Friday, January 06, 2012

Two Way Street

"They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it" Lumen Gentium 14
With lots of Anglicans, and now with the setting up of the American Ordinariate, Episcopalians are becoming Catholics, many Anglicans are telling us "It is two way street, it goes both ways, just as many Catholics are joining us".
It is true, many Catholics are indeed embracing Anglicanism which indeed for Catholics who believe what Holy Church teaches about herself is indeed truly sad.
I have know Catholic priests who have Anglicans in all instances but one because they wanted to marry, the one instance was because he wanted a boyfriend.
Ultimately anyone who leaves the Church does so because he no longer believes what she teaches to be true.
Maybe it is a lack of honesty for some people not to leave.

Thanks to some American friends, there are some interest stories here of converts from the Church.


Supertradmum said...

We do not want anyone to leave the One, True, Holy, Catholic,and Apostolic Church. And, as we are a church of sinners, I am not sure why some people leave rather than embrace the sacramental life which allows us to continually repent.

Some may leave simply for immorality; that is, they cannot live with the fact that they would rather live a life contrary to the Teaching Magisterium than form their minds to Christ's. Rebellion takes many forms, but how sad. As we say in the States, it's like choosing hot-dogs instead of steak.

Terry said...

While I'm sad that they left, I only wish those very vocal dissenters of everything Catholic and the Pope would just leave and go swim the Thames or whichever church provides them what they want but the blighters just won't go. I guess if they have no reason to whinge, they just aren't happy. Shame. They would look great in the CoE.

frd said...

But the 2 way street is a motorway and a country lane. And the motorway is heading to Rome!

In my experience, Catholics leave the Church for reasons of morality; Protestants join it for reasons of doctrine.

motuproprio said...

We are talking about a trickle and a flood.

jean said...

I was feeling rather depressed about the Bishop who has admitted to fathering 2 children and added to the child abuse scandal and the many people I know who have left the church, this post and its link made me feel quite despondent. Sometimes it seems the Church is gradually fading away. In our diocese alone we have lost 2/3 of our members in just over 12 years. Please post some good news soon Father.

shadowlands said...

The world does have attractions that press in on every side, but the reality is, according to scripture we wrestle not against flesh and blood but we are at war against the powers of darkness.

This is why we need the sacraments and the rosary to use as weapons. Arguing and wishing dissenters gone is ridiculous. Christ died on the cross for all those battling lust in all it's many guises, plus thieves, murderers.

To wish to be rid of souls from the church, in order to keep the 'nice' ones, is to be ignorant of the gospel message.

Christ came to call sinners to righteousness, He didn't come for those already saved or righteous and He makes the distinction Himself. However, He may not wish the righteous to be so quick to throw the unrighteous out into the darkness.
The rosary purifies tendencies. It sounds so simple to say, people ignore it. But it is true. The battle is almost fought for you. Your view of your fellow man changes, from self serving/seeking to seeing a person as God sees them. This automatically changes one's approach or intentions towards one's fellow man. The attacks still come, but you are no longer fighting single handedly.

It is the key, that God has given, through His Mother. The rosary is for all religions as well. Our Lady invites everyone to pray it.

One other point, the person or people you feel most anti towards in society, these are the people to pray for first, each morning. One Hail Mary and an Our Father for your 'enemies' will do wonders for your own spiritual growth. Try it for a week, you can always go back to moaning about them a week later if there's no improvement!

Regarding commenters feeling depressed, I remember a hymn from my protestant grammar school days talking of God working His purposes out as year succeeds to year. We are not in control but He is and

'nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea."

Nothing like a proddy hymn to rouse the spirits eh? ;)

GOR said...

Yes it makes for sad reading. Not because we have lost some members of the Catholic Church, but because these people have lost “the pearl of great price” and gone after the ephemeral, faux jewel.

In reading the summaries Fr. Ryland lists, a few things stand out: bad example of parents and other Catholics, feelings, hard truths, subjectivism (it’s all about Me!), opposition to authority – not to mention the standard ones of Divorce, Celibacy, Humanae Vitae, women’s ordination and homosexuality.

But the overriding sadness at these examples is that of a Faith lost. As Father notes, no one points to a person of deep faith saying that through prayer and study they came to the conclusion that the Episcopal/Anglican communion was the One, True, Church of Christ.

Faith is a gift - to be treasured and nourished. It can be lost. Even one of The Twelve lost his.

Mitchell said...

No one wishes anyone to leave the Church but for all to enter it but we enter because in it we find the Truth.

shadowlands said...

