the sense that there is in the UK. There are, however, several "particular churches" which partake in whatever manner of the Anglican ethos. An honest reading of the second paragraph of this article would lead to the conclusion that any of these "particular churches" have the power to "ordain, change, and abolish" the church's rites.

The Chambers Succession churches have allowed certain additions to be made to the rites, in accordance with the principles of Article 34. Those additions are not compulsory, and the degree to which they are adopted is left up to the individual parish (with guidance from the diocesan ordinary). Of course you're free not to like that, and to consider it ridiculous if that's how it seems to you. But you can't construct an imaginary authority in your head and then berate the Continuing Churches for their transgressions against it. That's just silly.

There is an unpleasant whiff of Good Old American Know-Nothingism in the use of adjectives like "Romish" to describe liturgical practices of which you do not approve. If I were to insult you in personal terms, you might conclude that my argument lacks a certain substance; do you not see how the use of derogatory references conditions your own arguments?

Anonymous said...

Palaeologos may be unaware that the additional texts used in the celebration of the Eucharist in some Continuing Church parishes in the USA are to be found in other genuine editions of the BCP.The Continuum is expanding and as other parts of the Anglican world join us their traditional liturgies receive authorisation in their respective jurisdictions and are then available to their brethren in other countries.Thanks to the 'WWW' these Prayer Books or at least the Order For Holy Communion can be examined as they,for the most part,have been translated into English. Korea, India,Japan,South Africa,The West Indies and Canada all have a traditional Prayer Book liturgy which is worth examining and those are only the ones which I can recall at the moment.The Prayer Book is and must remain our Standard of Doctrine and Worship and I'm partial to the English Use but we must allow a little flexibility and common sense to prevail when it comes to liturgy.I am,I hope, on the same page as Canon Tallis and Death Bredon who has mentioned the Canadian Book before but think that Fr.Hart is right in urging us to avoid becoming too rigid.

Andrew said...

Fr. Hart - a couple of things:

My statement is not a death-wish, simply a prediction. This historic unfolding is the future - the future that many Anglo-Catholics have envisioned for a very long time.

This is what I mean by Anglo-
Catholics `inside of Rome', namely to fulfill our vocation of finally being able to put ourselves out of business. We can now retain our Anglican patrimony in full union with the Holy See, fulfilling our Lord's command. Our prayers have been answered!

Second, the title of your piece is "thanks, but no thanks"; yet you then ask me `what invitation?'. Please, let us not play games.

I am basking the glow of the Benedictine revolution ... especially seeing all those opposed to it (on both sides) run around like headless chickens.

I offer thanksgiving for the intercession of blessed Cardinal Newman, and Our Lady of Walsingham.

Onward to glory! This changes everything. It is a complete coup.

Fr. Hart - just in case your won't read between the lines: you are invited too - the door is wide open, come on in!

poetreader said...

Well, Andrew, if one wishes to be a Roman Catholic in all but external forms, this may appear a complete coup, but, if one believes Romanism, though indubitably Catholic, to be somewhat flawed, representing the Catholic tradition in a less than perfect manner, this is no coup at all, though it may signal the beginning of a real rapprochement. This invitation (and I do see a sincere invitation in it) seems to be predicated on abandoning much that is precious and accepting what we cannot in good conscience accept. Perhaps for you this is not a problem, but for very many of us it certainly is. I thank the Holy Father for the gracious invitation, but have to just as graciously turn it down -- in its present form -- though I would desire to build on it as a part of continuing brotherly discussions.

ed

Brian said...

Our friend Andrew misunderstands the whole idea of "Anglican patrimony." If it was just an aesthetic approach or a mode of spirituality, then the blood of Cranmer, Laud, Charles I and countless other Anglican martyrs was spilled in vain. Anglicanism has always been about truth and the reclamation of truth. If the whole excercise was in error, then there was no point in maintaining such a heresy, and anglo-catholics have simply been endangering souls by not pressing everyone to join the True Church at once, without trying to import leftovers from a sinful schism.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It is no more an invitation than has always existed: Anyone who actually believes all that ridiculous stuff about the papacy, and who does not take a strong stand on principles, may "convert." I have always said "thanks, but no thanks," and remain unwilling to join a denomination that is in error. This is not new, and not merely in response to this recent "news." It is the stand I have always taken.

Andrew wrote:

This is what I mean by Anglo-
Catholics `inside of Rome', namely to fulfill our vocation of finally being able to put ourselves out of business. We can now retain our Anglican patrimony in full union with the Holy See, fulfilling our Lord's command. Our prayers have been answered!


I have already explained why that will not be possible. If you want the Disney version of Anglicanism and the BCP, why wait? It has been available for years.

