Thursday, March 04, 2010

ACA takes first official step

First the news, then a statement by Bishop Brian Marsh, then commentary-Fr.Hart

House of Bishops on the Anglicanorum coetibus

Orlando, FL - 1 pm EST - Bp. George Langberg

Released by the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America, Traditional Anglican Communion 3 March 2010

We, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America of the Traditional Anglican Communion have met in Orlando, Florida, together with our Primate and the Reverend Christopher Phillips of the "Anglican Use" Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement (San Antonio, Texas) and others.

At this meeting, the decision was made formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States of America by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Statement from Bishop Brian Marsh:

It should be noted that the statement needs to be placed in context. First of all, the ACA has not agreed in total to accept the constitution as presented by Rome. That would require the approval of the parishes through the Synod process. What it does is first to respond to the constitution as requested by the Roman Catholic Church. It addresses the process whereby those who choose to take immediate steps in the quest toward sacramental unity can move forward. For the ACA however, it seeks to establish a Council who can now look at the continuing conversation between us and the Vatican and answer the many questions that are being asked by the ACA. It should be noted this is only a first step in our response and does not commit the ACA to the terms and considerations as set forth by the constitution. For now, all things remain the same and our dialogue continues, but we have taken the step of responding to the CDF and opened the door for those who think an immediate action is necessary. For the rest of us, we will continue in a prayerful and careful consideration of the ongoing dialogue between us and our fellow Christians in the Church of Rome.

Your brother in Christ,

+ Brian


(FYI: The CDF is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Until he was elevated, it was headed by then Cardinal Ratzinger. It is now headed by William Joseph Cardinal Levada- yes that Cardinal Levada, whose reputation in the United States equals the reputation of Bernard Francis Cardinal Law, and for the same reason.)

This is not unexpected, and neither is the continued delay on the part of the American TAC body. Unlike the Australian Forward in Faith, the ACA is still working on the problems that remain, trying to work out some details. My own information is that they will not accept Anglicanorum Coetibus unless they get what they want, assurances about the properties concerning which we have been given so much assurance in several comments. Also, on their own Orlando based blog they have tried to give the impression that the information supplied here by our own Rev. Canon Charles Nalls has been corrected. They have informed their readers that local Diocesan bishops will not have the final authority to dispose of parish properties belonging to former Anglicans, but rather the Ordinariate will have this power, as if that makes all the difference. The issue is that the power will be completely in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church through an Ordinary who is not a former Anglican priest or bishop (at least while all the former Anglican clergy are laity). It is also known that each group of former Anglicans will have no special representation, and that not even those of each diocese will have it, but that one Ordinariate will be appointed for the entire U.S.

Yet, that is not the most significant issue. Rather, the issue is in these words by Bishop Marsh: "For the ACA however, it seeks to establish a Council who can now look at the continuing conversation between us and the Vatican and answer the many questions that are being asked by the ACA...our dialogue continues." Whether the questions are property questions or matters of Faith, the ACA is not ready. This raises questions, such as, what do they really believe? Did they even see the constitution coming, or did it take them by surprise?

Either way, if they ever conclude their "continuing conversation" what will they decide? Will all their talk of "joining the (as in the One True, Holy Mother) Church" be renounced? Will they content themselves with being a mere "ecclesial community" that might do some good, but come short of being the Catholic Church that we, believing Anglicans, already belong to, as we say in the Creed? Will they, if they decide in favor of the Roman option (from among the two One True Churches), carry with them this attitude of negotiation, and become the worst sort of Cafeteria Catholics?

Either way, the time has come to remove our link to the TAC/ACA from this Anglican blog. They have decided not to be part of the Continuing Anglican Church that adheres to The Affirmation of St. Louis. It is not our intention to direct people to Roman Catholicism, which they may find easily enough on their own without our presenting here what would amount to a seeming endorsement of conversion. We pray all will be well for them, and that they grow in God's grace.


Albion Land said...

Some four years ago, Bishop Lou Campese told me that there was no question of the ACA joining the Roman Church; it was only seeking full communion. Either he lied to me, or the ACA has changed its colours. My mother, a founder of Incarnation parish in Orlando and a stalwart there until her death at about the same time, would turn over in her grave if she knew what was happening.

Ken said...

