Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Writing for the mis-named blog, The Anglo-Catholic (known here as The Former Anglican blog), a Pastoral Provision priest who pastors an "Anglican Use" Roman Catholic parish, Fr. Christopher G. Phillips, the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, has offered an apologetic for his point of view. Oddly enough, the piece is titled, Then. Now. Not Much Difference. I wish I had said that-in fact, I did (but, when I said it, it was, apparently, not very nice).

Fr. Phillips' little piece is symptomatic of the kind of thinking that prevails among those who are "shocked, shocked" that any Anglicans, including those who have been for years committed to The Affirmation of St. Louis, would fail to jump at the opportunity to become Roman Catholics. As such, it is instructive to us of the kind of reasoning that exists among those who are enthusiastic about Anglicanorum Coetibus, and the lack of realism in their logic. About his conversion in 1983, when he led a congregation of Episcopalians and tried to take them into the Roman Catholic Church, Fr. Phillips wrote:

"What was a fairly healthy number of potential converts dwindled down to eighteen people in those last few months before our reception and my ordination. I had no idea there were those in our little group who had been harboring some rather anti-Roman feelings, and when the time drew closer to 'sign on the dotted line,' they bolted, and tried to affect a scorched-earth policy in their wake. It was downright depressing at the time, and when I heard those who stayed behind chortling and saying, 'We told you it would never work,' I had never felt so discouraged."

The line "We told you it would never work," of course, is not relevant. By the low standard of numbers, it may well have worked; what is on the the table now could become large, for all we know, at some future date. Or, not, as the case may be- we shall see. Whether or not anyone "told you so" is hardly worth pointing out. The issues of truth and of principles are what matters, not whether or not something has "worked" by anyone's standards.

Having no firsthand knowledge of his 1983 congregation, I cannot say what constitutes "anti-Roman feelings" from the author's point of view. But, I can say that it does not take anti-Roman feelings, and certainly not feelings of hostility, to prevent individuals from wanting to join the Roman Catholic Church. It can be something as honest as a difference of belief, and therefore a sincere response to the demands of conscience.

The position taken by Fr. Phillips appears to be that the claims of the Roman See have an obvious rightness that only a cold heart could withstand. In fact, the claims of Rome constitute the prosecution, that is, the charge that everyone else is wrong, beginning with the entire body of churches under all the other Patriarchates in 1054, which became known as the Orthodox Church. The prosecution has the burden of proof under our law; and Rome has failed to persuade us of its case. We have reasonable doubts about their claim against everyone else.

It will not suffice, therefore, to categorize dissent from Rome's position as "anti-Roman." We are not persuaded by the case they have made against the rest of us. Why are they anti-Anglican? Why are they anti-Orthodox? Why are they anti-Protestant? It is they who claim to be the One True Church, an obvious statement against the rest of us. In fairness, we point out that Orthodoxy has brought a counter-prosecution against everybody else. This is a great burden that both of the two One True Churches have carried as a basic dogma for centuries. But, we stand with St. Paul: "And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." (I Cor. 12:21) They have no need of us, they think.

Fr. Phillips wrote this as well, thus revealing some unreality that clouds the minds the Anglicanorum Coetibus enthusiasts:

"To those who recoil at 'becoming Roman Catholics' – for heaven’s sake, why? To be in the same visible Church as are the great saints throughout the ages, as well as such men as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI is a marvelous blessing!"

How telling it is that he can write "for heaven’s sake, why?" not as a genuine question, but as a hypothetical question. He means, "What? Can there be a serious answer? Why, shouldn't every Anglican jump at the chance to be a Roman Catholic?" Clearly, it has not dawned on Fr. Phillips and company, that his title, "Then. Now. Not much difference" answers what ought to have been, for him, a genuine question. If every Anglican was eager to become a Roman Catholic we would have done so already. Nothing has stood in the way.

