Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gettin' a bit warm in here

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)

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ed:

I honestly cannot see that anyone in recent threads has been attacking Rome, evangelical Protestants, or any Christian denominations.

I think people are simply standing up for what we believe. We are standing up and saying that we believe classical Anglicanism is the best path, in our own opinions, to eternal life.

I personally agree with what The Rev. John Wesley said, in 1784: "I believe that there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety, than the COMMON PRAYER of the Church of England. And though the main of it was compiled more than two hundred years ago, yet is the language of it, not only pure, but strong and elegant in the highest degree."

If someone doesn't agree with what The Rev. Wesley said, then they probably should swim the Tiber. I don't say that to be mean either. I say it out of concern that every one should chose a church in which they truly believe.

Anglicanism is a prayerbook-based religion. The prayerbook is a seven day a week path for us to follow. The BCP isn't just a liturgy for Mass like the Novus Ordo or the Anglican Missal.

I myself in all of my posts in the last thread, made clear that I believe that Rome is teaching some truth, though their are parts of their additions to the faith that I just can't agree with at all.

Yet, personally, I just don't talk the talk of being one in Christ. I walk the walk. I worship with them in prayer and music. I participate in the Roman Church's parishes and invite them to participate in our Anglican parish. We are one in Christ, even though they are under the Bishop of Rome and we are not.

But the many RCC priests and laity that are my friends respect the fact the my opinion on certain issues is different than their opinion. Likewise I respect their right to believe as they do.

But in all honesty, and in good conscience, I don't believe it is wrong to discuss on a continuing Anglican blog, why we believe in Anglicanism. Those who don't believe in classical Anglican should really swim the Tiber if that is what they truly believe.

It is better to swim the Tiber than for them to stay where they are not in agreement. It is also better that they swim the Tiber rather than create dissention in classical Anglicanism. I personally respect anyone's right to change churches if they are happier after making the change.

BCP Catholic

Anonymous said...

If someone can truly say that they believe everything in the Cathechism of the Roman Catholic Church, I just don't understand how they can hesitate even one day without being confirmed by a Roman Bishop. How can someone live with their conscience believing the Roman faith and yet being part of an Anglican Church?

I believe in the Cathechism found in the 1928 BCP. I stand firm in classical Anglicanism.

But if I believed in the cathechism of the RCC, I would not wait even one day to join the RCC.

High Churchman

tdunbar said...

Thanks, Ed.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I guess I went too far in a recent comment about Rome, comparing her to an unattractive woman with a "social disease." Of course Rome has its good points too, and its martyrs to prove it. Sandra has also reminded me that the stated goal of Archbishop Hepworth is that he wants to preserve Anglican identity in some relationship with Rome. Off course, I cannot agree with the idea, and for reasons of some amount of doctrine, and self-destructive polity coupled with failure of genuine discipline in serious matters. Yes, these things must be considered. I see them as real factors awaiting resolution. And, I still think that we all would be better served if instead of looking outside, the unity of the Continuum would be the first priority.

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Hart wrote: "[T]he stated goal of Archbishop Hepworth is that he wants to preserve Anglican identity in some relationship with Rome. ... I still think that we all would be better served if instead of looking outside, the unity of the Continuum would be the first priority."

I must second his observations. Of course, if everything else were equal, it would be highly desirable for Anglicans to be in a state of mutual recognition and sacramental intercommunion with fully one-half of the rest of Christendom, which is what the Roman Communion is. Sadly, however, everything else is not equal, so for the moment we can only assuage our disappointment with the reflection that WE do in fact recognize the legitimacy of the Roman Church and, at need, WE are quite willing to administer the Sacraments to its members.

So we are half-way to mutual recognition and intercommunion. After all, it is ROME, not we, that refuses to recognize us and that (officially, although not in practice) would deny our members the Sacraments upon request.

In other words, we have already moved at least half-way, if not farther, toward Rome; Rome, on the other hand, has taken written overtures from us and, apparently, sat on some (i.e., from the TAC) and trashed others (i.e., from the ACC).

