The Wrong Stuff: Anglicans on the course of self-destruction.

One of our frequent commentators here sent me this (appetite spoiling) photo with this:

The Right Stuff? (Remember the scene with the 7 astronauts in space suits?

Get a load of these photos of “clergy” arriving for vote on wymen bishops:

From the Daily Mail:


A senior Church of England bishop has appealed to traditionalists not to defy the overwhelming majority of ordinary churchgoers by voting down legislation to introduce women bishops, as a key meeting of the General Synod got under way.
Bishop of Rochester the Rt Rev James Langstaff warned the governing body of the consequences for the morale of the Church of England if a plan to introduce women bishops is defeated for the second time.
“The Church of England has spoken very clearly through the voting of the diocesan synods and we today have, I believe, a responsibility to show that we have listened,” he said.

“Wherever each of us stands on the spectrum of views, I want to suggest today that we have a responsibility to be guided, yes, by what we ourselves think, but also by what we assess to be the settled view of the great majority within the Church of England.”  [Go ahead and go with the majority view!  Sounds like the perfect place for the Fishwrap, The Pill, the LCWR…]
In his address at York University, Bishop Langstaff said he respected the views of opponents of women bishops who felt they had no option but to vote against the legislation. But he hoped other opponents might choose to abstain from the vote.
His remarks were made as the Church of England faced a knife-edge vote on giving final approval for the legislation, which requires a two-thirds majority in each of the houses of bishops, clergy and laity. [As soon as they start with the women, they ought also to issue their document Romanorum coetibus.]
The plan collapsed in November 2012 after it was derailed by just six votes cast by lay members, causing shock and bitter recriminations within the Church of England and prompting threats of an intervention by Parliament.

Remember: The Church of England is tied to the state.  Therefore, it cannot not follow social trends.  The CofE is on a leash.

My response to their move for women bishops?

My CofE friends, don’t forget Anglicanorum coetibus.

They are self-destructing over there, which is fine by me.  I hope that all the more tradition-leaning Anglicans will swiftly enter the Catholic Church.  Yes, I’ll say it: I am hopeful that they will convert.

Finally, former-Father Greg Reynolds is still excommunicated and Benedict XVI is still the Pope of Christian Unity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Instead of wasting his time talking to some Italian non-note taking ‘journalist’, maybe Francis the Jesuit could send emissaries to the UK to discuss more of the Anglicans returning to the true Church.

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Given the general nuttiness going on within the “mainstream” Anglican world, the one good thing about that photo is that at least the women are the ones in short skirts.

  3. LarryW2LJ says:

    I didn’t get a chance to read it, but there’s a link on Drudge that reports it as a done deal:

  4. JustaSinner says:

    Gregg, not obscure enough, but spot on!

  5. It might be mentioned that the “clergyman” second from right in the khaki trousers is identified in the caption as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of the Church of England. The appearance in the group together in other photos suggests the possibility that this is in fact a photo of the archbishop and his impressively multicultural staff arriving for the historic vote that overwhelmingly approved women bishops.

  6. Magpie says:

    Sheer madness. But over here in Ireland, many parish priests (pastors) are very happy to cosy up with the Protestant clergy, even inviting them to speak to parishioners. Even better if it’s a woman. At least they are not, as yet, permitted to speak at Mass in the place where I attend Mass. But these developments do have an effect on the Catholic Church, putting more pressure on the drive to ordain women. Which won’t happen in the Catholic Church, but a big schism is coming soon, I think.

  7. Chuck says:

    There was a time in the not so distant past (for me anyway) when elected officials were referred to as the “Town Fathers.” Much has changed, not the least of which would be that we have “Town Mothers.” Regardless, our elected officials (and in the case of the CofE the members of the synod)should act as if they were our parents, doing what is best for us, and being parent-like, and not trying to be our best friend, trying to satisfy our wants rather than our needs, and make everyone happy. Your parents would not have let you pull a pan of boiling water off the stove on to yourself, and I would hope any politician or church official would do the same.

