Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Clearing the hot air

and unspinning a disservice to all

The Continuum has received some interesting attention in the last few days, all designed to mislead readers on other forums about our meaning. The scuttlebutt out there is creating a new "conventional wisdom" that we must resist. It amounts to the usual misunderstanding and/ or misstatement of fact that generally earns the name, "conventional wisdom." Conventions, it seems, are not always wise. The collection of articles here about Anglicanorum Coetibus have stirred the pot, or maybe a hornet's nest. Readers of various cyber venues have been warned that we are critical of the new Roman constitution, finding fault with it and running it down. But, that simply is not true.

Indeed, the Roman constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, appears to be the good faith effort of Pope Benedict XVI to answer a direct request that he inherited from the days of Pope John Paul II. It was in the 1990s that Forward in Faith/United Kingdom (FiF/UK) made the request that has resulted in the recent constitution. It was then that English Roman Catholic bishops seemed intent on obstructing any response from Rome to the request, which is why it has taken so long. As it stands, it is everything that Fr. William "Doc" Holiday said it is in these words, "[the See of Rome-which he called "Mother Church"] is in the business of allowing her children to exercise their unique gifts and talents as much as She is able." Indeed, to the extent that she is able, and no more than she is able, Rome is allowing former Anglicans "to exercise their unique gifts and talents" under the protection of Ordinariates.

The problem, and the target of our criticism, is that Archbishops Hepworth and Falk of the Traditional Anglican Communion and its American branch, the Anglican Church in America (TAC/ACA) have made public statements that stretch the constitution beyond its clear and obvious meaning, so as to raise false hopes. They have told their members, in effect, that it will fulfill what they have been promising for the last several years; not what it says, and not within the limits of what it says. Thier own promises contradict the content of Anglicanorum Coetibus (and they have also contradicted the content of the Norms).

After years of promising that Rome will grant a place for the complete Anglican package (at least most of what the TAC/ACA people are perceived by their leaders to like about the Anglican package), the new constitution has presented an emergency that must be dealt with. Credit for it must be taken, and with that credit false promises in line with all that has been advertised for years. Otherwise, people will see that Rome goes only so far, and no further. Worse, people will stop believing that they are being led into a perfect world, a world where they can be Anglicans with the Pope.

Our critics accuse us of saying that the constitution allows married clergy only once. What we said was that, inasmuch as the constitution allows nothing more than the existing Pastoral Provisions that make room for married clergy from among former Anglican clergy, it is designed to last one generation. Why? Because, it applies only to men who were first ordained outside of the entire Roman Communion. But, men who are members of the Ordinariate congregations will have to choose between marriage and a vocation to the priesthood, just like regular Roman Catholics (this has been stated very firmly and clearly in the constitution). And, as the Anglican Communion is only getting worse, the supply of desirable clergy from that quarter is certainly to be very short lived. After another generation, why would Rome want such men as the Episcopal priests of the future? Would you? So, it can last only one generation at most.

They insist that Anglican liturgy would be preserved. Really? Look at the "Anglican" Use Rite, and compare it to a classic Book of Common Prayer. Is that really Anglican liturgy? Certainly not. Anglican doctrine? On many essential matters there is no difference even now; but, on those matters where there is a difference (and you may read several of my essays of the "Classic Anglican" collection to appreciate that), forget it.

How do I know this? Simple. I actually read the constitution, and so did my associates.

A disservice to Rome

Misrepresenting the constitution in matters of doctrine, Canon Law regarding postulancy for Holy Orders, the Roman position on Anglican Orders, Sacraments of Initiation, and even matters of real property and its disposition, restates falsely matters of Roman doctrine and polity. In effect, instead of allowing the See of Rome to speak for itself, the misstatements speak for Rome without the consent of that ancient See. If people attempt to take advantage of what is actually offered in Anglicanorum Coetibus, only to be disappointed after the fact, they may resent Rome, and blame this Bait and Switch on the wrong party.

A disservice to would be Roman Catholics

Any Anglican who tells me that he wants to become a Roman Catholic can expect an argument, if he is willing to hear it, on why ours is the best and most truly Catholic Way to be a Christian. Regular readers of The Continuum are well aware of many of those arguments. Nonetheless, any individual genuinely persuaded, in his heart, to be a Roman Catholic has a dilemma if he waits one more minute. If he believes that the See of Rome is all that they teach (and, indeed, with them its a matter of doctrine that they perceive as infallible) it to be, then it must be a matter both of conviction and of conscience. For example, if Fr. "Doc" Holiday really believes the things he wrote, I fear for his soul should he die before obeying his conscience.

