An Anglican Rite?

by Jimmy Akin

in Other Christians

A reader writes:

What do you think of the rumors of an autonomous rite for Anglicans who wish to be in communion with the Holy See? As a former Episcopal priest who came into the church, I have mixed feelings about such an arrangement. I miss some of the accidents of Anglicanism, e.g., the hymnody and the quasi-Tridentine precision of a solemn high Mass the way we did it, but I do not miss the culture of dissent that is so much more prevalent in Anglicanism or the devaluation of theology in practical terms. I am very interested in what you think.

I don’t know that I personally have a lot to say. I’m in support, in principle, of the restoration of other bodies of Christians to full communion with the Catholic Church, and historically this has often been accomplished through the creation of a new "rite" in the Church–or what would more properly be called a new church sui iuris (Latin, "with it’s own law").

If that’s the best way to faciliate the reunion of (some) Anglicans, then I’m for it.

Such matters have to be handled very carefully, though, to ensure that it is a true restoration of full communion and not a papering over of differences.

There are also other risks as well. I was aware of it when a similar effort in the 1990s was underway (claims vary about whether was to be a new church sui iuris or some other kind of canonical structure), and it all fell apart when the former Anglican bishop who would have been the head of the new rite defected from the Church.

"Once burned, twice shy," as they say. The Vatican will need to make very sure of the leadership of the body coming into union. You don’t want to have the spectacle of a grand reunion followed by a new schism of the same people hot on its heels.

It is my understanding that the Anglicans involved in this process may not have the dissident ethos that you mention, though I don’t know if that applies to these bodies as a whole. My
familiarity with the precise theological tenor of these circles is quite limited.

So I don’t know whether the time is right for this, though I hope so. I’d like to see a new church sui iuris added to the Church in my lifetime, but it needs to be done the right way, and there are a number of significant issues to be solved.

For more on all this,

SEE THIS POST OVER AT PONTIFICATIONS, which links to a number of things, including

THIS VERY INFORMATIVE POST AT THE CONTINUUM.

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{ 18 comments }

Al Kimel February 17, 2006 at 6:25 am

“There are also other risks as well. I was aware of it when a similar effort in the 1990s was underway (claims vary about whether was to be a new church sui iuris or some other kind of canonical structure), and it all fell apart when the former Anglican bishop who would have been the head of the new rite defected from the Church.”
Jimmy, I’m not sure to which which Anglican bishop you are referring. If you are referring to Clarence Pope, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, then the true story is very different. Upon his retirement, Pope entered into full communion with the Catholic Church, in the expectation of ordination to the priesthood. Bizarrely, the Bishop of his diocese chose to give his diocesan priests veto power. They voted against allowing Pope to be ordained! Pope became very ill (cancer, I think) and eventually chose to return to the Episcopal Church. See the sad story here.

John G February 17, 2006 at 7:25 am

“chose to return to the Episcopal Church.”
Isn’t that the same thing as defecting from the Church?

Ed Peters February 17, 2006 at 9:46 am

Jimmy wrote: “historically this has often been accomplished through the creation of a new “rite” in the Church–or what would more properly be called a new church sui iuris”.
Do you have some examples? I am having trouble coming with any, let alone many. The ones that pop up are, it seems, really reconciliations of ritual Churches that went out of communion to begin with. Somebody with some Eastern background here, help me out. But I am confident my point stands for the Western tradition, since there is, after all that’s happened, still only one Western Ecclesia sui iuris, to wit, Rome’s.

John F. Kennedy February 17, 2006 at 9:54 am

I would be very much AGANIST this type of solution. As far as I know there isn’t a history of a schismatic portion of one Church (the Latin Rite) is elevated to a stand alone Church.
What would prevent others from doing the same thing?
Besides the Anglicans are too damaged and chocked full of heretics, including the current Archbishop of Canterbury (from what I’ve read).

Tim J. February 17, 2006 at 10:08 am

JFK-
I don’t have much knowledge of the Anglican church, but I would point out that the Catholic Church is crowded with heretics, too.

Dr. Eric February 17, 2006 at 10:42 am

It would seem that the Sarum Rite would be the useage for a new Sui Juris Anglican Church.

Jordan Fernandez February 17, 2006 at 1:28 pm

I wouldn’t be too worried about their being dissenters and heretics with the Anglicans that WANT to come into communion with Rome. We’re not talking about the ECUSA but the TAC.

