Anglican Group to be Received?

The gossip continues about the overtures that the Traditional Anglican Communion have made to the Vatican. David Virtue reports on it here.

Some folks say that Rome is putting the finishing touches on an system for the TAC to be received en bloc in the same way that, say, this Assyrian group has recently come into full communion.
I don’t see it myself. First of all, the Assyrian group were already an accepted part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Their orders were valid. They were never in formal heresy. There are further obstacles for a reunion of the Traditional Anglican Communion. Indeed, as far as I know, the TAC are not even asking for the same kind of formal reunion as the Assyrians. Instead, I believe they want to retain their independence but are simply asking Rome to recognize their orders.
I may be wrong, and I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt very much whether we’ll hear anything much at all from Rome about the TAC’s petition.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06710927638399318664 A Simple Sinner

    “accepted part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Their orders were valid. They were never in formal heresy.”Not to be a Picky Pete… But technically they were NOT what is normally termed “The Eastern Orthodox Church” (usually meant to mean the Chacledonian Greco-Slavonic Churches) and the Assyrians NEVER used the term “Orthodox” in self-description. Besides that, the Assyrians were believed to have been involved with the Nestorian Heresy although historians and linguists are now of the opinion that might not be accurate.What I would predict or forsee for TAC is not the reception en masse of TAC “as is”, but the creation of a template for their reception on a global scale similar to the Pastoral Provision and the Rome-Approved Book of Divine Worship some 6-8 Catholic parishes in the US now use.At least that is what I am praying for.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06710927638399318664 A Simple Sinner

    “Indeed, as far as I know, the TAC are not even asking for the same kind of formal reunion as the Assyrians.”On that score, their ambitions are pretty ambiguous… but ambiguous enough to be hopeful. They have agreed to NOT discuss the matter with the press until speaking with Rome, but their leaders have made it known that those of them who are in marriage situations that are – at best – irregular, are willing to step down… And they all signed a copy of the Catechism saying essentially “This we believe and affirm.” From the sound of it, they are not demanding all that much, and I haven’t heard that they have ruled out conditional on unconditional re-ordination.Let’s keep them in our prayers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06710927638399318664 A Simple Sinner

    “Indeed, as far as I know, the TAC are not even asking for the same kind of formal reunion as the Assyrians.”On that score, their ambitions are pretty ambiguous… but ambiguous enough to be hopeful. They have agreed to NOT discuss the matter with the press until speaking with Rome, but their leaders have made it known that those of them who are in marriage situations that are – at best – irregular, are willing to step down… And they all signed a copy of the Catechism saying essentially “This we believe and affirm.” From the sound of it, they are not demanding all that much, and I haven’t heard that they have ruled out conditional on unconditional re-ordination.Let’s keep them in our prayers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01379244511897838006 Marcus Aurelius

    I hope they come in somehow. I hope the ACC and other conservative anglo-catholic groups also find their way home.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12520325224585096747 Éstiel

    Naturally, I hope that all 400,000 come home, but I hope equally strongly that they do not constitute any kind of separate “rite.” No. Heretics (yes, I’m sorry, but that’s what Anglicanism is) are always welcome to come home, but they may not bring their heresy with them. The Papal Provision applies, of course; that is quite different. Should a married priest become single, he is not to re-marry. But there is a great difference here between keeping one’s wife and keeping one’s heresy. Any “unity” among them should be dissolved into the greater unity of the Church. There should be no *church* within the Church. We have enough of that already. And secondly, rebellion against one’s own religion is not a valid reason to come into the Church. The Church is not a weapon to be used against the authority of one’s own religion. If they are inclined to protest authority, the Church is *not* an answer.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01379244511897838006 Marcus Aurelius

    Estiel,I am not familiar with the group discussed here. But I know several ACC groups that are very traditional and their mass is very beautiful, far more beautiful and orthodox than a lot of the modernist churches in full communion with Rome, but for the lack of obedience to Rome. If such churches were to offer up their obedience to Rome, and Rome was in turn in approval of their mass, then I’d say let ‘em keep it. You might find the Holy Father moving us in the traditionalist liturgical direction that some of these Anglican refugees are currently practicing anyway.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12520325224585096747 Éstiel

