Sunday, January 03, 2010

Good read

Questions were raised, in recent comments, about the practice of the Anglican Catholic Church in the United Kingdom. I found their website quite useful for letting us know about them. More so, I found the section entitled About the Anglican Catholic Church to contain statements of faith and practice worth reproducing here. I am sure that readers from the Traditional Anglican Communion may want to debate with the ACC/UK for not listing any but the three Continuing jurisdictions in concordat as part of the Continuing Church; and whereas we may agree to disagree agreeably, I hope they too will affirm the same Faith that is expressed in the contents of what follows.

About the Anglican Catholic Church
The Beginning of the ACC

In 1977, following increasing liberalisation of member churches of the Anglican Communion, an international congress of nearly 2,000 Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people met in St. Louis, Missouri.

As a result of this meeting "The Affirmation of St Louis" was issued. You may fiind this document (in pdf format) by clicking on the Resources button on the left.

In addition many of those present placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the retired bishop of Springfield, Illinois, the Right Reverend Albert Chambers. In October 1978 the Church adopted the name 'ANGLICAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'. The ACC has a presence in North, Central and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and in India you will find the Second Province of the ACC. (Click on the Map above to see the ACC world wide).

Diocese of the United Kingdom

In 1992 the Diocese of the United Kingdom was formally established after the Church of England broke with catholic faith and tradition by admitting women to the priesthood. In August 1992 The Right Revd Leslie Hamlett was consecrated as the first Bishop Ordinary for the Diocese, in 1997 Bishop Hamlett left the ACC.

On 20th September 2008 Father Damien Mead, who was Vicar General, was consecrated as 2nd Bishop Ordinary.

The Bishop is assisted in the administration of the Diocese by his Council of Advice which is appointed annually at the Diocesan Synod.

On January 28, 1978, in Denver, Colorado, Father Mote was consecrated Bishop. The Rt. Rev. Albert A Chambers, retired Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, was chief consecrator.

In 1977, following increasing liberalisation of member churches of the Anglican Communion, an international congress of nearly 2,000 Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people met in St. Louis, Missouri. As a result of this meeting "The Affirmation of St Louis" was issued.

In addition many of those present placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the retired bishop of Springfield, Illinois, the Right Reverend Albert Chambers. In October 1978 the Church adopted the name 'ANGLICAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'. The ACC has a presence in North, Central and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and in India you will find the Second Province of the ACC.

In 1992 the Diocese of the United Kingdom was formally established after the Church of England broke with catholic faith and tradition by admitting women to the priesthood. In August 1992 The Right Revd Leslie Hamlett was consecrated as the first Bishop Ordinary for the Diocese, in 1997 Bishop Hamlett left the ACC.

On 20th September 2008 Father Damien Mead, who was Vicar General, was consecrated as 2nd Bishop Ordinary.

The Bishop is assisted in the administration of the Diocese by his Council of Advice which is appointed annually at the Diocesan Synod.

From 1997 until 2008 the Diocese of the United Kingdom was looked after by Episcopal Visitors appointed by the Archbishop of the Original Province from Bishops overseas.

Why Anglican & Catholic?

The Anglican Catholic Church is Anglican, which means 'English'. In other words, we are Christians who have an English liturgical and theological heritage and a spiritual heritage and an ancestral connection to the Church in England. The Anglican Catholic Church is Catholic, because it accepts the doctrine of the ancient Church, which has been "believed everywhere, always, and by all".

But aren't you Protestants?

The terms 'Protestant' and 'Catholic' are often used and very often misunderstood!

Firstly one must understand that to be 'Catholic' one doesn't necessarily have to be 'Roman' Catholic despite what some in the Roman Church may claim. The Orthodox Churches of the East and in other places are Catholic Churches but not in communion with the Pope. The term protestant is equally often misunderstood.

The Catholic Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the sixteenth century. However, although a Protestant Reformation was taking place on the Continent the English Reformation was fundamentally different in nature and intention. Primarily the reasons for its formation were political. King Henry VIII, whilst wanting to be independent of Rome, was not a Protestant in intention, although his reasons for separation were not especially honourable.

Of course there are Anglicans who have wanted to be Protestant (in the way that continental reformers meant), just as there are Anglicans who want complete union with Rome. However, the Church of England was not formed in the same way as the Continental Protestant Churches. The Continental Reformation was primarily German, under the leadership of Martin Luther; French, under John Calvin and Swiss, under Ulrich Zwingli. The Continental Reformers accepted the principle called Sola Scriptura, that is, Scripture alone as the basis for faith and practice. However, the English Reformers appealed to Scripture as interpreted by the ancient Church, especially through the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church. The Continental Reformers also almost unanimously rejected or dropped the principle of apostolic succession. That is, bishops, by virtue of their consecration, being successors of the apostles, tracing a straight link back to them through history. But the English Reformation retained apostolic succession.

Since the Continental Reformers rejected the apostolic succession of bishops and indeed developed a different understanding of the priesthood, they lost a 'valid' ordained priesthood. But at the English Reformation, the Church of England deliberately retained the title 'priest', because it contained a real truth and intention. Christ is the perfect priest. The Church is His body. The organ of a priestly body cannot be less than priestly.

The Church of England maintained its apostolic ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. Its form of worship, though translated into English and somewhat reformed, nonetheless stood in continuity with the Church's historical worship. The goal of the English Reformation was to reform the practice of the Church and return to the ancient and Catholic faith of the Undivided Church.

From the time of Henry VIII there has always been a theological position within Anglicanism which has sought to stress the continuing Catholic nature of the Church of England. Through the reign of his daughter Elizabeth I this was championed by the Elizabethan divine, Richard Hooker. Then later by Archbishop Laud and the Caroline divines including George Herbert and Lancelot Andrews (pictured above), up to the time of the Oxford Movement, Tractarians, and the Anglo-Catholic Congresses, notables include John Henry Newman, Edward Bouverie Pusey, John Keble and John Mason Neale (pictured below).

What do Anglican Catholics believe?

The Anglican Catholic Church accepts the teachings of the Undivided Church, the Church of the first millennium of Church history. From the Day of Pentecost, when the Church was born, to the Great Schism in A.D. 1054, the Church was truly Catholic: one in faith and doctrine, even though there were differences between the way Eastern and Western Churches worshipped. Therefore, the Anglican Catholic Church claims, in essence, to be both an English Catholic Church and a Western Orthodox Church.

The Anglican Catholic Church is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, faithfully continuing the English Catholic tradition. We practice and uphold the historic Catholic Faith, with Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship, and Evangelical Witness.

We believe that there is one true and eternal God in Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality, Consubstantial, Undivided and of one Essence in Three Divine Persons through whom all that is, was and ever shall be, was created and has its being.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique and final revelation of the Person and Purpose of God, in whom alone is the fullness of God's truth and grace, and that there is no other through whom salvation may be obtained.

Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition & the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be Inspired by the Holy Ghost as the authentic record of the revelation of God, and as conveying His saving Word to us. We believe in the holy Tradition of the Church as set forth by the ancient catholic bishops and doctors, as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church.
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives life to and inspires and guides the Church.

We believe in Seven Sacraments

We believe in the Seven Sacraments as outward, visible symbols of the inward, spiritual Grace, Presence and working of our Lord Jesus Christ. In accordance with the faith and practice of Holy Mother Church, We declare these Sacraments to be:

Baptism, whereby the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ and membership into His Mystical Body the Church is proclaimed and that this sacrament is necessary for Salvation.

Confirmation as the "seal of the Holy Spirit" in completion of Baptism.

The Mass, as the sacrifice whereby our Lord, Jesus Christ, unites us to His all-sufficient Sacrifice, once made, to bestow on us "remission of sins, and all other benefits of His Passion", whereby He is truly present under the forms of bread and wine, and gives Himself to us in His Body and Blood, to be our heavenly food and to unite us to Himself and to all in His Sacred Body the Church.

Holy Matrimony, which is a mystical bond of one man and one woman together in lifelong commitment and unity.

Holy Orders, which is the perpetuation of the sacred and apostolic ministry in accordance with the will of Christ established for the Government of His Church as the ministers of His Gospel and Sacraments; and that the three orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons by Christ's institution are to be confined to the male sex; and that Bishops alone possess the fullness of apostolic authority as Overseers of the faithful and conveyers of Holy Orders.

Confession, through which the faithful are called to conversion of life, confession of sins and reconciliation with God, and through which we are called to forgive others.

Holy Unction, whereby the healing power and consolation of God is specifically bestowed upon the faithful who are sick in body, mind or soul.