Whatever happens to various parties that call themselves "Anglo-Catholic" is not all that important. Possibly, one group of Anglo-Catholics, the TAC/ACA bishops, are ready to leave their people behind, and join in with the other Pastoral Provision clergy. Should they do that, I hope that the laity and clergy who cannot go with them will stay faithful to the St. Louis Affirmation rather than being sucked into the REC as a bridge to the ACNA. I know their people will not follow en masse; most of them will not follow, and that is painfully obvious.

I am not an Anglo-Catholic, but rather an Anglican, and therefore a Catholic. If "Anglo-Catholic" still identified a body of teaching, then it would be worth taking seriously; but Rowan Williams is, according to everyone, an "Anglo-Catholic." So are a lot of women "priests" in the the U.S., Canada and England. The term has lost any real meaning. Besides, it was always partisan.

But, High Church Anglicans in the Continuum are not disappearing; our numbers seem to be growing, and this is part of my daily work. If you want to live in your fantasy, go ahead. One day in this parish, and you would be shocked to see that we have a future, whether you like it or not.

As for that "coup" stuff, the only victory in recent days is my death blow to the final and only standing (from their stubborn perspective) Roman argument against Anglican Orders. In my essay I forgot to say, "checkmate."

John A. Hollister said...

I must disagree with Andrew's conclusion that "We can now retain our Anglican patrimony in full union with the Holy See...."

The scheme that is described in this past Monday's press releases abolishes the most essenntial elements of the Anglican patrimony": The (traditional) Book of Common Prayer, a generally married clergy, including the episcopate, and dedicated institutions to form and train that clergy in our historic ethos and ways of doing things, and most especially in celebrating our distinctive liturgy.

For Anglicans, that Book of Common Prayer tradition is the bedrock of our unique witness because what we pray becomes what we believe. Similarly, our pattern of a married clegy gives a certain tone and substance to our parish life, as the Eastern Orthodox married clergy do to their parishes, which is an important element of the Anglican experience.

Without these things which make us who we are, there is no Anglicanism, yet these are precisely the things Rome will require any converts to abandon.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

"I am not an Anglo-Catholic, but rather an Anglican, and therefore a Catholic."

I wish I had said that! (And in due time, I surely will.)
LKW

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,

You said:

"...anyone who actually believes all that ridiculous stuff about the papacy... " "I have always said "thanks, but no thanks," and remain unwilling to join a denomination that is in error."

This is what I have never understood about the way you see things. By definition and logic, therefore, you should not join or be part of any denomination including the one you currently represent. Unless, of course, you wish to say that your denomination is somehow protected from the possibility of "ERROR." But, if you believe that, then you would, by necessity, be admitting that there is such a Church that speaks infallibly for Christ-specifically, in your case, you locate that gift in The Anglican Catholic Church. Now, every time that I've asked if this kind of Church can be LOCATED anywhere in the visible, physical world, the answer here at the Continuum has been NO! So,short of this type of Church existing, all denominations must admit that there is error in each denomination including there own. So, why join any of them? And, if one truly believes that there is error in all denominations then this should necessarily lead to a most humble view of all these matters for fear of being wrong about something that you teach and believe, but is actually in error. At best, any one christian or denomination could only offer their best OPINION about Scripture and Tradition. Truth admits to no error, by definition. Truth can not rest ultimately on mere human opinion. It must be sanctified by God in some manner.

Pat(rick)

Anonymous said...

If anything good comes from this business, it will be that we are forced to think more deeply and more precisely about what it means to be Anglican. (The irony here is that the Bishop of Rome did not have American Continuers in mind anyhow, despite certain claims and pretensions.)

The so-called "Anglican Patrimony" is not merely a certain style of worship, music, hymnody, or spirituality, or even (pace Canon Hollister, a married clergy) which can be picked up and moved from one jurisdiction to the next like an objet d'art from one museum to the next. What has been given to us is a heritage of DOCTRINE. It is not "Romanism Lite" or Western Byzantinism.

Richard Hooker, the great opponent of the Puritans and the radical Reformation, spoke of "the great issue which hangeth yet between us and them."
One of the great early American bishops spoke of being "Catholics at the Altar and Evangelicaals in the pulpit." For all of its elusiveness, which makes it so different from Calvinism and Lutheranism in their neat tidy systems, we are blest with a theological style in which the power of the sacraments (all seven of 'em) applies the truth of
Sola gratia, sola fide.

Even if the Holy Father were to proclaim Anglican Orders absolutely valid and Apostolicae Curae a heretical document today and got married himself tomorrow, I will still raise my voice in protest, "No synergistic doctrines of salvation, Never, Never, Never."
LKW

Anonymous said...

LKW,

Question: When an infant is baptized what exactly remains in the infant that keeps them at enmity with God? Anything?

Pat(rick)

poetreader said...

Patrick,

I happen also to have found Fr, Hart's words a bit intemperate and would have phrased it differently, but I am quite solidly in agreement with what he has said.