Those who really fall for...excuse me...believe the teaching of Rome about the See of Rome and its Bishop, are committing a mortal sin by not coming to Christ fully through his chosen vessel. What are they waiting for? In the case of the TAC/ACA people, they seem to be waiting for their Archbishop to say the time is right. I recommend that they ask their local Roman Catholic priests about it. While they wait for the perfect time, a time in which something more than the new constitution is offered just for the TAC/ACA people, than I must conclude two things. They do not really believe what Rome teaches, since they delay. Or, they are living contrary to their consciences with what they believe to be false sacraments in a body that does not possess the fullness of the Catholic Church-a mortal sin if done with that knowledge, according to Rome.

One of the apologists writing on behalf of the promises made by Abps. Falk and Hepworth has stated, "Like it or not, it seems clear to me that the Holy See's position - which I do not think they are likely to retreat from - is that notwithstanding the strengths or weaknesses of Leo XIII's Bull, Anglican orders, in the Roman Catholic context (though not in the Anglican context) are in need of a sort of completing through Roman Catholic ordination. "

"Completing?" What part of "Absloutely null and utterly void" does the fellow not understand? The Roman Catholic position makes it impossible for them to recognize Anglican orders (even though many of them know how silly that position is), requiring absolute ordination of the clergy who are allowed to receive ordination. And, for you laity, it requires that every member be confirmed by one of their priests or bishops-and no, you have never really had communion or absolution either. Anyone, no matter who he is, who denies that this is what they will require and what they teach, is either an ignoramus or a liar.

If you believe that you need to be in the Pope's Communion, do not wait. Every day you delay you are in danger. If, on the other hand, you are not in a hurry, it is because you do not believe it. If you do not believe it, you would be a bad Roman Catholic upon entering their Communion, coming with the "cafeteria" mentality.

A disservice to Anglicans

Finally, the TAC/ACA Archepiscopal spin is a disservice to everyone who has struggled to carry on the Faith so strongly Affirmed at St. Louis in 1977, because it threatens to further divide those of us who believe in that Affirmation, and its very existence prevents people from embracing the faith as Anglicans have received it. Furthermore, it threatens to lower our numbers at a time when we should be building our churches, and handing on the Anglican Way of being a Catholic Christian to a new generation.

Sending a message that we are second class Catholics, based on Rome's enormous and unsubstantiated claims, cannot aid church growth. Rejecting those doctrines in which true Reformation led our fathers back to a truer Catholic understanding, waters down the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and loads people with extra burdens. At a time when we are just getting up on our feet, we do not need Abp. Hepworth's Roman distraction. If he believes the claims of the Roman See, and if Abp. Falk and others believe it, what are they waiting for? But, please, let the people who are Anglican in their hearts, minds and convictions have done with this stuff once and for all. The way that was clear for the rest has become more clear; except for confusion tossed in the way.

But, we do not blame Rome and its constitution for the confusion.

24 comments:

David Gould said...

Thank you Fr. Hart for this robust defence of the Anglican (Catholic) position. It is amazingly simple.

Are Anglican Catholic continuum orders valid? Yes - at least they are in the ACC, APCK, UECNA AND ACA/TAC. If they are valid sacraments, deriving from a valid episcopate then reunion with the Roman Church cannot be on the basis of abandoning orders and accepting the Roman See's erroneous view that the Church of England was a schism which thereby separated Anglicans from the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

This view is anathema to real Anglican Catholics who understand that our Church as small as it is none the less constitutes part of the Catholic and Apostolic Church - and that we constitute that Church with Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

Like Fr. Hart I applaud the intent of the Holy Father which is to end division and to offer Anglicans union with the Petrine See. It is I guess fair enough to do so in conformity with the Roman view on Anglican orders.

Like Fr. Hart I cannot but feel sorrow at the continuum being made smaller because of the TAC's erroneous repudiation of Anglican faith, orders and history. (to be continued).

David Gould said...

Part 2 - The TAC's repudiation of Anglican faith, order and ministry by virtue of rejecting the Catholicity of Anglicanism means that those TAC bishops, priests and laity who do not subscribe to the views of their episcopal house of bishops need to walk their congregations to the ACC/APCK or UECNA. Given that the ACC is the only one of the 3 original Anglican Catholic churches to have a worldwide presence, the ACC is the logical place to go.

