Church

ACCC (TAC) Newsletter – The Anglican Catholic Chronicle, is Out

The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada newsletter is out in three (pdf.) parts:

It is up-to-date and gives a good idea of where things stand for the TAC in Canada now.

Here is what Bishop Craig Botterill (Acting Metropolitan and Apostolic Administrator) writes:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

This is an exciting time for the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, the Canadian Province of the Traditional Anglican Communion. It is spring, and the theme of rebirth and new life that resound in the Eastertide message shapes the inertia and direction of our pilgrimage together. This is not a time to look back and to rehash decisions or mistakes of the past. This is a time to look forward with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, and to boldly proclaim His redeeming love to the broken world in which we live.

Our mission in the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) is to recall Anglicanism to its heritage, to heal divisions caused by departures from the Faith, and to build a vibrant church for the future based on powerful local leadership. The TAC seeks to uphold the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the Anglican tradition within the One, Holy, Catholic and  Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. The Communion holds Holy Scripture and the ancient Creeds of the Undivided Church as authentic and authoritative, and worships according to the traditional liturgies of the Church. Along with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, it is one of the three branches of the universal Catholic Church.

An exciting development in TAC was the conference held February 28 – March 1, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa by its international College of Bishops (COB). This meeting of the COB, the highest legislative body in the Communion, was the first since its Portsmouth, 2007 petition to Rome for Church unity. The College affirmed by resolution its faithfulness to the Traditional Anglican Communion. The TAC will remain fully Anglican. While the COB received, with thanks, the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus from the Holy See, it voted as a Communion to decline the invitation, concluding that it did not represent a positive response to our petition for Church unity, but rather amounted to a requirement for Anglicans to make individual conversions to Roman Catholicism.

The College of Bishops accepted the resignation of Archbishop John Hepworth and elected a new Primate. Archbishop Samuel Prakash, as the senior active Metropolitan, was elected Acting Primate by acclamation. In so doing, the entire assembly expressed complete confidence in Archbishop Prakash, who was consecrated Bishop in 1984 and currently serves as Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of India. Archbishop Prakash was one of the original founding Bishops of the TAC.!! Bishop Michael Gill of South Africa was appointed Secretary of the College of Bishops.

During its three day meeting, the College of Bishops passed several resolutions relating to the International Anglican Fellowship (our overseas missionary fund), Episcopal Oversight and Ecumenical relations between Continuing Jurisdictions. A concordat of intercommunion with a major American Continuing Church jurisdiction was ratified. Several appointments were made by the new Primate, including my own appointment as Episcopal Visitor to the TAC parishes in the United Kingdom. Finally, and most importantly, the College of Bishops resolved to commit itself to Mission and Evangelism, recognizing that the central purpose of God’s people is to bring others to Christ. Several moving statements were made by members about the need to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world deeply in need of hearing it. A program of equipping the saints for the work of Evangelism was supported by the College of Bishops with enthusiasm.

These are indeed exciting times for our Church. I am heartened that the majority of parishes of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada have remained faithful to the Traditional Anglican Communion and that together our Canadian Province will play an important role in maintaining the historic Anglican expression of the Christian Faith. As I continue my round of parish visits across the country I look forward to working with each of you to accomplish our shared mission.

The newsletter continues, but going a little south:

To the recent statements that the ‘majority’ of the clergy and laity of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada are proceeding toward reception into the Roman Catholic Church, it needs to be stated that while that may be true in central Canada it is not true in the rest of the country (as the list above confirms). In the West (including British Columbia), the number of laity and clergy going to Rome do not constitute a ‘majority’. The same is true in Atlantic Canada, where in fact very few have decided to be received into the communion of the Roman Catholic Church.

As a result of the relatively small numbers of Anglican being received into the Roman Catholic Church, four “Anglican Use Parishes” (called ‘sodalities’) have been established (Ottawa, Kitchener, Calgary and Victoria) within the respective local Roman Catholic Dioceses under the authority of the local Roman Catholic diocesan bishop. While the new Ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States (Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson) has stated that he envisions a “Canadian Deanery” within which these Canadian Anglican Use parishes or ‘sodalities’ would come together pending the erection of an Ordinariate for Canada, he has also stated that that decision will be determined by the Vatican in consultation with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Until then it remains four ‘Anglican Use’ parishes within the Canadian Roman Catholic hierarchy. This is very much the practice provided for in the 1980s for Anglicans wishing to join the Roman Catholic Church, and a far cry from what we were led to believe would be the outcome under Anglicanorum Coetibus.

