Thinking Anglicans

Roman announcement: Thursday newspapers

Updated

The Guardian has a leader article today, Church of England: Imperial Rome.

“It is not an act of aggression,” the Archbishop of Canterbury insisted as the Vatican’s metaphorical tanks drew up outside Lambeth Palace on Tuesday. Not even his admirers quite believed him…

The Telegraph has a news report by Damian Thompson The Vatican opens its arms to Anglicans – and tightens its grip.

The Pope’s dramatic invitation to disaffected Anglicans will have a huge impact…

And also, Archbishop Vincent Nichols welcomes Anglican convert plan as an ‘opportunity’ by Stephen Adams.

The Times has 400,000 former Anglicans worldwide seek immediate unity with Rome by Ruth Gledhill and others and also Priests in London and Yorkshire say they are tempted to join Rome and Converts may choke on raw meat of Catholicism by Libby Purves.

(Purves) The welcoming of Anglican clergy into the Catholic Church highlights the differences, and difficulties, of approach. Attack is the best form of defence. On the eve of another damning report on clerical abuse and cover-up in Ireland, that seems to be Pope Benedict’s tactic…

The Times also has A catholic approach to weirdos is fine with me by Matthew Parris.

The Independent has The Big Question: Why is the Catholic church offering a home to congregations of Anglicans? by Paul Vallely.

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Pat O'NeillBillyDmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Ford ElmsFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Archbishop John Hepworth, the twice-married Primate of the ‘Traditional Anglican Communion’, who led negotiations with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, said he was *profoundly moved* by the Pope’s decision and would immediately seek the approval of the group’s 400,000 members worldwide to join – Ruth Gledhill, The Telegraph – Granted, Pope Benedict has not been very well briefed with most of his innovative programmes on behalf of his own constituency lately (holocaust, Muslims, etc.,) but one wonders whether he was aware of the fact that this prelate of T.A.C. in Australia, once a Roman Catholic… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

Has anyone got any sense of where this figure of 400,000 TAC Anglicans comes from? It seems, on the basis of a bit of scouting around on their various web presences to be something that is likely to be a huge inflation of reality. Does anyone know anything about them? The Traditional Anglican Church (England) is clearly minute.

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

Three things I don’t really understand (perhaps because I am American?) 1) If C-of-E faithful have wanted to become Roman Catholic, as some FiF comments and others seem to suggest, why didn’t they just do that, the more so since many of them in the UK seem to have been using RC worship material for a long time? Why does the possibility of using Anglican worship (or some of it) count more than doctrine and dogma? 2)Why are the articles spouting on about married priests? Those who left 1992-2002 and were married stayed that way, without any big effect (I… Read more »

john
Guest
john

I continue to think that this is all very dangerous. Take the Guardian’s blithe ‘Evangelicals have nowhere to go’. It’s not true; this is an old debate within that large and varied movement (‘fishing from boats’); they can just peal off into congregationalism; and some of them have lots of cash. It is absolutely essential that our leaders speak up for ‘the Broad Church’, ‘generous orthodoxy’, etc. etc. But they don’t.

toby forward
Guest

Sara MacVane, I’m afraid you’re not going to get answers to your questions because you’re asking about logic and theology with regard to the position of FiF, when they clearly have neither. Sorry to disappoint you. 😉

Neil
Guest
Neil

Matthew Parris is being both silly and ignorant. He should read Paul Vs article and see that the underlying issue is not about women priests or gay bishops but about the nature of the CofE. I grew up in a church both Catholic and Reformed and in 1992 it chose to abandon its claims regarding Catholic tradition and align itself with the Protestant tradition. This was further reinforced after the vote for women bishops, and a refusal to provide for those wishing to be faithful Catholic Anglicans. Stephen Platten was one-such mean minded and unpleasant bishop as recorded in the… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest

I hope that Abp Rowan is now going to announce the setting up of an Anglican Southern Baptist Ordinariate, so that disgruntled Evangelicals have somewhere suitably Puritan to go to as well.

