Tuesday, July 22, 2008

About Articles XXVIII and XXIX

XXVIII. Of the Lord's Supper.

THE Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves, one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

XXIX. Of the wicked which do not eat the body of Christ, in the use of the Lord's Supper.

THE wicked and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as S. Augustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ, but rather to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing.
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The meaning of these Articles deserves such treatment as the method employed by St. Thomas Aquinas.

1. (A Roman view)

Whereas Article XXVIII condemns the concept of Transubstantiation, it demonstrates that the Anglicans departed from belief in the Real presence of Christ in the sacrament, which nullifies their sacramental intention in the service they call Holy Communion. It demonstrates that they see the species of bread and wine as remaining unaffected by their rite, remaining no more than mere symbols instead of the reality of Christ's body and blood. This is a clear rejection of the Real Presence, and shows that they lack sacramental intention by their own admission.

In addition, in Article XXIX they further clarified their rejection of a true sacramental intention by creating a doctrine best called Receptionism. They say that the wicked do eat the sign of so great a thing as the Body of Christ, but do not eat the Body of Christ itself. So too, the cup, for they drink the sign but not the reality. Clearly, they have rejected a doctrine of the Real Presence. That the sacrament must not be lifted up or worshiped only further proves that they did not believe Christ was actually present in it.

This proves that they are in error and have departed from the true Faith by rejecting sacramental intention.

(2. The extreme and very, very, very modern Evangelical view)

On the contrary, the Articles, when taken together, do not show error or a rejection of the true faith, but rather a restoration of the true faith. By rejecting Transubstantiation the Anglicans have returned to the true teaching of Christ, in which the sacraments are a symbol only. Since it is faith, and only faith, that saves from sin and death, it is of no consequence that the symbolic use of bread and wine are called the Body and Blood of Christ. These two Articles teach deliverance from superstition that requires faith in a material thing, rather than spiritual understanding.

The words of Jesus in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John should not be interpreted as having anything to do with the bread and wine used in Communion services. That whole discourse cannot be interpreted to mean that communion has anything to do with salvation, since Jesus spoke of eating his flesh and drinking his blood as a metaphor for having faith in him. For he said, in that very text, these things: "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day...Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life." (John 6:47, 48). Therefore, the Church of Rome is wrong in condemning the Anglicans, inasmuch as their rejection agrees with the correct meaning of John chapter 6, which is that belief in Christ is what it means to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Communion is, merely, symbolic.

(3. Anglicanism)

Our view requires a closer look at both scripture and at these Articles.

First of all, these follow Article XXV, in which we find these words, "SACRAMENTS ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses and effectual signs of grace and God's good will towards us, by the which He doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in Him." That the sacraments are called not merely "signs," but "effectual signs" gives us a source from which we rightly say that they signify what they effect, and they effect what they signify. This is very clear in the words that immediately follow and provide both the definition and description of "effectual signs" very plainly; speaking of God's work within us, namely grace, quickening, strengthening and confirming. The meaning was made very clear. Therefore, they are never symbols only, but "effectual signs" that actually operate as a "means of grace." Furthermore, that God uses material things in this way is consistent with the Incarnation itself, whereas the opposite view is not. Therefore, the Anglicans did not say that the sacrament of Christ's body and blood is less than able to convey grace.

In order to see these two Articles as a rejection of the Real Presence and means of grace, it is necessary to ignore the context of Articles XXVIII and XXIV, following, as they do, on the Article that speaks of Effectual Signs. It is necessary, also, to ignore the many writings of the period in which the Anglican rejection of "Transubstantiation" amounts to exactly the same objection raised by Joseph Ratzinger, who is now known to Roman Catholics, and to the whole world, as Pope Benedict XVI. For, as recorded in his book God is Near Us, this wise and learned man of God taught that Transubstantiation must not be reduced to "a crude material understanding." In that book, he taught that the elements of bread and wine are taken into the Person of Christ, and given back to us as the Body and Blood of Christ.

