Friday, March 05, 2010

Things are Pope'n all over the place ....

When you start to believe in everything - you believe in nothing.

Those who seek something avoid nothing.
Therefor .....
They have voted to take up the offer made by Pope Benedict XVI in November that permits vicars and their entire congregations to defect to Rome while keeping many of their Anglican traditions, including married priests.
By issuing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (on groups of Anglicans) the Pope was accused of attempting to poach Anglicans unhappy about decisions taken in their Church to ordain women and sexually-active homosexuals as priests and bishops.
But the Vatican insisted that the move to create self-governing "personal ordinariates", which resemble dioceses in structure, came as a result of requests from at least 30 disaffected Anglican bishops around the world for "corporate reunion" with the Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church in America (ACA) will now enter the Catholic Church as a block, bringing in thousands of converts along with their own bishops, buildings and even a cathedral.
Seeing an opportunity when it is presented ...
If they decide to take the path to Rome, Britain will see unprecedented numbers of conversions, possibly involving in the region of 200 Anglican congregations, which would amount to thousands of converts.

John Broadhurst, the Anglican Bishop of Fulham and chairman of Forward in Faith, said mass conversion was a real prospect. "We have a thousand priest members in my organisation and there are many others who agree with us," he said last year.
"The main issue for many Anglican priests is now the ownership of parish churches."

In preparation for an influx of converts the Catholic bishops of England and Wales have established a commission which is expected to look at the possibility of church-sharing and also the chances of taking out 100-year leases of some Anglican parishes.

An early conversion came last month, however, when it emerged that Paul Robinson, the former assistant Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, converted just weeks after stepping down from his post.
The 63-year-old was received into the Catholic Church in January and is now a regular worshipper at St George's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Southwark, following a move to London.

'It's really a journey I've been on for some time,' he said. 'It's just like coming home.'
Last summer, Mr Robinson claimed that the dramatic fall in church marriages and baptisms was an indication that Britain was no longer a Christian nation.

He has predicted the demise of the Church of England as the established religion within a generation.
Pope Benedict will visit Britain in September to attend the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, a high-profile Anglican cleric who shocked Victorian England by converting to the Catholic faith.
My team - the Evangelicals - are also having great success in the UK as the Church of England continues to slowly commit suicide.

Sad - but a good lesson to all.


Matthew Scott said...

 Dont you ever have posts about ships or naval systems? Its always political or religious or diversity crap.

DeltaBravo said...

Or maybe you only show up on the days he discusses politics, religion or diversity so you can complain.  I think you're on the wrong porch, Matt.  This is a place for Renaissance men.  Buh-bye!  

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Poaching Anglicans is an age-old Catholic tradition! 

Getting serious, the issue of homosexual clergy preaching from the pulpit and in the higher offices of the Anglican Church was highlighted by the confirmation of an openly gay and practicing homosexual as the Presiding Bishop in NH.  Locally, there is an openly gay Episcopal priest who has turned the diocese into a gay activist center that included prayer vigils and workshops regarding the passing of gay marriage in Vermont. (More than slightly illegal under tax exemptions forbidding political activism.) She and her "wife" got "married" the first day the law was effective.

The situation is a microcosm of the massive rift this issue has caused in the world Anglican Church.  The congregation has changed drastically, numbers dwindling as many lifetime worshipers are openly disgusted and are leaving the parish for other environs after decades and generations.

MR T's Haircut said...

I agree that Diversity is Crap...

Spade said...

Look at how stupid your post is: "Dont you ever have posts about ships or naval systems? Its always political or religious or diversity crap."

Look at it.

cdrsalamander said...

Dude.  You really need to read more Salamander.

Like a blind man describing an elephant.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Man, and I thought we ELCA Lutherans were screwed up!  

Kristen said...

Welcome home, dear brothers and sisters! 

It will be very interesting to watch what happens over the next year or so.  A parish in Australia and a parish in the United States have already voted to enter the Church under the new program.  It could turn from a trickle to a flood.

Pope Benedict is also naming excellent bishops around the world, which has been a badly needed step forward.  We in Los Angeles are anxiously waiting to hear the name of our new shepherd, as Cardinal Mahony will be stepping down next February.  I think vocations will flourish here under a good and faithful man.  Holy Spirit, be with us!

And with our Evangelical brethren.  :)

Old NFO said...

Most of the "mainstream" protestant denominations are losing membership.  Beautiful big churches with just a few members.  A retired Methodist preacher, in his late 70's, gave me his take on it a few years ago.  He said that he knew of a lot of preachers that went to divinity school years ago because it was a sure way to get out of the draft.  They then found that it can be a comfortable existence so they stayed on.  Now they are the senior leadership.  He now attends an evangelical church.