The Communion of Saints

We believe in the Communion of Saints, which is the blessed company of all faithful people both living and departed.
Traditionally the Universal Church has been considered to comprise of the Church Triumphant (those Christians who are in Heaven), The Church Militant (those Christians who are living) and the Church at Rest (Those Christians who are dead but who are not yet in Heaven).

Furthermore we believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and that she is preeminent above all others as the first-fruits of those who are saved by Him.

The prayers of the saints in heaven assist the faithful on earth according to the Revelation of St John (Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4 in the light of 6:9-11). The Saints are not to be given worship or adoration that belongs to God alone, but their prayers support Christians on earth just as the prayers of Christians on earth support one another in prayer).

Sanctity of Human Life

We believe in the sanctity of human life; that life begins at the moment of conception; and that the willful taking of that life in the womb by abortion to be a grave sin.

Furthermore we believe that the wilful, intentional, and direct taking of any innocent human life is murder, whether disguised as "euthanasia", "mercy-killing" or "assisted suicide".

We believe that all men will appear before Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Judge and Ruler of all Mankind to receive the due recompense of their faith and works.

But didn't the Pope declare Anglican Holy Orders null and void?

In response to Pope Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curae of 1896, which declared the Anglican apostolic succession invalid, the Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury, Frederick Temple and York, William D Maclagan, (pictured above) made an official response, Saepius Officio, stating that there is an unbroken apostolic succession in the Anglican priesthood, and that the historical episcopate has been in the British Isles from the earliest days of the Church.

However, the Roman Catholic Church maintains that this apostolic succession was broken by the use of the Ordination Rite of King Edward VI, which deletes all reference to the central priestly function and was deliberately designed to contain no indication of the "fullness of the ministry", specific tasks of the Catholic bishop or the "high priesthood", which the Holy See considers essential. The Romans assume that their point of view, based on Late Medieval sacramental theory, is valid for all periods of church history.

In their refutation the Archbishops pointed out, amongst other matters, that no such priestly functions or sacramental theology were evident in the Papal ordination rites of the 9th and 10th centuries, which would render their ordinations invalid as well, using the same criteria aimed at the Anglicans.

What about the authority of the Pope?

Since we have stated that the Anglican Catholic Church is not a 'Roman' but an 'English' Catholic Church it will come as no surprise that we do not consider ourselves to be under the Bishop of Rome's 'Universal Jurisdiction'. Again our position is comparable to the practice of the Undivided Church. Furthermore the Pope claims to be infallible in certain matters. Anglican Catholics believe in infallibility, but they believe that it is found not within the Office of the Pope, but within the Church itself, and that this is best expressed when it is acting as an undivided unity through the medium of the Ecumenical Councils. But since A.D. 1054 this hasn't happened. As a result the pronouncements and decisions of Church Council's within the Roman Catholic Church, such as the Council of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II are not considered to have the same authority.

We do however recognise and give due honour to the Pope as Bishop of Rome and as Patriarch of the West on the ancient principle of primus inter pares. He is the 'first among equals' in the episcopate and has a special role and responsibility because of this.

What are 'Continuing' Anglicans?

There are several present-day bodies, often described collectively as 'Continuing Anglicans' or the 'Anglican Continuum', some which claim and some which do not claim (or possess) descent from the 1977 Congress of St Louis. However, we believe that, strictly speaking, it is only within the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), The Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK), and The United Episcopal Church of North America (UECNA) that one finds the 'legitimate' continuation of traditional Anglican Catholicism.

These three all share a common origin, stemming from the same apostolic succession - via The Right Revd Albert Chambers and bear the same responsibility for preserving apostolic order and for being custodians of faith and morals as envisaged by the Congress of St Louis. A recent, exciting development, in terms of Church unity, is a reaffirmation of the mutual recognition and inter-communion between these jurisdictions.

As you will see from this website, at the time of writing the Diocese of the United Kingdom has only a small number of Parishes and Missions. In the Anglican Catholic Church there are a number of different Liturgies (Orders of Service) for celebrating Holy Communion. Sometimes visitors to the Churches in this Diocese are surprised that although we are 'traditional Anglicans' we do not use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (which is not authorised for use in ACC) - in fact the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, and the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer are in use here, although The English Missal and the Anglican Missal are the books used most commonly in our Diocese at the moment. Of these the Anglican Missal may be found to be celebrated with either the 1549 Canon, American 1928 Canon or the Gregorian Canon. There are other Books of Common Prayer authorised in the ACC but I mention only those that are used currently in the Diocese.

Sometimes our liturgical use in this Diocese - being predominantly 'High Church' or 'Anglo Catholic', is suggested to be off putting to those who come from a more 'middle of the road' or from a 'Low Church' Anglican liturgical tradition, however we are representitive of the people who have taken the step to commit themselves and join us. We are however very much open to the establishment of new Missions using other ACC authorised liturgies in the Diocese. It is our faith that unites us and if you share that faith, or seek to, you are welcome.

The future?

To all, and especially those of you who having waded through this page of text, we extend a hand of friendship and Christian Love and offer you an alternative - Please consider seriously the challenges presented to you and we hope that you will join us.

Join us ...

In the ACC we have the essentials. We have, as the Affirmation of St Louis puts it, Orthodox Catholic Faith, Orthodox Anglican Worship, Apostolic Catholic Order in order to grow we need also Evangelical Witness.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect the more "Reformed" Anglicans would take issue with the tenor of this document, but for my money it is sound Anglican Catholicism. I wouldn't have it any other way.

St. Worm

Anonymous said...

There is much in the post that I find encouraging, but I would like to ask why the 1662 BCP is not authorised for use in the ACC in the UK or at least the Proposed 1928 (UK) BCP?

With things looking ever more bleak in the UK, and with the TAC here having already delcared their intention to accept the Pope's offer, do Traditional Anglicans over here who value Prayer Book worship have a place to go?

Fr Edward

Fr. Robert Hart said...

That seems a worthy challenge, a good question, and the expression of a heart-felt need.

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Edward asked, "why the 1662 BCP is not authorised for use in the ACC in the UK or at least the Proposed 1928 (UK) BCP?"

I confess I do not have the slightest idea. The last time this issue came before the ACC's Provincial Synod (in 2003 at New Orleans, Louisiana, as I recall) it was roundly voted down but all I could glean from the extensive discussion was that a majority of the delegates were turned off by the "bobtailed" Canon of Consecration (i.e., Words of Institution only).

That same objection would apply with equal force to the "Proposed" Book of 1928, of course. However, except for that Canon, virtually all of the "Proposed BCP" is included in the 1954 South African and 1963 Indian BCPs which are lawful rites in the ACC.

What distresses me about the opposition to the 1662 Canon is its extreme parochialness. It is only in Scotland and the USA that the 3-part Scottish-American Canon has been the norm, and that only since the 18th Century. While I, personally, would always use that 3-part Canon when possible, I must recognize that elsewhere than in North Britain and North America, the 1662 Canon has been standard for four and a half centuries.

Also, in most of the Anglican world, "1662 BCP" is the same sort of instantly-recognizable label for traditional Anglicanism that "1928 BCP" is in the US. I think we hurt our outreach efforts in most places by ignoring that fact.

Then there is the consideration that whatever liturgical or heuristic advantages the Scottish-American Canon has over the 1662 Canon are counterbalanced by the inferior language and teachings expressed in many of the American Occasional Offices when compared to the similar ones in the 1662. The omissions from the American marriage service are particularly to be regretted.

Or just consider that the 1662's very robust and forthright office for the visitation of prisoners is entirely absent from the American book, and the message that elision sends, particularly in the modern world that so readily eschews personal responsibility in favor of an empty "societal sin".

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In the Province of Christ the King, I served under an English bishop who always used the 1662 Canon of Consecration. Despite my opinion of much of what he did, and even though I did not personally like the 1662 compared to our American 1928, I respect that Englishman's love for his BCP.

Why was there a vote in New Orleans? I argue that the case was moot.

What I said about the Articles I say about the 1662 BCP. The Affirmation says "In affirming these principles, we recognize that all Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae must be interpreted in accordance with them."

If "all" "must" be so interpreted, then "all" may be so interpreted. If "all" then not merely some. Therefore, in making the Affirmation the foundation of our Canons, we automatically accept the 1662 BCP. The Constitution and Canons cannot allow a self-contradiction, so the 1662 already is fully authorized.

