The Telegraph: Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit

A reader sent a tip about this story in The Telegraph.

Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Senior Church of England bishops have held secret talks with Vatican officials to discuss the crisis in the Anglican communion over gays and women bishops.

They met senior advisers of the Pope in an attempt to build closer ties with the Roman Catholic Church, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not told of the talks and the disclosure will be a fresh blow to his efforts to prevent a major split in the Church of England.

In highly confidential discussions, a group of conservative bishops expressed their dismay at the liberal direction of the Church of England and their fear for its future.

They met members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most powerful of the Vatican’s departments, the successor to the medieval Inquisition, [Just in case you were wondering if the old chestnuts of anti-popery ever went away…]  which enforces doctrine and was headed by Pope Benedict XVI before his election.

The names of the bishops are known to The Sunday Telegraph, but they have asked for anonymity because the talks are of such a sensitive and potentially explosive nature.

The disclosure comes on the eve of a critical vote as members of the General Synod – the Church’s parliament – prepare to decide whether to allow women to be bishops without giving concessions to staunch opponents.

Up to 600 clergy gave warning in a letter to Dr Williams that they may leave the Church unless they receive a legal right to havens within the Church free of women bishops.

In separate developments, three diocesan bishops wrote to the archbishop supporting the threat and two other bishops have said they are preparing to leave the Church. The letter from the Bishops of Chichester [There once was a bishop from Chichester,…] , Blackburn and Europe – seen by The Sunday Telegraph – argues that traditionalist clergy will not be able to "maintain an honoured place" in the Church without sufficient legislation.

"Clearly the ordination of women as bishops would divide the Church of England even more fundamentally than the ordination of women as priests," it says.

"This issue is one which touches all members of the Church of England and not just those with synodical voting rights. In the light of this we are convinced that some form of separate identities will be required to enable the holders of mutually incompatible convictions about the faith and order of the Church to remain in as high a degree of continuing fellowship as possible."

However, while the letter shows that there is deep disquiet in the most senior ranks of the Church, the meetings with Rome will be of far greater concern to Dr Williams.

One bishop involved in the talks, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was left with no option. "The Church of England is becoming more and more like the American Church. Those of us who hold to traditional orthodoxy are very concerned about the direction it seems to be moving in."

The Anglican communion has been arguing over homosexuality since the American Church made Gene Robinson the first openly gay bishop and issued rites for same-sex unions. Conservatives are concerned that gay blessing services are being conducted in Britain and last month this newspaper revealed that a “wedding” ceremony was held for two gay priests. The issue of homosexual priests is likely to feature strongly at this month’s Lambeth Conference of worldwide Anglican bishops.

Now the Church of England is poised to endorse women bishops — a move that will seriously damage its relations with the Roman Catholic Church and could force hundreds of clergy to defect to Rome.

"These are the presenting issues that have made talks necessary, but our concerns go much deeper than these rows to issues of basic doctrine," the bishop said. "I have to be loyal to the parishes in my diocese and to the Gospel and that’s why I felt I had to do something.W"

Another bishop said: "The internal pressure of the Anglican communion has pushed us apart and we’re committed to greater unity with Rome. There can be no future for Christianity in Europe without Rome.[Indeed.]

The Pope’s enthusiasm for bringing traditional Anglicans into the fold was shown in 2003 when as Cardinal he sent greetings to a group of conservative churchmen meeting in Texas in protest at the election of Bishop Robinson. The Pope and Dr Williams enjoy a strong relationship, which they are keen to maintain.

However, a former aide to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, said that the dialogue with the Anglican bishops only started after the crisis in the Anglican communion worsened. "It is obvious things are starting to fall apart and Rome wants to be able to help if it can," he said.

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, said: "A number of Church of England bishops are looking at the options open to them should things go wrong at the Lambeth Conference. Some are hoping for accommodation with the Catholic Church, but yet maintaining their Anglican identity."

The Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Rev Martyn Jarrett said: “In the tragic circumstances that the Church of England takes decisions which make it impossible to walk with it anymore we would want to understand more where we are in relation to wider Catholic Christendom.

“Anglo-Catholics have always had a particular concern for re-union with the Holy See. No matter what might happen Anglo-Catholics will continue to be at the forefront of that dialogue and explanation.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, used his Synod address yesterday to attack members of the "breakaway" Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans — accusing them of "ungracious" behaviour.

Lambeth Palace declined to comment.

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100 Responses to The Telegraph: Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit

  1. prof. basto says:

    This is the kind of Ecumenism I like!

    The one in which the Catholic Church is respected for Her vibrant identity, vibrant defense of Faith and Morals, the one in which nothing is watered-down, and in which, instead, our position is clearly stated, without doctrinal concessions. That’s the kind of Ecumenism that works, bringing people into the one Church of Christ, the Catholic Church.

    Concessions, diplomatic language, watered down doctrine can never produce such a result.

  2. Old-Faithful says:

    The fact is “you reap what you sow.” The Anglican “communion” chose schism and heresy 400 years ago. Now they reap what they sowed: sodomy called “marriage” and woman called “bishops.” Why that is worse than woman called “priest” is beyond me.

    The proper reply is clear: “Do you remounce your heresies and all your errors, both theological and moral?”

    If there is an unequivical “yes, by God and the Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.” Then the answer should be:

    Welcome to the Catholic Church in which you will be a layman in full communion after, and only after, you make a general confession to a priest.

    Any other “union” is the same kind of compromised nonsense that they have been playing in their own denomination since they approved of contraception as am moral good back in the 1930s. And that is one of the things each Anglican needs to be questioned on before they become a Catholic Christian, indeed before they can claim they are a Christian.

  3. Ben says:

    I believe that the reason why many traditional Anglicans stayed after female priests but now can’t stay after female Bishops is because of Apostolic Succession. They are traditional enough to truely believe in Apostolic Succession and also that only males can be priests. They believe that the church erred in deciding in favor for women priests but could stay and disagree and try to do something about changing it while having nothing to do with it in thier parishes. But once non-ordained(women) “bishops” entered the mix, even the male priesthood for the future could end up being invalid for them. Of course for them to truely convert they will have to conceed that their priesthood may be in fact invaid also. But I can see how this is abviously the “last straw” for and Anglican who still believes in a male priesthood and Apostolic Succession.

  4. Ben says:

    I believe that the reason why many traditional Anglicans stayed after female priests but now can\’t stay after female Bishops is because of Apostolic Succession. They are traditional enough to truely believe in Apostolic Succession and also that only males can be priests. They believe that the church erred in deciding in favor for women priests but could stay and disagree and try to do something about changing it while having nothing to do with it in thier parishes. But once non-ordained(women) \”bishops\” entered the mix, even the male priesthood for the future could end up being invalid for them. Of course for them to truely convert they will have to conceed that their priesthood may be in fact invaid also. But I can see how this is abviously the \”last straw\” for and Anglican who still believes in a male priesthood and Apostolic Succession.

  5. Susan Peterson says:

    I think we can leave it to the Holy Father to set the proper conditions for the TAC and for these bishops and for any other Anglicans who come knocking.
    Susan Peterson

  6. Austin says:

    Old Faithful: Do you recall whose behaviour was commended in the parable of the
    prodigal son? And who composed the story? I think the standard for reconciliation
    has been set; your suggested improvements don’t seem prompted by the same spirit.

  7. LCB says:

    Holy Italics Batman! Fr. Z, you forgot a tag somewhere, and the whole blog (after this posting), and all the comments in this thread (but not other threads) are in italics.

    Feel free to delete so the thread doesn’t get derailed.

  8. Matthew Mattingly says:

    It’s rather shocking for the Vatican to be involved in talks to try to hold the Church of England/Anglican Communion together, when fifty-sixty years ago, the Catholic Church wold be absolutely triumphant at the splintering and coming disintegration of the Anglican Communion, anticipating a large group to flee error and return to the True Faith. IN those days, there would be no real accomodation to Angllican sensibilities or Anglican traditions.
    Now, it’s all a very much wishy-washy Vatican, rather than standing tall in the truth of Catholic Faith and Tradition and sayinf proudly ” You are in error, you are disntegrating….we offer the True Faith, you are welcome home–instead we hear of secrete meetings not intent on trying to win souls for Christ and the true Catholic Faith, but giving advice for the Anglicans to keep their Protestant Faith afloat. and survive as Protestants.
    If the Vatican in these talks is offering Anglicans a back door to re-convernt en masse to the Catholic Faith, that’s great. But if they are just offering basically counciling sessions about how to keep a Protestant Church together and not fall apart, then that’s a betrayal of Catholic Faith and tradition of 400+ years in dealing with Protestant groups, and should be repudiated.

  9. Michael says:

    I can see no reason why all those Anglicans together with their clergy and bishops, if they accept the Catholic doctrine in its fullness which would imply ordination, or some cases perhaps conditional ordination, and a minor modification of the liturgy, could not be received into the Church en bloc, while retaining their Anglican identity, including diocesan structure, on the pattern of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

    The problems are our hierarchies and ordinary traditional laity. The hierarchies, because they would have to compete with a new, fully Catholic hierarchy – they would rather keep the “intruders” out and “dialogue” with them. And the ordinary traditionalists, because they can’t take on board the possibility of any other but “Roman” Catholicism (as conceived by them): can you imagine a traditionalist ever going to fulfil his Sunday obligation in the Anglican Rite Catholic Church?

  10. Warren Anderson says:

    Yep, we’re seeing Henry’s appropriation of authority coming to fruition. And, that fruit has hit the ground and rotted. Let each Anglican enter the catechumenate as laymen. Perhaps they will help inspire luke warm cradle Catholics to get with the program.

