Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Infamous

"It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" Matt. 10:25

Zealous fanatical hatred

Before getting to the real point I want to make, I must deal with unpleasant business.

I suppose it means that I have hit the big time, that someone went out of his way to write a hit piece about me, personally, a real hatchet job. In it I have acquired the title "infamous." I have never been infamous before, and maybe should feel flattered. Among the several lies-the only word to use-in that piece (lies about the size of our readership, about the size of the ACC, about what is written here on The Continuum, etc.), the writer, a certain Mr. Campbell, included this:

"The entire staff of the [Continuum] blog (and the few remaining regular commenters) are all affiliated with the ACC (which has now become the spiteful, twisted corpse of a once legitimate Continuing Anglican jurisdiction) and, as Fr. Hart, the principal contributor, has himself admitted, its only object is to oppose (what they perceive to be) the agenda of Archbishop Hepworth as he leads the TAC into full communion with the Catholic Church. The Continuum is, for all intents and purposes, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ACC and their “Metropolitan” — Archbishop Mark Haverland — posts on the site with some frequency."

Please notice the pure malice that has been expressed, malice against the entire Anglican Catholic Church; in other words, it is not enough to kill me; my whole family must die. The image of them killing us off was added to when another writer on that blog called the poison "necessary herbicide." Zealous fanatical hatred is what I expect from certain kinds of Muslims, not from Christians. In my disagreements with the direction of the TAC bishops about Anglicanorum Coetibus, and about the heritage of our common Anglican patrimony that deserves respect and protection, I would never even begin to characterize their jurisdiction in such hate-filled terms. Malice does not come from the Holy Spirit, and is not consistent with charity. Anger can be consistent with charity, when it calls sinners to repent, or when it opposes oppression and injustice; and even then it is the opposite of malice, and has no room for hatred. Where we see malice, we see the presence of Satan.

To set the record straight, in fact, Archbishop Mark Haverland has never posted anything on this blog. He cannot anyway, as only the contributors have the internet "key." I have posted statements that came from him. But, we have always had the policy of posting whatever a Continuing bishop in a recognized jurisdiction is willing to offer, including (as he knows) Archbishop John Hepworth of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), to whom we gave the floor in 2008, for whatever he had to say. Every bishop in the TAC, as well as every bishop in the recognized Continuing jurisdictions, was sent a standing invitation to say what they wish to say. That has never been retracted. As for, Archbishop Haverland, he has never used his position as the Metropolitan of the ACC, or as my Diocesan Bishop (as of my transfer into the Diocese of the South, ACC-OP, in March 2009), to run this blog at all. Furthermore, he is too busy for such a thing, doing real work in a real archepiscopal capacity, with a schedule that would kill most men (it would do me in).

My own agenda is not what Mr. Campbell has said: "...as Fr. Hart, the principal contributor, has himself admitted, its only object is to oppose (what they perceive to be) the agenda of Archbishop Hepworth as he leads the TAC into full communion with the Catholic Church." I challenge Mr. Campbell, or any of his friends, to produce such a statement by me. My only objective? Most of what I write is educational, to restore, explain and defend the Anglican Patrimony that is too often and too easily dismissed, misrepresented or distorted. I also present my sermons to teach, edify, and to reach consciences everywhere with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, I would never call the big Tiber Swim, "[leading] the TAC into full communion with the Catholic Church." What it is amounts to nothing so grand. It is about a few people offered an easier way into Roman Catholicism under slightly revised rules, people who were in the Catholic Church of the Creeds already, and many of whom want to be left alone to live by the principles of The Affirmation of St. Louis, not by the Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church (with all due respect to the fine book that it is, with which we mostly, but not fully, agree). There, I am doing it again, stating my position-but, whose position can I state honestly if not my own?

Truly infamous

What is truly infamous is the expression of anger, hatred and malice, producing lies, slanderous and libelous, to which I, personally, have been treated, and that has been dumped on the whole ACC. Everyone knows that I have criticized the public statements of Archbishops Hepworth and Falk, as well as statements by Bishop Louis Campese and Bishop George Langburg. At no time has this been done with contempt, malice or with insults. They have made public statements, and therefore have no right to assume that they can say whatever they please without a challenge (nor am I aware of any of them claiming to have such a right). They chose to be public figures by accepting consecration, and by speaking publicly they have chosen to be refuted in an honest and open atmosphere. Mr. Campbell owes them an apology, more than he owes one to me, for making them appear to be petty.

I stand by my criticism, because I believe that their interpretation of Anglicanorum Coetibus is not only wrong, but harmful. It stirs up hope in a fantasy, not hope in a reality. To date, no argument presented to defend their position has persuaded me in the least. The same is true of my colleagues who also see the Roman constitution as offering nothing more than an extension of the existing Pastoral Provisions and "Anglican Use" experiments. Rome has not acted wisely, furthermore, in sending the message by the hand of Cardinal Levada, for reasons quite unpleasant and well-known (a bit of an elephant in the living room, I am sorry to say).

