Some Anglican I Used to Know

This blog post is a “live post”, written last night during Dr. Taylor Marshall”s newest episode on EWTN”s “The Journey Home“. If you know nothing about Dr. Taylor Marshall, you should start by visiting his blog Canterbury Tales, where he writes about Catholic dogma, history, and all things orthodox. Or, you can watch this video, or buy this book

not a picture of Taylor”s head

Here I am, on the couch, getting ready for the show. What to eat? A couch is just incomplete without an edible companion. Ah, raisins! You know you are a dad of soon-to-be-five kids when raisins sound like a good treat. Raisins are good for three reasons:

  • Sweet
  • Cheap
  • Easily Digestible

And, if you are a dad of soon-to-be five kids, you know that the last thing you need is bitter, expensive, and indigestion. All three of those come with the territory, without self-imposition. Plus, when you are a dad of soon-to-be five kids, raisins are typically the only thing left in the pantry by the end of the day.

Yum. Raisins. (that was a very Machiavellian “Yum”)

(Show begins!)

Self-deposed of his Anglican garb, Dr. Taylor Marshall is sporting a shirt and tie.

Taylor Marshall as an Anglican priest
Dr. Taylor Marshall as a Roman Catholic Professor of Philosophy and Dean at Fisher More Catholic College

Dr. Marshall: “I was not raised in a tradition…I had a conversion experience…began studying theology…and was attracted to Calvinism.”

So he became an Episcopal priest. It almost feels like a non-sequitur, but I digress.

Dr. Marshall admits that his conversion came about from his deep desire to partake of the Eucharist (Amen!). After his conversion, Dr. Marshall transitioned to DC, went on to do a Ph.D. at the University of Dallas (that”s in Irving, TX — where I actually met Taylor when I was there), and is now the Dean at Fisher More Catholic College (formerly St. Thomas More College).

Marcus Grodi (host): “What brought you into the Church?”

Dr. Marshall: “Authority.”

Marcus Grodi: “What was the biggest barrier for you?”

Dr. Marshall: “The biggest hold up to me was ordination. My whole life I felt a call, and then I found the Church Jesus founded, and found out that she had a celibate priesthood.”

Bummer. Counting the cost is never tough until you have to actually count the cost.

He goes on to point out the incredible amount of early Church leaders, from Apostles to patriarchs, who were celibate. Also, once he realized that he could be a saint as a lay — that God was calling him to sanctity apart from being a cleric — he became open to the idea of hanging up the colar and living as a lay Catholic. After all, St. Francis didn”t even think himself worthy to be ordained a priest!

Dr. Marshall made a really good point about half-way through the program. He mentioned that to be a really great priest, he would have to sacrifice his family. Think about it. Saying Mass. Hearing Confessions. Offering last rites. Visiting the sick. Where does a t-ball game, math homework, or the evening dance-recital in the living room (happens in my house) fit into all of that?

The point: It doesn”t.

The longer I”m Catholic, the more I”m convinced of the genius of the celibate priesthood. It is truly a gift.

(NOTE: I put down the raisins at 8:18 EST)

Marcus Grodi: “I think the biggest decision at the Reformation (with the biggest impact) was Luther”s rejection of the Church as a necessary channel of salvation.”

That”s right! As if Tetzel wasn”t bad enough, we end up with these guys.

(show is going to the break…)

(…show is coming back)

Our Lady

For many converts, Mary can be a real bugaboo. After all, if your Protestant sect keeps Mary in a shed until December 12th, drags her out, flicks on a light, and then drags her back to the shed promptly on December 26th, it makes sense that Catholic devotion to her would feel a bit off-kilter. To a Protestant, Mary is like a television set would be to an 18th century German: there is simply no context.

Dr. Marshall points out that Protestants have a “zero-sum” approach to the Blessed Virgin. They believe that your affection is like a pie, and that if you give that affection to Mary, then whatever part of the pie you took out to give to Mary now makes Jesus”s pie smaller.

However, this is the wrong view. For one, love grows not divides. I don”t have less love to give to my children because I have more children. In two-and-a-half weeks, I won”t tell my wife, “You can have little, precious Luke back sweetie, looks like I just don”t have any more love left in the tank” (insert smack). Just the opposite! My love grows every time I have another child. Similarly, Christ gives us His Church and His Mother to love in order to expand our capacity to love Him. Why?

