April 17, 2012 1 Comment
Via our dear Fr Christopher Phillips: That’s all there is to it.
Abbreviated Directions for Altar Servers:
1.) if it has a wick, light it.
2.) if in doubt, genuflect.
April 17, 2012 4 Comments
Dozens of pastors and hundreds of believers are returning to the Catholic Church because of its acceptance of female bishops and gay clergymen
It is now more like erosion than an exodus. Dozens of pastors and hundreds of believers are leaving the Anglican Church every month and with the introduction of the female episcopate in July, it seems likely that more and more will escape. The phenomenon of Anglican clergymen and believers returning to Rome is noting a continuous increase as a result of an agreement reached with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which allows the clergy to be re-ordained as Catholic priests. This unstoppable trend is one of the reasons that induced Archbishop Rowan Williams to resign.
According to some surveys, practically half of the flock of the Church of England is favourable to a reunion with their “separated Catholic siblings”. And the “contagion” is extending from the Anglicans to the Lutherans. Several North American and Scandinavian groups have asked the Holy See to be received into the Catholic Church. This has led to the establishment of an appropriate Ordinariate for them based upon the “Our Lady of Walsingham” model designed for former Anglicans. This is a path of return towards the Catholic Church that involves a growing number of clerics and laypeople from all over the world. The Anglican Communion has not been able to identify effective ways of stopping a trend that has weakened the leadership of the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who, twenty days ago, announced he will step down from his post at the end of the year; a decision he took after ten years of service and after accepting the position of Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge. The Primate is the “primus inter pares” of the world-wide Anglican Communion and he presides over the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and the Assembly of Primates.
Meanwhile, conversions to Catholicism keep increasing, favoured by the institution of the personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on 15 January. Several dozen groups scattered all over Great Britain are entering the Catholic Church. After a preparatory path for official entry to the Catholic Church, the converted are accepted through the sacrament of Confirmation. The apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus”, published in November 2009, made the entrance to the Catholic Church for Anglican communities possible, through the institution of personal ordinariates with characteristics similar to those of a non-territorial parish (a new canonical structure). Thus it is possible for them to recognize the supremacy of the Pope while maintaining elements of their liturgical and spiritual tradition. Up to now the change from the Anglican Church to the appropriate Ordinariate of the Catholic Church instituted by Benedict XVI has involved bishops, priests and believers who wish to return to the ancient liturgy of the Latin Mass.
In July the Anglican Church in England will authorize the ordination of female bishops, whilst also approving some measures to please the traditionalist wing which was contrary to such change. In 1994, when it approved the sacerdotal ordination of women, the Anglican Church lost approximately five-hundred members of the clergy who changed over to the Catholic Church. In July 2010, the Anglican Synod of York approved the ordination of female bishops; a decision that is prevailing little by little in all the Anglican Communion contrary to the opinion of the traditionalist communities.
The Anglican Communion is composed of thirty-eight independentprovinces, one of which is England. Several provinces already have female bishops. Eventually, because of the Episcopal consecration of women, the haemorrhage could worsen. The Catholic Church is opposed to the process that will introduce the legislation leading to the ordination of women to the episcopate next July. The position of the Catholic Church in this regard has remained unchanged since the times of Paul VI. The approval of the female episcopate is considered by the Holy See as a split from the apostolic tradition maintained by all the Churches of the first millennium, and it is therefore an ulterior obstacle for the reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England. So, the opening of the episcopate to the other half of the sky will have negative consequences for the dialogue with the Vatican. And it will cause an ulterior departure of clerics and laypeople towards Rome.
There is a clear trend being followed: next July will see the ordination of female bishops, then the ordination of openly gay clergymen. It is the path the Anglican world has decided to follow, regardless of the numerous communities that, because of this “liberal” turn, choose the Diaspora and the return to the Catholic “mother Church”. The Holy See has warned on numerous occasions that the decision to consecrate female bishops would compromise the ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic Church. All Churches of the first millennium, Catholic, Oriental and Orthodox, assert that only men can be ordained. These Churches see the ordination of women as an illegitimate abandonment of the authentic tradition. With the acceptance of female bishops, the Anglican Communion would abandon that which Rome considers the essential tradition of the Church since its origins. Two issues are at the centre of the tensions within the Anglican Communion and with the Catholic Church: the ordination of women and homosexuality.
