Tag Archives: Bishop Elliott

Bishop Elliott's Greetings to the Australian Synod

July 23, 2010

Most Rev John Hepworth
Primate of Traditional Anglican Communion
Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia

Your Grace,

Please pass on my greetings to all the clergy and lay faithful participating in the National Synod of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.

The Synod marks an historical moment because critical decisions will be made concerning the unity of the Church. The Synod will deliberate on the offer of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for Ordinariates within the Catholic Church for groups of Anglicans seeking full communion with the See of Peter.

The solicitude of the Supreme Pontiff for Anglicans has reached a new stage in this concrete proposal. Those who prayerfully and seriously consider it, will freely exercise their own consciences, at the same time being aware of the wider communal dimensions that are involved.

Recently it was my privilege to visit and address the parish community in Perth, under the care of Bishop Harry Entwhistle. This moving experience assured me of the hope of so many members of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia that the Ordinariate will soon become a reality in  our land.

My prayers will be with you and your fellow bishops, the clergy and laity in these days of discernment, deliberation and discussion.

May the Holy Mother of God, under her treasured title of Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us all at this time.

Yours sincerely,

In Christ,

Most Rev Peter J Elliott
Titular Bishop of Manaccenser

Delegate of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference for the project of establishing an Ordinariate in Australia

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Toronto Archbishop Collins Named Liaison for Anglican Groups

collins 306 7937323 Toronto Archbishop Collins Named Liaison for Anglican GroupsToronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has been named the liaison with Anglican groups wishing to avail themselves of Anglicanorum coetibus in Canada.

I am delighted Collins will be playing this role.  Though I do not know him that well, he has always been accessible to me as a journalist, generous with his time, kind and forthright.  He is also a man of deep faith and joy, staunchly pro-life and unafraid to get out and mix it up in the public square, whether on a talk radio station or in a firm, but timely statement.

When a notorious abortionist was awarded Canada's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada, Collins had a firm but blistering statement out within hours.  Seeing as it was a holiday, it was all the more unusual!

He is also extremely pastoral as well as deeply devout.  He rides the Toronto subway to work.  He has no airs.  Though I think he is shy by nature, he works at being present for people.

I remember several years ago, when he was still Archbishop of Edmonton, he was one of the Canadian bishops who was asked to make a presentation at the upcoming Synod on the Eucharist.

All bishops going to the Synod presented their five minute talk to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) plenary.  Now the CCCB plenary usually strikes me as a rather bureaucratic, administrative affair.  The sessions are set up business conference style in a big gymnasium, with rows of tables decked in hotel-bunting, thick binders, microphones — ZZZZZ, I know.  Not an environment where one expects goosebumps from any spiritual source, only from overactive air-conditioning.  (Though I have had the good kind of goosebumps over the years).

Well, Collins got up and gave his five minute talk on the Eucharist and his face lit up with joy as he presented.  It was like a mini-Transfiguration.  His face was radiant.  Beautiful.  After seeing that, I had a deep hunch he would get the nod for Toronto when Cardinal Ambrozic retired, and I was right.

As bishop of Canada's most populous diocese, he is an ex officio member of the CCCB's Permanent Council, the body that makes decisions in between the yearly plenary sessions.  Collins said the Permanent Council named him to this role.

He said his first task is to meet with various groups of Anglicans wishing to join an Ordinariate.  Then he would make a presentation to the CCCB's plenary, which will be held in late October.  He's been in touch with Cardinal Levada as well as Bishop Peter Elliott in Australia, who has long been liaison there.   He said Westminster Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes is the liaison for the United Kingdom.

As we spoke, I began to wonder if he saw the CCCB driving the process of the Ordinariate.  When I asked him about this, he said the CDF was driving the process, but one of the crucial steps was to begin working together as the Ordinary will be a member of the bishops' conference.

He has written Anglican Catholic Church of Canada Bishop Peter Wilkinson, who told me that he welcomes the appointment and hopes to meet with Collins as soon as possible.

Collins noted the TAC was not the only group in Canada.  We have no Forward in Faith, however, though we're already hearing from Anglicans who might consider jumping ship so he probably is, too.  There is a relatively new breakaway group called The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) that is composed of mostly evangelical and charismatic Anglicans, folks I have a lot of sympathy with and for, but who would not want to be under the Pope's juridical authority and perhaps see the Eucharist as more of a table than an altar.

So, in Canada, we enter a new phase.  I get a sense though things may move more slowly than many of us in the TAC might hope for.  There are many, many things that remain to be worked out.

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Anglican Use Ordinariates and Ecumenism

A paper given to Australian Anglican Roman Catholic Conversation (AUSTARC), at St Peter’s Church Eastern Hill, Melbourne
March 26, 2010

ANGLICAN USE ORDINARIATES AND ECUMENISM

Bishop Peter J Elliott

Will establishing Anglican Use Ordinariates in Communion with Rome harm Anglican-Catholic ecumenical relations? This is a speculative question, because it involves the future, but it is important to suggest some answers.

I would argue that the Ordinariates may well improve and stabilize ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Catholics. Notwithstanding the spirit of Christian charity, abiding friendships and common cause that brings us together tonight, there is no use pretending that ecumenical relations between our respective communities have not already suffered harm in recent years. That situation has occasioned the papal offer to some Anglicans, that they might find a special place within the Catholic Church. In that perspective, permit me to begin with a somewhat painful personal memory that may at least help elucidate my opinion.

Forty years ago, my tutor at Oxford was Fr Ted Yarnold, a notable Jesuit Patristics scholar. He later became one of the key theologians in developing closer Anglican-Catholic relations. As one of the master minds in the projects of ARCIC, he devoted the last decades of his life to the cause of working to develop closer ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Catholics, a task he embraced with enthusiasm and joy.

The last time I met Fr. Ted was a few years after the 1992 General Synod decision to ordain women in England.  Back in Oxford for a short visit, I bumped into him in St Giles, near Pusey House. There had not been much contact between us since he had visited Melbourne to lead a most enjoyable Ecumenical Conference in 1982, at which Archbishop Frank Woods shone.  But now I encountered a man who was deeply hurt, even angry. As I recall our somewhat disturbing conversation, Fr. Ted asserted that it was the Anglicans who had broken ecumenical relations by a unilateral act, that is, by approving the ordination of women to priesthood. What was the use of all the hard work he had put into ARCIC?  For him, Anglican-Catholic relations had reached a stalemate.

Fr. Ted did not live to see Anglicanorum coetibus, the Apostolic Constitution whereby Pope Benedict has ended that stalemate and we might hope even opened a way to develop better relations. It is necessary to set out the context for the papal offer, familiar as this may be to some here present.

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The Future Liturgy of an Anglican Ordinariate: Why not Sarum?

There has been discussion for quite some time about what form the liturgy would take in the future Anglican-Catholic Ordinariates. I am indeed heartened by reading Bishop Peter Elliott’s ideas as he expressed them on this subject:

Considering its history and strong influence in the first editions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Sarum Rite might well be a major source. Queen Mary I published a national edition of the Sarum Missal to replace all those missals for the diocesan uses that went into the fire when the first Book of Common Prayer appeared in 1549. Therefore the Sarum Use was the last version of the Roman Rite in England before the universal Missale Romanum, Roman Missal, was authorised by St Pius V in 1570. At the end of the nineteenth century when Westminster cathedral was being built, it was proposed that the Sarum Rite be revived as the use proper to the cathedral. Nothing came of this project, lost I suspect in the cross-currents of liturgical controversies and an Ultramontane trend to standardise liturgy along Counter-Reformation lines, even down to the shape of chasubles.

