Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Jerusalem Declaration

For those of you who might be interested, herewith is the final declaration of the "conservative" clergy and laity of the Anglican Communion who met in Jerusalem this week for what they call the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.

36 comments:

LP said...

I posted some similarities and differences between the Affirmation and the Declaration HERE, since the issue of anglocatholicism came up in discussion of the Declaration.

What amazes me is the genuine ignorance of "catholicism" and "anglocatholicism" among large proportions of the self-proclaimed "orthodox" GAFCON supporters. Many of them "just don't get" how fundamental differences over sacramental theology and ecclesiology -- even among those who share a Trinitarian theology and reject the homosexualist heresy -- represent differences which make a united "jurisdiction" fundamentally impossible.

For all that they may have in common against the angloapostates, no theological anglocatholic can be in a Protestant jurisdiction which rejects the authority of the Ecumenical Councils, which practices lay presidency at Eucharist (either explicitly or, by having women priests, implicitly), which doesn't insist on some form of belief in the Real Presence as part of its sacramental theology, etc.

The mindset in these circles seems to be that as long as we agree that homosexuality is bad and that Jesus is Lord, all other differences are irrelevant, can be ignored, and that there ought to be a "big tent" which includes all other differences of belief and practice. Apparently no recognition that while there are many matters of adiaphora in which such inclusivity is proper and welcome, there are also matters -- such as those touching on the Eucharist and the priesthood -- which are fundamental to being "in communion" and that differences about them can't simply be overlooked to create some sort of artificial and unstable "unity".

And whenever someone tries to point this out, they are accused of being needlessly divisive and ignoring the will of God... when, in fact, quite to the contrary, recognition of those facts is part of the straightforward desire and effort to be faithful to the will of God as preserved chiefly not in our own mutable "experience" or "imagination", but in the clear and objective record of Scripture and Tradition.

This sort of "theological cluelessness" -- coupled with an unwillingness to take a necessary and clear stand about belief and norms -- could scuttle this whole "GAFCON" project from the getgo... could reduce it into nothing more than a "replacement" Anglican Communion with all the structural weaknesses and incoherence of the current one -- a replacement which, though rejecting today's homosexualist heresy, is ripe for disintegration all over again when the next heresy comes down the pike.

Hopefully, the leaders and bishops of the movement are more informed and savvy than that, and recognize the desirability of a more delineated identity and confessional norm. It will be a clearly protestant one -- their rejection of the authority of nearly half the Ecumenical Councils; their elevating of the 39 Articles to a confession second only to Scripture in authority; their normalization of the very protestant 1662 BCP all make clear the explicitly Protestant nature of this federation. Which we anglocatholics, naturally, think not just mistaken, but not sufficiently faithful to Scripture and Tradition.

Nevertheless, better that they clearly articulate that identity and stick to it -- and not try to pretend it includes the anlgocatholic wing of Anglicanism which it so obviously rejects -- than that it muddle along in the same incoherence and insincere illusion of a "big tent" that has turned the L.A.F. (Lambeth Anglican Fellowship) into such mush.

pax,
LP

Sandra McColl said...

Three Councils short of a Tradition . . .

poetreader said...

Words, words, words ...

This document, like the official pronouncements of the liberal groups it opposes, devotes much of its effort to carefully not saying important things. The lack of content is hidden by the heavy strings of grandiloquent verbiage with which it is not said.

One does notice the adroit dodging of the crucial constitutional issue of female "ordination", the overall slant toward a strongly (almost radical) Evangelical approach, and the limited and rather grudging toleration that would appear to be offere to AngloCatholics.

ed

Albion Land said...

Ed,

" ... and the limited and rather grudging toleration that would appear to be offered to AngloCatholics."

Perhaps you were reading a different declaration. I see know evidence here that these happy clappies are even aware there is something known as Anglo Catholicism.

William Tighe said...

As I said on a posting on this thread here:

http://mcj.bloghorn.com/3884#Comments

(comment #4 of the current 12); and I believe I said it rightly.

poetreader said...

Albion,

Some of the "venerable fathers" of this council have at least some connection with AngloCatholicism, and some of the wording is clumsily a bit less Protestant than most of them would have prefered. I'm convinced on reading it that they think incorrectly that they have made room for AngloCatholics among them. That's what I mean by grudging toleration. I'd be less unhappy if they'd honestly declared themselves a distinct phenomenon. The extent to which I see this "toleration" here makes me suspect a disingenuous lack of candor.

ed

John said...

I am confused. I have read where ++Akinola says there will be no schism or separation and then I read the following:

From yet another new alphabet group called "FOCA" !!!

