Rorate Caeli

Anglo-Catholic leader:
"There's quite a strong chance
that we will join the Catholic Church"

As the Pope arrives in Australia, its national public broadcaster (ABC) interviewed the English Anglo-Catholic leader who announced earlier this week his intention to bring his flock with him to the Catholic Church.
RAPHAEL EPSTEIN: How many priests, bishops and parishioners would be switching?

ANDREW BURNHAM: I've absolutely no idea. ...

RAPHAEL EPSTEIN: What chance is there that you and priests and parishioners will actually join up with the Catholic Church?

ANDREW BURNHAM: Well, I think there's quite a strong chance that quite a lot of us will because there's nowhere else for us to go now and people in England, I don't know about Australia, but people in England when they go to church and are very bound up with the actual church they go to. That's the building that their parents went to or whatever.

RAPHAEL EPSTEIN: So you would like actually for yourself, priests and the people who come to your church, to become part of the Catholic Church but to stay in the churches that you're currently going to?

ANDREW BURNHAM: I think if any arrangement of that kind were possible, that would be wonderful because it would be a way of building up the unity of the body of Christ.

RAPHAEL EPSTEIN: When do you think you'll get a response from Rome?

ANDREW BURNHAM: I don't know, and I don't know what kind of response it would be. I've issued a statement through the Catholic Herald asking publicly for a gesture on the part of the Catholic Church.

I think what I've said is we must humbly ask for magnanimous gestures from our Catholic friends especially from the holy father who well understands our longing for unity.

RAPHAEL EPSTEIN: Does magnanimous gestures mean, I suppose, a rapid inclusion in the Catholic Church?

ANDREW BURNHAM: Well, I don't know. ...
In a brief interview in the plane taking him to Australia, Pope Benedict said today that he is "praying so that there are no more schisms and fractures" in the Anglican Communion, and that he does not wish to "interfere" (quite prudent words right before what may well be the last Lambeth Conference). At least not "at this moment of the debate".


  1. Anonymous8:22 PM

    "There is a CHANCE"?
    Or he believes that everyone must join to Catholic Church or he shouldn't be a catholic. I think that he shouldn't because he simply doesn't believe in it.

  2. anonymous, please! Let us open our arms wide to our Anglican brethren. Is that not what Our Lord has done for us?

    God bless Archbishop Burnham. I pray with all my heart that Rome will find a way to bring him and his flock into the One Fold under the one Shepherd. May it be, Lord Jesus. Guadalupana, pray for us!

  3. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Why such a weak Vatican condemnation of the "women bishops" issue. I think it was very weak.
    Not necessarilly yelling and table pounding is called for but ending ecumenism with would be a right place to start.

  4. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Fine, but if not-who really cares? Are they doing us a favor?

  5. Anonymous11:34 PM

    Having spent a long time among Anglicans of various bents as “Ecumenical liaison” for my Bishop, I can tell you that in the end, it all comes down to either Faith or Furniture, to quote an old Priest friend. I’ve seen and known numerous Anglican Clergy who talk and talk about returning to the Church of the Apostles, yet in the end can’t bring themselves to leave the external trappings and financial security that so many of them enjoy. I honestly believe and would wager that when it is all said and done; few will be able to give up the Furniture for the Faith. Those who have chosen the Faith over the Furniture will understand my remarks completely. God bless them for making the right choice!

  6. Anonymous2:01 AM

    There wasn't a strong Vatican reaction because the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church are clear and because responding in a very forceful way, especially before the Lambeth Conference, would only give these leftist protestants (or perhaps apostates) too much importance. If any forceful action will be taken it will be against the liberal English Catholic hierarchy so that the Anglo-Catholics who finally realize the Church (or more accurately ecclesial organization) of England is a false church can join the Holy Catholic Church. At least, that's my opinion.

  7. Anonymous2:37 AM

    This Bishop needs to set an example for his flock and declare that he is going Rome whether they are going to join him or not. Let's see a bold move by one of their leaders.

    Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese

  8. For the bawkers and gawkers: Less time complaining and bemoaning, more time with your rosary praying for the conversion of England.

    Begnings start where beginings start.

    I'll take it!

  9. Anonymous5:50 AM

    Our dear Pope is just too much of a gentleman. There is a time for 'dialogue' and there is a time for action, and the salvation of souls is the highest law. At this point, he most certainly should interfere. On the other hand, I admit that the Lambeth Conference will soon be over and done with, so we needn't wait long.

    But I think that, for those Anglicans who want to convert while keeping that which good in their tradition, the solution is simply for the Holy Father to approve the submission of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which he receieved last October. Then this new lot can cross the Tiber into a TAC uniate church. It is a simple way forward.

    I think that this will happen, but not until Lambeth is over with in early August. It seems silly to me, however, to show any respect at all to the mainstream Anglicans, led by that druid, Rowan Williams. Why can't people just be honest? They are nothing more than a bunch of heretics, infidels, communists, witches and sodomites. There should be absolutely zero œcumenism with that lot. It's like talking to he devil. Let's talk to these traditional Anglicans instead. Better to save the good apples than barter for ever over the rotten ones.

    Peter Karl T. Perkins

  10. Anonymous7:42 AM

    Father Yohannes,
    you've hit the nail on the head. It's all deja-vu for lots of us at the moment! Back in the 1990's it really was a choice between "Faith and Furniture" - especially for the younger Anglican Ministers who came over.

    The Catholic Church is much better prepared now to deal with convert clergy - hopefully having had a good experience of us over the last 15 years or so.

    Back in the 1990's, the CofE offered a paltry 3year "compensation package" to resigning clergy who had been ordained over 5 years and were under 50yrs of age. So the younger clergy left with nothing (and I mean nothing, not even a letter of thanks from their bishop) and the over-50's got early retirement. Either way, the young and the old were not counted in the figures produced by the CofE to say how many clergy had resigned the last time round.

    For the younger clergy especially, it cost not only furniture but also identity, security, employment, income, friendships and much more to become Catholics. But it was worth it and I haven't looked back for a minute!

    To any who are wavering I say "come now". The Holy father will not let you down. But come expecting nothing other than salvation and peace of mind - and you will be amazed at how good the Holy Spirit and his Spouse the Catholic Church will be to you (and your families)!

  11. There is no need to create a uniate church since there never has been anything called the Church of England or Anglicans in the Catholic Church before made himself the head of his own schismatic religious group. There was no such thing as Anglican Catholics before the schism. Why should there be now? They are to be welcomed back as long lost Roman Catholics who use the revised Sarum Rite for their liturgy. Just as Roman Catholics use the Ambrosian Rite and Mozarabic rite in their respective areas. We don't call these people Ambrosian Catholics or Mozarabic Catholics.

  12. Thanks for this interview cutting through the rumours: just the facts from the man (Burnham) himself.

    Of course this is potentially wonderful for the Roman Catholic Church, part of Benedict XVI's traditionalist restoration so he's amenable to keeping the parishes together and having them do traditionalist-friendly services, going over the heads of his own side's disloyal liberals to do so.

    Be careful with the 'Faith or Furniture?' jab. Remember that your own church's liberals threw that at you! Or if faith on paper was all that mattered, Rorate Cæli ought to shut down and you lot give up all this artsy-fartsy old-fashioned stuff, head on down to the local liberal parishes in your dioceses and be Eucharistic ministers.

    My FAQ and P.S. explaining the situation.

    (My friend AMM gave me another name for 'Furniture trumps Faith' types staying behind in the Church of England: ritualist congregationalists.)

    To which I add: most Anglo-Catholics don't use the Sarum Mass and that's not what Burnham is asking Rome for.

    For the bawkers and gawkers: Less time complaining and bemoaning, more time with your rosary praying for the conversion of England.

    Except that these aren't Mohammedans or even really Protestants, amen.

  13. These people have been threatening to convert for ages. But they never do. They just moan and groan and keep on muttering.


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