The actions of the TAC can perhaps be seen as working for the Lord in that it is galvanizing Anglican Catholics to make a once and for all stand for the Faith on the basis of the non-negotiable validity of our ministry, our sacraments and our ecclesial history as THE Catholic Church of the English peoples.

Just as the Eastern Orthodox diaspora has spread Russian, Greek, Ukrainian and other national Orthodox Churches throughout the world, the diaspora of the English has been marked by the evangelism of the Church of England. The successors to Anglican orthodoxy - the Anglican Catholic Church with diocesan presences in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Africa is the logical focal point to unite the continuum and diaspora of Anglicans who aspire to Catholic faith, Apostolic order, Orthodox worship and evangelical outreach.

cherub said...

Father, you are delusional if you think the Apostolic Constitution was a result of efforts by Forward in Faith. It is due to the efforts of the TAC, and Archbishops Hepworth and Falk. The TAC signed on to the CCC and applied to Rome for admission, not FiF. Let us keep the facts as facts. I know that you disapporve of almost anything Archbishops Hepworth and Falk have top say, on principle. But whether you or anyone lese likes it or not, to the TAC belongs the credit! You seem to loathe TAC.

poetreader said...

Cherub,

I don't like to speak so strongly and, yes, angrily, as I now am. It is you who are delusional, if not deliberately untruthful. Our ACA bishops, including ++Falk, though taking a lot of credit (whether accurately or not, I don't know) for having sparked this document, admit and caution us that what is currently presented is aimed primarily at FIF, and that we are still waiting for another set of "norms" as yet unrevealed, perhaps not yet even written, that would apply specifically to TAC.

One may have opinions as to how much TAC influence had to do with the evolution of this approach, but to call Fr. Hart delusional for pointing out that FIF had a very large role in all this is to call your own bishops delusional, and to display a mean spirit in yourself.

Yes, there is difference of opinion on whether this proposal is a good one for Anglicans to accept. You and Fr. Hart differ on that (and, from within ACA, my conclusions are very close to his - which makes me one of many in ACA). To discuss these issues is a part of our purpose here -- not to call one another names.

Let me be clear. The attitudes I am seeing from apologists for the AC, if they are as inescapable a part of accepting this proposal as such as you make it appear to be the harbinger of a great many ills. I will hear gentle persuasion, and have had my mind changed in the past, but I will not be bullied into a change that is hard to accept, nor yield to the relentless arm-twisting coming from such as you.

Fr. Hart honestly speaks truth as he sees it, and most of what he says represents what I have long believed to be true. You may or may not accept the way in which he interprets the facts before him, but they are before him, and no amount of diatribe and insult on your part will change the facts.

What these facts mean is still open to discussion. We on this blog welcome open discussion of these issues -- but a post like yours is simply not constructive.

ed

Anonymous said...

Cherub must be very young or else he has a short memory of the history behind Apos. coetibus.

Shortly after St Louis back in 1978, dissension began to emerge within the ranks of the FCC/StLouis movement. Canon Albert J. DuBois, head of the American Church Union, broke ranks with the Denver bishops (Doren, Morse, Mote, Watterson) and set up a California based "Pro-Diocese of St Augustine of Canterbury." He and his cohorts were ardent Anglo-Papalists and began making trips to Rome. This was quite early in the reign of JP II. I believe there was a simultaneous overture to Rome from some priests in the SSC who had not left PECUSA. JP II being more interested in developing relationships with the EO Churches, these parallel and possibly competing overtures to Rome only produced the so-called "Pastoral Provision." The handful of clergy who accepted that offer emerged from the "Pro-Diocese" founded by Canon DuBois.

So to claim that the present Vatican offer is all the work of Hepworth and Falk is not exactly accurate. Hepworth only dusted off a concept which had been been floating back in the time when he was still an RC priest yearning for matrimony.

Hepworth and Falk are currently in a very awkward posiion. They have promised their people things which plainly are not transpiring-- "inter-communion," "uniate status," etc.
So their spokesmen must now resort to post-modernist use of language, saying that "absolute ordinations" are not really absolute, but really just conditional.

This reminds me of the young interne who stated, "At present, the patient is deceased."

If the RC's happen to read these distortions and misrepresentations from the TAC the whole thing may well blow up in their faces. And they already have suspicious eyes in the RCC watching them closely, I daresay in both liberal and conservative wings.

One only has to read what the Constitution has to say about married bishops and about priests with annulment histories to grasp that Hepworth, Falk, et al., have painted thmselves into a corner.
LKW

John A. Hollister said...