Rome, however, has not done anything wrong in offering the constitution, inasmuch as they believe that entrance into the Roman Catholic Church is best for everyone, an old position with which we cannot agree, but which is for them a matter of Faith. And, if they believe it, then the highest of virtues, charity, may be behind their offer. Furthermore, the state of the official Anglican Communion, the requests of the Forward in Faith (FiF) people and of the TAC, were such that we may infer that Pope Benedict XVI acted out of compassion. This is the position we have taken on this blog all along (despite certain other disinformation to the contrary, charging us with being "anti-Catholic"). Nonetheless, Rome's apparent good faith does not justify Enthusiasm and triumphalism, and certainly not the mistaken interpretation of the constitution offered by the above named TAC bishops. Nor does my dissent and open challenge to their interpretation justify the malice and dishonesty of Mr. Campbell.

I do not call on Mr. Campbell (and others) to apologize to me, but to repent before Almighty God, and seek His mercy. This is something I have to do all the time myself, because I am a sinner, and therefore have the necessary experience to offer advice on to how to do it.

What could have been

One of my earliest articles in Touchstone, before I was "elevated" to the position of contributing editor, was about the neglected opportunity presented by the document Dominus Iesus in 2000, under the imprimatur of Pope John-Paul II. Even though the Anglican Communion was never mentioned directly, then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, reacted against Rome's repetition of its long held and well-known position on the papacy and the churches in communion with the See of Rome. Of course it was exclusivist; but it was also no surprise. I went on to say:

"On one of my weekly radio broadcasts I read a large portion of the document. Many of the listeners to the station were Evangelicals, quite appreciative of the document’s emphasis on the statement of St. Peter: “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name given under heaven among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” Apparently the disappointment of the morning for some people was that this powerful affirmation of Bible truth had come from the Vatican...

"Dominus Iesus received undeserved bad press. Treating all Christians, and indeed all people, in accord with their inherent dignity—a dignity that requires that one be honest when one thinks others are in error—it has, nonetheless, been characterized as unecumenical, triumphalistic, and insensitive. This is a very great shame. At the very least, it ought to be studied for its profound defense of the Gospel and the mission of the Church.

"Dominus Iesus has been a very neglected opportunity for all Christians to forge stronger ties with each other and to study the meaning of our shared mission to the nations as believers in the same Christ."

What I said there about the Papal Document, Dominus Iesus, I can say with little alteration about The Continuum Blog. Six months ago this blog was half-owned by members of the TAC, and no one asked either of them to leave. Nonetheless, in accord with words on our masthead (assuming that is what it is called on a blog), this forum is exactly the place where the whole issue of Anglicanorum Coetibus, and every other issue between Continuing Anglicans, could have been discussed openly, politely, even if forcefully and passionately. So far, from late 2005 until now, this blog has been for many people, including those who disagree with much of what has appeared here, a neglected opportunity. When people get behind walls, it is there they feel free to make their own rules, to answer only to each other, and to hurl abuse at all who disagree. This blog was intended to be the one place where no one was safe behind such walls, and therefore the most constructive opportunity to unify the Continuing jurisdictions.

Frankly, I do not know if it is too late or not to address the subject of unity with the TAC. I know that this is one place for everyone who is committed to the principles in the Affirmation of St. Louis. Maybe that is the place to begin, for those who dare to try.

45 comments:

Canon Tallis said...

It would seem that the TAC's big fear is that someone will tell their laity the unvarnished truth about where their leadership intends to take them. It seems they also fear that when they get there, they will have (as is the case) nothing that resembles Anglicanism or indeed the faith and practice of the first four centuries of the Church. The tragedy is that those who have supported their deacons, bishops and priests for all these years are going to be in a place where they will have lost almost everything. And apparently Hepworth and company really don't care.

I don't have the slightest idea what there is in this for them because I don't really think that Rome will be very much willing to grant them ordination, conditional or otherwise, albeit stranger things have happened. But this is precisely what I think you end up with when your clergy and especially your bishops have lived a lifetime of disparaging classical Anglicanism and playing papist. It is only to be expected.

The part that upsets me, considering the attempt on Father Hart's and the other owners attempt to lean over backwards to give them every opportunity to make a rational defense of their actions, that they should act with such venom. That says more about their true motives as well as who and what they really are than anything else.

Frankly, from my own point of view, Levada is as representative of how Rome is currently operating as anything it has done. It is of a piece with the translation of another American bishop with a long pattern of transferring without warning to the parish of priests with a record of sexual abuse. Benedict XVI can not be entirely innocent of all or any of this. It is simply that no one wants to hold him accountable.

"nownit"
"trusemon"

AFS1970 said...

I do not know if I will become a regular commenter or not, but just so those in the TAC know, I am not and never have been a part of the ACC. Although one never knows what the future holds. I have found much of this blog to be informative and educational, as I continue on my journey homeward.

I do wish that the AC did not dominate so much of the Anglican blogsphere as much as it does. In a way I wish people would just either swim the Tiber or get back on shore, but this incessant wading is what I think causes all this strife.

highchurchman said...

AFS1970
For myself, I think we should,'wade in,'to the extent we should say what we think and publicise our point of view! It seems to me that The Continuum does just that!
My opinion is, that Anglicanism is in the position it is,because we have for to long simply been the nice guys, rolling over and having our tummies tickled by others and keeping our opinions to ourselves rather than offend ,'precious' opponents!

RC Cola said...

