Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What's the difference...

...between us & the Anglican Church North America (ACNA)? This question comes up at least once a day.

Officially, the difference is that the ACNA is treating the latest stages of a disease that has been allowed too long to develop. We deplore blessing of same-sex unions as much as the next fellow; but we also deplore the basic rejection of God's own authority that laid the groundwork, the earlier rebellion that made this latest symptom of ECUSAnism possible. We recognized the earlier symptoms of the fatal disease back in 1977. We knew that we had to treat it drastically by cutting out the infected organs and taking the full dose of antibiotics. But, the leaders of the ACNA have yet to detect the early symptoms, for they still accept priestesses in the church.

This confusion about sexual identity in one sacrament, ordination, was the necessary first step leading to rejection of the marriage sacrament and covenant as established by God in the creation of Man. If a woman can be ordained to a male role (a father in the household of God-see I Tim. 3), then two men can marry each other, or two women. Therefore, though we may pray for our ACNA brthren to become enlightened, we cannot join with them. They are following along the same path as the Episcopalians, only they are going at a slower pace from a further distance. The destination is the same.

This old essay, reprinted from October 2007, may help explain:

The Holy Ghost made me do it

Flip Wilson's Geraldine character said "the Devil made me do it." It is what modern ECUSAns have been saying about the Holy Spirit. "The Holy Spirit" has made them do all sorts of things, from "ordaining" women to blessing the "union" of man and husband, and of woman and wife. Soon, the Holy Spirit will be blamed when they bless the union of a man and his horse. And, the "wedding" will be beautiful, full of warm and fuzzy things that bring tears to the eyes of animal lovers everywhere. Some ECUSAn conservatives who embrace "Biblical doctrine" will approve of the union as long as the horse and the human are of the opposite sex. As Fr. Thomas Hopko of the Orthodox Church said to my brother David (sorry to say, in a conversation you cannot google up on your computer), "the Holy Spirit does all sorts of things that the Holy Ghost would never do."

The problem with those who are "led by the Spirit" is that they must re-imagine the Bible and disregard Tradition. To do this, they must first invent little fictions. Did you know, for example, that New Testament approves of and endorses slavery? This would have come as no small surprise to the American Abolitionists who based their movement on their Christian Faith and scripture. But, now we have the generally accepted consensus of the Revisionists. I suppose that Saint Paul, instead of teaching the right way of life to Christians who were slaves under the pagan system of Rome, should have urged a Spartacus style revolution, no doubt with the same results, instead of carrying out his mission. His failure to do so must be read as approval of slavery, if not endorsement. And, why must it be so read? To make the Revisionist argument, that's why. Obviously, these Revisionists have never read Deuteronomy 23:15, 16: "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him." The abolitionists, however, had read it.

These allegedly Spirit led innovations teach us that God is capricious, but at least he is growing in his understanding, and so leading us to follow him in his own search for enlightenment. It took him quite a while, by another of their fictions, to figure out what to do with Gentiles in the Church (it seems that their Holy Spirit, unlike the One we know, never plans ahead). Once again, a little passage of scripture the Revisionists seem never to have read is Acts 11:17, 18. "[Peter said] Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." They confuse Peter's later flaw, as recorded in the Epistle to the Galatians when he was corrected by St. Paul, with the heresy of the "Judaizers" that sprung up even later still. They miss the fact that Paul corrected his fellow apostle on the basis of settled, revealed, doctrine already established, and that the Council in Jerusalem (Acts 15) defended and upheld that same established doctrine. But, by inventing this period of doctrinal confusion, this historical "fact" of their collective imagination, they show once again, by using scripture (in clear "Jehovah's Witness" style) that their God takes a while to figure these things out, and then leads them into the newest discovery of his limited, finite understanding, His never-ending search for truth.

So, their Holy Spirit takes them into new and unsettled territory as he matures and learns. Our Holy Ghost, however young He was on the Day of Pentecost, has become old and set in His ways. He does not approve of women's "ordination" anymore than He did when Christ bestowed Him on the Apostles. And, He does not bless same sex unions, no matter how many clergy persons do. The Revisionists have used the same arguments for women's "ordination" that they now use for Homosexualism because, they walk in the same spirit, and in the same steps. And, no, it is not the Holy Spirit.

If they are going to quote Flip Wilson, they ought to quote him verbatim.
_______

So, you see, returning to 2011; the difference between us and the ACNA is that they have no ultimate defense against the thinking I have described above.

59 comments:

AFS1970 said...

I have often said that it seems to be a sliding scale. The continuing churches left when it got too bad, this included the changes to the prayer book and WO. The folks that are in the ACNA now,were and are A-OK with those innovations. They just don't like HO. This is why the commonly used moniker of TEC-lite is applied to them.

It seems that each group that leaves a larger body has had it "up to here". The problem really is that those that can stand higher levels of heresy themselves are by definition just a bot closer to being heretical than those that could only tolerate a smaller level.

Shaughn said...

Fr. Hart,

Excellent post. I think many Anglicanoids (a technical term) and Protestants in general, especially in America, go about with a false notion that women's ordination is a settled issue, a done deal, and a majority decision.

They don't realize that even the largest single Protestant denomination is half the size of Eastern Orthodoxy (let alone Roman Catholicism), or that the number of sacramental churches which don't practice ordination of women FAR outnumbers those churches that do on a global scale. (Here I include the RCC, us, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Missouri Synod Lutherans).

Because for these Protestant churches it is taken for granted that WO is a settled issue, I'm sure they can't imagine joining a church that doesn't practice it. The battle, therefore, must continually be fought in a charitable manner.

charles said...

Hello Fr. Hart,

Where to begin? First, I consider it false witness to claim the ACNA is composed of folks who are A-OK with WO. Yes, there are many who support it, but there is an equal amount against it. If this is true, then why not positively support the 'anti' faction?

Spaulding's report on the "Continuum and it's Problems" should be referenced. Spaulding makes the case that if APA joined, the scales would have been favorably tipped on the anti-WO side. APA did not join because Romanizing bishops were against it. His analysis can be read in the bottom section: http://www.anglicanchurches.net/Scrolls_ContinuumProblems.html

Second, the argument "we ought to prayer for them" has a number of shortcomings. If I see a man on the road who's been hit and brutalized by robbers and asks for my help, is it really a charitable mind that says, "I'll pray for you", without actually picking the man up and getting him to a hospital? This is a case where works should follow prayer. It's really an empty thing to say "We should pray for them" when you actually wish something otherwise.

Furthermore, the idea Continuing churches should avoid ACNA, in my estimation, betrays a Cyprianic vs. Augustinian view of the church. I contend the ACNA, despite its problems, is a true church, and it contains an orthodox branch, REC and Fif, for instance, that is working hard to reform it. Moreover, it's a church, unlike ACC, that's constitutionally based on the Settlement, so that has merit. http://fca.net/resources/the_jerusalem_declaration/

Last, separation should only be pursued as a last instance when admonition is no longer listened to. ACNA is not at that point yet, and the question of WO remains in the air. Why? Because unlike TEC, WO actually stands to split the ACNA. That's in itself ought to be significant proof that ACNA is a territory where a good cause is to be had.

