And for Some Slow Learners…

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  And the time for polemics and attacks against the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the Holy Father and Holy Church, and our Catholic and Apostolic Faith are long over here on The Anglo-Catholic.

Those who will comprise the first waves of converts into the Anglican Ordinariates, often only with much prayer and having completed a lengthy process of discernment, have already made their commitments.  Others have refused the offer of our Holy Father, the Pope — at least for now (and all ought to remember that Anglicanorum coetibus does not have an expiry date!).

As the last few posts have reminded us, this is a time of solemn and prayerful preparation for the day (Lord, may it be soon!) when all who wish to join these new structures and continue the true Catholic heritage of the Anglican experience may do so, and thus being strengthened by their brethren in the heart of the Catholic Church, recommit themselves entirely, without fear or distraction, to the advancement of the Reign of Christ the King.

The Anglo-Catholic exists for the building-up of the Body of Christ in advocating the reintroduction of those Catholic traditions lost to the Church due to a most grievous act of state nearly five centuries ago, and those peculiarly Anglican customs, in accord with the Faith, which have developed since, during our unfortunate Exile.  It exists to disseminate information for the Christian faithful.  It is a place for confirming the brethren, a home for Catholic Anglicans who often feel disconnected, left out, or left behind.

That is not to say that there is not room for passionate debate now and again.  But all discussions will be conducted in a spirit of Christian charity and with an understanding of the culture and faith of this forum as I have outlined above.  Come here to learn.  Come here to share.  Perhaps you can just accompany us on our journey home.  But do not think to come sowing doubt or discord.

If you are a Christian who prefers to style himself a "Continuing Anglican" or a "committed" and "Affirming" member of the Church of England, kindly keep your sentiments about the evils of popery to yourself.  If you have nothing good to say about the New Order of Mass, even if some of your criticisms may very well be valid, remember what your mother taught you.  If you feel the need to perpetuate the "spirit" of Vatican II and Assisi, I am certain that you can find a local Catholic "community" where you will feel right at home.  If you deign to impugn those traditional Catholics who have borne the burden and the heat of the day, often on the margins of the Church, whose prayers and witness have resulted in Summorum Pontificum and the slow return to Tradition, you will simply be banned.

And, having been banned for any grave offense (Yes Herb, this means you!), should you wish to return to our fellowship, simply write the Moderator and ask to be readmitted.  Do not merely change your screen name or email address in an attempt to deceive.  God sees all things, but sophisticated software gives great insight to the blog operators as well.

Let us pray among ourselves.

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organized the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He is also the CEO of Three Fish Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consultancy based in Orlando, FL. He can be reached via email at ccampbell at threefish dot co.

36 thoughts on “And for Some Slow Learners…”

  1. This is the time for those entering the Ordinariate to be supportive of one another. We don't need anymore negative comments, as they have all been said before.

    One must wonder why those who choose another path cannot let those who have decided to become Catholic, bringing our Patrimony with us, can't let us go in peace.

    This is our website, one where we have become a family of sorts over the past two years. There are several websites for those who seem to be angry that the Holy Father has created a bridge for those Anglicans to cross over to our true home.

    Thanks Christian for protecting us from further vindictive posts. Now is the time for us to pray and be joyful that we will all be one family in Christ.

  2. I thank God for the time we worshiped and served under the same ecclesiastical roof. Now, I move on Home to do likewise with the rest of my Catholic brothers and sisters. Do rejoice with me for you are still important to my spiritual life as I pray I am to yours. If you cannot do so then my departure will surely cause us both a certain amount of pain and sorrow. But it shall not divert me on my journey Home. So, I guess what I am saying is, I love you and pray for you and hope you will find in your heart to do so for me. Even if only for good old times sake. God bless us all.

  3. I am sure you are right to call for an end to bitterness and hatred over the establishment of the ordinariates.

    Whilst those who have made the move rejoice in their new membership, they give little thought to those who have remained Anglicans.

