The Anglican Apostolic Constitution: A Corporal Act of Mercy?

Barney Zwartz (Religion Editor, The Age) must be thrilled to bits to finally be handed a religion story big enough for the front page of his newspaper (and which doesn’t mention the abuse scandal anywhere…). He has the Holy Father to thank for that much at least.

His story is quite a good round up. Two comments that interest me. First from Bishop Michael Putney, who is the Chair of the ACBC Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations. On thing that has been overlooked in much of the discussion is that it isn’t the Pope or the Roman Curia who will be responsible for setting up these “Anglican Ordiariates” – it will be the local Bishops Conferances. So Bishop Michael’s comment that for such an ordinariate to be established in Australia “”a handful” of converts would not be enough, but ”hundreds” would” is telling. Still, given the proposed structure, even if an ordinariate was not set up for Australia in particular, there could still be an Anglican Ordinariate parish in Australia, under the authority of an Anglican Catholic Ordinary somewhere else in the world. The other funny thing that Barney reports is the rather droll reply of Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, whom Barney asked asked “how many priests he thought might leave”. The reply? ”I wasn’t calculating on losing any…”

Then there is Muriel Porter’s opinion in the Op-Ed piece The Vatican finally gets its Revenge on Henry VIII. True to form, she sees the whole thing as a Catholic “problem with women” and interpretsthe whole issue in terms of “leadership”. We’ve said enough on that point before.

The Editorial in today’s edition of The Age raises interesting questions which have already occurred to us here at SCE and, me thinks, to a lot of Latin Rite Catholic Bishops in the English speaking world.

Would the ordinariate therefore attract not only disaffected Anglicans but also some English-speaking Catholics? At present those who want to leave the Roman rite without leaving Rome have only the Uniate Eastern rites as options, but an Anglican rite would make the leap culturally easier in English-speaking countries.

But most interesting is a piece that is unfortunately no longer available on the Internet, and that is an Op-Ed piece by a journalist from The Guardian, Andrew Brown, entitled “Tradition Trumps Modernity”. It really is a terribly good read, so if you get a hold of a copy of today’s paper… Anyway, the opening paragraphs will have to suffice more or less. He writes:

When it comes to elegant funerals, no one can beat the Vatican. Look at the phrases with which it buried all hopes of reunion, or even significant negotiations, with the Anglican Communion, by announcing that it would now welcome whole groups of Anglicans, with their own bishops, liturgies, and even – if they must have them – wives, to become Roman Catholic piests:

“Without the dialogues of the past 40 years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nutured. In this sense, this apostolic constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.”

It’s not just one consequence. It is the only lasting one. One of the things that this development means is that the Roman Catholic Church is no longer even pretending to take seriously the existence of the Anglican Communion as a coherent body.

Well, you can agree or disagree with that, but if one were to allow Brown’s metaphor, then at least one ought to say that while the Catholic Church may be providing the funeral rites for “all hopes of reunion, or even significant negotiation with the Anglican Communion”, it cannot be accused of killing them. Murder is a mortal sin, while burying the dead is a corporal act of mercy.

Advertisements

58 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

58 responses to “The Anglican Apostolic Constitution: A Corporal Act of Mercy?

  1. Peregrinus

    If Dr Putney is asked for comment, I suppose it is wise to offer some, but I have to say that what conditions must be satisfied if an Australian Anglican ordinariate is to be set up seems to me to be pointless until we know what an ordinariate is, and what it does. At the moment we know very little.

    An “ordinary” is anyone whose role it is to implement canon law. And the norm and ideal of an ordinary is the bishop. And this, in turn, stems from fundamental Catholic ecclesiology – I am a Catholic because I am a member of my local church (Perth, as it happens) and I am a member of that church because I am in communion with its bishop (Barry Hickey). And part of the pastoral relationship between him and me is that he implements canon law as it affects me.

    There are other ordinaries – abbots, religious superiors, vicars general, etc – but they all have to slot into the church without disrupting they key ecclesiological, pastoral and canonical relationship between the individual Christian and his or her Bishop.

    Now, the ordinaries of Anglican Ordinariates will not necessarily be bishops, and I predict that in the majority of cases they won’t be bishops – the number of unmarried Anglican bishops who are received into the Catholic church and then ordained as Catholic bishops is likely to be vanishingly small. And even when they are bishops, they won’t be diocesan bishops. And the faithful that they minister to will be Latin Rite Catholics, members of their local Latin churches, in communion with their local diocesan bishops and almost certainly subject to his ordinary jurisdiction>. Whatever jurisdiction is given to Anglican ordinaries will not, I predict, be such as to supplant the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop over the people in his diocese, including the Anglican Catholics.

    So I’m guessing that the jurisdiction of the Anglican ordinaries will be pretty much like the jurisdiction of religious superiors . It’s a jurisdiction that will mainly affect clerics – initially, Anglican clerics who have converted to Rome and, later, clerics who are ordained specifically for the Anglican ordinariate. And it will affect houses, foundations, etc, set up by or attached to the ordinariate. But it won’t really affect lay people in any fundamental way. Once Anglican Ordinariate priests start ministering within a diocese – if, e.g., they are given charge of a parish – then as respects diocesan matters they will be within the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop. (They’ll still minister using Anglican Catholic liturgies, customs, etc, of course.)

    Of course, all this is guesswork; we haven’t seen the Apostolic Constitution. But assume for the moment that the jurisdiction of the ordinariate is mainly about clerics, then in setting up an ordinariate the salient question is not how many Anglican Catholics there are, but how many Anglican ex-ministers seeking ordination. Of course, if an ordinariate is basically a society of clerics, then quite a small number of clerics can form a viable society.

    The other salient question, although people have so far shied away from discussing this, is resources. There is no point in setting up an ordinariate unless there are resources to pay its clergy, establish and maintain its houses, chapels, and generally support its mission and apostolate. I can’t image diocesan bishops rushing to pay for any of this, any more than they pay to set up and maintain religious orders. If there are Anglican ordinariate priests willing to do work that diocesan bishops want done, they’ll get paid for it, but that’s it. It’s possible that some Anglican congregations may enter Rome with their existing houses, churches, endowments, etc, but I’m guessing this won’t happen a lot. And certainly there will be no desire in the Catholic church to see disputes or, worse still, litigation between remaining Anglicans and Anglicans departing for the Catholic church over the ownership and control of Anglican church property. That would be disastrous.

