Monday, November 09, 2009

Achbishop Haverland's Response

From the ACC Website

A response from the Anglican Catholic Church to Rome’s Offer to Former Anglicans

1. Rome’s Offer

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on October 20th issued a widely publicized Note that summarizes a forthcoming Apostolic Constitution concerning former Anglicans seeking to be received into full union with the Roman Catholic Church. This Constitution, as best one can judge from the Note, mainly will do two new things:

First, it will extend internationally terms offered already to some in North America by the Pastoral Provision and by the Book of Divine Worship. The Pastoral Provision permits ordination as Roman Catholic priests for some married, formerly Anglican clergy who join the Roman Catholic Church, and this despite the general Roman demand for clerical celibacy. The Book of Divine Worship contains some liturgical forms which have sources in the Anglican tradition: the so-called Anglican Use. At present these forms may be permitted by the local Roman bishop when both a group of former Anglicans desiring the Use and also a competent priest are present. The Pastoral Provision has permitted many dozens of former Anglican clergymen to become Roman Catholic priests. The Anglican Use, in contrast, has had little success, with fewer than ten congregations. In any case, the Apostolic Constitution will extend beyond North America permission both for the Roman Catholic ordination of married, former Anglicans and also for some Anglican liturgical usages within the Roman Church.

The second and more innovative development promised by the Note is the establishment of Ordinariates composed of former Anglicans and led by former Anglicans ordained as Roman clergy and then appointed by Rome as Ordinaries. The new Ordinariates would, it seems, have jurisdiction over such former Anglicans even while those former Anglicans live within the boundaries of existing Roman Catholic dioceses. This development may give a somewhat higher status to an "Anglican Use" within the Roman Church and may signal its development into something more than a short-lived, transitional arrangement in the rare cases of joint conversion to Rome by a suitable Anglican clergyman and by a congregation interested in retaining elements of the Anglican patrimony.

The Note, in brief, offers terms for conversion by Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church. These terms are, from Rome’s point of view, fairly generous and innovative. For persons who already believe that the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is superior to classical Anglican or Orthodox theology, such terms are significant. We have nothing to say against the pleasure such former Anglicans will feel in evidence of a benevolent interest from the Vatican. And we are certain that Pope Benedict by this Constitution intends to be generous, kind, and welcoming and even, in a sense, subjectively intends to be respectful towards and appreciative of some aspects of our Anglican heritage.

II. Our Response

The Note, however, does not mark in any respect an ecumenical advance. The Note assumes the fullest and highest claims for the Petrine Office which emanate from Vatican I and Vatican II. The Note assumes the essential correctness of Pope Leo XIII’s condemnation of Anglican Orders and practically implies that for all effective purposes that condemnation has not been reconsidered or superceded in any degree by subsequent events. The Note assumes that Anglican confirmations and ordinations are utterly null and absolutely void. The Note does not imply the union of ecclesial bodies, but rather the conversion of former Anglicans to Roman Catholicism with what amounts to the prior, effective, and complete dissolution of their former ecclesial structures. This conversion by absorption is the case even if some of the leaders of those former structures may eventually gain office in new subdivisions of the Roman Catholic Church. We assume that local or congregational ownership of property will be entirely extinguished in accordance with normal Roman Catholic practice.

Insofar as the Note and subsequent Constitution provide for relatively one-sided conversions of former Anglicans with minimal concessions, we fear that the Note and Constitution in fact will harm and retard genuine ecumenical progress. By genuine ecumenical progress we mean, for instance, joint consideration of the Petrine Office of the sort some hoped for after promulgation by John Paul II of his encyclical Ut Unum Sint. While Pope John Paul repeated a description of the modern Petrine Office and noted the need for ‘the power and authority without which such an office would be illusory’ (94), he also seemed to speak of a joint exploration of the manner in which that office is exercised which might, it seems, help to reconcile classical Anglicans, as well as Orthodox and Oriental Christians, to the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul wrote,

"I am convinced that I have a particular responsibility in this regard, above all in acknowledging the ecumenical aspirations of the majority of the Christian Communities and in heeding the request made of me to find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation. For a whole millennium Christians were united in ‘a brotherly fraternal communion of faith and sacramental life ... If disagreements in belief and discipline arose among them, the Roman See acted by common consent as moderator.'" (95)

Anglican and Orthodox Christians look for union and full communion without "conversion," submission, and effective absorption and for an exercise of the Petrine Office that is compatible with the actual situation of the Church of the first millennium. The new Constitution will do nothing to forward that goal.

