Friday, May 11, 2018

Ordinariate Stew

A visitor remarks,
I have been following your blog and am always fascinated by the Anglican, Continuing, TEC, ACA, APA, DHC, etc, alphabet soup of Anglican Patrimonies. It occurred to me while considering them in light of the OCSP/Pastoral Provision what a lost opportunity this experiment has been for so many souls. It seems rather similar to the problem we seem to be having in America assimilating immigrants. When I was in grammar school (this will really date me) we learned that America was a great melting pot of ideas and cultures, the idea being when you came to America, you joined in, contributed your metal and became an indistinguishable part of the amalgam.

Nowadays, it seems they are teaching children America is more like a stew and each culture is like a chunk floating around and contributing flavor, still part of the soup but still able to be separated from it. Sadly, this new idea completely fails to uphold the American experiment at its core, E Pluribus Unum. I believe some in the OCSP and the Anglicanorm Coetibus Society types (represented by Fr. Hunwicke) are “stew mode” Catholics, whereas the join-in-and-be-fundamentally-changed by-the-Church people (represented by Fr. Longenecker) are now indistinguishable “amalgam” Catholics. With the growing animosity between the Ordinariates and the regular Dioceses, they become ever more separate.

The opportunity for run of the mill Catholics to experience the “fluff and feathers” during a Mass and regain a deeper appreciation for the Catholic Church as a patron of the Arts and of Sacred Music and how those things can enrich their spirituality becomes lost as regular Dioceses push back on the “traditionalist” mentality. The opportunity lost for the newly minted, hyphenated Catholics (or even those who still consider themselves Anglican in communion with the Holy See) is the wondrous spiritual richness of 2000 years of accumulated Roman Catholic tradition, devotions, and networking.

Both types of Catholics lose out in “stew mode”. The only winner I see in “stew mode” is the Roman Catholic hierarchy (the broth). The broth of the stew will remain long after the one or two chunks have been consumed, disintegrated or flicked out of the soup.

One question I continue to have that's under the "why are we doing this?" tab for Anglicanorum coetibus is that diocesan parishes typically observe a range of local customs derived from the nationalities or ethnicities represented among their membership. In California, uniquely Latin celebrations for first communion and the day of the dead are common. In our parish, there's a committee that advises the pastor on uniquely Filipino traditions. My wife and I simply find these a great deal of fun, and we're also honored when we can participate in some way.

For that matter, the papacy of St John Paul II brought a greater awareness of Polish traditions into the Church at large, with the veneration of new Polish saints. Our own parish, with few Polish members, has a recently-added shrine to St Faustyna Kowalska, as well as at least three statues of St John Paul himself. Statues of St Lorenzo Ruiz, a Filipino tortured by the Japanese in the 1600s, are common in our archdiocese. Why has no one proposed granny flats for Poles, Mexicans, or Filipinos? Why must there be a special compartment for Anglicans?

I would say that roughly half the hymns sung at our mass, from the standard hard cover missal, come from the Anglican tradition. These have clearly been absorbed into Catholic worship without any special treatment. On the other hand, it seems to me that the deliberate archaisms and Cranmerian prayers in the DW missal would not go over well at all. In part, this may be due to the Jacksonian leaning of Catholicism in the US, with thees and thous preferred mainly by the old Republican establishment -- but we need to be acutely aware that circumstances are changing, and the Ivy-educated, sociologically Episcopalian snobby elites are no longer Republican, while working-class ethnics, as well as legal immigrants, are no longer Democrat.

I think this misunderstanding of the US from bloggers in Canada, France, and the UK is partly behind reactions to my recent posts here. Barring more urgent developments, I'll address some of these in subsequent posts, although news from Mrs Bush, Mr Andrews, and Bp Marsh would cause a pre-emption.