Monday, October 18, 2021

The profile of this convert is high!

 In the news last week, The Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, formerly Bishop of Rochester (among several high profile roles in the Anglican Communion), has converted to Roman Catholicism (albeit specifically into the Anglican Ordinariate).*

The Tablet carries the story here. The tone and content of Dr Nazir-Ali's testimony is respectful of his Anglican heritage.

"I believe that the Anglican desire to adhere to apostolic, patristic and conciliar teaching can now best be maintained in the Ordinariate. Provisions there to safeguard legitimate Anglican patrimony are very encouraging and, I believe, that such patrimony in its Liturgy, approaches to biblical study, pastoral commitment to the community, methods of moral theology and much else besides has a great deal to offer the wider Church. ...

Ministry in the Church of Pakistan, in the Middle East generally, in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion remains precious to me and I see this as a further step in the ministry of our common Lord and of his people. At this time, I ask for prayers as I continue to pray for all parts of the Church."

On the other hand, some of what others are saying is, well, just not so:

"Headlines broke Thursday which rocked the Anglican world down to its core."

That's from an article by Mary Ann Mueller, here. Not all Anglicans have heard of Dr Nazir-Ali; it's a while ago since he was a Diocesan Bishop; most Anglicans are not about to be turned towards Rome because another Anglican - even a bishop - has made that personal decision for themselves. The core of Anglicanism is not that rockable really.

I find myself in response thinking about and reflecting on the following:

(1) Whether or not there are any wider ramifications for global Anglicanism, this is a personal decision for Dr Nazir-Ali in the context of his own journey of faith and engagement in the church of God. We can and should only wish him well as he seeks the heart of God, the mind of Christ and the life of the Spirit. Ditto for any convert from Canterbury to Rome, whether high or low profile. And vice versa!

(2) There may be things to think about - some observers likely will say, “There jolly well are a lot of things to think about.” 

For instance, is something wrong with (say) the Church of England / the Anglican Communion / GAFCON that no form of Anglicanism could hold Dr Nazir-Ali back from stepping forward into (on his own testimony) the Anglican patrimony within the Roman Catholic Church as the best way to be Anglican? 

(And if there is something(s) wrong, can it(they) be fixed? 

An intriguing question to ask, given Dr Nazir-Ali’s well-known theological, ethical and missiological conservatism, is Why even GAFCON (with which he has had something to do) has not provided a pathway for remaining rather than going?)

My own response to whether this conversion highlights what is wrong with global and local Anglicanism is:

- Of course it does. If all was well he would not be converting.

- It doesn’t take a high profile conversion to tell us all is not well. (I could share my correspondence with you, that would also tell you our faults, foibles and failings :).)

- The question (to me) is: am I content to be in this church rather than another, given no church is perfect? (My answer: I am so content. If you haven't left for Rome/Constantinople/Geneva it may be your answer too.)

(3) What does it mean to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus: and does it mean I should be in a particular church because only in that church is it possible to be correctly aligned as a Christian with God’s will for the church?

I find that being a Christian, faithful to the teaching of Jesus and the teaching of the apostles, is hard work but it benefits from other Christians with their understandings and examples to inspire me, to challenge me, to correct me and to guide me. And those other Christians have anchored their discipleship into a variety of settings (denominations). Some of my favourite Christians are Catholic ... Baptist ... Methodist ... etc. And many Anglicans :).

I also find myself thinking (in reflection since the news last week) that I am pretty sure my accountability to God on the day of judgment will have heaps to do with how my life has grown and developed closer and closer to the life of Christ, become more and more open to the fullness of God in Christ developing in me than to which church I belonged, what doctrines I believed with correct precision and whether I was perfectly nurtured through an exquisitely balanced ministry of word and (correct) Sacrament.

Put another way: the challenges I find in the church of God to which I have been called and in which I have been planted are not resolvable by "finally" admitting that Anglican polity and teaching would be perfected through conversion to (in the instance being considered) Rome. Rather, looking at my diary this week and thinking somewhat guiltily about the emails I am yet to respond to, all issues before me are resolvable in the life of the Spirit, through the teaching of Christ, and opening our hearts to the love of the Father. More simply: human nature is not perfected through church polity and doctrine but through the work of God.

