Monday, November 27, 2006

Roman Antipathy for the Anglican Church...

Is this what modern-day Roman Catholics still actually believe about Anglicanism? Ponder these statements placed on the blog New Liturgical Movement regarding the celebration of the Anglican Holy Eucharist by His Grace Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in the Dominican Church of S. Sabina in Rome.

-'it's sacreligious' [sic]

-'in a [Roman] Catholic understanding the service which took place was certainly not the Eucharistic Sacrifice and so, to my mind, was profane use.'

-'the profanity of the [Roman] Catholic altar.'

-'the priest in question gave the false impression that the [Roman] Catholic Church attaches a sacramental significance to the act of worship of this Ecclesial communion.'

-'For the [Roman] Catholic commentator to describe this service as a 'Mass' is disingenuous at the very least. More likely, the service was a scandalous action...'

-'I am certain Christ, Mary and Joseph are offended'

-'This is horrendous, but not a surprise. In yesterdays gospel, Jesus speaks of the Abomination of Desolation standing in the temple. This means that the presider, Man has taken the position of God as the center of worship, even in His earthly churches.'

-'If I put on a costume can I -- as equally without orders as Dr. Williams -- say Mass in Rome'

-'So I suppose nothing will be done about this recent outrage.'

-'This is a scandal in the truest sense of the word: a stumbling block to belief. For me, this is the lowest point so far in the pontificate of Benedict XVI.'

-'I am apalled [sic] and disgusted at such overt disregard for what the [Roman] Catholic Church teaches... to allow the Archbishop of Canterbury to celebrate a liturgical celebration which is null and void in the eyes of the Church on a [Roman] Catholic altar in a [Roman] Catholic temple? That is going much too far and yes, it is sacriledge [sic]. Shame on the Dominicans... how did this fall through the cracks with the Vatican? How could this have happened?'

-'I think this is an insult to the memory of the [Roman] Catholic martyrs who forfeited their lives rather than profess loyalty to the schismatic Church of England.'

-'Fr. [the Roman priest who proclaimed the Gospel] should be tried by Tomas deTorquemada, and a fitting punishment should be applied. (Please send a cord of seasoned firewood...)'

Mercifully, it appears that the Pope of Rome and the Roman Curia do not sympathise with the above-cited comments, as the celebration of the Mass in the Anglican Rite was permitted by Vatican officials with the full knowledge and consent of the proper authorities.

Sour grapes! How tragic and sad in this purportedly enlightened age of ecumenism that some Roman Catholics still harbour such antipathy, even hatred, for our beloved Mother, the Ecclesia Anglicana. Romanist controversalists still make it very hard to dispel the myths about us constructed over the last five centuries. Why would Pope Paul VI have given his papal ring to Archbishop Michael Ramsey, why would Pope John Paul II have given his pectoral cross to Archbishop Williams and have kissed Canterbury's ring, and why would the Pope have allowed the celebration of the Anglican Eucharist in one of the Roman See's great shrines if the Anglican Church were but an invalid sect? Such episcopal and sacerdotal honours are not conferred on laymen. The real point at issue is that the Anglican Church is the one thing some Roman Catholics cannot abide, cannot and will not accept, to wit, a Western Catholic Church with valid Orders and Sacraments, possessing tremendous social, cultural and religious influence, all beyond the control of the Vatican. Let us pray for the turning of hearts and the restoration of visible unity to the Apostolic and Catholic Church.


Anonymous said...

While not all of the comments may not have the most political tact, nonetheless they are honest and od get at root to some major points of division between the Catholic church and the Anglican communion.

Consider Dominus Iesus. Consider the issue of orders.

While Anglicans may not like it, the Anglican communion is not a Western equivalency to the Eastern Orthodox.

It was a body that broke communion and adopted a protestant theology.

While the official channels may be more polite on all sides as a matter of diplomacy, it doesn't erase the serious issues that are nonetheless there, which are both ecclesiological, sacramental and dogmatic.

The Most Reverend Chandler Holder Jones, SSC said...

Thank you for your post - please consider the following, which takes us a very far way from the idea of perceiving the Anglican Church as merely a schismatic body with a 'protestant' theology:


In the conclusion of the Canterbury Statement on Ministry, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission I recognized the emergence of a new context:

'We are fully aware of the issues raised by the judgment of the Roman Catholic Church on Anglican Orders. The development of the thinking in our two Communions regarding the nature of the Church and of the ordained ministry, as represented in our Statement, has, we consider, put these issues in a new context. Agreement on the nature of ministry is prior to the consideration of the mutual recognition of ministries. What we have to say represented the consensus of the Commission on essential matters where it considers that our doctrine admits no divergence.... Nevertheless, we consider our consensus, on questions where agreement is indispensable for unity, offers a positive contribution to the reconciliation of our Churches and of their ministries.'