I was originally rather pro-AC, and after watching Fr. Pacwa talk about it on EWTN I thought it was great. Butt as I finally go the chance to read the text myself and seeing the two priest-guests on Journey Home talk about Anglicanism in the terms they did made me realize that AC is not the great gift it seemed at first.

I take no delight in that. It's sad. So I don't think Fr. Hart or any one else here who is less-than-enthusiastic about AC is to blame. This is an emperor's new clothes situation here. Do we blame the kid who points out the nakedness or the complacency of the people who went along with the lie?

Shaughn said...

I never quite understood the need for each of these bodies to tear each other down. (Deerfield Beach and heaven knows what else are before my time, after all.) But reports of our demise continue to be greatly exaggerated. By and by, we're growing, in no small part because other parishes and bodies are seeking us out.

Mortgages are being paid off, rectors installed. We're getting close to a period, I have a hunch, of decent growth in the US, where folks probably worry too much about things like what color the carpet is, and continued great growth in Africa and Asia. And so far as I'm aware, the numbers are real because I keep reading about bishops having to confirm hundreds of people at a time abroad and seeing pictures of it.

As for Mr. Campbell, I particularly don't understand his invective or position. The only status he has of any particular importance is senior warden of his cathedral chapter, a position that simply doesn't exist in Roman structures. He's in a church that is starting to bleed parishes because (surprise!) most of the laity don't especially want to be Roman Catholic and didn't spend years of time, blood, and treasure building up their parishes only to hand it over to some other bishop.

In point of fact, I have no reason to believe anything the TAC says about the document, not because they are dishonest, but because they have no real say in the matter. They didn't write it. The ball, contrary to what Bp. Hepworth says, is not in their court. It's in the Roman court. They will approve the Mass used. They will approve which Anglican divines may be taught. They will approve the terms of ordination. This is not invective or polemics. It is simple fact (and glaringly obvious to the most casual observer). To paraphrase the late great Orson Welles in his final acting role, "Their bargaining posture is highly dubious." Until I hear from Rome something official, most of this stuff is smoke, mirrors, and speculation, which is why a certain PR front is crucially important for the TAC at this point. I get that. I don't get the biting invective.

Anonymous said...

No one could possibly doubt the sincere generosity of His Holiness Benedict XVI in his proposal. This is consistent with the kindliness shown by many popes of the 20th century, particularly John XXIII and John-Paul II. RC moral theology truly takes love as the supreme virtue. This makes the ugly outburst from Christian Campbell deeply incongruous to his professed theological commitments. Has he read CCC carefully? Does he make regular use of the Confessional? What does his spiritual director say concerning his unprovoked attack on the entire ACC and its gentle Metropolitan (who surely does not deserve to have his title placed in scare quotes).

I believe that Canon Tallis has nailed the real problem. TAC is running scared that this project will collapse.
His grace, Abp Hepworth writes:

"Some will stay behind, for a time, a longer time, for the rest of their lives. There will remain the TAC in some form to look after these people. They will not all be belligerent sectarians, merely people who have grown up Protestant and are invincibly convinced that the Catholic Church is wrong for some reason. We do not have the right to violate their consciences."

Elsewhere he has written that he hopes that at least 50% of TAC will follow him across the Tiber.

The Roman authorities are naturally asking questions about the real size and strength of TAC. The numbers alleged by TAC's high command may not be there, and their real constituency may not be documentable.

So what to do? Go on the attack, vilify and demonize their critics. Let fly with the language of vituperation. But Mr Campbell and his colleagues should be careful. The Roman Catholic authorities (especially American liberal RC's who are less enchanted with this project) are surely reading.

I happen to read a number of conservative RC publications and blogs. Mr Campbell's style is not their style.
LKW

Sean W. Reed said...

Canon Tallis wrote:

"...I don't have the slightest idea what there is in this for them..."

That is exactly the point, it not about what we get out of the deal, its not about us, it about believing as we do, and you don't, that the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists in the Roman Catholic Church. It's not about me, what I get, and what I want. That is where we differ profoundly.

Fear and doubt are favorite tools of Satan, and attempts to plant the seeds of these have been at the forefront of the efforts of those fighting so hard against the implementation of the Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Satan uses the tools at hand for his work.

AFS 1970 wrote:

"... but this incessant wading is what I think causes all this strife..."


That is false impression, that opponents, even on this blog, of Anglcanorum Coetibus repeated over and over. I am thankful that this blog quit that refrain some time ago.

We would be there today, but the Ordinariates are not set up. No one is wading and can't make up their mind.

Hopefully, by summer, this will be sufficiently in place that those of us going in the first wave can have done so. It can't happen soon enough.



Sean W. Reed

Anonymous said...

For some it is the 'wading' the seem to love. I think all of the hot air coming out of that other blog is merely smoke and mirrors designed to cheer lead the laity on in a stupor till the hammer falls.

The 5 page spin on Levada's letter seems to be nothing more than a delay tactic. I am interested to see what they do after they go to Rome to present their 'questions'. Levada's letter was apparently an 'answer'. Funny how Hepworth likes to hide those 'letters'! My money is on they will be put in their place and sent home with instructions to stop spinning and start swimming.

If your going to get clear you better start doing so.

Wanderer

Jackie said...

