March 25, 2017

October 20, 2009

The Vatican: Note…About Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans Entering the Catholic Church


With the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.

In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony. In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has prepared this provision, said: “We have been trying to meet the requests for full communion that have come to us from Anglicans in different parts of the world in recent years in a uniform and equitable way. With this proposal the Church wants to respond to the legitimate aspirations of these Anglican groups for full and visible unity with the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.”

These Personal Ordinariates will be formed, as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for the members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world. “Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey,” Cardinal Levada said.

The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. “The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans,” Cardinal Levada went on to say: “They have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion.”

According to Levada: “It is the hope of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (4:5). Our communion is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith.”

Background information

Since the sixteenth century, when King Henry VIII declared the Church in England independent of Papal Authority, the Church of England has created its own doctrinal confessions, liturgical books, and pastoral practices, often incorporating ideas from the Reformation on the European continent. The expansion of the British Empire, together with Anglican missionary work, eventually gave rise to a world-wide Anglican Communion.

Throughout the more than 450 years of its history the question of the reunification of Anglicans and Catholics has never been far from mind. In the mid-nineteenth century the Oxford Movement (in England) saw a rekindling of interest in the Catholic aspects of Anglicanism. In the early twentieth century Cardinal Mercier of Belgium entered into well publicized conversations with Anglicans to explore the possibility of union with the Catholic Church under the banner of an Anglicanism “reunited but not absorbed”.

At the Second Vatican Council hope for union was further nourished when the Decree on Ecumenism (n. 13), referring to communions separated from the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation, stated that: “Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place.”

Since the Council, Anglican-Roman Catholic relations have created a much improved climate of mutual understanding and cooperation. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) produced a series of doctrinal statements over the years in the hope of creating the basis for full and visible unity. For many in both communions, the ARCIC statements provided a vehicle in which a common expression of faith could be recognized. It is in this framework that this new provision should be seen.

In the years since the Council, some Anglicans have abandoned the tradition of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. More recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality—already clearly stated in the ARCIC document “Life in Christ”—by the ordination of openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. At the same time, as the Anglican Communion faces these new and difficult challenges, the Catholic Church remains fully committed to continuing ecumenical engagement with the Anglican Communion, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

In the meantime, many individual Anglicans have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Sometimes there have been groups of Anglicans who have entered while preserving some “corporate” structure. Examples of this include, the Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, and some individual parishes in the United States which maintained an Anglican identity when entering the Catholic Church under a “pastoral provision” adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II in 1982. In these cases, the Catholic Church has frequently dispensed from the requirement of celibacy to allow those married Anglican clergy who desire to continue ministerial service as Catholic priests to be ordained in the Catholic Church.

In the light of these developments, the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution can be seen as another step toward the realization the aspiration for full, visible union in the Church of Christ, one of the principal goals of the ecumenical movement.

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This sounds/looks/feels like an extension of the existing (American) “Pastoral Provision” to a worldwide basis, and perhaps a more agressive inplementation of the same.  The Pastoral Provision has not been popular with many American Bishops.  Perhaps 8-10 congregations US-wide - - -

[1] Posted by ALREADY-GONE on 10-20-2009 at 08:27 AM · [top]

#1—agreed. This isn’t really a development of any note. There is already a pastoral provision in place; and as far as I can tell, the most this does is extend that into something like the “Eastern Rite” jurisdictions (and even that might be saying too much)—essentially saying, if you sell out on your theological differences with us, we’ll let you have a slightly different liturgy from the rest of us . . . as long as we get to revise it to be more like ours first. If there’d been anything dealing with the historic theological differences between Rome and Anglo-catholicism, even just recognizing Anglican orders, there’d be something new and possibly beneficial to this.

As it is, I find it interesting to compare this action of the Vatican with Metropolitan Jonah’s recent overtures. Met. Jonah approached the Realignment to offer encouragement in our struggle for the faith, and to urge us to return to a fuller sense of Catholic Order, upon which corporate reunion might be possible. Rome, on the other hand, makes another political ploy for more personal conversions at a time when many Anglicans are quite troubled, and possibly confused, and more likely than in peaceful times to make the change despite the theological problems there might be. If this has any noticeable effect, which I pray it does not, it will simply introduce greater confusion into the Catholic Movement within Anglicanism, thereby ultimately weakening and undermining the Realignment.

