TAC ARCHIVE

February 2011

Referring page

 

 

News from Australia

I don’t want any comments speculating about Archbishop Hepworth’s canonical status or his future in the Ordinariate. All this sort of thing got very boring on another blog, and I just don’t want it here.

As always with this journalist, everything to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Also see: Australian Anglicans plan for their ordinariate and Dissident Anglicans step closer to Rome (Sydney Morning Herald)

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Anglican Catholics out to evangelise

Wednesday, 02 February 2011
By Anthony Barich

The Anglican Ordinariate which aims to be established in Australia by Pentecost is about evangelising, not preserving some pure form of Anglicanism, one of its leading figures said.

Bishop Harry Entwistle of Perth, one of 50 disaffected Anglicans who met on the Gold Coast this week to gauge “how many and who” will join the Ordinariate, said the Ordinariate’s aim will be that of the universal Church – to bring people into relationship with God.

Bishop Entwistle, who will address a Festival at Holy Family Catholic Parish in Como to “introduce the Anglican Ordinariate for Australia” on 26 February, said it has always been believed that the Ordinarate will begin “with smallish numbers who will then try to grow and evangelise”.

“We’ve got to get rid of the idea that all we’re interested in is preserving some ideal form of Anglicanism. We’re there to bring others to know and love the Lord and be united to the Church. That’s what it’s about,” Bishop Entwistle told The Record.

“We will be a part of the full Catholic Church, and like the rest of the Catholic Church our mission is to bring others into the Church, into a relationship with God.

“We’ll just have a different form of worship, but still be part of the Church, rather like having the Eastern Catholics – which, though not an exact parallel, is similar.”
The prelate [sic - Primate?] of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which claims a global membership of over 400,000, is expected to be ordained a Catholic priest with three others, including one from the Torres Strait, to lead the western, eastern, southern and northern regions in Australia.

Japan’s TAC community, led by a retired Anglican Bishop, is expected to decide later this month to join the Australian Ordinariate.

The Festival, which Como parish priest Fr Aloysius Leong told his packed congregation last Sunday is “very important” for the Catholic Church, will also be held in Melbourne and Adelaide as an “information sharing session to see what the level of interest might be”.

Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Peter Elliott, a former Anglican and Delegate for the Holy See for the Australian Ordinariate, will address the Festival in Perth, as will TAC Primate Archbishop John Hepworth of Adelaide.

Lay speakers will also address the Festival on what importance and interest the Ordinariate would hold for ‘cradle Catholics’ and former Anglicans who have already been received into the Catholic Church.

 

Some history and details on the Patrimony of the Primate

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Although the ratification of the Traditional Anglican Communion occurred in Canada, the first meeting for the proposed Traditional Anglican Communion was held there in Orlando at what is today the Cathedral of the Incarnation. That very Church, where Bishop Campese served as Ordinary for the last thirteen years, was actually the first Church built from the ground up in the Continuum. Furthermore, in that same Church, at the ACA General Synod in 1983, (then) Bishop Falk was elevated to the office of the first Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Louis Falk graduated from Nashotah House in 1962 and was ordained in the Episcopal Church in that same year. After leaving the active ministry for a career in business, he joined the Anglican Catholic Church in its early days, becoming rector of St. Aidan’s Church in Des Moines (where I now serve) and continued in that capacity until the late 1980′s. In 1981, he became the first bishop of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley and in 1983 became Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Catholic Church, leading it into the merger that created the Anglican Church in America later in 1991. He was one of the key organizers of the Traditional Anglican Communion and served as its primate until 2002. It was only recently, in 2008, that he retired as Ordinary of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley but is still resident here in Des Moines and is a cherished part of St. Aidan’s parish.

When these two men were in Rome in the early 1990′s, along with (then) Father John Hepworth, they spoke with the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. They explained who they were and what their intentions were. They were, at that time, counseled by the Vatican to do certain things to break down the barriers that separated Anglicans from the Holy See, and thereby lead to the full communion they were seeking. First, they were told to grow. The TAC has done exactly that over the years, and though not all of the Churches in the ACA are yet choosing to follow through with accepting the offer of Anglicanorum Coetibus, growth has occurred (I have seen it firsthand). Many of those in the TAC who are not yet ready, may still decide later on to seek entrance into the Ordinariates, and they will be welcomed with open arms. Secondly, they were counseled to get to know, personally, their counterparts in the Catholic Churches that were local to each of them. They have done this quite well. They have reached out to the Catholic clergy within their local areas, and although all ecclesiastical ventures of this sort are challenging, they have each maintained peace and a good rapport with the Catholic Churches near to them. Thirdly, they were told not to elevate more men to the Episcopate than was absolutely necessary, and they have sought their utmost to do just that.

Bishop Campese and his clergy are entering a special “group within the group” of the Patrimony of the Primate. He is now the Ordinary of the Pro-Diocese of the Holy Family within the Patrimony of the Primate. Although there may be other “groups within the group” of the Patrimony, Archbishop Falk and others are a entering in a more “plain vanilla” status. Either way, they are all coming together into this distinct structure so that their status is clear for the time being, and this also provides the remaining portion of the ACA to continue with its business without a concern for confusion as to the direction that is being taken by each member of their particular diocese. We are now in a “time between the times” where we await the fullness of the blessings of communion with the Barque of Peter. During this time many have spoken of the need for a “home of our own” for those of us who are seeking membership in the Ordinariate. The Patrimony of the Primate is just that structure. It is merely temporary so that we may be able to gather ourselves in a unified manner, and that we may be clearly counted for who we are.

 

Ordinariate festival – Coomera, Australia

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Ordinariate Festival Australia – a participant reports to The Messenger.

Those interested in the Ordinariate for Australia met at St. Stephen’s College at Coomera on the Gold Coast, a school affiliated with the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, on the invitation of the hosts Bishop Peter Elliott, Delegate of the Holy See for the Australian Ordinariate and Archbishop John Hepworth, Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion. While I was there only for the first two days it was a wonderful time of discovery, talking and listening, to each other and to the Bp. Elliott. There were people from the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Anglican Catholic Church, Church of the Torres Strait, and the Ukrainian Catholic Church, as well as others.

The festival started with a Mass of the Holy Spirit according to the usage of the ACCA of which Archbishop Hepworth was the celebrant. Perhaps the unique aspect of this was the two Catholic Bishops seated in the front pew, Bp. Elliott, Apostolic Delegate and Bp. Jarrett, Bishop of Lismore, as well as Fr John Fleming, and several catholic laymen and women. The next day was Candlemass and this was a Catholic concelebration by Bp. Jarrett (the celebrant), Bp. Elliott, and Fr. Fleming. The singing was wonderful on both occasions and one could feel the movement of the Holy Spirit over each and every one that was there. Yet there was brokenness and isolation as we are not yet one, but the festival such as this, is the necessary step in healing the divisions of the past, and taking seriously Our Lord command, that the Church become one.

Sharing our stories, listening to each other, and being there as the unfolding the Ordinariate takes place, was a central theme of the conference. Perhaps the most eloquent was Bp. Elliott who spoke, on day two, of the way that the Ordinariate may unfold in Australia. One of the major things that Bp. Elliott stressed was that Australia was not England, nor was it Canada nor was it the USA. The history of Australian Anglicanism is unique to itself, so the unfolding of the Ordinariate will be unique. The Bishop spoke of the two major divergent streams here in Australia, the ACCA, those who left, or were driven out, of the Anglican Church in Australia, and those who stayed within and tried to fight the heresies from there. It has been 23 years since the first ACCA parishes were formed, so it has developed its own way of doing things, its own distinctive Anglican flavour, while those within, have their ways, their norms, so there has been a divergence, not an insurmountable one, but a divergence none the less. Bp. Elliott emphasised that the coming together of these two streams of Anglicanism will mean that the Ordinariate will develop differently to that in England and Wales, though there may be some similarities.

In a later talk, Bp. Elliott outlined the process, as he sees it, in the erection of the Ordinariate. Firstly, each Anglican priest who goes into the Australian Ordinariate will need a Catholic priest sponsor, a former Anglican priest if possible, a person who he can be with, befriend, listen to, confide in, encourage, and just be there for the man as he prepares for Catholic ordination, both before and after. This makes a lot of sense to me, as we will need hand-holding as a lot of what we do will be new, especially Canon Law. Secondly, the laity, each person who joins the Ordinariate, as I understand it, will need a Catholic sponsor, one who will stand by them as they move into the Ordinariate especially at their Chrismation.

