Friday, February 1, 2013

I Can't Seem To Drop

this truth-in-labeling question about TAC "clergy", whether "bishops" or "priests", representing themselves as other than what they are -- and the fact that some Anglo-Catholic bloggers aren't calling them on it. Nobody seems to be questioning why they feel entitled to call themselves "priests" if they don't have an MDiv or equivalent from an accredited seminary. I once tried to call "Father" Stephen Smuts on this, since it appears that his "priestly" formation consisted of a certain amount of mentoring over a fairly short period of time by some dude with some title in a tiny, corrupt, breakaway denomination. I believe "Father" Smuts's answer was that I somehow didn't understand, but he never answered my implicit challenge to elaborate what specifically made him feel entitled to call himself "Father", with presumably the same prestige as a real Catholic or Anglican Communion priest.

I repeat my challenge: Stephen Smuts, what makes you feel entitled to call yourself "Father"? How, and for how long, did you go through discernment? How did you become a postulant for holy orders -- when and under what circumstances? What accredited seminary did you attend, for what years? How many units of which courses did you study? When did you receive your degree? Where and when did you do your field work? What other qualifications did you present for evaluation that would allow you finally to be ordained as a transitional deacon? Which bishop ordained you, in which denomination? Who consecrated that bishop?

I question that bloggers like Ms Gyapong, as well as the various commenters on "Father" Smuts's blog and elsewhere -- especially those who represent themselves as Catholic -- haven't done much to call this guy on it, because frankly, I think Smuts is a fraud, along with his whole denomination. Last night in Catholic confirmation class, I once again heard the point, no sacrifice, no priest. Smuts is not a priest, and Catholics are complicit in allowing him to call himself one.