Monday, 15 February 2010

Hammers, Anvils and Patrimony

In his Mary Magdalene blog, Fr Ray Blake is writing about the Ad Limina visit of the Irish bishops:-

"The great problem seems to be the feudal structure, that makes a Bishop Lord of all [he] surveys linked to an unaccountable oligarchy of the Episcopal Conference. In the past when the Episcopal Conference structure was weaker, the Bishop was directly accountable to the anvil of the senior clergy of his diocese on the one hand and the hammer of the Roman Curia on the other."

Now as I read Anglicanorum Coetibus, former Anglican bishops joining the Ordinariate will be members of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales. Those who take this step are likely to be bishops who have lived under the constraints of the Act of Synod - that is, who have been Provincial Episcopal Bishops. These are men who have had no authority of their own, only such as has been lent them by an Archbishop and other diocesan bishops. They have had no great team of archdeacons, advisers, PRs and Secretaries protecting them. Above all, their office has involved them in pastoral and sacramental care, their only 'power' having been that which priests and people have been prepared to give them - such priests and people having had first to ask their Diocesan Bishop to provide a PEV for them.

Is it conceivable that this is an element of the Patrimony of Anglicanism which might be of value to the whole Church?

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