Spats

Some of the criticism of the new Apostolic Constitution has been bitter. Liberal critics have attacked Pope Benedict for undermining ecumenical discussions. They say he has pulled the plug and insulted the Anglicans.

Why doesn’t anyone point out that the Anglicans have been sabotaging the ecumenical effort since the mid 1970s. When the Episcopal Church of the USA was voting for women priests the Catholic Church said diplomatically, “Please don’t do this as it will present a new obstacle on the path to Christian Unity.” They went ahead. The list goes on. Virtually every five years since then there has been another scandal, another crisis vote, another issue and Holy Mother church has endured another slap in the face from the Anglicans.

Time and again the Catholic ecumenical partners have gone back for another dialogue, another meeting, and another conference. Time and again the Catholics partners have spoken clearly and passionately about Christian unity and over and over again the Anglicans have disregarded the Catholic position and done the thing anyway.

Now when Rome responds with a new initiative it is Rome who is blamed for being difficult??

Can somebody help me here? Am I missing something? While the Anglicans continue to muddle and moan and talk and debate their own conflicts the Holy See comes up with an astounding, positive and creative  way forward for Catholic-minded Anglicans.

I hope and pray that the Church of England and Episcopal Church will finally use some, compassion and common sense. They should ‘let my people go.’ Williams and Schori–let the Anglo Catholics take advantage of this offer. Bid them farewell (or even good riddance if you must) but let them go, and why not work out an agreement whereby they can continue to worship in their churches. You own them if you must, but lease them to the Anglo Catholics. You won’t be wanting all those church buildings. Often those Anglo Catholic Churches are in the bad part of town anyway. You don’t want to worship there. Let them have ‘em, and if they can’t have those, then let them have some other buildings you don’t want. Count up the cost of the lawsuits, the time, the expense the hard feelings, and cut your losses.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05883626628089839136 Deacon Nathan Allen

    Well, Padre, it's only "ecumenical", doncha know, if it doesn't lead to actual unity!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02943402221380643610 John

    "Why doesn't anyone point out that the Anglicans have been….."It's interesting how similar this view of the Holy See is to popular attitudes about the United States. For instance, only the US (and Israel) "go to war." I've said things like, "Why doesn't anyone point out that….al-Qaeda has gone into Iraq and fomented massive violence… shouldn't that be called "making war?" Or "starting a war?" But it never is. Likewise Hamas can bombard Israel with rockets and that's never called "starting a war."I'm just waiting for the holy Father to be called a unilateralist cowboy…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    The Holy Spirit leads us in unity. If we don't sense this, it may be that we are not allowing the Spirit to speak to our hearts.Maybe you should write a novena for this situation,Father?I don't know why I just said that, but it came into my head, and at least we could all join you in praying specifically, for our separated brethren.Prayer does work, after all. And it is God's will that we are all one, so we can pray in expectant faith!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00795596623546394780 PlainCatholic

    We call it the blame game; whenever and wherever a miserable man gets upset with a thing, it becomes habit to blame someone else. So too, with the liberal Episcopalians who are dinging the Vatican initiative. We can only pray for the confused and the lost.You asked about contacting us and we can be reached at plaincatholic@gmail.comWe are not sure about how to contact you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07346012062816580296 Athelstane

    Well said, Fr.True motives are never hard to seek: they desire unity, but only in the spirit of liberalism, understood as Newman understood (and fought) it. "If only the bigots in both churches would go away."Well, the Anglicans have a chance now to get rid of their own bigots, at any rate. It's just regrettable that bigots make up over 70% of the entire communion. Sandro Magister has a great new piece up this morning talking with Cardinal Kasper about all this.

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

    Shadlowlands' comment was in my own head when I read your post. Conversion is not an unaided human decision. It's an action of grace, an invitation requiring our acceptance. I accepted. You accepted. They didn't.

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

    p.s. You can't make people accept and invitation if they don't want to. Period.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16141414361291882691 Augustine

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of Catholic ecumenical efforts to bring the lost sheep back into the fold, i.e., to undo the Reformation with its multiple sects in order to fulfill Jesus' prayer for the visible unity of His flock? In this sense, isn't this Apostolic Constitution doing God's will? Then let there be wailing and gnashing of teeth!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08801584133028591211 Laura R.

