Comments: codes, societies, ordinariates

So the same people that rejected a code of practice with "A code of practice will not do!" are now complaining that they weren't included in the process...

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Friday, 8 October 2010 at 9:23pm BST

"This is a remarkable new step from the Vatican", he (Bishop Hind) said. "At long last there are some choices for Catholics in the Church of England. I'D BE HAPPY TO BE ORDAINED into the Catholic Church" !!!

- Damian Thompson in The Guardian -

If this is a true record (by Master Damian) of the words spoken by Bishop John Hind, one wonders what this English Diocesan Bishop is waiting for. He has already said that he wouldn't mind giving up his stipend, palace and emoluments from the C.of E., but one wonders whether this is still true - given that he remains a diocesan bishop in that Church, though still eyeing his preferred home with the Roman Catholics. What sort of 'episcope' is he exercising at the moment, I wonder, and does it have any validity?

Incidentally, has anyone else noticed the almost remarkable similarity between the facial features of Dame Brackett and those of Damian Thompson? Could Damian possibly be one of her offspring?
Perhaps he did not succeed to the title!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 8 October 2010 at 11:18pm BST

Fr Houlding and the Catholic Group in General Synod have consistently (until now??)argued that a Code of Practice cannot meet their needs. So, why are they now so angry not to be involved in writing one????

Posted by David Malloch at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 12:01am BST

Some of you are heartless. Surely Houlding is dismayed because even the provision now being offered, which will not do in reality, is going to have to do for those poor souls who are unable to enter the Ordinariate at this moment of time.

It is salt in the wounds and shows so little love it is beyond belief.

Though intellectually you are of course right and I certainly do not know anyone looking to it with any hope.

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 7:12am BST

Ed -

AFAIK no one can enter the Ordinariate "at this moment of time" - as it hasn't started yet. So that is neither here nor there. The point is that when the Code of Practice is needed the Ordinariate will be up and running. So are you trying to say that there will be "poor souls" who will be "unable" to join it at that stage?

If that is what you mean then I want to understand in what sense they would be unable. If you mean they don't want to, and they are the same people who tell us that the provision for which Synod voted is not adequate - i.e. that they can't live with women bishops having real authority over their dioceses but operating a code of practise for those afraid of "girl cooties", then I think they can't have it both ways.

That isn't failing to show love - it is simply being realistic about life. I have had times in life when what I might like to have happened hasn't been possible (for reasons beyond my control), and I have faced an alternative I was not crazy about. In those situations I had to decide - I could stay and settle for what I thought was second best - or I could go and sort myself out somewhere else. It is called being a grown up.

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 8:28am BST

"Some of you are heartless."

Yeah. Can't *imagine* what that feels like.

Here's a tissue.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 8:36am BST

I don't think I'm heartless, Fr. Tomlinson. I do think, however, that the Catholic Movement is finding out the hard way that rejectionism and ultimatums give you fewer options than compromise and cooperation.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 1:24pm BST

I would be a little surprised if Damian actually wrote those words in the Guardian.

Posted by Andrew Brown at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 5:22pm BST

Two out of eight against women bishops is 25%. This is very generous representation, I would have thought, in terms of the numbers in the Church of England in the conservative catholic and conservative evangelical constituencies. And Preb Houlding is chairman of the Church of England Appointments Committee and knows all about balancing groups representatively.

Posted by Wilf at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 5:30pm BST

Damian wrote his words in the Telegraph. I have now added that attribution to the original article. Fr Smith was mistaken. But while I am at it, let me also draw attention to the point Damian originally made:

"Let me draw your attention to a line from Jonathan’s report: the bishop stressed that this would depend on his previous ministry being recognised."

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 5:46pm BST

I'D BE HAPPY TO BE ORDAINED into the Catholic Church" !!!

- Damian Thompson in The Guardian -

John Hind -- surely YOU of all people should know you have been 'ordained in the Catholic Church.'

Why not just enjoy it -- and let the rest of us do likewise ? !

I doubt changing to another denomantion -even the RC one -- will make you feel any better.

Btw Marilynne Robinson has some wonderful things to say of Bonhoeffer's vision of church and gospel in her new book of essays called The Death of Adam.

