John Beeler has come up with Catholic Defcon, the new Anglo-Catholicism, and more.
He makes much of my article about terrorists and liturgists, quoting it quite extensively. The question of Archbishop Marini is probably a storm in a teacup, since he is getting on towards canonical retirement age, unless the Pope wants a stand-in to do his worst “de-ratzingerization” in about two to three years. It’s their problem, not mine.
What does he pick up the most? There are my comments on the liturgical sensitivity of the Pope. Fine, he is not the first. It appears that Pius XII was not terribly interested in liturgical studies either! A second and more important point he makes is something he calls the Protestant Endgame. If there is no reason for Catholics to remain in the RC Church, they should become Protestants. Perhaps in America, but over here, they are “nones” – people who do not identify with any religion whether or not they are “spiritual” (not pure and hard materialists).
But if you really understand the teachings of the church, do you?
I think I know a few things having been to two theological faculties run by the Dominicans and a couple of years in an old-style seminary… The question then is one of schools of thought between ressourcement, the old scholasticism and the legacy of Nominalism and the “stingy” way of thinking. I have studied Thomas Aquinas, but have more in common with Tyrrell and the later ressourcement men. To me it is like colour photography after monochrome (though many of the most artistic photographs are black-and-white). I am also a Romantic having reacted against what I found to be excessive rationalism. I always have something to learn, and I read all the time, but understanding and ignorance are not my main “problem”.
Anglicanism, for example, which in its true form is “the ‘Reformation’ was godly, leaving England still Catholic but making it now the purest branch of the church,” isn’t the answer.
It may be the conviction of some Anglicans, but not mine. I have discussed the “two Anglicanisms” before, each defining Anglicanism its own way between the English version of the Reformation and its adoption of both Calvinist and Arminianism, and the English version of Gallicanism. I and most of the ACC Diocese to which I belong see things through the latter point of view. Some of the theories going around about Henrican Anglicanism are open to question and discussion. Personally, I refer more or less to what there was in common between Anglicanism in the 1520’s and the French Church in the 1720’s. Those two periods were far from perfect, like every other, but I prefer to follow a model than try to invent something of my own, which would be vastly inferior. I have many affinities with some of the early nineteenth-century Romantics, but their time must have been pretty awful between the London of William Blake and Charles Dickens to the Napoleonic Empire being run from France. Perhaps they were exciting times when single persons could make a difference and everything was in flux – perhaps like our own future… Seriously, what really interests me is not so much the trappings but life in a world where social units involved fewer people and a more human approach to everything. No period was ever perfect, but some were less inhuman than others.
I too know the three places of pilgrimage John mentions, one in Westminster Cathedral and two in York. Protestants were behaving like ISIS with all the gruesome executions of the martyrs, and the Roman Catholics were no better in the brief time during which fortune turned in their favour under Queen Mary. Anyway, all that is thought-provoking.
I won’t go into the problem of admitting the divorced and remarried to the Sacraments. It is a tough pastoral problem with two sides to the argument. We in the ACC follow the same discipline as in the RC Church, and any question of annulment has to be decided by an ecclesiastical marriage tribunal run by competent canonists.
What about reactions to a degrading situation in the Church? The Pope loses all credibility and the sedevacantist “position” becomes “mainstream”. So-called “liberals” start killing conservatives and traditionalists (presumably after having siezed the secular power of some country). I find the speculation sterile, and can only depend on the usual “the RC Church is the true church”. If Catholicism is wider than that particular jurisdiction under the Pope, then we manage in a different way or decide that sacraments and churches are not necessary. Of course, being a priest in such a situation makes things easier, though one can only empathise with the plight of a lay person who is alienated.
What about the SSPX and Rome? The cracked record has been playing for years. They have a little more cunning than Archbishop Hepworth. They keep the dialogue going for years without anything ever coming of it. It confers legitimacy in the eyes of the faithful and they continue as an independent organisation. It could have been like that for the TAC, but unconditional surrender was decided upon, and we all saw the result. What was left was deeply humiliated and now has very little visibility on the Internet. The SSPX has its friends and critics. I was a lay “pre-seminarian” with them in France back in 1983 and got out rather fast. I find their “line” rather boring, but they are resourceful and prudent.
As for St Clement’s in Philadelphia, I would be interested to know what Paul Goings has to say, since I have never been there. If it is true that the new rector of that church is a woman priest, I can understand that many would be alienated and would become Roman Catholics or Orthodox or would join a continuing Anglican jurisdiction. I have seen it happen in England, but I am now out of touch with London spikes like St Mary’s in Bourne Street or All Saints in Margaret Street. I’m not sure that John’s analysis is entirely germane about “modernism”, “semi-congregationalsim” and homosexuality. I would need to read another opinion from someone who knows that parish.
Ms Schori is retiring. I’m sure she will get a very good pension and bask in the sun in her old age. Who will be the next ECUSA presiding bishop? Watch other people’s spaces. You will find out quicker than if you rely on me for the information.
Death of adulthood in American culture. What American culture? When I was a schoolboy, we used to joke about the thinnest books in the world like English Cooking, Italian Heroes, Polar Bears in Africa, and so forth. One such book is on American Culture. That being said, I am a great admirer of Walt Whitman, Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein among so many others, together with the great number of American musicians, artists, writers, poets and actors alive to this day. One thing that is beyond me is that some people are still nostalgic about ultra-masculinity, whatever that means. I am more of a fan of Carl Gustav Jung who taught that the integrated person was one who accepted the balance of his or her masculinity and femininity. One thing that strikes me about America is that large numbers of people do the same thing and conform to the same norms. Is this the New World, or the beginnings of old Europe as we were in the 1920’s onwards? I have travelled to the USA four times, once to Maryland, once to Florida and twice to Tennessee. I found it fascinating, but the only thing I could understand was the language with the drawling accents. Sorry.
Nuff for now…