Cherub wrote, "you are delusional if you think the Apostolic Constitution was a result of efforts by Forward in Faith. It is due to the efforts of the TAC, and Archbishops Hepworth and Falk."

Then Cardinal Walter Kasper, Secretary of the Pontificial Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, must likewise be delusional, for he stated that the Apostolic Constitution was aimed at Forward in Faith and further stated that the TAC was left standing on the platform when that train left the station -- a pretty clear indication that, in his opinion at least, the TAC had better climb on someone else's band wagon or be left behind in the dust.

Or, again, it is just possible that it is Cherub who is delusional. And just who do you suppose might have made it a point to foster his delusions? and why?

John A. Hollister+
"ungsh" -- (sounds like the feelings suffered by those whose balloons have been summarily pricked)
"undend" -- (like the arguments of the "corporate reunion" partisans)

Anonymous said...

One would think that if the AC had been released for the benefit of TAC that SOMEONE in Rome would have had the courtesy of notifying ++Hepworth prior to the recent announcement. Yet it was not ++Hepworth, but the Archbishop of Canterbury that was given the prior notification and Mr. Hepworth was caught flat-footed by the 'surprise' announcement.
H1940

Anonymous said...

The "Anglo-Catholic" has attempted to reply to Fr Hart's essay at the head of this discussion. Once again we are admonished that separation from the "Mother Church" is a grave sin, but at the same time, we should not be in too much of a hurry to do anything about it.
That would have been strange advice to give the prodigal son (to bring up the parable which has been cited by the spokesmen of Hepworth-Falk). The pathetic efforts of "Anglo-Catholic" remind me of St Augustine's prayer, "Save me, O Lord, but not quite yet."
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In other words, they have responded to this post, but have been answered already within the body of what they were responding to? That is about what I would expect.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

This is astounding. They have actually, without embarrassment, posted this near the end:


Please note that the Canadian Bishops have written:

In addition to their October Response it is expected that they will soon respond directly to the TAC. Following receipt of that information it is hoped that we would begin a dialogue on how the Apostolic Constitution might be implemented. Until that is accomplished, it would be wise not to speculate on the future of any of our bishops, clergy or laity! We will keep you informed.


Why was this an October surprise? If Abps. Hepworth and Falk, and their top advisers, were in communication with Rome, why the surprise? Is this meant to defend their cause?

In addition to their October Response it is expected that they will soon respond directly to the TAC.

Why? Who, on the Roman side, says so? Why would Rome offer something substantially different from what they offer the FiF/UK folks? How are they so different, from Rome's perspective, as to merit a different deal? And do they have an additional set of principles? What an insult to Rome.

Following receipt of that information it is hoped that we would begin a dialogue on how the Apostolic Constitution might be implemented. Until that is accomplished, it would be wise not to speculate on the future of any of our bishops, clergy or laity! We will keep you informed

1. Why would it matter if the TAC is getting a different deal?

2. So, until it is implemented "it is not wise" to notice what it clearly says.

By the way, we have not speculated on the status of their bishops, clergy and laity. We have accepted the obvious facts. There is a difference.

When will they stop selling this bridge?

Anonymous said...

"When will they stop selling this bridge?"

When their 700,000 lemmings stop buying it, that's when.

LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I don't know about the lemmings, but their couple of thousand people (tops) are not buying it, except, apparently, for Mr. Campbell and his buddies in Florida.

poetreader said...

Exaggerated underestimation is not a whole lot better than exaggerated overestimation. I don't believe the inflated figures either, but a couple of thousand, tops? Please! There are, according to conservative counting, around a thousand in my diocese alone, and we are certainly not half of the whole TAC, nor of the ACA for that matter. I won't hazard a guess. Numbers aren't my strong suit, but there are a lot more than 2,ooo in TAC.

Of course, now that I think of it, you do have a point if you mean only the ones that will follow across the Tiber. I don't have a handle on the overseas situation, but I do know that there are a heck of a lot of members that just aren't going. So, on second thought, if that's what you meant by a couple thousand, well, you might be right after all.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of our people who are ready to make the switch. I've been fighting with some of them from Texas and Nebraska on my other board.

We'll just have to see how it all shakes down.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

A couple of thousand in the ACA was what I meant. But, we all know the 400,000 figure is not grounded in any genuine count.

poetreader said...

