Anglicans want to defect to Rome


#1

I am a life-long committed practicing catholic.

But I will be the first to speak against Anglicans defecting to Rome.

We are different in culture. Anglicansim is just to rich and diverse to risk re=alignment with Rome. It is my hope it will never happen


#2

Though I understand the concern- I am a bit dismayed that you wish against a protesting group rejoining the flock. Christ prayed for unity; and the Church, guided by God will not be harmed by even the most unorthodox of the Anglicans. Wouldn’t you agree?


#3

To the detriment of Catholicism or Anglicanism?


#4

Hi Sixtus, just what is it about Anglicans “defecting” to Rome that concerns you?

I’m a Catholic and believe that the full truth of our Lord exists only in the Catholic Church, however, I must disagree with your remark that Anglicans are to rich and diverse to risk re-alignment with Rome.

First, the Church is Catholic (meaning Universal), therefore all are called to the fullness of faith in the Church. From the very beginning, the mission of the Church was to bring the truth of Christ Jesus to all nations.

Look back at Church history and the Christianization which started in the Holy Land and spread throughout Europe. People of diverse backgounds and religions converted to the Catholic faith (everyone from Jew to Gentile), therefore what possible risk can there be to the Catholic Church if Anglicans decide to re-unite in full communion with Rome?

Are you suggesting that the Church may somehow be corrupted by Anglican influence? If so, I must remind you of the words of our Lord to St. Peter or first Pope. “And I say to you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)


#5

Too late, it’s already happened several times in the past. Perhaps you are not aware of the Roman Catholic “Anglican Use” parishes in the US? Several times over the last few years entire parishes have defected to the Catholic Church. They are allowed to use the Book of Divine Worship, which is the Anglican Book of Common Worship adapted for Catholic Use. Their priests are also allowed to remain married if they enter the Catholic priesthood, although they cannot remarry if their wife dies or get married once they are ordained (just as in Eastern Catholicism). Here’s a list of the US parishes that are Anglican Use currently (there may be more, I’m not sure):

* Congregation of St. Athanasius, Boston, Massachusetts
* St. Thomas More Society of St. Clare Church, Scranton, Pennsylvania
* St. Mary the Virgin, Arlington, Texas
* St. Anselm of Canterbury, Corpus Christi, Texas
* Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston, Texas
* Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio, Texas

Their websites have a tremendous amount of information about the histories of these individual parishes. The Catholic Book of Divine Worship is also available from several online booksellers.


#6

The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the situation this way: “Within the Catholic Church … Canonical rites, which are of equal dignity, enjoy the same rights, and are under the same obligations. Although the particular churches possess their own hierarchy, differ in liturgical and ecclesiastical discipline, and possess their own spiritual heritage, they are all entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in the Primacy.”

It is part of what makes the Church Universal, i.e. “Catholic”


#7

Excuse me?

This is bizarre. Either you are very confused or you really hate your separated brothers and sisters.

I could understand your having concerns about individual conversion which drains away the lifeblood of Anglicanism. But how could any serious Catholic possibly object to a corporate reunion?

Edwin


#8

"That they all may be one."
I hope they decide for Rome. I welcome them.


#9

Indeed! I nearly soiled myself when I read the news! I’d rather have ourselves be in a pickle when we’re in communion with each other rather than when we’re not. One foot at a time.


#10

And I am hoping that it will happen. :smiley:


#11

Satan Hates Real Ecumenism.


#12

The Church has a noble history in the British Isles, the land of my ancestors. That this noble Church was despoiled and violated by Henry VIII and his lust for power was a tragedy that will be repaired by this return of the true Anglican Church to it’s rightful home. As to the rest of the “anglican” church, it’s course will most likely be that of other liberal, dying churches, splintering into ever-smaller heretical divisions. I will pray fervently that this return to the fold will happen with all speed. Deo Gratias!


#13

I always thought it was what we strove for, complete communion.

What a day when we can all be one.

Almighty God, help our spiritual leaders at this time to make the right decision.


#14

What are the theological implications for Anglicans in all of this?

I currently attend a low-church Evangelical Calvinistic Anglican church, I’m sure Rome won’t take us as we are?

God Bless,
Rev


#15

Actually the Catholic Church, with its various rites under the headship of the Pope is far more diverse than you might think, yet all are united under the headship of the Pope, so I don’t see the problem here. Besides, it is the nature and mission of the Church to welcome back and embrace those which had been separated from her communion. It is what she must do. Why must you oppose it?


