TAC Archbp. Hepworth on Anglicanorum coetibus

In the Church Times (Issue 7663 – 29 January, 2010), an Anglican publication which is not connected with the Anglican hierarchy we find this.

My emphases and comments:

Archbishop Hepworth: took up ARCIC and “got what we wanted”

GRAHAM HOWARD

A MEETING of bishops who have petitioned the Pope to be received into full communion while retaining an “Anglican” identity is to take place in Rome in Low Week.

It would be the culmination of the response to Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution (Anglicanorum Coeti­busAnglicanorum Coeti­bus) to establish personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans, Archbishop John Hepworth of the Traditional Angli­can Communion (TAC), a Con­tinuing Church, said on Wednesday.

He was due in Rome in three weeks’ time for a meeting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) after a series of regional TAC synods, and would then, two weeks after Easter, meet most of the bishops who had peti­tioned the Pope to make their formal response on the Ordinariates.

“The ball is in our court. We asked for this and this is what we got. This is becoming Anglican Catholics, not Roman Catholics,” Archbishop Hep­worth said, speaking from Australia.  [Anglican Catholics, not Roman Catholics.]

The letters from the Vatican replying to all those who had res­ponded to the Pope’s offer had now been received. He had followed that with a pastoral letter to TAC members last week.

“After an introduction about church unity, we talk about our original meeting with the CDF. They gave us advice and we followed it. A team of Roman Catholic bishops and scholars were helping us to reflect on unity. They provided a critique of the TAC, and we quote some of that back to them. The TAC wants to achieve communion while ‘main­taining those revered traditions of spirituality, liturgy, discipline and theo­logy that constitute the cherished and centuries-old heritage of Angli­can communities throughout the world’.

“So our way of doing theology is there, as is our way of discipline. Our group will have the right to elect our bishops. We asked the CDF for elec­tion by council. They laughed at us at first, but we got it. [!] We are also working with a commission with Forward in Faith to produce our lit­urgy. [They will have to make some adaptations.] We signed the Catechism as ‘the most complete and authentic expres­sion and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time’.

“We did that to put our commit­ment beyond dispute, but we did not have to agree to Apostolicae Curae [which declares Anglican orders ab­solutely null and utterly void], be­cause that is not in the Cate­chism.”  [!]

A consultation was taking place on “reordination in the TAC con­text”. “We separated from the Angli­can Church. Some left because of sacramental and doctrinal issues, and have got lost. We chose to take up ARCIC [the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commis­sion], and we have got what we wanted. People who said we could not are having to eat humble pie, and I am sinfully enjoying that.”

The Archbishop said that he was issuing TAC’s original 2007 petition to the CDF at the same time as his pastoral letter.

In his letter, he writes: “Re-ordination is an issue because the Church requires absolute certainty in the matter of future sacramental life. I have been told that the TAC should understand this because we ourselves moved beyond the Angli-­can Communion in order to ensure the validity of sacramental life. Rome is now seeking the same assurance.”  [Reasonable.  Entirely]

The Apostolic Constitution “speaks of Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. There at the outset are the three critical factors: Anglicans, full com­munion and Catholic Church.”

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44 Responses to TAC Archbp. Hepworth on Anglicanorum coetibus

  1. Brian Day says:

    “We did that to put our commit­ment beyond dispute, but we did not have to agree to Apostolicae Curae [which declares Anglican orders ab­solutely null and utterly void], be­cause that is not in the Cate­chism.” [!]

    [!] Indeed.

    Did the CDF agree to that, or is that Hepworth’s personal opinion? I do not think anyone is free to disregard a Papal Bull.

  2. The Astronomer says:

    “…but we did not have to agree to Apostolicae Curae”

    I am confused and hope FRZ will enlighten me

  3. Brian Day says:

    Boy, I wish there was an edit button.

    Let me revise and extend my remark: “I do not think anyone in full communion with the Catholic Church is free to disregard a Papal Bull.”

