Andrew at Shrine of the Holy Whapping reports more about what the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion recently said.
We have no doctrinal differences with Rome which would keep us from being in full communion with each other. The climate is brewing for the Traditional Anglican Communion to be the 27th ecclesial group accepted into communion with Rome and the first church touched by the Reformation to do so.
How can this be true? Especially after the progressive prophet Gene Robinson recently said:
Bishop Robinson said: "We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the church.
"Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church."
Well to give him his due maybe he was being prophetic like the High Priest Kaifa when he said, “it is better that one man die and the whole people
do not perish.” They both had no idea that the actual truth of the their words had nothing to do with what they meant.
Truly Pope Benedict may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church if his papacy provides an example for more to cross the Tiber. Though Gene Robinson is doing his part to remind those swimmers that when they see Bishop Robinson on the bank of the river that turning back is not an option. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger in his book "Introduction to Christianity" when talking about the Monarchians and Modalists that there arguments helped to lead to a correct conception of God and said in this case even "error was fruitful." Here’s to hoping the errors of Gene Robinson and others will be fruitful, especially in regards to Church unity.
I look forward to seeing more great Anglican-rite Catholic parishes like Our Lady of the Atonement!
How seriously can we take Gene Robinson if he thinks our Pope is called “Pope Ratzinger?
Is this what passes for thoughtful commentary in the Episcopal Church?
This group is separate from the actual Anglican Communion. They are a breakaway group, so are not in communion with Gene Robinson in any way. Most of them left official Anglicanism back in the 70s due to changes in the Book of Common Prayer and women’s “ordination.” They woke up and smelled the liberal Protestant coffee long before Gene Robinson.
As so-called “Anglo-Catholics” most in the Traditional Anglican Communion probably do believe all or nearly all that the Catholic Church teaches. As a former Anglican turned Catholic myself, I hope the Pope works hard to bring people like them into the Church of Christ. Liturgically, theologically, and morally, they would generally be assets.
Jonathan, I’ve read a few things by Anglo-Catholics and I just LOVE ’em, but I’m confused about the big hold-up. I’m not understanding why they need a meeting with Pope Benedict. Step 1: join an RCIA class. Step 2: receive the Sacraments of Confession, Holy Eucharist, and then get Confirmed. Step 3: big dinner at my house after their first Mass.
I read somewhere that some Anglican priests felt that it was improper of them to “cross the Tiber” without taking their whole congregation with them since they are responsible for them. Is this the case?
If Gene Robinson’s Episcopal Church drains the Roman Catholic Church of VOTF types, then “Pope Ratzinger” would’ve been the best thing to happen to the Catholic Church as well.
As a former Episcopalian I find this interesting. I converted to escape all the moral nonsense in the EC: “make up your own 10 commandments”, its okay to use contraception, abortion…” I can see how the Church’s high moral stance could encourage liberal types to go the other way.
Please, if all the libs who don’t believe RC teaching would leave then those left would not have to fight the dissent from inside but could focus on converting those outside to the true Church. (but let us be serious,Teddy Kennedy and such get a lot of their power from being Catholic, even though they don’t believe much/any of it.)
If you’re going to criticize, please take the time to fact-check first.
The Traditional Anglican Communion has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Gene Robinson and ECUSA. It is an independent jurisdiction not in communion with ECUSA, and whose origins came about in the late 70’s as orthodox members of ECUSA started leaving over the issues of women’s ordination and revisionist changes made in the prayer book, which opened the door to further doctrinal abuse (as is now happening). The TAC, and many of the groups in what is called ‘the Continuum’ (churches that broke away from ECUSA to ‘continue’ in the orthodox/traditional ways) have been discussing some kind of association with Rome for many years now. Gene Robinson has nothing to do with this development – although he has, undoubtedly, spurred many of those still in ECUSA who have orthodox principles to head for the RC Church.
For you to imply that Gene Robinson has any association or bearing on the TAC is a major misstatement of the facts. A simple Google of ‘TAC’ would have provided all the necessary background information.
