Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whither Continuing Anglicanism

Continuing Anglicanism has always had a bit of an identity problem. Much of this is due to the fact that it incorporates a number of differing churchmanships as well as two differing schools of theology which I loosely refer to as the "Henrician" and the "Caroline."

The Henrician School tends to conceive Anglicanism as a mildly cleaned up version of 11th or 12th Century Catholicism without the Papacy, but with the Mass in English and married clergy. This is a rather crude description, but close enough for present purposes. The doctrinal Reformation of the reigns of Edward VI and Elizabeth I arouses, in varying degrees of hostility. Much of their rhetoric reminds me of the more vigorous Anglo-Catholics of the 1930s and their attempts to "undo the Reformation." As a result of this desire to modify the Anglican inheritance by using the Affirmation of St Louis against the BCP and Articles of Religion, a great deal of division and pain has been caused within the Continuum.

In contrast, the "Caroline" School take as their jumping off point the Caroline Divines and follow them to a variety of stopping off points usually Protestant High Churchmanship, Tractarianism, or Prayer Book Catholicism. This position accepts the English Reformation, but plays up the Catholic elements in the BCP, the Articles and the Anglican theological tradition. They also tend to be the ones who want to continue the "Old Church" but without the heresy and goofiness. The crankier members of this tendancy tend to see the more extreme "Henricians" as being just as "revisionist" as Katherine Jefferts-Schori and her cronies in their attempts to ignore, undo, or reject three hundred years of the Anglican Church's history.

Although the above represents a crude characterisation of both schools, it does make the point that Continuing Church Unity will probably remain a dream unless the gap between "Henricians" and "Carolines" can be bridged. Even relatively closely related bodies such as the ACC and the UECNA have some fairly serious differences of theology, culture and perception that need to be reconciled before any further progress towards organic unity can be made. Essentially, what I am saying is that so far as the "St Louis Churches" are concerned, the unity process has stalled, and is likely to remain stalled for the foreseeable future.

The reason for this is all too easy to identify. There has been an unwillingness to get down to brass tacks and talk openly about what divides the various jurisdictions. Unfortunately, until those issues are addressed, the chances of making unity "stick" are slim. When it comes down to it, the very issues that divided the Continuum - the status of the Affirmation of St Louis, the Articles, and the BCP, along with the varying approaches to Canon Law - are the very ones that are not being discussed. I can only assume that some folks are hoping that if we ignore them long enough the differences will go away. My fear is, however, that they will become only more and more entrenched.

Looking at it as a Catholic Anglican, albeit one with the typical Anglo-Irish distrust of elaborate ceremonial, I believe that it might just be possible, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, for both Henricians and Carolines to concede minor points in the interests of presenting a unified front. If Continuing Anglicanism is ever to be reunified, it will be necessary to put the "Centre" of the movement into the driving seat allowing Prayer Book Catholicism to serve as the bridge between Henricians and Carolines.


Anonymous said...

An excellent and perceptive post as usual!

Can Henry and Caroline make a marriage? As a self-confessed member of the crankier element in the Caroline school of Anglicanism, I am nevertheless willing to hear out the theological case for tolerating the "Henrican" school within a single "St. Louis jurisdiction," and I would love for you to put forward that case in future posts. My only qualification is that I would hope is that the case for "comprehension" is more substantive than the going-along-to-get-along refrain.

RSC+ said...

Thank you, Bp. Robinson, for your post.

I would probably place myself in a third category of "whatever the East and West did not disagree on prior to the Great Schism of 1054" camp, which, incidentally, just barely antedates the Gregorian reforms beefing up standards of clerical celibacy in the West. It allows for vernacular -- Old Church Slavonic, for example. It gives us our seven Ecumenical councils. (While the west for a long time apparently forgot about the seventh, it clearly didn't disagree with it in practice.) It also helps us avoid any of the goofiness in the wider circle of Anglicanism. Whether that puts me closer the Henrician or Caroline models, I'm not sure.

Happily, we in Continuing Anglicanism have two major advantages going forward which cause me to be a pinch more optimistic.

