To Patrick-TAC —-some answers to your assertions

Our new commenter Patrick-TAC has made some interesting assertions and I thought I’d have a look at them.  I have put my responses in bold.

Patrick TAC writes:

  1. Take your Hepworth who misled our Shepperds with you as a layman.

    I do not think he misled the TAC.  The Portsmouth Petition is clear.   So is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.   The bishops who  truly agreed with the CCC  and the Portsmouth Petition have followed through with joining the Catholic Church in the countries where Ordinariates are available: former Bishops Mercer, Wilkinson, Reid, and Campese come to mind.

     It’s pretty hard to claim “invincible ignorance” after having signed onto the teachings of the Catholic Church including Catholic ecclesiology.  So I don’t think he misled before the fact.   He may have, in years prior to the drafting of the letter, talked about some kind of ritual church or intercommunion, as I think many of us went through an evolution from Branch Ecclesiology to a proper Catholic ecclesiology.  But clearly the Portsmouth Petition is not a Branch Ecclesiology petition (i.e.  We are a Church; we would appreciate your recognizing us as such and recognizing our holy orders and sacraments and granting some kind of intercommunion.  There is no way one can read the letter and see it meaning that.)

    As for misleading after the fact .While Hepworth may have interpreted Anglicanorum coetibus to mean more of a corporate reception on the front end than it proved to be, he was not the only one to interpret the document more liberally than the parish-by-parish model of corporate reception that has been implemented.  No lesser scholar than Dominican theologian Fr. Aidan Nichols told me the Apostolic Constitution could be interpreted to include the corporate reception of not only whole dioceses but provinces.  

    Your Hepworth has been expelled by TAC. You need a lesson to know that Hepworth need to pay back all TAC funds and we do not need to please people like you who are inside the TAC in their minds because of regretting their decisions of joining Roman Catholic Church. You are naive to say TAC is about crucifying Hepworth , You are also naive and need some theological and history lessons if you think TAC’s credibility depends on communion with Roman Catholic, please do not bluff around thinking that TAC is not a valid Church with Apostolic Successsion because you will be a laughing stock.

    I don’t know where Patrick-TAC gets the idea I or anyone I know who has also been received into the Catholic Church regrets the decision!   It’s been one sweet honeymoon ever since April 15.  The other thing the new TAC has insisted upon is that we were absorbed, we were forced to become Roman Catholics.  Well, juridically, we are part of the Western Catholic Church, which is the same thing as Roman Catholic.   Now, maybe to Patrick-TAC being Roman Catholic is something to disdain, but I think it’s fine.   However, we are fully Catholic yet if he came into one of our services at the Annunciation, even though we have Roman Catholic priests doing our liturgy for us in the interim period, he would find little different from the way we used to worship before.   The Catholic priests who celebrate our  Mass love our way of worshipping and treat it with utmost respect.  The sharing of gifts the Holy Father hoped for in our Anglican patrimony is already taking place.  Even our local Roman Catholic archbishop celebrated our Anglican Use liturgy –ad orientem, with the ballet of genuflection, down to the silent prayers—to welcome us in.  This is hardly absorption, but gracious and generous support for our Anglican patrimony.   

    Please leave TAC news and stay miserable in your new church.

    ????   I’m loving being an Anglican Use Catholic.  

    Please again read Father Bakker’s comments about TAc, about how your mentor Hepworth illtreated people, please wake up and learn more about how the church should operate.

    I know little about the Father Bakker situation.  I will say this in general.   The TAC was not formerly a congregational church where lay people and clergy voted on doctrine.  If Fr. Bakker refused to go along with the program of unity with the Catholic Church then it would be right, in my books, for him to be disciplined by his bishop.  The TAC used to be a church in which bishops alone determined faith and morals.    Has this changed?  I don’t know.   In Canada, others were disciplined for rebelling against their bishops by asserting faulty branch ecclesiology, congregationalism, or anti-Catholic views.  This is appropriate in a church where bishops determine these matters.  