The upshot of all of this is that what was petitioned for by the Traditional Anglican Communion College of Bishops at Portsmouth in 2007, and subsequently believed would be the case by the clergy and laity of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, namely corporate reception into full communion with the Catholic Church (See of Peter) as an entire and whole ecclesial body comprising clergy and laity, without the requirement for conversion to Roman Catholicism did NOT come about. Rather, Anglicanorum Coetibus requires and entails individual conversion to the Roman Catholic Church through the Rite of Reception and administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation by and at the hands of the local Roman Catholic bishop. On the part of clergy, it also entails the resignation of one’s Orders and jurisdiction, with only the possibility of absolute ordination (not conditional ordination) as a Roman Catholic priest and incardination in either the local Roman Catholic diocese or in the Personal Ordinariate (if and when one is established).

Anglicanorum Coetibus does not result in an “Anglican Rite” within the Catholic Church; it does not result in a “church within a church”; it does not result in a parallel ‘Anglican’ ecclesial body alongside of but not part of the Roman Catholic Church. Nor does it result in a person remaining an ‘Anglican’ or ‘Anglican Catholic’ in communion with the Catholic Church. Once received and confirmed, or ordained, as the case may be, that person becomes a “Roman Catholic coming from the Anglican tradition” – “a former Anglican” (as stated in the documents coming from Rome). In other words, it does not result in ‘unity without absorption’ but rather the exact opposite.

The divisions, the hurt, the acrimony, the disappointments, and misleading information which has accompanied the Vatican’s invitation for Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church is regrettable. Instead of greater unity among Christians there is now further disunity and further division. What has transpired is more than the actions of “arrogant, sinful people not accepting the generous offer of Rome” (as some of our former brethren have tried to characterize it), but it is the outcome of a flawed process requiring full and complete submission and obedience to the doctrines, authority and liturgical practices of the Roman Catholic Church; and, for us in particular, the splintering and division of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada and that of the world-wide Traditional Anglican Communion.

One can only continue to hope and pray for genuine Christian unity ‘without absorption’…

Click the above links for more.

UPDATEDeborah Gyapong comments on the newsletter:

I wish these folks well and to tell  the truth, the process has been flawed.  These past two years were extremely painful and the way it rolled out did contribute to division and disintegration.

Yes, we did hope for more recognition of the importance of our ecclesial bonds, to be brought in more as families rather than as individual converts.  In a way, how it has worked out in Canada is that we have been received as families and as individuals—there has been a corporate nature to our reception.  And we’ve been noticing that once we “surrendered all” is the old hymn “I surrender all,” goes, and stopped making any conditions about ensuring our priests were ordained etc., the Roman Catholic authorities have been rushing in to be generous to us in every way possible.

In retrospect, though, had we been brought in “as we were” then all our underlying divisions would have come in with us, making perhaps for a weaker beginning to the Ordinariate.  I don’t know.  We would have been no less divided, perhaps, than the average Roman Catholic parish down the street but that’s not saying much.

My hope is that the little seedling “sodalities” will grow; that they will be attractive preserves of Anglican patrimony; and that we can unpack our treasures and feel right at home.

The big internal wrestling match I had to go through spiritual was this:   I choose to trust Jesus and to surrender my will to Him.  Is that the same thing as trusting the Catholic Church, the institutional Catholic Church, the one with the Pope exercising the Ministry of Peter?  Especially when I see the sinners who make it up?  (Now including me, horror of horrors!)

I asked the Lord for three signs, because it was not clear at all that trusting the Catholic Church was the same as trusting Jesus.    He gave me more than three.  Here I am.  I am overjoyed now that we made it across and survived as a parish family.   But it was extraordinarily difficult.

I too hope for genuine Christian unity without absorption, a flourishing diversity, but a common Catholic faith, under the Ministry of Peter.

It’s that Ministry of Peter which seems to be one of the main sticking points.  I see now the wisdom in the name of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.  I had originally found it a name that might be off-putting to Anglicans looking for a new home.

