Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

A friend, whose opinion I value, suggested that I take a peek at that blog we accurately call The Former Anglican, something I have not done in months. The blogmeister calls it The Anglo-Catholic, a name that no follower of the genuine Anglo-Catholic writers can take seriously. My impression of what I saw, regarding its inner TAC insight, reminds me of Sr. Winston Churchill's description of Russia, "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

The immediate glimpse (with today's date) shows that the ACA bishops are not unanimous about trying to lead their people into a Roman Ordinariate, but that Abp. Hepworth, all the way from Australia, will presume to speak for his American brother bishops through his appointed spokesman, a layman whose twofold office of "Senior Warden" and blogmeister makes him the voice of their international Primate (with an assertion of archiepiscopal prerogative that puts the "primate" in "Primate"). The question is, what would it matter if their bishops all agreed? Many of their people are not going with them. Nonetheless, rather than reporting the words of the bishops themselves, the Former Anglican blog will post pontification from the Latin Patriarch of Australia. That should clear up everything, right? The riddle remains unsolved.

The page reveals that the TAC in England should not bother to keep trying to get under an ordinariate, because the nasty Romans won't give a chance to non-C of E Angloids. That is fascinating, because the TAC in the UK voted to accept the new Roman constitution before it was unveiled. Talk about blind trust. How that fits the international TAC position is wrapped in a mystery.

The essays on that page declare that not everything in Anglican Patrimony fits into Roman Catholicism, but fails to state that the reverse is equally true and of greater significance. Meanwhile, it declares that new TAC members are catechized with the Roman Catechism, not with Anglican sources at all. Nonetheless, we are told, they must be patient as they wait for the perfect day when they may enter Mother Church under the Holy Father (where are they now? An orphanage?). In the meantime, they have to accept being outside the True Church without "full" sacraments, waiting to enter. Their status in the Church, as the Bible and Creeds speak of it, is inside an enigma.

So, putting this together, we see that the American House of Bishops will be put in their place through a layman blogmeister who speaks for the Outback Primate, that the whole TAC is under established authority that is leading them (kicking and screaming it seems) to Rome, except for the first national church of the TAC to accept the constitution (who should just give up), while they all wait patiently for enough improvements to perfection to make it suitable.

T0 be polite we shall call the TAC, "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." To be impolite would be more fun.

87 comments:

Benton H Marder said...

Yes, indeedy. This whole tale seems like 'News of the Weird'.
I see newsletters from my former parish and diocese. I see nothing about the layfolk being prepared by catechesis for this move. It makes me wonder just how much the layfolk in the ACA really know about all this.
I see the Diocesan Circular from the Canadian Continuers. Here, there is a fair amount of mention of the RC Catechism. Also, for the past year or two, they've been running a monthly series of essays on the Fathers, Schoolmen, and other suchlike divines. I commend this series to all of us. The Canadian Continuers are working at educating their people on serious matters. I cannot say about the rest of the TAC/ACA.

Some years ago, in the aftermath of the Deerfield Beach affair, +Mercer commented to me that he thought the ACC bishops, clergy, layfolk should have obediently followed their Primate (Louis Wahl Falk of infamous memory) into the deal with Clavier and the AEC. While I have my problems with the outlook and polity of the ACC, I thought that the bishops, clergy, layfolk had to think the thing through and decide for themselves. As it turned out, only one bishop and his diocese (with some exceptions) followed Falk into the merger.
Even so it is now. The primates of the TAC and most of the bishops of the ACA have signed on to this deal with Rome. This still leaves parishes and layfolk still having to think the thing through with what information they have (and which blogs like 'The Continuum' and others might provide through essays and comments) and decide for themselves. The ACC bishops declined to blindly follow Falk; the parishes and layfolk should likewise decline or accept as their informed consciences impel. Given the conflicting information provided, they should refuse to decide until a straight story is told them. So far, this has not been the case. Out here in the blogosphere, we have read the offer and its norms. We have asked questions when we see the conflicting views. We have had more than adequate counsel from Fr Nalls and others on the technicalities. We have tried to think this thing through, and consider the implications. We earnestly pray for the layfolk in the ACA. We are aware that the bishops have signed on. We are aware that the clergy are or should be sufficiently informed so to counsel their layfolk. We see signs that the layfolk in general are not well informed on this issue. We wish otherwise.

Heaven guide and protect us all.

In +,
Benton

Michael said...

Where would the cause of Christian unity be without bloggers?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Not to mention the cause of misinformation.

Colin Chattan said...

The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, outside the Bishops, is also divided on going over to Rome, even within the cathedral parishes - though to what extent, I can't say. To get a glimpse of the turmoil see the last entry ("Family Upset") in the Vancouver parish's newsletter at http://www.stpeterstpaulchurch.com/Documents/The%20Traditional%20Anglican%20-%20April%20May.pdf and Dean Janzen's putdown of "half-truths, outright lies, and misleading information given to members of the Parish under the guise of unbiased and historical information, whether it be a series of so called ‘pros and cons’ issued by a member of the clergy or a petition calling for a congregational vote" in the Victoria parish's newsletter at http://members.shaw.ca/frdon/Newsletter.htm. The "member of the clergy" referred to here is the Rev. Canon Stanley Sinclair, former rector of St. John's and, apart from Bishop Wilkinson, one of the best trained theologians and pastors in the Canadian Church.

Canon Tallis said...

I am most glad that you continue to follow this . . . . whatever we can call it, because it precisely speaks to issues which so many in the Continuum would prefer to avoid. Yet, given the cast of characters et al, what is it that it continues to surprise?

But don't stop. The laity and too many priests and deacons need to follow this very, very closely!

Anonymous said...

Just checked the Former Anglican to see how "the pretense wrapped in a charade inside a hoax" has developed through the day. I was salivating at the prospect of finding some nice juicey comments. Much to my disappointment, the article had been greatly abbreviated and all the comments had been removed (Sound familiar, Fr Hart?) But the promise that the Patriarch of the Antipodes will speak from his Chair on Saturday is still there. But I am not holding my breath.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Much to my disappointment, the article had been greatly abbreviated and all the comments had been removed (Sound familiar, Fr Hart?)

Like, as in the Summer of 2008?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to sign my last. That's the one with "South familiar, Fr Hart?"
I thought it might ring a bell.
LKW

AnglicanContinuer said...

From the ACA home page:

NEWS of the ACA

The Blog on theanglocatholic.com by Christian Campbell does not represent in any way official policies, positions and statements of the Anglican Church in America.

House of Bishops Update
Wednesday 2 June 2010

The House of Bishops and the Executive Council met and have established a unified approach to provide support for parishes and clergy who have indicated their desire to enter the proposed Ordinariate, once established, while providing for the ongoing pastoral care of all the members of the ACA. The meetings were conducted and concluded in the spirit of mutual harmony and Christian love.

The recent "preliminary statement" regarding the ACA House of Bishops meeting on theanglocatholic.com is erroneous. The characterization of the House of Bishops and Executive Council discussions relative to the Ordinariate are false.

- ACA House of Bishops

John A. Hollister said...

I read with great interest the parish newsletters cited by Colin Chattan (above). In particular, I was struck by a comment in a sermon by one of the Cathedral clergy from Victoria, BC, in which he said that the Bishops of the ACC-Can. had all signed off on "The Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church" so that was the statement of faith for the ACC-Can.

