Friday, November 13, 2009

Baiticum et Switchorum

Unspinning the new constitution.

On a website of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) we find this report of Archbishop John Hepworth's address to the Forward in Faith people (with analysis):

The Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion addresses Forward in Faith. Here's a recap of what he said.

Archbishop Hepworth made a very successful speech praising the Holy Father's generosity, assuaging doubts and taking naysayers. He actively put the best possible face on the future for the delegates saying that they had be [sic] assured that they would be treated as Anglican Catholics, just as there are Roman, Ukranian, and Maronite Catholics--that while the ordinariates were not a rite, they looked an awfully lot like one. He said that they had been offered an ecclesial body for Anglicans that protects those crucial elements of spirituality, liturgy, theology, history, and discipline, that are part of the distinctive Anglican patrimony. He says that TAC national synods will be asked to begin voting their acceptance of the Holy Father's offer immediately.

Most importantly, Archbishop Hepworth assured the assembly that they would continue to be able to have married priests by way of dispensations which would be given generously. The early statements on this point were less clear than this. Obviously, this is a bombshell, not just for those gathered but for the entire Latin Rite. Progressive analysts had already seized on this point after the initial announcement of the apostolic constitution and we can count on much, much more being said in days to come.

Archbishop Hepworth had to reassure the assembly and those listening that this was what they had asked and prayed for for decades and now it had been generously given to them. To Catholics and to especially my fellow converts, since we often carry the biggest chips on our shoulders, who want to rage about the evils of Anglicanism and want people to come crawling, chastened, and cowed, remember that it is the Holy Father himself who has chosen to kill the fatted calf. It seems that the least we can all do is make merry. Reviewing the parable of the wages of the laborers in the vineyard might do us all some good.

___________

Analysis

Just how successful the TAC Archbishop' speech may have been in actually "assuaging doubts and taking [sic] naysayers" remains to be seen . This naysayer's doubts have been intensified by the spectacle of such bold spin. Let us examine this bit:

"He actively put the best possible face on the future for the delegates saying that they had been assured that they would be treated as Anglican Catholics, just as there are Roman, Ukranian, and Maronite Catholics--that while the ordinariates were not a rite, they looked an awfully lot like one."

Really? Do they indeed? The actual text of The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus has been released for everyone's observation, and the most obvious fact is that nothing whatsoever is guaranteed; the same old rules of the Pastoral Provisions and "Anglican" Use will be applied on a wider geographical scale, mainly in response to the longstanding request of the Forward in Faith United Kingdom (FiF/UK) people, with the additional strength of Ordinariates after the model of military Ordinariates for chaplaincies.

"In the light of these ecclesiological principles, this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner. This Constitution is completed by Complementary Norms issued by the Apostolic See.

"[Article]I. §1 Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church are erected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith within the confines of the territorial boundaries of a particular Conference of Bishops in consultation with that same Conference.

"§2 Within the territory of a particular Conference of Bishops, one or more Ordinariates may be erected as needed."

"§3 Each Ordinariate possesses public juridic personality by the law itself (ipso iure); it is juridically comparable to a diocese."

Overlooking the unintended offense of saying that Anglicans do not already belong to the Catholic Church (assuming they mean the Church mentioned in the same Creeds we say), these Personal Ordinariates, as described, do not in fact possess anything that comes from the ethos and principles of Anglicanism, and they do not allow for any of the distinctive elements of Anglicanism beyond one generation.

Getting back to Hepworth's speech, let us focus on these words:

"He said that they had been offered an ecclesial body for Anglicans that protects those crucial elements of spirituality, liturgy, theology, history, and discipline, that are part of the distinctive Anglican patrimony."

A comment on The Continuum by a reader identifying himself as Alan, summed up the reality of what may be expected, and I cannot improve on his summary:

"What this means for the average small parish thinking of accepting the offer is that the entire parish will no longer have autonomy.

*will begin Roman catechism for 2 years, their clergy will step down and become laymen and will have to complete their education if lacking before being able to serve anyone; your buildings, if any, will need to be disposed of.

*you will be directed to a local RC Diocese since ours are far flung and overlapping many RC dioceses in between.

*you will likely be directed to a local RC parish (100 families is the minimum standard for a RC parish) for worship in the early am.

* you will be somewhat segregated from the RC congregation.

* your priest if he can past muster will be counted on to do Vatican II services as directed by the local Bishop (so don't count on the level of pastoral care you had before.)

*your children will learn Roman Catholicism, you will die, the Roman Church will go on as before and that will be the end of that.

Evangelism ends with this offer. We have a charism that is distinct and we reach people Rome cannot. We also reach people the Protestant churches lose as well (sorry for the generic use of 'protestant')."

Let us be clear. Unlike the "uniates" and "rites," former Anglicans will not have their own church within the Church. They will will be absorbed, but with permission to use something different, but as of yet undefined.

Clerical celibacy

Let us focus on Archbishop Hepworth's own assurance about clerical celibacy:

"Most importantly, Archbishop Hepworth assured the assembly that they would continue to be able to have married priests by way of dispensations which would be given generously. The early statements on this point were less clear than this."

Why this is "most" important will have to remain a mystery. That it is utter hogwash is no mystery.

Some writers have zeroed in on Article VI §2.

"The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See."

Archbishop Hepworth promises that dispensations will be "given generously." Frankly, anyone familiar with the existing Pastoral Provisions (for example, this writer whose brother has served in the Roman Catholic Church under those very same Pastoral Provisions since 1996) sees nothing new. Furthermore, the language of Section One of Article VI is so clear that no excuse may be made for the spin by Hepworth and others:

"VI. §1 Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement In June are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1.(emphasis mine)"

Any man raised in a church that belongs to one of these Personal Ordinariates will be under the same rules as any man in the Latin Rite, i.e. the Roman Catholic Church. What part of "In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement In June are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1." does Archbishop Hepworth not understand?

His words, "Obviously, this is a bombshell, not just for those gathered but for the entire Latin Rite," are empty. To some degree the Pastoral Provisions were a bombshell; but this is not.