Were this idea to be taken seriously by Rome and actually implemented, at least as an option, it would be the fulfilment of a dream that goes back many years. In ecclesiological terms, I would like to see this Anglican inflow as a way of perceiving Catholic Tradition as reaching further than nineteenth-century “totalitarianism” and even the Council of Trent in the necessary steps it made to halt the progress of Protestantism and reform a somewhat corrupt clergy. Though all Catholics are bound to assent to the doctrines taught by all the Ecumenical Councils of the Church, we do well to recover some of the spirit of northern European Catholicism and the products of organic development in the various dioceses and religious orders. I believe a reasonable diversity of traditional and legitimate liturgical rites could be most helpful.

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Bishop Elliott on the Papacy

For Anglicans coming to terms with the role of the Bishop of Rome and the Petrine Ministry in the Universal Church, the following article by Bishop Peter Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Australia, should be of great help.

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THE PAPACY
TITLES OF THE POPE: AUTHORITY, MISSION, MINISTRY

Bishop Peter J Elliott

The Pope is a person, not an institution. This is obvious, but we live in an age when we easily turn persons or communities into “things”. We tend to speak of marriage as an “institution”, when it is really a community of persons, and we may speak of the Church as an “institution”, whereas the Second Vatican Council describes it as God’s People, the living Body of Christ. Likewise we can forget that what is called the “Papacy” centres around a unique Christian leader, a man with a specific vocation within the community of faith.

The titles given to this Christian leader clarify the authority, mission and ministry and role of the Pope in our Church today. His titles are not merely high-sounding words of honour and praise.  Each title is full of meaning and can open up yet another dimension of the ministry of the Pope in the Church. The titles help us to see how this essential office developed and why it continues to develop across the centuries of our story as God’s People.

Papal titles are derived from the two sources of Divine Revelation: the Scriptures and Tradition.  Some of them can be traced back to the Gospels. Others arose in the social context of imperial Rome. Others express theological insights or the devotion of the Catholic people.

SUCCESSOR OF ST PETER

Within the Church, every bishop in the Church is a successor of the twelve Apostles in that unbroken continuity of New Testament faith and sacramental ordination, the apostolic succession. However, within that succession there is one bishop whose ministry is distinct, whose role is known as the “primacy”. He is the Bishop of Rome, successor of St Peter.

Jesus Christ appointed Peter as visible head of the Church. In Matthew 16, at the climax of Christ’s ministry in this most Jewish of gospels, we find this set out in an interesting literary genre. The form of the text is an echo of the targum teaching method – questions and answers going back and forth between a rabbi and his disciples.  Jesus first challenges the twelve to identify him as the Messiah. They fail. Only Simon the fisherman of Galilee speaks out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

In turn Jesus responds by giving Simon a new name, a new role, a new identity in his Kingdom. Just as Simon identified him as “the Christ”, now he identifies Simon as “Peter”, Cephas, the bed-rock on whom the assembled community of the Church, the ekklesia, will be built. Jesus is saying, as it were, “You told me who I am, now I tell you who you are in my Kingdom.”

In the Fifth Century, Pope St Leo the Great perceived this dynamic dialogue in Matthew’s Gospel. In the era of the collapse of the Roman Empire, St Leo was aware of the Petrine mandate he had inherited from the “Prince of the Apostles”. In those early Christian centuries the Pope was known as the Vicar of Peter, that is, the personal representative of this chief Apostle, the one who inherited a ministry that would be maintained across all time within the Church.

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Anglican Liturgy in the Personal Ordinariates

As Shawn Tribe has announced over at The New Liturgical Movement, contributors from The Anglo-Catholic will be participating in a cross-site discussion of the future of Anglican liturgy in the personal ordinariates to be erected under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.  There is a significant overlap between the audiences of TLM and The Anglo-Catholic, but the two blogs have different areas of focus — and hopefully our joint discussion will broaden the horizon of this crucial topic.  In addition to the concerns of Anglican Use liturgy in particular, we will strive to explore the broader issue of vernacular liturgy in general and the place of an invigorated and widely-available Anglican Use in the so-called 'reform of the Reform'.

As we contemplate this collaborative effort, I am interested in getting the feedback of our readers.  What would you like to see from the proposed discussion?  To this point, much of the debate about future Anglican liturgy has been conducted in the comboxes of The Anglo-Catholic and other interested blogs — and not all of it has been particularly edifying.  As Mr. Tribe suggested when he first approached me with the idea of a cross-site study, we will endeavor to pursue the conversation in an ordered, well-reasoned, and dispassionate manner, drawing on the expertise of our several contributors, approaching the question from their varied backgrounds and interests.  Feel free to share your thoughts on this post, but please, no manifestos or laundry lists of required "features" for your perfect Anglican liturgy!  Help us to make this discussion as profitable as possible for all by identifying specific topics worthy of exploration.

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In his post, Mr. Tribe also quotes from Bishop Peter Elliott's paper What is this "Personal Ordinariate"? which he delivered to the meeting of Forward in Faith Australia and which we published on February 14, 2010.  I have reproduced the same section on liturgy below, with my emphases and comments in blue.

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A Postcript: The Future Liturgy of the Ordinariates

Anglianorum coetibus authorizes the Ordinariates to use books that carry the Anglican liturgical heritage: “so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” Note those last words. What the distinctive “Anglican rite” liturgy of the Ordinariate will be is yet to be worked out. When that project is completed it will need the recognition of the Holy See. But some speculation at this stage may be of interest.

Considering its history and strong influence in the first editions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Sarum Rite might well be a major source. Queen Mary I published a national edition of the Sarum Missal to replace all those missals for the diocesan uses that went into the fire when the first Book of Common Prayer appeared in 1549. Therefore the Sarum Use was the last version of the Roman Rite in England before the universal Missale Romanum, Roman Missal, was authorised by St Pius V in 1570. At the end of the nineteenth century when Westminster cathedral was being built, it was proposed that the Sarum Rite be revived as the use proper to the cathedral. Nothing came of this project, lost I suspect in the cross-currents of liturgical controversies and an Ultramontane trend to standardise liturgy along Counter-Reformation lines, even down to the shape of chasubles.

In 1541 (eight years before the publication of the Book of Common Prayer), Henry VIII ordered Convocation to suppress the uses of York, Bangor, and Hereford and ordered the universal adoption of the use of the diocese of Salisbury (the "Sarum Use"). This Use was the sacred liturgy of the Mass elaborated by St. Osmund around the year 1085. St. Osmund had come over to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and was consecrated bishop of Salisbury in 1079.

The various editions of the Book of Common Prayer will obviously influence the preparation of this use for the Ordinariates. Yet a note of caution is necessary. Cranmer’s prose is majestic, but all his doctrine is not sound. Some editing will be needed to deal with expressions which are not in harmony with Catholic Faith, particularly those that come down from his severely Protestant 1552 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. In Anglo Catholic circles you have tried to manage these matters, as may be seen in the English Missal and the Anglican Missal.

It should be noted that the American 1928 Book of Common Prayer was accepted for use in the Western "rites" of several Orthodox jurisdictions with only very minor emendations and additions. For any traditional edition of the Book of Common Prayer, the edits required should be minor; I believe that this concern gets blown out of proportion. The rites of the Prayer-book should be judged by the text alone — not by the questionable private theological opinions of her editors.

I give one example that concerns me as a sacramental theologian. “Do this in remembrance of me” should never appear in a Catholic rite. “Do this in memory of me” is a more accurate rendering of the original languages and takes us away from “memorialism”. The meaning of the Eucharist as the great sacrificial Memorial is set out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1362-1367.

I would counter that "remembrance," "memorial," and "in memory" are all interchangeable in this context; they certainly are in the Prayer-book and in the Authorized Version of the Bible. Any confusion should be resolved — as it has been amongst Catholic Anglicans for centuries — through catechesis rather than the mutilation of the text.

From The Catholic Religion by Vernon Staley (pp. 247-249):

The Holy Eucharist is a feast upon a sacrifice. The Body and the Blood of Christ are first offered to the Eternal Father, and then partaken of by the communicants. This offering is termed by St. Paul "the shewing the Lord's death.""

In saying "This do in remembrance of Me," our Lord used words which here really mean,—

"OFFER THIS AS MY MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD."

