Thinking Anglicans

Church Times on Roman announcement

Four items available today:

Be Anglicans with us, Rome tells traditionalists by Bill Bowder (Scroll to the bottom for a sidebar of Q and A)

Traditionalists “warmly welcome” Vatican move by Pat Ashworth and Bill Bowder

Leader: On the road to Rome

…For Anglicanism to work in the absence of authoritarian sanctions requires tolerance of, and respect for, the many ways in which believers interpret the central tenets of Christianity. Without this tolerance, as history has shown repeatedly, separa­tions are hard to avoid. Given the drift towards interrogation and confrontation within the Communion (the production of the Anglican Covenant is part of this process), the hierarchy has rejected quasi-separations — parallel jurisdictions, alternative oversight, and the like. But suddenly this proposal is on the table, and from a Church that supposedly brooks no interference with its pattern of authority. The ordinariates in question appear to be nothing less than parallel jurisdictions set up to protect the integrity of the majority as well as the minority, but this time over the issue of priestly celibacy rather than women bishops…

And, an analysis by Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford: Look at what it says on the box.

…What does the Apostolic Constitu­tion, about to be finalised, entail? What is a “Personal Ordinariate” for former Anglicans? What is clear is that it won’t be all that such individuals or groups have been looking for. It is not a diocese or Anglican-rite Church in communion with Rome.

A Personal Ordinariate is a pastoral provision in juridical form which will allow some continuing Anglican herit­age to be expressed. But it is what it says on the box: it is personal, that is to say, for a network of individuals and groups rather than the norm of a territorial diocese…

This analysis is also available on the Church of England website. See Commentary on ‘Personal Ordinariates’ by the Rt Revd Christopher Hill.

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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“For Anglicanism to work in the absence of authoritarian sanctions requires balance of, and respect for, the many ways in which believers interpret the central tenets of Christianity” – Church Times editorial – Precisely stated! This analysis of true Anglican polity allows for the distinctive application of Christian theology to be worked out in the local context of various Provinces of the Communion, a situation which makes us all vulnerable, but more capable of making a Gospel response to real needs in their individual settings. ‘One size (shape) fits all’ is not necessarily a viable response to particular needs in… Read more »

Fr Mark
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It’s bizarre to see My Lord of Guildford playing down the imperialism of the Vatican’s move here, when he himself signed the recent letter trying to interfere in the Church of Sweden’s internal decision-making by telling them not to dream of pressing ahead on same-sex marriage without first getting permission from the C of E!

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

I can’t believe that the discerning folk at the Churcgh Times are saying that if the Synod does not come up with a solution for the Anglo-catholics, this is where they will go. they will not go to Rome i n large numbers.. their bluff has been called. No one mentions the money ( stipends)and building factors. Maybe in the US a wealthy Anglo-Catholic parish could ( wher land is cheap) do it, but not in The Church of England. Can you just see it.. a Forward in Faith priest worshipping in a former Methodist chapel with three old ladies.… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Does it not seem strange that what (Anglican) Catholics needed and promised (Act of Synod) for their survival in terms of proper provision for the future was denied by the CofE and generously offered by the RCC?
Nobody has commented on this. If it was such an outrageous thing to want/grant (as WATCH claimed) and compromising of the authority of a bishop – how come the RCs have been so kind??!!
Their bishops are not squealing in the way women lining up for preferment in the CofE are just because some people will come under another structure!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“If it was such an outrageous thing to want/grant (as WATCH claimed) and compromising of the authority of a bishop – how come the RCs have been so kind??!!” Um, they don’t have any bishops whose publically advocated position on OOW or gay people would be upsetting to conservatives, what is there to comment on? It’s not exactly outrageously innovative for Rome to demand that everybody comply with the same set of rules. Do you think it somehow generous that Rome is offering to disaffected Anglicans measures that fit with Rome’s polity and ecclesiology but not with Canterbury’s? Why should… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
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Robert and your like. Please have a day or two to prayerfully relfect on your attitude. We are at the place we are at because of the continued meanness and hostility to those who, with integrity and good theological reason, struggle to accept WO The Pope – not some geezer- BUT Christ’s vicar on earth has shown that the same group are worth preserving and has embarrassed synod in doing with love what, in hatred, they refused. Now you are gloating that, because you have power to deprive conscientious and persecuted people of their fabric, they might be left at… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“Their bishops are not squealing in the way women lining up for preferment in the CofE are” – Posted by Neil