But, in the 16th century, the Anglicans clarified what they rejected, both describing and rejecting a doctrine that the bread and wine changed physically into flesh and blood; that after consecration they in no way possessed the physical properties of bread and wine, but rather the physical properties of Christ's own flesh and blood, in the most carnal understanding of the substance of flesh and blood. Whether or not this was a correct understanding of Transubstantiation is beside the point, inasmuch as what Anglicans rejected was described in these terms. This is clear in the Article itself, where we see the definition, "the change of the substance of bread and wine." Therefore, we contend that if "Transubstantiation" had been defined in the 16th century as Pope Benedict XVI defines it now, the Anglicans would have had no objection to the word "Transubstantiation." Therefore, Article XXVIII was not a rejection of the doctrine of the Real Presence.

We say, furthermore, that if the Anglicans had rejected the doctrine of the Real presence, they would not have taught in the Catechism that Baptism and the Supper of the Lord are "generally necessary to salvation," since mere symbols that fail to effect what they signify cannot impart grace. Neither could the Prayer of Humble Access have contained the words, "Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. "

The words of John 6 would be a complete mystery without the accounts of the Last Supper, wherein Scripture interprets Scripture, explaining the meaning; which meaning we have no authority to reject. ("My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed," was completely enigmatic to the disciples, until the night in which he was betrayed. "This is my Body...This is my Blood."-cp John 6:55, I Corinthians 11:24,25) We say, moreover, that the words of Jesus in John 6 were about belieiving in him, but that this is why they can be understood only in terms of the sacrament of Holy Communion. For, it is only for believers that the Body and Blood of Christ is intended. The Church has never allowed unbelievers to partake of this sacrament, unlike the heretical ECUSAn sect that gives its "sacraments" openly to all.

Compare these two passages of scripture, and try to reconcile the apparent contradiction:

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:54

"For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." I Corinthians 11:29

The same elements, eaten and drunk, are means to the grace of eternal life for one man, and the means to damnation for the other. This answers the objection of Rome to Article XXIX, since the eating and drinking of Christ's body and blood would automatically impart salvation, if Real Presence were always to have the effect intended by God in his goodness. But we see that eating and drinking the elements gives benefit only to those who believe, so that the believer receives Christ thereby, and the wicked eats and drinks damnation, for he partakes of the effectual sign in an unworthy manner. As an old prayer says, "not that I receive the sacrament only, but the virtue of the sacemant also."
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To make sense of both quotations from holy Scripture, to avoid the error of choosing between them as if only one were true, we must concede that the Anglican Article teaches the true meaning of Scripture. One may eat and drink the "sign or sacrament," which sign is effectual, which sacrament is really the Body and Blood of Christ, and yet not feed on him or recieve him in the sense he himself teaches in the Gospel of John, chapter 6 (in which sense it must always impart salvation, and never anything else). One may receive the sacrament, but reject the grace of the sacrament through willful sin or unbelief.

Because the sacrament is an effectual sign, effecting what it signifies, it is necessary for the believer to receive it, not merely to gaze upon it. Therefore, it is faith in the Real Presence of Christ's body and blood, and its impartation of grace as a sacrament "generally necessary to salvation" that moved the Anglicans to clarify the purpose of the sacrament according to God's institution, and therefore according to the pure intention of the Church, when they wrote: "The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them" (XXV), and "The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped." (XXVIII) For, whereas they taught the purpose of the sacrament (without giving any law or proscription) they emphaszied its charismatic nature, its saving effect, and its purpose.

In these ways the Anglicans affirmed both Real Presence and the general need to receive Communion. They taught sacramental intention purified from the innovations and distortians of the period.

18 comments:

Fr Odhran-Mary TFSC said...

In my study of the Holy Eucharist I remember a thread of thought indicating that the Church saw the elements as the body and blood of Christ in substance. No one disputed the idea until nearly AD 1,000.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ..."

"Substance" in what sense? Not to suggest something irreverent; but, if the elements were viewed under a microscope both before and after consecration, would they appear to have changed? The words from the Anglican thanksgiving are very helpful: "These holy mysteries ... the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood..." After consecration we no longer call them "bread and wine," but "the body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee...the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for thee..."

I know this is true; but, I cannot understand how. I believe it, but I do not comprehend how it is so.

