From Fr. Longenecker, comes this excellent comment:

Let’s face it, the Church of England is never going to roll over and submit to the Holy Father, but it would be rather nice if a conservative group were to split off, join the Catholics and have Her Majesty come long for the ride. She could repudiate her role as the head of the Church of England, and the Anglicans could elect Elton John to take her place. That way they could have everything they really want: homosexual marriage and an old English queen as the head of their religion.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Thomas S says:

    Wait. There are still Anglicans?

  2. robtbrown says:

    That way they could have everything they really want: homosexual marriage and an old English queen as the head of their religion.

    Which means they could still sing God Save the Queen.

  3. iudicame says:

    ruined my soup – better saved for a Monday


  4. Ouch! I felt that all the way over here.


  5. MikeM says:

    On the one hand, this is hilarious.

    On the other, as Br. Stephen at the blog Sub Tuum wrote a few months ago regarding Anglicans joining the Catholic Church: ” I don’t remember anyone ever deciding to cross the Tiber because someone kicked a lot of sand in his face while he was standing on the bank.”

  6. Margaret says:


    I’m so glad I finished my Diet Coke before I read that…

  7. Dave N. says:

    Obviously, he’s still a bit bitter about his past.

  8. aethelbeart says:

    Ouch, I second Dave N. The joke says more about Fr. Dwight than about the Church of England.

  9. servusmariaen says:

    On the Prairie where I grew up you might THINK a lot of things but you wouldn’t say HALF of them. Simply because something contains some or a lot of truth doesn’t mean one should blurt that out. My mother used to say to us growing up, “Was that charitable?” I’m interested in knowing how much Christian charity is worth these days?

  10. Prof. Basto says:

    I have the impression that that (the British Sovereign crossing the tiber) would have already happened if it weren’t for the Act of Settlement (and certain provisions of the Bill of Rights confirmed by it).

    Whereas in the first year of the reign of Your Majesty, and of our late most gracious sovereign lady Queen Mary (of blessed memory), an Act of Parliament was made, entitled, “An Act for declaring the rights and liberties of the subject, and for settling the succession of the crown,” (…)And it was thereby further enacted, that all and every person and persons that then were, or afterwards should be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with the see or Church of Rome, or should profess the popish religion, or marry a papist, should be excluded, and are by that Act made for ever incapable to inherit, possess, or enjoy the Crown and government of this realm, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, or any part of the same, or to have, use, or exercise any regal power, authority, or jurisdiction within the same: and in all and every such case and cases the people of these realms shall be and are thereby absolved of their allegiance: and that the said Crown and government shall from time to time descend to and be enjoyed by such person or persons, being Protestants, as should have inherited and enjoyed the same, in case the said person or persons, so reconciled, holding communion, professing or marrying, as aforesaid, were naturally dead:

    …the Crown and Regall Government of the said Kingdoms of England France and Ireland and of the Dominions thereunto belonging with the Royall State and Dignity of the said Realms and all Honours Stiles Titles Regalities Prerogatives Powers Jurisdictions and Authorities to the same belonging and appertaining shall be remain and continue to the said most Excellent Princess Sophia and the Heirs of Her Body being Protestants…

    Provided always, and be it hereby enacted, That all and every person and persons, who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown, by virtue of the limitation of this present act, and is, are or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with, the See or Church of Rome, or shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist, shall be subject to such incapacities, as in such case or cases are by the said recited act provided, enacted, and established…

    …whosoever shall hereafter come to the possession of this Crown, shall join in communion with the Church of England, as by law established…

    Of course, by not crossing the Tiber, Her Majesty keeps her Crown (that would otherwise be lost under the Act of Settlement), but harms her soul. That’s why the Act of Settlement needs to be reppealed: it harms the souls of the members of the Royal Family by seducing them not to convert to the True Religion so as to not relinquish a place in the Succession to a temporal Crown.

  11. Archicantor says:

    Even (or perhaps especially) as an Anglican I had to laugh at this. But much as the vestment makers would swoon at the prospect, I’m not sure that Sir Elton would accept the invitation if we offered it, given how egregiously my “ecclesial community” has sinned, and continues to sin, against gay and lesbian Christians. Anglicans of all theological stripes would do well to digest no. 2358 in the Catechism and honestly ask themselves whether any of us can truly claim to have shown consistent “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” to gays and lesbians and avoided “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard” (not merely every unjust discrimination, but every *sign* of unjust discrimination). Queen Elizabeth would probably number among the very few Anglicans who could pass that test with flying colours.

