NEWS:  November 25, 2009

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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

THE CONVERSION OF THE ANGLICANS  - Benedict XVI finally made the anticipated decision to receive the Anglican faction that wants to convert and enter the Catholic Church. I had written on the topic earlier showing the nonsense of refusing this conversion. To do so would be a denial of the apostolic character of the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Nichols with Rowan Williams

Archbishop Nichols and Rowan Williams sign a joint statement praising Benedict's coming document on Anglicans
So, when I read the news, my first sentiment was one of relief. Indeed, the so-called Anglican Church is so contaminated doctrinally, so rotten morally and so fractured into parties and counter-parties institutionally that any analyst can see that now it is the right moment for the Catholic Church to open her doors, send out missionaries and harvest a mass conversion of Anglicanism.

I must confess, however, that relief was not the only sentiment I experienced. I have become so accustomed to see the present-day Vatican promoting the ideals of Progressivism that a strong suspicion accompanied my initial anticipation. This suspicion was reinforced by the joint statement of the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who both praised the document to be released and called it the normal fruit of 40 years of ecumenism. How could this document represent a real invitation to conversion, if the head of this putrid Anglicanism expressed his satisfaction even before its release?

Dogmatic errors of the Anglicans

A premise is indispensable to judge this conversion of Anglicans. Dealing with the unity of the Church, Pope Leo XIII clearly stated that there can be no reunion of heretics or schismatics to the Church except on the solid basis of dogmatic unity and submission to the divinely instituted authority of the Apostolic See (Encyclical Satis cognitum of June 29, 1896, n. 10, as summarized in the Catholic Encyclopedia, entry Anglicanism, 1907, vol. I, p. 504).

What are the dogmatic errors of Anglicanism that make it a heresy? The same Catholic Encyclopedia is quite precise on this point. It says:

Cranmer

Cranmer incorporated Calvinism into the Anglican Prayer Book
“There is no doubt that the English Reformation is substantially part of the great Protestant Reformation upheaval of the 16th century, and that its doctrine, liturgy and chief promoters were to a very considerable extent derived from and influenced by the Lutheran and Calvinist movement…

“The great principles and tenets set forth in the works of Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin and Zwingli are reproduced with or without modifications, but substantially and often almost verbatim in the literature of the English Reformation. The chief doctrines which are essentially and specifically characteristic of the Protestant Reformation as a whole are the following nine:

1.Rejection of the Papacy, denial of the Church infallibility;
2.Justification by faith only;
3.Supremacy and sufficiency of Scripture as a rule of faith;
4.The triple Eucharist tenet:
a) that Eucharist is a Communion or Sacrament, and not a Mass or Sacrifice, save in the sense of praise and commemoration;
b) the denial of Transubstantiation and worship of the Host;
c) the denial of the sacrificial office of the priesthood and the propitiatory character of the Mass;
5.The non-necessity of auricular Confession;
6.The rejection of the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints;
7.The rejection of Purgatory and the prayers for the dead;
8.The rejection of the doctrine of the indulgences;
9.To this may be added three disciplinary characteristics which are found in doctrine:
a) Giving the Communion in both kinds;
b) the substitution of tables for altars;
c) the abolition of monastic vows and the celibacy for the clergy” (vol. I, p. 502).

This ensemble of errors that constitutes the Protestant heresy is found among the Anglicans. Given the dogmatic anarchy that exists in the various branches of the so-called Church of England – High Church, Low Church, Broad Church – these errors are accepted in different degrees by all Anglicans, including those who are now willing to convert to the Catholic Church.

Besides these heresies, Leo XIII declared null the power of orders in the Anglican sect.

Acceptance of Catholic Dogma is downplayed

Benedict and Williams

On November 21, 2009, after his document, Benedict received Williams and renewed the ecumenical pact
Let us see how Benedict XVI dealt with these errors and the nullity of orders in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (AC) so that the Anglicans entering the Catholic Church could be purified of such errors for their own spiritual good - as well as that of the members of the Catholic Church in the areas where they are being received.

