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February 20, 2007


Tim "Fric" Johnson

I wondered what you'd have to say about this the minute I saw it. Seemed way too overblown to be sure. Though part of me was hopeful that the story was correct.

One day.


Sadly, Ruth Gledhill is inaccurate.

Christians (Orthodox & Episcopalian/Anglican) who regard themselves as Catholic (Tradition, Apostolic Succession, Ministry, Sacraments, Eucharist, Saints, Mary etc.) have given me new insights into my own Latin/Roman Catholicism.

eg the ARCIC (Anglican Roman catholic International Commission) documents. http://www.prounione.urbe.it/dia-int/arcic/e_arcic-info.html

Jamie Beu

Thank you, Jimmy. I knew you'd shed the much-needed light on this story.

When are journalists going to stop telling us it's Christmas in March? It does nothing but get our hopes up, just to disappoint us.

Jim Whall

How would that work, I wonder? Suppose you had an Anglican group (A diocese?) come home. Would the clergy have Holy Orders done? Could they opt out and just become laity at that point?

Tim H

Thanks, Jimmy, for level-headed commentary on this misreporting! This article seems to get rewritten with slightly different headlines every few years, and it's always frustrating to see it pop up again.

I'd go a bit farther, even. Not only was the article misleading, but even the IARCCUM's response might give some misimpressions. The ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) seems to have an inflated view of its own importance. Even the idea that there might be a reunification a long way down the road is not realistic.

The doctrines of the Anglican church are thoroughly Protestant, and no official commission is going to make Anglican laymen give up their core beliefs. The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican church can be found here. Pay particular attention to the following articles:
VI (Of the sufficiency of the scriptures for salvation),
XI (Of the justification of man),
XIV (Of works of supererogation),
XIX (Of the church),
XXII (Of purgatory),
XXV (Of the sacraments),
XXVIII (Of the Lord's supper),
XXX (Of both kinds),
XXXI (Of the one oblation of Christ finished upon the cross), and
XXXII (Of the marriage of priests).

Predictably, Gledhill's story highlighted the idea that the only real sticking point between Roman Catholics and conservative Anglicans was on the marriage of priests, or the ordination of women. Glibly passing over this long list of other, much more important disagreements.

The young fogey

I agree it's bad journalism.

A guide to Anglican churchmanship.

So many conservative Anglicans have Protestant beliefs, and not only about the Pope, that obviously reunion with Rome is not just around the corner!

Catholic Defender #1

I personally hope many will come home, but in so doing, they will understand that in order to do so, they will have to recognize the Chair of Peter, The Bishop of Rome. The 153 fish hauled in by St. Peter represents the nations of the world (according to St. Jerome) and the fishing net represents the Catholic Church without schism. I know those who have already crossed over. My Battalion Chaplain was an Episcopalian Minister who became a Catholic in June 04. This past May 05, he was ordained a Catholic Priest!

I envited him to a rosary I put together in Korea in which I invited him to say a few words. Six months later back in the states he calls me thanking me for leading him to Mary. As a Protestant, he didn't know Mary. His wife and family were recieved into the Church and then in 04, after his obligation to the military was fulfilled, he became a Catholic. He's a powerful testimony for the Catholic Faith!


After reading the artical, linked above,(..Ruth "I'm Too Dangerously Unqualified To Keep My Job" Gledhill)..it reaffirmed my notion that all of these apologetic responses have immense value in defending the truth against so many distortions and errors found in most of the modern forms of media. The problem is,that, indeed the sources of media don't do a good enough job, these days, in stressing 'accuracy' in reporting, but rather, will accept exaggerations and reporter bias, if they think it will be highly palatable to their intended readership. Thus the great need for the defense of truth, using logic and apologetics, such as Jimmy Akins currently provides.

However, such apologetics and 'logical responses' are actually a very rare thing in our modern society, and usually there is NO answer at all, or possibly very late answers, to the blatant lies, exaggerations and misreprehensions propogated on so many in media and news these days. An this is a very sorry situation for our society today.

