Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans

Updated Tuesday lunchtime, afternoon and evening

In a joint statement issued today the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury have said

Today’s announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

There is also a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to “the Bishops of the Church of England, and the members of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion”.

Read the full statement and the letter below the fold.

Damian Thompson in the Telegraph reports this as Pope announces plans for Anglicans to convert en masse.
Also in the Telegraph George Pitcher has Pope throws a lifeline to the Church of England for women bishops.
Yet again in the Telegraph Martin Beckford and Nick Squires have Pope Benedict XVI paves way for thousands of disaffected Anglicans to cross over to Rome.

Reuters has Pope approves document on Anglicans joining church.

Associated Press has Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans, and, more extensively, Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans.

John Hooper in The Guardian has Roman Catholic church to receive Anglicans.
Also in The Guardian Riazat Butt and John Hooper write Roman Catholic church to receive Anglicans.

Austen Ivereigh in America has Rome offers new home to Anglican trads.

Ruth Gledhill in her Times blog has Pope unity move ‘not act of proselytism or aggression’ says Rowan Williams. This includes the text of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter, and also a letter from the Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough (two of the “flying bishops”).
Update - Ruth Gledhill has updated her blog with video and audio from this morning’s press conference.
Ruth Gledhill and Richard Owen have the Times news article on this story: Vatican moves to poach traditional Anglicans.

Forward in Faith UK has issued a brief statement FiF reacts to Statement from Rome.

At The Guardian Andrew Brown writes in his blog about The end of the Anglican Communion.

Jim Naughton at Espicopal Café writes Vatican offers home to traditional Anglicans

Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia writes For Canterbury Exiles, Rome Builds a Bridge.

Episcopal Life Online has Pope announces special provisions to accept former Anglicans in Roman Catholic Church.
The US Episcopal church has issued this statement From The Episcopal Church on the recent statement from the Vatican.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales also has the statement on its website along with a Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) press release: Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church.
There is a longer version of the CDF press release here.

Joint Statement by The Archbishop of Westminster and The Archbishop of Canterbury

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Today’s announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

With God’s grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England’s House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.

+ Vincent + Rowan

To the Bishops of the Church of England, and
the members of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion

20 October 2009

The Vatican has announced today that Pope Benedict XVI has approved an ‘Apostolic Constitution’ (a formal papal decree) which will make some provision for groups of Anglicans (whether strictly members of continuing Anglican bodies or currently members of the Communion) who wish to be received into communion with the See of Rome in such a way that they can retain aspects of Anglican liturgical and spiritual tradition.

I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this; I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage, and we await the text of the Apostolic Constitution itself and its code of practice in the coming weeks. But I thought I should let you know the main points of the response I am making in our local English context – in full consultation with Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales – in the hope of avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation. I attach a copy of the Joint Statement that I agreed to make alongside the Archbishop of Westminster, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It can also be found on my website.

It remains to be seen what use will be made of this provision, since it is now up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution; but, in the light of recent discussions with senior officials in the Vatican, I can say that this new possibility is in no sense at all intended to undermine existing relations between our two communions or to be an act of proselytism or aggression. It is described as simply a response to specific enquiries from certain Anglican groups and individuals wishing to find their future within the Roman Catholic Church.

The common heritage of the achievement of the ARCIC agreed statements, and the IARCCUM principles for shared work and witness (in Growing Together in Unity and Mission, 2007), remain the solid ground both for our future co-operation as global communions, and our regional and local growth in common faith and witness. For those who wish to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in the near future, this announcement will clarify possible options, and we wish them God’s strength and guidance in their discernment. Meanwhile our ecumenical relationships continue on their current cordial basis, regionally and internationally.

+ Rowan Cantuar:

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:28am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

The mind boggles.

Posted by: Song on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 1:00pm BST

Well, we now will see if those who where threatening to cross the Tiber have the guts to do so... or if it was just bluff!

So, I guess, now the CoE has a superb opportunity to move full steam ahead with the ordination of women to the episcopate.

Thomas+

Posted by: Thomas+ on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 1:06pm BST

oi vey! Hope the conservatives are happy and clean the premises before they leave for other pastures. Will Rowan be leading the procession or will he hang around the palace?

Posted by: ettu on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 1:08pm BST

Here is something that some have wanted for some time: an Anglican Uniate body in communion with Rome. For example, the Traditional Anglican Communion has been seeking something like this.

I do have to wonder about two things. The first is how married bishops will react, since they cannot function as ordinaries - unless they claim simply to have reverted to their priesthood. Certainly there are some celibate bishops in the Anglican tradition, but this will still, I think, leave the majority with a question of status.

The second is Rowan's interest. What sense of common interest led to a common press release? Granted, recognition by Rome seems to have been Rowan's goal for some time, but not, I think, on these terms.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 1:24pm BST

"[A]ccept the Petrine ministry **as willed by Christ for his Church**?"

I am shocked that any Archbishop of Canterbury would put his name to such a concession. One would have thought that one of the primary tasks of such a post is to defend non-Roman churches against Roman claims of primacy.

Can an Archbishop of Canterbury be impeached?

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 1:31pm BST

What I think will be most interesting to see is whether Rome recognizes Anglican orders in any case. The Vatican constitution appears to say that any Anglican priests making the switch will be re-ordained, but a Radio Vatican report (in German) expressly says their orders will be recognized.

Personally I think a recognition of Anglican orders would be a far greater sensation than this, as remarkable as it is.

Posted by: Walsingham on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 1:58pm BST

Surely I wasn't the only one hoping that the big announcement would be the transfer of Rowan Williams to Rome.

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 2:04pm BST

Oh gag me.

Posted by: John Robison on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 2:39pm BST

This probably does offer a good way forward to some who be happier in the Roman Catholic Church, though they might find, as did Tony Blair, that formally affirming papal claims to supremacy does not always mean agreeing with the Bishop of Rome. This, of course, is not really the way it is *supposed* to work in Rome's view, but there it is.

Perhaps the member churches of the Anglican Communion should offer similar formal guidance and structures for Roman Catholic priests who wish to marry and yet still be part of the "one holy catholic and apostolic church" - complete with press conference, of course. Surely the "fruitful dialogue" of which the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster spoke would allow that, too. Then there would be greater clarity as well for Roman Catholic clergy whom God calls to marriage - and perhaps even to the episcopate.

Posted by: christopher+ on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 2:49pm BST

What appears to be something similar to these new Personal Ordinariates has been available in the USA for a quarter of a century.

http://www.pastoralprovision.org/

Posted by: Peter Owen on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:01pm BST

Yes, and I'll be playing "What's Love Got To Do With It?" on my boombox as a certain cleric prepares to swim the Tiber:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6881679.ece

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:04pm BST

Well, one has to say that the timing is good. Other than that: this is the sort of mischievous and unscrupulous action which some of us expect from the present Vatican regime.

Reaction/non-reaction/inoperability of some FiF sites is interesting, the 'official' FiF response predictably lick-spittle. Rowan's 'cooperation' is also lamentable.

