Sunday, 2 May 2010

departures to the ordinariate?

Updated twice

Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the Telegraph has another exclusive, this time about traditionalists threatening to leave the Church of England.

Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit

Bishops’ defection: A major new blow to the Anglican church

Update

Associated Press British bishops in defection talks with Vatican

…Rev. Keith Newton, the bishop of Richborough, said the trip consisted of “nothing more than exploratory talks” and denied a report in The Sunday Telegraph that he and his colleagues had secretly promised the Vatican they were ready to defect to Rome.

…Newton was joined in his most recent trip by Rev. Andrew Burnham, the bishop of Ebbsfleet, and Rev. John Broadhurst, the bishop of Fulham.

Burnham did not immediately return a call seeking comment, but Broadhurst also confirmed that the trip had taken place, although he declined to say what was discussed.

“I don’t want to be drawn on it,” he said, explaining that the issue “can damage both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.”

Monday’s Times has a report by Ruth Gledhill that reports on the forthcoming publication of the proposed legislation at the end of this week.

See Synod to vote on final stage of code to allow women bishops.

The Church of England is expected to pave the way for the consecration of women bishops when it publishes final proposals this week. The legislation, to be debated by the General Synod in July, will trigger a departure of some traditionalists to the Roman Catholic Church.

Sources told The Times that the legislation for women bishops would include no statutory provision for opponents. Instead, arrangements to allow traditionalist parishes to opt out of the oversight of a woman bishop are expected to be included in a voluntary code of practice. This will not be enough to placate a small number of leading Anglo-Catholics who fear that female bishops will “taint” the historic catholicity of the Church of England.The proposed legislation is to be sent to members of the synod on Friday…

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If/when they leave --
My message to the "traditionalists": Go with God.
My message to the Vatican: They're your problem now.

Posted by: Kevin Montgomery on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 7:02pm BST

Consider the exodus of these Anglican bishops and priests a blessing for the Church of England. I do not say this to be uncharitable. The reasons for their defection to Rome are homophobia and misogyny. They will no doubt find comfort in the like minded Joe (Benedict) Ratzinger. His entire papacy has been about "reform of the reforms" of the Second Vatican Council. His papacy is hardly an example of the inclusive love of Jesus. Joe Ratzinger stands for turning back the clock and returning to the days before Vatican II. It is not going to work. The Anglican bishops and priests who defect to Rome are in for a turbulent future in Roman Catholicism.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 7:05pm BST

This is of course is blackmail, and they hope it will strengthen their hand in the Synod. More fool the CDF for playing game.

Posted by: ROBERT iAN WILLIAMS on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 7:38pm BST

The articles use words suggestive of assault and/or open warfare. What, pray tell, exactly is the nature of any harm done to the C of E by the departure of a collection of prelates and clerics who are unhappy with it? There will still be Anglo-Catholics left who have not bent the knee to the Doctrine of Female Sacerdotal Impossibility, able to offer a truly Catholic voice.

But for the most part, I think the Church might well breathe a sigh of relief, and wish the departing flock Godspeed. Houses divided and all that.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 9:13pm BST

the departure of the die-hard anti-women's ordination bishops may be not a blow, but a blessing in disguise for the Church of England.

Posted by: james lodwick on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 9:25pm BST

I am sorry if I seem to be naive, but if these bishops and the clegy who follow them defect to Rome won't it make it rather easier for the rest of us who remain, the vast majority of Anglicans and indeed Anglo Catholics, to get on with helping to create an inclusive church where neither gender nor sexuality are requirement for full membership of the kingdom of heaven?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 9:29pm BST

This "story" actually appears on the front page of the print edition of this newspaper as the second lead.

As far as I understand from the text - three "flying" bishops appointed to look after those who remain opposed to women as priests and bishops - who we knew previously were having clandestine meetings with Vatican officials - have been to Rome for more meetings.

A quiet day at the office then .......

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 9:49pm BST

Heh: on this side of The Pond, we just had a defecting bishop (+Herzog, retired of Albany NY) COME BACK from Rome. Perhaps some CofE defectors will ALSO find that Rome's not all it's cracked up to me (or rather, it's JUST "cracked up"? ;-/)

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 10:20pm BST

"It will also raise the stakes of a crucial vote at this summer's General Synod , the Church of England's parliament, which will decide what provisions to give traditionalists opposed to the introduction of women bishops."
- Jonathan Wynne-Jones, The Telegraph -

No wonder the Pope looks sick at heart in the picture that accompanies this article. Neither he nor the English R.C. bishops, apparently, were aware of the secret meeting of 'Flying Bishops' with Vatican officials recently, which is set to put the cat among the pigeons at the July General Synod of the Church of England.

Perhaps this is the most telling episode in the ongoing saga of 'Flying Bishops' (surely a non-starter in real catholicism) which were brought into being by the English General Synod years ago to pacify the ultra-montane among the clergy who were totally opposed to women in the ranks of the Church of England. These ghostly creatures of epsicopal accommodation have now turned out to be cuckoos in the nest and protagonists in a war of attrition against those who believe women to be co-heirs of the Image and Likeness of God, and therefore valid recipients of the charism of holy orders in the Church.

One would have thought that Rome had enough problems of its own at the moment - without the possibility of a knock-down fight with the Church of England. And anyway, the problems that would ensue from the wholesale adoption of protestant ministers from the C.of E. (which is how they will be regarded by Rome) - needing further training into the characteristics of the Roman Catholic Ordinariates - especially in the light of
English R.C. resistance - will probably do little for the ecumenical relationships that have been already upset by the Pope's precipitate actions in his initial invitation.

