Friday, February 25, 2011

Hep Speak

Those of you who have read 1984 by George Orwell may well remember "New Speak." It fit well with "double think" and the rewriting of history by "minitrue" (short for "the Ministry of Truth"), based on the Oceania government's position that "he who controls the past controls the future." "Hep Speak" combines all of these ideas into one nice package. Defending his best efforts at tyranny and at being a school yard bully, Archbishop Hepworth continues to rave like a drunken man who cannot establish a reasonable premise for his own brand of logic. Every time I see a statement by John Hepworth I see glaring errors of fact, superficial theology at best, and all with the clear intention of destroying the Continuing Church, at least any part of it that he can.

David Virtue, no doubt allowing the Ordinariate club to have just enough rope that they make their true colors visible, has created an "ordinariate" section on VirtueOnline. There, we see a statement by the Australian Primate, a statement in keeping with all that the word "primate" suggests.
Let's look at a few examples of Hep Speak.

"It was agreed that those involved could stay in their own parishes, but under the episcopal jurisdiction of a bishop entering the Ordinariate."

Right. So, now Hepworth proposes that local rectors and diocesan bishops should have to put up with members of respective parishes rebelling against the established church authority at home, answering instead to a foreign bishop in a foreign jurisdiction. They may thumb their noses at rectors and bishops, and create disorder in their own churches, all by pretending to have some legitimacy from some outside authority. Individuals in a parish have been given permission to create confusion and to be destructive. They may thus let all things be done indecently and out of order. In the same statement Hepworth has the temerity to say,

"Christian Unity is not an option for the Church."

Apparently, and ironically, he is saying that he has removed the "option" of allowing a parish to experience its own unity on a local level by asserting himself, in bully fashion. What "unity" is he for, considering that he has attempted in this same document to tear up and divide local parishes?

And, what does he mean by unity? He means that a small number of former Anglicans convert to Roman Catholicism. In no way can that movement, from one denomination to another, unify the Church. And, what good is political unity anyway without charity? What kind of unity is it when it is simply forced on people by some legal status?

"The tragedy of Continuing Anglicanism - and indeed of the Anglican Communion - is the absence of Eucharistic Communion with anyone but itself."

What is that man smoking? That has never been true of the Anglican Communion, and neither is it true of Continuing Anglicanism. We have never forbidden non-Anglicans to receive the sacrament in our churches. But, it is most certainly true that both of the Two One True Churches forbid the sacrament to anyone but their own.
It is tragic that so many people who fled for refuge to a church body, in which they sought refuge according to the Affirmation of St. Louis, have found themselves bullied, lied to, and pressured to destroy their identity by assimilation. Hepworth continues to use his disguise as an Anglican Archbishop, a pretense if ever there was one, to heap insult upon insult to our carefully considered and most deeply held convictions.

He continues to invoke the word "unity" in the most deceptive manner, meaning only that people should betray their own consciences and ignore their beliefs so that they may join another denomination. At the end of the day, when all of the people who plan to swim the Tiber have jumped in, the Church will not be any more unified than it was before. After all, individuals have always gone from one to the other, and that will not cease to be the case.

The good news is, Hep Speak is failing, and his voice gets weaker every day, someday to be forgotten as we have forgotten the words of Alexander the Coppersmith. Soon, this latest threat to our mission as Continuing Anglicans will have passed, and we can concentrate on real unity among ourselves. Then we can get on with our mission, and allow no more idiotic distractions.

That is, once we can actually say with St. Paul, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." II Cor. 2:11


neowagnerite said...

Spot on, Father.

C. Crume+

Fr Tom said...

It seems to me that the term 'cognative dissonance' could be applied to those who buy into the world of 'HepSpeak.'

Veriword 'aphyla' meaning the lack of a phylum to belong to

Father David said...

The collect for St. Matthias on February 24th: '...Grant that thy church, being already preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors...'

Derril said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

I want to comment on/inquire about your statement that Anglicans have never forbidden non-Anglicans from receiving the sacrament - I assume this means the Blessed Sacrament. While this statement is factually correct - to the best of my knowledge Anglicans have always welcomed other Catholic Christians, most specifically Roman Catholics and Orthodox - I want to make sure I understand your meaning. Our Prayer Book states in a rubric "none shall be admitted to the Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed." The qualifier in that statement, I have been told, was placed there to cover situations such as existed here in colonial days when there was no bishop on this continent and people were unable to receive confirmation. Today in this country, anyone who is ready and desirous can be readily confirmed.

