Moving Roman Catholics and Episcopalians a bit further apart

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia has told the only blended Catholic and Episcopal parish in the U.S. it must change its worship services so Catholics and non-Catholics meet in separate rooms for Holy Communion. The current worship practice is to use a combined liturgy in which the priests move to separate altars in the same room to say the Eucharistic prayers. This is no longer acceptable.

Read about it here.

52 comments

  1. The November 17 post “What to Think of the Catholic Bishops” references an article by Andrew Sullivan in which he “talks about the implications for the hierarchy’s credibility: now there are ‘two Catholic churches in America: those few in the pews who still listen to the bishops and those who exist almost in a parallel church, focused on their own parish, their own priest, and their own faith, which remains, for many of us, undimmed.’ ”

    That quotation pierced my heart. I saw myself in that parallel Catholicism, focusing ever more closely on the specific people, pastor, and parish I now associate with my faith. For me, this is my survival mechanism, as I read about decisions by the hierarchy that I know I wouldn’t accept.

    This diocese won’t allow girl servers. That bishop wants to eliminate communion under both species except for a select few. A teenager in this diocese is not confirmed because he opposes a state marriage amendment. Every time one of these incidents occurs, I wonder what my tipping point will be.

    Today I read about a congregation that does more than pay lip service to the phrase Family of God, but IS family to one another, transcending the divisions created by the course of human history. And now they must submit to the ecclesial version of Plessy vs. Ferguson, separating themselves during the middle of the service.
    This was the single most nagging problem that the bishop of the Diocese of Richmond had to tackle?

    I want to be hopeful about the future of my Church, but some days are harder than others.

  2. It continues to amuse me that whenever something occurs in a diocese, or for that matter, the universal Church, which liberals disagree with, the first response is nearly always, “THAT was the single biggest problem the bishop(s) have to deal with?” As though a bishop is not capable of dealing with more than one issue at a time.

    I had never heard of this “blended” parish, but on the face of it using two separate altars used towards different ends seems especially odd and I think the Diocese absolutely correct in putting a stop to it.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #3:

      From the article cited:
      When Bishop DiLorenzo came to the Diocese of Richmond he did research on the concept of the joint church, its history and purpose and, after presenting it to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, received formal approval.

      This is not “indiscriminate” sharing, but careful and considered planning.

      I bet the reconsideration arose because of the new translation and the difficulties it intentionally imposed.

  3. In the VII Decree on Ecumenism, paragraph 8, we are told that “Sharing in sacred rites is not to be applied indiscriminately as a means to the re-union of Christians.”
    Presumably the way this was operating was considered inappropriate. Some good may come if it encourages those involved to study their faith and understand the issues involved. Let us hope so.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #5:
        I don’t think Peter Haydon mentioned that the laity were poor, dumb or ignorant. The suggestion that people could study their faith and deepen their understanding in fact presupposes intelligence, diligence and openness.

        Speaking as a teacher, we can always benefit from reviewing what we think we already know – just make sure you find the right and wise teacher when you do so!

      2. @Simon Ho – comment #12:
        No doubt. However, when the first thing attacked in the laity is their ignorance and the first suggestion made is to get more education, and this meme is encountered repeatedly, one has to wonder.

        The Church offers very explicit teachings on ecumenism, aspects I don’t see followed among many conservatives and some bishops. Shall I mention them?

        As for Mr Haydon’s comment and subsequent explanation, I think ecumenism is more important a matter than parsing documents and finding points to support or criticize actions one doesn’t like. It is important to familiarize oneself with all the Church has to offer on the subject. I hesitate to suggest some commentators need a more thorough education, but it may be true.

        As for Fr McDonald’s tiresome comment, one could in turn make the same reference to his ordination year, implying all sorts of things minor and major about his seminary training. I don’t think he fathoms how casually insulting some of his offhand comments are. Maybe one day we’ll chalk it up to “that’s so reform2,” and have a good laugh over it.