How very odd that is, and it fits right in with the remark Mr. Marder attributed to Robert Mercer that in 1991 the ACC itself should have followed Louis Falk into the AEC. Setting aside the small point that, by the time of Deerfield Beach, Louis Falk had no office in the ACC but was only a retired bishop, why should the ACC have followed him in some sort of lemming-like compulsion? Had its people somehow lost their canonical right to pass in Synod on any church mergers and similar matters, so they were somehow obligated to follow the promptings of one (deposed former) leader?

That same lemming-like dependence on the hierarchy seems to be what the Victoria Canon is recommending to his people. Disregard that in each Anglican BCP up until now the Catechism has been a formulary adopted by the Church through its normal canonical process; now the bishops alone, without consulting the other Orders in the Church have the power to bind the consciences of that Church's members to a foreign document, just on their own say-so (or, perhaps, pen swish).

How very odd -- and how very un-Anglican.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

For those of you interested in fathoming the depth of the desparation extant on the "Former Annglican," click on the headline (re: this subject)and you will be taken to the comments. Note that ther are no further additions allowed.

Like the Communists, who were (unsuccessfully) attempting to suppress dissent and promote mis-information, you will find the concluding comment most telling; from the chief propagandist.

Echoes of Nero, anyone?

Fr. Frank +

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen,

As a lay member of the ACA Executive Council, I can only say that Mr. Campbell is indeed "off the reservation." He in no way represents the views of the ACA leadership, and he has a rather interesting interpretation of the TAC concordant. He also seems to have some sort of special relationship with Archbishop Hepworth which makes me quite uncomfortable. The reception of the Apostolic Constitution among ACA folk has been mixed. Some do want to take advantage of the offer immediately, and the ACA is establishing a separate entity which will assist these folks in making the transition. The ACA, however, will continue as a going concern. Please check the ACA website at acahome.org for an official word on Mr. Campbell.

I have only been involved in the Continuing Church for 4 years. For that entire time Rome seems to have been the elephant in the corner. Benedict has indeed done us a great favor by giving that elephant a home. Those among us who yearn for Rome now have an acceptable way to achieve that goal. The Apostolic Constitution should also have the very positive impact of dropping some barriers to unity among Continuing Anglicans. We have real battles to fight, and it is past time to put this one behind us all as I recall reading something somewhere about a great commission...

Mark Newsome

George said...

Deleted comments...i have experienced that first hand. I posted this video there and it was deleted:

http://www.stfrancisportland.org/silverlight/2009_06_29_what_means_2b_an_anglican/SMPTREASURY03%207-9-2009%2011.33.18%20AM/Default.html

There was discussion on Protestant Catholicism and I thought this video was relevant. Also the fact it was one of our Bishops in the ACA educating laity (the video is from an official ACA parish website).

However, the post was deleted because of the Bishop said something about his "divorce", which could cause a scandal.

Anyway, I noticed they aren't willing to have an open discussion about anything on their website. It is always we are right and you are wrong.

Side note - Anyone else notice on the ACA website:
"The Blog on theanglocatholic.com by Christian Campbell does not represent in any way official policies, positions and statements of the Anglican Church in America."

Michael said...

There never were any comments on that article, as far as I know.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It was Winston Smith's job to edit the past for Minitrue.

Colin Chattan said...

Just to be clear: when Fr. Hollister refers to the "Victoria Canon" he is talking about Canon Michael Birch, not Canon Sinclair. Fr. Sinclair is finding it, to put it mildly, very difficult to get any official publication of his views within the Victoria parish - and all he has asked for is a reasoned debate that considers all sides of the issue, so that a true "consensus fidelium" (a goal the value of which even Cardinal Newman acknowledged) can be reached. His "pro" and "con" document is exactly the sort of material that should have been presented to and discussed by all members of the TAC BEFORE the bishops marched up to the altar in Portsmouth to sign the RC Catechism.

AnglicanContinuer said...

Michael said...

There never were any comments on that article, as far as I know.


There are 21 comments which are still visible when viewing the article on a mobile browser (in my case Safari on an iPhone). No Bishops are named specifically, but the comments allude to rumors of three of the ACA Bishops possibly not moving forward with the AC, and describe this reluctance as breaking a solemn vow, I assume referring to the signing of the RCC in Portsmouth.

I was present a little over a year ago when my then-Bishop (when my parish was still in the ACA) told our vestry clearly and emphatically that the signing of the RCC did not indicate complete assent with all Roman doctrine and dogma. We were told that the purpose of the signing was only to initiate dialog with Rome, but that certain items such as the Immaculate Conception as requirement for salvation would be "deal breakers", to use his term, and we would not move forward if Rome insisted on our acceptance of them.

Now that my parish is a member of a different jurisdiction I don't have a connection to this Bishop and can't comment on his current position, but I've wondered how he's faring amid the statements that the RCC must be accepted completely.

John A. Hollister said...

Colin Chattan is correct as to which Canon's sermon I was referring.

If Canon Sinclair is getting censored, perhaps some friendly soul could forward his "pros" and "cons" to Fr. Hart, for consideration for publication on this Blogspot. That would certainly get them out in the public sphere.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Mark says:
"He in no way represents the views of the ACA leadership,"

As one one who has first hand knowledge of Bishop Campese's view of the AC I have to disagree with Mark's assessment here.

Campbell is Campeses's Warden and Campese supports the blog. I directly asked the Bishop about the blog and other issues before making a final decision on leaving the ACA and he would not refute anything on the blog, he simply kept repeating a mantra about John 17.

Can anyone imagine that the Bishop and his warden do not discuss what Campbell posts? Can anyone imagine Bishop Campese is isolated in his opinions among the other Bishops of the ACA as he is but one who signed on the dotted line in Portsmouth?

"Official" as pertains to views means what if anything? Plausible deniability? Such a denial can be interpreted as an Episcopalian style tactic to keep people from jumping ship ≈.

I do agree with Mark in that this whole ordeal should help to strengthen Anglican identity and that should help to dissolve divisions among Continuers.



Former member of a former parish of the ACA

John A. Hollister said...

Anglican Continuer wrote:

"I was present a little over a year ago when my then-Bishop (when my parish was still in the ACA) told our vestry clearly and emphatically that the signing of the RCC did not indicate complete assent with all Roman doctrine and dogma. We were told that the purpose of the signing was only to initiate dialog with Rome, but that certain items such as the Immaculate Conception as requirement for salvation would be 'deal breakers', to use his term, and we would not move forward if Rome insisted on our acceptance of them."

I do not doubt for one moment A.C.'s report about what was said in his presence. What I find incredible is that any thinking person has ever believed -- or, at any rate, stated publicly with a straight face -- that it would be possible to become a member of the Roman Church without formally and publicly accepting ALL of the peculiarly Roman dogmas, including most especially the Immaculate Conception.

Rome painted itself into a corner on that one in 1870, when Pope Pius IX declared himself to be infallible as a way of backing up the dogma he had previously announced on his own personal authority in 1854. His bootstrapping himself in this way cost the R.C.C. in Europe many of its best and brightest, including the entire Faculty of Theology of the University of Munich.

So, having once gone through that trauma and, as it thinks, having lived down the egg that then landed on its face, there isn't a snowball's chance that it is going to revisit this issue, especially not for some tiny (as Rome sees things) group that is already rather questionable inasmuch as it is coming, ultimately, from the despised rebels in England (as Rome saw things in the XVI Century and as many there still see things today).

What is in the "Catechism of the (Roman) Catholic Church" is what you get if you become Roman, no more and most certainly no less. It is NOT negotiable. Anyone who thinks it is has simply been smoking a cheap brand of rope. Once Rome takes a doctrinal position, it clings to it with a death grip, even when the factual bases for that position have been proven to be false. If anyone doubts that, he has only to remember the Donation of Constantine or, closer to our own day, "Apostolicae Curae".