    Was the primate rejected because he erred in doctrine, too?  What doctrine, pray tell?   What is the teaching of the new TAC?   Do they make it up as they go along?  Is it the 39 Articles?  Does Bishop Prakesh still have them proudly posted on his website?

    THERE IS NO NEW TAC-THAT SHOULD BE IN YOUR VOCABULARY BECAUSE OUR CHURCH WAS NOT AND IS NOT DEFINED THROUGH HEPWORTH AS YOU ARE NAIVELY THINKING.

    When the College of Bishops solemnly signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Portsmouth Petition, the TAC in effect said its doctrine was the same as that of the Catholic Church.  The College of Bishops with Hepworth as their Primate defined their doctrine that way.  The new TAC is saying the CCC is not their doctrine, now?

    If the new TAC is saying they want intercommunion and recognition as a church with valid apostolic succession, that will not happen.

      • Patrick-TAC says:

        Please quote what is bizarre and contradictory so that I can explain further for your information because the comment state straight forward about the position Deborah should confine herself with and it is about stopping her from misleading herself or people at large about how the TAC should operate. In fact it is about showing how people who are not happy in their respective choices are going around in poking their noses where thy are not desired, please quote about a single contradiction if you see one so that I can make you feel at ease to know the circumstances around the coomment.

        If the new TAC would move on, focus on rebuilding and stop trying to rewrite history by scapegoating Archbishop Hepworth, I would be happy to applaud their efforts.   But someone needs to push back against the historical revisionism that would imply Hepworth bamboozled bishops into solemnly placing their signatures on the Catechism of the Catholic CHurch and on the Portsmouth Petition when he gave them something like four days to ponder the petition and the notion of signing the CCC before they did so.  

      • Patrick-TAC says:

        Rev 22:17,
        The statement is correctly true, because you will not get a comment about Deborah’s progress in their recruit in Roman Catholic or how is their worshipping growing spiritually.It is all about TAC, about what the Bishops of TAC should conduct themselves. The TAC was talking about communion and not absorption, everyone in the TAC knows what the Bishops were looking for, so to say the TAC does not want full reconciliation you are false.

        What do they want?  Recognition they are like the Orthodox, a branch of the One True Church?  Dream on, Patrick-TAC.  That is silly ecclesiology, a childish thing that I once believed, too, before Mercer, Reid and Wilkinson properly catechized me.  I used to think I was Catholic merely because I believed what the Catholic Church teaches.  But I did not understand what the Catholic Church teaches about herself. Now I do, and I have put away childish things.

        As I said before, the TAC Portsmouth Petition leaves open the “how” of corporate communion to the Rome.  It does not spell out a model of intercommunion, or recognition of the TAC as a church.  It leaves the decision on how to effect a corporate reunion that includes our bringing with us our Anglican Patrimony up to Rome.  Anglicanorum coetibus was the response.  Hepworth rightly said repeatedly after it was published that it was the definitive answer to our request and not a negotiation.   

        Even now our Bishops only rejected the offer and still maintain that they want communion wherein both parties should seat together and discuss matters and not to be dictated or bullied by Rome as to how to go about reconciliatio and for that matter after TAc rejected the offer, the SSPX did the same three months later because no one want to be bullied.

        Dictated to or bullied by Rome.  Okay.  You seem prejudiced against the Roman Catholic Church and do not understand how the Holy Father exercises his juridical authority—through that of bishops in communion with him.   The new TAC and SSPX cannot pick and choose what teachings of the Catholic Church they will accept and still insist on all the privileges of communion with her.  

        There is no schism my friend and there is no new entity, the Bishops of the TAC are governed by Concordat (Constitution) for your information and resolved in terms of their Concordat.

        I disagree.

        The nonsense is what you are saying because Hepworth expulsion is genuine because he only resigned as a Primate and not as a Bishop ordinary of Australian Diocese, Hepworth had neither resigned as a member of TAc, so please understand things before arguing baseless.

