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Ordinariate-ation

2011 June 15
by Gordon Reid

I know this is a new word, but I use it for the re-ordination which is being imposed on priests of the Anglican Church who have decided they want to be Roman Catholics, but say they want to keep their Anglican liturgical heritage.

I have never heard such nonsense in my life. (Oh well, I suppose I have, when I heard President Nixon’s resignation speech). Many of these guys have never used an Anglican Liturgy in their life, and those who have, did it under compulsion, or because the Bishop was visiting.

The Church of England received 14 Roman Catholic priests last year, according to a Parliamentary report, but there was no triumphalism by the C of E. Compare this with the trumpet-blowing by those who have joined the RC Church by what has been called the back-door of the Ordinariate.

I wish all Anglican priests who have chosen this sort of Uniate Church well, and pray for their future RC/Anglican ministry. It won’t be easy.

 

 

32 Responses leave one →
  1. ambly permalink
    June 15, 2011

    Indeed, it’s not an easy decision, one assumes, and the adjustment will be very hard for some as is evident by a recent not to be named blogger’s plight. I pray for them daily.

    • Simmary permalink
      June 27, 2011

      As a currently practising “Roaming” Catholic, I have been watching the Anglican approaches to the Ordinariate. I’m sure it’s a difficult decision and when I suggested early on via an Anglican blog that it will all end in tears, I was contradicted, rebuked and labelled a troll!

      As I have continued to read enthusiastic postings, many affirm that they long to be in full communion with the Pope. But the whole tenor of their mind seems to be a desire for the Pope to be in communion with them, which is not quite the same thing!

      Much discussion below on the pension ramifications. My own experience of the earlier wave of Anglican priests who “came over” after the vote for ordination of women has been predominantly positive – they are good men. One exception was a man who had been accepted then promptly took early retirement and scoops a very nice income supplying each weekend with an agreeable stipend and all found for himself and his wife for the requisite days. Since his sermon also contained a misogynist joke, as he immediately acknowledged (without apology) when challenged, he’s not my favourite visitor. Alter Christus? You’re well rid of him.

  2. Canon Jeremy Haselock permalink
    June 16, 2011

    There could be no greater contrast than between the two ordination services I have just attended on two successive days.
    On Wednesday, an “ordinariatation” where two elderly Anglican priests were recycled for use by the Italian Mission in a liturgy which, to my certain knowledge, one of the ordinands whould have roundly condemned in language rich and rare had the circumstances been different. All was tawdry and cheap, ugly and ill thought out. On the evidence of yesterday, a high proportion of the Ordinariate priests are near to retirement age or beyond (C of E pensions safely in place), a lively future looks unlikely.
    I have just returned today, Thursday, from Southwark Cathedral where two new Provincial Suffragans were consecrated to the recently deserted sees of Ebbsfleet and Richborough. There I found over a hundred young, enthusiastic, bright-eyed priests and almost as many again of the middle-aged and committed like myself. The ordination Mass was superb. The sermon from Prebendary Bill Scott was inspiring and wise. The atmosphere was optimistic and determined.
    Believe me, the Ordinariate in England is a dying duck – feebly flapping wings but no take-off. And here is a hint of what is to come: The booklet for the Ordinariate service printed the text of the oath the two candidates were to take “to their Ordinary and his successors.” When they came to make the promise, the ordaining bishop carefully omitted the words “and his successors.” There will be none.

    • Little Black Sambo permalink
      June 19, 2011

      And will the new flying bishops have successors? The Ordinariate is clearly not the answer, but what is?

      • Gwyn permalink
        July 1, 2011

        A reasserting of the principle that you win an argument by putting your position in a comprehensive and persuasive manner not by rubbishing and undermining your opponent.

        The mission of (and here I cannot use the word catholic any longer) the Sacramental, Incarnational and Mysterious minded churches and congregations has been so hampered, crippled and even in some parts decimated by politics, schismatic language and plain wickedness that all that is good, all that is holy an all that is true about our beloved tradition which truly reflects God’s glory has been besmirched.