Other people spoke from their hearts of the joy that healing the breach will bring; the sorrow that divisions are causing, and have caused in the past; the need for faith in the Holy Spirit and in the people that the Churches have called to bring the Ordinariate to fruition; the need to let go of the past and to forgive; the need to be humble; the need to see the working of the Holy Spirit; and especially to pray for the man that will become the Ordinary (whoever that may be), and his board.

Of course, I was sad to miss the final day, as there was to be stories from the people of the Torres Strait, and more exploration of the views of what the Ordinariate means for the people gathered, and how it may come to fruition. Also, this was the day that the Australian Ordinariate Implementation Commitee was having their inaugural meeting starting after the festival, but alas my flight was changed, so I hope someone more eloquent than I will fill in the gaps, and perhaps give a much fuller account of what transpired.

As you have perhaps noticed, I have not talked about the Archbishop as his vision is known to all, though his presence was felt by all at the festival. Instead I have examined what others thought, and talked about trying to give my thoughts on what occurred. For me, it was a joyous occasion, as we explored our different histories and stories, talked to each other, overcoming our differences in the light of healing. What I found at this festival was a common vision, a vision in which we are no longer ACCA or TAC or ACA, but we each belong to the Ordinariate, part of the Latin Rite, unified under the See of Peter. I cannot give you a timeline nor can I give any other definite except that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, and truly blessed by God.

 

Anglican Church in America Clarifies Position on Ordinariate: Rome Offer Rejected

This is very serious:

It should be stated clearly that there is no provision in the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in America for an entity such as the Patrimony of the Primate. The Patrimony of the Primate is not part of the ACA.

It would seem that they do not recognise a canonical act of the TAC, which contradicts any claim to be a part of the TAC. The ACA is therefore an acephalous (or self-styled “autocephalous”) body.

Then we have to wait for an official announcement. I emphasise that this is my private interpretation, and I may be wrong.

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From Virtue Online

Anglican Church in America Clarifies Position on Ordinariate: “We are not going to Rome,” Say Leaders

Rt. Rev. Louis Campese Resigns as Bishop of DEUS. He accepts Rome’s offer

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
February 5, 2011

The Anglican Church in America (ACA), one of the largest of the Continuing Anglo Catholic bodies in the US, has issued a letter through its chancellors saying it will not join with its Archbishop, John Hepworth, and accept the Pope’s offer of a personal ordinariate.

Bishop Brian Marsh, Diocese of the Northeast, told VOL that this clarifies their situation which has been in some limbo since the Pope’s offer due to a number of parishes in the ACA wanting to accept the Anglicanorum Coetibus. “While this clarifies our position at the present time the future remains open. Our leader is still Archbishop John Hepworth but that could change if he should go to Rome.”

The ACA came into being more than 20 years ago as a merger of The American Episcopal Church (AEC) and about half of the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC). The ACA has decided they will not accept the ordinariate offered by Pope Benedict XVI at this time and will stay as an orthodox Anglican body in the US. The ACA is not recognized by the Anglican Communion or the Episcopal Church nor is it recognized by the newly formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

There is a desire to separate amicably from those parishes that wish to accept the pope’s offer commented Marsh. The bishop believes that about 20% of the ACA will accept the ordinariate. “We do regard this as an opportunity for all Continuing Anglicans to come together, said Marsh. “We are in talks with other Continuing Anglican bodies.”

The Chancellor of the ACA today issued a letter at the request of the bishops of the Church clarifying where the denomination stands.

“First, I would like to inform you that the Anglican Church in America shall remain as a continuing Anglican church. Notwithstanding what you may have heard, this church is not going to collapse or disappear. It will, by the Grace of God, continue its important and essential witness as part of God’s holy church.

“Second, we would like to advise you as to the situation in the Diocese of the Eastern United States which has been the one diocese most gravely affected by what has happened. As all of you may know, the Bishop of this DEUS (Louis Campese) has elected to abandon his diocese when the diocese refused to go to the Roman Catholic Ordinariate.

“Of the twenty-five parishes and missions in the diocese, approximately ten parishes and missions have elected to remain with this church. These ten parishes and missions, effectively abandoned by Bishop Campese, will form the nucleus of a new diocese.

“While the majority of the parishes and missions chose to go with Bishop Campese, the majority of the laity has elected to remain with the diocese. Bishop Campese brought a number of missions into the diocese in the eighteen (18) months prior to leaving the diocese.

“We have chosen to stay together, to remain with the ACA, and should shortly be conducting a search for a new bishop.

“With regard to the dioceses of the Northeast, Missouri Valley and West, I should advise you that these dioceses will remain with the Anglican Church in America. Notwithstanding that misinformation and misstatements have been made, these three (3) dioceses remain strong and viable. A majority of parishes, missions and clergy have chosen to remain with the ACA. These dioceses are lead by very faithful and Godfearing bishops.”

The chancellor also wrote that the Constitution and Canons of the ACA are still valid and binding.

“According to our canons, those Bishops, clergy and parishes who leave for another jurisdiction, such as a Roman Catholic Ordinariate or the so-called Patrimony of the Primate, have, at this time abandoned the communion of this church and the ACA.

“With deep regret, the ACA declares that they are no longer a part of the ACA, nor do they have authority of jurisdiction in any ACA diocese or parish, and ordinations and other ecclesiastical actions performed by them are null and void effective as of January 1, 2011.

“It should be stated clearly that there is no provision in the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in America for an entity such as the Patrimony of the Primate. The Patrimony of the Primate is not part of the ACA.

“In April of this year, the House of Bishops and Executive Council of our church will meet in Tucson, Arizona. It is the judgment of this office that only those clergy who remain within the Anglican Church in America and faithfully perform their offices therein will be permitted to exercise leadership, voice and vote in the House of Bishops and/or the Executive Council of the Anglican Church in America.”

The letter was signed by the following individuals:

James S. Elkins, Jr. Chancellor, ACA and Diocese of the Eastern United States
Walter W. Jones, Jr. Chancellor Diocese of the Northeast Eugene Van Voorhis, Chancellor Emeritus Diocese of the Northeast
Tara Keehr, Chancellor Diocese of the Missouri Valley
David Smith, Chancellor Diocese of the West

“We are planning a major gathering of continuing Anglicans in November in Boston, Mass. The separation brings clarity for Anglo Catholics who wish to remain authentic Anglicans who use both the 1662 and 1928 Prayer Book and American and Anglican Missals,” said Marsh.

 

A Reflection about the American Bishops

America has a long tradition of liberalism in everything from business and trade to the most outlandish expressions of religious entrepreneurism. Cults fall foul of the law when they actually do quantifiable harm to people. Otherwise, over there, one is free to worship according to any religious tradition or invent one’s own. In such an environment of religious freedom and lack of any constraint by means or law or social convention, anything can happen, from the most positive and beautiful to the most fanatical and distorted.

The issue of religious freedom as a “human right” is sometimes an issue of heated discussion. Can error have rights? Must a Catholic state allow Protestants not only to establish places of worship but also to proselytise among Catholics and convert them to their community? What are the limits? In our times, there are no Catholic monarchies, dictatorships or republics, and most secular regimes allow people to practice whatever religion they want within the limits of public order. The legally-imposed bar in most western countries is very low.

America is beginning to get the first tastes of anti-religious bigotry as secularists react against fundamentalist theocracy. We in Europe have had persecution for centuries. Though anti-clericalism in the public sphere has been terrible, the population has for the most part simply got on with life.

Here in Europe, the limits of religious practice and proselytism are more the domain of social convention than law. England is an exception as are some other countries where the Reformation got a solid hold. Here in France, there has always been a Protestant minority which has been fairly well tolerated over the past couple of hundred years. People of non-Christian religions are unhindered and they have their synagogues, mosques and temples. Most people are at least nominal Catholics, or at least have been until relatively recently. The light of Christianity is being extinguished.

There is also a phenomenon of “parallel churches”, Christian communities that came into existence at the fringes of Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Some of those churches have a long history and are stable in social terms like the Old Catholics, and the Petite Eglise in France consisting entirely of laity. We could now include those Catholic traditionalists who are still in an irregular situation in relation to Rome. Others are more eccentric and based on the ambitions of individuals rather than communities with a grievance.

