Monday, March 03, 2008

Hooker on unity with Rome


From Richard Hooker's The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book III, I, 10

We hope therefore that to reform ourselves, if at any time we have done amiss, is not to sever ourselves from the Church we were of before. In the Church we were, and we are so still. Other difference between our estate before and now we know none but only such as we see in Juda; which having sometime been idolatrous became afterwards more soundly religious by renouncing idolatry and superstition. If Ephraim “be joined unto idols,” the counsel of the Prophet is, “Let him alone.” “If Israel play the harlot, let not Juda sin.” “If it seem evil unto you,” saith Josua, “to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods whom your fathers served beyond the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but I and mine house will serve the Lord.” The indisposition therefore of the Church of Rome to reform herself must be no stay unto us from performing our duty to God; even as desire of retaining conformity with them could be no excuse if we did not perform that duty.

Notwithstanding so far as lawfully we may, we have held and do hold fellowship with them. For even as the Apostle doth say of Israel that they are in one respect enemies but in another beloved of God; in like sort with Rome we dare not communicate concerning sundry her gross and grievous abominations, yet touching those main parts of Christian truth wherein they constantly still persist, we gladly acknowledge them to be of the family of Jesus Christ; and our hearty prayer unto God Almighty is, that being conjoined so far forth with them, they may at the length (if it be his will) so yield to frame and reform themselves, that no distraction remain in any thing, but that we “all may with one heart and one mouth glorify God the Father of our Lord and Saviour,” whose Church we are.
Richard Hooker (1554-1600) wrote to defend the polity of the Church of England against the attacks of the Puritans who wanted to abolish every trace of Roman influence, and who had assumed that the episcopal polity of the Church of England was simply one of those "Romish" things that they wanted to dismantle. In a very lengthy Preface, Hooker criticizes "Calvin's Geneva Discipline" and other theories on how to reinvent the ecclesiastical wheel, tearing down Puritan assertions that their model was taught by scripture. In the process he became the first Anglican writer to provide certain things that have become a basic philosophy that contains features of theology foundational to Anglicanism. The need to weigh all doctrines by Scripture, with the aid of Right Reason and the Church with her Authority (or, as is customary to say today, Tradition- though he meant Polity as well), comes from a careful reading of his Laws of Ecclesiastical polity, as does the idea of the Via Media, not as some sort of compromise for peace, but as a different road altogether, to be taken for the sake of truth.

To appreciate Hooker, we need to remember the times in which he wrote. The nature of religious apologetics was far less polite and far more polemical in the Elizabethan Period than it is in our own ecumenically sensitive time (usually). To write a sweeping dismissal of "Papist" or "Romish" practices as consisting of idolatrous and superstitious abominations is not at all acceptable today (and indeed, it hinders communication and understanding). But, in Hooker's day, the
possibility of reunion was the sort of thing that was potentially scandalous and dangerously controversial. His words aimed at something charitable shortly after a time in which "Papists " (to use the word of that period) had murdered Protestants in great numbers for heresy, and in which the Queen still considered obedience to the pope as treason punishable by death, that is, loyalty to a foreign prince who had sought to undermine her rule (i.e. kindle civil war and her execution). Nonetheless, in that period with all of its violence, we find in Hooker the reasonable and pacific attitude that would become characteristic of Anglicanism at its best.

In the above passage, Hooker affirms principles that were unique among Reformation churches.
First of all, Hooker affirmed the antiquity of the Church of England, and the fact that no new church had been formed. "We hope therefore that to reform ourselves, if at any time we have done amiss, is not to sever ourselves from the Church we were of before. In the Church we were, and we are so still." Even though Archbishop Matthew Parker (if not Cranmer before him) could have been considered the first of his line, this was not the position of the Church of England. Instead, Archbishop Matthew Parker was the 77th Archbishop of Canterbury. It was the same Church that had been established at the Council of Hertford in 673 A.D., when the ancient Celtic British and the Anglo-Saxon Christians came together in unity as Ecclesia Anglicana (not at the earlier Council of Whitby in 664, though it had laid the necessary foundation). This first unique principle was, therefore, no new church but rather continuity of identity.

The second thing was principle. The 39 Articles state very simply that the Church of Rome has erred. So, Hooker's words: "In like sort with Rome we dare not communicate concerning sundry her gross and grievous abominations." The English Reformers rejected ideas and practices that were either taught by Rome or allowed by Rome, not in an effort to turn away from the Catholic Faith, but instead to purge it of errors, and get back to its essentials. This kind of thinking is principled where some modern forms of ecumenism fail. The sloppy ecumenism of the Charismatic Movement comes to mind, in which unity was simply assumed by means of ignoring or explaining away genuine points of disagreement. If theological principles are unimportant, eventually moral principles must also fall by the wayside. Without the honesty that this form of principled stand requires, no real efforts toward unity will ever be possible, because no true discussion will take place. The Anglican position was that these principles mattered, but unique to Anglicanism was the notion that these were errors within the Church. The other churches of the Reformation dismissed the Church of Rome altogether as a false or fallen church, even as Antichrist. Not so Hooker, setting the position that would prevail in Anglican thinking.1

Finally, the Anglican position as stated by Hooker was unique in that it held forth the hope of reunion. So he said: "yet touching those main parts of Christian truth wherein they constantly still persist, we gladly acknowledge them to be of the family of Jesus Christ; and our hearty prayer unto God Almighty is, that being conjoined so far forth with them, they may at the length (if it be his will) so yield to frame and reform themselves, that no distraction remain in any thing, but that we 'all may with one heart and one mouth glorify God the Father of our Lord and Saviour,' whose Church we are." It has been argued by anti-Anglican apologists that the Church of England was no different from the other Reformation churches because they never officially "unchurched" the Lutherans or Calvinists. Never mind the fact that (despite much fiction to the contrary) the polity of the Church of England did not allow the functions of ordained ministry to any man unless and until he was ordained by a bishop in Apostolic Succession, a fact that, in itself, teaches the limits of their confidence in the sacraments of the continental European Protestants. What matters in Hooker's writing is that he never "unchurched" the Church of Rome. Furthermore, although in embryonic form, he sets down the goal to someday establish unity with the Church of Rome, a serious effort that would get underway long after his death.

Application

In recent months I have posted a few things aimed at fellow Anglicans who lack confidence in their own heritage as legitimate and validly Catholic, mainly because it is clear that they have learned only from Roman Catholic sources, and have completely lost sight of Anglican principles. RC bloggers have beaten up quite a few of them mentally. And, the weakened state of the official Anglican Communion is enough to depress them, leading to despair that any good thing could ever come from that Nazareth. And, in some ways other Anglicans add to the confusion by losing all proper sight of the via media, becoming either just like modern Evangelicals as extreme low churchmen, or nose-bleed high Anglo-Catholics who live in constant fear of anything that seems "Protestant," forgetting that it is not the opposite of "Catholic."

This fear of anything "Protestant" is easily exploited by people who see the same terms employed by Lutherans or Calvinists as by Anglicans, not realizing that often the overlapping of phrases was inevitable, and that most of these instances were a continuation of theological debate among Catholics in the west that preceded the Reformation period. Sometimes, what they perceive as "Calvinist" is Augustinian, Dominican and even Thomist. The overlapping of terminology was inevitable, but one thing remains certain. The 39 Articles and other Anglican formularies were not Lutheran or Calvinist, nor were most of the terms employed in them unique to Protestantism at all.

If efforts to achieve unity do continue I urge consideration of these few principles I have gleaned here from Richard Hooker. If, for anybody, that involves studying Anglicanism all over again, or perhaps for the first time, it is well worth the effort. Our own baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater
________

1. Indeed, in the same chapter One of Book III, Hooker dismisses Calvin's extreme position on the children of the Church of Rome as, to use his exact word, "crazed"- as in, crazy.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Father, and a salutary corrective for those battered by the bignoramuses (bigot+ignoramus) on both sides and for the bignoramuses themselves.

As you point out, "protestant" is not the opposite of "catholic." It is the opposite of "corrupt." In the same way, "catholic" is not the opposite of "protestant," but of "heretic."

Fr Samuel Edwards, SSM

Just a thought said...

Dear Fr Heart,

It is interesting that Hooker could conceive of reunion with Rome, in suggesting such a possibility it is implicit in his argument that in whatever form the Anglican Church existed at the time, it was not a continuation of, or indeed the same Catholic Church of the preceding centuries. This can be shown from the premise that to seek reunion with a body means you cannot be that body to which the desire for unification is directed, and if you are not the thing you desire reunion with, then you must be something else QED.