Balm there for a restless soul and attidote for the Roman fever !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 5:58pm BST

Sorry, Simon! I must have mistaken the Telegraph for the Guardian! Quite a sin in itself. However,
the imputed words - ventriloquised by Damian from Jonathan Wynne-Jones - were seemingly uttered by none other than Bishop John Hind some time ago. Perhaps they have been eaten by him since then.

The fact remains; what is a would-be 'recusant' (Roman Catholic wannabe) doing, still serving as a diocesan Bishop in the Church of England?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 7:25pm BST

'the Catholic Movement is finding out the hard way that rejectionism and ultimatums give you fewer options than compromise and cooperation.'

Judging by the standards of the world, it is hardly surprising (to me if not to some other Anglican Catholics) that the victors in the fight to ordain women intend to thoroughly vanquish and humiliate their 'foes'. That is normal in war. No surprise then that the losers...a number of Catholics will soon be departing.
The problem is that those who have compromised and cooperated will see no benefit for their Christ-like dealing with the situation. And the tone and rhetoric that continues to be used by the victors continues not to be 'Christian' in any discernible way. A Christian way forward was proposed by two Archbishops to General Synod and rejected. Which might suggest (contra Mr Dillworth) that a more aggressive response might be necessary from Catholics...leading to the circular argument that this would not be Christ-like. There really is no way around this other than Christian charity.

Posted by Neil at Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 11:50pm BST

Could you imagine the Catholic Church tolerating for one minute, a Catholic bishop who was publicly threatening that he was thinking of becoming an Anglican. He would be suspended immediately.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 7:59am BST

Neil - I think this is an unhelpful tack to take. Those who support women's ordination to the episcopate and a code of practise are not gloating or rejoicing in the "defeat" of those who want to stop what is, to us, an entirely natural development that flows from our church's decision to ordain women priests. The very process which has resulted in the provision of a code of practise shows that a good deal of trouble is being gone to to accommodate as far as is possible the consciences of those who want to stay members of the Church of England, and yet who will not accept the ministry of women in those orders. But the 'as far as is possible' does stop at the point where the fundamental authority of a woman bishop over her diocese is compromised.

Lots of supporters of women bishops would have preferred a one clause measure - the code of practise is a big move for some of them - I think it is a Christian and generous move. What was offered by those who reject such a development to the many who over decades believed themselves called by God to ordained ministry, but were told that they could not do any of it, simply because of their gender? They could be deaconesses - they could be effectively lay perpetual curates to a male superior. There was no interest in those days in exploring a solution that would permit women's ordination within, say, a society model to allow for its reception.

I remember well the sexism, patronising attitudes, and downright hostility to women that was common among many clergy in our church in the 80s. What price Christian attitudes then? No, the idea of a code of practise is not ungenerous, and not unworkable.

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 8:43am BST

Thank you Jeremy. The point remains though that compromise and cooperation on the part of many - focussing on what unites rather than what divides has not delivered the goods. And I do not think it will. And if a Code of Practise will not work, then increasing lawlessness is likely. The Anglican Covenant is a 'Code of Practise' too, and similarly will be disregarded (as it should be). So that if a CofE parish wishes to invite Gene Robinson to celebrate, I rather think they will...and if a parish wishes to invite a bishop without the permission of the local woman bishop I rather think they will. And should, in both cases.

Posted by Neil at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 9:48am BST

"Which might suggest (contra Mr Dillworth) that a more aggressive response might be necessary from Catholics..."

What on earth could me more aggressive than threatening to leave the CofE?

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 2:14pm BST

Interesting sentiments, Neil, especially the last two sentences. I agree with you.

Posted by John at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 2:50pm BST

Bill D - Staying!

Posted by Neil at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:29pm BST

It is not those who have compromised and cooperated who are the ones who are likely to leave. These are not people who have threatened to leave...but it might be the only future option for even those good people who have quietly served the Lord in their various parishes etc. It might not...we shall see. This, I think, is possibly why the Archbishops intervened - because for all the shrill and silly right wing Ultramontane Catholics, there are dozens who have not and do not wish to bang on about this issue.
And who hope they will not be forced into getting into yet more fruitless argument with some equally shrill voices seen on this blog.

