Action Alert!

you're not what was wanted, i'm afraid

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 26, 2007

Catholic News Service has an unsigned article about three Anglican parishes in Ireland that have asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. For the most part the piece is factual and objective, if somewhat stiff. Then we come upon the following paragraph:

Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials have expressed their hope that the Anglican Communion would find a structure able to keep Anglicans united [my emphasis] while strengthening the faith and doctrinal heritage they share with the Roman Catholic Church in order to continue moving Roman Catholics and Anglicans toward full unity.

Get the drift? We're supposed to view the three Romeward bound parishes as acting contrary to the "hope" of Pope Benedict and the Vatican. Rather than celebrate the move, Catholics (presumably) should feel chagrined that the converts jumped the gun instead of waiting until the Anglican Communion is reconciled en bloc.

It's no secret that many progressivist Catholics feel ill-at-ease in a Church they find too old-fashioned and peer wistfully across the fence into the Anglican pasture, where gays may safely graze and women wear chasubles. These Catholics are dismayed by Anglican conversions, both because the converts prize in the Catholic Church those very characteristics the progressivists want to throw overboard, and because these new brethren raise the number of orthodox Catholics against whom the libs will have to do battle. The headline of the Irish Independent article on the same story -- "300 Anglicans Defect to Rome" -- betrays the same consternation. So they're "defectors" now?

During and after World War II, Leftists in Britain and America were enthusiastic about welcoming refugees from Hitler's Germany and distinctly unenthusiastic about receiving refugees from Soviet persecution: refugees who had the temerity to dislike the worker's paradise and who cherished all the wrong things about their adopted country. By the same token, the frigid welcome accorded Anglicans fleeing the territory of Bishops Robinson and Jefferts Schori is due to the fact that many of their new hosts share more kinship with Gene and Katharine than with Benedict, and want to import the most divisive of their Anglican innovations into the Catholic household. Small wonder they prefer the newcomers had not converted in the first place, but stayed put in order to -- what's the line? -- right, right: to help "keep Anglicans united."

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2007 5:11 PM ET USA

    According to, the TAC met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth UK in 1st week of Oct 2007 and "unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union. The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See." They say their letter was "cordially" received at CDF and they won't give interviews until Holy See responds.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2007 2:32 AM ET USA

    The Independent story is just junk. The good folks involved don't belong to the Anglican Communion now, so calling them "Anglicans" tout court is misleading, as if one were to refer to the SSPX as simply "Catholics". Rather, these are members of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a separate body, and the "row over women priests" happened 16 years ago, so it's not news. Furthermore, the Irish TAC folks are not making their own overtures to Rome: the whole worldwide TAC is.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 7:20 PM ET USA

    Actually, the Belfast Telegraph is reporting that the 3 parishes have denied the story. Either the story was premature or they got cold feet. John Henry Newman, ora pro nobis. Ulster Anglican parishes deny Catholicism link

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 6:00 PM ET USA

    Our Christology instructor in the late 1980's, an Indian priest, was proud to tell the class how he handled a pastoral situation in a local parish he was "helping" in: An Episcopalian had come to him to ask about joining the Catholic Church because the Episcopalians were ordaining women. He turned her away, saying, "What are you going to do when we start ordaining women?"

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 8:08 AM ET USA

    Diogenes' comments point to the observation that there are greater similarities in faith and outlook across denominational lines rather than within them. That is, liberal Catholics (bit of an oxymoron there) have more in common with liberal Anglicans and other self-styled 'progressives' of whatever denomination than they do with orthodox Catholics.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 6:41 AM ET USA

    Sadly the view CNS puts forward comes right from the top of the Council for Unity and Cardinal Kasper himself - he's made clear this position of stressing 'unity' of Anglicans on a number of occasions, thereby putting it above the wishes of these traditionalist Anglicans. Clearly something's going amiss here.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 6:05 AM ET USA

    This is what happens when the structure cannot be found. Unity departs.