Nothing has worked out as we expected but strangely enough . . .

Fr. Anthony Chadwick has a long post over at his blog rehashing the history of the Traditional Anglican Communion and what happened in 2007 —coming on five years ago—when the College of Bishops of the TAC signed the historic Portsmouth petition on the altar of St. Agatha’s as well as a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  The former TAC primate Archbishop John Hepworth is painted as a Svengali who held the College of Bishops spellbound.  Here’s a snippet:

I have to admit that I was surprised to see the entire TAC episcopate swept into the fervour of the Archbishop’s agenda. The letter to Rome was offered for amendments, and amazingly, it was treated like a lawyer’s letter and just rephrased a little here and there. No bishop seemed to show any critical attitude other than in private. It all reminded me of the historical accounts of how Pope Pius IX got Papal infallibility through in 1870 and struck dumbness into the opposing minority. It was a classical show of peer pressure and going with the bandwagon.

Was Archbishop Hepworth the bully or Rome’s lackey? I was too involved in the whole thing as a priest observer and as one who participated at some small-group discussions on entirely unrelated matters. The agenda was just not gone over critically.

As is usual with Fr. Anthony Chadwick’s posts, they are interesting.  But he sometimes tends to get a little binary in his thinking:  either/or; black/white.  An example:

The way things have been done by all those responsible, whether on the Roman Catholic or TAC side, has been a pastoral disaster. Archbishop Hepworth has been deceived or deceived us. To what end, other than to destroy himself? When will we find constant and rational explanations and learn from them?

Personally, I keep waiting. For some of us, nothing more is expected from Rome, but everything is expected from the bishops who obviously regretted jumping on the bandwagons and took a more critical attitude a posteriori. It takes time to reculer pour mieux sauter. Those who believe the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church (no salvation outside it) should go that way.

Anyway, I am sure on the Roman side there are recriminations —-we were deceived on the numbers!   We thought there would be many more thousands in England, etc. etc.  By the time Hepworth achieved “chopped liver status” (Chadwick’s words) with Rome, the TAC was believed to exist only on paper.   In fact, that’s what Cardinal Levada’s secretary told me was a strongly-held view by  the TAC’s detracters in Rome.

But I am still proud of the Portsmouth Petition.  It is an inspired piece of writing.  I am still spellbound!   And I’m proud of the TAC bishops who signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church and knew what they were signing.  As one of them said to me,  “I actually read it.”

I am proud of the fact that my shepherds, the ones who formed me in the Catholic faith, have been true to their word.  They knew, as Archbishop Hepworth explained, that the Apostolic Constitution was not the beginning of a negotiation.  They knew that accepting the Catechism meant accepting the juridical authority of the Holy Father.

Right now the Ordinariates are mere hatchlings.  They are much more reliant now on local dioceses and on the national episcopal conferences now than they may eventually be, especially if down the road, a celibate man is elected and becomes a full bishop of an Ordinariate.

Then, with a full bishop in charge, then the Ordinariate could have, under the Apostolic Constitution, as much of a particular church status as a diocese, no?

It’s not quite sui juris Anglican Rite, but Hepworth’s vision of what we might be—and he always in my hearing made it clear when he was speculating and guessing or not—is strangely enough not that far off.

As for fault, there is more than enough to go around on all sides.  It will be interesting to see what can be factually ascertained when the history books on this are written.

As for Hepworth himself, I trust that he will also be true to his word, to enter as a layman.

Sadly, some TAC bishops thought the letter was a request for intercommunion, that poof!  CDF would recognize TAC orders and sacraments as valid and what would happen would be mere recognition that the TAC was already Catholic because it had signed the Cathechism.    But obviously, on the part of bishops who held that view, there are real flaws in their understanding of ecclesiogy as it is spelled out in the Catechism.    The Portsmouth Petition did not say “We already see ourselves as a Catholic Church;  we ask that you recognize us as such.”

Here is what it did request.  

  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.
  4. Driven by these realizations, which we must now in good conscience bring to the attention of the Holy See, we seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment.  We seek the guidance of the Holy See as to the fulfillment of these our desires and those of the churches in which we have been called to serve.