?he 300 bishops and archbishops who attended the Global Anglican Future Conference deny wanting to split from the 80 million-strong Anglican communion.

A formal schism would involve tortuous legal procedures over the ownership of churches and other properties.

However, in a statement, they said: "While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury." The rejection of Rowan Williams marks the end of colonial domination of the Anglican communion, shifting the balance of power to developing countries.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/30/anglicanism.religion

So what exactly was achieved? Did they stay or did they go? Does anyone know?

Everyday things look simpler in comparison in the Continuing Church.

LP said...

-----
I am confused. I have read where ++Akinola says there will be no schism or separation
-----

As I see it, GAFCON has only three possible ways that it can view its relationship within the so-called "Anglican Communion" -- which, to avoid the equivocal use of "Communion", I shall call the "Lambeth Anglican Fellowship". I don't think GAFCON has yet made clear which position it intends to take.

(1) That GAFCON is just another "sub-group" within the L.A.F., that the LAF is still a genuine "Commuion", although in some exceptional cases and that its members' relations to other jurisdictions is strained, suspended, or broken.

(2) That it no longer accepts membership in the LAF as constituting "communion", merely a "fellowship" or "fraternity" of independent jurisdictions -- and that its members are only in communion with those who agree to the principles of the Declaration and who break all sacramental ties with those who reject those principles and with those who refuse to make such a break.

(3) That it rejects the catholic, orthodox, and traditional Anglican theology about what "communion" and "being in communion" mean, and that it will simply decide on an ad-hoc basis (perhaps individual, perhaps diocesean, perhaps jurisdictional) who it is "in communion" with and who not... though, frankly, "in communion" and sacramentality really isn't that important, and people should just focus on affirming the Declaration locally.

More on that -- put positively -- HERE.

.

I think for GAFCON to move coherently forward and remain relevant and significant, and still claim to be "in" the "Anglican Commuion", then it needs to adopt position (2).

Given the "protestant" sacramental theology (or lack thereof) of some of its members and supporters, and the failure of the Declaration to explicitly address this issue (unlike the Affirmation of St. Louis!), I think there is a real danger -- but not a certainty -- that they will go down path (3).

.

Either way, as I've said before, right now the GAFCON movement and membership has less theological homogeneity on central issues (some of the positions mutually exclusive) and more jurisdictional divisions than does (even in its unfortunately fractured condition) the "genuine" Continuing Church movement.

(By "genuine" I mean the ones which really come from the St. Louis movement and ordinations and which hold to the norms of the Affirmation of St. Louis -- not the more recent departures [the EMC, the DHC, etc], nor the 19th century REC, nor the from-outside-Anglicanism non-Affirmation groups like the CEC or CEEC -- which are no more "Continuing Churches" in that sense than are the more recent non-PEcUSA fragments in GAFCON.)

pax,
LP

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...their normalization of the very protestant 1662 BCP...

LP:

I can't agree. No matter what that Robin What's-his-name guy has been writing on VOL, the 1662 was the BCP of the very High Church Caroline Divines, and was part of the general triumph over Puritan dissent.

That is, I can't agree if by "Protestant" you mean something that cannot also be thoroughly Catholic. As an Anglican I see no necessary conflict between what we mean by "Protestant" and what we mean by "Catholic." I find the 1662 book a bit overly edited, but not non-Catholic.

Otherwise, I agree with your comment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to LP for several excellent posts here and elsewhere (the quality of which is evinced by one getting deleted by Greg Griffith) and likewise thanks to Fr Hart for speaking up in defence of the 1662 BCP.

The 1662 Book is a mixed bag theologically. Outside of its Communion Office, it is in many ways superior to our 1928 BCP. 1662 is liturgically angular, charmingly archaic, but theologically excellent in many places. It contains statements deleted in our American 1928 book, such as matrimony was estalished by God "in the time of man's innocency," and "forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin" and "miserable sinners." It contains the no nonsense formula of absolution:
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by His authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of th Holy Ghost. Amen."
Our book has nothing quite that strong.

But the Communion Office is the unacceptable part of 1662. It utterly lacks the second half of the Prayer of Consecration; IOW, there is no anamnesis, no prayer of oblation, no invocation of the Spirit. The worst Protestant errors of the awful book of 1552 were not corrected.

The 1662 book had been largely forgotten in this country (and I hear almost equally so in the UK) until the Neo-Anglicans popped up. Was anyone plugging 1662 before VGR came along? I get the feeling that many Neo-Anglicans have a yearning to get back to something "in the Common Prayer tradition" but cannot bring themselves to admit that 1979 was a huge mistake. In the American context, no one can do better than the 1789-1892-1928 book.

