Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Much ado about much ado

The following is offered to clarify facts from fiction, as a reference you can point to. - Fr. Hart

In the Fall of 2009, the See of Rome issued what they call an “Apostolic Constitution” entitled Anglicanorum Coetibus. In the words of the constitution:

"…this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner."

The condition of the Anglican Communion since the late twentieth century is no secret, beginning with the idea that orthodoxy is to be tolerated as one option among many, and ending in some of its member churches practicing lawless tyranny of apostasy over the mind and conscience. For example, in my congregation I have a retired Episcopal priest who was fired by his bishop, with no due process of canon law, because he refused to bless same sex unions. His conscience had no protection. The reports from various countries where churches of the Anglican Communion have abandoned their own patrimony and the solid teaching of the Book of Common Prayer are many, and ought to be well known, and need no repeating here.

Apostasy is first and foremost rejection of and rebellion against the house in which it appears, and so the first thing to be rejected was Anglicanism itself, with an established understanding of the Bible and the consensus of Antiquity in the Church, summarized in a traditional edition of the Book of Common Prayer (for example, the 1928 American edition). In the churches that suffer attack against their faith from the highest levels, it should come as no surprise that a good number, perhaps even a disenfranchised majority, should seek for alternatives.

Among Anglicans who want alternatives, various structures have been created even in recent years, such as the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) led by Bishop (now Archbishop) Robert Duncan. This followed an existing pattern of realignment within the Anglican Communion whereby North American Anglicans in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada had left their respective jurisdictions to be under the Archbishop of the Southern Cone (Abp. Gregory Venables), or, in some cases, the Archbishop of Nigeria (Abp. Peter Akinola).

A bit of background

The Vatican response of Anglicanorum Coetibus was not intended for any of these Evangelical groups, but rather was created in response primarily to two. One was Forward in Faith, specifically Forward in Faith United Kingdom (FiF/UK); The other, a long-standing request from the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the American branch of which is called the Anglican Church in America (ACA). Both of these are Anglo-Catholic groups. What the TAC had requested amounted to various options ranging form "uniate" status to "inter-communion," none of which are provided for in the new constitution. It spells out something different, a "no" with a counter offer.

The second of these, the TAC/ACA is headed by Archbishop John Hepworth who resides in Adelaide, Australia, a former Roman Catholic priest who claims to have converted to Anglicanism long ago. For inexplicable reasons, the numbers of the TAC have been reported in the press to be about 400,000 strong, an estimate that was, perhaps, slightly more than ten times their actual world wide numbers; perhaps the count was around 50,000. That is, as it was before they started losing not only members, but several parishes formerly associated with them. In some cases the losses in their numbers have been significant, as in South Africa and the Congo (which have joined the Anglican Catholic Church, Original Province, ACC-OP).

The irony is that the TAC/ACA do not need, and never did need, an alternative to the apostasy in the Anglican Communion. Over the last several years they have constituted one of the two major groupings known as the Continuing Church, an Anglican association of jurisdictions that was formed almost immediately after women’s ordination began to be practiced in certain Anglican churches. In 1977 The Affirmation of St Louis was written in the city of the same name, and in January 1978, in Denver Colorado, four bishops were consecrated in accord with all the provisions of the Anglican Ordinal including full Apostolic Succession, with Rt. Rev. Albert Chambers as the chief consecrator. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Donald Coggan, refused to accept them; so the Continuing Anglicans have been separate from the Anglican Communion all along, with no regrets.

The TAC/ACA separated and formed as a distinct jurisdiction several years later. At the time the new constitution was issued by Rome, the Continuing Church had many unaccounted for jurisdictions, and some imitators, claiming to belong to it, but existed most visibly and surely in the TAC/ACA, and in a unified group of three jurisdictions, unified by a concordat that has proved to be practical and quite genuine. The largest is the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), with two Provinces: The Original Province (OP) headquartered in the United States, and the second Province headquartered in India, led by the original Church of India that was formerly of the Anglican Communion. The two jurisdictions also in the concordat are strictly in North America, unlike the world wide ACC. These are the Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK) and the United Episcopal Church, North America (UECNA). Related is the Anglican Province in America (APA) which dates back to the 1960s, but later also adopted The Affirmation of St. Louis.

When the Apostolic Constitution was offered by Rome, the idea of reunifying the jurisdiction with the other major group of Continuing Anglicans died in one sense, because the bishops of the TAC/ACA have mostly endorsed Rome’s offer (though not all: The Rt. Rev. Rocco Florenza, formerly of the ACA, was received into the ACC-OP in his episcopal orders during the Fall of 2009). On the other hand, this whole episode has revitalized some efforts toward unity because of the large number of people who simply will not join the Roman Catholic Church, and who are not persuaded to do so by the new constitution.

The simple irony is, however, that the TAC/ACA, by virtue of The Affirmation of St. Louis, and the principles it defends, was not in crisis like the Anglicans in the Anglican Communion. There were no women among the clergy, nor could there be. No heresies were tolerated, no apostasy, no same-sex blessings. In short, they had nothing compelling them to look for answers from the outside, no need to flee the dangers of the Anglican Communion, for they had escaped it in 1978.

The problems-analysis

One fact to be stated upfront should be obvious, and yet apparently comes as a surprise to many: Unresolved theological differences remain between Roman Catholicism and classic Anglicanism. Granted, these differences are fewer than differences between Rome and each of the other Protestant traditions, and in some ways not as obvious. But, they are real.

For, even though none of the Reformation churches ever dropped the word “catholic” from its self-understanding, Anglicans alone maintained a continuity of identity with the Church that dated from Antiquity through the Medieval period, so that what was the Church of England before the Reformation, was the same Church of England after it, with that continuity affecting the entire family of churches that would grow from it. This mind, with the same old adherence to such things as Apostolic Succession of Bishops, has been protected and maintained in the Continuing Anglican Church that dates to The Affirmation of St. Louis and the Denver consecrations.

Nonetheless, close as Anglicanism is, both in appearance and substance, to Roman Catholicism, we have a few differences that practical and honest ecumenical efforts would treat as subjects for discussion. But, the approach of the TAC/ACA bishops has been to ignore theological differences altogether. This, however, does not make those differences go away. Meanwhile, many of their members have not ignored those theological differences, and this simple fact has been splitting the TAC/ACA, and shows every sign of continuing to do so.

Is this unity?

Anglicanorum Coetibus opens by appealing to the whole idea of unity, and this theme has been taken up by bishops of the TAC/ACA, alluding to “Christ’s prayer that they all may be one.” (John 17:21). Aside from the fact that we have a theological problem presented to us by the notion that we, mere mortals, are in a position to answer the prayer of God (the Son), we need to be clear as to what Rome means by “unity.” The answer is in the opening of the Apostolic Constitution, but the words are by no means new:

“This single Church of Christ, which we profess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic ‘subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside her visible confines. Since these are gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity.’”

What this means is that they believe that what they offer is not unity within the generally understood ecumenical paradigm, but an offer to enter into the unity of the Catholic Church, as they define it. The difference may be subtle at first, but it is clear. Nonetheless, the TAC/ACA bishops, along with others who regard Anglicanorum Coetibus as a generous offer and historical milestone, do not concentrate on what the constitution says after the opening. They have made promises to their people, mostly on church websites, that the constitution has been created to preserve the patrimony of Anglicanism itself, with its many treasures.

In fact, what Anglicanorum Coetibus really proceeds to do is lay down the law about how people will be able to enter into unity with the See of Rome under the new Ordinariates, and that is all. If read carefully, it merely extends to every country and every diocese the existing Pastoral Provisions that have been since the time of Pope John Paul II. The Pastoral Provisions made a way for former Anglican clergy to be candidates for ordination, even if they are married men. No provision is made, in Anglicanorum Coetibus, for any married clergy in the future except by the same old terms of the Pastoral Provisions; that is, they must have been married and ordained before converting to Roman Catholicism. They cannot, at any time in the future, arise from within the ranks of those under an Ordinariate, but must come only from without. All other candidates must embrace lifelong celibacy.

Also, the constitution offers the potential to create something like the “Anglican Use” liturgies and maybe even parishes. It puts some kind of Ordinariate in charge of these two matters, removing from diocesan bishops the option not to participate. How this is to be established, and what it means, is not spelled out. The “Anglican” in Anglicanorum is not, if we examine the conditions, capable of self-perpetuation.