      3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #21:
        Todd
        Quite so. I described the document as a starting point, not all that there is to know.
        Understanding what Anglicans agree with Catholics about and what they disagree about may also be instructive.
        Cheers
        Peter

  4. I remember reading somewhere that Pope Benedict (perhaps when he was Cdl. Ratzinger of Munich) in no uncertain terms forbade Catholic priests from participating in joint services with Lutheran pastors. It stands to reason that the practice must have been fairly widespread in his archdiocese and perhaps even in Bavaria in general if Cdl. Ratzinger was moved to write against the practice. Does anyone here know of the exact quotation or the context? Was Cdl. Ratzinger concerned about Catholic priests inviting Lutheran pastors to participate in the Mass, or, conversely, Lutheran pastors inviting Catholic priests to participate in Divine Service? Or, was Cdl. Ratzinger concerned with Catholic and Lutheran clergy jointly celebrating liturgies of the word or liturgical hours?

    I can’t think of any better way to re-evangelize postchristian Germany than for Catholic and Lutheran clergy and assemblies to participate together in joint services. I can’t understand why some Catholic prelates would find a Lutheran pastor preaching a sermon during Catholic vespers extremely objectionable. This is especially true given that Catholicism and Lutheranism share so much doctrine in common.

    Pope Benedict speaks often of the great need to re-evangelize Europe. And yet, Rome still lingers with the Tridentine notion that Protestantism must be kept at arm’s length or even oppositionally defied. Catholicism should cooperate with, rather than disdain, its European Protestant brothers and sisters, clergy and lay.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #6:
      Jordan – link to this past August’s Benedict study group: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/popes-student-circle-examines-dialogue-with-anglicans-lutherans/

      The focus was on dialogue with Lutherans-Anglicans using Kasper’s 2009 book, *Harvesting Fruits* and sections led by the German Lutheran emeritus bishop.

      Wonder if anything has been released from this that might touch upon your citing of Munich practices in the 1970’s and linking to European re-evangelization. Wonder, also, in terms of some practical issues facing many NE and Midwest dioceses – both catholic and lutheran/anglican. Large churches with dwindling congregations – why not share the church? Who knows what might result from this?

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #8:

        I am certainly a proponent of the “two congregations, one church” idea. Here in southwestern Conn. there is an Episcopalian church and a Presbyterian (PCUSA) church on the same property, conjoined by a community center. I’ve never been to Eucharist or Sunday worship there, but I would be interested in seeing how the two communities share community. I think this idea of two churches living in a common social community is fantastic.

        Peter Haydon’s [November 21, 2012 – 5:49 am] comment about various intersections of gender, sexuality, and ministry should be considered. Even so, I maintain that priests and ministers of other Christian traditions should participate in the Catholic liturgical life (and vice versa), even if not at Mass. This is especially critical since women in the Catholic tradition are not permitted to give commentary and sermon on the Gospel.

        To illustrate my sentiments: some in the EF community have wondered about letting a layman read in epistle and gospel in English while the priest prays the lections in Latin and in a low voice. I do not see why women should be barred from doing similar. If I were a parish priest, I would simply drag a lectern outside of the altar rail gates and let women read the vernacular readings from this lectern. To demonstrate unity with this idea, I would also preach from this same lectern. I dare not think what would happen if an EF pastor were to try this. Still, I do wonder if radical renovation of assemblies requires radical solutions.

      2. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #32:
        “This is especially critical since women in the Catholic tradition are not permitted to give commentary and sermon on the Gospel.”

        Actually, in the OF Catholic practice, only the Ordained Ministers may preach at Mass. In the EF Catholic tradition, I think only a Priest or Bishop may preach. In the OF Catholic practice, non-ordained men and women may preach at other liturgies (except the Mass) with the permission of the Bishop.

        We are not impoverished simply because we have a limited pool of homilists at Mass. The homily is part of the sacramental action and is not simply a lecture. It is Christ who is proposing and being proposed to us.

        When I was in university in the US, the Catholic community on campus that I am part of used to have lay preaching. I can only say Deo gratias that the practice was brought to an end during my tenure there.

