Fellowship of St Gregory the Great?


Damian Thompson blogs here about something called The Fellowship of St Gregory the Great. This, he claims, is the proposal being put to the Vatican by the Anglican traditionalist bishops. It will be a fellowship presided over by a Catholic bishop. (Bishop Alan Hopes–a former Anglo– Catholic priest now an auxiliary Bishop of Westminster–would be an obvious choice) This fellowship would be a kind of ‘church within a church’. Anglo Catholics would come over en masse, the Church of England would kindly allow them to keep their church buildings. Their priests (including their married ones) would be fast tracked to Catholic ordination and they would bring all the great riches of their Anglican traditionalism into the Catholic Church. The ones who will try to stop this great event will be the liberal English Catholic bishops.

I think this would be lovely, and I welcome all Anglo Catholics in England and around the world into the Catholic Church. I think they will be a great gift to our Church and I hope we will all make them welcome, help their priests to enter into the fullness of Catholic ministry etc etc.
However Damian, for all his enthusiasm, doesn’t seem to have grasped some basic realities.  Any Anglo Catholics out there also need to be aware of the hard facts. I write this having worked  with converts for seven years as a representative of the St Barnabas Society, and having travelled extensively in England visiting Catholic parishes every weekend. Here are the  facts which reveal the Fellowship of St Gregory the Great to be a pipe dream:
1. There aren’t really that many Anglo Catholics who are ready to come over. Most of them have already become Catholics when women were first ordained. 1300 signed the letter saying they’d leave, but out of these you need to remove the Evangelicals, a good number of the retired men, the active homosexuals, those in irregular marriages and those who, at some point, were Catholics and converted to Anglicanism. For various reasons these men are unlikely to convert. One high level Anglo Catholic source predicts that there are only 500 Anglo Catholic priests at the very most who wish to convert.
2. The married men present further problems. The English Catholic Church is small. There are more Catholic priests, for instance, in the Diocese of Brooklyn than in the whole of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. However, there are already more married former Anglican priests in England and Wales than there are in the whole of the USA.
These married former Anglicans already occupy the precious few chaplaincy posts which have a salary that could support a married man and his family. In addition, few Catholic bishops (even assuming that they are well disposed to former Anglicans) would wish to imbalance their diocesan list of clergy with an overwhelming number of married men.
3. The experience of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has not been unanimously positive towards former Anglican clergy. Most have fit in well and made a splendid contribution. However, many Catholic lay people are angry that married former Anglicans are allowed to be ordained, but their own popular priests cannot marry.
Furthermore, a few of the former Anglicans have made themselves a proper nuisance. They have demanded all the things they used to have as Anglicans, drained parishes and dioceses financially due to their demands and imposed an Anglican mentality on a very different Catholic culture.
Some of those who came across went scooting back to the Anglican Church after a short time, and even some who were ordained went back. These few bad examples have left a bad taste in the mouth of those who were not very positive about Anglican converts to start with.
4. The idea of mass conversions is pleasing, and in a situation like the group of Assyrians who came in a few months ago, is possible. For Anglicans the situation is very different. We cannot assume, even in the most trad Anglo Catholic parish that everyone in the pew is up to speed on the fullness of Catholic doctrine. Nor can we assume, for all their smells and bells, that they really understand the true reason for becoming Catholic. Each convert needs to be instructed in the faith. We can’t just accept them en bloc.
5. The same applies to the clergy. We can’t assume that every Anglo Catholic priest is necessarily called to the Catholic priesthood. We can’t even assume that they all have much love for the Catholic Church. The Anglo Catholics I know often have a chip on their shoulder about the Pope and the Catholic Church. Each applicant for the priesthood would have to be vetted just like any other applicant. Their religious and spiritual background has to be considered. There are possible canonical, moral, psychological and legal impediments that need to be investigated in each case. It is generally agreed that Cardinal Hume’s ‘fast track’ for Anglo Catholic clergy in Westminster in the early 90s was a mistake.
6. The Church of England is not going to let go of any buildings. Remember, not all Anglo Catholics are Benedict XVI loving traditionalists. The liberal, homosexual and feminist Anglo Catholics will only be too happy to step into the breach in these churches, keep swinging the incense and protesting that they are the true Catholics. In this way a form of Anglo Catholicism will continue to exist within Anglicanism.
7. Finally, there is the international situation. I doubt whether Rome will come up with a solution that only applies to England. Far more likely that they will come up with some advice for troubled Anglicans worldwide, and that advice is very likely to be: by all means join us. Come one by one and be reconciled at your local parish church.
I should make it clear that I am not happy to point out these details, and I am not trying to attack either Anglo Catholics or the idea of the Fellowship of St Gregory. I wish to do everything possible to welcome Anglicans. I’m just pointing out some of the hurdles that will need to be overcome.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10802160930990168405 Richard Ballard