I was surprised by Hepworth's words: (Correction: We now know that the TAC website misreported this: These words were added by a blogger named Brother Stephen. whose opinions are a manifestation of poor education among former Anglicans. We blame the TAC website for the confusion, as they were supposedly reporting the words of their own Archbishop.) "To Catholics and to especially my fellow converts, since we often carry the biggest chips on our shoulders, who want to rage about the evils of Anglicanism and want people to come crawling, chastened, and cowed, remember that it is the Holy Father himself who has chosen to kill the fatted calf."

This is a telling admission by someone to whom only a Roman Catholic is a Catholic. He is admitting to a chip on the shoulder, and some notion he calls "the evils of Anglicanism."

The time will come for questions to be raised about why Abp. Hepworth, a former RC priest, twice-married, having no chance of functioning in the ordained ministry under the terms of this constitution, is selling a package that will require his retirement. Questions about financial accountability in the TAC will also rise to the surface. For now, it is simply time to stop the spin.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hepworth has always publicaly stated that the TAC recruited him, which is of course true. He is also well known on public record to be glad to accept retirement if it comes to that in order to fulfill the mandate of unity with Rome that he was given by his colleagues.

The real issue is that this AC is not what people wanted- I suspect people were hoping for a Uniate type arrangement, not this rubbish.

In other words, the TAC made a rod for its own back when it went down this path in the first place.

While I don't agree with all the speculation about what life for an Anglican would be like under a Papal Ordinariate (it is far too early to say such things), one thing is for sure, the pros (like not being short of a dollar) don't seem to outweight the cons (like having to deal with the interference of Roman bishops) Then again, if they're just exchanging one gang of cowboys for another, what would be the difference?

Not for me.

RC Cola said...

Related to the agreement, from a British RC perspective.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0000491.shtml

At this point it is clear that the offer is not meant to entice dyed-in-the-wool Anglicans (i.e. the ACC), but only to accept those Anglicans who have asked for reunion.
If the apostolic constitution does not have provisions that would have made the ACC happy it is because the ACC did not ask for anything or make its wishes known. Perhaps if the ACC had been in on this project and asked for a reversal of Apostolicae Curae, married priests, a review and revision of Vatican I's declaration on Papal Infallibility, etc., then perhaps there would have been something in the constitution for us. But seeing as we had nothing to do with it, we are basically just "fizzing" on someone else's birthday cake.

Now if the ACC approaches Rome with our laundry list of what it would take to achieve full unity and we got this apostolic constitution, and we're given the song-and-dance, then we should be denouncing the deal. But as for the TAC deal, it's not our business. Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

"Questions about financial accountability in the TAC will also rise to the surface."

Mr Hart, if you are going to throw stones, then provide the evidence, otherwise do the decent thing and don't make comments that you are unable to substantiate.

Cerub said...

Oh dear! The myopia of American Anglicanism rules. The Pastoral Provision is quite different from what is being offered here. In any case, Archbishop Hepworth is n outstanding man and deserves better from you than this. That he is willing to step aside for the greater good speaks very well for him, whether or not you agree that what he is doing for the greater good. And veiled references to "financial irregularities" are defamagtory and you should not engage in that sort of thing on a public blog.
There is still a long way to go with all of this and I would still counsel "hold your fire!" Fr Hart and those who tink like him will not enter the new Ordinariate. Others will. Let us just wait and see. Cultural issues are not the most important thing. Truth is. So let us discuss that - and those Anglicans like Archbishop Hepworth can get on with what they want to do. I know you and Poetreader think the TAC bihops won't carry the laity with them. Whether or not that is true in America, I cannot say. But the US Anglicans continue to be small beer, especially as compared to the numbers of members of the TAC in India and Africa. Just as US Episcoplains (all 2.5 million of them), have proved to be spoilers where the Anglican Communion is concerned, so it seems to me that Fr Hart and his few former PECUSA members is doing its best to continue the US American Episcopalian tradition of being a spoiler in terms of Anglo-Roman reunion.

Fr. D. said...

"He says that TAC national synods will be asked to begin voting their acceptance of the Holy Father's offer immediately."

Hmm, immediately? Why? I may be all wet here and confess that I have never been a member of the TAC, however, unless my political instincts have waned I ask: Will their House of Bishops vote to accept? Perhaps, but not unanimously; the House of Clergy: some, but not a majority; the House of Laity: overwhelming no vote.
Not scientific, but I think a reasonable guess.
FWIW,
Fr. D.

Anonymous said...

I like the part about "disposing" of Anglican real estate. Sure do hope the market improves by the time they start selling off those lovely buildings.
LKW

Fr. John said...

This blog and some of the writers here are getting a pretty bad rap on a few of the traditionalists RC blogs, especially one in particular that is run by a former Anglican priest turned Roman Catholic. I do understand their frustration with us however.
We should try and cooperate with each other to the extent possible since in our hearts we hold almost the same attitudes and beliefs about God's holy church. Tactics are where we disagree. The mission is the same. Let us try and remember that.
Let us all take a step back for a moment and try and look objectively at what is laid out before us. We all desire a "positive ecumenism", as JPII called it, but we define that differently. An honest sit down discussion of what constitutes "positive ecumenism is what should be called for, but it hasn't been. So the AC is what it is, and this is the offer from Rome, take it or leave it. Fair enough.
Archbishop Hepworth,in his speech to the UK FiF, has interpreted the AC to say what he wants it to say. For the purposes of argument let's assume that his interpretation turns out to be correct. The current Pope is a nice guy, he is a faithful Christian, he wants to restore his branch of the Church to health. He would like the help of faithful Christians in the EO churches and the faithful remnant of the Anglican world. I am sympathetic to the Pope and wish him success in his effort to reform the Roman Catholic Church. I wish that I were in a position to help him in his house cleaning. The Roman Churches in America, Britain, and the Netherlands are particularly corrupted. As a long time reader of the "National Catholic Register" newspaper I know how intense the struggle has been in the fight to maintain orthodoxy in the RC Church. The same powers that corrupted and perverted the Episcopal Church, and let us be blunt about it, the Episcopal Church is a rancid whore now, are powerfully and busily at work undermining the institutions of the RC Church.
One small reminder, just two or three years ago there was a major story about Roman seminaries in America in "News Week" magazine, the Rector of St. John's Seminary, when asked about the number of gays in his school, gushed that he estimated that 70% of his seminarians were gay, then added, "isn't that wonderful."
Some people have compared the Roman offer to the rescue of a sinking ship by a sea worthy one, but I see large holes in the side of the ship of our would be rescuers.
The AC is what it is, to borrow a popular phrase, taken at its face value it must be seen as placing all the cards in the hands of the papacy. Read it again carefully word for word and then tell me if you disagree. My experience with U.S. federal legislation, and the AC is a legal document, is that promises of language not meaning what it plainly says is a fool's hope. We here in America have been burned over and over again, by believing liberals and mushy conservatives when they tell us that a certain bill won't do what it plainly says it will.
We have been given unsolicited advice from those already across the Tiber that we should shut up and let people make up their own minds about this offer. "Good for some, not for others, no more rubber necking needed, nothing to see here." type of advice. This is a poor substitute for debate on the merits and probable outcomes of the acceptance of this AC. It reflects a desire on the part of those who write such things to accept the offer with the assurances given by Archbishop Hepworth as accurate. However, Archbishop, soon to be Mister, Hepworth, will have no say in how the AC is applied and interpreted.
(continued in next post)

