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Anglo-Catholic Rectors’ Conference

February 14, 2010

This week I have been in Charleston, South Carolina, at the annual Anglo-Catholic Rectors’ Conference. I was meant to be there from Monday to Wednesday only, but the snowstorm closed Philadelphia airport on Wednesday and Thursday; so I had to stay on in Charleston for an extra two days. Those of you who know Charleston will understand when I say, there are many worse places to be stranded.

I spent my extra time fighting a severe case of house envy. Usually this malady hits me only when I read the English magazine “Country Life” and see the fabulous houses for sale all over the country. This is especially true when I contemplate the many gracious and beautiful “Old Rectories” or “Old Vicarages” on sale for a million or two. It used to be the case that almost every village in England had a spacious Rectory for the parish priest; it could be Victorian or Georgian or Queen Anne or even Elizabethan.

Sadly, about three-quarters of these wonderful houses have been sold, and in most cases replaced by a modern brick-built Vicarage of no architectural merit, the kind of place John Betjeman would have deemed suitable for his “Metroland”.

Of course, the old Rectories were too big for modern clerical families, and indeed their sale represents a triumph of the Roundheads over the Cavaliers. Modern clergy wives were not happy with Aga Cookers in large stone-flagged kitchens, and it is true that it could be a struggle to make ends meet on the clergy stipend. But these houses were valuable assets for each parish, and with a little imagination could have been adapted to modern parish needs instead of being sold for a pittance, a pittance that was then taken into the central funds of the Church, which have had some spectacular multi-billion pound losses over the years.

Be that as it may, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, the historic houses of Charleston – hundreds of them – are simply stunning. It could snow as much as it liked in Philly; Charleston was sunny and gorgeous, and also full of good restaurants.

And all this because of a Conference of Anglo-Catholic Rectors! Which was itself a good thing, though our stated aim of discovering what is an Anglo-Catholic was never achieved. There was a call for a new Oxford Movement in the Episcopal Church; there was talk about Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury; there was much discussion of various liturgies; Bishop Ackerman did his best to get us back to basics, but these basics (to his credit) sounded just like the Christian Faith!

The big elephants in the room which were carefully skirted round, were the Papal claims, women priests and bishops, and non-celibate gay clergy. The trouble is that there are Anglo-Catholics who are papalists and can see no future for the Anglican Church without reunion with Rome. There are Anglo-Catholics who are in favour of women clergy and are themselves women clergy. And there are Anglo-Catholics who are in favour of non-celibate gay clergy, and are themselves non-celibate gay clergy.

All these groups call themselves Anglo-Catholic, and who is to deny them the title? Some would say that the genius of the Anglican Church is to hold them all in the one body – but only if they are willing to live with these (and many, many other) anomalies.

Charleston, with its history of being at the front of the States who wanted to secede from the Union, was probably one of the best places for us to have such a conference – or not, as Eleanor Roosevelt might well have added.

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. Fr. David Harrison permalink
    February 14, 2010 10:58 pm

    Fr. Reid:

    I’d be grateful if you could point me in the direction of any information available on the internet concerning the Anglo-Catholic Rectors’ Conference.

    With thanks.

    • February 14, 2010 11:40 pm

      I don’t think there is anything on the net. It is convened by Fr Richard Cornish Martin, and meets annually.

  2. February 15, 2010 4:35 am

    “[O]ur stated aim of discovering what is an Anglo-Catholic was never achieved…”

    I was trying to define this for someone the other day, and failed dismally; nice to know I’m in good company.

  3. February 15, 2010 4:31 pm

    Good commentary on the fate of rectories, like that of now-redundant churches a sad sign of decline.

    What is an Anglo-Catholic?

    Sounds like it’s from a catechism!

    My go at an answer: first, mostly from the 1960s dictionary my parents had: an Anglo-Catholic is an Anglican who believes the ‘Reformation’ neither cut off nor altered Anglicanism’s Catholicism and insists on its Catholic character.

    That means you have to define the C word and here things get heated! High view of the sacraments: Mass, complete Real Presence and the episcopate? Yes but that’s not enough. The part about the episcopate – authority – is the big hint: a Catholic believes he is in the only true church, which has the charism of infallibility; its defined doctrines are irrevocable and unrevisable (if there’s such a word). For Anglo-Catholics except Anglo-Papalists (who really are the would-be RCs that many think all ACs are) that means the branch theory: ‘we along with Rome and the Orthodox are THE CHURCH’. It’s not a denomination but an institution, a community, a living body, of divine origin with divine teaching authority. (Which as you know is what the Tractarians were going on about [Keble in 1833: the state has no business suppressing dioceses], not about ceremonial; that came later.)