A parishioner of mine went to the gift shop of Westminster Abbey and asked to purchase a copy of the 1662 Prayer Book. The clerk on duty had no idea of what was being requested--surely a "training issue."
Laurence K. Wells

Anonymous said...

Instead of ". We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer,..."
I wish they had written:

We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of THE CATHOLIC FAITH, and we uphold the Common Prayer tradition, set forth in the original Book of Common Prayer of 1549 and all authentic revisions, particularly the Scottish book of 1637, the English Book of 1662, and American book of 1928, as true and authoritative standards of worship, doctrine, and spirituality....

But the greatest disappointment is the failure of the statement to affirm the historic ministry, even when dropping a reference to the 1662 Ordinal, which assumes a male ministry and did not know of female clergy.
Laurence K. Wells

LP said...

The following anti-Continuing-Church movement attack -- over at SFIF -- might well be worthy of thread for discussion and reflection, as I think it gives a good "snapshot" (in both its accuracies and its many inaccuracies) about how much of the Anglican world views the Continuum.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/13787/#240977

Discussion both in terms of how it misunderstands the Continuum's theology to be something "schismatic" which it "made up" (rather than a faithful preservation of the catholic faith in the Anglican tradition)... and also as an example of how the Continuum's divisions have weakened its witness, allowing people to ignorantly dismiss its existence, theology and faithful Anglicanism out of hand because of their perceptions of its divisions, egoism, and fruitlessness.

Perhaps -- in an ironic historical twist -- a GAFCON "success" in creating a new North American province for Protestant Anglicans (if they do indeed succeed) might serve as a "wake up call" to get the heirs of the St. Louis movement to pursue more aggressively and proactively (though still with care and deliberation) a stable jurisdictional reunion of the faithful splinters... so that the movement might begin to offer the effective, coherent, and Spirit-filled witness to the greater Anglican world which it is, apparently, currently failing to offer as fully and effectively as it might.

pax,
LP

Alice C. Linsley said...

The 1662 version of the BCP was a disappointment to me also. The 1928is superior though it contains some seeds of modernism. Too bad the Statement doesn't acknowledge the authority of the first 7 ecumenical councils and it gives too much weight to the 39 Articles.

Still they have pitched the ball into the court of right-believing Anglicans and I pray that you all will grab it and run with it. Teach, exhort and show the way to catholicity gradually and with love.

I've posted my thoughts here:
http://college-ethics.blogspot.com/2008/06/jerusalem-declaration.html

William Tighe said...

From my own perspective, the best Anglican eucharistic liturgy is the 1764 Scottish Communion Office, the liturgy that Bishop Seabury took back to the States and which was adopted, but also adapted, by PECUSA in 1789. The adaptations (such as substituting Cranmer's "grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood" for the original "vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy word and holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son") were unfortunate "protestantizations" of the Scottish Liturgy (which was largely, but not completely, restored to its original form in the now-discarded 1929 Scottish BCP).

I wish that this liturgy, so superior in its Eucharist to even the 1928 American BCP (save for the immense verbosity of following the Prayer of Consecration immediately with the Prayer for the Whole Estate of Christ's Church and then the Lord's Prayer) might become the standard basis of the Continuing Anglican Eucharist, with the 1662 BCP serving for the rest.

William Tighe said...

You may find the Scottish Communion Office of 1764 here:

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Scotland/Scot1764_Communion.htm

And here is the 1929 Scottish version:

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Scotland/Scot_Scottish_Communion.htm

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, LP ole buddy, for having a series of comments removed on SFIF. Just as King Jehoiakim burned Jeremiah's scroll, so your words have been consigned to a very temporary oblivion. The ugly and ignorant tirade which was allowed to stand before comments were closed on the thread surely reflects the true heartfelt position of the Standfirmers.
Laurence K. Wells

LP said...

---
Still they have pitched the ball into the court of right-believing Anglicans and I pray that you all will grab it and run with it. Teach, exhort and show the way to catholicity gradually and with love.
---

The problem is ... they haven't.

They have pitched the ball into the court of "angloprotestants" who, yes, reject the ethical and theological apostasies of today's PEcUSA... but also who reject the authority of the Ecumencial Councils and many traditional, orthodox, patristic beliefs and practices -- particularly on the issues of the sacraments and the priesthood.

And -- based both on the Declaration and on the express beliefs and practices of many of its constituents -- the movement continues to appear as if they have no interest in honestly considering the "catholic" side of things, nor even in tolerating catholic belief and practice (save in a neutered, impotent, and compromised enclave as a good P.R. move) as it moves forward in establishing its identity and norms of Faith and Order.