Now, I accept and welcome the ACC's apology that one's house first needs order before engaging in new arguments. Reuniting St. Louis churches is a fine excuse for abstention. I fully support that. However, treating the ACNA as if it's heartedly pro-WO is not only inaccurate, but it's the case of dirtying the well of a potential rival.

BillyHW said...

What the heck is ACNA?

Colin Chattan said...

Good post, Father. I see no validity whatsoever to the notion that all was sweetness and light in the Anglican Paradise until the homosexual snake entered the Garden. Historically, in fact, the homosexualist movement has only been able to grow and thrive precisely because it arose in the context and as a logical consequence of "sexual liberation" - the liberation not only from traditional sexual taboos but even gender - which was my generation's great contribution to civilization and which itself followed naturally from our primary motivating principle: "If it feels good, do it!" Fornication and adultery are mortal sins every bit as much as homosexual acts - and they occur with much greater frequency! If our culture hadn't first yielded to the world, the flesh and the devil with respect to heterosexual relationships and the meaning and importance of gender, there would never have been a flowering of homosexual indulgence. And we would never have yielded to acquiescence in sexual sin of any kind if we had not first turned away from God and the faith of our fathers. "Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways!" For Anglicans this turning back can be found only in traditional Anglicanism, not in any branch of the apostate and decadent Canterbury communion - including the ACNA. In the long run, therefore (and it may be a very long run!), provided that we remain faithful to our formularies - and perhaps take the advice of T.S. Eliot in "Ash Wednesday" - "Teach us to care and not to care, Teach us to sit still" - the Anglican future (where "Anglcian" actually has meaning) lies with us in the St. Louis continuing churches.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles:

If I could pull the ACNA out of the ditch, where the robbers and thieves have left them, I would. But, such is not an apt allegory. For the only wound is self-inflicted. You wrote:

"First, I consider it false witness to claim the ACNA is composed of folks who are A-OK with WO. Yes, there are many who support it, but there is an equal amount against it. If this is true, then why not positively support the 'anti' faction?"

How is it it false? The problem is, they have women serving as clergy right now, regarded as priests and deacons. Therefore, all I have done is state a fact. They have even added to the number.

You see, this gets to the heart of the matter. The Episcopal Church was already too far down the road of error before they actually "ordained" women. The real problem began earlier, when orthodoxy began to be merely tolerated as an option rather than taught as the truth, and enforced as the standard.

What we are talking about is being in sacramental communion. That is what we cannot pretend to enter into while the question of Holy Orders remains compromised. What I have answered is, what is the difference? I have also explained why it matters.

Anonymous said...

The ACNA will eventually split and the subsequent parts that it split into will each split themselves and before you know it, the world of churches that include the name "Anglican" will blossom into a hundred and fifty-three different groups. The presenting issues will vary from place to place and from time to time. For now it's women's ordination or GLBT ordination or marriage, but next time around it will just be something else.

The precedent has been set and apparently written in stone: if the glove doesn't fit, you must split.

Anonymous said...

I will pick up on just one point in Charles's comment.

"Spaulding makes the case that if APA joined, the scales would have been favorably tipped on the anti-WO side."

I vaguely recall the document he cites but I am all too familiar with an argument certain people have been advancing since the era of St Louis. This argument goes, "If you Continuers hadn't left, then the Episcopal Church would not have been captured by the liberals." Every gathering of the FIF and similar organizations hears another recital of this canard.

Now this argument has been elevated to a higher key, with the complaint, "If only the CC had joined AMIA, or ACNA, or whatever, we could stop WO."

The argument, based in sentimentality and wishful thinking, is patently false. In the St Louis era, many of us did not leave voluntarily but were simply kicked out. I recall being summoned to a Vestry meeting and told bluntly, "If you don't like the direction our parish is headed, you will have to find aniother church."

We knew at St. Louis that the decisionss of the 1976 General Conventioon were irreversible. Subsequent history has proved us correct. It is not the Continuers who are responsible for VGR and KJS, but the "stay-in-and-fight" traditionalists.

As for the second form of Spaulding's argument, it forgets (conveniently!) the fact that the Continuing Churches had been around for over a generation before ACNA saw the light of day. Although perceived as weak, we already had an organization in place with a track record that clearly shown real staying power. (A fly-by-night organization does not survive that many splits!)

The neo-Anglicans are welcome to join us whenever they repent of WO and re-learn the classical Anglican worship style. It just that simple.
LKW

Jordan said...

While there are some in the ACNA who support WO, it is not an overwhelming majority. For instance, the REC, Diocese of All Saints (the missionary diocese associated with FIFNA), the Diocese of Fort Worth, and Quincy are all solidly against WO. The AMiA will ordain women to the diaconate and has a small loophole in its structure to allow women priests in something called the ACiA (Anglican Coalition in America), which houses 7 or 8 priestesses. CANA officially recognizes the ordination of women but according to some personal knowledge, most CANA parishes don't want women priests. Other ACNA dioceses adopt the position of +Duncan which is to allow women priests but not bishops. If, however, the APA, and others would have joined in the numbers would have been against it and perhaps that policy would be different.

Anonymous said...

I left the ACC for the ACNA basically because the new ACNA mission parish in my town is much closer--I was driving an hour to my ACC church,and it was causing some strain on my marriage. I didn't make the committment, however, until I found out the diocese (ADOTS) was NOT going to ordain women to the priesthood. So, as others have pointed out there are many within the ACNA that are opposed to WO. I do wonder, however, about the longterm viability of the province if the issue is not resolved (in a catholic direction).

Doubting Thomas

Anonymous said...

Jordan, you are reassuring us that the ACNA/AMIA neo-Anglican groups are simply incoherent. Your argument is like saying that if a strong minority of healthy people went to live in a leprosarium, the level of health there would improve.
LKW

W.C. Wallace said...

Has anyone who has commented here actually in the ACNA?

charles said...

Thank you Jordan for giving some facts.

Fr. Wells and Hart: I cannot agree with you that ACNA is the same liberal composition as ACNA. To equate ACNA to TEC grossly oversimplifies the dynamics of the two churches. It's just plain wrong.

More later.

Charles

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Let me make myself unpopular by pointing out facts. The ACNA might have a majority that dislikes WO; but that does not alter the fact that they have the disease. The correct meaning of Isaiah 1:18 ("Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool") is not about forgiveness, but about leprosy. The sins are likened to a disease that begins small and almost unnoticed, a little bit of red.

Until the ACNA come to the light, they remain in darkness on this matter, even in dioceses that do not have the symptoms at this time. For they are part of the same church that has priestesses. Now, diseases can go away. But, the cure has yet to be applied, and we know what the cure is: Just say no to WO. This the ACNA has yet to do, and may never do for all we know-in which case they will go from bad to worse (we pray they will repent this practice instead).

