Australian Ordinary Speaks on Anglican Patrimony

Fr. Harry Entwistle, the new Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia gave a talk at a recent Melbourne information day that is now posted on the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham site.  (H/t Fr. Smuts)

Here's an excerpt of Fr. Entwistle's talk on Anglican patrimony that I thought was interesting.  There's a lot more that is significant in the talk, so go on over and read the whole thing.

The Holy Father wants us to bring the treasures of our Anglican heritage with us, and offer them as a gift to the Church. I think we need to rediscover what those gifts really are. We talk of singing proper hymns, of preaching, of good music and pastoral care, but I have come to believe that these are consequences of something deeper. What we must rediscover and bring, is our English Spiritual Tradition, which claims continuity with the desert fathers and mothers, with the Celtic Church, St Augustine of Canterbury, SS Benedict, Anselm, Bernard, Aelred, the English mystics of the 14th century such as the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Margery Kempe, Henry Rolle, Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich and later, the Reformers, the Caroline Divines of the 17th century and the Tractarians, in particular Blessed John Henry Newman.

The English School of Spirituality is a middle way, a via media. Not so much as a half way position between Catholicism and Protestantism, but as holding in balance theological and spiritual study, or head knowledge, and how we express that knowledge in our worship and live the Christian life in the world. It is a balance between piety and living the gospel in the world, not a little of each, but giving both equal weight. Being only a head knowledge Christian or a charismatic feeling Christian concerned only with justice matters is not the way of English Spirituality.

In our tradition, there is equality in the Church. Clergy may like to be on a pedestal, and some laity put them there, but the Church militant here on earth is made up of equal partners who each have their own ministry. This is why the
daily prayers of the Church are that of the whole. Laity is expected to recite or hear matins and evensong. The daily office is not only for the clergy. This is something we should revive but remember Mgr Burnham’s new book may be a
place to start but is not an authorised text.

The Ordinariate is not an Anglican Preservation Society, living in some imagined golden age. It is a non-geographical diocese within the Western Catholic Church, committed to proclaim the gospel and be evangelistic. We will have our liturgy that reflects our English tradition, but it is not an end in itself. It reflects what we believe and pray, and its language will be of our tradition.

I particularly like what he says about equality.  There is a way of respecting the roles of clergy and lay people without having them bleed into each other — having lay people take over specifically clerical functions.  Doing the daily offices is a boon to my spiritual life and growth and it would be great to see this continue to be encouraged.

I also like what he says about liturgy not being an end in itself and that the Ordinariates are not meant to reflect some "Golden Age" or become historical preservation societies.  Yet, I hold that view in tension with a certain sympathy for those who would like to see the King James Version of the Bible and the Prayer Book have more influence on the ongoing liturgical discussions.  I would like to see the Authorized Verson authorized!

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

11 thoughts on “Australian Ordinary Speaks on Anglican Patrimony”

  1. The problem about the seamless exposition of the Catholic claims of the Church of England, leaping from the Reformers to the Caroline Divines, is that it ignores the crucial development of the Catholic recusants and their martyrs. The recusants stayed Catholic because they believed the newly-created State Church was Protestant and had nothing more than legal authority created by a Protestant State headed by a Protestan Queen, Elizabeth !, who was determined the destroy Catholicism root and branch.
    The existance of the recusants and their refusal (from the Latin word refusare) to conform has never been alluded to by those who try to maintain a Catholic interpretation of the national Church and its tributories. They represent a major stumbling block for those claims.

    As for the King James Bible, as I have observed elsewhere the RSV and later revisions replace a translation that is not as accurate as the latter and Biblical truth is falsified by the inadequate scholarship that existed in the early-c17. If you do not read Hebrew or Greek, the RSV brings you closer to the original. Considering the time it takes for the ear to becomes accustomed to listening to a play by Shakespeare, to hear the King James Bible read aloud is guaranteed to let the words speed past without entering the mind or soul.

    1. The Recusants paid much for the preservation of the Catholic Faith in England. But I don't think they are a complete stumbling block in the story of Anglicanism's journey back to the Catholic Church. In fact their witness supports the idea why the Anglican Church must return from where it came from.

      One of the famous products of a Recusant family is John Donne who became an Anglican priest. But what would England's letters be without him?

  2. It is always entertaining to see someone posting on a blog their positive response to a put-down of those who post on blogs. Fr. Entwistle has many valuable things to say here about the way forward in Australia. But the fact remains that he has been given very few resources to do a very demanding job, a job which he, like Mgr Steenson, must carry out while simultaneously employed in another full-time position. A website, in 2012, is as fundamental as a phone number—perhaps more so. The fact that OOLSC had a coat of arms from Day 1 but still lacks an Internet presence says a lot.

          1. What line of work are you in, Joshua? Are you donating your professional services free of charge wherever needed by worthy causes? If so, of course you are in a position to ask that others do the same.

          1. I think Joshua pitched in and it's up and running now, although it wasn't when first directed our attention to it.

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