20 October 2009

Anglicans Who Hanker for Union with Rome

now have something to work with: check it out. Can the Lutherans continue to stand apart from the Holy See calling her errant children home? We can if we understand the weight of this posting by Nathan. As Nathan so often does, he simply cuts straight through to the heart of the matter.


Scott Larkins said...

This new Anglican rite of the Catholic Church may become the new boogeyman stealing our clergy. The Orthodox need a break anyway. Now you can have a wife, traditional Western liturgy, Apostolic succession, and be reunited with the Patriarch of the West. Sounds like a win-win situation!

christl242 said...

There's a Catholic parish in Texas that uses the modified Anglican rite:


The rest of the Roman parishes can continue to use Oregon Catholic Press, Marty Haugen and the St. Louis Jesuits.


Chris Jones said...

There is an Anglican-Use parish near us in Boston, as well. We went to Mass there a few years back; it was an odd experience.

It was a beautiful Anglo-Catholic solemn high Mass, with everything that I remember and love from my Anglo-Catholic upbringing: the chanting, the vestments, the incense, the bells, the intense Eucharistic devotion, the works. I nearly cried out of love for everything we never get in our almost a-liturgical Lutheran parish.

But there in the middle of it was the liturgical commemoration of "Benedict our Pope," and it was like a discordant note in an otherwise beautiful symphony. As much as I respect and admire Benedict XVI, he is not "our Pope." To accept him as "our Pope" is to accept the claims of universal jurisdiction and indefectibility for his office. As much as I love traditional Western liturgy, that is too high a price to pay.

If Benedict were content to be Patriarch of the West (as Scott describes him) rather than universal Pope, it would be a different story. I attended a very similar Mass at Incarnation, Detroit; but the commemoration of Ignatius IV didn't have the jarring effect on me that the commemoration of Benedict did.

Scott Larkins said...

May I recommend...


This may help give some insight into TAC's desire to reconcile with Rome.

Jon said...

The Holy See's calling to come home is a bit of Siren's song.

I was in Augsburg right after Benedict's election and after a couple of Weizenbier I wanted to go home too.

But with a sober head, and eyes open to the abuses of Rome, the comfort one sees there when intoxicated on aesthetics is sorely lacking the true comfort of Christ for us.

I think one time Uwe Siemon-Netto predicted that Benedict would create also a Lutheran province of the Roman church.

People would flock to it.
I too would be tempted.
But Christ's divine mercy is always watered down, even when viewed through the eyes of RC saints who wrote on Divine Mercy and trusted in Jesus alone.

Scott Larkins said...

Just curious. Have any of you ever flirted with the idea that the reformers were "right about what was wrong and wrong about what was right?" (GKC)

All joking aside. Not trying to be a smart alec.

William Weedon said...


I certainly have given thought to that. But the difficulty is that Rome is STILL wrong about what was wrong. Her theology fails precisely at the care of souls, for it cannot give to the soul the certainty that God would give it in the word: "These things are written that you MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

And as for Luther being wrong about what was right - well, remember that unlike many of the Reformers, the Lutherans held to baptism, the keys, eucharist, a divinely mandated ministry, and retained the overwhelming majority of the liturgical heritage they'd received. Luther rejected only what in the deposit contradicted the Sacred Scriptures.

Scott Larkins said...

Yes. When I use "reformers" I mean only Lutherans. The others, in my opinion, went way beyond reformation.

christl242 said...

But Christ's divine mercy is always watered down, even when viewed through the eyes of RC saints who wrote on Divine Mercy and trusted in Jesus alone.

Right you are, Jon. I have a deep personal fondness for Benedict. We both hail from beautiful Bavaria. We both love cats. I could no doubt sit down with him and enjoy some of that delicious German pastry that all civilized Germans serve at afternoon coffee before dinner is prepared.

But that's as far as it goes. The idea of a "Lutheran" province is utterly inconceivable to me. Lutherans and Anglicans, especially Anglo-Catholics, have some profound doctrinal differences as regards Rome.

I didn't realize it at the time, the shift was subtle, but in the ten years I was Catholic I almost lost the centrality of Christ and the authority of the Scriptures.


Scott Larkins said...

So. If this Anglican Rite takes off in the States, do you folks think the Synod will lose any clergy or laity to Canteromebury?

Sorry. I'm still not sure what to call this new church/rite.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

You wrote, "Now you can have a wife, traditional Western liturgy, Apostolic succession, and be reunited with the Patriarch of the West." Out of curiosity, which of those would you say Anglicans have without appealing to the Pope for (re)admittance under the requirements of this Apostolic Constitution?

William Weedon said...

Always a possibility, Scott, but most Lutherans that I know have a pretty strong dislike for Anglicanism and its tradition of theological equivocation on the matter of the Holy Eucharist.

Scott Larkins said...

Fr. Weedon,

No doubt the 39 Articles are Reformed in there view of The Holy Supper. No getting around that. I have a feeling that most TAC folks have no problem with transubstantiation or the Mass as sacrifice.

Scott Larkins said...

B.P. Wandrey,

A wife and liturgical form....maybe.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

I meant (and should have stated it more clearly), which of those four things do Anglicans currently have, and which of the four would they gain from joining with Rome?

Your answer is interesting. Definitely Anglican clergy can have wives. And definitely the Anglican Church (at least in England) has liturgical form (even though you say "maybe"). I have an Anglican friend who spent a term studying in Rome who reports that the Roman Catholics there can't understand why some Anglicans use the Roman Rite when the Church of England's current rites of Holy Communion (or the Mass) are non-objectionable to any standard of Roman Catholic liturgical form. Indeed.

