… I pray every reader of this magazine will endeavour to pray and work for true re-unity among all who call themselves Christian. If we have been properly baptised according to our Lord’s Command we are therefore members of His Body. But that is only the beginning because we must become fully active in His Body in the world, and to which He entrusted the other Sacraments. Jesus the Christ promised to reveal the fullness of truth to His Church through the Holy Spirit.
We read in the acts of the Apostles 2: 41, 42: “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers”. It is in that Church that we receive the true meaning of the Holy Scripture as recorded in her Book the Holy Bible. The
Scripture is not for private interpretation.
Anglicans believed that they were a genuine part of the Catholic world, though since the Reformation separated from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. However, there have always been Anglican leaders and theologians who have sought to bring about reconciliation and reunity, with the Orthodox Church, but especially with the Church of Rome, from which it was separated from the time of the Reformation. I mentioned before that the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was a genuine response of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to help those groups of Anglicans who appealed to him for help to bring about the long hoped for reconciliation and unity, as prayed for by our Lord, and many Anglicans since the Reformation, and especially now as the Old Anglican Communion by its actions has turned away from its Catholic claim and heritage, and, some would say, from the Christian teaching on morals and ministry. Painful as it is one has to face the truth and make personal decisions.
What other Anglicans may have asked of Rome I cannot say, but the then Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion which had separated itself from the old Communion in order to retain the ancient Catholic Faith as had been professed by the Church of England, not as schismatics, but as continuers, sent in 2007 a petition to Pope Benedict XVI requesting re-unity with the Church of Rome in which the ‘catholic’ Anglican ethos, Liturgy, hymns etc., would be preserved. As you know, I was then the Vicar General of The Traditional Anglican Church in Britain and I also signed, with the bishops, that petition and a copy of the Catholic Catechism on the altar of St. Agatha’s in Portsmouth.
The Petition also stated that we sought “a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment”.
Although the offer might not have been exactly as we had hoped, we did ask for guidance and that is what we have received, also with the statement that we are to maintain our Anglican Patrimony. When one considers the state of the ‘Anglican Communion’ and its divergence from the received teachings of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, as He promised through His Holy Church, His mystical Body, we can understand why the process was offered in the way it has been, in order to be certain that the Anglicans joining the Ordinariate believe the faith and want to practise what they say they believe and be accepted by all Catholics everywhere.
As I think and pray about it I can’t forget that those clergy who voted in General Synod of the CofE, and before that in the USA, for the new doctrines and changes were trained in Anglican seminaries. One could ask ‘what were they taught!’
When we returned from the Caribbean I found a letter waiting from The Ordinary of the Ordinariate, Mgr. Keith Newton, informing me that I had been accepted for preparation for entrance into the Ordinarate of Our Lady of Walsingham. I have accepted the offer and so has my wife Ann and nearly all of the reduced, through death and illness, etc., number of our church members. In order to do this we have been asked to observe Lent as a Eucharistic fast and this we are doing, remembering our Lord’s forty days in the wilderness.
So on Ash Wednesday I resigned from TTAC, and so has the Congregation.
As I have done before, here are some quotations from various Anglican leaders and others down the centuries on the need for all Christians to be united in Christ’s one holy Catholic Church.
I hope we will all have a blessed and holy Lent and, though it may not be easy, be actively a part of the reunion of Christendom to the glory of the Holy Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the conversion of all the world, as is the will of God the Father and the Holy Ghost Amen…
Yours in Christ,