I understand the ACC was formed and felt compelled to leave the Episcopal church on another issue, but for me personally, it was when the Episcopal Church officially opened itself to "Open Communion", that I became convinced that the Episcopal Church no longer considered itself part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. When we present ourselves to receive the Blessed Sacrament it is imperative that we understand we are receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord - not something to be taken lightly. In fact, our Prayer Book states "it is required of those to come to the Lord's Supper to examine themselves", echoing the sentiment, if not the words, of I Corinthians 11: 27-29.

The reason for limiting the reception of the Blessed Sacrament in the ACC to Catholic Christians is specifically because they presumably have received instruction and understand they are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and the implications thereof.

Do you agree and is it your understanding that the ACC does not practice open communion and it does not for the reasons specified here?

Responding to the main thrust of your statements, it certainly appears Archbishop Hepworth has seriously misrepresented and is trying to bully in his attempts to convert some Continuing Anglicans to Roman Catholicism.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


When the modern Episcopalians use the term "open communion" they mean that unbelievers and the unbaptized, and probably your dog and cat too, are welcome to receive whatever it is they are handing out at the altar rail.

My point, however, is more simple. We do not require membership in our Anglican church, and we are willing to give Communion to people who are not Anglicans-if they come forward for it. So, when a Roman Catholic comes forward (or an EO), we do not send them away. But, I do want them to know who we are, and to be careful not to transgress the dictates of their own consciences. If they can receive from us in good conscience, we will not send them away.

We are not treated the same way in their churches. Hepworth implies that this is, somehow, our fault. The truth, however, is that Rome and Orthodoxy are the ones who are not in Eucharistic Communion with anybody else, not even with each other. I am not about to lament my Anglicanism over someone else's problem. Hepworth, as usual, confuses the issue and fools the gullible.

Fr.Jas.A.Chantler said...

Reading this posting, as a Canadian Churchman, was difficult and it made me sad.I was unaware of many of the problems facing the Church when I was growing up but even then I knew that Canadians such as Fr.Carmino de Catanzaro and Fr.Roland Palmer SSJE were leading 'traditionalists' in the Anglican portion of Christ's Church. Eventually I became convinced that these men along with other Churchmen(and women) in the North America and elsewhere were our true fathers in GOD and I got involved in the spiritual battle. Canadians helped found the Continuum and later we Canadian Anglican Catholics were involved in the establishment of the TAC. Things went terribly wrong(perhaps predictably) in the TAC. I believe that Fr.Hart's assessment of the TAC and their Primate is on the mark. Despite my sadness at was has transpired here and the enormous blow the Canadian Church has suffered I am happy and grateful that refugees from the madness have been welcomed back to the ACC and remain hopeful about the way forward for us.I cannot articulate the concerns of 'oldbeliever' Anglicans as well as Fr.Hart can and I am grateful that GOD has blessed him with the intellectual horsepower to do so.I would only counsel that we all remain charitable and forgiving as this is what Our Lord would have us do.There are still many sincere and devout Christians who've trusted the TAC leadership who will find this trust to have been misplaced and abused and they need to know that we love them.

Anonymous said...

I would like to resume - and extend - discussion of the 'matter' to which Derril attended. Fr. Hart wrote, "We have never forbidden non-Anglicans to receive the sacrament in our churches."

What does this "we" and this "our churches" include or exclude? Does it include, e.g., the Church of England and the world-wide Anglican Communion up till the point of 'Continuation'? If so, we must attend to the Kikuyu controversy of 1913, when the Bishops of Mombasa ((Peel) and Uganda (Willis) held a Communion Service at which those missionaries at the session considering whether a United Church of East Africa could be brought into being who were not Anglicans (mainly Methodists and Presbyterians) were invited to receive the Holy Communion. The Bishop of Zanzibar (Frank Weston)denounced Peel and Willis as heretics, and called for absolute assurance that the irregularity would never be repeated. Stephen Neill, whose account in 'Anglicanism'(1958)I have been digesting, writes (p. 367) that Archbishop Davidson's 1914 judgement "was so balanced, so cautious, as to some extent to justify the caustic summary that [...] the events [...] 'were highly pleasing to Almighty God, but not in any circumstances to be repeated'."

Neill sees Kikuyu in the background of the "Appeal to All Christian People" issued by the 1920 Lambeth Conference (q.v.). Among other things Neill quotes, "It is not that we call in question for a moment the Spiritual reality of the ministry of those Communions which do not poessess the Episcopate. On the contrary we thankfully acknowledge that these ministries have been manifestly blessed and owned by the Holy Spirit as an effective means of grace."

The practical 'opening' of recent decades of Holy Communion to all baptized Christians in state to receive it in the Communions of their formal membership, seems an extension in line with this.

What is the considered judgement (if any) of which of the Continuing Churches, with reference to this?