The big question will be whether the threat of the 'Flying Bishops' to take their clergy and people with them will alter the course of General Synod's intention to validate the call of women into the episcopate in the C.of E. On this issue, one would think that if the threat of departure is there - on the part of the ultra-montanes - they ought to be let go - if only on the grounds of their future unreliabity as co-partners in mission with the rank and file of the C.of E.

Their biggest problem will be the fact that the Church Commissioners are unlikely to be able to let them take the buildings and furniture with them - nor their present stipends, which would have to be raised, by them, by other means.

I, personally, do not believe that the Church of England need worry too much about the prospect of losing the more faithful Anglo-Catholic priests, whose original vocations have been derived from the patrimony of Catholic Anglicanism. Their departure for the Ordinariates would inevitably lead them into the uncharted territory of 'Terra Incognita' in the U.K., and hardly an ecumenical partner in any future Anglican/Roman Catholic dialogue.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 11:16pm BST

Would someone please explain to me how it is that these Church of England traditionalists have their knickers in a knot about consecrating women as bishops when they seem to have no qualms at all about the fact that the Supreme Governor of their church is a woman?

Posted by: John Thorp on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 12:58am BST

Richard Ashby wrote: "I am sorry if I seem to be naive, but if these bishops and the clegy who follow them defect to Rome won't it make it rather easier for the rest of us who remain, the vast majority of Anglicans and indeed Anglo Catholics, to get on with helping to create an inclusive church where neither gender nor sexuality are requirement for full membership of the kingdom of heaven?"

I don't believe that Mr. Ashby is naive, but has come to the heart of the matter.

Moreover, as one who crossed the Tiber some thirty-four years ago, at the age of thirty-two, I expect that this kind of sanctification of bigotry will lead to increasing numbers of Roman Catholics discovering that their faith is best expressed and nurtured in the Global North of the Anglican Communion.

Furthermore, when one considers the growing amount of disgust, among the ordinary faithful in RC pews, in the ever-expanding pedophile scandals of the Roman Catholic Church, the interest in exploring the Apostolic Succession outside Rome may lead more and more of the people to the door of Canterbury and its sister churches in the Anglican Communion.

Let them go, peaceably, without the property that some have tried to take, and let's get on with the basic mission in the revealed life of Christ.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 1:07am BST

Has Rome given any thought to the possibility that, should the flying bishops and their flocks take wing, thereby removing the obstacles to full participation of women in the ordained ministry of the CofE, unknown numbers of English RC's might decide to migrate the other way?

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 2:14am BST

Is there any hope that the upcoming General Synod of The Church of England will have a "Vatican II Moment" and completely abandon the hideous idea of "Flying Bishops"? Rome's problems will increase with the influx of Anglican priests and bishops who are to become Roman Catholics and yet I still believe the move will only enhance the future for The Church of England. Women bishops are centuries overdue and they will make the Body of Christ a truly inclusive community. I would not worry too much about the future of Anglican/Roman Catholic ecumenical dialogue. It will take a pope like John the 23rd to open that discussion again. Joe (Benedict) Ratzinger looks backwards in time for his vision of "Church" and this has sadly placed him in the dysfunctional column of Roman Pontiffs.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 5:05am BST

So what is the downside here?

Posted by: JPM on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 5:49am BST

These bishops are scheduled to conduct ordinations this Petertide of individuals to the ministry of a church they appear to be actively working to take people out of. Can someone explain to me either the ecclesiology or just plain decency of this?

Posted by: Grumpy High Church Woman on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:51am BST

With all the behind the seasons 'diplomacy' taking place at the hands of the 'Bishops Vagantes', one hopes that the General Synod will not suffer from a lack of nerve in their decision to allow women priests in the Church of England to be called by God and the C.of E. into the episcopate. The odd system of 'Flying Bishops' was only meant to be temporary - awaiting the 'reception' of women as clergy by the whole Church. Surely it it time the waiting was over, allowing the C.of E. to catch up with its contemporaries in other parts of the Anglican world. Our prayers will be with General Synod in July! - Kiwi Anglo-Catholic -

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 10:06am BST

'Flying' bishops -- well named it would seem, as they prepare to fly away.

One question : Why the delay ?

Another: What are they (high) on ?
Another : How can they continue to minister in the C of E if they feel and think like this about the Necessity of Rome ? Or is it more a matter of convenience, taste and posturing? If C of E is no Church, why stay ? If Rome is the Only Church, why delay ?

But if they are of more pragmatic turn of mind as seems implicit in their delaying and their tactics, why not be more pragmatic about the C of E and the whole equality thing ? Do they need to read or re-read Fr Williams CR (True Wilderness etc) and Revd Don Cupitt (Sea of Faith etc.

OR : Is it time for them to return to serve in parishes in need of (assistant) Curates ?

The 'flying bishop' thing was not one of John Habgood's best ideas, now was it ? ?But it was'nt his fault we took it up.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 10:37am BST

Also, what does Mrs Broadhurst think about it all ?

I think we should be told !