The nature of this new context was explored in a letter addressed by Cardinal Willebrands to the co-chairs of ARCIC-II (July 13, 1985). The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity recognized that a 'new context' is now affecting the discussion of Anglican orders. He approved the principle that a study of the question 'cannot be a purely historical one'. The cardinal summed up Apostolicæ Curæ. Leo XlII's decision rested on the belief that the Anglican Ordinal betrays a nativa indoles ac spiritus, a 'natural character and spirit', that was judged unacceptable by the pope. This nativa indoles was found in 'the deliberate omission of all references to some of the principal axes of Catholic teaching concerning the relationship of the eucharist to the sacrifice of Christ, and to the consequence of this for an understanding of the nature of the Christian priesthood'.

In the light of the liturgical renewal, the cardinal drew the conclusion that the doctrinal agreements of ARCIC-I, once endorsed by the proper authorities of the Anglican Communion in a solemn 'profession of faith', could remove what Leo XIII perceived as the Anglican nativa indoles. This in turn could 'lead to a new evaluation of the sufficiency of these Anglican rites as far as concerns future ordinations'. Such a study could prescind 'at this stage from the question of the continuity in the apostolic succession of the ordaining bishop'.

Thus the new context that is now in the making may make it possible to reach a decision for the future without passing judgment on the past.

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

And again it seems that Rome, for many, will always be the judge of all things. Is she says Purgatory exists, it does. If she says the Pope is not infallible one century, but is the next, it is so. If Rome does something, perhaps we ought to do it too! If she says Orthodoxy is "a church outside the Church" we put the East on a higher shelf than orthodox Anglicanism, for Rome has opened her mouth and spoken wisdom. Rome envy is a peculiar mental afflication which strikes many.

The threadbare reasoning that resulted in Anglican Orders being declared "null and void" by the Roman communion is so poor that it hardly deserves a response, but we have to keep doing it, don't we? We have to continually defend our priests, our Prayer Book, and our Sacraments, our wearing clerical collars (which the Romans borrowed from us), using the title "Father"--awful, horrible, they say, we Anglicans "playing Catholic." No, we are Catholic, but we are not Roman. I'm a bit tired of this sort of thing, but it crops up again and again and again. I've ceased caring what Rome thinks of me or my orders. I am a priest. If Rome and orthodox Anglicans come to some manner of agreement (reaching "full communion," not simple absorption into Rome) all well and good, but I lose no sleep when a body I do not believe to be infallible (and has historically proven herself not to be so on so many occasions) questions my ministry and my status as a priest of the Church.

Anonymous said...

I believe this last comment actually helps demonstrate the point.

J. Gordon Anderson said...

Well said, Frs! I too have ceased caring about what Rome says or doesn't say about our orders. It is interesting, though, that most of my friends who I attended seminary with and still stay in touch with, and who are now RC priests, all call me father, and affirm my priesthood.

Young fogey emeritus said...

Just like the new Episcopal supremo's offensive (certainly in context) recent remarks about the Roman communion this is worth discussing.

Some of those rude commenters may mean well - trying to defend the faith (BTW it's 'profanation' not 'profanity') - but I'd also blame this on revenge (from the Irish for maltreatment by the British, though not all southern Irishmen hate them, contrary to myth), ignorance of early C20 Anglican history (when 'Dutch touch' consecrations by Old Catholic bishops rendered Apostolicæ Curæ irrelevant to Anglo-Catholics today)... and envy as it's obvious in many Anglican places, even unsound ones, that culturally they've kept the patrimony of Western Catholicism whilst the Romans in most places have destroyed it.

Then there's the irony that the sort of Roman who bends over backwards to affirm Anglican orders is usually somebody most of us would rather nothing to do with, pushing change in the apostolic ministry (misogyny is nothing to do with it from my end) and liturgical and theological revision. In short he's got more in common with Dr Jefferts-Schori than with any of us.

Visibilium said...

Christ is in our midst!

Some of us Orthodox hold a special fondness for the Church of England, especially as she existed prior to the papal crusade of 1066. Some of us unofficially consider King Harold a Martyr or at least a Passion Bearer. After the conquest, Harold's family fled to Kiev and his bodyguards to Constantinople. His daughter married a Grand Prince of Kiev, whose son was named after his grandfather.

Unfortunately, I can't be much help to you on the subject of your orders, since we believe that all orders outside of Orthdoxy are invalid. Nevertheless, I agree that that Apostolicae Curae, on its merits, is threadbare.

When you get tired of Vatican condescension, Schori-style lunacy, or retreating into a small sliver of a fragment of a once-venerable Church, our doors will always be open to you. We have a small, but growing, Western Rite ministry. Both Prayer-Book and Missal enthusiasts will find familiar landmarks.

Brett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett said...

I suppose I should be outraged, except for the fact that I've become highly accustomed to this sort of rhetoric from some folks (more often then not, usually converts) in the Roman Communion.

Alot of triumphalism, alot of spiritual pride..neither of which I've seen mentioned anywhere in the Scriptures as fruits of the Spirit.

Brett <><
St Paul's REC
Oreland, Pa.

Anonymous said...

These comments do not look very different from those made by the various Anglican continuum jurisdictions about one another.