Posted by Neil at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:50pm BST

What on earth could me more aggressive than threatening to leave the CofE?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 10th Oct.

The only thing more aggressive than that threat--is failing to carry it out - but causing heart-searching and heart-ache for year; while pretending to be interested in compromise, and to respect the views of those who want women's ministries to be established among us.

I think those who stayed when women were priested, tacitly accepted the ministry of women,in the C of E., and can't really complain too much now.

Btw over the decades when women's ordained ministrries were voted down or not even voted on -- what compromise was offered ? How were women with possible vocations supported ? What were they given ? Sweet nothing. And they neither issued ultimatums, nor walked away. They just carried on doing what they could, in the unfavourable circumstances of the C of E.

Remember ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 5:30pm BST

Jeremy, Ed and Neil are all right. Bottom line is that there will be no compromise on the authority of a female diocesan and traditionalists of either evangelical or catholic stripe will either have to accept it or leave. It's not a question of being unable to leave for anyone, but the process is easier for some than others. SS. Hinge and Bracket is but window dressing for the path to Aff Caff.

Bottom line for Anglo-catholics really is Rome Is the Answer. God speed the Ordinariate, and all the solo swimmers past, present and future.

Posted by Clive at Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 11:53pm BST

Are the only choices being discussed among opponents of WO really the Ordinariate or some sort of shelter within the CofE? Is there no interest in either the Orthodox or some sort of "Continuing" Anglican presence?

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:59am BST

What a SILLY thing for Laurence Roberts to say. There are countless examples of priests who do not believe that it is possible for women to be priests to have supported members of their congregations who think they have a vocation. Even people like ht Bishop of Chichester. I assume (in his ignorance) that LR must hail from TEC.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 1:39am BST

Interesting to read that Neil sees the conflict between those who are pro and anti women bishops in terms of a "war" and that the "victors in the fight" intend to "thoroughly vanquish and humiliate their foes". Such bellicose language makes me want to remember the Synod of Whitby in 664 when the Romans triumphed over the Celts. Thereafter St. Colman went with his Celtic monks into self-imposed exile on Inishbofin in county Galway off the west coast of Ireland - far, far away. This time let us hope for the ultimate triumph of Christian charity as the true victor.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 6:08am BST

'This, I think, is possibly why the Archbishops intervened - because for all the shrill and silly right wing Ultramontane Catholics, there are dozens who have not and do not wish to bang on about this issue.
And who hope they will not be forced into getting into yet more fruitless argument with some equally shrill voices seen on this blog.'

Might demur about the last sentence from 'with' on. Still, this is the kind of talk which speaks to many Anglicans and which represents (I believe) the majority voice within the C of E. Please can we hear it a bit more loudly from FiF people?

Posted by john at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 6:43am BST

'Rome Is the Answer.'

oh I have forgotten - What was the Question ?

All this melo-dramatic stuff and tone is very counter-productive for me -- you have already called wolf too often ~!

Rome answers nothing. And those against the ordination of women have never joined the RC denomination and probably won't now. And in the Vatican's own terms being against WO is not sufficient reason to enrol there. As I understand it the sole ground for joining the RCC is being convinced of the papacy and so-called 'petrine claims'etc. In other words :--

The RCC alone is church.

For myself, I have never been less convinced of it. Nor am I, any longer prepared to go along the ARCIC rosy path. The RC denomination has not acted in good faith towards the work and people of ARCIC.

I do not deny RC parishes, congregations of religious, projects and places of worship that offer something authentic along with other churches and groups. And individual acts of kindness, as when at my late cousin's funeral mass, the young priest asked me to come and concelebrate with him.

In my own experience the Brethren, the Baptists, the Quakers and Salvation Army and so on, are church. As well as many other informal and time limited expressions of worship or ministry.

Also the presence of Christ in many 'secular' charities, projects, community groups, hospitals, allotments, theatres,music making, pubs, clubs and communities. And other faithful communities of worshippers and prayers in various sacred traditions in shuls, mosques, temples and zendos.