On the other hand, if I may be more blunt than I usually prefer, What you've just presented is the same gobbledegook I've been hearing for years. Why should there be one central authority to define and insist upon every detail of teaching and thinking? did God not intend His people to think? Are His truths, for that matter, so easily defined? I don't have much problem being in fellowship with people I do not agree with -- so long as the credal essentials are at the core of faith -- but I do have a problem with being required to accept the theory of one denomination (as with Rome's papal claims) as ipso facto correct because they have so said, even though such a teaching has never been unanimously hel;d by the entirety of Catholic Christianity. If other wish to believe such a thing and even to attempt to convince me, well, OK. That doesn't disturb me, but, if I am required to accept what I am sure is error, well, then, that denomination is not a place I can land.

Even if a central authority were to be seen as necessary (a notion I don't accept), it would not justify merely picking one such. To accept a wrong authority as absolute would be far worse than not having one in the first place.

No, Patrick, there is no such infallible human authority. I do not believe God intends that there be such. Thus such an authority is not to be located anywhere on earth.

Yes, there is error in every denomination, including my own, but there is no error in the Scripture, nor in the continuous witness of the Church through the ages. Though we, in our weakness, inevitably misunderstand much of it, the truth remains and continues to speak and will infallibly bring those who will to our heavenly home.

If I am to accept any earthly manifestation of the Church as being free of error and entirely authoritative, those claims have to be proved to me. I won't select one just because I am told there needs to be one. Such arguments as those really do lack any logical rigor at all.

ed

Canon Tallis said...

Patrick wrote:By definition and logic, therefore, you should not join or be part of any denomination including the one you currently represent.

My reply would be not quite. The errors in the American Anglican Continuum are of a very different sort from those of Rome and the churches of the Roman obedience. What we are struggling with is an attempt to give sacramental reality to the Truths of Holy Scripture as interpreted by "the earliest bishops and Catholic fathers," the creeds and the teachings of the generally recognized General Councils. That is a very different thing from believing that there is this one man, humanly and not divinely elected, whose when speaking in a strange way that no one can precisely define is going to be God's voice or Christ's voice in our time. If there was going to be such a voice without error and it was in the Roman See, then the horror of what some of us see in the Roman Church simply would not be.

I have read the postings which Romans have made in this thread and my first question, always, is: have they ever read any part of the Bible deeply? My second is a question of how much real history of Western Europe, Italy, and the Roman See do they actually know. I found a great deal of this really amusing in my late teens and early twenties. I could share my Roman (Church and City of Birth) uncle's laughter at the foibles of the clerics who ate his food and drank his booze, but after I became a father my attitude began to change and harden and I don't find it amusing any more. Worse, I wonder that I ever did.

When I have to choose between the clear teaching of the New Testament and the Roman See over the last thousand years, I will go with St Paul. And the more precisely when he predicts the Roman policy and calls it "a doctrine of devils." Or weren't you aware of that?

On these questions I am proud to stand with the Reverend Messers Hart, Wells and Hollister as well as Hooker, Andrewes, Laud and their successors.

Veriword: tablitzi (a see in ancient Asia Minor?)

Anonymous said...

Fr. Wells,

I've long been convinced that the "solas" should be heralded so long as they're couched within their sacramental and ecclesial element. Schaff astutely observed that's how Augustine proceeded with his doctrine of grace, and so should we. We don't have to budge on these so long as we don't kowtow to the Baptist flavor of things. It's when they become denuded slogans that they become odious...

You rightly observe we needn't become Calvinists or Lutherans in the process, for all the good their systems provide, there are pitfalls that our own theological tradition seeks to avoid. It's just being a good catholic is all.

As touching "synergism" I think there's far more complexity to this than some would be willing to admit. I am a "synergist" because I believe cooperation with prevenient grace is ultimately necessary, and the will is not turned into a mere "yes man" mechanism; but I am a "monergist" in the council of Orange's sense that all that leads us to the font of regeneration is God's effective call, not based on what he foresees in us, but based on what grace effects. I get a little nervous when terms like "synergism" are simply tossed as if they don't speak to any valid theological truth. One needn't be a Pelagian to be a synergist. Conversely, we should happily concur with the doctrine of prevenient grace against the Pelagian heresy.

As a fellow Augustinian (yes, I believe in unconditional election) I commend your cry for the primacy of grace.

St. Worm

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Patrick wrote:

By definition and logic, therefore, you should not join or be part of any denomination including the one you currently represent.

Only by Roman definitions and Roman logic, which are based on a false premise. Ed, Fr. Wells and Canon Tallis have explained how that premise is false.

Unless, of course, you wish to say that your denomination is somehow protected from the possibility of "ERROR."

We make no such Roman claims; for that is one example no one ought to follow. The Church is infallible, not one particular See. The Conciliar authority of the First Millennium demonstrated how the Church could live in the reality of what Christ promised to His Body the Church. It is far more difficult today, thanks to one See claiming too much.

