Rorate Caeli

Forward in Faith UK - Listen on line
UPDATE: The "Anglo-Catholic" charade shocks and appalls
Draw not nigh hither!

The leading "Anglican Catholic" group in the United Kindgom, Forward in Faith, conveniently celebrates its annual conference this Friday and Saturday - conveniently for all of us who want to understand what Anglo-Catholics want after this week's momentous news. You may listen online to the various interventions in the website of FiFUK.

Tip: Sub Tuum (cf. our blog roll).
_________
(UPDATE) Listening to the speeches with an open heart, one feels shocked and appalled by most of the speakers (not all of them, but most). For any convert to Catholicism, it is truly painful to listen to words such as those of a certain "Father" Alan Rabjohns, of "The Church in Wales", who declared, "I will not become a Roman Catholic unless I am forced to become a Roman Catholic."

Jeffrey Steel (De cura animarum blog) writes the perfect analysis of a disastrous meeting:

On June 7, 2009 I resigned as a priest in the Church of England. On July 18, 2009 I was received into full communion in the Catholic Church. I have been asked numerous times if I am sorry that I left when I did as a result of the news this week from the Vatican on what Pope Benedict XVI is graciously offering Anglicans. The answer is a theological profound no way. I am a Catholic now and I have never been more happy about my personal decision to depart when I did. I could do no other as it was an issue that impacted the salvation of my soul as one who was theologically convinced of Catholic theology and what it meant to be a Catholic in communio with the Holy Father and the universal Catholic Church.

This decision was all the more confirmed after listening to my former affiliation FiF UK's discussion at their general meeting tonight. I was at the meeting this past February and it was at that meeting where I decided that what I understood to be Catholic was not what I was hearing from many. This present meeting is even more clear than the one in February that all the talk of being Catholic 'seems' to be not much more than what the individual wants to believe is Catholic. To be perfectly honest,
it almost feels like a bluff has been called. Sitting and listening to those speeches made me sad and realise that for many in the C of E, the issue that alone makes them 'feel' Catholic is being against the ordination of women or so it seems. Let me state clearly that I did not leave the C of E over women's ordination or homosexuality though in regards to both of these issues I hold the Catholic orthodox line. I became Catholic because being Catholic was true, the primacy of Peter and his infallibility is true and the lack of the Magisterium in Anglicanism leaves the priest with nothing other than his (or now her) own opinion. I am afraid that this sort of approach has nothing to do with true Catholicism. This approach has nothing to do with the theological idea of communio in the writings of the Holy Father either.

...
I am finding the addresses to be very difficult to listen to. I honestly wonder how it is that I belonged to a movement that gives appearances of not really wanting real reunion with Rome when it has finally been offered with some real substance. What I hope becomes clear to those at this Assembly is that the Holy Father is NOT putting forth some document to be revised by a revision committee or determined by a popularity of a majority as something akin to a general synod. Sorry folks, that is not the Catholic way. It's not about lace and birettas; it's about authority and truth. There is all sorts of talk about Eucharist and ecclesiology and an ecclesial solution to their problems but this language is becoming all the more nothing save fancy rhetoric. It is really time to take a closer look at what is the substance of being Catholic. I was absolutely shocked and grateful for the generosity and love our Holy Father is offering the Anglican worldwide communion and then only to hear the voices of people claiming to be Catholic at this meeting and longing to remain Anglicans and CofE blows the mind.

.... I am afraid that
what has not yet really happened to many is a true conversion to a Catholic way. I mean that in the best sense of the definition of Catholic. Because it is a real conversion of heart to make one give up everything and follow Jesus' call to unity. Sacrifice is involved and one has to be willing to sacrifice all if we are to have the substance of the Christian life. There is nothing to be salvaged in my opinion about Anglicanism as an 'ism'. The Reformation is one of the greatest tragedies in ecclesial history. Why the assembly is not falling down on its knees and thanking God for answering their prayers in this Newman moment is really mind-boggling.

Many might ask me
why I care. The answer is, because our Holy Father and pastor just extended a hand of welcome for reunion and reconciliation beyond what any could imagine and they have to think about it...I hope the Vatican isn't listening to that assembly.

What I feel is
most problematic is that so many claim to have been praying for the very thing that the Holy Father has given and even more and now what is in reality a lovely piece of fish seems to be treated as if it were only a stone. Sadly, this all seems a bit ungrateful to me.

Jeffrey Steel is right: there has been no true conversion to the Catholic way for most of those gathered there. Until those people understand, in their hearts and minds, what it means to be a Catholic, they should please remain where they are; it is not as if they are prodigal sons, but reckless stepchildren who refuse to embrace a Father who extends his open arms, or who will only do so, reluctantly and half-heartedly, if urgent circumstances force them to act. Draw not nigh hither: Rome is holy ground!

57 comments:

Michael Sternbeck. said...

As Pope Benedict once said, so profoundly, Christ calls individuals to conversion of heart, not organisations.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

One should be neither shocked nor too disappointed by this. There is a great deal of variation among the so called Anglo-Catholics. Many, especially in Britain and the United States are in fact nothing more than Protestants enamored of the "smells and bells" of High Church liturgy.

It is the Anglo-Papalists that are likely to swim the Tiber. Their numbers will vary. But I think you may expect somewhere between 70-90% of the TAC (and all of their bishops) to go over to Rome. Large scale conversions beyond that will not likely occur for some time if ever. One thing that may push some over will be the eventual (and inevitable) consecration of women bishops in Britain. But again many simply can not accept RC doctrine. Better for them that they stay where they are.

In ICXC
John

New Catholic said...

By the way, the Vatican IS listening, of course.

--

John, what is shocking is the attitude and the "buts" and "ifs", and so close to the pontifical announcement.

This was actually pronounced today: "I was born an Anglican and I will die an Anglican"... Whatever... I was born a sinner, and I hope that when I die God may grant me eternal life.

Thank you both for your comments,

NC

Trisha said...

What a wonderful testimony by Jeffrey Steele, a true convert!

