Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not that old nonsense again!

It seems that some Continuing Anglican clergy have been sent into the vineyard to labor without having been given a proper warning about Rome's erroneous opinion of Anglican Orders from 1896. My email inbox contained exchanges between some of these poor uninformed clergy who have come to doubt their orders because the whole subject is new to them, inasmuch as no one taught them about it. How sad that they were ill-prepared to face this easy challenge; this says something about the need to educate fellows before ordaining them and sending them out. I advise them not to panic, but to read Saepius Officio, and then the brief summary by E.J. Bicknell, and renew their confidence. Short and sweet, Rome got it wrong and that was because their 1896 Bull was agenda driven, and just plain ridiculous. You need have no fear. Oh God, when might we lay this silliness to rest once and for all?

89 comments:

RC Cola said...

Worse yet, I was watching "The Journey Home" on EWTN and they have a couple of former Anglican priests on as guests. One viewer wrote in to say that his orders are valid since he was ordained by a Polish National Catholic Church bishop.
All other questions aside that could be discussed here, I was amazed by the response, which was something to the effect of "there is more to being a priest than just being validly ordained."

I ended up turning the program off because it got my goat too much. They were saying things that have been refuted quite well by Anglicans (including on this blog) and yet their mis-statements were taken as true. After alll, they were former Anglicans, so they must know exactly what they are talking about, right?

Ugh.

Anonymous said...

"Oh God, when might we lay this silliness to rest once and for all?"

Probably never. Once a theological idea is let loose upon the world, it is likely never to go away, no matter how ridiculous, superstitious, or indefensible it may be.

But it is appalling to be reminded that some Continuing Church clergy have not been made aware of Rome's position and the Anglican rebuttal. Amazing that many could read the clear reaffirmation of Apostolicae curae in the recent Anglicanorum coetibus without blinking an eye and go on nattering about "inter-communion." (When did valid orders ever have inter-communion with invalid orders?)
LKW

El Capitan said...

I don't think that any of the ACA clergy are ignorant of Rome's position of Anglican orders. While we do not agree with this position we are willing to submit with a spirit of humility for the sake of unity of the church. Perhaps what many ACA clergy are ignorant of is the ACC position on the ACA's orders. I personally would rather be reordained by Pope Benedict XVI or one of his bishops than by "Pope" Mark I of the holy and venerable see of Athens (Georgia)

Fr. Lawrence said...

Thank you Fr. Hart for your post. I agree with you and also think that it is important for the laity to have a firm grasp of the facts as well. I believe that it is a part of our Christian obligation for ALL of us to be able to “answer of a good conscience toward God” with no doubts concerning our Church.
Regarding the issue of the validity of Anglican orders, I highly recommend that people read Apostolic Succession and Anglicanism: A Defense of Anglican Orders and Catholicity by Fr. Felix L. Cirlot, published in 1946 by Tafton Publishing Company. In over 400 plus pages Cirlot meets head-on all Roman partisan attacks against our Orders and Succession and successfully demonstrates that our orders are perfectly valid and our succession completely unbroken. Chapter XXIX deals explicitly with refuting Apostolicae Curae.
The book is both well written and well argued; and can easily be understood by the average reader. Cirlot also shows that Anglicanism officially holds the ancient Catholic Doctrine of the Ministry by producing evidence from Official Anglican Practice, Anglican Canons, the Preface to the Ordinal and the Ordinal itself, the Articles, and the Prayer Book. Additionally, Fr. Cirlot shows that Anglican practice is consonant with the practice of the Ancient Church and Liturgies as well.
Also in Appendix C Fr. Cirlot provides a sermon on the topic of the Eucharistic Sacrifice that makes for a great mediation.
In the preface to this book Fr. Cirlot writes “ A God of Truth can be served only by the victory of Truth.” As an unapologetic Anglican I firmly maintain that one of the chief glories of Anglicanism has been (and is) our search for and defense of the Truth: What do the Ancient Fathers and Councils hand on to us from Christ and the Apostles? What is the true teaching of the Scriptures as received by the Church?
What has been believed always and everywhere? What exactly is it that we need to believe for our salvation’s sake? It is our unbroken defense of the answers to these questions that makes us Anglican Catholics; and part and parcel of this is the validity of our Orders and our unbroken Succession from Christ and His Holy Apostles.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

El Capitan:

Your comment was needlessly contentious. If you believe you know the ACC position on ACA orders, then please describe it. As for calling my Archbishop and Diocesan Ordinary, Pope Mark, I can only say that never have I met a more humble and unassuming individual.

The real standard is whether or not orders are above reproach and unquestionably valid by the same standards Anglicanism has always held to. Any question about that may be discussed within the "robust if polite" rule.

Anonymous said...

"While we do not agree with this position we are willing to submit with a spirit of humility for the sake of unity of the church."

This seems to imply that unity is more important than truth. That position, while common amongst wheeler-dealers and deal-makers, is hardly what our Lord prayed for "ut unum sint." If the Vatican knows this to be your real attitude, then the Holy Father might properly inquire about what other points of doctrine you have your fingers crossed. What other issues are being handled with such mental reservations? Haven't you heard, "The cafeteria is closed?"

Another blog which I frequent but which consisently rejects my comments has had a series of articles proving that already, already, already, there is a confrontational and contentious spirit between the RC bishops and not-yet-established "Ordinariates." Interesting times may lie ahead for the "Former Anglicans."

I could again rehearse the distinction between absolute ordinations of ALL "Former Anglicans" and conditional ordinations for SOME ACA clergy.
LKW

Canon Tallis said...

Out of the ball park again, Father! Sound Anglican theology on something much better than steroids. I hope that every bishop in the Continuum follows up on both your suggestions and that that of Father Lawrence. Both are absolutely superb.

As to El Capitan's suggestion, I seem to remember an ancient canon of the church that automatically deposed both the bishop re-ordaining and the re-ordained. Ask you Orthodox brother. He will probably be able to quote it off the top of his head.

Anonymous said...

Along these lines, in the opinion of this ACC layman, the required training for candidates should include robust Patristic, Medieval, and Reformation historical theology (along with in-depth Anglican history and theology); Biblical exegesis and hermeneutics; Liturgics; and a solid dose of Greek and Hebrew languages. If the life of the Church is in the Word of God and Sacraments, it would seem ludicrous to omit the study of sacred Scripture and its original languages.

Of course I'm just an idealist, but I've not encountered any thriving and healthy church where the clergy are ignorant of Scripture, its languages, and exegesis.

Ducking.


St. Worm

Mark VA said...

From the recusant perspective:

In the spirit of "robust if polite" rule promoted on this blog, may I suggest that the measure of ecclesiastical orders against the standard of Catholic validity is more than the merely technical proof of a valid apostolic succession? The self-understanding, the élan, and the historical background of the claimant must also be considered.

For what it’s worth, from my recusant perspective on the Catholic validity of Anglican Orders, one can be torn between wanting to be an advocate, and a devil’s advocate, at the same time.

On the one hand, after reading a book such as “The Quest for Shakespeare” by Joseph Pearce, which is only tangentially, but very vividly, about ecclesiastical orders, one easily leans to the devil’s advocate side.

On the other, considering the historical changes Anglicanism went thru, and is still going thru, since the English Reformation, and the desire by so many Anglicans to keep the name “Catholic”, manifested in so many actions, one can also easily lean to the advocate’s side. Here, a Roman Catholic is almost tempted to answer in the affirmative, as in “valid by desire”. The remaining obstacle may still be, of course, the question of Peter.

So, what’s in a name? Can a platypus have this pedigree?

Jakian Thomist said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

Can I assume this "Pope Mark I" fellow is Arbp. Mark Haverland? I am delighted for you that he is so humble and unassuming.

I just have an idle question (since I don't have the qualifications to go into Anglican orders debacle). Who does Arbp. Mark submit to? If he submits to no-one, why do you submit to him? Where does he get his authority from?

At least Luther claimed miracles in his defence. His words to to the Anabaptists come to mind:
"Who had given him commission to teach?","Should he answer God; let him prove it, by manifest miracle, for when God intends to alter any thing in the ordinary form of mission, it is by such signs that he declares himself."

Jesus, we love you, we adore you and we thank you for everything.

Fr. John said...

Hey! El Kapitan, why not be ordained by "Pope" Mark I? Your ACA/TAC bishops have already been ordained by every other bishop in town. What's one more?

Here's a trivia question for you. Which ACA bishop has been ordained the most times?

Answer coming up soon!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA

If you actually believe that the priests in the Church of England were not sure what they were doing, or what they were, I shudder to think just what non-sense you have been reading. Let me answer what I think is the bit that you might be trying to question.

"Did they see themselves as catholic priests offering the sacrifice?"

"Did they see themselves as protestant pastors?"

The answer is yes to both questions.

About "the question of Peter," just what would he like to know?

El Capitan:

Your question makes you sound like one of those "Discipleship Charismatics" of the 1970s. It seems you need a refresher course in Catholic Order, not to mention the simple common sense to visit the ACC website before trying to present a hypothetical question. We have both a worldwide College of Bishops and Canon Law. Therefore, the Archbishop is under the authority of both the College of Bishops and Canon Law.

Anonymous said...

As a an ACA layman preparing for departure to the ACC I would like to make point as to the absolute silliness of such a remark as "for the sake of unity of the church".

Do you really believe that a couple hundred or even thousand dissolves any divisions? Does it remove any question not answered? Do you really believe that when you leave there will no longer be any Anglicans in this world? Do you really believe that the denomination counter will stop and reverse it self 26599, 26598, 26597.. etc., etc. because you crossed the Tiber. Get out of the way here comes the Baptists, Presbyterians, A of G...!!!

