Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Problems of An Episcopal Church Ordinaritate For Fleeing Roman Catholics

Religion news writer Mark Silk makes note of the dust up between Catholic and Episcopal Bishops in San Francisco last week. Episcopal Smackdown in SF

In the process he mentions :
Whatever, with Catholic bishops on the warpath against SSM and the ECUSA offically endorsing it, I'd say it's time for Andrus and company to man up and announce the establishment of an ordinariate for U.S. Catholics who want to become Episcopalians. Last January, you'll recall, the pope announced a U.S. ordinariate for Episcopalians who want to become Catholics but would like to retain some of their own liturgical and other traditions

While Episcopalians are indeed welcome the fact is most of the targeting and invitations are going out to people/. parishes that have already left the Episcopal Church USA. These invisible Anglicans don't seem to exist in some news writers minds for some reason.

But then he says:

If what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, the new Episcopalians would be able to retain some of their Roman traditions. Of course, the pope thing would have to go. On the other hand, priests and bishops would now have the opportunity to marry, including (in some jurisdictions) members of the same sex.

The pope's ordinariate is headquartered in Houston. Where better to locate the Episcopalians' than in San Francisco?

Catholic Robert George touched on this topic at Mirrors of Justice . See Inviting people in religion B to join religion A if they actually believe the teachings of A and don't believe the teachings of B

George hits on the topic of the San Fran  Episcopal Church Bishop inviting Catholics to come on over in his welcome letter to the new Catholic Archbishop. He thinks there is no problem with that. But then he says:

...I’m not one of them. Quite the opposite. I don’t much care for the Bishop’s manners; and I certainly don’t share his moral views; but I think it is entirely natural and reasonable for someone who strongly believes something to invite others to believe it. And it is even more natural and reasonable for someone in religious community A to invite people in religious community B who do not believe the teachings of B but do believe the teachings of A to leave B and join A. That, it seems to me, is precisely what Pope Benedict did in establishing the ordinariate for Anglicans who wish to join the Catholic Church while retaining certain aspects of their Anglican heritage. Perhaps the San Francisco bishop could create a special community for Catholics in the city who wish to become Episcopalians, but who want to hang on to, I don't know, folk masses and Teilhard de Chardin reading groups.

And that is I think is sort of the amusing problem with the whole Episcopal Church ordinaritate for Catholics that want to leave musing. What traditions would they want to keep?

The Leadership of such a group that would likely emerge has already dismissed so many  so called "Pre Vatican II things".

 Such as :

Many Catholic devotions as the Rosary ( or at least the traditional kind) ,

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,

the recent reform of the English language to give it a more " Church Sounding Form"

the option of the Latin Mass

not kneeling at communion


Heck who would be attracted to the import of " Big Puppet Masses" that some liberals like as well as other interesting forms of "liturgy" .Heck we know "modern Catholic music " would not be a draw

In the end would lets say a gay Catholic or other disaffected Fisheater really  want to hold to the" old " Eucharistic Prayers 1 through 4 or just adapt the Episcopal Liturgy itself which in many places is quite appealing.

The problem with such a scheme would be the unfortunate Liturgical Nazis that would tag along.


The Underground Pewster said...

The Anglo-Catholic wing of the Episcopal church today would fit into a small shoebox. Flaming liberal ex-Catholics, in my experience, seem to prefer the progressive wing of TEC. Their numbers are small as well.

Andy said...

Questionable aesthetics plus questionable theology seems like a bad combination.

James H said...

That exactly true.But to look at the media one would think the TEC was just full of Anglo Catholics. I never got this