Rome The Answer ? Please - Get a Grip ! :-)

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 6:32pm BST

Hmmm ... a triumvirate of cooties, triumphantly avoided? women cooties, gay cooties, married cooties ...plenitudinous?... only males who are not sexually active in any sense to any degree whatseover can proclaim their loud claim to having so blessedly avoided all three categories of having been (otherwise, oh so forlornly, against all better rational judgment) cootified ...

Alas, this is the sort of thing that medieval biopsychosocial embodiment demands, and ever will demand? ... until the earth stops being flat?

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 11 October 2010 at 6:50pm BST

"Bottom line for Anglo-catholics really is Rome Is the Answer. God speed the Ordinariate, and all the solo swimmers past, present and future."

- Posted by: Clive on Sunday -

NO! Not the bottom line for loyal Anglo-Catholics who believe that the Church of England is - even with present issues - the legitimate successor, in England, of the Reformed, Catholic & Apostolic Church of England, from the Reformation onwards!

To presume to lump all 'Anglo-Catholics' with those longing for a submission to the Magisterium of Roman Catholicism, is simply a mistaken idea of what the universality of Christ's Church is all about (see: Affirming Catholics). The Church of England was formed to correct the insularity of Roman dominance, and those of us who believe that 'In my Father's House are many mansions' (cf Jesus) believe also that there are many paths to the fullness of Truth, and that the reformed body of Anglicanism is one of them.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 12:34am BST

Laurence,

Clearly, coming from a Protestant perspective you wouldn't see Rome as the answer. I respect that.

For me, given that you can't be an Anglo-catholic in Canada any more, it has been the answer for ten years and I am thrilled with the Ordinariate proposal that will make it easier for old friends, and old parish haunts in England to join me. It's untrue to say that people didn't go to Rome - not that numbers games are worth playing, but many did and many continue to do so, quietly and without fanfare.

Yes, grace is found outside the boundaries of the Catholic church, but valid sacraments can no longer be guaranteed in Anglican circles. For me, sacramental assurance requires that Rome be the answer. No matter how much the 'Fathers' on this forum or others dress up and wave incense, they're playing at being Catholics, and any opponent of WO who remains in the CofE will be doing the same.

Your position is consistent and works for you. But Anglo-Catholic opponents of WO would no longer be 'small c' catholics if they shared your views. You're a Protestant through and through - indeed perhaps a Unitarian. It's not clear to me you even understand why Anglo-Catholics might have an issue with WO.

Posted by Clive at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 3:11am BST

No, Neil, wrong assumption, Laurence R is from WALES!!!

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:59am BST

Clive
"For me, sacramental assurance requires that Rome be the answer. No matter how much the 'Fathers' on this forum or others dress up and wave incense, they're playing at being Catholics"

Please explain this to me.
As far as I understand, Anglo-Catholics have no problems with current Anglican orders, and the validity of those orders depends on Apostolic succession not on what individual priests may or may not believe about a certain issue (Donatism).

The only thing that compromises the idea of sacramental assurance for you is the ordination of women bishops and the belief that the male priests they ordain are not validly ordained.

So how come there are suddenly "Fathers" on this forum who play at being Catholics?
Apart from contempt for people who believe differently from you, what is the theological point you are making about the validity of the orders of these priests?

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 11:44am BST

'For myself, I have never been less convinced of it. Nor am I, any longer prepared to go along the ARCIC rosy path. The RC denomination has not acted in good faith towards the work and people of ARCIC.

I do not deny RC parishes, congregations of religious, projects and places of worship that offer something authentic along with other churches and groups. And individual acts of kindness, as when at my late cousin's funeral mass, the young priest asked me to come and concelebrate with him.

In my own experience the Brethren, the Baptists, the Quakers and Salvation Army and so on, are church. As well as many other informal and time limited expressions of worship or ministry.

Also the presence of Christ in many 'secular' charities, projects, community groups, hospitals, allotments, theatres,music making, pubs, clubs and communities. And other faithful communities of worshippers and prayers in various sacred traditions in shuls, mosques, temples and zendos.

