This came via email by an "Anglican Friend of God":
An anonymous commentator calling himself ‘Father’ writes the following on the Anglo-Catholic blog:
It seems to boil down to what one thinks the Anglican patrimony consists. The anti-AC-cabal seems to think Rome wants to annihilate this patrimony. But what is this patrimony they so desire to maintain? I don’t think I’m a lone Anglican voice in expressing that the dearest patrimonies are:
1. The AV
2. The Coverdale Psalter
3. “Cranmerina” English
(Some might add membership to the country club.)
What else of our unique Anglican identity does not Rome already embrace?
What an astonishing reduction. The Anglican patrimony consists of a prose style and nothing more: perhaps not even the Book of Common Prayer!
The sad thing is that ‘Father’ probably has gained little more from the Anglicanism which he claims as his own. We fear that ‘Father’ is not apt to learn, but we will try nonetheless, if only to help some of those who might find themselves reading this.
What is the Anglican patrimony? Here are some parts of an answer.
1. George Herbert. The piety and devotion and art of Herbert are distinctively Anglican. The superiority of Herbert’s inspiration can be seen by comparing him to another priest-poet, Richard Crashaw, who preceded the TAC down the Anglican-to-Rome trail by about four centuries. Crashaw’s poetry is baroque and empurpled, full of Counter-Reformation piety and questionable taste. Yet for all Crashaw’s uninhibited, Catholic sensibility, his verse is much less inventive than Herbert’s in form, in vocabulary, and in imagination. Most readers who spend time with both poets will agree that Herbert is Crashaw’s superior in almost every respect. Crashaw stands for a hothouse kind of devotion and piety which flourish in the Roman Catholic world and not in Anglicanism. Herbert stands for the restrained, but nonetheless deeply felt and deeply moving, faith of Anglicanism at its best, and for all the art inspired thereby. Take Herbert as a synecdoche for a large swathe of our patrimony in poetry, music, architecture, and literature.
2. An emphasis on a strong and achievable lay piety. Roman Catholicism tended to develop a bifurcated piety and morality, with one set of standards for the clergy (the Counsels of Perfection; mandatory clerical celibacy; a Daily Office not realistically open to busy layfolk; etc.) and another for the laity (many rules stating minimum obligations below which the laity were not to fall; concessions to the lower capacities of laity; emphasis on avoidance of sin rather lay sanctity). The Prayer Book and Anglicanism in general set a more uniform standard, which at its best embraces a kind of integrated, Benedictine vision of work and prayer and family life. Any Anglican layman can say the Prayer Book Offices, find a realistic model for his life in the clergy, and believe that he is fulfilling the whole duty of man rather than pursuing a second-class vocation. The bifurcated piety and morality of old Roman Catholicism are now out of fashion, but still can be seen in the rank clericalism of Roman parish life and of the Roman bureaucracies.
3. Anglican rectory life. English life and civilization and Anglican life in general are heavily influenced by the clerical home and are enriched by the children of rectories and vicarages. (See previous point for a related idea.) Think, say, of Jane Austen as the product of a rectory. Or think of the ‘high priestly’ clans: the Knoxes, the Temples, the Bensons. Or, taking another path to the same conclusion, since Mr. Arabin did not topple over into the pool of Rome in the end, think of his domestic life with Eleanor Harding Bold - and think of the children they undoubtedly had and of what those children undoubtedly achieved.
4. The sermons of Lancelot Andrewes. The devotion and piety of Andrewes include an avoidance of sterile theological debate, an embrace of the Fathers, a deeply sacramental and emblematic view of the world, and an eschewal of doctrinal innovation. There are of course fine Roman Catholic sermons (think Bossuet) - but nothing approaching Andrewes in English.
5. A conservative but not fundamentalist theological spirit. An irenic temper that can be found, but not commonly, among Roman Catholic theologians. A strong theory of adiaphora without doctrinal reductionism. A contrary spirit of innovation seems to be at work everywhere in the Roman Catholic Church these days. Forget the doctrine of the papal office itself, or the Marian doctrines, or even the proposed enormity of our Lady as the Mediatrix of All Grace. The spirit of innovation is evident in much simpler and more easily understood matters. What Church Father gives support for girl acolytes, female lectors, meat on Fridays, or lay administration of Holy Communion? Yet Rome permits such things and many similar.
6. Auden. Eliot. Ken. Law. Swift. Mascall. Trollope. Donne. Hooker. C.S. Lewis. Dorothy Sayers. Charles Williams The English Hymnal. Kenneth Kirk. Austin Farrer. English cathedral and collegiate choirs. Gothic Revival. Etc., etc.
7. Or since an Anglo-papalist asks the question, we might explain the Anglican patrimony by thinking how very little is left to the Roman Catholic Church in the English-speaking world once you subtract the Anglican converts: Cardinal Newman and Cardinal Manning; S. Elizabeth Seton; G.M. Hopkins; Crashaw; Ronald Knox; Father Faber; G.K. Chesterton; Evelyn Waugh. Etc., etc.
Need we go on?
– Theophilus Anglicanus
The silly comment that he has answered so well with this list (not exhaustive, not meant to be) expresses the level of understanding we expect to see on that blog. It is very easy to throw away a treasure if one does not recognize it, or to discard something for which one has never worked. Understanding the riches we have does take some work, reading and learning. We cannot understand the lack of appreciation by those who speak of a "450 year-old experiment...[that] has failed," or who define Anglicanism as "English culture." No wonder they think AC is meant to preserve Anglican riches - they haven't got a clue.
For the first time in a very long while, I agree with everything in a post on this blog. And to seek the full communion of the Catholic Church in unity with the Holy See does not mean that we have to sacrifice any of these glories of the Anglican patrimony in their essentials.
Iten 6. could have gone on almost forever and should extend backwards to those Celtic saints before the arrival of St. Augustine of Canterbury right through the great 14th century English mystics all of whom reinforce all the rest. Anglicanism created England and the English form of government; it also created the United States by reinforcing the ideal of "perfect freedom" at every celebration of Morning Prayer.
I loved this. We do so little blowing of our horn
Good grief...that "Father" who posted that sadly redacted version of the Anglican patrimony - has he completely forgotten about Richard Hooker? Bishop Jeremy Taylor? Bishop Lewis Bayly?
I can only surmise that if he WAS conversant with the true DEPTH of the Anglican patrimony he might not have posted what he did.
I am glad that Anglo-Catholic (i.e. Mr. Campbell) values these things, and I find it painful to be in constant debate. I must observe, however, that the entire leaning of his blog and his jurisdiction is in "Father's" direction. I do not see any evidence in them that Anglican Patrimony is valued or even understood, and cannot help but observe much to the opposite effect.
If the "Anglican patrimony" (as summed up by "Father") amounts to so little, what is the point of preserving it? And does Mr Campbell know the difference between an "Anglo-Catholic" and a "Former Anglican"? And does the "Anglican Patrimony" include the splendid Latinity of Saepius Officio?