(Secretly hoping she is giving him a hard time) :- )

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 10:38am BST

This latest story irresistibly brought to mind the Tarantara policemen's song in the second act of Pirates of Penzance: "Away, away! These pirates slay, Tarantara! Then do not stay. Tarantara! Then why this delay? Alright - we go. Yes, forward on the foe! Yes, but you DON'T go! We go, we go!"
Bishop Broadhurst came to a recent meeting of the Tablet table and seemed surprised that his imminent arrival among RCs was not greeted with unalloyed joy or enthusiasm, particularly as he seemed to think a pick'n'mix Catholicism would allow him to carry on as ever.
He got quite cross and ended up saying Benedict was ordering it, to which one of our number said: "Just because the Pope makes us a sandwich, doesn't mean we've got to eat it...."
Thrusting these johnny-come-latelies on Catholics here is not going down terribly well.

Posted by: Stephen Bates on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 11:06am BST

This whole flying bishop thing always seemed to me an ecclesiastical innovation that the Church of England has sprung on the rest of the Anglican Communion despite our historic commitment to "one bishop,one diocese." I believe it necessitates an emergency meeting of the Primates and perhaps a covenant to rein in this revisionist church which cannot be satisfied with the faith once delivered to the apostles. Who's with me?

Posted by: Jim Naughton on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 2:45pm BST

Very few are "with you" Jim Naughton. Flying Bishops is hardly to quote you, Jim, "an ecclesiastical innovation" and more an aberration which draws on the theology of hatred and intolerance. It is the sickest of "theologies" of homophobia and misogyny. As with all of the fundamentalist elements in Christianity it EXCLUDES rather than INCLUDES every human being who may be different. This is the antithesis of the teachings and examples of Jesus. The right wingers always seem to want "emergency meetings of the Primates and perhaps a covenant to reign in this revisionist church", to quote you, again Jim. The vast majority of people see through this flimsy and dysfunctional myth that only people such as you Jim, know the truth. So, no, Jim most of us are NOT with YOU on this. Your position is shameful and short sighted.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 5:32pm BST

Flying bishops, flying bishops!? Is this a new British TV production that is a sequel to "The Flying Nun"? Will it appear soon on American TV? I so enjoyed Sally Field. Maybe they can cast her as a flying mother superior alongside the flying bishops. Although, I don't know if you can make mitres that have any plausible aerodynamics, the way Sally Fields' wimple did.

Methinks that since these "flying bishops" have their own sense of theology, ecclesiology, and episcopology (if that's a word), Rome will have as much difficulty absorbing them as the CofE.

Posted by: peterpi on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 5:42pm BST

My advice to the C of E for dealing with these departing bishops is to leave the porch light on.

Episcopal bishops crossing the Tiber sometimes cross back.

Posted by: Counterlight on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 5:54pm BST

May the Tiber go flat to ease these poor folks on their way. We are much better off without Duncan and his crew. You all might benefit from the same.

Posted by: BobinSWPA on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 6:00pm BST

Jim Naughton. Count me in, but remember that GRAS already exists to rescind the Act of Synod which created this foolish arrangment. I've said here before that flying bishops are the irresponsible and ignorant confection of John Habgood, who should have known better. I've never known an Old Etonian bishop who was any good, and I fear we're about to be landed with an Old Etonian Prime Minister.

Posted by: toby forward on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 6:17pm BST

@ Chris Smith - hunh? You seem to be undecided whether you agree or disagree with Jim Naughton. You agree with him that the flying bishops are an undesirable introduction into the Church's life, but take offense to his use of "innovation" over "abberation" which seems like an argument over two ways of saying the same thing. You don't apparently think the church should accommodate such institutional structures, but when Canon Naughton facetiously expresses the same sentiment you call it "shameful and shortsighted." I shudder to think what kind of language you would have used had he actually disagreed with you!

Posted by: Geoff on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:04pm BST

Chris Smith, lighten up, dude! Jim Naughton is pulling your leg.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by: Kurt on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:14pm BST

A question about CofE polity: how does a CofE bishop get sacked and by whom? If the shoe were on the other foot and RC bishops were secretly conspiring with Lambeth Palace to jump ship with their clergy and flock, I think the Pope would quickly use his crosier to give them the hook.

Posted by: Kahu Aloha on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:15pm BST

Why haven't these conspiring bishops been removed from their positions?

Posted by: JPM on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:25pm BST

Chris Smith, is it possible you don't know satire when you see it?

Posted by: Jim Naughton on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:26pm BST

"This will not be enough to placate a small number of leading Anglo-Catholics who fear that female bishops will “taint” the historic catholicity of the Church of England."

More than the concept of "flying bishops" does? Anyway, last I checked "catholic" means universal...what's more universal than allowing everybody in?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:45pm BST

A small point in the greater scheme of things but - I don't understand how a bishop of the Church of England thinks it consistent with his fiduciary responsiblity to the Church of England to hold secret meetings with another denomination about plans for possible future mass defections.

Surely the bishops have to leave the Church of England BEFORE they are free to have such discussions? Or else to obtain the blessing of the Church of England for the discussions first?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he would not give his blessing. It sounds as if commenters on Thinking Anglicans might, however, give theirs! I would not.

Posted by: badman on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 8:43pm BST

Jim, your comments are well taken. Some of us in the CofE have been making that point since 1993 (see Monica Furlong, ed, Act of Synod-Act of Folly? 1998), objecting to the Act of Synod precisely on the grounds of catholic order. One of the interesting things since 1993 has been the way many liberals have found the Act of Synod perfectly tolerable (quite 'pastoral', really, you see) when applied to women clergy, but insulting and intolerable when applied to male gay clergy. Many of us women would have welcomed a bit more joined up thinking there, chaps! But better late than never.

Posted by: Judith Maltby on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 9:04pm BST

Chris S, you have entirely missed Jim N's *irony*.

