Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vatican Bidding to Get Anglicans to Join Its Fold

Published: October 20, 2009
The New York Times

VATICAN CITY — In an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican said Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions.

Anglicans would be able “to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony,” Cardinal William J. Levada, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said at a news conference here.

It was unclear why the Vatican made the announcement now. But it seemed a rare opportunity, audaciously executed, to capitalize on deep divisions within the Anglican Church to attract new members at a time when the Catholic Church has been trying to reinvigorate itself in Europe.

The issue has long been close to the heart of Pope Benedict XVI, who for years has worked to build ties to those Anglicans who, like conservative Catholics, spurn the idea of female and gay priests.

Catholic and Anglican leaders sought on Tuesday to present the move as a joint effort to aid those seeking conversion. But it appeared that the Vatican had engineered it on its own, presenting it as a fait accompli to the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, only in recent weeks. Some Anglican and Catholic leaders expressed surprise, even shock, at the news.

The move could have the deepest impact in England, where large numbers of traditionalist Anglicans have protested the Church of England’s embrace of liberal theological reforms like consecrating female bishops. Experts say these Anglicans, and others in places like Australia, might be attracted to the Roman Catholic fold because they have had nowhere else to go.

If entire parishes or even dioceses leave the Church of England for the Catholic Church, experts and church officials speculated, it could set off battles over ownership of church buildings and land.

Pope Benedict has said that he will travel to Britain in 2010.

In the United States, traditionalist leaders said they would be less inclined than their British counterparts to join the Catholic Church, because they have already broken away from the Episcopal Church and formed their own conservative Anglican structures (though some do allow women to be priests).

The Vatican’s announcement signals a significant moment in relations between two churches that first parted in the Reformation of the 16th century over theological issues and the primacy of the pope.

In recent decades, the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have sought to heal the centuries of division. Some feared that the Vatican’s move might jeopardize decades of dialogue between Catholics and Anglicans by implying that the aim was conversion.

The Very Rev. David Richardson, the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Vatican, said he was taken aback.

“I don’t see it as an affront to the Anglican Church, but I’m puzzled by what it means and by the timing of it,” he said. “I think some Anglicans will feel affronted.”

The decision creates a formal universal structure to streamline conversions that had previously been evaluated case by case. The Vatican said that it would release details in the coming weeks, but that generally, former Anglican prelates chosen by the Catholic Church would oversee Anglicans, including entire parishes or even dioceses, seeking to convert.

Under the new arrangement, the Catholic practice that has allowed married Anglican priests to convert and become Catholic priests would continue. (There have been very few such priests). But only unmarried Anglican bishops or priests could become Catholic bishops.

Cardinal Levada acknowledged that accepting large numbers of married Anglican priests while forbidding Catholic priests to marry could pose problems for some Catholics. But he argued that the circumstances differed.

Under the new structure, former Anglicans who become Catholic could preserve some elements of Anglican worship, including hymns and other “intangible” elements, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, the Vatican’s deputy chief liturgical officer, said at the news conference.

Cardinal Levada said that the Vatican had acted in response to many requests from Anglicans since the Church of England ordained women in the 1990s, and, more recently, when it faced what he called “a very difficult question” — the ordination of openly gay clergy and the celebration of homosexual unions.

He said that 20 to 30 bishops and hundreds of other people had petitioned the Vatican on the matter in recent years.

In the United States, disaffected conservatives in the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism, announced in 2008 that they were reorganizing as the Anglican Church in North America.

Bishop Martyn Minns, a leader of that group, welcomed the pope’s decision. “It demonstrates his conviction that the divisions in the Anglican Communion are very serious and these are not things that are going to get papered over,” he said.

However, both Bishop Minns and Archbishop Robert Duncan, primate of the Anglican Church in North America, said that they did not expect many conservative Anglicans to accept the offer because the theological differences were too great.

“I don’t want to be a Roman Catholic,”
said Bishop Minns. “There was a Reformation, you remember.”

In Britain, the Rev. Rod Thomas, the chairman of Reform, a traditionalist Anglican group, said, “I think it will be a trickle of people, not a flood.”

But he said that a flood could in fact develop if the Church of England did not allow traditionalists to opt out of a recent church decision that women could be consecrated as bishops.

Some said the move would probably not win over traditionalist Anglicans in Africa.

“Why should any conservative break away from a church where the moral conservatives represent the overwhelming mass of opinion, such as in Nigeria?” said Philip Jenkins, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and an expert in the Catholic Church’s history in Africa and Asia.

The plan was announced at simultaneous news conferences at the Vatican and in London.

