Kendall Harmon: Comments on the Latest Move from Rome

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have a slew of emails and telephone calls asking what I think of this latest development. Herewith a few thoughts for starters.

(1) It represents a huge indictment of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many people question Rome's motivations, but I believe Rome, which has been watching Anglican developments like a hawk in recent years, wanted Anglicanism globally to succeed. Their response to the Windsor Report, for example, was quite favorable. This move to me shows they do not believe the Anglican moment in history to help global Christianity can take place sufficiently under Rowan Williams.

(2) It represents a sweeping judgment on Anglicanism in particular. Rome believes, as John 17 says, that the world may know the gospel if Christians are one as Jesus and the Father are one. Such a unity is only possible through a church with catholic order and evangelical faith. Rome has watched global Anglicanism evolve and has seen the Instruments of Unity be used repeatedly, over a period of time, and they have judged that Anglicanism itself is not and will not work for the cause of real global Catholicism going forward.

(3) It repesents a judgment that the real story going forward is between Rome and the East. Do not underestimate the significance of the fact that in this present unusual "arrangement," if I may call it that, Rome has drawn the line at Episcopal celibacy. That is a gesture Eastward, among many other things.

(4) It represents a sense that only an external action will have any benefit to Anglicanism going forward. Let us not kid ourselves. Rome put a lot into ecumencial conversations with Anglicans because they believed that more internal mechanisms and persuasions were possible. Now, in their judgment, they are not. They don't see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering. At this level, it represents a shout which one wonders if any Anglicans will hear--KSH.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* By Kendall* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

Posted October 21, 2009 at 9:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. seitz wrote:

Levado v Kasper. It will be interesting to follow the next episodes.

October 21, 9:33 am | [comment link]
2. Katherine wrote:

I thank you, Fr. Harmon, for this clear analysis.  Anglicanism internationally and in the Americas has had so many points in recent years in which it could have affirmed catholic faith and order.  It has failed to do so.

October 21, 9:36 am | [comment link]
3. francis wrote:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall….

October 21, 9:50 am | [comment link]
4. rickk wrote:

The short answer to the question, is this:
Benedict XVI has just done what the Archbishop of Canterbury has rightly admitted, for the last 5 years, he, as primus inter pares, has no authority to do: create an new province, unite the church, and teach with authority the truth of the catholic faith.  Benedict has proposed an answer to the question of authority for Anglicans, whether and how many accept will be decided.  He has consequently illuminated the heart of the confusion and disarray within Anglicanism itself in its incapacity to right the ship on its own terms.  The grace of this development is that the Pope offers to Anglicans, in their own terms, an extraordinary option, to participate in the communion of the faith of the Apostles.
Those who are already complaining about this gesture because it requires too much of Anglicans, fail to recognize that the giver of the gift is the one who determines the nature of the gift and the terms upon which one may receive the gift.  And furthermore, they miss the point of the Gospel that receiving any gift requires metanoia.

October 21, 9:53 am | [comment link]
5. David Keller wrote:

Kendall—You are right on the mark.  For the Archbishop of Canterbury to have done nothing for the persecuted in his own flock, and then have a Pope step in and do what he should have is uncoinscienable. History will not look favorably on Rowan Williams. The ashes of Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer are surely afire this morning.

October 21, 9:54 am | [comment link]
6. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Elves: When I access this post from W/XP-IE8 I get blank space below the “COMMENTS:” line. I can see and post comments from my Blackberry. This happened before on another thread and it persists.

October 21, 10:11 am | [comment link]
7. Aloysius Whitecabbage wrote:

I also agree with Kendall.  And I have to admit that when I first read this breaking story the first thought to come to my mind was Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer who we just remembered on 16 October.

October 21, 10:11 am | [comment link]
8. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Elves: Re #6, I posted that on the Damian thread from my Blackberry, but it appeared here. I am back on IE8 here.

