Thursday, 30 September 2010

more on SSWSH and the Ordinariate

Updated again late Friday evening

Riazat Butt at the Guardian published Divine dispatches: bonus edition.

This refers to an article in the Catholic Herald by Anna Arco Britain could have an Ordinariate by new year.

Some more opinions on this topic:

Fr Hunwicke’s Liturgical Notes The Society of SS Wilfrid and Hilda

Sevenoaks, St John the Baptist Of Ordinariates and Societies

The Anglo-Catholic SSWSH …. shhh! and What Is the End Game? and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush…

The St Barnabas Blog We need answers…

Ancient Richborough Watch it! and Bishop Andrew hits the spot

According to The Tablet as reported here:

Two Anglican bishops opposed to women’s ordination have declared they will leave the Church of England to join the personal ordinariate to be established within the Catholic Church. Bishop Edwin Barnes, the retired Bishop of Richborough, told The Tablet he would join the ordinariate “because the Anglican Church is no longer the one holy and apostolic Church it says it is”. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, said Pope Benedict XVI had made the offer “and I’ve decided to respond to it”.

And Damian Thompson has blogged twice about it, see here, and then also here.

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s October Pastoral Letter, published on the web back on 21 September is available here.

The Church Times has a report by Ed Thornton Traditionalists hope for big-society model, courtesy of St Hilda

And, there is now a later report at the Church Times Flying bishops: We’re not going yet.

Two Church of England bishops have denied reports they will resign to take up the Ordinariate before the end the year…

A further report in The Tablet by Abigail Frymann is headed Will they please make up their minds?

Last Friday a few hundred traditionalist Anglicans gathered in a charismatic church in London, a curious collection of dour-looking fellows who describe themselves with words like “pioneer” and “risk” – and heard that a breakaway group within the Church of England for clergy who don’t like the thought of women bishops was to be established. Somehow this is different from Forward in Faith, which already exists, and different again from the Ordinariate offered them by Pope Benedict XVI last autumn, which would require a leap into the Catholic Church. At first this seemed like a warm-up room for would-be leap-ers. Yet as soon as the new group, the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, was announced, some senior traditionalists were nay-saying on their blogs that it wouldn’t and couldn’t work…

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Two Anglican bishops opposed to women’s ordination have declared they will leave the Church of England to join the personal ordinariate to be established within the Catholic Church. Bishop Edwin Barnes, the retired Bishop of Richborough, told The Tablet he would join the ordinariate “because the Anglican Church is no longer the one holy and apostolic Church it says it is”. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, said Pope Benedict XVI had made the offer “and I’ve decided to respond to it”. - The Tablet.

One can discount the actions of +Edwin Barnes as he's retired but if +Andrew Ebbsfleet is quoted accurately, how can he in conscience remain in post as a bishop in the Church of England? By deciding to join the Roman Catholic Church he has renounced his oath of allegiance to the sovereign and his oath of canonical obedience to his Primate and Metropolitan. He has, indeed, renounced his membership of the Church of England. Can we expect to see his immediate resignation? It would be the honourable thing to do.

I hope I can be forgiven for not holding my breath.

Posted by: RPNewark on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 4:52pm BST

Of course he won't do the honourable thing - he's too close to his pension.

But of course, I am the great cynic.

Posted by: John Roch on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 6:21pm BST

Two things strike me at first look:

From Sevenoaks, St John the Baptist, there is a little summary of the options. But while option 1 and 2 mention consequences in terms of finance and or buildings - option 3, becoming Roman Catholics through the instrument of an Ordinariate does not then offer any potential outcomes.
I wonder why?

Secondly, I remember being buzzed here for remembering Latin celebrations of the Mass at Walsingham - Well those services were certainly not announced unlike Fr John Hunwicke's St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford where Latin Mass according to the Tridentine Rite (the 'Extraordinary Form'), is on offer as Sunday worship - and advertised too!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 7:48pm BST

I liked Damian Thompson's reference to the new society as "Society of St Hinge & St Bracket"!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 8:29pm BST

"The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, said Pope Benedict XVI had made the offer “and I’ve decided to respond to it”."