A year or two ago, Peter Toon put out a piece on his suggestions for "how to treat anglocatholics in the new jurisdiction" which, if I recall correctly, said in essence, to take an officially Protestant position while not explicitly condemning catholicism (only accepting 4 of the 7 Ecumenical Councils was one example he gave, as I recall), to permit "high church" liturgy but not to permit any official teaching or practice of anglocatholic Faith and Order where it differed from protestantism, and to permit anglocatholic believers to remain in a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, provided they do nothing in public (especially worship) which betrayed that anglocatholicism. [I can't seem to google up, offhand, a link to that essay... perhaps another poster has it to hand?]

All indications are that this is precisely the approach being adopted by GAFCON in its Declaration.


The practice - even the advocacy - both of W.O. and other irreconcilably anti-catholic teaching & practice among many of its jurisdictions, and the clear "Protestant choices" of the Declaration, show this in action.

And while GAFCON is not composed only of people like those who run SFiF, they are perhaps a small (albeit not terribly significant) "test case"... in that when someone *does* attempt to:
---
Teach, exhort and show the way to catholicity gradually and with love.
---
their attempts are met with hostility, their posts are deleted, their content misrepresented, and their authors banned.


Under those conditions -- both the clear institutional direction and emerging norms, as well as the individual treatment of anglocatholic believers and arguments we see in some circles -- suggests that about the only thing catholics in the Anglican tradition can do for the movement is to watch it from afar and pray that God's will be done.

To join that movement, as you seem to suggest -- at least as it appears to be currently constituting and defining itself -- would not be an effective witness to catholicism... it would be, rather, a renunciation of the responsibility to remain faithful to Scripture and Tradition in retaining catholic belief and practice... and, essentially, an abandonment of any ability effectively to teach or exhort by either word or deed.


It may be that the best that anglocatholics can hope from GAFCON -- at least if it continues down the course to which it does appear to be committing itself -- is that such few remaining anglocatholics as there are in those circles will quickly perceive and accept that "there is no place for genuine catholic belief and practice in this Protestant organization", and turn to a continuing-to-reconsolidate Continuum and norms of the Affirmation to find their new church home.


pax,
LP

WannabeAnglican said...

Bishop Iker has heartily endorsed GAFCON and The Jerusalem Declaration. I hope other Anglo-Catholics follow his godly example instead of waiting for some perfect church that will not come about before the Second Coming.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Wells wrote:
But the greatest disappointment is the failure of the statement to affirm the historic ministry, even when dropping a reference to the 1662 Ordinal, which assumes a male ministry and did not know of female clergy.

Or Lay Presidency either. Peter Jensen was there, so this is a relevant concern.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Here is how the brave and intellectually honest SF people handled it, LP.

Comment 219
"[off topic comments about lay presidency, WO, Continuing Anglicans and other Anglo-Catholics, whether there are any true Anglo-Catholics in TEC, etc, etc deleted, commenter banned]"

Attention Matt Kennedy. This makes a liar of you, because no mention was made of anything impolite in the comment. SH just banned LP because she didn't like what he said. Your colleagues continue to drag your name through the mud of their own making.

LP, Congratulations for making the honor role. Anyone who does not get banned at SF is living with disgrace.

LP said...

----
Here is how the brave and intellectually honest SF people handled it, LP.
----

Yup.

What's more, the claim that it was "off topic" was a simple lie -- it was responding to specific questions raised by two or three other posters, and was addressing the GAFCON Declaration and the subsequent discussion: and thus was quite explicitly and on-topic: i.e. the discussion about what place (and what sort of) "anglocatholicism" could be compatible with it.

Moreover, it was a post (though you wouldn't know this to see SH's comment... and, of course, she deleted it so people can't check the facts, but just have to credulously believe her, um, "version" of things) which didn't _advocate_ any of those positions nor condemn those who didn't take them... but which, rather, simply stated that there was an objective conflict between position A and position B.

[And moreover, when I perceived that parts of it could be misconstrued -- in that I said I didn't think +Iker's position represented the kind of anglocatholicism that I (and the Affirmation of St. Louis) was describing -- I rushed to post a followup to explicitly disavow any 'judgementalism' and to make painfully clear that I was simply trying to make the "theological" point... and apologized for any unintended offense caused by any lack of clarity. Which post, too, was deleted... under the same rubrics.]



Meaning that the post was not "off topic" for the discussion being held by the posters nor was it irrelevant to the thread... it was simply not on the topics that Sarah Hey wanted it to be on. As usual when she starts deleting and banning -- what the posters were interested in, or what they actually said or meant, be d*mned... if it doesn't fit her agenda, it gets the boot.


