Anglican provisions require conversion and submission

Former Anglican priest Jeffrey Steel has an interesting post on his site about Pope Benedict’s provisions for Anglicans.

A taste:

This Apostolic Constitution seems to me that it will not and cannot be something of an answer to Anglican’s taste and expectations without demanding a real submission and conversion no matter what patrimony is accepted. it cannot be viewed as an option because of a lack of love from the CofE or any other part of the Anglican ethos around the world. To become Catholic is not and cannot be to run from something that is uncomfortable but must be a turning towards what is absolutely true and of the Holy Spirit. There is a lot asked of those who would make this decision and it is a very serious call to the obedience of faith.

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40 Responses to Anglican provisions require conversion and submission

  1. Bryan says:

    Wow.

    Now that is written by someone who has plumbed the depths of his actions…and come to a mature and insightful realization of what it means.

    I’ve found, in many cases, those who make a free-will decision to become Catholic have a greater appreciation of what the Faith means than many of us ‘cradle’ members of the Church.

  2. Tominellay says:

    …a serious and sober look at it…

  3. William says:

    Jeffrey Steel nails it! ‘Nuff said!

  4. robtbrown says:

    Newman’s reflections on his conversion are very interesting.

  5. stephenocist says:

    As a convert who’s been on this side of the river a bit longer, I see things somewhat differently than Jeffrey Steel, whose blog is very worth reading.

    Here’s a snippet from a longer piece I posted yesterday. The rest is here:

    http://subtuum.blogspot.com/2009/10/one-last-evensong-converting-heart.html

    * * *

    There has been much talk about the possibility of false conversions. I think that there is little to fear there. Anyone who does not agree with the magisterium has a number of options, most all of which are less costly than becoming a Roman Catholic. In my experience, converts who revert do so not because they cannot assent to a set of theological propositions but because of the cultural adjustment and the shift in mindset that is required.

    The Holy Father has cleared away the piece of the cultural challenge that lies within his power by carving out a place for the Anglican patrimony, but now those who come must lay aside the beleaguered, adversarial mentality that they have worn for so long as an opposition party and devote the time formerly given to manning the battlements to reawakening that sense of wonder and joy in whose name the long fight was fought.

    An Anglican entering the Roman Catholic Church today has to make peace with living in a world where there are others whose Masses are higher than his and where an entire television network and a legion of periodicals and blogs flank him to the theological right. The reasons for the pride that may have sustained him in recent years are greatly diminished on this side of the water, even if we have our own extensive muddy patches. He must lay down his claim to being his own Holy Office and play sheep to its former head. He must give up politicking global alliances and reconcile himself to being a small if colorful fish in a very large pond where his customs are only one set among many. He must live in a world where, should his experiment fail, external factors will be harder to blame than they are today. Though undoubtedly the members of the ordinariates will suffer their share of unwarranted indignities, those who have often felt themselves to be the victim are now being offered the opportunity to show their skill at being the vinekeeper.

    It is a fearful task that requires ongoing striving for a fundamental transformation of the self. The ordinariates will be judged a success not to the degree that their members show they embrace the Catechism, that’s rather easy, but to the extent they show they have converted their hearts, that fundamental thing that the Father asks of us all. Converting the heart is a hard business, but it is in this internal struggle rather than the battlefields of the culture wars where saints are most likely to be made and it is in showing success at this where the Anglican ordinariates will give a greater gift to the wider Church than any text or tune by offering many of us who are a bit too pleased with ourselves a necessary corrective and good example.

  6. Kimberly says:

    “There is a lot asked of those who would make this decision and it is a very serious call to the obedience of faith.”

    I think this is what we are all called to do. It’s sad to think that our own Catholic brothers and sisters do no understand what it means to be Catholic. Why is it that the “converts” always seem to understand it better?

  7. Jeffrey Steel is missing a basic point: the Apostolic Constitution is, in the first place, a tool for reconciling groups that already have and profess the faith, to full communion.

    There is a difference – an important one, a basic one – between converting to Christ and His Church, on the one hand, and coming into full communion, on the other.

    C.

  8. tzard says:

    Chris, this is exactly what he’s talking about – coming into full communion is not just the externals, but of the internals also.

    If I read him right, it’s not just a problem of publicly accepting all that the Church teaches, but of rejecting a *mentality* of separateness. “We believe in ONE, Holy…”,
    He keeps mentioning a “party” (as in political party). There seems to be a real danger of people holding themselves back. Of thinking themselves “Anglican Catholics” instead of just “Catholic”.