...a Church that speaks infallibly for Christ-specifically, in your case, you locate that gift in The Anglican Catholic Church. Now, every time that I've asked if this kind of Church can be LOCATED anywhere in the visible, physical world, the answer here at the Continuum has been NO!

The answer is that this is not found in A church, nor in one place; but throughout the world. The problem, however, is that we are now forced to emphasize a time as well as a place (i.e. the world, wherever the Church is to be found), and that time is Antiquity. Universal Consensus and Antiquity, or "that which had been believed everywhere, always and by all" (Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est).

That is, if teaching does not meet this standard, which is really the standard of Scripture itself, taught by the Church with her authority, then it must be rejected as error. The idea that one See, or one man in one See, can replace the Conciliar model, and can tell us not to heed Universal Consensus and Antiquity (as "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! I am the great and terrible wizard of OZ!"), is itself a heresy (as in heresy) taught by Rome since 1054.

The irony is so obvious whenever we are told that the papacy is the center of unity in the Church. Every division in the Church comes from the papacy (including a new division they are creating between traditional Anglicans right now). The Great Schism in 1054, which more than anything forces us to focus on Antiquity as a corrective standard, was caused by a meglomaniacal pope; and the Reformation in the West was caused by tyrannical popes who silenced honest theological discussion. The papacy has been the greatest cause of disunity in the Church's history. Until they revise their claims andt show humility, it will continue to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,


• The Great Schism in 1054, was caused by a meglomaniacal pope

• The Reformation in the West was caused by tyrannical popes

• The new division they (Rome) are creating between traditional Anglicans right now... is caused by a ____________ kind of Pope.

Care to fill in the blank as to what kind of Pope this is?

I've only heard you speak highly of him. I would hate to see you miss a chance at a trifecta though.

Pat(rick)

Anonymous said...

Re: the title "Anglo-Catholic" --

I happily own that title in the face of those who hate or diminish our catholic patrimony, and in the face of the Romanizers who feel Rome is the epicenter of catholicity and therefore the only legitimate expression of catholicism.


By the by, with Fr. Hart I feel the term Protestant needs recovery too.


St. Worm

Anonymous said...

Canon Tallis,

You said:

"...my first question, always, is: have they ever read any part of the Bible deeply? My second is a question of how much real history of Western Europe, Italy, and the Roman See do they actually know."

Begging the question. C'mon! This works both ways and you know it. This can not be some kind of argument on your part. The point is that through DEEP biblical and historical exegesis different groups arrive at different understandings of the same exact material,eg, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Confessional Lutheran etc...

Then you said:

"The errors in the American Anglican Continuum are of a very different sort from those of Rome and the churches of the Roman obedience."

This presupposes on your part that you actually are in full knowledge of all essential doctrines. How could you possibly know if you haven't overlooked something or misunderstood and misinterpreted something? This should be a rather easy point for you to admit since you can so plainly see and point out how Roman Catholicism has done just that with Scripture and the Tradition. Your using special pleading here. This is my entire point. IOW, who are you or anyone to say?

Pat(rick)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

St.Worm

I happily own that title in the face of those who hate or diminish our catholic patrimony, and in the face of the Romanizers who feel Rome is the epicenter of catholicity and therefore the only legitimate expression of catholicism.

OK. Of course, I prefer to simply use the name of my church: Anglican Catholic.

Patrick wrote:
I've only heard you speak highly of him. I would hate to see you miss a chance at a trifecta though.

Are you saying that good Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, was also pope in 1054? We don't believe in reincarnation.

How could you possibly know if you haven't overlooked something or misunderstood and misinterpreted something?

That is why we read our Bibles every day.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,

Seeing as your bishop is my bishop, I'd say we both happily embrace the title "Anglican Catholic".

I can think of no better bishop to be under than the good Bishop Mark Haverland, save Jesus Himself.

Anonymous said...

St Worm writes:

"I am a "synergist" because I believe cooperation with prevenient grace is ultimately necessary"

"Cooperation with prevenient grace" is a contradiciton in terms. Like riding beside the car ahead of me.
LKW

Anonymous said...

As another priest of DOS-ACC-OP, I will add my voice to the chorus of thanksgiving for His grace, Mark David Haverland, PhD, our Archbisdhop Ordinary.

No need to attach my name.

Anonymous said...

St Worm, judging from your comments on numerous threads here and elsewhere, you and I are surely quite close in our Augustinian cncept of sin and salvation.
We could hem and haw endlessly over the word synergism, but that would distract this thread from its purpose.

My point is simply that there are some fundamental and critical differences between the doctrine of salvation set forth in official RC documents and that taught in classical Anglican formularies. Our Anglican house is not exactly in order on these issues, owing to the "rise of moralism" (Bp Allison's phrase) in the 17th century. But the basic issue raised in the 16th century is ineradicably there. Some may go dancing off to the Roman embrace, oblivious to theological problems far deeper than is being recognized in the flurry of articles and postings this week. But it will be at great spiritual cost.

Tom said...