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Indeed. These folks need to stop using the word Anglican altogether. I read in an article on The Former Anglican "...she was told by The Vicar of Christ, the Word made Flesh..." Sorry, but I'm not choking on that bit of Roman teaching by trying to swallow it.

Not only this, the bizarre fixation on posting positive articles about Opus Dei also disturbs me. This group's pastoral ideas are the antithesis of the warm, homey, pastoral tradition of genuine Anglo-Catholicism.

Perhaps this ties in to the posts which are dangerously close to conflating political civic polity with the Church. Anglo-Catholics themselves may be "conservative" or "liberal", which are political terms. My parish has both, and we all get along just fine. But Anglo-Catholicism is Creedal and Orthodox - which are church terms. Lets not confuse the two.

This is why I find the photos on The Former Anglican posted of a Roman Catholic Eucharistic procession all the way to Canadian Parliament disturbing. Lay folk wheeling the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Ottawa, on what looks to be a modified carnival popcorn-cart, to do what.. try and menace the government with the Real Presence? I love the service of Benediction - but this is just inappropriate. The Blessed Sacrament is not a political protest tool. I would be appalled if my parish participated in such nonsense! It looks like something more out of Monty Python! All I can picture is Pierre Trudeau sticking his head out an upper window and saying in a thick French accent "huHU! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!"

I read on one blog posting that "Jesus was no pacifist" and this priest actually said “look at Luke 22:26 to the end of the chapter. Jesus actually tells the disciples to buy a sword if you do not have one.” HU?! This site is a travesty of bad theology and misinformation. It is an embarrassment.

If Christian Campbell posts "Anglicans becoming Catholic" or "Anglicans entering the Catholic Church" one more time.... When did the word Roman get dropped from the name of their jurisdiction. Anglicans ARE Catholics, thank you.

They claim that it was always the intention of the ACA/TAC to seek to be in communion with Rome and chastise those who don't like the deal Rome has offered. I've read it many times that those who aren't interested in Rome never should have joined the ACA in the first place. Seeking inter-communion was one thing. However, being in communion with Rome has turned out to be nothing but complete and utter theological capitulation. It is all on Rome's terms. This includes among other things, Marian doctrines as required dogma and the revival of indulgences and Romansh doctrines of Purgatory see: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyregion/10indulgence.html Swallow it all whole! No debate. Just capitulation. I already am Catholic. I am not a Roman Catholic.

I wonder how people will feel when told to leave their BCP at the door. They won't get the BCP Cannon of the Mass, not ever. And I wonder how Rome will feel when they find out they are getting at least 445,000 less people then they thought they were.

As to all the ACA folk all being catechized out of the Roman Catechism... what nonsense! I feel for the majority who find themselves now trapped in the middle of this mess who have been ill informed, and certainly were not prepared on any level for this monumental shift in theological beliefs.

AnglicanContinuer said...

John A. Hollister said...

...What I find incredible is that any thinking person has ever believed -- or, at any rate, stated publicly with a straight face -- that it would be possible to become a member of the Roman Church without formally and publicly accepting ALL of the peculiarly Roman dogmas, including most especially the Immaculate Conception...

Exactly, John, thank you - that's what the majority of us in our parish thought, too. Our Bishop was adamant that this was not about becoming Roman but rather simply to be a separate and Anglican but to be in communion with Rome. Our reaction was to wonder if that's what was truly intended by the TAC, why was the Catechism signed? To us that meant accepting it as a whole, with the only logical outcome being a type of absorption rather than separate but in unity. For many of us, this was a factor in our decision to leave the ACA.

To whatever degree the Anglo Catholic blog, including its articles and its posted comments, represents the direction the TAC is headed, our fears of being asked to join Rome and accept doctrine Anglicans have held to be in error appear to be justified. I'm thankful our parish isn't having to be in the middle of all this now.

John A. Hollister said...

Anglican Continuer wrote: "Our Bishop was adamant that this was not about becoming Roman but rather simply to be a separate and Anglican but to be in communion with Rome."

There simply is NO such thing as "being separate but in communion with Rome". So far as Rome is concerned, it is in communion with no one who is not under its direct authority, i.e., a member of the Roman Church.

The two groups that are not Roman but are closest to it are the Eastern Orthodox and the Polish National Catholic Church. In both those cases, Rome recognizes the legitimacy of the body's Orders and the validity of its Sacraments. Also in both of those cases, the Roman Church is expressly NOT in communion with either one of them, nor will it be until it recognizes Rome's authority and supremacy.

That, by the way, is precisely the reason that the "discussions" between the PNCC and Rome have gone nowhere in the past 20 years. A couple of times a year, they meet, they grip and grin, and they go home.

Again, anyone who thinks otherwise needs to smoke a better brand of rope.

John A. Hollister+

bentonmarder said...

Fr Hart,
I thank you for posting the link to +Haverland's letter to the TAC. I hadn't seen this before.

Now, when the TAC bishops signed the RC Catechism at Portsmouth, had they actually read, marked, learned, inwardly digested it? When the ACA bishops signed the letter to Rome, requesting implementation of the Bull & Norms, had they likewise read, marked, learned, inwardly digested it? Or, were they all like Congres; they didn't need to do any such thing?
I find all this disingenuous at best. I will not say what the other extreme is.
So, since he has become a skunk at the garden party, is Brother Campbell to be thrown under the bus because of his enthusiasm for this deal. Given all the smoke and mirrors we all have seen over this, I honestly don't think that Brother Campbell was lying about anything anent this. Perhaps my cynicism suggests where the lying originates.

Now, when the ACA was formed at Deerfield Beach, and for some years after, there was never any discussion about any rapproche with Rome. Yet, I am told that one Louis Wahl Falk, of infamous memory, was pushing this deal since 1995. I do know that friend, when they heard of it less than ten years ago, they left the ACA, not wanting to return to 'Egypt'.

Now, as I said earlier, there's a lot of smoke and mirrors about this deal. There is at least one bishop of the TAC/ACA who is highly unlikely to actually swim the Tiber. He has his reasons for this. Yet, he did sign one of these documents; possibly both. There are any number of other clergy and layfolk that have their own reasons not to get their feet wet in the River Tiber.

I will say to the ACC that, before it takes in any of thse clergy, it does a better and more thorough job of 'vetting' than has been the case in the past. Some may not like this comment, but far better the barn door be closed.

I return to the first paragraph of this comment. As I said, I had not seen this very long letter to the TAC primate. I want to point out that, after the Deerfield Beach affair, some very strong language was used by the then bishops of the ACC. This language, I believe, has never been moderated by later statements that I know of. It reminded me of certain old-old history in the RC anent Popes declaring Orders bestowed by immediate predecessors to be invalid. This lies at the heart of of possible relationships. We don't need to be burning down bridges that we might later need to use.

I would like Frs Hart & Hollister to discuss why certain other parts of the Continuum, such as the EMC under +Millsaps, are not generally regarded in the same light as the ACC-OP, the UECNA, the APCK. I understand the ambivalent and cautious attitude toward the APA under +Grundorf.

Heaven guide and protect us all.

In +,
Benton

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

I've been reading this blog long enough to feel allowed to offer a few generalizations about Continuing Anglicanism and the Roman Catholic Church:

- We are more in agreement than disagreement on the salient social issues of the day, for example, abortion, or the sanctity of marriage;

- We agree on much of the doctrine contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I think a careful analysis of this blog's posts would show this;

- We agree on the need for unity among Christians;

- Our disagreements seem to focus on those issues that you share with Protestantism in general: denial of papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals, denial of the immaculate conception of our Lord's mother (a Lady full of grace, by the way), and to some extent the denial of the existence of purgatory.

