Thursday, June 16, 2011

I am glad he said it

...and not me. 

Cardinal Wuerl -doing some serious penance? 
"Although the ordinariates are designed to be fully [Roman] Catholic while retaining elements of the Anglican heritage, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged that it is not entirely clear what those elements are and how they will be maintained."

Actually, I did say it and have been saying it since Anglicanorum Coetibus was announced in September, 2009. But, it is really good to hear Donald W. Cardinal Wuerl of Washington DC say it too (and, as one person asked, "What appalling crime did Cardinal Wuerl commit in order to be saddled with the lunatics demanding an ordinariate?").

In case you think that the mean and grumpy Fr. Hart made it up, not so! It was reported by The Catholic News Service (CNS) just today. 

The report opens:
BELLEVUE, Wash. (CNS) -- As many as 100 U.S. Anglican priests and 2,000 laypeople could be the first members of a U.S. personal ordinariate for former Anglicans who want to enter into full communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington reported to his fellow bishops June 15.

The cardinal also laid out the hoops that Former Anglican clergy (let us call them the "ex-men") will need to jump through. 

Father Jeffrey Steenson, the former Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grande who became a [Roman] Catholic in 2007 and now teaches at St. Mary's Seminary, was instrumental in developing the program, which focuses on "the areas of historic theological divergence" between the Catholic and Anglican churches, Cardinal Wuerl said.

In all fairness, it will be generous to have the procedures sped up to nine months of formation, as the report indicates. In the days when my brother went through the Pastoral Provisions it took about two and a half years. However, the change will require the ex-men to be clever enough to master Latin and RC Canon Law in only nine months. Can they do it? 

As for the current Anglican laity who want to be ex also - that is, former Anglicans - their wait  for a "'First' Communion" (so what have they had until now? Chopped liver?) will take only however long Rome needs to assemble something for them (we all know how speedy Rome can be). Their Ana-Confirmations will, no doubt, also be sped along.

But, getting back to clerical hoops, [R] CNS continues

The current task involves preparation of dossiers to be sent to the Vatican on each of the Anglican priests who is seeking admission to the priestly formation process, he said.  

This information will include the results of criminal background checks, a psychological evaluation, a letter of resignation from their Anglican entity" and letters from Cardinal Wuerl or the head of the ordinariate once it is established, the Catholic bishop in the diocese in which the candidate resides and, if possible, his former Anglican authority, the cardinal said.Once that information has been submitted to the Vatican, the candidate "will cease celebrating the Anglican Eucharist" and begin leading his congregation in the catechetical preparation for them to become Catholics, he said.

Notice that phrase, "the Anglican Eucharist." That is about as generous as Rome, in reality, ever gets. Whatever it is, they cannot call it a sacrament. No doubt, it is good enough for Anglicans -a second class attempt at a sacrament, at best.

But, we have been assured that all the ex-men, lay and potential Ana-ordinands, will get to have their elements and eat their cake too - or something like that. And, if the Cardinal who is putting it together has no idea what "elements" of Anglicanism -or perhaps just Anglican style - are to be maintained, then who does? What good is a constitution that specifies nothing in particular? What good would the U.S. Constitution have been without the Bill of Rights? 

" is not entirely clear what those elements are and how they will be maintained."

Gee, I wish I had said that - oh, that's right - I did. But, I am really, really glad he said it too.


Alice C. Linsley said...

Jeffrey Steenson was my Anglican Polity professor in seminary and he planted the first seeds of doubt in my mind about women priests. As I listened to him lecture, I realized "Here is a man who knows of what he's speaking."
Later he gave me an F on an exam in which I was to answer the question: "What historical and/or Biblical precedent can be cited in support of the ordination of women to the catholic priesthood?" I deserved it! My paper quoted sources that today I wouldn't even consider worthy of citation.

Anonymous said...

In thinking of Romanizing Anglicans, do you have any thoughts on the recent news that Al Kimmel has left Rome for Orthodoxy?

