Wednesday, August 06, 2008

While the TAC waits for a decision from Rome, the US Church prepares for expansion of Anglican Use

It might make the whole question of the reception of the Traditional Anglican Communion into full communion with Rome a mute point - at least in the US if Bishop John Myers' comments are any indication:
“The Catholic Church will expand its provision of "Anglican Use" parishes in the United States in order to allow whole communities of traditionalist Anglicans into the Roman fold, a senior Catholic archbishop has announced.

The Most Rev John J Myers, Archbishop of Newark and Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, told a conference of ex-Anglicans on Friday that "we are working on expanding the mandate of the Pastoral Provision [of Catholic parishes using Anglican-inspired services] to include those clergy and faithful of 'continuing Anglican communities'.

"We are striving to increase awareness of our apostolate to Anglican Christians who desire to be reconciled with the Holy See. We have experienced the wonder of several Episcopal bishops entering into full communion with the Catholic Church and we continue to receive requests from priests and laity about the Pastoral Provision."
In a sense, if this method were to be followed throughout the world, it would open a way for local groups of Anglicans to enter into full communion with Rome under the current diocesan structure of the Latin Church. They would not form an independant "Western Rite" Church within the Catholic Church as TAC is proposing to Rome (using the model of the Eastern rites), but would bring into existence a number of Anglican Use parishes under the jurisdiction of the local Latin bishop.

Of course, one of the reasons why the TAC bishops are pushing for recognition of their communion as a independant "Rite" in the Catholic Church is that they wish to retain not only the liturgical rites and current married clergy, but also the right to continue with a married priesthood (and perhaps even episcopate???) and to continue in some sense to maintain their episcopal jurisdiction over their flocks.

3 Comments:

At Friday, August 08, 2008 9:41:00 am , Blogger Diezba said...

One correction: while they have asked for the possibility of married clergy, the TAC leaders have specifically said that they would give up their episcopacy in order to see full union -- what they might want, instead, is an unmarried episcopacy overseeing a married (and unmarried) clergy along the lines you've suggested

the problem with going under the local latin bishop is taht the local latin bishop wants you to be a good Catholic and tow the line on liturgical reform -- and let's face it, Rite I BCP liturgy is so much more beautiful than novus ordo

 
At Friday, August 08, 2008 1:20:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Just so as you know, the interpretation of Myer’s speech as signalling an expansion of the Anglican Use has been criticised and rejected by the Anglican Use Catholics who were at the conference that Myers addressed. That’s not what he said, they insist, when his address is read as a whole. This wouldn’t be the first time that Damien Thompson has embarrassed his friends with his habit of taking the bull by both horns and steering it forcibly into the china shop.

If there is to be any kind of corporate reception of Anglicans into communion, as opposed to a series of individual receptions, there is abundant historical precedent for the establishment of a distinct rite with its own patriarch and synod (though perhaps in this instance differently-titled). I think that, of the twenty-two eastern rites in the church, twenty-one trace their (institutional) origin to the splintering of an orthodox church, and the reception into communion with Rome of a part of that church.

Obviously there are additional factors where the Anglicans are concerned, especially as regards validity of orders and the need for ordination/re-ordination, and the question of married bishops. But the idea that structurally this is the right way, or at least a right way, to heal a schism, is pretty well established.

There is another dimension to this, which is that wider recourse to the Anglican Use means more married Latin-rite priests, whereas the establishment of a distinct Anglican rite church does not; indeed, it may mean fewer. For those concerned to “hold the line” on clerical celibacy within the Latin rite, this could be a persuasive consideration.

If I was an Anglican who valued the Anglican tradition I would also prefer a distinct church, since it offers a better prospect for the long-term retention of that tradition.

 
At Friday, August 08, 2008 3:12:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

It (the Eastern Orthodox/Catholic thing) wouldn't be well established at all from an Orthodox pov. I think the key to whether this will be a structural model will be exactly in whether the "additional factor" of the question of the validity of orders, not present in the East, invalidates the model.

And right on, Diezba -- to give up the BCP for the novus ordo? Who would do that? To escape extinction in one communion only to accept it in another? Best wishes and God speed to all you faithful Anglicans!

 

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