Monday, 8 November 2010

Five bishops and FinF issue statements

Forward in Faith has published the following two statements:

Statement from five bishops
Nov 8, 2010

LIKE MANY in the catholic tradition of Anglicanism, we have followed the dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics, the ARCIC process, with prayer and longing. We have been dismayed, over the last thirty years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day, and particularly we have been distressed by developments in Faith and Order in Anglicanism which we believe to be incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the Church for nearly two thousand years.

The Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum cœtibus, given in Rome on 4th November 2009, was a response to Anglicans seeking unity with the Holy See. With the Ordinariates, canonical structures are being established through which we will bring our own experience of Christian discipleship into full communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world and throughout the ages. This is both a generous response to various approaches to the Holy See for help and a bold, new ecumenical instrument in the search for the unity of Christians, the unity for which Christ himself prayed before his Passion and Death. It is a unity, we believe, which is possible only in eucharistic communion with the successor of St Peter.

As bishops, we have even-handedly cared for those who have shared our understanding and those who have taken a different view. We have now reached the point, however, where we must formally declare our position and invite others who share it to join us on our journey. We shall be ceasing, therefore, from public episcopal ministry forthwith, resigning from our pastoral responsibilities in the Church of England with effect from 31st December 2010, and seeking to join an Ordinariate once one is created.

We remain very grateful for all that the Church of England has meant for us and given to us all these years and we hope to maintain close and warm relationships, praying and working together for the coming of God’s Kingdom.

We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received at this difficult time from a whole variety of people: archbishops and bishops, clergy and laity, Anglican and Catholics, those who agree with our views and those who passionately disagree, those who have encouraged us in this step and those who have urged us not to take this step.

The Right Revd Andrew Burnham
The Right Revd Keith Newton
The Right Revd John Broadhurst
The Right Revd Edwin Barnes
The Right Revd David Silk

A Statement from Forward in Faith
Nov 8, 2010

Forward in Faith assures the five bishops who have announced their desire to enter the Ordinariate when it is created of the love, prayers and support of all its members and of our grateful thanks to them all for their ministries to us..

We likewise assure the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London of our prayers, as they seek to discern how the sees of Ebbsfleet, Richborough and Fulham are to be filled.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 11:39am GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Oh no, ++Rowan isn't going to replace them is he? Surely it would be better to see how things work out over the next few months? Pastoral provision has already been made for those who previously looked to the flying bishops. Why the haste?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 11:51am GMT

Is it not possible that the issues on which Rome and Anglicanism have moved apart in recent decades are the very issues on which the Vatican and the bulk of the Roman Catholic faithful have also moved apart? If the five bishops think to secure their ideological convictions by submitting to papal authority, they may be disappointed to find that the same disputes are just as rife across the Tiber.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 12:00pm GMT

FAO Richard Ashby. Why shouldn't the Bishops of Ebsfleet and Richborough be replaced? There has been no final and decisive vote with regard to the ordination of women to the epsicopate, and the recent vote against the Archbishops' proposals was hardly overwhelming, so the status quo ought to prevail until such a time as the final decision has been made.

Posted by: Benedict on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 12:29pm GMT

simply agree with Richard Ashby. Let the waters settle, and see if these sees are needed after a fairly long period of time.

Fr John

Posted by: Fr John on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 1:20pm GMT

No haste, just "due course" (i.e. the normal sort of timetable for episcopal vacancies).

Although some Diocesans and Dioceses are already behaving as if they don't exist (and in fact have done for years) until such time as they MAY be discontinued, the Sees of Ebbsfleet and Richborough do exist, and the due legal processes in the event of a vacancy must be followed.

Posted by: James Mather on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 1:23pm GMT

I believe that the first stage in the filling of a suffragan see is a review of the requirement for it to be filled. Given the timing and circumstances this needs to be done very carefully. Presumably if all the five bishops' FiF colleasgues followed their advice, there wouldn't be anyone left needing a flying bishop anyway; but that is unlikely to be the case.

What common sense would imply is necessary would be a careful review of the real needs and aspirations of those FiF people who decide not to join the ordinariate, to make sure they are served properly. I don't imagine, using common sense, we will even know who they are until the ordinariate is up and running; and all these considerations would urge some caution and reflective pace about the next stage, surely?

Posted by: Bishop Alan Wilson on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 1:34pm GMT

Until the women bishops legislation passes, repealing the Act of Synod, surely ABC has no option but to replace the PEVs. Or is strict adherence to and use of canons, law, etc. To pursue an agenda only allowed for liberals?

Posted by: Clive on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 1:42pm GMT

"Oh no, ++Rowan isn't going to replace them is he?"