As he was an Anglican priest, one hopes he will soon become a Catholic priest.

Welcome home, sir!

Pedes Christi said...

I have explained a lot of the rsistance to the Holy Father's generous proposal on my blog http://pedesxpi.blogspot.com . I would add that a lot of these folks are threatened by this because they stand to lose their own little empires, including the ability to do pretty much what one wants, and call it Catholic. On the other hand, I think that there ar a lot of folks out there who will respond in the same spirit that the Holy Father has made this offering.

Andrew said...

I just listened to the whole thing - it is now almost 2am.

The first speakers are pretty good:
Fr. Kirk and
The PEVs
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet,
The Bishop of Richborough,
The Bishop of Beverley

In the next group, Fr. Baker's talk is also good.

Everything else is a disaster, and very embarrassing to me.

Please folks, bear this in mind: The Holy Father has done this to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is done that none may be lost. Look to the TAC for the primary response - along with +Ebbsfleet and a few others in the FiF fold.

The pope just called the bluff of all `catholic-minded' Anglicans. Now we see who will respond, and who will use the Holy Father's amazing and miraculous gesture a simply a bargaining chip.

Anonymous said...

I think that a huge distinction needs to be drawn between the TAC and Forward-in-Faith (in England, anyway). The latter group is really a gang of Anglo-Catholic Anglicans who want to remain in the Church of England but who cannot stand the priestesses, the fake sodomarriages, and a Protestant lack of ceremony and decorem. Why are they dithering? It is because THEY WILL LOSE THEIR CHURCHES AND THEIR PAYCHEQUES from the the C. of E. if they cross the Tiber into a Catholic personal ordinariate (p.o.).

The TAC is an entirely different animal. The TAC broke away from the Anglican Communion from the 1970s on. They are now very used to being outside that body. Gradually, over time, they have drifted Romewards until, now, at last, they are ready to jettison the last Anglican doctrine, that of the branch theory of the Church, although this is only a theological error and not a heresy.

In other words, the TAC is Catholic in belief and is now ready to make that good. Forward-in-Faith is dithering because, being still part of the Church of England, it has use of dozens of fine old churches, and its ministers are well paid, and it is comfortable as part of the 'establishment' religion in England.

Archbishop Hepworth, Primate of the TAC, is now enroute from Australia to England (literally, as we write) to convince the FiF to join the TAC. He needs our prayers but I am wondering if the time is right for the FiF. Indeed, the Pope has called their bluff: will they abandon prestige and cash and fine old bricks and mortar to become Catholic? I think that some of them will but most will likely 'counsel caution'. 'We must not act precipitously!', they will say. 'This is not a time for hasty decisons when our incomes are on the line!'

I am convinced that the TAC is ready for union with the Pope. I am not convinced that FiF is. It may be that a preferred route would be for the TAC to lead the way.

What is the Church? Is it the Mass or the buildings? TAC, much like our English recusant ancestors, has put the Faith first and its members have been cast out of their beautiful churches as a result. They are persecuted and reviled and rejected. They worship in metaphorical catacombs, like the eight churches they have managed to acquire over thirty years in Canada for their sixty parishes. They are ready. I'm not convinced that FiF is but pray that many of its leaders will see the light. They are in bed with a whore called Heresy.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

John:

First of all, I think that at least 90% of the TAC will come over. Those who do not will be more than compensated for by other Anglicans who come into the new structures as individuals.

What is stopping the FiF from coming over is the prestige and income and access to fine old buildings which they currently enjoy. I don't think it's the Catholic doctrine they reject: it's poverty!

As my great uncle used to say (it's an old adage, I think): There's only one thing money can't buy. And that's poverty.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Pedes Christi:

You are right. I think that, over time, a fairly large number of Anglican families will cross the Tiber, and the existence of these ordinariates will make it easier for them to do so.

P.K.T.P.

Warren Anderson said...

I do recall the unfortunately lines quoted and I share the dismay or disappointment of those commenting on said lines. I must say, though, I was very moved by the speeches given by Kirk, Ebbsfleet and Richborough. I do believe that they understand that a great opportunity is being offered to them. As for the those in FIF who might not see the movement of the Holy Spirit in Rome's announcement which could save Anglicans from themselves, I say: what's God gotta do to get their attention?

Anonymous said...

"... I am finding the addresses to be very difficult to listen to. I honestly wonder how it is that I belonged to a movement that gives appearances of not really wanting real reunion with Rome when it has finally been offered with some real substance"

I could have told you that the day I read of the Holy Father's gesture.
These "TAC" Anglicans, and the other groups DO NOT really want to become Catholic in the true sense. They want a safe ANGLICAN haven where they can continue as traditional ANGLICANS (not CATHOLICS), hut give lip-service to the Pope as the Successor of Peter.
If these new guidelines from the Apostolic Constitution are so broad as to allow these people to basically remain as Anglicans with all their Protestant baggae for which they are so proud (especially their "tradition" of marrief priests) then Pope Benedict XVI has made a monumental mistake, and as peculiar as it sounds, the liberals like Cardinal Jasper were right....people should come into the Church only individually, etc.
These Anglicans of the TAC and other groups have no intention to stop being Protestants and accepting the fullness of Catholic Faith.
I read and hear of some of these contributors on this blog and others almost going into extacy over "how much better the traditional Anglican Mass is to the Novus Ordo", or "the Knott Missal is so wonderful" etc. etc. Or "with traditional Anglicans now in the Church we will have better liturgies".
All I can say to that is.....some people must be mental.
WAKE UP PEOPLE....IT'S PROTESTANT.
NO MATTER HOW MUCH BETTER THAN THE NOVUS ORDO....IT'S STILL PROTESTANT.
These people have no intention of being true, 1000% Catholics. They want to keep their Protestant traditions.
If the Pope's Apostolic Brief gives them everything they want, and asks them to discard nothing of their Protestantism, and asks them to accept noting of the riches of the Catholic True Faith...and most of all, allows them to keep the tradition of married priests....then this Pope has made a tremendous and foolish mistake.
These people are nothing but Protestants, and that's all they want to remain.
It's like bringing in the Trojan Horse.
Keep these people out.

