Ex-Anglican Ministers Ordained as Catholic Priests

The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite:

They are Roman Catholic priests but each has a wife and children. They don’t report to Bishop of Victoria Richard Gagnon, although Bishop Gagnon was the person who ordained them. They don’t even report to any other Roman Catholic offices in Canada.

Instead, they report to a special office in Houston, Texas, called the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. And from there, the hierarchy leads directly to Rome.

“We are not part of the Diocese of Victoria,” said Catholic the Rev. Michael Birch, 70, of Victoria, who is married with two grown children.

Birch was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on June 14 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, along with the Rev. Don Malins, 74, of Victoria, married with one grown son, and the Rev. Peter Switzer, 70, of Port Alberni, married with three children and two grandchildren.

All three began their careers in the clergy as Anglican priests, which was when they started their families. After retirement, they left the Anglican Church to join breakaway Anglican organizations, like the Anglican Catholic Church or the Anglican Network.

They have now been ordained as Roman Catholic priests, by special dispensation from the Vatican. “This all comes from the Holy Father,” Fr. Switzer said from Port Alberni. “If someone has a problem with it, go talk to the Pope. “This was his idea, not mine.”

Two years ago, Pope Benedict XVI issued the Apostolic Constitution Anglican [sic] Coetibus, allowing Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church.

Benedict also ordained [sic] the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in Houston and gave it responsibility for all of North America. Canada is now a deanery in that jurisdiction, headquartered in Calgary…

Read the full story at“>the Times Colonist

From Left, Msgr. Peter Wilkinson, Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria, Fr. Peter Switzer, Fr. Don Malins, Fr. Michael Birch, and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson. From the blog of St. John’s Church Calgary, Alberta.



49 thoughts on “Ex-Anglican Ministers Ordained as Catholic Priests

  1. The camera never lies…..look at the age of the new priests. 150 souls in the Canadian deanery, and in another ten to fifteen years it will be defunct.

    A new dynamic to convert the Anglican world or a quiet retirement home for anglo-catholics?

    Who is prepared to give an honest answer to my challenging question.

    1. Yes our new priests are old. Our congregation is small, but our monetary offerings are great.
      Our ages range from 2 mos to 90+. About 40% of our congregation is under 50. We have a small talented choir. We sing polyphonic music from the English and Roman schools frequently.
      Many young people (under 30) visit our parish from diocesan parishes and love the traditional liturgy and music.
      Pretty good for being only a year old, and having to start from scratch.
      Now we must evangelize. Perhaps an Anglican Use mass at the University.
      Sung mass at St. Columba’s in Victoria BC is at 10am on Sundays. Weekday masses at 9:30 am. Come join us.

    2. “150 souls in the Canadian deanery”
      Actually, more than that is at St John’s, Calgary alone. Their top Sunday attendance, leaving aside Christmas and Easter (when it was obviously at record levels), exceeded 180 (some two weeks ago) and has been repeatedly at 150 over the recent months. Moreover, ASA is typically much less than the total number of souls associated with any Catholic parish. Thus, at St. John’s the number of souls has more than doubled from the initial 71 members received/reconciled over a year ago. It does not really seem like a community to die out in ten or fifteen years, does it?
      And one of the reasons for the advanced age of the three new priests is that the Ordinary has clearly indicated that he wants to ensure that any candidates to be admitted for ordination within the North American Ordinariate can earn their living (and questions about the financial standing, unpaid loans, etc. are a major part of the candidate’s dossier). As there is no such concern for retired Anglican clergymen, any number of them can be ordained. The more, the better. This is not equally true with younger candidates. Fr Reamsnyder had to work at an automobile parts company for a few months when the original Baltimore parish which joined the Ordinariate could not support two priests any more (due to additional burden related to buying the property from TEC).

    3. Anyway, the ordinariate is not about numbers. It is about souls, and even if it had brought to the Church only 10 souls, it would have been worthwhile. The Church perfectly know how to accommodate small numbers of people having a peculiarity calling for a particular treatment. Frankly I believe that there are already more worshipers in any of the 3 Anglican ordinariates that in the Byzantine exarchate of Russia for example, or the Armenian ordinariate in Romania. And yet those have existed for 50 years.
      Also, why do you bring this topic over and over and why can’t you just rejoice that these people have at last found a home in the Church? I think it is simply pride, you look at this as a fight of arguments where you have to win, and not as something where actual people (souls precious to God) are involved.

