Sunday, March 18, 2018

"Catholic within Anglicanism" vs "Anglican Within Catholicism"

So I thought some more about Fr Longenecker's seminary-days justification to his spiritual director of being "Catholic within Anglicanism". This is by no means unusual among Anglo-Catholics, a sort of weasel-mindedness that brings me back yet again to TEC Fr David Miller's remark in my confirmation class that Anglo-Catholics want the prestige of calling themselves Catholic without paying the dues real Catholics pay.

But this sort of weasel-mindedness is one of the factors that makes me concerned about syncretism. Anglicanism developed in its first hundred years as a way for people to justify for themselves that they were adhering to a state religion, and the state accommodated them by giving them lots of leeway -- they could be low church, broad church, or high church, just as long as they weren't Catholic. "Catholic within Anglicanism" was copacetic.

The difficulty is that the small number of Anglicans who've bought into Anglicanorum coetibus, it seems to me, mostly haven't left this mindset behind. Last week we saw a reference by Mrs Gyapong to Bp Campese working so his flock would "fully understand what it means to be a Roman Catholic living their [sic] faith out within the familiarity of the Anglican patrimony". This is the same Mrs Gyapong who said a few months ago

There are some Catholics who take avoiding a “near occasion of sin” to such extremes that they create a whole new set of rules to put a hedge around such occasions, and then act as if violating one of the “preventive” rules is also somehow sinful. I am going to pronounce right now that this kind of thing is not part of our English Catholic/Anglican Patrimony going forward.
It's hard to avoid thinking that the atmosphere in the granny flat ain't the same as the atmosphere in the rest of the house, and the "Catholicism" that's apparently espoused in the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society seems to be closely circumscribed and filtered through Anglo-Catholic funhouse glasses.

I would also suggest that the Catholic priests ordained in the OCSP are culpable -- and will be held to account at their particular judgment -- for not correcting statements like these, clearly meant as definitive pronouncements for members on matters of faith and morals.

We're back to Abp Garcia-Siller's penetrating insight, that these people want to be not just unique but separate. I think Bp Lopes needs to give this matter some serious reevaluation.