October 21, 10:14 am | [comment link]
9. Dan Crawford wrote:

Thanks, Kendall, for the most thoughtful reflection on this remarkable action. The picture of Rowan Williams at the joint news conference yesterday only underscores your comment.

October 21, 10:27 am | [comment link]
10. MarkP wrote:

In short, the Pope’s analysis agrees in all particulars with Kendall Harmon’s!

October 21, 10:46 am | [comment link]
11. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

(back on topic and on thread)
It appears that the Vatican move may contribute in the short term to the unraveling of the Anglican Communion. I suppose it is possible in the longer term that it may result in a stronger Anglican Communion centered more on the Protestant side. The tiles have definitely been knocked off the Scrabble board.

October 21, 10:47 am | [comment link]
12. Phil wrote:

Yours is an incisive and, I believe, correct analysis, Kendall.  I also want to give a shout-out to David Keller #5.  His is exactly the key point: Rowan Williams continually showed, in deeds if not words, that he was willing to lose faithful, mainstream Anglican Christians instead of decisively correcting those who would rip Anglicanism apart over secular pleasures.  Well, Rowan, you asked for it.

October 21, 10:48 am | [comment link]
13. chebucto wrote:

“At this level, it represents a shout which one wonders if any Anglicans will hear…”

I’m left wondering what the implication of this sentence, if it is more than a rhetorical device, really is. Does it mean that if, somewhere in the communion, someone were to hear that something could be done?

Who, in particular, needs to hear? And what can be done?

October 21, 10:56 am | [comment link]
14. David Bailey wrote:

As I have written elsewhere, global Anglicanism appears to be trifurcating into three major approaches to authority:

1) Magisterial authority, as seen in Benedict’s proposal for Anglicanism to be a rite within the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope is the final authority.

2) Conciliar authority, as seen in the movements of GAFCON and ACNA, where a council of bishops is the final authority.

3) Town Hall Meeting authority, as seen in TEC. Here everyone has an equal voice (regardless of theological groundings), and majority vote is the final authority. 

Sadly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is not essential (or even that important) in any of these three versions, which means that the four Instruments of Unity - and the Covenant - will be dead in the water.

David Bailey

October 21, 11:03 am | [comment link]
15. David Bailey wrote:

rickk, is that you waving from the other side of the Tiber? And I now will refer to Benedict’s bold move as a PFD (Papal Flotation Device).

October 21, 11:04 am | [comment link]
16. Dorpsgek wrote:

Kendall, I agree with everything you say, especially point #1.  However, it does paint a rather bleak picture for the Anglican Church.  This was not a hasty decision and no doubt involved a great deal of study and deliberation.  After weighing all of the particulars the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have essentially come to the conclusion that the Anglican Church is a hopeless case, and have decided to “cut their losses” and move on.  Considering how much had been invested in conversations with the Anglicans this must have been a painful outcome.  So, what are we as Anglicans to make of this flashing red warning light?  Is it really hopeless?  Should we continue to invest ourselves into trying to pull something out of the mess?  Frankly, I don’t know at this point and I have to go do some real soul searching.

October 21, 11:08 am | [comment link]
17. Albany+ wrote:

Thank you Kendall. I would say that only a reunion with Orthodoxy would force the RC Church to become the kind of Church orthodox Anglicans could seriously entertain. Which is not to say that everyone can hold their breath that long.

October 21, 11:15 am | [comment link]
18. MarkP wrote:

“I believe Rome, which has been watching Anglican developments like a hawk in recent years, wanted Anglicanism globally to succeed.”

I’ve always thought “absolutely null and utterly void” was an odd choice of words to use of someone if you believe you’re ultimately on the same team, and then cardinal Ratzinger went out of his way to gratuitously reaffirm that judgment a couple of years ago.

October 21, 11:16 am | [comment link]
19. tired wrote:

“They don’t see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering.”

I think now is a time for FCA/ACNA to listen to the other catholic bodies in sincere humility, or face greater isolation and potential splintering.  And I would not characterize myself as an anglocatholic.