As far as any treasures of the Anglican patrimony are concerned, there is not one guarantee, not one mention, of any specific thing at all. In fact, the purpose of the whole document is obvious: It is a way for groups of Anglicans to become former Anglicans. And, that is all it claims to be. Look at the opening paragraph, stated in terms consistent with the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church:

In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately… Indeed, the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches, could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.

Rome has not been guilty of false advertising; but their document has been severely misrepresented.

In short, a few thousand people finding some slightly different way to enter the Roman Catholic Church is not eschatological in its significance, does not establish the kind of unity that has been invoked with advertising hype, and will not make all Christians one. Christians will remain visibly divided into Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant “rooms” (as C.S. Lewis put it).

Anglicanorum Coetibus is a perfectly responsible and compassionate response by Pope Benedict XVI for those who either need it or want it. For Anglicans of my persuasion, it is not needed or wanted, but I am perfectly happy for those who consider it the answer to their prayers, to find our One Lord at Roman Catholic altars. But, the hype and enthusiasm is much ado about, well, something, but not a whole lot.

62 comments:

fabius said...

Thanks, Fr. Hart, this was very helpful. It has backed up and given more ground to my own limited research and reflection, which pretty much boils down to the conclusion that the AC is simply conversion, not union.

To clarify, I've seen nothing on seminaries and the training of new clergy in the AC, am I mistaken? It would seem that without any such obvious mechanism for "preserving the Anglican patrimony," every ordinariate would pretty much die out or become mainstream RC in a generation.

Anonymous said...

Indeed Father,
The TAC Roadshow has just done the rounds in Canada and the Canadian Bishops have put the pressure on by writing to their clergy and lay people with full enthousiasm that they should go to Rome. I pray to God that they are given a fair chance to vote on the issue. Most of us know that the Roman Catholic Church is not going to change their canons, but that is no problem to Bishop Hepworth, he told his listeners that Rome , with wink and a smile whill overlook some issues in relation to ordaining Anglican Priests, if they dont meet the criteria as expressed by the canons. I guess one of the first jobs those, who cross the Tiber and are ordained in the Roman Catholic Church is to refuse the Sacrament to those Anglicans who chose not to swim across. What an unholy Mass.

Mapleleaf

John A. Hollister said...

Fabius asked, "I've seen nothing on seminaries and the training of new clergy in the AC, am I mistaken? It would seem that without any such obvious mechanism for 'preserving the Anglican patrimony,' every ordinariate would pretty much die out or become mainstream RC in a generation."

Right on both counts. The Apostolic Constitution itself states, in effect, that seminarians from the new Ordinariates will attend the present system of Roman seminaries, with all that implies:

"VI. § 5. Candidates for Holy Orders in an Ordinariate should be prepared alongside other seminarians, especially in the areas of doctrinal and pastoral formation. In order to address the particular needs of seminarians of the Ordinariate and formation in Anglican patrimony, the Ordinary may also establish seminary programs or houses of formation which would relate to existing Catholic faculties of theology."

John A. Hollister+
"randisto"

John A. Hollister said...

In further answer to Fabius' question, the applicable provisions of the "Complementary Norms" that implement the "Apostolic Constitution" state:

"Article 10

"§1. Formation of the clergy of the Ordinariate should accomplish two objectives: 1) joint formation with diocesan seminarians in accordance with local circumstances; 2) formation, in full harmony with Catholic tradition, in those aspects of the Anglican patrimony that are of particular value.

"§2. Candidates for priestly ordination will receive their theological formation with other seminarians at a seminary or a theological faculty in conformity with an agreement concluded between the Ordinary and, respectively, the Diocesan Bishop or Bishops concerned...."

Beginning to hear the faint strains of a familiar song here?

John A. Hollister+
"ingetint"

Ampney said...

Many life-long Anglicans have come to accept the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as the truth. In converting, they have hitherto had to leave their liturgy, culture and traditions behind. This Apostolic Constitution allows for an Anglican tradition to exist within the Roman Catholic Church. For those traditional Anglicans who have not come to accept the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, this is perhaps not the answer. However, it is an historic move by the Pope in that it welcomes a different form of worship that can only be called Anglican. As he ought to be, he is accepting everything Anglican except that which contradicts the Church's teachings. Nothing else should be expected, and this is more than has ever been expected before.
The Book of Common Prayer is a product of the reformation, but now it will be the source for a liturgy found in the Roman Catholic Church. This is a long awaited opportunity for Christian unity. I hope that those who can't accept the Pope's offer at this time can see that this is indeed an answer to prayer for many Anglicans who have felt that their home has been taken away from them. I also add that this not only affect current continuing Anglicans, but also former Anglican converts to Roman Catholicism. Anglicans who once worshipped together, but who have since been separated by the Tiber and by the fracturing of the Anglican Communion can now find a home together. I, for one, have been waiting for this for a long time.

Shaughn said...

Canon Hollister,

That is a scary, scary thought, and it basically ensures that the ordinariate will die out fairly quickly in the US. Why?

1) Your average RC seminary probably wouldn't admit the sort of fellow who'd be attracted to the ordinariate; he's too conservative.

2) Those places here that aren't loony -- for example, there's a seminary that only does the Latin Mass -- ain't gonna do Cranmerian English, and so the seminarian won't be formed in the language of the Prayer Book or anything remotely resembling Anglican heritage. This isn't to beat up on the Latin Mass. I like TLM. But it isn't Anglican.

3) The eight minute sermon is all the rage in the RCC right now, complete with Papal endorsement. Anglicanoids (a technical term) will not settle for such superficial homiletics and will, I suspect, move on.


4) Anglicans (serious ones, anyway) are used to their pastor raising them up in, well, Anglicanism. This is not the case in my experience of the RCC. As I've mentioned before, I've had RC folks swear to me that their priest married them, and not they each other. That is, the folks who get the seminary trained Anglican people probably won't receive anything that would especially attach them to Anglicanism, except the purdy liturgy.


Which is to say, unless some brave soul endows a serious Anglican Studies program, in 10 years or so, there won't be much of an Ordinariate in the US. I can't really speak for elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

While I shun internet pornography, on occasion I do take a peek at the blog known as The Former Anglican. It is a case study in how not to achieve inter-communion and how to make enemies without really trying. Already the former Anglicans of Orlando are lining up with ultra-conservative dissidents in the RCC, denouncing liberal bishops of their new allegiance, and speaking of leading RC magazines as their "enemies." Even after a plunge into the Tiber, the leopard does not change his spots and the jackass does not change his braying.

The intellectual dishonesty with which Abp Hepworth and his colleagues have misrepresented Anglicanorum Coetibus is well documented. They are anxious for their followers to peruse their "commentary" on it, rather than closely reading the offical documents from Rome.

We read story after story about this or that group of clerics, in Australia, Canada, or the USA, adopting some kind of measure embracing the notion of "inter-communion." But I have yet to hear of any local congregation of the TAC deciding for itself to go this route. When I learn of a Senior Warden doing obeisance to an RC official and handing over title deeds to the real estate, then I will take the whole thing seriously. Perhaps the Orlando cathedral could set an example by going first. When pigs fly.
LKW

charles said...

I didn't know APA dated to an earlier period, "Related is the Anglican Province in America (APA) which dates back to the 1960s, but later also adopted The Affirmation of St. Louis."

I thought APA was composed of AEC and ACC churches-- the AEC being the earlier jurisdiction? Did AEC continue, largely whole, from ACC into APA? I thought its fate was it broke up between ACC and ACA/APA?

Did AEC/OAC have a legitimate consecrration/succession of bishops before Denver?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Ampney:

I am sure it is painful for you to read my open contradiction to Bps. Hepworth, Falk and Campese; but, what they have been promising is simply made up in their own heads.

You wrote:

This Apostolic Constitution allows for an Anglican tradition to exist within the Roman Catholic Church.

Other than extening Pastoral Provisions so that local bishops can't refuse (easily), name even so much as one piece of "Anglican tradition" protected by the new constitution. I mean, by the way, name one quoting from Anglicanorum Coetibus, not from something that one of the above mentioned bishops said.

However, it is an historic move by the Pope in that it welcomes a different form of worship that can only be called Anglican...

Judging from "Anglican Use" I do not agree. Their idea in that of "Anglican Use" amounts to a rejection of substance by way of deletion; an Anglican sound in style is not sufficient. Frankly, "Anglican Use" liturgy is an insult to the Book of Common Prayer, with many unnecessary "corrections" that irritate me when I read it.

As he ought to be, he is accepting everything Anglican except that which contradicts the Church's teachings. Nothing else should be expected, and this is more than has ever been expected before.