As for divisions in the Continuing Church, one reason I joined the ACC is because they have simply stuck to plan A for over thirty two years, and have never been dominated by any of the strong egos who had to leave in order to have their own kingdoms. They won me over as having authenticity, which is why the ACC is worldwide. The position we hold is that the Continuing Church is comprised of three jurisdictions in a concordat of full sacramental communion.

But, that boundary line is not the limit of our charity. We want everyone, including the ACNA, to be strong and free of error. We cannot, however, be of any help to anyone if the disease so infects us that we can bring no medicine if and when it is welcome. Trying to force sacramental communion right now would simply give us the same disease.

AFS1970 said...

All this talk of swinging the tables and majority vote is a flawed concept at best. In just about any issue, but I will pick WO for consistency, each side claims to be backed up by scripture. However the idea that the majority rules, while very democratic is not at all scriptural. Scripture says what it says and is not up for a vote, no matter the outcome of that vote.

However the (new) ACNA elected as it's Archbishop a proponent of WO, so no matter what anyone says about there being parts of the (new) ACNA that do not practice this, they have all placed themselves under the authority of one who does. His enthronement was presided over by the Presiding Bishop of the REC.

Not long ago I saw a news article about a REC Bishop who came to an (new) ACNA parish for confirmations. The classes had been taught by and those to be confirmed were presented by a woman who thinks she is a priest. This Bishop apparently accepted her as such and participated in a service with her. It is very hard at that point to say one is against WO.

There is more than one issue that divides the (new) ACNA from the continuum, but no matter how many issues there are the truth is that they are divided and not interchangeable. Attending a (new) ACNA church because it is closer is just as much of a folly as attending a TEC church for the same reason. Even if it is a church in a diocese that does not practice WO, what is one to do when the Archbishop comes to visit?

Anonymous said...

I'm part of the ACNA. It does concern me that there are women priests. It's a serious problem. I'm a layman. I can voice my opinion, but ACNA needs to lay down a clear and final word on the matter. My bishop is opposed to women's ordination. For that, I'm thankful.

charles said...

Hello Fr. Hart,

I respect abstinence on the ground the St. Louis churches' greatest priority is unity amongst themselves. I believe in March 2011 APA, ACC, and non-Ordinariate ACA will be holding a reunion conference? I certainly believe ACNA takes a back seat to such, and perhaps it will prove the first step toward correcting some of the damage caused by men like Falk.

Meanwhile, I hope you consider the unique significance of ACNA#2.
1. It is the first exodus from TEC where bishops have left with their parishes.
2. It has majority support from conservative bishops throughout the larger Anglican communion.
3. What is being hobbled together will be a mid-size church with substantial ecumenical ties and resources w/ counterparts like OCA and LCMS.
4. It has a strong conservative center composed of Fif and REC members which, unlike Canterbury or TEC, can potentially arrest and reverse bad theology.

While hypothetical, more can on pt. #4, and this is where Spaulding's report comes in. Spaulding proves ACNA is at a tipping point, and if puritanical views of 'disease' v. communion weren't salient, the WO question in ACNA#2 would be sealed and locked. What prevented this from happening was high Anglo-catholic views which I'm willing to bet are not classical Anglican ones. http://philorthodox.blogspot.com/2011/01/continuing-anglican-manifesto.html

Regardless of the above, the St. Louis Affirmation ought to suffice. Section V, article 1:
"Intercommunion with other Apostolic Churches
The continuing Anglicans remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury and with all other faithful parts of the Anglican Communion"

Anyway, my hope is the St. Louis churches find unity and, once this is achieved, after some Romanizing tendencies are put away, then it might affiliate with ACNA#2 as a coherent sub-jurisdiction much like the REC has done. If ACC could not have any 'intercommunion' with a reforming jurisdiction like ACNA, then she could at least be present indirectly through FACA. But abstaining from conferences in toto is an extreme position: http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2009/05/letter-to-bishop-robert-duncan-from-acc.html

However, the bottom line is if you don't have some kind of relation to larger Anglicanism, then larger Anglicanism has no reason to consider any criticism from ACC, and I suspect, if this rigidity continues, it will prove a considerable cause for a gradual fade of St. Louis churches into oblivion.

Sincerely, Charles

Donald said...

There is a very good synopsis of the Anglican Catholic Church position in Archbishop Haverland's Letter to Bishop Duncan, posted on the ACC website.

I was ordained in the AMiA, before it joined then (partially? I'm not sure) withdrew from the ACNA. My perception of AMiA and ACNA is that they are well-meaning, devout brothers and sisters who are nonetheless setting themselves up to repeat the very same struggles TEC has had over the past 40 years, and I am not interested in reenacting that fight.

That is why I am so blessed to be part of the ACC! It is not the easy way, but as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "The narrow way is bound to be hard."

Don+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles:

You underestimate the size and strength of the ACC worldwide (which many people do, not just you). The Second Province is HQ'ed in India, and our Indian church is not a Continuing Church, but simply the Old Anglican Communion Church of India, now part of the ACC (so we can say the Second Province of the ACC is not a Continuing Church, though it is an Affirmation Church). Furthermore, we have the variety of usage, in fact we have it in my Diocese.

The "Catholic" in Anglican Catholic includes churchmen like me, and Fr. Wells, men who are not late model "Anglo-Catholics." Our concordat with the UECNA says a lot about all that in and of itself. "Catholic" does not mean 19th century Italian, but first millennium orthodoxy.

The fact is, however, unless and until the ACNA becomes genuinely orthodox, we can be well wishing and sincerely praying, friends, but with a necessary distance between us where the sacraments are concerned. Furthermore, I do not consider the ACNA to be true to a thing we call Classic Anglicanism. They are almost as alien to that as is TEC, for WO alone separates them from a specifically Anglican heritage, as well as from the doctrine and practice of the Universal Church.

What is needed first and foremost is for the orthodox party in the ACNA to win the argument once and for all. Until then, charity itself requires that we keep our orders free from the taint of dubiousness; for an infusion could be necessary at a future date. Therefore, we would be irresponsible to all concerned if we threw away the provision entrusted to us.

charles said...

Fr. Hart,

I don't agree with the reasoning behind valid orders as per the link provided above in the "Continuing Manifesto". However, I agree with you the St. Louis churches have a real excuse(based on practical needs)to withhold affiance from ACNA.

The bottom line, it will be up to REC and the Fif churches in ACNA to reform that jurisdiction. If they fail, they will probably leave Duncan and the Pittsburgh missions behind. If they accomplish it, there would be very little reason for ACC to abstain from a more active relation to ACNA, as per Section V of the St. Louis Affirmation.

Jordan said...

I am a layman in the AMiA and I can attest that it is not an ideal situation for us against WO in the ACNA/AMiA mold. Within my own area, my parish is strongly against WO, the other AMiA is officially against it but in actuality it comes out more as apathy than a solid commitment, and the ACNA parish has two priestesses on staff. The thing that attracted me most to the AMiA is the strong focus on mission. Within five years, the AMiA in central KY has started four parishes and one in the works. One of the problems with this is that there is no Anglican seminary nearby so most go to a Methodist seminary and the new people coming in our doors have no idea what even the most basic liturgy is much less have a formulated opinion against WO.