Not to replace them would be as clear an indication as possible that the AbC intends to provide no more than "terminal care" -- which is at least better than the seeming majority view of commenters on this site that they should be euthanatized as soon as possible -- for them, or those of their views that cannot or will not follow them. Indeed, though, if terminal care is what he intends he should appoint elderly establishment replacements for both men, who will offer their charges soothing words, but do nothing to rock the boat. However, if he wishes to offer those so disposed a real possibility of remaining in the Established Church he should appoint young, vigorous and committed men who can and will fight for adequate provision for their integrity -- first, by joining with the AbC and the AbY to defeat the Women Bishops Bill at the final vote, if not in the House of Bishops, then at least in the House of Laity (which is what I expect the AbC and the AbY will aim for, given that their proposed amendments were rejected in July); and then by ensuring that any subsequent bill to that effect will be blocked unless and until adequate provision is made for opponents.

Posted by: William Tighe on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 1:57pm GMT

This is, with little doubt, the right thing for them to do -- though I am unsure why they didn't do this years ago. If they had long believed in papal infallibility and the universal immediate jurisdiction of the pope, then they should not in good conscience have remained Anglicans all these years, never mind remained as bishops. Perhaps they have recently changed their minds, but I fail to understand how Anglicanorum cœtibus could have changed anyone's mind about papal infallibility and universal jurisdiction. I share their dreams of a future re-united church, and I can even understand how an Anglican could argue for the recognition of some sort of papal primacy (a primus inter pares or even something that recognised a patriarchy of the West), but I don't see how the Church of England's position on women's ordination can somehow make papal infallibility more palatable. They will, after all, have to sign on to the whole of Roman Catholic dogma and doctrine as part of the process of reception, and their doing so must raise some striking questions about what they thought they were doing all these years.

That said, I don't really want to judge other people's souls (which I admittedly have come too close to doing). Perhaps the papal constitution was the moment when their moral and theological ambiguities were resolved. Others will know these men better than I, and perhaps they have all spoken in the public forum about the particular issues that still divide our churches....

Posted by: Joe on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 2:12pm GMT

Interesting statement from the Bishop of London about arrangements after the departure of Bishop of Fulham:

http://www.london.anglican.org/NewsShow_13911

He appears to be backing a 'Society'

Posted by: Maggie on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 2:36pm GMT

Spirit
"If the five bishops think to secure their ideological convictions by submitting to papal authority, they may be disappointed to find that the same disputes are just as rife across the Tiber."

The dominant opinion on FiF-affiliated blogs is that the Catholic church has through its many pronouncements by the Magisterium and past popes placed itself in a position on women priests that could never be overturned even if a future pope should wish to do so. They get very exasperated with you if you suggest that there may be women priests in the RC church at some point in the future and they will tell you that it is completely irrelevant what a gaggle of "uncatholic" Roman Catholics wants or doesn't want.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 3:22pm GMT

If these flying dioceses must have bishoops appointed to them, then I hope the ABC dawdles along for a long time before doing so. This would give the unwinged ones a chance to come back if they find the Tiber too daunting. [one of TEC's did the reverse swim back from a brief sojourn in Rome.]

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 4:09pm GMT

"[one of TEC's did the reverse swim back from a brief sojourn in Rome.]"

If you are thinking of Clarence Pope (quondam Bishop of Fort Worth), poor man, then he actually became Catholic three times, and returned to the Episcopal Church three times; but if you are tihnking of Dan Herzog (quondam Bishop of Albany), then it seems he came back because he never abandoned his belief in WO, and when he found that because of his origins as a RC (and he had been a RC seminarian in the 60s) he would never be ordained in the Catholic Church, he could not bear it.

Posted by: William Tighe on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 5:19pm GMT

This is what I wrote, no more and no less.

Surely it would be better to see how things work out over the next few months? Pastoral provision has already been made for those who previously looked to the flying bishops. Why the haste?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 6:12pm GMT

"We have been dismayed, over the last thirty years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day"

Translation: the Vatican and their pseudo-Anglican fellow-travelers are boldly marching forth into the past together. [The majority of *Catholics* however, both Anglican and Roman, will continue to follow Christ, um, FORWARD, in faith.]

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 7:31pm GMT

Erika: "They get very exasperated with you if you suggest that there may be women priests in the RC church at some point in the future"

...or even in the present...

http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/

Posted by: Fr Mark on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 8:47pm GMT

++Rowan is not bound to replace them, but the procedure (albeit flimsy) for doing so is contained in the Act of Synod and he has already announced that he will put the necessary appointments arrangements in place. The relevant text is:

Where a vacancy occurs in the office of provincial episcopal visitor, the archbishop of the province concerned shall, before taking the steps referred to in section 5 above to secure the appointment of an additional suffragan bishop, consult the other episcopal visitor and all other bishops who are directly concerned in his ministry.>

In Canterbury there is no other PEV formally to consult, but presumably he will consult +Beverley. The interesting element of the consultation will be that with (substantially all) the bishops in the Southern Province, being bishops 'who are directly concerned with his ministry.' This is an early test of House of Bishops' thinking. Each will have to make a scheme once the new Measure is promulged in 2013 and probably the simplest machinery is to use PEVs Mark II, despite the fact that some will not wish that.

Interesting that +London is getting on with forming a 'Fulham Society.' Is that the way forward more widely? All this should mean that the legislation will have an easier passage through Synod, as avenues are opened up for those who is conscience etc., which do not compromise monoepiscopacy.


