Skip to comments.Senior Anglican bishop reveals he is ready to convert to Roman Catholicism
Posted on 10/24/2009 3:47:20 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.
Bishop Hind said he would be "happy" to be reordained as a Catholic priest and said that divisions in Anglicanism could make it impossible to stay in the church.
He is the most senior Anglican to admit that he is prepared to accept the offer from the Pope, who shocked the Church of England last week when he paved the way for clergy to convert to Catholicism in large numbers.
In a further blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury's hopes of preventing the Anglican Communion from disintegrating, other bishops have cast doubt over its survival.
The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that "the Anglican experiment is over". He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops.
In one of the most significant developments since the Reformation, the Pope last week announced that a new structure would be set up to allow disaffected Anglicans to enter full communion with Rome, while maintaining parts of their Protestant heritage.
The move comes after secret talks between the Vatican and a group of senior Anglican bishops.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Well, to dig deeper still, however, those “reform” movements have very political origins. Papal acceptance of the Magna Carta hinged on England having a unique condition of fealty to Rome which the British government deeply detested, and sought to get out from under. One British king even offered his kingdom to become a vassal state to Islam, but a wise Sultan of Morrocco deemed any land which tolerated such a wicked ruler would be a liability. Wycliffe operated with a Parlaimentary “commission” of sorts to undermine the papal domination. With Jan Hus (who studied Wycliffe) came the radical realization that one could claim Christianity apart from from either the Western or Eastern system of patriarchs.
Nonetheless, Henry’s “reforms” were hardly greeted with the docility and ready acceptance you suggest. Quite the contrary, he executed the Archbishop of Canterbury, dissolved 825 monasteries, siezed the monastic and church properties, executed as treasonists several hundred priests, and provided for only those who would accept his schism (in the form of a continuation of their ministries, a pension, or a one-time cash payout for those who chose laicization over apostate ministry). Entire communities of priests were replaced, in many cases, by a single rector, vicar or curate.
Keep in mind, the population of England was only about 4 million, so it could be served quite well by only a few thousand pastors, a small faction of the number of priests form the 825 monasteries and thousands of rectories.
Of course reforms have political considerations. So did the Papacy for the first 1900 years. A very large part of the history of Europe is the tug of war between the Papacy and secular powers in Europe for political advantage. The Pope is still a monarch. He used to rule over a considerable amount of land. He had a standing army and a navy. He ordered those armed forced into battle. At times he even led his army on horse back. I would hope that we don't have to pretend on these threads that the Papacy was never a political force in Europe or wield political power.
Nonetheless, Henrys reforms were hardly greeted with the docility and ready acceptance you suggest.
I never suggested that. I only stated that he had allies among the Catholic clergy who advocated reform. The Catholic Church has experienced many reform during its history. If the Pope had been a little more diplomatic during the 16th century, perhaps it could have used to forces for reform to its advantage. But of course it didn't turn out that way, and Christian unity in Western Europe was broken.
Nonetheless, Henrys reforms were hardly greeted with the docility and ready acceptance you suggest.
As I said in my post, King Henry was a beast. He saw an opportunity to enrich himself and the nobles who supported him, and he took it by taking advantage of the Catholic priests who advocated reform.
They do accept the concept of the Apostolic succession. More than a hundred years ago, they tried to get Rome to accept the English hierarchy as a valid if schismatic branch of the Church. But the strong Protestant element in the Cof E had secured a practical break in the line of succession.
Henry did plunder the Church. Queen Mary managed to mend the rift, but she did not live long enough, and her sister renewed the split.
“Queen Mary managed to mend the rift”
You might want to elaborate on this one.
Queen Mart restored relations with Rome, and let the nobility and gentry keep their loot, and the priests to keep their wives. Worst mistake was the extent of the persecution of the Protestants. During the reign of the boy-king, the Protestants has made themselves very unpopular, and then blundered into the attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne. The government should have been content to execute the big shots. But they chose to make examples of a lot of ordinary people, making martyrs of them. This rescued the Protestant Party from the wide discredit into which it had fallen. IAC, when Elizabeth ascended the throne, the majority of the population was still Catholic, but the Protestant party had made comeback, and by banking on the popularity of the Tudors, was able to re-establish control. The only real mistake that Mary made, however, was dying before she was forty.
“The only real mistake that Mary made, however, was dying before she was forty.”
She was 42 when she died. Burning Protestants at the stake for heresy probably wouldn’t be classified as a great idea, especially Cranmer, if you won’t call it a “real” mistake.
But the biggest boo-boo was marrying Philip II of Spain, thereby earning her the deserved mistrust of her countrymen.
There is a reason why she’s known as “Bloody Mary”, you probably should have mentioned that, too.
Why do you refer to Protestants as “the Protestant Party”?
Well she was queen for only about five years. Elizabeth lived to great age.
Cranmer was an able man and a great churchman, but not personally heroic. As for Phillip, remember that Spain had been allied with England since the reign of Henry VII. Part of that deal had been to marry Catherine to Henry’s brother Arthur. Catherine was a beauty when she was young, and partly for that reason Henry married her after Arthur’s premature death. And of course after Mary’s death, Phillip was one of Elizabeth’s suitors. It wasn’t until the Dutch rebellion that England began to pull away from the Spanish alliance.