  5. Peter Haydon’s comment doesn’t respond to the fact that this joint parish has continued its unique witness for so long. You wonder did he follow up Sam Howards link and read it. Were the previous BIshops wrong-headed in allowing the situation to continue? The level of sharing at Holy Apostles was at a wider and deeper level than normally seen, but sharing worship space, or building Churches that could serve more than one denomination has made a contribution to mutual understanding between Churches both in the US and the UK that shouldn’t be set aside in such a one-sided way; I have personal experience in celebrating the Eucharist in shared Churches, and attended a Roman Catholic Eucharist in the Ecumenical chapel at Coventry (Anglican) Cathedral. Such experiences strengthened my commitment to my own faith and to ecumenism. Personally, I think this is a sad day for ecumenism.

    1. @Brendan Kelleher svd – comment #7:
      Don’t be sad! No one is saying different faith communities cannot share the same building; in fact, the norms would allow an Anglican service to take place before or after a Catholic Mass in the same space – just that they cannot share the same room when the Liturgy is ongoing for both rites.

      If the current norms don’t foresee the possibility of a private Mass at a side altar while Mass is celebrated at another altar in the same church even within the same Roman rite (at least in the Ordinary Form), then this change isn’t all that out of the ordinary?

    2. @Brendan Kelleher svd – comment #7:
      A number of Newman Center liturgies at secular universities have conducted these inter-faith liturgies for almost 40 years,and I dare say they’ll continue regardless of efforts by bishops to quash them.

      Benedict’s fits over Catholic – Lutheran shared liturgies may tell us more about the state of Benedict’s stewardship as he pays lip service to Vatican II, but deliberately attempts to undermine it. Right at the moment, he’s the last person today who is able to thwart secularism or lead any crusade to save Christianity in Europe or anywhere else.

    3. @Brendan Kelleher svd – comment #7:
      Beverly minster recently had a Catholic rite held there for the first time since Henry VIII’s reign and it may become a regular event. A monk of the abbey of Bec was recently installed as an honorary canon of the Anglican cathedral in Armagh. Does he suddenly have to resign his canonry because of some new thinking coming from Rome?

  6. If something supposedly “prophetic” hasn’t borne further fruits since, then it is reasonable to question whether the earlier discernment was adequate. The article noted that the community wasn’t even a canonical parish, which makes the approval from Cardinal Kasper’s office all the less definitive. Possibly the Holy Spirit moved ecclesial authorities to review the arrangements and to make some adjustments. Personally, I would think even having a common Liturgy of the Word problematic – RS forbides the separation of the Liturgy of the Word from the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

    Personally, I find the supposed sign of unity practiced in the past very bizzare and incomprehensible: wouldn’t separating only at the Liturgy of the Eucharist, whether in the same space or otherwise, be a very loud sign of division?

    I think the Taize community was an early proponent of combined liturgies, without indiscriminate sharing of Holy Communion – anyone knows if they are still doing what they do?

    1. @Simon Ho – comment #10:

      As far as I am aware, Taizé continues its practice, which received approval from the Holy See many years ago.

      As far as RS 60 (quoting Liturgicae Instaurationes 2(b) ) is concerned, there are churches in Ireland specifically designed with a room for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word and another room for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the two being connected by a processional way. (Think of a pair of binoculars, or this kind of shape: O—O) These were designed and built after the 1970 instruction. I’ve not heard that any of them have discontinued in use.

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #14:
        This is a very odd argument. I might be reading it wrongly, but surely you aren’t suggesting, even for a second, that having some churches built in a separate style following the publication of the instruction means that the instruction allows for such structures? Qoheleth speaks of nothing new under the sun: disobedience to legitimate Church authority has been present since the early days of the Church and will stay with us till the Second Coming of Christ.

        The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist form one single liturgical action, one single Sacrifice, one single Divine Banquet, one single Marriage Feast of the Lamb and his Bride. What does separating the 2 parts into 2 rooms hope to convey/achieve? I can’t quite figure out still.