So a very real Roman disinterest in us must be added to the other divisive factors mentioned by Fr. Hart, such as "some amount of doctrine, and self-destructive polity coupled with failure of genuine discipline in serious matters." Again, despite these differences, we have reached out to Rome and, in return, Rome appears to have given us what Regency novelists call "the cut direct".

Pondering that, there just doesn't seem much more we can do about it except pray that grace will descend upon the situation. In the meantime, it might be salutary to look at Rome's situation with regard to its own minority of members who do not follow the dominant Latin Rite.

Although there are 21 of these alternative Rites, they seem to make up less thann 20% of the Roman Communion's membership. At least in Western Europe and North America, where the Irish-Italian "Latin Rite" is dominant, they are very much second class citizens. Very many "Latin Rite" R.C.s still do not even know they exist and, when they are aware of them at all, their understanding is hazy at best.

Then there is the despicable treatment handed out to them in the 1920s and '30s when, at the behest of the dominant Irish-Italian hierarchy, they were denied their fundamental right to have married parish clergy in North America. For older Byzantine Rite Catholics, this still rankles; for some of them, such as those who were formerly Ruthenian Catholics, it means they are now Eastern Orthodox.

This history just does not suggest that there will be an hospitable climate for those who wish to preserve an Anglican ethos under the Roman ombrellino. The fate of Canon Albert DuBois's followers, with their 8 isolated "Anglican Use" parishes that survive -- with only a semi-Anglican liturgy -- on the sufferance of local "Latin Rite" ordinaries, only seems to confirm that.

So, again, I second Fr. Hart's conclusion. Until Rome responds to our outreach to it, if it ever does, we should concentrate on achieving real unity among ourselves.

However, that unity cannot be built on mindless slogans such as "Let's all just get together". It will recall serious, respectful discussions of very substantive issues, something that, once begun, will take some considerable time. Just as the ACA/TAC is still waiting to hear from Rome, the ACC is still waiting to hear from the ACA/TAC....

John A. Hollister+

Fr Odhran-Mary TFSC said...

Unity in the Continuum?
Is anyone interested?
The Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen has been working for it since the '70s. At your last NATIONAL meeting we had maybe 30 attendees. Next week we meet in Wilmington, Delaware. Will you be there?

Anonymous said...

"Hooker is not infallible, the 39 Articles are not infallible, yea, the BCP is not infallible."

Ed, absolutely NO ONE in this discussion has ever suggested such a thing. You are not advancing your argument by throwing punches at straw men. Byut this is worse than that: by such a distortion of the comments of others (whom you do not name) you are in violation of a commandment ahainst "bearing false witness."

The issues raised by Fr Hart require tough logical thinking. Throbbing emotionalism is not helpful.
LKW

Anonymous said...

I have always felt that there is some truth in all legitimate Christian denominations. There is undoubtedly room for error in all Christian denominations including classical Anglicanism.

I think it is up to each of us to choose the path that we believe is the best path for us.

I chose the path of classical Anglicanism because of the Book of Common Prayer, and my strong belief in the validity of the same.

However, when I hear an continuum clergyman say that the prefer the Novus Ordo, or that they believe essentially everything in the Cathechism of the Roman Catholic Church, my heart aches for them that they do not have the courage to join the RCC.

If they really believe these things, then the RCC is the path that they should take.

Similarly, I feel that if the bishops and clergy of TAC feel that they must join the RCC, then I believe that they should do so without delay. The Anglican Use Provision is already in place to receive them.

I believe that religion is a very personal thing. It will never happen that all Christians in the world will unite under the Pope, nor should it happen that way, in my opinion.

However, we can, and should, be united as one in Christ in cooperation with each other, and love for each other, and forgivness for each other.

BCP Catholic

poetreader said...

Fr. Wells,

I'm not exercising hyperbole, nor am I making assumptions about what someone means. However, I am talking about what sure look like emotional reactions to those who do not think the Articles to be constitutive of Anglicanism and are put off by what they seem to say to the modern reader; as also to equally emotional reactions to those who, while they believe the BCP to be valid and fundamentally Catholic, see evidence that the changes went too far. I'm not in agreement with either of those views, but recognize that they are possible reactions when the documents are seen as indeed fallible. To rule out such expressions automatically is to ascribe infallibility, at least by indirection. These are matters legitimately to be discussed within Anglicanism.

