Of course, most of you have already dropped by Father Z's What Does the Prayer Really Say? blog once or twice. But just in case you missed these posts, here are links and excerpts. First on Archbishop Hepworth (his bolds and comments in red):
“The ball is in our court. We asked for this and this is what we got. This is becoming Anglican Catholics, not Roman Catholics,” Archbishop Hepworth said, speaking from Australia. [Anglican Catholics, not Roman Catholics.]
“So our way of doing theology is there, as is our way of discipline. Our group will have the right to elect our bishops. We asked the CDF for election by council. They laughed at us at first, but we got it. [!] We are also working with a commission with Forward in Faith to produce our liturgy. [They will have to make some adaptations.] We signed the Catechism as ‘the most complete and authentic expression and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time’.
“We did that to put our commitment beyond dispute, but we did not have to agree to Apostolicae Curae [which declares Anglican orders absolutely null and utterly void], because that is not in the Catechism.” [!]
A consultation was taking place on “reordination in the TAC context”. “We separated from the Anglican Church. Some left because of sacramental and doctrinal issues, and have got lost. We chose to take up ARCIC [the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission], and we have got what we wanted. People who said we could not are having to eat humble pie, and I am sinfully enjoying that.”
The Archbishop said that he was issuing TAC’s original 2007 petition to the CDF at the same time as his pastoral letter.
In his letter, he writes: “Re-ordination is an issue because the Church requires absolute certainty in the matter of future sacramental life. I have been told that the TAC should understand this because we ourselves moved beyond the Angli-can Communion in order to ensure the validity of sacramental life. Rome is now seeking the same assurance.” [Reasonable. Entirely]
The Apostolic Constitution “speaks of Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. There at the outset are the three critical factors: Anglicans, full communion and Catholic Church.”
Cool, eh? Now here is Father Z on the Holy Father's most excellent exhortation to the bishops of England and Wales. Some excerpts (with his bolds and remarks in red):
Ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue assume great importance in England and Wales, given the varied demographic profile of the population. As well as encouraging you in your important work in these areas, I would ask you to be generous in implementing the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, so as to assist those groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. [And they are traditional Anglicans.] I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, such groups will be a blessing for the entire Church.
Of course, we here at The Anglo-Catholic love what Pope Benedict XVI said, not only about us, but also about the importance of speaking the truth in the public square and not watering down the Church's message.
However this salient portion (with Father Z's bolds and comments) is causing an uproar in the mainstream British media:
Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed. [Here goes…] I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth. Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them: when so many of the population claim to be Christian, how could anyone dispute the Gospel’s right to be heard? [Note the connection between the clear teaching of faith and the need to have an impact in the public square? The connecting term is our Catholic identity. If we don’t have a strong identity, we have nothing of interest to offer in the public square. This is what I have been hammering at for years regarding Pope Benedict’s plan,"Marshall Plan", for the Church. He is trying to rebuild, revitalize our devastated Catholic identity.]
Don't you love it when there's a lot of red on Father Z's blog?
Here's an example of how this is playing in the U.K., though, and the Holy Father's remarks have fanned up the ire of the secularist fundies (aka the useful idiots of the Western Civilisation's attempted suicide). Ruth Gledhill of The Times has the following on her blog (my bolds and comments in red):
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster today attempted to defuse a row that threatens to overshadow the Pope's forthcoming visit to Britain by claiming that Benedict XVI was merely giving voice to what many people felt when he attacked this country's record of promoting equal rights for gays. [!!!!! Gag me. No, Ruth, he is saying that promoting equal rights for gays should not then mean that suddenly Catholics or any other group's religious freedom becomes a casualty of one-size-fits all politically-correct orthodoxies that crush everyone else's freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of conscience.]
Surprise at the Pope's remarks was today giving way in Britain to more determined opposition to his views, with the National Secular Society vowing to set up a Protest the Pope campaign to hold demonstrations during Benedict's visit. [I'm sure the pope is quivering in his boots]
Ruth is such a nice person. But such a liberal Anglican. Thus, I wonder if she has any insight into how the liberal orthodoxy is itself fundamentalist position that squelches true pluralism and freedom of thought and action. Why cannot there be space for a robust Catholic position and practice in the public square and in their own hospitals, adoption agencies and so on AND a recognition of the rights of gays and lesbians to robustly defend their position and create their own adoption agencies, etc. without forcing their sexual dogma on the rest of society?
Alas, when the radical jihadists come knocking, the secular fundies will cave and resort to appeasement and gays will be thrown under the bus. As the prophetic and humorous Mark Steyn wrote in Macleans Magazine last year:
Yet the shifting hierarchies of multiculturalism are not too hard to discern: in Britain, an educational establishment gung-ho about forcing the kindergartners of evangelical Christians to be taught the joys of same-sex marriage crumbled in nothing flat when Muslim parents in Bristol objected. If it’s a choice between Heather Has Two Mommies or Heather Has Four Mommies And A Big Bearded Daddy Who Wants To Marry Her Off To A Cousin Back In Pakistan, bet on the latter. Any gay couple or blind man with a Seeing Eye dog who takes on a Muslim bed-and-breakfast proprietor will get short shrift from the “human rights” commission. The OHRC is currently champing at the bit to force gay altar servers on Ontario Catholics. At the local mosque, no imam need worry about such state encroachments on religion.
The “human rights” bureaucracy has had a grand run sticking it to Christians and other unfashionable groups. The internal contradictions of the rainbow coalition will prove harder to negotiate.
In other words, the secular fundies so vocally defending the rights of gays to trump the rights of Christians of various stripes will be the first to cave when real persecution begins. And by the way, it's already happening in cities like Amsterdam and Malmo and elsewhere and only courageous folks like Bruce Bawer speak up about it.
There is only the sounds of crickets chirping in the mainstream media about physical assaults on gays simply for being out on the streets.
It will be only the Catholics, the Evangelical Christians and the Jews who will stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians to live free from the real persecution that is already happening but getting roundly ignored.
Interestingly, it is a gay Jewish friend here in Ottawa who is one of the few who bothers to report on persecution of Christians around the world. We may agree to disagree about same-sex marriage and a host of other things, but he would defend my right to disagree with him and vice versa. What ever happened to that kind of pluralism and willingness to share the public square?
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