Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anglicans To The Vatican

New Things has the report, with many updates.
Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
The new church structure, called Personal Ordinariates, will be units of faithful within the local Catholic Church headed by former Anglican prelates who will provide spiritual care for Anglicans who wish to become Catholic.

“Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” [Cardinal William] Levada said. “At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey.”
Requoted from Forbes

Sometimes the larger events of our age go less recognised, because they are slow-moving. In the general Anglosphere, C of E and Episcopalians have been slowly becoming essential Unitarians, while retaining their more traditional liturgy. That combo will continue to hold some membership, but it is an inherently unstable position. In the rest of the world, it is proving completely untenable. Other Anglicans, especially in Africa, have been chafing at the bit for years. They are eying the exits, and the Vatican has provided one.

I doubt they will ever extend this type of arrangement to Covenanters, so if I make the journey to Rome I will have to go solo. That may yet happen. I have considered it for many years. I don't have the same obstacles to accepting Catholic doctrine and practice that others have - I have different ones, of course.


Retriever said...

Avi, I've also considered it. But so many obstacles...I posted at great length on the subject, but am still blundering along...

For me, the main problem is that the churches that are both evangelical and pro-life tend to be anti-women's ordination. Protestant or Catholic alike. It also seems to be an assumption that if one is pro women's ordination one has to be liberal on all other issues. THe Protestant evangelical sects tend to be anti-intellectual and have ghastly liturgies and music (as does the modern RC church).The RCs would sooner ordain gay men than married women (after all, they have been doing so for hundreds of years). I have nothing against gays, but I hate the chauvinism.

The RC attitude towards birth control bothers me because I am so against abortion.

Have you read the George WIll book on Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit?

My ideal church (doesn't exist) would be Congregational in polity, Anglo Catholic in liturgy, traditional Anglican/Western liturgical music (Bach, Handel, etc.) theologically conservative, ordain women, and merciful to all of us miserable sinners on the hot issues BUT insist on a rule of life or some such once one joins the church. The cliche about how God loves you exactly as your are, but loves you too much to let you stay that way. I won't stay in a church with bad preaching. Am one of those weirdos who WANTS a half hour sermon and feels gypped if I get only a 5 minute homily. Has to be evangelical.

I know, doesn't exist, so I stay where I am. I grouse, but I love the kids I teach Sunday School to every week. My church has never used any of my talents or experience. The parents treat me like a babysitter, little realizing the years of seminary, ministry and clinical past experience....

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The Evangelical Covenant Church, where I have been for two decades, fits a lot of that. The newer churches will be less liturgical and traditional music oriented, but more conservative congregations, especially the larger ones, will be quite patterned in their services (though none would be fully liturgical) and solid hymnbook, choir-and-organ musically. The ECC ordains women and is quite congregational in polity. Politically mixed, with the clergy being more liberal than the laity, generally.

Donna B. said...

I was raised in the Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints - it now calls itself Community of Christ.

The "new" church ordains women and an aunt is the pastor of the "home" church in the small town where my parents joined.

I say "an aunt" because the pastorship seems to oscillate between two of them... soon, I expect the daughter of one to take the helm.

What amazes and endears me to this church is how it has become a "family" church even when worshipers do not confess to its tenets.

While I'm honestly not a "believer" I feel welcome in this church as a "family" member.

I do not know how larger congregations can pull this off.

My larger question is whether "bigger" churches can allow non-believers to join in the discussion... and perhaps the worship of something larger than themselves.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Religion can be viewed as a 'regression in the service of the ego.' Not that you can therefore flout their rules where the Church is a party to the transaction so to speak, for example in the rules on receiving Holy Communion. But as an example perhaps of not subscribing to everything, John XXIII on assuming the papacy told his associates that he 'wouldn't be speaking ex cathedra on anything.'

Robert said...

I just don't see--and I am being honest here--why Anglicans, and any other denomination who has remained separate from the RCC for doctrinal reasons, feels the need to submit themselves to the authority of the pope.

I mean, you've lived this long outside the fold. Why go in now? What, really, is the attraction?

The RCC is unlike any other denomination in that 1) it claims to be the only one that will allow someone to enter heaven, 2) it operates like a dictatorship, and 3) it consistently meddles in world affairs to the point of being a menace.

Of course, that is my own opinion.


a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Robert, Cardinal Ratzinger, the current Pope, said in Truth and Tolerance that it is the height of arrogance to say who or what groups God will admit into heaven.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I think every group used to say that, at least implicitly. The Catholics were more explicit in their claim, but in some form, Orthodox, Protestant, and splinter groups did as well. The punchline about tiptoeing through one section of heaven "Shh, they don't think anyone else is here!" could have many groups as the set-up. Jews believe they're chosen, Muslims say the same even against the claims of other Muslims, Buddhists believe theirs is the path to true enlightenment...

Everyone hedges a bit now, with Baptists saying "Well, we don't know if she was ever saved in her heart, it's not for me to judge," and Catholics saying "there's no salvation outside the Church" but getting squishy on exactly what that means. Perhaps it comes from all of us living cheek-by-jowl in America; perhaps with many groups hemorrhaging members folks are less defensive. We all know each other's history now, and are mindful of living in glass houses.

Ben Wyman said...

I think it's unlikely that a mass departure from the Anglican to the Catholic church is going to happen any time soon. At this point in life, if someone was going to be Catholic, they'd be Catholic, the concept of "being able to keep a few of your previous held ideals" is a somewhat paltry offering.

The Anglican church is going to split, and I think that the Pope sees that and wants to get ahead of the game on it. But I would doubt his plan would have much effect.

As for the idea that Christians are now more likely to seem a little less adamant about God's policies on Heave: depends on the Christian. Though, honestly, it probably depends more on the denomination.