This new jargonistic phrase "Anglican patrimony" bears some scrutiny, inasmuch as many of our Divines from the 16th century until Abp Geoffrey Fisher have stoutly declared that we have "no faith of our own." As some RC's and the current crop of Tiber-swimmers use the phrase, it sounds like some distant relative is moving into the home and they have to make room for a few odd antiques.
Seems to me much ado over some very un-critical reading on the part of Theophilus Anglicanus, seconded and thirded by Fr. Hart and Mr. Campbell respectively; men who pride themselves on an eagle-eye for detail.
"Father" said (emphasis in CAPS):
"I don’t think I’m a lone Anglican voice in expressing that the DEAREST patrimonies are:"
1. The AV
2. The Coverdale Psalter
3. “Cranmerina” English
(Some might add membership to the country club.)
WHAT ELSE OF OUR UNIQUE ANGLICAN IDENTITY DOES NOT ROME ALREADY EMBRACE?"
Obviously, the "country club" thing was a joke, but does Theophilus Anglicanus imply that his listing is more DEAR than "Father’s” list. The men he lists were formed by the AV, Coverdale and Cranmerian turns of phrase. Could we have Herbert et al. without these crown jewels? The assumption that "Father" (or Roman Catholics, viz. the Pope) don't hold those folk Theophilus Anglicanus lists in the highest esteem is a rash and uncharitable assumption.
And it is this spirit of assuming that makes the present situation (re the AC) so acrimonious. Mountains are made out of valleys and friends are seen as enemies.
The industrious and accomplished Anonymous writes:
but does Theophilus Anglicanus imply that his listing is more DEAR than "Father’s” list.
I see. So, what do you make of the next line, which echoes the immortal fine' words of Porky Pig?
What else of our unique Anglican identity does not Rome already embrace?
Speaking of Mr Campbell's "eagle eye for detail," perhaps he overlooked the bit in today's edition of The Former Angican
describing Richard Hooker as a "Caroline Divine." Blessed Richard Hooker died in 1600, fully a quarter of a century before the accession of Charles I. The entire article is a farrago of half-baked history and weak theology. Whatever these Tiber-swimmers bring to the Roman table, it will not be scholarly strength. They are not the sort of Anglican clergy who earned the soubriquet "Stupor Mundi."
I think what Father was trying to state in his post as these were the three main things worth keeping in our Anglican Tradition as we seek to be united with the Holy Roman Church. I have a great respect for Herbert, Andrews, Hooker, Grafton, et al. I find the daily office in the BCP to be a wonderful creation as it makes the daily office accessible to both the clergy and the laity. These will remain part of our tradition even as we reunite with the Holy Roman Church. What I think Father was alluding to was that he and I will not miss all of the protestant crap that has dogged Anglicanism for so many years. I will not miss the ambiguity of the BCP communion rite. I will not miss the disunity that exists from parish to parish. The every rector and bishop as a pope concept will also be but down as we will be unified with the Holy See on all matters of Faith and morals. We are seeking to repair the church from 5 centuries of protestant heresy and damage and not to create an Anglo-Jansenist church that will die out in a generation.
El Capitan wrote:
I will not miss all of the protestant crap that has dogged Anglicanism for so many years.
Protestant crap? If you mean modern things like WO, it is not inherently Protestant, just stupid. If you mean the Reformed English theology that restored the doctrine of the Bible and the Fathers of the Church, then your dismissal of it is your loss. I am glad to be both Protestant and Catholic at one and the same time. That is the only way to be truly Catholic.
I will not miss the ambiguity of the BCP communion rite...
Frankly, I am sick and tired of that idiotic myth. If there was any such ambiguity in the Communion Rite I might sympathize. As it is, I see you have fallen for the kind of propaganda that requires a lack of education and reading comprehension. Typical Anglo-Papalist non-sense.
I will not miss the disunity that exists from parish to parish. The every rector and bishop as a pope concept will also be but down...
I have been an Anglican since 1958, and I have never run into any such thing anywhere ever at all. Perhaps you have confused us with the Baptists (or maybe you are in one of those weird jurisdictions that we do not recognize).
We are seeking to repair the church from 5 centuries of protestant heresy and damage and not to create an Anglo-Jansenist church that will die out in a generation.
1. Obviously, you need to read my essays, you need to read Fr. Tarsitano's book, and you need freedom from the thorough Anglo-Papalist brainwashing that reveals its influence in your particular brand of ignorance.
2. Your reference to "an Anglo-Jansenist church" in the context of the Continuing Church reveals that you do not know what the word "Jansenist" actually means.
3. I cannot speak for the Canterbury crowd, nor for the TAC and other Continuing jurisdictions; but, the Anglican Catholic Church is spreading like wildfire in the world, and shows no signs of dying out in a generation. We note, however, the obvious hostility and wish that such language expresses.
Anglican Theophilus says:
Jansenism was a heresy in the Roman Catholic, not Anglican, Church. Jansenism deeply affected both the Irish RC Church and, because of the importance of Irish clergy in the U.S., the U.S. RC Church. Jansenism is a form of puritanism, and as such is about as contrary to the spirit and essence of Anglicanism as one can imagine. One could argue that the central influence on Elizabethan and 17th century Anglicanism was the battle against puritanism in all its forms. It is true that the Gallican Church which harbored Jansenism had affinities with the Church of England - but that was more a matter of anti-papalism, national politics, and moral seriousness than an essential doctrinal agreement. If Anglo-papalists are looking to detect modern Jansenism, the ACC and the Continuing Church in general are not the place to begin. They had better go back to calling us Donatists than Jansenists.
As for the idea that the glories of Anglicanism have now been embraced by, and may be safely consigned to preservation in, the Church of Rome: well, we shall see. It is difficult for me to imagine Rome encouraging a deeply sympathetic reading of Hooker's Laws or his sermon on justification, Andrewes' polemic against Bellarmine, Donne's digs at papalism, or Mascall's ecclesiology, Do the folks at The Anglo-Catholic really think Anglican rectory life will flourish in the Ordinariates? Really? The sympathy Anglicans often encounter from Uniates arises, I think, from the Uniate experience of grievance against and incomprehension from the Latin Church. Yet the Uniates have behind them the larger Churches in their motherlands. Does anyone really think the new Ordinariates will fare better? Unfortunately there is a history of Anglican convert clergy in the RCC, and it is not happy. Though of course that is not what you will hear from recent converts - most of whom never really knew or loved classical Anglicanism from within. (A convert trained in the 1979 ECUSA book has not far to go to meet the Novus Ordo. But was he really Anglican in the first place?)
The more important problem is authority. I am not hostile to Rome or Pope Benedict. In the context of the contemporary RC Church papal authority is necessary and largely beneficent. Benedict's power and authority control and limit the ecclesiastical Left, which is very, very powerful in his Church. But that is just to say that a distortion in the Church cannot simply be removed without creating other distortions. The Church is an organic, living being, not a machine to be easily remade. In the light of the great, central tradition of Christendom, the modern papacy is a grave error. But the error cannot be simply corrected. This delicate situation is the reason that John Paul II's opening towards Orthodoxy, with hints of real and deep sympathy, were so hopeful. The hope, alas, has languished.