  4. catholicmidwest says:

    Sounds like some Anglicans are trying to claim what they’ve always wanted: the label “Catholic” without any of the work of being Catholic. It needs to be made crystal clear to them that Catholics are Catholics, and that’s how it is. Being a little bit Catholic is like being a little bit pregnant–it makes no sense.

    CCC: 114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By “analogy of faith” we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

  5. moon1234 says:

    I wonder if agreeing with Apostolicae Curae and submitting to it are two different ideas in Hepworth’s mind (He is a Catholic Priest, but not a valid Bishop).

    I also doubt that their council will be able to elect new Bishops. Recommend new Bishops for approval to Holy Father maybe (Just like the Bishop’s councils do). Some of what he is saying may also be leaving out some of the back story that goes along with it.

    I also am not so sure I like the state of becoming Anglican Catholics and not Roman Catholics. It would have been better to say to they are becoming Roman Catholics with a uniquely Anglican patrimony. I think they want to be seen similar to Eastern Rite Catholics as an organazation. I do NOT think they should have a similar structure or similar liturgical freedom. The Anglican “Church” sprouted from disobediance whereas the Eastern Rite was a natural progression of the faith that has unbroken Apostolic Succession and union with Rome.

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    All this is every bit as bad as anything the SSPX, even the worst of them, ever thought of. There must be a crazy Anglican gene in that pool.

  7. moon1234 says:

    The SSPX != to the Anglican Communion. Why do people make sure crazy comparisons. The Anglican communion is made up mostly of pretend clerics. The SSPX is 100% valid in orders.

  8. Crbtre says:

    I don’t worry about the label Roman Catholic vs. Anglican Catholic. The original use of Roman Catholic was derogatory as I understand it so it doesn’t matter as long as they understand that they are one in the same.

  9. JonM says:

    …Sigh…

    This is not exactly a Road to Damascus moment.

    The demure treatment of select Church teachings (Anglican orders are null and void) and this perennial ogre cousin to the Nightmare Before Christmas’s Oogie-Boogie man of ‘We are not ROMAN Catholics bwwwaaa ha ha ha haaa!’ appear not to have been put down for good (despite Pope Benedicts very, very generous offer).

    If this is the attitude to come, how long before we hear ‘Mariology is unique to the (cue music from the original Psycho) Roman branch of the Catholic Church’ I wonder. Anglicans I have personally dealt with who have converted comment that within Anglicanism (and to some extent Episcopalianism), there is an irrational and bigoted approach to us in the Latin Rite. Not all, some. But it is there. And it needs to be blotted out if Anglican communities are to take the Pope’s offer.

    I must think that there are Anglicans who genuinely do wish to submit to the Church and serve her well.

    Perhaps TAC leadership thinks it has some bargaining power. To invoke a comment from the third Indiana Jones film, ‘Choose wisely.’ That chalice might be more powerful than you think.

  10. catholicmidwest says:

    I hear you, moon1234. Anglicans like this are far crazier than any SSPXers. That was my point.

  11. Oneros says:

    It sounds like they are going to accept re-ordination, though, “for certainty’s sake”.

    We must remember that since the time of Apostolicae Curae, valid lines of Orthodox and Old Catholic ordination were inserted into some lines of Anglican succession.

  12. DavidJ says:

    “Anglicans like this are far crazier than any SSPXers.”

    That’s a very absolute statement to make. Are you sure about that?

  13. Hans says:

    Oneros wrote:

    We must remember that since the time of Apostolicae Curae, valid lines of Orthodox and Old Catholic ordination were inserted into some lines of Anglican succession.

    Surely that’s not entirely relevant; ordination isn’t exactly like genetics. The Anglican liturgy itself has fundamental flaws, such as the absolute rejection beginning no later than the late nineteenth century (whatever one’s individual intentions to the contrary might be) of Transubstantiation or anything akin to it. One cannot, surely, be validly ordained with the purpose of doing an invalid thing.