Catholic with Attitude said...

Amen Amen Amen! I think more prayers than ever are needed for the Anglicans. To be offered something so precious as union with the Successor of Peter, and to still question it is indeed puzzling. It's not everyday that such a gesture is extended and therefore prayers for Anglicans are needed in the hope that they don't pass on this opportunity.

Br. Stephen, O.Cist said...

The Holy Father I extol in fervid perorations,
The Cardinals in Curia, the Sacred Congregations;
And, though I’ve not submitted yet, as all my friends expected,
I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected.

- A snippet from a classic of Anglican doggerel verse

As a former Anglo-Catholic, I thought it all sounded pretty much as one might have expected except that there were a larger than usual proportion of definite statements for a church gathering.

Try to focus on the good. I assure you that the Holy Father, who has watched Anglicanism for many years, was not surprised by yesterday.

My thoughts on day one of the gathering are here:

http://subtuum.blogspot.com/2009/10/reflections-on-forward-in-faith.html

Jordanes said...

Someone said: These people have no intention of being true, 1000% Catholics.

That's good. 100% is all they need to be.

They want to keep their Protestant traditions.

Or rather, they want to keep many of their Anglican traditions which are Catholic in origin.

Stop attempting to judge the basis and sincerity of their expressed desire to convert to the Catholic Faith. You aren't in any position to make any of your hyperdogmatic declarations.

And who is Cardinal Jasper?

David Werling said...

There should be no surprise here, though I do understand the hurt that is caused when a wet blanket is thrown over euphoria. I especially feel for some people here.

This goes to show that there are no quick and easy solutions to anything ecumenical. We are seeing today that many (perhaps most) Anglo-"Catholics" are Protestants, albeit they are protesting something that Catholics happen to disagree with as well, but all the same, they are still Protestants.

This doesn't mean that the request wasn't sincere from some, but we now know that the request, at least from many in Forward in Faith was was perhaps political leverage being applied against Williams and the CofE.

Oh well. There will still be some Anglicans who swim the Tiber, and that's a good thing.

Hopefully, the Vatican is listening and making revisions to that Apostolic Constitution now that the bluff has been called and the cards are hitting the table.

Maybe this was the reason for promulgating the Constitution without actually giving us the the Constitution?

Anonymous said...

It was a typo....I was tying too fast.

Everyone kwows it's Kasper!

Jordanes said...

Mr. Werling, I'm not sure you're making a clear enough distinction between Forward in Faith and the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Adeodatus said...

Hey, Anonymous: Married clergy is not "Protestant". It might not belong in the Latin Rite, but it's not Protestant... the Greeks have it. In fact, even *our* Greeks have it.

Anonymous said...

'Mr. Werling, I'm not sure you're making a clear enough distinction between Forward in Faith and the Traditional Anglican Communion"

Jordanes posted this------but in actuality, probably a good 95% of the TAC people think the same.
They are, and always will be, PROTESTANT.
They are only interested in switching to the Catholic Church because it is convenient to. They are leaving not for Faith in the True Church (CATHOLIC, not Anglican), but rather it is because they don't like women priests, women bishops, gay bishops, gay priests, or homosexual marriage.
Who in their right mind would?!

But it is still a wrong reason to seek admittance en masse into the Roman Catholic Church.
They are not doing this "conversion" in good Faith, because they have made "pre-conditions" with the Vatican. They did not say "400,000 of us TAC wish to become Catholic and accept the light of the teachings of the Catholic Faith, belief and obedience in the teachings of the Magisterium, and belief in the Sacraments, the Mass, the doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Faith." No sir!!! Instead, they made pre-conditions on the Vatican, and said that they'd like to convert and accept the Roman Catholic Faith IF (AND ONLY IF) they could keep most of their Anglican traditions, services, prayerbooks, and married clergy.
THis is false conversion. It should be disallowed, or the Apostolic Constitition should be re-written and updated to eliminate allowances for MOST of the Anglican traditions, INCLUDING the Anglican Sunday Service, and the allowance going forward in the future, of married priests.
If the Pope does not have the sense to lay down the law (the Catholic law) with these people, he's making a big mistake.

Anonymous said...

"They did not say "400,000 of us TAC wish to become Catholic and accept the light of the teachings of the Catholic Faith, belief and obedience in the teachings of the Magisterium, and belief in the Sacraments, the Mass, the doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Faith."

People join the Church because their spouse is Catholic or for any number of reasons. Take a look at the barbarian conversions. Who the heck are you to question these people's motivations? How many people have you brought into the Church? Probably not as many as you have driven out....

Jordanes said...

Pope Anonymous said: in actuality, probably a good 95% of the TAC people think the same.

When did you poll every single member of the TAC?

They are, and always will be, PROTESTANT.

I am skeptical of your abilty to tell the TAC's fortune.

They are only interested in switching to the Catholic Church because it is convenient to.

Really? Is that what they told you, or did you find that out when you read their minds?

As if "switching" to the Catholic Church is EVER convenient.

They are leaving not for Faith in the True Church (CATHOLIC, not Anglican), but rather it is because they don't like women priests, women bishops, gay bishops, gay priests, or homosexual marriage.

Apparently you aren't aware of the fact that the TAC left the Anglican Church four decades ago. When they convert to the Catholic Faith, they won't be leaving the Anglican Church -- they'll be leaving their heresies and Protestantism.

Disheartening though it may be to you, they don't have as far as distance to swim when they cross the Tiber as most people.

Instead, they made pre-conditions on the Vatican, and said that they'd like to convert and accept the Roman Catholic Faith IF (AND ONLY IF) they could keep most of their Anglican traditions, services, prayerbooks, and married clergy.

You are misrepresenting their expressed desire to complete their Christian conversion.

If the Pope does not have the sense to lay down the law (the Catholic law) with these people, he's making a big mistake.

