Friday, March 14, 2008

More light on this TAC-Rome business

By now it should be clear to regular readers that I am objective on the matter of the TAC and Rome, and that this objectivity is described best in apophatic terms: My position is not opposition, but it is not cheer leading. I am posting the words of a letter that was sent out to TAC churches by the office of Archbishop Hepworth some time (not dated) after the famous Portsmouth meeting, because it sheds some light on this mysterious subject.

I will quote portions, and make a few comments.

Seventeen years ago, just after a group of Anglican refugees had banded together as the “Traditional Anglican Communion”, its leaders met in Rome to talk unity with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Their dreams and expectations that the meetings between the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the establishing of an International Commission, the pledges of goodwill on both sides, would lead to unity had just been dashed. The long disintegration of the Anglican Communion – bitterly divided over the most fundamental issues of the Christian faith – had begun.

In those seventeen years the Traditional Anglican Communion has responded to many calls from those whose churches have been drawn into the upheaval. We have provided havens of peace and healing as people struggled to maintain the faith and rebuild. Churches, schools, seminaries and orphanages have all been started from scratch. Now we are 41 countries strong, and a force to be reckoned with, and our dreams of a united church, of the churches of Rome and Canterbury reunited after five centuries of hurtful division, have never faltered.

For those who may not know, efforts between the See of Canterbury and the See of Rome seemed to have real substance after the famous occasion when Pope Paul VI gave his ring to the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Michael Ramsey in 1966. Archbishop Ramsey always wore it after that. In the years that followed serious efforts got underway, culminating in ARCIC. As some sort of gesture I fail to understand, Archbishop Rowan Williams gave the same ring back, so to speak, by presenting it to Pope John Paul II a few months before his death.

Two important facts must be taken into account. First of all, the initial effort was to achieve real unity, but after 1976 and the "ordination" of women in certain churches of the Anglican Communion, the talks were less promising. In 1992 the Church of England itself began to practice this innovation of women's "ordination" also, despite urging from the See of Rome not to do so. Since then, all ecumenism between Rome and Canterbury has been a mere formality.

The second fact is this: When the TAC speaks of restoring this hope of unity, it is only right to consider that the goal they speak of is not exactly the same as that of Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI. In the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, during a service there in 1967, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: "The Pope and I walked arm in arm out in St. Peter's Basilica and there we bowed and dedicated ourselves in a common dedication, the task of unifying the Church. We did not mean we were going to unify the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church only, but we meant we were going to unify all Christendom and all the churches of the world. By unifying them, we did not mean just establishing diplomatic recognition among denominations, but we were going to unify all of them into one church. That is the task that is before us today, to unify all Christendom into the Holy Catholic Church"1

That may sound too big to have been substantive. However, consider that at the same time that the See of Canterbury was talking seriously with Rome, they were engaged in an equally serious effort with the Orthodox Patriarchates to establish unity, that the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Church would become "one Church." In those days it was normal practice for Orthodox bishops to allow the faithful of their communion to receive the sacraments in Anglican churches, giving them letters granting this permission as long as no Orthodox church was available within a reasonable distance to where they resided. This hope for unity was dashed also, and by the same heresy, namely women's "ordination." In 1978, after it became clear that churches within the Anglican Communion were “ordaining” women and intent on spreading this practice, Orthodox Archbishop Athenagoras remarked: “…the theological dialogue [between the Orthodox and the Anglicans] will continue, although now simply as an academic and informative exercise, and no longer as an ecclesial endeavor aiming at the union of the two churches.”2

The similarity between what the TAC seeks now, and what was sought before the women's "ordination" error, is obvious. But, the difference is, evidently, that no corresponding effort is taking place between them and Orthodoxy. Therefore, it is not entirely accurate to invoke that history as something completely parallel. My own hope is to see the "Eastern lung" considered as well. The real hope of unity in which the Anglican Communion once played a unique role, extended to the potential healing of the Great Schism itself, over the London Bridge, so to speak. But, just as the London Bridge now sits in the Arizona desert, this hope of unity is no longer over the Thames. Nonetheless, to see that hope restored will require a larger vision than unity with the See of Rome.

