Keep repeating: “Anglicanorum coetibus… Anglicanorum coetibus…”

We should all be ready on the bank with good towels and disinfectants as Anglicans begin swimming the Tiber.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity

From CNN we learn that the Protestant Anglican Church in England rejected even the compromise about women "bishops":

My emphases and comments.

Women bishops vote threatens to split Church of England

The Church of England inched closer to allowing women bishops this weekend, with a vote that traditionalists warned could split the church.

The church’s governing body narrowly rejected a measure that would allow parishes that oppose women bishops to have an additional male bishop. [They rejected even the compromise.]

The proposal, floated by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (pictured) – the titular head of the Church of England – was an attempt to satisfy conservatives.

Campaigners for women bishops hailed the vote as a victory. [HUZZAH!]

But traditionalists said the ballot "has made it very difficult [read: impossible] for those who in conscience cannot accept the ministry for women priests and bishops."

The vote happened Saturday at the General Synod, the three-times-a-year meeting that sets policies for the Church of England.

Williams, who is also nominal head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, proposed the measure along with John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.

The rejection of the compromise was greeted with a "slightly stunned silence," said the Rev. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes.

"Everyone was aware instantly of how close it was, [with] a slight gasp from everybody, thinking, ‘Oh no, we only lost that by the skin of our teeth’ or ‘only passed that by the skin of our teeth,’" she said Sunday.

The Church of England is probably still a couple of years away from having women bishops. If this week’s General Synod approves them, as expected, parishes across the church then have at least a year to consider the matter before a future General Synod casts a final vote on the issue.

Chris Sugden of the conservative Anglican Mainstream movement said the vote showed that conservatives were actually the majority.

"Although this group is portrayed as a minority, [I love that…. "portrayed".   The liberals are so consistent.   They always want to paint the majority of conservatives as if they are the fringe.] those who do not want a winner-take-all, scorched-earth policy, are a majority in Synod," he said.

He denied that the vote was about whether or not to ordain women bishops, saying the Church of England had already decided to go ahead with that. [!]

Instead, Sugden said, the vote was about keeping the church together.  [I wonder how that double tabernacle thing is working.]

The failed compromise was so "that those who cannot accept women bishops can still be part of the Church of England," he said. "We believe in freedom of conscience, in religious freedom," he said of conservatives.

But he said a split was not inevitable, with two days to go before the General Synod concludes.

"Forty-eight hours is a long time in the life of a synod," he told CNN Sunday. "There is a lot of water to flow under the bridge. A lot of conversations are taking place."

The Catholic Group in Synod, another conservative group, suggested it would continue to fight against women bishops.

"The process in General Synod is not over and we would wish to be involved in the ongoing discussions as to a way forward that includes all loyal members of the Church of England," it said in a statement.

But a campaign called Women in the Church hailed the vote.

"We’re tying hard not to use the word victory, but yes it is," said Sally Barnes, a Women in the Church representative.  [Another blow to unity!]

"You can’t have a church where we’re all supposed to be one in Christ and then treat women as if it’s the faulty half of creation," she told CNN Sunday.

"People don’t need protecting against women, it’s not a Christian concept. It’s not how Christ treated women," she argued.  [Ho hum.   If their orders are invalid anyway, why not just do it… get it over with…. move on to a brighter future?]

Under Church of England rules, for a measure like the one proposed by Williams and Sentamu to pass, it needed majority support from three different groups: bishops, priests and lay leaders.

Bishops and lay leaders backed the measure, but priests narrowly rejected it, meaning it failed.

The Anglican Communion – of which the Church of England is the British branch – is the world’s third-largest Christian denomination, with about 77 million members worldwide.

It’s facing serious strains over the ordination of women bishops and gay priests, and the Catholic Church has reached out to disaffected Anglicans, raising the possibility that conservatives could leave en masse.


Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity

He has approved the mesures to facilitate the unity of Anglicans who don’t want to be involved with this stuff anymore.  

Anglicanorum coetibus …. keep repeating… Anglicanorum coetibus….