After all, anyone who believes the claims of Rome has no choice, and never has. Once a person believes all that stuff, it is no longer about what he likes or dislikes; it is not about Elizabethan English (which they seem to confuse with the substance of our Liturgy), or married clergy. If a person believes Rome is right, but has not joined their big denomination already, such a person obviously has no real interest in obtaining eternal life.

Why? indeed

If only "for heaven’s sake, why?" had been a real question, we could answer it.

We could point out that we cannot accept the papal claims, inasmuch as they are not and never were the clear and obvious meaning of Scripture. If the claims of Rome were so evidently true, Rome would not have been alone, among all the Patriarchates, to have believed its own advertising in 1054. In the Orthodox view, Rome left the Church at that time just as certainly as Monophysite churches (or those so accused) left the Church after the Council of Chalcedon.

Nonetheless, Fr. Phillips confuses the Roman Catholic Church with "the same visible Church [of] the great saints throughout the ages." What a terrible charge to lay on everybody else. The rest of the Church is every bit as visible as they are. And, this Roman claim includes an exclusive claim on all saints who came before 1054, as if they know with certainty that the Apostles and Martyrs of the ancient Church thought of themselves, quite obviously, as loyal papists. This exclusive claim also carries a rejection of a fact we know beyond doubt: There are plenty of saints who did not and do not believe the claims of Rome, very many of whom have died as martyrs.

The answer to Fr. Phillips' "gee, golly, why not?" position has been given in countless theological statements over the last several centuries. We could speak of many writings outside of Anglicanism, such as the Augsburg Confession (which is worth reading for its theological clarity and historical importance). But, let us stick to Anglican statements, for purposes of countering the specific target of his essay.

Fr. Phillips writes as if there were no Thirty-Nine Articles that summarize with clarity the mind of the English Reformers about the Gospel, Articles that free the minds of readers from Medieval corruptions and abuses so that the light of Christ may break through. He writes as if the Caroline Divines had never written a word. He writes as if the Oxford Movement and the Anglo-Catholic contemporaries of J.H. Newman had agreed with his rejection of their portion of the Church, as if they all had joined him. But, they, Pusey and all, remained Anglican.

He writes as if Hall, Dix and Mascall, as friendly to Rome as possible, and very much in agreement on more issues than most other Anglicans ever have been, had followed Newman in his conversion. But, they lived and died Anglicans. Indeed, the so-called Anglican Use Society tries to confuse modern readers about this essential fact: None of them became a Roman Catholic. And, they have tried to add C.S. Lewis to the list of those who somehow meant to, but never got around to, accepting Roman Catholicism. The fact is, they did not join it; they remained Anglican one and all. The Anglican (?) Use Roman Catholics suggest that all of these great Anglican thinkers really wanted to be Roman Catholics, as if anything could have prevented them from "converting" if they ever had meant to do so. In fact, in their writings, each gave his reasons for not becoming Roman Catholic, never stating that any one reason stood out as a single issue.

The reasons we are not interested in joining the Roman Catholic Church have been stated over and over again as matters of doctrinal conviction.

We do not accept their papal claims. We see no reason to regard the Bishop of Rome as possessing Primatial status that gives him Universal authority over all Christians. We find their doctrine of Papal Infallibility to be incoherent at best, and to the degree it possess any coherence, a modern innovation as groundless as the "ordination" of women.

We find their peculiar doctrines of Purgatory and the Treasury of Merits to stand in sharp contrast to the Gospel itself, in which we see that Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, the one Mediator between God and men, has paid in full (John 19:30 τελέω ) the price of all human sins. Their doctrine contradicts the meaning of those words, which summarize well the revelation of God in Scripture on the issue of Atonement, that describe the work of Jesus Christ as "(...his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world."

We find their position on revelation to contradict the consensus of Antiquity, that the canon of Scripture is both complete and closed, and that it contains all things necessary for salvation. Though they have yet to announce it, Rome recognizes clearly that the only logical defense of their position is Newman's Theory of Doctrinal Development, which contradicts the "Vincentian Canon." In St. Vincent's actual writing this boils down to belief in those things the Church has recognized as having been recorded already in the Bible, about which all true believers agree.