So it follows that the Anglican Church was not the Catholic church even by Hookers own argument at its inception and consequently is not now, But more to the point what we see now are the adherents of the TAC following their decision to secede from the Union that is the global Canterbury Anglican Communion to its logical conclusion, home to Rome, as we say.

I feel this move is motivated by a number of realisations guided by the Holy Ghost. First and foremost recognition that the Catholic Church with the Pope as its visible head is the same one true Church established by Christ, thorough Peter. Secondly its cold and lonely being on your own especially set against 2,000 years of revelation and Catholic tradition, they have grown tired of the wilderness and as Peter said "To whom shall we go?" John 6:68. The proliferation of Protestant churches is a cause of theological confusion and last but not least a desire for the full course meal served by the Communion of Saints from the very beginning of the church.

For my part I earnestly pray that the frustration of the saints is satisfied and that even if it takes some time yet to achieve, they are welcomed back. As for those remaining outside the Petrine ministry I know that argument alone will not convince them to return.



Finally if Hooker were on earth today I wonder what part would he take in this debate, would he maintain that the abuses of power to which he objected were still Casus belli, or would he recognise in Benedict XIV the Apostolic secession established by Christ and His the Keys. Of his time he was I think as moderate man, or at least as moderate as one could be and still live, perhaps he would have been a devotee of Bishop Jefferts Shori, right to Cranmer and Luther (in a pigs eye he would). I believe he would shriek in horror to see where those great reforming ideas have lead outside the Church.

Thanks for another great post, I enjoyed you piece on Justina, did you have a good time in Jerusalem, perhaps you could give us your impression of the current Israeli-Palestinian situation

Elijah said...

just a thought said...
"it is implicit in his argument that in whatever form the Anglican Church existed at the time, it was not a continuation of, or indeed the same Catholic Church of the preceding centuries"

While reading "The Church in Crisis" by Philip Hughes I was struck by the strength of the geographical ties in the disputants. For example, when the path to reconciliation is spelled out for Arian bishops or priests, no parallel requirement is made of the laity to whom they ministered. When the Great Schism occurs, there was no migration from England to the East, nor from China to the West. In the case currently being discussed, even if the Archbishop of Cantebury were a heretic, the Anglican diocese persists, and does not cease to exist even in the face of an official excommunication or anathamatization, since the church would appoint an alternative Archbishop.

poetreader said...

to "Just a thought",
I'm going to be as gentle as I can, as you seem to be a reasonable and decent person and are certainly welcome here, but there are elements in your posting that make it very difficult to carry on a discussion. I'll be quoting extensively from you latest as I respond.

Dear Fr Heart,

It would give us a bit more confidence that you were listening to what we had to say if you would take the trouble to use the right names. Fr. Hart has no "e" in his name, and any person does appreciate having his name spelled properly. It shows some interest in knowning to whom one is speaking.

It is interesting that Hooker could conceive of reunion with Rome, in suggesting such a possibility it is implicit in his argument that in whatever form the Anglican Church existed at the time, it was not a continuation of, or indeed the same Catholic Church of the preceding centuries. This can be shown from the premise that to seek reunion with a body means you cannot be that body to which the desire for unification is directed, and if you are not the thing you desire reunion with, then you must be something else QED.

You might want to read Hooker before you start dissecting his agruments (or what you believe his arguments to be). What you have just said bears no resemblance whatever to his words, even to the small portion of them here quoted. Whether you agree with him or not, what he said was that he and the Church of England had NEVER LEFT the one Catholic Church and were equally as much part, of it as was Rome. His reference to reunion was very far indeed from a desire to return to something of which he was not part. You are either missing or refusing to hear his point. It does no good at all to attempt to refute a point that is not being made in the first place.

So it follows that the Anglican Church was not the Catholic church even by Hookers own argument at its inception and consequently is not now,

This assertion has no connection at all with anything Hooker wrote. Yes, I know, that IS what Rome asserts to have happened, and as a good RC it's only right that you agree. However, it is merely nonsense to assert that Dr. Hooker had any agreement at all with an assertion that directly contradicts everything he did say.

But more to the point what we see now are the adherents of the TAC following their decision to secede from the Union that is the global Canterbury Anglican Communion to its logical conclusion, home to Rome, as we say.

Very good statement, again, of the way in which Rome would describe this outreach. Perhaps some Anglicans are ready to accept such a description. I am not, nor is Fr, Hart, and neither of us would agree that such assertions are really compatible with classic Anglicanism. I seek reunion of a sadly divided church, not a move home to someplace I am not. If that were my view I'd be in the conversion process right now. I am not.

Finally if Hooker were on earth today I wonder what part would he take in this debate, would he maintain that the abuses of power to which he objected were still Casus belli, or would he recognise in Benedict XIV the Apostolic secession established by Christ and His the Keys. Of his time he was I think as moderate man, or at least as moderate as one could be and still live, perhaps he would have been a devotee of Bishop Jefferts Shori, right to Cranmer and Luther (in a pigs eye he would). I believe he would shriek in horror to see where those great reforming ideas have lead outside the Church.

I highly doubt that he would see the abuses he had perceived in Rome as having been corrected either. Especially, I think one's ears would have blistered at what he would have said about Papal Infallibility. No, friend, you may have a case in some of your assertions regarding the Roman Church (though I disagree very firmly), but you quite obviously have no understanding whatever of Dr. Hooker and classic Anglicanism.

Thanks for another great post, I enjoyed you piece on Justina, did you have a good time in Jerusalem, perhaps you could give us your impression of the current Israeli-Palestinian situation

We are glad you've enjoyed our blog, but once again you betray your lack of real effort to know what and whom you are reading. There are four of us hosting this blog. The post you mention was clearly signed by Albion (the actual owner of the blog), who is not Fr. Hart, and who does give us periodic updates on what he observes. There is also Fr. Kirby in Australia (who we've not heard very much from lately) and myself, Ed Pacht (sensitive, BTW, to the correct spelling of my name) AKA Poetreader. This does lead me to ask whether you are hear to find out what we have to say, or merely to gain an audience for yourself. I hope it's the former.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Just a thought wrote:

...in suggesting such a possibility it is implicit in his argument that in whatever form the Anglican Church existed at the time, it was not a continuation of, or indeed the same Catholic Church of the preceding centuries...So it follows that the Anglican Church was not the Catholic church even by Hookers own argument at its inception and consequently is not now

Then why did he first say that the Church of England was still the same Church it always had been, i.e. the Catholic Church? You are arguing from a position of silliness. St. Maximos the Confessor drew a line of division between himself and the Patriarch of Constantinople about a specific heresy of his age, and the Church of England took the same stand about errors held by the Church of Rome in Hooker's day (real or perceived is a separate matter). Furthermore, if at its the "inception" of the Church of England was not Catholic, then you are saying that Pope Gregory and St. Augustine were not Catholic,and that the Church founded at the Council of Hertford was not Catholic. Hooker would agree with me, as the full quotation I provided proves.

First and foremost recognition that the Catholic Church with the Pope as its visible head is the same one true Church established by Christ, thorough Peter.

To any degree that there may be truth in that doctrine, Hooker would have regarded even the doctrine of the papacy as it existed then (Universal Jurisdiction without the added 1870 definition of "Infallibility") to be error. Furthermore, he regarded much of the corruption and practices that he saw as "abomination" and idolatry to be error. So, don't put words in his mouth, or take away words that he wrote.

Finally if Hooker were on earth today I wonder what part would he take in this debate...

What point is there in this speculation? I am drawing from a fact, namely, the record we have of this great man's thoughts.

I believe he would shriek in horror to see where those great reforming ideas have lead outside the Church.

The "reforming ideas" have not led to the modern heresies; rather it is a rejection of the English Reformers along with everybody else in Church history, that has so led. Do you really think that the modern heretics in the Episcopal Church follow the teaching of the English Reformers? The average TEC clergyman has no idea what any of them wrote, or about any of the Anglican formularies at all. They have only heard what some third party says, academics who make a case instead of teaching facts. The people graduating from TEC seminaries these days have no education.

A basic principle to keep in mind is this: Every apostate turns away first and foremost from his own tradition, and from Christianity in general only after that. To reject the catholic faith modern heretics had to pull away from the version close at hand, so their first and most ardent rejection is a rejection of the teaching and practices of their own church.

