Anglican Communion: falling apart

This is in from the Times.  My emphases and comments.

Church of England clergy plan mass exit over women bishops
1,300 write protest letter to archbishop

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

More than 1,300 clergy, including 11 serving bishops, have written to the archbishops of Canterbury and York to say that they will defect from the Church of England if women are consecrated bishops.

As the wider Anglican Communion fragments over homosexuality, England’s established Church is moving towards its own crisis with a crucial vote on women bishops this weekend.

In a letter to Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, seen by The Times, the signatories give warning that they will consider leaving the Church if two crucial votes are passed to introduce female bishops.

The Church’s moderate centre is being pressured as never before by evangelicals opposed to gays, and traditionalists opposed to women’s ordination. The crisis is unprecedented since the Reformation devastated the Roman Catholic Church in England in the 16th century.

The General Synod, the Church’s governing body, meets in York on Friday, when clergy will decide whether legislation to consecrate women should be introduced, and whether it should have legal safeguards for traditionalists or a simple voluntary code to protect them.

The letter’s signatories – who represent 10 per cent of practising clergy and hundreds of retired priests – will accept women bishops only if they have a legal right to separate havens within the Church. These would offer opponents of women bishops a network of parishes where they could worship under the leadership of exclusively male clergy and bishops.   [Which is no solution at all.  If they cannot stand fast on who a bishop is, they are doomed.]

The archbishops of Canterbury and York are keen to see women bishops as soon as possible but liberals who support the move have raised the stakes by saying they will not back the change if legal conditions are attached. They fear that such safeguards would enshrine discrimination by creating a “church within a church”.

The signatories are largely from the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church and many will attempt to seek a ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is short of priests and is expected to welcome them again, even if they are married with families, as it did when the Church of England ordained women priests.

The protest over women bishops came as Dr Williams tried to assert his authority [HAH!] on the wider Anglican communion with a strong rebuke to evangelicals who promised last week to form a breakaway Anglican church after a summit in Jerusalem. He described their move as “problematic” and urged those involved to “think very carefully about the risks”. He also made clear his view that the doctrinally strict evangelical wing was not itself free from sin. [That'll help.] “On all sides of our controversies, slogans, misrepresentations and caricatures abound, and they need to be challenged,” he said.

Of the 1,333 clergy who signed the protest letter, 60 per cent are serving clergy. Among the retired bishops is the former Bishop of Chichester, the Right Rev Eric Kemp. Some women deacons have also joined the protest.

The traditionalists write: “We will inevitably be asking whether we can, in conscience, continue to minister as bishops, priests and deacons in the Church of England . . . We do not write this in a spirit of making threats or throwing down gauntlets. Rather, we believe that the time has come to make our concerns plain, so that the possible consequences of a failure to make provision which allows us to flourish and to grow are clear.”

At the same time 1,276 women clergy, 1,012 male clergy and 1,916 lay church members who support women bishops signed a statement objecting to the prospect of “discriminatory” legislation to safeguard opponents. 

Doomed.

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78 Responses to Anglican Communion: falling apart

  1. Phil says:

    Isn’t ‘May you live in interesting times’ a curse in Chinese? It seems certainy so for the Anglicans.

    Not that I wouldn’t rejoice in a large group of Anglicans swimming the Tiber and rejoining the motherchurch, but one can’t help notice that it’s a pitiful sight from this side of said river. Which, not unimportant, isn’t doing much good for the reputation of Christianity in its battle against atheism and Islam. One would pray that unity would be brought forth in a less chaotic way, but it seems that grace isn’t in the cards…

  2. John6:54 says:

    Anglican, Smanglican, the bark of Peter Awaits.

  3. Michael R. says:

    They didn’t leave when women became “priests”; why now? Is it because they thought that their apostolic succession was preserved so long as all the bishops remained male, even though they did not believe the women were really priests? I think I would have been out of there a long time ago.

  4. CK says:

    And God begins to gather His faithful remnant…once again.

  5. Matthew Mattingly says:

    As the anti-spam word is “Toast”,

    The Anglican Communion (and indeed the Anglican Church) is toast!!

    Of course any clergy seeking to be Roman Catholic will have to be re-ordained.
    I think the laity will have to be re-Baptised.
    Which is all as it should be it they want to become Catholics.

    The Episcopalian Church is almost down below 2 million in the USA. Dropping fast !!! That’s the way the cookie crumbles!!

  6. David Deavel says:

    One correction to Gledhill’s report. Anglicans swimming in 1992 were not “welcomed” by the Catholic hierarchy, but in many cases sabotaged. See William Oddie’s THE ROMAN OPTION for details. In an appearance on “The Journey Home” last week Oddie noted that this time the Anglo-Catholics will most likely bypass the English and Welsh hierarchy and deal with Rome.

  7. James says:

    Ordinations, yes, baptisms, no. Anglican baptisms are quite valid.

  8. Woody Jones says:

    As I wrote about this at length in the last thread on the subject, I won’t repeat it all again, but would just note that it seems to be human nature not to want to make such a fundamental change as in one’s religion, especially if it is the religion of one’s birth, so we can expect a lot of pretzeled accommodation to go on within the CofE over the bishop issue when it come sup.

    For Anglo-Catholic clergy looking to make a move, only Rome,the Orthodox or the Contiuum are real options, and I would expect them to survey all of those, in one fashion or another. What our Roman hierarchs should be doing is making sure that those Anglicans know they would be warmly welcomed. I fear this will not the message in a number of cases, however.

    Here, the idea coming from the Council, of “united, not absorbed” could be so valuable if it wre tried, but as in so many things, it seems that we pick and choose which of the things of the Council we like and which we don’t.

  9. Brian Walden says:

    I think the laity will have to be re-Baptised.

    Do Anglicans not baptize with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? I always thought that they did.

    Which is all as it should be it they want to become Catholics.

    Do you mean assuming the baptisms were not valid they should be baptized, or that validly baptized people should be re-baptized upon converting to Catholicism?

  10. Theodorus says:

    Anglican orders are not valid, but its baptism is undoubtedly valid.

  11. Will says:

    Anglicans baptise with water and the Trinitarian formula. I know of no reason that they would need to be rebaptised.
    The question of the other sacraments is less clear. There must be some degree of validity since married Anglican priests have converted and become Roman Catholic priests, although I am not sure what steps were taken in the conversion.

  12. Tobias says:

    Very frequently in the pre-Vatican II days Protestants were conditionally
    baptized upon their conversion to Catholicism even if they had been previously
    baptized as Protestants and even if the sect in question used the proper
    formula and had the correct doctrine of the Trinity. I guess the logic was:
    when the rule is “each man is his own church,” then “doing what the Church
    intends” is a rather nebulous intention.

  13. Supertradmom says:

    I lived in the Portsmouth Diocese after the Anglican Synod decided on women priests, and ovenight, the diocese was inundated with requests by male Anglican priests who disagreed with the decision for many reasons, and were desiring to be Roman Catholic priests. If I remember correctly, these men went into the Catholic seminary training for two years and were ordained, as Anglican orders are invalid: see Pope St. Leo XIII on this subject.

    Our little parish was blessed by one of these ex-Anglicans, now Catholic priest, who took over at the retirement of our priest. We would have become a “mission” instead of a running parish without him. The parish council met two or three times to discuss his appointment, as was asked, as he had a wife and two children, and they had to be supported as well. After discussion and acceptance, we agreed to keep up with our tithing and provide a little more for upkeep. The entire experience was positive.