Fr. John said...

Again, read the AC carefully, the pope gets to make all the decisions, the questions of married priests and what liturgy will be used are entirely within his hands. You may trust this pope, but what about the next one?
So why the advice to us on this blog to move along? The American based ACA parishes were ACC parishes until seriously misled in another ecumenical adventure we call Deerfield Beach. We all know how that turned out. Now the same leadership is off on another adventure without so much as a by your leave from the rest of the Continuum. Dare anyone say that we do not have the right, nay the duty, to warn our fellow continuing Anglicans that to set foot on the so called "rescue ship" could extinguish their existence as Anglican Catholics, and even more seriously destroy their ability to resist the powers of darkness that have engulfed the Episcopal Church, and threaten to engulf the Roman Catholic Church, especially here in the U.S.?
While I do want to help General Custer to get out of the trap he has let himself be led into, I cannot allow my command to be destroyed in an attempt to rescue him.
I can't help but think that the chatter on the left wing RC blogs is correct. The Pope is looking for reinforcements to come into the Alamo. We know that the Alamo is going to fall. What good is accomplished by our destroying the Continuum in some kind of meaningless gesture?
We warn and advise now, so that later we will not have to say,"we tried to tell them, they wouldn't listen."

The veriword is: lizedom (no kidding!)

acalayreader said...

Fr John,

Interesting observation about Deerfield Beach. I wonder if anyone "re-ordained" at Deerfield Beach is now lining up to be "re-ordained" into the RC Church.

Anonymous said...

Of the number of TAC/ACA clergy who give lip service to this concept (mouthing the same old ecumenical platitudes as the National Council of Churches, Consul-tation on Church Union, and other pan-Protestant merger schemes), it will be interesting to see how many can pass muster with the requirements of RC Canon Law, as emphatically stated in A.C. For all its problems in the past several decades, Rome has remained pretty firm in educational requirements. A bishop who is not a college or seminary graduate might run into difficulties, no matter how many times he can say "John 17!" Back in the era when the so-called "Pastoral Provision" was unveiled in the mid 80's, I recall one dear old fellow (a truly heroic priest, btw, now with the Lord) who really wanted to go for it. But after a couple of interviews with his local Roman chancery, he rediscovered his love for Anglicanism. When Rome learns how much reality is in those claims of 400,000 or is it 700,000, or is it 500,000, adherents, there could be a cooling off period.
LKW

poetreader said...

I got up this morning and opened my machine to find this article. My initial reaction to the title was, to say the least, extremely negative, since, as is well known, I dislike stridency. It also seems to be assuming to know the archbishop's motives, which is something beyond our ken.

However, on more sober thought I have to recognize that this title is more than a little appropriate, not necessarily in is expressing what is intended, but definitely in expressing the actual effect. I'm a member of ACA, thus of TAC, and, while I refuse to get into interjurisdictional arguments, I am a member of ACA rather than of another jurisdiction by choice. That, I think, gives me the cachet to speak strongly as I shall.

This is NOT bait and switch on the part of Rome. I believe this is an honest response on their part to what they thought was being asked by Hepworth and the other bishops. Since their experience is of a church in which all decisions are made from above, they were perhaps somewhat ignorant, but certainly not reprehensible in assuming that Anglicans operate the same way. We don't. Hepworth and the bishops took upon themselves to operate in secrecy while giving assurances that what was sought was intercommunion, neither conversion nor absorption. They had no such assurance from Rome, and the current documents make it quite clear that what is presented is both conversion and absorption.

(to be continued)

poetreader said...

I'm rather surprised that no one has seized upon Hepworth's reference to "fellow converts", indicating that he indeed thinks of himself as a convert, as having already moved from one religion to another. Since the terms of the Constitution appear to require the dismantling of his jurisdiction if its people are to enter the RCC, and a tacit submission (at least) to Rome's denial of Anglican sacramental validity, that leads me to ask what business the man has ministering at all in his present role, as a "former Anglican" in an "ecclesial community" judged by the church he is entering to be "invalid".

I have not trusted Archbishop Hepworth from almost the day he because Primate, but I have held my peace. Scripture is clear enough about respect for the "powers that be", but when they become destructive, one must speak out. With all due respect I have to hold him accountable for the wrong direction he has been leading.

I am thankful for Article XXVI Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments. It is not the leadership alone that determines what is truth or what in essence the church fellowship may be. Thank God, for that would make Christian life untenable.

If that summary indeed is a faithful representation of what Hepworth had to say, then Fr. Hart's comments on it are spot on, and perhaps on the mild side.

I still love my jurisdiction, but I fear it is in the process of being destroyed by a misguided leadership, and am waiting, rather uncomfortably, to see what will be left. I know I do speak for many in proclaiming that this deal is unacceptable. When the dust clears, some will have gone into what I can only see as an unfortunate bondage, but something will be left. What will become of it, and of Continuing Anglicansim generally? God knows. I certainly don't. Just maybe it will prove to be a goad to bring continuers into a kind of unity that has never really existed among us. I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath. These are not happy times. May they yet become so.