John F. Kennedy February 17, 2006 at 2:59 pm

Tim J.
Of course the Catholic Church has heretics. But we shouldn’t want to have MORE of them. If errors can be addressed and corrected, great. God Bless them. Welcome home. But do not grant a theological mistake the status of a Church founded by one of the Apostles.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B. February 17, 2006 at 11:51 pm

The Catholic Church officially has two parishes that celebrate the Catholic “Mozarabic Rite Mass.” Those two parishes belong to the Catholic Archdiocese of Toledo, Spain.
“The Mozarabic rite has been of interest to non-Catholic communions as well. For example, in the 1880s the Anglican church examined the Mozarabic rite for ideas about making their own liturgy more inspiring.”
–Quoted from the results of a search for “mozarabic rite” at wikipedia.org.
Along the lines of the Mozarabic Mass, it could be conceivable to have a so-called “Anglican Rite Mass” in a parish that in all other respects exists under the full, normal jurisdiction of an already existing Catholic diocese.
Unfortunately, from authentic Catholic perspectives, Anglican communion rituals are not valid or licit historical “developments” in sacramental liturgy. Rather, they are both illicit and invalid sacramentally. Though imitative in certain matters, they are outside the sacramental realities of the One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church. They would need to undergo habilitation (not just “re-habilitation”), adjustment, correction, even purgation. They would need to have specific, essential Catholic matter imposed upon them as part of the process. This would be tantamount to creating a new rite within the Catholic Church. It does not merit the founding of a new “in union with Rome” patriarchate analogous to those of the Maronite Catholic Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Melkite Catholic Church, etc.

Tim Brandenburg February 18, 2006 at 9:13 am

The Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II
for the Anglican Usage of the Roman Rite is the proper solution graciously provided to Anglicans desiring full communion with Rome. The liturgy is provided by the Book of Divine Worship, which is a slightly modified version of the Book of 1979 Book of Common Prayer. This is the manner in which I came into the Church (St. Mary the Virgin Catholic Church in Arlington, Texas).
Tim

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B. February 18, 2006 at 9:56 am

God bless you, Tim!
I’ve read of your church. To which diocese does it belong?

Ed Peters February 18, 2006 at 8:44 pm

Notice, folks, even Tim’s example is not one of an Ecclesia sui iuris.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B. February 18, 2006 at 9:01 pm

St. Mary the Virgin Catholic Church (in Arlington, Texas) simply belongs to the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.
You can visit their website:
http://www.stmarythevirgin.org
When you get there, click on “About St. Marys”.
That’ll open up a new page, and there you can click on “Bishop Delaney’s decree establishing the parish”

Hartmeister February 19, 2006 at 10:21 am

I’m in Jimmy’s camp. As long as we can get them in fold, I’m all for it.
I guess my view is quite different than most on the list. I’m in favor of many rites in the Church as long as they can say the Nicene Creed, believe in the real presence of the Eucharist and submit to the authority of the Pope. In fact I’d like for the Church to be able to create new rites. Heck let’s have a Polka or Rock & Roll rite. I’m more concerned that a rite actually follows the liturgical rules of that rite and that the pastor talks about the media unfriendly topics (birth control, abortion, etc).
What might be ideal for the Church to create is something half-way between a rite and an ethinic parish. For a better let’s call them a “service” church.
Let’s say we had the Madison Anglican Service Church. The priests of the parish would report to both the Bishop of Madison AND to an Anglican Service Bishop.
Yes I know rites have not used for the purpose but they could be an effective method of getting people back into communion who have different liturgies. Also it could end the backdoor liturgical changers who really are dissenters from the liturgy they are saying. Heck, if you don’t like your liturgy start your own and see if anybody comes. Of course they would be resposible for finding their own church building but if their liturgy is so popular the shouldn’t acknowledge that this is so much of a problem.

Anonymous December 26, 2007 at 10:27 pm

nglican Rite Catholic Church? Depending on the success of such a project, it could open the way for such things as “Lutheran-Rite” (Augsburg?) Catholics, Methodist Catholics or even Southern Baptist Catholics? Well, don’t hold your breath for the latter.