By the way, it was Albion Land who was in Jerusalem recently, not me.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Elijah wrote:
...even if the Archbishop of Cantebury were a heretic, the Anglican diocese persists, and does not cease to exist even in the face of an official excommunication or anathamatization, since the church would appoint an alternative Archbishop.

I am afraid I don't quite get the point. Do you mean "Anglican" or simply English? Rome later appointed their own English Archbishop, but makes no claim to Canterbury per say.

Carlos said...

On a side note, a friend of mine just came back from the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference and he attended a lecture on ecumenism. On the panel were a Protestant (not sure Confession) Anglican (An AC women priestess) an Orthodox priest and a Roman Catholic Priest. The question about Rome/Constantinople unity was raised and to my shock and his the Orthodox priest said he was 100% the schism would end, though he wasn't sure if he would see it in his lifetime. Your thoughts?

The second issue was about the TAC's letter to Rome. As shocking if not more was a near unanimous response from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopal woman, that the acceptance of the TAC into the Roman Church would be bad ecumenism. He didn't elaborate why to me, but it seems really odd, considering the TAC "signed the catechism". With regards to the Anglican Communion I could see it as perhaps insulting to them to dialogue with "defectors and schismatics" though that smacks of hypocrisy. The Orthodox might see the TAC unification as a breaking of their pact with Rome against Uniatism... and I think Roman liberals just don't want more conservatives in the Church... These are the reasons I came up with for each of their responses, but still, if that's the case it's really sad... not sure what to make of this...

just a thought said...

Dear Albion Land, Fr. Robert Hart, poetreader, Fr Matthew Kirby,

Apologies for the misspelling of names, no offence intended, and just to prove my tardiness is not sectarian I transposed XIV for XVI, Pope Benedict will have my guts.

Elijah

That is all very well except the Church does not appoint the Archbishop of Canterbury does it? It can only submit names to the First Lord of the Treasury, aka the Minister for the Civil Service more commonly known as the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, a politician and he’s a "Wee Free" a Scottish Presbyterians. Lets not Forget Tony Blair appointed Rowan Williams as ABC and we all know where he ended up and what happening to Canterbury now. Are you open to the possibility of divine retribution?

Poetreader,

Thanks for the welcome I try to be a decent fellow; there’s no need to be gentle although I do appreciate your consideration.

To a couple of points, I have not studied the Anglican divines in any depth, certainly not to that which you obviously have; I am attempting to address some of the points raised in Fr. Harts post on Hooker not his collective works. My question then is does the former disqualify me from the latter, do I need a DPhil or Th. D to have a valid argument, however flawed or contrary that may be, so long as it is respectful.

If I were to refrain from responding would that not deny you an opportunity to show how misguided we Latin Rite Catholics are?

I have noted your objection to the notion of Papal Infallibility (in common with Fr Hart on previous occasions). I’ll not go over the actual scope of the doctrine as I’m sure you are aware of its actual restriction but suffice to say I find it one of the most logical, reassuring and obvious conclusions that the Christian Church can believe. It is scriptural Matthew 16:17-18, 2 Tim. 1:13, Luke 10:16 and John 16:13. And to those who say it is an invention of 1870 I would remind them that Cyprian of Carthage had this to say of the Church, "Would heretics dare to come to the very seat of Peter whence apostolic faith is derived and whither no errors can come" (Epistulae 59 (55), 14, [256 A.D.]) and to remember that this was said almost a century before the divinity of Christ was dogmatically established.

Fr. Hart

“Then why did he first say that the Church of England was still the same Church it always had been, i.e. the Catholic Church?”

Well to do otherwise would have fatally undermined his position as an Anglican, he would no more argue for Rome than you would, if you did by extension you would be a Roman Catholic and accept the Churches teaching that Anglicans are not Catholic. Hooker had to maintain the pretence that Anglicanism is the same as Catholicism in order to underpin the argument for the theory of continuation. As for areas of agreement between Rome and Canterbury, would you not find it rather more absurd if they agreed on nothing at all, no one denies the Christian nature of the Anglican Communion and it follows that it recognises most Christian traditions, even if it has had a bit of trouble; since about 1930.

To my knowledge St. Augustine did not reject the Authority of Pope Gregory, so I am not saying what you infer.




The Council of Hertford continued what was started 9 year earlier at the synod of Whitby. It confirmed the province of Canterbury as a unit of the Roman Catholic Church organization in England under the existing Theodore of Tarsus who was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 667 by Pope Vitalian. It also confirmed the adoption of the Roman Catholic practices in the Church in England and ruled against divorce in most cases. So Fr Hart, which of the above did the Anglican Church continue with as Hereford seems to be the perceived get-go of the Anglican Church? Did the divines support and affirm the Roman Catholic Church organization in England, the Authority of the Pope to confirm the Archbishop of Canterbury, the adoption of Roman Catholic practices or the ruling against divorce. Do I need to make the connections to the Tudor invention of a new Church or will you come quietly?

I suppose the point of speculation is to exercise a little imagination, to perhaps examine a situation in its modern context so as to grasp what has changed and what remains. It’s not to everyone’s taste. As for the modern day heretics, or education in TAC seminaries I’ll leave that to to you good reformed gentlemen.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

That's TEC seminaries.

JAT:

The importance of the Council of Hertford was the unity it established in England between the Catholic Church that was already there from the First century on and the Mission of St. Augustine from Rome to the children of Saxon invaders,(now forgiven for what their pagan fathers had done to the Celtic Britons when they invaded a Christian country). Rome, in the person of the first Archbishop of Canterbury, did not bring Christianity to Briton, because it was already there. The significance of that council was that two churches became one. This was not because the British Celts recognized Roman authority as you see it in your post 1054, and post 1870 model. It is because the Archbishop of the English Church and the Celtic bishops had already achieved a unity of mind at Whitby, and everyone wanted to unify the Church in their homeland.

Now, the significance of Ed's reply to you is not answered by saying that you have not read the whole corpus of Hooker's works. You don't need advanced degrees. But, you could read a little more carefully. The fact is, you made a comment that showed that you were ignoring a large portion of what was quoted right up front and also repeated in the article. Obviously, Hooker was not conceding any such point as you asserted.

You wrote:

Hooker had to maintain the pretence that Anglicanism is the same as Catholicism in order to underpin the argument for the theory of continuation.

Why would you choose the word "pretence" in a conversation that aims at being peaceful? That our church is fully Catholic is no "pretence" on our part, but a firmly held conviction. We know that the Church of England continued as the same Church it had been all along. Nonetheless, Hooker was not bothering to argue for the Anglican position against RC exclusivity in this chapter. Not at all. He was making the bold and radical argument, to a people threatened and angered by the interference of a foreign prince/ bishop after the reign of terror inflicted by Bloody Mary, that "papists" are Christians too. Not only that, but that we should pray and hope for restoration of unity.

Well, we want that too. But, it is not because we have any need to become what we are already: Catholic and therefore, complete in Christ. It is not a need to come home, since we are already in the Church, the Body of Christ. It is simply that, in the spirit of Whitby and Hertford, we want to see "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Carlos:

About ending the Great Schism in our lifetime, I just don't know. In one sense all schisms are illusion, because we are truly one in Christ, divided only in this world, and superficially. I do know that the evil of women's "ordination" is that it ended the progress toward unity between Rome and Orthodoxy that was taking place over the London Bridge, so to speak.

Are there people who would regard it as a disaster for the TAC and Rome to come to a meeting of minds? Oh yes. Cardinal Kasper has already made that clear. He wants to keep Canterbury smiling at him, and sees no room for more conservatives. You are right on target with that.

Elijah said...

To Fr Hart,

My example was referring to the Anglican Church, although I was not pointing to historic excommunications, but drawing a parallel to the way that past schisms had been healed, with portions of the Church passing in and out of schism as corporate structures.

To just a thought

The Roman Church has acknowledged the possibility of churches legitimately continuing while being out of communion with Rome, as Pope Benedict XVI said about the Eastern Orthodox Church having legitimate apostolic succession and a legitimate Eucharist while still being "deficient."

One of the implications what Hooker is saying is that this knife of division cuts both ways. If the Roman Church is apostate we are only helped by dividing from it. However Hooker's acknowledgement of the validity of the Roman Church also acknowledges the tragedy that there are portions of the body of Christ that we cannot meet at the altar.

