TAC Primate Hepworth Writes Angry Letter Blasting Canadian Roman Catholic Archbishop Over Ordinariate
By David W. Virtue
May 11, 2011
The Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Archbishop John Hepworth has written a letter to Melbourne Catholic Bishop Peter Elliott blasting Canadian Roman Catholic Archbishop Thomas Collins for derailing Ordinariate discussions and has put talks "on hold" indefinitely.
In a letter VOL has obtained, Hepworth described the situation in Canada as "deteriorating" and said the precipitating issue is the impending visit by Catholic priests appointed by Archbishop Collins to Traditional Anglican Communion parishes in Canada in the next two weeks.
"These priests are to announce, on behalf of Archbishop Collins, that the parishes will close forthwith, that the laity and clergy will attend a Catholic parish for from four to six months, that they will not receive the sacraments during this time, that they will be catechised adequately during this time since any catechesis from the Catechism of the Catholic Church done by the Traditional Anglican Communion is inadequate because only Catholics understand the Catechism, that the dossiers submitted by Traditional Anglican Communion clergy show an inadequate training since they have not attended Anglican Communion Theological Colleges, and therefore those selected by the Ordinary and approved by the CDF will have to attend a Catholic Seminary for an as yet unspecified time, at the end of this process, new parishes for Anglicans along the lines of the Anglican Use in the United States may be established, but not necessarily in the former Traditional Anglican Communion churches, and that during this process the Traditional Anglican Communion must cede its property to the Ordinariate," lamented Hepworth.
"This corresponds in large part to what Canon Woodman and I heard in a private meeting in Toronto with Archbishop Collins, and in his private and public remarks during the Toronto Ordinariate meeting.
"As a result, with my explicit consent and approval, albeit given with a full consideration of the likely impact on Ordinariate formation in every other part of the world, including Australia, Bishop Wilkinson is writing to Traditional Anglican Communion clergy in Canada informing them that the process of forming the Canadian Ordinariate will be placed on hold, and that the visits of Catholic clergy scheduled for May will not proceed."
Hepworth opined, "It is just on thirty years since these Canadian Anglicans left the Anglican Church of Canada in support of Catholic teaching and the continuation of the ARCIC dream. After so many years of sacrificial work, the wonton destruction of their communities, the absolute disregard for their ecclesial integrity, and the brutish manner in which these edicts are being communicated, are powerful disincentives to unity, in stark contrast to the clear language and intent of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus".
Hepworth said he had written at length to Cardinal Levada (and yourself) in the past year about the proper interpretation of "Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner."
"I have also written of the crass cultural insensitivity of the sudden rediscovery of the term "Roman Catholic" by Catholic bishops, in contrast to the culturally sensitive wording of the Apostolic Constitution itself.
"These and many other matters remain unresolved, just as most of my correspondence, and that of my fellow bishops, remains unacknowledged by the CDF.
"The Canadian decision, about the probability of which which I warned you on several occasions, will have two immediate effects. It will give great support to anti-Catholics (especially in the Anglican Communion) who are already putting intolerable pressure on our clergy and people. There will be further losses in a Traditional Anglican Communion already disadvantaged (deliberately?) by the CDF process of implementation. And other Provinces of the Traditional Anglican Communion, including Australia, the Torres Strait, Central America, India, Africa and the Unites States, are already considering supporting the Traditional Anglican Communion in Canada by a similar suspension.
"I warned you last July that the English Ordinariate may well be the first and the last. That outcome is now more certain."
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