  14. Warren says:

    It’s times like this that I’m glad to be a mere layman, and thankful that the Holy Spirit is in charge.

    I do hope that our separated brethren make it home to Rome. After speaking on several occasions with former Anglicans of both the low and high church variety who have jumped the fence, I have come away thinking we should be cautious. What has been conveyed to me is that there is a not-so subtle undercurrent in anglo-catholic circles which considers anglo-catholicism as on par with Catholicism with regards to the validity of the sacraments. For example, one big problem – there is no valid Eucharist in any of the Anglican circles, period, yet Anglos insist theirs is a valid sacrament. I admire their reverence for what they think is the Body and Blood of Christ, but their reverence is idolatry, for in reality no change takes place in the bread and wine during their services. If the dialogue on catholic-minded Anglicans’ blogs mean anything, Anglo-catholics are reading into Anglicanorum Coetibus a lot more than the document admits with regards to an Anglican patrimony.

  15. Ogard says:

    It can be ruled out that any of them would be acknowledged as priests without ordination, or a conditional ordination. I see no problem in it unless they insist on their present status as that of a truly Catholic priesthood.

    However, I envisage a problem in their de facto acceptance by the Catholic community as a whole. If they accept the CCC they will be hated by extreme “traditionalists” as well as by trendy modernists. Even without these two extremes they will have to cope with the problems similar to those experienced by Eastern Rite Catholics, who have never been fully accepted by the Latin part of the Church, but are viewed as “ecclesiastical oddities or exotic creations” (said by Archbishop Ghattas of Catholic Copts at one of the Vatican II sessions, Fr. Wiltgen: The Rhine flows into the Tiber, p. 198). There are some 20.000 Malabar Catholics in the UK, and they badly need a bishop to care for them, but somebody, whether in England or Rome, wouldn’t have it. The result is that they are loosing faith, or loosing their Malabar identity by absorption into “Latin” parishes.

    So, I fear that our new brethren will eventually loose what they are supposed to bring as a gift to us. They are more likely to be tolerated and ignored than actively supported.

  16. mpm says:

    Folks.

    Too much generalizing from too little data. Being “Anglican Catholics” is not opposed to being “Latin Rite Catholics” (which is what so-called “Roman Catholics” really are, except in the diocese of Rome). Anglicanorum coetibus locates Anglican Ordinariates smack dab in the middle of the Latin Rite, so much so, that they will naturally have both Forms of the Latin Rite available to them, PLUS whatever other forms of Liturgy they agree with the CDF about, and which they are working on as we speak.

    If the Pope accepts their signatures on the CCC as evidence of their bona fides, who are we to gainsay that?

    The TAC has not been in communion with the “Anglican communion” since its inception (decades ago); while not all members of TAC (clergy and laity) are prepared to make the move “to cross the Tiber” immediately, and probably some will not, there are yet many who are so prepared, including +Hepworth, who is prepared to step down from his episcopal leadership in order to do so (and has said so publicly). Why the acrimony?

    As to the question of Anglican Orders TODAY, that is such inside baseball, and has been so nuanced by Catholics like Pope Benedict himself, that my only advice would be that if you don’t know a great deal about that particular subject, historically and doctrinally, don’t give another thought to it. What TAC has agreed to is that, whatever their own personal opinions of the validity of their individual ordinations, they will submit to whatever discipline the CDF regards as necessary to bring about the absolute certainty of ordination going forward. What more can anyone ask?

    As to the “Anglican communion” inside England and Wales, they have their own problems, especially when their Primate, at the Gregorian in Rome, trys to explain how faith in 2 Sacraments (Baptism and Eucharist) is really the same thing as faith in 7 Sacraments. They are in communion with Gnosis, not the Faith; they are not the TAC, who aspire to be in communion with the Catholic Church.

    Our duty is to pray that it happen, and not contribute to further confusion, much less calumny.

