19 November 2009

Gathering in the Patrimony

These are early days - we don't even know that the Apostolic Constitution will deliver what the Holy Father desires. The Devil has many tricks. But if it does, it is only the beginning of the process of patriating our Tradition and Ethos and Spirituality to Catholic Unity.

Eventually, we shall have to face the question of saintly Anglicans who lived after the schism; and the Calendar - the Canon or List of those commemorated at the Altar.

There are, of course, precedents for regarding as Saints or Beati those who lived outside full communion with the Successor of Peter. There were Saints on each side in the Western Schism - yes, you don't need to remind me that they didn't deny papal authority and they didn't want to be outside the Unity of Peter and they didn't think they were. But IN FACT they were out of communion with the true pope. Whichever one he was: remember, the Magisterium has never definitively decided all the questions there are about which claimant was the pope and which the antipope*. (What is your view about the validity of the elections of Leo VIII and Benedict V?)

Orthodox saints who lived after the breach between East and West have been formally admitted to Calendars of communities in full communion with Rome. I have on my desk a Melkite Calendar which lists some quite recent Russian saints.

And, of course, if Rome is sincere (as I am sure she is) in wanting unity with the East, she can hardly expect Orientals to forget so many of their saints whose names are on the various Orthodox Lists and whose ikons in churches are darkened with centuries of candle smoke.

So this question - or one very much like it - will eventually have to be faced. After all, S Photius was not all bad.


*I am reminded of the old Jacobite doggerel

God save the King; God save our Faith's Defender;
God bless - no harm in blessing - the Pretender.
But who Pretender is, and who is King -
God bless my soul! That's quite another thing!


Gengulphus said...

I am reminded of the old Jacobite doggerel
God save the King; God save our Faith's Defender…

Doggerel, but fie! Surely these lines are attributed to the excellent and slightly sinister John Byrom - the writer of one of the best hymns in our patrimony.

Nebuly said...

I recall an initiative of Pope John Paul II to compile an inclusive list if witnesses of the Faith as the Millennium approached.

In 1998 there was a letter of the Ecumenical Commission of the Central Committee of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 to the corresponding national commissions. Among other things this letter proposed the formation of an ecumenical martyrology.

It stated: "The witness of faith given by Christians, even to the shedding of their blood, deserves particular attention in view of the Jubilee. This testimony has become the common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants (cf. TMA, 37). The Christian community cannot allow the memory of these witnesses to Christ to perish, for they demonstrate the presence and efficacy of the Holy Spirit in the different Churches and ecclesial Communities. This voice from the 'communio sanctorum' is louder and more convincing than the elements of division (cf. TMA, 37). The memory of their testimony and faith is a pledge of hope for the future. To this end, it could be useful to compile a 'common calendar' or an 'ecumenical martyrology,' a compendium of Christians — Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant — who have rendered testimony to Christ our Saviour, sometimes even by shedding their blood."

Thus without the canonization those who, for example, celebrated the Holy Eucharist monthly, abjured the Pope and persecuted Catholics might in some way be recalled.

The partial gives way to fuller participation.

Nebuly said...

TMA - Tertio Millennio Adveniente,

William Hyland said...

Fr. Hunwicke, I could not agree more on the calendar issue, and I think the parallel with the Eastern saints, although perhaps not perfect, does suffice. I would like to see on an Anglican Use/Rite sanctoral calendar Andrewes, Herbert, Pusey, etc. I agree this point is ultimately part of the acceptance of the "patrimony".

Joshua said...

Recall that for saints to be recognized, miracles are required, except in the case of martyrdom.

It would appear that this requirement may be difficult of fulfilment - it took an American to get one out of Newman!

Nebuly said...

'Andrewes, Herbert, Pusey, etc. '

At least two of these while asserting that they were Catholics equally asserted that they were Protestants.

They may well be 'witnesses to Christ' but as for their inclusion in an official sanctoral kalendar I suggest again as I have said elsewhere, that the Catholic Church will apply the 'Crucible of the Magisterium' to this treasure and refine it to the gold standard of the fullness of the Faith

William Hyland said...

I do not have all of this worked out in my mind, and understand Nebuly's point. I would only say that if we accept the worth of a "patrimony", yet not recognize or commemorate any of the "patres", separated as they were, who actually embodied it, we are moving into a very unreal and strangely abstract understanding of what patrimony means.

Священник села said...

As much as one truly admires the great Anglican worthies, it seems to me that it would not ring true to dedicate a church to, say St Lancelot Andrewes, or the Blessed John Mason Neale, and I don't think that even the most 'patrimonial' of Anglicans has ever thought to do so such a thing. A Pusey House is one thing, but a shrine of St Edmund P? Have any post-Reformation Anglicans, even the saintliest, become the heavenly patrons of churches dedicated to them? Or perhaps this says more about the competence of the established church than the sanctity of the worthies.

Joshua said...

