18 November 2009


November 19 is the (earthly) birthday of Blessed King Charles the Martyr (not his heavenly natale). Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus ...


You may have noticed that I don't have any links to other blogs. That is because, in my untechnological illiteracy, I don't know how to do it. But it does have the advantage of sparing me the obligation to attempt to exercise a charism of discernment. In addition, I have a profound suspicion of some areas of the American "Continuum".

But I am told of something called the ACA (correct me if I've got this wrong) which is with the TAC and is part of the TAC impetus towards submission to the Holy See. That being so, I suggest that all good chaps/chappesses and true should give a whirl to a new blog, the anglocatholic, which emanates from that stable. This is certainly a time for all right-thinking people to rally round and support each other, blogically as well as in other ways.


A friend who recently crossed the Tiber recalls with 'guilt' that she helped to persuade Graham Leonard that Women Deacons are Kosher. I'm not sure that guilt isn't anachronistic. At that time we determined to be principled and not to deny something which could, we thought, be found in the Paradosis. Bishop 'Kallistos' Ware gave some impetus to this by, I was told, encouraging one very Catholic young woman to accept (permanently) diaconal orders - and she was publicly applauded as one of us by Bishop Graham. I know that the poor girl (a distinctly clever product of Girton College) was given a very rough time by the wymynprysts and their male running dogs (good Maoist expression, yes?) for declining to seek the presbyterate.

I won't soldier through the evidence on which such assumptions were based nor the reasons why current theological research doubts whether the 'female diaconate' was really such. Even now, however, I am not sure that the Magisterium has explicitly and definitively judged upon this question. If it hasn't, neither have I. If, on the other hand, it has, I support 100% what it has decided. You can't say fairer than that, guv.

I don't know if there are Permanent Women Deacons in our Integrity who might seek reconciliation with the Holy See. If there are, I hope that at some stage Authority can deal sensitively with them; not inconceivably by restoring the old Anglican "Order of Deaconesses", who were explicitly not in Holy Orders and whose functions closely paralleled those of 'women deacons' in the early centuries (would it be appropriate for them to wear stoles, and maniples on their right wrists?). While I'm on about it, may I raise the question also of Readers - men and women - who have given and do give our Church splendid service and deserve not to be discarded in 'Ordinariates'. These are all parts of our Patrimony, and must be items on an eventual list of agenda.

I expect there will be some who will conclude that, after all, Hunwicke is Unsound!


John F H H said...

I have clear recollections of Bishop Graham Leonard, as he then was, coming to address the Welsh Church Union in Cardiff. He appeared unable to comprehend the somewhat hostile reception he received from the floor. He was seen at the time as having "sold the pass" over the question of women deacons.
John U.K.

motuproprio said...

Another problem with the ordination of women as (if) deacons was that in the Anglican polity they became members of the House of Clergy for electoral purposes. This together with the administrative decision of bishops to withhold licences (and thus votes) from retired clergy, restricting then to 'Permish to offish', was all part of the political organisation to secure a General Synod vote in favour of Wymyn Priests (and in due course Bishopesses).

BTW, why is it that the expression priestess raises such ire, and why do we no longer appear to have actresses, and whatever happened to seamstresses and manageresses? We lost conductresses with the advent of OMO omnibuses,though it appears the tabloid press cannot do without temptresses, and businessmen certainly cannot do without their mistresses.

Chris said...

motuproprio - "priestess" is seen as implying (and, I suspect, almost always intended to imply) difference, and probably inferiority, in the same way as a deaconess was definitely not a deacon. I would have thought that was fairly obvious.

Nebuly said...

A problem with the present activities of Readers is that they have been given almost all the duties, roles, responsibilities and dignities of Deacons but without ordination.

Many ( of the men ) might be Ordained Deacon no doubt and perhaps the women admitted Deaconess, if as suggested such an office be established but surely only Deacons and Priests may actually preach in the Latin Rite?

Rubricarius said...

Should we keep an Octave (and public holiday!) for the feast of the Nativity of Bl. Charles?

William Tighe said...

I knew the Girtonian decades ago; a fine and lovely young lady with a noble Roman Christian name.

By the way, oughtn't someone reply to Colin Buchanan's mischevous (but pointed) piece in the November *New Directions*? Its last three paragraphs are very much a propos, although the historical substance of the last-one-but-three needs a bit of correcting: its reference to "Convocation" glides over the fact that the May 1532 acceptance of Henry's "Royal Supremacy" never was even presented to the Lower House and went through an Upper House from which all but about 8 or 10 members had fled by a vote of (as I recall) of 6 to 2. In any case, as doctissimus hospes noster will soon explain to us, the sad "lapse" (if we may so term it) of the Canterbury Convocation in 1532 was more than redeemed in 1559.

