Ordinariate for the Oxford Movement Minded?

Any thoughts on this quote, Tweeted today? And why would the Ordinariate not appeal to those, say of, an Evangelical persuasion? The desire to unity is a stong pull, generally. The offer is to Anglicans, on the whole, and they are after all, known to be a motley crew.

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26 thoughts on “Ordinariate for the Oxford Movement Minded?

  1. IMHO, the quote does not say that communities with evangelical background will not be found in the Ordinariates, i.e. that the Ordinariates will be composed exclusively of “communities with an authentic Oxford Movement tradition”.
    All it says is that some time from now no significant “communities with an authentic Oxford Movement tradition” (i.e. traditional Anglo-Catholic communities) will be found outside the Ordinariates. And considering the current developments in the Anglican world, both Canterbury and continuing, it seems likely that any Anglo-Catholics will be gradually marginalised.

    • Without revisiting the whole history of the Anglican High Church and too Tractarian (Oxford) Movement (though no doubt some really do need to), Anglo-Catholics and Anglo-Catholicism has never been contingent on some point of history alone, save the need and desire of its own Anglican reality. As noted in some of its leaders: E.B. Pusey and R.H. Froude, especially besides Newman, noting that Anglican High Churchmanship ran from about 1760 to 1857, etc.

  2. Pingback: Fr. Stephen Smuts posts a tweet quoting Bishop Peter Elliott | Foolishness to the world

  3. I hope Bishop Elliott is right in this sense: that the Ordinariates do enable Anglican Use Catholics to maintain an authentic Oxford Movement tradition. Though perhaps evangelical Anglicans might be attracted to the Catholic Church for reasons of unity or authority and not an Anglican liturgical tradition or patrimony within the Catholic Church, as someone formed in an evangelical church as an adult, I don’t see why Oxford movement tradition is not attractive to evangelicals, charismatics or other types of believers. And, since Ordinariate parishes can use the Novus Ordo, some evangelical Anglican groups might feel more comfortable with a more contemporary form of worship. There are those who wonder—both inside and outside Catholic circles—whether an Oxford movement vision will prevail in the Ordinariates. Would those remaining in Continuuing Churches change their minds about joining if it is clear that Bishop Elliott proves right?

  4. The real issue for many Canterbury and Continuing Anglican clergy continues to be the matter of having to be ordained again.This is a subject that has not been mentioned much lately, but one which remains very much at the heart of the matter. There would be many more Anglican clergy joining an Ordinariate if Rome would offer conditional ordination.

  5. I’m not sure at all that this opinion is rooted in the real world — I think there’s a well-established empirical view, attested to in respectable places like Diarmaid MacCullough’s Christianity: The
    First Three Thousand Years, that there is, and apparently always has been (i.e., since the mid-19th century) a significant gay component in Anglo-Catholicism. It’s generally understood in the US that urban Anglo-Catholic TEC parishes are largely gay, and certainly have been since Laud Humphreys was a TEC priest in the 1950s. I’m not familiar with the UK, but apparently parishes like All Saints Margaret Street in London (described to me as the “gold standard” of Anglo-Catholicism) have certainly had openly gay clergy. I don’t believe any such parishes have any intention of going into the Ordinariates, while I also believe they’re as healthy as most TEC or CofE parishes and won’t go away soon. The tweet is uninformed and silly.

    • Quite a number of dons have teamed up up with the BBC over the years to produce television potted culture programmes (usually with an associated book which comes out in paperback when the series goes on air). The first major such effort was fronted by Kenneth McKenzie Clark, Baron Clark, OM, CH, KCB, FBA who fronted the 1969 BBC series “Civilisation” in 13 episodes. It generated massive revenues for the BBC, was sold in more thamn 60 countries and got Kenneth Clark his barony. Indeed, he was often referred to in satirical shows as “Lord Clark of Civilisation” – a name which stuck.

