Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Different Perspective

A visitor sent these remarks:
Although this Pew Research is a few years dated, it demonstrates how even the Hispanic faithful is leaving the Roman Catholic Church in America.

Another study available from Pew also depicts Hispanics are simply packing it in in Central and South Americas.

The main benefactor is the Protestant church and not for just Hispanics leaving the Catholic Church.

This could be seen as a role reversal for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church through the Ordinatiate. Comparing the numbers, the attraction of the Ordinariate is indeed quite small when comparing numbers going the other way in just the Hispanic community alone.

I think one of the major problems of attracting Anglicans to the Ordinariate is the fact that Anglican Church has many streams and sub-titles. . . Anglo-Catholic (High Church), Low Church, Evangelical Church, Broad Church, and Charismatic Church under the Anglican umbrella. It appears that only a minute faction of the High Church (Anglo-Catholics) would ever swim the Tiber in the first place, and possibly the RCC did not effective study the wide diversity/liberalism under the Anglican umbrella. That being said, there are multiple conservative High Church Anglican churches available to Anglicans that no longer attach themselves to The Episcopal Church or desire the RCC.

The Missionary Diocese of All Saints (ACNA) does not ordain women to any office and seems very conservative and growing as an alternative to Vatican rule and liberal Anglicanism while still keeping their strict sacramental Anglican heritage. Such a situation would eliminate confusion between Houston and local bishops seen in various Ordinariate locales for Anglicans seeking alternatives to the Ordinariate.

Naturally, trends in Catholicism in Latin America are beyond the scope of this blog, not least because I speak only rudimentary Spanglish. And I'll leave aside the Pew agenda. But I think there may be a misunderstanding of the reasons Anglicans might wish to become Catholic here. It is unquestionably true that there are Protestant denominations, large and small, that don't ordain women, that don't bless same-sex marriages, and so forth. That's not the basic issue. There are non-Christian denominations that don't do those. The central issue is the origin and authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the teachings that stem from it. A Baptist denomination that doesn't ordain women or bless same-sex marriages will still get lots of things wrong from this point of view, nearly as much as TEC does. The basic problem is that neither is Catholic, so neither teaches what the Church teaches.

I think the visitor is on the right track in suggesting, though, that Anglicanorum coetibus did err in not recognizing how Protestant Anglicans are and thus assuming Anglican confirmation or ordination is almost as good as Catholic. Just because people wear Catholic vestments (a fairly recent affectation), call themselves bishops, or use certain liturgical formulas doesn't mean they're on track. Just because someone appears and says she's the Virgin Mary doesn't mean she's right, after all. The good thing is how few Anglicans are availing themselves of this opportunity and thus how few demons are coming in via this door -- there are plenty inside already.

But as I've pointed out here before, somewhere around 60,000 people come into the Church in the US via RCIA each year, a better path that provides people with far more opportunities for growth in the faith.