Friday 19 December 2008

Vatican Waits to Get the Lot Back

The Vatican has indicated that it can find no cave in which to bury Traditionalist Anglicans and keep them out of sight of unmarried Catholic priests. This leads to the dilemma that Anglican priests joining Rome continue to be visibly married.

A trusted but recent Jesuit, Father Paul Gambaccini was given the job of reporting the findings of the Vatican hierarchy and its considerations after leading members of the Traditional Anglican Breakaway wrote to Cardinal Seton Lavatory and pleaded for TAB to be plumbed in to the Vatican.

On the one hand, said Father Paul Gambaccini, there is not enough prejudice developed in these wayward Anglicans - simply being against the gay agenda and opposed to women priests is not enough. To qualify for full red meat Roman Catholicism, you have to write volumes on both subjects, to be intepreted as homophobia and a fear of women by outsiders. You really have to want to join Roman Catholicism in all its gory.

On the other hand, the clinching argument is that despite the difference in level of prejudice, the TAB people are too like the RCs to have their own uniate but RC Church.

Nevertheless the Vatican is sympathetic, and has been eyeing up the comparative advantage in letting in a group to have a uniate existence, set against upsetting Anglican structures and an Archbishop of Anglicanism they might well attract over himself. In any case, the previous pope in 1980 set up means by which married Anglican priests could go over to Rome.

Father Paul Gambaccini himself has had a varied ministerial career and is uniquely able to comment on these matters, and indeed was consulted by Cardinal Lavatory before decisions were made. First as a Lay Reader in the English Anglicans in the 1970s he preached regularly on the United States Episcopalian controversies, which he then took to the Methodists in England, becoming an ordained minister. He returned to the Anglicans for liturgical forms and became critical of cost cutting and parish mergers for the workload on ordained and lay readers alike and thus moved to the Roman Catholics for the first time, where he was ordained according to RC rites and enjoyed a higher quality of liturgy. He went even higher when soon returning to the Anglicans, being accepted as a priest, but was criticised as exactly being the sort of person who would leave once women became bishops. Therefore, after some time offering a clearer Catholic identity into the parish, he left for the Roman Catholics again, being given added journalistic duties on arrival as an incentive to stay. He then left for a Liberal Catholic group, now earning his income as a journalist, and although they seemed to be as high as a kite, the gnostic tendencies proved too much, and he became an Anglican again and went even higher. Despite being involved in a number of projects he found Anglican controversies too overwhelming and returned to to serving the Vatican again, joining the Jesuits, and is now known as 'the Professor'.

Cardinal Lavatory has been an academic writing on Last Days Scatology and has long been a friend of Father Gambaccini; it was he who decided to ordain him into the RCs and give him a continuing role in ecumenical relations.

So what Fr. Gambaccini says is authoritative. He advised that the RC hierarchy wait until after the Lambeth Conference, and then further advised the hierarchy that the Archbishop of Anglicanism was trying to move the whole Worldwide Anglican Communion into a centralised Church - with bishops in dioceses ignoring national Churches and all reporting to the Archbishop. This, he argued, leads to the distant prospect, but real itself, that the whole thing might be taken over personally by the Archbishop to Rome, rather than the 300,000 said to be in TAB, or the 1333 English Anglican bishops, priests and deacons moaning about women becoming bishops. However, it is understood that the Vatican would want the African and Conservative Evangelicals to separate off first, as being far too much to bear, before they would swallow back the original breakaway started by a randy and dissatisfied King.

1 comment:

Doorman-Priest said...

What? He's never been a Lutheran? I think that is a big gap in his C.V.