Now, in the US, at least, we have the great benefit of this Jimmy Akins blog to defend logic, accuracy and truth, in so many of these circumstances. But I think in many other countries that don't speak english there is very little defense against such lies and errors.

So considering this...what is the possiblity of having some of these past archives of topics translated into spanish one day? Is this a very expensive to do? Is this at all reasonable?

Since I live in a Spanish speaking country I can only think that such an archive of sound apologetics would be of immense benefit to all.

Just a thought...thinking of others.


Some of the 39 Articles are clearly Protestant, but I haven't met any Anglicans today who genuinely assent to all of them - perhaps only a minority still assent to them. Some Anglo-Catholics (including some bishops) reverently and regularly perform Benediction in clear violation of Article 28.

Apostolicae Curae in 1896 declared Anglican orders to be 'absolutely null and void'. However, since then some Anglicans took steps to try to correct any defect in their Apostolic Succession by having one of their number consecrated bishop by an Old Catholic bishop and changed the form of their episcopal ordination rite to be more 'catholic'.

Since then all Anglican Bishops (and priests) can trace their succession through this schismatic but real Old Catholic bishop. (Old Catholics went into schism rejecting Papal Infallibility at Vatican I).

Therefore the canonical judgement of Apostolicae Curae may have been superceded by new facts. Episcopal/Anglican clergy who have joined Rome have not had uniform treatment regarding 're-ordination' or conditional ordination.

Serious barriers to full canonical communion remain and a lot more work needs to be done by us mortals and the Holy Spirit.


As I have said: "Important note for reporters: it is not a scoop if it is not true. Didn't they cover that in J school?"


Wasn't there a group of conservative American Anglicans(or Episcopals, not sure on the exact nuances there) who had split off when women ordinations started taking place that was actively seeking reunification with Rome? I don't remember where I read it, but it was on a Catholic news service of some sort a while back. Does anybody know anything further about that?

Also, in response to the 39 Articles, most Anglican/Episcopals I know are of the mind set that being progressive means getting rid of old rules when they're no longer needed. The have no problems with Henry VIII's split from Rome anymore than they have with a modern split from the Articles. Its all a part of progress for them.



However, since then some Anglicans took steps to try to correct any defect in their Apostolic Succession by having one of their number consecrated bishop by an Old Catholic bishop and changed the form of their episcopal ordination rite to be more 'catholic'.

From what I've heard both from Catholic Answers (I think it was Tim Staples) as well as other resources (e.g., Journey Home), it wasn't by an Old Catholic bishop but an Orthodox one.

But, I believe you are correct in what you said; that is, that it involved only some though.

Episcopal/Anglican clergy who have joined Rome have not had uniform treatment regarding 're-ordination' or conditional ordination.

I know there have been married Anglican/Episcopalian priests who have remained clergy even after having come into the Catholic Church and, therefore, retained their holy orders.

Though I've only heard a few of such conversion stories myself.

For example:

Steve Anderson, of White Lake, was a priest at an Episcopal Church before leaving his church and priesthood to join the Catholic Church. Married and the father of three young boys, Anderson received permission from Rome to become a Catholic priest and will enter Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the fall to begin three years of study before being ordained for the Diocese of Lansing.

Yet, I am not aware of the actual extent as regards all such clergy who have returned to the Catholic Church. From your comment here, it appears you may have more information on this. Care to share?

Tim H


I can't say about subscribing to "all" of them, because some Articles have very detailed and specific explanations within them, like XVII: Of Predestination and Election. But I'd bet that most church-going Anglicans (that is, those who are actually religious--England proper has declined greatly in that respect) do believe in the basic ideas in the Articles. Put up questions about supererogation (denied in article XIV), and they'll say, "Of course I don't believe in that." Ask about purgatory, intercession of the saints, particular uses of statues, and the like (denied in article XXII), and they'll disagree with those practices, as well. (Actually, in England there might still be a few today who lean towards the Roman Catholic practices in this regard, but they're a minority, I believe)

And most importantly, ask any Anglican about the idea that the Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation, and that you shouldn't be required to believe anything that is not found in them. (affirmed in article VI) You'll certainly get a "yes."

