After a couple of recent posts I've got to speak out. While I've been very open in expressing my discomfort at some of the ways in which the approach to Rome by my jurisdiction has been going, and more than a little nervousness at how it might proceed, and while I appreciate Fr. Hart's witness to the special place of Classic Anglicanism in preserving a very Patristic Catholicism, I have to take exception to some of what has been posted here lately.
Hooker is not infallible, the 39 Articles are not infallible, yea, the BCP is not infallible. We do not make the same kind of claims for our authorities that Rome makes for the Pope and the 'magisterium'. That's why I am not RC. If we indeed did make such exclusive claims, I'd have trouble remaining here. Yes, we need to have the highest respect for these classic expressions. We need to listen to them carefully (and to know them in order to listen); and we need to avoid dismissing any of the content lightly -- BUT they are not beyond question. I can't abide those who are simply dismissive, but neither can I abide a slavish submission to them as if they were Scripture.
Is TAC correct in the approach it has been taking? That is certainly a legitimate question, and I am not entirely certain how to answer it. Is it wrong to indicate substantial agreement with the RC Catechism? I don't think so. There is little there that I have a problem with. Does that replace our historic formularies or eliminate the role of our classic divines? Does substantial agreement necessarily mean entire agreement? I do not believe so, and I do not believe our bishops do either. Those few parishes where only the RC Catechism is used are indeed in error, at least through the appearance given, but that is not true of very many places.
With all due respect, I believe what we have here is just another example of what is going to kill Continuing Anglicanism if we don't just plain cut it out -- and that is our incessant sniping at one another, our willingness to go beyond mere lack of agreement on issues to the point of denying one another's legitimacy. I am heartily sick of this. Perhaps the principal meaning of Jesus' High Priestly Prayer is that we really are one in Him -- I believe that to be true -- but doesn't it seem that we should act like it? I'm constantly appalled at the attitudes I witness all around me, including in some for whom I have high respect.
ACC and TAC are not enemies, not if they are both Christian. Anglicans and Romans are not enemies, not if they are both Christian. Anglicans and Evangelical Protestants are not enemies, not if they are both Christian. Reading recent posts would seem to belie all that.
Please, everybody, Fathers, brothers and sisters, let us learn how to disagree in obvious loving fellowship, OK?
ed pacht (poetreader)