Spiritual reality is no less real than physical reality; and a transcendent reality is beyond description, definition, and comprehension. The Orthodox word for sacraments is helpful: Mysteries.

An Anglican Cleric said...

"Substance" in what sense? Not to suggest something irreverent; but, if the elements were viewed under a microscope both before and after consecration, would they appear to have changed?"

Strangely enough, I used the exact same example to discuss the Real Presence of Christ in a young adult discussion group on Saturday. And I prefaced it with the same manner of "not to sound irreverent. . ."

The main emphasis of my talk was that we truly believe that the outward symbols of bread and wine, without requiring a "change of substance" in the scholastic sense, do truly convey the spiritual realities of Christ's Body and Blood. Not to reduce my point to this, but when speaking with those on Saturday I stressed that trying to explain the "how" of the mystery of the Eucharist is quite secondary to understanding the "why" of it all, which is union with Christ.

Vance Stinson said...

The substance, by RC definition, is what the Eucharist IS, not what it is made of. It's still made of the same elements that bread and wine are made of--that's called "accidents"--but what it's made of is not what it is. It seems to me that this argument is one of semantics.

CMWoodall said...

I confess to a very simple view about reception. I really don't understand it. As I stated elsewhere recently, I don't get that sense from the Church Fathers. Would you know of a study, perhaps by a Caroline Divine, that shows the doctrine of reception in the patristic era of the Church? I simply don't know of one.
I don't want to sound irreverent either, but the Early Church considered the supper, its subjective and objective reality, to be the 'medicine of immortality'. Faith brings us to the table, else we would not be there. Faith does not flip the sign into a sacrament nor the sacrament into a sign. If Faith does that, then 'we' dictate what the sacrament is 'to us.' Medicine that only works for those who 'believe it to be effectual' partake of a placebo, no?
Further, since Anglicans appeal to the Incarnation as a sacramental model, do I need to believe the Lord has two natures in one person for it to be so? No, faith is quite irrelevant to the reality.

poetreader said...

Yes, Vance, it is semantics, but semantics is no small thing. It is the art of honing language until it says what we wish to say, and does not say what we do not wish to say. As I poet I am only too aware of how easy it is for words to point elsewhere that the speaker thought they were pointing.

The articles speak of implications that were all-but-universal in the late medieval/renaissance period, and were still prevalant among RCs in the 1950s when I first began to encounter Roman Catholicism.

It is a pity that that that church, which has never officially taught the abusive notions thus represented, has so firmly linked its explanations to a word that so easily points in the wrong direction, and to a philosophy that seems to make substance and essence out to be independent attributes of reality.

Benedict's explanation quoted by Fr. Hart (which I actually hadn't encountered before) seems one of the best expressions of this mystery that I've come across.

Thank you, Fr. Hart, for yet another enlightening discussion.

ed

Joe Oliveri said...

What is interesting -- to me at least, as a Roman Catholic (and a Thomist at that) -- is that Rome has never declared the Prayer Book Lord's Supper to be per se an invalid rite. (Cf. "Can an Anglican 'Mass' be valid?".)

Many Roman Catholic apologists have no idea this is the case; and they assume, quite wrongly, that as the Ordinal goeth so goeth the whole.

At least Cranmer was good enough to retain the Institution Narrative. The latter is entirely lacking from the late reconstruction of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, which a Vatican dicastery has decided we now recognize as a valid rite despite any previous misgivings.

And I'll say this much for Cranmer, too: he was a better Latinist than many RC prelates today. Then again, so was Luther. Irony of ironies! Small wonder Fr. Z. (of wdtprs.com) is often happy to cite Prayer Book translations of the collects. :)

Fr_Rob said...

