“Gay Wedding at St Bartholomew’s EC1″ by the Revd Dr Peter Mullen.The Bishop of London is in a high huff
Because Dr Dudley has married a puff;
And not just one puff – he’s married another:
Two priests, two puffs and either to other.
“It isn’t a wedding, for that’s not allowed;
They’ve just come together and promised and vowed
To shack up and snug up, to have and to hold:
Ooh aren’t we radical! Ooh aren’t we bold!”
Now here’s a most queer and most wonderful thing:
He’s given his hand, he’s offered his ring;
And each to the other forever will bend,
After their troll in the coach up West End.
Not a flash wedding, no pics in Hello!
Just a honeymoon cottage, convenient so.
Of such Dr Dudley a goldmine has found,
From shaven-head puftas the nuptial pink pound.
The new Church of England embraces diversity,
A fresh modulation on ancient perversity:
“I’m C of E and PC so don’t think it odd of me
To offer a licence and blessing for sodomy.”
Yes, I know the chap is not in good standing with the so-called C of E (which might be a good thing) and he has been forced to resign for adultery (which is, undoubtedly, not a good thing).
I found this little work refreshing anyway.
It is highly ironical that basic tenets of Catholic thinking (besides the Church being……. the only Church, She is the country’s second largest Christian organisation after the largely atheists or indifferent Anglicans, and the largest if you consider the number of churchgoers) need the endorsement of a senior judge to make some headlines.
The judge in question is Sir Paul Coleridge talking to the BBC, which reports the conversation as follows:
On the day official figures showed that nearly half of all babies are now born to unmarried mothers, Sir Paul blamed family break-up on social changes including the shift in attitudes towards cohabitation and increasing numbers of children born outside marriage.
He said that 50 years ago ‘on the whole cohabitation was regarded as something you didn’t do, to have a child outside marriage, so that created a framework that stopped very much breakdown.
‘We’ve had a cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour,’ the judge said. ‘We need to have a reasonable debate about it and decide what needs to be done – and I don’t mean Government,’ he said. ‘They didn’t cause the problem.’
He added that the change in social attitudes over the past five decades had given people ‘complete freedom of choice’.
This was ‘great’ when they behaved responsibly, he added, but some seemed to think it was a ‘free-for-all’. Sir Paul said the rate of family breakdown among unmarried couples was far higher than among married ones.
It was statistically proven parents were far more likely to stay together until their children’s 16th birthday if they were married, he said.
Official figures suggest that an average marriage lasts around 11 years, but a cohabitation is likely to break up in three if the partners do not marry.
One would give kudos to the judge – a good chap, probably – if what he says were not the most elementary, purest common sense. And in fact the very same fact that his words made headlines shows a typical trait of today’s Britain: the loss of basic common sense.
I personally see as the cause of this a typically English disease, that has been worsening and spreading like a metastasis as the religious sense disintegrated: niceness.
Niceness has slowly become the unique moral criterium, the be-all and end-all of all moral considerations, the golden calf of a new religion. Nice, good. Not nice, bad. The idea that there be values to which niceness might be sacrificed has – encouraged by the “church” of England – all but disappeared. When values disappear from the pulpits, don’t expect to find them much longer in the sitting rooms of the pewsitters. When the “church” of England eliminated Christianity from morality, niceness took its place.
Still, a society in which everyone wants to be nice to everyone is condemned to doom. As divorce became more and more frequent, no one dared to say a word about that as this just wasn’t “nice” towards those among our acquaintances that were in that situation, or knew someone who was. If “nice” is the moral criterium, you have lost your argument – and every hope of avoiding that the country goes down the drain – the very instant someone says he’s “hurt”. Welcome to Nice Britain.
It went on, as more and more couples started to live together in concubinage and no one said a word, least of all the oh so nice vicar (and, all too often, the still-too-nice priest). The country was all too happy with its “Vicars of Dibley”, and didn’t care about the consequences as long as it was convenient to do so.
This obviously led to more and more births of children born outside of wedlock, born from people who were either adolescents or were remained such, the illusory quest for a never-to-be-reached personal happiness more and more frequently put before their own children. Those who went around saying that marriage is only a piece of paper were those who were most prone to leave their partner and children; but to say that was, of course, not nice.
The stigma also went. Being divorced is something, if not almost expected, clearly within the realm of normality. The very idea that there should be a stigma associated with being divorced is considered something bad because, erm, not nice. Strangely, I grew up in a country which – covertly or overtly – used to send the message that if you are separated/divorced, you are a failure irrespective of whatever other achievement you may have, because you have failed in the most important endeavour of your life. How “rude”! How “judgmental”! But you see, in such an environment you think twice before you marry, and thrice before you divorce. Of course there is social pressure: it is because it is good!
The entire “niceness” madness is perfectly epitomised by our Prime Minster, “Call-me-Dave”-Cameron; the friend of everyone, the supporter of every idea and its contrary, the man called “chameleon” even before seriously starting to be a politician, the prostitute of every lobby, and the undoubtedly brownest nose of the Kingdom. Cameron is the kind of person able to say that he is in favour of marriage, and that “marriage” includes homosexual couples. This doesn’t scandalise much. You see, he is being nice.
This is where we are now: a country where marriage is defended with words, without saying that to defend marriage means to condemn alternative forms of convivence; a country where it is recognised that a child needs stability, but its destruction is never stigmatised; a country where there is a lot of talk about values, without ever saying what behaviours these values necessarily exclude.
The country drowns in niceness; starting from the vicar down the road, and the local politician.
It drowns to such an extent, that common sense makes headlines.
This is another fruit of the genius of Mitchell & Webb, though not in the way they intended.
This man needs some little re-orientation, and adjustment of coordinates.
He might do with becoming a little more polished, and revising his theology here and there.
After that he’ll make, no doubt, an excellent Catholic priest.
A couple of days ago, a well-known blogger announced that his “Catholic ordination” (note the words) had been postponed, clearly sine die.
The news went around the blogosphere and I also made some comment on the site of a Catholic weekly. As it is my custom, I intervened with a string of messages and then left the matter alone, being fully persuaded that those who don’t get things right when one writes them once or twice will not be able to get them right if one keeps writing them again and again.
The discussion tended about finding the reasons why the blogger’s ordination was put on ice. Some believed that an element might have been that the blogger in question can be, at times, rather abrasive. Some others – including your truly, and at least one Catholic priest blogger – tend to think that the reason might well be that said blogger gives at times a rather strong impression of either not accepting Apostolicae Curae (about the nullity of Anglican Orders), or of “accepting” it the Anglican way, that is: interpreting the way he pleases.
The elements that led me to believe that the second reason might be the right one are as follows:
1) one commenter explicitly said that said blogger had in the past repeatedly showed his failing to accept Apostolicae Curae.
2) the blogger refers to himself as “Father”, but is not ordained a Catholic (only for the sake of clarity: it means “Roman” Catholic) priest.
3) the blogger refers to his “ordination as priest” and his “43 years of priestly ministry”, in both cases talking of Anglican so-called “orders” as if they were valid orders.
4) on his blog, a well-known Catholic blogger priest went explicitly on the matter, opining that the problem might have originated by his calling himself “father” and candidly saying that he (the priest commenter) had thought that he (the blogger) was a Catholic priest.
