Friday, April 30, 2010

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated"

Anglican aspect of life in Ordinariate questioned

"Doubts have been raised about whether former Church of England clerics would have distinctive “transferrable skills” to bring to the Roman Catholic Church, if they ceased to be part of the Anglican Communion.

At a meeting on Saturday at Pusey House in Oxford, the Revd Jonathan Baker SSC, Principal of Pusey House, said that a group was gathering to reflect on what was the “distinct tradition” within the Anglican Church, fostered since the Reforma­tion, which was “potentially capable of finding its way to enrich the life of the wider Catholic Church”.

Under the norms of Benedict XVI’s Anglicanorum Coetibus, clergy trained in seminaries in the pro­posed Ordinariate (News, 23 Octo­ber) would be tutored in “those aspects of Anglican patrimony that are of particular value” to the RC Church.

One speaker, Eamon Duffy, Pro­fessor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge, and an Irish Roman Catholic, asked what “transferrable skills” Anglicans would bring. He said that what was distinctive was that they had been “shaped” by the Royal Supremacy, which had had a “moderating impact” on the differ­ences in the Church of England between Catholics and Protestants.

'A fundamental part of the nature, identity, and patrimony of Anglican­ism comes from the enforced co-existence of the Catholic dimension of Anglicanism within other more Protestant streams within an estab­lishment,' Professor Duffy said. There would be 'big problems ima­gining how it would retain its coherence and Anglican identity outside those constraints. . . Could choral evensong survive in a min­ority uniate Church . . . within Roman Catholicism?'"

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