The forthcoming Constitution is in effect addressed to those who are already essentially Roman Catholic. We are not. We wish nothing but the best to Roman Catholic converts when they act in good conscience. But persons already convinced of the truth of Roman Catholic teaching in its fulness should become Roman Catholics promptly with or without the Pastoral Provision, with or without a liturgical "Anglican Use," and with or without the new Ordinariates. We see in this Note an offer which is merely prudential and practical in its nature and effect, and we do not see anything to attract persons who are not already essentially Roman Catholic in faith.

We believe that classical Anglicanism, as presented clearly in The Affirmation of Saint Louis and in our liturgies and other authoritative formularies, is already faithful to Scripture and the Fathers and is already fully Catholic and Orthodox. Conversion is not necessary and absorption is not appropriate. We believe that our Anglican patrimony is, moreover, by God’s grace and Providence, also most appropriate for the English-speaking peoples and probably is essential for the successful evangelization or re-evangelization of the English-speaking lands. We hope eventually for a genuine dialogue concerning the Petrine Office and long for the day when we, with our Orthodox and Oriental Christian friends, may again find in the successor of Saint Peter a patriarch with the primacy of honor and with high authority both as an organ for strengthening the Church’s unity and also as an instrument for the articulation of the Church’s teaching. We regret that the forthcoming Constitution, while kindly meant, seems set to delay that happy day.

The Most Reverend Mark Haverland, Ph.D.
Archbishop and Metropolitan
Anglican Catholic Church


Fr. John said...

The Archbishop speaks for me.

I can't help but think that there are many sad hearts tonight over this disappointing offer.

Will people in the ACA/TAC really place themselves and their church property into the hands of the American Roman Catholic bishops? Before deciding, they had best take a long hard look at who those bishops are.

poetreader said...

As always, Archbishop Haverland speaks clearly, directly, and mildly, with an obvious grasp of the issues involved.


David said...

I am more and more impressed with Archbishop Haverland. He really seems to understand the real differences between Anglicans and the Orthodox vs. Roman Catholicism.

some guy out there said...

After reading this as well as the post by Fr. Nalls I think the ACA/TAC parishes should seriously think about pulling out and going to the ACC before losing their Anglican identity and their rights over their properties, if the ACA/TAC really is stuck on this course. What in THE WORLD do these TAC leaders think they are gaining from this?

Carlos said...

Just a thought, what if instead of Rome, it was the Antiochian Orthodox Church that a major Anglican group was seeking communion with, would there still be the same nonplused sentiments about this grouop's reaaproachment?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Carols, why would we replace a real scenario with a fiction scenario?

The Antiochian Archdiocese (which some call the See of Peter) allows the Western Rite (or Rite of St. Tikhon), which is far more than anything I see in Rome's constitution.

some guy out there said...


speaking only for myself: yes, if the Antiochian Orthodox were offering the exact same terms as Rome is offering, I'd have exactly the same reaction as I am having to Rome's offer.

Deacon Down Under said...

As always our Archbishop speaks with integrity, measure and wisdom, and unfailing defence of the Truth. That Truth is that at least for the Anglican Catholic Church and it's sister churches the APCK and UECNA, that we are THE Catholic Church of the English peoples, Apostolic in practice, orthodox in fidelity to the Fathers, the Councils and Holy Scripture.

Thank you Archbishop for your leadership and for firmly planting the claims of orthodox Anglicanism.

The TAC primate may well be happy to have every TAC mass and confession and confirmation declared null and utterly void, but to me it is offensive before God to do so.

Canon Tallis said...

Just think how fortunate the Roman Church would be to have such a bishop as Haverland occuplying the Roman See. No nonsense, fantastic charity and a sense of what real Catholicism is actually supposed to be about.

Anonymous said...