To put it in a nutshell:

* Q: "Why do you see a conflict between position AC and position AP? Aren't their differences merely matters of taste, opinion and style?"

* A: "No, there is a conflict because position AC includes beliefs on (a), (b) and (c) that are incompatible with being 'in communion' with position AP. I've talked about this elsewhere... see the links I give above."

* SH: "You mentioned (a), (b) and (c), therefore you are banned."



Still, you've got to admit, the SFiFers (or, at least, some of them) sure have learned how to "listen" and "dialogue" in the PEcUSA tradition very well -- and show no hesitation (or consciousness of the irony) in turning those weapons of deception and censorship against those Anglicans who are more traditional than they themselves are!

Like PEcUSA's masters, I expect they just don't want their audience actually confronted with - and thinking about - any coherent challenge to their own position and assumptions. It sure looks that way!


pax,
LP

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to LP! While he and I have occasionally (very occasionally!) been on opposite sides of the table, I have NEVER known him to be anything less than polite, scholarly, and thoroughly professional. Actually, he sealed his own fate when he out-argued the husband of the priestess in the WO thread on Stand Firm in Futility.
Poor little Matt was left looking silly, after he tried to defend his position in terms of a Calvinistic principle "Scriptura interpres Scripturae" and was wrestled to the ground by LP. I knew then where LP would wind up. Just remember, LP, that King Jehoiakim burned up Jeremiah's scroll. But more people are reading Jeremiah these days than Jehoiakim. The intellectual and personal dishonesty of the husband of the priestess is now plain for all to see.
Laurence K. Wells

Paul Goings said...

Bishop Iker has heartily endorsed GAFCON and The Jerusalem Declaration. I hope other Anglo-Catholics follow his godly example instead of waiting for some perfect church that will not come about before the Second Coming.

Has Bp Iker announced when he'll start using the 1662 English B.C.P., without let or hindrance?

LP said...

---
Has Bp Iker announced when he'll start using the 1662 English B.C.P., without let or hindrance?
---

Also, has he formally acknowledged that he sees no conflict between his "anglocatholic" sacramental theology and beliefs on the one hand... and on the other, remaining as a bishop in communion, for the last 15 years, in an apostate jurisdiction ... or between moving into full communion with a new GAFCON jurisdiction(s) which accepts (by having 'women priests') laity presiding at the Eucharist and (if they have 'women bishops') performing confirmations, ordinations, and consecrations?

.

Those of us who doubt the full integrity of +Iker's anglocatholicism (not his personal integrity -- but the "intellectual" integrity of his theological position as genuine "catholic" belief which would be recognized by the Church Fathers and Ecumenical Councils as sacramentally and theologically acceptable) do so not because we have some pie-in-the-sky desire for an impossible "perfect church" in this world, but because we are determined to remain in a Church which preserves basic and recognizable catholic teaching and identity on the fundamental issues of the sacraments and apostolic succession.

+Iker, for all that he is doubtlessly a pious man and strong leader, has, by his actions, not done so.

.

If you disagree with that anglocatholic (and not just "anglocatholic" but basic catholic, orthodox, and patristic) sacramental theology, fine. A profitable discussion might be held.

But don't play the SFiF game and do it by dishonest misrepresentation of the facts. More than enough of that going on already!

.

pax,
LP

Fr. Robert Hart said...

About the 1662 BCP, the stripped back model of Holy Communion is a flaw. Nonetheless, it was the Caroline Divines who had won the day for what the Church of England had spent several decades fighting for. Contrasted against the non-sense Historical Revisionism of the Reasserters and of the Anglo-Calvinists, (which, in all fairness, has been only slightly more unbalanced and inaccurate than some earlier Anglo-Catholic Historical Revisionism), what the High Church Caroline Divines defended was the official position of the Church of England, defended in the previous century by Hooker, and later, in the early 17th century, by Andrewes. The Puritan dissent was finally defeated (and it had never been anything but dissent, except for the few years when they took over England by force, and murdered their king).

It was these High Church Divines who produced the 1662 BCP. This simple fact is also contrary to what that Robin whats-his-name? fellow has been posting for David Virtue.

Alice C. Linsley said...

With good Anglo-catholic fervour you focus on the integrity of the Eucharist, comparing the Liturgies of the various versions of the BCP. I know TEC heretics who share this concern because they value a meticulous Mass. We discover the dividing line when we compare Baptismal theologies. The litmus test, it seems to me, it baptismal regeneration.

A comparison of the baptismal rites of versions 1549 through 1928reveals a consistent emphasis on baptismal regeneration and baptism as a spiritual bath. The architects of the 1979 book were not fond of “spiritual regeneration" and imposed the idea of initiation and solidarity with ECUSA's social agenda.

