Thursday, November 05, 2009

UK Kool-Aid

The Resolutions

That this Assembly, representing the Traditional Anglican Communion in Great Britain, offers its joyful thanks to Pope Benedict XVI for his forthcoming Apostolic Constitution allowing the corporate reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See, and requests the Primate and College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion to take the steps necessary to implement this Constitution.
--From the website of the Traditional Anglican Church in the United Kingdom.

Here we go. Some have lectured us that we ought not to criticize the impending constitution from Rome, and that therefore we should pretend we know nothing despite Cardinal Levada's official detailed announcement on October 20. Nonetheless, the Synod of the Traditional Anglican Church in England, the national UK church of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), has voted to accept it sight unseen-whatever it may say.

Upon what does this one TAC body base such absolute trust? The obvious answer can be ascertained easily with some logic: If they so trust Rome now, that must mean that whatever Rome comes up with will be acceptable. This means that they may believe that Rome cannot err, not only in matters of Faith, but even in establishing a polity; furthermore, establishing a polity with no input from those who will be allowed to submit to it. In law this is called a unilateral contract. Every insurance policy is a unilateral contract, written strictly by the insurer. The policy holder may enter into this contract for a premium, but only as written with all of its details firmly established. At least most unilateral contracts may be read ahead of time; not so with what Rome "offers."

We, on The Continuum blog, have already gone into matters of doctrine, and why any positive response from Anglicans to Rome's offer is impossible without abandoning principles of the Catholic Faith that Anglicanism adheres to with more fidelity than does Rome. In matters of polity, how has the See of Rome earned such absolute blind trust? Did they earn it by their treatment of "Eastern Rite" or "Uniat" churches? Ask the Byzantine Catholics in America why their priests, in contradiction to Rome's guarantees and promises before the merger, cannot be married. For anyone who wants to make that act of betrayal into simply a historical matter, I ask why this violation of promise continues to this day? Is that not an abuse of power, or at least serious neglect? How has Rome earned our trust in matters of polity regarding the sexual abuse of children by their clergy? The fact that they send Cardinal Levada as their spokesman to the invited Anglicans, a man who was as notorious as Cardinal Law in shielding and reassigning known predators, demonstrates how much the See of Rome does not even care to put on a good face. Are they naive?

That Rome cares to respond to an emergency created by Canterburian heresy is laudable. The intention seems to be from charity, a truly pastoral motivation. That we do not deny. But, like everyone, they have a record. Their recent history has demonstrated that their reach exceeds their grasp, and they are incapable of performing even the best of what they offer. Nonetheless, the English TAC has demonstrated something worse than blind trust. With all of the facts that show Rome's weaknesses, and with the obvious flaws already evident in the October 20, description of the constitution, the TAC in England are blind by choice.


Canon Tallis said...

Brilliant and to the point. Unfortunately there are those calling themselves Anglicans who are deaf to anything but their own desires.

Anonymous said...

Mr Hart, I shall keep you in my prayers and ask God to heal your troubled mind.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Groucho would have said it better.

Anonymous said...

I pointed out in my previous post that today, for the first time, the expression "interim response" seems to be being employed to describe what the TAC English Church has done. Does this suggest a certain amount of 'wiggle room'is claimed, despite the apparently clear meaning of the resolutions?

Anonymous said...

Enough already about this Rome business, let us get our own house in order...seriously.

Does anyone here every forsee a time when the APCK and the ACC will merge? With the recent developments (ie Canon Nalls and Bishop Florenza), does this hurt relations? If not, do you believe it possible that the APCK could look past this? Do you believe that it is inevitable that ACA parishes will eventually join either the APCK or ACC? Frankly, I see this as happening.

Your thoughts?

poetreader said...

as I see it:

1. Those who are convinced of Rome's claims to be indeed the One True Church have already granted to the Roman see the right to make whatever decisions, good or bad that it may choose to make. The may be seen to have already made their decision and need to know the details only to know how to proceed.

2. Those who cannot accept the claims the papacy makes for itself need no more information to decide than whether they will be required to addirm something they consider false. If the Constitution does not (as it surely does not) release that requirement, no further questions need to be asked, as he step cannot be taken.

3. It is those who are unsure as to the papal claims that will need to study the document very carefully.

It would appear that the synod in question falls into the first category and thus does not need to see the Constitution. Whatever it says they will not lose anything they have not already ceded. It no longer matters.