(to be continued)
(continued from above)
Heresy is controlled in Orthodoxy by consensus, by the authority of the tradition, by the action of the Holy Spirit. Roman Catholic apologists who point to the multiplicity of views in the Protestant world are, of course, correct. But a similar multiplicity of errors flourishes in Rome beneath the surface appearance of uniformity. We all know this to be true. Orthodoxy is in fact more uniform and more essentially sound in that in Orthodoxy apparent divisions mask a much deeper, firmer unity than is the case with Rome. Anglicanism too is properly governed by the consensus principle rather than by a papal monarchy unknown to Scripture or the Fathers. We are more akin in our ecclesiology to the Orthodox than to Rome.
It is true that the Affirmation of Saint Louis calls us to work for reunion with the great Churches. But the proper path is to look towards those with whom we have a much greater, natural affinity at the outset: the Orthodox. Then together we can look towards Rome, whose distorted centralism and authoritarianism are properly subject to united critique. To say this is not to express hatred towards Rome at all. It is simply to maintain what is true in our tradition's turn from late medieval Romanism back to the Fathers. Or to put this another way, the best thing we can do for the RCC is to be friendly, sympathetic, and very strong critics. Those who are about to become recent, not very popular, and not very numerous converts will fail, I suspect, to serve their new Church very well in this regard. But God is good, and we may hope to be pleasantly surprised.
Anonymous,To clarify, I have nothing against "Father's" initial comment; obviously it was distorted by Fr. Hart. It is the enumeration of our Anglican patrimony by Theophilus Anglicanus of which I approve.
Fr. Chadwick did not say that Richard Hooker was a "Caroline Divine." Your claim to the contrary is simply dishonest.Yes, the Anglican patrimony most certainly does include the "the splendid Latinity of Saepius Officio."
"Robust if polite" does not include accusations of dishonesty, especially where another reader's take on someone's writing produces a different result from your own. Perhaps you want to hit back because we have been beating up on your blog recently; but let us behave like gentlemen as we debate.
Here is the language from Fr Chadwick's article to which I had reference:
"The Caroline Divines in the seventeenth century forged a vision that would provide something of a basis for what we could call Anglican patrimony, but not the be-all-and-end-all. After all Pope Clement VIII said of Richard Hooker, one great inspiration of the later Caroline Divines, after reading some of the
major passages of the Ecclesiastical
Perhaps I should have read more carefully, and perhaps Fr Chadwick should have written more precisely. In context, this language can be construed to mean that Hooker was an "earlier" Caroline Divine." So I took it.
For all the fulsome praise of Pope Clement VIII (which Hooker would doubtless have found vulgar), I wish he had read Hooker's Discourse on Predestination and Justification. Will that portion of the "Anglican patrimony" (as they call it) be welcome in the RC Church?
And I do commend a careful reading of Saepius Officio to Mr Campbell or anyone else who is thrilled with Anglicanorum coetibus.
I presume El Capitan borrowed his sobriquet from the famous monolithic mountain, thinking a "big rock" is an appropriate reference to the Roman concept of "Petrus".
Regardless of that, however, he wrote, "I will not miss the ambiguity of the BCP communion rite."
I can only wonder what "ambiguity" means to a man who either now uses, or evidently is champing at the bit to use as soon as he may, a Eucharistic right that parades the confusion of multiple Canons of Consecration, which together teach conflicting Eucharistic theologies....
John A. Hollister+
Some anonymous Anonymous scolded us for being argumentative. It is called intelligent discussion. He/she/it asked to be counted out. Fine. I removed his/her/Its Pollyanna comment-it is counted out.
Let the rest of us continue having fun, and learning. Those who want everyone to agree on everything every day, and confuse that with charity or unity, are always going to be unhappy. And, they threaten to make everyone ignorant and bored. To see an example of a blog without any dissent or argument, just go to Stand Firm, from which most of us have been banned for daring to say things worth debating, thinking about, or even (dare I say it?) considering.
Anglican Theophilus's desire to have Anglicans draw closer to the Churches of the East, the Orthodox is laudable, as there is on many levels a synergy between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy's modus operandi. Papal absolutism is absent in both jurisdictions.
The appeal of the Russian Orthodox priest at the ACC Synod, for Anglican Catholics to consider those things that we could review in order to draw closer to the Orthodox is worthy of study and prayer.
The restoration of the minor orders - subdiaconate, the reader, senselessly abandoned by Pope Paul VI, and perhaps hastily rejected by the English Fathers in the reformation ought to be considered anew. The question of a celibate episcopate, bringing with it the strengths of asceticism and renunciation cannot be out of the picture, and it would be a real signal to the Orthodox of our seriousness in seeking Christian unity.
In addition a deeper appreciation of Orthodox understanding of the fasting seasons, especially the Nativity fast, and a properly observed Lenten fast would offer Anglicans a depth of spiritual practice lost to the Latin Church most especially after Vatican II, but also under John XXIII's predecessor.
If we look at the relations between the Orthodox Churches in the early 20th century, and even back to the non-jurors in England, we see warmth, we see a measure of respect and recognition that was lost for all time with the ordination of women.
As part of the universal Catholic Church, we continuer s should look east for those things which predate the schism, which have remained as they are today for more than a millennium and seek to value add to the sound base that we have as Anglican Christians.
"The restoration of the minor orders - subdiaconate, the reader, senselessly abandoned by Pope Paul VI, and perhaps hastily rejected by the English Fathers in the reformation ought to be considered anew."
On the contrary, during or after Vatican II, the minors orders were not "abandoned," but reduced to two, namely, Lectors and Acolytes. In practice, these are supplanted by readers and altar servers, vested or unvested. Because the Acolyte is a regular ministry generally confined to seminarians and (if I recall rightly, tonsured), the more common term is "altar boys" or "altar servers."
Yes, I have heard the sentimental antiquarian pleas for the so-called Minor Orders. But I rejoice in the vigorous lay ministries we already have: lay readers, crucifers, choristers, altar guild members, ushers, greeters, Vestry-members, Sunday School teachers, the faithful who provide flowers, set up for coffee hour, who do the vacuuming and cut the grass.
There is much to be said for living in a real parish with flesh and blood people. And I question the statement that the minor orders were "hastily rejected" by the English Reformation. These orders had been in desuetude for centuries, save as steps in the Ordination process (as was the case in the pre-Vatican II RC Church).
Somehow there must be a difference between the Church and the Society for Creative Anachronism.
I must strongly disagree with David on the question of requiring a 'celibate' episcopate as being a good thing. The Anglican position is that Holy Scripture is the Christian necessity and that requires a married episcopate according to St Paul and the majority of the Church for the first five centuries.