    Where I live now, two Anglican priests converted and both are now Catholic priests. One was just ordained this Spring in the Catholic Church. He is a great asset to the diocese, as are his wife and children. More to come, I am sure…….especially as the Anglican Church implodes. Sorry about typos today, am multitasking…

  14. Dwight Longenecker says:

    If a liberal Anglican baptizes in the name of the ‘Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer’ the baptism is invalid. Otherwise they’re ok.

    As an Anglican priest who swam the Tiber after women’s ordination, and who is now ordained as a Catholic priest (although with wife and four children) I pray for more conversions and would welcome them home.

  15. berenike says:

    I am amused by the identification of evangelicals with worrying about homosexuals and “trads” with worrying about women priests. I find my Wee Free and other hardcore Protestant associates to be much closer to reality (and hence Catholicism), than the weirdos who fret at length over what the new papal altar arrangement means for them, propose that all Anglo-Catholics should dress like Catholic clergy (“we say we’re the same as them, let’s dress like it”), pontificate about the scandal probably caused to the non-old-Mass-going punter by the sloppy serving at the Westminster Cathedral pontifical Mass, and – don’t seem to think they have things out of proportion.

  16. Supertradmom says:

    Let me clear up a statement-both ex-Anglicans were ordained in the Roman Catholic Church; one earlier and one this Spring.

    All beptisms which are Trinitarian are valid (in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit), if the various denominations’ understandings of the Trinity are the same as that of the Catholic Church, as re-examined in the recent Roman Catholic Church statement that Mormon Baptism is not valid for the very reason that it is not Trinitarian, because of Mormon beliefs. In other words, Mormons are not Christians, but heretical in their view of Christ as not equal to the Father. Anglican baptisms, unless changed by a renegade minister, are Trinitarian both in word and belief, and therefore valid.

    Interestingly enough, in our diocese, some Catholic priests were baptizing in the name of the “Creator” instead of God, and those baptisms are not only illegal, but invalid, as the Bishop just promulgated a note on this in the past year. Priests who have done this have been corrected and as I understand, must try to re-baptize those they baptized under the so-called “politically correct” version of the formula.

  17. I wonder why the Pope bothers to even meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury? What a flippin’ boondoggle!

  18. Matthew Mattingly says:

    I read that Protestant baptisms in most cases are considered invalid in the Catholic Church….the Anglicans using the correct formula might be an exception.

    As to this quote : “I wonder why the Pope bothers to even meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury? What a flippin’ boondoggle!

    Fortunatly for the Church with Pope Benedict XVI, he has pretty much kept Protestants/ecumenism with Protestants at arms length….and has not gone in for the scandelous stuff JP II did (kissing the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury’s ring, giving him a pectoral cross, including him in ceremonies at the Vatican, etc.)

    In meeting the Archbishop of Canturbury, (or any other recent Protestant representative of a group), Benedict XVI had confined their exchange to afew minutes, and a friendly handshake. But the great, overblown receptions that Paul VI and especially JP II gave Archbishops of Canturbury or reps. of other groups seem to be a thing of the past.

    Now, it’s just a courtesy call.

  19. Seminarian says:

    It seems to me that this crisis all comes down to the problem of authority. When a “church” (i.e. ecclesial community) is founded on the principle of the individual’s right to interpret Scripture, doctrine and praxis (“Whatever I say is orthodox TO ME”), then it is clear that the fundamental basis of unity will fall apart.

    That being said, we should consider ourselves blessed that Our Lord chose to found a Church with a VISIBLE head, the Successor of St. Peter. If we look at ecclesial authority as a gift from God, instead of as a restriction that inhibits the right of the Holy Spirit to “blow as He will”, then everything falls into place. Everything then is seen in light of the reigning principle of Charity. Isn’t Charity, after all, the reason behind all that God does? Deus Caritas est.

  20. Calleva says:

    I have read that Pope Benedict takes a greater interest in Anglicans considering \’swimming\’ than did JP2. This means that liberal bishops won\’t be able to put up obstacles and discourage – cf Dr Oddie\’s book and \’Journey Home\’ episode.

    Some of the posts here are not very charitable, perhaps from people unfamiliar with Anglicanism and Anglicans. Yes, they stole our churches, but they care for them well – I wonder how the same historic buildings would have fared in Catholic hands in recent years. I hope people will pause for a moment and think how painful it must be to see the church of one\’s youth and upbringing disintegrating so badly. Rowan Williams is not a bad man, but he doesn\’t seem to be able to hold all things together. Who could? One of the characteristics of the Anglican church is that it was \’broad\’ and in a very English way, all kinds of incompatible beliefs subsisted in one communion. As I said, Rowan Williams is not a bad man and it would take almost superhuman skills to keep everything humming along.

    Let\’s not be triumphalist about this. Yes, we have Peter and the Magisterium and thus the repository of Christian truth in its fullness, but some of us need to consider the real anguish that is being felt as the Anglican church thinks about whether it can still be a broad church. My guess is that it can\’t and the fallout may be the beginning of the end – or it may be that something will emerge to rescue the situation.

    I take no pleasure in the sorrow and distress of fellow Christians, but I hope that any Anglican reading this will know that there are plenty of Catholics who would make them very welcome. For one thing, the Church of England has an awesome musical tradition which would greatly enhance our worship! The time has come to be generous and to admit that after the break with Rome we too lost something. Not just the musical tradition in our (then) church schools but the vibrancy and social cohesiveness of a commonly-held faith among countrymen.

  21. CTrent1564 says:

    Matthew:

    In the pre-conciliar Church, protestants who entered into full communion were “conditionally baptized”. Since the Vatican II, the Church has come to understand that Baptism done with “Water” and in the “Name of the Holy Trinity” is valid outside the visible Communion of the Catholic Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome (i.e. Pope). Thus, any person from an historical Protestant Confession who comes into Full Communion with Rome, assuming they were baptized in the manner that Rome requires for a valid sacramental Baptism (Flowing Water and orthodox Trinitarian Formula, ie. Father, Son and Holy Spirit), are in fact “not re-baptized”. They are Confirmed, make a Profession of Faith, and then recieve First Holy Communion, thereby being reconciled back into Full communion with Rome. Two Protestant Christians who are married when they enter Full Communion with Rome are not re-married as well, assuming they were married in the church/confession that they are coming from when entering the Catholic Church.

    I say all this as one who works with RCIA and has been involved with many orthodox Protestant Christians who have come home to Rome.

  22. Tom says:

    I’m just a bit wary of some the termonilogy used in these cases. There are no such things as “re-ordination” or “re-baptised”. Either someone is ordained and/or baptised or they’re not. If there are doubts about either, then (conditional) ordination or baptism would be appropriate.

    In the case of ordination, Anglican Orders are invalid and so there is nothing to be “re-ordained”. Ordination (not re-ordination) would be required. The only case of conditional ordination which seems to be in the public domain is that of the ex-Anglican bishop of London, (now Mgr) Graham Leonard.

    In the case of baptisms, as already pointed out, Anglican Baptisms are clearly valid if the proper matter and form are used. If not, then Baptism is required – not “re-Baptism”.

    Please God, the Catholic bishops in this country this time round will be more ready to welcome those who sincerely desire to ‘come home’.

  23. Miseno says:

    If any of these English Anglicans who are “crossing the Tiber” want to come to the US, we could use some faithful holy people with good taste in the American Catholic Church.