Regrettably, it's often the case that it is these disagreements that predominate and tend to overheat some of your discussions. It seems that they have almost become "institutionalized", a necessary part of your self-definition as "Continuing Anglicans".

I see a seemingly impressive three way Gordian knot: the command for unity pulling one way, and the inability to accept certain doctrines, plus the shifting of the responsibility for that inability onto these doctrines, pulling in the opposite direction.

William Tighe said...

With regard to Fr. Hollister's last comment, I agree -- but here's the question. Given the palpable facts of the case, can one claim with a straight face, especially if one is an ACA bishop chosen and consecrated as such in recent years (e.g., Williams, Strawn and Marsh) that one is not aware of this? Furthermore, all 3 of these above-named bishops signed onto the letter in early March that requested Rome to erect an "Ordinariat" in North America. Could some of them have meant "an 'Ordinariat' not for us of course, but for those who like 'that sort of thing'?"

These are seemingly perjured men (not to mention every one of them divorced-and-remarried) and if/when the ACA falls to pieces over this matter, and these bishops, or any of them, seek to "cosy up" to the ACC/APCK/UECNA you ought to investigate their bona fides very closely.

"Our Bishop was adamant that this was not about becoming Roman but rather simply to be a separate and Anglican but to be in communion with Rome. Our reaction was to wonder if that's what was truly intended by the TAC, why was the Catechism signed?"

I had a file of statements to the same effect made by one of the bishops I named above, made over the space of three years, but I deleted it about six months ago -- alas.

aftercatharine said...

And so the whole thing unravels ... shatters ... comes apart like a dud firecracker that disintegrates rather than explodes. And why?

You'd think it was over obvious doctrinal, ordinal, or even logical problems. The sort of thing AnglicanContinuer is pointing out, and Fr. Hollister has reiterated. (I'd think the universe would be feeling a bit nauseous right now - these reiterations of a perfectly obvious point - they just keep coming back and coming back because we keep hoping that it will be possible to show the obvious to a person with closed eyes.)

But no. It's not the doctrine, it's not the ordination vows, it's not the logic. I can tell you what it is. I saw it in its construction.

It is a lack of charity. If bishops and their fawning clergy in that club of hobbyists had actually been nice - and kind - and truthful, but even that wouldn't have been necessary - Just kindness would have done it - if they'd been nice, they'd have friends. It turns out that you cannot keep people by your side if you've stabbed them in the back and smirked about it.

Dear Men Wearing Collars,
When you feed the sheep, don't kick them. Don't curse them. Don't plot in back room deals about ways to trick them into doing what you want them to do. Don't gossip about them; don't gossip to them. Don't critique other sheep in the pulpit. Don't talk about yourself in the pulpit. Otherwise, the only creatures who will follow you will be other wolves wearing fleece.

Just thought I'd say that. I know my former fellow ACA parishioners (they're still in - I fled) have the leadership they've accepted, but it's not really supposed to be their job to defend themselves against such men. I still feel the loss of friends and family over all of this mess.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Benton wrote:

...is Brother Campbell to be thrown under the bus because of his enthusiasm for this deal. Given all the smoke and mirrors we all have seen over this, I honestly don't think that Brother Campbell was lying about anything anent this.

I warned Mr. Campbell that he was being used, and even that he would be thrown under the bus (my exact words) as soon as a certain Outback Primate no longer found him convenient. It was a charitable gesture that incurred the wrath of a brain washed and completely loyal lackey. He answered by throwing back in my face said Outback Primate's insane slanders about the ACC. Mr. Campbell is honest, I do not doubt. But, like cultists who will drink the kool aid, he is not going to see reason at this point.

Mark VA wrote:

- Our disagreements seem to focus on those issues that you share with Protestantism in general: denial of papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals, denial of the immaculate conception of our Lord's mother (a Lady full of grace, by the way), and to some extent the denial of the existence of purgatory.

You do realize, do you not? that this fits perfectly RCC disagreements with Eastern Orthodoxy. However, on the IC of the BVM, the issue is not the belief itself, but the assertion that the Pope can declare a pious belief to be dogma.

Aftercatherine wrote:

Dear Men Wearing Collars,
When you feed the sheep...Don't talk about yourself in the pulpit.


A sure sign that a priest's parish will shrink and shrink under his tenure.

bentonmarder said...

I would like to say to Brother Mark in Virginia that our problem with Rome is that Rome adds to the deposit of faith by such dogmata as Papal Infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assumption. Whenever Rome stops doing this and returns to the undoubted Apostolic and Catholic Faith, we have a much better chance of working out true unity.
On the other hand, as Brother Nicholas over to Comfortable Words was reminding us, the old Puritans really wanted to get the Gospel canticles out of the BCP. In England, they failed at this. However, they did succeed here in the USA. Magnifical and Nunc dimittus were stricken from the 1789 BCP, along with all but four verses of Benedictus. they stayed stricken for over a century.
The interesting aspect is that the 1785 Proposed BCP and the King's Chapel Prayer Book of the same year retained the three Gospel canticles in full. This is indeed intriguing, no?
We could wonder just how the absence of these caticles affected the life of the EC during that century.

AfterCatherine writes about being nice. However, please tell me how lying and spinning is being decent to people? By the very act of lying manipulation, one is stabbing someone else. Not very nice.

Heaven guide and protect us all.

In +,
Benton

aftercatharine said...

That was my point, Benton. The absolutely stunning lack of simple, decent, forthright behavior on the part of ACA leadership in the last decade is enough to knock me silly.

The men who lead us (and especially the men who lead them) need first, foremost, and always to be charitable. Well-catechized clergy (and bishops) would be nice too ... but charity trumps everything. Many of the laity could not hope to give a clear answer about the major differences between the East and the West, nor between Rome and Anglicans, nor yet between the Anglican Reformation and the Continental one. But many of these people understood very clearly when they were being treated as slaves to bad masters.

In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I suppose, to Bill Tighe for naming aloud the three bishops I suspected as the back-pedallers on the Anglo-papal insanity. Are you suddenly troubled, Bill, that these three are of the "Divorced-Annulled-Remarried" sort?
Does it trouble you also that the same is true of Abp Hepworth? Did it also trouble you when they were signing the CCC? Or has this moral murkiness become a problem only in the last week?

As for the charge that these are "seemingly-perjured" men, they achieived that status when they signed the CCC. All had taken oaths that they held Holy Sctripture as the Word of God, "containing all things necessary to salvation." That oath was trampled underfoot when they signed the CCC which plainly contradicts this fundamental assertion of (I love the phrase!) "the Anglican Patrimony." So perhaps the second perjury will cancel the first.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I know Bill Tighe well enough to know that the divorced-annulled-remarried (DAR) status of these men has troubled him all along. It disqualifies them from ordained ministry in the RCC even under an ordinariate. The Outback Primate was telling some people in Canada that Rome will let him be a Archbishop. Actually, they would not let him serve as a deacon, or even receive communion unless and until they grant him the right DAR status their way. And, as for the "case by case" line, they don't qualify to have their cases considered at all, period.

J. Gordon Anderson said...

As a brief aside, this criticism of DAR priests is very selective.

I went to seminary at an RC seminary with a divorced, annulled, and 'remarried' (to the RC Church) priest. He is now a priest in good standing in the RC church.