Just a Thought said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

I realise that the term pretence has modern connotations that imply deliberate deception but I use it in its correct form, that is to make claim of something that is not so, however sincerely held to the contrary. In this case, that the institution of the Anglican Church is a natural successor to, or continuation of an earlier form of English Catholicism, it is not. The Anglican Church is a product of the European reformation of 15-16C, brought about by one kings wish to sire an Heir. This desire for male progeny happened to coincided with the cravings for wealth and power by two avaricious families, in particular the Howard's and Boleyn's under the certain machinations and ambitions of one Thomas Cromwell. The extent to which this land-grab was pursued would make the antics of the Borgias look like a playschool quarrel. Not withstanding the excesses of your favourite bet noir Mary Tudor (but come on she was a gherkin short of a Big Mac).

Would it have happened anyway? Well that's speculation so we'll avoid it. Arguments to the contrary seek to legitimise a provenance that does not exist. The pretence is that the RC Council of Hertford (CoH) can be used to sanction the existence of a breakaway church (note avoiding the use of heretical here to salve hurt feelings) through a paternity of Canterbury that was broken and declared illicit by the Pope. I know you disagree and I respect that but then you reject Papal authority and the supremacy of the Petrine Ministry which I don't.

What is true is that the CoH being sanctioned by the Pope would not agree to it being used as a source for, or to countenance the existence of the Anglican Church, of that we can be certain, to do so is to pretend the case. It is however one of a continuation of councils that links the English RCC to Rome even when it had to flee for its survival to Douay. The RCC was never eradicated in England despite the best efforts of the Cecil's and their branch of intimidation and thuggery. So there was and still remains a branch of Christianity that can and does claim legitimate lineage through the CoH and right the way back to Peter and Christ, that is English Roman Catholic Church.

I do not use pretence in anyway to question your sincerity or that of your co-blog Authors, and hope for reciprococity. Your collective service to Christianity has my utmost respect and is a wonderful witness to Christ and I thank God for it. It's just that you make claims, siteing hooker in support, that I believe are not true and take position accordingly.

Before we fail in our good graces (I will not descend into a ad hominem attacks) I believe it is your judgement that my argument is silly, as you have in previous responses voiced similar barbed phrases, yet I take no offence, I think a little charity is in order. A good argument can surely stand up to good scrutiny.

If I can comment, your photograph is particularly fierce.

poetreader said...

JAT,
I'm afraid you are beginning to strain the patience. Are you really trying to be annoying, or are you simply unable to carry on a reasoned discourse? You state that you aere aware that the word 'pretence' could be offensive, and yet insist upon using it. Surely you can find a better way of saying that you find our premises lacking than selecting words that could not be more alienating if that were the actual intent. This, I'm afraid is only the most obvious example, not the only one. Another is this: "(note avoiding the use of heretical here to salve hurt feelings)" if you did not want to accuse us of heresy (which, by the way, would be your prerogative if you believe that to be the case), then why did you need to be so pointed in making sure we knew that was precisely what you were thinking?

Your take on English church history is, to put it mildly, extreme, couched in terms rejected by even conservative RC scholars. The viewpoints you are attempting to express are respectable ones (even though we would, obviously, disagree with them), but the way in which you are stating them and, rather vainly, attempting to defend them, is not.

The most egregious example of that is your insistence on using Hooker's words for your own purposes without even attempting to hear what the man was saying. You are entirely entitled to disagree with his words, but neither you, nor anyone else, can assert that he is saying precisely the opposite of what he actually wrote - in the very quotation you claim to have read - without being called "foolish" and "silly". I'm not sure I could apply those labels to you personally, but they are certainly appropriate to the "argument" you advance.

Dr. Hooker may have been right or he may have been wrong -- that is the very point being discussed -- but he said what he said, and his words are presented as a defense of Anglicanism, and also as a defense of the essential Christianity (in spite of perceived "abuses") of the Roman Church. Your attempt to make his words say other than they say is laughable, or would be if it were not tragic.

One last point. If your attempt is not to be offensive, why did you juxtapose these two contradictory statements?

(I will not descend into ad hominem attacks) ...
If I can comment, your photograph is particularly fierce.


I have been sincere in welcoming you to this forum, but, to be frank, my friend, your arguments have been becoming less and less rational and more and more tiresome. I. for one, do not tire of discussing matters of substance such as you have brought up, but I tire rather quickly of false statements, inadequate reading, and inability to hear what one's debating partner has actually said. I truly hope you can do better, but am beginning to have my doubts.

BTW. This has been far more personal than I like to be on an open forum, but I have no email with which to reach you individually. If I did, I would have contacted you privately.

ed

Canon Tallis said...

I wanted to say just how wonderful and well written the posting was, but after reading the comments could only think of my Roman uncle (born and raised in Rome of an old Roman family and RC) pounding on the table at the end of an argument which he had lost, saying "Don't tell me; I'm a Roman and I know!"
The problem with so many Romans is that they believe their own propaganda and have never managed to assorb the lessons of history. We, on the other hand, fail or simply refuse out of a mistaken charity to point out their errors and their sins. Theologically we defeat them every time but they seem to know that few are going to read Hooker, Andrewes, Laud, Littledale or Gore, so they go back to the same deceptions (which may include self-deceptions) as before.
On the other hand, we weaken our own arguments by not living up to the very best of classical prayer book tradition while weakening it even among our own by the basest of imitation of what their own scholars call "Roman bad taste." It makes me wondering if even talking to folks such as "just a thought" is worth the effort as they never seem to actually hear and consider what is actually said.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

(I am not offended by the statement that my photograph is fierce, though I don't see how I could look fierce while holding my infant grandson.)

My reference to the Council of Hertford was not meant to prove anything. It was simply a reference to the point in history when the ancient British Celtic Church unified with this new Italian Mission of St. Augustine, into the Ecclesia Anglicana. However, I expect any decent Roman Catholic to state the position of his own church, and I respect that.

All of the disagreements between the Anglo-Saxon Church and the Celtic Church of the Britons were ironed out at Whitby, making Hertford fairly easy. But, what was ironed out at Whitby never included any teaching about the See of Peter, or any kind of acknowledgment of Rome as possessing Primacy. It did include an acceptance of Rome's date for Easter.

Nonetheless, historic facts are rather Swiss, that is neutral. They are also, as John Adams pointed out about all facts, "stubborn things." The fact is, the Church of England considers itself formally and officially to be the same Church of England that goes back to the Celts and also the Church of the Anglo-Saxons, which two churches were unified at the council of Hertford. The facts is, Archbishop Matthew Parker (whose valid consecration was formally recognized by the See of Constantinople, echoed by the other Orthodox patriarchates and archdioceses) was the 77th ABC, not the first. The facts is, Henry VIII's secession from Rome ended after Edward died, and so the divorce of Henry is not the cause of the separation that followed, and that continued. The fact is, Henry was a bad man in his day. The fact is, the king of Spain was a bad man in Elizabeth's day, and he dominated the weak pope. The fact is, the pope made a decision to back the commercial interests of the empire of Spain at the cost of slicing off England from his church. The fact is, the pope tried to incite civil war and the murder of the Queen of England at the King of Spain's demand.

The Crown and people of England were not morally obligated to put up with this treatment. They did not.

To say that the Church of England is the product of Henry's divorce is no more accurate than to say that the Roman Catholic Church is the product of the Council of Trent. The facts give us points to debate, but not points to ignore. The reunion under Queen Mary is a fact. The bloody reign of terror she inflicted on her own country is a fact. The second secession of the Church of England as a separate event in history from what happened in Henry's day, is also a fact.

I am very happy for JAT to read and to comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear TAC members,

Ecclesia Anglicana is the term used by the Roman Curia to describe that part of the Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Pope, which is situated in England. Anglicanism and the Church of England were unknown pre-Reformation.
The head of Ecclesia Anglicana is no longer the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. It is the English Catholic Church that is the true and ancient Christian church of England. It is the church that knows no Caesar.
When the first bishops of the state-created Church of England rejected the authority of Peter's successor, they rejected the Church also. The rejection of the Papacy was soon followed by the rejection of a number of other Catholic doctrines and practices eg 'massing' priests. Churches and monasteries were desecrated and altars stripped and laid low in an effort to force the new church on the English people. But through the grace of God and the faith of English Catholics, the church established by the missionaries survived, albeit without it's historic churches and bishoprics.
Hooker says, 'We hope that to reform ourselves, if at any time we have done amiss, is not to sever ourselves from the Church we were of before...'The truth is, it is not possible to reject important Catholic doctrines and practices and not fail to sever oneself from the Church of before. A separate body is created. The English Catholic church and the Church of England are two distinct entities.