    Dear Fr. Dwight,You wrote that some of the former Anglican priests who were received into the Catholic Church and were ordained “have demanded all the things they used to have as Anglicans, drained parishes and dioceses financially due to their demands….” What sort of demands did they make that have resulted in such consequences?Richard

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    A big house, private school for their children, inability to be deployable due to family problems.I should add that these situations were rare, and sometimes justifiable.My only point is that it has left a bad taste in the mouth of some Catholics.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06380648942361640729 worcester fragment

    Whilst I agree that it certainly cannot be assumed that every Anglo Catholic priest opposed to the ordination of women will have a vocation to be a Catholic Priest, I certainly do not recognise your comments on Cardinal Hume’s so called “fast track” being generally accepted as being a mistake, or of large numbers of former Anglicans “draining” either parish or diocesan resources. In fact I know of far more ‘cradle’ Catholic clergy who have drained parish resources. Many clergy wives support their husbands and children by being in full time employment, and also taking on unpaid roles in the parish. Please remember that even in well paid Westminster the annual priests stipend is $15,000, a fraction of those on the other side of the Atlantic!Cardinal Hume presumed that there would be a call to ministry, but ordination was certainly not automatic and included mentoring, discernment, and for a good number, refusal.I speak as a former Anglican, current Catholic unmarried priest who accompanied an entire congregation of 153 people (the Petrine draft of fish)3 priests and a deacon into full communion with the church. This was a lengthy, draining, challenging journey which none could take on lightly (and included the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for all the laity and more formal preparation for the clergy,) and yet it was also grace filled, and of the Lord. Many of these good people have taken on significant roles in the parish communities in which they have settled, and all the clergy have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood and have been serving faithfully in this diocese.I think that it would be sensible for any seeking to make this journey into Communion to talk with those who have already trodden this path in the local situation. And forgive me Fr, but a little more of the charity you called for in an earlier post would not go amiss – the experience in the US is not the same as here in England.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06380648942361640729 worcester fragment

    Whilst I agree that it certainly cannot be assumed that every Anglo Catholic priest opposed to the ordination of women will have a vocation to be a Catholic Priest, I certainly do not recognise your comments on Cardinal Hume’s so called “fast track” being generally accepted as being a mistake, or of large numbers of former Anglicans “draining” either parish or diocesan resources. In fact I know of far more ‘cradle’ Catholic clergy who have drained parish resources. Many clergy wives support their husbands and children by being in full time employment, and also taking on unpaid roles in the parish. Please remember that even in well paid Westminster the annual priests stipend is $15,000, a fraction of those on the other side of the Atlantic!Cardinal Hume presumed that there would be a call to ministry, but ordination was certainly not automatic and included mentoring, discernment, and for a good number, refusal.I speak as a former Anglican, current Catholic unmarried priest who accompanied an entire congregation of 153 people (the Petrine draft of fish)3 priests and a deacon into full communion with the church. This was a lengthy, draining, challenging journey which none could take on lightly (and included the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for all the laity and more formal preparation for the clergy,) and yet it was also grace filled, and of the Lord. Many of these good people have taken on significant roles in the parish communities in which they have settled, and all the clergy have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood and have been serving faithfully in this diocese.I think that it would be sensible for any seeking to make this journey into Communion to talk with those who have already trodden this path in the local situation. And forgive me Fr, but a little more of the charity you called for in an earlier post would not go amiss – the experience in the US is not the same as here in England.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Thanks for your comment. I should make a couple of things more clear.Firstly, I am speaking of the situation in England. I converted in 1995, but only moved to USA in 2006. I worked for St Barnabas Society and know the situation pretty well.Secondly, I am explaining the situation as many Catholics see it. I am not defending the situation. I actually agree with you that most convert priests have fit in well and have not drained parishes or dioceses. Its just that the very few who have not behaved well have increased the already existing prejudice against former Anglicans.I’m on your side. I’m just pointing out the difficulties.

