Monday, August 30, 2010

The farce be with you

In an effort to stay afloat, the dishonestly named blog, The Anglo-Catholic, has become an organ of the pro-Roman voices within Forward in Faith/UK. No longer does that blog speak of trying to be Anglican and Roman at the same time, but simply of becoming Roman. A recent post there, by one Fr. Ed Tomlinson, includes some revealing lines, such as these:

"We Anglo-Catholics who seek unity with Rome find ourselves in a tight spot at present...We set sail on our raft because our sincere Catholic convictions have left us unable to remain Anglican with integrity now that General Synod has made clear its decision to move the national church in a less Catholic direction. Getting on the raft is not easy as it requires leaving much that we love and treasure behind us. And for this reason, amongst others, we are clearly few in number."

Note the perspective from which this is written: It is written by someone for whom "Anglican" is inseparable from the official government organ called the Church of England. Therefore, the writer seems incapable of imagining a church body that still teaches and practices the religion of the Book of Common Prayer. He is unable to perceive of a church that holds to Anglican principles without being in communion with the See of Canterbury. Reading this causes me to imagine what St. Maximos the Confessor would have faced if his regard, in his day, for the See of Constantinople had been so greatly exaggerated. St. Maximos could say, during the tenure of an unorthodox man as Patriarch, "we are not in communion," without losing the things he loved and treasured.

No Anglican alternative to offer?
We too, as a people, several decades ago, took a course of action based on conviction and sober reflection. For more than thirty years we (not each and every one of us, but our church body) have not been in communion with Canterbury. But, we have not been forced to decide between Canterbury and Rome. Someone ought to suggest to Fr. Tomlinson that he read the Affirmation of St. Louis. The truth, that he does not know, apparently, is that he need not leave behind those things he claims to love and treasure.

But, the real irony is this: That blog was supposed to have been an organ of Continuing Anglicanism, and so pretended only a few months ago. But, now we see that sustaining a lie of that magnitude required more energy than their power line could supply. What is missing from the picture? Very simply, the Continuing Anglican alternative. For the people who blog at the so-called Anglo-Catholic, there is no Affirmation of St. Louis. Therefore, Fr. Tomlinson writes for them, "our sincere Catholic convictions have left us unable to remain Anglican" (perhaps everyone can see now why we have been calling that blog The Former Anglican). By "Catholic" he means, of course, Roman. The meaning of the word "Catholic" loses its true meaning, its Credal meaning, and is tossed from their "raft" into the sea, along with the Book of Common Prayer.

This is what happens when you reduce your knowledge of all things Catholic to the selected portions of true catholic faith that happen still to be held by Rome. In place of what is omitted, you build new ideas onto your knowledge of things Catholic to include Roman innovations unknown to the Apostles, unknown to the Fathers, and unknown to the whole Church during the entire first millennium. It involves both taking away and adding to the word of God. It means removing whole portions of his revelation through the Apostles and Prophets, and adding, in their place, doctrines that are at best mere speculation, and at worst "repugnant to the word of God." Inasmuch as that practice of subtraction and addition is how, when in Rome, to do as the Romans, it may be fitting for these former Anglicans to learn it now.

We see that the whole effort of trying to reunite with Rome on false pretenses, at a time in history when outward and political forced Reunion of the Church is premature, has led the people who trust in Anglicanorum Coetibus with its potential Ordinariates, to abandon the Continuing Anglican Church altogether. They have lost the whole foundation that we build on firmly and confidently. But, have they rejected The Affirmation of St. Louis, or have they merely forgotten it? It hardly matters which; either way, it is obvious that they have no answer to offer to Fr. Tomlinson, and no alternative for people like him.

They have fallen for the same Roman propaganda, which means they never really got the point in the first place. Their blog has a lot to say about liturgy, without putting in one good word for the Book of Common Prayer. That is always a sure symptom, I might add, of severe theological ignorance, with misinformation serving as their only "education" about content, history and meaning. It is that misinformation, worse than mere ignorance, that is always evident whenever they might say anything about the subject.