We reject Rome's belief that the Pope has the authority to define new dogmas. In fact, we find the whole idea of new dogma to be absurd and dangerous. It is absurd, because the fallacy of retroactive Apostolic Faith is historical non-sense. It is dangerous because it differs in no real way from "Progressive Revelation," that God may yet reveal essential doctrines never before known to the Church as dogma. It has the potential to turn the Papacy into the ultimate Oracle, as if we had not heard from God through the Apostles and Prophets, as if the Bishop of Rome may rise above the common episcopal role of Defender of the Faith to that of a Buddha.

Loss of moral credibility

Furthermore, it is astonishing that enthusiasts for the Roman position can be insensitive to Rome's tragic loss of credibility. By that I mean its loss of moral credibility. It is obvious that Rome, in protecting its failed experiment of required clerical celibacy, a policy that began in the twelfth century, accepts its unacceptable condition of forcing its faithful members to live with a severe clergy shortage, a shortage all the more tragic for being entirely man-made and unnecessary. It survives by hubris and error.

This tragic clergy shortage has led to the scandal of Roman Catholic bishops hiding clerical predatory sexual abusers of children from law enforcement officials in several countries, hiding them also from the public, and knowingly reassigning them to inflict their destructive abominations on new victims. Because they cannot be replaced with good priests, due to the difficulty imposed by Roman foolishness that results in most of the best men being excluded from ordained ministry, the predators have been protected and allowed to unleash their horrors afresh on innocent victims. This preserves the status quo at the expense of souls for whom Christ gave his life. We see in these men wolves devouring the sheep, not shepherds feeding Christ's lambs. It may be considered bad form to remind anyone of this current state of affairs (now Ireland is learning of the severity of this evil); but, it must be done.

Yes, it may be argued that both the Pastoral Provisions, and their extension by Anglicanorum Coetibus, present something of a solution for the Roman Catholic mess. But, Anglican priests who know their current pastoral responsibilities are not likely to sacrifice the souls under their care simply to patch up a huge wound with a little band aid. Having one life to live for the Lord, the cost of helping Rome heal its self-inflicted gaping wound, is too high. Sadly, the Pastoral Provisions, even as now extended, apply only to convert clergy; as such they are powerless beyond one generation (no matter what the Most Rev. Mr. Hepworth may tell you).

At the very least one could expect, not unreasonably, that those who advertise so loudly for Roman Catholicism would do so with acquired humility. The loss of moral credibility is not the fault of Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants. Therefore, the person who prosecutes for Rome appears, to the rest of us, to be doubly arbitrary and presumptuous. Who are these dubious fellows who presume to lecture us? How dare they throw stones from within their glass house?

Frankly, the clerical child abuse scandal says quite a lot about Rome's competence to exercise its alleged Universal Primacy. If such a doctrine be true and revealed by God, then we would have to question His wisdom and justice in a manner that would be both honest and morally justified. Really, would He require us to subject ourselves to a system so incapable (if not unwilling) of protecting even our very children from its own ravening wolves? How can we believe that the Lord our God, the Shepherd of our souls, the One who said "suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me" would require all of us everywhere to hand them over to such a convoluted system?

Theoretical and legalistic muddying of the water, such as "Papal Infallibility is only about doctrine, not discipline," is no answer. St. Peter's discernment when facing Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) sets a true standard of Apostolic authority that makes a lie of all such delicate and intricate, if not tortured, logic. If the Bishop of Rome is sitting in Peter's chair, where is Peter's prophetic insight concerning individuals with whom he associates? Where is Peter's simple moral clarity?

Are these hard questions? Will I be accused of harboring anti-Roman feelings? Will I have to put up with more Bulverism about "hate" or "anger" instead of sincere and honest discussion? I am sorry to have to inform some of you Roman Enthusiasts, that this is not the time for silly essays that posit absurd hypothetical questions such as that put forth by Fr. Phillips. "For heavens sake, why?" he posits. He may be "shocked, shocked," to hear the answer.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Fr Hart.