    In this context the number of lay Anglicans coming across is relevant – the more that come across, the more likely it is that there will be enough of them to support an Anglican ordinariate.

    • And the faithful that they minister to will be Latin Rite Catholics, members of their local Latin churches, in communion with their local diocesan bishops and almost certainly subject to his ordinary jurisdiction>. Whatever jurisdiction is given to Anglican ordinaries will not, I predict, be such as to supplant the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop over the people in his diocese, including the Anglican Catholics.

      That is an interesting point. We will have to wait for the actual document, I guess. But can an “ordinary” have another “ordinary” in jurisdiction over him other than the Pope? Which leads me to think maybe the “bishop” for Catholics in an Anglican Ordinariate where the Ordinary is a priest rather than a bishop might be the bishop of Rome?

      But assume for the moment that the jurisdiction of the ordinariate is mainly about clerics…

      Well, you see, I don’t see it like that. In fact, I reckon that moving into such an Ordinariate will be much easier for Anglican laity than for Anglican clergy (take it from me, getting re-ordained into Catholic orders is not quite as simple as it might seem…). Many of them – including even Archbishop Hepworth (if he is abe to receive an annulment for his first marriage, without which he will not even be able to be received into communion in the Catholic Church) – will find that in fact entering an Anglican Ordinariate of the Catholic Church will mean demotion to the status of layman (especially as there are a disproportionate number of clergy in the break-away Anglican groups). Will they be ready to accept that?

      Then too, it raises not only the question of ordination, but of the sacraments of initiation, including Confirmation. All lay people entering into communion with the Catholic Church have to be reconfirmed as Catholics. Noone has mentioned that aspect yet.

      • Peregrinus

        That is an interesting point. We will have to wait for the actual document, I guess. But can an “ordinary” have another “ordinary” in jurisdiction over him other than the Pope?

        Certainly can. Consider my own parish priest. My parish has historically been in the care of a particular religious order and he, like his predecessors, is a priest of that order. The provincial of the order exercises an ordinary jurisdiction over him. On the other hand, as a pastor of a parish in the diocese of Perth, the Archbishop of Perth exercises an ordinary jurisdiction over him.

        Remember, an ordinary is anyone whose role is to enforce canon law. But if I am affected by two different provisions of canon law, and different people are charged with implementing them, I have two ordinaries.

        Which leads me to think maybe the “bishop” for Catholics in an Anglican Ordinariate where the Ordinary is a priest rather than a bishop might be the bishop of Rome?

        Nope. His bishop is, well, his bishop. Even if the ordinary of an Anglican ordinariate happens to be a bishop (but not a diocesan bishop), he’ll have the ordinary jurisdiction of an Anglican ordinary, not the ordinary jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop. Each member of the ordinariate will still have a bishop. I see no reason why it wouldn’t be the diocesan bishop. (And, if for some reason it isn’t the diocesan bishop, I don’t see any reason why it would be the Bishop of Rome. Perhaps +Westminster could assert that it would be historically fitting to give him that role? J)

        Peregrinus: But assume for the moment that the jurisdiction of the ordinariate is mainly about clerics…

        Schütz: Well, you see, I don’t see it like that. In fact, I reckon that moving into such an Ordinariate will be much easier for Anglican laity than for Anglican clergy (take it from me, getting re-ordained into Catholic orders is not quite as simple as it might seem…). Many of them – including even Archbishop Hepworth (if he is abe to receive an annulment for his first marriage, without which he will not even be able to be received into communion in the Catholic Church) – will find that in fact entering an Anglican Ordinariate of the Catholic Church will mean demotion to the status of layman (especially as there are a disproportionate number of clergy in the break-away Anglican groups). Will they be ready to accept that?

        Believe me, I fully accept that being re-ordained is no shoe-in. And, quite apart from the matter of whether the Catholic church will agree to re-ordain him, to be received at all an Anglican clergyman will have to accept that the ministry he has been exercising, the Eucharists he has been celebrating, the absolutions he has been giving are not what he has always believed them to be; that all his ministry has actually been as a layman in a priest’s collar. I hardly have to tell you that accepting and acknowledging this is a huge hurdle for anyone.

        But, those issues aside, I suspect that there is a quite separate reason why moving into an ordinariate will be no big deal for a lay person, and that is because the jurisdiction of the Anglican ordinary won’t affect them very much; the provisions of canon law which the Anglican ordinary will be implementing won’t impact greatly on lay people – except in their liturgical experience, of course, but that is an impact the people concerned will want. But if an Anglican Catholic wants an annulment, for example, I am willing to bet that he will front up to the same tribunals as any other Latin Catholic; the Anglican ordinary will not have his own marriage tribunal. If he wants a dispensation from canonical form so that he can marry his, say, Methodist fiancée in her church, odds are he’ll get it from the bishop, not the Anglican ordinary. Remember, the prelate of Opus Dei has ordinary jurisdiction over the members of Opus Dei, but it’s not a jurisdiction which supplants that of the bishop So why would it be here?

        Then too, it raises not only the question of ordination, but of the sacraments of initiation, including Confirmation. All lay people entering into communion with the Catholic Church have to be reconfirmed as Catholics. Noone has mentioned that aspect yet.

        There are bound to be precedents, since there have been communal conversions before. If Anglican parishes/congregations enter the Catholic church as a body, I could envisage a reception ceremony in which the members make the affirmation of faith and are then confirmed and admitted to the Eucharist by their own minister, who will already have been re-ordained as a Catholic priest, and delegated by the bishop to confirm. (This requires parishes not to be admitted until their ministers have been accepted for ordination, prepared and ordained, and this might not always be practical. But at least in principle it seems an acceptable model.)

        Of course, even the need to be confirmed may alienate some Anglo-Catholics who may not be ready to accept that they are not already confirmed.