  24. I disagree with whoever said that Pope Benedict is more welcoming than JPII was regarding Anglicans converting. In one of the the Q&A books by Peter Seewald, when Cardinal Ratzinger asked JP II what should be done regarding Anglican priests who were converting and wanted to become Catholic priests, Pope JPII simply said “be generous.”

  25. Mark S. says:

    I’ve just been reading, with interest, some of the comments made about the conversion of Protestants in pre-Vatican II days. I’ve got some reference materials printed in England in the pre-Vatican II days. According to those, a convert could either be baptised absolutely (not previously baptised/baptism definitely invalid), conditionally baptised with conditional sacramental absolution (doubtful baptism) or not baptised at all (certainly valid baptism). (As an aside, when John Henry Newman became a Catholic in 1845, he wasn’t re-baptised, he went to confession only, indicating CofE baptism was considered valid in the 1800′s.) Pre Vatican II, in England at least, assuming valid baptism, the convert was regarded as an excommunicated Catholic (excommunicated on the grounds that if validly baptised, as there’s only one baptism, they were a Catholic who’d “defected” to a non-Catholic denomination, incurring excommunication.) The priest had to get the bishop’s permission to lift the excommunication. When they were received into the Church, they had to make an act of faith (the “Tridentine” profession of faith consisting of the Nicene creed and various statements saying they accepted the beliefs denied by protestantism.) The priest would lift the excommunication, then hear their confession and give sacramental absolution.

  26. JML says:

    Should not we pray for our (very) prodigal brothers and sisters of the CoE in the same vein as a prodigal brothers with the SSPX?

    I pray the Holy Spirit will enpower wisdom and charity on all members of the CoE so whatever they end up doing is not politically motivated but motivated by will of God.

  27. Michael Fudge says:

    If anyone is interested in the text of the letter, here it is:

    Most Reverend Fathers in God,

    We write as bishops, priests and deacons of the Provinces of Canterbury and York, who have sought, by God’s grace, in our various ministries, to celebrate the Sacraments and preach the Word faithfully; to form, nurture and catechise new Christians; to pastor the people of God entrusted to our care; and, through the work of our dioceses, parishes and institutions, to build up the Kingdom and to further God’s mission to the world in this land.

    Our theological convictions, grounded in obedience to Scripture and Tradition, and attentive to the need to discern the mind of the whole Church Catholic in matters touching on Faith and Order, lead us to doubt the sacramental ministry of those women ordained to the priesthood by the Church of England since 1994. Having said that, we have engaged with the life of the Church of England in a myriad of ways, nationally and locally, and have made sincere efforts to work courteously and carefully with those with whom we disagree. In the midst of this disagreement over Holy Order, we have, we believe, borne particular witness to the cause of Christian unity, and to the imperative of Our Lord’s command that ‘all may be one.’

    We include those who have given many years service to the Church in the ordained ministry, and others who are very newly ordained. We believe that we demonstrate the vitality of the tradition which we represent and which has formed us in our discipleship and ministry – a tradition which, we believe, constitutes an essential and invaluable part of the life and character of the Church of England, without which it would be deeply impoverished.

    Since the ordination of women to the priesthood began in 1994, we have been able to exercise our ministry in the context of the solemn assurances given at that time that our understanding of Holy Order was one entirely consonant with the faith and practice of the Church of England, and secure in the knowledge that those assurances were embodied in the legislation passed in 1993, and in the Act of Synod which followed that legislation. That legislation, together with the Act, has been the framework which has allowed us to continue to live and work in a church which has taken the decision to allow women to be ordained, but which has also made room for us, and honoured our beliefs and convictions. We have been further encouraged and affirmed by the Resolution of the Lambeth Conference 1998, endorsed by the General Synod in July 2006, that “those who dissent from as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans.”

    We believe that, should the Church of England move to the ordination of women to the episcopate, our ability to continue to minister in the church to which we have been called will depend on provision being made to allow us to do so with the same theological integrity which we have been able to hold since 1994. We recognise that, much as we might hope things to be otherwise, the Church of England is set upon the path of ordaining women as bishops. We will strive to honour their calling as ministers of the Gospel, and to respect the offices which they will hold, despite our profound reservations about the Church of England’s decision to ordain and consecrate them. We do not look for ‘protection’ from the ministry of ordained women. Rather, we ask that our theological convictions continue to be accorded that respect which was promised fifteen years ago. We believe that priests must be able to look to bishops about whose ministry they can be assured; and that bishops in turn must be able to carry out their ministry in a way consonant with the traditional exercise of Episcopal office. Only a structural solution to the new problems which will inevitably be created for the Church by the ordination of women to the episcopate can, we believe, allow us to flourish and to contribute to the life of the whole Church as we believe the Spirit continues to call us to do.

    It is with sadness that we conclude that, should the Church of England indeed go ahead with the ordination of women to the episcopate, without at the same time making provision which offers us real ecclesial integrity and security, many of us will be thinking very hard about the way ahead. We will inevitably be asking whether we can, in conscience, continue to minister as bishops, priests and deacons in the Church of England which has been our home. We do not write this in a spirit of making threats or throwing down gauntlets. Rather, we believe that the time has come to make our concerns plain, so that the possible consequences of a failure to make provision which allows us to flourish and to grow are clear. Your Graces will know that the cost of such a choice would be both spiritual and material.

    We know that all members of the Church of England and of the General Synod in particular, will be looking to you for wisdom, guidance and leadership in this matter. We urge you, as our Fathers in God, to lead the whole Church in making generous and coherent provision for us. This will not only allow us to continue to play our part in that mission, under God, to which we are all committed, but also ensure that the Church of England continues to encompass, in her polity, an understanding of Holy Orders consonant with that of the great Churches of East and West with whom we share the historic episcopate.

    We assure you of our prayers at this time.

  28. dcs says:

    I disagree with whoever said that Pope Benedict is more welcoming than JPII was regarding Anglicans converting. In one of the the Q&A books by Peter Seewald, when Cardinal Ratzinger asked JP II what should be done regarding Anglican priests who were converting and wanted to become Catholic priests, Pope JPII simply said “be generous.”

    But without a concrete plan, the request to “be generous” might not have much practical value. Look at how the late Pope’s request for bishops to be “generous” with the traditional Latin Mass worked out in practice. Now, I don’t know whether the Holy Father is more welcoming towards Anglicans than his predecessor, but it seems to me that he is more open to actual planning.

  29. Jacob says:

    Some of the posts here are not very charitable, perhaps from people unfamiliar with Anglicanism and Anglicans. Yes, they stole our churches, but they care for them well – I wonder how the same historic buildings would have fared in Catholic hands in recent years.
    Comment by Calleva — 1 July 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    A reasonable argument… Except for the fact that we’ll probably never know just how much of the literature of the English language was lost when Henry VIII and his cronies presided over the Dissolution of the Monasteries. /One/ manuscript of Beowulf survived and thank God for that and that’s probably only the tip of the iceberg.

  30. Andrew hollingsworth says:

    I assume that it is women deaconesses in the Anglican community who to might leave over the ‘consecration’ of women bishops. Awoman deacon would see the priesthood as open to women.

  31. Cerimoniere says:

    The reason for the prevalence of conditional baptism of converts before the Council was a concern that many Protestant sects were often not performing their own rites correctly. Nobody ever doubted that someone who went through the Anglican baptism service would be validly baptized, if it was accurately carried out by someone with a proper intention.