As an aside. Allegations of financial "irregularity" are accurate. This does NOT imply dishonesty or cupidity, but perhaps no more than mismanagement. However, Certain funds have been used in ways that were not precisely intended, and certain funds have been depleted to the detriment of what it was thought they were meant for, and certain changes have been made in an attempt to deal with these admitted problems.

BTW, Fr. John's analysis is rather good. However, in the present situation, so many have their mind so strongly made up that they must 'convert', I find it unprofitable to argue much with them. Let them go and do what they must do, and leave us alone to pick up the pieces and figure out how to get back to doing what God has called us to do.

We need unity, but not this imitation of unity.

ed

charles said...

I actually agree with Fr. John. I really wish TAC the best.

I think the people who are inclined to leave for Rome need to be cut loose. It sounds like TAC has seized being Anglican a long time ago, and trying to cling to them only harms our identity. Our number one problem, in my opinion, is Anglican catechism. Letting Papists depart makes the latter easier. That being said, it's important to begin catechism when and where possible, so future anglicans know why they are in the Continuum/prayer book churches, etc..

It's not a lot of work. Just use the 'office of instruction' in the 1928 prayer book, and back it up with a classical exposition on the catechism as well as 39 Articles. My fiance and a friend are studying catechesis together, and are using such supplementary resources, passing out photocopies, etc.

Meanwhile, the anglo-papists are probably needed more in the RC where they can at least bolster conservative numbers. There is a parallel war against liberals there, and I hope the RC traditionalists win! Though I sound heartless, my prayers are truly with them, and I know our futures are tied together in the long haul.

What is so scary is how seminaries/universities, time and time again, are the root of the cancer. I've heard similar complaints in a number of denominations.

Who controls the seminary???!!! What happens if you expel someone for 'notorious wickedness', say practicing homosexuality? Do you loose your IRS status?

sincerely,
charles

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought:

Lets say your church is actively engaged in evangelism, you have a good number of people ready and desirous of Confirmation, the Bishop comes and confirms and then announces that he wants everybody to accept the A.C.

Now all those souls whom he just confirmed must come to the conclusion that the Bishop is either a fraud or a nut job because they were told they must be Confirmed in order to rightly receive Communion and now being told, more or less, it was all a hoax, including the Sacrament of HC, because they must be unconditionally reconfirmed by Rome in order to be Catholic and the clergy reordained.

Put yourselves in that spot- what would you do? I'd leave never to return.

I am sorry but if you are saying your not ordained you have no authority to do anything much less suggest we all go lock, stock, and barrel to Rome.

If a Bishop were to announce in our church that he intended to join the AC and become RC, I'd have to politely stop him and escort him to the door. Because at that moment I would consider his intent to signify abandonment of his See and he would be declaring himself to be a layman thus having no authority whatsoever to continue in any way shape or form.



Alan

poetreader said...

Fair enough, Charles, but please remember that we Anglicans do not (unlike Rome) define the hierarchy as being the Church. That is Hepworth's apparent failure to be Anglican.

ACA has not ceased being Anglican, though one might justly say that of some of its hierarchs. Rome may be surprised at how may of our people and their clergy do not take the bait. This is going to be very messy and difficult for those who do not, but we are as much ACA as those who depart. More so, actually as we will be continuing what they will have abandoned.

ed

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Can anyone make reason for continuing the separation between the ACA and ACC after the TAC splits? If our bishops go, what reason do we have for a separate jurisdiction?

If they express intent to convert that is the end of the ACA as they cannot hold both intent to laicize and be bishops at the same time. Once they have decided to step down they are in fact laity. Intention is everything!

Both layman and Bishop: cognitive dissonance in the extreme!


Alan

Canon Tallis said...

Ed wrote: "The current Pope is a nice guy, he is a faithful Christian, he wants to restore his branch of the Church to health."

If that were actually so, why would he have elevated Levada, allowed the Vatican to shelter Cardinal Law and not expelled and handed over the priests working in the Vatican who are wanted by various American legal jurisdictions? Nice guys don't behave in that manner.

Ed also wrote that Rome does not understand understand that Anglicanism does not work in the same way. I beg to disagree. Rome nows a good deal more about Anglicans and Anglicanism than the average Anglican will ever know, much less understand, about Rome. I have spent enough time drink with Jesuits to know that.

And lastly, a 'shout out' and hearty 'Amen' to what Alan wrote.

Veriword: "inand"
Veriword: "epellise"

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I am not now nor have I ever been a member of any Anglican communion. However, as “side line” observer, I would if, what the TAC wanted from Rome was more on the lines of how Roman views the Eastern & Oriental Churches or the “inter-communion” status Roman gave and took back from the Polish National Catholic Church, who at the time of Romans giving were on the same exploratory road as the Anglican Constitution speaks too, hum? In the end, the PNC was presented with basically the same principles as this Anglican Constitution; they rejected it and then Rome rejected the temp “inter-communion” status they had offered. Of course I’m certain that was offered because Roman acknowledges that the PNC has Valid Holy Orders.

Father Yohannes

Nathan said...

"This is going to be very messy and difficult for those who do not (take the bait), but we are as much ACA as those who depart. More so, actually as we will be continuing what they will have abandoned."

A most revealing observation.

'dingin'
Nathan

leoxiii said...

I very much appreciate the post by "RC Cola." A little charity and fraternal spirit in these comment boxes goes a long way, when every other poster mocks the "papists" and our dark designs.

That the AC was a pastoral response to a specific petition (or group of petitions) is perfectly clear. That the TAC (and FiF/UK) has already been in discussions with Rome is also clear; certainly no one who reads this blog was in the dark, as TAC-Rome dialogue was one of the worst-kept secrets for the better part of a decade.

It is also manifestly clear that the AC was not offered to the Anglican Catholic Church, or to the UECNA, or to any other Anglican group that had not already petitioned Rome. Why go out of your way to throw an invitation back in someone's face when you weren't even on the guest list and no one asked you to RSVP? At least Akinola managed to politely decline the Pope's offer without resorting to scorn or epithets.