#16

Forwarded an article on this topic to a priest friend and this was his response:

Yeah, it’s already old news. To date, {an Anglican/ Catholic reunification} is not official and therefore potentially unreliable in its witness.

That said, there are a host of “minor issues” that would need serious address before such a thing came into being.

  1. What to do with married Bishops. The only Anglican Bishop to date who crossed the Tiber accepted the loss of his Crosier as worthy of the crossing.

  2. What to do with invalidity of orders. Of course, the Holy Father could, in theory, determine by virtue of his office that those who submitted to Rome would by some mechanism, not excluding the possibility of ex opere operato in their making the submission, that their orders would become valid, although the more likely scenario would require the interventions of local ordinaries in passing on apostolic succession.

  3. What to do with the Anglican propinquity for doctrinal and liturgical slipperiness. Doesn’t the Church have enough trouble with recalcitrant Catholic Bishops, clergy and non-juring laity? What we don’t have enough nut-jobs as it is; we need to import more? (Of course, the Anglicans would know what wine to serve with their heresy, something liberal Catholics seem to be incapable of determining.)

  4. What to do with the various BCP’s that each and all would require a massive overhauling to bring into conformity with orthodox Christian belief and practice? This would invariably include the necessity of excising such great Anglican witnesses of saintliness from the Lesser Feasts and Fasts books as Gandhi, etc…

  5. It strikes me as highly improbable that all those low church evangelical Anglicans would willingly put a toe in the Tiber, even if the bank on which they were standing were burning. These are the kinds of people who misguidedly think the Orthodox Church would be the better path. Ten years later, they’re eating kasha and swilling vodka while trying to convince anyone who’ll listen that their great-granddaddy really did play the balalaika at the Battle of Bull Run.

  6. What to do about female ministers? I just can’t see all of the lady priestesses heading for the cloister or willingly laying aside their tailor-made clergy blouses.

  7. What to do with all those French-speaking Latin-idolatrous Traditionalists who insist that the Vatican Council never abrogated the older Mass and that the Pauline Mass is invalid… Oh, heh heh, 'scuse me. Different rant…

  8. What would such a meeting mean for the Anglican/Lutheran accords? If we take back the Anglicans, do we have to take the Lutherans too? Would that mean that the Presbyterians and Methodists were next in line? Of course, the Presbyterians probably know that this is bound to happen.

  9. What to do with all that property. You know, all those Churches that still look ‘churchy’ and would need a massively modernist overhauling to make them look like surreal cubist warehouses praising man’s ability to make even the sublime appear ugly, morbid and spiritually squalid.

  10. What to do about the Bible. These Anglicans don’t even have the whole Old Testament.

BTW I jumped the Tiber 15 years ago from Anglicanism. . .


#17

My guess would be some sort of limited extension of the Pastoral Provision to allow for these Bishops to remain married, but no provision for future married Bishops.

  1. What to do with invalidity of orders.

www.pastoralprovision.org

  1. What to do with the Anglican propinquity for doctrinal and liturgical slipperiness. Doesn’t the Church have enough trouble with recalcitrant Catholic Bishops, clergy and non-juring laity? What we don’t have enough nut-jobs as it is; we need to import more?

This is one of the things that prevents a lot of ecumenical advancement with the Continuing Anglican groups. A number of them are very catholic minded, but there are some personal issues with their leadership.

  1. What to do with the various BCP’s that each and all would require a massive overhauling to bring into conformity with orthodox Christian belief and practice?

Already done. Google the Book of Divine Worship or check out Our Lady of Walsingham’s (Houston) website

  1. It strikes me as highly improbable that all those low church evangelical Anglicans would willingly put a toe in the Tiber, even if the bank on which they were standing were burning.

you’re dead on. For the most part, the conservative Anglicans are low church evangelicals who, if they left Anglicanism, would more likely become Lutherans or Presbyterians than Catholics or Orthodox. Anticatholicism is alive and well within the Anglican world.

  1. What to do about female ministers? I just can’t see all of the lady priestesses heading for the cloister or willingly laying aside their tailor-made clergy blouses.