This term "spiritual regeneration" is used four times in the 1549 rite and four times in the 1928 rite, but not once in the 1979 rite. Consider the following chart showing the frequency of terms in the three Books.

The terms “regeneration or “spiritual regeneration”
1549 - used 4 times
1929 - used 4 times
1979 - not used

The terms “born again” or “born anew”
1549 - used once
1928 - used 4 times
1979 - used once

The term “reborn”
1549 – not used
1928 – not used
1979 – used once

As can be seen from the word frequency chart, the 1928 rite is the strongest on the doctrine of regeneration. The term “reborn” is not used in the 1549 or 1928 rites because it is neither biblical nor historical. What is accomplished in regeneration is a birth “from above.” The Greek term is anothen and the reference is John 3:3 where Jesus tells Nicodemus: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born from above.” This scripture is one of the recommended readings for baptism in the 1928 Book, but because of the 1979 alignment of the Sunday readings with the three-year lectionary, it is not likely that this reading would be used in Baptism. It is possible to be baptized according to the 1979 rite and never have a clue to God’s intention is to give you birth from above so that you may see the kingdom of God.

WannabeAnglican said...

Oh, I see Bishop Iker isn't Anglo-Catholic enough for some people here. That just about says it all.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Wannabe-Anglican

I suggest that instead of taking offense at comments, you defend Bishop Iker. We do not censor comments here unless they contain libel or obscenity, or unless they are so rude that they have no place in polite discourse. The comments (and remember that they are the reader's comments) may have rubbed you the wrong way; but you are free to respond.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

LP wrote:

Also, has he formally acknowledged that he sees no conflict between his "anglocatholic" sacramental theology and beliefs on the one hand... and on the other, remaining as a bishop in communion, for the last 15 years, in an apostate jurisdiction ... or between moving into full communion with a new GAFCON jurisdiction(s) which accepts (by having 'women priests') laity presiding at the Eucharist and (if they have 'women bishops') performing confirmations, ordinations, and consecrations?

I am not able to find evidence that the signers of the "Jerusalem Declaration" are necessarily in "full communion." Also, the issue of TEC as a jurisdiction vs. the diocese as the true boundary, has been a very real consideration for the FiF/NA bishops all along. Their own realignment moves (and Ft. Worth is next) began after it was necessary to realign in order to stay clear of women's "ordination." The fact they were later joined in realignment by Bishop Duncan obscures the fact that it all started over WO, a fact documented by Bp. Iker's speech to FiF in England last Fall.

In short, there is room for disagreement with Bp. Iker about details. But, I believe that his own perspective on these matters, especially drawing the diocesan boundary line in much thicker ink than others, clears Bp.Iker of the charge that his theology has lacked integrity. Which boundary is the real one? The jurisdiction of TEC, or the Diocese? That can be debated for quite a long time between honest men of goodwill.

LP said...

But, I believe that his own perspective on these matters, especially drawing the diocesan boundary line in much thicker ink than others, clears Bp.Iker of the charge that his theology has lacked integrity.

Fair enough... I can see how a case could be made by which you would say "what goes on in other dioceses within my jurisdiction is irrelevant to me".

The thing is, that certainly isn't a position consistent with any patristic or catholic concept of how bishops in relationship with each other work... you can't just say "I'm in communion with you, but what you do in your diocese doesn't factor in to that, as long as it doesn't happen in mine."

I guess what troubles me most on this issue is that the canons of PEcUSA and its dioceses make clear that membership in its HOB and participation in that jurisdiction mean that you are, de facto and de iure, in communion with the rest of the HOB. Regardless of whether you're doing in your diocese what they're doing in theirs.

Now, again, sure, you could decide that you don't recognize that institution's canonical definitions, that you aren't in communion with them, and thus that all that matters is the integrity of your diocese.

But if that's the case -- if you've rejected the "human" side of the organization by rejecting the statements of its laws and constitutions; and you've also rejected the "divine" side of it by rejecting communion and sacramental union with its other members; and if your theology is such that you believe that many of its bishops are apostates and/or laity, that its Eucharists -- a "salvation issue" -- are invalid, and thus that it is pouring spiritual toxin on its laity; and actively working against the Great Commission by spreading a false gospel... then WHY STAY IN IT?!

.

It is on those questions of "communion" and "jurisdiction" that I simply cannot see any coherent way to reconcile basic "catholic" teaching on those issues with a willingness to become and remain a bishop in PEcUSA over the last 15 years.

That's where I have difficulty with what I perceive (perhaps wrongly) to be +Iker's position. I'm not saying that I think he lacks integrity -- I'm just saying that I can't see how his "theological beliefs", based on that situation and those considerations, has the "full integrity" (i.e. completeness) of a genuine "catholic" position on orders, communion, and jurisdiction.