  17. JonM says:

    @Warren,

    Let’s just say I’ve observed ‘theologically eccentric’ behavior from conversos of Thames/Potomac extraction.

    The root of it is not, in my view, any one particular teaching (e.g., contraception, abortion, Confession, etc.), besides Mary. Rather, it is an outlook of ‘I was always Catholic, I’m doing this (converting) for personal reasons’ and thus teachings that require sacrifice, work, or just plain submission are ignored. It is the rejection of the notion of submission and acceptance of Church teaching that is the problem.

    I will just say that I personally observed this problem.

    As the commanding officer in the series Generation Kill commented on dissent, it spreads like mushrooms and cannot be allowed especially in an environment with others seeking conversion.

    When I heard of the proposed special constitution for Anglican communities, I was very excited like most of us here. The concern that these Anglicans would see themselves as something akin to Eastern Catholic Churches existed though few of us focused on that.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be something ever more disruptive than envisioning an ‘Anglican Church’ sui juris in Communion with Rome. Rather, we see crop up even before any execution of Pope Benedict’s plan, the typical theological/cultural snootiness that blocked this kind of proposal in the past.

    No, TAC, you will not get equal status as, say, the Ukrainian Church. They developed organically with apostolic succession. Anglicanism on the other hand stole Catholic properties en masse, played fiddle to royal houses that murdered Catholics en masse, and rejected core elements of the faith.

    This report is so upsetting because there is such potential for Christian unity with Pope Benedict’s proposal that could extent to the future to scoop up lost Protestants elsewhere.

    Also, while SSPX did commit an act of defiance, they did not try to form a new Church nor did they send Catholics into torture towers. SSPX did maintain valid intention and matter (not to mention the Mass of over four centuries…)

    I agree with the contributors above that SSPX and TAC are not in the same league therefore any comparison is defective.

  18. Justin from Ohio says:

    Excellent post, mpm.

  19. JonM says:

    @MPM

    This phrase ‘Anglican Catholics’ is not something comparable to ‘Latin Rite Catholics.’ This is so critical for TAC to understand: they will be Latin Rite Catholics like the rest of us and they should want to.

    What is concerning many of us is that they are treating the notion of being part of the Latin Rite the same as wading into some stingray infested bog with crocodiles slithering everywhere. I love our Rite and we all should because it is what God gave us here is the West.

    Should Mexicans demand the Pope give them ‘Mezo Mestizo-Catholic’ status because of the unique cultural infusions over the many years? The Pope has been plenty generous with Anglicans for the good of winning over souls.

    There is no way around it, they will have to walk through the openned gate that exists, not an immaginary one with forest fairy guides.

    The Holy Spirit did not shape Anglicanism like the Byzantine or Malabar Churches. There is no ground to argue this point otherwise.

  20. Roland de Chanson says:

    I agree, well said, mpm.

    It seems though that there are others who would search Anglicanorum coetibus for a clause rekindling the Smithfield fires.

    In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.

  21. Sid says:

    mpm indeed has spoken well. Some other writebackers might take to heart Holy Father’s very words and be a bit more “generous”, assisting, and “warm and open-hearted” in welcoming a group that will be “a blessing for the entire Church”.

    I would ask you to be generous in implementing the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, so as to assist those groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, such groups will be a blessing for the entire Church.

    Likewise one writebacker needs to be careful before he assumes to know the mind of The Holy Spirit.

  22. “Surely that’s not entirely relevant; ordination isn’t exactly like genetics.”

    It’s more like it than unlike it, which is why some Anglican clergy who are received, are ordained “conditionally.”

    And another thing. All this concern over identity as “Anglican Catholics” is way, W-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-Y overblown. When one speaks of “Roman Catholics”, one can mean ritual affiliation, or one can mean communion. A Byzantine Catholic or a Chaldean Catholic is a “Roman” Catholic in the latter sense, but not the former. The Anglican liturgical tradition — very much tied to the Roman/Western tradition, but distinct nonetheless — to the degree that it has remained Catholic (and some of it has), can be traced over a dozen centuries. We think nothing of preserving liturgical traditions of religious orders that are half that age.

