Thursday, October 23, 2014

The war in English Catholicism in 1866


Reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's line in Brideshead Revisited about the 1920s English Catholic Church being four factions trying to blackguard each other. From R.A. on Facebook.
For myself, hopeless as you consider it, I am not ashamed still to take my stand upon the Fathers, and do not mean to budge. …The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. It is a ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now, as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as you know, a process of development in Apostolic truth as time goes on, such development does not supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes them.

— John Henry Newman, Letter to Pusey (1866)

I see much danger of an English Catholicism, of which Newman is the highest type. It is the old Anglican, patristic, literary, Oxford tone transplanted into the Church. It takes the line of deprecating exaggerations, foreign devotions, Ultramontanism, anti-national sympathies. In one word, it is worldly Catholicism, and it will have the worldly on its side, and will deceive many.

— Henry Edward Manning to George Chetwynd Talbot, 25 February 1866
Each side has its good and bad points; both were orthodox.

Newman was a great man, smart so he was misunderstood ("too Catholic for the Anglicans; too liberal for the Catholics"): logic and orthodoxy made him a Catholic; making him a cardinal showed he was a man of the church and St. Pius X later defended him.

Although Newman was originally an Evangelical Anglican (as I believe Fr. Frederick William Faber of the second faction was), and the Tractarians had their differences with the old high churchmen (the old ones thought the Tractarians were wrong for not putting their movement under their bishops' control), here he sounds like a continuation of the old high churchmen. High churchmanship including Anglo-Catholicism was originally about a Catholic-like high view of the church's origins and authority, not exactly the sacraments (high for Protestants but still Protestant: no to transubstantiation, per the Articles of Religion), nor ceremonial nor devotions. As Episcopal Fr. Mitchican explains, its branch theory was more a triangle with Protestant Anglicanism at the top, with all the pluses of the ancient churches (Catholicism and Orthodoxy) but the best because it was "reformed." The realization that Anglicanism was man-made, not the continuation of the medieval church, of course led Newman, Manning, and others into the church. Anglo-Catholicism started in 1833 as a defense of Protestant Anglicanism's Catholic claims, set off by an effect of Catholic emancipation (the government wanted to close four Anglican dioceses in Catholic Ireland; Keble objected in his sermon "National Apostasy"), so it was against the Catholic Church. Then after Newman's conversion in 1845 (been to his home in Littlemore where Blessed Dominic Barberi brought him into the church), the generation or two after the Tractarians became what their Anglican enemies thought, would-be Catholics (Anglo-Papalism, which really got going by the 1890s?) imitating the things Faber and Manning liked: "aping" the church.

Ritualism had an earlier, mid- to late-1800s Gothic phase; the Gothic Revival in architecture from the early 1800s (the Catholic convert Pugin), part of the Romantic reaction to the Industrial Revolution that Anglo-Catholicism partly was, so you had Directorium Anglicanum (the Book of Common Prayer with Sarum ceremonial per the BCP's Ornaments Rubric).

Old high church was wonderfully conservative; Newman's theory (still only a theory) of the development of doctrine (I believe it) was trying to persuade them. They really thought the Pope was a dangerous innovator, like John Spong, General Synod, or General Convention now. Orthodoxy (underneath the traditional liturgy and ethnic folklore, Anglicanish credal correctness and little else) including its Western Rite experiment appeals to them now, but Orthodoxy has sold out on contraception, unthinkable to the original high churchmen and Tractarians.

There was a class difference. High and dry appealed to intellectuals (converts from Oxford); Italian ultramontane devotions to the masses, which most Catholics in England were, so the church and its upper-class lefty, social-justice Anglican imitators (the ritualist slum priests) used them, the ritualists first trying to bring a "national Catholicism" to the masses alienated from God by the "Enlightenment" and Industrial Revolution (and, we'd say, the "Reformation," which was evil), then frankly wanting to be Catholics but to be received in their orders.

No can do, rightly said Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae: in the mid-1500s doctrine and practice were broken, showing Protestant intent, so an Anglican claim of apostolic succession since is belief in magic. Also no to the Old Catholic Dutch touch: ordinations in Anglican contexts are Anglican, not Catholic, and anyway, the participating schismatic Catholic bishops weren't using the Roman ordinal. (New ELCA bishops have that line of succession from the Episcopalians; of course we don't recognize them.)