Thank you, Fr. Hart, for a very fine explication of the classical Anglican position on transubstantiation. The Anglican Reformers were clearly reacting against the late medieval popular view of the Eucharistic bread and wine as magical. George Herbert, the 17th-century Anglican priest-poet, has a couple of wonderful, witty poems about the Eucharist including one in which he says “whether bread do stay, or whether bread do fly away / Concerneth bread, not me.” The whole point of so many classical Anglicans like Herbert is this: whatever the manner of Christ’s presence in the consecrated elements, there is no benefit to the recipient without faith. The problem with the (older) RC view of transubstantiation is that it seems to want to nullify the role of faith and to substitute science and Aristotelian metaphysics in its place.

anglophile said...

cmwoodall, you might look into the book "The Body of Christ" by Bishop Gore, which is available over at cranmerandlaud.blogspot.com (Thanks Anglican Cleric) I am reading it and it is a very clear explanation of the Anglican position on the Eucharist, and relies heavily on the Fathers. Not exactly a Caroline Divine, but a it might suffice.

Canon Tallis said...

Again Father Hart proves that although no one has given him the title he is indeed the Canon Theologian of the Continuum. And I, for one, am very thankful that here we have a historically faithful exposition of Anglican theology.

poetreader said...

cmwoodall,

I think the point is actually pretty clear. There is not a question whether Christ is present in the Elements one receives, in which case there is not a question whther the Body and Blood of our Lord have passed into the body of one without faith, but has Christ been received by his spirit?

"...he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."

He may receive the Sacrament and the us the Real Presence into his body, but he does not by faith receive the living Christ into his very being, and does not receive the benefits of that Presence, but rather a condemnation.

ed

poetreader said...

A mighty AMEN to what Canon Tallis said.

ed

An Anglican Cleric said...

On this topic, please see my article on the Article concerning the wicked and reception of the Sacrament (cut and paste the following):

http://anglicancleric.blogspot.com/search?q=Article+XXIX

Steve Cavanaugh said...

But, in the 16th century, the Anglicans clarified what they rejected, both describing and rejecting a doctrine that the bread and wine changed physically into flesh and blood; that after consecration they in no way possessed the physical properties of bread and wine, but rather the physical properties of Christ's own flesh and blood, in the most carnal understanding of the substance of flesh and blood. Whether or not this was a correct understanding of Transubstantiation is beside the point, inasmuch as what Anglicans rejected was described in these terms.

Perhaps someone did believe that none of the physical properties of the bread and wine remained after the consecration of the elements, but that was never any kind of official teaching. Even growing up in the poor catechetical environment of 1970s Roman Catholicism in the US, I learned that the accidents, i.e., the physical properties of the bread and wine, were unaffected by the consecration. Saying that whether or not the doctrine of "Transubstantiation" was correctly identified matters not at all, is to say that it is acceptable to set up a straw man, knock it down, and then knock down all such as believe the doctrine truly identified by the term "Transubstantiation". Since it later became necessary to swear an oath against Transubstantiation in order to hold office, property or belong to the universities in England, it certainly was not beside the point whether Article XXVIII got things right.

The substance would no more be seen were the elements to be viewed through a microscope, than the humanity of a person would be seen were some human cells to be put on a slide and put under the lens. Substance is the essence, or the Form, of a thing. A dead body is no longer a person, as the Form, or Soul, has departed the flesh, but a recently dead corpse certainly bears great resemblance to the person. Substance is a spiritual reality. So the bread and wine, having been consecrated, continue to have the same "look and feel" because the physical properties haven't been altered; but the substance having been altered leads to very different results upon their consumption.

The "A Roman view" presented here seems to be a straw man. (Perhaps one could find a Roman Catholic to make this argument...but I could likely find an Anglican to make the "very, very, very modern Evangelical" argument as well. That this wouldn't be the true Anglican teaching I fully accept; I don't call every opinion expressed by an Anglican "Anglican doctrine"; why would someone treat the opinion of an individual Roman Catholic as the "Roman view"?) The Roman view is contained in the decrees of the council of Trent, and in particular, Article XXIX should be compared with the following:
CHAPTER VIII.
On the use of this admirable Sacrament.

Now as to the use of this holy sacrament, our Fathers have rightly and wisely distinguished three ways of receiving it. For they have taught that some receive it sacramentally only, to wit sinners: others spiritually only, those to wit who eating in desire that heavenly bread which is set before them, are, by a lively faith which worketh by charity, made sensible of the fruit and usefulness thereof: whereas the third (class) receive it both sacramentally and spiritually, and these are they who so prove and prepare themselves beforehand, as to approach to this divine table clothed with the wedding garment.