1) We are not an Established church, and so our disagreements are, for the most part, purely theological in nature. Much of the rangling in Anglicanism directly involved politics, between Tories and Whigs, nearly terroristic Puritans and persecution of those deemed "too Catholic" (And here I've tipped my hand, admittedly), and so forth. We do not have this problem. We do not have folks, near as I can tell, who are making political alliances of convenience -- no Low Church House of Commons vs. a High Church crown, and so forth. This is, I think, a positive move.

2) Our center is more . . .restrictive than, say, the Anglicanism of even the mid 1950s. That is to say, we do not entertain certain extremes. Anglo-Papalists have an "out" now, if you will, which narrows our line further in that one regard. I don't think we have many Puritans also claiming to be Anglican and insisting that they ruin the fun, liturgical or otherwise, for anyone else. We remain mostly united on various issues of ordination, sexuality, and standards of marriage.

Usually where we disagree, in my experience, it isn't casuistic in nature, and it isn't based on a definite liturgical point. We hear rumors of incompetence or persecution of a particular liturgical standard, but nothing in specific detail. No one in the Caroline camp strongly argues, "Hum bug! You should only be in a stole and a cope, at most!" No one in the Henrician camp strongly insists on a universal "high church" model.

The most I recall is grousing about the Missals, which, I hope, is not really a deal-breaker. Everything else is a philosophical disagreement over whether we should be like Tridentine vs. Sarum, an argument that ran out of steam, in my opinion, when the Novus Ordo took over, or the arbitrary historical point where "real" Anglicanism existed.

Frankly, I think we can do a fair bit better than any point in "real" Anglicanism, since we are happily not in a position where the State is thrown into the mix. I don't have to worry about whether the King is keeping the Puritans happy, and I don't have to worry about Unitarians or Deists souring the mix. That is, we don't have political pressure to compromise there. We can more easily toss the heretical or dissident out on their heads, since they have other avenues to pursue (back to TEC, over to Rome, wherever).

We have our disagreements, but I find most of them philosophical rather than practical. To me, things are looking up, for the most part, with a few, largely idiosyncratic cranks here and there on any particular extreme making a fuss (which title, no doubt, some here will want to claim as a badge of honor, I'm sure, though I don't mean anyone here).

Anonymous said...

"There has been an unwillingness to get down to brass tacks and talk openly about what divides the various jurisdictions."

No comments are yet posted at the time of my writing (7:43 a.m.) so it may be a rash act to go first in this discussion. (That has never stopped me before!)

But it seems that good Bishop Peter is painting with a rather broad brush. He acknowledges as much himself. But even if his portrayal is somewhat accurate, it shows something like the squabbling of the Big-Endians and Little-Endians in Gulliver's Travels, or an argument over the respective merits of Ritual Notes and The Parson's Handbook. Much Ado About Nothing.

We can always find a reason to divide, or preserve a schism, if we are determined to do so. Try hard enough, and you can turn an obscure question into a burning issue. In the sentence which I quoted above, the one word I would criticize is "unwillingness." Perhaps "negligence" or "delay" would work better.

Speaking strictly for myself, as one who came into the ACC nearly four years ago by the "Conditional Orination" route, I believe it has room for the "Caroline" party, or maybe even the "Elizabethan."

AFS1970 said...

Very interesting. I grew up in a high church environment, and to be honest that is what I compare all other church experience to. I am not sure I would be very comfortable going to a low church service. Although I would go if it was the only option.

However the issues that divide the continuum must be addressed, and I fear that we have been working towards unity for it's own sake, and that has lead to an incomplete or at least dishonest unity. If this situation is to improve then we will have to sit down and honestly talk things out. We will have to look at things with scripture as the guiding principal.

I think that Clergy related issues will end up being central to this discussion. Partly because of the central role WO played int eh forming of the continuum and partly because there are clearly very different standards for ordination and the recognition of ordinations. Take divorced clergy as an example, if some churches allow it and others do not, this will be a big stumbling block, especially if there are divorced clergy at higher levels in some churches. Educational standards will be another issue, although I think there is likely the most room for compromise there than anywhere else.

Ceremonial issues, will I think be secondary, as long as all the options remain as options and there are certain times when one yields to the nature of the occasion. Communion on Sunday can be as low or high as you like, but say the consecration of a bishop is probably going to be a high church type of ceremony with few if any options omitted.

