Thursday, March 18, 2010

So far, not eating my fedora

One week ago I posted the Big Challenge to apologists for the TAC/ACA spin on Anglicanorum Coetibus, in these words:

"Here is our big challenge: All you Anglicanorum Coetibus Enthusiasts: If you can demonstrate from that constitution any specific Anglican treasures, even so much as one, I will make and post a video of myself eating my favorite hat, and I do mean a classy fedora-the only thing that Frank Sinatra left me in his will."

So far a whole week has gone by, and not one answer has come directing us to any place where the new Roman constitution identifies any specific Anglican treasure it will protect and preserve. Don't the boys in Orlando want to watch me eating my hat? It is just as well as I don't need all those unhealthy carbohydrates.

After Easter, each week we will note how many replies have been sent with a quotation from Anglicanorum Coetibus that justifies the claim that it promises to preserve Anglican treasures. So far the count is 0, as in zero, nothing, not even one. At this rate it appears I will get to keep my hat, and not eat it too.

4 comments:

Hugo Mendez said...

First, your challenge was inappropriate. According to AC, "this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner." It is not intended to be, nor functions as, a description of the Anglican heritage; rather, it orders ecclesial structures.

However, AC III does state: "the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church." Worship framed "according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, approved by the Holy See" is one particular "Anglican treasure" that will be preserved within the ordinariate.

The commentary released by the Vatican beside AC lists six others. Among them:

Beyond "the concession that those who were married Anglican ministers, including bishops, may be ordained priests according to the norms of the Encyclical Letter of Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus" (#2), there exists "the possibility that, following a process of discernment based on objective criteria and the needs of the Ordinariate, the Ordinary may also petition the Roman Pontiff, on a case by case basis, to admit married men to the priesthood as a derogation of CIC can. 277, § 1, although the general norm of the Ordinariate will be to admit only celibate men." (3).

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sorry Hugo, but "proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See" guarantees nothing more than the so-called Anglican Use, as far as we can determine at the present time.

As for the second point you made, I am tired of apologists quoting freely from Article VI of Ang. Coet., but strangely omitting the opening part, section 1, that provides the context:

"Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law[13] and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church."

That is, nothing more than the existing Pastoral Provisions, which have always worked exactly the same way, and also on "a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See" in accord with "the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42"

That opening part never gets quoted by the TAC/ACA bishops, and in one case I saw section 2 quoted as section 1-I hope that was an honest mistake. So, nothing new, nothing to eat my hat over.

Cherub said...

Married priests. For the rest I guess we shall have to wait and see the fine print re liturgy etc.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub:

Yes, but, married clergy by the same route, rules and procedures of the existing Pastoral Provisions (except that bishops can't say no to the procedure itself). That means it is not self-perpetuating. It is less than what the Eastern Rite churches have had all along, for they can simply keep it going without special rules (outside the U.S. and Canada). So, what the constitution spells out is not preservation of an Anglican treasure.

Besides, the RCC could rescind the whole stupid mandatory celibacy rule any time they wise up, and they don't need former Anglicans to do so.