These beliefs alone would prevent most from turning to Rome. And while most Anglicans might not be able to recite the 39 Articles by heart, if you lay out their substance and ask church-going laymen whether they agree with what's said there, I'll bet they do.

The Church of England and the Episcopal church have much more in common with the Methodist and Presbyterian churches than with the Roman Catholic church. The similarities with Rome are more superficial and concern form much more than substance.

Tim H

I'd also like to say that looking for a flood of converts as a result of troubles within the Anglican Communion is a misplaced hope. You might get some, as happens with or without such events, and that goes both ways. I have a number of friends at church who are converts away from Roman Catholicism, for instance.

But some decades ago, other conservative churches got fed up with the leftward drift of the church hierarchy and separated from the Episcopal church. I've got a friend there, and he's not at all Catholic-leaning. This wasn't a conversion--they stayed the same and left the liberals to their own devices.

You should not expect that trouble in the ranks means converts.



Wasn't there a group of conservative American Anglicans(or Episcopals, not sure on the exact nuances there) who had split off when women ordinations started taking place that was actively seeking reunification with Rome?

For your info:

This article was first published by The New Oxford Review

The Cost of Conscience

By Tom Watkins

Tom Watkins is a former Anglican priest.

There are few conscious and educated souls who would not be attracted by the beautiful and ancient Church of England. A visit to England brings one across mellow medieval stone churches nestling in picturesque villages as they have been for ages. In Oxford and Cambridge the Church of England seems a cornerstone of the establishment with college chapels and male voice choirs singing the services in the most exquisite musical tradition in Christendom. The cathedrals are glorious centres of historical, sophisticated and tasteful religion. To be Anglican in England is to share in probably the most sublime music, architecture and liturgy in the world. But underneath the flawless exterior the beautiful old Church of England is in crisis.

Numbers of worshippers have plummeted so dramatically that the Church of England no longer publishes annual figures. The Church is led by an Archbishop of Canterbury who is regarded with embarrassment by his colleagues and bewilderment by the English establishment at large. The leadership of the church presides over increasing doctrinal fragmentation, internecine wars between liberals and conservatives and a constant struggle between the thriving, but conservative Third World churches and the ‘pluriform’ branch of Anglicanism known as the Episcopal Church of the USA.

The chaos is exacerbated by the continuing financial crisis in the Church of England. Since her enrichment from the despoliation of the Catholic Church at the Reformation she was the richest landowner after the monarch. But in recent years the Church Commissioners (the Anglican equivalent of the Vatican bank) have lost millions in bad property deals and disastrous investments. The grim picture is exacerbated by the large compensation payments which are being made to the hundreds of clergy who jumped ship since the 1992 decision to ordain women. No one is saying just how much money has been paid out in compensation, and both the Anglicans and the Catholics aren’t publishing statistics about how many have crossed the Tiber in the last nine years. Both churches have good reasons for massaging the statistics: The Church of England want to limit the damage and the Catholics don’t want to endanger the prospect of more conversions through bad publicity.

The compensation plan works like this: Any full time Church of England clergyman who was in office for at least five years prior to 1992 is entitled to compensation if he resigns over women’s ordination. If he is younger than 50 years old he is eligible for three years of graded payments. He gets full salary the first year, two thirds the second year and one half the third year. In addition he and his spouse are eligible for the full Church of England Pensions Board housing benefit. This means the Pensions Board will either buy a house for the couple to rent, or provide up to £75,000.00 towards an equity shared mortgage. The couple are eligible for this benefit for the lifetime of both the clergyman and his wife. If the Anglican minister is over fifty he is eligible for a whopping ten years of compensation at which point he switches over to his full pension. He is also eligible for the lifetime housing benefit. The legislation says anyone may claim up to the year 2004.

So how much is this costing the Church of England? Nobody is saying for sure, but we can make some guess-timates. One former Anglican priest I have spoken to says he and his wife took the three year compensation plan. That means over the three years the Church of England paid them £25,000.00. Added to that is the fact that the Church Pensions Board invested £75,000.00 to give them a mortgage. That £75,000.00 could be tied up for another fifty or sixty years as the man’s wife is only thirty two.