Nothing new to that; so what?

This is a long awaited opportunity for Christian unity.

Shuffling of a few thousand people to a new affiliation? It happens all the time, in both directions. That is not unity.

...an answer to prayer for many Anglicans who have felt that their home has been taken away from them...Anglicans who once worshipped together, but who have since been separated by the Tiber and by the fracturing of the Anglican Communion can now find a home together.

That is what we solved in 1977 and 1978. We left the Anglican Communion long ago. And, if they refuse to unify with the rest of the Continuing Church, they will find a way to fall out with Rome too; and that has already started before the fact.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles asked:

Did AEC/OAC have a legitimate consecrration/succession of bishops before Denver?

Were they legitimate? That is more than I would say about the crazy racist Dees, or about the womanizing vagante Clavier (who came along later), now back to being an Episcopal priest. The origin of the APA is older than Continuing Anglicanism, and has undergone needed reforms and cleansing. Their members and clergy, however, seem all to have entered from a Continuing church, and in one case of a bishop and diocese, from the Charismatic Episcopal Church.

Canon Tallis said...

Fabulous post with the additional "hip, hip, Hurrahs" due the good Canon Hollister and Father Wells. Describing the Former Anglican as internet porn made me laugh so hard that I nearly got a stitch in my side which is probably why I am the president of the Father Wells Appreciation Society and Fan Club and have been for these many years.

I feel quite sorry for those who think that they will find some sort of earthy heaven in the churches of the Roman obedience - especially since their bishops frequently seem less than obedient or even Roman. I suspect that we shall see more than a few of those who cross come back this way in less than a decade. But that will depend upon their ability to recognize that they have made a mistake and act upon it.

Charles said...

Hello Fr. Hart,

I am a little confused. Where did the consecration come from for pre-Denver OAC/AEC? I've never read anything about anything prior to 1976. Were they legitimately consecrated and in possession of true Bishops, or just independent priests who left TEC before WO, taking their single parishes with them? I asked Fr. Chandler this, and he didn't admit anything prior to the mid-eighties when Old Catholic co-consesecrated, adding their patrimony to APA succession.

I guess APA has its original components from many continuuing churhes, not just ACC or AEC.

John A. Hollister said...

Charles asked, "I thought APA was composed of AEC and ACC churches-- the AEC being the earlier jurisdiction? Did AEC continue, largely whole, from ACC into APA? I thought its fate was it broke up between ACC and ACA/APA?"

Not quite. In 1991, a minority portion of the ACC joined the AEC, (which itself dated from 1963 and took the name "AEC" in 1967), and the name was changed once again, to "ACA". At that point, the AEC already had, and so the ACA continued to have, a "Diocese of the Eastern United States" or DEUS, the Bishop Ordinary of which was Walter Grundorf.

Several years later, one of the ACA's joint Primates (Abp. Falk) got sufficient goods on the other (Abp. Clavier) to boot him out, leaving the booter as sole successor to the bootee.

At some point after that, some further shuffling took place, the purpose of which appears to have been the replacement of one or more bishops from the AEC side with clergy from the former ACC side. The result, however, was simply that the DEUS refused to give up its Bishop Ordinary, that is Bp. Grundorf, and so it, and he, left the ACA and formed the APA.

So the APA is, in its origin, the DEUS of the ACA and, before it, of the AEC.

Of course, under Bp., now-Abp. Grundorf's benign hand, the APA has grown in numbers since that time. It has also received into it several bishops and a number of clergy and congregations from other sources. I have no idea how many of its present clergy began their careers in either the AEC or the ACC, but so far as an outsider can tell the present mix is, by Continuing Church standards, a relatively contented one.

The only contentious issues appear to be the APA's official policy of intercommunion with the REC and cooperation with ACNA and FACA but just how the APA clergy line up numerically on those I have no idea.

Further, as Fr. Hart alluded, under Abp. Grundorf, the APA has completely shed any problematic aspects that might have stemmed from its origin in the AEC and, beyond that, in the ineffable Dees' jurisdiction. One might wish that the unrealistic and laudatory comments anent A.F.M. Clavier were erased from its website, but that's about it and they, after all, were written by his son.

Last year, I was in the Orlando area and attended the Sunday service at the APA/DEUS Cathedral there. It was a delightful and by no means excessive Missal service, with an excellent sermon, and the building (complete with Stations of the Cross and a Lady Chapel) was precisely what I would have expected in a very slightly higher-than-center ACC parish.

John A. Hollister+

E083058 said...

Fr. Hart,

With reference to the "Anglican Use", will you elaborate on the 'unnecessary "corrections" that irritate' you?

Fr. Ed Ruhlander+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Ed Ruhlander:

The biggest problem was described in my paper for the FCC, Anglican Identity. I will quote:

"It is worth noting that the Liturgy of St. Tikhon and the so-called Anglican Use approved by Rome, have a very noticeable difference, one which shows a different approach to Anglicans and a different attitude about our patrimony. The Anglican Use Rite approved by Rome has nothing that approximates the perfectly sound theology, drawn clearly and obviously from the Epistle to the Hebrews, expressed so powerfully in these words: “O God heavenly father, which of thy tender mercie diddest geve thine only sonne Jesu Christ to suffre death upon the crosse for our redempcion, who made there (by his one oblacion once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifyce, oblacion, and satysfaccyon, for the sinnes of the whole worlde…” (1549 BCP) But, the Liturgy of St. Tikhon contains the American version of this part of the Canon. 8

"To whatever degree we may have common ground with Rome, and aside from other differences, any real union with them would make it necessary that they receive from us a good healthy dose of this Biblical Doctrine: Christ’s sacrifice full, perfect and sufficient. This does not take away from the sacrifice of the Church on its many altars; rather it gives it its context and meaning. This example demonstrates that our Faith is Biblical, Patristic and thoroughly Catholic in ways that can enrich Rome, and that has been affirmed within Orthodoxy. In a rite designed to attract Anglicans, the removal of this irrefutably true doctrine, as though it needed to be subjected to some correction, shows that we have further cause, at present, to maintain our distinct identity. The line that provides the context of the sacrifice, the meaning of it and the joining of our own worship to the actual sacrifice of the cross on Calvary, indicates that we are better able than Rome, at this time, to declare the Gospel in its fullness with the power of directness and simplicity."

Other than that, I see no reason to have changed other features, including the Words of Institution which, in the BCP, are perfect just as they are.

William Tighe said...

Canon Hollister,

My recollection, perhaps erroneous, was that the elder Clavier was Bishop of DEUS up to his resignation, and that Bp. Grundorf was his assistant or suffragan -- and that the breaking point came over the question of whether Grundorf was effectively a Coadjutor with right of succession to Clavier (as his supporters claimed) or whether he would have to take his chances in an election (which is what Abp. Falk insisted upon); and that the split ensued over this difference.

Anonymous said...

Fr Ruhlander did not direct his question to me, but I will, in my inimitable wonted manner, butt right in.

The RC "Book of Divine Worship" is unacceptable because it is an adaptation not of any historic edition of the BCP but of its 1979 substitute. That was the starting point from which the Vatican compilers of the BDW worked. But to make matters worse, it replaced the Absolution of our Communion Office which has held its place since 1549 with a subtle but sneaky change: "you" is replaced with "us." Whereas Anglicans have always believed that the liturgical Absolution is indeed and Absolution, RC liturgical theology considers it only a "pious wish," without sacramental effect.

The so-called Liturgy of St Tikhon is even worse, far worse. It replaces the Invocation in our Prayer of Consecration with an EO style Epiclesis. Why? Evidently because our Invocation is deemed inadequate for confecting the sacrament. The Romans don't care for our formula of Absolution, but the EO's stab us in the heart of our liturgy with an even more drastic change. If Tikhon's proposed change is justified, then there has not been a valid Mass in the Western Church since the time of Pope Gregory.

As the sainted Fr Ralston wrote years ago, "a thead here, and a thread there," and the whole tapestry falls apart.

LKW

Anonymous said...

To answer this question:

"I thought APA was composed of AEC and ACC churches-- the AEC being the earlier jurisdiction? Did AEC continue, largely whole, from ACC into APA? I thought its fate was it broke up between ACC and ACA/APA?"

In 1991, the Clavier organization (of which I was then a very unhappy member) called the American Episcopal Church united with a large chunk of the Anglican Catholic Church led by the deposed Archbishop Louis Falk. This merger took the name "Anglican Church in America."