Raphael

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I do not know why Raphael has repeated a series of assertions already made by "Just a Thought," and already answered and refuted in this thread. To Raphael I say, look at the above series of comments: Everything you say has been addressed, answered, and dealt with.

I will correct one point however, because, due to the need for clarity as the one thing not hitherto answered fully, it deserves comment:

The rejection of the Papacy was soon followed by the rejection of a number of other Catholic doctrines and practices eg 'massing' priests.Churches and monasteries were desecrated and altars stripped and laid low in an effort to force the new church on the English people.

The first part is simply not true at all. Catholic doctrine was not rejected. And, if by "Massing priest" we are to understand that men should be ordained as "choir priests" without any pastoral duties, damn that idea altogether. Yes, that we most certainly do reject, as the Fathers would have done.

The last part of this appears to be a reference to the unjustified acts of Thomas Cromwell on behalf of Henry VIII. No Anglican supports those measures, and they are not relevant to the second secession in the days of Queen Elizabeth's reign. I know that some Roman Catholics have made a doctrine out of historical inaccuracy. But, the fact is, the two secessions were not one, but two. Henry and Elizabeth were two different monarchs in two different generations. We did not invent Queen Mary; she really did exist, even if it is a RC dogma to insist that her reign never took place (for so it seems to be).

The problem with Roman Catholic fundamentalists is that they are just as weak in faith as Baptist Fundamentalists. If a geologist gives a Baptist Fundamentalist reason to doubt the literal six days of creation, he loses his whole faith along with it. Even so, if a Roman Catholic Fundamentalist begins to doubt any point of Rome's claims to be exclusively the whole real Church, the same domino effect can bring down his whole faith. We don't want that to happen.

Unfortunately, this is why even a very ecumenical article like the one I wrote, and the pacific and charitable words of Hooker I quoted, bring out their fears and insecurity. Elaborate systems are also flimsy systems.

poetreader said...

To Raphael, JAT, and others,

You may just have noticed that this is an Anglican forum. Its purpose is not to evangelize RCs and to lead them into our fellowship. You won't find us invading the multitude of RC sites in order to attack the basis of your faith. The four of us, while we have expressed strongly held opinions as to the areas in which we feel we have come to a better understanding than has Rome, do not hate the Roman Church or desire that it cease to exist. In fact, I think I speak for the rest of us in stating that we do indeed have an abiding love for our sister church. In this we follow Hooker. If you read him carefully, even the passage quoted above, his objections are correctives offered to fellow-Christians, fellow Catholics, out of love and with sorrow that unity no longer could be seen.

We understand your views and respect the fervor with which you hold them. We have indeed welcomed you into our living room, and willingly allowed you to speak opinions which are not ours, and to advance interpretations of history which we, for reasons we have openly and rationally expressed, find to be faulty.

You are welcome here, and you are welcome as RCs. As such you are not only allowed, but invited to disagree with us. However, when you enter our space, we expect the consideration and good manners that we would enter yours with. We expect a listening ear, and a response, when one is given, that recognizes that we at least believe we know what we are talking about.

In other words, we welcome a two-way conversation, but (surprise, surprise) find ourselves somewhat less than thrilled at being preached at by guests.

Until Our Lord produces the miracle of entire agreement between us, we will differ in many things. Can we not, even so, associate in a gentlemanly and scholarly fashion?

ed

John A. Hollister said...

Having considered the comments and positions of Raphael, Just a Thought, and others of their ilk, I have come to the following realization.

Every time a Roman partisan tells me that the XVIth Century Church of England was a new creation by Henry VIII, I am going to respond that the XVIth Century Church of Rome was a new creation by Julius II. It came into existence when he left the Catholic Church to conspire with Albrecht of Hohenzollern to authorize the sale of indulgences in southern Germany.

The proceeds of this sale were split half-and-half between Julius and Albrecht. Julius used his half to pay for the building of St. Peter's Basilica, which is why the Popes (of Rome) are known as "Successors of Peter". Albrecht used his half to repay his immense loan from the Fugger family of bankers in Augsburg, which he needed to pay bribes to the Papal Curia necessary to get dispensations so he could occupy several bishoprics simultaneously.

It was, of course, Julius and Albrecht's chief salesman, Johann Tetzel, who coined (you should pardon the expression) the sales jingle, "When a gold piece in the coffer klings, a soul from Purgatory sprigs" which so outraged the Professor of New Testament at the University of Wittenberg.

That Professor was an Augustinian canon named Martin Luther who expressed his displeasure by posting (in Latin) a traditional open challenge to academic disputation (in Latin, of course) on a series of 95 "theses" or tech nical debating points. Some unknown wag took this list down from the church door in Wittenberg (the customary public bulletin board), translated it into German, and circulated it throughout the country, with spectacular results.

So Julius is actually the founder of TWO church movements: the modern Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches of the Reformation. And he managed the second one four years after his death, a truly unique achievement!

RC extremists claim the Church of England was founded out of Henry's lust for Anne Bullen; Anglicans can claim (with considerably greater accuracy) that the Roman Catholic Church was founded out of Julius's lust for filthy lucre.

Henry is accused of destroying the monasteries in England, but the monasteries, while a useful witness, have never been essential to the Catholic faith. Julius, however, incontestably destroyed the Catholic Church itself throughout large tracts of Europe -- and, ultimately, caused the almost inconceivable devastation of the Thirty Years' War, which set Germany's polity, economy, and culture back for generations.

See how simple History is when looked at properly?

John A. Hollister+

Just a Thought said...

poetreader,

If you are unable to read my posts without loosing your patience then simply avoid reading them. I do not wish to make you angry but I can't help it if that is your response, I will not treat you with kid gloves, which would be an insult. I think you are getting fixated on a word without fully appreciating its meaning, possibly looking for insult where none is intended. The use of Heretic was a lighthearted attempt to inject a bit of friendly banter into what can be a bit of a heavy subject. In fact if you are aware of the RCC definition of a Heretic then you will know none of your co-religionists are classed as such although Protestantism itself is heretical. This applies because you were never (I believe) members of the RCC in the first place. Nether are you schismatic or apostates, simply fellow Christians, without the fullness of the truth that is the RCC but this line would lead on the whether your nescient ignorance was vincible or invincible but then you may not find that discussion to your liking either.

As for my knowledge of English History I find enough common ground with Clive Burgess (MA, DPhil, Oxford). University of London - Department of History Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History. Eamon Duffy. Professor of the History of Christianity, and Fellow and Director of Studies, Magdalene College. University of Cambridge whom I have met, and Diarmaid MacCulloch Professor of the History of the Church, in the Theology Faculty; a Fellow of the British Academy, University of Oxford. All by the way respected and credited authors whose works are used as reference texts for degree studies. So whom do you have in mind as conservative RC scholars that reject my take? How would they asses for example Sir Thomas Boleyn a man who was happy to prostitute his eldest daughter to the king for titles and estates, leave her pregnant and alone and send her from the family home as she was now an embarrassment, but she got off light. Then encourage his youngest daughter and take up with the King, who by some accounts had also had his wife Elizabeth Howard (of the famous Howard's). And if that weren't enough in a final act of treachery testify against his own Daughter and Son at their trial for incest that condemned them to death. But he ended up an Earl so that's OK. These were prime examples of the Protestant ascendancy in Tudor England, these were the movers and shakers behind the rejection of Rome. Now is their anything in what I have said that is demonstrably false?

I agree with you I put my own interpretation on Hooker, why is this a surprise his word is not scripture, not revealed truth or divinely inspired, we are free to interpret it and use it as we see fit. Unlike the RCC there is no final authority on what we should hold true. I did hear what the man was saying and applied some elementary logic to his words which clearly show the Anglican Church in not a continuation of the English Catholic Church, why is this so hard to comprehend?

Look poetreade if I had wanted to offend I would have done a better job than this, argue if you wish but don't get angry life is too short (and its a sin). As for Albion Lands photo, it is fierce, I myself detest my photo being taken, I frighten the chickens, but that doesn't stop me having an opinion for heavens sake, the photo is on public display for everyone in the world to see, perhaps you disagree and that's OK too but keep it in perspective.

Have you read The Vincentian Canon of St. Vincent of Lerins, If not give it a shot, its only short.

Blogger Canon Tallis

I have never tub-thumped in my life. By your measure someone you have never met is like a family member who exhibits psychotic behaviour that no one else has ever met and we are supposed to recognise common behavioural traits. It’s a stereotype isn't it, a Non sequitur really.

poetreader said...

Canon John,

Be careful not to bite off your tonhue when it is so firmly in your cheek! Magnificent spoof of revisionist history, but actually no more laughable than much of what we've been hearing.

ed

John said...