Obviously, they’d have to renounce their orders and accept the Church’s teachings on the male-only Priesthood. Some would likely join religious orders, most wouldn’t even bother with an “institutionally sexist” church like the Catholic Church. :rolleyes:

  1. What to do with all those French-speaking Latin-idolatrous Traditionalists who insist that the Vatican Council never abrogated the older Mass and that the Pauline Mass is invalid… Oh, heh heh, 'scuse me. Different rant…

heh… same problem as the loony heretics, just the opposite end of the spectrum, IMO :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. What would such a meeting mean for the Anglican/Lutheran accords? If we take back the Anglicans, do we have to take the Lutherans too? Would that mean that the Presbyterians and Methodists were next in line? Of course, the Presbyterians probably know that this is bound to happen.

I believe the Pastoral Provision has been utilized to bring a few Lutheran pastors into the Church as well. Theologically there’s not an enormous difference between catholic minded Anglicans and catholic minded Lutherans, so what’s good for the goose… :thumbsup:

  1. What to do with all that property. You know, all those Churches that still look ‘churchy’ and would need a massively modernist overhauling to make them look like surreal cubist warehouses praising man’s ability to make even the sublime appear ugly, morbid and spiritually squalid.

Well, depends on the size of the group converting. A parish or two may take their property with them. Larger groups would be better off leaving the property, or risk the Episcopal Lawyer Brigade coming down on their heads. In any case, wreckovation wouldn’t be much of a problem, as Anglocatholics generally have great taste in art, architecture, and liturgy. Again, check out some of the Pastoral Provision churches’ websites!

  1. What to do about the Bible. These Anglicans don’t even have the whole Old Testament.

Yeah, they’ll have a bit of homework to do… catch up reading and all that. So do most Catholics in the US! :wink:

BTW I jumped the Tiber 15 years ago from Anglicanism. . .

it’s been 2 years for me, and I haven’t looked back…


#18

That is an interesting question. Since there were married bishops in the early Church, I would hope that once-married bishops could be accepted as part of a corporate reunion. Divorced and remarried bishops, of course, would have to resign.

  1. What to do with invalidity of orders. Of course, the Holy Father could, in theory, determine by virtue of his office that those who submitted to Rome would by some mechanism, not excluding the possibility of ex opere operato in their making the submission, that their orders would become valid, although the more likely scenario would require the interventions of local ordinaries in passing on apostolic succession.

I think that proper Christian humility would dictate that Anglican clergy should be willing to submit to *conditional *reordination.

  1. What to do with the Anglican propinquity for doctrinal and liturgical slipperiness.

I think the only Anglicans who would go along with a reunion would be those who are fed up with this. Of course, I think that much of the Catholicism expressed on this board is a Catholic version of fundamentalism and could use a bit of nuancing, so we no doubt have different perspectives on what is slipperiness and what is just thoughtful orthodoxy.

  1. What to do with the various BCP’s that each and all would require a massive overhauling to bring into conformity with orthodox Christian belief and practice?

Could you give some examples (besides the issue you mention below)? For instance, could you tell me what is heretical about Eucharistic Prayer A in Rite II of the 1979 American BCP? I can see how you could think it was insufficient, but I can’t off the top of my head think of anything in it that contradicts Catholic doctrine.

Of course, the Book of Divine Worship used by the Anglican Use Catholics in the U.S. is the 1979 BCP–the Eucharistic prayers have been replaced by the standard Latin-Rite Catholic ones, but otherwise I believe only minor tweaking was necessary. Certainly this would be a starting point for an American Anglican-Rite Catholic liturgy, although the final product might look different (I tend to think, as I said above, that our Eucharistic prayers are basically orthodox although some stronger language would be desirable).

This would invariably include the necessity of excising such great Anglican witnesses of saintliness from the Lesser Feasts and Fasts books as Gandhi, etc.

I do not have a copy of LFF at hand, but I am pretty confident that no non-Christians are included. It’s conceivable that other provinces may have a different practice here–actually my criticism of the Episcopalian calendar is that it includes no post-Reformation saints who are not Anglican–in fact most of them are specifically Episcopalian. The CoE’s calendar is broader here but I didn’t think it included non-Christians. Also bear in mind that our calendar does not claim to list people who are officially saints, but simply people who are worthy of remembrance.

However, you’re right that this would be a sticking point. I myself find the English practice of commemorating people from various Christian traditions to be highly admirable, and in fact it’s one of the things that keeps me Anglican. As the Pope himself said, any true ecumenism must not ask us to renounce our own heritage. When it comes to something like venerating both William Tyndale and Thomas More (one of the things I most like about the current CofE calendar), I can see how this would be a problem for reunion. But it’s actually one of the things I’d be most inclined to fight for.