Not all the “little churches” are “in continuation” from the Church of origin (usually the Catholic Church) of their founders. Some are involved with Gnosticism or theosophy, private revelations and apparitions. Others have much in common with a kind of medieval popular religion spurned by the mainstream, often an opportunity for unscrupulous clergy to make a dishonest living from exorcisms, prayers of healing, selling blessed objects and so forth. Much as one may have a certain amount of sympathy for such clergy who have undergone suffering in their lives, and seek to restore something that has disappeared from the mainstream, they are not socially acceptable in European countries. As my wife said “The problem is not that they are cults, but they are clowns and no one takes them seriously“.

This may help to explain why continuing Anglicanism has had so little success in England, and why belonging to the Church and attending services are more a matter of social convention than religious conviction. It is numbing for the clergy and the devout laity, but it is the sober reality. This is why people continue to attend services in the mainstream churches or drop out of religious practice altogether. I remember, as a choirboy, occasionally going to sing at an ecumenical service in the local Methodist chapel – and wondering if we were not doing “something wrong”. We did not despise “non-conformists”, but they were simply “off our radar scanner”. We joked about being “on the meths tonight” (meths being short for methylated spirit). Meanwhile, Methodism is a part of English mainstream Christianity, especially in the North and industrial towns.

Our instinct this side of the Atlantic eschews what has been termed “alphabet soup”, that tendency to create splinter groups and claim that they have a “connection of legitimacy” from mainstream Episcopalianism in some tenuous way. One would think that some of those men are desperate to “triangulate” themselves away from what they and the mainstream Churches would call episcopi vagantes. “Hell is other people” (L’enfer c’est les autres) – said Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist philosopher.

We all have to wake up one morning and realise we are practically all in the same boat. I as a priest am no more “legitimate” than any of those rivalling and duelling bishops in the USA, but I do have the realism, like my Archbishop, to realise that the TAC is no more than a field hospital to welcome lay folk and clergy who have had enough of the changes and distortions of the mainstream Churches. We see a door of the Catholic Church open, wide in some places and timidly in others, and we approach cautiously. The door might not be open for us but for someone else, and we are afraid to see that door slam in our faces.

Some have waited in our “field hospital” for decades, and men like Archbishop Falk and Bishop Mercer built it with their bare hands. Archbishop Hepworth has led it with determination and a will of iron, not to show his “legitimacy” but to bring us all to the unity of Christ’s one Church. We exist for the Church, not for ourselves. This is why the TAC has never been particularly well-organised with bureaucracy and codes of canons other than local rules to keep things reasonably in shape. The Americans were hotter on bureaucracy and the “myth of legitimacy” than anyone else. They saw the “field hospital” not as something provisional and temporary to bring us through a difficult situation, but almost as a new establishment, permanent and a fiefdom to be guarded.

I have tended to mock this kind of thing in the “Ruritania” posts, which I have now deleted. I regret having been childish, but the intuitions are still there. Where is that balance between being a devout Christian and fitting in with society and its acceptable standards? We can revolt and become marginal, or we can become urban conformists, or try to strike a balance. We have all been badly wounded in our spiritual odysseys, and I often wonder whether it is all worth it, but something continues to push me on.

We indeed “have no abiding city”, not even our “ramshackle” TAC – but which for me represents the difference between continuing as a priest or not, since a priest has to be under the oversight of a bishop. But, from the beginning, I knew it would only be provisional and would last five or ten years before we had to give our account to Rome. I don’t understand the minds of those American bishops. Intellectually, it seems fairly straightforward, but my gut reacts by wondering if they really believe their marginal situation is definitive, abiding and permanent. Continue for too long like this, and we wither and die like the severed branch we are. Are they conscious of that? I suppose that American religious freedom enables them to live from their ministries and remain in a comfort zone.

As I mentioned above, the light is being extinguished over here. The darkness is coming, and yet, American clerics still compete for “legitimacy”. It all seems so pointless this side of the Atlantic.

It seems almost obscene…

 

Developments in the Continuum

He resumes the theme about the three ACA bishops having made the decision they have made with all its consequences. Archbishop Hepworth has clearly stated his position which simply involves the provision of structures for Anglicans who need to take more time about their decision of whether to join an Ordinariate, but who remain open-minded. Perhaps in the future, the TAC College of Bishops will decide what to do with the three dissidents, having provided an alternative for their clergy and faithful (if they want it). It is not for me to say.

There is a hint in the light of this piece of evidence that the ACA is pursuing agreements with the Anglican Province of America. There may not be an actual merger, so we must be prudent. The dialogue between the two bodies is not news to us.

Mr Jordan then goes on to quote an old letter of Bishop Daren Williams, which we already know about. He then observes that the Diocese of the Eastern United States (DEUS) has no website, which is hardly surprising since it is vacant from the ACA’s point of view.

There is very little new here, but there it is.?

 

Official Statement from Archbishop Hepworth

Office of the Primate

Archbishop John Hepworth

7th February 2011

Statement on the situation in the Anglican Church in America

I deeply regret the action that has been precipitated by the three bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion in the United States. They find themselves unable to accept the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, and unable to support the unanimous decisions of the College of Bishops of the TAC to “come into the fullness of Catholic Communion”.

This need not and should not be the case.

I have been part of many phone conferences this year with the US bishops of the TAC. I have written to the three dissenting bishops urging them to accept the responsibility that their position entails. I have reminded them that it is not open to a bishop of the TAC to dissent on the major policy of the TAC and remain a member of the College of Bishops.

In a pastoral response to their difficulties, I have established with their consent a grouping of clergy, parishes and individual faithful who have made a firm intention to join the United States Ordinariate on its establishment. I have appointed Bishop David Moyer as my representative for this purpose, and have more recently appointed Bishop Louis Campese to the pastoral oversight of those coming from his Diocese into the Ordinariate.

This use of the Patrimony of the Primate was approved by all the bishops of the Anglican Church in America. It was agreed that those involved could stay in their own parishes, but under the episcopal jurisdiction of a bishop entering the Ordinariate. It is a strictly temporary device to allow those entering the Ordinariate, and those not yet entering, freedom to make their own plans without the canonical harassment that is now occurring.

I also note that ordinations in the TAC (in regions where Ordinariates are in formation) are only occurring at this time to satisfy urgent pastoral needs, and after reference to the Delegates of the Holy See where they have been appointed.

The facts of the TAC acceptance of the Apostolic Constitution in the United States are as follows:

  • Six bishops have submitted dossiers (the formal step to seeking ordination in the Ordinariate)
  • Sixty one clergy have made similar written submissions
  • Twenty-nine parishes have voted to seek membership of the Ordinariate when it is formed.

I have already indicated to the bishops of the TAC that I am calling a Plenary Meeting of the College of Bishops of the TAC immediately after Easter this year. One of the purposes of that meeting is to discuss the ongoing pastoral and sacramental care of those not yet ready to commit themselves to membership of the Ordinariates that are now being developed around the world. A further purpose of the meeting is to discuss the ongoing role of the Traditional Anglican Communion in post-Ordinariate Anglicanism.

That meeting remains the appropriate venue for forming (and challenging) the policies of our Communion.

I must remind everyone of the following:

  • Christian Unity is not an option for the Church. It is the will of Jesus Christ, made clear in the Gospels.
  • For Anglicans, the healing of the separation from Catholic communion at the Reformation must be the first act of Christian Unity.
  • The Church is a living entity: the Spirit-filled Body of Christ, with the means and the mission to discern and proclaim the truth revealed in Jesus Christ.
  • Anglicans do not, in and of themselves, possess that means.
  • The renewal of the ARCIC conversations and the ongoing work of the Orthodox/Roman Catholic Conversations are evidence of the acceptance of the need to find unity by the historic churches of East and West.
  • To be truly “catholic” demands that one is in Eucharistic Communion with the Church led by the successor of Peter. From the most ancient times, that has been the understanding of “all the churches”. The tragedy of Continuing Anglicanism – and indeed of the Anglican Communion – is the absence of Eucharistic Communion with anyone but itself.