You object to the term “Protestant party,” but t because Protestants were in the minority and strong mainly in London and other parts. They were also divided. Protestants like Cranmer were strong in the Church, but there was already many others and sectarians —not unlike the Pilgrims of our history— who did not think his reforms went far enough. It was the political Protestants who were the real danger to Mary. Her ministers however, went after many persons who were politically quite harmless. These are the ones who deserved to be praised by Foxe. Phillip , btw, advised against a harsh handed suppression. Nonetheless, Mary was personally quite popular, as were all the Tudors. “Bloody Mary” is a political epithet; she was demonized by Protestant propoganda.
Initially it was, but it wasn't long before some fairly radical reformation-partisans took charge. They held sway under Henry's son, Edward. A brief Catholic interregnum under Mary followed, before Elizabeth took over and swung the theological pendulum back in a Protestant direction (but not as far as it had been in Edward's day).
Then add in the influence of the hardcore Protestants of the Commonwealth era under Cromwell.
That's how things stayed until the Oxford Movement of the 1830's and '40's. The Oxford movement was a rediscovery of some aspects of England's Catholic heritage.
It's the combination of those historical trends which resulted in the strange situation you find in Anglicanism generally, and in the CofE especially, where there are churches that are liberal Protestant, churches that are "evangelical" Reformed, and churches that are (to all appearances) more Catholic than St. Peter's.
“Bloody Mary is a political epithet; she was demonized by Protestant propoganda.”
I think burning several hundred people at the stake might have contributed to that unfortunate moniker, don’t you?
“Cranmer was an able man and a great churchman, but not personally heroic”
Well, he did crack under the torture of Bloody Mary’s and the Catholic Church’s minions, and attempted to save his life by signing their recantations, repudiating them right before he was burned to death by Mary. Witness accounts have him burning at the stake with nary a peep. Perhaps not heroic to you, but I think it’s pretty impressive. Today’s Book of Common Prayer is his handiwork.
“As for Phillip, remember that Spain had been allied with England since the reign of Henry VII”
In Henry VIII’s day Spain was actively favored by Rome, and was being funded in part by the draining cash from England that rightfully belonged in English Dioceses until Henry put a stop to it.
Recall also that In Elizabeth’s reign, the Spanish Armada (and invasion fleet) was utterly defeated, neutering Spanish influence forever. No, Spain was not an ally, and was not seen as such by the populace during Mary’s reign - rather they were treated with much deserved suspicion by the English, even when linked by the Queens marriage.
You avoid my main point: when Mary died, England was a Catholic country was a substantive but divided Protestant minority. Mary threw away some of the good will she enjoyed when she agree to what amounted to a liberal lynching of many harmless persons—along with the Protestants who had supported the effort to keep her from assuming her throne. Fact is that Mary was a Tudor. Just as many Catholics were willing to give her brother a pass on that account, so many Protestants were willing to give her a pass. Elizabeth was likewise able to get her own religious settlement because she was also a Tudor. But Mary only got to rule five years, and was genuine mourned by many , including many Catholics who knew that Elizabeth would “reform” the Church. It helped that she was not the religious fanatic that her brother—and Mary—had been. On the other hand, during her long reign, she killed as many Catholics—and suppressed as many Protestants, as Mary had done in her short one. By that time England had fully come round to the idea that the ruler determined the faith. Even Catholics, though, were grateful that Elizabeth spared England the kind of blood-bath that was happening in France,
As for the Spanish alliance, Rome was kind of bound to favor “Spain” because
(1) Catherine was the aunt of Charles V, and (2) The pope was a prisoner of the Emperor. Wolsey was crazy to think that Henry could get his annulment. It seems to me that Henry’ need for a male heir, more than his lust, was responsible for his actions. But if he was looking for a brood mare, he ought to have looked for a foreign princess, preferable one willing to cross the Emperor, so maybe a German one.
better the anglican church should go down under QEII than to be headed by the idiot charlie who loves islam IMHO
“You avoid my main point: when Mary died, England was a Catholic country was a substantive but divided Protestant minority.”
You point is irrelevant - Henry was Catholic in his religious beliefs, and wasn’t enamored of Martin Luther. His break with Rome was political, not religious - unfortunately at the time the two could not be anything but intertwined. Your point should be that monarchs were brutal, and would be brutal in the name of God, or religion or any other convenient reason.
“As for the Spanish alliance, Rome was kind of bound to favor Spain because
(1) Catherine was the aunt of Charles V, and (2) The pope was a prisoner of the Emperor.”
So does your statement that England and “Spain” were allied still stand? Rome’s shenanigans with Spain were the cause of the rise of Anglicanism - Henry just happened to be King at the time - I think any monarch would have and should have responded likewsie.
The Catholic bureaucracy had no business deciding geopolitics as they attempted, they fumbled it badly, and fractured Christianity. Shame on them, but it was all they knew to do. But you blame them too when casting blame at Henry.
All this “crossing the Tiber” nonsense, or “coming home” is amusing. At the time of the reformation, it can easily be argued that Rome was on the wrong side of the Tiber.
I am happy for those who find solace in today’s Catholicism - either by birth or conversion. But really, the lack of understanding of what truly caused the split in the church and the reflexive blame on “Henry wanting a divorce” for the rise of the Anglican church is just ignorance.
It was a complex thing - political intrigue, brutal monarchs made it so. To say that the Catholic Church was “right” or that Henry was “wrong” shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what happened.
That said, the RCC now does what it does for only good and pure motives. I wish them well in their quest to return sincere Christians to their fold. I hope they never stray back into geopolitical intrigue, or they risk a similar result.
To wag fingers at Protestants for not being as pure of soul as members of the RCC is surely a great error. I don’t think its a good idea, especially given the history that you’ve helped make clear on this thread.