This is unfortunate, as these are folk I am in fellowship with and will not be after they finally take action, as I find myself in category 2. Unless the greatest surprise in several centuries emerges from the constitution, I don't need to read it closely either. If the major point is not conceded (as it can't be), the rest of it doesn't matter.

I believe Rome's intention in the matter is golden, but the result is going to be divicion among brethren rather than ture unity.



Carlos said...

"Ask the Byzantine Catholics in America why their priests, in contradiction to Rome's guarantees and promises before the merger, cannot be married. For anyone who wants to make that act of betrayal into simply a historical matter, I ask why this violation of promise continues to this day?"

Dear Father Hart,

That's a slight misstatement of facts. That particular situation began locally in North American and was only then asked of Rome out of Misunderstanding and fear both culturally (Of Foreigners sharing no connection with American society and American Catholicism). As it stands, the different eparchies in the United States of the Byzantine tradition can ordain married men to the diaconate and presbyterate.

Canon Tallis said...


I understand your belief about Rome's intentions but can not share it. A faith that has reached a point that in a country such as this or England can not move enough of its adherents to seek ordination to the priesthood so that its present churches can be staffed with nationals, but instead must import priests from much poorer societies as Rome is currently doing and has done for quite some time is not one that I am going to trust.

We already know that Rome is losing the battle for many countries where it was once the national church to Islam. What should that be telling us about everything which it is presently doing?

Anonymous said...

Ed: That is a very clear-headed summary.
My prayers are with you.

Fr. John said...

If the A.C. is as we think, it will surely cause a schism in the ACA/TAC. All I can say is, here we go again.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman/Traditionalist perspective:

I'm somewhat baffled by Father Hart's reaction to these developments.

Vatican answered a specific request for unity from a part of the Anglican Church, not vice versa. In view of this, it should be obvious that many on the Anglican side have already made this decision some time ago, otherwise they would not have issued such a request. I don't think this is an impromptu game of ding dong ditch.

My bet is that at this late stage in the process, with the media already notified, the major points of the "impending constitution" have been ironed out by the higher ups of both parties a while ago. We now seem to be almost at the beginning of the implementation phase, painful as it may be for some.

Rending one's garments over this situation is unlikely to change the course of these events. A few may be persuaded to change their minds, but I doubt this was a rash request by those who stand by their decision for unity.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


I am not aware of your source, but it is wrong. Rome has ruled that American Byzantine Catholic priests must be subject to the same norms as Latin Rite priests (this was decided to make the Irish and Italian American priests happy). If you can point out an exception to this, an American raised in one of those churches, married and then ordained, please point him out to us.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA:

Characterizing my analysis as "rending of garments" is not going to work. Two years ago, when I saw what the TAC bishops, especially their Archbishop, were saying to the world, I became acutely aware of how much ignorance existed among modern Anglo-Catholics (unlike their well-read forebears), and the extent to which that inexcusable ignorance was being exploited. I could not believe what was coming out of the mouth of Archbishop John Hepworth, nor out of the mouth of other TAC bishops. Not trusting the media, I was willing to go meet Archbishop Hepworth myself, and give him his say right here on The Continuum. Then I saw another party actively promoting and exploiting that same ignorance, furthering the cause of misinformation in place of education just as disgracefully as the TAC Archbishop, and that party was the Anglo-Papalists, mostly of the UK, represented often by Fr. John Hunwicke. It is these Anglicans (?) and their anti-Anglican campaign that I oppose tooth and nail. I will not criticize people for going to Rome, but I will stand in the way of people throwing themselves overboard because they are ignorant, and because that ignorance is being exploited.

My criticism is not aimed at Rome for doing what it believes in. It is aimed at people who are betraying their Anglican heritage, either misrepresenting it on purpose, or because they ought never to have been teachers in the first place, not knowing what they are talking about. Lines about "500 years of mistakes" (Archbishop Hepworth) and a "450 year-old experiment" that has "failed" (Bishop Langberg); as well as Fr. John Hunwicke's anti-Anglican crusade, have deserved my energetic opposition. I have, quite apparently, struck a chord among those who needed someone to speak up for them.

Deacon Down Under said...

An irony that the TAC Primate will end up a Roman priest from whence he started before he became an Anglican. One assumes that his orders as a Roman priest remain valid if somehwat irregularised by marriage and consecration as a TAC bishop.

I think it wise to wait and actually read the Apostolic Constitution before pronouncing it worse than useless to continuing Anglicans. None the less, three issues are crystal clear to me and I think to the bishops of the ACC, APCK and UECNA (even though I am not speaking for them).