What will Fathers Ed Tomlinson, T E Jones, et al. actually DO? Positive feelings will be tempered by the knowledge that few, if any, of their congregations will actually want to follow them, (he says: I hope it is true), as well as (I hope and believe) loyalty to the C of E as is.

Depressing news, all the same.

Posted by: john on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:06pm BST

And Gene Robinson to Canterbury JPM?!

I am not encouraged by the narrow and mean mindedness of anti Roman Catholic sentiment on this blog. If people are given the chance to find a happy home this is surely a case for joy and happiness. I was happy for friends who took this step after 1992's vote to ordain women...though surprised that what they suddenly found themselves in agreement with in Rome about outweighed what they disagreed about in the CofE.
Even if you oppose women's ordination and wish to have a debate to reach consensus (which did not happen in 1992, only a 2/3 vote), how untenable, to my mind, to join a church that will not even discuss the issue.

Posted by: Neil on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:17pm BST

"At The Guradian..."

Was that deliberate?

Posted by: rjb on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:25pm BST

Well, I'm one that has quite happily made the switch (US) in the other direction.

Since most of the commenters here come from the Anglican/Episcopal direction, I thought I might suggest that it's easy to overlook the extent to which this is likely to be focused on internal Catholic issues, specifically reinforcing the clericalist minority that, at least in the US, is more than disgusted with the antiques of the Wojtyla bishops and their followers.

Posted by: Ge on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:39pm BST

What I think will be most interesting to see is whether Rome recognizes Anglican orders in any case. The Vatican constitution appears to say that any Anglican priests making the switch will be re-ordained, but a Radio Vatican report (in German) expressly says their orders will be recognized. Do you have a source for that. Walsingham? My enquiries (and I wasn't at the press conference) suggest that re-ordination will be mandatory.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:45pm BST

I think this is an excellent move. By opening itself up to married priests the Catholic church will have taken a small step towards acceptance of married clergy.
If nothing else, the Catholic Church will grow accustom to the idea of having married priests and it will become harder to justify celibacy in the church as a whole.
Also, since Anglicans are not as strongly opposed to abortion and divorce or to the concept of "Mary Mother of God", I wonder if the Catholic Church will begin to allow exceptions to some of their more cherished beliefs.

Posted by: norris hall on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:56pm BST

I agree with Peter Owen. This is simply the US's "Anglican Use" writ large.

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 3:58pm BST

Please leave the lights on as you go, because the rest of us will be carrying on, business as usual. Goodbye.

Posted by: toby forward on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:04pm BST

No, rjb, my mistyping of Guardian was not deliberate. I've corrected it.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:06pm BST

Re: Norris Hall.

My understanding is that the Eastern Catholic Churches may have married clergy, if that is their tradition and if authorized by their autonomous churches, which are in full communion with the See of Rome and acknowledge the primacy of that See. Is this any different?

Posted by: Christopher (P.) on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:18pm BST

More prejudice against women. Let's see: some Anglicans protest against the ordination of women and appeal to Rome for acceptance. Rome creates an opening that allows disgruntled, anti-women, former Anglicans to "enter into full communion with the church". Without the issue of ordination of women, neither of these parties would be even remotely interested in the other; they are bound only by their belief that women are somehow not qualified to the work of God on earth.

The church even hypocritically alters it's own "personnel policy" by accepting married anglicans to become part of the all male, "celibate" clergy. The inconsistency is as troubling as the misogyny.

It seems the church is beginning to feel a little boxed in by the issue of who is qualified to become a priest and who is not. They are slowly giving ground on celibacy issue, and rightfully so. In time, if it isn't too late, it will also be forced to accept women as priests also. If the church is good at anything, it is good at surviving - when the ordination of women becomes an issue of survival - and it will - women will be ordained.

To think God would have a preference of gender among our species to do His work is absurd. The Church is trying to give the impression it is being welcoming and ecumenical by opening its' doors to this group. On the contrary, the church looks small minded and desperate by supporting a group opposed to women who are called by God to serve Him

Posted by: BackPew on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:26pm BST

Couching it in terms of 'groups' of Anglicans seems to be a direct appeal for congregations to move under the Roman wing en masse. Am I reading that right?

Posted by: David Keen on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:41pm BST

I think this action can be read cynically, or at face value. From my own experience in staffing Anglican/Roman Catholic Dialogue in the US, I'm choosing to see this at face value. Rome has heard from former Anglican groups who are ready to submit but basically want to keep a BCP-ish liturgy on some form of Anglican ethos. Rome has now established a global provision for doing so that seems to build on the pastoral provision in the US.

My read is that this isn't so much full communion with Rome as we speak of it with the Lutherans, Moravians, etc., but a wholesale submission to Rome while keeping some sort of distinct identity within full membership of the Roman Catholic Church.

In terms of Anglican orders, there may be individual acceptances in cases where Old Catholic lines are involved, but I don't see a repeal of Apostolicae Curae, the 1896 bull declaring Anglican orders null and void. Folks are going to have to be re-ordained, and Anglican married bishops won't be married bishops in this new provision.

For the most part, if former Anglicans are ready to submit to Rome as Rome currently is - God be with them and thanks be to God for this provision that allows them to preserve some Anglican heritage.

However, in terms of the Anglican Communion and ecumenical dialogue, I don't see this as a way forward because for Anglicans there are still major issues upon which we disagree. One or both churches consider most of those issues to be church dividing (women's ordination, Petrine primacy, etc.)

The full communion model we've been using is two equals coming together, recognizing the distinctiveness of each other. This model is all about submission (I think that's even the language the TAC used).

I'll be curious to see what the Iker Anglicans in Forth Worth and the Schofield Anglicans in San Joaquin make of all of this once their property issues are resolved.

Posted by: Dirk Reinken on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:47pm BST

No, Neil; Gene seems to be doing a very fine job in New Hampshire.

Rowan, on the other hand....

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 4:59pm BST

I wonder what the Vatican sees as the "worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony".In England most Anglican "papalists" are simply "modern Roman catholics" in liturgy and spirituality;they rarely use anything Anglican at all.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:05pm BST

Great. Let's now repeal the Act of Synod and not worry about codes of practice for the opponents of Women bishops.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:08pm BST

Re: Norris Hall.

My understanding is that the Eastern Catholic Churches may have married clergy, if that is their tradition and if authorized by their autonomous churches, which are in full communion with the See of Rome and acknowledge the primacy of that See. Is this any different?

Posted by: Christopher (P.) on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:13pm BST

Is Rome telling disaffected Anglicans that they can eat their cake and have it too?
I think this is meddling in the affairs of another church. But since Rome continues to see the rest of Christianity as interlopers, pseudo Christians, or second-rank Christians, with the Roman Catholic Church as being THE true One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, this is simply a continuation of Rome’s 400-year fight against the CofE by other means. After all, Anglicans have always been able to become Roman Catholic by following whatever path to conversion/reception that church already had in place.
Although, this sounds very similar to the Eastern Rite Uniate Churches.
I wonder what Roman Catholic priests who wish to marry but are remaining true to that faith's tradition will think of all these Anglican priests who are engaging in a synchronised swim of the Tiber with their wives?
By no means is this a true interfaith dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. This looks like a subversion of that process.

