The story of his conversion by an anglican priest. It is a good read. I was born and bred in England but lived in Canada for nearly twice the time I lived in England and a Canadian Citizen for almost all the time I have lived here, I think I can make a comment. Unfortunately what I think will be shaded by the ways I foresee liberal modernists habitually act. Of course there are some in the Church who think foolishly and will be scandalized by what I suggest. Oh well what has changed for those who will stoop to any lengths to manipulate any decision for their advantage, even though it is usually a theological wonky idea. There I go again riding my favorite hobby horse, equating personal opinions in hard heads with private revelations.
Those of you who have read Cardinal Herbert Vaughan's biography will see at this moment, if you put yourself in the Cardinal's shoes, a great deal of similarity between the French catholic priest, Abbe Portal, who after sneering at English Catholics, claimed he could and would personally be able to convert the Anglicans. After all did not Lord Halifax say to him, recognize our priesthood and we will all convert. He took this to Rome triumphant in his ego. Well Lord Halifax could not or never could guarantee that as a fact. Neither could Newman or other converts from Anglicanism. How many Bishops or Priests if they come across this time will return to their Anglican roots. Return to their Anglican roots with enough Bishops to continue their newly received Apostolic Authority, thus authenticating the quick ordaining of women priests and bishops. Do not say it will not happen, because it will. Their is always someone perfidious, a fifth column hiding in the weeds. All the Lutherans want is the same as the Protestants and they have said it time and time again. "recognize our priesthood and we will recognize your Pope".
Look at the desperate measures the Anglicans have taken. They approached the Old Catholic Church for ordinations. It happened but fell by the wayside. Two claims they have made, one there was an Abbot in South Wales who ordained some of their priests. Another group told me there was a bishop or Abbot on an Island of northern England, who ordained some priests. What ever far fetched stories they claim they know they need a priesthood and are desperate for a sacrificial ministry. It is the Anglican Episcopal Church that states in their constitution the Eucharist is not the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. This definition is still there. Let them publicly swear and admit to this error first. I mean each and every member of the protestant churches and then see where that leads us.
Cardinal Herbert Vaughan formed a committee of four, two priests and two laymen, a woman and a man. They found historically that from Edward to Elizabeth there was no line of Apostolic Lineage and the Anglicans never denied this as a fact of History.
I say let them go, unless they want to convert, individually. The giving to them a church of their own inside the Church will come back to bite us. It is a fool who cannot see that. I trust that Pope Benedict will find some way to safeguard our priesthood from the Janus heads that will infiltrate into the group that will come, hiding their personal agendas.
So you can further consider the problem. The Anglicans interested in coming into the light have signed off on the Catechism of JP2 as being all that is necessary to believe, to be Catholic. They have also stated lately that the Catechism says nothing, has no opinion on their priesthood. This is the first roadblock in their refusal to be re ordained. If they are not ordained, please do not use the word re-ordain, that they are all priests already to say re-ordain will mean they are ordained already. Where are we going with this?
Perhaps you may wish to examine this quote from the Anglican english Church times.
In the Church Times (Issue 7663 – 29 January, 2010), an Anglican publication which is not connected with the Anglican hierarchy we find this.
“So our way of doing theology is there, as is our way of discipline. Our group will have the right to elect our bishops. We asked the CDF for election by council. They laughed at us at first, but we got it. We are also working with a commission with Forward in Faith to produce our liturgy. We signed the Catechism as ‘the most complete and authentic expression and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time’.
“We did that to put our commitment beyond dispute, but we did not have to agree to Apostolicae Curae [which declares Anglican orders absolutely null and utterly void], because that is not in the Catechism.”
Fraternal Correction by a Gardener
How often we hide behind rank, privilege or through a rude dismissal of facts presented which are more often than not unacceptable to one’s ego. How often have any of you heard the words, “You don’t know what you are talking about”.
First would you please understand, these facts,that follow, down to, “Not to correct”, are taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Even with these definitions, objections and scholastic refutations, the subject is hard to understand. Yet surprise! surprise! the majority of catholics do not want to know them, as they will have to force themselves to rise out of their mediocrity and tepidity.