I have written in the past on several occasions – here, about when conversions go wrong, or here, about the many Anglicans who seem to want the roast without the trimmings, or here, with a little vademecum for Anglicans thinking about conversion – about the great danger that Anglicans desirous to convert to Catholicism may have – in best Anglican tradition – an attitude of refusal of what they don’t like, and acceptance of what they like. This is, I am afraid, so ingrained in the Anglican way of doing things – and without which the Anglicans would have long split many more times than they already did – that it was very much to fear that in many cases – and without taking anything away from those sincere convert who sincerely accepts Catholicism in its entirety – this would be the case in occasion of their conversion, too.
What is truly worrying, though, is that the comments left on the comment box of said blogger left no doubt whatsoever that this Anglican mentality of accepting what is convenient, and talking away what isn’t is rather spread among his followers. This would suggest, at the very least, that said blogger should feel the opportunity – nay: the responsibility – to properly instruct his followers about the nullity of Anglican orders, with no ifs and no buts.
I want to think that said blogger is – albeit this might have been, or must have been painful to him – aware of the nullity of his Anglican orders; of the fact that he therefore hasn’t any; of the fact that he will only become a priest the day he is ordained a priest by the only Church; and that his calling himself “Father”, & Co. are merely unlucky ways of expressing oneself; ways perhaps due to force of habit and, say, needs of internet name recognition.
Still, it would not be good if, of all people, those prominent members of the Anglican clergy who are swimming the Tiber would not help those following them to do things properly, that is: believing all that the Church believes and professing all that the Church professes.
I have in the past only been an irregular reader of the blog in question; I have found most of what is written there intelligent, instructive and – with the exception of the seeming attitude towards his own “priesthood” – very orthodox. I sincerely think that the man will be – if he is orthodox about Apostolicae Curae – a great asset for the Ordinariate, and an effective weapon in the Catholic armoury.
But this makes it, in my eyes, the more necessary that former Anglican clergy like him be a shining example of orthodoxy, irrespective of his seeming attitude towards Apostolicae Curae having been the cause of his problems or not. Anglicans are such experts of ambiguity, that they must be above every suspicion of abandoning themselves to it again once they have become (notice the word: become) Catholics.
We are all human beings, we all have egos and we all have, so to speak, an affection towards our past. It is understandable that, here and there, our ego may offer some resistance and perhaps even play us some bad tricks. But it is then the more important that, at the beginning of a new life, a last effort is made to remove all obstacle remaining to the beginning of this new phase of existence.
I sincerely hope that we will, sooner than not, welcome this blogger as a new, fully orthodox Catholic priest.
At which point, by the way, we will all call him “Father” anyway.
The so-called (this is important, “so-called”. He is an usurper. Never forget!) Archbishop of Canterbury clearly is more confused than we thought and I slowly wonder whether some professional help might not be of some use to him.
Believing to be talking in front of a North-Korean audience, our old man first decided that Shakespeare was a Catholic (I know that this has been rumoured for very long; but now that we have the confirmation from him I rather begin to doubt) and then proceeded to please the audience (he thought he was in North Korea, remember!) by saying that the fact that the old and well-off Bard was “hoarding grain and buying up property in Stratford” makes him, in the eyes of Comrade Williams, “not very attractive”. Which is rather easily said when one disposes of lodgings in places like Lambeth Palace, you might say; but we don’t want to be fussy, do we?
I wonder if someone has informed the old man that Joseph of Arimathea was so wealthy that he hoarded I do not say grain and houses, but even superfluities like …….. luxury tombs. And a very expensive one he had there, just in case…. pure capitalistic decadence! Remaining in Gospel times, Zacchaeus and Nicodemus were not entirely poor, either, but I was under the impression that Jesus seemed to find both of them attractive. How very strange…..
Clearly, Our Lord was not as socially advanced as Mr (note here: no holy orders for him I’m afraid) Williams, who just can’t like people who are doing very fine, as in: even better than he.
Possibly because no applause had ensued, he decided to reinforce the concept with the following pearl of wisdom:
“If he was a Christian, he wasn’t a saint.”
Well nor are you, old ….. boy. Nor am I, or most of us. But wait, Joseph of Arimathaea is a canonised saint!? Recognised even by most Anglicans?! How can it be, if he had so much grain on the side? And the rich Nicodemus? He is a Saint too? !You don’t say?! Who’d have thought it?! What is next, the canonisation of people who were rich enough as to have their own private zoo, like…. St. Thomas More? (Oh well, I assume Thomas More doesn’t count for the Anglicans, does he now….).
We need Mister Williams to start working seriously at the remaking of Christianity. We really do. These last two thousand years have clearly been a promising start, but without him we would still be thinking that it isn’t a sin to be rich, and that riches are a grace that must be used properly and administered like a good steward would. We would even think that the Church has been helped to carry her work by countless rich and saintly men and women, who have given generously not only to alleviate the suffering of the poor, but also to help the Church to grow and spread Christ’s word. We wouldn’t even understand that Jesus has clearly said that property is theft, so blind are we! And we would, perhaps, even be so mad as to be thankful to the countless generous donors who have allowed so many works of sacred art to be created ad maiorem dei gloriam!
Where would we be, without this old… boy.
I hope the acoustics was good in the Italian Monastery of… Bose, Italy. If the acoustics wasn’t, accommodation and catering must certainly have been at rather high level, as the place has been chosen (as already anticipated by me when talking about Little Britain) for the latest episode of that expensive exercise in useless waffling, busy-bodying and bad theology, but at the same time in jolly good company and first-class entertainment, called Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission, in short: ARCIC.
On this particular occasion, the talks went on for ten days, concluding in time for the return of the happy troop before the Champions League final. One can only admire such logistical skills.
There is, of course, no way any “ecumenical dialogue” made in the wrong way may ever lead to anything approaching acceptable results. The inherent ridicule of the situation by which Catholics and Protestants try to find a way by which they might be reconciled without the Protestants becoming Catholics (a very tiring exercise, I suppose; no doubt helped by ten days of healthy doses of good food and fortifying wine) was on this occasion made even clearer by the fact that a lady took part as Anglican “bishopess”, and another lady from I-don’t-care-where as “canoness”. It is clear that female presence was considered indispensable for a more pleasant conversation at table, it being unthinkable that a “bishopess” and/or “canoness” may ever, ever be of any use in any talk based on real ecumenism.
Real ecumenism can never be an exercise by which Catholics and Protestant try to talk their differences away. Nor can it be limited to inconsequential waffle about the desire to get along together, as the Truth should, in a sane world, not have any desire to get along with the lie beside the one to – as long as possible – avoid armed confrontation. Least of all can ecumenism become an effort to let it appear that it be not so important – in everyday life and in the economy of salvation – to be a Catholic or a Proddie. This last error only confuses the Catholics, helps the Protestants to remain in the dark, and is of any use only to the merry ARCIC troop, and to the catering firm.
Real ecumenism is you-come-to-me -ism; it is the talk with the clear intention to help the prodigal son to go back to the father’s house, and no other; it is the unashamed statement that one side is right, the other wrong and one tries to find ways to help those on the wrong side to get to the right one. If this kind of ecumenism is not liked from the other side, though.