What he's suggesting be done to the *CofE*, is what has been done/may be done again to *TEC*. Shoe on other foot. Good for goose, good for gander. And like that...

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 9:16pm BST

Why does not HRH Elizabeth, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, ask for the immediate public resignation of these three renegade Bishops?

Posted by: Jay on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 9:33pm BST

Um, Chris Smith - I think you might have understood Jim's comment... I read it rather as a satirical comment on the situation, and comparing it with the reaction of other provinces to the situation with TEC. Am I right Jim? A wee bit harsh to call him shameful and short sighted...

Posted by: Nick Lincoln on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 9:52pm BST

Oh why don't they just go!
Then perhaps granny England will begin to line up with the majority of the Communion.
You have sat here too long in Christ's name go.

Posted by: Wayne Bunny on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 10:26pm BST

for the first time i agree with my liberal brothers and sisters: the anglo-catholics who want to come should just come home to rome. Its time they came home, we are waiting for their return..

Posted by: mark wharton on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 10:43pm BST

"Chris Smith, is it possible you don't know satire when you see it?"

Irony isn't a word in the American lexicon. Then again there's Sarah Palin.....

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 10:54pm BST

I read Jim's words as a mimicking of those flung about whenever TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada does something the 'traditionalists' do not like. I really do think his words are a leg-pull.

Posted by: Lee on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 11:44pm BST

Judith, you raise a good point. I plead my Roman Catholicism in 1993, but I am not sure that's sufficient excuse.

Posted by: Jim Naughton on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 1:00am BST

gosh what love and concern can be found for those you disagree with.....

did ANY of you listen to last Sunday's Gospel?

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 11:26am BST

Well, to this ex-evo liberal, who has been a member of GRAS from day 1, I hope the mozetta-and-dagger meetings will bring in what the flying bishops and their FiF cohorts want. I think they are a theological nonsense and always have been. But, let me underline, if they want to stay they are welcome (I really am liberal); nevertheless I don't think the prophetic catholicity of the church in opening its orders to men and women equally should be compromised to accommodate them. You don't tell a small number of people at a Monopoly convention that it is ok, they can play according to the rules of Cluedo. And doing it all while planning to participate in Anglican ordinations that they don't really

What no one has commented on is how this all punches a huge hole in the grand coalition that was supposed to be FCA. Where do the con evos go now? Their traditionalist chums will have pushed off and, while they don't like having girls as captain of the cricket team, what they really can't stand are those people suffering from same sex attraction. So who is going to play ball with them? - or will we see them start to have separatist parishes under the pastoral control of GAFCON primates a la TEC? That would surely require a home-grown Kenyan/Ugandan/Nigerian/Hong Kong-consecrated bishop to care for them (a higher view of episcopacy than most of these neo-puritans and crypto-presbyterians have ever espoused before). I wonder who it will be? And will they try and take their parish churches, bricks, mortar and bank accounts, out of the Church of England too?

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 2:30pm BST

Like Fr Tomlinson with whom I often disagree, I too am shocked at the strident tone of the comments on this matter.

I am sad to see anyone leave the family I love.

Posted by: Davis d'Ambly on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 4:45pm BST

addendum
"that they don't really believe in seems horribly duplicitous".

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 6:14pm BST

Perhaps, "Father" Ed, it's because you and your ilk show so little love and concern for those YOU disagree with and so much disdain for those you cannot understand or appreciate; and because you always demonstrate so much insistence on the priority of your tender conscience and superior understanding. A little humility will help you when you finally get round to going up the road to St Gregory's.....

Posted by: stephen bates on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 6:41pm BST

Ed, do you ever go to Stand Firm or Vitriol Online and wring your hands over how rude people are, or do you save that for your visits to this site?

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 6:54pm BST

I have to wonder if over-use of incense clouds the mind, as well as the eyes and sinuses.

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 11:59pm BST

I am amazed at the patience and restraint shown here. Try the so-called TitusOneNine and Stand Firm for a real lesson in invective.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 2:13am BST

I don't understand how these "flying bishops" can be in a position to do that. How are they appointed Bishops? To whom are they accountable? What are the expectations of them? Is seems strange that they could become bishops and have no accountability to anyone but their own personal constituency, since they don't actually have diocesan responsibilities. The whole point of their positions is to enable clergy and congregations to remain in the C of E. if they aren't doing that, what's the point? They certainly weren't put into place to become focal points for division and to actually encourage it. How can they even hold positions as bishops in the C of E without a basic understanding that their positions are, by definition, to work within the C of E and to promote understanding, not to discourage it? Or have they simply let their positions enhance their own tendency to personal aggrandisement and to be disruptive?

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 3:01am BST

Pointless to break your own soul over souls that refuse to be healed. No healing for the "orthodox" and harm to everyone - *everyone* - else. Holding on to them is not responsible stewardship nor loving, to either the supposed-orthodox or the liberals harmed by them. They can't be outside "the family" UNLESS you only accept that certain denominations are accepted by God and others aren't.

The greatest compassion is to let them go, and if they won't go on their own, make them go in the hope they'll find healing elsewhere.

That *is* love.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 5:09am BST

Adam, the "Flying Bishops" are suffragans of the respective Archbishop and are answerable to him.

I have no inside knowledge, but might this not be a possible understanding of what is going on:

1) The Archbishop believes there should be provision in law for opponents (he has said so.)