      + pax et bonum

      1. “there are already more worshipers in any of the 3 Anglican ordinariates that in the Byzantine exarchate of Russia for example, or the Armenian ordinariate in Romania”
        Or the Neo-Uniate Church in Poland, which has survived almost 100 years in all-Latin environment despite having just 200-300 people.

      2. Don Henri, you said “even if it had brought to the Church only 10 souls, it would have been worthwhile”. Well, having read this story (under “Funeral” heading), I have come to believe it would have been worthwile for this man alone, as most likely he would not have been received at all if not for the existence of the Ordinariate, which made the step easier for him when he was running out of time. And he has never made it to ASA/membership statistics of the Ordinariate!
        There is a wiki page dedicated to him, but the ‘Ordinariate portion’ of his story remains largely unknown.

    4. I will Robert – the figure of 150 is clearly wrong, as have some of the other figures you have suggested in other places. I am presently doing a bit of work on the status of those communities that had expressed an interest in joining the Ordinariate when it was first muted and whilst some have not joined, others that have are doing remarkably well and receiving new people.
      I would suggest that the figure for the Deanery is comfortably over 200 and growing – the issue is that people take time in making formal applications to become members of the Ordinariate.
      The fairly imminent demise of the Ordinariate is oft-stated but without anything that would be recognised by a demographer as hard evidence. The Ordinariate in the USA is slowly but significantly growing in terms of communities and individual members, as the recent reception of St Timothy’s, Maryland and the soon to be received St Barnabas, Omaha shows.
      It is true to say that it is hard to maintain a community which was only a handful in number in the first place, but this is far less obvious in most cases. The Pastoral Provision parishes have shown how growth is possible for the Ordinariate in North America and I believe that the signs are fairly good.
      So, I think it will be a new dynamic.

      1. BTW, St Timothy’s really needs our prayers this week, as the deadline for their negotiations with TEC is June 30 (unless extended at the last moment) and that may well be the date of their last service in their current church. Yet, they are so determined that they have already found another place of worship, should the need arise.

  2. Fr Stephen, as a priest of the Church of God serving within a member church of the TAC, don’t you think that the headline to this post is a bit strange?

    1. I honestly wonder which word seems strange to you: “Catholic” (no kidding?!) or “ex-Anglican”, “ministers”, “ordained” or “priests”?

      1. The clear suggestion by the phrase taken as a whole that they were not priests in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church before some Romish bishop got his paws on them. And I don’t care what you believe about this–but I do care what Fr Smuts believes about it.

      2. “Romish”? Really? Come on Mrs. McColl, you’re better than that. Will you then call the Catholic Church the “Italian mission to the Irish”? “Romish” is just plain rude. To refer to the “paws” of a Bishop is also disrespectful of his office and person.
        And I don’t believe you are in position to discipline Fr. Smuts, that’s what Bishops are for. Not chancellors, even less chancellors of another diocese.
        + pax et bonum

      3. I suppose this all goes to show why there are no other practicing TAC Blogger-Priests out there. Now I could say a lot more here, but that will only serve to get me into further trouble, so I will hold my peace. Or, no, let me rather just put it all down to my foolishness – for wisdom and critical thinking have clearly been absent from my editing faculties. Stupid me!

    2. “Ex-Anglican ministers ordained as Catholic priests” are the words of the Times Colonist journalist who wrote the article. He likely thinks of the Anglican Church as a Protestant church.
      The clergymen ordained, in my experience, always referred to themselves as priests when they served in the TAC.

      1. Not questioning that, just the wisdom of a TAC priest uncritically reproducing the headline.

      2. Hmmmm… So the headline is maximalist RC, “Ex-Anglican ministers ordained as RC priests”. The Anglican maximalist response would be “Anglican priests re-ordained as RC priests”? So…the neutralist position might be something like, “Anglican clergy become RC clergy”? 😉

  3. I have to agree that every soul is precious to our Lord. However I hope my challenging question will not be misunderstood. My great fear for the Ordinariate is that it will become an Anglo- catholic theme park. How many of the new congregants at the Calgary church are actually cradle Anglicans?ASA is not necessarily registered ex Anglican members.