    Is the current balkanization within the Anglicans exacerbating this mentality for them?

    Good insight – as someone on the outside already – it did not occur to me. Thank you Jeffrey Steele.

  9. Jordanes says:

    There’s no evidence that Jeffrey Steel has missed that point.

    Converting to Christ and His Church both precedes and follows admission to full communion.

  10. Ligusticus says:

    CMOC @ the Congregation for Bishops! :-/

    ” RINUNCE E NOMINE , 30.10.2009

    # NOMINA DI MEMBRO DELLA CONGREGAZIONE PER I VESCOVI E DELLA CONGREGAZIONE PER L’EVANGELIZZAZIONE DEI POPOLI

    Il Papa ha nominato Membro della Congregazione per i Vescovi e della Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli l’Em.mo Card. Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Arcivescovo emerito di Westminster (Gran Bretagna). ”

    http://seraphin.vatican.va/news_services/bulletin/news/24581.php?index=24581&lang=it

  11. Archicantor says:

    Even (or perhaps especially) as a liberal Anglican, I have been deeply moved by the Holy Father’s gesture. Jeffrey Steel’s comments tie in with what I find especially edifying in the announcement of the forthcoming Apostolic Constitution, namely its reference to the “worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony”. This is, in a way, a challenge to all Anglicans to see what it is in their tradition that merits such praise (which can’t reside only in Olde Englishe liturgy), and to evaluate our current situation against it. For instance, consider the teaching of Charles Gore, Bishop of Oxford, on contraception in 1930: http://anglicanhistory.org/gore/contra1930.html, continuing an Anglican teaching that goes back at the very least to Jeremy Taylor’s 1650 “Rule and Exercises of Holy Living” (written when the Church of England was in spiritual exile under the Protectorate of Cromwell — it’s worth remembering that the catholic creeds and catholic order were preserved through that period of England’s history by the loyalty of Anglicans to their prayerbook and to the historic episcopacy, even when both were outlawed). And then consider the Anglican poet-priest George Herbert (1593-1633), who wrote that a (Church of England) priest is in “a great confusion” before celebrating the Eucharist, “as being not only to receive God, but to break and administer him”. Does that sound like Reformed “receptionist” Eucharistic theology to you? If more of us liberals delved into classical Anglican theology, we’d probably be finding the new Apostolic Constitution very attractive, and indeed a natural development. I am normally a little sensitive about the Roman Catholic juridical position on the validity of our Holy Orders; but I’m coming to see that what the Catholic Church has really been saying all along is that if it weren’t for a technicality in the wording of the 1549 English Ordinal we Anglicans might have had a chance of being ranked alongside the Orthodox as a “Church” in the modern Roman technical sense, and that we should act like it. And there’s good English precedent for submitting to Roman re-ordination for the cause of unity: St Chad did it in 669!

  12. robtbrown says:

    Once again, I refer people to Newman’s writings on this. He was about as high church as an Anglican can be, yet he noticed the difference in the act of faith. It wasn not necessarily that of submission or of conversion, but rather that the assent itself was more objective.

  13. robtbrown says:

    I am normally a little sensitive about the Roman Catholic juridical position on the validity of our Holy Orders; but I’m coming to see that what the Catholic Church has really been saying all along is that if it weren’t for a technicality in the wording of the 1549 English Ordinal we Anglicans might have had a chance of being ranked alongside the Orthodox as a “Church” in the modern Roman technical sense, and that we should act like it. And there’s good English precedent for submitting to Roman re-ordination for the cause of unity: St Chad did it in 669!
    Comment by Archicantor

    That is not correct.

    Apostolicae Curae attributes the invalidity of Anglican orders not only to defect in Sacramental form (which you say is a technicality) but also to invalid Intention. The defect in form is a manifestation of the invalid Intention that pervaded the CoE in the 16th century.

  14. Dave N. says:

    I think Jeffrey Steele is absolutely right about what the Apostolic Constitution SHOULD be, but I’ll take a wait and see approach until we find out what it ACTUALLY is. I’m not as optimistic, but I will hopefully be proven wrong.