(4) Not that Damian Thompson is himself an infallible pope among Catholic journalists but he is well informed and has nice if acerbic turns of phrases and so it is somewhat ironic that this week he writes an article headed Is the Pope a Protestant? which includes the line 

"Pope Francis is presiding over the Anglicanisation of the Catholic Church.

(In the end I don't think such critics of Francis have any empathy for the church adapting to a changing world).

(5) A (Catholic) Twitter buddy here talked about Dr Nazir-Ali coming "home to Rome." What I am trying to say above is that if any earthly city is a spiritual home for me and my understanding of being Christian, it is ... Jerusalem!!

(Added later) (6) I see now that Dr Nazir-Ali has written something of an apologia in the Daily Mail (here). Frankly I find this begging some questions, about the advantages of Catholicism v Anglicanism. Sure Anglicanism has faults, but Catholicism’s claim is not that it has none. Take one Anglican fault adduced in the article: some kind of diffidence in moral leadership on the international stage. Has Dr Nazir-Ali not heard of the internal Catholic critique of the deal Pope Francis did with China re the appointment of Catholic bishops there?

So, I wish Dr Nazir-Ali well and do not think the core of Anglicanism today is thereby rocked by his conversion.

*For those new to these things, the lack of recognition by Rome of Anglican ministry orders means Dr Nazir-Ali is received into the church as a layperson but reports say he will soon be ordained as a (Roman Catholic) deacon-then-priest. As a married man the future Fr Nazir-Ali will not be eligible to become a bishop.


Incidentally, also in Anglican news this week, here , is Forward in Faith North America railing against the recent move of the Anglican Church of Kenya to ordain a woman to the episcopate:

"While the Anglican Church in Kenya currently maintains an orthodox understanding of the Gospel, it should be noted that every province that has adopted women into the episcopate has, in time, yielded to the pressures of the culture and left Biblical morality.

Listen to the words of Saint Paul to Timothy, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Lastly, your Grace, for the sake of the Gospel and our unity in Christ we call upon the Anglican Church in Kenya to refrain from further actions of division and to repent of your actions which have directly harmed your brother and sister Anglican Christians around the world."

What is very interesting here is that (effectively) within GAFCON is recognition that not all Anglicans think alike, not all Anglicans have the same definition of "orthodox" and not all Anglicans are agreed on what "directly harms" a fellow Anglican!


Unknown said...

Decades ago, a Lutheran classmate who has since acquired some ecumenical eminence as a theologian demanded to know, "Why aren't Anglicans Catholic?" From his point of view, all Westerners should be Catholics.

Even Lutherans would become Catholics, he insisted, if only Rome would accept as dogma *justification by grace through faith in Christ apart from works of the law*. The Lutheran raison d'etre is to defend that proposition until the Roman Catholic Church finally accepts it. Sticking to the letter of the original Augsburg Confession, Lutherans are Roman Catholics in exile.

"But what's your excuse?," he would ask, as if I could answer for the whole Commumion. "Anglicans have no fundamental theological disagreement with Rome. The imperative of unity in Christ surely trumps small differences of style, even if the Anglican one is better."

My usual reply to him was that he was right, but that Rome had not been able to handle that particular truth. It was not Canterbury that had excommumicated Rome, but Rome that had excommumicated Elizabeth I, and Trent that had stopped its ears to all voices from the north of Europe. New Archbishops of Canterbury call for intercommunion with Rome as though it were an inaugural oath of office.

Since then, the matter has become even clearer, at least in North America. Anglicans here up yonder are not especially anti-papal, but neither Canadians nor Americans will yield what I will call *synodicalism*, but what Francis calls the Second Vatican Council's teaching on the full participation in the Body the laity, women, religious, etc. Anglicans are for churches much more participatory than Trent allowed, and at least as participatory as Vatican II required.

In that view, Episcopalians are good Vatican II/III Catholics. They are just waiting for Rome to live by her own magisterial teaching. "So why," I might ask my friend, "is Rome not joining the Anglican Communion, or at least in communion with Canterbury? Isn't the unity of the Body more important than mere style?"