    But hey, let’s all have a cow over this one! Geez.

  23. Paul Rimmer says:

    Though I must agree with previous observations that there is no proper “Anglican Rite”, I would like to see such a rite established. There are certain beautiful liturgical strains and elements that arose out of this disobedience and, in spite of the source, if cultivated, these beautiful strains could grow into a new and magnificent rite. Like flowers from manure.

    It appears as though there will be Catholic communities that will worship using a properly corrected version of the Book of Common Prayer. As someone who prays using the Anglican Breviary, I would be very interested in joining such a community, if one arose near me. The history is rich, if not always pure.

  24. MikeM says:

    It would be difficult for them to accept Apostoicae Curae until AFTER they’ve accepted the Church’s offer. If they accepted it back when they signed the Catechism, they risked dismantling their own communion.

  25. Ceile De says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that the establishment of a personal ordinariate rather than a separate rite had more to do with not wanting to jeapordizing relations with the Orthodox (who are touchy on these matters) than anythign else?

  26. JonM says:

    @Ceile De,

    I don’t know and of course I could only speculate. Perhaps the decision did not have more to do with relations with the Orthodox (and Eastern Catholic Churches) per se. That is, no ‘Anglican Rite’ was offered because none exists and if one were offered the Orthodox would shut the door for another 1000 years.

    There are practical reasons, beyond those I’ve already stated, that would work against an Anglican Rite (NB: there apparently will be some kind of Anglican liturgical rite, something distinct from the Roman Rite. I think that’s the big enchilada here. But that is completely different from a sui juris Church, which is not offered.)

    For example, such could play into the dreamy belief in a ‘Celtic Church’ that was cruelly Romanized. It might not have much basis in reality, but it is a popular song particularly in Anglo-Catholic circles and a common justification for the silly ‘We already are Catholic’ chant.

    There is also a clear risk that any Anglican Rite sui juris would scoff at celibacy. If we have a priest shortage now…just saying.

    I would put a safe bet on that kind of move torpedoing the very bright prospect at some Eastern Orthodox Churches coming back into communion with us (as an asside, I predict the Greeks will be close to dead last, but I digress.)

    I guess some might suggest I’m a ‘writebacker’ [?] who is attepting to ‘dictate the will of the Holy Spirit.’ I kind of see myself as a converso on fire for the Church who is utterly fascinated with our Catholic history (and is mesmerized by my brand new 1962 Roman Missal!) and only reporting historical facts that there is no and cannot be an ‘Anglican Rite’ on par with the Roman Rite or the Byzantine Rite for purely objective historical reasons. But we all must make judgments according to how we understand facts.

  27. JonM says:

    Edit: Second to last line should be ‘…Latin Rite or the Byzantine Rite…

  28. MikeM says:

    Celie De,

    While I’m sure the Church would have been reluctant to push away the Orthodox by creating an “Anglican Rite,” I don’t think that’s really entered the decision making calculus on this one.

    The Eastern Rite churches were real churches, led by legitimate Patriarchs, who re-joined Rome with their Patriarchs maintaining certain rights and privileges. That was possible, though, because their Patriarchs were legitimate, with a legitimate Apostolic line. The various Anglican “ecclesial communities” are not real Christian churches, and their bishops are lay-people, separated from the Church, in clerical costumes. Their different standing requires a different treatment.

  29. Kaneohe says:

    For those interesting in seeing what the prayer book/missal presently in use and approved by the Vatican and the USCCB for the Anglican Use Mass in the US click this link:http://www.atonementonline.com/BODW.pdf

    Notice how the first page reads”…for use by Roman Catholics coming from the Anglican Tradition…” they clearly don’t say for use by Anglican Catholics!