    Spot on, Father. Anglicans insisting on the ordination of women to the priesthood and on homosexual marriage & etc. have clearly given no thought to the damage they have inflicted on Christian unity.I can only hope that Archbishop Williams will be more gracious and generous than Mrs. Schori over the question of church property; at least with the breakaway Anglican Church in North America, she has relentlessly sued Anglicans out of their churches with the intention of preventing the use of these properties by any group claiming to be Anglican.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Once again you cheerfully – and deliberately? – miss the point of Anglican unease about this declaration. We do not describe your pope as 'difficult', rather 'discourteous. Why? Of course 'conversations' have been going on for twenty years or more about the crossover of unhappy Anglican priests to Rome (and sometimes back again). Of course Rome has the right to decide what Rome wants to do (as if it cannot fail to be right all the time).Where we feel discourtesy to have come in is that while relations have apparently been open and more or less friendly since the time of Michael Ramsey and John XXIII, this pope has evidently decided that these channels are no longer wanted. How long has it taken for this document to be decided on, drafted, revised, approved, prepared for publication? My guess would be that it has been on the go since the beginning of this papacy – with strict instructions to Westminster and others to tell no-one in Canterbury what was in train. Nichols' recent weasel words that 'it was up to the Anglicans to tell Canterbury' are embarrassingly disingenuous. So Rome tells Canterbury a bare two weeks before the proposals are made public. THAT is what annoys Anglicans. Discourtesy indeed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16141414361291882691 Augustine

    Come on, flyingvic, discourtesy? Is that what you can utter after Anglicanism having slid into heresy even more deeply? What has decades of dialog accomplished other than courteous conversations about the weather over tea? Yet, the discourtesy against God like priestesses, homosexual bishops, homosexual unions, Buddhist priests, Christ-as-just-a-moral-teacher theology is all fine and dandy? Really, the tea was good, but the will wasn't.

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

    Flyingvic's comment is the best explanation yet of why we should just let them go. Good grief. It's hopeless. Go through RCIA like the rest of humanity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    Far be it from me to ever say anything controversial, but as a born and bred Roman Catholic(who's dipped and dabbled in other Church's), I really like the Anglicans, and I feel sorry for what's happening to them. I can hear flyingvics hurt in his words and certainly don't want to send any message of 'Our way or the highway'. The Holy Spirit doesn't approach people like that flyingvic, and if that's the message you are hearing, please hear this Catholic's message too. I welcome you to our Church, if it's your will and decision. Don't judge us by the comments here only. I have found that converts can be quite harsh in their view of those who are still in their old religion. A little bit like ex-smokers, but us cradle Catholics generally(apart from maybe the super trads) are less virulent.Maybe go to an Irish type parish Church, the liturgy may not be up to your usual standard, but you'll get a warm welcome as a human being, and not a seeming recalcitrant proddy. God bless you, and I am truly sorry for any hurt you have received from your fellow members of the Body of Christ.Best wishes, A sinner.P.S. Thanks for helping me to take another look at how I should speak to members of other religions.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Augustine, I would have thought that four decades of talking to one another after four centuries of dislike, distrust and sometimes worse makes a good beginning, not a failed experiment. And when you start to catalogue Anglican oddities, remember what our Lord said about the mote and the beam.I made, by the way, what I still think is a valid point about the difference between 'difficult', as used in the blog, and 'discourteous', as used by me, as an alternative explanation of the current Anglican feeling. I am sorry indeed, Estiel, if seeking to express an opinion contrary to yours or the blogger's means that to you I am a soul no longer worth saving.Shadowlands, thank you. I have many friends in your church with whom over the years I have been privileged to share our mutual pain in separation – as well as discussion, laughter, whisky and beer in great measure. I recognise the warmth of humanity in your welcome; sadly, it is the lack of human warmth (so notably present in those three of his predecessors who took John as part of their name) that characterises – to my eyes – both Benedict and his chosen change of direction.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00567101757750678643 Joel