    And here’s where the modern controversial issues come in. Is the ordination of women just a matter of discipline not doctrine, something to change in the light of justice and esteeming women? Arguably… but the Catholic Church has never believed it is capable of this change nor have most Catholics (many of whom happen to be women) particularly wanted it! (All the pressure to do this comes from minorities living in Protestant countries.) Same with changing teaching on homosexuality including the sacrament of matrimony. As Blessed Pius IX said on a liturgical matter, ‘I can’t change it; I’m only the Pope!’

    So Anglicans who agree with us in the Catholic churches on the creeds, the Mass, the other sacraments and even the necessity of the episcopate, and even share our liturgical style, but don’t agree on the other matters show by believing such change possible, that the church can do that, that they believe in a fallible church and thus are not (Anglo-) Catholics but high-church Protestants.

    Pedantry (after all I am a copy editor): ‘celibate’ means ‘not married’. The right word is ‘chaste’ (in one’s state of life), which Catholics say for gays means ‘abstinent’ (‘abstemious’?), or to be very precise ‘continent’ although the last word now only makes people think of pee.

    • February 15, 2010 6:22 pm

      I like most of your attempt at definition, but have to disagree about support for women’s ordination coming mostly from Protestant countries. From my own experience in many CAtholic countries in Europe, I have found a great number of priests and a huge number of laity who are pro-women priests. A few bishops have spoken publicly in favor of this too.
      Also, I’m not sure what liturgical change Pio Nono thought he could not make, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Vatican II was not so modest. and Paul VI brought in the new Mass even though the old one was established with excommunication threatened to anyone who changed it.

      • February 15, 2010 6:51 pm

        I think in Catholic countries and cultures you find many people who go along with mainstream Western opinion on this so they say they’d be fine with women priests. The difference between them and the militant old liberals living in Protestant countries is they know the church is unchangeable on this and don’t waste their time trying to change it.

        Pio Nono was referring to some people asking him to do what John XXIII did about 85 years later: add St Joseph to the Roman Canon.

        Yes, V2’s approach to custom, so different from Pio Nono’s, is most of what’s wrong with V2.

  4. V. Rev. John G. Winfrey permalink
    February 15, 2010 5:22 pm

    Absolutely correct. Before becoming an Orthodox priest I was an anglo-catholic in Fort Worth (a layman headed to seminary). I couldn’t embrace such an inclusive view of catholicity and had to leave. And liturgy is not something that is merely done like a performance, but it should manifest the entire ethos and spirituality of the Faith. I wouldn’t care to go to a fancy-dress ball, but love solemn high mass–when the theology, morality, in short the entire Church’s life is also attached to it. Pedestrian and purely pragmatic liturgy is a bane to me because it does in fact truly manifest it’s spirituality, and that is not the historical faith which must include the mystical and the strongly dogmatic.

    Anglo-catholicism in search of a definition is a tragedy and a heart break. But perhaps it ought not to have been unexpected in the long run.

  5. February 15, 2010 5:35 pm

    Anglo Catholics should read the following books by Patrick Madrid:
    (1) Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic (Paperback)
    (2) Surprised By Truth 2: 15 Men and Women Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons For Becoming Catholic. (v. 2) (Paperback)
    Another excellent book is :Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism (Paperback)
    by Scott Hahn

  6. Paul Goings permalink
    February 15, 2010 6:32 pm

    Madrid? Hahn? Seriously?