Posted by: Anthony Archer on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 9:40pm GMT

"With the Ordinariates, canonical structures are being established through which we will bring our own experience of Christian discipleship into full communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world and throughout the ages."

If you really believe that, folks, then put on your water wings and splash your way across the Tiber. Now. This afternoon. Not December 31.

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Monday, 8 November 2010 at 10:34pm GMT

Thanks to William Tighe - yes, I was thinking of the ironically named Pope. Did not realize he had been such a Frequent Swimmer.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 12:31am GMT

If the number in stipendiary ministry at parish level needs to be cut because of falling revenues and higher pension obligations, it could well be that a large number of vacated sees will not be filled on grounds of necessary cut cutting. In the current financial climate the church may find it quite useful to lose a swathe of its management and in the process trim back its wage bill. Whilst the Ordinariate may well offer to make provision in the RC church for the disaffected, whether these ex-Anglicans be paid a stipend and provided with accommodation remains to be seen.

Posted by: David on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 3:13am GMT

Is not Bishop David Silk the very same Bishop who was ordained for an Australian Diocese before returning to the U.K. as a fully-fledged Bishop? I guess if this is so, then the journey across the Tiber will be less stressful for him than the flight to Gwondanaland. He didn't seem too happy in Australia. All this travel must be distressing.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 4:23am GMT

Poor Bishop Herzog...it seems things will be made easier for that other former RC the Bishop of Fulham.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 9:29am GMT

"If they had long believed in papal infallibility and the universal immediate jurisdiction of the pope, then they should not in good conscience have remained Anglicans all these years, never mind remained as bishops."

This 'making honest men out of good men' line is not entirely credible. It's not what they have or haven't believed about the Roman Church but about what they believe about the Church of England that is at issue here.

I suspect that they have believed that their Anglican priestly orders are directly analogous to Roman ones, being of the same character and having a common line of descent from St Peter and the Apostles at Pentecost; and that the differences between the two churches in relation to orders were not ultimately irreconcilable. This has been a tenable position within the Anglican churches so long as the doctrinal understanding of order and church remained pretty consistent in both traditions

What has evidently forced them now to conclude otherwise is not that the Roman Catholic Church has changed its view but that they believe the Anglican understanding of orders is about to change sufficiently as to call that previous understanding into question and stretch to breaking point the breadth of the church. Their understanding of their orders matter to them and, given that this move will entail giving up their orders - and with it, surrendering their ecclesial identity - I don't think it serves any purpose to dismiss it in such casual and inhospitable terms.

Personally, I don't think the nature of our orders is changing. I can, though, understand the reasoning that leads them to judge otherwise and I don't think their position is theologically or ecclesially unreasonable.

And it's unfair to regard them as having been somehow disloyal or double-minded to have held to an understanding of Anglican orders and ecclesiology that the church itself could be thought to have regarded as mainstream belief until sometime around the early 1970s.

Posted by: jonathan Jennings on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 9:55am GMT

Jonathan is missing an important point: even if, as he suggests, they now have grounds to doubt the validity of their orders because of changes in the Anglican understanding of orders (not sure this follows logically, and it seems that Jonathan doesn't either), this can hardly be the catalyst for changing one's mind about papal infallibility and universal immediate jurisdiction, which was my chief point. If they had believed in the two latter Vat I dogmas for some time, then it is difficult to see how they could have remained Anglicans until now. As I mention in another post I can see how one could reasonably hope for a rapprochement with Rome, with Anglicans recognising a form of papal primacy, but I can't honestly understand how one can be Anglican and accept Vatican I holus-bolus. I don't think it inhospitable to take a serious decision seriously and to enquire about its cogency. Leaving one’s church is painful indeed and ought to be treated with compassion, but also with some real integrity. Our respect for their decisions calls for us to consider the stated grounds seriously, in case we ought to make similar decisions for similar reasons.

Posted by: Joe on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 1:46pm GMT

Fr Ron, what's the fact that, having served as Archdeacon of Leicester, Bishop Silk was Bishop of Ballarat for nine years before retiring back home got to do with anything?

Posted by: Richard on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 3:02pm GMT

"Fr Ron, what's the fact that, having served as Archdeacon of Leicester, Bishop Silk was Bishop of Ballarat for nine years before retiring back home got to do with anything?"

- Richard, on Tuesday -

Well, Richard, I wasn't trying to build a whole theology on the question I asked, or upon any answer. I merely asked if the Bishop David Silk who was fleeing to Rome, was one and the same person who was (I have now been told) Archdeacon of Leicester before being called to be Bishop of Ballarat, and then, having apparently failed to avoid the ministry of women in that diocese, later returned to Mother Church in England. It appears that he is one and the same. End of Story.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 2:36am GMT

Fr Ron, I see. "Was David Silk the Bishop of Ballarat?" might not have seemed less ... I'm not sure, what, really. It just seemed as if you were trying to make a point.

Posted by: Richard on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 3:21pm GMT
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.