How many people are claiming? Both the Church of England and the Catholic Church are being very cagey about numbers. Both claim they don’t want to broadcast the numbers crossing the Tiber for ‘ecumenical reasons.’ The rough estimate of those crossing is based on those who have claimed the compensation. That number is between 400 and 500. However, the number of Anglican clergy who have ‘gone over’ is likely to be at least double that because, for a number of reasons, many of those who have gone do not turn up on the list.

A clergyman only turns up on the official list of those who have resigned if he has claimed the compensation. Far more retired clergy have crossed the Tiber, but they don’t register in the numbers game. Many of them are now active as Catholic priests. Others who don’t turn up on the list are Church of England clergy who have resigned, but are not eligible for the compensation. Maybe they are young priests who have not served the necessary five years before 1992. Maybe they are from exempted categories like chaplaincies or non-stipendiary posts. Many older priests were encouraged to take ‘early retirement’ rather than resign formally over women’s ordination. Their benefits were slightly better that way and the Church of England succeeded in keeping the official numbers down. Some reckon the number of Anglican priests who have left to become Catholic is between 900-1000. Considering that there are only about 10,000 Anglican priests in the whole country the numbers are staggering.

To reckon how much the exodus is costing the Church of England we could take the clergyman and his family mentioned above as average. Remembering that some applicants won’t cost the Church that much, we also have to consider that those over fifty years of age are claiming ten years’ compensation, so in their case the expense is far more. If the conservative numbers of those going across is reckoned at 400 and if the average case involves paying £25,000.00 and tying up another £75,000.00, then the women’s ordination decision is costing the Church of England at least ten million and tying up another thirty million in property. The amount could be far higher, but nobody is saying. This money comes from the Church of England Pensions Board. At present the parishioners of the Church of England are being pressed for more and more money ‘to pay their clergy pensions’. Is the real reason behind this that the Pensions Board is going broke paying the price of women’s ordination?

Another fascinating twist to the plot is the silence of the Catholic Church. The Catholics in England are always frightened of being seen to be ‘triumphalistic’. When the huge numbers started to cross the Tiber the late Cardinal Hume was reported as saying, ‘This may be the conversion of England we have all been praying for.’ He quickly got his knuckles rapped. Underneath the public relations gloss the Catholic Church has kept quiet because, in the midst of her own shortage of priests, she has received an unprecedented flow of cheap new manpower. The Anglicans coming in are experienced, orthodox, well trained pastors. They have cost the Catholic Church next to nothing to train and equip. In many cases the extra training they undertook was during the former Anglican’s three year compensation period, so in effect the Church of England was paying to train Catholic priests. Many of the retired men live in Church of England pension board housing and their main income is their Church of England pension. In one Catholic diocese in the West of England a priest told me nearly half the Catholic clergy are now former Anglicans.

A former member of the Church of England General Synod told me that a further irony is the fact that the financial compensation measure was devised by opponents of women’s ordination as a wrecking measure. They tried to cook up a plan which would look realistic, and yet cost the Church of England as much as possible in order to deter wavering members from voting for women’s ordination. In the event the General Synod was told that ‘only a handful of priests’ would resign and that the financial situation would be no problem. Believing this fib, and in jubilation at getting women priests through, the General Synod quickly approved the devastating financial compensation plan as well.

Once the real numbers of defections became apparent the Anglican bishops scurried to come up with their now famous, ‘Pastoral Measure’ which gave traditionalist parishes their own episcopal oversight. These so-called flying bishops have helped stem the tide to Rome, but further developments are worth watching. There is pressure from the proponents of women priests to have women bishops. But this will cause another flow to Rome which will in turn put more pressure on the Pensions Board. As a result those pushing for women bishops will either have to wait for 2004 when the compensation plan expires, or try to get rid of the plan so the episcopal consecrations of women will not cost the church as much as their ordination did. It is no surprise then, to learn that moves are underway to convince the General Synod to suspend not only the pastoral measure, but the compensation plan as well. If the pastoral measure which provides ‘flying bishops’ is rescinded those Anglican clergy who are just holding on by the skin of their teeth will finally make their exodus to Rome.