Andrewdb said...

I am a card carrying Episcopalian, and much like politics, it is hard to find a middle ground (even if we did invent the Via Media). I know where to find the local Democratic Central Committee meeting if I want it (as if).  I go to church to hear about God.  I can figure out how to do social justice on my own. The 39 Articles talk about works without faith - would that we talked more about the faith part.  At least we are in full communion with the ELCA.  The only reason I can imagine we aren't with the Methodists is that they are the "Reformed Anglicans" and no church likes the "reformed us."

Andrewdb said...

The Holy Father's recent announcement was in response to a request by "The Traditional Anglican Communion."  They are led by thrice married Aussie, and are not in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury (nor any other part of the Church of England). The bishops in TAC will not be bishops when they are received into the RC church - thus the reference to "Mr." Robinson in this article.

Beware Damian Thompson's coverage of this issue.  The Telegraph is usually thought to be closely connected with the UK establishment, but in this case he is also close to the Forward in Faith group in the UK, and his coverage on this topic has been rather biased.

Thompson did report a few weeks ago that HM The Queen (head of the Church of England) apparently will no longer be hosting the Holy Father at Buckingham Palace when he visits the UK later this year.  Thompson also reported that she sent her Lord Chamberlain (a position in her Household) to meet with the RC Archbishop of Westminster to discuss this matter - she did not send the Archbishop of Canterbury(!). Given his liberal Anglo-Catholic past it may be that the ABC is not trusted, but recall that appointments in the CofE, as an established church, go through the Prime Minister's office, and, like Mr. Robinson, Tony Blair finally converted to the RC church after he left office too.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Ahhh, the joys of a state religion. 

Andrewdb said...

Absolutely!!!  Remember that next time someone tries to convince you the government should be more involved in personal morality and ethics (what politicians have to contribute to that discussion is beyond me), or faith-based initiatives, for that matter - the golden rule and all that applies here too.

Separation of church and state is most important for the _church_.  Do you really want Bill Clinton (or anyone else in that position) picking the leaders of your church?  Thanks, but no.

Andrewdb said...

I can't resist adding this pic, just cause I like it.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>I would add that such government intrustion also includes becoming advocates for a system of morality and ethics that obviates the religious beliefs of others.  8-) </span>

Kristen said...

Andrew, were you born into the Episcopalians, are are you a convert?  If you're a convert, why did you choose that church?  And one last question - do you think the African Anglicans are going to break off?

Anonymous said...

Kristen - perhaps more than you want to know -

My sister and I were raised generic protestants.  We both, somewhat independantly, found The Episcopal Church as adults.  I began attending during law school (20+ years ago) and made it official about a dozen years ago.

I recall the first time I attended an Episcopal Church - at All Saint's, Pasadena (the largest Episcopal parish west of the Mississipi, and well known for its liberal leanings).  Rev. George Regas was in his prime.  I am told he used to spend 20+ hours a week on his sermons.  You could tell.  They were throught provoking, well structured, and challenging.  I had no idea that the imparative of the Resurection was (i) to confirm the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, (ii) reorder our domestic spending priorities, and (iii) change our war-like policies in Central America. (I am not kidding)!  This taught me that I really liked their great music program, and that I was truly a protestant as I felt absolutely no need to agree with the guy in the pulpit.

So why did I stay and ultimately join?  The short answer is in spite of the politics, not because of it.  The longer answer is that I kind of like the idea of spending a couple of hours a week focusing on how I should be living my life.  Although I may be a somewhat knuckle dragging conservative/libertarian in politics, in the religious sphere I am a flaming liberal - I just can't imagine using the force of government to enforce what may be entirely appropriate on a voluntary basis. 

I truly love the litergical service - when well done (oh, I wish that happened more than it does) it is transcendant and creates a connection both among the others (both present and elsewhere) that are doing the same thing, and across time - it creates a connection that is larger than the individual. I like the feeling that is participating in something that is in a way timeless.

As for the doctrine, my sister and I joke that our parents are somewhat puzzled at how they raised two enthusiastic Episcopalians - in truth they didn't.  Our grandmother did.  She was the daughter of the first Dutch Reform minister on the West Coast.  I still recall her quoting her father, to the effect that when reading scripture you need to remember who was writing it, when they were writing it, and who they were writing it for (not exactly an "infallible, revealed word of God" approach).  This is pretty close to the Episcopal approach (with a lot less liturgy) - one of the better priests I have known used to talk about reading for "Truth" not "Fact."