The stumbling block for me is threefold. Firstly, I will not be persuaded that Anglican Catholic orders are invalid.

Second the Roman claims which the TAC so easily accept decry established Anglican understanding that the Church of England was the Church that it always was - the Catholic and the Apostolic Church of the English peoples. The TAC relegates us to schismatics outside the Church.

The Eastern Orthodox I think have always accepted the Anglican premiss, have negotiated with us from that basis and until Canterbury and company overturned Catholic faith and order, ecumenism had some scope to get somewhere.

The third reason is a practical one. Episcopalian style liberalism is rife within the Roman Church in the west. Nuns who want to be priests, clergy who do not know what a cassock is, priests who celebrate mass with 1000% less care and reverence than our own priests do and institutional corruption related to the handling of child sexual abuse that sickens me.

I do not believe that Rome can manage this crisis of liberalism despite the intentions of orthodox bishops and the CDF.

Reunion with Rome is laudable, and to be prayed for. The basis for it has to be the acceptance of the sacramental validity of our orders, and all that flows therefrom including an acceptance of the Catholicity of the Church of England pre-ordination of women, and an acceptance of the Anglican Catholic Church and it's sister churches.

The mission of the ACC to me I believe is to unite with APCK and UECNA, to establish a Holy Synod comprised of the First and Second Provinces, and to appoint a Metropolitan and Primate of the ACC.

Carlos said...

Father Hart,

This is taken from this site ( on the Melkite Church.

"Married Clergy

On Saturday, December 20, 1996, Bishop John Elya ordained the first married American priest for the American Melkite Church. The church has traditionally had married clergy in other parts of the world, but within the United States the clergy had remained unmarried due to a 1929 Vatican decision that married clergy would be restricted to the patriarchal territories. This 1929 "ban" was imposed so that the mixture of married and celibate would not be "confusing" to American Catholics. In recent years, Canadian Eastern Catholic (Ukrainian) bishops have ordained some married men without the approval or disapproval of Rome - although these ordinations have caused some negative comments from the more conservative members of the Eastern Congregation.

There are have been married Melkite clergy in America over the past two decades, but these men have been in the New World on temporary assignments or they were ordained in the old country and then came to Canada. Father Andre St. Germain is believed to be the first openly ordained Melkite priest in America for the American Eparchy.

Father St. Germain lives with his wife in Manchester, New Hampshire and is currently the economos (treasurer) of the eparchy. "

While the "Ban" is still in place, from what I've been told, the Ukranians and Melkites have largely ignored it following the Second Vatican Council.

Anonymous said...


Why can't we focus on our own divisions: ie the APCK and ACC? Clearly, the Rome option is not an option (and even if it is few will take it). Why is everyone so defensive about Anglo-Catholicism? We either ARE or we are NOT! Let us move on, and stop making commentary and articles about ROME. I have never seen such defensive posturing in my life. We need to focus on uniting ourselves for the cause of Anglican Catholicism here in the US and abroad. Ed is right with his three categories. Let it end there. We have more important business. Hopefully this all will be a catalyst that draws the Continuum closer together.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Rome is focusing on us. I am simply not "lowering the shields."

Fr. Robert Hart said...


Was this man in 1996 coming through something similar to Pastoral provisions? As late as two years ago I was hearing from Byzantive Catholic priests in the US whose people are still unhappy that they cannot have married priests. The '96 story confirms that Rome broke its promise,and appears to be an exception. So, why the exception? My brother was received into the RCC and ordained as a married man under the P.P., and this lone case in '96 (13 years ago, apparently one of a kind) looks very much like something just as exceptional.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart,

No one can appreciate as well as I both the courage and the wisdom of not "lowering our shields." But if we are going to increase the strength of our 'brand' then it is necessary that we take the risk of living the fullness of our religion. That means, at least to me, keeping the fullness of what the Book of Common Prayer provides. I realize that many self styled "Anglo-Catholics" regard the public recitation of Morning and Evening prayer as protestant, but if they would only regard their parish or mission as a small Benedictine mission in which their parishioners are temporarily taking the places of the brother and/or sisters it may come a little easier. And perhaps we could make it a race with the UEC and APCK to see which of our jurisdictions had the largest percentage of parishes and missions working and praying to achieve that goal.

We also need to find a way to teach our people the fullness of Holy Scripture, the fathers and the relevant canons of the General Councils.