Lesson? It seems that in the mind of some annulments are only valid if they are done by those in communion with the Roman pontiff. (I wonder what Sheila Kennedy Rauch would have to say to that.)

William Tighe said...

The most recent commenter should be aware that Sheila Kennedy Rauch's annullment, or rather the annullment that her husband sought and obtained, was overturned by the Roman Rota last year, and the validity of her marriage upheld.

If I am not mistaken, all the ACA's current diocesan bishops are DAR, although the (second) wife of one of them recently died, and nobody seems to know whether the wife of his youth is still alive.

I fully accept the legitimacy of the concept of marriage nullity, even though I have the strong suspicion that it is greatly abused in the USA and Canada (from which in 2002 or 2003 75% of the annullments granted throughout the world came), but I think that remarriage after divorce is absolutely ruled out from the mouth of the Lord himself.

I have always been troubled by the DAR status of all these bishops, but especially that the ACA should elect and consecrate Strawn and Marsh, which in both cases happened after the "Portsmouth Synod" in October 2008. However, as a "papalist" Catholic, I rejoice (and I write this only in response to Fr. Wells direct question to me, and not to abuse the hospitality of this blog) that they signed the CCC (I mean those of them that did, e.g., Williams and Hepworth) and I then expected that in doing so they accepted that, in the case of the former, he would have to have his situation "regularized" before having any possibility of (re)ordination, and in that of the latter, that he would be willing to live the rest of his life (in a phrase he used to meas well as to others) as "a laicized Roman Catholic priest." I never imagined that any of these bishops would have signed an unambiguous and ample statement of Catholic doctrine (including the affirmation of doctrines generally rejected by most Anglicans) when what some of them really meant seems to have been "we will accept this is Rome makes us an acceptable offer, and is willing subsequently to renegotiate it with us -- and, oh yes, will find some way that we can remain bishops, which is, of course, absolutely essential."

William Tighe said...

By the way (if I may inquire), are there DAR bishops in the ACC -- and the APCK and UECNA?

John A. Hollister said...

I want to make one thing clear about my two prior comments. I do not in any way fault the Roman Church for requiring those who join it to assent to the totality of its doctrine. Were it to do otherwise, it would lay itself open to the charge of hypocrisy: once it has defined certain things as dogmas binding upon the consciences of its members, then it must require those things of ALL its members.

I, and others, may very well have our doubts about the wisdom of its having defined certain dogmas as such in the first place, but that is a very different thing from criticizing it for continuing to uphold that which it now publicly professes. That is why there is one simple choice to be faced by all who consider becoming the Roman version of Catholics (as I myself once did): the choice is to accept or to reject what Rome demands but it is in no wise to expect to ignore or amend what it demands.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart: We all know that Bill Tighe holds sound moral convictions on the matter of DAR clergy and bishops. I deeply wish his convictions were more universally held, and upheld. But to introduce that issue selectively (as Fr Anderson correctly observes) for three bishops who have displeased Bill is simply throwing out a red herring. Knowing how RC marriage tribunals work, I have no doubt the problem could have been fixed.

As I write, I note the time of 9:01 p. m., EDT, Saturday evening. The statement from Abp Hepworth promised by Mr Campbell on his blog has not yet appeared. They are more interested in such urgent matters as the Arts and Crafts movement and the Parson's Hanbook.
LKW

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Benton Marder:

It is safe to say that for Conservative and Traditional Roman Catholics "a much better chance of working out true unity" is inconceivable without papal infallibility. For a pope to abandon this responsibility would be a serious dereliction of duty, a capitulation to the world. Also, please keep in mind that this dogma was only codified in recent times - its de facto exercise is much older.

Besides, how would such an abdication even be communicated:

"Sorry folks, I've come to realize that there is nothing absolutely certain one can say about Christ and His teachings. Only various degrees of certainty can exist. So I suggest that from now on you just read the bible according to your own conscience, and/or be guided by the first five councils, if you so desire. But I'll be happy to rubber stamp any future council's decisions."?

"Sola scriptura" version of Christianity, for all its undeniably sincere and praiseworthy aspects, never mustered true, organic unity - just the opposite. The antiquarian approach to Christian unity seems to be, and I suspect will remain, a romantic dream. That true Christian unity can be achieved without the papacy, and all that this office implies, remains to be shown.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

LKW wrote:

The statement from Abp Hepworth promised by Mr Campbell on his blog has not yet appeared...

If it fails to appear, after the promise was made to him, it means the time has come; he has been thrown under the bus.

Mark VA wrote:
That true Christian unity can be achieved without the papacy, and all that this office implies, remains to be shown.

That it can be achieved with the papacy contradicts history. Nonetheless, you are right in one sense: It would include the papacy, that is, the Bishopric of the Diocese of Rome.

John A. Hollister said...

It is now 14 hours since "Saturday morning, Eastern time" definitively expired.

Therefore, it doth appear that Mr. Campbell hath been hove beneath the bus.

He is not the first and, most assuredly, he will not be the last to experience the involuntary kerbial-carriageway translation.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

In partial response to the question asked by William Tighe: Archbishop Provence ++, of the APCK, is married to his second, (thrice married,) wife.

Fr. Frank +

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Father Hart:

I would say that history shows that true, organic, Christian unity built on the Rock did exist - think of the times of Cyril and Methodious. The question rather is, how can it be maintained to contain the perennial centrifugal forces afflicting us all.

I would argue that it is simplistic and self serving to lay the blame for the various divisions among us at the doorstep of the Vatican, as some Christians are in the habit of doing.

When pope John Paul II offered an apology for the past sins of those Roman Catholics who added to these divisions, a certain reciprocity from the Orthodox and the various Protestants was expected. A reciprocity according to the capacity for introspection of each group, and individual, outside the RC fold. If offered, this, in turn, would shift some parts of the ecumenical dialogue, and some individual hearts, in the direction of true unity.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In reply to Fr. Frank, from the APCK perspective the decrees of Nullity, issued earlier, were in order. So I have been told many times.

Mark VA, you see (as a good Roman Catholic is supposed to) in the history of the Church certain items that do not appear when I review the same record. Thank you for letting us know that Rome was expecting a reciprocal response from the EOs and the Protestants. I'll try to pass that news along to them.

bentonmarder said...

Brother Mark in Virginia,

Infallibility being non-negiable. Precisely. This is why there can be no real unity. If Pio Nono had not defined the matter dejure, the de facto exercise would not be so problematic. It's the same story as when Scots Jemmy wrote strongly about the Divine Right of Kings. The whole thing got locked in. Now, neither Anglicans nor Orthodox have ever claimed such a magisterium or infallibility.
So long as Rome and others add to the deposit of faith OR subtract from it, there can bo no unity. It is possible to stop subtracting, but it becomes impossible to stop adding when the right of addition is formally asserted.
The Article notes that the Church of Rome hath erred. In our own time, we feel forced to recognise that the Church of England hath erred. This is why the Continuing church movement exists: a protest against additions and subtractions. We cannot do other if we would be true to christ.

About Brother Campbell, I remind us of Eric Hoffer's dictum about disillusioned fanatics: they sometimes swing over to the other end. I would not be surprised if Brother Campbell leaves the ACA when he gets the tire marks off. In his case, who knows what he will do, where he would go. We should all be very charitable to this latest victim of the Wizard of Oz. We should help him to his feet and his senses. It will take time and effort, but it is the decent thing to do.

In +,
Benton

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart said.....'That is fascinating, because the TAC in the UK voted to accept the new Roman constitution before it was unveiled. Talk about blind trust. How that fits the international TAC position is wrapped in a mystery.'