Johannim December 17, 2008 at 2:17 pm

YA JIMMY, IT’S COMING AND FASTER THAN A LOTS OF FEARFUL CATHOLIC LIBERAL 60ISH REACTIONARIES REALIZE. WHAT IS COMING IS POPE BENEDICT 16 INSTITUTING AN ANGLICAN RITE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. THE ANGLICANS WERE SEPERATED FROM THE CHURCH 500 YEARS AGO BY A PERVERT CALLED HENRY THE 8TH. IN THAT LAPSE OF TIME THEY HAVE ORGANICALLY DEVELOPED MANY TRADITIONS. FOR THE NOVUS ORDO DINOSAURS IN THE LATIN RITE THAT FEAR THE ENTRANCE OF OVER 1000 ORTHODOX ANGLICAN PRIESTS AND WELL OVER 400.000 TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN LAITY ONCE THE POPE ACCEPTS THE TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN CHURCH INTO COMMUNION WITH ROME. FOR THE REACTIONARY NOVUS ORDO BUGNINI,LITURGICAL DANCE, HALLOWEEN MASS, CLOWN MASS, DORITTO CORN CHIP MASS CRADLE CATHOLICS YOU HAD BETTER GET USE TO ALL THOSE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS FORMERLY UNDER THE ARCH LAYMEN OF CANTERBURY COMING INTO COMMUNION WITH THE PAPACY AND THE TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC MAGISTERIUM. WITH THE COMING OF SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, MILLIONS (PARTICULARLY CATHOLIC YOUTH) ARE MAKING CHOICES WITH THEIR FEET AND ATTENDING TRIDENTINE MASSES EXCLUSIVELY, THE REAL CATHOLIC CHURCH CAN NO LONGER BE SUPPRESSED BY THE FASCIST LIBERALS WHO HAVE CONTROLLED THE CHURCH BOTH AT VATICAN 2 AND FOR 40 YRS AFTERWARDS. MILLIONS OF CATHOLICS LIKE MYSELF ARE RETURNING TO A CATHOLIC CHURCH THAT IS ITSELF BECOMING CATHOLIC AGAIN. ALL THIS BODES WELL FOR A LITTLE PLANET THAT IS SO SCREWED UP. ONE MORE THING WE CRADLE CATHOLICS SHOULD INCALCATE IN OUR HEADS IS, THESE ORTHODOX ANGLICAN CHRISTIANS DO NOT NEED TO KISS THE CATECHETICALLY CLUELESS CRADLE CATHOLICS BACKSIDE OR BE FEARFUL OF HETERODOX CUMBYYA PRIESTS OR PRELATES FOR THAT MATTER. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THEIR OBEDIENCE TO THE MESSIAH AND HIS VICAR THE POPE AND MAGISTERIUM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Matheus December 17, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Dear Johannim
Your comment would be easier to read without the Caps Lock on.
And by the way,

…THE REACTIONARY NOVUS ORDO BUGNINI…

contradicts

ALL THAT MATTERS IS THEIR OBEDIENCE TO THE MESSIAH AND HIS VICAR THE POPE AND MAGISTERIUM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

If one strives to be a faithful Catholic, one must be consistent in his discourse.

Johannim February 14, 2009 at 8:58 am

Thanks Matheus for the heads up the caps have been modified. reference to the bugnini novus ordo missae of Pope Paul 6th vis a vis obedience to the Christ, his vicar and the magisterium was extremely badly prosed in my above blog, to you who caught the mess i say mea culpa. To explain myself more clearly Vatican 2 was acknowledge to have been hijacked (to a large degree) by an element that had been lerking in the shadows for year, namely a revisionist element that would bring the Catholic faith in line with modernity and the horrors of the death cult of self called “progressives and secular liberals”.Archbishop annabale bugnini, cardinal Villot and a host of other would and did change the Catholic church radically at and after the council Vatican 2. that council was not evil but the people that stoled it this writer belives were. The end result of the post Vatican 2 revisions, particularly the Divine Liturgy was millions simply ceased going to Mass and as the Great Catholic church appeared to resemble more the church of protestantism and martin luther than the church of the great council Trent millions more left the Catholic church in disgust, right or wrong that is the result of Vatican 2.doctrine was blurred, ecumenicism of the worst kind was in ascendancy and anyone who smacked of Traditionalism was austrasized, and abused by the very church they loved for the next 40 yrs. The paridyms are changing rapidly with the coming of Benedict 16th. Summorum Ponticum, the reconciliation of the Vatican with the Fraternal Society of St. Pius 10, and possibly the re-entry in the not too distant future of over 1000+ Orthodox Anglican priests & Bishops with 400.ooo Anglican laity. The return to Orthodoxy is youth driven worldwide as seen in vocations to traditional religious orders, attendance at the Ancient Divine Liturgy (codified at Trent)and all this bodes very well with the possibility of re-conciliation with are brethren of the Orthodox churches, especially with the election of the Patriarch Kirill as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. God willing it will happen in our lifetime—-SHALOM

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