The newly established Ordinariates for converted Anglicans are a clear example of ecumenism, because they build bridges for those on the wrong side whilst always making clear where the Truth lies, and where the bridge leads.
My impression is that these merry gatherings have become one of those expensive, but not entirely unpleasant occasions to which the participant do not want to put an end, even when the absurdity of such meetings has been made once and for all obvious by the presence of the “bishopess” and/or “canoness”. I can’t wait for the first transsexual Anglican bishopette. the Anglicans might not be there yet, but given time I’m sure they’ll manage to “catch up with society” as they have done so often (erm: always, really) in the past. I can’t imagine that this would be seen as an obstacle to any future ARCIC: if you can swallow a bishopette, there’ s truly no boundary to what else you could live with.
No. As long as food and wine are going to be good enough, breaking up will be so very hard to do.
I have written some time ago about the Anglican madness (not the initiative of some obscure hot head, but the brainchild of the board of education of what calls itself the church of England) of limiting the places reserved to the Anglicans in their own schools to ten percent. If you don’t believe it, please read here.
Thankfully, I now receive the news that, among the best Catholics, there are those who do things in a diametrically opposed way. The London Oratory School demands that the parents of the prospective pupils attend Mass at the Oratory in a demonstrable way ( I think that there are registers to sign; this must be atrocious for the 68-ers generations, but it actually makes a lot of sense). Already this shows the great difference in mentality between those who believe in God and those who believe in political correctness.
It would now appear that the rules of admission might go beyond that, extending to the participation of the parents to the parish life beyond Mass attendance. Whilst this may or may not be an efficient criterium, it is clear to me that we are in front of people to whom Christ is truly King; people who see their educational mission as directly linked to the Christian faith, and the Christian faith as the shaping element of the life of the family.
I can’t think of a better way to describe the distance now separating mainstream Anglicanism (once again: look at the source of the above mentioned Anglican proposal) and orthodox Catholicism.
Thank God for the London Oratorians.
Truly, “Thou shall not” seem to be obsolete words in that mickey-mouse organisation calling itself “church of England” and once upon a time, at least, mindful of trying to protect Christian values. That this is obviously not the case anymore is proved, once again (I get tired of linking every time to the many posts on the matter, also because they are becoming more and more numerous), by their astonishing ability to throw overboard principles considered for two thousand years at the basis of Christianity (like, ahem, the Ten Commandments?) and say that it is fine to do, basically, whatever one pleases. The times one lives in, and if there is love, and all that. Strangely, both “love” and “times one lives in” were there in Jesus’ time, too; but don’t tell Dr Sentamu….
Sentamu now says that concubinage is OK, because what Christianity has said for two thousand years is not relevant anymore since his own daughter has said something about milk and cows (cows must recur frequently within the Sentamu family, we gather).
Dr Sentamu manages, in one interview, to make all of the following:
1) He gives his backing to a couple obviously living in sin and giving scandal by every Christian standard, even those of many Anglicans!
2) He reinforces this by saying that he has celebrating marriages for “many co-habiting couples”. This is – like Anglicanism itself – fully deprived of logic: Dr Sentamu might have celebrated marriages for many reformed prostitutes, but this doesn’t mean that prostitution is OK.
3) He makes the reference with the milk and the cow: as we are talking of sacraments I don’t offend you with repeating it. But no, really, we are talking of sacraments, sex, procreation, family. Dr Sentamu throws overboard the entire Christian conception of sexuality and marriage; but he feels very modern because he has the backing of his daughter.
4) He justifies the entire thing by saying that ““For some people that’s where their journeys are”. So Anglican. Can be said of prostitutes, homosexuals and pedophiles too. But wait, I doubt he has a problem with the first two anyway. I thought, anyway, that a bishop’s job (even of a heretic, non-existent, mickey-mouse one) was to say where the journey goes, not to justify people for wherever their journey is.
This man doesn’t care a straw for Christian values. What in his eyes validates people’s choice is: a) what his daughter says, b) where people are, and 3) how you buy cows.
Yep, he must an Anglican.
I am so awfully, awfully sorry to have to blog about strange things I see happening (or better; I heard happened, because I most certainly refused to follow the ceremony) on this joyous day. Still, I try to be a Catholic blogger and I hope that even the most royalist among my two dozen readers will have some understanding for what I am going to say.
What strikes me as odd in today’s ceremony are 1) the vows and 2) the so-called indissolubility of the Anglican marriage.
As to 1), I was very surprised in reading that the then Kate Middleton (now Duchess of Cambridge), chose not to promise obedience. She promised instead to merely vow “love, comfort, honour and keep” to her royal husband. Now if the vow of obedience were not in the traditional formula one wouldn’t object very much to her not vowing it. But if the word is there and she chooses to take it out one might be justified in wondering whether this marriage starts on the right footing. Besides, it strikes me as odd (but it must be a Protestant thing) that in the Anglican so-called church one can pick and choose what he likes of the words of the ceremony. It reminds me of Pizza Hut, with Miss Middleton choosing ham, pepperoni and salami toppings but leaving away the extra cheese.
This signal is even more ominous if the Daily Mirror is right in informing us that there is a precedent for such “bespoke” vows, in that Princess Diana already chose not to obey. Now, considering the fact that Princess Diana went on to a rather slutty* career, one can only wonder.
As to 2), I heard on the radio a registration of the marriage vows and at the end of that, the so-called archbishop Rowan Williams said something which truly astonished me: words on the lines of
what God has put together, let no man put asunder
I couldn’t believe my ears. How can it be that a so-called church that has now long accepted that what God has put together, man can put asunder should have in her liturgy intimations that they themselves refuse to follow?
I am grateful to anyone willing to give any explanation of the theological background of the so-called church of England still keeping this formula. It might be great fun.
At the end of this post, let me for a moment forget that in my eyes every non-Catholic English Sovereign is an usurper anyway (I think it’s fair to say that James II was the last real McCoy, neglecting for a moment that Edward VII is rumoured to have died a Catholic) and let me wish the couple a happy marriage, and the groom a long and peaceful reign.
* I am being charitable here, mind.
Dear reader, I would expect that you are, like most of human beings, endowed with elementary logic. This elementary logic is the one that lets you understand that, say, water can’t be hot and cold at the same time, or that one cannot believe in the Christian God and not believe in Him at the same time. This is called, I believe, the principle of non-contradiction.
The Church of England is,though, exempt from such elementary principles of logic, or at least they would like us to believe so.
Let us take the matter of education. In the simple world in which I live (ordered according to some simple rules, like the one explained above) you either believe in the existence of the Trinity and in the Divinity of Christ, or you don’t.
If you do, you will unavoidably (because of the principle of non-contradiction) strive to help other people to reach the same conclusion and be raised with the same principle; this is not only the result of the most elementary logic, but also of a clear, explicit command of the One you claim to believe in.
If, on the other hand, you don’t believe in God and do not think that it is your duty to help pargulos venire ad Eum, Christianity will become a mere option, the customary and traditional embellishment of a Weltanschauung that can perfectly well do without it. This new religion will then be based on surrogate gods like social justice, environ-mentalism, veneration of niceness, cult of “non judging”, and the like. Within this framework, a symbolic, misunderstood, nay, long forgotten lip service Christianity will be nothing more than a nice shop window decoration.
