Thinking Anglicans

Forward in Faith and Rome

Updated Sunday evening

Forward in Faith UK has been holding its annual assembly this weekend, Friday and Saturday, 23 and 24 October. There are podcasts of a number of the addresses at the assembly on FiF’s website here.

Reporting on the assembly Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the Telegraph writes that Senior Anglican bishop reveals he is ready to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.

The BBC reports this as Anglican group mulls Rome switch.

Here are some blog posts on the assembly.
Reflections on the Forward in Faith National Assembly, Day One
Early Anglican Responses
Back from FiF National Assembly
The Best Speeches of the FiF Assembly

Update

The Bishop of Chichester has issued this statement:

Statement from the Bishop of Chichester, the Right Revd. John Hind

October 25, 2009

An article has been published today in the Sunday Telegraph asserting that I have announced that I am about to become a Roman Catholic.

This is not the case.

The report appears to come from a misunderstanding of an answer I gave to questions from the floor at the recent ‘Forward in Faith’ assembly, at which I spoke.

A questioner had asked about the Papal condemnation of Anglican Orders. I responded by speaking about the subtlety of the position. I referred to the moment when it seemed as if the issue of how the Roman Catholic Church sees Anglican orders might be reopened but how the ordination of women to the priesthood and other developments have now made that impossible.

In the light of that I stated that in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto.

This is clearly a contentious and complex issue and one where it is easy to misunderstand the nuances of the debate. I think I made my position clear in my address at the Forward in Faith assembly. The text is available below and a podcast may be found on the Forward in Faith website.

+ John Cicestr:
25.10.2009

Link to PDF containing text of speech.

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Ashpenaz
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Ashpenaz

Interesting point–if an Anglican priest is reordained in the Anglican Rite, does that mean that he was never a priest before? He never administered any sacraments? No one he married was married? No one he baptized was baptized? He never offered forgiveness of sins, meaning those he offered last rites are now in hell?

In other words, if he submits to re-ordination, is he renouncing all his previous work as a priest as null and void?

I’d really, really have to hate gays and women priests to do that.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Is the C of E a sinking ship, making it suicidal to stay aboard?

In Ireland many people are feeling the same about the RC church and jumping to Anglicanism.

Maybe the churches would do well to pull together instead of conducting these sea-battles or using threats to jump as blackmail.

Pluralist
Guest

From the Forward in Faith sermon, at a Votive Mass of Our Lady on Saturday, 24th October 2009 delivered by Revd. William Davage SSC:

You cannot dilute the Faith as would the liberal catholic: that suppurant oxymoron.

See my comments on such after listening and some note taking around the first of these very useful recordings:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/10/forward-in-faith-remaining-catholics.html

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

I listened to the speeches at the Forward in Faith gathering, and it is very clear that they have NO intention of taking up the Roman offer. Rather they go on and on about getting better “provisions” form the C of E’s General Synod, and seeing the C of E keep its “Catholic integrity”. One speaker concludes: “Now provision is needed more than ever.” “So it’s business as usual, our fight goes on.” The next speaker: “I want to support everything that’s been said about continuing the stuggle in the synodical process… The current struggle in the General Synod must… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

‘Now Bishop Hind, the most senior traditionalist in the Church of England, has confirmed that he is willing to sacrifice his salary and palace residence to defect to the Catholic Church. “This is a remarkable new step from the Vatican,” he said. “At long last there are some choices for Catholics in the Church of England. I’d be happy to be reordained (sic) into the Catholic Church”‘ “Out of the mouths of…”. Surely, as he has now declared his desertion of the Church of England, this prelate should be divested of the dignity of office with that Church. The clergy… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Father Ron Smith’s posting is genuinely amusing – I assume a priest couldn’t write such stuff seriously. ‘Gentleness, humility, patience, compassion, forbearance’ etc.
Very amusing references to Elizabeth I too. Under the same criteria I think Rowan’s head would have gone by now too – what with Romish practises like Benediction etc!

neil
Guest
neil

‘Surely, as he has now declared his desertion of the Church of England,’

What remains to be seen is whether than Church of England chooses to abandon what she once was…deserting that historical mix of evangelical, liberal and Catholic. To be left sans many Catholics with a high church liberal tradition, broad Church people (and we need to hear more from this element I think) and evangelicals of various types I think would be very sad.

ettu
Guest
ettu

“Bishop Hind has already promised to make the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ of his stipend and episcopal palace. Let that be put to the test immediately – before he changes his mind on the specifics.”

Amen, brother amen! Would that all the posturing and whining and threatening and attention seeking end and let the true show begin – time for action Bishop Hind – put an end to the rhetoric.

EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

“While the bishop stressed that this would depend on his previous ministry being recognised, he said that the divisions in the Anglican Communion could make it impossible to stay.” What exactly does this mean? Is he referencing his sacramental actions as a priest with the concomitant question of the recognition of his orders as a priest? Is he possibly speaking instead of an appointment for himself as ordinary (not bishop) for the FiF in the CofE that move to Rome? Frankly I’m confused here. Are there other possible explanations as well?

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

Ron, regardless of what Bp Hind has or has not said – please note that it is not possible to withdraw his episcopal licence because he does not have one. Bishops are appointed by the crown and, once enthroned, have a freehold. It would be virtually impossible to remove a bishop who has committed no crime.

StephenOcist
Guest

Thanks for the link to my analysis of Day 1 at the FIF Assembly. I used to be a frequent reader of Thinking Anglicans in my Anglo-Catholic days. My take on Day 2 is up now: http://subtuum.blogspot.com/2009/10/forward-in-faith-assembly-day-two-as.html In this installment I start by going back to the Bishop of Chichester’s speech from the previous day. The Telegraph’s characterization of what he said misses the tenor of the speech by a wide mark. The Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough seem to be on the road to Rome. Bishop Hind seemed to say that, as an Anglo-Catholic and an ecumenist, he’s always… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“Interesting point–if an Anglican priest is reordained in the Anglican Rite, does that mean that he was never a priest before? He never administered any sacraments? …He never offered forgiveness of sins, meaning those he offered last rites are now in hell?” Ashpenaz, I assume that even the most rabidly ultramontane Anglo-Papalist doesn’t imagine that anyone’s avoidance of going to Hell depends on the validity of the ordination of the person putatively giving him the last rites. But yes, the RCC’s position on the validity of the Sacraments as performed by Anglican bishops and priests is that there is none,… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

What they mean is, that they themselves think they are priests now, but know that Rome doesn’t. So they join Rome believing Rome is deeply mistaken … and disputing Rome’s authority. Nice one.

Brant-in-LA
Guest
Brant-in-LA

Yes, WWGQBD? (Good Queen Bess, that is).

She’s just the one to Tudor us about what to do with bothersome Bishops like FRS and Neil named.

I’d agree with the ‘get rid of’ part, let’s just find a way of doing it without violence and be quick about it.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

In 1577, Elizabeth I “suspended” Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, from his jurisdictional (but not his spiritual) duties, for what she and her government regarded as an excess of Puritan zeal. She wished to have him deprived altogether, but it could not be done constitutionally; as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Elizabeth could make no claim to the cure of souls or exercise royal power over spiritual matters. Hence Grindal remained “suspended” and in limbo until shortly before his death in 1582, when he apologized to the queen and was reinstated. So the thing could be done, if… Read more »

Alastair Cutting
Guest

Ashpenaz – “…if he submits to re-ordination, is he renouncing all his previous work as a priest as null and void?” I attended on Friday to listen in to the speeches, especially as +Chichester is my diocesan. (I guess there were not many others who had voted in favour of women bishops at General Synod present…) Your point is one that concerns me too. Whilst I can’t speak on any of their behalf, I think they might say something along these lines: The Roman Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation, is very different to the RC Church of… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

Listened to the FIF speeches,,, it would appear the attitude is:

Thank you Rome.. we can use you as keverage with our bishops.

Bishop Iker even confessed that many of his flock are divorced and re-married ex Roman Catholics.

Forward in Faith are not going to Rome.

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“Scheming to detach one’s diocese from the Church of England and join it to another church, without the prior consent of the Church of England”

That is just not going to be attempted – it would not be possible: English diocese are not monochrome and there would be no consensus for such a proposal. Of course, this also raises the issue of identity of the “Church of England” from whom consent might be sought: Synod? The Archbishops’ Council? Parliament?