Mitchell said:
No one wishes anyone to leave the Church but for all to enter it but we enter because in it we find the Truth."

No-one? Well just a couple of comments above mine I read:

"I only wish those very vocal dissenters of everything Catholic and the Pope would just leave and go swim the Thames or whichever church provides them what they want but the blighters just won't go."

That sounded like an unfeeling good riddance wish to me.

Delia said...

Moving account in this week's free online Tablet, of all places - maybe they read your Hubble, Bubble article!

Malvenu said...

It is very sad for those people who have left the Church, not least because their reasons for doing so are so transparently silly. However, these serve us both as cautionary tales and evidence (if we should need it) to reassure us that we Catholics do belong to the One, True Church and that we need to hold fast to it and 'finish the race', etc.

Shadowlands: one question. I don't disagree with your assertion that the Rosary is the 'key', but i don't yet understand the 'how?' As a recent convert i trust implicitly all that the Church teaches and recommends, etc. but i must admit that sometimes while praying the Rosary i do still find myself wondering if i should be doing it. I would imagine that this is common for converts from (evangelical) Protestantism but some flesh on the bones of why you say the Rosary is the key would undoubtedly help. Thank you

Gigi said...

@Shadowlands: I understand what you're saying. God bless.

Fr Ray Blake said...


That is indeed well worth reading. Thanks.

shadowlands said...


I too, used to have problems as to whether or not the attention given to Mary was bordering on idolatory. Funnily enough I posted a comment on Father Longenecker's blogpost earlier today, regarding this


I shall copy and paste it here for you. First let me say that my main reason for saying the rosary is the key is my own personal experience, backed up by Church teaching through the centuries. In the battle with sin I have never found such power in overcoming. It works if you pray it. I also view the rosary as actually being able to visit, with Our Lady and Jesus, the gospel scenes, as if I am actually there. This is not always my experience, but it is sometimes.

I also find resistance in my will, by the way, which suprised me, I thought I would remain forever keen and grateful for this gift, yet I still find it difficult to pray, sometimes dreadfully difficult. Just for today, I keep on keeping on!

Here is my comment from earlier on Fr L's blog:
"I was uneasy about forming a relationship with Our Lady, due to my youthful protestant experiences and indeed personal fears re false idols etc.

In Jan 2007, I knelt down in my kitchen and prayed in a true born again, pentecostal form:

"Lord Jesus and Father, if it is Your Will that I should become closer to Your Mother, then let this happen, Amen"

Or words very similar anyway. The outcome was to be down to God's Will, that was the emphasis of the prayer.

Careful what you pray for, when you really mean it, because God answers prayers like that very dramatically! My family's life was about to undergo a terrible trauma and the Lord knew I would need His Mother's assistance. I believe He prompted the prayer in my spirit. Well, scripture says He is the author and finisher of my faith (what does it say about everyone else's?)!!

Praise the Lord, seek His Will and pray your rosaries!"

Malvenu, I hope this helps. Please feel free to email me at if you want anymore information from me.

God Bless


Matthew said...


If I may, allow me to chime in on your Rosary question - I too am a recent convert from evangelical protestantism.

Mary is the pinnacle of God's creation, she is the most perfect of all God's creatures. She was God's chosen vessel to bring Himself into the world to and for us. She was with Our Lord every step of His life on earth (even if not necessarily physical, she never betrayed Him nor distanced herself from Him, and she always knew who He really is). How fitting then, that we would approach Our Lord through Mary, since Our Lord "approached" us through Mary (cf. St. Louis de Montfort). Our Lady's maternal heart never refuses true supplication, and always lays our prayers at the feet of Her Divine Son, and He never refuses her.

Deo gratias for your conversion, and may Mother Mary always guide you to Our Lord. I am heading to Adoration now and will say a Hail Mary there for you!

Physiocrat said...

I count myself as a Catholic whinger because traditional Catholic worship is so hard to find.

I was in Salisbury last Sunday. St Osmond's Catholic church for mass and evensong in the Cathedral. The comparison reflects badly on us.

Apart from St Mary Magdalens, the Oxford Oratory and a few churches in London, in the majority of Catholic parishes I have visited in England, the standard of the liturgy is dire.The usual offering is still a hymn sandwich of 1970s compositions. The Anglican liturgical tradition remains strong at least in the cathedrals.

If we cannot do our worship in a properly dignfied manner and have almost disowned our ancient cultural heritage, it is understandable that some people will be drawn to the surface attractions of Anglicanism.

Shame on us!