Anonymous said...

"Let us move on, and stop making commentary and articles about ROME."

It's news; it's aimed in our direction and will likely affect many of us in one way or another. We are striving to completely understand it, and we want to talk about it amongst ourselves. I fail to see what it wrong with that. We are not so one-dimensional that we are unable to discuss (or work on) more than one issue at a time.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Darn right! In fact, we have to discuss it. Furthermore, as much as this may shock some people, as an outsider, a priest in the ACC, I am very much aware that I am speaking as an advocate for the people of the TAC/ACA, many of whom I know, and many of whom have written to me over these last two years. They want to be Anglicans, not Roman Catholics; and they are not buying what Archbishop Hepworth has been selling.

John A. Hollister said...

Carlos wrote, "While the 'Ban' [on married clergy] is still in place, from what I've been told, the Ukranians and Melkites have largely ignored it following the Second Vatican Council."

But don't you see, that is precisely the problem. First, for at least 70 years the Latin Rite-dominated Roman Church arbitrarily stripped Eastern Rite Catholics of their own traditions, and violated the guarantees made to them when they first joined Rome, merely to please Latin Rite bishops who were too lazy or incompetent properly to instruct their subjects in the actual organization and nature of the Roman Church.

That says two things: (1) the "Uniates" are distinctly second-class citizens and (2) whatever a given situation is today, it can be altered tomorrow by a stroke of the pen, with no appeal. Neither of those should give much comfort to folks who think they can remain "Anglican", in any meaningful sense, under the Roman ombrellino.

The fact that the Ukrainians and other now simply ignore the orders from headquarters also just reinforces the fact that there are such orders. It is dishonest to be put in a position where one must either violate one's ecclesial traditions or disobey the authority one has sworn to uphold.

This is simply not a healthy situation for those who are caught up in it, so it can hardly be a healthy one for those now outside it who join it thinking it will cure their problems.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Canon Tallis wrote:

I realize that many self styled "Anglo-Catholics" regard the public recitation of Morning and Evening prayer as protestant, but if they would only regard their parish or mission as a small Benedictine mission in which their parishioners are temporarily taking the places of the brother and/or sisters it may come a little easier.

I thought it was the Anglo-Catholics who appreciated that more than anybody else. Well, at least in the ACC, laity are encouraged to say Morning and Evening Prayer every day, and clergy are required to. In fact our Canon Law requires that it be said in church every day if possible, or as often as possible.

John A. Hollister said...

An anonymous Anonymous asked, "Does anyone here every forsee a time when the APCK and the ACC will merge? . . . Do you believe that it is inevitable that ACA parishes will eventually join either the APCK or ACC?"

For what one junior person's opinion might be worth:

1. I have never met anyone in the ACC who would not welcome a merger with the APCK. I am not located in a part of the country where the APCK is represented, so I have no way of directly testing the climate of opinion there, but assume that at least some would likewise favor a merger.

The thing about church mergers is that they cannot be rushed. To push too hard, no matter how laudable the goal, is to make people nervous about, rather than comfortable with, the prospect. That is why it is vitally important to proceed on two simultaneous tracks: (a) parish-to-parish contacts, fellowship, and common service projects where there are parishes within mutual reaching distance and (b) institutional contacts and cooperation. If these things are pursued, the two groups must inevitably grow together.

A current example of the latter sort of cooperation is the ACC's endorsement to the Department of Defense of chaplains for the APCK. I fully expect more such cooperative efforts to develop.

2. As far as the ACA goes, it certainly appears to many of us outside that group that its leadership is rushing headlong to Rome. If that perception is correct, then it is certain that some within the ACA, who are unable to accept that program and give up their Anglican identity, will be left behind by their present leaders.

At that point, those who have been thus left behind will have three choices before them:

(i) To continue an independent existence as the "continuing ACA". If this is the choice made, such a continuation body could, of course, later unite with some other body.

(ii) To join either the APCK, the UECNA, or the ACC, or two of those, or all of them. This is the only choice that offers much hope of preserving and perpetuating the sort of ecclesial life to which they have become accustomed.

(iii) To join one of the Neo-Anglican groups such as CANA, AMiA, etc. Given that no one in the ACA, to my knowledge, has ever been warm to either the 1979 Book of Horrors or to women's "ordination", this would appear to be a very unlikely choice.