    In England, where the first ordinariate was established, no congregation has voted to move as a whole. There has in each case been a remnant left who have seen their priest leave, along with their lay leaders, organist and some of the choir. They have all had to shoulder new responsibilities and increase their giving. Sunday worship, with the loss of organist, choir, and most of the congregation, is not what it was. Daily mass has been cancelled until a new priest is appointed. (Most parishes don’t have a daily mass, and so there is no other daily mass within easy reach). Finding a new priest will be difficult as 31 stipendiary priests have joined the ordinariate. Finances are in desperate straits because ordinariate bound members withheld their contributions leaving the remnant to pay for a priest who was actively recruiting for the RC church. Is it any wonder they feel hurt?

    Those of us who remain must not allow this to colour our thinking and we must rejoice that others have found what they desire. It would be helpful if our desire to remain in fellowship would be reciprocated with some understanding of our situation.

  4. I understand and applaud your aim to protect this site against vindictive and insulting individuals.

    However, I am at a loss to understand why it is wrong as Catholics or aspiring Catholics to uphold the spirt of Vatican II and the spirit of Assisi. Without Vatican II, Anglicanorum Coetibus would not have been possible. And our Holy Father Benedict, whilst himself originally having been sceptical about the first meetings at Assisi because of a feared tendency to cover up the legitimate differences between the various religions, loyally accompanied Pope John Paul II to Assisi and has now invited to his own prayer for peace at Assisi this year.

    It would be a pity if you should feel you must exclude me for making these comments. Are you trying to tell us that the group represented on this website is negationist in the sense of Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers?

    The Pope has held out several olive branches to them, by lifting the excommunication of their invalidly consecrated bishops and by upholding the use of the traditional liturgy, but they are still not willing to accept Vatican II and papal authority and so are still not reconciled with the Church.

    1. I understand Christian's use of "spirit of Vatican II and Assisi" as a short shrift for those who say that since Vatican II and Assisi, there is no need for anybody to become Catholic because "we all believe in the same God" and "all religions are worthy the same". I suppose this was the reason he put those phrases into quotation marks.
      Christian: excellent commentary! God bless you all on your way!

      1. Sorry, I understood "spirit" as the genuine spirit and not as an excuse for dismantling the Church. As for Vatican II, a dose of humility was not such a bad idea for the Church (for example, her treatment of the Jews had been unacceptable) and I stand fully to the changes that were made to correct real faults. If only sexual abuse had been on the agenda in the sixties, we could have dealt with that in a more timely and less damaging way.

        My hope is that the next council will be a truly ecumenical council including the Orthodox churches – a development that I am impatient to experience. In this sense I look forward to Vatican III. Those in the know are enthusiastic.

        1. "My hope is that the next council will be a truly ecumenical council including the Orthodox churches"

          The Orthodox bishops were invited to all ecumenical councils up to, and including, Vatican I. Of course, they declined to accept the invitation, since for the Orthodox Church it is they, and not the Catholic Church, who are "the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" belief in which is confessed in the Nicene Creed.

          An "ecumenical council" is a council of bishops, all of them in sacramental communion with one another (and, as Catholics believe, necessarily in communion with the Pope), not an assembly of representatives of churches and "ecclesial communities" professing different and contradictory doctrines, and not in communion with one another. Such an assembly would have no more authority than, say, the World Council of Churches or of a kind of "World Parliament of Religions" such as met in 1893 — and as such it would be a pointless effort and a perfect waste of time and money.

          1. I quite agree, Dr. Tighe.

            And my hope is that this communion between East and West will be reestablished as a prelude to the next Council. I pray we will see it long before pigs start taking flying lessons.

            The joy we now experience due to Anglicanorum Coetibus will be almost as nothing compared with that joy.

