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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Crossing the Tiber

I just read an interesting article. You might know that the Church of England is undergoing extreme internal division over issues like the consecration of women as bishops.
The more traditional Anglicans are quite appalled at the way things are going in the church. Here's an article about two bishops wishing to lead their flock to the Catholic Church as a result of what's going on in his own church. It's very interesting how he humbly requests the Holy Father, the Successor of Peter for a magnanimous gesture. Let's pray for them.

[Church of England] bishop will lead Anglicans to Rome
Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 04:30 PM GMT

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, is to lead his fellow Anglo-Catholics from the Church of England into the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic Herald will reveal this week.

Bishop Burnham, one of two "flying bishops" in the province of Canterbury, has made a statement asking Pope Benedict XVI and the English Catholic bishops for "magnanimous gestures" that will allow traditionalists to become Catholics en masse.

He is confident that this will happen, following talks in Rome with Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Kasper, the Vatican’s head of ecumenism. He was accompanied on his visit by the Rt Rev Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough, the other Canterbury "flying bishop", who is expected to follow his example.

Bishop Burnham hopes that Rome will offer special arrangements whereby former Anglicans can stay worshipping in parishes under the guidance of a Catholic bishop. Most of these parishes already use the Roman liturgy, but there may be provision for Anglican prayers if churches request it.

Anglican priests who are already married will not be barred from ordination as priests, though Bishop Burnham would not be able to continue in episcopal orders, as he is married and there is an absolute bar on married bishops in the Roman and Orthodox Churches.

In his statement, Bishop Burnham explains why he is rejecting the code of practice offered to traditionalists by the General Synod last night. "How could we trust a code of practice to deliver a workable ecclesiology if every suggestion we have made for our inclusion has been turned down flat?" he asks.

"How could we trust a code of practice when those who are offering it include those who have done most to undermine and seek to revoke the code of practice in force for these last 14 years? ...

"What we must humbly ask for now is for magnanimous gestures from our Catholic friends, especially from the Holy Father, who well understands our longing for unity, and from the hierarchy of England and Wales. Most of all we ask for ways that allow us to bring our folk with us."

Via Fr Z


crumbs.seeds.salt said...

on this point, i've always wondered if the Anglican faithful are returning to the Catholic fold for the right reason...

is it because they do not agree with the way their church is going? if they do not agree... why do they simply leave? why not stay and reform? have they already tried their best? if so, is crossing over to Catholicism the only option left? and why the RC Church and not the Orthodox? is it cafetaria Christianity or honest conversion brought about by the circumstances?

i know... pretty silly questions to ask... and in fact, i'm sure they themselves too have considered them already. but i believe this set of questions is part of the reason why the Holy Father and the Roman Curia have not made any hasty "en masse" order yet. such a move, with the heavy stench of politics, will probably require many more hours of meditation.

let us all offer our prayers for those involved in making this historic decision.

Dom said...

Hi Gerg.

I believe they have tried to halt the rapid changes to the Anglican Church. They stated their positions regarding the homosexual bishops, the ordination of women bishops, etc that the Anglican Church has been adopting over the past years and they've been rebuffed.

Why the Catholic Church? I guess it's because they have the closest affinity to us. After all their split from the Church was not over doctrinal issues but over the refusal by the Pope to allow King Henry VIII to divorce and remarry. And the Catholic Church has received many Anglicans into her fold in the past - the most notable convert probably being the great John Henry Cardinal Newman.