I am not sure if it is arrogance or ignorance that drives such mentality.

I know one thing; in the vacuum created by the lack of leadership from the ACA Episcopate, I have no doubt that my jurisdiction is going to blow out; and frankly the sooner the better for us all. Disunity in the Continuum is not theological as much as pride and ego.

Could it be a few of the problems will soon be Rome's?

Alan

Fr. John said...

And with each successive ordination, the "partial fullness" is slowly obliterated, until finally emerging chrysalis like into the warmth of the papal sun a full priest places his holy and venerable hands on the sacrament, finally, fully the body and blood of the Lord. No more partial sacraments for the lucky laity of such a shepherd. The bread and wine, before only partially present, like the priest with partially full orders who uttered the words of consecration, are now, or rather will be, once we get that next ordination, fully the body and blood instead of the reduced calorie version of our Anglican days.

Yes, there is more to being a priest than just having valid orders, but just try being a priest without them. Oh wait, that's what TAC/ACA are trying to remedy, right?Or is it just about unity? Unity at any price.

What should have been a frank and honest discussion about inter-communion between the TAC/ACA and the Vatican, has degenerated into a mess.

And now I am given to understand that the existing Anglican Use parishes are claiming the right to administer the soon to be created ordinariates by virtue of their longer association with Rome.

Surely, barring some major revision on this arrangement from the Vatican, it is apparent to the most casual observer that the ACA loses in every way in this un-intercommunion.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. John's comment seems a bit rough and tumble at first glance. But, he is responding to an actual argument put forth on another blog, which I have addressed. Holy Orders are fully valid, or they are completely invalid. They cannot be more or less "full." And, I assume Alan is not suggesting that churches and people disappear, but that confusion and division give way to truth and unity. I know several good people (including clergy) of the ACA, and they want simply to be Anglicans; they just want the whole Roman business to go away. They are not buying any of it.

RC Cola said...

Any RC who doubts that Anglican orders are valid because of faulty intention should look at the bishops of the past 50 years and wonder if their own orders are valid due to faulty intention.

Are RCs trying to tell us that Rembert Weakland intended what the Church intends when ordaining priests? Oh, but in this case, the RCs would say, "Unless we can prove he didn't, we have to presume he did." Well, then, let's extend that courtesy to the Anglicans and have an honest discussion about the intention that the Anglican bishops had when ordaining priests.

What passes for Roman Catholicism in the RC hierarchy is paying lip service to the Pope, while at the same time breeching nearly every doctrine and discipline that existed prior to five minutes ago. The RC bishops and priests would be better off to observe the faith rather than mouth obedience to the Pope, while plotting his destruction and the destruction of the RCC from within.

Far fetched? It started with Judas Iscariot, who apparently must have been a prodigious ordainer, because it seems that he has a large and devoted following of episcopal successors: Weakland, Kasper, Mahoney, Law, O'Brien, Clark, Hubbard, Trautman, and the list goes on nearly endlessly.

I can count the good RC bishops in the US on one hand and still have enough fingers to play the guitar solo in Stairway to Heaven. So if RCs want to talk intention, the beam must be removed from their hierarchy--ahem, eye-- before trying to remove the mote from Anglicans.

Why did I leave the RC? One word: "The Bishops" plain and simple.

Oh, and by the way, one of the issues that the SSPX has with the RC during their negotiations is the question of the validity of orders under the Novus Ordo. It's funny how the neo-con RCs are offended as all get-out that someone would doubt their orders and intentions, but they don't seem to have a problem doing it unto others.

Canon Tallis said...

You boys are just going to have to play nice. I know, I know; when I do as I have said and not as I have done. But after that last set of posts I was laughing so hard that I think I came close to a heart attack so I will have to ask that you have some pity on an old priest.

Fortunately, there are some Romans who have long known that Anglican orders are as good as those of Rome. A quite interesting Irish lady of my acquaintance whose late husband was a station agent for British intelligence in one of those pesky middle Eastern zealotries, told me of a time when there was only one Anglican priest and one Roman priest in this very major Islamic city. When one of them took a vacation the other would take his services as well as his own and the James Bond type folks knew enough to keep their mouths closed.

Fortunately we have the good Father to keep our attention on the real theological and historical issues and not the comedy of errors, some accidental and some intentional and irrational, which keep stoking the fires. We must remember the aged Polycarp's advice to his flock in his old age, "Children, love one another." So it spoils the fun, but be assured it leads to something far better. But what that is, not even I would dare to guess.

John A. Hollister said...

Canon Tallis wrote, "I seem to remember an ancient canon of the church that automatically deposed both the bishop re-ordaining and the re-ordained." It is:

THE APOSTOLIC CANONS

68. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, receives a second ordination from any one, let him be deprived, and the person who ordained him, unless he can show that his former ordination was from the heretics; for those that are either baptized or ordained by such as these, can be neither Christians nor clergymen.

(Adopted by the Quinisext Council, or Council in Trullo, 692 A.D.)

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola referred to the EWTN show, "The Journey Home", that had a former C of E priest and two former PECUSA priests on, talking about "Anglicanorum Coetibus".

I was appalled when Fr. Dwayne Longenecker blithely repeated the old canard about the C of E's having been founded by Henry VIII because he wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Any regular reader of this blogspot knows that story is as full of holes as is a good piece of Emmenthaler cheese.

And this was a man who was ordained in the Church of England! So either he is so irremediably ignorant that he must have purchased his way through the canonical examinations or he is, in Sir Winston S. Churchill's words, "a sanguinary purveyor of terminological inexactitude".

Just this afternoon, after a requiem, I was once again asked by an R.C. visitor what are the differences between our church and the Roman one. I think I am going to start answering those questions by saying "The Roman Catholic Church was founded in 1570 by Pope Pius V, when he went into schism from the Church of England because he wanted to recover the Vatican revenues that had been cut off after 1535."

At least my version has the virtue of being based on actual facts, unlike Fr. Longenecker's.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

El Capitan (I'm assuming that's that huge monolithic rock out west) wrote, "I personally would rather be reordained by Pope Benedict XVI or one of his bishops than by 'Pope' Mark I of the holy and venerable see of Athens (Georgia)".

God is good; providence is gracious. The Holy Spirit has made it possible for E.C. to have his wish and we will all be better off for it.

While he is off wading the Tibur, soon to discover just how much Anglicanism is really left on the other side, others of his ACA brethren who wish to be Anglicans rather than a Roman pastiche thereof will be happily wending their ways toward that same Athens and there will be welcomed with open arms.

John A. Hollister+

Mark VA said...

From the Catholic perspective:

Father Hart:

"The bit" in question is about the locus of authority that has the power to define what are valid orders in the Catholic faith. There are several claimants to the name "Catholic", each one having ordained priests. This question is not really about each group "being sure" of the validity of its orders.

Should those groups that call themselves "Catholic" submit to a universal standard for ordinations, or does each one claim its own (infallible?) standard? Or to refocus the question, does the power to bind and loose reside with Peter?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA

I will answer you from the genuinely Catholic perspective (i.e., in accord with the Universal Consensus of Antiquity).

"It is evident unto all men diligently reading holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church; Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Which Offices were evermore had in such reverend Estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by publick Prayer, with Imposition of Hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful Authority. And therefore, to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed in the Church of England, no man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon, in the Church of England, or suffered to execute any of the said Functions, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto, according to the Form hereafter following, or hath had Episcopal Consecration, or Ordination." - Preface to the Ordinal

It does not say to the intent that these orders may be:

1. Restored, as if they had been lost

2. Replaced, as if to create a new thing

nor

3. Dismissed.

Rather, we see that they are "continued" as in having an unbroken line.

These Orders receive no new definition, and are described in the three Rites that follow in terms perfectly consistent with ancient Catholic doctrine and practice, with words of the highest Authority, the mouth of God as recorded in Holy Scripture.

As for that specific calling that belonged to St. Peter, we have seen before how it was fulfilled in the Book of Acts where Peter unlocked the door for Jews (chapter 2), Samaritans (chapter 8, with the help of Philip and John) and to the Gentiles (chapter 10, in accord with 1:8). We do not see that fulfillment in the history of the papacy; and, much of what we do see in the history of the papacy cannot be said to have anything to do with the kingdom of God.

Canon Tallis said...

When one reads the Latin pontificals of the late middle ages one discovers that men are ordained to the presbyterate, but inpreparing the English Ordinal the reformers choice the words "priest" and "priesthood" because they knew, given what Calvin had done in Geneva, what Rome would make of it if they continued with the old word. Likewise in the official Latin version of the prayer book, all the references to the minister where he would traditionally require priestly ordination uses the Latin term "sacerdos" which should make very plain to any honest person the intent of the English Church.

My thanks to Canon Hollister for producing the appropriate canon and to Father Hart for answering our beloved recusant whom I would ask to read St Paul's Epistle to the Romans with a view to reconciling it to the Roman myth. It would also help, possibly, if he were more widely read in the earliest fathers as to their view as to who bears Peter's authority.

Anonymous said...

Are the various Continuing groups of one mind with regard to the validity of Anglican Orders within the Canterbury Communion? Is there a difference of opinion with regard to Ordained by Flying Bishops or within Provinces that don't / haven't 'ordained' women?

I'd be interested to know.

Fr Edward

Fr. John said...

Canon Hollister wrote:
"Anglicans...will be happily wending their ways toward that same Athens and there will be welcomed with open arms."

