Thinking Anglicans

50 clergy to join ordinariate

Jonathan Wynne-Jones reports in the Telegraph: Catholic Church to welcome 50 Anglican clergy. “The Catholic Church will announce this week that 50 Anglican clergy are defecting to Rome following the Church of England’s moves to introduce women bishops.”

The Church Mouse has this comment: 50 clergy to join ordinariate – has the CofE been preparing?

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Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Some important questions:

How many of these 50 are active and how many are retired?

The article says “hundreds” of laity are also planning to make the move. How do they know this? Are they presuming the congregations of these priests’ parishes will also move en masse?

Even if the “hundreds” statement is true, how many of those were truly regular attendees of a CoE parish and not Anglicans who were attending the local RC church?

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

Mouse seems to be worrying unnecessarily about this. It’s not up to the Church of England to oversee departures to the Ordinariate. They’re transferring to another denomination. We can wish them well, pray for them, and send them on their way. The important part is the pastoral care of the parishes they leave (though I doubt that a huge number are parish priests). And then you deal with the vacancy – which is a normal part of the day job for bishops anyway. I deal with about 10 – 15 vacancies per year. It’s not a big deal. So I… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

The word ‘defecting’ is quite wrong and so inappropriate.

junius
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junius

Oh dear.

‘The bishop, (Andrew Burnham) who is one of the five converting to Catholicism, accused the Church of repeatedly breaking its promises to make proper provision for opponents of women’s ordination.’

Why does no one nail this falsehood for what it is?

And then there’s the continuous attack on the Church of England as ‘liberal’. From where I stand, that’s not an attack, but a word of praise. Thank God the Church is liberal. What else would it be? I wish it were more so.

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

A while ago, before the Ordinariate was created, I read somewhere that for every Anglican who becomes an RC Catholic, there are three RC Catholics – lay and ordained – who come the other way and yet this seems to have no interest for the press at all. It would be interesting to see if anyone has correct statistics. People have always moved in and out of Christian denominations, but suddenly it has become big news, at least concerning those who go in one direction.

Dr. Don Hands
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Dr. Don Hands

I wish the Episcopal Church would release the numbers of ex Roman Catholic priests that were received (not re-ordained) into the ordained Ministry of this Church. I am sure the numbers are mnuch higher than the traffic the other way. A R.C. Archbishop in the USA once remarked, ‘how come we RCs get all your worst and you get our finest?’.

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

It will be interesting to see how many of thse are retired. Who will keep them… because I won’t be contributing.

I do feel sorry for our priests who give up having families and then they see these sneaking in the back door. Surely Rome will have a cap on married clergy numbers accepted for ordiination.

And what about those with boyfriends?

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I imagine Sara that many lay RC’s simply assimilate themselves to the Church of England in a quiet way. One discovers they are/were RC’s perhaps if they stand for the PCC and havent been confirmed ( younger RC’s have sometimes been admitted to communion but dropped out before mid-teen RC confirmation) I had a recent example of this.Formal reception seems to me to have been downplayed and i suspect in some churches the priest wouldnt feel he wished to do it…my second curacy vicar was of that persuasion.Mixed marriage couples often make their own arrangements..the non-communicating RC rule is often… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

“at least concerning those who go in one direction” Sara MacVane

It would seem the “defecting” RCs have better manners.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

The Episcopal year Book gives the statistics… every year they receive between 5,OOO to 8,000 former Roman catholics. Clergy are about 3 to 5, a year …but I understand there are well over 600 former Catholic priests in the Episcopal Church, several of whom who have become bishops. These converts have heklped the liberal direction of TEC. TEC has an active outreach to Hispanics. In the States there are millions of former Catholics in all the mainstream protestant churches, Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witness. This reflects the ravages of liberal and abysmal catechesis. I think there are about 200,000 former… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

RIW
Why would you not be contributing? These people have spent ages agonising over what to do for the best, they have loyally battled to remain in the CoE and they are now genuine in their desire to join your church. Isn’t that highly commendable?

Would you have them disown their wives and children first?

And if Rome accepts them as they are, who are you to disagree? I thought your church hierarchy is always right and has to be obeyed regardless of what individuals may think?

Doug
Guest
Doug

“A while ago, before the Ordinariate was created, I read somewhere that for every Anglican who becomes an RC Catholic, there are three RC Catholics – lay and ordained – who come the other way and yet this seems to have no interest for the press at all. It would be interesting to see if anyone has correct statistics. People have always moved in and out of Christian denominations, but suddenly it has become big news, at least concerning those who go in one direction.” About a year ago there was an article published by Stephen Joseph Fichter in “America… Read more »

Tobias Haller
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Actually @Dr Don Hands, the Episcopal Church lists all clergy received from various other churches in the annual “Red Book” as part of the Clergy List. For example, the current edition, reporting on the period 12/08 to 12/09 shows 14 RC clergy received in that period. That seems about the average number for recent years, give or take a few. There are more than a few former Roman Catholic clergy in my own diocese.