    The Book of Divine Worship being elements of the Book of Common Prayer
    revised and adapted according to the Roman Rite for use
    by Roman Catholics coming from the Anglican Tradition
    approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
    of the United States of America
    and confirmed by the Apostolic See.

    I am curious as to what the TAC might suggest for its Prayer Book….

  30. muckemdanno says:

    I don’t understand what is going on here.

    Mr. Hepworth says:

    “The TAC wants to achieve communion while ‘main­taining those revered traditions of spirituality, liturgy, discipline and THEOLOGY that constitute the cherished and centuries-old heritage of Angli­can communities throughout the world’.”

    Anglican theology is only specifically “Anglican” to the extent that it differs from Roman Catholic theology. Is this simply a means to allow Protestants to feel comfortable calling themselves Catholic while retaining Protestant theology? Is the ecumenical spirit of lowest common denominator to be liturgically integrated in the Church??? Wasn’t the “Book of Common Prayer” specifically designed to reject the Catholic (i.e. – true) theology of the mass?

    Hepworth continues…”We signed the Catechism as ‘the most complete and authentic expres­sion and application of the Catholic faith IN THIS MOMENT OF TIME.” This does not sound like a ringing endorsement…”we don’t like everything in in, but it’s the best we’ve got…”

    It really does not sound like they are converting, it’s more like they are agreeing to a corporate merger…St John Fisher, pray for us!

  31. Hans says:

    I wrote (in part):

    “Surely that’s not entirely relevant; ordination isn’t exactly like genetics.”

    manwithblackhat replied:

    It’s more like it than unlike it, which is why some Anglican clergy who are received, are ordained “conditionally.”

    I don’t disagree, but there is necessarily at least some doubt about the validity of even the “best” such ordination, hence all must be ordained, as you say, at least conditionally.

    .

    I also agree with you that we shouldn’t overreact to such comments. I think an excellent perspective on the present position of the TAC and similar communities can be gained by reading the part of Venerable (soon to be Blessed) Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua where he discusses the time between when he realized he could no longer remain Anglican and when he knew he had to become Catholic. If memory serves, it’s the last chapter. Even written some twenty years later you could still read the anguish. Though thanks to Pope Benedict their anguish should be short-lived.

  32. geoff jones says:

    Regarding Hepworth’s comments on Apostolicae Curae, remember that they are going to submit to ordination to remove any doubt.

    Also, Hepworth is aware that a lot of Anglicans are going to be reading his comments, for whom Apostolicae Curae is a very touchy subject. When he’s talking he wants to persuade as many Anglicans as possible to follow the TAC across the Tiber.

    You aren’t going to win Anglicans for Rome by rubbing their noses in the fact that their orders are invalid. You’ll just offend them. Hepworth knows this and I think he is doing the best he can.

    And for those Hepworth bashers out there: you should note that this guy won’t be accepted as even a priest due to the fact that he originally left the Catholic priesthood to marry. He knows this but he’s still pushing on. It would take great humility on his part to do this so please cut him some slack.

  33. JonM says:

    It takes greater humilty to not misrepresent what it will mean to become Catholic with special Anglican liturgical uses and unique corporal structure.

    I think that some have the mistaken view that just because certain Anglican/Episcopalian parishes reject homosexuality and Anglican leadership that they are automatically kindred spirits. I used to wonder ‘what was taking so long’ and realized how limited my perspective was.

    Pope Benedict should be applauded for his Anglicanorum Coetibus proposal because it is at the heart of genuine Christian unity and the re-assembly of the Church. However, this should not be taken to mean that Anglicans have license or bargaining power to publically showcase a demure attitude on aspects of Church teaching.

    That isn’t to suggest that I expect him to run around like a headless chicken skwaking ‘Anglican orders are invalid!’ Indeed, to state the opposite is even more inappropriate.