      2. @Simon Ho – comment #37:

        No, I’m not suggesting that the 1970 Instruction allowed for churches with two distinct rooms to happen. I was simply observing that, despite the Instruction, churches with that design were being built in Ireland and no one seemed to object.

        You ask about the point of the design. I think that at the time people were concerned with making a clear distinction between the Table of the Word and the Table of the Eucharist, as mentioned in SC and subsequent documents. At the time, they thought that a proper change in focus would help people to do this. I imagine that the logical sequel to that change of focus was actually to move from one room to another.

        In other places, they approached the problem by designing sanctuaries with non-central altars: the ambo to the front on one side, the altar to the front on the other side, and the presider’s chair central, and behind the other two.

        Another solution is having two distinct spaces for Word and Table within the same room. In the Episcopal Cathedral in Philadelphia, there are a number of distinct spaces within the building, two of which are for the Word and the Table; and the assembly moves from one to the other at the procession of the gifts. At the end of the Eucharist, the assembly moves to the space where the Font is — symbolically implying that baptism is at the root of our mission — before the formal dismissal.

  7. I wonder whether we will ever know the reason for this decision.

    Words from the Divine Liturgy come to mind: “Broken and distributed is the Lamb of God; broken but never divided; ever eaten, yet never consumed, sanctifying those who partake.”

  8. I think this 1977 concept is, well, very 1977ish. I remember hearing about it from our Richmond seminarians when I was in the seminary in Baltimore–didn’t know it was still going on today! It reminds me of the Superman movies of that period, where some of the survivors of Krypton are stuck in a glass-like mirrored prison hurling through space.
    In Augusta, GA and around the same time (in fact earlier in the 70’s) an ecumenical Charismatic Covenant Community, called “Alleluia” was formed consisting of a Catholic majority but also a significant number of Protestant denominations. They make “life-time” commitments to full membership in the community and they receive religious formation together as to what it means for them to be a covenant community. At their peak they consisted of about 700 members, men, women and children.
    However, they insist also that their members be active in their own churches, that they attend their own church’s Sunday Mass or services. But they do pray together, they go to each others funerals and weddings. They have a Thursday night charismatic prayer meeting that includes singing, praising and preaching as well as the other gifts of the charismatic tradition.
    But do they have any services with dueling/dualing altars? They would think that to be absurd! But they pray that one day, which may be at the Parousia or in heaven only, that they will be united around one Altar, Jesus Christ. It ain’t 1977 anymore and this group needs to get over it and find another way to do it and maybe they need to visit Augusta to learn.

      1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #18:
        Allan, I honestly don’t understand what you wrote or see what point you’re making.
        To say something is “so 1977ish” or “so 1960s” is just name-calling and avoiding the issue. One could just as well say “that’s SOOO Vatican II.” I would think the issue is whether something is faithful to Vatican II or not, whether it is faithful to the Gospel or not – and I don’t care if it comes from 1965 or 1968 or 1977 or 2012.
        awr

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #17:
        Understandably, remarks describing his condition seem tiresome to a fly stuck in amber. But, agreed, this is a matter of issue, not era. What betrays loss of faith then, betrays loss of faith now.

        Perhaps I should admit that in the 1970s I myself enthusiastically participated–as parish council member and as worshiper–in a Catholic-Episcopal parish union that involved participation in jointly celebrated Mass. But, since then I have grown and moved on.

  9. Thank you all for reading my comment. May I explain my thinking?
    I had recently read the Decree on Ecumenism and recalled some statement on sharing liturgies so decided to look it up. It seemed worth stating as the starting point for analysis of this case.
    Brendan Keller may be pleased to know that I did follow the link. It seems to me, from memory, that the bishop in question inherited the arrangement and accepted it for a while before deciding to end it. I do not know why. It may be that he revised his view about the correct application of the decree. I would not be surprised if Jim McKay is correct in his tentative suggestion.
    Simon Ho is right: I saw this as a chance for those involved to examine the relevant teaching. Indeed on reading again the decree I found that the guidance on sharing prayer was less restrictive that I had supposed.
    I did not say that the arrangement was good or bad or whether it was right to end it. I do not know enough of the facts and am only a student of the relevant rules.