Posted by: peterpi on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:19pm BST

If two bites of the apple are permitted sequentially ...
I'm a slow typist. Thank you BackPew at 4:26pm BST for your comments on the Roman Catholic Church and WO, especially your first two paragraphs.

Posted by: peterpi on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:29pm BST

Perry Butler's point is very interesting: the situation in the USA and UK is very different. T/ECUSA has nothing like the CofE's tradition of clergy (including bishops) and parishes which try to be as 'Roman Catholic' as possible in their liturgical use. They use the Roman mass rite exclusively and steer clear of everything Anglican, wherever possible. The (Roman) Divine Office is de rigeur.

I suppose we shall still end up with some of these Roman-style parishes and priests remaining in the C of E but it will be very hard to see why.

Having negotiated this new arrangement with the Vatican will they still feel it proper to be involved (those who are) in affecting how we legislate for women bishops or will they resign from synods and committees and leave us to it, I wonder?

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:39pm BST

Peter Owen: 25 years and longer. The first Episcopal priest I knew who decided to pursue Roman Orders with wife and family in tow was in early '80's. Members of his family were parishioners. They didn't understand what he thought he was doing.

This, however, does go a step beyond. This is more like the Eastern Catholic churches that others have referred to. Heretofore "Anglican Rite" congregations under the Pastoral Provision have been accountable to the local Roman bishop. This would seem to establish a separate episcopate, accountable to Rome directly, and not through the Roman episcopate.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:46pm BST

Perhaps considering scripture may shed some light: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.” Galatians 5:1, 5-6, NRSV. It makes no difference which side you decide to stand on, “circumcision or uncircumcision”, Anglican or Roman, if “faith working through love” is not present. Isn’t the point of our faith being able to return gratitude rather than indulge in self-gratification? Where does faith do its best work? Seems like that’s the place to stand.

Posted by: KHBrumm on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:53pm BST

I have to admire the way Rowan and the English Romans handled this, for this is an unwelcome development.

I posted some time ago the report of a very gin soaked meeting I had with a former Anglican who now is a well placed RC, the expectation and “reliable information from Rome” he advanced then was the deal had been done with the Orthodox for married bishops in this new Anglican Rite Church. I must say that I was convinced and made many calls the next day – only to be told at the very highest level “not to be so silly”.

What has emerged is something and nothing, but as I said the “something” will be as welcome in Lambeth as the AMiA is in 815 Second Avenue. One suspects it came without the encouragement of the English hierarchy but with the enthusiastic connivance of those English Romans who once dipped their lace in Anglican gin and the likes of Damian who will be delighted to see this slap in the face for the bishops of England and Wales who he despises almost to a man.

The key, provided by Rowan, is the short time they had to prepare for this and the total absence of prior consultation, and facing this together with the Westminster crowd shows how unwelcome this news was to both.

As with all these things the devil will be in the detail and just how the Vatican allows this group to exist in practice – but as to some mass exodus? No, there is no money to pay salaries, supply housing and pensions for married clergy, and in the end the choice for many will be made on this ground.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 5:53pm BST

The Roman Catholic Church appears to feel able to adapt its episcopate to new circumstances without calling a Council of the whole Church?

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:03pm BST

“To think God would have a preference of gender among our species to do His work is absurd.”-- BackPew

Absolutely! And, don’t think that progressive RCers will be very happy about this development. While THEY are expected to be celibate, the RIGHT-WINGERS from Canterburyland can be married. Who knows, maybe this will be the last straw for those RCers who have advocated married and women priests. We Anglicans may, in fact, get more traffic crossing in our direction than in the other.

At least that’s the view from Brooklyn, NY, where our newly consecrated Bishop Coadjutor (the Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano) is a former RC Franciscan friar, now happily married with three kids.

Posted by: Kurt on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:05pm BST

Does anyone really think that there are so many Anglicans who would much rather be RCs (papal infallibility, assumption of the BVM, etc) but haven't done so yet because they'd have to do without Evensong? It doesn't sound like a good basis for switching churches or not......

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:11pm BST

Taking a break from my unexpected infamy...it is not about a strange basis of switching faiths as Sara suggests, but a desire from Rome to reach out to those they recognise to be faithful who are trapped in a church which is increasingly becoming unfaithful....

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:17pm BST

Taking a break from my unexpected infamy...it is not about a strange basis of switching faiths as Sara suggests, but a desire from Rome to reach out to those they recognise to be faithful who are trapped in a church which is increasingly becoming unfaithful....

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:18pm BST

So, would my priestly orders be recognized?

I'm guessing not, but the statement from the Vatican Press Office says only that married former Anglican priests could be accepted. It says nothing about the gender of said priests.

The very fact that it goes without saying speaks volumes.

Posted by: Heather McCance on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:49pm BST

This move by the Holy See seems to be their response to the request of the Traditional Anglican Communion to submit themselves to Rome, and to be received as a body by the Roman Catholic Church. The timing of this move by the Vatican also has to do with the protracted debate about women as bishops in the CofE and the request of some CofE bishops for a similar submission to Rome. Obviously, this provision offers Roman oriented opponents of women's ordination and consecration as bishops, as well as acceptance of LGBT persons in the Church an opportunity to enter a Church more consonant with their views.

The fact that Rowan Williams offers his blessing to this move by the Vatican is beyond bewildering. Feckless might be a good descriptor of his response here. Who would be surprised if Rowan, at the end of his term as ABC would avail himself of this provision?

This provision will not work for the evangelicals in the Anglican Churches who would not be willing to submit to papal primacy or adopt catholic doctrine. Perhaps this action by the Vatican will give further impetus to the evangelicals to seek their own Church and separate from Canterbury. In England, the majority of the evangelicals may decide this offers them an opportunity to take greater power in the CofE.

As a progresive female priest with inclusive catholic views, I will be sorry to see my catholic inclined brothers leave us, while I understand that many will be overjoyed by this offer from the Roman Church. However, in TEC the impact of this provision wil be much less significant than it may be in England.

Those who are pronouncing the end of the Anglican Communion may have a point if they mean the Anglican Communion as Rowan Williams envisions it: a Communion with a type of magisterium that requires adherence to a confessional statement. But that sort of Communion was dead on arrival anyway. The Communion as it has existed for decades, an assocaiton Churches both autonomous and interrelated (rather than interdependent) will surely survive, though its direction remains to be seen.

Ceretainly, all of the formerly Anglican priests will have to be re-ordained. Pope John Paul II declared Apostolicae Curae to be irreformable Roman doctrine. It would seem plausible that priests in this prelature will be able to marry just as eastern rite Catholic priests can. It seems impossible that formerly Anglican Bishops who are married will be accepted as bishops in the Roman Church. They will just have to be satisfied to be priests. This may kill the deal for some of them, though by their posturing they have left themselves few other options.

As for ecumenical dialogue the damage will take decades to heal. Trust will be severely impaired.

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 6:50pm BST

Good post, Karen.

I agree absolutely about RW. One might have hoped that on such an occasion he could have mustered a few thoughts about the dignity - and continued need for - Reformed Catholicism. He has little dignity. So few of our people (in the C of E) have. At least Schori and others (including your good self) have balls (hope that's acceptable gender-wise).

