24 February 2011

ORDINARIATE SHOCK

Perusing pictures of the happy crowds at Bishop David Silk's joyful event in Buckfast Abbey confirmed in my mind a suspicion which has been growing there for weeks as rumours seep around about who's "going" and who's "staying"*.

It is becoming apparent that very many 'extreme' clerics with yards of lace on their albs who, everybody assumed, would be certain to be "going", have, apparently, discovered fantastically good reasons for "staying". The clergy who are "going" seem largely to be very 'Church of England men' ... the sort who, a decade ago, would never in a month of Sundays have 'poped'; priests soaked in the ethos of the life and spirituality of the real Church of England; priests, very often, who were known to have theological problems about the Ordination of Women but whose own personal and professional relationships with women priests were so warm and friendly that their friends sometimes wondered whether Fr X or Archdeacon Y really was totally 'sound'. It is what you might call the Grantleys rather than the Arabins who now who sidle up to you and shyly, proudly, tell you that their dossiers have come back from the CDF marked with a great big tick.

Something similar seems to be true with regard to the laity. The sort of lay persons who are always dashing around the country to ritualistic extravaganzas, who never miss an opportunity of telling you how much they loathe women priests ... brother priests will know what an embarrassment these people are ... and who go on and on about what an important Stand they love to make by walking out of services which have women clergy in them ... seem to be remaining in the C of E; it is solid, sensible, sober, men and women, apparently, who will be making up the Ordinariate congregations.

Bad news, I fear, for those Anglicans who secretly welcomed Professor Ratzinger's little initiative because they hoped it would "clean out the Church of England"!

Ho Ho Ho. All rather jolly, really.

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*Since I drafted this piece last Monday, I have received in this morning's post a letter from a brother priest, quite senior among the 'leadership in the catholic movement', who writes about the departure of "Brethren whom I clearly remember only a couple of years ago declaring that they could never deny their Anglican heritage and orders; similarly, among the 'stayers' are those who would I thought would have been off at the start." Exactly.

22 comments:

Fr Ted said...

Ought we to be surprised at who is "going" and who is "staying"? Beyond life's normal "little surprises", I think not.

After all, one singular feature of the ordinariate process so far has been the warm comments about Anglican orders which seem to be saying "Your orders are fine but not Roman." This, along with the Roman commendation of the work done in the Church of England by those now in the ordinariate or considering moving over, takes much of the anxiety away from deciding whether to go or not in that one's ministry hitherto is not called into question. In itself this seems a huge challenge to the harsh attitudes held by so many rank and file RC clergy and laity even today.

In any case, many of those attending would have been friends and well-wishers.

As you indicate, we can wait and seencystou

Rik Brooks said...

Yes but in another respect this is exactly what one might have expected because the whole ordination and consecration of women thing is very secondary indeed to the "real" issues which remain precisely those set down so clearly by the Blessed John Henry Newman some time back but have been brought into fresh focus by recent events.

It seems to me that the folk who are going over are those who are able to separate the wood from the trees and and recognise the "historical necessity" of the position in which we Catholics in the Church of England find ourselves which has more to do with an ability to think clearly than a taste for lacey cottas.

I'm staying by the way.....

pax et bonum

jubilate agno

AndrewWS said...

This also goes counter to the expectations of certain unsympathetic RC commentators, who have been predicting that the Ordinariate will be full of weirdoes with unsound theology and dubious morals whom the RC church allegedly needs like it needs a hole in the head.

On the contrary, it seems that those with what are apparently now being termed 'lifestyle issues' will stay in the dear old C of E, penned up in Potemkin parishes, some with pre-1960s liturgy for the delectation of ecclesiastical tourists.

worcester fragment said...

Yes. The Holy See gives jurisdiction, whilst the General Synod denies it. Archdeacons and the Anglican episcopy are desperate to get orders resigned from whilst the Catholic Church just welcomes and asks no resignation of orders or denial of ministry heretofore. The bluff has been called!

motuproprio said...

Obedience, dear Father, obedience that is the nub of the matter; whether it is the moral life, or the sacred liturgy, those who enter the Ordinariate will have to be able to accept the discipline of obedience. That will be the 'sorting hat'.

Augustine of Canterbury said...

Actually I suspect that getting people to resign their orders is more about discouraging people from returning to the CofE. It also discourages complaints of 'conduct unbecoming' being pursued because the person is no longer a functioning CofE priest. I'm not sure people have fully understood that only convention stops clergy being deprived of their pensions once they leave the CofE for the Ordinariate.

Little Black Sambo said...

I'm not sure people have fully understood that only convention stops clergy being deprived of their pensions once they leave the CofE for the Ordinariate.
Well, I certainly have not fully understood it. Can you give chapter and verse for this - on the face of it - extraordinary information?