    May I add one more comment?
    With the changing practice of Anglicans about who may be ordained the circumstances of mixed gatherings may become more challenging. For a Catholic a male Anglican minister who is married is not a problem: some, still married, have been ordained as Catholic clergy. A female Anglican minister living in an irregular relationship with a female partner might be less easily welcomed as joint presider at a prayer meeting. Views on this will probably vary widely amongst Pray Tell readers.

  10. Okay, if we discuss this development over the last 34 years or so, let’s say that it was an Eastern Orthodox parish and a Catholic parish doing this and they had two altars since we technically don’t have inter-communion with each other yet on the official level, or, let’s say that in a miracle of God an SSPX community wants to have ecumenical relations with a traditional OF parish and they have dueling Masses in the same building, (which keep in mind was quite common in pre-Vatican II times to have several Masses at separate altars, wouldn’t we say that this is not what Vatican II intended and in fact Vatican II’s ethos is that there be only one altar in any given church building rather than a multiplicity of altars).
    So the questions remains not only concerning fidelity to liturgical renewal in the post-Vatican II era, or shall I shall, in the post-Benedictine era we are now in, but also fidelity to what the Second Vatican Council actually envisioned for Christian unity, which means one altar and not a multiplicity of them, which is a work that in both the Protestant and Catholic worlds has had gains and set-backs, especially the set-backs created by liberal Protestant Churches going full speed ahead with their liberalization without a thought to the ecumenical consequences of such.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #22:

      Oh, I agree, two altars is odd, strange, abnormal, bad. Everything in my liturgical scruples argues against it.

      But we’re weighing goods here. The good of ecumenical convergence is enough for me to put up with the oddity of it. Drastic problems – a five-century split – perhaps justify drastic (and temporary) solutions.

      The other point is this: once you have the oddity of two altars in place and it’s an established local tradition, what does it say to our ecumenical partners to put the kabosh on it? It inevitably communicates “We don’t want to do this with you any more. We’re pulling out of what we used to be a part of.” That is a very bad ecumenical sign.

      awr

    2. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #22:
      Fair enough.

      To be honest, I’m a skeptic on the liturgical arrangement.

      On the other hand, I’m inclined to respect the three decades of discernment of this community. It may be that it was seriously considered by the bishop, that the arrangement no longer produces fruit, or that the pastor was a problem.

      Effective leadership would challenge the parishioners to take more effective steps. A good bishop wouldn’t just indulge in the hermeneutic of subtraction. My own sense would be that something substantive would need to replace the liturgical practice. Ecumenism is important enough not to simply walk away.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #25:
        That’s why in the first post I gave the “Alleluia Community” experience in Augusta which I suspect is more rigorously and intentionally ecumenical than Holy Apostles parish. In Augusta they live together in a neighborhood, which approximates what many of us think of in terms of larger urban Catholic areas where whole neighborhoods went to the same Church and a pastor could walk door to door to visit his parishioners. But in this ecumenical community (Augusta) there are some idiosyncrasies developed in the 1970’s of headship and submission that led to serious abuse of authority of laity over laity and some of the Catholics watering down their own Catholic practices to accommodate the others. But for the most part that changed in the 1990’s as the Catholic group formed a sub-group called the Catholic Fellowship of the Alleluia Community and began by studying the new Catechism that had just been released which brought many of the Catholics back to center.
        But in terms of the passage of time and various communities doing things a certain way over the last 30 to 50 years, I would hope you would apply that to the hope-for complete reunion of SSPX with the Holy See as well as regular OF parishes who are recovering certain aspects of our Catholic practices abandoned over the last 40 years as not being Vatican II, and of these I would say the Latin Liturgy and Kneeling to receive Holy Communion and the long, long tradition the Church has with both of these.

      2. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #28:
        “I would hope you would apply that to the hope-for complete reunion of SSPX …”

        I think it’s one thing to strive for unity on many levels among neighbors and colleagues in ministry. But like some Catholic bishops, the leaders of the SSPX have shown themselves to be spectacularly bad in areas of theology, not to mention catholicity.