I think Pope Benedict XVI knows what the Catholic law is better than you do.

Who are you to judge another man's servant? If the Church approves their Catholic faith and traditions, you have no authority or grounds to insist that the abandon what the Church says they may and should retain.

Anonymous said...

Certain folks have put forth the interpretation that Pope Benedict XVI supposedly "called the bluff" of Anglicans to either "put up or shut up" regarding Anglican entrance into the Catholic Church.

Said interpretation calls into question as to whether said folks have paid attention to Bishop Nichols' words on the issue at hand.

As Bishop Nichols has made clear, Pope Benedict XVI did not call anybody's bluff.

The Holy Father didn't issue a "put up or shut up" response to Anglicans.

As Bishop Nichols emphasized...

1. The Pope's action is simply a "response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church."

2. "The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church.

"It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution."

Bishop Nichols made it clear that the Holy See simply responded...responded...responded...
to requests...requests...requests from specific Anglicans who initiated contacts with Rome to express their (Anglicans) desire to join the Church.

What "bluff" was called?

Specific Anglicans asked for "A,B,C" and that's exactly to whom the Holy Father responded as he granted them "A,B,C."

As regards the Anglican un-Communion as a whole, the Holy Father did not respond to said un-Communion.

He did not "park his tanks" upon the Anglican un-Communion's lawn.

His Holiness isn't dealing, for example, with Rowan Williams.

Rather, the Holy Father is dealing with requests...requests...requests presented to Rome by...specific...specific...specificAnglicans.

Pertaining to the Anglican un-Communion as a whole, Bishop Nichols made clear that it's ecumenical business as usual...it's ecumenism full-steam ahead.

Nobody's "bluff" was called by Pope Benedict XVI.

Pay attention to what Bishop Nichols (and additional Churchmen in the know) have declared regarding the matter at hand.

Any "interpretation"...actually, spin...offered by bloggers and others constitute wishful thinking and are simply this or that person's vision of events...

...a vision that has opposed the true facts of the matter as presented by Bishop Nichols (and additional Churchmen who are in the know).

Tim

New Catholic said...

Who spoke of "put up or shut up"?...

Now, a "bluff" may be called even if unintentionally - which is why the word was used by some (not by us). There is no game here; what some find troubling is precisely the fact that some "Anglo-Catholics" seem to be seeing this as a game, when it is a sober and serious offer by the Holy Father.

Anyway, interpretations of interpretations of interpretations are awfully hard to follow, Tim...

NC

Jordanes said...

Tim, you wish to "spin" the events of the past week in one direction, others would "spin" it another way. I don't find your spin, wishful thinking, and vision of events much more compelling than that offered by other observers. Less compelling in fact.

You point to the words of Archbishop Nichols. Others point to the actual events and "facts on the ground."

Lastly, please stop referring to "the Anglican un-Communion." It's rude and needlessly provocative. We Catholics know that the Anglican understanding of Communion is erroneous, and any observer can readily see the lack of communion and unity in the Anglican Communion. There's a better way to make your point, but in any case your point is made and you can move on now.

Jeffrey Steel said...

Tim, I firmly agree with what you said about Archbishop Nichols and the HF not calling a bluff. My point is, the bluff has unintentionally been called on those who have said they have prayed this for years and now some, not all, finding excuses to stay.

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, interpretations of interpretations of interpretations are awfully hard to follow, Tim..."

I didn't offer any interpretation and what I posted wasn't hard to follow...

I simply repeated that which Bishop Nichols said regarding the matter at hand.

Conversely, certain folks have presented interpretations of events.

Said interpretations are far removed from Bishop Nichols' declarations.

That isn't hard to follow, not even for yours truly, Tim...

Tim...

Anonymous said...

As I wrote the other day, we do not need any more confusion in the Church.

Nor do we need any more bad Catholics. We do well enough on our own.

As Michael Sternbeck said quoting our Holy Father, Christ calls individuals, not organizations.

Jordanes said...

I didn't offer any interpretation and what I posted wasn't hard to follow...

I simply repeated that which Bishop Nichols said regarding the matter at hand.


No, Tim, you did more than repeat what Archbishop Nichols said -- we can see your appended commentary and interpretation accompanying your Abp. Nichols quotes, even if you can't see them.

Someone said: As I wrote the other day, we do not need any more confusion in the Church.

"Needed" or not, we're going to get it. It's what happens when you allow human beings to enter the Catholic Church.

Nor do we need any more bad Catholics. We do well enough on our own.

As Michael Sternbeck said quoting our Holy Father, Christ calls individuals, not organizations.


Christ does not call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Anonymous said...

"We Catholics know that the Anglican understanding of Communion is erroneous, and any observer can readily see the lack of communion and unity in the Anglican Communion."

"We Catholics" on this blog? Or Catholics in general?

A great many Catholics believe that Anglicans communities are just as valid in terms of the True Religion as Catholic parishes.

That is what ecumenism and the post-Vatican II Latin Church liturgical debacle have done to the minds of more than a few Catholics.

Tim

Antonio said...

And after all, it seems not everything is so wrong, if you look at the last post of De Cura Animarum.

Athelstane said...

Mr. Perkins is right: There's a real difference between Forward in Faith (FiF) and the TAC. Largely because, as he rightly notes, TAC has been operating independently for a long time now, and are no longer defined only by what or who they oppose. [Which is not to say that these things are not worth opposing. They are. But that is not enough.]

I am disappointed in some of what seems to be voiced at the FiF conference. But not entirely surprised.

So who will come?

First, no one will come until they read the fine print in the Apostolic Constitution.

I expect most of the TAC will come. In England, I expect there is a fair chance that Bishop Burnham will come, perhaps one or two other flying bishops. And a smattering of priests, perhaps a few whole parishes. In other words, not a flood. In America we might get a few Anglican ministers and a few lay converts, but in truth there just are not many Anglo-Catholics left who have not already come over.

