Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Looking back: Anglicanism

Advent was my home parish in the late '70s and early '80s. I still miss it.
Never been to Boston. "Shrine" Anglo-Catholic churches I knew well: Good Shepherd, Rosemont (well-known A-C parish; does that count as a shrine?) and St. Clement's, Philadelphia. Also, my first full A-C experience (pre-Vatican II practice), before those two, was at non-shrine All Saints, Orange, NJ, now closed. And I've been to Ascension and St. Agnes in DC a few times 25 years ago, and to St. James the Less, Philadelphia, once, also a quarter century ago. In England: Mary Mags, Oxford, St. Alban's, Holborn, and my favorite, All Saints, North Street, York; all 20-25 years ago. Also, All Saints, Margaret Street and Pusey House but not for services; same for St. Mary's, Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia. Also been to St. Mark's, Philadelphia, long mainstreamish. Never seen Smokey Mary's in Manhattan.
Hasn't it turned aff Cath?
I think so. It seems all the old shrine churches in the Episcopal Church and Church of England have. You have obscure, non-shrine holdouts like St. Paul's by the Lake, Chicago (probably given a free pass because it's black) and Fr. Steven Kelly's St. John's, Detroit (maybe not A-C but high and old-school).
I don’t think attracting and holding people is their goal. They want to wreck every last vestige of what once was good so that no one has any residual connection to civilization, family, human dignity, etc. Just all gay all the time. Concentrated evil.
Nah. I think a lot of them are sincere. It’s just that their conception of the church has always been different from Catholics (and Orthodox): Articles XIX and XXI. Those and Article XXVIII are why I’m Catholic, not the new Prayer Book, women priests, or gay marriage, all only symptoms. They think the church’s trappings, from the creeds to liturgical finery (from almuces and birettas to ombrellini and zucchetti), are beautiful and fun (here they’re not like Catholic liberals) but ultimately they think the church isn’t necessary. The English government hijacked the church for its own reason so the Anglican Church only became a means of control, to keep society obedient and well-behaved. It’s not in the truth business and never was; it’s more like the IRS.

11 comments:

  1. Smokey Mary's has certainly been Aff. Cath. for close to two decades. Last I heard (some years ago) both St. Alban's, Holborn, and St. Mary's, Bourne Street, both in London, had not gone Aff. Cath - nor had St. Peter's, Tower Docks. I still receive the annual newsletter of the "Friends of Little Saint Mary's" (Cambridge, England), but it is hard to discern from it the church's theological temperament. I don't the parish was ever associated with Forward-in-Faith before the latter became a Quislingite organization (nor since), and the recently-retired vicar's wife was a purported "female deacon," both of which are bad signs, but I have never read any mention of a female purporting to celebrate their Eucharist there. In Oxford, Mary Mags is long gone; St. Barnabas, Jericho has a vicar who while not Aff. Cath. (last I heard) was denouncing the Ordinariate and praising "Anglican comprehensiveness;" and I don't know what's happening at St. Thomas the Martyr ever since Fr. Hunwicke swam the Tiber.

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    1. One could also mention that St Paul's K Street, Washington D.C., now has no problem with females at the altar and the last time a female bishop celebrated there, it was remarked how well she could sing the Prefaces. The same has also happened to Ascension and St Agnes, which has now terminated its membership with Forward in Faith. Any hope to remain traditional Anglo-Catholic within the confines of the Episcopal Church is rather a pipe-dream, the diocese simply has to wait until the retirement of the vicar, and then replace them with ritualist but theological liberal.

      Mary Mags in Oxford had already long ago gone theologically oozy.

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    2. Welcome, Dale! Didn't mention K Street because I've never been there; I know it went mainstream some time ago like Ascension and St. Agnes.

      I saw the beginning of the end at Mary Mags, when Fr. Wybrew got there. I understand the two incumbents before him had become Catholic so I guess Bishop Harries (met him), a liberal, wanted a man he could trust to stay as vicar.

