The new commenting policy

The new commenting policy starts tomorrow.  Thank you to those who have either sent me an email at  vp  AT acsociety DOT org or have given their details at the end of a comment (which I will remove).

We will no longer be allowing comments by people whose identities we do not know.  Eventually, we may decide as well to limit comments to those who are members in good standing of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.

There’s no problem if you want to use a handle to comment here, as long as we know who you are.





The wrong sort of Anglicans? (sniff!)

In my reading this afternoon, I came across this article in First Things “In Defense of Converts” and came across this:

Nor is such sniffiness towards converts an exclusively American phenomenon. The day after Anglicanorum Coetibus was issued, providing personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into communion with the Catholic Church, I recall a Jesuit friend remarking: “Yes, but they’re the wrong sort of Anglicans.” One wonders, of course, who the “right” ones would be.

It’s kind of funny, don’t you think?   The whole article is interesting.

Pray Tell blog takes aim at our liturgy!

The Pray Tell blog has a post up about an Orthodox scholar andformerAnglican David Frost who is critical of importing Cranmerian language into Orthodox liturgy.  Then the blogger takes a swipe at the Ordinariates’ Divine Worship.

The Book of Common Prayer liturgy, in Frosts’s view, is theologically corrupt; it has an unbalanced and juridical view of sin and guilt, and it was heavily motivated by terror of ‘the uneducated, uncivilised mob’. It understates what Frost calls ‘the mighty acts of God’, especially the resurrection. It was, he says, unduly influenced by Calvinism.

And not only the implicit Calvinism but also the language he objects to!

He also criticises what he calls ‘sub-Cranmerian English’.

Despite being a lover of Renaissance literature, I have argued throughout my working-life that to create a special language for religion akin to ancient Hebrew or Sanskrit is the characteristic of cults — and the Christian faith should not be turned into a cult. It is contrary to the practice of the Apostles, for the gospel was communicated in the Greek koine, an international trading language whose counterpart today might be internet computer English.

To have a substantially different language for worship would seem to contradict the basic message of divine incarnation. When at Christ’s crucifixion the veil of the Temple was rent in two, the barrier between sacred and profane was shattered. It is all too easy to erect that barrier once again, and the barrier goes up imperceptibly as language grows old-fashioned and unfamiliar.

The greatest danger presented by imitation of Cranmerian English among the modern western Orthodox is that it may become yet another hierarchic, archaic language for worship that can protect and insulate one from its content, just as much as colourful ceremony and fine chanting.

The relevance of Frost’s lecture for Catholicism is slightly complex. After all, we are not Orthodox. Some of the texts that he attacks appear in the older Latin missal. Some of the texts that he cites as missing are also missing in the Tridentine Mass – the explicit epiclesis, for instance.

Nonetheless, I think he makes many good points. It is not at all clear that Thomas Cranmer’s heavily Calvinistic theology should be ‘cut and pasted’ into a post-conciliar Catholic Mass. His critique of ‘sub-Cranmerian English’ rings true to me. Even setting Catholic and Orthodox differences aside, I found his lecture a damning criticism of the new Ordinariate liturgy.

Well, most interesting.

I think some of Ordinariate members in England might be more sympathetic to this point of view. I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

As for me—the post-Vatican II view among progressive Catholics that we are “Easter people” and thus we stand before the Lord and can have all the fruits of the Resurrection without repentance of sin and crying out for mercy seems to me to miss the fact one has to go through a process of deep conversion to experience the renewal and regeneration that does make one able to walk by the Spirit.  Only walking by the Spirit and not the flesh makes us truly Easter people.  I see a lot of carnal Christians acting like they’ve got it made when I wonder if they have ever had an experience of meeting the Living God—and developed a healthy fear of Him.  Also, I think we can skate along thinking in our comfortable lives we pretty much are doing okay—humming along here being quite patient and loving and all that—until!  we get some neighbor who plays loud music late at night, or someone annoying starts attending our church services.

I dunno.  Try breaking a bad habit, even a small one, such as overreating. Try introducing new spiritual disciplines into your life.   See how quickly you realize how powerless you are, what a “miserable offender” totally dependent on God’s grace you are.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we are left in that place—but you have to experience that in order to receive what only comes to a contrite and humble heart.  And even having a contrite and humble heart—well, you can’t even give that to yourself. You need grace.   We are so, so presumptuous!  So, a little reminder in our confession at Mass not to be so, is a good thing.