There is much in the Orthodox tradition that we could value, but the first and more important thing which we need to do is to learn and practice the fullness of the Anglican faith without trying to add too much Orthodox or Roman embroidery. In fact it would do us all good to carefully remove such additions and restore real Anglican practice instead.
You will be amused to learn that a call was sent out for a Continuing Anglican priest to comment on some issue on the Stand Firm blog. They couldn't find one who hasn't been banned.
Would a celibate episcopate essentially deny Hart's articles #2, #3? In turning the monasteries "inside out", reformers shift the locus from the cloistered monk to the common household/family. In some sense the father became the 'abbot' of his home, Cranmer providing a rule for domestic life by catechism and prayer book. When considering the Reformation, behind all controversies is the impulse to bring the cup and bread to the people, not locking it up amongst the cloistered clergy. Part of
anglican patrimony is, thus, the evangelical witness, taking the pearl discovered and sharing it with others. ?
In considering Anglican patrimony it is good to consider as well our 'theology'. After all, can a church which signs the RCC catechism yet uses Cranmer's liturgy honestly be called Anglican? This is like looking in a mirror and not recognizing your face; the liturgy might as well be sung in Sumerian. They do this, most likely, because they do not understand the liturgy.
We should remember the law of prayer is the law of belief, and it is somewhat incorrect to reduce the significance of Anglican worship to either aesthetic or style. Part of patrimony is an idea of 'inheritance'-- what have we received? We've received catholic teaching, but this becomes just as much a quagmire or messy as saying we've received the 'bible'.
What is this catholic teaching? Somehow, in order to truly affirm our Anglican patrimony, I believe we ought to have some confidence that catholic teaching was clarified by our 16th and 17th divines, and we can look back to their voice. More boldly, these same men gave their assent to certain formulas, and these we can point to as properly understanding their patrimony and what we in turn have 'inherited'. This, in sum, I believe is our pearl.
BTW. #2 and #3 are excellent, and when teaching standards are lowered, neglected, or forgotten, we really forfeit the beauty of what Anglicanism offered. Anglican beauty is best described in her preaching. The bread and wine are nothing without the Word spoken and received. Once upon a time, Anglicana offered the Word with the greatest power, clarity, and beauty. ?
Surely a testament to the sterling qualit of our clergy!
Maybe we could compete as to who was banned first! I was banned before you were, Fr John!
In arguing for the restoration of the subdiaconate and reader as part of the body of men in holy orders, I am arguing on the basis of the fidelity of the Orthodox Church to holy tradition in maintaining this. I accept that the 3 orders of bishop, priest and deacon are the foundations, but the universal Church until the ill-conceived reforms of Vatican II had those orders, albeit truncated into steps towards "major" orders.
In the east the subdeacon can be a subdeacon for life, can come from the congregation, but is nonetheless bound by clerical discipline in that they must be married before ordination if they are to marry, and they may not remarry if their marriage fails.
LKW's assertion that Paul VI's reforms were a change of the minor orders to lector and acolyte does not explain the abandonment of Christian tradition and Church order with such haste, especially as in most Roman churches we see no "tonsured" acolytes or lectors, and instead see women "special ministers" administering the holy sacrament and filling the sanctuary.
I do not dispute with Canon Tallis that Anglican tradition is a married episcopate. Would it be such a sacrifice to move from this in the interest of unity with the Eastern Churches?
It seems to me that too much focus in the continuum of Anglicans rests on looking at the Roman Church, when we have the "Eastern" Orthodox, with a worldwide presence, with many English language parishes and priests and with a much greater respect for tradition, piety and liturgy than one finds in the liberal Roman Catholic Church with its vox pop masses, guitars, abysmal hymns and sheets turned into billowing chasubles worn by priests who have almost handed over their altars to lay "special" ministers.
Would it be such a sacrifice to move from [allowing a married episcopate] in the interest of unity with the Eastern Churches?
Yes, it would, being just plain unworkable at least in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, why? The requirement of a celibate episcopate does not go back to the beginning of the Church, and it caused the sin of divorce on occasions in Church history, especially in the 6th century. The abomination of a priest "putting away his wife" to become a bishop in God's Church actually happened from time to time-talk about confusion. That is what happens when the Scriptural standards are set aside, and when man-made rules are treated as if they were God's revealed law. Everything required for the character of the clergy is found in I Tim. 3 and Titus 1.
I enjoyed Fr. Seraphim's talk; but, as I recall, he emphasized the common ground we have already.
I seem to recall that Fr Seraphim emphasized that the celibate Episcopate belongs to discipline rather than doctrine, canons rather than dogma. Therefore he opined that this is open to change. It is my understanding that the Antiochene bishop Philip Saliba has already made moves in this direction.
David, the RCC retained two of the four "minor orders" already in place. The "orders" abolished were those of exorcist and door-keeper. The ministry of the exorcist is retained on a diocesan level, and since the expulsion of catechumens and excommunicates is no longer practiced (do you wish to revive these practices also?), the door-keeper is obviously redundant. Surely we have here an extreme example of adiaphora.
Please do not indulge yourself in the habit of pointing out examples of RC abuses (already largely corrected) and bad taste. There is plenty of that in all traditions. And do not forget that certain EO theologians are already flirting with the notion of WO, e.g., Kallistos Ware.
The reason why catholic teaching is a bit of a quagmire (above accusation)is because each 'branch' church has a so-called development of doctrine which follows, in the same package, their concilarism. I believe patrimony can be shaped by ecumenicalism, and sometimes it's for the worst. Surely ACC understands this when more or less boycotting ACNA #2. When we make overtures to the East, there is an implicit expectation, or perhaps exhortation, we agree not only upon the first seven councils but medieval and modern ones as well. Is the East guilty of post-schismatic innovation, or is it all on the West? We forget the East was not entirely isolated from the Reformation, was aware of its teachings, and did give it's reply. And, in the same breath, can we grant Anglicanism its own right to doctrinal development, perhaps in reformation answers to faith/grace controversies, etc.? Though we did not embrace Calvinism or even Lutheranism in our soteriology, we did take an Augustinian view, and it's Augustine and Anselm, not the filique, which is the eyesore for Eastern churches. Ecumenicalism says much about what we believe.
Finally, two corallaries:
1. With respect to the recent post on 'polity', it is a good argument for catholicity, but as churches remain separate, namely without mutual submission of bishops and sharing same canons, the more they risk drifting apart theologically. I think we see this with doctrinal development? It is not an ideal state.
2. If our patrimony is worth preserving, and I suggest patrimony is not style/language (after all New Order is in English) but theology, and if we are still 'Anglican', then it is reasonable to dialogue with churches who recognize the same standards as authoritative. We may have interpretive differences, but it is surely less a knot than churches who are counter-reformational?