As for the chances that Anglican traditions have of surviving under the terms of the AC: There's no reason to automatically assume the very worst. First, the AC itself is an expansion of the earlier Pastoral Provision; so further canonical developments in a positive direction are not entirely out of the question. Second, consider the wonderful example of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. The FSSP was founded as a "society of apostolic life" -- not even a religious order -- back in 1988. Hardline RC traditionalists sniffed that FSSP clergy would be forced to celebrate Novus Ordo Masses every week; that the Fraternity itself was a dupe meant to lure real trads into Bugnini Land; that the remnants of traditional Catholicism would never survive under the "Ecclesia Dei" commission. In fact, none of the dire predictions came to pass. The FSSP continued to grow, both in terms of clergy and lay supporters; its sphere of influence grew with it; and now we have Summorum Pontificum, the realization of so many dreams back in 1988.

I have real hope for the future of the AC.

Joe Oliveri

Mark VA said...

From the Roman/Traditionalist perspective:

Poetreader:

Please allow for one small correction. You wrote that Roman Catholics "define the hierarchy as being the Church".

The Roman Catholic definition of "Church", in a very compressed form originating with Paul, is "the Body of Christ". In one of his documents, Pope John Paul II, offered these words on what Church is:

"The Church is indeed the sign of the salvation accomplished by Christ and meant for all human beings through the work of the Holy Spirit. The sign is visible; the Church, as the community of God's people, has a visible character. The sign is also efficacious, inasmuch as belonging to the Church obtains for people union with Christ and all the graces necessary for salvation."

I can count at least six points Pope John Paul II is making here, and in my view, they don't necessarily resolve to the formula "hierarchy=Church". I think we're taking about the distinction between what the essence of the Church is, and how it's governed.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned Cardinal Levada... I have to ask what was Rome thinking?

If part of this offer is the RCC ending up with some extra clergy to fill in their diminished ranks and possibly offer disaffected Romans (due to the molestation scandals and I know a bunch that have left and are now 'barking prots') a way back into the tent, why in the world would you put the fellow in charge of hiding the perverts in charge of this?
If in fact anyone in the US takes the offer and if in fact former Romans pay a visit do you think they will stay once they;ve discovered Levada's hand in it?

I doubt it. I'm just a layman (or is that 'one of the faithful') but I suspect these questions are on the minds of many of my peers.

Alan

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub wrote:

The myopia of American Anglicanism rules. The Pastoral Provision is quite different from what is being offered here.

Really? Explain the differences then, and leave out no details.

But the US Anglicans continue to be small beer, especially as compared to the numbers of members of the TAC in India and Africa

The estimates we have been given on that are made up from whole cloth.

...a spoiler in terms of Anglo-Roman reunion.

Reunion? Surrender is the better word.

Ed wrote:

This is NOT bait and switch on the part of Rome.

I was analyzing the speech of ++Hepworth, not the "offer" from Rome, which I have already called "charitable" and "well intended" a dozen times.

I believe this is an honest response on their part to what they thought was being asked by Hepworth and the other bishops.

Actually, a response primarily to FiF/UK.

Hepworth and the bishops took upon themselves to operate in secrecy while giving assurances that what was sought was intercommunion, neither conversion nor absorption. They had no such assurance from Rome, and the current documents make it quite clear that what is presented is both conversion and absorption.

In terms of bait and switch, the speech by ++Hepworth is further baiting.

Since the terms of the Constitution appear to require the dismantling of his jurisdiction if its people are to enter the RCC, and a tacit submission (at least) to Rome's denial of Anglican sacramental validity, that leads me to ask what business the man has ministering at all in his present role, as a "former Anglican" in an "ecclesial community" judged by the church he is entering to be "invalid".

I wish I had said that. Brilliant point.

LeoXiii (whose handle is obviously a way of flipping us a dove of peace) wrote:

Why go out of your way to throw an invitation back in someone's face when you weren't even on the guest list and no one asked you to RSVP?

They addressed all wannabe former Anglicans, so we have to make sure our own folks are not deceived,and don't want to be. We are our brother's keepers, including those who have the Deerfield Beach debacle in their own history.

First, the AC itself is an expansion of the earlier Pastoral Provision; so further canonical developments in a positive direction are not entirely out of the question.

As I am tired of telling people like "Cherub." But, in place of "positive" I would say, "international."

Mark Va wrote:

Please allow for one small correction. You wrote that Roman Catholics "define the hierarchy as being the Church".

I believe Ed may claim poetic license. We all know what he meant.

leoxiii said...

In the interest of dismissing any notion that my handle is, in Fr. Hart's words, "obviously a way of flipping us a dove of peace": At least some of your readers here may know me from other Anglo-Roman fora, where I have used this handle for many years for the sake of consistency. At the York Forum, for example (which I am proud to say is even listed in your blogroll), where I am moderator, it's been my handle since 2003 (when the forum was created). Before that, I had used it on a similar forum for 2-3 years.

I settled on "leoxiii," not as a snarky insult, but simply because of my interest in the Anglican Orders controversy -- which I have studied on and off since reading the late Michael Davies' The Order of Melchisedech as a teenager twenty years ago. And that is the only reason. It is meant to suggest to the reader that I am at least somewhat conversant in the terms of the debate.

I only want to clarify this because I have many good friends in the Continuum -- in the ACA/TAC, UECNA, ACCA, ACCC, and elsewhere. I have enjoyed many spirited debates on the subject of Anglican Orders over the years; and my friends could attest that our discussions have always been marked by a spirit of friendly brotherhood.

Joe Oliveri

poetreader said...

Yes, MarkVA, you are of course right in that my choice of "defined" was not accurate, and the official teaching is far closer to the Scriptural model. In practice, however, the Roman Church acts as though only the hierarchy counts. Anglicans are a different breed altogether.
That was my point. OK?

ed

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola wrote, "If the apostolic constitution does not have provisions that would have made the ACC happy it is because the ACC did not ask for anything or make its wishes known."

Strictly speaking, this is not true. Some years ago, at the active solicitation of the senior Roman Catholic metropolitan in a traditionally Roman Catholic country where the ACC maintains a presence, the Acting Primate of the ACC wrote officially to Rome, asking to **begin** the sort of dialogue that the Polish National Catholic Church has been pursuing there for more than thirty years.