Now, we can recommend the other BCP rites; but the 1662 is, without any question, Anglican liturgical formulae. If we continue then we must continue, not deviate and innovate. And, we must show compassion for people who need us, and need their Prayer Book.

Canon Tallis said...

I think both Father Hart and Canon Hollister's answers or excellent - and throughly Anglican. On the other hand, the UK text contains the distinct stench of Anglo-papalism. I knew Bishop Hamlett before he was made bishop having been sent to spend a weekend with him by the late Michael Mat Wright. There was much to like about him, but he was not bishop material as his later defection proved.

I also know Bishop Morrison and unlike Father Hart know that he has no love of 1662 but recites the English canon aloud in the context of inserting it into the Gregorian canon. In his parish the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church is never said. The real truth is that he, like so many extreme English churchmen are ashamed of Anglicanism. Whether the rest of us like it or not, they are sure that only the Roman Church is "really" Catholic.

As a "mere Anglican" I am offended by both the tone and the inaccuracies of it. Bishop Chambers would have been as well. I am especially grieved that the ACC in the UK provides no place, no refuge for prayer book Anglicans. And that is an issue that the American can bishops should take up quite strongly with Bishop Meade.

Anonymous said...

John A. Hollister said... "Also, in most of the Anglican world, "1662 BCP" is the same sort of instantly-recognizable label for traditional Anglicanism that "1928 BCP" is in the US. I think we hurt our outreach efforts in most places by ignoring that fact."

This is most certainly the case. Many of those who are being disenfranchised by the liberal / revisionist agenda over here often cleave to the 1662 BCP as the only remnant of orthodox doctrine and worship. While I respect the right of the ACC Diocese of the UK (and the ACC world-wide) to order it’s worship as it sees fit I would have to say that any claim to be ‘traditional’ or ‘continuing’ Anglicans in the UK holds little water when the 1662 BCP isn’t even authorised for use.

For those in the UK who are looking for a place where orthodox Anglican faith and worship is upheld, the ‘story’ of the birth of the continuing movement in the US (and its history since 1992 in the UK) *can* be both confusing and unnerving (though I believe it soon becomes ‘heroic’ when you look into it in greater detail). The presence and use of the 1662 BCP could do much to assure people that traditional Anglicanism is not a spent force in England and that the ACC is at least a viable option.

Fr Edward

Anonymous said...

From Archbishop Haverland's Message on GAFCON:
“while the 1662 Prayer Book has many strengths, it also has some notable weaknesses, including a truncated Eucharistic Canon, which the 1928 American, 1954 South African, and other later Prayer Books have corrected. We by no means assert the invalidity of any form in the 1662 book, but neither can we accept that 1662 is the central or best model for Anglican liturgy.”

While I very much admire Archbishop Haverland I would, respectfully, argue that the 1662 BCP could be upheld as the ‘central model’ for Anglican Liturgy whilst also acknowledging that it might not be the ‘best’ for the reasons outlined above. The Prayer Book Society in the UK has recently been involved in providing copies of the 1662 Book for use in Africa. While it remains a valid and living liturgy (and one that inspires confidence around the Anglican world) should it be passed-over by the ACC?

Fr Edward

Bishop Damien Mead said...

Dear Father Hart,
Thank you for publishing some of the contents of the ACC's Diocese of the United Kingdom web site to clarify the particular liturgical use of the Diocese.

One of the reasons the text that you reproduced includes:
" we are representative of the people who have taken the step to commit themselves and join us. We are however very much open to the establishment of new Missions using other ACC authorised liturgies in the Diocese."
Is to attempt to explain why we are (at the moment) the way that we are.

Since I took over the administration of the DUK in 2003, first as Dean then Vicar General and now as Bishop I have had only one enquiry from a priest who wished to use the 1662 BCP for Holy Communion. Whereas I have had a 'bucketful' of clergy wanting to use the Novus Ordo or another modern liturgy, who have ultimately either stayed where they were or found a home elsewhere. I have also had only a handful of lay requests for the regular use of that Prayer Book (although the request was more for the ease of use in using that particular edition of the Book of Common Prayer for Matins and Evensong - with the Psalter - rather than for Holy Communion). With so few 'Anglicans' coming to us now from the "established" Church, and many of those with the other Continuing Churches here in England either having already been members of the ACC in the past or having approached us and found us not to be to their liking for a variety of reasons (not just liturgically). Our modest growth has been from people who were either non Christians, the unchurched or who come from other Christian traditions.

In 2003 prior to my predecessor Fr McEune's resignation the Diocesan Synod was called upon to vote on a proposed amendment to the Provincial Canons allowing authorisation of the 1662 BCP. The result from this small Diocese was overwhelmingly against such authorisation. But as far as I can recall it was because of the objection to, what Canon Hollister refers to as, the "bobtailed" Canon of Consecration (i.e., Words of Institution only). I am not aware that the 'Proposed Book of 1928" has ever been voted on, perhaps that was before my joining the ACC.

The Diocese was from 1997 (when Bishop Hamlett left the ACC) until fairly recently very fragile and liturgical use being here either Anglican Missal or English Missal did not seem to warrant an upsetting of the stability we were trying so very hard to establish and maintain. Posts on this blog, in particular, show how contentious issues regarding what constitutes correct Anglican Liturgical use can become. I am content with the liturgies authorised by the Canons of the ACC and flexibility of liturgical worship (within orthodox Anglican tradition) they give. I am not anti the 1662 BCP nor its Holy Communion rite but neither do I see it as the best form available to us, nor have there been anything more than the requests I already mention for use of that Book or the 'Proposed' 1928 BCP.

Father Edward asks "With things looking ever more bleak in the UK, and with the TAC here having already declared their intention to accept the Pope's offer, do Traditional Anglicans over here who value Prayer Book worship have a place to go?" I would suggest that despite the TAC having authorised the 1662 BCP during its time here in the United Kingdom it has been no more successful in attracting 'Traditional Anglicans' than we have in the ACC.

If someone bases their decision to join us solely upon whether the 1662 BCP is authorised or not I would wonder at their understanding of the other issues.

To be continued ...

Bishop Damien Mead said...

Continued/

I am not sure how many Church of England parishes still use the 1662 BCP for their main services. My experience in the Church of England was even in the 1980's increasingly smaller numbers, with Evensong being the most common part of the BCP in use or Holy Communion services limited to the earliest Sunday celebration or the odd weekday morning. Of course there are Parishes that are very happy being members of the Prayer Book Society but they remain firmly within the Church of England. I have been saddened in the past that Continuing Anglican's from overseas - including ACC members from America (which I have made a point of mentioning at the last 3 ACC Provincial Synods) often worship in those Prayer Book Society Churches when on holiday here rather than coming to the Continuing Churches here in the UK. Preferring, perhaps, the Choirs, historic buildings and the opportunity to experience the 'real' English Church experience rather than helping us to keep the Orthodox Anglican Catholic faith alive.

Father Hart introduced the quoted text by saying "I am sure that readers from the Traditional Anglican Communion may want to debate with the ACC/UK for not listing any but the three Continuing jurisdictions in concordat as part of the Continuing Church;"
It is not for such debate to be had with the ACC/UK. This is in accordance with the Statement on Church Unity adopted by the College of Bishops of the Original Province of the Anglican Catholic Church, meeting on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Jan. 25, 1995.

Father Hart does make a valid point
"Now, we can recommend the other BCP rites; but the 1662 is, without any question, Anglican liturgical formulae. If we continue then we must continue, not deviate and innovate. And, we must show compassion for people who need us, and need their Prayer Book."
My invitation then is for those who wish to see the 1662 BCP authorised in the ACC (and it would seem that this is mostly relevant for my Diocese) and who wish to do so because they are either already a member (or are intending to join us) to make themselves known to me so that I can raise this with the clergy of my Diocese and ultimately with the ACC College of Bishops.
Happy Epiphany
+Damien Mead

David Gould said...

From an Australian perspective, the 1662 BCP was THE authorised version of the Church of England in Australia, as we were known, and remains authorised within the heretical Anglican Church of Australia.

Within the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the ACC the use of un-altered 1662 is I suspect limited, again by priests and people appreciating the limitations of the Words of Institution only Canon.

I also agree with Bishop Meade that adherence to the 1662 BCP is generally not enough to take people to the Continuum, even though it ought to be. That priests and people stay within the heretical Canterbury Communion churches decades after the ordination of women and homosexuals is beyond belief and especially for those Prayer Book Society or use parishes that frankly have so much material in their hands i,e, the 1662 BCP that ought to tell them differently.