And most of you will have to come through Atlanta to get there, so if you need any assistance, e.g. a pick up at the airport and a ride to Athens, call St. Hilda's Parish. We have been in Atlanta at the same location for over 32 years. See our web pages at www.sthildasacc.org for contact information.

We are here to welcome you and serve you.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Father Hart wrote:

"... much of what we do see in the history of the papacy cannot be said to have anything to do with the kingdom of God."

In my eye, this is a harsh and unjust assessment of this office, and of the vast majority of the men called to it. Regretfully, since the English Reformation, such opinions (I would even say "propaganda") continue to be a thorn in a relationship between otherwise natural friends.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr Edward wrote:

Are the various Continuing groups of one mind with regard to the validity of Anglican Orders within the Canterbury Communion?

I can answer only for the ACC, and as a theologian. We are not certain just how much the validity of Holy Orders has been compromised by a subtle but real loss of sacramental Intention in the Anglican Communion. It is safe to assume that the Anglican Communion has lost the power to ordain, and to see all of their Holy Orders after 1976 as possibly invalid; and that is enough to require conditional ordination.

Before someone tries to make this the same as Rome's 1896 position, let me say why that is not the case. It is not the case because our reason for uncertainty (and that is the issue, uncertainty where certainty is needed) is sound and logical. Allowing for women's ordination requires a radical departure from the faith and practice of the Church Catholic in every age and in every place, and is a repudiation both of Scripture and the Tradition of the Church (which speak with one voice).

Whereas we cannot declare all such orders to be "absolutely null and utterly void" in some Roman fashion, we are forced into a position of agnosticism where gnosis is required. The manna (i.e. "what is it?") approach to Holy Orders is both unnecessary and easily rectified with just a bit of St. Chad like humility.

This emergency is due to the acceptance of WO (with things getting worse from there) and therefore should not be likened to the Papal Bull of 1896. The difference is very real.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA wrote:

"... much of what we do see in the history of the papacy cannot be said to have anything to do with the kingdom of God."

In my eye, this is a harsh and unjust assessment of this office...


You are right of course; what is wrong with a bit of Avignon reflection, as in mirror image? The Borgas were swell guys, and poison is nowhere near as messy as the Sicilian methods were. It's all been a a jolly fun history, with nothing but saints, like Pope Julius in his armor leading the troops into battle.

Fr Odhran-Mary TFSC said...

It seems as if the number-one complaint about the Holy See's offer is the matter of Anglican Orders.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Father Hart:

Please note that I wrote "vast majority". Why the mockery, then?

Anonymous said...

Fr John:

I managed to "wend my way" to Athens quite well, thank you, without going near Atlanta. Highway 441 through Milledgeville and other historic places is a delightful drive. (By the way, in recent study of Georgia greatest fiction writer, Blessed Flannery O'Connor, we learned that for Flannery Atlanta is consistently a symbol for hell.)
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA

You need to be realistic. No serious Roman Catholic would deny that much of the history of the papacy is scandalous. But, you felt the need to say that an objective statement of fact was unjust. That is not even the position of Pope Benedict XVI or of John Paul II. Neither man would have said what you said.

Fr. John said...

My dear Roman friends, and wannabe Roman friends,

God bless you! I know you have encountered from time to time Anglican priests who agree with your primary assertions about the nature and authority of the papacy. We have to regard such Anglican clerics as either woefully lacking in ecclesiastical education, or a dissimulation because of an agenda of some sort.

One thing that can be said of the Anglican Catholic Church, the education standards for our clergy are high. The numerous works of theology and ecclesiastical history that have been cited across the various threads of this blog need not be repeated here. The arguments against the Roman assumptions about the magesterium need not be repeated either. They are quite well known. What does bear repeating is that the best minds of the Roman Church have not dissuaded us from our belief that we are actually more Catholic than you are, and we can demonstrate convincingly through theology and history why that is so.

The obituary of the Anglican Catholic Church has been written many times over the last three decades, yet still we are here. We are not gloomy or pessimistic about our future, we are having the time of our lives living out our faith in these churches where miracles occur, people are saved, families are created, and where the apostolic ministry of Christ functions as it ought. And if the church down the street has thousands of people, I know that next month there will be another scandal about sex or money coming out of some mega church, so I do not envy them.

Also, I have to smile when some posters write things about our Archbishop to make him appear to be a martinet, or an autocrat of some sort. We are not afraid of our Archbishop. He gives personification to the word irenic.

Fr. Wells, You never miss a chance to slam Georgia, or Atlanta, do you?

I think it was Richard Weaver who wrote, "Every time I see the city of Atlanta, I am reminded of what a quarter of a million Confederate soldiers died trying to prevent."

Still, it's my home town, and I reckon I'll have a drink here if I want to, in spite of the Yankees.

Nathan said...

Yes, Fr. Wells, it is a beautiful drive to Athens. But as any Florida air traveler can tell you, "You can die and go to heaven, but you have to go through Atlanta!"

Nathan
nogend

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Wells wrote, "in [a] recent study of ... Flannery O'Connor, we learned that for Flannery Atlanta is consistently a symbol for hell."

She must have used either Hartsfield International Airport or Atlanta's Insterstate Highway system, or both.

If Dante had lived in the post-Autobahn era, he would have described not seven descending circles but seven concentric "ring roads", with multiple interchanges and high- and low-level ramps....

John A. Hollister+
"sutle" I'm not--

pathib said...

RC cola said:
"Oh, and by the way, one of the issues that the SSPX has with the RC during their negotiations is the question of the validity of orders under the Novus Ordo."

No. The issue is not on the table as far as I know.

Fr. Hart said:
"You need to be realistic. No serious Roman Catholic would deny that much of the history of the papacy is scandalous. But, you felt the need to say that an objective statement of fact was unjust. That is not even the position of Pope Benedict XVI or of John Paul II. Neither man would have said what you said."

I deny it. Call me a silly snackerel mapper. Some of the history is scandalous but not much of it. And I doubt very much that the position of both popes is as you say.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

So, the issue is the word "much"? Is not that word relative?

You may not be aware of John Paul II making public apologies ten years ago; but, I recall it as if it had only been a decade.

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola wrote, "I can count the good RC bishops in the US on one hand and still have enough fingers to play the guitar solo in Stairway to Heaven."

I don't know anything about how many fingers it takes to make guitar chords, but let me put in a plug for the Most Reverent Thomas Tobin, R.C. Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island. You may recall that he is the one who had the intestinal fortitude to confront Congressman Kennedy about the disconnect between the Roman Catholic faith and Kennedy's overt political positions, especially on abortion.

That was perfectly in tune with the prior history of the man who was, for a number of years when I lived there, the R.C. Bishop of Youngstown. He was a great pastor and a fearless and decisive bishop.

In one case, where the Monsignor who was pastor of a major suburban congregation had only six months to go before retirement when credible allegations arose regarding serious past misconduct, Bishop Tobin suspended him the next Sunday. No pussy-footing about, temporizing until the retirement made the problem moot!

He required every clergyman coming into the diocese to sign an affidavit that there was no past basis for any charges against him. That way, if a problem later arose, he didn't need to wait for the protracted Roman process to get rid of that man; he already had against him a clean charge of perjury upon which he could act immediately.

Typical of him was the way he dealt with the Lefebvrist congregation that was 5 minutes from my house. He persuaded it to return to the diocese, guaranteed it that its Latin services would continue, and brought in the Society of St. Peter to serve it. And it is growing and flourishing.

I knew it was on its way when I saw a car loaded with five teenagers, and no adults, pull up for a Saturday morning service. The kids all got out, each with his or her St. Joseph Missal in hand, the Latin on the left-hand page and the English on the right, each one of them dressed in shirt, tie, and dress slacks or the equivalent.

In they went, quietly and in order, and knelt down to pray. At that moment, I knew the future of Our Lady Queen of the Rosary was secure.

And the Bishop of Youngstown certainly shined in comparison with the lilly-livered weak sister who was bishop in Cleveland at the time, who conspicuously bobbled everything from clerical misconduct cases to inevitable parish closings. I'm sure Bishop Tobin is not alone, even if he is a rare example. If the Roman authorities did their job in vetting candidates for promotion, Bishop Tobin would be a Cardinal and the Metropolitan Archbishop of some major see. Los Angeles could certainly use him, for one.

John A. Hollister+
"mutprobu"

Anonymous said...

"Fr. Wells, You never miss a chance to slam Georgia, or Atlanta, do you?"

Is Atlanta in Georgia? Georgia is a lovely state. Remember, I live in a city where the current Mayor successfully sold a big tax hike to the populace on the slogan, "We can't let Atlanta happen here."
LKW

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Father Hart:

What I see is the need on a part of some Anglicans to view the Papacy in the worst imaginable light, or close to it. It seems to me that this need is integral with their concept of what a faithful Anglican should be.

What's also interesting is that many Anglicans have rejected such Reformation era propaganda, and have accepted a different view of the Papacy - not hagiography, but a more charitable and informed assessment. Somehow, they don't find this assessment threatening to their Anglican patrimony.

Regarding the apology Pope John Paul II offered for the sins of the Roman Catholics - I recall that the critics of this decision warned that such an apology will be gleefully exploited by the world, and not at all reciprocated. Pope John Paul II responded, to the best of my memory, that this apology is necessary, because it is being offered primarily to God.

RC Cola said...

pathib,

The question of validity of Novus Ordo orders has long been a topic of discussion among members and parishioners of the SSPX. I was one for years.

