Resolve only strengthened after leaving Anglicanism

So earlier today I emailed my former mentor and confidant finally telling him that I am leaving Anglicanism (officially) here is the transcript, which I am actually surprised and a little hurt about.

Hi Father,

I’m glad that your on the up and up! As of now, I am very busy with courses at VIU, so any help I can offer would have to be of a small amount.

Everything is going quite well with me, I am enjoying my courses, especially psychology.

I suppose now would be the time to let you know that I have made the decision to go over to the Catholic (Roman Rite) Church. This decision only came after much deliberation and study of conscience on my part. I should stress that it is no way a ‘snub’ of my Anglican heritage, and in fact, I will quite miss Anglican liturgy (Vatican II is quite lacking in the liturgical department, even to the point that Cardinal Ratzinger believes it is deteriorating the Church spiritually). However, Rome offers a set of doctrine that appeals to me both spiritually and intellectually. It’s too much to delve into over an email, and I will come visit you during spring break in Victoria. You should be confident though that the parish of St. Edward the Confessor has taken me in quite lovingly, and I am under the Formation of Fr. Alfredo Monacelli; I hope for you to meet him some day, so I can show him who guided me back into God’s grace.

I do still pray for the parish of St. Mark’s. I look forward to hearing back from you.

In Christ,

James

Reply:

Dear James:
This is a surprise, and I can only wish you well and pray that you have a good and holy life ahead for you. No, you are choosing, not snubbing; but you must be aware that the choice does involve denying the validity of the ministry of Anglican bishops, priests, and deacons. However, I am sure that is not your motivating thought, and I trust you will gain much from your new association.
In Christ,
Father Stan

This is from a man I have known all my life, so it may seem not so shocking to you, but it’s outright cold considering who it is.

Thoughts?

Dear James,

Have you checked to see if there are any Ordinariate parishes for former Anglicans in your area?

If so, then you can continue to have much of the Anglican Patrimony and in my opinion a much richer liturgy, coming from an Anglo Catholic background myself, I did miss much of the liturgical richness. Although I do attend both an Ordinariate parish and a very traditional Latin Rite parish, I guess I am lucky to have both.

God bless you in your journey. Try not to take your former pastor’s response personally, as those of us who have crossed the Tiber over the past many years have gotten not only coldness, but much hostility from former Anglicans and also some from Catholics who really have no idea what the Ordinariate is or means.

We must follow the Holy Spirit when it comes to our spiritual life, not other people’s opinions or attitudes.

Welcome home.

God Bless

Bernadette

It doesn’t seem too cold really under the circumstances. As Newman said, it’s a parting of friends. But it is hard on all I agree. God speed on your new life, and welcome home! :thumbsup:

Well, as you say, we don’t know him and you do, so I can see how it might seem cold (in itself it’s a fairly gracious note).

The consideration he raises is a serious one, and is one of the things that has kept me back. It isn’t so much that I find Rome’s reasons insufficient (I question the difference between their attitude to ordination and their attitude to baptism, but there’s no denying that a real break happened and that late-16th-century Anglicans saw themselves as Protestants) but that I know I have received grace in Anglicanism and find it hard to turn my back on that grace. A personal issue for me is that my wife is in the ordination process, so I’m giving up ever receiving communion from her (yes, I personally find the arguments for women’s ordination convincing, though I am willing to submit to the Church as part of becoming Catholic).

Our bishop knows that I’ve been considering this and he has been very gracious about it–I don’t think my conversion will hurt my wife’s ability to be ordained, which is one of the things I’ve been worried about (as my wife points out, our rector back in New Jersey was married to a non-Christian).

But there’s always some hurt and regret involved on the side of those who remain Anglican.

Edwin

If all this happened just today, then his response came very quickly – without him taking several days to sort of come to grips with it. Since he is an Anglican priest and a longtime acquaintance, it probably came as a total shock to him and hurt since the Anglican faith means so much to him that he made it his vocation.

I said “hurt” because I see the possibility of it in the statement he made about “denying the validity of the ministry of Anglican bishops, priests, and deacons.” Since the Catholic Church rejects the validity of the Sacrament of Orders in the Anglican Church, he may see your conversion as a rejection of him – and that would “hurt”.