With respect to ACNA #2, I have heard more false talk than I could ever keep track. Duncan is pro-WO, but a number of dioceses, including REC, are not and have said if ACNA ordains women or promotes such in the final constitution, they will dump the proposed communion. This would be a majority of so-called 'neo-Anglicans'. Furthermore, I have been told communions like REC and APA ordain deacon women. Looking into the matter, it turns out they do no more than what the Saint Louis Affirmation affirms. Going back to the Saint Louis affirmation is important because:
1. it is a public oath 'our patrimony' (chambers line) rendered unto God.
2. It already outlines an ecumenical vision, plainly stating we will seek (hopefully pro-actively) relations and dialogue with bishops who can agree to St. Louis standards. There are obviously not only a substantial number of bishops in ACNA #2 who disagree with Duncan and are willing to bolt over it, but there are flying bishops of the same in England and Lambeth. I have to ask, if such Godly men exist, why we ignore them and keep running to counter-reformation churches like ROC or, for the TAC communion, Rome?
Again, is our patrimony theology or merely ornament and language. If the latter, than we are beat. Rome does both. And the East is getting there too. At one time Anglicana could state boldly it was indeed the safest, surest, and most perfect church for salvation. Now we are so irenic, we don't make the same claim. Have we lost confidence in our own martyrs and divines? I suppose when our 1928 prayer book is replaced by an ROC one which provides salt in the mouth of the baptized catechumen for 'the remission of sins', we shall know. Please stick to the provinicial formularies. They were composed for a reason.
David Gould wrote;
"instead see women "special ministers" administering the holy sacrament and filling the sanctuary."
David, I am with you on recognizing this for the abuse that it is. "Special ministers," however is not the canonically legal title of men and women serving in these roles. They are designated by the Vatican as "extraordinary Eucharistic ministers," however, anyone attending a Roman Mass cannot help but notice that they are anything but extraordinary. In fact, they are ubiquitous, as you pointed out.
This fact, and it is a fact, should warn those looking at the AC offer from Rome with extreme caution. Your local Roman bishop, or maybe even your local "former Anglican," now Roman ordinary may also creatively use all of the gaping loop holes and vague language of the AC to rope "former Anglicans" into a situation more perilous than the one they experienced in TEC.
Get ready for altar girls!
David Gould, with whom I usually agree heartily, wrote: "The ... celibate episcopate ... would be a real signal to the Orthodox of our seriousness in seeking Christian unity."
Well, in the same way the resumption by the "Orthodox" of a married episcopate would be a real signal to us of their seriousness in seeking Christian unity according to Biblical standards rather than Byzantine "small 't'", that is Imperial Court, tradition.
Where the mandatorily celibate episcopate is a product of Caesaro-Papalism, which is thankfully dead since 1453, a stronger case can be made for its abandonment than for its spread.
John A. Hollister+
...it's Augustine and Anselm, not the filique, which is the eyesore for Eastern churches.
My brother, David Bentley Hart, wrote a chapter about St. Anselm in his first book, explaining to his fellow Orthodox Christians why Anselm's work was in accord with St. Gregory of Nyssa, and why the Orthodox should stop rejecting it out of hand, and take the time to evaluate it seriously: He explained why Anselm does not contradict Orthodox theology. Fr.Thomas Hopko was impressed with it, and said he had learned much from it.
About minor orders, though we may retain the services, I am glad that the Preface to the Ordinal restored the ancient Biblical distinction of three orders (Pastoral Epistles). We have acolytes, etc., but it is better not to use the word "orders" at all for them. It confuses people about Holy Orders as a sacrament, and the function of men in those Orders.
I wish and pray we would be more active with faithful clergy in ACNA #2 rather than rabbit trails with the so-called Orthodox. In the more recent thread on Anglican Polity, Fr. Tarsintano's essay strongly resonates with Section V, citing two historical facts, saying, "On the grounds of a national Church's right and duty to remain faithful, the organizers should welcome into communion all faithful Anglican jurisdictions within the United States. The tests of their faithfulness should be objective and spiritual: adherence to the doctrine, discipline, and worship that were received by the American Church from the Church of England, as represented by the 1662 Prayer Book of the Church of England and the 1789-1928 American Prayer Books..."
Our reference point for ecumenicalism is thus our 'constitution' as Fr. Tarsitano calls it, the BCP, received from the 1662, 1928 obviously included. I think it has been said here before that if the Missal is selectively included in worship, it does no harm to 1928 BCP theology. But the key word is 'selective'.
Fr. Tarsitano then pleads patience with fellow Anglicans, indicating a minimum reason for dialogue being the Quadralateral, and reminding us the difficulty of divers jurisdictions forming a provinicial church in the USA to begin with, "If we abstain from dIn the meantime, as the goal of the formation of a provincial communion is pursued, traditional Anglicans must recognize that reformation is not a seamless process in a nation as large as the United States. When the first provincial communion was formed in the United States, thirteen years had passed since the Declaration of Independence. During those years, the Churches in the various States struggled, not only for their own survival, but to find Scriptural ways of working with one another.
The same must be true today. As our fellow Anglicans struggle to survive as Anglicans in the various regions and jurisdictions within our nation, we must not abandon them to their own devices. If they are truly Anglicans, or even if they only have managed to locate themselves within the boundaries of the Quadrilateral, then we are truly in communion with them, even if the details of a better order for our common life have yet to be arranged. To be voluntarily out of communion, when Christ has provided the necessary basis for communion, is sin."
What is the necessary basis? The Quadrilateral, but also the BCP. Section V, along with Taristano's resonating essay, gives us an ecumenical vision, and that we dialogue patiently with other, faithful Anglican jurisdictions?. A jurisdiction is described as small as a single parish to a large diocese, "The second historical fact that is necessary to understand American Anglican polity is that national churches are communions of people, parishes, and dioceses, which come together to form one or more "provinces" of the Church".
The rabbit hole I am speaking about, i.e., barking up Eastern or Roman trees, is what Fr. Hart said while commenting on Polity, "Anglicans need to see why they have been seriously misunderstood by people who simply do not understand old English, and who do not know the history of theology. Discussing them theologically with the RCC and the EOC in the hope of "political" unity would require many miraculous things to happen first. The context of such discussions is, quite possibly, beyond our imagination".
So, why go head long toward 'modern' toward orthodoxy? We have the plain words of Section V-- seek out those orthodox Anglican clergy outside the continuum? Or, are you saying there are zippo? :) It's like we've become 'romano-puritans' and no Anglican outside the continuum is good enough for us? Meanwhile, we have, within our own jurisdiction, an ambiguous relationship with the 28 bcp and 39articles?
Sweet! This is awesome.
"My brother, David Bentley Hart, wrote a chapter about St. Anselm in his first book, explaining to his fellow Orthodox Christians why Anselm's work was in accord with St. Gregory of Nyssa, and why the Orthodox should stop rejecting it out of hand, and take the time to evaluate it seriously: He explained why Anselm does not contradict Orthodox theology."
