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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Absolutely brilliant entry (some months old, but with all its freshness intact) of One Timothy Four about the various distortions of how the media and public opinion deal with the issue of the (homosexual) paedophile priest scandal. This article is notable because it comes from someone who, though in the meantime a full-fledged Catholic (and I mean real Catholic, not soi-disant one) had indirect but credible experience of the Anglican part of the matter. This is not to say that the Anglicans are particularly affected from the problem, or that the problem is exclusive competence of Christian denominations; only that it does help to put a thing or two in the right context.
Let us see the most salient phrases of this extremely interesting contribution:
there is good evidence (largely ignored by the media) that the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and elsewhere grew in direct relationship to generalized sexual liberation
The BBC will never tell you this. The winds of “modernity” (or modernism) blowing after Vatican II carried with them a kind of “tolerance” bound not to stop in front of any sin. If we start saying in the seminaries that “it doesn’t help to see things in terms of sin” – I think this is another pearl of wisdom from our less-than-beloved Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent “Quisling” Nichols; but I smell a “fashionable” turn of phrase here – how can we be surprised if any kind of sin, even the worst, will be seen “not in terms of sin”? What is the concept of sin for, if not for the sin to be seen as such?
Growing up in the cofE, I can remember from a very young age being aware – thankfully not through personal experience – of Anglican clergy who had been allowed to quietly fall from grace because of ‘little boys’
(all emphases mine)
It would seem that this is not something suddenly exploded within the Church and before non-existent outside of Her.
And as an adult in the cofE, one continues to be aware on a slightly too regular basis of Anglican clergy who have been caught with child pornography on their computers or having been more directly involved in child sexual abuse.
This is not the golden past, this is the actual situation. Something the BBC never tells you anything about. Particularly if there’s a Pope coming, or some homo shouting “discrimination!”.
Limiting myself to my direct contemporaries at Anglican theological college, one has certainly been convicted of having child pornography on his computer and others have suffered directly and indirectly through Anglican clerical abuse. The one who has been caught is male, as most but not all abusers are, but also married (with children of his own) and is an enthusiast for women priests – so those who like to blame clerical abuse of children in the Catholic Church on priestly celibacy and negativity towards women need to think again, and stop using abuse to further other agendas.
This is very beautifully said. Abuse within the Anglican so-called church seems not to spare priestesses and to also affect married men with children. Oh well, this is the same that happens all over the world then! Very strange, I thought that in order to become a child abuser one had to have chosen celibacy…..
But the Anglican examples barely and only momentarily make the press, and – to throw the net wider – what about the widespread abuse of children and young people in secular care systems, and at the hands of the members of other caring professions where the breach of trust is surely every bit as heinous despite the fact the perpetrator does not wear a clerical collar?
Another very perceptive observation: not only are the Anglicans generally spared from the ire of the press, but for example the NHS seems to make headlines more for superbugs than for reasons related with their own people. The superbug allows the liberal press to attack the government at ease, the abuse issue would pose uncomfortable questions and demand a wider debate about the (homosexual) Catholic priest abuse issue, too.
The particular and real phenomenon of abuse by men who should never have been ordained as priests in the first place is being used: a) to distract us from the other many and varied forms of child abuse to which secular society continues to turn a blind eye; and b) as a generally useful and hefty stick with which to attempt to beat the Catholic Church into submission over other issues on which it and its teaching challenge secular society – such as describing homosexual inclination as a psychological and moral disorder.
Nothing to add here…..
…there is no excuse for using the abuse of children by particular Catholic priests to misdirect the attention of society away from its manifestation in institutions and contexts that are dear to the liberal heart but which haven’t shown anything like the same will as the Catholic Church now does to do something about child sexual abuse, and all because it doesn’t present a useful opportunity to bash the Pope.
…. or here.
A brilliant analysis. We should repeat these concepts and defend these arguments everytime the issue comes out among our friends and acquaintances either seriously misinformed or in the mood for an ego trip. In time, the wider public will start having a wider and more balanced perception of the problem.