It has often been shewn that the word translated "do," is very frequently used in the Greek Version of the Old Testament for "offer." It is so used in the following passages to which the reader may refer for himself: Ex. xxix. 36, 38, 39, 41; Lev. ix. 7, 16, 22 : xiv. 19: etc. In each of these places, the word translated "offer," is the same as that used by our Lord when He said, "Do this."

The Greek word for "remembrance" has likewise a distinctly sacrificial meaning. It is used but twice in the Old Testament, and but four times in the New. Three times in the New Testament the reference is to the Holy Eucharist. Let us briefly examine the three remaining passages, where the Greek word 1 I Cor. xi. 23, etc. * Ibid. 26.

In Heb. x. 3, we read,—"But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year." The allusion is to the sacrifices offered yearly on the Day of Atonement. These sacrifices were offered to God, to procure pardon of the sins of the priesthood and of the nation. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies, where, unseen by man, he made "a remembrance of sins" before God. The same word is again used.

We have now examined the only three passages in the Bible in which the Greek word for "remembrance" is found, apart from the accounts of the institution of the Holy Eucharist. In each case it is used of A REMEMBRANCE BEFORE GOD, AND NOT BEFORE MAN; and it is only reasonable therefore to suppose that in those instances in which it is used of the Holy Eucharist, it is intended to express the same meaning which it has elsewhere in Holy Scripture, viz.; that of A MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD. That this is the true idea is confirmed by St. Paul's words spoken of the Holy Eucharist,— "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come." (I Cor. ix. 26.) In connection with this important subject the reader is asked to refer to what was said on pages 195, 196, concerning the relation which exists between the Eucharistic Sacrifice and our Lord's pleading in heaven.

Next year a new ICEL translation of the Mass of the Roman Rite will come into effect. More gracious poetic English will mean that the beauty of the language used in the Ordinariates will not clash with the banal and inaccurate old ICEL “translation” we currently endure.

Deo gratias!

Let me add that an “Anglican use” will add to the diversity of uses that already exists within the Roman Rite, starting with the two forms. “ordinary” (Novus Ordo) and “extraordinary” (Usus antiquior, traditional Latin liturgy), and including efforts to revive the uses of religious orders and regional uses. In Milan there are now two forms of the venerable Ambrosian Rite, ordinary and extraordinary. This variety is reported from time to time in the New Liturgical Movement website, also an indicator of Pope Benedict’s liturgical project and vision.

One dream of mine is that the churches of the Ordinariate will resound with fine music – from Stanford to Palestrina, from Vaughan Williams to Bruckner. We need the kind of music that gives greater glory to God and also “a treasure to be shared” by all Catholics.

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Text of ACCA Petition for an Australian Personal Ordinariate

In response to the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (in the Holy See's reply to the October 2007 Petition) that Anglican groups intending to proceed under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus indicate this desire in writing to that dicastery, the Australian province of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, has petitioned the Holy See for the erection of a personal ordinariate for that country.

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Traditional Anglican Communion
Synod of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Q) Inc
ABN 38 446 364 827
Archbishop John Hepworth

His Eminence William Cardinal Levada
Congregazione per la Dottrina Della Fede
Palazzo del S. Uffizio
00120 Vatican City

Your Eminence,

Prot. N. 217/08-30924

The bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia  (a province of the Traditional Anglican Communion) express their profound gratitude to you for your positive response of December 16th 2009 to our Letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of October 5th 2007 in which we expressed our desire to “seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment.”

We have read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary, as well as the initial statement from your Dicastery at the time of your press conference with Archbishop DiNoia.

And now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you outline, we respectfully ask

  • that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Australia;
  • that we may establish an interim Governing Council consisting of the two suffragan bishops (who serve both the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and Forward in Faith Australia), the Chancellor and Vicar General of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (both priests), a priest from the Council of Forward in Faith Australia, and a priest from among the former Anglican clergy who are now Catholic priests in Australia and who have indicated a desire to be incardinated into the Australian Ordinariate once it is formed.
  • and that this interim Council be given the task and authority to propose to His Holiness a terna for appointment of the initial Ordinary.

We are working with Bishop Peter Elliott, who has been nominated by the Australian Conference of Catholic Bishops to liaise with us in the formation of the Ordinariate.

We also note that the Church of Torres Strait, a separate province of the Traditional Anglican Communion for Islanders resident in the Torres Strait and throughout Australia, is making a separate response through its bishop, Tolowa Nona.

We attach the resolution of the Council of Forward in Faith Australia also seeking the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution at this time.  The Traditional Anglican Communion in this country and Forward in Faith have been working very closely for many years.

We are also in conversation with Anglican parishes and individuals (both clergy and laity) who have indicated a desire to explore more deeply the pathway to unity with the Catholic Church opened by the Constitution.

In the last week of July, a National Synod will be held in Queensland to bring together all those who have indicated a firm desire to be part of the proposed Ordinariate.  The Synod has the power to enact legal and canonical legislation to give practical effect to a positive decision for Unity.

With continued expressions of appreciation for the generosity of the Holy Father in gathering the Anglicans into the fullness of Eucharistic communion,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

+John Hepworth, Diocesan Bishop

+David Robarts, Bishop of the Southern Region; Chairman of Forward in Faith Australia

+Harry Entwistle, Bishop of the Western Region; Council of Forward in Faith Australia

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Myth #5: Anglican Groups Must Apply to the Local Episcopal Conference for a Personal Ordinariate

In her survey of media responses to the ACCC's formal request to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the implementation of a personal ordinariate in Canada, Deborah quoted a recent article by Austen Ivereigh in the liberal Jesuit publication America.  The disinformation contained in this piece has prompted me to return to our series of posts debunking the myths surrounding the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.  I have reproduced the America article in full below.  My emphases and comments.

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Romeward Anglicans: are local bishops being bypassed?

Executive Summary: Yes.

POSTED AT: 2010-03-16 06:20:33.0
AUTHOR: AUSTEN IVEREIGH

The so-called Anglican Catholic Church in Canada (ACCC), which has about 45 parishes, has written to Rome to apply for an ordinariate. Its three active bishops propose setting up a governing council to suggest a terna from which the Pope can select the Canadian ordinariate's first ordinary or canonical head.

The wording and the method of proceeding proposed in the letter suggest that Rome has told them what to write. So that appears to be how it works: Rome appoints a governing council which then advises the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) whom to appoint as ordinary.

Do you get the sense that the author is likely going to be opposed to any "method of proceeding" that is determined by "Rome"?  Yeah, me too.

But hang on. Where does the national bishops' conference fit into this?

I thought that he just answered this question!  It doesn't.

When the ordinariate scheme was announced in London and Rome last year, the understanding was clearly that Anglicans seeking an ordinariate would apply to the local bishops' conference, who would then (presumably) get the go-ahead from Rome. This is not just a procedural matter. Negotiations over what is permissible and what is not in the liturgies of the ordinariates are be carried out with the bishops' conference, not with Rome. Ecclesiologically, that makes sense: the ordinariates, after all, will be part of the local Church.

Who, exactly, had this clear understanding of the initial — and evidently decisive — role of the local episcopal conference?  Did Mr. Ivereigh himself have this understanding? …because the previous report to which he links, a story on the October 20, 2009 joint press conference of the Archbishops of Westminster and Canterbury, does not make such a claim!

Anglicanorum Coetibus itself is very clear:

I. §1 Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church are erected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith within the confines of the territorial boundaries of a particular Conference of Bishops in consultation with that same Conference.

It is the CDF itself that will erect a personal ordinariate.  This discastery will consult with the local bishops' conference as a matter of course, but the role of the Holy Office will be decisive.

And though the full text of Cardinal Levada's formal response to the TAC bishops who petitioned the Holy See in October 2007 has not been publicly released, I am able to confirm that the Cardinal's clear instructions were that all applications for personal ordinariates are to be directed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith alone.  Indeed, throughout this entire process, the TAC bishops have been assured by Rome that they would be dealing with the CDF directly.