I will be telling my parish(es) on Sunday, October 25, the Feast of Christ the King, that we are NOT leaving the Anglican Catholic Church for the Church headed by the Bishop of Rome. As Fr. Hart has said, 'Thanks, but no thanks.'

Veriword axalla [not axilla, the armpit]

David said...

Even here in Australia, where the Anglican Catholic Church is tiny but mission focused on growth and evangelism and sharing the fullness of the Gospel and the Catholic faith, we thank God for our Metropolitan Mark Haverland, and our Bishop Brian Iverach. Long may the ACC stay true to the Anglican Catholic faith!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

If I know the Archbishop (my bishop), anymore of these hurrahs will embarrass him. But, I feel the same way.

Canon Tallis said...

As yet an outsider to the ACC let me add that it is my observation that His Grace and his current suffragans have changed the the outside view of the ACC almost entirely. I have not had the opportunity to meet him yet, but I believe that everything said so far is entirely true. If only all four of those consecrated at Denver had been such as they.

And Tom, on what page in the American BCP does one find the propers for the feast of Christ the King? I don't find it in any of the classical prayer books. Have I missed something?

Andrew said...

After reading over Fr. Hart's reply, I have little more to say - it is not constructive (on doctrine: I think that the counter-reformation + Vatican II has given everything that classic Anglicans had hoped for from the reformation; especially those from the tracterian tradition - books have been written on this, a combox is insufficient).

However, I think that it is very important to reply to Fr. Hollister:

"I must disagree with Andrew's conclusion that "We can now retain our Anglican patrimony in full union with the Holy See...."
The scheme that is described in this past Monday's press releases abolishes the most essenntial elements of the Anglican patrimony": The (traditional) Book of Common Prayer, a generally married clergy, including the episcopate, and dedicated institutions to form and train that clergy in our historic ethos and ways of doing things, and most especially in celebrating our distinctive liturgy...."

Fr. Hollister: I encourage you to reread the press release, as well as to study closely the apostolic constitution that will be forth coming. Please, the above matters are simply matters of fact that either are clear, or will be made clear in the near future.

I understand the following things to be the case, and if you can show me to be in error, I will be happy to be corrected:

1) Married clergy will be accepted into the priesthood. I agree this is one of the charisms of the Anglican tradition (like the Eastern Catholics), but I understand this will be preserved.

2) It is true that bishops will be celibate, but this seems a fairly minor concession to make. It is also the case for the Orthodox, and I think coming in line with this discipline is not a bad idea. Further on this point, the ordinaries of the personal ordinariates can also be priests (not necessarily bishops), and thus some of the leaders can still be married. This seems to me to be a huge concession from Rome.

3) The press release makes clear that while the seminarians can go to Roman seminaries, there will be new seminaries created to satisfy this need for formation in the patrimony of the Anglican tradition. This is very important - also a sign that Rome is stretching in a big way here. It is important to stress that this is NOT just a global pastoral provision - it is much more.

4) Liturgy. You speak about the "traditional" Book of Common prayer. Which one? 1662? 1928? (I guess you don't like the 1979)? The last two are American inventions. What about the English ones? The Canadian ones? etc., etc. The fact of the matter is that what liturgy will be used has still not been released. We must wait and see. I hear that it will not be the existing book of Divine worship, but that a liturgy is being prepared now (perhaps a total revision of the BDW). It will likely be in the "prayerbook tradition", perhaps based on the English or Anglican Missal. The point is that we do not know, so please wait and see. I predict good things. The Catholics have stretched to make this happen, we should be willing to stretch too! We conform ourselves to Christ and his Church, not the other way round.

You finish by saying "these are precisely the things Rome will require any converts to abandon". However, I understand that this is simply not true.

What I request of you is to please, please, please understand what the arrangements will be ... in detail... before claiming what you did.

Again, not all of these details are revealed yet - please read them when they do appear.

I repeat my conclusion - this is huge. It changes everything. The implications have not been yet fully understood - it will take years to feel the full effects of this.

I see a bright future ahead for me, for my children, and my children's children. Please, first understand what is being offered, and then join us in the glorified body of the resurrected Anglo-Catholic movement in full Eucharistic communion with the Holy See.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Andrew:

Your optimism seems emotional and naive. It blinds you to reality.

1) Married clergy will be accepted into the priesthood.

Big deal; they are now. And, just like the Pastoral Provisions, this also will be only for "converts." Therefore, in this setting it is all designed to last no more than one generation.

2) It is true that bishops will be celibate, but this seems a fairly minor concession to make.

It means all the bishops will be RCs from the start, Latin Rite men who have no sympathy for Anglicanism. Furthermore, it is one of the most obvious examples we can point to of precedent treated like Tradition, elevated and preserved for no valid reason.

3) The press release makes clear that while the seminarians can go to Roman seminaries, there will be new seminaries created to satisfy this need for formation in the patrimony of the Anglican tradition.

