Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Everybody must get stoned

Now that three ACA bishops, (Bishop Marsh, Bishop Williams and Bishop Strawn) have each announced the two fold decision to draw close to Presiding Bishop Grundorf and the Anglican Province in America (APA) and to decline the proposal Anglicanorum Coetibus, the TAC has announced that it has a new canonical structure. Archbishop Hepworth has sent a letter to the ACA House of Bishops (the text of which appears below), informing them that parishes in the those three dioceses, of what we may call the Loyal Opposition, may divorce themselves from their respective diocesan Ordinaries to come under the Patrimony of the Primate. Part of Hepworth's letter declares:

"In July, I made this proposal to the House of Bishops of the ACA:

1. The Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion will accept into the Patrimony of the Primate those clergy and laity whose diocese or province has determined, through a declaration of its bishop or bishops, that it is not seeking corporate reunion under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution at this time."

The idea itself is not new. In the ACC-OP we allow a parish that considers itself in temporary need of alternative oversight to come under the Patrimony of the Metropolitan, for the purpose of remaining within the church while differences with the Bishop Ordinary of their geographical diocesan boundaries remain unresolved. This was passed properly as part of our Canon Law in a Provincial Synod (perhaps someone knows if the TAC canon was passed in the same manner, or if it was announced as if from On High. I really don't have the answer at the time of this writing). Such an arrangement is meant to be temporary. This idea works as a last resort, but only with a parish.

Hepworth's letter, however, creates confusion, because it allows an individual to enter the "Patrimony of the Primate" with or without the consent of his Parish.

"4. As soon as a person seeks membership of the Patrimony for this purpose, the Primate (acting where necessary through a delegate) will recognise reception into the Patrimony for the purposes of the formation of an Ordinariate."

A practical question is, how does one expect churches to function where the Rector's authority is divided up among the congregation?

Furthermore, how does the local Bishop keep peace in his diocese if he is forced to have his clergy divided up in the same way, as Hepworth allows?

"3. The clergy and laity who are admitted to the Patrimony for this purpose will remain incardinated in the diocese in which they presently serve, and will retain all entitlements arising from their present position, until the time at which they formally become part of the Ordinariate. No canonical or legal action will be taken in any way by a diocese or national body of a member church against those availing themselves of this facility, whether corporately or individually."

So, the local bishop cannot govern, and the local rector cannot even have a peaceful congregation. The possibilities for strife and discord are impossible to estimate. But, the raw power of the TAC Primate has been increased:

"It is my judgement that this is the appropriate time to establish the Patrimony of the Primate in the United States. With the consent of Archbishop Falk, I appoint Bishop David Moyer as my delegate for this purpose."

Party Line
Meanwhile, in reporting this newly declared polity, Mr. Campbell of the Former Anglican Blog, has sounded the hostile refrain heard these days from the Enthusiasts for converting to Rome en masse:

"...this new canonical structure may provide support to many TAC clergy and laity who find themselves now dispossessed by several disloyal ACA bishops..."

Of course, the "several disloyal ACA bishops" refers to the three whose consciences forbid them to take a course of action they do not believe in. The mantra that they are disloyal, or the accusation that they have broken some alleged oath, or the assertion that they owe obedience to Hepworth's agenda, comes from the Aussie Primate himself, as his letter of last week shows (concerning which Fr. Hollister had a few words for us).

In other words, men who are supposed to be Anglican bishops, whose stated promises were made according to the Anglican Ordinal in the Book of Common Prayer, and who have accepted the responsibility to lead dioceses of people who are committed to the Affirmation of St. Louis, are somehow guilty of a terrible sin because they have not been persuaded to convert to Roman Catholicism. Apparently, such a drastic decision is simply expected, despite all the obvious reasons why it makes no sense to expect such a thing of anyone.

I mentioned earlier that Mr. Campbell's padded cell awaits, or it should await. He would not be alone. It appears that the bully from Australia should also be joining him in the same room, dressed in the same attire: A jacket one must tie up in the back. Strait is the jacket, and padded the walls, for men who see this whole thing as if it were reasonable.
________

From the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion,
Archbishop John Hepworth.

