Prayers for Cardinal Pell

When Archbishop John Hepworth first disclosed to the Catholic hierarchy that he had been sexually abused from the time he was a young Catholic seminarian, the response initially from the Catholic hierarchy seemed to be that he was crazy or a charlatan.

This response led to attitudes of contempt not only towards Hepworth, but also for the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). he led.  That contempt nearly destroyed the dreams of TAC communities of ever being accepted into the Catholic Church with their clergy. 

I believe it is Cardinal Pell who rescued us, because through a mutual friend of both men, he advised Hepworth to go to through the Melbourne process he had created to handling sexual abuse claims when he was Archbishop of Melbourne.

That process, led by a Queen’s Counsel with vast experience in hearing and weighing clergy sexual abuse claims, vindicated Archbishop Hepworth.  The QC believed him and that marked a turning point, I believe, in rescuing what seemed like our shattered prospects of entering the Catholic church as intact communities,

Because of Cardinal Pell’s help behind the scenes in this case, I join those around the world who find his conviction in a second jury trial of sexual abuse of minors a miscarriage of justice. Continue reading

Prayers for Caroline Farrow

Caroline Farrow is the wife of a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the U.K. and the mother of five children.

She is also a journalist, has a lively Twitter feed, and appears sometimes on British television to defend conservative Christian moral positions.   This makes her greatly unpopular with more progressive elements of the population.

Farrow recently received a phone call from police saying they were investigating her for having “misgendered” the child of a Trans activist on Twitter.  In other words, if you talk about the boy who underwent hormone treatment and surgery to present as a girl, you run afoul of British law.

The woman who filed the complaint has since said she has dropped the complaint and that it was more serious than mere misgendering, but as far as Farrow knows, the police investigation is still ongoing.   Farrow wrote the following on Facebook this morning:

I am not brave, ballsy, pugnacious, limelight-seeking or any of those things. Right now I am vomiting, shaking, lost 5 lbs since Monday and suffering extreme anxiety. Being stubborn, refusing to be cowed is not any kind of virtue. I know that I will not win. The virtue and victory lies in bearing the suffering with grace & in knowing that I am doing what is right. My detachment lies in letting go of that which is most important to me; security and financial stability. I have had to accept that I will now never be able to get that nice stable well-paid job I hoped for.

Canada also has human rights legislation, provincial and federal, protecting  gender identity and expression from discrimination.   One of the reasons why Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, catapulted to fame a few years ago was because he decried the transgender laws as state-compelled speech and said he would refuse to comply.

Please pray for Farrow and her family, for her to have the peace of Christ, and the wisdom that can only come from the Holy Spirit in navigating these legal and spiritual challenges.

Pray as well for true pluralism in our democratic societies of the west, instead of a totalitarian one-size-fits all progressive ideology that one obeys or else a penalty of hefty fines and even jail terms.  Pray we can learn to air genuine and deep differences in the public square with civility and respect, always keeping in mind that we are dealing with other human beings, and we as Christians hold to a notion of human beings made in the image of God.

If one looks at the trajectory of public policy these days, traditional Catholic morality is on the verge of being called hate speech and banned from the public square.

 

Signs of springtime in the Ordinariates

Members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter will have received their copy of the Ordinariate Observer in the mail, and it’s chock full of good news about how we are growing and where.

I have been working on an paper for a book scheduled to come out next fall to mark the 10th anniversary of Anglicanorum coetibus.  It’s been a lot harder and more demanding to do than I had thought and that on top of my journalism work is the reason for light blogging.

The topic for my paper is lay initiatives to promote Anglican patrimony within the Ordinariates, and to that end I have done many interviews with people who took it upon themselves to do something in this vein.  Of course I ended up with far more material than I could ever use for a 4,000 word article, so I hope to use some of that material here when the deadline crunch is over.

As I surveyed all these interviews and have begun the boiling down process, I could not help but feel excited and encouraged by how much is going on at the grassroots level.