  15. Archicantor says:

    *That is not correct.*

    Hi, robtbrown. Of course it’s not as simple as I seemed to suggest, and we could probably argue the fine points of Apostolicae Curae for hours on end. (Have you read Paul Bradshaw’s “The Anglican Ordinal”? He shows that most Anglican apologists, and not a few Catholic liturgical historians, have misunderstood it.) All I’m trying to say is that this act of generosity and LOVE somehow makes it possible for one to set aside even a “cherished grievance”. This Apostolic Constitution is a response to those who have already separated from the Anglican Communion or who have been thinking for a long time about leaving. And most of these have already declared their acceptance of the Catholic magisterium. I don’t fall into either category. But to be told by the Holy Father that the five hundred years of our separation have not been without fruit, and that we would be welcomed as much for our identity as in spite of it, makes me feel like I might be willing to sacrifice my opinions, my will, and my membership in a wonderful international Communion, and humbly to submit myself to obedience under the Petrine Ministry out of love for the Body of Christ and for the sake of a unified witness to the world. If the Holy Father can get *me* thinking that way, then he really must be the “Pope of Christian Unity”!

  16. Johannes says:

    Dear Friends,
    I should declare my interest: I was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1993 and was received into the Catholic Church in 2006 (as a layman). I think it’s possible to “go round the houses” on this matter (without edification). The fact is that our Holy Father Benedict XVI wants to help folks come into communion with the See of Peter with the minimum requirement/difficulty on their part. This shows tremendous bravery and generosity towards those separated from the See of Peter, many of whom have been longing for such unity for years while the hierarchy of the Anglican Communion have failed to deal with, or have positively encouraged, women priests, the ordination of practicing homosexuals, etc. If Apostolicae Curae pronounced Anglican Orders “absolutely null and utterly void” it did not nullify the pastoral, spiritual and religious gifts of ministers who went about their duties in parishes across the world. The Lord has indeed worked in us despite our affiliation to an ecclesial body other than the Church. Also, I have never really understood the perspective of those who have said (as, for example, a lady in my parish says), “I’m a convert” 40 years after the event! At what point am I simply “a catholic”? That is all I want to be. If I can contribute to the beauty of Catholic worship by celebrating, for example, the Prayer Book Offices or the English Missal (or the Scottish Liturgy), then I shall be happy that I am continuing the catholic tradition – one which brings a good deal more beauty and (ironically) catholicity than the modern Roman Rite!
    God Bless you all. Let us pray for peace and unity!

  17. Dear Tzard,

    I am not trying to pick a fight here, but your response to my reply leaves me with some perplexities.

    I work closely with Copts, Maronites, Chaldeans, Syro-Malabars, Syro-Malankaras, various and sundry Byzantines, Ruthenians and Ukranians.

    Are any of htese less than fully Catholic for their pride in being Chaldean, Coptic, Maronite, etc.?

    I understand that the Anglican Use is just that: a Use of the Roman Rite.

    Still, the point is that the folks coming in under the new Constitution will be, in the first place, groups that have already completed a process of discernment and found themselves to have the fullness of faith. What they desire is full communion.

    They need to be reunited, not absorbed.

    Also, why should aversion to manifest betrayal of the Apostolic Tradition in faith and morals lead an individual or a group to Rome?

    Many of these folks have been laboring under the delusion that the Anglican Communion is somehow a Church, though separated from full communion with Rome.

    When they are dispelled of their false vision, the natural place to look is Rome.

  18. robtbrown says:

    Archicantor,

    It’s not a matter of a grievance but rather whether someone has actually been validly ordained.

  19. Archicantor says:

    Chris Altieri, I think you’ve understood perfectly where these Anglicans are at. I can warmly recommend to anyone curious about their motivations that they listen to the speeches given at the recent “Forward in Faith” assembly (http://www.forwardinfaith.com/news/na09-10.html). As for my exchanges with robtbrown, now I know how we make the Methodists feel… It’s so often the case that in trying to understand each other and inform each other we instead talk past each other about these things. The miracle of the new Apostolic Constitution is that the Holy Father and the CDF have found a way to “speak our language” without compromising the Catholic Church’s position. Ecumenical “inculturation”! Now we just need to do the same thing to communicate the Christian faith to the rest of the world.

  20. Legisperitus says:

    Look Romeward, Angle.

  21. pelerin says:

    Interesting comment from Johannes regarding at what point one can say that one is no longer a convert.

    Even after 44 years I am still proud to say I am a convert – after all I can never become a cradle Catholic!