Having grown up in an evangelical parish with straight 1662 BCP celebrated from the north end of the altar by two priests who knew they were priests and who knew the Real Presence despite their evangelicalism, I have no issue with the 1662 BCP eucharist, however like many I agree that if we have the opportunity to use a rite that is better like the African or Indian rites.

My own preference is 1549 or the Anglican missal and it would always be my desire to see the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church used always, just as within Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the UK I expect to hear the prayers for the Sovereign and the Royal Family used and not substituted by prayers for the State.

Anonymous said...

Bp Meade is to be congratulated for an outstanding website. I also commend him for two really neat posters, which he or someone in DUK has produced. He graciously sent one of them to me (the world map) as an e-mail attachment, which I promptly took to my local printery and had blown up and laminated. It looks quite grand on our narthex bulletin board.
Good PR materials are invaluable. DUK, through its bishop, is making a solid contribution to us all.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I was originally interested in rereading the ACC/UK website to show that the RCC Novus Ordo is not allowed, responding to a comment on another thread. But, I saw that the whole statement is very much a companion to the well-known What we believe statement, and thought it worthwhile to show to everyone.

When I read Fr. Edward's question I saw in it the possibility that he spoke for others, asking why this Anglican liturgical formulae is not on the list. I had thought that people in England and Australia did not have the same feeling about the traditional BCP that we have in America. If I was wrong, and he speaks for others, are we not limiting our outreach to them? What is he telling us? Should we not listen?

I believe that the real intention of not including the 1662 on the list was only meant to be in favor of the Holy Communion services of 1549 and the American 1928, or the Missal. I have called the 1662 Holy Communion the "stripped model," which may be American slang only; it means reducing a car to its basic function without anything to make it desirable such as Air Conditioning, Radio, or even comfortable seats. Much of what moves us in the Eucharist is simply missing in the 1662. I am not arguing that it must be used when other forms are just plain more desirable.

Also, in seeking to promote better Eucharistic liturgy, what have we done to the rest of the Book? The 1662 was the triumph of High Church Catholics over the Puritans, once and for all. In my private life, sometimes I use the 1662 for Morning or Evening Prayer (though usually using my 1928 American, and always using the 1928 in church), and I use its Absolution from the visitation of the sick.

In terms of the Canons, this is not a question for the ACC in the UK, but for the Original Province in Provincial Synod.

Anonymous said...

Here is the 1662 form of Absolution in the Ofice for the Visitation of the Sick, which Fr Hart has alluded to recently.


"Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offenses; and by his authority committed unto me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Anti-sacerdotal sentiments kept this from inclusion in our 1789 American book. But even if the 1662 Book has not been legalized in th ACC, this particular form I believe is included in the Manual for Priests which is legaland published by our Athens publishing depot.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

By the way, I believe the ACC is the jurisdiction that Continuing Anglicans need to find their way to. I am very interested in hearing what Fr. Edward has said to us for that reason above all others.

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Hart wrote, "What I said about the Articles I say about the 1662 BCP.... [I]n making the Affirmation the foundation of our Canons, we automatically accept the 1662 BCP. The Constitution and Canons cannot allow a self-contradiction, so the 1662 already is fully authorized."

That is an interesting argument, one I have never seen before. In addition to that pregnant suggestion, there are two special situations involving the BCP editions that are already authorized in express terms, situations that can also be argued to make the 1662 BCP one that is authorized "sub silencio" by our Canons.

For the first, if one examines the title page and front matter of the 1954 South African book, one sees that it is titled "A Book of Common Prayer...", not "The Book of Common Prayer...." The front matter makes it clear that "The" BCP in the Province of South Africa was, in 1954, and thereafter remained, the 1662 BCP of the C of E, to which the 1954 work was merely an optional supplement of local application.

Similarly, the ACC authorizes both the 1960 Indian "Supplement to the BCP" and the 1963 Indian BCP. Now think about that: if the Indian BCP was not authorized until 1963, then what BCP was it that was being "supplemented" in 1960?

You guessed it: the same old 1662 BCP of the C of E, which was, until 1963, the only actual BCP (as opposed to trial liturgies) in the CIPBC. And, as in South Africa, the "Supplement" makes clear that it is an optional local variation but the original remains valid and authorized.

So, I would suggest, once having adopted and authorized the 1960 Indian "Supplement" and the 1954 South African "A BCP", the ACC has, in fact, had the 1662 ride into its tent piggy-back upon them.

Certainly, this line of reasoning is rather sounder than that by which some claim the Gregorian Canon is authorized for use merely because it is printed within the covers of the English, Anglican, and American Missals, which ignores the fact that those Missals themselves are only authorized to the extent that they "conform to" the BCP.

However, I expended a good deal of effort in this cause. I have now reached the age where there is only so much energy available to be devoted to any project, so I must pick and choose my agenda. It will have to be someone else's task to persuade my brothers of the clergy how silly it makes us look to claim at once to be "Continuing the tradition of the Church of England" while also claiming that the Church of England's most famous and distinctive orthodox liturgy is banned from use among us.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Well stated, Canon Hollister. I is one thing to claim to be the "Continuing Church," and something else actually to continue. Your point regardng the Missals is well taken indeed, especially when certain parties attempt to argue that the Missals can be invoked under the principle "Lex orandi lex credendi" to establish doctrine.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I am surprised by the turn these comments have taken: I was all prepared for a RC apologist to argue about the papacy. The ACC/UK statement says it just right.

It is safe to say that the only reason the 1662 was not mentioned specifically in the Affirmation of St. Louis, is because that meeting consisted of Americans and Canadians. If the C of E had been in the same crisis back then, or Australia, the 1662 would have been mentioned specifically. The whole point was to Continue, not to change. This does not mean we can reject their radical revisions in favor of our radical revisions. It means no to all radical revisions.

And, besides, the 1662 BCP was covered by invoking "all Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae." Any further vote is about a moot case, already resolved long ago.

Again, my concern is about those who need to find their way to the ACC, especially in light of the current crisis.

Mark VA said...

From the recusant perspective:

Father Hart wrote:

"I am surprised by the turn these comments have taken: I was all prepared for a RC apologist to argue about the papacy."

If one is all prepared, then an interesting argument on this subject can be found in the book "The Quest for Shakespeare" by Joseph Pearce. I highly recommend it, especially to all those who call themselves Catholic. I can't resist a small quote from the great bard:

"The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say."

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I really don't know what Mark has tried to say.

A comparison of the 1962 Canadian BCP and the 1662 BCP is instructive. The Holy Communion is almost word for word the same, the only real difference being when the Communion is taken by priest and people. Inasmuch as the 1962 Canadian BCP is specifically mentioned in the Affirmation of St. Louis, how can the clear embrace of the 1662 BCP escape our notice?

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Just to show I am not always a fly in the ointment, let me register my agreement with Frs Hart, Wells and Hollister regarding the virtues and historic authority of the 1662 BCP. I would also like to see the 1928 Proposed book added to the list.

I would like to note, however, that the 1962 Canadian BCP does reinstate the last part of the Prayer of Consecration which was displaced to a post-Communion position in the 1662. This may not have been clear from Fr Hart's comment on the comparison.

I think it is also worth noting that the ACC's authorisation of the Missals is not conditional or premissed on partial acceptance "insofar" as they conform to the BCPs. The relevant authorisation read literally effectively asserts they do so conform. And Abp Haverland appeals to them as one piece of evidence for the exclusion of receptionism by the ACC in his book.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I believe that they conform, but not perfectly. Canon Hollister is also correct; the two statements are not really at odds. However, none of the resources are perfect. Each edition of the BCP has some minor flaw, if only the missing word "holy" in the Creed called Nicene. Each hymnal has some minor flaws. The Missals are not perfect either.

I would like to note, however, that the 1962 Canadian BCP does reinstate the last part of the Prayer of Consecration which was displaced to a post-Communion position in the 1662.

That is what I was referring to. It took me a long time to figure out why the 1662 has the reception of the Communion take place in such an odd place, right after the Words of Institution. The reason, however is quite simple. They saw it as conforming more to the night itself of the actual Last Supper.

John A. Hollister said...

I appreciate Canon Kirby's position on the 1662 BCP and agree with him that the ACC's approval of the 1962 Canadianb BCP makes even sillier any objection to the nearly identical English edition of 300 years earlier.