We applaud your contribution.

It says so eloquently what we feel.

May all who are see-sawing between "joining or not joining the Ordinariate" read this, and KNOW where their destination is.

Not being Roman Catholic does not render anyone a second class Christian.

Joseph said...

Speaking as a layman, I agree. I am definitely not anti-Roman( my kids go to a RC school) in fact I usually find myself in the same camp as the RC church. With that being said, I can not accept papal infallibility, required celibate priesthood and the "over-veneration" of Mary... making her almost a goddess in her own right

Colin Chattan said...

Fr. Edwards has written an interesting, thoughtful essay called "Solid Rock or Sumbling Block" over at "The Anglo-Catholic". He concludes, "it seems to me that each and all of the three aspects of the Petrine ministry of the Bishop of Rome – primacy, succession, and infallibility – pass the classical threefold Anglican test for legitimate teaching: They are conformable with Scripture, with Tradition, and with Reason." It seems to me, however, particularly with regard to the Bishop of Rome's claim to "infallibility" that he is confusing proof from Scripture and Tradition with wish fulfilment - i.e. he is trying to make Scripture and Tradition conformable with his premises rather than vice versa.

Anonymous said...

As an evangelical who, seeking the ancient Biblical church in a land nearly devoid of believing Anglicans, became Missouri Synod (and if I ever became Anglican, I would be a very Lutheran Anglican)(and we do consider ourselves to be the Catholic Church - and we really do believe in the Real physical Presence - apart from dogmatising Aristotelian physics), I agree with nearly all of your doctrinal issues with the Roman patriarchate. It would really be nice if it were the One True Church and we could all join, but if one goes more than shallowly into history, one finds that the claim is not very credible.

When you condemn their troubles, I desire to qualify: i agree that it is a demonic doctrine for them to force their clergy to vow to never marry (1 Tim. 4:1-5), but their dealing with homosexual priests (rarely if ever are RCC priests actual -child- molesters) has a good deal to do with "you are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek" and the seal of the confessional. An RCC priest is regarded as always being an RCC priest (whether presbyter should be conflated with hieros is another, and important, issue). Therefore even those homosexual priests engaged in abomination with homosexual young men remain priests, indelibly. Secondly, only if their sin becomes known apart from the seal of the confessional can anything really be done. That doesn't mean that there haven't been bishops who have knowingly assigned homosexual priests to congregations that might have homosexual youth. But one cannot attribute all reassignments to a known error at the time.

Anonymous said...

To ramble on, Missouri is also organizationally worldly, I didn't join for the holiness and Christ-centeredness of the corporation!

Rome's claims to universal ordinary primacy, to the prophetic ability of infallibly creating new dogma which much be believed to be saved (when there was a pope who was arian as were the "bishops in communion with him" - I don't think the nature of Jesus and the Blessed Trinity changed as their opinions changed), the immaculate conception of Mary (which denies the Biblical doctrine of federal headship), and attributing to Our Lady more than merely being the Queen Mum of humanity (not Queen, there is a profound difference), adding to her the rules of Hestia and Hera, tolerating such things as burying terephim of St. Joseph to sell a house (because he wants to get out of the ground) just aren't acceptable as orthodox, Biblical Christianity, though I do not deny the salvation of the multitude of Roman Catholics who put their faith in Christ rather than in their organization, nor do I deny the Catholicity of orthodox Anglicans, Orthodox, Copts, Assyrians and Mar Toma.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time that I have observed the Former Anglicans alluding darkly to "anti-Roman feelings," to which they will soon attribute the failure of their project. This is reminiscent of Pres. Obama's habit of dropping the race card whenever he is under attack. The argument is much the same: "You are against me/us because you're a racist/your're an anti-Catholic bigot.

It is a cheap and unworthy strategy, whether it is played in Washington or Orlando.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...


psalm ciii said...