The Episcopalians now? Liberal high church, another mutation of the old high churchmanship, still identifying first with Anglicanism. The anti-Romanism led to an early identification with Modernism, so liberal high church has been around for at least 100 years, alongside Anglo-Papalism. Some conservative Protestant Anglicans blame Newman and the other Tractarians for opening a Pandora's box of disobeying not only their bishops but the Book of Common Prayer including the Articles of Religion, just like the "Enlightenment" and liberal Protestants started doing to the Bible, so liberal high church is only logical based on that. The Episcopalians high-churched from the '30s to the '60s for fashion's sake, then Sixties ecumenism (Vatican II) and Sixties anti-WASPness (exoticism and turning on the old America) accelerated that. It's not Catholic liberalism: it's as credally orthodox, as sacramentally high, and almost as liturgically conservative as we traditionalists are; ecclesiologically they're Protestants: fallible church per Articles XIX and XXI. Unlike Catholic liberalism, the trappings of the church, including Manning's Italianate style, birettas and all, are fun, but ultimately the church comes second to private judgment, "self-evident" modern truths about "gender" and sexuality.

American Anglo-Catholics, not the "fashion" high churchmen, were a different mix: old high church theologically and Prayer Bookish but in Manning's Catholic garb. Whence the Continuum.

These two Catholic factions don't seem to line up with rival Catholic churchmanships now, Vatican II having muddled things. Maybe in another historical irony, traditionalists, the people who favored Manning and Faber, now sound more like Newman, while today's ultramontanists (note: ultramontanism isn't all of Catholicism, just a school of thought in it; as Fr. Hunwicke writes, Vatican I actually put a lid on them, as "define" means "to limit") are the long low-church Novus Ordo neocons (EWTN) including the "Evangelicals," the now-waning charismatics. (Reminds me of Fr. Andrew Phillips, an Englishman in ROCOR, about well-meaning people in his church: if you're trying to eat the same thing for breakfast as your clergy, you're doing it wrong.)

After years of going along with Catholic liberals on liturgy in the name of obedience, telling trads to give up their practice and become charismatics, the neocons have been slowly high-churching since the end of the '80s; the New Liturgical Movement, the Reform of the Reform, something more Manning-like.

Me? Some from both. Mass-and-office and high and dry about the papacy from Newman; old-school Italian church garb through Manning and Faber, but devotions, etc., a little toned down and in their proper theological place à la Newman's school. The Pope's office shares in the church's charism of infallibility; it was never about his person, about whom ordinary Catholics rightly cared little.

17 comments:

  1. "and anyway, the participating schismatic Catholic bishops weren't using the Roman ordinal"

    Not so, exactly. Right down to the late 60s/early 70s the Old Catholics used the pre-1970 Roman Pontifical (in Latin, I believe; maybe Polish in the PNCC) for all episcopal consecrations, including when participating in Anglican episcopal consecrations.

    When European Old Catholic bishops (most often Dutch ones) participated in English (or other British) Anglican episcopal consecrations, when it came to the laying-on of hands, while the Anglican bishops were reciting "Receive the Holy Ghost," etc., from the 1662 BCP, the OCs recited "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum," etc., from the Pontifical. The "official" Roman view, from the "Decretum pro Armenis" of the Council of Florence (1439; formal name "Exultate Deo") until Pius XII's apostolic constitution "Sacramentum Ordinis" in 1948 was that the "porrectio instrumentorum" was the "form" (or essential act) of ordination in the Roman Rite, but by the mid-19th century most scholars, including Catholic scholars, were aware that this could not historically have been the case, as the "porrectio instrumentorum" has only entered the Pontifical in ca. the 13th century; and most of them thought that the "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum" etc., injunction was the ancient/historic "form;" and the practice of the European Old Catholics was itself based on that assumption. We now know, however, that the "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum" injunction, which originally was a kind of concluding blessing to early medieval ordination rites, only entered the Pontifical at the same time period as did the "porrectio instrumentorum" - at first separately in different local versions of the Pontifical in France, Germany and elsewhere, and later together. So when Pius XII defined the form of the Sacrament of Orders for the Roman Rite in 1948 he defined it as neither the "porrectio instrumentorum" nor the "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum," etc., injunction (which in the late Middle Ages had moved back from the conclusion of the ordination rite to a central position in it), but in each case (deacon, priest, and bishop) to a prayer which formed the center of the rite from late antiquity onwards - in the case of episcopal consecration the prayer "Comple in Sacerdote tuo ministerii tui summam, et ornamentis totius glorificationis instructam coelestis unguenti rore snctifica."