  11. Syriacus says:

    Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ
    For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
    For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me.
    O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
    May I know Thee more clearly,
    Love Thee more dearly,
    Follow Thee more nearly,
    Day by day.

  12. pio says:

    I heard in Journey home that Anglicans approaching Rome are very conservative
    – in fact too conservative for the English Roman Catholic hierarchy. The
    state of the RC Church in England is not very good. attendance is falling.
    wishy washy preaching. tasteless liturgy. Anglicans are repelled by this and
    the English RC hierarchy do not want them either. So the Anglicans are
    approaching Rome to enter in as a bloc, more as an Eastern Catholic church.
    with their own rite, married clergy and stuff.
    when women were ordained in the 90s, in the Anglican Church, clergy and laity
    tried to swim the Tiber. However their experience with the English RC
    hierarchy was terrible. So now they go to Rome directly.
    Let us pray for our Anglican brothers and sisters. Lord Please bring
    our brothers and sisters home to us. Audi Nos, Exaudi Domine.
    = pio

  13. Mark says:

    Religious identities that are partially rooted in one’s ethnicity never made any sense to me. The Anglican Church, at its inception and during its existence, clearly had, and still retains to some extent, an ethnic flavor to it. It exists today under the shadow of a rapidly changing local culture that is more and more incompatible with the teachings of our Lord. I applaud those Anglican Bishops and their faithful who want to get out from under this local shadow and enter into the full communion with the Universal Church.

  14. Simon Platt says:

    Old Faithful’s language may be intemperate but his basic premise is sound.

    There was an anglican minister writing in the Telegraph the other day complaining that the C of E would “become a sect” if it were to ordain women bishops. Exactly the same complaint about “becoming a sect” was made a few years ago when the C of E first ordained women priests. I would welcome anglican converts with great joy, but please let it be on a sound basis – the sincere conversion of heart and recognition that the C of E became a sect 400-odd years ago. Then they would indeed show the humility and repentance of the prodigal son.

  15. Fr J says:

    A note: the letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York was in fact signed by 1’333 Licensed CofE clergy, 11 of them active Bishops.

    The real issue here for the Anglicans in England is money – apart from “orthodoxy”. If they are accomodated for financially and structurally to remain in the CofE distanced from women bishops, retaining their stipends, houses and churches, they will be less interested in becoming Roman Catholics. If they are not successful in attaining such an accomodation as above, they will seek to find a way of moving forward into communion with Rome.

    However, a question for the Holy See might be, whether or not it wants to deal with different pockets of disaffected Anglicans around the world, nation by nation, or seek to bring them all together under one provision. The Traditional Anglican Communion already has talks with Rome, they at least left over the ordination of women as priests over thirty years ago and their membership has been joined by various others as different Anglican churches voted in favour of the notion. Will these “conservative Bishops” want their own solution from Rome or join in the talks with the TAC? There are other not insignificant ecclesial entities of traditionalist Anglicans too that would be interested in dialogue with Rome as well, as well as various orthodox Old Catholic jurisdictions aside from the PNCC… Would the Holy See come up with an offer for all these groups?

    As the gap between East and West seems to lessen, and in the West smaller schisms seem to want reconciliation… we are living in interesting times! Will the Holy Father recognise the potential here for rejuvenation of the Church… or will old bias and prejudices prevent “ut unum sint”?!

    As an aside, HE Bishop Conry (Arundel & Brighton) told a delegation of CofE Synod representatives in a closed meeting, that he personally had no problem with the idea of women priests or bishops…?! Go figure!

  16. Geoff says:

    That fifth paragraph is something of a marvel, isn’t it? Every cliche of Catholic reporting crammed into one small space.

  17. Cathguy says:

    I disagree with those who say that these orthodox Anglicans should only come in as layman. I think that is preposterous.

    The pastoral provision has provided the Church with some great priests. I agree that anyone coming into the Church (under the Pastoral Provision or as a future layman) ought to vow that he believes ALL that the Church teaches without reservation. For would-be Anglican converts, I agree that a certain emphasis should be placed on Casti Connubii and Humane Vitae (they, after all, introduced the first big break with traditional sexuality morality at Lambeth 1930… Its always the Anglicans pushing the envelope… Geesh)

    That said, I think if they want to come home we should welcome them with open arms. We are talking about saving souls here.

    And don’t forget, we could have had a GREAT MANY MORE Anglican and Epsicopal converts come into the Church in the 1990s, but Bishops (and many priests) in the US and England were MUCH LESS than welcoming.

    Politics…

  18. A church (read: ecclesial organization or sect) which began from immorality (adultery of King Henry VIII) will end that way. For some centuries it was able to protect its position – but it will not be able to continue. The voices of the English Martyrs, of the Cornish martyrs from the Western Rising, of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More cry to the Lamb of God for the conversion of England and all of Britain. Which the German sister Bl. Anna Katharina Emmerick in her visions on the End Times for the (Catholic) Church called “that prideful and faithless island”…..

    I hope one thing will be achieved though: that the native Sarum or Salisbury Use – restored to English churches in 1535 by the aggressive decrees of the sad and immoral King Henry VIII the Schismatic – of the Roman Rite will be implemented in these reconciling ex-Anglican parishes and communities, and that thus the ‘English flavour’ which nourished the beautiful churches and destroyed abbeys, may be restored to the Catholic world. This would be beautiful. The only mistake of Queen Mary in 1555 was to implement the Curial Missal from Rome in England, as if the Salisbury liturgy had never been correct. It was.

    God bless England.

  19. Simon Platt says:

    This English traditionalist certainly cannot imagine his fulfilling his Sunday obligation at an “Anglican Rite Catholic Church”, and can see several reasons why the status of the C of E can never be like that of the eastern catholic churches.

    Here are two,

    1. Such a thing could hardly be possible without a repudiation of the 39 articles, to which I understand all people taking office in the C of E (e.g. as vicars and a fortiori, I suppose, as bishops) are still required to subscribe. For those who are not familiar with these founding articles of the C of E, they deny several basis tenets of catholic doctrine, especially touching the sacraments. The very essence of anglicanism is that it is not catholic.

    2. The very rites themselves were derived to replace and repudiate the sacrifice of the mass.

    And I, for one, strongly dislike the term “Roman” Catholic, because some people in England, including many in the C of E who consider themselves “catholic”, abuse the adjective to imply that you can be “catholic” despite not being in communion with the Pope, or that (“Roman”) catholicism is somehow foreign, or both.

    Let sincere anglicans convert, by all means, and let us encourage them strongly, and let us pray that they will enrich the church individually (I know several who have done so) but let them not have their cake and eat it.

  20. Houghton G. says:

    I too would urge some caution. Anglicanism originated in the centrifugal forces that broke Christendom apart in the 16thc, in a huge power grab by the kings (and city councils in the case of city-states). The attachment to Englishness among Anglicans needs to be accommodated in the same way that inculturation is permitted to Catholics around the globe. But that inculturation can and has gone too far–whether in \”Americanism\” of the 19thc or the AmChurch monstrosity of the last four decades or some aspects of inculturation in non-Western areas of the world.

    That having been said, if the Anglo-Catholics truly are prepared to subscribe to all the formal teachings of the Catholic Church, to emend their Anglican Use to bring into explicit (rather than merely interpretive) conformity with the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass, then I see no problem with an Anglican Rite within the Catholic Church. They did preserve many aspects of traditional Catholic sensiblities that the leaders of the Roman Rite in the US and Western Europe threw overboard during the past four decades and thus solid Anglo-Catholics could actually be helpful in the Reform of the Reform in the Roman Rite.

    But somehow, they need to learn to manage their \”Anglicanism\” in the same way that Catholics in all cultures need to manage inculturation properly.

  21. Houghton G. says:

    One question for those closer to the British scene. How much of the purported foot-dragging on the part of the English Roman Catholic hierarchy with regard to an Anglican Use goes back to the ancient antipathy between Irish Catholics and Anglican English elites? Did not the contempt in which the Irish were held by elite English extend also even to non-Irish Catholics during the years of disenfranchisement of Catholics in England? How much of that snobbery (and reaction against that snobbery) still is percolating beneath the surface?

    And shouldn’t Anglo-Catholics, representing that tradition of English chauvinism, with both its strengths and weaknesses, face up to and repent of those centuries of not merely brutal persecution of the Irish, but also, the, perhaps more pernicious, cultural snobbery directed against Catholics?

    Exactly how to do that, I have no idea, but it does seem like the wounds of those centuries of un-Christian conduct, even if it was begun for “state reasons” and thus present-day Anglo-Catholics may not feel like they are personally linked to it, are still present and ought to be addressed? I can understand how difficult it would be, since today the Anglo-Catholics are on the receiving end of the power-political lash within the Church of England as the gay activists and feminists beat them over the head. But there was a time for two or so centuries when they were more nearly in the ascendancy? (Perhaps that will be disputed–that the Evangelicals and Latitudinarians were the real snobs and power-holders over all those centuries. And perhaps that’s the way it was.)

  22. Broadsword says:

    “Ungracious” behavior…? Who knew that the refusal to abandon principles amounted to ungracious behavior? Is abandoning the need for the Grace of God, gracious behavior…?

  23. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Houghton G

    “How much of the purported foot-dragging on the part of the English Roman Catholic hierarchy with regard to an Anglican Use goes back to the ancient antipathy between Irish Catholics and Anglican English elites?”