No response to this letter has ever been received, not even an acknowledgement of its receipt. I have heard that knowledgeable insiders determined that some low-level functionary quite literally tossed the letter in the trash basket, but of course have no personal knowledge of what might actually have happened behind the closed door of a Vatican office....

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Leoxiii wrote:

I settled on "leoxiii," not as a snarky insult, but simply because of my interest in the Anglican Orders controversy --

I apologize. I was not aware that it was meant as self-deprecating humor.

Anonymous said...

This was in interesting thread until someone mentioned Deerfield Beach. If the ACC really want to play on the big stage I'd say that it's time to put that well worn and very irrelevant topic behind and move on to being concerned with things Christians actually are supposed to be concerned with.

The world does not revolve around American Anglicanism, nor will it ever, nor should it. Many people living abroad consider American religion to be the cause of all this nonsense, so when people start pontificating on the world stage from the tiny congregations associated with American Continuing Anglicanism they do look rather daft the rest of the planet. Not to mention they are being taken seriously less and less every year.

Now is the time to move forward, not linger on silly arguments about juristictions like the EO.

Anonymous said...

One thing is clear at the end of the day- and someone touched on it but no one is really talking about it- who is going to receive the former members of congregations that enter into the Ordinariate who have refused to go?

I think we all have to ask ourselves whether or not our congregations are charitable, Christ-like and nurturing enough to open a hand to those who may well become refugees yet again.

I have heard TAC laity who are not happy with the AC say that they will have no place to go because they won't go to such-and-such communion because of some reason or another. I have to admit that they have good points as to why they wouldn't go either to Rome or another Anglican juristiction as well. Are congregations ready to convince these very good people that they are safe in their midst and welcome them and their gifts into their fellowship?

Oh- poetreader, you have written well and I agree with your points. Well said. Same goes for cerub.

T

David Gould said...

I do not read deprecation of the Roman Catholic offer to continuing Anglicans in Fr. Hart's writings. Fr. Hart comes from the position of a robust defense of the Catholic and Apostolic validity of Anglican (Catholic) orders and sacraments. That position derives from the clear understanding that the Church of England remained the same Catholic Church of the English peoples that it always was.

For Anglican Catholics, what Archbishop Hepworth, the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion proposes is indeed anathema to those of us who know that our orders and sacraments are valid.

I do not know the mind of Archbishop Hepworth and perhaps it is easy for a Roman to swim the Tiber again, make his confession and be restored to the Latin Church.

For his priests who to this day celebrate mass, hear confessions and preach the Word, relegation to lay status with no conditional reordination, let alone acceptance of orders must be very hard to swallow.

Perhaps those TAC bishops and priests who are going to swim the Tiber and therefore accept the end of their priestly and episcopal ministries, they should be handing the pastoral care of their laity over to those priests and bishops who do not doubt their own orders, and who intend to stay Anglican, at least that is until the Roman Church recognizes our orders and offers Anglicans a meaningful Anglican rite patriarchate.

Those TAC priests and laity who do not want to swim the Tiber, at least right now, should gather together, pray and join with the ACC, UECNA or APCK. Of the three jurisdictions, it is only the Anglican Catholic Church that is truly worldwide, as I can testify from the far flung island mission in Tasmania,about as far from St. Louis as you can get.

The bottom line is this. If you accept the validity of your orders and sacraments, if you truly value the Anglican patrimony is Rome the place to be, right now?

Roman traditionalists, who value reverent liturgy, who adhere to Biblical morality, who value priests dressed as priests and nuns in habits are in a minority, at least in the USA, Australia and the west.

Lip service to orthodoxy, priests in awful cassock-albs, people standing for communion from women "special eucharistic ministers", churches that look Protestant...... the list goes on and on in the modern Roman Church.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

What I said was "We are our brother's keepers, including those who have the Deerfield Beach debacle in their own history." If that charitable and forgiving comment is to be seen as evil, mean-spirited and divisive, then truly for some there is no hope at all. No one anywhere defends what happened back then; the obvious point is to heal the wound. And, that this was the meaning of my comment is also obvious.

Some anonymous hit and run driver wrote:

Many people living abroad consider American religion to be the cause of all this nonsense, so when people start pontificating on the world stage from the tiny congregations associated with American Continuing Anglicanism they do look rather daft the rest of the planet. Not to mention they are being taken seriously less and less every year.

I can see why someone making so asinine a comment would choose to remain anonymous. To blame us in the CC for the apostasy in the Canterbury Communion is completely unjust.

Also, every church body has a few tiny congregations; I do not know what constitutes "tiny." We have some congregations with well over three hundred,and some with no more than twenty. The church here in Chapel Hill has grown from about 70 to about 90 in the few months I have been here.

As for how seriously we are taken, the ACC is growing in various countries, and I assure you we are taken very seriously in India, South Africa, Haiti, the Sudan, etc.

T wrote:

I have heard TAC laity who are not happy with the AC say that they will have no place to go because they won't go to such-and-such communion because of some reason or another. I have to admit that they have good points as to why they wouldn't go either to Rome or another Anglican jurisdiction as well.

So, what do they plan to do? Stay home, forsake the Church, refuse the sacraments, watch TV and be bitter? Everything I was told about the ACC before I met the people in it, and learned the facts, was a flat out lie, often repeated by someone who truly believed it. I suggest that some people find out for themselves what I have learned.

poetreader said...

I'm not going to do jurisdiction bashing here. I consider it desperately wrong, but Father, you have heard things from me that are first hand observations, and serve as reasons that I prefer to be where I am rather than in ACC. Whether you believe me or not, and whether my observation is accurate or not, I am speaking truth just as I have seen it. I do not take kindly to being told that everything you've heard is a flat out lie, for that would include me. Perhaps you have heard some untruths. So have I, from both sides and against both sides. But to make as sweeping a statemnt as that is to come perilously close to false witness.
Please try to avoid such hurtful hyperbole.

We're on the same side, and may be together in one jurisdicition in the not distant future, but comments of that nature make it harder to face that possibility and tend to confirm the poor impression I have, which could be inaccurate, and which I hope is wrong

ed

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Hart has kindly testified to his reversal of opinion and, implicitly, to the reality of his welcome, once he found himself actually within that (gasp!) narrow, legalistic, naval-gazing, self-absorbed, Anglican Catholic Church.