But, along with the existing Anglican Use parishes in the U.S. - I expect the constitution will not require their incorporation into the P.O., but that most will go anyway - this will nonetheless create in the Anglosphere countries the foundation of a new Catholic community which may well prove quite popular for existing Catholics (including but not only past Anglican converts), and the steady trickle of remaining Anglo-Catholics who decide to swim the Tiber later.

I know at least a few Catholics who love the reverence, beauty and solemnity of the traditional mass, but still struggle with the Latin. Having a faithful, hieratic English version will be extraordinarily attractive to them.

And having a growing (Catholicized) Anglican liturgical option will also, along with the traditional mass, exert more pressure on reforming or even replacing the novus ordo.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Steel said...

"Tim, I firmly agree with what you said about Archbishop Nichols and the HF not calling a bluff. My point is, the bluff has unintentionally been called on those who have said they have prayed this for years and now some, not all, finding excuses to stay."

Jeffrey, we agree on your first point. Regarding your second point, I don't know any Anglicans/Episcopalians who had expressed unity with Rome only to waver today.

I do not mean that you haven't met such folks.

The Anglicans/Espicopalians (conservatives and liberals...if those terms mean anything these days) I've known have made it clear that they are pleased to be Protestants and do not wish to enter into Communion with the Holy See.

The same applies to Anglicans in the public arena.

They have made it clear for decades that while they will engage in warm and fuzzy ecumenical gatherings with Catholic Churchmen, they are pleased to be Protestants and do not intend to place themselves under the Pope's authority.

Have many Protestants wavered on their stances during the past few days?

Tim

Anonymous said...

I think Jordanes must be a former Protestant to defends these Anglicans as forcefully as he/she has.

The truth is, that these TAC people (whoever they are), DID make pre-conditions in discussions with the CDF, the Council for Christian UNity etc., that in coming to the Catholic Church, they wanted to keep part/most of their Anglican heritage...including their prayer service. Since it isn't a valid Mass, I don't call it that although I know some overly ecumenical people do.

The Easter Rites were allowed to keep all of their traditions because they are valid, ancient and honorable traditions dating back nearly 2,000 years.
The Anglican "traditions" although some pre-date the Reformation, are for the most part adaptations in the Protestant tradition and of the Reformation era.

Now I read of some whining Lutherans who are disenchanted with their various branch of that heresy which to be recieved into the Catholic Church, but to keep their Lutheran Protestant traditions.
I could think of noting more abhorrent and repulsive liturgically, than to accept into the Roman Catholic Church services etc. which are from and in the spirit of Luther.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Steel said...

"My point is, the bluff has unintentionally been called on those who have said they have prayed this for years and now some, not all, finding excuses to stay."

Jeffrey, in fairness to the Protestants, have they truly concocted excuses "to stay?"

Or are they simply pondering that which they know so far regarding the Holy Father's response?

Below is an interesting Reuters article posted today that reports upon the reactions of various Protestant leaders to the Pope's proposal.

Frankly, for our part, more than a few Catholics, particularly cnservative Catholic commentators, have jumped the gun in recent days regarding the issue at hand.

As the article stated, in fairness to Protestants, "there is little clarity yet on either side.

Excerpts from:

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/10/24/vatican-anglican-where-in-the-details-will-the-devil-be-hiding/


"The Vatican has not spelled out the conditions of the 'Apostolic Constitution' to accept Anglicans who want to join Catholicism while maintaining some of their own traditions.

"Additionally, there are varied faces of Anglicanism, which in its dogmas and practices stands somewhere between Roman Catholicism and Protestant traditions such as the Lutheran or Reformed churches.

"This will clearly take a while to work out."

But several reactions from Anglicans to Tuesday’s announcement, including from some inclined to make the switch, have begun to trace the outlines of the looming doctrinal debates among Anglicans worldwide and between the Vatican and Anglicans knocking at its door.

Bishop Donald Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), posted a succinct summary of sticky issues on his group’s website.

Harvey asked:

1. “Will the Roman Catholic Church require Anglican priests who choose this option to be re-ordained?

2. “Will people who accept this invitation have to subscribe to Roman Catholic dogmas to which the Anglican Formularies are diametrically opposed – such as “Papal Infallibility”, the “Immaculate Conception” and Transubstantiation?

3. “Will Anglican priests – especially married ones – choosing to accept the Roman Catholic Church’s invitation have equal status with existing Roman Catholic clergy and will their ministry be interchangeable and welcomed in Roman Catholic parishes?”

In his statement, Harvey brought up another issue that could lead to disagreement — the meaning of the word “catholic.”

Harvey quoted an ANiC priest as saying:

“As for me and my house, we will remain ever faithful to the authority and primacy of the Holy Scriptures and the Faith and Order of the undivided Catholic Church.

"I need not become a Roman Catholic to be a Catholic Christian. As an Anglican, I am a Catholic Christian.”

Bishop Jack Iker, head of the Episcopal (U.S. Anglican) diocese of Forth Worth, Texas, touched on the same issue in his reaction:

“Not all Anglo-Catholics can accept certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, nor do they believe that they must first convert to Rome in order to be truly catholic Christians.”

Pittsburgh-based Archbishop Robert Duncan, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America formed by that split off from the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada last year, wrote on the ACNA website:

“This significant decision represents a recognition of the integrity of the Anglican tradition within the broader Christian church” and added that “our historic differences over church governance, dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and the nature of Holy Orders continue to be points of prayerful dialogue.”

Tim

Athelstane said...

"As Michael Sternbeck said quoting our Holy Father, Christ calls individuals, not organizations."

So much for the Council of Florence and the Union of Brest.

Anonymous said...

More and more conservative Anglican leaders have declared that they do not have any reason to believe that more than a relative trickle of Anglicans will enter into the Catholic Church.

Conversely, and the following is undeniable: A number of conservative Catholic commentators jumped the gun and posited the notion that ecumenism had just ended and that Anglicans would leap to Rome.

when the disappointment floods in, let us recall that Bishop Nichols made it clear that the Pope's action was merely a response to a certain amount of Anglicans who requested an answer from the Holy See to the question at hand.