In place of Anglican fathers, their website pays homage to Thomas More, the "saint" who hounded the godly William Tyndale to death, ultimately accomplished by strangulation (we hope that More repented that ultimately successful attempt at judicial murder before "instant karma" got him-and he didn't look a thing like Paul Scofield). It pays homage, also, to John Fisher, but has nothing good to say about the Anglican martyr who gave us our Prayer Book, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, nor a word about Richard Hooker, Lancelot Andrewes, or Abp. Laud. It has nothing good to say about anyone or anything that is not thoroughly Tridentine. It is obviously Roman Catholic, and in a manner so partisan and triumphalist that it would embarrass many a thoughtful and reasonable member of that communion.

So, why the dishonest name they continue to use?

Division in the ranks
One of the former bloggers of the Former Anglican, as we call it, has gone from being a contributor to the dishonestly named Anglo-Catholic, to being the webmiester of a dubiously named English Catholic blog, posted in France by Fr. Anthony Chadwick (whose TAC congregation in that country must hold a record, not unlike the record height of the word's tallest midget). Apparently, from all the evidence, Mr. Campbell down in Orlando has finally learned that my warning was true: Archbishop John Hepworth is not to be trusted. This shocking revelation has, however, cost him the continued writing of the English Catholic, Père Chadwick.

In a letter written and sent via email to his faithful readers, Chadwick writes:

"The Moderator’s [Campbell] explanation of my ‘firing’ was this:

'You really ought to have checked with me before your last post (which I have been forced to remove). +Hepworth is leading you down the primrose path; if you would like to speak about the situation, I would be happy to explain. Please feel free to give me a call.'

Whose hermeneutic of the Ordinariates will prevail? It is no longer my concern but that of my Archbishop [Hepworth] and the TAC bishops with very few exceptions solidly supporting him and his approach to Rome . I believe in ecclesiastical obedience and I follow my Archbishop in what I am convinced is the right thing. I joined the TAC knowing that the intention was to approach Rome for corporate unity / reception into communion...From this point, I eschew disputes on account of clerical marriage / celibacy, sexual ethics or the like. Though these matters are important, they are not my concern."

Apparently, it has become clear to Mr. Campbell and his band of bloggers, that Hepworth's spin on Anglicanorum Coetibus has been as absurd as we, here on this blog, have been saying all along. Perhaps he has run out of the steam it takes to "believe six impossible things before breakfast," having come to his senses in accord with my analysis of a few simple facts. But, Père Chadwick is still a faithful Hepworthian, still believing that the twice-married former Roman Catholic priest will, somehow, get to be an Ordinary. We know that Hepworth was telling the TAC's Canadian churches that he, even with that baggage, would be accepted as an Archbishop by the see of Rome (which seems to have contributed to the reasons why at least ten of those parishes, last I was given the count, have left the TAC. Mr. Haney can sell only so much to Mr. Douglas before his shtick gets old).

Chadwick has also expressed his deep love for what he seems to think of as Anglican patrimony:

"I am now (as I always have been) concerned with English Catholic (both Anglican and Roman Catholic) culture and spirituality. The Sarum Liturgy is particularly close to my heart, but also the English Church ’s adoption of the Counter Reformation and the Roman Rite. Patrimony also expends ["extends?"] to culture, art, music and spirituality as well as systems of Church government."

Notice what is missing. That's right--no mention whatsoever of the Book of Common Prayer, or anything Anglican. It includes the Counter-Reformation, and it reduces Anglican patrimony to cultural and artistic expressions, as if theology and the Anglican renaissance of Biblical and Patristic scholarship, were meaningless (no doubt, his knowledge of these things is a complete blank). And, the use of the phrase "systems of Church government" indicates that he does not know the difference between the true Anglican Catholic Episcopal order and the Geneva Discipline. I suspect that he has not read Hooker, and was not aware that "church government" is a term we have never used (Anglicans have polity, not "church government").

Chadwick's personal affirmation is really the same Roman collection we see in Fr. Tomlinson's thinking, and that we find on the so-called Anglo-Catholic. It appears, furthermore, that the disunity in TAC ranks boils down to the relative strength of personalities; who reigns as king of the hill, who gets to play Robin Hood, and who gets to wear the purplest shirt of them all. It is the same as ever, the reason why schisms have broken away from the Continuing Church up to and including the Deerfield Beach schism, which is now coming apart.