Actually, I've decided to respond to it, too. [I leave it to TA readers' imaginations, how! >;-)]

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 9:23pm BST

Conversion is for many a serious and difficult process. I fought it every step of the way. You die to self. My prayers go out for these godly men.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 10:18pm BST

Ever the Roman-proclaiming noodge, on an Anglican site no less, RIW now gives us: "Conversion is for many a serious and difficult process. I fought it every step of the way. You die to self."

Yes, Robert, and it was equally a challenging and difficult process for those of us who departed Rome (first 33 years of my life) to become Anglicans (next 33 years, and counting, with gratitude).

My faith continues, virtually unaltered, and it has been strengthened and nurtured instead of stifled and twisted.

There are usually numerous sides to any story, but I don't insult my former RC brethren, Robert, on one of their sites.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 11:02pm BST

Oh, pooh, RIW - these people don't think they're converting so much as making a minor adjustment of paperwork. I don't know of one person likely to be interested in the Ordinariate who would have to adjust their belief system in any appreciable way. They'll even probably end up under the pastoral care of a former CofE bishop, even if his episcopal status isn't recognized by the RCC. There's no comparison between your change from Evangelical Anglican to RC and their change from Anglo-Catholic/Anglo-Papalist to a member of the Ordinariate - except that some might be required to use something resembling the BCP for the first time in years.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 12:38am BST

"The purpose of the Society (SSWASH) is to 'provide a place within the Church of England where Catholics (sic) can worship and minister with integrity without accepting innovations that further distance the Church of England from the greater churches of the east and west'"

- Riazat Butt, at the Guardian -

While we, in the Anglican Province of New Zealand today commemorated the life and work of Mother Suzanne Aubert, Roman Catholic Religious, Social Reformer in New Zealand (1835 - 1936), in a spirit of convergence with our Roman Catholic contemporaries; the new English SWASH Society is setting itself apart from both their Anglican and R.C. confreres.

Mother Suzanne Aubert founded 'The Daughters of our Lady of Compassion' at Jerusalem, N.Z., in 1892. However, her N.Z. Order was not recognised by Rome until 1917, when she received permission of the then Pope to continue her Order's work among the Maori people - against the opposition of the local New Zealand R.C. hierarchy.

After her work as a lay nurse in the Crimean War,
and having been influenced by the work of the Cure d'Ars, Marie-Suzanne had joined other women recruited by Bishop Pompallier who sailed from Le Havre for Auckland, N.Z., in September 1860. She became a Novice - as Sister Marie-Joseph of the Congregation of The Holy Family - working at the Maori Girl's School in Ponsonby, Auckland. When Bishop Pompallier left N.Z. for France in 1868, Sister Marie-Joseph was instructed by his successor, Bp. Croke, to return to France. However, she refused, with the comment that "I have come here for the Maori people, I shall die in their midst".

After an illustrious career of service amongst the Maori people in several different locations; when the Sisters of St.Joseph withdrew from N.Z. in 1884, Sister Marie-Joseph became Mother of her new Order of the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion in 1892. She later founded several institutions for the poor and destitute, before setting up her Homes of Compassion for both Maori and Pakeha needy.

At her funeral she was mourned by a record crowd of both Maori and Pakeha. Her struggles with the Church hierarchy are still legendary - especially among her beloved Maori people.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 12:56am BST

As do mine, with my applause and admiration.

Posted by: William Tighe on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 1:06am BST

"Conversion is for many a serious and difficult process."

How true. I studied and reflected on Anglicanism for three years before I was able to enter an Episcopal church to test out my book knowledge. It was the best decision of my life and I've never once looked back. I've found the same loving nuturing spirit I found in the Episcopal church in Anglican churches in Canada and Scotland, and while we have our problems we also have a great treasure.

