Rorate Caeli

"That remains a problem for me..."

Are our hopes for a mass conversion of the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England, to be dashed once again?
Even as the Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet seeks "magnanimous gestures" from Pope Benedict XVI, gestures that will allow him and his flock to become Catholics en masse, another major leader of the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England is showing more reluctance.
John Broadhurst, Anglican Bishop of Fulham and Chairman of Forward in Faith (representing some 800 parishes and a considerable number of Anglo-Catholic priests in UK, North America and Australia), has released a statement that, while deploring the decision of the Church of England to consecrate women bishops, also downplays news reports of imminent mass conversions to Catholicism.
The relevant passages in the message are reproduced below. Emphases mine.
"The vote in General Synod on the proposal for Women Bishops will have been a real shock to many in our parishes. This is not the time for rapid decisions or knee-jerk reactions but rather a time calmly to take counsel together."

"As a priest and as a bishop, and as Chairman of Forward in Faith, I have always believed that the changing ecclesiology in the Church of England made collective demands on us. My conviction has always been that we have to seek a common ecclesial way forward. Our hope was that this would be established by the General Synod and though this now seems unlikely, it is still not an impossibility. I remain determined to find a way forward.

"There has been speculation in the media about contact with Rome. I am strongly committed to Christian unity and, as many of you know, I was involved in the talks with the Roman Hierarchy in 1992 and later spent a considerable time with the then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1996. My problem then was that, although there was great generosity, there was no offer of an ecclesial reconciliation. In other words, our common Eucharistic and spiritual life was not recognised. That remains a problem for me. I am fascinated by the conversations between the Traditional Anglican Communion and Rome as well as those between some of our Bishops and the Holy See. Will these now offer a way forward? "
Many of you have phoned me in the last twenty four hours, angry or distressed. Several have suggested that we should declare war on those who seek to destroy us. Particularly, the suggestion has been made that we stop paying Diocesan Quota. I am open on this matter but think that now is not quite yet the time for such drastic gestures, for whatever we do needs its timing to be agreed by us all so that we can act together. Be assured of my commitment to our common life and of my determination to continue to seek a common way forward in faith for all of us.
Every Blessing,
+John Fulham
The message from the Anglican Bishop of Fulham is clear:
1) It is not yet the time for "rapid decisions" and "drastic gestures";
2) He remains determined that traditionalist Anglo-Catholics find "a common ecclesial way forward," apparently within the Church of England;
3) Reconciliation with Rome depends on Rome's recognition that it shares a "common Eucharistic and spiritual life" with the Anglo-Catholics; (This can scarcely be interpreted in any other way than as a demand that Rome first recognize the validity of Anglican Orders -- which will never happen)
More than ever, prayers are necessary.


  1. Cardinal Newmann suffered great trials and desolation before and after his conversion. I hope Bishop of Ebbsfleet is another saintly Anglican led by the Holy Spirit, he knows the price of the conversion, he is prepared to abandon his position, secure income etc. May God help him and strengthen him in this difficult time.

  2. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Well, this is just the comment of one Anglican bishop. He suffers from the typical disorder which afflicts most Anglicans: ditheration. Most of them would want committee meetings to decide questions such as whether they'd rather go to Heaven or to hell.

    There is a way forward but it can only come from Rome, and from those few Anglicans who finally realise that you cannot compromise with the devil. Those latter Anglicans are mentioned by Broadhurst: they are the TAC, which submitted a proposal for "full corporate and sacramental unity" in October. The TAC Primate, 'Archbishop' Hepworth, has said that his group will take whatever Rome offers, and he is said to be a personal friend of His Holiness, so what the hell is the problem here?

    The solution is simple; it is almost too simple. Rome accepts the TAC proposal, probably with an exception to disallow married bishops. Then the twelve regional churches of the TAC become a uniate Church, like the Ukrainian one. This happens THIS MONTH. Hell, they've had enough time by now to work out the wrinkles. What are they over at the C.D.F.: stupid? incompentent? pusillanimous? œcumenical?

    Once the TAC is reconciled, these other chaps, these eleven Anglican bishops and 1,300 Anglican ministers cross the Tiber by crossing into the TAC local church for Great Britain. Currently, the TAC British church has about twelve priests and no bishop, so they gain 11 bishops, three or four retired bishops, and 1,300 priests. 12 + 1,300 = 1,312. Works for me.

    If some Anglican bishops are still too pusillanimous or too masochistic to cross the Tiber right now, that's fine. Let them learn the hard way. We shall always be here to love them and to welcome them home.

    Each TAC parish in England would get to choose its liturgy from an acceptable short list: the Anglican Missal, the English Missal, even the Sarum Missal. They're all acceptable. Prayerbooks would be out. Too Protestant.

    There's no need for these new refugees to make some special deal with Rome. They can simply become part of the TAC. Then Rome can order the English bishops to let them use English Catholic churches, in accordance with need, at available times.