Michael Davies helped make it much less of an issue when he wroteThe Order of Melchisedech. We talked about it all the time. He and I discussed this when we were on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auersville, NY, the summer before he died.

Last I knew, it was still an issue because not everyone in the Traditionalist movement agreed with Davies that NO orders were valid.

Perhaps something has changed to which you are privy and I am not. That would be fine. After all it has been several years since I attended an SSPX parish or read any of their material.

RC Cola said...

Re:Michael Davies

Upon further reflection, the pilgrimage during which I had that conversation with the late Mr. Davies, must have happened in 1997 or possibly 1998. It's been so long...

Fr. John said...

Mark VA wrote:

"What I see is the need on a part of some Anglicans to view the Papacy in the worst imaginable light, ..."

Not at all, some protestants and fundamentalists hear "Antichrist" when then papacy is mentioned. We certainly are only pointing out historical developments of the papacy, and contradictions in the presentation of the papal claim to possess the entire magesterium by virtue of the office of bishop of Rome.

We point these and other errors, for that is what they are, out when the Vatican makes its historically inaccurate statements on Anglican orders.

One more time, even if the pope is able to speak infallibly on matters of doctrine and morals, is able to also speak infallibly on matters of historical events? That is exactly what Leo XIII did in his bull on the invalidity of Anglican orders.

History sheds much additional light on matters pertaining to the church. It is a revelatory moment for one to realize that the name "Roman Catholic Church" is a recent development. Certainly no Christian in classical Antioch, Jerusalem, or Constantinople ever considered themselves to be "Roman Catholics."

The surest example of Roman arrogance in these matters is the treatment of the native Christians in Malabar,India who were guardians of the tomb of St. Thomas. They even burned their liturgical books! These Christians are now under the oversight of the Syrian Orthodox patriarch. Perhaps this is one of the incidents His Holiness John Paul II had in mind when he made his apology on behalf of the Roman Church.

Mark VA, your post made you seem regretful that the Pope offered this apology.

Anonymous said...

Fr. John said...

"...have not dissuaded us from our belief that we are actually more Catholic than you are, and we can demonstrate convincingly through theology and history why that is so...."


This is a very interesting position to take.

I wonder why with all the proof and documentation you have, it is not more than the articulated opinion of a small group, founded in the 1970s, devoid of being in communion with ANY historic See, and composed of a statistically insignificant number of the some total of Christians?

If it is so obvious, and so factual, and so totally beyond dispute, why are more people not sold on this notion you put forth?




Merrily-on-high

Rappahannock Rev said...

"One thing that can be said of the Anglican Catholic Church, the education standards for our clergy are high."

Certainly no-one graduates from the ACC-associated Scott School of Theology without carefully studying both Apostolicae Curae and Saepius Officio!

And (responding to the heartfelt plea of Anonymous, supra,) the Scott School curriculum includes a solid grounding in ‘catholic’ theology, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, patristics, specifically Anglican history and liturgics, and New Testament Greek. The School is not a substitute for a traditional residential seminary, btw, but an alternative to it; its graduates must pass all the standard canonical exams….

Anonymous said...

I'm still a little unclear about how Orders within the Canterbury Anglican Communion are regarded by the Continuum. I'm sure that I read somewhere that the ACC only regarded itself as not being in some degree of Communion with Canterbury post-1992. 1976 seems an early date from which to regard all non-Continuum Orders as possibly invalid - didn't Bishops from the ACC attempt to attend a Lambeth Conference in 1978?

Fr Edward

The Rev. Robert T. Jones IV said...

I frequently find myself saying that I'm never going to post a comment on a blog again. However, along will come a topic that compels me to write. This one, in particular, has caught my attention and forced me to the keyboard.

First, on the matter of "Pope Mark I", I am extremely offended at seeing my Archbishop referred to in such a derogatory way. I have known Archbishop Haverland for 10 years and, as Rector and Dean of the Pro-Cathedral in Athens, have the opportunity to work closely with him fairly regularly. He is thoughtful, prayerful and always concerned for the well-being of those under his pastoral care. He is also quite firm on points of doctrine and order and I appreciate that firmness, especially in a time when flexibility seems reign paramount in churches.

Second, as someone who was ordained to the Priesthood under the Novus Ordo, I find the arguments that the Novus Ordo ordinations are invalid to be silly. The essential elements of ordination are the laying on of hands by a bishop on the head of the candidate and saying a valid prayer of consecration. Secondarily but not absolutely essential to the Sacrament, there is the transmission of the Eucharistic elements with the commission to offer sacrifice on behalf of the living and the dead and also the granting of th faculty to forgive sins. I don't know what Novus Ordo ordinations people are referring to here, but I do know that all of these elements were in mine and all of the RC priests of whom I am aware.

People who want to question whether a bishop had the right intention or not are really opening a can of worms that should best be left closed. The canon is pretty clear: If a proper minister acts in accordance with the form that the church intends and does so with proper matter, then it is presumed that minister's intention was in accordance with the church and that the sacrament has been properly confected or completed. This is true for both Roman Novus Ordo ordinations and, sorry Romans, it is also to be presumed with Anglican ordinations which have consistently followed the ancient custom of laying on of hands with prayers of consecration. While there may have been some doubts concerning the Edwardian ordinal, the presence of Orthodox and Old Catholic bishops in most Episcopal ordinations and in the patrimony of the bishops in the ACC should remove the doubt of most reasonable people about the validity of the orders of our clergy. I intend no disrespect in this matter to other conitnuing Anglican jurisdictions. It's just that I can't speak to other continuing Anglican jurisdictions because I have not studied that point.

Now, I will retreat back into the blissful obscurity of "lurker-dom". Anyone who wishes to argue any of my points will find their words echoing in the vacuum of where I used to be.

Father Bob Jones

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Merrily on high:

You are mistaken about a few facts. But, even if we were so small in numbers as to be "insignificant" (and who but a devil would think of any human beings as insignificant?), we would still believe in the teaching of the Church Catholic as we have stated.

The Rev. Robert T. Jones IV said...

"Now, I will retreat back into the blissful obscurity of "lurker-dom". Anyone who wishes to argue any of my points will find their words echoing in the vacuum of where I used to be."

At least until I become irritated enough to post again.

RTJ+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

CHERUB has written yet another one of those comments that requires me to exercise editorial control. I am going to publish all of his comment, but in a discussion format.

Fr Hart says re how did Anglican Ministers see themselves at the Reformation:" Let me answer what I think is the bit that you might be trying to question. "Did they see themselves as catholic priests offering the sacrifice?" "Did they see themselves as protestant pastors?"The answer is yes to both questions."I see no evidence for Father's answer to the first question. Cranmer is very clear about the sacrifice of the Mass -- it isn't offered. Read his work: "Therefore Christ made no such difference between the priest and the layman, that the priest should make oblation and sacrifice of Christ for the layman, and eat the Lord's Supper from him all alone, and distribute and apply it as him liketh. Christ made no such difference; but the difference that is between the priest and the layman in this matter is only in the ministration." Cranmer did not believe in the Catholic priesthood whereby the priest offered sacrifice.

This proves that scholarship can be dangerous and that some people should not try it at home. When Cranmer wrote this, he restated a position that every Roman catholic also believes: "but the difference that is between the priest and the layman in this matter is only in the ministration." That means, only the priest can be the celebrant, not a layman (anyone in Sidney care to pay attention?). For the rest, the obvious meaning, so clear as to scream out from the page, is that non-communicating Masses are simply wrong. The priest has no right to be the only one eating and drinking the sacrament, nor to decide that in some Masses the laity are to be excluded from receiving this sacrament, reduced to mere spectators. He was restoring Catholic teaching after centuries of abuse.

(cont. below)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

(cont.)

He believed in the protestant pastor bit, but not the Catholic priest bit. Since he was responsible for the Ordinal, I guess he knew what he was intending, and it certainly was not Catholic priesthood.

Because he did not believe in excluding the laity from receiving the sacrament? You have a strange idea of "Catholic priesthood."

Some of the C of E priests said the old Mass in their Rectories and Vicarages before going to the Church to celebrate the new order.

Now we have jumped to the original Ordinal on one hand and then back a couple of years to the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, on the other, when first it was published. Objections to the Book of Common Prayer even caused riot in Cornwall, and the hanging of a priest from the bell rope by an angry mob who were objecting to the foreign tongue of English. We know all that.

And the newly ordained were ordained as protestant pastors. Sad ... but for those of us brought up in the Anglican tradition, that is the reality until 1662 changed things a bit, and the Dutch touch and other interpolations into Anglican orders restored Apostolis Succession in places which are now too difficult to discern.

The Dutch Touch (1930s - the 1960s) was a waste of time, and restored absolutely nothing; the ecumenical gesture went nowhere. The 1662 clarifications ("...for the Office and Work of a Bishop"..."for the Office and Work of a Priest...") in the Ordinal was just that, a clarification; and it was made not to satisfy Rome, but to put the Puritans in their place once and for all, and refute their attempts to confuse the matter. We have explained over and over again that before that, the identification of the offices was Intended by the quoted portions of Scripture, something a learned reader would know right away. But, Cherub seems aware only of the worst possible RC spin.

And with the ordination of women, Anglican bishops are certainly clear that whatever they are doing it is not confecting the sacrament of Holy Orders since women can never receive such Orders.

