Thinking Anglicans

CofE Legal Guidance on the Ordinariate

GS MISC 979 is now available as a PDF from the Church of England website. The cover page says:

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ORDINARIATE OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM

SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

I attach for the information of Synod members some Questions and Answers on legal issues relating to the implications for the Church of England of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham which has been established within the Roman Catholic Church by the Pope.

They have been prepared by the Legal Office and Provincial Registrars and circulated to diocesan bishops, chancellors and registrars.

WILLIAM FITTALL
Secretary General

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Scott Gunn
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I hope England is not afflicted by nasty battles over church property as we have been in the US.

After reading the Q&A, I have a few questions. Pardon my lack of understanding of CofE details. What happens if a priest joins the ordinariate and refuses to relinquish his orders and does not resign his benefice? That is essentially what has happened in the US as people have left ECUSA, and lawsuits and clergy disciplinary measures inevitably result.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Oh, the irony.

One wonders how many people who frowned at North American litigiousness will now peruse this leaflet on the “legal position” with utmost care and attention.

Father David
Guest
Father David

At last some legal clarity from the Provincial Registrars of Canterbury and York concerning the Ordinariate and the sharing of church buildings. “So far as the Church of England is concerned, the (Sharing of Church Buildings) Act requires that the incumbent and PCC (among others) should be party to the agreement.” So, it would seem, that those former loyal Anglican priests and laity joining the Ordinariate not only have been rebuffed by the CofE diocesan authorities but must also have the agreement of the succeeding incumbents and PCCs of the parish churches which they are voluntarily vacating if there is… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

‘Unless they take advantage of the procedure under the 1870 Act, they will, as a matter of English law, continue to be subject to the same jurisdiction as any other clerk in holy orders of the Church of England and therefore subject to the discipline of the Church of England…as well as that of the Roman Catholic Church’.

As Joe says to Pip in Great Expectations ‘ What larks’.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Father David, that would seem a natural course of action to me, as an onlooker from New Zealand. At least, it does leave open the option of the new incumbent and his PCC (with the permission of the local Ordinary) to offer the same sort of family hospitality as s/he may offer to other Christians who have no spiritual home of their own. Surely, it cannot be expected that an intentional divorcee be given the right to demand access to the family home, once they have abandoned it? This is what divorce really entails as a natural consequence for the… Read more »

Chris Baker
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Chris Baker

There is though an essential difference between the situation facing dissenting Anglicans in the USA and those in the UK. In the UK there is a parochial and diocesan structure in place for our dissenters to move to, which has its own buildings and infrastructure – namely the Roman Catholic Church.
I very much doubt that the Roman church will lay claim to Anglican parish churches, not even those built by the church in England before the reformation!
CB

riazat butt
Guest
riazat butt

@Scottgunn I am going to ask the C of E that very question – also there seems to be a cost involved. How much?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Scott Gunn asks a very good question and I hope Riazat gets an adequate answer. But I think there are material differences in the UK and with this conversion process. These former Anglicans are joining the RC Church, their Canon Law will not allow them to do as Scott suggests. There may well be a renegade or two who claim this or that, but if these people become Roman Catholics they will not be allowed to act in any way that brings that Church into disrepute, as the RC bishops have already stated – they will be expected to worship… Read more »

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

@Riazat Butt: The cost will be high, and not only financial.

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

‘therefore subject to the discipline of the Church of England…as well as that of the Roman Catholic Church’.’

Caned by the head of house and the headmaster on the same day !

JPM
Guest
JPM

Well, well, well.

After all that sanctimonious talk from England about wicked Americans taking the likes of Minns and Iker to court….

riazat butt
Guest
riazat butt

Basically, it’s not enough to resign your office. You need to give up all the gubbins that comes with it and relinquish your orders. It’s called the deed of relinquishment. Without it, the priests/bishops are still within the C of E and therefore in breach of their duty of obedience

Bill Moorhead
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Bill Moorhead

GS MISC 979 is a bit tedious, but clear and thorough. (Clarity and thoroughness sometimes require a bit of tediosity!) Because the Church of England is an “established church” (for good for or ill!), it is to be expected that these legal provisions would be explicit. The Episcopal Church in the United States, as well as most other churches in the Anglican Communion, are not by law established, and we never thought we would need legal provisions of this sort. The first time similar issues raised their heads (30-some years ago) it was thought that the fairly straightforward “Dennis Canon”… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