The Catholic Church in England has its own set of problems, but at least she has been very welcoming to the influx of Anglicans. The Pope told Cardinal Hume at the time, ‘Be generous to these men,’ and the Catholics in England have been. Many single former Anglicans were ordained quickly to the Catholic ministry. A committee of bishops was set up to process applications for dispensations from the vow of celibacy to enable married former Anglicans to be ordained quickly and now several hundred former Anglican priests are doing sterling work in Catholic parishes. Only time will tell the true cost of the Church of England’s disastrous decision in 1992 to ordain women priests, but even now the cost has been astronomical.

Brian Day

If Gledhill had (an ounce) 28 grams of knowledge...
More like 28.3495231 grams, but who's keeping track? :)




The following story goes to show that even though parents may be well-intentioned, that doesn't mean that what they decide may actually be the right thing to do.

Girl of 14 who was a boy until she was 12

Even at the age of two, Tim insisted he was a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

And when puberty began to approach at the age of 12, he convinced his parents that something had to be done.

With their agreement, he became the youngest sex-change patient in the world, receiving hormone injections which arrested his male development.

Now, at 14, Tim has become Kim – a blue-eyed blonde with a growing bust line who is allowed to wear make-up at weekends.

She has no boyfriends at present but her parents say she is interested in what, now, is the opposite sex.

Her treatment, which has cost £18,000 so far, is being funded by the German taxpayer.

Psychiatrists treating her say she was an ‘exceptional case – a person clearly in the wrong body’, even though the decision to grant her wishes when she was so young is still the subject of intense debate.

For the complete story:Girl of 14 who was a boy until she was 12

Unhappy as a boy, Kim became youngest ever transsexual at 12

A boy of 12 is believed to have become the world's youngest sex change patient after convincing doctors that he wanted to live the rest of his life as a female.

Tim was diagnosed as a transsexual two years ago, when doctors and psychiatrists concluded that his claims to be "in the wrong body" were so deeply felt that he required treatment. The therapy involves artificially arresting male puberty, with a series of potent hormone injections before the administration of female hormones to initiate the development of features such as breasts.

Now aged 14, and officially registered as a female, Kim looks like a typical girl of her age. She dresses in fashionable clothes, has long blonde hair and blue eyes and dreams of moving to Paris to become a fashion designer. Her parents, who initially assumed their son was going through a temporary phase, eventually grew accustomed to seeing him as a girl.

For the Complete Story: Unhappy as a boy, Kim became youngest ever transsexual at 12

Ed S

Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby and Anglican Bishop David Beetge, co-presidents of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), published a note today which says, "'Growing Together in Unity and Mission' has not yet been officially published. It is unfortunate that its contents have been prematurely reported in a way which misrepresents its intentions and sensationalizes its conclusions."

For more of the note see: http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=76030

A Simple Sinner

"I know there have been married Anglican/Episcopalian priests who have remained clergy even after having come into the Catholic Church and, therefore, retained their holy orders."

Yes and no.

There HAVE been Episcopalians/Anglicans who have become Catholic and been ORDAINED Catholic priests (in at least one case sub conditione but these men are not seen to have "retained their holy orders" but to have been granted permission by Rome to BECOME Catholic priests.

The nuance is small but big. The Catholic Church does not recognize Anglican Orders and therefore converts are NOT recieved as priests, but rather recieved as laymen and then given dispensation to become priests.

So too is the case with some some Lutheran ministers who are married.

Orthodox priests, and the smallest handful of Old Catholic priests or other folks belonging to splinter groups understood to still fully possess valid priestly orders are recieved as priests. (see: http://www.archden.org/dcr/news.php?e=27&s=4&a=595) Anglicans, Lutherans, and at least a Methodist or two have been granted the privelage to become Catholic priests after conversion.

