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Patrimony?

2011 February 24
by Gordon Reid

I hope the RC church will insist that Anglicans joining the Ordinariate must use a version of the Anglican Prayer Book. This is surely one of the greatest treasures to be carried into the RC Church by its new members. If they are to use the normal Roman liturgy, what kind of patrimony are they contributing to the ordinariate?

Surely their Anglican Patrinony will not be just Matrimony?

33 Responses leave one →
  1. Paul Goings permalink
    February 25, 2011

    Very clever, Father, but not necessarily the whole story. If the entire “patrimony” of Anglicanism consists merely of the reverent and dignified celebration of the modern Roman rite then the Apostolic Constitution will have been more than worth the trouble. I’m hoping that the clergy who are joining the Ordinariate in England will also be the sort who are for public celebrations of the Liturgy of the Hours, which would be another great step forward for English Roman Catholicism. And you also have the pastoral and ascetical writings of Herbert, Thornton, and Lewis, among many others.

    • February 25, 2011

      You are right to remind me of these, Paul. The venerable tradition of the parish priest being bidden to ring the church bell and recite the Divine Office twice a day in his church whetehr anyone comes or not, would be a great gift to both the modern Roman Church and indeed most of the lax Anglican ones.

      And, as a lover of the Caroline Divines and other Anglican writers, I can see that they too would be a plus, but they so often demonstrate that the Anglican ethos is precisely that of a Catholicism freed from Curial control. However, there are many RC’s who would cheer on that kind of subversive role for the Ordinariate!

      • Paul Goings permalink
        February 25, 2011

        …the Anglican ethos is precisely that of a Catholicism freed from Curial control…

        I’m not entirely unsympathetic to this perspective, Father, although I would not go with it where some others would. And it helps to remember that the Holy Father was a true “liturgical person” until the early 19th century. That is, the bulk of his existence was taken up with the daily participation in the sacred liturgy, like any other bishop. The modern idea of the Pope as a Dalai Lama-like figurehead, who spends most of his time meeting with the “great” of the world, and thinking gorgeous thoughts, and appears only occasionally for liturgical three-ring circuses is much to be regretted in many ways. Ironically, the fall of the Papal States was instrumental in making this possible; the Pope as king was far better for the Church than the Pope as “seer and chief revelator.” Similarly, the conversion of bishops from high priests and chief pastors to CEO’s and risk managers followed a similar trajectory, with equally tragic results. And this is also applicable to pastors, who by-and-large see themselves as social workers and administrators, and not as the “homo apostolicus.”

        If the Ordinariates can restore this pre-Enlightenment ethos in some small part that would greatly benefit the English Roman Catholic church. I’m rather less sanguine about that happening in the US, for reasons that I have gone into elsewhere, and so it seems that we must muddle on as best we can for the time being.

  2. ambly permalink
    February 25, 2011

    “If the entire “patrimony” of Anglicanism consists merely of the reverent and dignified celebration of the modern Roman rite then the Apostolic Constitution will have been more than worth the trouble. ”

    Surely reverent and dignified celebration of the modern Roman rite is not unknown within the Roman Communion – how, then, is it peculiarly Anglican patrimony? I also wonder whether the Liturgy of the Hours is no longer required to be said by RC clerics? I had thought it was.

  3. Paul Goings permalink
    February 25, 2011

    Surely reverent and dignified celebration of the modern Roman rite is not unknown within the Roman Communion–how, then, is it peculiarly Anglican patrimony?

    It is not unknown, but it is far too uncommon. In the U.K. it’s almost exclusively confined to certain Anglo-Catholic parishes, with some few well-known exceptions such as Westminster, the Brompton Oratory, etc., etc. It is much to be hoped that the addition of the formerly Anglican priests and faithful will greatly help in promoting the reform-of-the-reform movement.

    I also wonder whether the Liturgy of the Hours is no longer required to be said by RC clerics? I had thought it was.

    It is required, and it is also strongly encouraged that this be done publicly on a regular basis. Unfortunately the latter is almost unknown, and even the former has suffered greatly.

