Thinking Anglicans

Ordinariate begins in the UK

Jonathan Wynne-Jones reports in the Sunday Telegraph that First Anglicans are received into the Roman Catholic Church in historic service.

Priests and worshippers from around 20 Church of England parishes converted to Catholicism on Saturday at a ceremony in Westminster Cathedral.

Three former bishops were among those confirmed at the service, which saw the first wave of Anglicans defecting to Rome to join the Ordinariate…

Further reports by Austen Ivereigh at America in The discreet beginnings of the Ordinariate and by Sean Finnegan in History Being Made at The Anglo-Catholic.

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Father Ron Smith
Guest

This may prove to be a double blessing – for both Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches: Anglicans will lose its dissidents, and Rome will gain some battlers against its nemesis – women in ministry.

However, women’s ministry will survive in the Church of England, but will misogyny survive in the Church of Rome? We will have to wait and see.

robert ian Williams
Guest
robert ian Williams

Sadly… Ron’s annysis is flawed as very few will join the Ordinariate. it does not mean you are a misogynist , if you believe women can not be ordained. Its like saying a person worried about immigration is a racist. Its like Ron being called a colonialist because he lives in the racist state created by nineteenth century British imperialists, who named Aotearoa after an obscure Dutch province.

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Father Smith, you are right, women’s ministry will indeed survive in the Church of England, albeit a much smaller and more fragile institution than it has ever been. Although opposed to both women priests and women bishops, I am certainly not, and indeed never have been, opposed to women’s ministry in general. Perhaps you need to sort out the terminology, your theology and ecclesiology, so as to ascertain the difference between them. I am sure the Church of Rome worries little about misguided comments about misogyny. After all, just look at the numbers of their faithful: I don’t see many… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

But why do you believe women cannot be ordained? Because they are women, right? If that’s not misogyny, what is it?

Bill Moorhead
Guest

I’m glad that two previous commenters think they are not misogynists. That makes two of them.

A closer look at the numbers might indicate that, at least on the west side of the Pond, substantially more Roman Catholics become Anglicans than vice versa. Lots of reasons for this, but the role of women in ministry is one of them. Over here the Ordinariate seems to have virtually no takers, even among our dissidents. People whose conscience leads them to the Roman Church usually just go; they don’t try to have it both ways.

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Congratulations to those entering the ordinariate. For the first time in their lives, they are about to discover the glories of Anglican liturgy.

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Since the Church of Ireland took the decision to ordain women more than 20 years ago, the ratio of swaps in denomination here run about eight zillion to one in the Anglican favour. Seriously, I couldn’t put a figure on it, but it ain’t even close. More than 5% of serving Church of Ireland clergy were baptised in the Roman Catholic church; among new ordinands, the proportion is much higher. Only one Church of Ireland clergyperson has gone the other direction in living memory – and she was a woman! (I realise the last example is comparing apples and oranges;… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“You will wait a long time to see any change and rightly so” – Benedict, on Sunday – But time is not on the side of the R.C. Church, though, Benedict. The more insistent they become on debarring women from active priestly and episcopal leadership within their ranks, the less *Thinking Women* in the Roman Catholic Church will be prepared to go aloong with it. Already in little old New Zealand, there are problems of providing enough male ordinands to keep the parishes going. Many parish clergy are now being imported from ‘Third-World’ countries; while competent females who feel they… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“it does not mean you are a misogynist , if you believe women can not be ordained. Its like saying a person worried about immigration is a racist.” One can try to clean up either prejudice through rationalization, but basically, yeah. That’s the thing about being Imago Dei. God may call any of us to the ordained ministry (regardless of chromosomes). And God made the entire planet for each and everyone us to enjoy and live in (regardless of silly human-invented political borders). God is so *extravagant* w/ Divine Love, yet we humans are always trying to cut down God… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Oh my, dear Benedict confuses RC’s who make a choice to publicly disagree with those who simply choose to live out their days continuing in the Church of Rome regardless of their agreement, or disagreement, with what the self-perpetuating hierarchy puts out as their version of Gospel. As a former RC, following seventeen years of RC education, it was also initially a bit difficult for me to accept women’s ordination, until I actually thought it through in theological context. I am confident that WO will also come to Rome, just not in my lifetime.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

There are less than 10 former Roman Catholic priests serving in the Church of Ireland. That’s not bad going when one considers that there are nearly 5,000 RC clergy in Ireland. There are 3.6 million Roman catholics in the Republic and 750,000 in Northern ireland. Growth in the Church of Ireland has been largely because of immigration. There are more Nigerian born Anglicans in Ireland than former Catholics.There are still only 120,000 Anglicans in the Republic out of 4,300,000. That 5 per cent of 38 Church of Ireland ordinands are from catholic backgrounds, shows the total failure of the so… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“The Anglican liturgy on offer will be carefully corrected of all errors by the Catholic Church, as was the case with the Anglican Use.”