And despite the author's warped view of the constitution of the Catholic Church, yes, the involvement of the national episcopal conference will be largely a procedural matter.  The bishops' conference does not constitute the "local Church" in any way, shape, or form.  The diocese is the local — the particular — Church, and while the episcopal conference "is to provide for the common good of the particular Churches of a territory through the collaboration of the sacred pastors to whose care they are entrusted (Apostolos Suos, 17)," it cannot substitute for the authority which the diocesan bishops individually possess.  It does not participate in the teaching authority of the college of bishops.  And it is certainly not a counterbalance to the authority of the Holy See.  The author's ecclesiology is nothing more than a product of modernist wishful thinking!  Ditto for "what is permissible and what is not in the liturgies of the ordinariates."  Even were the episcopal conferences to be involved in framing Anglican liturgical texts (which they will not be), their determinations would still be subject to the recognitio of the Holy See.

Far from there being a clear understanding that the national episcopal conferences would direct the process, faced with an Apostolic Constitution clearly designed to bypass the unnecessary obstacles to unity that history led the Holy See to expect from them, progressive/modernist bishops and their surrogates have been waging a campaign to subvert the manifest will of the Holy Father.

In a previous post reporting how a traditionalist Church of England bishop had been trying to circumvent the local Catholic hierarchy, I quoted Mgr Andrew Faley, the priest responsible for the negotiations on behalf of the bishops' conference of England and Wales. "The authority of the Church in working this out rests with the bishops' conferences and not with the CDF", he clarified.

Firstly, Msgr. Faley is not "responsible for the negotiations on behalf of the bishops' conference of England and Wales"; he is merely a spokesman for the CBCEW (which has been so bold as to appoint several bishops "responsible for negotiations").  Secondly, whatever the context of the provided quotation, Msgr. Faley is hardly a reliable source, having been for some time quite obviously engaged in a campaign of disinformation meant to lower expectations and contain the effects of the Apostolic Constitution.

Hence Australia, where Peter Elliot, a Melbourne auxiliary, has been appointed by the Australian bishops' conference to negotiate with Anglican traditionalists there over the terms of the ordinariate which the Traditional Anglican Communion has applied for.

Hence what?  The Australian bishops — who had evidently been receiving inquiries from Anglican groups — simply designated Bishop Elliott as a point of contact "to assist those who have approached individual bishops."  Their statement of November 27, 2009 does not suggest that any application should be made to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.  Bishop Elliot himself has not suggested that application should be made to any other entity besides the CDF.

But is this true of Canada? I've searched the Canadian bishops' conference website in vain for a statement on any application to the bishops by the ACCC. But there's nothing.

Perhaps the bishops there are more respectful of the Holy Father and his will as expressed in Anglicanorum Coetibus?

Perhaps I'm missing something.

Yes, Mr. Ivereigh, it's called the truth.

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The Smoke of Satan

Damian Thompson has commented on the despicable report by The Guardian blogger Andrew Brown of a "leaked" email from the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, to Melbourne auxiliary (and the Australian bishops' delegate for Anglicanorum Coetibus), Bishop Peter Elliott.  This whole episode is reprehensible, but I am moved to offer a few observations and a short reflection on the matter.  My emphases and comments.

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The cloak and dagger Catholics

An email from an Anglican 'flying bishop' to a Catholic bishop in Australia sheds light on the machinations of the Anglo-Catholics

An extraordinary correspondence has fallen into my hands showing some of the detail of the Anglo-Catholic intrigues about their departure from the Church of England. [I think that it's the other way around.] It shows the Anglican "flying bishop" of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, conspiring with a sympathetic Roman Catholic bishop in Australia to work behind the back of the Catholic bishops here. He talks about his "cloak and dagger" correspondence with a sympathiser in the Vatican, and suggests that he can write personally to Pope Benedict XVI to smooth things over if his correspondent is caught. This may come as news to the pope.

Firstly, we have to assume that the email is genuine (did Mr. Brown confirm its authenticity with either the sender or the recipient?).  And why is it that Mr. Brown has not seen fit to publish the message in its entirety?  Certainly quoted passages such as "clearly a charming man … but not everything he says … synchronises fully with what we know from other sources" are open to interpretation (and look as if their sense has been manipulated).

And does Mr. Brown really think it surprising that FiF UK might be working directly with the Roman authorities, bypassing a bishops' conference which, even now, is working to undermine Anglicanorum Coetibus?  I am happy to independently confirm from my TAC sources, for what it's worth, that no one in Rome trusts the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales to deal charitably with incoming Anglicans!

The Australian bishop, Peter Elliott, is himself an Anglican convert [Boo, hiss!], and is in charge of the pope's outreach to Anglican opponents of women priests in Australia [Yeah, we're "disaffected" too.]. Most of these are grouped in a body called the Traditional Anglican Communion, which claims to have half a million members world wide: Burnham warns Bishop Elliott against complete confidence in their leader, Archbishop Hepworth ("clearly a charming man … but not everything he says … synchronises fully with what we know from other sources").

I'd like to see the full quotation in context.  Still, it seems quite a stretch to characterize this as a warning that Bishop Elliott should not have confidence in the TAC Primate.  I have the opportunity to consult with (extremely well-placed) TAC and FiF UK sources almost daily and I can personally vouch for the fact that there is a lack of "synchronicity" all around.  There is a good deal about the future of the personal ordinariate scheme that is, for the moment, uncertain.  Mr. Brown obviously desires to interpret this uncertainty as division or suspicion.

I would also point out that, much to the chagrin of the pundits, history has shown (so far) Archbishop Hepworth to have been correct at every turn.  Today we take the revolution of Anglicanorum Coetibus for granted, but before October 20, 2009, it was merely the fantastic dream of the TAC Primate, a dream which certainly failed to synchronize fully with what the experts thought they knew from other sources.

But the passage which will cause discomfort in this country is this:

"I am taking the liberty of mentioning, in confidence and with his permission, that we are in touch with Mgr Patrick Burke at the CDF [the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]. It has all felt a little bit like Elizabethan espionage but, truly, the informal contact with the CDF has been invaluable, and, if ever Mgr Burke got into trouble, I should write to the pope and say how splendidly helpful he has been.

This is not known about fully in England and Wales because we are trying to ensure that the whole Anglicanorum Coetibus project, which will begin in small ways, is not smothered by the management anxieties of a hierarchy, some of whom think that Anglicans are best off doing what they are presently doing and some of whom think the project would impact adversely on the Catholic Church in England. Needless to say Fr Pat's help, and the support of Archbishop DiNoia, need, to a lesser extent, to be protected from disapproval at higher levels of the dicastery [Vatican department]. Hence the cloak and dagger."

Anglicanorum Coetibus is the pope's plan to allow disaffected Anglicans to convert as a group, and to keep their own bishops. As Bishop Burnham says, the Catholic hierarchy in this country is not enthusiastic about the prospect. The plan was sprung on Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, with very little notice and although attention at the time was concentrated on the obvious discomfort of Rowan Williams, the Catholic archbishop had known no more than him.

This is the whole point.  The Apostolic Constitution was "sprung" on the Archbishop of Westminster and the other English bishops precisely because the CDF did not trust them to respond obediently and charitably to the will of the Holy Father.  And they have not reformed since!  "Hence the cloak and dagger."

It's still not clear how much autonomy the Anglican "ordinariates" will have; but Bishop Elliott told an Australian audience they would be comparable to the Eastern churches in communion with Rome; the Maronite Christians of the Lebanon, and the formerly orthodox "Uniate" churches of the Ukraine. "The structure … is much closer to an Eastern Rite Church in its autonomy than some might imagine."