In other words, it is easy to infer such sentiments in several of the comments. Father, it is unfitting of a priest to accuse one of false witness merely because he has understood things in a different way from you.

It is precisely to encourage rational discussion of these difficult issues that led to my post. The incessant noise of people calling each other names and attempting to shout each other down (or at least the appearance of all that) is both deafening and unedifying.

Now, let us discuss issues without rancor. Somehow, given the 30 year history of the Continuing Church and all the sniping of jurisdictions and individuals at one another, that does seem an awful lot to ask -- but we can start now.

ed

Anonymous said...

Ed, if you have any basis for the accusation that anyone is claiming infallibility for Hooker, the Articles, or the Prayer Book, you need to to document this with specific quotes. Otherwise it is a baseless accusation, which, as a priest I will tell you plainly once again, violates the the ninth commandment. If you cannot produce the evidence, then your article is just "more of the incessant noise" which you complain about.

Facts, Ed, facts! Your constant emoting has become tiresome.
LKW

Anonymous said...

As someone outside of the Continuum and still clinging on within the Canterbury Communion, I have to say that I can accept and appreciate those who feel that that classic Anglicanism should be upheld and defended apart from Rome and those who wish to see if Anglican essentials can be preserved and continued within a relationship of full communion with the Holy See.

What is more, I would even go as far to say that these different stances also benefit those of us who are still unsure of 'which way to go'. If the TAC's moves create a corporate Anglican / Roman option then many Anglo-catholics in the CofE may find great encouragement in this. If not, then the ACC and TAC can provide a powerful witness to those of us who have struggled to believe that classic Anglican faith and practice can stand apart from official structures that have lost their way.

Yes, I do think that unity within the Continuum should be high on everyone's agenda, but at least when TAC does hear back from Rome, we can all be a little clearer about what the future might hold.

Fr Edward

poetreader said...

Father, may I respectfully ask that you read what I have written, carefully. I never claimed, in fact denied it to be the case, that anyone was ascribing infallibility to Anglican sources, but rather that it certainly looks that way sometimes. Any failure to ascribe ultimate authority to thee sources elicits an emotional reaction coupled with either ascriptions of ignorance or of having sold out to Rome.

Can I quietly assert that Hooker might sometimes be wrong, or that the Articles are not 100% right on, without being accused of disloyalty to Anglicanism? I've often been made to feel that I cannot, and that gets tiresome.

Please, Father, instead of accusing others of tiresome emoting, examine your own reactions. I'm pleading for a calm and rational discussion of issues. What I see is personalities and angers. Fr. Hart has put a lot of effort into expressing the heart of Anglicanism. I don't necessarily accept his every conclusion, nor does he accept every one of mine. It seems extremely unfortunate that every such post of his elicits all sorts of denunciations of various persons or groups. That is the primary barrier to really discussing these issues.

With a bit less bile, I'd be able to hear the wise things you say more clearly, for you do express a lot of wisdom -- but the denunciatory way of expression makes it hard to hear. Yes, I grant that I too fall into that trap, and I work hard to overcome such a fault -- but it's something we all need to do or serious issues won't get meaningfully discussed.

ed

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Fathers and brethren,

If you'll allow an interloping Roman to make an observation, Ed's characterization of some posts seeming to imply an infallibility or near Scriptural status to theologians such as Hooker is not far from the mark. Many comments have seemed that way to me, and I'm not completely ignorant of Anglican history and theology. I've followed your discussions here for a couple of years, often to great profit. But the attitude that seems to lurk behind some of the posts can be offputting; and if Ed, who is a member of a Continuing Church, thinks so, then all the more so to someone like myself.

That said, I'd like to address a few other points in this thread. Fr. Hollister's long passage has much to commend it, but I would say, in reference to the history of the Eastern Catholics in the U.S., that it is in fact a new era; the number of Anglican Use parishes is small, and the lack of a hierarchy for them is a problem—but most are doing well, and those that did not usually did for internal reasons, not because of the Latin bishop.

It is because of this provision that I am able to put my substantial, long-standing agreement with John Wesley's sentiment, which BCP Catholic quoted, into action and worship using the ancient cadences of the Prayer Book regularly, all the while in communion with the see of Rome.