I will believe it if I see it.

4) Liturgy. You speak about the "traditional" Book of Common prayer. Which one? 1662? 1928?

The question appears to be hypothetical, and to imply that there is no genuine BCP structure and tradition; and that is most certainly not true. The '79 Book was the first not to be a new edition of a recognizable tradition.

Please, first understand what is being offered, and then join us in the glorified body of the resurrected Anglo-Catholic movement in full Eucharistic communion with the Holy See.

What they offer currently is the Walt Disney version, so far from the real thing that I can't understand your positive reaction, or anyone's. What they seem to be planning is probably more an attempt to swallow and destroy Anglicanism to whatever extent they may. I am sure the Pope's motives are good; but, I will have nothing to do with this strange thing Cardinal Levada has described.

John A. Hollister said...

Canon Tallis asked where the propers for the Festival of Christ the King may be found in the classical BCPs.

On pages 623-24 of The Book of Common Prayer (Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, 1963).

Collect:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost will that all things be subject to the dominion of thy beloved Son, and that he may be owned as King over all: We pray thee to heal the nations, wounded and divided by their sins, and knit them together in blessed obedience to the King of kings and Lord of lords, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Lesson: 1 Chronicles 11:1
Epistle: Colossians 1:9
Gospel: St. John 18:33

For Morning Prayer:
First Lesson: Ezek. 34:23-end
Second Lesson: Rev. 11:15-17

John A. Hollister+
"brible"

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Hart has answered almost all of Andrew's latest points, so there would be nothing gained were I to repeat that material in my own words.

However, his comment on seminaries must be addressed. He has misread the press releases, which state not that personal ordinariate seminarians "can" go to ordinary Roman seminaries but that they "will" go to them. The releases also make it clear that there will be no Anglican seminaries.

What confused him was perhaps a passing reference to Anglican "houses of study" at some of these Roman schools. Big deal: the students can live and perhaps eat together and can spend their spare time together. Their substantive courses will still be conducted by liberal, left-leaning faculty who have little sympathy for, and absolutely no knowledge of, Anglicanism.

Read that again and think it through. Those seminaries will be preparing the future clergy for the personal ordinariates and where they cannot possibly prepare them to be Anglicans in any meaningful sense, the future of those ordinariates is not Anglican in any meaningful sense.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

When Andrew speaks of creating new seminaries for Anglicans-turned-Roman, I can no longer take him seriously. Does he know how many RC seminaries have been closed in the last 30 years? There would surely be no lack of buildings, but it does cost money to run a seminary. Since so much money has been paid out for legal expenses (a hemorrhage which shows no cessation), it would be hard to keep these new Anglican seminaries viable.
Andrew, I have a bridge to sell. If interested, give me a call.
LKW

bob said...

There's a lot of things I can't comment about being a former Anglican, now Orthodox for 25 years. I never had the nostalgia for the BCP at all, so can't relate to wishing for a Western Rite. I feel sorry for those who would have that nostalgia whether they want to be left alone as traditionally minded Anglicans (many variations of that) or Roman Catholics. I think the simplest thing to say is that if you really want to stop being a Protestant and really become a member of the Orthodox or Roman Church, you pretty much have to stop using the BCP for worship. It wasn't intended to be an Orthodox or Roman book, and remodeling it to fit the new lot goes very much against what the architects had in mind. The Orthodox have about 20 parishes on planet earth of the "Western Rite". The new talks with ACNA and the Orthodox Church In America might wind up with something but it remains to be seen.
It is just a much easier thing to become Eastern. It is no more radical surgery than trying to fit the BCP into a slot it wasn't designed for, and no more unfamiliar than the whole body of belief that 99% of Anglicans have been deprived of for the last decades. Recall, an Anglican convert has to stop being Protestant. You'd have to realize you have *noting to protest*. It would not be your fight anymore. It is simply much easier to learn what Christians have believed for 2000 years than to worry about the Reformation that breaks with it.
Being Catholic in your faith opens up new hard things to deal with but they're worth dealing with. You no longer have to figure out how to be in communion with James Pike, John Spong, or Mrs. Schori. You don't have to read that you're in communion with a Muslim/Anglican like Ann Redding and what that reduces you to. You don't have to reconcile Bishop Robinson and his concubine and your actual wife or husband. Because if you can't look your spouse in the eye and see the exact equivalent of a concubine, then you don't belong in Anglicanism. That's where it is at, and you're stuck with it. That is not going away. All the "Anglican Divines" of the past you care to mention are pure fantasy when 99.9% of Anglicans don't care about them. An Anglo-Catholic isn't part of a forest, it's a bonsai specimen. No roots to speak of, carefully kept alive in an ornamental pot. Interesting and pretty but it's on a respirator. Real people need real roots and a community.

palaeologos said...

Bob, it's obvious from your comment that you don't read this blog regularly. If you did, you would know two things.

