Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Random tidbits

One more:

On a personal note: My second grandson was born this week at 7.5 pounds. My daughter and the baby are just fine.

ACA and the "missing" link
In the recent post about the Anglican Church in America (ACA) voting to roam Romewards, I said, "Either way, the time has come to remove our link to the TAC/ACA from this Anglican blog. They have decided not to be part of the Continuing Anglican Church that adheres to The Affirmation of St. Louis. It is not our intention to direct people to Roman Catholicism, which they may find easily enough on their own without our presenting here what would amount to a seeming endorsement of conversion. We pray all will be well for them, and that they grow in God's grace."

In a comment we received the following reply.

"While it is a fully understandable rationale to remove the link to the TAC/ACA site, perhaps you should reconsider:

1. There are those, both laity and clergy, (in this jurisdiction) who have not the slightest interest in jumping 'into the abyss' and see fully what this nonsense is all about.

2. The 'remnants' shall recover from the present episcopate(s), (of these former Anglicans) and continue in Christ's Church, as a new ACA.

3. Ignoring the miscreants becomes a tacit denial of their behavior (which has been so well illustrated in this blog) and should be kept in the light of day.

4. In keeping the dialog viable, our brothers and sisters are reminded to keep the dissenters, in the TAC/ACA, in their prayers.

Father Frank +"

I can understand and sympathize with Fr. Frank's dilemma, which he shares with others in the same predicament. But, it begs the question, how can we recognize a jurisdiction without recognizing its bishops? At this time, we may not relate to the ACA as such by going around their bishops, neither can we appear to endorse the decision of their bishops. We do not presume to tell people they ought not to become Roman Catholic, but we do believe that the ACA bishops are promoting an attack on Anglicanism and its validity. Their decision amounts to a rejection of the theology we have demonstrated to be essential to the Anglican mind and ethos, and an acceptance of a system that considers our sacraments to be invalid. Their disservice to their own people is too great.

If "the dissenters in the TAC/ACA" (who do have our prayers, I am sure) cannot remain with their bishops, from whence can they receive Episcopal oversight and ministry in the future? Who will consecrate new bishops for them as a separate jurisdiction? Why should they continue as a "new ACA"? Is it not time to drop the separate identity? Are these not the same men, mostly, who brought you Deerfield Beach and a schismatic ecclesiastical identity in the first place? Is not their rejection of Anglicanism a clear signal of what was guiding them back then? Is it not a signal that now is the time to unify with the rest of your Continuing Anglican brethren under existing bishops who are united in a very real concordat, and who will not turn away from Anglican principles?

We have a light in the widow for you, and the soup is on the stove.

Contestants: Announcing the big challenge
The apologists for accepting Anglicanorum Coetibus assure their readers and hearers that they can be united with the See of Rome, but keep the treasures of Anglicanism. Does this remind anybody of words like the following? "As long as the grass shall grow, and the sky is blue" in the old treaties between the American "Indians" and the U.S. Government (what advice might Sitting Bull and Geronimo have for you?) We have been told over and over that Rome will guarantee our priceless Anglican treasures. But, it seems that the only treasure anyone can identify is one that the new constitution itself explicitly rules out: Married clergy from their formerly Anglican, under the Ordinariate, ranks, and that in perpetuity.

Here is our big challenge: All you Anglicanorum Coetibus Enthusiasts: If you can demonstrate from that constitution any specific Anglican treasures, even so much as one, I will make and post a video of myself eating my favorite hat, and I do mean a classy fedora-the only thing that Frank Sinatra left me in his will. But, there is one caveat.

If you quote merely the promises of ACA/TAC bishops, or RC bishops like the deluded Bp. Peter Elliot, instead of actually proving your case from the "Apostolic Constitution" itself, you will receive extra time in the Hell hole we know by the phrase, "the Romish doctrine of Purgatory." That is because, big mean rotten guys like us have the authority to distribute the demerits of sinners. I don't mean your run of the mill sinners either, or even notorious criminals like Al Capone. I mean those who achieved sins of supererogation, like the writers of the old TV show "Hazel," or the songwriters who came up with "Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got love in my tummy." We are talking potential extra time counted in the millions of years; so you better back up your argument with the facts Buster!


John A. Hollister said...

A llllooonng time in the purification process for TV copywriters? If that's so, I may have to rethink my disinclination to accept the doctrine of Purgatory.

John A. Hollister+

Canon Tallis said...

Just when I vastly needed another ringing defense of classic Anglicanism, you serve up "yummy, yummy, I've got love in my tummy." But under the circumstances it may well have to do. Why? Because for the moment it would seem we have so little of the "in all things charity" yet to share.

But this is not an accusation of the writers of this blog or of Archbishop Haverland. No, there are not particular miscreants, but it seems to me looking back to the earliest days of the Continuum that it was the lack of charity as much as anything else which led to our present very unhappy (at least for some) splintered condition.

This, it would seem to me, is precisely the time when we all need the greatest charity because it can only be from that divine love, the love that loved us first even in our fallen condition, that all of us need to reach out to each other and especially to those not ready to swim the Tiber's fetid waters.

I think that a great number of those from the ACC side who made the fatal trip to Deerfield Beach did so because they truly believed that all of those who intended to follow the Anglican way needed to be in the same ship. The problem as some of us saw it then and see it today was that of the character of the leaders and their understanding (of lack of it) of classical Anglicanism as well as thier commitment to same.

Unfortunately there will always be those with perfectly valid orders willing to consecrate new bishops for the lost remnant of the ACA. And they may well make the mistake of following that path, but it would be far better if the bishops of the ACC, UECNA and APCK as quickly as possible set up a very discreet way to reach out to the parishes, laity and priests and make it as easy as possible for them to find a home in the most stable parts of the Continuum. And if at all possible the bishops of these three jurisdictions should do so working together rather than independently of each other. In short, I would like to see them acting as sheepdogs for the one true shepherd rather than as independent wolves savaging lost and stray lambs.

The combined response of Haverland, Reber and Provence, if they are able to make it, will tell us more about the hope of a future of the Church for our grandchildren than anything else they might be able to do or say. Can they provide the necessary leadership in this crisis or will Father Frank and those like him have to look elsewhere?

But in the meantime, let us pray that God will ease the fears of those who know that Rome is not the answer for them and show them a path to the true fold of the divine savior.

AFS1970 said...

Of course it would be better for unity, if the remnants of the ACA would align themselves with the rest of the continuum rather than seek out new Bishops and remain independent. However this is entirely dependent on just how big these remnants are, where they are located and if there are any Bishops left among them.

Were the continuum a truly merged body, even among the UECNA/APCK/ACC they would be in a better place to receive brethren in unity. However since this is not yet the case, as I have written elsewhere, I fear that different ACA parishes may find themselves joining each of the three and maybe a few more jurisdictions. This will do more to accentuate the differences among the churches than it will to highlight the common ground.