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart wrote:

"What is needed first and foremost is for the orthodox party in the ACNA to win the argument once and for all."

True. I am thankful I am in an ACNA diocese which doesn't ordain women to the priesthood, BUT at the end of the day what you said above needs to happen.

Doubting Thomas

AFS1970 said...

Section V, Article I of the Affirmation was written at a time when Canterbury had not yet slid down the slippery slope. From what I have read it was always the intent for the (original) ACNA to remain in communion with any faithful Anglican province. Sadly, Canterbury turned down such overtures of brotherhood and fellowship. However had this not happened, there would have been an additional split once the Anglican Communion went down the path that they have since then.

Over the years as Canterbury and those in communion with them have veered away from classical Anglicanism and any sense of Catholicity, this section has been updated in some of the St. Louis Jurisdictions. Since the regretful split in the (original) ACNA no one amendment is binding on the others. I will bet that this will be an issue in any talks on further unity. Even some newer, non St. Louis, churches that have signed onto the affirmation have added amendments to this effect.

While the (new) ACNA has pledges of communion and recognition from many provinces in the Anglican communion, since those provinces are also in communion with CoE, ACoC & TEC or others that are far indeed from any type of orthodoxy, those attachments are at this point not desirable to the continuing church. As a matter of fact instead of adding a sense of legitimacy to the (new) ACNA, they do the exact opposite.

Fr.Jas.A.Chantler said...

I am not certain whether Charles has commented on it being essential that all oldbeliever Anglicans must use one of the traditional BCPs or not but I'd guess that he would concur.In any event the ACNA has far more serious problems with the BCP as their standard of doctrine and worship than does the Continuum even where the American or Anglican Missal is used (my parish uses only the BCP Canada 1962).It is a very serious problem which the ACNA has to address.They have parishes which are unrecognizable to traditional Anglicans and the same goes for the AMiA.I know that both groups have some parishes which use either the 1662 or the 1928 BCP but far too many use either the 1979 book,the BAS Canada or something made up by their Pastor.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Fr Don's comment. While my view of ACNA/AMIA overall is far from favorable, nevertheless I recognize many fine priests and wonderful parishes within those bodies. My son worships in one of these and from time to time I join him there, enjoying the exellent preaching but not receiving Holy Communion. We have to make a distiction between those bodies considered as a whole and their local manifestations.

To answer some to Charles's points:

"1. It is the first exodus from TEC where bishops have left with their parishes. "

That is only a commentary on the spinelessness and diffidence of the "orthodox" bishops in 1976. Only one elderly bishop, Bp Chambers, was willing to take a risk for us. Had it not been for the modest success of the Continuing Churches, would Duncan, et al., have found their courage?

2. You quote the Affirmation of St Louis: ""Intercommunion with other Apostolic Churches
The continuing Anglicans remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury ...."

How many times do we have to tell you that bodies ordaining women are simply not apostolic? What part of that do you not understand?

3. You seem to feel that the presence of the REC in ACNA tilts them toward doctrinal soundnes. If ACNA abolished all WO effective yesterday, the presence of REC would still raise even more serious questions. That body until very recently allowed deacons to "serve Communion," and STILL is on record denying Baptismal Regeneration and the sacrificial character of the Eucharist. They are bound still to their 1873 Declaration of Principles. Since their do not believe in a priestly ministry anyway, their weak and cloudy opposition to WO is neither here nor there.
LKW

charles said...

I hope someone from the REC proper can answer Fr. Well's response to #3. I know the REC has been going through a many theological changes, and I believe in replacing the 35 with 39 articles have done something likewise with the 1873 standards. The REC churches I have visited in CA all celebrate communion eastward, and those under Boyce certainly wear chasubles. I can't say decisively if this bears anything on the office being sacerdotal, but it's a clear shift from the Cummin's theology. My guess is the REC is no longer dogmatic about the 1873, and REC is now very close to a classical center Church.

I'd also like to say more regarding the ACC's policies during the 1980's with 'orthodox' or 'aposotlic' dioceses and parishes in both TEC and CofE. It seems like the ACC has been fairly flexible in this area, and I see no consistent policy other than what the Affirmation says, "with all other faithful parts of the Anglican Communion". However, if you take a view of the episcopate as explained in the "Continuing Manifesto", then perhaps I can see where present St. Louis ideology is irreconcible to Section V.

Another point regarding this "disease". This can go quite far back, and we can invoke a number of other innovations, adding them to a list of heresies. The 1979 BCP, WO, gay marriage, et al., categorically belong liberal catholicism which allied itself to biblical criticism in order to attack the 'legalism' of confessional Protestantism. Thus, fuzzy areas in morality emerged by way of 'incarnation theology' since religion expressed through 'law', or 'logic', was replaced by "personhood" and "experience".

This simultaneously leveled vast tracks of the Settlement, leaving behind a wake of theological minimalism, the gap of which was then filled by 'culture' under the cover of 'consecrating civilization'. Of course, there's much more to say about the tragedy of liberal catholicism, but suffice to say the "disease" exists in both the right and left-wings of Anglicanism. The problems you spell are really more ephemeral, and until we can grab liberal catholicism by the horns, I can only say we are not as conservative as we'd like to think.

Fr. Michael+ said...

Well said Charles.

Also, it is a bit hypocritical for members of the continuum to be critical of whether ACNA is a true Anglican church or not, when by definition an Anglican church is a church who is in communion with the Church of England and therefore the Abp. of Canterbury. That's why the Affirmation was careful to state that they were to remain in communion with the Abp. of Canterbury and with any faithful Anglican province. The signers of the Affirmation knew that to not be in communion with the Church of England and the Abp. of Canterbury meant that they were no longer an Anglican Church, but instead something different that happened to use Anglican liturgy and hold other Anglican traditions.

The continuum (of which I used to be a part of) will and does of course spin that to say that my comments only applied to the time when the Church of England and the Abp. of Canterbury were still orthodox Anglicans and therefore it no longer applies. That's rubbish and nothing more than spin. "Anglican" churches not in communion with the Church of England and the Abp. of Canterbury are not Anglican Churches but instead really are no different than Anglican Use parishes in the Roman Catholic Church. Anglican liturgy, Anglican customs, Anglican heritage, Anglican feeling, Anglican appearing, but not an Anglican Church - instead a different church. I am not saying that members of the continuum are not orthodox Christians, or that they are not a genuine church, or that they don't have valid orders. I am simply saying that by definition they are not an Anglican Church. For example, a church that uses the old Latin Tridentine Rite, Roman style vestments, and all of the older Roman traditions, but is not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church and therefore the Pope, is not and cannot be a Roman Catholic Church. To be a Roman Catholic Church you must be in Communion with Rome. It's not about your liturgy and traditions or even your heritage & history. By definition being Roman Catholic means you must be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope, and to be Anglican you must be in communion with the mother church of Anglicanism – the Church of England and therefore the Abp. of Canterbury. Again I know many here will argue against that and spin the definition of what an Anglican Church is, but that's simply spin.