David Redrobe
Guest
David Redrobe

It is to be hoped that Forward in Faith will say “We do not think this proposal should be accepted until the whole Church agrees”. Some hope of that! St Peter’s mother in law must be turning in her grave!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“one-such mean minded and unpleasant bishop” This comes immediately after this: “a refusal to provide for those wishing to be faithful Catholic Anglicans.” Pot/kettle, anybody? I mean, it’s a bit much that someone could so blithely, and without any evidence or justification whatsoever, imply that I am unfaithful while calling someone else “mean minded”. Honestly. Take thou the beam from thine own eye! We all feel this kind of hurt. But the place to express it is behind closed doors with those who think like you do. You get to vent it all, make the nasty cutting jokes that we… Read more »

Allan K
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Allan K

Sara MacVane has posted three questions which I feel should not be ignored. 1) If C-of-E faithful have wanted to become Roman Catholic, as some FiF comments and others seem to suggest, why didn’t they just do that, the more so since many of them in the UK seem to have been using RC worship material for a long time? Why does the possibility of using Anglican worship (or some of it) count more than doctrine and dogma? I can only speak for myself. I am an American Episcopal priest, retired. I would have loved to go to Rome had… Read more »

Clive Packer
Guest

Sara… as a former FinF member from England and now a Canadian RC convert, perhaps I can offer a more constructive answer than Toby Forward’s insulting and bigoted remarks. As an Anglo-Catholic, I wanted to practise the Catholic faith in the church of my baptism, confirmation and long-standing family tradition. I didn’t want to become a Roman Catholic, or as you say, I would have done so. After the ordination of women priests in England, the catholicity of most English bishops and clergy became questionable at best – but we were able to maintain our tradition with the ‘flying bishops’… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Every now and again Damian puts aside the dripping fangs and bile to produce an honest and accurate report based on his private knowledge, excellent sources and deep insight.

In my view this is one of those pieces.

He wrote a similarly starting and honest piece about Rowan Williams several year ago and I recall being stunned by its accuracy and insight.

He can be a superb journalist …….

Thomas+
Guest
Thomas+

We will see how many will be willing to go to Rome once they find they will not be able to take the buildings (and miters!) with them, and they will have to rent space at the local pub for their masses, or worse, at the local RC church, and be under the thumb of the not so welcoming local monsignor!

H. E. Baber
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H. E. Baber

Au contraire–Matthew Parris is dead on. I speak from 27 years teaching at a Catholic college, as an Episcopalian inside outsider. There’s a yawning credibility gap between Papists-in-the-pew (and many RC priests) on the one hand and the official policy-makers in Rome. If the upper administration of the RC Church–the Pope, his retinue and the personal appointees of him and his predecessor–were lopped off there would be married priests, both male and female, and intercommunion, if not flat out church union.

Marshall Scott
Guest

Jeremy, one can learn about the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) from their web site at http://acahomeorg0.web701.discountasp.net/tac/tac_index.aspx. They are an international body, active in North America, Central America, and especially in Australia and the western Pacific. The number of 400,000 appears to be the international total.

TAC is not especially new to confusion. For example, the person designated their Bishop for the Armed Forces (within their American branch, the Anglican Church in America) has also tried to continue to function as a priest in the Episcopal Church.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Ford – my comments about faithful Catholic Anglicans are not intended to demean you in any way. Given what you write, I suspect you would have been rather more generous than was Stephen Platten at the Women Bishops vote in General Synod last year? You have no idea how revolted the Catholic (of a differing view to you, but of course I acknowledge your use of the same term) people were by the way they were treated. It was a disgrace…and you can search these boards for the disgusting triumphalism of one Giles Fraser at the time, if you want… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

HE Baber. I take your point and agree. But where Matthew Parris is spot off is in failing to recognise that the majority of converts will feel on the side of the Papists in the Pew.

john
Guest
john

Martin Reynolds, Here and just about everywhere your main concern seems to be to demonstrate just how far ‘in the know’ you are. Some of us have more serious concerns, and indeed the concerns themselves seem a lot more serious. H.E. Baber, What you say chimes with my own experience in the UK and in Europe. That is why it is extremely important for practising Christians of all denominations to break ‘rules’ and avail themselves of, and demand, practical intercommunion. That way, the ‘bottom-up’ revolution will undermine and sweep away the ‘top-down’ diktats, still powerful, of ever more unrepresentative hierarchies.… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“When clergy converted in 1992 they were re-ordained, but as Cardinal Hume said at the time, they were not required to deny any of their past. “

Well, that seems disingenuous, seeing that by presenting themselves for ordination they were, by action if not by words, proclaiming that they were laymen up to that point.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

John …. I do not have the benefit of “being in the know” in at least one important respect – that is – I do not know who you are! Perhaps you would like to share that in the light of your remark? I post rarely, but always in my own name – and try to contribute information when I have it, I have been around a while. I am sorry if you find my posts self-agrandising, they are just what I have gathered from being around so long. I find it hard to understand your comment in the light… Read more »