      With his BBC series “A history of Christanity” (only 6 parts however) but with the obligatory accompanying book “A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years”, Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, MA, DD, FBA, FSA, FRHistS (etc) is but the latest of a series of academics who have become “TV personalities”.

      Mr Bruce may regard MacCullogh as reliable on the subject of gay Anglicans. But MacCullogh has also been a Member of the Gay Christian Movement since 1976, twice a member of its Committee and once its Honorary Secretary.

      So while it is possible that MacCullogh may be better informed on the matter than some, like other “gay rights propagandists” he may also be overkeen to “talk up” the incidence of homosexualality in the clergy because that suits his own objectives.

      • Indeed, whatever some Anglican rectors have done in their personal sexual lives in the past 19th and 20th century (as today in the 21st), the sexual ethics of the OT and New Testament, is that of the Judeo-Christian, and thus St. Paul! These lines are very clear in Holy Scripture! Note, 1 Cor. 6: 8-11 (noting especially verse 9).

  6. I agree with Continental Catholic. As I pointed out on another thread:-

    1, “On 31st October 2009, Canon Robin Ward, the Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, preached at a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the foundation of Pusey House. His chosen text was not one I have ever heard a Catholic priest preach to in my lifetime and I only came across the sermon thanks to the blog of Father James Bradley of the Orinariate of our Lady of Walsingham, but the text is to be found on line: The sinews of Behemoth’s testicles are tightly constricted (Job 40:17).. I suggest it is well worth reading.”

    Dr Ward’s proposition was that Anglicans were facing very difficut moral choices because “the basis on which we have carried on our mission in recent years, the doctrine of a Church of England with two integrities, is coming to an end.”. One might put that proposition in the past tense so far as the US Episcopal Church is concerned,

    Likewise the prominent Anglo-Catholic blogger, Father Michael Gollop SSC (“Let Nothing You Dismay”) put the dilemma currently facing Anglo-Catholics in the CofE thus:

    ““This is a summer holiday, not a time for any serious analysis of the multiple dilemmas which face traditional Anglo-Catholics who belong, despite everything, to Anglicanism’s official structures. Yet we do – all of us – need a time of serious thought as to the realities of the future, something which the current initiatives signally fail to address – we have to be very careful indeed that in using our opponents’ terminology we don’t end up accepting the premises of their arguments. The ‘Better Together’ campaign, for example, states that we should accept as a fundamental principle ‘respect for the ordination of women as priests and bishops.’ Now one may respect, in a spirit of civility and simple good manners, individually and personally those women who have been ordained to Anglican ministry, but respect for the theology and ecclesiology which lies behind the fact of their ordination is another matter. “Unity, diversity, freedom and respect” are laudable concepts but, please, first define what we mean by them in the current context, or we may end up having to accept another set of definitions, ones which in themselves undermine and even exclude the very Catholic theology and practice by which we strive to live.”..

    What the CofE is presently offering those of the Anglo-Catholic tradition can only be described as a thinly disguised terminal care system.

    I think the Ordinariate Clergy and faithful have much to bring into the Church. May their memberships increase!
    FLOREANT!

  7. As in so many of these comments, the word ‘authentic’ is something of a red flag, as to declare it authentic requires a subjective judgement to be made: by whom? The Anglican world has been riven by these judgements for how long (smells and bells forever, or for never – how high is high churchmanship: not high enough, then I’ll try harder!!), as has the Roman Catholic church: note the comments about the Novus Ordo mass we can read on this blog – never mind the entire charismatic catholic movement.
    So, who defines the ‘authentic’ Oxford movement: was Newman more authentic than Pusey because he completed the journey in the Roman Catholic church, or not?
    ‘Bell Tower’ makes the valid comment about orders: the fact that to the Vatican authority Anglican orders are not valid – note ‘authentic’ – matters not a whit: it is God’s verdict that is the only one that counts.