Exactly this is the position of the so-called bishop of Oxford of the so-called church* of England. Mister Pritchard (whom you might excuse for looking like an idiot in the photo you can see in the link, photo which I cannot reproduce because copyrighted) is of the opinion that:
1) reserved places for members of the so-called church of England should be limited to ten percent. Yes, ten percent!. No, really, I am not joking!
2) This should be done even accepting a deterioration in the schools’ exam results.
One really doesn’t know what people like Mr Pritchard drink in the morning; or whether they have believed in God at one time, before losing the faith in such an obvious manner; or what drives them to give scandal in such an astonishing way during Holy Week.
What one knows, though, is that a so-called bishop of the so-called church of England is proposing to kick people of his own faith out of admission in his own faith schools. To him, Christianity – let alone the membership of the same shop which, heretic as it is, is the one that runs the show – is merely an option. More gravely, he can’t see Christianity as the unavoidable backbone of education in a Christian school. Most gravely, he can’t see the need of helping as many Christians as he can in being raised in a Christian way!
It is very clear that Mister Pritchard does not believe in the Christian God. He doesn’t care a straw for as many children as possible to come to Jesus. His God is political correctness, His credo is social engineering.
This religion of him is so strongly felt, that to its altar he is even ready to sacrifice the school results and the long-term competitiveness of the coE school system. This is one who obviously has chosen not to believe in Christian education and to dismantle it, whatever the price.
You will now think, dear reader, that this chap must be an obscure third-rank bishops seeking some notoriety during Holy Week. Wrong. This chap is the chairman of the so-called cofE’s board of education.
The so-called church of England appoints their goats as gardeners, and then their people are surprised that things go south. Perhaps they are not even officially surprised, because it wouldn’t be nice to notice it.
Please click the link as I cannot post the photo. Look attentively at the man.
His face will give you all the answers you need.
*note the small case.
You would think that the Anglicans, even if progressively forgetting what Christianity is, would still retain a minimum of decency and at least defend a very simple concept, that one first is accepted into the Christian community through his baptism and then receives communion.
Well, you would be wrong. Apparently, somewhere in the world (a very “liberal” place, no doubt; Canada comes to mind) someone has decided that to require one to be baptised before giving him communion is not “inclusive” enough.
If you don’t believe me (and I don’t blame you if you don’t) read here.
The argument brought against the hineous discrimination of non-Christians is that Jesus “did not discriminate” (note the magic word) about whom he invited. The fact that Jesus insisted on being baptised Himself is elegantly avoided, because obviously not “inclusive”.
Similarly, the fact that the twelve were, to all intents and purposes, bishops and as such full members of the nascent Church already founded on Peter when He instituted the Eucharist is also conveniently ignored.
Thirdly, two thousand years of Christianity is utterly ignored.
Instead, we are informed that Christianity – Catholics as well as the wrong versions – has been discriminating against non-Christians these last 2011 years, which poses the interesting question as to why would Jesus allow this to happen and why would he wait for some Canadian nutcase 2011 years after the fact to correct this – we are informed – clearly un-Christian practice.
The state of utter oblivion of everything Christian within the Canadian Anglicans is clearly visible in the use of the words, with some of their so-called priests feeling strongly about this, that is: thinking that Christianity had done such fundamental, absolutely basic things since inception in a seriously wrong way and that this must stop now. No doubt, these individuals dream of “common tables” when Hindus, Muslims, Sikh and, why not, atheists with a liking for bread (we want to be “inclusive”, remember?) participate to such an “inclusive communion” and this would be called by them, possibly, Christianity. Or perhaps not, as it is clear that in this case to want to impose a label on such a ceremony would be clearly a discrimination towards non-Christians and therefore also to be felt strongly about.
It is no surprise than this should come from the same community (the Canadian Anglicans) already well-known for giving communion to a dog. These people just haven’t a clue of what communion is, and of what Christanity is. Political correcteness and inclusiveness is all they know and all they preach.
You really couldn’t make this up. I have known Muslims far more Christian than these people, and they weren’t Christian at all.
I sometimes wonder whether those who care for such obviously superfluous, clearly failed, ridiculous outfits as ARCIC truly believe in what they are doing or simply enjoy the travels, the meals and the jolly good times.
This news would actually speak for the latter hypothesis. It turns out that the so-called Archbishop of Canterbury has nominated this woman to be part of the Anglican side of the ARCIC team. The Anglican team will be ten strong, which will make for jolly entertaining conversation.
One can imagine the Catholic side sitting in front of the Anglican ones, with the intent of discussing a possible “union” with…… a bishopette. It would make a good “Little Britain” sketch.
On the other hand, if you accept the fact that ARCIC is there to provide selected Anglicans and Catholics with a travel to Italy, some seriously good food and some pleasant conversation the entire exercise truly makes perfect sense.
From the Catholic Herald, a rather shocking example of how much is still to be repaired within the damaged body of the Only Church. The more shocking, because it comes from a country which by all its problems is still considered at the forefront of the Catholic world and where, for example, the majority of the population still approves the ban on abortion.
It would appear that almost ten percent of the Irish clergy is not only opposed to the introduction of the improved translation of the Mass – which would be bad news in itself, but one would be able to dismiss it as the result of mediocre lirutgical formation -, but that the arguments they bring against the new translation are so ideologically biased, so obviously un-Catholic as to let one fear for the sheep who have to attend Mass every week with these wolves in sheeps’ clothes.
I never thought I’d see the day when not one, but hundreds of clergy consider a translation from the Latin sexist. This is the kind of verbal flak you expect from the BBC, from a fashionable unrepentant pervert a’ la Stephen fry, or from a die-hard (but hey: dying they are) feminist group.
The arguments of these people sound to me as if I’d asked a left-wing Italian teacher to celebrate Mass. Still, I dare to say that the criticism moved by many of such left-wing teachers would not go as far as to express a “grave concern” because the new translation “demonstrates a lack of awareness of the insights gained from linguistics and anthropology during the past 100 years”.
What these bad shepherds say is that the translation from the Latin is wrong, because the old liturgy is naturally politically incorrect and we can’t talk that way anymore. But we are talking about liturgy here, not about stupid linguistical conventions for afternoon teas. We are dealing with the Truth and its proper expression here, not about politically correct linguistic usages. We are dealing with the way the Church has, for countless generations, deemed fit to express what is most central in Her entire existence, nay, what alone justifies Her existence in the first place!
These priests simply think they can re-write Truth, because Truth doesn’t conform to their anthropological views anymore. This is not even biased dissent but, in its essence, Modernism.
It gets – if possible – worse than this. Obscure threats of…(what, really?) are also made, “chaos” painted on the wall, open revolt hinted at. A chap called Father Gerard Alwill expresses himself in this way:
We are saying very clearly that this new translation of the Missal is not acceptable… We are deeply concerned that if these new texts are imposed, they could create chaos in our church. Our Church doesn’t need chaos at this time.