    Crikey! I don’t know, but I should say you have things the wrong way round. I think there were very few Irish in England until the early to mid 19th century, and the persecution of catholics was, of course, well established by then (and, in fact, diminishing). I think that there are very good reasons for opposing an “Anglican Use”.

    There is snobbery though. Just the other day on a blog somewhere I read the repugnant jibe “Italian mission” – by which the writer, probably an “anglo-catholic”, meant the one holy, catholic and apostolic church.

  24. Matthew Mattingly says:

    “can you imagine a traditionalist ever going to fulfil his Sunday obligation in the Anglican Rite Catholic Church?”

    The answer in one word……..NO !!

  25. Fr Ray Blake says:

    In England it is so much a question of the use of a particular liturgical form that matters, most Anglo-Catholics use the Roman Missal anyway, the real question is the accomodation of parish communities, and structures in some form, as well as a style of worship.
    The previous group of converts, when women were ordained priest was mainly clergy, accomodation was made for married clergy but nothing was done for the laity. Consequently very few swam the Tiber, of those who did many were forced to go through a RCIA programme.
    The problem the Bishops should address is making the transition as easy as possible, and welcoming “group reconcilliations”.

  26. Fr Ray Blake says:

    Should have read:

    In England it NOT is so much a question ……..

  27. Jacob says:

    An interesting point I remember a few years ago was that even with all the legal separations they could want, the Anglo-Catholics are just deluding themselves if they stay in the Church of England if women bishops are approved. The point made was that if women are approved as bishops, it would only be a matter of time before the government got PC enough to appoint a woman as the Archbishop of Canterbury and then what would the traditionalists do with a woman at the head of the Church of England? How could they stay in communion with a church whose head’s orders they didn’t recognize as valid?

    It’s time for them to make a clean break.

  28. RBrown says:

    I believe that the reason why many traditional Anglicans stayed after female priests but now can’t stay after female Bishops is because of Apostolic Succession.

    If Apostolic Succession were the determining factor, I would think they would have left some time ago.

    They are traditional enough to truely believe in Apostolic Succession and also that only males can be priests. They believe that the church erred in deciding in favor for women priests but could stay and disagree and try to do something about changing it while having nothing to do with it in thier parishes. But once non-ordained(women) “bishops” entered the mix, even the male priesthood for the future could end up being invalid for them. Of course for them to truely convert they will have to conceed that their priesthood may be in fact invaid also. But I can see how this is abviously the “last straw” for and Anglican who still believes in a male priesthood and Apostolic Succession.
    Comment by Ben

    IMHO, many Anglicans remained C of E simply because Anglicanism is so identified with the English identity. For them leaving the C of E is like renouncing English citizenship.

    The issue of women bishops is evidence that Leo XIII and Apostolicae Curae was correct.

  29. RichR says:

    I’ve read some TAC blogs, and they seem to say that there have been many “last straws” that have come and gone. They say, “This is it, if they pass this, I’m going over to Rome,” it passes, and they stay. The cycle repeats.

    Why should this be different?

    To all the TAC’s (Traditional Anglo-Catholics) out there, I say this:

    “Come on in, the water’s fine” There’s never been a better time to swim the Tiber. We need your esthetic sense of liturgy! It’s a sense that many in the Church are trying to remember!

  30. Flabellum says:

    The accomodation of bishops and priests will be subject to a very clear and firm directive from the CDF approved ‘in forma specifica’ by His Holiness. It is the arrangements for the laity where there is the greatest scope for unsympathetic priests to simply impose the one-size-fits all RCIA process rather than being genuinely and genereously welcoming.

  31. Andrew says:

    If these Anglicans joined the Catholic Church, they would most likely become Anglican Use Roman Catholics who use a form of the Book of Common Prayer adapted to the Mass, and are in communion with Rome. This is a good way to bring some more people under the Pope. I suggest that some of you go to the Website of Our Lady of Walshingham Roman Catholic Church so as to see what a wonderful community these Anglican Use Roman Catholics are. They are traditional and they love God, which is the important thing. They have adapted the language of the Book of Common Prayer to the Catholic Mass, and they have the support of Rome. If these Anglicans join with Rome, I believe that we should support them.

  32. LCB says:

    The people we want teaching our RCIA classes are Traditional Anglicans. For that matter, let them plan the liturgy too. They shouldn’t be treated as standard converts because, well, they aren’t standard converts. The standard RCIA program at St. Ipsydipsy-on-Avon, taught by Sr. Feelgood, isn’t going to cut it.

    Consider the following:

    Tony Blair, after going through personal RCIA from Cdl. Cormac’s trusted aided, AND then being personally received into the Church by Cdl. Cormac himself, did not feel the need to either repudiate or change his positions on abortion, contraception, and a host of other anti-Catholic stances. Indeed, since reception into the Church he CONTINUES to advocate and lobby for such positions.

    Consider the following:

    If anything can serve for a model of English RCIA, it’s Tony Blair’s conversion process. Subjecting Traditional Anglicans to such a process would be unfair to them, and drive many away from the faith. When the former Prime Minister receives personally instruction, and is then personally received by the Cardinal, and then publicly advocates for anti-Catholic positions, one must begin to suspect that perhaps these beliefs are totally in line with the Cardinal who received him and refuses to correct him.

    The cold reception by the ultra-liberal hierarchy kept many away 15 years ago. It’s good that the ultra-liberal English hierarchy is being passed-over on this one. They blew a chance at Church unity two decades ago, and we don’t want a repeat.

  33. They have adapted the language of the Book of Common Prayer to the Catholic Mass

    In fact, their English translation of the Roman Canon is vastly superior to anything English-speaking Roman Catholics have experienced in the Novus Ordo.

    and they have the support of Rome.

    Indeed, I understand that the Anglican Use provision was the “baby” of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith.

  34. “The only mistake of Queen Mary in 1555 was to implement the Curial Missal from Rome in England, as if the Salisbury liturgy had never been correct. It was.”

    Queen Mary enforced the restoration of the Sarum Rite when she came to the throne.

    The Roman Missal was introduced into England by the Jesuits and “seminary priests”
    who were educated in Europe in order to keep the Catholic Church in England alive.

  35. For all the misinformed, ignorant and bigoted “traditionalist” Catholics here
    who seem to think that there is no expression of Catholicism apart from
    the TLM, here is the proof that there is an excellent “Anglican Catholic” liturgy,
    vastly superior to the Novus Ordo:

    http://www.fssm.info/FSSM/FSSM%20Mass2.pdf

    Incidentally, the various Anglican Missals in use today often feature the pre-1956
    Holy Week rites.

    Finally, just a comment: a particularly bigoted poster here is a certain
    “Matthew Mattingly”, whose posts here are suspiciously similar in style, content,
    word spacing, and even personal idiosyncracies to those of a certain “Kenjiro
    Shoda” in NLM. Whoever that person is (if there is indeed but one person behind both aliases), his capacity for poisoning the discourse here
    and in other blog comboxes has really reached an intolerable level. I’m sure I’m
    not the only one to have noticed!

  36. Emilio III says:

    I seems fitting to read this on the anniversary of Thomas More’s execution.

    “O GOD, who amid the pleasures of this world, and likewise amidst the sorrows of imprisonment and death, didst grant thy blessed Martyr Thomas grace with cheerfulness and courage to embrace thy Cross : mercifully grant, that by his intercession and example ; we may be counted worthy readily to strive for faith and righteousness, and and to attain in gladness unto everlasting felicity. Through…” — The Anglican Breviary

  37. Simon Platt says:

    Queen Mary enforced the restoration of the Sarum Rite when she came to the throne.

    The Roman Missal was introduced into England by the Jesuits and “seminary priests” who were educated in Europe in order to keep the Catholic Church in England alive.

    Carlos is certainly correct, not least because Queen Mary was long dead by the time the revised Roman missal was published in 1570.

    I suspect also that the Sarum rite was a casualty of Quo Primum inasmuch as it had been suppressed by the protestants and therefore did not have 200 years’ continuous use at 1570. Or perhaps someone who knows more could correct me?

  38. Simon Platt says:

    Emilio: are you sure? “blessed martyr Thomas”? In an anglican breviary? Thomas More? Not another Thomas?

    In contrast, one October a few years ago I was in York. Outside the Minster (the cathedral there, now protestant) there was a board advertising the feasts for the forthcoming few days. One of them was in honour of Martin Luther. His feast day, apparently, is 31 October.

  39. Fr. Anthony says:

    Reading this string of comments, I am very alarmed at the viciousness and bigotry of those who would like the proper Roman authorities to impose conditions like receiving all Anglicans as individual converts, laymen and catechumens subject to special discipline and instruction.

    As an Anglican, a priest in the TAC, and professing the entire Catholic Faith as do all our Bishops, I find these comments highly offensive. Of course, we are confident that the Holy Father and the distinguished Prelates and officials he appoints to affect our formal union with the Holy See of Rome will think and act differently. We are not going through the SSPX or the sedevacantists – but through the big wide front door, the Pope and the Roman Curia.

    Certainly, we will be treated differently from ‘ordinary’ traditionalists, and the traditionalists will certainly learn moderation and humility when they find the Church does not depend on their whims and prejudice.

    I would be tempted to say that all these narrow-minded bigots deserve is having their pride worn away both by years of mediocre Novus Ordo masses (with banality and abuses) and secularist pressure. But I am not vindictive, and hope and pray that they and we Catholic-minded Anglicans will all have our place in the Church, praying for each other, getting over our prejudice and ignorance, and going the same way towards the celestial Kingdom of God.