(continued in next post)

Fr. Michael+ said...

Another example is the so-called "Independent Anglican Church." A local independent church parish cannot be an Anglican Church without being in communion with a validly ordained Anglican bishop. There is no such thing as an “Independent Anglican Church.” While the parish may look and feel Anglican, and the rector may even be a validly ordained Anglican priest, but no matter what their history and heritage is, and no matter what liturgy, traditions, practices, etc they use, they are not Anglican. In the same way a larger body (call it a province, jurisdiction, or whatever you like) may look and feel Anglican, and may have tons of Anglican heritage and history behind them, but no matter what liturgy traditions, practices, etc they use they, are not Anglican but are instead something else similar to an Anglican Use church in the Roman Catholic Church. That Anglican Use church appears and feels Anglican, and may have a long history and heritage from the Anglican Church, but it is not Anglican, it is Roman Catholic.

In the same way ‘Anglican’ parishes, diocese, and provinces that eventually enter into an ordinariate may continue to look and feel Anglican, and certainly will have a long history and heritage from the Anglican Church, but they will not be Anglican, - they will be Roman Catholic. Anglican ("English") Churches must be in communion with the Church of England (aka part of the Anglican Communion). There is no way around that.

My parish and diocese are in ACNA, and while the ACNA is in communion with the vast majority of Anglicans in the Anglican Communion we are not yet (and may never be) a province in the communion. However, my diocese is still part of the Anglican Communion via the Southern Cone. Oh and my diocese does NOT ordain women to the priesthood either.

The continuum spends an obsessive amount of time and effort criticizing other churches (including those who call themselves Anglican and those who don't). Being an orthodox Christian church (and we ARE Christians before we identify our particular worship style, province, and/or denominational affiliation) is not about looking for what is wrong with other churches and criticizing them for not being as “orthodox” as we are (whoever we are), but instead is about preaching the Gospel of Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ only, and building the kingdom of God by preaching that truth, and by being in love and charity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and by striving to be more Christ-like each and every day.

Michael+

John A. Hollister said...

Where to begin? Charles says it is false to say the ACNA#2 accepts WO because as many oppose the practice as support it. This “defense” is really an indictment. Both groups are members in good standing of the same church jurisdiction, so that body in fact accepts the innovation. That is why it made no sense for Doubting Thomas to hold off committing to the ACNA#2 until he was sure his one diocese wouldn’t “ordain” women. So long as it remains in the same body as, and in communion with, others who do WO, then it is in the same position as a TEC diocese that says “WE don’t have any openly and notoriously homosexual or lesbian bishops here.”

As the late Abp. William O. Lewis memorably said, “You can’t be a clean cup of water in a dirty puddle.” So that also disposes of Jordan’s claim that ACNA#2’s WO supporters are not “an overwhelming majority”. Truth isn’t decided by majority vote. In fact, the essential heresy is not to vote in favor of WO, it is to put it on an agenda as a matter subject to being voted upon.

Nor is ACNA#2, as Charles claims, “a church, unlike ACC, that’s constitutionally based on the Settlement”, at least not if he means the Elizabethan Settlement. No one on either side of that Settlement would have wasted a moment talking to anyone who would even discuss the concept of WO, so the idea of ACNA#2 as a “Settlement” church is just a fantastic (literally) and wishful rewriting of history, not on anything factual.

So, for ACNA#2, “the question of WO” does not “remain in the air.” That question was settled as soon as ACNA[#2] was formed upon the agreement to ignore the issue, because even if it were now to split, as Charles thinks it might, both the resulting factions would still be tainted by their prior acceptance of it. As Abp. Duncan’s continued “ordinations” of multiple deaconettes show, the time to have dealt effectively with WO was before the organizing deals were cut. Once ACNA#2 formed itself on the basis of a counter Scriptural and non Apostolic ministry, in any of its roots or branches, it lost the game, gave away the farm, or whatever other metaphor one chooses for a hopeless cause.

John A. Hollister+
veriword: "wieri"

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Michael is missing the point about two things.

1. He says:

it is a bit hypocritical for members of the continuum to be critical of whether ACNA is a true Anglican church or not, when by definition an Anglican church is a church who is in communion with the Church of England and therefore the Abp. of Canterbury...The signers of the Affirmation knew that to not be in communion with the Church of England and the Abp. of Canterbury meant that they were no longer an Anglican Church, but instead something different that happened to use Anglican liturgy and hold other Anglican traditions.

No, they did not know any such thing (just as we know no such thing, anymore than we "know" the earth to be flat, though once upon a time everyone did). They were by and large the exact same people who, within only a few months, accepted that fact that they would have to leave the Anglican Communion due to the stubborn and foolish opposition of the liberal Archbishop Donald Coggan (101st Archbishop of Canterbury). Therefore, the decision before them was whether to hold to one point of the Affirmation and deny all the theological principles that gave that point its only acceptable meaning in context, or to be true to their convictions and those same principles.

So, the "spin" and "hypocrisy" you so quickly label us with, are empty and unjust charges.

2. If we cannot use the name "Anglican" then no one can. We hold the doctrines and practices more faithfully than the current Canterbury Communion. Our liturgy and regula of daily living is the Book of Common Prayer, and our Apostolic Succession is Anglican. We say that Canterbury has less right to call itself "Anglican" than we do. For, if a church is defined by doctrine and practice, then we are the Anglicans. If you say the church is defined by formal association with a See, then you have made a very Roman Catholic argument, and for us it is meaningless.

By the way, was the Episcopal Church "Anglican" in 1789 or 1801?

Anonymous said...

I have time to comment on only one item in Charles's most recent. He writes,

"I know the REC has been going through a many theological changes..."


And therein, Charles, lies the whole problem. That describe a rootless and foundation-less body. If the REC is ACNA "hook" into historic Christianity, the rest of ACNA is in real trouble.
LKW

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that some of the Anglican dioceses and churches in ACNA that do not ordain women to the priesthood do however ordain then to the deaconate, which is contrary to catholic faith and order.

JGA

Canterbury Anglican said...

While I find the discussions regarding the ACC and the (present) ACNA and claims to be truly ‘Anglican’ fascinating, one area where I personally question the approach (but not the claims) of the ACC is with regard to the 1662 BCP. I was surprised that, alongside WO, Archbishop Haverland raised the central position that GAFCON (and later the present ACNA) afforded to the 1662 Prayer Book as the standard for doctrine and worship. He commented “while the 1662 Prayer Book has many strengths, it also has some notable weaknesses, including a truncated Eucharistic Canon, which the 1928 American, 1954 South African, and other later Prayer Books have corrected. We by no means assert the invalidity of any form in the 1662 book, but neither can we accept that 1662 is the central or best model for Anglican liturgy”. This, more than anything else, would be a stumbling to me seeking membership within the ACC. For me, a body that claims an Anglican heritage should not dismiss the 1662 BCP so lightly. It has been in used for longer and more widely used than any other Anglican Prayer Book and for many, if not most, of the Anglican Divines it was the only Prayer Book and not merely one of several.