  22. Johannes says:

    I think Chris Altieri is right. From my experience, one reaches a point where one realises that there is an absolute need for the Magisterium. God has a will and a plan for the Church which is in continuity with the community founded by Jesus Christ. There certainly came a point for me when I realised that the Anglican Communion was, sadly, not a “branch” of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This is indeed a very sad and painful realisation for one functioning as a priest within the Anglican Communion. However, being in communion with Peter and the Church of Jesus brings inexpressible joy. I “hear” what pelerin is saying. I have my own baggage! However, it does upset me when it seems (as is often the case) that catholics regard converts as second class citizens. This is despite the fact that so much has been contributed to the catholic tradition by those who have come to it a little later in life or who have departed from it only to return later. I recognise pelerin’s pride at being a convert because I have little regard for catholic tribalism. The lady from my parish surprises me because, not only does she describe herself as a convert 40 years after the event, but she seems quite protestant in her outlook after all this time. So much so that I wonder why she bothered to become a catholic in the first place or to remain a catholic. I do think that, in being received into communion with the Catholic Church there is a need for humility and submission within the mind and heart of the convert. From this point of view, pelerin, I could suggest that you have more to be proud of in becoming a Catholic than someone has in being born into it.

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    Converts often revert, and they do it for a lot of reasons, stephenocist. Under the current conditions that Episcopalians are experiencing, fleeing from one’s current condition will look very attractive, particularly if one is allowed to do it in groups. The young, the uncertain, those who can’t/won’t commit for themselves or who don’t comprehend what’s at stake will come along too. I suspect that we will get some lifelong converts; I expect that there will be at least as many who don’t stay. Our RCIA program absolutely provides the practical evidence for convert dropout on this scale.

    Chris, you are acting like Episcopalians are already inside the Roman Catholic Church, which they are NOT. The doctrine and theology of the major Episcopalian/CofE bodies has departed drastically from classical christian (Catholic) doctrine & theology. Converts from Episcopalianism will be making full-fledged conversions in order to come into the church. It won’t be quite as drastic as coming from Hinduism or Paganism, but it won’t be a little step either. There will be a lot of new things to learn for them, and many things that they will have to assent to.

  24. catholicmidwest says:

    PS, there is an interesting effect that’s often seen when this subject comes up. Cradle catholics tend to believe that a) conversion is easily accomplished, b) conversion is always real, and c) conversion is permanent. On the contrary, the data shows otherwise.

    Genuine conversion can come with a real cost, in terms of family and friends (very common). Or it can be the opposite, in the case where the conversion is accomplished to appease someone (also very common). And reversion is very, very common. We have a revolving door when it comes to converts and we don’t keep track of it. There are nowhere as many Catholics as most Catholics think.

  25. Dear catholicmidwest,

    It is a matter of public knowledge that the groups for which the present Constitution was created in the first place have already signed documents declaring they believe everything the Church teaches with divine and Catholic faith.

    So, your point about the doctrinal positions and theology of “most of the major Episcopalian/CofE bodies” is, while arguably true, specifically inapplicable and therefore moot.

    That the Constitution is permanent, and not a pro hoc vice measure, is another issue, and we will likely see more clergy than laity coming into communion under it. We will also likely see groups slit and/or splinter from their conservative High Church communities before swimming the Tiber.

    The tone struck by Card. Levada’s Saturday “Clarification” is tellng: it basically means, “We’ll cross/burn that bridge (whichever it may be) when we come to it.”

    Rome is basically willing to bend over backwards for the sake of unity.

    It strikes me that you and others on this thread, at least, are trying to imagine/conjure/posit obstacles or conditions or circumstances Rome is clearly more than willing to sidestep, jump, dig under, otherwise circumvent or even bowl right over.

    Get with the spirit of things.

    I do not mean you have to throw, “Welcome Home!” parties, or be there on the banks of the Tiber with towels for when they get across.

    The least any of us can do is to say, “Welcome home.”

    Then you can go back to ignoring the Anglican Use Catholics the same way you mostly did when they were High Church Anglicans – the way you mostly ignored, and were mostly ignored by, the Byzantines, Ukrainians, Chaldeans, Maronites, etc., etc., etc.

    Indeed, one of the most succinct and eloquent statements of the true and traditional ecumenical spirit is the following: “We’re in the Catholic Church. Now mind your own business.”

  26. catholicmidwest says:

    I am minding my own business, Chris, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion, just like you do, so don’t try to shut anyone up, okay?