Anonymous said...

Many Roman Catholics do not know what Anglican patrimony is, or what the term refers to. One of the problems in setting up the Ordinariate is that while the Pope and the Curia think deep thoughts from the lofty heights of the Vatican about reuniting Christianity, and bringing Anglicans into full communion, the working class at street level often has no idea of how to implement these plans.

Fr. Wells said...

I talked this past week with an old friend I had out of touch with for a great while, a priest of the Continuing ACA. His astute observation was that the whole Hepworth scheme has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For the clergy of the ACA who are not going to be gobbled up in a very temporary arrangement, this has been the opportunity to re-learn what Anglicanism really is all about. There is no growth without pain, and if this strange misadventure serves to re-establish the faith of Whitgift, Hooker, Jewell, Andrewes and Donne, then once again God has brought great good out of evil.

Fr. Robert Hart said... you have any thoughts on the recent news that Al Kimmel has left Rome for Orthodoxy?

Maybe he won't be happy there either, after the honeymoon wears off. The thing is, he never gave real Anglicanism a chance.

Fr. Wells said...

"he never gave real Anglicanism a chance."

His name is legion.

(And dear Lord, please help Fr Kimel to be happy where he is. Please, please, please!)

Anonymous said...



charles said...

I agree with Bp. Redmile at the recent Victoria Congress who described the Ordinariate was a "gift" for continuing Anglicans. The Pope did some much needed house cleaning for us. Amen.

highchurchman said...

Regarding Mr, or Al Kimmel, "He never gave Anglicanism a chance!"
I don't know about Mr Kimmel, I posted on his blog and he seemed like a man who had made his mind up, as they do say! But he wasn't the only one, when we read the comments of a lot of the runners and listen to the statements of many who are staying. We should ask, what has changed?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It is "what has changed" that they are fleeing. It is the the old ways, without those changes, that we are Continuing.

Geo. S. Southerly said...

The comment threads about Fr. Kimel's move from Rome at Titusonenine and Midwest Conservative Journal were lengthy and someoone at MCJ posted the vows that he would have taken entering Orthodoxy renouncing the RC and pope's 'erroneous' claims to primacy and infallibility as well as the Filioque.

Meanwhile, those entering the Ordinariate in England were told:
“Mgr Newton stressed: “First and foremost then you are to be ordained a priest of the Catholic Church. What happens to you today will give you a new authentic authority to your ministry.
“You will discover in the words of Lumen Gentium that ‘There can be no genuine priestly ministry except in communion with the Supreme Pontiff‘”

Someone also commented that both the Orthodox and Rome see Anglicans as a broken off part of the Latin Church under Rome.

An Anglican said, "It seems like a better idea to look for the One True Lord than the one true Church."

The endless arguments about which church is first, right and best are wearying and take away the real joy of the Lord.

Little Black Sambo said...

"There can be no genuine priestly ministry except in communion with the Supreme Pontiff."
We are told, and I am sure sincerely, that an Anglican priest is not required to deny his priesthood when becoming RC. But here the Ordinary seems to be denying it quite spontaneously.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

We are told, and I am sure sincerely, that an Anglican priest is not required to deny his priesthood when becoming RC. But here the Ordinary seems to be denying it quite spontaneously.

Which is inevitable. The mistake is in the presumption of what "we are told...sincerely." Rome is encumbered with their embarrassing Papal pronouncement of 1896. That ties the hands of any and every RC ordinary.

Fr. Wells said...

Rome is encumbered with many embarrassing things, most of which they simply allow to fall into oblivon. (The Enchiridion Indulgentiarum comes to mind.) But the reprehensible 1896 document rejecting Anglican Orders was given special notice and new emphasis in that fit of generosity called Anglicanorum Coetibus.
The requirement of Conditional Ordination would have satisfied most if not all positions, but absolute ordination is insisted upon.