But then, Rome has always been looking out for itself, at the expense of the Church Catholic, since the day they forged the “Donation of Constantine.”

[2] Posted by tk+ on 10-20-2009 at 10:18 AM · [top]

I disagree with nos. 1 and 2. The key difference between the Pastoral Provision in the US and this new Apostolic Constitution is that it will allow Personal Ordinariates.

In Catholic hierarchy, an ordinary doesn’t have to be a bishop. It can also be a priest. In this way, Anglican bishops can lead a whole Anglican diocese into the Catholic Church by becoming an Ordinary. They would not be subject to the local Diocesan Ordinary, as pastoral provision parishes currently are in the United States.

The Ordinariate allows for seminarians in their tradition, for Anglican patrimony Catholic seminaries, and for Anglican liturgy.

This is all of the fun of Catholicism with none of the crabby, anti-Anglican Catholic Bishops.

God bless Pope Benedict!

[3] Posted by Diezba on 10-20-2009 at 10:58 AM · [top]

I’m with you.  The institutionalization of the Anglican tradition w/i the RCC is a major new feature and of huge import.

[4] Posted by evan miller on 10-20-2009 at 11:21 AM · [top]

For far to long the reform Episcopals and traditional Anglicans have ignored the St. Louis groups that has the fowsight to leave when it fiirst started to go downhill. Yes they have fragmented and are split when unity would have been better. There was not a strong leader at least in America to join the different groups together. I wish we had a Bishop Duncan(even thought I disagree with him on womens oridnation) Better would have been Bishop Iker or Bishop Schofield or Bishop Ackerman. They did the best they could. I hope this works out. God Bless Pope Benedict.

[5] Posted by TradAnglican on 10-20-2009 at 12:00 PM · [top]

sorry foresight-typo.

[6] Posted by TradAnglican on 10-20-2009 at 12:02 PM · [top]

Does anyone know if married men who are not yet ordained will be allowed to be ordained, or will only Anglican priests already married be allowed to serve as married priests under the new provision?

[7] Posted by cevans5 on 10-20-2009 at 01:38 PM · [top]

I have a problem with the provision that no Anglican bishop will be able to continue serving as a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church….even if he is single, has never been married, and has taken a vow of celibacy.

[8] Posted by Cennydd on 10-20-2009 at 01:43 PM · [top]

I disagree strongly with Fr TK’s comments above (#2).  The announcement of an Anglican ordinariate is an extraordinary event within the Catholic Church.  There will be great opposition to it from Catholic bishops worldwide.  This proposal appears to secure a firm place for Anglican witness and liturgy within the body of the Catholic Church.  Of course all who avail themselves of this offer will be asked to embrace the fullness of Catholic teaching; but many Anglo-Catholics already do so, especially in England. 

The Nashotah House/St Vladimir’s covenant to engage in ecumenical dialogue is a constructive event but doesn’t really change anything.  The Orthodox are not going to enter into full communion with ACNA or any other Anglican body, until such a time that these Anglican bodies fully embrace the Orthodox faith (make that a capital “O”) in its fullness.  Anglican congregations have had the option for several years of becoming Western-rite Orthodox congregations.  Why haven’t they done so?  Why have the continuing Anglican Churches preferred to remain tiny sects rather than entering under the authority of Eastern bishops? 

Anglo-Catholic congregations and their pastors face an important choice:  to remain in communion with evangelical and Reformed Anglicans who deny the Catholic faith on many important points and pretend that the differences do not really mater or to enter into full communion with the two oldest apostolic and catholic communions.

[9] Posted by FrKimel on 10-20-2009 at 02:34 PM · [top]

#9   “two oldest” ?? refering to the Roman and Eastern Catholic churches?