Blind trust does not even come into the picture - those who were there at the meeting knew exactly what they were voting on!

Chris

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Father Hart:

Regarding your response to the effect "Thank you for letting us know that Rome was expecting a reciprocal response ...":

Since you're a student of history, allow me to answer by using the words of Karol Wojtyla, circa late 1965, addressing a parallel situation:

"In the affairs of men, especially during such long spans of time, it can never be that they have nothing to mutually forgive each other for."

Is it really not obvious that among us Christians, who aspire to a higher ethical standard, just about every apology needs to be reciprocated, at least to some degree?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Blind trust does not even come into the picture - those who were there at the meeting knew exactly what they were voting on!

Really? Nobody had seen the constitution yet.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Hepworth did make a statement for Mr. Campbell, one day later than expected. Now, the problem is that the Primate of the TAC is openly at odds with the HOB of the ACA, and admitting that Mr. Campbell is his spokesman, after the ACA HOB have disowned his blog. Can it get weirder than this?

John A. Hollister said...

Archbishop Hepworth writes on "the Orlando Anglican" that it would be very unwise for any church to have a blog. Then he states, in effect, that "the Orlando Anglican" is the TAC's blog.

I believe this illustrates what, when I was in college, was called "cognitive dissonance".

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Knowing something about political animals, Abp. Hepworth is playing an interesting gambit. Certainly, the "Former Anglican" has been a front for the DEUS Bishop. To divorce the moderator of the blog from this association (and responsibility) is absurd.

There can be no doubt that there is a very painful and public split between the ACA and TAC. We now understand that real support for the "Tiber Swim" has been vaperous, at best. The Archbishop, with his formal endorsement of the DEUS "Bishop's" blog, is clearly supporting Orlando, in direct opposition to the rest of the ACA episcopate.

What better way to posture for a pre-Ordinariate entity to receive the pro-Ordinariate's and provide "pastoral" care? Could it be that the current Orlando "Bishop" shall "retire" (to save face and embarrassment) and become the "pre-Ordinary" of the "pre-Ordinariate," receiving former ACA'ers; separate and apart from the ACA mainstream? Earlier reports indicate that he has been posturing for this position all along.

Sure seems like the plan. Happy trails!

Fr. Frank +

Benton H Marder said...

Cognitive diisonance, my foot! This is why it is written for us to remember----
"O, What a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive."
A more poetic description of 'smoke and mirrors'.
The only way we are going to be able to see clearly again is when these bishops all jump into the Tiber--and wind up like pelicans on the oily Gulf Coart

Benton

Ken said...

So have any parishes realigned from ACA to ACC (or other jurisdictions) due to this yet?

It seems to me that when a significant part of the ACA's heirarchy departs for the RCC that there will be a some need for a new home for those left behind.

Maybe the ACC could set up a one stop "welcome center" for reaffiliating parishes for a smooth transition.

P.S. I hate the word verifcation system. I know its needed but certainly Google could do a better job of its operation.

Ken said...

So have any parishes realigned from ACA to ACC (or other jurisdictions) due to this yet?

It seems to me that when a significant part of the ACA's heirarchy departs for the RCC that there will be a some need for a new home for those left behind.

Maybe the ACC could set up a one stop "welcome center" for reaffiliating parishes for a smooth transition.

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart said: "The page reveals that the TAC in England should not bother to keep trying to get under an ordinariate, because the nasty Romans won't give a chance to non-C of E Angloids".

Has there been any indication that this is correct?

Fr Edward

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I was commenting on an essay by their fellow named Anthony Chadwick, who, I think, runs some TAC chapel in France. It is significant that this advice to the English TACers was on the Former Anglican blog.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how all of this looks when viewed from the Vatican or from the US Catholic Bishops Conference.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I assume they have a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

But I do hope the joke will not be at B16's expense.
I can just hear the Revisionist Party saying to him, "We told you so, we warned you not to get mixed up with these Wackoes."

I feel an analogy coming on, between Bp Williamson of the SSPX and the Patriarch of the Antipodes.Has anyone in TAC ever denied the Holocaust?
LKW

Fr Richard Sutter said...

I have time for only a couple brief comments, so I apologize for the seeming disjointedness. To quote a TV show my daughter and I watch, "you'd have to be inside my head to see the connection, but trust me, there is one."

1. It is interesting that two years ago there was only one bishop of the ACA not keen on the Roman option, keeping his clergy in the dark and had a record of squeezing Anglo-Catholics out of his diocese. Many insiders considered that was maneuvering to stay behind and position himself as the "savior of the real ACA." Now it seems that he's the only diocesan who is going, and the rest are positioning themselves to stay behind.

2. Two years ago a certain ACA bishop had to be watched at his diocesan synod lest he do a mischief to the canons of that diocese and its relationship to the rest of the ACA. Now he's cleaving to the primate? Now, unlike most here, I rather like Big John, so someone should warn him to check between his shoulder blades each time he gets a hug from one ACA bishop in particular.

3. Come to think of it, he should be careful about hugs from more than one ACA bishop.

4. At the ACA general synod where the unanimous vote commending the TAC College of Bishops actions and asking them to continue to pursue the relationship with the Holy See, the bathroom conversations one overheard afterward revealed that people voted for it thinking it would never happen, or if it would, it would be so far in the future that no one there would be left alive, judging by the usual Roman rate of action.

Fr Richard Sutter said...

Let me add--

5. What could one expect from an ecclesial body that allows a disbarred attorney function as their chancellor in contravention of the law, and that in open hypocrisy permits a widow to purchase an "award" named after her deceased who was best known for nearly closing down one parish by his obnoxious antics?

John A. Hollister said...

What is at present the "top" (most recent) posting on "The Orlando Anglican" is quite interesting if one reads lightly between its lines. Because such postings have a way of changing, or even disappearing altogether, I quote the relevant part here:

"The annual synod of the ACA's Diocese of the Missouri Valley is currently underway at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL.... [A] distressing sign of things to come is to be found in the synod agenda, which has suddenly been altered to reflect the hard realities of the American Province of the TAC. Wednesday's plenary session which had previously been advertised under the title 'full communion with Rome' is now to consist of three sessions collectively entitled 'Go, baptize, teach.'"

So second thoughts are obviously being thought, even as we sit here.

One retired Colonel used to say, "If you're going to lead a parade, you need to look over your shoulder every so often to make sure the troops didn't turn off at the last corner."

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Whatever is the "American Province of the TAC," as reported by the "embedded correspondent" fighting, (an admitted loosing battle,)in the trenches of the ACA Diocese of the Missouri Valley Synod?

Revisionist history has erased the ACA! Now this is true political spin. They seek to win, regardless of the cost. What is Mr. Campbell or, in truth the soon-to-be pre-Ordinary, implying with this new TAC moniker?

Could they not be more obvious in telegraphing (and thereby expanding confusion amongst supporters and fence straddlers) their intent? When ever shall they be forthright?

So very sad. So very unnecessary. So very desparate.

"Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:18

Fr, Frank +

Benton H Marder said...