  4. February 25, 2011

    In my (previously extensive) experience of the sort of English Anglican who would be likely to take up what they are calling ‘the Holy Father’s generous offer’ I never met one who had any appreciation whatsoever of the Prayer Book tradition, let alone the Caroline Divines. The only Anglican they seemed to have any time for was John Henry Newman – not a particularly reliable example. Most of them seemed to subscribe to the tragic myth of The Two Lost Provinces torn from the bosom of the Roman Pontiff. In my opinion those who maintain this sort of thing should make haste to follow their true convictions to the other side of the Tiber. It would do wonders for their personal integrity since I suspect that all the talk of corporate reunion has really been little more than a figleaf for having your cake and eating it.

    • Paul Goings permalink
      February 26, 2011

      Most of them seemed to subscribe to the tragic myth of The Two Lost Provinces torn from the bosom of the Roman Pontiff.

      Tragic? Yes. Myth? No.

    • Jeremy Hummerstone permalink
      March 26, 2011

      In England, the people who will fit best into the Ordinariate are those who never needed it in the first place.

  5. John Noyman permalink
    February 26, 2011

    One must wonder if all this fanfare you are creating about the Ordinariate is rooted in a personal interest in swimming the Tiber. If not, you should give your anti-Roman agenda a rest.

    • February 26, 2011

      My half-humerous comments on the farcical Ordinariate are nothing, compared to my genuine anti-Roman Catholic agenda, or at least the irish distortion of a fine Italian Church!

      • Jack permalink
        February 28, 2011

        What do you mean by “the irish distortion of a fine Italian Church” ?

      • Stephen permalink
        March 1, 2011

        I thought “Irish distortion of a fine Italian Church” was a perfectly clear concept, and I am of Irish descent :)

      • Brian + permalink
        March 4, 2011

        “My half-humerous comments on the farcical Ordinariate are nothing, compared to my genuine anti-Roman Catholic agenda, or at least the irish distortion of a fine Italian Church!”

        Actually the Irish take too seriously what the Italians usually ignore.

        As to the Ordinariate, I hope that the Roman authorities demand the prayer book, the use of the north end, the surplice and tippet since these represent the glory of Anglican Patrimony. For Latinists they may add on Bright & Medd.

  6. Mark Graham permalink
    February 26, 2011

    One wonders why the rector of seemingly the most Romish parish of the ECUSA is touting the Prayerbook. I am missing the connection. One never enjoys the language of Evensong at the Vespers sung in Latin….

    • February 26, 2011

      I have been a member of the (English) Prayer Book Society for many years. St Clement’s High Mass is certainly “Romish” in that we use the Tridentine Mass. But the English is the English of the Prayer Book. and we have Prayer Book elements such as “Ye that do truly” etc and the words of administration at Communion (in both kinds of course) and “The peace of God which passeth all understanding” as the Blessing at the end. We have latin Vespers on Sundays at 3 p.m. beautifully sung by our small Schola, but on the other six days of the week we have Prayer Book Evensong at 5.30 p.m. So I doubt if we are really the most Romish church in TEC.

      • Paul Goings permalink
        February 27, 2011

        Ummm… Father?

        I’m pretty sure that we are. If you can think of one that’s out in front of us, I’d be interested to know what it is.

  7. John Noyman permalink
    February 26, 2011

    In Anglo-Catholic circles, one finds that a parish and its rector are sympathetic to the traditions and most of the teachings of the Church of Rome and are quiet about those that they disagree with. On the other hand, they are also sympathetic to the movements within their own Communion, including those within the Episcopal Church, should they find themselves geographically located in the USA. Of course, they are quiet about those issues they abhor (female ordination, not the least among them)!

    Pray tell, Father, what DO you believe in? You’re the rector of an Episcopal parish that prays for and acknowledges the Roman Pontiff in your canon and in other prayers, yet you want to slap him and the Church of Rome in the face at every open opportunity. Of course, Jesus told us to love our enemies, but we don’t express love by criticising them in print at every opportunity given.

    • February 26, 2011

      I am seldom accused of keeping quiet about the doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome with which I disagree, and NEVER accused of keeping quiet about the doctrines and practices of the Episcopal Church with which I disagree. The freedom to criticize is one of the joys of being an Anglican. The people I am really sorry for are the thousands of RC priests who would like to marry or who are gay or who disagree with the ludicrous opposition to contraception which almost none of their flock agrees with. They are forced to be hypocrites.

      • John Noyman permalink
        February 26, 2011

        So, you’re saying that sex is more important than theology?

        • February 27, 2011

          Theology has much to say about sex. Ask the Curia. Or, for that matter, the snake handlers of Tennessee.

