Fr Anthony Chadwick: A Couple of Snippets…

On the Traditional Anglican Communion – past and present.

Do give his post a read over at As the sun is in its orb.

UPDATEDeborah Gyapong weighs in and comments on the above.

… I believe that Hepworth understood that the communal and ecclesial way would include a more corporate “front-end” reception, more respect for the bishops’ as guardians of Catholic doctrine rather than an insistence on individual lay conversion, and more respect for the legal and corporate identities of the TAC churches so they could come in as Bishop Craig Botterill once said to me, “lock, stock and barrel” rather than having to disband, potentially leave all behind, come in as individual converts and then attempt to re-assemble after the fact.  Our ecclesial bonds were not regarded as important and consequently our parish families and our dioceses were disintegrated.  Imagine, will you, if every Roman Catholic parish suddenly had to have the individual faith of each of its members examined  (polls show only about half even believe in Real Presence) on pain of not receiving communion if they would not sign on the dotted line that they believed everything the Church holds to be true, whether on contraception to the male priesthood etc.   But most of the TAC bishops showed they did not hold or, as their actions now indicate, aspire to hold the Catholic faith as it is presented in the Catechism.  So, in retrospect the Holy See was perhaps wise to do it the way it did…

Rest here.



10 thoughts on “Fr Anthony Chadwick: A Couple of Snippets…

  1. I meant to add to earlier remarks that it seems unlikely that Hepworth would have repeatedly asserted his willingness to return to the Catholic church as a layman, if necessary, if he had not sincerely believed that he would not have to make good on this promise ie if he had not felt assured that a dispensation would be forthcoming.

    1. His assurance didn’t necessarily have to come from the Vatican, though. If he had convinced himself that he was going to lead 400,000 members of the TAC back to Rome, he could easily have convinced himself that he would be received in full pontificals.

      I don’t necessarily think that this is the case – in fact, after sober consideration, I think that the treatment of Hepworth by both the TAC and the Vatican is scandalous – but I offer it as an alternative interpretation.

    1. I spent 30 years in practice in clinical psychology, and then a few more years in research. One of the “life lessons” my profession has taught me is the ease at which anyone (including clinical psychologists) can fall unawares into the trap of self deception or delusion. We’re remarkably good at it. For most of us little people, the results are usually nothing more than embarrassment and inconvenience. For those who carry the burdens of authority and leadership, the results are often much worse.

      1. I could not agree more. Over 50 years in the courts have convinced me of that.

        But there is a further point: There does not have to be any “moral turpitude” for self-deception. Well meaning people are not immune. For example, it is all too easy for a Minister to convince himself (or herself) that the decision taken was for “for the greater good”, or “properly respected the human rights of those concerned” when to the objective Judge, that is plainly not the case.

        Fr Chadwick says this: “It is certain that, for whatever reason, we were all deceived by the former Archbishop’s narrative of how the TAC was to become almost a kind of Anglican rite uniate Church with himself keeping his position of primate, and that this would get him reinstated in the Roman Catholic clergy “through the back door”. The more critical of us knew that Rome just doesn’t do this kind of thing…..” .

        So it was not just the former primate whose vision was based on self-deception. Fr Chadwick, knew precisely what is the approach of Rome to its errant clergy in canonically irregular situations. Obectively he knew that “Rome just doesn’t do this kind of thing”

        But he too was prepared to disregard that objective knowledge – perhaps because the “Hepworth vision” was something he also devoutly desired.

      2. Yes, that’s what I meant, Mourad. I wasn’t clear enough. Self deception is subtle and tricksy, and can trip up the most innocent and unsuspecting person. I – who am far from innocent – have fallen into this trap more times than I care to admit. I suspect that everyone has, at least once.

        In my time in practice I was called to give evidence on numerous occasions, for both prosecution and defence. I can’t recall any occasion when it was pleasurable. Usually, it was barely tolerable.

        People, eh?

  2. I really don’t pay attention to what’s going on at the other side of the Tiber unless I see people actually crossing. Now that I read more about this, all I can say is: “What the heck, Archbishop Hepworth?”

  3. But to be fair, I wouldn’t be surprised if the liberalized parts of the Roman Curia can be blamed for some of the mess. It’s hard to see any complete picture as a layman in the Catholic Church. We merely have to be on guard for when someone makes an error.

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