October 21, 11:17 am | [comment link]
20. Martin Reynolds wrote:

I am very surprised to read such nonsense.
I cannot imagine what has led Dr Harmon to suppose:
“Rome ........wanted Anglicanism globally to succeed.”
Still, if he believes such a thing then the rest might be said to follow, though Dr Williams has in many peoples eyes gone the extra mile in the attempt to keep Rome happy.

Indeed many would say he has gone too far.

This is indeed a kick in the teeth and has been carried out against the wishes of the English RC hierarchy and after only a cursory (last minute) briefing with Lambeth, but as with so much comment lately and as one has come to expect in these perverse times, the man with the bloody and broken mouth is at fault while the perfidious friends with the dirty boot are perfectly justified.

“he was asking for it”  !!!

October 21, 11:26 am | [comment link]
21. Monksgate wrote:

Thank you for your comments, Kendall, which I am happy to read regardless of whether I agree (though I happen to agree).

October 21, 11:28 am | [comment link]
22. Sarah wrote:

RE: “I am very surprised to read such nonsense.”

But many of us are not at all surprised to read Martin Reynold’s nonsense.

October 21, 11:32 am | [comment link]
23. Monksgate wrote:

Martin (#20),
What proof do you have that this was carried out against the wishes of the English RC hierarchy?
As for the last-minute briefing w/ Lambeth, I agree that there was an element of surprise in all of this, but if Rowan didn’t see something like this developing (and who knows what he and Benedict XVI have communicated w/ each other over the past several years) he would be as incompetent as some people claim.

October 21, 11:34 am | [comment link]
24. driver8 wrote:

What a magnificent post. You have hit the nail on the head. Many thanks Fr. Harmon.

October 21, 11:40 am | [comment link]
25. tjmcmahon wrote:

Thank you Kendall,
That is probably the most dispassionate analysis I have seen so far (a whole lot better than my own, anyway).

It does surprise me a little (although, really, it should not) that so many people who have complained that no one would take any action to address the chaos of the Anglican Communion, are now complaining because someone is taking action.

October 21, 11:46 am | [comment link]
26. wvparson wrote:

I dissent with point one very strongly.  Blaming +Rowan for the limits placed on his office by +Longley when the first Lambeth Conference was called is simply not fair and unusually ungracious for Kendall.

October 21, 11:46 am | [comment link]
27. justice1 wrote:

To reinforce the significance of this, I recount a short story.  When I was attending Regent College in Vancouver, I and other friends who were moving towards ordination in the ACofC had many, many discussions about the possibility of “moving to Rome” one day.  It was not that we had abandoned those distinct aspects of Anglican doctrine that set us apart from Rome.  Rather, it was our concern for the heresy running rampant in our churches, and the house of bishops, which had moved beyond words to praxis.  It seemed there was no real leadership from within able to turn the “Titanic” around in Canada, and it appeared there was a hideous strength at work in the board rooms of global Anglicanism, itself emanating from the church formerly known as ECUSA.  It was also a concern for unity that drove our talks.  As we saw it, no church was void of warts, so why not have one big family, warts and all.  I suspect there are many like me who actually felt a wave of relief yesterday when this was announced.

I suspect Rome was having these thoughts way before we were.

October 21, 11:49 am | [comment link]
28. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

As a postscript to my #11, I must note the remark by that careful analyst,  The Anglican Curmudgeon:

The news from Rome virtually guarantees that the CoE will have a woman bishop by 2012 or 2013. Thus it is ironic that by extending a helping hand to the CoE’s distressed Anglo-Catholics, the Pope has done what the Church’s own leader had not been able to do, which is to make it seemingly possible for the Church to remain a single entity.

We truly live in interesting times.

October 21, 11:51 am | [comment link]
29. David Bailey wrote:

#26 -wvparson - I would probably nuance Kendall’s point #1 to say that this is a huge indictment of those of us who had put our hope in the leadership of the ABC.