    The fact is that Episcopalians *aren’t* Catholics, not yet. This is a FACT. Those that actually jump in and swim can become Catholics, just like any other converts.

  27. No, catholicmidwest: not just like any other converts.

    The Anglicans coming in are much closer in spirit to the Orthodox than they are to, e.g., the Lutherans, in that they have the fullness of faith (and in some cases, valid orders – usually from Orthodox lines and sometimes from Catholic ones, which means they have the sacraments).

    They want full communion.

    This is the part you are missing.

    By the way, I do not begrudge you your opinion, and I would not shut you or anyone else up – at least not here, where I am a guest, just like you.

    Would you fight in someone else’s living room?

    I think you mistook the spirit in which I offered my remarks.

    C.

  28. catholicmidwest says:

    Episcopalians aren’t Catholics, because…they’re Episcopalians. Sorry, but it’s obvious.

    I agree with Fr. Z. Becoming Catholic for Episcopalians is going to require some submission and assent. It’s not enough for some bigwig to sign a paper someplace. EAch one of these people are going to have to come to terms with the REAL differences between being protestant (namely Episcopalian protestant) and Catholic.

    PS, your “Byzantines, Ukrainians, Chaldeans, Maronites, etc., etc., etc.” are Catholics. Episcopalians aren’t. THe Episcopalians who become Catholics are ACTUALLY going to LEAVE the Episcopalian church and come over HERE. There are going to be plenty of Episcopalians who don’t and they will remain protestant in staying there because Episcopalians ARE Protestants.

  29. catholicmidwest says:

    For cradle catholics these lines might be blurry and vague. For serious converts, who’ve been over this territory with a fine toothed comb, they’re not.

    Being Catholic is not being Protestant. They’re two very different attitudes toward the Christian life. It requires a fundamental and deep commitment to change from one way of viewing the world to the other.

  30. catholicmidwest says:

    PS, Chris, I was referring to your statement saying that groups of Episcopalians “have already signed documents declaring they believe everything the Church teaches with divine and Catholic faith.”

    That is neither here nor there if they are still Episcopalians. What will make them Catholics is to swim the Tiber and assent to the truths that the Church teaches. When that happens, then they are welcome and we’re glad to have them.

  31. Dear catholicmidwest,

    I really do not want to fight with you.

    I am also quite sure that you are doing at least one of several different things:

    1. Not actually reading what I am writing

    2. Putting words in my mouth

    3. Arguing with a position I have not taken

    4. Reading what I have written through an emotional or particular historical lens

    5. Mistaking my position for one you have heard elsewhere and with which you disagree strongly

    6. Not coming to the discussion with sufficient material knowledge of the immediately pertinent cases

    Please, go back over what I have written with a fine-toothed comb, and find where I say something as asinine as “Episcopalians are Catholics”, or something equivalent or reducible to that.

    Also, please consider that the groups for which the Constitution was immediately devised are “High” Anglicans, who have always thought of themselves as in the Apostolic Tradition, with liturgy, sacraments, etc. It is precisely the Anglican Communion’s (AC) irrevocable turn toward a decadent liberal protestantism that has given the lie to their assumptions.

    Now they are looking for communion with the one true Church of Christ.

    Yes, in this or that case, men have hitherto served as priests and bishops will have to be given valid orders.

    Nevertheless, their understanding of what, e.g., the priesthood is, will not have to change.

    I really do not think that you are grasping a basic point: the Apostolic Constitution is, in the first place, for AC communities that have already done the soul searching you are talking about.

    Yes, there are conservative AC groups out there without liturgical understanding, and with ecclesiological ideas and structures that are not compatible with Apostolic Tradition.

    The Apostolic Constitution is not for them – not immediately, anyway.

    Why are you so hell-bent on making me say something I have not said and never meant?

    C.

  32. PS, Chris, I was referring to your statement saying that groups of Episcopalians “have already signed documents declaring they believe everything the Church teaches with divine and Catholic faith.”

    That is neither here nor there if they are still Episcopalians. What will make them Catholics is to swim the Tiber and assent to the truths that the Church teaches. When that happens, then they are welcome and we’re glad to have them.

    This is impossible, truly beyond cavil.

    Really, catholicmidwest: at this point, either you do not know what the words I wrote mean, or you are being deliberately obtuse.

