Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is it That Easy to Set Up An Anglican Use Catholic Parish?

Father over at Standing on My Head has more "realism" about possible future reunions at Anglicanism Acronyms .

I do wonder about this part:

As Catholics we must be very realistic about the Anglicans. Already Rome has bent over backwards to give Anglicans who are interested in the Catholic Church everything they have asked for. You want married priests? You got it. You want your own liturgy? You got it. You want your own Anglican Use parishes? You got it. This has been an enormously generous move on the part of Rome. It has been creative, flexible and proactive to an amazing degree.

What has been the response? Next to no enthusiasm for the Anglican Use liturgy. Significant, but not major uptake on married men converting to Rome. Numbers of Anglican laypeople who want the Anglican Use to prosper and grow? Minimal. There are a hundred breakaway Anglican churches out there. Many of them could come into the Catholic Church lock stock and barrel very quickly by going to a Catholic bishop and saying, "We want to be an Anglican Use parish here in your diocese." We have three such parishes here in Greenville. They have their own church building, their own pastor and their own congregation and budget. They could feasibly become Catholic parishes tomorrow. The Catholic population here is growing. We need them. But this possibility is not even on their radar. They know about the option, but they don't want to pursue it

Father knows a lot about this of course as a former Anglican that eyes these situations. But I really wonder if perhaps he is taking what he sees as his Diocese's viewpoint and thinking and applies it nationwide.

I am not so sure this is so easy. Is it fair to say that a number of Catholic Bishops don't want to create waves with their Episcopal Bishop friends in their own Diocese? Reunions are great but they also come with pain and some controversy on a local level. Also there might be a quite bit of Catholic Bishops that think as an overall ecumenical matter that this is not good relations on the local or has major implications on the national level(I disagree with that).

It seems to me that Anglican Use Parishes and in fact the coming in of Episcopal Priesst under the Pastoral provision seems to be located a lot in some areas and absent in others.

I have a viewpoint that Episcopal Churches become more Anglo Catholic the more Catholics that are around.We see that a good bit in Louisiana. I find it strange that if this was so easy that there is not one Anglican Parish in Louisiana. Especially around Lafayette, Baton Rouge , and New Orleans.

If lets say 50 Episcopal families in Baton Rouge approached the Bishop and said "We wish to convert , we will buy our own building an give it to the Diocese and we have the funds to operate it will you allow us to set an Anglican Use Mission" would it happen? I hope it would but again I am not sure. Rome has gone out it's way that is for sure. But as we often see on other matters what Rome would like promoted is not always promoted on the local level.

For a beautiful example of an Anglican Use Parish go here.

1 comment:

Seth Belgard said...

I am a parishioner of the Anglo-Catholic parish St. Luke's Episcopal Church. I would absolutely love for Baton Rouge to have an Anglican Use Parish. I would cross the Tiber in a heartbeat. Part of my problem is VII and novus ordo. I also love my parish. It is entirely Catholic in theology. We have adoration. We believe in the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception. We believe in transubstantiation. The Rector sits on the Board of Trustees of the notoriously conservative Nashotah House Seminary. However, I am afraid that the battle with the Episcopal Church would be gruesome. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has proven a formidable foe for parishes who wish to leave the Church but retain their property. Also, I don't know if there are enough parishioners within the parish to actually become Roman. I believe that many Anglicans may still have reservations with papal primacy. I cannot, however, abandon my hope that all will be one!