That merger rapidly came unglued, as scandals relating to Clavier spun out of control. When he resigned, his diocese became vacant and a dispute ensued between Abp Falk and the remaining supporters of Clavier. The Clavier party was determined that Walter Grundorf should inherit his mantle, while the Falk party was equally determined that he should not, saving that spot for their own candidate (who was eventually successful).

The APA emerged out of that power struggle. Its original membership was essentially identical with Clavier's American Episcopal Church. It regards itself as the original AEC reinvented with a new name and keeps "Father Clavier" prominent in its offical prayer calendar.
LKW

John A. Hollister said...

Prof. Tighe wrote: "My recollection ... was that Bp. Grundorf was ... assistant or suffragan [in the ACA DEUS] and that the breaking point came over the question of whether Grundorf was effectively a Coadjutor with right of succession ... or whether he would have to take his chances in an election..."

Prof. Tighe may well be right about these details. What I think we must agree on is that the bulk of the DEUS's membership voted -- with its feet -- for Bp. Grundorf and formed the APA.

As another result of that, what passes for the current ACA DEUS -- i.e., the remnant that did not leave with Bp. Grundorf -- seems to be pretty thin on the ground, even by "Continuing Church" standards.

John A. Hollister+
"crippr"

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Wells reported that the APA "keeps 'Father Clavier' prominent in its offical prayer calendar."

One trusts that it does so with Tevya's prayer: "May the Lord keep him safe -- and far from us."

John A. Hollister+
"honaze"

Shaughn said...

Fr. Wells writes,

"The so-called Liturgy of St Tikhon is even worse, far worse. It replaces the Invocation in our Prayer of Consecration with an EO style Epiclesis. Why? Evidently because our Invocation is deemed inadequate for confecting the sacrament. The Romans don't care for our formula of Absolution, but the EO's stab us in the heart of our liturgy with an even more drastic change. If Tikhon's proposed change is justified, then there has not been a valid Mass in the Western Church since the time of Pope Gregory."

I suppose he might be editing it out because it's inadequate. It may also be that the Rite is for Western Orthodox. And the Orthodox, for reasons best left to others to explain, really value their Epicleses. So the only thing, really, that they change is the Epiclesis, so that their most valued part of the liturgy looks Orthodox in flavor, where the rest of the liturgy is pretty much a verbatim prayer book-ish service.

It seems a pretty sensible compromise to me and not worth getting fired up over. I'm told, for what it's worth, that the Andrewes Press' new edition of the American Missal uses the Epiclesis from the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. That seems a bit, er, quirky, I suppose, but I'll live.

On the BOW, we mostly agree. It's a cluster of things I oughtn't say here -- the '79 book and the Novus Ordo smashed together. It's no small wonder the initial Pastoral Provision didn't attract many converts. It had two liturgies an Anglo-Catholic of our nature detested shacking up together and producing a luke-warm hybrid as offspring. Though possibly better than its source material for its lack of bizarre options, it's still a hot mess, as far as I'm concerned. Chiefly, it butchers our Prayer of Humble Access, which makes no sense.

What could be stronger Eucharistic theology than "Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us."?

aftercatharine said...

Dear priests and deacons all,

The comments in this section represent a level-headed synopsis of the train wreck that keeps on comin' - aka, The Continuing Anglican movement in the USA. I thank you for them, and for the column that prompted them. They are a nice counterbalance to some of the (er ... e-e-hem!) wilder claims currently elsewhere, shall I say?

But I have a plea for you. I want to beg this of all the clergy who say they are traditional Anglicans. The one thing I wish I could somehow communicate is the pain and genuine spiritual dangers we have been in - "we," the laity, I mean - because of the sort of talk that often happens among the collar club.

As I said, I am glad for these historical explanations. But while I was a member of the ACA, I heard hundreds of conversations in which a man in a collar was volubly regaling listeners (sometimes other collars, sometimes the sheep) with story after story. The stories were generally some kind of know-it-all patter about how "we" are smarter than "they" are in some way, or outsmarted them in that meeting or with that plan ... a kind of political backroom patois for the religious set.

What never seemed to dawn on any of these entertainers was that behind every story of clergy conflict or competition, there stood (kneeled) members of the laity who only want to be loved and led to heaven.

The stories being told were the stories of abuse - in a very real way, whether we were being encouraged to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, or whether we were being asked to approve of things done in secret, or whether we were just watching the collars beat up on each other in the safety of a Synod bar room ... it was all as bad as listening to aunts and uncles talk to parents (who've divorced and remarried repeatedly) about all the louses who came before.

The tell: the story-teller is always the hero of such a story. Other common elements: endless pompous verbiage about church teaching's minor points, name-dropping, and an embarrassing need for approval and back-slapping.

Just as parents ought to realize what it does to their children to tell ugly family stories (and worse, to laugh at such things), so it genuinely damages the laity who listen to their "spiritual masters and teachers" speak ill of others - especially of other collars.

It is probably not necessary to post this to the site -- it's really just a note to the good men who write for this blog. It's what I always wished I could communicate to the likes of Falk & Company. Such hideous behavior in the name of Christ is, I believe, a genuine evil.

Thanks for listening,
Stephanie (aka, aftercatharine)

Jack Miller said...

Fr. Hart,

Although I do agree with your assessment of this RC offer, isn't much of this argumentation secondary to the real problem of water-downed doctrinal understanding on the part of too many clergy and parishioners considering the Tiber crossing?

There is a real difference regarding the nature of justification between an Anglican (righteousness imputed) and a Roman Catholic (infused - with justification & sanctification confused)...

best summarized in Article XI. Of the Justification of Man:
"We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification"...

and the still official position of the RC Church's Council of Trent, CANON 9: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."

If there isn't a clear doctrinal understanding on the most fundamental aspect of salvation of man, i.e. faith in the merit of Christ alone for the ungodly being declare righteous by God's grace as the ground of our sanctification, then in my mind the battle is already lost, or in jeopardy of being so.

Sorry for the length of this.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It is probably not necessary to post this to the site

I think it may not be necessary, but like the widow who tried to take chicken soup to her deceased husband, "it couldn't hoit." We need to hear comments like this, and that goes for me too.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Jack Miller:

I am not sure that Article XI and Trent Canon IX have to clash, anymore than our Article XI and our Catechism, that the two of the sacraments are generally necessary to salvation. It can be argued that "faith only" says nothing about repentance (even though a learned person would know that the genuine theology of sola fide involves repentance and faith that produces love, which in turn produces good works-Eph. 2:8-10).

Nonetheless, the weakness in RC teaching does stem from failure to appreciate the distinction between the fact of justification by grace through faith, and the process of sanctification. In fact, I believe the emphasis on saints as persons "canonized" also harms our understanding that the process of sanctification is the calling of every Christian.

charles said...

Hi Fathers,

I found the following info on the OAC's bishopric consecration by the "Holy Ukranian Autocephalic Orthodox Church" plus tid-bits on AEC at: http://netministries.org/see/churches.exe/ch23616

Do you believe Bishop Wasyl had authentic orders?

"The Anglican Orthodox Church was founded on 16 November 1963 by the Most Rev'd James Parker Dees, A.B., B.D., D.D. (1915 to 1990), a former PECUSA presbyter in North Carolina, USA, who left that church body over issues of liberalism and sacerdotalism. The word "Anglican" in the title of the denomination showed that it intended to continue in an Anglican ethos and the word "Orthodox" was to stress the Church was to follow "sound Reformation doctrine" and not to be confused with following the traditions relating to the Orthodoxy of the ancient churches of Eastern Europe and Asia. The headquarters of the new church was established in Statesville, NC. On 15 March 1964 Dr. Dees received episcopal succession when he was consecrated by Bishop Wasyl Sawyna of the Holy Ukranian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America, assisted by Bishop Orlando Jacques Woodward of the United Episcopal Church (1945) Anglican/Celtic Rite.
When a new jurisdiction is being established it takes time to establish how the Church is to be organised, hence there can be some coming and going of people. In June of 1965 the parish of All Saints in Nashville, Tennessee left the AOC when its rector the Rev'd Burnice Hoyle Webster (1910 to 1990) was consecrated by the bishops of the United Episcopal Church (1945) Anglican/Celtic Rite and incorporated the Southern Episcopal Church. In March of 1968 several parishes left the Anglican Orthodox Church and formed the American Episcopal Church which is now known as the Anglican Province of America. While the Anglican Orthodox Church was experiencing these losses in the United States, by 1969 the AOC had developed Internationally and in time Dr. Dees had ordained presbyters and or consecrated, or had received from other jurisdictions, bishops for the countries of England, Pakistan, South India, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, the Philippines, Fiji Islands, Rhodesia, Madagascar, and Columbia. Dr. Dees remained the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church until his death in December of 1990. His successors in office were: The Most Rev'd George C. Schneller (1921 to 2000) from 1991 to 1994; the Standing Committee of the Church from 1994 to 1995; the Most Rev'd Robert J. Godfrey (born 1937) from 1995 to 1998; the Standing Committee of the Church from August 1998 to October 2003; and the Most Rev'd Jerry L. Ogles since 19 October 2003."