Posted by: john on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 7:31pm BST

Wouldn't it be a hoot if they were told that they had to use Church of England services, in order to maintain the fiction that they were coming along and bringing a 'distinctive Anglican patrimony'? Anyone who stared to use Roman Catholic liturgies would be made to get off the island in the middle and cross the Tiber completely.

Posted by: toby forward on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 7:39pm BST

Gee Ed, you thought that Tina Turner was bad, just wait until you get to sing 'Awesome God' and [B]eagles Wings!!!!! No more Evensong for you!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 8:19pm BST

The establishment of an Anglican Use depends on a lot of laypeople crossing over with these priests. Sure, there may be a lot of Anglo-Catholic, anti-WO priests who will swim the Tiber. But will their congregations follow?

The Pastoral Provision website suggests otherwise. It mentions that over 70 Episcopal priests have made the switch, but there are only 7 Anglican Use parishes (and it looks like only 3 of them have their own building).

My predecessor in my current parish was one of those English Anglo-Catholics (by way of the West Indies), who used the Roman Missal. I have moved the parish back to a "by the book" Book of Alternative Services liturgy, with not a single complaint. Had he gone over to Rome, few if any in the parish would have followed.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 8:24pm BST

Ummm--could a Roman priest who wants to marry switch to the Anglican church, get married, and then come back to the RC Church?

Posted by: Ashpenaz on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 8:30pm BST

"It would seem plausible that priests in this prelature will be able to marry just as eastern rite Catholic priests can."

Point of correction, Karen MacQ: it's not that priests can marry (EO, ER, AngR). It's that married men may be ordained (if they are widowed after being ordained, they will, I believe, be required to stay single).

***

I want to second Jeremy:

"'[A]ccept the Petrine ministry **as willed by Christ for his Church**?' I am shocked that any Archbishop of Canterbury would put his name to such a concession."

But maybe it's a misinterpretation of Rowan's signature? [At any rate, it's very disturbing]

***

I'm actually shocked by my *lack* of strong feelings about this. I neither feel "Don't go!" NOR "Good riddance!"

I suppose I just saw this as inevitable: that those Anglican-in-name-only were really already gone, anyway.

***

I'm sure some of those "Anglo-Papalist" churches are very lovely, though: won't it be *wonderful* to see a priest-made-female ascend to its altar? To hear mass sung in soprano? :-D

God bless the CofE, and keep it in communion w/ TEC!

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 8:31pm BST

Please/Por Favor the ABC ought start paying attention (I realize he´s been busy blaming REALITY on The Episcopal Church but his ¨surprised¨ are destroying the Anglican Communion...obviously the Pope and those interested in worshipping at the RC Church can keep playing PRETEND as long as they like...but, lets not forget that THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH WELCOMES EVERYONE (and doesn´t pretend *everyone* isn´t at ALL levels of Churchlife)!

·Here´s a little reminder from the Roman Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey/U.S.A. from years gone by and actions taken in preperation to pull part of this condriven ¨shell game¨ off:

The Most Reverend John J. Myers, J.C.D., D.D. Fifth Archbishop of Newark

In 2005, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Myers as Ecclesiastical Delegate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the Pastoral Provision for admitting married former Anglican clergy to the Catholic priesthood in the United States...

·Oh, there is more, so much more starting with the German Cardinal/pre-Pope letter of encouragement/¨moralike¨challenge to the Dallas 2003 gathering of American Anglican Council ¨excluders.¨ You remember these folks, the ones who were whining about needing their, very own, purified/gated/protected, hopefully sterilized, ¨PLACE TO STAND¨...you know, a place without those high placed religious human sinning types (especially the ones who are heterosexual priestlike women or REAL, and honest, Gay Bishops).

Now the self proclaimed righteous can pretend they found their SAFE PLACE TO STAND along with the rest of The Roman Catholic Church illusionists/pretenders who think the Pope champions Gods REALITY and Gods REAL thing.

Whew, that was a closeone...verdad?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 9:11pm BST

I think this one is worth watching. It could mean very little either way. Or it could be a big deal but in ways that might be unpredictable. The tectonic plates are in flux (if that's possible). Might mean CofE is less rather than more accommodating over women bishops. Might offer a lifeline to FiF parishes but then again may not if the modalities are not correct. Certainly destabilises the Anglican Communion though in which way is difficult to predict and will take a decade or so to say for sure.

Don't forget that things are happening outside the Anglican world on sexuality for example such as in the world of Lutheran churches where we are in communion.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 9:16pm BST

@Andrew Brown:
Yes, the source is the German-language report from Radio Vatikan:
http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/ted/Articolo.asp?c=327804
"Die Konstitution von Papst Benedikt XVI. sieht auch vor, dass die bisher verheirateten anglikanischen Priester anerkannt werden."
(Translation: "Pope Benedict XVI's constitution provides for the recognition of previously married Anglican priests." The key word is "recognition" ("anerkannt").
However, in the English text of the constitution, it seems clear that they will all be re-ordained, at least sub conditione. But I agree that it will also be interesting to see if they accept the validity of the orders on the basis of the Old Catholic succession, if at all.

Posted by: Walsingham on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 9:29pm BST

"It would seem plausible that priests in this prelature will be able to marry just as eastern rite Catholic priests can."

Eastern Catholic priests (just like Eastern Orthodox) cannot marry. Married men can, however, be ordained to the priesthood. It's an important distinction.

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 9:48pm BST

"Today's announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church."
- Joint Statement - Rowan and Benedict -

Time alone will tell what effect this has on the deliberations of F.i.F. and other anti-women societies with the Anglican Comunion. Will it be an universal "Come Back To Mother" Campaign - now that Rowan has apparently given his Imprimatur (something very R.C.) to the Statement?

It does seem a little duplicious for a reigning Archbishop of Canterbury to renege on the ethic of 'Semper Reformanda' embraced by Good Pope John, who in his eirenic convening of Vatican II, at least observed the integrity of Ecclesia Anglicana, and other Reformation Churches, as already part of the 'People of God'.

One does wonder where the money is going to come from, this time around, for the payment of Clergy Stipends that must inevitably be claimed from the Anglican Churches involved - by the re-alignment faction? One hopes that Rome will this time contribute towards the stipends of their newly acquired Associates in Ministry. After all, though they may not be cheaper to employ than their own celebate staff, they will provide a great stop-gap in the provision of ministry to their own people that is rapidly approaching.

I suppose the idea of Married Clergy must now inevitably arise within the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church. I can't imagine too many women clergy applying to join the new initiative.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 9:51pm BST

"Yes, and I'll be playing "What's Love Got To Do With It?" on my boombox as a certain cleric prepares to swim the Tiber:"

Hhmmm. Frankly, I found myself in complete agreement with Fr. Tomlinson's views on funerals.

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 9:51pm BST

I find myself increasingly bemused.

Will Anglicans who use the RC rite find any attraction in a scheme that invites them to become RCs usung an Anglican rite?

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 10:07pm BST

The RCC is not "hypocritically altering" its views on ordination. It may come as a shock to you, but in most Catholic rites priests are permitted to be married (as they are in Eastern Orthodoxy). The celibacy of clergy is a matter of discipline in the Latin Rite; there is no doctrine of the church which states that the marital state invalidates ordination.