    Flyingvic, give me dislike with openness and honesty over courteous half-truths and insincerity any day. As the English might say, enough of the bollocks…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    Do we Catholics presume to speak for God, when using this type of tone about other people's belief's? People who the Pope himself calls our separated BRETHREN, not excluded ENEMIES. Do we imagine the Holy Spirit is anything other than grieved when He hears us, possibly causing little ones to lose faith? If I weren't already a Catholic, and I came across some of you lot wot comment on this 'ere blog, I would run a ruddy mile to get away from anything that even sniffed of Rome. It's a pithy poor advert for conversion I say(an I don't care who hears me,I stopped aiming for popularity a while back).I seriously wonder If you have any love for your Anglican brethren, and some of you used to be Anglicans, in fact you ex Anglicans can be the worst.Your uppity attitudes remind me of that servant in the Bible who got let off with his debt and then had another fella who owed him a few quid thrown into prison. Remember what happened to him in the end?????? Think of our own failures as Catholics to grasp and live the truth, I'd hardly call any of us 'perfected in love',and think back to your own conversions, if you are converts. Did you all just convert without a struggle? If you did, it was an act of God, of His Grace, and not your own doing, lest any of you should boast. There's also prayer, fasting and penance.How about we set aside one day a month to pray and fast for the separated brethren? St Therese has been complicit in the bringing about of many converts from Anglicanism, she could be invoked too. But Oh no, we'd have to love them to want to fast for them, wouldn't we? Lets just keep clanging like cymbals and scoffing with our angelic tongues, in Latin if so desired, reminding ourselves regularly of our innerancy(Is that the word I'm lookin for? One of you brainy sorts will know). The word that means we can never be wrong. Scripture reckons, even if we know everything there is to be known of truth and knowledge, without love, it don't mean a thing!Christ died on a filthy Cross for all of us, while we were yet sinners, and not so that we could mock each other. It makes me ashamed of my Church, it really does. I might write a Novena myself, for us all to say, especially for Anglicans at this time. They must be feeling very unsure of things, and we're a fat lot of use shouting our self righteous insults from the Tiber's edge…..Well, really, I've never heard of such a thing!flyingvic, I once again welcome you to the Catholic Church. As you can no doubt see, we are a bunch of sinners, but we share the same Saviour and He only deals in sinners, the righteous have no use of Him. That's why you barely hear His Name mentioned, acknowledged or invoked by those already perfected………

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Amen.

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

    There seems to be an apples and oranges situation here. When people are offended, they impute things to the offender that aren't true. For example, I didn't say or even imply, flyingvic, that I (or any other Catholic) didn't think your soul was worth saving. Good heavens. But such a imputation may not be surprising if you can refuse the Holy Father's invitation on grounds of "courtesy." And it's an idiosyncracy of some to believe that they become righteous by condemnation of others. It's a Pharisee's mode of thought, not new at all. ("Look at me. I'm not like that sinner. I'm good.") The trouble with that method of self-estimation, however, is that it is dependent on a foil to assert its righteousness. I've served this commenter in that way before. In my absence, I've noticed that he finds others. And now in this morning's news we find that, in response to the Ordinariate of the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury "refuses" not to ordain women. And there it is again: the Pope did not demand, suggest any such thing at all of him or any Anglican."Straw men" are necessary for those who cannot find themselves except via positive contrasted against negative. If they cannot find the flaw in their brother by which they may declare their own righteousness, they just make one up. It is the womb of Protestantism itself, anyway. And its logical extension is to make one's choices the responsibility of others: "I'm leaving because YOU…(whatever)." If a whatever is not near at hand, they have to create one, for they must make their choices someone else's fault.And that is why the effort of the Church (through this Pope and others) to satisfy Anglican complaints is, as I said, "hopeless." If you're an Anglican, it's because you choose to be, not because of anything any Catholic has done. Conversely, if you're a Catholic, it's because you choose to be. Your conversion can't be because of what any Anglican has done. The attempt to answer the endless Anglican complaints is futile.As Billy Graham always said, he never converted anyone. It's the Holy Spirit who does, and his wooing is either accepted or declined. "Reasons" don't matter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Estiel, what you wrote in response to my post was, "..just let them go. Good grief. It's hopeless." I apologise if I mistook your meaning; I can only plead that in the face of your comments it was an easy mistake to make!But please do not fall into doing what you (incorrectly, I think) imply that I have been doing. I did not indicate whether I was going to accept the Pope's invitation or not – my acceptance would not in any case be dependent upon perceived courtesy; I simply tried to correct what I saw in the original blog as a mistaken impression of Anglican feeling – the difference between 'difficult' and 'discourteous'.To comment on your final paragraphs: it would be equally true to say that the effort of the Church of England (through this Archbishop and others) to satisfy Roman complaints is apparently hopeless. I had thought that 'Hope' was what brought Anglicans and Romans closer through conversation. Do you think that the invitation of the Holy Spirit is only available to those who look towards Rome?