At our Provincial Synod, there were in attendance several former ACA/TAC priests -- four spring immediately to mind both by face and by name, including the Priest in Charge of the host Parish -- who could give similar testimonies that they were not actually required to sacrifice their first-born or abjure their mothers-in-law upon their joining us.

(A much more modest conditional Deed of Trust upon the first-born usually suffices instead. If there is no first-born, then a draft choice may often be arranged.)

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Excuse me; the negative things I have heard have been flat out lies except for Ed's unpleasant experiences with certain individuals in the ACC. I am sure someone really did behave rudely, and that is a shame.

Canon Tallis said...

I will take a back seat to no one in my dislike if not actual hatred for the dreaded cassock albs, but I have come to have a great delight in the necessary (for us) revival of the most ancient custom of receiving communion standing. Truth be told, I have reached the conclusion that kneeling for prayers that are actually acts of praise needs to be abandoned and the customs of the earliest Christians revived among us wherever possible.

Perhaps another primitive custom that needs to be revived is the very, very old one of actually loving one another. I know that what is coming is going to be very hard on some. I myself remember how terrifying it was to realize that I was no longer going to be able to worship in the Episcopal Church and faced a life of reading the offices with my family and then alone. St Louis was an assurance to me that there was a family of Christians waiting for me and if some of the clergy, especially the bishops did much to make it difficult, if not entirely ruinous, then there was charity among the laity to make each passage possible and less frightening. That, in the times to come, is a task that we must all embrace and hopefully find as a great joy.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman/Traditionalist perspective:

Poetreader:

You just know that "In practice, however, the Roman Church acts as though only the hierarchy counts". All right then.

Sometimes, I do wish that was so...

Fr. John said...

I have no qualms about saying, beware! These are the same ACA leaders who brought you Deer Field Beach. I also believe that the fact that this will be the the third, and in some cases fourth ordination, for some of these gentlemen is a telling fact.

The Deer Field Beach consecrations did untold damage to the Anglican Catholic Church. Where would the ACC be now if we had accepted that abortion?

Now the same leadership has another bright idea that will inflict further damage on the continuum.

I am not being divisive, or mean spirited when I point this out.

The leadership of the ACA/TAC has been a failure on many levels. Now they are on a suicide mission that will wreck the ACA.

When I read "Archbishop" Hepworth's spin on the AC, I see deception at worst, incompetent leadership at best, and no regard for the desires of the clergy and laity of the ACA.

What is divisive, or mean spirited with my highlighting the leadership failures of the bishops of the ACA? Once again, like Deer Field Beach, they have chosen a course that further divides the Continuum, and will once again undergo ordination.

Someone wrote that the American Churches look "rather daft when they start pontificating," and that they are taken less and less seriously every year.

Let me point out that what looks really daft is the bishops of the ACA/TAC getting themselves re-ordained every several years, that is an action that clearly destroys their credibility, and by association ours.

If these gentlemen are not real bishops, priests, and deacons by now, after so many ordinations, why follow them?

To those who say,"let us speak of the things that really matter to Christians," my response is that nothing is more important to the Church than the apostolic succession. The blasphemy that was committed at Deer Field Beach is about to be repeated.

You read right, blasphemy.

Fr. John said...

And what will the Vatican think of those multiple ordinations? They will say,"It doesn't matter, because none of them were valid anyway."

But I know that at least one was, and so do they.

Anonymous said...

C'mon guys, it's crunch time and we have to get past this somehow. Anonymous T brought up an extremely important point which has just been lost again -

Where will the ACA/TAC laity go when their parishes are turned over to the RCC and they are left behind??

I know one man in particular, whom, with all respect and affection, I call our own 'fisher of men' who will be gathering in the lost sheep, but this is going to require the resources of more than that.

Look, we are all human, and even on our best days we fail; we mess up; we offend other people; we get offended and refuse to get over it.

This needs to stop. Please, whatever the divisions are (or have been), can you not confess, apologize and forgive?

There are about to be broken parishes and homeless souls, and it's vitally important that our churches, all of them as 'one', regardless of affiliation, extend the hand of Christian love and salvation to those whose church homes split apart as some go to Rome and the rest do not.

H1940

John A. Hollister said...

I have no doubt Ed did suffer rudeness and/or thoughtlessness at the hands of someone, somewhere in the ACC, for which I am heartily sorry. I hope he will accept my apologies, extended (unofficially but nonetheless sincerely) on behalf of my church home.

All church groups contain at least a few such people; we are, after all, hospitals for sinners, not hostels for saints. So while such memories may legitimately color our reactions to paricular congregations, and of course will affect our feelings about actually attending those congregations, they should not be used to paint an entire jurisdiction or communion.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola gave the link to an article by Fr. Rear in "The Catholic Herald".

At least on the facts of history, it was surprisingly accurate, bar the anacronism of treating Papal Infallibility as a devisive issue in the 17th Century. That it could hardly have been, because Rome had not yet, and for another nearly 300 years would not yet, tie its ship to that insecure bollard.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

As for the first comment on this thread by Anonymous I can say that Canadian Anglican Catholics were told by their Bishops that their goal was to advance the efforts at Church reunion which had stalled after the invention of women priests.We were assured that their intent was to approach Rome as a sister Church and that submission to Rome or absorption by her was not at all what they had in mind. Somewhere along the way TAC's College Of Bishops embarked on the misadventure which resulted in Rome's offer of the Apostolic Constitution.I don't think Rome can be accused of Bait And Switch but as for the TAC'S Bishops I can only say that they have alienated many and will see a large exodus of their people to other groups who subscribe to the Affirmation Of St.Louis.

Anonymous said...

As for the second comment by Anonymous on this thread there are,no doubt, questions about financial accountability in the TAC.Please note that having questions about financial accountability does not imply that those mishandling the TAC'S finances are dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Re : Cerub's "Oh dear!The myopia of American Anglicanism".I hope Cerub's view does not spring from a sort of Anti-Americanism.That being said he makes a point which many outside the borders of the USA find valid.The scandal of disunity amongst the Continuing Churches in America has hurt not only themselves but the whole Continuum.I do not concur with his estimation of ++John and I second Poetreader's view that most of the laity want nothing to do with the Apostolic Constitution. A united Continuum in America would not be small beer!I would urge Cerub to not only question the way TAC's finances are handled but also examine their various and wildly exaggerated claims of membership.In any event as someone
who enjoys the occasional glass of stout or ale:a small glass of good beer beats a big glass of lousy beer any day!