2) He believes that promises were made for provision in perpetuity. (he has said so)

3) He is alarmed that synod is determined to make no such provision (he has said so)

4) He understands that many will now leave and that the offer of ordinariates may be a means of doing so.

5) In order for individuals and groups to make decisions about their future, they need to fully understand the nature of an ordinariate.

6) He believes that the best way to keep informed and to inform the people is for his PEVs to enter into conversations with the Vatican.

7) Draft legislation will abolish the PEVs, therefore this is also about their own future.

8) The fact that a spokesman for the Church of England knew nothing about this, does not mean that the Archbishop did not.

Of course, I have no information to confirm point 6.

Posted by: David Malloch on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 8:57am BST

David
When you say "The Archbishop" you are clearly referring to the Abp of Canterbury.
Just to make it clear, the Bishop of Beverley, one of the three PEVs, is a suffragan of the Archbishop of York, who may perhaps have a different view of some of these matters.
And the Bishop of Fulham, who is not a PEV, but performs a similar role in London, Southwark, and Rochester dioceses (is that a complete list?) is a suffragan of the Bishop of London. Who etc.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 12:18pm BST

Simon,

You are correct that it is +Richborough & +Ebbsfleet who are suffragans of the Archbishop of Canturbury. I do not know the views of the ABp of York, but there has been no suggestion that +Beverley was in Rome last week.

It is possible that +Fulham was there in his role as Chairman of Forward in Faith, rather than by virtue of his suffragan see; he was FiF chairman at the time of his consecration, so presumably the Bp of London cannot challenge this??

Posted by: David Malloch on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 12:43pm BST

Or could it be that being intelligent men the flying bishops saw that Synod has no intention of offering long term dignity and space to traditional Catholicism within the church of England and therefore did everything they could to make a home for those being bundled out of the C of E for no other reason than that they have not changed their beliefs?

Which is to say they were in a difficult spot and sincerely believed that faithfulness to the traditionalists and the Gospel (as they sincerely believe it to be) trumped the need to be faithful to the establishment.

In many ways it was very protestant of them and Luther would be proud!

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 12:53pm BST

@ Fr Ed - Yes, we all understand the rationale. But there can be no bargaining with the Vatican, so in what could any "exploratory talks" consist? AC has been published in black and white. It can be accepted or rejected as is, but there isn't really anything to "explore" at this stage.

And, I suspect that the takeup will be less than 100% since the sort of high-church, retail-episcopal congregationalism to which FiF are accustomed will have to be abandoned. If they really want to be Catholics, they'll have to take whatever bland CDW-approved text and whatever career-bureaucrat prelate Rome sends. No more pre-Pian reconstructions for St Magnus the Martyr; no more freedom for Fr Kirk to tell his diocesan paper with impunity that he regards himself as out of communion with his diocesan bishop. (And yet AffCath are the "protestants in petticoats!")

Posted by: Geoff on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 1:59pm BST

It's sad when "traditionalism" is a word that really means that you either have to have a male organ and to be attracted to women sexually (even if 'celibate') to be ordained or to be a Christian at all. This is what the Roman Church believes. How is that working for them? Traditionalism, so narrowly viewed, has little to offer and not something we would want to emulate in perpetuity. As an Anglo-Catholic (or at least an Anglican Catholic), these have nothing to do with my faith.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 3:02pm BST

I have never been to an Anglo-Catholic parish in Canada or the U.S. (never been to the U.K, but I assume it's the same) that was not a "sanctuary" for gay men. No one really questions the fact that Anglo-Catholicism is not only attractive to gays, but that many of their clergy are gay, celibate or not. Are these bishops or the FiF people willing to buy into Roman (official) homophobia or do they plan to live in a "don't ask, don't tell) ghetto. If they plan to be re-ordained, will they deny that they are gay, even if the C of E hasn't made this an issue for them? The hypocrisy of gay (male) clergy and laity wanting the refuge of Rome from women, since their attractions and interests are elsewhere, would be funny, if not tragic. It takes hypocrisy to a new level and is a product of their internalised homophobia, their interest in living in their "boys only" club, or an undermining of the Church that has actually supported them in their ministries. I can't believe that Rome is unaware of gay Anglo-Catholics, or does their own hypocrisy on this issue allow them to look the other way? This all seems like some kind of fantasy.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 3:13pm BST

My sincere apology to Jim Naughton. I missed the boat on the satire in his article and I apologize for my comments. As a general rule, I will not post my comments in the future after having had dental surgery. I take full responsibility however, and yes I now see what Jim was intending to convey. I was way off and my comments and interpretation look real silly. I felt real embarrassed after I re-read Jim's original post and my short sighted comments.
I remain opposed to the entire concept of "Flying Bishops" as many of the people in this thread. Sorry for my previous comments, Jim, I did not mean to offend you. This was one of my serious "off" days.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 5:22pm BST

Adam,

What you describe may be true of some UK Anglo-Catholic parishes, but it is not a particular feature of those whom I know to be considering joining an ordinariate.

My own parish is an inner city backstreet community, with folk of all ages and many nationalities. 50% of servers are female, as are both Churchwardens & the majority of the PCC. We simply believe what we have always believed and, until now, that was an equal and honoured position within the Church of England.

I have some respect for those who argue that the CofE needs more coherence and that we should leave. What I do not understand is how it can be argued that we should go and at the same time argued that our bishops should not be helping us to do so.