    However, that does not end the inquiry as to the validity of any given person’s baptism. There were instances of the water being poured on two or three babies together while the form was said only once, and similar stupidities. Most priests preferred to err on the side of caution, given that they couldn’t know how a Protestant ceremony had been performed decades earlier. Perhaps there was even fear about the intention of some Protestant ministers, who didn’t even believe in baptismal regeneration and may well have had a positive intention not to confer baptism in the Catholic sense.

    Certainly, these fears are more justified now than ever. Conditional baptisms still have their place.

  32. Nick says:

    I am so happy, this is great news!

    Can you imagine, we get to live in the age when the Anglican Church will be destroyed in our lifetime! The Anglican “church” which caused so much damage to Christendom, especially in the last few decades, is coming crashing down. Here we are, at a time when the issue of homosexuality is on the table OPEN for discussion, female bishops ordinations, and other compromising of the Gospel and traditional teachings, once unthinkable, is “to be voted upon” this Friday. What a way to go, people looking back in history will just shake their heads. Now I know what King David felt like when he wrote Psalms about getting the victory over his enemies.

    I really hope the vote goes through this week, it would send a few thousand Anglicans home to Rome where they belong. And what people don’t realize is that this isnt just a few hundred or thousand random people, these people are undoubtedly the last remaining moral bedrock left in Anglicanism.

    And we don’t even need to talk about Anglicanism illegitimate child, the Episcopal “church”, which is more morally and theologically bankrupt than its parent.

    This could potentially be the best year ever: the Motu Proprio, possible reconciliation of SSPX, 2000th year of St Paul, Pope Benedict leading the reform, renewed relations with the Orthodox, and the Anglican Church crumbles.

    My soul is overwhelmed with joy!

  33. I do have one question. I also welcome converts to Catholicism, but two things bother me about these individuals becoming priests. It’s most likely a problem of misunderstanding on my part. But, we are expecting individuals who are angry about a decision within their Church (and rightfully so) to leave them and become Catholic Priests. 1) Would these individuals leave if the Pope or their bishop made a decision they did not like and 2) Are we really that eager to immediately accept priests who think Catholicism is the 2nd best thing to a pure Anglican Church? Do they have to attend seminary? Obviously with the Holy orders they will take an oath of obedience to the Bishop. Is there more to it than I am seeing? Also, like I said, I’m sure a lot of the Anglican priests from the past conversion have become great Roman Catholic priests. I’m just new and would like more clarification.

  34. Trey says:

    Long Post… Sorry…

    1. This article (and many others) claim that Gafcon was only about protestant/ evangelicals (so-called “low church.”) But my u/standing is that the Southern Cone is providing support to Ango-Cath’s in the US (San Joaquin and Fort Worth)…

    2. They didn’t leave when women became “priests”; why now? – Provision was made (flying bishops, etc.) for them to be sep. from those churches with WO. But yes, in Anglicanism, the bishop is a “universal” office… this is why the Gene Robinson thing was such a big deal… It is seen as something that affects all, whereas the presbyters are seen as exercising their ministry only in the ind. diocese. In Dallas/ Ft Worth, there was an arrangement whereby women seeking ordination were sent by FW to Dallas for perparation. FW was opposed to WO. Dallas was not.

    3. Of course any clergy seeking to be Roman Catholic will have to be re-ordained.- Yes.
    I think the laity will have to be re-Baptised. No.

    4. The article mentions Bishops. I don’t think married bishops is going to fly. This has been a problem for the TAC as well.

    5. Anglicans swimming in 1992 were not “welcomed” by the Catholic hierarchy, but in many cases sabotaged.

    - Yes. Opposed by the hierarchy in England, and in some places in the US as well.

  35. Trey says:

    6. The question of the other sacraments is less clear. There must be some degree of validity since married Anglican priests have converted and become Roman Catholic priests, although I am not sure what steps were taken in the conversion.

    - They were ordained to the priesthood. There is some question, though, about the ordinations by the Old Catholics. I doubt, though, that this is considered valid…

    7. Very frequently in the pre-Vatican II days Protestants were conditionally
    baptized upon their conversion to Catholicism even if they had been previously
    baptized as Protestants and even if the sect in question used the proper
    formula and had the correct doctrine of the Trinity. I guess the logic was:
    when the rule is “each man is his own church,” then “doing what the Church
    intends” is a rather nebulous intention.

    - Yes. Still done sometimes. I have heard priests say that if the eccl. community did not intend what the Church intends, then no baptism. Not sure… but this seems to skate pretty close to the Donatist line doesn’t it?

    8. If a liberal Anglican baptizes in the name of the ‘Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer’ the baptism is invalid.

    - Of course. As with liberal Catholics.

    I am amused by the identification of evangelicals with worrying about homosexuals and “trads” with worrying about women priests.

    - I don’t think this is at all accurate. I would say that the ACs worry about both and more. The evangelicals too, but the gay issue is a flash point for them, whereas WO is not…

    9. I wonder why the Pope bothers to even meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury?

    - My understanding is that he would like unity and authority to be reestablished by the ABC if possible.

    10. I read that Protestant baptisms in most cases are considered invalid in the Catholic Church….the Anglicans using the correct formula might be an exception.

    - Almost all Prot’s use the correct formula, as it is in the Scripture. This was highlighted recently with the “Creator, et al” controversy.

  36. Trey says:

    11. But the great, overblown receptions that Paul VI and especially JP II gave Archbishops of Canturbury or reps. of other groups seem to be a thing of the past.

    There is a lot of water under the bridge. There was hope for corporate unity … but the revisionists were too advanced, and authority too weak…

    12. I have read that Pope Benedict takes a greater interest in Anglicans considering ‘swimming’ than did JP2. This means that liberal bishops won’t be able to put up obstacles and discourage .

    This is true. He wrote a personal letter to my (Anglican) parish in 2003, while still a Cardinal. Also, he approved the Book of Divine Worship, the Anglian Use liturgy while at the CDF. As for resistence, note that the dialogue with the TAC is not taking place with the ecumenists… They don’t want the traditionalists to be rec’vd.

    13. Some of us need to consider the real anguish that is being felt.

    Yes, this is true. Imagine leaving the church your family worshiped in for generations… in the US since before the Revolution. In England longer. And leaving your forbears remains in the churchyard for the heretics to sell to a bar or Mosque.

    14. The Church of England has an awesome musical tradition which would greatly enhance our worship!

    - YES! You should stop by an AU parish some day.

    15. They are Confirmed, make a Profession of Faith, and then recieve First Holy Communion, thereby being reconciled back into Full communion with Rome. Two Protestant Christians who are married when they enter Full Communion with Rome are not re-married as well, assuming they were married in the church/confession that they are coming from when entering the Catholic Church.

    - This was my experience.

  37. Trey says:

    16. The priest had to get the bishop’s permission to lift the excommunication.

    - But this did not take into account that after the split, people were born into these communities. They were never “in” the Church.

    17. When they were received into the Church, they had to make an act of faith (the “Tridentine” profession of faith consisting of the Nicene creed and various statements saying they accepted the beliefs denied by protestantism.)

    - The profession of faith is still done.

    18. But without a concrete plan, the request to “be generous” might not have much practical value. Look at how the late Pope’s request for bishops to be “generous” with the traditional Latin Mass worked out in practice. Now, I don’t know whether the Holy Father is more welcoming towards Anglicans than his predecessor, but it seems to me that he is more open to actual planning.