Fortiter Pugnem said...

You want good news? There's tons! Top on my list: Rick Santorum almost won Iowa State! Sure, he's not perfect, but he sure beats all the other Republican candidates.
Three of my friends entered religious life last year- within months of finishing high school.
I could go on and on...keep your spirits up!

John Ross Martyn said...

There has been an article about this subject in The Catholic Herald (online, I recollect a few weeks ago). I recollect that one of the comments on the article referred to some US research on moves from Roman Catholicism to other forms of Christianity. The research may have been reported in the National Catholic Reporter (no snide comments about that, please!)

Jacobi said...

It seems to me that Lumen Gentium (14) speaks for itself.

No ambiguities here!

johnf said...

Thanks Delia

I never thought that I would applaud a piece from the Tablet, but I suppose there's a first time for everything

Malvenu said...

Shadowlands and Matthew thank you for your comments and, Matthew, for your prayer for me. Father, apologies for hijacking your post!

Incidentally, Father Longenecker's post (which I had also coincidentally already read earlier today) reminds me of your comments to me once, Father, on the wondrous fact that there is human DNA in heaven. Now, it seems, that science provides a compelling "reason" for the necessity of the Assumption completely separate from theological "reasons." (I'm sure there's a better way of putting this!)

Re: the Rosary, it seems to me that it is something you (converts) don't really get until you really get it and that with all things it is a case of perseverance (sometimes in spite of one's doubts whatever their origin.) I have had fruitful experiences both in meditating upon the mysteries and in answers to prayer, but despite this I still have difficulty praying the Rosary sometimes. It is good to know with this (and other things) that my experienced are shared by others and that i am on the right track, but it is always good to have the reassurance. Thank you.

scalambra said...

What I find sad about many of these comments is the polarity. The ambiguity of the Anglican church is manifestly a problem, but so is the Roman church's lack of respect for difference.

600 Catholic priests leaving the Church in the USA for the Espicopalian church? This ought to concern us.

Richard said...

Supertradmum, I thought in the States most people do choose hotdogs rather than steak.

Richard said...

Whilst of course it is very sad when people leave the Church, it is a bigger problem when they expect, or try to persuade, the Church to change to accommodate their sin.

This seems to be most common in sexual sins - whether same-sex or second marriages.

The attitude seems to be that "this is a major part of my life, therefore it can't be sinful, so it is the Church that needs to change, not me".

These people have essentially already rejected the Church.

Is it better to keep them in, constantly rejecting and fighting against the Church's teaching, or is it better that they accept that the Church teaches what it does, and leave?

Might it be that acceptance and leaving gives a better hope of true reconciliation in the long term?

mikesview said...

Father, I am confused (my default condition!). You mourn for the Catholics who embrace Anglicanism by going over to the Ordinariates. You regard that as a loss to the Catholic Church. I quite agree with that. However, it will not have escaped your notice that in several places in the current Catholic Herald, there are words and phrases such as "becoming Catholics" and "coming home".
So, it would appear that, if Anglicans/Episcopalians join an ordinariate, they BECOME Catholic, BUT if Catholics join it, they CEASE to be Catholic.
Yes, I've got it all wrong haven't I. Words of wisdom from you, please.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I think you have misunderstood me.
Anglicans who join the Ordinariate become Catholic - full stop!

Catholics who become Anglicans, I mourn, because they apostatise.

Catholics who have lost or misplaced Catholic faith, who dissent, who have undermined the Church from within and then leave, might possibly be being honest.

mikesview said...

I recommend you read "Secrets of the Rosary" by St. Louis de Montfort.

Fr Ray Blake said...

PS Those already Catholic cannot join the Ordinariate, unless they were formerly Anglicans, in which case they do the equivalent of "changing rites".

mikesview said...

Father, Thanks for that. Sorry to keep fussing on about this, but just to say that, of course a Catholic who becomes an Anglican apostatises, but what I actually asked about concerned the case of a Catholic joining an ordinariate.
Incidentally, can one fulfil one's Sunday Mass obligation at an Ordinariate ceremony?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, the Ordinariate is Catholic, fully in communion with the Holy See.
At the moment they are using the Roman Missal, soon they will use there own liturgy based on pre-reformation Sarum books.

mikesview said...

Father, Thanks for your patience. One thing I really liked about this particular string of comments, and that is the wonderful stories of conversions and returns to the faith. Very uplifting, and not a little instructional. The 'Tablet' article (see Delia above) is well worth reading. I now have it on file. Remembrances in prayers for all concerned, yourself included.

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