I too am very grateful for the wisdom amd gentle leadership of Abp Haverland. But I have great admiration for both the present and past Popes, at least as theologians and surely as men. Too bad they are surrounded by by the curial bureaucracy. And the AC and its ancillary documents make clear that the local RCC diocesan bishops are really in charge, even if the frmer Anglican bishops are still allowed to wear their finery and enjoy the dignities of "retired bishops."

I note that on other blogs the same voices who were telling us we cold not discuss this until the AC appeared are now telling us we still cannot discuss this until it is further clarified. But if the document has anything in its favor, it is all very clear. When will they permit us to have public discussion?

Anonymous said...

"The Antiochian Archdiocese (which some call the See of Peter) allows the Western Rite (or Rite of St. Tikhon), which is far more than anything I see in Rome's constitution."

To give more complete information:
The Rite of St Tikhon allows an adapted version of the BCP Rite, in which
(1) Leavened bread is used instead of unleavened,
(2) The Eastern Epiclesis is substituted for the BCP Invocation,
(3) Easter is celebrated aaccording to EO reckoning,
(4) The Filioque is removed from the Creed.

And of course there are no "Western Rite" bishops (married or unmarried).

This WR arrangement is not countenanced or recognized in all sectors of the fissiparous EO Churches, and whether it is a temporary or long-term arrangement is far from clear. Alexander Schmemann, a leading voice of Orthodoxy, pointed out, quite logically, that such an anomaly in EO would contradict their customary arguments against Uniatism with Rome.

I am growing more perplexed by the day to see that whereas the Articles of Religion and the theology of Richard Hooker are very very important in discussions with or about Rome, they are so quickly and insouciantly forgotten when conversation with or about EO comes along. For those who wish to flirt with EO, you may COUNT ME OUT.

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. John asked, "Will people in the ACA/TAC really place themselves and their church property into the hands of the American Roman Catholic bishops?"

I am sure that any property they have will be gratefully accepted as further contributions toward paying off those bishops' millions of dollars in outstanding liabilities from adverse child molesting judgments and settlements.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I am growing more perplexed by the day to see that whereas the Articles of Religion and the theology of Richard Hooker are very very important in discussions with or about Rome, they are so quickly and insouciantly forgotten when conversation with or about EO comes along.

Anglicanism and Orthodoxy, even in the most cordial days when Orthodox faithful were allowed to receive Anglican sacraments (i.e. before 1976), never reached such full agreement as to become one church. Differences were still unresolved. I note only that they gave some of our beliefs more consideration than Rome did, and that their WR is far closer to our BCP than the "Anglican" Use liturgy of Rome.

With apologies to Albert Einstein, whose term I am about to misuse, all such comparisons are subject to the law of relativity. Some of the Orthodox have proved to be more willing to hear us out than Rome has. Rome is a closer relative in some purely western ways, and Orthodoxy a closer friend in how we have been treated-affording more respect.

These are all relative terms, and we are not willing to be absorbed by anybody.

charles said...

The was a very strong statement by Archbishop Haverland. It gives me much hope for preserving Anglican identity within the Continuum, quelling many doubts I previously had. In my (hopefully genuine) repentance for misunderstanding Bp. Haverland, I added this strong statement on my "about" blog page (
( as well as links to continuum apologetics (fr. hart and Kirby's).

This actually ashamed and melted my stony heart all at once. I often leap to conclusions regarding commitment to 15th-17th century Anglicanism and can behave as a 'false witness'. I was really holding my breath on AB Haverland's response. It turned out much stronger than other continuing Archbishopric statements.

Now that our own Anglican patrimony has been affirmed, I hope the Continuum's work of instruction highlighting anglican essentials prevails. Thank you Fr. Hart and Kirby for you steadfast and tireless work. I apologize for any ill-will in the past. Archbishop Haverland speaks for a large section of 1928 prayer book churches, so this statement is both substantial and timely, restoring confidence in the ACC as a 1928/Anglican body.


Will said...