October 21, 11:52 am | [comment link]
30. Monksgate wrote:

If I read your comment correctly, it seems you would expect those who accept this offer to maintain “distinct aspects of Anglican doctrine that set us apart from Rome.”  Distinct liturgical heritage, yes.  Distinct doctrine, I can’t see how.

October 21, 11:59 am | [comment link]
31. the roman wrote:

#23. I’m not usually one to read too much into things but it makes sense to have kept the English RC heirarchy apart and outside of this development. After all they still have to live there as it were. Now they can still sympathize with Canterbury but ultimately shrug and say “Roma locuta est.”

I do believe Canon Harmon is prescient in his observation that this move is also meant for Eastern eyes. Now if we could just get around to changing “from the Father and the Son” to “from the Father through the Son” maybe some real progress could be made.

October 21, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
32. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Blaming +Rowan for the limits placed on his office by +Longley when the first Lambeth Conference was called . . . “

Of course, there were no requirements by +Longley for 1) Rowan Williams to invite all of the consecrating/consenting bishops of Robinson to Lambeth, 2) arbitrarily appoint the Joint Standing Committee to “interpret” TEC’s response to Dar at the New Orleans HOB meeting, 3) engage in parliamentary maneuverings at the last ACC meeting to gut the Covenant and send the key section to his own hand-picked committee, and on and on and on and on and on.  I could name half a dozen more actions that RW has taken that +Longley said *nothing* about and non-actions that RW might have taken which actions also +Longley said *nothing* about given more time.

Rowan William’s “leadership”—the actions he has or has not taken—has practically *nothing* to do with “the limits placed on his office by +Longley” and that is merely a red herring to distract from what actual actions Rowan Williams has or has not taken.

October 21, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
33. Phil wrote:

Wait a minute, wvparson #26: there were plenty of things Rowan could have done that have nothing to do with “the limits placed on his office.”  There was a path forward, imperfect as it may have been, provided early on for him by the authors of The Windsor Report.  More than once, the Primates offered concrete actions in response to ECUSA’s recklessness.  In my opinion, Rowan sabotaged these opportunities; his were sins of commission, not omission.  At the very least, he could have made it clear he favored a parallel province, which wouldn’t even have required him to jettison his precious ECUSA, simply work for a safe place for mainstream North American Anglicans.

Time and again, Williams has placed Katharine Jefferts Schori over the thousands upon thousands of mainstream, Anglican believers standing nowhere other than in the solid center of their centuries-old tradition, not to mention of unbroken Christian teaching.  To him, they were disposable, which goes beyond “ungracious,” to other adjectives: “incomprehensible,” “ungrateful” and “disgusting” come to mind.  He most certainly has gotten what he telegraphed he was willing to accept, in the form of this initiative and ACNA, among others.

October 21, 12:07 pm | [comment link]
34. Sarah wrote:

But just to be clear, I do not believe at all that this is “all Rowan Williams’ fault” nor do I “blame” him for everything.  But with Kendall I do believe that the action taken by Rome “represents a huge indictment of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

They have lost trust that he will be able to manage or unify or create some order out of the chaos.  And they are not required—as all of us committed to the Anglican Communion are—to merely wait until the next holder of the see of Canterbury to take office.

I have said it many times, but that is essentially how long we will have to wait before there is even a prayer of some order.  Because order will not be re-established under the present holder.

October 21, 12:09 pm | [comment link]
35. justice1 wrote:

#30 All I can say to that is, we Anglicans have failed in this regard as well.

October 21, 12:09 pm | [comment link]
36. Adam 12 wrote:

On the other side of the ledger there is continued fragmentation—with enhanced opportunity for bullying in TEC by even stronger forces among those holding power. We all used to be such close friends! It is a shame, too, to see evangelicals and traditional Anglo-catholics being pulled as if by a magnet out of association with each other. But when an ABC lacks gravity, constituencies will drift away.