Why are these barmy bishops so ignorant of history?

William said...

But in the Ordinariate, will we even be able to speak of Blessed Charles the Martyr?

Some of us are still trying to work out whether the Apostolic Constitution, however undoubtedly generous, is truly an acceptance into the fullness of Catholic communion of all within Anglicanism which demonstrates a Catholic spirit, or simply permission to retain a bit of vaguely Anglican top-dressing after a dip in the Tiber.

May I suggest that a "touchstone" issue here is "What becomes of our holy ones?" Whether or not it will be possible in principle (and no doubt after proper investigation) liturgically to commemorate "Blessed" (or even, in time "Saint") Charles Stuart/William Laud/Richard Hooker/Lancelot Andrewes/Thomas Ken/John Keble/Charles Lowder etc. etc. – in spite of their not having been within the Roman Communion at the time (I believe there is precedent in many of the Saints that the Eastern Rites brought with them at the Union of Brest) – will tell us a great deal about how our Patrimony is really regarded.

This should not be treated as an additional demand or a negotiating stance, but as a way of understanding what is actually meant by the ApCon's expressed willingness to "preserv[e] elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony".

William Tighe said...

I can't see why you'd want to bring an opponent of the papacy like Richard Hooker into your sanctorale any more than I can see Eastern/Byzantine Catholics wanting to number someone like Mark of Ephesus in theirs.

Laud might be in the same category as "St. Photius the Great" whom a few of my fellow Byzantines are silly enough to venerate, and I say this despite admiring Laud's constancy in adversity -- although I admire Lancelot Andrewes more.

William said...

No doubt, Dr Tighe, there would be plenty of scope for debate as to which particular names would be included. My concern was not to propose a draft version of such a Sanctorale but to raise the question of principle as to whether "our holy ones", however defined, may or may not be regarded as part of that Patrimony which we are told will be "preserved".

Anonymous said...

Sad lot, those wymynprysts with their stoles, maniples, whips, chains and leather chasuble. There aren't enough pillories in the kingdom to handle them properly.

Jolly Christian ladies make splendid schola cantorum, altar guild, wives and simnel-cake when they have a mind for it.

Joshua said...

Pardon my ignorance - is a reader more or less the equivalent of a lector? Every so often I recall that I was once instituted a lector, but I must say I hardly ever exercise the ministry; the last time was singing some of the Prophecies at the Easter Vigil in the EF last year...

Lectors in the Roman Church, of course, must be males. Ladies may read, but they cannot be instituted as lectors.

Joshua said...

I'm very pleased to learn that I share my birthday with King Charles I; with a spot of luck, I may even be martyred for the true Faith...

(In the secular world, the 19th of November is "World Toilet Day".)

Gengulphus said...

Fr William said...

But in the Ordinariate, will we even be able to speak of Blessed Charles the Martyr?

Only between consenting adults and in private, I hope.

It is surely evident from even a cursory reading of the Bull and the Norms, that this generous provision for the rehabilitation of Anglicans is to be effected without (I am very glad to say) the compromise any matter of principle whatever.

The heterogeneous worthies whose names have - with ambiguous liturgical effect - been injected in recent years into the once pleasingly sober calendar of the C of E range from the luminous to the laughable, and include many persons who were not merely not 'catholic', but some who were not even anglican either. It includes some figures whose orthodoxy was decidedly attenuated, and others whose heterodoxy is beyond suspicion.

The idea that the 'nodding through' of this bunch of heteroclite beati could be in any way desirable, or interpreted as a test of the genuineness of the offer on the table is profoundly unsettling. The very body which authorized the insertion of these names into the liturgical calendar was precisely the one which has undertaken a forty year programme of reform in which every last vestige of anglican orthodoxy has been stripped away.

Laud, Hooker, Andrewes, Ken, etc., at least as far as their devotional writings are concerned, are a most desirable fragment of the anglican patrimony, and I would wish to add William Law, George Herbert, Jeremy Taylor, and the excellent Robert Nelson (amongst others) to the list. But their place is the bookcase, not the calendar.

And the Royal Martyr can be appropriately commemorated in a pleasing engraving on the walls of private houses (such as mine).

Nebuly said...


Readers have become an order in everything but name. They are admitted by a Bishop with prayer and often laying on of hands.

Originally they read Mattins and Evensong and Catechized; then they were allowed to read official homilies; then to preach their own sermon - but neither of the aforesaid at the Eucharist; then they were allowed to preach at the Eucharist; then to assist with the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament; then to Proclaim the Gospel at the Eucharist; then to officiate at Funerals: but even after the admission of Women as Deacons we never saw the light and put Readership back to reading.