So my thoughts are:
now it’s important for you to be charitable and resist feeling angry and hurt by his e-mail.

a couple of thoughts with both letters. I think the Anglican priest was probably hurt by your decision to leave especially since you have known him all of his life and yes, by leaving and becoming Roman Catholic, that does say that you are accepting what the Roman Catholic church teaches about Anglican which is that their communion and priest hood is not valid since they broke away under Henry VII. Maybe it is just me, but I am not sure why you felt the need to write and send a letter to this Anglican Priest to tell them you are leaving. Leaving another Christian community for Roman Catholic Church can be difficult to those that previously ministered to you. In some way, they may feel like they failed you or not good enough. I don’t think you meant it that way but I think if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t have sent that letter and let it be and if you ran into him or others, you can then tell them where you are at and why.

I thought his response was ok considering the situation.

Every once in a while there is a post here in which a new convert wants to tell all their friends from the previous church about their conversion with the expectation they will be as excited about the situation as the convert. Generally speaking, a faith which is being left, will not be thrilled that someone has decided their doctrine, belief, practice is not as worthy to that person as the new belief system. It’s just human nature, and even more so for clergy who have spent a decade or so between personal discernment, formal discernment, schooling and a lot of personal trial to get through the process to which they have dedicated their life.

Think of it this way. If someone came on this forum and stated they were leaving Rome to go to Evangelical Protestantism, what do you think the responses would be like?

I’m glad you found the faith you feel is true. I, like your Priest, wish you luck in it. But if your feelings are hurt by others not being excited about your conversion you might want to keep the news to those of the church you are going to.

PAX.

I don’t know, James–to me it seems as though he kind of honored you. In one sense he’s simply repeating a bare fact: in converting to Catholicism, you will be agreeing to deny the validity of Anglican orders. And so by extension, he may feel you’re agreeing to dismiss the genuineness of his ministry to you. If some feeling like that is involved, I think he did you an honor in perhaps indicating that he’s unsettled by your news. Sometimes people act like a conversion is no big deal, and they’re afraid to honestly tell the person who is leaving how they feel about that departure. You are feel to go where you believe you need to go; but likewise amidst your friendship with him, your Anglican mentor should be free to express (somehow) that he’s troubled.

If your relationship with him started when you were much younger, maybe it still seems to you that most of the power in the relationship is on his side, and now it feels to you like he’s coldly reprimanding you as your superior. But from his perspective, maybe he realizes you’ve grown up and it’s more of a equal relationship, and he’s letting you see he’s hurt. I don’t know…I don’t know either of you.

“Thoughts?”

Your email is MORE insulting than his, and you’re hurt!!

Then you post it here inviting ‘thoughts’ which in essence are critiques of his side - whilst he is absent and unable to defend or elaborate his own reply?!?!

C’mon James!
Charity and Love; charity and Love; charity; LOVE!

My assessment MAY NOT be your intentions with this thread, but as you can see, it is one of the possible interpretations available to an observer,like me!

:cool:

James, while I don’t think you were insulting, you posted a private email on a public site, using your country’s name, the city name, Anglican parish’s name, and Anglican priest’s name…not a great idea.

Getting back to the content of the reply, some years ago on another forum we got into a discussion about the “realness” of Protestant sacraments (other than baptism). The Catholic moderator said, yes, Catholic belief is that they are not valid, but as far as whether or not God chooses to impart grace through them, “we do not know”. I think most people at CAF would insist that, for example, an Anglican Eucharist is just bread and wine; but this Catholic moderator was basically saying “We can’t say that definitively, we do not know.”

James,

I’m happy to have the opportunity to reply to you.

I also am a convert. I came into the Catholic church last Easter. The fact is that most other Christian denominations are offended by Catholicism. Its not so much that they feel threatened but they must resent us to a degree because Catholicism must NOT be true if they are to justify the existence of their denomination. Ministers from these others feel a slap in the face when one of their parishioners goes to Catholicism.