And how, then, will it still be the Anglican liturgy? Are you suggesting that the only thing that makes it uniquely Anglican is word-choice? That doctrine has nothing to do with being Anglican?

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

“The Anglican liturgy on offer will be carefully corrected of all errors by the Catholic Church, as was the case with the Anglican Use.”

And I’m sure they won’t be singing Herbert Howells anytime soon.

John
Guest
John

‘the Church of England, albeit a much smaller and more fragile institution than it has ever been.’ Benedict, as I understand it (correct me if I am wrong), you are a FiF person who wants to stay in the C of E. Good. I very much want you and people like you to stay, to want to stay, and to be happy in the staying. But if that is so, surely all of us C of E people should stop criticising one another and work to support our common-ness, to the degree that we can. For your part, that should… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

I really don’t want to get into one of those nitpicky arguments one finds on Slugger O’Toole, but I do have to respond to RIW’s post. There are less than 10 former Roman Catholic priests serving in the Church of Ireland. Yes (there are six as far as I can work out), but that’s not what I said. I said that 5% of CofI clergy were baptised in the Roman Catholic church. As half of them are women, I was hardly suggesting they were all priests before they swam the Tiber. That 5 per cent of 38 Church of Ireland… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I’m surprised RIW hasn’t commented on the enthusiastic reception of that Anglican convert John Broadhurst by the church of his baptism..and his speedy (re-)ordination ( I gather it will be in a fortnight) Faster than Henry Cardinal Manning.

William A. Wheatley
Guest
William A. Wheatley

It will never be possible for women to be deacons, priests or bishops in the Catholic Church. The Pope has formally defined that the infallible Ordinary Magisterium has so taught.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

“The beginning of a historic realignment of Western Christianity…”

How silly.
Is Ivereigh hyperbolic or wishful?

Bill Moorhead
Guest

“It will never be possible for women to be deacons, priests or bishops in the Catholic Church. The Pope has formally defined that the infallible Ordinary Magisterium has so taught.” Why do we even bother? I believe the infallible (once infallible, always infallible) Ordinary Magisterium also once taught that the sun moves around the earth (as it says in the Bible, sort of, somewhere). To its credit, I do not think the Ordinary Magisterium has ever taught that the moon is made of green cheese. I am actually glad, however, that “Thinking Anglicans” does not require one to meet either… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

William Wheatley
I have also read that the Pope made this statement when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, but that it is by no means clear that a single Cardinal can infallibly make this claim.
I would want the Magisterium as a whole to confirm that this is part of the Depository of Faith.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Discussion of how the Tiber-swimmers will experience liturgy leads me to ask another question. In the US it’s a long-standing joke – originating with the Vatican II reforms – that Catholics can’t sing. They typically have a cantor [usually a woman] or a small vocal ensemble to lead congregational singing. The results are, um, uneven. Some years ago, to celebrate the Lutherans and the RCs coming to some kind of agreement to disagree and to regret the violence of the past, our local Catholic church hosted a joint celebration with our Lutheran church. Bishops from both churches were in attendance.… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

It would be an interesting study to determine the relative counter-migration between the Roman church and the churches of the Anglican Communion. I can only attest that I know of more Roman Catholics who have become Anglican than Anglicans who have become Roman Catholics – and the majority of the latter made the move to simplify their impending married life rather than as a considered theological / ecclesiological choice.

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

“So – can English Catholics sing?” Actually Cynthia, there’s a place out along Victoria Street between Victoria Station and the Houses of Parliament in greater London that does a pretty good job with it’s renowned choir. Westminster _Cathedral_ is all over You Tube. That notwithstanding, I deped at Exeter a couple of summers ago, and we had to sing for some gathering of RC’s. They had their own organist who got lost on the Organ built by Henry Loosemore. It was a fiasco. In Bavaria the singing is impressive, and they have exceptions made to the Novus Ordo to allow… Read more »

Douglas Lewis
Guest
Douglas Lewis

I’ve made this point before in another place, where the brag was that more Baptists became Episcopalians than vice versa. You have to look at the number of members in both denominations. If 5% of the Anglicans in Ireland converted to RC and 1% of the RC’s converted to Anglicanism, which church would gain in total numbers?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Thanks – it’s pleasant to know about those fine musical traditions continuing. I’m sure there is good music to be found in RC churches in the States, too. And of course, if you went to six or eight randomly selected TEC churches, likely you’d find some fine music and some ghastly. Where I live in the Shenandoah Valley we are surrounded by Mennonites and Brethren, and there is a strong legacy of shape-note singing. In fact, a tiny town near me, Singer’s Glen, is where the first shape note hymnal was printed. An Episcopal friend of mine who is a… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