    The comparison with the tiny uniate churches is not appropriate as in Russia and Greece there is a huge cultural prejudice against catholics and seventy years pof communism..

    1. Mr Williams, Anglo Catholic theme park? In the US,they don’t have and won’t have any problem building their congregations. It will come from not simply converts they have now, but any others who want to be or are RC and don’t want to go Eastern or put up with the usual RC liturgy. The natural growth springing from those further grows them. Are the uniate churches eastern theme parks? I noticed you praised the Pope for liking his liturgy short and to the point. The truth is you don’t agree with the aspirations of the Anglo Catholics. Your short and to the point liturgies is pleasing to you, but objectionable to those who do not agree with your low church inclinations. Meanness in worship is not pleasing to the Lord in their opinion.

      1. edmond, I think the proof in the actual pudding disproves your assertion that “In the US,they don’t have and won’t have any problem building their congregations. It will come from not simply converts they have now, but any others who want to be or are RC and don’t want to go Eastern or put up with the usual RC liturgy. The natural growth springing from those further grows them.”

        For all his flaws, John Bruce’s most recent blogging on the tiny size of the American Ordinariate is most interesting. He reports even having trouble getting data from the Ordinariate on their own numbers they put out. I think he has them listed, verified as best he could, at around 7-9 actual church buildings! I’m not sure that the older Anglican Use had 10 parishes in 2009?

        There has been little or no real growth in “traditional” or “continuing” Anglicanism in the USA over the past 25 years or so. And that includes the Antiochian WR and RC AU/O. We all seem to be “fighting” over the same small and shriking (aging!) pie. The problem is that there is little real “demand” for it. To most visitors it comes off as being somewhat quaint and anachronistic. The KJB. Annual lectionary cycle. The classic hymns. The bells and smells. Almost like Renaissance Faire re-enactors?

        The wholesale liturgical destruction wrought by Vatican II ended up decimating nearly all of American Reformational communities. Most started “experimenting” with “modern” liturgies in the 1960s and then adopted new liturgies officially in the 1970s. The two classic cases are the ECUSA and the various Lutheran bodies (excluding LCMS & LCWS). The Lutherans were the most sad as they went to great trouble to create their magnificent 1958 litury only to gut it less than a decade later. (See Luther Reed’s magisterial work, The Lutheran Liturgy (1959). Where Rome misled, they rapidly followed. And this included Methodists and Presbyterians.

        Just look at what happened to RC devotions like scapulars, novennas, 1st Fridays, fasting, mass attendance, use of confessional, etc. over the past 50 years. At least 2 entire generations have no exposure to all of it. So it is lost to them and so very, very hard to recover. My personal experience with RCs is that they can’t even explain the real presence, immaculate conception, purgatory, indulgences, etc. They tend to think and act like their Reformational neighbors.

    2. By the way, I attend a 1928 parish. I don’t care what Rome thinks. My interest is in Catholic minded Christians having another option to find a spiritual home where their liturgical traditions are respected. Rome may have succeeded in creating a church filled mostly with people with no attachment to.any traditions and who.are perfectly contented with liturgies that are the Wal Mart equivalent of the Mass. However many other Catholics are not so contented.

      1. Mr Frost,

        I am a little confused. You speak of all that the RCs lost as if it was a bad thing, but you list all the things that I would think you would be happy they lost. So they are less dogmatic in their faith. Is that really a bad thing?

