From a comment threat over at Fr. Smuts’ blog

This comment thread over at Fr. Stephen Smuts’ blog is interesting because it gives some insight into the thinking of Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) bishops and lay people who feel betrayed by Archbishop Hepworth and who are trying to justify in their minds why they did not accept the Apostolic Constitution by seemingly scapegoating the former primate.

      • Mourad says:

        That isn’t the only problem. The TAC in its wisdom (or lack of it) proceeded to consecrate Hepworth and then make him Primate. They were very arguably negligent wen they did so. He then took the TAC in the direction of reunion with the Catholic Church which the TAC episcopate at first accepted. Then some TAC bishops ratted on that understanding.

        So what you have now is a “rump TAC” all opposed to the direction in which Hepworth had taken the TAC. Moreover it’s a rump which has singularly failed to provide any proper explanation for ratting on the commitment to the teaching of the Catholic Church which they signed up to at St Agatha’s in Portsmouth.

        In those circumstances, it seems highly unlikely that Hepworth could get a fair hearing before the rump TAC.

      • Out of the Frying Pan says:

        Mourad, you have entirely dodged the point I was making and just gone on with the tired old meme that somehow what was offered by Rome was what the bishops all thought they were asking for. It took Hepworth two years to work out that what was offered wasn’t corporate reunion–if indeed he’s worked it out yet.

      • Mourad says:

        @ Out of the Frying Pan

        You write: “… just gone on with the tired old meme that somehow what was offered by Rome was what the bishops all thought they were asking for.”

        No, it you who are missing the point. If you sign up to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, then there is no moral case for remaining in schism.

      • ….into the fire says:

        I’d like to throw a different angle at you both re the motives and modus operandi of Dr??????????????John Anthony Hepworth and the signing of the petition for reunification with the Catholic Church in Portsmouth. The former prelate might have been so hellbent (pardon the pun) to get back to his self professed “first love” in a position where he would not just be a lay person (after all he knew the rules better than anyone else) that he did not care one iota to compromise thousands upon thousands of faithful believers. He lied, cheated, spun a yarn, call it what you may, just so he could achieve his personal ambition. Which was duly noted by the CDF, and voila!!!!!!!!Now the whole of the TAC is toast!! Ironically, he still is not reconciled with his “first love”, just wonder why………………….
        Maybe the rest of the TAC worked this one out too.

      • Out of the Frying Pan says:

        Mourad–depends on intent, and you draw quite a broad brush by seemingly painting all the TAC bishops (including the one to whom this blog’s host owes canonical obedience) with the same brush of having no credibility. Surely you could find some more worthy bunch of Christians to spend your time thinking about. Oh, and I’m tired of ‘rump TAC’ and ‘new TAC’. It’s the same TAC from which Hepworth resigned as primate and then resigned again as bishop ordinary of the Australian member church.

Mourad writes:

“If you sign up to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, then there is no moral case for remaining in schism.”

 

This is true.  I am sure one of our readers will supply the salient section which talks about the imperative of being in Communion with the Successor of Peter once one understands the nature of the Holy Catholic Church.  Uh, it isn’t Branch Ecclesiology, folks.

 

So, either the bishops did not know what they were signing when they signed the CCC and the Compendium of the Catechism, or they knew but are now back-tracking.  Or perhaps there is a good argument for a third option, which I have not seen.

 

Now, I do have some sympathy for those bishops who found they did not have flocks ready or willing to follow them over into Ordinariates or those in countries where no Ordinariates exist to remain in a holding pattern until one is on offer—-but I would hope there would be on the part of those bishops who signed the CCC a clear statement of Catholic doctrine and clear teaching and preparation, not a sudden abandonment of the faith they signed onto as, basically, the doctrines of the Traditional Anglican Communion as of 2007. The TAC was set up so that bishops determined faith and morals, not votes from lay people and clergy.

 

Out of the Frying pan writes: “Mourad, you have entirely dodged the point I was making and just gone on with the tired old meme that somehow what was offered by Rome was what the bishops all thought they were asking for. It took Hepworth two years to work out that what was offered wasn’t corporate reunion–if indeed he’s worked it out yet.

 

Yet if one reads the 2007 letter the TAC bishops signed, along with the catechism, it does not spell out exactly what corporate reunion would look like, leaving it to the Holy See to determine, which Hepworth repeatedly stated in public talks.  Out of the Frying Pan is right—-Hepworth did think the reunion would be more corporate on the front end of the process than it has proven to be.  That is not entirely Hepworth’s fault.  I blame the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for cutting him out of the loop in early 2010 and dealing only with the Church of England Bishops, leaving him to try to sell the idea to the synods of the TAC while he was basically hung out to dry with little to go on in terms of nuts and bolts implementation information.

 

The behavior of the Catholic Church towards the TAC was extremely destabilizing. I could go on and on.  But to blame Hepworth for everything that has gone wrong is kind of weird.  Sort of makes me think of a man and a woman and a snake, with the man blaming the woman, the woman blaming the snake, if you get my drift.  And no, I am not extending my analogy to say Hepworth is in the snake’s role, just to remark on the blame-shifting that seems to be routine when people are doing something wrong.