Of course I have long felt that the continuum needs to return to a geographical basis, and that we need to do more church building and less Bishop building. As the Continuum gets closer to unity, I think some sees will disappear by attrition.

If the remnants of the ACA are small, it would actually be irresponsible to make Bishops for yet another tiny jurisdiction. Even if they are many, the likelihood of any specific parish not being near one of the many Bishops, is slim to none.

Unknown said...

"We have a light in the widow for you"

Is this some obscure Bible verse or Anglican code word I'm not aware of?

Fr Theodore

Deacon Down Under said...

The lost remnant of the TAC need to come for spiritual succour to the ACC/UECNA or APCK. Given that the UECNA and APCK have no presence outside the US, it is logical that they should turn to the ACC which has a substantial worldwide presence.

The TAC was and is a schism from the Anglican Catholic Church. Coming home to the ACC should be facilitated, and I am sure will be facilitated by generosity, compassion and love by the Bishops and priests and laity of the ACC.

The perpetuation of schism by consecration of new bishops for the remnant of the TAC is entirely counter-productive for the continuum as a whole. I suspect that only in the United States does the TAC/APA have some depth of size in parishes that could have some point in continuing. In Australia, the TAC has tiny parishes - handfuls of people. For the TAC diaspora the ACC should be seen as their logical spiritual home.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

David Gould obviously meant TAC/ACA.

I will not say what they "should" do, but what they may consider-and I hope they will. Our hearts are open to receiving them as brothers and sisters.

Fr. John said...

Here's a suggestion; let those in the ACA/TAC who want to remain Continuers create their own web pages or blog and post a link to that site here.

It's really no big deal any way, as there is no link on this blog to my blog, Anglican Catholic Priest.

"It is no great gain to the Church of Rome, and no great loss to the Church of England."
Charles II

BillyHW said...

Is "miscreant" really necessary?

Dr.D said...

Individual parishes, priests, and lone persons being left behind by the ACA as they go off to Rome are somewhat like people left in the water when a great ocean liner sinks. The ACC, UECNA, and APCK are other liners nearby, and it really does not matter whether the survivors are picked up by boats from this liner or that. The important point is that they be picked up and brought safely back into the Continuing Anglican fold. By God's grace, we hope the day is not far off when ACC, UECNA, and APCK will all come together. Right now, we simply do not want to lose any Continuing Anglicans to having the simply fall away.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Canon Tallis:

Strange how one can begin a sentence with an appeal for charity and divine love, yet end it by calling Romans "fetid".

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It's really no big deal any way, as there is no link on this blog to my blog, Anglican Catholic Priest.

I thought we had that covered already, but we do now. You should have said so sooner.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...the Tiber's fetid waters...

I suppose he was referring to something doctrinal, political and/or spiritual rather than calling individuals "fetid." And, Billy HW, i think miscreants are necessary; at least I don't think we have right to exterminate them.

Abu Daoud said...

I realize most people at this blog are not great fans of ACNA, but it seems like the FiF/NA diocese of the ACNA might provide a home for congregations who don't want to go to the Ordinariate. There is a sort of energy in the ACNA for church planting and evangelism which I have not seen much in the ACC.

Anyway, that's my two cents from the Middle East where theare is only one show in town, the Anglican Communion (Canterbury). Of course we don't ordain women and our clergy believe in things like the Trinity and that the Bible actually gives us a pretty good idea of who Jesus really was.

Salam. --Abu Daoud

Fr. Robert Hart said...

There is a sort of energy in the ACNA for church planting and evangelism which I have not seen much in the ACC...Anyway, that's my two cents from the Middle East where theare is only one show in town, the Anglican Communion (Canterbury).

Combining these remarks, I do not find it strange that you cannot see what is going on with ACC missions. Nor would I expect that you actually see it with ACNA missions either, except that they get a lot more press. Furthermore, the Affirmation of St. Louis people simply will not go for the ACNA, and women's ordination is part of the reason.

Canon Tallis said...


And what would you do if a child came to you, and not just one, but a number of them and told you that they were being sexually molested by one of your brother priests?

And, yes, this is a trick question because far too many of us know what Rome has done and - in spite of their words - continues to do about this problem and others of the same kind.

St Paul teaches one thing in the New Testament and that was reflected in the practice of the earliest Church. It was even part of the canons of the first General Councils. But Hildebrand found it offensive and rejected it. The result is that we have the words of Jesus on doing harm to children and a very famous Roman priest who just the other day confessed that he did not know what to do when children came to him and told him that they were being sexually molested, so he did nothing.

I am a father and a grandfather. I know what I feel about children, any children. And I rather agree with our Lord on the subject.

charles said...

In defense of the ACNA, the WO issue is on the table and still being resolved. There is a majority opposed. However, if they fail to commission a study that liberals hope to block, REC and conservatives will walk, leaving Pittsburgh behind.

Section V. of the St. Louis affirmation says we are to seek positive (perchance even pro-active) relations with faithful bishops. There are many faithful bishops in ACNA who are not in communion (sharing sacred things) with Pittsburgh yet are in charge of their own dioceses and territories.

Bp. Grote said if Bp. Grundorf had not been prevented by more Anglo-catholic bishops in his church, the APA would have unquestionably tilted the scales against Duncan in the College of Bishops. What would have been the result if more Continuers had chosen to be part of the ACNA process, perhaps even impacting global Anglicanism in a decisive way through North America?

Instead, we are waiting for ACNA to collapse, basically maintaining an unproductive rivalry. Courting ACA parishes will further infuse remaining St. Louis churches with the very problem that caused division-- Newman brand Anglicanism? We are asking ACA priests and parishioners to come back without having specifically (or should I say 'authoritative') classical Anglican standards by which they may be re-educated and re-trained.

As seen here, just because clergy or a parish reject papacy and/or Latin liturgy, doesn't necessarily mean they accept or identify with the English Settlement. So, what is being accomplished by such an infusion without corresponding standards and discipline?

Abu Daoud said...

Hi Fr Robert,

I would love to hear more about the mission work of the ACC if you know of any decent sources like newsletters or blogs. I am talking about church planting and evangelism, specifically. I am also willing to help out if anyone in the ACC is interested in planting an ACC church in a Muslim neihgborhood in the West or right here in the ME.

About WO, that was my point, the FiF/NA jurisdiction does not and will not ever practice it, I believe.

Ken said...

One thing I like about the Reformed Episcopal Church's website is the link on the home page on how to affiliate with the REC. It makes the information easy to get to with access to forms.

The ACC does have a "Contact Us" link but I think they ought to also have a "Join Us" link that would simply describe the procedures for affiliation.

Will said...

Fr. Hart,

On a purely personal note: congratulations on your now being a grandfather for the second time. I bet you are a proud (in the good sense) and thankful man! May God bless that child and parents.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a bit of interest in the use of the word "miscreant." From, a bit of clarification:

Catholic -

1. of or pertaining to a Catholic church, esp. the Roman Catholic Church.