I would like to echo Charles' comment and say that I am increasingly impressed with the ACC. As an evangelical who is very much "in sync" with the Continuum on the issue of WO, I have nevertheless despaired over the desire of some Anglo-Catholics in the Continuum to simply be "Rome-lite". Frs. Hart and Wells, and now Archbishop Haverland, have shown me by their writings that they have NOT repudiated their Anglican heritage, and I cannot thank them enough for their most heartening work.

charles said...

I am still struggling with the St. Louis Affirmation regarding the Seven Sacraments as "efficacious and objective" vs. what Article 25 says. I feel Tract 90 doesn't suffice in this case, and I worry more is at stake than a common catholic understanding of sacraments but the 'centrality' of justification by faith within protestant thought. I think this boils down to a question of 'intent' behind Article 25, and, while Newman was right to refer to the homilies and Articles 20 & 34 in defense of 7 sacraments, I also believe the entire family of Articles need examination-- 1536, 1537, 1552, and 1559. When you look back at these earlier Articles, as one set providing a foundation for the next, what I am saying becomes more clear. If anyone feels up to the task, I recommend looking at art. ix as per 1536, and going from there.

charles said...

Regarding Newman's Tract 90, he quotes Jewel's homily who says regarding the seven vs. two sacraments, "You shall hear how many sacraments there be, that were instituted by our SAVIOUR CHRIST, and are to be continued, and received of every Christian in due time and order, and for such purpose as our SAVIOUR CHRIST willed them to be received. And as for the number of them, if they should be considered according to the exact signification of a sacrament, namely, for visible signs expressly commanded in the New Testament, whereunto is annexed the promise of free forgiveness of our sins, and of our holiness and joining in CHRIST, there be but two; namely, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord. For although absolution hath the promise of forgiveness of sin; yet by the express word of the New Testament, it hath not this promise annexed and tied to the visible sign, which is imposition of hands. For this visible sign (I mean laying on of hands) is not expressly commanded in the New Testament to be used in absolution, as the visible signs in Baptism and he LORD’S Supper are: and therefore absolution is no such sacrament as Baptism and Communion are. And though the ordering of ministers hath this visible sign and promise; yet it lacks the promise of remission of sin, as all other sacraments besides the two above named do. Therefore neither it, nor any other sacrament else, be such sacraments as Baptism and the Communion are. But in a general acception, the name of a sacrament may be attributed to any thing, whereby an holy thing is signified. In which understanding of the word, the ancient writers have given this name, not only to the other five, commonly of late years taken and used for supplying the number of the seven sacraments; but also to divers and sundry other ceremonies, as to oil, washing of feet, and such like; not meaning thereby to repute them as sacraments, in the same signification that the two forenamed sacraments are."

Anyway, there surely are more reasons why we cannot accept Rome's offer, in jurisdiction, liturgy, order, and doctrine. We left Rome due to abuse and captivity. Behind this abuse and captivity was lording of uncatholic tradition, at center was the question, "how is sin remitted"?

If sin was remitted by any peculiar rite of the church, we probably would had no need to address prayers to saints, relics, changing the calendar, revising the liturgy, or even providing a vernacular bible. It's hard to imagine what would remain of the the english reformation?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles wrote:

I am still struggling with the St. Louis Affirmation regarding the Seven Sacraments as "efficacious and objective" vs. what Article 25 says.

Perhaps the essay at the link below would help to clarify the matter:

Mark VA said...

From the Roman/Traditionalist perspective:

Archbishop Haverland wrote, in my opinion, a very generous and measured farewell to those Anglicans who are pro unity with Rome. Within this otherwise clear and gracious note, one part sounds dissonant in my ear:

"We believe that our Anglican patrimony is, moreover, by God’s grace and Providence, also most appropriate for the English-speaking peoples..."

Taking this statement at its face value, and extrapolating from it, I conclude that this reasoning applies to groups other than the English as well (although I think "English ethnicity" was meant, not "English-speaking").

If that be the case, can we say that Christ wanted His Church to have demarcations along such lines? A "most appropriate" Church for the French, the Filipinos, the Mexicans, the Russians, the Welsh, the Scots, etc, etc, etc?

