Mantilla the Hon on Anglo Catholics

Guest blogger Mantilla Amontillado, Ecclesiastical fashionista comments on the Anglican Ordinariate.

Let me tell you something hon, I went to England one summer for to study the English you know? I was maybe seventeen and I go to this English Language School in Kent. It was really nice, and on Sunday I go into town to go to Mass with my friend Anna. So we find this nice old church and go to Mass and it is beautiful. The priest is very nice. He’s wearing an old lace alb and fiddleback chasuble, maniple, the works. The deacon has on this beautiful brocade dalmatic and I can’t believe it the priest is wearing a biretta and everything is so wonderful I could weep. The music is fantastic and there is incense smoke everywhere. “Why can’t they do Mass like this in Spain?” I say to Anna.

So I’m coming out of church and we’re walking through the gate of the church and Anna says, “Hey look Mantilla! Look at this sign!” So I’m trying to read the English and it says, “St Barnabas Church of England.” Akkk! I just about choke. “What’s this?” I scream to my friend Anna. “This is a Protestant Church!” She looks at me and she’s– what you say? horrified. Her eyes are big like those olives we grow in Spain and she whispers to me, “Mantilla, we received the Body of Christ in that Church! They’re not Catholics you know! I think maybe this is a mortal sin.”

So we are walking home totally silent and thinking that probably we are going to hell. Then I’m thinking. “Hold on a minute hon. They are not Catholic right? OK. We make a mistake, but if they’re not Catholic then it wasn’t the Body of Christ anyway. It was just bread.” I’m thinking for a minute and say, “So that’s okay then I guess.” Anna says, “I know what you mean hon, but I still don’t think it was right.”

Anyway, this is my first experience with these people. Now I know better. We studied all this when I am doing my degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery at Salamanca University. The Anglo Catholics, they dress up like Catholics, but they’re not the real thing. Like those guys who dress like a bullfighter in tight pants and those sequin jackets, but they’re not really a matador. Maybe this is not so, what you say, ecumenical, but you know what I mean and I’m only telling you what old Monsignor Quixote say in the theology lessons.

Me? I’m not so close minded. I think I like these Anglo Catholics. They have style you know what I mean hon? They understand that the liturgy is supposed to be beautiful. They take time to dress right. They know how to be reverent. You know what, they know some other things too. They know about sacred music. I’ve been back to England to some of their churches. The worship is beautiful. Maybe they have one or two things to teach us Catholics, and maybe they’re not so Protestant and maybe a lot of them want to believe the Catholic faith.

Now I hear the Holy Father likes them to and he wants them to join the Catholic Church. I don’t know what you think hon, but this is music to my ears. If this happens this is going to shake up the world of ecclesiastical haberdashery that’s for sure. I mean think about it, has anyone decided what the proper outfit is for someone called ‘An Anglican Ordinariate’?

I don’t know, but I can tell you one thing, he aint’ going to wear black, and you’re going to see some serious lace, and he ain’t going to be wearing no polyester vestments and you not going to see sneakers in the sanctuary and you bet all those cassock albs are going to go.

The other thing about these Anglo Catholics is that their priests can be married! Now that is one hot tamale! I’ve seen some of these guys and they are not all fat old priests with hairy ears you know? I don’t know what you think hon, but I have really big mixed emotions about that one you know what I mean!!

Mantilla on Wimmin Priests' Vestments
Mantilla the Hon on Pope Francis
Mantilla the Hon on the Use of Incense
Mantilla the Hon on Queen Sophia
  • carl

    Yer killin' me, Fr. Dwight. Hilarious!

  • Fr. Christopher George Phillips

    I really LOVE this woman!

  • Edward Elkins jr.

    Excitment. I spoke to a priest about celibacy vows visiting the local parish here in The Willamette Valley of Oregon. He explained to me there were over 20 rites of catholic priests. That only the Roman catholic require a vow of celibacy. The orthodox church also doesnt require the vow of celibacy.

  • kkollwitz

    Hey Hon, maybe you can talk that muy famoso Floridian 'piskie priest Fr. Cutie into re-swimming the Tiber and getting with B16's New Deal. See, he's a married Episcopalian priest, but I think he wants to be Catholic.

  • Karen

    You just about killed me with the hairy ears comment. Perhaps they don't have hairy ears because they have wives who like to pluck those mutant hairs off of their husbands. This thought is coming from a wife who likes to pluck her husband's hairy ears.

  • Laura R.

    I'm glad to hear that Mantilla likes the Anglo Catholics. However, I hope she doesn't get too excited about the fact that the priests can be married — their wives might not take too kindly to her interest (and the single ones are going to have to stay single, I believe) –Can't wait to see her design for what an Anglican Ordinary will wear!

  • vox

    simply hilarious

  • Fr Longenecker

    vox, i see you're from San Francisco area. I'm coming there to speak twice next year. Could you help publicize the event? Maybe you could drop me an email?

  • Ms. Sarah

    Fr.L, I've sent an acquaintance of mine to your website. He's an Anglican priest in NZ. He's got some questions-lots of them…Sarah in Wy

  • Whimsy

    The Big News has really invigorated your fictional pieces, Father.

  • GOR

    I suspected Mantilla would have a palabra or six to say about this, Father – and you didn't disappoint!She should get in touch with Hilary at Orwell's Picnic who also has some designs on nubile Anglican parsons…!

  • Neill

    …"maybe a lot of them want to believe the Catholic faith"..I have news for you. We already do, and we practise it. Not so keen on the lace though.

  • Little Black Sambo

    No more cassock albs! If only you were right!

  • margaret

    Oh, what a tempting thought for a red-blooded, lace-loving girl. You need to find one that looks good in Harris tweed, only the English can do that, Europeans look bizarre and Americans look contrived (I think it's because they don't share with their labradors) but the right sort of Englishman, however, will look like Lord Peter Wimsey. Then you want him to have a shelf full of Newman's sermons and know his way to old-rite vespers at the Brompton Oratory and around all the Sundays after Trinity. And then make sure he affects to know of no rite newer or stranger than Series 1, owns an English Missal, is well known at the Frock Me fayres (yes, I said Frock Me) and has made several trips to Poland to buy tat he can't actually wear because he isn't a priest – yet. Such a one you could train up nicely. Very nicely. Very, very nicely indeed.

  • berenike

    (Margaret, tell me that was a tongue-in-cheek post …)

  • margaret

    Just giving Mantilla a little sisterly advice in the interests of east-west relations, Berenike ;)I used to date chaps just like that and I'm sure there must be some still around.

  • Nan

    Edward Elkins, I hope the priest also mentioned that in both Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches, married men may be ordained but priests may not get married.Widowed priests may not be remarried, though I'm told that exceptions may be made if there are small children involved.A local Orthodox priest was divorced and was given a year to decide whether he would continue as a celibate priest or leave the priesthood and be able to marry again.