Yes, it asks for a “communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See”  but note it seeks “the guidance of the Holy See as to the fulfillment of these our desires” . . .  it does not say “recognize us as a church, holus bolus, or our desire for unity will be withdrawn.”

I believe that Hepworth understood that the communal and ecclesial way would include a more corporate “front-end” reception, more respect for the bishops’ as guardians of Catholic doctrine rather than an insistence on individual lay conversion, and more respect for the legal and corporate identities of the TAC churches so they could come in as Bishop Craig Botterill once said to me, “lock, stock and barrel” rather than having to disband, potentially leave all behind, come in as individual converts and then attempt to re-assemble after the fact.  Our ecclesial bonds were not regarded as important and consequently our parish families and our dioceses were disintegrated.  Imagine, will you, if every Roman Catholic parish suddenly had to have the individual faith of each of its members examined  (polls show only about half even believe in Real Presence) on pain of not receiving communion if they would not sign on the dotted line that they believed everything the Church holds to be true, whether on contraception to the male priesthood etc.   But most of the TAC bishops showed they did not hold or, as their actions now indicate, aspire to hold the Catholic faith as it is presented in the Catechism.  So, in retrospect the Holy See was perhaps wise to do it the way it did.

When someone as knowledgeable as Fr. Aidan Nichols also did not see why the Apostolic Constitution could not accommodate the reception of a whole diocese into the Catholic Church, or even a whole province, then Hepworth was not alone in his “folly.”

We do not yet know the end of this story.  The Ordinariates are so young and experiencing some growing pains.  There seem to be some issues of trust to overcome.   But I hope that ten years down the road, the emergent Ordinariates will come closer and closer to resembling the vision Hepworth shared prophetically with us.    And I hope in his lifetime he will be recognized for it.

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37 Responses to Nothing has worked out as we expected but strangely enough . . .

  1. EPMS says:

    Could you elaborate on “with a full bishop in charge…the Ordinariate could have, under the Apostolic Constitution, as much of a particular church status as a diocese” ? I realize you are being tentative, but I am not sure what you mean by “particular church”.

  2. EPMS says:

    PS I ask because for quite some time members of the ACCC were assured that they would not be ROMAN Catholics, but like one of the 22 other autonomous particular Catholic churches in communion with the Pope. Having a bishop as Ordinary would not, of course, achieve this end.

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      These two categories are separable. The Campos personal Apostolic Administration is fully a particular church (which even a personal ordinariate is not), and its ordinary may be a titular bishop (and is). And yet it is fully part of the Latin Church, having, as its normative Eucharistic liturgy (for example), the pre-conciliar 1962 Mass. One can have a particular church (diocese or equivalent) and still be a part of the Latin Church. One can even have a separate Rite (like the Ambrosian Rite, for whom the ‘Chief’ of the Rite is the Archbishop of Milan) and yet still be part of the Latin Church. A Western uniate church would not be part of the Latin Church but would be part of the Western Patriarchate, with the Pope as Patriarch. (By the way, while the title ‘Patriarch of the West’ is no longer being used as at this pontificate, the corresponding position continues to exist. A topic for another day.)

      P.K.T.P.

  3. Foolishness says:

    No, having a bishop ordinary would not make us a separate church the way Ukrainian Catholics are a separate church. But each diocese in the Roman Catholic Church is a particular church—it is not a department of the national episcopal conference. But seeing as we would have an Anglican Use rite it begins to start looking more and more like a separate rite even though juridically it isn’t. That was the point Hepworth was trying to make, I think.

    Well, some of this boils down to semantics. Yes, from a legal point of view we are part of the Western Rite, that is the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. But some say, oh, you are just becoming Roman Catholics, without paying attention to the Anglican Use aspect that we are able to retain. Those who say we are just becoming Roman Catholics as if that means losing everything about Anglican patrimony are wrong. Archbishop Hepworth continually and repeatedly tried to explain the difference. Sadly, most did not hear what he had to say.