October 21, 12:38 pm | [comment link]
37. David Keller wrote:

26—The ABC has MORAL authority.  The problem is he wouldn’t stand up for what those of us who have been pushed to the TEC fringes.  On the presenting issue of Gene Robinson, I suspect he personally agrees with what TEC did and that has, in part, colored his judgement. That aside, as leader of the AC he should at least have said to KJS/EC “You have no MORAL right to do what you are doing to the orthodox in America.  Stop and repent or I won’t invite you to Lambeth. Stop and repent because it is the MORAL thing to do.”  So while he has no heirarchical authority, he does have authority.  I would rather take my example of moral leadership from Ridley and Latimer than from Rowan Williams.

October 21, 12:43 pm | [comment link]
38. Already left wrote:

I think it is interesting that the ABC continually says “he has no authority” and does nothing and the PB has no authority but does things anyway.

Sarah - I disagree with you: You say “They have lost trust that he will be able to manage or unify or create some order out of the chaos” but I believe it’s not his “ability” it’s his willingness to “manage…

October 21, 12:47 pm | [comment link]
39. Sherri2 wrote:

It is a shame, too, to see evangelicals and traditional Anglo-catholics being pulled as if by a magnet out of association with each other.

This may be the saddest thing of all, to me.

October 21, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
40. seitz wrote:

The situation in England re: FiF and Women Bishops, and the long term request of TAC, is the centre of this affair. The idea that the Pope has suddenly sized up an ‘untenable anglicanism’ and that this is somehow his address to it, speaks more about the frustrations of anglicans than about reality. If +Iker and the theological stance he represents does not see this as a way forward, then it is hard to see why anyone judges this to be chiefly about a struggling anglican communion. Will Kasper and his allies now also say that RC-Anglican discussions are over? Not on your life. I for one do hope it makes the seriousness of a section 4 intact all the more clear to RDW.

October 21, 1:36 pm | [comment link]
41. Tamsf wrote:

If +Iker and the theological stance he represents does not see this as a way forward, then it is hard to see why anyone judges this to be chiefly about a struggling anglican communion.

I don’t understand this statement. Could you expand on what you mean?

October 21, 2:48 pm | [comment link]
42. RobSturdy wrote:

First off Kendall, bang up job.  Secondly to Dr Seitz,

I agree that the center of this affair is over women Bishops in England, nevertheless it must be more than tangentially related to the state of global Anglicanism.  In other words, your point does not totally negate Kendall’s analysis.  I also noticed you return to section 4 of the covenant which seems to be the hail mary (no pun intended) pass for the communion partners.  Yet, perhaps like Kendall’s Pope (whether real or imagined) many of us have lost confidence in the Archbishop’s ability (or desire!) to pull this off.

October 21, 2:55 pm | [comment link]
43. francis wrote:

Williams has always tried to hold the conservatives with private discussions.  Publicly, he has repudiated all those initiatives and suggestions, some of which were his own.  There is no trust left.  There is no communion left.  Each man (being) to his (its) own.

October 21, 3:04 pm | [comment link]
44. tjmcmahon wrote:

I for one do hope it makes the seriousness of a section 4 intact all the more clear to RDW.

Amen to that, Dr. Seitz. 
Now, what can be done to keep the JSC from completely sinking it during their review of whatever his hand picked committee reports out?

October 21, 3:09 pm | [comment link]
45. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) wrote:

I agree with Dr. Harmon for what he wrote.

One meta point is that Rome generally thinks long term. They aren’t omniscient, but they do typically try to see the bigger picture. In the short term, the effects of this will be felt in England primarily, but also elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. It will likely not change much in the US. Long term, this is a gesture East.

As an ecumenicist, I find all this most encouraging.

May we all be one.

October 21, 3:54 pm | [comment link]
46. DavidBennett wrote:

I think Kendall has delivered a spot-on analysis (I say this as one who became RC in 2004).