    PNCC bishops, by contrast, and as the last surviving PNCC bishop who had participated in such consecrations (the last of which occurred in 1971) himself told me in 1999, who participated in American Episcopalian or Canadian Anglican episcopal consecrations either laid-on their hands in silence or else simply recited the same words from the BCP formula as the Anglican/Epscopalian bishops at such episcopal consecrations.

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    1. Thanks.

      PNCC bishops, by contrast, and as the last surviving PNCC bishop who had participated in such consecrations (the last of which occurred in 1971) himself told me in 1999, who participated in American Episcopalian or Canadian Anglican episcopal consecrations either laid on their hands in silence or else simply recited the same words from the BCP formula as the Anglican/Episcopalian bishops at such episcopal consecrations.

      Obviously that's what I was thinking of.

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  2. It is interesting to note that when the PNCC had a few Anglican rite communities during the late 1970's, the clergy who came into the PNCC from the Protestant Episcopal Church were all re-ordained. So, it remains interesting to note that even though the PNCC for many years was in full communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church, even they did not seem to take their orders too seriously.

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    1. As soon as the Episcopal Church decided to ordain women, the PNCC decided to treat all Anglican orders as invalid - including (IIRC) those of clergy coming to them from Continuing Anglican bodies.

      Those Anglican clergy coming to the PNCC quickly showed a strong desire to have the PNCC to set up for them an "Anglican Rite" diocese, and when the PNCC refused, most of them moved on quickly to greener - or perhaps "purpler" - pastures.

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    2. Hello Dr Tighe, I have this information from Fr John Connely of St Mark's western rite Orthodox Church, Denver; who was PNCC at one time. His take was that the first synod that they attended in Toronto it was obvious that the PNCC was moving in the direction of the novus ordo and that at that time there was quite a bit of support for following the European Old Catholics and ordaining women. And until a court case, the PNCC Cathedral in Toronto actually did separate itself from the larger PNCC and attached itself to the Anglican Church of Canada, which does ordain women.

      No mention was made about an Anglican rite diocese, there were only a few Anglican parishes at the time. But his take was that eventually the PNCC would demand that they adopt the novus ordo. And the small group in Denver that did remain PNCC is indeed completely, as far as liturgy is concerned, go modernist novus ordo.

      But it is indeed strange, would not the orders be valid of those ordained before the ordination of women? It is indeed a very odd concept of validity. I do know Orthodox bishops who very much question the validity of novus ordo ordination rites, but would not question those done under the older pontificale.

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    3. Also, Dr Tighe, your statement, "a strong desire to have the PNCC to set up for them an 'Anglican Rite' diocese, and when the PNCC refused, most of them moved on quickly to greener - or perhaps "purpler" - pastures" is not only unkind, it is untrue. The parishes that had gone PNCC were located, the main one in Denver, and the others in South Carolina, they all went western rite Orthodox, and none of the clergy, all reordained, once again by the Byzantines, were consecrated bishops. At one time there were four western rite Antiochian parishes in South Carolina, all former PNCC. they are all byzantine rite now following the normal bait-and-switch of the Antiochians.

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    4. "And until a court case, the PNCC Cathedral in Toronto actually did separate itself from the larger PNCC and attached itself to the Anglican Church of Canada, which does ordain women."

      In ca. 1999 Ante Nikolic, then pastor of the PNCC cathedral in Toronto was elected a "bishop candidate" in the PNCC. He was a Croatian by birth and upbringing, and gave out that he had been ordained in the RC Church in Croatia before coming to Canada, marrying, and joining the PNCC. Upon investigation, after his election, his ordination documents were found to be bogus: if he had ever at all been ordained in Croatia it had been by an episcopus vagans. He reacted by taking the cathedral parish out of the PNCC and attempting to connect with the ACofC and with the liberal churches of the Union of Utrecht. I lost track of what happened subsequently, but gather that Nikolic was dispossessed in the end and the cathedral recovered for the PNCC.

      "Also, Dr Tighe, your statement ... is not only unkind, it is untrue."

      I was thinking, specifically, of Robin Connors.