    2. David,

      I very much doubt the moderators here have anything against Vatican II or Assisi. What Christian is alluding to is the notion that these gatherings somehow validated the cherished theological and disciplinary preferences of dissidents despite the absence of any documentary record of such validation. Hence a "liberal" Catholic might argue that the ordination of women somehow conforms to the "spirit Vatican II" even if it is not embodied or even mentioned in its texts. Similarly, a "latitudinarian" might argue (as, ironically, do some Lefebvrists) that the fundamental equality of all religions as the path to salvation was implicit in the "spirit of Assisi."

  5. Don't you think that at the present period of history it is inevitable that a range of commentators will be attracted to read a definite website like The Anglo-Catholic? We are living with the detritus of the recent past at a time when the speed of change is increasing. Tiresome though many 'spirit of Vatican II' or bigotted 'Tridentinists' may be they are part of the fabric among which the Ordinariate has to live and grow. They are also useful for keeping readers informed of the opposition they are likely to encounter from time to time.

    The Ordinariates are an entirely new venture in the life of the Catholic Church. Many Catholics of good will cannot understand why they have come into being, nor the principles that undergird their identity. Let some of the more critical comments stand in order to enable others to refute them. That is a good basis of debate.

    1. We have always had an understanding and forbearing comment moderation policy here on The Anglo-Catholic and we will continue to do so. There are no banned topics and only a few false assertions or hurtful slurs that are likely to get anyone excommunicated.

    1. This is why so many of the prophetic comments predicting the very date of the canonical erection of this or that future ordinariate by the position of the stars, or those representing a truly clinical obsession with defects in the Novus Ordo Missae (so-called) have been flagged through. 😉

  6. David Murphy:

    I think that the author of this excellent post is making a clear distinction between the actual documents of the Vatican II Council, and those questionable things that were later done in the so called "spirit" of that Council.

    As a Traditionalist Catholic in communion with the Pope, I certainly uphold the teachings of the Vatican II Council, and strive to interpret them in the light of our two thousand year old Tradition and Magisterium. I also believe that the true understanding of that Council depends on the knowledge and acceptance of this Tradition and Magisterium.

    Ralph M. McInerny, in his book "What went wrong with Vatican II", deals with this question, and offers a way out of the two quagmires of either falling for the "spirit of Vatican II", or rejecting this Council outright.

  7. Are the new constructs to be called "Anglican" Ordinariates? That would seem unfortunate, to say the least, and would saddle you with a name that gives an impression that you are Anglicans. I thought the whole point of the ordinariate was to allow you to be 'fully' Catholic … In England we don't use that term. We just speak about 'the' ordinariate, or Catholics 'of' the ordinariate. The priests ordained for the ordinariate are fully integrated, already, into our national Church's life (although, of course, many of them are married and so they will always, in a sense, 'stand out').

    God bless the ordinariate!

    1. No, I wouldn't think so generally. In England, you are blessed with a name to call your (existing) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The rest of us are not sure what to call ours to come.

      I didn't mean to suggest that the term Anglican would remain in the forefront of our self-identifying nomenclature in the future — but many of us will continue to relate strongly to something that has come to be called >Anglican< Patrimony, and essentially, that's the very purpose of the Apostolic Constitution.

      1. In the USA the word "Anglican" may have to be used in conjunction with Ordinariate to objectively describe this new particular Catholic church. There are precedents. The Episcopal Church had to put the word "Protestant" to differentiate itself from other churches with an episcopal polity. Thus no one can say that the Protestant Episcopal Church is the same as the Roman Catholic (Episcopal) Church. Of course the RCC need not have the word "episcopal" in its name since it was the original episcopal church!

