13 December 2010

Are you listening, Fr Hope Patten?

... as three nuns are shown the door from your shrine for desiring unity with the Holy See? What a shame, in retrospect, that Walsingham ever gave up being a papalist fortified position, in Yelton's words, and became C of E. Does anyone seriously doubt that within a decade there will be 'women celebrants' at its altars?

I wonder if the papalist foundation stone of the Holy House will be removed or covered up?


Unknown said...

I have no doubt whatsoever that within a decade there will be women celebrating Mass at the Anglican Shrine in Walsingham and I have no doubt that within fifty or a hundred years women will be celebrating Mass in Brompton Oratory. I greatly regret, personally that the Anglican Church didn't wait until the RC church was ready to do likewise, which, inevitably and eventually it will do.

What disgusts and appals me more than anything is the total lack of Christian charity shown by protagonists on both sides of the argument, both locally and nationally. Both sides, frankly, are as bad as each other.

This particular topic of the Walsngham Priory seems to have been kicked off, partly, by a posting on another blog which appears to quoting unconfirmed gossip which may or may not be accurate. If this is so then I would venture to suggest that the posting on that blog was ill-judged. I wish the three superb Sisters concerned well in their period of discernment, regardless of their eventual decision.

Whatever one's views on women's ordination or women bishops, this is an opportunity to end up with a better, stronger C-of-E and a better, stronger RC church in this country. This will only happen if we let God, the Holy Spirit, and a lot of charity, patience, tolerance and love into the equation. I've yet to see any of this happening.

I shall do whatever Walsingham does and I suspect Walsingham will not be going anywhere. To me it is a stable Spiritual home where I have received many very personal blessings and much healing in all kinds of ways. Its great strength is that, over the years it has become more accessible to more people, especially young ones. It is futile to speculate what attitudes may have been adopted now by people who died over half a century ago. We live in a very different and much more quickly changing world than they did. What Walsingham ultimately decides to do, presumably, is up to the Guardians. I have asked more than once for information on their stance but this has never been forthcoming.

Flambeaux said...

Thank you, Malcolm, for an excellent laugh with which to start off my week.

The notion that Holy Mother Church will ever ordain women is risable but the confidence with which you declare the impossible is amusing.

We are blessed to see the end of the Modern world and of there heretical schisms which wrought it.

I, for one, am eager to welcome all good Christians back home to Rome.

William Tighe said...

Fat chance, Malcolm, I'd say:

On Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
Responsum ad Dubium
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
October 28, 1995

Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Responsum: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.

+ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

+ Tarcisio Bertone
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli

Anonymous said...

I am not at all so sure that Malcom Kemp is wrong in sustaining that the Church of Rome will one day ordain women to the priesthood. The following article is very convincing - to me, at least:


Other Roman teachings, even Papal teachings, once considered unchangeable and irreformable, have in fact changed.

Enrico Dante said...

To have to leave Walsingham in order to explore unity with the Holy See.


mar said...

The article by Peter Burns, S.J. suffers from at least three errors that I found right off the bat:

1. a non sequitur:
He says "During the Patristic era we also had a number of condemnations of women priests. But these were of women priests engaged in the liturgies of heretical sects (e.g. the Collyridians). The ordination of these women was clearly contrary to contemporary canonical norms, and so it is not surprising they were condemned." and "The condemnations of women priests are in any case directed at heretical sects which violated prevailing canonical norms, NOT at orthodox Catholic women respectfully seeking a change of the disciplinary norms."

Although he didn't draw explicit conclusion that priestesses in the Catholic Church were not therefore banned, what would be other reason for his statement?

2. Historical inaccuracies:
"But let us remember that the Protestant reformers were also condemned for liturgical practices which are now licit in the Catholic Church--use of the vernacular, communion under both species, etc."
There were instances of vernacular use even in Middle Ages. In fact the first Church Slavonic printed book was Croatian Church Slavonic Missale Romanum Glagolitice. It happened in 1483, the year Martin Luther was born. By that time it was laready a long standing privilege. In 1631 that is after the counter-reformation Council of Trent, Urban VIII definitively settled the use of the Glagolitic-Slavonic missal and office-books in the Roman Rite. In fact the Church condemned the notion that Mass had to be said in vernacular, not the use of vernacular per se (vide supra). No reversal here.

Similarly, it wasn't communion under both species condemned, but rather Hussite (and later) utraquist teaching that man, in order to be saved, must receive Holy Communion when he wishes and where he wishes, under the forms of bread and wine. To the contrary, Christ is present whole and entire under each species according to a dogma of Catholic belief, and funny enough, the Catholic Church has never taught that the Eucharist was necessary as a means to salvation. So it is taught until this day. The fact that in Novus Ordo communion is distributed under both species is of disciplinary liturgical matter only. No reversal either.

David Lindsay said...

The Ordinariate are not being allowed to carry on using the churches that they never owned, and three Walsingham nuns (bluntly, a curiosity - the C of E was founded in the dissolution of such things) have been asked to leave for wanting to join it? Reminds me of something I once heard, but I cannot remember Who said it...

Enrico Dante said...

@David Lindsay

I think that a significant part of the reaction to this news is not so much the "sling yer 'ook" attitude of the CofE authorities in the matter, but more a sadness that exploration of the possibility of bringing some of Walsingham's Anglican patrimony into the Ordinariate could not happen in Walsingham itself.

The spirit of co-operation, and the aspiration for unity, which was arguably a founding charism of Walsingham, seems to have gone out with these sisters.

Unknown said...