Theological issues will need to be settled one way of another, and in this I think the 39 articles and the Affirmation of St. Louis will be of great help. Oddly enough I don't think scripture will be as helpful here as one might think, because I don't think there is anyone willfully doing something they see as against scripture. So no matter the specifics, both sides of any argument will likely site scripture as a source.

I do think that we can achieve unity, but we must first agree that there are issues that divide us, then agree to talk about those issues. We also have to realize that not everyone will be happy with the end result of such discussions.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The way forward is to see that the English theologians in the period of Elizabeth and of the Carolines as in a true continuum. They saw their work as something that built upon the English Reformers before Edward's reign.

No one really tries to live by the same rules that existed under Henry VIII. The ACC does not even try to do so, or we could not have even so much as married clergy. The real issue, summarized as "seven and seven," roots the development of Anglicanism in the Faith of the Universal Church so as to avoid modern errors, such as W"O". That is really all there is, essentially, to the earlier Henrican reference in the Canons.

Anonymous said...

Shaughn: Prior to 1054, both East and West agreed to the Ptolomaic cosmology, which was commonly assumed to have theological significance. Both generally agreed that it was okay to torture heretics, burn witches, and persecute Jews. Many things were commonly agreed on that some of us find adhorrent. I find it wise to read all the fine print before signing on to a popular theological mantra. History, even when tragic, is irreversible, and it is not constructive to yearn for some "status quo ante."

charles said...

Henrician catechisms seem to make a difference between doctrine and ceremony. Canon and ceremony are mutable according to pastoral necessity, sic., order and edification. I believe a bridge might be crossed if we all became more 'consistent' Henricians. This means Carolinians grasp settlement theology as a continuation of what Henry VII established. This would give context to ritual as well as often contestable "doctrines of grace".

For, so-called "Henricians", they ought to know 'justificaiton' was already a powerful idea in Anglican theology after 1536, ordering ceremony as well as the 'seven sacraments'according to the rule of scripture. The St. Louis
Affirmation needs to be consistently reorientated toward these Henrician standards--articles, canons, and catechisms belonging to the 1536-47 period. The implications of these documents then frame and set in motion the 1559-63 settlement. Henry is indeed that linchpin, but he must be exclusively grasped apart from (and not used as a cover for) continental theology-- this includes both Lutheran and Tridentine sorts.

Anonymous said...

Was the spelling "Wither" (instead of "Whither" intentional or a Freudian slip?

RSC+ said...

Fr. Wells,

None of those items you mention are salvific issues, and in each of those (except, perhaps, cosmology) one can find exceptions. In fact, each of those you mention are only indirectly theological issues because they explore the question of how one is to love one's neighbor and what is the proper dispensation of justice toward a non-believer - be they an heretic, a witch, or a Jew.

Clearly those are no longer an issue now because of multiple reasons. As I mentioned before, we are a disestablished church, and therefore do not have any authority to distribute justice in that regard. Second, we have come to agree that physical violence is not a appropriate response to non-belief, in both the east and the west. It is, therefore, not especially an argument against what I have asserted.

As for cosmology, that is, ultimately, a question of science. And, again, the East and West both agree that the universe is not in the Ptolemaic system. Once more, we haven't, really, disproven the value of my proposition.

Neither of those points are salvific, as much as they might be pleasant or unpleasant, and none are matters of doctrine.


Fr. John said...


I like the way you have framed what the ACC is today. I would add that the liberating aspects of not being part of the political quarrels of the old country not only give us the opportunity to form a positive Continuum that could embrace various kinds of liturgical practice, within the Affirmation of St. Louis, but also to grow into a real American alternative to the growing heresy/apostasy of the U.S. branch of the Roman Church.

I do not think that God allows the Continuum to exist for our own convenience or comfort.

Anonymous said...

Would I be subject to stoning or the rack if I were to say all this strikes me as wanting to be of Apollos or Cephas?

Personally I find pinning Anglicanism on any monarch to be offensive. I have been in all of the 'big 3' jurisdictions now so I am a 'real' Continuum but every one of those claimed to be modeling off of the early church.
As I recall it was Charles Grafton who tagged Anglican Christianity to Linus and Claudia. Linus succeeding Timothy as Bishop.


Fr. Robert Hart said...