If these bishops are having second thoughts, why did they all sign on the dotted line, either on the Catechism or on the letter requesting implementation? Are they all going to give an egg-sucking grin and claim the whole thing was just a trial balloon? I find this unconscionable. All them that signed should swim NOW instead of stringing their layfolk along. they cannot be allowed to side-step what they signed. otherwise, it's chaos and hurt..
As far as I'm concerned, they're all RC laymen posing as Anglican clerics. For all practical purposes, they don't bestow valid orders or sacraments now; it is all a monstrous fraud' part of a 'religoin industry', a scam. This is where their hearts dwell---in wicked Mammon.
Are they trying to ensure that the tithes continue to flow into Anglican coffers to benefit RC laymen. it's like the medieval Prince-Bishops in Germany who weren't even in major orders if any at all. Reminds me of the way Rome used to operate: bestowing the red hat on laymen. Cardinals didn't used to have to be in orders.
If this is the way this is going to work, a thing of 'two integrities', it comes close to the Indulgence racket---which still exists. The Raccolta is still in print, complete with the schedule of attached provision for 'time off' from Purgatory. Scams are like the Energizer Bunny; they never quit.

Benton

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Benton:

The problem I have with your latest comment is that you are judging the hidden motives of the heart. I have no doubt that the ACA bishops have always believed their orders to be valid, and have been willing to submit to Rome on the matter for reasons that Abp. Hepworth himself told me, namely to make their orders and ministry "available to the wider Catholic Church." I strongly disagree with the whole idea because it sends the message that what the people have received, so far, has all been invalid. I just think they were not educated enough (as a group, not speaking of individuals), and not strong enough, to stand up to Hepworth. They put themselves on a moving train, and have only now begun to see what they did to themselves and their people (or so I hope).

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Ken asked:

So have any parishes realigned from ACA to ACC (or other jurisdictions) due to this yet?

Absolutely, yes.

Benton H Marder said...

Fr Hart,

I understand where you're coming from here. Truly, as Great Eliza once remarked, "God does not opened windows into men's souls".

However, this has happened before---the same reasons were alleged. I refer to the Deerfield Beach affair. There was no real necessity for the re-ordinations and re-consecrations. To be sure, there certainly was a fair amount of irregularity in the orders of some of the participants. But, there was no real understanding that the process of 'economy' could be applied We're western Christians. Our heritage in this matter is somewhat more legal than philosophical. So, a quasi'legal approach was taken: re-ordain and re-consecrate. Now, although I have my differences with the ACC-OP, I agreed with you that this was a blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. I did not agree with the strong language from the ACC-OP afterward because it amounted to burning down a bridge that we would need later. I think that this strong language lies behind the unwillingness of the ACA to accept any offers of reconciliation. The ACC at the time had essentially stated that the orders and sacraments of all the participants were nullified by the act of blasphemy or sacrilege. Sometimes, Fr Hart, we put both feet in our mouths and can not get them out. Sometimes, in anger, we destroy friendships and potential reconciliation.
We have to keep in mind all the troubles created by ourselves. The ACC-OP has had more than its share. The ACA has had its share. The inter-necine warfare by the bishops have sorely undone us all. Louis Falk is just about the last now serving participant in these faction wars---with the later exception of Walter Grundorf. All the rest are departed or out of the picture. We now have an opportunity to undo much of the splintering done from 1978 into the 1990s. May the Lord Christ open our eyes to see ourselves as others see us===and to ask forgiveness and to help each other clear away the schismatical tares we had sown in past times.

In +,
Benton

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Richard Sutter asked, "What could one expect from an ecclesial body that allows a disbarred attorney [to] function as their chancellor in contravention of the law?"

Another question would be, "Would the Georgia Supreme Court consider this to be practicing law without a license if this situation were brought to its attention?"

(Given the lengthy disciplinary history that brought the man in question to this sorry pass, I suspect his continuing to provide legal advice to anyone would be viewed with considerable displeasure.)

John A. Hollister+
"shylito"

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Benton wrote:

I agreed with you that this was a blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

I believe what happened then and there was schismatic in nature, and that the leaders who made it happen committed fraud. But, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? The unforgivable sin? That is going way too far. If you agreed with that, it was not agreement with me.

Furthermore, most of the fellows there were the victims of fraud, not the perpetrators.

Anonymous said...

Many are interested in being "in communion" with the Roman Church. Rome is not interested in recognizing orthodox Anglicans as valid. There are serious theological issues that have separated the two jurisdictions for a few hundred years. They can not be glossed over, or overlooked, which they seem to have been. Capitulation is the only means of unity with Rome.

When a man and a woman sign a piece of paper in front of (or on) the Altar they are not "opening dialog" about whether they wish to be married or not- the ARE married. When the bishops of the TAC put the Roman Catholic Catechism on an Altar and signed it, they consented to belief in all that was contained therein. To claim anything else is either naive or disingenuous.

The Former Anglican's constant refers to The Church of Rome as "THE Catholic Church." Anglicans ARE Catholic just as Greek Orthodox are Catholic. Anglicans are not "entering the Catholic Church". Every Baptized member is part of the Catholic Church. Anglicans have the three fold ministry in Apostolic succession, valid sacraments, a solid liturgy, etc. At least every Anglo-Catholic I ever knew until now held this. The Church of Rome does NOT recognize Anglican Holy Orers. If Rome is correct, then every TAC Bishop and Priest needs to immediately stop any sacerdotal act until they are made valid by a Roman Bishop under the authority of the Pope. If the Pope IS the Vicar of Christ then ever member of the TAC is committing grave sacrilege by celebrating an invalid Mass as are lay people by receiving from them.

This is not a matter being in communion, it's capitulation. The Eastern Church does not accept the notion of the Bishop of Rome as THE Vicar of Christ, the Head of the Church. This is not an early Church teaching.

Ignatius of Antioch AD 110.
See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

Pope Boniface VIII 1302
Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: "Feed my sheep" [Jn 21:17], meaning, my sheep in general, not these, nor those in particular, whence we understand that He entrusted all to him [Peter]. Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John "there is one sheepfold and one shepherd."

The Pope becomes "THE Head", rather than Christ as the Anglican Catechism teaches.

To be in communion with Rome means to accepting WHOLE the teachings of the Popes. Are ALL members of the TAC ready to accept the teachings of Rome on birth control? This is no more optional than Indulgences which were emphasized recently http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyregion/10indulgence.html A number of Marian teachings are now dogma NECESSARY to salvation. "The Vicar of Christ" has spoken - Anglican orders are "Absolutely null and utterly void". In 1998 then Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary listed this as one of the teachings to which Catholics must give “firm and definitive assent”. Why are what Rome considers to be faux-clergy still performing sacerdotal acts? To take entering the Roman Church seriously all clergy and laity of the TAC should only say Morning and Evening prayer until the Pope can create valid Roman Catholic clergy who will then use a modified Anglican Rite.

Anonymous said...

We've clearly entered the realm of no salvation outside of Rome on The Former Anglican.

“It is one thing to not be in a state of unity from an inherited position, it is another to actively reject unity.

The soul who potentially does the latter is in a scary position.”

To which I said:
How very Roman of you.

I suppose all the Greek, Russian, Armenian, Antiochian and Coptic Orthodox who do not accept the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Head along with his Dogmatic additions, are also “potentially” in the scary position of hellfire.

Benton H Marder said...

Fr Hart,

Anent the words 'blasphemy' and 'sacrilege', I do but use the language of the reaction at the time. Sin against the Holy Ghost? I wouldn't go that far, because I don't know exactly what it constitutes. There is such a sin, but it isn't exactly defined.

I have never gotten to the bottom of who concocted this scheme. I doubt that it was Clavier, but I don't know more. The alleged reasoning then is the same as now: to make the situation absolutely clear to the quibblers and recalcitrant. Back then, the quibblers and recalcitrant were not assuaged. The situation now is that Rome will impose its own standards with no exercise of economy. Why should it be otherwise? Rome did not take the iniative:; Rome was approached by people willing to deny their principles. Fr Hart, I find it difficult to accept the suggestion of ignorance. I, as a layman, am not supposed to be well-read on these matters. Weakness? I can accept that. There's the old tale that, when he is consecrated, a bishop's backbone is removed. Maybe so?