As for Teresa’s comment –
I guess you feel that it’s pretty easy for Anglo-Catholics to casually say that their marriages are invalid and no communion they ever received was real – in effect, they’ve never gone to church. Their clergy weren’t clergy – it was all just pretend. Because that’s what they have to do in order to go to Rome in good conscience. For you, perhaps that’s the kind of thing that is simple and requires no effort. For others, it means denying that they have ever practiced the Christian faith, and losing their entire spiritual past – something that isn’t quite as easy as your (rather condescending, IMO) Step 1, Step 2, Step 3.
As a dear friend of ours said when the Anglican use parishes began to come into being, “That’s my kind of ecumenism – surrender.”
Joey – So they need their hands held. Does it have to be by the Pope? Not that I have any objection to the Holy Father’s meeting whom he thinks it right to meet, but to ask him to get together with every potential convert would tie things up rather. There’s no way for Anglicans to be Catholics without coming to grips with the fact that it has all been just pretend. (The exception is marriage. A marriage which is not invalid by another cause, such as the existence of a still-living spouse or other impediment, is assumed to be valid if it is undertaken in the proper manner and witnessed by a Chrictian minister. An Anglican cleric isn’t an ordained priest, but he is certainly a Christian minister.) Fact are facts; its being painful to accept them doesn’t change either the fact itself or the responsibility to act on it. Anglicanism only exists because one colossal egoist who happened to be king couldn’t accept the fact that he had no son, and there was nothing beyond prayer that he could do to change that fact. The silly gup put his country through all that bloodshed and agony in order to avoid being succeeded by a daughter, when he ended up being succeeded by a daughter anyway, except that she was a) illegitimate and b) as common as muck. Great example to follow.
I didn’t suggest the Pope hold anyone’s hand. What I did suggest was that attitudes such as yours, which smugly say ‘get over it – we’re the one true Church, and relegating your entire religious past to the trash heap can be done in just two minutes with our patented Roman Catholic faith’ are not exactly helpful. It’s almost as if Anglicans are singled out with a special degree of enmity – ‘How dare you have the nerve to think that just because you were born and raised in some church, that could possibly matter?’ I suspect that those who grew up in RC households feel that their upbringing in the church was important; why should others be treated differently?
And at least in RC dioceses that I’m aware of, all non-RC marriages must be regularized when a couple enters the church That may be a policy of the Bishop in those Dioceses, but it still exists. Also, should only either husband or wife convert, any children are considered illegitimate – correct?
The message you are sending to Anglo-Catholics is “you guys are a bunch of fraidy-cat, stupid, ignorant frauds in a sham of a church who don’t even have the common sense to see that you’re stupid.” Somehow, that doesn’t exactly seem like Mother Church extending a welcoming hand – more like saying ‘time for a spanking’.
The only marriages that should need to be regularized is if the person who is converting is already married to a Catholic, who was Catholic at the time of the marriage and they married outside the Church without without permission. Someone who is divorced and remarried will also need to seek a decree of nullity prior to converting. Otherwise, the Catholic Church presumes all marriages are valid, assuming the parties are free to marry. And the children would be legitimate, ane continue to be legitamate, even if only one parent converted.
The objections you raise to Elinor apply not only to Anglicans, but are things that every convert has to go through. And yet people come in droves. Most converts I’ve spoken to do not feel as though they had to “throw their religious past in the trash heap.” They recognized their conversion as coming into the fullness of the Christian faith which they already largely held.
when I crossed over to Rome in 1973, my Anglican baptism was recognized as valid, but not my Anglican confirmation. And it makes sense, because of the loss of Apostolic succession for the majority of Anglican clergy.
Joey W., I’m sorry if I sounded condescending, and I really DO love Anglo-Catholics.