It is not the monarchs themselves, but the theological formulations prevalent in specific eras, i.e., Henry's time, Edward's time, Elizabeth's time, and the reign of Charles I. It has as much to do with the theology that prospered under Abps. Cranmer, Parker and Laud, and the differences in emphasis of each period.

My position is that we come away with the best of each, and that these emphases are complementary. Furthermore, none is complete if it must stand alone. If the era of Henry were to stand alone, we would lose far too much; but if the era of Edward stood alone we would also lose too much. This is why we need the full development of orthodox Anglicanism, guided by what Queen Elizabeth I stated as the goal (which is quoted in the Affirmation of St. Louis), to recover the teaching of "the most ancient catholic doctors and bishops."

Overly partisan Anglicans are doomed to fail. Within the freedom to be High or Low or Mid, we must grasp the complementary nature of true Anglican belief. Queen Elizabeth I articulated the only real goal that we all must have.

Anonymous said...

""whatever the East and West did not disagree on prior to the Great Schism of 1054"

We have had this discussion before, both here, on FB, and face-to-face. (Some readers might be startled to read that Shaughn and I are good friends).

But I cannot be convinced that is a very solid theological platform. Too squishy to be of much practical use.

1. Did anyone in AD 1055 (a year after the magic date) accept such a rubric?

2. You say that the issues I bring up are not "salvation issues" (Hey, where have I heard that cliche before?), but when Jews, heretics, and witches were being persecuted, their pursuers believed otherwise. They did not persecute just for fun; it was a serious matter, very serious.

3. What troubles me most about this 1054 rubric is that it disregards the reality that Christianity is based on revelation, not on consensus. In many periods, such as that between the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils, the consensus has been seriously wrong. The majority of trhe Christian world was Monophysite when the 4th Council adjourned. So looking for a "consensus of East and West" is building a house on sand. And who sets the magic date of 1054?

Unitarians scoff at the doctrine of the Trinity when they read that it was something voted on and passed by a majority. If that were indeed the case, the Unitarians would be right. But like the Unitarians, the 1054 Consensualists tend to forget that the Fathers before that date, as well as much much later, appealed not to their own shakey consensus, but to Holy Scripture. That alone is the depositum fidei, the bedrock of truth into which all doctrine must be securely grounded.
Scripture and only Scripture is what the universal Church calls "inspired."
And in 1054, that is what everybody believed.

Anonymous said...

I find the approach you describe to be the only one tenable with the concept of the oft cited Vincentian Rule.

Partisanship is unbiblical. I hope I made that point.

I have Hall's volumes, Grafton, Keble's volumes on Hooker, Barry, Staley, Moss and Knowles and I can't find any such a thing as "Henrican" Anglicanism. Maybe I am missing something. Ihave a dozen or more books on the BCP and flipping through the contents I find no such a thing.

The closest I have ever heard of such a hyphenated Anglicanism was in the APCK we knew of "Morsian-Anglicanism". Although it was never written down.

If Anglican means - One Holy Catholic and Apostolic then it does not need qualification by being tagged as Apollos-Anglicanism or Cephas -Anglicanism.

If the ACC deems it necessary to make "Henrican" a litmus test I am convinced we will see further fracture in the Continuum.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

If the ACC deems it necessary to make "Henrican" a litmus test I am convinced we will see further fracture in the Continuum.

I thought I had made this clear before. "Henrican" means only the same thing we find in the Affirmation of St. Louis:


The received Tradition of the Church and its teachings as set forth by 'the ancient catholic bishops and doctors,' and especially as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church, to the exclusion of all errors, ancient and modern."

i.e., "seven and seven," or Antiquity. See this.

+ Peter said...

I have to admit that there are three provisions in the Affirmation of St Louis that really get up my nose.

The first is the seven sacraments clause which "canonizes" a piece of High Mediaeval tidying up. Unimportant, but a deviation from the appeal to "Antiquity" that is so characteristic of Anglicanism.

The second is section about the Liturgy, whilst appealing to the 1928 PECUSA and 1962 AC of C BCPs makes sense, including the 1549 BCP strikes me as slightly perverse. 1559/1662 would have made more sense, especially as it has been far more of a unifying influence than the 1549.