        I think Hepworth’s expulsion and show trial reminds me of what happens after revolutions, when previous leaders are put on trial.   We still don’t know what the charges are against Hepworth, only vague comments like yours about financial misdealings.   I understand Hepworth has tried three times to get in writing what the exact charges are and still has not heard.  
    • Foolishness,

      I dont know what your name implies about you, however I recalled relating unhappyness with Roman Catholic decision to join only to Deborah and I indicated how instead of thinking about Ordinariate but her efforts are to judge TAC Bishop’s decisions.

      Perhaps you ought to search Scripture to find out how “foolishness” resonates with various passages.

      Let me help you here the letter was seeking communion and please read the difference between communion and absorption, you talk of repudiation of offer and yet you think signing of CCC of Rome binds people.

      We have communion and we are not absorbed, even if we are Roman Catholics of the Anglican Use.   Why would signing the CCC not bind people?  One of its teachings is that being Catholic includes by necessity full visible communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter.  You can’t claim to be Catholic without being in communion with the Pope!   

      I do not know why dont you ask your auhorities as to why do they give an offer to people whom they own if its what you think of your CCC has. They must teach you why they gave an offer if CCC binds TAC Bishops who requeste communion please do not be naive, why are your athorities not seeking redress to take our finances and buildings if they own our Bishops.

      No one has seized our finances or our buildings.  Each parish will continue to own its own building and in Canada monies that formerly would have gone to the TAC will go to the Canadian deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.   

      Please think again and understand the contents of the letter from TAC to Roman Catholics.There is no new TAC you are instead diminished in your understanding of faith and think that your opinion is the one that is better to anyone if you think Roman Catholic is the only true Catholic Church.

      The Portmouth Petition and the signing of the CCC do that. It’s not my little imagination.  

      How can this be clearer, Patrick-TAC?  Here’s what the letter said.

      1. We accept the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, which is a ministry of teaching and discerning the faith and a “perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity” and understand this ministry is essential to the Church founded by Jesus Christ.  We accept that this ministry, in the words of the late John Paul II in Ut Unum Sint, is to “ensure the unity of all the Churches”.  We understand his words in the same Letter when he explains to the separated churches that the Bishop of Rome “when circumstances require it, speaks in the name of all the Pastors in communion with him.  He can also – under very specific conditions clearly laid down by the First Vatican Council – declare ex cathedra that a certain doctrine belongs to the deposit of faith.  By thus bearing witness to the truth, he serves unity”.  We understand that, as bishops separated from communion with the Bishop of Rome, we are among those for whom Jesus prayed before his death “that they may be completely one”, and that we teach and define matters of faith and morals in a way that is, while still under the influence of Divine Grace, of necessity more tenuously connected to the teaching voice of catholic bishops throughout the world.
      2. We accept that the Church founded by Jesus Christ subsists most perfectly in the churches in communion with the See of Peter, to whom (after the repeated protestation of his love for Jesus) and to whose successors, our Divine Master gave the duty of feeding the lambs and the sheep of his flock.
      3. We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, which we have signed together with this Letter as attesting to the faith we aspire to teach and hold.

      I hope you will take back your hepworth and make him your Priest again as he belong with you.The same TAC which declined your Roman Catholic Church’s offer is going forward in faith and does not bother about what Roman catholics are doing but is instead focusing more like never before on its mission of preaching the Gospel of Christ.

      This is a new TAC that has basically repudiated the Portsmouth Petition and the signatures on the CCC.   Go on and preach the Gospel!  But don’t try to rewrite history, my friend.

      You act like the rest of figitives who are not haappy in their choices, who thought TAC was finished like your athourities, HA HA HA think again the TAC is young vibrant and is stronger like before.It is still the same TAC thats why it responded to decline the offer, as it is the same TAC which requested only COMMUNION and not absorption.

      Maybe some day the TAC will grow up back to the stature it had reached in 2007 before its implosion and reconstitution as just some other Continuing Anglican Church.  Continuing Anglican Churches may have lots of good things about them, and certainly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is not bound only by the sacraments of the Catholic Church—God is free to move wherever He wishes.  But I thank God, I am now Catholic, truly Catholic and yet worshipping with Anglican patrimony.