I think many of the “We are Easter people!” crowd have made metaphors of the Bible.   ‘Oh, we’re adults now, we can see the Resurrection was symbolic.  All that sin and dying to self stuff, that was for a more immature and superstitious age.

Your thoughts?

H/t to the Anglican Ordinariate Informal Discussion group on Facebook for the piece.

Fr Tomlinson on “The Lesson of Anglicanism: liberalism will tear you apart.”

Fr. Ed Tomlinson, an Ordinariate priest in England, has an article in The Catholic Herald entitled The lesson of Anglicanism: liberalism will tear you apart.

In it he captures some of the reasons why those of us who come from the Anglican world have been so uneasy during the recent synods on the family, and dismayed by the rising factionalism in the Catholic Church where one bishops’ conference or diocese interprets Amoris Laetitia in light of what the Church has always taught regarding Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried without an annulment, but others say the document opens the way for not only the divorced and ‘remarried’ but also those in other “irregular” relationships to receive.  We know too well how this movie ends.  Anyway, back to Fr. Tomlinson.

He writes:

Two major developments in the 20th Century brought this uneasy truce into question. The first was the adoption of synodical governance which led to a radical politicisation of the Church of England. With everything suddenly up for grabs, by virtue of majority vote, the factions no longer pulled together in unity but began to plot and lobby against each other. General Synod became a battleground on which theological opponents could be put to the sword. And it didn’t take long for the liberal lobby, strengthened by trends in society and over-represented on the bench of bishops, to realise synod worked in their favour. Did the Holy Spirit said no to women priests in July’s Synod? Fret not: table the motion again in February, then repeat ad nauseum, until the Holy Spirit finally gets the message! That is how democratising the deposit of faith tends to work, though the system admittedly tends to favour Barabbas over Jesus.

The second development which disrupted Anglican unity occurred when the Book of Common Prayer became optional not mandatory. You are what you pray: lex orandi, lex credendi. With the shackles removed, parishes started to go their own way. Today, there is almost no common ground between an evangelical parish on one side of town and its liberal counterpart on the other. This represents a massive problem for the Church of England: how can you bring people together in love when there is zero shared praxis between them? The situation has become so grave that the Lambeth Conference can no longer be held, due to deep divisions even at the level of the episcopacy.


In defense of the King James Bible

I have made no secret of my wish that someday the Catholic Church will approve the use of the King James Bible with all the canonical books and perhaps some footnotes or other ways of dealing with any Protestantisms such as the way the word “tradition” is used in a derogatory fashion.   Nothing matches the KJV for its poetry and its language is, with that of the Book of Common Prayer, part of the undergirding of Western Civilization in the English-speaking world.  In other words, it’s a treasure, an heirloom and a key to unlocking English literature and culture.

Why I write about this is that I stumbled across a post from last year by Jimmy Akin about how the New American Bible —which is approved by the Catholic Church—translates Luke 23:4-5.

Akin writes:

What does science say about the darkness during the Crucifixion?

This Sunday I winced when we got to the following line in the Gospel reading:

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun (Luke 23:44-45).

“An eclipse of the sun”? Really? Surely the translators of the New American Bible, which we hear at Mass, didn’t render the passage that way!

But they did.


He then goes on to explain what a solar eclipse is; what a lunar eclipse is and the relationship of the lunar cycles to the Jewish calendar and the fact that all four Gospels tie the crucifixion to Passover.

GAH! No! That’s the kind of eclipse that can’t occur at Passover!

Now, you might think that the NAB translators didn’t know this.

But that’s not plausible, because the fact this wouldn’t have been a solar eclipse is regularlycommented upon in commentaries on Luke, and the translators certainly were familiar with and consulted such commentaries in the translation process.

They knew, but for some reason they just didn’t care.

So, I looked up how the KJV translates Luke 23:44-45

Luke Chapter 23


44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.




Upcoming blog commenting policy

Hello all,

We are going to implement a new commenting policy.

As of August 1,  we will only post comments from people with real names from verifiable locations and email addresses.  If you wish to comment under a “handle” that’s okay, we will keep your personal details private, but we need to know who you are.

We would appreciate people who use “handles” or email addresses that do not reflect their real names to let us know as soon as possible.

Eventually, we may also limit comments to those who are members of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, but for now, anyone may comment as long as we know who you are.

Thank you.


Anglicanorum Coetibus Society goes live with map pinpointing groups across North America

Updated to reflect revisions on Catholic in the Ozarks

Anglican Patrimony Groups

Portrait of Pope Benedict XVI
Signing Anglicanorum Coetibus.