Thirdly, the interpretation clause, which is so often taken as meaning "lets ditch the Thirty-Nine Articles and use the Affirmation instead." I addressed this particular issue a few months back, so I will refrain from beating on it some more.

None of these difficulties is insurmountable, but I cannot help feeling that a simpler document would have sufficed to achieve a proper restoration of Anglican orthodoxy. I have to admit that I am thankful that the UECNA has never incorporated it into its Constitution and Canons, even though we acknowledge its importance in defining the "shape" of Continuing Anglicanism.

Anonymous said...

"I thought I had made this clear before. "Henrican" means only the same thing we find in the Affirmation of St. Louis:"

No offense Fr. but it is not enough for YOU to make it clear. I mean nothing disrespectful when I say "it ain't about you"!

Since I cannot find it mentioned or defined as such in any text it is a phrase that can be interpreted to mean whatever someone wants it to mean. I can read the Affirmation (don't see it there either) or the 39 Articles (not in the index of Bicknell) but if only a handful of clergy get to interpret a 'new' phrase then Iam afraid I see an opportunity for trouble to slip in- someone sooner or later taking advantage of the phrase as an excuse for some other interpretation on some point.

For me it is now officially a red flag phrase as I cannot see it defined in Anglican literature as such and never heard of it quite frankly until very recently. And as I said such hyphenated partyism flies in the face of Scripture.

Anonymous said...

I thought I had made this clear before. "Henrican" means only the same thing we find in the Affirmation of St. Louis:"

No disrespect intended but 'it's not about you'.

The phrase is apparently the private pet of a very few in the CC. I cannot find it anywhere else so it strikes me as 'new'.

My concern is firstly, it flies in the face of Scripture by encouraging party-ism as I have already pointed out. (Now this I say, when every one of you saith, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ" 1 Cor 1:12)

Secondly, as a phrase with no apparent root in classic Anglican literature it seems to me to allow for wiggle room for anyone wanting to 'define' what it means. If I cannot independently verify what 'Henrican' means I just have to take your word for it? Not even a slim chance of that happening!!!

I left one denomination because of mischief of word smiths it was called ECUSA. Now I am not saying that is anyone's intent here, but who is to say down the road someone won't latch on such an ambiguous term?

It's a bad idea. For me it is now an official 'red flag'.


Canon Tallis said...

As an unreformed Elizabethan as well as an unreconstructed Confederate I was beginning to believe that I had been put out of the Church until Father Hart's reply. But it is clear that Elizabeth's position was to return the Church of England to as much as the belief and practice of the primitive Church of the earliest centuries as was possible. She had seen and lived through the destructive work of the last years of her brother's reign and the longer and nastier reign of her sister Mary, but was wise enough to recognize that their was both good and good intentions in each. But good intentions were not enough, especially when they led, as they so frequently do, to evil actions. Her policy expressed in her own words and in those of the canon of 1571, the sermons and writings of Bishop Jewel and the books of his pupil, Richard Hooker, was the Church as understood in Holy Scripture as interpreted by the earliest bishop and Catholic fathers. That may be a little too complex and adult to be crammed into one of the penny pamphlets purchased in the stalls of Westminster Cathedral or the directions of Ritual Notes, but it does not "freeze" the Church in any time or place. Rather it allows for the developments of the Caroline divines, the mysticism of William Law and the restored understanding of both Church and Scripture undertaken by the lives and teachings of the Tractarian divines and those who read and followed them.

Our problem in the Continuum is that we are too much, very much too much ashamed of being Anglicans - and probably the only real ones left. We are either running off to reinterpret ourselves in the writings of the continental 'reformers' whose reforms never produced anything like the doctrine, life and worship of the earliest church, or of the worst excesses of baroque and unreformed Romanism which is so far from real Catholicity that the bishops and fathers of the first five centuries would never recognize it. We need to learn to be content with being mere Anglicans, wrapping ourselves in Holy Scripture as understood by primitive Church and interpreted by the three Creeds and the generally received Councils. We need a lot more literal obedience of the prayer book as it stands in the tradition until we all have lived at least a generation in the fullness of classical, orthodox prayer book Anglicanism with out any pretending to be or wanting to be anything else. Church, church, just Church; the one, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as we have received it.