      In the meantime, I am happy to see Bishop Gill is going to be ordaining new priests and deacons and I hope many come to Christ through the evangelizing of the new TAC’s clergy and people.  

      I guess, too, we who have joined Ordinariates, have to show the world we have not been absorbed, but are flourishing within the Catholic Church with our Anglican patrimony beautifully nourished and protected.

      If the new TAC wants me to stop discussing the new TAC, then move on, focus on evangelization, stop trying to rewrite history, and stop coming over here and commenting on my blog!   If what I write here upsets you, then please stop reading, making assertions that cannot be left to stand and inspiring me to write more.

       

      UPDATE:  Norm adds the following to the older post which fits here (with my emphases):

      Patrick,

      You wrote: The statement is correctly true…

      No. You are missing one very important point. Archbishop John Hepworth was still the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) when Archbishop Prakesh summoned the meeting that purported to depose him. Since he was not the primate and lacked the primate’s authority to summon that meeting, Archbishop Prakesh lacked the canonical authority to do so. Thus, the meeting was illegitimate and its purported acts are rightfully understood to be without effect (or, if you prefer, null and void). This means that what emerged from that meeting is no longer the legitimate TAC.

      You wrote: The TAC was talking about communion and not absorption, everyone in the TAC knows what the Bishops were looking for, so to say the TAC does not want full reconciliation you are false. Even now our Bishops only rejected the offer and still maintain that they want communion wherein both parties should seat together and discuss matters and not to be dictated or bullied by Rome as to how to go about reconciliatio and for that matter after TAc rejected the offer, the SSPX did the same three months later because no one want to be bullied.

      You cannot equate the situation of Anglican Christians with the situation of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

      >> For reasons discussed in the decree Apotolicae curaepromulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1896, the Catholic Church holds Anglican orders to be “utterly null and void,” with the consequence that only the sacraments of baptism and marriage within the Anglican Communion and the numerous “continuing Anglican” bodies can be valid. In particular, this means that the sacraments of confirmation and holy orders, which impart character when validly administered, are not valid. The Catholic Church will not agree to any process of reconciliation that fails to cure the defects in these sacraments. Fundamentally, this means that the members of every group of Anglicans coming into the Catholic Church must be confirmed at the time of reception, and that Anglican clergy must be ordained in the Catholic Church before they can exercise their orders after reception into full communion.

      >> The SSPX, by contrast, has undisputed apostolic succession. Thus, its sacramental orders are valid and its members and adherents are already validly confirmed. It is this distinction that enables members of the SSPX who come into the full communion of the Catholic Church may exercise their sacramental orders immediately upon their reception into full communion.

      The obstacle to reconcilliation of the SSPX is its rejection of Catholic doctrine of the church, stated infallibly by the Second Vatican Council in the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium and reiterated, almost verbatim, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here, Section 5 of Article I the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibusimposes the same standard of doctrinal conformity on the ordinariates: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate.”

      The Catholic Church has, however, shown considerable flexibility as to the process of reception of former Anglican parishes so they can bring their buildings and other property into the Catholic Church with them, as Deborah’s community did. In addition, the former Anglican pastors have received appointments as canonical “administrators” of the respective communities, so they retain full canonical authority of governance thereof. Clearly there has been more delay than we would have liked in the Catholic ordinations of many of the former Anglican clergy, especially here in the United States, but the ordinations nevertheless are on track.

      But in this context, it’s quite instructive to look at what is happening in Canada, where former Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) bishops Peter Wilkinson and Carl Reid are preparing for ordination as Catholic presbyters on 08 December and most of the rest of the former ACCC clergy will receive ordination as Catholic presbyters around Easter of next year. I anticipate that there will be an official announcement of the canonical erection of the Canadian deanery and the appointment of one or the other of these gentlemen as its first dean at the respective ordination. When it is fully established, the Canadian deanery will look very much like the former ACCC Pro-Diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham, with the addition of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Calgary, formerly of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), thereto.