The “Anglican Patrimony” is the liturgical history, particular to Medieval England, that the Catholic Church and Anglicans have in common. It is upon this Patrimony that the Ordinariate Form (Divine Worship) was built. Divine Worship is the official liturgy of the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans.

The “Anglican Use of the Roman Rite” is now effectively and functionally suppressed (If indeed the term “suppressed” can even properly be used. It may be more accurate to say “obsolete.”). It no longer exists. It was the prototype for Divine Worship, lasting 35 years (from 1980 to 2015). Divine Worship is now the official liturgy of the Ordinariates, known officially as “Divine Worship” and less officially as the “Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite.” A full mass sample of Divine Worship can be viewed here…

Divine Worship consists of a Missal (mass liturgy) as well as a Breviary (daily office), though the revision of the Breviary is still awaiting final approval from Rome. If you would like to see what this revision looks like, you need only visit the Covert Prayer website: Many lay Catholics, both in the Ordinariates and outside them, are already using the Covert Prayer website as their guide to “Divine Worship: The Office,” even though it’s not official yet.

The Personal Ordinariates are special jurisdictions within the Catholic Church that apply specifically to certain parishes and persons, hence the name “personal.” The idea here is to create a special diocesan-like structure that overlaps other dioceses, but only applies to certain persons who are attached to that Ordinariate. It’s sort of like a Military Archdiocese that applies only to military chapels, chaplains and members of the armed services. Think of it this way. Imagine if you will a religious order, like the Benedictines, or the Franciscans, for example. There would be a special headquarters for that order, that have several monasteries under it. Well, the Ordinariate is like the religious order, and the parishes are the monasteries.

Three Ordinariates were created to overlap dioceses in certain geographical areas. These are (1) the United Kingdom, (2) Anglo-America which consists of the United States and Canada, and (3) Oceania which consists of Australia, New Zealand and even Japan. Within these Ordinariates can be found a number of parishes that celebrate the Anglican Patrimony of Divine Worship. The legal structure for creating these Ordinariates is an Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 entitled Anglicanorum Coetibus (which is Latin for “Groups of Anglicans”). It’s pronounced like this: ANG-lick-an-OR-oom CHAY-tee-boos. Now these are the Ordinariates…

Now these Ordinariates were primarily designed for Anglicans who wish to convert to Catholicism, but retain those liturgical practices that are most familiar to them. However, this also applies somewhat to Methodists too. Any Roman Catholic, who was once connected to Anglicanism or Methodism, is automatically eligible for Ordinariate membership. Furthermore, anyone who converts to Catholicism (from anything) is automatically eligible, if he/she converts in an Ordinariate parish or community. Any Roman Catholic who has not yet received a sacrament of initiation (baptism, first communion, or confirmation) is eligible to become a member if he/she receives one of those sacraments in an Ordinariate parish or community. Finally, any Catholic with an immediate family member in the Ordinariate is also eligible for membership.

Membership in any one of the above Ordinariates may be requested by visiting the above websites and filling out the required application.

Ordinariate parishes and communities are not exclusive clubs just for certain kinds of Catholics. In fact, any Catholic may become a member of an Ordinariate parish or community, even if said Catholic is not eligible for Ordinariate membership. This is important to note, because Pope Benedict XVI said the Anglican Patrimony was a gift to the whole universal Church, not just members of the Ordinariate. This means that any Roman Catholic can meet the Sunday obligation by attending mass in an Ordinariate parish, and any Roman Catholic can join such a parish or community as a full member, and yet remain under the episcopal jurisdiction of the local diocesan bishop.

Yet there is more. While the Divine Worship mass can only be found in Ordinariate parishes and communities, there is the other half of the Anglican Patrimony — The Office! As Pope Benedict XVI said, the Anglican Patrimony is a gift to the whole universal Church. The Divine Worship Office is part of the Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite. In other words, it’s part of the Roman Rite. It’s a third form of the Roman Rite, which means ANY LAY ROMAN CATHOLIC CAN CELEBRATE IT. That’s right, any lay Roman Catholic can use the Divine Worship Office for Morning and Evening Prayer as an alternative to the regular Novus Ordo Office (Christian Prayer), or the older Tridentine Office (The Breviary). Because of this, many lay Roman Catholics, who have no previous connection to Anglicanism or Methodism, are now reciting the Divine Worship Office, currently proposed to Rome for approval, as shown on the Covert Prayer website: They’re praying this office with their families, in their homes, all over the United Kingdom, Anglo-America and Oceania.