Clive
Guest

BillyD: obviously clergy who leave their denomination automatically become laymen. The same would be true of a RC priest going the other way. However, the point Cardinal Hume made was that those clergy were laymen at that point but they remained free to believe in the validity of their ministry in the CofE. Rome didn’t recognize but neither did Rome require renunciation. I agree it could be considers fudge but then that’s always been a staple diet of Anglicans of all persuasions.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Benedict’s initiative sidelined not only the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Archbishop of Canterbury but also Catholic Bishops in England and Wales and everywhere else. Similarly his reintegration of the SSPX sidelined Catholic Bishops of France and elsewhere, who were fiercely opposed (and who no doubt indulged some secret “I told you so” Schadenfreude when the Williamson scandal broke). Similarly, in issuing the Motu Proprio reinstating the Mass of 1962 he undercut the authority of bishops. In all three cases he makes special arrangements to cater to what he sees as the religious freedom and spiritual needs of… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“What is left is we who are concerned for women and gays but are left with no theology, Protestants and Catholics having left. We become good intentioned Unitarians, I fear.” – Posted by Allan K

Um, speak for yourself, Allan. The (Trinitarian!!!) theology of the Via Media stands on its own just fine w/o the extremist malcontents…

toby forward
Guest

Clive, I can’t speak about ‘clergy’, but priests who leave their denomination remain priests, lapsed or out of communion, or something else, but still priests. A priest who returned would need to accept canonical obedience to a bishop, but would not be reordained. Of course, it depends as well on the recognition of orders. RC or CofE priests who made that journey away and back would find it to be simple and as I have described. An RC priest who became an Anglican would not be re-ordained, but an Anglican who became an RC would be (re)ordained. I was present… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“St Peter’s mother in law must be turning in her grave!” – David Redrobe, on Thursday – Now here’s a pretty pickle regarding the need for a priest/bishop to be celibate in the RC Church. If Peter really did have a mother-in-law – as the scriptures suggest – whatever happened to his wife? And was Jesus actually aware that Peter had been married when he appointed him the very first Pontifex Maximus? And how might that affect the culture of celibacy in the RC Church today? One question crops up here: Could Jesus have been mistaken – in not appointing… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

How can you be without a theology unless you never think about God. That’s all theology is. All the garbage the roaring bishops and their malcontents demand is just a sort of intellectual self-pleasuring. Just another specialized degree, and that is useless for faith. I’m sure there’s some need somewhere for N. T. Wright’s and such, but it’s only to fill out the invite list for the faculty cocktail party, certainly nothing to do with a living faith!

Theologians are not some sort of necessity unless you completely relinquish your faith!

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

Thank you, Clive for your thoughtful and articulate answer. I guess my question still is, why would anyone worship as an Anglican if they believed in papal infallibility and what the announcement says is the ‘Petrine ministry as willed by Christ’, why would anyone who worshipped as an Anglican (and especially presided as an Anglican priest) use RC worship services (part of my ordination agreement was to use services of the C-of-E) and yet remain in the Anglican ‘tradition’, and why would anyone who really believed in his ordination agree to be reordained. But maybe it is a slow discovery… Read more »

Allan K
Guest
Allan K

I sincerely hope JCF is correct and that traditional via media theology will carry the day but I am fearful. At least in the US there is precious little theological understanding of any kind. Pragmatism is triumphant. Unitarianism here is understood as “the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man and the neighborhood of Boston”. Just substitute your own local city or town and you pretty much describe US Episcopalianism.

john
Guest
john

Martin, I wrote sharply. I apologise. I know who you are. Obviously, I am on the same side as you in almost all things. But I would like to restate the point more generally (and without now reference to you). People can get carried away with the sheer newsiness of it all and the excitement of speculating or revealing who said what to whom when under what circumstances. All that can be important but can also distract from the sheer seriousness of things – and I’m afraid I think the repercussions of this Pope’s intervention (malign as I think it… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

In the ARCIC discussions, did the Anglican partners not recognize the Petrine ministry — more as something like a primacy of honor, than as the jurisdictional primacy and infallibility defined at Vatican I?

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) statement of Venice (1976) is here: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/ecumenical/dialogues/catholic/arcic/docs/authority_in_the_church_I.cfm#s6

Par. 24 b says: ‘The First Vatican Council of 1870 uses the language of “divine right” of the successors of Peter. This language has no clear interpretation in modern Roman Catholic theology. If it is understood as affirming that the universal primacy of the bishop of Rome is part of God’s design for the universal koinonia then it need not be a matter of disagreement.’

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“You have no idea how revolted the Catholic (of a differing view to you, but of course I acknowledge your use of the same term) people were by the way they were treated.” I suspect I have a far better idea than you think I do. But, as I said, you can’t spend three decades implying that other people’s Christianity is defective, even non-existent, and then expect them to be nice to you. Sure, it is their Christian calling to do so, but none of us are all that good at following our Christian calling. That’s why there’s confession. And… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

As a comment on Spirit of Vatican II: but of course the ARCIC agreements have no over-all authority in the Anglican Communion and would only count as authentic expressions of an Anglican position in a particular province when and if the General Synod of that province so decided. However even that would not constitute a theological position to be held by all, since beyond the creeds, there is little or nothing that counts as obligatory and universal Anglican belief.