It was to carry the dreams unleashed by the first ARCIC conversations that the TAC was formed. Eventually, it grew in grace and maturity sufficiently to petition the Holy See for the fulfilment of those dreams. The petition, with the petitions of other Anglicans, was answered. Anglicans, with their unique Patrimony but with true unity of faith, are now gathering in unique structures.

No one need gather quickly. The gathering will be long, and sometimes arduous. But gather we must.

Each of us can turn to those ahead of us on this journey into truth and unity, and seek help. We can turn to those behind us, and offer help.

It is Christian to help. It is not Christian to hinder.

+ John Hepworth, Primate

 

Press Release on the “Ordinariate Festival”

MEDIA RELEASE

FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE AUSTRALIAN ORDINARIATE

An Australian Ordinariate Festival was held at St Stephen’s College, Coomera, Queensland, between February 1 – 3.

Anglicans from all States came together with Catholics to understand more about Pope Benedict’s offer of a Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans seeking full communion with the Church. Participants included clergy, laity and religious women from the official Anglican Church of Australia (ACA) and the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Traditional Anglican Communion: TAC). Bishop Tolowa Nona of the Church of the Torres Strait (TAC) was accompanied by priests and laity.

Archbishop John Hepworth, Primate of the TAC, hosted the festival at the campus St Stephen’s College, Coomera, of which he is the chairman. He celebrated a solemn Anglican Eucharist in the college chapel to open the festival. On February 2, Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore celebrated the Catholic liturgy for the Presentation of the Lord, with the customary blessing of candles.

The Episcopal Delegate for the Ordinariate, Bishop Peter Elliott, said that he sensed strong feelings of anticipation and enthusiasm among participants. Archbishop Hepworth said that many people are looking forward to the establishment of an Australian Ordinariate.

“Difficult questions were raised frankly.” said Bishop Elliott, “But I was moved when people gave testimonies of their journeys towards the Ordinariate. We all came to understand the urgent pastoral need for this unique community in full communion with the Successor of St Peter.”

After the festival, a national implementation committee representing all groups met for the first time to tackle practical issues. Local Ordinariate working groups are also being established in the States.

On February 26 another Ordinariate Festival will be held in Perth, at Holy Family church Como, hosted by Bishop Harry Entwistle (TAC). Other festivals are envisaged for Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide to inform people as plans for an Australian Ordinariate take shape.

 

Archbishop Hepworth gives Virtueonline an exclusive

As a part of his caring for everyone mode, the TAC Archbishop established a Patrimony of the Primate with ACA Bishop David Moyer tapped to lead it. As a result, Bishop Campese, with the permission and authority of Bishop Moyer, has developed the Pro-diocese of the Holy Family. In so doing he has formally been transferred, as the ACA Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Eastern United States, into the newly developing Pro-diocese of the Holy Family.

“After many months of discussion with my Standing Committee, I have transferred and not resigned,” explained Bishop Campese in a phone call with VOL. “I have a Letter of Transfer to the Patrimony of the Primate and the Pro-diocese of the Holy Family.”

“I have transferred out. I have not resigned, nor I did not ‘abandon’ them,” the Florida-based Bishop continued. “The ‘A’ word that was used was incorrect.”

Bishop Moyer also communicated to VOL that Bishop Falk is still President of the ACA House of Bishops. He has not resigned as has been reported on the ACA website. The three bishops have taken it upon themselves to make internal changes in the Anglican Church of America without persmission.

Basically, the Patrimony of the Primate is a subgroup of ACA clergy and the faithful, who are ready, willing and able to enter into the American Ordinariate as soon as it is established in the United States. So far, 40 priests and their respective congregations have made the move from the Diocese of the Eastern United States into the Pro-diocese of the Holy Family with Bishop Campese.

The Pro-diocese is temporarily set up to help facilitate an orderly transfer of ACA Anglicans desiring membership in the American Ordinariate when it is finally established in the United States and ultimately towards becoming communicant members the Roman Catholic Church.

“The use of the Patrimony of the Primate was approved by all the bishops of the Anglican Church in America. It was agreed that those involved could stay in their own parishes, but under the episcopal jurisdiction of a bishop entering the Ordinariate.” Archbishop Hepworth writes in his clarifying statement. “It is a strictly temporary device to allow those entering the Ordinariate, and those not yet entering, freedom to make their own plans without the canonical harassment that is now occurring.”

Archbishop Hepworth was quick to point out and make very clear that not all ACA members (bishops, priests or the faithful) are ready, willing or able to be included in the American Ordinariate or embrace Roman Catholicism at this time. Therefore, extraordinary care must be given to ensure that those who stay behind will receive continuing ministry and Sacramental care in the manner to which they are accustomed and expect.

“I think eventually there will be an ACA which remains,” the Archbishop theorized but he doesn’t know what shape the American church or the TAC will take in post-Ordinariate Anglicanism.

 

Australian Ordinariate hits Delays

They are carried up to the heaven, and down again to the deep : their soul melteth away because of the trouble.

Tablet: Australian Ordinariate hits delays

The Tablet has published the following comments:

The Australian Catholic bishop responsible for the ordinariate for disaffected Anglicans in Australia says there is no final date yet for its establishment, casting doubt on an expected Pentecost start. Bishop Peter Elliott told The Tablet that Australia could not follow all that Britain had done in establishing an ordinariate because of differences between the two countries, such as the distances between congregations that would form an ordinariate in Australia.

From here: http://www.thetablet.co.uk/latest-news.php

* * *

This could simply be spin meaning that the Australian Ordinariate is not on exactly the same time scale as the English one. In any case, the decision is in the hands of the CDF after having heard Bishop Elliott’s recommendations. It can’t be any other way.

 

The Most Accessible Primate in the World

From this article – Anglican Church in America struggles with identity and commitment to Rome

The Archbishop is planning on coming over to the United States in a few weeks as the beginning leg of a global trot to touch bases with various TAC groups. He plans on meeting with Cardinal Wuerl and also go on to Toronto to meet with Archbishop Thomas Collins, the Canadian liaison for the Anglican Ordinariate. Then the Australian primate will jet to the UK to meet with Father Keith Newton, the new Ordinary for the Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate. While in England, Archbishop Hepworth will visit the various TAC congregations there.

Archbishop Hepworth, who describes himself as “the most accessible primate in the world”, said he has been asked by William Cardinal Levada to keep up his travels and to continue to help with ushering Anglicans into the Catholic Church.

“I’ve been asked by Cardinal Levada to continue doing what I have been doing,” he said. “And I have said that I will stand aside as soon as Rome asks me to.

“I have led my people around the world into obedience to the Holy Father,” the Archbishop continued. “I can hardly start be being disobedient myself. So I’ll do whatever they say. I am extremely peaceful about that.”

AUSTRALIA: Clergyman commits crimes against children but opposes women priests

This is an obnoxious article about an Australian priest who committed abominable acts, and Archbishop Hepworth had the diligence to do the right thing – report the man to the police and engage a lawyer. I wonder what the group mentioned below is. It’s certainly not one of ours!

Meanwhile, a number of former Anglican colleagues of Wilfred Edwin Dennis are in discussions with the Vatican in 2011, with a view to being accepted (as a group) into the Roman Catholic Church, where they will be safe from such horrors as the ordination of women priests“.

Note: I have received this information -

Broken Rites which was responsible for the article about Wilfred Dennis is a group which purports to be one supporting the victims of clerical abuse. It is rather biased and selective in its reporting as you may have noticed from the article. Archbishop Hepworth acted in a responsible manner in this case while trying to pastorally care for the accused. He was a witness at the trial and as the affair dragged on for so many years. It was a burden he could have done without.

 

Detailed report on Australia from Inside the Vatican

In addition to all lay ministries being continued, it was stressed that preferred communion postures and modes of reception would be likely to be continued too. Most Anglo-Catholics kneel for communion, and receive it under both species, and this is likely to be the norm in the Ordinariate.


Bishop Elliott also got down to the practicalities, saying that membership in the Ordinariate by interested persons will be sought by a formal application in writing. Archbishop Hepworth and the secretary of the College of Bishops Ms Cheryl Woodman were busy collecting dossiers of a number of their priests, which will be submitted with the objective of receiving holy orders in the Ordinariate.

Elliott said that evidence of baptism will be required. Entrance into the ordinariate will be by way of sacramental reconciliation (confession), a profession of faith and Confirmation with Chrism. Sharing in the one Eucharist will complete these sacramental steps of coming into full communion with the Church.