[10] Posted by tdunbar on 10-20-2009 at 02:45 PM · [top]

[11] Posted by FrKimel on 10-20-2009 at 02:55 PM · [top]

If the Ordinate could consecrate, that would address the issues well enough, married priests exist in communion with Rome, it they could as ordinates be bishops in all but name, the liturgy and married priesthood could survive.

Without it, this is a ‘half-way house’ that gives up too much and takes on too much. 

The Pope is doing the most that he can, but for those of us who reject ‘new and revised’ theology, it just won’t wash.

[12] Posted by Bo on 10-20-2009 at 03:13 PM · [top]

I suppose I should clarify my statement: for those like Fr. Kimel who have decided that Rome is the One True Church but still want to play Anglican, this is wonderful news.

For Anglo-catholics who have a theological grounding in their own tradition, however, or who have difficulties with some of Rome’s “dogmas,” or who are uncomfortable with Rome’s tendencies to deepen the divisions in the Body of Christ rather than heal them, or who seek a corporate reunion of the church rather than the fulfillment of some quest to exercise their individual judgment in determining which is the “one true Church”—for them, this development is useless at best; and in terms of relations between Rome and Anglicanism presents nothing new.

There are those out there, you know, who believe that universal ordinary jurisdiction, supposed human infallibility, the inanity that is Transubstantiation, the denial of the Holy Spirit’s gifts in ordination as a political ploy, and the tendency to make up new dogmas as you go along on the basis of what will most alienate other Christian bodies are just as much contrary to Catholic Faith and Practice as any of the supposed ‘roundheads’ of ACNA.

[13] Posted by tk+ on 10-20-2009 at 04:29 PM · [top]

What about the current Anglican ‘Saints and Worthies’? would they be added to the list of the saints of the RC church? I’m thinking particularly of historical figures like James Pattison, the Martyrs of Uganda, the King and Martyr Charles I, Nicholas Ferrar,  Thomas Ken, Edward King of Lincoln, George Herbert, William Laud etc.
Not trying to be snarky but I just wonder…

Rdr. james morgan
olympia, wa

[14] Posted by rdrjames on 10-20-2009 at 05:24 PM · [top]

Hmm, let me see. The Anglo-Catholics I know
a) Venerate Mary
b) go to confession
c) recognize the full 7 Sacraments

and so on. With this approach by Benedict they may become comfortable with Papal infallibility. And I know a whole lot of Anglo-Catholics.

The Anglican Paplist

[15] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 10-20-2009 at 08:31 PM · [top]

There is a feast day for the Ugandan martyrs.  Only the Catholics were formally canonized, but the Anglicans who were with them were mentioned at the canonization.  Wikipedia footnote:  From the homily at the canonization of the martyrs of Uganda by Pope Paul VI: “Et mentione digni sunt alii etiam, qui, anglicana instituta religiosa profitentes, pro Christi nomine morte affecti sunt.” (“And the others are worthy of mention also, who, professing the Anglican religious customs, were afflicted with death for the name of Christ.”) Vatican Archive.  They were afflicted with death for the name of Christ.  That makes them martyrs, that makes them saints in heaven. 

  I don’t think we can make saints of those who died in principled opposition to Catholicism,  even though God may well have done so.  I don’t know the stories of all the people you mention.
Susan Peterson.

[16] Posted by eulogos on 10-20-2009 at 08:52 PM · [top]


[17] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 10-20-2009 at 10:18 PM · [top]

HM Charles I, King and Martyr was so in refusing to save his neck at the cost of the Bishops.

[18] Posted by Bo on 10-20-2009 at 11:03 PM · [top]

Leander Harding brought to light an interesting concept in his post at:

...a married priesthood and a celibate episcopate

Could the RC’s be persuaded to make that a permanent, global piece of polity?