Neither the withdrawal of a diocese, nor the identity of a consenting body are realities in England.

Jim Naughton
Guest

Beware of stories that use the announcements of individual conversions (or possible conversions) as evidence of a sweeping trend. I can’t speak to the British context, but I’m pretty sure the Pope’s latest offer is going to have almost no impact in North America. What you will have then, is a lot of reporters and editors with egg on their faces, eager for any evidence that justifies the way that they have overplayed this story. (The Wall Street Journal seems to be under the impression that Peter Akinola is seriously considering jumping ship!) An easy way for the media to… Read more »

Alastair Cutting
Guest

Methinks JW-J’s article about Rt Rev John Hind might be a little premature or assumed (as Sr Anne Williams might say). That was not what I understood from hearing the discussion at the FiF meeting.

I believe a response from +Chichester, clarifying his position, is due on the diocesan web site shortly. http://www.diochi.org.uk

David Keen
Guest

What would happen if a cabinet minister was publicly speculating about switching to the Conservatives? I suppose I’m grateful that the Anglican church is as open as it is: I’d rather be in a church that allowed too much dissent, rather than too little. All the same, if a bishop really is that unsure about whether he’s in the right church, I wonder if he can really put his heart and soul into his duties as a bishop.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Ron, regardless of what Bp Hind has or has not said – please note that it is not possible to withdraw his episcopal licence because he does not have one. Bishops are appointed by the crown and, once enthroned, have a freehold. It would be virtually impossible to remove a bishop who has committed no crime.” – David Malloch – Well, David. I suppose that if Bishop Hinds were to proclaim the Church of England apostate – which is virtually what he is doing here – the State (C.of E. being a ‘State Church’) could conceivably depose him from his… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

The Pope and Bishop John Hind seem to share at least one characteristic. They don’t consult or inform anyone. So this morning in Chichester Cathedral all we knew was what we had read in the paper (or here) or on the radio. I was doing the intercessions. How could I pray for ‘our’ bishop when I didn’t know whether he was our bishop any more? Should I just leave him out, or refer to him in some other way? In the end I used the ‘John our bishop’ formula as usual but included praying for those who no longer feel… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

If Charlotte’s right, then perhaps the Church of England will finally grown a spine on the issue of cross-boundary incursions.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody no good.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

David Malloch writes: “Neither the withdrawal of a diocese, nor the identity of a consenting body are realities in England.” If anything, that makes it still more morally reprehensible for the Church of England to be actively abetting the breakaway bishops and factions in the United States. You can stir up and reward schism in TEC, in the knowledge that it can’t possibly come back to bite you. This is a little like taking measures to spread the swine flu to your neighbors, knowing that you’ve had the vaccine and can’t get it yourself. Except that you can “catch the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Dr Rowan Williams, awarded the Degree to Bishop John yesterday in Lambeth Palace. (dated 22/9/09) The DD has been awarded, “In recognition of his significant contribution to the Faith and Order Movement, to the development of the Church of England’s ecumenical relations over many years and to the study of ecclesiology.” – Chichester Diocesan web-site – One does wonder whether the good Bishop will also renounce his Lambeth DD, now that his feelings towards the Church of England have been revealed -through his answer to a questioner at the recent F.i.F. Conference – that he intends to renounce his palace… Read more »

john
Guest
john

Good for you, Richard. I’m sure everybody noticed. I’m sure also even those who disapprove of civil partnerships/homosexual marriage weren’t offended: reasonable people within the C of E (of whom many remain) aren’t offended when people put down little markers of their different principles. Often, there are little smiles – even, in a way, of pleasure, even from ‘opponents’. Alastair: I’m sure you’re right that the position of FiF people who won’t/don’t want to/go over to Rome will be/is already weakened. But that is one reason (for a ‘liberal’ such as myself there are of course others) why I think… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

Surely there is something wrong if the Catholic Church ordains unconditionally an Anglican who believes he is already a priest…surely in assenting to the Roman Catholic Church he accepts the Magisterial authority which has pronounced his orders invalid. If Rome have got it wrong on his orders , why not on other issues?