        Catholics of the Ordinariate are not strictly former Anglicans. Anglicanorum coetibus requires that they still be Anglican in heritage. In fact it may be more accurate to call their church as the Anglican/Episcopal Church (Ordinariate) in communion with Rome. The Russian Catholic Church doesn't call itself as such. The Russian Catholics call themselves as the "Russian Orthodox Church in communion with Rome"

    2. There are no unhyphenated Catholics, even though Latin-Rite Catholics tend to treat themselves as such. Within a relatively short drive of my house in Southeastern Pennsylvania, I have not only "Roman", or Latin Catholics, but Maronite, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Syriac (Mar Thoma), Assyrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, and Russian Greek Catholic churches. Whenever any big invitation or official announcement comes out of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it says "Archbishop of Philadelphia, of the Latins" to distinguish our Archbishop from the other Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia. Not to mention that in this incredibly diverse area, there are numerous ethnic Latin-Rite Catholic parishes, and up the road a bit there is a "Polish Catholic" Shrine, Our Lady of Czestochowa. This diversity is an essential part of what it means to be Catholic.

      Nor is the proposed "Anglican Ordinariate" the only ordinariate in the U.S. Until very recently if you said "ordinariate"it was universally understood as referring to the military ordinariate in the U.S.

      The apostolic constitution specifically speaks of "groups of Anglicans" in its very title, and uses the term Anglican in a very postive sense as referring to something compatible with and to be made a part of the Catholic Church. There has been an Anglican use in the Roman Catholic Church for something like 30 years now. The Holy See refers to "Anglican Ordinariates" in its official documentation.

      So the question, Johnny, in all charity, is not why we have to refer to ourselves "Anglican" Catholics, but when are "Latin Catholics" employing the curial use of the Roman Rite going to wake up and realize that they are not the only kind of Catholic, or even the only kind of Roman Catholic, and that the Catholic Church is far more diverse than their corner of it might make it seem, and that treating themselves as the only proper "Catholics", as many do, is in fact quite insensitive and uncharitable to many, many of their fellow Catholics of different rites, uses and ethnic groups.

    3. In England I take it that even the Ordinary The Rt Rev Mgr Keith Newton is not keen on using "Anglican Ordinariate" to respect the sensibilities of the Established Church of England. But the fact is that the Catholics of the Ordinariate are Anglican in heritage and that the preservation of this heritage is what Anglicanorum coetibus is all about.

    4. I think that we will have to wait and see what common name is adopted by speakers. I suspect that was is used in the UK will be different than in the US. After all, in the US there is no "Anglican Church" and so there will be less confusion than in the UK. Indeed, in America "anglican" has become more of an adjective and not a noun (as can be seen with the term "Anglican Use"), though that too is rare. If you say "Anglican" to most, they will probably think you mean "anglo", meaning an non-Hispanic, English-speaking white.

      1. Here in Canada the Ordinariate is the "Anglican Catholic Church of Canada", a name that this particular group of the Traditional Anglican Communion have had for some time. I doubt that the name will be changed, even though it is a bit confusing when you most people who know of "Anglicans" immediately think of the "Anglican Church of Canada" (which by the way continues to slip further and further away from our Anglican heritage and traditions).

        None-the-less, I have faith that the Hand of God will gently guide those who truly desire to be closer to Him to a congregation of the Ordinariate (or other congregation that is in full Communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church).

        1. I hope that I will come across as gently and charitably as I intend in this comment, but it is precisely this sort of ignorance or presumption that is hampering the establishment of an Ordinariate in Canada.

          There is presently no Personal Ordinariate in Canada (as elsewhere in the world outside of the UK). There is a small, but historically solid and faithful, "Continuing Anglican" (TAC) ecclesial community in the country (though one unnecessarily diminished by the woeful course of action taken by the ACCC to-date and described in this comment). Many of its leaders and people would like to see the ACCC enter the Catholic Church, and some had conceived (and unfortunately continue to conceive) of this as an ecclesial union whereby the ACCC "would come into full communion with the Catholic Church." This union scheme came to be understood in the context of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus as the TAC province simply "becoming" the Canadian Ordinariate. Apart from the TAC's desire to be taken seriously as a "Church" (properly so-called) and a "partner" in "negotiations" with the Holy See, it was also argued that this wholesale integration of the ACCC as a future ordinariate was necessary to protect property and legal trusts from those who would invariably balk at the church's move to Rome and that most of the "converts" to the Catholic Church would be coming from the existing denomination anyway.