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    3. Hello John! The rump of the original parishes did go continuing under the Rev'd Patrick Lowery, who it was expected would be ordained by the Arabs to continue Incarnation as an Orthodox western rite parish. The response of the Arabs was that since he did not have a degree from an Orthodox seminary, he would not be ordained, and regardless the parish would be closed. The same week that this information was received by the parish, the Arabs ordained two men from Evangelical communities, neither of whom had any theological formation whatsoever. Of course, these two gentlemen went super Byzantine. Later Lowery and his community were received into the rather bogus western rite of the Russian Church outside of Russia. Although the parish is still listed on their western rite web site, the web connection no longer works; one wonders.

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    4. Ascension and St. Agnes dropped FiFNA back in 2000; Fr. Davenport had switched sides.

      Once at an event in Rosemont (where I met David Virtue), a small group of Continuing priests I talked to all had passed through Antiochian Orthodoxy, wanting to be WRO priests and being turned down.

      I've never seen WRO in person; I slightly knew the ex-Catholic Antiochian priest in charge of the Arab parish near me, St. George's, Upper Darby, who was keen on Anglo-Catholic practice. (When I first visited, the pastor was an ex-Melkite, an easygoing Arab from the old country; Syria?) Once met a sweet Arab-American girl from that parish who knew "Ye Who Own the Faith of Jesus" ("Daily, Daily") because of him. He followed his dream; I think he's now the pastor of a WRO parish in Texas. Heard him preach at Rosemont once, where he was in surplice and biretta. Nice man; I don't know what his difference with Catholicism was.

      The Antiochians' local convert parish, St. Philip's, Souderton, started as WRO under its ex-Lutheran minister founder; it switched to Byzantine early on, they say because a lot of ethnic Eastern Europeans joined.

      ROCOR has or had an ex-vagante WRO parish in Tullytown; homebrewed anything-but-Catholic liturgy. ("You hate Pope too? OK, you in.") Never been; not interested. Met a new priest from there, though; nice fellow.

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  2. ooooh,ooooh. VERY familiar with Advent. What a gorgeous church!

    Alo very familiar with the Cowley Fathers' churches -- the one connected to their monastery on Memorial Drive and the one on Bowdoin Street in Boston.

    Yes, I think they are all now what you call "Aff. Cath." But I remember some pleasant late afternoons drinking sherry with the Cowley Fathers in the garden beside their monastery. Several of the Cowleys from way back then went on to become Catholic priests (after the women's ordination thing broke).

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    1. The first Anglo-Catholic priest I knew well was a Cowley Fathers oblate and has long been a Catholic priest, in the Dominicans. I also know the original Cowley Fathers monastery just off the Cowley Road (and the Iffley Road) in (East) Oxford, England, now the home of the seminary St. Stephen's House (historically A-C; two of its former principals are monsignori in the British ordinariate — I used to know Msgr. Barnes). I've also stayed at their monastery in London, St. Edward's House, where I've had meals in monastic silence and met a now-gone link to the Anglo-Catholic Congresses in the '30s (maybe even the '20s). I've heard of St. John's, Bowdoin Street; as recently as 35 years ago it was conservative. It's gone now, merged with the Episcopal cathedral (how's that renewal working out for youse?).

      But I remember some pleasant late afternoons drinking sherry with the Cowley Fathers in the garden beside their monastery.

      Like the Anchor Room bar Sunday nights at St. Clement's after Solemn Vespers (Roman Breviary in English or Latin, not Evensong) 10 years ago.

