This week the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin was invited to speak at the Roman Catholic Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.
But the Canon Law and doctrine of the Roman Church does not regard Michael Jackson as a validly ordained priest or bishop!
As far as Rome is concerned every Anglican priest or bishop is just a lay man dressing up as a cleric.
Rome does not regard Anglican orders as valid. Therefore when Michael Jackson and his Anglican colleagues celebrate the Eucharist Rome regards them as giving their congregations pieces of “sliced pan” and sips of cheap wine.
Whereas in the Roman Catholic Church the Eucharist is the valid Body and Blood of Christ.
Rome does not regard Michael Jackson as having the ability to ordain anyone. When Archbishop Jackson ordains a Church of Ireland priest – as far as Rome is concerned – he might as well be a druid ordaining another druid or an African Witch Doctor commissioning a new Witch Doctor.
Of course in public the real Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, will address Michael Jackson as “Your Grace”. But in private Archbishop Martin and his colleagues regard Michael Jackson as plain old “Mr Jackson”.
Many years ago the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork died and when the news of his death was brought to the bedridden Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork the bishop replied: “Now he knows who the real Bishop of Cork is”.
Personally I have no problem with Anglican Orders. I have taken Holy Communion in Anglican Churches and have given Anglican people Holy Communion at Masses I celebrate. I would be quite happy to con-celebrate Mass with an Anglican priest – indeed I have done.
But Diarmuid Martin would nor con-celebrate a Eucharist with Michael Jackson.
Pope Benedict would not con-celebrate a Eucharist with Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury.
In fact Rome is now poaching Anglican priests from all over the world and receiving them into the Roman Church.
But wait for it – Rome re-ordains all these converts – signalling that they were never priests in the first place.
I am not at all surprised at Rome’s attitude to Anglican Holy Orders.
But I am a little shocked that Anglican and Church of Ireland bishops and priests play the Roman game and go around trying to emulate their Roman counterparts and even lick up to them.
If Michael Jackson had any Reformation balls he would tell the Romans where to go and not allow himself to be treated as a second class priest – or not a priest at all.
Maybe part of the problem is that the Anglicans and those in the Church of Ireland have forgotten their Reformation roots?
Maybe Michael Jackson should go the whole hog and surrender himself to the real Archbishop of Dublin for valid ordination?
Bishop Pat Buckley