Monday, December 26, 2011



Anglican traffic
  • Why do some Catholics convert? No surprises. Few do. Those who do are almost always slightly older (so they go to church) and do it because they’re divorced and remarried. (Fitting considering why the king founded Anglicanism.) Mainline Protestantism is ‘the spirit of Vatican II’. Why do so few switch? The Bad Catholic state of mind (‘I don’t follow it but I expect the church to be the church and I know I can’t change it; being Catholic is just what I am, regardless’; they have a point) and the Thomas Day factor. (Can you imagine old liberal priests and nuns celebrating Mass facing east with altar rails, maniples, and robed choirs singing chant? Exactly.) Father also refers to people who become evangelicals, who in England sometimes are C of E. Learn from the evangelicals? Maybe. Strong teaching and piety, sure, but don’t lose ‘here comes everybody’. In Catholic culture, few are zealots. And that’s good. The Catholic Church has something to learn from the beautiful little old Anglican parish church (a merry old England that once was) with the high churchmanship and the warm fellowship. (Lots of Catholic parishes’ people skills s*ck.) That’s what the Pope is bringing in through the ordinariates. Which leads to:
  • Why do some Anglicans convert? Because they’ve been serious would-be Catholics (Anglo-Papalism, a few people, almost all British) for a long time and what they thought was Anglicanism really isn’t. (They thought they were in part of the infallible church; it’s a denomination that changes essentials by vote.) The very rare American version’s neat (the few Episcopal parishes that are switching over) because it’s a Tridentine/1928 Prayer Book fusion. (That BCP and the traditional Roman Rite share a general theological worldview so it works.)
Patrimony: small parish, the English language, maybe some married priests... otherwise pre-conciliar Catholicism. (Would have been considered liberal in 1960 and considered reactionary today, without changing.) Welcome home!

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