What are the chief obstacles in persuading ACNA members to consider Ordinariates?

We have probably re-hashed to death the reasons by members of the Traditional Anglican Communion might refuse to join the Catholic Church:   papal infallibility, teachings on Mary, branch ecclesiology are among the doctrinal points of contention that turned up.

The Anglican Church in North America is probably going to be the largest potential constituency for Ordinariate growth and we have already seen some significant intake of former ACNA priests from the United States into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Bishops from several Continuing Anglican jurisdictions recently wrote ACNA  Bishop Duncan, pointing out the fault lines over women’s ordination that already exist in that body and exhorting ACNA to come more in line with the Continuing Anglican position.

So, New Year predictions:  do you think more ACNA folks will join Ordinariates?  Or do you foresee a move of the Holy Spirit uniting Continuing Anglican bodies that will prove persuasive to ACNA to join forces with them?  Or will ACNA be recognized as an Anglican province in North America and remain part of the Canterbury Communion?

 

 

The Continuing Anglican bishops in the United States have written to ACNA Bishop 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to What are the chief obstacles in persuading ACNA members to consider Ordinariates?

  1. Pingback: More Questions about the ACNA | As the Sun in its Orb & New Goliards

  2. Pingback: What are the chief obstacles in persuading ACNA members to consider Ordinariates? | Catholic Canada

  3. Ioannes says:

    We reach out to those who are reaching for us. Let them come. If they want to come, the Ordinariates are there to reach back. If they’re happy where they are, they’ll be content in whatever it is they do, for a while. Think mustard seeds and where they land: some are rocks, some are fertile ground.

    But whatever it is they do, we must not compromise our own position- how attractive is it to someone on the fence, when they see us waffling and faltering and unclear or compromising and weak about what we believe in?

    Prediction: Anglicans will remain Anglicans, in general, unless a major upheaval tears the Canterbury Communion apart. Women bishops, etc. are insufficient issues; they only affect the conservative, who then, I still doubt will suddenly become Catholics in large numbers.

    The best and surest way for the Ordinariates to grow? Have many, many babies. Seriously, if it’s a sign that there are many grey hairs in the Ordinariates, it means: Make more babies. God wills it. If you can’t have babies? Adopt babies, and register them to the Ordinariates.

  4. EPMS says:

    Yes, given that, currently, 50% of those raised in the Catholic church leave it as adults, a couple would have to have four children if they hoped to just replace themselves in the pews; six if they were planning for parish growth.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: … currently, 50% of those raised in the Catholic church leave it as adults…

      Alas, this probably is not a random phenomenon that one can address with a statistical approach.

      >> Those raised by parents who pay only superficial attention to their faith are a lot more likely to leave the church than those raised by parents whose lives are permated by their faith. (Note that, in previous generations, the next generation frequently remained in the church paying only superficial attention to their faith.)

      >> Those raised in dysfunctional parishes, where Sunday mass seems irrelevant, are a lot more likely to leave the church than those raised in healthy parishes where their experience of Sunday mass speaks to their hearts.

      But in large measure, this problem may solve itself. As families with superficial commitment fall away, the preponderance of those who remain have a firm commitment of faith and the parishes grow stronger. As dysfunctional parishes lose active membership and fail, those who remain find their way to healthy parishes.

      So what are the implications of this dynamic for the ordinariates? Probably not much: the Anglicans who had only superficial commitment to faith typically remain in the Anglican Communion, and thus are not part of the ordinariates. Likewise, those who have followed their formerly Anglican pastors into the ordinariates have done so precisely because they find relevance in their communities of faith. It rhus seems unlikely that the fall-away rate of 50% will persist in the ordinariate parishes, at least for the foreseeable future.

      Norm.

      • Ioannes says:

        I agree- many who leave do so because of ignorance and a sense of irrelevance of their faith- is there even a “cultural Catholic” anymore, once we have pawned off any sort of authentic Catholic Identity for some truce with the secular world? This is why the Traditional Movement and the Ordinariates are things which I see hope in!