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      After spending some years in exile at the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church, I would say that, while the Ukrainians and other Eastern Catholic Churches in the disapora are juridically independent, they are financially dependent on the episcipal conferences. This does have an effect on their policies, even on their liturgy (e.g. dumbing down of English translations from sacral to conversational English). It always comes down to the episcopal conferences and the bishops who control them. However, individual bishops have the needed authority to protect (or not) ordinariate communities existing in their respective territories. As the old liberal bishops from the sixties retire, they will be more and more replaced by favourable men. Several of the Latin bishops here in Canada (most, in fact), have been very supportive of the ordinariate so far. It is a good sign.

      P.K.T.P.

  4. Pingback: Fr Anthony Chadwick: A Couple of Snippets… « Fr Stephen Smuts

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  6. EPMS says:

    At the moment Canadian groups, other than the former ACC parish in Calgary, are completely dependent on their local Catholic dioceses for whatever aspects of Anglicanism they retain in their worship. In the case of some groups, in Vancouver for example, there is nothing available. Surely this is not what anyone envisaged.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: At the moment Canadian groups, other than the former ACC parish in Calgary, are completely dependent on their local Catholic dioceses for whatever aspects of Anglicanism they retain in their worship. In the case of some groups, in Vancouver for example, there is nothing available. Surely this is not what anyone envisaged.

      Rather, Cardinal Collins clearly anticipated that each parish would be very dependent upon the local diocese during a transitional period that will last until the former Anglican clergy who came into communion with each parish receive Catholic ordination so that the parishes can stand on their own.

      That said, I do think there was a reasonably well-founded hope that this transitional period would not exceed a couple months. The unfortunate experience of many congregations is that this transitional period has become rather protracted, and may well exceed a year in some cases.

      Norm.

      • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

        Actually, Norm, that’s not it. As far as I can ascertain, the TAC groups will not transfer to the ordinariate until their respective priests (where they qualify) are ordained. I believe that most of the Cdn. TAC groups will come into the American Ordinariate in the new year. I’m not sure in the case of those which do not have incoming men who will not be ordained. They will be mostly very small groups and they might come over gradually.

        P.K.T.P.

      • Paul Nicholls ofs says:

        It would help if some of the clergy in Toronto were more consistent in providing an Anglican Use Mass in our Sodality. We have not had a mass for three Sundays running now. So, this transitional period is not working out too well here. My personal response has to be to attend the EF Mass in another Latin Rite parish on Sundays. If this situation becomes “protracted” and exceeds a year, the whole thing may very well fall apart in this locality. We may have already have lost a number of potential members, in the process.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Paul,

        You wrote: It would help if some of the clergy in Toronto were more consistent in providing an Anglican Use Mass in our Sodality. We have not had a mass for three Sundays running now. So, this transitional period is not working out too well here.

        I’m very sorry. I had hoped that the apostolic delegate for the erection of an ordinariate in Canada would do better, ensuring availability of a priest to celebrate a mass for your sodality every Sunday.

        The other side of this coin, however, is that you cannot expect a priest who does not understand the approved Anglican form of the mass to walk into a community and celebrate that form of the mass well. I do think that members of ordinariate communities need to anticipate that they may sometimes have to celebrate mass according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite if their own clergy are not available.

        You wrote: If this situation becomes “protracted” and exceeds a year, the whole thing may very well fall apart in this locality.

        Yes, I understand. I certainly hope that it won’t last that long. Unfortunately, one never knows what snags might arise that might delay the Catholic ordinations of former Anglican clergy.

        Please keep us posted of any further developments!

        Norm.

      • EPMS says:

        Norm: re your response to Mr. Nicholls below (at least at the moment; the organisation of the posts is sometimes unpredictable) his point was not that the Anglican Use mass was not done well, but that it was not done at all. On the one hand, some of the core group of parishioners are coming from Toronto, where an Anglican Use mass is already available. At what point do they decide to switch to the local, and more reliable, parish? On the other, how can he encourage his contacts among Oshawa former Anglicans and Franciscan Seculars to come out to Good Shepherd, if all that is on offer is Mattins with Holy Communion? Mr Nicholls has maintained a very active website, unlike the Toronto group, but I note that he is taking a break and I do not blame him. He must be feeling very discouraged. On the other hand, how can Cardinal Collins, given the shortage of clergy to serve parishes with an average 3,000 members, justify sending a priest on a two hour round trip to celebrate Sunday mass for 15 people?