Williams efforts to “save the communion” remind me of an interaction between Captain Peacock and Mr. Rumbold on the British sitcom “Are You Being Served.” There is a crisis in the department store and Mr. Rumbold, the head of the clothing department, says “maybe if I just do nothing, the whole thing will blow over and take care of itself.” Captain Peacock responds “If I do say so sir, it takes a leader of your caliber to come up with a solution like that.” Unfortunately, this seems to be the same caliber of leadership Williams has to offer.

Do I believe Williams could have prevented this? I believe he could have at least made an effort. Is he the “Anglican Pope?” No, but his office is a powerful symbol of the Anglican Communion, and you can bet that if he really, truly, wanted to save Anglicanism from an errant province or two, he could have. His (in)actions show that he isn’t that interested in keeping conservatives in the communion; Benedict’s actions show he is interested in bringing Anglicans to Rome, under certain conditions. Actions speak louder than words (or endless theological committees).

October 21, 4:29 pm | [comment link]
47. Brian from T19 wrote:

I disagree with the first three points made;

1. ++Rowan’s leadership isn’t really at question (although it is quite rightly criticized).  This could have just as easily happened under ++Carey. 

2. As Seitz+ mentions in #40 “The idea that the Pope has suddenly sized up an ‘untenable anglicanism’ and that this is somehow his address to it, speaks more about the frustrations of anglicans than about reality.”

3. This is no nod to Eastern Orthodoxy.  It would be going too far for the Pope to allow married bishops in the West.  Married priests is already a HUGE step.  The fact that bishops remain unmarried (as in Eastern Orthodoxy) is simply coincidental.

October 21, 6:08 pm | [comment link]
48. Intercessor wrote:

subscribing for now…Thanks-

October 21, 6:18 pm | [comment link]
49. DTerwilliger wrote:

This has probably been mentioned already but there is an important point to notice in how this Apostolic Constitution is being enacted.  The ecclesial office from which this Constitution is being worked out is through the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine and Faith of the Roman Curia and NOT the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  What I am interpreting this to mean is that this “offer” reflects some sort of change in teaching not merely a ecumenical negotiation.  Are we not, hence, seeing a HUGE concession by Rome here of some sort?  The nature of that concession - if it is that - has not yet been revealed but my guess is we haven’t yet heard the biggest news yet.  If all that sounds like wild speculation - it just may be - but remember, an Apostolic Constitution IS an amendment to Roman Canon Law.

October 21, 6:59 pm | [comment link]
50. Islandbear wrote:

Napoleon is quoted as saying that “Even in war moral power is to physical as three parts out of four”.  It is hard to imagine Ecumenical Patriarch Batholomew saying that he lacks the “power” to speak out on moral issues, or on issues with an effect on the faith and praxis of orthodoxy as a whole.  The Holy Father (whether we agree with him or not) has shown great moral courage in acting and issuing the apostolic constitution.  Dr. Williams seems not to be able to exercise moral leadership in the way that Archbishops Akinola, Orombi and Duncan do regularly—with no more physical power or authority within the Communion.

I must also disagree with Brian in #47, as the statement issued following the news conference by he Holy See (posted on its website) specifically mentions the practice in Orthodoxy.


October 21, 7:05 pm | [comment link]
51. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Dr. Seitz is on point when he finds this RC action to be tightly entwined with the WO situation in England. But you can rest assured that they also put some thought into its effects on other places, notably the U.S. and Canada.

October 21, 8:18 pm | [comment link]
52. Nikolaus wrote:

I agree with Fr. Harmon’s assessment posted here.  As I have considered what Benedict has done, I’m not sure that he has done anything revolutionary.  Flung open the doors?  No, Anglicans have always been welcomed.  “Given” Anglicans their liturgy?  No, not really.  Granted Anglican Use has been extremely limited in the US, but it is availible in roughly the same places as last week.  Letting Anglicans come on their own terms?  Absolutely not!  They are still converts expected to accept the teaching and discipline of the Church. 