In this connection, it must be noted that for more than a year now, as the Roman program has taken more substantive shape, and as its character as complete surrender has become more apparent, some ACA clergy and laity have already been choosing and acting upon option (ii) above.

Presumably their reports to their former colleagues and fellows, regarding the warmth of their welcome, will have some influence on those who are yet undecided.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

David Gould wrote, "An irony that the TAC Primate will end up a Roman priest from whence he started before he became an Anglican. One assumes that his orders as a Roman priest remain valid if somehwat irregularised by marriage and consecration as a TAC bishop."

It is most unlikely that Rome will depart from what has been, up until now, its consistent precedent. That is that any Roman clergyman who left Rome for another body and got married, who thereafter returned to the Roman Church, would be required to live in the lay state at least until the death(s) of his spouse(s).

Thus I would not expect to see Abp. Hepworth functioning as a Roman priest.

John A. Hollister+

Canon Tallis said...

"I thought it was the Anglo-Catholics who appreciated that more than anybody else. Well, at least in the ACC, laity are encouraged to say Morning and Evening Prayer every day, and clergy are required to. In fact our Canon Law requires that it be said in church every day if possible, or as often as possible."

Then, it would only be a matter of the best jurisdiction winning! But that simply makes the ACC at one with the prayer book tradition from 1559 forward which I regard as exactly as it should be. Unfortunately, the standard Anglo-Catholics of my acquaintance may pay lip service to such but fail to give it actual practice. Consequently I think the final examination before confirmation should be to hand the person a prayer book and a Bible and ask them to actually lead a service of one or the other offices for a particular date.

And since I have reached a point where I am too lazy to over to the other thread, I must tell you that I am looking for the kid brother's books. I like the idea of a younger old theological rock star who is at one with the great Orthodox fathers. It will help us to break our all but fatal papalist addition.

Veriword: "mangshe"

Fr. John said...

I would love to meet some of these "Anglo-Catholics" who think that the Daily Offices are protestant. They are seriously misled, if they even exist. I have read repeated comments on many threads by several contributors describing fantastic abuses by so called "Anglo-Catholics." I have been to many parishes of the ACC, and conducted services in several across four different dioceses and have yet to witness anything remotely resembling these alleged activities.

Odd that not a one of them has rose up to defend himself.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman POV:

I found this analysis to be insightful of the Vatican's thinking on the secularization of cultures and religion.

Canon Tallis said...

Father John Wrote: "I would love to meet some of these "Anglo-Catholics" who think that the Daily Offices are protestant. They are seriously misled, if they even exist."

I, too, Father, wish that they didn't, but a couple of such parishes with in driving distance are realities with which I have to deal. One of them also has the prayer book in the pews but nothing at all like that at the altar. Since all of the "Anglo-Catholic" parishes of my youth and middle age which represented both coasts and a bit in the middle managed daily celebrations of the Eucharist but never so much as a public reading of the offices with the exception of the rare evening prayer as a prelude to Benediction, I would be more than joyful to discover that even a bare majority of ACC, UEC or APCK parishes were regular about the recitation of the offices. I realize that the clergy alone cannot maintain them - I am sure that people are always wanting Father Hart to go here or there - but even a couple of devoted laymen can make a wonderful difference.

Frankly, I am delighted that both you and Father Hart are so strong in your belief that I am mistaken. I would be even happier to actually be proven so.

RSC+ said...

Canon Tallis writes:

"But that simply makes the ACC at one with the prayer book tradition from 1559 forward which I regard as exactly as it should be."

Would you humor me and kindly elaborate on that point? As I have in my hot little hands our canons & constitution, I find absent from the list of authorized prayerbooks the 1552 (no surprise there), 1559, and 1662 BCPs. I am naturally biased, of course, being the sort who would happily worship with the 1549 in English and Latin (such things exist) from now until the parousia, as a low or high mass. But. I see a lot more of Scottish 1637 prayerbook, the non-jurors, and the Oxford and Cambridge-Camden folks as influencing our liturgical traditions than 1559 or, by extension, the 1662.

That does brings up a curious question, I admit: What do our parishes over in the UK use?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The 1549 has been authorized (and is available in modern spelling), and most traditional BCPs. But, I know that the 1552 through 1662 are not used in the ACC; I attribute that to a mistaken bias from Anglo-Catholic thinking that dominated in the early days. I prefer 1549 to the BCPs that followed in England, but cannot agree with the idea of not treating the later ones as perfectly valid. So, with that decision (I assume taken in the UK a long time ago) I cannot agree. Here in America we have our jewel, our crown and delight, the 1928 BCP. It is not perfect, but it is truly as good as anything the Church possesses in this world.