First, that we consider ourselves to be in full continuity with what the Church has believed for 2000 years. There is no discontinuity between what the BCP contains and what the Fathers of the Church believed.

Second, we are not in communion with Spong, Jefferts-Schori, Pike, or Ann Redding. We left all that behind 30 years ago. The proximate cause of our leaving to form the Continuing Churches was the rise to power of that coterie of fake Christians to leadership of the Episcopal Church.

If you understand those two points (and I know that you will probably disagree with the first, though you could at least give us credit for believing it of ourselves), then perhaps it will be clearer to you who we are and what we represent, and why your comments about the Anglican Communion are entirely beside the point here.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Bob:

Out of kindness to you I have published your comment, so that you will be more likely to read this reply and learn from it.

Obviously, you do not know who we are. We do not belong to the Anglican Communion, having (as a body) walked out of it more than thirty years ago. You wrote:

You no longer have to figure out how to be in communion with James Pike, John Spong, or Mrs. Schori. You don't have to read that you're in communion with a Muslim/Anglican like Ann Redding and what that reduces you to. You don't have to reconcile Bishop Robinson and his concubine and your actual wife or husband.

You see, we do not have any of that problem at all. They are members of some apostate sect that has stolen our name, our property and even large amounts of our money. We would that they may have appropriated instead some of our doctrine and of our faith,to the end that they could repent and be saved. They are Anglicans in name only; we are Anglicans in substance, and therefore not in communion with them.

About the Book of Common Prayer, your disagreement with St. Tikhon, and also with the Archdiocese of Antioch, is noted. Perhaps it is easier to go Eastern; but, is it better? We say it is not better.

You wrote:
All the "Anglican Divines" of the past you care to mention are pure fantasy when 99.9% of Anglicans don't care about them.

I do not know where you get 99% as a figure, nor does it matter. What matters is the truth those Anglican Divines taught, and what it means for us.

An Anglo-Catholic isn't part of a forest, it's a bonsai specimen. No roots to speak of, carefully kept alive in an ornamental pot. Interesting and pretty but it's on a respirator. Real people need real roots and a community.

Within the Anglican Communion that is quite true, for they lost their way, and they have also lost their Book of Common Prayer (not an unrelated fact). And, whatever "Anglo-Catholic" means these days, as an Anglican, and priest of the Anglican Catholic Church, I assure you that I am in a community that is very much alive, well rooted and thriving.

I see too that you have no correct understanding of what the word "Protestant" means. Do not be alarmed, for you are not alone; most people have it just as wrong.

These links may help:

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2009/08/more-on-p-word.html

and

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2008/01/putting-p-back-in-anglican.html

Please feel free to read and comment more.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Wells,

I knew the phrase "cooperate with prevenient grace" would seem odd, but I figured you were astute enough to understand all I meant was the grace that comes before all else *finally* includes human cooperation.

Prevenient grace comes apart from our will, by definition, but does not ever remain "prevenient" -- it's the same grace that we must ultimately cooperate with. Tis all. :)

Blessings.

In Christ,
St. Worm

Anonymous said...

St Worm: It's just that the word "cooperate" when used in relation to our salvation (God gift, God's work, God's achievement, God's glory) gives me the heeby-jeebies. The Divine initiative cannot be asserted strongly enough: "We love, because He first loved us." This is not "cooperation," but rather surrender and submission.
Anything less evaporates the Creator--creature distinction, which leads us into the gaping jaws of ......

It would be fun to discuss this with you, possibly off-line. But let's stick to the topic of the thread.
LKW

Anonymous said...

Fr. Wells,

Fair enough... soteriology should be saved for another thread.

All the same, I throw my lot in with the rest of you -- being Anglican is sufficiently catholic, and Rome needs more reform before we can seriously consider re-union, as desirable as that it.

Blessings!

St. Worm

Andrew said...

Hello fellows:

Look, I am just a little sheep, but even I have enough sense to see that this is the future. Don't take my word for it - as I said, READ the apostolic constitution when it comes out.

It is important to stress this: These things will either be or will not be. My opinion has no bearing on these things. We are having a dispute about facts, not about opinions. My point is to be sure you understand what it on the table before you dismiss it out of hand.

Have a look at this interview for Bishop Hepworth for more on these important details, such as the gracious permission of married priests that Fr. Hollister was denying.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26247534-7583,00.html

You may find me childish, and I indeed feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. But I think Jesus had some things to say about being like little children...

This is my last post on this topic. I will remember you in my prayers - please keep an open heart.

poetreader said...

I certainly shall read the Constitution when it does appear, but it is foolishness to declare that I should give no thought to what it might say or to what I would think it would need to say to be acceptable. If it is considered essential that I receive the complete document before I am allowed to think about its possible content and to prepare myself for it, that, in itself would make all motion concerning it impossible, and would in all likelihood leave me less inclined to read it. However, I do not believe that to be the intent.