    John Hepworth of course should not be in any ordained positioned (he broke his priestly vows to get married. Twice.) so I don’t really see that as a ‘concession.’

    It is a good point to make that Anglicans who do come over will face a very, very hard march because they will not have a job, at least right away. This is a serious consideration and we need to be willing to help, the best we can, Anglicans who come over and either forfeit their role as a cleric or those who are ordained but cannot find a community sufficient enough for support.

    But to come over, one has to submit to the Church and not play make beleive (Anglican Catholics?!) Our faith is not, as others are, a sociological construct akin to a club or sporting league. We can be like Simon the Magician and covet all the good without any work or sacrifice, or we can draw inspiration from the Saints and courage souls like Cardinal Newman.

  34. Jeremy says:

    Plenty of commenters here seem to wish to make windows into men’s souls.

  35. Dr. Eric says:

    I am responding to those who are denigrating the status of the people who are going to come into our Church especially in regards to the complaint against Abp. Hepworth who remarked that they’d be Anglican Catholics. I read in one of our orthodox Catholic magazines (not the Tablet) that at least 3 times in history the Holy Father offered a Patriarchate to the Archbishop of Canturbury and wanted to establish a Sui Juris Anglican Catholic Church with its own Rite. Effectively creating a situation like the Ukrainians and Maronites and the like.

  36. Dr. Eric says:

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0000491.shtml

    I finally found the article. Under James I the Archbishop of Canterbury was offered a Cardinalate. Under Charles II the Archbishop was offered a Patriarchate. And there was a similar proposal under Elizabeth II in the seventies.

  37. MichaelJ says:

    I cannot pretend to be able to see into Hepworth’s soul, but must admit that I am mildly disturbed by his seemingly insistent use of the term “Anglican Catholic”. Much in the same way that I am disturbed by the term “Fill In Ethnic Group Here American”.

    Maybe I am reading too much into this, but normally I would expect a person to prepend a modifier onto a term only if he wishes to distinguish himself from the rest of the group. Thus “Anglican Catholics” are different (in what way, I wonder) from “Catholics”.

    Perhaps he only intended it to indicate which particular rite would be used, but he did seem to attach a particular importance to the term, even going so far as ti hint (perhaps unitentionally) that Anglican theology is somehow different from Catholic theology.

  38. robtbrown says:

    Graham Leonard was the only Anglican clergy I know of who was conditionally ordained.

    It has already be stated (cf Fr Ghirlanda SJ’S essay, approved by the SCDF) that all those who come into the Church via Anglicanorum Coetibus will be absolutely ordained.

    End of story.

  39. JonM says:

    Dr. Eric, I read (quickly) the article and did not see anywhere in it stating that a Patriarchate. The article was unclear who proposed what during Charles II’s reign. I did not see anything remotely akin to a sui juris offer by a Pope to Anglicans.

    Clearly this story has people widely dispersed, which is somewhat unusual for WDTPRS and certainly grants that much more of an interesting conversion.

    Though it might seem like hair-splitting, subtleties in language historically have propted vigorous debate and even empire-wide wars. Let’s take Monophysitism and Monothelitism. Both positions were eventually determined to be heretical. 99% of us who go to Mass every week probably could not begin to distinguish the two (we don’t have to in an expository sense, we just have to accept that Jesus came as true God and true man).

    Perhaps to some Christians debate over whether Christ had only one nature (Monophysitism) or had two natures but one will (Monothelitism) was a waste of time that only resulted in disunity. But far worse would have been to paper over the debate. In fact, it is clearly significant for us as we try to avoid all sin with God’s grace that Christ did have a human nature and a human will. I think Scripturally speaking the Hypostatic Union is a far better description than Miaphysitism because the former has more precise and accurate language.

    So, I think that some of those who do not see the comments of John Hepworth as being significant and therefore cannot understand what on earth us complainers are throwing a trantrum about should consider how important a little turn of phrase is here or there.