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: … (at least at the moment; the organisation of the posts is sometimes unpredictable)…

        Actually, it depends upon what the responder does. If you click on the “reply” link under a post, the system nests the reply under the post to which it responds, indented an additional level to form a hierarchy. But if you don’t click on that “reply” link, the system construes the post as a reply to the original article and thus adds it at the end with no indentation.

        The additional complication, however, is that the system allows only a few levels of nesting, limited by not providing “reply” links for posts already indented to the last permitted level. When this happens, I try to use the “reply” link of the parent post so the response will at least be within the same grouping — but there are quite a few posters who do not use the link of the parent post, with the consequence that the affected replies wrap to the top level of the hierarchy of comments.

        Until the system operators modify the system to allow more levels of nesting of replies, we have to live with this.

        You wrote: … his point was not that the Anglican Use mass was not done well, but that it was not done at all.

        To those of us who care about our worship (liturgy), not done at all is much preferable to done poorly. The latter displays utter irrevence.

        You wrote: On the one hand, some of the core group of parishioners are coming from Toronto, where an Anglican Use mass is already available. At what point do they decide to switch to the local, and more reliable, parish? On the other, how can he encourage his contacts among Oshawa former Anglicans and Franciscan Seculars to come out to Good Shepherd, if all that is on offer is Mattins with Holy Communion? Mr Nicholls has maintained a very active website, unlike the Toronto group, but I note that he is taking a break and I do not blame him. He must be feeling very discouraged. On the other hand, how can Cardinal Collins, given the shortage of clergy to serve parishes with an average 3,000 members, justify sending a priest on a two hour round trip to celebrate Sunday mass for 15 people?

        I have often wondered why there are two separate groups only ~20 miles apart, thinking that it would make more to unite them, perhaps at a location about midway between that has good access to transportation, as the larger numbers would form a more stable community.

        But having said that, I think that proper pastoral support is in order so long as there are two distinct communities. If this means a chaplain has to drive ~20 miles each way to celebrate mass for the other community on Sundays and holy days and for weddings and funerals, so be it.

        Norm.

      • Paul Nicholls ofs says:

        “The other side of this coin, however, is that you cannot expect a priest who does not understand the approved Anglican form of the mass to walk into a community and celebrate that form of the mass well.”

        In all fairness. to the priest that has been celebrating the Anglican Use mass in Oshawa, he has done an excellent job in celebrating the mass with the help of the parish administrator. He has exceeded our expectations in doing so. He just does not “walk” into our community and perform mass “off the cuff”.

        The main problem for me is that I can not encourage members of my Secular Franciscan fraternity, a traditional Catholic family or a number of former Anglicans to attend this parish when they don’t know what is happening week to week. My advice to them is to stay on the sidelines until this is sorted out.

        As for me, I am attending the EF mass in a church at Toronto on Sundays, where two of the priests are receiving financial support from the Archdiocese of Toronto. I will remain sidelined there, until Msgr. Steenson’s visit to Canada in October. Based on that outcome, I will then decide whether to continue with the Anglican Use or remain sidelined at the traditional Latin Mass parish.

        My choice may come down to remaining at this traditional parish where the Latin Mass is celebrated on practically a daily basis or join with the Toronto Ordinariate group, if the Oshawa Sodality is not a viable option. In both scenarios it would be unfortunate because I see the possibility of the Oshawa group almost doubling in size if an AU mass is offered there on a consistent basis.

        I still have strong pro-Ordinariate sentiments, but I can only move in this direction, once a Canadian deanery of the Ordinariate is established and a viable parish is present in my community, or, at least, nearby ie. Toronto.