But in defense, at least of Roman Catholic practice, while the Missal is a liturgy for only Mass, few Catholics who own a missal would only own a missal; most would also own a regularly used prayerbook or breviary and a rosary; these days, there's probably a Bible there too! The Roman way is just as much a seven day per week way; the convenience of the BCP in its one volume (and of course, it really can't be used as one volume, you do need a Bible to follow the lectionary) is a real value, but many of us Romans have been carrying around and using office books, or missals with other devotions included for years. But, as we all know, the plural of anecdote isn't data :)

To conclude, for those who are confounded by some people's being in substantial agreement with the Roman see and yet remaining Anglican, I offer my reflection on today's lesson in morning prayer from 1 Kings 18 (in the BDW); Obadiah is a faithful servant of Ahab, Israel's king, and yet is also a faithful servant of the Lord. He obeys the Law, but also upholds his nation and its king. Should Obadiah have decamped for Judah? Nothing in the text suggests that; yet he did not exactly fit in in Ahab's court. We, all of us, are in like situation in the divided communions into which we were born.

Steve Cavanaugh

Anonymous said...

I think "ignorance and selling out to Rome"is an accurate description of the TAC's College of Bishops' approach to Rome.I usually find Poetreader's posts to be very good but in this case LKW's scrutiny of Poetreader's remarks is spot on.We need less emotion and no hyperbole.I agree with those who have said that working for unity amongst Continuers and the faithful remnant within the impaired Church(the Canterbury Communion) should be the first step towards reunion with Rome and or the East.It would be a great help if more of the traditional Anglican leaders were involved in the talks with Rome than just the TAC leadership.I also doubt the varying claims about the the size of the TAC's membership.A larger, united traditional Anglican group involved in ecumenical talks would likely be taken more seriously and hopefully produce better results.

Jack Miller said...

As one who has been a Christian since my college days (early 70's) and who has recently come to Anglicanism from Evangelicalism, I have read the posts here at the Continuum for several years. My observation of Father Hart in this most current essay, and by in large most of his essays and sermons, is summed up in Jude 1:3
" Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
Earnestly contending, i.e. seriously striving for in debate the faith once delivered seems to me to be Father Hart's burden... and prayer for the Church. The faith must be fought for. And for it to be fought for it must be understood. And for it to be understood one cannot assume it is understood, for it too easily can slip away as we add or subtract from it in our own mind's eye (as history sadly bears out). Thus the charge given in ordination to a priest is to be "a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy Sacraments..."
Additionally, it seems to me that Father Hart believes that Anglicanism best represents that "faith once delivered." Therefore his explanation and defense of those teachings from Cranmer forward is true to St. Jude's exhortation.
So I receive food... the food which is the faith once delivered, through what is taught and shared here by many. Thank you for bearing with my comments.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Ed Pacht: "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."

Lot of "ifs" there. BTW, I have read of EO's who regard Catholics and Protestants as gross heretics.

Anyways, my two cents is that I'm perfectly okay with Continuers, RCC's, EO's, and Conservative Prots to heap scorn and derision on LibProts and Emergers.

The RCC and the EO should be grateful that they don't have a liberal wing to deal with.

Anonymous said...

"I can't abide those who are simply dismissive," [well, I have seen signs of such] "but neither can I abide [listen to the love] a slavish submission to them as if they were Scripure." Another strawman.

Such "slavish submission" to classical formularies MAY be found in certain Calvinist or Lutheran groups, but I have surely not seen it amongst Anglicans.
LKW

Fr. Steve said...

Fr. Hart said: "And, I still think that we all would be better served if instead of looking outside, the unity of the Continuum would be the first priority."

I agree with this sentiment. I think we need to have our own house in order before we approach anyone else. I think the TAC jumped the gun. We should be trying to unify the Continuum so that we have one face for the world to see, instead of several.

Anonymous said...

I wish to express that I have nothing but the greatest respect for the Anglican Use Provision. I don't think it is kind or respectful for anyone in the continuum to attack it for being small, as we are quite small ourselves.

I think that the Anglican Use Society has some very dynamic parishes that are prospering. I feel that we should pray for them each day that God will continue to bless them.

