Monday, July 26, 2010

Thoughts on Some Anglican Patrimony

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately by Anglicans who are discerning entry into visible union with the Catholic Church. It is really interesting to watch this play out online. There is excitement, hope, sadness, anxiety, distrust, anger, compassion, joy, and of full range of human emotions one would expect. There is thoughtfulness and frank intellectual discussion going on too.

Because of my reading about all of this I have taken some interest in this thing they are calling "Anglican Patrimony". And indeed there is a lot to be cherished in many of their traditions. On the American side of Anglicanism there is an love for the Prayer Book that will be greatly appreciated by those of us who are attached to the Divine Office in whatever form it is said. This is the place where my interest in their patrimony has settled. The Anglican office, when sung, has a great and unique quality to it. The English harmonies, along with the language used in the Coverdale psalter, are enough to soften even the coldest heart to be moved to prayer.

The reason I'm putting this post up is because one of the things I've read from some Anglicans and some Catholic traditionalists online is that some trads are not so open to Anglicans coming in without renouncing everything about Anglicanism. Even though I consider myself a traditionalist, I think it is important to realize that position is not the one the Holy Father has taken. He is a merciful and kind father and has asked the Anglicans to bring with them the good things they can.

In my experience as a convert I was never, ever, asked to leave behind or renounce anything good about my protestant past. Nor will they be. Nor will anyone ever be. This should be a great comfort to those discerning.

Ut unum sint!

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton