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November 09, 2005


Susan F. Peterson

I do hope something comes of this.

Meanwhile, I am going to the first Anglican Use mass in Scranton, this coming Sunday evening. Something that I have been wishing for for over 30 years.

Susan Peterson

Maclin Horton

Me too, Susan. Lucky you. I don't expect ever to have it available, althouh I must say the stuff at the links above tempts me to hope.

Ryan C

This would be wonderful. *prays* -_-


Oh frabjous day!
When my husband's old enough to retire, besides family, the proximity of either an Anglican Use, an FSSP or a St John Cantius parish is a main determinant in where we move the way I'm feeling now. (Can't stand too much more lousy Mary Haugen masses with stand-ups instead of celebrants.

Woody Jones

I have had a few conversations with TAC clergy, and the ones I have met have been charitable and quite learned. They are quite serious about reunion with Rome but also know that they have to get the best juridical solution in place, such as, ideally, a "uniate" church arrangement or maybe an apostolic administration, before they can swim the Tiber--otherwise a group like this would be absorbed into the great mass of Novus Ordo mediocrity in the dioceses. It has been a real struggle for us in the Anglican Usage to avoid that. I could tell tales but will refrain.

I have to confess to being somewhat conflicted about this, because ordinarily I'm inclined to endorse the "surrender and come on in" version of ecumenism (what I did), but recognizing the realities, and knowing these folks, I think the uniate church/apostolic administration approach really will be the best.

If my sentimental favorities the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church can't be the model, then maybe Campos will be.

I wish they would hurry up and get this done so all of us in the Anglican Usage can rejoin our brethren in a better juridical framework, united with Peter.

Fr. Totton

Actually, L it is MarTy Haugen. Whatever one may think of his "music" - and I think it is insipid - we should at least avoid gender benders (however unintentional)

Wouldn't it be nice if any Catholic could walk into any Catholic parish anywhere in the world, light a candle - and here I am not speaking about an electronic, LED powered candle facsimile - pray, and remain for Mass and not be so jarred by the craziness or exuberant irreverance of the priest, that we would not have to dream about moving to such a location? I know that little unofficial Catholic colonies have sprung up in places like Hanceville, AL, Clear Creek, OK, Scranton, PA, now Naples, FL, etc. O for the day when such migration is no longer necessary!

Patrick Rothwell

I hope this works out, but I really wonder whether the laity of the "Traditional Anglican Communion" are on board with this. Especially those older parishioners who simply want their old Prayer Book and Things Done The Way They Used To Be in - say - 1965. They are not very likely to be enthusiastic about coming under the jursidiction of the Pope.

When it comes to stories like this, it's good to keep in mind what the Post Office used to say: if it's too good to be true, it probably is.


Correct me if I'm wrong but do they not use the Old Catholic Missal (.ie a word for word trans of the MR 1570)?

The Waffling Anglican

It would be _soooo_ good if this actually happened. Given the rate at which things happen in the Church, however, 200 years may be "quickly." The wheels grind slowly in matters relating to the eernal.

A lot of tradAnglican groups in the US use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. I do not know how closely it is related to the old Catholic Missal; anyone wanting to compare them can find the 1928 communion service at http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1928/HC.htm.


Here is what they use at Our Lady of Walsingham, an Anglican Use parish in Houston.
Don't know exactly how it compares to the Book of Common Prayer. I do know that the canon given is a 19c translation of the Roman Canon.


Susan Peterson

I think the link Amy supplied has a further link to the history both of the Anglican Use and of the TAC. It explains that the TAC is the result of the split of an Anglican traditionalist group. Those who wanted to look Romeward went with the TAC. Those who didn't, went with the other group. I can't say there are no lay members of the TAC who wouldn't be happy with this (what with differences between spouses and all that) but in general, if they only wanted things the old Anglican way, there are splinter Anglican groups a pleanty for that. There is an Evangelical,very Protestant type Episcopalian group. There is an Anglo Catholic but non Romeward looking group. There is a group who wants AngloCatholic ceremonial but goes along with all the liberal theology. So if someone has chosen to be in the TAC, it usually means he or she does desire union with Rome...under certain circumstances.