        Enough, we win by being shining examples of all that is good, not by giving in to our fearful natures.

        Gwyn.

        A reasserting of the principle that you win an argument by putting your position in a comprehensive and persuasive manner not by rubbishing and undermining your opponent.

        The mission of (and here I cannot use the word catholic any longer) the Sacramental, Incarnational and Mysterious minded churches and congregations has been so hampered, crippled and even in some parts decimated by politics, schismatic language and plain wickedness that all that is good, all that is holy an all that is true about our beloved tradition which truly reflects God’s glory has been besmirched.

        Enough, we win by being shining examples of all that is good, not by giving in to our fearful natures.

        Gwyn.

        A reasserting of the principle that you win an argument by putting your position in a comprehensive and persuasive manner not by rubbishing and undermining your opponent.

        The mission of (and here I cannot use the word catholic any longer) the Sacramental, Incarnational and Mysterious minded churches and congregations has been so hampered, crippled and even in some parts decimated by politics, schismatic language and plain wickedness that all that is good, all that is holy an all that is true about our beloved tradition which truly reflects God’s glory has been besmirched.

        Enough, the answer is that we rise by being shining examples of all that is good, not by giving in to our fearful natures.

        Gwyn.

  3. ambly permalink
    June 18, 2011

    That is an ominous omission, indeed, Canon.

  4. Russell Fuhrman permalink
    June 18, 2011

    I should think it highly questionable morality to be supported by a CofE pension while working for the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps the latter church could be shamed into reimbursing the former church.

    • Little Black Sambo permalink
      June 20, 2011

      If you have paid in for your pension, it is absolutely yours. And what difference does it make, who you subsequently work for? The Pensions Board would have no interest in the matter.

  5. derek permalink
    June 19, 2011

    as one who just came from “over there” during lent, i can tell you that there is a lot of akwardness and for lack of a better term, hatred . i was an anglican-use catholic, and can solemnly tell you you will cease to be an anglo-catholic the second you become roman catholic. your the 8th grader who just entered freshman class, sorry.

    lord have mercy.

    • Bromartin permalink
      June 22, 2011

      As the “Universal” Church and guardian of the deposit of the Christian Faith, has not the Church of Rome a right to carefully order it’s instruction and necessary initiation as objective Truth regarding Holy Scripture and the Tradition of God’s Church? Isn’t there much to be inspired by and immersed in?
      To paraphrase Blessed John Henry Newman: upon entering into the Roman Communion, it is rather as if the long journey, on ever more choppy seas, has finally reached shore, a spiritual home where basic, rudimentary full catholic expression and devotion are no longer subject to question or controversy.

      • Antony permalink
        July 12, 2011

        Absolutely true – and very well put!

        The so called “catholics” who embrace the established state church of England and it’s heritage (i.e. other Anglican churches) are finding it harder and harder to excuse themselves for staing on a ship that has been without a proper captain, nor on a proper route, for almost 500 years. They have different “excuses”, such as a pretty well paid and “petit bourgeoisie” social status, they are active homosexuals, they can’t convince their wife and family, they are nationalistic “anti papists” etc…..
        I know many of them and their theology and ecclesiology doesn’t hold!

  6. Russell Fuhrman permalink
    June 20, 2011

    It is economically illiterate to think that pensions have been funded by the recipients. Our local Episcopal parish contributes about $12,000 annually to our priests eventual retirement. The average retiree in America receives $75,000 more in social security benefits than they contributed, and, as of a few years ago-it goes up dramatically every year, $150,000 more in Medical services than they paid in FICA taxes.

    • Little Black Sambo permalink
      June 20, 2011

      Your pension is a kind of compensation for not having a larger stipend. It is absolutely yours, and not paid conditionally according to what kind of work you undertake after retirement. (What other kinds of work would you forbid a retired priest to do, on pain of forfeiting his pension? Who would police such a system. I am not the “illiterate” one here.)