I suspect that the first Ordinary will be a current Anglican Use priest; and therefore he will be a former Anglican even though all the one that go over now will be "laitized".

Anonymous said...


He (+Campese) told the same to myself and another when we joined the ACA. Clearly, either he was lying, or he simply cannot discern what it is he is involved in.

In either case we have departed the ACA. I hope others will see the double-speak and move on if they are Anglicans. +Marsh's letter uses the phrase "sacramental unity " how deceptive!


Anglican before and after the ACA

John A. Hollister said...

Albion Land wrote: "Some four years ago, Bishop Lou Campese told me that there was no question of the ACA joining the Roman Church; it was only seeking full communion."

If that is what the ACA (and/or its umbrella organization, the TAC) has been seeking, it has always been a hopeless quest.

Even the Polish National Catholic Church, after more than thirty (30) years of formal inter-communion discussions, does not have "intercommunion" with the Roman Catholic Church, but only a "mutual recognition of Orders and Sacraments". And even that "mutual recognition" does not apply to lay and clerical members of the PNCC who are personally former RCC members.

Rome's policy is that it is in communion only with those who are members of its Communion, which is entirely consistent with its current vision of itself as The Catholic Church and with the inevitable implications of that vision (such as, that no one else is really and truly part of The Catholic Church to which we refer in the Creeds, but instead is only some sort of defective "ecclesial community").

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

The have ALL been saying what Campese was saying, and they have ALL known for quite some time that this was a disingenuous claim.

As a former ACA parishioner it is my fondest wish that when this much ado about conversion to Rome is complete ALL the players will just sit down, shut up, learn, listen, and stop bothering Anglicans who are not worried about the approval of the Roman See.

If my sister or cousin or neighbor or friend wants citizenship in another country, I wish that person well. I also wish that the travel brochures, press releases and travel magazines were not always left in my own mailbox or littering my front yard. Go arreddy! I wish them well. But could they now just get on with it and stop talking about it incessantly?

Just sign me,

Full up years ago

David said...

I agree 100% with you Fr. Hart that this is nothing more than Rome making Anglicans Roman Catholics. I point to this blog post as proof that many Orthodox understand this in terms of our disccusions with Rome.

Anonymous said...

It would surely seeem that Bp Marsh is distancing himself from the whole
project. His language is guarded (the trendy word is "nuanced") but phrases like these are fairly revealing:

"those who think an immediate action is necessary..... the rest of us...."

The terse statement from Bp Langberg sounds like the death rattle of the grandiose proposal, deceitfully marketed from Disney-world as "inter-communion." Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Deacon Down Under said...

The drift of the APA/TAC to the Roman Church, accompanied as it is by so many statements from their bishops is a story of Anglicans renouncing the conviction that they as Anglicans are Catholic Christians already.

Are we Anglicans Catholic Christians? Do we have valid orders and sacraments? Clearly my view is "yes".

These bishops and priests who contemplate returning to lay life praying that the Roman Ordinary will approve their absolute re-ordination is another cause for sadness.

All members of the TAC who have certainty in their place within Catholic Christendom now, should leave their bishops and join their brothers and sisters within the Anglican continuum who know that we have no need to go to Rome to be 100% Catholic Christians.

Deacon Down Under said...

This rather long and interesting lecture by the eminent US Roman Catholic priest Fr. Joseph Fesio :

Fr. Fessio contrasts the fact that Roman Catholics receive the Body of Christ standing despite the Pope's appeal not to do so - while in Anglican Churches one sees communion rails and people receive communion kneeling. He said : " And Anglicans are kneeling to receive what is not the Body of Christ while Catholics stand to receive the Body of Christ".

Is Our Lord wholly present in every valid Anglican mass - in the sacrament of the altar, in the Body and Blood? He is. This denial of our sacraments is an affront to the Lord and frankly the only way I think that Anglican Catholics should contemplate ecumenism with the Roman Church is when they say "we got it wrong" and reverence our altars as they do (in theory) their own.

If they can accept the validity of Polish National Catholic Church masses and orders, then they can revise their errors and respect our orders.

If one listens to Fr. Fessio, it places into stark reality the actions of the TAC bishops - at best misguided piety and at worst abandonment of the Catholic faith of Anglicans.

SL said...