      And here, I find the above comment by “Mourad” about an “alphabet soup of “continuing Anglicans” looking to realign. If they, or their parishes, lack the “critical mass” to be sustainable, it is likely that they will turn to the Canadian deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter as a more sustainable solution. The influx of new members and communities from these bodies over time, coupled with those coming from the ACC, will allow the Canadian deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter to become a separate ordinariate in due course.

      You wrote: There is no schism my friend and there is no new entity, the Bishops of the TAC are governed by Concordat (Constitution) for your information and resolved in terms of their Concordat.

      You mean the very concordat that they violated by convening a meeting without the primate’s approval?

      When you violate a concordat, you cease to be under it.

      Norm.

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18 Responses to To Patrick-TAC —-some answers to your assertions

  1. Pingback: Zealous Commentating « Fr Stephen Smuts

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: No lesser scholar than Dominican theologian Fr. Aidan Nichols told me the Apostolic Constitution could be interpreted to include the corporate reception of not only whole dioceses but provinces.

    Perhaps this begs the question of what one mans by “corporate reception” in this context. In light of the Catholic position with regard to Anglican orders articulated in the decree Apostolicae curae promulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1896, any process that fails to cure the sacramental defects of confirmation and ordination in the Anglican Communion clearly would not be acceptable to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. I doubt that a distinguished Catholic scholar like Fr. Aidan Nichols intended to imply otherwise, though I see how those who were not aware of this reality might have misconstrued the term “corporate reception” to mean otherwise.

    The bottom line here is that, if one understands “corporate reception” to mean that a separated body simply becomes a new part of the Catholic Church, in the manner in which the former Sacerdotal Society of St. John Marie Vianney became the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Marie Vianney on 18 January 2002, that is possible only if the separated body has a valid apostolic succession. The decree Apostolicae curae clearly excludes current and former Anglican bodies from that method of reconcilliation with the Catholic Church, and thus presumably excludes that method of “corporate reception” from the intended meaning of Father Nichols’s remarks.

    Beyond that, the notion of “corporate reception” is a matter of degree. There is a very clear corporate character to the simultaneous reception of the members of a whole community of faith into full communion at the same service, and it is even more clear when congregations that are in geographical proximity are received together at a common service. This model of “corporate reception” probably would be practicable on the scale of what one normally envisions as a diocese, and would even be workable on the scale of a province of the Anglican Communion or a “continuing Anglican” body in a geographically small country such as England. Of course, it clearly would be far less practicable to do this for a diocese or province that encompasses a very large geographical area. Here, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) and its former Diocese of Canada, both of which spanned the entire width of Canada, may be the most extreme example, but it would have been equally impracticable in the dioceses of the former Anglican Church in America (ACA) in the United States and the dioceses of the former Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (ACCA) in Australia. In bodies that span such a large geographical area, the best that one can do within the limits of practicality is to receive each congregation thereof as a body — and this is precisely what is being done. Ideally, in such situations, one would like all of the receptions to occur as near to simultaneously as possible (at least on the same date if not at the same time), but this also proved to be impracticable because some congregations of these bodies were ready to move forward and others were not.

    You wrote: The other thing the new TAC has insisted upon is that we were absorbed, we were forced to become Roman Catholics. Well, juridically, we are part of the Western Catholic Church, which is the same thing as Roman Catholic. Now, maybe to Patrick-TAC being Roman Catholic is something to disdain, but I think it’s fine. However, we are fully Catholic yet if he came into one of our services at the Annunciation, even though we have Roman Catholic priests doing our liturgy for us in the interim period, he would find little different from the way we used to worship before. The Catholic priests who celebrate our Mass love our way of worshipping and treat it with utmost respect. The sharing of gifts the Holy Father hoped for in our Anglican patrimony is already taking place. Even our local Roman Catholic archbishop celebrated our Anglican Use liturgy –ad orientem, with the ballet of genuflection, down to the silent prayers—to welcome us in. This is hardly absorption, but gracious and generous support for our Anglican patrimony.