OK. that's clearer

Still a little low for ACA, but in the right order of magnitude. I doubt if the majority will go along. I suspect that for the US anyway, 2,000 "converts" would be wildly high.

Worldwide, I would guess there are somewhat more than in the US, but not such a large figure as we've been given. I've never believed that one. And I have no real idea how many of them are willing to pope.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The accuracy of my report that Anglicanorum Coetibus is in response primarily to and old request from FiF/UK took me by surprise. I assumed everyone knew that FiF/UK was first in line, and did the closest work.

This was reported earlier:

NOT everyone was bewildered. The Revd Geoffrey Kirk, secretary of Forward in Faith — who will be standing down next year, after an “annus horribilis” of ill-health — told the Assembly on Friday: “You will have wondered why the original agenda of this Assembly was so sketchy. Well, now you know.”

The statement from Rome was “not a bolt out of the blue”. It was an event long expected, for which many people had worked over the years. In 1992, Fr John Broadhurst, as he was then, had sent out a card to every priest on the mailing list asking him to affirm acceptance of the magis­terium of the Roman Catholic Church...The Bishops of Chichester and other bishops had made similar contacts, and FiF representatives had spent two days in January as guests of Cardinal Christoph Schön­born in Vienna. As they had departed for London, he had flown off to Rome.

“This is Plan B, emerging mercifully on cue as Plan A seems to have an increasingly uncertain future in the leglisative revision committee of the General Synod.”


The TAC was mentioned as also making a petition.

Ed has said that the TAC expect another set of Norms particular to them. The one point, however is that these cannot contradict the existing constitution and its norms, if indeed the prediction is true. Rome will not change precedent and the official doctrine with which it has bound itself.

Anonymous said...

I would like to ad that what 'Cherub' and his friends in Orlando don't seem to understand is that the position of their blog reduces Bishop Campese to a layman in the eyes of many. After all, they proceed with his blessing in their pronouncements and endorse the AC. Whether he steps down now or shortly makes no difference as intention is everything. If he accepts the documents he accepts the results.

I am in an ACA church and such as he will not be allowed on this property without a public recantation of his intention and a full exhortation as to his errors in this matter and those of Rome.

As far as I am concerned he is now a layman and is in abandonment of his See. There will be no assessments paid to those going to Rome.

Senior Warden- an ACA Church

poetreader said...

Now hold on....
I considered whether to post this or not. The author shares my objection to accepting the AC, but there is little else in what he says that I find acceptable. Whether he likes him or not, +Campese is his bishop, and has not renounced his see nor his orders (though the implication of that renunciation may linger in the background because of his tacit acceptance of Rome's position. I call on the author to read and ponder Article 26 in his Prayer Book. Unworthiness in a minister does not invalidate anything. His hard line against his own bishop appears rather uncatholic, and I'm not in favor of such an approach. My clicking of "publish" does not indicate approval.

However, I did post this as an example of how much division there is within ACA as a direct result of the Constitution, and that many are very deeply hurt. Any assumption that the whole jurisdiction, or even more than a large minority is ready to make this move is, like Mark Twain's obituary, a bit exaggerated.

These are sad times.

ed

Albion Land said...

When this all began to emerge in around 2005, Bishop Campese told me the objective was intercommuion not union.

John A. Hollister said...

"Senior Warden" wrote, "As far as I am concerned [Bp. Campese] is now a layman and is in abandonment of his See."

To this, Ed Pacht responded, "Whether he likes him or not, +Campese is his bishop, and has not renounced his see nor his orders.... [According to] Article 26 ... unworthiness in a minister does not invalidate anything."

On this, I think Senior Warden may have the better argument. His complaint is not that Bp. Campese has committed some sin that would make him "unworthy" under the terms of Article XXVI. His reasoning, instead, is:

First Syllogism:

(a) Major Premise: Bp. Campese has declared his adherence to the "Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church" and has declared, either explicitly or implicitly, that he believes all of the magisterial teachings of the Roman Communion.

(b) Minor Premise: As we all know, the present and binding juridical position of the Roman Communion is that ALL "Anglican" Orders are "absolutely null and utterly void".

(c) Conclusion: Therefore, Bp. Campese must believe that his own priestly and episcopal Orders are "absolutely null and utterly void".

Second Syllogism:

(a) Major Premise: Bp. Campese believes that his own priestly and episcopal Orders are "absolutely null and utterly void".

(b) Minor Premise: No man may presume to exercise either of the Offices of priest or bishop unless he has been duly and properly ordained to them by (a) bishop(s) in the Apostolic Succession.

