Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What does Anglicanism really have to offer in restoring the Roman Church?

The following essays (the Ordinariates, the Pope and Liturgy parts 1 and 2) by Father Aidan Nichols OP read at the Ordinariate conference in Canada recently tells in a magnificent way the historical background of the Ordinariates and what their being Anglican can offer in the restoration of the Roman Church. The essays also tell us that the other passengers for the "ark" have their own gift to give in restoring the Catholic Church.

Some of Fr Nichols' highlights and my questions

What really has the Anglican Communion preserved which the post Vatican II Roman Catholic Church casually threw out?

"Unlike Roman Catholicism, Anglo-Catholicism in the twentieth century has been largely impervious to the seductions of architectural Modernism, and its iconographical and musicological equivalents, owing to the apologetic concern to demonstrate continuity with the Christian past by using neo-mediaeval forms or perhaps neo-Baroque ones.  One could think here of the patronage given by twentieth century Catholic Anglicans to such influential church designers as John Ninian Comper (whose work synthesises mediaeval, palaeo-Christian and Renaissance features) and (for the Neo-Baroque) Martin Travers."

On Benedict XVI and the Liturgy

" the Pope is aghast, in a manner Anglo-Catholics generally would appreciate, at the present state of much liturgical practice in the West.  The Liturgy has been invaded by politicization, as in milieux affected by Liberation Theology; it has suffered banalisation in populist environments where the mantra has it that modern popular culture just has to be followed; and in less ideologically freighted parish practice its manner of expression has been simplified in a well-meaning but misguided attempt to ensure instant intelligibility such that much of its richness has been lost.'

And perhaps this is what Anglicanism can help repair in the Roman Catholic Church so she can get on the way to a new evangelization

"Unlike the Latin clergy who are principally interested in their own flocks, and where apostolic outreach is concerned, the lapsed members of those flocks, there is something much more potentially universal in the pastoral outreach of the Anglican ministry.  The notion that evangelization should be directed to entire neighbourhoods, and be expressed in general visiting, as well as recognition of the need for involvement in civic life, in voluntary associations, and all the expressions of life together in a given locale, is typical of a Church that conceives itself as responsible for the soul of a society.  It is a Christendom outlook which has, thankfully, survived the disintegration of the mediaeval organism."

And that is why I am not surprised  and very gladdened that the Holy Mass celebrated ad orientem is more often celebrated at the Episcopal Cathedral of St Mary and St John at Cathedral Heights, Quezon City than in the Roman Catholic Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Manila! Also the community orientated pastoral concern of the Episcopal Church towards Filipino society.

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