In +,
Benton

Fr. Robert Hart said...

A certain former Archbishop of the ACC, who had been deposed by due process of Canon Law, presented himself as still the Archbishop, accompanied by the infamous Clavier. That is the who of it.

Benton H Marder said...

So, Falk was just another poseur. Did all the others really grasp his actual position, or did they believe his scam?
Remember, Fr Hart, that Falk has caused all manner of trouble wherever he went. If he swims the Tiber, I pity the Roman Church. they will have to clap him into a Charterhouse to keep some degree of peace and quiet.

I have been hearing little rumbles about clergy and parishes leaving the ACA for some time now. No particulars, though. I emphasize a point I've made elsewhere:those that want no part of Rome for whatever reason should just find a new home in another jurisdiction. they should not attempt to preserve the title and all of the ACA. Try to preserve, and there will be litigation. None of us needs that. Just move somewhere congenial and convenient and have done with the TAC/ACA

In +,
Benton

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Has he? I've never met the man; but it seems that another schism was born when he needed a new position.

Fr Richard Sutter SSM said...

Fr Hart: I feel compelled to point out that contrary to the opinions uttered here frequently about both Abp Hepworth and Abp Falk, I have found both to be intelligent, educated, congenial, godly, honorable, and pastoral bishops. I would find it hard to find the same to say about many other bishops in the ACA or any other body.

Fr Hollister: You pose an interesting question. I wonder what the answer would be. Short of litigation, I don't know what to suggest. I admit to an interest, after all I know more than one priest whose living was stolen.

William Tighe said...

Of the three supposedly "dissident bishops" in the ACA, +Williams signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium at Portsmouth in October 2008 and the March 2010 appeal to Rome to erect an ordinariat here in the States, while the other two, Strawn and Marsh, who became bishops later in 2008 and early in 2009, signed the latter. Perjured knaves, all!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Perjured knaves, all!

Does this not all depend on what the signing was supposed to mean? If Hepworth was as clear and transparent as he is usually is, which by comparison makes mud look like water, each of the bishops could have meant something different. Heck, the Latin Patriarch of Australia himself could have a hundred different ways of explaining it, all depending on the time of day.

It is my custom to write my name in the front of each book I own, so I guess I signed the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church myself. But, I don't subscribe to all of it.

Benton H Marder said...

Dr Tighe,

If this deal had originated in the parishes by layfolk, and worked its way up to the bishops, layfolk all over the ACA desiring this unity with Rome, none of us would be so upset about it. But, this deal is concocted by the bishops in a Josephinian manner (Everything for the people, nothing by the people) with the intention that the lower clergy and the layfolk should rubberstamp it The old idea of 'Pray, pay, obey' comes to mind.
Perjured knaves? Well, as we all note, the ACA bishops all signed on the dotted line back in March. So, how did they, all of a sudden, develope cold feet? They realise that too many layfolk and their parishes don't want this deal, period. So, they re-calibrate, do the egg-sucking doggy grin, say it was just a trial balloon. They don't really want to become RC laymen with no visible means of support. They signed. They are honour-bound to swim, but they don't want to pay the price of their alleged convictions. They want to have it both ways---much like the medieval Prince-Bishops in Germany, who weren't even in major orders; nor were the canons of their cathedral chapters.
Dr Tighe, these men are willing to repudiate their own orders and sacraments for this deal. Given the realities, what's in it for them? Really?
I have never understood why these people are doing this. It never made sense. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of how the Roman Church operates knows this. We know that whatever pipe dreams there were about a Unia or InterCommunion were just that: pipe dreams.
So, we are confronted with a choice: either these bishops are perjured knaves or they are utter cretins out of la-la-land. Perhaps they all belong in St Elizabeth's Hospital? Oh, I forgot. Homeland Security is moving there. I wonder what ol' Ezra Pound would have thought.

In +,
Benton

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "perjured knaves," this became true of the whole group the moment they signed the Catechism. Contrary to their Ordination/Consecration vows that Holy Scripture is "the Word of God, containing all things necessary to Salvation," they affirmed a document which very explicitly denies this. The CCC, #80,81,82, is quite clear: the Church "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone." The argument here pertains to various dogmas not contained in the Scriptures. Anglicanism say they are NOT necessary for salvation, Romanism says they ARE. You cannot have it both ways without serious intellectual dishonesty.

So a little back-pedalling from the Great Portsmouth Perjury might be a praiseworthy matter.

As for the disbarred Georgia lawyer on whom the learned Bishop of Orlando relies, it would not take a law suit to bring that to the proper authorities. A phone call from someone who knows the facts first hand to the appropriate agency in Atlanta should be adequate.
LKW

William Tighe said...

But now see:

http://www.theanglocatholic.com/2010/06/positive-reports-from-the-dmv-synod/

and so it seems that I may have to retract me "all" -- and perhaps my whole comment.

aftercatharine said...

No, Fr. Hart. It does NOT depend on what the signing "meant." It depends on what the signing WAS.

And just in case there was any question, the signing happened on the ALTAR, during a MASS, on CAMERA, and the signed book was sent WITH an explanatory LETTER to Rome, which said, "We only want whatever you tell us to do so that we can be part of the Roman See's communion."

(That's the exasperating part. Haven't these people ever heard of RCIA classes? That's how you go to Rome. duh. And, having declared openly that Rome is the only true home, did they cease and desist their fake sacramental operations? No. They just kept on disobeying the holy father. bleh.)

This is why the ever-bombastic, bullying, and former Roman Catholic John Hepworth is a bit prickly at the moment. The American bishops might be equivocating, but Hepworth never has. And he got all their signatures and a recording of their signings before he told Rome what the signings meant. Those guys are backing out of a pretty clear statement - no two ways about that.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

No, Fr. Hart. It does NOT depend on what the signing "meant." It depends on what the signing WAS.

I have heard so many versions, contradictory explanations and different interpretations of the event; and that's just from Hepworth himself.

aftercatharine said...

"I have heard so many versions, contradictory explanations and different interpretations of the event; and that's just from Hepworth himself."

HAHAHA!!! Okay, I fold. You take the day's prize. That comment has me laughing out loud at the whole silly thing again, and now I feel much better. May you get two servings of dessert tonight - or some other such good thing.

(I'm still laughing)

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Wells wrote: "As for the disbarred Georgia lawyer on whom the learned Bishop of Orlando relies, it would not take a law suit to bring that to the proper authorities. A phone call from someone who knows the facts first hand to the appropriate agency in Atlanta should be adequate."

A quick glance at the current Georgia Rules of Professional Responsibility suggests (a) the proper agency is the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia, whose contact information may doubtless be found via "Google", and (b) a written grievance is required, for which in the first instance a clear letter, setting forth the complete facts, would probably suffice.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Dear sirs,
Just scanning through the blogs on the Rome topic, mention is made of the research done by Fr Nalls on the complications and implications of the bis "swim".

Could you please advise where the information could be viewed.

Thank you so much.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Could you please advise where the information could be viewed.

Look under Pages on the main page of this blog. The page with links to essays on the subject of Rome and this new constitution contains the links to Fr. Nalls' essays on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information.

We find the pressure for
transition from Anglican Catholic to Roman Catholic quite distressing!

We are quite happy with continuing to be Continuing Anglicans.

Thank you also for keeping your blogs both informative and filled with "nourishment for the soul"