        Secondly, Mr Bruce’s reports prove what I have always said about bishops. They are only good for ordaining priests and doing confirmations. Otherwise, they are worse than useless. Look how both the RC bishops and the ACA ones treated his group. However, the lack of churches does have an effect on the ordinariates growth, the same way not having a bishop that Rome recognizes as a bishop does, it causes them to have to rely on the goodwill of the RC hierarchy, which i n many cases is like relying on Satan’s word of honor as a gentleman. They have always interfered with the growth of such parishes. However, my point was clearly about their ability to attract people in, which the ones that have their own churches have clearly grown. It is only a matter of time for others to obtain churches on their own. But your comments about the theme park confuse me, as far as continuing churches are concerned. Don’t you support those things that Anglo catholics hold dear or not? And by the way, I support the project for the same reason RC bishops in many cases and some very vocal RC laity oppose it, it is a potential escape hatch for some people from the regular RC bishops’ power. That is much of their power, the fact that for many RC bishops, their flocks have no where else to turn to find a church under another jurisdiction. A captive audience if you will. Anything that breaks up the RC into more overlapping jurisdictions, thus reducing the monopoly any RC bishop has in an area on the title of RC bishop is a good thing. A bishop treats people better if he sees his flock is not so captive and has a place to escape to. When a bishop realizes, his subject have no choice but to accept what he rams down their throats, then his real vile character comes out. Continuing churches would grow more if they weren’t so busy having their bishops stomp on people like Mr Bruce. The ACNA does plenty of successful church planting. No reason we cannot. We have something better than other churches in our liturgical traditions. We should not be afraid to show it. If the RCs end up with parishes that reflect our liturgical traditions, is that bad? Why is that not a clear affirmation of the superiority of our ways, particularly since as you said so many RCs lost the very things youwould agree they should not have had to begin with

      2. edmond, Rome’s official dogma as expressed in their councils (esp the medieval ones, Trent, and Vatican I), two “infallible” proclamations, various papal encyclicals/bulls, and catechisms has NOT changed. About all they’ve changed is eliminating Limbo (though since no one was sure if it was an annex to either hell or purgatory it barely warranted a mention when pope removed it; think it was old satire magazine Spy that had story about Limbo going into limbo and the resulting chaos for all those there). Just read over the RCC’s CCC. It is all still there. Purgatory, indulgences, immaculate conception, sacrifice of the mass for the dead, etc. What has happened is ignorance and apathy in the pews. The average layman hasn’t thought about things like purgatory or indulgences for decades. Doesn’t appear that their seminaries do much to inculcate this into their new priests. The old devotions withered away. The old liturgy was all but wiped out for the average RC. In my area I think the old Latin Rite is done early on Sundays in the basement of a church; doubt few even know about it or attend.

        Of course, all the non-dogmatic material is subject to change. Which is why they use vernacular bibles and worship in the vernacular. Andy why Ordinariates and their Eastern Rites can have married priests.

        And of course I support the historic Anglican liturgy as expressed through their BCP tradition. I”m Western Rite Orthodox (Antiochian) and love our liturgies, one of which has an Anglican origin and the other a RC. My point is that today in USA, after over 2 generations of liturgical dumbing down that started from Rome and worked its way to Wittenburg and Geneva, there just aren’t very laymen who have a continuing experience and appreciation of and for it. You get a feel for this when someone visits who only has experience with the modern liturgies.

  4. Where in my signature was my (entirely local and non-hierarchical office) mentioned? And sorry if I offended the Roman Catholics, whose triumphalism has offended me on more than one occasion. Sorry for living. I’m too old, and I’ve seen too much.

    1. So do you have that office or not? By the way “Romish” has a Bob Jones/Jack Chick fundy sound to it, used by people who talk about the whole of Babylon, establishing a Christian police state, and would fit in with cast from Deliverance. I agree Fr should be careful and edit the titles but he’s not going RC, Bishop Gil is still his bishop, and has not questioned his anglicanism, so he’s not being triumphalistic. Who’s to question his Anglicanism when his bishop does not? If you are going to slam Rome, at least do so in an Anglo Catholic way. There are plenty of things to go after them over, including the whole everyone’s reordained no exceptions no matter what Rome did to their 68 ordinal, because Rome is never wrong, and is 100% inerrant not simply infallible. We don’t use fundy terms like Romish.

    2. Madam, your use of the words “Romish” and “paws” in the context of the laying on of hands in the sacrament of ordination was indeed offensive – but to the sacrament itself rather than to the bishops who administered the sacrament, the ordinands or indeed to Catholics generally.

      Might I commend to you a sermon which Mgr Edwin Barnes (quondam Prinicpal of St Stephen’s College Oxford and quondam Anglican Bishop of Richborough) preached as a Catholic Priest on the occasion of the feast of Corpus Christi? You will find it here: Ancient Richborough – Sunday, 2 June 2013.

