Monday, 7 July 2008

The barque of Peter should not pick up Anglican boat people

I have until now refrained from commenting on the turmoil affecting the Church of England, on the grounds that I am not an Anglican and therefore it is none of my business. As a Catholic, I have routinely been disgusted throughout the four decades since the Second Vatican Catastrophe by the propensity of outsiders - encouraged by the bogus ecumenical movement - to harangue the Holy Roman Church about its doctrine, practices and liturgy and to offer impertinent prescriptions for change.

Now, however, the Anglican contagion is invading the Catholic Church and that is quite another matter. The news that Anglican bishops have had private talks with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is a provocative development. Any collective negotiation suggests that these disgruntled prelates envisage the possibility of some kind of corporate adherence to the Catholic Church. The barque of Peter should immediately hoist the signal: not wanted on voyage.

What kind of Catholic converts would these men be? The Church of England has been ordaining priestesses since 1994 - in itself testimony to the insincerity of Anglicanism in its so-called ecumenical discussions with Rome - yet these people were happy not only to continue within it but also to hold high office and to conduct services in cathedrals forcibly expropriated from the Catholic Church.

If immemorial tradition was not enough, their "Catholic" consciences ought to have been informed by the Apostolic Letter "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" issued by John Paul II on May 22, 1994, in which he infallibly decreed: "We declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." Read more
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Blair said...

Hello John,

it's been some time since I haunted your blog, but now that the CAM pages allow comments without needing a Blogger account, thought I'd add something to the mix.

Should probably put this on the 'Telegraph' site really, but still....

Just wanted to pick up on Gerald Warner's point about John Paul II's Apostolic Letter of 1994. In 1995 'The Tablet' ran an article by Nicholas Lash (then Prof of Divinity at Cambridge). What follows is mostly from the last part of that article:

"The point I am concerned to make is that the teaching on infallibility found in the constitutions of the last two general councils is about the articulation of Catholic faith. It is not about equipping those in authority with weapons by means of which to attempt to resolve disputed questions through the arbitrary exercise of power.


"...far from there being a teaching that has been 'from the beginning constantly preserved and applied', the question as to whether the 'representation' of Christ requires that those who preside at the celebration of the Eucharist be men, was never even asked until about half way through the present century. In the second place, on the rare occasions in the history of the Church at which the question as to the suitability of women to hold hierarchial office has been raised, it has, indeed, always been answered in the negative. There is, in other words, a teaching that has been from the beginning 'constantly preserved and applied': namely, that women cannot be ordained to apostolic office because they are inferior to men.

"It follows that, if we set aside (as the present Pope has indicated that we should wisely do) arguments based on the inferiority of women, there simply is no traditional teaching on the matter. The question, as now raised, is a new question. Like all new questions, it needs time, patience, attentiveness, sensitivity and careful scholarship.

"Neither the Pope nor Cardinal Ratzinger can make a teaching to be 'founded on the written Word of God' simply by ascertaining that it is so founded. Nor can they by assertion, make it a matter that has been 'constantly preserved and applied in the tradition of the Church'. The attempt to use the doctrine of infallibility, a doctrine intended to indicate the grounds and character of Catholic confidence in official teaching, as a blunt instrument to prevent the ripening of a question in the Catholic mind, is a scandalous abuse of power, the most serious consequence of which will be further to undermine the further authority which the Pope seeks to sustain."

Worth noting, I'd suggest...

in friendship, Blair Hunwick (Surrey)

Brendan said...

Coming in a bit late on this discussion but...

Even though I was born well after the Council -- and raised in Traditionalism -- it seems to me that Protestant criticism of Roman "doctrine, practices and liturgy" certainly predates V2. The only real difference is that now Rome tends to give ear to the criticism and even act upon it - whereas before it was simply ignored.

I don't see how Rome could possibly refuse traditional Anglicans who request corporate reception and still maintain that she is the True Church of Jesus Christ. (Bolting the door would seem to contradict the Great Commission)

We already have a precedent for corporate communion in the Eastern Catholic Churches. After the Great Schism (at various times) they were received by the Holy See in a corporate fashion and their liturgies, customs, and disciplines were preserved intact.