    Dr. Eric, it is not denigration of anyone to express concerns about the understanding of what it means to convert to Catholicism. This is particularly so when there is a history of some Anglicans harboring a not too guarded bigotry against Catholics. Catholic.com had a deep story about this which featured a very Christian quote ‘why would I want to go to church with my plumber?

    So, I have to wonder, do leaders of TAC want some kind of ‘Anglican Catholic’ status so they can remain ritually pure from the working class? Such an attitude does not indicate a championing of the beatitudes.

    This is not an episode of Anglophobia. It isn’t necessary nor particularly relevent but I have my share of English (England proper) heritage.

    I do wonder how many people who think fast and loose language like ‘Anglican Catholics’ and ‘we don’t like everything in in, but it’s the best we’ve got’ is just fine but aren’t just fine with SSPX (which as Father wrote, is obviously Catholic, but not completely straight because it lacks status within the Church).

  40. “Comment by robtbrown — 3 February 2010 @ 2:43 pm”

    He’s not the only one I know of, and unless they have studied the lineage of every Anglican cleric to “crosses the Tiber,” they are no more authorized to proclaim “the end of the story” than are you or I. The Holy See is not the author of the sacraments; Christ is. The role of the Church in this determination is interpretive, not creative.

    And THAT is the end of the story.

  41. Roland de Chanson says:

    I for one have no compunction about going to church with my plumber. Because if my pipe leaks, I will mention it at the parish picnic. It is an infallible guarantee of excellent workmanship. BTW, does the sin of detraction apply to deficient contractors?

    His dictis, I am quite taken aback at the level of vituperation and even vitriol with which this Apostolic Constitution is debated in these comboxes. Good Lord, I am French, with Plantagenet blood, and even I think this is a good thing. Let us set aside these recriminations and welcome à bras ouverts our confrères de la foi. Shakespeare and Newman would be smiling.

  42. catholicmidwest says:

    David J, leaving the phrase “like this” in there—-YUP!

  43. William Tighe says:

    “Graham Leonard was the only Anglican clergy I know of who was conditionally ordained.”

    And Fr. John Jay Hughes, now a retired Archdiocese of St. Louis secular priest, back in 1968 in Germany.

    The three other English Anglican bishops who became Catholics in the aftermath of Graham Leonard’s conversion (Rutt of Leicester, Meyer of Dorchester, and Klyberg of Fulham) were all ordained unconditionally — as have been the American Episcopalian bishops who became Catholic in recent years (Steenson of the Rio Grande and Lipscomb of SW Florida).

    There are particular aspects of Msgr. Leonard’s “ordination pedigree,” in particular the participation of an Old Catholic (Union of Utrecht) bishop in his Anglican episcopal consecration that ma yhave played a role in the Vatican’s decision in his case.

  44. An American Mother says:

    I think we need to chill a little.

    I have some experience in this area since I was an ultramontane Episcopalian for 40-some-odd years. Some very odd.

    The anti-Catholicism in Anglicanism and Episcopalianism tends to be clustered at the Evangelical or “low church” end of the scale. Think Bishop Proudie and his horrible wife, or Charles Kingsley for an actual real person. Those folks are not going to consider Catholicism even for a moment. The ones who are coming over will be from the other end of the spectrum – “high churchers” or Anglo-Catholics (that’s what they’ve been called for years, they will only abandon that term slowly) or “high churchers”. They aren’t anti-Catholic, in fact they’re usually described as “more Roman than Rome”. For what it’s worth, they’re not by and large snobs, either. The high churchers have been manning the missions in dangerous urban areas for years, and their parishes tend to be in ‘transitional’ neighborhoods.

    And believe me, even for a ‘nosebleed high’ Anglican laywoman, it is tough to acknowledge that all the sacraments, for all your life, have been invalid (except for the Baptism!) It must be even tougher for the Anglican clergy.

    They are going to have to work this through and it’s going to be painful, and there will be some unpleasant moments along the way. Be charitable.