Does “Crockfords” or the like publish a list of RC clergy received into the Church of England each year?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Hundreds of Anglican churchgoers will join them in the Ordinariate – a structure introduced by Pope Benedict XVI to provide refuge for those diaffected with the Church of England. The number of worshippers who leave the Church is predicted to double as the new arrangement finally begins to take shape”. – Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Telegraph – Mr Wynne Jones is obviously hoping for a tidal surge of ex-Anglicans into the Ordinariate (so confidently provided by the Pope) to gather swift momentum after the reception of some ’50 clergy’ who are fed-up with the idea of female bishops being admitted into the… Read more »

JPM
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JPM

What percentage of CoE clergy do these fifty constitute?

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I would imagine that they will be treated in the same way as the English church currently treats RC priests and seminarians with boyfriends, Robert.

JCF
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JCF

I’m sure some of us can’t help but think of our favorite un-/under-employed CofE clergy, and hope that, w/ these new openings (no matter the number), they’ll be moving in/up! 🙂

“All things work together for good…”

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“In the States there are millions of former Catholics in all the mainstream protestant churches, Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witness. This reflects the ravages of liberal and abysmal catechesis.”

As a former RC, RIW, I think you have this backwards. Most of us came to the mainstream Protestant denominations (if not the CLDS and Witnesses) because of the ravages of CONSERVATIVE catechesis in the RC church.

John Roch
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John Roch

This is where you can make whatever you will with the figures. However – the latest clergy projections that are readily available on-line at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/statistics/churchstats2004/statisticspg37.htm show 2010 projection of STIPENDIARY clergy 6500 male 1650 female 8150 total (is it really the case that Church House has no more recent figures they can publish?) If 50 serving clergy(men) are meant they would be 0.77% of the serving male clergy, and 0.61% of the total serving clergy. Less than the margin of error in the projections. Adjust the results in accordance with your latest ‘feeling in the bones’ about the division between… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

Sara NacVane posted “…I read somewhere that for every Anglican who becomes an RC Catholic, there are three RC Catholics – lay and ordained – who come the other way…” I can’t address experience in the CofE Sara, but in TEC my wife and I were married by a former RC Priest, and for years we attended at our local Cathedral where the Dean was also a former RC Priest, and now our Bishop is also a former RC Priest. In my local Parish I am merely one of several former RC’s, but know of only one couple which has… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

I am not against converts, but I dislike the idea that the clerical “converts” are applying for ordination in the Catholic church, when they obviously still believe in their Orders and are carrying on as before.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RIW
with your rigid understanding of Catholicism, if your church hierarchy manages to accept these people and ordain them into the Catholic church, how can you possibly have any grounds to object?

Lister Tonge
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Lister Tonge

This doesn’t throw direct light on RC priestly departures but I know I read recently, in a book by Richard Rohr, that in the U.S., after Roman Catholicism the largest Christian denomination is former Roman Catholics.

Laurence C.
Guest
Laurence C.

“The number of laity who follow them into the Ordinariates will need to understand that they are expected to conform to the rigorous moral standards of the Roman Catholic Church – No contraception, no divorce, and no mixed marriages without express permission” Father Ron Smith

The laity might be “expected to conform” to these standards, but the survey quoted in this link suggests that most do not.

“Catholics ‘ignore rules on sex'”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7527452.stm

Rod
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Rod

My own Anglo-Catholic church has reached a crucial point in deciding whether to join the Ordinariate. Yesterday I was given a form with a choice of three boxes to tick: “1. I wish to become an active member of the new Ordinariate 2. I want to see St. X Church enter the Ordinariate but need more time to sign up personally 3. I have no desire to enter the Ordinariate and would want St. X Church to embrace modern Anglicanism” Am I alone in thinking that Option 3 has been worded in such a loaded way as to make any… Read more »

Dr. Don Hands
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Dr. Don Hands

Thanks for the numbers of ex-RC priests received into TEC Ministry. I am one of them and in my diocese there are 4 of us. Interestingly, there is a Concordat put in place between the RC and TEC dioceses not to accept each others’ clergy.

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

Thanks – I’d concentrated on the links on the left-hand side of the statistics page, I realise.

If you just look at the male clergy, stipendiary & self-supporting, it’s 50 (assuming none of them are retired) out of 8257.

What a non-event the story would be were it “C of E predicts 8200 clergy rather than the previously announced 8250”

david rowett
Guest

IIRC, those who convert don’t have the same permission to (so to speak) make waves within Rome, and must assent to the Catechism without reservation. If cradle RC’s are ignoring Humanae Vitae or whatever, it doesn’t really give carte blanche to a convert to do the same. The convert makes a deliberate decision to accept the table d’hote of the new expression of faith, warts and all. Anything else is the mark of one in search of a designer spirituality. Those who swim the Tiber know the (very real) price. I have to admit that I think that’s correct. Anything… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Does “Crockfords” or the like publish a list of RC clergy received into the Church of England each year?

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Sunday, 14 November

No Tobias but Crockford does say ‘ordained in RC church’ or some such.

