Saturday, 20 February 2010

cloak and dagger ordinariates

Updated again Tuesday

Next Monday, FiF UK is observing a Day of Prayer in relation to Anglicanorum Coetibus. Bishop Andrew Burnham’s pastoral letter for February is here.

But Bishop Paul Richardson hasn’t waited, see Martin Beckford’s news story Bishop who predicted death of Church of England converts to Rome.

Meanwhile FiF Australia has already made its decision on this. See this news report in the Telegraph Australia’s traditional Anglicans vote to convert to Catholicism.

Andrew Brown reported in Cif belief on “an email from an Anglican ‘flying bishop’ to a Catholic bishop in Australia” in The cloak and dagger Catholics.

Austen Ivereigh commented on this in America in Romeward Anglicans: a case of too much politics?

Damian Thompson has written in the Catholic Herald It does not matter if the Ordinariate is small at first (also copied over to his Telegraph blog).

Update
A new website, Friends of the Ordinariate, has been launched. This website has been commended by Forward in Faith UK. The Church Times blog has some further tidbits.

Riazat Butt has commented at Cif belief Who’s in the Foto?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 7:31am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
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"This suggests that enthusiasm for the ordinariates is still much greater among the priests and bishops who hope to lead it than among the ordinary Anglicans who are supposed to follow them and fill its churches.
- Andrew Brown - Guardian blog -

Yes. And this may prove to be the real stumbling block for the departing clergy and bishops. Their status in the new ordinariates will not give them the perquisites they now have as clergy of the Church of England. Neither will they be able to guarantee the continuing use of their present vicarages and churches. Even the vestments and appurtenances they hold in trust may not be able to be transferred to their new ordinariate places of worship. So, they will have to start from scratch. And they will probably have to find a secular job - unless they are quickly ordained into the R.C. priesthood and become available for jobs in their new jurisdiction. Mind you, that might be an opportunity to disciple as few more experienced clergy into the Roman Catholic Church - which could solve a few problems for our sister Church.

Whether the faithful laity will follow them into the new situation may just depend on their ability to fund the missing clergy stipends. Altogether, a rather worrying scenario - and all because of God calling women to lead in the local Church!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 10:06am GMT

Hat tip to Richardson for managing this in a dignified way, designed to cause as little all round damage as possible.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 10:23am GMT

"The Apostolic Constitution, remember, was drawn up following requests from traditional Anglican bishops for pastoral oversight; it was not intended as a last resort."
- Damian Thompson, Catholic Herald article -

Damian Thompson's article betrays the lack of information that Roman Catholics as a whole really have about who, exactly, were those *traditional Anglican bishops* who originally requested pastoral oversight from the Vatican.

It was actually the self-titled entity now known as the 'Traditional Anglican Church' whose Australian Archbishop (formerly a Roman Catholic priest - then the re-married Anglican Vicar of All Saints Church, Brisbane), made an official approach to Rome, on behalf of his scattered suite of 'Traditional Anglican' congregations in Australia and other parts of the world. This was by no means the initiative of Anglo-Catholics from the Church of England - or from any other Church of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

It seems that even the Pope may have been wrong in assuming that Archbishop Hepworth represented the Anglo-Catholics still ministering within the Anglican Communion. Of course; when the looming possibility of ordaining women bishops came up within the Church of England, England's 'Flying Bishops' took note of what was going on in far off Australia and decided to jump on the band-wagon, joining in the general plea for protection in the Roman Catholic Church.

No doubt there were back-room meetings between certain Anglo-Catholics from other countries around the world, who had the same problems as Archbishop Hepworth, whose leadership on this issue probably led them to consider a joint approach to the Vatican. But it was the original ole initiative of Abp. Hepworth, and his schismatic *Traditional Anglican Church* that started this ball rolling.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 10:37am GMT

There are at least 3 tiny separated "continuing" Churches in Australia, with assorted bishops, and there are at least two bodies called Forward in Faith (Australian and Australasian). The "Australasian", based in Sydney, is certainly not considering moving to Rome. (I myself am not a member of any of these.)

Posted by: John Bunyan on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 11:30am GMT

I was confused about this, on Thursday, because my book on Renaissance and Reformation (primary source for the next local In Depth Group chat) has a map where a continent in the southern hemisphere shares the name of the village I still live in.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/02/effect-of-new-holland.html

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 1:25pm GMT

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100026321/revealed-anglo-catholic-bishop-in-talks-with-cdf-to-stop-english-bishops-smothering-popes-anglican-plan/
This is Damian at his paranoid best - I can taste the pink gin and feel the fine lace in my fingers as I laughed out loud!
Enemies of the Pope! - Adrian's parodies don't even come close to Damian's version of reality.

Still it does serve to remind us that the RCC is fractured along so many fault lines that it sometimes makes the Anglican Communion look as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.
As an African RCC priest (who is gay and partnered) reminds me today - African culture in his part of the world finds celibacy more challenging than gay sexuality.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 7:07pm GMT

'No doubt there were back-room meetings between certain Anglo-Catholics from other countries around the world, who had the same problems as Archbishop Hepworth, whose leadership on this issue probably led ...'

