Monday, June 25, 2018

What About The Hebrew Patrimony?

Regarding Anglican Papalists, my regular correspondent notes,
A lot of the impetus behind (British) Anglo-Papalism was snobbery, IMHO---either personal or imputed. Clergy did not want to be involved with "Wogs" from the Continent, or they assumed that British people as a whole were not ready for that. So a sort of parallel jurisdiction was created---Roman Catholicism, English-style. Some of this ethos remains in the OOLW, where an Ordinariate priest takes over a diocesan parish and the OOLW group comes in to redo the interior, "fix" the rubbish music and sloppy serving, and serve better coffee and refreshments. These people have generally used the OF and versus populum celebrations for decades and have no interest in DW.

There is almost no tradition of this approach in North America. Plenty of Anglican clergy adhere to what is often known as the "Branch Theory" of Catholicism, but it did/does not involve using current Roman Catholic liturgy and generally behaving as though Rome were setting the rules. Anglo-Catholic churches in North America generally favour the BCP or the English Missal and a conservative liturgical approach. This is why there is so much cross-over between the TLM crowd and the OCSP. Msgr Steenson was an "Anglo-Papalist" only insofar as he became a convinced Catholic at some point and was biding his time until he could jump ship in a personally advantageous way. He in no way tried to replicate current Roman Catholic practice in his own parishes or diocese at any point in his Anglican career.

Back to the larger issue of what aspects of the "Anglican Patrimony" the Ordinariates can legitimately lay claim to as Catholic quasi-dioceses, I go back to the naming of Ordinariate parishes. What aspect of "Anglican Patrimony" is reflected in St Thomas More or any of the other Catholic Martyrs? One could argue that the liturgy of Cranmer is an insult to the memory of those who died rather than accept it, and its implications, or those who in later, less harsh times, forwent education or preferment rather than attend an Anglican service even once a year. And if St Aelred, St Bede, etc are part of "Anglican Patrimony" how is this different from Catholic patrimony? There are St Bede Catholic Churches all over England, not to mention everywhere in the US from California to Virginia.

This goes once again to the basic confusion over what constitutes the Anglican patrimony with its precious spiritual treasures. Some Anglicans are mildly interesting, like CS Lewis and Jonathan Swift, but John Milton, John Bunyan, and Isaac Watts, as well as secular figures like William Penn and Benjamin Franklin, were not Anglicans. And in terms of interest, none is Augustine or Aquinas. So enthusiasts for the ordinariates are perhaps living in a granny flat but confusing it with a first class cabin.

But there's a bigger question here. Our parish is midway through the Jeff Cavins Great Journey course, which I'm assuming has at least some elements of what would be an Old Testament course in seminary (or at least, a good seminary). It covers salvation history, and it stresses the Hebrew history of which Our Savior is the fulfillment. If the very junior ex-Protestants in the OCSP are making such a big deal of the Anglican patrimony, are they unaware of, or at least giving short shrift to, the Hebrew patrimony?

And this leaves out Augustine and Aquinas, very close to Plato and Aristotle at the base of Western thought. Who on earth are the Anglican thinkers who are on such a par with Doctors of the Church? Or are the guys newly ordained as Catholic priests after 30 seconds in the microwave trying to sell a Tolkien-y hipsterism to a couple dozen confused millennials, with the tacit approval of the taxi squad in Houston?