Yes, Bishop Elliott said that the Anglican personal ordinariates would be similar to these Eastern structures in some respects.  This is exactly what Archbishop Hepworth has said all along.  To beat a long-dead horse:

There will be an Anglican leader who relates to the Holy See on behalf of the Anglican Catholics.  Thus establishing a body that is Anglican Catholic as distinct from Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Maronite Catholic, or whatever.  It’s not a rite but it looks awfully like one… (Archbishop Hepworth at the 2009 National Assembly of FiF UK)

This kind of autonomy, a church within the church, has long been the dream of the former Anglicans who converted in the early 70s. But it is not what the Catholic hierarchy thinks it is getting in this country. Monsignor Andrew Faley, the assistant secretary to the Bishops' conference here, said "He's wrong – he's not entirely right, would be more ecclesially correct … Uniate status is concerned with rite; but the Anglican liturgy is so close to ours that it's not possible in this case. The Pope asked our bishops to 'be generous' and in asking this was recognising their generosity to be genuine. Their hospitality to former Anglicans is 100% assured and the authority of the Church in working this out rests with the bishops' conferences and not with the CDF."

Allow me be very blunt.  I would not trust a single thing Msgr. Faley has to say about the matter.  This spokesman for the obstructionists has already been sent out to spread disinformation about the Apostolic Constitution (and was smacked down by Rome for it, as I understand).

This nonsense about "uniate status" (and it is most assuredly nonsense) is simply a misdirection.  The Apostolic Constitution and the Complementary Norms speak for themselves — and these documents do provide for an ordinary authority that will exist independently of — and in no way subject to — the local territorial dioceses or the national episcopal conference.  The English Catholic hierarchy may not yet fully appreciate this — and they certainly won't like it when they do — but it's coming nonetheless.

And Msgr. Faley's contention that the Holy Father recognizes the English bishops' generosity is utterly laughable!  Is he speaking of the same Joseph Ratzinger, who, just a few short years ago, asked, "Why are the English bishops so unapostolic?"  Were the Holy Father to be assured of the genuine nature of the bishops' generosity, he would hardly need to ask.  In this request, Msgr. Faley would, no doubt, like to be assured that Rome intends the bishops' conference to have a decisive role in the erection of the English ordinariate.  I think he's going to be sorely disappointed.

But no groups have yet actually approached the Roman Catholic authorities in this country, according to Mgr Faley.

Why should they?  Applications for the erection of a personal ordinariate will go directly to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Do not pass the bishops' conference.  Do not collect $200.  As I wrote a few days ago:

On the subject of bishops’ welcoming committees, I will also note that it is the understanding of the TAC bishops involved in discussions with Rome that the two principal parties to be involved in the erection of any future personal ordinariates are 1) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and 2) the interested Anglican group itself – and that all applications must originate from the Anglican group seeking full communion.  Local episcopal conferences will be consulted in due course, but the notion that these bodies will be the originators (or even decisive factors in the erection) of the new structures (as the episcopal conferences in England and Wales and Australia seem to think and as Cardinal DiNardo has recently suggested) seems to run contrary to the intentions of the CDF.

There is plenty of work going on behind the scenes.  And, I am proud to say, at the present moment, the readers of The Anglo-Catholic are just as informed as most English Catholic bishops.

The other intriguing admission in Bishop Burnham's letter is that "the project … will start in small ways". This suggests that enthusiasm for the ordinariates is still much greater among the priests and bishops who hope to lead it than among the ordinary Anglicans who are supposed to follow them and fill its churches.

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If the Holy Father's offer in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus is indeed a movement of the Holy Spirit, it should come as no surprise that the Enemy will stop at nothing to destroy it.  Whoever leaked this message, and the one who published it, knowingly or unknowingly, are his instruments.

In the coming several months, Anglican groups around the world will request of the Holy See the erection of personal ordinariates and will begin to cross the threshold into the full communion and unity of the Catholic Church.  The timing of this "leak" is not a coincidence.  Just this past Saturday, Forward in Faith Australia directed its National Council "to foster by every means the establishing of an Ordinariate in Australia." In just a few days, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Anglicans in Forward in Faith UK, led by the provincial episcopal visitors, will be praying for discernment.  Beginning on March 1, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America (TAC) will convene in Orlando, Florida; the ACA bishops, together with Primate John Hepworth, will be joined on March 2 by representatives of FiF UK (the Bishop of Fulham) and the Anglican Use/Pastoral Provision in the USA.  This conference will be an important step in formulating our response to Anglicanorum Coetibus.  In mid-March, bishops of the TAC and Forward in Faith will be in Rome to consult with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to seek clarification on a number of important points.  In Low Week, the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion will meet in Rome.  And it is expected that the first personal ordinariates will be erected as soon as the end of June 2010.

The Adversary who has thwarted our desire for corporate reunion with the rest of the Western Church for over 400 years now sees that our vindication is at hand!  He despises our Holy Father and all who would cooperate with him.  And as we move ever closer, we should expect that more manipulative reports like this one from Andrew Brown will surface.

I have had the opportunity to hear from so many readers of The Anglo-Catholic who are patiently waiting for news from Archbishop Hepworth, the PEVs, sources in Rome, or even the Holy Father himself.  Many of you visit the site several times a day for the latest information (which I, of course, very much appreciate).  And, no doubt, many of you feel like there is nothing that you can do to help.  This ecclesiastical politics, after all, seems to be the exclusive province of insiders — priests, bishops, archbishops, and even popes!  But there is something you can do to help.  Pray!  Pray for the Holy Father.  Pray for the shepherds of the Anglican groups who will shortly be leading their people into full communion with the Holy See.  Pray that God beat down Satan — and our many enemies — under our feet.  And never for a moment underestimate the forces arrayed against us!

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What is this "Personal Ordinariate"?

On the heels of his excellent essay "United in Communion, but not Absorbed: Understanding the Pope's Welcome," Bishop Elliott has hit another home run with the following address delivered earlier today in Melbourne.  My emphases in bold and comments in blue.

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WHAT IS THIS “PERSONAL ORDINARIATE”?

Bishop Peter J. Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, on Understanding Pope Benedict’s Offer to Traditional Anglicans

An address given to Forward in Faith Australia at All Saints’, Kooyong, Melbourne, on Saturday, February 13th 2010.

Anglicans can no longer speak of “swimming the Tiber”. Pope Benedict XVI has built a noble bridge, a symbol chosen as the cover illustration for the Catholic Truth Society edition of his Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Today I want to try to describe where that bridge leads.

The Tiber crossings of those Anglicans who have gone before us have often been difficult and dangerous — and, in any event, it has proven difficult to organize a group swim.  Not only is the Holy Father's bridge a noble construction that lifts us high above the perilous waters, it allows us to pass over the deep without breaking ranks.  And, as Fr. Dwight Longenecker has observed, this comfortable crossing may appeal to other Christians inspired by the ordered march of the Anglican host towards the threshold of the Apostles.

I have already summed up the papal offer as “united in communion but not absorbed”, words which resonate with the ecumenical vision of the recent past, particularly the era of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey. Now “United in communion but not absorbed” is realized in “a Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans who wish to enter full communion with the Catholic Church”, to use the Holy Father’s words in his Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.

Defining a “Personal Ordinariate”

Anglicanorum coetibus establishes a distinct community for Anglicans who choose to return to unity with the Successor of St Peter. But it is not accurate to call this an “Anglican Rite Ordinariate”. A better expression would be an “Anglican Use Personal Ordinariate”, that is, a structured community maintaining its own traditions, at the same time enjoying distinct liturgical privileges within the Roman Rite. To understand the proposed structure we may compare it with similar structures that already exist within the Catholic Church.

I must confess that I have yet to hear of anyone being under the impression that the personal ordinariates established an "Anglican Rite," but it is certainly a good thing to point out that this is not the case.  Our post-Reformation Anglican "liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral traditions" are a direct outgrowth of the Roman Rite, make little sense divorced from this context, and it is vital that they be assessed within the larger scope of that history.  In order to realize the full potential of our tradition, we must conscientiously develop what I term an "Anglican hermeneutic of continuity."