Anonymous said...

Poetreader is correct when he says "the ACA has not ceased being Anglican though one might justly say that some of her heirarchs have".I also agree with Anonymous who responded to Poetreader's comment that once those of the ACA's leadership and those who would follow them into Rome's Ordinariate have made their move then there remains no satisfactory justification for the separation of the ACA and the ACC.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Folks, could we create handles or use names? I can't tell if the last string of anonymice were one person or several.

Albion Land said...

Why not just revert to the old policy of not posting messages that have no signature?

'suplist'

John A. Hollister said...

To the Anonymous who wrote, "Canadian Anglican Catholics ... will see a large exodus of their people to other groups who subscribe to the Affirmation Of St.Louis", I can only respond, "Welcome home."

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

David Gould said:

For Anglican Catholics, what Archbishop Hepworth, the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion proposes is indeed anathema to those of us who know that our orders and sacraments are valid.

I do not know the mind of Archbishop Hepworth...


The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the TAC membership will utterly refuse to have their orders and sacraments regarded as invalid and will not enter into any arrangement that says the contrary. There is currently some discussion about the AC by the TAC with the CDF about clarifying some points- a natural development as one would expect.

The bottom line is that many (most/all?)within the TAC don't believe that the AC can possibly apply on every point to their situation (although it certainly would apply to some Anglicans within the Canterbury Communion) and should the wrong kind of clarifications come from the CDF, there won't be much acceptance from members of the TAC, and it could even be a deal breaker.

If anyone here thinks that the TAC membership will blindly follow whatever the heirarchy says and somehow they have also lost touch of their Anglican identity, I assure you that they would be gravely mistaken.

Now, I realise that many on the outside of the TAC are prepared to speak on the TAC's behalf, but this would also be a mistake. Likewise, anyone who is second guessing +Hepworth. Only time will tell which way the cat will jump.

T

Anonymous said...

John Hollister said:

I have no doubt Ed did suffer rudeness and/or thoughtlessness at the hands of someone, somewhere in the ACC, for which I am heartily sorry. I hope he will accept my apologies, extended (unofficially but nonetheless sincerely) on behalf of my church home.

All church groups contain at least a few such people; we are, after all, hospitals for sinners, not hostels for saints. So while such memories may legitimately color our reactions to paricular congregations, and of course will affect our feelings about actually attending those congregations, they should not be used to paint an entire jurisdiction or communion.


I like the tone of your post.

I have enjoyed many good conversations and relationships with friends within the ACC-OP. However, like many others here- I have suffered much insult from the occasional person who usually seems more interested in the politics of events past than in the fellowship all Continuers share in Jesus Christ and our mutual love of the BCP. I am not interested in the politics of what happened to so-and-so back when or who did what at whatever place. I love Jesus, and all the politics of the few mean nothing compared to His glory. In fact, those engaged in such churchianity often look like they are in desperate need of more Jesus and less purple cloth.

So, if the ACC-OP really and truly wish to welcome "home" other Continuing Anglicans, I heartily encourage them to make such gestures as John Hollister has. I accept John's apology on behalf of those who have insulted me at least.

T

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart said:

Folks, could we create handles or use names? I can't tell if the last string of anonymice were one person or several.

I think some people are currently unable to speak their opinion publically for obvious reasons, but it is confusing to read.

T

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I appreciate that, and would recommend a "handle" rather than a name in such cases.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

To those who say,"let us speak of the things that really matter to Christians," my response is that nothing is more important to the Church than the apostolic succession. The blasphemy that was committed at Deer Field Beach is about to be repeated.

You read right, blasphemy.


Fr John,

Nothing more important than Apostolic Succession? Really? What about the doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation? Saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and eternal life? Loving God and neighbour?

As for the Deerfield Beach re-consecrations, can we not distinguish between the objective sacrilegious reality of repeating sacraments unnecessarily, scandalously and imprudently, and the subjective (but explicitly stated) intention of allaying the doubts that others held, even though the immediate participants (both ministers and recipients) did not share those doubts? This claim that third parties held doubts about ACC orders due to irregularities at the beginning was true, by the way, as the physical absence of a third consecrator was pointed to as problematic by some. Yes, I know this was insufficient reason for doubt according to the ancient canons, and I know that the people who expressed doubts were critics outside the Continuing Movement looking for excuses, and should not have had their views respected, but still, there is a difference between foolish error and malicious sin. Let us hold back from words that sound like condemnation of persons rather than actions and thus appear to presume God-like knowledge of human hearts.

And, yes, I know I could be accused of having made the same mistake in the past.

God have mercy on us all.

By the way, the "chips on our shoulders" comments on the Messenger website are NOT those of Abp Hepworth, but those of a RC Cistercian, Brother Stephen. They were taken, along with the whole commentary, without attribution from this page: http://subtuum.blogspot.com/2009/10/forward-in-faith-assembly-day-two-as.html .

Fr Hart, I think we should update the original post to reflect this correction. The Messenger website has confused the issue by not making clear who the narrator is. My suspicions it was a third party were raised when I noticed the transition from "third person" to talk about ++Hepworth to first person in the comments which speak from an avowedly RC perspective.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr.Kirby:

The TAC's own website is to blame-they report these words as coming from Abp. Hepworth.

RC Cola said...

Contributors to this board are not the only ones upset by the recent actions between Benedict XVI and TAC.

The Tablet in Britain, the mouthpiece for the establishment (read: liberals) is hacked off:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100016738/the-tablet-launches-a-bitter-and-ignorant-attack-on-the-popes-apostolic-constitution/

I think Thompson is referring to this editorial:
http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/13797

or perhaps this:

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/13888

The Tablet has wasted more ink (or bandwidth) but these are sufficient.

I think what scares the Tablet is that they have lost hope that the RCC would try to adsorb the Druids and Wiccans that now constitute the C of E.

Oh well.