    - This is true. And many bishops were less than generous with former Episcopalians, as with Traditionalist Catholics. This is all proceeding carefully. You have things moving on the TAC side, and also with the CoE, etc. The Church has to act carefully, she wants to recieve those souls that seek full communion (often individually, now) and at the same time work to heal divisions between the Church and these communities. She wants to draw all souls in… This requires careful, and pastoral action. She doesn’t want to turn anyone away, but neither does she want to deepen rifts or open new ones that would be an obstacle to reunion later… The TAC discussions, the warnings to Lambeth, discussions with the ABC… it is all very carefully orchestrated… and prayerfully. And that is what we should all be doing.

  38. Trey says:

    19. … two things bother me about these individuals becoming priests…are expecting individuals who are angry about a decision within their Church (and rightfully so) to leave them and become Catholic Priests… Would these individuals leave if the Pope or their bishop made a decision they did not like and … Are we really that eager to immediately accept priests who think Catholicism is the 2nd best thing to a pure Anglican Church?
    - I think you need to u/stand the position of the AngloCatholics/Papalists… This is more a change in ecclesiology. They have considered themselves a “branch” of the “catholic” church (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican.) So, this is more than just leaving their church for a new one. It is more a recognition that their goal of corporate unity has become an impossible dream now… As Card. Kasper recently remarked. A church with women priests and bishops will not be welcomed into the family by Rome… not now, not ever. AngloCath/Papalists have accepted to one degree or another, the primacy of Rome, etc. Just like the SSPX, and the Orthodox to an extent. Notice, the TAC when they submitted their request to Rome signified their assent to the Catechism and everything in it…
    Do they have to attend seminary?

    No. Not typically.

    20. And no, the Archbishop is not a bad man… Just not well suited, perhaps for his post… Or maybe he is just what is needed… if more Anglicans will return home… All in God’s time…

    Father Z – Any chance you will offer a mass for the Anglicans getting their swim suites on?
    And for a generous reception, like the Prodigal Son rec’vd?

  39. JD Treat says:

    “A woman deacon would see the priesthood as open to women.”

    You would think so, but no. There are any number of women in the Anglican diaconate who identify as traditionalists and are opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood.

    While there are many fine Anglo-Catholics who pride themselves on their adherence to Roman dogma and discipline, this is a subculture that has had 175 years this year to develop its own numerous schools of thought on a variety of issues. You can speak of what a particular Anglo-Catholic priest or layman believes, but it has never been possible to say what Anglo-Catholics as a group believe other than in the most general terms.

    Anglo-Catholics believe in the authority of 3, 4, 7, 20, 21, and no councils. Anglo-Catholics vehemently believe and disbelieve the Immaculate Conception. Anglo-Catholics have a wide variety of opinion on remarriage and birth control. And so on.

    Petty statements about Anglican foibles are far from helpful and serve only to confirm many Anglicans’ sense that the Catholic Church is an unwelcoming place where they will be treated as outsiders.

    On the other hand, Anglicans should swim the Tiber if they have come to believe the Roman Catholic Church’s claims about itself and have come to love her. Conversion should be a running to, not a running from and the last thing the Church in general and traditionalism in particular need are an influx of the worst of Anglo-Catholicism’s most hardened malcontents, who live and breathe schism and and a congregational mentality. (Just count the number of feuding Anglican traditionalist groups and multiply it by the number of Continuing Anglican bishops.)

    It is better to pray that many of these very fine people find their way home and find a generous welcome once there.

    A former Anglo-Catholic,

  40. Trey says:

    A reasonable argument… Except for the fact that we’ll probably never know just how much of the literature of the English language was lost when Henry VIII and his cronies presided over the Dissolution of the Monasteries. /One/ manuscript of Beowulf survived and thank God for that and that’s probably only the tip of the iceberg.

    – And who alive today is responsible for that?

    I assume that it is women deaconesses in the Anglican community who to might leave over the ‘consecration’ of women bishops. Awoman deacon would see the priesthood as open to women.

    - Some deaconesses are opposed. There is some thought that women were ordained as deacons in the earliest days of the church, but priests – never. So the idea in some circles, is that this is part of “recovering” the office of the deacon.

    Perhaps there was even fear about the intention of some Protestant ministers, who didn’t even believe in baptismal regeneration and may well have had a positive intention not to confer baptism in the Catholic sense.

    – Yes. This is still the case in some places. But I wonder… we must be careful not to repeat the errors of the earliest centuries in this regard.

    Can you imagine, we get to live in the age when the Anglican Church will be destroyed in our lifetime! The Anglican “church” which caused so much damage to Christendom, especially in the last few decades, is coming crashing down…Now I know what King David felt like when he wrote Psalms about getting the victory over his enemies.

    - Not a very charitable, or Christian sentiment. The last two Popes and the Council spoke favorably about the contributions of the Anglican Church. Look at the missionary activity in Africa, etc. Anglicans are not our “enemies” they are our Brothers in Christ. This is certainly how our Holy Father characterizes them… and he is not out to see them “destroyed” but strengthened… If you look, he is living the role of the Universal Shepherd. He is PASTORING the Anglican Communion. And I for one expect great results from this approach…

  41. Matthew Mattingly says:

    “Not a very charitable, or Christian sentiment. The last two Popes and the Council spoke favorably about the contributions of the Anglican Church. Look at the missionary activity in Africa, etc. Anglicans are not our “enemies” they are our Brothers in Christ. This is certainly how our Holy Father characterizes them… and he is not out to see them “destroyed” but strengthened… If you look, he is living the role of the Universal Shepherd. He is PASTORING the Anglican Communion. And I for one expect great results from this approach…”

    You forget, that the opinions of the Council, and the last 2 Popes, seem at least to be 100% opposed to the opinions of the Church, many Saints, and many Popes for 400+ years before that.
    I’d stick with the way the Catholic Church has always thought and taught, especially Leo XIII with regards to the Anglicans.
    I accept Vatican II as being valid. But some of the gestures, initiatives, agendas in it’s “Spirit” of ecumenism have been so opposed to what the Church has always taught about Protestantism, that I would never accept the more recent agenda at all.

  42. fr william says:

    Re. women deacon(esse)s: after 1992 there were no more admissions to the order of Deaconesses in the Church of England. Existing deaconesses could in theory continue as such, but in practice were often coerced against their better judgement into being made deacons. Those who either had principled objections against female ordination, or who simply had no aspirations in that direction, were encouraged to think that this was a mere exercise in re-labelling, not an ontological change. (Of course, those who did have such aspirations were told the exact opposite!) It seems reasonable to assume that the women deacons who signed this letter do not believe that their “diaconate” partakes of the Sacrament of Order (as would be the case with male deacons), but is a restoration of the non-sacramental female diakonia of the early centuries.

  43. flabellum says:

    As a convert at the time of the first womens ordinations in the Church of England I have to state that Cardinal Hume could not have been more welcoming and did all he could to expedite our ordination to the priesthood as Catholics. Equally, I received an email only yesterday from a seminary colleague in a Northern diocese who has met with nothing but obstruction. Had the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch stood together last Sunday and announced the ordination of women to the presbyterate I would not have had a qualm (though in reality they are both such consummate theologians that I doubt they could have reached such a conclusion). So far as I am concerned it is about authority, not misogyny.

  44. Calleva says:

    Trey said: “Anglicans are not our “enemies” they are our Brothers in Christ. This is certainly how our Holy Father characterizes them… and he is not out to see them “destroyed” but strengthened… If you look, he is living the role of the Universal Shepherd. He is PASTORING the Anglican Communion. And I for one expect great results from this approach…”

    I so agree. Some of the crowing on this thread appals me. I am English and have lived among Anglicans all my life. It was very telling that at the time of JP2′s death, many, many Anglicans mourned him, and it wasn’t unusual to see comments such as “I always regarded him as my Pope”. He was a universal pastor who opened his arms wide to the whole world. Now Benedict XVI is doing the same.