An Anglican Cleric said...

The segment taken from the Council of Trent is true--it is in accord with the teaching of Augustine and Aquinas. It is true because it is true, not because it was made at the Council of Trent.

The main sticking point for most Anglicans is the issue of whether the essence of bread and wine cease to be in the Sacrament, and this is what most will not affirm, for the church fathers stress that there are earthly and heavenly realities in the Sacrament. I do not believe the Anglican position (as stated in the Articles and the Anglican divines) is that far from the view held by most Roman theologians (esp the current Bishop of Rome), but Romans (mostly the EWTN type) likewise will set up strawmen arguments against the Articles, especially those where we say that the Body and Blood are 1) "given, taken, and received after a heavenly and spiritual manner," and that 2) "the wicked do not partake of the Body and Blood of Christ," and tell us that we 1) don't believe in the Real Presence, and 2) are receptionists, even when both of those aforementioned statements can be supported from statements made by Augustine and Aquinas, and even the council of Trent.

Roman Catholics, it seems, don't like being told what they believe. As you can see, neither do Anglicans. As Father Hart has demonstrated so well so many times, Anglicans--at least those who have studied the Anglican theology of the Prayer Book, Articles, and Anglican Fathers--can express in articulate ways what they believe.

I endorse Father Hart's role as canon theologian of The Continuum.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Steve Cavanaugh:

I never said that whether or not the Article presented a correct interpretation of "Transubstantiation," doesn't matter. I said it "is beside the point." What point? The point that I was addressing, namely, that Anglicans were not rejecting the Real Presence or sacramental grace, but, rather, they were correcting a false view. Furthermore, they actually made clear exactly what they rejected by including a brief definition in brackets: "Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord..." I like your point about essence and substance. I can even agree to a concept of spiritual substance as a transcendental reality.

The thrust of your comment only shows that Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism have more common ground, and more ecumenical potential, than religious polemicists want to believe. This is why I summarized a position set forth many years by the man who is now Pope Benedict XVI (and I have never hidden my admiration for him, as book reviews in Touchstone make clear, going back a few years and more recently).

It is not said in Article XXVIII that Rome is guilty of teaching the specific doctrine it rejects, or defining "Transubstantiation" in the carnal manner I described (the Council of Trent was far from over at that time). Their duty was to the people of the Church of England, to teach them and to care for their souls. Therefore, it was necessary to correct false doctrines believed by the people. This Article really never mentions the Church of Rome or the papal office.

What I put forward as "a Roman view" is not a straw man, but an accurate summary of arguments that certain Roman Catholics have made based solely on their own mis-reading of Article XXVIII. Frankly, I was subjected to that very thing only last week, attacked on another blog by a polemical sort of writer who used this mistaken argument, making the old, worn-out claim that Anglicans have always lacked the proper Intention regarding the priesthood in our Ordinal. Therefore, defending Anglicanism against this kind of mis-informed polemic is not setting up a straw man, but a reasonable defense both of our Faith and of our Orders (for the benefit of Anglicans, whose faith in their own sacraments comes under constant fire).

Your quotation under "chapter VIII" shows that I am not suffering from naive optimism, as my statement about common ground and ecumenical potential may suggest to some. I ask this question: Is not that quotation, and the doctrine it describes, entirely compatible with the above Anglican Article? "And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith."

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Fr Hart:

Thank you for your irenic reply. I certainly don't think you suffer from a naive optimism; if I didn't hold the same optimism I wouldn't spend nearly so much time reading the posts by you and your co-bloggers, as I do.

I do wonder why, given that the definition from Trent that I quoted was published by 1564, Article XXIX should have been withheld from promulgation until 1571, which most commentary I’ve read suggests was done because this particular article was seen as offensive to Roman Catholics. I would have thought that Article XXVIII would have been more problematic for Roman Catholics, since there seems so little difference between Article XXIX and Chapter VIII of Trent's 13th Session.