2. Theology.

a. (among Roman Catholics) claiming to possess exclusively the notes or characteristics of the one, only, true, and universal church having unity, visibility, indefectibility, apostolic succession, universality, and sanctity: used in this sense, with these qualifications, only by the Church of Rome, as applicable only to itself and its adherents and to their faith and organization; often qualified, especially by those not acknowledging these claims, by prefixing the word Roman.

b. (among Anglo-Catholics) noting or pertaining to the conception of the church as the body representing the ancient undivided Christian witness, comprising all the orthodox churches that have kept the apostolic succession of bishops, and including the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Church of Sweden, the Old Catholic Church (in the Netherlands and elsewhere), etc.
3. pertaining to the Western Church.

Let us note the separation of beliefs and the different charges of responsibility for the episcopacy therein.

Heretic -

A professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.

Is there any question that the Anglican Church doctrines/theology have been abandoned (which they swore an oath to teach and uphold) and those of the Roman Church embraced by members of the TAC/ACA episcopacy?

Miscreant -
- adjective

Holding a false or unorthodox religious belief; heretical

Perhaps unfounded biblical clergy celibacy, papal infallibility, Marian dogma, rejection of Anglican orders, etc. are unorthodox?

Miscreants…What a perfectly apt description.

Fr. Frank +

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Instead, we are waiting for ACNA to collapse, basically maintaining an unproductive rivalry.

Are we waiting for them, to collapse? Personally, I am hoping they will straighten a few things out, even to the point where we are on the same page.

Mark VA said...

From the RC perspective:

Canon Tallis:

If I read you right, your use of the adjective "fetid" refers to the Roman Catholic Priests, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, and, I assume, the Pope as well. The context being the sexual molestation scandal.

If this is right, do you see them all, en masse, as "fetid", or do you make some distinctions as to the degree of their "fetidity"? Or to rephrase the question, are all RC ordained "fetid", or just some of them?

By the way, what is the estimated percentage of those ordained who committed these truly horrible acts, and the superiors who knew, worldwide?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA

Certainly, beyond reasonable doubt (a phrase that could have deep relevance if he steps foot once again on American soil), Cardinal Levada, the front man for Anglicanorum Coetibis, was complicit in the cover-up and reassignment of predatory RC priests, thereby increasing the number of victims. And, who was it that gave him his current assignment?

Sadly, you have sort of answered your own hypothetical question-I wish it were not so.

Anonymous said...

Charles said:
"As seen here, just because clergy or a parish reject papacy and/or Latin liturgy, doesn't necessarily mean they accept or identify with the English Settlement. So, what is being accomplished by such an infusion without corresponding standards and discipline?"

As a new member of the ACC fresh out of the ACA I must say that I find ++ Haverland's remarks concerning Henrican Anglicanism to be disturbing. I have not been able to square this with the idea of Vincent's rule as it seems to be laying identity on a specific period of time rather than appealing to the early church in all time, places people etc.
Athanasius mentioned the British Church as being free of the Arian heresy. Seems to me we could appeal to that age as well.


Canon Tallis said...

Mark, I know that you are trying to protect your church and its reputation and I respect you for it. But I asked you a question which you avoided and did not answer. I am dealing with what has happened in the past and what is in the immediate news such as the following.

VATICAN CITY – Germany's sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese acknowledged it transferred a suspected pedophile priest while Benedict was in charge and criticism is mounting over a 2001 Vatican directive he penned instructing bishops to keep abuse cases secret.

The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict's handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977-1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.

Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scope of the scandal Friday in his native land from the head of the German Bishop's Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed "great dismay and deep shock" over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.

Hours later, the Munich archdiocese admitted that it had allowed a priest suspected of having abused a child to return to pastoral work in the 1980s, while Benedict was archbishop. It stressed that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger didn't know about the transfer and that it had been decided by a lower-ranking official.

Canon Tallis said...

Part II

The archdiocese said there were no accusations against the chaplain, identified only as H., during his 1980-1982 spell in Munich, where he underwent therapy for suspected "sexual relations with boys." But he then moved to nearby Grafing, where he was suspended in early 1985 following new accusations of sexual abuse. The following year, he was convicted of sexually abusing minors.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement late Friday noting that the Munich vicar-general who approved the priest's transfer had taken "full responsibility" for the decision, seeking to remove any question about the pontiff's potential responsibility as archbishop at the time.

Victims advocates weren't persuaded.

"We find it extraordinarily hard to believe that Ratzinger didn't reassign the predator, or know about the reassignment," said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The pope, meanwhile, continues to be under fire for a 2001 Vatican letter he sent to all bishops advising them that all cases of sexual abuse of minors must be forwarded to his then-office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that the cases were to be subject to pontifical secret.

Canon Tallis said...

Part III

Germany's justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, has cited the document as evidence that the Vatican created a "wall of silence" around abuse cases that prevented prosecution. Irish bishops have said the document had been "widely misunderstood" by the bishops themselves to mean they shouldn't go to police. And lawyers for abuse victims in the United States have cited the document in arguing that the Catholic Church tried to obstruct justice.

But canon lawyers insisted Friday that there was nothing in the document that would preclude bishops from fulfilling their moral and civic duties of going to police when confronted with a case of child abuse.

They stressed that the document merely concerned procedures for handling the church trial of an accused priest, and that the secrecy required by Rome for that hearing by no means extended to a ban on reporting such crimes to civil authorities.

"Canon law concerning grave crimes ... doesn't in any way interfere with or diminish the obligations of the faithful to civil laws," said Monsignor Davide Cito, a professor of canon law at Rome's Santa Croce University.

The letter doesn't tell bishops to also report the crimes to police.

But the Rev. John Coughlin, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, said it didn't need to. A general principle of moral theology to which every bishop should adhere is that church officials are obliged to follow civil laws where they live, he said.

Canon Tallis said...

Part IV

Yet Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore in Northern Ireland, told a news conference this week that Irish bishops "widely misinterpreted" the directive and couldn't get a clear reading from Rome on how to proceed.

"One of the difficulties that bishops expressed was the fact that at times it wasn't always possible to get clear guidance from the Holy See and there wasn't always a consistent approach within the different Vatican departments," he said.

"Obviously, Rome is aware of this misinterpretation and the harm that this has done, or could potentially do, to the trust that the people have in how the church deals with these matters," he said.

An Irish government-authorized investigation into the scandal and cover up harshly criticized the Vatican for its mixed messages and insistence on secrecy in the 2001 directive and previous Vatican documents on the topic.

"An obligation to secrecy/confidentialtiy on the part of participants in a canonical process could undoubtedly constitute an inhibition on reporting child sexual abuse to the civil authorities or others," it concluded.

In the United States, Dan Shea, an attorney for several victims, has introduced the Ratzinger letter in court as evidence that the church was trying to obstruct justice. He has argued that the church impeded civil reporting by keeping the cases secret and "reserving" them for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"This is an international criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice," Shea told The Associated Press.