At the present time, there is nothing good to report about the direction taken by these people. To this day they have maintained an outward rejection of the necessary theological improvements and cleansing of the English Reformation, and of the development of the real Anglican Patrimony, including the balance restored, in their generation, by the real Anglo-Catholics of old Oxford. They remain ignorant, possibly by choice, of the theological issues that forced a separation in the sixteenth century, and which remain unresolved. They think of Anglicanism merely as Roman Catholicism with an English accent. They haven't got a clue.

I hope, for their own sakes, that all of them will stop trying to be teachers and leaders. They have yet to be students of the theology of the Anglican Way. Obviously, everything they think they know, about their own heritage, they have learned from Roman polemicists. They are filled with the fruit of a false education, and even in their divisions, are racing to the wrong destination, leaving behind riches they know nothing of.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo Fr Hart.

Someone had to say this.

The implosion was inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Reading The Anglo-Catholic these days makes one feel that it would be better entitled "A Hoax Collapsing." What is obvious in the little exchange between Mr Campbell and Fr Chadwick is that there is jockeying amongst the panjandrums of TAC and the Anglican Use coterie to find out "who will be the greatest." The smaller the canoe, the more ambition to be the Grand High Admiral thereon. Now we know what John 17 really means in Orlando.

The genuine tragedy, the real pathos, the deep sadness in all this is that the rank-and-file laity of TAC are earnest Anglican Christians who have labored mightily to rebuild the Church of their Fathers which went up in a puff of smoke in 1979. They have been sold a bag of wooden nutmegs by false bishops. These good people can be rescued, if they allow themselves to be.
LKW

Christian Year said...

Fr Ed Tomlinson has been dressing up as a Roman Catholic for so long that he has forgotten, if he ever knew, the great heritage of Anglicanism.

Fr Chadwick has been a priest (ordained by Hepworth) for all of ten minutes, running a private chapel in his own house in France, and imagining that he is the True Church in that country (and an expert on English Catholicism!)

Why do they require an "Ordinariate" in order to go to Rome? It is because the "Patrimony" which they propose to take with them is purely imaginary, and they know full well that Rome is not about to acknowledge it as a separate Rite in communion with the pope.

Rome welcomes converts: not people requiring validation of their idiosyncracies. In this instance at least, its rigour is to be respected.

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

Excellent post.

DH+

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Have those 10 Canadian TAC parishes formed a 'new' continuing church or have the asked to be admitted to to an existing one, the ACC perhaps? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Hart,
I find myself, not for the first time, in agreement with everything you say in this post. But at the risk of beating the same old drum I must point out that the Book of Common Prayer, which you refer to three or four times as a touchstone of Anglican orthodoxy, remains forbidden in its 1662 form to potential members of the ACC in England. Until it is adopted after due public process, and not as a matter of private 'negotiation' with the ordinary, ACC will never convince the Brits that it is a legitimate continuation of true Anglicanism in the UK.
Regretfully,
Pelican

Anonymous said...

I am sure +Broadhurst and Fr. Tomlinson have a good knowledge of the Continuing Church in America. They are very familar with the multitude of jursidiction within the Contiuing Church. Maybe if we would focus on unity among ourselves, rather than adding to the multitude of jurisdictions, more might see us as an alternative.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The idea is not to add to existing jurisdictions, but to join with the concordat of the ACC/UECNA/APCK.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father Robert Hart,

To address a detail of your post,
could you tell us more about your use of "hounded"? Obviously Sir Thomas More did not return from the death he had already suffered under King Henry to have any direct, formal hand in the death of William Tyndale, about the details of whose arrest, trial, and execution I believe still next to nothing is known (on the basis of primary documents or copies of any such).

How much responsibility did "the only head on earth of the Church of England" himself bear for that execution (so far as we know)?

I have not (yet) read enough by Tyndale to venture an opinion on the contours of his 'godliness', but the exceedingly well-read C.S. Lewis says, in the course of one paragraph, both "In the first book of Hooker we find that God Himself, though the author, is also the voluntary subject, of law" and "The Almighty Himself repudiates the sort of sovereignty that Tyndale thinks fit for Henry VIII" (OHEL, p. 49). Talk about the complexities of English Reformation Church history...!