    True, there are some wrinkles, such as removing from lists of ordinands those Anglican ministers who are divorced and re-married. But surely to Zeus the Roman curia has the manpower to work out those problems. Good grief. How hard can this be? I volunteer to help! Your Holiness, I'll even pay my own way. I'll just need some office space in the Vatican.

    Now is to wonder why. Now is not to consult the liberal English Catholic hierarchy. Now is for Rome to take action, as ONLY PETER CAN.

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, Canada

  3. One voice does not make a consensus. However, Anglicans be they very traditional or not, must accept in full the duties and responsibilities of The Roman Catholic Faith in order to become Roman Catholic. One can only hope there is no special deal going to take place 'a huit clos'.

  4. "Each TAC parish in England would get to choose its liturgy from an acceptable short list: the Anglican Missal, the English Missal, even the Sarum Missal. They're all acceptable. Prayerbooks would be out. Too Protestant."

    How many TAC churches actually use these right now?

  5. As I said, some Anglican are led by the Holy Spirit. But most is not. I have read today a little story of some priest who in his little parish before the Mass disguised himself as a tramp and drug addict, and sat in the pew surrounded by syringes and empty lager cans, and when his congragation appeared they of course did not recognised their 'pastor' wearing artificial beard and tramp cloths (he did such an effort). Of course they ignored him but he soon revealed himself to surprised people saying they did not recognised the God at work! I explains a lot, although recently I have read a book written by Carmelite tertiary in America who did big effort to justified existence of so called horrific blasphemy as clown mass, saying it shows how Jesus was ridiculed. I am going to write complain to editor of this dreadful book. And this woman is calling herself Roman Catholic. What is worse?

  6. Anonymous9:52 AM

    I wonder whether the fact that John Broadhurst is a baptised Catholic already (though having formally defected from the Catholic Faith in his youth) may have anything to do with his reticence? Just a thought...

  7. Anonymous9:53 AM

    I am against this "conversion". There are women "priests" and those anglicans have nothing against it. Anyone believe that they are going to believe in papal ineffability, real presence and so on just because there will be a woman "bishop" in their ex "church"?

  8. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Dear Mr. Palad:

    My impression, from comments made by Archbishop Hepworth, is that most TAC parishes are at least open to the Anglican Missal. In fact, he himself suggested publicly that they could all use the English Missal (Gregorian Missal). I contacted one of his priests and asked if that was a serious propostion. The answer was 'probably not, on reflection' but the Anglican Missal would be easily accepted.

    I live near the TAC co-cathedral here in Canada. I know those people well through the Monarchist League of Canada (I am a ardent royalist), which used to meet in their basement and included many of their members. Our chairman was, for a while, one of their priests. He showed me the liturgy they use upstairs. It was the Canadian Anglican prayerbook of 1962 but with a large portion taken from their Anglican Missal and then printed in inserts which were part of their bulletin. They must have to flip back and forth between prayerbook, inserts, and hymnal. What a mess!

    I was told that many of their members would gladly accept the Anglican Missal without rancour. The problem was one of expense, not liturgical principle: they are poor and simply can't afford new handmissals. Hence the inserts. But we only need, at this point, to have Altar Missals for their priests, not handmissals: let them eat inserts!

    Frankly, at this point, I think that their bishops would take the Anglican Missal or even the English Missal in a heartbeat, and that 80% of their people would accept this as a matter of course. Some would walk. Let them. Most of them want uniate status before they go out of existence altogether.


  9. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Clearly the issue here is that the "Bishop" wants Rome to say he is a real "Bishop" and not a man playing dress up. He doesn't want to go through the process of becoming a real Bishop - which may include the Pope deeming him inappropriate for the position, so (out of pride presumably) he would rather keep his flock away from Rome until he gets what HE wants. Disgusting. This man shows that he is is better off rotting in the pro-women-bishop religion because he wants things HIS way - not the way that truth decides. Ignore him - leave him to it - he is still a layman regardless of how many people he holds hostage - they will come to the Church of their own accord anyway - if they accept the grace of God.

  10. Anonymous11:33 AM

    I'm with Jamie...these people have been consciously or unconsciously "playing church" since the days of the Oxford Movement...much the same way that children "play house." There isn't enough substance in Anglicanism to fill a play asperger. Let's let them be.

  11. Anonymous1:10 PM

    Re the TAC - isn't archbishop Hepworth a lapsed Catholic? I'm sure that's been spoken about on various threads. As such, that would surely be something of an obstacle for him personally, whether or not he is a personal friend of the pope. Either way, the Holy Father is the person to see through all the difficulties and do the right thing. We can trust him to get it right.

  12. Anonymous1:25 PM

    There's no good reason for all this Anglican bashing. Lack of charity will not encourage these people to become Catholics. Nobody from Rome has said that the Anglo-Catholics will be brought in overnight and with no requirements to accept the entire Catholic Faith, which, by the way, many Anglo-Catholics do hold for the most part. I do not think the Real Presence or the Immaculate Conception will be hard for them to accept if they don't believe those already. The difficult ones will be 1) papal authority 2) the invalidity of most, if not all, their orders, and (maybe) 3) Humanae vitae and some parts of sexual morality.