I simply cannot be the only one who sees that the TAC/ACA did not veer off the Anglican via media this week, but in England in 2007. If reports are to be believed, these men (without consulting any of their people back home), during a special Mass "for Christian unity," in front of cameras, in full and oh so impressive regalia, I am sure, each put their own names on the Roman Catholic Catechism.

Now, let's follow the logic:
1. The tome contains the overt and not too subtle teaching that the Bishop of Rome is the Vicar of Christ and therefore rightful head of all the Church on earth, and all not under his authority are outside the fullness of the Church.

2. People sign things because they are agreeing to the terms or information contained in those things (or because they were tortured into appearing to be)

3. These "continuing Anglican" men declared that day that they were no longer continuing. They requested a special case conversion path - nothing else. (And from that day forward, made a mockery of every Mass they said and every confession they heard.)

I'm embarrassed at their bad manners (telling the head of the house how to invite them in), but make no mistake about it. The "middle way" is in the middle, between Romanism and Continental Reform Protestantism. Once the men drove their cart over into the Roman side of the road, they simply weren't in the middle any more.

And I agree with "full up" - I just wish they'd go if they're going, and stop pestering the world with their silly posturing. They're very tiresome.

Ecgbert said...

Either way, the time has come to remove our link to the TAC/ACA from this Anglican blog. They have decided not to be part of the Continuing Anglican Church that adheres to The Affirmation of St. Louis. It is not our intention to direct people to Roman Catholicism, which they may find easily enough on their own without our presenting here what would amount to a seeming endorsement of conversion.

Other than I define Anglican as bishop invited to Lambeth like Roman Catholic means under Rome, fair enough. They're leaving you.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

And just when as the first ever Lambeth Conference? We have defined Anglicanism as a body of teaching and practice that is now largely alien to many of those Lambeth/Canterbury ecclesial communities.

Ecgbert said...

Some four years ago, Bishop Lou Campese told me that there was no question of the ACA joining the Roman Church; it was only seeking full communion.

To RCs full communion means under Rome so I'm not sure that was a lie unless Bishop Campese meant they'd be RCs yet still in communion with you, which is impossible.

Ecgbert said...

Chris Johnson brought this up when the Church of England was considering recognising ACNA. Before the conferences began in 1867 an Anglican church was one recognised as such by the C of E: same idea.

RC Cola said...

Is Our Lord wholly present in every valid Anglican mass - in the sacrament of the altar, in the Body and Blood? He is. This denial of our sacraments is an affront to the Lord and frankly the only way I think that Anglican Catholics should contemplate ecumenism with the Roman Church is when they say "we got it wrong" and reverence our altars as they do (in theory) their own.

I recall a former classmate referring to Anglican Eucharist as "the Real Absence." I found it so arrogant that rather than convincing me to stay, helped push me out the door. What I hoped for from my former coreligionists was a thoughtful defense of RC Eucharistic theology and refutation of Anglican Eucharistic theology. They didn't, and now that I have been reading the Continuum for several months I realized they didn't because they can't. Rather than sound RC apologetics, the alleged best and brightest rely on glib brush-offs.

AFS1970 said...

After so much speculation, we are finally seeing some sort of progress towards their goal. While it is not a goal that many here have, this is one of the few actual statements we have seen from any part of the TAC.

Now I agree, that if this is truly what the ACA wants, then get on with it and leave the rest of us alone. The real question (or 800lb. Gorilla) is this really what they asked for?

They asked for intercommunion and were invited to convert. To some this may just be semantics but to others this may be nothing like what they envisioned. There may even be some Bishops who had something different in mind.

Give the way that non TAC Anglican clergy have picked apart the AC, for what it is. Perhaps this is nothing more than the ACA formally asking questions of Rome to get a definitive written answer. Then they will decide if this is what they originally asked for.

As much as we may want them to hurry up, this is an important matter and one that they need to weigh carefully in their hearts and minds. I think that the end result may very well be a surprise for all involved.

Ó Rothláin said...