  40. Simon Platt says:

    Carlos,

    I always avoid the “b” word because my own experience has been that those who use it are often themselves rather intolerant. I hope you don’t mind my saying this, and I don’t mean to impute anything specific in your case, but when people cry “bigot” they tend to lose my sympathies. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  41. Simon Platt says:

    I’m sorry to post off-topic Father, but I have just heard that a small boy was run down by a car and killed in the street near my house – please all pray for him and for his family whom the police are trying to find.

  42. Dear Simon:

    I don’t mind your comments about the “b” word. It is certainly an interesting observation,
    and at least you expressed it in a manner worthy of a much higher level of discourse.

    This is one of the very few times I’ve used that word anywhere, and in this
    rather exceptional case, I believe I have good reasons for doing so.

  43. Supertradmom says:

    The crisis is also connected to the fact that Great Britain still has a “national religion” and that the Queen is the Supreme Head of the Church. Now, many Catholics have come to realize that this national religion has, ironically, kept religion to the forefront of modern life in Great Britain, while in secular nations, like the United States, many public expressions of Faith have disappeared. I believe there is a concern that if the Anglican Community breaks up completely, the floodgates of secularism will open and any semblance of Christianity will vanish from the public forum. We Catholics are a very small minority in Great Britain and cooperation with our brothers and sisters in Christ is important for all of us.

    Having said this, I welcome the conversions of so many Anglicans after the acceptance of women priests and have been in parishes where these wonderful men, of course, now Catholic priests properly ordained, have served with their families. I sincerely hope for more converts to the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church, as I have seen these good and talented people bring so much to us, but I do grieve to see the scandal of a disintegrating Anglican community, which will happen, leaving many people confused. The fall-out from the English Revolt continues. Thankfully, England is “Mary’s Dower” and she will watch over us.

    In conclusion, I have been to the Anglican usage parish in Houston. Such a liturgy is beautiful and may serve to comfort those who come in at the loss of their great heritage of respectful liturgies-I write of “high Anglicans” here, as the “low Anglicans”, whose theology and worship is that of the Congregationalists, are not as likely to join us RCs.

  44. “I suspect also that the Sarum rite was a casualty of Quo Primum inasmuch as it had been suppressed by the protestants and therefore did not have 200 years’ continuous use at 1570. Or perhaps someone who knows more could correct me?”

    The Sarum Use marriage service was, in fact, last published as late as 1611, and when
    Quo Primum was published there were still many English Catholic priests both in
    the continent and in England itself who were celebrating Mass and the sacraments
    according to the Sarum Use. The Sarum Use seems to have died with the passing of
    the last priests of the pre-Elizabethan church in the first decades of the 1600’s.

    The Sarum Use was considered as covered by the provisions
    of Quo Primum. Unfortunately, some Uses of the Roman Rite that were supposed to have
    been preserved by Quo Primum disappeared: the Sarum, York, Hereford and Bangor
    Uses, the Use of Paris (late in the 16th century, not to be confused with the Neo-Gallican Parisian Rite that arose in the 1700’s), the Use of Cologne, the Use of Aquileia,
    the various Spanish Uses that were suppressed in the 1570’s and 80’s by Philip II
    in the name of liturgical uniformity, etc.

    It is also certain that the Roman Curia suggested the revival of the Sarum Use
    when Westminster Cathedral was being built.

  45. Michael says:

    Simon Platt is right in his Nos.1 and 2, but what I suggested was subject to the full acceptance of the Catholic doctrine, ordination or conditional ordination, and a modification of their liturgy accordingly. I understand it had been done in some American parishes some time ago, and I see no reason why a diocesan structure couldn’t be set up to accommodate this solution.

    G. Houghton has interpreted me correctly, and it is worth citing him in full: “if the Anglo-Catholics truly are prepared to subscribe to all the formal teachings of the Catholic Church, to emend their Anglican Use to bring into explicit (rather than merely interpretive) conformity with the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass, then I see no problem with an Anglican Rite within the Catholic Church.”

    I think that is what the Holy Father wants, but might be reluctant to go against local hierarchies. If, however, it goes through, it would be a full communion but different jurisdiction vis a vis local hierarchies, and no reason – as it isn’t with the Eastern Rites – why a Catholic, however traditional, should be reluctant to fulfil his Sunday obligation in the Anglican version of the Catholic Mass and receive sacraments there. It would be a communion, not intercommunion.

    What I fear is that the Holy Father would find the idea diffucult to implement, because of a resistence of some hierarchies, and many traditionalists who would turn out to be more Catholic than the Pope.

  46. Bryan Jackson says:

    Is there a reason all of the comments for this entry are italicized?

  47. Emilio III says:

    Simon: this is from The Anglican Breviary under SUPPLEMENT OF FEASTS FOR CERTAIN PLACES (for July 9th). In case there is any doubt about the identity :-) after the Collect above, is this “For the Legend:

    THOMAS More became one of the most eminent judges in England. He was very friendly with the monks of the Charterhouse, where as a young man he dwelt as a guest for the space of four years for the purpose of serving God more strictly. There he learnt to chastise his body and bring it into subjection with haircloth and scourging, and during the whole of his life he never ceased thus to bear about in it the dying of the Lord Jesus. He served the state for nearly forty years, during which he discharged honourable embassies, and took with the highest credit the exalted post of Lord High Chancellor of All England. * When Henry VIII, King of England, put away Katherine of Aragon and took unto himself Anne Boleyn, he would have all men declare with an oath that the latter union was lawful. But this oath Thomas refused, along with the Bishop of Rochester, and therefore he was cast into prison. Where he shewed no sign of grief, but forasmuch as he was naturally of a very merry heart and of great steadfastness, he there entertained with marvellous kindliness all that came unto him, being accustomed to say that this whole world is nothing but a prison, whereout some of us are called every day to take our trial. And after fourteen months, he was judged a traitor, because he scrupled to declare that the King was the head of the Church. * Upon the day before his death, having been deprived of the ordinary means of writing, he wrote with a coal a letter to his daughter full of his fatherly love for her, wherein he protested to her his eager desire to die and see God. On the morrow, being the 6th day of July, 1535, when he had prayed and called upon the people to bear him witness that he was dying for the Catholic Faith, his head was cut off. The whole Christian world gave a cry and called out that he was indeed a Martyr for Christ. And in 1936 a solemn decree of canonization confirmed the same judgement. (For a III Noct, Lessons from Common 5, series 3.)

  48. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Carlos,

    Thank you for your various comments.

  49. John Polhamus says:

    “It is also certain that the Roman Curia suggested the revival of the Sarum Use
    when Westminster Cathedral was being built.”

    It is certain that the revival of the Use of Sarum was offered, but Card. Wiseman decided that since the mass as it had been reintroduced by the Jesuits had become the de facto norm, and since many had been martyred for it, that it had become – just as in Cardinal Heenan’s time an indispensible expression of cultural identity in the face of the established religion, and further that – not unlike today – there probably would have been significant resistance from clergy at having to provide for the requirements of a more elaborate liturgy (in this case even more elborate than the Tridentine), Pius IX accepted Wiseman’s refusal without much ado. I doubt that there was too much time spent in reaching that mutual decision…more’s the pity!

  50. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Emilio,

    Thanks. That was interesting. I had a look at the anglican breviary you linked to. I’m afraid I don’t think any of the anglicans round here would recognise it – in fact, I’m sure they wouldn’t as I notice from the website that it’s

    a singularly American achievement.

    I see also that

    The Anglican Breviary is a direct translation of the pre-Vatican II Roman Breviary, “put into English in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer.”

    Hence the veneration of St. Thos. More, which struck me as being extraordinary in an anglican liturgical book. But this isn’t an anglican book. It’s a catholic book translated by a group of non-catholics.

    I think it’s a pretty eccentric document and I doubt that it has any significance for the C of E and, specifically, for the groups about whom the Telegraph article is written.

    I would say that it had no authority, except that, and without trying to be funny, I don’t really think we can say that anything in the anglican world has authority, at least not with a capital “A”.

  51. Simon Platt says:

    PS

    It was interesting though. I’d never seen anything like it. Thanks!

  52. LCB says:

    A few thoughts:

    1) Fr. Anthony, a big point of contention seems to be the 39 Articles. How do you feel those play into this situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    2) Concerning Sarum, Papa Ratzinger has repeatedly (both as Cdl. and Pope) shown a great deal of friendliness towards alternative expressions of the Roman Rite. What one Pope suspends, another Pope can bring back (and if the Rite is declared to have the Force of Tradition, prevent from ever being suspended again).

    3) If these Anglicans swim the Tiber, I’m totally going to Anglican Use for Mass. The liturgy is so much more reverent.

  53. will this stop the italics?

  54. Margaret says:

    I think the italics are an anomaly of the website itself, not just the combox. When I go back to the main page, all Fr. Z’s entries prior to this one are also italicized…

  55. CTrent1564 says:

    As a life long Catholic, I would welcome with open arms Traditinal Annglcians back to Full communion with Rome, and each Catholic here should do the same and see this as an act of God’s Grace to bring about reconciliation. As for the Anglican-Use Liturgy, this Liturgy has its roots in the Sarum-Use Form of the Roman Rite, which was first used in the early 13th century at the Cathedral of Salisbury and then spread all over England.

    The Counci of Trent, which met from December 1543 to December 1563, codified variations of the Roman Rite into a standardized Roman Rite the Missal of Pius V, who was Pope from 1566 to 1572. However, the Council allowed for forms of the Roman Rite that had been in existence for some 200 years before the Council to continue, these would include the Ambrosian (still celbrated in Milan), the Mozarabic-Visigothic Rite (still celebrated in Todledo, Spain), the Bragian Rite (still celebrated in Portugal) and the Rites of the various Orders, such as the Domincans, Carthusians, Benedectines, etc.