.

I am not able to find evidence that the signers of the "Jerusalem Declaration" are necessarily in "full communion."

From the Declaration:
---
11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
---

This certainly suggests that all who "join [them] in this declaration", which is being set up as their litmus test for "orthodox faith and practice", are seen as having valid and recognized "orders and jurisdiction", which constitutes the "unity" this section talks about.

Accordingly, I see the implication of the Declaration of Jerusalem to be that all its signatories are in full communion -- accepting each other, thereby, as having valid faith, orders, and jurisdiction.

.

pax,
LP

Anonymous said...

Thanks, LP for your comments. SFIF's loss is our gain!
LKW

Paul Goings said...

Oh, I see Bishop Iker isn't Anglo-Catholic enough for some people here.

What, precisely, does "Anglo-Catholic enough" mean?

And, as I asked before, what are Bp Iker's intentions in terms of liturgy? Do they involve a strict use of the 1662 English B.C.P., or something else?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

LP:

The issue is that they really believe that the diocese is the most authoritative entity in the Church. Agree or disagree; but, let's respect their integrity

I know a bit more "behind the scenes" stuff than most people, and I understand why Bishops Iker, Schofield and Ackerman are rubbing shoulders with the GAFCON bishops. Agree or not, the situation is really not quite simple and easy from their perspective.

Bishop Iker and his diocese have no intention of remaining in TEC. But, the process of pulling out is troublesome, full of dangers, and requires all the legal steps he has been taking. It may seem simple to us, looking in from the safety of the Continuum.

In the Canterbury Communion, Bishop Iker is seen as standing squarely against women's "ordination." The three FiF/ NA bishops (+Schofield of the S.C., +Iker and +Ackerman) are not compromising their integrity at all, just because they are fighting the battle differently from the way Continuing Anglicans might think it should be fought.

I cannot agree with any suggestion that they have lacked integrity. From their perspective they would be hirelings who flee when they see the wolf coming, should they simply leave their dioceses to the "mercy" of TEC. They have taken the more difficult road of leading them out.

And, don't expect them to give in on women's "ordination." If anything, they appear to be leading +Duncan away from it. It would not surprise me if he should call for a reevaluation of the whole subject among the CCP.

And, expect the Primate of Nigeria, Archsbishop Peter Akinola, to start a serious push against women's "ordination" as well as some other very principled Catholic moves on his part.

None of this is good enough for Continuing Anglican circles yet. But, we are not really on the same battle front they are. Their foxholes are right on the front lines.

And remember what we say in the Creed: "I believe in the Holy Ghost..." I guess I just have to be hopeful.

LP said...

---
Agree or disagree; but, let's respect their integrity
---
NB -- I am not questioning +Iker's integrity. Explicitly not. And precisely because (a) I don't know his own theological position on this issue and (b) I can hardly imagine the huge weight of responsibility to his flock which comes with his office.

This is why I said:
I'm not saying that I think he lacks integrity -- I'm just saying that I can't see how his "theological beliefs", based on that situation and those considerations, has the "full integrity" (i.e. completeness) of a genuine "catholic" position on orders, communion, and jurisdiction.

Which, I think, probably amounts to more or less the same thing you mean when you say:
None of this is good enough for Continuing Anglican circles yet.


Here's the other big question -- and one, I think, implicit in what others have asked here:

---
I understand why Bishops Iker, Schofield and Ackerman are rubbing shoulders with the GAFCON bishops.
---

Let us grant -- and this certainly seems quite sensible to me -- that +Iker recognizes (how could he not?) the ultimately untenable situation he is in (and has been ever since the uncharitable 30 minute "anti-catholic, pro-WO" rant he was subjectected to at the time of his consecration!) in PEcUSA.

And grant, too, that he has been moving carefully in an effort to try to guard his flock. Again, sensible. And so, as part of the "exit strategy", he's been working with the GAFCON bishops -- also in the hope that he can witness to a more catholic and Scriptural theology to the "orthodoxy lite" of many of them. Also sensible.


Now... suppose that GAFCON actually succeeds completely -- that they form a stable, unified North American jurisdiction along the lines envisioned by the Declaration of Jerusalem, to be the unified jurisdictional entity that is a GAFCON member in that geographical region.

Vis a vis WO (and communion and sacramental theology etc), how has +Iker's position materially improved by being in that body rather than PEcUSA?