        I have noticed that Fr. Chris Phillips has chosen to take a break from the Ordinariate scene as well as Mr. Campbell. As Fr. Phillips has bowed out of blogging to concentrate on his parish, I also need to bow out to concentrate on my responsibilities as a Minister of a Secular Franciscan community minus the distraction of blogging, commenting or
        involvement in Ordinariate matters.

  7. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    For me, the TAC men are the real heroes of a parallel Anglican traditionalism. They are true blue Catholic and yet also have an Anglican patrimony with which they can enrich the Church Universal. My feeling is that, after twenty to thirty-five years of placid separation from Canterbury and its troubles, lulled into complacency, they forgot that Rome’s liberals as just as firmly entrenched as the Canterburian liberals are, and they are just as vile. So the TAC should have taken a much more defensive approach. Mainly, and to the extent possible, the TAC should have reconfigured itself as a uniate Catholic church, with a consistent and universal liturgy (which need not mean uniformity everywhere but a universal restriction on liturgy) and a form of governance which was completely compatible with the 1983 Code of Canons. Later, when the liberals in the Roman curia would have tried to raise their usual nonsense objections, the TAC could have said, We imagine something like this, and then handed them a detailed plan for a uniate church requiring only a papal signature and date at the bottom of the page. If Rome had been unwilling to accept this, the TAC leaders could have thanked the curia for its time and promised to consider a revisitation of this proposal in fewer than fifty years. Before approaching Rome in the first place, the TAC could have assured that all its clerics met the formation standards of Rome. They had from 1991 to do this: about twenty years.

    There is no point crying over spilt milk, however. The question now is how to rescue the Anglican patrimony from the neo-conservatives of the FiF and other incomers from the Canterbury Communion and then re-integrate this into a complete Roman Liturgy which is also traditional and therefore compatible with it. Since this work was not done in advance, as it should have been, there will now be a period of some years needed to accomplish this. Sad, but much better than nothing. There is hope for a splendid outcome; there is something there to pray for.

    P.K.T.P.

  8. wayfarer says:

    One other thing that probably ought to be mentioned is that the TAC and Archbishop Hepworth were not the only Anglicans who wanted or asked to have an Anglican expression of Roman Catholicism. Certainly the North American expression of the Ordinariate is made up of Anglican clergy and laity from TEC, TAC, and the ACNA/AMiA churches. I know that Fr. Chadwick has lamented the “break into pieces and put back together” formation of the Ordinariates, but given the variety of that mix, the idea of TAC having the full structural monopoly on the Anglican expression of Roman Catholicism would not be fair. TAC was not the only Anglican game in town, and the Ordinariates ought to reflect that Anglican diversity.

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      Rather, the TAC, as an international organic whole, should have been granted uniate status and not be absorbed into the ordinariates. But it’s water under the bridge now.

      P.K.T.P.

      • Tim S. says:

        I’ve read that many Eastern Catholics consider the term “uniate” to be derogatory at least in the sense they perceive some Orthodox to use it in reference to them. It might be better to use the technical term used in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches: “Sui Iuris Church.”

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Peter,

        You wrote: Rather, the TAC, as an international organic whole, should have been granted uniate status and not be absorbed into the ordinariates. But it’s water under the bridge now.

        Some sort of structure that would have admitted the whole of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), whether as a sui juris church or as some other entity, certainly would have been the utopian ideal. Unfortunately, the issue of validity of orders, resolved only by Catholic ordination of all the TAC clergy, precludes that.

        Norm.

  9. EPMS says:

    This possibility was frequently mooted by “Norm” on Fr Chadwick’s previous blog, as I recall. It always seemed to be somewhat fantastic, given the tiny numbers involved, but I do not wish to reopen any discussion that would involve revisiting the arrangements for Armenian Catholics in Romania or whatever it was that was seen as a close analogy.

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      E.P.M.S.:

      The fact that A was not granted does not mean that A could not have been granted or should not have been granted. What happened in the Campos is Brazil was wonderful, and it proves that incoming groups do not have to accept a clobbering just for daring to knock on the door. Nothing written by me has ever been mooted by ‘Norm’, I trust.

