26 November 2009

More Rowan

Rowan's Rome lecture articulates an ecclesiology which is profoundly orthodox. Hoi polloi talk about "churches" when they mean denominations or 'national' churches: the "Methodist Church"; the "Church of Scotland". But Rowan knows that "the retheologising of ecclesiology, especially in dialogue with the Christian East, has meant that we are now better able to see the local community gathered round the bishop or his representative for eucharistic worship not as a portion of some greater whole but as itself the whole, the qualitative presence of the Catholic reality of filial holiness and Trinitarian mutuality here and now". This is profoundly in line with the ecclesiology set out by Joseph Ratzinger in two CDF documents Communionis notio and Dominus Iesus. Church means bishop, presbyterate, diaconate, laos. In this particular church, the Katholike is fully present. In practical terms, Rowan has spelt this out in his assurances that individual American dioceses which are "Windsor-compliant" would not be severed from full communion with the See of Canterbury because of their entanglement with the rest of PECUSA.

Unlike his dim colleagues on the English bench of bishops, Rowan knows that this is why "A code of practice will not do"; pastoral arrangements designed with the discriminatory intent of ensuring that Mrs Bloggs never actually has to see a woman priest in her own church are worse than useless. Whether he has the clout to cajole his colleagues into consenting, even at this late stage, to a Third Province for us seems more than doubtful.

It is on the basis of this ecclesiology that Rowan makes a deft criticism of the 'Ordinariates' which has eluded the journalists but is uncomfortably closer to home than we might care to admit. "It remains to be seen whether the flexibility suggested in the Constitution might ever lead to something less like a 'chaplaincy' and more like a church gathered around a bishop".

Indeed. Rowan does have a point. That was the attraction of a Third Province of discrete and coherent dioceses which, having consolidated themselves and established their corporate life, could make corporate submission to the Holy See. The problem was that no one seemed very keen to give us this. Nor do they now. Or have I missed something?

The answer to Rowan's point is in the question "Which is more like a church gathered round a bishop:
an Ordinariate
or a situation where the Parish of S Bibulus and six others are firmly clenched within the diocese of Barchester and are supposed to be happy because a Code of Practice will prevent them from being given priestly or episcopal ministrations by a woman ... until they have been softened up to the point where they no longer feel their 'difficulties'?"

Ordinaries will in the future, I suspect, normally be bishops - celibate bishops. The permission for them to be presbyters-who-were-married-bishops-in-the-C-of-E is manifestly intended as a transitional arrangement: and an extraordinarily gracious and sensitive one. It would be thoroughly nasty of us to demur.

18 comments:

Little Black Sambo said...

As usual you are spot on.
(Are you going to comment on the interesting preface to +Ebbsfleet's calendar for 2009-2010?)

Steve said...

I cannot, of course, answer for everyone who is "not keen" to create a Third Province, but I can tell you why I am not; it is because it would be a separate church. It would teach a different doctrine; it would use a different liturgy; its impaired communion with the other two Provinces would be its very raison d'etre, as well as being written in the bones of its leaders; and its only possible destiny would require its communion with the other two Provinces to change from being impaired to being completely broken (that is, no inter-communion whatever).

The only senior figure in the C of E whom I know to have grasped this (though I dare to hope there are many more) is +Ebbsfleet.

rev'd up said...

Father, you said: "The permission for them to be presbyters-who-were-married-bishops-in-the-C-of-E is manifestly intended as a transitional arrangement." I'm not sure I agree with this. Certainly, if the Ordinariat desires the leadership of a man to exercise fully as a bishop then that man will make a vow of celibacy (after putting away his wife?). However, if the Governing Council chose a married man to be ordinary they will be free to do so and he will be the ordinary following Papal approval.

I suspect most if not all of the initial Governing Councils will be composed exclusively of married priests and the future ordinaries will arise from the men within the Governing Council. It is natural to assume that this cultural Anglican norm will perpetuate itself.

Most Anglicans, when they realize the freedom granted in the Constitution, will not be interested in having an ordinary who is a bishop. It's axiomatic, the less seen and heard bishop is the best bishop. Less is more. Bishops in the Ordinariates serve only one function, to ordain. And since a bishop ordains maybe once a year: who needs him all the time? Let's send our candidates to Rome for ordination.

Edwin said...

The provision is, I think, pretty open-ended. If only half a dozen of us go over, there will be no future; but if a sizeable body develops in the ordinariate, then some of the things which begin as experiments (such as the married priesthood ... only tolerated to start, but perhaps not even needing individual permsission as time goes by) will be seen as part of the Anglican patrimony, a gift to the entire Church. And that might even in time enable both Rome and Orthodoxy to revisit the question of married bishops
(v. St Mark 1.30 or I Timothy 3.1)

Gengulphus said...

Ordinaries will in the future, I suspect, normally be bishops - celibate bishops.

I suspect this too, and heartily applaud the development. One of the most disheartening and disagreeable aspects in the C of E in the past two decades has been the hardening consistency with which able, intelligent, orthodox and celibate priests have been denied preferment. This has happened quite shamelessly and overtly whilst, paradoxically, mealy-mouthed but vociferous lip-service has been paid to various kinds of fashionable 'equality of opportunity'. The ability to hook a big fat wife has become a sine qua non of the Anglican career structure, and - in the case of many recent 'dignitories', their only distinguishable achievement.