However, I am utterly mystified as to how he arrived at his reading of the ACC's Constitutional article regarding the status of the Missals:

"The Book of Common Prayer in its 1549 English, 1928 American, 1954 South African, and 1962 Canadian editions, and the 1963 edition of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon as well as The Supplement To The Book of Common Prayer (C.I.P.B.C.) of 1960 shall be the Standard of Public Worship of this Church, together with The Anglican Missal, The American Missal, The English Missal, and other missals and devotional manuals, based on and conforming to those editions of The Book of Common Prayer."

Years ago, I commented to the drafter of the original version (which has since been amended only by increasing the list of BCPs specified to be primary), "Well, that leaves out the Gregorian Canon, because no one can argue that stripping out the Prayer Book Canon of Consecration 'conforms to' the Prayer Book."

He replied, "Of course it isn't authorized, because of course it doesn't conform; I've never understood how anyone ever thought anything else."

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

Had I been a voting member of the Provincial Synod, I would have voted a loud NO on the proposal of authorizing the 1662 BCP. As a book, it is as good as any other edition of the BCP, none of which are perfect. But the concept of authorizing umpteen Prayer Books does not commend itself to me. One major objection to the Abomination of 1979 was its "multiple choice" quality. By adopting a bevy of books, "the last state is worst than the first." The place of 1662 is secure in the Anglican patrimony, and if someone wishes to use something out of it from time to time, a phone call to the bishop should take care of the matter. But I shudder to think of the priest who proclaims, "As your new Rector, I have decided we will use the xxxx Prayer Book from this time forth."

I am honestly puzzled by the hostility
of certain clergy to the 1662 book and simultaneous love of 1549. 1662 has its well-known defects in its Communion Office, but 1549, for all its glories, is the whole book in the series which explicitly prohibits the Elevation at the moent of consecration. How about them apples?
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

These are interesting questions. The 1549 in prohibiting the elevation was responding to the need of the time, shifting the emphasis from gazing to receiving. That this rubric was not repeated is significant, sugesting that within a little while the correction had been made sufficiently.

About the 1662 BCP, and with the Roman crisis facing members of the TAC in England, and the ever worsening apostasy of the C of E, etc.: Are we not forcing Bp. Meade and his clergy to make bricks without straw?

The Bishop wrote: "Our modest growth has been from people who were either non Christians, the unchurched or who come from other Christian traditions."

Maybe the growth would still be modest in England; but, we must allow C of E and TAC people to enter, and many will not trust a Continuing Church that says, "check your Prayer Book at the door."

Just as the 1928 was the Prayer Book in America, despite the superiority of the 1898 Episcopal Prayer Book (I would argue), so the 1662 is the Prayer Book in England.

So, I think that for reaching out to a whole segment of orthodox Anglicans, we are forcing the good bishop and his clergy to make bricks without straw. This must be changed before the train completely leaves the station.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would agree that 1892 was a better book than our 1928. The differences are not horrendous, so they are truly two editions odf the same book. But there was theological diminution in 1928 and the changes, such as they were, were not for the better. Evidently I have just crossed the boundary between conservative and reactionary. Oh well.
LKW

Anonymous said...

"The Book of Common Prayer in its 1549 English, 1928 American, 1954 South African, and 1962 Canadian editions, and the 1963 edition of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon as well as The Supplement To The Book of Common Prayer (C.I.P.B.C.) of 1960 shall be the Standard of Public Worship of this Church, together with The Anglican Missal, The American Missal, The English Missal, and other missals and devotional manuals, based on and conforming to those editions of The Book of Common Prayer."

Curiously, my own copy of the Anglican Missal (1931) includes a variety of 'Canons' to select from, including 1549, Roman Canon in English, Roman Canon in Latin (!), Scottish Canon, American Canon, South African Canon and (wait for it) 1662! Also, the copy of the English Missal I have has the 1662 Prayer of Consecration printed in full.

While this, and other comments suggest that 1662 may legal in the ACC 'via the backdoor'. I still think that a degree of credibility and mission-potential may be at risk while 1662 is omitted from the list of authorised Prayer Books in the ACC.

We shouldn't forget that 1662 is not the only BCP to have the Prayer of Consecration so ordered. The Prayer Book of the Church of Ireland (1926) also has the Prayer of Consecration in the 1662 'shape'. I think I'm right in saying that the Church of Ireland (Traditional Rite) was the only TAC group not to sign the Roman Catechism...

Fr Edward

Anonymous said...

Since I have a fairly simple mind, I have a simple interpretation of the Canon authorizing multiple Prayer Books. I take it to mean that the American 1928 book is authorized in the USA, the Canadian book for Canada, the South African book for South Africa, etc. Therefore I find it odd and anomalous that 1662 or 1928 Proposed is not authorized for use in DUK. But that is for Bishop Meade and his people to worry about. But surely I do not have canonical authority to inflict the SA Prsayer Book on an American congregation, even if I were so disposed.

Fr Hollister has already addressed an idiosyncratic interpretation of the canonical status of rhe Missals which is based on wishful thinking. Anyone who can read the language of the Affirmation or the Constitution should quickly grasp that while the Missals are authorized for optional use, they are not on the same status--simply by virtue of the fact that they are optional. If their use is not mandatory, neither are their doctrinal distinctives. While the Missals may be quoted to illustrate a doctrine, they cannot be used to prove one.
LKW

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

As I am sure Canon Hollister is aware, the privately expressed opinions of the authors are of no authority in the interpretation of canons or other laws.

What does have authority are the words of the laws themselves. The ACC constitutional article says, the BCPS listed "shall be the Standard of Public Worship of this Church, together with The Anglican Missal, The American Missal, The English Missal, and other missals and devotional manuals, based on and conforming to those editions of The Book of Common Prayer." The first part in bold puts the Missals as standards of public worship. The second is a description of the type of Missal being authorised, and so simply classifies the Anglican Missal as such a conforming book. I cannot see that it qualifies the verb "shall be" such that the authorisation is partial, or that the words "insofar as they are" may be inserted mentally before the second part in bold as "understood" and not needing explicit statement. The specified Missals are included in the standard of worship because they are based on and conform to the said BCPs.

An Anglican Missal mass using the Gregorian Canon is certainly still "based on" the BCP rite, using most of its words. Does it "conform" to the BCP? Conform seems to have a theological and doctrinal connotation. Only if Anglicanism has ever authoritatively condemned the old Western Canon as heretical, or doctrinally incompatible with the Anglican Canons, can the Gregorian Canon be said not to conform to the BCP. It has not done so. So, the Gregorian Canon is permitted.

If conform simply means here "to have the same outward form or structure", then the Missals' movement of the Gloria is also disallowed, which no-one thinks to be the case. Indeed, every other change in the outward form and ceremonial rubrics would be forbidden, not leaving much of the Missals. So, if "conform" does not mean "having no notable changes in the outward form or shape of the rite", there seems no basis for forbidding use of the Gregorian Canon. Not that I use it. I love the 1549.

John A. Hollister said...

Canon Kirby reads Article XIV, Section 1 of the ACC's Constitution as an unequivocal declaration that the ennumerated Missals DO IN FACT conform to the Prayer Book and, thus, are to be received as standards of public worship.

I can only say that such a reading is, as Fr. Wells has described it, based on wishful thinking. The language previously quoted only makes sense when taken to mean that any one of those Missals (which, being of private publication may be subject to alteration at any time and without any Synodal action) is authorized for use only so long as it is simultaneously (a) based upon the BCP and (b) actually conforms to the BCP.

While I appreciate the intellectual intricacy of Canon Kirby's argument that the Gregorian Canon somehow "conforms to" the Prayer Book, it is not the case that it would have had to have been denounced in express terms in order for it to have been disallowed.

Laws, like Scripture, are in the first instance to be read according to the plain meaning of their terms. To say that a rite, the principal portion of which has been removed and replaced by a foreign import, "conforms to" its initial form, doesn't leave much plain language still standing.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

Canon Kirby wrote, "If conform simply means here 'to have the same outward form or structure', then the Missals' movement of the Gloria is also disallowed, which no-one thinks to be the case."

The option within the ACC, to say or sing the "Gloria" (a) either after the Kyrie Eleison or (b) just after the Prayer of Thanksgiving and prior to the Blessing, does not, as Canon Kirby seems to think, arise out of the decisions by the private editors of the various Missals to place it in the latter position. Rather, it arises from the fact that Article XIV, Section 1 of the ACC's Constitution states that the "Book of Common Prayer" is one work that appears in several authentic editions.

In the first of those authorized editions, that of 1549, the "Gloria" appears in what is mistakenly thought of as the "Missal" position. In fact, it is simply the BCP position as used in 1549. In later editions, the same hymn appears in the "rear wheel drive" position that we see in, for example, the 1928 American BCP.