-snip-

Archbishop Hepworth said, “The Apostolic Constitution deliberately avoids the use of the word Roman, repeating a Vatican II ecclesiology of communion which resonates with Anglicans.” But as Bishop Jarrett indicates, “All people received into the Ordinariate, will become Catholic. The Book of Common Prayer was based on the old Sarum rite of the Catholic Church, which will also find its expression in the liturgy of the Ordinariate.”
-snip-
Fr John Fleming, Anglican convert to Catholicism in Australia whose conversion made all the headlines in 1987 said that Bishop Elliott’s perceptions of the riches contained in the Apostolic Constitution reflected not only the letter, but the spirit of the document.

John McCarthy QC, a Catholic barrister in Sydney who is assisting the upcoming Ordinariate with legal issues said, “The apostolic constitution contains an interesting nomenclature, unlike other Vatican documents, and one can tell that it was written in English first.”

Bishop Elliott cautioned however that, “We can’t let the Ordinariate be a Jurassic Park. We must keep the doors open.”

Fr Christopher Seton, Anglican parish priest of All Saints the Melbourne suburb of Kooyong agreed and said, “This is not an Anglican preservation society. Unless we are evangelistic, and only like a museum where people enjoy old treasures, we will eventually die out. The beauty of the Ordinariate is that it allows us to be united without being absorbed.”

 

More news about the Canadian Ordinariate conference

From the comments section of The Anglo-Catholic, one of the Toronto area Anglicans writes (my bolds).:

 

In Toronto momentum is growing and the March 24 – 26 conference at Queen of Apostles Retreat Centre near Toronto Pearson Int. Airport will gather people from across the country and the USA from the AU, Anglican Church of Canada and the TAC and possibly the Ordinariate of OLW in the UK.

The conference will be a historic and organizationally crucial gathering with Fr. Phillips joining Archbishop Collins, the host. The same week both Cardinal Wuerl and Fr. Aidan Nichols are to be in Toronto. Fr Nichols, a godfather of the Ordinariate, author, theologican and international Dominican scholar recognized for his work on Balthazar and a consultant to the Holy Father is to address the Ordinariate conference along with Fr. Phillips and others.

Following the conference a Toronto Ordinariate study group will be announced and will meet weekly beginning in April in a Toronto Catholic Parish (details in a few weeks).

There’s another pin for the map Brother Stephen and a pin that will represent in a few years hundreds DV, in the city which once was largely Anglican and still has the largest concentration of those of Anglican heritage in the country.

 

Clarification by Archbishop Hepworth about Bishop David Moyer

I can also affirm that Bishop Michael Gill, his family and his flock in South Africa remain loyal to the TAC and Archbishop Hepworth. I also ask your prayers for Mrs Dalene Gill and the soul of her father who has recently passed away.

* * *

I hope I can provide the honest answer that has been requested concerning the ecclesial status of Bishop Moyer. He was deposed from the clergy of the TEC by Bishop Bennison, and lost the court case that followed. He is therefore not in any way a clergyman of the TEC. He has remained as parish priest in a parish whose buildings are part of the TEC. His parish intends to join the US Ordinariate. At this time, he is a bishop in good standing in the TAC. The Patrimony of the Primate in the US has been accepted until the past two weeks by all the bishops of the ACA, the US province of the TAC. There is now some contesting in the ACA of the status of bishops and clergy in the Patrimony (a strictly temporary device until the Ordinariate is erected). It should be appreciated that in the highly belligerent environment of TEC, it has not always been wise to signal one’s intentions too soon. As a frequent visitor to Good Shepherd, and Bishop Moyer’s consecrator, I have never been in any doubt about his ecclesial position. But it has been wise to keep the TEC in doubt. Fortunately, the Ordinariate is regarded as a more honest destination than ACNA by some of the belligerents, and the situation for very brave people such as we find at Rosemont is becoming a little better. In short, he is leading his people to the Ordinariate as part of the TAC contingent. And he is doing the same in England as Episcopal Visitor to the TAC there.

 

Six ACA bishops headed to Ordinariate

What foxes me is that the Japanese can belong to the Australian Ordinariate, but not the Puerto Ricans to the US Ordinariate or the Scottish to the English Ordinariate. These ‘diaspora’ situations do need to be cleared up – and quickly.

* * *

Source

TAC Archbishop: Six bishops, 61 priests and 29 congregations will join up.

By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
www.virtueonline.org
Feb. 14, 2011

Archbishop John Hepworth, the Primate of the Australian-based Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), and its American branch — the Anglican Church in America (ACA) — has announced that six ACA bishops are strongly considering joining the Anglican Ordinariate once it becomes established on this side of the Atlantic.

“We have six bishops and 61 ACA priests who have put in dossiers applying to be clergy of the Ordinariate, and 29 parishes have voted and indicated to Cardinal Donald Wuerl that they have voted from the ACA into the Ordinariate,” said Hepworth.

The ACA House of Bishops has a census of 10 including Bishop Juan Garcia of Puerto Rico. Earlier this month three ACA bishops communicated to VOL that they are unwilling to be a part of the developing Ordinariate. They include: Bishop Brian Marsh, Diocese of the Northeast; Bishop Stephen Strawn, Diocese of the Missouri Valley; and Bishop Daren Williams, Diocese of the West.

“We are not going to Rome. We have chosen to stay together, to remain with the ACA,” the three bishops emphatically stated in a VOL Exclusive. “With regard to the dioceses of the Northeast, Missouri Valley and West, we should advise you that these dioceses will remain with the Anglican Church in America.”

The six US bishops are: Louis Falk, the President of the ACA House of Bishops and the retired bishop of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley, and the first Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion; David Moyer, the Bishop-in-Charge of the Patrimony of the Primate and Bishop of the Armed Forces; Louis Campese, the Bishop of the Pro-diocese of the Holy Family and the resigned bishop of the Diocese of the Eastern United States; George Langberg, retired Bishop of the Diocese of the Northeast; Welborne Hudson, retired Bishop of the Armed Forces; and James Stewart, retired Bishop of the West.

Archbishop Hepworth also noted in a recent e-mail to VOL that ACA Bishop Juan Garcia, Bishop of Puerto Rico, is also interested in the Ordinariate. But since, unlike The Episcopal Church, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does not extend past US borders, the Puerto Rican bishop will have to become a part of a Caribbean Ordinariate when and if it is established.

Father Scott Hurd, Cardinal Wuerl’s liaison to the Catholic Conference of Bishops ad hoc committee for the Ordinariate told VOL, from his office in Washington, DC, that the current status of the American Ordinariate is that the ball is now back in the Vatican’s court.

“It’s public knowledge that we have concluded the information gathering stage,” Fr. Hurd noted. “That information has been communicated to the CFD (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in Rome. They are the decision making agency. So in a sense the ball is in the CDF’s court.”

It is now up to Cardinal William Levada to decide the next step in the erection of an American Ordinariate.

“It is the CDF’s decision. I think conditions are very favorable for the establishment of an Ordinariate in the United States,” Fr. Hurd noted. “Things in England have been happening with great rapidity. One can hope that things will be processed quickly for the United States as well.”

Archbishop Hepworth willingly acknowledges that there will be an ACA remnant remaining once the Ordinariate is established.

“I think enviably there will be an ACA which remains,” the Archbishop said, although he doesn’t know what shape the American church or the TAC will take in post-Ordinariate Anglicanism.

 

Archbishop Hepworth on TAC Ecclesiology

One of these terms is the adjective Roman to the noun Catholic. Etymologically, Roman means “of Rome”, culturally it is a way of distinguishing Catholics in communion with the Pope from other Christians of Catholic (or Catholic-like if you prefer) practice and belief but who are not in communion with the Pope in the institutional canonical meaning of this word. Emotionally, to dyed-in-the-wool Anglicans and old-fashioned Protestants, Roman Catholic means one of those nasty Jesuit plotters in the seventeenth century and who seem to perpetuate themselves as bogeymen today.

Another word is conversion. Etymologically, conversion means “turning”, turning from unbelief to belief, from sin to virtue, a radical U-turn in life. Culturally it means changing one’s religion or ecclesial tradition within Christianity. Emotionally, it often means complete denial of one’s past life to embrace Catholicism as a totalitarian ideology and drink it to the dregs.