With respect to C of E/ English "Anglo-Catholic" awareness of the Continuum, if I am not mistaken there were all sorts of people (e.g., in Oxford) throughout the 1980s who kept not only regular 'tabs' on, but contact with, the Continuum in fair breadth. What happened?

Semi-Hookerian

Shaughn said...

Christian Year,

In point of fact, Fr. Chadwick's been operating a chaplaincy in Normandy for about five years, if his biography is any indicator. I haven't a clue what sort of ministry it entails, but I've heard many British ex-pats like to live in that area across the Channel.

I might disagree with him on particular points, but to say he is not to be heard because "he's been a priest for ten minutes," which isn't true, is hardly productive.

We are at our best when we disagree with the substance of arguments, rather than the background of the person offering them. For instance, I'm a Classicist by training, and I think Kant's destruction of metaphysics is bunk for a list of reasons. The fact that I am not an early modern philosopher has no bearing on whatever arguments I might present, but only the substance of the argument matters.

Let us focus less on personalities and more on the substance of the arguments presented.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Semi H. wrote:

To address a detail of your post,
could you tell us more about your use of "hounded"? Obviously Sir Thomas More did not return from the death he had already suffered under King Henry to have any direct, formal hand in the death of William Tyndale...


When Thomas More argued that Tyndale was a heretic (in 1532), he knew what the consequences would be should he win his prosecution. Tyndale was a fugitive, even though his execution was delayed until after his capture and extradition. Henry himself probably did not care about the theology, but about Tyndale's condemnation of Henry's divorce.

Anonymous said...

Semi-Hookerian might be more respectful of Fr Hart's research were he aware of a scholarly work devoted to the relationship of More and Tyndale. This is
Brian Moynahan's "God's Bestseller, William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Writing of the REnglish Bible" (Macmillan, 2003). More was the kind of guy who attained high position in Henry's regime. Moynahan described him in such terms as "obsessive ferocity, consuming malice." One reviewer writes,
"Those who only know Thomas More through Bolt's movie A man For All Seasons wil be enlightened to find what a completely intolerant and bloodthirsty bastard he was."

It is amazing that so many Anglicans are ashamed of Cranmer, ignorant of Tyndale, but smile sweetly at the name of this "saint."
LKW

Colin Chattan said...

To Matthew: some parishes and clergy, mainly in the West, have been taken under Archbishop Provence's wing in the APCK,while Archbishop Haverland of the ACC-OP has kindly extended his pastoral care to others, mainly in central Canada. The wonderful thing is, because of the concordat among the ACC-OP, APCK, and UECNA, we all remain in full communion with each other! We are all most grateful to the Archbishops for their warm, understanding, and generous responses to our distressed requests for aid.

Christian Year said...

Shaugn,

Fr Chadwick claims to be an authority on Anglicanism, but he was ordained in vacuo by Abp Hepworth, without seminary training and without a pastoral ministry other than a "chapel" in his own house, on his own terms.

As for serving tourists and visitors to that part of France, the number of Continuum members turning up at his door is likely to be infinitesimally small. Do you realise just how few members TAC has in Northern Europe?

In other words, with what kind of authority or experience does he speak? Only, so far as I can see, from his somewhat arcane knowledge of defunct Latin rites, which are not going to be restored to use by the CDF even in an Ordinariate.

Fr Hart is exactly right: what kind of Anglicanism worthy of the name omits entirely the legacy of Cranmer, the BCP and the great Anglican Divines?

Anonymous said...

There just seems to be something missing when an ecclesial body is not in communion with an historic See. I haven't read the St. Louis Affirmation -- how does the Anglican Catholic Church claim apostolic succession?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Anonymous:

Apostolic Succession has never depended on being "in communion with a historic See." No one has ever taught that it does. We should not confuse political (i.e. matters of polity) concerns with sacramental efficacy.

The facts of the Chambers-Pagtakhan Succession are well known. The story is no secret.

Anonymous said...

Christian year said.....