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

    "Do you think that the invitation of the Holy Spirit is only available to those who look towards Rome?"Billy Graham has never preached on behalf of the Catholic Church."…the effort of the Church of England…to satisfy Roman complaints is apparently hopeless."To my knowledge there have been no 'Romans' declaring that they would enter the CofE "if only…."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    1. So are those who accepted the invitation of the Holy Spirit after hearing Billy Graham preach real Christians?2. Not only has the Tiber been crossed in both directions by individuals, other denominations regularly have come up against the brick wall of Roman theological thinking: "We have the truth. You are in error." It doesn't make for easy dialogue.

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

    The answer to (1) is yes.The response to (2) is–huh? If I choose this or that anything, I am obviously thinking that it is the correct choice. But I don't know why that should inhibit any dialogue with those who didn't make the same choice. You can dialogue with the Chuch all you want to; no one is stopping you. If you'd like to join the Church–great. If you don't, okay.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16141414361291882691 Augustine

    flyingvic,You said: "We have the truth. You are in error." If you weren't Protestant, then you'd recognize that this statement is true. Then again, that's why many Anglicans convert to the One True Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ: she has the truth and all Anglicans have been led to error by an adulterous and tyrannical monarch, Henry VIII.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Estiel, I am truly glad that we are in agreement that it is not necessary to join the Catholic church in order to be a real Christian, one needs only to respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit. I must warn you, however, that not everyone on this blog will agree with you…Augustine, the Catholic church would have a more credible claim to have possession of the truth if it did not possess also a history of changing its mind. And the suggestion that Henry VIII was an adulterous and tyrannical monarch who led Christians in this country to error while, for example, his near-contemporary Alexander VI (or should that be Alexander V, to take account of one now considered to be an anti-pope?) was an adulterous and tyrannical pope who maintained his church's hold on the truth, would make a fascinating subject for a PhD thesis, don't you think?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    If we can cause little one's to lose faith in Christ Himself, as scripture suggests we can, then it seems more than possible that we can influence a person's journey to or from Rome. I am responsible for the face I show of my Church. And if we claim as Catholics to hold all the revealed truth it is possible to have had revealed, we must remember that without love that truth is barren.I have never found being bamboozled a gateway for my moving towards any person,place or thing even if it would be good for me. I guess I'm stubborn.But I would say to any Anglican who is considering converting to Catholicism, ask Our Lady to intercede for you. Start by maybe saying one Hail Mary slowly. I have found great strength in overcoming defects of character since starting to pray the Rosary. Issues that I had struggled with for years, and genuinely sort freedom from, but with no results, once I prayed the Rosary, they just melted away. I couldn't quite believe it. There is no stronger prayer in my experience. Even if you don't want to convert, pray the Rosary. It is The Prayer! I love Billy Graham, seen him three times! I got born again, all over again at all his meetings too!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16141414361291882691 Augustine

    flyingvic,Alexander didn't change the teachings of the Church in spite of his sins, unlike Henry VIII, who made of his sins Anglican teaching (e.g., allowing divorce, moving the see of Peter to his throne, etc).Besides, did Alexander kill over 70000 Englishmen if they wouldn't declare him to be the head of the Church? As Henry Newman said, "knowing history is to cease being a Protestant."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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