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 10:37am GMT

It should be remembered that meetings in back-rooms rarely lead to long term commitments and on-going relationships. You think know that at their age.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 7:50pm GMT

Am I a horrible person for being bored with all the traditionalist hand-wringing over Anglicanorum coetibus ("Do we go and get what we've always said we've wanted, or do we stay and lament not being in communion with the See of Peter?")? This continued soul-searching seems very self-indulgent, like doing your therapy in public.

Posted by: BillyD/Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 8:04pm GMT

Isn't it brilliant. When Rome founded the Anglican Use in 1980s USA, its protagonists predicted up to 400,000 converts. In fact less than a tenth of one per cent of Episcopalians followed.

I venture to guess the response will be equally poor in England.

Of the 845,0000 C of E communicants regularly in Church , I estimate the " conservative " Anglo- Catholics at less than 30,000. I feel that only a tiny fraction of these will convert.

I am not convinced that the Indian and African contingents of TAC will follow en masse.

The TAC in the UK resembles a miniscule sect , with a disproportionate number of clergy.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 9:54pm GMT

Am I wrong to imagine that the CDF are beginning to feel they have been taken for a ride. Perhaps they wish they had consulted Canterbury, who might have given them an inkling of the kind of people they were dealing with? Damian Thompson's conspiracy theories are hilarious -- predicated on his clinging to Second Spring Bridesheadian delusions.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Sunday, 21 February 2010 at 5:52am GMT

Damian Thompson writes that it is all going to take time: ‘for the reality of women bishops to sink in’. Quite so. And then we will really be wondering what the heck took us so long.


Posted by: Judith Maltby on Sunday, 21 February 2010 at 9:31am GMT

"Sooner or later, therefore, the Anglican traditionalists in England and Wales are going to have to build bridges with the pastors of the English Catholic flock. The longer they leave that task -- out of suspicion of a post-Vatican II hierarchy, or a desire to play politics within the Church of England -- the harder it will be."
- Austen Ivereigh, America Catholic Weekly -

This America R.C. correspondent seems to have the inside story on F.i.F.'s gamble that G.S. 2011 may just make and accommodation for them on the question of alternative oversight in women are oradinaed bishops in the Church of England. If F.i.F. is so principled on the matter, this must be a real testing time for them at the moment. It may just be that the Roman hierarchy in Britain may not welcome their eqivocation.

My prayer is that Anglo-Catholics will stay in the C.of E., recognising that God is calling women into the episcopate - regardless of their and Rome's fears that this will be the end of the patriarchy. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 21 February 2010 at 10:09am GMT

The automatic pilot presuppositional glue that once seemed to hold the Constantinian deal, fast to patriarchy as such - one big fat whole thing - is no longer to be taken for granted. Not as automatically nothing but Good. Any more than the Divine Right Of Kings? This maybe means we have needed painful centuries to recover from the mistakes Aristotle made in his biology of human nature, which was falsely yet sincerely reduced to a male biology in ancient near eastern understandings. We might have gotten over our mistakes sooner, if only the good Doctor Aquinas had not taken up Aristotle, hook-line-sinker?

The hardest thing for the anti-women-bishop crowd in the long, long run? Is not all their current dramatic anguish and fear about women bishops; but instead is slowly but surely their remarkable-persistent vagueness - so profoundly reluctant to weigh and celebrate what else a godly woman should be capable of doing in modern-educated citizen and believer life among us, besides (firstly) never ever ever being a bishop, plus getting pregnant, having babies, and mothering young children until some males first males only order of authority removes those children from her realms. (All for everybody's own good, of course. The female hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, ever by mutiple-removed proxies who loudly say they recall their mothers so very fondly?)

Humans can hardly do without stable institutions, any more than we can forgo the rule of fair laws, the wisdoms of critically informed and flexible public policy, and the intent to use our necessary authorities in a provisional and self-correcting manner. So nobody knows exactly what will fill in the huge empty spaces in culture and emerging world history where Constantine-Christendom was simply juggernaut wearing an established, taken for granted Males First-Males Only royal visage.

WeAnglicans owe our very existence to a queen, in more than one sly sense.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 22 February 2010 at 8:42pm GMT

Friends of the ordinariate...a clever FIF front organisation to keep spinning the Vatican along.

They will claim thousands sign...but it all will be confidential.

Rome can be so naive at times...but that is not within the remit of infallibility.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Monday, 22 February 2010 at 9:07pm GMT

Feminists have long complained that women's achieving power in a field is closely followed by the field's loss of prestige. Scholars fought to include women writers in the literary canon -- just when the concept of a body of essential writing was being abandoned.

Because we all think in the current thought-forms, progress has been seen as opening the patriarchy to feminine participation. But this rethinking doesn't open patriarchy -- it reveals its irrelevance. We no longer receive validation from God's covenant with Noah through Judaism and the Church -- Noah is a myth (as are Abraham and Moses, and David is at best a legend), and the Apostolic Succession goes back to Nicea, not the Twelve. Truth now doesn't come from the pipeline but from present experience all around us. We don't look for validation to a bishop (male or female) but to one another. Community is what's left of communion. How do we work this out in a failing hierarchical structure?

