Wednesday, December 02, 2015

More on Catholic objections to the ordinariates

Okay, let me encapsulate the critique against the Ordinariates this way: the Anglicans who are entering through them are entering on their own terms, rather than the Church's. The door has always been open for Anglicans who felt moved by the Holy Spirit to join Christ's holy Catholic Church. But they had to do so as converts into the Latin Rite, not as people entering into their own little space within the Latin Rite. It isn't about creating a one-size-fits-all Catholicism, there are legitimate diversities within the Catholic Church (Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, for example, or the small Ambrosian or Mozabaric Rites). But it is about looking at a group of people whose commitment to Catholic unity was predicated on the retention of set of idiosyncratic practices divorced from the substance of the faith (Cranmerian English, coffee in the undercroft, and forgive me, a certain commitment to the finer things in life -- Chardonnay!). B16's revision has removed the need to remain attached to the English usage of a man who was a deceitful and evil heretic. If you want to have a nice coffee hour, volunteer at your local parish! And you can have a nice Chardonnay with the vicar during lunch if you want. You don't need an Ordinariate for any of that. So, why have the Ordinariate then except to allow a sub-set of the Latin Rite to have their own little home where they don't have to hang out with all those .... regular Latin Rite Catholics! Eeeeeeeeewwwww! The Irish! The Germans! The Mexicans! The Filipinos! They aren't the proper people! They drink beer! And when they do drink Chardonnay, it's domestic! Eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwww! And their parishes don't have any brocade, and they never play Palestrina, and .... and .... they sing terrible hymns! Sob!
"Okay, let me encapsulate the critique against the Ordinariates this way: the Anglicans who are entering through them are entering on their own terms, rather than the Church's." You're implying that they are importing Protestantism; nothing could be further from the truth.

"The door has always been open for Anglicans who felt moved by the Holy Spirit to join Christ's holy Catholic Church. But they had to do so as converts into the Latin Rite, not as people entering into their own little space within the Latin Rite." Would you suppress my Tridentine Mass too? Conservative Novus Ordo Catholics 30 years ago said much the same thing for the same reason.

"But it is about looking at a group of people whose commitment to Catholic unity was predicated on the retention of set of idiosyncratic practices divorced from the substance of the faith (Cranmerian English, coffee in the undercroft, and forgive me, a certain commitment to the finer things in life -- Chardonnay!)." You don't like Anglicans or your idea of them. That's not the church's problem. You're accusing these ex-Anglicans of doing what the Orthodox do, putting their tribe above the church. Not true. Most of them would have come in anyway as I and others have. The people who are putting their tribe above the church, the snobs, and the homosexualists, even if they said they were would-be Catholics who wanted Rome, are still in the Church of England, Episcopal Church, etc., where they belong. Pushed against the wall, they showed their true beliefs, as did the people who have become Catholic.

With us Anglo-Catholic alumni it's not about snobbery or importing a Protestantism we didn't believe in. Certainly for me and I think at least partly so of the others, it's about bringing something in that's both inculturated in the Anglosphere AND is part of the same culture (at least in America) as the Tridentine Mass. You might object to these texts as "giving the finger to the Novus Ordo," "a big no to the Sixties" as I say; I disagree, thinking that's great.

"B16's revision has removed the need to remain attached to the English usage of a man who was a deceitful and evil heretic. If you want to have a nice coffee hour, volunteer at your local parish! And you can have a nice Chardonnay with the vicar during lunch if you want. You don't need an Ordinariate for any of that." That's an allowable opinion in Catholicism; the church has done something else. Before John Paul II that's exactly how the church handled Anglo-Catholic alumni: no Prayer Book texts. And I don't use the Prayer Book on Sunday, partly for the reason you object to it; I'm interested in pre-Vatican II Roman Rite Catholicism in its idiom, the practice of the Anglican missals, which aren't really Anglican. But I still support the Anglo-Catholic alumni who are using this option the church has given them.