The Vatican blames the Anglicans for the impossibility of offering one common testimony of human sexuality and marriage. Moreover, the ordination of women to the episcopate would substantially and definitively block a possible acknowledgment of Anglican orders by the Catholic Church. The “female episcopate” is a big obstacle on the road towards the common participation to the Table of Christ. And so the “escape” of Anglicans towards Rome intensifies.
April 17, 2012 7 Comments
I was told via the e-mail last week. But now Fr Bartus has just posted a short note:
Just a quick note to ask for your prayers as my wife and I were received into the Catholic Church last Thursday. We were received by Msgr. William Stetson and were surrounded by many dear friends, including many members of the Bl. John Henry Newman Society in Orange County. We now await a date for Bl. John’s to be received into the Church, hopefully together with St. Augustine of Canterbury in San Diego County. Please pray that a date can be sorted soon!
April 17, 2012 5 Comments
Some time ago a woman from New Jersey was visiting the parish and over a cup of coffee in the parish center said, “Father, I hear you have four children. How did that happen?”
I said, “Well, when a man and a woman really love each other…”
Seriously. I have a wife and four children. And I’m a Catholic priest. “Whaaat? How did you do that?” is the first response.
In the 1970′s a group of Episcopalian priests wrote to Rome asking if they could be ordained as Catholic priests even though they were married. They were aware that a precedent had been set in the 1950s when a small group of Swedish Lutheran pastors converted and were ordained. By the early 1980s the Pastoral Provision had been set up. This was a mechanism whereby a local bishop could apply to Rome for a dispensation from the vow of celibacy for suitably qualified former Anglican priests.
The Pastoral Provision continues its work for men who wish to come into full communion with the Catholic Church and be ordained. Since then the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter has been erected here in the United States. This follows on from the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus which provided for the Anglican Ordinariate. This is a new structure which allows Christians from the Anglican tradition to have their own churches, their own liturgy, even their own seminaries and religious orders. Their pastor is called an ‘Ordinary’ because he may be a married former Anglican priest. He is not ordained as a bishop although he can wear episcopal regalia. Married former Anglican priests may also be ordained by their local Latin rite bishop for service in the Ordinariate. They will then be incardinated to the Ordinariate.
I am now receiving a good number of phone calls from men all over the world who wish to also be a “married Catholic priest.” There are, however, certain rules of eligibility so after I have listened to their conversion story I stop and ask them these questions. If you’re thinking that you want to be a married Catholic priest. Here’s the list:
- What denomination do you belong to now? If you’re other than Anglican or Lutheran your chances of being considered for ordination to the priesthood are not impossible, but slim. If you are a member of a small independent Anglican denomination and were ordained into that group your chances are not so good.
- What is your educational background? If you went to Podunck Bible College for two years and then completed a degree in underwater basket weaving your formation will probably be considered to be lacking.
- What is your work background? Experience in the church matters. Being a part time Anglican priest for six months while you worked at Home Depot is not best.
- Were you baptized as a Catholic? If you were baptized as a Catholic, then left to become a Protestant, then you are formally guilty of apostasy or schism. This usually presents an obstacle to ordination. So you Catholic guys who want to leave, become Episcopalian, get married, get ordained then come home to Rome. Sorry. It won’t work.
- Were you ever received into the Catholic Church then left? Same thing as number 3. Being guilty of formal schism or apostasy is an impediment to ordination.
- Were you or your wife married before, and is that former spouse still living? If you are in an irregular marriage your application will not be approved. It is possible that you might be approved if you go through the process to seek a decree of nullity for the former marriage from the Catholic Tribunal, but it’s complicated. An annulment from an Anglican diocese or some other authority doesn’t count.
- Were you ordained as a Catholic priest then left to get married? The pastoral provision does not provide for men in this situation.
In most situations the advice is, “If you are called to the Catholic Church, then obey the call and become a Catholic. The call to be a priest is a different call which must be discerned once you are in the Catholic Church. Come on home and buckle your seat belt. You may soon be experiencing some turbulence.”