    Yes, the pastoral solicitude of our bishops and the ordinary to see to the sacramental and liturgical needs of the communities received into full communion until the Catholic ordination of their own clergy has been most encouraging overall. In anything this complex, a few rough spots are inevitable but most of the communities seem to be, or to have been, very well served.

    Norm.

    • Foolishness says:

      There were ways for a more front-end corporate reception to have occurred which would have also permitted re-ordination and confirmation of those coming in—a reception that could have protected much better the corporately-held assets and so on. But this was ignored and the way this was handled probably accounted for considerable loss of confidence in the offer and greater fears of absorption.

  3. Matthew the Wayfarer says:

    Where is Patrick from? Very poor English. His outrageous claims are laughable. As an outsider I think i understand better than he does of what been going on in TAC and the Ordinariates.
    Patrick – take a pill andgo sit in the corner.

  4. Pingback: To Patrick-TAC —-some answers to your assertions | Catholic Canada

  5. wayfarer says:

    Deborah, instead of responding to this fellow, it might just be better to not feed the trolls. If you ignore them, they usually get tired and go away.

  6. EPMS says:

    Surely a “troll” is someone who has no dog in the fight, but makes comments designed to sidetrack the conversation of those who are genuinely engaged. If Patrick-TAC is merely feigning concern he is putting an unusual amount of time and energy into the process.

  7. Mourad says:

    Deborah: Your exchange has bee picked up on Fr Stephen’s blog. Here is my two pence worth also posted there.
    Quote
    “While the comments by this Patrick, presumably a parishioner of some TAC Church somewhere, were rude, I think there ought to be some understanding of his feelings Were I to be a member of a separated church, I would, I think, be hopping mad if some prelate or other decided for me that my allegiance should be switched to some other church.

    There is, of course, an unfortunate precedent in the manner in which the original schism which created the Church of England came about, but surely the TAC bishops could not have thought it appopriate to proceed like a Tudor Sovereign. Each of them should have had enough theology to understand that the Church would require each individual coming into communion to do so by a individual act. Was nothing done to prepare the individual parishioners for this prospect before the Declaration and Petition were executed with so much solemnity at Portsmouth?

    Further, I have still seen no satisfactory explanation from those bishops who signed the documents at Portsmouth as to why they decided to rat on their commitments. After all, one must presume that all of them would have read the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church they were commiting themselves to join. They must be taken to have known and understood the meaning of Lumen Gentium at 14:-

    This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.
    They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion.”

    Putting aside my personal view that it was an act of near lunacy to elect Hepworth as Primate, it does rather seem as if those prelates who ratted on Portsmouth now view him as a handy scapegoat for their own pastoral deficiencies.
    Unquote

    From a subsequent comment, somemething became clearer: some Anglicans and Continuing Anglicans think of themselves as being already “Catholic” – the branch theory. In contrast Catholics regard communion as an integral part of Catholicity. While Anglicans may retain in their thougt and to a greater or lesser extent some elements of Catholic teaching, for Catholics there is no “catholicity” without valid orders and communion with the Holy Father.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Mourad,

      From your quotation of Fr. Stephen: Were I to be a member of a separated church, I would, I think, be hopping mad if some prelate or other decided for me that my allegiance should be switched to some other church.

      I would be in full agreement if the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) had not stated its goal of full communion with the Catholic Church so clearly and publicly. But as it is, this stated goal was written into its constitution and published clearly on its web site long before the promulgation of Anglicanorum coetibus. Thus, all members of any province of the TAC should have been well aware of it.

      That said, it does seem that many TAC clergy, bishops included, less than sincere (yes, I’m being very charitable…) in their professed commitment to this goal. Perhaps some of those clergy made a major miscalculation, thinking that a door to Catholic union would not open, and thus that the matter would not come to a head, in their lifetimes, but it was more than a little unethical both to join the TAC and to accept any position of leadership therein if they did not support its goal of union with the Catholic Church even if they held such a belief. In any case, it seems likely that some of these clergy were telling their parishionners (and, in the case of bishops, their dioceses) not to worry because union with the Catholic Church was not going to happen. When it did, it caught them completely by surprise and triggered the overt rebellion that we all witnessed.