Once again, have you not noticed that we are Continuing Anglicans? Our very existence follows the path of St. Athanasius who also went into exile rather than having communion with heretics. Aim your criticism of WO where it belongs, not at us.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

By the way, I see I committed a typo by writing "Roman catholics" with a small "c." This was not meant to offend anyone. However, the capital "I" later on in "Intended" was very deliberate, and meant to be understood in terms of sacramental theology.

Mark VA said...

From the Roman perspective:

Father John wrote:

"Mark VA, your post made you seem regretful that the Pope offered this apology."

The written word doesn't always reveal its true intent, in contrast to it being spoken - in this case, I admit that this is my limitation as a writer. I'm actually in full agreement with this apology of Pope John Paul II. It was necessary, and by offering it Pope John Paul II hopefully pleased God, and pointed to a higher ground of the ecumenical dialog.

As an aside historical note: in 1965, Cardinal Wojtyla was one of the signatories to a letter issued by the Polish Episcopate to the German Episcopate. This letter, among other things, offered forgiveness to, but also asked for forgiveness from, the Germans. Responding to some severe criticism from certain quarters for this apology, Cardinal Wojtyla wrote:

"In human inter-relationships, especially on such long time scales, it can never be that each side does not have something to mutually forgive each other".

This is a good lesson in humility, and in the dangers of falling into a victim mentality. It takes a mensch to offer an apology. I think I've suggested enough between the lines...

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Edward wrote, "I'm still a little unclear about how Orders within the Canterbury Anglican Communion are regarded by the Continuum. I'm sure that I read somewhere that the ACC only regarded itself as not being in some degree of Communion with Canterbury post-1992. 1976 seems an early date from which to regard all non-Continuum Orders as possibly invalid - didn't Bishops from the ACC attempt to attend a Lambeth Conference in 1978?"

First, this is just the answer of one country priest, although one who has been observing these issues for the past 27 years.

Second, so far as I have seen, the ACC treats Orders originating within the Lambeth Communion as follows:

(a) Those conferred in the Anglican Church of Canada (the first Province to go to women's "ordination") prior to 1975are accepted as is; those conferred in the Ang.Ch.Can. after that date are repeated "sub conditione".

(b) Those conferred in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA are treated as are those conferred in the Ang.Ch.Can., only in PECUSA's case the operative date is 1976, for the same reason.

(c) Those conferred in other Provinces of the Lambeth Communion are treated similarly, although outside the Ang.Ch.Can. and PECUSA, the operative date for each such Province is the earlier of (1) the date that Province began "ordaining" women or (2) 1992, which is the date the "mother Church" of England dove down that drain.

In other words, the assumption is that even those Provinces that do not themselves "ordain" women, but which remained in communion with the C of E after it began doing so, thereby signalled their acceptance of the practice. Prior to 1992, it was still possible for outlying Provinces to claim that they rejected the practice and that the other outlying Provinces that had adopted it were the odd men out; after 1992, that argument looks pretty hollow.

The original 1977 text of the Affirmation of St. Louis expressed the aspiration to remain in communion with Canterbury and with other faithful Anglicans around the world. However, that aspiration has been a dead letter since the day the Presiding Bishop of PECUSA returned from the Congress of St. Louis to his office at 815 Second Ave., New York.

It appears that he immediately picked up his telephone and rang up the Abp. of Cant., for ever since the successive Abps. of Cant. have sedulously pretended we do not exist, thus rendering that hope expressed in the Affirmation a dead letter.

I know of no attempt by the four bishops who were consecrated in January, 1978 to attend an Lambeth Conference. Then, as now, and indeed ever since the first Lambeth Conference in 1867, that Conference has been, quite literally, a private gathering hosted by the Abp. of Cant. for the time being and consisting of those he, in his sole and personal discretion, has chosen to invite.

Thus, in 1970, the then-Abp. of Cant. summarily excised the entire Church of India from his Rolodex (or, perhaps, Filofax) for the sin of having refused to join in the pan-Protestant mergers of the Churches of South India and of North India which, that year, were -- again by the Abp.'s own discretionary act -- placed on the Lambeth mailing list instead of the C of I.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. John said...

Dear Merrily on High,

I don't do this for many people, so consider yourself fortunate.

For multiple opinions on the validity of Anglican orders (In the days of its orthodoxy)from Eastern Orthodox synods see the tome "Orthodox Statements on Anglican Orders" Edited by E.R. Hardy, Jr. for the Advisory Council to the Presiding Bishop on Ecclesiastical Relations" Morehouse Gorham, London 1946.

Reproduced in this volume are the following official synodical statements of Orthodox churches on Anglican Orders:

Constantinople 1922
Jerusalem 1923
Cyprus 1923
Alexandria 1930
Romania 1936
Greece 1939

Maybe these statements don't count for anything with you, but as "continuers" who got out in 1977 before the Anglican Communion was corrupted, we can claim with great confidence that our orders are valid. Our view of the papal claims to the magisterium are also shared by the Orthodox.

We don't feel so very much alone in our beliefs, but even if we were all alone, we would continue as Catholics, and in that sense I believe that my jurisdiction is more faithful to the Catholic tradition than Rome.

Fr. John said...

Mark Va,

I try to not take any of this personally. The medium of a blog lends itself to misunderstanding.

That is why I wrote that your posting "seemed" to regret the Pope's apology.

Thank you for the clarification.

I apologize to you and to all here that all too often my own staccato, one liner style, can come across as bitingly satirical, and sneeringly cynical. That is my style and the medium exacerbates it. But I do go to great care to call no one names. I find it better to just leave peoples names out and instead libel them as a group. I'm kidding of course!

So, let's just have some fun with it and not take it personally.

"Ye pope to shun
a battle wunne."

from "A Protestant Primer"

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark VA focused on what he took for an insult against the papacy. But, my more important point was overlooked, than Peter's special place is described in the Book of Acts where we see fulfillment.

Cherub said...

Father Hart. I do not see why you felt you had to exercise what you call "editorial control" and what I regard as censorship. You should let my contribution stand or fall and by all means have a go at it if you wish. You have seriously misrepresented me accordingly. Firstly, the relevant bit of my Cranmer quote is the question of a sacrificing priesthood which in turn relies upon the sufficiency of the sacrifice offered even if the priest alone receives communion. I do not in any way disagree with the frequent and regular reception of Holy Communion by the laity. But even if there is no layperson present and/or able to receive holy communion, it is still a valid sacrifice. Cranmer was denying a sacrificing priesthood. Obviously I could not quote all that Cranmer said but I have read him and understood him.
Second, it is unfair of you to patronise me re scholarship. I have a PhD and am widely published. I use the name Cherub because I choose to and would rather not have people evaluate what I say based upon knowing who I am. I am just putting to you what I think. And you should be able to accept when people disagree with you.
Third, you say, " We have explained over and over again that before that, the identification of the offices was Intended by the quoted portions of Scripture, something a learned reader would know right away. But, Cherub seems aware only of the worst possible RC spin." Well you may have explained over and over again but I think you are wrong. And a learned reader I certainly am, well versed in theology, the scriptures, the various books of common prayer, and the point of view that you express. The trouble is that different Anglicans have different accounts of what they think is authentic Anglicanism. I have always accepted that there is a diversity of views in Anglicanism and respected people who hold the various opinions. But you speak with magisterial certainty on things about which there is far more uncertainty than you wish to acknowledge and is if you are a scholar of world renown. I just ask you to be fair. You don't have to agree with me. But you should treat my contributions fairly and not misuse "editorial control" as a form of censorship.

Anonymous said...

"I know of no attempt by the four bishops who were consecrated in January, 1978 to attend an Lambeth Conference."

Bishop Peter Francis Watterson (of blessed memory) did put in an appearance at Lambeth. How far he got I do not know, but probably no more than shaking a few hands and bending a few ears. One of his key lay personnel, Prof Rosamund Sprague of Columba SC (the first lady of the Continuing Church, in my humble opinion) was also there on behalf of the Christian Challenge and wrote a very informative article about her impressions.
LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub:

If you were censored then please tell me what I cut out. Your statement was so misleading that I chose not to let it get buried, but rather saw the need to correct your mistaken statements immediately. The same holds true of this one.

What Cranmer was criticizing (which is clear in the text) was a priest who refuses to give the sacrament to the people. The abuse is called a "non-communicating Mass," and justification for it requires a convoluted mind of the worst kind. The "sacrifices of Masses" (double plural) was a natural context for criticizing both abuses at once, since history ties them together in a fairly obvious way. No, that is not rejection of Eucharistic Sacrifice. If you were as well read as you say, you ought to know that.

As for the identification of the offices within Holy Orders by the selection of the quoted scripture, you suffer from the delusion that I was stating an opinion. You may disagree with it if you like; but, you are disagreeing with an objective fact. You may as well insist that the South won the Civil War. Refusing to agree with a fact, however, makes no sense whatsoever; and that the selected portions of Scripture were known to identify priest and bishop, and therefore so Intended, is a very well known fact. It is not an opinion at all, and therefore beyond the reach of agreement or disagreement. Anyone who cannot see the scriptural identification may plead ignorance of the Bible, or ignorance of the old Latin Ordinal from which the English was translated, or of the commentary of the period; but ignorance nonetheless.

If you are a published scholar I hope the English Ordinal is not your subject, inasmuch as your comments show you are not qualified. If you are known for writing about it, it is bad for academia and also for the world of professional publication (about which I am no outsider). Perhaps it is for the best that you use a handle.

About diversity of views within Anglicanism, I ask, opposed to what? The absolute uniformity of thought in Roman Catholicism, where no one anywhere ever disagrees about anything? Or the rock solid singularity of mind among the Eastern Orthodox? Or, the lack of dissent in the Village? Nonetheless, we are Continuing Anglicans and have taken a strong stand, and you should know perfectly well where we stand.