Posted by: Jeffrey on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 1:23pm BST

On reflection, I think SSWASH is a better pronunciation than SSWISH, for then the members become SSWASHbucklers.

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 1:35pm BST

I have removed the comment about Bishop Andrew Burnham having resigned as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, because Bishop Andrew has stated to me that this is untrue.

I have in consequence not approved some subsequent comments predicated on the assumption that he has resigned.

Bishop Andrew comments on the thread above - as a bishop!

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 3:17pm BST

Thank you Simon, one of those comments so predicated was from me. It is good to have the truth.

So if I might rephrase my question like this.

When these bishops do resign and become Roman Catholics through the provisions of an Ordinariate - When will they be ordained as priests so they might take up their roles as proto-bishops and act as an ordinary for those converting?

Will it be immediately?

Or will there be a serious attempt to help those converting in their priestly formation?

I fear - the first and highly irregular option will be the probable outcome so that this ill thought out arrangement can be up and running in the new year.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 3:31pm BST

"Bishop Newton said on Friday that he had not resigned. “There’s nothing definite yet.”"

Ah yes: the traditional Christian discernment practice of *horse-trading*.

[Sorry, I'm cynical. Less RIW's (characterization of) "dying to self", more "Can I keep my mitre? What's the size of my stipend? How many rooms in my residence?" (OCICBW.)]

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 8:28pm BST

“If there is to be an announcement, it will be early in the new year.”

Bishop Newton said on Friday that he had not resigned. “There’s nothing definite yet.

They are on study leave from 9th October until the end of December. (I wonder what they are going to study?)

It's obvious that they are going. Why do they seem to be taking so long about it? Or are they waiting for something to happen or be arranged for crossing the Tiber in the new year?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 9:19pm BST

"Groups of Anglicans are already forming across the country in preparation for joining an ordinariate, according to the blog of the retired Bishop of Richborough, the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes."

- Anna Arco in 'The Tablet' -

It will be very interesting to see, when the smoke dies down, exactly who will be surrendering their titles and emoluments as clergy or bishops in the Church of England, in order to take up the invitation of Pope Benedict to become active members of the proposed 'Ordinariate' in the U.K. Peerhaps, in the end, it may only be those clergy and bishops who have already retired, and whose pensions are safe.

The newly-proposed 'Society of SS Wilfred and Hilda' (SSWASH) would be a better way of ensuring continued housing and stipends for serving C.of E clergy and bishops - that is, if the Church authorities will allow such a diversional loyalty to persist within its own ranks. This would certainly be a way of 'saving face' for F.i.F. personnel who want to avoid the touch of women as links with the episcopate. However, the terms of their continuing association with the continuing Church of England will need to accommodate quite a bit of odd theological compromise.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 1 October 2010 at 11:30pm BST

'How could we not ask questions when something is launched without warning? Why would we not demand answers when certain bishops (who have not been at the forefront of our movement thus far) suddenly counter (and undermine?) the Papal offer of an Ordinariate via an illegal (and seemingly hastily arranged) in-house model?'

What a strange question when 2 or 3 bishops had been secretly negotiating with Rome, off their own bat and on their own authority (ie without the support of the majority of so called Anglo Catholic bishops)! If ever there was a 'sudden surprise' it was of a small Edwin Barnes/Andrew Burnham group having tried furtively to take matters into their own hands. It is good that the Pope so generously responded to them...but to claim that they were the representatives 'at the forefront of our movement thus far' is far fetched. When they do jump, and God's blessings upon them, we will see just how large is the movement they have claimed to lead. At the moment their followers have been led into the wilderness, so good luck to a much larger group of bishops who are trying to lead them to some sort of pasture - even if it turns out to be different to Fr Ed's. There will ALWAYS be huge and insurmountable difficulties for some Catholic Anglicans joining the Roman version of Catholicism. For all their problems and frustrations re women's ordination, do Catholic Anglicans REALLY want to submit to a church that will not even discuss the issue?