The new translation is not acceptable to you, Father Gerard? Well don’t accept it! Ask to be defrocked! Get out!
This is not the Anglican so-called church, where every Dick and Harry can decide what is “acceptable” to him. Particularly so, when we are talking of words as they have always been, liturgy as it has always been intended. These people think that the Church should follow their own “anthropological views”! And they call themselves Catholic priests! Astonishing!
That with the “chaos” is also funny. The good chap seems to dream of a schism, or of some great revolt. “PC Priests Against Chauvinist Liturgy”. Where’s the rainbow flag……
Again, it is staggering how little these people know (or pretend to know) the Church. This is Anglican talk and Anglican thinking and frankly, Anglicanism is the right place for these sorry excuses of Catholic priests.
Chaos? Keep dreaming, old boy.
Read here for more details.
28 priests on their way to formation as Catholic priests. No news (as it was to be expected) as to who will be the Ordinary.
On the newspaper of the Anglicans (called “Anglican Mainstream”) there is an article of Andrew Carey regarding the attitude of the Anglican clergy toward those who have decided to join the Ordinariate.
Basically, the Anglican hierarchy are refusing to give churches (even unused ones) to the converts for their own use; in addition, they are refusing the shared use of Anglican churches. Mr. Carey considers this attitude to be wrong as in his opinion a “broad church” like the Anglicans should “act differently”.
I disagree with Mr. Carey. I see in the refusal of the Anglicans to allow converts to use their own churches a last vestige of dignity and coherent thinking, the more remarkable because the Anglicans have been clearly losing both for many years now.
By all talking about being “broad” or “open”, it goes without saying that whoever is out is not in, and whoever has chosen to be out has consequently chosen not to be in anymore. The expectation (more or less strongly entertained) that there should be a moral obligation of the organisation that has been left to do something gratis et amore Dei for those who have left them is not very realistic and is, more importantly, utterly illogical.
For the Anglicans, the Ordinariates are a problem; certainly not a mortal one, but one that can’t be dismissed as irrelevant. To help those who go would simply mean to help to achieve one’s own demise. Glad as I would be to see the death of this heretical outfit born of whoring and/or bastard kings, I don’t think that this should be expected from them. If Anglicans have a remnant of dignity at all, they must still consider (wrong as this certainly is) their way the best one and conversion to Catholicism a mistake. If this is so (and it can’t be otherwise, logically) it certainly cannot be asked of them to help not only the achievement of their own demise, but the spreading of theological error.
In addition, it must be said that the Anglicans – wrong as they certainly are – are there to protect the interest of their own community. Their duty of allegiance is to those who are in, not to those who have chosen to go out. By all talk of ecumenism, this is a brutal truth that can’t be ignored without making oneself open to the accusation of working against one’s own shop.
As to the sharing of churches, the nicest thing I can say is that the idea is bonkers and I truly hope that it will never become a reality in any Ordinariate whether in the UK or abroad.
There is already an issue of letting the potential converts understand that Anglicanism is a completely different, utterly opposed, fundamentally antithetic choice to Catholicism. There is already the fear that many converts will prove fake converts thinking that they haven’t really changed anything, but have only continued to be the same in a slightly different setting (heresy and sacrilege I know; but browse around and you’ll read things that will have your hair stand on end). If to this danger of fundamental misconception we were to add the worship in the same church building as before, we would positively encourage the heresy and the sacrilege; this without even considering the practical problems of how to set the altar, how to care for the tabernacle and so on. Interfaith worship in the same building doesn’t make any sense, it merely confuses the faithful.
Does this mean that all those beautiful churches, now unused, should be left empty? Certainly not. In my eyes, in the coming years and decades some of these churches should be bought by Catholic institutions to be exclusively used as Catholic churches. As the Anglican so-called church has no use for many of them, their value is not very high and as they are mostly Grade I or Grade II-listed they can’t be knocked down to build shopping centres or garages, which circumstance further depresses the value of the land. Catholic dioceses could, in turn, purchase some (or more than some) of these churches and use them in substitution of their monstrosities of the Sixties, whilst the fact that most of the monstrosities are not listed would make it easier to sell the land to be redeveloped for other purposes; some of the newly acquired churches could then be shared by ordinariate and diocesan Catholics without any problem.
In this way, the Anglicans could do something useful for their own people (cash in, and less maintenance costs) and the Church would get a number of beautiful old churches, adequate worship opportunity for the Ordinariate Catholics, the disappearance of many ugly church building and perhaps, here and there, some rather nice real estate deal. A win-win situation, it seems to me, obtained without having to ask (or worse, expect) favours from everyone and without compromising the obligatory doctrinal rigidity of Catholic worship.
Oh well, today it is really one of those days one doesn’t forget so soon…..
The very first Ordinariate for former Anglicans is there. You can read the details on the “Reluctant Sinner” blog.
My first reflections as it is very late now:
1) The Ordinariate is dedicated to Our Lady. This is a clear link to England as it was before a couple of bastard kings and their gravely deluded helpers made a mess of everything. It seems to me almost as if the Vatican would say to heretics of every sort “you are nothing more than a passing embarrassment for the Only Church”.
England, the recovering Dowry of Mary. Beautiful.
2) The Ordinariate is under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman. This is another choice that isn’t casual in the least. Newman clearly paved the way historically – and will pave the way spiritually – for those who decide to come back to the Only Church.
3) As I have already written here, the way will not be an easy one for those who sincerely want to convert and become true Catholics. Prayer, reflection and in case time will be needed. As for ourselves, let us remember them in our daily prayers.
4) Congratulations and best wishes to father Newton, the first Ordinary after Anglicanorum Coetibus. Rome clearly signals a great deal of trust in him and in his doctrinal orthodoxy.
At the same time, it is obvious that the (largely expected) appointment of a former Anglican to the head of the Ordinariate will give a certain amount of comfort to many disaffected and perhaps suffering still-Anglicans. What Father Newton has done – and Blessed John Henry Newman has done before him – they can do too. Whatever hard decisions he had to take, they were taken by a man many ordinary Anglicans esteem and respect. This will give them reason to think harder about where they see their future.
Again, it is very late now and in the next days more reflections and news will follow as the picture becomes clearer.
I am not one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Ordinariate. I see a real danger that the Ordinariate may attract chaps like this one.
But I must say that today I feel rather excited.
The important news of the imminent beatification of the late John Paul II has somewhat taken the spotlight from an important (nay: historic) event of today: the consecration of tree former Anglican “bishops” to the priesthood.
Let us welcome Father John Broadhurst, Father Andrew Burnham and Father Keith Newton into the Only Church. Best wishes to them and to all those (former Anglican clergy or simple faithful) who have already decided to take this important and life-changing step.
Let us hope that in the following years many more sincere seekers will find the courage to look at reality in the face and draw the unavoidable consequences.
There is only One Church. Accept no substitutes.
Some people think (I know they do, though it is beyond me how this happens ) that this humble correspondent is too harsh towards the Heresy; that he shouldn’t use this word, heresy, at all; that to do so is rude and (how was the word again?) uncharitable.
But the simple fact is that heresy is heresy however nice the relevant heretic, and that heresy is wrong and leads the faithful to error.