    I think however that once they get the first one they will have to accept the second and the third. And how can they not get papal authority as they see their church "ordain" women and bless homosexual "weddings" while Rome remains steadfast against these heresies? The history of their church ought also to be a clue. However, we Catholics must realize that it is NOT an easy thing for them to acknowledge that their orders are invalid. Certainly, waving that fact in their faces and rubbing it in is utterly childish and not what we must do unless we intend to keep them out.

    Of course there will be some Anglo-Catholics who hold back (probably like this bishop) but I think it is reasonable to expect a good chunk, if not most, of them to "swim the Tiber," God willing.

  13. Anyone believe that they are going to believe in papal ineffability, real presence and so on just because there will be a woman "bishop" in their ex "church"?

    They may not come around to believing in papal ineffability, but I'll be happy if they come arond to believing in papal infallibility. ;-)

  14. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Memento has put his finger on the real point at issue behind this statement. Bishop Broadhurst was indeed baptized a Catholic, and, because of this, canonically remains so. I have no idea why or when he decided to join the Church of England and seek ordination. But I do know that when many of his confreres and friends became Catholics after the Church of England voted to ordain women, he knew that he could not easily join them because of his baptism and the canonical problems that would follow. How could he seek reception into a Church to which he already belonged? Of course, he could return at any time by making his confession and resuming a lay Catholic life, but his 'priesthood' and 'espiscopal status' would automatically count for nothing.

    Before the creme de la creme of les fideles jump down my throat by reminding me that Anglican orders are null and void in any case, I hope they will realize that Bishop Broadhurst's status is deeply compromised; the status of his fellow bishops and clergy is not. Had he not been baptized a Catholic and had he not apostasized, it is almost certain that by now he would long have become a Catholic.

    Not long ago he did some family history research in the Catholic Birmingham Diocesan archives and he surprised many of the Catholic priests he met by his aversion to the Church of England and constant complaint about its problems. He knows, and has long known, the score. He was made a bishop as an act of gratitude from the Church of England for not leaving. At the same time several remaining Anglo-Catholic clergy were rewarded with canonries for staying; they immediately leapt into monsignorial attire. But those days are over.

    Many of the Anglo-Catholic clergy in his charge know these circumstances and I suspect that many will transfer their allegiance to the Bishop of Ebbsflett. Why should they be held up by his canonical impediments? My advice is read his statement with caution and in the light of these facts. He is caught in a cleft stick and knows it.

  15. Anonymous5:07 PM

    rev'd up - just what do see in 'Theology of the Body' which is not in line with Catholic Magisterial teaching? If it's in line with that, then it's as PI as other Church teachings.

    Methinks you perhaps do not fully understand what the Church truly teaches about PI.

  16. The capacity for self delusion on the part of so called conservative Anglicans is apparently boundless. They always seem to think that things will get better. The problem is that most of the people running the show over there and in the American branch of their communion are not merely heretics, but outright apostates.

    I think the words of another famous English heretic would not be inappropriate in these circumstances...

    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”


  17. Anonymous6:03 PM

    I can’t believe that there are really that many Anglo-Catholics in general. I did a search on the Traditional Anglican Communion in the US and their presence is insignificant to say the least. I can’t imagine it’s that much different in England. This so-called Anglo-Catholic faction is probably microscopic. And if they haven't left the Anglican Communion which permits abortion, contraception, sodomy, divorce & remarriage, female priests, etc...then what the hell are they waiting for? Run like hell from the Anglican Communion.

  18. Anonymous6:08 PM

    There are a lot of misconceptions about the TAC group and other Anglo-Catholics on this thread. As I've said before, I know people from the TAC group because we used to meet together in the basement of their co-cathedral in Canada, for that was the meeting-place of the Monarchist League of Canada, to which I have belonged since youth. One of their priests was the chairman of the local branch of the League for some time.

    My impression is that they are far more 'Catholic' than are most pewmates at the Novus Ordo. In their submission to Rome, they have accepted ALL Catholic dogma and swore their submission on the Catechism of the Catholic Faith. They accept papal infallibility, papal primacy, the Immaculate Conception of our Lady, Transubstantiation, Indulgences--you name it. On no point of doctrine are they Protestant.

    In their co-cathedral in Canada, they have a crucifix (not a cross) much like ours in their church hall, and an crucfix over their Altar upstairs, although the latter has the arms of our Lord detached from the cross (you know, that Risen Lord thingy). They also have a side Altar and a shrine. They have a confessions there too, at what looks like a make-shift confessional. They also have Gregorian Chant during part of their liturgy, sung in Latin.

    These people vehemently reject womanpriest, bishopettes, and even deaconesses, although they have appointed (not ordained) deaconesses, as the Early Church did (and as the Greek Orthodox are now re-introducing).

    One of their parishes in Canada has Altar girls but the others forbid them. Arbuably, we've set a bad example by having them ourselves. I'm told that they receive Holy Communion in both kinds whilst kneeling. They receive the Host in manu officially, although, I'm told, many of them insist on receiving in lingua.