Neither the Holy See nor Bishop Nichols presented the announcement as anything more than it was.

Tim

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous poster who says that the TAC made conditions and only sought entry into the Catholic Church over recent issues--that poster doesn't know his subject and should therefroe shut his trap. I am amazed by how quick some posters here are willing to judge things they know nothing about. I know some of these people very well through the Monarchist League here, which used to meet in their church basement (now it's their cathedral). I also know their choirmaster and have corresponded with some of their priests and leading laics.

The TAC is not like FiF at all. The TAC's originators left the Anglican Communion decades ago and have been moving Romewards ever since, shedding one Protestant doctrine after another (esp. the Lutheran teaching on justification, at least as far as I can see). Over this time, their more Protestant members have gradually departed. Even before they left, most of them were in the more Anglo-Catholic branch of Anglicanism and always close to us in doctrine. Essentially, most of them and their ancestors have been moving Romewards since the 1840s. It has been a long journey, not a quick jump over womanpriest.

TAC bishops and other members have informally agreed to all Catholic teaching (or what they honestly believed it to be) long before 2007, when it made its application to Rome. They have an honest desire to profess whatever the Church professes. The TAC continues at present to adhere to zero heresies and only to one theological error, which is the false branch theory of the Church. The TAC of our day is schismatic but not heretical, and it does not intend schism and has for some years now sought to end it. While it is true that recent events in the Communion of the regular Anglicans has helped TAC's endeavour, it is not the substantial reason for its request.

FiF, as I've explained before, is another matter entirely, and its members belong to the regular Anglican Communion. Many of its members adhere to some Protestant teaching, although perhaps most no longer do. Some of them are indeed ready to cross the Tiber. Many of them, on the other hand, only want Rome because they don't want bishopettes and coming homomarriages.

In the case of FiF, I suspect that the real reason for its reluctance to accept the Pope's offer is the fact that its bishops and clergy would lose access to their present churches if they joined Rome, and they would lose the pay packets now guaranteed by the Government in England and Wales. This is not just about lace and ceremony, however. Many of these people have a deep attachment to their ancient parish churches, some built centuries before the Reformation. The oldest of those still standing were built in the late seventh century (670s).

Recently, Rowan the Druid tried to keep them inside by delaying the ordination of bishopettes for four years. This might work with some of them. Who knows? I am not sure how many of them will cross the Tiber in 2010 but I think that most of them will eventually.

The TAC is another matter. The are NOT, I repeat NOT, Protestant. In my considered judgement, at least 90% of them are ready to cross the Tiber. The fool who wrote otherwise just doesn't know his facts. They are objective schismatics, not heretics. You can't be a Protestant if you deny all Protestant teaching. Duh! I wonder about the intelligence of some people on this blog.

P.K.T.P.

Pablo said...

To be offered something so precious as union with the Successor of Peter, and to still question it is indeed puzzling.....

If someone converts, they must deny and completely reject their previous beliefs and state that the Catholic Church is the one True Church outside which there is no salvation.

They are no longer permitted to be Budhists, Protestants, and so on, and must attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, go to Confession, throw their dollar in the collection box, and so on, like the rest of us.

To state they can be Catholics in the Anglican Church is to deny them salvation.

*

Anonymous said...

Tim needs a more nuanced approach to these Anglo-Catholic issues. I watched the ACNA foundation Mass on one of those Internet film sites (not easy to do: it was so boring). A large number of the ACNA people are evangelicals. They are hard to miss because they raise their hands in the air during Mass as if they are students asking questions in class. They had an invited guest from the Orthodox Church of America who urged them to move away from Rome and to union with Constantinople, and they all applauded him enthusiastically. He looked to me like a former hippie in orthdox garb, and he made silly Orthodox jokes, such as "Now that we are all standing, we can being to pray".

The ACNA gang are a mixed group who have only just this year left the E.C.U.S.A., which can only have exerted a deleterious effect on their souls, no matter how much they opposed its liberals. ACNA will not jump ship tomorrow to Rome. Instead, it will try to forge an alliance with the GAFCON churches in the Third World (most of which are evangelical, some Ango-Catholic) to form a new Anglican Communion to rival the Canterburian one and split Anglicanism in twain.

Rowan the Druid has tried to cicumvent them with his proposal to form covenants among the more conservative and moderate national Anglican churches, so that there would be 'two ways to be Anglican' (isn't one enough?). This has failed. I can't remember why but the Schorri Whore from the E.C.U.S.A. somehow stopped it. She probably said that covenanted Anglicans in the U.S.A. would simply be expelled if they were priests or whole congregations, and would lose their property.

At present, the GAFCON prelates have tried to trick their flocks. Akinola of Nigeria has removed all mention of the Church of England and the E.C.U.S.A. from the statutes of his Nigerian Church. This enables him to imply that the Nigerian Church is no longer in communion with the others. It's a lie because, to effect an excommunication, there needs to be a positive declaration. So what is he up to? He needs to keep the support of the locals, who are 100% intolerant of sexual inversion, and yet keep all that lovely money flowing in from the U.S.A.

Meanwhile, money is also the main reason so many FiFers in England hesitate to join Rome: they don't want to lose their pay packets and access to fine old churches. Those few of the Fifers who do join Rome will mostly be those who just happen, by pure coincidence, to be rich.

It's all about money, ladies and gentlemen. That's why the TAC should be supported on this blog. These are the people who gave up the money and the perks decades ago and preferred persecution to repair the union with Rome. They are now ready. The others will mostly follow in time because conditions under Canterbury will continue to worsen. If you doubt that, cast your eyes across the North Sea and look at what Sweden did earlier this week: they will have sodomarriages right at the Altar rails. The groom may now kiss his groommate.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

MY PREDICTION:

1. At least 90% of the TAC will apply for abuot 40 personal ordinariates and will reunite with Rome by Lent of 2010.

2. The FiF in England will have a vote, following an extensive debate. The majority will vote to 'give this matter greater consideration' and 'devote more prayerful reflection to this sensitive question'. Many will urge that FiF join Rome 'at the appropriate juncture', 'in the fullness of time', 'when conditions are favourable', 'in due course'. This is code for 'never' or, at least, 'once we have safely retired' and have our pensions.