We have so much to be thankful for as Catholics of Anglican tradition, and there’s so much going on in terms of prayer, music, social media, literary patrimony, I won’t be able to fit everything in.

 

 

 

Three or four queries a week

In the most recent edition of the Ordinariate Observer, the publication of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the vocations director Rev. Rick Kramer writes:

“One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: ‘Are you still receiving inquiries from Anglican clergy who are interested in converting?'”

“The Vocations Office receives three to four new inquiries each week,” Kramer writes. “Most of the men who contact the Ordinariate are somewhere on their journey into the fullness of the Catholic faith.”

“Foremost, they desire to know, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, how to become Catholic.”

This is encouraging news!

Meanwhile, I would encourage Anglicans who are still discerning whether to become Catholic to consider joining us at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.  Our mission is to promote the Anglican tradition and common identity in the Catholic Church for the purposes of evangelization, education, deeper conversion and the glory of God.

For me, the traditional Anglican worship of my parish was key in my coming to the Catholic faith–and we find that spiritual ethos now expressed in our Catholic Divine Worship Missal, our offices, our hymnody, our spiritually meaty sermons, and community life.  As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Anglicanorum coetibus:

Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.

If one is a clergyman or a lay person eligible for membership in the Ordinariate, the Society hopes you will consider forming a patrimonial group.  It is as simple as holding a monthly Evensong at a fixed time and location and letting us know so we can put you on the map at our website.

Some other encouraging news in the Ordinariate Observer.  Rev. Kramer reports the Ordinariate is “in the early stages of planning an Ordinariate house of formation, which will complement seminary formation, for the express purpose of transmitting the Anglican patrimony to seminarians.”

The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus gives the Ordinaries permission to create these houses of formation in Anglican patrimony:

§ 5. Candidates for Holy Orders in an Ordinariate should be prepared alongside other seminarians, especially in the areas of doctrinal and pastoral formation. In order to address the particular needs of seminarians of the Ordinariate and formation in Anglican patrimony, the Ordinary may also establish seminary programs or houses of formation which would relate to existing Catholic faculties of theology.

 

Douglas Farrow on “the Church’s one foundation”

The Church’s One Foundation was one of my favorite hymns in the run up to our community’s becoming Catholic in 2012.

Now I see it’s the basis of a response in an ongoing conversation that Douglas Farrow, professor of Christian Thought at McGill University has been having with Roberto de Mattei, a formidable Catholic historian and traditional Catholic.  Farrow writes at Catholic World Report:

Of the Church we must always say with St. Paul that her one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord. Moreover, we must recall and acknowledge that her Lord promised to build his Church on the petra of Peter confessing Christ. Yet today we must also say, as the nineteenth-century Anglican hymnist, Samuel John Stone, said, that we “see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” Indeed, we must confess that once again, in the words of the fourth-century saint, Basil the Great, her “distresses are notorious,” that “their sound has gone out into all the world,” that “the apostolic traditions are set at naught [and] the devices of innovators are in vogue” (Ep. 90). Doctrinally, liturgically, and morally much of the Catholic Church – to say nothing of the Orthodox churches or of Anglicanism and the ecclesial communities of the Protestant world – seems to be in the hands of innovators.

I look forward to reading the whole conversation. Continue reading

What good is “red-pilling” anyway?

There’s a lot of talk about in social media about “red pilling” on this or that about the Catholic Church.

The red pill vs. blue pill is from the movie the Matrix, where the main character is offered a red pill that would enable him to see the reality behind the false dream construction he lives in; the blue pill would enable him to stay “asleep” to reality and remain in the dream.

Let’s say the red pill does wake one up to disconcerting realities of sin in the Church or contradictions in teaching.  How obligated are we to pass this on to others who are content in their Catholic faith and going about their business, that is, if they are not  mired in sin or another Gospel?

People “red pilled” after becoming scandalized, confused or upset by this or that and start looking for answers to confirm whether they are in fact crazy or not.  There is a lot out there in the Catholic internet to confirm almost any reaction, for good or ill.
Continue reading