From Mr Robert Ian Williams SIR – Members of a group calling itself the Anglican Association have issued a pamphlet entitled Is the Ordinariate for you? with the subtitle “Some considerations for Anglicans about the ordinariate proposals contained in and offered by Anglicanorum coetibus”.
This is a way of disguising the fact that the contents are an attack on the claims and doctrines of the Catholic Church. In so far as that is the case, this is not so much an objective critique of Anglicanorum coetibus as an attempt to dissuade others from joining the Catholic Church. The booklet is subsidised, as the first 250 copies have been offered free in the Anglican press.
Readers should be aware that the Anglican Association largely consists of Anglo-Catholics. But in the production of this pamphlet the services of Evangelical Anglican scholar Dr Roger Beckwith have been used. I mention that because Dr Beckwith is as far removed from the members of the Anglican Association as he is from Rome. He repudiates baptismal regeneration, the sacrifice of the Mass, prayers for the dead and the intercession of the saints. Significantly, his assistance colours the answers, as in the case of the Real Presence, which is described as being at the Eucharist and not in the Eucharistic elements.
Most of the attacks on Catholic doctrines like the papacy, infallibility and other Catholic doctrines are the standard misrepresentations that mark critiques of the Catholic Church, whether they emanate from fundamentalist Protestantism or liberalism. All these can be easily rebutted by going to the website Catholic.com.
It is interesting that this work does not reflect on the current chaos of Anglicanism and significantly it draws from an Anglo-Catholic theology manual first published in 1943. Its author, the late C B Moss, is not quoted in the pamphlet when he states that a church which ordained women would probably lose valid orders. I do hope that the Personal Ordinariate will respond to this booklet and show it up for what it is. By doing so, they will help souls potentially sidetracked by the booklet’s arguments.
Yours faithfully, ROBERT IAN WILLIAMS By email