Now we know. Benedict XVI experimented with synods, but Francis seems to want at least as many synods as we have. Real synods with elected layfolk, popular priests, and sassy nuns. It's the nightmare of every kid who was disdained by his classmates but approved by parents and teachers.

In that light, the case for Roman reunion with Canterbury is strong. Of course, some may continue to question the validity of eg Roman bishops who have been picked by the Curia rather than by their putative dioceses. But thinking of the Crown Nominations Commission, we may grant that the synodical principle has scope for such delegation. Or we may not.

I have only met Fr Nazir-Ali online, but the meeting was pleasant. So of course I wish him Godspeed toward whatever synods he feels called to serve.


Anonymous said...

"not all Anglicans are agreed on what 'directly harms' a fellow Anglican!"

Gafconians want a practice that feels Anglican, but is more authoritarian than the actual Church of England has ever been. Despite theological differences, they have banded together to erect a grand authority that is more stable than open-minded synods that look to them like spinning kaleidoscopes.

Whether that is an especially Anglican idea or not, it is not up to that point unreasonable. If there are souls who need teaching where others are content with voting, why not another magisterium?

Imagine for the fun of it that Anglican divines of the eastern hemisphere met from time to time the way Porvoo already does in northern Europe. If they reached deeper consensus on things that matter, it would have a certain intrinsic authority. And that authority would be derived, not from a critique of Anglicans in the western hemisphere, but simply from the deeper integrity and utility of the thought. Ideas are authoritative, not because others are bad, but because they are good.

Conversely, imagine that eastern Anglicans agreed only superficially, but elected an infallible pope anyway. So, infallible, but with nothing much to say. Would she have any authority? Not if she were not the guardian of a tradition of thought already recognised as authoritative. If the bishop of Rome did not have a magisterium behind him, the mere premise that there ought to be unity in the Body around St Peter would support a much more modest establishment than the Vatican.

Which is GAFCON? It might have been truly magisterial, if it had started from some positive and integrating account of tradition (cf St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae). If it takes up the work of an honest C21 communion, someday it may be. Its ideas would then support its authority when they are evenhandedly applied to solve contemporary problems.

However, the formidable obstacle to doing that work is the lazy St Louis ecclesiology in which authority is amassed, not by gathering the ideas that have worked best for souls, but by anathematising others who are trying to find them. The mere reactionary's dilemma is that whether he makes peace with the authority he has or stalks off to erect a new one, any authority at all requires some creativity and is occasionally disturbing.

So for now, Gafconians unite around something more like that empty papacy of the Pacific. There is nothing there. To a Gafconian who is also a happy warrior, words and deeds that make this too obvious can seem like direct harm.


Father Ron said...

Dear Bishop Peter, what is most interesting to me about Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali's 'conversion' is that it was towards an esoteric quasi-Anglicansim (in the R.C.Ordinariate) that actually drew his new-found allegiance. It was not towards that other brand of quasi-Anglicanism embraced by the separatist GOFCON sodality that he had been instrumental in forming - together with other conservative Anglicans (like Abp. Peter Jensen, with whom he has a theological affinity).

I am intrigued that he should forsake the patrimony of his heroes of the Anglican Church who were closely alligned with the Evangelical Movement, in order to take upon himself the patrimony of the Bishop of Rome - albeit, under the banner of esoteric, misogynistic 'High-Church' Angicanism. One cannot help but wonder whether Bishop Michael was not only uneasy about the C. of E.'s acceptance of S/S Blessings, but also about its celebration of Women's Ordination? OR - another possibility - was he really a 'Closet' Anglo-Catholic, with a hidden devotion to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham?

Unknown said...

It would be interesting to know how Father Nazir-Ali himself understands his swim across the Tiber. But his transit is not a conversion. In this ecumenical age, an Anglican may find himself drawn to it because of Reformed leanings rather than in spite of them.


Father Ron said...

Precisely, Bowman. I feel quite at home in both disciplines - especially in common worship. I would support Pope Francis as the next ABC.