Now to be fair there IS a very small number of converts from groups with questionable orders that Rome has ordained "sub conditione" Which means that since Rome cannot determine with certitude it uses an ordination formula that very simpy says "If it is the case he is not already ordained, THAN we ordain him now." I suppose you could compare it to finding Eucharistics hosts in the ruins of a church hit by a hurricane.... Being unsure if they were consecrated or not, a wise priest may opt to collect them and place them in the chalice with unconsecrated hosts at his next Mass. This was the case with Fr. Graham Leonard, former Ang. bishop of London. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Leonard

On a related note, a group of Evangelicals who were part of a movement to return to a liturgical form of worship here in the US went out of its way to find a schismatic Catholic bishop from BRazil to consecrate bishops for them. That group is having some significant troubles right now and more than a few of the clergy from it are converting to the Catholic Church. To date, I do not know if it is the case that any of them have been recieved as priests, but I do know some have been ordained as priests under the terms of the pastoral provision.

You are essentially right, Esau, that they are allowed to maintain a continuity in functiong in minsitry, but the Catholic Church does not recieve former Anglicans as priests.


a sizeable schism within it that then reunites with Rome in the near future

There will be a sizeable schism, and it will re-unite with Rome eventually, but not in the near future. Maybe 10 or 20 years. It's the Union of Brest-Litovsk all over again!

A Simple Sinner

You know what DID make this story seem believeable at first was the simple trajectory the Anglican communion has been on for the last several decades.

Folks who have followed Anglican history and the events of the past few decades and past ten years know well that there is a growing disconnect between Anglicans in the "Global South" (Africa, parts of Asia and South America) and the "Global North" (Europe, America, Canada, Austrailia, NZ - ok, the last two don't work geographically, but you get the idea.) What does NOT seem to work is the idea that the folks most disenfranchized and disrubed would be the ones to seek communion with Rome. As a matter of fact, I think that time has past.

Why do I say this? Well the parties most prone to the Catholic faith, I suspect, are mostly gone. The remaining "Anglo Catholics" are either ignoring the difficulties, living in a happy fantasy that they can remain an island WITHIN the Anglican Communion to "reform from within" or are looking at joining breakaway jurisdictions. A VERY small minority still are considering "western rite Orthodoxy" as an option, but the grand hope of a great "Exodus to Orthodoxy" is now very small to anyone who is a realist.

The folks who are left in there most strident opposition to the Anglican North's decisions to proceed with women's ordination and homosexual ordination and unions, are more often then not, from the rather Low Church Evangelical wings of Anglicanism.

The folks that are the most strident in their opposition to the ordination of women and the "modernization" of sexual morality are frequently the folks who would be the most fervant in upholding some of the anti-Catholic tenants of the 39 articles.

I also believe that in the past 20 years the strongest voices for Anglo-Catholic doctrine and practice have actually already, slowly, one by one, become Catholic.

A fella I knew who once worked at a cigar shop I frequneted (back in my days of enjoying the glories of a well made cigar!) had been, at one point, a Lutheran Franciscan. He confided in me once that the fellas that "really meant it" had long since simply become Catholics.

As beautiful as it would be for Anglican brothers to come home to Rome and embrace the fullness of the Petrine minsitry, well, I think that is becoming less and less likely. In the wake of a division between the Northern Anglicans and the Anglicans of the Global South, I suspect the more "conservative party" in the south would also be mostly represented by "low church" "2-sacrament" Anglicans.

I suspect in the years to come there will be still more converts. I think that most all of them will come in one by one, not as whole churches.


A Simple Sinner:

WOW! Thanks for all that info!!!!

That's what I LOVE about this blog -- commenters such as yourself who provide such great information and insight into these things!

God bless you, A Simple Sinner, and THANKS!

A Simple Sinner

"There will be a sizeable schism, and it will re-unite with Rome eventually, but not in the near future. Maybe 10 or 20 years. It's the Union of Brest-Litovsk all over again!

I am sorry, as a spiritual heir to this union, I just can't agree. The difference between the Eastern Orthodox who entered into that union, and the tattered and scattered groups of the Anglican communion who do NOT share a oneness of faith is too great for comparison. The Orthodox share in the sacraments, Anglicans do not.

Some Day

That is right, the those "bishops" and "priests" are not in Holy Orders.

They lost the Apostolic Succesion years ago.

A Simple Sinner


Thank you for your kind comment. I appreciate it.