In addition to that, new groups are now forming, creating the foundation for a second wave of Ordinariate parishes and communities to sprout up in the future. We are particularly seeing this happen in Anglo-America. These consist of lay Catholics who have some kind of attachment to the Anglican Patrimony. This might be because they were formerly Anglicans or Methodists before converting to Catholicism. It might be because they have relatives who are Anglicans or Methodists. It might simply be because they are Anglophiles and love all things English! Whatever the reason, it’s happening. Small groups of families are meeting in living rooms, libraries, office buildings, and sometimes even Catholic chapels, to recite and sing the Divine Worship Office.

The Anglicanorum Coetibus Society (ACS), formerly the “Anglican Use Society,” serves to help such small groups organise and network together, particularly in Anglo-America for now, and may expand this to the United Kingdom and Oceania at some later date. The ACS provides scholarly publications, as well as a news blog, and will soon offer podcasts, for all things related to the Ordinariates and the Anglican Patrimony. However, it’s crown service right now is the ACS Patrimonial Map. This is a map, primarily of Anglo-America, featuring not only the established Ordinariate parishes and communities, but also emerging “Anglican Patrimony Groups” or “Patrimonial Groups” that might someday become Ordinariate communities and parishes. Catholics (and converts) interested in becoming part of the Ordinariate can link up with such Patrimonial Groups when no Ordinariate parish or community is nearby. OR, if they’re adventurous enough, and are willing to make the long-term commitment, they can start their own Patrimonial groups. The ACS will support them with a listing on the map, provided they follow the requirements. The requirements for placing a Patrimonial Group on the map, are listed on the map page itself…

Unlike the Ordinariates, literally ANYONE may be a member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society. This is a lay apostolate, that serves the Ordinariates. So any Catholic can be a member of the Society and support its mission. The Society provides connectivity for those who are attached to the Anglican Patrimony, regardless if they were ever Anglicans or not. So it doesn’t matter who you are, or what your background is. Membership in the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society is open to you.

The Society supports its members with the services mentioned above, and also provides occasional conferences, wherein ACS members can meet and mingle with one another. The main focus of the ACS, however, is networking Catholics attached to the Anglican Patrimony, letting them know they’re not alone, and their part of a bigger family within the Catholic Church. The gist of it is this. Through the ACS, Roman Catholics who celebrate the Vatican-approved Anglican Patrimony outside established Ordinariate parishes, now have a voice and a network.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society (ACS), simply go to the membership form on the website and sign up! However, if you’re interested in starting a Patrimonial Group in your area, because there is currently nothing else around, just visit the ACS map and follow the instructions for listing.

Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of ‘ — Apologetics and random musings from a Catholic in the Bible Belt.’ 

A Catholic Guide
to the Last Days
for Protestants

Bishop Athanasius Schneider on interpreting Vatican II

DSC01443Last May, I attended the Rome Life Forum, a gathering of more than 100 pro-life leaders from around the world.  One of the speakers was Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop the of Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan.

During the conference, I had the pleasure of sitting next to him at lunch one day. He was most interested to hear I was an Ordinariate member and asked me many questions about our Divine Worship.  Do we receive on the tongue? Worship ad orientem, that kind of thing.

He’s an impressive man.  Of German descent, he grew up in the Soviet Union and for years his parents were imprisoned in the gulags. He told a story about how there were no priests when he was growing up, so no Eucharist, but every Sunday, his father and mother would worship privately in their home in communion with a Holy Mass being said elsewhere in the world.   He speaks at least a half dozen languages well—can switch easily from English to French as he did at our table, to German, to Italian, to Spanish and I imagine he speaks Russian as well.

So, with interest, I read this op ed of his submitted to Rorate-Caeli on the proper interpretation of the Second Vatican Council.  I think one can easily extrapolate from this talk to the proper interpretation of Amoris Laetitia or any other papal document or pronouncement.

He writes:

There must be created in the Church a serene climate of a doctrinal discussion regarding those statements of Vatican II which are ambiguous or which have caused erroneous interpretations. In such a doctrinal discussion there is nothing scandalous, but on the contrary, it will be a contribution in order to maintain and explain in a more sure and integral manner the deposit of the immutable faith of the Church.