    They have amended their prayerbook to make it more Catholic, by importing parts from the 'Anglican Missal'. My understanding is that they also have their orders partly through the Polish National Catholics, meaning that their orders are probably valid, although that is not good enough: in such matters, there must be certainty. However, they have said that they expect to be ordained afresh, at least sub conditione.

    In their submission last October, they asked for Rome to take them as they are but agreed to accept whatever he would give them. Archbishop Hepworth said that he hopes Rome will let them keep their married bishops but, if not, he would retire and go fishing as a simple priest.

    Many of the remarks on this thread are ignorant and uncharitable. These people have laid bare their chests and will take whatever the Pope will offer. They deserve to come in as they are, with the possible exception of not having married bishops.

    As for Hepworth himself, he is validly ordained as a priest. It is true that he switched from Anglican to Catholic to Anglican-Catholic and now wants to become Catholic again. But I think that his journey really does reflect an honest confusion. He was raised Anglican and has been trying to be true to his liturgical culture. I'm not judging him. After all, he is leading at least 100,000 people into the Holy Catholic Church.

    As for this latest group from the Church of England, most of them (at least the 120 parishes under Burnham of Ebbsfleet), use the English Missal, which is just the Gregorian Mass rendered in liturgical English. As Anglo-Catholics, they also accept all Catholic doctrine. They mostly want to keep some of their beautiful liturgical heritage. Some of them, being ditherers, still cling to the Church of England, and that is truly pathetic. But the best way forward is for the Pope to make provision for them and then let different parties among them enter it at different rates. I guarantee that most of them will end up in such a uniate Church. They want to be Catholic but don't want to be subjected to clownmass, much like certain other--us! They are not attached to all the Latin because it is foreign to their upbringing.

    The best way forward is for the Pope to accept the TAC proposal of last October. The ONLY problem with the TAC people is the matter of married bishops, and they will take what the Holy Father gives on this. It is a matter of discipline, not dogma. One possibility is to allow married bishops for those who had 'the episcopal dignity' as Anglicans but not to allow any future priests to be consecrated bishop. The other route is simply to say no. Technically, the third way would be to allow them entirely for their uniate church, but I doubt if that will be considered. I leave this question up to His Holiness. I have nothing more to say about it except that IT IS NOT AN OBSTACLE here.

    There are some purely practical problems to resolve, such as the access they might have to Latin churches for worship, how to sort out who is ordained and who is not, removing divorced & re-married ministers from lists of ordinands, and how to pay to correct their liturgies. These are not doctrinal or even disciplinary problems.

    Once the TAC, however small, exists, this much larger group of Anglican refugees will have somewhere to go which preserves what is lovely in their tradition but removes even the scent of Protestantism. Rome needs to act on this because these people are pusillanimous ditherers and will never decide anything on their own.

    The one thing we don't want is for these people to be victimised as ordinary Latin Rite Catholics by the far-left hierarchy of England and Wales.


  19. Anonymous6:20 PM

    Karl Perkins,

    I agree but I can understand why Rome is taking their time. I can't imagine the TAC receiving a bishop from among their own ranks -- won't happen. All it takes is one bad bishop to walk away and you've got a perpetual schism on your hands. Better to let them be under the particular diocesan bishop and tell him to basically leave them alone unless there are problems. The TAC is not so big that they need their own particular bishop. As I understand it, they seem to use primarily the 1928 prayerbook which is fine as long as the prayerbook pass muster doctrinally. I would prefer them to use English Missal because - miracle of all miracles -- this missal could completely replace the Novus Ordo. I'm sure the average person in the pew would never notice if it did.

    Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese

  20. Anonymous7:07 PM

    Dear Mr. Hessel:

    I strongly disagree with your idea that they should be under a local Roman ordinary. They are an international communion of twelve national and regional churches. They don't just exist in England and Wales but also have churches in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Japan, the Congo, South Africa, Melanesia, Ireland, Latin America, Zimbabwe, India, and Pakistan.

    In South Africa, they have two churches in communion, one for the Zulus and the other one for everyone else. They only have a single parish in New Zealand, at Auckland. Since they are an international body, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales have NO SAY AND NO JURISDICTION in this matter.

    Most of the TACs members are in India and Pakistan. In India, they have eight bishops, a metropolitan archbishop (Prakash) and about 100,000 follower.

    Obviously, Rome will give them their own bishops--in the plural--from their own ranks. In fact, I predict that he will ensure that they have bishops for the following churches: those of India, Pakistan, Japan, the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Melanesia, Umze Kwasi Tiyopia (Zulus), and South Africa: wherever they currently have bishops. They do not currently have a bishop for England, only a vicar-general; nor do they have one for Ireland.

    The only question, in my view, is whether the Pope will insist that they have unmarried bishops from their own ranks or the current crop of mostly married bishops from their own ranks. His Holiness might force their current 25-some bishops to accept status as simple priests, and then replace them with unmarried priest from their own ranks.

