Thursday, September 23, 2010

News of the Weird

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington to steer the efforts of those who want to turn the legal language of Anglicanorum Coetibus ideas into some sort of reality, the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Orlando, Florida, has responded. The Cathedral belongs to the Anglican Church in America (ACA) of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), and its Rector is Bishop Louis Campese, Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Eastern United States (DEUS). The Diocese covers territory that spreads from Alabama in its western portion, and up the east coast to Pennsylvania. On the Diocesan website it lists 24 churches.

This begs the question, why has the Cathedral parish made this announcement on behalf only of itself, and not on behalf of the whole Diocese, or even on behalf of any other churches in the Diocese that might be willing to go along?

The statement reads as follows, and may be found on the Former Anglican blog:

Cathedral of the Incarnation
Diocese of the Eastern United States
Anglican Church in America

Orlando, Florida

September 8, 2010
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

With profound gratitude and filial respect to the Successor of St. Peter [editorial sneer: What hath Rome have in common with Antioch?], the Chapter of the Cathedral of the Incarnation warmly receives the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

Having prayerfully considered the aforementioned papal legislation, along with its associated Complementary Norms, and with due regard for the accompanying canonical commentary by Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University (all published under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 4, 2009) and recognizing in the Holy Father’s most generous response to the pleas of various Anglican groups our common desire and holy commitment to achieve the reconciliation of our small flock with the Catholic Church in a corporate fashion and with due regard to our own precious Anglican Patrimony, the Cathedral Chapter now unanimously resolves:

1. that the Bishop of the Diocese of the Eastern United States, the Dean of the Cathedral, and Officers of the Chapter be authorized to communicate directly with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) or its authorized liaison for the territory of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on behalf of the Cathedral of the Incarnation to the end that the Cathedral parish (emboldening ours) eventually be received in its integrity into the full communion of the Catholic Church through an Anglican Personal Ordinariate as envisioned by Anglicanorum Coetibus; and,

2. that the text of this Resolution be published immediately on the parish web site and the online journal, The Anglo-Catholic, with copies to be posted directly to the Holy Father, William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the authorized liaison for the United States of America.

It is signed by all the clergy, or remaining clergy, of the cathedral, and by the wardens.

So, might we presume that Bishop Campese does not possess confidence to make this announcement on behalf of his shrinking diocese of the shrinking ACA? If we do presume that, it is because no such announcement from a mere parish, even a cathedral parish, amounts to much. That is not a criticism in itself, for if the people and clergy of a parish want to roam Romeward, who may presume to say they may not?

But, such an announcement from the Cathedral, merely as the cathedral parish, suggests that they travel alone.

Life imitates satire
Although that page on the Former Anglican blog looks like satire, it is meant to be taken seriously. The word "Anglo" instead of "Roman" at the top, is mismatched by a Latin formula that recognizes the Pope in all his Roman Catholic majesty, with his picture. To the side we see the words, "Catholic Faith and Anglican Patrimony."

Catholic Faith and Anglican Patrimony is a redundant phrase, when the words are understood seriously by intelligent and educated readers. But, for the kind of people who create self-satirizing embarrassments, it really means, "Roman doctrine in all its exclusiveness and with all its baggage, expressed in Elizabethan English, but absolutely nothing particularly Anglican in substance." Not even the liturgy will be Anglican, if the so-called Anglican Use serves as an example of Rome's best effort to show some respect for the Book of Common Prayer--what little they chose to show.

Gettin' down and under
Meanwhile, if the Orlando Cathedral is headed to Rome, what is the all the friction about between them and their Archbishop, the Most Rev. (the mostest with the hostess) John Hepworth? Perhaps it is because they have exceeded his wild claims. Hepworth has boasted that the TAC has a mere 400,000 members, but the Orlando website has increased that baseless claim to "some half million members." Of course, when records are not kept properly, and the numbers are not reported publicly at some sort of provincial synod,
what is a hundred thousand, more or less? Just write in any amount.

