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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Saving Souls and The Economy of Willy Sutton

(FBI Photo)

The following is quoted from an advertisement in the print edition of the April issue of Episcopal Life, the "independently edited, officially sponsored monthly newspaper of the Episcopal Church..."

The Anglican Use Society in America in communion with the Holy See of Rome offers to Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Anglican Tradition [offers] an information booklet explaining THE PASTORAL PROVISION, the canonical instrument that has made possible their reconciliation with the Holy See as units of common identity which preserve their Anglican heritage of liturgy, hymnody and spirituality.

Anglican Use, for those unfamiliar with it, quoting from the brief but on-the-mark Wikipedia account, refers "to former Anglican congregations who have joined the Roman Catholic Church while maintaining some of the features of Anglicanism" and "to the particular form of worship used by those churches, which can be found in the Book of Divine Worship;" derived from the surprisingly little tweaked (in order to conform with Catholic teachings) Book of Common Prayer (albeit, regrettably, "Rite I" from the grossly deficient 1979 Prayer Book).

As you might imagine, the Anglican Use Society ad appearing in the house organ of the Episcopal Church is causing some bemusement. Chris Johnson (a tip o' the biretta to him for this item) in his Midwest Conservative Journal writes: "In other words, an official publication of the Episcopal Church includes an advertisement from an official Roman Catholic organization that invites Episcopal congregations to leave the Episcopal Church and become Roman Catholic." Puzzling indeed and I can only hazard a guess that someone at Episcopal Life was asleep at the wheel (or perhaps all those lawsuits are straining the portfolio more than the Episcopal Church is letting on).

However that ad got into Episcopal Life, congratulations are in order to those smart people at the Anglican Use Society for having the smarts (as well the audacity) to place it. Somebody there is surely familiar with the celebrated bank robber of years past, Willy Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks is supposed to have replied, with exquisite precision, "because that's where the money is."

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