    I do not know which it is, but I have no desire to continue the conversation if this is the level at which it must be conducted.

    Best,
    C.

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    Chris,
    I most assuredly have read what you have written. That’s why I replied. Words have logical import and I am pointing that out.

    Episcopalians are not Catholic because they are….Episcopalians. One cannot be both at the same time–it’s an impossibility because they are different and mutually exclusive conditions. Even when we have Anglican use parishes, they will be CATHOLIC churches with Anglican use, not the other way round.

    I am simply agreeing with Fr. Z. There will need to be submission to the teachings of the Catholic Church among those coming in, since they will be entering the Catholic Church finally for real, and not just pretending or playing at it.

  34. catholicmidwest says:

    This move by Pope Benedict is an offer to accept large numbers of Anglicans in a way that might make them more comfortable because our music et al stinks. I understand that. But it’s NOT an offer to take them as they are with incorrect ecclesiology and theology. That will have to be repaired and it is broken, make no mistake.

    Just because they’re “Anglicans, who have always thought of themselves as in the Apostolic Tradition, with liturgy, sacraments, etc.” doesn’t mean they’re not protestants. They most assuredly have been protestants all this time and as long as they’re outside the Catholic Church, they still are. And many of them will take great pains to tell you so, if you will only listen. Don’t run over them!

    You said, “Yes, in this or that case, men have hitherto served as priests and bishops will have to be given valid orders.
    Nevertheless, their understanding of what, e.g., the priesthood is, will not have to change.” I don’t see how these two can follow one from the other. They accepted invalid orders as real ones, and they’re not going to change their minds about that, or what? I’m very sure that those who come into the Catholic Church are going to have to come to terms with that, Chris–corporately and individually. In fact, it may be a stumbling stone for some.

    You said, “I really do not think that you are grasping a basic point: the Apostolic Constitution is, in the first place, for AC communities that have already done the soul searching you are talking about.” I think I really DO grasp what’s going on here. If they had *already done the soul searching* then they would already be catholic! This is an offer of something to happen in the future after some work, not an offer to just co-opt them the way they are!

    And you said, “Yes, there are conservative AC groups out there without liturgical understanding, and with ecclesiological ideas and structures that are not compatible with Apostolic Tradition.” What if these types are all mixed in with the other ones (which is very probable)?

  35. Dear catholicmidwest,

    The Anglican groups for which the Apostolic Constitution has been prepared, have spent years examining their beliefs, conducting dialogues with several different dicasteries in Rome, and signing sword statements attesting they believe everything the Church teaches with divine and Catholic faith.

    They have been begging…beggingbegging to be accepted, FOR YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The process of welcoming them into full communion has been slow because of foot dragging in one particular dicastery, which was afraid to step on the toes of the current occupant of Lambeth Palace.

    Somehow, folks at the PCPCU have convinced themselves that bringing thousands of Chrisitians into full, visible union with Rome is anti-ecumenical.

    PBXVI has said, “Enough! They say they are Catholic. Let’s take their word for it, and iron out the details later.”

    This is, roughly, the way the then-Cardinal Ratzinger suggested Rome deal with the first Anglican Use communities that came in during the 1980′s.

    Now that he is Peter, he’s doing it his way.

    He is, as Fr. Z. says, the Pope of Christian Unity.

    As I understand your position, you would say, “Well, Anglicans need to submit to Rome.”

    Nothing wrong with that.

    In fact, I agree.

    My point is that they have done that, already.

    They have done everything Rome has asked of them, and more.

    While it is true that no one has signed on the dotted line, it is also true that the spiritual leg-work needed to make the signing possible, has been done and done well – on both sides.

    You are cavilling the lack of a signature, and ignoring the history of the specific cases for which the Apostolic Constitution has been created.

    Best,
    C.

  36. line 3: *sworn statements

  37. catholicmidwest says:

    Chris,

    You have one interpretation, but it might not be the only one or even the one the Pope might prefer–you are aware of that, right?

    Please show me where the Pope said LITERALLY,“Enough! They say they are Catholic. Let’s take their word for it, and iron out the details later.” Else, don’t put words into the Pope’s mouth, please.

  38. catholicmidwest says:

    And when I say literally, I mean literally: word for word. Please, direct me to it.

  39. I’m not going to do that, catholicmidwest.

    I will not be responding anymore.

    C.

  40. catholicmidwest says:

    Because you can’t. It doesn’t exist.