I know that the above is not easy to face.

+ Peter said...

The main reason the UECNA has no overseas presence is the fact that no locally organised body has requested to come into Communion with us. We would be able to swiftly bring a locally organised Church in Britain and Ireland (or anywhere else) should be local interest in the UECNA.

The various Continuing Jurisdiction have their own distinctive favours, and could well imagine that a British or Irish Anglican of Central or Low Churchmanship would find UECNA a more comfortable place to be than the ACC. I am sure that Bishop Meade would not mind me saying that the ACC Diocese of the UK is historically one of the highest (if not the highest) in the ACC. For an Irish Low Churchman DUK would be a very uncomfortable place to be both ceremonially and theologically. However, if such a group aligned with UECNA they could preserve their own tradition and still be in communion with the St Louis Continuum.

What does not help those of us who are trying to bring the various strands of Continuing Anglicanism together is the common assumption frequently made that what is needed is for the UECNA and APCK to come to their senses and allow themselves to be taken over by the ACC, or some other variation on that theme. In the discussions that the UECNA and the ACC have had about the possibility and feasibility of reunion we have been very careful to avoid anything that might suggest that what might occur is an ecclesiastical version of the Austrian Anschluss.

The one size fits all solution actually would not work for the reasons I have stated above, and for several others. As I have suggested before, there is no easy solution to the divided state of the Continuum. What is needed is a long period of dialogue followed by a review of Constitutions, Canons and Procedures so the strengths and positive insights of the various jurisdictions inform the life of a united Continuum. In the meantime, as much of the Continuum as possible should be gathered up into the various St. Louis Continuum Churches.

+ Peter said...

The last sentence of the first paragraph should have read:

"Should a group or groups from Britain, Ireland or elsewhere wish to enter into full communion with the UECNA, our Canons allow the House of Bishops to swiftly bring that about"


Fr. Robert Hart said...


1. Before the English Reformation the Church was under the pope in a way that has no basis in Antiquity, since "first in honor" did not mean universal jurisdiction of the See of Rome.

2. What is meant by mention of the Henrican era, which is in the Constitution and Canons (and which the Archbishop simply mentioned), is the same as what was meant by the Elizabethan emphasis on the same period. That is, if you read them (especially Hooker, for clarity) they saw themselves as picking up where Cranmer and Jewel had been forced to leave off.

Canon Tallis:

It is not easy for me to face those facts either. I think Mark VA confuses the distasteful duty, of presenting facts for ACA/TAC people to consider (before it is too late), as something we enjoy. It is not enjoyable at all.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,

Possibly you could expound on the " is the same as what was meant by the Elizabethan emphasis on the same period" in another article if not here.

I have no resources to clarify what exactly this means and if I asked surely there are others wondering much the same.

still confused

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I will be glad to expound more, at an earlier hour on a later date. But, the clue is in my words, "That is, if you read them (especially Hooker, for clarity) they saw themselves as picking up where Cranmer and Jewel had been forced to leave off."

Anonymous said...

FYI Fr. Hart, Cardinal Levada made a high profile visit to the USA last week. Hoist on your own petard!


Canon Tallis your "cut and paste" is mean spirited and vindictive because you presumes the guilt of the accused party. There is an obvious desire on your part to shoot first and ask questions later. Furthermore, it is an evil thing to presume the Pope guilty of a cover-up without any proof excepting the heavily biased hearsay of those with a vested interest in the Pope's guilt. You have far too much confidence in the secular criminal justice system and the secular media. Charity is not your motivation. Nor are you motivated by the Scripture (c.f. 1 Corinthians 4). You would have all Roman Catholic priests accused and forced then to prove their innocence before the secular state. If anyone is guilty of anything it is you of naked bigotry against the Roman Catholic Church.

I’ll answer your question to Mark. Yes, the priest was wrong for not reporting the alleged abuse. He is one priest among tens of thousands but you would accuse all of them for the misjudgment of one. “What is the meaning that you use among you this parable as a proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the teeth of the children are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, this parable shall be no more to you a proverb in Israel.” Ezekiel 18.

Mr. Anonymous

Mark VA said...

From the RC perspective:

Canon Tallis and Father Hart:

CT: Thank you for an objective presentation of some of the latest facts in this case. FH: Thank you for stating that you find no joy in these facts - I misread your motives, and I apologize.

Canon: I think you misinterpret my position. My Church is divinely protected, and Her human element is divinely punished when it needs to be (as is the case now, and occasionally has been since Her founding two millenia ago).

The structure Christ has set up for His Church is formidable, and when the key human element inhabiting it relies on the Holy Spirit, the Church on earth can achieve spectacular, seemingly impossible, things. Obviously, when some, even a small percentage, of the human element fails, the failures are horrendous on many fronts, as well. I've seen both - there is nothing new in this.

The world (in the biblical sense) seeks to change that structure, since it correctly diagnoses how this strength endures, despite the recurring human failures. It seeks to de-laminate us into an alphabet soup of groups that it knows will not coalesce into one. In other words, the RC Church is in a different class of targets than those Churches that have already been, shall we say, disassembled.

I don't hold an idealized picture of my clergy, Canon Tallis, as you seem to think. Hagiography is a trap for the naive. However, so is cynicism for those weak in faith. So, how shall we proceed in this vale of tears?

Bishop Mead said...

"+Peter wrote: I am sure that Bishop Meade would not mind me saying that the ACC Diocese of the UK is historically one of the highest (if not the highest) in the ACC. For an Irish Low Churchman DUK would be a very uncomfortable place to be both ceremonially and theologically."

It is very true that my Diocese has since it's formation in 1992 been almost completely Anglo-Catholic or High Church liturgically and I can see why there is some possibility that in terms of ceremonial some folk might feel out of place. In the days of Bishop Hamlet they may well have felt out of place theologically too. However, although we have elsewhere in the comments made to postings on this blog been accused of being 'AngloPapalist'- although this term seems as open to interpretation as much as Protestant or Catholic. I point out that the 'theological position' of this Diocese is consistent with what I have experienced to be the general theological position of the ACC Original Province therefore any low or middle churchman finding himself in my diocese would, if he had any problems theologically with what is taught and believed here, have the same problems theologically elsewhere in the ACC. I have tried to explain elsewhere how I am open to and would be encouraging of different liturgical use than already present in the DUK (provided that it was an ACC authorised liturgy). If the UECNA were to establish or take under their wing a group within the geographical boundaries of the DUK I would be happy to do whatever I could to assist them, however that would not stop
me from questioning how, this clearly new precedent in UECNA, might effect any continued efforts to promote movement towards the fuller unity between ACC and UECNA that I believe we have been praying and working towards for sometime.
Incidentally somehow my surname has crept in with the extra 'e' again.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart,

Neither do I enjoy facing the truth of this thing. But it has been with me for much longer since even as a child I saw one of my closest friends corrupted first by his parish priest and then at a Roman boarding school

Nor is Cardinal Levada for me an abstraction, but a real person I have met at public gatherings, i.e., the opera. He and those like him bring every man of the cloth under suspicion. Worse, it is not just the clergy but every person of faith. But it is worse for those of us who catch the looks of others from the corner of our eye when wearing clericals in public.