    • I agree Fr. David, the issue of Anglican Orders only really comes from Rome and the Anglican-Papal people. I for one, don’t need any Roman Catholic idea of Holy Orders! But then of course I am an Evangelical Anglican, and see the historical presbyterate as a “ministry”, i.e. Bishop Lightfoot…Anglican Article XXIII. For Classic Anglicanism, “priest” (elder, Gk.) and “presbyter” are the same, and Anglican Priests are “Presbyteri” and not “Sacerdotes”. And really the NT, as the BCP (Anglican) ministry is essentially pastoral, not really mediatorial. The NT “priest” or minister, is really a “prophet” (preacher) type from God to the people, and not a sacrificing or mediating priest. So in reality, we Reformed and Reformational must reject – strictly speaking – Roman Catholic Priesthood, just as much as they reject Anglican priesthood or ministry! Once again, we are pressed back to the Holy Scripture, rather than just or only tradition, itself. So the “authentic” in ministry is both “in spirit and in truth”, as well as any Apostolic history. Which Anglicanism does not itself reject! (Acts 2:42) 🙂

  8. John, if Los Angeles is representative of the whole of Anglo-Catholicism then you are probably right: Anglo-Catholicism will survive in Canterbury Anglicanism and go extinct outside it. Anglo-Catholicism is supposed to be more than beautiful worship. TEC’s St. Thomas is healthier than St. Mary’s in almost every way and has been for years; unless St. Mary becomes Catholic and learns how to be a Christian community it will soon be only a checking account and POB. In any case, whether it remains a continuing church or becomes Catholic it will be dependent on the Catholic Church’s teachings and example to become anything more than a chapel for folks that like incense and nice vestments– and dislike shaking hands at the exchange of the peace as much as they dislike spending any of their rental income on anything or anybody outside the corporation. Oops, I meant corporation/parish.

  9. I’m wondering if we aren’t losing track of Anglicanism as a via media that tolerates a spectrum of views here. To some extent, the Ordinariate is a result of this failure, since those who go in are in fact expected to embrace some doctrines about which traditional Anglicanism has been at best ambivalent: purgatory, aural confession, transubstantiation, and Papal infallibility, just to name those that come to mind. In return, it appears that traditionalist Catholics, probably including the Pope, are hoping that a few thousand high-church types will help steer the Roman liturgy back toward something intelligent people can relate to. Some words that come to mind considering this would include “cockamamie”. Leaving aside the more definite Protestantism of people like Fr Robert, I’m not sure if those who favor Ordinariates on either side are being realistic about the actual prospects for unification. Indeed, if Pope Benedict is thought to have been infallible in thinking this whole project up, I’d say it could turn into a powerful argument against that doctrine.

    • “if Pope Benedict is thought to have been infallible in thinking this whole project up”
      He is not thought so – though you probably know that perfectly well.

    • Jesus prayed: “Ut Unum Sint” – “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that you have sent me”

      Christian unity is therefore a condition if the world is to believe, not an optional extra. Even if only a few are brought into communion by the Holy Father’s initiative – that will still have been worthwhile.

      • Quite so. As Fr. Robert will tirelessly point out, Catholicism and the Protestantisms are two entirely different religions; as John Bruce points out, Anglicanism was a via media in which members of both Faiths could feel at home, cemented by Oligarchical patronage. Since the said Oligarchy has moved into directions incompatible with either Catholicism or most biblically-based Protestantisms, Anglicans of all sorts must make a number of choices. For the Catholically-minded among them, the Ordinariates are offered. Pace John Bruce, I do not believe that either Newman, Pusey, or Keble numbered spiritual gilding of homosexuality among their goals. That this has become the case for many who call themselves A-C, and in turns prevents such from entering the Ordinariate; but how might contradict what Bishop Elliott has said escapes me.