That last point is the Achilles Heel for Anglicans as they have no concept of being catechised.  They accept new members with no more ceremony that adding names on the mailing list.  Similarly they have been trying to get the OC and RCC to accept them as they are.  Anglicans do not understand that the Anglican baggage must be left behind.

October 21, 9:40 pm | [comment link]
53. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

They accept new members with no more ceremony that adding names on the mailing list.

It didn’t used to be that way everywhere, at least in 2003. The only way I got out of attending the New Members Class at Saint James Episcopal, Newport Beach, was to present them with a transfer from the Episcopal church I had been a member of previously.

But then, of course, they became Saint James Anglican.....

October 21, 10:25 pm | [comment link]
54. Passing By wrote:

“I for one do hope it makes the seriousness of a section 4 intact all the more clear to RDW”.

Thank you, Dr. Seitz.  You don’t know me, but I said this same thing to my spouse yesterday.  I’m just a plebe but once in a while it’s nice to be validated by the PhD’s.


October 21, 10:52 pm | [comment link]
55. tjmcmahon wrote:

52 and 53-
Not knowing who grew up when, and who became an Anglican when, it is difficult to know what kind of experiences you might have had.  But I can say categorically from my own experience that at one time, one was catechized and confirmed in the Anglo Catholic parishes in the US- at least all those I attended as a kid.  My catechism class prior to confirmation included the Catechism and Offices of Instruction of the 1928, as well as a Catholic catechism that I suspect was only to be found in Anglo Catholic dioceses.  All of this gets me in trouble now-a-days, because I did not learn the 1 correct answer to all questions, which is, “Baptismal Covenant”.  It was more complicated back then, we had to know Creeds, and Sacraments and what they meant (and there were 7 in those days).

October 21, 10:58 pm | [comment link]
56. Sherri2 wrote:

That last point is the Achilles Heel for Anglicans as they have no concept of being catechised. 

I guess that depends on when and where. Even as a Presbyterian child, I was catechized and confirmed (I don’t think the word used was “confirmed,” but the principle was the same). As an adult coming to the Episcopalian Church, I went through weeks of an inquirer’s class about church history, the sacraments, the creeds and the catechism - that was circa 1979 in south Georgia. Whether children in the parish were getting this same sort of information, I don’t know. Perhaps only outsiders were.

October 21, 11:59 pm | [comment link]
57. Monksgate wrote:

Nikolaus (#52),
I don’t think anyone is claiming that the setting up of a personal ordinariate is “revolutionary,” but it is a surprising development in that it takes the Pastoral Provision of 1980 to a new level by—as one of the other commenters put it—doing an end run around the local ordinary.
As for your statement that “the Anglican baggage must be left behind,” some of the ecclesiological claims of Anglicanism, yes, but the documents state that very significant “Anglican baggage” is very welcome indeed.  Of course, it depends on which form of Anglican Churchmanship is at issue.

October 22, 4:07 am | [comment link]
58. tired wrote:

“They don’t see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering.”

At this point, we do not know the particulars of the offer, but I generally agree with our host.

IMHO, attempts to downplay or minimize the import of the offer do not fully contemplate the potential effect this might have over time, especially in the event the RCC and the orthodox move closer.  If the splintering of the AC becomes more formal (which I believe is a likelihood should substantial numbers of reasserting Anglo-catholics leave the COE), then there will be various, smaller Anglican groups with various levels of connection or disconnection from (a potentially reappraising)Canterbury. 

If the remainder of non-Anglican catholic-branch bodies are able to move closer together, then IMHO the reasserting of these smaller Anglican groups should undertake some self examination.

October 22, 10:14 am | [comment link]
59. Paul PA wrote:

Since Canturbury focused Anglicans would be unlikely to give a positive (or any response) to this offer - and i doubt they would make an offer that they were not confident would be accepted by someone, perhaps the offer reflects a hope/expectation of positive response from the TAC/ACA. That would also make this announcement less out of the blue ie less surprsing how flatfooted it caught the ABC..

October 25, 4:50 pm | [comment link]
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