Rome The Answer ? Please - Get a Grip ! :-)'

All this I love. Perhaps it is 'Proddy' thinking. But everybody is a Prod really, although they may or may not also be Catholics. Nothing angers me more than predictable recent trumpetings that 'the Reformation has lost'. On the contrary, it has won practically everywhere and will inevitably continue to do so.

Posted by john at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 11:52am BST

Dear Bill ( Dilworth),
I dont think a contiuing Anglican presence would work in England..or rather such a move would simply create a handful of small conventicles. Orthodoxy has always had a trickle of converts but it remains a mainly ethnic Church ( or rather Churches).The real problem is that the clergy are more concerned with womens ordination than the laity.Most laity who are opposed simply find another C of E church rather than convert. The Ordinariate ( when it happens ) will probably be top heavy with bishops and clergy ( mostly retired or nearing pensionable age).I simply cant see the laity "going over" in sufficient numbers to support a priest financially.It is likely to be a 5pm mass for 30 people in a side chapel of the local Roman Church in a number of English towns with the priest supporting himself.It is obviously rather sad for younger clergy who feel they must in conscience go but it has always seemed odd to me why anyone should be ordained in a Church which had taken this step and where women clergy would grow in numbers year on year. The future was always going to be compromised and somewhat "ghetto like".

Posted by Perry Butler at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 12:23pm BST

Erika, I didn't mean to express contempt; I respect everyone's points of view and the sincerity with which they live them out - I was merely expressing my personal view and referring to those provinces where women bishops have been established for a long time and no provision was ever made for those opposed. I personally would not in conscience now be able to recognize those ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada as anything other than Protestant ministers - no different from Methodists - none the less worthy as individuals for that, but different from priests.

I'm not a theologian, but then neither are most of the members of General Synod. The changing of the nature of orders, in isolation from the RC and Orthodox, and drip, drip, province by province, simply must create some uncertainty about sacraments in my mind. Given the choice of the Magisterium or the democratic whims of the Synod, I'll take theological direction from Rome.

There is no question that at the Church level, the intent of all the more recent developments is to move the Anglican bodies farther toward the protestant end of the spectrum. That is the only message that going it alone can possibly convey.

My frustration is not with those who have 'won' this fight, in fact, but with those opposed who seem to be sticking their heads in the sand at this point and not recognizing that the game is over. SSWSH is a deluded enterprise that will in ten years fold meekly into Affirming Catholicism. Which is fine if that's what folks want, but it lacks integrity to have shouted for so long about Rome and then do this in response to the Ordinariate offer.

I'm with Jeremy, join or do not join, there is no unable to join.

Posted by Clive at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 5:36pm BST

Perry I think you are spot on in your predictions of the ordinariate. As for the ARCIC process..a total exercise in self deception. I look forward to see it thrown in the dustbin. Roll on women bishops ..in the Church of England mind you.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 7:37pm BST

Clive I am challenging what seems to me to be a narrow conception of the 'Catholic Church'! You seem to be identifying the Catholic Church with the RC denomination. But if I say the Creeds,I am not affirming belief in that. And is n't this how C of E people see this part of the creeds ?


'Protestant through and through' am I ? I've been called many things in my time.But never that, until, now, let alone 'Unitarian'! I wonder what definition of Unitarian you have ? You seem surprised to have protestants in the Church of England !

I do understand what is at issue in the objections of some Anglo-Catholics to the ordination of women, as I have myself held that very position. But do no longer hold to either position, as you discerned.I think I was disillusioned by the dishonest dealings I came across.

I am happy to have diversity of views and traditions in the church. But cannot agree that women be excluded as ministers, as a condition of that. Once the General Synod had decided that women be ordained (in '93 I think, it hard to see how some groups could hope to be forever immune from that decision of the denomination as a whole.
All these years later, we seem to be going over it and over it, again. I hope unhappiness can be minimised or comforted. That those agin the women bishop idea, may receive a special charism to help with any sense of loss and grief, whatever befalls. We have been Christened and that is a wonderful thing, when you think about it. And as Keble said to reassure in troubled and troubling times,"You will always find the Church of England
in my parish." - and thus the Catholic Church -with or without smoke !