  7. February 15, 2010 7:09 pm

    The three books are excellent. They clarify many points at issue. I would suggest Paul that you read the books before casting doubt. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  8. February 15, 2010 7:27 pm

    I would like to simply say that “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” I find it particularly interesting that many of those who espouse beliefs which are rather reactionary with regard to the RCC are on the outside looking in. While the supposed uniformity of doctrine and practice looks rather appealing, I can assure you that behind this facade lies much duplicity and hypocrisy. The RCC does appear to be moving in a wholly conservative direction. This saddens me, as it indicates a fear on the part of those in positions of authority to look inward and purify institutions and practices which are no longer credible to a vast amount of Catholics. Two issues which come to mind immediately are contraception and the morality of homosexual acts within a committed relationship. The RCC needs to be true to John XXIII’s call for a “New Pentecost” and truly get back to the task of renewing the Church so that it may be a credible leaven to society, free of all shades of hypocrisy.
    The Anglo-Catholics have (I believe) a very particular mission in this context, namely to model what an inclusive and truly Catholic understanding of the Church is to be. On a practical level, it can (and has) become a refuge for many people whom the established RCC has turned its back upon.
    As a final note (I speak now as one who works in Catholic higher education) I whole-heartedly disagree with holding the work of Madrid and Hahn up as a paradigm of good Catholic apologetics or scholarship. I will admit my exposure to Madrid has been limited, but as someone who has read quite a few “works” by Hahn, I believe he bases all of his work on a near-fundamentalist reading of the scriptures. While he writes in a very convincing way, when one looks beyond the smoke and mirrors one finds an author who, while within the RCC has not left his fundamentalist Protestant interpretation of the Scriptures behind.

    • Disgusted in DC permalink
      February 19, 2010 1:46 am

      “While he writes in a very convincing way, when one looks beyond the smoke and mirrors one finds an author who, while within the RCC has not left his fundamentalist Protestant interpretation of the Scriptures behind.”

      Perhaps that is true, and Hahn is more than a tad on the corny side (a capital offense with Anglo-Catholic types, including ex-ACs like myself), but his interest in biblical typology is less far less sterile and far more fruitful than all the obsessions over “James Bond” biblical scholars: you know… “Q” and the rest of the cloak and dagger “redactors.” That includes the Lux Mundis and the AffCaths who are supposedly much more erudite than he is.

      I used to sneer at Hahn, and he is still NOCD, but I’ve come to a more balanced view.

  9. Paul Goings permalink
    February 15, 2010 7:54 pm

    John,

    I have read both authors, which is why I asked if you were serious. Both represent the height of neo-conservative Catholic thought, which is seemingly intent on replacing the practice of the Catholic religion with a system of philosophical and ethical axioms, much like a less colorful version of Scientology. The end result is not a living and vibrant cult of worship that can transform peoples’ lives, but a drab pastiche of dreary moralizing, with a thin veneer of watered-down Catholic practice.

    • February 16, 2010 2:17 pm

      I second my friend Paul’s pithy, funny and true description of neocon RC life.

    • Disgusted in DC permalink
      February 19, 2010 2:03 am

      “with a thin veneer of watered-down Catholic practice.”

      If Hahn is still a supernumerary of the Work and “follows the norms,” he is putting the Anglo-Catholic emphasis on “Catholic practice” at a place like St. Clement’s to shame.

  10. February 15, 2010 8:54 pm

    I do not accept your analysis of Patrick Madrid and Scott Hahn. I suggest that all Anglo Catholic should read them. They can then make up their own minds. To mention Scientology in this context is outrageous.
    There is a consistency in Roman Catholic teaching which dates back to St. Peter.” That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. The Roman Catholic Church cannot alter its teaching -which comes from God – to fit in with the changing norms of society. It must preach the word of God. Consistent efforts by other Christian Churches- to accommodate changing fashions- leads to a gradual watering down of true Christian principles. There is right and wrong. The fact that a wrong may be legalised by the state does not alter the fact that it is at variance with the Law of God. The fact that a wrong becomes acceptable to a majority does not make it right in the eyes of God.
    Much is made of the Catholic position on contraception. Pope Paul V1 has been proven correct in his analysis. The introduction of contraception has led to a rocketing in the rate of teenage pregnancies, which then feeds the abortion mills. Contraception has contributed in no small measure to unfaithfulness in marriage, which has led to the shocking divorce rates crippling society.
    Society would have fewer problems if Christian Churches-without fear- spelled out the hard truths.
    The Law of God cannot be altered to suit man. Man must accommodate himself to the Law of God or face disaster. There are Ten Commandments to be obeyed.

  11. February 15, 2010 9:48 pm

    @ Paul – “The end result is not a living and vibrant cult of worship that can transform peoples’ lives, but a drab pastiche of dreary moralizing, with a thin veneer of watered-down Catholic practice.” – So true! I really like this description!