Posted by: Murdoch on Monday, 22 February 2010 at 10:05pm GMT

"Rome can be so naive at times...but that is not within the remit of infallibility." - Robert I. Williams -

Exactly Robert. Couldn't agree with you more - even though I'm scratching my head at precisely why you, above all people, as a newly-discipled Roman Catholic, should be saying this.

Truth to tell, I think, even Rome itself is trying to justify this doubtful characeristic of 'infallibility' which, in any case, is not a particularly Christian understanding of how Jesus defined true leadership: "Let him who is first among you be servant of all!" Joseph Ratzinger doesn't seem particularly inclined to servanthood

Mind you, for certain Church of England Bishops in the House of Lords, the prospect of wielding lordly power must be quite intoxicating.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 22 February 2010 at 10:41pm GMT

What I mean is that the leadership in the Catholic Church can make pastoral mistakes as long as it does not concern doctrine and morals. Not even the Pope is above criticism in this area.
For instance I feel the late Pope John Paul the second made some poor choices for the episcopate.

The Apostolic succession can be traced back to Ascension day when a new member of the Apostolic band was chosen. Evidence after which steadily mounts. It is not an invention of Nicea.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 at 7:37am GMT

When exactly is FiF supposed to make up its mind about the Ordinariate?

The whole Day of Prayer scheme shows that it was very much in the same line as the 40 Days of Discernment sponsored by various schismatic parishes in TEC. There's no question about what the desired course of action - even the choice of the Feast of the Chair of Peter makes it clear that this is more a PR campaign designed to get the laity on board. This sort of sham discernment seems a lot like those Protestant extemporaneous pastoral prayers that are nominally addressed to God, but entirely meant for the ears of the congregation.

Posted by: BillyD/Bill Dilworth on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 at 5:22pm GMT

Theres one big difference Billy... the TEC dissidents wanted to move.. this is a FIF ploy..they are still in the main going to stay, come what may.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 at 6:09pm GMT

"they are still in the main going to stay"

I wonder. I mean, for years most of them seem to have been pretending to be RCs using the RC Mass primarily or exclusively. They've made a point of seeing Catholicity in terms of conformity with Rome, and have loudly and repeatedly said that they wish to be in communion with the See of Peter. They basically threatened to leave if Synod didn't see things their way, and Synod does not seem to have seen things their way at all. If they stay, it will be an admission that most of this was an elaborate and extended bluff. How could they ever hope to be taken seriously in the future if they turn down the Pope's offer?

Posted by: BillyD/Bill Dilworth on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 2:00am GMT

Don't put anything past the Anglo-Catholics..they threatened mass exodus over women deacons in 1920, Church of South India in 1956...but the spirit of the vicar of Bray keeps them at bay!

However in all fairness this is also the same for conservative evangelicals.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 7:26am GMT

"What I mean is that the leadership in the Catholic Church can make pastoral mistakes as long as it does not concern doctrine and morals. Not even the Pope is above criticism in this area.
For instance I feel the late Pope John Paul the second made some poor choices for the episcopate."
- Robert Ian Williams -

Robert, you have mentioned - as of paramount importance - matters of 'doctrine and morals' as being part of the Magisterium. I notice this does not necessarily include the charism of Faith, which might be considered a pretty characteristic of true piety. We do understand that the Roman Catholic Church is pretty keen on controlling the doctrine and morals area (though these have been contested by many other Christian Churches), but that does not guarantee the exclusive toe-hold on Faith. Deo Gratias!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 1 March 2010 at 10:23am GMT

"If they stay, it will be an admission that most of this was an elaborate and extended bluff. How could they ever hope to be taken seriously in the future if they turn down the Pope's offer?"

The point made by BillyD about aping the church of Rome is entirely accurate, but current discipline and practice as exercised by some Anglican Catholics is is not what the pope is offering. He is offering full communion within something called Anglican Patrimony. Culture shock 1) The offer from Rome does not include a perpetuation of a culture in which people can flout the rules and be openly disrepectful of others. Culture shock 2) The offer from Rome does include liturgy with an Anglican flavour (though quite that will be no one yet quite knows).

So this is a real bluff calling! I wonder just how many Anglican clergy who currently have great freedom and who, among other things, choose to use the Roman rite, will become Roman priests who are then forced to use an Anglican rite and submit to an Ordinary who may not be their diocesan Bishop, but could even be from among their own number. I suspect that the grass that currently looks so green to some will turn to dust for all but a few.

Posted by: Jonathan Kirkpatrick on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 12:53am GMT

" I suspect that the grass that currently looks so green to some will turn to dust for all but a few.' - Jonathan Kirkpatrick -

Jonathan - Welcome to the Blog! Well, at least, they mind find that their desire to celebrate Solemn Evensong and Benediction might be looked on askance by the local Roman Catholics, who in some R.C. churches seem to no longer practice such *papist* ceremonies as Benediction. Nor do many of them appear to favour the use of formal chasubles - preferring the decorated alb/stole.

Whatever will the ultra-montanes do without their lace and maniples?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 11:28am GMT
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