Thus either usage conforms to "the Prayer Book" as that "Prayer Book" is defined in the Constitutional article. That, however, offers no support whatever to the baseless theory that anything the private editors of the unofficial Missals chose to include in their texts is, ipso facto, authorized by that same article.

I'm sure that theory would have been congenial to those who learned a fanatical devotion to those Missals at Nashotah House and in other similar venues, but, as both Cockney and Yiddish say about the congruence of possibilities and actualities, "If me aunt had [certain distinctively male appendages], she'd be me uncle".

John A. Hollister+
"rolon"
"auter"

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

The key word in interpreting the sentence being considered is "other". Shortening the sentence but keeping the same structure may help. If I say "These specific BCPs are the standard, together with these specific Missals, and other missals or manuals [that are] based upon and conform to the aforementioned BCPs", I am clearly implying by the word "other" in association with the "based on and conforming to" condition that the specified Missals do conform, and that only other books that similarly conform may be used.

It may be objected that I have made my interpretation appear more natural by replacing a comma with the words "that are". But an elision being inferred as the significance of the comma is unavoidable either way. The alternative version of the sentence would be "These specific BCPs are the standard, together with these specific Missals, and any other missals or manuals, [to the extent that they are] based upon and conform to the aforementioned BCPs". My interpretation makes the last phrase adjectival and qualifying the "other missals etc." The other interpretation, just given, requires making the phrase adverbial and qualifying the much earlier verb "shall be" in the original ("are" in my abbreviated version). I submit that the former interpretation is more natural due to the proximity of the noun phrase and adjective-phrase, and because the intrinsically vague and ultra-broad class of books, "other missals and devotional manuals", obviously needed limitation to be considered a standard of worship in any sense.

Nevertheless, Canon Hollister's point about the malleability of the specified Missals, and therefore their inability to be standards without qualification, is a reasonable one. However, it should be presumed that the Missals referred to in the canon are those versions of them that existed at or before the time the canon was created. It cannot be taken to authorise Missals that did not exist at the time of authorisation! The canon does not, therefore, give ACC clergy carte blanche to use any Missal simply because it is called, say, the "Anglican Missal", even if its contents have been significantly changed from before. Only if such changes to the 3 authorised Missals were manifestly conforming to the BCPs would the "new" versions of these Missals be covered by the canon. And this is exactly what is happening with the Anglican Missal at the moment, I believe, with the next edition possibly containing an extra 2 prayers of consecration from the very BCPs that have been authorised in the same canon we are discussing.

I accept that my example of the Gloria was a bad one. But what about the examples where the Missal's rubrics cross BCP rubrics in ceremonial, such as recommending a posture different to kneeling for the priest at the Confession and the Prayer of Humble Access? I have never heard any ACC authority criticise or forbid this, yet it is a clear case of not conforming to the BCP, as far as I can see.

It should be noted that the Gregorian Canon is not a "foreign import", having been virtually identical to the Canon commonly used in the C of E in Henry's time and before. That the 1549 Canon owes much to it is clear, and Cranmer said as much in his reply to some who rejected the 1549 BCP. And hte Gregorian Canon has been long used by bishops and clergy of the ACC without rebuke, probably since the Missals were authorised near the very beginning of our jurisdiction.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

I agree with Fr Wells comment about BCPs and their natural homes, so to speak.

His comment about the Missals' doctrinal distinctives not being any more mandatory than the use of the Missals themselves is fair enough, if he is referring to things that could only be derived from the Missals. But there might be things not explicitly taught in the BCPs, but that are in the Missals, and are also taught definitively in the other authorities the Affirmation acknowledges. In this case, they would be mandatory. As for things only clearly taught in the Missals, they would be properly considered venerable beliefs within the Tradition, but not dogma.

Anonymous said...

Pure and simple, the Missals are not a source of doctrine. Not any more than is the Hymnal 1940. Some yearn to employ the Missals to smuggle in such things as the treasury of merit, the IC, and other late mediaeval Western beliefs which are unsupported by Scripture and not within the Ecumenical Consensus. That use of the Missals goes far beyond the language of the Affirmation or the Constitution Art XIV, Sect 1, p. 27-28.

I am not familiar with the term "venerable opinion." How long or how widespread does an opinion have to be, in order to qualify as "venerable"?
LKW

Anonymous said...

LKW said: "Since I have a fairly simple mind, I have a simple interpretation of the Canon authorizing multiple Prayer Books. I take it to mean that the American 1928 book is authorized in the USA, the Canadian book for Canada, the South African book for South Africa, etc. Therefore I find it odd and anomalous that 1662 or 1928 Proposed is not authorized for use in DUK. But that is for Bishop Meade and his people to worry about. But surely I do not have canonical authority to inflict the SA Prsayer Book on an American congregation, even if I were so disposed."

I very much agree with this. While I fully understand Bp Meade's invitation for those who would like to see the 1662 BCP used in the ACC (and the DUK) to join-up and petition for it, it does seem odd to have to go to such lengths in order for the Continuing Church in the UK to continue the use of the Prayer Book of the Church who's classic and traditional faith it claims to uphold and continue.

The invitation to 'come on board' (or even 'stay on board') and fight for what you believe in (or what you always thought that the Church *did* believe in) is one that has a woefully familiar ring to to it. Personally, I always hoped the Continuum might be a haven that a traditional Anglican could flee to rather than join in order to campaign for change.

Fr Edward

Bishop Damien Mead said...

I am grateful to Fr Kirby's interpretation of the relevant constitutional article concerning the ACC's authorisation of the Missals and in particular the defence of the use of the Gregorian Canon.

I am happy and take comfort celebrating Mass in my Church of St Augustine of Canterbury, in the Sainted Archbishop's See City using the Gregorian Canon with which he would be familiar (albeit in English) and used in the West for centuries before 1054. Lest anyone mention 'Sarum' as somehow being more authentically English - the Canon of that Rite is no different in variation from the Gregorian Canon than the authorised Prayer Book Canons differ from each other. I also take comfort and am equally happy using the 1549 BCP Canon with which his successor, Archbishop Cranmer, would find familiar (albeit in the modified traditional English of the Anglican Missal). I find no contradiction or issue with either.

It has been alleged that my Diocese does not make provision for "prayer book Anglicans'. The 1549 BCP and the American 1928 BCP are in use here, 'lawful' provision is made!

The Missals and their content are authorised in the ACC - I have never looked to the Missals to establish doctrine, nor personally ever met anyone in the ACC who has. To try to argue (here) that the 1662 BCP may be 'unofficially' authorised because various text from it appear in Prayer Books which are already authorised, but then to argue that the Gregorian Canon isn't authorised (despite it being the only Canon originally intended to be celebrated using the - authorised -English Missal) appears nonsensical to me..

I am afraid that I do take exception to any suggestion that I or the clergy of my diocese, may be acting unlawfully according to the ACC's Constitution by using the Gregorian Canon. I do not for one minute think that I or any other ACC clergy (whether here or elsewhere) who use that Canon are doing so and humbly suggest that such comments, if purely personal opinion, by ACC contributors, are clearly identified as such. If however they are intended as 'official' statements or interpretations of the ACC's position (for Canon Hollister in particular has a role in that process within the ACC) that is another matter.

+DM

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Personally, I am not the expert on Canon Law; I look at the Gregorian Canon of Consecration strictly as a theologian. From a theological perspective it conforms to the BCP, and vice versa.

What I don't understand may be England itself. I look at Fr. Edward's comments and assume he speaks for many; and that is because in America we are passionate about our Prayer Book. I have assumed he is a TAC priest looking for a place to go.

There is also so much more that could have been discussed from the website. I liked the recognition of important Anglican figures, the simple and thorough explanation for holding to Anglican identity, the explanation for not going to Rome, etc.

John A. Hollister said...

Bishop Meade wrote, "I do take exception to any suggestion that I or the clergy of my diocese, may be acting unlawfully according to the ACC's Constitution by using the Gregorian Canon."

When I wrote the comment to which he refers, I used the example of the Gregorian Canon as an illustration of how I believe the article in question operates. I was unaware that anyone in the Diocese of the United Kingdom has actually made a habit of replacing the Prayer Book Canons with the Gregorian one, so my words were not intended to be a critcism of any particular individuals.

Nor, if only as a pastoral matter, would I ever advocate presenting an accusatory libel against on charges anyone who used that Canon in the good faith belief that the editorial arrangement of the Missals erected some sort of "safe harbor" for that portion of the Rite.