But when you react to debate by accusing your opponent (in this case me) of "magisterial certainty," you indicate to me that you could not really be a professional academic. What did you expect? That I would roll over and let you trample on our scholarship without reply? That I would pretend not to believe anything I have said? That I would let myself appear to be confounded? Frankly, I am not sure I believe you about your status in the world of published scholarship, not if you confuse facts with opinions and cannot accept refutation without emotional appeals to non-sense.

Anonymous said...

Fr John Hollister wrote: "I know of no attempt by the four bishops who were consecrated in January, 1978 to attend an Lambeth Conference."

I think it's mentioned in the book 'Divided We Stand'. I'm not entirely sure how accurate it may be or how most Continuum folk regard that book.

Many thanks though for your post clarifying the position with regard to 'Canterbury' Orders. Very helpful.

Fr Edward

David Gould said...

I cannot disagree with Cherub that there is a breadth of theological and Church political opinion with Anglicanism, ranging from Calvinistic to Anglo-Papist to mention two oft named variables.

It is time that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants, each coming from their own perspectives, need to appreciate that the Anglican Continuum is not the Anglican Church pre-1978.

The Continuum has, in the ACC for which I can advocate for, clarity and absolute certainty of it's orders, it's teaching magisterium, of the canons that govern it, that is in conformity with St. Louis and the Catholic and Apostolic faith which is Catholic Anglicanism, the faith that was not extinguished in England by the reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries or the reformation of the 20th century.

Anglicanism rests within the Continuum. The buildings remain with the established Church of England, ECUSA, the Anglican Church of Australia etc. Their bishops and synods abrogated orthodoxy when they ordained women priests and walked away from 2000 years of faith and order, and in such a short time threw away valid sacraments.

It is time that Roman apologists understood that being Anglican means being in the Continuum Churches for it is therein that one finds valid sacraments, orthodox teaching, Apostolic succession and Catholic magisterium intact, alive and possessing the same valid existence that the Church of England always had, until 1992 when it authorised the ordination of women.

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Edward wrote, about what Fr. Wells described as Bp. Watterson's visit to Lambeth, "I think it's mentioned in the book 'Divided We Stand'. I'm not entirely sure how accurate it may be or how most Continuum folk regard that book."

What a sad image: Bp. Watterson lurking in the lobby at Lambeth, like an early precursor of Vicki Gene Robinson, although for entirely the opposite reason.

As to that incident's appearing in "Divided We Stand", I haven't read that book for years, and then did so only once, so cannot be sure if it did touch on that incident.

I can't speak for anyone but myself as to how the book is regarded, although everyone to whom I've spoken about it has had the same reaction as I. That is, it seems to give an accurate recitation of mere facts (such as what meeting was held in which city on a particular day, and who was in attendance thereat) while being utterly and hilariously wrong in its ascriptions of motives and intentions, at least to some of the major players.

For example, those of us who knew the late Bishop James O. Mote would never recognize, in that author's depiction of a Machiavellian ward heeler dealing and wheeling in smoke-filled back rooms in the pursuit of power, the saintly, humble, and sometimes apparently naive man we encountered.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. John said...

Bishop Mote was truly great and good. I treasure my memories of him.

Cherub said...

Father Hart: "The "sacrifices of Masses" (double plural) was a natural context for criticizing both abuses at once, since history ties them together in a fairly obvious way. No, that is not rejection of Eucharistic Sacrifice. If you were as well read as you say, you ought to know that."
I cannot reproduce for you everything that Cranmer said about the Sacrifice of the Mass but in the same essay, indeed at the end of that essay, he says: "[Every man] spiritually may feed of the very flesh and blood of Jesu Christ his Saviour and Redeemer, remembering his death, thanking him for his benefits, and looking for none other sacrifice at no priest's hands for remission of his sins, but only trusting to his sacrifice ..." Cranmer did not correctly understood the real Catholic doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass and nor does he accept a sacrificing priesthood. I read very well Father Hart. The 1662 Prayer Book reflects this doctrine. Anglo-Catholics attempted to overturn this erroneous Cranmerian doctrine by adding the prayer of oblation to the consecration prayer, much to the chagrin of Evangelical Anglicans as everyone knows.

You say: "About diversity of views within Anglicanism, I ask, opposed to what? The absolute uniformity of thought in Roman Catholicism, where no one anywhere ever disagrees about anything?" I have not referred to opinions in any general sense but official teaching. Rome, whether one likes it or not , has official teaching against which one can dissent if one wants to, and within which there is plenty of room for intellectual discussion. Anglicanism in England, and elsewhere in the Anglican world, formalised the different teachings into schools, all of which claimed to be the legitimate Anglicanism. So there were institutionalised parishes and even dioceses on the basis of churchmanship. So Anglicans, at the same service, receive the same communion even when believe mutually exclusive things about that communion and its ministers. The Continuum represents only one of the possible Anglican approaches. It is a well argued approach within its obvious limitations, but still is only one 'official' account of Anglicanism.
Father Hart goes on to say: "But when you react to debate by accusing your opponent (in this case me) of "magisterial certainty," you indicate to me that you could not really be a professional academic. What did you expect? That I would roll over and let you trample on our scholarship without reply? That I would pretend not to believe anything I have said? That I would let myself appear to be confounded? Frankly, I am not sure I believe you about your status in the world of published scholarship, not if you confuse facts with opinions and cannot accept refutation without emotional appeals to non-sense." Well this is illogical, unfair, and emotional. Yes I have said that you speak with magisterial certainty. And you do, even employing the royal 'we'. It simply does not follow from that observation (with which you are well entitled to disagree)that I could not possibly be an academic. There is no link between premiss and conclusion, an elementary logical blunder. No, I do not expect you to "roll over", but I do expect you to understand the facts as they are: Cranmer did not believe in the sacrifice of the Mass or sacrificing priests. The "sacrifices of masses" referred to in the 39 Articles, and to which Newman later made reference in Tract 90, certainly does reject the idea that priests offer other sacrifices discrete from the One Sacrifice of Christ. But I am talking about the Prayer Book of 162 in which there is no doctrine of the sacrifice of the Mass present.

Cherub said...

In defence of your position you say, "the selected portions of Scripture were known to identify priest and bishop, and therefore so Intended, is a very well known fact." That is a very poor argument. There was a consensus on the meaning of Matthew 16:18. But no amount of reading that in Church on St Peter's day can alter the fact that Anglicanism rejected the previously received account of the Papacy. So too all the Biblical texts to which you refer were given new interpretations which explicitly rejected the Catholic priesthood as it was universally understood and accepted. Thank God for the Oxford Movement which attempted to bring the Anglican Church back to its historical roots and in greater conformity. And good luck to the Continuum for following that Movement, at least to some degree.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub:

Archbishop Cranmer corrected the error of the times, and so stated the Catholic Faith, properly restoring it. There is only one sacrifice. He was correcting the false notion that Christ is offered again and again, as if we need fresh sacrifices of masses in and of themselves. The whole context, both literary and historical, is clear and obvious, You are the one who is denying the Catholic Faith, for instead of one Sacrifice that is full perfect, and that is once for all, you reject what Cranmer, and the Council of Trent, agreed on. Read it in the context of history and the whole text. What Cranmer was saying ought to be obvious, even to a Roman Catholic all fired up with anti-Anglican propaganda. And, I agree with Cranmer. "Representation" (as in re-presentation) is the word you need to look up.

About divisions in Anglican circles, so what? I heard today from someone claiming to be a Traditionalist Roman Catholic who was not associated with (in his own offensive words) "Ratzinger and his cronies." I rejected the comment because it was nothing but anti-RC ranting. But, there too, if I wanted to go on about divisions in RC circles I could. We are the Continuing Anglicans and we have made our stand clear (and, that is not "royal we." I never thought I was in the Continuing Church all by myself, you silly man. You can't even understand my modern English; should I believe you can understand Cranmer's 16th century English?).

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In defence of your position you say, "the selected portions of Scripture were known to identify priest and bishop, and therefore so Intended, is a very well known fact." That is a very poor argument.

It is not even an argument at all, but an obvious statement of fact. How on earth could you possibly expect me to take you seriously if that obvious point goes over your head?

So too all the Biblical texts to which you refer were given new interpretations which explicitly rejected the Catholic priesthood as it was universally understood and accepted.

No, they were seen in light of their true meaning, consistent with the Fathers of the Church and the consensus of Antiquity. There, by he way, you will have a hard time finding your peculiar RC beliefs. And, if you knew what you were talking about, you would know that the Accipe Spritum Sanctum was translated word for word into English from a 13th century Ordinal (at the latest) used long before the Reformation. Everyone, yourself excepted, always knew that the Scriptures identified the specific offices. It requires biblical illiteracy not to know that.

(Is this guy for real?)

RC Cola said...

To Rev. Jones,

I'm sorry if I caused you offense. I was only reporting that people at my former parish debated whether Novus Ordo orders were valid or not, but did not intend to say or imply that I doubted their validity. It was coffee hour "what if" talk, nothing serious.

Most of us agreed that it wasn't our place to make and that we did not have the competency to make such statements.

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola addressed his last comment "To Rev. Jones".

Just as a matter of enculturation, it is a bit more consonant with our customs to address a priest as "Father Jones" or, where the priest in question has an earned Ph.D., even "Dr. Jones".

