Here's Part Two of "Reluctant Anglicans" by Peregrinus. It appears on his blog, Peregrinations, and has been posted also on Fr Stephen Smuts' blog. Since there was a good discussion resulting from the posting of Part One, I thought our readers would like to continue with the series.
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Reluctant Anglicans (2)
The questions presented here in the first "Reluctant" post have caused quite a flurry of comment on other blogs. I will attempt to summarize some of the constructive comments since our purpose is to seek clarification for those sincerely seeking to respond to our Lord's prayer that we all may be one.
So, here is a partial summary with the caveat that any condensation will be incomplete and since, as repeatedly mentioned, this is a process which is unfolding over years there are no easy, much less permanent, responses apart from those which are made by the CDF and other agents of the Holy See.
With this in mind, here we go with a first attempt at summary.
A number of posts have raised concerns about "private judgement" in relation to questions of authority. Some have pointed out that, amongst others, J.H. Newman held that there was a role for and necessity for the Church to elicit the voice of the laity in the determination of many matters including the reception of doctrine.
As it applies to the Ordinariates there are a number of matters which affect how this role might be defined in the governance of parishes, sodalities and ordinariate structures generally.
Anglicanorum Coetibus outlines clearly that it is expected that the councils and committees which are to be part of the structure being erected will reflect the engagement and contributions of laity in oversight at various levels. This has been a developing part of Anglican patrimony which will continue in the Ordinariates.
For Newman consultation with and participation by the laity is an important aspect of faithful discipleship as it relates to the stewardship which we collectively share for the Church Militant. In no way does consulting the laity detract from the proper role of doctrinal development and definition through the Petrine office or the role of the Magisterium in governing. In fact, the role of laity was seen by Newman as complementary to the Magisterium and as a sign of a vibrant Church with an educated laity – something Newman stove for in his work to establish a Catholic university in Ireland and in other aspects of his ministry.
The role of the laity as an aspect of patrimony is not then to be confused with the issue of "private judgement" in matters of doctrine.
NOTE TO READERS
Due to time constraints, posts on this topic will continue at irregular intervals. For those interested there is much more discussion on the "The Anglo-Catholic" blog and Fr. Smut's blog amongst others.
Time does not allow a full digest of the constructive comments made there so discussion here will be selective but those who post comments to this blog will receive full consideration and, as stated, constructive comments will be posted here.
More to follow.