Here is more from Archbishop Hepworth's letter:

On 9th October last I returned to Rome with Bishops Mercer and Wilkinson. Bishop Mercer is a monk of the famous community in Mirfield, England, and was Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe. The late Pope attended Evensong in his Cathedral. Bishop Wilkinson has corresponded with the then Cardinal Ratzinger about the content of a revived Anglican Divine Office. This time we met with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body appointed by the Holy See to receive applications for “Corporate Reunion” from churches that are not in Communion with the Holy See, and we carried a letter solemnly signed by the Bishops and Vicars General of the Traditional Anglican Communion during a Votive Mass for Unity in the venerable church of Saint Agatha in Portsmouth, England, where we had just completed a powerful Plenary Meeting.

Between these two visits to Rome a great work of teaching, building communities, developing leadership and guiding the growing trust between our Communion and the Roman Catholic Church has been maintained against the almost impossible odds of meagre resources and fierce opposition. Our letter rehearses the long and frustrating history of attempts to unite (in the words of Paul VI) the “church of Rome and the church of Canterbury”. It dwells on the reaction of those who dreamed that at last Anglicans were to become “Anglican Catholics” as the Anglican Communion took step after step to distance itself from the unity that had been promised.

The only problem I see here is this line: "...those who dreamed that at last Anglicans were to become 'Anglican Catholics.'" With all due respect to the Archbishop of the largest Continuing jurisdiction, this line is not something that most Anglicans can accept. We already are Anglican Catholics. Everyone of us is fully catholic in the true sense of that word, and we cannot enter the Catholic Church because we are already in it. Therefore, his phrase does not represent the Anglican mind. It is acceptable to Anglicans only in a denominational sense, that is, respecting the name by which the Roman Communion calls itself. I assume that is the meaning, but it requires clarification to avoid giving offense to fellow Anglicans.

More from Archbishop Hepworth:

May I share with you some of the letter’s content and promise …

On our Communion:

“a worldwide community of Anglican Christians has united under the name of The Traditional Anglican Communion for three main purposes:

To identify, reaffirm and consolidate in its community the elements… conduct that mark the Church of Christ…

To seek as a body full and visible communion, particularly eucharistic communion, in Christ, with the Roman Catholic Church …

To achieve such communion while maintaining those revered traditions … that constitute the cherished and centuries-old heritage of Anglican communities throughout the world.

On our acceptance of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome:

We accept the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, which is a ministry of teaching and discerning the faith and a “perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity” and understand this ministry is essential to the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

These words themselves mostly affirm neither Universal Primacy, nor the 1870 innovation of Papal Infallibility; but may in fact be in accord with nothing more than what can be found in ancient writings. Dom Gregory Dix's Jurisdiction in the Early Church (out of print, for no good reason) documents the appellate nature of "teaching authority" exercised by the See of Rome even during the ante-Nicene period. The debatable point is in the words, "a perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity." That exceeds any consensus to be found among Catholic Anglicans.

More from the letter:

On our acceptance of the catholic faith:

“We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church…”

These words are subject to interpretation. Anglicans are very good at not saying anything too strongly; therefore such qualifiers as "in this moment of time" followed by the equally ingenius, "is found in," are in the best eirenic tradition. In other words, just what does this mean? For example, "in this moment of time" we have no better expression of Christian morality as applied to modern problems of ethics created by the advances of modern science, particularly medical science and how it relates to the corruption of law. "Is found in..." can be taken to mean that truth is to be found there, not that everything in it is right. We await clarification.

Here is more of Archbishop Hepworth's letter:

The bishops affirmed their faith in matters that have until now divided them from the Catholic Church, and finally, for the first time, they made an unambiguous appeal to the Holy See: “Driven by these realizations, which we must now in good conscience bring to the attention of the Holy See, we seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment. We seek the guidance of the Holy See as to the fulfillment of these our desires and those of the churches in which we have been called to serve.”

After presenting these dreams and desires to the Holy See, I was authorized to release this statement:

“The College of Bishops of the TAC met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007. The Bishops and Vicars-General unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union. The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See. The letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Primate of the TAC has agreed that no member of the College will give interviews until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded.”

We have all heard reports that the bishops of the TAC signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church, opened on the altar there in Portsmouth. But, from all of their statements it seems that this is not true, and what was signed was, in fact, the letter asking for full communion with Rome. 3

Archbishop Hepworth appears to be using the term "The Catholic Church" with ecumenical sensitivity, that is, as the official name of that Communion. Used that way, it is no more offensive than the term "the Orthodox Church," or frankly, as the Scots and Americans called Anglican churches, "the Episcopal Church." After all, that last one might seem to imply that no one else has bishops.