  12. I’ve met Fr. Longenecker and he is one of the least bitter people ever. But he does have a manly and robust sense of humor, unlike some here.

  13. Sid says:

    Rome might be able to speed the process of an Anglican Secession by setting up a world-wide Anglican Rite (as opposed to “Anglican Usage”) with

    1. it’s bishops and Primate,

    2. it’s Prayerbook based on the 1549 Prayerbook with Cranmer’s memorialism removed and the Roman Cannon added as an option,

    3. its Divine Office with the Psalter similar to the Roman OF Office, and

    4 generally following the Roman OF Calendar with Anglo-Irish saints added.

  14. irishgirl says:

    Oooo-good thing I wasn’t eating or drinking anything when I read this!

    Good show, Father Longnecker!

    It would be pretty cool to have Her Majesty the Queen as a Catholic….

  15. robtbrown says:

    1. it’s bishops and Primate,
    Comment by Sid

    The last thing Rome needs to do right now is consecrate bishops from laymen who have spent years thinking they were bishops.

  16. Fr. John Mary says:

    Pardon me if I over-simplify (I tend to have a ‘simple mind’) but the whole Henry VIII, Elizabeth I-thing was primarily political (Henry was supposed to have been a “good Catholic” before he wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon). I pray that England will return to her true heritage: the Church of Rome. After all, isn’t she “the dowry of Our Lady”?

  17. Rouxfus says:

    From The Roman Missal, 1962 (Baronius Press), post-Mass prayers (in England and Wales only)

    ?. O Lord, save Elizabeth our Queen.

    ?. And hear us in the day when we call upon Thee.

    Let us pray.— Almighty God, we pray for thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, now by thy mercy reigning over us. Adorn her yet more with every virtue, remove all evil from her path, that with her consort, and all the royal family, she may come at last in grace to thee, who are the way, the truth, and the life. Through Christ our Lord.

    ?. Amen

  18. Athelstan says:

    Hello Archicantor,

    What you say about the Anglican Church’s past treatment of homosexuals may or may not be true, but it’s certainly true that no other major Christian denomination has been more energetic in promoting gay rights, up to and including consecration of bishops in some provinces (such as the United States).

  19. Archicantor says:

    Sid: Your suggestion is much discussed and yearned for among Anglo-Papalists. The “Western Rite Vicariate” of the Antiochian Orthodox Church has already done something similar to appeal to Anglicans with its “Liturgy of St Tikhon” (the BCP with Orthodox supplements and adaptations, e.g. stronger Epiclesis and no “Filioque”) and its “Liturgy of St Gregory” (the TLM rendered in Cranmerian English). For the Divine Office, they use either the traditional BCP Office or an Anglo-Catholic translation of the (Latin) monastic breviary. I find it fascinating that the US Catholic “Anglican Use” has, it would seem, explicitly approved the Prayer Book translation of the psalms and at least tacitly approved the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible for liturgical use. One thinks immediately of the preservation of the Psalterium Romanum in the Office at the Vatican Basilica (and everywhere in the traditional Latin text of the “Venite” at Matins), giving centuries of prayerful use pride of place.

  20. Jayna says:

    Well played, Father, well played indeed.

  21. Archicantor says:

    You’re quite right, Athelstan. And part of the problem that the Anglican Communion is having at the moment is how to discern what could be (for us, anyway) legitimate doctrinal development on the one hand, from the largely separate issue of civil and human rights on the other. A popular liberal Anglican slogan in the States, “All the sacraments for all the baptized,” certainly gives the impression that for some this is about “rights” rather than “vocation”. Large parts of the Communion, however, (particularly in Africa and South Asia) are reacting against the innovations with a vehement “sola scriptura” campaign, and their numbers rather tip the scales in the other direction. As with so many other things, Anglicans can’t really speak as a unified “denomination” on this point. And the situation for gay Anglicans in some of the African provinces, as elsewhere, continues to be pretty horrendous. Hence my wish that we could all at least agree on the pastoral guidance of the Catholic Catechism!

