22 January 2018

Speed, flexibility

Sometimes some Traddies are less than enthusiastic about Anglican clergy who enter into Full Communion and are then fast-tracked at a great rate of knots into the presbyterate of the Catholic Church.

It was not always so unthinkable. After all, in the pontificate of Blessed Pius IX, Mr Archdeacon Manning was not kept hanging around more than a month or two. And Fr Mark Vickers, in his fascinating recent book Reunion Revisited: 1930s Ecumenism exposed recounts how some Dominican or other in 1932 responded to plans then afoot for a Ordinariate-like Group Solution for Catholic Anglicans:

"If a body of clergy like you should come over, those who are really stable and with sufficient preparation should be re-ordained the next day [original emphasis]. Authority might choose one or more of you to vouch for individuals; decide which were completely equipped; which need further brief preparation; then take action accordingly, at once, quietly."

"Ah, well", I hear you grumbling, "even in 1932 there were some dodgy and unreliable people around ... being a Dominican is no guarantee of anything and it never has been ..."

But the quotation above is not really from "some Dominican or other", but comes from the august figure of Michael Browne, future Master-General of his Order and Cardinal, who in the turmoil of Vatican II was a leading member of the Coetus Internationalis Patrum, the resolute group of orthodox Fathers of which H E Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer were also members. You can find a jolly photograph of Browne and Lefebvre in cahoots together between the covers of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais' fine and judicious biography of Lefebvre.

In those happy days, perceptive and highly traditional Catholics often had no trouble detecting, in an 'Anglo-Papalist' priest, the authentic lineaments of well-formed Catholic priesthood.

But is such generosity still possible, since those who now think of themselves as 'Anglo-Papalist' have consciously declined the offer, made by Pope Benedict, of a Corporate Solution?


Liam Ronan said...

I thank God every day for the Ordinariate.

Sixupman said...

As a Tridentine follower, I have many occasions when I would choose Anglo-Catholic to the NOM. Indeed, I am on record of recommending one of your current brethren to replace my dearly loved late parish priest and actually wrote to the Ordinariate priest in such respect. Mind you that was amongst the Traditional Orders, as adjacent Diocese have done with vacant churches.

ccc said...

Thanks for that history! I love it.

I wandered into what I thought was a Catholic Parish once, and then realized that I wandered into a high-high Episcopal Parish near DC. I was 21 at the time.

I only realized this after the Rosary finished, and Mass started at the High Altar, but in Elizabethan English.

I stayed for the sermon, but withdrew before Communion. It was then that I realized some did in fact have the Catholic Faith. However, as a Catholic, I felt somewhat sad as I saw them as out of Communion and without Orders.

Now, I happily have attended Mass with them at St Luke's Ordinariate in DC.

vetusta ecclesia said...

Nowadays you have to be "inculturated" into the ways of the EW dioceses, like Polish clergy.

The real gripe of some occasioned by the arrival of married Ord. clergy is that priests of an older generation, now married, cannot resume the sacerdotal state.

GOR said...

I suspect some cradle-Catholic priests have reservations as to the theological and pastoral preparation of some Anglican Clergy – perhaps due to their experiences with what we used to refer to as “Low-Church” pastors (not you, dear Father!).

Back in the dim past when I was chaplain at a large English regional hospital, I would run into the Anglican chaplain betimes. Once he enquired as to “what I did” with patients in extremis. I gave him a “Cliff’s Notes” version of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, as we were pressed for time.

Perhaps my catechesis was somewhat lacking, as he replied: “I think I’ll try that…”

ContSléibhe said...

Cardinal Browne held the office of Master of the Sacred Palace before his election as Master General of the Friars Preachers. His brother, Msgr Padraig de Brún (Browne in Irish) was a noted mathematician and classics scholar and President of University College Galway.

Feed Room Five said...

For those who think it is too easy for Anglicans to become Catholic priests I am having enormous difficulties becoming a catholic. here is a letter I just addressed to Diocese in which I reside:

To whom it may concern,

My wife and I have been trying to become Catholics for three years. I am a former Anglican priest, which has counted for nothing.

My son died several years ago and it is not possible for us to attend every RCIA class, which is so poorly taught that it is embarrassing.

We were told that we would not have to take RCIA. But the priest at St. Monica never expressed any sympathy with us, nor did he recognize

the depth of our sadness. It would make a great story in the Dallas Morning News, the educated, the sorrowful, those depressed, those

who are sad need not apply to the Catholic Church.

We have had to go through the Marriage Tribunal twice because of poor information: once in Ft Worth which denied jurisdiction. And now

through Dallas. I have been very impressed with the Dallas Tribunal. That is the one bright light in this whole process. But I am afraid that

the priest at St. Monica's will try to adversely effect my case. In fact I am afraid all the time. Is that what it means to be a Catholic?

However, conversion seems to rest on two propositions: 1. You must be a Catholic, your salvation depends on it; 2. We are going to make it

as difficult as possible, your particular situation is irrelevant.

We are basically Unchurched and have no pastor. This is a source of even more sadness. I can hardly recommend to my Anglican friends this

horrific experience. I repeatedly tried to talk with the pastor; he at first would not return our calls. It took three weeks for us to get a chance

to speak to him. Is that typical? Is that acceptable? Maybe he just does not like Anglicans.

We still want to become Catholics. As Flannery O'Connor said we are to suffer more from the Church than for the sake of the Church. All I have ever wanted

was to go to Mass, say my prayers, help others. I was rather successful in my 25 years at St. Francis Parish and it is possible that I could bring Anglicans

into the Catholic Church. Given my experience, I could not do so in good conscience.

I have an appointment with another priest and parish tomorrow. But I am not very hopeful.

Fr. David Allen

Sixupman said...

Fr. Allen: the difficulty may well be that you have been expressing a Catholicism of which they have long abandoned. Do you really wish to join such a mob? Find Traditionally leaning parishes. My current bishop is more interested in promoting a 'lay-led' church!

coradcorloquitur said...

Father Allen, your narrative is truly heart-rending. But there is something I cannot understand: why do you bother with obstructionist priests (likely also heterodox, given today's tragic reality in the Church) at the regular parishes when in Arlington (basically a suburb of Dallas/Ft. Worth where you seem to reside) there is a thriving ordinariate parish, St. Mary the Virgin? Would it not make more sense for you to both attend Mass there and go through the process of both conversion and possibly ordination in a parish under the jurisdiction of Bishop Lopes? My experiences with ordinariate parishes both in Bridgeport (near Philadelphia) and Baltimore have been very edifying, doctrinally and liturgically, indeed. You are in my prayers.

Liam Ronan said...

@Father David Allen,

I completely empathize with you and the cross you carry and will remember you in my daily rosary henceforth. I believe that coradcorloquitur has offered very sound advice.

In the meanwhile, and throughout it all, recall the words of Our Lord in Gethsemane:

"And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch." Mark 14:34

Trust in God and share in the Passion of Our Lord at His invitation.

rmichaelj said...

Try Mater Dei in Irving.