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Listening to the synods on radio or tv is worthwhile but time-consuming. As to unity, the ladies show that they are extremely divisive and therefore, not of the Holy Spirit. “One, holy, Catholic” does not appeal to those who change what Christ has ordained.

  2. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    “…it’s not a Christian concept. It’s not how Christ treated women.” It is, in a very real sense, exactly how Christ treated women. He did not treat them as a faulty portion of creation, nor as something from which people needed protection as a class, but he did not ordain them bishops. And here is further proof that the essential folly of Protestantism is configuring Christ to themselves rather than themselves to Christ. Protestantism is at it very core a five hundred year chorus of Non Serviam, the second oldest such chorus in the history of creation.

  3. asperges says:

    The trouble is that many Anglicans come into the Church out of pique or half-heartedly, (the last time was on the women “priests” issue) and not necessarily out of conviction because their own Church is in such a mess. This is particularly irksome to cradle Catholics especially in the case of ex-clergy who “transfer over” and act as though it is just a job-change with no real difference, as though they had been priests all along.

    However it has to be said that history is littered with conversions, not necessarily for the right reasons (think of the middle ages), and we must be grateful for, and not begrudge, the opportunities that the Pope has offered for the saving of souls.

    The C of E really is an enimgma, but it is very good at changing shape and adapting to impossible circumstances and living quite happily with absurd anomalies of belief and practice.

  4. I thought priests and bishops and deacons and all that were supposed to be the servants of the church. (Heck, that’s what “deacon” even means.)

    So they’re saying that women are being treated as somehow faulty if men comprise the servant class?

    Or are they saying that progressive women want their feet washed, but they don’t want to believe that whole servant thing that’s attached to it?

    This is right up there with women being supposedly envious of men being forced to have urinals in their public restrooms, or of having vulnerable bits on the outside.

  5. dominic says:

    Hmm, much I would like (and pray) for it to be otherwise I am still inclined to suspect that a substantial proportion of “Anglo-Catholics” will somehow find a way to justify their continuing presence in the CofE (I can’t speak for any other country, not even the other countries of the UK, although what little I do know of the “Anglo-Catholic” scene in Northern Ireland suggests the same may be true there)

    Why is that? i) Well, if Newman, Chesterton, et al haven’t (already) persuaded them which is the true church….

    ii) A large part of the “conservative” (which is to say: firmly protestant, but not morally relativistic/liberal/latitudinarian) parts of the CofE (and that part which is growing in numbers) part of the CofE would not even contemplate swimming the Tiber. Turning to (or setting up their own) “free church” would be more likely if this issue were a breaking point for many of them.

    iii) The “Anglo-Catholic” movement within the CoE is divided into two main strands: one, Forward in Faith, is relatively enthuisastic about Angicanorum coetibus; but the other, Affirming Catholicism (which the current archbishop of Canterbury has had some association with – although bear in mind that before he was Archbishop he did not minister in England, but in Wales, where the ecclesiastical arrangements are in some regards rather different)….well, where to start, preaches what it often terms “inclusivity” (often used as a code word for support of “gay marriages”), and would not necessarily be opposed in large numbers to the notion of female bishops or priests. Sometimes one thinks they really are all about the “smells and bells”; they are certainly not about anything approaching doctrinal orthodoxy and the fullness of faith. (This is before we get into the usual social matters and snobberies).

    Needless to say parishes of this type in many cases are tiny in numbers (my town, which is by no means a hotbed of immigration from culturally catholic countries, has three such CofE parishes of “Affirming Catholicism” – with an average attendance at their sunday services, between them, of around 60 last year: the Catholic parish in the same area has a congregation of over ten times that)

    There is a lot of stubbornness and pride remaining to be washed away.

  6. Childermass says:

    Can you imagine CS Lewis’s reaction to these developments in his Church of England, were he alive today?

    Or Thomas Cranmer’s?

    Or Elizabeth I’s?

  7. Catherine says:

    I am blessed to be a member of an Anglican-rite Roman Catholic Church, having left my mega-Catholic Church after thirty years. The lack of reverence, proper catechesis and the liberalism just got to be too overwhelming for me to worship properly. I hesitated to join this new parish, because I was afraid that it would not be a true Catholic Church, but my fears were unfounded. People who join this parish have joined for “the right reasons.” They have not come “out of pique or half-heartedly,” and our two priests are 100% committed to obeying Rome in all things, and doing so happily. We have three Anglican-rite Masses and one Latin Mass each Sunday.