If I could go back to Fr. Sam's comment regarding the words "catholic" and "protestant":

If "protestant" is the opposite of "corrupt" in the classic sense as in Roman corruptions such as Purgatory, Infallibility, Indulgences, etc, what does the word mean in the contemporary sense?

To be a "Protestant" could mean one is a Baptist or a Methodist on one side or an Episcopalian or a Unitarian on the other. It means that one can be a "non-denominationist" whatever the heck that means! Now any reasonable Baptist would not want to be associated with an Episcopalian or Unitarian because at least the Baptist is Trinitarian but all are "protestant" so how is the word "protestant" a workable descriptive any longer?
the Episcopalian "protests" everything from Holy Orders to the male nature and Divinity of Jesus.

The Baptist pro-tests the Sacraments (and many now wear crucifixes!). The Methodist protest began against authority. The Nondenominationalist protests protest.


I always understood "protestant" to signify the state of being "reformed" but it seems protestant now can counter-reform. AM I on the right trail here?

BTW A great and entertaining history lesson from Canon Hollister. Hope to see you expand it.

Albion Land said...

Rev'd Up,

You have been warned: clean up your language, and give the racism a miss.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Just a Thought:

The fact that you go into all these details about Henry VIII and his scandalous life tells me that I am right on target. Roman Catholic apologists simply won't accept the fact that the Church of England had two secessions from its obedience to Rome, not one. The details about Henry's secession and Elizabeth's involve real and important differences. It is easier just to say that it was all about Henry and lust than to deal with the facts (though that is also wrong. It was about Henry and the perception he had of his duty to give to England an heir instead of more dynastic wars. It is not really possible to document much else).

Furthermore, zeroing in scandals is a two way street. I know of no Roman Catholic apologist who even tries to justify the corruptions of the Church of Rome in that period, or the apparent willingness of the pope to act like a subject of the King of Spain. Fr. Hollister's comment, though very humorous in style, seems to me the perfect example of where these kinds of debating points actually do lead.

The corruptions of Henry have nothing to do with the theological and pastoral work undertaken by Richard Hooker, and other Anglican churchmen a generation later. The fact that he laid any hope at all for a possible reunion is highly significant, and among Reformation Churches, unique. Anglicanism has much in common with both Rome and Orthodoxy, and did even at that time, that the Continental Protestants never had. Your attempt to remove the first of the three principles I have gleaned from Hooker, ends such a hope before it can begin to be realized.

FrSamuelEdwards said...

John,

Sometime in the past couple of centuries or so, "protestant" lost its essentially positive original sense (pro + testare = to bear witness in favor of) and assumed an essentially negative connotation.

This newer sense would be better represented by the using the word "contestant," but "protestant" was already lying around and, as you've probably noticed in other contexts, revolutionaries (of the Jacobin sort), being both lazy and deceitful, never pass up the chance to hijack a good term and use the positive regard associated with it to turn its meaning on its head. ("Liberal" springs to mind as another example of such a word: It used to describe someone who believed in genuine personal freedom, but now it generally describes a species of facist.)

Not by the way, the term "catholic" enjoys no immunity from this phenomenon, as is evident from its frequent use as a party or denominational label, whereby that which denotes universality is made to denote locality and/or tribal identity.

It's well worth remembering that the question that started the whole mess from which God had to save us ("did God say you shall not eat of the fruit of any of the trees in the garden") involved the twisting of words. The beat goes on.

"Protestant" is a workable descriptive, but it only works in conversation with people whose authority for the meaning of words is something other than the common usage of secular journalists (including the kind who work for church publications).

Fr Samuel Edwards SSM

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Edwards wrote:
Sometime in the past couple of centuries or so, "protestant" lost its essentially positive original sense (pro + testare = to bear witness in favor of) and assumed an essentially negative connotation.

Yes. The word seems more in line with images of burning draft cards at Berkeley than its true definition. It actually means affirmation, and specifically about scripture.

...the term "catholic" enjoys no immunity from this phenomenon, as is evident from its frequent use as a party or denominational label, whereby that which denotes universality is made to denote locality and/or tribal identity.

It has also been misused lately by apostate Liberal Anglicans, along with via media, and "comprehensiveness." We line in an age when language itself is under attack, and that seems satanic to me.

John said...

Thanks Fr. Sam,

I like "contestant"!

I was aware of the original meaning also being translated pro testament and I think that may be the case now as it seems every one of the 26000 sects has it's own version of the Bible. Some more than one.

Speaking of Bibles I think the thing that gets the RC fanatics the most is that if they are the 'one true church' how come they can not produce a decent translation. KJV still blows away the NAV. And all other problems such as the homosexuals, molesters, collection plate artists, man mad doctrines etc.,associated with Romanism who would want to be recruited into a church with a goofy sounding liturgy and bad music? "And also with you"! The Episcopalians always stand out with this and when I have visited Roman parishes and heard this it is like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard.

Language is important and no one has come close to the language of the KJV or BCP and that is no accident.

I heard Diarmaid MacCulloch is off the rails- gone revisionist. WHy would a Roman name drop C of E types here? Think we are impressed? I doubt any in the CC could give a rotten apple.

Jim said...

This is off topic, but in response to Carlos's comment on the reaction of the attendees at the LA Religious Education Conference, based on what I have read on some of the RC blogs about the conference, I think his analysis is spot on. I suspect that any panelists invited to this conference would not like to see an orthodox group like the TAC joined to Rome.

rev'd up said...

Albion Land -- go suck a turd. You just can't stand the truth. "Racist" my ass. Read the ecumenical councils - they CONDEMN prayers and sharing of bread WITH Jews in particular. For crying out loud, read the prayer in the 1892 (American BCP and all previous):

"O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live ; Have mercy upon all JEWS, TURKS, INFIDELS, and HERETICS; and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word ; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one
shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God,
world without end. Amen."

Don't like Catholicism? A little to "racist" for you?

Your about as historically catholic as the turd your currently sucking.

Don't like what I have to say about pope Bennie. Don't think he's a heretic? Read this...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=527671&in_page_id=1770

Don't pretend to be charitable; your just a mealy mouthed pickle-sniffer. Just like your gAyCC bishops.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

John wrote:
I heard Diarmaid MacCulloch is off the rails- gone revisionist. WHy would a Roman name drop C of E types here? Think we are impressed? I doubt any in the CC could give a rotten apple.

One very real problem in contemporary writing of history is that the new style is advocacy history. Not advocacy for a cause, but simply for a point of view, making a case. As long as historians are simply amassing the amount of evidence it takes for their own brief, lawyer style, they fail to give a full picture.

This is why I like to pull out primary sources, such as Hooker's own words instead of some essay about his words.

Albion Land said...

Rev'd Up,

While you have never had the moral and intellectual courage to identify yourself here as the man or woman you are, you have none the less been allowed to post your generally poisonous, and often rude, commentary here. I am allowing you to do so one more time, to give you the opportunity -- behind your convenient mask -- to demonstrate to the world the sort of person you are.

You have repeatedly ignored pleas, then remonstrations, to conduct yourself in a civilised and Christian fashion; you have repeatedly refused to do so.

You are therefore declared anathema, and no longer welcome to post on this blog.

I would pray that the poison might be drawn from your soul, but I don't even know your name. May God have mercy on you.

John said...

I looked up the link and I saw nothing heretical.

Glad to see Luther is getting acknowledged and so the need for reforms. At face value, I think this is likely the best news I have ever heard coming out of Rome and may indeed remove huge stumbling blocks. I'd say reason to be optimistic. Lets the air out of a lot of the arguments from the lurker/Roman 'apologists' as well.

The Galileo statue seems a bit odd if not silly but I presume he is not getting a side altar. Be a good penance to have to look at it everyday for the ignorance Rome has demonstrated so often.

Anyway I think Rev'd up needs exorcism. I wonder if his head did the 360?

Getting a bit afield:
Just like the "Lutherans" the Methodists wanted their own control and denied the Apostolic Succession but then tried to backtrack:

"Wesley in his "Korah" sermon, scathingly censured those who would depart from the Apostolic Order, and Dr. Coke, one of the first Superintendents, as they were then called, of the Methodists in this country, made proposals to Bishops White and Seabury, that he and Mr. Ashbury (the resident Methodist Superintendent) should be consecrated Bishops, and proposed a reunion of Methodists and Churchman on a basis conceding a reordination of their ministers." (Grafton)

One wonders how long it will be before those 'Anglicans' who ordain women such as AMiA/Rwanda, Uganda etc figure it out.