Yes there is thanks for his fomer ministry at the Catholic ordination, but this is so worded that it could apply to a Salvation Army officer or a Methodist minister. In the US other Protestant ministers have been accepted for ordination in the Catholic Church.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

So is he going or isn’t he? John Hind’s statement doesnt seem to get us any further forward. I am not quite sure what he is denying since he talks about being willing to be re-ordained if ‘union with Rome’ occurs. But what ‘union’ since he says that the issue of the recognition of Anglican oders is dead with the ordination of women and other developments. So since there can be no ‘corporate’ reunion presumably he must have in mind something like what the Pope seems to be offering. So where is the difference? But then I am an ingnorant… Read more »

Alastair Cutting
Guest

john: “…does that include you?”

I think you might have missed the line where I indicated I was probably alone in being there as one who had voted in favour of women bishops in General Synod (hopefully whilst not excluding those who find it impossible to accept).

So no, I am not part of the ‘generic’ FiF crowd. I had permission to attend as an observer; but I take my responsibilities as a Synod member seriously, so seek to be as accurately informed as possible. Even where I don’t really agree.

Clive
Guest

I’m sure Fr. Ron Smith was just as quick and as vocal in calling for deposition of the liberal TEC priests who hit the news a while ago for practicing Buddhism and Islam – both clear desertions of the faith of TEC, such as it is. I expect I just missed it. 🙂

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

“Oh and I slipped in a reference to civil partnerships alongside marriage. Don’t think anyone noticed! Anyway the roof didn’t fall in.”-Richard Ashby

Oh good for you…I noticed also a year ago, a quiet rebellion going on among the Canons in Exeter when I sang there.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Shall we update Clive on TEC? I’m going to try, in the interests of truth. The priest who claimed to be practicing both Islam and Cnristianity was deposed. Thew Forrester (who was practicing Zen meditation, something Thomas Merton also did) was denied the needed consents to become a bishop, though more on the grounds that he was writing his own baptismal services. Shame that the rumors repeated by Clive and his ilk turn out so often to be without foundation. Double shame that the Church of England is willing to break its ties with TEC over stuff like this. Triple… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Then there are all those Latin Masses at the Shrine of OLoW without a respectable Roman Christian closer than 1700 years away …… and is that Jesus I see being waved around in a glass case surrounded by a bejewelled and gilded sunburst grasped in hands swathed in silk damasque?

Where are the Global South Primates with their beloved 39 Articles when you need them ……. ?

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“Then there are all those Latin Masses at the Shrine of OLoW”

When was a Latin Mass celebrated at the shrine??

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

Charlotte don’t forget to mention the Evangelical ” orthodox ” often use non fermented grape juice and throw away the remains.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Charlotte, having been formed in the tradition of the Church of England (but now resident in New Zealand) I can tell you that, in my opinion, Clive may not be truly representative of the mainstream membership of the C.of E. – in his remarks about the practice of Faith in T.E.C. After a recent visit back ‘home’, I ascertained that there were many Anglicans who have at least a sneaking regard for the prophetic stance of TEC on issues of gender and sexuality – with a real desire for inclusivity of women and gays in the ministry and mission of… Read more »

Rev Adrian Bell
Guest
Rev Adrian Bell

I have the greatest respect for the Roman Church and have excellent relationships with the local RC priest and his congregation but there is no way that Fakenham Parish Church and its congregation will be re-confirmed and some in the congregation re-ordained so that we can become Anglican/RC. Living near the Shrine of Walsingham we are often visited by Anglo-Catholic clergy, how can they go to Rome, admit their orders were invalid and drag along their congregations as well? I am a Catholic and Reformed priest central to the life of the community and it would so destructive and unchristian… Read more »

Clive
Guest

Charlotte, please do not misunderstand me. I was only (wryly) observing that Fr. Ron is very quick in calling for +Cicstr to be kicked out, but not so quick to do so when liberals cross the line. Let me just congratulate you on a spirited defence of TEC that did not include the word ‘polity’ – that’s a rare achievement 🙂 Naturally we agree completely on those Evangelical practices – me now being what Martin would call a respectable Roman Christian. And as to OLoW, although I’ve been away from England for 13 years, and a Roman for 7, I… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