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

    Father, I think a little sobriety is needed here on this entire topic. Your post provides a tactful little in the form of an address to potential converts and possibly those who are ready to celebrate some kind of “victory” in a perceived war between the Church and the Protestant denomination called by many names but recognized most often as “Anglican”. I have already made a few comments on this topic, and it may seem a little superfluous to say anything more, but the emphasis is on “little”.Does someone need to point out that the Holy Roman Catholic Church is *not* a political party waging some kind of perpetual election campaign?*not* a corporation in competition with any other corporation for the best “talent” in management positions?*not* in any way open to dogmatic or doctrinal negotiation with any corporate body interested in a merger for the sake of perceived “growth”?and finally, *not* a soccer team from Rome engaging in rivalry for fans with a soccer team from England? And one last thought: I know personally of some men who were Protestant ministers and, touched by grace (as they themselves would tell you), came to recognize the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church as the Bride of Christ. These are men of real faith, not players. These are men of integrity who know Christ personally, not as an abstraction for intellectual debate, and certainly not as a football. They left their posts as Protestant ministers and came into the Church. Many suffer enormous financial hardship, but there is no complaint–aware, as they are, of the many martyrs who suffered much more, sacrificed much more, for the sake of the Bride of Christ.Moreover, chastising people who call things what they are because they believe in Truth, accusing them of being unloving or insensitive is to abuse both them and Truth itself. It is not a response inspired by the Holy Spirit but a strategy employed by those with an agenda.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10729376635331369442 Fr. Jeffrey Steel

    The priest who wrote as worcester frangment, would you please email me at jeffrey.steel1[at]@btinternet.com?Thanks. If you would simply leave a telephone contact that would be brilliant.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08679400877557958762 Piotr

    In regards to this personal prelature stuff, the Society St Gregory the Great and your contention that it is an unlikely route. What about the Traditional Anglican Communion’s petition that was put before the CDF in October 2007, requesting full, visible sacramental reunion with Rome while retaining their Anglican identity? Suppose the TAC is successful in their request; or, suppose that the Vatican was sitting on the fence on the issue, and the potential to gain converts due to the recent Anglican decision to ordain women helps them determine that an anglican-use rite, or prelature, would be helpful; would there be any reason these “Anglo-Catholics” could not join their TAC brethren? Aren’t they both seeking the same solution?Also, any words on how things are progressing with the TAC petition?

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

    Father, I appreciate your comments very, very much. You are practically the first person I’ve encountered who talks anything remotely resembling sense in this matter. I only differ with you in thinking that what you suggest might be Rome’s response–”by all means join us. Come one by one and be reconciled at your local parish”–is actually the ideal solution. It always has been.Estiel writes: “Moreover, chastising people who call things what they are because they believe in Truth, accusing them of being unloving or insensitive is to abuse both them and Truth itself.” This is a refreshingly apposite observation. Charity cannot be divorced from truth, and the truth in this matter is going to be very hard for some Anglicans to face up to. I can only encourage them by saying that, as a former Anglo-Catholic, I find that my experience is the same as that of Ronald Knox, that after being received into the Catholic Church, all my former difficulties seemed like mere shadows. Anyone who does not long for the embrace of Holy Mother Church does not yet get it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11740482509910163332 Gail F

    Wow, P, that’s quite a post, although not exactly what Fr. Longnecker was asking for.It is very strange to read about the implosion of the Anglican communion. I confess to an un-admirable fascination for reading these things, like the fascination of a terrible car accident. I was never an Episcopalian, but I felt the attraction of a beautiful liturgy, people who act and seem very devout, and the opportunity to pick and choose exactly what I did and didn’t want to profess. But I guess a Catholic sensibility kept me from making that choice even when I was away from the Church. I had an uncomfortable feeling that I was better off professing nothing than deciding what I wanted to think and do and then picking a church that let me do that.And now I see many people I like and admire, including family and neighbors, in such agony. They do, indeed, have strong beliefs, and found a church and community that they thought would at least support those beliefs — only to have that taken away, and often in a high-handed, arrogant way. If you pick a place that lets you vote on what is true, you run the risk of being outvoted. Unfortunately, as a Catholic I get the solid truth… but with a dispiriting and half-hearted liturgy and a lot of fellow Catholics who seem uninterested in even the basics of our faith. They don’t vote down the truth, they just don’t particularly care about it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13955573460484576394 Dave