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles:

I really don't know about Bishop Wasyl. Bp. Dees was an open racist, and he has given all of us a bad name because people associate him with the Continuing Church, though for no good reason. Furthermore, the APA no longer should be tainted by his reputation at all.

Anonymous said...

It would be highly unfair to associate the APA with James Parker Dees. Dees was indeed a racist of the worst sort. Back in the fall of 1963 I heard him haranguing the North Carolina White Citizens Council with the worst kind of Nazi rhetoric. While Clavier and Grundorf began their careers under Dees sponsorship, the fact is that they BROKE with him and went to great lengths to distance their American Episcopal Church from his social and theological views. They made a place for African-Americans in their group, even when it was not expedient for them to do so. On the race issue, at least, Clavier and Grundorf are clean.
LKW

Anonymous said...

Shaughn writes:

"It [inserting a Byzantine epiclesis into a Cramerian Canon] seems a pretty sensible compromise to me and not worth getting fired up over.

When it comes to defending the sacramental adequacy of the central Prayer of our liturgy, there is no room for compromise. Your reasoning here is similar to the manner in which the TAC people waffle around on Apostolicae Curae. You know, like the guy who said, "Paris is worth a Mass?"
LKW

Anonymous said...

And Shaughn, if you are ready to compromise by humoring the EO's over the Epiclesis (for them its not a "reasonable compromise" but a matter of absolute principle), how would you handle their claim that our unleavened wafers are something less than bread and therefore "illicit matter?"

I have well-known misgivings about what is contained in "Anglicanorum coetibus," but the notion of "Western Rite Orthodoxy" is far less acceptable.
LKW

William Tighe said...

Bishop Wasyl (who lived down the street from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, where I teach, and whose physician son's office still occupies those premises) was a bishop iin a tiny fragment of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that was founded in 1922/23 in Ukraine. Its originsl bishops were "consecrated" by other priests reading the Orthodox episcopal consecration rite, and holding, or imposing, on the heads of the consecrands the right hand of an Orthodox bishop who had joined them, and who had intended to perform the consecratons, but who had died a couple of days earlier -- hence the sobriquet "dead-hand bishops" for members of this "jurisdiction."

After WW2 some refugee Orthodox bishops from Soviet Ukraine joined this group, thereby adding a "strain of regularity" to it, but its existing "bishops" were not reconsecrated. By 1995 all of its bishops were "real bishops" and in that year the main body of that Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America placed itself under the direct patriarchal jurisdiction of the ecumenical patriarchate.

There are still a number of small, isolated and "nationalistic" Ukrainian Orthodox sects. As you may recall, a bishop named Jessop or Jarvis from one of them participated in the consecration of the current Episcopagan Bishop of New Hampshire. If you are able to glance through Peter Anson's *Bishops At Large* (1966) you will see that this Bishop Sawyna (and another Ukrainian bishop named Joseph Zuk) seem to have participated in the consecratiopns of a rather large number of episcopi vagantes in the course of their careers.

William Tighe said...

"Dr. Dees remained the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church until his death in December of 1990. His successors in office were: The Most Rev'd George C. Schneller (1921 to 2000) from 1991 to 1994; the Standing Committee of the Church from 1994 to 1995; the Most Rev'd Robert J. Godfrey (born 1937) from 1995 to 1998; the Standing Committee of the Church from August 1998 to October 2003; and the Most Rev'd Jerry L. Ogles since 19 October 2003."

That is the view of one side. Bishop Godfrey, however, probably would have a different "take." He turned out to be rather a highchurchman, and during his archiepiscopate there was something of an influx of "outsiders" ("outsiders" not only to Dees' theological legacy, but to his "family firm"), and among tham one Scott McLaughlin. He became +Godfrey's "anointed" -- and, by most accounts, elected -- successor, and as such took the AOC in rather new directions; but he also incurred a lawsuit from surviving members of the Dees family and its "courtiers." Most of the American parishes sided with +McL; many, if not most, of the foreign ones with the AOC politburo. Eventually there was a compromise settlement: Bishop Dees' old seminary property was sold, and the proceeds handed over to the "family firm;" +McL remained archbishop, but his church changed its name to the "Episcopal Orthodox Church;" and the "family firm" took the name of the Anglican Orthodox Church International and elected +Ogles as its bishop. I remember visiting the website of the latter some 6 or 7 years ago (around the time Fr. Hart and Bishop Joel visited me in Allentown) at which point they only had 4 or 5 priests in the USA and 2 or 3 parishes or missions. A few years later I visited it again, and the numbers of both had increased a fair deal.

The AOC in its most recent incarnation seems to have a mildly Cranmerian and low-church hue; the EOC seems to uphold the Caroline Divines as its touchstone of orthodoxy.

Anonymous said...

Jack Miller: Bravissimo!

If the Roman Catholic Church were a Church truly faithful to the Gospel, all the stuff about Apostolicae Curae and Papal Claims would be pretty small peanuts and not worth dividing the Body of Christ. No, I'll go a step further and say, if the RCC were faithful to the Gospel, then AC and papal claims would never have happened. They are only symptoms of an underlying fatal disease.

Until we diagnose and recognize the underlying spiritual disease (let's call it synergism) we have not justified our separate existence.

LKW

Jack Miller said...

Fr. Hart,

That is the nub of it, isn't it...

"a learned person would know that the genuine theology of sola fide involves repentance and faith that produces love, which in turn produces good works-Eph. 2:8-10)."

Christians are called to be 'learned' in the doctrines of the Faith, beginning with an understanding of the nature of Christ's calling and work of the cross on our behalf - and the nature of our calling by grace through the gift of faith (which includes repentance, the first "good work(s), which God hath before ordained that we should walk in..." Our faith alone is a trust in Christ's merit alone(as Cranmer has put it) for our justification. Not that one's faith remains alone or is without works which prove and show that true and lively faith.

Any way, this is my concern... the lack of effective teaching and learning in much of the Continuum of the doctrines of the catholic faith once delivered that grounds one in Scriptural truth as so well expressed in the BCP, and Articles. In fact it is dismaying to me...

I do appreciate your voice as one that is countering that trend.

Also, I want to recommend an excellent book that I'm just finishing. It's the most extensive and helpful book I have found on the development of Cranmer's theology; written by Ashley Null: Thomas Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power to Love -

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmers-Doctrine-Repentance-Renewing/dp/0199210004

charles said...

Hi Fr. Hart,

Just wondering vis-a-vis the '95 Athen's Statement.... Oh boy...

John A. Hollister said...

Charles asked, "Do you believe Bishop Wasyl [Sawyna of the Holy Ukranian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America] had authentic orders?"

Surely that would depend on who or what "Holy Ukranian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America" and the "United Episcopal Church (1945) Anglican/Celtic Rite" were?

It's pretty obvious that the HUAOCNSA would not be recognized by the SCOBA-style "Canonical Orthodox"; did it have any other indicia of legitimacy, or was it just another branch of the Arnold Harris Mathews-style tree?

Then one would need to ask -- and answer -- the same questions anent the "UEC(1945)A/CR".

While not essential to the issue of legitimacy/validity, it might also prove interesting to elucidate what a "Celtic Rite" is in this day and age. Somehow that name just sounds disturbingly like "The Holy Catholic Church of West Glastonbury" or whatwever it was that consecrated Dees' protege, A.F.M. Clavier, as a bishop....

John A. Hollister+

David Gould said...

Fr. Hart, in relation to apostasy, do you support the view that the Canterbury Communion Churches that ordain women priests, or are in communion with them are in a state of apostasy from the Catholic and Apostolic Faith?

That much of the continuum have Pro-cathedrals must reflect also the view that the rightful cathedral of that Diocese is the one held by the ECUSA/Anglican Church of Australia etc.

The ACNA is a case in point, as it has women priests and advocates of women priests alongside those who don't, a situation no different from what finds with conservative Anglicans or Episcopalians who remain in their Canterbury aligned Church to this day.