And we need to learn to love one another - which is sometimes a great deal more difficult than many of us would admit. And we need to have bishops and archbishops who will be swift to correct those who would drive from the Church those would simply have the prayer book obeyed as it is and who don't have the good sense not to be publicly relieved when they think that they have done so.


Brian said...

Bishop Peter,

Above you segue seamlessly from citing points in the Affirmation "that get up [your] nose," to saying that "none of these difficulties is insurmountable."

This seems to confirm my original impression that you are elevating your personal pet peeves to the level of issues that would prevent greater unity.

My questions is where do +Peter's picky personal preferences end and real areas of concern for the wider UECNA begin?

RSC+ said...

Part of the trouble with prayer books involves the quirky manner in which the churches of Canada and America emerged. They have, put simply, different roots.

Canada, near as I can tell, uses a Prayerbook derived mostly (or near entirely) from 1662, which in turn is not altogether different from 1604 and 1559.

The American tradition, by contrast, emerges from the Scots and the non-Jurors, drawing in particular from the 1637 Scottish Prayer Book (which was, so far as I know, never really used). That book, in turn, looks much more like the 1549 BCP than the 1559 BCP.

That all happened, of course, because of how the Mother Church (England, here) treated the colonies -- basically, not at all well. Samuel Seabury had to appeal to Scotland for a consecration, and so the American BCP derives itself more from the Scottish Prayerbook tradition than the English one.

Since the Continuing movement, near as I can tell, began in the US, it makes decent sense to me that the 1549 and 1928 ones be authorized, with the Canadian one added as necessary, along with other national Prayerbooks. In that regard, the 1662/1559 BCPs would have been an unsuitable platform.

All this nasty mess, by the way, goes back to my original point, which is far more important than haggling over arbitrary origin points -- a disestablished church free of secular political bickering and alliances is more free to engage in discussion. Much of the divisions we have now trace back to the old divisions between political and socio-economic classes in England, as much or more than they do to purely theological disagreement.

As it happens, I merely happen to like mine more than the others. I am not much interested in inflicting them on other folks, such as my friend and colleague, Fr. Wells, who might disagree with me. It's much easier for me to suggest the church has "moved on" from whatever errors the church may have prior to 1054 (e.g. violence and outdated cosmology) than the more heated subjects of disagreement between the Henrician and Caroline "camps." Such a view also, as it happens, allows for the good fruit of both the Henrician and Caroline origins, insofar as they agree with what preceded, and some of my favorites from the Medieval period, like Thomas Aquinas.

(This discussion has, incidentally, been great practical sport for me in preparation for my ordination examinations . . .)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Anonymous wrote:

No disrespect intended but 'it's not about you'.

So, is that an excuse for simply dismissing my explanation? Do you want an explanation or not?

And, the word "Henrican" is not in any official document, so you need not worry that you will find the red flag you are concerned about. This is a discussion about finer points of theology, not about persons, so the bit in I Cor. 1 about partisanship seems to be quite a mismatch.

Please use a name or create a handle (nick name) if you plan to carry on a discussion. We can't be going back and forth intelligently with an army of anonymice.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...the worst excesses of baroque and unreformed Romanism which is so far from real Catholicity that the bishops and fathers of the first five centuries would never recognize it.

Indeed, in both senses of the word, they would never recognize it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Brian wrote:

This seems to confirm my original impression that you are elevating your personal pet peeves to the level of issues that would prevent greater unity.

I say, Brian, don't you think that Bishop Robinson has authority to speak for the UECNA? It seems obvious to me that he does. He has pointed out an elephant in the living room, but also a means to let the big animal get outside where it belongs. If his peeves are pet peeves, they are more than merely his own, for they are most certainly shared. We need more frank discussions like this to move forward, not less.

Anonymous said...

My concern Fr. is that once there is a label there is a party.

I know Archbishop Haverland uses "Henrican" to describe his theology.

Once a party is established there comes defense of it's positions and generally effort to convince others to join it. Even dear Bicknell points out this reality in his book on the Articles. I don't recall the exact words but can look them up the idea was that people start to come up with ways of justifying a position or tendency or emphasis- it becomes for the sake of winning arguments and not Truth.

Surely it is why it is better not to be an Cephas Anglican, etc.
Cramner belonged to a 'party' I remember dear Dr. Toon dancing around that fact years ago when trying to spin a more protestant bent on the Articles in some discussion on another site.

