Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Traditional Anglican Communion, which wasn't traditionally Anglican

A word to the wise: Do not make silly jokes or double entendres about Immanuel Kant in the presence of TAC seniors. They will not be impressed.
TAC?
Thomas Aquinas College.
Thanks. That reference whizzed right by me, not being the father of collegians. (My friend's son is a talented philosophy student.)

I thought "Traditional Anglican Communion," which was not traditionally Anglican (which would be weekly Matins, quarterly Communion, "the north end," and next to no popish ornaments as real trad Anglicans deny the Mass) but part of the largely Anglo-Catholic Continuum (conservative unofficial Anglicans who started when they left the official Anglicans a few decades ago). TAC, at least at the top, said it wanted to come into the Catholic Church, a reason Benedict the Great chartered the ordinariates. (The other was Catholic-minded Church of England priests realized the game was over when that body started having women bishops.) But it didn't; interestingly in America a couple of Episcopal parishes did, which I honestly wasn't expecting. I like the American ordinariate from what I know of it and am eligible to join, but I'm settled into my rare high-church, partially Tridentine parish (run by a mainstream but conservative religious order; plainchant Sung Mass with Anglican hymns and a pipe organ) and besides the local ordinariate parish is hard for me to get to. Knowing the Book of Common Prayer's history including the intent behind it, I don't miss it that much. But I love that there is something approximating Western Catholic traditionalism with a vernacular option (and in classic English at that), which deflates most people's possible objection to it (few want Latin; fine).

A minority of Episcopalians, a small denomination (then mostly indifferent Protestants; very Masonic), by the 1950s American Anglo-Catholicism had become an imitation of the Catholic Church in practice (from a movement that began as an objection to an effect of Catholic emancipation in Ireland!) except for its semi-congregationalism (interesting to me as a hedge against liberalism; anything not against our doctrine is an option) and, important, a belief in something they thought was Anglicanism but really wasn't, an idea that while the "Reformation" was unfortunate, somehow in theory Anglicanism's framers were right. It came down to a belief that Catholicism and a kind of magisterial Protestantism are really the same. (Which, as Michael Davies once pointed out, insults the courage of the martyred Anglican founders. He also pointed out that when classical Protestants used realistic sacrificial language about Communion they didn't mean what the church does.) So no wonder TAC's American branch balked at becoming Catholic. Anyway, the old Prayer Book, obviously Protestant, and its unofficial catholicized variants, the Anglican missals, became American A-Cs' symbol of saying no to the Sixties cultural revolution including many Christians' liberalization then newly out in the open; their Tridentine Mass (fitting since their missals largely copy that). I use its idiom such as many of its translations, part of English-speaking culture and yes, a conservative statement (I use them when I'm at "the new Mass"; Benedict's reform is so close there is little difference), but not its original Protestant compositions (except I like reading those collects, which are sound and beautiful). Its anaphora is banned in the Catholic Church. (If I understand rightly, the ordinariates use the Roman Canon translated and aloud.) I think since the ordinariates are using Cranmer's collects, why not use the Antiochian Orthodox' work? They've unprotestantized that anaphora for their use. Interestingly Michael Davies, a traditionalist, thought that an ex-Catholic priest with the intent of celebrating Mass but using the old Prayer Book's Communion service would be celebrating a valid but illicit Mass. Msgr. Edwin Barnes has pointed out that the old Prayer Book was actively used against the A-C minority in the Church of England (a denomination that's long been indifferently Protestant); I add that a lot of them weren't really A-Cs but Anglo-Papalists, what many assumed A-Cs to be, would-be Catholics, always mostly a clerical thing. I imagine the few remaining ones have come into the church.

The other possibility was The American Conservative.

P.S. The National Catholic Reporter is a sorry excuse for a Catholic newspaper.

The sad thing is from the late '60s until Benedict XVI such people hijacked the church in America, trying to use the church's authority to shanghai you on board their heresy ("be open to the Spirit"). This of course pushed well-meaning orthodox Catholics into more extreme positions than necessary ("the Novus Ordo is in itself invalid," etc.). The slow recovery began at the end of the '80s and Benedict really got it going. Anyway, I know the church's teachings well enough and it's a matter of telling those who ask. A bad Pope doesn't faze me; why would he? And the NCR types are almost all old.

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