    I am not sure what the right solution is, but I am praying that the way might be opened for as many Anglicans as possible to enter the Church.Of course, their catechesis cannot be presumed, as you said, and of course, some will come in and cause scandal, being human and all.In general, however, I am pretty certain that these people will be more of a credit to the Church, and cause less scandal than the run of the mill Catholic who already resides within the barque of Peter.That said, Anglicans who wish to be reconciled need to come as supplicants. If they truly believe the Catholic Church is the true Church, they can do no other. If not, then they need to more closely examine their reasons.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12594214770417497135 Maureen

    If big parish groups or big chunks of parishes do indeed want to “cross the Tiber”, maybe a nearby Catholic parish could get together a team of their parishioners to help the pastor and RCIA people with all the new students. Maybe give each family a buddy family, that sort of thing. You could have some dividing into small classes for discussion, and some big lectures. That sort of thing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02937909444925394325 Paul

    These married former Anglicans already occupy the precious few chaplaincy posts which have a salary that could support a married man and his family.How do the married Anglican priests (the ones who are now considering coming into the Catholic Church) support their families now, as pastors of Anglican parishes? If they are able to support their families on a salary which is paid from financial offerings from parishioners, then couldn’t the same salary continue to be paid, if a large number of parishioners accompanied them into communion with the Catholic Church? Or if they currently support their families by working part-time at secular jobs, or by their wives working full-time or part-time, couldn’t these same arrangements continue to work after they come into the Catholic Church?There’s probably some reason why these ideas won’t work, but I’m asking because I don’t know all the intricacies of the situation.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06977115591862385716 ebed melech

    Father,Glory to Jesus Christ!A few thoughts…1. What about the notion of a Personal Prelature for Anglicans, much like what has been proposed for the SSPX?2. Converting clergy should obviously have measured expectations about the financial situation in each local diocese. Many Eastern Catholic clergy are also gainfully employed, and in fact I have been told that it is an expectation in at least two Eparchies that if you are a married priest, you will have a job on the outside until your parish is able to support you and your family financially. In general, Eastern parishes are smaller in size, so this is generally a workable model. I imagine the same thing will exist for Anglican Use parishes.3. What about establishing new Anglican Use missions? I know, as you do, that here in the Southeast of the USA, the fields are white and ready for the harvest!4. I would think that establishing a “Virtual Seminary” distance-learning type of program for converting clergy under the Pastoral Provision (as well as for catechists) would be a worthwhile thing to explore in addition to the mentoring. Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT has a great Master’s program with no residency requirement. It could be called “St. Gregory the Great Institute”, and could simply offer a 1 year graduate certificate program for convert clergy. It could eventually be expanded to include a full seminary for those who wish to pursue Holy Orders according to the Anglican Use.Your points about the need for discernment and vetting is an excellent one. I’m wondering if anything can be learned from the Antiochian Orthodox reception of thousands of members of the Evangelical Orthodox church in the mid-80′s?God bless!Fr. Deacon Daniel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16924066123397586389 Serpenti

    I am concerned by the use of the word “convert”, as opposed to “coming into communion”.If we believe any of the Council or papal documents on ecumenism, or, in fact, the entire purpose of the Catholic Church’s participation in the ecumenical movement, shouldn’t that be our focus?For those who say “fine, come on and join RCIA”, I must remind you 1) RCIA is for the unbaptized, and 2) we see value in the corporate structures and authentic traditions of our separated brethren.We are supposed to seek to “bring them into communion”, not “convert” them. Yes, for all (including Catholics), there is a need for conversion of heart, and for most Protestants, many theological obstacles to overcome.Yet once these obstacles are overcome, why do we put up further barriers for people coming into communion?The TAC, other “continuing Anglican” organizations, particular dioceses, and particular parishes should be welcomed into communion, if they agree with Faith of the Church.And, I would suggest, they should be allowed in as they are. If the TAC comes into communion, let them run their own affairs! If the Episcopal Diocese of Forth Worth comes into communion, let them run their own affairs! They are just now a Church in communion with the Catholic Church (I am not ignoring the fact that certain sacraments will have to be redone, including ordinations and confirmations, but these can be done without a triumphalist air, as any other invalid sacrament is currently sanitized in the Church).Will it be a mess? Yes. Is it ideal? No. Is it sustainable? Not for too long, but after some time, allow all the “Anglican Use” jurisdictions, with the input of others affected (Latin and Eastern rite ordinaries, the Curia) to develop their own permanent structures.Will some of the clergy be “unsuitable”? Yes. Will some return to the Anglican Communion or independent jurisdictions? Yes. As I said, it will be messy for all – and even painful for many.It is important that we have an “ecumenical” attitude as we work to reconcile Anglicans, because others are watching.If we set up rules, conditions, and second-class status for Anglicans, what will the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox think? How we treat these Anglicans will be the example we hold up to all other Christian communions, and will also be a sign that an authentic ecumenical attitude may achieve the result it says it aims to – “that all may be one as the Father and I are one”.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02313479959447420783 joannis

