What the Pope did to the BCP
Dr William Oddie has written something that makes for interesting reading at the Catholic Herald. Dr Oddie writes that the Pope has made the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) (well much of it) into a Catholic liturgy! This was something no one would have thought possible as late as 30 years ago.
Evensong is now sung at Roman Catholic places of worship in England, the United States, Canada and Australia, and soon, the Philippines. We prayed this office at the University of the Philippines. What was considered quite Protestant is now wedded with a traditional Roman Catholic devotion, the Benediction. Evensong is now the Ordinariate's evening office . Dr Oddie sums up what I have consistently reminded my Anglican/Episcopal friends. Anglicans will restore to the Roman Catholic Church what has been lost or forgotten.
Reformation historian Diarmid MacCulloch was more blunt. He was quoted saying that "The Anglican Communion preserved much of what the post Vatican II Catholic Church threw out"
And here writes Dr Oddie "these Anglican converts are bringing with them derives from Catholic sources that we have lost or at least temporarily mislaid"
Well that is what it really is. The BCP is as everyone knows was influenced by older Catholic liturgies such as the Sarum Use and the reforms of the Roman Breviary by Cardinal Quiñones of Spain. While Archbishop Thomas Cranmer made sure that the denial of Catholic belief in the Mass was explicit, this was placed in a liturgical setting that resembled the Mass, but really wasn't. And only the theologically astute among the churchgoers could detect the difference. Thus the Anglican Eucharist could be celebrated with Tridentine panoply, or even in the most Protestant way of celebrating the valid Catholic mass called the Novus Ordo, which the present Pope calls the "Ordinary Form". While the former may impress 21st century Tridentine traddies, the latter does give them apoplexy!
Thus this are Anglican treasures being shared to the Catholics. I wonder if the Catholics will appreciate these?
This we will have to see. In the meantime I was shocked to hear from a Filipino cradle Catholic that he thought the Evening Prayer we were saying was a Protestant invention!
Episcopal Parish swims the Tiber
St Luke's Episcopal Parish near Washington DC in Blandensburg, Maryland has decided to join the Catholic Church. The parish becomes the second Episcopal parish after Mt Calvary Parish in Baltimore to join the Catholic Church after Anglicanorum coetibus was published. St Luke's is now under the pastoral care of the Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Wuerl. The parish was under the Episcopal Bishop of Washington John Chane who graciously supported (with the Catholic Archbishop of Washington), the parish discernment process. The parish will continue to worship in their church building, which will be leased to them by the Episcopal diocese with an option to purchase.
Both St Luke's and Mt Calvary will be Ordinariate bound and they will undergo a formation program before formally being received in the Church.
Why women cannot be priests: An image processing analogy!
Both the Catholic and Evangelical wings of the Anglican Communion are against the ordination of women as priests since it has no Scriptural basis and is not in accordance with the ancient tradition of the undivided Church.
Women's ordination is a very divisive issue in the Anglican Communion. However a majority of provinces allow it, with some provinces providing "alternative episcopal oversight" to parishes who don't agree with it.
The consecration of women bishops (which naturally follows if women become priests) has ignited more discord in the Church of England and threatens an irreparable Anglican split if no arrangements are made to protect the conscience of people who can't accept this.
Catholics and the Orthodox hold on to the "alter Christus" argument why women can't be priests. They believe that the Christ who sacrificed himself for us was a man, therefore the priest who offers the same sacrifice on the altar should be a man. The Evangelicals hold on to the "headship of the family" argument which says that the head of a natural order such as the family is a man and by extension, the church should be headed by a man.
Nonetheless I received an email from an Anglican who tends to accept the Catholic argument. He says that since the priest images Christ at the altar, a woman simply can't do. Then he gives the Photoshop argument. If we image process a man, and we expect him to look or do things like a man, then we don't do much to the image. But if we image process a woman and we expect him to look or do things like a man, then we have to tweak the image!
And no wonder why some people are never comfortable with the sight of a woman priest or bishop. She in those vestments made for men, will look male!