Here (courtesy, once again, of that Catholic wonder called Rorate Coeli; you’ll have to scroll down to the 6th January 2011) we have another example of how heresy, deprived of the help of the Holy Ghost, leads into fatal error and contributes to the demolition of Christian values and of Western societies.
At the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Anglicans opened the door to contraception. They did it in the usual way such things happen, as taboos are seldom broken openly and defiantly. They just adjusted and tweaked the Truth to the point where it suited the times enough as to allow those people who really wanted to disobey the rules to feel authorised to do so. The issue was contraception, the wording is as follows (emphases mine):
“Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience”.
This is the same game we have seen at play about divorce, abortion and homosexual relationship and it is the same game we are now seeing played about euthanasia. You don’t try to slam the door open, as this would never succeed. You just open it very little, and leave it to the times and the shift in moral values – shift in values that your first opening will invariably introduce – to open the door completely until there is even no remembrance that in the past the door was always supposed to be shut, no ifs and no buts.
There are Christian principles and there are, we are told, Christian principles in light of which one can go against Christian principles.
Yep, these must be Anglicans…
Thankfully, there is one shop that is the Only One and whose moral values are not shaped by the desire to do as one pleases. Thankfully, Christ has given us a Church against which the Gates of Hell will never prevail.
The Church (the Only One) reacted promptly to the convenient and politically correct pollution of Christian values operated by the Anglicans. The Church knows that when you begin to set the door ajar, it is only a matter of time before it is wide open. The Church also knows that Truth has no “best before” date and is in no need of being turned upside down under the pretence of allegedly using “the same Christian principles”.
Below is the reaction of the Church, with the encyclical letter Casti Connubii, recently turned 80 (emphases mine):
“Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”
Note the political incorrectness of Pius XI’s words. He makes clear that the Christian tradition on the matter was uninterrupted, not even touched by the heresy of Luther and by the following ones. He treats the Anglicans with a (with today’s eyes) shockingly brutal “some” which doesn’t even leave them the dignity of a group worth the legitimation of their existence, like “ecclesial community”. He proceeds to a strongly worded statement that God has given to the Church Only the task of preserving the Truth, and that this Truth speaks to us through the Pope’s mouth. Clearly, vague innuendos to Catholic truths and barely understandable statements with Catholicism hidden after multiple layers of easy-to-digest platitudes were not the speciality of this saintly man.
Let me say it once again: Truth is Truth and it does not tolerate the pollution with human conveniences. If one proceeds to make exceptions and distinguos in exceptional cases, the cases will soon start to become less and less exceptional as society becomes accustomed to the idea that there is a way out. See divorce. See abortion. See, well, everything. If one starts to hide this pollution with an illusory application of “the same Christian principles”, there will be no limit to the use of vaguely Christian-sounding platitudes to unhinge whatever doctrine has now become unpalatable. When one starts to make exceptions to a principle, the following generation will not even remember what the principle was.
Thankfully, the Church still stands erect in the midst of moral ruin. More proudly erect at some times than at others perhaps, but erect she stands nonetheless. About the moral ruin, surely no doubt is possible.
Look no further than the excellent Father Z’s blog to read what happens when conversions go wrong.
The chap making such a spectacle of himself is certainly representative of the many former Anglicans who converted to Catholicism in the Nineties and then apostatised. The non irrelevant frequency of the phenomenon should – now that with the Ordinariates a new attempt is being made – cause all alarm bells to go off. Similarly, the amount of errors believed by many Anglicans (a priceless pearl, given only as an example, is one comment on the apostate’s blog: “There is no contradiction between being Catholic and being evangelical; the two are synonymous”) should make all of us well aware of the forma mentis with which many Anglicans (hopefully a minority) might approach their “conversion”.
Let us see some of the elements emerging from this disastrous example of fake conversion. But before we do it, let us call to mind a couple of very important considerations:
1) Conversion to Catholicism is not the start of a journey, but its end. Conversion presupposes than one already “got it”. That the convert will grow in faith and in his knowledge of the very complex Catholic world does not mean that he is authorised not to believe in the whole corpus of Catholic doctrine, even in what he doesn’t know or can’t fully understand yet. Catholicism is acceptance of Truth, not selective acceptance of Truth after the examination of one’s own conscience.
Similarly, In Catholic parlance belief is the acceptance of Truth because of the authority this Truth comes from, (emphatically) not the declaration that Truth has, say, passed the exam of one’s own conscience and got the relevant seal of approval.
2) This is made, by the Church, most evident in the fact (witnessed by everyone who has assisted to a Mass with a ceremony of conversion) that the convert is required to stand up in front of the entire community and solemnly declare that he believes everything that the Church believes and professes everything that the Church professes. To say these words without believing them is sacrilege. A man is, as they say, only as good as his word but many Anglicans seem to be – even in matters pertaining to their eternal salvation – blissfully unaware of the fact. The sad truth is that whilst there are still many sincere seekers among the Anglicans, Anglicanism as a religious organisation is rotten to the core and this must be considered when examining the Ordinariate’s scope and the obstacles to their success.
Let us see, then, what our apostate was able to say after having solemnly declared his acceptance of the entire corpus of Catholic Truth.
1) Papal Infallibility is not believed in.
How a man can convert to Catholicism and not believe in Papal Infallibility is beyond me. Again, Anglicans seem able to produce such a feat and even say it out loud. “Doublethink, double tongue and double face” well describes the attitude of Anglicans of this type.
2) Papal Infallibility is believed to be a dogma.
This is, initially, rather a matter of ignorance and it would be excusable, if it were not for the fact that this ignorance is used to attack the Church.
3) Transubstantiation is a) fully misunderstood and b) attacked
This is worse than not knowing what is dogma and what isn’t, because Transubstantiation is at the very core of Catholicism. Once again, how on Earth could this man make the profession of Catholic faith described above is beyond me.
4) The Immaculate Conception, a dogma of the Church, is described as: “an unnecessary and unverifiable belief, if ever there was one”).
Astonishing show of homemade catholicism. Note the typical Anglican mentality that a dogma should be: a) “verifiable” and/or b) deemed “necessary”. Priceless.
5) Assumption of Mary:
Same as point 4)
6) Affirmation that Catholicism is not doctrinally sound, whilst Anglicanism is.
This is good for comic relief. If there is a shop ready to believe in everything and the contrary of everything, this is the Anglican one. I suppose, though, that this matches Mr. Hart’s definition of “soundness”.
Very rightly, Father Z points out to the fact that this is heresy leading to apostacy. The heresy has been brought within the Church as the Catholic Truth has never been believed in the first place, and the apostacy is in time its unavoidable consequence. In fact, our apostate was merely being Anglican, that is: acting like one who thinks that he can believe the way he pleases.
Dear readers, some of you probably think that concerns about the orthodoxy of Anglican converts are exaggerated. Sadly, they aren’t. The evidence of this is in the “conversion from the conversion” already put in place by many of the Anglican clergy who swam the Tiber in the Nineties; in the astonishing Anglican inability – evident at both individual and collective level – to accept any kind of belief without changing it whenever convenient; and in the extraordinary confusion reigning in the minds of many Anglicans (see example above, only one of the many. My favourite is the Doublethink masterpiece “I don’t have a problem in becoming a Catholic, as I always was one”).
