Another reason for ‘Anglicanorum coetibus’: Church of England says Sunday services no longer mandatory

I think it was the late Fr. Neuhaus who quipped that the purpose of the Church of England was to make irony redundant.

Today I read this at AP.  No, this is not Eye of the Tiber or the Onion.  It’s AP.

Church of England says Sunday services no longer mandatory

LONDON (AP) — The Church of England has acknowledged the reality of shrinking congregations and overworked priests and lifted a 400-year-old rule requiring that all churches hold services every Sunday.

Canon law dating from 1603 required priests to hold morning and evening prayers and a communion service each Sunday in every church they oversaw.

But after decades of declining attendance, many priests are now responsible for multiple churches, especially in rural areas. Until now, they have needed permission from a bishop not to hold Sunday services in each church.

The change was approved Thursday at a meeting of the church’s governing Synod.

Bishop of Willesden Pete Broadbent, who proposed the change, said it “just changes the rules to make it easier for people to do what they’re already doing. It stops the bureaucracy.”

There it is, folks!

“Just change the rules to make it easier for people to do what they’re already doing!”

Remind you of something?

Trick question: That’s how libs have ruled the Church since after Vatican II.  That’s how they want to work now, more than ever.   By “rules” they mean things like the Ten Commandments, what Christ says in Scripture, the constants of mathmatics such that 2+2=5… though I don’t see how that makes things easier.  I digress.

To all my Anglican (etc.) readers out there, I have two words for you…

Anglicanorum coetibus.

Thanks to Benedict XVI, the “Pope of Christian Unity”, there’s a wonderful place for you in this side of the Tiber.

And, just to show that we are fair-minded, you libs who are envying (or already putting into practice your non-practice) Anglicans for their spirit-filled and prophetic anti-institutionalism, you could have your own Romanorum coetibus as we begin the Herculean task of clearing our the Augean Stable that Holy Church has, under your mis-guiding hands, turned her into.

Romanorum coetibus would be that document by which we Catholics might offer a safe-haven to liberals who want to keep their large puppets and pottery, their 60’s music and the ordination of women, their prayer to the earthmothergoddess… all without the spirit-repressing domination of masculine Rome! And they can use whatever translation they want!

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  1. To clarify, as I read this AP piece earlier today, it seemed clear to me at least that this does not mean people don’t have to go to church on Sunday—I don’t know what the Anglican rules are on that.

    What it means is that in many churches in England where there is no resident priest and/or virtually no congregation; and that they will no longer be required canonically to hold the services they already stopped providing years ago. Their absentee rectors will just not be required to keep on asking for “dispensations.”

    Nevertheless, this is still a sign of the collapse of the Church of England: no parishioners and no vocations to the clergy. Much like the US. Most people don’t realize that the American mainline denominations have vocations crises to equal or surpass ours. The difference is that they also have a disappearing laity: so they don’t need new ministers.

  2. teachermom24 says:

    “Just change the rules to make it easier for people to do what they’re already doing!”
    Yes, Saturday evening vigil Masses.

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    The Church of England seems to think that Marie Kondo’s method for dealing with household clutter can be applied to divine revelation and the disciplines that have always been part of Christianity.

  4. Maineman1 says:

    Forgive me for my cynicism, Father, as I am a person who daily struggles with remaining Catholic.

    Why would Anglicans flee to a Church in universal disarray, both in terms of spirituality and accountability?

    [John 6:68]

  5. cwillia1 says:

    Do Catholic priests that serve multiple parishes say Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours in each parish, every Sunday? There is plenty of reason to dismiss Anglicanism but this is not one of them.

  6. dlvolk says:

    I had the same reaction; the headline seems to misrepresent the story.

  7. VP says:

    But each vicar has to hold a Clown communion service the second Sunday of each month.

  8. jeff says:

    Apart from a handful of successful parishes, the Ordinariates are not doing very well. A large influx of Anglicans isn’t going to happen. We need cradle Catholic well-wishers to join our parishes, bring their families, sing in our choirs, bake Simnel cake, and to donate whatever sheckles they may have spare, and offer themselves as candidates for deaconate and priesthood within the Ordinariate.

    Cradle Catholics : we need your help. If we don’t get it then we’ll be shutting our doors soon.

  9. APX says:


    I don’t think Anglicanorum Cœtibus allows regular Roman Catholics to join the ranks clergy in the Ordinariate. Heck, non-ordinariate members can’t even have a marriage or requiem according to the Missal of Divine Worship, and don’t allow the EF in their churches.

  10. Mitchell G says:

    I always wonder, what is the future of the Ordinariate? How does it coexist with faithful English Catholics who’ve kept the faith all these years?

  11. Malta says:

    The Church of England, and Episcopal Church is passe, faux, and none of their sacraments are valid (except baptism). Our Anglican priest friends might consider this route:

  12. Clinton R. says:

    At this rate, it won’t be long before the “Church” of England will cease to exist. 500 years after the Henry VIII lead the branch to be broken off the vine, that branch is now withered and ready to be tossed into the fire. May St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Thomas Becket, St Thomas More, St John Fisher & all the English martyrs pray for England to be a Catholic nation again. +JMJ+

  13. ex seaxe says:

    This report is unfair and misleading. I suspect it is also inaccurate, at least in its reference to the Communion service. The Book of Common Prayer laid down that a parish must be given notice on the preceding Sunday of the intention to hold a Communion Service, and it required intending communicants to give notice, at the latest by the previous day, of their intention.
    That it is not to disagree, Father, with your comments and analysis, just to warn that the AP story is garbled.