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    5. In one of my two telephone conversations with Nikolic in 1999 he told me that he was OK with WO "because my Jesuit friends all tell me that there are no theological objections to it, and that the Catholic Church will eventually approve it."

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    6. But Dr Tighe, it is still unkind to brush the whole movement with a single individual who did become a Continuing Anglican bishop; most of those who became PNCC with an Anglican rite, did not become bishops and many became simply parish priests, often western rite Orthodox.

      Fr Angwin also originally had contact with the PNCC before opting for the western rite Orthodox alternative. In our conversations he also stated that his feeling was that they were simply moving into the novus ordo orbit and would soon ditch the traditional Roman rite and demand the same be done with the Anglo-Catholic liturgy as well. He also stated that it was very difficult to have a serious theological discussion with them; he told me that one of their demands, at that time, this was in the very early 1970's, was that every time "cup" was mentioned in the Anglican canon it would have to be changed to "chalice." He also found them very, very ethnocentric; if anything, worse than the Byzantine Orthodox, well worse than the Arabs anyway.

      In the end, outside of the ordination of women, every problem that both Connely and Angwin had seen with the PNCC has come to fruition. Their present liturgies simply embody the absolute worst of 1970's novus ordoism, including balloons, guitars, female servers, Eucharistic ministers, and liturgical dancers (usually middle ages women who should know better); and the vast majority of their clergy are left-over modernist from Rome who wished to marry.

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    7. Perhaps you are right in your first paragraph, as you are in your last.

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    8. Never been to the PNCC; used to know a deacon online, an ex-Catholic but conservative.

      They have a tension between the liberalism going back to Bishop Franciszek Hodur (if he were alive he'd be with the National Catholic Reporter and Call to Action, with ethnic identity politics, "diversity") and Polish cultural conservatism. At the top it's nearly always really been liberal: Freemasons and universalists. (Exception: Prime Bishop Swantek.) At the parish level it was simply people who wanted things to stay the same but in their own language. Hodur came up with a reformed Mass but for decades the parishes did Tridentine in Polish. I know they've long been a Novus Ordo clone, in English, but were they really still Tridentine in the '70s, when ex-Episcopalians such as Fr. Connely tried them out? Given that Polish cultural conservatism plus PNCC semi-congregationalism, I wouldn't be surprised. So when did they switch?

      I understand they have two factions, one conservative and interested in somehow reconciling with Rome (Swantek), the other liberal and more Episcopal-oriented. And yes, they get some ex-Catholic priests who wanted to marry, such as from Poland. But they also have generational priests who are liberal, trying to market their church to non-Poles, disaffected Catholics, as a "democratic" alternative, in Hodur's tradition.

      As has been explained to me, the Nats were some Polish-Americans' "transitional community," their first step out of the Polish Catholic ghetto into mainstream, mainline Protestant, Masonic American respectability. Those who remain Nat mean well, instinctively conservative, but don't realize their church makes no sense. They say they oppose the Pope, but they venerate St. Josaphat, a martyr because of the Pope, because he's popular in Poland. Anybody with a slightly above-average IQ would see through that and leave.

      They are so small there are Polish-Americans who have never heard of them. Polish-Americans overwhelmingly remained Catholic.

      While they've gotten a couple of ex-Catholic congregations, victims of Catholic parish closings, mostly the PNCC's a small church getting smaller as it ages and dies. Parishes are basically ethnic clubs for the elderly, generational members, often served by a married ex-Catholic priest from the old country. Again, yes, now with services that mimic the Novus Ordo but sometimes with Tridentine Polish panache (birettas, mozettas, lace cottas, etc.).

      They get some of my respect because in part the craziness wasn't their choice (bad treatment by Irish bishops here) and because they're not a bunch of people who just recently left the church; they're generational so in a sense real; sincere. All they really wanted was for things to stay the same, but in their language, and there's nothing wrong with that. They have real bishops so they have the Mass.