“squealing women”

Them thar’s the Red Doors, Neil. Please exit, and take this misogyny to the Red Hat down the street… (Lord have mercy!)

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“The Pope – not some geezer- BUT Christ’s vicar on earth has shown that the same group are worth preserving and has embarrassed synod in doing with love what, in hatred, they refused.”

Ed:

You may think the pope is “Christ’s vicar on earth…” but I gave up on that when I left the Roman church 30 years ago.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“The Pope – not some geezer- BUT Christ’s vicar on earth has shown that the same group are worth preserving and has embarrassed synod in doing with love what, in hatred, they refused.”

Ed:

You may think the pope is “Christ’s vicar on earth…” but I gave up on that when I left the Roman church 30 years ago.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“The attitudes of the liberals to the Pope’s response in love reminds me SO much of Pharoah. Rather than repent and admit they have sinned – they continue to hold back the exodus. So very sad-it was THIS cold hearted approach which a) has stifled Catholic Anglicansim b) led us to a point of no return” – Ed Tomlinson Dear Ed, nothing like a bit of hyperbole to make your point here! I am an Anglo-Catholic. I am also a ‘liberal’ of the ‘Inclusive Church’ ethos. This is not an oxymoron, merely a statement of the truth. Why do you… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

JCF…the men who support WATCH are equally squealing at the prospect of allowing people with whom they disagree a structure within the CofE. Given the determination to proceed with women bishops – which will happen – I cannot see the problem in trying to retain those who remain faithful to what they believe with structural provision.
And btw it is not for you to be showing doors to anybody – we are both members of Christ’s church. It ain’t your property mate.

Christopher (P.)
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Christopher (P.)

Ed– As an American looking at what is shaping up to be more an English situation: no one is holding up any exodus. The road is quite well traveled between RCC and TEC (and many others, as well). Indeed, the latest Roman offer seems a way to make that transit as an institution, not just as an individual, but no more than that. But your casting the Anglican churches (COE or TEC) as “Pharaoh” is quite telling: Pharaoh and his countrymen were worshippers of idols, enemies of God’s chosen people, opponents of the will of God. That’s a characterization that… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Sorry ET, though I do think there is plenty of raw, mean tone to go around these days in most domains of global Anglican Land. However, I simply do not hear FiF struggling with WO – they consistently speak and publish as if any inkling of WO just stinks to the rafters, along with the women and men believers who are daft enough to entertain any possibility of WO for even the most transient of moments. Adding injury to their insult? FiF has consistently used any space that ‘provided for them’ to wage weaponized doctrinal way upon any and all… Read more »

BillyD
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“BUT Christ’s vicar on earth” I simply do not understand how a priest in the Church of England (or a layperson, for that matter) could actually believe this and NOT reconcile himself to the Roman Church at the earliest possibility, whether or not there’s a Personal Ordinariate in the offing. If you believe that the Pope is the “Vicar of Christ”, how can you stay in a Church that specifically teaches the opposite? The “Vicar of Christ” has explicitly said that your priestly orders are void and of no account; whatever are you doing presenting yourself as one? The Anglo… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“I cannot see the problem in trying to retain those who remain faithful to what they believe” Because it’s about (as homophobes are always reminding us) *behavior*, Neil. The behavior of Power-Over. Whether it’s the entire CofE, or just some “structural provision”, they want somewhere where “in Christ there is no male or female” will NOT apply—in perpetuity! A fiefdom, over which to rule, and propagate their defective anthropology (and that’s all it is: a Modern defect, not an “ancient Tradition”. Feh!) “btw it is not for you to be showing doors to anybody – we are both members of… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“I simply do not understand how a priest in the Church of England (or a layperson, for that matter) could actually believe this and NOT reconcile himself to the Roman Church at the earliest possibility” Neither do I BillyD. The Bishop of Rome hath no authority……., by which we mean outside his own diocese. If one of the driving forces, at least ostensibly, of the English Reformation was the very catholic affirmation of the authority of every bishop within his own diocese, why claim to be Anglican if you actually believe the unCatholic and relatively novel innovation that one particular… Read more »