    @ John –
    I do not deny that there is a consistency in Catholic teaching. The question I pose to you is what is the content of this consistency? Is it every papal utterance going back to Peter himself, or is it rather a consistency in trying to live the Beatitudes by being humble enough to reach out and listen to those who are rejected by society?

    “The Roman Catholic Church cannot alter its teaching -which comes from God – to fit in with the changing norms of society. It must preach the word of God. Consistent efforts by other Christian Churches- to accommodate changing fashions- leads to a gradual watering down of true Christian principles. There is right and wrong.” – In what way does the teaching “come from God” as you say? Isn’t this a bit much? Teachings and regulations are formulated by human beings who believe themselves to be passing on the teachings of Christ. Teachings are not “end alls and be alls” in themselves. They must constantly be re-evaluated in the face of new insights into the human person and society as a whole. Don’t get me wrong – discernment is necessary. Not everything that society presents is a good thing. However to audaciously claim that the cultural conditioned (male-clerically conditioned)and at times inconsistent teachings of a group of mortals “comes from God” sounds like idolotry to me. Remember it was Augustine who said – “if you can understand it (fully) it is not God.”

    “The Law of God cannot be altered to suit man. Man must accommodate himself to the Law of God or face disaster. There are Ten Commandments to be obeyed.” – What do you consider to be the Law of God? Might I suggest a reading of the Beattitudes? Frankly the God you present here sounds more like a cruel task-master than the Incarnate God revealed in Christ.

    I stand by my opinion of Madrid and Hahn. Outside of the subcultures of Steubenville and the Neoconservatives they are not treated as having any credibility.

  12. David O'Rourke permalink
    February 16, 2010 12:37 am

    In the Athanasian Creed we are told that the Catholic Faith (which all must hold in order to be saved)consists of the right belief concerning the Blessed Trinity in contra-distinction to any other views then in circulation. Today we would think this is pretty thin gruel (Where are the votive lights? the incense?). But there is a clear principle here which is that the Catholic Faith is a body of truths of which one or more stands out in contra-distinction to a particular belief or set of beliefs which arise and which are considred to be false.

    Thus, as a result of the 16th century Reformation, certain doctrines e.g. the Mass as a sacrifice or prayers to Our Lady and the saints came to be seen as characterizing the Catholic faith. This did not mean that the correct doctrine of the Trinity was no longer essential to a definition of the Catholic Faith but only that the Trinity was not, at that time, the issue.

    Following from this it is apparent that trying to define what is Anglo-Catholic in terms of what defined Catholicism at the beginning of the 20th centurey would be arbitrary at best if not foolish. Why pick the 20th century? Why not go back to St. Athanasius? The controversis that confront us as Catholics today prominently include the ordination of women and homosexual acts and any definition of what is Anglo-Catholic must deal with what is the Catholic position on these issues.

    Inclusiveness has never been a consideration in defining what is Catholic. To define anything involves excluding that which it is not.

  13. February 16, 2010 6:17 am

    Neo-Con Catholicism was one reason I decided to stayed Anglican back in 1992/3, plus I am not convinced enough on some of the Marian/Papal dogmas to convert. I really did not want to move out of the Anglo-Catholic ghetto in Anglicanism into the traditionalist ghetto within Roman Catholicism. Neo-Cons can be almost as snarky about traditionalists as the “sandalistas.”

  14. Paul Goings permalink
    February 16, 2010 1:29 pm

    John,

    Frankly, most of your last comment simply confirms what I already thought true of Madrid, Hahn, and the Neo-Conservative movement in general: Believe A, B, C, etc., and it matters little as to the niceties of religious practice. This is not Catholicism as it would have been understood by, say, S. Clement Mary, who knew that the only faithful response to Josephism (the neo-conservatism of the 18th century) was the fulness of the Catholic liturgical and devotional life, which, as they were in the Warsaw of S. Clement’s day, are sorely lacking in all of the West today.

    Unlike Dr Robinson, I can affirm the various Marian and Papal dogmas. I wish only to practice the traditional Roman Catholic religion, which, in the final analysis, is why I’m at S. Clement’s.

  15. David O'Rourke permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:09 pm

    I wonder if someone could define what constitutes Neo-conservatism in the context of which we afre speaking. I wouild consider myself a conservative (Anglo)Catholic in that I adhere to the teachings of the Church and that includes in those questions which confront the modern Church where a Catholic position is pretty apparent.