The Catholic Encyclopedia:
Fraternal correction is here taken to mean the admonishing of one's neighbor by a private individual with the purpose of reforming him or, if possible, preventing his sinful indulgence. This is clearly distinguishable from an official disciplining, whose mouthpiece is a judge or other like superior, whose object is the punishment of one found to be guilty, and whose motive is not so directly the individual advantage of the offender, as the furtherance of the common good. That there is, upon occasion and with due regard to circumstances, an obligation to administer fraternal correction there can be no doubt. This is a conclusion not only deducible from the natural law binding us to love and to assist one another, but also explicitly contained in positive precept such as the inculcation of Christ: "If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother" (Matthew 18:15) Given a sufficiently grave condition of spiritual distress calling for succor in this way, this commandment may exact fulfillment under pain of mortal sin. (Means it must be corrected or else a grave sin is committed through the lack of correction)"This is reckoned to be so only when…..
1: the delinquency to be corrected or prevented is a grievous one;
2: there is no good reason to believe that the sinner will adequately provide for himself;
3: there is a well-founded expectation that the admonition will be heeded;
4: there is no one else as well fitted for this work of Christian Charity and likely to undertake it;
5: there is no special trouble or disadvantage accruing to the reformer as a result of his zeal
Practically, however, individuals without any official capacity are seldom impeachable as having seriously transgressed the law in this matter because it is but rarely one finds the coalition of circumstances just enumerated.
Of course, the reproof is to be administered privately, i.e. directly to the delinquent and not in the presence of others. This is plainly the method appointed by Christ in the words just cited and only as a remedy for obduracy is any other contemplated by Him. Still there are occasions upon which one might lawfully proceed in a different way. For instance
1: when the offense is a public one;
2: when it makes for the prejudice of a third party or perhaps even the entire community;
3: when it can only be condignly dealt with by the authority of a superior paternally exercised;
4: when a public rebuke is necessary to preclude scandal: witness the withstanding of Peter by Paul mentioned in the Epistle to the Galatians (2:11-14);
5: when the offender has already in advance relinquished whatever right he possessed to have his good name safeguarded, as is the custom in some religious bodies.
The obligation of fraternal correction, as far as private persons go, is not demanded, generally speaking, for the case of one who violates a law through invincible ignorance. The obvious reason is that there is then no immunity, for it is their duty to instruct their subordinates. Every one, however, whether having an official competency or not, is bound to give the admonition when the sin committed though it be from ignorance, is hurtful to the offender or a third party or is the occasion of scandal
What did St Thomas of Aquinas write among his many objections and refutations, this is what he wrote.
To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he was in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. However, one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: "Say to Archippus: Fulfill thy ministry [Vulgate: 'Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.' Cf. 2 Timothy 4:5."
I, personally claim, and say if the person is full of the importance of his own position and has made it obvious from previous behavior, he is above correction then one could take the next step and do it in front of witnesses by letter or by notifying his superiors.
Aquinas again, It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss (voice or word) of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, "Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects."
Sometimes it is amazing how many who do not, will not, follow the Church’s instructions, always refuse to listen, replying as one woman did, “You cannot tell me you are not a priest”. What was the subject? She had not gone to confession for thirty years, her own admission, and did not want to know the precepts of the Church. That! I believe is not, “invincible ignorance”. She went to the parish priest about me, who promptly told her the same,"GO!". Another woman was heard telling a visiting priest, when she went to communion she received both the Body and Blood, and he had better remember it in future. She was beside herself in anger when I pointed out to her the Council of Trent’s teaching on receiving “in either kind alone”. She too, went to the parish priest who promptly corrected me saying he would have told her if he was given time. He was constantly telling me he would do things in time, trouble was he forgot to add one of the adjectives “long or some” when describing his time. By the way, the woman did wait ‘til she thought the church was empty before she approached the visiting priest. I guess that was a private fraternal correction as the priest had caused her ego to be scandalized.