          The Catholic Church seems to have made it very clear that this reunion scheme is not on the table. Those wishing to enter an Ordinariate must be willing to put the good of the Church before their attachment to their old denominational structures, titles, and perquisites. While, God willing, the majority of the initial converts in Canada will come from the ACCC — which has provided, these thirty some odd years, a faithful witness to Our Lord's command for Christian Unity — as Father Phillips has noted on several occasions, the ACCC (like all of the interim Anglican structures) must die so that the Ordinariate might live.

          In the past year, as Archbishop Thomas Collins, the delegate for Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada has attempted generously to reach out to the ACCC, the relations between the Catholic Church and the ACCC have been unproductive and confusing due to the ACCC's misguided conception of itself as the Anglican end-all and be-all in the country, for which the AC should be especially adapted. The denomination's less-than-humble stance has led to mentor priests sent from the Catholic Church being summarily "uninvited" from local parishes, public and unseemly disagreements and discord between the ACCC leaders and the collaborators of Archbishop Collins, and now, at least it seems, very little progress towards an understanding is being made.

          Here in the United States of America, we look joyfully to the Autumn when we have been promised the canonical erection of a Personal Ordinariate for this country. We pray, too, for our Canadian friends who do not yet have any assurance of their deliverance. What a shame it would be for there to be only a single North American Ordinariate! Here in the United States, in Canada, and all across the world, Anglicans must learn to humble themselves before Holy Church, which, arguably, while certainly not lowering Herself, has made us an extraordinary and strictly unnecessary accommodation in the interests of peace and unity. For this we ought to be eternally grateful and willing to compromise our preconceived notions of what such unity might entail.

  8. Love the title for this post Christian; the nature of The Ordinariate is of course a learning curve for all, to one extent or another.

    I have to echo the very first response, from Gay Yuhas.

    I'm glad that the "loonier" comments will still scrape through; they do raise a smile and that does tend to diffuse any ill will.

    I was born into the Catholic faith; as an adult I now truly appreciate that, but I have very dear Anglican friends and I have been welcomed as part of the congregation at beautiful Anglican churches over the years. I can only see The Ordinariate as the will of God. If this is not someone's path, then surely the only Christian response is to stand aside and let others pass on their chosen way? Personally, I cannot understand the outright opposition from some Catholics: if people feel they are "coming home" to our church and have no urge to offend or redefine our faith, they should be welcomed unconditionally. Personally, I don't think a married priest of The Ordinariate should stand out anymore than a married Catholic Deacon.

  9. May I share what Bishop Charles Henry Brent, first Episcopal Bishop of the Philippines and a witness for true ecumenism wrote

    "But further than that, we ought to avoid raising among them questions involving disputations, controversies and all that weary process of doctrinal hairsplitting which is the bane of the Christian Church. The saving truths of the Christian religion have never been and never will be those of doubtful and disputable substance. I believe it to be our duty in such circumstances as are under consideration, to avoid as far as we conscientiously and legitimately can, any emphasis on the differences between ourselves and our Roman Catholic brethren, and to lay stress on our points of contact, conforming where we can to the established traditions of the country"

    1. I don't like this sentiment at all. It is precisely what "trimming" imperialist prelates said about disputes over "homoousios" in the Fourth Century, what others said about the disputed question of the relation of "person" and "natures" in Christ in the Fifth, and what many lukewarm Catholics and "broadminded" Protestants said about disputes over the Eucharist in the Sixteenth.

      In these disputes, Hegel's dictum that "Minerva's owl takes wing only at dusk" seems indisputably true — that only in retrospect can we come to realize how much of critical importance was at stake in theological disputes of which it could be plausibly claimed, at the time, that they were trivial matters of "doctrinal hairsplitting," generating "more heat than light," and distracting the Church and Christians from "more important matters."