      But having proven themselves not to be reputable, not to be men of their word, I don’t see how these clergy retain any following at all. They have proven themselves not to be trustworthy, so why continue to trust them as pastors?

      Here, I do make an exception for Bishop Botterill and perhaps some of the other clergy of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada who have conducted themselves in a civil manner and followed through on Archbishop Hepworth’s committment to maintain pastoral leadership and episcopal oversight for those not yet ready to enter the Catholic Church for as long as necessary. I’m a little miffed by his decision to get into bed with the renegades, though.

      From the same quotation: Putting aside my personal view that it was an act of near lunacy to elect Hepworth as Primate, it does rather seem as if those prelates who ratted on Portsmouth now view him as a handy scapegoat for their own pastoral deficiencies.

      Yes, that is indeed a very interesting observation!

      If Archbishop Hepworth had a flaw, it was that of not seeing to the immediate removal from office of those who rebelled at the first sign of outward rebellion. Rather, he seems not to have recognized the People of the Lie (and yes, I’m alluding to the book by that title by M. Scott Peck, M. D.) in his own organization.

      Norm.

      • EPMS says:

        The idea that submission to the Holy See was a founding principle of TAC, or the ACCC via The Affirmation of St Louis, is a myth, as a perusal of any parish newsletters, Diocesan Circulars, or copies of The Messenger more than three years old will make very clear. The unattractive alternative would be to view this project as a massive long-term pastoral failure. Mrs Gyapong’s parish was fortunate to have two-thirds of its membership follow its rector into the Church; the average was probably less than 10%. Fr. Kenyon, after only two years as rector, was able to bring almost as many members of the Anglican Church of Canada in one city into the Catholic Church as have been received from the entire ACCC. Are we really to believe that joining the (Roman) Catholic Church was being preached in season and out of season for twenty years in TAC-affiliated churches and falling on deaf ears?

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: The idea that submission to the Holy See was a founding principle of TAC, or the ACCC via The Affirmation of St Louis, is a myth, as a perusal of any parish newsletters, Diocesan Circulars, or copies of The Messenger more than three years old will make very clear.

        From the preamble of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Concordat of 1990:

        WE further declare that the Churches, Provinces and Dioceses of this Communion desire to be in full Communion with the whole of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ…

        How can one attain “full Communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ” without “submission to the Holy See” in one manner or another, when the Holy See governs the whole of the “One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ” with which one seeks full communion?

        The unattractive alternative would be to view this project as a massive long-term pastoral failure.

        Yes, there clearly was long-term pastoral failure, and it quite probably existed on several levels (provincial, diocesan, and parochial) throughout much of the TAC.

        The real question is whether the failure was one of pastors not adhering to the “desire to be in full Communion with the whole of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ” or one of accepting, or at least failing to remove from office, those who did not.

        You asked: Are we really to believe that joining the (Roman) Catholic Church was being preached in season and out of season for twenty years in TAC-affiliated churches and falling on deaf ears?

        I think that it is pretty clear that joining the Catholic Church was not being preached in many corners of the TAC. Indeed, this is a major element of the pastoral failure.

        That said, there are two questions.

        >> 1. Is the failure the fault of the parochial clergy or the fault of the hierarchy?

        >> 2. Is the failure to remove clergy who did not support the agenda of full communion with the Catholic Church the fault of diocesan bishops, the chief bishops of the member churches, or the primate himself?

        This may well be a situation in which there is more than enough blame to go around.

        Norm.

      • Mourad says:

        Norm: For accuracy, the piece you quote, was mine not Fr Stephen’s.

        I do question your view of Bishop Bottrill. If he had in fact signed the Portsmoth documents, was it not in fact his duty to follow through on that and find some other bishop to provide episcopal oversight for those who remained?

        I subscribe to the “once a Catholic – always a Catholic” principle. So Hepworth should never had submitted himself for orders in a schismatic church. I am not going to express any judgment as to what personal pressures led him to do that. I think the more apposite question is the wisdom of those who accepted him for office knowing his troubled past.