The Military Ordinariate

The proposed Anglican Use Ordinariate may be compared to the Military Ordinariate, set up in many countries, including Australia, the UK and the US. The Anglican Church of Australia has a similar structure. Anglicanorum coetibus refers to this structure in footnote 12.

A Military Ordinariate is kind of diocese covering a whole country but also “present” in places outside the country where military personnel serve, such as Afghanistan or East Timor. The bishop of the armed forces exercises ordinary jurisdiction over military chaplains and Catholic members of the armed forces – wherever they may be. Therefore his ministry relates directly to people and is more personal than territorial.

However, the structure proposed in Anglicanorum coetibus for an Anglican Use Personal Ordinariate is closer to a territorial diocese. There could be several Ordinariates in one country, which is not the case with the military structure. Therefore to better understand an Anglican Use Ordinariate we look into the venerable ancient Eastern Rites within the Catholic Church, properly called the Eastern Catholic Churches.

One important distinction, of course, between the military ordinariate (as well as the personal prelature) and the personal ordinariate is that the latter has (permanent) clerical, religious, and lay subjects.

One Church: East and West

These autonomous Churches are in communion with Rome, but their members are not “Roman Catholics”, that is, not Catholics of the Roman Rite. I now need to open up something essential that many Anglicans do not understand – that the Catholic Church is not a monolithic structure. She is a communion of Churches, led by bishops who are in communion with the Bishop of Rome and with one another, members of one apostolic college. This unity through a communion of particular or local Churches is set out in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. Lumen Gentium, 23.

See here.

Every diocese is a “particular Church”, governed by a successor of the apostles. This is why we talk of the Church of Rome, the Church of Melbourne, the Church of Washington etc. Through a complex history beginning in apostolic times, most of these particular Churches today are grouped together within the Roman Rite. Not only are they in communion with the Church of Rome, the See of Peter, but they also use the liturgy of Rome. The members of these particular Churches may be known as Roman Catholics, or Catholics of the Roman Rite, or Latin Catholics.

At the same time, many other particular churches are grouped within a series of ancient Eastern Rites, also in communion with Rome, but using liturgies appropriate to their origins: Syrian, Greek, Egyptian, Armenian etc. Their members are Ukrainian Catholics, Maronite Catholics, Coptic Catholics etc. They are not Roman Catholics. This is why it is wrong to lump us all together and call everyone in communion with Rome a “Roman Catholic”. I can describe myself in those terms, but my fellow Ukrainian Catholic should not – and will not – describe himself as an “RC”. So to sum it up, within the Catholic Church there is a wide range of Catholics and worshipping communities of Christian people.

Diocese and Eparchy

Looking more closely into these Eastern Catholic Churches, we first find typical territorial dioceses in the home country: Ukraine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, India, Iraq etc. But then we find a second kind of diocese for those members of these Churches who have emigrated and are now scattered across a country such as Canada or Australia. This kind of diocese is usually, not always, called an eparchy.

In an eparchy an Eastern Rite bishop has jurisdiction over all the clergy and lay faithful of his Rite, within a country or within a region in a big country such as Canada. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic bishop with a fine cathedral in North Melbourne is the bishop of the Eparchy of St Peter and Paul, Australia. He has ordinary jurisdiction over all Ukrainian Catholics in Australia. His people are also known as “Greek Catholics” because they celebrate the liturgy of Constantinople, the Byzantine Rite.

The same kind of structure also applies to the Maronite diocese of St Maroun, the Chaldean Diocese of St Thomas and the Eparchy of St Michael the Archangel for Melchite Greek Catholics, all based in Sydney. The territory of these bishops coexists with the dioceses of the Roman Rite in Australia and the bishops are members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The Anglican Use Ordinariate

The Ordinary of an Anglican Use Personal Ordinariate will be like an eparch, having jurisdiction and pastoral care over a series of parishes, “juridically comparable to a diocese”. But he will “teach, sanctify and govern” within the Western tradition, the Roman Rite, and that is the interesting and new development in Anglicanorum coetibus. There is also another closer similarity between the proposed Anglican Use Personal Ordinariates and Eastern Catholic eparchies. That may be described as a distinctive “ethos” based on a liturgical tradition and a wide range of customs, history, spiritualities and culture, never forgetting the personal bonds between people and families. In your case this will be the Anglican patrimony. We will look more closely at this in due course.

In full communion with the Successor of St Peter, members of each Personal Ordinariate will be gathered in distinctive communities that preserve elements of Anglican worship, spirituality and culture that are compatible with Catholic faith and morals. Members of an Ordinariate will be able to worship according to own liturgical “use”, while still being Catholics of the Roman Rite. So in the Ordinariate you will be “Roman Catholics” or “Latin Catholics”, part of the largest group in the Universal Church. At the same time, like the Eastern Rite Catholics, you will be the bearers of a distinctive and respected tradition. Your Ordinaries, bishops or priests, will work alongside bishops of the Roman Rite dioceses and the bishops of Eastern Rite eparchies and dioceses, finding their place within the Episcopal Conference in each nation or region.

As Archbishop Hepworth stated at the 2009 Forward in Faith UK National Assembly:

There will be an Anglican leader who relates to the Holy See on behalf of the Anglican Catholics.  Thus establishing a body that is Anglican Catholic as distinct from Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Maronite Catholic, or whatever.  It’s not a rite but it looks awfully like one…

This comment wasn't really understood by many at the time — and it is a novel concept — but the Anglican personal ordinariates are revolutionary.  An while legally being Catholics of the Roman Rite (i.e. "Roman Catholics"), the distinctiveness of the Anglican patrimony — which is much more comprehensive than mere liturgical deviations from the norms of the Latin Rite — will truly justify the appellation "Anglican Catholic" for our people.

“United…”

When Anglicanorum coetibus was published, an elderly lady went to her vicar and said, “Father, are we all Roman Catholics now?” Of course it is not as simple as that, nor should it be. Entrance into full communion with Rome through an Ordinariate involves a personal decision, and a sacramental process. This decision for unity involves acceptance of the pastoral care and the authority Christ entrusted to the successors of St. Peter.

As Archbishop Hepworth has noted, whatever the process of reception, it will occur in the context of our existing communities.

The decision to be reconciled through an Ordinariate can only made through following personal conscience, that is, after prayer, study and reflection. This is a step of faith in Jesus Christ and his Church. It involves accepting all the teachings of the Church on faith and morals.

It should be noted that many TAC communities have been engaged in "prayer, study and reflection" for many years.  Indeed, the bishops of the TAC only approached the Holy See after a long period of discernment and development, confessing the Catholic Faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church without reservation.  Many of us have already made the decision to be reconciled; we are now simply waiting for this corporate process to play out.  Some anti-Roman Anglican polemicists have found fault with this.  According to the naysayers, any Anglican who comes to believe in the doctrines contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church has a moral obligation to submit individually and without delay; to do otherwise, they say, must be a grave sin.  Thankfully the Holy Father acknowledges our aspiration to rejoin the unity of the Western Church in a corporate fashion.  And I know I speak for many Anglican Catholics when I say that, were the Holy Father to demand individual conversion, we would submit in obedience — but the Holy See simply has not asked us to do so.

Such a personal assent of faith needs to be formed and informed. To use an Anglican expression, please “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” the Catechism of the Catholic Church, described in Anglicanorum coetibus as “the authoritative expression of the Catholic Faith professed by members of the Ordinariate”. This official resource summarises the Faith “once given”, embodied in one Word of God that comes to us, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, through Scripture and Tradition.

Unity in Faith is preserved and animated by unity with the Vicar of Christ on earth, and with the bishops of the apostolic college gathered around him. However, we need to consider the practical dimension of unity, the discipline of the Church and her laws. These are, set out for Catholics of the Roman Rite, including members of the Ordinariates, in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a new version of the 1917 Code, revised in light of the Second Vatican Council and reforms that developed after the Council.

