Thursday, June 11, 2015

Anglicanism redux


Regular readers know I don't hate Anglicans and thank Anglicanism for much. But that I'm Catholic speaks for itself.

From Facebook, mostly with a relatively conservative high-Episcopal priest. The opener: a link to the post The First Book of Common Prayer. I grew up with the old BCP and appreciate what soundness and good prose it has; I still recite its Gloria and creed if the Mass is in English. If I do the office, I read its psalms and canticles. (The Marian anthem and its collect are always in Latin: Salve, regina...) But having stood in a ruined abbey in England and been to the shrines of two English Catholic martyrs, I'll never look at it the same again.

Anonymous Catholic friend:
Beautiful prose in the service of evil.
If you were born into Anglicanism it pointed the way to God and the church. Blessed Pius IX on Pusey: he was like the bell tower calling the people into the church but he stayed outside.

The right kind of open-mindedness: using the best in English prose, no matter its origin. And the best music: why my parish has a fine pipe organ and, alongside chant and polyphony, the repertoire of the Hymnal 1940, orthodox and very singable.

Episcopal priest:
We're all going to die. Prose? Popes? Doctrine? Argue away.
Just curious, Father; what are you about? (Besides "a follower of Jesus" and "wanting to serve my people"; I get that.) Do you really believe Anglicanism is the true church because it's both "Catholic" (the creeds, bishops, and a liturgy) and "reformed" (private judgment, the wonderful thing that brought you Spong and gay weddings), like your classical divines did? Are you trying to be Catholic minus the Pope like the Old Catholics claimed? (They're obviously not the church, ending up a small liberal sect, basically Dutch Episcopalians.) Are you 100% on board with Episcopalianism now? My friend's right; my point about the ruined abbey and the Catholic martyrs. The "Reformation" was evil. I'm grateful Anglicanism accidentally taught me pre-Vatican II Catholic liturgy and pointed the way into the church, but it's what it is: not the church.
John, you don't have to call me Father. I'm not being snarky, but I don't actually believe that you think that I am. I have never been one to jump into these types of arguments because I am not smart enough to hold up my end. Paul told Timothy to stay where you are called. That is what I do. I preach the gospel, because that's all I am confident in doing. I am much simpler than you give me credit for. However I find it kind of humorous that the walls of the city have been breached and the gates have been torn down yet we still argue over the price of fish. Sometimes I just get tired of the arguing and have an urge to mouth off. I apologize that my mouthing off occurred on one of your posts.
Actually, Father (yes, Apostolicae Curae speaks for me but I'm not trying to be rude; God created valid orders but he's not limited by them), I could try to stay and bitch, but a reason I'm what/where I am is respect for the Episcopalians. Trying to force them to be like/pretend to be the Catholic Church wouldn't respect them. They are what they are. If you have bishops named Katharine, you're not Catholic. Reality. If the Articles aren't good enough a reality check, women's ordination was Anglicanism's definitive eff-you to would-be Catholics among them. Having been on the inside, I understand the congregationalism being a hedge against both national Catholic and Anglican liberalism. (How/why I'm pre-Vatican II.) But at this point I logically deduce that anybody who's still Episcopal is on board with that denomination's beliefs. God isn't limited to the church but he doesn't call people to be outside it.

Another Catholic friend:
You recite the Anglican-style Creed at Mass? Does anybody give you looks?
Catholics tend not to care about English translations (because culturally they know the liturgy's "not really" in English), Pope Benedict's reform is so close to the Anglican wording that I don't stick out that much, and besides, I'm only at the new Mass a few times a year, if that (never so far this year), so, so what? I genuflect at "and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man" too.

Note for puzzled British Anglo-Catholic alumni: The old American Prayer Book accidentally became conservative American Anglo-Catholics' rallying point against the Sixties, like the Tridentine Mass is for us; independent of the BCP's, yes, evil origin.

Anglicanism is the church if the Freemasons ran it.

Photo: A reminder that English is Germanic (the Norman Conquest made it seem like it's pretending to be a Romance language). In early modern times, it was printed in black-letter like German before World War II.

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