  8. Foolishness says:

    If you belong to a church in which the bishops determine faith and morals, then those lay people who were members of the Traditional Anglican Communion after it adopted the Catechism of the Catholic Church as its doctrine were already members of a church that shared the same teachings as the Catholic Church. If they dissented, they were similar to those cradle Roman Catholics who want women priests or birth control or whatever. If the Orthodox come into communion with the Holy See is each individual orthodox member going to have to go through RCIA? I doubt it. Of course, with the question of Holy Orders up in the air for the TAC, as much as it tried to get valid Apostolic Succession, there had to be individual confirmation and ordination to the Catholic priesthood which the Orthodox would not have to go through. The TAC was not a congregational church when it came to faith and morals. As for the election of Hepworth as primate—-I can understand why he was elected. There was no one else who had his vision, his energy, his passion for the mission of unity. No one knew about the devastating sexual abuse he had suffered back when he was elected. No, Hepworth was the man for the hour and history will be kind to him.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Deborah,

      You asked: If the Orthodox come into communion with the Holy See is each individual orthodox member going to have to go through RCIA?

      No. When the Orthodox Communion returns to full communion with the Catholic Church, each of the autocephalous churches of the Orthodox Communion will become a sui juris ritual church and there will be some realignment of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches) to provide for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to make the autocephalous churches of Byzantine Rite answerable thereto, with the Ecumenical Patriarch in turn answerable to the Roman pontiff. These changes, to preserve substantially the present structure of the Orthodox Communion, will take effect on “day one” of the reconcilliation. There will then follow a process of regularizing the present sui juris ritual churches of Byzantine Rite, restoring them to their respective historical places within that structure, likely over the course of several years. The Byzantine Catholic structures (patriarchates and major archbishoprics, dioceses, etc.) won’t be surpressed until they become vacant.

      Norm.

      • Don Henri says:

        “The Byzantine Catholic structures (patriarchates and major archbishoprics, dioceses, etc.) won’t be surpressed until they become vacant.”

        This is what I think should/would happen:
        They won’t be suppressed at all. In place Greek-Catholics are a majority, they will absorb the orthodox jurisdictions (Western Ukraine, Eastern Slovakia, Transylvania, Lebanon), in places where they are a minority they will anyway refuse to come under orthodox rule (very bad memories of Stalin and Ceaucescu, they would even prefer becoming protestant to that) and continue to exist as personal jurisdictions.

        + PAX et BONUM

  9. Foolishness says:

    EPMS—you are blowing your cover as a member of the ACCC. “Submission to Rome” —interesting way of putting things. I guess you are right in this—there was an evolution of thought among the bishops who decided to submit to Rome—-that this was what in fact the Lord was asking of them. That it was up to them (and the rest of us) to remove any impediments in ourselves to the quest for unity. It’s astonishing to me to see some in new TAC quarters arguing that it is Rome that has to change before they will be pure enough for them. You see that in some SSPX folks too.

    Yes, perhaps a pastoral failure in this sense—that while I got the memo as soon as I walked in the door that the TAC/ACCC was in serious talks with Rome about unity—others came along who liked the prayer book worship etc. and didn’t expect this Rome business would ever happen. Others were locked into their branch ecclesiology or would not shed the idea they were not already Catholic and bridled at the suggestion they weren’t.

    “Submission to Rome” was not easy for me or for anyone who had to take the leap of faith that submission to the Successor of Peter is the same as submitting to Christ, because it is through His Church that He brings about our salvation. All of us had our particular “rich young ruler” moment and had to sacrifice something in order for this to happen.

  10. EPMS says:

    If you are going to put things in quotation marks, it was “submission to the Holy See”—the standard term, I believe.

  11. EPMS says:

    Further to Norm: while your point about the impossibility of ” being in full Communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” other than by being received into that Church is certainly how a (Roman) Catholic would see it, it is obvious from the rest of the Concordat that the signers DO see themselves as already members; that is to say, it reflects typical High Anglican “branch” ecclesiology. The evolution from this document to the theology of the Portsmouth Declaration is quite marked.

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