While I am a Prayerbook Catholic, and am not a Anglo-Papist, I personally believe that the Anglican Use Provision is a gracious and welcoming provision for those who are Anglo-Papists to join the RCC.

It does require one to give up status, and join with humility; but that is what Christ requires when we come to Him - that we come with humility.

I believe that in time we may well see the Angican Use Provision extended beyond the United States to Anglicans around the world.

To my way of thinking, if someone truly believes in the Cathechism of the RCC, they should join the RCC. The BOOK OF DIVINE WORSHIP, Rite 1, is nearly identical to the services in the continuum in which the Anglican Missal is used.

If there isn't an Anglican Use parish in their area, the should join the Anglican Use Society and help to begin an Anglican Use mission effort in their area. It can begin with something as simple as Evensong in the chapel of an RCC parish and grow from there.

If TAC feels that they must be in communion with Rome to be in good conscience, I wish them the best in their request. However, I think they might have been more successful to join through the Anglican Use Society. I suspect if they had approached through the Anglican Use Society, they would already be in communion with the Pope, which is what they seek.

BCP Catholic

Alice C. Linsley said...

Can we all agree that to be Christian it is essential to be catholic?

We can then identify the features of catholic faith and practice and in doing so will find the basis for our unity.

It seems that Protestants have set aside many of the features of catholic faith and practice and this has caused Protestantism to slide into modernism and constant self-invention to accomodate the culture. We have seen this in recent history in TEC. It happens also among evangelicals who take a marketing approach to evangelism.

poetreader said...

Well, depending on definition, I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. I would say, however, that without sacraments and the essentials of the Catholic Faith it is difficult at best to be a healthy Chriustian, and very, very difficult to remain one.

ed

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Alice Linsley: "We can then identify the features of catholic faith and practice and in doing so will find the basis for our unity."

I know one feature. And it's saying no to WO.

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Odhran-Mary TFSC asked, "Unity in the Continuum? Is anyone interested? The Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen has been working for it since the '70s. At your [our?] last NATIONAL meeting we had maybe 30 attendees. Next week we meet in Wilmington, Delaware. Will you be there?"

Answer: No, I will not. While I am, and will always be, profoundly grateful to the FCC for its organizing the Congress of St. Louis, that Congress created a new situation when it launched a new church jurisdiction (which now, of course, exists in three "branches").

In this post-1977/1978 situation, I do not see that a parachurch organization, such as the FCC, has a particularly useful role to play in achieving real unity. Now that those three St. Louis "branches" (note the lower case initial letter, for we are not here speaking about the post-1054 Branches) have been wound up and set going to move under their own power, it is time for them to deal directly and substantively awith each other, as actual church organizations, not to try to shadowbox with each other through the curtain of an unofficial, multi-jurisdictional entity of variagated loyalties and objectives.

John A. Hollister+

poetreader said...

I'd pretty well concur with Fr. Hollister.

ed

Fr. Steve said...

Alice said...

Can we all agree that to be Christian it is essential to be catholic?

We can then identify the features of catholic faith and practice and in doing so will find the basis for our unity.

It seems that Protestants have set aside many of the features of catholic faith and practice and this has caused Protestantism to slide into modernism and constant self-invention to accomodate the culture. We have seen this in recent history in TEC. It happens also among evangelicals who take a marketing approach to evangelism.


Ed said...

Well, depending on definition, I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. I would say, however, that without sacraments and the essentials of the Catholic Faith it is difficult at best to be a healthy Chriustian, and very, very difficult to remain one.

ed

What I find to be true of Protestants (and I came from Protestantism) is that they make an attempt to mimick the sacraments without actually calling them the sacraments. They have some of the exact same practices as most Catholics do, they just speak a different language and understand it differently.

Of course, I do agree that their attempt to be relevant to the society around them tends to water down their faith.

I don't think I can agree that it is essential to be Catholic to be Christian. I think it is essential to love Christ and serve him, and in that you are Christian. The rest is semantics. Most of my family are still Charismatics (including my wife).