        I might suggest a new practice: designating the Sunday after Baptism of the Lord as a regular observance of the Votive Mass for Christian Unity. It’s one of the few positive innovations of MR3. What do you say? I’ll push for it in my parish if you will.

      3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #30:
        I celebrate the votive Mass for Christian Unity frequently during weekday Masses. But I would suggest that it be on the Sunday during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January.

  11. “Dueling masses” is a great description, but I doubt that it applied to Holy Apostles throughout most of their existence. Episcopal and Catholic services could be made practically identical, word for word, and that likely is how it was, echoing rather than dueling. With the new translation this became more difficult, more duel than echo, which is why I think that was a part of what precipitated the reevaluation. (difference of liturgies is why an Orthodox and Catholic arrangement like this would not work)

    I hope the reevaluation results in this group flourishing. I also hope that bishops will apply to themselves the communion restrictions in place for the remarried until they regularize their relationships with our separated brothers and sisters. I don’t expect anything, but who knows.

    1. @Jim McKay – comment #24:
      But unless the Anglican community are composed of high Anglo-Catholics, they would have a very different theology on the nature of the Eucharist. If indeed such “echoing” liturgies are going on, then they surely would be bizzare – being more syncretic and held together by fuzziness.

      If the new translation is the cause of this termination, then I must say I have one additional reason to love the new translation.

      1. @Simon Ho – comment #36:
        You write, “..unless the Anglican community are composed of high Anglo-Catholics, they would have a very different theology on the nature of the Eucharist.” I would challenge this statement, and indeed, your grasp of Catholic euch. theology. This part is incorrect: “very different theology.”

        On the central, most important things, theology of the eucharist is remarkably similar in all the Xtn traditions. It’s about life in Christ, his sacrificial death and resurrection, his abiding presence in the Church, love of neighbor, building up the Body of Christ = Church, Christlike service to the world, repentance to live more deeply in Christ.

        Secondary, and decidedly less important, are the doctrinal formulations which attempt to make sense of all these things – some of which, of course, are mysteries which can never be comprehended by any doctrinal formulation. We differ on our understanding of Real Presence, Sacrifice, Ministerial Priesthood – I don’t deny this (although there is remarkable ecumenical convergence on these issues in our day, & much breaking down of old misunderstandings and polemics).

        In Aquinas’s theology of Eucharist, unity of the Body of Christ (Church) is more important than the sacramental Real Presence – check out the res et sacramentum and res tantum of the Scholastics.

        We need to get the wide base of our pyramid – the important things on which Christians agree about Eucharist – bottom side down. Then, as the pyramid gets smaller as it goes upward, we need to see that the differences between Christian traditions rest upon the broad foundation, and these differences of less important than the foundation.

        If you see “a very different theology on the nature of the Eucharist” between Roman Catholics and Episcopalians, I would suggest that you have your pyramid upside-down.

        There is the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and then there is Love. The second is more important!

        Pax,
        awr

  12. Jordan – to add to the *mysterious episcopal decision*;
    – this bishop came from Hawaii where, some believe, he left a trail of poor pastoral decisions and were happy to see him moved to the mainland
    – this bishop removed the current pastor on Nov. 2nd with no advanced warning, announcement, etc. (OTOH, the founding pastor was placed over the parish temporarily)

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #33:
      Since many of us would not have the benefit of full history or context, I think passing such gossip of Hawaii to be uncharitable. I hope Bill will apologise to the Bishop for such conduct.

      1. @Simon Ho – comment #34:
        Simon – here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_X._DiLorenzo

        To your request and gossip statement – why don’t you educate yourself first.

        Related to the earlier PTB post about bishops, DiLorenzo is a prime example of poor pastoral leadership; driven by ideology; does not support his own priests, etc. We will never know but would suppose that his movement from Hawaii was dictated by a need to stabilize and re-invigorate the Hawaiian catholic church under different leadership.