    Thus, the Sarum-Use of the Roman Rite would have been allowed to continue as it had been in existence since the early 13th century. So, Pope Benedict, who is slowly restoring Catholic Tradition in all its beauty and blory could issue another motu propio calling for a universal pastoral provision allowing for the return of the Sarum-Use of the Roman Rite in Anglican-Use pastoral provision parishes.

    Our European friends, and my fellow American colleagues should realize that there are currently 6 Anglican-Use pastoral provision parishes in the U.S.

    God Bless

  56. Paul in the GNW says:

    Fr. Anthony and all Anglicans,

    Welcome. I for one am filled with joy at the possibilities for unity between traditional Anglicans and the Catholic Church. I am praying for you and for us all.

    Please ignore those who are less than gracious, believe, those who welcome you outnumber them by 1000 to 1.

    God Bless

    Paul

  57. Fr. Anthony says:

    In reply to “A few thoughts”

    1) We in the TAC do not subscribe to the 39 Articles but to the Affirmation of Saint Louis, and more recently to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I cannot speak for the Church of England bishops.

    2) For questions of Sarum, it is not an official rite in the TAC, but I discuss the subject on http://pagesperso-orange.fr/civitas.dei/sarum_index.htm. I would like to see Sarum back in use, perhaps via some judicious reforms like the use of classical English, etc.

    3) We just don’t know exactly what Rome is going to do. We should wait and see, and above all pray and trust in Providence.

    Fr. Anthony

  58. RC says:

    If a personal prelature or apostolic administration is erected for Anglican converts, it really won’t need more than a handful of bishops: doesn’t Opus Dei get along with just one?

    The convert bishops may find it best to offer their renunciation, as the TAC bishops reportedly did.

  59. Deusdonat says:

    There once was a bishop from Chichester,…

    FATHER Z, THAT WAS HILLARIOUS!!! I was chuckling for a good 5 minutes. And because you were so gracious to give us the first stanza, I’ll return in kind…*ahem*

    There once was a bishop from Chichester
    Whose church was a boil which did nigh fester,
    So he sauntered to Rome, and said “sic, soc et tuum!”
    No longer an ecclesial high jester.

    A blessed Sunday to all.

  60. rljfp says:

    My 2 cents worth, if they are worth anything,

    If you have questions concerning the Anglican Use Provision you might want to check out some websites: http://www.anglicanuse.org; http://www.stthomasmoresociety.org and http://www.atonementonline.com. The first is a generic site explaining the whats and the whys; the second is an Anglican use parish recently set up in Scranton, PA. The pastor is Father Eric Bergman–great individual with a greater story. The website is a history of their congregation’s journey. And the last might be the best known Anglican Use parish. If you wish to learn more about what may happen (God willing!) then take some time to peruse these sites. It is interesting as I read these entries that folks sure seem more orthodox and holier than the Pope Benedict or maybe they are terrified that something draconian or arcane will befall them if the Holy Father welcomes them back into the arms of Traditional Rome. No to the TAC, no to the C of E and NO to the SSPX (and to a lesser degree no to the Orthodox) all of these groups are near to the heart of His Holiness Benedict XVI. When these groups integrate back into the folds of Rome are you still going to buck the tide with vindictive diatribes or will you open your hearts (not your minds or arms that might be asking tooo much) and rejoice that Jesus has found not 1 lamb but maybe 3 or 4 lambs to bring back to HIS flock?

  61. Simon Platt says:

    Dear all,

    Please pray for the return of all prodigal sons to their loving Mother.

  62. Miseno says:

    If these Anglicans do return to Rome, at least in regards to those in England, I would think they would lose their right to worship in the buildings in which they do currently and to receive the money they currently receive. I do not know, but I would think they would be the property of the Anglicans who continue to recognize the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury as head of the Church.

    This, I am sure, would be painful for those who desire union with Rome and would be a great sacrifice and also might lessen the numbers that actually make the swim across the Tiber. I am sure whatever the English Catholic Church can provide them in space and monatery assistance, it will be smaller than to what they are accustomed currently. I am going to pray for them.

  63. LCB says:

    “they would be the property of the Anglicans who continue to recognize the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury as head of the Church…”

    There are still worshiping Anglicans that aren’t conservative?

    I presumed that outside the priestesses and a few liberals in the hierarchy, that the Labour Party at Prayer was a pretty small group. After all, if God doesn’t care what you do, the bible doesn’t matter, and we’re all going to heaven, why show up at Church?

    I don’t mean this in a rude way, I mean it quite seriously. I had the impression that, outside conservatives, there just aren’t any worshiping Anglicans left.

  64. Reading some of the comments here I can see why the Vatican likes to try to keep a lid on things. There are way too many arm-chair popes in the world who think they know how to handle the situation better then the Church. Thankfully, there are people in the Catholic Church who are given the grace of office through the Holy Spirit to work with the Anglicans and other groups, such as the SSPX. In addition, Pope Benedict has proven time and again to not use a stick to bring about unity. Rather, it is through faith, hope, and reason in charitable dialogue that he works to move forward. This takes patience on all sides.

    Sometimes, silent prayer is the best approach. My prayers are with all of those in positions of authority, and especially with Anglican leadership that they will act on the graces falling upon them, and come home.

  65. Porro in Fide says:

    Simon Platt: Thomas More is indeed commemorated by Anglicans. In “Common Worship”, the standard authorised present-day liturgy of the Church of England, the Calendar contains the following entry for July 6 (not the same date as Rome): “Thomas More, Scholar, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Reformation Martyrs, 1535″. They don’t have their own Propers – instead, one is directed to the Common of Martyrs.

  66. Mr. Palad,

    You noted above “Whoever that person is (if there is indeed but one person behind both aliases), his capacity for poisoning the discourse here and in other blog comboxes has really reached an intolerable level. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have noticed!” You are not the only one. I have frequently called that person out and said person has never responded. He has, however, been vehemently defended by a particular cleric who is of like mind.

    +++++++
    Diane at Te Deum,

    Very well said. The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ and Christ is the Head of the Church. We ought pray that God’s will be done in this matter, that the Holy Father and all involved be open to the Divine Will, and that the powers at work against the Divine Will be cast into the pit. The rest is hot air. It’s not up to us. What we think doesn’t enter into the equation. Our only concern should be that God’s will be done. Remember, if we oppose God’s will we will be held accountable for it.

  67. Hopelessly Traditional says:

    Simon Platt, I’m very much aware that there was little Irish immigration to England before the 19thc. But one could live with and act out of anti-Irish prejudices as an Anglican in England even with the Irish safely caged in their Emerald Isle, could one not? Moreover there was also an Anglican (Church of Ireland) presence in Ireland. My point was that there was prejudice against the Irish among the English, was there not? And the question arising from that was how much it affected Anglo-Catholic self-perceptions vis-a-vis Evangelical Anglicans, on the one hand, and vis-a-vis Catholics (including Irish Catholics), on the other hand.

  68. Matthew Mattingly says:

    I think it would be great if these traditional Anglicans are accepted into the Roman Catholic Church, and after re-ordination for their clergy, and of course going thru indoctrination into the Roman Catholic belief and tradition and acceptance of it, I am sure they will be welcome in the Church and able to worship according to the traditional Anglican worship service they are familiar with. Of course, if they would like to also participate in the Catholic Mass (Novus Ordo or Tridentine Latin Mass), that would be awesome.

  69. Porro in Fide says:

    Re. the 39 Articles: In the Church of England, it used indeed to be the case that anyone taking up any office was required publicly to “assent” to the Articles and declare his belief that the doctrine they contain is “agreeable to the Word of God”. No longer, however. I’m not sure when it was changed, except that it was some time between 1969 and 1996. The present Declaration of Assent makes no mention of the Articles.

  70. Matthew Mattingly says:

    I just spotted a post from Carlos up further in the column.
    I don’t know who “Kenkiro Shoda” is , so I’m not trying to immitate or be someone I’m not. To say I’m an alias is wacked. It’s not a surprise for people to sound alike in ther posts. I’ve read alot of posts,. and many sound the same. The way they are written, the spelling, the tone, the themes and all similar in alot of posts I’ve read….even some who sound harsh or not, bigoted or not.
    I think maybe you should hope whoever he is doesn’t read these posts, or others you might have disparaged him on….because in any other area (like in the workplace etc.), that would be grounds for being fired, and even legal trouble. I would’nt like it done to me. I don’t think anyone would.

  71. trooper says:

    I’ve made the swim, and I pray that many of these Anglicans do as well. It’s very hard to leave an Anglo-Catholic parish, with folks who have Anglo-Papist tendencies and finally confront the “that” that is a modern RC parish. Is the RCC the true Church and is Benedict the successor of St. Peter. Yes, and I confess being wrong for 40 years about all of that and submitting myself to the discipline and teaching of the Church. However, confronted with horrid liturgical practices, worse music, uninterested parishoners, a priest that is kind-hearted, but who I haven’t more than shook hands with after mass, I encourage you to be gentle with your potential converts. It is a little ethnic, and a little liturgical, and very musical and social. Doing the right thing can be hard, so try to be as welcoming as you can, they need your support.

  72. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    By chance, I attended the institution of a Church of England Rector into his new parish last week. I now quote from the Order of Service.

    As part of the service the local Anglican bishop read the following:

    “The Church of England is part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…Led by the Holy Spirit, it has born witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.”

    The Rector-elect then said:
    “I…declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments I will use only the forms of service which are authorised or allowed by canon.”