For the longest time, in a spirit of ecumenical zeal and unrivaled hope for the Anglican communion I was of the thinking that maye, smoehow Leo XIII got it wrong in Apostolicae Curae (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolicae_Curae) and/or perhaps ideas of the "Dutch Touch" with Old Catholic participation in Anglican Communion Episcopal consecrations would have restored a valid apostolic succession and priesthood.

In the past few years thought it is too plainly obvious that both the Old Catholics and the Anglicans have such widesly divergent views on the nature of the sacraments and have taken to women's ordination so strongly, that I had to give up the ghost. While this one issue is enough to derail the whole matter, it is not the whole of my argument in support of Rome's teaching on the nullty of Anglo-orders.

I had to admit that Rome was as wise as ever on her pronouncement in this matter. The idea that any non-Catholic body outside of some Eastern and Oriental Orthodox could be recieved as a church or individual clergy could simply be "incardinated" is not tenanble for most of them - too much is problematic, from records, form intent...

Individual bishops and breakaway and "new" churches have done a rather notable job at different times of trying to get Old Catholic, Orthodox Catholic and schismatic groups like the "Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church" Which was created by a schismatic bishop in that country in the 40s. However laudable and dilligent such efforts may be, there is still a lot that is problematic with trying to determine the veracity of claims, the form used, the intent of it, and then the whole can of worms dealing with how "Catholic" their theology is.

Even if such groups COULD demonstrate valid orders, it would beg the question, why did they establish them OUTSIDE of Rome and where do they truly stand now.One such group here in the US that did its best to establish Holy Orders that Rome would or could recognize, frequently appeals to the "Ancient Church" The church fathers, and early councils to make a case for its actions and existence. When all is said and done, they are left without a good explination as to why they chose to form an autogentic (self-created) church. That is something no early father, council or Christian community would have imagined.


Right. I think it is time for St. Blog's to start handing out awards to the secular media for best and worst coverage of religious issues.

Last year's winner would definitely be Reuter's attempt to spark a holy war when it blew Pope Benedict's remarks completely out of context.

It looks like having the blood of innocents on their hands is not enough for the British press.

Fabio P.Barbieri

Ruth Gledhill is admittedly stupid on Catholic matters, and I told her so on her own blog. But by the standards of British journalism, she is a marvel. At least she neither insults the Faith nor indulges in blatant double standards where Muslims are concerned.

Fabio P.Barbieri

And oh, yeah, have you ever read her answer threads? That is an indication of what anyone who wants to debate religious topics in Britain is up against. Stark, staring insanity, self-satisfied ignorance, anti-religious bigotry that does not even know enough to know that it is offensive, are the daily bread of British discourse. In this kind of environment, I respectfully submit that Ruth Gledhill is better than anyone has a right to expect.


Fabio, is your point then that Gledhill can be forgiven gross misrepresentations of the truth simply because she is surrounded by nincompoops foaming at the mouth?

In such a hostile environment, the need to stick to the truth is more important not less.

I suppose in some sense an audacious display of utter ignorance is better than a fabulously wanton display of utter ignorance and disrespect, but what would be wrong with asking for an iota of journalistic integrity?

Or even 5th grade literacy?

As far as her "fair" treatment of Islam is concerned, I have a suggestion:
Instead of a religion reporter who roundly hates the very idea of faith, how about we have a religion reporter who at least thinks belief in some sort of deity is a generally okay thing to have.

If no such person lives in England, I suggest they could hire someone like myself -- as I am careful, considerate and do not condescend to people of faith.

And, I happen to quite fluent in English.

Christine G

IMO, this is the bigger story on Catholicism in Britain right now.

Randy 'Mick' McRay

Hi Jimmy,

I've been debating some protestants on doctrine and history. I am no historian, but I hold my own. I also do okay on doctrine with help from Catholic sources such as yours for reference. However, I have been asked about the St. Bartholomew's massacre. I find a ton of info from anti-Catholic sources but cannot find any from a Catholic or unbiased site save online Catholic encyclopedia. I have read about it there, but I was trying to find some other sources on the matter. Maybe even a shorted response, LOL.

Thank You!

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