Do we really want to perpetuate the rich Anglican Patrimony of 'make it up as you go along'?

And surely we are all 'unsound'?- that is why we need the Magisterium

Steve said...

"Some of us are still trying to work out whether the Apostolic Constitution, however undoubtedly generous, is truly an acceptance into the fullness of Catholic communion of all within Anglicanism which demonstrates a Catholic spirit, or simply permission to retain a bit of vaguely Anglican top-dressing after a dip in the Tiber." (Fr William)

I should be VERY surprised if it does not turn out to be precisely the latter. Would the CDF really buy the former?

Anonymous said...

The new blog looks promising. I'd say, they've got the right take on things. Cheers!

(I suggest that Christian ask his home parish to remove the "beaver shot" pics from their page - not very becoming for a Christian institution. Where do they think they are, World Youth Day? What would S Cecilia say?)

Rubricarius said...

I wonder if there are any strict observance Anglicans who use the Julian Calendar with the BCP?

If so yesterday was of course the 5th November 'old style' and the day of observance of 'A Form of Prayer with Thanksgiving...etc', or more popularly, Gundpowder Treason.

The service containded such energetic collects "Almighty God...wonderful and mighty deliverance of our gracious Sovereign...by Popish treachery appointed as sheep to the slaughter, in a most barbarous and savage manner, beyond the example of former ages..." and "Accept also...for the Deliverance of our Church and Nation from Popish Tyranny and arbitrary power..."

I wonder if Anglican Patrimony is holded so dear that by a generous act Rome will authorise the Service for use in any Ordinariate?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rubricarius, that was hilarious! Perhaps with the added flourish of the celebrant donning a Guy Fawkes mask for the canon and communions.


Let's do the Princess Di thing and protest mine fields. The best route for this bit of Anglican patrimony is a souvenir for All Saints.

Steve Cavanaugh said...

On page 560 of the Book of Divine Worship, in the rubrics for the burial service, we read:

"When the services of a priest cannot be obtained, a deacon or lay
reader may preside at the service."

So Lay Readers have apparently already been snuck in to the Ordinariates, since the BDW is to be the basis, according to Archbishop DiNoia, of the future liturgy for the Ordinariates.

William said...

Gengulphus, I am sure you realise that I was not suggesting that the C of E's present Sanctorale should be imported wholesale.

That Sanctorale, in itself, is pretty worthless. There are some very strange selections, doubtless dictated by one ecclesiopolitical agenda or another. But equally there are many who, in other circumstances, would surely long since have been raised to the altars of the Church.

It will require a process of discernment – there can be no question of 'nodding through'. But if, as you appear to suggest, such a process is to be excluded a priori, that will cast the "rehabilitation" of Anglicans (a rather telling word choice, there!) in a very negative light.

"[T]heir place is the bookcase, not the calendar." It didn't require an Apostolic Constitution to allow us to retain our copies of Taylor, Law and Andrewes on our shelves, if that is all that is meant by preserving Anglican patrimony.

Nebuly said...

Ah Father William

Lancelot Andrewes tells us in a Sermon preached at St Giles Cripplegate concerning the frequency of celebrating the Eucharist: "For sure we should continue also in this part and the frequenting of it, if not so often as the Primitive Church did--which either thrice in the week, or at the furthest once, did communicate--yet as often as the Church doth celebrate; which, I think, should do better to celebrate more often." He celebrated once a month. Will this be part of the Patrimony?

Shall we read Jeremy Taylor's 'Dissuasion against Popery as part of the Office?

High Church Anglicans never doubted that they were Catholic but they asserted that they were indeed Protestants. Will that be part of the Patrimony?

There is nothing evil in being a High Church Anglican but the OFFER is Full Communion with the Holy See bringing the riches ( spiritual and liturgical rather than doctrinal ) of the Anglican Tradition - but that gold they will purify jn the crucible of the Magisterium.

We will have to decide if we are prepared for the refiner's fire

Gengulphus said...

Fr William said...

It will require a process of discernment – there can be no question of 'nodding through'.

Quite. Nebuly's 'crucible of the Magisterium'.

Perhaps meanwhile we could test the matter empirically and see if devotions to John Calvin - Reformer (26th May) might elicit a suitably convincing miracle from that quarter. Certainly, his stock appears to be on the rise in the C of E at the moment - and the newly appointed bishop of Peterborough might undertake to promote the cause.

The Anglo-Catholic said...

I can help with a hyperlink to the The Anglo-Catholic blog. It is http://www.theanglocatholic.com/.