HAMILTON, Ontario (ChurchMilitant.com) - Controversial journalist, author and media personality Michael Coren, who left the Catholic Church in 2014, has been ordained a transitional deacon in the Anglican Church.
On Oct. 20, the father of four was admitted, along with four women, to the Anglican diaconate by Susan J.A. Bell, bishop of the Anglican diocese of Niagara, in Christ's Church Cathedral, Hamilton, the headquarters of that Anglican see. Coren hopes eventually to become a presbyter in the Anglican communion.
Coren was born and raised in England. His family background was Jewish, although he himself was not raised in any religious tradition. In his early twenties he was converted to the Catholic faith. He later claimed that this conversion was merely "to an institution."
In 1987 Coren moved to Canada, where he wrote columns for Frank and The Globe and Mail. By the 1990s he emerged on TVOntario and hosted an evening talk show on Toronto radio station CFRB. Eventually he wrote columns for Western Standard, Catholic Insight and The Women's Post, and contributed to Canada's National Post and Reader's Digest. Vaunting his satirical views on politics, religion and culture, Coren stirred up controversy in these areas.
In 1992 Abp. Aloysius Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto, had Coren made a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Controversy ensued in 1993 when Coren embarrassed Ambrozic by quoting a number of the archbishop's unguarded remarks, made during a reception, about some high-profile figures in Toronto Life magazine. In the aftermath of that incident Coren abandoned the Catholic Church and took up with Protestant Evangelicalism.
Not content merely to leave the Church, Coren had to add insult to injury. In a column for Frank, Coren portrayed Mother Teresa of Calcutta as getting drunk in a bar. He likewise ridiculed Catholic priests in a 1993 book review when he asked, "Can anyone imagine a detective priest? Regrettably, it is easier to conjure up the image of a priest being questioned by secular detectives over abuse charges." One wonders how he now regards that statement in view of his own admission to Anglican orders.
By 2004 Coren had returned to the Catholic Church. A decade later, though, he was again on the outs. He ceased attending Mass and began to worship with Anglicans. In 2015 he was formally received into communion with the Anglican Church of Canada, citing in a May 1, 2015 interview with the National Post that Catholic teaching on homosexuality and contraception contributed to his apostasy from the Catholic faith and his admission to Anglicanism.
He bemoaned the loss of some $35,000 per annum from cancelled speaking fees and the termination of his columns in such journals as The Catholic Register and organs of Sun Media and Crossroads Christian Communications. Now pro-abortion and in favor of same-sex "marriage," Coren is so much at home among Canadian Anglicans that he has been admitted to the ranks of their clergy.
In Epiphany: A Christian’s Change of Heart and Mind over Same-Sex Marriage (2016), Coren purports to justify his abandonment of Christianity's timeless moral teachings and exalts at least one Catholic priest who abandoned his priesthood for ministry in the Anglican communion.
One wonders how long Coren will stick with his new gig in the Church of England. Will he return to Rome, in a decade or so, rapping furiously at Her door, expecting a fond embrace and the recognition of the orders conferred on him by Susan Bell?
In 1896 Pope Leo XIII resolved the question of the validity of Anglican orders, decreeing in the papal bull Apostolicae curae that Anglican orders are "absolutely null and utterly void." Many point to the Anglican decision to admit women to holy orders as proof of the invalidity of Anglican orders. The conversion of a considerable number of "Anglo-Catholics" to the Catholic Church in view of that decision prompted Pope Benedict XVI to provide for their liturgical, spiritual and pastoral needs in Anglicanorum coetibus (2009) and the establishment of the Anglican-use personal ordinariate.