Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today and yesterday...

...various meetings talking about the new Ordinariate All such discussions are bittersweet. What will happen to the church buildings which the Ordinariate is now obliged to leave behind? Most will not have congregations large enough to support them in the longer term, as the majority of committed parishioners will be joining the Ordinariate. At first, the church building will remain open and the parish will be given a new minister. But in due course it could be given a lady priest and/or be merged into another parish with different beliefs. And the days of closure loom: the building turned into a carpet warehouse or a mosque.

With the Ordinariate, things look good and it teems with potential. Numbers are substantially larger than most onlookers and commentators - including the friendliest - had imagined, and the whole project more deeply and widely based. And a second wave of entrants is likely within a couple of years.

There is a genuine "Anglican patrimony" that these men and their congregations are bringing: customs, networks, traditions, hymns, music, ideas, ways of talking,ways of celebrating, ways of doing things. It's likely that in this way a number of things which were once sort of "normal C. of E." will be sustained and allowed to grow, which would otherwise have vanished. Which is good, but also rather poignant: the C. of E. itself will limp on, but changing more and more into something quite different.

The crucial need in our country is for evangelisation: to teach about Christ, to help people to know and love God. All the Ordinariate people that Auntie has met thus far have this as their priority., and have an energy and zeal about them.


Manny said...

It does sound sad for the Anglicans. Perhaps they should all convert. After all Henry VIII did it all out of selfishness. But many blessings to both the Catholics and Anglicans over the sea. Change is difficult.

Barry said...

Why is it that when I meet RCs at local church level they treat me as a fellow Christian, whereas once they start blogging attitudes more appropriate to Elizabeth I then II come to the fore. The Church of England will not limp on as you put it. Our churches have about the same numbers of worshippers in England, so if one is limping, so is the other. RC Brentwood Diocese was talking about closing churches until the Ordinariate started - or should I have said 'turning them into Carpet Warehouses and Mosques'. In my Anglican Deanery we have 37 Anglican churches, one with a congregation of 200. There is one RC church seating about 60. Who is limping?
Once the ordinariate clergy leave we are seeing Anglicans coming back to church who have not come for years because their parish church was too like Rome. We will rebuild, maybe with a woman priest - many of them are doing a superb job of evangelisation.
Can't we work together rather than being rude to each other?

Anonymous said...

The CofE will be here long, long after the Ordinariate has gone and been forgotten. History teaches that these movements don't last and are of little consequence. The lasting contribution of the Ordinariate will be almost irrevocable damage to ecumenical relations between Anglican & Roman Catholic Churches. The Ordinariate is a total disaster from beginning to end.

Webmaster Gareth said...

I bet the converts will have more reverence to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament than - sadly - do many cradle Catholics.

Chatter in the pews (as opposed to occassional whispers of necessity) before and after Mass are a particular bugbear.

Anonymous said...

Joanna, I must admit that I am disappointed with this post.

While you celebrate the Ordinariate, and the reception of fleeing Anglicans, I just wonder how it fits into the reality of the CofE in this country.

Barry has very ably given his view, which is one that I am able to echo, particularly from the perspective of someone who came to the CofE from Rome, and sees no reason whatsoever to want to return.

And to say that that Anglo-Catholic Worship,used to be normal CofE ignores the wide range of worship and liturgy stretching across all traditions within the CofE. Anglican Patrimony is not just Anglo-Catholic.

If I go to an RC Mass, I see little has changed in 40 years since Vatican II, rather that the current regime seems intent on dismantling all that was good from Vatican II, the dismay with the latest edition of the Missal has been greeted is just one of the many issues being discussed across the whole RC Church.

Today German RC theologians issued a call for major reform within the RC Church, which demonstrates that like any church, there are issues which cannot be papered over or ignored - their call for reform is urgent, but will likely be ignored to the detriment of most RC members world wide.

Just a reminder that buildings are not the church, it is the people within the church who are the body of Christ. If a church is no longer needed for worship and cannot be maintained, then surely it is better for it to be put to another use then demolished and lost forever?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you could disclose what numbers you are expecting for the Ordinariate and how these compare with the earlier estimates you mention. And just who was it who made these estimates and on what basis?

It would also be helpful if you could name a few of the "many" parish churches which you claim are facing impending closure on account of dwindling attendance.

Sheila A. Waters said...

Perhaps members of the Anglican Ordinariate would find this prayer helpful from the Chapel of Our Mother of Good Counsel at the Roman Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.:
We turn to you
our Mother of Good Counsel
as we seek to imitate
your faith-filled life.
May we be led by the same Wisdom
which God sent forth from heaven
to guide you along unfamiliar paths
and through challenging decisions.
Keep us united in mind and heart
as we go forward in joyful hope
toward the grace-filled freedom
that Augustine recommends.
O Virgin Mother of Good Counsel,
hear our prayer
as we look to you for guidance.
Pray for us
to our loving and merciful Father,
to your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
and to the Holy Spirit,
giver of all wisdom
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Sheila A. Waters
Bronxville, NY

radicalj said...

One wonders why the Ordinariate Portal is not sufficiently confident to allow comments.
Perhaps the example of Ed Tomlinson whose musings threatened to bring the Ordinariate into disrepute before it got off the ground had something to do with it. I agree with Barry's post - apart from the bit about Roman practices driving people away. I can't see the Ordinariate thriving - the CofE faithful are far too fond of their home comforts - and many if not most ordinariatees are getting on a bit - where will the next generation come from?

Malcolm said...

The reason for the Ordinariate is that the Anglican church has made changes, that take it further from Rome, without agreeing those changes ecumenically.

UKViewer said...

Malcolm said...

The reason for the Ordinariate is that the Anglican church has made changes, that take it further from Rome, without agreeing those changes ecumenically.

In fact one province of the Anglican Church has made those changes, not the whole Anglican Church.

The reality of Ecumenical agreements is that they work best at parish level, where all flavours of christianity work together to bring the good news to those outside the church. Local goodwill, mutual respect and witness to each others ministry works well there.

Disagreement on doctrine or differences do not apply, visible unity is an aspiration, practical unity works day to day, unsung but doing God's work.

If the church leaders were to recognise that this is the future of unity, not corporate institutions remote from their parishioners.

TL said...

I would like to commend the Ordinariate Portal to this blog's readers, where you can now read the moving resignation letters of several Ordinariate-bound priests. Even if you do not agree with them, I would urge respect. They are all making sacrifices in order to 'seek first the Kingdom of Christ', putting integrity above familiarity and ease on the journey which they believe themselves called. Many of them are young men with families. All of them speak graciously about the Church of England.