I'm with AFS1970. If you feel you should be Roman Catholic, please do so. We'll support your decision and be glad you're still within the Church Catholic. If, however, your heart is Anglican, then be an Anglican and enjoy the company of your Roman friends in peace if not at their altar.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sean Reed wrote:

Fear and doubt are favorite tools of Satan, and attempts to plant the seeds of these have been at the forefront of the efforts of those fighting so hard against the implementation of the Anglicanorum Coetibus.

So, now it is Satan that wants us to exercise Right Reason and sound judgment based on the facts, and who wants us to be true everyone to his conscience.

Mr. Reed, I see in your confident prophesying, and "discerning of spirits" all the stuff that still gives me the occasional nightmare about 1970s and 80s Charismatics.

Cherub:

Insults will not be published, as I said to Sean Reed yesterday. If you want to disagree do so agreeably, or your words will not appear.

John A. Hollister said...

Sean Reed wrote, inter alia: "We would be there [in Rome] today, but the Ordinariates are not set up."

Inherent in Mr. Reed's statement is the conditional nature of its commitment to Rome: "We're going, but only if we get what we want." This is equally as important a problem as is the question of whether the proposed structures will afford them what they want, although it is actually a separate issue.

There is no future in a relationship such as church membership or marriage, that requires complete commitment based on real conviction, but where one party is reserving an internal caveat.

What young woman would say "Yes" to a swain who addressed her earnestly and on bended knee, "My dear, I love you with all my heart, I want you to be my wife and the mother of my children, and if you consent to marry me, I will love, honor, cherish, support, and care for you all the days of our lives -- IF, that is, you always give me exactly what I demand"?

The Roman Church rightly insists upon complete fidelity from its members. We may disagree with it on just which doctrines and practices it defines as essential, and therefore as coming within that obligation of fidelity, but we are in complete agreement with it that the Catholic Faith demands such commitment.

So how would it be able to tolerate a new class of "conditional members"? It already has enough problems in Europe and North America with its home-grown "cafeteria Catholics"!

John A. Hollister+
"pyriop"
"fuling"

Sean W. Reed said...

Father Hart wrote:

"...So, now it is Satan that wants us to exercise Right Reason and sound judgment based on the facts, and who wants us to be true everyone to his conscience..."

I certainly don't think God is pleased with people choosing individual interpretation and self assured right reason over the Magisterial Teaching Authority of The Church.

Particularly when the position articulated comes from a specific jurisdiction, not in Communion with any Historic See, and which did not exist prior to the 1970's that requires its people to "...believe without reservation that deposit of Faith that has been given..." to it.



SWR

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully, by summer, this will be sufficiently in place that those of us going in the first wave can have done so. It can't happen soon enough."

Since I grew up in a small Southern town populated largely by eccentrics and oddballs, I readily comprehend ths person's miserable predicament.

In the town of Kent SC (a fictitious name) we had an elderly courting couple wh had been affianced for more years than anyone could remember. Every Friday evening, he took her for a ride in his T-model Ford. Their wedding date was "hopefully, by next summer," but this day never quite arrived.

If anyone sincerely means to become Roman Catholic (a course of action I surely do not disapprove of), every Roman parish offers an RCIA program. Call them today, leave a message on the answering machine, and they can have you ready before Easter. Perhaps you make your "First [real and valid] Communion" on April 4. There is no need to wait until some unspecified date in "the summer" for those who are serious. Anything else is just posturing, preening, and bluffing.
LKW

The Rev. Robert T. Jones IV said...

What to do with a free hour in the afternoon? I made the mistake of reading a traditionalist-Roman blog, "What Does the Prayer Really Say?" Fr. Z., the moderator, posted a piece with commentary about Abp. Hepworth and AC. The tone was disturbing, to say the least.

According to Fr. Z. and many of his readers, all "Anglican's" (he put the term in quotes) basically need to recognize that this offer from Benedict is the final deal. Take it or leave it. There is nothing of any value to the Anglican tradition or orders.

In the comment section, there were many who wrote such disparaging and un-Christian words, that I was left with a sobering realization: Any Anglican who prepares to swim the Tiber should do so with the full awareness that he or she is preparing to enter the Roman Catholic Church as a second-class citizen. Many (if not most) Romans have not and will not make any effort to understand the Anglican tradition. To them, the matter was settled with Henry VIII and further set in stone by Leo XIII.

It is truly sad that Rome has not used this opportunity to have a real ecumenical dialogue with the continuing churches and has, instead, pursued this sadly depressing course that has been laid out in AC and represented clearly by Mr. Campbell.

I sometimes wish that those who take potshots at the clergy of the ACC could just once meet some of the fine men who serve the church.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sean Reed wrote:

I certainly don't think God is pleased with people choosing individual interpretation and self assured right reason over the Magisterial Teaching Authority of The Church.

I offer Mr. Reed' words as exhibit A. He speaks for people who are already RC, but have not yet obeyed their consciences by joining that particular option between the two One True Churches.

Also, notice he has swallowed whole the worst foolishness of Cardinal Newman, that all exercise of reason that does not conform to Rome's teaching on everything is merey "private judgment." That whole "Private Judgment" red herring was one of the most insidious bits of Newman's deception, his clever bullying of the partially educated (no, I will not apologize for daring to say what I have observed in Newman's writings). And, how ironic for someone who, apparently, speaks directly for God to go about "Private Judgment."