Have you read Archbishop Haverland's reply to Bishop Duncan? I knew Lou Tarsitano, and I believe he would have agreed wholeheartedly with the content of that letter. On one hand, there must be some communication and effort to influence the new ACNA; but, if we do not keep a formal distance, we could be contaminated by various local associations with women "priests" or "deacons." It is not possible at this time for formal relations, high level publicized talks, etc. But, do not confuse necessary standards that prevent "communio in sacris" with a complete lack of concern, or even of communication.
Charles wrote, "I wish and pray we would be more active with faithful clergy in ACNA #2 rather than rabbit trails with the so-called Orthodox."
The first thing we must do is define what is "faithful". While we share certain cultural aspirations (and by "cultural" I mean something deeper than mere aesthetics or a nostalgic Anglophilia) with many in ACNA #2, there are some vitally important issues over which we differ. Clearly, women's "ordination" and the 1979 "BCP" (and its "BAS" ilk) are two, although probably only two, of those.
These two matters alone signal a fundamental difference in our approaches to what the Church is and, therefore, to what the Faith is. We see them as salvation issues; even those who do not practice these themselves but who are able to tolerate them in other members of their communion clearly do not see them in that same light.
So, while as Fr. Hart has reminded us, Abp. Haverland proposed to Bp. Duncan that we could have discussions with the ACNA #2 if not actual altar fellowship, for the nonce, despite our cultural divisions, the Eastern Orthodox are far closer to us in their view of the Faith -- and especially in their views on Holy Tradition, authority in the Church, the sacramental meaning of the Apostolic Succession, etc. -- than is the Pittsburgh group.
John A. Hollister+
Dear Fr. Hart,
I suppose I'd like to see an ecumenicalism with the emerging ACNA #2 which is more 'pro-active', more like our relation with the ROCOR where we take the initiative to reach out and invite friendly ACNA bishops to our synods (or vice-versa). The assumption, so far, is there are no 'orthodox' bishops or clergy in ACNA. This is wrong. The second assumption is the ACC & co. have more in common with the Russian orthodox than conservative, anti-WO, evangelical Anglicans. You have already called this something of a 'miracle', beyond our imagination.
Furthermore, the ACNA is a process, not fiat accompli. The other constituent members are still engage in negotiations over the constitution and final canons regarding ordination. Members like REC have said they are ready to leave Duncan behind if WO is not excluded, giving the process two years to work. So, let's not jump the gun, and lump all bishops and ACNA clergy as pro-WO. This is somewhat defamatory in my opinion.
ACNA as a process is an important point. First, rules regarding WO have yet to be determined. Second, Duncan speaks for a minority amongst the total number of bishops. We ought to apply some perspective here.
When continuers left in 77, exodus was demanded by the the absolute instransigence of the ECUSA clergy. But today, at least in the ACNA, the ratio of conservatives to liberals is altogether different. There is an internal, critical debate taking place over the non-desirability of WO.
What I find tragic is when continuers are given an opportunity to win a fight they lost over thirty years ago, we voluntarily 'disengage'. Rather than throw our noticeable weight in with our own patrimony: anti-WO's in ACNA #2: we worry about being 'contanimated', but then make a hard turn toward ROCOR. Yet ROCOR is not only 'foreign' (rejecting Reformed Catholicism altogether) but less viable (as you have said yourself). It cannot be 'won' without giving up our Anglican identity. Certainly, this is a worst contamination? \
Meanwhile, todays's ACNA, unlike '77, has a definite chance-- a place where we are not alone, finding Anglicans who can agree with the St. Louis affirmation as well as Articles, BCP, and Ordinal as they presently stand. Please read the REC/APA aritcles of intercommunion:
If we are not going to 'join' scattered Anglicans in north America in making a second ACNA covenant, why not at least pro-actively seek dialogue? I've read nothing on this blog or in the Trinitarian (or in the grapevine) that we are doing such. We should at least make the same effort as we've done with ROCOR.
Regarding this final "Romano-purtian" word "contamination", it did not stop OCA Jonah from making an appearance at Bedford. Nor did it stop him from criticizing Anglican disorder. Making an appearance doesn't mean we compromise anything, but just the opposite. Nor does it prevent us from finding bishops within ACNA to work with us. etc. Is our own catholic identity so weak we'd be swayed by WO priestesses or liberals like Duncan? I really doubt that.
What I believe is really feared is cooperation by ACC parishes may result in jurisdiction jumping into ACNA, like APA did with REC in Virginia. But who can 'jump' into ROCOR? ...
What, in my opinion, is forgotten in all this is Section V of the St. Louis Affirmation, which was a public vow rendered to God. It therefore binds us. AB Haverland, moreover, said in his own book on Anglican Faith, ACC clergy indeed subscribe to the Affirmation. So no matter how you cut it, our Affirmation and covenant demands a particular ecumenically strategy which we are presently passive toward, and in many quarters indifferent.
I do not recall any proposal for public or formal discussion. But, that is not the only kind.
Dear Fr. Hollister,
Please clarify this statement:
"the Eastern Orthodox are far closer to us in their view of the Faith -- and especially in their views on Holy Tradition, authority in the Church, and the sacramental meaning of apostolic succession..."
What is the relation between scripture and tradition? Reformed Catholicism and the East are very different here. We might say 'seven sacraments', 'seven councils' but that's after some pretty serious qualifications I doubt the Orthodox would agree with. Moreover, the East does not stop here but have important medieval and modern councils which they will not compromise, as AB Jonah proved at Beford. If we've thrown prima/sola scriptura out the door, then perhaps we really aren't Anglican aside from 'ornament'? We offer the most beautiful mass in English?
Dear Fr. Hart,
Perhaps a proposal will come around. When it does let's just keep Bp. Duncan and co. off the list. My point is not to lump the anti-WO and pro-WO men together, upholding our end of section V as plainly read. etc.
In regard to the issue of a married episcopate, my appeal to the more than a millennium of Eastern Orthodox discipline - not dogma in this matter is that it offers the Church the capacity to have bishops with the charism of ascetic renunciation.Granted married men can be ascetics also, and granted married bishops in the main have worked for us.Arguably in these days non non-stipendiary clergy, and everywhere being a frontline mission field, ascetic renunciation of worldly pleasures and distractions is something to reflect on.
In this age of disposable marriages many priests and not a few bishops have renounced marriage vows and then remarried, something I believe to be a challenge to the order and discipline of the Church that raises a question mark over their understanding of the sacrament of marriage and it's relationship to their clerical vows. Again, in Orthodoxy, married priests become celibate priests on the death of a spouse or their separation.
But in all these things prayer, charity and an understanding of our common spiritual frailty is required.
In reference to whether we should or should not seek communion with, or fellowship with the ACNA, I believe we cannot do so until there is clarity about what they stand for. Some favor women priests, many favor women deacons, and all of them show a lack of understanding of more than 30 years now of continuing Catholic Anglicanism in the US and now the wider world.
The bottom line is that there was no need to set up the ACNA. They needed to approach the ACC,or one of it's sister churches and seek unity with those Anglicans who have national and international jurisdiction and provinces and whose fidelity to Anglicanism cannot be challenged.