Thanks for considering this Father.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

David Gould:

Fr. Hart, in relation to apostasy, do you support the view that the Canterbury Communion Churches that ordain women priests, or are in communion with them are in a state of apostasy from the Catholic and Apostolic Faith?

Yes.

That much of the continuum have Pro-cathedrals must reflect also the view that the rightful cathedral of that Diocese is the one held by the ECUSA/Anglican Church of Australia etc.

No, it does not. It is because, although we archbishops, we do not have archdioceses, and because our bishops are all, of necessity, rectors at the time of their election. We simply can't take them away from that because we don't have the manpower.

The ACNA is a case in point...

They have begun in a state of impaired communion, not even in communion with each other. They have left behind "same-sex" blessings and homosexualism, but have made no advance. We must pray for them.

rwmorbey said...

".... how would you handle their claim that our unleavened wafers are something less than bread and therefore "illicit matter?"

Many commentators are of the opinion that leavened bread *was* used in the western Church, up to the sixth or eighth centuries, perhaps in some places even up to the time of the Gregorian reforms. One can look this up in the Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent etc...

In any event, the claims - such as they are - that unleavened bread is inappropriate, wrong, and an innovation, are a push-back from the Roman claims that the easterners had it all wrong with leavened bread. Until Rome attempted to interfere in the life of the eastern churches the subject did not excite much interest.

AA in M

Shaughn said...

Fr. Wells,

First, the bread:

That's just silly nonsense which needs to be corrected by patient argument, not heresy. If Christ instituted the sacrament during the Passover, he used unleavened bread. Thus the wafers we use are in fact more representative of it than the misguided folks who use a loaf of Sunbeam or worse. The same logic applies to the (in?)temperate folks who insist on grape juice instead of fermented wine.

Second, the epiclesis:

Given that we're dealing with what is ultimately a completely artificial service, I expect them to want to preserve some Eastern trappings. I'd want to read up on just why they decided to change it. If it were because of deep seated theological convictions concerning the inadequacy of our own prayers, I would be more concerned. If it's because 'ol Tikhon just wanted a little extra Orthodox flavor in there, I would shrug my shoulders and let them carry on.

For the outside reader, we're ultimately discussing a difference of this: "AND we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood."

And this: "And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to send down thy Holy Ghost upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may be changed into the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son."

You and I cordially disagree about the importance of the epiclesis, its position, &c. I find myself more with Seabury on matters concerning epicleses anyhow. He said, re: the 1662 canon, "Frankly, it doesn't seem to consecrate anything." The Epiclesis (unlike insisting on leavened bread) makes perfect logical sense. We say prayers at Confirmation. We say what we're doing in Baptism. We rely on prayers in most every other sacrament. A narrative, however, doesn't logically consecrate and doesn't satisfy sacramental requirements. It would be like splashing people with water while reading the story of Jesus' baptism and expecting them to have received the sacrament.

Comparing my stance to the folks wriggling over Rome's offer is hardly fair. They're attempting to read all manner of things into the offer and the complementary norms which are not there and failing to accept the full implications of becoming Roman Catholic.

Me? I'm simply pointing out that Tikhon's liturgical surgery needn't have nefarious intentions behind it. But, again, I don't know the intent behind it. If it is because he thought our canon was actually inadequate, I would likely be more annoyed at the whole endeavor.

Frankly, I'm not sure why you're upset about Tikhon changing something in the liturgy which you yourself have said might not even be necessary for the sacrament to be consecrated.

Anonymous said...

Shaughn:

Let me break this down.

Rome says our Eucharist is invalid.

EO also says our Eucharist is invalid.

Rome says our Eucharist is invalid because our priest is not a real priest.

EO says our Eucharist is invalid because our Prayer of Consecration does not really consecrate.

What is the difference? Why do some folks go into paroxyms of indignation over one, and shrug shoulders over the other? If you are tolerant of one, fairness requires tolerance of the other.

If one position is right, both are right. If one is wrong, both are wrong.
I only plead for consistency.

As we all know, the Roman Canon, universal in the West from the time of Pope Gregory I if not earlier in this detail, has never had an Epiclesis which specifically invokes the Holy Ghost. EO has not been timid in declaring the Roman Eucharist invalid because of this defect. The Western Rite Orthodox "Mass of St Gregory" has suffered similar surgery. Take it from me, the EO's are very serious people on this point. The Epiclesis is not just literary haberdashery for them.

Come to think of it, the Vincentian Canon might be helpful here (hearty har-har). The Epiclesis, which the EO's are so insistent about, does not meet the test of semper, ubique, et apud omnes.
LKW

William Tighe said...

Umm, if I may briefly make two points, and a suggestion.

First, the "Liturgy of St. Tikhon" has nothing whatsoever to do with the saint of that name. True, as Bishop of the Orthodox diocese of America he forwarded a copy of the 1892 BCP to Moscow, and received back from there comments from a group of Russian theologians about what would have to be done to it to make it acceptable for Orthodox use -- comments which were translated into English and subsequently edited by Walter Howard Frere and published by the Alcuin Club -- but the Liturgy itself was put together by certain Antiochian Orthodox in 1976 in response to the desire of the PECUSA Church of the holy Incarnation in Detroit, Michigan, to become Orthodox, which it did in 1977, and was based primarily on the 1928 BCP.

Secondly, there are curious differences between the Prayer of Consecration as it appears in a version of that liturgy that was published in 1977 and that in the 2009 Lancelot Andrewes Press version -- the former seems to follow the Scottish 1764 version in some ways, while the latter sticks more closely to the American 1928 one.

My suggestion is that those who are interested in the subject might glance at the article on it that will most likely appear at *The Anglo-Catholic* next week.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Bill:

I appreciate your suggestion by email that we might take up the subject here. I do plan to do so when I return from a brief trip to Maryland to see my new grandson.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bill.

Nota bene:

"as Bishop of the Orthodox diocese of America he forwarded a copy of the 1892 BCP to Moscow, and received back from there comments from a group of Russian theologians about what would have to be done to it to make it acceptable for Orthodox use."

For those not familiar with this fairly recondite little debate, over many centuries the EO Churches have settled on a theology of consecration in the Eucharist in which the "epiclesis" (Invocation of the Holy Ghost on the elements of bread and wine) is the sine qua non. The Western Church, using the Gregorian Canon, considered the Epiclesis non-essential and regarded the Dominical Words as the sacramental center of gravity.

Thomas Cranmer, to his eternal credit, cut the Gordian knot in 1549 with an Invocation of the Holy Spirit prior to the Institution narrative, making explicit what had already been implicit in the Gregorian "Quam oblationem."

Thus, Anglican worship was not committed to either theory of consecration, making room for both (although the balance was slightly tilted by the 1764 Nonjuror revision, which I personally regard as a mistake).

I find the Muscovite surgery unacceptable in the extreme, as it would inflict on us a theory of consecration which Anglicans have never found necessary.

This may seem like "Much ado about Very Little," but I have a funny notion that theologians should be as precise as brain surgeons or structural engineers.
I could never be a homoiousian.
LKW

William Tighe said...

True, Fr. Wells, but I recall that some sort of Moscow Patriarchate theological commission declared a couple of years ago that the Roman Canon was as it stands a valid anaphora, and needs no alteration, and particularly no eastern-style inserted epiclesis, to make it acceptable for Orthodox use.

William Tighe said...

True, Fr. Wells, but I recall that some sort of Moscow Patriarchate theological commission declared a couple of years ago that the Roman Canon was as it stands a valid anaphora, and needs no alteration, and particularly no eastern-style inserted epiclesis, to make it acceptable for Orthodox use.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Fr Wells,

The main problem I have with your analysis and comparison of the Eastern Orthodox and RC criticisms of Anglican Eucharists is that you do not distinguish between what is official and, in some sense, binding teaching and what is merely common opinion or practice.

Many EO theologians teach as you indicate, thus rejecting both RC and our Eucharists as invalid. Others do not and would agree with you, as they should, that it is ridiculous to pretend there were no valid Masses in the West for the centuries the East was still in communion with it despite the Western use of azymes and less explicit versions of the epiclesis! When making allowance for Western rites within their jurisdictions, however, they take the "safer" route and insert Eastern invocations into Western liturgies: safer for their internal unity, for a start. This does not mean that there is in any sense an official, consensual or obligatory teaching of the EOC that Western Masses are invalid as they stand. However, since they believe that the absence of a more explicit epiclesis is, even if not invalidating, a significant weakness, they choose to modify such Western rites as they allow.