[19] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 10-28-2009 at 09:14 AM · [top]

Cennydd, I don’t think you are correct here (of course, hard to tell cause the document isn’t pubished yet), but if a celibate Anglican bishop were to avail himself of the Ordinariate, there would be no canonical problem or impediment with him being ordained a Roman Bishop. The ordinariate allows for married Anglican bishops to continue to exercise authority to get around the married bishop “problem”. So the ordinary CAN be a priest, but doesn’t have to be. It can be a bishop, and if there are celibate Anglican bishops (or widowed Anglican bishops), the Ordinary COULD be ordained a Catholic bishop.  You know, Henderson of upper SC is about to retire, he’s Anglo-Catholic and single. Wonder what he’s doing in retirement?  wink

[20] Posted by advocate on 10-28-2009 at 09:32 AM · [top]

“who are uncomfortable with Rome’s tendencies to deepen the divisions in the Body of Christ rather than heal them”

Fr TK, with all due respect, I don’t think the Roman church has the corner on deepening the divisions in the body of Christ. Your contempt for the RCC, and frankly your comment to Fr. Kimel about “playing Anglican” is unbecoming. We can disagree with each other as Christians without being disrepectful.

[21] Posted by advocate on 10-28-2009 at 09:39 AM · [top]

Accidentally unsubscribed.  I sure wish the mods would move the “To stop receiving notifications for this comment, click here” notice from the top of the email alert to the bottom.  I keep clicking on the “stop receiving notifications” link when I just want to be taken to the comment.  smile

[22] Posted by FrKimel on 10-28-2009 at 09:40 AM · [top]

I agree largely with FrKimel [except of course that evangelical and Reformed Anglicans don’t deny “the Catholic faith” but rather various Roman Catholic doctrines—but we already know about that disagreement] in that this is a *huge* deal from Rome.

I wonder if TK has been keeping up with the desire of various TAC and other AngloCatholics to join up with Rome.  What Rome has offered is the opportunity for all those who already agree with Rome but for some reason have stayed in the AC [or are out of the AC as with TAC] to enter as a body while maintaining a number of comforts and joys of whatever it is that they enjoyed about being in the AC [or out of the AC as with TAC].

This is huge.  I’ve been watching for and wondering if Rome would make such a move for years—and for far less time than TAC or other AngloCatholics-who-already-accept-Roman-Catholic-doctrine.

[23] Posted by Sarah on 10-28-2009 at 09:49 AM · [top]

For Anglo-catholics who have a theological grounding in their own tradition, however, or who have difficulties with some of Rome’s “dogmas,” <snip> this development is useless at best

Don’t be so sure, TK+. As TEC becomes uninhabitable, AngloCatholics will have decisions to make like everyone else. And heart-searching and praying to do.

[24] Posted by oscewicee on 10-28-2009 at 09:54 AM · [top]

Bishop Henderson is A-C? When did that happen? He’s always struck me as more of a Broad Church kind of guy.

[25] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 10-28-2009 at 10:00 AM · [top]

TK- Whatever an Anglo Catholic is, you have pretty clearly demonstrated that you are not one.
The theological grounding for Anglo Catholicism was well laid out by Newman and Pusey. That IS our tradition.  Many of us would stipulate that we know this sets us outside some of the 39 Articles. Does Rome sometimes step outside the Vincentian canon?  Yes, it does.  But unlike TEC, Rome does not consider it heresy.  Which is less fallible- the Magisterium or General Convention.  Keep in mind, General Convention claims to be the work of the Holy Spirit- and if that is not infallible, what is?
Waving a thurible around does not make you Anglo Catholic.  A particular systematic theology does.  That theology is much more Catholic than it is Anglican.  At the current time, Anglo Catholicism is no longer tolerated within TEC- 200 depositions of priests and bishops demonstrate that.  It is on the verge of being outlawed in the Church of England.  If you do not affirm women’s ordination, you will be out.  And if you do affirm it, without the consensus of the Church Catholic, you are not an Anglo Catholic.

[26] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-28-2009 at 10:10 AM · [top]

Matthew, have you ever watched him celebrate? It gives me a nosebleed!  smile  His diocesan retirement celebration was for the most part reminicing about the diocesan decision to put him on the slate for bishop in terms of, “how is this AC priest going to adapt to being HERE?!”, and how his favorite pasttime is “rescuing” old vestments off of e-bay!