      P.K.T.P.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Peter,

        You wrote: What happened in the Campos is Brazil was wonderful…

        Yes, I agree.

        That said, there is one very important difference between the group that became the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, headquartered in Campos, and the various groups of Anglicans who are now coming into the Catholic Church to form ordinariates: the former had valid lineage of ordination with apostolic succession, and thus valid sacraments, whereas the latter does not. The process of receiving groups of Anglicans into the full communion of the Catholic Church clearly must cure this defect through (1) chrismation (or confirmation) of those received into the Catholic Church and (2) Catholic ordination of those serving in positions of ordained ministry. Thus, the process of formal reception is intrinsically more complicated.

        Norm.

  10. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    A very interesting item, indeed!

    You wrote: Anyway, I am sure on the Roman side there are recriminations —-we were deceived on the numbers! We thought there would be many more thousands in England, etc. etc.

    Or perhaps not. From the beginning, the Vatican’s planning has seemed to anticipate that numbers might be considerably smaller than the original projections — and that may well reflect past experience with other “projects” of this type. There’s also the reality that the Vatican’s failure to provide a way forward for several provinces of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) may have made smaller numbers a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    But the other reality is that the Vatican does have many “listening posts” from which to take a pulse — the bishops of Catholic dioceses within which the TAC (and other bodies seeking corporate full communion) exist, the nunciatures and the offices of the conferences of bishops of the respective countries or regions, and even religious orders that might have houses or missions in such locations. It may well be that the Vatican knew, through such sources of intelligence, that some bishops and provinces of the TAC simply were not aligned with the agenda of reunion, and thus saw no reason to provide ordinariates (or some other structures) in such places.

    You wrote: I am proud of the fact that my shepherds, the ones who formed me in the Catholic faith, have been true to their word. They knew, as Archbishop Hepworth explained, that the Apostolic Constitution was not the beginning of a negotiation. They knew that accepting the Catechism meant accepting the juridical authority of the Holy Father.

    That’s an interesting point. The process, as it unfolded, clearly tested the acceptance of “the juridical authority of the Holy Father” on the part of those who elected to move forward with the process!

    You wrote: Right now the Ordinariates are mere hatchlings. They are much more reliant now on local dioceses and on the national episcopal conferences now than they may eventually be, especially if down the road, a celibate man is elected and becomes a full bishop of an Ordinariate.

    Then, with a full bishop in charge, then the Ordinariate could have, under the Apostolic Constitution, as much of a particular church status as a diocese, no?

    I don’t see what really changes if the ordinary is a bishop. The only practical difference is that a bishop could ordain clergy personally, whereas a presbyter serving as ordinary must ask a bishop to ordain each candidate on his behalf. Indeed, the concept of a particular church headed by a presbyter is not exactly foreign to the Catholic tradition. We have long had territorial abbacies governed by abbots, apostolic administrations governed by apostolic administrators, apostolic prefectures governed by apostolic prefects, etc., in which the govening authority typically is not a bishop, and the need to ask bishops to perform ordinations has been a very minor inconvenience for them. And canonically, each ordinariate has status as a “particular church” fully equivalent to a diocese from the moment of its canonical erection on which governance by a bishop would have no bearing whatsoever.

    But what the ordinariates currently lack is the administrative support structure and related resources found in most dioceses — an office of Catholic schools, an office of ministry to families, an office of youth ministry, an office of liturgy, a commission on art and architecture for new church buildings, etc. — and tribunals to try cases concerning the nullity of marriage and other juridic matters. Until the ordinariates can develop these resources, their members and parishes will remain dependent upon local dioceses for such services. Right now, however, reception of members and ordination of clergy is “center stage” for most of the ordinariates so development of these resources will have to wait — and your point about the ordinariates being “mere hatchlings” is right on.

    You wrote: It’s not quite sui juris Anglican Rite, but Hepworth’s vision of what we might be—and he always in my hearing made it clear when he was speculating and guessing or not—is strangely enough not that far off.