One must not highlight so much  a certain council, absolutizing it or equating it in fact with the oral (Sacred Tradition) or written (Sacred Scripture) Word of God. Vatican II itself said rightly (cf. Verbum Dei, 10), that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, ordinary and universal Magisterium) is not above the Word of God, but beneath it, subject to it, and being only the servant of it (of the oral Word of God = Sacred Tradition and of the written Word of God = Sacred Scripture).

From an objective point of view, the statements of the Magisterium (Popes and councils) of definitive character, have more value and more weight compared with the statements of pastoral character, which have naturally a changeable and temporary quality depending on historical circumstances or responding to pastoral situations of a certain period of time, as it is the case with the major part of the statements of Vatican II.

The original and valuable contribution of the Vatican II consists in the universal call to holiness of all members of the Church (chap. 5 of Lumen gentium), in the doctrine about the central role of Our Lady in the life of the Church (chap. 8 of Lumen gentium), in the importance of the lay faithful in maintaining, defending and promoting the Catholic faith and in their duty to evangelize and sanctify the temporal realities according to the perennial sense of the Church (chap. 4 of Lumen gentium), in the primacy of the adoration of God in the life of the Church and in the celebration of the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 2; 5-10). The rest one can consider to a certain extent secondary, temporary and, in the future, probably forgettable, as it was the case with some non-definitive, pastoral and disciplinary statements of various ecumenical councils in the past.

The following issues – Our Lady, sanctification of the personal life of the faithful with the sanctification of the world according to the perennial sense of the Church and the primacy of the adoration of God – are the most urgent aspects which have to be lived in our days. Therein Vatican II has a prophetical role which, unfortunately, is not yet realized in a satisfactory manner.

Interestingly,  Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, who has been given the role of the interpreter of Amoris Laetitia takes an opposite view to how one interprets this document vis a vis Scripture and Tradition.  From One Peter Five’s Maike Hickson a year ago:.

Austrian Catholic website reports that on 7 July, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn published an interview in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, in which he said that Amoris Laetitia is a binding doctrinal document. From now on, says Schönborn, all the previous magisterial texts concerning marriage and the family “have to be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia.”

Schönborn also said in this interview – a fuller excerpt of this text has now been published in English in the Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica – that it is “obvious” that Amoris Laetitia is an act of the Magisterium since it is an Apostolic Exhortation. reports:

All previous magisterial statements concerning marriage and the family now have to be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia, Schönborn stressed, and just as today the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) must be interpreted in the light of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

I’m uneasy with that approach, especially if the idea is that new stuff always trumps old stuff, even the plain meaning of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.   New stuff can shed light on old stuff—the way the Nicene Creed sheds light on Scripture, to reveal the doctrine of the Trinity, but the Creed does not abrogate Scripture or contradict it, only brings Revelation into a greater clarity.

When we were preparing to come into the Church, papal infallibility and ecclesiology were two areas where we needed catechesis, especially to banish any vestiges of “Branch Theory” that were still kicking around.  I was able to come to accept papal infallibility under the modest Vatican I definition and to see the Pope as a sign of unity for the Church and as the guarantor of the deposit of faith.  In other words his job is not to come up with novelties, but to defend what the Church has always believed.

In a recent interview, Cardinal Muller, recently deposed as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith gave the following interview, now translated into English on Rorate-Caeli:

 “Perhaps Cardinal Schònborn has a vision contrary to mine, but perhaps he has a position contrary also to what he had before, seeing as he has changed it.  I think that the words of Jesus Christ must always be the foundation of the Church’s doctrine.  And nobody – until yesterday – could say that this was not true. It is clear: we have the irreversible revelation of Christ. And the Church has been entrusted with the depositum fidei, i.e. the entire content of revealed truth. The Magisterium does not have the authority to correct Jesus Christ.  It is He, if anyone, Who corrects us. And we are obliged to obey Him; we must be faithful to the doctrine of the apostles, clearly developed in the spirit of the Church.”

I find those words reassuring.  “It is He, if anyone, Who corrects us ….”



Rising above factionalism and power games

Andrea Gaggliarducci’s Monday Vatican is a weekly read.  Today’s offering is especially good. In it, he touches on the controversy engendered by La Civilta Cattolica’s article on the “ecumenism of hate” and Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four “Dubia” cardinals.

Here are some highlights, but do go over and read the whole thing:


In [Pope Benedict XVI’s]way of thinking, there is no “political way,” but merely the search for the will of God. His speech on the hermeneutic of continuity, delivered to the Roman Curia at Christmas 2005, went in this direction. In the end he invited everyone to leave aside political categories, and to enter the heart of the mystery of the Church. To sum it up, Pope Benedict asked his audience always to use the renewed glasses of faith to look at reality.