Your conclusion that Anglicans don't have apostolic succession without returning to Rome is interesting. Seapius Officio deserves a read. The first paragraph is absolutely excellent, in such an English way. As an American, I would parphrase it as follows: "What a joy it is for bishops to find an occassion in order to write to another, fellow, bishop. Hence, our response, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, to you, the Bishop Rome, for saying that we aren't actually clergy or the church." Classic!

Scott Larkins said...


It's clear the AC has no union with the Bishop of Rome. I used the patriarch language to hope to get some of our Orthodox friends in on the discussion. As for Apostolic succession. That's beyond me to answer. I know Rome would say no. We LCMS folks would say "Ahh....who needs it anyway." :)

Scott Larkins said...

Wish to apologize for my poor grammar.


Jody+ said...

This is an interesting move, but really only does two things: it extends the current pastoral provision/Anglican Use to the whole world rather than just the US, and it provides for a structure of administration. Beyond that, it still has the same strikes against it as the current Anglican Use, in that it is primarily a "one generation" program as only convert priests will be allowed to be married and reordained as Roman Catholic priests. After that, the standard Latin Rite (Of which the Anglican Use is a part) discipline of clerical celibacy will rule with all the problems that come along with it.

Additionally, the RCC has not demonstrated any great acumen in liturgics recently, and the Book of Divine Worship used by the Anglican Use butchers the tradition IMO. You can read the detailed response of one traditional Anglican priest here, which is pretty interesting. I have a feeling that he speaks for many more people than the Anglo-papalists:


Stephen said...

Pr Weedon,
You say most Lutherans you know dislike Anglicanism's equivocation over the Eucharist. The Anglo-Catholics being approached here would all hold to a catholic understanding of the Eucharist and would not entertain Calvinist or symbolic notions of it. But I would like to think the biggest obstacle to authentic Lutherans jumping on board, or agreeing to a Lutheran 'province', should be the articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae. I am not aware that Rome's position today on justification has really changed at all since Trent.

William Weedon said...

Thanks for that fascinating link, Jody.

Stephen, see my linking Nathan's thoughts in the second part of the original posting.

Stephen said...

Pr Weedon, Sorry I missed that link... I agree, it's very well put.

gnesio-lutheran said...

According to the 1896 Papal Bull Apostolicae Curae, Anglican Orders are "absolutely null and entirely void".
I would think that many otherwise agreeable Anglo-Catholic priests would have trouble with the requirement that they will need to be re-ordained to continue their ministry, and to the idea that their sacaraments are invalid.

Scott Larkins said...

Good point gnesio-lutheran. We'll have to see what the requirements are when the full document is released. I would assume Rome would have to ordain them. I know that Orthodox clergy do not have to be ordained by Rome. Rome recognizes the Orthodox priesthood and Sacraments.

gnesio-lutheran said...

I doubt the requrement for re-ordination would change. If I were an Anglican priest, that for me would be a major reason not to convert, even if they graciously allowed me to keep my wife.
It would be an admission that my entire ministry has been a sham, that I am merely a layman who has been simulating a priest, and that all my sacramental acts(except baptism) have been invalid.

Scott Larkins said...

You now if a Lutheran Pastor converted to the Southern Baptist church he would have to ordained and re-baptized. Could be worse.

Scott Larkins said...

Traditional Anglican Group "Profoundly Moved" by Pope's New Provision for Converts

Blackwood, Australia, Oct 22, 2009 (CNA).- The Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion has responded to the Vatican’s announcement of a new provision for Anglicans who wish to convert to Catholicism, saying his church is “profoundly moved” by Pope Benedict’s generosity. He added that the provision will now be taken to the national synods of his Communion.

In an Oct. 20 statement published on the website of the communion’s The Messenger Journal, Traditional Anglican Communion Primate Archbishop John Hepworth said he had been speaking with bishops, priests and lay people of the Communion in England, Africa, Australia, India, Canada, the U.S. and South America about the recent news.

“We are profoundly moved by the generosity of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,” Archbishop Hepworth wrote. He said the creation of the canonical structure for Anglicans was an act of “great goodness” on the part of Pope Benedict and his “cause of unity.”

“It more than matches the dreams we dared to include in our petition of two years ago. It more than matches our prayers. In those two years, we have become very conscious of the prayers of our friends in the Catholic Church. Perhaps their prayers dared to ask even more than ours,” the Traditional Anglican archbishop added.

He praised the “pastoral nature” of the notes released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and also noted that his fellow bishops have signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In that 2007 event, Traditional Anglican bishops signed the Catechism and placed it on the altar of the historic National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, England in order to attest to “the faith we aspire to teach and hold.”

The signed Catechism was later presented to then-Fr. Augustine Di Noia, OP, the senior ecumenical theologian at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Di Noia has since been consecrated an archbishop and named Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship.

Archbishop Hepworth also discussed the statement issued by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the most senior prelate in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

The statement shows that Archbishop Williams does not stand in traditional Anglicans’ way, he said.

“Both his reaction and our petition are fruits of a century of prayer for Christian unity, a cause that many times must have seemed forlorn,” Archbishop Hepworth commented, expressing gratitude to Archbishop Williams.

Archbishop Hepworth reported that the response of the Holy See will be taken to each of the Traditional Anglican Communion’s National Synods. While these synods have already endorsed “our pathway,” the archbishop explained, they will now consider the specific structures proposed.

He closed his message by referring to the Te Deum, a traditional Christian prayer of thanksgiving.

“It is with heartfelt thanks to Almighty God, the Lord and Source of all peace and unity, that the hymn is on our lips today,” the archbishop said. “This is a moment of grace, perhaps even a moment of history, not because the past is undone, but because the past is transformed.”