As someone across the Atlantic recently said, it is not a question of words and terminology, but one of substance, of real meaning, of theological truths. All these violent polemics have been caused by the three “dissident” bishops in the ACA having broken with the common decision of the TAC bishops in October 2007 to ask Rome for guidance in view to some kind of corporate reunion.

Anglicanorum Coetibus and its Complementary Norms need to be studied in greater depth to discern both their theological content and the canon legal aspect as the law of the Church is adapted to meet a special pastoral situation.

Have we gone on for too long allowing opinions to be voiced according to which the TAC expected to become some kind of uniate Church? After an unkind anonymous comment tarring all continuing Anglicans with the same brush, we find a comment by Archbishop Hepworth:

* * *

The precise wording that concludes the TAC Petition is this:

“we seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment. We seek the guidance of the Holy See as to the fulfillment of these our desires and those of the churches in which we have been called to serve.”

I don’t know of anywhere that official documents use the phrase “communion but not absorbed”. Earlier in the Petition, we quoted Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Basilica of Saint Paul, when the Pope used the Phrase “united but not absorbed’.

The first sentence of Anglicanorum Coetibus speaks of groups of Anglicans petitioning the Holy See “to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately”.

In the fifth paragraph of the preamble to the Constitution, the Holy Father says “this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner”.

Those final words of the TAC Petition stress that the TAC seeks such “fullness of Catholic Communion” because its bishops hold the ” full expression of catholic faith”. That phrase has already been defined in the third of the concluding considerations, where the petitioners stated:

“3. We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, which we have signed together with this Letter as attesting to the faith we aspire to teach and hold.”

The “fullness of Catholic Communion” could not possibly be interpreted as “intercommunion” in which the faith held and taught by the bishops remains undefined in a catholic sense. Since the bishops signed the Cathecism and the (much simpler) Compendium, I was confident at the time that the point was understood. We used the phrase “we aspire to teach and hold” because we did not wish to give the impression that we were the only ones in the world with a perfect understanding of such matters in the Catechism as the doctrine of the Trinity. The Catechism is the best summary of the Catholic Faith available at the moment, we aspire to hold and teach its contents.

The language of the Petition and the Apostolic Constitution repays close study. But nobody could possibly claim that the Petition sought inter-communion without transformation. Some TAC churches (most, in fact) responded by buying boxes of Catechisms in every language from English to Swahili, and were well into their study programs before the Constitution appeared. No surprises.

Unfortunately, there were some dioceses in the US who scarcely mentioned the Petition until twelve months ago, and their people rightly claim secrecy. We agreed with the Holy See that the Petition would be published when the Constitution was published, so that they could be read together. But official TAC publications had been giving summaries for the previous two years, and far from feeling secretive, were studying the Catechism in anticipation of a positive answer.

 

Update on Anglicanorum coetibus conference

Thank you for your interest in the upcoming Anglicanorum Coetibus conference in the Archdiocese of Toronto. A program committee is working to finalize details for our March 24-26 conference. Our plan is to provide more complete information in this space by February 11, 2011.

Update – February 18, 2011
Please note that as of February 18, 2011, overnight accommodation at Queen of Apostles has been filled to capacity. The Archdiocese has reserved a block of rooms at the Admiral Inn, 6 km from the Retreat Centre for guests that still require overnight arrangements. Click here for more information regarding these arrangements.

We apologize for the delay in providing additional details on the conference program. We have some exciting additions to the conference that will be announced shortly. Due to these changes, we are still finalizing details regarding the schedule and hope to have a further update available by February 18. Thank you for your patience.

We are pleased to announce that Father Aidan Nichols, O.P. has agreed to join us as a keynote speaker for the conference. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on Father Nichols and the tremendous experience he will bring to our gathering.

In the interim, we recognize that many are looking to make travel plans and wish to have details around timing especially the beginning/ending of the conference to make arrangements as appropriate.

Our tentative program includes the following:

Thursday, March 24, 2011 – Our opening session will take place in the early evening, likely 7:00 p.m. at which time we will welcome all delegates, join together in prayer and have our first session together. Following the opening session, all delegates will be invited to participate in a wine/cheese reception as we build fellowship on our first evening together.

Friday, March 25, 2011- A full day is planned beginning with breakfast at 8 a.m. The day will include prayer, numerous presentations and the opportunity to engage in dialogue. Our tentative schedule concludes with dinner, providing a free evening for delegates to enjoy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 – We will continue with prayer & sessions on Saturday morning, concluding with lunch at which time delegates will return home, armed with the wisdom and knowledge gained through our time together.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Fr. Christopher Phillips, Pastor, Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision.
  • Archbishop Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, Delegate, Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada (as appointed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).
  • Father Aidan Nichols, O.P. has the honorary status of Affiliated Lecturer in the University of Cambridge. He has also taught at the Pontifical University of St Thomas, Rome; St Mary?s College, Oscott; and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He has published some thirty books, and over seventy articles.

A number of our people from Ottawa have already booked into the hotel, which looks brand new and has nice facilities. It is probably even cheaper if you are willing to share a room. I also heard that the retreat facility has rooms that can hold 200 people so there’s plenty more room if you think you might want to come.

 

Another Festival Down Under

Archbishop Hepworth tells me that they are expecting about 150 people. We should keep them in our prayers, and Australian readers in that part of their country should go to the Festival if they can.

* * *

Bishop Entwistle has just written to me to say that they are expecting very hot and humid weather. I hope the Holy Family Church complex has air conditioning!

I quote Bishop Entwistle: “The Catholic Archbishop [of Perth] and his auxiliary will be there for part of the day and there are quite a few registrations from Catholics, including some priests. No doubt the Catholic Record will run a report”.

 

Bishop David Moyer’s address to Becoming One Kansas City

I was raised as what I would call a “Broad Church Episcopalian.” In my childhood parish in Somerville, New Jersey, the Eucharist gradually moved from being a once a month main service celebration with “Solemn High Morning Prayer” (with the elevation of the cash!) for the other Sundays of the month to being the principal Service. It was dignified and reverent, and the beauty and power of the Prayer Book’s language took deep root in me.

I first felt a call to the priesthood at the age of fourteen through the holiness of the Rector of our parish. I would arrive in the sacristy on Sundays at about 7:15AM to serve as his acolyte for the 8:00AM Service of Holy Communion. (I arrive at everything early, and am a bit of a punctuality freak.)

Upon arriving in the sacristy, I would always see the Rector kneeling at the communion rail in silent prayer. I had no idea how long he had been there in prayer. He would rise from his knees ten minutes before the Service; would step into the sacristy in silence; put on his vestments; lead a prayer of preparation, and then to the Altar we went.

I was not in any way put off by his silence and refusal to engage in pre-Service conversation. I knew unconsciously that what he was about and what we would be corporately about was very serious, and very holy. I wanted to be like him.

I embraced the Anglo-Catholic tradition when in seminary through my attendance at the Church of the Ascension, Chicago – where I first experienced Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (which took a mystical grip on me, especially in the silent moments of Adoration), and also through my two years of field education work at a parish in the western suburbs of Chicago under the tutelage of a fine priest who had been raised Southern Baptist in Texas, and who described his “conversion” to Anglo-Catholicism as “swallowing the hook, line, and sinker – Mass, Mary, and Confession!”

I’ll fast forward this to about ten years ago when in my third rectorship after 10 years as Rector of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, I was elected President of Forward in Faith North America. Forward in Faith internationally had entered into a “Communion Relationship” with the Traditional Anglican Communion. I came to know the TAC and Archbishop John Hepworth through meetings and conferences of FIFNA and FIFUK, and learned that the raison d’etre for the TAC was Eucharistic unity with the Holy See. I found myself being drawn to their purpose and mission.

As Archbishop Hepworth stated in his recent Pastoral Letter addressing disunity in the Anglican Church in America amongst its bishops, “Christian unity is not an option for the Church. It is the will of Jesus Christ made clear in the Gospels;” “For Anglicans, the healing of the separation from Catholic communion at the Reformation must be the first act of Christian unity;” “To be truly ‘catholic’ demands that one is in Eucharistic Communion with the Church led by the successor of Peter;” “From the most ancient times, that has been the understanding of ‘all the churches.’ The tragedy of Continuing Anglicanism – and indeed of the Anglican Communion – is the absence of Eucharistic Communion with anyone but itself;” and “It was to carry the dreams unleashed by the first ARCIC conversations that the TAC was formed.”