Quite sadly, instead of demanding a formal abjuration of the indicated dogmatic errors, Benedict XVI takes a very general approach in AC. He never uses the word conversion nor does he demand any formal abjuration of errors, as was the custom for converted heretics before Vatican II. He only refers vaguely to receiving the Anglicans “into full Catholic communion.”

As for the doctrinal errors of the Anglicans, he makes no mention of them. In indirect references to the power of the Papacy, he states three times that the Pope governs the Church. Here are his words:
  • The successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches…

  • The communion of the baptized in the teaching of the Apostles and in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirely, of the celebration of all the sacraments instituted by Christ, and of the governance of the College of Bishops united with its head, the Roman Pontiff.

  • (The last quote in this article repeats this same idea) (1).
Nowhere does Benedict XVI state that the Pope is infallible and that the Petrine Primacy is absolute over all the Bishops and the faithful, as declared dogmatically by Pius IX in Pastor Aeternus, and ratified by countless pontifical documents until Vatican II. That is, he veils the full doctrine on the Papacy – which is the main problem for the Anglicans – and presents it in a way palatable to Protestants and Greek Schismatics.

He disguises the Papacy by stressing the collegiality of the Bishops, and when he mentions it by name he gives it a mere functional character. I have written enough elsewhere to prove that this position – the Pope is only the head of the College of Bishops – is wrong. The interested reader may consult that work (2).

Someone might ask: Did he mention anything else regarding acceptance of the Catholic Faith?

He does so only indirectly, when dealing with practical provisions for those who would enter into “full communion.” He affirms:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic Faith professed by members of the Ordinariate (n. 1 § 5).

Included in the practical measures for the formation of a different rite in the Church, he mentions in passing that the converted Anglicans should accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is, the reader will recall, the most diluted possible presentation of the Catholic doctrine that I know, elaborated by Card. Christoph von Schonborn, the beloved disciple of then Card. Ratzinger.

This is all that will be requested of those poor Anglicans who, I must affirm to their credit, seem willing to accept a most complete and radical presentation of the Catholic Faith. Instead of giving them the entire true Faith, what is being dished out to them is a doctrine that is as similar as possible to the bad doctrine they are ready to reject. Why? To please the Anglicans who will not convert…

Praising the errors of Anglicanism

But the wrongdoings of AC do not stop there. Benedict goes on to give the impression that Anglicanism – the nauseating confession whose bishops, priests and people are leaving in horror because of its moral corruption – is something good, albeit not perfect.

Gay bishop Robinson with woman bishop Barbara Harris

"Gay' bishop Gene Robinson with woman-bishop Barbara Harris - a deep moral abyss
Indeed, in the following excerpt Benedict seems to affirm that the Anglican Sect is part of the Church of Christ:

This single Church of Christ, which we profess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic ‘subsists in the Catholic Church’ which is governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in union with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside her visible confines. Since these are gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards catholic unity.

One would say, again, that this part was introduced into AC to please the Anglicans and other Protestants who may complain that Benedict is transgressing the blueprint of ecumenism by accepting those converts. To placate them, he calls all heretics members of the Church of Christ, bearing in themselves “elements of sanctification and truth.”

I am very sorry for those Anglicans who think they are entering the Catholic Church. I hope Our Lady will enlighten them to see that they are entering a sham Church - the Conciliar Church - that has less to do with the Catholic Church every day that passes. In many ways the Conciliar Church is more Anglican than various sectors of the Anglican Sect its members are leaving. So, they will be leaving one building and entering another that leads to the same edifice they left.

There is, however, the hope that, with the intercession of the Universal Mediatrix of grace, they will shortly see that the correct Catholic position today lies in resistance to the Conciliar authorities and will join forces with those who hold this banner. I pray that this will happen.

A final note: Not one single document of the traditional Magisterium is quoted in the entire AC – only post-conciliar documents. Another symptom that the gap is growing larger and larger between the Conciliar Church and the Catholic Church …
1. Five bureaucratic mentions to the Roman Pontiff (nn. IV; V a, b; VI § 2; XI) show no doctrinal relevance for the present analysis.
2. See my Animus Delendi I, Los Angeles, TIA, 2000, pp. 252-273

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