      I think it expresses very well the feelings of many former Anglicans who are now in communion with the See of Peter.

      Given the recent troubles of the TAC, particularly in Australia, your sensitivities are understandable, but perhaps what Mgr Barnes had to say will help you towards a better understanding.

  5. I belong to an Ordinariate parish in the US and our priest is 30 years old. There are many others who are young who are either already ordained or waiting to be ordained.

    Yes our parish is small, however, it is growing even though we don’t have a permanent building to worship in yet.

    As a former Anglican I recall that until I found an Anglo Catholic parish, the rector always referred to himself as a minister.

    My parents thought they were protestant and never would have considered being Catholic in any sense.

    From reading blogs of several TAC clergy and people they seem to be more anti Catholic than many fundamentalists.

    If one is an Anglican that is your choice, please stop your anger towards those who have chosen to become a member of Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Orthodox do not recognize Anglicans as Catholic and one must be baptized usually, confirmed and if a cleric must be ordained to become a member.

    I have never heard such hatred than so many TAC members have towards Catholics from those who have left it to become Catholic.

    1. Scott, Being EO I’d like to think it is more accurate to say that…RC’s, like Nestorians or Monophysites, are indeed member’s of Christ’s Church. They may have some terrible heresies (papal infallibility, papal supremacy, immaculate conception, transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgences, mass as a sacrifice for the dead, etc.) but…. 😉

      1. Mr Frost, I wonder to some extent you know your own faith. Orthodox Churches define the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist in terms very close to the transubstantiation (Platonicians instead of Aristotelicians), and it apart from you, I have never seen it challenged by the many orthodox ministers I know. The same goes for Mass as a sacrifice for the dead, you can ask for a Divine Liturgy to be said at someone’s intention in an Orthodox Church in the same way you can ask for a Mass in a Catholic Church. As to indulgences, when Patriarch Kirill solemnly declares that by visiting the Pechersk Lavra for the feast of the Dormition one has his sins pardoned, it this not an indulgence? 😉

        + pax et bonum

      2. Don Henri, One of the more interesting discussions about the various theological positions taken about the eucharist is from the great Swiss Reformer, Oecolampadius. In the 1520s he put together a work that showed the plethora of opinions by the patristic fathers and others over the centuries. The one best thing it showed was the diversity in opinions and the lesser specificity than was adopted by the medieval scholastic Roman Church.

      3. Citing Johann Häusgen…. you more and more seems to me to be an orthodox of a very very protestant hue. As to what you say about praying for the dead, maybe it’s because English is not my first language, but I can’t figure what you are trying to prove. Prayers for the dead is indeed deeply rooted in orthodoxy, there is even a special office for doing so; called Pannychida. It is certainly not useless! As to the Eucharist, there is indeed a doctrine, orthodoxy is not like Anglicanism where anybody can believe what he wants! The Russian Orthodox Church has produced a catechism that’s very precise about this (not available in English I fear).
        You worship at an Anglican Church, you hold protestant opinions on most important matters, and yet define yourself as an orthodox. The orthodox people of my native country (Belarus) would certainly not recognise you as one of them!

      4. Don Henri, You’re confusing RC ecclessiology with EO, when they are entirely different. Don’t forget that Nestorius was Patriarch. He had some interesting ideas about Christ. Does that mean we are Nestorians? Or take Cyril Lukaris. He, too, was Patriarch. He had some interesting ideas. I forget what body of water his lifeless body washed up on, ending his patriarchiate.

        I think you expect today’s EOs to be RC “lite”. We are NOT held captive to the ROC’s views of say 1600-1800, the zenith of RC “influence”.

        Just take the issue of “catechisms”. The ROC used to have a famous one by a Peter M. (from around the 1640s?). Patriarch D. had another famous one (from around the 1670s). Neither is binding today on anyone. Both are interesting historical documents that are like a snapshot of some belief by some at a particular time. But neither was or is dogma.

        There are a ton of vibrant EO thinkers today (not the 19th century Russians and others) who steer clear of labels like being or leaning RC or Reformational. We can think for ourselves. And we can read what Rome, Wittenberg, Geneva, and Canturbury have written.