      • William Tighe

        I’m afraid I have to disagree: the local/national Catholic bishops may have some role in the decision to erect an “ordinariat,” but the whole purpose (and tenor) of the new Vatican demarche seems to indicate that once one is set up it will be independent of the “ordinary jurisdiction” of any and every Latin Catgholic bishops. In other words, what is being created, somewhat similarly to “military ordinariats,” are parallel dioceses, probably (once there is more than one of them) defined by geographical circumscription.

        • Peregrinus

          I guess time will tell, William, but I see big ecclesiological problems with what you suggest. The fact that the military ordinariates are headed by bishops and the Anglican ordinariates are not is a huge, huge difference between them, and given the fundamental relationship between a Catholic and his bishop I can’t see the Anglican ordinariate simply being a substitute local church.

          All that the note says is that the structure of the Anglican ordinariates will be “similar in some ways” to that of the military ordinariates, but it’s very clear that the purpose of the Anglican ordinariates is the preservation of “Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship”. It doesn’t seem to me that this preservation requires the establishment of what would amount to bishopless “dioceses”; Anglicanism itself is strongly episcopal, and what you suggest would imply Anglicans embracing a more Protestant ecclesiology by moving to Rome; how realistic is that?

          I also not that such detail as the note gives focuses strongly on clerical issues – ordination of married priests, not of married bishops, special arrangements for seminarians, etc. I’m inclined to take that as a pointer for the focus the Apostolic Constitution will have.

  2. David Kennedy

    Something that hasn’t been discussed much (though I’ve seen it mentioned) is the potential impact on Catholic liturgy in the English-speaking world. There is now a second alternative to the Novus Ordo – the ‘Anglican rite’.

    I’m all in favour of competition. It improves performance 😉

    • Peregrinus

      I’m a teeny bit sceptical about the idea that this will have the influence that some people think (or hope). This fond expectation seems to be based on the assumption that others like or would like the same style of language and liturgy that the speaker does, but are being denied by a conspiracy of elitist modernists, even though there isn’t a great deal of empirical evidence in favour of that assumption.

      Remember, most of the major churches in the Anglican communion have had a free choice between older and more formal prayer books and newer alternatives for several decades now, and the newer alternatives have been consistently been more popular with, and more used by, clergy and congregations alike. You can’t argue with the box office.

      It’s true that the Anglo-Catholics most likely to enter the Church tend to favour the more traditional liturgies, but there’s no reason to think that “regular” Catholics will be any more drawn to this than mainstream Anglicans were.

      A post elsewhere on this board draws attention to how often traditional Anglicanism in the US is associated with conservative political stances. The same is true in the UK, I think; you’ll have to look long and hard for a Labour-voting Anglo-Catholic. And far be it from me to denigrate anyone’s faith, but I can’t help thinking that a taste for traditional liturgy may to some extent be the outcome of a generally conservative turn of mind – something which, I stress, I don’t mean in any pejorative way. Catholics whose liturgical taste is affected by such a mindset have, in many cases, already found their way into the Tridentine movement, or into support for the Reform of the Reform. It’s unlikely that there’s many of them out there waiting to have their liturgical consciousness awoken by exposure to the Book of Common Prayer.

      • PM

        I wouldn’t say ‘you’ll have to look long and hard for a Labour-voting Anglo-Catholic’. In England and Australia, there is a strong tradition of Anglo-Catholic social radicalism. (Many indeed complain that the modern Labour/Labor parties have abondoned their roots.) Radical Orthodoxy (including Catherine Pickstock, whom Catholic traddies like to quote on the liturgy) is very Old Labour politically.

        • PM

          PS: I suspect the new arrangment will give a boost to the reform of the reform. If you want to hear a Palestrina Mass performed liturgically in my neighbourhood, you have to go to the Anglican church.

          • William Tighe

            “PS: I suspect the new arrangment will give a boost to the reform of the reform.”

            And I suspect that that very purpose is why the pope approved the arrangement, and why the “Anglican Use” will never become the “Anglican Rite” of a sui juris church: like Summorum Pontificum, its purpose is not only “salus animarum,” but also, within the Roman Rite of the Latin Church, to promote by example the “reform of the reform.”

        • Peregrinus

          Old Labour, which I think is telling. Because the Anglo-Catholics who are conservative (the majority, I think) tend to be high Tory, rather than Thatcherite or radical Neocons. In other words, both on the right and the left, their politics tend to be old-fashioned. Which, now that I think of it, tends to be true also of Tridentine Catholics.

          I’m coming close to saying that Anglo-Catholicism/Traditionalism is more a fashion statement than a faith, which would be trivialising, reductive and unfair. Still, I think there may be a grain of truth buried there somewhere.

  3. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Spiritual act of mercy? No, another act of utter duplicity on a par with the recent motu proprio.

    CNN quotes “bishop” Daren K Williams of TAC:

    “It is encouraging for them to know their worship experience wouldn’t be turned upside down by the Roman Catholic Church,” Williams said. “The person in the pew should see very little difference in the way we pray. We might be asked to pray aloud for any pope who happens to be in office, in addition to praying for our primate.

    “Really, there’d be very little other difference.”

    That’s nice. Would have been nice for Catholics had their worship experience not been turned upside down by Roman Catholic Church, but hey, it’s Rome, what else do you expect but spin, spin and more spin, serving nothing but itself.