      • Russell Fuhrman permalink
        June 20, 2011

        It is unseemly and morally insensitive to wait to collect a pension and then compete with the entity that provided same. The CofE is subsidizing the potential stealing of their sheep. My suggestion was to appeal to the better angels of the Roman hierarchy rather than have them free ride on the generosity of the Anglicans. The vast majority of the people who gave in good faith so retiring priests can have pensions are not the recipient of pensions themselves. How betrayed they must feel.

        • Paul Goings permalink
          June 21, 2011

          How betrayed were those builders of churches handed over to Protestants in the 16th century? How betrayed are those Episcopalians whose contributions now go to support the “ordination of women” and sanctified sodomy? Etc. etc., etc. Would you have all monies refunded every time there’s a change in policy, Mr Fuhrman? Or is this… different, somehow?

      • Arthur Rusdell-Wilson permalink
        July 9, 2011

        It would be against UK law for the Pensions board to have any regard for what work one of their pensioners does after retirement. A pension is deferred payment in respect of past service. This is the case whether contributions have been made or not.

  7. Paul Goings permalink
    June 20, 2011

    Mr Fuhrman seems to know little about pensions, a subject that, granted, is not terribly exciting. One’s employer pays into one’s pension as a form of supplementary compensation, and not as a means of maintaining control over that employee after his or her employment ceases. I cannot be deprived of my pension from IBM should I go to work for Google after retirement; does Mr Fuhrman suppose that this should be the case? If not, then he is engaging in a rather childish sort of special pleading.

    As to the question of the Ordinariates generally, they would be much more useful in the U.S., where we have absolutely no structural provisions for traditional Anglo-Catholics, nor are we at all likely to.

    • Russell Fuhrman permalink
      June 20, 2011

      I childishly think it would be morally questionable to in good faith receive a pension, something the vast majority do not receive in the private sector, and then compete with that entity.

      • Paul Goings permalink
        June 21, 2011

        What is morally questionable is your suggestion that the terms of a pension should be changed after the fact, with no forewarning or previous agreement, or that individuals should behave as if this were so. If a former member of the armed services were to come to some form of pacifism in their retirement, and argue for the abolition of the military, would you have them stripped of their pension as well, or at least suggest that it is “morally questionable” for them to continue receiving it? Or Mr Fuhrman can come up with his own example. Former Christians who embrace atheism, perhaps? Probably all of them are fine except for Anglican clergymen who become Roman Catholics. Pity that we can’t draw and quarter them any longer, right?

        • Russell Fuhrman permalink
          June 21, 2011

          Please be so kind as to point out where I said anything about changing pensions or the laws pertaining to them. My point has been and is that it is shameful, unseemly, and morally questionable to stay in a church one no longer believes in to simply wait to collect a pension generously contributed by the parishioners and then to work in a competing church on their largess. And, please stop the references to secular and highly profitable companies as I am still under the childish notion that the Church should set high standards for Mammon and its distribution.

          • Paul Goings permalink
            June 21, 2011

            Well, if we’re going to go that route, then let’s cut Mammon off right from the start. No salaries for the clergy, period. They can make tents, as the Doctor of the Gentiles did. And we can worship in people’s houses, so there’ll be no need for the Church to dirty its hands with money. But I suspect that this isn’t what you want either. And it hardly answers my question about Christian clergymen who become atheists; is it morally questionable for them to collect their pensions?

          • Little Black Sambo permalink
            June 21, 2011

            “My point has been and is that it is shameful, unseemly, and morally questionable to stay in a church one no longer believes in to simply wait to collect a pension generously contributed by the parishioners and then to work in a competing church on their largess. “
            That was not your original point. Seeing that you cannot win the argument, you have shifted your ground. The different point you are now making would probably command widespread agreement.

  8. Russell Fuhrman permalink
    June 21, 2011

    How you come to the conclusion that that was not my original argument is beyond me. Please review what I’ve said from the beginning and you’ll find my reasoning consistent.