Posted by: David Malloch on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 6:12pm BST

The Bishop of Fulham has now commented, see http://www.forwardinfaith.com/artman/publish/article_505.shtml

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 6:15pm BST

My point is that is doesn't make sense for you to go. What can be achieved by that? If all that makes you traditionalists is having male bishops (you have female priests and you haven't left), that's hardly the reason to go. It's interesting that the gender of the episcopate should be the last starw for Anglo-Catholics who have been in the same Church with women priests, perhaps even in neighbouring parishes, for nearlty twenty years. After all, if they were ordained by bishops, how can the episcopate be seen as sacrosanct. If our ecclesiology holds that a priest is the representative of the Bishop and ministers in the Bishop's stead, there is really no ultimate line that can be drawn between the two orders. If you just want a male Bishop because it looks and feels right, or if the Bishop is merele a Sacrament-machine, that really isn't Catholic.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 6:57pm BST

The Bishop of Fulham's statement is disturbing, since he only seems to care about a "leak". Scripture tells us that everything we do must be exposed to the light, except for those who prefer the darkness. If anything is going on that does not bear clear, open, and honest scrutiny, he is actually saying that his real concern is that this was exposed. So then, if people are hurt and betrayed, can this really be of God? How this can be Christian is beyond me.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 7:04pm BST

OOOOOH! Simon! I think this jive is worth a thread of its own!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 8:32pm BST

The moral calculus is difficult because it involves taking account of different principles, of different interest groups, of the rights of majorities and minorities, of the clash between interest and interests and practicalities, of different loyalties, of complexity of loyalties (etc. etc.). All these things: any simple pronouncement based on the absolute privileging of any single principle (such as - purely for example - 'one diocese, one bishop') is lazy and unprincipled. When that calculus is done, I still believe that the correct 'result' is: give FiF people who would dearly like to remain Anglicans the 'protection' that they think they need. That done, such people will have to agree to slagging off 'liberals', just as the latter will have to agree to slagging off 'reactionaries'.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 9:02pm BST

'I have never been to an Anglo-Catholic parish in Canada or the U.S. (never been to the U.K, but I assume it's the same) that was not a "sanctuary" for gay men.' (Adam Armstrong)

Yes, this is how it is in the UK as you guessed.

And yes, there is loads of mind-blowing hypocrisy self-deception, internalised homophobia and fantasy.

I have to say that RC deaneries and parish are not lacking in any of this themselves and there is mamny a closetted cleric.

Years ago, I spent some time at an RC seminary and it was very, very gay. In fact, one of the seminarians lived in the flat above a gay pub in Brighton, with his boyfriend, who ran it ! Whether he eventually went all the way with Ordination I never did know ....

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 9:11pm BST

David Malloch "What you describe may be true of some UK Anglo-Catholic parishes, but it is not a particular feature of those whom I know to be considering joining an ordinariate."

Well, I don't know how naive you may be about this topic, but I know most of the clergy who were at the Pusey House conference on the Ordinariate a week or so ago, and they ain't many of 'em straight, to say the least...

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 9:29pm BST

The Bishop of Fulham's letter at the link given by Simon today, is well worth reading. He puts the whole thing in a different, a better and an understandable light.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 9:30pm BST

If women bishops "taint" the historic catholicity of the Church of England, Anglo-Catholics should wake up and realize that this is insignificant and meaningless to the Church of Rome. Otherwise, why re-ordain Anglican clergy. If we think that, if we have women bishops, the other ("real")Catholics won't accept us anymore, let's be honest and realize that they never officially have. For most Orthodox, the jury is out, but this has never been an issue that interests them. It's as if we want to stay in a club that never thought we were members, at least as much as they are.

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 10:28pm BST

John did you mean "stop" slagging off?

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 at 10:51pm BST

Adam Armstrong: we could live with women priests because they do not directly affect our ministry. This changes with women bishops as, being Catholic, ecclesiology matters. If I am uncertain that the woman on the Cathedra really IS a bishop then I cannot accept her authority nor that of any standing 'in her place' and it puts a question mark over my own ability to function sacramentally. Furthermore the question mark extends to those, men and women, ordained by her. Remember my objection is not her gender but her sacramental validity

L. Roberts: Far less FIF clergy than you like to pretend are gay. Sorry if that upsets you but it is fact. Some are but so what? If they are celibate then that is in order and that is a matter between them and their confessor- at least they make a stand for orthodoxy. Truth is I saw a much larger gay culture in Westcott House and I amongst liberal Catholics then I have ever seen in FIF.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 8:23am BST

Simon,

I did indeed: long day, tired and emotional. Thanks.

Posted by: john on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 10:21am BST

"If you just want a male Bishop because it looks and feels right, or if the Bishop is merele a Sacrament-machine, that really isn't Catholic."

Precisely. This is the "retail" view I refer to. In order to uphold their particular understanding of holy orders, FiF have been quite prepared to jettison just about everything they have ever professed to believe about ecclesiology, which belies their more Catholic than thou attitude. Is there anything less catholic than a parish floating independent of a diocese? A freelance vagans confirmation-matic is not a bishop in the catholic understanding nor a substitute therefor, and is a far more damaging blow to catholic ecclesiology than the "problem" they were designed to "solve."