I can't really see Anglicans actually practising direct invocation of Thomas Ken, Lancelot Andrewes, or Edward Pusey! Are there any holy cards featuring them or their like, any statues (cheap plaster surely not, but fine gilt carving or marble perhaps?) with banks of flaring candle racks arranged before them, and ex votos dangling from the ceiling? What of their litanies and feasts, when parishes go procession singing devout hymns in their honour? Are there holy icons of the Synaxis of the Caroline Divines?

I think you get my point. Recalling their memory is quite different to regarding them as potent intercessors in heaven, and acting accordingly. One ought rather pray for their eternal repose.

Gengulphus said...

andrew said...

Have any post-Reformation Anglicans, even the saintliest, become the heavenly patrons of churches dedicated to them?

Yes - most notably the handful of churches dedicated to King Charles the Martyr.

Joshua said...

Are there any holy cards featuring them or their like, any statues (cheap plaster surely not, but fine gilt carving or marble perhaps?) with banks of flaring candle racks arranged before them, and ex votos dangling from the ceiling?

There is Archbishop Laud's tortoise - a kind of tertiary relic, I suppose.

Joshua said...

In a Catholic understanding, persons are listed on a calendar because they are saints in heaven, whose lives we may profitably imitate, whose teachings we may trust, and whose prayers will aid us before the throne of the Most Highest.

I have now before me a strange Low Church devotional intituled "An Australian Prayer Book" (1978); it contains a most curious and promiscuous calendar, including the following worthies:


10 Wm Laud, Abp of Cant., theologian [not styled martyr]
13 Geo. Fox, founder of the Quakers
30 Chas, King of England [not named a martyr]


27 Geo. Herbert, P.P. & poet


3 Jn & Chas Wesley, PP, hymnographers, founders of Methodism [!]
21 Thos Cranmer, Abp of Cant., reformer, liturgist & [I cannot bring myself to write martyr of this Zwinglian pest]
22 Thos Ken, Bp, Nonjuror, spiritual teacher
29 Jn Keble, P., poet, initiator of the Oxford Movement


9 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor & theologian [not listed as a martyr]
11 Geo Selwyn, 1st Bp of NZ


3 The Anglican and RC MM of Uganda
5 Wm Broughton, 1st Bp of Australia, and the pioneer Christians here
14 Rich. Baxter, pastor & author


29 Wm Wilerforce, philanthropist, opponent of slave trade, social reformer


13 Florence Nightingale, nurse reformer
14 Jeremy Taylor, Bp, spiritual writer
31 John Bunyan, Independent preacher, spiritual writer [! so penning The Pilgrim's Progress qualifies one!]


2 The MM of New Guinea, 1942
20 Jn Patterson, Bp, missionary and martyr (1871)
25 Lancelot Andrewes, Bp, preacher, author


7 Wm Tyndale, translator of the Bible
12 Eliz. Fry, prison reformer [token woman??]
16 Reformers and "MM" of the English Reformation [stinking heretics! good riddance to bad rubbish!]
19 Henry Martyn, missionary & Bible translator
29 Jas Hannington, Bp, missionary, martyr in Uganda
30 Martin Luther et al.!


3 Rich. Hooker, P., author, apologist of the CofE (!)
8 SS, MM, Missionaries, Drs of the Anglican Communion
12 Chas Simeon, Evangelical teacher and missionary propagandist


4 Nicholas Ferrar, deacon, man of prayer
29 Josephine Butler, pioneer worker with women
31 Jn Wyclif, [heterodox] theologian & reformer

This very mixed bag indeed includes the High, the Low, the holy, and the merely noteworthy; some are not even Anglicans! It appears to be "a list of saints when you're not having saints".

Those who died for Christ rather than give up their faith and morals, such as the young Ugandans burnt alive, seem to be the best bets.

There are here spiritual writers of note, certainly part of the Patrimony, such as Andrewes in his devotions and sermons, and Taylor in his prayers (some of which are already in Catholic liturgical use via the Book of Divine Worship); but just so the Divine Office gives readings from Origen and Theodoret of Cyr, without lauding them as saints.

I can imagine finding readings from Anglo-Catholic writers being admitted into the Office for this reason.

I cannot see how any are worthy the honours of the altar, having Mass offered to God in their veneration, with prayers invoking their intercession...

I don't think even the highest of the High speak of "St Lancelot" or "Bl Florence". That's because they aren't.

Apologies if I tread on toes here.

Joshua said...

Oh, I do once recall leafing through an American Missal, and finding odd feasts in honour of Pusey and others! Can anyone confirm that Mass Propers for any of these persons exist in the American, Anglican, or English Missals?

I seem to recall a Latin Sequence for Chas the Martyr, that mentioned Laud as well...

Chris said...

Have any post-Reformation Anglicans, even the saintliest, become the heavenly patrons of churches dedicated to them?

There's at least one church (somewhere in the diocese of Chichester iirc) bearing the name of James Hannington.

Gengulphus said...

Joshua said:

I cannot see how any are worthy the honours of the altar, having Mass offered to God in their veneration, with prayers invoking their intercession...

I don't think even the highest of the High speak of "St Lancelot" or "Bl Florence". That's because they aren't.

Apologies if I tread on toes here.

Well, you don't tread on my toes, at all events, and I precisely agree.