      I have never been an admirer of Bishop Brent, who in the quotation Ben Vallejo has provided here, seems to prove himself to be the sort of "broadminded" laodicean, the successors of whom have brought the Episcopal "Church" to its current apostate state.

      1. In the Philippines Brent's memory tended to keep the Episcopalians within the Anglo Catholic wing. It was much later with US seminary educated clergy, that the shift to doctrinal liberalism became predominant. The Episcopalians have now to recover Brent in their discernment. And I understand this very well as Jefferts-Schori does everything to have the Filipinos as part of the Episcopal Communion. But Bp Brent has to be remembered as the only Protestant missionary who never tried to convert Roman Catholics and considered the Roman Church as a Christian communion not headed by the Antichrist! Thus Filipino Catholics and Anglicans have some reason to be thankful for.

  10. After a week of seemingly endless disputations and hair-splitting with work colleagues and others, can I just say, wthout any need for care or dressing: I agree with your post.

  11. For some reason I still receive Forward in the post, although I have dropped out of Forward in Faith and no longer subscribe to New Directions. The nudge from the past still fills me with sadness, and I wonder how my old connections could have been so quickly replaced by a complete alienation from the ecclesial environment in which I wholeheartedly served for so many years. It had been a deeply disappointing shock to me when, after all those years of Catholic rhetoric, when the Holy Father finally opened the door for Anglican Catholics to be restored to the unity of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church, the majority of Forward in Faith made the historic decision to continue in schism, now no longer by historic default, waiting, praying and working for the schism to be healed, but by a conscious decision for schism and against Catholic unity. That decision has turned an innocently inherited historical misfortune into a freely and consciously chosen departure from catholicity, by people with a keen theological understanding and presumed appreciation of orthodox Catholic ecclesiology. That choice finally revealed that the brothers and sisters we had travelled with and assumed to be sharing a common faith with did not in fact desire the fullness of Catholic Faith and Church unity, but simply disliked female bishops, yet wanted to stay in an unfaithful, flawed Church at all cost. I do not wish to impute moral guilt and personal apostasy to my friends who see things differently, and I want to apologise if these thoughts sound as if I did. I merely wanted to articulate the sadness and discomfort I have experienced over this disappointment, and my immense difficulty in trying to understand how such a failure to follow through could have happened. A small comfort may be that the Blessed John Henry Newman would understand my grief.

    1. "I do not wish to impute moral guilt and personal apostasy to my friends who see things differently…"
      According to the plain sense of what you have written, it seems to me that, implicitly, you already have.

      1. I don't think that he has. I think that he is, rather, doing what he says, expressing sadness, disappointment, misunderstanding: "I merely wanted to articulate the sadness and discomfort I have experienced over this disappointment, and my immense difficulty in trying to understand…" It is a bit like separating the sin from the sinner. I read him as asking how can good, caring, compassionate people act like that? I read him as not commenting on the status of their souls but rather as expressing how completely and profoundly he and they, all people of good will, are separated.

        Language is an inexact thing. Often we can read words, even simple, plain words, in more than one meaning. It is required of us to read others words in the most charitable way possible. To look for the good in people's words, just as we look for the good in people themselves. I take him at his word that he is not attacking them personally but just expressing in inexact language his deep sadness and lack of understanding.

  12. Alas, there are certain unfriendly voices both in the C of E and the Catholic Church asking similar questions as Father Skublics with respect to clergy who are coming over on the Ordinariate…if they believed what the Catholic Church teaches before the Ordinariate, why did they not leave the C of E a long time ago? For the reason as well as the fact that we cannot know people's hearts and the fretting and agonies they may (or may not) be undergoing, this is not a road of speculation that I think we want to go down. The grace of conversion is a mystery, and the timing of such a grace is also a mystery.

    1. Amen.

      I remember when I joined the Roman Catholic Church and looked back on my days in the Episcopal Church. I wondered why I didn't do this earlier. If I don't understand my own heart, how am I supposed to understand another's?

      Same when I proposed to my wife. :)

      Maybe I just wasn't ready.

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