 

Now, as we are looking forward to the first ordinations of former TAC bishops in Canada—December 8 in Victoria and Ottawa if all the paper work gets back from Rome in time (the churches are booked)  with ordinations of other TAC clergy to follow after a formation program that ends next Easter, I can look back and say, hmmm, Hepworth had a lot right about what would happen, more right than wrong.

 

The other thing.  The bishops who understood what they were signing in Portsmouth are for the most part now Catholic.  (There are some other cases where some unfortunate circumstances intervened and I hope those will be rectified).  I haven’t polled these former bishops lately but I would hazard a guess that none believes Hepworth “lied, cheated, spun a yarn, call it what you may, just so he could achieve his personal ambition.”

 

I would imagine they remain thankful for Hepworth for having the vision and the willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of unity and I would bet you they think he’s a hero not a charlatan and thief.

 

As others have expressed on this blog, I would like to see a good theological and rational explanation for why the present TAC bishops have decided to reject the Apostolic Constitution that goes beyond the ad hominem attacks against Hepworth.  How do they explain their actions in light of what the CCC says?

 

And I wonder, too, if the TAC bishops will stop wearing Roman Catholic ecclesial attire?  Maybe Fr. Anthony can do a post on his blog about what Anglican priestly and episcopal attire should look like.

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12 Responses to From a comment threat over at Fr. Smuts’ blog

  1. Pingback: Will ‘the TAC bishops will stop wearing Roman Catholic ecclesial attire?’ « Fr Stephen Smuts

  2. Pingback: Anglican Clerical Attire | As the sun in its orb

  3. William Tighe says:

    What is the source of the last (long) comment by Mourad? It is not on that comment thread at Fr. Smuts’ blog, where I myself have just placed a comment.

  4. Andrew says:

    A detail that seems to be forgotten in blogdom is that fact that both the Canadian and U.S. TAC bishops both asked for the implementation for the Apostolic Constitution *after* it was released and they had time to study it at their leisure:

    http://www.theanglocatholic.com/2010/04/text-of-joint-acaanglican-use-petition-for-usa-ordinariate/

    In this link, the signature of every active ACA bishop was placed on the document.

  5. Continental Catholic says:

    “the first ordinations of former TAC bishops in Canada—December 8 in Victoria and Ottawa if all the paper work gets back from Rome in time (the churches are booked) with ordinations of other TAC clergy to follow after a formation program that ends next”
    Thank you, for sharing these wonderful news, Mrs. Gyapong. Hope you haven’t disclosed the information which was meant to be kept confidential until some official announcement 😉
    What a splendid day has been chosen! And that will finally end this prolonged interim period for you in Canada. Though as they say in the Middle East, patience is the key to eternity, you’ve certainly exercised your just portion of it by now.
    Is it one of the outcomes of Msgr Steenson’s recent visit?

  6. Mourad says:

    There is more than one comment thread running over on Fr Stephen Smuts’ blog. and on one of these I have again quoted (with appopriate attribution) and adopted William Tighe’s very pertinent observation.

    Shortly after King Eward VIIII had to abdicate the Throne of England (and of his other realms and territories) Osbert Sitwell wrote a bitlter little poem about the Fort Belvedere set who had fawned on Wallis Simpson of which this is a short extract:

    “Oh, do they never shed a tear
    Remembering the King, their martyr,
    And how they led him to the brink
    In rodent eagerness to barter
    All English history for a drink?
    What do they say, that jolly crew?
    Oh . . . Her they hardly knew,
    They never found Her really nice
    (And here the sickened cock crew thrice)”

    The Poem was entiled “Rat Week”. While I am no fan of Hepworth, I think there are many mitigating circumstances and I have a real concern that those who to my mind renaged on the commitment they gave at Portsmouth are not fit to sit in judgment on their former Primate, if only becuse he could not get a fair hearing from people who are so plainly biased.

    Still I was verly pleased to hear the good news about your Canadian pastors Deo Volente it will not be too long now.

  7. Pingback: Some Reflexions on the Status Quo of the TAC | Ordinariate Expats

  8. Pingback: Some Reflexions on the Status Quo of the TAC « Fr Stephen Smuts

  9. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: Now, as we are looking forward to the first ordinations of former TAC bishops in Canada—December 8 in Victoria and Ottawa if all the paper work gets back from Rome in time (the churches are booked) with ordinations of other TAC clergy to follow after a formation program that ends next Easter….

    Thank you for posting this information about the schedule for Catholic ordination of the former clergy of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC). We now know that the process is moving forward, even if not as swiftly as we would like.

    And I doubt that there will be any problem with the paperwork coming back from Rome in time for the Catholic ordinations of former bishops Wilkinson and Reid on 08 December. Cardinal Collins, Msgr. Steenson, Archbishop Pendergast, and Archbishop Gagnon most assuredly would not be planning Catholic ordinations of former bishops of the ACCC without clear direction from the Vatican in this regard.

    Norm.

  10. Pingback: In case you did not see this post over at Fr. Chadwick’s site | Foolishness to the world

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