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  3. St John's in Detroit was always a very, very low parish, surplice and scarf, but always attached to the 1928 BCP; it has only recently become High Church, but I question if it is Anglo-Catholic. The parish remains within the very liberal Episcopal Diocese, but tends to be left alone. The single Anglo-Catholic parish in Detroit, Incarnation, went western rite Orthodox, but following their normal procedure, when the rector became too ill to serve and had to retire, the parish was closed and the property sold. One suspects that had it been in a high rent district, such as Holy Redeemer, Los Altos, California, it would have gone Byzantine and been given to the local Arab Orthodox community. The present "Holy Incarnation" church has nothing whatsoever to do with the original Anglican parish and is a split from Zion Lutheran.

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    1. Makes sense based on the pictures and videos I've seen of St. John's; it's high now because Fr. Kelly is Anglo-Catholic (SSC), the former curate at Rosemont where I met him. The original Incarnation regrouped under another name in one of the Continuing churches.

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  4. I am so glad to hear the name of St. John's, Detroit, mentioned on this blog (or mentioned at all) as I consider it part of my personal patrimony. Call me an ordinariate of "one" - truly a "personal" ordinariate I suppose - not in the juridical sense. :) I have followed commentary here (and in other places) on American Anglicanism pretty closely for over a decade now, as I am a born RC church musician (and thankfully currently employed at an absolutely stellar RC parish and school) who spent much of my formation among Episcopal musicians and clergy. Indeed, I was employed as an Episcopal organist-choirmaster for about 7.5 years, part of that time in Detroit, and have sporadically visited St. John's and went to school with one of its organ scholars. "High and old school" describes them very well. Not Anglo-Catholic like the Philly churches historically were (i.e. Tridentine), but "Prayer Book Catholic" - as you mentioned, facilitated by Fr. Kelly's own background.They are a peculiar in the most positive sense - as much invested in the history of Detroit and their downtown neighborhood as they are in classic Anglicanism (liturgically and musically, for their attachment to the 1928 BCP certainly extends to the 1940 Hymnal, the English choral tradition sung by a professional choir, and the unique tradition of English-texted plainsong, ripe for use and imitation by Romans). I always experienced the solidity of that unique synthesis, 1928 "Prayer Book Catholicism," with the priest's parts taken from the Anglican Missal, in the context of the preconciliar calendar, as a comforting blend that is a gift to the wider Church (and now that we have the current Roman Missal, we are more like that vernacular tradition than ever, minus the Elizabethan English). I very well remember that, on one of my first visits to the 1861 church and its 1859 chapel, Father Kelly was preparing to celebrate a Low Mass for one of the Ember Days in Lent. I enjoyed meeting him and getting the sense that St. John's was part of an unending tradition of worship. And indeed, there is another 1928 BCP parish to the north, the Church of the Redeemer in Southfield. The Bishop of the Diocese spoke positively of these churches retaining that Prayer Book when he visited the parish that I served. And, although I don't know its current parish status, Redeemer was previously staffed by two other SSC priests, Fr. Don Duford and Fr. Trent Fraser - and Fr. Fraser was for some years Curate of St. Clement's in Philadelphia. I am thankful to have come in contact with this tradition - and it is appropriate that I am reading your comments on the anniversary of John Henry Newman's conversion.

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    1. Thanks. St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue in New York City was like that too until recently, old Prayer Book Catholic under an Anglo-Catholic rector, Fr. Mead, a former rector of Rosemont. (The new rector and his wife are an English clergy couple but she's not assigned to the parish.) My read is if you keep quiet about controversial issues (sex!), neither promoting the management's views nor denouncing them, then if you're a full parish, not a mission, you can almost be your own Pope (Episcopal semi-congregationalism, which can be a hedge against liberalism, ironically while the local Catholics go all spirit of Vatican II bananas).

      I'm Tridentine but an ordinariate parish of one the six or so times a year I'm at the new Mass, partly because the old Book of Common Prayer (my first liturgy) and Benedict the Great's English Novus Ordo are so similar: I say the old Prayer Book/Anglican-missal Gloria (if it's spoken) and creed, genuflecting at "And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: and was made man." Because it is meet and right so to do.

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