[27] Posted by advocate on 10-28-2009 at 10:34 AM · [top]

Maggie—never claimed the RCC had a ‘corner’ on division—but the fact remained that their response to the first Anglican overtures (by Pusey) in the 19th c. was (a) Papal infallibiity and (b) somewhat later, the declaration that Anglican orders were invalid. Going back a bit further, Trent had a habit of defining the ‘catholic faith’ as ‘not what our opponents say,’ even when the adjustments made by the council and the pre-Tridentine criticisms of their opponents largely match up.

Sarah—as I said, this is a non-development for those who don’t already want to be Roman in some way, shape, or form, without some theological adjustments to Rome’s position.

TJ—most of those who know me would be rather surprised to hear that. And, remember that (a) Newman became Roman, although he later admitted that he didn’t necessarily understand all the doctrines he was assenting to, and was later suspected of quietly resenting the consolidation of Papal power culminating at Vatican I; and (b) Pusey, while trying to reach some reconciliation with Rome, regularly dismantled several Roman doctrines (most notably Transubstantiation) in his work, advocated strongly against the positions adopted by Vatican I, and regarded the outcome of that council as supremely unhelpful, and, frankly, a disgrace. If you want an Anglo-catholic example (since the Tractarians, while laying the theological framework for Anglo-catholicism, were never anything that we would recognize as such), read some of Bp. Grafton’s comments on Rome—he makes me look positively pro-Roman.

Just to clarify—I fully respect those who feel called to go elsewhere other than Anglicanism (although it would make more sense for me if they would accept the tradition they’re going to as is, without special provisions). However, I rather dislike the accompanying attitude that no-one who makes a different decision could possibly have the fullness of the Faith and is therefore some sort of second-class citizen of the Kingdom (and given Roman teaching, that attitude is a necessary consequent of conversion), and while I desire Church Unity as much as any other Catholic, my view is that without any substantial changes, any theological dialogue with Rome is necessarily a bit like trying to discuss your personal differences with someone who has infallibly defined him- or herself as being infallible.

[28] Posted by tk+ on 10-28-2009 at 10:56 AM · [top]

Well, TK, your comment #2 did see to say a whole lot more than this: “this is a non-development for those who don’t already want to be Roman in some way, shape, or form, without some theological adjustments to Rome’s position.”

But you may be making a claim that there *are* legitimate AngloCatholics out there—who don’t believe in WO and all of the other various accoutrements of “Affirming Catholicism”—who also do NOT hold to various Roman dogmas.

And I heartily agree with that.

One of the massive but hidden divides amongst traditional AngloCatholics—and I mean folks within FIF and the Diocese of Fort Worth, for instance—are the ones who 1) already believe Rome’s doctrines in entirety and 2) the ones who don’t.

One of the constantly chanted themes of those AngloCatholics who have gone to Rome is that one can’t be AngloCatholic within the Anglican Communion.  I don’t grant that.

I don’t even grant that one can’t be AngloCatholic within ACNA.

But then . . . that assertion on the part of some is a part of the propaganda as well.  ; > )

[29] Posted by Sarah on 10-28-2009 at 11:35 AM · [top]

I should also add that Fr. Kimel is not “playing Anglican” as nearly as I can see.  He agreed with Rome’s doctrines and dogma and he converted.  It was an honorable conversion and made with no conveniences that I can see.  I don’t see him playing Anglican at all, except that he does attempt to proselytize AngloCatholics as much as he possibly can.

I do think that Fr. Kimel was mistaken in believing that all traditional AngloCatholics in, say, the Diocese of Fort Worth [among others] actually believe the same doctrines and dogmas that Fr. Kimel did when he was considering his transfer to Rome.

[30] Posted by Sarah on 10-28-2009 at 12:02 PM · [top]

If one can be both Anglo-Catholic and Reformed Anglican and still be part of the Anglican Communion, then the Anglican Communion is little more than a social tea party and completely unrelated to the truth of doctrine.

