24 August 2016

S Bartholomew's Day

The Day of the Great Ejection, in 1662, of those two or three thousand Protestant Ministers who would not accept Sacerdotal Ordination by a Bishop in the Church of England; a day also to remember because of the concomitant 'sacerdotalising' changes to her rites of Ordination. This initiated an era only ended by the unhappy 'Porvoo Agreement' in which the Church of England herself formally declared, as Leo XIII had declared a century earlier, that her Orders were identical with those of Continental Protestantism (1995).

Granting the views expressed by Dermot MacCulloch about the Protestant character of the Elizabethan Reformation, should we see S Bartholomew's Day as the moment when the Church of England definitively and formally set out upon a course distinguishing herself from Common Protestantism? A course upon which she remained until the events of last two or three decades concluded it (Women priests, Porvoo, Anglican-Methodist Covenant, Women Bishops).

August 24 1662: one of a number of significant steps in the long journey from Elizabeth Tudor's coup d'etat to Benedict XVI's Ordinariate.

Dies calculo notandus.

4 comments:

El Codo said...

Father, you are so honest in working through the agonies. The Church of England was created by Tudor tyrants ,male and female. The Anglican ministers, stupor mundi,worked against the tumbling sands of corrosive unbelief but gradually and inevitably the edifice has begun to sag. You have trodden the narrow way and your writing is a huge blessing to us all, cradle and convert, modern and ancient .

Prayerful said...

When Mary I came to the throne, the Edwardine ordinal was rejected but I don't think the rejection was applied consistently. If Archbishop Laud had survived longer/served a more effective king, perhaps the ordinal might have improved even more than it was in 1662, when the ordinal became clearer on what was being imparted in ordination. It might have been impossible, given how Archbishop Laud perished after a sham trial/attainder brought about by his efforts at restoring Ritual (also his personality, but his reforms were surely a big factor). It is hard enough to see how Anglican Orders could have been restored to a state which made Leo XIII's 'null and void' verdict impossible, yet the passions of the seventeenth century did pass into history. Perhaps things could have been different.

William Tighe said...


"When Mary I came to the throne, the Edwardine ordinal was rejected but I don't think the rejection was applied consistently."

I don't think that this was the case, but I am writing from memory. Certainly, the homilies produced ca. 1555 by Bishop Bonner and authorized by Cardinal Pole termed the Edwardian Ordinal rites "feigned ordinations" or "pretended ordinations." I think that I had some information about this matter from Fr. Hunwicke in a private letter of ca. 2003, so perhaps he might be able to supplement my recollections. My speculation would be that the validity of Edwardine Ordinal ordinations was universally rejected after the restoration of communion with Rome in November 1554, and rejected by most, if not all, English bishops after the repeal of the Edwardian Act of Uniformity in October 1553.

William Tighe said...


A slight correction (from an old correspondence):

The claim, advanced by the French Catholic ecumenist Georges Tavard, that the Marian Catholic bishops] did not commonly depose from the priesthood those ordained with the Edwardine Ordinal is absurd: "A Profitable and Necessary Doctrine" (1556), written by Bishop Bonner and one of his chaplains as a series of homilies (ordered by Pole to be read in the Diocese of Gloucester in 1555) speaks of "the late made Ministers ... in the new devised Ordination, having no authoritie ... to offer ... these late counterfeited Ministers ..." Without going through all the evidence again I feel confident that Messinger and Co win that argument conclusively. Tavard -- ludicrously -- quotes Pole's legatine constitutions, which upheld the Decretum ad Armenios with regard to the Porrection of the Instruments, and them cheerfully tells us that this is an exegesis of the Pontificale and has no relevance to the Ordinal or the status of Edwardine ordinati!