    We must not confuse the TAC with these new Anglicans under Burnham of Ebbsfleet. The latter are in England alone (and therefore, in their case, the Bishops of England and Wales do have jurisdiction) but are far more numerous in England. the TAC only has about twelve or fifteen ministers in England; this new group has about 1,300 Church of England ministers.

    What is just delicious is the fact that this new group of 1,300 refugees wants to cross the Tiber at the very time when Rome has to consider the petiton of the international group. Even if the nasty Catholic bishops of England and Wales get involved and mess things up, once Rome brings over the TAC en masse, there will be nothing to stop this new group from abandoning the local Roman ordinaries and going over to a uniate TAC. That is why it makes sense for the Pope to put them all under the TAC in the first place.

    My idea is that the Pope reconcile the TAC and then simply tell this new group to convert to a TAC uniate church. Each parish of this uniate church would be able to choose its own Eucharistic liturgy from a short list. The shortlist would have on it the English Misssal (the Traditional Latin Mass in liturgical English), the Anglican Missal (an Anglo-Catholic mixture of prayerbook and Traditional Latin Mass), and, perhaps, in special cases, the Sarum Use. It might be necessry to let them keep their national prayerbooks as well, short term, simply because they can not yet afford to replace them. I note that, at present, each parish in the TAC chooses its own liturgy from such a list, so this would be nothing new to them.

    The idea of putting these gents under a local Roman ordinary in England is downright insane. They could not be protected from those Novus Ordo lunatics. The Catholic bishops of England and Wales are a nest of liberal vipers. If I lived there, I'd run to a T.L.M. or else prefer a Byzantine Divine Liturgy to anything those miscreants have to offer. They are the enemy.


  21. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Whilst I admire the conviction of the traditionalist tendency in the CofE how much longer can they expect to survive without a Pope and with a Rowan? If Henry VIII were here today he would become Catholic! (notwithstanding the fact that many Anglo-Catholics adhere to the Joseph of Arimethea hypothesis regarding the founding the Church in the Isles)

  22. Anonymous7:52 PM


    I don't see how they could have their own bishop in places like the US -- it would be much easier if they were under the local ordinary. Isn't this how the current Anglican Use churches operate? Then they would only need the local ordinary for confirmations and ordinations if there were any. I seriously doubt that their current priestly ordination rite would be acceptable by Rome. As far as the India and Pakistan, the situation sounds completely different as I guess they need their separate ordinary. But I don't think they need an archbishop to oversee the whole thing. What we would he do? He certainly wouldn't be responsible for confirmations & ordinations like the SSPX bishops. Maybe he would reside in Rome and deal with whatever issues arose.

    As far as the other Anglo-Catholics in England...I really don't see them coming over. Simply from the fact that if they haven't come over already why would they now? I mean if your "Anglican Communion" supports abortion, sodomy, contraception, divorce & remarriage and you haven't left already? The Anglo Catholics are basically independent churches with a bishop or two. What's the point of changing now when you should have left a long time ago. I am sure they will always be able to find a male bishop for confirmations and ordinations. I would love it if they came over. I would take the English Missal right now in heartbeat over the Novus Ordo.

    Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese

  23. Quite unfortunately, whenever we disable moderation, comment boxes are filled with off-topic, impertinent, or downright offensive comments - which I have already removed. Therefore, I am forced to enable moderation once again.

  24. Anonymous8:44 PM


    From what I have read around the various combo boxes...virtually no group uses the English Missal. Is there a group that actually uses it? As I understand it, alot of the Anglo Catholics use the Novus Ordo in England.

    Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese

  25. Anonymous8:46 PM

    Let's hope that the TAC doesn't catch the SSPX bug and be "prudently" frozen into inaction. The drift and the destination of the Anglican Church should be obvious to TAC by now. Time is ripe to make a decision now.

  26. Anonymous8:47 PM

    UK posters:

    Being an ignorant American can someone give me a precis of the typical mindset of a CofE parishoner? Is the CofE adoption of gay acceptance and women in orders to the mind of the many or an activist few? What is the mood, I guess, of the average CofE parish?