  22. pjsandstrom says:

    What would happen if the Queen of England as the Head of the Church of England decided souvereignly that the alleged reason for “protesting” had disappeared and that therefore ‘she and her church’ are ‘re-joining’ the Mother Church of Rome.

  23. Singing Mum says:

    Ok, dark humor, but still quite funny.
    Honest question for Anglican brothers and sisters- Has there ever been a formal apology from Anglican leadership for the treatment of Catholics? I would assume there has been, and I am unaware of it.

    So many good people suffered under British anti-Catholic laws over the centuries. Though it seems ‘ancient history’, many Catholics aware of their history and the price paid in their own families are still wounded. I would think honest admissions about this would go a long way in restoring a union that, to my simple mind, never had a sound reason to be broken.

    Recalling the number of honest apologies made by John Paul II, I wonder if there might have been anything like it coming from Britain, especially in the last 20-30 years?

  24. shane says:

    pjsandstrom, if Her Majesty were to convert to the Catholic faith then she would automatically forfeit the throne. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement “all and every Person and Persons who shall … is, are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish religion or shall marry a papist shall be subject to such [excluding] Incapacities”. I doubt the Act of Settlement will be reformed in the near future. Under the terms of the Statue of Westminster it would require concurrent agreement and legislation in all Commonwealth Realms, and would involve an unpalatably copious amount of constitutional tinkering. When it is reformed, it will likely be accompanied by a change in the royal succession to absolute cognatic primogeniture.

  25. Archicantor says:

    I was waiting for another Anglican to field your question, Singing Mum, seeing that I’ve taken up a lot of space here today. Perhaps we really are as rare as Thomas S thought (see first comment). I doubt that there has ever been an apology as formal as what you have in mind; when the issue has come up at all, I suspect that it has been more common for both sides just to compare historical grievances to see who gets bragging rights for the most suffering. But that doesn’t take into account the more recent history of anti-Catholic laws in Britain. Most non-Catholics probably don’t know that it was only relatively recently (late nineteenth century) that Catholics began to enjoy unrestricted admission to Oxford and Cambridge (compare John Henry Newman’s effective expulsion from Oxford in 1841 just for sounding suspiciously like a Catholic in “Tract 90”). But as for moving towards real reconciliation, you might be interested in the eirenic self-examination offered by Fr John Hunwicke in a recent post to his blog, Liturgical Notes: http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2009/09/meddling-galore.html.

  26. dlongenecker says:

    I can honestly say that the only thing I’m bitter about is that Fr Z has finer ecclesiastical garments than I do…

  27. Supertradmom says:

    The last thing Rome needs to do right now is consecrate bishops from laymen who have spent years thinking they were bishops, states robtbrown. –Perhaps better than having bishops who do not want to be leaders, as in the United States.

    An apology is absolutely necessary. Every year on Guy Fawkes’ Day, an effigy of the Pope is still burned in Lewes, Sussex.

  28. Supertradmom says:

    Just to add, from the bbc archives… In Lewes,”Each society carried its traditional banner and effigies emblazoned with slogans such as the Cliff society’s notorious “No Popery” banner, reminding the watching crowd of the event’s roots in anti-Catholic feelings dating back to the burning of 17 Protestant martyrs in Lewes in the 16th Century, and fed by the 1605 gunpowder plot.

    Traditionally, effigies of the Pope are burned alongside those of Guy Fawkes at huge bonfires which follow the procession at sites on the edges of the town.”

    Totally anti-Catholic and should be banned.

  29. robtbrown says:

    The last thing Rome needs to do right now is consecrate bishops from laymen who have spent years thinking they were bishops, states robtbrown.—Perhaps better than having bishops who do not want to be leaders, as in the United States.
    Comment by Supertradmom

    I think most US bishops usually follow the lead from Rome. If there’s no leadership from bishops, it reflects a similar deficiency in the Vatican.

  30. shane says:

    Historical apologies are pointless. Archbishop Williams is no more responsible for the conduct of his predecessors than President Sarkozy is for the expulsion of the Huguenots.

Comments are closed.