I'm glad to see some traditional Anglicans not "crossing the tiber" as it were. It was a relief to my eyes to read, "the time has come to remove our link to the TAC/ACA from this Anglican blog. They have decided not to be part of the Continuing Anglican Church that adheres to The Affirmation of St. Louis. It is not our intention to direct people to Roman Catholicism..." I understand that the Anglican Communion is facing a trying time, and that a line has been drawn in the sand. However the Vatican has definitely siezed this opportunity and unfortunately some have convinced themselves it's the only place that has a place for them. It's an odd change of events in history.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if these good people realize that they will be moving into an entirely different culture of pastoral care. Some time ago, I was approached by a couple who were lapsed RC's. They had been married and lived together faithfully for 25 years. Problems was, both had been divorced and they were married "outside the Church." Certain life events made them crave a church home where they could receive the sacraments regularly. They approached the local RC pastor, who told them the annulment process would require "two or three years," but fees must be paid up front. Whereupon they looked in the phone book and called the small Continuing Anglican church in the neighborhood. Five years later, they are faithful, every-Sunday-attenders in their Anglican church.

Another parishioner tells a story of how she was a faithful RC, raising her children "in the Church." But when her husband, who had not darkened the door of a church for many years, died, the RC pastor said, "Sorry, he doesn't get a church burial."

The Tiber can be swum both ways.

In a small Church, every member is deeply valued and we know the importance of kindness. For all its truly impressive works of charity, that does not seem to be the case in the RCC. It will be interesting to watch what happens when some of the ACA clergy get into the annulment process!


Anonymous said...

While it is a fully understandable rationale to remove the link to the TAC/ACA site, perhaps you should reconsider:

1. There are those, both laity and clergy, (in this jurisdiction) who have not the sightest interest in jumping "into the abyss" and see fully what this nonsense is all about.

2. The "remnants" shall recover from the present episcopate(s), (of these former Anglicans) and continue in Christ's Church, as a new ACA.

3. Ignoring the miscreants becomes a tacit denial of their behavior (which has been so well illustrated in this blog) and should be kept in the light of day.

4. In keeping the dialog viable, our brothers and sisters are reminded to keep the dissenters, in the TAC/ACA, in their prayers.

Father Frank +

Ecgbert said...


The church fathers, whom Continuers say they follow, would say the same about such irregular marriages as they would about women's ordination and homosexuality. Really, your argument and story make the Continuers look like the Episcopalians. If this compromise out of well-meant charity, then why not the others as the Episcopalians have done?

AFAIK denying a funeral to a lapsed person who didn't convert to another faith is unlikely but I see the point. The man had cut his ties.

Best to stick to the real issues: you don't believe the papal claims and believe you're a branch of the Catholic Church so you don't want to convert and really wish these people wouldn't.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Young Fogey:

How can you comment on that real life annulment case without the details? If we can assume anything, it is that the couple who wanted to be married had stated what they believed to be a genuine case, and had tried to act in good faith.

Ecgbert said...

It sounds like they didn't go through the RC annulment process and instead shopped around for a church that would tell them what they wanted to hear. Like liberal RCs who become Episcopalians.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Young Fogey:

To me it came across differently. I read it to mean, they looked for a church that would take their case seriously rather than simply demanding money. But, neither of us knows what we are talking about. Perhaps "Liturgist" knows; but, you and I don't.

Brian said...

This all just shows how gracious Pope Benedict really is: He's ready to take the sort of effete clergy who have rhapsodized about Rome for decades but lacked the fortitude (or intellectual honesty) to convert before--when it would have required real sacrifice.

I, a far lesser Christian, simply say "good riddance."

Anonymous said...

In 1665 I had this to say in response to this question (regarding the Romans):

We have the Word of God, the Faith of the Apostles, the Creeds of the Primitive Church, the Articles of the four first General Councils, a holy liturgy, excellent prayers, perfect Sacraments, faith and repentance, the Ten Commandments, and the sermons of Christ, and all the precepts and councils of the Gospel. We teach the necessity of good works and require a holy life. We live in obedience to God, and are ready to die for Him and do so when He requires us to do. We speak honorably of His most Holy Name. We worship him at the mention of His Name. We confess His attributes. We love his servants. We pray for all men. We love all Christians, even our most erring brethren. We confess our sins to God and to our brethren whom we have offended, and to God's ministers in cases of scandal or of a troubled conscience. We communicate often. We are enjoined to receive the Holy Sacrament. Our priests absolve the penitent. Our Bishops ordain priests, and confirm baptized persons, and bless their people and intercede for them. And what could here be wanting to salvation?