What I would find intolerable is what I am told a prior Missionary Bishop of the MDUK did, that is, to forbid his clergy from using any service except the Missal one and also from using any Canon except the Gregorian one. I am confident, however, that those abuses died with his departure from our church.

John A. Hollister+
"nessif"

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart wrote "What I don't understand may be England itself. I look at Fr. Edward's comments and assume he speaks for many; and that is because in America we are passionate about our Prayer Book. I have assumed he is a TAC priest looking for a place to go."

There certainly are *many* in England who are passionate about their Prayer Book (1662) and the faith that it professes and teaches. However, as Bp Meade has already pointed out, they are either unaware of (or not inclined towards) the Continuing Church over here. By and large, such folks are happy to join the PBS and attend the early (usually 8am) BCP celebrations within congregations that have, for the most part, departed from the 'classic' Anglican faith. Sadly, many of these people will even accept a 'women priest' as long as the BCP is the Rite used.
Perhaps people over here lack the 'pioneering spirit' shown by those at St Louis and the years that have followed.

Although I am not a TAC member I was greatly impressed with a conversation I once had with Bp Mercer who suggested that traditional Anglicans in the UK should unite around their 1662 Prayer Book and the classic Anglican faith *before* they seek a Bishop or even a Priest to lead them.

Fr Edward

Canon Tallis said...

Bishop Meade's answer is to my mind a renunciation of Anglicanism, very low church.

Yes, the Gregorian canon for all of its faults is theologically valid and will get the job done, but its use by anyone claiming to be Anglican seems like a clear indication that the person or the diocese has no sense of either Anglicanism, Catholic faith or Apostolic order. The real danger of the use of the "missal," any missal other than the appropriate Altar Service Book is that it implies an authority to a see and a use outside of Anglicanism. And that implication becomes a temptation to think, to believe that you are smarter and more "Catholic" than the fellow who merely uses the last orthodox BCP fully and obediently.

That, all too plainly is the case with Bishop Meade. He thinks himself a "Catholic bishop," and so he is, but the orders he has, indeed the orders which all of us claim and have, did not come to us via a Roman pontifical, but through - whether we like it or not - the Ordinal of the prayer book, which was good enough to do the job, i.e., the English prayer book of 1662.

England will not be reconverted to classical Anglicanism or even Christianity by such.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I suppose I should not be surprised that with so many good things on the quoted portion of the website, with which everyone who has commented agrees, the comments have centered on the Book of Common Prayer and related matters. Neither should I be surprised that strong views have been expressed with apparent passion.

About the Gregorian Canon, it is worth remembering that it was not composed by the Roman Catholic Church as that denomination would be described today, but simply by the Bishop of Rome in the first Millennium. I suppose the case could be made that its use appeals to the authority of the United Church of the First Millennium.
Of course, I say that from a safe distance. Here in America, even if I wanted to use it, I wouldn't dare.

Of course, I have no reason to turn to anything other than what is at my fingertips. I believe that nothing surpasses our 1928 BCP, based as it is on the BCP of Scotland.

Bishop Mead said...

I am somewhat at a loss to respond to the last post of Canon Tallis . I can see why he might disagree with some of the things I have written, and possibly why I may not conform to his own personal view of 'Classical Anglicanism'. Although I believe I am, and am proud to be, an Anglican. I am a Christian first, a Catholic second and an Anglican third - although these three are so closely entwined for me that I would find it difficult to un-entwine them!

Canon Tallis' acknowledgement that "the Gregorian canon for all of its faults is theologically valid and will get the job done" is most 'gracious', as is his recognition that I am indeed a Catholic Bishop. I fail then to see how "England will not be reconverted to ... even Christianity by such." Unless of course it his further acknowledgement that ultimately it is, through God's Grace, the Holy Spirit that converts! And that thankfully He is not confined to the narrow limits of man's entrenched prejudices.

Fr Hart has recognised the "many good things on the quoted portion of the website" I am glad he and others find them as intended. I am not surprised with the vast amount of interesting and informative and fairly often contentious views and statements expressed here that some text may be misread, misunderstood or overlooked. The fact that so many posters on here continue to misspell my own surname by adding an extra 'e' suggests this on a superficial level.

Canon Hollister writes "I was unaware that anyone in the Diocese of the United Kingdom has actually made a habit of replacing the Prayer Book Canons with the Gregorian one, so my words were not intended to be a critcism of any particular individuals.
Nor, if only as a pastoral matter, would I ever advocate presenting an accusatory libel against on charges anyone who used that Canon in the good faith belief that the editorial arrangement of the Missals erected some sort of "safe harbor" for that portion of the Rite."

I am glad that I am free of a risk of charges for using the Gregorian Canon, on sensitive pastoral grounds, but I argue it would prove impossible to bring such charges against me in any case. The Gregorian Canon is authorised within the Anglican Catholic Church. I would not use an unauthorised rite. Nor is its use simply a 'habit of replacing the Prayer Book Canons with the Gregorian one" This Diocese since its foundation in 1992 has been predominantly Anglican and English Missal with the Gregorian Canon used extensively. continued/

Bishop Mead said...

continued/
I agree completely with Canon Hollister's "What I would find intolerable is what I am told a prior Missionary Bishop of the MDUK did, that is, to forbid his clergy from using any service except the Missal one and also from using any Canon except the Gregorian one". I can confirm his confidence that this abuse died with that Bishop's departure from the ACC. No clergy in the DUK are forbidden from using the Prayer Book Canons as authorised (I use them happily as I have repeatedly stated and assign no inferiority to any our authorised Eucharistic Prayers for they are all, despite "all of (their) faults, theologically valid and will get the job done"). It was because of grave concerns I had of that particular Bishop's extreme views - and to whom 'Anglican' was such a bad word - that prevented me from joining the ACC before his de[parture in 1997. Afterwards, and because of the affirmation I received of the Anglican Catholic Church's clear embrace and commitment to the faith of the undivided Church and to "English Catholicism" as opposed to 'Roman Catholicism', partially through Archbishop Mark Haverland's book "Anglican Catholic Faith and Practice", I came 'home' in 1999.

I wrote to Archbishop Haverland to get his 'take' on these discussions of the 1662 BCP and the Gregorian Canon and he has agreed that I can quote his response:

"The 1662 BCP is not an authorized BCP of the ACC. Its explicit approval was proposed to but not passed by Provincial Synods. Texts from the 1662 may be freely used, because of its incorporation by reference in authorized BCPs, but clearly that authority is mediated through the more directly authorized books. The fundamental books of the ACC are those stated in the Constitution and Canons.

The Gregorian Canon has been and is used by most bishops of this Church, at least on occasions, and it is clearly authorized by its inclusion in two of the three missals authorized by this Church.

My personal opinion of the 1662 book is clearly suggested in my statement on GAFCON: there is nothing in the book which is fundamentally objectionable, but it is inferior to our authorized books because of its truncated Canon and its easily misunderstood 'Black Rubric'."


I am especially saddened by some of the comments focusing on the Liturgical Use in my Diocese because the first draft of the text quoted from the web site didn't include any mention of Liturgy. I added this section to try to encourage those who wished to see the prayer book Canons used more often and to address any potential accusation that we considered the other liturgies authorised within the ACC to be inferior to the Missals.

"Sometimes our liturgical use in this Diocese - being predominantly 'High Church' or 'Anglo Catholic', is suggested to be off putting to those who come from a more 'middle of the road' or from a 'Low Church' Anglican liturgical tradition, however we are representative of the people who have taken the step to commit themselves and join us. We are however very much open to the establishment of new Missions using other ACC authorised liturgies in the Diocese. It is our faith that unites us and if you share that faith, or seek to, you are welcome".
+DM

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Thank you Bishop.

Someone somewhere had accused the ACC in England of using the Novus Ordo, and I wanted to lay that notion to rest once and for all. The more I read the whole statement at the website, the more I saw its value.

Anonymous said...

As the sad and solemn anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches (Jan 22, 1973), I commend this document for its clarity and vigor in asserting the sacredness of human life from conception until natural death. In the grand scheme of things, that affirmation might be more important than which Canon or which edition of the Prayer Book (all of them being acceptably orthodox) is used. We strain at gnats and swallow camels.
LKW

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bishop Mead, for the thoughtful responses you have made on this thread.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Haverland wrote: “My personal opinion of the 1662 book is clearly suggested in my statement on GAFCON: there is nothing in the book which is fundamentally objectionable, but it is inferior to our authorized books because of its truncated Canon and its easily misunderstood 'Black Rubric'.”