    I agree with Fr. Z that Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity: I am seeing it first-hand. Deo gratias!

  8. Supertradmum says:

    For those who are in doubt as to the sincerity of the Anglican converts, just visit Our Lady of Walsingham parish in Houston. Very beautiful. I do agree with Catherine that it is unfair to categorize the converts as stated earlier above. We had a pastor in Hampshire who was a convert. He and his wife were a great asset to the parish and a needed priest, as the parish would have become a mission parish without him. I find Anglican converts who were ministers and became Catholic priests to have suffered much and sacrificed much to leave their church and become priests in the Catholic Church.

  9. HighMass says:

    Veramente il Santo Padre e il Papa dei Christiano Unita!

    Very much the Pope Of Christian Unity

    Viva Il Papa!!!!

  10. puma19 says:

    Now the Anglican synod has today approved women bishops being ‘made’ for the UK. That ough be just another nail in the coffin of any ecumenical relationship with Catholicism and the Orthodox. There is no way these latter two, the BIG ONES, are going to be able to have any type of theological discussions when the anglicans just decide to abandon 2000 years of history and say now is the moment for female bishops. Is it not odd that they, being only 70 million, think that ‘discerning what God has to say’ have now decided that 2000 years after the crucifixion and the age of the apostles, that women can be ordained bishops.
    This is of course just anathema to any true theological belief as set out by tradition and the Gospels. There is no way that anyone can argue that now, 2000 years later women ought be called to the episcopacy. Even the Orthodox say that only single celibate priests can be consecrated bishops, and no way can a women be called to be a deacon or priest or bishop.
    This is the end of the Anglican communion. The decision will split the Cof E more than ever and with their attitude to gay priests and bishops an even greater fissure will open up.
    Of course, the obvious truth is; That when you have a breakway sect established by a rampatious king who wed 6 women and killed a number of them, and who decided to break with the successor of Peter and destroyed the monasteries and killed many clergy, it is impossible to say that it is any way a true ecclesia.

    The fact is the anglican sect is searching for straws. It seeks to grab anything that will attract numbers to its empty churches.
    But it will fail as it has not the faith of Catholicism.
    The age of ecumenism is over and it is about time we as Catholics started to preach the power of the Church founded by Christ and established by him through the apostolic linneage – the anglican sect is not faithful to that no wonder it is leading people astray and has done for 400 years.

  11. TMA says:

    This reminds me of a local radio ad:
    “Many beliefs,
    one faith,
    The Unitarian Church.”

  12. Seraphic Spouse says:

    I feel so bad for the conservative Anglicans, who are still very much traditional Anglicans, and not necessarily Roman-Catholics-to-be. They have been betrayed again and again, and ever concession (women deacons but not women priests, women priests but not women bishops) has turned out to be a Trojan Horse. When they are driven from their churches, they will be driven from their spiritual homes of hundreds and hundreds of years. But hey, any woman with an M.Div. degree will have her pick of 18th century manses to choose from.

    I do not think England will be better for a Church of England that has nothing but lukewarm trendy Protestants (and not even Evangelical Protestants) in it. How tragic, how very tragic, that Newman’s dream that the C of E and the Catholic Church would be reunited shall never now come to pass.

  13. Random Friar says:

    I am not sure if I am being pessimistic or realistic (how often they get confused!): I would hazard that the majority will not swim, simply out of nostalgia for the old Anglican Communion. The power or idea of home is very strong, don’t underestimate it.

    See in our own Church what happens when parishes get closed (especially if they are not handled delicately) — people are very, very invested in their home, and who can blame them? “Home” is a powerful concept for our culture, even if it has diminished a little in our mobile society.

    That said, God give them the fortitude needed to swim, and give us the charity needed to welcome them.

  14. Legisperitus says:

    Old lecherous King Hennery,
    “My body is the Church,” he said.
    “My power here is plenary,”
    He added, and cut off his Head.