Sadly, Internet discussion platforms are full of such involuntary humour. They indicate a tragic deficiency in the basic understanding of what Catholicism is as they make clear a determined will to “show it” to the Anglican hierarchy. In this lies the real problem: thinking that Catholicism is just another shade of what they already are.
The Ordinariates are a great chance, and a great risk. If properly done, they can be a source of great blessing for all those sincere seekers ready to authentically convert, to change their system of values and their point of reference of what is True. If made sloppily as it was obviously done in the Nineties, or with the “tolerant” attitude of those who think that the important thing is to “get them in” and they’ll learn in time, this will – beside being contrary to what the Church demands from a convert – cause a huge amount of discord and confusion among Catholics. Besides, it will cause the total loss of the Ordinariate’s reputation and perhaps its demise within a couple of generations.
The Church has already gone through disgraceful phases of “circiterism”, shallowness and naive belief that everything wrong will magically adjust itself by just doing nothing. I do want to think that the Ordinariates will not become another example of this mentality; but only if vigilance is exercised, and strictest orthodoxy required.
In occasion of the now widely publicised conversions celebrated today in Westminster Cathedral, I allow myself to give my little piece of advice to those thinking of conversion.
This little advice is given in charity (the real one. Fake charity is for whinos, and Anglicans…). Charity requires that one tells the truth out of love. Calls of “who are you to judge” don’t have any effect with true Catholics. Catholics deal with Truth, not false compassion. Anglicans need to be told the Truth without any fear that they might be “hurt”. They’re heretics, of course they will! It’s not a walk in the park, it’s two systems of values clashing, and they can’t be both right.
Charity requires the Truth, and the Truth said whole. Those who aren’t ready to undergo a painful process to reach the Truth can avoid wasting time reading this. If only one reads and understands, the time will not have been spent in vain.
Please, have a chamomile tea first
1) There is only One Church, and it is not the Anglican one.
2) Christians are divided into: a) Catholics; b) Schismatics; c) Heretics.
3) Anglicans of whatever orientations belong to c) above: Heretics. Every one of them, however they may call themselves.
4) Anglican so-called orders are invalid. Anglican clergy are, for Catholics, laymen. This is Catholic teaching. No amount of self-delusion will ever change an iota in this.
5) There is nothing like a “something-Catholic”. You can’t be Anglo-Catholic more than you can be Methodist-Catholic. You are Catholic, or Schismatic, or Heretic. Are you Anglican? You’re Heretic.
7) The decision to convert is the decision to leave the Lie and embrace the Truth. Ego investments, personal preferences, how nice the Vicar is & Co. have no role to play in this. This side, or that side.
8 ) Every “converted” former Anglican who still claims to believe Anglican heresy (from the validity of the ordination of Anglican clergy; to Anglo-Catholics being “Catholics”; to whatever else) is a fake convert, sacrilegious and heretical. Better to remain a heretic from outside until one is ready for a real conversion, than to try to be a heretic from within the Church. Heretics are, by definition, outside of the Church anyway. Cheating one’s way to a club card leads to nothing and, possibly, to perdition.
9) Truth cannot be embraced in half. You either embrace Truth, or you cling to the lie. Tertium non datur.
10) Anglican doublethink doesn’t work the other side of the Tiber. “Two and two is four, but also five and we respect those who think it is six and will dialogue in chariteeee with those who think it is seven and a half” works only before the (notoriously lethargic) Vatican steamroller starts to move, but it leads to tears and excommunications when it invariably does. Those who think that they can export their doublethink and “tolerance” past the Tiber are in for a very late, but very rude awakening.
11) Catholicism works differently. To say “I’m hurt” will not make you right. To say “you’re uncharitable” will not make you less wrong. To say “you must adjust your doctrine to accommodate my feelings” doesn’t exist at all. You’ll have to eat the same fare as Padre Pio and St. Philip Neri, St. Francis and St. Dominic. No Anglican preservatives, and no choice of toppings. What a blessing.
12) The decision to embrace the Truth is difficult. It requires the acknowledgment that one (and one’s old soi-disant “church”) was wrong all the time. That one’s ancestors were wrong all the time. That one’s former organisation had no Catholic being or legitimation whatsoever. Nothing less is required. If you can’t say this to yourself with a sense of elation and Truth finally found, you are still a Heretic.
13) Truth will make you free. The decision to discard the lie and embrace the Truth in its totality is the healthiest and most productive single decision in one’s man existence. So healthy and so beautiful, because so difficult. If it wasn’t difficult, there would be no beauty and no merit in it.
14) Truth is like a diamond: extremely beautiful, but extremely hard. Are you ready for the beauty (and the hardness) of the diamond? Or do you want to continue to believe that the synthetic version is a diamond too? Choose the true diamond. Accept no substitutes. You’ll discover that its beauty is beyond your hope.
15) True Catholics will stand in awe in front of real, serious converts. You are in our prayers and we know that many of you will become extremely orthodox, wonderful Catholics. But true Catholics will attack without mercy those who attempt to import the heresy within the Barque of Peter. This is an unprecedented experiment, but will not be a door open to “Catholicism a’ la carte”. Again: forget the old Anglican ways, this is not going to work that way.
16) Pray Blessed Cardinal Newman that he may guide you. He knows all your troubles, went through the same pains as yours, sees all the obstacles in front of you. It took him years of reflection and prayer before deciding himself to the step. But once he took it, what a wonderful march he started! So take your time and be assured of our prayers and of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, your Guardian Angel and the Blessed Virgin. Take your time and prepare yourself carefully for the impact and the beauty of the Truth. It is better to carefully invest some years of sound investment leading to a copious yield, than to waste everything in a fake conversion leading nearer to Hell.
17) Best wishes and good luck to you.
It would appear that soon the Vatican is going to give us more details as to how the UK Ordinariate is supposed to work and be organised. I can imagine that savage speculations are going to mount in the next days (or weeks) as to who will lead it, how it will be funded, what provision might be offered to those Anglican clergy thinking of conversion but also mindful of a family to feed, etc.
Personally, I hope that the following will happen:
1) The British hierarchy is going to be kept out of the entire affair. If the Holy Father lets them in from the door, orthodoxy will soon go out of the window. I hope that the Ordinariate will be not only factually autonomous from the Bishops (bar a technical cooperation where unavoidable; it is not that they have to ignore each other’s existence), but that they will also be seen as such.
2) I so much wish (though I am sure that I will be disappointed) that the Ordinariate could be led by a person of undoubted, uncompromising orthodoxy. One able to explain to everyone (to the press; to the Anglicans thinking about conversion; to the other British Catholics who might see in a staunchly orthodox Ordinariate a good alternative to a Novus Ordo Mass) that the Ordinariates are not the Anglican version of the Catholic Church, but the Only Church organised in a slightly different way.
From what I have read up to now, none of the so-called Anglican bishops who have announced their intention to convert is up to the task. From what I could see to date, it is fair to be afraid that they would stress how “Anglican” the new outfit is, not how Catholic; how little things would change for the Anglican converts, not how much; what a continuity there would be between the heretical shop they leave and the authentical one they enter, not what a radical change this represents. My impression up to now (as seen on this very blog) is rather that they would accuse of being “uncharitable” or even “unchristian” everyone pointing out to the obvious shortcomings (nay: cowardice; nay: utter bad faith) of such an approach.