But have they been asked to leave? The author of the other blog to which I referred says "I am hearing" "if true". It could well be true and, if so, that is disgraceful. I hope it is not true but I fear it could well be. Either way, I contend that the author of that blog would have done better to await clarification.

Little Black Sambo said...

Both sides, frankly, are as bad as each other.
How fortunate to be above it all! Spoken like a true Lib Dem, sorry I mean Aff Caff.

David Lindsay said...

@Enrico Dante, I don't know what "Walsingham's Anglican Patrimony" is supposed to be. But then, I don't know what any of an English Ordinariate's Anglican Patrimony is supposed to be.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Gollop said...

Is David Lindsay suggesting that whereas nuns are in some way un-Anglican, a shrine of Our Lady is something the Establishment needs to hold on to at all costs?

Fr Ted said...

Isn't it an exaggerationg to state "three nuns are shown the door" when all that seems to have happened is that they are taking time out to thinks things through - a right and proper way of doing things?

Vultur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeffdownie said...

Malcolm: 'I have no doubt...'

Strangely,(or so it would seem), I have no personal opinion on the ordination of women to the priesthood. Nor do I attempt to second guess the workings of the Holy Spirit, though I try to remain receptive to his promptings. I simply follow the teaching of the Catholic Church. Call me 'old fashioned' if you will, (I suspect I'm a bit younger than most of you and certainly no fogey), but personally I strive to be able to call myself 'Christian'...

David Lindsay said...

@Fr Michael Gollop SSC, the Anglican Establishment seems to want Walsingham. But it is as un-Anglican as nuns. The C of E was founded in the dissolution of all monastic institutions and in the destruction of all Shrines of Our Lady, including Walsingham.

I do not know what the English Ordinariate's "Anglican Patrimony" is supposed to be. But I have my suspicions. And they are not very pretty.

Still, the requirement that the Ordinary be an ex-Anglican gives the thing a built-in obsolescence. And it is not as if anyone is going to be born and raised in a club for homosexual clerics, which is the key practical difference (there are other, ecclesiological, ones) with the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Meanwhile, those of you who wish to continue a normal parochial ministry based on and around the Roman Missal and Divine Office know what you have always been able to do. Married or celibate, you can still do it. So, what is stopping you?

CPKS said...

The article by Fr Burns SJ also explains S. Thomas's objection to female ordination as due to his opinion that women were "inferior". This is an extraordinarily tendentious and I think misleading interpretation of his argument.

Anyone who equates obedience with inferiority should re-read carefully Our Lord's disquisition at the last supper as recorded in the gospel of S. John.

Unknown said...

David Lindsay said: "Meanwhile, those of you who wish to continue a normal parochial ministry based on and around the Roman Missal and Divine Office know what you have always been able to do. Married or celibate, you can still do it. So, what is stopping you?"

Mr. Lindsay, may I suggest that old fashioned Roman triumphalilsm (which you exhibit) based on a lamentable lack of knowledge of both Anglicanism and of the relationship between the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches over the past fifty years may well, as it has in times past, be repelling many sincere and thinking people.

The Raven (C. Corax) said...

I rather doubt that Malcolm Kemp's prediction will come to pass, as I don't think that the mechanisms that inexorably led to WO in the Anglican Communion exist on this side of the Tiber:

• we don't have a parliamentary style of church governance, there is no equivalent of General Synod, the influence of pressure groups and entryist campaigners is necessarily limited - they can't arrange for themselves to be elected to the College of Cardinals;

• there is no scope for more liberal provinces of the Church to lead the way by ordaining women independently - it would have to be an all or nothing move;

• the ecumenical discussions with the Orthodox still matter a great deal to the Roman Church, I doubt that the Church would wish to move on this issue without similar movement in Moscow and Istanbul (which seems inconceivable).

I suppose that a final consideration is that we don't know if the current arguments in favour of, or against, WO will still pertain a century hence: we may indeed realise Malcolm's vision, but equally we may be looking back at these last forty years as an unfathomable anomaly.

Anonymous said...

CPKS has hit the heart of the matter.

While I am certain that many of those who want women's ordination are well-intentioned (if misguided), it is fundamentally based on a theory of society incompatible with the New Testament understanding of it. What is called 'feminist theory', 'second/third wave feminism', etc. is largely dependent on a power-dynamic understanding of human relationships which is simply irreconcilable with the servant-leadership model we are called to.

(But most people who espouse it are better than their ideals; just because the ideals of the movement ultimately lead to really bad philosophical and social places doesn't mean that the people taken in by it support that -- most don't. I used to support much of that worldview, based on a lot of bad history and half-digested cultural assumptions and such.)

William Tighe said...

Some of you may be interested in these exchanges relating to the "Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod," the more conservative of the two largest Lutheran bodies in America, which happily reveal (a) that one of their ministers is likely to have "heresy" charges brought against him, his heresy being the advocacy of WO and (b) how easily advocacy of WO (in the case of the said Pastor Becker) slides over into favour to SS as well:



The "Wisconsin Synod" mentioned in one of the comment threads is a Lutheran body of about 400,000 members even more conservative than the Missouri Synod (about 2.3 million members); the largest Lutheran body id the liberal ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran church in America) of about 4.5 million members.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Thank you Dr Tighe for those links - most interesting! Does anyone know of a single church of the "Catholic" tradition that has not broken apart after introducing the ordination of women? No, I can't think of one either.

Joshua said...

As a friend of mine put it yesterday, in churches practising WO there is only one infallible doctrine, the questioning of which makes one deserving of every punishment as a most dangerous heretic - belief in WO.

"Scratch a liberal, find a fascist."