They want a married priesthood, but not only that, they want married bishops. They might get the first, but it is very doubtful if they will get the second. I am told that at least one reason why not, is that the Orthodox wouldn't like it. But this would make it difficult for them to maintain independence as a rite, as their bishops would have to come from outside. They really don't seem to be large enough to develop a monastic tradition all on their own, which is where Orthodox bishops usually come from.

The Anglican Use has married priests only in that married Episcopal priests were ordained under the pastoral provision. However any future priests would have to be celebate. If one of these pastoral provision priests dies, the community is sort of lost, unless a Roman Rite priest wants to say mass according to the Anglican Use. I read that one Anglican Use parish has already had to be absorbed into a Novus Ordo parish. (Anyone who knows more about this, please feel free to correct me if anything I say is in error.) So it is a very temporary solution, and something more enduring is definitely needed.

Susan Peterson


As a former Anglican, I too would love to see this happen. As others have noted, I'd particularly like to see some good liturgy in the RCC.

However, a few questions spring to mind (sorry if this sounds somewhat flip -- I'm in a bit of a rush)...

1) Is it really possible that those in the TAC (particularly those in Holy Orders) suddenly have no doctrinal differences w/Rome or are they just looking for safe haven? I mean, the infallibility of the Pope -- to mention just one but for many outside of Rome this is almost a defining reason why --would presumably be a major stumbling block and I somehow am suspicious that this is now seen by those in TAC as truth.

2) From Rome's POV, how binding is Apostolicae Cure -- or any papal bull -- to be regarded? It is certainly not infallible but is it irreformable? What 'legal avenues' (according to linked article) could be utilized to all of a sudden recognize the validity of Anglican orders? I mean, they are either valid or not, correct?


In San Antonio we’re fortunate to have both the first ever Anglican use parish and a TAC parish. I don’t know about the TAC parish, but the Anglican use parish – Our Lady of Atonement – is higher than a cat’s back. I went there once and all that incense like to me faint. No kidding. I’m a converting cradle “low and broad” Anglican who discovered the perils of the broad path before it was too late. I dearly love the 1928 BCP but always found high church ceremony too fussy for me, so I’m disappointed but comfortable with the humdrum liturgy in my RC parish. When I first got news of the possible TAC reunion, I had high hopes that opportunities for meat and potatoes, low church Anglican converts like me would increase. I’d love a mass – sans smells if not bells – based on the 1928 BCP. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


From Rome's POV, how binding is Apostolicae Cure -- or any papal bull -- to be regarded? It is certainly not infallible but is it irreformable? What 'legal avenues' (according to linked article) could be utilized to all of a sudden recognize the validity of Anglican orders? I mean, they are either valid or not, correct?

I've read a couple of thoughts on this. Obviously, Anglican's ordained without Apostolic Succession do not have valid orders. I believe that after Apostolicae Curae the Certain Anglicans were ordained by Orthodox, Old Catholic, and/or Polish National Catholic bishops. If these clergy were ordained with the rites of these bishop's respected churches, then they would be validly ordained.

The question (as far as I know, maybe it's been answered definitively somewhere) is whether or not Anglicans ordained by validly ordained bishops using the Anglican ordinal have been validly ordained. The most compelling answer I've read argues "no." This is why: even though the Anglican ordinal says that the recipient is being ordained "a priest" or "a bishop," these words do not necessarily mean what Catholics mean when we use them. They do not have the necessary sacrificial connotation. This is because the Church of England does not require its members to believe in the sacrificial nature of the priesthood (there are extremely low church elements of the Anglican Communion, and they are still considered members in good standing).

Now, since the ordinal is the product of the Church of England, the words used in the rite are used in the same way they are normally used in the Church of England. But since the Church of England does not require the priesthood to be understood sacrificially, the word priest cannot mean what it must mean for a valid ordination to take place. A priest is one who offers sacrifice. If the understanding of sacrifice is not a necessary part of the Churches understanding of the priesthood, then those priests are not really priests.

