Friday, April 16, 2010

New page

To the right you will see a page with links to our various essays about the Roman constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. If I forgot to provide a link to one of your favorites, let me know.

This issue has become one of controversy. We do not consider the Roman Catholic Church to be an enemy, but rather we see them as brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, and rejoice in the common faith we have in the Lord, knowing that we should in all things have charity (in omnibus caritas), as St. Augustine says, even when we cannot agree in all things.

Knowing that Rome does, in many ways, see our position in terms of an error to overcome, and our own Christian people as a mission field for their own fold, we must set up a standard and defense. Therefore we must defend our place in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Holy Orders and the other Sacraments that require them, our polity, our understanding of doctrine and our mission to grow and expand. We have no reason to see Rome's efforts as hostile in intention or as motivated by anything less than charity in light of their specific beliefs about their church. But, we must maintain the truth of our position mindful of the prayer, "God save us from our enemies and from our well-meaning friends."

It has come to my attention that some who oppose our position, and who have been unable to overcome the facts we have presented (especially about what the Roman constitution does not promise, does not guarantee and does not offer), have resorted to the lowest kind of discourse. For another blog to refer to "the so-called Anglican Catholic Church," or even to go as far as to attack the Anglican Parishes Association (a publishing arm), demonstrates to our mind that they have yet to learn the words, in omnibus caritas, or to accept disagreement in a responsible and adult fashion.

We are concerned about the TAC/ACA people who fear a time of spiritual homelessness, and who do not know which way to turn. They are in our prayers, and I know that we all offer the hand of fellowship from our churches. We are grateful, however, that the present crisis has unveiled the Continuing Church as having greater unity than popularly imagined. The concordat between the Anglican Catholic Church, The United Episcopal Church and the Province of Christ the King is the basis for our commitment to deeper and more substantial unity among the Continuers.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed to see those comments about the ACC and APA. From what I understand, the APA's biggest customers are traditional RCs. What do these "former Anglican" folks need with the 1928BCP anyway? They won't be needing it where they are going.

-ACC in VA

Shaughn said...

I think the description of the ACC there is just a bit misleading. For the most part, our bishops have been strikingly quiet on the matter, and where they have spoken, it's largely been in terms of: "For those who need to go, and for those who can go, Godspeed."

As such, saying that it is "an organization inimical to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and actively working to undermine traditional Anglicans coming into communion with the Holy See" is almost comically hyperbolic in magnitude.

If anything, Fr. Hart and others are the more faithful exegetes of Anglicanorum Coetibus, since they base their judgment on, horror of horrors, what the text actually says, and not on the vague promises of people not in a position of actual authority.

If anything, Fr. Hart and others here have more faith in the Vatican than do our friends in the TAC because the folks here look at what official Vatican documents say and trust what is written there. Many Anglicans are simply seeing what is written, taking it at face value, and saying, "Mm. No, thank you."

Now, here is a curious question for folks that came up in a conversation I had with the rector of the church where I am presently for seminary:

Who will be a bishop to the congregations remaining, if all of the ACA bishops are abandoning them for Rome?

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart, when you write of the Roman church that "we see them as brothers and sisters" I am immediately reminded of the Book of Genesis and the continued theme in that book of "brothers" and how they treated each other. And so it is between the Roman Church and the rest of Christendom. Indeed, it reminds only too much of an incident in my own family history when two brothers presented themselves for communion only to have the deacons draw knives from the sleeves of their albs and cut them down.

Individual Romanists may be the best of friends and true Christians, but the official position of the Roman Church has always seemed to me as something less - especially as it has such great difficulty in reading and accepting some very relevant parts of the New Testament as applying to them.

Every time I read what St Paul has to say about the qualifications of the ministers of the Church, I reflect upon what they require and how far our current brothers are from meeting them - or even considering that what St Paul wrote might even be a remedy to their present embattled situation. It seems to me that their attitude is that present public outrage will soon blow over and they will then be able to go back to doing things they way that have done so since Hildebrand. Frankly, and for the good of all those who take the moral teaching of both the Old Testament and the New to heart, I very much pray that they are wrong.

And here I very much have in mind Our Lord's teaching in Matthew 18:6,7. It may be almost a thousand years too late, but somehow they forgot to delete those verses from the text even as they have acted as if they do not exist. But then I have far too much history there, family and otherwise, to be quite as detached as I probably should be.

1st Veriword: scarm
2nd Veriword: reoardi

David Gould said...

Shaugn asks "Who will be a bishop to the congregations remaining, if all of the ACA bishops are abandoning them for Rome?"

Logically the remaining ACA/TAC faithful will need to find shelter under an appropriate bishop. I hope that we do not see more bishops consecrated for the remaining ACA/TAC laity and priests. Far better for them to come to the ACC or APCK and UECNA.

It has been rumoured in Australia that one of Archbishop Haverland's three Regional Bishops has left the TAC to go to an "orthodox" diocese of the Anglican Church of Australia that do not ordain women priests.

Perhaps of greater note in this is the fact that the TAC have bishops in Australia who are both TAC members and Forward in Faith members i.e. in communion with the Canterbury Communion an ecclesial body that is schismatic because of their departure from Anglican orthodoxy.

David Gould said...

Canon Tallis writes: "And here I very much have in mind Our Lord's teaching in Matthew 18:6,7. It may be almost a thousand years too late, but somehow they forgot to delete those verses from the text even as they have acted as if they do not exist. But then I have far too much history there, family and otherwise, to be quite as detached as I probably should be."