  15. Paul says:

    By birth, an Anglican. By the grace of God, a Roman Catholic. An orthodox, traditional, fish eating, obedient to the holy Father, Roman Catholic.

    Broad brushes paint quickly, but often slap paint where it does not belong.


  16. Gabriel Austin says:

    Has no one noticed that the ‘bishops’ of the C of E must be approved by the Parliament? It is a political job. Nothing to so with religion, as Newman noted.

  17. As disaffected Anglicans continue crossing over to Rome, an ongoing area of discussion will concern the liturgical life of Anglican Catholics. That term itself — “Anglican Catholic” or one like it, would beg the question. Can one maintain an identity, a spirituality, a liturgical life, that is distinctly Anglican, in the tradition of Augustine of Canterbury, of the Venerable Bede, and the like, while still maintaining union with Rome? Must those won over shed this distinct identity, in order to prove themselves (or whatever you may call it)? We may not necessarily be speaking of a “rite” in the sense that we normally associate with the term. On the other hand, there is an historical line that cannot entirely be reduced to a “protestant” phenomenon. In the area of liturgy alone, there has been considerable progress in thinking since the “Book of Divine Worship” was first published. There is nothing theologically speaking, which would rule out the use of the “Missale Anglicanum” or its variants as the standard for an Anglican Usage.

  18. doanli says:

    Please pray for my husband and his fellow Anglican parishioners. They are very good people and so is their priest.

    BTW, my husband attending the Latin/Tridentine Mass at my church yesterday and he LIKED it! (Which surprised me because he told me not too long ago that he had no use for Latin.)

  19. MargaretC says:

    Like some of the posters above, I’m not sure how many Anglo-Catholics will actually take the Holy Father up on his offer. The idea of being “Roman” is still too often seen as “unBritish”.

    But those who nerve themselves to do it will, indeed, need towels, disinfectant, and lots of fraternal charity.

    A little whiskey wouldn’t hurt.

  20. pgoings says:

    “Has no one noticed that the ‘bishops’ of the C of E must be approved by the Parliament? It is a political job. Nothing to so with religion, as Newman noted.”

    I would recommend some ecclesiastical history for Mr Austin. The right to appoint (not approve, appoint) bishops belonged to various secular authorities in certain places through the late nineteenth century, and it was not until the 1917 Code that this was formally abrogated. The last veto of a papal election occurred in 1903. Was the papacy a “political job” until then?

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Anglicans are going to need charity and kindness, not hostility and suspicion.

    It’s not easy to uproot oneself from the traditions one grew up with (I was a sixth-generation Anglican – my ggg grandfather was baptized at St. Giles Cripplegate, where Milton is buried.) That’s particularly true in England, where national/political identity and religious identity are so intertwined that leaving the Anglican communion for Rome is fraught with all sorts of social and political consequences. It was bad enough here in the States, although your average Southern Baptist doesn’t really distinguish between the Scarlet Woman and her slightly less scarlet sister, the Episcopalians certainly do!

    I understand why liberal, heterodox Catholics would want no part of Anglo-Catholics swimming the Tiber. We heard plenty of that while visiting round some of the goofier parishes in our area, and the burden of it seemed to be that they were afraid we would be rigid and orthodox and loyal to the Pope and the Magisterium (and by golly they were right!).

    But why all this suspicion and impugning of motives from faithful orthodox Catholics?

  22. “But why all this suspicion and impugning of motives from faithful orthodox Catholics?

    Comment by AnAmericanMother — 12 July 2010 @ 3:25 pm”

    Because when they hear “Anglican” they hear “Protestant.” And from that they infer that nothing in their heritage could possibly be reconciled with the Catholic tradition. Never mind that, for most of history, they were one and the same. Until that misconception is overcome, the suspicion will prevail.

  23. moon1234 says:

    But why all this suspicion and impugning of motives from faithful orthodox Catholics?

    It might have something to do with Traditionalists, myself included, feel that when someone wants to enter the Catholic Church, they should do so fully and without reservation. They should give themselves over to what the church teaches and accept her liturgy, sacraments and all aspects of becoming a Roman Catholic.

