Sunday, November 21, 2010

Passings


A brief note to acknowledge that at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Calgary's lone Anglo-Catholic parish, an "overwhelming" majority of parishioners approved a motion to seek entry into Canada's impending personal ordinariate in a special vestry meeting following today's High Mass. I've never had a chance to get out to Calgary but I always hoped to visit St John's when I do. I'm sorry that the diocese will no longer have that kind of Anglo-Catholic witness and that I won't be able to visit as a communicant one day.

I gather that the parish's situation was becoming difficult as a result of the prevailing view on the ordination of women as well as its use of the English Missal. (Interestingly, the honorary assistant, Canon Green SSC, banished the English Missal from the pews when he was our rector in the 80s - I say "our" anachronistically as I was neither yet alive nor an Anglican at the time!) In any case, I commend the people of the parish for having the integrity to follow through on their conviction in the Roman Catholic Church's claims about itself and remember them in prayer as they take this step. Pray too for those remaining in the Anglican Church of Canada to preserve its Catholic tradition from within.

7 comments:

Barnabas said...

I can only greet this with sadness. As a lifelong Anglocatholic I continue to see great value in our mission, but certainly they will go with my prayers.

One wonders what provisions will be made for the buildings.

Michael said...

Is this Lee Kenyon's parish. I remember him from when he was at Mirfield, and he helped when I was trying to start the SSO by filling in as thurifer when we did a mass at his home parish and we were a server short. I bumped into him in Manchester a few years later shortly after he was ordained and was surprised to later find that he had whizzed across the Atlantic.

Is he likely to go with the parish, does anybody know?

Geoff said...

It is, and I don't believe Fr Kenyon's destination is in doubt. This isn't, I don't think, a case of headstrong laity leading a reluctant priest.

When Anglican Essentials was divided into two areas of concentration ("Network" for those preparing a "lifeboat" and "Federation" for those seeking to restore the "apostate" ACoC to orthodoxy), St John's was one of four congregations that inexplicably joined the former yet remained behind with the latter when the squattings began. (It was also notably the Anglo-Catholic outlier in the Essentials - despite pockets like Fort Worth in the US, ACNA up here is pretty uniformly happy-clappy).

Our field correspondent in Chester suggests the Bishop was not happy with the English Missal, but this strikes me as a stretch - of the few parishes that still use the BCP, most adapt it in far more substantial (and ad hoc) ways than farcing it with Missal prayers. I suspect that as with TAC this decision is a natural outgrowth of an ecclesiology that views communion with the Bishop of Rome as an integral hallmark of catholicity and rejects branch theory. Moreover, as noted above, we do have just the one "integrity" here and SJE has probably been walking the line in that respect for some time.

Michael said...

Thank you for that. Well, people I know all seem to be going in interesting directions just now. We'll see what uinfolds.

Anonymous said...

Having read Lee Kenyon's blog for a while, it was never a question that his opposition to the ordination of women was leading him this way. I would suggest that this was more a case (as we see elsewhere) of a headstrong priest leading a laity who had been been well indoctrinated regarding the need to follow him. If they have any integrity, they will leave their building and go elsewhere.

Barnabas said...

Certainly Fr Kenyon was moving this direction long before he was called to St John's.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately he was "called" with this in mind, whether or not the parish or the bishop wished him to go this route. It is unfortunate that Anglo-Catholics feel they have to make this choice, given the fact that many others (e.g. in Toronto) have not felt the need to do so. Individual journeys to Rome are always an option, but it sems egotistical and selfish for a priest to put people through this. They may not have done so with a different priest. One wonders if the bishop (who was "informed", whatever that means, of what was going on)was unable to act. Blaming this on the bishop's view of the English Missal seems a bit much (like something from the 19th Centuy), but any excuse would do. Father Greene is not known for his low-key approach and he has nothing to lose. I can't imagine the bishop "forcing" them out, but now he has to pick up the pieces.