Anglican without Canterbury I could accept (Bishop Venables has said so himself recently) but Anglican without 1662 as at least one of the standards for doctrine and belief? I have to say I’m not so sure.

Canterbury Anglican

AFS1970 said...

Fr, Hart, do not tell me you are one of those adherents to the round earth theory. Some day science will prove you wrong, if the dragon does not eat your sailing ship as it falls of the edge first.

Now back to Anglican matters. Fr. Michael has given us two different standards to live up to in order to be Anglican. The first is being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. While this was at one time a noble goal, not meeting it is something that the continuum and the ACNA #2 (I like this shorter term, thanks) have in common. By this definition the ACNA #2 is fraudulently using the name Anglican. While the CoE did vote that they recognize that the ACNA #2 would like to be Anglican they are still waiting a few years for a report from the Archbishops before saying it is so.

Now the second standard we have been given is that of being in communion with a validly ordained Anglican Bishop. Now this rule is apparently only there because it is the only way for the ACNA #2 to claim to be Anglican. Because they have been accepted by some Bishops. I would say that the continuum can also claim this, at first by the Chambers consecrations. Although I never met him, I can not imagine Bishop Chambers consecrating anyone that he would not consider himself in communion with.

As for the Southern Cone, Archbishop Venables is also the Primatial Patron of the FACA, a body that includes many continuing bodies, including the ACA & APA. While this body is not quite inter-communion, it definitely shows a mutual recognition of legitimacy.

This debate is really a matter of defining the word orthodox. Recently we seem to have a sliding scale of orthodoxy. Where churches of varying degrees all claim that title, despite being very different from one another. I wonder if the OAC considers the descendants of the ACNA #1 to be not orthodox enough?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Canterbury Anglican wrote:

Anglican without Canterbury I could accept (Bishop Venables has said so himself recently) but Anglican without 1662 as at least one of the standards for doctrine and belief? I have to say I’m not so sure.

No one has denied or rejected the 1662 BCP as one of the standards for doctrine and belief. However, as an American I have lived my whole life as Anglican without the 1662 BCP. Indeed, I think the American editions through 1928 are an improvement, just as the 1662 was an improvement at the time.

Shaughn said...

AFS1970 writes,

"This debate is really a matter of defining the word orthodox."

Right! For a fine essay on this very subject, I commend to you the following essay by Archbishop Haverland:

http://challengeonline.org/pdf/FCC06/Haverland.pdf

(Fr. Hart, if you'd rather not have me providing outside links, I believe you have referenced this essay here on the blog in prior days.)

Anonymous said...

Fr Michael writes:

"by definition an Anglican church is a church who is in communion with the Church of England and therefore the Abp. of Canterbury."

That is the Anglican form of the Feeney-ite heresy. No Archbishop of Canterbury has ever made such an asinine claim, nor has any reputable Anglican theologian. Never mind such excluded groups as the English Nonjurors, the Scottish Episcopal Church from 1689 to ca. 1850, or the American Episcopal Church before it got itself invited to the 1st Lambeth Conference. Such a statement is thoroughly refuted by the oft-quoted dictum of Abp Geoffrey Fisher, "We have no faith of our own."

Fr Michael continues:


"That's why the Affirmation was careful to state that they were to remain in communion with the Abp. of Canterbury and with any faithful Anglican province."

The Affirmation was written before the C of E had embarked on the heresy of WO, at a time when even TEC did not have female bishops, and the majority of Canterbury-communion Churches had preserved the Apostolic ministry in its integrity. Sad to say, it was overtaken by events unforeseen in St Louis. The eddition of the Affirmation in the ACC C & C has a clarifying note to this effect. Fr Michael does not grasp that for us, it is more important to "continue in the fellowship of the apostles" and the Faith revealed in the Scriptures than to conform to some arbitrary and unhistorical definition of the word "Anglican."

Anonymous said...

This idea that one has to be in communion with the ABC to be truly Anglican is not accurate in my estimation. Samuel Seabury was consecrated by Scottish bishops, yet no one would say that he was not Anglican.

The Affirmation I think assumes communion with the ABC as being ideal because at that time the CofE had not fallen into schism and heresy with WO.

And besides, who would want to be in communion with the ABC anyway when he is a bona fide heretic in critical matters of the catholic faith?

John A. Hollister said...

While I, as a member of the ACC, am completely puzzled by the opposition of some of my fellows to the 1662 liturgy, it must be noted that 1662 is, in all important respects (including its possession of the "Black Rubric"), virtually indistinguishable from the Canadian BCP of 1962.

And that Canadian BCP has been, since at least the adoption of the ACC's Constitution in 1978, a permissible standard of worship within my church body.

Added to that, the ACC accepts the South African BCP of 1954 as one of its standards of worship, but the South African Book itself declares that it is merely an option to the 1662 one, which clearly implies that the 1662 rites rode into the ACC "piggy backed" on the South African ones.

So to have any argument at all over the 1662 Book is simply pointless, as well as unseemly.

John A. Hollister+
Veriword: "phowl"!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Shaughn:

The only "outside links" we would not like are the kind that direct readers to advertisements, unsuitable material (e.g. porn) or cults.

charles said...

Dear Fr. Hollister,
The absence of a unified statement against WO in ACNA presently cuts both ways. While I agree with you this relative silence is unsatisfactory, I don't see the controversy as over, and I certainly wouldn't lump the REC or Fif parishes/dioceses into a single category with Pittsburgh. The fact their 'communion' is impaired ought to be proof enough their disagreement is real. Any other conclusion regarding REC/Fif is hasty.

.... I actually had a lot more to say, some of it quite biting, but after typing it all, I realized I'm not here to tear you men down. I wish the ACC and St. Louis churches the best. Perhaps what is most painful is to know people won't put aside their respective party differences in order to actively rescue one another for what otherwise might become a center-Anglican church in North America.

sincerely, Charles

Canterbury Anglican said...

John A. Hollister said: “While I, as a member of the ACC, am completely puzzled by the opposition of some of my fellows to the 1662 liturgy, it must be noted that 1662 is, in all important respects (including its possession of the "Black Rubric"), virtually indistinguishable from the Canadian BCP of 1962. And that Canadian BCP has been, since at least the adoption of the ACC's Constitution in 1978, a permissible standard of worship within my church body. Added to that, the ACC accepts the South African BCP of 1954 as one of its standards of worship, but the South African Book itself declares that it is merely an option to the 1662 one, which clearly implies that the 1662 rites rode into the ACC "piggy backed" on the South African ones. So to have any argument at all over the 1662 Book is simply pointless, as well as unseemly.”

While I appreciate what Fr Hollister has said, I do think the ACC’s position smacks somewhat of ‘1662 by the back door’. The point I was making was that among the claims to Anglican authenticity made by GAFCON and the ACNA (including ‘WO’) that Abp Haverland questioned, the position of the 1662 BCP was one of them. I still can’t see why it raises any concern with another body that claims Anglican heritage. 1662 is either acceptable or it isn’t (‘more or less’ doesn’t come into it) and if it isn’t acceptable then surely those areas of the ACC that use it are open to the same criticisms raised by the Abp.

As someone outside of the Continuum, I fail to see how the ACC can criticise the ACNA over the 1662 BCP when the ACC allows the use of the Old Roman Rite in Cranmerian English, something that has never been authorised in any part of the Anglican Church since the Reformation.

Canterbury Anglican

AFS1970 said...

Shaughn, excellent article, thanks for the link. I am glad to see that I am not alone is my confusion over the the way orthodox is tossed around as an adjective without any central meaning. This is not only a problem for ACNA #2, it is a problem for GAFCON.

One of the Anonymous writers wrote about the Affirmation being at a time when "the majority of Canterbury-communion Churches had preserved the Apostolic ministry in its integrity." Sadly this is not the case. Even if one does not go with the hard line of considering anyone in communion with a WO church to be in communion with WO (a sore point among ACNA #2) We have to look at the African churches that do practice WO. Many consider Archbishop Akinola a godly shepard and leader of orthodoxy. Yes in his own province, he successor now allows WO at least at the level of the diaconate.

This is the main problem with any calls for a new ecumenical council. Even if it is only Anglicans who show up, Even if it only male clergy who show up. Are we ready for that council to issue heretical decrees? I think this is very much a case of be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.

charles said...

I guess the choice will be between liberal neo-evangelicals and conservative pan-catholics. Is there anyone who would dare call themselves a "Settlement Anglican"? Is there anyone who would restrain their personal opinions and teach by those texts appointed for the churches during the Settlement period, 1532-1716, these mostly being:

Book of Common Prayer 1662
Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion 1571
Anglican Ordinal 1550
Canons Ecclesiastical 1604
Advertisements 1566
Two Books of Homilies 1547 & 1564
Bishop’s Bible Preface 1568
King James Bible Preface 1611
Nowell’s Catechism 1578
Jewel’s Apology 1562
Foxe’s Martyrologies 1562
Queen Elizabeth’s Primer 1578

The answer I frequently get is:
1. Royal seal is political compromise and means nothing.
2. The above is not fully catholic and therefore is secondary to true catholic doctrine, so it can be selectively ignored.
3. The above is too restrictive, and Anglicanism is not a set of propositions but a practice, method, and/or mystical experience.
4. The ongoing existence of recusancy and sectarianism in the Church proves Anglicanism has never been about canons or external rules.

These are opinions I've heard in ACC, ACNA, and TEC alike. They are shared because they stem from common suppositions going back to the rise of Tractarianism, ritualism, and then liberal catholicism, and perhaps these simply borrowed from latitudinarians. It just seems the apple doesn't fall far from the same tree.

So, what jurisdiction is willing to teach from these well-defined standards? What comes closest? I guess these days that's a rhetorical question. A more realistic one; "Is there even a single priest that either does or would vow from the heart to do so?"

If not I'd say the disease is pretty widespread.

charles said...

I find this quote very suggestive as it could have been just as easily said by a conservative Anglican with respect to Settlement standards. In 1983 Rowan Williams wrote in his vacuous essay, 'Catholic Orthodoxy', that Anglicanism is really a methodology rather than strict adhesion to a certain doctrine or set of propositions:

"We may need to develop an understanding of ‘orthodoxy’ as a tool rather than as an end in itself, a tool for discovery rather than control. Like any language it is unintelligible without some idea of grammar – necessary rules and regularities. But it is there essentially as something both functional to the life of the community, and necessarily bound up with – grounding perhaps – the identity of a community. (What is Catholic Orthodoxy?’ in ‘Essays Catholic and Radical’ ed. K. Leech and R .Williams p13)"

Doesn't this really exemplify the heart of the disease?

Anonymous said...

As usually the case, I am with Fr Hollister on the matter of the 1662 BCP.

While the defects of its Eucharistic Rite are well known, at several other points it is truly superior to our 1928 Book.

A few examples:

It has important language in the Baptismal Office affirming Original Sin, which our Book lost in 1928: "Seeing that all men are conceived and born in sin."

Its Marriage Office has the valuable statement that Matrimony is an honorable estate, ordained by God "in the time of man's innnocency."

It keeeps Psalm 95 in its entirety, which our American Book since 1789 has watered down by eliminating some solemn verses at the end, "O that today you would hear his voice..."

It has a strongly worded Absolution which our Book strangely omits:

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

It contains the Athanasian Creed, which affirms the Filioque.

Outside the Eucharistic Rite, 1662 is a far more Catholic book than our 1928 eidition (or either of its American predecessors in 1789 an 1892).

The prejudice in certain quarters against 1662 is bewildering to me.

LKW

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles wrote:

Is there anyone who would restrain their personal opinions and teach by those texts appointed for the churches during the Settlement period, 1532-1716, these mostly being...

Read this blog often do you?

Fr.James A.Chantler said...

LKW said:
The prejudice in certain quarters against 1662 is bewildering to me.

I agree with you; it is bewildering.

Fr.Jas. A.Chantler said...

Fr. Robert Hart said...
Charles wrote:
Is there anyone who would restrain their personal opinions and teach by those texts appointed for the churches during the Settlement period, 1532-1716, these mostly being...
Read this blog often do you?

Dear Father Hart
I was surprised by what Charles wrote. His comments are usually even tempered and erudite.This blog is doing a good job teaching and defending the very things Charles suggests are being ignored.Keep at it!

Anonymous said...

Charles (8:31 AM) refers to "those texts appointed for the churches during the Settlement period, 1532-1716, these mostly being" - after which he lists a number (q.v.).

In ignorance and lazy haste, I ask,
"appointed" in exactly what terms for which "churches"? E.g., for whom was Foxe’s Martyrologies 1562 ever "appointed"? And was Jewel’s Apology 1562 ever "appointed" in a sense comparable to the first 8 items listed?

And, to step across the Border for a good stretch of "the Settlement period, 1532-1716", which of these were "appointed" from the Episcopal Church of Scotland, from its inception, or subsequently?

And can any tensions - by no means insuperable, historically speaking, if I am not mistaken - concerning BCP 1662 be properly considered without reference to the 1637 Scottish Prayer Book and its background?

Semi-Hookerian

charles said...

Dear Fr. Chantler,

Fr. Hart has probably saved me from myself on a number of occasions at his blog. I have a zealous side, and it can get the best of me.

I want to answer your questions a bit later, but for now I have to admit some of this I am still trying to iron out. The date "1716" is somewhat arbitrary but correlates to the compact between union and separating non-jurors where ceremonial differences were smoothed over. By this date a range of eucharist understanding had developed, and the Scottish compact forged in London somewhat acknowledges a higher type.

