This is rather long. I apologize. A lot of things came into my head as I was typing and I wanted to get them out. Given how much I respect your knowledge and opinion I figured it was worth diving into these things. I went ahead and posted it publicly in case anyone else wanted to chime in or in the hopes that others may benefit from our discussion. Most of this is not directly relevant to the article posted above. I apologize.
No, we are not an Anglican Ordinariate. At least not that I am aware, and I think that’s something that would be pretty clear. I’m in the Fort Worth diocese, apparently known best for Bishop Iker and his ongoing tussle with PB Schori. We’re amongst the masses that decided we had tolerated enough of the nonsense of the Episcopal Church of the USA and realigned under the Province of the Southern Cone and are affiliated with the ACNA.
Long story short, I don’t know what it means for the future of our parish and our diocese, but I know where I stand. And I know what I believe.
I believe you provided me with a long and in-depth link regarding ecumenism and similar material, and I was supposed to get back to you on it. I don’t think I ever did. Honestly, it was way over my head and I am still trying to make sense of all of it. The material in your post, the one to which I am responding, is much more manageable for my limited experience. Even still, I’m not sure how it applies to me.
As comes up in many of the Catholic Caucus threads, and elsewhere, I consider myself a staunch supporter of the Roman Catholic Church and all such Catholic churches, including the Orthodox traditions. It just happens that I was Baptized and Confirmed by Anglican clergy rather than Roman Rite. I don’t know what the situation is with our diocese or parish and the Ordinariate thing that’s going on, or the apparent mass migration of many Anglicans. What I do know is that I have never been so sure of a person’s dedication to God, Christ, the Church and the Word as I am of Bishop Iker and Fr. Reed. If they swim the Tiber- I believe that’s the saying- then I guess I will too. If they don’t we’ll just have to see what God has in store for me.
To this day I struggle with the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. I don’t consider the history of the Anglican Church to be spotless or without its faults, especially considering the popular notion of why there IS an Anglican Church. But I also know the Church in general, including all its many parts, has hiccups throughout history. More to the point, I struggle with what the history of our Church means for ME and my relationship to the many parts. And frankly, I never expect to get a satisfactory resolution to my problem. So, instead, I just do the best I can.
I was aware of the idea that all those many parts comprise the “Catholic Church,” especially given that Catholic is a fancy word for “universal,” or something to that effect. I also know that the Anglican Communion was born out of the culture of schismatic thought that was so prevalent during the era of the reformation.
Still, I’m always stuck on the issue of “Apostolic Succession” and what it means for ME in regards to taking the Eucharist at any given Mass. Obviously I recognize our clergy and their Holy Orders. Obviously I recognize our liturgy. And obviously I believe that the consecration of the Host is valid. If I didn’t recognize these things then I would be wrong to take Eucharist at our parish and to have been Baptized, Confirmed and Married there. So, how do I reconcile this with the idea that only those Baptized by clergy within the line of Apostolic Succession may take Eucharist at Roman Catholic (and other such) Mass? In theory, I should be just fine to take Communion. Of course, that’s not the popular thought amongst many Roman Catholics I know, so out of respect I politely refrain from taking the Eucharist.
Right now that’s not a big issue. It doesn’t matter so much if I refrain from taking Communion at a Roman Catholic Church, since I almost never find myself attending Mass at a Roman rite parish. I live within walking distance of the parish, so I have a convenient place to attend Mass. The problem I will face comes in my near future, as I will be joining the Army and have no idea if I will be stationed somewhere with reliable access to a parish in communion with the ACNA or the Anglican Communion. I refuse to attend Mass at an Episcopal Church as I cannot abide the heresy PB Schori is implementing. I guess my views on this would border on Donatism (something I only recently learned of), but I cannot conceive of attending Mass in a church that supports the claim that Christ’s divinity is “irrelevant” and welcomes any and every challenge to the teachings of the Church.
So where do I go? If there is an ACNA parish nearby then I’m set. If there’s not then I am left with few options. I’ll gladly attend Mass at a Roman Catholic parish, but the problem of taking the Eucharist arises. My views on the Apostolic Succession issue don’t outweigh my driving need to respect the traditions and wishes of the Roman Catholic Church- that is to say that I should not take the Eucharist there because I was not Baptized by RCC clergy. Maybe I missed something important that you said, maybe I’m safe to take it for all the reasons I listed. You’ll have to correct me if I have this wrong. But my understanding of the matter is sorely weighed down by years of an outsider’s understanding.
Regardless, I go back to what I said in my original post. As someone who is not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, who was not Baptized or Confirmed by RCC clergy, and is newly entered in a non-RCC Catholic tradition, it boggles my mind that I have a greater respect for the traditions of the Church than an actual priest.
Sorry this was so long. I’m verbose and have a lot on my mind.
I think you would have to restrain sharing in communion except for the visits to an ACNA parish -- unfortunately. I wish there were more, but we can share together in prayer.
And at the top was every day, every minute, to offer your ministry to Jesus, whose ministry it is in any case.
I really think that counsel is what led me finally to renounce my orders and swim the Tiber. But that's neither here nor there.
My unasked for, free, and worth every penny advice is every day and every minute offer YOUR ministry to Jesus. And when things look challenging and peculiar to say, "Jesus, I trust in you," whether you feel it or not. We DO, we MUST put all our faith in Him, especially when we don't FEEL like it.
Do that, avoid sin to the extent you can, and it will all come out well.