    And, I am certainly a liturgical tradionalist and highly recommend the liturgy at St. Clements.

    But a Neo-conservative? I certainly am not that poitically etc. in fact, many would call me a liberal socialist but heck no, I’m just a Canadian and we Canucks are somewhat to the left of the Yanks (e.g. we love our state run medicare).

    So what constitutes this neo-con Catholicism?

  16. February 16, 2010 9:40 pm

    I would define neo-con Catholicism as being tied up in the social realities of the past and refusing to look toward the modern world with a realistic vision. To be more specific, I would say it is a refusal to espouse the position of the Church viz a viz the world as teaches the Second Vatican Council (namely one of humble dialogue rather than dogmatic triumphalism).

    Now granted, many readers of this blog probably have various degrees of agreement with this Council, but if Anglo Catholic are keen to speak of such late pronouncements as the Assumption and Immaculate Conception, I think it is rather hypocritical to not take seriously the canons of V2.

    Holding onto the fullness of the Catholic Faith is of utmost importance – the Athanasian creed reminds us that we must do this for our salvation’s sake. I ask: Is Catholicity mereley a cold moralising dogmatism, or is it more? Is it rather a way of looking at the world as being imbued with the mystery of God, a means of seeing the face of God in all of our brothers and sisters? Again, discernment is necessary, but whenever we build walls around who is “in” and who is “out” we are of no service to authentic Catholicity and thus of no service to the purposes of the Lord.

  17. David O'Rourke permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:26 am

    Edward said: “whenever we build walls around who is “in” and who is “out” we are of no service to authentic Catholicity and thus of no service to the purposes of the Lord.”

    Do you mean to say that we must consider Unitarianism to be Catholic?

    BTW are yoju suggesting that John XXIII favoured contraception and homosexual acts? I don’t think so! What did he say to that effect?

    Contraception and homosexual acts? Ever noticed that when our sex obsessed society calls for a more open Church they are almost always talking about freer sex?

  18. February 18, 2010 3:03 am

    As an Anglo-Catholic I can see that Catholicism means the Nicene creed, the doctrines propounded by the first four General Councils (even up to seven at a pinch!) and the Lambeth Quadilateral as well; but after that it all gets a bit fuzzy.

    Should I believe in the papal deposing power? Will I have to pass through Seraphim Rose’s toll houses when I die, or will Our Lady of Mt Carmel let me out of purgatory on the Saturday following my demise, so long as I am wearing her scapular?

    Is it OK to burn heretics at the stake? Presumably it was good Christian behaviour in the sixteenth century, otherwise Pope St Pius the Fifth (among others) wouldn’t have been such an enthusiast for the practice. But then, perhaps it really was the will of God four centuries ago.

    In which case, has He changed His mind more recently – or should we keep the home fires burning? And if He can change His mind (after a suitable delay) on a matter of life and death such as heresy, will He also come round (in another four hundred years or so) to endorsing same-sex marriages?

    I rather fear that a cerain degree of doubt is an essential part of the Catholic Faith. Only heretics, as someone once said, have all the answers.

    • February 18, 2010 4:28 pm

      Very Anglican, Father. Of course if you didn’t believe Anglicanism was the best of the branches in the branch theory you wouldn’t be an Anglican priest! That said, this comment needs some unpacking.

      Like Orthodoxy, your theology has very little defined doctrine. Orthodoxy is an entire Catholic church run mostly on… custom. For example there’s no defined doctrine on the Eucharist yet everybody knows what Orthodoxy believes about it.

      I never understood why the cutoff for Anglican doctrine is four ecumenical councils. Why would God’s voice through his infallible church suddenly go mute?

      The Quadrilateral is a Protestant bare minimum for church union (only two sacraments?) except the part about the episcopate, which for example the Episcopalians have dropped by having interim intercommunion with the American Methodists.

      Should I believe in the papal deposing power? Will I have to pass through Seraphim Rose’s toll houses when I die, or will Our Lady of Mt Carmel let me out of purgatory on the Saturday following my demise, so long as I am wearing her scapular? Is it OK to burn heretics at the stake?

      Again I appreciate your estimation of Anglicanism as the best church but this seems to be making fun of RCs and Orthodox. Doctrine is not discipline or pious opinion. The toll houses and the sabbatine privilege are not doctrine in Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism.