Fr Chadwick claims to be an authority on Anglicanism, but he was ordained in vacuo by Abp Hepworth, without seminary training and without a pastoral ministry other than a "chapel" in his own house, on his own terms.

I think you owe Fr Chadwick an apology, he has had valid seminary training and a lot more.
Have the decency Fr Hart to ask this person for an open apology to Fr Chadwick.

Thomas

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I am not going to demand anything of the kind. Fr. Chadwick's background has included Vagante Catholic groups, whether or not he has seminary training.

Shaughn said...

Christian Year,

To quote a very famous political debate, "There you go again!" Plenty of quite knowledgeable people haven't had formal education in seminary. Plenty of people with seminary training make very foolish arguments. I'm not interested in the source of the knowledge, but rather, the truth of the argument. If you want to debate Fr. Chadwick on points, go ahead. But in evaluating arguments, I'm not very much interested in his (or anyone else's) ministry. Focus on the points of the argument, bitte schoen.


I am not even defending Fr. Chadwick per se, but rather, insisting on a level of argumentation that you seem unwilling to adopt.

Fr. Hart,

I admit I don't know the finer details between what distinguishes a vagante group and a valid "continuing" group. Could you explain? When is it safe to "jump ship," as it were, and not be vagante? More than a few folks consider us to be, for example.

Anonymous said...

According to his C.V. still visible on the Anglo-Catholic, Fr Chadwick claims no degrees and names no institutions beyond his secondary school. He is said to have studied theology "on the university level" in France, Italy and Spain.

He distinguished himself on the Anglo-Catholic as a liturgical antiquarian and a strong advocate of the revival of the Sarum Use. Oddly for someone seeking entrance into the RCC, he was a promoter of dissident laity defiant of a French Roman Catholic bishop.

His ministry in rural France appears to center around a house church, quite lovely as it was done up in excellent taste.

His new blog "The English Catholic" has disappeared from cyberspace and seems to have been deleted.
LKW

Fr.James A. Chantler said...

Canadian Churchmen,with the guidance and support of Archbishops Haverland and Provence, are working towards the reconstitution of the Canadian Church and the eventual restoration of the Episcopate.This will not happen overnight but, thanks be to GOD,there is a way forward for us in a uniting,global and vigourous Continuum.With the 'fifth column' amongst us decamping for Rome we loyalists are,more and more, perceived as the true guardians of our goodly inheritance though we are not restricting our outreach to disaffected Anglicans within the impaired Church.

Christian Year said...

Shaugn

Being "knowledgeable" is very, very far from acquiring the positive fruits of a good seminary training, and equally distant from obtaining a good Theology degree from a recognised institute of learning. Too many of the clergy of the Discontinuum have neither.

Nor is being "knowledgeable" any substitute for the experience of serving as a priest, with the pastoral responsibilities which that entails in a mainstream church, as opposed to dressing up and acting out the part in front of a table in an upstairs bedroom, now designated as a "Catholic chapel".

Detailed knowledge of obscure Rites and liturgical accoutrements is not, in fact, either a qualification for or an adornment to Christian ministry of the kind in which genuine Anglicanism has excelled.

The absence of the things which really matter is all too apparent in the proliferation of vagantes' blogs, both in their comments, and in the photographs helpfully provided of their shrines, surrounded by men in gorgeous apparel (someone's best High Mass set) - with the camera carefully angled so as not to reveal the serried ranks of empty pews below.

Shaughn said...

Christian Year,

You and I were not discussing those criteria. You mentioned that he was a priest for "ten minutes," which is demonstrably false, and doubted whether he was an "expert on English Catholicism." In my experience, an expert is someone who has a) certain knowledge of a field, or b) a certain skill within a field.


We were not discussing whether someone had certain ministry experience; we were discussing whether someone had knowledge of a subject. Again, you are not addressing points, but attacking the quality of the person making them. You do this by saying his knowledge is about something obscure; you're not debating the knowledge, but attacking it by demeaning its value. When this strategy of yours is pointed out, you pirouette, and then quickly resume the previous tactic. It isn't constructive. It serves no purpose.