I see a clear danger that what could be created here is a body largely constituted of people who think that their cultural specificity authorises them to be at variance with the Church; a body seeing itself as composed of Catholics who have the right to be different in their Catholicism (just to make some example: in thinking that it is fully OK to be an Anglican; or in thinking themselves Catholics because they believe in the existence of Transubstantiation in an Anglican Mass) rather than in the way their Catholicism is organised.
A bit of healthy cynicism will make us aware that conversion to Catholicism can be wished because one desires the Truth or because one has a sacrilegious desire to continue to believe in the same old lies, but without bishopettes around.
The person appointed to lead the UK Ordinariate will have to make this very clear; he will have to be a champion of orthodoxy for the entire British Catholicism. If this is not the case, the risk for the Ordinariate to fail spectacularly and to be remembered as a source of strife rather than reconciliation will be very real.
This on Unity and Truth (you can jump to 0:35 if you want to skip the adv) is one of the best Voris videos and it seems to me that it is particularly fitting in our present situation, when the Ordinariate is exposing us to the risk of a watered down (or, in the worst case, outright rebellious) “version” of Catholicism meant not to “hurt” those Anglicans disappointed with the course of their so-called church but, it would appear, extremely sensitive in being told that a) they are wrong and b) if they want to convert they’ll have to come to term with this.
I found these sentences particularly beautiful:
Unity must be around the Truth and the Truth must be the grounding for Charity. Those who unite around the lie are neither truthful nor charitable.
The way to counter an error is with the Truth. To do so is an act of charity. And when the Truth is at the centre that means our Blessed Lord is at the centre. And that is Who unifies us.
“To speak falsely or in an unclear manner – regardless of your intention – opens the door for spiritual collapse of the faithful. This is untruthful, certainly not charitable and absolutely nothing to have to do with Unity. You can’t talk about being charitable or having unity if you first don’t speak the Truth” (emphasis mine)
Truth is Truth, and Lie is Lie. There’s no escaping this simple concept.
The idea that one may convert without changing his mind (and clearly saying so) about who has been right all the time and who has been wrong all the time is a self-deception, useful only if one wants to seriously harm one’s soul.
After today’s announcement of five bishops of the Anglican church, that they will cease every function within the Anglican church at the end of the year and join the Ordinariate when such one is created I am supposed, I think, to be satisfied and see the future of the Ordinariate with some optimism.
Then why I am not?
I am not because it seems to me that, so to speak, the new blood coming within the church is – at least judging from the still scarce information – not really good.
Let us take this interview to the BBC of Mr. Burnham, one of the five swimmers.
If you listen from 0:25 onward, it appears very clearly to me that Mr. Burnham announces his conversion to the Only Church, but still doesn’t have the slightest problem in continuing to consider the Anglican so-called church “part of the one universal Church going back to the time of Jesus”. His problem is not with the Anglicans NOT being part of the Church. His problem is that in recent times the so-called cofE has started “making his own rules”. The several centuries from Edward VI to 1992 don’t seem to be a problem, the very legitimacy of the so-called church of England a given. It is only when the so-called coE started with the novel ideas of priestesses & Co. that he was forced to choose between the “two Churches” and he decided for the “older body” (clearly meaning, make no mistakes, that both “bodies” are “Catholic churches”).
Furthermore, he sees his conversion as a way “for the churches to move closer together”.
Pardon me, Mr. Burnham, but a Catholic cannot, absolutely cannot see “two churches coming together”. There is only the One Church – which is right – and an ecclesial community – which is wrong – and no other decision than the one to leave the wrong community and join the Only Church.
All this talking of the “two churches”, of continuing to see Anglicanism as a part of the Church, of wishing a union between two supposed churches is the explicit confirmation of what many had feared: that the new “converts” do not bring any Catholic orthodoxy with them, but rather introduce an element of heresy within the organisation they want to join.
It would have been very easy and very beautiful and very orthodox for Mr. Burnham to say that the events of the last decades have started in him a painful but necessary process of discernment; that at the end of this process he has come to the conclusion that the Only Church is.. the Only Church; that he has come to recognise where is the truth and where is the error; and that he hopes that many other faithful still within the Anglican so-called church would reach, in time, the same conclusion.
Nothing of the sort. Not one word. From one who is publicly announcing his conversion. On the contrary, explicit legitimation of a heretical body as “church”.
If the UK Ordinariate is going to work along these lines I wish it a painful death, from the heart.
This is not conversion; this is invasion.
Read here about Anna Arco reporting that the Anglican bishop of Fulham is preparing to take up the Ordinariate. In itself, this is not shocking news and was in some form largely expected. What in my eyes is more surprising is the astonishing declaration of Mr. John Broadhurst that Forward in Faith be, as reported by Arco, “not an Anglican organisation”.
I have written here and elsewhere on several occasions that I see a problem in the commingling of Catholicism and Anglicanism. Catholicism and Anglicanism are like fire and water. They just can’t mix. It must be clear to every convert that he is moving from Lie to Truth, not from one truth to another one.
Every element which would in any way whatsoever persuade Anglicans in the process of converting that nothing much is really happening (as some of them have been known to say on several blogs and forums) and that they would not become, but merely “continue to be” catholics is intrinsically heretical and must be rejected in the strongest form.
In the case of the Anglicans, the problem is made more acute by their inveterate habit of bending whatever statement of principle to their own particular convenience of the day, with people of the most diverse doctrinal persuasions happily coexisting under the same roof without seeing a problem at all. They have their “39 articles” but many of them decide which ones of them they want to follow, or even whether they should be considered binding in the first place, but opposite views on this matter don’t seem to bother them much. They have people agreeing with women priests and people strongly disagreeing with them, but astonishingly they don’t see this as making communion impossible. They have people in their midst wanting to remain within Anglicanism even if they disagree with both priestesses and bishopesses and one really wonders what their concept of “church” is. In short, there are people there showing a long habit of astonishing mental gymnastics and ability to adapt to whatever they want to think and whatever it is convenient to say.
Now, I wholeheartedly agree that even a person highly trained in such compromises and exercises in doublethink can – through prayer and by the grace of God – see the error of his ways and become an excellent and orthodox Catholic. But I wonder whether they will be helped in achieving this result by suggesting to them – because this will be the frequent effect of Mr. Broadhurst words – that when they were part of the Church of England, they actually weren’t and when they were wrong, they were actually right.
It seems to me as if the message which risks to be received is that what is required is not a real swimming, but merely the mooring of an Anglican boat on the other side of the Tiber, with the implicit result that many of them will think that the boat was the right one in the first place and has always been. In this case the conversion would not do anything for the soul of the converted, but merely endanger it much more gravely because of the open heresy thus brought within the Only Church.
Of course, in theory nothing prevents a convert to fully understand the implications and extent of his step by continuing to call the thus converted organisation with the same name. But in practice I see trouble coming. This, particularly considering the extreme affection for this kind of mental gymnastics and plays with words which is, alas, so common in Anglican thinking.