So what is good of fraternal correction when priests literally loose then temper when even pleasantly corrected, Bishops get to huff and puff and then avoid the issue saying that is my decision. And the laity, so badly informed, so badly taught in the Church today very deliberately ignore rubrics and instructions by letters from Church Authorities. Look at the Canadian Bishops and the Manitoba Manifesto which dismissed Humana Vitae out of hand and told JP2 to his face, “We will take it to the people and see what they say”. Three Archbishops ago in this Diocese the Ordinary wrote that prayer groups could not meet in the Church unless the Parish Priest was present among them. It never was enforced, ignored is the way to describe it, dismissed out of hand. Look at all the instructions on the Liturgy from Rome over the last years. How many parishes practice them? Try fraternally to correct the opinions of the laity in the parishes on what should be followed. It usually becomes a very heated discussion on what should be, the priest vanishes. If the Bishop is called to adjudicate, he will tell the orthodox catholic to be more charitable. Why does he? He knows that the Orthodox practicing papal catholic will obey and he will have peace. So much I say, for fraternal correction.
Jesus in His parables of the Vines and gardens tells of seed falling on rocky ground and perishing. One of His gardeners said give me a chance to revive this vine. Let me dig in and around it and fertilize the vine. Please do not destroy it ‘til I do”. How do you dig in the hardened ground of selective ignorance? Do as the gardener did dig hard, preferably with a pick and shovel. I mean get their attention with a heavy hand.
What price Sincerity?
Should we as Catholics not look at "sincerity" to see what this virtue should be for us and why we should work to use it? This is a gift of such importance that we could not have faith or the kind of faith called for from the depth of our hearts, that should bring us to a martyrdom, of one kind or another.
Do we really act with sincerity or can we do acts of Perfect Charity without it? Then again what is perfect charity and do we as practicing Catholics practice it? Do we truly believe firmly and are committed to be truly catholic in every aspect of our daily lives? Do we truly believe in the Church as the Word of God, the Mystical Body of Christ? Do we dismiss our personal opinions,those wonky private revelations of so many and so prevalent in the Church today? This new catholic spirituality that allows us to qualify those dunderheaded thoughts so very inimical to catholic teachings. They should be seen for what they are, homicidal acts that take life from souls of our brothers and sisters by often dismissing steady orthodox theology as being retro and foolish. They as I claimed before, more or less imply Jesus, who we garner, from these opinionated acts, neither said or did that and this is what the Church is today. I must say these kinds of Catholics never consider to where their thoughts are intentions and conclusions has brought them. They do not see before their feet the "helter-skelter" slippery slope, ready to send them down into a hellacious hot spot. Sometimes a few priests and hierarchs unfortunately exist on the same sorry plane of thought even allowing it to become dogma in their dioceses and parishes and their deeds and actions are directly related to their, what can only be considered as pride on their part. It is not just a priestly problem, I can say from conversations most Catholics do not consider the perfections we need, as one catholic man told me all charity is perfect. Wow!
I have as usual meandered off course but I must get back to sincerity and perfect charity. Get back to what we need to be perfectly charitable. I know from a conversation with a priest, he has never thought the subject through to a logical conclusion. Therefore is it not logical to say, he has never taught of the virtues or graces that must be present when we act within the boundaries of religious beliefs, not the faux spirituality claimed as a form of mystical Catholicism. The true Mystical Catholicism I have written about before is a religious way of life which truly practicing Catholics follow as the rise up from the dirt and filth of this world to holiness. A further admonishment, this is not the interpretation following the modern idiom of mysticism being supernatural but the tried, true and proven "indwelling of the Holy Spirit" due to and arising from the Mystical Life in the Holy Sacramental Mysteries of the Church and her Rituals.
Perfect Charity which earns us merits according to Catholic Theology are acts, either springing up straight from the positive acts of religion, and especially from the reception of the Sacraments, or sometimes rarely having no apparent connection with these. An act of perfect charity is one which is performed with all the intensity of love of which the soul is capable, purely and simply for the sake of God, without any regard to self. This last sentence for me sums up the virtuous grace of sincerity that intensity of love which through fortitude and without regard for the influence of other's views stands firm in its determination to act as Christ would, did and commanded. Never saying no or maybe, but a loud and firm yes to God. Never hopping about liturgically but firmly standing in the light of the teachings of the Church and Christ.