Google "Terry McAteer" and read the story of the son of a prominent Democrat politician who was a victim and had to see his rapist at his family dinner table with an occasional other boy for a decade before he had the courage to tell both the Church and the police.

No, it is not an 'enjoyable' story, especially if you are one who has had to deal with the damage long after the fact or, and worse, saw it coming and were entirely unable to prevent it from happening. But this is part of the collateral damage of not being faithful to St Paul's only too clear teaching about those who should be bishop, priest and deacon.

I devoutly wish these things had never happened, were not happening today, but they are not going to go away just because we refuse to face them and to talk about them because doing so will offend the sensibilities of others.

charles said...

Hi Confused,

AB Haverland gives us the "plain and grammatical" reading of the canons. His explanation on ACC standards is logical and consistent with what has been said before by ACC synods and AB's. Simply said, the canons tell what doctrine is authoritative in the ACC, including all councils and symbolic works received by the Church in England from the patristic period, through the medieval, until the date 1543. The teachings of the Protestant Reformation in England can be "used " but has no authority outside what Henry and earlier councils established. For a complete listing of these pre-reformation and patristic councils see the first three pages of the canons:

I like the ACC's detailed listing of the above.

If your concern is the 'catholicity' of the ACC, have no fear! The ACC is catholic. If you are concerned about the Protestant Reformation in England, then you ought to have worry. That is left to a local option, and canonically speaking can only be taught so far so long as Henrician articles and standards are not contradicted. For the most part, this delimitation (strictly speaking) means continuing a medieval interpretation and/or application of the Mass.

That said, probably most ACC priests are in violation, in one aspect or another, of Henrician standards. Either they ignore these standards in certain ceremony (say, that pertaining to images), or they embrace much of the Reformation, disallowing enrician versions of the Mass in their parish.

One might say the ACC, therefore, is Anglican (in the Reformation sense) despite her canons, since these canons don't appeared to be strictly enforced. That said, I believe this situation nonetheless leaves clergy in a tight, if not immoral, spot given each cleric has given an oath to uphold ACC standards (the plain reading). The Lord's Name shall not be used in vain.

This brings up a further point. Too often Anglicanism is understood by 19th-century liberal criticism of standards, i.e., we are not a confessional church; we have no complete system of thought; Anglicanism is characterized by great liberty, etc..

Laxity in discipline is ultimately a great disservice to priests. When we fail to enforce standards (bishop visitations?), we risk making good men perjurers. We also allow the identity of the church to wander, shaped by others who are not 'chief shepherds' proper. These disorders hurt the souls of men, and they undermine the coherency and therefore mission of the particular Church.

While I disagree with AB Haverland in his view of the Henrician vs. Elizabethan articles/theology, I applaud his honesty and logic. He is honest. While I don't know much about the ACA, at least the Bishops have been consistent in the implications of rejecting the Protestant Settlement. Whether a person agrees with the English Reformation or not, what is needed before any kind of working out of doctrine/standards is transparency, accountability, and honesty. Local options regarding Faith, Worship, Order, I believe, are insane, and lead men, either by ignorance or duplicity, into a perjurious use of God's Name.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


You miss the point of the C&C in this matter. I cannot agree with much of what you wrote. To begin with, if your perspective was correct, we could not have The Affirmation of St. Louis in the C&C of the ACC, with its affirmation of the Book of Common Prayer.

The teachings of the Protestant Reformation in England can be "used " but has no authority outside what Henry and earlier councils established.

This creates a false image of contradiction. The Elizabethan Reformers (no more "Protestant" than in Henry's time with Jewel and Cranmer) made it very clear that they were following in the steps of the Henrican Reformers.

For the most part, this delimitation (strictly speaking) means continuing a medieval interpretation and/or application of the Mass.

Meaning what? Surely not Transubstantiation as it was understood in the 16th century! Certainly not each Mass as a sacrifice in and of itself, and as some kind of independent atonement. Of course, these were not Medieval doctrines, and the Reformers knew it; these were misunderstandings that were quite popularly held-but, unless we say so, your simplistic approach will send the wrong message.

That said, probably most ACC priests are in violation, in one aspect or another, of Henrician standards.

Actually, almost all of us, like me: I happen to be married. The right question is, Henrican standards about what? Answer, the consensus of Antiquity. Henrican Canons? No, we do not keep them in the ACC, and cannot. The idea is impossible and absurd.

The Elizabethan Reformers continued in the same direction as the Henrican, and with the same goal of returning to the doctrine of the most ancient Catholic bishops and doctors. The right reason for mentioning the Henrican period is to put limits on the idea of endless theological speculation, and the result should be greater fidelity to the doctrine of the Elizabethans. These are not contradictory, though without the Henrican foundation, the Elizabethan structure colapses. However, it was not meant to stand without the foundation anyway.

Don't make me choose between two complementary and consistent periods of English Reformation as if they contradicted, or as if The Affirmaiton of St. Louis makes such a "choice" possible.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mr. Anonymous:

How can the statement of a few facts be bigotry? Who accused all RC priests of perversion? The facts are unpleasant, but an emotional reaction of shooting the messenger is no true defense.

Mark VA

Your church is the western Church, and the papacy, by causing the Reformation, disassembled it centuries ago. That is, our perspectives clash in this matter. And, "the key human element" in the Church is what we call the Body of Christ with all the members in particular. Perhaps you were thinking only of an individual, or to be very abstract an office.

Canon Tallis:

Indeed, not talking about them was how the criminals were enabled for so long.

Mark VA said...

From the RC perspective:

Father Hart:

Our perspectives are somewhat different, no doubt.

The Church Christ founded is always in need of some repair, since besides saints it includes sinful, deluded, even despicable, men.

But to stay out of the Church nursing anger or despair, and set up some alternative structures that all too soon are in need of repairs themselves, then to repeat this process over and over for several centuries... is this what "Reformation" was meant to be?

We're all in a pickle, Father Hart, you in yours, and I in mine. Perhaps we can pray for each other.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

But to stay out of the Church...

You can't even see why those words are offensive, can you?

Fr. John said...

In the latest issue of “The Latin Mass” magazine Editor in Chief John W. Blewit made the following remarks; “…the USCCB has returned to its usual bureaucratic form in taking on a political issue that is best left to the deliberations of elected politicians. The U.S. Bishops have announced a campaign to mobilize (Roman) Catholics for comprehensive immigration reform led by Bishops of Salt Lake City, Utah and Albany, New York. Their committee includes two nuns-one a sister of Notre Dame from Cleveland, Ohio, and the other a Sister of Saint Joseph from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- and a staff member of the USCCB. This self-serving and politically correct committee is bound to increase the number of meetings for the bureaucrats in the Church, if that’s possible.”