  4. fr john george

    AS A STROKE PATIENT IN REHAB AND KNOWING ZILCH RE BISHOP HEPWORTH’S MARITAL SITUATION-NONETHELESS[USING UPPER CASE DUE TO DISABILITY OF LEFT ARM PARALYSIS-MAY I SUGGEST A WAY THROUGH THE BISHOPS PROB

    A] BY EXTENSION OF THE PAULINE PRIVILEGE A BAPTISED PERSON MAY HAVE FIRST MARRIAGE DISSOLVED [PRO FIDEM] THOUGH THE PAULINE PRIVILEGE INITIALLY APPLIES TO UNBAPTISED DISSOLVING A MARRIAGE WITH UNBAPTISED UPON BECOMING CATHOLIC [PRO FIDEM]

    B]IF CORRECT THIS EXTENDED PAULINE PRIVILEGE [FROM BATTERED STROKE MEMORY-ONCE CALLED PETRINE IN 1918 CIC[?]] UPON CONVERSION COULD MEAN A DISSOLUTION OF THE FIRST VALID MARRIAGE AND A CONVALIDATION OF ANY SECOND MARRIAGE [MUTATIS MUTANDIS] INVALIDLY CONTRACTED BEFORE RECEPTION INTO FULL COMMUNION

    C] I STAND CORRECTED IN THIS BUT REFER ONE TO CANON 1147 CIC

  5. fr john george

    AM I OVER TINKERING WITH CANONICAL LOOP HOLE?
    PAULINE PRIVILEGE
    Dissolution of the marriage bond between two persons who were not baptized at the time of their marriage. Its basis in revelation is St. Paul (I Corinthians 7:12-15) and its conditions are the following: both parties are unbaptized at the time of marriage and after the marriage one of the parties receives baptism; one party has embraced the faith through baptism and the other remains unbaptized; the unbaptized person departs either physically by divorce or desertion, or morally by making married life unbearable for the convert; the departure of the unbaptized party is verified by means of interpellations, i.e., being asked if he or she is willing to be baptized or at least willing to live peacefully with the convert to the faith. If the above conditions are fulfilled and are negative, the Church may grant the baptized person the right to marry another Christian.

    All items in this dictionary are from FR HARDON SJ CATHOLIC DICTIONARY

    • Dear Fr,

      I am familiar with the cases you point to. My own marriage was annuled (neither “privelige”), but my wife’s first marriage was dissolved (“Pauline Privilege”) per favorem fidei as her first husband was not baptised.

      Any of these circs may apply to Archishop Hepworth – or none. We don’t know. The fact is that he will have to follow this through himself with the respective tribunal.

  6. Peregrinus

    Nitpick: Burial of the dead is one of the corporal works of mercy.

    • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

      Nitnitpick: sorta kinda like everything else in the Orwellian Brave New Church of Vatican II with its newspeak — you can burn them now too.

    • Not a nitpick at all, Perry. A major error on my part. Thanks for picking it up. I’ve made the change.

  7. Christine

    PS: I suspect the new arrangment will give a boost to the reform of the reform. If you want to hear a Palestrina Mass performed liturgically in my neighbourhood, you have to go to the Anglican church.

    Oh dear. I certainly can’t speak for Australia, but here in the U.S. the Anglicans will have their dignified liturgy while average Catholics in the ‘burbs will still be hearing Marty Haugen and the St. Louis Jesuits, complete with cantors with their waving hands looking like they’re directing traffic.

    It just ain’t fair! 🙂

  8. matthias

    Farewell the English Reformation,and farewell fellow blogwriters here. this is my last posting on this blog site . I will be continuing to blogtribute over at the cardinal’s place

  9. fr john george

    my source tell me
    “Hepworth is a former Catholic priest who left and then married and (I think) subsequently became an Anglican priest, he then left the Anglican C of Australia to form with others a new “schismatic” Anglican group of which he became a bishop etc. etc.

    frjg comments:
    1 if hepworth left rcc as priest [without laicisation??] all attempted marriages are invalid-so he has no need for rcc annulment-but merely a convalidation of his present marriage IN RCC[MUTATIS MUTANDIS]-as my personal reading of sitz im leben

    • This is an interesting aspect of the case that I had not previously considered. You could be quite correct. Although I think it might not even be as straight forward as that, because if what you say is true, he is technically “unmarried” in the eyes of the Catholic Church at this point. Whether they will convalidate the marriage (as they did for Cathy and I) after the fact, is another thing all together, as is the question of whether they will approve him for ordination to the priesthood. ALTHOUGH, as you point out, he is technically already a priest in the full sacramental term of the matter. That being the case, it may be impossible for him to have his present marriage convalidated, since it is a longstanding rule of both east and west that marriage AFTER ordination is not permissable.

      • Peregrinus

        Marriage after ordination is possible; it’s just not practised. But priests who have been laicised can be dispensed from the obligation of celibacy and can marry (or convalidate a marriage entered into before the dispensation was granted). I doubt a Catholic priest-turned-Anglican who had his marriage regularised in that way could return to Catholic ministry, even under the new arrangements, but he could certainly be reconciled with the church.

  10. True to form, she sees the whole thing as a Catholic “problem with women” and interpretsthe whole issue in terms of “leadership”.

    Oh well, if she wants to turn into a wraith…

    http://anglocath.blogspot.com/2009/09/feminism-deadly-social-disease.html
    I hate feminism, and leftism and hippie-ism (if there is such a thing) and the collective new ideology that seems to have no name but has taken over the world since the 1970s because it destroyed my mother’s life and her ability to fend for herself by turning her into a professional victim, rendering her incapable of normal human relationships and robbing me of the one person in the world I loved the most.

    That ideology, whatever it’s name is, corroded her personality and fed upon her innocence until there was nothing left of her. It enslaved her will and her intellect for forty years and reduced her in the end to a kind of shell of a person. It poisoned her and crippled her emotional and intellectual and spiritual life and left her in the end, to die alone and penniless in a government-sponsored cancer paliative care home. It turned her into a wraith.

    • Paul

      It sounds like a tragic case described in this article, so I don’t want to trivialise it by making what sounds like a flippant comment.
      However…
      One of the things I always mean to do but never get around to doing is to read Germaine Greer’s opus The Female Eunuch”. I expect it will be an unpleasant chore, but I really, sincerely don’t understand what feminism is, beyond a complaint about unequal wages.

      On one hand, I hear people I assume to be feminists saying that if only the world were run by women, it would be a better and more peaceful place, because women wouldn’t bring male ego and testosterone to public affairs.

      Then I hear other people who also appear to be feminists who say there is no fundamental difference between men and women – any observed difference is only imposed by society. I have even read a journal article (recommended in a Grad Dip Ed course at a university) that says there is no physical difference between men and women. (If you like, I could share with you the diagrams used to support this claim!!!)