[31] Posted by drdaveinftworth on 10-28-2009 at 12:10 PM · [top]

I do not “play Anglican.”  I would gladly have served, though, in an Anglican Use congregation if that option had been available to me; but it wasn’t.  The present state of American Catholic pop liturgy is a scandal.  The Catholic Church in the U.S. needs the witness and liturgical experience of the Anglo-Catholic tradition.  The proposed ordinariate now makes it possible for the Catholic Church to incorporate the Anglican patrimony into her common life.  We shall see if God blesses this event.

Of course, no one should become Catholic if he cannot assent to the dogmas of the Catholic Church.  Period.

That being said, I do believe that Anglo-Catholics now find themselves in a historically untenable position.  If it wasn’t clear before now, surely it is clear today: Anglicanism is a Protestant society.  We can argue when this decisively and irreversibly occurred, but I do not believe that anyone can contest that reality today.  Parts of the Anglican Communion are liberal Protestant and revisionist; other parts (the most vital parts) are evangelical and charismatic.  Within this communion, Anglo-Catholics have no future.  They can only remain within it by compromising their basic principles and pretending that the theological, sacramental, and ecclesiological differences do not matter.  This is insanity and spiritual suicide.

When my third son was a sophomore in college, I had to give him this counsel:  “Bredon, you need to leave the Episcopal Church.  Even assuming you and your future wife and children are able to find an orthodox Anglo-Catholic parish, and even if you stay within this parish until your children become adults, there will be no authentic Anglo-Catholic congregations for your children to join when they move away, as they inevitably will.  What will they do then?”  This, I believe, is a decisive consideration that all parents and pastors need to soberly reflect upon. 

Fantasy and denial are luxuries that Anglo-Catholics can no longer afford.  The Anglo-Catholic movement never intended to be a mere party within Anglicanism, yet it compromised and accepted this status.  Anglo-Catholicism is now but a shadow of what it was even just forty years ago.  The sub-culture that supported it throughout the 20th century is gone.  It cannot be recovered.  History has made its judgment.

Anglo-Catholicism needs to be re-planted in the catholic and ancient soil of either Rome or Constantinople; it cannot survive much longer within the Protestantism that is Anglicanism.  Think about the future, not only your personal future but the future of your families.  In 20 years time there will be few authentic Anglo-Catholic parishes for your children to worship in.  Look to the Catholic Church and its Anglican Ordinariate.  Look to the Orthodox Church and specifically the Western-rite option offered by the Antiochians.  But look ... look and prayerfully consider your future.

[32] Posted by FrKimel on 10-28-2009 at 12:35 PM · [top]

Fr. Kimel, thanks for the encouragement. :-( But for some of us, at least, there continues to be a reason why we are *Anglo*Catholic.

[33] Posted by oscewicee on 10-28-2009 at 12:50 PM · [top]

Fr. Kimel, would you care to give an update on your son Bredon’s faith journey and whether a) he followed your advice, and b) that has worked out for him?

[34] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 10-28-2009 at 01:13 PM · [top]

As an Anglo-catholic expatriate who has found himself still afloat in AMiA, I realize the plight I’m in is tenuous at best.  In my experience in several AMiA churches in the general area, the parishes are ever so kind towards us oddballs, accommodating even (and perhaps slightly envious) of our Eucharistic and sacramental positions and practices; on a similar page as to ordination; given to practical and spiritually helpful pastoral care; and evangelical with a capital E without smacking me on the head with it. As to the personal ordinariate on the RC side of things, this comes with far too high a cost - particularly infallibility, transubstantiation, validity of orders, the ecclesial superiority complex (yes, Protestants do that, too), magisterium, overfocus on tradition at the expense of Scripture…

[35] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 10-28-2009 at 01:26 PM · [top]

Well said, Fr. Kimel. The thought has been distilling in my mind for quite some time now: it is no longer possible to hold on to our Catholicism within the Anglican Communion. But following the announcement from the Vatican, we Anglo-Catholics may be able to preserve those things we consider noble, true, and beautiful about Anglicanism within Catholicism. Perhaps we had it backwards all along.