The ACNA is on the edge of becoming PECUSA/ECUSA/TEC and I suspect it will implode because they have got the fundamentals of ministry wrong.
Your posting explicitly implies that the ACC is insular and stand offish. It also assumes that ANCA#2 would welcome an approach from the ACC. By my experience you are wrong in both the first and second instances.
On various web sites I have offered the use of my church building to any group leaving the Episcopal Church, with no strings attached. I have made this offer repeatedly when people in the Atlanta area posted about wanting to leave the Episcopal Church. I was finally banned at the "Stand Firm" web site for making the offer to someone via a post. One of their web masters actually ask for people to help in the Atlanta area, and then banned me for making the offer.
I have never had even a nibble of interest from any group, or any individual. My belief is that they are afraid of being absorbed by us. You seem to think that we are a pretty insecure bunch. I don't know what jurisdiction you are in, but the ACC I know and love is not dependent on any one personality. We are held together by a common set of attitudes, beliefs,and shared experiences. There is no cult of personality in the ACC.
I suggest that it is not we who have been stand offish, but others who have held us at arms length because they fear our internal unity and the gravity that it exerts.
The ACC is a Church at peace with itself. We say, half jokingly, "We finally have the Church we always wanted."
I was finally banned at the "Stand Firm" web site for making the offer to someone via a post. One of their web masters actually ask for people to help in the Atlanta area, and then banned me for making the offer.
That's them all over. I think a special set of rooms in some psychiatric ward needs to be permanently reserved for that crowd. If they work at it, they may actually ban every reader they have within the year-a resolution for them to consider.
You seem to suggest formal discussion with the ACNA that gets around the man they call their Archbishop, Robert Duncan. It simply cannot be done. If so, it would be discussion with individuals who are ending their affiliation with the ACNA, in which case they may consider joining us.
Right now we are the Continuing Anglicans rallying around Classic Anglicanism, and refusing the Tiber Swim, so the ACNA has not been on center stage. But, I think we have not forgotten them.
Thank you for the comments.
Today I spoke to some REC friends to get an update on their situation.
I was wrong on a couple things. While a process may be ongoing regarding WO, presently the church has left WO a local option while universally prohibiting future consecrations of women to the bishopric. So, the constitution is further along than I thought. While there are constituent members who are firmly against all WO, even to the deaconate, it is a hodgepodge and territorial dioceses have to be worked out.
As a man planning marriage and a family, I would loathe a priest teaching matriarchy and feminism. Not only this, I also admit how frustrating it is to argue male orders to 'evangelicals' who will not admit their own cultural presuppositions brought to scripture. In otherwords, their own tradition.
Here, I see the importance of catholic bearing on scripture. Often innovation is based on flimsy scriptural evidence, and if catholic tradition is ignored, many disorders can be rationalized.
What I come away with in these conversatiosn is a new sense to three reinforcing truths:
1. scripture where and when plain reading is possible.
2. catholicism (five centuries, four councils plus those that agree) as stated in 1571 canons and in the Henrican 10 articles preamble.
3. traditional anglican formularies as the correct and best interpretation of both scripture and catholicism, as received by the CofE.
I've been harping on scripture and formularies, but I know see how important an appeal to catholicity is. Reformed Catholicism of the 16th and 17th centuries did not anticipate the apostasy of the 21st century..!
I also agree the ACC has gained a stability that ACNA will likely have to work toward. Nonetheless, my heart is with Anglicanism not Eastern Orthodoxy, and I'd prefer a movement toward the former for the sake or as a means of reaffirming our own articles, bcp, and other formularies. I think without them, 'catholicism' and 'orthodoxy' become loaded terms because accompanying them often are 'accretions' belonging to medieval and modern times, smuggled through by liturgy or hagiography, etc..
I kind of sense similar muddiness with the evangelical approach. The only safe road is "scripture as interpreted by catholicism, as interpreted by Anglican settlement". Is this a fair approach?
PS. I think I've missed something on Stand Firm. I don't really know what it's like dealing with evangelicals. Probably if I did, I have more sympathy for keeping a distance to them. Perhaps I've idealized the ACNA#2 a bit, and after learning about the present constitution, I don't see how a local option solves much. It may all come down to which seminaries priests are sent/drawn from. At best it is 'status quo'. My hope was continuers could tip the scales against more liberal evangelicals.
There is still a process to play out. I guess people just don't have the bandwidth to endure the headaches of such an upcoming conflict. Nonetheless, I am sadden when parishes go the other way, rejecting anything fishy of protestantism. I guess it's worth being optimistic, saying things are better than twenty years ago. Pro-active dialogue is always good.
Also, sister branches, RC and EO, have proven amazing and contemporary counter-weights to innovation with Orders. Not too little can be accredited to them.
Feminism in the church leads to feminization of the home.
The only safe road is "scripture as interpreted by catholicism, as interpreted by Anglican settlement". Is this a fair approach?
In fact, it is what we do. The sight of genuine Catholicism through the Anglican lense is persuasive, whereas the other lenses are quite apparently less clear and in need of cleansing. They are better than no lenses, but not as clear as the Anglican ones.
When you learned about the ACNA "local option" for WO, I trust you saw why we keep some necessary distance. I hope we may persuade them, but must protect our own churches in the process, so that they hold to the standard you have described.
Feminism in the church leads to feminization of the home.
Charles wrote, "Dear Fr. Hollister, Please clarify this statement: 'the Eastern Orthodox are far closer to us in their view of the Faith -- and especially in their views on Holy Tradition, authority in the Church, and the sacramental meaning of apostolic succession....'"
What I meant was that at least the St. Louis Continuing Anglicans (I cannot speak with assurance about anyone else who claims the "C.C." label) and the Eastern Orthodox regard Holy Scripture as containing the record of a special inspired Revelation from God, and, where, rarely, that text does not seem to speak with inherent clarity, also regard Holy Tradition as the lens through which that text is to be interpreted.
ACNA #2 quite clearly has rather different views. Obviously, those who entertain revisionist views to the point that they are willing to resort to "ordaining" women do not have the same concepts of the inspiration of Scripture and the Church's hermeneutic apparatus as we and the E.O.s do. However, what is often overlooked is that neither do those who, while they do not "ordain" women themselves, are willing to subsist within an organization that does so. (Just recall Abp. Duncan's recent multiple "ordination" held just prior to the ACNA's most recent beanfest, in a small memorial of Graham Leonard's parting gesture to the Church of England).
The whole concept of "intercommunion" between two parties means that each partner accepts and adopts the purportedly sacramental acts of the other as though they were his own. Thus, for example, the relationship between the Church of Nigeria and the Church of Rwanda is a bit like that between an overindulgent partygoer and the careful soul who drives him home. The latter pair has a "designated driver", the former has a "designated apostate".
Both, however, went to the party.