This approach was rejected by those who made ideological counter positions the main theme of their work. For this reason, they were marginalized during Benedict’s pontificate. Under Pope Francis, they grabbed the occasion to retake the reins of the cultural debate.

Under Pope Francis, and probably despite him, the debate is really similar to that of the 70s: nuances are marginalized, issues at stake are framed in political language, the theme of faith is kept in the background.

For this reason, anytime the impression is given that Benedict still has something to say, his thinking is violently marginalized.

Early in Pope Benedict’s pontificate, I went to Montreal to hear a talk by John L. Allen Jr.  In it, he said many on the progressive side were expecting a “giant flushing sound” of dissidents being swept out of the Church with the advent of the Church’s doctrinal enforcer to the papacy.  Then, it didn’t happen.  Allen pointed out Benedict saw the Catholic Church as a family, not in ideological terms.   I wish I could find my original article for his exact words.  But that thought stayed with me.  Many people wished Pope Benedict had cleaned out dissidents from the Church and fault him for not having done so. But in light of yesterday’s Gospel reading on the wheat and the tares, it’s worth revisiting that thought.

I’m also reminded of a time I went to see my spiritual director bristling with the latest thing that had scandalized me coming out of the Vatican.

“How’s your prayer life?” Fr. Francis kept asking, to every “Yes, but ….blah blah blah” complaint I had.

So, how’s my prayer life? How’s your prayer life?  Are you relying on, totally dependent upon God in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit to bring renewal to your life and consequently to the Church of which you and I are living stones?

Here’s another extensive quote from Monday Vatican.  I don’t usually do this for copyright reasons, but it’s mostly a quote of a quote of Pope Benedict’s about the dictatorship of relativism.

The theme of the dictatorship of relativism has thus returned to the center of the debate. This dictatorship asks the Church not to surrender its principles, but to give up talking about them in the public sphere; it asks not that the Church should quit evangelizing, but that it should avoid speaking explicitly of Christ; it asks not that the Church remain silent, but that its speech should be drawn from a secular vocabulary.

In the end, it is useful to look back to another moment in which Benedict used the metaphor of the barque of Peter. It was April 18, 2005, and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals, was celebrating the Missa Pro Eligendo Romani Pontifice prior to the conclave which elected him pope.

Speaking about St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, Cardinal Ratzinger reminded his hearers that Paul asks us to be really adult in the faith, since being children in faith leads to being “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4: 14). This description is very timely! How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking? The small boat bearing the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves — flung from one extreme to another: “from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth.”

Cardinal Ratzinger went on: “Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true. Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires”.

But – the Cardinal concluded – “We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An “adult” faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth. We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith – only faith – that creates unity and is fulfilled in love”.

Oh, for a true, adult faith!  For a faith deeply-rooted in friendship with Christ.

Msgr. Newton interview at Catholic World Report

The Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham Msgr. Keith Newton has given an interview to Catholic World Report!

A great read.  Here’s an excerpt:

Msgr. Keith Newton: I was born in Liverpool, in the Northwest of England, in 1952. I was brought up in a proud working-class family. My father was a gas welder for all of his life, though sadly he died the age of 54, when I was just 23 years old, and had just been ordained as an Anglican deacon.

My mother, for most of her life, worked in a small grocery shop—the sort that no longer exist in Britain—where everything was sold, from loose tea to sliced bacon. She worked in the shop at the bottom of our road, which was very much a community shop where everybody knew each other.

My mother was born on the same road where I was born and my father was born four roads away. I have one older brother who still lives near Liverpool.

My mother sent me to Sunday school each Sunday from an early age, although at that time my parents did not practice their religion. I was confirmed in the Church of England at the age of 11 and have continued being a committed Christian ever since then. I served at the parish Eucharist and was involved in the parish youth club, where I met my future wife.

CWR: How did you develop an interest in going into ministry?

Msgr. Newton: I was involved in the life of the church from my early teens. This was a lively Church of England parish with a vicar and often three or four young curates. I felt a calling to the priesthood in the Church of England at about the age of 15, but like many young men was embarrassed to tell anybody as I thought I wouldn’t have the right character, qualifications, or background. It was only when one of the curates asked me if I had thought about ordination that I was able to talk about it openly, only to discover that all the clergy were hoping that I had a vocation.