 

The Torres Strait TAC Bishop Nona on the Apostolic Constitution

The Bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Torres Strait Diocese, Church of the Torres Strait, The Right Reverend Tolowa Nona, has described Pope Benedict’s offer to Anglicans of full communion with the Catholic Church as “very generous”.

“It is perhaps the most-important development in the Christian history of the Torres Strait since the Coming of the Light,” Bishop Nona said.

For years, traditional Anglicans around the world have been asking the Holy See to consider whether they may be able to enter the Catholic Church, while retaining their liturgical forms and disciplines.

And it seems this may soon come to pass in the Torres Strait.

Bishop Nona recently wrote to his diocese describing the Pope Benedict XVI’s offer as a “wonderful provision”.

However he told the Torres News the Church of the Torres Strait had yet to make a decision on whether to enter into Communion with the Holy See.

“Every individual must first be consulted before any decision can be made,” Bishop Nona said.

“The Church of the Torres Strait will remain – retaining its autonomy, and continuing to preserve the Anglican heritage.

“I am very confident that the Vatican will respect that.”

“The kind of unity we sought with the Holy See was an ‘organic unity’, which means united but not absorbed.”

He said the delegate of the Pope, Bishop Peter Elliot, would be invited to the the Torres Strait along with his party at the Diocesan Conference on June 3-5 this year.

 

Bishop Elliott’s Address

Bishop Peter J. Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, and the Pastoral Delegate for the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Australia wrote to the Anglo-Catholic blog, “Unity in Faith: Receiving Gifts and Bringing Gifts to the Ordinariate,” which he delivered at the Ordinariate Festival held in Como, Perth, Western Australia, this weekend.

Bishop Harry Entwistle of the Traditional Anglican Communion hosted the event. The TAC Primate, Archbishop John Hepworth, also gave an inspiring address. The Catholic Archbishop of Perth, Most Reverend Barry Hickey, gave the welcoming address; his Auxiliary Bishop, Most Reverend Donald Sproxton, was also present.

According to Bishop Elliott, the event was a tremendous success, with over one hundred persons present. Before lunch, a solemn Anglican Eucharist was celebrated in the host Church of the Holy Family.

* * *

Ordinariate Festival, Holy Family Parish, Como,
Perth, Western Australia, February 26, 2011

UNITY IN FAITH

Receiving Gifts and Bringing Gifts to the Ordinariate

Bishop Peter J. Elliott
Auxiliary Bishop, Melbourne

Anglicans on the way to full communion in an ordinariate are already discovering that they are part of a surprising adventure of faith. I refer not only to the step of personal commitment, but to a wider and deeper corporate experience of unity in the Faith that comes to us from the Apostles. This Faith of the Church is secured by being “in communion” with the Successor of St Peter.

What some nervous Anglo Catholic may imagine as coming under tighter control, with a narrower vision, is in reality quite the opposite. Catholic unity in faith is a broadening experience – entering a wider domain with endless vistas, yet knowing all the while that here there is always a secure parameter which Chesterton once compared to a garden wall giving children the security to play and be happy. While that is true, I would prefer to emphasize the authoritative point of reference at the centre of the Faith of millions.

This point of reference was identified and celebrated in a magnificent gesture of commitment, when the bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Fr Dolling’s historic church at Portsmouth in October 2007. Their action was prophetic, anticipating what would appear two years later in Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, where we read “The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate.” (1 § 5).

Published with the authority of the Venerable Pope John Paul II in 1994, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a rich summary of the Catholic Faith, derived from the sources of Divine Revelation, the Scriptures and Tradition. It is built around the Christian essentials that we all share in the creeds: Apostolic, Nicene and Athanasian.

However, the Catechism not only proposes what we believe but how we are to live our covenant union with God and one another, our graced life “in Christ”. The Catechism moves in four stages: 1. the Profession of Faith (the creed), 2. the Celebration of the Christian Mystery (liturgy and sacraments), 3. Life in Christ (commandments, beatitudes and virtues), 4. Christian Prayer (built around the Lord’s Prayer).

The Catechism embodies the solemn teachings of the Popes and the Ecumenical Councils In it we also find the treasury of the Faith: the Fathers of the Church, East and West, the men and women recognised as Doctors of the Church, and the insights of theologians, mystics and saints who have universal appeal, such as Blessed John Henry Newman.

The Catechism is now the focus of study, reflection and prayer for all people, laity and clergy, who are preparing to enter full communion in an ordinariate. Courses of study are under way in all countries where the ordinariates are taking shape this year.

The Anglican Impetus towards Catholic Faith

Members of the ordinariates accept the Catechism as their rule of faith while maintaining their Anglican patrimony. The heritage they bring resonates with the Catechism because they cherish an emphasis on Catholic essentials that spread in Nineteenth Century Anglicanism under the influence of the Oxford Movement.

We find some of these Catholic essentials set out in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1886, 1888). The ordinariates will continue to honour the intentions and hopes of those who framed this declaration, that is, a desire for Christian unity. But the Quadrilateral is clear that unity must be grounded in orthodoxy, through the Scriptures, the creeds, sacraments and episcopacy, maintaining the living apostolic tradition.

In more recent times the Affirmation of St Louis (1977) speaks not only to Anglicans but to Catholics. It remains a timely reminder of “our apostolic descent” and what can disrupt and undermine that living tradition.

The ARCIC conversations and the fruit of these conversations in the documents will also be honoured in the ordinariates. Recently it has been announced that the ARCIC process will continue. Anyone tempted to add “in spite of the papal offer of the ordinariate”, should reflect whether in fact it is the papal offer that has kick-started ARCIC once more. With reference to these ongoing conversations, I would argue, as I have said elsewhere, that, far from damaging ecumenism. the ordinariates will provide a lively stimulus for better relations between Anglicans and Catholics. In this regard let us pray that the forthcoming ARCIC discussions on the Church as communion and Christian ethics will go well.

The Development of Christian doctrine,

Reflecting on the apostolic faith, we speak of a fixed “deposit of Faith” or the ”faith once given to the Church” in the Scriptures and tradition. Yet across the centuries the Catholic Faith has demonstrated an organic quality. The Faith always based on the deposit, yet it is capable of growth. This may be seen in the Catechism itself which is the fruit of the development of Christian doctrine.

Through the complex struggles over the Person of Christ and the Holy Trinity, in the fourth century various Fathers of the Church understood how the deposit of faith was being adapted and how the Faith was developing as the Church grew and spread across the world. Their insights were taken up and spelt out more clearly by Blessed John Henry Newman in his masterly essay The Development of Christian Doctrine. In that work, so crucial in his personal journey, Newman carefully set out the ways one can discern a true gradual development as distinct from innovations and errors.

Development reminds us that we cannot stay fixated in some ideal age of the past, for example arguing that “the Catholic Faith” can only be defined within the sphere of some Councils in certain centuries, or that the Faith was somehow lost and then had to be rediscovered and rewritten many centuries later.

The Magisterium

The Catholic Faith has a living voice in the Church. This gift of the apostolic teaching office, the Magisterium, can never be underestimated. In its papal form, the Magisterium is one way through which Peter’s successor fulfils the promise of Jesus Christ and strengthens his brothers and sisters in faith. The Catechism itself is one means he uses as he exercises this Petrine ministry, together with the bishops of the whole apostolic college.

Through St Peter, God has assured the Popes that they will not fail. This does not refer to morality, for there have been unworthy Popes in the past. It refers to teaching Christ’s truths, The nature of infallibility can best be understood in terms of the word itself. “Infallible” does not mean never being wrong, rather not falling into error, not failing to “strengthen the brethren”, at crucial moments in the history of the Church. At these times the teaching office must be exercised. The Pope relies not on flesh and blood, human guidance, to reveal truth, but on our Father in heaven (Cf. Matthew 16:18-19). This is the Extraordinary Magisterium.

The Holy Spirit is at work in the Church, the Spirit of truth leading us into all truth. This same charism of infallibility is evident when the whole college of bishops with the Pope teaches solemnly at an Ecumenical Council. The charism of infallibility is also at work when the bishops faithfully pass on the teachings of the Church on faith and morals in their day to day ministry. This is the Ordinary Magisterium, such as we find in official catechisms.