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    9. Swantek was elected their Prime Bishop in 1986 by those who wished to pursue an honorable rapprochement with Rome. Things went, on the whole, slowly but smoothly until in 1999 (IIRC) their synod chose as bishop candidates, among others, two priests who had originally been Polish Catholic priests and who, when they came to America and joined the PNCC (one of them in 1968, the other in 1981) gave out that they had left the priesthood in Poland in order to marry. Both of them had no love for Rome, and one of them was an active Freemason. It came out after their elections that both of them had married divorcees, and that one of them, in fact, the one who joined the PNCC in 1968, had not actually legally married his "wife" until on a visit to Poland with her in 1971. The elections caused a big uproar (as did that of Fr. Nikolic at the same synod). For reasons that are obscure PB Swantek accepted the election of the two (but not that of Nikolic) and they were subsequently consecrated. The PNCC came close to a schism at the time; at least, one bishop gave serious thought to leading his diocese out of the PNCC and seeking an "arrangement" with Rome. Things settled down in the end, though, but the whole episode "deflated" the prospect of coming to some sort of rapprochement with Rome, although the "ecumenical dialogue" with Rome has continued.

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  3. Interesting. I had not read your site in a number of years. Correct me if I'm wrong, but were you Eastern Orthodox before? I did not realize you had been/become Roman Catholic.

    As you can imagine, I cannot agree with much of your interpretation of the history. There is much that we could quibble over, most of which probably would not be fruitful. Let me just mention two things that I think you might find worthy of note.

    First and foremost, I don't think you rightly interpret the divide between the old High Churchmen - the "Z"s as Newman called them - and the Tractarians. For one thing, neither one of them had particularly high ceremonial. Likewise, the Tractarians were not interested in "transubstantiation" either, but both the Tractarians and their High Churchmen forbears believed in the real presence. I realize that from an RC perspective those things cannot be separated, but if you want to understand the difference between these groups from within their own context, sacramental theology is not the issue that divided them. It was, rather, a concern for the crown that was much more potent on the old HC side, coupled with a fear that the Reformation was being lost under the weight of radical change. Those were the presenting issues, anyway, though digging deeper, I have never really seen much difference in their theology in those days, only in their approach to talking about it. The divide was actually much more about old versus young than about any substantial theological disagreements.

    So that's my first quibble. My second is much less important and purely grammatical. I am an Episcopalian, not an Episcopal. Episcopal is an adjective. Episcopalian is a noun. Obviously not earth shattering in its importance, but it is a bit of a pet peeve.

    Blessings to you.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Father. Didn't know you'd been here before but this blog is 12 years old!

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but were you Eastern Orthodox before?

      Yes. Ancient history. Highlights of my story: part one and my trip through Orthodoxy. Haven't really identified as Orthodox in over 10 years. Been back in the church nearly three.

      First and foremost, I don't think you rightly interpret the divide between the old High Churchmen - the "Z"s as Newman called them - and the Tractarians. For one thing, neither one of them had particularly high ceremonial. Likewise, the Tractarians were not interested in "transubstantiation" either, but both the Tractarians and their High Churchmen forbears believed in the real presence.

      Actually I was trying to say the same thing: High churchmanship including Anglo-Catholicism was originally about a Catholic-like high view of the church's origins and authority, not exactly the sacraments (high for Protestants but still Protestant: no to transubstantiation, per the Articles of Religion), nor ceremonial nor devotions. By "Anglo-Catholicism" I meant to include the Tractarians.

      So that's my first quibble. My second is much less important and purely grammatical. I am an Episcopalian, not an Episcopal. Episcopal is an adjective. Episcopalian is a noun. Obviously not earth shattering in its importance, but it is a bit of a pet peeve.

      I was born an Episcopalian because of my dad's marriage conversion, I write for a living (commercial copywriting for the Web), and I proofread newspapers for 18 years. I know. I was using Episcopal as an adjective: "the Episcopal Fr. Mitchican" like "the Episcopal priest," not "Fr. Mitchican, an Episcopal," illiterate TV news talk.

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    2. It would appear that Manning was an old High Church Anglican and before his conversion to Rome had never worn a chasuble and was very uninterested in ceremonial.

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    3. ...before his conversion to Rome had never worn a chasuble and was very uninterested in ceremonial.

      As I wrote in the original post about the Tractarians: Newman was the same way.

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  4. tubbs writes (blocked yesterday due to an unknown technical gremlin):

    Manning was found wearing a miniature of his late wife around his neck when he died.

    So I read; thanks for reminding me. As a young Anglican priest he had a beautiful wife who died, I think of tuberculosis, after only a few years together. True love.

    An experience I had in rural Norfolk while in the Navy... standing in the ruins of an old recusant castle, way off the beaten path - not along ANY path as a matter of fact.

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