I would appreciate it if you would on occasion reflect on what so many of us passed on to your time for your defense, comfort and erudition. Alas, through I spent my life in service must I continually repeat myself for centuries?

Jeremy Taylor

Anonymous said...

Young fogey missed the part about this couple already being married 25 years. They were not asking to get married; they were asking to be restored to sacramental privileges. Where a stable marriage of long standing exists, that should not be a complicated procedure. Nor should it be a fund-raising activity for the diocese.

AFS1970 said...

Without knowing all the details, I can see what young fogey saw in those two stories, because I saw it too. My first impression was that they looked for a church they were comfortable with that would not hold them to the same standards. I only tempered my view after reading the later posts, it could be more about the money and not the standard. As for the funeral story, my perception was that a church was found that would hold a ceremony in the nick of time without knowing the person or the details of their not attending church regularly. We, as Anglicans, need to not take up the position of being catholic but less so.

As for where those in the ACA end up that do not swim across, I would say that the best tactic is in fact to remove the link and replace it only when and if the ACA reemerges as an Anglican body. We do not know what kind of numbers will be involved on which side, and there is the chance that there will only be small numbers left who may align themselves with the various continuing bodies, rather than remain independent. It is just too early to tell.

FrEdBakker said...

Dear Albian et al,
For the record, I am a former TAC Priest waiting to be received into the ACC/OP. During my TAC Postulancy I had some contact with + Louis Campese and based upon that I would rather think that he would not deliberatly tell a lie.At that time , and I also discussed this with the Priest here in New Zealand that I was licensed to , the general thought was Union in Communion, to which at the time I personally have no objection to. Based on experience in the TAC, we welcome Roman Catholics at the Holy Table, but if we visit them, we are being told polity that we cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament. Let us face it, the TAC got much, much more then they bargained for with the AC, and the Holy Father called their bluff. I believe that the driving force behind ( ironically ) by the one at the helm of the TAC and that there is still a lot of indecision, confusion, insecurity and despair amongst Bishops and lay people.
Why on earth cant we clearly see the AC for what it is? It is not Church Union, it is yet again an indication that Rome does not recognize Anglican Orders and in order that we can do " our Anglican thing" in the Roman Catholic Church", we are told we to be re-ordained and Roman Catholics and blindly sign the RC Cathechism , whether we believe it 100% or not. I for one would comment that I would have liked to have been a Roman Catholic, I would have done this a long time ago. Canon John Hollister in the last paragraph of his feedback expresses it so well in his last paragraph.

Looking forward to my incarnation into the ACC OP, may I then pass my time in rest and quietness and set out to what has called me to do in the first place.

Lenten Blessings,
Father Ed Bakker SSM

Matthew M said...

All I will say on this is, after going through all the TAC/ACA Jurisdictions plus ACC, APCK, DHC and APA, virtually 80%-90% of these 'congregations' have no property, no church sanctuary or other buildings. They have storefronts, rent space in protestant churches where they can, and can hardly afford a priest let alone have any kind of out reach. So, Rome won't be getting much of anything. The great 'Affirmation of St. Louis' hope is not doing well. There are exceptions as there always are but they are too few and far between. SAD.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


The great 'Affirmation of St. Louis' hope is not doing well.

I see you don't really know what you talking about. But, of course, if you're judging by what you have seen only in the ACA, I suppose you have an excuse.


"Good riddance" is too harsh. Let us pray they will find Christ and His grace in their new home, and recognize that, unlike Jeremy Taylor (I didn't know they had the internet in Heaven), they had no idea where they have been all along.

Anonymous said...

This is a trifle off-topic, but it illustrates the failure of certain people to grasp the empirical reality of the American RCC in our own time. This morning's Politico contains the following story:

"The Roman Catholic bishops signaled Thursday that if agreement is reached with House leaders on anti-abortion language, the church would work to get the votes needed to protect the provisions in the Senate — and thereby advance the shared goal with Democrats of health care reform."

This is a far cry from the romantic misty-eyed nonsense of mediaeval grandeur in which the Latin Mass is celebated with incense, plainchant, and Sarum ceremonial. The 1960's style "church" of Father Groppi and the Berrigan brothers is alive and well. For those who wish to join it, go in peace.

