Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks For English Pilgrims

We've already reported on the five Anglican bishops who have announced their intentions to swim the Tiber. Well, we've got a few updates on the whole situation across the pond, and I figured what better day to post some of this than a day about English religious cast-offs overcoming barrenness and starvation for prosperity and bounty thanks to support from a group not their own.

First, you've got some great commentary on CNA from Keith Newton, the Anglican bishop from Richborough who is converting.

Bishop Newton explained that although the issue of the ordination of women as Anglican bishops has been an important factor in his decision, it is “not the most significant.”

Given the sneers of some who would paint the recent waves of conversion as misogynist and/or homophobic, he pretty much had to throw this out there.

“I hope you will understand that I am not taking this step in faith for negative reasons about problems in the Church of England but for positive reasons in response to our Lord’s prayer the night before he died the ‘they may all be one’,” the bishop continued.

This is the other side of the above-mentioned coin. Many of these Anglicans are portrayed as folks who are just taking their ball and going home. The folks who want to make this about the shambling wreck that is the Anglican Communion are, I guess, just too prideful to understand that it's not the ugliness of Canterbury that is the reason for the departure. It's the beauty of Rome. They can say all they want about how this is a movement driven by disillusionment. They are wrong. It's driven by hope.

While expressing sympathy with the position that Anglicans with traditional views need leadership at a “vital” time, he rejected the example of a leader who should “stay to the bitter end like the captain of a sinking ship.” Rather, he noted the scriptural image of the shepherd, who must lead his flock from the front rather than follow it from behind.

Methinks Mr. Newton has been reading our blog and enjoyed our representation of the Barque of Elizabeth:

This is all very important because, per Zenit, the new ordinariate should be set up by January.

And our usual question. What of Rowan?

I'm really not sure. Let's examine some comments he's made in a recent interview, as reported by the Telegraph and Zenit.

“Obviously my reaction to the resignations is one of regret but respect - I know the considerations they’ve been through,” he said.

In charity, I'll buy this.

“There are still a great many Anglicans in the Church of England who call themselves traditionalist who have no intention of jumping ship at this point, who are at the moment in considerable confusion and distress.

But they don’t necessarily think if the Church of England isn’t working for them that the only option is Rome.”

Here's where Rowan might be losing it a little. He says this as though the other options available to these traditionalist Anglicans somehow involve the preservation of the Anglican Communion as it currently exists. I'm not sure where he's getting this idea from. The other options being contemplated all seem to relate to the standard Protestant move of splitting off and forming their own group.

This reminds me of certain teenage relationships where the guy is convinced the girl will never leave him because there's no way she could ever do better than him. There are plenty of fish in the sea, Rowan, especially when you can just manufacture your own.

For the first time, the Archbishop suggested that worshipers who join the Ordinariate could be allowed to stay in their Anglican churches under a plan to let Roman Catholics share Church of England facilities.

Not to sound harsh, but to hell with that idea.

And then there's this comment from the Zenit article:

"I don't think it's an aggressive act oriented to destabilizing the relations of the churches and it only remains to be seen the extent of the movement of which we are speaking."

"But prophetic?" Archbishop Williams asked. "
Perhaps, in the sense that the Catholic Church says in this way that there are ways of being Christian in the Western Church that are not restricted by historical Catholic-Roman identity. It's something we can talk about."

Is he really saying that this is something new? So those Anglican Use parishes that have been around for 30 years are just figments of our imagination? This strikes me as dishonest and unbecoming and what makes me a bit skeptical about how much "respect" Rowan has for the converts.

And why is it that anything the Pope does these days is a "significant shift"? Note how the Telegraph presented the issue:

Dr Williams suggested that the Pope’s offer to allow converts to retain some of their Anglican traditions within Roman Catholicism represented a significant shift in approach from the Vatican. “Here is the Roman Catholic Church saying there are ways of being Christian in the Western church which are not restricted by historic Roman Catholic identity,” he said.

Still, I have to give him credit for trying to put a positive spin on things.

"I believe that the ordinariate helps people to value the Anglican heritage and patrimony. I am happy to praise God for this reason."

I'm not sure how this works. Starving people who leave where they are in order to go find food make the people left behind appreciate their starvation more? Something like that? Sure. Ok.

This isn't the end of this already-too-long post, though! As an added bonus, we've got a special guest star to chime in on this whole thing.


Yeah, they still have one. I'm not sure why. It's not that I'm against monarchies or anything. I think they're great. It's the whole fake monarch thing that bothers me.

Anyways, the Queen has decided to comment on the Anglican situation. This seems reasonable since she's supposed to be head of the Church there. Maybe she should take some of the responsibility for the current problems. Do you think Henry or Elizabeth would have let things go this far? Here's the BBC report:

The Queen has spoken of the "difficult" and "painful" choices facing the Church of England as she formally opened the Church's general synod.

Speaking at the synod meeting, she said: "The new synod will have many issues to resolve to ensure that the Church of England remains equipped for the effective pursuit of its mission and ministry.

"Some will, no doubt, involve difficult, even painful, choices.

"But Christian history suggests that times of growth and spiritual vigour have often coincided with periods of challenge and testing.

"What matters is holding firmly to the need to communicate the gospel with joy and conviction in our society."

The Queen also said a "preoccupation with our welfare and comfort" were not "at the heart of our faith" but rather "the concepts of service and of sacrifice as shown in the life and teachings of the one who made himself nothing, taking the very form of a servant".

These comments seem very bizarre coming from a member of the British Royal Family.

"It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the well-being and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none," she said.

"Yet, as the recent visit of His Holiness the Pope reminded us, churches and the other great faith traditions retain the potential to inspire great enthusiasm, loyalty and a concern for the common good."

Hey! She said something nice about the Pope! And that was about it. So nothing from the Queen that's going to fix things. Crap. I had such hopes.

Luckily, Rowan took the mic afterwards and didn't disappoint.

Also speaking at the synod meeting, Dr Williams said he wanted to avoid the worst aspects of "secular partisanship" by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He urged members not to reject the Anglican Covenant, a proposed agreement aimed at resolving disputes within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The idea was first put forward in the Windsor Report in 2004 in response to tensions within the Anglican Communion following the consecration in the US of Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as a bishop in New Hampshire.

And it is an "illusion" to believe the Anglican Communion can "carry on as usual" in the face of splits over issues such as the consecration of openly gay bishops and same sex blessings, Dr Williams warned.

"If we ignore this, we ignore what is already a real danger, the piece-by-piece dissolution of the Communion and the emergence of new structures in which relation to the Church of England and the See of Canterbury are likely not to figure significantly," he said.

And we're back to Square 1, and Rowan talking out of both sides of his mouth. He knows he's in the middle of a schism. He claims that they can't go on as they have been. So what's the solution? To drag up the same stuff that's been proposed since 2004. I'm sorry, but what the hell is he thinking? The problem is that everyone except him is trying to force the Anglican Communion to take a stand. You can't fit everyone under the umbrella anymore. The Anglican Communion will continue its Death March, shedding members/groups as it goes. Rowan will wake up one day and realize where his lack of leadership has gotten him:

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