These words, "The bishops affirmed their faith in matters that have until now divided them from the Catholic Church..." state that they are not throwing the Anglican baby out with the bathwater. They make it clear that Anglicans have differences with the teaching of Rome, and that these differences require discussion. This is absolutely necessary. Anglicanism is not English culture (not to an American like me), and it is not simply married clergy and well constructed liturgy. We do have doctrinal standards and a few differences with the See of Rome.

This letter does not answer every question, nor lay to rest the potential for continued speculation. But, it helps to shed a bit more light for those of us who are not privy to these proceedings. In any case, we have this prayer in our BCP:

O GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly, union and concord: that as there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

_____

1. M.L. Moser, Jr., Ecumenicalism under the Spotlight, Challenge Press, pp. 22-23. These words were quoted there.
2. As quoted in Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue: The Dublin Agreed Statement, (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1985), p.3
3. I am prepared to be proved wrong. I could ask Bishop Florenza, but I have too much respect for him to bother him with a question about such a thing, in light of their commitment not to give interviews at this time.

29 comments:

Michael said...

I am sure that Abp. Hepworth is using the term "Anglican Catholic" in the same sense that he uses the title "Catholic Church", since at least two TAC provinces already call themselves "Anglican Catholic".

At the same time, I think what the TAC is realizing is that "catholicity" is not simply about doctrinal unity with the universal church, but implies sacramental unity, and that one cannot be "catholic" and fully independent at the same time. Our identity as Anglican Catholics would change in some way. Our use of the term Catholic would take on another dimension, as it would literally mean that we are in communion with the bishop we believe to hold a ministry of unity in the universal church, and such unity would embody our vocation to be fully "catholic".

Reconciliation with Orthodoxy would be another essential manifestation of this, and I pray that it happens in time.

Two points on that (I think I've said them before, but in any case...):

Orthodoxy is also working to seek reconciliation with Rome. Rome provides a common focus of unity - if everyone seeks to come into communion with them, they will also all be in communion with each other.

I think I mentioned that there was, in a recent issue of the Messenger Journal (although I don't remember which one right now) a short article saying that the late Bp. Trevor Rhodes had been working on an intercommunion agreement with the Patriarchate of Alexandria before his death.

Did anyone else see that, or am I dreaming?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Michael wrote:
Orthodoxy is also working to seek reconciliation with Rome. Rome provides a common focus of unity - if everyone seeks to come into communion with them, they will also all be in communion with each other.

That makes it sound all too easy. Rome insists on acceptance of Universal Primacy and now Infallibility. The reason for the Great Schism was that the other four Patriarchates rejected Universal Primacy,and certain precedents that led to the second only made things worse.

Rome has implied that some of these things are subject to reinterpretation. I hope so. But, it is not going to be easy or quick. Nonetheless, most of the effort between "east and west" is on the Roman end, with the Orthodox almost, sort of, interested.

Don't underestimate the significance of the Anglican bridge that once stood, as some are wont to do. It was a very promising reality for several years, until W "O".

Sandra McColl said...

No, Michael, you are not dreaming. I read it, too.

Anonymous said...

Michael
The piece about Bp Rhodes achieving a concord of inter-communion with three Orthodox Patriarchs was in The Messenger Journal Vol2 number 5 - Aug/Sept 2007
+Harry Entwistle

Abu Daoud said...

I wonder what kind of communion with Orthodoxy can be expected when the Eastern Orthodox churches are quite divided among themselves.

I mean, some have not accepted the Orthodox Church of America, not to mention the recent spate between Russia and the Orthodox Church of Estonia, which Russia does not acknowledge but Constantinople does.

And there are more examples I could give. Suffice to say that there are probably ten canonical Orthodox bishops for any given town or city in the USA.

John A. Hollister said...

Before the TAC -- or anyone else, for that matter -- can have any discussions with Rome -- or with Orthodoxy, for that matter -- it or they must have a clear sense of their own identity, beliefs, and essential practices.

In other words, the Anglican partner must first have a strong sense of self and a clear understanding of Anglicanism's reason for being, both historical and theological.