It also must be noted that there has been a long history of Anglican opinion (among Caroline Divines, Non-Jurors and American Episcopalians) agreeing that the 1552-style invocation (and similar ones afterwards) can do with serious improvement and a more clear reference to the transformation of the Elements themselves, to bring it into line either with the 1549 wording or one of the Eastern liturgies. And this opinion has been acted upon in the past in Laud's liturgy, and in various other Scottish and Non-Juror liturgies.

This is quite different to our issue with Rome, where the rejection of our Eucharists is based on an unambiguously authoritative teaching which is binding to some degree, though their theologians (including quite orthodox ones) are still debating to what degree, and how it relates to the contemporaneous Anglican situation.

In other words, it is certain that the RCC has in the past denied the validity of our Eucharists outright. It is clear that the EOC has not done this, and the fact that some of them once allowed their people access to our altars in particular circumstances makes any attempt to claim that they have made such an outright denial rather silly.

The symmetry you perceive is not really present, though I agree with you we must not proceed with any move to re-union that involves the dishonest denial of the validity of our historic liturgies.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Jack, Fr Wells,

The part you quote from Trent needs to be read as carefully as the 39 Articles are.

"If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."

The words, attended to carefully, do not deny any legitimate sense of "justification by faith alone". They make it clear that what is denied is justification by a faith that is alone, with "nothing else". That would obviously include repentance, as Fr Hart notes. Given that even Evangelicals deny that faith that includes "nothing else" but bare belief, with no repentance or seed of charity, justifies the sinner. There is no necessary contradiction here.

The affirmation that the human will is involved in the act of saving faith is not problematic either, once it is realised that elsewhere Trent teaches that the prevenient grace of God is required for this to happen, for the will to so move. In fact it even says that the sinner is "disposed through His quickening ... grace" (Sixth Session, Chapter V), that is, made alive. Similarly, the unregenerate are said to be "children of wrath ... the servants of sin and under the power of the devil and of death" (Chapter I). Original Sin is said to be the "death of the soul" (Decree concerning Original Sin). In other words, the official Roman teaching is that the choice to believe is a real human choice, but one that is and must be enabled by God first giving new life to a will formerly spiritually dead. Sounds pretty evangelical to me.

Finally, Trent does not deny imputational justification, since it affirms forgiveness of sins, this forgiveness being entirely unmerited (Chapter IX), except by Christ's merits. And forgiveness is by definition treating someone as better than they really are, as if they had not committed the sins. What Trent denies is that Justification must be interpreted as solely imputational, as the 11th Canon concerning Justification makes explicit. While I agree that in many places St Paul is thinking primarily or solely imputationally in his use of the dikaio- words, I do not believe this is absolutely exclusively the case throughout the NT, and most Protestant and Catholic exegetes agree that some uses of righteousness/justification refer to an effect of grace on the Christian inwardly and in his choices, i.e., imparted righteousness.

So, while the Tridentine emphasis could be more balanced, with a greater appreciation of the imputational aspects of salvation, no heresy is present here. The will that is said to cooperate with grace or assent to God is only the already quickened and graced will, the ungraced will being free in a sense, but dead to God's righteousness. The freedom from guilt that is caused by justification's remissory aspect is explicitly said to be unmerited and not based on internal sanctification but on "Divine mercy for Christ's sake" (Chapters VIII, IX). None of this is opposed to the Gospel, the Scriptures, or the consensus of Fathers and the Church through the ages.

Anonymous said...

"The main problem I have with your analysis and comparison of the Eastern Orthodox and RC criticisms of Anglican Eucharists is that you do not distinguish between what is official and, in some sense, binding teaching and what is merely common opinion or practice."

You have simply reminded us of the well-known fact that while Rome has a magisterium, EO has none, rendering its theology incoherent. (I almost feel that Rome in her errors is better than EO in her truths. Better to be sometimes wrong consistently than occasionally right inconsistently.)

The "all-over-the-map" posture of EO is why I will have no part of it. We have enough problems of our own and do not need to get mixed up with theirs.
LKW

charles said...

Thank-you Fr. Hollister and Dr. William Tighe.

Dr. Tighe,
So, I guess, basically, Wesyl was a "dead-hand" bishop? Or, is this something that deserves verification? If so, I guess AEC was not receive a valid line of succession until sometime after the 1978 Denver consecrations.

Interesting, nonetheless... thanks.

charles said...

thank you Dr. Tighe and Fr. Hollister. Your information really helped.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Fr Wells,

The EO do have a magisterium, but only to the same extent the early Church did and we do. That is, they have reference to the bishops and their consensus and conciliar decisions through the ages.

But where their bishops and theologians do not agree, and consensus is lacking, there is no dogma and various opinions are permitted. Where local councils have spoken, there is some degree of authority, but there is still room for discussion. Again, this is just like the early Church.

Nevertheless, given their adhesion to the Sacred Scriptures, Patristic Consensus, Seven Sacraments, Seven Ecumenical Councils and their rich liturgical tradition (which is very much seen as a doctrinal repository), the essence of the Catholic Faith is clearly maintained successfully among them. Their magisterium exists and works, despite imperfections.

Jack Miller said...

Some of my thoughts in response to some of the above...

Fr. Hart referred to this earlier - the problem is in the Roman Catholic teaching regarding justification, in that they teach it as a synergistic work and not a sole work of Christ on our behalf. They combine both justification and sanctification under "justification". The decree “Concerning Justification” in the Council of Trent spells out in no uncertain terms (specifically Canons 9, 11, 12, 24, 30, and 32) that men and women are accepted before God on the basis of their cooperation with God’s grace over the course of their lives, rather than on the basis of Christ’s finished work alone, received through faith alone, to the glory of God alone. The R.C. view is an infused-synergistic view of gradually being made righteous in order to be finally justified and is at odds with the gospel. The protestant-catholic (monergistic) view is being declared righteous by God through faith in Christ apart from any works or merit of the believer (Rom 3:26-28, Rom 4:5-6). Our subsequent works by which we cooperate through grace with a renewed will and heart born of the Holy Spirit is the life long process (sanctification) of becoming more like Him. It is a life of faith and works, the grateful response to the good news of what has already been accomplished and of which we are only recipients. It flows from the gift freely given, not just of sins forgiven but being imputed/declared righteous in Christ through faith by grace; the grace wherein we now stand. (Rom 5:1-4).

Referring back to my first post let me say that The Council of Trent with its anathemas against the heart of the gospel is the core obstacle to unity. Everything else is secondary. Interesting enough, in the early 1980’s when discussing the possibility of unity with Bishop Lohse of the German Protestant Church, Pope Benedict himself (when he was then Cardinal Ratzinger of Munich) made a point of bringing up the fact that “a corresponding reexamination of the doctrinal decisions of the Council of Trent was also necessary.” Trent is currently infallible R.C. doctrine.

So, for there to be a unity based on truth would necessitate Rome adjusting its position on infallibility (tradition and Papal) and removing the anathemas against the gospel. Medieval Rome innovated in its response to the Reformers (including Cranmer & Jewel) and thus departed from earlier catholic church teachings on justification. The fact that Anglicans would be considering unity with Rome in its present innovative state speaks of a lack of understanding on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again,Jack.

The notion of justification by infused grace through a cooperative (synergistic) process is highly appealing. It flatters our vanity, leading us to feel that we are responding actively to the Gospel offer. It opens the door to boasting: "let me tell you about how I made a decision for Christ," or "let me recite all I have done for the kingdom." And of course this concept has a strong claim to being the majority position over the years; it will never satisfy a literal application of the Vincentian canon.

But it brings no comfort to a sinner on his deathbed. Righteousness may have been infused by mega-tons, but we know it will not be enough to enable us to stand before a holy God. When we face God in our last hour, infused righteousness will do us no good. We will have to say:
"Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling."

RC piety, at its best, expressed something of the same thought:

"What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding,
When the just are mercy needing?

King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us!"

The difference, however, between that the Reformation expresses confidence and joy, "a sure and certain hope," while the Dies irae shows only anxiety, fear and little faith. Even if I am on the wrong side of the Vincentian Canon, I will go with the Reformation option.

"When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found,
clothed with His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne."
LKW

Anonymous said...

Charles:

Clavier's AEC never claimed to received Orders through Dees and his Ukrainian consecrator, so don't waste time barking up that tree. A group of priests seceded from Dees. They sought consecration from an episcopus vagans by the name of K. C. Pillai, an Indian who sometimes used the name of Ryan. He was of the Arnold Harris Mathew succession. THAT, not the Ukrainian business, is what you must evaluate when you consider the orders of Clavier, Grundorf and their progeny.
Did the 1991 Deerfield Beach consecration cure the defects? That is very much an open question.
LKW

Anonymous said...