      So which is true? Men and women are exactly the same, or are women different but better than they have been allowed to be by society?

      During the Grad Dip Ed course, I remember one hilarious exchange between a mature age student and the tutor. Both women would, I think, call themselves feminists, but the student had a daughter and son who she said she had treated equally all their life. She said that, despite her previous ideas, she had to admit that her children were fundamentally different. The tutor simply dismissed this idea with a wave of the hand and “you don’t understand that you have really treated them differently”. So much for enquiry at university.

      • One of the things I always mean to do but never get around to doing is to read Germaine Greer’s opus The Female Eunuch”. I expect it will be an unpleasant chore, but I really, sincerely don’t understand what feminism is, beyond a complaint about unequal wages.

        Well, if you can stomach it, go ahead. On the first or second page she makes some absurd remark about how women haven’t even taste their own menses. I said, “Oh, Germaine!” and shut the book.

        I have even read a journal article (recommended in a Grad Dip Ed course at a university) that says there is no physical difference between men and women. (If you like, I could share with you the diagrams used to support this claim!!!)

        hehehe. I think the applicable saying is “sin makes us stupid.”

        So which is true? Men and women are exactly the same, or are women different but better than they have been allowed to be by society?

        Good Lord, Paul! Are you expecting coherence?

        • Paul

          yuck!!! Thanks for the tip, I’m not so sure now about reading FE.

          You can always trust Germaine Greer to go for the attention-getting tactic. She usually tries to say the opposite of what you expect, eg she opposes contraception, criticises St Teresa of Calcutta, sponsors a book of photographs of young boys with no clothes, says she is spiritually an Aboriginal etc etc.

          • Always going for effect is probably the short way to become demented, looking at your list.

            Silly woman.

            • Kiran

              While I am no great fan of Germaine Greer in general, I must say she is a little bit more thoughtful than people like Maureen Dowd and the like. Her opposition to abortion and contraception (and new reproductive technologies) seems fairly genuine on the face of it. Her arguments for her positions on these issues at least, stands up.

              I am in a funny position with regard to feminism, as a male and quite convinced “feminist,” though what I mean by feminism was perhaps best expressed in the book Women, Reason and Nature by Carol Macmillan, who (more straightforward than I am inclined to be) did not call herself a feminist, and indeed criticized feminists for their male chauvinism (i.e. their assumption that only masculine pursuits are worthwhile, and the consequent disemphasization of the bodiliness of human beings in general, and of women in particular). I recommend the book by the way, very highly! Much the best thing written on the matter.

  11. One of the things that this development means is that the Roman Catholic Church is no longer even pretending to take seriously the existence of the Anglican Communion as a coherent body.

    Is anyone taking it seriously?

    if one were to allow Brown’s metaphor, then at least one ought to say that while the Catholic Church may be providing the funeral rites for “all hopes of reunion, or even significant negotiation with the Anglican Communion”, it cannot be accused of killing them. Murder is a mortal sin, while burying the dead is a spiritual act of mercy.

    I like it. 🙂

  12. Mike

    I’ve never understood how you could have “Sydney Anglicans” and “Anglo Catholics” considered part of the same church – so I agree it’s been hard to take seriously the “existence of the Anglican Communion as a coherent body”.

    There is a great deal of focus on women priests and homosexuality in all the reports. I would have thought the Eucharist, Absolution, valid orders and the unity of the Church under the pope would trump all of that. Canterbury can’t be said to have upheld any of that for 500 years. I think of the ordination of women as being seen as one of the “final straws”, but still, there seems to be a heck of a lot of focus on it – even from the mouths of the prospective converts. I welcome any who come, but I’m not very comfortable with that focus, when put in the perspective of the whole faith.

    Re Hepworth – I know it’s not fashionable to consider this option, but if he doesn’t get an annulment, doesn’t he have the option of separating from this second wife? Or staying together “as brother and sister” if they have children? A difficult thing to do, surely. But surely better than staying outside a church when you have any belief at all in “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”? I know that’s a bit harsh of me . . . but shouldn’t a “bishop” lead by courageous example?

    • Peregrinus

      I’ve never understood how you could have “Sydney Anglicans” and “Anglo Catholics” considered part of the same church – so I agree it’s been hard to take seriously the “existence of the Anglican Communion as a coherent body”.

      No offence, but isn’t that your problem rather than theirs? So long as they think that they’re part of one church, then they pretty much are.

      One of the defining characteristics of Anglicanism, driven partly by the fact that historically it has seen itself as a national church with a corresponding obligation to be as open as possible to the entire community, is that it has always seen the accommodation of a degree of theological diversity as a virtue and a strength, not a problem. What defined Anglicans was shared faith on [i]major, central[/i] points, plus shared worship. This worked well for several hundred years. And if, in the last generation or two, the wheels have started to come off, this may actually have to do with the breakdown of liturgical consensus, without which there isn’t sufficient theological uniformity to hold the communion together. And, ironically, it is the evangelicals, not the liberals, who have been at the forefront of breaking down the liturgical consensus.

      There is a great deal of focus on women priests and homosexuality in all the reports. I would have thought the Eucharist, Absolution, valid orders and the unity of the Church under the pope would trump all of that. Canterbury can’t be said to have upheld any of that for 500 years. I think of the ordination of women as being seen as one of the “final straws”, but still, there seems to be a heck of a lot of focus on it – even from the mouths of the prospective converts. I welcome any who come, but I’m not very comfortable with that focus, when put in the perspective of the whole faith.

      I agree. I think we can distinguish between two cases.

      1. A faithful Anglican sees his church ordaining women, or consecrating gay bishops, or whatever, and he believes so strongly that this is contrary to revelation that it shakes his faith in the authority and fidelity of the Anglican communion. As a result he embarks on a spiritual re-examination which lead him, eventually, to see the Catholic church as the authoritative and faithful church he believes Christ to have established.

      2. A faithful Anglican sees his church ordaining women, or consecrating gay bishops, or whatever, and he is so upset by this that he seeks out a church which doesn’t ordain women and consecrate gay bishops, and otherwise resembles his ideal of a church. The Catholic church fits the bill.