Anonymous said...

Ron Smith makes some surprising errors in his October 20 comment.
First, the Church of England does NOT accept "same sex blessings" and it does not look likely to do so for the foreseeable future, if the English Anglican cleric Peter Ould is correct in his analysis of the elections to the General Synod there. It is true that other small and aging Anglican churches have gone down that road: the tiny Episcopal churches in Wales and Scotland, for example. Not only are these churches very small, they also have very, very few children and teenagers in them, so it is hard to see them surviving this decade.
As for the C of E, my own reading of this is that the Catholic Movement in the Church of England is now greatly diminished (even absent in some parts of that land) and the Church of England is more polarised than ever between evangelicals and liberals. One of the consequences of the ordination of women in the C of E has been the collapse or diminution of the Catholic Movement. No doubt this was not intended but this has indeed happened.
Second, Ron Smith is quite wrong to describe the Ordinariate as "esoteric quasi-Anglicanism". I am sure he knows that the Catholic Church has other wings, such as the Eastern Uniate Churches, which preserve their own traditions and clerical disciplines, but which are in full fellowship with the Bishop of Rome. The Ordinariate is simply the extension of this insight. Who knows if in years to come an Ordinariate for former Lutherans might arise? And Catholics enjoy singing Wesley's hymns!
I know that some have maligned the Ordinariate and predicted its early demise. I suspect the existence of this fellowship has disturbed the conscience of those older Anglo-Catholics who worried about the ability of Anglicanism to remain credally orthodox (as the rise of American Episcopalian bishops like Spong and Robinson suggest), as well as the nagging doubts Anglo-Catholics are prone to over the validity of their orders or their sacraments - the reason why some Anglo-Catholics in England used to seek a secret "second ordination" from Old Catholic bishops in Holland!
As for Michael Nazir-Ali's own decision and why he took it, this can be easily found in an interview published on the web.
Those who would like to find out about the Ordinariate should set aside their fears and visit the website and hear from the members themselves. It is never too late!
Pax et bonum,
William Greenhalgh

Father Ron said...

William, what, precisely (or, more precisely) are you saying here? - thyat the Church of England will never be open to the prospect of Same-Sex Blessings? If so, you may have been taken in by the opinion of Peter Ould, as self-professed 'ex-Gay' who claims to have left his homosexual persona behind, becoming heterosexual - a conversion almost as surprising as that of ex-Anglican Bishop Nazir-Ali to the cafe-Catholicism of the R.C. Ordinariate.

The long-winded process of 'Living in Love and Faith' in the Church of England will probably not be torpedoed by the Province of Ghana pronouncing homosexuality to be 'ungodly and 'disordered' and no condition for a practising Anglican. Nor is L.L.F. likely to be ambushed by the '8th Trumpet' sounding from the Global South, recently; also condemning homosexuality - a biological reality in the world - as 'sinful'. Finally, the emotive word 'Orthodox' is being brutally misrepresented in the protestations of David Ould and others of his ilk in the C. of E., whose 'purity and holiness' campaign seem strangely like that of the Scribes and Pharisees at the time of Jesus - who were describes by Jesus as 'whited sepulchres'. I'm sure ex-President Donald Trump is relishing the fact that his Con/Evo advisors in the U.S.A are pushing for his re-election - on the grounds of his quasi-Christian qualifications, too. However, under God, Truth and justice will not fail.

Anonymous said...