    I wrote earlier that Benedict took a greater interest in the Anglicans wanting to ‘swim’ than did JP2 and someone objected to this as if I were saying that JP2 wasn’t welcoming. This is not what I said at all. However, we are on a small island and he had so many things to think about; there was, it is said, a tacit agreement between Rome and Cardinal Hume that if the English church didn’t rock the boat, they would be left alone to do as they wished (ie promote more liberal ways in liturgy and theology, the fruits of which are very much with us). I don’t have the evidence for this, these agreements are not usually written down anyway, but I’m hoping that the gentleman’s agreement is now past.

    A former Anglican writing on another thread said that the numbers poised to cross to Rome have been greatly exaggerated and we can expect a trickle and not a flood. I have no way of knowing, but as he is closer to the Anglican Communion than most of us, he may be right. I can say that all bailers to the Barque of Peter will be very welcome, it’s a leaky old ship, but it is home!

  45. Holy Mother Church waits with open arms.

  46. Mark S. says:

    Trey,

    The profession of faith required by a convert has substantially changed since the late 1960′s. The original was very long, over twoce the length of the Nicene creed. In the late 60′s this was considerably shortened to consist of the Nicene Creed with a brief statement of aceptance of Church teaching.

    You also mention “after the split, people were born into these communities. They were never “in” the Church”. As there is only one Sacrament of Baptism, there’s no such thing as “Anglican” baptism or “Catholic” baptism – just the Sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ. Once somebody is validly baptised, they are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, but this membership can be compromised, such as by being raised in a non-Catholic denomination. In previous Church legislation, this was considered serious enough for the such people to be considered excommunicated. However, in fairness, in the reception of a convert raised in such a denomination, I believe the removal of the excommunication was conditional, possibly because it could only be contracted by someone who knowlingly remained in that denomination believing they should become Catholic.

  47. TJM says:

    By by ecumenism! Tom

  48. Atlanta says:

    I would leave the Anglican church over women bishops too. They are an abomination.

  49. Phil says:

    @Nick and some others:

    Do not rejoice in the implosion of the Anglicans. While some will be brought in union with the one Church, others will move even further away from it as a result. There’s no telling if souls will be lost, but it seems likely. And if even that is not enough, consider how this will be seen by militant atheists and muslims alike. They will rejoice too, as the resistance they’ll meet will be reduced. Protestant though they may be, there are Anglicans who are at least defending Christianity. Last but not least, people have their entire life’s foundation crumbling away under them. That’s ground for compassion, not happyness or gloating. Be charitable – it’s not only more decent but also more effective.

    As much as there is rejoicing in people coming home, the occasion for it is sad. Much much better would it have been if they would have come over from a position of reasonable strength – for the sake of them, and of us; how much more impressive is it to switch from a well functioning vessel than to jump out of a sinking ship. As I said before, that grace is apparently not to be. But prayers for the anglicans, as christian brothers and sisters, are more appropriate than lighting up a bonfire, even verbally.

  50. Gloria says:

    My daughter-in-law entered the Church this year. She had been validly baptized in her protestant church. Father (FSSP) met her in the vestibule, layed his stole over her arm and led her through the Church and to the altar rail. All was done as in a regular Baptism, the salt, the oil, the laying on of hands, renouncements, profession of faith, the candle, etc. All that was left out was the baptizing with water, since that indelible mark was already there. She then was confirmed right after the baptismal ceremony.

  51. JD Treat says:

    Lest the triumphalism and gloating get out of hand:

    As a cradle evangelical, I went to Mass during my first month of college with the intent of converting. I experienced church in the round with guitar Mass and no identifiable theology. In short, to the judgmental eyes of an 18 year-old, it seemed much like the tradition I was trying to get away from.

    Next I went to the Episcopal church, where the celebrant and people faced God together and an old Nashotah House graduate taught the catholic faith as fully and forcefully as he knew it. I remained an Anglo-Catholic for 18 years.

    Anglo-Catholicism has, to my mind, survived with the strength it has had for the last 40 years because of the debased condition of the Catholic Church in many localities. It is a bit odd for people on this thread to be gloating about the fall of the Anglican Communion when, in many areas, high Anglicans bore better witness to the historic faith than the neighboring Roman Catholic parish, even though they were separated from communion with the Holy See. It only confirms the old Anglican nostrum that the American Catholic Church is, too often, more parochial than catholic.

    We should pray that these people find union with Peter and that we find humility and gratitude for the gifts we have been given.

  52. Trailer for video ont he Anglican Use Roman Catholic Mass:

    http://www.atonementonline.com/trailer_2.wmv

  53. Nick says:

    I never intended to imply there were not good Anglicans out there, my point was that the institution is corrupt. It is founded upon heresy and schism and in the last few decades followed up with moral corruption as well. Worse yet there is no way to correct it because Truth is left up to the vote of the people. The Anglican “church” is at the heart of the moral and especially cultural meltdown in the UK. And this is a top-down problem more than anything, the “head” of Anglicanism, Rowan Williams not only wont speak up against the evils of the day he actually supports the problem. There was an article in the papers a few months ago revealing that he held a secret mass attended and sponsored by homosexuals pushing their agenda.

  54. Steve K. says:

    And another thing on keeping the gloating and triumphalism in check (besides that gloating is simply un-Christian): those who destroyed the Anglican church from within, have many, many fellow travelers in the Church who desire the same fate for us. There but by the grace of God go us.

  55. Daniel Hill says:

    one question CAN WE HAVE OUR CATHEDRALS BACK??

  56. CPKS says:

    Daniel Hill: are you offering to pay for their upkeep?

  57. RE: the upkeep of historic churches.

    One need only compare the ancient churches in Ireland in the hands of the (Anglican) Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church. Those in the hands of the ‘C of I’ are relatively untouched with their high altars still intact. Those in the hands of the Roman Catholics have their high altars ripped out and have been modernized…

  58. John R. says:

    One can only pray Pope Benedict XVI accepts the Traditional Anglican Communion’s request for full communion as a sui iuris church in union with the Holy See.

    They offer the pre-conciliar rite in liturgical English with all of the “thees” and “thous.” It would also provide a home for Catholic-minded Anglicans who wish to retain their Anglican identity while being in full union with the Catholic Church.

    Here are just a few examples of Anglo-Catholic liturgy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OopABy7E378
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUt7kH9EdLo&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Cjwa8olK8

  59. athanasius says:

    More than 1,300 clergy, including 11 serving bishops, have written to the archbishops of Canterbury and York to say that they will defect from the Church of England if women are consecrated bishops.

    If they come home to Rome I will be exceedingly happy, but one has to wonder, why are the ordinations of women as bishops the acid test? Even in a non-sacramental set up, there is little difference between a priestess and a bishop, one merely has a little more authority than the other. By accepting priestesses, they implicitly accepted “bishopesses”.

  60. Petrus says:

    I hope no Anglicans contemplating ‘a swim’ read some of these comments. They are in some instances uncharitable,ignorant of history, and just plain wrong. Card. Ratzinger was asked by John Paul II to be ‘generous’ to the Anglicans [v. 'Salt of the Earth'], and both were surprised (I believe) at how ungenerous English Roman Catholic Bishops and Priests could be. Some converts were so bruised that they went back to the C. of E. If and when the next lot come over–if they do–they would be wise to go straight to the Holy Father, who will be a Father to them indeed. To quote from ‘Salt of the Earth’ again, he writes,’A strong Catholic potency has always remained in Anglicanism, and it is becoming very visible again in the present crisis’[p.145]. The Holy Father will know what to do with his prodigal sons. Remember the prodigal’s elder brother.

