In need of advice

Discussion in 'Personal Advice, Care & Prayers' started by Spiritus, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Posts:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forums. I have a bit of an odd dilemma and I could use some advice. I'm a Catholic convert from Protestantism (Nazarene mostly with a short time in Non Denominational, Methodist and TEC).

    I love the Catholic Church but I'm also drawn to the Anglican tradition and English spirituality. The Book of Common Prayer and St. Augustine's Prayer book are part of my daily devotions and I love the high church Anglican liturgy. I've attended an Anglo-Catholic parish (ACC) on occasion along with the local high church TEC parish in addition to my own Catholic parish. I also view Anglican Holy Orders and sacraments as valid in many cases (renewed apostolic succession through Old Catholics, PNCC, etc) which is a frowned upon view in the RCC though it's backed up by the code of canon law.

    If I went by my personal preference I'd join one of the Continuum churches. That brings us to my dilemma. I truly believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church including the Papacy (though my level of belief varies on certain points and there are certainly issues with the way certain teachings are applied) and I can't see myself ever leaving for any reason. On top of that I feel like God may be calling me to the priesthood. The obvious solution to me was the Ordinariate. That isn't a viable option though because there isn't a parish in my state or the surrounding states and I can't move far away due to family issues. There are also several things about the liturgy, etc that I don't like. The biggest issue is that you can only join the Ordinariate if you were a member of an Anglican or Lutheran church and while I attended TEC for a year as a child my parents and I were never actually members or received any sacraments other than Holy Communion.

    So I'm trying to make sense of all this and find the right way forward. I'm honestly confused and at a loss at this point. I've tried talking to other Catholics about this and they've been less than helpful. I also brought this up at the TEC parish and they basically just said to leave the RCC and made arguments against it, once again less than helpful. From what I've seen people on this forum seem to be pretty open minded so I'm hoping you may be able to give some advice, resources, anything really. Thanks for taking the time to read all that.
     
    Dave Kemp likes this.
  2. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

    Posts:
    81
    Likes Received:
    116
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    See, it's stuff like this that really reveals the Ordinariate for what it is - a massive sheep stealing operation with the classic bait & switch. "Look, Anglican Patrimony under the auspices of Rome! Now here's your ghetto, and we're not letting our first-class citizens mix with you cos our priests might get jealous of your married priests." Okay, maybe a bit cynical. But, honestly, the integrity of church leadership is an important consideration in the midst of all this - is the Roman Church really all it claims to be? If you're truly convinced of the doctrine of petrine papal supremacy then you have no choice but to stay where you are.

    More practical advice: keep studying the doctrines and the history and the Scriptures. Figure out what the make-or-break issues really are for you; line up the realistic options, tick off the boxes, and narrow it down over time. I went through a similar process of discernment in seminary (though with far less complication and heartache than your story reports), and after about two years I found my answer. I'm not 100% happy with my ecclesiastical situation, but through and through it's still the best option available to me. I've learned that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fences, so the temptation to jump from one jurisdiction to another is greatly alleviated!
     
    Juliana, Dave Kemp and Magistos like this.
  3. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

    Posts:
    223
    Likes Received:
    57
    Country:
    Kingdom of Heaven
    Religion:
    Christian
    You are not alone. I come from Lutheran/Evangelical/Anglo Catholic background and I love much about those churches, but I too am drawn to Anglicanism. So in words of Godfrey of Ibelin, “Let’s find out togther.” (Kingdom of Heaven)
     
    Dave Kemp likes this.
  4. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Posts:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    Thank you, Father. I appreciate the advice and you taking the time to respond. I'm more than willing to admit that God is not restricted to any human institution or human interpretation and therefore the teachings of the RCC and my own views may in fact be in error. As I said my level of belief varies on many doctrines as it is. At this point I don't see that separating me from Rome but maybe one day it will and I'm beginning to accept that as a possible outcome. In the meantime I will take your advice and continue to study and discern. I wish this process had started before I was received into the Catholic Church but I'm glad it's happening now rather than later. Ultimately all any of us can do is follow where the spirit leads.

    Fidei, it's comforting to know I'm not walking this path alone. I'm glad I found this forum and I'm excited to learn along side everyone here.
     