We (my wife and I) have found the beauty in a Catholic way of worship, and the Prayer Book helps with that. It gives focus where before we had to look to some devotional for that. But being Catholic doesn't define our relationship with Christ. Our love for Christ gives us that. Being Catholic simply provides the discipline.

One last thing, and its on what John Hollister (should there be a Fr. in front of that? I forget.) said. If you look at the ACC/APCK/UECNA at the moment, you have Priests from one jurisdiction serving in others, or covering churches of the other when Priests are out of town or unavailable. You have Bishops in all of the three jurisdictions stepping in to make Episcopal visits for Bishops on the other side of the country. There is unity there, whether there is corporate unity or not.

What we need to work towards is getting that unity between more than just those three jurisdictions. We have to work through all the bitterness. Sadly, I think it will take my own generation to set this right, provided there is a Continuum left for us to work with.

Anonymous said...

Alice, I do not think you really meant to say this:

"Can we all agree that to be Christian it is essential to be catholic?"

If you add a qualifier such as "Christian in the fullest sense," I could accept your statement. But my Baptist and Presbyterian friends are surely Christian, both in what they believe about Jesus Christ and in how their lives reveal the working of His grace. But your statement as written implies that non-Catholics are non-Christians, which simply is not the case. I do not think you meant to say that.
LKW

Anonymous said...

As far as the Catechism of the Catholic Church is concerned, only 2% (check the math yourself) deals with Papal Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception.

Out of the 98% left are there that many barriers?

What value is there in our Blessed Lord's wish that we all be one?

How does that value compare with the relative value of the self proclaimed anglican purity? Is holding out for this notion of anglican purity of belief of greater value that unity? What is so dangerous to salvation or spiritual health that opposing unity is more well received by God?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Merrily on High

RC Cola said...

I know this is late, but I just caught it...

"Truth Unites...and Divides" said:
The RCC and the EO should be grateful that they don't have a liberal wing to deal with.

What alternate universe are you living in?

I say this not to truly insult you, but to give you a good natured ribbing. Seriously, the RCC has been overtaken by the liberal wing since even before Vatican II.

Back then they were called "Modernists" and they had to run for cover. Now we call them Bishops and they abuse the faithful and the Church with impunity.

Even Benedict XVI was once considered a radical leftist, back when he was a peritus at Vatican II. Now he is considered an arch-reactionary. He basically wrote many of the V2 documents with the help of his then-friends, Hans Kung, Hans Urs von Balthesar, Yves Congar, Karl Rahner, etc.

The RCC is not traditional or conservative by any stretch of the imagination. Traditionalists account for about 1% of the RCs worldwide. They have four bishops, all of whom are considered illicit. The odds are against them. Even so-called conservative bishops like Chaput in Denver, Dolan in NYC, or Olmstead in Phoenix would never have been named bishops 100 years ago because they would have been deemed as dangerous liberals. Like Benedict XVI, they are scorned as being reactionaries.

There is a de facto, but not de juris schism in the RCC. You have a Pope who is trying to clean up the administrative mess left behind by John Paul II, trying to clean up the liturgical mess left by Paul VI, and trying to rein in the theological mess unleashed unwittingly by John XXIII.

It is Benedict, a dozen or two decent cardinals and bishops, thousands of good priests and a million or so truly faithful against a Marxian curia, hundreds of bad cardinals and bishops, thousands upon thousands of bad or simply lazy priests, and nearly a billion totally clueless or even openly defiant laypeople.

In your defense, perhaps you didn't recognize that the RCC had a liberal wing, because without a visible conservative wing, the liberal one was impossible to identify as such.

Now if this last 50 years doesn't destroy the RCC completely and they actually recover from this current trial, then they may really have a point when they say that the Holy Spirit protects the Church and that the Gates of Hell will never prevail against it. Because the way it looks like right now, Satan is taking measurements for a new set of gates he is ready to install.

poetreader said...