  61. patrick f says:

    You have to love how the liberal crowd likes to use the word “discrimination” when they are being called out for their innaccurate judgement on items.

    1. Christ was a man
    2. His helpers he called, apostles, were men.
    3. they chose other men.

    So if a church claims any sort of legitimacy, of being the church Christ (a man, and the apostles, men founded), then it cannot accept female ordinations, at any level. Sorry. Its not discrimination to do things as they have been done for 2000 years (granted there were always deviances). Perhaps the episcopal level is the straw that broke their back, but its interesting this didnt happen much much sooner.

    BUt one VERY good point is made. Charity is the Key. Of the greatest of these is love, love the sinner hate the sin. We have to reach out to these people, not point the finger and say “I told you so”…Trust me, I am married(5 years by the grace of God so far). I learned very quickly that doesnt work :)

  62. JD Treat says:

    “One can only pray Pope Benedict XVI accepts the Traditional Anglican Communion’s request for full communion as a sui iuris church in union with the Holy See.”

    John R.,

    Not I.

    As a former Anglo-Catholic, let me assure you that the videos you link to have nothing to do with the ethos of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which tends to be lower church mix-and-match with a penchant for consecrating bishops of nonexistent sees that is something akin to the way Masons pass out grand titles to one another.

    TAC, whose membership is variously reported at anywhere from 50,000 to 400,000 by its own members, is something of a paper tiger. While its primate (a divorced former Roman priest) has done an effective job at PR, I would be very surprised if TAC were at the center of any sui iuris arrangement. Such an arrangement–or a broader application of the Pastoral Provision–might come about, but look for the nucleus of such a body to come from elsewhere. A group with TAC’s history being at the center of such a body would be a deal-breaker for a great many of the Anglo-Catholic clerics and laity presently fleeing the Church of England and the Episcopal Church.

  63. TAC, whose membership is variously reported at anywhere from 50,000 to 400,000 by its own members, is something of a paper tiger. While its primate (a divorced former Roman priest) has done an effective job at PR, I would be very surprised if TAC were at the center of any sui iuris arrangement. Such an arrangement—or a broader application of the Pastoral Provision—might come about, but look for the nucleus of such a body to come from elsewhere. A group with TAC’s history being at the center of such a body would be a deal-breaker for a great many of the Anglo-Catholic clerics and laity presently fleeing the Church of England and the Episcopal Church.

    Very true. I do hope that some sort of sui juris church is established for all of the Anglicans crossing the Tiber, HOWEVER, with more than a few ground rules laid out–one of the many being some sort of coherence to liturgical practices. As we all know, Anglican liturgy tends to be mix-and-match in most (though not all) cases. Best case scenario would be approving some version of The English Missal (Knott & Co.) and The English Breviary (Society of S. Margaret) as the standard liturgical books.

  64. Patrick says:

    While we’re at it:

    For a sui iuris Church, I would like to see one un-revision of the Anglican Use — Restore the consecratatory formula in the Mass. It is completely out of place to take the ICEL paraphrase of the consecration and stick it in the midst of a beautiful translation of the Canon. Oh, and restore the translation of the Offertory Prayers that are found in the Anglican Missal. After SP, it seems odd to continue making them pray the Seder grace before meals at that offertory.

  65. clevesem says:

    Something still seems a little unsettling to me.

    If we vote to institute change X, we’re joining the Roman Church.

    Is this like traditionalist Anglicans “sticking it” to liberals by becoming Roman Catholic?
    One should convert because one believes in what the Church teaches to be true. One’s conversion shouldn’t be contingent upon the action of another. Merely choosing from column A because column B doesn’t appeal to us right now. Is this protesting protestestism by becoming Catholic (or taking on the guise of Catholicism?)

    If they’re “threat” of going Roman is authentic, why don’t they convert whether or not female bishops are introduced?

  66. Porro in Fide says:

    Athanasius – we never “accept[ed] priestesses”, nor were we expected to. The Act of Synod made clear that both positions on women priests were acceptable, and that the innovation itself was subject to an (undefined) “period of reception” to discern whether or not it was an authentic development. That’s why we’ve had our own bishops for the last 15 years, so that whether or not we choose to work with our female colleagues as lay ministers of the Gospel, we are under no obligation to regard them as ministers of the Sacraments or to be part of the same presbyterium.

    Women bishops are the “acid test” because, most fundamentally, the “little more authority” (in your words) that a bishop has over a priest includes the authority to ordain priests and consecrate bishops. There can therefore be no “period of reception”: with women priests, any defect was limited to a single sacramental generation, but with women bishops, the defect is, so to speak, locked in from the start. Nor can there be a continuation of the relatively peaceful, if artificial, co-existence of the last 15 years: if I am in a diocese headed by a woman bishop, then she is my ordinary, even if she chooses to delegate certain sacramental and pastoral functions to another bishop more of my persuasion – a theologically indefensible arrangement.

    The significance of consecrating women bishops lies in what it tells Anglo-Catholics about their church. Some will believe that the CofE was, up until this point, an authentic part of the Catholic Church, but relinquished that status; others will conclude that the catholicity of the CofE has thereby been shown always to have been bogus. What is not going to be possible is to maintain a pretence of business as susual.

  67. Trey says:

    Profession of Faith: “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

  68. As background on the first mass exodus of Anglican Priests in 1994, I’d like to contribute this excerpt from the journal Anglican Embers of which I am now the editor.

    A month later, Graham Leonard and myself and four others were asked by Cardinal Hume to meet, and we became part of what later become known as a very serious set of meetings, meeting in Cardinal Hume’s house in Westminster. On the Anglican side was Graham Leonard himself. There was myself—I had recently been leader of the English Church Union, the General Secretary of it, and I was still leader of the catholic group in the General Synod. There was Father Christopher Colven who was Master of the Society of the Holy Cross, SSC. There was Father John Broadhurst who continued on to be the Anglican Bishop of Forward in Faith, and there was a previous chaplain of Graham Leonard’s called David Skeogh. On the Catholic side, and this shows the seriousness with which these meetings, I think, were treated, there was, of course, Cardinal Hume himself. There was Bishop Clark of Norwich, who had been on ARCIC. There was an assistant to Cardinal Hume, a person to watch, called Bishop Vincent Nichols, now Archbishop of Birmingham, and who could well be the successor in Westminster. There was the person who now is now in Westminster, then Bishop, but now Cardinal Murphy O’Connor. And there was Monsignor Phillip Carroll who was secretary to their Bishop’s Conference.
    There was one occasion when all twelve of those were meeting, in fact, in the Archbishop’s house in Westminster, when the Archbishop said that he had to go out to make a phone call. Eyebrows were raised because we wondered or we assumed where this phone call would be from. He came back into the room and he said, “I’ve just been talking to someone in Rome,” and then he went on to say, “a very senior person in Rome who asked me to tell you that in our deliberations we should remember Acts, chapter 15, verse 28.” There were five bishops of the Catholic Church, the Bishop of London, and many of us who were senior Anglican clergymen and not one of us knew what Acts 15:28 actually referred to. And so a little bell had to be rung, a little nun came in, and she was asked to get a Bible. The Bible came back and there are those crucial words: “Impose no greater burden than is necessary.” At that point Graham Leonard started to cry. There was a sense in which we had reached the possibility that our aspirations could come to fruition.
    After about a fortnight, he [Cardinal Hume] phoned me up and asked if I would come and see him. He said (remember he had been Headmaster of Ampleforth, one of the very famous Benedictine public schools in England), “Come and see me. I want to tell you how I got on with the Headmaster.” And so I went to see him and he said, “Oh yes, oh yes, the Headmaster, the Headmaster. I flew out to Rome last week with Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Birmingham, and Murphy O’Connor. And first of all we went to see the Headmaster, and as we went into his office, there he was, a big bear-like man, standing up, beaming. And he called me towards him and said, as he put his arms around me, ‘Basil, Basil! These Anglicans! Be generous. Be generous.’ We said at that point we thought we’d had better go and see the Deputy Headmaster. And so we went downstairs to Cardinal Ratzinger’s room, and it was all very German. His desk was at the end of a big long kind of corridor. He was writing away; he didn’t look up. We crept in; we sat in the corner like little schoolboys. And then he looked over his glasses, and he said, ‘Cardinal Hume? Be flexible. Be flexible.’”