    Juliana, Dave Kemp and Fidei Defensor like this.
  5. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    36
    Country:
    United States of America
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I’m afraid I can be no help but wish you all the best with your journey, I’m struggling with a few things myself but nothing compared with yours.

    God speed.
     
    Spiritus likes this.
  6. mediaque

    mediaque Member

    Posts:
    79
    Likes Received:
    57
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglo-Catholic (TEC)
    Speaking to you as a person who converted from almost 14 years in the RCC, I can't really add anything aside from what Fr. Brench stated. I can only say, allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct you. It would be dangerous for me to say anything other than that when it comes to matters of this kind. All I can offer you are my prayers that you are led where God wants you to be.

    You are definitely in my prayers.
     
    Spiritus and Juliana like this.
  7. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Posts:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    Thank you, Dave and mediaque. I'm still discerning and trying to find my way. Currently I'm reading up on the east west schism and early church history. Trying to find unbiased / outside sources is proving to be a challenge but I'm making headway.
     
    mediaque and Dave Kemp like this.
  8. PDL

    PDL Member Anglican

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    77
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    One thing I would most certainly advise you to steer clear of is the TEC.

    If you are considering the priesthood and you say you cannot move away you are going to face potential problems. In the RCC you need to find a bishop who will sponsor you for training for the priesthood and it may not be the bishop of your local diocese who accepts you. Then once a bishop accepts you you will have to go to the seminary the bishop chooses and that may be in a totally different part of the USA from where you now live. He could even send you to study for the priesthood in Rome. If you got as far as being ordained as a priest you would be assigned to wherever your bishop chooses to place you. The RCC is not like the Anglican church where a priest chooses to apply for a parish. Thus, if moving away from your family is not a possibility considering the priesthood is not very practical and this issue is very likely to make you fall at the first hurdle, i.e. the selection process. I would also have thought it was considered necessary to accept the teachings of the RCC if you are going to be one of its priests.

    You seem to have changed denominations a few times and are now a Catholic. However, you feel yourself attracted to the Anglican church. If I may be so bold it seems to me you really do not know what you want. I, therefore, recommend you find a spiritual director in the RCC and have some serious and in-depth talks. You are really not clear on what you believe or where to go and you need some guidance.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    In order to be a RC priest, a person should truly be 'sold out' to Roman Catholicism. Because once you take those vows of celibacy and chastity and obedience, they own you (as PDL has somewhat alluded to). Definitely study both the RC writings and the Anglican writings (many good ones are stored on this site) before you consider the matter settled in you.

    If you have been following any of my posts in this forum, you already know what I think so I won't repeat it now. :preach: But here are the thoughts of one former RC priest: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/priestho.htm which seem pertinent to your situation.
     
    Spiritus likes this.
  10. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Posts:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    Thank you for your reply. I agree with you on TEC but the local parish is very orthodox in its liturgy and theology. I also have known the priest for over twenty years so it's nice to visit sometimes. My comment on not being able to move far away was in regard to permanint placement. Obviously if I ever went to seminary it would most likely be out of state or even outside the country. My sibling has autism and when my parents pass I'll be his legal guardian though he'll be in an assisted living environment. The way the law is here things become very complicated if a legal guardian lives out of state. In the case of diocesan priests similar situations are pretty common and not a real issue. With the ordinatiate that's not the case and that was my point.

    You're right on accepting the teachings of the RCC as a requirement for priests. I do accept all the Church's teaching but like I said in the OP my belief or understanding of those teachings varies. That is an issue and why I'm trying to figure this out now rather than later. The denomination changes (other than joining the RCC) were all during my childhood and were not by my choosing. I do agree with your assessment though. I need to figure out where I stand on all of this before I move forward. I actually started meeting with a spiritual director a few weeks ago so I hope that will help.

    Thanks, Rexlion. I will check out that article and the other resources here.
     
  11. Brigid

    Brigid Member

    Posts:
    70
    Likes Received:
    33
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    High LCMS/High Anglican
    Amen! I left the RCC after 20 years, there were no traditional/orthodox Anglican churches (AngloCatholic preferably) that I could get to so I entered the LCMS. I really feel for you. There are some positives I learned in the RCC and I hope I don't forget them.
     
    Spiritus likes this.

Share This Page