Canon Tallis said...


It is this simple, and I am surprised that you need to ask, without 1559 and 1662 there would be no Anglicanism. The disregard for 1662 is the work of - not Anglo-Catholics, at least the real ones of the Pusey, Keble school, but the Anglo-papists who created the Society of Saints Peter and Paul and came to dominate the English Church Union. If you could read between the lines in Anson's books you knew precisely who they are and what they represented in terms of a certain lack of sexual morality.

The so called ritualist movement in the English Church began as an attempt to literally obey the rubrics of both the 1559 and 1662 Books of Common Prayer. Part of this came out of the work of the Cambridge Camden Society whose collection of Catholic remains were edited by Vernon Staley into the three volumes of the Hierurgia Anglicana, but most was a recognition that not everything required by the Ornaments Rubric had disappeared under the crush of Whig churchmanship. Mistakes, of course, were made because scholarship could not quite keep up with the rush to restore the intentions of both the Church of Elizabeth I and that of the Restoration with the result that ordinary priests simply copied what they saw across the channel or on their vacations in Italy, Spain and Portugal. It was this last bit which lead to the wholesale copying of what Rome was then doing with a motive of scandalizing the establishment that created the "Back to Baroque" movement, the English missal, Ritual Notes, and the planned uglinesses of Brighton catholicism.

That section of the English and American church which valued real scholarship remained in the prayer book camp whose liturgical standards are found in The English Hymnal, The Alcuin Club's Directory of Ceremonial, and the English, Scots and American prayer books of '28 and '29. Its theologicans were Gore, Frere, Bicknell, Moss, and Kelly. But their roots are all solidly in 1559 and 1662.

Veriword: "gatted"
Veriword: "atting"

Fr. Steve said...

Fr. Hart is right to make all this noise about this Rome thing. I have had to field questions in my own parish about it. Some were under the impression that Rome and the Episcopalians were coming together in corporate union. Others wondered how it effected us (it really wouldn't, as we are an independent parish with a visiting Bishop).

My keeping up with this blog, and hanging out on the Anglican Diaspora forum have kept me informed enough to answer these questions from my parishioners.

So I say, yes, we do need to have the discussion about getting the ACC, the APCK and the UECNA together. But we can do that, while at the same time defending ourselves and our parishioners from this media assault. It is our Priestly duty to do nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the deplorable Back Rubric and even more deplorable loss of the "second half" of the Prayer of Consecration, what can one object to in the 1662 Prayer Book?
It contains two things I regularly insert when I have opportunity:
(1) the statement that Holy Matrimony was "instituted of God IN THE TIME OF MAN'S INNOCENCY." The capitalized words were suppressed in 1928 because Evolutionary thought rejected thre idea of the Fall as an historical event. Too bad.
(2) the language in the Baptismal Office, that "all men are conceived and born in sin," which is offensive to Pelagians and closet Pelagians.

My personal favorite of all the Prayer Books, however, is the infamous "Laud's Liturgy" (which Laud didnt write) because it has a solid Epiclesis in the right (that is the Western) place.

On matters liturgical I normally agree with Canon Tallis. I am somewhere between John Henry Hobart and Percy Dearmer. Two candles on the Altar is plenty, reservation in aumbry on Gospel side, lay clerks in amices and albs, no lace or birettas, red vestments throughout Passiontide save Maundy Thursday, minimal additions to Prayer Book rite. But I do not keep sheep in the churchyard to trim the grass as Dearmer recommended, nor do I fancy offertory processions.

Fr. John said...

The American and People's Missals represent no departure from authentic Anglican worship (of course anything can be abused) The judicious use of an altar missal is of great benefit to any parish. The presence of missals in a parish is not sufficient cause to level charges and criticisms of an abandonment of faithful Anglican worship. This repetitious criticism of the use of the missals seems to be a back door way to criticize the Anglican Catholic Church since most informed continuers know that we print and sell the missals, Ritual Notes, and other tomes mentioned by writers on this site as books to be eschewed.

The ACC is also the only publisher of the 1928 BCP in the pew edition. If the mere presence of a missal is enough to set off these fantastic charges, then there can be no satisfactory response to one who is that sensitive. A missal, no more than money, can be the root of evil.

I use an altar missal (American Edition) and do not find being labeled un-Anglican a just accusation.

If one must have the 1662 BCP with its truncated canon, and a stripped down version of the communion service that treats every rubric of the BCP as canon law, well there is always the ACNA, the AMIA and other bodies that will accommodate one.

I, for one, don't care to hear anymore horror stories about "abuses." If it's that serious report them to the ordinary.

The veriword is: termite

RSC+ said...

Canon Tallis,

It isn't for me to speculate on the moral eccentricities of a few dead English high churchmen.

I suppose in a very banal, vacuous sense, Anglicanism depends on the 1559 and 1662 Prayerbooks. Well and good; Western Christendom likewise depended on the Vulgate, but we would much prefer the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text (though given the choice, I'd stick with the LXX, Hellenophile that I am). The 21st Amendment (repealing Prohibition) also owes its existence to the 18th which enacted it, but most folks would just as soon have neither.

By the same logic, we in Continuing Anglicanism in some sense depend on the 1559 and 1662 prayerbooks, but they are not in any real sense the Platonic Ideal of the Prayerbook which we want--hence the 1637 Scottish Prayerbook, various "wee bookies," the defeated 1928 English Prayerbook, and the Missals which are a) authorized for use in the ACC and b) for many, much closer to ideal form of the Mass. Some happy few have been clawing tooth and nail back to the 1549 Prayerbook for 460 years now, usually forced to compromise by the other ends of the Elizabethan Settlement. Archbishop Laud and Charles I, God rest their souls, met bad ends in no small part because their eyes were set on something more like the 1549 Prayerbook.

Half of the Oxford movement fled to Rome largely because they were being harassed endlessly by the greater majority of the English church, to include the Low Church folks and a great many nigh-secular Deists. Where caritas so clearly failed, I can hardly blame them for finding it elsewhere.

For what it's worth, I seriously doubt many (or even most) of the folks behind Ritual Notes, which I and many others adore, were directly intending to scandalize anything. Again, it isn't for me to speculate on the bad motives of dead Englishmen. In the writing, I see a tension between the antiquarian desire of trying to claw our way back to some previous point (1549, 1559, or wherever you like) and an ecumenical desire of making the liturgy look more like the rest of Western Catholicism. Both have the same general desire of wanting to improve the liturgy, but they have different starting points and different ending points. And now that we're in a post-Vatican II world, both movements are largely antiquarian in nature. The current Bishop of Rome is going a long way to bring such things back to life, as it were, and I view that effort as largely a Good Thing. The errors of Trent are far better than Clown Masses, social hour during the passing of the peace, and other Vatican II eccentricities.

America's Anglo-Catholics (the real ones, I say, not the ones with their horrific, sterile, and artificial Book of Alternate Worship Services) have been a special group, inasmuch as we have been able to keep those two desires--"1549 or bust" and "liturgy that is more like the bulk of Western Christendom" as largely cooperative, rather than oppositional forces. Because it managaes to harmonize those two movements, as Fr. Hart rightly notes, the 1928 Prayerbook is our "crown and delight."

I'm a largely live and let live sort on the high church / low church debate myself, but putting the 1559 or 1662 BCP on a lofty pedestal is something I find hugely problematic. (Peter Toon, wherever you are along the path toward perfection, do forgive me.)

Anonymous said...

It had not occurred to me that criticism of the Missals was a sneak attack on the ACC. The Missals are widely used in all branches of the Continuum, especially the APA and ACA, and I should think the ACC publishing ministry finds many customers in those quarters. And with respect, Fr John, I believe the APA also has its own printing of 1928 BCP, as does OUP.

I have never criticized the Missals. I keep both the American and Anglican in our sacristy, whence I haul them out when occasion demands, like the Blessing of Ashes on Ash Wednesday. In 29 years of priesthood, I have never said Mass from anything but the Altar Service Book. But I have studied both Missals carefully and am reasonably knowledgeable about both of them. After comparing the Anglican and the American Missals closely, the American strikes me as a more scholarly product.
It also is less offensive to the Parson's Handbook Dearmerite crowd, to which I happen to belong.

Apart from week-day Collects mentioning the "merits" of the saints, I have no problem with either one. But I do have a problem with badly trained priests who attempt to use the Missal, considering it some sort of badge of pure catholicity, but have not troubled themselves to learn its rubrics or the ethos of the full Western rite. For example: reading in a very loud voice the Offertory prayers or other private prayers which the Romans always said in a whisper. Or having a deacon read the Last Gospel. I have even heard of a "Gospel Procession" (unknown to Roman rite for either Gospel) for the Last Gospel. Or saying the "Prayers at the Foot of the Altar" in a booming voice, competing with the hymn sung meanwhile. I lack patience with priests who insist on using a Missal but use it in arbitrary or haphazard fashion.