Some Anglicans may be alarmed at the prospect of coming under Canon Law, but the code is also a detailed charter of the rights of clergy and laity. For example a bishop’s authority is regulated by the code. In that perspective the code might even be called the “constitution” of the Church. However, I need to be frank about one relevant area of the code, marriage.

For Anglicans, of even more concern than episcopal abuse should be the grave defect of our democratic synodical processes.  As I wrote a few weeks ago:

Presently, our Anglican synodical structures involve — in addition to bishops — representatives of both the clergy and the laity participating on a practically equal footing.  Clergy and laity are generally organized into separate houses which must concur in order to pass legislation governing the diocese, province, &c.  Essentially, while lip service is paid to the notion of episcopal government, Anglican jurisdictions are organized in the fashion of modern, democratic, secular governments, and apostasy is ever but one vote away.  In principle, there is nothing preventing an Anglican synod from reinterpreting Holy Scripture or Sacred Tradition, rejecting Catholic Faith and Apostolic Order.  This is precisely what has happened in the Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion in the past several decades.  Continuing Anglicans pride themselves on their orthodoxy and assume that they are immune from the doctrinal corruption now prevalent in the Anglican Communion, but the Continuing jurisdictions, all, have reconstituted the same defective ecclesiastical government which allowed the Episcopal Church to disintegrate into apostasy.  It is only the conservatism of their present membership that prevents the jurisdictions of the so-called Anglican Continuum from falling away from the Faith.

In this area the Code is precise, maintaining what was once upheld within Anglicanism, Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. The Code guides diocesan tribunals and higher tribunals in Rome, such as the Rota and certain Vatican Congregations. Therefore, married people, clergy and laity, who intend to enter the Ordinariate need to be aware that they cannot be reconciled to the Church as members of the Ordinariate until any irregular marriage situations are cleared up through diocesan tribunals. Unity in Christ for married people involves unity in his sacrament of Marriage. Access to the tribunals is easy and they are run along kindly pastoral lines.

This is an excellent point as there will, no doubt, be certain practical difficulties here.  At least in the ACA, our bishops ought to have been following, as closely as possible, the criteria established by the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law.  It is to be hoped that these documented canonical procedures will aid in the regularization of marital situations.

Alongside the Code of Canon Law internal laws and statues will regulate the sacramental, pastoral and administrative life of the Ordinariate. The required administrative structures are already set out in the Complementary Norms that accompany the Constitution. Here again we find some similarity between the Ordinariate and an autonomous Eastern Catholic Church. But there is a separate Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches, which protects their traditions, customs and sacramental discipline.

Some of these similarities might be the right of the Governing Council to submit a terna for the selection of a new ordinary directly to Rome, or the requirements that the same body consent to the advancement of a candidate to Holy Orders, the erection of deaneries, establishment of seminaries or houses of formation, &c.  Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Complementary Norms enshrine certain aspects of the Anglican synodical tradition of government.

“But Not Absorbed”

Some critics of Anglicanorum coetibus have perceived the similarity between the Ordinariates and Eastern Catholic Churches. Then they dismiss the Pope’s generous offer as “Uniatism”, that is, a “unity” imposed by submission to papal imperialism. Catholics avoid the polemical term “Uniate”. Eastern Rite Catholics find it very offensive. It suggests that all their Churches broke away from ancient Churches and returned to the jurisdiction of the Pope for opportunistic political or economic reasons. Maronite Catholics in particular resent this rhetoric because they were never separated from Rome. But Eastern Catholics know that the freedom, autonomy and traditions they value are protected by unity with Rome.

In studying the interesting history of past projects to reunite Rome and Canterbury, some forgotten or hushed up, we find proposals that are now included in Anglicanorum coetibus, summed up in the phrase dear to Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey, “united but not absorbed:”. This is why, in a recent article, I said: “Yet you do not come to the Ordinariates with empty hands. As I learnt forty two years ago, you will lose nothing – but you will regain an inheritance stolen from us four centuries ago. That heritage was largely recovered by the giants of the Oxford Movement. I believe they smile on us now….”

Indeed there have been several initiatives over the past decades that have, for various reasons almost always having to do with the fickleness of the Anglican parties, come to naught.

What precisely is this “inheritance stolen from us four centuries ago”? It is the distinctive “ethos” of the whole tradition of English Catholicism, from the Romano-British and Irish Christians up to the Reformation. Then we see it continuing is two directions.

All that is true and beautiful in Anglicanism — as Anglicans has always maintained — is proper to the Catholic Church.  This Patrimony is not our exclusive property; it is "a precious gift" and a "treasure to be shared" with the whole of the Church Universal.

First there was the subsequent development of Catholicism in light of the Councils of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II, first maintained secretly by “recusants” and then by English Catholics of the Roman Rite who received emancipation in 1829. The Venerable John Henry Newman joined these faithful people in 1845. Their heroic story is marked by continuity. They bravely maintained what would have been part of Christian life had not communion with the Successor of St Peter been severed at the Reformation. My own experience of the Catholic Church in England has been of a welcoming community, an Anglo-Irish (or today an Anglo-Polish!) melting pot, but distinctively English in culture, spirituality and identity.

At the same time, we look to the parallel development, your heritage which Anglicanorum coetibus recognises, honours and seeks to maintain. Within the diverse structure of the Anglican Settlement, Anglicans with Catholic convictions sought to maintain, enrich or restore continuity, often at great cost. We think of the Caroline divines, Scottish Episcopalians, the Wesleys, and the scholars and heroes of the Oxford Movement: men like Keble and Pusey, priests of the Society of the Holy Cross, valiant men and women who formed religious communities, clergy selflessly committed to serve the poor, bringiing them social justice and a vision of the Kingdom through beautiful Catholic worship. Nor let us forget the brilliance of Dom Gregory Dix, Michael Ramsey, C.S. Lewis, Eric Mascall, T.S. Eliot and Dorothy Sayers. All of this heritage can enrich a unity of faith shared by all English-speaking Catholics. The bridge over the Tiber leads to that unity.

Though the recusants "bravely maintained what would have been part of Christian life had not communion with the Successor of St Peter been severed at the Reformation" (we must acknowledge that Tridentine/Counter Reformation Catholicism was itself just as much influenced by the rupture of the Great Rebellion), the parallel development of "Anglicanism" as it developed in the Established Church (and subsequently in the Anglican Diaspora) has been recognized by the Holy See as itself being a glorious tradition despite its development in disunity and discontinuity.  This separated strand of English Catholicism is now to be restored to the whole cloth.

As Anglicanorum coetibis indicates, each Personal Ordinariate is meant to inter-relate with other Catholics of the Roman and Eastern Rites. It is not a kind of national park for a rare and endangered species. Yet I would suggest that, at the end of the day, the only significant communities with an authentic Oxford Movement tradition left on earth will be found in the Personal Ordinariates within the Catholic Church.

While some groups of Anglicans may now be skeptical of the Holy Father's offer (after all, the Catholic bishops have not always done well by minority groups), in the end, having witnessed the success of the personal ordinariates in preserving an Anglican corporate identity, there will no longer be any justification for separation.  In the end, there will be only Catholics and protestants.

Other Anglicans

At this time we are aware that many Evangelical Anglicans are also following their consciences and making decisions under the Word of God in Scripture. Our understanding of the Word of God may be different to theirs because we include Tradition alongside Scripture as making up one Word of God. At the same time we honour their fidelity to the Bible, fidelity to the great dogmas of the Incarnation, Redemption and Resurrection, to Gospel truths and to the ethics of Jesus Christ. Some Evangelicals are sending messages of encouragement to Anglo Catholics considering the Ordinariate. Do not imagine that because of greater numbers in some places that they are exempt from feelings of sorrow, hurt, scandal and rejection that you have suffered.

Good point.  We are not the only Anglicans to suffer the breakdown of the Anglican Communion.

The difficult problem at present is surely resolving a tense relationship with mainstream Anglicans. Yes, I have heard unkind comments against those considering the Ordinariate (“You can have them…” etc.). But I have also heard words of good-will and understanding. Let us hope and pray that kindness and mutual respect may prevail.