    No, it’s not a sui juris church of Anglican Rite yet, but that still may come. About three decades ago, we welcomed the first “Anglican Use” parishes into the Catholic Church. Today, we are forming the first “Anglican Use” particular churches. What’s to say that a sui juris church of Anglican Rite won’t come into being in two or three decades?

    Here, I see a couple issues.

    >> 1. In recognition of the historical role of the See of Canterbury as the center of the Antlican Communion, it is fitting that the See of Canterbury would be the major archbishopric of such a sui juris church. Thus, the Vatican probably will not establish a formal sui juris church of Anglican Use until the office of Archbishop of Canterbury returns to full communion.

    >> 2. But in the interim, it’s likely that the Vatican will form a new dicastery with responsibility for the ordinariates and any “Anglican Use” parishes that remain under diocesan jurisdiction, separating the associated responsibility from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    >> 3. And as I have said before, the real “wild card” in all of this is the emergence of the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON). If GAFCON splits from Canterbury, it will need some place to turn as its center of communion. The Catholic Church clearly presents a viable option for such a group.

    Thus, it’s nearly impossible to predict how, or when, a sui juris church for the “Anglican Use” might emerge.

    You wrote: Our ecclesial bonds were not regarded as important and consequently our parish families and our dioceses were disintegrated.

    And what has been your experience? Did your congregation not move through the formation process together? I rather think that the only real dismantlement or disintegration was caused by the fact that some clergy and parishionners ultimately chose not to come, often forcing parishes to split between those who are coming and those who are not.

    You wrote: Imagine, will you, if every Roman Catholic parish suddenly had to have the individual faith of each of its members examined (polls show only about half even believe in Real Presence) on pain of not receiving communion if they would not sign on the dotted line that they believed everything the Church holds to be true, whether on contraception to the male priesthood etc.

    That’s actually a very interesting idea! The remnant might be a lot smaller, but it would be much stronger and more faithful.

    You wrote: We do not yet know the end of this story. The Ordinariates are so young and experiencing some growing pains. There seem to be some issues of trust to overcome. But I hope that ten years down the road, the emergent Ordinariates will come closer and closer to resembling the vision Hepworth shared prophetically with us.

    Indeed, that would be absolutely wonderful!

    Norm.

    • EPMS says:

      I think that the survival of many of the Ordinariate parishes/fellowships/sodalities beyond the lifespqn of their current membership is highly debatable. There was a sad little article in a recent Ordinariate Portal issue, about the Ordinariate Group on the Isle of Wight. As positive as they clearly felt about their worship and their fellowship, they felt it was “too early to make plans about Mission and Evangelism” while at the same time admitting that some of their number had already “drifted away” to the diocesan Mass. In their case they blamed the lack of a building, as former ACCC parishes are blaming the lack of clergy. Whatever Godot is being waited for, it/he is not the answer, IMHO.

  11. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Norm:

    No, it doesn’t preclude it at all. Ordinations could have followed the granting of a structure. It is true, of course, that each candidate would have had to have been vetted. By the way, just call me Mr. Perkins. My first name is reserved for family and friends, as is tradition. I don’t accept all this first-naming nonsense.

    P.K.T.P.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Peter,

      You wrote: By the way, just call me Mr. Perkins. My first name is reserved for family and friends, as is tradition. I don’t accept all this first-naming nonsense.

      Sorry, but that is not the custom observed on the Internet. If you don’t like it, you are free not to participate.

      Norm.

  12. Clive Packer says:

    “Imagine, will you, if every Roman Catholic parish suddenly had to have the individual faith of each of its members examined (polls show only about half even believe in Real Presence) on pain of not receiving communion if they would not sign on the dotted line that they believed everything the Church holds to be true, whether on contraception to the male priesthood etc.”