But, take warning from the prophecy of Groucho: "You've left out a Hungadunga. you've left out the main one, too."

However, it is more likely that Hepworth provides a different sort of embarrassment. A few months ago he was running around the frozen North, telling Canadians of the TAC that Rome would make him some sort of Archbishop in an Ordinariate. But, in light of Rome's Canon Law, the only real question, about the twice-married Hepworth would be a paraphrase of the question asked by the Sadducees: "In the Ordinariate whose husband will he be?" The answer, for those who can read Article VI of the new constitution without omitting Section I, is that, after the first generation of converts has exhausted its pool of potential married clergymen, priests in the Ordinariates will neither be married nor given in marriage.

But, for Abp. Hepworth, we might suggest a third possibility by the time any of this might turn into something real.

This brings us to the possible embarrassment caused by the spectacle of an Archbishop who travels the world on church donations always with his attractive assistant by his side, whose hard work has earned her an approximate $250,000 bonus after the sale of church property in Australia. Of course, only a low life, mean-spirited, no good varmit would imagine that Hepworth's own indiscretion, at least in appearance unbecoming a clergyman while the second Mrs. Hepworth remains at home, is the cause of tongues that wag, or even of jaws that bite and claws that catch.

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumoius bandersnatch.

And think no evil of the man, even when his behavior cries out for it, and he has no one but himself to blame. It's not his fault, but yours for thinking such obvious, excuse me, I mean, dirty rotten thoughts. You ought to be ashamed of himself.

And, that may be the cause of the estrangement between Orlando and Adelaide. But, it probably has nothing to do with it. It would make too much sense.


Anonymous said...

Orlando is a suburb of Disney-world and belongs to the Magic Kingdom.

If there are other parishes of TAC-DEUS eager to march across the Golden Bridge, we will hear form them momentarily.

Deacon Down Under said...

What exactly is the role of a female Lay-Canon in the TAC/ACCA (Australian diocese of the TAC).

Michael said...

"Lay-canon" is an honourary title used in some Anglican provinces, including Australia - just as "canon" is, in current Anglican usage, an honourary title for a priest. It does not imply a particular role within the church.

Cheryl Woodman's primary role in the TAC is as secretary to the College of Bishops. As such she does work for the entire TAC College of Bishops, not just for the Primate. Because she is an employee of the TAC as a whole, her expenses and remuneration have been reviewed by an international finance committee. (The "bonus" referred to in the original post essentially consisted of back pay, since Woodman has been working for a number of years for next to nothing. I believe that the transaction was approved by, among others, the chancellor of the Canadian province of the TAC, who is a senior criminal prosecutor with the provincial government.)

She sometimes accompanies the Primate on visits to TAC provinces, especially when there is an opportunity to speak to a women's group, such as the Mother's Union. She also has played a significant role representing TAC lay-people in talks with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Cheryl is also active in lay ministry, particularly serving as a lay chaplain at a prison for sex-offenders. She also recently completed a graduate degree.

She is happily married.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The "bonus" referred to in the original post essentially... etc.

I am glad that certain responsible parties who had been in the TAC, and were not aware of these details (but should have been, considering their positions) simply did not know.

She sometimes accompanies the Primate on visits to TAC provinces...

Sometimes? OK.

Anonymous said...

Methinks that if there is a fuming bandersnatch about, it is Mr. Hart in his hit piece above.

Are you personally aware and have legal reason to make insinuations against Abp. Hepworth?
If you do, then out with it. Stop the tap dancing around the subject and out with it.
Or is that just speculation and tongue wagging on your part ?

Can't you find enough dirt in your own parish or denomination to vacuum up ?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Can't you find enough dirt in your own parish or denomination to vacuum up ?

Gee, if only I could, life wouldn't be soooo boring that I have to get my jollies at Hepworth's expense.