Mr. Reed, it is not my private interpretation to point out the true meaning of Anglicanorum Coetibus, neither am I contradicting Rome on that matter. I am contradicting Abp. Hepworth, yes; but he is the one, in that matter, who is contradicting Rome. About doctrine, we who believe in classic Anglicanism dissent from Rome's teaching on matters where it conflicts with the Universal Consensus of the Church as received in Antiquity. That is not Private Judgment at all, and is very much its opposite.

You need to read less Newman, and more Hooker and Andrewes. You could do with more of the Bible and the Fathers of the Church as well.

The Rev. Robert T. Jones IV said...

Why is it that I can never say anything as succinctly as Father Wells?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I approved six comments, using a different method then before. Big mistake on my part. Please send them again if you will.

Sean W. Reed said...

John Hollister wrote:

"...Inherent in Mr. Reed's statement is the conditional nature of its commitment to Rome: "We're going, but only if we get what we want." This is equally as important a problem as is the question of whether the proposed structures will afford them what they want, although it is actually a separate issue...:

There is nothing conditional about it.

First and foremost, those of us who wish to accept the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution don't have a theological dispute. We agree with the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church 100%. You may not, and that is fine, and that is why you should not be accepting this offer.



We made a request, we got an answer, and we will follow the process to make use of the answer.

We believe the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists in the Roman Catholic Church and sought a way to bring as many people as possible back into being fully and completely integrated in the Church led by the person we believe to be the Vicar of Christ.

If we want to maximize the number brought back into the Roman Catholic Church, that would not be accomplished by us as individuals going each on our own way.

More people will become fully integrated in the Roman Catholic Church by following the process we asked for and going as a group.

Why would we make a request, and then not follow the process given in answer to the request?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

We believe the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists in the Roman Catholic Church...

Almost a billion people, agree with you. But, how can you still call yourself an Anglican? You have already converted in your heart, mind and conscience. Why do you settle for what you believe to be imitation sacraments?

Sean W. Reed said...

LKW wrote:

"...If anyone sincerely means to become Roman Catholic (a course of action I surely do not disapprove of), every Roman parish offers an RCIA program..."

As I have already said, we sought a way as a group to become fully integrated into the Church in which we feel the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists.

We made a request, we got an answer, and we will follow the process. We are not going to now jump ship and take off on our own as individuals.


SWR

PS - I would personally save about $250 a month in out of parish tuition if I took your advice. I would join the parish where my daughter attends school and then get the officially permitted dual membership to the FSSP parish and attend Mass there in Latin.

I went and heard Mass last night there for the feast of the Purification, since our parish was not able to have mass since our priest is recovering from surgery. On Holy Days of Obligation, if our parish's schedule does not fit my work schedule, I usually hear mass there.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sean Reed wrote:

We made a request, we got an answer, and we will follow the process.

Before you can follow the process, your leaders, from your Archbishop on down, have to accept the real answer as is, and stop trying to rewrite it. It is what was written, not what they promise.

Sean W. Reed said...

Father Hart wrote:

"...Almost a billion people, agree with you. But, how can you still call yourself an Anglican? You have already converted in your heart, mind and conscience. Why do you settle for what you believe to be imitation sacraments?..."

I think that is the point we keep talking past each other on. I don't spend time defining myself as being other than a Catholic who appreciates the Anglican tradition. I don't try to prove to anyone that I am Anglican, and it does not matter to me to be called former or what some people say, that I never was a "real" Anglican anyway.

I appreciate how hard you try to beat the imitation sacrament drum.

I believe Anglicanism has been a failed 450 year experiment. Certainly the failure is apparent in Canterbury. The Continuing Church was a necessary interim step, but I can't imagine that it was intended as a permanent answer. Maybe it was. It really does not concern me either way, but I don't see a jurisdiction which by choice is not in communion with ANY historic see to be a healthy Catholic view.

Our parish is 140 years old. We left TEC fully aware of the direction the TAC was going, and we have waited until this time.

I view it as repairing a problem. This problem was not created over night and there will be an interim period until it is repaired.

I will follow the advise of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Had they said we should stop all sacramental activity, simply read the Office etc, then I would do that. That is not what they advised. They said to keep doing what we are doing until we transition into the Ordinariate. We will follow their advice.

SWR

Sean W. Reed said...

Father Hart wrote:

"...Before you can follow the process, your leaders, from your Archbishop on down, have to accept the real answer as is, and stop trying to rewrite it. It is what was written, not what they promise..."



Who is trying to re-write anything. Personally, I don't have a problem with any of it as it is currently written.

The plan from beginning as the CDF presented it, was that at the time of the founding of each ordinariate, the specific norms for that Ordinariate will be formed subject to the approval of the Holy See. They will be drawn up to provide how that particular ordinariate will be operated.

Two things to remember: what ever is approved is approved and the word "ordinarily" appears many times.

I think the problem in the arguments that go back and forth, is that it would appear that you guys think the only communication about how this is going to work out is the written documents that you have access to, and what information the Toad may have had access to before jumping ship.

