The Gloves are Off

The bitter battles in the Anglican communion continue. Since September eight ECUSA dioceses have rejected the leadership of Kate Schori and asked for ADO (Alternative Episcopal Oversight). The Dioceses are Dallas, Central Florida, Fort Worth, Fresno, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Quincy, Springfield and South Carolina.

In other developments, individual clergy and parishes across the country are seeking ways to pull out of their dioceses. Among others, the large, ancient, wealthy and influential parishes of Falls Church and Truro are thinking about pulling out of the Diocese of Virginia. The Falls Church has published their reasons in two thoughtful documents called We Will Welcome You and Can Two Walk Together. The Washington Post picks up the story.

The church leaders have received a rather sinister letter from Bishop Peter Lee, the Bishop of Virginia, in which he outlines how the diocese will react if they choose to pull out of the Diocese. Basically, they will lose their church buildings, their leaders lose their jobs, their future employment and thier pensions. Vestry members will also be personally financially liable.

Funny how Anglican bishops dislike authoritarianism isn’t it?

It would be wonderful if a good number of disenchanted Anglicans would consider seriously the pastoral provision and the opportunities made available by the Anglican Usage as being pioneered by Eric Bergman in Scranton. There really are fresh ways forward that would allow them to bring the riches of the Anglican tradition into full communion with the Catholic Church. Rome has opened wide the doors. Our Anglican brothers and sisters need to think laterally and see new possibilities before they rush to form yet more ‘continuing churches.’

Catholics should not gloat over the Anglican agonies. Only prayer can deliver the faithful. Pray for the unity of the Church. Pray for Anglicans in Anguish. Pray for clarity of vision, courage and the gift of faith for all.

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  • Thanks for your helpful comments about what is going on with the Episcolaian/Anglican churches. I heard that quite a few Anglican priests in England have been received into the Catholic Church. Is this true? Any guestimates on how many.Finally, what day is your ordination? I will pray for youFr. Kevin Hanlon, Maryknoll Fathers

  • I’ve posted this in other places, but it’s worth repeating here. This is what I think is going to happen to the Anglican communion:1. The faithless and the faithful wings of Anglicanism will have an open schism.2. The faithful wing will form itself into some kind of polity, and will choose Abp. Akinola (or someone like him) as (for lack of a better word) its Patriarch.3. The new Anglican Patriarch comes knocking on Rome’s door and says, “We want in!”It’s the Union of Brest-Litovsk all over again! (For those scratching their heads: That was the 1596 agreement that brought the Eastern Catholic Church in the Ukraine back in union with the Pope, while retaining their Eastern liturgies.)

  • pmcgrath, what you suggest would be wonderful, but I don’t think it is going to happen. The Anglican reasserters that I know belong to the Evangelical branch of Anglicanism, and very firmly consider themselves Protestants. They do respect Rome for her firm statements on moral issues, and her unyielding adherence to Nicene Christianity, but they have very serious differences from her on issues of Jusification and Salvation. I can’t see them changing of those issues. They have a Protestant idea of the church, that it is an invisible unity between “the blessed company of all faithful people.” Therefore they do not feel the scandal of disunion in the same way that Christians with a Catholic idea of the Church do. I hope you are right, but I don’t see it. Susan F. Peterson

  • Speaking of the new Bishop, isn’t this a great photo? Cut & paste this URL:;=9ab2f57fa07e6f8c&ei;=5070I'm trying to imagine, say, B16 or Bp. Baker wearing this posture or expression. Can’t be done.

  • Fr Kevin…since the early 1990s about 700-800 Anglican priests came into the Catholic Church. I will be ordained next Thursday, 14 December. Thank you for your prayers.pmcgrath. I like your scenario, and wish it would happen like that, but I fear it will be more like Susan’s vision.kkolwitz- is this for real? I saw this photo elsewhere and thought it was a photoshop joke. Geesh. Can anyone take this gal seriously?