Chris Baker – “There is though an essential difference between the situation facing dissenting Anglicans in the USA and those in the UK. In the UK there is a parochial and diocesan structure in place for our dissenters to move to, which has its own buildings and infrastructure – namely the Roman Catholic Church.” I know it will come as a shock to Chris Baker, but the Roman Catholic Church already exists in Canada and the United States. No one has ever questioned the right of ACoC / TEC dissenters to leave ACoC / TEC. The legal absurdidty, avidly promoted… Read more »

Robert Ian Willioams
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Robert Ian Willioams

We had to renounce all claims on buildings, just before Catholic emancipation was passed in 1829.That was a precondition.

In 1850 the British parliament passed legislation preventing us from naming our reconstituted dioceses after the original sees founded by papal bulls.

In 2010, you are hopping mad that a really tiny group of mainly elderly persons are converting to Rome,and being allowed a self governing theme park.

Can’t we do anything right?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Ah, dear Robert, surely it was you (until just last week) who was “hopping” the highest and making the loudest and maddest noises on these pages about the foolishness of granting planning permission for this new “theme park”?

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Robert Ian Williams writes: ‘In 1850 the British parliament passed legislation preventing us from naming our reconstituted dioceses after the original sees founded by papal bulls.’ Actually what the legislation restates is the principle that territorial titles in Britain are in the gift of the Crown, to be conferred according to law. That applies whether we are talking about a temporal designation (e.g. Earl of Avon) or a spiritual designation (e.g. Bishop of Portsmouth, or Vicar of Bray). Consequently the titles of RC bishops have no legal standing, though I guess one would not want to be so discourteous as… Read more »

Scott Gunn
Guest

@Martin Reynolds, can you point to RC canon law that would require a priest to resign a benefice or his orders? Since Anglican orders are null and void, they surely need not be relinquished. They never existed! (From an RC perspective.)

MarkBrunson
Guest

“I hope England is not afflicted by nasty battles over church property as we have been in the US.”

I hope they *are*! Maybe Rowan’s ivory tower will get shaken up a bit!

“Can’t we do anything right?”

Sanctimonious self-pity . . . you do that really well.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

” Since Anglican orders are null and void, they surely need not be relinquished. They never existed! (From an RC perspective.) – Scott Gunn – Mr. Gunn, you have probably already read on this thread that the titles of R.C. Bishops do not have the same validity in law as those of Bishops of the Church of England. And as for the validity of Holy Orders within the established Church of England – ‘The Pope hath no jusridiction in that country’ – something for you and R.I.W. to take on board if you are ever to really understand the local… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I suppose there are many ways R C canon law can be used to respond to the situation you pose, Fr Scott butt much depends on if the cleric is seeking ordination in the RC church. While the norms for this ordinariate accept that it is likely priests will also be in a job, these jobs require the permission of the bishop and I don’t think the idea of holding on to your old job was contemplated. While canon 1381i&ii might be said to apply, the real problem faced by a cleric who was contemplating such an action is that… Read more »

robert ian Williams
Guest
robert ian Williams

We are entirely independent of the British Crown. We are respectful of the Law inso far as it conforms to the Catholic truth and does not compromise it. Apparently a Church of England cleric who leaves Anglicanism ( not specifically Rome) has to resign his orders as he is accorded the status of a registrar as regards marriage. The same interestingluy also applies to the clergy of the disestablished Church in Wales. The Pope has full jurisdiction over his flock in England and Wales and that article of the 39 articles has no effect today….or for the past 451 years… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

RIW: ‘The Pope has full jurisdiction over his flock in England and Wales and that article of the 39 articles has no effect today….or for the past 451 years of the schism initiated by Elizabeth the first. We just ignored it, and for 300 years some of us paid for that with our blood.’ The article means that the Bishop of Rome has no legal jurisdiction — there is no appeal from the English Courts to the papal chancery. Before the Reformation there was. Since the Reformation there is not, and that does continue to be the case. The Bishop… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

That may be the case today…but in the sixteenth century ” voluntary association” was even punished by the law. They knew no such difference and their interpretation of jurisdiction much wider.