It should be pointed out that the shortage of Roman clergy cannot simply be attributed to clerical celibacy. The decline of Roman vocations came with the second Vatican council, and has steadily increased. I do not think that it is accurate or fair to say this is a result of clerical celibacy. It is rather, I believe, a decline of belief, of faith, and of discipline.

By-the-bye, I am not Roman myself, nor do I desire so to be.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

psalm ciii:

What has declined since Vatican II is active participation or attendance, while the clergy shortage for the RCC has remained fairly consistent. That is, the clergy are fewer by the same proportion of active laity to clergy. The number is still around 1300 individual lay persons to every one RC priest.

Evey experienced Anglican priest knows what it is to be in or near a hospital when someone who belongs to the RCC is dying, and no RC priest can be found in time. The results of the RC clergy shortage are multiple disaster for everybody.

The Shrinking Cleric said...

One of the main reasons that seminary enrollment in RC seminaries stayed up during the 1960's was because attendance guaranteed an exemption from the draft. That is, at least, what I was told by several vocation directors.

Deacon Down Under said...

I am weary of the Roman Church being cited in relation to pedophile priests - as appalling as their sin was/is and as appalling as the response of the Roman hierachy has been when within the Anglican Church we have also had WIDESPREAD, SYSTEMIC CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE with the same cover-ups, shifting of priests around the country etc. happening.

I sat through the 2nd trial of the former Very Reverend Fr. Louis Victor Daniels - after his release from prison for other offences in which he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting 11 boys. That same priest had a character reference from the current Anglican Church of Australia Primate, the Most Reverend Phillip Aspinall before his 1st trial which descibed his offence as a "one off aberration" from a man of otherwise noble priestly character.

I am no apologists for the sins of Rome in these matters but pedophilia is NOT a consequence of clerical celibacy and the Anglican Church has been similarly affected by this cancer.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The widespread cover -up, so often repeated, is a result. That is the crucial difference. One of the most heretical bishops I knew in the Episcopal Church was made aware of a priest who had been abusing boys, and he did nothing to cover it up. He took part in handing him over to the police, and that diocese cooperated fully with law enforcement.

But, the main reason I have raised the issue, is that those who condemn all of us for not joining the RCC, exhibit no humility in their approach. They speak as if these sins and sandals did not exist, and as if the recurrent theme of these sins and cover ups had nothing to do with RC polity and bureaucracy. They pontificate to us as if they were on superior moral ground, when it is obvious they are not. That is the basis of my criticism.

The sin itself has appeared in many places. But Rome created a system of covering it up.

AFS1970 said...

While we have had our similar crimes, and even a few not-quite cover ups, it never reached the systemic levels it did in the RCC. I think perhaps that it is only because they are as big as they are and have such a clearly defined bureaucratic structure that such a cover up was possible.

But I agree, that it is not so much the crimes or the cover up but the fact that despite those things we are supposed to believe that Rome is still a better moral choice than where we are today.

Anonymous said...

I see Fr Hart's point here. The sanctimonious and condescending attitude of the pro-Ordinariate partisans (who have an almost Gnostic attitude "I used to believe the things you believe before I was enlightened") gets to me also.

But I do have to speak (along with David Gould) against any argument that "we shouldnt go to Rome because THEY have sexual predators." ALL our Churches are glass houses.

Even if the RCC were endowed with "immaculacy," even if 1854, 1870 and 1954 were vigorously repudiated, even if 1896 were apologized for like the Pope's apology to the Jews, even if the Pope signed the Affirmation of St Louis, still Richard Hooker's "grand issue yet hangeth." I hope those words will be carved on my tombstone.

While Rome has some house-cleaning to do, our focus needs to be on the real doctrine issues (which some of us seem unable to grasp).

Fr. Robert Hart said...

ALL our Churches are glass houses.

That is true; the Ang. Coet. enthusiasts seem, however, not to be aware of the glass that surrounds them. The difference is that simple.

While Rome has some house-cleaning to do, our focus needs to be on the real doctrine issues (which some of us seem unable to grasp).