Fr. John said...

Let me say this to those who would be stingy (not careless)with the sacraments; who would deny a dying man pardon and absolution and a final Communion if he expressed a desire to receive it?

I will not solemnize a marriage of people I do not know, sometimes I have refused to solemnize marriages of people I do know. Care and discretion must be exercised in the administration of every sacrament, but in the case of the dying and dead charity is what is called for, but not sentimentality, no phony sermons.

I never turn down any request for a burial, but I must know if the deceased was baptized or not so as to be able to offer a more certain hope to the families of those who have received it, and to encourage others to seek it while there is yet time.

This way of acting is not a lower standard, rather it recognizes that the Sabbath was made for man and not the other way around.

Fr. John said...

Well they are not getting my church, but even if we were meeting in a tent I would not go.

RSC+ said...

Fr. Hart et al,

I'm glad these rabbit trails, like the ones concerning divorce and annulments, come up, because they give ideas for important posts. Would someone be willing to discuss the Anglican policy toward divorce in greater detail?

From what I gather, the general idea is: "There is no divorce; to behave otherwise is to live in adultery." This seems sound, except for the writhing one does to repair it and pretend that the divorce never happened. We know most divorced folks are not going to go back to their first spouse, and so the tendency has been to engage in sacramental gymnastics so that the first marriage is revealed to be invalid.

Now, this works, I suppose, but it seems a bit legalistic to me, and certainly not how I imagine the Church Fathers would handle it. Take, for example, St. Augustine, counseling Count Boniface. Boniface's first wife had died, and he had promised not to remarry. Except, he did. Augustine's concern isn't to undo the broken vow, but to acknowledge the sin that has taken place and carry on. (He's not even terribly concerned, for what it's worth, if the entire Western Empire collapses, so long as Boniface's soul is in less danger.) I know this isn't, quite, a parallel example, but my point is even Augustine, when confronted with a pastoral situation, does not begin by dusting off his canon law books.

That sort of pastoral care makes the most sense to me -- not legalistic gymnastics, but an assessment of acts, acknowledgement of sin, and proper recourse so that folks can be restored to the Body of Christ.

How does that work in divorce or adultery? Genuine, honest question seeking genuine, honest answers beyond glib, non-pastoral: "Mm. They should suck it up and go back to their original spouses, or be cast into outer darkness."

Anonymous said...

When I shared a couple of stories relating to pastoral situations (who may get a church funeral, how can people married outside the church owing to divorce problems get reinstated), I did not anticipate a rabbit trail of discussion of divorce, annulment and remarriage. I meant to draw attention to a contrast in how such situations are handled in terms of pastoral kindness.

Suppose a couple make an annulment request which is highly meritorious. Or suppose they make a request which is deeply unmeritorious. Either way, how are they dealt with? Do you tell them they will have to full out tons of paper work, pay a fee of several hundred dollars, wait two or three years, and in the meantime they cannot receive Holy Communion?

If that is how things happen in some parts of the Continuum, I am sorry to hear of it. But that is business-as-usual in the RCC. That is a different culture altogether from what most of us are used to. For the gullible denizens of the Magic Kingdom about to embark on a Roman holiday, this might come as a real shock.

As for the problem of who gets a funeral in our church, our Prayer Book has a rubric (p. 337) stating that "this Office is appropriate to be used only for the faithful departed in Christ." It goes on to authorize the Minister to conduct a service using other parts of this book in other situations. Our Manual for Priests provides an Office for exactly those sad cases. We would deal with the family on the basis of pastoral kindness.

The over-worked RC padre (1 priest for a parish of 5000+ souls) would, out of his situation, be forced to beg off entirely. Its a different world over there. That was my point and I am sorry to I not make it more effectively.

RSC+ said...


I wasn't attempting to be critical. I was just halfway hoping it might lead to an erudite post on the blog about one of the messier topics in Continuing Anglican. :)

Your point is a fine one, and it will be interesting to see how people who swim over are doing 5, 6 years from now.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:


It seems hard to say what it is you're after. If I understand you right, you seem to be favouring some kind of an expedited annulment process. If so, how can the rubber stamping of every such request be avoided?