Ron, I do not speak for the Church of England. These are simply my observations based on demographical facts open to anyone who cares to investigate them.
The "Anglican" churches in both Scotland and Wales number only about 12,000 or so active participants. Many congregants are in their 60s and 70s and will not be alive in ten years or so. Many congregations have no childen or youth work. There has been no entry of new and younger members, despite the high level of immigration in the UK in recent years. (The Catholic Church in the UK, on the other hand, has benefited from an influx of Polish, Lithuanian and African Catholics, even as mass attendance among the indigenous population has fallen.) So I can only conclude that these "Anglican" churches will close in increasing numbers as this decade continues. Western Europe, like New Zealand, is increasingly post-Christian and in many places being "religious" means being Muslim. Eastern and central Europe, emerging from communism, presents a somewhat different picture.
The Church of England is larger but also in decline. The only growth I know of in that church is from the Holy Trinity Brompton movement.
I suspect there will continue to be Anglican churches in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda etc. Africa's population is still young and growing and still religiously committed.
I have actually met Peter Ould and his family on a number of occasions. I think it best not to make judgments about people one does not actually know. Have you also confused him with his brother David, who is not in the Church of England?
I do not know what you mean by the "cafe-Catholicism of the R. C. Ordinariate" but I presume it is not a compliment. Do you perhaps mean "cafeteria Catholicism", a term sometimes used of American Catholic politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi who are ferociously promoting the vile sin of abortion against the teaching of the Catholic Church and all the Popes? I can assure you that the Ordinariate are no "cafeteria Catholics" but shoulder to shoulder with His Holiness. Did you know that a priest of the Ordinariate, a former Anglican cleric, was initially refused appointment as Catholic Chaplain in Nottingham University in England because he had attacked the sin of abortion in a tweet? Would that Anglicans had the same understanding!
If you would sincerely like to understand the Ordinariate and know why five Anglican bishops have joined it, please consult the website. It is never too late!
Pax et bonum,
William Greenhalgh

Father Ron said...

Dear William, I think our discourse is now quite frustrating and of little use to either of us - except to blow off steam.

Castor et Pollux

Unknown said...

A: My daddy can punch your daddy in the nose.

B: No, he can't.

A: Can too.

B: Can not.

A: Can too.

B: Can not.



Anonymous said...

Au contraire, Ron, steam is very useful to old trains and I've been training all my life. Did not Søren Kierkegaard, the sage of old Zealand, consider his 1850 tome "Training in Christianity" "my most perfect work"?
Is there a sage in New Zealand who will keep the prone to wander on track?
And did not Solomon, the sage of old Israel, admonish, "Give instruction to a wise man and he will be wiser still"? In other words, never cease learning.
Alas, we know how it turned out for Solomon in his old age. It would have been far better for him if he had followed Kierkegaard's aphorism in the above cited work, that Christ seeks not admiters but imitators.

Pax et bonum - et "Sapere aude" (Horace)
William Greenhalgh

Anonymous said...

Hello, BW - not exactly a Socratic dialogue you offer there, is it?
But if you have any comments on the *actual content of our exchange, including pointing out errors of fact or logic, I would be glad to hear them.
In teaching I would always stress that the first duty of any commenter is to *understand what another is saying and to faithfully represent them.
The second is to critique its truthfulness.
The third (if applicable) is to offer a correction. Or so I've always understood Socrates.
Of course, these truisms fall by the wayside in contemporary discourses, where mockery and politics may replace actual debate. I recall, for example, the story of dogwalker Amy Cooper and the Central Park birdwatcher last year. The woman was denounced in the press as a "Karen" and a "racist", sacked from her job and hammered with all kinds of criminal charges - which were all dropped months later as the facts of the story (and the conduct of the birdwatcher) slowly emerged. But by then, the damage had been done. I understand she is suing her employer for wrongful dismissal.
Well, good luck with that in the present febrile climate. How much better if the press and law agencies did their actual job, beginning with their first duty, to ascertain the truth of a matter. I can readily understand why Kierkegaard reverenced Socrates so much. To their shame, the Athenians didn't.

Pax et bonum - et "veritas liberabit vos" (Jesus)
William Greenhalgh

Anonymous said...