As the great Methodist writer Charles Merrill Smith pointed out, we do not directly address a man as "Reverend Jones" because "Reverend" is an adjective and titles are always nouns. So the usual envelope address really assumes the interpolation of that noun, as "The Rev. [Mr., Dr., or whatever] Jones".

After all, we would not speak to our Congressman as "Well, hello, Honorable", much as we might be tempted to make fun of him or her, especially these days....

Of course, some non-liturgical and/or non-sacramental bodies do tend to address their clergy as "Reverend" but that's their choice to ignore the customary grammar.

John A. Hollister+
"micidn"

RC Cola said...

Well, Canon, since I can't hear the tone of voice or see the look on your face in your corrective post, I'm going to have to give you the benefit of the doubt and tell myself that you mean no offense.

But--and I do mean this in good humor--where I come from, stepping in to correct something that wasn't even addressed to you, would have earned you a black eye and the nickname "Poindexter."

You can take da boy outta Noo Yawk, but you can't take the Noo Yawk outta da boy!

Anonymous said...

"What a sad image: Bp. Watterson lurking in the lobby at Lambeth,"

No sad image at all! To my way of thinking, this was an act of great courage, like Amos at Bethel, Moses in Pharaoh's court. It may have been foolhardy, but he was a fool for Christ.
And where were the other three Denver bishops when Bp Watterson was bearing witness before the rulers and powers of this world?

Whatever mistakes PFW may have made, "lurking" was not one of his faults.
LKW

Fr. John said...

Cherub wrote:

"There was a consensus on the meaning of Matthew 16:18. But no amount of reading that in Church on St Peter's day can alter the fact that Anglicanism rejected the previously received account of the Papacy."

Well, if your an academic, your degree must be in Medieval Saxon Poetry, because you certainly could not have written the above words if you knew the History of England and the Church in England. WE (that is to say me and my fellow Anglican Catholic clerics) know from secular history as well as ecclesiastical history that William the Conqueror imposed, by force of arms, the concept of the papacy you claim we accepted then rejected. Henry merely restored the old agreement England had with Rome prior to the coming of the Conqueror.

You can read about for yourself if you care to do the research. You can start with my Patroness, St. Hilda of Whitby. If you had called her a Roman Catholic, she would have rebuked you, yet she was persuaded to be in communion with Rome. Try boning up on the Synod of Whitby held in 662.

I apologize for the snarky attitude, but your magisterial certainty in making historical statements set me off.

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola remarked on, and therefore apparently objected to, my correction of the fashion in which he addressed the Revd Dr. Jones.

I'm sorry if he did not like what I said, or the fact that I said it, but it was not meant to be unfriendly or snarky. It was, however, meant to be blunt and clear.

I know Fr. Jones and am quite sure that he is insufficiently impressed with himself to have made that correction. I, however, am sufficiently impressed with the sacred Office he holds to desire that a holder of it be addressed correctly, as a matter of respect for that very Office.

So I made my observation, as gently as the combox medium seemed to permit -- I did say it was purely as a matter of enculturation -- and make no apologies for having done so.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. John wrote:

WE (that is to say me and my fellow Anglican Catholic clerics) know from secular history as well as ecclesiastical history that William the Conqueror imposed, by force of arms, the concept of the papacy you claim we accepted then rejected.

I always knew my black sheep ancestor (or, to be in character, should I use the pompous royal "our"?), William the Conqueror, also was called William the Bastard for two very good reasons; it seems there was a third I had not considered.

Cherub said...

Fr John says of me: "Well, if your an academic, your degree must be in Medieval Saxon Poetry, because you certainly could not have written the above words if you knew the History of England and the Church in England."

Well, you see Father, English myopia notwithstanding ("fog in the English Channel, Europe cut off"), the fact is that the meaning of Matthew 16: 18 was universally accepted until the Reformation. That because of historical reasons the English Christians (in the North) were not in Communion with Rome until 666AD is not really relevant unless you think Christianity is to be identified with the opinions of some English before 666AD, and some after the Reformation.

Some of my posts do not see the light of day on this blog because of Fr Hart. This one may not either, but I will take the risk it does appear and say to you and your colleagues that your account of Church history is extraordinarily narrow. That the Church subsists in all those Churches in communion with the Holy Father is not a new doctrine. It was universally accepted before the Reformation. Second, the problem with the whole of Reformation theology (including that of Cranmer) is justification by faith alone, ie sola scriptura, sola fides. Cranmer's rejection of the normative teaching of the Catholic Church, and his acceptance of the scripture only and faith only doctrines, led him into further error including his rejection of Catholic priesthood, the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub writes:

...the fact is that the meaning of Matthew 16: 18 was universally accepted until the Reformation.
That the Church subsists in all those Churches in communion with the Holy Father is not a new doctrine. It was universally accepted before the Reformation.


"Universally accepted" my left hind leg. Only by your narrow definition of "universal," by which you ignore the entire Eastern Orthodox Church with the other Patriarchates in 1054, which was forced to allow Rome to separate from the Church as they see it to this day. They did not accept Rome's absurd isogesis (isogesis is never a valid method of interpretation). So, have you alone never heard of the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch (the real See of Peter) and Alexandria? Of course, by your pathetic defintion they do not qualify as part of the Universal Church. The "Universal Church" was exclusively western according to your prejudices.

,...ie sola scriptura, sola fides. Cranmer's rejection of the normative teaching of the Catholic Church, and his acceptance of the scripture only and faith only doctrines, led him into further error including his rejection of Catholic priesthood, the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence.

Your bigotry is understandable, inasmuch as you demonstrate the accompanying symptoms: A little bit of knowledge and a whole lot of ignorance. Obviously, you do not know the correct definition of the two solas. Sadly, many Anglo-Catholics share your ignorance and resulting prejudice. But, FYI, they were Catholic teaching, at the very least an acceptable view that came from St. Thomas Aquinas.

And, you are quite wrong about both the Sacrifice of the Mass (or. Eucharistic Sacrifice to use a better theological term), and Real Presence. In the archives of the blog I have already explained this. Before you can make such a blundering statement about Cranmer's theology, you must first tell me what exactly you think the word "sacrifice" means in connection with the Eucharist; for, by a proper understanding, the Anglican Holy Communion is superior to all Latin Masses in stating the true meaning of Eucharistic Sacrifice, and The Prayer of Humble Access especially gives the best statement ever of Real Presence, and does so in terms of the sacrament as generally necessary to salvation.

Since the Reformers were clear what it was they rejected (i.e., Christ being offered afresh in each Mass), and since the Council of Trent agreed 9though in their own terms), what but truculence, bigotry and arrogance moves your brand of Roman catholic to throw expressions of rage at our every defense of our own validity?

Define Eucharistic Sacrifice as you understand it-I dare you to try.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...unless you think Christianity is to be identified with the opinions of some English before 666AD...

By the way, you mean British, or Britons, not English. They were not yet one people.

Canon Tallis said...

Cherub is simply quite wrong about a universal acceptance of the meaning of Matthew 16:18. Such did not exist and if he were better read in the Fathers he would know that. Most of the fathers of the first five centuries rejected such a view and the earliest General Council accorded Rome a primacy of honour based upon its being the Church of the imperial city and not upon the myth of his being the successor of Peter.

The ancient festival of St Peter's chair places such at Antioch. The feast of St Peter's chair at Rome is quite modern by contrast and was only instituted when some Roman prelate realized the implication of the far more ancient feast.

We really should not blame Cherub. He is only repeating what he was taught, what all Romanists were taught when the Roman hierarchy felt secure that nothing they said would ever be challenged by the laity and they could hide behind the Pian missal and Latin as a sign of a 'universal' church. They likewise did not expect the laity to read the fathers and to discover that the very format of the Roman service is not that of the early Church but one invented and revised between Gelasius and Gregory I. Even 1552 far more reflects what is said in the earliest Fathers about how the Church celebrated the Eucharist than you would find in any sacramentary from Gelasius onward.

But what i appreciated most was your defense of the central core of the Anglican Eucharistic canon. The theological statement. Nothing in the Roman canon equals it or even comes close. Even in its most truncated form it exceeds the Roman canon as a theological statement and an act of praise and thanksgiving. And when you return the paragraphs of the Roman canon to what Roman authorities believe was its original order, it is very like our American canon but without the glory.

Fr. John said...

Cherub wrote:

"That because of historical reasons the English Christians (in the North) were not in Communion with Rome until 666AD is not really relevant unless you think Christianity is to be identified with the opinions of some English before 666AD, and some after the Reformation."

This statement is so absurd it doesn't really need to be refuted.

Please allow me to explain the historical situation using your own words.

You wrote:
"There was a consensus on the meaning of Matthew 16:18. But no amount of reading that in Church on St Peter's day can alter the fact that Anglicanism rejected the previously received account of the Papacy."

Now try this:
There was a consensus on the meaning of Matthew 16:18. But no amount of reading that in Church on St Peter's day can alter the fact that the papacy rejected the previously received agreement brokered in 662 at Whitby with the native Celtic Christian Church.

The Pope gave his permission for the Duke of Normandy to raise a vast armament, launch an invasion, and depose all of the native bishops save one, replacing them with men who agreed with the Pope's theories on the extent of papal power and authority. This type of situation is what Robert E. Lee called, "A union by the force of bayonets."

The English Church did not "receive" this interpretation of papal power, it was forced on them by military conquest.

If you acquiesce in this manner of bringing Catholic Churches under the authority of Rome, then you are in agreement with Mao-Tse-Tung, who wrote:
"All political power comes out of the barrel of a gun."