Posted by: Geoff on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 1:41pm BST

I have no issue with anyone, ordained or not, being gay. I do have with those who long for the comforts of Rome, cheerfully ignoring the fact that they are joining a Church which would refuse to ordain, or perhaps even accept them, if they were honest. How they deal with this amongst themselves is one thing, but crossing the Tiber to go into the closet, or just plain living a lie is another. As far as women not being sacramentally validly ordained to the episcopate, one wonders how we can put gender above everything else. Jesus certainly didn't. According to scripture, it is worse to be gay than to be female, but we don't take that so seriously. Are gay priests validly ordained? Is their possession of a certain anatomical item all that matters, despite the fact that they are gay? Strange and sad that this matters so much. We are talking, after all, about people made in God's image where gender shouldn't be the only issue that matters. Or are we saying that it's unfortunate to be born female and their inferiority is a Gospel imperative? One could say the same for gay people. So being ordained a gay is already a compromise we will accept. Why not to be female?

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 2:29pm BST

Fr Ed: "Far less FIF clergy than you like to pretend are gay."

I don't know what your basis for saying this is: with the attitude you adopt, they are hardly likely to be flocking to come out to you, are they, and so then how would you know?

Granted, all of us speak rather unscientifically when making any assertions about the number of gay people in churches, as they are not yet safe institutions for gay people to be honest about themselves in; but those of us who are ourselves gay and have spent decades hanging around Anglo-Catholic churches could fairly claim to speak with some experience of the workings of ecclesiastical gay sub-culture.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 3:31pm BST

That FiF is a haven for gay clergy may be a cliche, and one Fr Tomlinson finds unpalatable, but while he may argue numbers with L Roberts I cannot see how he can with a straight face question the veracity of the substantive point. These priests will not eligible to avail themselves of the Pope's offer. Their celibacy may be "in order" (how kind) but it will not help them in the RCC, which in 2005 closed the priesthood to the celibate gay men who have been its lifeblood for centuries in a transparently vicious attempt to offer them as a sacrificial lamb to populist prejudices about the child abuse incidents in the Church.

Enough with the spin, posturing, and dishonesty already.

Posted by: Geoff on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 3:35pm BST

Gee, I thought the sacraments came from God, and not some European male....silly me.

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 5:32pm BST

Thanks for your comment Ed Tomlinson. 'Pretending ' does nt come into it. I am speaking of my own experience as I always try to. I have noticed that married people including clergy, tend to be unaware of the numbers of gay people / clergy among whom they live.


I think that is why there has been this whole riciculous 'gay clergy crisis' thing in the Church has blown up, because some of the more naive married bishops and senior clergy either

didnt realise or

chose to ignore / 'pretend'(?)

how many gay clergy and congregants there are.

Also too much hushing up, and too much of a 'that is a matter between them and their confessor' mind-set.

But fewer younger people entering ministries are prepared to pretend that the love of their life is a mere lodger or to be brushed under the carpet.

FiF and SSC are visible gay - whatever they say. I hesitate to ask about those who 'prptest too much' lest it be tasteless !

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 6:39pm BST

Can someone please explain to me why the flying bishops scheme was tolerable when it was used to avoid women priests and the bishops who ordain them, but intolerable when used to avoid women bishops? Why not let these enclaves continue?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 6:59pm BST

I am waiting for the surprised reactions of Tiber-swimming Anglican clergy who will find themselves permanently ineligible for ordained ministry:

§2. Those who have been previously ordained in the Catholic Church and subsequently have become Anglicans, may not exercise sacred ministry in the Ordinariate. Anglican clergy who are in irregular marriage situations may not be accepted for Holy Orders in the Ordinariate.

Also, I suspect there are lay swimmers who don't know they are not be eligible for membership in the Ordinariate:

§1. ...Those baptized previously as Catholics outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate.

(From the _Complementary Norms
for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus_)

Posted by: MaryO on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 7:26pm BST

MaryO: There aren't many 'swimmers' originally baptised Catholic, surely? That clause is meant to apply to existing RCs. Lay faithful 'originally of the Anglican tradition' such as myself, having swum 10 years ago can become part of the Ordinariate, or not, as we choose. Personally I won't, because after 10 years I'm happy where I am.

Of course, one doesn't have to become a member of the Ordinariate to attend one of their churches, since we will all be in communion.

Posted by: Clive on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 11:16pm BST

"Remember my objection is not her gender but her sacramental validity"

But what makes you doubt her "sacramental validity" is her gender, right? A distinction without a difference, as they say in law.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 11:36pm BST

"Can someone please explain to me why the flying bishops scheme was tolerable when it was used to avoid women priests and the bishops who ordain them, but intolerable when used to avoid women bishops? Why not let these enclaves continue?"

Who says they were tolerable?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 11:40pm BST

Clive
"Of course, one doesn't have to become a member of the Ordinariate to attend one of their churches, since we will all be in communion."

I didn't think any part of the CoE was officially in communion with Rome. I thought that, for example, the CoE is quite happy to invite Roman Catholics to share the Eucharist with us, while we are not welcome to do so at RC churches, at least not officially.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 7 May 2010 at 10:03am BST

Erika:

As a former RC, I can confirm that the Roman Catholic church does not condone non-Catholics receiving the Eucharist at a RC mass. While the RC church accepts all baptisms, it requires more than that for receiving the Eucharist (hence the importance of "First Holy Communion" in their tradition).

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 7 May 2010 at 12:14pm BST

Rev L Roberts: "But fewer younger people entering ministries are prepared to pretend that the love of their life is a mere lodger or to be brushed under the carpet."

Well said: this is a very important point. The "sweep it under the carpet" attitude cannot hold any longer, as it teaches that a culture of dishonesty is the only acceptable one to the C of E: not a recommendation for any balanced modern person considering going into the Church.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 7 May 2010 at 6:01pm BST

2. Those who have been previously ordained in the Catholic Church and subsequently have become Anglicans, may not exercise sacred ministry in the Ordinariate. Anglican clergy who are in irregular marriage situations may not be accepted for Holy Orders in the Ordinariate.