The three FiF bishops, 'with the greatest reluctance', will vote to defer this question and will then try, over the next four years, to use a Roman threat to get them what they want in the C. of E., which is dioceses that bar bishopettes, priestesses, and sodomite blessings. They won't get what they want because liberals are tyrants in practice and only tolerant in appearance. But they will delay the matter for some time, perhaps even past the four-year limit, for, even after that, the C. of E. will wait for some time before intruding women into their dioceses. They need more time to retire and die!

3. A small minority of FiFers will break ranks and join the TAC ordinariates. Some of these will be wilful contrarians. There are always people of that sort in extremist groups, which is what FiF has become, thanks to the B.B.C. Some of them will be clerics who have unusually large bank accounts--by pure coincidence. Some will be the naive, those who don't realise how nasty things are about to get for them, for the Roman liberals will ostracise them and the TACers don't have ... any money.

3. More FiFers in other countries will join the TAC and Rome because they don't belong to churches which are state supported, and there are no priceless mediæval churches in their countries to be attached to. They will transfer gradually but more readily than those in England.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I was right on (contra John) about the GAFCON. While its leader in Kenya has rejected union with the Pope for now, Archbishop Akinola, head of the huge Anglican Church in Nigeria, has NOT YET DECIDED if he will take the offer. I am convinced that he will not, in fact, take it in the short term. But the fact that he is seriously considering it is of enormous importance. The Nigerian Church is the second most-populous one in the Anglican Communion (after that of England and Wales) and is growing at a very fast rate--and it is evangelical! Were Akinola to take the Nigerian Anglicans en masse to Rome, that alone would destroy worldwide Anglicanism. It would be its death knell.

I don't think that it is about to happen. I think that Akinola is temporising so as to threaten the C. of E. and put pressure on it to let the FiF in England have its own exception, with an exclusion of female clerics. But the fact that he's actually willing to go so far proves my point, which is that the evangelical character of GAFCON is NOT enough to keep it from Rome.

There is always the chance that Akinola will join Nigerian Anglicans to Rome, thereby making him the principal character in Anglicanism for years. It must be tempting. He could knock Rowan Williams right out of his magic druidical circles of fairies.

Go here and scroll down:

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=4371


P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

"We Catholics" on this blog? Or Catholics in general?

Hint: you didn't mail copies of your comment to every single Catholic on earth, but instead posted it on this blog.

A great many Catholics believe that Anglicans communities are just as valid in terms of the True Religion as Catholic parishes.

That would not include those Catholics who rejoice at this week's news, knowing that it means a good number of Anglicans and former Anglicans will soon be converting to the True Religion.

Michael Sternbeck. said...

Athelstane, I suggest you take that up with Pope Benedict.

We are just moving to an accurate translation of the Creed in the Ordinary Form, professing our beliefs as individuals together in Christ, "I believe" not a collective "we believe", in which no one need speak for himself.

We also confess our sins individually, not corporately.

David Werling said...

Jordanes, I did make sure to draw a clearer distinction on my blog. However, notable individuals in FIF were clamoring for provisions from Rome as well. It should be added that now with Bishop Hind's declaration, about which I just learned, the rhetoric among the FIF clergy may change.

This thing is developing as we type.

David Werling said...

Calling the bluff was Fr. Steel's words originally, Tim. Did you read the post?

Jordanes said...

Someone said: I think Jordanes must be a former Protestant to defends these Anglicans as forcefully as he/she has.

It isn't defending converting Anglicans, but opposing what I see as wrongheaded, ungenerous, and uncharitable reactions to the prospect of their conversion and their being allowed to bring their beneficial traditions with them. It seems that the eyes of many are evil because the Pope's is good.

I would tend to agree that my experience of having renounced and abandoned Protestant heresies and embraced and submitted to the Catholic Faith probably does give me a certain degree of appreciation and understanding for Anglicans who desire to convert to Catholicism. One can only wonder what in your experience might account for your forceful attacks on them.

As an aside, you should be reminded that "Jordanes" is a masculine, not a feminine name. I invite you to read my Blogger Profile.

The truth is, that these TAC people (whoever they are),

The fact that you don't know who they are shows that you have no business sharing your uninformed opinion about them.

DID make pre-conditions in discussions with the CDF, the Council for Christian UNity etc., that in coming to the Catholic Church, they wanted to keep part/most of their Anglican heritage...including their prayer service.

No, they didn't make preconditions, as if they said, "Unless you allow us this and this and that, we won't convert." That is a deliberate falsification and gross mischaracterisation of the true events. These are people who already hold many if not most Catholic truths and share many of our traditions, and whose heritage derives from ours and once formed a vital part of the Church's life and culture. We and they are both aware of that, and it is part of what has helped them draw ever closer to returning to the spiritual home of their fathers. There is nothing improper about their request to be admitted to Catholic unity and to permitted to bring some gifts with them.

Since it isn't a valid Mass, I don't call it that although I know some overly ecumenical people do.

You are mistaken, which is not surprising given that you have indicated that you know nothing, or next to nothing, about them and their liturgical traditions. All it would take for their liturgy to confect a valid Eucharist would be to have a validly ordained priest celebrate it with proper intent. As it happens, the TAC does include at least a few (perhaps many) validly ordained priests, so at least some of their liturgies are valid Eucharists -- which is all the more reason that they should not remain outside the Church any longer, as it is a scandal and countersign for the Eucharist, sign of unity, to be celebrated apart from Catholic unity.

The Easter Rites were allowed to keep all of their traditions because they are valid, ancient and honorable traditions dating back nearly 2,000 years.
The Anglican "traditions" although some pre-date the Reformation, are for the most part adaptations in the Protestant tradition and of the Reformation era.


