To this Catholic, it is instructive to see how the Holy Spirit works. In the Only Church, the tempest of “modern” thinking violently shakes the barque for a while; but in one or two generations the crew reacts and starts with the work of leading the barque out of the dangerous waters. This, they do with the sure instinct of the Only Church; they do it because the Holy Ghost helps His own Church, not the imitations. All the others are on their own in the dangerous waters of human frailties and sinful desires.
And so it is that the so-called (Protestant) churches, not having the help of the Holy Ghost, get into the tempest and can’t see the way out anymore; they have no invisible help at the helm; they’ll be blinded by the terror of the ship soon sinking, and start doing all the wrong things; and sink, one day, all of them will.
Good riddance, say I; and not a day too soon.
You see the Anglicans, and the Episcopalians, and the Methodists, and the Quakers, and the mainstream Lutherans all with the same problem: a secularisation from the inside that is eating them out like a slow, malignant cancer. They forgot God (which their ancestors, wrong and blinded as they certainly were, still had firmly in mind) and dedicated their attention to men; that is, to this earth; that is, to social justice and supposed “rights”. The punishment came swiftly, but in their blindness they can’t even see that they are killing themselves, and insist on pushing the knife harder within themselves in the hope that this might be what leads to their healing.
You see this from the article, curiously redolent of Father Corapi’s press office’s “fan base”. They want to “go for growth”, talking of themselves as if they were selling diapers, or energy drinks; they talk of “recruitment” as if the problem were in people not knowing that they exist, and where to find them. They can’t understand that their decline has not happened notwithstanding their feminist and secular drive, but because of it. They don’t get that in becoming a mouthpiece for social instances, they have made themselves superfluous as a religious organisation. They are terrified of drowning as their ship is violently shaken, and they can see all too clearly that the skipper is perfectly incompetent, more terrified than they are, and has no idea which route to take.
Whenever I think that the Church in England has problems, I only need to look at the Anglicans and feel much better already. These are people able to reduce themselves to between 3% and 4% of weekly churchgoers and still unable to see what’s wrong with them. And so they continue to sail towards even more dangerous waters, thinking that in this way help will come from…. no one knows where. More modern, more “inclusive”, more “relevant” they want to be; more superfluous, more ridiculous, more ignored is what they become. Even their dying out barely makes headlines.
All points out to a continuation of this slow suicide, drifting further away from Christianity and sinking deeper into a social mentality now barely distinguishable from socialism; a very cheap “go for growth” strategy, and a rather stupid one. By introducing bishopesses and very soon, no doubt, unrepentant perverts in official position of leadership, they will further become the Disneyland of what they once were, a Las Vegas-style outfit meant to please everyone, and not needed by anyone; the tacky “made in china” imitation of the only Church, hoping to survive with a cheap theology to be flogged to those who aren’t interested in any theology. It won’t work, of course.
In the meantime, the Only Church smells the blood. The very visible decay of this now clearly ridiculous outfit opens the possibility of reaping, in only one or two generations, all that was lost almost five hundred years ago. If there’s one thing that the Ordinariates clearly show, is the Roman conviction that worldwide Anglicanism is on its last legs and it is now time to start reaping the fruits of its deadly disease. And in truth, worldwide Anglicanism now strongly resembles a small version of the Ottoman Empire, bearing the signs of its advanced state of decay for everyone to see.
Some Anglicans begin to see it, too. They’ve opened their eyes to the madness of trusting their soul to a ship shattered by the waves, with no guidance whatsoever and no security of purpose. They long for an unsinkable ship, one able to carry them safely to their destination. A ship not without problems for sure, with some awful seamen, disgraceful midshipmen and, alas, the one or other evil officer; but unsinkable nevertheless. In the coming decades, more and more of the Anglican crew are going to change ship, as the waves of feminism and “inclusiveness” shatter the vessel with all their violence whilst it heads towards self destruction.
Unless they experience a phase of true repentance and moral regeneration – nowhere to be seen up to now; the contrary is the case – the Anglicans are going to extinguish themselves whilst discussing the next wave of feminist and “inclusive” reform; which, if you ask me, is exactly the end that this heretical outfit has deserved from day one.
Born from the bastard child of a swine and his concubine, it will die as the bastard child of feminism and sexual perversion.
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 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.
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.
Anglicanorum Coetibus is in the meantime more than eight months old. I would have expected that this historical step toward the Anglican cultural tradition would have been welcomed with a great sigh of relief from many near converts, now free from shallow liturgy and liberal Bishops. Anglicanorum Coetibus also made clear that the door is open in liturgical, but not in doctrinal matters; in other words, that the Catholic Sunday Roast must be eaten with all the trimmings.
Eight months later, I do not feel encouraged. What I notice is as follows:
1) Inability to decide. I know that Anglicans have this down to a fine art, but conversion is a matter of absolutes, not of nuances and subtle distinguos. You either believe that there is Only One Church and the Anglicans are not part of it because the Only Church says so, or you don’t. In the first case there is no alternative to conversion; in the second, no need.
2) Inability of the laity to understand what conversion entails. Conversion means to believe everything which the Church believes, and to profess everything which the Church professes. This means to accept that they were wrong; that their ancestors were wrong; that they themselves were heretics who have now decided to come back to the Only Church. This seems to be a huge obstacle for many of them who seem to think that they can get in as Anglicans. They can’t. If you’re Catholic, Anglicans are heretics to you, full stop.
3) Inability of the clergy to do the same. For the clergy this implies in particular the obvious recognition that their supposed orders are and ever have been null and void. You can’t become Catholic without accepting Apostolicae Curae and the clergy are called to accept this clearly and to explain it (with due delicacy, but telling the whole truth) to their sheep.
4) Strong propensity to use Anglicanorum Coetibus as a negotiating tool with the hierarchy of the so-called church of England (which doesn’t listen to them anyway).
There will be, of course, laudable exceptions. At least, I hope so. But if you look around on the blogosphere what you’ll notice is the repeated complaint that the Anglican Synod is not helping them to stay, that compromises proposed by them have not been accepted, and the like.
Please, let us not kid ourselves. This is the language of one who is not preparing to go, but trying to stay.
I cannot avoid wondering: what would I do if I were an Anglican vicar persuaded that conversion is the way? I would prepare my sheep to the event. I would explain to them everything which such a conversion entails, including the difficult bits. I would tell them that in the end wrong is wrong, and right is right and that the truth will set them free. Most importantly, I would tell them that if conversion is right, the synod’s decisions are irrelevant.
In the several news from them I have read since October – the last one from Fr. Longenecker – I have never found one willing to explain these simple concepts. Not one. Whilst some people have certainly understood the implications, their way was rather the individual conversion. Conversely, my experience is that where the conversion of entire parishes/communities is concerned, the implications of the conversion are simply ignored and the conversion presented as the unavoidable alternative to the Synod not doing what they want.
Dissatisfaction with the Anglican hierarchy can’t even begin to be a reason for conversion. To say so is to threaten the synod to become Catholics whilst thinking, speaking and acting like Anglicans.
Still, the blogosphere is vast. I might be wrong on this.
Please inform me of any Anglican blog pointing out to the ugly truths of 2) and 3) above and making clear that conversion cannot depend on a synod’s decision. It would be so beautiful to see that Anglicanorum Coetibus does pave the way for sincere conversions rather than for Anglican poker games.