One thing I shall certainly look for is the matter of just what a new "former Anglican" has to affirm to be accepted into the RCC, particularly as concerns the role of the pope. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I cannot expect that anything but total submission to RCC theories on this and other matters will be acceptable. Unless I am so surprised as to faint dead away, I do not expect the document to be acceptable as it stands. Thus, if it is considered a final offer that cannot be changed, and does not achieve the level of radical change in what RCC expects, the exercize is pointless. If, however, it can be so taken as to raise the talks another notch, then it is a good thing.

There do appear to be a large number of rather generous and somewhat unexpected provisions, especially if ++Hepworth's comment that future priest could be married is an actuality, but these are all disciplinary matters, and leave matters of real substance unattended to. The Note, at any rate, is quite clear in talking about conversion rather than reunion, a very disquieting thought.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

About married priests other than "converts" (read Pastoral Provisions) I find it logical to take Cardinal Levada's word for it; it will be restricted to "converts" already married, and not available to anyone else. That is what he actually came right out and said. if that contradicts Archbishop Hepworth, well then, his dispute is with the man speaking for the Vatican, not with me.

Andrew:

You seem to be misinformed about the historic Anglo-Catholic view of the papacy. None of the great Anglo-Catholic writers saw it differently from what I have said: The time for unity is not ripe while Rome continues to make inflated claims about its bishop's supposed authority and powers. Read any of them about the subject, such as Francis Hall, or E.L. Mascall near the end of Recovery of Unity. The inflated claims of the papacy were, in their eyes, an obstacle to unity that had to be dealt with in serious discussion with Rome. Their hope for Reunion was not unprincipled. The euphoria I am seeing from various Anglicans is quite unprincipled, and seems to be based on a very troubling degree of ignorance.

anthony said...

P.S. I was much edified by poetreader's comments, among others. Anthony

John A. Hollister said...

I must second what Ed Pacht wrote when he said, "I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I cannot expect that anything but total submission to RCC theories on this and other matters will be acceptable. Unless I am so surprised as to faint dead away, I do not expect the document to be acceptable as it stands. Thus, if it is considered a final offer that cannot be changed, and does not achieve the level of radical change in what RCC expects, the exercize is pointless."

An "Apostolic Constitution" is NOT an invitation to negotiations. It is a FINAL statement of the position Rome is taking upon the subject of that Constitution; that's why it's titled a "Constitution".

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Several times we have told not to prejudge, but to wait until the constitution comes out. It is fair to respond that we have been told enough by Cardinal Levada to be very much aware of what the main features will be, and responding to his official announcement is quite reasonable.

David Gould said...

It seems to me that we need to look at several things here.

The Holy Father's offer is incredibly generous and full of love, and indeed a measure of humility, because he is accepting that we Anglicans have gifts, charism, grace in that there is something worth preserving in what we do, believe and are.

I want to know what the Holy Father has to say to those of us who believe that Anglican Orders are apostolic, orthodox and canonically valid.

The Roman rite has priests who do not know how to observe basic decorum at the altar, who treat the Body of Our Lord with disrespect, who do not hold their fingers right to prevent dropping fragments, and they have their "lay - minister" - women included dispensing the sacrament. They have the cheek to say that we who treat the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ with such respect to be invalid.

The issue of the validity of our Orders is instrumental to me - vital to me. With them we are part of the Catholic Church. Without we are schismatic Protestant heretics.

Second, for as much as we Anglicans have forebears who have compromised the faith of the Fathers too much - the neo-Puritans etc and perhaps current evangelicals, the Roman rite surely has to answer for the Novus Ordo abortion of the mass, throwing away 2 millenia of eucharistic fasting, and essentially accommodating the faith to the secular world.

In the Eastern Orthodox we see the same fasting that Romans and most Anglicans observed before mass - a full fast from midnight. We see liturgical reluctance to modernise those ancient rites which need no modernisation whicxh is essentially the BCP line. You do not see Orthodox priests in cassock-albs with no amice eating ham sandwiches before hurriedly saying mass at which women special ministers administer the Blessed sacrament.

You do not see Orthodox nuns dressed as frumpy housewives, priests in open neck shirts and until recently one never saw an Anglican priest without clerical collar and many wore cassocks as street-wear.

Why did Anglicans re-ordain Protestant ministers seeking to join the Anglican Church and be priests? Because we have valid orders, and non-apostolic ecclesial communities do not.

Why does the ACC conditionally re-ordain? Because it is a small price to pay for certainty of our orders, certainty of apostolic succession and because we know our ecclesial truths.

The Anglican Church since the ordination of women has violated Catholic faith and order and relegated apostolic succession tainted and meaningless.

Thank God for the continuum wherein faithful bishops, priests, deacons and laity have preserved the faith and order that the heretical schismatics of the Canterbury Communion have violated. This is not something to hand over to the well-meaning Benedict because the Holy Father needs to understand that our orders in Roman terms may be irregular, but they are valid.