Perhaps the solution would be to allow us to continue to commemorate members of our own particular tradition as we have been doing, while making a clear distinction between them and canonized saints. In fact we already do this to some extent–it’s just that we don’t have any canonized saints after the Reformation except for the highly dubious instance of St. Charles, King and Martyr, whom I personally would gladly give up and who isn’t mentioned in the official American calendar anyway!


#19
  1. It strikes me as highly improbable that all those low church evangelical Anglicans would willingly put a toe in the Tiber, even if the bank on which they were standing were burning. These are the kinds of people who misguidedly think the Orthodox Church would be the better path.

This indicates just how confusing the phrase “low church evangelical Anglicans” is. The sort of low-church Anglicans who wouldn’t put a toe in the Tiber on any account wouldn’t become Orthodox either. The sort who would become Orthodox could conceivably be persuaded to become Catholic. Most of the converts to Orthodoxy from Anglicanism that I know about were Anglo-Catholics.

There are three main groups of evangelical Anglicans, it seems to me.

  1. The old-fashioned Calvinist sort. They are unlikely to go along with any reunion. But no reunion is going to include everyone who is currently an Anglican. That’s not a realistic prospect.

  2. The charismatics. They have a lot of common ground with charismatic Catholics, and while they’d have a lot to adjust to in a union with Catholicism, I think a lot of them would go along. At least that would be the case in the U.S., where charismatics choose to be Episcopalian because they want liturgy, tradition, etc. In England I think there are more straightforward low-church charismatics. This brings me to the third group, which may be primarily an American phenomenon:

  3. The “high-church evangelicals.” Many, but not all of these, are also charismatics (I am in this group, and I’m not really a charismatic, though in an Anglican or Catholic context I have a lot in common with charismatics and have had at least one rather charismatic experience). These are people who choose to be Episcopalian precisely so that they can be both evangelical and liturgical. Many of us started out to be Catholic and settled for Anglicanism for one reason or another. Many of us long with all our hearts for Christian reunion. This is also the group (among evangelicals) most likely to choose Orthodoxy.

  1. What to do about female ministers? I just can’t see all of the lady priestesses heading for the cloister or willingly laying aside their tailor-made clergy blouses.

Your rudeness and sarcasm are unbecoming and unhelpful–one of the things that most discredits the conservative position on women’s ordination is the near-impossibility that conservatives (particularly ex-Anglicans) seem to find in speaking of female clergy with even a modicum of dignity and courtesy, not to speak of Christian charity. There is something wrong about any theological point of view that inspires this kind of petty nastiness.

That being said, you still raise a valid point. This is probably the biggest practical obstacle to reunion currently–and indeed, had I been an adult Episcopalian when the issue was being debated (I was neither at the time!), I would have opposed female clergy for that reason and almost only for that reason (there is also the issue of tradition, but I accept the Papacy as the primary guardian of tradition–if the Pope sanctioned women’s ordination I would have no qualms about it). I find the theological arguments against women’s ordination to be incredibly weak and specious, so I have no problem accepting women’s ordination as a fait accompli. But I know that I am fallible and that Anglicanism as a whole is fallible. It’s possible that we supporters of women’s ordination are all blinded by our culture and that either the arguments against WO are much stronger than I think they are or that there are better arguments that have not yet been advanced. However, I’m unusual in my position–most supporters of women’s ordination are absolutely convinced that they are right.

  1. What would such a meeting mean for the Anglican/Lutheran accords? If we take back the Anglicans, do we have to take the Lutherans too? Would that mean that the Presbyterians and Methodists were next in line?

Assuming that reunion was based on a genuine agreement on matters of dogma, why would you have a problem with this? Don’t you *want *reunion with all Christians?

Of course, if Anglicans chose to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, then that would break our current relationships with the Lutherans unless the Lutherans chose to come along too. And given the difficulty we Episcopalians found in getting the Lutherans to accept the historic episcopate, I think the chances of ELCA and its analogues going into a union with Rome any time soon are very small. But of course, the Times to the contrary, our premise of a corporate reunion between Anglicans and Catholics is also very unlikely and remote.


#20
  1. What to do about the Bible. These Anglicans don’t even have the whole Old Testament.

BTW I jumped the Tiber 15 years ago from Anglicanism. . .

Well, either your memory is rusty over 15 years or you belonged to some particularly low-church part of the Communion. All the Anglicans I know use the deuterocanonical books liturgically. We would no doubt have to agree that they are fully inspired, but we would not need to start *using *them as Scripture–we never stopped!

Edwin


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