Benedict
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Benedict

There is a slight whiff of desperation about the tit for tat comments relating to numbers of clergy departing from the Roman Catholic Church to become Anglicans. The fact is that the Roman Catholic Church, by any reckoning, outstrips the Anglican Communion, in respect of numbers of practising members. Over a billion, at the last count. Second come the Orthodox with over 300 million. And maybe that’s because of the teaching, tradition and history of those two churches, oh, and faithfulness to the Gospel of course. Anglicanism is fast becoming yet another splinter denomination that has nothing to offer, becoming… Read more »

robert Ian williams
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robert Ian williams

There are about 50 former Catholic priests in the Church of England..there are 4 in the Church of Ireland, and I think 2 in the Church in Wales.

Fr Mark
Guest

RIW: “There are about 50 former Catholic priests in the Church of England.”

It would be interesting to see the source for this. There must be quite a few ex-RC nuns now ordained in the C of E too, as well as a large number of former RC laywomen (I trained for ordination with several such).

Bill Moorhead
Guest
Bill Moorhead

Dr. Hands writes: “Interestingly, there is a Concordat put in place between the RC and TEC dioceses not to accept each others’ clergy.” I’m not aware of this and am not sure I understand the point of it — unless it is simply that clergy who change allegiance should not serve in the same geographical area (diocese) from which they came — and that makes some pastoral sense.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“My own Anglo-Catholic church has reached a crucial point…”

Rod, your post was fascinating, and I agree w/ your analysis.

“If I do not receive a reply by the 31st November I will assume you are happy for the church to pursue the Ordinariate but are personally undecided.”

When we see the next Tell-a-Lie/CEN “Scary!” headline, we’ll know EXACTLY where (how) they originated.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“I am not against converts” – R.I.Williams

L.O.L. Well why would you be, Robert, You’re one yourself!

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

When I was at theological college there was a nice middle-aged couple. Both straight from the RC church and doing a term or two with us before going into a parish. They had met in an RC parish, where she was a nun, and he the pp.

They found the C of E quite liberating and their exhilaration – and happiness lovely for us young ones to see !

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I meant to say in my post just now that I wish those going into the RC church similar joys, and contentment.

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

“The revisionist experiment is failing and very badly!” Note to Benedict (the poster). Since this is your de facto position, you will always make this conclusion. The CofE is not the RC or Orthodox Church and never has claimed to be more catholic, orthodox, traditionalist, etc., than they are. There was something called the Reformation, so you might say that’s where the revision began. Anglican breadth and comprehensiveness have made the CofE a many-faceted thing. It is at the same time liberal, conservative, high, low, orthodox, catholic, reformed, protestant, charismatic, and what-have-you. This has always ben case. Nothing new. Issues… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

By my reading of world statistics, there are fewer Christians in the world than non-Christians. By Benedict’s standards, Christianity must be a failure. And the blame should go on the shoulders of the largest and most influential churches.

What has this to do with the net interchange of clergy and laity between Rome and Canterbury (and its offspring)? All of this is in response to the trumpetting over the ordinariate; which from this remove in the US seems a small trickle and of little consequence to the future either of the Church of England or the Church of Rome.

Doug
Guest
Doug

Benedict: “….And maybe that’s because of the teaching, tradition and history of those two churches, oh, and faithfulness to the Gospel of course. Anglicanism is fast becoming yet another splinter denomination that has nothing to offer, becoming absorbed by an increasingly secular view of the world… Here again, liberalism isn’t really working, despite protestations to the contrary. The revisionist experiment is failing and very badly!” Recently Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell wrote a book titled “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us” in which they detail that over 60% of white Roman Catholics in the U.S. have… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

A further commment about Orthodoxy. One doesn’t often hear of “liberal” Orthodox or theological debate there. Perhaps it’s because they have been busier dealing with emerging from Communist repression, but also because they have a different history. There was never a Reformation or Counter-reformation and they are so steeped in tradition that it is simply “not done” to consider many issues that western Christians have been dealing with. They have roots in very traditional cultures and their church life is enmeshed with the various nationalities and cultures in which they are located. One sees this in the RC Church with… Read more »

Doug
Guest
Doug

“Recently Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell wrote a book titled “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us” in which they detail that over 60% of white Roman Catholics in the U.S. have left the Church, with half of those having switched denominations and the other half having simply lapsed.” Doug 11/16/10 7:35pm I meant to finish the above sentence: Recently Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell wrote a book titled “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us” in which they detail that over 60% of white Roman Catholics in the U.S. have left the Church,… Read more »

Robert Zacher
Guest
Robert Zacher

@Dr. Don Hands: ” … Interestingly, there is a Concordat put in place between the RC and TEC dioceses not to accept each others’ clergy.”

To my knowledge I am quite sure no such “concordat” exists between the the Roman Catholic dioceses of the USA and The Episcopal Church. Depending on circumstances, individual bishops from the other denomination may confer for reference and the advisability such moves, but no official concordat exists to govern such issues.