I’m a music teacher. When a student quits I (as much as I may have valued the student intellectually and personally) I usually shrug my shoulders and stop thinking about them. I’m no longer any use to them and my thoughts move on to other things. This may be what is happening with your Anglican Priest. He’s shrugging his shoulders and cutting his losses with you. I’ve said this quite bluntly but remember that he’s just living his life, focusing on his congregation, of which you are no longer part. He’s probably not really dwelling on your personal decisions very much.

Is this really needed? How is it important to the conversation you had with the Father Stan or to the the subject of this thread?

And why are you posting a private conversation on a public forum? Did you tell Father Stan that you would be posting his response to the most visited Catholic website in the world?

What is the point of this thread? To complain that your feelings were hurt? To insult the normative form of the Mass given to us by the Church you are joining?

You asked what our thoughts were. I question the judgement of posting this here.

-Tim-

At the risk of a slight excursion away from the subject, I don’t think this was what the moderator meant.

I am not privy to the entire exchange, but the way I read what you wrote, I think the moderator was saying that God can give a measure of grace even through bread and wine, the natural elements, alone. NOT by any stretch of the imagination anything like the Grace offered by his Son’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, but a small measure of grace nonetheless.

Congratulations James for the move, and by this move you become closer to Christ and better able to pray for Fr. Stan and the parisheners. You responded to the call and that is what Jesus desired, and whatever else happens is beside the point, for Jesus said come, and you came.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

I have to agree with the general tone of this thread: it’s highly improper for you to post a private communication on a public forum without granting the author any recourse.

Also, this Anglican priest has done nothing more than state a matter of fact: At your Catholic confirmation you will make a public profession of faith in everything the Catholic Church teaches, including but not limited to the lack of validity in Anglican ordination.

Thoughts? I think you should politely request that a moderator delete this thread.

I disagree … he could solicit the moderator to change or somehow obfuscate the names without deleting things altogether.

James,

Being Catholic means accepting the Truth. The whole Truth. That’s what the word means: the whole teaching. From the Greek, it means the whole “holos” of the teaching “kath.”

Interestingly it can be translated two different ways. It means both the “whole teaching” and the “teaching of the whole.” These 2 definitions don’t contradict each other, they complement each other.

So again, being Catholic means accepting the whole teaching, the whole truth. All of it. Even those parts that might be inconvenient or difficult. It means accepting the truth, even though some people who you sincerely count among your friends might not share that truth. Truth is not relative. It does not change just because a friend does not yet recognize that truth.

Your friend is obviously not yet at the point of accepting the truth that valid apostolic succession is necessary for ordination. He might think that he does, but only because he does not yet fully understand what that means.

Pray for your friend. Indeed, pray with your friend. Support him. Encourage him. Guide him.

It seems that he has been your guide for many years. Perhaps now is your opportunity to return the favor.

Also, you might want to visit St Columba’s Church in Victoria. It’s hardly “walking distance” but it’s the closest Anglican Ordinariate parish to the VIU campus.
usordinariate.org/index.cfm?load=org&org=18
They’re fortunate to have 3 priests!
They might have some outreach to the VIU campus, and they might be able to put you into contact with someone for carpooling (you might not need a ride, but you might be able to give one). At least check their website.

No, I did reliably give the gist of the Catholic moderator’s meaning. I realize he was giving his opinion, and most Catholics would not agree with him.

One or the other…if the OP does not return very soon, will someone else please ask a moderator to take a look?

I haven’t seen the actual quote, but here’s what you wrote:

In your words, he said that “they are not valid.” That’s certainly the Catholic teaching.

But those words “they are not valid” are simply inconsistent with the words “we do not know.” Either we know or we don’t.

That’s why we cannot say that the moderator would first say “they’re invalid” but follow that with the “we don’t know.” It just doesn’t make any sense. An error like that is just too glaring to have been done intentionally.

On the other hand, we can (and do) say the words “we do not know” to the question of “do they impart grace even though they’re not valid sacraments?” God is not limited by the Sacraments when He imparts grace.

I would like to see the original quote to read exactly what the moderator typed.

I’ve tried the search tool, but the keywords to do such a search are simply too common and they produce too many results. If you don’t have it marked somehow, perhaps you remember certain unique keywords from the thread that would help in doing a search?

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