And; “Pope Benedict XVI has taken the initiative to entice Anglican traditionalists (an oxymoron to say the least) to convert to Roman Catholicism. This gesture on the part of Pope Benedict prompted Austen Lueveigh, a former adviser to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, to comment that the Pope’s announcement is ‘historic because it allowed for the gradual absorption into the Roman Catholic Church huge numbers of Anglicans who are conservative in their Theology and Liturgy.’ What Pope Benedict has done with his new provisions allows groups of Anglicans from around the world to join new parishes headed by former Anglicans prelates who will provide spiritual guidance to Anglicans who wish to be Roman Catholics. Called “personal ordinariates” they will be established within local Roman Catholic dioceses.”

I respect traditional Roman Catholics (not an oxymoron in my book) and wish then success in battling the extreme left wing USCCB. I also appreciate “Latin Mass” magazine pointing out that those who join Rome will be “former Anglicans.”

The ACC being attacked by Roman Catholics and Evangelicals simultaneously makes me sure I am in an authentic Anglican Church, and happily so.

Mark VA said...

From the RC perspective:

You're right Father Hart, it can be interpreted that way, but that's not what was meant - mea culpa. "Fullnes of the Church" is what was meant, in the spirit of Ut Unum Sint, as quoted below:

"The Council states that the Church of Christ "subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him", and at the same time acknowledges that "many elements of sanctification and of truth can be found outside her visible structure. These elements, however, as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, possess an inner dynamism towards Catholic unity".11

"It follows that these separated Churches and Communities, though we believe that they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and value in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church".12

Anonymous said...

Mark VA generally seems informed but I have to say his view of history is rather unusual.

If we only go back as far as Augustine's attempt to woo the Brits into swimming the Tiber in 597 we find he was spurned not once but twice. Here is a comment from Grafton's book on how that all ended:
"In time, the Augustinian succession, never large, died completely out. We quote from Dr. Browne: "As the weary old Italian, Bishop Honorius, slowly dying at Canterbury, looked forth upon the field that had been entrusted to his predecessors, he saw it covered with Christian laborers but not of his own sending, the ministers of a Church, not his."

Hate to break it to you but your not a member of the One True Church- seems Pope Gregory forgot his history on his neighbors as well.

Defeated by Imperial Rome's conquest of Britian, British Chieftain Caractacus' son and daughter Linus and Clauia (2 Tim 4:21) were converted by Paul himself before leaving for Spain and Britain. So we go back as far and have a far more sound biblical connection for Paul in Britain that Rome does for Peter in Rome prior to his crucifixion.

History is so.. inconvenient.

John VA

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark Va

Do you really think that old, well known and well worn, quotation is any more acceptable to us than all the other exclusivist Roman propaganda? We are just as much the Catholic Church as anybody, already.

RC Cola said...

Not trying to defend the hiding of sexual abuse, since it is a painful subject for me as it happened in my home parish, too. If you have the stomach for it, google "Rev Thomas E Neary" or "James F Quinn" you will see some sick stuff. Quinn was the vocation director in the Diocese of Syracuse when I first tried to go to the seminary. He invited me to a Broadway show but I thought that was gayer than gay, so I opted out of the 'vocation sleepover'. I was rejected on psychological grounds. Apparently I was unfit to molest boys.

I digress.

One of the problems the Church faced in Europe is that one of the most popular accusations from communists against men whom they wanted to purge was to accuse them of sexual perversions. I heard from a good source that John Paul II, upon being told a man was a deviant, immediately signed approval papers, assuming that the curial officials were doing the same thing as the communists.

I think in then Bishop Ratzinger's case, his eyes and mind were on Rome, and he trusted his subordinates to take care of business in the diocese while he was busy being Professor Ratzinger. Sadly, that trust was seriously misplaced.

In my less Christian moments, I'd like to see a Pol Pot style purge in the RCC.

Mark VA said...

From the RC perspective:

John VA:

I think it would come as a great surprise to the multitude of recusants suffering under Henry's, or his daughter's harsh edicts, if they were told they never really were Roman Catholic.

Going along with the hypothesis that the British people never really were Roman Catholic, then what was the Reformation in England, and its pervasive system of state control of religion, all about? If this hypothesis is right, then the Reformation in England would not have been necessary - it would have been a feit accompli from the beginning.

Also, the subtext of this story seems to imply that St. Paul was planting ethnically based churches using the ethnicities of individual converts. While in the Catholic Church these things may sometimes be in play (how can they be not, if there happens to be a strong affirmation of one's ethnicity?), they are not normative to the definition of the universality of the Faith.

Fr. John said...

How about this telling quote from Eusebius in his history of the Church;"When St. Polycarp came to Rome in 155 Pope Anicetus allowed him to celebrate as though he were one of his own bishops."

Dr.D said...

The responses from Mark VA remind me of an episode from my childhood, roughly 60 years ago. I was raised in a Methodist home, and I went to public school. One day I came home from school after having lost an argument with an RC school friend over a religious matter, the specific item now long forgotten. When I was telling my parents why what they had taught me was wrong, I repeated exactly what my RC school friend had said: "Truth hath privileges that error hath not." Boy, did my Dad ever set me straight about that error in a hurry!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Henry's, or his daughter's harsh edicts...

Which daughter?

...ethnically based churches using the ethnicities of individual converts...are not normative to the definition of the universality of the Faith.

Not by anyone's standard.

Anonymous said...

It is simple as it sounds RC.
Paul converted the son and daughter of Caractacus while residing in Rome prior to leaving for Spain. The point is he would would have regarded the opprtunity as providential and would easily have crossed the channel. St. Clement is recorded as saying that "St. Paul is said to have come to the boundary of the West" that is known in the Roman literature of the time to mean the western edge of Britain.

Who can say who he converted or that Roman soldiers also brought the faith. But we know the Church was well established because of Athanasius' comments and because of the British Bishops attending Arles. The point is Rome did not establish but it's own church- other work had been laid. As to Henry- 7 or 8 Popes between Henry and Elizabeth never once mentioned a "new" Church had been founded. 37 some years and millions of baptisms, confirmations Communions , Marriages, etc- the clegy all remained in place for the most part. now if a new Church had been formed why did several Popes abandon the faithful to it? How can they be both infallible and yet not mention it as well as leave their flock to such a thing?

I understand Rome had extracted 150,000+- Pounds Sterling in the years leading up to Henry's decision- might have been reason enough that would surely be billions today. Pius V wanted that money stream to open again that is why he excommunicated Elizabeth. She spurned him just as did those bishops hundreds of years prior with Augustine.

John VA

charles said...