In recent months, Fr. Hart has offered here on the Blogspot some of the elements required for that Anglican self understanding but more work remains to be done. For example, there still seem to be those who do not realize that to say "Anglican" is to say "Catholic" and when a group that was formerly Anglican starts to depart from Catholicism, to that same degree it ceases to be Anglican.

In any discussions that take place in the absence of such a sense of self, the only outcome can be mindless submission, i.e., the adoption of someone else's view of oneself.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Last night, I sent a long post on this . For the fourth time, my posting on the "Letter": has not appeared. Quod sit?

Archbishop Hepworth

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Dear Archbishop:

We would automatically approve any comment from your Grace. This is the first comment that has shown up in our box. Something must have failed with the software. Perhaps it would help to make a copy of the comment and send it to my e-mail as a backup (the address is in my profile).

Jack Panino said...

Why is it so hard to obey when bishops ask that there be no uninformed speculation about this? How antinomian are anglicans, anyway?

If you're a member of TAC, you'll find out when union is accomplished; if you're not a member of TAC, it's none of your business anyway, unless you choose to join us in working and praying for the reunion of Christ's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

If you're a member of TAC, you'll find out when union is accomplished...

Many TAC people I keep hearing from have very real questions about what this "union" means. If you understand Catholicism, including the Roman kind, you should appreciate the importance of conscience. If you don't know why I say this, then you don't understand Catholic teaching.

Sandra McColl said...

Like the Archbishop, I also experience difficulties posting here. Often I have to try two or three times to achieve the 'Your comment has been sent to the moderator' or whatever it is message. Sometimes I go straight to a screen which shows my comment still in the box but no password and therefore no opportunity to try again to post it. (Can be rectified by copying the comment and starting again, BUT WHY DOESN"T IT JUST WORK THE FIRST TIME?) Sorry, didn't mean to shout.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I have had this problem with other blogs, and so I sympathize. The most irritating is at titusonenine, where the stupid software uses math, but gets it wrong (did you know that 2+2 doesn't =4 after all? At least not at t19). I suggest everybody copy their comment and keep it until it goes through, just to beat the nasty little dwarves who hide in the software. We appreciate the perseverance it takes to take part in these discussions.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

It is my almost invariable practice to highlight any comment about to be posted and hit 'CTRL C', just in case the comment is lost. (This holds the text in the copy and paste 'cache'.) The problem referred to by Sandra occurs whenever the comment takes some time to write, since in the meantime the word verification will change. Normally the comment is held by the blogspot software for another attempt at verification, but not always. All this is unfortunate, but not under our control, as I understand it. The word verification is necesary to prevent automated advertising invading the comments.

If a comment is lost, and you have taken the precaution abovementioned, you can re-enter the comment in toto simply by hitting CTRL V. Hope this helps.

Sandra McColl said...

I had worked out the 'how', but now Fr Kirby has explained the 'why', and I feel enlightened.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

I should note that I interpret these words -- "The bishops affirmed their faith in matters that have until now divided them from the Catholic Church..." -- differently to Fr Hart. They seem to me to be a clear statement that, firstly, the TAC sees itself as having been at least materially heretical and schismatic to this point and, secondly, that they are remedying this situation by simple submission. Matters that divide a person or group from the Catholic Church simpliciter and that are said to then receive an afirmation of faith are by definition doctrines de fide. Their claimed prior status as division-causing for a person or group implies that such a person or group was properly and of their own will separated from the One Church by manifest rejection of truly Catholic dogma. Such a statement is thus a tacit admission of previous heresy and schism. The words "until now divided" seem to mandate this interpretation.

As our regular, long-standing readers will know, I disagree with this assessment of classical Anglican Catholicism, despite my belief the Roman Communion has not and will not definitveley err in matters of dogma, and have argued why at length before. However, part of my reason for that (paradoxical?) position is that the kind of Universal Roman Jurisdiction explicitly rejected by the C of E at the Reformation was not one now claimed by Rome, despite Vatican I. It was perceived then as a purported power over civil governments and a licence to ride roughshod by mere fiat over the rules, procedures and rights of particular Churches. And that perception was backed up by the words and actions of Rome at times. However, this has changed. And it should be noted that Anglican authorities for centuries have been willing to acknowledge a Roman Primacy over/amongst the whole Church, as long as it truly conformed to the Petrine primacy amongst the nascent Church and the practice and canons of the ancient "undivided Church". Compare this with Ut unum sint, and see the similarities. So I disagree (at least verbally) with Fr Hart's rejection of "Universal Primacy".