  8. William Tighe says:

    This simply demonstrates the truth of what English Catholics all knew until the “Lethean ecumenical flood” washed through (or out) the minds of so many of them in the late 1960s and in the 70s: that the Church of England is a body wholly subordinate to the authority of the State, and that such aspects of self-government as have been conferred on it in the course of the last century (in 1919 and 1970) are both limited and provisional, and still subject to the overriding authority of the State. In that respect, the Church of England is much the same sort of institution as the various Scandinavian Lutheran state churches: not so thoroughly subordinated to the State as is, e.g., the Church of Denmark, but not so relatively self-governing as, e.g., the Church of Finland, with the other Scandinavian churches falling somewhere in-between. (The Church of Sweden was disestablished in 2000, but the Swedish Parliament lumbered the to-be-disestablished-church with a “constitution” that ensured that it would be dominated by liberals and that all opponents of women’s pretended ordination would be ineligible for ordination or, if already ordained, ineligible for selection as bishops.)

    When women’s ordination was introduced in the Church of England in 1994, a clergyman with legal training, Paul Stewart Williamson, brought a legal case (Williamson v Regina) to attempt to block such ordinations, claiming that WO was against the doctrine of the Church of England, contrary to the 39 Articles of Religion of the Church of England, and that in signing the legislation to allow it the Queen would be acting in violation of her Coronation Oath (which binds her to, among other things, “uphold the Protestant reformed religion established by Law”). The judges found against Williamson, declaring, explicitly and clearly, that the “doctrine of the Church of England” was whatever Parliament determines it to be — so that even if ex hypothesi WO had been contrary to the 39 Articles or the “doctrine of the Church of England,” Parliament in passing the legislation to permit WO had thereby changed the doctrine of the Church of England on the subject.

  9. pseudomodo says:

    “Wherever each of us stands on the spectrum of views, I want to suggest today that we have a responsibility to be guided, yes, by what we ourselves think, but also by what we assess to be the settled view of the great majority within the Church of England.”

    They should understand that they actually have a responsibility to be guided by the views of Christ.

  10. pseudomodo says:

    As posted at Rorate recently:

    “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those. Rather, let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.

    Meeting and meal with assortment of Protestant ministers
    June 23, 2014”

    I am willing to bet that Francis is going to send a letter of congratulations to the Anglicans. I won’t be betting much but I will probably bet something.

  11. Laura R. says:

    Remember: The Church of England is tied to the state. Therefore, it cannot not follow social trends. The CofE is on a leash.

    The Episcopal Church in the United States is not tied to the state (one of its major historical differences from the Church of England) and has had women bishops for years. But I think that your central point is correct, in that being tied to the state and the culture is part of Anglican DNA, whether British or American. This has perhaps worked well in former years — when English culture, for example, had strong Christian underpinnings — but all that is radically changing now.

    Many of us former Anglicans who loved the beauty of our tradition and liturgy have indeed done as you suggest, Father — and have been more richly rewarded than we could have imagined.

  12. jhayes says:


    “The General Synod of the Church of England voted today that women can be consecrated as bishops, two years after a similar measure was controversially voted down.

    The vote required passage by a two-thirds majority in the synod’s three houses of bishops, clergy and laity. The House of Bishops approved of women bishops 37 to 2 with one abstention, the House of Clergy approved 162 to 25 with four abstentions, and the House of Laity approved 152 to 45 with five abstentions.

    In an interview with BBC prior to the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, who supported consecrating women bishops, said there’s a “good chance of the first woman bishop being announced very early in 2015, possibly been chosen before that.”


  13. Dundonianski says:

    Perhaps it would be wise to spare ourselves vexation over the Anglican self-destruction, there is much for Catholics to fear and it is not from Scalfari, who despite Fr Lombardi’s best efforts to discredit. enjoys remarkable access to the bishop of Rome. Welby is but an imposter “archbishop” whose predecessors and confreres’ “orders” were dismissed as invalid by Leo XXIII. Their travails are irrelevant to the present crisis faced by the Church, I for one am deeply distressed by and vexed by the destruction of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate-that deliberate and savage action should alarm anyone who values and believes in the tradition and doctrine of the one true Church of Jesus Christ,

  14. robtbrown says:

    For hundreds of years the C of E pretended that it was still in apostolic succession. Now it has simply decided that Apostolic Succession doesn’t exist.