Merrily on High,

I find your comment to be unpleasantly dismissive. Is the fact that I agree with almost everything in the CCC sufficient reason to force me to affirm something that I regard as absolutely false? If I am convinced that even one single element of the basic constitution of the RCC is in opposition to Scripture, universal Tradition, and the testimony of history, would it not be lying hypocrisy for me to affirm that very doctrine? Papal infallibility, even if rarely invoked, is simply not an unimportant detail that could be compromised away, but such a constitutional provision. If it were 1/2 of 1% of the Catechism, it is still basic enough to form a serious obstacle. Either it is true or is it not. Now you can try to convince me of its truth -- if you were to succeed a major obstacle would be gone. But don't tell me to just shrug my shoulders because it's only one point. I can't do that without sin.

ed

Anonymous said...

Ed -

So I take it that you place a lower value on our Blessed Lord's wish for unity than on the possibility of affirming something that might not be true.

Your feelings, first, our Blessed Lord's second?


Merrily on High

Anonymous said...

Ed -

It is interesting that you shared what you thought, but did not bother to even attempt to answer the questions I posed.

Could you give those a spin? I am curious how you would approach them.


Merrily on High

poetreader said...

Merrily

I'm shocked! Are you really advocating unity at any cost? The authors of the CCC would not agree with you. Among other things they would refuse unity with me because I have a different view of the papacy than they do. Do you think for one second that Our Lord wants the kind of unity that is built on insincerity? That is not unity at all.

I did not answer any questions because you did not ask any actual questions, but rather attempted to lay traps to make discussion of issues impossible. Our Lord's desire for unity is a desire that we learn how to be one, not that we pretend to be one, nor that we browbeat one another into submission.

How would I approach the questions as you asked them?
I wouldn't.

Do not try to make me ashamed that I don't agree with you. If you wish to convince me of something, go for it. I enjoy a rational discussion, but you seem to be telling me that I need to accept Rome's authority because Rome says I should. Nonsense. That is completely circular. You see, I could just as easily say that Rome has it almost right, but that Rome needs to change those 'little' matters so that unity can come. It works just as well from my side -- unless the issue of who is right is settled on its own merits.

If you have reasonable arguments to make, you are very welcome to make them here. If all you have is sarcasm, that's not helpful in the search for truth, and silence would be far better.

ed

John A. Hollister said...

"Merrily on High" replied to Ed Pacht's comment that even one untrue provision in Rome's basic constitution would make it impossible to accept that constitution, "So I take it that you place a lower value on our Blessed Lord's wish for unity than on the possibility of affirming something that might not be true.
Your feelings, first, our Blessed Lord's second?"

My two questions to "Merrily on High" are these:

1. On what do you base your evident belief that Our Lord wished us to achieve unity on a foundation of falsehood? Do you believe that He, who is supposed to be the ground of Truth, is instead the Father of Lies?

2. It was Rome that severed its tie to us, not we who departed from Rome. Why then is it not Rome that should compromise its post-schism accretions in order to reunify with us, rather than we who should compromise our pre-schism beliefs, which we share with all the rest of Catholic Christendom, in order to reunite with Rome?

John A. Hollister+
Veriword: "biness"

poetreader said...

a word of explanation. I just rejected and discarded a comment, not because I disagreed, though I did, but because it contributed nothing at all to rational argument, but merely a gratuitous ad hominem insult. Argumentation we welcome here. Bullying we do not.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Merrily wrote:

Out of the 98% left are there that many barriers?

Of course, that little bit includes a claim to universal authority, and also absolute infallibility. So then, a few words to demand that we yield absolute obedience to one See, and the right to question any doctrine that may be invented at any time in the future, has been stated briefly. Well, let's hear it for brevity.

If I agree on 98 points with my neighbor, but then he raises 2 points to the effect that he gets to run my family's affairs (as if he never mucked up his own family's affairs-like sexual child abuse), and that his opinion can never be questioned, I would settle for the 98% agreement, and wish him a pleasant life on his own side of the fence. I might then be glad for the fence.

Also, let us not pretend that only the papacy is at issue. As Fr. Wells has pointed out in the past, so too is the issue of justification, about which the CCC is weak. I, for one, cannot accept the doctrine of [punative] Purgatory and Indulgences based on the Treasury of Merit, even in their modern forms; for both conflict with the sufficiency of Christ's once for all sacrifice (even though the CCC also affirms it on the same exact page; but they are bound to contradict the genuine Catholic Tradition to keep their own traditions; the burden of an "infallible" erroneous precedent).