Mr. Perkins can enlighten you about the TAC's liturgical traditions and their historical pedigree.

Now I read of some whining Lutherans who are disenchanted with their various branch of that heresy which to be recieved into the Catholic Church, but to keep their Lutheran Protestant traditions.
I could think of noting more abhorrent and repulsive liturgically, than to accept into the Roman Catholic Church services etc. which are from and in the spirit of Luther.


We can be assured that whatever arrangements Holy Mother Church makes for returning Lutheran bodies (if any such bodies ever do return) will not include liturgies that are from and in the spirit of Luther.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Steel confirms my own impression. Forward in Faith are just using Rome to scare Canberbury. Their conference was all about getting better provisions at the next Synod, keeping up the struggle within the Church of England. Even when some talked of taking property with them when they went over to Rome, I heard that again as a threat, rather than as a real intention to convert. Conversion should be made of sterner stuff, like Newman.

C. said...

"I was born an Anglican and I will die an Anglican"

Well the first part is impossible, unless Anglicanism is some sort of ethnic group or genetic trait, and as to the second part, how can it be proven?

Jordanes said...

Jeffrey Steel confirms my own impression. Forward in Faith are just using Rome to scare Canberbury. Their conference was all about getting better provisions at the next Synod, keeping up the struggle within the Church of England. Even when some talked of taking property with them when they went over to Rome, I heard that again as a threat, rather than as a real intention to convert.

That's not at all the impression one gets from the Anglican bishops and clergy quoted in this story:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/10/the-anglican-experiment-is-over/

New Catholic said...

Unfortunately, Jordanes, that Telegraph article is quite deceptive. The "Bishop of Chichester" quoted in that article seemed almost dismissive of the Papal offer in the actual words of his keynote address at the Forward in Faith UK conference.

I am beginning to wonder where the Times and the Telegraph get their stories... (their blogs are much better and more trustworthy than their articles, at least on religious matters).

Pablo said...

I would tend to agree that my experience of having renounced and abandoned Protestant heresies and embraced and submitted to the Catholic Faith....

Dear Mr. Jordanes,

God bless the Priest that brought you properly into Holy Mother Church.

As a Catholic since my Baptism and Confirmation as an infant, I apologized for my Catholic brothers and sisters that sneer at your conversion.

On December 12th, in India, a celebration will occur in honor of Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de Guadalupe; a picture of her from Tepeyac Hill will be placed in an orphanage. We would like to remember your Priest at this Mass.

Keep up the good work on your blog.

We shall ask the old ladies and children to pray for the Rorate Caeli crew.

Ave Maria Purissima!

pablo

*

Jordanes said...

Unfortunately, Jordanes, that Telegraph article is quite deceptive. The "Bishop of Chichester" quoted in that article seemed almost dismissive of the Papal offer in the actual words of his keynote address at the Forward in Faith UK conference.

Yes, their story is apparently almost entirely fictitious. The Anglican Bishop John Hind has issued a response to The Telegraph article, making clear that The Telegraph reporter had egregiously misquoted him (apparently having misunderstood what he had said on the issue of the validity of Anglican orders). That certainly explains why one gets so very different an impression from reading their story . . . .

I am beginning to wonder where the Times and the Telegraph get their stories...

I suspect they pulled this one from the hinder parts of a murrain-ridden goat.

Jordanes said...

Many, many thanks to you and yours for your prayers, Pablo.

Anonymous said...

I've just come across some more interesting news about the TAC. The present or former (I'm not sure which) President of South Africa is a member of the TAC! I am referring to Thabo Mbeki.

He belongs to one of the Xhosa churches that are member bodies in the TAC. Incidentially the Xhosa Bishop of Port Elisabeth, being a widower, is eligible to serve as a bishop. The other three Xhosa TAC bishops are all married.

Two of their three Canadian bishops are also unmarried. I'm not sure about the American bishops. Their leader in India, Archbishop Samual Prakash, is married, but I don't know about the ten other Indian bishops.

P.K.T.P.

Chesterbelloc said...

I think we will find that the FiFers who are really serious about reunion with the Holy See are deeply grateful for what they know to be a historically generous invitation and will submit sooner rather than later. Others will take time but still come. Others - maybe about half the footsoldiers and just under half the leadership - are not serious about submission at all and will make alternative arrangements. ["Anglo-Catholicism" was ever a mixed bag.]

But really - isn't that what it was reasonable to expect and just the way it should be? We don't want those who aren't fully ready to submit (and who may never be)!

Enough of them are ready, it seems to me, to set about preparing a space within the Church for those who will surely follow as they respond to Peter's call. They passed a resolution by a large majority at the assembly asking each of their affiliated parishes to welcome the Holy Father's invitation and to reslove to take advantage of it. That sounds pretty serious to me.

Let's be charitable and realistic here - listen again to the speeches from the serious ones. The cautious and ungrateful noises are largely from those who were never committed to reconciliation with the Church in the first place - disappointing, but hardly surprising. This is a historic gesture, and those who see that will respond accordingly.

Please, New Catholic, at a time when so many Anglicans are looking with trepidation at the Church to see what kind of welcome they will get if they submit to the Holy See - consider changing the harsh tone of the title of this piece. Those who deserve it are lost to us anyway, but those who don't also don't need more stumbling blocks in their path back home.

A former Anglo-Paplist and now loyal son of Benedict XVI.

FranzJosf said...

Mr. Perkins: You are correct. I'm probably too hasty in my judgment. Of course, I welcome any Catholic-believeing Anglicans with open arms, including their liturgical tradition, which outside the vernacular, is largely rooted in Sarum and Rome.

Anonymous said...

Why no mention of the good things about the Forward in Faith National Assembly 2009. For example, there were expressions of thanks to the Holy Father for his obvious pastoral care of fellow Christians and there was my own plea that before we all rush to judgement we must see in the Holy father's initiative a call to prayer and seek to undrstand what the Lord is saying to us all.