Posted by: Neil on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 1:19am BST

Reminds me a bit of the lovely song at the end of Oliver.. I'm reviewing the situation!

No the ordinariate will be tiny, but we should not question the sincerity of those who come.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 5:38am BST

Neil - you said it!

"There will ALWAYS be huge and insurmountable difficulties for some Catholic Anglicans joining the Roman version of Catholicism."

These are the people who have lived a lot of their life and ministry in an enclave of special 'anglo-catholicism' that won't use the liturgies of their own church, won't relate to their diocesan bishop if he has ordained a woman and so on, and who have intimated that their greatest pain is that they can not be united to Rome. Now they can. And yet they hesitate and set up societies and so on. Why should the rest of us take the preciousness of their consciences seriously?

People who are Anglicans and yet don't somehow seem to want to be and say they want to be Roman Catholic and yet somehow can't bring themselves to be can't really blame the rest of us for ending up thinking that they are just difficult people.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 8:28am BST

"Groups of Anglicans are already forming across the country in preparation for joining an ordinariate, according to the blog of the retired Bishop of Richborough, the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes."

In the parish where I worship there is such a group. Apparently it first met with about twenty people. After a couple of meetings it had dwindled to four. At which point the four decided it was not going to happen, and I understand that no one is now considering the Ordinariate.

I wonder how typical that is.

Posted by: Nick Ferrar on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 11:12am BST

"...their greatest pain is that they can not be united to Rome."

This puts me in mind of the queen of Llanddewi Brefi in Little Britain. Like Daffyd Thomas backing out of going to London to start a new life, these same clergy could not contemplate taking a path that would give them everything they've been pining over for the last decade or two.

It's hard being the only, erm, well, *you know* in the village.

Posted by: kieran crichton on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 1:40pm BST

Neil, be careful about suggesting which bishops spoke to whom and when. It has consistently been rumoured that English Diocesans have been in secret talks with Rome for a number of years. This may or may not be true, but there has never been a denial. Also, it was clear last year that conversations had been going on behind the Archbishop's back - this cannot refer to the Southern PEVs who had but one conversation in Rome, in the Spring of 2008, about which the Archbishop was fully aware and has never suggested otherwise.

Therefore it just might be (!?!) that those setting up the Hinge & Bracket society have been the most disloyal

Posted by: David Malloch on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 1:44pm BST

There is an interesting account of the Ebbsfleet Lay Congress held on 25th September in the Parish Magazine of All Saints' Clifton here
http://www.allsaintsclifton.org/parmag/2010October.pdf
You will see that Andrew Burnham is reported that he will be joining the Ordinariate in the New Year and that keith Newton is reported to have said ‘I no longer believe it is possible to be a Catholic in the Church of England'.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 10:46pm BST

Er - David - unlikely. Edwin Barnes and Andrew Burnham have had a consistent line on this matter, and have dissed any 'Anglican' solution for quiet some time. What amazes me (post 1992 when most Catholic Anglicans left (!?!)) is that the Ordinariate fanciers could continue to entertain what was revealed (in 1992) to be a romantic Catholic fantasy about the true colours of the CofE.

Posted by: neil on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 10:55pm BST

I thought the comments of Andrew Brown in the CT were on the ball. They were to the effect that the bluff of FIF had been called and Rome had been duped.

Furthermore the American ordinariate has virtually collapsed with most dioceses of the 5,OOO Anglican Church in America ( TAC) pulling back!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 11:02pm BST

"Keith Newton is reported to have said ‘I no longer believe it is possible to be a Catholic in the Church of England'"

Perhaps it's no longer possible to be Pentecostal (in the sense of claiming DIRECT authority from God, apart from any ecclesial discernment/oversight---y'know, like the Pope does! ;-/) in the Church of England. TBTG!

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 3 October 2010 at 7:50am BST

If Andrew Burnham has said that he is joining the ordinariate in the New Year I wonder if the previously reported visit to the ABC was to give three months notice????

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 3 October 2010 at 10:11am BST
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