        If “true” Lutheranism is the Church of the Augsburg Confession and its Apology (plus Luther’s 2 catechisms), then “true” Orthodoxy is the Church of the Ecumenical Councils and Patristic Fathers, all of which predate medieval scholasticism and the Reformation/Counter-Reformation. ;).

      5. Don Henri, To get a quick view of some modern diversity within EO world, read the book, Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism (Zondervan, 2004). Compare the three essays, and their various responses, by the three EO participants: Bradley Nassif, Vladimir Berzonsky, and Edward Rommen. I’d like to think Nassif and I think a lot alike. You’d probably prefer Berzonsky. And Rommen splits the difference? 😉

  6. Don Henri, Why not ask Patriarc Kirill which Ecumencial Council and patristic fathers defined whatever private belief he holds or public devotion he may lead? I know some EO who argue for the aerial tollbooths. But just because some monks or even some bishops have their own personal belief, that doesn’t make it binding dogma.

    I’d like to think our “official” eucharistic explanation is found in the NT and the plethora of thoughts by the patristic fathers. Have you read Basil the Great? The two Gregories? Athanasius? John Chrysostom? John of Damascus? Photius? Then add it Western Patristic fathers like Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, John Cassian, etc. There is NOT one comprehensive EO dogmatic definition of the HOW the real presence happens or even the specifics of the WHAT, which is likely a reason EO liturgies greatly prefer the inclusion of an epiclesis to just the words of institution prefered by Rome and Wittenberg? But Don Henri, if you can find me that one specific binding dogmatic “definition” I’m all ears and eyes!

    I think the issue is that when you see and hear us you interpret what we do in a fashion most favorable or congruent to what you believe. So we pray for the dead. Does that mean we believe the “poor souls in purgatory” are getting so many days off their “sentence”? I’m unaware of any official EO doctrine which posits that anything we do today on behalf of anyone dead, either recently or a long time ago, can do anything to change whether that person is in heaven or hell! We pray out of a sense of love. The key being “memory eternal”. Not, say this prayer and it’ll give someone a plenary indulgence!

    1. Rome recognizes an eucharistic liturgy without the words of institution anywhere in it. How is that possible, according to their official decrees? So what does Rome really believe? Official decrees are worthless if from the very top they are implementing policies that reflect an entirely different belief. But of course, Rome is never wrong because Rome says they are never wrong. Until they change their mind, in which case you misunderstand what they previously stated because they never change their mind because Rome says they never change their mind.

      1. Rome does not recognise a eucharistic liturgy without the words of institution anywhere in it as a valid Catholic Eucharistic liturgy. It may accept the good Christian intentions of those who gather as protestants in their liturgies, but to use the word ‘recognise’ in such a way is to suggest more than that, which is quite untrue.

      2. Concerning Rome’s supposed “recognition” of the anaphora of the Liturgy of SS Addai and Mari, from an e-mail to me from one involved in that “process;”

        “The CDF’s allowance of the continued use of the Addai-Mari anaphora supposed an untinterrupted usage (the fact of which is disputed) that should be respected. The CDF emphatically did not intend this anaphora to be treated as a model for possible eucharistic prayers that omit the words of institution. Unfortunately, some commentators interpreted the CDF action in this sense.

        The volume you refer (*) to was an issue of the journal Divinitas N.S. 47 (2004) devoted to the topic. Though printed by the Vatican Press, the journal is entirely independent and not an official publication of the Holy See.

        An excellent collection of essays on the topic is: Uwe Michael Lang, ed., Die Anaphora von Addai und Mari, Nova & Vetera, Bonn, 2007 (ISBN 878-3-936741-39-1).”

        (*) A response to my question, “Some time later I read of a “symposium” or book of essays published by the Vatican in which the contributors discussed the problem of a Eucharistic Prayer without the Words of Institution and whether the Catholic Church could recognize the validity of such an EP; and evidently the contributors came to differing conclusions. My question is, would you be able to supply me with the bibliographical particulars of this book, and also with information as to how I might go about to obtain a copy?”

      3. How is “allowance for its continued use” not recognition of its validity? Yes, it appears they made this ruling to be an exception to the rule, given its unusual circumstances, and the circumstances they said led to said exception would allow them to give a different ruling if someone did try to use their anaphora as a model for creating other non-words of institution bearing anaphoras, but they did make the exception. I do not see how that “allowance” can be called anything but recognition, unless you are sayin Rome is granting “allowance” for an invalid eucharistic rite?