In my haste I wrote:

"And of course this concept has a strong claim to being the majority position over the years; it will never satisfy a literal application of the Vincentian canon."

I meant to say:

"And of course this concept of justification as a synergistic process has a strong claim to being the majority position over the years; the Reformation doctrine of justification will never satisfy a literal application of the Vincentian canon."

(Thgat's why I take such a jaundiced view of that little shibboleth.)

LKW

Jack Miller said...

Fr. Wells, your wrote:

"And of course this concept of justification as a synergistic process has a strong claim to being the majority position over the years; the Reformation doctrine of justification will never satisfy a literal application of the Vincentian canon."

The Reformed doctrine of justification, although more clearly expressed during the 16th century was indeed consistent with the Vincentian canon which was written in the 400's AD. The reformers were diligent to show the teaching of justification (by faith in Christ alone by grace) was not only the Scriptural doctrine, but also that it was consistent with that of the early church fathers to which the V.C. referred.

cheers...

William Tighe said...

On the contrary, and as Fr. Wells tacitly recognizes, the Reformed doctrine of Justification Sola Fide cannot claim the support of a single Church Father, and so runs manifestly contrary to the "Vincentian Canon."

No support from even a single Church Father, and certainly not St. Augustine, who wrote in his "On Faith and Good Works:"

"Let us now consider the question of faith. In the first place, we feel that we should advise the faithful that they would endanger the salvation of their souls if they acted on the false assurance that faith alone is sufficient for the salvation of souls or that they need not perform good works in order to be saved."

Evangelical Anglican scholar Alister McGrath writes at the conclusion of his book IUSTITIA DEI: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification (Cambridge Univ Press, 1986), Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 19:

"However, it will be clear that the medieval period was astonishingly FAITHFUL to the teaching of Augustine on the question of the nature of justification, WHERE THE REFORMERS DEPARTED FROM IT."

"The essential feature of the Reformation doctrines of justification is that a deliberate and systematic distinction is made between JUSTIFICATION and REGENERATION. Although it must be emphasised that this distinction is purely notional, in that it is impossible to separate the two within the context of the ordo salutis, the essential point is that a notional distinction is made WHERE NONE HAD BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE."

"A fundamental discontinuity was introduced into the western theological tradition WHERE NONE HAD EVER EXISTED, OR EVER BEEN CONTEMPLATED, BEFORE. The Reformation understanding of the NATURE of justification -- as opposed to its mode -- must therefore be regarded as a genuine theological NOVUM."

The emphasis by capitalization is mine.

Mr. Miller has some proving to do, if he expects informed readers to believe his claims.

Anonymous said...

Jack,

Yes and No. (Or as Abelard would say, Sic et Non).

Thomas Oden, in his splendid little book "A Justification Reader," has made a smashing case that the Reformational view of both Atonement and Justification was well attested in the Fathers both Western and especially Eastern. That gives the heave-ho to the Anglo-papalist teaching that the doctrines of grace were new strange inventions of 16th century schismatics in Wittenburg and Geneva.

But sad to say, this never attained the universality of the Church's Christological affirmations.

Now if we manage to agree that ultimately the Scriptures meet the "semper, ubique, et apud omnes" test, your statement is correct. But usually when people trot out poor old St Vincent Lerinum, they have a very different agenda. When I hear someone say "Vincentian Canon," I reach for my Greek NT.
LKW

Jack Miller said...

LKW wrote:

"But usually when people trot out poor old St Vincent Lerinum, they have a very different agenda. When I hear someone say "Vincentian Canon," I reach for my Greek NT."

No argument from me, Fr. Wells. I was simply making the point you nail down here:

"... the Reformational view of both Atonement and Justification was well attested in the Fathers both Western and especially Eastern."

A most helpful and excellent book to read that establishes this very thing concerning the English Reformation is Ashley Null's (said to be the foremost scholar on Cranmer's theology) "Thomas Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance." It's a bit pricey but well worth it. There's a link to it on my blog.

Thanks for your insights.

Jack

Jack Miller said...

William Tighe wrote:

"...No support from even a single Church Father, and certainly not St. Augustine..."

I don't think it is nearly that clear cut. And I think McGrath overstates his case.

I referenced Ashley Null's work on Cranmer's theology in a comment above which is where one should begin. Cranmer went to scholarly pains to show that sola fide was both Scriptural and consistent with the early fathers. The issue of justification by faith in Christ alone apart from works had not been a burning debate in the early church era, thus there weren't in depth writings on it. And doctrine often isn't clarified emphatically until it becomes a burning issue in the church, as was the case that led to the Nicene Creed. Due to the innovations of medieval Rome, the question of how one is justified came to a head within the church. Nonetheless many of the church fathers lend more than a little support to the sola fide doctrine; which by the way doesn't mean faith alone - i.e. no works need ever need be done. Sole fide - justified (declared righteous) by faith alone in what Christ alone has done through his death and resurrection (his merit imputed), apart from any merit or works of mine. This theme is repeated throughout the BCP.

“Indeed, this is the perfect and complete glorification of God, when one does not exult in his own righteousness, but recognizing oneself as lacking true righteousness to be justified by faith alone in Christ.” -St. Basil the Great (Homily on Humility)

“They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed.” -St. John Chrysostom (First Corinthians, Homily 20)

“For you believe the faith; why then do you add other things, as if faith were not sufficient to justify? You make yourselves captive, and you subject yourself to the law.” -St. John Chrysostom (Epistle to Titus, Homily 3)

“What is the principle of faith? This is salvation by grace. Here Paul shows Godʼs power in that He has not only saved, He has also justified and led them to boast in a different way - not relying on works but glorying only in their faith.” -St. John Chrysostom (Homilies on Romans 7)

“Paul shows clearly that righteousness depends not on the merit of man but on the grace of God, who accepts the faith of those who believe without the works of the law.” -St. Jerome (Against the Pelagians)

“How should the law be upheld if not by righteousness? By a righteousness, moreover, which is of faith, for what could not be fulfilled through the law is fulfilled through faith.” -St. Augustine of Hippo (Augustine on Romans)

"Wages cannot be considered as a gift, because they are due to work, but God has given free grace to all men by the justification of faith." -Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315-67)


"God has decreed that a person who believes in Christ can be saved without works. By faith alone he receives the forgiveness of sins." -Ambrosiaster (c. 366-384)

"They are justified freely because they have not done anything nor given anything in return, but by faith alone they have been made holy by the gift of God." -Ambrosiaster, on Rom. 3:24

"If Abraham was not justified by works, how was he justified? . . . Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3; Gen. 15:6). Abraham, then, was justified by faith. Paul and James do not contradict each other: good works follow justification." -Augustine (354-430)

When someone believes in him who justifies the impious, that faith is reckoned as justice to the believer, as David too declares that person blessed whom God has accepted and endowed with righteousness, independently of any righteous actions (Rom 4:5-6). What righteousness is this? The righteousness of faith, preceded by no good works, but with good works as its consequence. -Augustine

sorry for the length... with respect - Jack

Anonymous said...

Our friend Bill Tighe (and I love Bill more even when he is wrong than some other people when they are right) brings forth a "gotcha" quote from a theologian I admire greatly, Alister McGrath. Well, in the very same book McGrath also wrote:

The doctrine of justification "constitutes the real centre of the theological system of the Christian church, encapsulating the direct and normative consequences of the historical revelation of God to mankind in Jesus Christ. There never was, and never can be, any true Christian church without the doctrine of justification, for the community of faith cannot exist without proclaiming in word and sacrament, the truth of what God has done for man in Christ."

It is surely an overstatement for Bill's part when he writes, "the Reformed doctrine of Justification Sola Fide cannot claim the support of a single Church Father, and so runs manifestly contrary to the "Vincentian Canon."

Jack Miller gives us some real money quotes to the contrary, and Thomas Oden ("A Justification Reader") gives plenty more. It would be more accurate to say that the Tridentine confusion of justification and sanctification (the sinner's status before a forgiving God and his internal condition) also lacks ecumenical consensus, probably to a greater degree than the Reformed doctrine.

The Vincentian canon is worthless in grappling with this very central problem, which raises questions for me about the value of that overused theological cliche.

On the general topic of Justificaation, I would recommend J. V. Fesko's "Justification, Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine." Thanks, Jack, or the suggestion of Ashley Null's book. I'll get right on it.
LKW