Finally, I will admit to being a raging Anglo-phile.  It is easy to do that from this side of the world.  If I had to live there, I suspect it would be more difficult.

Anonymous said...

Kristen -

Finally, you ask about Africa and the Anglican Communion.

To a certain extent the schism has already occurred.  At the last Lambeth Conference a number of the African bishops did not attend.  Instead they went to another conference held in Jerusalem (much to the constranation of the Bishop there, who was apparently not consulted before this was scheduled). 

The Anglican Communion is a group of independant, largely national churches that are in communion with the See of Canterbury.  The Archbishop of Canterbury does not have any authority over the other churches.  I understand that under the Canons of the Church of England (CofE), he can't even decide if he is in communion with them - that decision is made by he and the Archbishop of York (and perhaps the General Synod of the CofE).

Much of what we see in Africa is fall-out from the different groups that were evangelizing there in the 19th and early 20th C.  Some areas were the franchise of the Church Mission Sociecy (CMS) and they tend more evangelical and fundamentalist.  Other areas were the franchise of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG),-for example South Africa, and those area tend more "liberal" or at least less fundamentalist. 

At the same time there seems to be a very specific effort among some groups in the US to use the African churches in domestic US political battles.  See this report here on efforts by the Institute for Religion and Democracy, and others, to use the African churches in fights in the Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbytarian churches.  That report certainly has a slant, but similar reports have been around at least since at least 2005.  See this report from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (DC) here:


Anonymous said...

[last part, I promise]

Another part of what is going on is opposition to the ordination of women - there are two  groups on this subject, the Anglo-Catholics and the folks following the Diocese of Sydney, Australia.  The folks from Sydney are _really_ low church and beleive in Lay Presidency of the Eucherist, meaning they don't need a priest to officiate.  What they have in common with the Anglo-Catholics, other then opposition to women and gay priests, is a bit of a puzzle to me.

A formal break has been put off for the time being, and I do give the Archbishop of Cantebury credit for that (although he has not taken a strong stand on much of anything in order to do it).   I suspect that a break may ultimately occur.  I take comfort in the United Methodists, who divided in 1844, largely over slavery, and only "United" again in the 1939.  Hopefully the Anglicans will be able to do something similar.

i promise to stop monopolizing the good CDR's comment section now.

Andrewdb said...

Grr.  Must remember to log-in next time.  The above, much too long, theological/political dissertation was me.  Andrewdb.

Kristen said...

Oh my.  That was a bit more than I was expecting, but I really appreciate the thoughtful answers.  I asked because from your previous comments I thought you might have a bit of a story to share, and because you seem very informed on world-wide Anglican matters.  Guess I was right about that.  :)

I too love the liturgy and on the two occasions when I have been able to attend a Tridentine Mass, I had the strongest feeling of connection to the ancient and medieval Catholic world and to God in Heaven.  It was truly transcendent.

I'll have to find out of bit more about that Anglican parish in Australia that just voted to enter the Catholic Church.  It can't possibly be the low church group that you described.  We wouldn't be their natural home.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

One thing that I must say in favor of us Lutherans, is that we produced Bach.  I am a Badger of  Norwegian ancestry , but I stand in awe of the ability of German Lutherans to praise God through music.   Good church music can, at the same time make me exult in the pure love that God has for us,  humble me at my insignificance in comparison to God, and deeply grateful for the Salvation that He grants us through His Grace.    

Andrewdb said...

LOL - sorry, I guess I did end up telling you how to build the watch. 

The Traditional Anglican Communion, which is the group that recently voted, and which I understand was the group making the request the Holy Father was responding to, is much more the Anglo-Catholic side of the house.  One RC commentator has described them as "Anglo-Papalist."  They are not close to the Sydney-ites in doctrine.  Their group in the US says it has about 5,000 members in 100 parishes.  The Episcopal Church reports over 2 million members in 7,000 parishes.

DeltaBravo said...

No, that was very interesting, Andrew.  I completely concur with your poetic sentiments on liturgy and transcendence across space and time.  Why I love the Catholic Old Church Slavonik liturgy and the Latin Mass.  (And if you find a good priest, you don't find yourself sitting in the pew disagreeing in your head.)  Your grandmother sounds like a force to be reckoned with.  :)

Andrewdb said...

Yeah, Grandma was.  Quite the intellectual and good frontier stock. I am proud to have inherited her deer hunting rifle.