There is no doubting that the Roman Church has not lived up to the injunction of St. Matthew 18:6-7. My own life's journey which involved four pedophile Anglican priests from age 11, attests to the fact that this is NOT a Roman problem.

In 2004 I sat through a trial of one of those priests, facing charges for crimes committed against eleven boys, five years after he had been to trial for crimes against one boy, in 1999.

That former priest got a character reference in his 1999 trial from the current serving Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, arguing that he believed the 1999 case to be a "one of aberration".

The point I am making is that Anglican observance of St. Matthew's injunction to care for children has been appalling also. A culture of denial of the problem and shifting priests around I believe occurred in Australia.

Fr. Don Overs an evangelical Anglican priest found widespread harm in the Parish of Magill in Adelaide and found clear evidence of a pedophile ring that involved priests and laity shipping boys to be used as sexual objects around Eastern Australia. Don Overs is a hero to sexual abuse victims because of his heroic work in confronting the Diocese of Adelaide and the wider Anglican Church of Australia over this issue.

In short I am no apologist for the failure of the Roman Church to protect children. I do however believe that the liberal pro-ordination of women, pro-abortion, pro- let's do away with so much guilt about sex elements within the Roman Church and the secular world are using this issue to attack the Pope and the Roman Church.

Canon Tallis said...

David,

I know you story and can only imagine your pain, but I fail to see why you are so willing to let Benedict XVI off for crimes in which he and the Roman Church are so clearly implicated. Are you not aware that the pope's own brother has said that when children came to him with complaints of sexual abuse that he did not know what to do? Finally with both Britain and Germany threatening action against the pope, a clear direction has come: call the police! But the question we should all be asking is why it has taken this long for something so obvious to be said? And, secondly, does anyone think they actually mean it?

I do not think that the people you mention are the ones out to "get the pope and the Roman Church." They may join the crowd, but when the Dallas paper can print a letter in which a certain German cardinal sent money and instructions on how to evade the American authorities to priests in the state of Texas, I think there is a chance he is personally involved.

But what interests me is that while you are willing to decry the actions of priests and prelates in the Anglican Church in Australia for their actions, you fail to see how much more guilty the Roman Church has been and is of the same offense. There is something here which I simply don't understand. The people and the institutions which are and have been actually involved in what are clearly crimes are the ones who need to be brought to justice - and that sooner rather than later.

David Gould said...

Thank you Canon Tallis for your kind words. I guess I wanted to emphasise two points. Pedophile priests have been no less significant or damaging to Anglican Christians as it has been to Roman Catholics. Second, there is undoubted attacks on the Church by liberals sniffing victory on the backs of this issue.

If Benedict XVI is personally culpable, then in some capacity he has to deal with that - take responsibility for it. I believe that those Bishops who shifted pedophiles around and put the name of the Church ahead of protecting children should also take responsibility which maybe requires their retirement and in some instances should involve civil or criminal charges.

Here in Australia the Roman Church tried to say in court that they had no relationship in law to the appalling Christian Brothers. That kind of semantics is appalling. I note on looking at the Legionaries of Christ RC website that there is no mention of the pedophile founder of that organisation.

This issue raises huge moral and theological questions about forgiveness, about penitence and amendment of life, no less easy for the survivor of abuse, the abusers and the bishops of the Church.

I can only say that in my journey that the healing grace of Jesus Christ has wrought in me things that I would never have thought possible, which ultimately includes the desire to see pedophiles and their witless episcopal protectors receive the mercy of God.

None of that means however that there should be no recompense or justice, and I firmly believe that automatic handing of all allegations of criminal sexual violation of children or young persons should be handed to the secular police and Child Protection authority without exception.

John A. Hollister said...

David Gould wrote of "the healing grace of Jesus Christ has wrought in me things that I would never have thought possible...."

He went on to observe, however, "None of that means however that there should be no recompense or justice, and I firmly believe that automatic handing of all allegations of criminal sexual violation of children or young persons should be handed to the secular police and Child Protection authority without exception."

All too often, we read witless and theologically ignorant comments to the effect that "the Church is in the business of mercy" and that, therefore, it should somehow overlook behavior that is otherwise criminal.

I say this is theologically ignorant because any Churchman or -woman who has been through an adequate confirmation class should recognize immediately that the Church's primary means of forgiveness, the Sacrament of Penance, remits only the spiritual effects of the sin absolved but can do nothing to alter the secular effects.

Thus a man may come to church and confess that he committed adultery, caught a venereal disease from his paramour, his wife discovered his misbehavior because he infected her, and she has divorced him and has gotten custody of their children.

He, of course, may receive absolution if he has been full and frank in his confession and manifests true repentence and a real purpose of amendment of life. However, the Church's pronouncement of that absolution, even though it is delivered with Our Lord's own authority, cannot alter the facts that he is divorced, begging his ex-wife for visitation privileges, paying alimony and child support, and taking penicillin.

On similar terms, a convicted embezzler may receive absolution for the sin of theft, but that does not change the fact that he may well go to jail and in any event will never again be permitted to work in the financial services industry.

The investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution of child abuse is simply one of those secular effects of voluntary conduct that is outside the Church's control. Further, under the rubric of "rendering unto Caesar", the Church, as a citizen within the secular society, has the same obligation as does any other citizen to report to the proper authorities felonious behaviour that comes to its attention outside the confines of the confessional. (Failure to do that is the Common Law crime called "misprision of felony".)

Why otherwise intelligent men in any denomination or communion ever failed to grasp these simple principles is something that has always seemed to me inexplicable.

John A. Hollister+
"nondepr"