Thursday, February 24, 2011
Not so Divine Comedy...
Just when I thought I had heard of every possible mismatch of backgrounds among episcopus vagans (episcopi vagantes in the plural), popularly called vagante, along comes some even more ridiculous concoction of ecclesiastical tossed salad. That is not to say, however, that these vagans folks should be confused with absolute vegetarians (vegens). But, the tossed salads I have seen in the past do include quite a mixture of vegetables. There was my favorite, the Celtic Orthodox Church, headed by some "Abbot" who needed only his Costello to be complete (that would make a great movie title: The Abbot of Costello). The real Eastern Orthodox Church never heard of these jokers, and their "Celtic" authenticity was seriously undermined by their Texas venue, not to mention their modern origin.
Well, now there is a new one: The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC). One can well imagine the sound of Tallis being sung by the choir while the organist plays the music of Bach, both of which are beautiful when not played together. If Texas Celts can worship in the style of Constantinople, we may certainly enjoy the combination of Wiener Schnitzel served up with Yorkshire Pudding. It all makes a great tossed salad for episcopus vagans--and I don't mean pagans.
It is so much fun visiting the websites of the respective parishes of this unimaginable ALCC, or it might be if only they had any real websites other than a main central one loaded with photos of, you guessed it, guys in collars (or Men in Black). Well, the whole Vagante side dish reminds me of the time when our friend The Barking Toad went after diploma mills that pretended to be respectable seminaries. Any vagante Archbishop in need of a church to match his miter, takes his cue from what the Marines do; he looks to find a few good men. Maybe, if he gains enough converts, or new members, by offering them ordination (when no one else would) he might, some day, have a real church, maybe even a real stained glass window--you know, one of those essential things that constitutes a mark of the True Church.
Well, in case you thought the name "Lutheran" was a mismatch with the name "Anglo" (and gee, thank God they did not say "Anglican"), never worry. In their eagerness to look legit, and to be respectable, they have thrown Dr. Luther under the Church bus, in fact, under the Coeti-bus. Orlando's tragic blog of comic relief, "The Anglo-Catholic" of misnomer infamy, is rejoicing this day because the Anglo-Lutheran Catholics are trying to get into the whole Roman ordinariate club. So they report:
"On May 13, 2009, The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC) mailed a letter to Walter Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, stating the ALCC 'desires to undo the mistakes of Father Martin Luther, and return to the One, Holy, and True Catholic Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ through the Blessed Saint Peter.'”
It is a comfort to find "Lutherans" whose commitment to Lutheranism is every bit as deep as the Orlando gang's commitment to Anglicanism. A name, what is in a name? An Anglican, or Lutheran, by any other name would smell as feet... in sneakers after a long run. And, not just any run, but a run through a superficial approach to doctrine, so superficial as to make a mockery of the word "convictions." But, among the vagante element, convictions give way to "theology" that suits the mood of the times, and their idea of the latest marketing scheme.
The blog at Orlando goes on to say:
"The letter further stated, 'As we proceed toward the erection of Ordinariates we would invite you, therefore, to make contact directly with Archbishop Wuerl at the following address…' Humbly, the ALCC responded with a resounding 'YES', mailing a letter to Cardinal Wuerl in compliance with the correspondence received from the CDF, requesting to be a part of this wonderful reunification within the Body of Christ."
Translated, of course, what that really means is that Cardinal Kasper had the good sense to pass the buck and wash these fellows out of his hair. "Write to Archbishop Wuerl" means, "It's his problem now, not mine: Whew!"
Of course, just as "The Anglo-Catholic" webmiester, one Mr. Campbell, demonstrates the depth of his integrity by clinging to the name of his choice all the while renouncing the meaning of that name, so these "Anglo-Lutherans" show the depth of their integrity by inexplicably clinging to their own peculiar misnomer. They have the temerity to call themselves Lutherans, but publicly state:
"...the ALCC 'desires to undo the mistakes of Father Martin Luther...'It is with great joy and deep gratitude, therefore, that the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church makes known her intention to enter the American Ordinariate under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus, and looks forward to serving with all our brothers and sisters in Christ to undo the Reformation."
To undo the Reformation? Well, changing history requires, at the very least, a time machine. In the meantime they might consider acquiring enough honesty, or sanity, to change their name, as Mr. Campbell could change the name of his blog (TASS is no longer being used). They would at least look a bit less ridiculous. "Lutherans" condemning Luther and renouncing the Reformation? Well, one advantage of the episcopus vagans world is that you can believe anything you want, making it up as you go along. In the Octopus' garden of episcopus vagans there are no rules. One may simply play "church" by making a costume from the vestments worn by bishops, priests and deacons. Vagante play their game by dressing up like men who have a real ministry, but they cannot hide their true wannabe condition.
As for the Orlando ordinariate champions; they are so desperate that they have scraped the bottom of the barrel. But, I'll give them this: At least they have steered clear, if only by their western style, of my favorite vagante bishop of all, the "Orthodox" vagante bishop who owns the title, "Shepherd of shepherds, and Master of the Universe." At least I think he owns it. Perhaps it is still under copyright by the Marvel Comics Group.