This delicious snippet from the excellent “Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister” TV series (possibly the best TV series ever produced, certainly the favourite of Baroness Thatcher) is, as almost every word in this series, perceptive and profound whilst always managing to be suavely entertaining.
A quarter of a century after the episode, and with two of their three main actors going to their eternal (hopefully) reward, we can reflect that on the one hand the so-called church of England was already in an advanced state of decay and – more worryingly – that there is almost no sentence coming from the wise mind of Sir Humphrey (a hero of our times, and still underestimated…..) which could not – to an extent, if not always literally – be applied to the Catholic hierarchy here in Blighty.
“The word modernist is code for non-believer”
“When they stop believing in God they call themselves modernists”
“The c of England is primarily a social organisation, not a religious one”
“….significant religious events, like the Royal Garden Party”
” the Church is trying to be more relevant”. “To God?”. “No, of course not, Prime Minister!”
One listens to this refined dialogue and understands that it is not the fruit of parody or comic exaggeration, but acute and critical reflection of everyday reality. I would love to tell you that such devastating criticism does not apply to the men currently leading the Catholic church in England and Wales but if we are honest, this just doesn’t seem to be the case.
Say a prayer, if you want, for Nigel Hawthorne, the unforgettable “Sir Humphrey”. I do hope he managed to save his soul in the end.
Surfing around in Anglican pastures I have found an interesting article from Mr. Michael Gollop, an Anglican Vicar writing on a blog called The Anglo-Catholic.
The entry is very interesting because its author seems to guide the reluctant convert (and there must be many out there, torn between the fidelity to the church of their fathers and the growing, unpleasant awareness of ……. those fathers being actually wrong all the time) toward conversion in a way which is gentle and absolutely honest at the same time.
The main arguments of the author seem to me the following:
1) so-called Anglo-Catholicism has in the past been useful to maintain at least a part of Catholic thinking within Anglicanism, but this is now not the case anymore. He quotes the prophetic words of Cardinal Newman, that “the Nation drags down its Church to its own level…” . More than 100 years later, these words seem prophetic in a way that Newman would have considered not even possible, the so-called c of E of today not even Christian anymore.
2) It is an illusion to think that the process may be reversed. The so-called church of England is now firmly in the end of the liberals and this is not going to change. The liberals will soon finish to massacre its theology and whatever Christianity is going to remain in the form of rebel evangelical provinces is clearly not going to be after the taste of those with catholic tendencies.
3) The experience of the past brings the author to see what he sums up, again, with the words of Cardinal Newman. These words are charitable and hard at the same time (better said: they are charitable because they are hard):
“…and, unwilling as I am to give offence to religious Anglicans, I am bound to confess that I felt a great change in my view of the Church of England. I cannot tell how soon there came on me,—but very soon,—an extreme astonishment that I had ever imagined it to be a portion of the Catholic Church. For the first time, I looked at it from without, and (as I should myself say) saw it as it was. Forthwith I could not get myself to see in it any thing else, than what I had so long fearfully suspected, from as far back as 1836,—a mere national institution
This is so beautiful that I had to re-read it several times. Newman’s words leave in no doubt as to who is in error and he makes no mystery of his astonishment at having ever thought that he could be a Catholic whilst an Anglican. But his beautiful words also beautifully express the serenity now attained, the safe haven from which he sees his past errors but also knows that the he has now found Truth, and peace.
The truth is hard, but liberating. And the hard truth is that one can’t be Anglo-Catholic more than he could be Capitalo-Communist or Buddho-Christian. One thing excludes the other and the desire to remain in a place of comfortable illusion is now (providentially, I’d almost say) smashed under the ruins of the crumbling edifice of what is rapidly becoming the former so-called church of England.
Newman expresses this certainty with the usual lucidity, powerfully expressing the correct perception of Anglicanism born of the now acquired Truth. His words are hard, but they are serene. To every Anglican torn by doubts they must sound as a blow; but with a glimpse of the serenity to be found on the other side of the doubts and the promise of the serenity being attainable by him too, if he is but ready to take this merciful blow.
