Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Order of Corporate Reunion
Fascinating 19th-century Catholic and Anglo-Catholic history. I have a copy of Dr Lee of Lambeth. Seems at least a project of some eccentric and probably holy people including him, most of whom understandably were or ended up Catholic (Dr Lee right before he died).
  • Fr C: Some ACs over 100 years ago wanted something a lot like the ordinariates now: They drew up a project of an English uniate Church which would allow Communion under both kinds, a married clergy and the liturgy in English. I doubt most English would have converted – once they were forced to be Protestant, which took about 50 years, they’ve been no-popery – but it would have brought the ACs into the church much sooner. Blessed Pius IX on Pusey: ‘He’s like the campanile calling the people into the church but he stays outside’.
  • Bishops at Large says at least one of the little vagante groups were would-be Catholics with similar requests (vernacular, married priests) but Peter Anson snarkily (as always) wrote that most British Catholics weren’t interested in those concessions (either to join the little churches or to ask the Pope for the little churches to be admitted), strange as it seems now (nobody but trads wants Latin again).
  • The story came out that Lee and two others had been consecrated bishops by Roman, Greek and Armenian bishops. ... There is a legend that Archbishop Di Calabania of Milan was instrumental in these clandestine consecrations, but this is extremely doubtful. The most likely is the kind of gullible eastern-rite bishops like those who consecrated Vilatte in India, who were probably very grateful for the simony money! The consecration story doesn’t make sense in Orthodoxy (nor in Western Catholicism but the latter has doctrine recognizing valid orders outside the church, which every vagante bases his claim on) but Fr C may be right, like how some of the first vagantes went into business. The Eastern bishops were very trusting, probably thinking the ordinands had joined their church. (Anson wrote that the converts went into business for themselves when they went home.) Sure, there could have been cash.
  • The York Forum: Everything I have heard about this group is extremely suspicious. While I have no doubt that a clandestine group making these claims might have existed, I seriously doubt there’s any truth to the back story. (Can anybody really believe that 19th-century Rome would approve the consecration of CofE priests to secretly impart valid ordinations to persons who were attached to a community Rome views as heretical and schismatic?) And even if ordinations of one kind or another were being performed, the clandestine nature of this group casts the orders of anyone claiming to have received them from this group in doubt. Sounds a bit like 19th-century anti-Catholic melodrama, a jesuitical plot to undermine the Protestant Church of England and empire, like Guy Fawkes, but who knows?

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