“So – can English Catholics sing?” Irish Catholics can sing but generally don’t when they’re are members of a congregation in a church. For probably the first time in history, the two finest religious choirs in Ireland are those of the pro-Cathedrals in Belfast and Dublin. Irish Catholics can and do of course sing in the pub, at family get togethers, on the X-Factor (except for Jedward), when winning Grammy Awards, etc., etc. However, they do not do it when members of a congregation in a church because that’s something that Protestants do. The only place I’ve ever seen an… Read more »

john
Guest
john

I am sorry to see it said that the two best religious choirs are those of those pro-Cathedrals. What has happened to the choirs of Christ Church and St Patrick’s in Dublin? Their respective traditions are long and distinguished and last time I was there (admittedly some five years ago) both were very, very good.

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

You be correct Malcolm French+. For me those studies about migrations would be interesting too!… But all things have their reason: In this case the fact that CofE and the Anglican or Episcopal Churches don’t broke with Rome for doctrinal reasons but because the excess of authority of the Pope in the Catholic Kindoms at that time. Things are of course different with the traditional Lutherans, other Protestants, some Orthodox and even the Old Catholics. No surprise that for a usual Catholic in the pews, Anglican Episcopalian Churches would be a “less bad” and so an adoptive spiritual home for… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

“What has happened to the choirs of Christ Church and St Patrick’s in Dublin?”

Nothing bad. Both pro-Cathedrals are going through a bit of a golden age at the moment. Everybody’s happy… well, except for St. Anne’s C of I Cathedral in Belfast, but that’s another story that Google can uncover for those interested.

Malcolm French+
Guest

I have long maintained that the typical Roman Catholic (in North America at least) is actually an Anglican.

S/he wants catholic liturgy, catholic sacraments and catholic church order. S/he believes clergy should be allowed to marry. S/he is okay with the ordination of women. S/he doesn’t want to listen to the Pope.

Anglicans have catholic liturgy, catholic sacraments and catholic church order. Our clergy are allowed to marry. We ordain women. We don’t have to listen to the Pope.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“For me those studies about migrations would be interesting too!…

But all things have their reason: In this case the fact”….

So you don’t know much about the migration because there are no studies, but you know as fact why they happen?

I must be misunderstanding what you’re saying.

Iain McLean
Guest
Iain McLean

Slightly off topic, but as a Quaker with a quixotic love of church music I’m glad that Cynthia has told the list about shape note singing. I’m just back in UK after a term in Charlottesville, VA, where I fell in love with it – went to the James River Convention in Richmond and sang lustily for a day. Get to know it, people!

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

Several years ago, the choir director at a Roman Catholic college in Rhode Island published a volume which examined music in the RC Church in the USA. It was entitled “Why Catholics Can’t Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste”. He maintained that, whereas the RC Church in Europe has very fine music, this is not so here precisely because of the long dominance of Irish clergy who had come from a tradition where there simply was no singing.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Hey, Iain, we were only about an hour away from each other! I’m on the other side of the mountain.

Glad you got to fall in love with shape note singing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I love to hear this kind of singing. Anyone curious about it should google it – lots of sites with audio clips. My friend who sings with the Mennonites says there has been a real renaissance of this music in the last decade or so, with plenty of non-Mennonites discovering it… even Unitarians who love church music!

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

Looks like things aren’t too rosy on the other side of the Tiber….Milwaukee is bankrupt:

http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2011/01/05/the-daily-docket-62/

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

Hi Erika Baker: Excuse me to not be so clear. I’m not a native English speaker, you see… But what I would like to say is that I don’t know the numbers, but, as a philosopher, I wonder why those numbers should be so expressive in both directions. For example, here in Portugal, we had an Anglican (Lusitanian) Priest who went to Rome early in the 70’s and a RC nun who became an Anglican Priest more or less 10 years ago. And I suspect that this situation is related with the doctrinal, theological, eclesiological and liturgical similarities as well… Read more »

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

Whether they are good singers or not, there won’t be that many of them singing in the Ordinariate. There will be a disproportionate number of clergy.

Of course the spin will be, this is early days and a lot more will follow.

With the generous terms of entry for clergy..you can just see Anglo-Catholic clergy milking the Anglican system and retiring to the ordinariate, once their pension is ensured.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Pensamento Positivo, thank you for your clarification. I find it difficult to be so sure about people’s motivations. Yes, they are spiritual, doctrinal, theological, but within that framework, there is a lot of possibility. I think it would be too facile to say that liberals become Protestant and conservatives become Roman Catholic. One thing that fascinates me is the number of evangelicals I know who have become Roman Catholic without losing any of their basic thinking about faith. They have simply swapped the Authority of the Bible for the Authority of the Pope, but have stayed the same in every… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Well, yes, Robert, I think we all saw the pensions dodge about five miles away. Do you think that brings glory to Christ or any part of his Church?