Also, I suspect there are lay swimmers who don't know they are not be eligible for membership in the Ordinariate:

'§1. ...Those baptized previously as Catholics outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate.

(From the _Complementary Norms
for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus_)
Posted by: MaryO on Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 7:26pm BST'

What a load of b---- er nonsense. Makes me laugh or at least smile. Who'd want put themselves thru all this stuff ? It's just plain daft.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Friday, 7 May 2010 at 9:15pm BST

well keep laughing L Roberts. I can see why. Who would want obedience and self discipline when you can follow your own theology and play God all day?!

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Friday, 7 May 2010 at 11:19pm BST

Ed:

We all, ultimately, follow our own theology. It's just that some of us find it more satisfying to develop it through faith and reason, rather than receive it whole-cloth from some "authority".

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 11:49am BST

Erika et al: the communion I referred to is between cradle RCs, those like me who became RCs prior to the Ordinariates being proposed and those who form the new Ordinariate. There is nothing preventing prior 'swimmers' from joining the Ordinariate and nothing preventing cradle RCs from attending Mass at an Ordinariate church if, for example, they miss the smoke.

Posted by: Clive on Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 4:30pm BST

Ed, do you really think that you are an effective advocate for the beliefs that you claim to hold so dear?

Posted by: JPM on Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 5:04pm BST

"There aren't many 'swimmers' originally baptised Catholic, surely?"

Whyever not? Here in the States lots of Episcopalians are former Roman Catholics.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 7:26pm BST

Bill: indeed, swimming the other way. But they are irrelevant to this discussion. I doubt former RCs who have found their anything goes paradise in ECUSA would be interested in the Ordinariates.

Posted by: Clive on Sunday, 9 May 2010 at 3:08am BST

"Which is to say they were in a difficult spot and sincerely believed that faithfulness to the traditionalists and the Gospel (as they sincerely believe it to be) trumped the need to be faithful to the establishment."
- Ed Tomlinson, on Wednesday -

Ed, you are presumably here speaking of that genus (unknown to 'traditional catholics') now known as 'Flying Bishops' - whose nearest equivalent from a truly catholic point of view would probably be called 'Episcopi vagantes'. You are suggesting that they are acting in accordance with their 'catholic' beliefs, in proposing apostate action which would separate them from the Anglican Communion of Churches. Is this, then, the sort of behaviour one might expect from a 'Prince of the Church'? In any event, their episcopal status will not be recognised as 'kosher' by their Roman Catholic hosts. Indeed, one wonders how the pope would feel about his own colleagues consorting with another Christian body with a view to their desertion from Mother Church?

Ed, I do hope for your own sake, and that of your family, that you are soon able to satisfy your tender conscience about all the important moves you will need to make if G.C. does not accede to your demands. Even if you stay, I'm sure some-thing else will soon crop up that will not accord with your very strict standards of what you call catholic propriety. May you find gainful and rewarding employment, and find some space that will afford you the sanctuary you are seeking - without further threat to your immortal soul.
Pax Vobiscum!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 9 May 2010 at 1:03pm BST

"I doubt former RCs who have found their anything goes paradise in ECUSA would be interested in the Ordinariates."

Frankly, I don't think that the Ordinariate holds nearly as much attraction for Americans (either cradle Episcopalians or former RCs) as it seems to for the British. Most of our people who couldn't abide women bishops left for "continuing Churches" some time ago. And Anglo-Catholics here don't seem to be nearly as enthralled with all things Roman as the Brits, either.

Anyway, we've already had a similar program in place in the States for years; I can't see the new developments changing things that much here.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 1:09am BST

'The leak came as a real surprise to me as it happened whilst I was abroad. As we had not informed others of our visit, who leaked it - and why - is a very serious question. It risks damage to the Church of England, and to Catholic Anglicans in particular, as well as to the forthcoming visit to the UK of the Holy Father."
- A Bishop of Fulham -

I only just caught this little gem from the statement put out by the Flying Bishop of Fulham, and am amazed that he is more tragically dismayed by the press leak about the visit to Rome, than about the actual impropriety and circumstances of the 'Visit'.

With such a profound disregard for his professed concern for the sensitivities of the Church of England - not to mention the doubtful future of ecumenical relationship with Rome - engendered by 'The Leak' which he blames on everyone but the Flying Bishops themselves, one cannot help but wonder at the chutzpah with which he bothers to explain the sheer nerve of the enterprise.

Go save the Church of England from such prelates!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 2:17am BST

"Go save the Church of England from such prelates!"

Well, I'd *like* to, but my plate is rather full at the moment... ;-)

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Monday, 10 May 2010 at 2:59pm BST

Bill: completely agree. It's not likely to affect the US and in Canada, where I now reside, the Ordinariate will only consist of the continuing church - of which Canada only has one rather than the confusing proliferation of continuing groups in the US. Continuing Anglicanism never held much appeal for me, I confess, although I attended for a while and wish them well. But I pretty much went straight to Rome on arriving in Canada where there is no room for traditionalists in the Anglican church.

Posted by: Clive on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 1:42am BST

Thanks, Bill. Of course you realise I forgot to place a 'd' at the end of the first word 'Go' - in my invitation to the Deity.

Thinks!! Did you mean you might have actually eaten these pesky prelates - if your plate were empty?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 5:18am BST
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