(Btw There are RC women priests you know, and bishops, so that may encourage you. One day it will all be made official. And voluntary celibacy. I look forward to the day when the pope will visit our shores, accompanied by her husband, or wife.)

'One more step along the way we go.'

Yrs In dmno

Laurence

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 7:57pm BST

Clive
"I'm with Jeremy, join or do not join, there is no unable to join."

Ah, but on an FiF blog people seemed to say that among those who couldn't simply join were gay partnered priests, divorced priests, former Catholics who had alread once moved to Anglicanism, married Bishops..... the list of the impure seems to be quite extensive.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:42pm BST

'no provision was ever made for those opposed'

How could there have been ? Hard to see what form it could take.

Btw 'no provision was ever made' for those women who felt called to ordained ministry in the last century and before. They lost the vote and that was that. And before that there wasn't even voting. I don't think those against WO ever consider that. I have mentioned it bfore and it is never taken up-- I guess it is plain undeniable. No provision was made for women led to ordained ministry -or for those of us who wished to receive such ministries.

When I think of Phoebe Willetts -- and many others words fail me.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:49pm BST

'no different from Methodists - none the less worthy as '

Some Methodists believe in eucharistic sacrifice and presence, and the hymns of the Wesleys express such convictions warmed in the fire of fervent devotion.

A Methodist minister wrote a book on the rosary. Others are in the Ecumenical Society of the BVM.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:58pm BST

'Ah, but on an FiF blog people seemed to say that among those who couldn't simply join were gay partnered priests, divorced priests, former Catholics who had alread once moved to Anglicanism, married Bishops..... the list of the impure seems to be quite extensive.'

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 12 October

Good point Erica. And these folk sound ideal candidates for Anglo-Catholicism. Ah, they already are ! Well I hope they can realise when they are in good place for them. A right place. Could it be that the Lord has led them to the ideal Church (for them) ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 2:38pm BST

Erika: There are difficulties for some, certainly. All those situations could be corrected by choices - indeed, married bishops are on their way into Ordinariates as we speak, in Canada, Australia, et al. They just won't be bishops any longer.

Divorces will be looked at case by case, etc. These are still choices - difficult ones for those individuals, sure, but still choices.

Former Catholics are unlikely to want to come back anyway, as most move to Anglicanism precisely because of its liberal stance. Ditto gay partnered priests; there might be a few misogynist gay priests who will finally have to deal with the hypocrisy of their situation one way or another, but I don't think that's unreasonable.

To Laurence's point about no provision being made for women who felt called to ministry - is this ending of the Act of Synod revenge then?

From the conservative perspective, no provision was made, because you can't provide for the impossible - and, contrary to previous posts, many such women did leave Anglicanism and pursue ministry in other more progressive denominations. Those whom God calls, He also empowers, a priest once said to me; God would not call someone to a ministry that they cannot fulfil.

Posted by Clive at Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 3:03pm BST

'To Laurence's point about no provision being made for women who felt called to ministry - is this ending of the Act of Synod revenge then?'

No Clive, those women were in fact a pretty gracious, long-suffering bunch.I never heard them seeking revenge. Many like Phoebe Willetts have long since died. I wasnt scoring a cheap point either. It would really be worth meditation on long and hard- a penance maybe -- not revenge !

You also say:

'..you can't provide for the impossible - '

And I think you have hit the nail on the head ! It is impossible for the Church of England to Ordain women and Not Ordain women simultaneously --

and of course, if any denomination might have achieved this feat, it would have been the CofE ! --but is truly impossible.

It might do the denomination some good to face reality and not slip out of it. It so often does slip and slide, duck and dive as in ARCIC ("Oh yes, we'll have the mass and Peter! Thanks") and then saying something entirely different to the Methodist Church - etc etc...


Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 10:56pm BST

"Former Catholics are unlikely to want to come back anyway, as most move to Anglicanism precisely because of its liberal stance." - Clive

Hogwash and nonsense, Clive.