    It’s always more difficult to join something later in life than be born into it – the same is true of immigration and citizenship, for example. Every year we see that half or so of all natural born Canadians can’t pass the Citizenship test applied to new immigrants. Does that mean we shouldn’t test prospective new Canadians’ knowledge of their adopted country? As one of the same, I would say no. The same is true in the church, whether for groups or individuals coming into communion.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Clive,

      You wrote: It’s always more difficult to join something later in life than be born into it – the same is true of immigration and citizenship, for example. Every year we see that half or so of all natural born Canadians can’t pass the Citizenship test applied to new immigrants. Does that mean we shouldn’t test prospective new Canadians’ knowledge of their adopted country? As one of the same, I would say no. The same is true in the church, whether for groups or individuals coming into communion.

      Yes, and this is a serious problem. People who gain something too easily frequently squander it because they don’t understand either the sacrifice that was necessary to attain it or its real worth (importance) in their own lives. Many secular organizations and religious institutions have processes by which new candidates gain the rights and privileges of membership over some period of time during which they learn the history and traditions of the organization and make some investment of their own time and talent for the organization’s benefit so that they have a personal investment therein. In general, I think that those born into a society should have to meet the same requirements as immigrants — that is, to demonstrate some knowledge of the workings of the government, the responsiblities of various officials, the heritage and culture of the society, etc. — in order to vote. I also think that those who wish to vote should have to complete some form of public service to the nation, state/province, or local community before being enrolled as voters.

      In the church, it’s even more direct. Several years ago, I heard a priest quip that “God does not have grandchildren.” His point was that we all need to come to God individually and embrace the salvation that our Lord won on the cross, thus becoming children of God, in order to be freed from sin. Full membership in the church ought to require nothing less.

      Norm.

      • These are not unjustified comments. The problem isn’t “getting in”, but how one lives once one is in. In my reckoning, the most important thing is not the Platonic and abstract idea of the Church but the community where you are going to practice your faith. Deborah went over with her former Anglican community, and it has worked out very well for them. An alternative is to go to a traditionalist (SSPX or approved by the local bishop) group or one’s local RC parish. That is where one has to determine whether one has found his or her happiness and satisfaction of one’s desire for truth.

        In short it isn’t making the transition but living with one’s choice. Get it right before making the move! That just seems to be common sense.

        All the same, we have to be aware that whilst this issue is being thrashed out, many will conclude the irrelevancy of the whole issue and be content with trying to be Christians without going to church. Without a civil authority being prepared to round them up and punish them for not going to church, they need to be attracted by some means…

  13. Clive Packer says:

    The question now is how to rescue the Anglican patrimony from the neo-conservatives of the FiF and other incomers from the Canterbury Communion

    I do love to feel welcome. With friends like these….

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Clive,

      You wrote: I do love to feel welcome.

      AFAIC, you are welcome in the Catholic Church — and I’m very sorry that you had to endure the disparaging comment that you quoted. I and many others do not agree with those views.

      Norm.

  14. Pingback: Blogging, Honest and Accountability « Fr Stephen Smuts

  15. Clive Packer says:

    Thanks Norm. I’ve always felt right at home in any parish setting – including a lovely visit this last Sunday to Deborah and the Sodality of the Annunciation of the BVM here in Ottawa.

    My point was more that the Ordinariate has a number of “supporters” and interested parties at this time that are extremely counterproductive. I genuinely don’t know if the intent is to sabotage it, or if that’s just a consequence they don’t see. But serious damage is being done.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Clive,

      You wrote: My point was more that the Ordinariate has a number of “supporters” and interested parties at this time that are extremely counterproductive. I genuinely don’t know if the intent is to sabotage it, or if that’s just a consequence they don’t see. But serious damage is being done.

      Here, I agree completely with you. There are a LOT of folks harboring hopes that the ordinariates will support, or otherwise open the door to, some other agenda. In another blog, we have seen expressions of anger over Msgr. Steenson’s comment that the Tridentine form of the liturgy is not really proper to the Anglican Patrimony, and thus should not be used in ordinariate masses, by folks who hoped that the ordinariate parishes might celebrate that form of the liturgy where diocesan parishes do not. There are also folks hoping that the ordination of married clergy for the ordinariates may lead to an end of obligatory celibacy within presbyterate of the Roman Rite. There might also be some other agendas lurking out there. Such agendas really are very destructive.

      Norm.

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