What kind of turbulence? There are lots of problems. Many Catholic bishops still don’t know about the Pastoral Provision. They’re worried that they won’t be able to support a married man with children. They can hardly keep up with all the different stripes of Catholic–much less know about all the many different Protestant groupings. The bishop might be liberal and suspect the convert is a dangerous conservative, or the bishop might be conservative and be opposed to the idea of married priests. There may be delays with paperwork, personality clashes, financial insecurities.
I waited ten years before the door opened for ordination. If you’re thinking of going this route be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Writes Fr Guy Hawtin:
All of our parishioners and friends are all heartily welcome to the consecration of my good friend The Rev. John Vaughan as our new Suffragan Bishop. The service will take place here at St Stephen’s Church at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 18th.
“Why St Stephen’s?” you might ask. “Fr Vaughan, after all, hails from St Patrick’s Church at Port St John, Florida. Surely it would be more appropriate to consecrate him at his home parish.” The fact of the matter is that choosing St Stephen’s as a venue for Fr Vaughan’s consecration was partly a matter of protocol and partly a matter of convenience.
Bishop Brian Marsh, the diocese Episcopal Visitor, last year named St Stephen’s his “pro-cathedral.” A pro-cathedral is a parish church that serves as a cathedral because that is where the bishop keeps his throne—cathedra, to give its proper name.
We received the honor not because our church is vast enough to be considered a cathedral or because its clergy are particularly distinguished. St Stephen’s was chosen because it happens to be the closest parish to the bishop’s home in Connecticut.
And, in terms of protocol, it is appropriate for a bishop of a diocese to be consecrated in its cathedral.
As to convenience, it has been the practice of the Anglican Church in America to rotate the meetings of its House of Bishops and National Council around the country, and this spring it was the turn of the Washington/Baltimore area to host the event.
This, in turn, means there will be enough bishops meeting in Timonium to provide the traditional minimum of three bishops needed to consecrate a priest to the episcopate.
The redoubtable Trouble 1 and Trouble 2 (aka Donna Szper and Rosa Halbert) have organized the event and thus, the first (and probably the last) consecration to take place at St Stephen’s should be a most memorable and joyous occasion. If you have never seen a bishop consecrated before, why not join us at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 18th.
The above was posted here today.
YouCat the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, has become the top-selling Catholic book in the world.
It is published by CTS in the UK and Ireland over 15,000 copies have been sold since March 2011.
In the U.S, it is now the number one Catholic book and all this is contributing to a total of 1.7 million copies sold across the globe.
Beginning with its distribution at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, YouCat is finding its place among the various tools that can help explain the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church in a clear and comprehensible way.
It will surely be a great help for the extra catechesis and other activities that will be planned for the upcoming Year of Faith too.
For 9 million pounds. CBS News:
London — The British Library has paid 9 million pounds (US$14.3 million) to acquire the St. Cuthbert Gospel, a remarkably well-preserved survivor of seventh-century Britain described by the library as the oldest European book to survive fully intact.
The palm-sized book, a manuscript copy of the Gospel of John in Latin, was bought from the British branch of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the library said Tuesday.
The book measures 96 mm (3.8 inches) by 136 mm (5.4 inches) and has an elaborately tooled red leather cover. It comes from the time of St. Cuthbert, who died in 687, and it was discovered inside his coffin when it was opened in 1104 at Durham Cathedral.
The British Library said the artifact is one of the world’s most important books.
“To look at this small and intensely beautiful treasure from the Anglo-Saxon period is to see it exactly as those who created it in the seventh century would have seen it,” said the library’s chief executive, Lynne Brindley.
“The exquisite binding, the pages, even the sewing structure survive intact, offering us a direct connection with our forebears 1300 years ago,” she added.
Cuthbert’s coffin arrived in Durham after monks had removed it from the island of Lindisfarne, 330 miles (530 kilometers) north of London, to protect the remains from Viking raiders in the ninth and 10th centuries.
The book will be displayed at the British Library in London and then in Durham, northeast England, next year.
Wikipedia has more on the St Cuthbert Gospel here.