  27. Anonymous8:59 PM

    Bishop Broadhurst is one of those badly hurt in 1992 and still bears the scars - he is still deeply hostile to Archbishop's House. However, as ever, Cardinal Newman (whose beatification cannot be far away) has a reminder of what the Church of England really stands for.
    I have said, we must not indulge our imagination in the view we take of the National Establishment. If, indeed, we dress it up in an ideal form, as if it were something real, with an independent and a continuous existence, and a proper history, as if it were in deed and not only in name a Church, then indeed we may feel interest in it, and reverence towards it, and affection for it, as men have fallen in love with pictures, or knights in romance do battle for high dames whom they have never seen. Thus it is that students of the Fathers, antiquaries, and poets, begin by assuming that the body to which they belong is that of which they read in times past, and then proceed to decorate it with that majesty and beauty of which history tells, or which their genius creates. Nor is it by an easy process or a light effort that their minds are disabused of this error. It is an error for many reasons too dear to {6} them to be readily relinquished. But at length, either the force of circumstances or some unexpected accident dissipates it; and, as in fairy tales, the magic castle vanishes when the spell is broken, and nothing is seen but the wild heath, the barren rock, and the forlorn sheep-walk, so is it with us as regards the Church of England, when we look in amazement on that we thought so unearthly, and find so commonplace or worthless. Then we perceive, that aforetime we have not been guided by reason, but biassed by education and swayed by affection. We see in the English Church, I will not merely say no descent from the first ages, and no relationship to the Church in other lands, but we see no body politic of any kind; we see nothing more or less than an Establishment, a department of Government, or a function or operation of the State,—without a substance,—a mere collection of officials, depending on and living in the supreme civil power. Its unity and personality are gone, and with them its power of exciting feelings of any kind. It is easier to love or hate an abstraction, than so commonplace a framework or mechanism. We regard it neither with anger, nor with aversion, nor with contempt, any more than with respect or interest. It is but one aspect of the State, or mode of civil governance; it is responsible for nothing; it can appropriate neither praise nor blame; but, whatever feeling it raises is to be referred on, by the nature of the case, to the Supreme Power {7} whom it represents, and whose will is its breath. And hence it has no real identity of existence in distinct periods, unless the present Legislature or the present Court can affect to be the offspring and disciple of its predecessor. Nor can it in consequence be said to have any antecedents, or any future; or to live, except in the passing moment. As a thing without a soul, it does not contemplate itself, define its intrinsic constitution, or ascertain its position. It has no traditions; it cannot be said to think; it does not know what it holds, and what it does not; it is not even conscious of its own existence. It has no love for its members, or what are sometimes called its children, nor any instinct whatever, unless attachment to its master, or love of its place, may be so called. Its fruits, as far as they are good, are to be made much of, as long as they last, for they are transient, and without succession; its former champions of orthodoxy are no earnest of orthodoxy now; they died, and there was no reason why they should be reproduced. Bishop is not like bishop, {8} more than king is like king, or ministry like ministry; its Prayer-Book is an Act of Parliament of two centuries ago, and its cathedrals and its chapter-houses are the spoils of Catholicism.

  28. Anonymous9:04 PM

    Dear Mr. Hessel:

    I'm not sure that you quite get the picture in regard to the TAC. In the U.S.A., the TAC national church is called the Anglican Church in (not of) America. It has existed since 1991 (the Canadian branch is the oldest has was founded in 1977.) It has not one but four or five regional bishops, some auxiliary and retired bishops, a missionary bishop for Puerto Rico, a missionary bishop for Central America and Mexico, and a bishop for the armed forces of the U.S.A. They also have about 80 or 100 parishes and many of their own parish churches.

    There is no comparison between them and the Anglican Use. The Anglican Use goes back to the 1980s. It has about six parishes in Texas and two elsewhere in the U.S.A., and it uses a liturgy, the Anglican Use Mass, which the TAC does not want. The reason the A.U. Mass is objectionable is that it includes that horrid Novus Ordo Offertory, that 'Blessed are You Lord God of all creation' thingy. No traditional Anglican wants that; no Traditional Catholic wants it either. That Offertory was put there deliberately by liberal œcumenical Catholics to keep Anglicans out of the Catholic Church--and it worked.

    There is just no way that Rome is going to put any TAC people under Roman ordinaries, THANK GOD!

    The only question, as I have written before, is whether Rome will replace the current crop of married TAC bishops (they number some 25 worldwide, including auxiliaries) with unmarried bishops from among TAC ranks. Think of this as a group of Bulgarians Orthodox swimming the Tiber, or even Lutherans. Would Rome put them under the local Roman ordinaries if they were an international group? Not a chance.

    This is a matter for the Holy See alone to decide and local Roman ordinaries have ZERO authority when it comes to reconciling international bodies of non-Catholics. That's what's so good. That's what so wonderful

    Had the TAC submission not been on the table since October of last year, I admit that the current crop of Church of England refugees from last week--who are confined to England and Wales--would likely end up in an structure (e.g. territorial prelature) under a local Roman ordinary. That is because they are confined to one country. This may still happen, but I can't see that. The reason is that, once Rome reconciles the TAC, what would stop this new crop from the C. of E. from leaving such a structure and entering the uniate TAC church for England (which is very small but cannot be excluded)? There is no power on earth which could stop them except the Pope, and he would gleefully refuse to interfere.

    That's why this situation is so delicious. It is delicious because the TAC proposal makes it impossible to reconcile this more recent lot under local Roman ordinaries. Thank God for that. Thanks to the TAC, the local Roman ordinaries from England and Wales, who are borderline Bolsheviks, will have no say.