That is, at least, my understanding. There are, I assume, other possibilities. For example, a group could sever itself from the Anglican Communion and define that it believes that the priesthood is sacrificial. If such an ecclesial community then had its ministers ordained by validly ordained bishops, then it would have validly ordained priests. I’m just not sure which Anglicans are in communion with which, or whether or not there have been any severing of ties and/or exact definitions.


If these clergy were ordained with the rites of these bishop's respected churches, then they would be validly ordained.

Gahh! That should be bishops'. Plural possessive. I can't believe I missed that.

Susan Peterson

Anglican Use priests are all reordained. Maybe conditionally?
Are the TAC going to accept even conditional reordination?
Good question.
Susan Peterson

Woody Jones

Susan Peterson wrote:

"If one of these pastoral provision priests dies, the community is sort of lost, unless a Roman Rite priest wants to say mass according to the Anglican Use. I read that one Anglican Use parish has already had to be absorbed into a Novus Ordo parish."

From what I have heard this is basically correct. Actually, the Las Vegas AU parish was closed after its pastor had to leave. I hear that the Corpus Christi and Austin parishes are hanging on by their fingertips, in both cases with non-AU priests celebrating, with all the best intentions, I'm sure. But it seems that unless the priest has grown up in his priesthood with Anglican forms, he just won't really appreciate them. This isn't at all surprising, and certainly it isn't my intention to impugn anyone's bona fides, but just to note that if a man is formed for and by the Novus Ordo, that is what he will feel most comfortable celebrating.

This is one more reason why the TAC adherence to Rome would be so helpful, as they have their own seminaries which could form priests in and for this usage.

John Bianco

My impression is Our Lady of Atonement is so successful is that it serves as the "liturgical" parish of the San Antonio archdiocese(think St. Agnes, Assumption Grotto, St. John Cantius for example). I would not be surprised if over 80% of its conregation are cradle Catholics.


John Bianco,

Yes, I imagine you're right. I think Our Lady of Atonement is a wonderful resource for the San Antonio diocese, but as a former Anglican who expected to fit right in right in, I have to say it wasn't what I thought it would be. I was brought up in a very low church Texas parish. I never even saw anyone make the sign of the cross till I moved out state and even then it took me a while to figure out that no, those people weren't Catholic converts, some cradle Episcopalians actually make the sign of the cross too!

Our Lady of Atonement has a "low mass" as well as the high mass with all the bells and smells. I hope to go someday. Maybe that's where the coffee and doughnuts, now show me again how you make that sign of the cross thingy, crowd go. However, at the moment it's not really an option. It's miles away, we have two small children and are in the middle of RCIA.

Susan F. Peterson

Gee, all the Episcopalians I know, even the ones who call themselves low church, make the sign of the cross sometimes. Or, at least, most people in both Episcopal churches I sometimes attend, do.

The first Anglican Use mass in Scranton will be said by a Roman Rite priest (I don't know if this will be one trained for the Novus Ordo, or an older one trained for the Tridentine Rite.) I wonder if he will celebrate facing the altar? This was the way it was done when I first became an Episcopalian. But I imagine if the priest isn't used to turning around to the people at certain times and to the altar at others, it would be hard to get used to.

I read the Anglican Use rite through. I had read it earlier, online, when it was all Cranmerian English and then suddenly had the current modern English translation of the Roman canon. This seemed strange. The one I just read had a translation of the Roman canon into English which is supposed to be like that of Cranmer's time. I don't know if it is one that was done back then, or whether it is a modern attempt to approximate that.

But it still doesn't really work. It is clearly a translation out of the Latin, as close to word for word as possible, which means it has rhythms and syntax which clearly aren't English, Elizabethan or otherwise.

What a challenge; to make a translation which satisfies purists as being a translation and not a new invention, but which has the sound and rhythms of Cranmerian English!

I am still looking forward to it. Won't be able to go often as it is an hour and a half away, but it is near my oldest daughter's home (and across the street from her Alma Mater, Marywood,) so I will be able to combine it with visits to her and grandchildren.

Last week, the dismissal song at my parish here in Owego was "This little light of mine."
It won't take much to be an improvement on that!

Susan Peterson


There may have been people who made the sign of the cross in the parish I grew up in, but no one in my family did. Apparently they do things differently in different parts of the country.

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