More Anglican News

Here’s another fascinating news story to come out of England. The Church of England General Synod is meeting at this time. Tomorrow they debate women’s ordination to the Episcopate. Monday they vote.

The Daily Telegraph reveals here that a group of senior Church of England bishops has gone to the Vatican to discuss the crisis with the Catholic Church leaders. The timing of this is, of course, very crucial. Just when the Church of England is about to debate the issue the General Synod and Archbishop Williams are being made aware of the presence of Big Sister looking over their shoulder.
Of course, the majority of the members of the Church of England don’t care two hoots about Catholics and would just as soon see the back of all the traditionalist Anglo Catholics in their church. This is the subtext of Bishop Nigel McCullough’s view, who uses the typical, “We feel your pain.” talk while urging the Church of England to go forward anyway. Read his opinion here.
Will Rome widen the scope of the already existing Anglican Use liturgy? When I came across in the mid-1990s the Catholic Church in England was not ready for parishes with Anglican use liturgies and married priests. Instead all those priests who came across (well over 500) were simply absorbed into the existing Catholic structures. It’s more likely that the same tactic will be taken again.
Damian Thompson reports on the crisis within the Anglo Catholic movement here, and if you want to get inside the head of the typical liberal Anglican lay person read this article.
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  • Father, I read Thompson’s article with the openness of mind that allowed the possibility of encountering an explanation of the liberal position in the C of E that I was unfamiliar with. What I did meet was exactly what I would have expected without that open-mindedness, however. Liberalism among the English in general (not just in the C of E dispute) seems to be the new traditionalism, expressed as it always has been in terms of traditional English “common sense,” an English trait I have always admired. Thompson’s article and his interviewees’ remarks express this common-sensical traditional liberalism. Perhaps what we have here is a failure once again to communicate due to mislabelings. The English embroiled in this argument might understand one another much more clearly if they would see “liberalism” as the new traditionalism that it actually is. Better yet, discard these labels altogether.The irony here is almost palpable. It is not the “traditionalist” that is rigid, close-minded, but the liberal. We human beings are pitifully limited, you know, even the smartest of us. If we go west far enough, we wind up east, after all.

  • She finds it almost amusing that clergy opposed to women bishops are prepared to consider joining Rome and accept the alien doctrine of transubstantiation – the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ – just to escape the ‘‘monstrous regiment’’. She reserves her sympathy for the Archbishop of Canterbury.What?! Anglicans believe the same thing except that we can’t determine the exact instant it occurs! This whole article is idiotic.Hugh detects a degree of hypocrisy in the targets chosen by the Anglo-Catholics on one side and evangelicals on other. “Take sex before marriage. Virtually no one abstains nowadays. That isn’t an issue to me or my friends. You could muster the same biblical injunctions against it as those against being gay or women in the ministry, but no one would dare to go down that path because they would lose their congregations.”Typical liberal logic: Everyone’s doing it, so it can’t be wrong or condemned.To hell with the C of E – this Anglo-Catholic knows what the Truth is and won’t be marginalised by heretics.

  • We shall offer up our prayers for those who would stray so far from Scriptural and Catechetical principles. May Jesus enlighten their hearts.

  • There is an article in the May issue of Catholic World Report (“A Guide to the Anglican Crisis”) that gives a much more even-handed explanation of the debate. Steven Page Smith is a bit fuzzy (to put it kindly) in his brief historical overview of the beginning of the English “Reformation”, but he does describe the parameters of the current debate in a way that an ordinary lay Catholic can understand. He says at one point, “Catholics may be excused for asking, with some impatience, ‘Why don’t they just convert?’ [a place I find myself] The answer is that many Anglicans already regard themselves as Catholics….” It’s that attitude that poses a problem for most Catholics. He sees the current situation as an “opportunity” for Rome. I think a great many Catholics would disagree; I, among them. He sees the historic success of the C of E as an effect of that church’s traditional “inclusiveness” and he apparently thinks that Rome should follow a similar policy. This betrays, however, a complete lack of understanding of Catholicism. He sees no difference between Maronites, etc., and “Anglican Use” folks. Oh, my. There is a BIG difference. Catholicism does not, cannot, include those who are, after all, Protestants. Perhaps this kind of thinking is due to the inherent denial in his view of the C of E’s origin. One wants to hold his face between one’s hands and say, “Get this now. You are *not* Catholic. You are Protestant.”

  • Estiel,Not to mention that inclusiveness is at the root of the woes that the COE is facing.Some people just will never learn…

  • If they regard themselves as Catholic already, fine…just start attending your local Catholic parish. Problem solved.Of course, that would mean mingling with people Anglicans consider inferior, less intelligent, less wealthy and cultured, and far too ethnic. (Based on Anglican and Episcopalian snide comments about Catholics I’ve heard all my life. They really are quite vocal in their superior opinions.)