Early in the week I expressed my utter dismay with a statement of cooperation agreement between the SSJC and the TAC which appeared on the SSJC website. I was dismayed (more despaired - you can read about that by following the above link) because:
1. I was not aware of any existing or pending ecumenical agreement between my Church, the TAC, and the SSJC.
2. I could not see (and still cannot) why the TAC would engage a fringe Old Catholic sect when,
3. Christian unity, as we have been promised, looks at working towards overcoming the obstacles that exist between us and that which is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic - not creating further impediments.
4. I mean, look at what this society teaches!
Well, I have just received the following correspondence from the Very Rev Gregory Bellarmine, SSJC+ Superior General, Secundus:
Fr Bellarmine here. Permit me please to offer a response.
Correct, we in no way support the behaviours of the Vatican hierarchy, nor could we be in communion with their clergy given the multifaith Assisi events 1, 2 & 3. Christ is the only way to salvation. Full stop. And no, we cannot help build up or support any group that works against this public faith. But the TAC expresses our faith on this cornerstone belief, which many large modernist churches in practise do not.
We also are NOT in communion with ANY group but are open to all Catholics, including the TAC. What we are doing is cooperating and yes I initiated contact, because I believed that working together to build the Church locally would be better for Christendom in a hostile secular age than working apart.
So we are “traditionally-ecumenical.” This position is clearly stated on our website.
That means when we come across Anglo-Catholic faithful the TAC have graciously offered to supply sacramental services such as confirmations. The order of communication was the Rt Rev Michael Gill, after which Bishop Botterill and finally Fr. Ian Gray.
By cooperation the sense is similar to that of “Churches Together” but for the conservative Catholic, Roman, Anglo, etc
I fail to see the storm this cooperative relationship has raised? Should we not work together?
V. Rev. Gregory Bellarmine SSJC+
Now, I just don’t know what to say, or think…