Augustine of Canterbury said...

If you're disciplined as a retired Anglican clergyman, the penalty can be to reduce pension payments to one 33rd of the original sum. Neither the stipend or the non-contributory pension are entitlements (they are allowances on which to live*). I actually think this won't happen to anyone joining the ordinate, it would be mean and bad form.

*Actually if you look this up you'll find that there is no entitlement to the Diocesan Augmentation part of the stipend or the pension based on that payment.

Sir Watkin said...

I'm not sure people have fully understood that only convention stops clergy being deprived of their pensions once they leave the CofE for the Ordinariate.

This is absolutely and completely untrue. You could become a devil worshiper and still draw a pension, because the Church of England Pension Scheme is about benefits earned through past service. What the beneficiary subsequently does has no effect on the right to those benefits.

See e.g.

What happens if I resign my orders?

In the same manner as if you had temporarily left the parochial ministry, your accrued rights will be preserved and brought into payment on receiving an application from you at age 65. (For earlier payment see Section 4.)


http://www.churchofengland.org/media/49887/ypqacp.pdf

Sir Watkin said...

If you're disciplined as a retired Anglican clergyman

Which could not apply if you had resigned your orders (hence the official advice that clergy joining the Ordinariate should so resign them - it really isn't a sinister plot, tho' had the advice been put more tactfully such suspicions might not have arisen).

Dale said...

I rather think that this article is not really very honest; it seems to imply that those who are not willing to accept Roman claims are in some sense simply nutters or crackpots. There are indeed many, myself included, who simply do not believe in the additions made to Roman Catholic theology since the middle of the 19th century.

Dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
motuproprio said...

In a letter to Jezebel's Trumpet, Fr Broadhurst makes the following very telling point.
"Relinquishment of orders not only costs a substantial amount, but means that those who do so are entered on the Lambeth List along with those deprived or deposed for serious offences."

Those who resigned their office under the Ordination of Women Measure were not required also to renounce their orders, and any such suggestion at that time would have been met with a storm of protest. It seems that the mood in some quarters of the Church of England has become significantly more aggressive.

Joshua said...

"There are indeed many, myself included, who simply do not believe in the additions made to Roman Catholic theology since the middle of the 19th century."

Hmmm, how quaintly put.

It irresistibly reminds me of how Anglicans reacted to the Immaculate Conception being proclaimed de fide in 1854: it was thought by them to be the last crazed prattle of a senile, dying Papacy.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

"There are indeed many, myself included, who simply do not believe in the additions made to Roman Catholic theology since the middle of the 19th century."

[Joshua] "Hmmm, how quaintly put."

But true and the majority of the rest of the Catholic Church i.e. the East (that other "lung") would agree.

Joshua said...

The East affirms the Theotokos to be the All-Holy, who at her Dormition passed to heaven... they may not accept the Western definitions relative to these points, but would be outraged if their own analogous beliefs about Our Lady were questioned. As for Papal Infallibility, well, those not in communion with Rome can hardly accept it, can they? ;-)

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dale: your point would be a fair one if I had not made it very clear that I was writing about those who for years have been perceived as papalists likely to'go' at the drop of a hat; people whose talk has been endlessly about the holy Father and theimportance of being in coimmunion with him; who have for decades asserted their belief in the doctrines you speak slightingly about. I make no criticisms at all of PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED, AND STILL DON'T ACCEPT, THE WHOLENESS OF PAPAL DOCTRINE.

Dale said...

Fr John stated:

"Dale: your point would be a fair one if I had not made it very clear that I was writing about those who for years have been perceived as papalists likely to'go' at the drop of a hat; people whose talk has been endlessly about the holy Father and theimportance of being in coimmunion with him"

Fr John: In all fairness, your article does not make this plain at all. But, hey, at least I am perceived by some as quaint; I might add, old and cranky as well.

Joshua said...

Don't think, Dale, that I can't be cranky too, or seem in manner quaint or otherwise old-fashioned... the world being as it is, and all that, why be beholden to the status quo?

I think this is one of those irregular verbs: I am an independent thinker, you are eccentric, he is barmy (with apologies to Yes, Minister).

Gregory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caedmon said...

[["There are indeed many, myself included, who simply do not believe in the additions made to Roman Catholic theology since the middle of the 19th century."

[Joshua] "Hmmm, how quaintly put."

But true and the majority of the rest of the Catholic Church i.e. the East (that other "lung") would agree.]]

There's the nub of it, right there.

Joshua said...

Of course, the West could (but generally from motives of politeness and/or unconcern generally doesn't) say the same of Eastern developments over the past millennium: seen any uncreated Energies lately? or confessed to a thurible (as the Copts did in times of persecution)?