I wouldn’t want to have been one of the many conservative Anglicans probably looking at the Pope on TV, comparing him with their funny bearded muppet believing everything and its contrary and being suddenly struck by the acute and painful feeling that they belong to the wrong shop.
Still, the discomfort coming from such a realisation can lead to a future of safety and serenity in the Truth. The same serenity so beautifully expressed by Blessed John Henry Newman.
Another brilliant article by Stephen Glover on the Daily Mail.
Glover points out, with great clarity, to some striking facts:
1) Benedict’s authority eclipses Rowan Williams’
2) Irrespective of authority, Benedict has the guts to say things straight and Rowan Williams hasn’t.
3) There is a thirst for religious values. The coE can’t satisfy it. It doesn’t even want.
4) The atheist crowd has been silenced and exposed for what they are: haters. But they hate Benedict, not RW, because the latter is no threat at all.
Let us read some of the most striking passages of this eye-opening article.
“In a manner wholly unlike our home-grown clerics, the Pope spoke to the soul of our country, affirming eternal moral verities which our own political and religious leaders normally prefer to avoid”.
“Pope Benedict’s declarations over the past few days have been remarkable and, in modern Britain, virtually unprecedented”.
It is almost a shock to hear a religious leader speak in so blunt a way, so inured are we to our own religious leaders, particularly Church of England bishops, accommodating themselves to secular values.
(I would add here: Catholic bishops are not bad at accommodating secular values, either)
“The tragedy is that Dr Williams and Anglican bishops probably agree with almost everything Pope Benedict said about the dangers of secularism – and yet they do not have the courage, or whatever it takes, to say it”.
And whereas the Pope speaks clearly in English, which is his third or fourth language, Dr Williams often speaks opaquely or in riddles in the language that is his own.
(true.. 😉 ).
In his concluding address, Pope Benedict said that he had discovered ‘how deep a thirst there is among the British people for the good news of Jesus Christ’. He is right. And yet how often our national Church – the Church of England – fails to proclaim this good news.
In large parts of the Anglican Church there is a sense of defeatism in the face of the incoming tide of secularism, as congregations dwindle and parish churches close. But look at the young people in Hyde Park or those lining Princes Street in Edinburgh or those standing outside Westminster Cathedral. They yearn for the good news, and they invite moral certainty. Would it be too much to hope that Anglican bishops might learn something from the fearless commitment of the Pope?
Speaking of the aggressive anti-Catholic atheists, Glover writes:
Their foaming and often unbalanced denunciations of the Pope reveal their fear. They fear him because he adheres so strongly to traditional Christian teaching and champions principles they abhor. They fear him because the values he reiterates commend themselves to millions of people and, above all, to millions of young people. They do not trouble to vent their spite and vitriol on the Archbishop of Canterbury because Dr Williams has been so cowed by the forces of secularism that he no longer poses any threat to their bleak vision.
In invoking the heritage of our Christian past, and suggesting we might still have a principled Christian future, Benedict XVI has achieved more than the Church of England over many years. The lesson of the past few days is that Britain is not quite the deeply un-Christian country that the BBC and other parts of the media would have us believe.
Of course, Mr. Glover doesn’t get it completely right. He describes papal infallibility as “bizarre” and doesn’t even stop to reflect what be so “bizarre” in it, or to wonder whether he has perchance not just assisted to infallibility at work.
Still, this is a remarkably outspoken article making clear that the country can recover its values and that a courageous Pope, not the so-called church of England is the one able to do the job.
I imagine that a good part of the Daily Mail reader, whilst not Catholic, feel an instinctive sympathy not only for the courage of the man Benedict, but for the courage of an institution not ready to accommodate her principles to those of the world. One can only hope that in time, this vague perception may become in many a more profound feeling and identification with Christian values and the acknowledgment that those values cannot be adequately defended by imitations, but only by the Original.