Accept the historical fact that Rome had a deal with the Church in England and reneged on it, and what's more made England a vassal state of the pope. This placed England at a great political disadvantage to other nation states in Europe. For this reason Henry declared that "this realm is an empire."

As head of the English State, Henry could not allow the Pope give the Holy Roman Emperor a veto over English international diplomacy. This is what I mean when I say that the Pope was acting in the capacity a secular prince.

"Fog" cut off Christians in the north from the pope? Right, blame it on the weather, rather than inept papal attempts to conduct high politics.

John A. Hollister said...

Cherub wrote:

1. "That the Church subsists in all those Churches in communion with the Holy Father is not a new doctrine. It was universally accepted before the Reformation."

This assertion would astonish the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, who never accepted this "doctrine" and who, to this day, still do not. Are they not part of the "universal Church"? Well, in Roman eyes, perhaps not, but in our eyes they certainly are.

2. "Cranmer's rejection of the normative teaching of the Catholic Church, and his acceptance of the scripture only and faith only doctrines, led him into further error including his rejection of Catholic priesthood, the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence."

This one is really going to require some hard evidence. But even if such should be forthcoming, any private opinions entertained by Thomas Cranmer could not alter the indisputable fact that, prior to 1992, the Church of England itself never departed from the traditional doctrines of the Catholic priesthood, Christ's one Sacrifice which at each Mass is once again presented before the Father, and the Real Presence.

John A. Hollister+
"faild"

Cherub said...

Father Hart challenges me to describe the Catholic doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass. I will do so subject to the following caveats: 1) whole books have been written on this subject and a few paragraphs from me cannot therefore do the subject justice or deal with the complexities of the doctrine; 2) I will do so in dialectical relationship with the errors of the Anglican Reformation, especially Cranmer.
The Reformers bitterly opposed the idea that the Mass is not only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but also of impetration and atonement, and moreover, the fruits of this sacrifice benefit others (the living and the dead) and not just the one who receives the sacrament. The Council of Trent anathematised anyone who taught a) that the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, b) that it profits only the recipient of the sacrament, and c) that the Mass cannot be offered for the living and the dead for their sins, punishments, satisfactions and other necessities. (cf Denznger, n. 950)To be continued ...

Cherub said...

Here follows a short extract from my new book which will be published in March of this year and in which I deal with this subject:
What we need to recognise is that the Lamb of Sacrifice offered on Calvary is no ordinary animal; it is Christ Himself, the Victim, the only true Lamb of Sacrifice. And it is no ordinary meal since the bread and wine have been changed into His True Body and Blood. And since the things offered, bread and wine, have been modified, changed, transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ, the Mass truly is a sacrifice.
As I remarked at the beginning of this chapter, the sacrificial character of the Eucharist is made clear and is manifested in the words Christ used to institute the Eucharist: "This is my body which is given for you" and "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood." In the Eucharist, Christ gives us the same body which he surrendered for us on the cross, the same blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
I also referred earlier to the Old Testament idea that there has to be a change in the gift before it becomes a sacrifice, the removal of the blood from the animal. But the Sacrifice of the Mass is different. It is referred to as an ‘unbloody sacrifice’ because His blood once shed does not need to be shed again. But a change has nevertheless occurred, a far more profound change than that which characterised Old Testament sacrifices. There is not another death, not another shedding of blood, but the transformation, Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the true Body and blood of Christ.
But there is still more. Since the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, it is also in that sense too, a sacrifice. The Blessed Eucharist was given to us during the Feast of the Passover, so that ‘do this in remembrance of me’ is to be understood as a participation in the sacrifice about to happen . The offering of Jesus, ie his life, only becomes a sacrifice with the real change effected in Him through his death and resurrection. ‘In remembrance’ (Greek άνάμνησις) means making present a past event, but now not just in the virtual sense of the OT sacrifices but in a real and actual sense.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, the Eucharist is a making present (re-presentation) of the sacrifice of the cross because not only is it a memorial but also because the fruits of that sacrifice continue to be applied to all those who participate in that offering.
[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.
Consequently, since we are baptised into Christ we are part of Him. Therefore through our Baptism and in the offering of the Mass we can continue to offer ourselves, our souls and bodies, as a living sacrifice though Him, with Him and in Him. We enter into the Heavenly Sanctuary through a new and living way, Jesus Christ who is both Priest and Victim, because we have been baptised into him (Hebrews 10:19ff and cf Hebrews 12:22-24). Therefore, associating ourselves with Him we can offer ourselves in union with Him because we belong to Him. As the priestly people of God (1 Peter 2:9) we join with the ministerial priest (the one ordained) who has a particular share in the priesthood of Christ, so that we can participate in the offering of all peoples, all Angels, all saints and Saints from all time and eternity.
Enough said for the moment to answer Father Hart’s challenge.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Except for the need to insist that we define the word "transubstantiation" in a manner consistent with the current Pope's description, there is no difference between Cherub's point of view and Classic Anglicanism. There is not point of disagreement between his words and the Book of Common Prayer, the writing of the English Reformers and Diivines, the Articles and the HOMILY ON THE WORTHY RECEIVING OF THE SACRAMENT.

As I have written before:
"Writing in 1624, speaking for the Anglican position, a Church of England priest named William Bedell wrote about Eucharistic Sacrifice:

'[If by it you mean] a memory and representation of the true Sacrifice and holy immolation made on the altar of the cross...we do offer the sacrifice for the quick and the dead, by which all their sins are meritoriously expiated, and desiring that by the same, we and all the Church may obtain remission of sins, and all other benefits of Christ's Passion.'"

"The Eucharistic sacrifice is the complete sacrifice. It takes us to Calvary. It is our bounden duty and service, the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and of ourselves as living sacrifices (following Romans 12:1,2); as the English Mass also says: 'And here wee offre and present unto thee (O Lorde) oure selfe, oure soules, and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee...' Nothing is omitted, nothing neglected, in this highest act of Christian worship.

(cont.)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"The second thing they wanted to teach is that the people were supposed to receive the sacrament. For this reason they came up with yet another name for this ancient service, one taken directly from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians: Holy Communion. It was not enough to 'hear the Mass' of a priest. This offering of the whole Church (led by a priest) made the sacrament available so that each Christian could feed on the bread of life. 'Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.'(John 6:54, 55)"

The tragedy is that Cherub demands the right to tell us that our fathers did not mean what they said, and that the RCC has a right to twist their meaning into something radically different. For example, the mention of "a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving" has been blown out of proportion already in his earlier comments, as if those words should be considered the summary ofthe whole service, as if the Words of Institution in an obviously sacrificial context had not been written. He insists on interpreting Cranmer as if there was no emphsis on "once for all" versus the double plural "sacrifices of masses" in the well-known historical context, and in Cranmer's words. He fails to see agreement because he wants to miss it.

Cherub said...

Fr Hart says: "He fails to see agreement because he wants to miss it."

With all respect Father, you do not know that. The truth is the opposite. I wanted very badly to see things the way you do, but in the end I could't sustain it. But we should both rejoice in the fact that we share a common understanding of the Mass even if I think your views are not consistent with the 1662 BCP on which I was brought up.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cherub:

It is very obvious that you were brought up on the Book of Common Prayer; your description of everything that makes the Mass what it is proves that you still think in terms of the Book of Common Prayer, and simply have managed to train your mind not to notice. When did you pluck out your own eyes so that you cannot see anymore?

Actually, I tend to think that all your claims to scholarship are a bit hollow. Someone fooled you into thinking along the anti-Anglican polemic lines. You fell for it. Now, if you can look at the text at all, you imagine that it does not mean anything it plainly says. Your case seems to be a perfect example of what happens when a naive soul swims the Tiber, and learns from people who specialize in confusing uncritical minds.

I wanted very badly to see things the way you do, but in the end I could't sustain it.

Really? I would not have the energy to perform all the mental gymnastics it would require to unknow what I know, in order to deceive myself into thinking your way. What did you ingest? Newman and his sophistry? What else could have confused you so badly?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Readers take note: I challenged the man to describe what he means by Eucharistic Sacrifice, and he went on to describe the Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer. Yet, he is blind to that fact.

And, that is what they always do.

Canon Tallis said...

And you don't even sound surprised? This whole thing has been a reprise of the battles of the nineteenth century. We won them then, but Rome knew that there would come a new generation who either had not bothered to read the literature or whose fathers had failed to require it. Then they start all over again with the aid of those who call themselves Anglicans but who are so impressed with Rome and all things Roman that they are and will remain blind to what is right in front of their eyes.

I believe that I was immensely lucky in that the priest who had introduced me to Anglicanism and the Book of Common Prayer required that I read every word of it from one cover to the next and when I had finished made me do it one again. Than answered most of my questions before they had time to present themselves to me and it was something which I carried over to each of the classic prayer books as I discovered their existence. And then I discovered Bicknell, Moss, Frere, Gore, Mortimer and a host of others that made me very much aware of the richness crammed in such an unassuming wrapper.

Oh, and then there were the fathers, especially those of the first and second centuries. Imagine my surprise when I discover that the prayer book matched Justin Martyr's description of the Eucharist celebrated at that time while the Roman liturgy didn't. But the big surprise and the continuing one is the number of Anglicans, especially priests, convinced that we are a second rate Catholicism is Catholic at all. And maybe that is why they don't do what they promised when they were ordained. Anyway that is why I do thank you most profusely for your spirited defense of the old faith, the old religion to a younger, but yet unlearned generation. And that I can't say enough.

Veriword: ospodi
Second: rantoria