        Highlights:
        Bishop DiLorenzo’s reforms created a great deal of frustration among diocesan priests who believed that the bishop’s tactics were disruptive to the larger Catholic community in Hawai`i. His most outspoken critic was the rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Father Nathan Mamo. In a published letter dated July 7, 1999, Father Mamo wrote, “I was quite upset over a whole host of problems in church governance, management and internal politics, problems which are real and grave.” [1] Bishop DiLorenzo transferred Father Mamo from the Cathedral parish to a suburban church, Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist, in Mililani Town. Bishop DiLorenzo and Father Mamo continued to argue vehemently even after the transfer and Father Mamo decided to leave Hawai`i. He wrote, “I have become over the most recent 5 years… completely unable to keep that solemn promise with the current bishop. It’s not simply a matter of differing opinions; it’s a matter of integrity. I am unable to respect and obey him because my conscience doesn’t allow me to cooperate in his methods.” [2] While remaining incardinated in the Honolulu see, Father Mamo applied and was accepted for service in the Diocese of San Jose in California where he ministers as a parochial vicar at Saint Joseph of Cupertino Parish with the hope of eventually returning to Hawai`i to serve under a new bishop. Also, in 2003, Bishop DiLorenzo retired Father George DeCosta, who authored a letter to the editor of Hawaii Catholic Herald that was critical of Bishop DiLorenzo’s novel “Island Treasures” program. Fr. DeCosta served as the pastor of Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church in Keaukaha and founded the annual “Big Island Liturgy and Arts Conference.”

        Since taking over in VA in 2004:

        note what has happened:
        – 3 parish administrators (all women) have resigned
        – appointed a diocesan liturgical director to expose and root out liturgical abuses

  13. While I recognize that some Anglican have tried to preserve the Sacrament of Holy Orders through the Orthodox Churches, we should not forget that it is quite a high doctrine for the need of a validly ordained priest to have a valid Holy Eucharist. This doesn’t mean that if the Protestant traditions or Anglicanism which may or may not have a valid sacramental priesthood, that there isn’t some kind of grace given them in their remembrance, but onctologically and sacramentally there is a major difference if the priest is not validly ordained. Of course, most Protestants reject Holy Orders as a Sacrament and rely upon only two sacrament, Baptism and Holy Communion, but obviously Holy Communion as a valid sacrament is comprised by their decision to through out Holy Orders as a Sacrament.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #39:
      Your language is just so *1957777ishhhh*

      It is *ontologically* which is pretty 1575ishhhhh.

      To Fr. Ruff’s points: http://www.zenit.org/article-27239?l=english

      Kaspar talks about four topics and the significant progress made over the last 40 years. Thus, your comments and even use of certain phrases/words is dated and does not reflect the current state of discussion and agreements.

      Kaspar: “this present document takes as its starting point the acknowledgment that through common Baptism a real but incomplete communion exists between the Catholic Church and the dialogue partners.” He sees the bilateral dialogues not just as exchange of ideas, but as an exchange of gifts (I think this idea originated with Hans Küng). It is not an ecumenical winter. We are instead in an ecumenical fall, harvesting the fruits and planning for the next season.”

      Jim McKay – agree; good summation and conclusion.

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #42:
        We shouldn’t use the historical critical method in describing period attitudes especially when applied to me no matter how true, although I am tempted to write that we all know living in the 50’s is far better than the horrid ’70 that veered so far from the actual VII documents.

      2. @Father Allan J. McDonald – comment #45:
        So much for the historical-critical method – do you even know what it is? have you ever tried to use it appropriately?

        Example – “…..the horrid ’70 that veered so far from the actual VII documents.” If produced in graduate class as an historical-critical analysis, you would receive a failing grade….what you have, again, reproduced is not only *tiresome* but your opinion only.
        But, would agree about the *horrid ’70s* – it did bring us the election of JPII; it brought us the beginning of Ratzinger as head of the CDW; it was during the time period that most of the work on the revised 1983 canon law was done; ten years of Cdl Cody in Chicago; the end of the Jadot period as apostolic nuncio; but, on the secular side (to use your phrase) an end to the Vietnam war and the Camp David Accords.

  14. In 1971, the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission asserted: We believe that we have reached substantial agreement on the doctrine of the Eucharist.
    That would be the context in which Holy Apostles was formed.

    Since then, after some elucidations and clarifications, both the Anglican and Catholic communities have “affirm[ed] the signs of progress provided in the statements of ARCIC I on the Eucharist and on the understanding of ministry and ordination.” (JP2 & Abp Runcie) B16 & Abp Ramsay spoke of this “fruitful dialogue” expressing our “shared faith.”

    Despite the lack of agreement on ministry and orders, there is agreement on the Eucharist. This is the situation Holy Apostles sought to express with their somewhat odd use of different ministers at a common Eucharist. I am not sure there is a better way to express current teaching which is the source of this oddity.

  15. I very much like what Fr Ruff and some others above have said on this matter. It brings to mind the words spoken by the priest right after the Invocation at Anglican Use liturgy: ‘Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it: thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ These are, of course, the very words of our Lord, himself. If they had been ‘first’ in the minds af all Christians, of how much strife and bloodshed would we have been spared in the last five hundred years? God is Love! Love trumps all! At the same time, as I have noted elsewhere, right belief in the Sacrament of the Altar is very much an individual matter amongst non-Catholics because Anglican and Protestant governance, even leaving aside the question of orders, does not or will not adopt a definitive, dogmatic and binding formula on the same. (Neither, of course, do the Orthodox, who hold it to be an undefinable Holy Mystery: but there is no doubt of their belief in the very real presence.) So, indeed, we cannot know the belief of those non-Catholics who would share in this sacrament with us. On the other hand, we do not even know that Catholics have ‘right belief’ about the Sacrament, this owing to numerous polls which have revealed that very large numbers of Catholics do not believe in the objective presence of our Lord in the Sacrament. Is it not a denial of our own faith to share the Blessed Sacrament with those who don’t believe that it is what it is? We should be mindful that the majority of Anglicans are, unfortunately, not Anglo-Catholic and would vociferously let you know it.

  16. Thanks be to God!

    “It is not, therefore, those who suffer persecution for their unrighteousness, and for the divisions which they impiously introduce into Christian unity, but those who suffer for righteousness’ sake, that are truly martyrs.”

    St. Augustine

  17. Mr. McKernan – ordinations to the priesthood are only one, small marker in terms of a diocesan bishop’s accomplishments.
    Very few bishops have much impact on priestly ordinations, on recruitment, etc. (parish priests; educators, family have a much more significant role to play)
    It takes 4-5 years for a *new* bishop to have an impact on ordinations (prescinding from what I said above)….so, some of these ordinations started with recruitment under his predecessor.

    In my experience as a seminary dean, ordination numbers don’t tell you much – over time we may learn more about some of the ROTR bishops and their newly ordained (will they persevere? will they build up the church or be disruptive?) On earlier blogs, we debated the women’s religious groups and their numbers – in reality according to CARA, a few very conservative groups have seen a growth in candidates but their survival to full membership matches the same pattern as the larger number of LCWR groups.

    Without more precise data about the candidates, recruitment patterns, and where the ordinands came from – those numbers don’t tell much of a story so that you can reach your conclusion.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #48:
      Bill,
      According to the Wikipedia article you reference to Simon this bishop has been in his current diocese since 2004. Again, according to your own reasoning, that would give him credit for the impact on ordinations.

  18. what a fascinating discussion -it is a great example of the Tango that the 2 Churches have been dancing for 400 years-as a former RC and now a member of ECUSA in my Parish at least I have not changed my understanding of the Eucharist and the majority of my fellow members (which is at least 50% ex RC) hold similar views-I think that if the ECUSA survives another 20 or 30 years it is likely to be brought back under the wing of the RC Church-it is certainly clear that ECUSA is embroiled in a major schism and as far as I know no words of sympathy have been directed at it from Rome.
    Keep dancing but at some point there is the last dance.

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