The Vatican’s archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, and Archbishop Williams of the Anglican Church issued a joint statement in which they said that the new structure “brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church.”

In London, Archbishop Williams minimized the impact of the announcement on relations between the two churches. “It would not occur to me to see this as an act of aggression or a statement of no confidence, precisely because the routine relationships that we enjoy as churches will continue,” he said.


Oddly enough, in the wake of Vatican II there is very little difference between the Conciliar Church and any of the Anglican groups under discussion in any case. Barring Divine Intervention those who convert en-masse may find that the Conciliar church adopts the practices for which they left the Anglican "church."

The problem is lack of Roman Catholic orthodoxy and the Novus Ordo Missae, not the lack of "union" among the various sects including the Conciliar Vatican. The Traditional Latin Mass of Pope Pius V should be reinstituted, the Novus Ordo completely cast aside and the traditional (orthodox) Roman Catholic Church teachings restored. It is the only way to cure what ails the world.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stephen Hand of Traditional Catholic Reflections and Reports on Apostasy

The Great Apostasy

St. Francis de Sales: "The revolt and separation must come…the Sacrifice shall cease and…the Son of Man shall hardly find faith on earth…All these passages are understood of the affliction which Antichrist shall cause in the Church…But the Church… shall not fail, and shall be fed and preserved amidst the deserts and solitudes to which She shall retire, as the Scripture says, (Apoc. Ch. 12),” ---The Catholic Controversy

St. Alphonsus Ligouri: “It is true [the Mass] will cease on earth at the time of Antichrist: the Sacrifice of the Mass is to be suspended…according to the prophecy of Daniel, (Dan. 12:11).” St. Alphonsus comforts Christ's scattered flock: “the Son of God, Eternal Priest, will always continue to offer Himself to God, the Father, in Heaven as an Eternal Sacrifice.” ---The Holy Eucharist

Cardinal Manning:
“The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist and the prophecies of Daniel — all of them unanimously — say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar will cease.”--- The Present Crisis of the Holy See

St. Bernard: "We have seen 'the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place,’ (Matt. 34:15)…He has seated himself in the Chair of Peter. The holy place he covets, not for its holiness, but for its height. He has, I say, got possession of the holy place [but] not through the merit of his life. The election whereof he boasts is but a cloak for his malice. To call it an election at all is an impudent lie.” --Rev. Albert J. Luddy, The Life and Teachings of St. Bernard.

St. Jerome: "The abomination of desolation can be taken to mean as well every perverted doctrine. When we see such a thing stand in the holy place, that is in the Church and pretend it is God, we must flee…” --Breviary Lesson for the 24th and Last Sunday after Pentecost

Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich: "I had another vision of the great tribulation. It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded. It was as if people were splitting into two camps."

"I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted in it in order to be united and have equal rights: Protestants, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church ... But God had other designs."

"I saw again the strange big church that was being built there in Rome. There was nothing holy in it...I saw again the new and odd-looking church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it ... People were kneading bread in the crypt below ... but it would not rise, nor did they receive the body of our Lord, but only bread. Those who were in error, through no fault of their own, and who piously and ardently longed for the Body of Jesus were spiritually consoled, but not by their communion."---The Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich, by Very Rev. Carl E. Schmoger, C.SS.R, Vol. ii, pages, pages 292-29

“The 'abomination of desolation' has been wrought in many Catholic churches by heretics and apostates who have broken altars, scattered relics of martyrs and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament. At the time of the French Revolution a lewd woman was seated upon the altar of the cathedral in Paris and worshiped as the goddess of reason. Such things but faintly foreshadow the abominations that will desecrate churches in those sorrowful days when Antichrist will seat himself at the altar to be adored as God,” (Rev. E.S. Berry, “The Apocalypse of St. John,” 1906)

To say the events HERE... are sad is to say the very least. One could think much more.

When the apostasy is universal, only the universal pastor can confront it and cleanse Christ's Church. If he does not, but allows heresies to flourish, well...and the Church in consequence shatters into remnants of believers holding to sacred tradition and scripture, changing nothing, as St. Vincent of Lerins admonished. Only the Church of Christ can know this pain and universal an apostasy, foretold long ago.

--Stephen Hand

What/Where is the Roman Catholic Church?

In light of Traditional Catholic dogma/doctrine, how should the Second Vatican Council be viewed ? Is it consistent with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and prior Magisterial teaching?

What explains the tremendous amount of "bad fruit" which has been forthcoming since the close of the Council in 1965? “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16)

This site explores these questions and more in an attempt to place the Second Vatican Council in proper perspective.