    Serpenti (what a name) does not understand that this is a pastoral matter; the number one consideration should not be what the Orthodox think, or any other separated church for that matter. RCIA is not for only the unbaptised; it is a proper catechism (if it only were always run in an orthodox and ‘with the catechism’ manner!) for all baptised believers. Catechetics is an ongoing need – even for cradle Catholics. Humility means that any person coming into full communion as a Catholic can and ought to accept catechism: I did, and it was wonderful. Fr Dwight, I agree with most of what you have said but for one very important point of disagreement – Pope Benedict could use the TAD and the new crop of Anglican converts as a body apostolically administrated to help in his ‘reform of the reform.’ They, in other words, become another phalanx in the ongoing battle with heretical modernism, at least liturgically. This can be achieved best by indeed granting them just such a Fellowship, or even more, a unique church situation like the Ukrainians – it is in the Pope’s best interest to increase the heft of this representative organization because it greatly helps his efforts to ‘reform the reform.’ Because it is so much in his best interests, we can indeed expect to see something more than just ‘joining one by one.’ Your thus dimishing expectations is just too extreme and inaccurate.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14128876156920192055 Robert Ian Williams

    A most perceptive and accurate assesment of Anglo-Catholicism. Also may I add, English Anglo-Catholics have never been keen about Cranmerian liturgy!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00858695355021361726 Red Maria

    Father Dwight,In your blog post you referred delicately to possible converts “in irregular marriages”. By this do you mean to say they are conducting what Jesus Christ described as adulterous relationships? If so why not call them what they are – adultery? It is not helpful to anyone to use euphemisms about what is, after all, a mortal sin.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Red Maria, thank you for your encouragement to be more forthright. I stick to my original terminology. An irregular marriage may indeed be an adulterous relationship. However, it may not. A man and woman may be in a second ‘marriage’ after a ‘marriage’ that was, in fact, invalid. However, if they have not been through a tribunal to ascertain whether the marriage was invalid or not it is not fair to pass judgment on them. This is because they and we do not have all the facts.Therefore, in order to avoid the sin of being judgmental and to give people the benefit of the doubt the term ‘irregular marriage’ or ‘irregular relationship is used.If there is an element of uncertainty, then until that marriage is ‘regularized’ is it remains in a state of limbo.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00858695355021361726 Red Maria

    Father, I am no canonist but I am confused. If a man and a woman have entered into a second “marriage” without troubling to wait for a tribunal’s decision as to whether the first marriage is valid or not – and in the absence of a ruling, it must be assumed that the first marriage is a valid one – they are self-evidently committing adultery. Or if not adultery, surely fornication by conducting a sexual relationship without being married. How is it judgemental acccurately to describe “irregular” relationships as adultery or fornication if that is what they are?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    It is arguable I suppose

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03028346716140781309 radio45

    I have to tell you, Father, I learned a lot by reading this post and comments. Truly written with balance, perspective and deep abiding love. I admire that.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16924066123397586389 Serpenti

    Oops, I forgot about Serpenti being by “bloggername” – long story about a street I used to live on.1) RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. It is designed and meant for the unbaptized. It is a “rite”, ie, a religious ceremony. The catechesis is part of it. Of course all people need catechesis, but not the RCIA.The situation of an unbaptized person, a baptized baptist, and a baptized Anglo-Catholic are very different, as far as faith formation go. The catechesis an Anglo-Catholic needs is much less than that of the other two.And in response to another post, I worked in a Tribunal for 5 years, and irregular marriage is the phrase that is regularly used (pardon the almost pun). I don’t think it is a euphemism, and “irregular” is the word used to describe the situation in Familiaris Consortio, and Pope John Paul II’s 1994 Letter to Families.Charles CollinsRome, Italy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08110491371985845560 kentuckyliz

