In recent months we have mentioned specific historical events and the names of specific bishops and archbishops, and have addressed the disagreements between jurisdictions as they are rooted in past events. My own contributions have included criticism and have called into question the motives behind new twists and turns in Continuing Church relations. One result was an exchange of comments that put me at odds with an ACC priest, Rev. Canon John Hollister. But, then a funny thing happened.
In the threads of comments after the two articles I posted about marriage and annulments, a very useful exchange of thought followed in which I came to realize that I enjoyed reading the erudite and sound comments of Fr. Hollister. Furthermore, when Fr. Edwards joined in, we could see the complementary thinking between this priest recently joined to the ACA, Fr. Hollister of the ACC, and me- the provocateur.
Why not? We are all Traditional Anglicans who embrace the Catholic Faith of our Church tradition, and who find our common ground in what we believe. The Continuing Church has been riddled with divisions for thirty years, almost never based on principle or doctrine, and, more often than not, based on the failure of those who hold the same doctrine to get along with each other. Those who worship with the same liturgy, and the consequential effect of Lex Orandi Lex Credendi on our minds and hearts, have been divided by engaging in everything from turf wars to simple indifference. Sometimes the divisions seem to have some element of principle, even of theological substance. Yet, they have not been laid on the table and discussed as subjects of theology, but, instead, all too often as matters of jurisdiction.
And yet, finding common ground in theology is the way to heal the divisions, inasmuch as we are all traditional Anglicans. This is what has been going on between the four of us who contribute to this blog. We represent three separate jurisdictions between us, but have been posting together from a common theological foundation. Albion approached us with this idea, initially, because we were wearing ourselves out writing apologetic comments on Fr. Al Kimmel’s Pontifications blog, defending our Anglican beliefs and orders against the usual RC attacks (especially novel Newmanian theories). We were tired of repeating the same answers (usually met with everything from repetition to Bulverism), and decided to make our own points and let others disagree with us in their own comments. We stood together in our theology, and so have had no strife among ourselves.
This blog is still committed to the healing of the sad divisions among Continuing Churchmen of orthodox faith. We have a common basis for our belief, a well developed Catholic and Evangelical Faith unique to Anglicanism for its clarity and balance. In addition to theology, the Anglican mind has resources of philosophy and critical thinking, and a boldness of erudition that stands as judge of the errors of passing ages, weighing in the balance popularly conceived prejudices of the zeitgeist against right reason, and finding them wanting. This we do rooted and grounded in the Catholic Tradition, enlightened by the English rediscovery of the riches of Patristic writings, and rooted in theology.
This blog offers the only remedy for Continuing Church divisions, namely theological healing.