(c) Conclusion: Therefore, consistent with his own belief system (that is, absent outright hypocrisy), Bp. Campese cannot exercise the Offices of either priest or bishop.

Where Senior Warden has evidently chosen to view Bp. Campese's situation with charity, that is, without assuming him to be a hypocrite, he appears correct in concluding that the Bishop has, at least constructively, resigned his Office.

This is not unlike a number of situations in the ancient Church, where a bishop took a hike for greener pastures, was therefore deemed to have abandoned his see, and a successor was elected and installed to replace him.

To repeat, this is not an imputation of "unworthiness", that is, of misconduct, it is merely a conclusion of fact drawn from the Bishop's own words and actions.

And if Senior Warden, and his fellows, are in good faith in believing that Bp. Campese no longer occupies the Cathedra in his diocese -- and they are just as much entitled to the presumption of good faith as he is -- then they would be silly indeed to send any more money in that direction.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Ed ,
It has been my general observation that you find any statement that is clear cut with some trepidation.

The only way to avoid problems is clarity. We find ourselves in the Continuum because the ECUSA lost clarity. We find ourselves facing another challenge because there has been a lot of nudging and fudging along this path and now you have an issue with my clear statement.
Answer me this. Just where am I off the reservation by demanding to know if our bishops are on or off the reservation?
I owe no layman a tithe or fealty. Is Campese a Bishop? Not according to what he is endorsing therefore he himself is agreeing to that assessment. He is responsible for the signals he is sending through his warden and clergy.
Can the article you site be demonstrated to include those who believe their very ordination is invalid? Can the article speak to women as clergy? No. But many Episcopalians site this very article as a reason to stay with WO! I think you stretch it to suit your own desire.
There is nothing uncatholic about my position. In the sense of the Councils we are all "uncatholic" for having overlapping and competing jurisdictions.
I didn't create this mess Ed but I am sure not allowing it to come across our threshold unchallenged looking to seek whomever it may devour.

Warden.

Anonymous said...

In the last couple of years several parishes have disaffiliated from the TAC.So far most of the parishes that have left were from the ACA and TAC's Church in South Africa.Now the other TAC Churches are seeing parishes leave as they find out that their Bishops changed course from negotiating reunion with Rome to accepting submission to her.The ACA warden's estimation of his Bishop's status seems reasonable to me.My TAC Parish has canceled our Bishop's visit,we will not not pay the last installment of our tithe and we are leaving.We have not made our decision hastily.It has been two years since the TAC Bishops signed the Catechism Of The Catholic Church and they show no signs of changing course.On the contrary they seem determined to press on in this misadventure and we will not follow them.We bear no ill will towards Rome for offering the A.C. but it is not for us. It is definitely not what our Bishops told us they were seeking when they resolved to restart the talks with Rome which had stalled with the invention of priestesses in the Anglican Communion.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,
You are so on target. If one is called to Rome, to Rome one must go and without dithering for position.
Your clarity is much needed at this time.
blessings, ec

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

I am relieved to hear that not everyone in the TAC is convinced by the spin that has been going on over the signing of the CCC and the Apostolic Constitution, "Anglicanorum Coetibus". I take no delight in that comment as it is a great shame that the present situation should have arisen as it has. But it has been my concern, objectively, to support an open and frank discussion about the ramifications of the AC and I am pleased that the efforts of Fr Hart and others here has not gone unnoticed.

It is these fundamental questions that Senior Warden has exampled to us that the "pro-lobby" refuse to answer again and again.

It is not "anti-Roman" to question the Apostolic Constitution and what it really offers Anglicans wanting Communion with Rome. It is quite the opposite in fact. It is a desire to understand and fully evaluate and consider the offer and what it means. Denying one's Sacraments and traditional position on Tradition is not somethings that should be waived away for the sake of "unity"; that is a "false" unity - for it is not unity at all but conversion.

The Apostolic Constitution may be the most significant proposal offered by Rome ever towards establishing Communion with the Holy See for Anglicans. But it is not a vehicle for true unity between Catholic Christians. It asks Anglican Catholics to effectively deny their Catholicity in order to be received as converts to Roman Catholicism. That is not what the historical dialogue of the past fifty years was intended for.

I have received not a little flak myself for expressing my opinion here and elsewhere. However, my concern has been as a Catholic Christian motivated by charity for other Catholic Christians. We all want the unity of Christ's Church, but not at the cost of denying our Catholicity to do it!