        Then it’s not so much a worry that the Ordinariates are hemorrhaging, but it’s about a faster rate of growth- because, if we don’t count the rate of people who voluntarily leave the Ordinariates, not to be morbid here, but how many young people do we have in the Ordinariates compared to people who are in the winter of their lives? We have to worry that the Ordinariates are not depending only on the converts from other Anglican communities, but on the base rate at which people produce future parishioners (and clergy) in the Ordinariates.

        Yeah, I know it’s not even a decade, but time goes by quickly, and children grow up so fast.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Ioannes,

        You wrote: … is there even a “cultural Catholic” anymore, once we have pawned off any sort of authentic Catholic Identity for some truce with the secular world? This is why the Traditional Movement and the Ordinariates are things which I see hope in!

        Unfortunately, the person who goes through the motions of attending church and receiving the sacraments merely to conform to the expectations of a culture or a family is no Christian at all. When separated from the culture or the family that are the source of such pressure, such individuals quickly fall away — and the latter state is really superior, in that it is at least honest. But in reality, this state reflects a catastrophic catechetical failure to evangelize successive generations — that is, to lead our youth to a personal relationship with our Lord that will shape the rest of their lives, and from which one cannot readily turn back. I don’t see the “Traditional Movement” doing anything whatsoever to address this problem. Indeed, reversion to a language that the laity do not understand and a form of the liturgy in which the laity are observers rather than active participants can only aggravate the problem.

        You wrote: Then it’s not so much a worry that the Ordinariates are hemorrhaging, but it’s about a faster rate of growth- because, if we don’t count the rate of people who voluntarily leave the Ordinariates, not to be morbid here, but how many young people do we have in the Ordinariates compared to people who are in the winter of their lives?

        I’m not persuaded that this is the problem that you make it out to be. I have seen quite a few photographs of ordinariate communities in which there are good numbers of children, and some of the former Anglican clergy now preparing for ordination for the ordinariates also have children of school age or even younger.

        But having said that, there is no reason to expect that the first wave of former Anglicans coming into the ordinariate will be the last. It is much more difficult to blaze a trail into unknown territory than to follow the trail already blazed. Many who did not come out of fear of the unknown will come when they see functioning communities preserving their tradition of worship within the Catholic Church.

        Norm.

    • Ioannes says:

      I don’t know about any of you, but as a single Catholic man, I intend to have no less than five children. Now if only there were church-going women of child-bearing age in Los Angeles that agree with this plan, then we’re set…. No, actually, we’re not.

      😦 I guess those prayers for vocations and religious life are effective after all.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Ioannes,

        You wrote: I guess those prayers for vocations and religious life are effective after all.

        In this context, let us never forget that marriage is a legitimate Christian vocation — and so is singlehood as a lay adult. Our prayer for vocations should include (1) that those called to singlehood be chaste and (2) that those called to marriage be faithful to their spouses.

        Norm.

  5. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You asked: So, New Year predictions: do you think more ACNA folks will join Ordinariates? Or do you foresee a move of the Holy Spirit uniting Continuing Anglican bodies that will prove persuasive to ACNA to join forces with them? Or will ACNA be recognized as an Anglican province in North America and remain part of the Canterbury Communion?

    Realistically, the answers to these questions probably depend upon what happens within the Anglican Communion with respect to the Global Anglican Futures Conference and its Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON) — and here, the course steered by the new Archbishop of Canterbury is likely to be what will hold sway.

    >> If the Anglican Communion addresses the issues raised by GAFCON, likely by expelling the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and The Episcopal Church (TEC) here in the States, recognizing the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as the official North American province thereof, and establishing some overarching doctrinal authority with power to enforce orthodoxy, the rift will be healed and life will go on.

    >> If the Anglican Communion continues to dodge these issues, it is most likely that the rift between GAFCON and the ACC and TEC will escalate to full schism. If that happens, ACNA will remain part of GAFCON and it becomes likely that ecumenical dialog between GAFCON and the Catholic Church will lead to eventual reunion.

    Of course, this does not exclude the possibility that individual members, and perhaps even whole parishes, of ACNA, and more generally of GAFCON, will come into the ordinariate and perhaps form new ordinariates where they presently do not exist.

    Norm.