If you choose the Ordinariate, the challenge will be to keep the doors open, not to set up clubs or cliques. Through established Ordinariates you can reach out with the love of Christ to another group, that unknown number of drifting and bewildered traditional Anglicans. But let us also respect those traditional Anglicans who choose to continue in their own circles. Some of them slide into uncharitable comments or play at logic chopping, even regarding the papal offer with suspicion. But “the ball is in their court”. The challenge is: “Well brothers and sisters, where are you now and where are you going?” Pray for them as you pray for all who consider making that short but decisive journey across the bridge of Anglicanorum coetibus.

As Archbishop Hepworth has written:

The Traditional Anglican Communion will not disappear, but will endure for the same purpose that it was created to fulfil, and which is so clearly described in the text of our petition.

The TAC is committed to caring for both those who are set to enter into the personal ordinariates and those who are not yet ready to make the transition.  It is our hope that some form of genuine communion will allow us to maintain the bonds between these communities who will have, for a time, taken different — but parallel — paths.

While it is the mission of The Anglo-Catholic to present the truth about the Holy Father's offer in the Apostolic Constitution, we do pray for those who, even at this moment, seek to dissuade Anglicans from heeding the call of our Shepherd and to undermine the foundation we have long labored to construct.

My final appeal is that you should lay to rest anguish and polemics over the liberal agenda that at present divides the Anglican Communion. One of the effects of unity with Rome through the Ordinariate should be freedom from the recent past and a healing of memories, inner peace. Jesus Christ calls us all to peace, and to a renewed commitment to his mission, above all the ministry of charity to the poor and bringing good news to the spiritually poor in our secularised society. All the structures in Holy Church should serve this glorious cause of his Kingdom. To him we raise our eyes as we prayerfully look forward in hope.

In my regular — generally daily — conversations with my ordinary, Bishop Louis Campese, either or both of us never fail to express the hope that this process of reunification will shortly be concluded, that we may experience that peace of finally having attained the goal for which our forebears have so long prayed, worked, and sacrificed.

A Postcript: The Future Liturgy of the Ordinariates

Anglianorum coetibus authorizes the Ordinariates to use books that carry the Anglican liturgical heritage: “so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” Note those last words. What the distinctive “Anglican rite” liturgy of the Ordinariate will be is yet to be worked out. When that project is completed it will need the recognition of the Holy See. But some speculation at this stage may be of interest.

Considering its history and strong influence in the first editions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Sarum Rite might well be a major source. Queen Mary I published a national edition of the Sarum Missal to replace all those missals for the diocesan uses that went into the fire when the first Book of Common Prayer appeared in 1549. Therefore the Sarum Use was the last version of the Roman Rite in England before the universal Missale Romanum, Roman Missal, was authorised by St Pius V in 1570. At the end of the nineteenth century when Westminster cathedral was being built, it was proposed that the Sarum Rite be revived as the use proper to the cathedral. Nothing came of this project, lost I suspect in the cross-currents of liturgical controversies and an Ultramontane trend to standardise liturgy along Counter-Reformation lines, even down to the shape of chasubles.

In 1541 (eight years before the publication of the Book of Common Prayer), Henry VIII ordered Convocation to suppress the uses of York, Bangor, and Hereford and ordered the universal adoption of the use of the diocese of Salisbury (the "Sarum Use").  This Use was the sacred liturgy of the Mass elaborated by St. Osmund around the year 1085.  St. Osmund had come over to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and was consecrated bishop of Salisbury in 1079.

The various editions of the Book of Common Prayer will obviously influence the preparation of this use for the Ordinariates. Yet a note of caution is necessary. Cranmer’s prose is majestic, but all his doctrine is not sound. Some editing will be needed to deal with expressions which are not in harmony with Catholic Faith, particularly those that come down from his severely Protestant 1552 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. In Anglo Catholic circles you have tried to manage these matters, as may be seen in the English Missal and the Anglican Missal.

It should be noted that the American 1928 Book of Common Prayer was accepted for use in the Western "rites" of several Orthodox jurisdictions with only very minor emendations and additions.  For any traditional edition of the Book of Common Prayer, the edits required should be minor; I believe that this concern gets blown out of proportion.  The rites of the Prayer-book should be judged by the text alone — not by the questionable private theological opinions of her editors.

I give one example that concerns me as a sacramental theologian. “Do this in remembrance of me” should never appear in a Catholic rite. “Do this in memory of me” is a more accurate rendering of the original languages and takes us away from “memorialism”. The meaning of the Eucharist as the great sacrificial Memorial is set out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1362-1367.

I would counter that "remembrance," "memorial," and "in memory" are all interchangeable in this context; they certainly are in the Prayer-book and in the Authorized Version of the Bible.  Any confusion should be resolved — as it has been amongst Catholic Anglicans for centuries — through catechesis rather than the mutilation of the text.

From The Catholic Religion by Vernon Staley (pp. 247-249):

The Holy Eucharist is a feast upon a sacrifice. The Body and the Blood of Christ are first offered to the Eternal Father, and then partaken of by the communicants. This offering is termed by St. Paul "the shewing the Lord's death.""

In saying "This do in remembrance of Me," our Lord used words which here really mean,—

"OFFER THIS AS MY MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD."

It has often been shewn that the word translated "do," is very frequently used in the Greek Version of the Old Testament for "offer." It is so used in the following passages to which the reader may refer for himself: Ex. xxix. 36, 38, 39, 41; Lev. ix. 7, 16, 22 : xiv. 19: etc. In each of these places, the word translated "offer," is the same as that used by our Lord when He said, "Do this."

The Greek word for "remembrance" has likewise a distinctly sacrificial meaning. It is used but twice in the Old Testament, and but four times in the New. Three times in the New Testament the reference is to the Holy Eucharist. Let us briefly examine the three remaining passages, where the Greek word 1 I Cor. xi. 23, etc. * Ibid. 26.

In Heb. x. 3, we read,—"But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year." The allusion is to the sacrifices offered yearly on the Day of Atonement. These sacrifices were offered to God, to procure pardon of the sins of the priesthood and of the nation. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies, where, unseen by man, he made "a remembrance of sins" before God. The same word is again used.

We have now examined the only three passages in the Bible in which the Greek word for "remembrance" is found, apart from the accounts of the institution of the Holy Eucharist. In each case it is used of A REMEMBRANCE BEFORE GOD, AND NOT BEFORE MAN; and it is only reasonable therefore to suppose that in those instances in which it is used of the Holy Eucharist, it is intended to express the same meaning which it has elsewhere in Holy Scripture, viz.; that of A MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD. That this is the true idea is confirmed by St. Paul's words spoken of the Holy Eucharist,— "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come." (I Cor. ix. 26.) In connection with this important subject the reader is asked to refer to what was said on pages 195, 196, concerning the relation which exists between the Eucharistic Sacrifice and our Lord's pleading in heaven.

Next year a new ICEL translation of the Mass of the Roman Rite will come into effect. More gracious poetic English will mean that the beauty of the language used in the Ordinariates will not clash with the banal and inaccurate old ICEL “translation” we currently endure.

Deo gratias!

Let me add that an “Anglican use” will add to the diversity of uses that already exists within the Roman Rite, starting with the two forms. “ordinary” (Novus Ordo) and “extraordinary” (Usus antiquior, traditional Latin liturgy), and including efforts to revive the uses of religious orders and regional uses. In Milan there are now two forms of the venerable Ambrosian Rite, ordinary and extraordinary. This variety is reported from time to time in the New Liturgical Movement website, also an indicator of Pope Benedict’s liturgical project and vision.

One dream of mine is that the churches of the Ordinariate will resound with fine music – from Stanford to Palestrina, from Vaughan Williams to Bruckner. We need the kind of music that gives greater glory to God and also “a treasure to be shared” by all Catholics.

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