Your gratuitous remarks about the "gullible denizens of the Magic Kingdom" only add to the general obscurity of your point. What are they gullible about? That divorces are hard things, that there are two sides to consider, and that it takes time to untangle the mess? And that the Roman Church takes that time?

To borrow a phrase, let's not spread compost on weeds.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA:

Whereas I do not agree with such phrases as "gullible denizens of the Magic Kingdom," neither do I believe you have heard "Liturgist" fairly. He(?) does not "seem to be favoring some kind of an expedited annulment process." Rather, his remark is about approaching the issue pastorally rather than legalistically and with an appearance of "for profit." Many RCs have been made bitter by what goes on in their church.

FrEdBakker said...

Dear Albian et al,
Can I first apologize for some of the typing and spelling errors I have made in my comments. At the time of writing I was so upset, that I rushed in and typed as fast as I could.
Did you know that you can be punished by your former TAC Bishop, if you dare to write anything on the Continium Blog?It is very true indeed, I received a severe wrap on the knuckles and was punished in the following way: with the confirmation of my resignation letter from the TAC, he promised to do a c.v. He has now withdrawn that promise and said that I can do it myself.

I personally welcome a blog such as the Continium, how would we otherwise find out the truth regarding a number of issues.

Once again apologies for the typing errors.

Father Ed Bakker SSM

Fr Tom said...

"All I will say on this is, after going through all the TAC/ACA Jurisdictions plus ACC, APCK, DHC and APA, virtually 80%-90% of these 'congregations' have no property, no church sanctuary or other buildings. They have storefronts, rent space in protestant churches where they can, and can hardly afford a priest let alone have any kind of out reach."

Dear, dear, where to start - in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States (ACC-OP) 20 of 25 parishes have their own building. Now mathematics was not my strong suit, but I believe this says that 80% of our parishes DO HAVE THEIR OWN BUILDING!!
The diocese budgets more than 10% of its budget for 'missions and charitable works.' In addition, DMAS parishes responded generously to the recent earthquake in Haiti.
In my own two parishes, the same 10% ratio for charitable works is present in our parochial budgets.

I will leave it to persons from other dioceses in the ACC and other jurisdictions to comment on their status.


John A. Hollister said...

Regarding burial, let me second the comments of Fr. John and of the Liturgist.

Further, let me point out that burying the dead is one of the traditional acts of Christian charity that are held up as models for the Christian life. To this end, not only do we have the special burial service that appears in "A Manual for Priests", but that service is actually taken from a genuine BCP: "A Supplement to the Book of Common Prayer" (Church of India, 1960).

And to Fr. Ed Bakker, let me say, Welcome back! Bring a friend!

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

Shaughn commented on "the writhing one does to repair [a broken marriage] and pretend that the divorce never happened" and that "the tendency has been to engage in sacramental gymnastics so that the first marriage is revealed to be invalid".

From these comments, I know that Shaughn has never had to read and consider seriously a properly-prepared marriage case. On the other hand, over the past 24 years, I have probably been involved in more of them than any other one man in my jurisdiction.

Out of that uncomfortable experience, I will content myself with saying that this one problem is undoubtedly the most onerous duty that we impose on our bishops and one that it would behoove any man to reflect upon carefully whenever he feels a touch of "purple fever" coming on. It should serve as a salutary dash of cold water thrown on his heated ambitions.

Every bishop I know spends much time in prayer over each such case, trying in all sincerity to uphold simultaneously the Church's commitment to the integrity of the Sacrament and its duty to heal the lives of its subjects. More than once, I saw the late Archbishop Stephens quite literally pacing a circle around his living room carpet, sweating in agony as he prayed for guidance in such a case, knowing every minute that one day he would stand before Our Lord to give an account of his handling of it.

Anyone who implies that these cases are dealt with by sleight of hand or verbal trickery, at least within the ACC, knows not whereof he speaks. And anyone who can sneer at such cases with a cold, legalistic attitude of superiority to the human tragedies that give rise to them is an unfeeling, uncharitable, and unprofitable excuse for a Christian.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Tom+ is right about the ACC. And, it applies as well to the Diocese of the South (DOS). We have our properties for the most part, and where we have a shortage of clergy it is because we have a good number of real parishes.

Former ACA Layman said...

I've been around Bishop Campese on a number of occasions and the impression I took away (which could be entirely wrong) was that he isn't a particuarly intellectual fellow. My other impression was that he is a good and sincere man and I don't think he would lie.