The problem with women's ordination is not that women are unqualified, but that they are not proper matter for the sacrament. You can't marry your car, you can't consecrate pizza for the Eucharist, and you can't ordain women. It's not a matter of an internal rule that prohibits something from happening, but an ontological impossibility.

I should think you'd be glad to have all those nasty misogynists and troglodytes out of your hair; thanks for showing that Know-Nothingism and the spirit of Guy Fawkes lives on, even in 2009.

Posted by: palaeologos on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 10:23pm BST

Ed:

"Unfaithful" to whom? To Rome? To Anglican tradition and reason? To our own perception of the Spirit's voice?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 10:44pm BST

Actually so did I BillyD, but the irony of the title of one of her lead songs in this situation bemuses me to say the least. It's about anything except love.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 10:46pm BST

This is wonderfiul as it calls the bluff of most of Forward in Faith, who have no intention of crossing the Tiber...but constantly make the threa
t in their political game against women bishops.

Celibacy is maintained as the norm as only convert married clergy will be considered. Furthermore the pastoral provision has brought in Methodist and Lutheran ministers.

Although it talks of Anglican patrimmony... it does not allow Cranmer's consecration prayers and the Anglican Use has to use the Roman Canon.other Cranmerian Protestnat erors are eliminated..such as general absolution.

It is far from creating a uniate Church..but I pray that some troubled Anglicans will find their way home.

I expect more takers in America but only a trickle
from England.

Liberls should also note that amongst TEC clergy there are over 6oo former Catholic priets and each year thousands of Catholics become Anglicans..

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 10:48pm BST

"It may come as a shock to you, but in most Catholic rites priests are permitted to be married (as they are in Eastern Orthodoxy).
- palaeologos, on Teusday -

And not only a shock to 'us', but also, surely, a shock to those who have had to leave the R.C. priesthood on account of their desire to marry?
One wonders whether these 'lost souls' - in the light of the paucity of vocations directly into the ranks of the roman Catholic Church - will now be welcomed back to 'Mummy' I suspect not; having now tasted the joys of married life as experienced by other mortals.

Also, if celibacy is not enjoined on R.C. Clergy by doctrinal definition, why is Rome espousing it still? Surely a relaxation on this discipline would avoid the trouble that will arise because of Rome's acceptance of those married Anglican Clergy who want to become part of the new initiative? I wonder how many Roman clergy will now elect to become part of the new dispensation, rather than remain in their present jurisdiction?
And anyway, the Liturgy is much more orderly.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 10:52pm BST

Bye-bye FiFers.

Don't let the door hit your bum on the way out.

And don't think you'll get away with openly disobeying your bishop. Or openly having sex with men.

Posted by: Gerry Lynch on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:02pm BST

I don't think this gives away anything, but words from a group meeting tonight (I presented about Don Cupitt) when we discussed this announcement included: predatory, devious, stab in the back, humiliating.

My own view is that Rowan Williams has been humiliated. He's been going backwards and forwards to Rome about a worldwide Anglican identity, based on the homosexuality issue and this Covenant, based on bishops, dioceses and him, and instruments like prelates and bishops gathering, whereas Rome has watched about women and bishops and seen it's a case of *when* the C of E has bishops. Rome might have waited 3 or 4 years more to see how a worldwide Anglican identity was doing, but obviously it has decided to just do its own thing now. Williams, who sees Rome as his master, has just had to come quietly, sit with the local Roman boss, and sat humiliated and saying pathetic ecumenical things.

Was ever an Anglican Archbishop such a walking disaster as this one.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:10pm BST

I'm sure ++Rowan Williams is trying on his goggles for a Tiber swim right now.

Rowan and Benedict, working hard to make a world safe for men!

I suppose nothing happened recently with some Ugandan legislation that would be of any interest to any Christian hierarchs.

Posted by: Counterlight on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:13pm BST

Ed Tomlinson's views on funerals are a bit of a diversion form this thread, but since they have been raised:

More than once a well-taken funeral has introduced people to the living Christian faith - I've even seen a Roman Catholic who has joined the Church of England because of the care taken by a priest (not me).

Both theological and pastoral care are required.

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:15pm BST

"The problem with women's ordination is not that women are unqualified, but that they are not proper matter for the sacrament. "

They are if you think "human being" is the proper matter for the sacrament. (Well, most people would.)

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:16pm BST

These persons cannot be re-ordained. Rome will ordain the wetbacks because in the eyes of the magisterium they never really were priests.

In other words, these guys have to act as if they lived a lie for years in order to be a priest in a church that preserves them the taint of associating with female and/or gay clergy!

Posted by: David Krooks on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:24pm BST

The joint statement's "Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church" certainly sounds shocking, in that it seems that +++Cantuar is endorsing the current form of the Papacy as divine will. It's written in italics on the Archbishop's website - could it be an introduction, and not part of the official statement? Although it would still be shocking, even so.

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:27pm BST

"I expect more takers in America but only a trickle
from England."

I don't see why that should be. We've already got it here (it's called the Pastoral Provision), and it doesn't seem to be really all that popular. They've only got about ten or eleven parishes in the US.

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:46pm BST

An RC friend telephoned from Germany tonight, pleased and proud of his church's generosity. It would be interesting to know how the politics played out re +Vincent as this announcement might well have equally caught out the rest of his male-archy, or been a deliberate move on his part to bypass all the old guard nervous of upsetting the established church. What both CofE and RCs in England will have to get used to is that decisions sometimes need to be made for the good of the whole universal church, of which they/we in England (on both sides) are a relatively small and not that important part. Lister Tonge might think about that one too.

Posted by: Neil on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 11:52pm BST

Having read the statement from Rome (From the L'Osservatore Romano), and now a bit more thoughtfully, let me add--

1. "It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy."
Rome has not retreated even one inch from the nullity of Anglican Orders...
2. "Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches." Note the missing word "theological"... interesting...
So, the Roman Curia on the one hand welcomes the bishops, and with the other chops off their miters... Nice...
3. "In the years since the Council, some Anglicans have abandoned the >>>tradition<<< of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. For Rome, tradition has the same authority as Scripture, yet... Also, note that the ordination of women appears not to be in the same league as the "Petrine Ministry willed by Christ" (Again, please note that the strong words are missing in the official Vatican release).

At a time when there is no easy answers, it seems to me that, at least to a point, it will ease the pressure off for the Anglican Communion.

It will be interesting to see what happens in England if clerics and bishops try to swim the Tiber taking the buildings along...

For America, the question will be what's going to happen with the FiF parishes and dioceses and their relationship with the new entity... Certainly Rome will have none to do with them.

Now, we only need the Presbyterians/Baptists/Pentecostals to agree to an "Anglican Rite Ordinariate" to take care of the other wing...

FWIW,

Thomas+

Posted by: Thomas+ on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:01am BST

I think these new communities will have too many priests proportionate to their lay members. But many lay Roman Catholics may be glad to join. in order to worship according to Anglican traditions.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:08am BST

Andrew (Brown), my dear friend, I think the percentage of gay clerics in the RC priesthood is likely to be seriously enhanced by any movement from Anglicanism .......