    Moreover, if TAC comes across, GAFCON, the conservative Anglicans of the Third World, with their millions of adherents, will eventually follow. TAC has local churches in the Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa (including Botswana), but not where the GAFCON churches are: Nigeria (18 million Anglicans), West Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South America. Malaysia would likely follow in due course as well. We could end up with between one-third and one-half of the entire worldwide Anglican Communion in the Catholic Church within five years. In fact, Archbishop Akinola, leader of GAFCON, once said publicly that, should the TAC reconcile with Rome, he'd join a uniate TAC. So much for Rowan William and his tribe of druids, Lambeth Palace, and bishopettes, and inverted marriages! Think big. Think of where this could lead in a mere four or five years. But also beware of Walter Kasper, who will do what he can to throw a wrench in the works on the grounds of 'œcumenical dialogue' with the sodomite witches and druids of the Anglican Communion.


  29. Anonymous10:41 PM

    Mr. Hessel writes:

    As far as the other Anglo-Catholics in England...I really don't see them coming over. . . . I mean if your "Anglican Communion" supports abortion, sodomy, contraception, divorce & remarriage and you haven't left already?

    The Anglican Communion has no official position on abortion, it still officially condemns sodomy, allows artificial contraception, allows civil divorce and is divided over re-marriage. It's a mixed bag. Anglicans are mostly free to oppose any of these things, however. So it's not that simple. They have grown up without the benefit of a Magisterium, so we need to give them a break. The Anglo-Catholics who are coming over mostly stand with us on these issues anyway.


  30. Anonymous11:34 PM

    "My problem then was that, although there was great generosity, there was no offer of an ecclesial reconciliation. In other words, our common Eucharistic and spiritual life was not recognised. That remains a problem for me. "

    How can this layman who thinks he is a bishop expect the Roman Catholic Church under the Pope which possesses the total of liturgical Faith and tradition ever acknowledge as valid, or worthy of acknowledging a Protestant heretical service and the "Book of Common Prayer" formulated by "Archbishop" Cranmer at the time of Henry VIII and during the reign of Elizabeth I?

    They do not in the least acknowledge the dogma of transubstantiation in the Blessed Sacrament, and repudiate the Mass.
    It would be ultimate heresy for any Pope to acknowledge the Anglican "service" regarding the Holy Eucharist or anything else as valid.

  31. Same old, same old, same old...

    Always the "conservatives" need more time to ponder and seek counsel.

    Personally, I believe that these folks THRIVE on being unhappy.

    We have been keeping an eye on the matter over at The Black Cordelias for a time now. Some of us have been asking if there will be a TAC/Anglican-Related Announcement post-Lambeth? for a time now.

    I am of the thinking that something like "Summorum Pontificum" meets "The Pastoral Provision" is in the works... Rome would do well to sidestep a lot of the heel-dragging bishops who have NOT been generous with these folks. Liverpool comes to mind (exactly ZERO convert clergyman ordained!)

    The creation of options for these few sheep is something I have been praying about for sometime. I know a lot of people feel "The serious ones" already came over, or that "there are not enough there to warrant special treatment of options"... and I can understand that. But the fact remains, the Shephard leaves his 99 happy sheep in the field to go find the lost one.

    One wonders with Bishop Broadhurst - who needs more time still to "reconnoiter" - if he isn't in fact worried about losing the prestige, the big-fish-in-a-little-pond set-up he has now. I mean as it stands now, he is a "bishop" and gets a lot of attention as the darling or a movement... If he went Roman, he would be just another Catholic priest.

    So it goes.

  32. Anonymous3:37 AM


    Thanks for clearing that is kind of confusing as there is also a Anglican Catholic Church whose "Primate" is Archbishop Mark Haverland. I don't know whether they are in communion with TAC or whether they differ on certain issues. As I understand it, they use the 1928 BCP which the TAC uses also (at least the websites I've gone to).

    I would be very surprised that the GAFCON folks would come over as they seem much further away from Catholicism and are closer to run-of-the-mill evangelicalism.

    Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese

  33. Anonymous6:39 AM

    Mr. Hessel:

    On your last point, I can't really speak with any authority. However, I have read recently that Bishop Burnham of Ebbsfleet 'leads' 120 parishes which mostly use the English Missal. Is this true? I have no idea.

    But I do think that most Anglo-Catholics who are coming over would accept the English Missal or the Anglican Missal or even the Sarum Missal. I don't think that that is an issue with most of them. They want to fly to Rome to avoid bishopettes and, worse, sodomite marriages.

    They will come. But I think that only His Holiness has the strength of character here to tell all parties concerned, "Look, enough talk, I am offering the TAC uniate status'. Whether he will accept their married bishops or not I have no idea. I leave that up to him entirely. But he could certainly promoted unmarried priests from their ranks if need be. One way or the other, the Pope must take the initative. The Latin Rite bishops of England and Wales would love to take initiative: wolves have no trouble taking action. On the other extreme, these Anglicans are the worst ditherers in the history of mankind.


  34. Anonymous1:19 PM

    AWESOME! Praise God - Let them come home.

  35. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Greg Hessel writes: "I don't see how they could have their own bishop in places like the US -- it would be much easier if they were under the local ordinary. Isn't this how the current Anglican Use churches operate?"