There are actually far more English people under the jurisdiction of Rome than there were in 1559.

fr dougal
Guest
fr dougal

“There are actually far more English people under the jurisdiction of Rome than there were in 1559.” Given that these islands are far more densely populated 451 years on, that qualifies as stating the obvious, rather than contributing to intelligent debate. The 16th century was not exactly a model of tolerance or mutal respect whilst holding different views on ANY side. Elizabethans hanging Jesuits, Bloody Mary burning Protestants, Calvin conniving at the strangulation of Sadoleto etc, etc, etc ad nauseam. Legal niceties aside, in the MODERN world no-one really cares if anyone takes any notice of Papal teaching – anyone… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

RIW: yes, in the quite distant past, those who professed loyalty to the Bishop of Rome were persecuted, sometimes unto death. Similarly there have been interludes where those who protested at the Bishop of Rome’s jurisdiction have been persecuted, sometimes unto death. Those times do neither side much credit, I suggest. Those times are however several hundred years ago, and the majority of legal impediments against Roman Catholics were lifted nearly 200 years ago. Very very few no remain, and none, I suggest that impinge on ordinary everyday folk (i.e. on people who aren’t in direct line to the throne!)… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“schism initiated by Elizabeth the first”

It would be interesting, if Elizabeth Tudor could be transported to the 21st century, to seek redress for libel [We know how it would turn out if you were sent back to her 16/17th century Blightey: believe me, RIW, when I say I am NOT advocating that! (I, the Yank, don’t believe in the divine right of ANY monarch, anymore than you believe in the divine rights of this non-Papist one ;-p)]

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

RIW should really read his history. Elizabeth I simply tried to make sense of the religious mess she inherited. She was excommunicated by Rome. However, having grown up Protestant and after Mary’s reign, which was horrible in many things other than religion, she just wanted peace. Historians suggest that she wasn’t so adamant about religion, she just saw the need to deal with a country facing threats from outside and discord within. She actually seldom committed herself on religious matters.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Appeals to Rome were on religious issues…and this is the case today for the Catholic faithful. Heretics and schismatics have never had right of appeal to Rome.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

“Appeals to Rome were on religious issues….” Yes, but many “religious issues” were considered secular matters in the 16th and 17th centuries. Heresy could be tried in the secular courts, as was witchcraft. Even secular crimes were given a religious sheen–charges often included “having been seduced by the Devil…”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Heretics and schismatics have never had right of appeal to Rome.”

Why would they want to?

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Interesting report that the Chelmsford seven are back tracking over the Ordinariate.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

” and for 300 years some of us paid for that with our blood.” – Robert I. Williams –

Sometimes the use of the personal pronoun can have unexpected consequences – especially where self-elevation to martyrdom is involved. What a terrible burden you do carry Robert, and on such a short time of acquaintance with the Magisterium.

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“Interesting report that the Chelmsford seven are back tracking over the Ordinariate.”

Believe me, they are doing no such thing. The Catholic bishop knows who they are; the Anglican bishop knows who they are and they have the support of both of them. The groups of laity they are leading are preparing for the transition and on Ash Wednesday clergy and laity will begin formation. All will proceed according to the already published timescale. The process is being handled sensitively on all sides; it is our intention to join the Ordinariate, not to provide endless media soundbites.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

You are so up to date RIW..enlighten us further. I was rather amused when a friend of mine who has good knowledge of some of these parishes told me that at one of the parishes it will come as a great surprise that they arent attending a RC church already!!!

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

There is a report on Virtue online, which says completely the opposite to David.

.

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“There is a report on Virtue online, which says completely the opposite to David”

Probably because we have not told virtue online what we are doing! I repeat: both bishops know, the timescale is in the public domain, the Bishop of Brentwood released some local details last weekend. This is an act of faith not media hype!

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

Ian, I’ve just read the Virtue online piece and he is using it for spin. What those priests say is true: no resignations as yet, no one has started training. There is a timescale and it will be followed. Decisions will be announced, training will begin, groups will be received, clergy ordained. in the meantime, prayer is more useful than speculatin.