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:22am BST

Counterlight, I wonder about ++Rowan Williams' vacation plans in Italy myself. What was he thinking? Why was his presence even necessary? If the President of the Southern Baptist Convention announced that provisions were being made for Mormon bishops to be accepted into the Southern Baptist ministry, I seriously doubt that the President of the LDS Church would be at his side talking about what a great day this is for LDS-Southern Baptist co-operation. When the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to Roman Catholicism, I doubt any Italian rabbis saw this as a great day for Christian Jewish relations.
I do think the RCC is being somewhat hypocritical. If you're an already-married Anglican priest, welcome aboard! If you're an already-married Roman Catholic man who feels the call, sorry, wrong number! If you're an already-married Roman Catholic woman who feels the call, you must be having PMS, get thee to a convent!

Posted by: peterpi on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:42am BST

Looking at the statement from the Catholic Church in England and Wales, any Anglican clergy making this move will have to be ordained/re-ordained. Also, Williams++ would not be able to make the move as a Bishop. Considering that this is for groups and communities that wish to keep their identities, don't expect to see married priests in the local RC parish anytime soon.

Posted by: David C on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 1:51am BST

"The problem with women's ordination is not that women are unqualified, but that they are not proper matter for the sacrament. You can't marry your car, you can't consecrate pizza for the Eucharist, and you can't ordain women. It's not a matter of an internal rule that prohibits something from happening, but an ontological impossibility."

(1) BillyD is quite right.
(2) Actually, you probably can consecrate pizza for the Eucharist, although I would agree that it would be grossly irregular and impudent. Unless you were stranded on a desert island and the pizza crust was the only bread you had. Please pick off the pepperoni first.
(3) Who made palaeologos the arbiter of ontological possibility?
(4) I'm glad Counterlight brought up the issue of Uganda. It reminds us that until +Rowan addresses the issue of LGBT persecution in parts of Africa and elsewhere -- a REALLY serious issue -- together with the rampant misogyny in the CofE, the utter lack of any recognizable Anglican theology of holy orders in the Diocese of Sydney, and various other ongoing bits of ecclesial malfeasance, he can just shut up about The Episcopal Church in the USA. And we're supposed to sign on to his Anglican Covenant? I don't think so.

I"m surprised no one has yet brought up Dr. Mascall's wonderful old verse, "The Ultra-Catholic": "I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected."

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 2:02am BST

How does one get rid of an Archbishop of Canterbury? (Other than the Becket method)

Posted by: Fred R on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 2:46am BST

So doctrinal truth is a matter of majority vote? Athanasius would have been interested to know that.

Posted by: palaeologos on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 2:56am BST

Won't there be a lot of young Catholic seminarians who switch to the Anglican Rite in order to get married? If there is a Rite which allows marriage, I would imagine a lot of American Catholics would flock to that Rite.

Posted by: Ashpenaz on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 3:09am BST

Here's a different perspective:
http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/end-of-anglican-communion/1756

Posted by: Liturgy on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 3:37am BST

For vover a hundred years the Orthodox Church has authorised services taken from the Book of Common Prayer to be used by Orthodox people. The Synod of Moscow authorised it in 1907 - the idea was put forward by Archbishop Tikhon, later Patriarch of Moscow and martyred by the communists.
Anglican congregations and clergy have become Orthodox, using these services, in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
The service book that is authorised is the Saint Colman Prayer Book which can be ordered online.
Services will begin in London in November - they are already going in Bournemouth.
Church of England people do not have to go to the infallible pope who has recently taken to issuing indulgences again - they can become Orthodox and have quiet, English services of genuine worship.
see http://forwardinorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com and http://kentorthodox.blogspot.com

Posted by: fr. michael on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 4:58am BST

I honestly don't see the problem. Dean Candler summed it up beautifully in his commentary. This provides - effectively - the separate province that Anglicanism can't.

But more:

God has such a wonderful wideness in His Mercy. He's given us an ecclesial structure for all tastes, because it really doesn't matter to anyone but us. These folks have found a place that suits them right down to the ground - for now - and it's likely that such an accommodation will make some liberal RC's wonder if there is such a big deal in switching to another church.

It's great, really. Very amusing. God just wants *us* and gives us all these places to make it easy to be with Him - constantly, He makes it easy for us. The joke's on us, because we talk about sacrificing and losing, when, inside, we know we're just going someplace that does things the way we like it done.

His yoke is easy, His burden light.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 5:12am BST

"I suppose we shall still end up with some of these Roman-style parishes and priests remaining in the C of E but it will be very hard to see why."

Let's hope traditional Anglo-Catholics (as opposed to crypto-RCs) do indeed stay - because the Anglican Communion has become overwhelmingly low: lower than a snake's belly. And if there's one chap (or chapess) who fails to understand what it means to be an Anglican, it's your low Church evangelical.

Funnily enough the RC parishes that I know are all low Church. How ironic!!

Posted by: William on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 5:13am BST

"you can't ordain women"

And the Earth can't orbit the Sun either, right palaeo?

"Liberls should also note that amongst TEC clergy there are over 6oo former Catholic priets and each year thousands of Catholics become Anglicans.."

Former *Romans*, RIW. Still Catholic in TEC! (if anything, they're MORE Catholic having swum the Thames)

There's really nothing new to see here---must have been a slow news day in Rome...

[I echo Counterlight's question about (OBSCENE!!!) Ugandan legislation. Or are LGBTs not "proper matter", to care about their crucifixions?]

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 5:22am BST

A very interesting comment from Reform:

“It is illusory to pretend that this development is an outcome of ecumenical dialogue. It illustrates the difficulties the C of E faces and the need for stronger leadership, rather than the ‘softly softly’ approach so far taken to those holding liberal views who are splitting the church.”

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 6:19am BST

palaeologos writes: 'So doctrinal truth is a matter of majority vote? Athanasius would have been interested to know that.'
Doctrinal truth has always been subject to a majority vote. That's the point of General Councils. The doctrine of the Trinity came into force by a show of hands. Nothing new there.

Posted by: toby forward on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 8:17am BST

"Having negotiated this new arrangement with the Vatican will they still feel it proper to be involved (those who are) in affecting how we legislate for women bishops or will they resign from synods and committees and leave us to it, I wonder?"

This is the only really interesting question.
After all, whether disaffected people join GAFCON or Rome is of interest only to them, as is the question whether they can be married and whether they have to be reordained.

What will it mean for those of us who are not interested in Rome in any way?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 9:21am BST

And because Uganda has been mentioned a few times here, this comment from Elizabeth Kaeton's blog

http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/2009/10/hello-anybody-home.html

"The proposed new Ugandan is so awful, so heinous, so Evil that even Rick Warren is encouraging Evangelicals to speak out against it.

And yet, nothing - nada, zip, zilch, zero, bupkus - from Lambeth Palace"

Simon, could you not put a post on Uganda on here so that we can distribute addresses for people to write to more widely, please?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 10:24am BST

What it might mean, Erika, is that we find our church being steadily whittled away from within. See Ruth Gledhill's piece on other thread.