      • Indeed Charles, Roman Catholics and classic Anglicans have much in common, but truly in some very salient places, there are major differences, but we worship the same God In Christ! But as you know well yourself, the Roman Papacy rejects Anglican orders and ministry, almost outright! So yes, there are some almost “entirely different” biblical and theological places between R. Catholicism and historical, classic Anglicanism. Btw, note St. Paul’s statement in 1 Cor. 11: 19!

        And, as I have sought to state several times, I do have what I consider at least to be some very “Catholic” places in my own faith. I mean I am not anti-catholic I don’t think at all, but each of us must live our Christian lives with a clear and hopefully clean conscience, ‘In Christ’. This is my goal and desire!

    • I agree John, historical Anglicanism has always been a place of the Church as “via-media” (middle way). I like to think my own Anglican ecclecticism, is at least seeking that “Catholic” way, though certainly I am very flawed myself. However, the great apostasy of the CoE, and sadly other Anglican places, demands that good Christians make certain separation. See again, St. Paul’s Last Will & Testament, 2 Timothy, noting 2:19-26, with chapter 3, etc. Now is the time for the Church to make most necessary changes, as we see such great apostasy in the historical churches! And btw, we all know that Roman Catholicism has its own deep problems of disunity within. And time will only tell where the Ordinariate’s are heading?

  10. Anglo-Catholicism ( originally ritualism) was a deviation of the Oxford movement. In 1833 no Anglican church used chasubles, invoked the Saints, worshipped the communion elements, used incense,and there were no consecrated religious.

  11. Since the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has been established for a little while, it perhaps worth quoting an Ordinariate member’s view of why people join:-

    “They are not seeking a club in which they can re-enact scenes from the Chapel Royal or stand in a tableau representing the life of an Oxbridge College chapel, nor in which they can pretend that they operate in a replica of the Church of England (or often, of the Church of England as it probably never was and most certainly no longer is). They are choosing to become Catholics, in communion with the Successor of St Peter, in obedience to the Gospel’s call to Unity. Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Ordinariates are a means to become and to be Catholics, bringing Anglican Patrimony with us, and knowing that the Holy Father and the Church recognise that we bring solid faith and tradition with us.

    Ordinariate members are not seeking, in any way, to deny that they are part of the wider Church, indeed the opposite is true. We are Catholics who happen to be members of the Ordinariate: we are not Ordinariate members clinging on to an Anglican past and only reluctantly admitting to being Catholic”

    John Bruce above writes: “I’m wondering if we aren’t losing track of Anglicanism as a via media that tolerates a spectrum of views here. To some extent, the Ordinariate is a result of this failure, since those who go in are in fact expected to embrace some doctrines about which traditional Anglicanism has been at best ambivalent: purgatory, aural confession, transubstantiation, and Papal infallibility, just to name those that come to mind.”

    He is right in this sense – Ordinariates are for people who accept all the teaching of the Catholic Church and those Anglicans who are not comfortable with that and who do not wish to remain within their existing ecclesial structure had better look elsewhere.

    • John Bruce is right on the money here! …

      “Anglicanism has been at best ambivalent: purgatory, aural confession, transubstantiation, and Papal infallibility, just to name those that come to mind.” And I wonder how many Roman Catholics really stand by these now? And I speak of even R. Catholic priests! I know several Roman Catholic priests here myself that simply don’t believe some of these things anymore! As I have mentioned, the RCC has its problems in keeping a tight ship! There are many so-called Catholic liberals these days!

      • And btw Mourad, I am for the most part, more conservative certainly biblically & theologically, and even politically, than most of my Roman Catholic priest friends. And I have several! 🙂 Just the sign of the times!

      • Fortunately, in the Catholic Church, unlike the Protestant or Anglican universe, what a priest believes or not does not change an iota in Church teaching.

      • CC, just kept thinking that, and you will eventually get blind-sided, like many R. Catholics did with the pastoral aspects of Vatican II. Note, there have been a few Catholics even on this blog that have indicated this! As I myself lived thru some of that in my time as Irish Roman Catholic.

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