But now I see that if you do not “get” the Chair of St. Peter, you have not grasped what it means to be Catholic.  This is not about absorption, but about unity.  Peter is a sign of unity for the universal Church.

 

Bible Archaeology

Seal Discovered with Remains of the Closest Building to the First Temple

Bearing the name ‘Matanyahu’, the Israel Antiquities Authority reports:

In Archaeological Work the Israel Antiquities Authority is Conducting in the 2,000 Year Old Drainage Channel between the City of David and the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden:

Remains were Discovered of the Closest Building to the First Temple Exposed so Far in Archaeological Excavations, and on its Floor – a Hebrew Seal Bearing the Name ‘Matanyahu’

The remains of a building dating to the end of the First Temple period were discovered below the base of the ancient drainage channel that is currently being exposed in IAA excavations beneath Robinson’s Arch in the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden, adjacent to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. This building is the closest structure to the First Temple found to date in archaeological excavations.

In the excavations, underwritten by the Ir David Foundation, a personal Hebrew seal from the end of the First Temple period was discovered on the floor of the ancient building. The seal is made of a semi-precious stone and is engraved with the name of its owner: “Lematanyahu Ben Ho…” (“למתניהו בן הו…” meaning: “Belonging to Matanyahu Ben Ho…”). The rest of the inscription is erased.

From the very start of the excavations in this area the archaeologists decided that all of the soil removed from there would be meticulously sifted (including wet-sifting and thorough sorting of the material remnants left in the sieve). This scientific measure is being done in cooperation with thousands of pupils in the Tzurim Valley National Park. It was during the sieving process that the tiny seal was discovered.

People used personal seals in the First Temple period for the purpose of signing letters and they were set in a signet ring. The seals served to identify their owner, just as they identify officials today.

According to Eli Shukron, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “the name Matanyahu, like the name Netanyahu, means giving to God. These names are mentioned several times in the Bible. They are typical of the names in the Kingdom of Judah in latter part of the First Temple period – from the end of the eighth century BCE until the destruction of the Temple in 586 BCE. To find a seal from the First Temple period at the foot of the Temple Mount walls is rare and very exciting. This is a tangible greeting of sorts from a man named Matanyahu who lived here more than 2,700 years ago. We also found pottery sherds characteristic of the period on the floor in the ancient building beneath the base of the drainage channel, as well as stone collapse and evidence of a fire”.

A very exciting discovery.

Dr Leen Ritmeyer (HT) has more and good plan of the area so as to orientate one.

 

Church

The Holy Office puts the American Sisters in the Corner

The “liberal” leadership of the women religious of the United States has been effectively stripped of authority. By order of the pope. Here is the document from the congregation for the doctrine of the faith that explains how and why.

You can read the document here.

Interesting.

HT:  Thanks to Dr William Tighe for pointing it out.

 

Church

The (Ordinariate) Portal Mag: April 2012

The Portal Magazine for May, covering the Ordinariate is out.

Read it online here.

Or pdf. here.

And speaking of the Ordinariate, I see that the Pope Benedict XVI has donated $250,000 to support the work.

The news from Rome came to Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, and read “The Holy Father has benevolently permitted a donation of $250,000”.

Responding to the gift, Mgr Newton said, “I am very grateful to the Holy Father for his generosity and support. This gift is a great help and encouragement as we continue to grow and develop our distinctive ecclesial life, whilst seeking to contribute to the wider work of evangelisation in England and Wales”.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established in January 2011 to enable Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church whilst retaining essential elements of their heritage and tradition. It comprises around 1200 lay faithful and 60 clergy spread across the United Kingdom.

The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, was instrumental in securing the Holy Father’s assistance. On the announcement of the gift the Archbishop said, “The Holy Father’s gift of $250,000 is a clear sign of his personal commitment to the work of Christian Unity and the special place the Ordinariate holds in his heart. I pray for the continuing success and development of the Ordinariate”.

Speaking of the need for further fundraising the Nuncio said, “I urge all those who share our Holy Father’s vision to lend their spiritual and material support to the Ordinariate, especially in these early days”.

Mgr Newton, in response to the remarks of Archbishop Mennini said, “The support and encouragement given to us by the Apostolic Nuncio has been very significant. We were very pleased to welcome him as the Principal Celebrant of our Chrism Mass: a clear sign of our deep desire to remain closely united the Holy Father”.