If this indeed was the prevalent model, a "most appropriate" Church for each ethnicity, then how would this be a tool for "strengthening the Church’s unity and also as an instrument for the articulation of the Church’s teaching."? To me, such as situation would be inculturation in reverse - a partitioning. Am I missing something here?

D. Benedict Andersen OSB said...

This thread contains a bit of misinformation about the version of the Anglican Mass approved in the Antiochian Orthodox Church under the name "Liturgy of Saint Tikhon."

It's essentially the kind of Romanised Anglican Mass familiar to those who use the Anglican or American Missals. A traditional Anglo-Catholic of the "Missal" tradition would be hard pressed to notice any substantial differences.

It does not, as reported here, contain an interpolated Eastern or Byzantine epiclesis, but one which is authentically Anglican in style, reflecting the work of the Scottish Non-Jurors (who in rearranging/refashioning Cranmer's eucharistic prayer were profoundly influenced by ancient Eastern liturgical models).

Those who remember the history of the American BCP will recall that Bishop Seabury brought what was essentially the Scottish Non-Juror Rite of 1764 to the New World but its very strong invocation/epiclesis (again, fashioned according to Eastern models by Scottish Non-Jurors) was severely mutilated at the 1789 General Convention to placate low churchmen.

Fr. John said...

I belong ethnically to an English speaking people, but am ethnically not English. I am sure that the Archbishop was speaking of people like me well as the English. There are quite a few of us.

Charles said...

Hello Mark VA,

I've been reading Bicknell's Introduction to the Thirty-Nine Articles. He discusses 'national churches' in Article 34. Here's some quotes:

"But it is a point of fact the one Catholic Church is represented in different parts of the world by local churches, possessing a life and individuality of their own...As we have seen, practical difficulties arise about the expression of the one faith. The existence of different types of mind, progress in knowledge and education, the natural tendency of the human mind to one-sidedness, all bring them their own problems...The existence of many local churches introduces no new factor"

"Christian custom and ritual must really be in conformity with Christian spirit and teaching. Due regard is to be paid to the customs and ritual of other churches. But we are bound to recognize differences of race and temperament, of age and education. What was natural and seemly in the middle ages may be merely quaint today. What is supremely edifying in Honolulu may be grotesque in London: what is worthy embodiment of English reverence and devotion, may be utterly meaningless in Timbuctoo."

"It is foolish under the influence of a hard and abstract logic to attempt to shut our eyes on the influence of nationality upon the traditions and history of a Church. This principle of nationality the Church found already existing in the world: from the outset Christians belonged to some race or some state. The church could no more evade or escape the fact of the nation than the fact of the family. Nationality is part of a universal human nature. Here, as elsewhere, the Church is called upon not to abolish but to discipline, purify and consecrate what is natural."

pp. 300-301.

there is more in Bicknell's Introduction, but I would think Haverland meant both language and ethnicity. There is no reason for offense. The ACC is much larger in India and Africa. But at the same token, should we expect people who come to church to eviscerate themselves of their own customs, culture, historical memory, and family ties where and when such does not counter Christian morals or teaching? I don't think Rome even demands this...and it would certainly be hard to do when we are so engaged in this continual dialog with our own provincial past and history-- i.e., specifically the reformation and medieval periods of England? I think most of us have a foot planted in both worlds-- the particular church of England vs. the universal one of Christ. It is hard to separate soul, mind, and body, I guess? But I feel our moorings are well-balanced.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman/Traditionalist perspective:


Thank you very much for your reply. You are right, Rome certainly doesn't demand that we eviscerate ourselves of ethnicity. On the contrary, parts of it are welcomed into the larger life of the Church, after the process of inculturation has taken place.

I'm trying to understand here to what degree an affinity, shall we say, has developed between ethnicity and religion among the Traditional Anglicans. To be honest, this question is as applicable to us Roman Catholics, as it is to anyone else.

I believe that to understand this relationship, is to gain the ability to put these elements in a proper hierarchy of values, and thus promote greater unity among us.

David said...

I agree with Archbishop Haverland's observations on this. The RCC is facing much of the same liberalism that the Episcopal Church succumbed to, and therefore any Continuing Churchmen who wish to be part of the Ordinariate need to really weigh that out first before jumping into something they could reqret later.