Some time back I had the joy of serving our bishop's week-day Low Mass. It was rubrically flawless, as you would expect. I observed that it was the very first time in my experience that I had seen a Missal Mass executed correctly. It also was, to someone in the pew, indistinguishable from what I do with the Altar Service Book, although I surely do not do it as well.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

lso, there is a difference between critical analysis of resources and rejection of them. The Missal is useful, but not above criticism; neither is any edition of the Book of Common Prayer; neither is any translation of the Bible. This is yet another reason why priests ought to be as learned as they can become.

Criticism of the Missal would include finding fault with an Ash Wednesday prayer that says we make atonement. Criticism of the Book of Common Prayer would include the "conservative" preservation of the printer's error that removed "holy" from the Creed. Criticism of the 1940 Hymnal would include its use of the Unitarian song, "Once to every man and nation." Criticism of the King James Bible would include a few minor details too, which I will remember later.

But, I am very glad to have all these resources. As a theologian, with at least some amount of education, I know how to use each of them to everyone's edification.

Fr. John said...

APA as in Anglican Parishes Association(which is the publishing arm of the ACC)not Anglican Province of America, is the publisher of the pew edition of the 1928 BCP. Maybe the Anglican Province of America is also publishing it, but that is news to me.

Fr. John said...

Also, as far as I can ascertain, OUP does indeed print and sell the 1928 BCP, but not in a pew edition. It is available in leather or fake leather.

Yes, the Anglican Parishes Association gets orders from all over.

Anonymous said...

Yes, dear Fr John, there is another Continuing Church jurisdiction which has its own printing of 1928 BCP. It is available only with "According to the Use of [jurisdictional name] on the title page. They also charge $25.00 per copy, as compared to $17.50, the price asked by Anglican Parishes Assocation. Caveat emptor.

Carlos said...

Dear Father Hart,

"A set of newly approved canon laws for the archdiocese permits bishops to submit the names of married candidates to Rome for approval on a case-by-case basis."

"But as of today, when the new law takes effect, "it is possible to ordain a married deacon [to the priesthood], with permission from Rome. The door is not closed," said Metropolitan Judson Procyk of Pittsburgh, who has championed the traditional Eastern married priesthood."

It seems part of the reason is still ignorance and distrust on the part of latin traditionalists who have grown up with the view that Celibate Priests are the norm and expected and anything out of that is abnormal and a corruption. Personally the media has done quite a bit to inflame this contention which is merely a discipline and not "theological". You don't see the Eastern Catholics pointing fingers at the Romans because they only observe the Lenten Fast and not the Nativity, Dormition and Apostles' fasts.

Deacon Down Under said...

Carlos wrote: "You don't see the Eastern Catholics pointing fingers at the Romans because they only observe the Lenten Fast and not the Nativity, Dormition and Apostles' fasts."

As a Christian who self-exiled to Orthodoxy in 1978, after the US ordination of women, and who returned to Anglicanism via the ACC only this year because I could not ignore the Catholicity of Anglicanism nor it's valid orders and sacraments, I retain much Eastern spirituality in my life.

Should the ACC consider the merits of the Dormition, Nativity and Apostles fasts, and perhaps the greater definitions of fasting and abstinence that the Eastern Church retains?

I would argue yes. Individually and collectively, fasting fosters repentance, fosters surrender to God, and constantly reminds us through material means of our constitutional place as servants of God, not masters of our indulgent tastes.

Secondly it would be a real sign of humility before the Eastern Churches, a mark of respect, an adoption of a practice that is consistent with the Early Church, with the rich history of the undivided Church, and an acknowledgment that the Western Roman Church in basically diminishing the Lenten fast to not much and relegating the communion fast to a sandwich in the car on the way to mass (almost) has abandoned a real spiritual jewel.

Continuing Anglicanism's future lies in the undivided Church, that we are already part of, albeit in it's riven form. As Patriarch St. Tikhon embraced in so many ways the Catholicity of the Anglican tradition in the USA, surely we continuing Anglicans can make use of those spiritual practices, tools and ascetic wisdom that come from our Eastern Orthodox brethren?