    • Little Black Sambo permalink
      June 24, 2011

      Originally you said it was wrong to benefit from an Anglican pension whilst later working for the RC Church. That holds no water. Your later argument was that is was wrong to “stay in a church one no longer believes in to simply wait to collect a pension.. etc”. In that case the wrong would lie not in keeping a pension which belonged to you, but in acquiring one on false pretences. Those false pretences you did not mention at first. You now seem to be accusing the Ordinariate-bound of bad faith, rather than understanding that they can no longer stay in a church in which they served sincerely until it strayed from the path.

      • Russell Fuhrman permalink
        June 24, 2011

        Frankly, I’ve always questioned whether priests should even have a pension when the majority of parishioners that provide them with same don’t. Economists are telling us that the era of mass retirement is over so priests could continue their duties based on viability with declining responsibilities commensurate with declining compensation until they receive their Ultimate Reward. Most congregations are shrinking with aging membership on modest fixed incomes and under varying degrees of financial stress so the aging priest could lighten his burden on them by being satisfied with social security and reduced compensation.

        • Paul Goings permalink
          June 24, 2011

          Well, that’s an entirely different issue altogether, and, for what it’s worth, I very much agree. I’d go a step further and question the need for a salaried priesthood. I tend to think that there would be less unhealthy authoritarianism in the Church if there wasn’t a profit motive. On the other hand, I’ve seen independent churches that function along those lines, and too often they can devolve into cults of personality. So it’s a debatable question, as far as I’m concerned. What would be helpful, in any case, is a much larger number of priests simplex, who could at least provide the sacraments more readily.

  9. Paul Emmons permalink
    June 23, 2011

    Let’s all just pray that the next Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania is a man we can live with. I don’t fancy the Ordinariate, but for some in the church it may be the least bad option.

  10. Bromartin permalink
    June 24, 2011

    So…the Ordinariate might be worth a try, even though it won’t measure up to what you have now! You are concerned about whether you may, in the future, have a man who may be a respectable shepherd and defender of the Faith. That’s a pretty tall order — on all counts, considering the theological vacuum in the diocese, and in TEC.
    Do you want someone “we can live with,” or someone you can trust?

    • Paul Goings permalink
      June 24, 2011

      Br Martin,

      Just so! As someone recently said, Anglo-Catholics have never expected all that much from the episcopate and the local diocese, so we’re less likely to fret over the various modern issues. We lived through bishops who have had very low views of the sacraments since the 19th century, so this is really nothing new. If we get someone with valid orders who’s not bent on shaking things up I, for one, will be deliriously happy.

      As for a bishop who can be trusted, well, when you find one let us know.

      • Bromartin permalink
        June 24, 2011

        Thank you for that, Paul G.
        As far as all this talk about pensions, and who is vested where, not only are retired clergy moving toward the Ordinariate, but young, energetic men who seek a sucure spiritual home for themselves, and for those entrusted to them.
        I don’t know, offhand, what this means in terms of any (partial) pension dollars that may be forthcoming. The discussion over money is wearing thin.

        “…For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and foreit his life?”
        S.Mark 8: 36

        • Russell Fuhrman permalink
          June 24, 2011

          Yes, this discussion over money is indeed wearing thin. Let’s let Soren Kierkegaard have the last word. In his farewell sermon before resigning the Lutheran ministry he looked down at his congregation and asked the rhetorical question “what is the difference between what Jesus taught and what the church teaches?” He then answered the question by saying “Jesus told us to give to the poor and the church says to give the church”. With that he resigned from the ministry and the church. I say let those seeking middle class incomes, benefits, and pensions seek employment with the aforementioned Googles and IBMs. Amen.

          • Paul Goings permalink
            June 24, 2011

            I hardly think it’s sporting that you should ask us to let Mr Kierkegaard have the last word on the money issue when you were the one who brought it up in the first place! But you do as you think best, Mr Fuhrman, if you have nothing further to add.

            Br Martin, Our Lord’s words in S. Mark’s gospel are what are bringing some people into the Ordinariate, and keeping others out. It is a rather fascinating paradox.

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