Thinking Anglicans

Not All Catholics Are Traditionalists

Press release from the Society of Catholic Priests and Affirming Catholicism

Saturday, 24 October 2009

NOT ALL CATHOLICS ARE TRADITIONALISTS

The current debate about the implications of the offer made by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to make provision for Anglicans who wish to join the Roman Catholic Church ignores one important fact. The majority of catholics within the church are in favour of women’s ministry and wish to remain loyal to the Anglican tradition within the Anglican Communion.

The Society of Catholic Priests, which has over 500 members in this country and is about to establish chapters in the American Episcopal Church and in Australia, and Affirming Catholicism which draws together clergy and laity in this country and throughout the Anglican Communion, are committed to the catholic nature and teaching of the Church of England. We are actively working to see women ordained to the episcopate and hold that this is entirely consistent with the teaching of the church and the historic nature of our orders. We are also convinced that the issues of human sexuality should not be ones that divide the church.

To suggest that the departure from the Church of England of those who hold more conservative views will remove the catholic wing and tradition from the church is entirely wrong. Churches and parishes which have a catholic tradition and are served by priests, both male and female, are growing and flourishing and look forward to the future with enthusiasm.

We welcome the offer made by the Pope to those of our brothers and sisters who no longer feel that the Anglican Communion is their spiritual home. We hope that this will not impede swift progress in the Church of England towards the ordination of the first women bishops in this land.

Fr Andrew Nunn
Rector General
The Society of Catholic Priests

Fr Jonathan Clark
Chair
Affirming Catholicism

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MJ
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MJ

If you wish to know what the FiF crowd really think of AffCath and SCP then Fr William Davage, Librarian at Pusey House, will fill you in. Preaching at the just concluded FiF Assembly he said: “You cannot re-write the Faith once delivered to the Apostles. You cannot dilute the Faith as would the liberal catholic: that suppurant oxymoron.” http://www.forwardinfaith.com/prayer/reflections/2009-NA-sermon.pdf So there you have it. Liberal Catholics are self-contradictory and pus-inducing. Nice. While listening to the speakers I was quite taken aback by the sheer venom and disdain in the voice of one priest as he raised the outrageous idea… Read more »

Gareth Jones
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Gareth Jones

The word ‘catholic’ used in this context is entirely inconsistent with the revealed apostolic faith which attests to and upholds the historic order of the Church. Whilst one accepts that there are many parishes and clergy both male and female within the Church of Enland who ostensibly appear to be ‘catholic’, the title ‘liberal sacramentalists’ would be more fitting to those whose own agenda has rejected catholic order in favour of political correctness and aggresive feminism.

JW
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JW

I’ve been to several FiF churches that use the Roman Missal – why have they not been prosecuted? I suggest that the CoE will not miss them.

Tom Plant
Guest
Tom Plant

For the same reason as those who use Iona liturgies will not be prosecuted.

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

I misread the beginning of this text as a statement about Roman Catholic priests. And indeed many Catholics would be in favor of women priests. If people join the RCC just because of women priests and gay issues they are leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Listening to the FiF speeches I came away with a vivid impression of just how faith is an objectified, sealed off bubble world for the speakers. Since I hang out with Anglicans who left that sort of church life, so typical and redolent of USA Bible Belt churches across so many denominations, I always need sharp reminding that weaponized doctrines and closing down can be the religious order of the day. Alas. I do not gain any positive impression that this sort of FiF Anglican will play well with any others, inside any Elizabethan Settlement Global Big Anglican Tents. All… Read more »

Aaron Orear
Guest

I was similarly struck by the venom of an Anglican Network in Canada conference held in Toronto a few years ago. It was akin to the vitriol of American politics of the past decade or so – beyond disagreement and well into contempt and hatred for anyone of differing viewpoint. What I heard wasn’t the pious simpering that gets played out in the newspapers. It was hate.

I kept wanting to tell the venue staff “Most Anglicans aren’t like this, really!”

Brian
Guest

Not all Catholics are traditionalists. Indeed, and not all are Roman!

Roderick Gillis
Guest
Roderick Gillis

ditto and ditto ( :

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Thank you Father Jonathan (Affirming Catholicism) and Father Andrew (The Society of Catholic Priests) for you reminder that by no mean all Catholics within the Church of England, or in the other Provinces of the Anglican Communion for that matter, are opposed to the ordination of women and gays within the Churches of our Communion. Despite the untoward remarks of Fr.William Davage of Pusey House library, many of us who value the treasures of the Catholic and Reformed Faith of the Church of England (and certain other Churches within the Communion) will continue our striving for Church Unity – but… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Very good post by drdanfee. I totally agree there are too many ‘doctrinal answers’ within the RC church although there are too from progressives who see the question/issue of the ordination of women to be answered and settled. This is an equally gilded doctrinal area for them (plus Gene Robinson as well). What the Churches need to work for when there are open questions, is the space to have proper debate and disagreement rather than point scoring. And how to live together. Some people might be scandalised by the way women priests were introduced – but provided there is space… Read more »

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

A lot of effort has gone into ecumenical dialogue over the last 40 years and from this has emerged , I would judge, the building blocks for a “reformed catholicism”. What has been lacking is an attempt to articulate a fresh specifically Anglican evaluation of “Reformed Catholicism”, something sufficiently explicit to help unite the groupings within Anglicanism that want to own this label…in distinction to “Western Catholics” and Anglicans who wish to go behind 1662/1559 and espouse an updated Edwardian protestantism….and give Anglicanism a firmer identity within the Una Sancta.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“those whose own agenda has rejected catholic order in favour of political correctness and aggresive feminism.”