As for infallibility, there are interpretations of Vatican I among RCs not condemned within that Church that give due weight to other aspects of the Church's infallibility and the limits on Papal authority. For example, it is the more common opinion among theologians that a manifestly heretical Bp of Rome is self-excommunicate and ceases to be Pope and possess the Papal prerogatives. And it is up to the Church to judge whether this happens, according to the same opinion. However, the Canon Law of the RCC appears inconsistent with this, in that it presently says the Pope can be judged by no-one on Earth. This is perfectly parallel to the claim made for the divine right of kings formerly. In other words, it is, on its face, an assertion of absolute monarchy, unless we also deny that description of the views of Kings such as Charles I. Consistency should be observed here.

Yet, official RC statements, such as the Letter of the German RC Bishops to their govenment in the 19th Century explaining Vatican I, hve explicitly denied the Papacy is an absolute monarchy, with papal approval. This was on the basis that he was subject to law as well. However, this means nothing if he himself is to be the final and indeed only judge of whether he has in fact kept the law! So, I submit that there is still work to be done on the Roman side to clarify matters.

And so I think that Fr Hart and I are in fact in substantive agreement, despite our different use or interpretation of language.

Michael said...

I'm wondering if one of the TAC bishops who read this blog would be able to say anything about the Messenger article on relations with Orthodoxy. In the attention given to the talks with Rome, this seems to have escaped people's attention. And, since this has nothing to do with the talks with the Vatican, I'm hoping that it might be possible for one of you to comment about this. If not, however, I quite understand.

John said...

I too have had problems posting. I think the word verification 'times out' and that is what causes the need for repeated attempts to post.

Anyway hopefully his Grace will try again and if so I would hope he will address his comments regarding "450 years of mistakes" and give an explanation. On the surface this remark seems to separate him from any historic understanding of what Anglicanism is.

I have saved other quotes that concern me as well and I list them for comment or consideration:

"The saying of Anglicans is that if you don't have one Pope, everybody is a Pope, because everybody can make up their minds what is infallible."

"What is important, and we are having to learn as a community, is to ask not what we think, but what the Church says, and five centuries of bad habits are going to die hard," he said, "but if you ask us if we accept the Magisterium of the Church, yes, and we all have the Catechism of the Catholic Church on our desks and many of us preach from it."

also found this from a RCC news outlet:
"It is considered extremely rare for entire Anglican communities to seek corporate communion with the Catholic Church, and the move will mean every member of the parish converting to Catholicism, as the parish effectively becomes part of the Catholic Church".
While it is 'opinion' it is still alarming. Here is another from a different source picking up the same theme: "In cases of American Protestant ministers converting to Catholicism, a "pastoral provision" allows some married ministers to be ordained as priests. "Anglican Use" Catholic Parishes also use a liturgy similar to that of Anglican Christians. It is not yet clear what accommodations may be made for Traditional Anglican Communion parishes".

I would greatly appreciate any clarification of these remarks.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr.Kirby wrote:
I should note that I interpret these words -- "The bishops affirmed their faith in matters that have until now divided them from the Catholic Church..." -- differently to Fr Hart. They seem to me to be a clear statement that, firstly, the TAC sees itself as having been at least materially heretical and schismatic to this point and, secondly, that they are remedying this situation by simple submission.

Ah, the elusive nature of eirenic expression. Maybe so; but, "affirmed their faith in" does not sound like a recantation. It may be, Father, that they read your own
analysis from April 2006. That is, they may be saying that Rome has finally come around on important matters, but to help save face, not to suggest that Rome has changed its mind, or learned anything from our lot.

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com
/2006/04/
were-we-just-wrong-and-was-rome-just.html

Anonymous said...

I would be happy to read Archbishop's comments and perhaps he will answer questions about TAC. Could he clarify the statistical methods of TAC, by which his jursidiction arrives at some very large numbers of adherents. The figures range between 400,000 and 700,000, depending on who is making the claim. Is there a nation by nation breakdown?
Laurence K. Wells+

Sandra McColl said...

