Yes, you read that correctly.
I picked up this story from an Australian source theage.com.au.
I get the sense that, in the past, the local Catholic diocese in Victoria had allowed Anglicans to have ordinations in a
My emphases and comments.
Vatican ban on offer to Anglicans
November 28, 2009
THE Vatican has ordered a Victorian bishop to withdraw an offer to let Anglicans ordain deacons in a Catholic church tomorrow because four of the seven are women.
Bendigo Catholics and Anglicans have both expressed sadness [Why am I not surprised?] at the decision, which comes a month after Pope Benedict XVI told Anglicans they were welcome to become Catholics and keep their Anglican identity. [Ummm…. yah. But, that identity doesn’t include things against the Christian faith, right?]
Sandhurst Bishop Joe Grech offered Bendigo Anglican Bishop Andrew Curnow use of the city’s oldest Catholic church for the celebratory service because the Anglican cathedral is closed for repairs.
Bishop Grech said yesterday that he had checked widely before offering St Kilian’s, and had the approval of the Papal Nuncio (ambassador), Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto. [Did any of them check ahead of time who… or what… was scheduled to be ordained?]
But he was ordered to withdraw the offer by a Vatican department – he did not want to say which – after a Catholic complained to Rome about the planned service.
”It had wider ramifications, and the conclusion was it was better not to have it,” Bishop Grech said.
”I was saddened, obviously. I was disappointed I couldn’t help more, but there is tremendous rapport between us and the Anglicans. They know it’s not a snub, it’s the doctrine of the church.”
Sandhurst Vicar-General John White also said he was disappointed. ”We believe we have a very good working relationship with the Anglicans, and there was no way we were endorsing their theological stance for the ordination of women – it was a generous offer to help when they could not use their own facility.” [Really? So, if someone, for example, opens up his home to a guy who, for example, want to have a political campaign and helps raise money and so forth, neither of them are endorsing each other’s positions? Would they allow, for example, worshipers of Moloch to have one of their services in the church? Extreme examples, I know. But somewhere along the line the question has to be asked: Is this right?]
Anglican theologian Charles Sherlock – a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, which is discussing theological rapprochement between the churches – said it was particularly disappointing because Bishop Grech had been so generous.
‘‘It is disappointing that he is not allowed to act as he thinks best for the people of God in Bendigo,” Dr Sherlock said. [But is it not important that your counterparts in ecumenical dialogue are also true to their identity?]
Anglican Dean Peta Sherlock (Dr Sherlock’s wife) said the Anglicans would hold tomorrow’s ordination at St Andrew’s Uniting Church instead, and were grateful for the hospitality.
”I think it’s indeed sad. Catholics in Bendigo are shocked by it. They say ‘it’s not us’, and we say ‘we know’. It was a fantastic good news story, and now it’s gone.” [And it is still a fantastic news story, because that ordination is not happening in a catholic church.]
Dean Sherlock said the Anglican cathedral closed in January. ”There’s bits falling off. Anything cement or mortar has perished.” [There is a metaphor here somewhere. …. Nope.. it’s gone. I hope they can fix their building!]
She said restoring the cathedral would cost $5 million. An appeal had been launched, which so far had raised $20,000.
”We are worshipping in the hall next door and having fantastic fun. We sit closer together, talk to each other and sing much better. [Well… that’s what is all about, after all.] But it’s the big stuff we can’t do: weddings, funerals, ordinations.”
Local Catholics criticised the decision and apologised to Anglicans in letters to the Bendigo Advertiser. Beryl Rokesky wrote: ”I was ashamed to call myself a Catholic … Contrary to what we were taught in Catholic schools, Catholics aren’t the only ones who will end up in heaven.” [Have you seen the reporter – to this point – quote someone who was happy about the decision? No?]
Peter Bugden wrote that the decision was evidence that the Roman Curia was concerned with power and control, and that Christianity had been usurped by Churchianity. [Wow. That’s clever.]
Bishop Curnow is on retreat with the seven ordinands and could not be contacted.
I suspect some people in Bendigo, in the diocese of Sandhurst, might be pleased that a simulation of a sacrament won’t be taking place in their church.
Too bad the reporter didn’t have the integrity to do some… what’s the word…. you know… reporting?