Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And while...

...I was in Yorkshire, so was the Anglican Synod, meeting at York and voting to invent lady bishops. Before RCs get all smug about the disintegration of the Anglican Communion, we should stop to recognise that it will bring much confusion in its wake, and also that there is a considerable amount of heartache going on.

And there some large decisions to be made, and the heartbeat of history is quietly beating steadily here...

There is an Anglican heritage of beauty in worship and music, culture and traditions...and the new offer from the H. Father is waiting, and ready...


UKViewer said...


The confusion you speak off exists due to those, who in conscience, feel that they are unable to accept the Ordination of Women.

Unfortunately, very much like the crisis within the RC Church over Child Abuse, the sentiment is fueled by the Media to blow the whole thing out of proportion.

Yes, Anglo Catholic Anglicans may be inclined to swim the Tiber over this - but I believe that the number will be few, when the take the time and perspective to see what they will be sacrificing.

Evangelicals are unlikely to cross the Tiber to the RC Church - there are just to many differences between the two. A more likely scenario would be to either set up a parallel denomination or seek an alliance with something like the URC or Baptists. Even so, they similar considerations apply in a different way to the Anglo Catholics.

For all Anglicans giving up their heritage will be a huge shock, and I suspect that the provision being made by the RC Church will not be attractive enough to sway the issue in any positive way. In the end the acceptance of Roman Doctrine and Dogma in particular the loss of the historic freedoms they enjoy in the CofE might be just to big a bullet to bite.

If I wanted to be put in a Spiritual Straight Jacket, I would return to Rome. As I have no inclination to do that, I would never consider that an option.

Sadly, while the RC Church is working hard to repair its reputation, unless it changes some of the basic things such as Celibacy and acceptance of the Ordination of Women (a growing movement from Liberal Catholics) I can never see it moving on.

David Lindsay said...

Earlier this year, a meeting at Pusey House, Oxford heard the Reverend Philip North, a well-known figure in such circles, hit the nail on the head: there is no money out of which to pay or house Ordinariate clergy, and "If we reach a point where staying is not an option, then traditional conversion is far more likely to offer the kind of enrichment and ministry that we know now." Precisely. Although it must be said that anyone who believes the claims of the See of Rome must submit to it immediately and regardless of any other consideration, while anyone who does not believe those claims cannot submit to it under any circumstance.

There are going to be three thriving Ordinariates, one in India, another in South Africa with roots in the Order of Ethiopia, and the third in the Torres Strait; their missionaries, like those from the developing world in general and from Eastern Europe, cannot possibly arrive here too soon. The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, which its thriving missions in Sudan and Kenya, may yet produce one or more Ordinariates.

But the whole thing was never designed with England in mind, and the Church of England needs to get over itself. One of the most senior figures in Forward in Faith, but based a long way from London, recently told me that the Ordinariate proposal was "for the Australians, it's nothing to do with England".

That constituency, and probably that organisation, produced both of the homosexually inclined bishops appointed under George Carey, one of whom is still in office while still living with his very long-term male partner. As Cardinal Hume said of those whom he had to turn away in 1992-4, "I can cope with married priests or celibate priests, but not those in between". There are an awful lot of those in between, including at the very highest levels of Forward in Faith. But they seem to be the people in it keenest on the Ordinariate. Should we be?

This proposal may be playing well in London, at Oxford and on the South Coast. But in all parts North (and, no doubt, West), it is being dismissed as an irrelevance and an absurdity. I come from a USPG missionary background, and I am an erstwhile Chapel Warden of Saint Chad's College, Durham. I have given up counting the number of old friends who have told me things like, "If I were going to become a Roman Catholic, then I would just get on and do it", and, even better, "If you are going to do it, then you should do it properly, and become part of a normal Roman diocese and parish". Quite. No one I know has told me anything else. No one.

If they went down the Ordinariate road in this country, then, theologically, they would be as Catholic as the Pope and full members of the Patriarchate of the West, the Latin Church, whose Patriarch also happens to be the Pope. Pastorally, however, they would be no such thing, but rather just another category of oddball to be avoided, or ignored, or never heard of, by normal Catholics, including bishops. They deserve better. And they know it.

Dominic Mary said...

Oh Dear !

UK Viewer is right in some ways; largely because the Ordinariate scheme was not really intended to deal (at least primarily) with the Church of England, but with the various 'continuing Anglicans' who had rather more defined problems of a different type.

At the same time, failure to recognize that it's precisely because the Church of England has accepted, eg the Ordination of women that it is in terminal decline suggests a lack of appreciation of the realities of the contemporary ecclesial situation in the UK.

David is, of course, also largely right, and for the same reason : the primary Ordinariate territory was the TAC and similar bodies, who are actively moving forward.

At the same time, I think that the Church Commissioners will (because they have to) take a pragmatic line on property, pensions, and the like - if only because they simply can't afford to get lumbered with dozens of expensive - but empty - churches without funds with which to maintain them, or be involved in a major lawsuit about the financial rights of clergy the basis of whose ministry is being destroyed.

However, we shall have to wait and see, whilst continuing to pray for those who are suffering the misery of all this.

+ Edwin said...

David Landsay seems to know more than the Holy Father when he says Anglicanorum Coetibus was not 'designed with the Church of England in mind'. I think if he will only listen to what the PEVs have to say (and they, after all, have been to Rome and discussed the whole matter) he will find he is badly mistaken. It is very much directed at the Church of England; and although he is prepared to ignore all London, the South of England and Oxford I believe even if these alone were to join it would give the necessary kick-start which would have many other Anglicans beating at the door. Perhaps his rather limited parish experience does not enable him to assess the mood of the parochial clergy of England. I find them very ready indeed to join the Ordinariate.

Anonymous said...

Let's keep praying!

Peace of Christ,


Edward P. Walton said...

We should respect the people's right to their beliefs.The fact is that the Church of England was forced on the people by royal decree and act of parliament. That is why we have the Martyrs.

I can not agree that your admiration and praise for the Patrimony of the C of E is compatible with upholding the history and efficacy of the suffering and death of the Martyrs. I do agree that my opinion is not politically correct.

Suburbanbanshee said...

You can agree that the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state was brutal and cruel and never should have been, and spit on its dead corpse dancing, without having to feel that every artwork produced in Soviet times was evil, or even that only artworks of explicit resistance could possibly be justified.

Under the most brutal regimes, wildflowers continue to grow and people continue to write poems about them.

Meanwhile, the Church has said again and again that people who are raised non-Catholic or turned away for honest reasons are not in the same position as regards belief as someone who turns away out of dishonest reasons (like Henry VIII). So clearly, after the first generation or so, except in the case of actual persecutors, talking about insults to the recusants is not very applicable.

And if you're talking about Cranmer, he ripped off the Sarum Rite and a lot of Catholic lay devotional material, so it's only fair to take it back.