Fr Kirby said: "For example, it is the more common opinion among theologians that a manifestly heretical Bp of Rome is self-excommunicate and ceases to be Pope and possess the Papal prerogatives. And it is up to the Church to judge whether this happens, according to the same opinion. However, the Canon Law of the RCC appears inconsistent with this, in that it presently says the Pope can be judged by no-one on Earth."
So I wasn't off the mark, then, when I suggested that as long as the Pope does and believes the right thing, he can be as infallible as he likes, but if he comes out with any particularly heretical acts or words, he isn't a Catholic. As to his being judged by no-one on earth, in a moral or legal sense that may be so, but surely there's a white watered silk straight jacket in a wardrobe somewhere . . .

Fr. Robert Hart said...

John wrote:
also found this from a RCC news outlet:
"It is considered extremely rare for entire Anglican communities to seek corporate communion with the Catholic Church, and the move will mean every member of the parish converting to Catholicism, as the parish effectively becomes part of the Catholic Church".


John has fairly pointed out that this was op-ed, an opinion written by someone in a RC publication. This did not come out of an official statement from Rome, nor from anyone in the TAC. I assume it addresses the sort of detail they will be discussing if ever it goes even that far.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

"It may be, Father, that they read your own analysis from April 2006."

I think you are seriously overestimating my influence, by at least an order of magnitude, Fr Hart! But thank you for the implied compliment. :-)

Steve Cavanaugh said...

In the disturbing phrase "and the move will mean every member of the parish converting to Catholicism, as the parish effectively becomes part of the Catholic Church.", the word "converting" I am sure is what disturbs Anglicans most. Converting is an unfortunate word choice that does not reflect the Roman Catholic view. Baptized Christians are received into full communion, they are not converts. Conversion as a term is properly used for non-Christians who become Catholic. That is why it is typical for converts to be received at the Easter Vigil in parishes, while Christians being received into full communion are received at the daytime Easter Masses. But "convert" is a handy, short phrase, and so gets used as in this case.

Anonymous said...

Two quick points, I found it a little difficult to tell the difference between your comments and the letter. It looked like you were using spacing to separate them. Might I suggest color or italics (NOT bold which sometimes gets mangled).

Second, I'm also a wee bit more interested to hear about the Orthodox unification efforts. The OCA comment is a bit off since OCA isn't out of communion with anybody according to my understanding. It just is recognized as separate from Russia (mostly by the Russians from what I can piece together).

Nick

Nicholas said...

Change "is recognized" to "isn't recognized" and it makes more sense.

David said...

I think the Moscow Patriarch might disagree that it is trying to unify with Rome. The majority of Orthodox opinion I have heard is that it will require Rome to repent of her heterdoxy. I don't hear much of anything the Orthodox are willing to accept or to give up.

Sorry for the bad news.

I have never doubted the Christianity of continuing Anglicans. I am inspired by a great many of them.

Jack Panino said...

Thanks for colour-coding the original post. It is easier to follow who's speaking now, even if I still contend the topic ought not be discussed by TAC members out of Holy Obedience, and is of no one else's business.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

You've got to be kidding. This is the most interesting thing going on internationally among Continuing Anglicans, it is the cause of both hope and anxiety for thousands of people. The Archbishop of the TAC himself is the one who has always released just enough information to make sure that nobody can ignore it.

Just enough information I say, never quite enough. Asking for silence about something that was publicly announced is to ask human beings not to have human nature. Nonetheless, the only people who actually were asked not to make public statements are the bishops themselves, and even so, that was about interviews specifically.

I continue to voice my hope, that something of the efforts between Rome and Anglicanism can be resurrected, and my anxiety that Anglicanism itself may be unappreciated and lost by the very people who had pledged to Continue its principles.

I am sure that we will not hear again from Archbishop Hepworth during Holy Week, and I don't blame him. Like the rest of us, he is most likely much too busy for the next few days.

Antonio said...

"This is the most interesting thing going on internationally among Continuing Anglicans..."

And not only for Continuing Anglicans.
This "Roman" (and many many others) continue praying for something to happen.
Of course I also want the "silence" required by Archbishop Hepworth (and by all the other bishops) to be respected.
But there's also ANXIETY from this side of the Tiber.
May the Lord guide us all into full communion.