Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some odds and ends

After more than a month the big challenge has been met with one and only one attempt to provide an example of any particularly Anglican thing that Anglicanorum Coetibus has promised to protect or preserve. The challenge, posted on March 10, was as follows:

"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."

The only attempt to respond to that challenge came in reply to a reminder one week later, and in the comments there you may read the attempt to get the prize, and my reply explaining why the attempt failed. It was not enough to meet the challenge. No other comments, attempting to provide an example of a protected Anglican treasure, were offered, except a mere repetition of the first that had failed anyway, and which, therefore, does not count (also in comments at the same thread linked above).

Why does it matter you may ask? Because the future of several people and of entire parishes happens to be on the line; and with all the misinformation flying around on the subject, and with the ACA bishops trying to lead their people to Rome with empty promises they themselves have tried to attribute to the new Roman Catholic constitution for future former Anglicans, the truth must be made clear and obvious.

Comments moderation on this blog is rather light. No comment has ever been rejected because of an argument in it, nor because of a criticism of this blog. Recently, after making many comments here over several months, almost always (if not always) to disagree with me, one reader had his comment rejected. I hit the reject button for the first time on one of his comments because he said this about my words: "Comments like that make you look like a real jerk." This was not a substantive argument, to say the least. In an email, after I answered his behind the scenes demand for an explanation, the same reader said that I was just using that as an excuse to censor him. I wonder what made him think 1) that I would need an excuse, or 2) that I should publish a comment like that, or 3) why, if I was the censoring type, I had always allowed his many, many arguments to be published. To him I say, if you are reading, try again with any argument you wish to make, leaving out four letter words, like "jerk." You can do better anyway. (If you have already emailed several of your friends to say "Fr. Hart censored my unanswerable argument," don't worry. I will agree with that. Such an "argument"-that I look like a real jerk- has no answer.)

Below you will find a useful and edifying essay by the late Rev. Dr. Louis Tarsitano. Fr. Tarsitano was a friend, a fellow priest, and a fellow Touchstone editor. The essay below may help readers understand the real treasures of Anglicanism, the kind of valuable things that a certain new constitution cannot protect.


Anonymous said...

Dear Fr.Hart,
A comment in relation to your post "some odds and ends". You are absolutely correct in stating that the ACA Bishops are trying to lead their people to Rome with empty promises. A serious classic exemple of desperation has now come to the surface right from the top of the TAC. " The man, who would be Pope"?Wishful thinking perhaps in relation to the current climate in the Vatican?As a last desperate move Abp.Hepworth is now telling clergy that he will be departing for Rome to negotiate a further deal with the Roman Catholic Church. He further tells them that he is going to be made an Archbishop in the Roman Catholic Church ,this is in contrast to what we feel is going to happen, i.e. he is going to retire.That would be logical taking into account the relevant canons of the Roman Catholic Church. Then there is the promise that TAC Clergy will be automatically accepted by Rome, dont have to be re-orained and they can remain Anglicans. These promises clash with the contents of the Apostolic Constitution and can only come from an Abp, who is a politician, but not a clergyman. Let us hope that TAC Clergy not wishing to cross the Tiber are not going to be fooled by this and keep their feet on the ground. It has been estimated that 40% of clergy in Canada and the United States will not go across to Rome.

The politics played by the TAC throw a shadow across the Glory of the Resurrection, which we recently celebrated.


Canon Tallis said...

Since I have no idea as to what brought the bishops and some, perhaps even a majority of the priests, of the ACA/TAC to the point at which they are willing to abandon Anglicanism but also to attempt to lead their people into the Roman fold, my concern and I hope the concern of all other classical Anglicans is for those laity, deacons and priests who do not want to leave the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Book of Common Prayer for what they will currently find in the Roman Church. And, if anything, my level of concern has decidedly increased as the extent of the current series of Roman scandals seems to be reaching new and more serious levels with each passing week. None of this, however, seems to concern those intending to lead their flock into what now appears to be a burning sheepfold.

Maybe there is nothing that the bishops of the major continuing Anglican jurisdictions can do at this time to show support and empathy - if nothing else - for those who don't want to become subjects of the Roman See. Or, and hopefully, what is really necessary is being done quietly and privately in the consideration that the intended march across the Tiber might never actually take place - or at least not in the numbers originally advertised.

Whatever the case, the work that you, Father Hart, and the others on this blog have done to make at least the laity aware of the reality of what was never being actually offered, has been exceptional and worthy of thanks and praise on all our parts. And what has especially pleased me is that you have done this with great grace and without the bowing and scraping sense of abject apology which some thinking themselves Anglo-Catholics think the Roman Church deserves.

Rome and Roman deserve our prayers and the best of Christian charity which we can by our Lord's grace offer them. But they also deserve our every effort to hold them to the demands of the totality of Holy Scripture, the fathers and the Councils of the ancient and undivided Church even as we should constantly set the same standards for ourselves. But we need never give nor appear to give a blanket consent to their sins or their attempts to conceal the same. To do so is to injure all those who call themselves Christians.

I, personally, am very proud of your response to this crisis and of the grace and charity which you have always shown in addressing it. I don't think I always do anywhere near as well in addressing the Roman problem which is why I thank you for what you have done, will do and the manner in which you always do it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


I assume from your handle that you are Canadian. Your comment is plausible, based on what I have heard from the man with my own ears; but I would be more comfortable with some confirmation that Abp. Hepworth has made such a wild claim. I would not put it past him, but I must caution readers at this point that it is not yet verified.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father Hart,
You are correct. I am sure that the confirmation of what I have heard will come out in the open soon.David Gould was casting some doubts whether all the Australian Assistant Bishops are crossing the Tiber.I have heard from contacts in Australia that one has resigned, but obviously Abp.Hepworth wants to keep it quiet as long as possible. David Gould is on the right track.


Robert Ian Williams said...

You are right.. Rome wins...

Unconditional re-ordination and the total vindication of Apostolicae Curae.

No bishops in the Ordinariate.

Corrected liturgy and the 39 articles in the bin.

No automatic right to married priests as in the uniate eastern churches.

Yes they can have their episcopal insignia....just like Abbesses were allowed!

Members of the tiny ordinariate will not be Anglican Catholics but latin rite Catholics.