      4. “Allowance for its continued use” meant, in the context, no demand to abolish it despite the current allowance for “eucharistic hospitality” between the Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church. But had the discussion gone on, as was intended but did not happen, to a formal restoration of communion, the Church of the East was to have been requested to insert the Words of Institution into the Addai and Mari anaphora, to obviate the contention (maintained by some of the contributors to the *Numen* volume referenced above) that a celebration of the Eucharist with an anaphora lacking the Words of Institution cannot and should not be recognized by the Catholic as a valid sacramental celebration.

      5. Dr. Tighe, I was pleasantly surprised before liturgy today when our vested Archbishop handed me your package. He sends his greetings. Thank you for the articles. I assure you I will read them attentively. I’m a big fan of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s work, having his magesterial works on both The Reformation (2003) and Christianity, the First Three Thousand Years (2009). My copy of the former is extensively highlighted, underlined, and marked.

      6. I actually sent two packages to you on the same day; perhaps the second will reach you next Sunday.

      7. Dr. Tighe, Thanks for the material. Interesting.

        – Hodges’ 1957 polemic has been rendered superannuated in light of the past 56 years, esp. Vatican II and the ongoing worldwide civil wars within Anglicanism since the 1970s. [It is too simplistic (e.g., not taking into account the impact of Augustine & Leo-Gregory-Nicholas the “Greats” in regard to the genesis of a differing Western theology and ecclesiology vis-a-vis the East from 400 AD and on), often not entirely accurate (e.g., Melanchthon, Bucer, and Calvin were each extensively aware of the patristic fathers and made extensive use of them), and incomplete (he doesn’t delve into either the reality of Orthodox dogma or the differences within Orthodoxy now or then, take Gregory Palamas).]

        – The MacCulloch material (1991, 1996, & 2004) tends to hew pretty well with his 2003 book on The Reformation. I have no trouble with his thesis. I find the historical tension within Anglicanism from say 1535-1645 most interesting, as well as how the CofE in the 19th and 20th centuries views itself and its history.

        The clear discontinuities within Anglicanism are inherently similiar to the discontinuities within the RCC. And both groups have spent centuries trying to hide the historical reality for their own purposes. Just as the Church of England in 1500 isn’t the CofE in 1545 which isn’t the same as 1555 or 1565 or 1662 or 1965 or 2013, the Roman Church in 300 isn’t the Roman Church of 451 or the RCC of 900 or 1600 or 1970 or 2013! 😉

        MacCulloch also has that seeminly perpetual inability to appreciate that it is Melanchthon, not Luther, who is the theological “father” of Lutheranism, and can’t quite seem to appreciate the unique relationship of these two giants, the impact of Philip’s AC Variata of 1540, the rise of Philippism in the 1540s-1550s, and the relationship of this with both the Lutheranism of the FOC and the Reformed (e.g., the very influential Heidelberg Catechism). Henry Jacobs Vol. II of the BOC, Historical Introduction, Notes, Appendixes, and Indexes (United Lutheran Publication House, Phil., PA (1883)) has a great appreciation for this, which is why he translated both of the Confessions from Zwingli and Bucer presented to the Emperor at Augsburg 1530 and the AC Variata (1540/1542) and discusses the rise and fall of the Corpus Doctrine Philippicum. MacCulloch’s statement–“It is more probable that Cambridge would have about an “escape-route from hard-line Lutheranism which he sought for much of his career, and that he would have found a new home in Reformed Protestantism.”–does a disservice to Philip the man and theologian. Far too many forget that it was Calvin who signed Philip’s AC Variata! Philip was his own man and highly influential theologian. Just read his Loci Communes (the 1535 which was dedicated to Henry VIII) and Commentaries.

        – Milton’s essay on John Overall was most enlightening. But then I’m also a huge “fan” of Arminianism, Archbishop Laud, the Non-jurors, and Wesley. (MacCulloch doesn’t mention him in either of his 2003 or 2009 works.)

    2. Michael, how would you characterize Melanchthon’s views on the Eucharist vis-a-vis those of Luther, on the one hand, and those of Calvin, on the other?