So, for us, and despite the deep cultural differences between us and the E.O.s, they at least have views that are similar to ours regarding some very fundamental issues, where the Pittsburghers (a) neither view those issues as fundamental nor (b) see them in the same way we do.
John A. Hollister+
Charles wrote, after discussing these issues with some REC acquaintences, "presently the church has left WO a local option while universally prohibiting future consecrations of women to the bishopric."
But how can a church group approve the ordination of women to the "diaconate" and the "priesthood" -- and "local option" is, assuredly, such approval -- and then turn around and ban them from the "episcopate"?
Holy Orders are one sacrament, so the same fundamental requirements apply to each of its three grades or steps. Thus the exclusion of women from one of those grades, but not the other two, says very plainly: "Women are actually eligible to receive Holy Orders but they aren't quite good enough to receive the plenitude of them".
I would think every single woman in the ACNA, even if she does not in fact approve of women's "ordination", would walk out of that organization as soon as she learned of this degrading, unprincipled policy. I know my mother would have -- and she was no 1970s-style "feminist", either.
John A. Hollister+
Thank you Fr. Hart. I am glad to get this reaffirmed as often as possible. I don't hear it much unless on this blog. Really appreciate the confirmation.
"The sight of genuine Catholicism through the Anglican lense is persuasive, whereas the other lenses are quite apparently less clear and in need of cleansing. They are better than no lenses, but not as clear as the Anglican ones."
John Hollister is very correct regarding holy orders and the ACNA. One cannot be in communion, to share the Body and Blood of Our Lord with heretics and schismatics. Such erroneous belief or conduct excludes one from the altar.
Those who remain in communion with Rowan Williams even if they fully disagree with the ordination of women or homosexuals in the TEC by by maintaining communion with the TEC implicitly share in these things and therefore share in the sin.
If you are against the ordination of women, you have no place in a Church which readily accepts this, like the ACNA.
You said, "One cannot be in communion, to share the Body and Blood of Our Lord with heretics and schismatics."
But the St. Louis Affirmation says, Section V, "The continuing Anglicans remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury and with all other faithful parts of the Anglican Communion, and should actively seek similar relations with all other Apostolic and Catholic Churches, provided that agreement in the essentials of Faith and Order first be reached."
While things have changed, and Canterbury is lost, the Affirmation still says we are to "actively seek similar relations with all other Apostolic and Catholic churches". I imagine, as Fr. Taristano outlined, a 'church' may be provincial, a diocese, or single parish? Regardless, how does proactive dialogue equal communio in sacris?
Also, I don't think we left Canterbury because sin exists in the church. That would be donatist-anabaptism. It's because the sacrament was overthrown by changing the necessary signs associated with Orders. ?
Anyway, when it comes to ecumenicalism, where and when it does, the Affirmation mandates our vision. There is no harm in talking to bishops, proactively, who disagree with WO and have already separated from TEC. I still believe the Continuum could tip the scales in ACNA. But, I also understand why many don't want the headache of fighting big battles when ACC just achieved some relative quiet and stability. What I think was a missed opportunity was not engaging ACNA in the manner AB Jonah did-- i.e., critically and non-committed.
There's a very real difference between talking to heretics and being in communion with them.
We MUST do the former, and CANNOT do the latter. That's why we are Continuers. However, non-communion does not excuse us from making every effort to draw the erring back to the truth. That we must do.
I think I finally understand ACC ecumencial strategy.
The ACC will outmaneuver both Rome and ACNA#2 upon autocephalous recognition by ROCOR. After ACNA#2 splits up, an 'orthodoxy' recognized by other (starting with ROCOR) branch churches, plus the stability gained through ACC canons and growth, will be a strong pull for ACNA departing churches.
Great strategy. But the problem I have with it is in order to convince ROCOR of further 'orthodoxy' our theology as expressed in the Articles and even prayer book has to undergo a change.
In winning external recognition vis-a-vis other Apostolic and Catholic sister communions (i.e., the orthodox), I tend to think we risk loosing our theology. Probably many disagree with this assessment, but that is because we might not really like the Anglican (reformed catholic) Settlement to begin with. I've read the new bcp which is the product of english-orthodox communications as well as speeches by persons regarding the goodwill of Metro Hilarion, so I know I am not delirious. I expect some ACC clergy to stick firm to the Settlement while others have long been alienated from it and will welcome any affinity to modern Orthodoxy.
I don't see the same threat with ACNA, after all it provisions a 'local option', but that doesn't mean ACNA path is without hardship and much trouble. There are factions (that ACC could tip the scales). But it's these same parties adn difficulties which drives off Anglo-Catholics who have suffered long to get to the happy place of the ACC. They do not want to go back or repeat it.
Nonetheless, I believe our theology, as Anglicanism has classically defined catholicism, is at stake.
Methinks I may have been a little clumsy in speaking from separating from sin as I did.
The ordination of women makes post-ordination of women ordinations and therefore sacraments null and void, excepting baptism.
I do wonder in what we we are in communion with Canterbury today? We do commemorate him in the liturgy, and we attend no Lambeth Councils or any other Canterbury Communion event that denotes remaining in communion.
I agree with the sentiment that we have a duty to tell the plain truth to the ACNA about the folly of this path they have gone down, just as creating another Anglican jurisdiction in North America, when Bishop Duncan and the others had so many choices as to where they could have been was plain wrong.
The US continuum from the far left of the ACNA to the jurisdictions on the right like the Christ the King folks ignore the rest of the world effectively.
The ACC has a diocesan presence on all continents, including 100 priests and thousands of faithful in the Sudan of all places, retains the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, and is found in many former places of the English diaspora - Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It is to that Church that I urge the ACNA to join and to abandon the liberalism of women's orders for communion with those who walked away from ECUSA's madness thirty years ago.
Charles wrote, "But the St. Louis Affirmation says, Section V, 'The continuing Anglicans remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury and with all other faithful parts of the Anglican Communion, and should actively seek similar relations with all other Apostolic and Catholic Churches, provided that agreement in the essentials of Faith and Order first be reached.'"
Had he read the text of the Affirmation as published on the ACC's homepage, he had seen the following gloss inserted at the critical point:
"We affirm our continued relations of communion with the See of Canterbury and all faithful parts of the Anglican Communion. [Note: Because of the action of General Synod of the Church of England, Parliament, and the Royal Assent, the College of Bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church is obliged no longer to count the See of Canterbury as a faithful part of the Anglican Communion.]"
In plain English, ever since the then-Presiding Bishop of PECUSA went home from the 1977 Congress of St. Louis and asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to ignore the new, orthodox Anglican presence in North America, this portion of the Affirmation has been the mere expression of an aspiration that was destined never to attain reality.
The C of E's own adoption of women's "ordination", and the toleration of that change by the rest of the official Lambeth Communion, just amounted to erecting a cairn over a coffin that had already been laid in its grave and a grave that had already been back filled.
With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the post-1977 Lambeth Communion would not tolerate a truly orthodox, traditional approach to Anglicanism.
John A. Hollister+
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