Clive
Guest

Sara, thanks for your kind words. Indeed I think it’s all a question in the end of an individual journey in Christ. For the specific answers around ordination and re-ordination you’d have to ask those priests concerned and you’d probably get as many different answers as there are priests. The one reception ceremony of a former Anglican priest that I attended was where the words of Cardinal Hume I quoted were spoken by him in his homily, so there was no renunciation there. Also it’s worth saying that given my experience in Canada, time heals many things. I count an… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“BillyD: obviously clergy who leave their denomination automatically become laymen. The same would be true of a RC priest going the other way.” – Clive, on Frioday –

Not So! At least, not necessarily in the Anglican Church in New Zealand. I recall at least one R.C. priest being ‘Received’ by the Anglican Church – no renunciation of his Orders, merely a need to make a statement regarding his fealty to the Statutses and Ordinances of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Oh Yes! And, of course, an oath of loyalty to his new Bishop.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“At least in the US there is precious little theological understanding of any kind.” Geez louise, AllanK: do you ever tire of speaking for yourself, in the “Here’s looking down at you!” voice? [See re “MarkBrunson at Friday, 23 October 2009 at 9:50am BST”, above!] “Unitarianism here is understood as ‘the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man and the neighborhood of Boston’. Just substitute your own local city or town and you pretty much describe US Episcopalianism.” You know nothing about my struggling little Episcopal parish, in my suffering little Michigan (!) town—nor, I suspect, about most of TEC,… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

OK John, please, take a pot at me anytime.

I am sorry that my posts gave you cause for irritation – I am unaware of the spirit you describe – though sometimes it might seem that I am more interested in style and form rather than substance.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Alan K knows nothing about the Episcopal Church I have known and loved for thirty-three years, following my reception from the Roman Catholic Church. I have been a member of several Anglo Catholic parishes during this time, plus a few in-between-high-and-low church parishes, and, in my business and vacation travels, have visited probably fifteen Episcopal parishes in several states, from North to South and East to West, plus two Episcopal parishes outside the US, one in Paris and one in Rome. None, repeat NONE, even remotely resemble what Alak K flagrantly suggests is the mindset or theme of the Episcopal… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

St Peter was a widower.

By the way no one discusses the money factor.. where is the money to finance this. This will be the decising factor.

After 30 years in the US the pastoral provision has brought about a hundred men into the Catholic priesthood. The seven parishes ann d communities are mainly attended by cradle Catholics.

Meanwhile there are nearly 700 former Ctholic priests in TEC and literally tens of thousands of former Catholics…including the presiding bishop.
Yet that does not make a headline.

MarkBrunson
Guest

He can’t help it, JCF – he’s one of those raised to believe that if it wasn’t frosted with obscure jargon, decorated with pointless false erudition, chewed by the ecclesial structure, and passed out through the bowels of some seminary, and wiped onto at least 500 pages of high grade paper in type as dense and obscure as the terminology and process it describes, it can’t be real theology. Why, then, theology would be something just any plain old human being could do! When did “theologian” come to mean someone whose head’ll explode if he takes it out of the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“St Peter was a widower.”

Really? Where does it say that, RIW? Citation on Simon Peter’s wife being dead at the time of his being chosen, please.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“St Peter was a widower.”

Really? Where does it say that, RIW? Citation on Simon Peter’s wife being dead at the time of his being chosen, please.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“St Peter was a widower.” – Robert I Williams –

Chapter and verse of Scripture, please, Robert!

Or was this one of the secret dictats of one of the Popes of Rome – or of Avignon, perhaps?

Or, are you making a case for widowed clergymen being virgo intacta and thus celibate?

Christopher (P.)
Guest
Christopher (P.)

1 Cor 9:5 ” Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?”

toby forward
Guest

Pat O’ Neill, don’t hold your breath.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Robert I Williams; Where are you?
What about the provenance of Saint Peter’s widowhood at the time Jesus chose him to be the first Pontifex Maximus? (Try the Pope @ Vat 69)

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Toby:

Oh, I’m not. Blue is not my color.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Toby:

Oh, I’m not. Blue is not my color.

BillyD
Guest

“Meanwhile there are nearly 700 former Ctholic priests in TEC and literally tens of thousands of former Catholics…including the presiding bishop.
Yet that does not make a headline.”

That’s because we don’t go trolling for them, RIW.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Ctholic priests”

Lovecraftian clergy? Sorry.