I very much hope that there will be some FiF people who will say loud and clear: 'Not in my name'. Such people I would continue to support. Father Ed and Father T E Jones, regretfully, I cannot any longer support.

One good thing: if FiF people don't convert in droves, they have absolutely scuppered their chances of a separate integrity.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:10pm BST

We should be very glad that the Holy Father has made this gesture; those who feel that the Anglican Communion has ceased to be their spiritual home and more importantly that the Roman Catholic Church holds the truth of the faith, are able to move as a community to their true home. Those who believe that the Anglican Communion should pursue its liberal agenda can do so now without the fear of having dissent and continued battle. We should all rejoice that the Spirit of God is moving the whole Church in this way.

Posted by: mark wharton on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:31pm BST

"...hey can become Orthodox and have quiet, English services of genuine worship."

Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered. Stay classy, Father.

Posted by: BillyD on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 12:53pm BST

John
"One good thing: if FiF people don't convert in droves, they have absolutely scuppered their chances of a separate integrity."

As it happens, the political pressure will be the other way round, if it is true that this mass reception into Rome will take place on 22n February, a few days AFTER the next General Synod.

This has nothing to do with a love of Rome, after all, but everything with CoE politics.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 1:08pm BST

SHHHHHHHHH, Erika! Don't pay any attention to that man behind the screen below the equator! It's all about uppity women who want to sit in the big chair at the cathedral and sissies that don't lie about their relationships that's killing Anglicanism! Don't you get the big picture?

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 1:30pm BST

Naive I am, but my Machiavelli gene is waving at me. Some random thoughts:

those who have chosen, should we say, 'an inconsistent hermeneutic', that is, conservative on the ordination of women but liberal on the sexuality issue for personal reasons, have something of a forced choice placed on them. 'Put up or - to some degree - shut up' is the usual phrase, I believe.

The Reform anti-headship agenda against women bishops will be unable to make common cause with those who have swum the Tiber. The case for making concessions on the issue is now hugely weakened.

There are other intriguing considerations as well. (Personally, btw, if/when I swim the Tiber it will NOT be with a copy of the BCP tucked under my arm. If you convert, you do it properly.)

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 1:39pm BST

Erika, thank you for posting that Kaeton link. The new Ugandan law is, indeed, horrible, and it's a scandal that the Church is so silent about it.

Posted by: BillyD on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 1:54pm BST

This does take the cross-border intrusions that TEC has been experiencing to a whole new level. What several General Conventions have experienced, the General Synod can now experience.

When it was happening to TEC, Canterbury didn't seem to care. Now the shoe is on the other foot.

Rowan Williams ~=~ Neville Chamberlain?

Not that other aspects of 1939 are analogous -- to repeat, I do *not* mean to analogize others today to others back then. So don't tar me with that brush.

But in medium-scaled ways as well as large, weakness can beget aggression.

Posted by: Jeremy on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 2:19pm BST

A), "Anglican Use" parishes have existed for years. Ergo, not news.
B) Disgruntled Anglicans have been converting to Rome for years. Ergo, not news.
C) All this does is formalize the above process for entire groups rather than just individuals. Ergo, not news.

So, what IS the news about this? I don't know. I also don't know why those disaffected with Anglicanism, and I used to be one of these, don't just go somewhere more suitable to their beliefs. Or, do what I did and go nowhere. Why is it necessary for people to wait, and likely work for, their entire parish/diocese to be as mad as they are before converting? Is it so as to make a great show of taking their dinkies and flouncing off to Rome en masse in the spirit of the old Marmaduke cartoon "Me and Mommyduke've been kicked out of better places than THIS!"?

I do love that the ABC is spinning this as a triumph of the last forty years of ecumenism. He's right. Rome would not have done this in the 1960s, and if people who just can't accept OOW or being nice to gay people can find happiness in Rome, and if Rome is willing to use a modified BCP liturgy to make them happy, that IS an improvement over 50 or 60 years ago, when we were considered to be "broken off like rotten branches from the Holy Church of Rome". Will they keep the Feast of Charles, King and Martyr, one wonders? And why Rome? I mean, let's be honest, for liturgy and reverence, not to mention a few other attributes, Constantinople has it over Rome hands down. But, Rome's getting some great liturgists in this. I mean, when was the last time any Roman parish did a Novus Ordo Mass that could hold a candle to what goes on in the spikier Anglican places every Sunday? And, anybody that resists media driven scandal mongering, no matter how they do it, is good in my books.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 3:15pm BST

"Taking a break from my unexpected infamy...it is not about a strange basis of switching faiths as Sara suggests, but a desire from Rome to reach out to those they recognise to be faithful who are trapped in a church which is increasingly becoming unfaithful...."

At the risk of seeming to 'ave it informe' Father, surely your recent experience has illuminated the different ways in which the People of God hear what is being said to them?

You think that the because someone said something plain wrong about women or human sexuality 00's of years ago from a privileged place in the development of Christian thought you now have the right to ignore the discernment of the Church in our contemporary world; that's your privilege, but please don't try and hijack that discernment process with insults and pejoratives when you find yourself unable to enter into dialogue outside those ancient categories which the contemporary Church, and Lumen Gentium, have found in need of correction in the light of the human sciences.

I'm glad that Rome has made this offer; my prayer now is that those who believe that the Anglican tradition of Reason, Tradition and Scripture can be bolted onto the Ordinary Magisterium of the Bishop of Rome should depart quickly and in love to minimise damage to the evangelisation of England which Cardinal Hume was clear would come from the Church of England.

Posted by: Mark on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 6:20pm BST

"Doctrinal truth has always been subject to a majority vote."

"A" majority vote? What of any import in the history of Christianity was decided by a single majority vote? The defeat of the Iconoclasts took over a century. The Trinity might have been decided on a show of hands, but there was a long period when the majority of the Empire, including at least one each of Patriarch and Emepror, were Arians. If there's one thing we can prove from our history, it's that one majority vote doesn't solve anything. It can take centuries.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 6:58pm BST

Erika @ 10:24, thank you for that link to "Telling Secrets" about the situation in Uganda.
Simon, forgive me, I know this thread is about Tuesday's "ordiniarate" announcement, but I have to respond in a longer fashion.
While +++Williams is making nice with the Roman Catholics, and is oh-so-concerned about those who disagree with WO, has he shown one iota of concern about his sheep in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa?
For years, African political leaders have been increasingly repressing GLBT people, and numerous church leaders -- Anglican church leaders -- have been egging them on, and not a discouraging word is heard from Lambeth. Is unity so all-important that +++Williams has to turn a blind eye?
Even Evangelical Christians here in the US are beseeching one of their leaders to respond!
I'm bisexual, so maybe I'm too close to the situation, but with his seemingly docile leadership in the face of threats of schism, with the RCC looking forward to picking off Anglican bishops, priests, and parishes wholesale, does +++Williams want to add comparisons of himself to Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust/Shoah to his troubles? Or are the souls and lives of GLBT Africans, especially Ugandans and Nigerians, less important than having +++Akinola and others speak less ill of liberal Anglicans?
To those who say that's too strong, I say: The history of the 20th Century shows over and over again (the Armenians under Turkey, the Jews under Nazi Germany, the Ukrainians under Stalin, the Tutsis by the Hutus, the Tibetans under the Chinese) that when a mass group of people is targeted, persecuted, dehumanized, vilified, and removed from all societal protection, that group is in extremely serious peril.

