08 July 2008

In My Ignorance...

There is a lot I don't understand about the goings-on in the Anglican church right now. The argument about the validity of women bishops, as I understand it, leaves a group of people who I keep reading being called Anglo-Catholics, feeling they are no longer a part of the Anglican church, because their 'beliefs' are undermined with the decision to allow legislation that will eventually allow the ordination of women bishops.

I may have got that wrong, as I said, in my ignorance there is a lot I do not understand about this whole subject.

I have read that some bishops want to move 'en masse' to the Catholic Church, and want to bring with them *their* churches and *their* congregations, too. This leads me to much of my confusion.

If these people (how can I call them, as a group name?) want to join the Catholic Church, why is it now that they are looking to move over? The women bishop thing in the Anglican church hasn't made any changes to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why come to the Church now? I mean, do 'these people' (I'm still struggling to give the group a name) fully believe and accept everything that the Catholic Church teaches? If they do then why are they not already members of the Church? If they do not, which would explain why they are not members of the Catholic Church, why are they looking to move in?

Surely, any convert to the Faith has to go through the process of RCIA? Any convert who is living in a situation contrary to Church teaching is going to have to get that resolved before they can fully participate at Mass. I'm thinking people who may have divorced and re-married, for example.

There is a lot I need to learn, and a lot I need to understand. In the meantime I will continue to pray for those who have yet to find their way to the Church, and I will continue to pray that those who do find their way to the Church will do it for the right reasons.


Anonymous said...


As a convert from Anglicanism, maybe I can shed some light.

Though they may not appreciate the finer nuances of all the article of the Catechism, etc., the "Anglo-Catholic" wing of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion considers itself, in a word, Catholic.

Many of them hold beliefs that are largely congruent with Roman Catholic ones, and held women Priests to be invalid (as we do); hence, the concept of "flying bishops", that is alternative episcopal oversight, came to be.

However, the Church of England Synod, in voting to allow the consecration of women, and not granting any kind of opt-out, and kind of way of ignoring these women, has gone too far in the eyes of the Anglo-Catholic wing.

There are precedents for this. The "Anglican Use" in America was created for instances where entire Parishes were received into the Church... as were monasteries, e.g. Caldey Island (from whence Priknash was founded).

And no, one does not need to go through RCIA to be received. I didn't... neither did Cardinal Newman (though it didn't exist then). I think you're concerns are very valid, but equally, I think we need to pray for the Holy See, the CDF, and all parties to be extremely generous at this time. There is a lot of hurt, and a lot of people are aching to be in communion with the Church. Remember, they thought they were... until suddenly they find the Church of England is not going to right itself and do a U-turn.

Jay3GSM said...

Thanks, Mark, that does help a great deal.

I still don't get why people have to play-act Catholic when the real thing is on their doorsteps. And beliefs that are 'largely' congruent to the teachings of the Church leaves room for misunderstanding and I suppose in some instances, heretical belief. I'm very much a black and white person when it comes to these matters, I don't like grey areas at all, grey is a dangerous area to play in.

Would an Anglican who held beliefs that were largely in line with Catholic teaching believe in the real presence, for example?

Yes, I will and do pray that those who are lost to find their way home and if I can do anything more than offer prayer to a lost soul, I will try to do my best, but I do fear that there could be a sudden surge of people coming into the Church who don't fully accept all that must be believed to be a Catholic. And if those persons had previously had a position of teaching authority in the Anglican church and were to bring their mis-aligned beliefs to the Catholic church, some already in the Church who are unsure about proper Catholic teaching could be lead astray.

I can imagine that this is a real possibility, that people who have considered themselves to be 'catholic' but do not accept fully the teachings of our Church will try to find a comfort zone of their own within our Church, avoiding the issues that kept them away from the Church in the first place, and maybe pulling some into that comfort zone, too.

But as I said, there is a lot I need to understand and a lot I need to learn. And prayers are needed for those who are hurting right now, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Well, certainly I believed in the Real Presence, or at least, I thought I did! I hope all of these people continue that journey of faith (which will nevertheless be a personal one), and go through the proper means.

ukok said...

I'm not sure if this is a case of great minds thinking alike, or of fools seldom differing, but yep, as i said on my blog (thanks for stopping by)it's all pretty clear cut to me.

Hopefully all this talk will spur many anglican Christian's into a period of discenment and perhaps a genuine embracing of the teachings of the Church.