  6. Dale says:

    Strangely, at least liturgically, the ACNA are the most liberal of all Anglican groups and their worship is almost indistinguishable from any modernist Roman Catholic parish, and they have, much like the Ordinariates, no problem with the 1979 BCP.

    They also employ, women Eucharist ministers and altar girls; unlike the main body of continuing Anglicans who reject such innovations.

    So, at least liturgically, they should feel right at home.

    • Don Henri says:

      I don’t understand why the 1979 BCP is so much poo-pooed. In many ways it’s so much more “catholic” than the previous one, and saying “you” instead of ‘thee” to the Lord isn’t a grave sin, isn’t it?
      The quality of liturgy often don’t have anything to do with orthodoxy. St Clement Philadelphia and St Bartholomew the Great London could do gay weddings using the English Missal (even in Latin for St Barth)! And many Catholic priests don’t do Mass really well, but are thoroughly orthodox.
      We must be cautious not to mistake good taste for sanctity…

      + pax et bonum

    • grahame says:

      Dale, what you say is correct. The reality is that the ACNA have different priorities than Catholics. As an example, hierarchy of any sort would be very low on their priority list so the idea of a continuing Petrine office and ministry is not even on their radar. In fairness to them this is consistent with the 39 Article view that the church is where the word is process,aimed and the sacraments celebrated

  7. EPMS says:

    I am sure that your words are daggers in the heart of the many dedicated and devoted Catholic parents who have seen their children walk away from the Church or the faith or both. One wishes that everything were as predictable as your analysis suggests but that is wishful thinking. What has been the attrition rate of children brought up in ACCC parishes?

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You asked: What has been the attrition rate of children brought up in ACCC parishes?

      Probably higher than for those raised in Catholic parishes, if only because life events (school, employment, etc.) often bring them to places where the church of their childhoods does not have a presence.

      Norm.

  8. EPMS says:

    Norm, this question was directed at those who had personal experience, not those who enjoy hypothesising without accurate and/or sufficient data. In any event, the decision to defect usually occurs in the teen years when children are still at home. I hope an otherwise convinced Christian young person would not cease attending public worship just because they had moved to a place with no church of their denomination. They are more likely to embrace the opportunity to be part of a congregation of more than one or two dozen, mostly seniors. The Big Deal about women priests, the BCP, or gays which drove their parents from the ACC to the ACCC probably means very little to people under 30.

    • Ioannes says:

      Huh… The attraction of atheism seems to be strong in these cases. The rate at which friends I knew from high school suddenly say “Nah, I don’t go to church anymore. I’ve outgrown God.” is sad. It’s then followed by various hurling of judgements regarding acceptance of gays among other things, and accusations on enabling pedophiles and hypocrites.

  9. Henry obodomechine says:

    im an anglican minister, aspiring to be a priest in the worlds largest anglican province( with almost 200 dioceses) my province, church of nigeria is leading the way in the fight against the revision of the gospel. i dont see how possible it is to combine roman catholicism and anglicanism in what is called ordinariate. real anglicans wont sign up for it, Their lies a wide gap btw the two doctrinally and theologically speaking. in response to ur prediction, instead of ACNA dissolving into the or

  10. Henry obodomechine says:

    ordinariate the ACNA, GAFCON CAPA etc will form an alternative to the anglican communion. for the ordinariate i see decline

    • William Tighe says:

      As long as ACNA continues to allow the pretended ordination of women, considering it (and its communion partners) to be “an alternative to the anglican communion” is merely a bad ecclesiological joke.

  11. EPMS says:

    As we saw, the ordination of women, while leading to minor schism in the Anglican Communion, was nothing like the divisive issue that homosexuality has been, especially in Africa, where most Anglicans live. Two women have recently been elected as Anglican bishops in Africa. This is not the ” revision of the gospel” this correspondent is concerned about, I would imagine.

    • William Tighe says:

      So much the worse for them, then, and so much the more incoherent the “orthodoxy” that they purport to defend. Or does the “Vincentian Canon,” so beloved to certain sorts of Anglicans, and so convenient a prophylactic against “Roman Fever,” have no applicability in Africa?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s