You perhaps don't consider the possibility that dialogue between the Holy See and the TAC might actually be ongoing.


SWR

John A. Hollister said...

Sean Reed wrote, "We made a request, we got an answer, and we will follow the process to make use of the answer."

That request is precisely what I meant when I said the commitment to Rome is conditional. The request amounted to "Give us what we want, and then we'll come", which clearly also implies "If you don't give us what we want, we won't come".

Were that not the case, then there would have been no request in the first place, merely the announcement, "Here we are; we've come!"

John A. Hollister+

Bruce said...

"We believe the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists in the Roman Catholic Church "

Maybe I'm missing something but I keep hearing the AC advocates say "most completely" and that sounds like a relative phrase to me. If it's the one true Church then just say "completely." Their phrase seems to translate into "it's the best thing out there." Fine, but that best-thing-going-out-there Church MAKES you believe debatable things.

Have I misunderstood?

Sean W. Reed said...

John Hollister wrote:

"...That request is precisely what I meant when I said the commitment to Rome is conditional..."

That would be true if we outlined conditions other than simply going as a group. We did not do so.

We see the breach created as a group, best healed as a group. The breach was not caused by individuals nor will the greatest number be led back as individuals.

You can call the decision process what you want, though. I find it equally amazing to remain out of communion with ANY historic See as a matter of choice.


SWR

Anonymous said...

SWR wrote:

"As I have already said, we sought a way as a group to become fully integrated into the Church in which we feel the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists."

Sean, I am honestly trying to understabd you, really I am. It would appear that you have conflicting loyalties, on the one hand to a "group" (that's your coetus, right?), and simultaneously to "the Church" (meaning that branch of Christ's people in submission to the Roman pontiff). What is it about your "group" that justifies, even temporarily, a less than perfect membership in the Body of Christ?

I sincerely recommend that you save that $250.00 each month and donate it to Fr Groeschel's Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, to Fr Pavone's Priests for Life (both of which I have donated money to, in small amounts), to numerous praiseworthy RC causes, or perhaps to some legal defense fund for RC dioceses facing bankruptcy.

But my main question is what is it about "the Anglican patrimony" that keeps you in a conflicted situation and obliges you to pay $250.00 each month in "out of parish" tuition? And if your local RC parish is doing cartwheels of delight over Anglicaanorum coetibus, why don't they welcome you with a tuition break? Sounds like they are treating you as if you were a run-of-the-mill Protestant.
Too bad.
LKW

William Tighe said...

Well, Canon Hollister, your last criticism applies equally to such "provisions" as the Union of Brest in 1595, the Union of Uzhorod in 1846 and the Union of Alba in 1700: if those Ukrainians, Rusyns and Romanians really wanted to "become Romen Catholics," why didn't they just convert as individuals or en masse? Because Rome graciously accepted their requests, that's why.

It is another instance of "she stoops to conquer," and I applaud her for it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Bill:

...if those Ukrainians, Rusyns and Romanians really wanted to "become Roman Catholics..."

That is not quite relevant. They were not placed in the local RCC diocese under a Latin Rite bishop, with only some advocate called an ordinary (whose election they could not even take a real part in). They were given their own bishops. It is not the same at all.

It is another instance of "she stoops to conquer," and I applaud her for it.

You are more willing to put it in those terms than anyone else, because you are very happy about being a Byzantine Catholic (which, in my experience, is rare. Most of them have made it clear to me that they are unhappy and treated as second class citizens). I applaud you for using the word "conquer." That is, in fact, exactly what this is all about. The RCC does not have any desire to preserve the unique treasures of Anglicanism. The sooner they can throw those things away, the better, as they see it (except for those things they have embraced already without attribution).

AFS1970 said...

First what I meant about the wading causing the strife was principally online. As the AC has been the subject of so many articles and posts on blogs & forums, it has all but dominated any online communication we have as Anglicans. I admit to being selfish here, I am just starting out on a faith journey to bring me back into active church life, and it would be nice to read as much material on heading into the Anglican path as there currently is on heading away from it.

Sean W. Reed wrote:
"We see the breach created as a group, best healed as a group. The breach was not caused by individuals nor will the greatest number be led back as individuals."

This may be the best summation that I have read about the AC. It is the first time that the reasons for not simply going the RCIA route, truly made a bit of sense. Although, I would argue that the breach was in fact the act of individuals, they were simply followed by a large number who agreed with them. Enough that they were able to stay together in a cohesive body.

That cohesiveness brings a question to mind for me. The other historical groups that have come to or returned to Rome, have all stayed somewhat separate as a group. This usually takes the form of a specific Rite. Since the request from TAC did not seem to include this desire, but instead wanted to simply be Roman Catholics, I do not understand why RCIA as a group was simply not a better plan.

Ken said...

We believe the fullness of the Catholic Faith most completely subsists in the Roman Catholic Church...


These appear to be weasle words. What does "most completely" actually mean? Its like saying "partially full".

For Mr. Reed, what parts of the fullness does not subsist in the RCC?

Sean W. Reed said...

Ken wrote:

"...For Mr. Reed, what parts of the fullness does not subsist in the RCC?..."


I was trying to be charitable.

#816 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us:

816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."