        • franciscanapple permalink
          March 1, 2011

          John,

          Yours is a typical Roman Catholic reply. There is a theological reason behind why you see chairs in the nave of Anglican churches instead of pews.

          • Paul Goings permalink
            March 1, 2011

            If only!

          • John Noyman permalink
            March 2, 2011

            And your point is?

  8. February 28, 2011

    I’m rather surprised to see the comments taking Canon Reid to task for opposing the pretentions of the papacy. As a good Anglo-Catholic that is just what I would hope he would do, since almost all other western Catholics are required to swallow the doctrinal novelties of the apostolic constitution ‘Pastor Aeternus’ of 1870, and the dictates of the Code of Canon Law of 1983. Thus we read (in the latter) that the pope ‘has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise this power.’ We also read that ‘there is neither appeal nor recourse against a judgement of the Roman Pontiff.’ Whatever else that is, it certainly is not compatible with the teachings of the Catholic religion, as the Eastern Orthodox would be the first to tell you. And St Francis de Sales would agree, since he told the Abbess of Port Royal that the pope is properly subject to general councils and that they could only weep and pray that Rome would eventually see the light. It is the present papacy which is the problem for Catholicism, and not otherwise.

    • Paul Goings permalink
      March 1, 2011

      Whatever else that is, it certainly is not compatible with the teachings of the Catholic religion, as the Eastern Orthodox would be the first to tell you.

      As an Anglo-Catholic, when I feel the need to have the Catholic religion defined for me by the oriental schismatics, I’ll let you know.

    • Sean W. Reed permalink
      March 19, 2011

      “Peter, the leader of the choir, the mouth of all the apostles, the head of that tribe, the ruler of the whole world, the foundation of the Church, the ardent lover of Christ. “- St. John Chrysostom (4th century)

      • Bromartin permalink
        April 20, 2011

        S. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM’S quote is true enough. Who better to ultimately speak for the Church than the Bishop of Rome? It is the finest example of truly corporate, Catholic order that we have, and dates to very early tradition. Of course, the Church must always deal with its tradition as it has been ordered, which presents such a “problem” for many. Our Lord suggested strongly that His Church would stand the test of time (infallibility?) in spite of all evil intent. Politically, it became necessary to place this power with its leader, with strong advice from his associates. For the past 130 years, it has been hard for the Church to temper this dogma, which might greatly increase understanding, reducing unfounded biases against Her.

  9. March 3, 2011

    It seems to me that a number of things are getting a little confused here. Like Canon Reid (I dare to presume!) I have no difficulty in believing that the Anglican Church is an integral part of the Catholic Church as any other, and entitled to make the most of the western liturgical tradition, while still valuing the distinctive character of Anglican liturgy. After all, that is not too dissimilar to the recent papal permission for ordinary and extraordinary rites, not to mention the provision for Anglican rite RC parishes. The problem lies with the claims which are made for papal infallibility and supremacy. I believe that the Anglican contributors to ARCIC were quite happy to accept the Roman Pontiff as the first among equals, as are the Eastern Orthodox, but that is all. And surely it is enough. If Pastor Aeternus is true, then we have no right to resist it. But if it is not true then we have a duty to the Catholic faith to reject it. And should the RC Church itself do the latter, as I hope and pray it will eventually (along with St Francis de Sales) then I trust the Archbishop of Canterbury will be queuing up for his pallium.

  10. Chris permalink
    March 14, 2011

    Well said, Fr. Reid!!

    I have come to love this forum and I was wondering what you would think of the following: Will there ever be an establishment of an Anglo-Catholic Ordianate in the C of E for men desiring to be priests? I ask this as one who feels a possible call to the ordained priesthood. Thank you and a blessed Lent to all!!

    • Bromartin permalink
      April 19, 2011

      Many years of heartache and frustration have revealed that there will never be an “ordinariate”
      within the CofE, (if that’s what you’re really getting at). Your interest in holy orders might definitely be welcomed in the Church of Rome. Under Anglicanorum Caetibus, people at all levels, steeped in Anglican Use and “patrimony,”will be valued. Benedict XVI is moving this directive as expediently as possible. Let us thank God for this opportunity for unity with the greater Western Church.

      It’s unfortunate that there will always be some, with the RCC, who grumble, going back to 1898, to dismiss the Anglican ‘way,’ and sticking like glue to their same old righteous exclusivity.

      We shall overcome. The pieces are coming together.

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