    NB: I am an ex Episcopalian

  15. Dundonianski says:

    Re the reference by robtbrown, I have just listened to a debate on BBC at 22.00hrs whereby a spokesman for the “traditional” wing actually makes that very (ludicrous and delusional) assertion that the C of E is in Apostolic Succession!!

  16. Gerard Plourde says:

    “The Church of England is tied to the state.”

    The basic difficulty the C of E’s status as a state church has necessitated from nearly its beginning is that it accommodate widely incompatible theological positions represented by the “High Church”, “Broad Church” and “Low Church” parties of its constituencies which range from nearly Catholic belief to Calvinism. It is hard to imagine circumstances under which such a construction could survive after the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act. Each move from Catholic doctrine has stretched the tolerance of the High Church party and its “Anglo-Catholic” wing. This vote may open the gates those seeking to return to Rome through the Anglican Use communities.

  17. RobertK says:

    Let’s all pray that the Ordinariate of Our Lady Walsingham starts thriving with new parishioners.

  18. The Cobbler says:

    Considering they don’t have valid orders to begin with, I’d have to say it’s only logical that women have just as much right as men to pretend to be bishops.

  19. Charles E Flynn says:

    Those of you who have not seen Philip Kaufman’s film of Tom Wolfe’s book “The Right Stuff” cannot fully appreciate the photograph Father Z has used to illustrate today’s sad news.

    Start watching at 3 minutes 15 seconds. You will see a team of astronauts bouncing up and down rhythmically, to Bill Conti’s Academy Award-winning score:

    The Right Stuff 2/2 HD 1080p

    What you see above is an altogether different team, part of the process of the jettisoning of the deposit of the faith, one vote at a time.

  20. Reconverted Idiot says:

    Kierkegaard’s The Present Moment comes to mind, among many other things.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    The Anglicans have been in self-destruct mode since Elizabeth I was, thank God for history and clarity, excommunicated.

    The long death of this protesting group will perhaps help real Christians choose Catholicism.

    I am reading the biography of Manning by Gray. There is hope that many who want to be holy will join us. This is an opportunity for grace for many.

  22. Traductora says:

    So who’s “married” to whom in that picture above? And how many of them is that person “married” to? And I had a some question about the biological sex of a couple of them.

    Poor Piskeys. I’d feel sorrier for them if they weren’t trying to present themselves as the True Church, however. I live in the South, where the Catholic Church is widely hated by Evangelicals, but the worst haters are the Episcopalians…because they want to be us, but they can’t. They’re the only church that has ever complained about our Angelus bells, and frankly, it’s all jealousy. Poor things.

  23. Nicholas says:

    Those tab shirts have hideous collars. My poor eyes…

  24. Joseph-Mary says:

    I think I also just read that the archbishop of Canterbury is approving of euthanasia movements as well. There may not me many Anglicans left in a few years.

  25. Cafea Fruor says:

    So glad the Church isn’t a democracy!

  26. catholiccomelately says:

    Six “clerics” ….. 3 in “civvies”‘, and the “Archbishop” in business casual khakis. So glad to have become a Catholic.

  27. Kathleen10 says:

    Pope Francis’ comment about not wanting Evangelicals to convert is completely mystifying. While I do worry about translations, this comment does not seem to be contested, so I guess it’s accurate.
    Can someone please explain how, if Catholicism is the fullness of faith, and we have the Holy Eucharist, how that would not mean the entire world ought to be converted, and that only in the Catholic church could one find the fullness of faith? I am not trying to be unkind to our Holy Father, but I am confused about why of all people our Pope would say such a thing. Does he not believe that within the Catholic faith we have something that makes our church completely valuable and different? In liberal circles, we see that there is a movement to deny one thing is better than another. In this spirit, America has been “downgraded” in the culture. We are supposed to believe our country is no better than any other, or we are being nationalistic. It’s ridiculous, but that’s the movement. Is that the type of mindset that says one church or faith is not better than another? This makes no sense coming from a Pope.

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Z wrote, “The Church of England is tied to the state.”

    William Tighe sharpened this to “the truth […] that the Church of England is a body wholly subordinate to the authority of the State”.