As a measure of just how bizarre and disordered the post-Christian world is becoming in its obsession with seeking identity according to sexual affections, readers of this blog should consult the Tuesday 26 October website of BBC News with its story about lesbian women being pressured into having sex with "transwomen" - who are not women at all, but men who imagine they are or who desire to be women (but in over 90% of the cases they have not undergone surgery). It appears that a growing number of lesbians are fighting back against the "trans movement" and the "cancellation culture" of the left - notably the lesbian British philosopher Professor Helen Stock, but also heterosexual women like J K Rowling of "Harry Potter" fame. It is entirely normal that women do not want "transwomen" - biological males who want to be women - in women's prisons or women's toilets or other areas reserved for their sex. But this perfectly natural desire for safety and privacy is now reviled by the pseudo-psychological neologism "transphobia". To say nothing of biological boys or men now claiming to be female and wanting to participate in women's sports (a matter well known in New Zealand now).
The LGBTQ etc movement was always bound to end up at war with itself because it is founded on falsehood. St Thomas Aquinas affirmed that what is not true ultimately cannot work - and yet the Angelic Doctor also knew that falsehood can wreak a lot of harm on the way to its eventual failure. One notes with sadness, for example, the dramatic increase in the number of teenage girls reporting feelings of gender dysphoria. The Catholic priesthood itself, especially in America, has not been immune to the post-Christian tides of culture, but it may be that the theological heft of men like Gavin Ashenden and Michael Nazir-Ali will give strength to the Church's witness, at least in the British Isles, in an age of confusion.

Pax et bonum,
William Greenhalgh

Unknown said...

Romans v 5


Father Ron said...

Sorry, William but your naive expectation that either Dr's. Ashendon or Nazir-Ali will be able to exert any influence in Anglican affairs disappeared with their 'escape' into the minute enclave of the R.C. Ordinariate. The recent anti-gay statement made by the Anglican Church in Ghana, as you may have noticed has drawn forth a sharp rebuke from the ABC, the ABY, and other leading bishops in the C of E, clearly indicating the way forward for an Inclusive Church ethos in the U.K. Deo gratias! As for the escapees, one can only offer 1 Latin tag: Sic transit gloria!

Anonymous said...

You misunderstand me (again), Ron: I was referring to the possible influence Dr Assenden and Dr Nazir-Ali may have within the Catholic Church in Theological education, not to the Church of England. I believe Dr Ashenden is already doing this work. As onetime liberal versed in Jungianism, he is uniquely placed to teach other methods and principles of modern Protestant liberalism, which is heavily indebted to Jung. As for the conflict between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Church of Ghana, I have no comment except to say that the breakup of the Anglican Communion will likely continue apace. I don't think English colonialism still plays well in Africa, and privileged white man admonishing Africans does not have "good optics", as our American cousins say.
Those who are intrigued as to why some of the sharpest minds in English Anglicanism have been drawn to the Ordinariate should consult the website. "Minute", you say? Ah, remember what Our Lord said about the mustard seed! Perhaps there will branches there for some unlikely "rare aves" - even ground-loving kiwis?
Pax et bonum,
William G

Peter Carrell said...

Dear William
I am intrigued and want to ask what context you write from: as a frustrated member of an Anglican Communuion province? Or from ACNA or other Anglican context not part of the Communion? Or the Ordinariate itself?

I do not think your comment is fair to the situation the ABC finds himself in re Ghana. I understand (and, since you are well informed, I imagine you also understand) that the ABC cannot lead the CofE in one direction re human rights, justice for homosexuals and remain silent re what happens in the Anglican Communion for which he is primus inter pares.

And certainly not when CofE voices have been asking for him (and colleagues) to respond.

Whether or not that plays well - colonialism etc - in Ghana, is it not of concern that the Ghanaian bishops would collude with such a draconian law? Should not ACNA, the Ordinariate etc share a common human concern for the homosexuals of Ghana?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Carrell,
As far as I understand your Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury does not have judicial or magisterial authority over the other national churches within Anglicanism, as His Holiness has in the Catholic Church or (so I understand) the Ecumenical Patriarch has in Eastern Orthodoxy. So his comments on Anglicans in Ghana are at most those of the leader of a sister church, and not how we look to Rome, to guide and rule. I was really observing that Anglicans of the "Global South", who are the majority in your communion, appear to be charting a different course from the colonial days when they were founded. I am sure the same thing is happening in Africa with other Protestant bodies.
Whatever the wisdom of the proposed legislation in Ghana, you should note that the Ghanaian Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined with the Anglican Church in supporting it, so presumably Dr Welby is condemning the Ghanaian Catholic Bishops as well. Catholics make up about 13% of Ghana's population. I do not know how many Anglicans there are there.
I thank you for your generous hospitality in allowing me to speak of the Ordinariate on your site.
Pax et bonum
William G.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear William
You are most welcome here and there are no requirements for any specific church allegiance on commenters!