Most of the former RC's whom I have encountered seem to have moved for very positive reasons. Like many of them, I had very different beliefs about some RC-centric peculiarities, but spent years -- like a number of my professors at an RC university -- ignoring the absurdities of Rome, and going on as a member of "the Church."

But I discovered, somewhat accidentally by attending Wednesday noontime Eucharists at St. Thomas Church in Manhattan (New York City), that there were people who had essential Christian beliefs very much like mine, who enthusiastically participated in the Eucharist because they wanted to, and because they were inspired to, and not because some local priest passed along Rome's message that they MUST under pain of sin.

That was my start, and I spent perhaps a year or so of attending the Eucharist at St. Thomas on Wednesdays, and at my local RC parish church on Sunday's, before I realized the absurdity of this duality.

So, after much study and prayer, and quite a bit of introspection to make sure that my Anglophilia was not leading me to this step, I was received into the Episcopal Church in 1977 by, and I love his name as much as I loved his embracing personality, David Shepherd, then the Bishop of Liverpool.

I have grown closer to God because I took this bold (for one tutored in 18 years of RC education) step, even while I have sadly noticed other RC's well known to me drift off into non-participation or the same kind of sad relationship which I had with the Church of Rome.

Obviously there must be some who come to Anglicanism because it is more liberal in its approach, just as there are some who are drawn to Rome because they can be reinforced in their own prejudices.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 3:57am BST

Clive
"gay partnered priests; there might be a few misogynist gay priests who will finally have to deal with the hypocrisy of their situation one way or another, but I don't think that's unreasonable."

If a straight priest can believe in the Roman Catholic position on women priests, why is the same belief in a gay partnered priest hypocrisy?

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 8:10am BST

Erika: Perhaps hypocrisy is not the correct word. What I mean is, they have to choose between staying in a church that turns a blind eye to their situation - and in the process accept women bishops - or follow their conscience on women bishops and give up their lifestyle should they wish to seek ordination in the Roman church. You can't keep just the bits of the liberal agenda you like and throw the rest out.

And yes, I know there are gay Roman priests too - but that doesn't make it right, and they weren't ordained while living in partnered relationships, unless they're extremely good at keeping secrets, and not so good on the integrity front.

And Jerry, perhaps having come to Catholicism later on, although I hear stories like yours, I cannot square this 'on pain of sin' message with any experience I've had in any RC church or with any RC priest. I'm sure it once was like that, but I've never found it so. Regardless, surely escaping those bonds for the welcome of Anglicanism isn't moving in a liberal direction, what is? I doubt there can be many former Catholics who oppose the ordination of women in their new Anglican home.

Posted by Clive at Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 2:12pm BST

I was glad to read Jerry Hannon's account of his spiritual and faith journey. Does the heart good.

And it prompts me to wonder if he was also confirmed in Liverpool by its bishop. That would really cap it ! (I was confirmed by Stuart Blanche another great Evangelical bishop of Liverpool).

(In fact, I invited him as a sixth-former to come to our CU., and talk on 'Does a Bishop Believe in the Bible ?' and he came on his bike !)

Btw the answer was a Yes !


Posted by Laurence Roberts at Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 3:10pm BST

Clive
so if I can take you back to your earlier statement that everyone CAN join the ordinariate but that some people choose not to, would you agree that this has to be qualified a little, and that people who are gay partnered and people who are divorced but do not wish for their marriages to be annulled retrospectively (always an awful thing for children!) do, indeed, not have the option to join after all?

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 7:31pm BST

oh sorry, I see, when having another read, that I got reception into Episcopal Church, confused with Confirmation. So not in Liverpool. Manhattan a great place for it though !
Liverpool ... !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 9:05pm BST

Erika: not to get bogged down in minutiae, but yes there are still choices. A divorced person can become a Catholic; the anullment is only needed if they wish to remarry in a Catholic church, and is straightforward, at least in Canada, assuming the marriage took place outside the RC church and is therefore not recognized sacramentally. At least this was the process for those in my RCIA group who fell into that situation. For priests obviously they would need to regularize marriage situations before they could be ordained as Catholic priests. Nonetheless, several bishops to whom this applies are leading TAC flocks to the Ordinariate.