    I have lately been reading one and another – fairly hair-raising – thing about the histories of “Gallicanism” ( and the mediaeval English Church), “Febronianism”, with reference to which Friedrich Lauchert in his 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia article says, “The ideas advanced in the work [by “Febronius”], being in thorough accord with the absolutistic tendencies of civil rulers, were eagerly accepted by the Catholic courts and governments of France, the Austrian Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, Venice, Austria, and Tuscany; and they received further development at the hands of court theologians and canonists who favoured the scheme of a national Church”, and “Josephinism”. Salvatore Luzio in his 1909 “Exequatur” article sheds some light on related later history.

    But can anyone recommend good general historical resources (off- and online) including treatment of both the terminations of such absolutist(ic) Catholic court and government interferences with the Church and their legacies?

    Were English Catholics freer after the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act, or, in some respects, even before, than many – even most? – of their contemporary Continental brothers and sisters?

  29. William Tighe says:

    Laura R. wrote:

    “The Episcopal Church in the United States is not tied to the state (one of its major historical differences from the Church of England) and has had women bishops for years. But I think that your central point is correct, in that being tied to the state and the culture is part of Anglican DNA, whether British or American. ”

    This puts me in mind of a witty quip of Geoffrey Kirk (formerly a prominent orthodox Anglo-Catholic clergyman of the Church of England, now a Catholic layman) that while the Church of England is “the Established Church,” the Episcopal Church is “the Church of the Establishment,” and that they both lead to the same result, the taking of the Zeitgeist for the Holy Ghost.

  30. Alanmac says:

    The Anglican Church tried to be everything to everybody. It has ended up being nothing to nobody. There’s an important lesson here.

  31. iPadre says:

    The end is near!

    Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
    Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem; exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet.

  32. guatadopt says:

    This might sound cynical but why are they celebrating that they can now be bishops?? Who the heck wants to be a bishop if even a pretend one?

  33. Johnno says:

    Look forwards to the ecumenical meeting between Francis & the lesbian Archbishopess of Canterbury in the near future!

    Kathleen10 –

    Pay attention to the prophecies given by the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and you’ll understand how all this came to be. The great punishment of apostasy that God is sending to chastise His Church, shall begin at the top. Yes, that very top.

    “In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.” – Cardinal Ciappi, theologian of the pontifical household, one of the few men who’d read the 3rd Secret.

    “This does not concern my pontificate” – St. Pope John XXIII, upon hearing the 3rd secret.

    “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.” – Pope Paul VI, on the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions.

    One need only follow the wisdom of the early Christians who sought the Old Testament to discover types that concerned their era and the eras to come. The Church is the new Israel, and the Vicars of Christ are likened to the Kings of Israel. Sometimes you get a David. Sometimes you get a Saul. And yes, both these cases are the providence of God showcasing at times which kind is according to His Will, and which ones are His Will allowing men to have it their way.

    And you raise a very good question. Given everything Francis has said, one should really question his belief and devotion of the Eucharist. It is unfathomable how anyone who professes the Eucharist to be the body and blood of Christ can say the things he says and act the way he does. There are ways of showing courtesy to Protestants, Muslims & atheists, and his recent statements are certainly not them.

  34. Priam1184 says:

    I feel like starting a petition to ask that either the Pope or the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order to publicly demand the return of Westminster Abbey to its rightful owners, especially if this is the idiocy that Mr. Welby and his cohorts are preaching from that pulpit.

    I won’t hold my breath since there are many in the Vatican who are probably jealous of what Mr. Welby just pulled off here, but I wonder how many signatures we could get?

  35. YorkshireStudent says:

    Spare a thought for some one who has to graduate in the hall they used … and whose college and Department (strangely, the History Department) the picture shows them having come from…

  36. vetusta ecclesia says:

    For the record it is the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, not the incumbent, who has announced his support for the Assisted Dying Bill soon to be introduced in the House of Lords

  37. Mike says:

    Does the photograph remind anyone else of the scene in the film Catch Me If You Can where Frank Abagnale (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), in the guise of airline recruiter, leads a flock of hopeful flight attendant candidates down the airport corridor toward glamorous careers — only to slip away toward yet another scam and leave the gulled young women in the lurch?

  38. Kerry says:

    At last, the sequel! Buckaroo Banzai and the World Crime League!