    The idea that “Anglican Liturgy” would be considered Catholic is way out in left field to many traditionalists. Afterall any “Anglican” litugy would be a non-approved, made-up outside of Rome thing. If a person wants to swim the Tiber they should do it.

    Matthew 19:21
    Jesus said to him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

    Jesus said this to the Jews of his time. Worship and Politics were also very intertwined. This is why it was so hard for Jews to leave everything and follow Christ. If Christ wanted it to be easy he would have said “Come, bring your posessions and traditions and follow me.” That would be infinitly easier, but it also would not allow those who did this to free themselves from the shackles of the former covenant.

  24. Oh, for Pete’s sake.
    If you want to be in union with Rome, be in union with Rome.
    Good Lord, Almighty, His Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph!
    (I’m part Irish; I’m allowed this regress!).
    Just do it, darnnit.
    If you want to be in union with Rome, JUST DO IT!!
    This hand wringing, policitizing, diplomatic BS is just absolutely blarney!
    God will provide…He always does…even in the most poverty stricken hell hole, He always does…JUST DO IT!

  25. medievalist says:

    Interesting how lay representatives voted to protect conscience but ‘priests’ did not. Just goes to show that clerics (on both sides of the Tiber like Fr. McBri..McBri…what’s his name?) are really just trying to shove error down the throats of the simple laity in opposition to the sensus fidelium.

  26. Supertradmum says:


    I apologize for those who do not understand the sacrifice and trials many Anglicans undergo when they join the Catholic Church. Our pastor in Hampshire lost his entire pension only four years before retiring in order to convert with his family of four. Others have lost the support of families and friends forever.

    All of the Anglican converts I have met both in England and the USA know the Faith better and more comprehensively than most Catholics, as studying was part of their conversion.

    The Anglican Usage is beautiful, reverent and accepted. Those who do not accept the decision of John Paul II are, frankly, not in line with the Catholic Church. Again, I apologize for the tone and judgmental language of some of the comments here.

  27. Oleksander says:


    there is an anglican use for the roman rite (as i am sure you know) – issued by the pope himself sooo cant see how an “anglican liturgy” (anglican use for catholics is not a rite of its own, it’s a use of the roman rite) can be uncatholic.

    if people want to enter the church from an apostolic christian community (anglicanism is not apostolic but as we all know contains many elements, borrowed from us, in it’s high church form) there is no present or historical reason why they cannot continue to use familiar liturgical rites, modified to conform with orthodox Catholicism obviously.

    It probably won’t matter since the anglicans in england, who will be the largest potential group to join, use the modern roman rite (ordinary form) already.

  28. becket1 says:

    I guess it is pretty safe to say now that we will never see a Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, York, Durham, or Salisbury ever again.

  29. Ed the Roman says:


    What do you mean? We haven’t seen any such in nearly 500 years.

  30. Peggy R says:

    Will Elizabeth II have anything to say about this? Does the state of the Church of England, of which she’s the titular head, not concern her immensely? I am sure it must.

  31. puma19 says:

    Peggy R raises a very valid point at the heart of the breakaway sect. The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She never attends Synod, never votes, never speaks.
    This must be the greatest non-event in religious history. A Head who never comments on the workings of the ‘Church’ she supposedly heads and is supreme Governor.
    What state of affairs is this? Queen Victoria and her son were Heads of the same body and look at Edward VII, a man you could never trust.
    The fact is the whole of the reason d’etre of the Anglicans is founded on a sulk with the Pope by Henry VIII, almost 500 years ago and it has never got it right since. we waste a lot of time even worrying about it and its small group of adherents.

    Look to a’Beckett, the murdered bishop. Look to cardinal Fisher, assassinated for his faith.
    And look to Lord Chancellor, Thomas More, friend of the King but God’s servant first who gave his life. If More and others could give their lives for their belief in the Catholic Church, how ridiculous it must look now to see women chaffing at the bit for their moment of selfish careerism to be be made bishops.
    Jesus never wanted it and I’m sure he hasn’t changed his mind in 2000 years. God does not change, get real.