Regarding the possibility of ACC and other Continuing Churches 'tipping the scales' against priestess advocates in the new ACNA, I found some interesting information at FCC, collaborating Bp. Grote's comment posted above--

According to Mr. Spaulding, who studied the constitutive churchmanship of the new ACNA, anti-WO forces indeed possess a slim majority, "With AMiA's 128 parishes and REC's 129 added to the FiF/NA component, anti-priestess forces have at least 382, a slim majority of the 742 total."

In retelling the politics of ANCA#2, Bp. Grote said if more traditionalists had joined rank, Pittsburgh would have been left in the cold. Evidently, Bp. Grundorf was unable to bring the APA into the new ACNA due to feverent Anglo-Catholic bishops pull in the opposite direction. But the close margin indicates had separatist attitudes not prevailed (mostly on the Anglo-catholic side), conservatives would have shut the door on WO. As it turns out, the battle will be long and drawn out battle.

With respect to a second "rally point" for North American Anglicanism, the ACC's bid might have a chance (especially when the dissolutive direction of ACA is considered). Mr. Spaulding points out more 'continuers' stayed outside than joined ACNA#2, "This non-participating segment, with its approximately 233 parishes, is significant enough to say that we have a unity problem here (especially when added to the 231 "ministry partners", we have 464 orthodox parishes staying out of the ACNA vs. 382 that went in)."

The problem is how to draw non-participating bodies together into a second pole? Another question is if the ACC poised as an "American broad catholic church" can attract and contain both catholic and evangelical churchmen?

John A. Hollister said...

Charles wrote, "In defense of the ACNA, the WO issue is on the table and still being resolved. There is a majority opposed. However, if they fail to commission a study that liberals hope to block, REC and conservatives will walk, leaving Pittsburgh behind."

I'm sorry to sound harsh and unfriendly, but the basic problem is that the issue of women's "ordination" IS on the table. The moment it is put on the agenda for discussion is the moment that those engaged in that discussion implicitly state that they have the power and authority to make such a change, regardless of how they eventually vote on the motion itself.

All who participate in that discussion are equally guilty of throwing overboard the entire Tradition of the Church for, if they abided by that Tradition, they would do as a recent Pope did: declare that the Church is without authority to discuss the question.

So it is that very proposed "study" that convicts those who propose to undertake it. No one involved has any doubt about what it is that the Church has aways done; some of them wish to depart from that standard and do a new thing and others wish to continue doing what has always been the Church's way, but none are in doubt about what the Church's way was and therefore both is and must be.

Either the Church is a divine institution, in which case we cannot tinker with its basic constitution or it is a human institution, in which case we would waste our time by belonging to it.

John A. Hollister+

charles said...

hmm... I don't think I quite meant attract both "evangelical and catholic" churchmen. This does not solve the problem.

I should have asked if the ACC's "broad catholicism" is sufficient to create a 'central churchmanship' that adheres both evangelical and catholic together within a common framework of classical Anglicanism?

Canon Tallis said...

We have a general saying about the four marks of the Church, i.e., one, holy, catholic and apostolic. There is I believe an interaction in them that means that you can not really have one without the others. And woe unto any of us who believes that we can have one without all of the others. We must be "according to the whole," that is to say Catholic which takes the word back to its Greek roots and at the same time we must also be apostolic or evangelical, sent to preach the gospel to all men and not just to an educated group of elitists. One of our problems is that we too frequently fail to understand the meaning of these terms and what they demand of us, both as individuals or as the Church. We attempt to give these adjecties meanings divorced from Holy Scripture and that is always going to get us into trouble. That is a large part of the reason that I agree entirely with Canon Hollister about the issue of WO. The moment that you so much as put it on the table you put yourself outside of the Church and divorce yourself from the demands of God made so clearly in Holy Scripture.

In like manner we, as Anglicans, see both the EO and Rome as part of the Church and anyone who reads the BCP carefully knows that we pray for them as such. They, on the other hand, both so intent on being one of the two "one true churches" have written us out and thrown us overboard. And that is why the failings of both Rome and the Orthodox are our failings as well as theirs. We cannot escape the damage which they do to all of us nor they the damage which is caused by our failings.

St Paul forbade parties in the Church and that is why it is extremely important for those who want to be truly Catholic must also work even harder to be apostolic, to be truly evangelical - and evangelicals. But it is equally important and maybe even harder for those who consider themselves to be "evangelicals" to remember that they must also be "according to the whole" and "holy." God's declaration in Malachi that "in every place incense shall be offered to my name" is not a part of the old ceremonial law to be written off as having no meaning for us, but taken as a reminder as the equivalent passages in the Book of Revelation that we, as Christians, owe him a true and complete worship and that no part of it can be flipped off as irrelevant or inconvenient.

One of the major failings of the Latin Church of the West was, well, Latin. The moment it was no longer a language understood of the people the readings in the office and the Eucharist were not doing the job they were intended to do as most evidenced by the fact that not even those who were supposed to know the language either heard or understood the demands made by the text. The words of Holy Scripture have meaning, real meaning and we too frequently treat them as if we already know what that is when we are too frequently by our actions demonstrating that we don't - and perhaps, won't. We all, EOs, Romanists, and Anglicans hear and ignore.a

We are all, God help us, greatly in need of real reformation that can only come by hearing the Word of God and doing it. We can not say to ourselves and to others that the Church has not done that for a thousand years or more and believe or act if that excuses us or our generation. And that takes us directly back to the closing words of the Gospel for the third Sunday in Lent: "Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it."

Anonymous said...

Allow me to chime in, as a latecomer to the thread, to underline Fr Hollister's protest at the suggestion that W"O" is somehow "on the table" among Bible-believing Christians. Does "on the table" mean an unresolved issue, still up for discussion? No way.

I have had occasion to observe that the neo-Anglicans fail to grasp the depth and granite solidity of our resistance to this innovation. When my parish hosted a diocesan synod about five years ago, during the era when the neo-AQnglicans were just beginning to define themselves, we invited the local neo-AQnglican leader (now a bishop in ACNA) to come and bring greetings. He told me kindly that he was already committed for that day, but he would be happy to send his assistant, a priestess. I did not lack words for explaining why this would not be acceptable! The dear man did not mean to be insulting; he just did not know our convictions on the matter.

There used to be a distinction between the view of Apostolic Succession as "de esse" in the Church and the view of AS as "de bene esse" or "de plenum esse."
That distinction (long since discredited) seems to have been revived under another name for the W"O" issue. We hear, "I'm personally opposed to W"O", but its "not a salvation issue," or its an "adiaphoron," or similar euphemisms.

As for the incoherent position of the neo-Anglicans, "a house divided against itself cannot stand," a quotation which did NOT originate with Abraham Lincoln.

Ken said...

Regardless of whether the ACNA approves of priestesses or not, they still will be seeking union with a body (the Church of England) that approves of priestess and bishopettes.

