Tuesday, 3 November 2009

What is the point?

I get my copy of the Church Times a week late, as I am number 3 in a line of 4 that read it, so I have only just seen its coverage of the Pope's invitation to disaffected Anglicans. In a small box at the bottom of a page there are a series of questions and answers about aspects of this invitation to the dance, and four of them put everything into perspective.

Does this mean that Rome now recognises Anglican orders?
Will former Anglicans need to be rebaptised?
No, but they will be reconfirmed.
Will people then be Roman Catholics?
Yes, everyone who belongs to a Personal Ordinariate will be a Roman Catholic.
Will they still be in communion with Canterbury?

So, let's think about this for a moment. Rome doesn't recognise Anglican orders, so who the hell do they think they are talking to when they meet with Roaming ap Williams? And why should they give a tinker's cuss what he thinks? This sort of highlights the "special relationship" that's going on, and shows the love affair between the travelling Tufti and Papa to be a little one-sided.

Then there's the reconfirmation issue, neccessary since the Anglican one was done by a non-recognised bishop. Well, excuse me Your Holiness, but you can stuff that one right up your pontifical crown.

And as to the next point ... oh look, surprise surprise, we all become Roman Catholics. So much for holding on to an Anglican identity in the Ordinariate. The article also mentions elsewhere that any liturgy that the former Anglican congregations wish to use has to come from books approved by the Vatican. Anyone want to lay bets on how much of our heritage will be found wanting?

And then there's the point that the Ordinariates will not be in communion with Canterbury, which sort of brings us round in a circle to the first issue of Anglican orders.

Sorry guys, but I just don't see what's changed from the usual practice of conversion to Rome apart from the fact that this way whole church communities can do it. For individuals the traditional route remains.

Maybe we ought to be promoting the fact that the Church of England has a form of Reception for disaffected Roman Catholics. The travel is a two-way street, and coming in this direction no reconfirmation is needed.


  1. Saint Peter never went to Rome and the first pope was James, the brother of Jesus, who never left Jerusalem.

    Just saying.

  2. If by "pope" MadPriest means "Head of the Church", I agree with him. Why did we ever leave that original church?

  3. Something to do with the Reformation wasn't it?

  4. To be honest, the Eastern church ended up being just as daft and, definitely, more dualist. If anyone knows of a branch of Christianity that actually sticks, or used to stick, to the teachings of Jesus, please let me know.

  5. No, much earlier! I meant the church in Jerusalem not the Roman Catholics!

  6. I'm not convinced you joined in with that wholeheartedly.

  7. How can you claim to adhere to the teachings of a non-existent being?
    Aren't two thousand years of bitchy dressup enough for adults?
    You clergy at least get paid; what's in it for anyone else? You have to pay money, get up early on Sundays to watch grown men swan around in satin and blow smoke while claiming to speak on the behalf of someone they can't hear and can't touch.

  8. How can you claim to adhere to the teachings of a non-existent being?

    Actually, there's more written historical evidence for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth than for some other historical figures whose existence no-one doubts.

  9. I doubt the existence of Sad Brad. No matter how hard I try I just can't imagine a real person could be that boring.

  10. What about Jesus's 'dad', the one in the sky nobody sees?

  11. Ah - that wasn't your question. You're moving the goalposts and this referee abandoning this game.