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Friday, December 23, 2011

On the Other Hand...

The estimable Fr. Dwight Longnecker (an Episcopalian convert himself) writes, concerning the Anglican Ordinariate:
The establishment of the Ordinariate has clarified matters between the two churches. Benedict XVI has, if you like, called the bluff of all those Anglicans who kept on saying, "We are Catholics too you know...just not Roman Catholics." Then they would go on in pious phrases, "We do long to become Catholics and to achieve unity, but we do not want to give up our distinct patrimony."

OK. It's all possible now. Anglicans can come into full communion with Rome. They can keep their distinct patrimony. They have their own hierarchy. Their married men may be ordained. They can have their own religious orders, their own seminary and their own churches and their own form of church government. What else do they want? The numbers who take up the Pope's offer will be small, because they will have to launch out in faith.
There is no question there are those in the Catholic Church, some of them well placed, who want no part of the Anglican Ordinariate and will seemingly do whatever they can to derail it. Curious, that, since it is obvious the will of the Holy Father is this thing be done; how do they reconcile their behavior with Catholic obedience?

On the other hand, as Fr. Longnecker points out, the time has come for those Anglicans who profess and practice "Catholicity" to put up or shut up. The Holy Catholic Church has extended an unprecedented and generous offer to them to become one with the one true Church while maintaining their worship practices, which in the case of Anglo-Catholics, is not only pre-Vatican II but pre-Pius XII as well: essentially 19th century Catholic worship while using the Book of Common Prayer (and no doubt at the root of the angst and nay-saying among liberal Catholic bishops and priests).

Anglicans, particularly those calling themselves Anglo-Catholic, who decline the invitation from Rome are, in effect, declaring their lot with the Protestants (one commenter on Longnecker's post proclaims he will not budge until the Vatican allows use of the 1662 Prayer book and the 39 Articles!--good luck with that, fella). With the establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate, Anglicans who insists on defining themselves as "Catholic" will, over time, appear increasingly anomalous and, as the Anglican Church (and the Episcopal Church, especially) march further and further from orthodoxy, downright ridiculous. As Fr. George Rutler once wrote: "It must also be remembered that the continued existence of Catholic forms within Anglicanism does a disservice by confusing many." Indeed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.--St. John Chrysostom

Among the many thoughtful comments (and thank you one and all) on my post concerning the soon-to-be announced ordinary of the American Anglican Ordinariate was this one from commenter Anthony:
One very telling comment which has stuck in my mind so clearly, was asked by a Catholic Bishop at the U.S. Bishops' Conference back in June. When speaking of future parish communities in the Ordinariate, he asked Cardinal Wuerl, "What if one of my people stumbles into one of these parishes, and likes it?" To which Cardinal Wuerl replied "It hasn't been a problem up until now." This sums up both the stupidity and non-pastoral nature of some of these characters with whom we have to do.

The establishment of the ordinariate will just be the beginning. Whoever the ordinary turns out to be, the estimable Fr. Steenson or one of the other worthy candidates, he will have his work cut out for him, as will all the brave souls planting Anglican Use churches within dioceses headed by the many deeply suspicious, sometimes downright hostile, bishops in the U.S.C.C.B. They might take at least some solace, however, knowing they will be having a better time of it than their counterparts in England.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ordinariate Buzz

It is being noised Jeffrey Steenson, the former Bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande in the Episcopal Church, who was received into the Catholic Church in 2007 and is now a priest, will be named Ordinary of the American Anglican Ordinariate on January 1, 2012.

Should the buzzings be true, Fr. Steenson would make an excellent choice; his credentials are solid.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Death of Another Leader

It's sad the death of the despotic Kim Jong-il generates headlines, think-pieces and thumbsuckers in media around the world while news of the contemporaneous death of a genuine hero, Vaclav Havel, is more or less buried. It was Havel (along with Lech Walesa and, of course, Pope John Paul II), who at considerable risk and cost to his own welfare, stood up to the lie that is communism and successfully urged his compatriots to do same, eventually leading to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. I can't help wonder if many of those in today's media, upon hearing of Havel's death and Googling his name to learn about him, found those activities so disquieting they chose instead to lavish their attention on Kim, who though a murderous clown thug, was possessed at least of a more palatable ideology.

Vaclav Havel, 1936-2011.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

At Long Last

The Reverend Jason Catania, Rector of Mount Calvary Church (Episcopal) announced this morning at Mass that the parishioners of that church will be received into the Catholic Church and the U.S. Anglican Use Ordinariate on Sunday, January 22, 2012. This is most excellent news and a long time coming. Fr. Catania is a friend of your Bloviator going back nearly a decade, when he was stationed in another church. In fact it was he who virtually ordered me, after a period of slack attendance, to start attending Mass again regularly no matter what the state of the Episcopal Church. That was excellent counsel and the result of it was a few years later I up and left the Episcopal Church and embraced the full Catholic faith, waving to my priest friend from the opposite side of the Tiber. Now he will soon be joining me and the rest of us on this side of it and that is most pleasing indeed.

Welcome home, Father.

Thanks to Augustine.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Putting Allah into Christmas

Earlier I bloviated the multi-cultis, in their efforts to ecumenize Christmas to death, had little to offer when it came to injecting Islam into the mix, i.e., "some sort of Islamic equivalent even though there is none..." Oh, how glibly wrong that was. Thanks are owed to a long-time blogging colleague of your Bloviator (one who has linked to this humble effort almost from its inception), Archbishop Cranmer, and his fairly astonishing report of an "inclusive" Lessons and Carols ceremony (one of the Anglican Church's great gifts to Christianity) celebrated recently at a chapel at the University of London, at which traditional scripture was dispensed with in favor of readings from the Qur'an, the part about Mary, as you might have expected. One of the celebrants was, not surprisingly, an Anglican priestess, the other a Catholic priest, also not surprisingly but sadly indicative of the state of Holy Church in England.

It behooves you to read His Grace's entire account of the debacle but this short excerpt from it will serve to close this posting.
When you compromise on the intellectual, political, and imaginative foundations of Western culture, you create a spiritual vacuum which needs to be filled. The people cry out for meat, and all they can get is the milk of dumbed-down Anglicanism followed by a mouthful of Islam.

Job Well Done

I do believe the transformation is complete: so far this season I have not once heard the dreaded word "Christmas" in any radio or television commercial, nor seen it in any print ads. In fact, the only use of the word at all I have seen in media intended for mass distribution was this morning (and boy was I taken aback), in the monthly handout for commuters published by Metro North Railroad (a gummint institution, no less), wherein their Christmas Day schedule was announced (I guess there was no easy way to get around the word). Atheists will be relieved to know, however, Metro North atoned for that sin elsewhere in the bulletin where, in a list of suggested seasonal activities, a visit to the "Holiday Tree" in Rockefeller Center was recommended.

All in all, however, it's probably for the best this de-Christianization of Christmas, for in these times the moment anyone suggests some sort of public observance of the feast, self-appointed advocates of "fairness" will leap up and demand equal time for the other religions and so begins the trotting out of the menorahs (and since "Christmas" trees are no longer allowed shouldn't menorahs be called "Holiday candelabra" or some-such?), Kwanza decorations (how odd that a manufactured holiday celebrates the harvest at the onset of winter) and, of course, some sort of Islamic equivalent even though there is none (never mind that, we'll just put up a great big crescent, preferably right over the crèche the Catholics put up earlier, right next to the angels and Frosty the Snowman).

In a similar vein, your crabby old Bloviator vigorously eschews "ecumenism" of any sort, for in the end it is only a declaration of the tepidity of one's own faith. One will never find, and rightly so, any nod to or borrowings from Christianity in orthodox Jewish services, likewise for Islamic, Hindu, Zoroastrian and other faiths' observances. I will never forget a community service I attended years ago in the well-to-do Connecticut suburb in which I grew up, in an Episcopal church (naturally), that concluded with the soprano soloist, accompanied by large chorus and orchestra, recessing down the aisle bellowing Hava Nagila at the top of her lungs. In the audience was my childhood piano teacher and when I saw her later she was in high dudgeon: "They're apologizing for being Christian," she said angrily and loudly and she was absolutely right. This Christmas, don't apologize for being Christian. Atheists and non-believing members of other faiths are the only ones who might take offense and quite frankly, they need to be offended.

One non-Christian who never took offense at the celebration of Christmas was a former neighbor of mine, an observant orthodox Jew (he attended schul daily at 7:00 a.m.) and a Holocaust survivor. Every year, on Christmas day, he would bang on the door of my apartment, boom out a "Merry Christmas" and invite me over to his and his wife's apartment next door to sample some of his fine single-malt scotches. He was a godly man.