Yes, and I wouldn't want my words about their loss of moral credibility to make anyone forget the first several points I made, all of which are doctrinal.

John A. Hollister said...

An anonymous Anonymous wrote that Rome's sometimes naive "dealing with homosexual priests ... has a good deal to do with 'you are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek'.... An RCC priest is regarded as always being an RCC priest.... Therefore even those homosexual priests engaged in abomination with homosexual young men remain priests, indelibly."

This is equally true of Anglican priests, at least where they are ordained outside the current Lambeth Communion and its dependencies. It is equally true of Eastern Orthodox clergy and of pre-"W.O." canonical Old Catholic ones as well. The issue is not whether a man is, ontologically, a priest, it is whether the Church should, as a matter of good stewardship and pastoral responsibility, license him to function as such or even permit him to wear the garb and use the title of the clerical state.

When a man has proven himself unfit to be trusted with the care of God's people, then prudence and justice requires that he be separated from the exercise of the clerical state and be barred from the cure of souls. To cover up for him, or even to make excuses for him, because he is a priest is rank and unjustifiable clericalism.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

Psalm ciii wrote: "[T]he shortage of Roman clergy cannot simply be attributed to clerical celibacy."

No, but there is a connection. The connection is that the enforced celibacy of the "Latin" Rite Roman clergy (the ones who are almost never allowed to use Latin) makes their ranks an ideal place for men of homosexual inclinations to hide themselves. Of course, those men who prefer other men as the objects of their affections but who are willing to live in chastity, and who struggle to do so, have no need to hide themselves.

So it is the ones who are thus hiding who are, overwhelmingly, the ones who cause problems, as is evidenced by the extreme preponderance of young, adolescent men among the victims of clerical sexual abuse. In other words, the vast majority of the clerical abuse cases have involved homosexual men who prefer young (but not pre-adolescent) flesh, i.e., who are what are colloquially known as "chicken hawks".

The relationship of all this to the clergy shortage is laid out very clearly in Fr. Donald Cozzens' "The Changing Face of the Priesthood". Fr. Cozzens is himself a liberal, who has no particular problem with homosexuality, but he is honest enough to recognize and report what he learned from decades in the Roman clergy personnel system -- even though writing that book cost him his appointment as Rector and President of a Roman seminary.

His thesis, in sum, is that an overwhelmingly homosexual subculture -- one of sexually-active men, not celibate ones -- has developed within U.S. Roman seminaries. This ethos diminishes the numbers of seminarians in two ways. First, it discourages straight young men from ever applying; if they are not turned off by the prospect of immersing themselves in such a situation for at least five years, their families actively discourage them, saying "That's no job for a man." (That is an actual quote Fr. Cozzens gives from meetings he had with prospective seminarians and their parents.) If the men go ahead and enroll, most of the straight ones are driven out before graduation because of the hostility of the internal environment -- which, although he does not say this, is precisely why the U.S. military has never wanted active homosexuals in its ranks.

Fr. Cozzens' observations and experience are parallel to those of an acquaintance who once attended classes in the graduate theological union in a major U.S. city. He said the watchword among the R.C. seminarians in his classes was "Celibacy just means no sex with women".

I suspect that the authorities in the R.C.C. are aware of this problem -- that's almost certainly why they canned Fr. Cozzens, for letting the secret out -- and that is probably the reason for the decree a few years ago that stated that men of openly homosexual predilections and actions are unsuitable for the clergy.

(And I stress "and actions". Any man, with grace, can struggle against his personal besetting sins. One of the problems with the homosexual subculture is that, in accord with the agenda of its political allies, it does not believe self-restraint is laudable, let alone necessary or even possible.)

John A. Hollister+

Deacon Down Under said...

The Anglican position on ecumenism with the Roman Church must start and end with acknowledgement by the Roman Church that the Catholic and Apostolic Church does not exist only in the Roman Church.

For all the papal hugs of the Ecumenical Patriarch Batholemew, and a degree of acceptance that Orthodox have valid sacraments and priesthood, their separation from Petrine unity canonically renders them outside the boundaries of "Holy Church", in schism at best, in heresy at worst. The failure to repent thereof prior to death is a mortal sin in Roman eyes.