In keeping with the smug selfrighteousness of this blithe dismissal of the faith of people who support OOW, can I ask what about those who reject catholic order in favour of a bunker mentality and a militant persecution complex? Because what is a flying bishop if not a clear rejection of catholic order? Seriously. Take thou the beam from thine own eye.

Jared Cramer
Guest

The Society of Catholic Priests that is forming in North America also issued a similar statement:

http://www.thescp.org/documents/theSCPResponsetoVaticanAnnouncementPressRelease2.pdf

Gareth Jones
Guest
Gareth Jones

Fr Smith’s comment about the ‘denial of the full humanity of women’ in the Church, beggars the question ‘does one have to be ordained priest or bishop to be ‘fully human’? I would value clarification on this not as a point of contention, but simply because I do not understand the rhetoric.

Edward Green
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Edward Green

I have had many friends and colleagues who had sincere concerns about the ordination of women, yet we shared in a Catholic understanding of the Church and Sacraments. None have ever called me a ‘Liberal Sacramentalist’.

Reformed Catholic or Prayer Book Catholic, yes. With the various teases that accompany these terms.

This name calling makes me deeply sad.

Bayesian Believer
Guest

I also initially thought this article was about Catholics who support women priests rather than ‘catholics’ within the Anglican church who do. In regard to the former, there are in fact a great number of Roman Catholics who support having women priests and who think Rome’s animosity towards gays is outdated and hypocritical. Some reports suggest that up to a third of Roman Catholic priests are in fact gay. Whatever the truth is, it will be interesting to have these more traditionalist priests entering the Roman church yet being married. Marriage of priests is another issue that many of the… Read more »

Gareth Jones
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Gareth Jones

I totally agree with Ford Elms, that the Flying Bishop is a departure from a viable and coherent application of catholic order, hence why I have never ministered under one! I have no issues whatsoever with the ministry of woman ordained to the priesthood and the episcopate within the Church of England. The problem lies with the exclusive inclusivists who pride themselves on illibral libralism, and will not make provision for the conscience of a significant majority of Gods people.

Gareth Jones
Guest
Gareth Jones

‘Liberal Sacramentalist’, was a term coined by a senior founding memeber of Affirming Catholicism, not me.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Fr Smith’s comment about the ‘denial of the full humanity of women’ in the Church, beggars the question ‘does one have to be ordained priest or bishop to be ‘fully human’? I would value clarification on this not as a point of contention, but simply because I do not understand the rhetoric.” Posted by: Gareth Jones on Sunday I suppose, Gareth, that you, like some of the anti-women and anti-gay factions in the Church somehow believe that the full humanity of these two groups is not ‘up to’ the standard of humanity that the priesthood of the Anglican Church ought… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

Rome would sue (for copyright infringement), if it could, those who call themselves “Catholic”, but don’t submit to the Holy See.

Just as I’m sure many of us here would like to sue (for copyright infringement—among other things!) those who call themselves “Anglican”, yet are not represented within the Anglican Consultative Council.

But that cat is out of the bag.

Me, I’m an anti-Popoid, pro-Vatican2, pro-OOW, LGBT-affirming Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian—so sue me! ;-/

Gareth Jones
Guest
Gareth Jones

Please dont presume Father Ron, that you know what I believe about gay or women priests, I am simply entering debate to deepen my own understanding of the issues at hand, and where different people are coming from. Thank you for your clarification which is helpful. What is unhelpful is linking the issue of gay clergy and woman clergy together, they can be mutually exclusive issues and often are.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“What is unhelpful is linking the issue of gay clergy and woman clergy together, they can be mutually exclusive issues and often are.” – Gareth Jones – Gareth, those of us who belong to the ‘Inclusive Church’ affinity in the Anglican Communion seem mostly to have come to the common understanding that both issues – of W.O. and LGBT ordinations – are connected, for the most part, by those who in the current climate of dissent within the Communion are seeking to distance themselves from supporters of both important issues. Perhaps you have not been concerned with both of these… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“What is unhelpful is linking the issue of gay clergy and woman clergy together” Maybe, but you can’t deny that there is great similarity between the two groups. Simply for being how God made them (unless of course you believe the alarming conservative innovation that homosexuals are not actually a part of Creation), both groups have been deprived of rights and freedoms by the Church, and while they needed an axtra reason to murder women, the Church has been directly responsible for the deaths of millions of the members of both those group. Both groups have been subject to lies,… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

One of the more interesting long term possibles in all of this, may be may … be… that Benny’s hard work to turn back the clock on Vatican II sub rosa is having the opposite effects on the ground. I can think of few things more likely to liberalize believers over the long run than ordering them about and lock-stepping them in church life and in daily life. Especially in so-called western democracies where citizenship involves reaching across innumerable differences, thinking, investigating, and dealing with any number of ways in which life is not black/white/good/evil. The more Benny seeks that… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

There’s nothing universal about closing debate on the place of women or gays – that’s parochialism. Catholic means universal, so, at current, liberals are more catholic than traditional sacramentists.

GJ
Guest
GJ

I fear that debate is closed when the consciences of a significant minority of a group or institution are undermined, and that minority are given no space for freedom of conscience. I fear debate is closed when general synod and bishops make promises they have no intention of keeping. It’s all very sad, last night me and a dear friend who is a woman priest wept together…

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“The word ‘catholic’ used in this context is entirely inconsistent with the revealed apostolic faith which attests to and upholds the historic order of the Church. Whilst one accepts that there are many parishes and clergy both male and female within the Church of England who ostensibly appear to be ‘catholic’, the title ‘liberal sacramentalists’ would be more fitting to those whose own agenda has rejected catholic order in favour of political correctness and aggresive feminism. – Gareth Jones on Saturday – Gareth, I’ve only just taken in what you have here posted on the subject of what the word… Read more »