      Obviously our hypothetical second case is not a Catholic at all, but a good deal of the commentary I’ve seen – even from Catholics – fails to appreciate this.

      Re Hepworth – I know it’s not fashionable to consider this option, but if he doesn’t get an annulment, doesn’t he have the option of separating from this second wife? Or staying together “as brother and sister” if they have children? A difficult thing to do, surely. But surely better than staying outside a church when you have any belief at all in “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”? I know that’s a bit harsh of me . . . but shouldn’t a “bishop” lead by courageous example?

      Leave aside the question of whether Dr Hepworth is to be readmitted to Catholic ministry. Normally, when any adult is received into the Church, there has to be an examination of the circumstances of their life, and its compatibility with the gospel. And, leaving aside the cases of prostitutes and arms dealers and so forth who are drawn to Catholicism, where this gives rise to problems it is nearly always in the area of marriage. This causes real pastoral problems – a divorced and remarried person who wants to become a Catholic will struggle to understand why his or her first, and completely non-Catholic, marriage should be a barrier to this. They may be offended at the suggestion that they should explore the possibility of an annulment, they may even refuse to. And, if they do explore that possibility and it turns out that an annulment cannot be given, what are they to do? Is God really calling them to destroy a happy and fruitful conjugal relationship, to break up a home and a family in which there may be young children, so that they can be Catholics?

      As it happens, in Dr Hepworth’s case there may be a legalistic answer. Hepworth is already a fully initiated Catholic; to be reconciled to the church and return to the Eucharist he merely needs to make a good confession. Furthermore, Hepworth is a priest with a vow of celibacy. Unless he was canonically dispensed from his vow of celibacy when he left the church to enter Anglican ministry – and I doubt that he was – then is it not the case that both his first and second marriages are invalid? Assuming he is not now going to seek to be readmitted to priestly ministry, in the current circumstances he can seek to be dispensed from his vow of celibacy, and then to have his current marriage convalidated.

      But there will be many other Anglicans in second marriages who will have to face this issue if they wish to be received into the Catholic church, and few of them will have Hepworth’s slightly legalistic “out”.

      • Mike

        Thanks, Peregrinus, for all your answers.

        • I can vouch for the fact that the situation that Perry describes for divorced and remarried persons who feel called into the Catholic Church is quite real. If I had not received an annulment of my first marriage, I would not have severed my relationship with my present wife in order to enter the Church. Instead, I would have deferred my entry into the Catholic Church until such time as God made it possible, and continued in my full marital relationship with my current wife. And I think I would have received a great deal of support from the Church’s ministers in this decision. Yet neither would I have abandonned the Catholic Church on this account. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to sit in the tents of wickedness, as the Psalmist says.

          And if, in the last generation or two, the wheels have started to come off [the Anglican communion], this may actually have to do with the breakdown of liturgical consensus, without which there isn’t sufficient theological uniformity to hold the communion together

          This is the essential difference between the Lutherans and the Anglicans, and the reason why the current proposal for the Anglicans would not work for the Lutherans.

          Anglicanism historically has been about a shared manner of worship, whereas Lutheranism has been about a shared doctrinal system. In fact, in both communions, the “wheels are falling off” due to the breakdown of the degree to which that common liturgical and doctrinal tradition is “shared”.

          • Mike

            I have to admit that I find that difficult to understand – from the Church’s point of view. Do you mind me asking . . . ?

            In such a (hypothetical) situation,
            Would the Church be saying here – “Hey Schutz, you’re doing everything right,
            but we have a complex legal structure that not even we can work out, so
            you’re just going to have to sit out on the doorstep for several years”

            This would seem terribly unjust.

            Or is it saying “Actually, Schutz, you’re already married to another woman,
            so you really should be fulfilling your duties to her – and whether or not you
            you want to become Catholic, this is a basic matter of Christian marriage”? To
            which perhaps you and several ministers of the Church might perhaps privately say, “well, I respectfully disagree with that judgement. We are sure the first marriage was invalid, so while your tribunal’s misjudgement is making it difficult for me to enter your Church, we’ll try to work around it”

            Or is there a third option?

            • Peregrinus

              Not to speak for David, of course, but it seems to me that in principle there is an obvious third option. A hypothetical convert might say:

              “Perhaps my first marriage was and still is sacramentally valid, but that marital relationship is stone dead, and my first spouse – who has maybe divorced me, married someone else, and established a happy home and a family with their new partner – has absolutely no interest in, or even tolerance for, me ‘fulfilling my duties’, however I might conceive that. My current conjugal relationship, valid marriage or not, is committed, thriving and fruitful, and has been blessed with six children. I accept the truth of all that the Catholic church teaches, but I simply cannot believe that God is calling me to destroy my thriving, fruitful family and to deprive my children of their home; I believe that to do so would be gravely sinful. I conclude that God is not calling me to enter into the full communion of the Catholic church just now and I will simply wait in the faith and hope that he will one day make this possible.”

              Let’s also assume that there is no basis, in the short or the long term, for an annulment of the first marriage.

              As you say, this seems, from one perspective, terribly unjust, but it does seem to present some stark alternatives. If this situation is unacceptable then either:

              – God is calling our hypothetical convert to destroy his current relationship and deprive his family so that he can enter the church; or

              – we have to re-examine our theology of marriage, and in particular the question of whether the sacramental reality endures even when the factual basis has wholly disappeared. Maybe the Orthodox actually have this right.

              Neither of these alternatives are easy to accept of course.

  13. Mike

    One other thing: I get the vibe, mostly from Sydney Anglicans, that the ‘Anglo Catholics’ are more likely to be “liberal” (except in liturgical matters). Anyone know anything about this?

    • Peregrinus

      In the Anglican church, strongly negative feelings about ordaining women, homosexuality and a few other “hot-button” issues are not the preserve of high Anglo-Catholics alone. At the other end of the spectrum you’ve also got low Evangical Anglicans who share these strong feelings Archbishops Jensen and Akinola would represent this tradition. My impression would be that, in Australia and indeed in most of the world, the majority of Anglicans who take this view come from the low end of the spectrum rather than the high.