I understand that you may doubt an individual's training or pastoral experience. These are, perhaps, valid concerns for someone as a pastor. We were never (or at least I was never) evaluating someone as a pastor. Were we doing so, what purpose would it serve? Either Fr. Chadwick will go to Rome, or he will not. It has no bearing on your identity or faithful witness. Your endeavor to diminish an individual serves no real constructive purpose.

Christian Year said...

Shaugn

"Ten minutes" was perhaps too generous. Someone who has been a priest for five years, ordained by Mgr Hepworth, serving an altar in his own back bedroom, with no cure of souls, can only be a token priest. Such a thing is not Anglican.

Nor does the fact that the individual concerned has extensive knowledge of arcane and obsolete rites qualify him as an expert on Anglicanism - and as Fr Hart noted, and I noted that Fr Hart had noted, none of this knowledge has anything to do with the BCP, Cranmer or the Anglican Divines.

For the record - for your files - Fr Chadwick has not demonstrated himself to be an expert of any kind on the issues that ought to concern Catholic Anglicans.

Perhaps you live and breathe the Sarum rite? Sleep in your favourite cloth-of-gold Tunicle at night? Fr Chadwick would seem to be the right kind of resource for whatever imaginary continuing church you envisage emerging under the aegis of Rome or Hepworth or whoever.

I can say with confidence that such a church never existed in some far off Golden Age, and it will not exist in the future, except as someone's hobby in a garden shed or at a bedroom altar.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

His new blog "The English Catholic" has disappeared from cyberspace and seems to have been deleted.
LKW


It disappeared only for a few hours.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

Belated thanks for your answer about "hounded"! If you will excuse my pursuing it further, do you refer especially to More's 'Confutation of Tyndale's Answer'? And what do you think he might - or ought - to have done, after conscientiously taking up Bishop Tunstall's call to polemicism in 1528? Not argued that Tyndale was a heretic, even if he believed he was, to spare him (physically) mortal consequences? I have read that in 1527 Tunstall bought up copies of Tyndale's 'Testament' himself to keep from having to execute heretics. But also that he preached a sermon before the execution of four Carthusians (= 66% of the number of heretics that I understand were executed under More's Chancellorship) on Quinquagesima Sunday 1536, some months before Tyndale's execution.

And what-all do we (meaning not I, directly!) know of what Tyndale thought of how people he considered heretical should be treated? Again, did he agree - or would he likely have agreed - with Luther when, in 1533, he said "Preachers are the greatest murderers. [...] I have killed those rebellious farmers; the guilt for all that blood rests on me. But I shove it off on the Lord God; He hath commanded me to speak in the way I did" ('Werke' [Weimar ed.] Tr. 3, 75 Nr. 2911 a)?

Fr. Wells: I lack no respect for Fr. Heart's research, and beg his forgiveness if I have presented my query disrespectfully. I was mislead on first reading the sentence, and then, seeing it did not have to mean what I mistook it to seem to, I wondered what exactly he had in mind.

Thank you for the reference: it is indeed new to me.

Speaking of references, I am grateful for the 'Resources'in the sidebar, but would be surprised to find myself alone in welcoming more - especially on-line - recommended reading and reference-source tips for primary and secondary material from you learned and reverend gentlemen! (For instance, I long searched in vain from Cranmer's 'Defence' after Fr. Hart's 21 April post - and only now thought of trying 'Internet Archive' - and found photo-reproduced various copies of (volumes of) the Parker Society edition of his works, but also a blackletter edition at Princeton!)

While it may indeed be "amazing that so many Anglicans are ashamed of Cranmer, ignorant of Tyndale, but smile sweetly at the name of this 'saint'", let us not rashly forget the considered admiration for him of Lewis in the OHEL volume (1954), Stephen Neill in 'Anglicanism' (1958) and that old Methodist former political philosophy pupil of Lewis's, A. G. Dickens, in 'Thomas Cromwell and the English Reformation' (1959).

Semi-Hookerian

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

Belated thanks for your answer about "hounded"! If you will excuse my pursuing it further, do you refer especially to More's 'Confutation of Tyndale's Answer'? And what do you think he might - or ought - to have done, after conscientiously taking up Bishop Tunstall's call to polemicism in 1528? Not argued that Tyndale was a heretic, even if he believed he was, to spare him (physically) mortal consequences? I have read that in 1527 Tunstall bought up copies of Tyndale's 'Testament' himself to keep from having to execute heretics. But also that he preached a sermon before the execution of four Carthusians (= 66% of the number of heretics that I understand were executed under More's Chancellorship) on Quinquagesima Sunday 1536, some months before Tyndale's execution.