    I just don’t think that many Anglican clergy or laypeople will convert after all is said and done. They are brought up in and live in an ecclesial and secular culture that is extremely anti-Catholic and cultivates a sense of English and Anglican superiority (byproduct: xenophobia). They’ll broker a solution within TAC or link with the Africans.Anglican married priests can support their families because TAC is a government church, a department of state, and government funded. All English people had to pay government tithes for the church (including non-Anglicans) until the Finance Act of 1977 abolished the practice. So the TAC is rolling in money. Centuries of collections!!!The more bivocational clergy you permit, the greater the burden on the monovocational. I live in mission territory and almost all the other churches around us have bivocational clergy who aren’t available to their people. My poor priest is inundated day and night by people needing spiritual support. They know the Catholic priest will always be around and always be available. He is! To us and to all who call or stop by. With the exodus from TAC back in the wimmin priestess chaos, IIRC TAC set up continuing payment and pension protections for the leaving priests. I’m not sure they would do this now…any priest who accepted wimmin priestesses de facto accepts wimmin bishopesses; especially if the priest was ordained since wimmin in the priestesshood. There really isn’t anything shocking or new in recent developments.Supporting a married Catholic clergy would be even more challenging than an Anglican one…b/c Anglicans can contracept and the Catholics can’t! Those would be some large families to support. I know my parish couldn’t do it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06261356560114077508 motuproprio

    Dear Dwight,as you know there were quite a number of potential converts post-1992 who were quite badly wounded by their encounter with the Catholic Church in some of its local manifestations, and there will certainly be many cases of ‘once bitten, twice shy’. That’s why it is important that this time there is a more direct involvement from Rome, and perhaps the appointment of an Ecclesiastical Delegate as in the US. (I agree that an Apostolic Administration is most unlikely.)500 seems a very generous expectation, so the numbers are going to be manageable, and as you also know mismanagement of Catholic vocations over the last 30 years has left the Catholic Church in England very short of parish clergy, so every one will be needed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15628137193525409363 Robert

    Frm Dwight, How very ungenerous you are! there has been a steadfy stream of covertts since Newman’s day. Many anglo-Catholic clergy are more orthodox than most of the RC bishops in England.You are simply not correct in saying Hume’s fast track was a mistake. If you look at the high profile of converts in the diocese of Westminster, and other dioceses, you nwill see they have been vbery successful. As for 500- actually, 1300 have signed the petition. In any case, 500 is 5% of Anglican clergy.The RC church in england desperately need 500 pastors who will minister to the people of England. As for “vetting”: the chuch is not the security services. Love, compassion & zeal for the gospel take risks, father.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15628137193525409363 Robert

    Many who might convert did not sign the letter and the RC church in england has ordianed some Ex Anglicans to a retirement ministry. again a lack of generosity on your part, I feel. I am also assured that only 2 came back.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15628137193525409363 Robert

    Further, I am just depressed by your stance. The Rc church in England is seen as a problem by Rome. Ex Anglicans, with their liturgical skill, theological orthodoxy and pastoral sense can be part of the answer. Bring it on!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Robert, do read the original post carefully. I said that there were only a few who bounced back, and said that most of the former Anglican clergy have fit in well and made a splendid contribution, and said I wish for it all to go well.In pointing out some of the more sobering realities I am not owning the views I express, but pointing out that there are a good number of Catholics in England who feel ambiguous about Anglican convert clergy for some understandable reasons.While I am sorry about this, it is something Anglicans thinking of converting should be aware of.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18360786634583725263 Dr.D

    Kentuckyliz has her terminology confused. TAC is the Traditional Anglican Communion, a body of Continuing Anglican outside the Anglican Communion altogether. To say that the TAC is rolling in money is quite a stretch! It consists of roughly 500000 people world wide, a large portion of them in the third world.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16938047251308288033 roydosan

    ” 6. The Church of England is not going to let go of any buildings.”Considering they mostly used to be Catholic buildings in the first place they should return them!Seriously though, the CofE is already struggling to pay for many of its Churches. If they suddenly are left with no clergy and no congregations they will let them go.I can’t see many conversions taking place – I think they are more likely to establish a third province unilaterally or align with an ‘orthodox’ Anglican bishop in Africa.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03586787351738086368 Michael

    A great many Roman Catholics seem to be assuming that Anglo-Catholic=Tory or some such. Disabusing people of that notion would be a start!


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