There is a certain 'Little Englander' attitude deeply embedded in Anglicanism which prevents its adherents from seeing clearly the relative stature of these figures when placed against the background of the Universal Church.

William Law's Serious Call (to cite a personal favourite) may justifiably be spoken of in the same breath as, say, De Caussade's l'Abandon à la Providence Divine; and the breathtaking prose of Jeremy Taylor's Holy Living and Holy Dying might be placed alongside Thomas a Kempis.

But neither de Caussade nor a Kempis are canonized, and we should not, it seems to me, delude ourselves that Law and Taylor exhibited sanctity of a heroic and universal scale merely because they wrote excellent and worthy books which brought great comfort to a small, detached and irregular portion of western Christendom.

Nebuly said...

I agree with Joshua and Gengulphus.

Yes we celebrate the Holy Innocents liturgically but unlike the Orthodox not the patrimony of the patriarchs and prophets whose labours prepared ujs for the More Excellent Way.

The Anglican Patrimony as represented by these great High Church ( Protestant ) Divines fed us on the path which gave birth to Tractarianism which itself deepened the quest for Catholicism and surely now leads us on?

Is the Church of England or the Anglican Communion the final destination of that journey this side of Eternity?
Or is there yet more fullness to embrace?

Little Black Sambo said...

There is a John Keble Church somewhere in London, I believe.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

You have to be careful about "So and so memorial churches". There is a Daniel O'Connell Memorial Church in Co Kerry; it is actually dedicated to the Holy Cross,

William said...

It is true that, by and large, there has been a distinct reticence about applying the language and the liturgical observance of sainthood to the holy ones of our tradition (though there are certainly exceptions: besides those already noted, there is at least one church in the States dedicated to St William Laud; the Church of the Good Shepherd in Cambridge was previously dedicated to St Nicholas Ferrar; and I expect there are other isolated instances.)

Is this reticence because, as Joshua suggests, we recognise deep down that they actually weren't saints? I don't think so. The renaming of the St Nicholas Ferrar Church was made (or so I understand) under pressure from the hierarchy insisting, not that Nicholas Ferrar wasn't sufficiently saintly to have even a local cultus, but that the CofE did not possess the authority to declare new saints. (Even in the recent Anglican calendars, the term is carefully avoided for new entrants; though in the interests of egalitarianism, Common Worship almost – but not quite – systematically removes the title "Saint" even from the Apostles and Evangelists!)

The lack of perceived authority within Anglicanism is the problem (which is where the analogy with the Orthodox slightly breaks down). And, of course, those within the CofE who might most have wished to apply the full panoply of saintly observance were the very ones most acutely aware of the lacuna in authority. (I'd a thousand times sooner make do without the possibility of adding to the calendar of saints, than face the Pandora's Box of egregious novelties which poured out once Anglicanism arrogated the authority to make up its own rules in faith, order and morals.)

But in the Ordinariate there will be access to properly recognised authority in these matters. Getting into comparative games of "my saint's holier than your saint" is not the level at which we should be dealing. We need to be establishing matters of principle at this stage; the detailed outworking can wait till later.

Joshua said...

Indeed - let us leave this judgement to the Mother and Mistress of all the churches. Soon enough Rome will speak again and finish the job. In the meanwhile, I recall the Imitation's admonition that many proudly dispute the ranking of their favourite saints, not knowing if they will ever attain to heaven themselves!

Michael McDonough said...

A word of caution regarding the idea that "the Orthodox canoniz the Ancient Fathers in the Faith, whereas the Catholics do not" idea.

I believe that there are a number of days after Christmas and following New Years on which the Ancient Fathers such as Adam, Abraham, etc. are memorialized; though their commemoration at Mass may not be on the "universal calendar" or a given local calendar. And remember, the whole Carmelite Order professes to go back to the order of prophets of Mt. Carmel, founded by the Prophet Elijah. They do have cult dedicated to him, and others.

Although "canonization of the saints" in the modern Church has been made an office proper to the Roman Pontiff, when the "uniate" Churches came back, they were not impeded (I may be wrong about this) from continuing to venerate their traditional saints (although Mark of Ephesus may be an exception, being rather "over the top"?).

There may be an element of "supernatural selection" here, which only the passage of time willl sort out.

Joshua said...

Both the old and new Roman Martyrologies include many Old Testament persons as saints. Thus, while feasts in their honour are usually only local - such as St Elias for the Carmelites - there are exceptions even here, such as the Holy Machabees. Furthermore, any priest may offer a Votive of an O.T. saint: I usually arrange for this to be done each year for St Joshua, but so far haven't gotten around to doing so...

As for curious inclusions, the modern Martyrology includes a number of Russian saints of recent date, such as St Sergius of Radonezh (d. 1392) on the 25th of September. His cultus is marked as "not universal". However, Seraphim of Sarov is not included.

Kiran said...

I could reconcile myself with no great difficulty to venerating Andrewes, Laud and King Charles. Pusey is a more difficult case, like Gore.

A more recent addition that nobody here has raised is Eric Mascall. I think he seems much more likely than most of the above. I'd like "St. Eric."