anthony
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anthony

“one particular bishop, because of the long faded status of the city his see resides in, is King of the Bishops” -Ford Elms

Um … did you mean Benedict, or Rowan?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“did you mean Benedict, or Rowan” I had no idea that the Archbishop of Canterbury made any claim whatsoever to monarchical authority over the other bishops of the Church. This is significant alteration in Anglican ecclesiology. Could you point me to the place where he publically makes that claim, because I’m actually shocked to hear that an Archbishop of Canterbury would make for himself the claim that was one of the main causes of the English Reformation 500 years ago. In fact, it seems the main complaint about him from both sides in this current turmoil is that he WON’T… Read more »

anthony
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anthony

Ford, you are right beyond doubt, but still many of us tend to view the Archbishop as some sort of Anglican Pope, and I would venture that that attitude has been encouraged in the past several years by the Anglican/Episcopalian blogosphere, which focuses enormous attention and expectations on him. As do the media in general.

However, I was entertained by the thought that your eloquent phrase “because of the long faded status of the city his see resides in” applies at least equally well to Canterbury as to Rome.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Anthony, I suspect that the Archbishop of Canterbury, along with his title of ‘Primus inter pares’ has never expected to become sole arbiter of doctrine in the Church – not in the same way that successors of the Petrine Primacy have been led to understand. After all, the ABC is only one of several of the ‘Instruments of Unity’ recognised by most of us as having equal authority within the Anglican Communion – which is a confraternity of equal and independent provincial Churches, each with their own statutes and ordinances, but with a common denominator in their acceptance of the… Read more »

anthony
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anthony

Thank you, Fr. Smith, for the cogent definition. Anthony

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“many of us tend to view the Archbishop as some sort of Anglican Pope” I have to confess, Anthony, I had never encountered this attitude until a few years ago, and then only, as you say, in the context of those conservatives whose REAL issue is an inability to tolerate situations in which the rules are not clearly delineated AND enforced. It is amusing, particularly since the very ones who seem most interested in forwarding this Pseudopope idea about the ABpofC are exactly those Anglicans who most loudly claim spiritual descent from the Reformers for whom the idea of centralized… Read more »

anthony
Guest
anthony

Ford – going to a Celtic model – an intriguing though speculative proposal. I am going to give some thought to that – how one might get from here to there even experimentally, within a limited geographical or social boundary; how, even if structures could be established, leadership could be found capable of bringing along the rank and file, etc.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

Anthony, I truly believe we in the West are in a post Christian world. Our Church’s organizational structure was based first on the Roman Imperial model, then the Reformation produced a different model based on the ideas of the time. This is no coincidence, that the political situation shapes the Chruch’s political structure. Either it was a mistake caused by our overattachment to the world, or God led us to hitch our wagons to the political stars we needed to ensure our survival at the time, or both. This is another such time. We long ago fell into the trap… Read more »

anthony
Guest
anthony

Thanks, Ford. This gives me plenty to look into. In the ancient Mediterranean world, society was understood in terms of cities. In old Ireland it was a matter of kinship groups. Today it is based on networks. We need to find ways to adapt our institutions to changed social structures, and studying an ancient networked society (for an extended family is a simple network) may illuminate the most fundamental advantages and pitfalls.