      And a good deal depends on your individual perspective. If you’re a low-church Evangelican Anglican, then everyone else in the Anglican church is, from where you stand, an Anglo-Catholic. In Australian terms, and oversimplifying just a little, Sydney Anglicans, who don’t ordain women, consider the rest of the Anglican church, which does, to be “Anglo-Catholic”. So, they see Anglo-Catholics ordaining women.

      There’s also been a historic suspicion, from the low church end, of those with Anglo-Catholic tastes in liturgy, and their “soundness” on homosexuality. (“I mean, a taste for lacy frocks and incense?”) The high camp high Anglican is a stereotypical figure, in some circles. As it happens, there may be some basis in fact for this; when I lived in Dublin, the Anglican parish which had the most catholic and traditional liturgies – and liturgies of a very high standard, I may say – was also very gay-friendly, and had a congregational make-up which reflected that. I don’t think that’s an uncommon situation.

    • That may well be true here in Hobart. But I’m going by my experience with the Cathedral choir here some 20 years ago.

    • Kiran

      In Sydney, it is the case that quite a lot of High Anglicans (Christ Church St. Laurence, and St. James) tend to be of the happy persuasion, or at least friendly to such persuasion, or at the very least, look the other way. Quite a few Sydney High Anglicans also tend to be favourable to women priests and such like. But Sydney is a wierd place. The Evangelicals are becoming Calvinists, and the liberals like “bells and smells” (and the Archdruid of Wales and now Canterbury). So, if (say) you like Tom Wright, you would be something of an oddity in the Sydney Anglican structure, let alone if you go further and happen to like Mascall, or someone along those lines. It is not the case globally, I don’t think. I don’t even think it is the case throughout Australia.

      • Peregrinus

        I think what it comes down to is, for at least some among the Sydney Anglicans, everyone who isn’t a Sydney Anglican (or equally low-church) is an Anglo-Catholic. From there is is but a short step to “I’m not saying all the Anglo-Catholics are liberals, but all the liberals are Anglo-Catholics!”

        But, although this is a gross distortion, it does point to a truth which some on the Catholic side seem to overlook. If you want to know how close an Anglican is to Catholicism, and so how relevant to him the Anglican ordinariates might be, you don’t want to ask him his views on homosexuality, or even his views on women priests. You want to ask him his views on the Eucharist, on priestly ministry, on ecclesiology and on episcopacy.

        • Paul

          I am certainly no expert on ecclesiology or episcopacy, but I have trouble understanding what Archbishop Jensen understands by his being an Anglican bishop.
          He was interviewed on ABC’s Compass programme last Sunday:
          http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s2701075.htm
          and some quotes by Abp Jensen from the programme are:

          “I am the Archbishop of everyone in the diocese. I am not the Archbishop of a sectional group, and I rejoice in the variety of our diocese and am very happy to serve people who think differently from me on all sorts of things in any way I can.”

          That sounds to me like someone who says God speaks to each individual and that takes precedence over anything the bishop might teach.
          But then he wants parishes to take ministers trained at Moore College where he used to teach and lead:

          “We have a large number of people graduating from Moore College and like most other dioceses in the world we say well first of all look for someone from within.”

          and Abp Jensen is encouraging like-minded Evangelical churches outside his diocese in the same area as an Anglican church:

          “They’re not Anglican Churches and we don’t spend our money on them. But we simply give them a little bit of fellowship and a little bit of support in terms of for example advice about professional standards and things like that. So it’s just helpful to them for us to do that, but they are not Anglican Churches, we are not setting up Sydney Anglican Churches outside the diocese of Sydney.”

          It seems to me that in one breath he says he serves all in the diocese, even if they disagree with him, but at the same time he is using practical methods to spread his idea, for example training the ministers and encouraging certain churches.

          I suppose there is a logic there, but I am confused about it.

          • Peregrinus

            Well, he definitely wants to give the diocese a certain character – or, to be fair to him, to sustain and intensify the character which it has had for a long time. Hence Moore College, his views on clergy appointments, etc.

            On the other hand, he accepts that there is a minority in the diocese not of that view, and he doesn’t want them to feel that they are “second-class Anglicans” within the diocese. So he’s their archbishop too.

            Thus far he’s not very different from a Catholic bishop who is not himself Traditionalist and doesn’t particularly favour Traditionalism but who has Traditionalists in his diocese, or who is not Charismatic and doesn’t favour the Charismatic Renewal but who had Charismatics.

            The awkward bit is when he starts supporting church plantings in the dioceses of other bishops. This is a bit of a no-no, and I don’t think the problem is solved by his disingenuously claiming that those other churches aren’t Anglican churches. So what? The head of the church in the diocese of X is the bishop of X, and he leads the church in that place, including the missionary outreach of the church. Now, it may that Dr Jensen is doing things in the Diocese of X which the Bishop of X is aware of and supportive of and would do himself if his diocese were as flush with cash as Sydney reputedly is. But if he is doing things in X without consulting the Bishop of X, the Bishop of X is entitled to throw a hissy fit. I think it ignores the Anglican (Episcopal) understanding of communion, and what it means on the ground.

            • Kiran

              Actually, I think the problem is deeper. The problem is that Jensen is not even an evangelical, and is not taking the diocese in an Evangelical direction, but a Calvinist one. Sydney Anglicans are moving in a direction which is not recognizably Anglican at all, i.e. they are more Edwardine than Elizabethan, let alone Henrician. I know of an Anglican who left Sydney, and went to Melbourne. They were told to go to a Baptist Church. And I have good friends who regard Baptist, Anglicans, and Churches of Christ etc… as interchangeable. Now, I know it sounds bizzarre to say something is not consonant with Anglican tradition, but I would say that Jensen is about as inimical to Anglican tradition as women’s ordination etc…

              This I would agree with, from what I have known, leaving out the word “homosexuality” for that is precisely what distinguishes liberals from Anglo-Catholics: “If you want to know how close an Anglican is to Catholicism, and so how relevant to him the Anglican ordinariates might be, you don’t want to ask him his views on homosexuality, or even his views on women priests. You want to ask him his views on the Eucharist, on priestly ministry, on ecclesiology and on episcopacy.”