All understood about the actualities of the role of the ABC, but the ABC is a bit like the Pope in hvaing the power to convene aspects of the Communion's life and thus implicitly the right to call out behaviour, decision-making etc which is inconsistent with the course of the Communion. (Recently ++Welby has also spoken against other aspects of Anglican episcopacy, with the forthcoming Lambeth Conference in mind).

If the Catholic Ghanaian bishops have also publicly supported the legislation then that is a call for the Pope to say something as well - their support is scarcely consistent with the Pope's leadership in respect of fair treatment of homosexuals.

Of course we may get concerned when a church leader such as ++Welby speaks up in a way which "condemns" Anglican bishops AND Catholic bishops; but is it not true that many of us Anglicans are very grateful when the Pope speaks up on various matters ... excellence in church leadership is not confined to speaking carefully into the narrowest of contexts!

Greg said...

Just to balance the ledger a bit in the "crossing the Tiber or crossing the Thames" saga; readers will of this blog may be interested to know that about five years ago 20 000 Ecuadorian Roman Catholics "crossed the Thames" and became Anglicans. That's right 20 000! For more information look up the "Indigenous Pastoral of the Anglican Province of America in Ecuador".

Yes, Anglican dioceses in continental Europe such as the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church and the Lusitanian Church are composed of thousands of former Roman Catholics, but the recent situation in Ecuador has got to be one of the largest mass ( no pun intended) conversions from the Roman Church to Anglicanism in recent history.

Father Ron said...

Thanks, Greg. What do you have to say about that, William. - presumably from the perspective of a sometime Anglican.

Greg said...

Fr, I'm just pointing out that there is a lot of traffic into Anglicanism, not just out of it.

Anonymous said...

In other news...


Father Ron said...

Thank you, Bowman, for the link. here is the gist of it:

"VATICAN CITY — Meeting with Pope Francis on Friday for the first time during his administration, President Biden said he was told by the pontiff that he is a “good Catholic” who should continue to receive Communion, even as some conservative U.S. Catholic leaders argue he should be denied the sacrament for his stance on abortion."

What a blow for the Conservative Catholic prelates in North America. The Pope has always said that the Eucharist is not a reward for saints, but a medicine for sinners. Hip.Hip hooray!

Unknown said...

"...Conservative Catholic prelates in North America..."

Methinks, Father Ron, that these prelates are not especially "conservative." They are rather polarized partisans in the Culture Wars. Broadly correct about abortion per se, they are confused about the eucharist.

In the middle ages, popes intervened in local political strife with excommunication of rulers and interdicts of their subjects. But in recent centuries this has been out of favour in Rome. The majority of Catholic bishops who would communicate Mr Biden are standing with Francis in that wise refusal to weaponize sacraments.


Father Ron said...

There can be little doubt about what GAFCON Australia thinks about Bishop Michael Nazir-ali's 'DEFECTION' to the Anglican/R.C. Ordinariate. Here is a link to their outburst:

Whatever GAFCON thinks about this epic defection, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster is so glad to have this well-known ex-Anglican in the fold of Peter, that he himself presided yesterday (Saturday, 30 October 2021) over gthr elaborate celebration of his priestly Ordination. (See - kiwianlgo - for the video of his ordination. (Couldn't wait to grab him?)

Unknown said...

St Matthew v 44.


Father Ron said...

Sorry Folks, my comment of Oct 31 (above) should have shown the link toFr. Nazi-Ali's preistly ordination as ' kiwianglo ' (not kiwianlgo). Mea Culpa!

Do look in on the video, and you will see Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali giving his 'First Blessings' to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and other high prelates of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.K. Also, Cardinal Nichols gave thanks for Fr. Michael's "years of priestly ministry" thus overturning the R.C. dictat against the validity of Anglican Orders (?)