I'm still not convinced that Article XXVIII's condemnation of Transubstantiation (especially given the terse definition) was not a very large mistake. That it could be understood as you have explained it, and as it no doubt was understood by some doesn't remove the fact that many within the Anglican Church understood it far differently. And when recusants were asked to deny Transubtantiation, they were not asked to deny a long, nuanced paragraph that might not represent their actual concept. They were asked to deny whatever doctrine might be behind that term.

As you state, Rome isn’t specifically mentioned in the Article XXVIII. But as the Articles generally correct errors (at least from Cranmer’s view in his original 42 articles, and his editors view in the subsequent 39) held by Catholics or the incipient Puritan party (and the radical Protestants like the Anabaptists), whose beliefs, really, are being addressed other than Roman Catholics? Certainly not the Calvinists or Lutherans on the continent nor the Puritans at home!

While it is every pastor’s (and every parent’s) to strive to correct any errors in his charges’ ideas, Article XXVIII seems a heavy-handed way to do so, one that left things too ambiguous for later Christians. If what the Roman Church taught under the name of Transubstantiation (as defined by the Council of Trent in the early 1550s) is not what is being condemned, why use this technical term, rather than condemn the false beliefs directly?

an anglican cleric:

I didn’t cite the text from Trent thinking readers here would hold it to be true because it was defined at Trent — but because it definitively states the position of the Roman Church.

Certainly I know that Anglicans don’t like to be told what they believe. I hope I wouldn’t be so presumptuous. But there are times, especially in the past few weeks, when some posts have stated the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church incorrectly. Such posts (e.g., Canon Tallis's post under "Anglican and Unashamed" about Rome's being cut off from Catholicism and teaching a doctrine about Order that departs from the ancient Catholic doctrine) are controversialist, and do not so much expound and explain Anglican beliefs as denigrate Catholics. I don't think it's necessary or helpful...Continuing Churchmen have far more in common with Roman Catholics than they do with many Anglicans.

Please don't be too hard on the EWTN-types who have the wrong idea about Anglican beliefs...they likely got their ideas about what Anglicans believe from their Episcopalian neighbors, neither from their Catholic priests nor from studying the Articles and the writings of Cosin, Jewel, Laud, et al. After all, if I went by what my Protestant school friends told me, I'd have to testify that Protestant churches teach that one earns heaven by being a good person (I only had Mainline friends in school, no Evangelicals around these parts in those days).

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Steve Cavanaugh:

I did not think you would see my desire for greater Christian unity, by Anglican definition Catholic unity, as naive optimism; I was thinking of the polemical types out there.

What I see as compatible with Article XXVIII is the specific part that you quoted (Chapter VIII of the 13th Session). Receiving the sacrament in a worthy manner has everything to do with partaking of the sacrament with faith, and therefore partaking of Christ and his salvation by faith, instead of damnation by eating and drinking with presumption. Chapter VIII is compatible with the Anglican emphasis on reception with faith. Parts of the BCP actually teach the same thing, essentially, as Chapter VIII, with the difference that Anglicans allowed General Confession except when a Christian conscience is moved to go to a priest for private confession (stated very clearly in 1549, but still clear enough in the Exhortation in subsequent editions of the BCP).

The Cou8ncil of Trent used words such as "substance" and "veritable." Anglicans in the 1570s were not satisfied with this definition:

Session 13 of the Council of Trent: CHAPTER IV.
On Transubstantiation.

And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine,
a conversion is made of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.

In their ears this still sounded like a carnal definition.

I have posted part of Pope Benedict's chapter about Real Presence, quoting him directly. In it we see the kind of theological clarification that would have broken down the wall of separation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics about this one issue, Transubstantiation, if it had been better clarified in the 16th century.

Nonetheless, as I have said, the duty of the bishops in the C of E was first and foremost to teach their own people. Nonetheless, I have no doubt that they did indeed think of Rome as teaching the doctrine described by Anglicans in carnal terms, a crude material understanding. I mean only that teaching the English was the priority, rather than finding fault with Rome, per say.

It was not an age of ecumenical dialogue, but an age when "heretics" were executed, and wars were fought, over religion. Thank God that the worst weapons Christian hurl at each other are words. And, thank God that while some hurl words that way, others use them for communication- such as your blessed Pope.