The ACNA wasn't formed because of women in ministry it was formed because of homosexuals in ministry. It wants to be the church of "just before Robinson".

charles said...

The reason why the neo-anglicans in the ACNA have threatened to walk away if a study passes is because they know the committee which shall conduct the study is already anti-WO, and the cards are stack against them. Bp. Grote said ACNA liberals will try to block it. It's not like they are trying to find a "compromise" on WO. They are trying to purge it out of the new ACNA. The same is true of the 79 prayer book. The liturgical committee is likewise dominated by conservatives and the plan is to phase the 79 out.

What is at stake is not "legitimizing" the CofE or TEC. Not at all. As I understand it, conservatives are maneuvering to supplant TEC as well as marginalize CofE. ACNA is playing a pivotal role. As it is the battle is long and drawn out because conservatives are onnly a slim majority. ACC (even APA) could have "tipped the scales". It just seems like a missed opportunity.. Gosh, when we look around at the landscape, how else do we think we're going to turn things around besides putting up a good fight?

OK. I will get off this see-saw. I just wanted to say something because I felt the ACNA was being misportrayed. There certainly are many problems with it, but the difference with previous battles and today's is the mass intervention of bishops on a world-wide level, coupled with a reaction against TEC bigger than 1976. It's a good fight.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"Could have 'tipped scales'"? I believe it would have been too dangerous to have joined in as part of their group, which is what the words imply.

Let us pray and hope they will sort it out; but we cannot take part. Archbishop Haverland said what needed to be said in his letter to Bishop Duncan last year.

Canon Tallis said...

Two things quickly! Father Wells story about the ACNA and his assistant reminded me of the world tour which then Archbishop Levada and The Rt Rev'd Bill Swing did in the days of JP II. Swing took a couple of priestess with him and with Levada's help they even took them into an audience with the pope with the girls in full clericals. If that didn't tell the curia what they were dealing with in Levada certainly nothing would.

I want to side with Father Hart on the unnecessary and terrible risk of playing the ACNA game. The very fact that Duncan was elected archbishop after he had staged the first big todo with so many female clerics that it was more than ruined for those of more orthodox persuasion. Not only are they there but he and a few of the other bishops are going to continue to "ordain" same. That means you are not, just not going to tell the dear ladies to take off their collars and go home. Grote is either attempting to deceive himself or deceive Charles. Take your pick. I don't think it matters.

The problem with dealing with folks like the neo-Anglicans in ACNA is that they are going to play by a different set of rules just as they did while still in
TEO. And there is no way that real Anglicans from Evangelicals to partisan Anglo-Catholics can play by those rules. You love everything that you stand for just by walking onto the court.

John A. Hollister said...

Ken wrote, "The ACNA wasn't formed because of women in ministry[;] it was formed because of homosexuals in ministry. It wants to be the church of 'just before Robinson'."

I agree completely with Ken. I also believe strongly that this position is, ultimately, self-defeating, because one of the two basic reasons women's "ordination" was mooted 35 or so years ago was to enable it to serve as the opening wedge for, and bridge to, the acceptance of open homosexual behavior, even among the clergy.

This it has done, with spectacular success. Unfortunately, therefore, any church of "just before Robinson" must also be a church that has thrown both Scripture and Holy Tradition overboard as being too heavy a lading for it to carry.

Of course, any body that is willing to treat Scripture not according to the historic mind of the Church but according to any current academic fad -- and therefore as a purely human product -- is no longer, in any meaningful way, a Christian assembly.

The idea of a Christianity sans Scripture is simply an oxymoron.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

Charles wrote, "[I]f a study [of the theology of women's 'ordination'] passes ... the committee which shall conduct the study is already anti-WO, and the cards are stacked against [the proponents of WO]."

First, let me say that I am sure Bp. Grote and the other ACNA proponents of such a study are sincere, and believe they can accomplish something useful, both by pushing for such a study and then, if it is authorized, by conducting it. I just happen to believe they are totally, and tragically, wrong in that belief.

1. What will happen if the WO faction is able to muster the muscle to vote down the study proposal? What will the anti-WO forces do then? To make and then argue in favor of such a motion is, implicitly, to admit that the body concerned could conceivably decide to defeat that motion, which is just another form of agreeing to negotiate over the non-negotiable.

If the pro-WO folks are successful in blocking this study, then the issue does not get discussed, and ACNA proceeds in its present divided and confused state, with no end to that in sight.

The only way to deal with this and simultaneously to adhere to real principle would be for Bp. Grote and his supporters to take a leaf from the book out of which they think the WO folks are playing, and say to them, "We simply cannot be members of a body which is willing to discuss this issue. We all know what the unbroken practice of the Church has been for the past 1940 years. If you can agree to follow that historic practice, we can go forward together. If you cannot agree to that, then it is better that we part company now and each go our separate ways."

THAT is the mode of proceeding that would preserve the moral and intellectual integrity of those who followed it.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

The neo-Anglicans may indeed arrive at a position repudiating W"O," but that does not eo ipso quarantee orthodoxy on the point. They tend to view the matter along strictly Protestant lines of "male headship" rather than in terms of the nature of Holy Orders. IOW, it's not good enough just to be opposed to priestesses. The question remains, WHY are you oposed to them? And of course, there is the remaining issue of female "deacons."

As for the Prayer Book question, a decent rendition of Rite II in an "Affirming Catholic" parish is surely less bruising than the "praise and worship" ordeals which I have experienced a time or two with neo-Anglicans. I am familiar with one large neo-Anglican parish which offers a Rite II Mass with traditional hymns and excellent preaching. But that seems to be exceptional, and I would not settle for even that.

Anonymous said...

Being in an unusally pedantic mood and cranky frame of mind, I will respond to the redoubtable Canon John Hollister:

"The idea of a Christianity sans Scripture is simply an oxymoron."

While I agree ardently with thes entiment expressed, I rise to protest his usage of the abused term oxymoron.

An oxymoron is an accepted literary device in which a contradiction of terms is used to make a sound point.
The word itself means "sharp nonsense."
Examples are "cold comfort" or "faint praise."

"Christianity sans Scripture" is nonsense but not sharp. It is a contradiction in terms which makes no point at all. "Five sided triangle" is a contradicitoon in terms, but not an oxymoron. Like "Church sans Scripture," it is just gibberish.

Now, having been my normal testy self, I can go back to trying to be nice.


John A. Hollister said...

Father Wells described himself as being in "an unusally pedantic mood and cranky frame of mind".

Obviously, he's just my kind of guy!

However, I must admit he's got the advantage of me: out of the eleven or so institutions of higher learning with which I have been associated in one capacity or another, not one of them offered a course in classical rhetoric. So my knowledge of the traditional figures of speech is very scrappy and what there is of it is entirely due to ill-considered trifles I have snapped up here and there. Sort of like my knowledge of theology, in other words.

So I do appreciate the good Father's precision in this matter. In future, I will be much more careful about whose oxymoron is being gored.