17 May 2015

"The Dome": Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The Dome was still preoccupied withe the "South India Problem"; a part of the Anglican Communion had united with various Protestant sects in an amalgamation providing that 'non-conformist' ministers would officiate in South India without any sort of Anglican Ordination. The English Convocations, only three years previously, had put in place a system of partial intercommunion which maintained links between the the Church of England and those South Indian ministers whose ordination had been Anglican. Papalist Anglicans, not surprisingly, had vivid opinions about the illogicality of this uneasy compromise.

But other problems were beginning to appear. The March 1958 edition carried this story:

"The Rev. C.A.C. Hann, D.D., Principle of Lichfield Theological College, has stated that he has resigned on account of the betrayal of Catholic Faith and Practice by the Convocation of Canterbury in its recent Resolutions on the Pastoral Care of the Divorced ... he says:
'In May last the Lower House of the Canterbury Convocation passed Resolution 2A ... As a result of this, it will be possible, provided certain conditions are fulfilled, for a divorced person who has "re-married" during the lifetime of a former partner to receive the Holy Communion. I protested most strongly against this resolution as denying Catholic Faith and Practice. Then, in September last, it was announced that a Worcestershire incumbent had gone through a form of marriage with a divorced woman whose husband was still alive ... When I read this I came to the conclusion that the Church's attitude towards divorce was the result of the desire to be "comprehensive" and, on the principle of Anglicanism, to unchurch nobody if it was possible to keep him within the Church. To my mind this was an indication that the Church of England is prepared to maintain its characteristic principle and its comprehensiveness even at the cost of sacrificing its professed adherence to Catholic Faith and Practice.
" If I felt - as I did - that the Resolution in fact denies important elements in the Catholic doctrines of Matrimony, of Holy Communion, of Grace, and of the Sin of Adultery, my re-action to to the decision of the authorities of the Church in the case of the Worcestershire incumbent was one of complete and utter disgust. To be perfectly candid, it seems to me that such action could not be taken by a Church in which the Grace of God was allowed free course.
"There is only one way to fight to the death such betrayal of Catholic Faith and Practice, and that is to become exclusively Catholic. ..."

ANIMADVERTITE: (1) Things hit the Church of England about fifty years before they hit the Caholic Church; and
(2) it is important to continue to use technical terms such as "Adultery" and "had gone through a form of marriage". Talking about "remarried divorcees" just sells the pass.


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Go gently into that good zeitgeist , for what good can come of striving dutifully along the narrow way; when has that ever won the world?

And as for divorcees, the Synod could propose that each Diocese throughout the world help them find new partners by referring to them as pre-loved.

The secular world has "Match" and "Christian Singles" and "Farmer's Wives" and so there is no good reason the Church can not develop a "Pre-Loved Dating Service."

It probably ought go without saying that it is OK to continue to keep preferring to men as Neanderthals and Misogynists.

O, and why hasn't anyone yet observed (other than my own self) that in trying to change the discipline the revolutionaries are favoring the wealthy men - for it is wealthy men who can most easily afford to ditch the wife and take-up with the leggy secretary, Bunny, whereas as campesino Pedro has no such options; he has a hard row to hoe and his wife is truly his helpmate.

Jacobi said...


They may “hit” the C of E fifty years earlier, but the outcome is not necessarily the same. The Church will not relax its rules on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried or for anyone else for that matter committing a grevious sin of Lust. It cannot. It's as simple as that.

This whole problem has been caused by the reception of Communion becoming more important than attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That idea has got to be put right. But it will take some time.

Mark you, that doesn't stop sinners, whatever their grievous sin, and it doesn't have to be Lust, coming to Mass and into the parish rooms for a coffee and a chat afterwards.