The Anglo-Catholic’s hiatus

The Anglo-Catholic blog is officially on hiatus now, first with Fr. Christopher Phillips announcement that he was taking a break, then with moderator Christian Campbell’s announcement.

First of all, I want to thank Christian Campbell for creating and hosting the blog, which in its heyday was the go-to source for information, speculation and encouragement for everyone interested in Anglicanorum coetibus.  He did a great job in finding excellent voices from around the world from the Church of England, from the Traditional Anglican Communion, and from Anglican Use Catholics and former Anglicans who had already become Catholic.

It was wonderful to be part of it.  I had a lot of fun writing for it and I am grateful I was asked to be on the masthead.

I departed from the Anglo-Catholic twice for reasons of wanting to distance myself from editorial stands that seemed to be forming, first against Archbishop John Hepworth, and secondly against Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson.

When I was told that only the moderator would be posting on the contentious liturgy matter concerning Steenson and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite,  I decided that my silence might look like editorial agreement.

It’s kind of interesting to see some of the speculation showing up in the comments sections of various blogs, or over at Fr. Anthony Chadwick’s blog, hinting that all of us have been darkly told “from above,” perhaps even a phone call from Msgr. Steenson himself to shut up about internal Ordinariate matters.

Alas, I’m on my mother’s Mac and I haven’t figured out how to cut and paste so I cannot supply the links or chunks of text I would like.

Well, I’m sure that Msgr. Steenson is media savvy enough to know that a phone call to a journalist or a blogger telling them to be quiet would potentially have the opposite effect.   While he is soon to be my ordinary and I owe him loyalty and obedience in faith and morals by virtue of his position, I am not under his jurisdiction in terms of what I write about the Ordinariates.  In other words, I reserve my journalistic independence, both as a reporter and a blogger.  What I will guarantee him and anyone else I write about, is fairness and my best efforts at objectivity.   When I saw a tightening editorial stand at the Anglo-Catholic that did not reflect my views, I had to distance myself.

In fact, no archbishop or cardinal in the Catholic Church would tell me what to write though I have had some gentle suggestions from time to time that have been helpful but not bullying.  They could complain to my superiors, (which has happened but only once to my knowledge, but my editors in that instance defended me.)  I write primarily for papers that are owned by dioceses so bishops are the owners and publishers.  But while papers are expected to participate in the mission of the Church in terms of seeing through the lens of the Magisterium and highlighting news about Catholics in the public square or in their contributions to the common good, bishops do not generally interfere with the day to day operation of the papers.  And Catholic journalists have worked hard to carve out that independence because we know our credibility is shot when we are perceived as mere public relations shills.

As for Fr. Phillips reasons for pulling away, well, I think we should take his statement on the Anglo-Catholic at face value.   He wishes the Ordinariates well but he is not involved in them right now and has other matters occupying his attention, such as ensuring the continuing flourishing of his own parish and school.  I would find it extremely hard to believe that he got a phone call from his own archbishop or Msgr. Steenson ordering him to stop blogging on the Anglo-Catholic!

The Anglo-Catholic served its purpose and it did a great job and it would be nice to see more people remembering what was so great about it than to only think of the negative or to hint at some kind of dark dictatorial authority shutting it down.

I’m kind of sorry that it has entered its hiatus before the upcoming reception of Christian Campbell’s former parish in Orlando into the Catholic Church on Sept. 9.  I am sorry we will not be able to see pictures of the joyous event on that blog.

Maybe Christian will post them on his new blog,   If so, I will link to them.

I am still open for business on Ordinariate news.














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11 Responses to The Anglo-Catholic’s hiatus

  1. Pingback: Deborah Gyapong on The Anglo-Catholic’s Hiatus « Fr Stephen Smuts

  2. Pingback: The Anglo-Catholic | As the sun in its orb

  3. Henri says:

    Well, i suppose we’ll get pictures from other sources. I have finally tracked down pictures of the consecration of St Thomas More in Scranton by Mgr. Steenson… What a beautiful church it is now!! :

    + PAX et BONUM

  4. Pingback: The Anglo-Catholic’s hiatus | Catholic Canada

  5. EPMS says:

    You have answered my question with a persuasive “no, ” which is good to hear. But what do you make of Mr Campbell’s plain statement that he is closing down because the powers that be have made it known that his help is not wanted? That Fr Phillips would simultaneously but independently decide that he is very busy and there is no Ordinariate news to report anyway strains credulity.

    • Foolishness says:

      EPMS, you read too much into things. I can’t speak for Fr. Philips, but I know that over the past several months he and I were virtually the only people blogging over at the Anglo-Catholic, save for the occasional post from the moderator Christian Campbell and from Fr. Barnes in England. I had a feeling many days that if I didn’t post there the blog would become totally inactive and remembering how great the blog had been, I did not want to see that happen. I felt like I was providing life-support.

      The Anglo-Catholic was in the thick of things during the early days after the Apostolic Constitution came out, yet after the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, it no longer seemed to be a player. Behind the scenes, Christian Campbell played a significant role as a go between and perhaps even an advisor to people both Catholic and aspiring Catholic. Whether that was helpful for not, especially considering his views of Archbishop Hepworth, will be judged by the history books.

      Who knows whether he wanted to continue in that behind the scenes role and was rebuffed, or he has merely moved on to other interests, such as the Traditional Latin Mass and the material he is publishing on his new blog. I disagree with him about a number of things and I have not liked some of his posts from time to time that hint at dark deeds without anchoring his insinuations in context. But he did create a great blog that I was privileged to participate on, he’s obviously very bright and ultimately he cares about the Catholic Church, the Catholic faith and Anglican patrimony. So I wish him well.

  6. Brian Taber says:

    Thank you for your balanced approach to the ordinariates, your work will bear much fruit.

  7. Paul nicholls ofs says:

    I have the perception that more than one needs a break from Ordinariate affairs. After all, everything seems to be static or in the doldrums , here in Canada, with basically nothing of substance to report until late September or October.

    Some just feel the need to get on with other business and not have their time taken up by all this, such as Fr. Chris Phillips. There is really nothing more to read into all this.

    As for Mr. Campbell’s comments about his help not being wanted or needed, I would take this with a proverbial grain of salt, since he does not want to substantiate on this matter.

  8. EPMS says:

    Without crediting Mr Campbell’s story or otherwise, you will concede that if you were muzzling someone, this would include a prohibition against anouncing that ” Paul Nicholls has told me to say no more about the subject,” as that would rather defeat the purpose.

  9. Paul Nicholls ofs says:

    I don’t quite understand your point. I have not told you to say anything more on the subject. You are free to say whatever you want, within reason. I think the bottom line for a number of people, including myself, is that we need a rest from all this Ordinariate business and have other priorities to focus on. Frankly, I am rather tired of flailing a dead horse, when there is nothing of substance to report, as far as Ordinariate news in Canada is concerned. Not that the Ordinariate is a dead horse, more like a sleeping horse, at the moment. I think late September or October will be a turning point with the Ordinary’s visit to Canada. I am sure Deborah will report on his presentation at the Plenary Session of the CCCB. In the meantime, my focus is on my Franciscan Fraternity in my role as Minister Prefect.

  10. EPMS says:

    Of course you have not attempted to muzzle anyone. That would be totally out of character. I meant that anyone who DID do such a thing would not want it advertised. I am sorry to have expressed myself in a confusing manner. We look forward to the Ordinary’s visit and a way forward for congrgations seeking pastoral direction.

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