  32. irishgirl says:

    Amen, nazareth priest! [and I’m speaking as an American who is half-Irish] I’m with you! And I say too, JUST DO IT, Anglicans! Come across the Tibur!

  33. thereseb says:

    From Holy Smoke:
    “So the gay but celibate Dean Jeffrey John has – unexpectedly – been blocked from becoming the next Bishop of Southwark, prompting my colleague Jonathan Wynne-Jones to ask why the Archbishop of Canterbury allowed his name to go forward in the first place. In 2003 Rowan Williams quietly supported John’s nomination as Bishop of Reading and then, after Downing Street had made the offer and it had been accepted, was persuaded by evangelicals to force John to turn it down.”

    So my question is – what happens when the first gay woman “bishop” appears and is lined up for a plum appointment? I know it’s a rabbit hole, Fr Z – but since the whole sorry saga is more surreal than Alice in Wonderland – I think the question stands.

  34. MWindsor says:

    But why all this suspicion and impugning of motives from faithful orthodox Catholics?

    It might have something to do with Traditionalists, myself included, feel that when someone wants to enter the Catholic Church, they should do so fully and without reservation. They should give themselves over to what the church teaches and accept her liturgy, sacraments and all aspects of becoming a Roman Catholic.

    It’s often a fascinating conflict. There are moments when progressive Catholics hate us because we’re too traditional. And there are an equal number of moments when the traditionalist Catholics hate us because they immediately assume we’re Protestants in Catholic clothing. I’ve been attacked from both sides in the past, but the most vicious attacks come from the Traditional Catholics.

    You have to understand a one critical point. To a conservative Anglican, the average Roman Catholic Novus Ordo Mass is more just as Protestant as whence they came. They want to bring their liturgical sensibilities because, quite frankly, it’s often more Catholic than the average N.O. Mass.

    I go to a progressive parish. My reasons for doing so are my own, but suffice to say that we want to bring a little tradition to a progressive place. If I express myself to our pastor, I’m shot down immediately and no one returns my calls or e-mails. I’ve been told that my “thee” and “thou” when I pray are to Protestant for a “real” Catholic, and that I should amend my ways.

    I’ve often gone to daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form. If I express myself there, the reception is equally icy. I’m automatically a suspect and not to be trusted. I have to work extra to convince people that I’m legit, and not some progressive plant.

    You say that we should accept all that the Church teaches; the liturgy, the sacraments, everything. I did. I honestly believe that the Spirit guided me here. As I sometimes say: I am Roman Catholic, here I stand, I can do no other (and you don’t know how much joy it can give to say that to some people…Lutherans, Evangelicals, even Catholics at times). If an Anglican Use or ordinariate can make it easier on others to swim the Tiber, then I’m all for it. It’s not like we’re all met with open arms after we’ve made the swim.

    Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen all the time. There are just moments when it can be quite disheartening.

  35. j says:

    “Under Church of England rules, for a measure like the one proposed by Williams and Sentamu to pass, it needed majority support from three different groups: bishops, priests and lay leaders.

    Bishops and lay leaders backed the measure, but priests narrowly rejected it, meaning it failed.”

    Properly edited – Bishops and lay leaders voted to eject Conservatives from the Church of England, but priests narrowly voted for unity.

  36. Mashenka says:

    Here is a page where you can hear talks on the Anglican Patrimony with particular reference to Anglicanorum coetibus, by Professor Eamon Duffy of Magdalene College Cambridge; the Rev. Canon Robin Ward, Principal, Pusey House Oxford; the Rev. Philip North, Rector, Old St. Pancras Team Ministry, London; and a talk on Canon Law by the Rev. David Ackerman, Priest in Charge, Sherborne, Windrush, the Barringtons and Aldsworth, Gloucester. I listened to Fr. Ward’s talk on Moral Theology and found it very informative and enjoyable.

    Go to, scroll down below the photograph, and you will find the talks listed so you can just click on their titles, and you can play them in QuickTime. They last a while, so be prepared.

  37. Gail F says:

    Dominic said: “Well, if Newman, Chesterton, et al haven’t (already) persuaded them which is the true church….”

    Our Lord said: ‘”Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

    I remain hopeful.

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