    I don’t see Buckaroo…

  39. Kathleen10 says:

    @Gerald Plourde, that is true, but shouldn’t the Pope be very keen on encouraging souls outside the Catholic Church to come in? Shouldn’t the Pope acknowledge it is certainly possible to know Jesus from other christian perspectives but the fullness of the faith can only be found in the Catholic church and that the Holy Eucharist is our “source and summit”? If what we read as the comments are accurate, it would seem to represent at least a very casual attitude toward evangelizing which just seems bizarre originating from our own Holy Father. It is to say “we’ve got nothing special here, so stay where you are”.
    The timing of unusual world events coupled with church leaders that seem to be shaking the ground under our feet is at times, a bit much. Jesus, deliver us.

  40. bsjy says:

    We can expect the next major announcement from the Anglican Communion to be a merger with the Universalist Unitarians.

    The revised Creed will be:
    “We believe in ourselves, and in the community. AmenAwymyn.”

  41. robtbrown says:


    The CofE / Anglicans / Episcopalians have an understanding of the Sacraments so subjective that when they refer to apostolic succession, it is empty of content.

  42. robtbrown says:

    Continuing . . .

    They seem to me like the illegitimate children of a Duke. There is a history, but they have no inheritance–neither title nor property. When the legitimate heirs see them, they treat them as members of the family, but that’s as far as it goes

  43. JKnott says:

    Photo of a parade of pride.
    Nothing new here .
    Very “traditional”. Been around since Adam and Eve.

  44. chantgirl says:

    I thought this was an Almy ad.

  45. Gerard Plourde says:

    @Kathleen10 – The question is whether committed members of Evangelical churches would be receptive to a campaign of proselytization and whether such a program would do more harm than good. We have to keep in mind that all of the Protestant groups actively broke from Rome justified their actions with the claim that its Vicar was the Anitchrist. Although this radical (and frankly, heretical) view is not generally voiced today, active rejection of the office of the Papacy is the one common factor that the Protestant Reformers could agree on and it lies at the root of Protestantism, from the mainline churches through to the most radical fundamentalists. Evangelicals specifically reject the true nature of the Eucharist, creating elaborate explanations to deny the plain words of Jesus concerning the Real Presence. Members of these churches only begin to look to the Catholic Church once they’ve recognized the shortcomings and inconsistencies that Protestantism possesses and have much to overcome in their journey before they will allow themselves to be open to conversion.

  46. TomG says:

    vetusta ecclesia: that is particulary depressing, since Carey is from the evangelical wing of the C of E and is generally conservative (whatever that word even means anymore).

  47. AngelGuarded says:

    Do these folks not understand that Jesus did not come to bring democracy? I think it is pretty clear He came to bring the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, whichever way you translate it, it’s a Kingdom. A church which is truly following Our Lord Jesus sticks with the Kingdom. No voting, no majority rules. What utter nonsense. I pray they come to understand the true nature of the Kingdom, a share in God’s royal nature, the Lordship of God. Blessed be His Name forever.

  48. akp1 says:

    Yorkshire student – it’s not so strange…look at the History staff and their other interests. It is no surprise at all to me, but good to hear about it. My son graduated from York in History & Politics last year.

  49. gjp says:

    “Church of England finds some sympathy for the devil as it downplays Satan in bid to modernize”

    Oh, yay.

    In addition, the article talks about the CoE ditching cassocks along with the devil.

  50. Per Signum Crucis says:

    At least the women in the picture are in relatively unadorned clerical black; it’s when the clerical bits are little more than accessories to more colourful apparel that makes me wince.

  51. persyn says:

    May I please suggest a new entry to the Zuhlsdorfian Dictionary? “Wymynbyshyps”…

  52. How about


  53. SaintJude6 says:

    Yes, “wyshyps” wins.

  54. Laura R. says:

    Ordinariate reaches out to Anglicans after women bishops vote

    Any remaining Anglo-Catholics will need to consider the invitation seriously, since the existence of women bishops must finally make future Anglican orders invalid in their own eyes.

  55. persyn says:

    I agree, Wyshyps it should be! I also might add that they don’t even have dyocycys, they have covens, and we know what the sacrament is. Perhaps I go too far… Kyrie, eleison.

  56. cl00bie says:

    Just rely on Sensum Infidelis

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