Sure, that new body wouldn't have the same Trinitarian or Christological heresies -- wouldn't be apostate on those Creedal fundamentals -- and, sure, that new body wouldn't have the homosexualist heresy running the show. But, remember, ultimately WO is a far greater and more significant departure from the norms of Faith and Order than the homosexualist heresy (at least in itself) is. WO invalidates the sacraments and the apostolic succession -- ordaining practicing homosexuals (in and of itself) does not.


The upshot being, if +Iker's "trajectory" is simply to help create and then get into an unified North American GAFCON province -- one which (inevitably) will permit the ordination of women (not to mention the other issues raised by the Declaration -- such as the subjecting of Scripture and Tradition to a protestant interpretation of the 39 Articles, or the rejection of the authority of three of the seven Ecumenical councils) how has his situation materially improved (at least with respect to this issue)?

As I know you realize, the majority of the pro-WOers simply do not understand the historical, catholic position of the Church on this matter. They think that WO is adiaphora and that to "include" it means simply not to force WO on any individual, while permitting it within a jurisdiction or communion.

Look what someone even like the scholarly J. I. Packer says:
Jim Packer: It is important to know who our friends are. Anglo-Catholics generally believe in Trinity, Scripture, atonement, resurrection, judgement, prayer, etc. A ‘higher’ view of sacraments and priesthood seems secondary in the light of those primary correspondences. I can be friends with Anglo-Catholics. Modern Anglo-Catholicism has a different agenda from in the past.

In his view, the issue of the sacraments and priesthood is sufficiently "secondary" that he thinks (this the implication of the answer and its context in the press conference from which it comes) that there's no obstacle to having both positions in the same jurisdiction. (Of course, given that many of the "anglocatholics" he has encountered may just be "high-church angloprotestants", perhaps this actually is a fair assessment -- for even the thoughtful angloprotestant recognizes that such "modern anglocatholicism" is not the same as the catholic Anglicanism of the past).

(By the by, it was largely for suggesting that this "modern anglocatholicism" differed from past anglocatholicism that Ms. Hey banned me from SFiF... I wonder if she would have banned Rev Packer if he had posted this same opinion on her site?)


So if that's where GAFCON is headed, and if that's the star to which +Iker hitches his diocean and episcopal wagon then (while certainly granting that it would lead his flock out of a jurisdiction which denies Scripture and the Creeds) isn't he simply jumping out of the fire and into the frying pan?


pax,
LP

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The question, that none of us can answer, is this: Will GAFCON become a separate communion over time? If so, this Jerusalem Declaration does indeed justify the "from the frying pan into the fire" line. That is, again, because it is so damned weak.

Nonetheless, I do hear a rumbling coming from such unlikely places as Nigeria and Pittsburgh, that if unhindered, should surprise just about everybody.

That is not a statement of unbridled optimism, but neither is it without some evidence to provide reasonable hope. Personally, for me to pray with faith that these primates and other bishops will all become enlightened, requires some hope and faith in the God who works miracles.

For I perceive a difference of character. The folks running TEC have no conscience, but the GAFCON leaders include people whose error is at least, apparently, not without conscience. At least we have that much, little as it is, to build effectual fervent prayers on.

LP said...

Nonetheless, I do hear a rumbling coming from such unlikely places as Nigeria and Pittsburgh, that if unhindered, should surprise just about everybody.

Personally -- and I've actually been periodically saying this since the AMiA was founded -- I think the best thing that could come out of this "shakeup" would be a re-organization of faithful Anglicans into two groups: the Protestant Anglican Church (which would have many of the GAFCONers at its core) and the Catholic Anglican Church (which would have the Continuum at its core).

I have little doubt that Protestant Anglicanism is heading for the sort of splintering the first generation of the Continuing movement saw. Possibly less -- international involvement will provide a cohesive force unavailable to the early Continuers, and some of the less "strict" angloprotestants will find it a lot easier to stay in PEcUSA than the less "strict" anglocatholics did/have. Both of which may result in less fracturing for them... even as their greater diversity in theology and churchmanship may push them toward more.

Either way, though, perhaps this latest and international "shakeup" of Anglicanism will do what failed to materialize with the first generation of the Continuum -- to get people to really take a coherent stand, and cohere into jurisdictions with a coherent theological and ecclesial position.

Who knows... perhaps GAFCON (if it retains momentum) will provide the "kick" from outside needed to get the next generation of committed, "Affirmation anglocatholic" Continuuers to finally pull together and be able to more aggressively evangelize, catechize, and sanctify our darkening world.

It would be a truly delightful irony indeed if the angloprotestants, having refused to heed the anglocatholics call to "stand firm" 30 years ago, were now to be the ones -- having been forced out of their comfortable old-fashioned "Anglican Communion" themselves -- to get the anglocatholics to "stand together".

pax,
LP