As Anglo Catholics know, the dogmas proposed by the Magisterium are liberating truths. I believe that they will come to understand this sense of life and freedom more clearly once they enter full communion within the Church. Here we are all securely guided by the living voice of the Magisterium.

Our Heritage of Heroes

As the historic events leading to the ordinariates unfold, we have around us the prayerful company of the heroes of faith, men and women great in Christian mind and heart. This is where the patrimonies, Anglican and Catholic, merge, a sharing of heritage that is one of the most delightful fruits of unity in Faith. I find that the names of our heroes and heroines are helpful.

The pre-Reformation heritage includes the Venerable Bede, St Columba, St Cuthbert, St Ninian, Duns Scotus, the much loved Dame Julian of Norwich, and, in a wider Europe, the minds of St Albert the Great and St Thomas Aquinas. In the Reformation era, we celebrate St John Fisher, St Thomas More., St Teresa of Avila, St Robert Bellarmine, then in more recent centuries, Rosmini and Scheeben, St Therese of Lisieux, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, St Edith Stein, John Paul II, and our Pope, Benedict XVI.

The Anglican intellectual and spiritual patrimony runs parallel to this stream. The names are familiar: Richard Hooker, Lancelot Andrews, Joseph Butler, John and Charles Wesley, John Keble, Bl. John Henry Newman, Edward Bouverie Pusey, Charles Gore, William Temple, Evelyn Underhill, Dorothy Sayers, Charles Williams, Dom Gregory Dix, Michael Ramsey, John Macquarrie, Kenneth Kirk, C.S. Lewis, Austin Farrer, Eric Mascall – and after such a list I ask pardon for leaving out other great souls,

We know that these Christian men and women took different paths and often disagreed with one another, influenced by contrasting loyalties, philosophies and cultures. At times even the most brilliant had a limited grasp of what Catholic unity means (Gore), or they were constrained by historical and political conditions (Hooker). Likewise among the Catholics, Bellamine’s Counter Reformation vision of the Church as the “perfect society” was corrected and deepened through the scriptural and patristic work of Mathias Scheeben and Pius XII, which then bore fruit in Vatican II.

However, we dare not make an idol of any theologian. I am deeply influenced by St Thomas Aquinas, but I am not a “Thomist”. As the ‘Sixties recede from my memory I have less sympathy for Karl Rahner (the last of the scholastics?). Today I would prefer his fellow Jesuit, Henri de Lubac or the former Jesuit, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, men who were named cardinals because they loved the Church. I am also an admirer of a leading English theologian, the Dominican, Aidan Nichols, a friend of the Ordinariates and former Anglican.

We need to recall that the struggle of the theologian to elucidate the tradition is not always easy. Most of the people I name have at some time or other been denounced and criticised by others. Their own speculations may even have led them into all sorts of problems. Therefore the Magisterium can never be a circle of theologians, as Hans Kung proposed forty years ago. That opinion was recently revived by some German-speaking theologians. However, theologians do have a major influence on how the Magisterium proposes truths and how the understanding of doctrine develops.

Breathing with Two Lungs

We dare not limit our understanding of the Faith to the West, because the Church “breathes with two lungs”, the East and the West, as John Paul II insisted. When Anglo Catholics come into full communion they bring with them a well-developed appreciation of the Christian East. This grew through strong ecumenical links with Eastern Orthodoxy, unfortunately weakened in recent years for reasons well known to us all.

The Christian East is evident In the Catechism. It is a useful exercise to go to the back of the Catechism and check the references that are listed under two headings “Liturgy” and “Ecclesiastic Writers”. I believe the Eastern Christian presence in the Catechism is part of a theological and pastoral trend. There is much interest today in the wisdom of St Maximus the Confessor, the poetic depth and rich Mariology of St Ephrem the Syrian, the doctrine and spirituality of St John Chrysostom, St Basil and St Gregory Nazianzen. At the same time we are seeing a revival of interest in the greatest Western Father, St Augustine, so dear to the heart and mind of our Pope.

Through communion with Rome, members of the ordinariates will be in communion with the venerable Eastern Catholic Churches. They will have access to the liturgical and sacramental life of these ancient communities. Therefore the wisdom and piety of Eastern Christianity will no longer be something to be seen and admired from the outside, rather something to appropriate from within the living Church.

Unity and Continuity in Faith

Another dimension of unity in Catholic faith that will be enriched by the arrival of Anglicans is a sense of continuity in faith. This is an obvious example of how Anglicans coming into unity of faith bear gifts, and do not come empty handed.

Anglo Catholics have a keen sense of continuity in faith, knowing that “the Faith once given” has to be passed on with integrity and care across the generations of humanity. Entering the ordinariates they will readily understand the insistent call of Pope Benedict to interpret the Second Vatican Council in continuity with the whole living tradition of our faith that preceded the Council. It was not a rupture with the past, not some revolutionary new beginning.

What is now called the “hermeneutic of continuity”, was first articulated by Pope Paul VI in June 1972 in a challenging address to the cardinals. Ten years since the Council began he could see how misinterpretations wrench the Council out of its context, which is the centuries-old living tradition of the Church in matters of faith and morals.

Nonetheless the Council represents a development of doctrine, firstly in terms of an enriched understanding of the Church herself and of her mission in this world, which Pope John Paul II took up and proclaimed as a New Evangelization. We need only reflect on the universal call to holiness, the dignity of the human person, the advances in teaching about marriage, the vindication of ecumenism and religious liberty. In these themes all found in the Catechism, we recognise how the Council took up and developed aspects of the Faith so pertinent to our times.

Valuing the faith

However the contribution that Anglicans bring to the ordinariates is not only this sense of continuity but also a sense of valuing the Faith. There are times in life when we only value something because we have struggled and suffered for it, or because someone has tried to take it from us.

Many traditional Anglicans have had to fight for the Faith, making personal sacrifices. I refer not only to the stand taken over the past thirty years as divisive innovations steadily took hold. I recall and honour the historic stand so many men and women have taken to rediscover and affirm a Catholic identity inspired by the Oxford Movement in its successive phases. My own father, Rev. Leslie Llewelyn Elliott, was an example to me of valuing the Faith.

However the times have changed and events have taken a new confronting turn. These realities seem to be lost on some Anglo-Catholics who are tempted to make a desperate “last stand” by just staying where they are.

Permit me to suggest that it is a waste of time and spiritual energy to cling to such a dangerous illusion. Valuing the Catholic Faith should not be confused with polemics. Let me quietly invite you to lay down weapons of controversies that are now pointless, to set aside endless intrigues which led nowhere, to walk away from futile conflicts which cannot build up the Body of Christ in charity. Accept the invitation of the Vicar of Christ on earth.

The gentle man who reaches out to you in Anglicanorum coetbus has no ulterior motives. His apostolic offer is clear. There is no deception here. He calls you to peace.

Evangelical Catholicism

Let me end this reflection on unity in the Faith with an appeal to maintain an evangelical vision of our Faith. In recent years there has been talk of an emerging “evangelical Catholicism”. Some commentators have found this vibrant phenomenon among the vast gatherings of World Youth Day, such as we saw in 2009 in Sydney and as we will see in Madrid this year.

Crowds of young people praising God and loving the Church in the streets of great cities remind us that the Catholic Faith is to be proclaimed, taught and learnt, shared and celebrated. Our mission from Jesus Christ is to “go out to the whole world”. We do not only “keep the faith”. We give the faith. We evangelise.

Once the ordinariates are established and settle down, I pray that they will be communities open to people, open to the future, centres for the New Evangelisation. I pray that through the beauty of worship and fine preaching, the ordinariates will inspire people with a loving and prayerful enthusiasm, to give themselves to Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour. He speaks to us in his Word and nourishes us in the Eucharist and sacraments. He alone is the answer, as Pope Benedict always reminds us. He is the answer to cynical post-modern nihilism, the answer to the culture of death, the answer to the threats of secularist totalitarianism and sectarian extremism. He is the centre of the Faith of the Church.

Each person entering the Ordinariate in a group that seeks unity, will profess this One Faith with the words of the creed, then adding these words: “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.” By God’s grace may we all live what we profess and generously share what we believe.