Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Is This Just In Canada?

Regarding yesterday's post, my regular correspondent replied,
To be fair, Fr Hayman was not the rector of Annunciation, Ottawa when its members entered the Church. He led a very small congregation in Spencerville, ON which ceased to exist after he was received (some former members may have joined him). Fr Carl Reid, then a bishop of the ACCC and now Dean of the Canadian Deanery led the Ottawa group.
I pursued this, and my correspondent replied,
Fr Reid left in April 2014. So of course there has been plenty of time for Fr Hayman, and the Canadian Deanery generally, to get the message out. Fr Kenyon was not a "continuer" and probably had little insight into their ways, so perhaps this is why remediation was not as robust as it should have been.
At the ACCC synod which more or less unanimously approved accepting the invitation of AC to join the Catholic Church, people received a lot of misinformation. Many of the specific points were similar to those which appeared on an early Anglo-Catholic blogpost in the form of questions and answers from Louis Falk, and were supposed to be codified in supplementary norms for TAC which of course never appeared. In the course of preparation for reception into the Church people should have been disabused of any notion that this was an inter-communion arrangement, that they would still be Anglicans, that this was in any way a buffet rather than a prix-fixe. I am sure that was the message they received from their mentor priest, a religious of the Companions of the Cross, I believe. But these were people who had left mainstream Anglicanism because they felt they knew better than the leaders of the Anglican church what Anglicanism was. As the ACCC limped along with no sign that Anglicans in general were getting the message, AC came along as a lifeline. "Everything must change so that everything can stay the same." But the point was for everything to stay the same, and of course AC could not guarantee that. So, up stakes once again. It's easier the second time, I suppose.
It looks like neither vicar forane in Canada has been aware of, or cares much about, whether the couple hundred members there have been catechized at all. The best part of this is that it involves so few souls. I'm told by my correspondent as well that Fr Martens, recently ordained a priest in Calgary as Fr Kenyon's part-time replacement, is from a Mennonite background and may not have been Anglican at all prior to going into the OCSP.

This brings up another question, which I would one day like to pursue with Bp Lopes. Catholic formation for laity involves a full development within the faith. I'm listing features of it that come to mind, primarily from my experience, but I don't mean to be exhaustive:

  • The importance of developing habits of virtue
  • The need to develop informed examination of conscience and go to regular confession
  • The efficacy of prayer, including the rosary
  • The efficacy and availability of other activities like adoration
  • The importance of Catholic bible study
  • The importance of fellowship with more fully formed Catholics
  • The worth of various other Catholic activities like Steubenville.
I look at so many OCSP priests from "continuing" or other Protestant backgrounds -- so many of which are either indifferent to or actively opposed to components of Catholic formation like those above -- and have to ask how these largely ignorant, if well-intentioned, men can offer any sort of effective leadership to other novice Catholics. We assume a Catholic priest has arrived at formation from years of considering his vocation, followed by formal seminary study.

Some guy who didn't work out as a Presbyterian or Methodist or even Episcopalian but sees an opportunity in this new Catholic deal, ordained after minimal formation in many cases, is not the same thing as a diocesan priest -- especially when his immediate superiors aren't much better off.

I wouldn't go within a mile of this thing.