Revisionist history? or wishful thinking on my part?

I have heard from those in Traditional Anglican Communion circles the concern that the TAC is being air-brushed out of the history of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.  Yet both Fr. Aidan Nichols and Dr. Bill Tighe have acknowledged its role, along with that of others, in being a catalyst for the historic offer by the Holy Father to come into unity with the See of Peter.

It doesn’t help that there has been an implosion and a backing away by so many of those TAC bishops who signed the historic document and want to cast what happened in Portsmouth as something akin to a hypnotic trance induced by a charlatan.

It is also, from what I understand, a concern among many in Anglican Use circles that their pioneering work after Pope John Paul II’s Pastoral Provision and their preservation of the Book of Divine Worship liturgy in sometimes hostile circumstances in the United States is also being conveniently air-brushed from the picture.

This makes me sad.  Anglicanorum coetibus was not only about the Church of England or Episcopalians in the United States.

Of course the Church of England and those “real Anglicans” in Communion with Canterbury offer perhaps the biggest potential harvest field, but they were not the ones knocking most vehemently on the door except for those Anglo-Catholics in England.

I think things have greatly  improved concerning the TAC priests and groups entering the Ordinariate in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom, but it was hard slogging.

Don’t know how things are in the Anglican Use world, as some groups are in; some, most signficantly the first one, Our Lady of the Atonement, remain outside.

How should the roles of the Anglican Use parishes and the Traditional Anglican Communion in the genesis of the Ordinariates be properly understood?  Will we see in the history books two generations from now nary a mention?  Will it only be about five Church of England bishops going to Rome and making the request?

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8 Responses to Revisionist history? or wishful thinking on my part?

  1. Fr Gerard Barry says:

    I think things are better than others may have expected – whilst the timescale was too slow for some, the increasing number of members of the TAC who have entered (or are in the process of entering) the Ordinariates has shown that there was never any intention to exclude this redoubtable group of people.
    History will doubtless show that there were a few mistakes made, false impressions given and a number of people who have felt left behind. That is the way of things when one attempts to take a bold step for Church unity. I believe that years from now the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus will be seen as a defining moment for western (as in Latin Rite) Christianity when so much of the Anglican world has moved away from historical understandings of sexuality, marriage and sacramental order.
    Looking from this side of the Atlantic, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter looks like it may become a real success with the hard decisions faced from the beginning leading to true fruition for Anglicans/Episcopalians in North America.
    In the meantime, the number of priests in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham now stands at 80 and a framework is growing to welcome those who may presently feel as if they are no longer able to remain in the Church of England. Will it happen? I don’t know, but I choose to trust in God’s plan.

    • EPMS says:

      Between four and five hundred C of E priests coverted to Catholicism in the wake of the ordination of women in 1994. I would regard these eighty as late addition to this number. The number of laypeople joining them in both instances has been negligible: the OOLW now has a priest for every 10-20 lay members. There can be no intention to focus the ministry of these priests on the “Anglican Patrimony”; they would be tripping over one another. Meanwhile the Church in the UK is in desperate need of manpower. Clergy educated at no expense to the Church, speaking English rather than Vietnamese as a first language are a godsend.

  2. anon says:
    ABC-TV “Compass” features the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross 6.30pm Sunday 30/9/12 (repeated Tues 1.30pm). Catch up on iView or download
    “Australian Anglicans have been invited to join the Catholic Church under a new Papal initiative called the Ordinariate. So, who’s going and why?”

  3. Mourad says:

    @ EPMS
    “Anglican Patrimony” can be quite a nebulous concept. See this: Mgr Andrew Burnham – Thr Musical Life and Aims of the OLW Ordinariate

  4. EPMS says:

    Of course it is, which is why the whole Ordinariate enterprise lacks a consistent program and is so vulnerable to personality cults and clashes.

  5. Two of the four largest Anglican Use (Pastoral Provision) groups (Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston and St. Thomas More, Scranton) have entered the Ordinariate, while another of the four St. Mary the Virgin, Arlington, is on its way. Fr. Phillips has not given specifics of why the time was not right for Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio has not entered the Ordinariate, and I won’t hazard guesses. As for the other AU groups, none are full parishes: St. Athanasius, Boston is a quasi-parish without a church, sharing space with a regular diocesan congregation, and Our Lady of Hope is a small society that is hosted by the diocesan congregation of St. Therese, Kansas City. St. Anselm’s, Corpus Christi is a mission and I don’t believe that their priest, Fr. Hart, is a Pastoral Provision priest, he is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity. There are no more, and none of the four small groups are likely to soon become Ordinariate sodalities for practical reasons. But I have no doubt that Atonement will eventually become part of the Ordinariate, and I doubt that the contributions made by the Anglican Use groups, particularly the Book of Divine Worship, will be forgotten. Of course, that is partly why we assembled the book, Anglicans and the Roman Catholic Church, to document that history and some of the key players in it. You have read the book, haven’t you 😉

    • Rev22:17 says:


      You wrote: … St. Athanasius, Boston is a quasi-parish without a church, sharing space with a regular diocesan congregation…

      In that situation, it’s really not so clear which congregation is really sharing space with the other. The truth of the matter is that the parish that built the church was canonically suppressed, but the receiving parish determined that there was a pastoral need for one Sunday mass in the church of the suppressed parish to accommodate parishionners who were unable to travel a few blocks to the receiving parish. The receiving parish apparently does not use the facilities formerly of the suppressed parish for religious education or any other purpose.


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