    Yes. That is why there are only seven of them in the whole USA. The more liberal Latin rite bishops have been obstructionist and sometimes downright hostile to the prospect of receiving orthodox, traditionally-minded Christians into the fold.

    In most cases, the local ordinaries have refused to receive them as a parish, and told them to disband and report to their local Novus Ordo parishes. In some cases, the local ordinary did receive them as an Anglican Use parish, but his successor later converted it to NO.

    The same situation exists, possibly in even worse form, in the UK. That is why the Anglican Use model is considered a defeat for the survival of Anglican-style liturgy and music. Barring a permanent canonical home for ex-Anglican parishes, they will all likely be exterminated within a generation. If a canonical structure were erected, then the flaws in the Anglican Use liturgy could be fixed and it could be merged with elements of the Anglican and English Missals, along with the Anglican Breviary and Psalter, into a permanently revived Sarum use.

  36. Anonymous2:29 AM

    I do not wish to be or sound uncharitable. I am as excited as any true Catholic at the prospect of hundreds, nay thousands, coverting to Holy Church. But reading these comments, unless I am missing something, we have a man holding from the pearl of great price until his false eucharist is called real. Does he truly wish to come to the font of Christ's grace? And if so, why conditions and terms? Did the leper say to the Christ I will only come to Thee Lord if you say that I am not truly a leper? One can only hope that the souls following this man have the wisdom to see past a leader who is afraid to lose worldly power and to seek their own salvation beyond their ties to this man. In all honesty, if this man comes over, would we want him to be even a priest? Would his need for worldly acclaim supercede his love for souls? This man's comments sadden me immensely. Nary an acknowledgement of heresy, sin, no sense of compunction, no expression of penance, no proclamation of love for God's Will in all of this, just self serving sentiments of a worldly way forward. I would suggest this man not be confirmed as a Catholic in his present state of mind.

    Sincerely in Christ who explicitly stated His Wish that the Fire of His Love were already blazing,

    Toronto, Ontario

  37. Anonymous9:37 AM

    There is too much natural confusion in the comments to this post. I seriously doubt whether the reconciliation of the TAC as a body and the absorptions of those who follow the Bishop of Ebbsfleet is practically possible without unacceptable compromise. Compromise is foreign to canonical process.

    These people do not possess the Catholic mind, however closely they follow Catholic models of worship and disseminate an interpretation of Catholic teaching. They are approaching the Church with a demand to be seen as a special case and are seeking reception on their own terms. A desire to be received should be unconditional and this does not appear to be part of their mentality.

    As for the myth that English Anglo-Catholics use the English Missal this is simply not true. The majority of the parishes under the Bishop of Ebbsfleet's jurisdiction either use the Roman Missal of 1970 or versions of approved Anglican rites from Common Worship as close to the Novus Ordo as possible. Their liturgical practice is ritually reformed, if celebrated in as elaborate a manner as they wish. Many celebrate the new rites in the spirit of the Roman Missal of 1962 (and earlier) but the classic Roman Rite in translation is virtually unknown to them. Scarcely more than half-a-dozen Anglican parishes in England still use the English Missal and that is a generous estimate. Those who do are usually idiosyncratic. So don't believe that the unlikely arrival of these hordes will strengthen the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. The clergy concerned know as little Latin as the majority of Catholic priests today and would find the celebration of the 1962 rite practically impossible.

    As for the Bishop of Fulham, I think he is now psychologically incapable of seeking reception into the Church. He is getting old, he is set in his ways, he enjoys his position, he does not really want to change, and, above all, there is his compromised canonical status. Despite the Bishop of London's desire to accommodate the Anglo-Catholics as fully as possible, I suspect that some parishes will act independently of the Bishop of Fulham should a plan be proposed. But the reality of that becoming true is unlikely. Not least, there won't be enough Anglo-Catholic laity to make the formation of a pastoral provision realistic.

  38. Anonymous4:52 PM

    What's all the fuss about the English Missal use? It must be some kind of anglophile American thing. Although, I agree, it's a fine olde-worlde translation of the Extra-Ordinary Form with bits of the 1928 BCP pasted into it, it was never used much in England after the Novus Ordo was introduced. At least, not by any self-respecting Anglo-Catholic I knew. It was always seen as something clung-onto by what we used to call "decorated protestants"; those who liked dressing-up in the rags of popery but who, in their hearts, could never stomach the discipline required by the True Church.

    Imitation (of the Roman Rite) really was considered the best form of praise by catholic-minded Anglicans. Most of whom were received into Full Communion with the True Church after the 1992 priestesses vote. Certainly in England, any serious Anglo-Catholic would always use the contemporary Roman Rite.

    "Bishop" Broadhurst is the unhappiest of schismatics. Not only excommunicated for apostacy from the Church he rejected in his youth but also having spurned the hand of reconciliation and friendship offered by cardinal Hume in the 1990's.

    English Missal adherence is a red-herring. The real issue here is whether the Anglo-Catholics are prepared to make their submission to the Holy Father like the rest of us. And if that means never using the English Missal (or BCP or any other non-approved rite) then so be it.


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