Further, the CDF explained this passage in 2007 thus:

""Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

"Response: Christ 'established here on earth' only one Church and instituted it as a 'visible and spiritual community', that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. 'This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. ... This Church, constituted and organized in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him'.

"In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' 'subsistence' means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

"It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word 'subsists' can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the 'one' Church); and this 'one' Church subsists in the Catholic Church."


I don't expect any agreement with the teaching, but I was trying to be charitable for the purpose of discussion in this forum in how I phrased my point.


SWR

Anonymous said...

Sean Read, quoted with affirmation by AFS1970:

"We see the breach created as a group, best healed as a group. The breach was not caused by individuals nor will the greatest number be led back as individuals."

I suppose that neatly sums up where we differ. To my way of thinking, this is not only a Pelagian approach to Church Unity but also flies in the fact of some patent facts. Modern church history is full of examples of two Churches attempting to unite, only to produce three where there had been two.
(Think Deerfield Beach and its aftermath.) The massive unrest and attrition which TAC is currently experiencing is an ample refutation to Sean's wishful thinking.

Also, creating a funny little enclave of Former Anglicans within the body of the RCC is a step away from unity, not toward it.
LKW

Anonymous said...

"We see the breach created as a group, best healed as a group. The breach was not caused by individuals nor will the greatest number be led back as individuals."

If this is the best one can say about the AC then the AC is best left unsaid.

Your right it is cohesiveness that is the core of the nut were there any core or nut. The Roman Catholic Church has been at the core of every breach but it was never the core of the church and this document restores nothing because such a homogenous church ruled by Rome never existed and is demonstrated in the account of British Bishops and Augustine:
"That this was so, comes out very emphatically when Augustine demanded the submission of the British Bishops to himself. They positively rejected his claims, declaring allegiance to an Archbishop of their own, the Bishop of Caerleon-upon-Usk. "Be it known unto you," they said, "we are subject to the Church of God, and to the Pope of Rome, and to every godly Christian, to love every one. But other obedience than this we do not know due to him whom you name to be Pope." This, we think, is sufficient to settle the question of their relation to the papacy. " The lineage of the American Catholic Church By Charles Chapman Grafton http://books.google.com/books?printsec=frontcover&dq=lineage%20of%20the%20american%20catholic%20church&ei=1pFrS5rqB4agzATAuZ3nDQ&cd=2&id=0xUYAQAAIAAJ&output=text&pg=PA58

Nothing is restored because the Church had always been in Britain and was unique.

""Britain," says St. Jerome, "worships the same Christ, observes the same rule of Faith, as other Christian countries." Wilfrid, who was Roman in his sympathies, asserted that the true Catholic Faith was held by the Irish, the Scotish, and the British, as well as by the Anglo-Saxon Church. In regard to its relation to Europe, Dr. Bright says, "We find it adhering to orthodox doctrine during the great Arian struggle." Hilary of Poitiers, in 358, congratulated his British brethren on their "freedom from all contagion of this detestable heresy." In 363 Athanasius could reckon the Britons amongst those loyal to the Catholic Faith".

That the AC does nothing to reunify anything is simple to ascertain: Will there still be Anglican Churches after the TAC and FIF and a smattering of others accept the offer . Yes
Does this offer do anything to repair breaches in the Protestant churches (numbering 26000 +-)? No,

An interesting and very likely account of the planting of Christianity by St. Paul is on page 37 and deals with the account in the Epistle to the Romans of Pudens the son of a Roman Senator and his wife Claudia and her brother Linus converted by Paul. Claudia and Linus were the children of Caractacus a British Chief sent back to rule in Britain while his family was held hostage in Rome. Since it is documented that Paul went to the "Boundary of the West" known to be the western edge of Britian and since Paul was on his way to Spain... It is likely Claudia and Linus appealed to Paul to go the extra mile. Can one imagine Paul with such a strong connection and opportunity would have ignored it?

The claim of John 17 is bizarre as there is no restoration per se and can the Body of Christ really be separated by "individuals or groups"? I am not so sure.

Even if the claims of the Roman Church were true absorbing a few thousand or 10's of thousands heals no division when millions refuse the overture.

John

Veriword drout

John A. Hollister said...

Sean Reed wrote, "The breach [between Rome and Canterbury] was not caused by individuals...."

The correction is noted. I had always laboured under the misapprehension that Antonio "Michele" Ghislieri, O.P. (aka Pope Pius V), the author of that breach, was an individual.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sean reed:

Your quoting The Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church comes in handy for anyone who doubts that they still believe what they always did. I am puzzled by what you mean in saying you had been charitable. We already knew what they believe, and are hardly troubled to have someone using clarity of speech. I wish Abp. Hepworth would speak as plainly as you do.

Anonymous said...

Canon Hollister,

I think it is worth noting that Clement VII, Paul III, Julius III, Marcellus, Paul IV, Pius IV, all served from Henry VIII's reign until Pius V took it upon himself to excommunicate Elizabeth because she spurned his overtures to regain control over British civil government and the English Church and thus an income stream he had no right to in the first place.

36 years passed in between, funny how none of these other infallible Popes concluded there was either a "breach" or that there was some reason to excommunicate another Church.

John

RC Cola said...

Back from a ski trip and see more wrangling.

I have a simple point: there is a huge gap between what the RCC officially teaches and what gets to the people.