    I do not know if the same promises are made by all Anglican clergy, including the Anglo Catholics.

    But for all those Anglican clergy who have taken such a promise it is clear that:

    1. They have affirmed their belief that the Thirty-nine Articles “bear witness to Christian truth”.

    2. They have promised to use “only the forms of service which are authorised or allowed by canon” – ie canon law of the Church of England. Needless to say canon law of the Church of England does not permit the use of the Roman Missal.

    So it seems to me that Anglo Catholic clergy in the Church of England have either somehow avoided making these promises on their appoinment to their present parishes – or they have not taken these promises very seriously.

    If it is the latter case, I do hope that any Anglican clergy who may (at some stage in the future) be received into full communion with the Catholic Church will make a truly sincere profession of faith at the time of their reception.

  73. Jayna says:

    “…some form of separate identities will be required to enable the holders of mutually incompatible convictions about the faith and order of the Church to remain in as high a degree of continuing fellowship as possible.”

    Would it be possible to squeeze any more contradictions into that sentence? I mean, I guess they could manage it if they really put their backs into it, but it doesn’t look promising.

  74. Woody Jones says:

    Sorry I do not have time to read all 73 comments, so I apologize for any overlap, but I would just point out a couple of things:

    (1) The Servant of God John Henry, Cardinal Newman, as an Anglican, wrote the famous Tract 90 in which he rationalized the 39 Articles in accordance with the Roman Catholic faith (and thereby caused such a scandal for the Anglicans that the Tracts for the Times were discontinued). As I understand it, the 39 Articles can be read and understood in a number of ways, including Newman’s, as one would expect from a set of propsitions that were essentially compromises at the time.

    (2) The Pastoral Provision office, whose secretary I know rather well, would certainly not permit any Anglican clergyman to come over under PP auspices if there were a doubt as to his sincere embrace of the whole of the Faith. I do not think this involves tests or the like, but I believe there is a kind of dialogue that results in sufficient assurance. Of course the (re)ordination process does involve appropriate demonstration of the candidate’s knowledge and qualifications.

    (3) No less an authority than Fr Aidan Nichols, OP, said by some to be the greatest living theologian writing in English, has said that much Anglican learning will be conconant with the Faith and a course of study involving heavy emphasis on the Caroline divines would need only modest revision to be fully Catholic.

    (4) No one is going to make any Catholic attend an Anglican Usage or similar Anglican-ethos Mass that may be approved in future. But if you don’t try it, you will not know what you are missing.

    (5) In fact, the Anglican Usage, and also the forms of Mass used by the Anglo-Catholics whom I know, are saturated with Catholic liturgical forms going back to the Gelasian and Leonine Sacramentaries, the Sarum Use, and such. If you do a study of the collects in the Book of Divine Worship you will see (a) they are more elegant and reverent in tone that those of the Pauline liturgy and (b) most of them are directly derived from the older Catholic sources. The Anlican Usage Rite One involves transations of the liturgy, including Gloria, Creed, Roman Canon and triple “Lord I am not worthy” that are more faithful to the Latin typical editions than are the ICEL versions, and are in Elizabethan English, which is the Anglican version of the “sacred language” whose function is fulfilled, of course, by Latin in the Johannine liturgy.

    (6) Given the difficulties experience both in the US and UK, a prelature or apsotolic administration would be prefereable for the inclusion of this beautiful usage within the larger Roman Rite. Of course Rome will and should ensure that everything is in sync with the Faith. But that does not mean, as readers of this blog know well, that everyone must do the dumbed down Novus Ordo thing.

    (7) I am 2,000 miles away from my books at the moment but will only again reiterate that it was Franjo, Cardinal Seper, Prefect of CDF after Vatican II and just before Jos. Ratzinger, who said that the model for re-incorpoarion of groups such as well-disposed Anglicans is that they be “united, not absorbed.” In this case, obviously such a situation would be within the Roman Rite rather than outside of it, as with the Melkites, for example, but with the goal of preserving what is true, good and beautiful in the returning tradition.

  75. Cerimoniere says:

    Fr. Coveney: Indeed. There is a whole casuistry which has grown up around the questions you mention, going back at least to Newman’s Tract XC. The logic of that text, seeking to reconcile the XXXIX Articles with the Catholic faith, was repudiated by its venerable author before he was received into the Church. However, it has not been repudiated by others of his former party who have not yet converted.

    The unlawful use of Catholic service books by Anglican ministers has also been justified by tendentious arguments for decades. The general view, I think, is that their canon law cannot legitimately restrict them from using whatever the universal Church prescribes, and so they are morally entitled to disobey. The flaw, of course, is that if one finds oneself in a church whose canons DO restrict one from using what the universal Church actually prescribes, one probably isn’t IN the universal Church to begin with!

  76. Joe says:

    Woody said “In this case, obviously such a situation would be within the Roman Rite rather than outside of it, as with the Melkites, for example, but with the goal of preserving what is true, good and beautiful in the returning tradition.” Perhaps you meant ‘Latin rite’, or ‘Western rite’, rather than ‘Roman rite’? My understanding is that ‘Latin rite’, or ‘Western rite’, is the broader term that includes all rites in the Latin (Western) Church, e.g. Roman, Ambrosian, Mozarabic, etc. But I might be wrong.

  77. Deusdonat says:

    TROOPER,

    Well-put post. I will definitely try to remember as much charity as it inspired. Luckily for today’s Anglican wannabe-converts (i.e. “half-caths : ) there are many more opportunities to attend a traditional church/liturgy closer to what they were used to, as opposed to the blatant abuses you refer to which were rampant in previous decades (thank God and our blessed Pope Bendict for that).

    When I was living in Chiswick, there was a Catholic church just down the road from me (less than 200 metres). But after attending it twice, I realized it was simply not for me due to the atmosphere that you described. So, I made the trip to Brompton Oratory (an hour’s tube ride away) in order to feel at home. It can be done.

  78. Simon Platt, I’m very much aware that there was little Irish immigration to England before the 19thc. But one could live with and act out of anti-Irish prejudices as an Anglican in England even with the Irish safely caged in their Emerald Isle, could one not? Moreover there was also an Anglican (Church of Ireland) presence in Ireland. My point was that there was prejudice against the Irish among the English, was there not? And the question arising from that was how much it affected Anglo-Catholic self-perceptions vis-a-vis Evangelical Anglicans, on the one hand, and vis-a-vis Catholics (including Irish Catholics), on the other hand.

    I have been following these anti-Irish comments, but I’m afraid that I’m still confused by them. I don’t understand how anti-Irish sentiment could have affected Anglo-Catholicism very much. The Tractarian Movement and the sub-ssequent Anglo-Catholic Movement in Anglicanism didn’t happen until the early and late Victorian period, respectively. Also, Anglo-Catholicism didn’t take much hold in the (Anglican) Church of Ireland where there were only two Anglo-Catholic parishes, both in Dublin. The vast majority of the C of I is, to this day, very Low Church.

    And shouldn’t Anglo-Catholics, representing that tradition of English chauvinism, with both its strengths and weaknesses, face up to and repent of those centuries of not merely brutal persecution of the Irish, but also, the, perhaps more pernicious, cultural snobbery directed against Catholics?

    As well, the vast majority of Anglo-Catholic priests subscribed to the idea of Christian Socialism and actively sought placement in London’s slum parishes. The Anglo-Catholic “slum priest” became a staple of the Diocese of London and thus Anglo-Catholicism became associated (at least in Britain and Ireland) with the lower classes. Rather, it was Roman Catholicism that was associated with the landed nobility (i.e. the ‘recusant’ nobles) in England. Only those of wealth and influence were able to circumvent the Catholic penal laws for such a long period of time. It was only with Irish immigration to England, during the Industrial Revolution and after, that Roman Catholic numbers started to swell significantly. And there was a modest amount of tension between the old recusant families and the new Irish immigrants, but that quickly subsided.

    It was only here in the States that Anglo-Catholics began to gain a more than minimal following from the upper class. In Philadelphia, ‘toney’ parishes like S. Mark’s stood in contrast to working class parishes like S. Clement’s. There was certainly anti-Irish sentiment among New York Episcopalians (though not the Anglo-Catholic subset), but this seems to have been more of a class issue than an issue of ethno-centrism seeing as how New York Irish Catholic “new money” was readily accepted into high society. It is only in recent years that the Anglo-Catholics here in the U.S. have started adopting an English tribe mentality as a bulwark against the erosion of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Any latent “anti-Irishness” has only come about since the publication of Philadelphia Irish Catholic Thomas Day’s scathing book “Why Catholics Can’t Sing”.

  79. Oliver says:

    What happens in today’s Anglican church will happen in tomorrow’s Catholic church. With the seed of modernism already planted firmly within the Vatican and bearing fruit throughtout the dioceses, the various hierarchies will discourage the entry of large numbers of traditional Anglicans and Rome will maintain its ‘relations’ with Canterbury. The so-called opposition to women bishops within the Anglican church will soon evaporate as it did with the issue of women priests. Traditional clergy are dying or retiring leaving women in greater control. Since Vatican 2 the stage is set for the same scenario.

  80. Fr. Anthony says:

    In reply to “What happens in today’s Anglican church…”:

    I have no pretence of being a prophet, but things have gone so far that they can only begin to turn around. I think the Holy Father’s “Marshall Plan” is working, and key players in Rome are being replaced little by little. It seems that the liberal bishops have less wriggle-room and their influence is fading fast. Oliver’s comment seems less plausible since Benedict XVI was elected.