    "Estiel, I am truly glad that we are in agreement that it is not necessary to join the Catholic church in order to be a real Christian, one needs only to respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit. I must warn you, however, that not everyone on this blog will agree with you…"Oh, I don't know, flyingvic. My mother was what's called "hardshell" Southern Baptist. She was a better Christian than I'll ever be. She was a product of her culture, one a bit more historically isolated than you or I, I wouldn't doubt. "Catholic" was foreign to her, but only a measure more foreign than "Methodist." I have first-hand evidence of God's favoritism toward her, but there is also evidence of the same toward people of many other persuasions–even non-Christians. Anyway, the point I want to make is that neither I nor any other Catholic I know of finds this strange. You said that "not everyone on this blog will agree with you." Well, I may be wrong, you never know, but I don't think any Catholic would. The Holy Father doesn't. The thing is that it's not necessary to condemn in order to justify not choosing. John marries Alice. That doesn't mean he condemns all other women, but it does mean that he has chosen Alice–and by extension, that he has not chosen any other woman. Now along comes Bob, who feels–for some reason–that he must defend friend John's choice. Why? Who knows? It's not due to any problem John has–or Alice–or anyone else–and that leaves Bob. What's his problem? I don't know. But what I do know is that it's *his* problem–not John's or Alice's or anyone else's.I pray the divine office and when I used to visit my mother, she always wanted to participate in the evening prayer (if she was awake when I prayed the morning prayer, she'd do that too), but then, when I withdrew to my room for silent meditation for 30 minutes, she didn't understand that. That's okay. It was okay with her too. I have no doubt of the authenticity of her faith. And now I think of it, one reason is that she did not have to condemn my choice in order to justify her own.Nor do I. I'm a Catholic because I–repeat *I*–believe it's the historical unfolding of the Church Christ established. God help those who switch pronouns and say "I am (whatever)….because YOU (whatever)…." No, no. I….because I….It would even be okay just to eliminate the "because…." altogether. Just "I…." will do. You don't have to defend your choices at all to anyone except yourself and God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    No, Augustine, Pope Alexander did not (if you say so) change the teaching of the church; but if even half the things said about him were true then his whole life was a systematic betrayal and denial of the teachings and example of his Saviour and his church.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Estiel, truly, I hope that you are right. I have no right to assume that those who respond to a blog such as this are at all representative of the catholic church as a whole. Nevertheless, the general tone here seems to lean much more towards the exclusive than towards the inclusive. Any sacrament received outside the catholic church is described as 'invalid'. My orders are denied as 'invalid'. If I were to accept the invitation to cross the Tiber then our marriage of twenty-nine years (which has brought such blessings to us both) would have to be 'validated'. The inference is tolerably clear: St Augustine's "salus extra ecclesiam non est" is being translated as "outside the Roman Catholic Church there is no salvation" – and personally I can find no justification for that. Apart from anything else, suggesting that the Holy Spirit is incapable of action except through the channels provided by Rome is dangerously unscriptural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Father, while you are lamenting the obstacles placed on the path to Christian Unity, please do not forget to include Papal Infallibility and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which dogmas all Christians are required to believe or be anathema to the Church.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16141414361291882691 Augustine

    When a Roman Catholic bishop in Hippo says that there's no salvation outside the Church, why do you think that it would be found outside the Church, as in the Anglican church? Hasn't Our Lord come to divide and not to "include"?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00567101757750678643 Joel

    Why is that disagreements and differences of opinion are taken as personal attacks? I open my house to a friend to share a sumptuous banquet: to ask him to wipe his feet before he comes in or wash his hands before he eats is not a reneging of my offer or a challenge to our friendship; merely an expectation of respect and courtesy that true and loving friends owe one another.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    flyinvic,Why don't you start a blog? I reckon one's needed to voice some of the concerns you raise and to encourage fellow Anglicans at this time. Just a thought.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Not that I knew Augustine of Hippo personally, you understand, but I rather doubt that he would have described himself as a 'Roman' Catholic.Our Lord said that when he was lifted up he would draw all men unto him. That sounds pretty inclusive to me. Anyone who says that WE, not YOU, are the true church is placing boundaries where Jesus didn't.Is that a good thing?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Joel – if, however, the guest maintains that his feet have indeed been wiped and his hands thoroughly washed only for the host to reply that he really needs to do it again, but this time properly, there is likely to be a feeling of awkwardness…