I am with Canon Tallis. It is enough for me to be an "Anglican" unapologetic and unqualified.

I really find "Anglo Catholic" and even "Anglican Catholic" to be irritating as it's like saying one is a Italian Roman or a Protestant Presbyterian or Automotive Car or a feline cat.

Since redundancy and unclear definitions are all the rage, I'll stick with Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous as my tag!


Anonymous said...

"So, is that an excuse for simply dismissing my explanation? Do you want an explanation or not?"

No Fr I do not dismiss you I am simply saying it is not enough for you or a few clergy to be satisfied with you own ambiguous 'party' description. It may not seem that way to you but that is the problem I am trying to address.

Anon, anon anon

RSC+ said...

Canon Tallis writes,

"And we need to have bishops and archbishops who will be swift to correct those who would drive from the Church those would simply have the prayer book obeyed as it is and who don't have the good sense not to be publicly relieved when they think that they have done so."

No bishop that I know of in the ACC would have a problem with a strict BCP service -- Nobody, anywhere. If folks want it, I say, "By all means, go ahead." Heck, I know parishes that do such a service at 9 am and bring out the bells and incense at 11 am, and they do nicely together.

Some folks like more in addition, especially in certain places within the service, like immediately after the comfortable words, or immediately following the Gloria. It's very jarring to head straight into those portions without a simple Dominus Vobiscum and so forth to guide the congregation along.

It also isn't especially clear to me that the prayer book has been broadly followed, exclusively, in the rubrics -- ever, without additions here and there. Supplements that do not contradict it needn't be prohibited.

But, as I say, no one is stopping you from doing so. I am, as I've mentioned before, mostly of a "live and let live" temperament within suitable boundaries. You may do without your minor Propers, for example, all you like, so long as a congregation that wants them may have theirs. (And, really, who doesn't enjoy a well-chanted Introit?)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Anon, anon anon:

You don't seem to understand this simple fact. You raised a question about the definition of a word used by my bishop, the Archbishop of the ACC (we have discussed this by email behind the scenes). The meaning is all about rooting our Anglican faith and practice in something older than the 16th century, so as to avoid innovations such as the Episcopalians have felt free to indulge in. And, rooting our faith and practice in the Apostolic Church, recognizing the need to return to Antiquity, was the goal of all the Anglican Reformers and Divines. Shaughn has stated correctly that the issues are theological rather than expressions of conflicting partisanship. I believe that the few remaining clarifications needed will prove complementary rather than contradictory.

But, you may dismiss my answer and definition if you insist. You won't likely be given a different one.

Thanks to Bishop Robinson for getting us started on a necessary journey, one I think may prove to reach a real goal, one clearly within sight.

derril said...

Bishop Robinson,

I want to add my thanks to those of the others for posting this topic.

Neither you nor posted comments dwell on specific issues - which is appropriate - you are trying to establish a framework for specifics to be discussed.

When discussing specifics in an ecumenical dialog between Churches, I would warmly recommend including topics in which the Churches participating probably agree - to see how they are being implemented. And, as desirable, encourage appropriate practices within our parishes.

Certainly the following list is not all inclusive but three topics come to my mind: The practice of open communion, fasting before receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord and expected practice of communicants with respect to their Preparation for receiving Holy Communion.

If I may elaborate a bit, it is my (not too firm) belief that Preparation for receiving Holy Communion is not widely practiced in the ACC. That observation comes from belonging to two ACC parishes (as I've lived in two states) over the past 22 years. I have also visited dozens of ACC parishes over that period. I can think of only two bulletins I've seen that urge communicants to approach the altar to receive Communion only after appropriate fasting and preparation. And I have heard no sermons on this topic. (I did hear Fr. Sossi preach on the importance of participating in the Sacrament of Penance which is close - at St. Hilda of Whitby Parish in DC many years back).

I would love to be shown that my observation is wrong and my experience is an anomaly. I put forth this observation as constructive criticism. I love the ACC, and am extremely grateful for the faithful service and sacrifice of bishops, priests and laity in the ACC.

I am posting this after the postings on this discussion have largely stopped. Maybe no one will see it. My excuse for the late posting is I have limited time to spend on the internet.