      Burning somebody at the stake and indeed all capital punishment is of course the taking of a life but not necessarily murder (when done for the right reason it’s not murder); there is no such provision in Catholic theology for same-sex marriage, which is against nature no matter the circumstances.

      I rather fear that a certain degree of doubt is an essential part of the Catholic Faith. Only heretics, as someone once said, have all the answers.

      At face value that’s true, Father (see above on opinion vs doctrine), and I shall have to remember that last sentence. But often when Anglicans say that they mean they believe in a fallible church that can change its spots to suit them, be it personal unbelief about the creeds (common among Anglicans since the ‘Enlightenment’ but the creeds are still your doctrine so you’re still a Christian church), WO or same-sex sex. (Long story short, they’re Protestants.)

  19. February 19, 2010 7:38 am

    My goodness, Young Fogey, you are quick off the mark! I will try to answer the points you raise.

    I don’t actually believe Anglicanism to be ‘the best’ form of Catholicism. If I were pushed, I would have to award that particular palm to Eastern Orthodoxy, and not because I believe it to be The One True Church (there isn’t one) but because I believe it to hold the fundamentals of the faith with a greater depth of understanding than any other. And, like the Orthodox themselves, I would be happier talking about Holy Tradition rather than ‘custom.’

    Where the general councils are concerned, I have always assumed that the reason for emphasising the first four is not so much to provide a ‘cutoff,’ as you put it, but to insist on a bare minimum, and I’m not surprised that the minimum should include the Chalcedonian Definition – although the Copts, Armenians and others seem to have managed fairly well without it – as no less an authority than Pope John Paul II acknowledged when he signed an agreement with the patriarch of the non-Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox Church.

    The Lambeth Quadrilateral quite clearly describes Baptism and the Eucharist as ‘the two sacraments ordained by Christ himself.’ It does not say that there are no others, nor does it attempt to say what they might be if there are – something which the Eastern Orthodox can also be a little hesitant about.

    I take your point about intercommunion with the American Methodists, but at the same time I find it difficult to believe that it would be all that displeasing to God, however theologically untidy such a practice might be.

    I was not making fun of Seraphim Rose’s teaching on the toll houses, much though I dislike such unnecessary certainties, but I do confess to regarding the sabbatine privilege as something of a laughing matter. (Either that, I’m afraid, or you cry.)

    You write that burning somebody at the stake, when it’s done for the right reason (is there really such a thing?) is not murder. In the sixteenth century heresy was indeed the right reason – ask Pope St Pius V – and if it was right then, why is it not right now? Let’s remember that the Infallible Church is infallible in matters of morality as well doctrine, and that it does not change its teaching to suit the times. Surely, if it was morally right and necessary to burn heretics in the sixteenth century, it must still be morally right and necessary to burn heretics now.

    For centuries Rome taught that sexual intercourse was to be resorted to only for procreation – the rythmn method was completely forbidden as unnatural (please note!). Recently, however, the rythmn method has become acceptable, and John Paul II, no less, has written eloquently of sexual intercourse as an expression of the love between husband and wife – something which would probably have scandalized most of his predecessors.

    So perhaps there might be a similar change with regard to same-sex relationships. They have occurred naturally throughout nature (swans, rams, etc.) not to mention in all human societies, and they are natural to those whose brains are configured that way, however much people might wish it were otherwise.

    Although I gather that you are not a Roman Catholic, you appear to me to write as if you were, and (if such is the case) then that was surely a matter of personal choice. I am therefore not certain how you can write with such assurance about an Infallible Church if in fact you don’t belong to one. But if you do, my apologies in advance!

  20. Jim Littrell permalink
    March 9, 2010 9:26 pm

    Fr. Reid and others,

    I have recently joined a large-ish group of priests and religious in the formation in North America of the Society of Catholic Priests, composed of Canadian and US Anglican and Episcopal priests and religious. What interested me in joining and keeps me engaged is the vibrant discussion that goes on about just the sorts of fundamental issues in 21st century Catholicism that folks are getting at here. The inaugural meeting of the Society was held in New Haven in November, and the enterprise has developed enormous energy–mainly out of a commitment to mutual respect and commitment to the conversation. I’d be interested if you know the group, and I’d also welcome everyone to take a look at the SCP website, links, and to join the conversation in our Google group. The link to the SCP in North America is http://www.thescp.org/index.php

    Be well, all.

    Jim

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