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Do we know anything about the response to the Ordinariate OUTSIDE England? Clearly some from the Traditional Anglican Communion are hoping to enter but I wonder if there is any response in anglican circles in Australia, Canada etc? Any likely response too in the more monochrome anglo-catholic provinces..PNG ? Central Africa? Korea…..I rather suspect not. Hardly a major religious re-alignment by the looks of it.

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

Hi Erika Baker! I agree with you in respect of personal decisions of each individual to move or not. It involves meditation and correct judge of situation, and sometimes it is complex. You expressed the example of evangelicals becoming RC, I know the oposite: RC’s becoming evangelicals, especially pentecostals. But at least: It is easier for common people to choose things that they should recognise better… Why didn’t the Pope offer similar Ordinariates for the Lutherans disagreeing with their leaders for the same reasons of the Anglo Catholics? I wonder, because Lutheran Churches are more different for the Catholic than… Read more »

Bob
Guest
Bob

I can understand why remaining Anglicans (and I am one) are sometimes upset. A big part of me wants to go and join the ordinariate, not because I am anti OoW (i have only ever been anti, because it is a ‘new and grave obstacle to unity’ – not because it is inherently invalid.) I am a priest, not exercising a ministry at present, and If I ever do, it will be in the CofE. I cannot forsake the Church of my baptism, confirmation, ordination, so I hope that with wise appointments to the Sees of Ebbsfleet, Richborough, and Fulham,… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

In Canada, there is a report of one Anglican congregation in Calgary voting to go to the Ordinariate. Apparently the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (a 1980s schismatic body) is petitioning Rome for entry as a personal ordinariate, presumably under their current primate. http://anglicancatholic.ca/bishlett/message.htm

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

Regarding (some of) the clergy joining the Ordinariate, a letter writer to the Telegraph said that they had been Anglicans pretending to be Roman Catholics and now they will be Roman Catholics pretending to be Anglicans. When you think about it, this sounds about right.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Pensamento Positivo, We’re focusing on the Ordinariate as if it was nothing more than a reaction to women priests and women bishops in the CoE. In fact, there are whole communities in Australia and, I believe, in New Zealand, who have been Anglican only in name for a very very long time. They have no links with Anglican churches, they have a very clear identity (no question for them about what Anglican patrimony might be) and they have petitioned various popes to be allowed to join the Roman Catholic church. In the past, they were refused time and time again.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“A big part of me wants to go and join the ordinariate, not because I am anti OoW (i have only ever been anti, because it is a ‘new and grave obstacle to unity’ – not because it is inherently invalid.)”

Shouldn’t your problem then be with those who put up the obstacle?

Bill Dilworth
Guest
Bill Dilworth

“Why no similar offer to Lutherans? As far as I know, not a single Lutheran community has ever formally asked Rome for such a solution. “

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing it’s because Lutherans don’t wring their hands about whether or not Rome recognizes their orders and do not slavishly adopt RC liturgical texts and styles or otherwise suck up to the Holy See. Anglicanism – and especially some parts of the Anglo-Catholic world – has an inferiority complex that sets us up for this sort of scheme.

john
Guest
john

‘Bob’s comment has enormous resonance for me. I do believe that the large majority of FiF priests – and still more their laity – want to stay within the C of E, because, actually, they prefer it/love it more/think it is better. We must help them all we can.

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

Hi Erika Baker!… Thank you for your explanation about things on Anglicanism. Sometimes things are a bit more different than we could think… Regarding the Lutherans… In converstions with my friends in the US it seems that there are more Lutherans belonging especially from the ELCA that are susceptible to convert to Rome, especially after their gay leadership approval than Episcopalian ones. But things are what they are… And unfortunatly our Pope seems to be more concentrated in put his nose on the Anglican Communion… May be, to try to avoid a strong competitor more acceptable for some progressive RC’s…… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

The Anglican Church of Canada congregation in Calgary has been led by an English priest with ties to the FiF and other similar groups primarily in England and is not at typical of Anglo-Catholic clergy in Canada. None of the “flagship” Anglo-Catholic parishes in Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver) have given any thought to the Ordinariate and have lived with women bishops for a generation at least. Father Kenyon of Calgary has not. It’s interesting that the parish he leads has had a woman bishop in a neighbouring diocese (Victoria Matthews in Edmonton) and they did not leave. I am posting… Read more »