LOL Clive – it was the insults that made you think it was all worth it! No, Anglican shrine, the last Mass I served in the Holy House was squashed between two Latin Masses.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“You just don’t get that kind of fun in respectable Roman Christendom.” – Clive, on Tuesday – No? Then what about the “fun” Roman Catholic laity have had in Ireland recently, when the level of child abuse in that Church was revealed publicly in the Parliament? I don’t expect it was quite as much fun you had, though, when you attended the Shrine Processions as an Anglican. Personally, I’m sad that the management of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham still insists on the patriarchal stance of the Roman Catholic Church where women’s ministry in the world-wide Anglican… Read more »

Clive
Guest

I think, Father, you express perfectly the nature of the debate. Naturally if you’re sure of something then it’s true. The rest of must just fall in line 🙂 Oh that I was so … confident. But no. Us mortals must soul search and doubt and worry and pray to find our way on our faith journey. I’m not quite sure where you’re going with the issue of child abuse in this thread. If I’m right about what you meant to convey then it’s beneath anyone in Holy Orders to imply such things about someone no matter how much you… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“I’m sure Our Blessed Lady, if she were here to speak for herself, would approve of the validity of sacerdotal ministry for women.” Please, Fr Ron: I’m as liberal as they come, and let’s NOT Go There. Playing duelling “the Saints are on OUR SIDE” is pointless and tiresome. No, as an Episcopalian, I just maintain “This is what General Convention—by means of Scripture, Tradition and Reason—discern that the Holy Spirit IS saying (Of course, we could be wrong)”, and leave it at that! ;-/ *** Interesting blog you have, Stephen O.Cist (but one you can’t comment on there—which is… Read more »

anthony
Guest
anthony

I think we should all count our blessings.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Please, Fr Ron: I’m as liberal as they come, and let’s NOT Go There. Playing duelling “the Saints are on OUR SIDE” is pointless and tiresome.” JCF, this exemplifies what I have been talking about on other threads: the way that liberals can, without even realizing it, I think, shoot themselves in the foot with those who are on the fence. Why should we not seek to discern the opnions of the Saints, the Fathers, and the Mothers? Why is it somehow of value to say that General Convention/Synod says it, so it’s good enough for me? It isn’t good… Read more »

Robin
Guest
Robin

> I stated that in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto. This statement is contradictory. Re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood is ipso facto a denial of the priesthood previously exercised. If Bishop Hind really intends to undergo re-ordination, he must believe that at present he is nothing more than an unconfirmed layman. He should therefore IMMEDIATELY, in common decency, stop calling himself a bishop, dressing as one and pretending… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Robin The statement is not contradictory – or rather it may be contradictory if particular assumptions are made about priesthood. It would be helpful if you could explain how you understand priesthood in this context, bearing in mind that priesthood is variously understood in the Church of England (one report I saw had seven versions) and differently understood in the Roman Catholic Church. Then I might understand more clearly what you see as the contradiction. The Church of England asserts that its priests are priests in the whole Church universal (Canon A4). This does not mean that the Church universal… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

Calm down, Ford. You misunderstand me entirely. I took issue w/ Fr Ron claiming to KNOW what the Virgin Mary “would say if she could” on a matter: THAT CLAIM is arrogant and pointless. I have NO problem w/ “consulting the Saints”: did you not read my post? I said ***”by means of Scripture, *Tradition* and Reason”****. Moreover, when you say “what one national gathering of one particular part of the Church at one particular age says it believes the will of God to be”, you seem to ignore my immediate caveat “Of course, we could be wrong”. There is… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“So perhaps you should pray for them – and make time for the victims of abuse in all Christian denominations including mine and yours as well as the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC. – Clive – Precisely, Clive. This is why I pray for the victims of abuse in Nigeria and Uganda, who are about to be criminalised – with the approval of the Churches there – for their sexual orientation. JCF. I am a devotee of Our Lady, and in no way would I ever want her place in the Church to suffer denigration – by either Anglican… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I missed this very important analysis from Gregory Cameron who until recently was the ecumenical officer for the Anglican Communion and has accompanied Dr Williams on all his visits to Rome and has been at the heart of all the detailed negotiations – it is very telling……. The Rt Rev Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph and a close colleague of Dr Williams, said that the archbishop was likely to be saddened by the developments. “Rowan has worked very hard for unity both within the Anglican Communion, and with Rome, and I suspect he may feel that what has happened… Read more »