Because His Church is His Body. They are “in Christ”. When Saul (soon to be St. Paul) was on the road to Damascus, he was confronted by a light. In this case, it was the Light of the World.

“Why do you persecute me?” the Light asked him. Persecute Christ? When did Saul ever pick up a stone to throw at Christ? When did he ever accuse Christ? But you see, Saul had picked up a stone or two and leveled an accusation once or twice against the Church. As such, Saul was guilty of persecuting our Lord, because in a mystical way, the Body of Christ participates in the life of Her Divine Head.

What about the rest of the show? The rest of the show was great. I won”t spoil it any more. I recommend you watch it. .

Good night. I need to brush my teeth. I have raisin breath.

[author] [author_image timthumb=”on”][/author_image] [author_info]Brent A. Stubbs is a father of four ( 1 in heaven and 1 in the oven), husband of one, convert, and a generally interested person. He has a BA in Theology, studied graduate philosophy, has an MBA, is a writer (or so he tells himself) and prefers his coffee black. His website is Almost Not Catholic.[/author_info] [/author]

Brent Stubbs

Brent Stubbs

is a father of five (+ 1 in heaven), husband of one, convert, and a generally interested person. He has a BA in Theology, studied graduate philosophy, has an MBA, is a writer (or so he tells himself) and prefers his coffee black. His website is Almost Not Catholic. His Twitter handle is @2bcatholic. His favorite color is blue.

Leave a Replay

10 thoughts on “Some Anglican I Used to Know”

  1. Pingback: TUESDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | Big Pulpit

  2. Perinatal Loss Nurse

    That pie is making me hungry. I TIVO’d The Journey Home…maybe I will get some pie and watch it. +]:o)

  3. Perinatal Loss Nurse

    Dave, he answered that question in great detail on the show…it gets broadcast again thins week maybe you can catch it. Really good show… I’m glad that there are theologians and theological scholars – it is so important but not my vocation.

  4. Or, if Mary had been the only issue, Taylor Marshall could just have paid 20 bucks and bought the book “Mary for Evangelicals…” but the problem is, that would not have solved the authority issue. The question I have always come back to when I have struggled with my return to Catholicism has been–is there really one unbroken succession from St Peter to today? If there is, that uproots Anglicanism, Luthernanisim, Calvinism, and any other Christian body whose claim is that they still are connected to the greater “catholic church” but do not need to follow her authority. Hmmmm a few Catholic nuns seem to fit in that group as well but I digress. Rome either matters or it doesn’t. And that is not to say there are not fantastic Christian men and women in each of those groups. There are. But, as organizations and bodies, these have each separated themselves from the root of the tree and then still expect to be kept alive via the occasional dose of Miracle-Gro if you will. At some point it just does not work. The branch just dies.

    Another great example (besides Dr Taylor Marshall, who is indeed a great example!) who I know personally is Dr Thomas Howard, an evangelical turned Anglican turned Catholic who has written extensively on this struggle and journey. His sister and his brother-in-law were some of the most famous Protestant evangelical missionaries in the 20th century (Jim and Elisabeth Elliott) and Jim was martyred in Ecuador for his Christian faith along with 4 others. It was a world-wide news story in the late 1950s when Dr Howard was still very young. I was mystified when I learned Howard had become Roman Catholic–but it was his journey, at least in part, that triggered mine. He too counted the cost and found it was a worthwhile trip. And he knew from his own well-respected evangelical family what that cost could be.

    Incidentally (and I learned this much later) he was the very first guest on “The Journey Home.” In many ways this godly man’s path to Rome (minus the beginning, as he started out strongly evangelical to begin with) parallel Dr Marshall’s. Both are brilliant men. And, while we desperately need more priests, we need such lay men and women within the Church and certainly in higher education. Perhaps it will indeed be one (or more) of Taylor Marshall’s students or children or both who one day takes up the mantle of the Catholic priesthood–and because of him being a lay witness as he now is.

    On and Brent, I just noticed the picture of Pat Robertson on the “Fundy Bunch” example you shared. Shame on you…kinda right though:)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit