Fr Hunwicke and Anglican patrimony

Fr. Hunwicke didn’t get invited to speak at the Anglican Patrimony Conference at Oxford and he’s striking back on his blog by sharing what he would have written about had he been there.

Because we have been on the subject of Anglican Patrimony, you might find his post interesting.

The fact that [Newman] had been converted to Catholicism by Oxford and the study of the Church Fathers, not by any personal friendship with Roman Catholics, meant that everything he wrote and said sounded almost Anglican.

That’s the Patrimony: Anglican tone. Including, of course, Newman’s old Anglican gifts of Irony, Satire, and especially, above all, and pretty well daily, the Argumentum ad hominem. And an adherence to Blessed John Henry’s belief in the iniquities of Liberalism and of Ultrahyperueberpapalism. And his emphasis on getting one’s guidance from the Fathers. And doing one’s humble best to write decent English. That’s what I would have concentrated upon if I had been asked to read a paper at last week’s Staggers Conference on The Patrimony. (I hope it went well without me.)

I am very much tempted to think that Ordinariate members should see themselves, not as “former Anglicans”, but as “Anglicans”, yet more proudly qualifying that already proud term by the phrase “in full communion with the Holy See”.

I gather Melkites rather like calling themselves “Orthodox in communion with Rome”.

United but not absorbed … coat of many colours … multiple lungs …

7 thoughts on “Fr Hunwicke and Anglican patrimony

  1. “I am very much tempted to think that Ordinariate members should see themselves, not as “former Anglicans”, but as “Anglicans”, yet more proudly qualifying that already proud term by the phrase “in full communion with the Holy See”.”

    Honestly I completely disagree. The Ordinariate should be a gateway fro the English speaking world to regain our liturgical traditions of the Mother country, not a New particular church in the making. The truly Anglo-Catholic traditions of the Ordinariate belong to all Catholics in the Anglosphere and should become standard in many places instead of being reserved to an oddity like the Ordinariate being some sort of museum of Anglo-Catholic culture. Ordinariate members should not seek to be be “Anglicans in communion with Rome” they should seek to be English/British Catholics, the face of English speaking Catholicism, all of it. To heal the wunds of disunity, the English speaking world must discover it’s history which was preserved in the ordinariate and ingratiate that into the common diocese, the Ordinariate must not relish in it’s history of Schism.


    • There’s a fair bit of confusion in the above comment. Our Anglican identity isn’t contingent on having some alternative Eastern-style autonomous status as a sui juris particular church. We have everything we need in the ordinariates to be a Church of the Anglican tradition, even within the broader Latin Church. Yes, the Anglican tradition is in its nature and origins ‘English’, but it is as ‘Anglicans’ that we are called to be Catholics in an ordinariate church, according to the mandate of Anglicanorum Coetibus, not as ‘English’. In fact, the word ‘English’ does not even appear anywhere in the apostolic constitution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am speaking neither to what the constitution says or what common practice is, but to what I believe would be the most fruitful course of action for both inviting Anglicans to Catholicism and changing the face of Anglosphere Catholicism. I felt it was obvious that my post was editorial, not legalistic.


      • I don’t agree with your assessment. Experience with the so-called “pastoral provision” showed that several bishops “pulled the plug” on parochial communities that came into full communion from the Anglican Tradition when push came to shove, canonically suppressing those communities, forcing their members to be absorbed into the diocesan parishes within which they lived, when they decided that they could not spare diocesan clergy to staff them.

        We also need to realize that some of the sui juris ritual churches of the Byzantine Rite are not much different in size and structure from the present ordinariates. The following data is from the 2015 edition of the Catholic Almanac.

        >> Bulgarian Catholic Church: Apostolic Exarchate in Bulgaria; about 10,000 members

        >> Greek Catholic Church: Apostolic Exarchates in Greece and in Turkey; about 6,020 members

        The pope appoints the ordinaries of both of these bodies because they simply are not large enough to have patriarchal or major archiepiscopal synods that could elect their bishops, as happens in the larger sui juris ritual churches. However, an autonomous diocesan structure that’s directly subject to the Roman Pontiff gives them the ability to preserve their traditions — which, in the Byzantine Rite, include elements of national culture and distinct liturgical languages.

        That said, the Vatican has a very deft hand in accommodating various situations while keeping options open for the future. In this case, the goal obviously is the eventual healing of the Anglican Schism. The present structure preserves the option to create a sui juris ritual church for the whole of the Anglican Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury becoming its major archbishop. (And yes, I fully realize that such a scenario has become far more distant with the radical break from orthodoxy by several provinces of that body.)



  2. Perhaps you should refer to yourselves as Catholics of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter or Our Lady of Walsingham or Our Lady of the Southern Cross instead of clinging to that which you once were, Anglicans?


    • Because we are proud of our Anglican identity, and because we are still in a certain sense Anglicans, as Fr Hunwicke said, albeit not as we once were. We are Anglicans who have been made fully Catholic. That we can become fully Catholic without abandoning our heritage, identity, or community is what is so new about Anglicanorum Coetibus. That’s what this blog is all about.


      • Actually, becoming Catholic without abandoning your heritage, identity, or community has always been the view of ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council. The parishes received into full communion under the so-called “pastoral provision” here in the States obviously were the first realization of it, but the ordinariates give it a permanence, a stability, and a viability far beyond what that handful of parishes could ever realize.


        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s