"So, why have the Ordinariate then except to allow a sub-set of the Latin Rite to have their own little home where they don't have to hang out with all those .... regular Latin Rite Catholics! Eeeeeeeeewwwww! The Irish! The Germans! The Mexicans! The Filipinos! They aren't the proper people! They drink beer! And when they do drink Chardonnay, it's domestic! Eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwww!" You're making fun of your image of Anglicans again. I submit that, maybe projecting my own view, it's really about preserving the same intentions as the Tridentine Mass but in classic English and not what you accuse here. And: this "tribalism" is not unknown in the American Catholic Church! To prevent schisms, the church allowed immigrant groups who sometimes hated each other to hive off into Roman Rite national parishes (which were also sometimes necessary for a linguistic reason) as well as having Eastern Catholic parishes and dioceses. Some Rust Belt towns have had Italian, Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, etc. national parishes (including a Croatian national parish in Johnstown, Pa., and as far back as the 1800s there were German-speaking national parishes, as Philadelphia used to have), and both Ruthenian and Ukrainian ones (Slavic sub-groups that didn't get along with each other), as well as the original territorial Irish one. Partly because Irish-American Catholics treated the newcomers exactly as you accuse Anglo-Catholic alumni of being: treating the Ruthenians so badly there was a schism in the 1930s anyway.

I'd think you can appreciate the situation of married ex-Anglican priests as you are married. Granted, some are not in the ordinariates; that's the Pastoral Provision. Sounds like your answer. These married priests plus congregations wanting to stay together are why there's a British ordinariate; they don't like the Prayer Book any more than you do.

"And their parishes don't have any brocade, and they never play Palestrina, and .... and .... they sing terrible hymns! Sob!" Fine if you think I'm a snob. The practice of the Novus Ordo in many American parishes is bad. Again, at least speaking for me, it's about having the same intentions as the Tridentine Mass, not snobbery.

Even though I don't go to a Mass that uses Prayer Book texts, I'm standing on the shoulders of giants who happened to have been born outside the church but had the same intentions the church did (really nothing more to do with Cranmer's theology than you and I have), AND said no to the Sixties, from ritualist slum priests to Bishop Albert Chambers and the first Continuing bishops. In English (moot most of the time since for me the Mass usually is in Latin) I still say the same Gloria, Creed, psalm, canticle, and a few collect translations, and hear the same hymns at my parish, that they used, the first liturgical prayer and Christian music I ever heard. That and it's un-Novus Ordo: again, the same intentions as the Tridentine Mass. Some think that's the real reason Benedict XVI started the ordinariates.

4 comments:

  1. This is getting a little ... bizarre ...

    I have heard nothing but words of good will from the vast majority of Catholics about the Ordinariates. The ones that gripe about it are usually the ones that don't want to swell the ranks of the "haters" (i.e. orthodox) in the Catholic church, and post nasty comments in the comboxes of the NCReporter and Crux.

    The reality is that most of the comments of your strange pen pal are slanders against the Ordinariate folk, who in my experience are about the most charitable and kind people you can find. Most left their undercrofts behind and have mass in a diocesian church at 3pm when it does not inconvenience the local Catholic population. As for entering the church on their own terms, I recall that it was the Catholic Church who set this deal up - the pope in fact - and they set the terms. Many, many Anglican took one look at those terms and said (literally) "thanks, but no thanks".

    It sounds like the point that your pen pal has an issue with is that the Ordinariate members like their own mass and service and culture better than the parish church down the street. That is undeniable, and true. But so what? Get over it - the Ordinariate is established at the highest levels of Canon Law as an option for those who want it.

    The funny thing is that the Ordinariate gets so much abuse from "conservative Anglican" quarters (look at the comments about Ordinariate articles on VirtueOnline, for example; one chap recently called it "an abomination"), you would think that right-minded Catholics would say if they are so feverish and worked up about it, maybe its a good thing for the Catholic religion.

    And maybe, just maybe, Pope Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis, know what they are doing.

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  2. I feel bad for John's pin pal. He seems to have an obsession with trashing Anglicanism, even the good parts and now the good parts that have embraced the Church. It is tiresome for sure to read his comments.

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  3. I wonder if the real, but unexpressed, reason for some people not warming to the ordinariates is because of clerical marriage ...

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  4. Maybe in light of the inculturation demanded by the Second Vatican Council, all English language liturgies should be in the Ordinate rite. If dancing half-naked and playing on drums is an essential part of African culture, which must be implemented into the Mass, why can't the Anglophones have an Anglican-style liturgy? It's all fair game, in my opinion.

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