If Anglicans feel like Catholics are not as eager to get them as they deserve, that may in part explain why we aren’t. Neither does the perpetual inter-Anglican threat – “If you do that (ordain women, consecrate sodomitical bishops, whatever), I’ll go over to Rome!” gratify Catholics as much as its speakers appear to expect. Possibly the only time on record when I ever wholeheartedly agreed with the late Cardinal Hume was when he told C of E clergy who were aghast at the prospect of women’s ordination that they’d be welcome in the Church if they approached it in a proper spirit. If, however, they regarded it merely as being pressed upon the last desperate extremity of martyrdom, they could go peddle their papers elsewhere. It’s rather embarrassing to have to point this out, but Anglicanism does not, in fact, enjoy Most Favored Denomination status when it comes to conversion. People who come into the Church ought to do so because they understand that it is the True Church, and not because their current ecclesiastical arrangements no longer meet their spiritual needs.
(my last post, btw)
Again, I don’t understand. I don’t recall saying or implying that Anglicans be granted most favored status for conversions. The (RC) conversion requirements for someone in the Episcopal church are admittedly the same as they are for a Southern Baptist. The difference is that the Baptist comes from a non-sacramental church (and the first one that screams about invalid sacraments here misses the point) and leaves behind a preacher; the Episcopalian has to deal with communion, confirmation, ordained clergy, etc. That makes it a more complex process, and one which reaches much more deeply into the soul. From your perspective, it’s not one which should be given any preference over others – but I would hope that a person with some degree of compassion could see that it is one which needs to be recognized as being different, because it is different.
Most of the sentiment expressed here has only served to demonstrate that perhaps the Anglo-Catholic desire to seek uniate status is way off base – in spite of what the Vatican may decree, there would be no acceptance of Anglicans as legitimate Catholics. I consider it appropriate to forward a copy of this thread to the offices of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Reformed Episcopal Church, Anglican Catholic Church, Anglican Church Network, and Anglican Mission in America. They may well want to know what the ‘average’ person in the RC pews thinks about Anglicans before signing on the dotted line. (In fact, based on what’s been said here, the ARCIC talks of the past many decades – officially sanctioned by the Popes – have been pointless, and may as well be terminated. But perhaps you folks know better than any Pope…………..)
I personally took the route you described. Well, generally speaking. I always wanted to be Catholic and for awhile felt I could do that in Anglicanism. However, the more I read, studied, and observed, I came to the conclusion (much like Newman’s process actually) that being Catholic meant being in the Catholic Church. So, I wasn’t going to jeapordize my eternal salvation by waiting for an Episcopal congregation to go over as a group.
However, some of these groups want to preserve their unique liturgies, customs, etc. While I am symphathetic to those aims, I think it can be a bit spiritually dangerous to believe the Catholic Church is the true Church and yet remain outside of her.
I also might add that I was treated with the greatest respect coming over as an Anglican. Because of my background (religious academic, Anglo-Catholic), I did not have to do RCIA. So, my pastor recognized all Protestant denominations aren’t equal. I just read the catechism, met with my pastor, and was quietly received/confirmed. Although Anglicanism is deficient, nonetheless, personally speaking, Anglicanism prepared me for Catholicism and for that I’m grateful. I don’t disown my past, but recognize, whatever the limitations, it brought me where I am today.
I think that what’s being missed is that even before Henry VIII there was a strong national flavor to Roman Catholicism in England. Anglicans have managed to keep a beautiful liturgy while those of the Latin Rite in the Roman Catholic Church have one that borders on (f)ugly by comparison. Why is it that those in the Eastern Rite were granted uniate status, but those of a proposed Anglican Rite would be denied? The only answers I’ve heard have been along the lines of “that’ll show ’em for being part of a church that dared challenge us back when we were still making fools of ourselves!” The RCC wasn’t exactly in its finest hour when the Church of England broke off. Traditionalist Anglicans aren’t asking to have the fatted cow slaughtered for them and flowers strewn before them like some Cardinal visiting a faraway village; they’re simply asking that a place be arranged for them where they can worship in unity with the See of Rome within their own liturgical tradition.