    However, if the waiting stretches out for too long, and if there are more disappointments on the way, there may be little to hope for, and Catholicism will die in the western world – it all depends on how long we have Benedict XVI and whether we get a next Pope in the same line of thinking. I see things as “make-or-break”. I am sure the Pope and many others see that it is the Church’s last chance, and this is the watershed. We could go on forever, but I think we should try to be optimistic.

    One thing is for sure, without Rome, Anglicanism (at least the kind that is ready for union with the Catholic Church) has no future. We are counting on Rome continuing to go the “Ratzinger” way and welcoming liturgical and cultural diversity in the one true Faith.

    We have to have hope, and we need to see that virtue as so often exemplified by good Father Zuhlsdorf.

    Fr. Anthony

  81. Fr J says:

    It is known that many traditionalist Anglo-Catholic laity attempted to cross the Tiber after the ordination of women, but frankly swam back as quick as they could when they were presented with RCIA and the shambolic liturgy prevalent in most parishes in England.

    Perhaps it is important for some people here to understand what “Anglo-Catholicism” is? It is the notion that the Church of England was of itself the continuation of Catholicism in this country but without the Pope.

    An inherent belief that the Church of England, though under the monarch, was nonetheless a “Catholic” Church was why the Apostolic Succession, threefold ministry etc was retained, not done away with as the Reformers did on the Continent. It is also perhaps worth remembering that the notion of Papal Infallibility was not doctrine at the time of the Reformation nor for a few centuries after. The idea of having to “be with Peter” to be recognised as Catholic was not understood in quite the same way as it is today.

    The question of Orders is complicated. Apostolicae Curae aside, since 1931 Utrecht Old Catholic Bishops have assisted at CofE consecrations, their Orders are considered “valid but irregular” (or even regular according to Tim Ferguson’s reasoning regarding schismatic Churches with Canonical Form). Cardinal Hume was “uncertain” about Anglican Orders which is why many were “conditionally” (sub-conditione) re-ordained at the last exodus.

    The 39 Articles cannot be read at face value either and indeed, like the Prayer Book liturgy, there is much evidence that they too were written in such a way as to please certain “reformers” and appease certain “catholics” during their formulation. They could’ve have been worse and far more Protestant versions were thrown out! Anglo-Catholics have never been terribly “big” on the Articles, though some considerable scholarly work was done by the leading lights of the Oxford Movement, John Henry Newman among them.

    There are a lot of factors and considerations to be looked at by the Holy See with regard to Anglo-Catholics. But the worst thing that could happen, would be to make these generally sound, spiritual and devout adherents to the orthodox Faith, jump through ridiculous hoops to enter into communion with Rome. Many of them have always been “pro-Rome” and had hoped for great things after ++Ramsay and Paul VI’s historic meeting all those years ago after the Council.

    Of your charity and love for Mother Church, pray for their reception – not their conversion – but for their return to the fold and that it may be as generous and charitable as Mother Church can make it.

  82. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    Fr Anthony writes (5.05am):
    ‘Cardinal Hume was “uncertain” about Anglican Orders which is why many were “conditionally” (sub-conditione) re-ordained at the last exodus.’

    Those former Anglican clergy who were “conditionally” re-ordained were “conditionally” ordained only because they had provided Rome with a substantial body of evidence to support their case – and not merely because Cardinal Hume’s alleged uncertainty.

    Also I am not aware that there were many “conditional” ordinations. Colleagues who are former Anglicans have told me that even though they and some of their friends might have been able to assemble a case for petitioning Rome for “conditional” ordination, the process would have been painfully long and protracted – and so most of them swallowed their pride and agreed to be “absolutely” ordained in the Catholic Church.

    The only case I know (of “conditional” ordination) was that of Mgr Graham Leonard – the former Anglican Bishop of London and so the third Anglican bishop in seniority after Canterbury and York.

    In 1995 I attended the ordination by Cardinal Hume of a former Anglican vicar at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Cadogan Street, Chelsea. At the beginning of Mass, Cardinal Hume read out a carefully worded and diplomatic statement in which he spoke of the spiritual good produced during this man’s former ministry as an Anglican.

    This however was most certainly not a case of “conditional” ordination – although some people may have mistakenly thought it to be so.

    I believe that this was the normal practise at the time – to soothe over any sense of hurt feelings both of the man being ordained and also of his former parishioners who turned out in force even though most of them had not followed him into the Catholic Church. (And incidentally Cardinal Hume also gently reminded the Anglicans present that they were not eligible to receive Holy Communion.)

  83. RBrown says:

    An inherent belief that the Church of England, though under the monarch, was nonetheless a “Catholic” Church was why the Apostolic Succession, threefold ministry etc was retained, not done away with as the Reformers did on the Continent. It is also perhaps worth remembering that the notion of Papal Infallibility was not doctrine at the time of the Reformation nor for a few centuries after. The idea of having to “be with Peter” to be recognised as Catholic was not understood in quite the same way as it is today.

    Infallibility or no infallibility, the Church of England rejected the authority of Rome.

    The question of Orders is complicated. Apostolicae Curae aside, since 1931 Utrecht Old Catholic Bishops have assisted at CofE consecrations, their Orders are considered “valid but irregular” (or even regular according to Tim Ferguson’s reasoning regarding schismatic Churches with Canonical Form). Cardinal Hume was “uncertain” about Anglican Orders which is why many were “conditionally” (sub-conditione) re-ordained at the last exodus.

    Who considered them “valid but irregular”?

    Only a few, e.g., Graham Leonard, have been conditionally ordained.

    The 39 Articles cannot be read at face value either and indeed, like the Prayer Book liturgy, there is much evidence that they too were written in such a way as to please certain “reformers” and appease certain “catholics” during their formulation. They could’ve have been worse and far more Protestant versions were thrown out! Anglo-Catholics have never been terribly “big” on the Articles, though some considerable scholarly work was done by the leading lights of the Oxford Movement, John Henry Newman among them.

    I have no doubt that Anglicanism (or Episcopalianism) is an attempt at a media via between Catholicism and Protestantism. The problem is that there are certain doctrinal issues that have no media via–I think it’s a bit silly to assume a best case scenario when considering them.

    There are a lot of factors and considerations to be looked at by the Holy See with regard to Anglo-Catholics. But the worst thing that could happen, would be to make these generally sound, spiritual and devout adherents to the orthodox Faith, jump through ridiculous hoops to enter into communion with Rome. Many of them have always been “pro-Rome” and had hoped for great things after ++Ramsay and Paul VI’s historic meeting all those years ago after the Council.

    With the Orthodox, it is a matter of Communion. With Anglicans, it is not merely a a matter of Communion but also accepting papal authority. This is due to the historical differences in the founding of each.

    And it is not uncommon among Anglicans or Episcopalians that there be a pro Roman tendencies. But from my experience that tendency is a lot like drafting, as in cycling.

    Of your charity and love for Mother Church, pray for their reception – not their conversion – but for their return to the fold and that it may be as generous and charitable as Mother Church can make it.
    Comment by Fr J

    I pray for their conversion. I think you also should.

  84. RBrown says:

    BTW, Cardinal Hume was pretty good on liturgy. On doctrine, however, he was a bit shaky.

  85. Fr. Anthony says:

    In response to “Comment by Fr Francis Coveney — 7 July 2008 @ 7:09 am”:

    “Fr Anthony writes (5.05am): ‘Cardinal Hume was “uncertain” about Anglican Orders which is why many were “conditionally” (sub-conditione) re-ordained at the last exodus.’” – is an error. I did not write this, nor do I have any informed independent position on this matter.

    The issue of our Orders will indeed be in the hands of Rome to decide….

    Fr. Anthony

  86. Flabellum says:

    ‘Unitatis Redintegratio’ states “Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place.” The ordinations of former Anglican ministers at which Cardinal Hume presided always included a prayer that gave thanks for the faithful ministry of those being ordained Catholic Priests, and affirming the spiritual benefit derived from their previous ministry.

  87. Fr Jerome says:

    Re “valid but irregular” that I meant with reference to Old Catholic Orders, not Anglican.

    Re “conversion” I stand by what I wrote, those Anglo-Catholics that will “Pope” will be those who already accord more than difference to the person of the Holy Father and the Holy See. It may shock some of you to know that many Anglo-Catholic priests mention the Holy Father in the Canon of their Mass (those that use the English Missal a translation of the TLM and those that use the Novus Ordo “straight” i.e. without omission) and nearly ALL Anglo-Catholic parishes pray for the Holy Father in their intercessions every Sunday at their Parish Mass.

    If you want to pray for conversion, I suggest you to look to Sr Ipsydipsy of Lala Land and the other so called RCIA catechists whose disdain for any Anglo-Catholic believing more than they do of Catholic doctrine has prevented so many more returning to Rome!

    I was “in the presence” of Cardinal Hume when he said that he was “uncertain” regarding the validity or not of Anglican Orders, which, based on the evidence is a pretty reasonable position to hold. It is true that others, if they’d been retired or had the access to documents could’ve presented themselves as Mons Graham Leonard did, but many of them were in active ministry and not former senior diocesan Bishops with access to sensitive archives. That many of them “swallowed hard” and accepted “absolute” ordination does not mean or imply that they did not regard their previous ministries as “invalid”, but rather shows their enthusisam to reconcile with Peter at personal cost.

    The Church will do better to have these Clergy and people inside rather than out, the same goes for the SSPX – except their attitude may require more “conversion” of heart than the Anglo-Catholics!

  88. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    Dear Fr Anthony (re 8:27am),

    I am pleased that the posting wrongly attributed to you has been removed. I note Flabellum’s comment at 9.34am which confirms my memory of 1995.