    Marcus, we’re not talking here about “beautiful” or “traditional” liturgy. When a former protestant enters the Church, he is a Catholic, period. There can be no “Anglican Catholics” any more than there can be “Methodist Catholics.”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17139185202697163287 alphonsus rodriguez

    I actively participated in the life of a parish in the TAC for eighteen months, and I will always be grateful for the experience because it enabled me to finally embrace the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Having reached that point, however, it was immediately necessary for me to seek full communion with the Catholic Church. The plain fact is that the TAC is just the old Protestant Episcopal Church redivivus, complete with all of the theological elasticity which is the hallmark of that tradition. The clergy and laity of the TAC are no closer to Rome than Episcopalians were before their church began to unravel at such an accelerated pace in the 1970s. They are attached to the 1922 Prayer Book, opposed to women in holy orders, and so on—that’s why they split from the Episcopal Church. That does not mean, however, that they are close to being Catholic in belief or practice–far from it. Indeed, most of my fellow parishioners could tell me exactly why they were not Catholics & explain to me at which points the Catholic Church erred in its teaching. When the rector of my parish learned I was being received into the Catholic Church he sent me a letter detailing in no uncertain terms the errors of Rome. The two examples most commonly alluded to were the dogmas of the Assumption of Our Lady and papal infallibility. There were others. Most did not hold a fully Catholic Eucharistic theology (the one fellow in our parish who believed in transubstantiation, for example, was pointed out to me as a really, really “high” churchman. He, by the way, told me that, in contrast to Catholicism, Anglicanism was a “thinking person’s” religion). Certainly none of these people were prepared to accept the Church’s teaching regarding contraception! Each of my fellow parishioners cherished a certain number of “catholic” beliefs, but they held them on a purely protestant basis, i.e., they had independently judged them to be true and worthy of acceptance. They accepted that others in the church had quite legitimately made different judgments. This fundamentally protestant and, within certain limits, “inclusive” orientation makes the TAC really and truly Anglican, as Anglican as the more spectacularly lurid ECUSA. It is not “almost Catholic” as some would have it. Our rector considered himself an “Anglo-Catholic,” but when he left us he was replaced by another rector who was practically a Methodist. I was really nonplussed when it became clear that virtually everyone in the parish was very enthusiastic about him! He did not believe that the Mass was a sacrifice. He did not believe in seeking the intercession of Our Lady and the saints. And so on. But here is the point: he was as fully “Anglican” in even the TAC sense of the word as the “Anglo-Catholic” rector. What they had in common was a devotion to the 1922 Prayer Book and a typically Anglican aesthetic. I haven’t said any of this to be critical of the TAC. It’s just that I find so many people speaking of these traditional Anglicans as “Catholics in exile,” and as holding virtually the same Faith that is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is no criticism of them to clarify that they do not in fact hold that Faith, nor do they come close to holding that Faith. Pretending they do is of no use to them or anyone else.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01379244511897838006 Marcus Aurelius

    Estiel,It is not true that there are not different sorts of catholics. There are traditionalists, and low church ‘modernist’ catholics. There are Benedictines and Franciscans. There are eastern rite catholics. There are, in fact, Rome-approved Anglican-use catholics, and I believe Fr. L is planning to attend their conference in July. All of these have been approved by the Magisterium and the Holy Father. There are many rooms in our father’s house.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01379244511897838006 Marcus Aurelius