      1. Dr. Tighe, Master Philip studied and struggled with the issue all his theological life. As with predestination and free will, his positions subtly evolved over time as he matured in knowledge and wisdom. I think he became somewhat less certain of finding one single answer, but he believe God didn’t want to be known thru paradox.

        Fortunately for us, anyone interested can read his views in English. His Loci Communes are available in the 1521, 1555, and 1559 editions. Another most interesting source is Keen’s A Melanchthon Reader which includes a short section titled, ” Three statements on the Eucharist”. (Keen also has his 1540 letter to Henry VIII.) They date from 1529, 1559, and 1560. From the 1560, a month before his death:

        “The true body and blood of Christ are presented in the bread and in the cup. Now the question has arisen, How can Christ physically be in the sacrament, since the same body cannot be in the same place at the same time? I respond: Christ said he was the true presence. Therefore he is truly present in the sacrament, and physically; and no other reason need be sought. The word sounds, therefore it is necessary that it be so. What truly pertains to the body is that when Christ wishes, he is present; which is why there is one reasoning for his body and another for ours. …Divinity has neither body nor blood, but is joined to humanity in Christ, and Christ’s humanity is everywhere, and is most closely joined to divinity; and divinity and humanity in Christ are inseparable. Thus Christ’s body and blood, and his actions, are everywhere. …”

        The above sounds so very much like Luther in the 1520s and 1530s, though for Philip to know Christ was to always know his benefits. And never forget that thru all of their interactions, Luther never disavowed Philip or his theology, including Luther’s later essay against sacramentarians (i.e., Zwingli) in the 1540s not too far from Luther’s death.

        If you’d like an academic study, have you read the Lutheran scholar Hermann Sasse’s This is my body (1959)? Major focus on Luther vs Zwingli at the Marbury Colloquy (1529), but has sections specifically covering Bucer, Melanchthon and Calvin. Sasse titles his section on Philip, “Melanchthon’s defection from Lutheran doctrine”.Sasse contends Philip tried to stay with the joint Lutheran-Reformed agreement from 1536, the Wittenberg Concord.

        So I guess it ends up being a bit like saying, “What did Augustine believe about the real presence? Or Thomas Cranmer? 😉

      2. Dr. Tighe, For our purposes, it is interesting the D.MacCulloch in his 2004 essay on “Putting the English Reformation on the Map” discusses Archbishop von Wied of Cologne and his proposals to reform the lituryg that influenced Cranmer (p. 82). He doesn’t mention that the brains behind the proposals were Bucer and Melanchthon, who both spent time there in 1542/43 as von Wied attempted to reform his jurisdiction.

  7. So “allowance for its continued use” means Catholics can attend eucharistic liturgies that do not have the words of institution, for that is what eucharistic hospitality in this case means. Either Catholics are being allowed to attend and receive invalid sacraments as if they were valid with Rome’s blessings or they are saying that the anaphora in question is valid without the words of institution. There is no way of getting around that Rome has authorized Catholics to attend eucharistic celebrations were the anaphora used does not have the words of institution. Either they are valid sacraments or Rome is authorizing Catholics to attend invalid sacramental celebrations as if they were valid. Now Rome wouldn’t do that, would they? Rome establishes eucharistic hospitality and makes no demands to end the anaphora in question. Well, they didn’t have to start the eucharistic hospitality, did they? It seems strange to start such if such would mean authorizing Catholics to attend invalid sacraments, unless Rome, by not making such demand and authorizing the eucharistic hospitality is saying that the anaphora is valid.

    1. edmond, For me it just points out the awesome mystery that is the Eucharist. No single theory tied to it covers all the truth. I don’t think there can or should be any mechanistic explanation or mandatory component. So I’m OK if RCs and Lutherans want to emphasize the words of institution. But I’m also very comfortable with having a clear epiclesis. And the related sursum corda. The Holy Spirit might be bringing us up to the heavenly or the heavenly down to us. So the key is to look at the totality of the liturgy. Can’t just look at one small part and assume the worst.

  8. > “If someone has a problem with it, go talk to the Pope. This was his idea, not mine.”

    I guess some people never heard Cardinal Kasper’s statement “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.”

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