He came to speak to us on a number of occasions. When the petition to Rome came up, he constantly deferred to the Orlando layman to speak for him.

Anonymous said...

We purchased a property 2-3 years ago after being in VFW , etc., and we are currently using a house, but plan to expand a chapel we built that will be our future fellowship hall.
In fact I know of at least 2 nearby churches (ACC) that are preparing to break ground on new buildings. The APA has done a good job as well at erecting buildings.
We are thinking ahead to that end as well and have an architect and a contractor lined up. We will be pouring our walls from formed concrete- an excellent and cost/heating efficient method.

John in VA

RSC+ said...

Canon Hollister,

Thank you for your response. As a seminarian in my mid twenties, I haven't had that experience. I'm glad to hear that our bishops take it very seriously.

I frequently hear anecdotal reports that this is not the case in other jurisdictions, to include the RC's and the EO's, let alone the Episcopalians.

Oddly enough, im one of my only direct encounters with a bishop over it, I was speaking with the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, who was teaching a required course at Emory, about marriage. He reported that he'd only granted one annulment. It was for a couple who basically realized that, despite their best effort and intentions, they weren't much more than very close friends -- no attraction beyond that, after a few years living it out. I suppose that means the sacramental intent wasn't there, but I don't know how to evaluate those. (Then again, they'd just as soon allow divorce and be done with it. Blah.)

Disgusted in DC said...

FWIW, Catholic support for universal health care whether government-run or some other means, has been a priority of the Catholic bishops conference long before Father Groppi and the Berrigan Bros. became famous. I am not a supporter of government-run health care, but if it comes to that point, I'd rather have that with the Stupak Amendment than a free market system where anything goes when it comes to abortion.

By the way, the Berrigan Bros. were pro-life, so they deserve credit for that.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised at this happening at all. The ACA/TAC just doesn't want to be of the Anglican faith no more. My own parish (St Mark Anglican Church in Portland, Oregon) was part of the ACA/TAC since it started (yes, it's Anglo-Catholic). We ended up leaving the ACA/TAC for the APCK just for that reason alone. Nobody had any interest in being Roman Catholic at all. I don't blame you guys for dropping the ACA/TAC link at all either...

palaeologos said...

Anonymous, elsewhere in the blogosphere a certain batrachian intimated that the Parish of St Mark joined the APCK due to the scaremongering of a certain Archbishop (I believe words similar to "Boogity-boogity-boogity, ROOOOOOOOME!" were bruited about). Would you care to speak to the, er, "truthiness" of this assertion?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The only blogging batrachian I know of is on our side of this ongoing debate. As long as he keeps up his blackmail payments I will not reveal his true identity.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please, good sirs! Allow me to answer palaeologos' scaremongering nonsense!

The archbishop of the APCK did NOT approach our parish. We approached him. The reasons were simple:

1. If one is standing on a metal track, parallel to another metal track, and there is a light in the distance, growing larger and a rumble in the track under one's feet, it is perhaps NOT scaremongering to realize a train may soon arrive. To Rome the ACA was going, and to Rome we did not wish to go.

2. The ACA bishops left the Anglican via media when they signed the CCC. Period. Full stop.

3. The APCK was the largest continuing body in our geographic area, and the most stable, and the one around the longest of any others near us. So WE called THEM.

It's just not that complicated. We don't accept the teachings of Rome any more than any other historically Anglican teacher ever did, so we stepped off the track and left the station entirely. Nothing mysterious - just a "you did what?!" followed by a clear "no thank you."

palaeologos said...

aftercatharine, I think you misunderstood. I was referring to this post :

The Continuum links to this blog, and you'll notice that I questioned the author's narrative when he published it. Your view of events squares with what I was told by your rector, your curate, and a couple of your fellow parishioners. Which makes the Toad's comments seem even more irresponsible to me!

Anonymous said...

oh! My abject apologies, palaeologos!!

I thought maybe YOU were a toad! I do beg your pardon. (And I thank you for bothering to find out the truth of such goings on. WHAT a tempest in a teapot this has all been!)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Well, even Feb. 2009 was a long time ago. The toad to whom you refer has been barking, of late, against the actions of the ACA bishops.