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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Continuing Anglicans - some observations I

Accross the bloggosphere there was great excitment as the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established for England and Wales - despite anxious concern from every quarter after more than six months of waiting - a great balance and sensivity was achieved in it's establishment. 

England was the logical place to establish the first ordinariate both from an historical and political point of view,  indeed it seems that there has been little or no rancour from "Continuing Anglicans" who although they may have concerns about liturgical practices, would never the less recognise the significance and importance of the reception and ordination of  three reigning Anglican Bishops who not even a month ago were in union with Canterbury.

It will be interesting to see what arrangments are made for the "Continuing Anglicans" who wish to enter the English Ordinariate.  Without a doubt their treatment must be one of great sensitivity - they afterall left many years ago and suffered seperation and even rejection from their fellow Anglicans.

Yet "Continuing Anglicanism" seems to the avarage Catholic a confusing mess!  Accessively fond of acronyms made of the same words but in a slightly different order each group must claim some advantage for it's position.  Their divisions have increased since the Holy Father granted to them what few could have  imagined; terms which recognise and respect their traditions. Some have turned and fled, even after signing the very petition which brought about the Papal response.  One thing seems clear - collectively these groups sometimes seem to be more united in what they reject than what they accept.

In the blogosphere one can glean a sometimes visceral anti-catholicism (Romanism) - but more frequently just some old fashioned anglo-catholic predjudices relating to sloppy catholic liturgy, sacarin devotions, lack of good taste in chruch decoration and ornamentation and poor quality music to name but a few things (all of the accidents but not the substance).   Odd that for people who place such value on graciousness and old fashioned manners that comments have been so scathing of others both within and without their ranks.

It is true that generally speaking "Continuing Anglicans" have much more traditional liturgical practices than Anglicans associated with the major/dominant national churchs still in union with Canterbury.  It is probably also true that their very open and public contribution to achieving unity with the Catholic Church has been essential in eliciting the decree Anglorum Coetibus from Rome.  The posession of property (churches) has certain distinct advantages...(more soon - including the Anglican Use Catholics, The failed Pro-Diocese of Canterbury, the Established Churches - Are some people sounding their own drumbs to much? etc.)  

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