Exhibit One for the Prosecution: USCCB. It is perhaps one of the most pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-women's ordination, and other gravely disordered ideas.

I submit for your perusal "Real Catholic TV" on You Tube.

Who in their right mind would swim the Tiber to go to this? Does the Anglican Influx really think they are going into loving arms of the shepherd? They are rolling in blood and jumping in shark-infested waters. There are some orthodox RCs who would love to have orthodox Anglicans as allies. But a) how many are really going to join the RCC, and b) once they join they will be marginalized and neutralized. In the future any Anglican-Roman rapprochement will be tarnished by this current debacle.

I do not blame Benedict XVI or even Hepworth, et al. I blame the bishops who will do everything in their power to destroy the Church from within.

Bruce said...

"I applaud you for using the word "conquer." That is, in fact, exactly what this is all about."

Anglia delenda est.

Anonymous said...

RC Cola is right.

The real thing though that keeps traditionalist RC's from cooperating with traditional Anglo Catholics or vis versa is their insistence on their own liberal revisionist doctrine that they are the one true church and all others are quasi Christian let alone the notion that traditional Anglican clergy having valid Orders.

They are on their own because they really do not want outside help (imagine that! we have been saying it for centuries!) while the normative RC's sand bag until Pope Benedict dies and they can continue chasing the Episcopal Church.

Alan

Anonymous said...

Rome never looks where she treads.
Always her heavy hooves fall
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
And Rome never heeds when we bawl.

We are the Little Folk--we!
Too little to love or to hate.

David Gould said...

Fr. Hart has done nothing less than defend Anglican Catholicism in the face of "The Anglo-Catholic" blog's revisionism which fails to see that when you say our orders are INVALID, then you condemn our ecclesial history to the rubbish bin, and you accept the Roman error that the Church of England was no more than an apostate Protestant sect.

Like Fr. Hart I welcome the generosity and love and fraternal pastoral care of Pope Benedict XVI. What should have happened was the establishment of a genuine Uniate Church for the Anglicans - with bishops, diocese and canonical integrity, albeit in communion with the Holy See as in the Eastern Catholic Churches.

The stumbling block is our orders, something Warden Campbell glosses over, as Rome's desire to be "certain" about our orders. Lets be perfectly clear here. The 1896 Bull on our orders was erroneous and flawed and was clearly demonstrated in the reply of the Church of England.

Archbishop Hepworth says that some version of the TAC will remain in situ to accommodate those "Protestants" who cannot walk with their bishops to Rome. Why bother? Surely the house of the Lord for those folk is within orthodox continuing Anglicanism, wherein there is clarity about the faith, certainty about our orders and missionary zeal for Christ.

The lack of episcopal visitation, zero ordinations, even in the TAC primate's land of Australia for years, points to no missionary zeal in the TAC, which is why the TAC in South Africa and the Congo have come to the ACC for pastoral care and episcopal leadership. What future can the TAC have when their leadership join the Roman Church and await their absolute ordination (if they are lucky)?

Canon Tallis said...

Bravo, David. Well written!

Actually if Benedict XVI were as you said, he would kick the stool of AC out from under the Curia and acknowledge what honest Roman scholars have long known but only dare to say privately that Anglican orders have been valid up to the current scandal of WO. But there is that little quirk in the Roman psyche that demands the absolute destruction of anyone with whom they disagree. It is, if nothing else, evidence of their own uncertainty about too many things in Roman ecclesial history.

I have been told by those with the ability to know that Leo XIII's infamous bull was actually written in England and forced upon him because the English Roman hierarchy believed without a condemnation of Anglican orders there would be little reason to leave Canterbury for Westminster. In short, it was simply another case of the Curia running the show and using the current pontiff as a sock puppet. He won't last you know and next time they will find someone far more compliant.

My fear is that the ACC will be reluctant to do what it should for those unwilling to "pope" for fear of offending Rome of the former hierarchs of the TAC. That fear is probably entirely groundless, but it is certainly one being fed to those whom simply would like to remain Anglican. But as we all should know, real shepherds don't desert the flock; they die for it.

"unteries"

Fr. Robert Hart said...

You need not fear that the ACC is afraid to do the right thing. The right thing is let the abandoned people know that a warm home has been ready all along, with the soup already on the stove.

David Gould said...

Thank you Canon Tallis! It would be really useful to put any Roman theologian's disagreement with Leo XIII to print for us to read.

Some of the actions of Roman bishops and Popes does not match the Bull either. Paul VI with Archbishop Ramsay, the Papal visit to Canterbury cathedral by John Paul II, in actions seems to indicate that Anglican orders have meaning and validity.

Just as Roman theologians and clerics and laity have said that many of the reforms of Vatican 2 were actually contrary to the documents and spirit of Vatican 2, I would hope to see some meaningful Roman Catholic revisionism around our orders.

In regard to the ACC and the TAC's future, I believe that our bishops and priests and faithful will welcome anyone from the TAC who cannot in conscience reject their orders, their sacraments and their Church's undoubted place within the Catholic Church and become Latin Catholics.

With a worldwide missionary presence, that has already welcomed home TAC priests and congregations, I think this will continue particularly when the hierarchy of the TAC abandon Anglicanism.