[36] Posted by JoshuaB on 10-28-2009 at 01:40 PM · [top]

[35] I would describe myself as a prayer book Anglican who values catholicity, and I am now in the same situation.  On one hand, I see the personal ordinariate with the elements you listed, on the other I see the pending dissolution of the AC and the implications for catholicity of anglicanism.  If the catholic branches representing the Orthodox churches and the branch representing the RCC can come closer together, then I would humbly suggest that we in the FCA should undertake some soul searching.  As a start, I think we should critically revisit some of the 20th century changes that have raised unnecessary ecumenical difficulties.

[37] Posted by tired on 10-28-2009 at 02:45 PM · [top]

“Anglo-Catholicism needs to be re-planted in the catholic and ancient soil of either Rome or Constantinople…” 

Better still, Anglicanism should be re-planted in Jerusalem, both literally and figuratively, geographically and spiritually, which it has done.

The Church always begins in Jerusalem, both geographically and spiritually.  Luke 24:47

It was by the will of one man, a secular ruler, Constantine, who divided the Church between Rome and Constantinople. 

Rome split the Church with the claim of supremacy over the whole church and with the Filioque.

[38] Posted by Theodora on 10-28-2009 at 03:32 PM · [top]

1. It appears that the Western rite Orthodox option tends to be English Missal Mass oriented.  Not all are comfortable there.  2. The feeling within the convert churches is that if you do not embrace the Eastern style and “go all the way” Byzantine you are not really Orthodox.  This is not the posture of the Antiochian Bishops, I hasten to add, who view the Tikon rite as a viable western alternative to their immense credit.  The issue is with the converts themselves.  Unfortunately, in my view, a lost opportunity to evangelize the west, the vast majority of whom are not comfortable with the eastern stuff and maintain an immense and important music tradition which is lost in the transfer.

[39] Posted by francis on 10-28-2009 at 04:57 PM · [top]

Fr. Kimel, would you care to give an update on your son Bredon’s faith journey and whether a) he followed your advice, and b) that has worked out for him?

I’d be happy to share with you my son’s journey.  He was received into full communion in the Catholic Church approximately five and a half years ago, preceding me into the Catholic Church by one year.  He has grown dramatically in his faith.  He has flourished spiritually and become a man of deep faith.  He particularly loves to read the lives of the saints.  John Paul II’s theology of the body, as popularly articulated in the writings of Christopher West, has been of particular importance to him.

Raised in the Anglo-Catholic liturgy, he has found American Catholic liturgy difficult to adjust to, but unlike his father, he has been able to freely embrace this suffering (and for many Anglo-Catholics who become Catholic, there is a suffering and deprivation) as a means of sanctification and a spur to deeper prayer and surrender to our Lord.  He has become a true man of God and Catholic Christian. 

Bredon is presently a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.  He is training to be a fighter jet pilot at the Naval Air Base in Meridian, Mississippi. 

I am exceptionally proud of my son, as I am proud of all four of my children.

[40] Posted by FrKimel on 10-28-2009 at 05:10 PM · [top]

Semper fi, Father Kimel!

[41] Posted by Clare on 10-28-2009 at 05:26 PM · [top]


[42] Posted by FrKimel on 10-28-2009 at 05:29 PM · [top]

Father Kimel and others,
I hope Anglicans wishing to enter the Catholic Church will seek out the celebration of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  This would solve the problem of adjustment to contemporary liturgy.

[43] Posted by Clare on 10-29-2009 at 08:00 AM · [top]

Sarah #29—I believe you read me correctly.

Fr. Kimel #32—I agree with you that ‘Fantasy and denial are luxuries that Anglo-Catholics can no longer afford.’ And, further, I agree that we must abandon any willingness to merely be a party in the Church. But thing have been dark before (I’m thinking especially of the era 1845-1870) and yet we reached the point where a high proportion of ‘evangelicals’ in the US wear eucharistic vestments, believe in the real presence, and celebrate weekly communion. The one further thing we cannot afford is despair—the one thing more sinful than the errors you note above, and the one, I think, to which Anglo-catholics are most prone.

[44] Posted by tk+ on 10-31-2009 at 03:36 AM · [top]

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