  14. JonPatrick says:

    @jeff, not sure why you are saying the Ordinariate is not doing well. Here in the US, according to statistics it went from 2550 Catholics in 2012 to 6000 in 2016. I assume that only includes those registered with the parish. Parishes went from 12 to 42 and number of priests from 23 to 67 and there are I believe 11 in the pipeline currently. Perhaps it is not doing as well in the UK, although it would seem there is more possibility for growth there as there are many more Anglicans than here.

    It may be a chicken and egg thing – for example where I live in Northern New England the nearest Ordinariate parish is in New Brunswick and about 4 hours away.I would go to one if there was one but it is less likely one would be started here given that there aren’t many Episcopalians in this part of the US, the Puritans did such a good job driving them out in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

    On another note it will be interesting to see what happens to the Church of England. Given that it is established and the Sovereign is by law the head of the church, if it really is in danger of disappearing seems that they would have to disestablish it and maybe – gasp ! – allow a Catholic to sit on the throne.

  15. msc says:

    I am a bit confused by it, also. The announcement does not seem to remove the Sunday obligation for Anglicans, just to authorize some churches not to have services on a Sunday (which is, admittedly, a clear change). In my diocese, I believe there are at least two rural churches sharing a priest that have Mass on alternate Sundays. I presume the parishioners travel to the next nearest one in those cases.

  16. Maineman1 says:

    Some posters should be cautious about tentative triumphalist gloating; the Catholic Church is continuously collapsing across the Western World.

    “Catholic church rapidly disappearing from Netherlands, archbishop says.”…/catholic-church-rapidly-disappearing-netherlands-archbishop-says

    Archbishop Wim Eijk warns, “Over ten years the entire archdiocese of Utrecht will probably only consist of” 20 or fewer parishes. That was late last year.

  17. THREEHEARTS says:

    Reminds me of Moses and his writs of divorce and how Christ fraternally rebuked him.
    It reminds me of today’s curia and hierarchy homosexual to the core can think they can put aside the teachings of the Church and legalize their sins. It reminds me of the passages in Ezekiel One man shall not bear the sins of another, but every one his own; if a wicked man truly repent, he shall be saved; and if a just man leave his justice, he shall perish. Behold all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth,

  18. OrangeBlossom says:

    “The change was approved Thursday at a meeting of the church’s governing Synod.”

    And where does Pope Francis want the Catholic Church to go…. Synods.

  19. FromVicBC says:

    Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church! Ad Orientem in english:

    The Ordinariate is truly a weapon from Benedict to fight evil. We are growing and accept all fed up Anglicans.

    Vivat Jesus

  20. michele421 says:

    Father, please forgive me but I feel I must respond to two points in your post. First, in regard to John 6:68, both Anglicans and Catholics have the same Lord Who spoke the same words, Whom both attempt to follow. Indeed, in some respects, Anglicans have been doing a little better job of following His words. [B as in B. S as in S. And Christ founded ONE Church which has his authority. It ain’t the C of E.]

    Second, as the revelations from Pennsylvania and other dioceses have proven, much of the filth in the Aegean Stables has been there since long before liberals gained power in the Church. It’s only now, in more liberal times, that it’s starting to get cleaned out. [Libs have been around for a long time, as have infiltrators from groups with destructive agendas.]

  21. michele421 says:

    Libs have been around for a long time. But there appears to be no causal relationship, at least in this case. Abusers and their enablers have come from both camps

  22. michele421 says:

    And so with the authority of Christ, the Catholic Church has more responsibility to use it well. That has often not been the case.

  23. CharlesG says:

    I seem to recall Pope Francis issued a decree that allowed Catholics who are confirmed in the Ordinariates to become members of the Ordinariates. Also, I would think almost any non-Catholics who are baptized in the Ordinariates could also become members.

  24. jeff says:

    Yes they can, to all counts. Ordination counts as a “sacrament of initiation” and if done in the Ordinariate would make them members.

    Non members can be “hatched, matched and despatched” all in an Ordinariate parish with the liturgy of the Ordinariate. There is a simple bit of paperwork that the Ordinariate priest needs to send off to get permission from the local Latin bishop, but it’s quite routine and straight forward.

    Of you live in a diocese where the bishop is no friend of Tradition, or if he is and you fear who might replace him, then you need the Ordinariate in your diocese.

  25. jeff says:

    Yes he did. Any sacrament of initiation. The only exceptions are the children of Latin Rite Catholic parents who attend an Ordinariate parish and whose children are confirmed there. Then it is done on behalf of the Latin Diocese.

    Unless the parents forget to confirm the child until he is 14, and then an application for membership to the Ordinariate can be submitted by that young man or woman. Once that person is a member, then the rest of their immediate family is eligible for membership

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