On the question of gay partnered priests, yes arguably they may not join the Ordinariate if they are set on remaining priests.

Posted by Clive at Friday, 15 October 2010 at 12:28am BST

In reply, Clive wrote: "Regardless, surely escaping those bonds for the welcome of Anglicanism isn't moving in a liberal direction, what is? I doubt there can be many former Catholics who oppose the ordination of women in their new Anglican home."

I could have remained an RC, ignoring the worst absurdities of the Church of Rome like many of my teachers, relatives, and friends, and I could have continued mind-numbingly and R2D2-like attending the Eucharist at my RC parish on Sunday, but what good would it have done me or the Church Universal, Clive.

I did not leave Rome to simply escape the worst of Rome, but to become closer to God and to continue in my faith -- the faith of a Catholic Christian -- in an embracing and inspiring part of the Universal Church which helped me to grow as a Christian. I am still far from what I should be as a Christian, and as a husband, and as a father, but it was not the "liberal direction" that caught my attention in the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism at large, but the inspiration and the devotion not caused by Rome-induced fear.

Anglicanism is generally honest about its internal differences, while Rome -- knowing of similar differences within its house, although with less breadth than Anglicanism -- either pretends those differences don't exist or attempts to impose Roman discipline to enforce the self-perpetuating hierarchy's will.

And as for women Priests, I don't know how many of the numerous former-RC's now in the Episcopal Church came to it already accepting women Priests, but I would wager that there are a good number of former-RC's who did not, and may still not. Frankly, I was also originally opposed to women Priests, but over some years I came to understand and believe that there really was not any theological reason to deny the priesthood to women. None. A few years ago I was a member of a parish whose Vicar was a woman, and it was a very positive experience from a religious perspective. Similarly, the many female Priests whom I have encountered while traveling has demonstrated that it is, and should be, a non-issue.

But there are still Episcopal parishes where I would not expect to see a female Priest on staff, or even as a visiting celebrant, but I regard that as custom more than substance, and often as a concession to members of their parish whom, shall we politely say, are stuck in their ways. Sometimes a generational change may take a bit more than one generation to see that change occur in a particular place, but that change will come to them too as more open minds replace those who depart.

But, Episcopal parishes are rather accustomed to accommodating set-in-stone mentalities with a variety of services for their parish, with the Rite I ("traditional" language) Eucharist generally the early service, and the Rite II (contemporary language) Eucharist generally the second or even third Eucharist on Sunday.

But I can also recall Episcopal parishes which still used the 1928 BCP for a number of years after the 1979 BCP was adopted. Yes, there were many Episcopalian/Anglican parishioners who "could not" accept that Prayer Book change, and there are today a number who "could not" accept women Priests. But change will come, even if gradually, on both the Prayer Book and women Priests front.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Friday, 15 October 2010 at 3:09am BST

For Laurence Roberts, reception by Bishop Shepherd took place at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, whose Rector at that time was Father John Andrew, once Chaplain to Archbishop Ramsey.

Fr. Andrew would have many visiting priests and Bishops from his homeland, hence the Bishop of Liverpool (with the permission of the Bishop of New York) for the 1977 Confirmation service, and for anyone visiting England he would also be glad to make suggestions of parishes to attend on a Sunday (e.g., All Saints Margaret Street, and St. Mary's Paddington Green) but I also found some inspiring ones by chance.

But the only Bishop I ever saw in both St. Thomas and in England was Bishop Michael Marshall, whom I came upon, quite by accident, at Holy Trinity Sloane Square, as my family were renting a nearby flat for a one week holiday in 2004, and it was Holy Week.

Although I was able to visit many cathedrals all over England in the 80's and 90's, whenever a business trip gave me a weekend there, I never got to see Liverpool's, yet it holds a special place in my heart thanks to Bishop Shepherd.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Friday, 15 October 2010 at 3:31am BST

Thank you Jerry Hanlon, good to know. And glad Liverpool holds that special place for you. When you do see it, and the Metropolitan Cathedral also, connected by Hope Street, you'll love them; and the entire city and tidal river.

Ah yes, Michael Marshall used to get around !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 15 October 2010 at 4:15pm BST
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