The Ordinariate welcomed over 250 new members this Easter. Bishop Alan Hopes will ordain deacons for the Ordinariate in Westminster Cathedral on 26 May 2012 at 10.00 a.m., and two men in their twenties were ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in London earlier this month.

UPDATE:   Fr Ray Blake calls the gift to the Ordinariate is shameful:

I can’t help feeling a little embarrassed that the Holy Father has donated $250,000 to the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, it is money that could have been used elsewhere. I know our bishops feel they are being generous, they gave half a million quid to start them off and have generously allowed them office space at the Square.

However as generous as the Papal gift is shames us and unless it was a gift that was given to the Pope especially for the Ordinariate and passed on shows that the Church here has not been as generous as it should have been.

Over a year on and there is still no Ordinariate Church and they are still struggling with finances, and although individual dioceses and parishes have been generous, in E&W which the Ordinariate is seen as source of augmenting diocesan clergy rather than one of the new movements that should be at the heart of the New Evangelisation.

My reading of Anglicanorum Coetibus is that rather being integrated into diocesan structures it should be outside of these in order to be an effective agent of evangelisation. Its penury keeps it pre-occupied with simply staying alive rather than being able to call others effectively into Communion with Peter.

Pray to Our Lady of Walsingham for some wealthy doners.

 

Culture

Why Did 60 Minutes Deceive Its Viewers?

The Gatestone Institute:

Palestinian Christians, like other religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East, are the target of mistreatment, harassment and in some instances, violent oppression at the hands of their Muslim neighbors.

Nevertheless, much of the media coverage about Palestinian Christians downplays Muslim hostility toward this community and falsely portrays Israel as the sole cause of its suffering.

The reality is Palestinian Christians cannot speak freely about the Muslim dominated environment in which they live. Their leaders often publicly condemn Israel while remaining silent about groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Occasionally, they might admit that Muslim hostility is a problem, but not very often and not very loudly.

It is safe for Palestinian Christian leaders to condemn Israel – a democracy that has a tradition of respecting religious freedom and human rights. It is not safe, however, for Palestinian Christians to condemn the misdeeds of their Islamist neighbors who regard Christians as infidels and obstacles to the creation of an Islamic state.

Journalists obviously have an obligation to dig into the underlying facts regarding the status of Christians in Palestinian areas.

This information is harder to obtain than anti-Israel comments from prominent Palestinian Christians. It is not however, impossible to get testimony about Muslim oppression of Christians in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. For example, Khaled Abu Toameh has written about mistreatment of Christians by their Muslim neighbors, a problem that has gotten worse since Bethlehem and the surrounding towns have become hotbeds for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In a piece published by the Gatestone Institute in 2009 (when it was then called the Hudson Institute), Toameh reported that Christians have complained about acts “of intimidation land theft by Muslims, especially those working for the Palestinian Authority.” And if that wasn’t enough, “several Christian women living in these areas have complained about verbal and sexual assaults by Muslim men.” Toameh also recounts hearing stories of shakedowns by Muslim gangs. He writes:

Over the past few years, a number of Christian businessmen told me that they were forced to shut down their businesses because they could no longer afford to pay “protection” money to local Muslim gangs.

This is however, not the story that Palestinian Christian leaders tell to Westerners. Toameh reports:

Ironically, leaders of the Palestinian Christians are also to blame for the ongoing plight of their people because they refuse to see the reality as it is. And the reality is that many Christians feel insecure and intimidated because of what we Muslims are doing to them and not only because of the bad economy.

When they go on the record, these leaders always insist that Israel and the occupation are the only reason behind the plight of their constituents. They stubbornly refuse to admit that many Christians are being targeted by Muslims. By not talking openly about the problem, the Christian leaders are encouraging the perpetrators to continue their harassment and assaults against Christian families.

This is an important story that journalists should highlight.

60 Minutes Dropped the Ball

Given the time and resources available to reporters and producers at 60 Minutes, it would seem reasonable to expect that they would be able to give viewers an accurate picture.

Apparently, it is simply a story they do not want to tell…

Read on here and see the true obnoxious anti-Israel propaganda being passed off as peacemaking.