Posted by: peterpi on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 7:46pm BST

Sadly a lot of the comments just prove that the Anglican 'liberals' never wanted and still don't want an 'inclusive' Church. They want traditionalists out - ie not included.

Posted by: Melbourne on Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 2:42am BST

I want misogyny and homophobia out (ie, not included) of the Anglican Communion, Melbourne.

Each and every *human being* is welcome to stay (Or join! I hope more "Spirit of Vatican Two"-type RCs will consider doing just that)

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 8:15am BST

No, Melbourne, but you can't include those who won't be included unless everyone they don't want around is excluded. "Traditionalists" did it to themselves. You've got no grounds to be wallowing in self-pity.

If you wall yourself up, you've got no grounds to complain that nobody comes to see you.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 8:34am BST

"A very interesting comment from Reform:

“It is illusory to pretend that this development is an outcome of ecumenical dialogue. It illustrates the difficulties the C of E faces and the need for stronger leadership, rather than the ‘softly softly’ approach so far taken to those holding liberal views who are splitting the church.”
- Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday -

Oh! There you are Robert. I thought we'd lost you - thought you'd perhaps become The Ferrymen, helping people to find their way across the Tiber, a journey you've recently taken yourself.

However, it's nice to know you're taking an interest in us again - your former colleagues in Ecclesia Anglicana. How do you feel, really, about this latest move from Il Papa in Roma? Are you happy about this latest initiative, or do you feel you've somehow been cheated - into moving earlier? Just think, if you'd waited just a few more months, you would have been able to still use those choruses you loved so much as an ordinand from Nelson.

Seriously, though, Robert; do you feel that the Holy Father has done the right thing here? And do you think your former colleagues from Nelson (via Sydney) will be jumping on the band-wagon? it will be interesting to see whether your friend Achbishop Peter Jensen will seek to take up his Lay Ministry with one of Benedict's Unitariates in Queensland. He certainly won't miss the use of his cope and mitre - that's if he ever had one.

How will this work out in your native Wales, do you think? Do tell us your take on all of this latest news. We do all miss you on this site.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 10:47am BST

"it will be interesting to see whether your friend Achbishop Peter Jensen will seek to take up his Lay Ministry with one of Benedict's Unitariates in Queensland."

My Lord of Sydney become a subChristian?!?!?!?!?! Heaven forfend!

And Melbourne, it might not be a very Christian sentiment, but would you care all that much about including people who for the past four decades have been publically reviling you as faithless, selling out to the world, Apostates, heathens, and betraying the Gospel? Perhaps if conservatives had shown a bit more respect for their fellow Anglicans who disagree, it wouldn't be so easy for you to feel persecuted now. But of course, that would defeat the purpose.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 3:35pm BST

Well thanks at least, for underlining how automobiles=pizza=women=unsuitable materials. Sounds too much like some sort of embodiment sexualized envy and resentment to my ears but then what do I know?

This presuppositional equation rather says all that can or needs to be said about WO?

God doesn't work with us, in us, and through us singly and communally - because we are the proper material sort, according to some alternative thinking; but because as that conference title said a while back, because we are drenched in God's grace, not least via the incarnation, Jesus of Nazareth.

I still have not heard a careful, sufficient explanation of why Jesus being Jewish is incidental (given what the scriptures make of being one of the chosen people? equal to being circumsized in the first century CE?), but Jesus having male genitals is nonetheless indelible and as the post claims, ontological.

Should all proper incumbents of the throne of Peter be required to be ancient near eastern fishermen? Who speak aramaic as their first language? (We have tons of data to tell us that your first language is at least as humanly influential as your genital anatomy.)

Flash mob hint to people who prize male genitals: You had better enjoy those genitals while you can; they may not last, nor signify deeply for all eternity?

Who indeed will be given in marriage to whom after the new covenanted Anglican resurrection? Hat tip to world history - of course, if anybody on the planet could have his cake and eat it too, it would have to be a pope.

Posted by: drdanfee on Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 11:49pm BST

I’m still pondering women are to men as pizza is to bread, for purposes of priestly duties.
“Jesus was male. The apostles were male. Therefore priests have to be male” is a closed argument. Any argument advanced in favor of women’s ordination can be met with that as a counter, and therefore opponents can swat away any sound theological argument in favor of WO.
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Language can be a tyranny. In English the masculine is assumed to include the feminine, except when it doesn’t, and in traditional religion, it all too often conveniently doesn’t. I would love to know whether the Hebrew word widely translated as “man” in that biblical verse is exclusively male and singular. Because, in my very humble opinion, the three clauses are in inherent dissonance. I feel the third clause is key. Men AND women are created imago Dei. We also conflate and intertwine the second creation story with the first, despite much evidence they are separate, discrete, from different times and different regions.
Decades ago, a computer teacher said something I’ll never forget. You can’t create a chess program if you do not know chess. You can’t create accounting software if you do not know accounting. God cannot create that which God does not know. God created them male and female. God has to know femininity as well as masculinity. God has to encompass both. God is both AND neither male and female.
My understanding of the Trinity is small. But if God encompasses male and female, then the First Person encompasses it, the Second Person encompasses it, and the Third Person does also. Unfortunately Creator, Child, and Holy Spirit just doesn’t have that ancient ring of familiarity, therefore authenticity, that the standard Trinitarian formula does.
Jesus of Nazareth was male. The 2nd Person is both and neither. Women ARE created imago Christi.

Posted by: peterpi on Friday, 23 October 2009 at 7:33am BST

I can't believe any adult outside of an insane asylum would even pretend that "unsuitable matter" is a sound reason! Even in my days when I opposed WO, the idea that they were "unsuitable matter" was considered idiotic by most against the ordination of women even then!

That leaves tradition - which is entirely human construct and mutable - or Scripture, which is not an entirely reliable roadmap of the mind of God.

I have no problem with people like the Catholic hierarchy simply saying "There will be no women ordained in this church because we say so!" (though I suspect they don't out of fear their market-share will drop), but don't try to justify it rationally. The same with the anti-gay arguments - just admit you don't like gays, or it's icky, or you're terrified you might find out you're gay - but don't try to defend it rationally. It makes you look pathetic, weak, and sadly evil-intentioned.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 23 October 2009 at 10:07am BST

Thank you, peterpi!

"Any argument advanced in favor of women’s ordination can be met with that as a counter"

I was going to protest "But why can't an argument FOR women's ordination be a counter to the "men only" argument? Then I read on, and you did exactly that! For once, I didn't jump the gun!

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 23 October 2009 at 2:55pm BST

Our Lady is "unsuitable matter"? Get real!

Posted by: Kurt on Friday, 23 October 2009 at 5:02pm BST

Ford Elms, you are quite welcome!

Posted by: peterpi on Saturday, 24 October 2009 at 7:10am BST

"Our Lady is "unsuitable matter"? Get real!"

This actually plays into the hands of the antis.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 24 October 2009 at 5:30pm BST
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