    He, by the way, told me that, in contrast to Catholicism, Anglicanism was a “thinking person’s” religion). Certainly none of these people were prepared to accept the Church’s teaching regarding contraception!Alphonsus,Your experience rings true for me as well, though I was in a different orthodox anglican splinter group I encountered the same sort of thing.Their liturgy and churches were beautiful. They faced the alter during mass. There are things that I miss about it.But at the end of the day they were anti-catholic because they were essentially prejudiced against catholics with old-stereotypes. Catholics to some of them are servile papists who cannot think for themselves. To them Catholicism is an ‘authoritarian’ religion. They are also ethnocentric in their anglophilia. All of these things drive them away from Rome. The only valid point, of course, is that Rome is indeed authoritarian, but in a good way. I had to see beyond these old prejudices and forgive Rome for all the silly space capsule churches before I could cross the Tiber. I also had to put up with dreadfully inadequate formation. I would say that the priests in the splinter anglican group were better at formation than the laity who run adult formation post Vatican II. What can I say? Priests are professionals. I don’t mean to knock all the great RCIA lay leaders out there, but I have yet to meet one of you who taught the church councils, theology, and core catholic doctrine as well as that silly ultraorthodox anglican splinter priest taught it. My bet is he crosses the Tiber himself some day!If the entire TAC is coming wholesale to Rome I think that is a wonderful thing. That means the majority of them overcame their bias and are prepared to swim the Tiber. I am not concerned if they still want to face the altar during mass or something.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12520325224585096747 Éstiel

    Thank you, Alphonsus, for your response, providing personal experience as evidence of your own position. It more or less confirms what I know of one or two English friends who are Anglican and who seem exceptionally proud of lovely liturgy, firm tradition, and a self-perception as “thinking” persons. (Reminds me of a sign I read in a gay area in NYC: “Try the Episcopal Church–all the ritual and none of the guilt!”) The entrance into the Catholic Church by a former protestant (of any brand) is marked almost always by a self-humbling willingness to accept authority. There is only one door; it’s the same one preached by our Lord: repentance. But the Anglican en masse crowd seems bent only on still *more* rejection of authority. Historically, they left the Church as a rejection of papal authority; it now seems they want to come back only as yet another rejection of authority–this time, that of their own church. There is no metanoia here, no conversion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02273021408381071609 Rev. Daniel Squires

    As a member of the Traditional Anglican Communion and celibate transitional deacon, I must say that many of us are just as much in the dark re: the progress of the petition of our Bishops as are most Roman Catholics. We continue to hope and pray for some clarity. As far as the muddy theological opinions to be found in the members of our parishes, there is plenty of that to be found in Roman Catholic parishes as well. The high level of dissent against Humanae Vitae serves as just one example. The problem is not a denominational one so much as it is a catechetical one. As an aside, yes, we are aware of the existence of Apostolicae Curae (the Papal Bull of Leo XIII declaring invalid the Ordinal of Edward VI), but can that also not be overturned with a flick of the Papal pen and the employment of some carefully crafted romanita? The fact of the matter is that most of our people are ready to cross the Tiber, but we are uncomfortable with the Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI. We fully adhere to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and I think that only the most stubborn and obstinate among us clergy would not be willing to submit to a conditional ordination. Just some ideas.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12520325224585096747 Éstiel

    “As far as the muddy theological opinions to be found in the members of our parishes, there is plenty of that to be found in Roman Catholic parishes as well. The high level of dissent against Humanae Vitae serves as just one example. The problem is not a denominational one so much as it is a catechetical one”No, it isn’t. Such a comment bespeaks a lack of understanding of Church authority.Also, only Protestants have any use for the term “denomination”; from the Catholic perspective, there is no such term. The Holy Roman Catholic Church is not a denomination.”As an aside, yes, we are aware of the existence of Apostolicae Curae (the Papal Bull of Leo XIII declaring invalid the Ordinal of Edward VI), but can that also not be overturned with a flick of the Papal pen and the employment of some carefully crafted romanita?” Again, no, it cannot.”The fact of the matter is that most of our people are ready to cross the Tiber, but we are uncomfortable with the Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI.”So are most Catholics, but we don’t make demands of “how we prefer the Mass to be” as conditions for being Catholic.This comment from the Reverend is a perfect example of the reasons I gave that there should be no en masse acceptance of Anglicans into the Church.


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