  14. Christine

    Fascinating commentary by the National Catholic Reporter:

    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/vatican-welcomes-anglicans-react-story-no-2#

    Suggestion is offered that some Anglicans could reciprocate and offer a haven for disenchanted liberal Catholics.

    Christine

  15. Christine

    Ooops, sorry, I didn’t mean to put “liberal” in that quote, that’s not what’s being addressed:

    Picking up on this theme was NCR senior correspondent John Allen, writing for The New York Times: “There’s also nothing preventing the Anglican Communion from creating similar structures to welcome aggrieved Catholics who support all the measures these disaffected Anglicans oppose. Certainly, after today, the Vatican would have no basis to condemn such a move as an ecumenical low blow.”

    Christine

  16. Christine

    Ooops, sorry, I didn’t mean to put “liberal” in that quote, that’s not what’s being addressed:

    Er, on second reading, that is precisely what is being addressed, the idea of liberal Anglicans offering liberal Catholics a haven. On the other hand, that’s already happened but more on an individual basis. My former ELCA congregation had ex-Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopal members while my current LCMS parish has former Catholics among her members.

    The Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Cleveland has many former Catholics among its members, and of course they are of the liberal stripe.

    Traffic flows both ways, it seems.

    Christine

  17. fr john george

    also of course:
    a]an annulment concerns a marriage that was invalid from the start-thus nothing needed dissolving
    b]Pauline privilege dissolves a valid marriage of unbaptised couples upon conversion

  18. fr john george

    1]while the impedimentum ordinis is there in east and west[no marriage after ordination]
    2]nonetheless the church is wont to convalidate or permit marriage to a priest who has been laicised[including dispensation from celibacy eg in old age for peace of conscience-it is not done willy nilly especially since jp2 reign[laicisation does not inherently include dispensation from celibacy
    3]such canonical historians as Ukrainian rite roman cholij would see the permission as tinkering with the apostolic origins of impedimentum ordinis[cf his study on celibacy in the west and fr cochini’s apostolic origins of celibacy incl the work of cardinal stickler]-this school of apostolic origins frowned [before the decree on permanent diaconate]even on a married diaconate which permits marital coitus after diaconal ordination-but of course to a man they subjected themselves to the rights of the magisterium to so dispense-‘what you loose on earth……’ they simply indicate canonical inconsistency’ redolent of the 7th century oriental trullan council which broke conciliar tradition by allowing priests to have marital sex after ordination[thus orthodox tradition and uniate traditions-merely tolerated[toleratus] said Benedict XIVth “due to Greek propensity for schism”
    4]the ancient apostolic tradition was marriage before ordination and celibacy within marriage after ordination
    ===============================
    again i apologise for typos and lay out due to strokey poor concentration and iffy energy levels
    yours sincerely
    father john george
    saint john vianney villa
    70 market street
    randwick north 2031
    sydney
    australia

  19. fr john george

    clarification
    a]in apostolic tradition and now in oriental law,marriage must take place before ordination;thus the present oriental tradition of marriage before ordination[impedimentum ordinis]
    b]oriental church in council of trullo initiated a canonical innovation that allowed married priests for first time coitus in marriage[trullo is not recognised as a pally approved ecumenical council]
    c]the vestige of the early impedimentum is in oriental law that demands marriage before ordination though in conformity with trullan heterodox rubric allows sexual relations in clerical marriage
    d] an eastern inconsistency is forbidding a widower
    remarriage on basis of impedimentum ordinis the ghost of apostolic tradition
    e]note in 1980 Anglican provision convert married priests can not remarry upon widowhood again a ghostly vestige of apostolic impedimentum ordinis[impedimentum because from apostolic times celibacy was seen as integral to ordination-married priests married before ordination were to live in celibacy with their wives from ordination onwards[since ordination and celibacy were mutually inclusive-thus ordination was an impediment to marriage as celibacy ruled out the possibility of children-a priest candidate had to marry before ordination and beget children before ordination
    f]oriental bishops today are celibate as a sign of special honour to apostolic origin of celibacy

  20. fr john george

    obviously in referring to trullo i meant “not a ‘papally’ approved council[not misspelling”pally”!!!!!

  21. fr john george

    MORE ON HEPWORTH COMPLEXITY
    From: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2009/10/liturgy-structure-and-other-matters-of.html

    I admit that the case of Archbishop (we use the title as a polite convention and not to suggest orders) Hepworth is more than troubling. And he is not the only one. His case is actually worse than you have painted it. He was ordained deacon by the regular Anglicans. Then he defected to the Catholic Church, where he was ordained priest. So he is a real priest, at least. Then he defected to the TAC Anglicans and married. So he married *after* ordination to the sacred priesthood. Then he was consecrated bishop in the TAC, probably validly (they no doubt included Old Catholic co-consecrators). Then he divorced and remarried, all without an annulment. It’s quite a mess. Now he wants to become a Catholic again. So we have this: Anglican to Catholic to TAC to Catholic again, and with Holy Orders from three different churches!

    No, most of them do not have this sort of record at all. When these negotiations began, he said publicly on a number of occasions that, having made an arrangement with Rome, he expected that he would have to retire and not function as a cleric of any rank. He accepted that completely. However, the Pope has now given him hope that he can serve as a personal ordinary, probably for Eastern Australia, as a married priest. Once source told me that, to do this, he will need an annulment and he’s likely to apply for one.

    Frankly, it would be better for him simply to retire and leave the field to others. But I stress that his case is his, not that of the TAC per se.

  22. William Tighe

    I think that this is mistaken on some details of Hepworth’s career: it omits some “movements” and places some events (such as his marriage, divorce, annulment, remarriage and becoming Anglican [1970s] and “Continuing Anglican” [1992]) out of chronological order.

  23. fr john george

    I guess if god used Cyrus to free the Jews who would baulk at colourful Hepworth?