While I accept Abp Haverland’s observations about the Canon of the 1662 BCP in comparison with the other ‘classic’ BCPs from around the world, a quick web-trawl around other ‘continuing bodies’ here in the UK suggests that the ACC is not ‘typical’ in it's non-authorisation of the 1662 BCP. The Traditional Anglican Church (TAC UK), The Church of England (Continuing), the Traditional Church of England (TCE) and the Free Church of England all either use 1662 or at least have it authorised for use (you could possibly add the ‘Church of England in South Africa’ to that list) I can only think that this reflects the centuries of continued use of the 1662 BCP here in the UK. Historically, the 1549 BCP was only used until 1552 (unless you count the private Chapel of Lord Halifax) whereas the Proposed 1928 Canon at least had some continuity of use and went on to be the basis for the Series One Alternative Communion Service.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that the DUK are in any way 'more' or 'less' ‘Anglican’ than anyone else. The DUK, as Bp Mead has pointed out, reflects its membership and particular ‘context’ and ‘history’ and I admire him for his hard work in bringing stability to his Diocese and for maintaining their faithful witness in difficult circumstances. However, I have to say that, personally, I could not countenance seeking membership within the ACC here in the UK at the moment because the 1662 is not authorised. I am an English Anglican; therefore the 1662 BCP is my Prayer Book. As an Anglican, I believe my faith to be catholic and I look to the 1662 BCP, Ordinal and Articles as the standard of that faith (same as it was for Andrewes, Taylor, Pusey etc, etc).

Like it or not, 1662 means something in England! It has a certain ‘credibility’ and history that an imported US 1928 or a dusted-down 1549 simply does not. I for one think that the ACC needs to recognise this and act upon it. My challenge to Abp Haverland and the ACC College of Bishops would be to authorise it alongside the other BCPs and the Missals and to engage in a wholesale outreach to disaffected Anglicans in the UK. Surely it’s worth a try?

Fr Edward

Valerian said...

I must agree with Fr. Edward that the ACC should authorize the 1662 BCP.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Most of the people who voted on this were Americans, and I question if they appreciated what they were voting on. I was told someone ought to suggest the following to Fr. Edward: Form a congregation, or better more than one congregation, no matter how small, that actually uses the 1662, and then have it or them petition Bp. Mead to join the ACC under the Canon that permits "corporate reunions" with non-conforming but authentic forms of the liturgy.

The spirit in the ACC is warm and welcoming; the 1662 BCP for English Anglicans who want a home needs, I think, above all a face, real people actually knocking on the door asking to come in from the cold.

(There is no home for them in the TAC, as the English TAC voted to leap into the Tiber.)

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart said: "Form a congregation, or better more than one congregation, no matter how small, that actually uses the 1662, and then have it or them petition Bp. Mead to join the ACC under the Canon that permits "corporate reunions" with non-conforming but authentic forms of the liturgy."

Can you post a link to the Canon mentioned? Also, have any 'corporate reunions' like this happened previously?

Fr Edward

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Edward asked: “Can you post a link to the Canon mentioned? Also, have any 'corporate re-unions' like this happened previously?”

To take the last first, so far as I am aware, the only groups that have joined the ACC as ongoing ecclesial bodies have all done so where they were already using traditional Anglican liturgies which are approved under the ACC’s Constitution. Thus the AECNA, which joined in the early 1980s, was using the 1928 American BCP. The Church of India, which became the ACC’s Second Province about that same time, was using the Indian Supplement to the BCP (1960) and the Indian BCP (1963), both of which were therefore added to the ACC’s Constitutional article on approved BCP editions.

In 1997, a group in South Africa joined the ACC and that group was using the South African BCP (1954) which was therefore added to that same Constitutional article. Within the past few months, another group in South Africa has joined and that group, of course, was using the same South African BCP.

Recently, a Diocese in eastern India joined the Church of India (ACC Second Province) and I assume that Diocese has been using the 1963 Indian BCP. Also within the last few months, a small group in Rwanda has joined the ACC and within the past few weeks another group in the Congo.

I assume that both of these groups have been using the Central African BCP which is, except for its title page and approval page, essentially identical to the South African BCP which is already approved.

Someone may be able to remember some other instance of “corporate reunion” which I have forgotten, but these are all the ones that come to mind.

As to the governing Canon about which Fr. Edward asked, it is Canon 20.2, “Authorisation of Special Forms of Service”:

“Any Congregations, Institutions, Foundations, or Societies received from any other Eastern or Western Church which shall have placed itself [sic] under the oversight of a Bishop of this Church, may retain the forms of service they have customarily used provided that the Metropolitan and College of Bishops of that Province shall have previously examined such forms of service and shall have been satisfied that the same is [sic] in accordance with the Faith and Doctrine of this Church, approving such forms of service for use only in such Congregations, Institutions, Foundations, or Societies.”

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

We need to bear in mind that the Archbishop's answer was strictly factual about the current status of the 1662 according to existing Canons. He was not commenting beyond the question put to him. I did not see the word "never" in what he said.

It seems then that we have three positive facts to work with on behalf of English (and Australian, etc.) Anglicans for whom the 1662 is and always has been the Book of Common Prayer, and who may want to enter the ACC.

1. The only part of the 1662 BCP that has been even so much as criticized is the "truncated" Holy Communion including the confusing Black Rubric (the last bit, a problem that education can solve).

2. The 1662 BCP has never been banned; it has simply not been added to the list of ACC liturgies.

3. Canon Hollister has presented a canonical way to approach the problem (i.e. the proposal I mentioned in my last comment) for positive change.

This third point places the issue of the 1662 BCP where it belongs, with actual UK Anglicans who may want to use their Prayer Book openly and without apology, as we Americans use ours. The problem heretofore has been that the matter was decided mostly by Americans for whom the 1662 has not been the BCP since 1790 (if any of us are old enough to remember). And, I will say critically of my own jurisdiction (which I joined deliberately, which I see as the best option for Anglicans everywhere, and the most active of all in missionary work), that a few years ago it appeared to be a little too much Anglo-Catholic rather than Anglican Catholic. In those days, as an outsider then, that was how I saw it. Without compromising any genuine doctrine and practice of Catholic Faith, I think that is not true today. I see a larger perspective clearly evident in the ACC as it is now. The fact that they have room for Fr. Larry Wells and me proves it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Canon Tallis:

Forgive me if choose to hold your latest comment in reserve for the time being. I respect your concern, and I want to use the comment in time. But, for now, as you can see from these latest comments, I do not want to change the subject. We may be getting something done that needs doing. Please do not feel snubbed. We'll get to it.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart:

Forgive me in that i have only this way to communicate with you, but please feel free to drop it entirely if it pleases you and ED and the others.

I like you have come to believe that the ACC (whose name, so clearly imitative of the RCC, I detest) is clearly the best hope of any and all who hope for the continuance of classical prayer book Anglicanism. It did not begin that way and the remarks of same on this blog seem to know little or nothing of the dark side of either the Congress of St Louis or the early years of the Continuum. That is probably for the best.

On the other hand, the situation in which the ACC finds itself in which the longest running of the classical BCPs is banned as a result of the theological and liturgical ignorance of the continuing Anglo-papalist clique. I could equally say hatred, but that, too, would not be helpful. But it has the effect no reminding us all that just as we are not individually perfect, neither is any group in the Continuum. Our prayers and our hope is that this discussion will help those who make the decisions to move in such a manner as to provide a place, a welcoming place for those for whom the prayer book and its tradition is central.

The complaint about the "truncated" nature of the 1662 canon could probably be matched by an equal complain about the inclusion of so much irrelevant and unnecessary material in the Roman one. Or that it was the result of suppressing the prayers of the people, the only remnant of which in the Roman liturgy was the solemn collects on Good Friday. For me the one great advantage of the prayer book canon is that magnificent theological statement at the beginning of the canon of the work of God in Christ which ends with the reminder that He will come again. The Roman canon lacks anything its equivalent.

I need no apologies from yourself or any of the extremely excellent co-owners of this blog. As far as I can see no one else is doing the work you are doing in sitting forth 'Truth' of the doctrine, discipline and worship of classical Anglicanism. I am just extremely thankful that it is being done and done so very well.

In the meantime it is quite my pleasure to remain your most humble servant,

Tallis

Anonymous said...

I have a question that maybe someone can answer. What is the difference between the Anglican Catholic Church and the Anglican Church in America? And also are they both part of the Traditional Anglican Communion?

Thanks