It is a most desirable and salutory corrective that in the Ordinariates the glittering prizes will be for those who have embraced this higher calling.

Nebuly said...

I wonder if those outside little England realise the pressure in favour of clerical celibacy and the dislike of the idea of a married clergy in, for example, my own native Ireland or in Spain and Italy? Even in Americanised England the unease of the Roman Catholic Clergy is evident.

Does Bishop Barnes really believe that the example of a few High Church Anglican Cleric has a more powerful weight of example than the constant practice of the Holy Orthodox Church with the Holy see. In spite of the very strenuous efforts of recent Popes to effect reconciliation and union with the East the Roman Catholic Church has repeatedly and unequivocally reasserted Celibacy.

Gengulphus is right to remind us that celibacy is not just a 'life-style choice' not to be married but a higher vocation than the married state - both in the East and the West of Christendom.

Neill said...

Look at it from the point of view of a member of the laity in an Ordinariate with a non-bishop Ordinary. Who is his bishop? The local RC bishop in whose diocese his parish happens to be geographically located? The "boss bishop" of the CDF?! Who? This does seem to be a lacuna in the Ang. Coet. It is really not good enough to say that bishops are best not seen, Rev'd up.

rev'd up said...

"It is really not good enough to say that bishops are best not seen, Rev'd up."

Well, I might add, until they more uniformly embrace orthodox behavior I do believe that they are best out of sight and out of mind.

Unless I totally misunderstand things, the Ordinariates are to respond directly to the Pope. Why can't he perform the ordinations? Or in his stead there could be a Roman bishop appointed for the job, like +Bruskewitz for the FSSP.

Nebuly said...

No one I have noticed has mentioned that the former Anglican Priest, Bishop Hopes in Westminster is available as both Bishop and Ordinary - and how excellent that would be.

Joshua said...

The Ordinaries are Vicars of His Holiness - so in a real sense, those who join these Ordinariates will be directly under the Bishop of Rome: RC's indeed!

Here in Australia, which is surely likely to have its own Ordinariate, given the exertions of Hepworth et al., there are two Catholic bishops who were raised Anglican - their Lordships Peter Elliott, one of the assistant bishops in Melbourne, and Geoffrey Jarrett (who had been an Anglican minister - "I've been ordained five times!" he told me), Bishop of Lismore in N.S.W.

The rumour has surfaced that the latter is being considered...

Sadie Vacantist said...

Rev'd up: "Let's send our candidates to Rome for ordination."

Fine, but where will they train?

Fr. J. said...

In my diocese (I have recently moved) of Portland, Oregon, we have a married priest who is in charge of continuing formation for priests. That is a vital role, and he works very closely with the Vicar for Priests. He is highly regarded, respected by the presbyterate and seems remarkably happy as a former Presbyterian now Catholic priest. I can't speak for others, but all these claims that the Catholic clergy are deeply opposed certainly is not the case here. I for one am thrilled that he brings to the Catholic Church many key skills and insights.

motuproprio said...

Remembering one of your recent posts, ho will priests of the ordinariate(s) name in the Canon after the Pope if their ordinary is a priest? Will they follow the custom in the Diocese of Rome and only name the Pope?

William Tighe said...

"The rumour has surfaced that the latter is being considered..."

My money is on the former.

Joshua said...

Either would be excellent, but yes, I do suspect that +Elliott, not being a diocesan, would be a more likely choice.

I recall his telling me of his confirmation as an Anglican: his father, a very High Church vicar, had carefully instructed him about the grace-filled sacramentality of this rite, so great was his father's rage when the bishop, "lower than a snake's belly", contradicted all of the sacramental theses taught, and laid it down that it was but an ordinance of men only!

Elliott was received into the Church while at Oxford with his friend, a certain Fr Pell.

rev'd up said...

Sadie: "Fine, but where will they train?"

Here in the USA/the Americas there are a couple of options.

1) The Pontifical College Josephinum, not only is more-conservative-than-most Roman seminaries but they have several empty buildings that could be slotted for "Ordinariate formation." It is located in Columbus, Ohio.

2) There is a rumor...that a venerable N. American Anglican seminary (financially and juridically independent of ECUSA) may swim once they know the waters are warm. Many originally Anglican clergy turned Roman were trained there and many still hold a sway with key figures. Their chapel, facilities and faculty are top shelf. Incidentally, they have housing for married seminarians.

William Tighe said...

But (to the last) they have a Dean who is quite hostile (in a polite way) to "Romanism," as befits a former Baptist.

CPKS said...

But Rowan knows that "the retheologising of ecclesiology, especially in dialogue with the Christian East, has meant that we are now better able to see the local community gathered round the bishop or his representative for eucharistic worship not as a portion of some greater whole but as itself the whole, the qualitative presence of the Catholic reality of filial holiness and Trinitarian mutuality here and now". This is profoundly in line with the ecclesiology set out by Joseph Ratzinger in two CDF documents Communionis notio and Dominus Iesus. Church means bishop, presbyterate, diaconate, laos. In this particular church, the Katholike is fully present.

I don't think it is quite as simple as that. Ontologically, Ratzinger has very publicly argued that the Church is primarily the Universal Church established by Our Lord and not the local church. For evidence of this, see e.g.

http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=1710

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-857034/Walter-Kasper-on-the-theology.html

http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/Blosser_article.html