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

    My goodness, 36 comments. Flyingvic,When I was in RCIA, the deacon instructor told this story: His little boy, 5, was in tears one day when he picked him up from daycare. His little friend at the daycare center was Chinese and a Buddhist, and he said he was crying because his little friend would not go to heaven. The deacon told him not to worry, that there would be an awful lot of surprised Chinese Buddhists when they wake up in heaven.Another true story: Once when I was mulling over the place of the one true Church is the cosmic scheme of things, I had a "vision": Imagine vast and empty space, one place (and one only) where there is light. There was a long line of Roman arches that led to the light. It was not an enclosed tunnel but open arches. Anyone in that vast and empty space could get to the light by following the arches. Anyone in the arches could leave or return. It was possible to get to the light outside the arches, but there was a danger of getting lost in dark space. I understood: the long row of (Roman) arches was the Magisterium of the Church. Can you reach the light outside them? Yes. But you run a risk of getting lost. "Narrow is the gate of salvation." came to mind.I don't pretend to know the Mind of God, but there are some things one knows instinctively. The Church is a great gift of God. To spurn any gift is to spurn the giver.By the way, I think that maybe you don't know much about the Church. For example, your marriage IS valid and sacramental, whether you were married within the Church or not. If you took your vows in the name of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), then your marriage is binding (and valid) until one of you dies. Indeed, this has been a problem for some who are divorced and re-married when they seek to enter the Church. In fact, it was the bindingness of marriage that created your church via Henry VIII. But apart from all the 36 comments, I have to wonder: if you are content as an Anglican, why do you care? Why would you complain about anything the Church does? I don't frankly care about what the Anglican church does, and I'd never criticize or complain about it. If you feel secure and righteous where you are, why should anything the Pope says bother you at all?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Hi Estiel – again, you may well be right; but it was my understanding that at the very least questions would be asked to discover whether my marriage would need to be validated or not. As you may gather, I will not be getting close enough to find out!Why do I bother?I was browsing The Times when I came across one of Fr Dwight's occasional articles – and there was something about it with which I disagreed. I responded. Shortly afterwards the Pope's invitation was made public; and since then I have been a regular contributor to these boards.I do it because I love my church. Indeed, the Church of England is full of people who love their church, as, I am quite sure, the Church of Rome is too. I believe that the Church of England, with all its faults and glories, is the true Reformed Catholic Church in this land. It nurtured my family, it nurtured me, it nurtured my vocation. I know Archbishop Rowan personally because he was a tutor for one of my years at college, and I know him to be a wise, prayerful and deeply spiritual man who is one of the foremost intellectuals of his generation.What Rome decides to do is Rome's business. But what I find too often on this blog, both in the original articles and in the comments that follow, are attitudes that – in my opinion (heavily underlined!) – dismiss the CofE as unimportant, patronise it, misunderstand it, misrepresent it and mock it unmercifully; and then go on to do the same with our Archbishop. All this, of course, while appearing to be blissfully unaware of any faults, contemporary or historical, that might be found here or there within Roman Catholicism.And, frankly, it hurts.I would much rather that Christians reached out to the unchurched than try to convert existing Christians from one denomination to another.