    from a talk by Fr. Peter Geldard at the Anglican Use Conference at Catholic University of America, June 1, 2007, published in Anglican Embers, Volume 2, No. 4. Fr. Geldard was received into the Catholic Church and ordained, and is currently the Catholic chaplain at the University of Kent.

  69. Joe says:

    Trey, re #4, a bishop of the TAC told me that in dialogue with Curial officials, a proposal was discussed seriously to allow married bishops over the next 50 years, presuming they would go to their reward and not be replaced. This presumes that they are really bishops, and the TAC has spent (I was told) some energy and expense at verifying valid ordination of its bishops, and corrective ordination if required. Perhaps the delay in response to the TAC was to allow this all to mature a bit.

    Incidentally, the Popes would not have spoken of the Anglican Church except out of convenience or politeness. The Popes would have said Anglican Ecclesial Communion or some such thing, when speaking precisely and theologically, to avoid confusion, and to avoid recognizing the Episcopacy, which is required for a Church.

  70. JD Treat says:

    I find the idea that Rome would accept married bishops a bit hard to swallow. Again, TAC makes many announcements as it jockeys for position in the free for all that is Continuing Anglicanism. Are we to believe that this offer would apply to those with more than one living wife?

  71. Trey says:

    JD-

    “Anglo-Catholicism has, to my mind, survived with the strength it has had for the last 40 years because of the debased condition of the Catholic Church in many localities.”

    I would agree. Not just litugical nonsense either. My family remained Anglican
    for 5 more years after our experience in RCIA.

    We were told by a Radical Nun that there was no virgin birth… that it was all
    misogyny. She was a very bitter person … “catholic guilt” and all (though
    oddly enough, she grew up protestant. )Also, the priest talked a lot about “conscience” and birth control, etc. being something that was o.k. if you didn’t feel bad about it… There are many other things I could add, but you get the point…

    We remained in the Anglican communion b/c we were in a very orthodox parish in
    a relatively orthodox (if rather evangelical) diocese. When we discovered what was going on in the wider communion, one of the things that we justified staying with was the idea that in the
    AC at least the liberals were out in the open… There was a big sense of unease
    with being in a church with such rampant duplicity and hypocricy… progressives
    denying the faith, but claiming to be Catholic. This creates more cognitive dissonance I think when there are clear and authoritative teachings than in the muddle of the AC.

    But eventually our excuses were overcome by the realization of our need to be in communion with the successor of Peter, and of course, the need for the clear magisterial teaching of the Church.

    Anyway, thankfully, we found a faithful Catholic Parish that worships according
    to the Anglican Use, and a helpful, understanding and orthodox priest to give us
    counsel. Even if I haven’t been able to make sense of all of the post-conciliar
    non-sense just yet…

    And I must say, the generous provision of Pope John Paul II was very helpful and
    consoling to us in making the journey home… When my family was rec’vd by the Bishop at Advent, it was one of the happiest days of my life.

    Joe – you are right, of course, about the “church” issue. I was speaking somewhat
    carelessly… posting on a blog and not writing a legal text of course… but I did
    try to be clear in the majority of my posts that this is a community, not a church.

  72. For a sui iuris Church, I would like to see one un-revision of the Anglican Use—Restore the consecratatory formula in the Mass. It is completely out of place to take the ICEL paraphrase of the consecration and stick it in the midst of a beautiful translation of the Canon. Oh, and restore the translation of the Offertory Prayers that are found in the Anglican Missal. After SP, it seems odd to continue making them pray the Seder grace before meals at that offertory.

    Patrick,

    The Anglican Missal is a nasty piece of patchwork unlike it’s counterpart The Anglican Breviary, which saves most of the patchwork for the appendix.

    The Missal produced by W. Knott & Son (The English Missal) is so much superior. It is The Roman Missal in Elizabethan English. The only difference is that it uses the Sarum lectionary (i.e. with Sundays after Trinity) and saves the Roman one (I.e. with Sundays after Pentecost) for the appendix. Everything else, however, is strict Roman Missal content.

    http://www.amazon.com/English-Missal-Church-Union/dp/1853114219/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215016006&sr=1-1

    The so-called “Margaretine Breviary” (The English Breviary) complements it. However, these days it is harder to find than a yellow-bellied sapsucker.

    Finally, there is The Monastic Diurnal, which is still in print by Lancelot Andrewes Press.

    http://www.andrewespress.com/md.html

    -MJE

  73. Joe says:

    JD: perhaps. It was not an announcement but a conversation.

    Why the question about more than one living wife? I presume that any members of the TAC, starting at the top, would allow their marriages to be regulated according to Roman custom and law, as indeed the Greek Catholics do even if their Orthodox counterparts allow for a writ of dismissal.

  74. John R. says:

    I might note that Pope Pius XII reconciled a married Brazilian Old Catholic bishop in the 1950s. A solution might be to consecrate a few of them as Catholic bishops but mandate their successors be celibate. (I might note that Hepworth has said he would step aside to help the cause of unity. The decision will be the pope’s alone.)

    The Anglican Service Book published by Good Shepherd Episcopal Church near Philadelphia, Pa. might be a good starting point for the revision of the Book of Divine Worship because it is a much more Catholic revision of the Book of Common Prayer than the BDW.

  75. kat says:

    My husband and I came into the Church in 1999 directly from a lifetime in the Epsicopal Church. At first we thought we took a huge step backwards viewing the liturgical abuses and racket that passes for music in the average Roman Catholic Church, but we quickly found a home in the TLM. So… I think we should ook at these folks as potential allies in the resurrection of good liturgy. These are people used to dressing modestly for services, with an ear for more historical hymns, and an appreciation for the smells and bells.
    Maybe we should send postcards asking them to attend the local TLM, we might get some real enthusiasts!

  76. Jayna says:

    Maybe the Church will finally get back some of those lovely churches in England that were stolen from her in the 16th century.

  77. Maybe the Church will finally get back some of those lovely churches in England that were stolen from her in the 16th century.

    I certainly hope not! Considering what the Roman Catholics in Britain and Ireland have done to the historic churches in their charge. Rather we should pray for the total conversion of Britain and (the Protestants in) Ireland. This way the historic churches will still be under the care of the state (thus subject to historic preservation laws), but will be used by Roman Catholics. At the moment, the state seems preferable to the rather iconoclastic Catholic hierarchy in the Isles.

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