John A. Hollister said...

I've lived 61 years, pursued several careers -- not all of them exactly mainstream -- and thought I'd had some breadth of experience and seen at least a bit of the murky underside of life. But I must confess myself "gobsmacked" by the epithet "Rev'd Up" hurled at Albion Land: "a mealy-mouthed pickle-sniffer".

Did I miss something?

In all my time and various occupations, I've never encountered such an apparent depth of vituperation focussed on an otherwise inoffensive marinated vegetable. Or is there something highly anti-social about cucumbers in brine that has just plain escaped my prior attention? And is it just kosher dills, or garlic pickles, or some other single subdivison of the species that is beyond the deli pale?

And why is it olefactory enjoyment that is thus singled out for condemnation, but not gustatory? Is the nose less worthy of delectation than are the taste buds?

This bit of expostulation reminded me ineluctably of that inimitable Florida solon who, in a closely-fought election in the 1960s successfully stumped the back country, at every stop accusing his opponent, in ringing tones, of "being a practising monogamist and committing nepotism with his own nephew!"

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

Mr. Pacht accused me of having my tongue planted firmly, and far, into my cheek. I protest! (Or, with Fr. Edwards in mind, is it "I contest!"?)

In the view I offered of 16th- and 17th-Century European church history, there were only three -- count 'em, three -- points of interpretation that may not be generally accepted. Everything else was a sober statement of fact.

Those three debatable items are:

(1) That Julius II left the Catholic Church when he so blatantly promoted (and profited off) the non-Scriptural, non-Apostolic doctrine of the Treasury of Merits;

(2) That the reason the Popes (of Rome) call themselves "Successors of Peter" is that they live in the building compound that is annexed to St. Peter's Basilica; and

(3) That Julius's commercial joint venture with Albrecht von Hohenzollern, entered into prior to Julius's death in 1513, constituted him the true author of the Lutheran Reformation of 1517 ff (and, therefore, of the 30 Years' War and a host of other catastrophes).

And that third interpretation, while so far as I know completely novel, is, in my arrogant opinion, highly defensible.

So it's not the facts that present any problems, it's just the small matter of looking at them with the correct slant.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

The more I contemplate Rev'd Up's Final Rant, the odder I find it. I'm beginning to wonder if he was really criticizing what he assumed to be Albion Land's choice of condiments or was he, as an orthographically-challenged scion of Mrs. Malaprop, just not quite up to the challenge of "Pecksniffian"?

Be that as it may, however, that was actually his penultimate, or semi-Parthian, shot. I really can't overlook his final words (oh, how gratifying it is to be able to say "his final words", peace and blessings be upon them!) as he finally shuffled off this mortal screen.

That was when, without laying any proper predicate (as we lawyers are wont to say when in a cavailing mood), he suddenly whipped out the old Gay Card, waived it gleefully around his head to make sure we all saw it, and then slapped it triumphantly down on the table like an all-purpose trump:

"Splat. My trick. Flip." (That's jake with me, chum; turn all the intellectual tricks your little heart desires.)

It's not that I mind his slandering the ACC; after all, we've been the whipping boys of the Continuing Church movement for 30 years now and we're used to the role. (Uh, no; in the circumstances, perhaps that's not the most felicitous phrase. After all, this thread started with a hooker, so it can only go downhill from there.) "Like latter-day Erich von Stroheims, we're the men you love to hate." (There, that's better. Classy allusion, being as it's cultural, and very Anglican, too, being as it's just that little bit obsolete.)

What gripes me is that all the anti-ACCers out there can't seem to get their stories straight, which offends my sense of the precision of thought that is appropriate in these deep theological reflections. One week, we're being slammed because someone thinks our bishops tend to get married too often. The next, we're getting it in the neck because someone thinks they're "not the marrying kind".

Come on, guys and gals, which is it? Are our leaders too virile, or are they too effeminate? Do they like women entirely too much, or don't they like them enough? It's got to be one or the other because it can't be both.

"The corollary of 'impossible' is not 'comprehensive', it's 'confused'." That's why accusing us of concealing mutually exclusive proclivities is not the same as "alternative lifestyles".

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

"It's got to be one or the other because it can't be both".

Well since you asked.

Who was the priest, wearing his collar, pictured with his "life long partner" on the cover of a recent Gay Magazine for Gay Pride Day in a Midwest City?

What jurisdiction?

And who helped run off the straight priest that reported it to his Bishop and then tried to smear him with other jurisdictions?

And who would that Bishop be?

Rev'up's rant is inexcusable. But so is duplicitous spin.

For Pete's sake it is Lent!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

About the above comment, I have been told this story before (with no names disclosed to me). As I said, behind the scenes in an e-mail, give me convincing evidence, and I will post the details for everybody to read. I don't believe in keeping scandals covered up, but I need the facts and the evidence.

Carlos said...

A side note, I read somewhere up in this cascade of comments, that there are TWO secessions of the Anglican Church from the greater Catholic Church? Is this in reference to Henry VIII's initial schism and then Elizabeth's settlement following Mary Tudor?

Also, I've read that Henry II wanted to draw the church under his authority as Henry VIII did and this led to the Pope threatening to excommunicate all of England if Thomas Beckett was not allowed back as Archbiship of Canterbury. If that is true, does it have any ramifications to the Anglican Church in the 16th century?

Jim,
Do you know why the Orthodox would oppose this? Is this indeed because of the Uniate problem? How do the Orthodox Churches view TAC?

Anonymous said...

Albion is a journalist and occasionally has listed his qualifications on this blog, surely verification would be an easy task for someone with his credentials, connections and background.
One thing about being on the cover of a periodical someone always saves a copy.
Perhaps you are asking the wrong person for names. One of us here does know the story firsthand, maybe you should ask him for the details.

Albion Land said...

I suppose the previous comment refers to the "he-is-he-isn't" debate over ACC bishops, of which I know absolutely nothing. A former poster here, one Rev'd Up, seems to have a Hang Up with the sexuality of said bishops. As he/she/it never, to my recollection, made any concrete accusations, there is not much I, or anyone else, can do to respond. As for the priest/partner/magazine cover/bishop/Heaven knows what mentioned by a previous (the same) anonymous -- again: no substantive allegations means no confirmation/denial can be possible.

Bottom line folks: This is not an ecclesiastical version of the Drudge Report. We do not exist for the purpose of "outing" or "naming and shaming." We are, however, among other things a serious provider of news. If there is genuine news, as Fr Hart has suggested, a private email to one us will suffice as a first step.

poetreader said...

I seriously wonder about the propriety of someone making such serious allegations without the guts to identify himself. Frankly, I refuse to consider anonymous charges, and don't believe it a good thing to post even what has been posted already without both specifics and accountability. If no more than that can be presented, I would far prefer to hear no more about this.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

If there is genuine news, as Fr Hart has suggested, a private email to one us will suffice as a first step.

I receieved such an e-mail a few months ago, and with just enough information to get me sued for libel if I had repeated it-except that it gave no names at all. In short, I was given a whole lot of nothing. If there are facts here, can't they be pulled out and shown?

Getting back to the subject of this thread, Carlos wrote:

I read somewhere up in this cascade of comments, that there are TWO secessions of the Anglican Church from the greater Catholic Church? Is this in reference to Henry VIII's initial schism and then Elizabeth's settlement following Mary Tudor?

Yes indeed. I am tired of the usual RC spin about Henry, inasmuch as that first secession ended with the death of Edward. The RC spin is to make one story out of two.

Also, I've read that Henry II wanted to draw the church under his authority as Henry VIII did...

Henry II wanted to manipulate the Church and keep it under his thumb-in England that is. Allowing the customary place of Canon Law to be trampled on by a powerful nobleman, all of which led to the famous martyrdom, is not a parallel to the actions of Henry VIII. At least, not as I see it.

John said...

Never a dull moment on the Continuum.

I would still like to know what was "heretical" about that article on the Pope?

Maybe Rev'd Up afraid after restoring Luther the RCC might send a letter to the TAC?

Anonymous said...

John,

The Douay-Rheims Bible is considered the safest, most accurate Bible in English. It has been in use since its first edition in 1610. It is a near as possible word-for-word translation of the Latin Vulgate, being the work of St.Jerome(342-420). St.Jerome's work is a careful, word-for-word translation of the original texts.
For this reason, the Douay-Rheims is considered the definitive translation.

Raphael

John A. Hollister said...