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

    Flyingvic,That's a lovely comment. Just as the Church of England has nurtured you and your family, so did the Baptist church for my mother. The most telling remark of all, however, was "I love my church."If you resent the tone of some comments on this board, please remember that Catholics resent centuries of intense persecution by the church you love. Most of all, more than loss of property and life, the label of "treason." There are apparently many within the Church of England who do not agree with what we'll call "the progressive direction" that church has taken. Collectively, they also love the ritual, the tradition, that they identify as "Catholic." They wanted–apparently a large number of them–to join the Church en masse, and have sent deputations to the Pope asking for some kind of means to do that. He has finally responded.Frankly, I've never approved of en masse entry into the Church. And I suspected these groups of making threats to leave the Church of England merely in order to get their way in the direction that church was taking. In other words, I suspected a "power play" or, if you will, a "bluff." The outcome so far has pretty much validated my suspicion.So, flyingvic, I think you should simply be at peace. If you truly love your church, it should not be necessary for you to condemn others (specifically Catholic) in order to justify your attachment. At St Bede's church, while we were on that pilgrimage, we had to wait out in the gift shop area while a small group of Anglicans were singing Evensong before we could celebrate Mass. When they sang Salve Regina, we joined in. One or two leaned forward from the choir and waved to us. That was nice. An ecumenical moment. But then we were aware that the church we were in had been stolen from us–history is history, we don't re-write it as the Anglican church did. And then, also, when the caretaker asked if he could receive Holy Communion, he had to be denied. Everything about the Anglican church and the Catholic Church was summed up in these events.I'm sure you know Father Longnekker's history. It's a history similar to many of the commenters here who left the Anglican church to become Catholic. They too loved the Anglican church, but they loved something else more. They are merely trying to be good evangelizers–don't be too hard on them. I believe that the impetus for conversion comes from the Holy Spirit, and I don't evangelize per se; I do, however, respond to every opportunity to correct ignorance about the Church (such as your mistaken idea about the way the Church perceives marriage.)So, I can easily wish you peace with good will, but I also say that if, like Newman, you ever prefer truth over sentiment, you will either become Catholic or you will be conflicted the rest of your life. That conflict is the inescapable legacy of English usurpation of the Church in that country. You may call it "reformation" if you like. If my neighbor has a car that I want for myself, I can, I suppose, "reform" the ownership of that car. But not without consequence–not for the car, but for myself.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    "So, I can easily wish you peace with good will, but I also say that if, like Newman, you ever prefer truth over sentiment…"Estiel, you shake my hand one moment and slap my face the next!"Treason"? If you read the text of the Papal Bull of Pius V entitled 'Regnans in excelsis' you will understand how he placed all English subjects who wished to remain loyal to their monarch and loyal to Rome as well into an impossible position: damned if you do and damned if you don't."Theft"? That's a curious one. The same priests and the same people continued to use the same churches to worship the same God. To this day the costs of upkeep of ancient parish churches devolve upon the congregation who worship there. So what exactly was stolen, and from whom?"If you truly love your church, it should not be necessary for you to condemn others (specifically Catholic) in order to justify your attachment."That's the second time in this thread that you have at least suggested that 'condemning catholics', for whatever reason, is what I'm about. Defending the Church of England and her Archbishop, yes; condemning catholics, no – or can you show me where?

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

    Elizabeth harrassed, persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered Catholics for many years, and the Pope did nothing. But when there was an uprising against this persecution in the north, she had over 800 men, women, and children put to death. Only then did he excommunicate her. Catholics were not forbidden to be loyal to her, but they were no longer constrained by Church law to be loyal subjects. They continued to recognize her as their monarch. It was Elizabeth's law that Catholics were traitors, not the Pope's.As for theft, there are other words: I used usurpation, but there is nationalize, confiscate. It's still theft. As for the same people attending the church, they were required to do so by law. The law said one had to attend the Protestant services in the state churches. The penalty for not doing so were ruinous fines. This is how Catholics were initially impoverished. As persecution intensified, their property was seized, and of course, if they harbored a priest, they were executed. We cannot pretty this up, sir. But I think we've had enough back-and-forth. It's clear that you have misinformation about the Church, and that requires some reading. To make assertions on a blog and get corrected is an inefficient way to learn. And argument is always counter-productive.And I do wish you well. I see no contradiction in believing the truth and in wishing you well. I will take mutuality of good will for granted….

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    Estiel, you have my goodwill now and always, and my prayers for God's blessing.With regard to history and what the pope at the time did or did not do or say: google 'Regnans in excelsis' and you will see what I mean.I do not excuse what was done either in the name of God or in the name of the Crown. I'm just looking – as usual! – for a bit of balance here!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X