Our holistic understanding that Catholic and Apostolic Christianity rests within the Latin, Eastern and Anglican Churches has a solid evidence base that the Latins stubbornly refuse to concede.

If Rome is serious about ecumenism let them acknowledge that the 1896 non-recognition of our holy orders was plain wrong - erroneous and inspired by the political machinations of the English Latin bishops.

If Rome is serious about ecumenism let them at least try and understand why doctrinal accretions are anathema to both Orthodox and Anglicans.

If Rome is serious about ecumenism it needs to do a whole lot better in understanding the theological contribution of Anglicans - and Orthodox to our understanding of what the Catholic and Apostolic faith is, and must recognise that we bring something valuable to the table.

We have an unbroken episcopate within the Apostolic succession. We have the sacred priesthood administering the sacraments, preaching the Word. We have evangelism and growth, however tiny in comparison to the Latin behemoth.

How sad it is to see the AC blog papists turning on themselves because some of the ACA bishops and priests and laity have realised that what they are being asked to deny is too high a price for unity with the See of Peter.

May the Lord grant that the Latin pontiff will repent of his predecessors rejection of our holy orders and the relegation of Anglicanism to heterodoxy.

Rev'd David Gould
Annunciation ACC Mission
Hobart, Tasmania

Deacon Down Under said...

Part 2 - If Rome is serious about ecumenism it needs to do a whole lot better in understanding the theological contribution of Anglicans - and Orthodox to our understanding of what the Catholic and Apostolic faith is, and must recognise that we bring something valuable to the table.

We have an unbroken episcopate within the Apostolic succession. We have the sacred priesthood administering the sacraments, preaching the Word. We have evangelism and growth, however tiny in comparison to the Latin behemoth.

How sad it is to see the AC blog papists turning on themselves because some of the ACA bishops and priests and laity have realised that what they are being asked to deny is too high a price for unity with the See of Peter.

May the Lord grant that the Latin pontiff will repent of his predecessors rejection of our holy orders and the relegation of Anglicanism to heterodoxy.

Fr. John said...

Canon Hollister,

You wrote, "that's almost certainly why they canned Fr. Cozzens, for letting the secret out", it certainly is no secret today. I appreciate your bringing this out as it is further evidence of the rot in the American, (U.K., Germany and Austria too) branch of the Roman Catholic Church Later today I will post an article on my web blog detailing the experiences of one young man in an American Roman Catholic Seminary. I am also reminded that the rector of St. John's RC seminary was quoted in "New Week" a few years back as estimating that 70% of his "seminarians were gay..." and then added, "isn't that wonderful?"

Doctrinal issues aside, Anglicans need to understand that if they enter the Roman Church they will encounter the same spirit that wrecked the Episcopal Church, and that spirit is entrenched there, powerful, growing, and poisoning everything that it touches. There are many, many active homosexual priests in the Roman Church.

Visit my web blog this afternoon.

Derril said...

Fr. Wells,

I could debate whether Pres. Obama plays the race card. But that would take this blog in a political direction. In the US, I believe Republicans, Democrats and those of other or no political persuasion can be good and faithful ACC members. Please do not introduce US politics into this blog unless absolutely necessary.

I read your weekly bulletin inserts with great appreciation. I also note the wisdom and erudition you bring to many discussions on this blog. What I believe to be a transgression, as noted above, simply reminds me you are not perfect. (I know you don't need a reminder.) Occasionally Fathers Kirby and Hart also remind us they are not perfect. I imagine Bishop Robinson's and Father Nalls' times are coming. I haven't heard much from Albion Land recently, but as the founder of this blog I am very grateful for his contributions. As I am to you and all others mentioned here for their contributions to this blog and the Church.

Anonymous said...

While we differ sbout "O", your over-all point is well taken. Civil politics should not be introduced here. Your gentle rebuke is accepted.