Carlos asked Fr. Hart if "there [were] TWO secessions of the Anglican Church from the greater Catholic Church", i.e., under Henry VIII and again under Elizabeth I.

I must quarrel, gently, I hope, with Carlos's choice of words. First, whatever one may think happened under Henry, and who started it, the parting between Rome and Canterbury that took place under Elizabeth was a secession by the Church of Rome, not by the Church of England.

Second, in that latter case, it would be inaccurate to describe the movement as one of the Church of England away "from the greater Catholic Church". If anyone in that situation was breaching Catholic order, it was the (Roman) Pope, in breaking sacramental communion for crassly political motives, so it was the Roman Church that was then moving away from the Catholic Church.

John A. Hollister+

An Anglican Cleric said...

Pope Benedict a heretic for giving Luther another once over and perhaps giving an honest accounting of the Church of Rome's faults during the Middle Ages? How is this heretical? It is called honesty.

John A. Hollister said...

There have been four comments here labelled "Anonymous" but as two of them were signed by their authors, one with his real name and one with a nom de blog, only two have been completely anonymous. The first of those two (who may well be the same person) was Anonymous Who Posted at 5:55.

AWPAFFF purported to offer "details" to justify Rev'd Up's rant with its implicit suggestion of widespread "gay" influence within one Continuing Church group:

1. "Who was the priest, wearing his collar, pictured with his 'life long partner' on the cover of a recent Gay Magazine for Gay Pride Day in a Midwest City?"

Well, let's see what's actually being alleged here. So someone thinks that somewhere, in some church group, there is one clergyman whose personal preferences incline toward his own sex rather than on the opposite one.

Oh, wow, gasp. Well, that group must be doing a whole lot better at sussing out its postulants than we would normally expect, because if the clergy are a fair reflection of the population from which they're drawn, in every hundred priests we will find from two to three whose preferences run that way. Then if we consider that the actual subpopulation within the church might be slightly skewed, as by factors such as greater acceptance of single men (but always remember that Vicki Gene Robinson was married, with children), the aesthetic attractions of the liturgy, etc., we might not be surprised to find that as many as 4 to 5 men out of every hundred share that preference.

And so AWPAFFF's point was just what? The fact is we do not screen postulants for the clergy for their sexual preferences, partly because there is no known practical way to do so and partly because historically the Church has concerned itself with behavior, not inclinations. What we do ask our members in general to do, whether they be heterosexually inclined or homosexually inclined -- and postulants and clergy are very much among those members, but to no greater extent than anyone else -- is to observe the rules of chastity, regardless of the nature of the acts from which any given individual may be abstaining.

2. "[T]he priest, wearing his collar, pictured with his 'life long partner'...."

Well, that "life long partner" bit does suggest that someone, somewhere, some time, might not have observed the rules of abstinance. And, of course, if somewhere there is by chance a clergyman who is living a life that is less than chaste -- and that's certainly something that has never happened before in 2,000 years of church history -- then without names, dates, places, events and evidence, there isn't a bishop in the world who can do anything about that.

3. Now if there really is some priest who is stupid enough, or arrogant enough, to wear clericals to a "gay pride" event and to permit his picture to be taken there -- both propositions that emphatically remain to be proven -- then that does constitute a serious failure in our selection process.

No one that gormless should ever have been permitted to proceed to Orders and gormlessness is a factor that we can, to some extent, screen for and that we do try, as best we can, to exclude from the clergy. Human folly, like human vanity, is almost limitless, however, so even our best efforts in that direction will sometimes fail. Gasp, wheeze, choke, panic.

4. "And who helped run off the straight priest that reported it to his Bishop and then tried to smear him with other jurisdictions?"

Well, the term "run off" certainly suggests that someone, somewhere, some time, got himself on the wrong end of the disciplinary process and is now sitting brooding about it, muttering maledictions upon those he views as his persecutors, doesn't it?

Of course, when someone has been brought under disciplinary sanctions, and especially when he has been sanctioned so severely that it has caused the severance of his relationship with the church, it often happens that his account of what happened differs in some details from what the paperwork in his case says....

To take as an example of this process just one such case that comes readily to mind, posit a young curate who gets himself in trouble for, among other things, trying to undermine his Rector and seeking to split the congregation to which he was assigned. Thereafter, is he likely to own up to his real offence? I rather think not. Instead, he'll probably construct and publicize some elaborate self-justifying fantasy of persecution in a noble cause, so the whole debacle of the premature termination of his career was really someone else's fault and not his at all, yada, yada, yada....

John A. Hollister+

poetreader said...

Raphael, you said:

The Douay-Rheims Bible is considered the safest, most accurate Bible in English.

By whom? Rhetorical question, but simply 'has been recognized' says nothing whatever. It is, of course, the Roman Church (or, better, many scholars of the Roman Church) from whom that hidgment comes. You might also mention who does not agree with that assessment, which is, basically, almost anyone who is not Roman Catholic. If one accepts as you do that the RCC is the totsality if the Church, well, that holds, but you are speaking to people who do not accept that priniciple, and are therefore telling us to believe an authority we do not accept because that same authority telly us to. Rather circular, I'd say.

It has been in use since its first edition in 1610. It is a near as possible word-for-word translation of the Latin Vulgate, being the work of St.Jerome(342-420). St.Jerome's work is a careful, word-for-word translation of the original texts.
For this reason, the Douay-Rheims is considered the definitive translation.


Again, by whom? The Vulgate is certainly the best of the translations to be made into Latin, and Jerome was an undoubted genius, but the Christian East does not accept it as an entirely accurate translation of the Greek that is still in use among them. Some of St. Jerome's choice of wording has been questioned as to whether it really reflects the Greek, while others of the terms he used developed, after his time, specific theological uses not quite reflective of the particular Greek passages. Thus it is that the Douay-Rheims, to a non-Roman eye, frequently seems to have selected an English word reflective of a theological view not necessarily in accord with the Greek or Hebrew.

If offered seemingly conflicting readings of the same passage from Douay and KJV, I, for one, have no hesitation in prefering the King James. We would differ on this, and that's as things are. I would ask, however, that you recognize that simple assertion of things you know to be questioned adds nothing to discourse.

ed

Sodbuster said...

The Evangelical Movement of the Augsburg Confession did and does consider itself the Catholic Church. However silly that may seem to non-Lutherans.

With an archbishop and numerous bishops from the very beginning of Pope Leo's schism, apostolic succession has been maintained.

John Hollister's history is over-simplistic, but it -is- essentially true. (apart from the obvious humor in claiming that Julius II established a new Roman Catholic Church, he merely appears to have been one of many antichrists by promoting a false gospel of buying salvation, if I understand that part of history correctly. If he is innocent, may God and he both forgive me.)

His second contestable point I would contest (the claim of the bishop of Rome to be more than the Bishop of Rome may go back to Italian States trying to seek independence from the Roman emperor by establishing a rival emperor in Charlemagne), but his third is, I think, the honest truth. And is pretty much as understood by Luther, Melancton and the rest.

It is possible that B16 and his seminar students will only be discussing those statements as "resolved: Luther was not a heretic, and many of his reforms foreshadowed those made later by Rome." Or it could be something much more significant, such as a reappraisal of Luther and the confessional documents, that rightly understood, they are not a different gospel than magisterial teaching, that just as the Church of the East was mistakenly condemned, so also were Luther and the Evangelicals. The political situation in Europe and the Mediterranean were very complex and unstable at that time, and the threat of the Turk was no joke, and all of these things figured into what happened.

Either way, I'm very much looking forward to what Pappa Ratzi writes.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I have chosen to address the subject of translations raised by Raphael in a new post, which will appear with today's date, March 10. The title will be, translations and theology.

John said...

Raphaell,

I'll be glad to take a look at that translation. But the KJV is still by far superior to any translation even with minor flaws and complex grammar.

One thing I have to say is the Roman Church seemingly never has gotten English down. A translation can be literal and then it can be literal. When I have read Roman Missals and the NAB I have been left dry. It seems that English is a second or third language in the Roman Communion and often Hymnody and prayers are awkward and sometimes goofy. Maybe this is why a priest I know who is familiar with many Roman clergy has spotted many a BCP 28 and KJV on their desk tops.

There is an old saying- "you can not beat a man at his own trade" and the English language was at it's pinnacle at the time of the authorship of the BCP and KJV everything else is just a tinny echo.

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

So is the church of Rome still part of the visible church? Is Rome apostate and heretical? Or is she still a Christian Church? What is the Anglican view on Trent?