And what-all do we (meaning not I, directly!) know of what Tyndale thought of how people he considered heretical should be treated? Again, did he agree - or would he likely have agreed - with Luther when, in 1533, he said "Preachers are the greatest murderers. [...] I have killed those rebellious farmers; the guilt for all that blood rests on me. But I shove it off on the Lord God; He hath commanded me to speak in the way I did" ('Werke' [Weimar ed.] Tr. 3, 75 Nr. 2911 a)?

Semi-Hookerian

Anonymous said...

Fr. Wells: I lack no respect for Fr. Heart's research, and beg his forgiveness if I have presented my query disrespectfully. I was mislead on first reading the sentence, and then, seeing it did not have to mean what I mistook it to seem to, I wondered what exactly he had in mind.

Thank you for the reference: it is indeed new to me.

Speaking of references, I am grateful for the 'Resources'in the sidebar, but would be surprised to find myself alone in welcoming more - especially on-line - recommended reading and reference-source tips for primary and secondary material from you learned and reverend gentlemen! (For instance, I long searched in vain from Cranmer's 'Defence' after Fr. Hart's 21 April post - and only now thought of trying 'Internet Archive' - and found photo-reproduced various copies of (volumes of) the Parker Society edition of his works, but also a blackletter edition at Princeton!)

While it may indeed be "amazing that so many Anglicans are ashamed of Cranmer, ignorant of Tyndale, but smile sweetly at the name of this 'saint'", let us not rashly forget the considered admiration for him of Lewis in the OHEL volume (1954), Stephen Neill in 'Anglicanism' (1958) and that old Methodist former political philosophy pupil of Lewis's, A. G. Dickens, in 'Thomas Cromwell and the English Reformation' (1959).

Semi-Hookerian

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Semi-Hookerian:

I rushed my initial remarks, and so I left open a big blank space. Fr. Wells has named the right book on the subject, Brian Moynahan's God's Bestseller, William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Writing of the REnglish Bible (Macmillan, 2003).

Thomas More went after Tyndale like Lt. Gerard going after Richard Kimble, though not physically in pursuit. It was a case of hounding, not letting the man go away and live in peace. Furthermore, More was on the wrong side, fighting for the wrong thing-to keep the people ignorant of that very thing they needed most to know and to study.

However, though I do not agree with the cause that More died for, I do grant that he had the courage to stick to it. However, considering that he had actively sought the blood of Protestants for stands that they had taken in good conscience, he had to hope that his papal religion was right. Otherwise, he would have had to fear for the all the innocent blood that was on his hands.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

Thank you for your further comments.

My practical problem with recent books is, not living near a good library, I have to buy them (sight unseen) if I want to read them! But I will duly bear Brian Moynahan's in mind against what opportunities may arise!

If I want really to find out for myself I have now found more than half-a-dozen different copies (variously Parker Society and Palmer) of Tyndale's 'Answer' at Internet Archive, and have discovered that I can follow Lewis through the hundreds of "columns of the 1557 folio" of More's 'Workes', thanks to www,thomasmorestudies.org - but that will take some doing (probably more than I am up to, just now...)!

You say More was "fighting for the wrong thing-to keep the people ignorant of that very thing they needed most to know and to study." I'll need to look into and consider this more. If I remember correctly from the late Richard Marius's biography, More would set his girls down when they got home to write a precis of the sermon they had heard, to see how well they listened and remembered. I think that was about English sermons (though with them it might have been Latin!). So I take it he wanted people to hear the Gospel (preached), if not to have access to vernacular translations of the Gospels.

Semi-Hookerian

Anonymous said...

"Fr Chadwick has been a priest (ordained by Hepworth) for all of ten minutes"

Ummm, no; try putting 'Bishop Anthony Chadwick' into Google. I think you'll find an alternative history that does not get revealed.

RMA