For much of this year, I have taken part in a phone conference each week with the bishops of the Anglican Church in America, the United States part of the Traditional Anglican Communion. In a pastoral and collegial manner, we have sought to reach an understanding of the implication of the Apostolic Constitution "On the gathering of the Anglicans", and of issues concerning its implementation.

In July, I made this proposal to the House of Bishops of the ACA:

1. The Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion will accept into the Patrimony of the Primate those clergy and laity whose diocese or province has determined, through a declaration of its bishop or bishops, that it is not seeking corporate reunion under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution at this time.

2. This facility is offered in every province of the Traditional Anglican Communion in which need is established in the terms of Paragraph 1.

3. The clergy and laity who are admitted to the Patrimony for this purpose will remain incardinated in the diocese in which they presently serve, and will retain all entitlements arising from their present position, until the time at which they formally become part of the Ordinariate. No canonical or legal action will be taken in any way by a diocese or national body of a member church against those availing themselves of this facility, whether corporately or individually.

4. As soon as a person seeks membership of the Patrimony for this purpose, the Primate (acting where necessary through a delegate) will recognise reception into the Patrimony for the purposes of the formation of an Ordinariate.

5. The bishop or priest delegated for this purpose will expedite the documentation and any other matter pertaining to the formation of the Ordinariate, and will report to the Primate as necessary.

It would be my intention, supported by Archbishop Falk, that I appoint Bishop Moyer as delegate for this purpose in the USA.

On 18th August, Archbishop Falk communicated with me in the following terms:

As just discussed with the Bishops of the ACA a few minutes ago, the action of our House of Bishops earlier this year in recommending an "interim status" situation for ACA clerics and/or congregations already determined to seek entry into an Ordinariate in the USA under the terms of Anglicanorum Coetibus is reaffirmed. It is our position that no impediment exists to your going ahead with the same at such time as you may choose.

It is my judgement that this is the appropriate time to establish the Patrimony of the Primate in the United States. With the consent of Archbishop Falk, I appoint Bishop David Moyer as my delegate for this purpose. All enquiries and applications are to be made to Bishop Moyer. With the unanimous consent of the House of Bishops of the ACA, all those entering the Patrimony will retain their present position within the ACA until the establishment of the Ordinariate in the United States.

Bishop Moyer has the documentation for clergy seeking entry to the Ordinariate that was provided to the Traditional Anglican Communion bishops and Secretary to the College of Bishops on our recent meeting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

I have informed Cardinal Levada of this development, which enables those members of our Communion seeking entry to the Ordinariate in the United States to make corporate preparations.

With my continued prayers and blessing for all those engaged in this time of discernment,

+John Hepworth

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Patrimony of the Primate" hummm, one might imagine the idea of such a distorted canonical structure having some credence coming from a princely Italian palace; but from a non-descript church in the Adelaide hills. I don't think so. It reminds me of when Abp Hepworth got himself a civilian place at the Aussie Constitutional Convention but turned up in a purple shirt and more Pectoral crosses than Constantinople. Yet, the chaiman addressed him properly - as Mr. Hepworth.

W.C. Wallace said...

Well, now I'm not so sure the 3 bishises ARE in rebellion. This is on the ACA website:

A Unanimous Statement by the ACA House of Bishops after a full morning together of questions and answers with regard to everyone's true intention:

Some of us are prepared to seek entry into an American Ordinariate the moment it exists. Some are not yet ready at this time. None has decided never to seek entry. Those not ready to do so at this time are determined to remain within the TAC/ACA and continue their ministry until the time a final decision can be made.

The House of Bishops of the ACA has not taken any steps in the direction of any other form or plan of union, but will follow scrupulously the process required by the Canons of the ACA and the Concordat of the TAC in that regard.

So, what does THIS mean? Sounds like more FUD to me. I am SO ready to leave this goat rope.

Anonymous said...

What Hepworth and Mr. Campbell expect of the ACA Bishops is a Roman version of what was expected of clergy in ECUSA. After all, Rome is all the rage. Its where we need to be. How is this any different from what ECUSA did when these original Continuers kept on being orthodox, Creedal, Anglican and refused to teach something new, or something different. Archbishop Hepworth expects them to all get on board with Roman teaching or get out... and please leave your parishes and diocese!

They expect ACA Bishops and their clergy to accept that their Orders are invalid and need absolute ordination by the hands of a Roman Bishop, that they must begin teaching new dogma as necessary to salvation which includes teachings in the Roman Catechism such as Merits and the Treasury, Indulgences, etc. This would violate the Anglican Ordination vows to teach "nothing as necessary to salvation that is not contained in, or proven by holy scripture".

An Archbishop is a token figure head, not a mini-pope. He has no authority to come in and impose Roman Catholic teaching in another Bishop's diocese. But hey- he's established a "peculiar" parish in another Bishop's dioceses before. None of this surprises me. Shouldn't the fact that he was consecrating men as Bishops for the TAC while believing it would be possible, or somehow remotely acceptable, for them to remain Priests with cures in parishes in ECUSA or the Anglican Church of Australia.

Rome surly has one thing right - send them all back to school!

Brendan said...

This is obviously a sign of a desperate AB, who after doing the number crunching realises that Rome is not looking too rosy and if he doesn't shore up support, he may not even have a TAC to fall back on to massage his ecclesiastical ego.

William Wheatley said...

Fr. Hart, the three bishops involved all expressed their complete assent to the Catechism of The Catholic Church as normative for faith; they voted with the other TAC bishops to petition Rome for union; after the publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus, they voted with the other ACA bishops to petition Rome to establish an Ordinariate for the United States. I suppose they are entitled now to change their minds, but since they have, it is incumbent on the Primate (and the other ACA bishops) to provide alternative oversight for those parishes and individuals in those three dioceses who choose with the remaining seven bishops of the ACA to accept the Ordinariate scheme. I see Abp. Hepworth's initiative as very pastoral.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." I Cor. 14:33

Trying to present Roman Catholicism as somehow mandatory for Anglicans is insane. The details almost don't matter. Nonetheless, Hepworth is a bully and a tyrant. Interfering with the operation of dioceses is out of order, going back to Canon 2 of Constantinople I. But, it is even more confusing and destructive to incite division within local parishes. To further his agenda, he is creating chaos. Canon Law in the TAC has become pointless because it has become self-contradictory.

The whole Portsmouth escapade was a mistake, because it merely gave the bully a weapon to club people over the head. Furthermore, what they so unadvisedly agreed to in 2007, really has nothing to do with the contents of Anglicanorum Coetibus.

aftercatharine said...

I think perhaps each new chorus seems more baffling than the rest because we keep assuming that all of these people who are dressed alike are somehow "in choir."

They are not.

Every action suggests a collection of soloists, and each has brought his own music to the performance. The cacophony is stunning, and of only this one thing am I sure. Ain't nobody directing this choir.

Anonymous said...

I can see nothing wrong in principle with Abo Hepworth setting up a kind of holding tank called a "Patrimony." This concept originated in the Anglican Catholic Church itself when two Bishops (Morse aned Watterson) refused to accept the Constitution and Canons. This was a temporary measure which allowed parishes belonging to those two bishops to remain within the ACC. It still exists and is something of a stickey wicket in the ACC. It may serve the five or more Canadian parishes which have fled TAC and found refuge in the ACC.

The more important question is how much of a response will Abp Hepworth get to this ploy to split the three dioceses which have finally decided to back out of his craziness. One has only to read the Former Anglican and its splinter-blog, the English Catholic to learn for sure that this Ordinariate is a big flop. Three of four diocesan bishops have repudiated it. Calling them names and accusing them of "perfidious knavery" does not change that fact: the Ordinariate is no more successful than its forerunner, the Anglican Use scheme.

Fr Hart describes Abp Hepworth as a bully and a tyrant. What is more important at this juncture is that he is a failure. We recall his boasting that the TAC consisted of a huge number of people (400K, 500K, 700K -- all these numbers were bandied about). Now it is evident that only a tiny handful will respond to Rome's "generous provision." Like the discredited potentate of some collapsing banana republic, Hepworth is a miserable failure.

I am inclined to expect that more TAC-DEUS parishes will flee Bp Campese than will rally to Hepworth's Patrimony.

LKW

Anonymous said...

Don't misss this one;

http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/2010/2021.html