[quote=mbryanbooks]Having been an Anglican (Episcopal Church USA) for 13 years before becoming a Catholic, and owing so much to the “Anglican Way” for teaching me the meaning and value of sacraments, liturgy, and tradition, I do wish something could be done. But “laying hands on a few Anglican bishops” would not, if I have any understanding of these things, accomplish it. Having a Catholic bishop intervene to re-ordain Anglo-Catholic priests or bishops would raise all kinds of jurisdictional issues. But aside from that, there are other intersecting issues to be dealt with that the Episcopal Church, given its crumbling doctrinal and disciplinary condition, is hardly equipped to face – church authority, the meaning and nature of the Eucharist, the Eucharistic language of the Book of Common Prayer, the language of the Ordinal, to name a few. Catholicism is “whole cloth.” It comes in different colors and fabrics (rites, languages, customs, devotions, etc.), but it doesn’t come in pieces.
My brother, who is still an Episcopalian, was hurt when I became a Catholic, because of this very issue of Anglican orders. The “Anglican use” liturgy which John Paul II has allowed, even encouraged where feasible, is a generous way of offering the right hand of fellowship, but even that does not attempt to salvage Anglican orders. Perhaps something can be done one day concerning the “continuing” Anglican churches. I’ve thought for some time, with great regret, that Anglicanism is a sinking ship.
Theoretically, an infusion of the RC episcopate might “solve” the problem, since it lies in the RC understanding of Anglican orders to begin with (Anglican opinion). But it won’t happen. For one thing, the RCC doesn’t need a sudden influx of Anglo-Catholic traditionalists into its ranks. They got enough to do dealing with their own resident Traditionalists.
I’m a Continuing Anglican, and I don’t suppose it will surprise you to hear that I agree with most of what you say about ECUSA. I could argue the issue of the Prayer Book and the Ordinal, but there is no point in it. I normally don’t get into Apostolicae Curae discussions anymore, either. Which reminds me that I haven’t recommended this site yet:
It’s run by the most knowledgeable individual on the sad subject of Apostolicae Curae that I know (that is, he knows more than I do). A loyal RC, faithful to the Magesterium, and with some interesting thoughts on Continuing Anglicans and Orders. Also a good overview of the RC position on the original controversy.
The Anglican Use is a short term arrangement, to ease the passage of a few parishes and isolated individuals into the RCC. I have no problem with it, as I noted in another post, my Continuing Anglican parish and a local Anglican Use parish are “related”, both coming out of the most Anglo-Catholic ECUSA parish in town, when ECUSA began to go seriously whacko. There is no provision for the next generation and by then the AU will be history (IMO).
Nice to meet you.