    I wish you and all your colleagues well and pray that you may be given the grace to do what I think most of you know is inevitable – but painful.

  89. While it is true that since 1931 Utrecht Old Catholic Bishops have assisted at the consecration of Anglican Bishops, and putting aside the question of sacramental intention in the Anglican Ordinal, the price it too high to pay of accepting the validity of Anglican Orders without absolute certainty that they are so. I say this not to denegrate Anglican clergy, but because we are dealing with the issue of sacramental validity. There must be absolutel certainty that all Anglican clergy who enter communion with Rome and continue in the sacerdotal ministry have been absolutely ordained. All Masses they celebrate, absolutions, anointings, and confirmations they administer, depend on absolute ordination for validity. If it can be absolutely proven that Anglican orders are, now, indeed valid, then this point is moot. But unless or until there is such proof the price is too high to gamble with.

    As far as Anglican “converts” having to suffer through the horrors of RCIA, this is an affront to their dignity as Christians. (In most cases it’s an affront to human intelligence.) In my experience those Anglicans who seek union with Rome are far more knowledgeable of the Catholic Faith than those who teach in such programs and are certainly more knowledgeable than the average American Catholic. Conversion? No. They are not converting. One cannot convert to what one already is. They are coming home, and the Church, gracious Mother that she is, receives them into her loving embrace. And they are not coming home as prodigals. For though the foundation of Anglican church was rooted in the sins of men such as Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer, the only sin that is passed on is Original Sin and all those who have been baptized have been washed of that stain. Today’s Anglicans are not guilty of the sins of their founders nor did they leave the Catholic Church thus they cannot be called prodigal.

    May the good work God has begun be accomplished!

  90. CTrent1564 says:

    To Rev. J. Scott Bailey C.S.s.R.

    I agree with you with respect to what many Traditional Anglicans have to go through with respect to some RICA programs. As someone who works with RCIA in my parish, my colleague and I have recommended many Anglicans to be brought in after 2 to 3 months preperation, rather than waiting the normal 1 year, which is required for the unbaptized.

    I agree that today’s Anglicans can’t be held responsible for the sins of schism that Henry VII and Thomas Cranmer caused. If Catholic leaning Anglicans come into full Communion in large numbers, I think all of us life-long Catholics would do well to read St. Luke’s Gospel on the “parable of the Lost Son”, or as Pope Benedict refers to as the “parable of the brothers” (See Jesus of Nazareth), and not act like the older brother in the passage but act to welcome relatives back to the family in full standing.

    Pax et Bonum

  91. James Laverita says:

    Comment by Fr. Anthony — 6 July 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    “We in the TAC do not subscribe to the 39 Articles but to the Affirmation of Saint Louis, and more recently to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I cannot speak for the Church of England bishops.”

    But the website of “The Traditional Anglican Church” (to which Fr Antony belongs and is linked to his own website) has this to say about the 39 Articles:

    “The Traditional Anglican Church….. retains and affirms the traditional orthodox doctrine and principles of the Church of England as embodied in the Book of Common Prayer (1662) together with the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, and in the Articles of Religion sometimes called the Thirty-nine Articles as being agreeable to the Word of God.”

    The TAC is a very small group that broke away from the Anglican Church some time ago. From its website it appears that a large proportion of its members have have become Bishops.

    Readers may also be interested to know that on the picture gallery of his website Fr Anthony mentions that he was ordained deacon by Cardinal Palazzini in 1991, ordained priest in 1998 and married in 2006.

  92. RBrown says:

    I was “in the presence” of Cardinal Hume when he said that he was “uncertain” regarding the validity or not of Anglican Orders, which, based on the evidence is a pretty reasonable position to hold.
    Comment by Fr Jerome

    Cardinal Hume was also “uncertain” about the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood–and that was after the promulgation of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

  93. RBrown says:

    BTW, I definitely think no Anglican convert should have to endure the RCIA.

  94. Fr. Anthony says:

    In response to “Comment by James Laverita — 7 July 2008 @ 8:53 pm”

    I suppose this message is intended to discredit me and the TAC to which I belong, to what ends I can only leave others to guess.

    Well the world is imperfect and absolute coherence is hard to find, even in the Roman Catholic Church (in view of the fact that some diocesan bishops are in favour of women’s’ ordination and are not sanctioned by Rome – this being just one example among many).

    The Traditional Anglican Church in England was formed a good while ago, and, like some other local continuing Anglican Churches, it belongs to the TAC through the Concordat. If the English Church subscribes to the 39 Articles and the 1662 Prayer Book, other member Churches of the TAC do not.

    It is now public record that the entire Episcopate of the TAC (about 40 bishops in all) made the two following statements last October in Portsmouth:

    “We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church …” “We accept the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, which is a ministry of teaching and discerning the faith and a ‘perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity’ and understand this ministry is essential to the Church founded by Jesus Christ.”

    Perhaps the English Church’s continuing to mention that it adheres to the 39 Articles is an oversight. Anyway, it is not my problem, because I am under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop and not the English TAC.

    As for “The TAC is a very small group that broke away from the Anglican Church some time ago. From its website it appears that a large proportion of its members have become Bishops.” I suppose you are insinuating that we are some kind of “vagante” outfit. The English TAC has no Bishop but a Vicar General. I have no idea about our numbers. The official figure is 400,000 which I find embarrassing, despite the numbers we have in Africa and India, but we are at least in the thousands worldwide.

    As for my canonical irregularity, we do have other clergy in similar situations, and we are pushing for unity with Rome even though it may well cost us our own ministries and vocations. Our Bishops are on record as having said that they are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the unity of the Church – lay aside their episcopate and maybe their priesthood too. If this is how it is to be, so be it. Rome might decide otherwise…

    Having said all this, let no priest or layman get on his triumphalist high-horse, as things in the Roman Catholic Church could go the same way. One thing the Holy Father cannot do is nominate his own successor….

    Fr. Anthony

  95. CTrent1564 says:

    To all interested parties here, both Catholic and Anglican:

    Damian Thompson of the Telegraph in the U.K. is reporting that at least 2 Catholic leaning Anglican Bishops are about to come into Full Communion with Rome, and try to bring in their entire congregrations en masse. Thus, the rumors of high level meetings with the Vatican Curia were true and the article states Pope Benedict is actively involved with the process of bringing as many Traditional Anglican back into Full Communion with Rome.

    All of us should pray that this happens as it will a joyful moment of reconciliation at a time when milatant secularism and Islam are challenging Western Civilization and Christianity.

  96. Papabile says:

    COMMUNIQUE ON RESULTS OF A VOTE IN ANGLICAN CHURCH

    VATICAN CITY, 8 JUL 2008 (VIS) – Given below is the text of a communique released late this morning by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, concerning recent events within the Anglican Communion.

    “We have regretfully learned the news of the Church of England vote that paves the way for the introduction of legislation which will lead to the ordaining of women to the episcopacy.

    “The Catholic position on the issue has been clearly expressed by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Such a decision signifies a break with the apostolic tradition maintained by all of the Churches since the first millennium and is, therefore, a further obstacle to reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

    “This decision will have consequences on the future of dialogue, which had up until now borne fruit, as Cardinal Kasper clearly explained when on 5 June 2006 he spoke to all of the bishops of the Church of England at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    “The Cardinal has been invited once again to express the Catholic position at the next Lambeth Conference at the end of July”.

    CON-UC/ANGLICAN ORDINATIONS/KASPER VIS 080708 (200)

  97. Fr. Anthony wrote above: “Our Bishops are on record as having said that they are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the unity of the Church – lay aside their episcopate and maybe their priesthood too.”

    If this isn’t a sign of good will I don’t know what is. I personally know a priest in the TAC here in the USA who has said publically on several occasions “the priesthood is for the good of the church, and if the good of the Church requires that I lay it aside for the sake of the Body of Christ then I shall do so at the foot of the Cross.”

    How many Roman Catholics are willing to lay aside prejudice and intolerance for the good of the Church?

  98. As I said at Father Phillips blog so will I say here:

    I sincerely hope the Holy Father permits the Anglo-Catholics to retain the usage of the Anglican Missal which is an excellent translation of the Traditional Latin Missal from 1955 I believe. I am of the firm opinion that if we had simply used a missal like the Anglican Missal with it’s excellent translations of the Gregorian rite, we would never have needed the Novus Ordo. As an addendum, the Anglican breviary would be an excellent addition to any Traditionalist Catholic home as it too is a highly accurate and literate translation of the 1955 Roman breviary. I have a copy and can vouch for the beautiful prose. So please, we beg thee dear Holy Father…DO NOT FOIST THE NOVUS ORDO ON THE ANGLO CATHOLICS!!!!

    Greg Hessel
    Traditionalist in Arlington Diocese

  99. HMacK says:

    Traditional Anglicans must come back to Rome where they really belong. They can see that the Rowan Williams edifice for what it is – it is sectarian and subject to the vagaries of the politically correct feminist and homosexual English establishment. The Vatican really ought to distance itself from this anti-Catholic Canterbury sect run from Westminster. It does the image of The Roman Catholic Church no favours at all.

    Many traditional Anglicans I knew when I lived in England went to their own Latin Mass which was as close to the Roman Rite as it could be. They viewed the modern vernacular and pentecostal style Anglican liturgies with horror and dread foreboding. How correct they were. They would find a peaceful home once again where The Holy Mass is celebrated in its authentic Catholic form in The Church. I would certainly welcome them with open arms. They certainly would not attend the NO.