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.
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.
This is what we have waited to see for almost a year.
As you can read here, in Maryland an entire community of Episcopalians (“Mount Calvary Episcopal Church”) has decided to enter the Ordinariate. This will happen already in October after their sister community of Episcopalian religious sisters (the “All Saints sister of the poor”) have been received into the Only Church last year.
One is reminded of that scene of the “Lord Of The Ring” movie, when the battle of Helm’s Deep approaches and at the first volley King Theoden says …… ” So it begins”….
The warmest welcome to our brothers and sisters now united to the Only Church.