12 April 2016

Anglican Proselytism

I noticed the other day the phrase "The Rt Revd Nick Baines Bishop of Leeds". Gosh, I thought, Bishop Marcus Stock must have "reached the retirement age", or else fallen foul of Pope Francis for more interesting reasons. Good Heavens! Poor chap! He's young enough to be my son! But No. Happily, his Lordship continues to lead with great distinction the Ecclesiam Loidensem in Full Communuion with the See of S Peter. It turns out that this Baines chappy is the C of E Bishop of Leeds, in Full Communion with the Successor of Matthew Parker.

I've no objection to the body called the C of E continuing to have district managers it terms 'Bishops' for as long as it is allowed to do so by a General Synod which is omnicompetent to juggle around with Faith and Order. But I do think it is ecumenical bad manners for these people to claim "sees" which are already long-since occupied by validly consecrated bishops in Peace and Communion with the Holy See.

The Catholic Church in England has always acted scrupulously in this regard. Out of pure unalloyed ecumenical courtesy (let's have no nonsense about some so-called "Ecclesiastical Titles" Act), Catholics avoided from the beginning proselytising Anglicans by using Anglican titles so as to confuse and deceive. Has there ever been a post-Reformation Catholic Archdeacon of Barchester?? Exactly! 'Nuff said. But the C of E has never shown the same ecumenical good manners. So is this an attempt to proselytise? I suspect it must be. Faced with their collapsing pewfodder numbers, the few surviving Anglicans hope that seizing Catholic titles will enable them to mislead and to pervert newly-arrived Lithuanian immigrants. Lithuanian clergy, it is well-known, give this advice to the hordes setting off to invade Yorkshire before Boris pulls up the drawbridge: "Be careful! Don't be tricked by the Anglicans! You will know that a church is genuinely Catholic ONLY if it in communion with the Bishop of LEEDS".

It makes things no better that it's all been going on for decades ... the country is littered with towns (Birmingham ... Liverpool ... Southwark ... Portsmouth ... Plymouth ... etc. ad inf..) where Johnny-come-lately Anglicans have come trotting in without even knocking on the door, and have said to established incumbent Catholic bishops "Move over in bed! Quick about it! I'm getting in too!".

Have Anglicans never heard of the Ba'alamond declaration banning proselytism? Cheeky lot.

Perhaps ARCIC should deal with this during its next sumptuous meeting at the Palazzo Dogale, perhaps during the daily coffee break in Florian's.


Chatto said...

I'm glad you're bringing this to wider attention, Father. It's been a bugbear for us in the Diocese of Leeds (the real one) for a couple of years. Nick Baines is a regular on local BBC radio, and we can't expect Aunty to get things right in matters religious.

Disgusted in DC said...

Why the difference in naming sees in England versus Ireland? In England, a decision was made when the hierarchy was restored not to use the titles of old ecclesiastical sees. But, in Ireland, that was not the case. There are two sees (Anglican and Catholic) in Armagh, for instance.

Highland Cathedral said...

Some years ago I came across the website of a church in Devon (St Michael’s, Torrington) where the CoE person in charge was very Romanish. He called himself Father and his Sunday service was called Mass. (It still is but somebody else in now in charge.) I can’t remember his name but I think it began with an H. He had some sort of twinning arrangement with a Catholic parish in Brittany. I sometimes wondered if the Catholics in Brittany actually thought that the church in Devon was Catholic, too.

Joshua said...

In Australia, Anglicans and Catholics generally have the same titles for their respective sees (e.g. Melbourne, Sydney, etc.), but with some exceptions - my Ordinary is the Archbishop of Hobart (immediately subject to the Holy See), whereas the local Anglican worthy is, strangely, instead styled the Bishop of Tasmania (extra-provincial), for there are several Anglican dioceses using the names of regions rather than cities (Gippsland, North West Australia, etc. - several of which have their cathedral in the same city as the Catholic cathedral); similarly, my old parish priest, himself ex-Anglican, became and still is Bishop of Lismore (NSW), while his Anglican opposite number, a female affirming of LGBTXYZ whatever, is instead the Bishop of Grafton (whence the original Catholic see was removed to Lismore in the 19th C.).

peregrinusto said...

Canadians have largely avoided confusion between Protestant "sees" (Anglican/Lutheran, LGBTQI affirming) and Catholic diocesean names. However, the Catholic Church in Ontario does have a Diocese of London.

It seems to me that there is an Anglican diocese somewhere in the Brexit Isles with the same name.

roydosan said...

Disgusted in DC, the difference in Ireland is that the Catholic hierarchy never went away so they were not restored in the way that happened in England. I believe James II and the Old Pretender used to decide on episcopal appointments to the sees of Ireland.