I really need to study the canonical basis of the English church. For now, it seems very difficult to understand without view of the Crown as chief minister. "Appointed texts" were either those books given for public use in the church or study by clergy. One of the better known of these is the Great Bible. Another would by Henry's Necessary Doctrine. However, these were superseded by two on the list above-- the Bishop's bible and Nowell's catechism. Surprisingly, Foxe's Martyrology and Jewel's Works were so highly commended, they were placed in the churches for reading.

Anyway, the angle I'm using is how to navigate between many texts of divines. I think Anglicanism is somewhat unique in that we do have a weighted system of doctrine, firstly identified by royal seal. I'm not claiming these documents are exhaustive, but such texts have priority over others, helping us steer clear not only of the Geneva Order v. Rome (which the Crown was very insistent about), but especially how catholic doctrine and practice was understood and received.

The Scottish is an interesting question, but I guess I don't have a strong answer at this point other than looking at the American preface regarding 'circumstances' and the recognition given to England. Thanks Fr. Chantler.

charles said...

oops.. I not only meant Fr. Chantler but Semi-Hookerian too.

charles said...

fr. Hart, please delete my comment on +Haverland's address. While I am still surprised by it, I don't need to go that route.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles:

As you request--and that means I have to delete my reply as well.

But, I do suggest that you read the two links to the Archbishop again, carefully. I don't know what you mean by saying I have saved you from anything, because we have published all your comments. Please understand, we welcome dissent, and yours is just fine because it is always polite and well stated, even if we disagree on some things. That's all part of serious discussion.

I knew when remarking on the ACNA (and I have friends in the ACNA) that we could not get by without frank discussion, and without a challenge to our thinking. That's ok; it's one of those things we expect.

charles said...

Thanks Fr. Hart,

Yes, you've always had a consistent policy on free speech. There was a delay in the comment, and for a moment I thought, "whew"...

I might have misunderstood AB Haverland's address by presuming Central Tradition meant automatic deference to modern-day EO/RC rather than Andrewes' formula of 'five centuries'. I'll re-read it with that in mind, referencing his book, Anglican Catholic Faith and Practice. However, the Address's 'third option' does generally seem directed to the classical Anglican camp. I still contend the "disease" is a minimal reduction of Anglicanism 'essentials' like creed and eucharist, leaving the rest open to revision. That said, filling the gap with a central church tradition is not the worst scenario but does suggest something more 'pan-catholic' rather than primitive catholic. This is something I sense between the hermeneutic of Tractarians vs. Reformers.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

No, the consensus of which he speaks is not modern Rome and EO; for, clearly, he says that they too must "submit their peculiar ideas to the wider consensus of the Undivided Church." That phrase, "Undivided Church," though historically not entirely accurate, always refers to the pre-schism (i.e. 1054) First Millennium Catholic Church--back when there was only one Church with one universal polity.

Therefore, it is clear that the standard Archbishop Haverland wrote of is not modern Rome and EO. It is the ancient Church.

charles said...

Thanks Fr. Hart and Semi-Hookerian,

I'll re-read the Address with that in mind. I do agree: the Settlement best sums catholic thought or 'central church tradition', as Haverland says.

Not sure if I understood Semi-Hookerian's question? I believe I found the appointment of the martyrology and the apology in either the 1559 or 1604 canons. The other word that is interesting is "approved". An 'approved' text is one that has a right to be printed. The Crown evidently had a monopoly on the press, so royal approval was necessary before publication. The difference between approved and appointed came up when I was trying to find out the status of the KJV vs. Bishop's bible (when one superseded the other, etc.). KJV has 'appointed' on its title page (this was arbitrarily placed by the printer which greatly confused things), but wasn't officially actually "appointed" by law until 1662 when it finally received a backdoor status through the BCP.

I think one might wish to set apart SEC standards just as you would the Irish articles. Though, not to deny their interrelatedness with England but to better distill the English from the other kingdoms since it's by England (not Ireland, et al.) that America (and other dominions) specifically measured their own faith and order.

Nonetheless, I think the 1637 is much like the KJV. It receives a similar 'backdoor' authority because of its substantial influence and use in the 1662. Minimally, it has to be there as a reference and context. A lot of earlier standards have this privilege. You just can't fully grasp the most recent appointed texts without going back to precedents. This seems especially true with the 39 articles. Henrician standards combined with Nowell and the Homilies really give the context, answering those hard questions about articles 25, 17, 16, for instance. But even then, I think you find the Crown provided a range of opinion, and these standards actually set an upper and lower bound for such. Amongst 'piggy back' standards, many were appointed before, so even these have a rank, even if eclipsed.

Maybe these appointed texts can eventually be tabulated, noting the ratio by which each passed convocation, or if they came by way of an episcopal committee rather than synod, etc., in addition to the royal seal. This tells another story. It would allow each appointed text to be further measured between themselves. I know Restoration bishops like Cosin were very careful about procedure, and so it's no surprise the 1662 bcp and 1571 articles sit at the very pinnacle of standards.

Again, 'appointed' status has a number of extra dimensions:

1. It reminds us the head of the English church was not the Pope but a sacred monarchy. It is also a polity shared with eastern churches.
2. the divine status of the monarchy was argued together with the divine right of the episcopate. It's no surprise the Anglican church historically stands on both.
3. While not exhaustive, the Crown (not parliament, nor the mob of popular usages, e.g., Geneva Order) as nursing father of the Church guides Anglicans even today out of the morass of private opinion, foreign jurisdictions, and pet divines. Even as Americans we should honor the memory and legacy spiritual parents like Henry VIII-Queen Anne.
4. It is a distinctive vis-a-vis Presbyterians(sectarians) and Rome(recusancy), both of which advocated overthrowing the secular power. As Hooker notes, they are flip-sides of each other.

A great read is found in Henry's Christian Institution of Man 1537 under the chapter "Sacrament of Orders".

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to charles for all the enriching details and so pointers for further reading, thoughtfully presented (at 11:38 AM especially)!

I am (still!) far too ill-read (not even 'Semi-hemi-demi-'in many instances) where the texts helpfully listed are concerned (though for those of us in the good-library-distant 'boonies' I suspect most can probably be found via Internet Archive in some form).

Re-reading in Stephen Neill's 'Anglicanism' (1958), I was struck by his remarks on "Cranmer's efforts to promote unity and common action between the Churches which had accepted the Scriptures as their ultimate standard in faith and conduct. [...] He was constantly in correspondence with Melancthon [...], with Calvin [...], and with other leaders elsewhere, urging them to come to England, [...] more conducive to quiet and patient thought [...]"(p. 86) - with a ref. to "the scholar who has most deeply studied these efforts", John T. McNeill in 'A History of the Ecumenical Movement 1517-1948' (1954). I wonder if this effort is consciously in the background in the Preface (II.2) to Hooker's 'Lawes'?

Cranmer's "magnificent hopes" were, in fact, frustrated. But with, e.g., possible 'ordinariate' hopes or aspirations respecting the Missionary Society of St. Wilfrid & St. Hilda and GAFCON in England, might some such idea of discussions between 'self-describing orthodox Anglicans' be worth pursuing? Or even hosting?

Semi-Hookerian

[Word verification: 'spectabl': I hope mine is a 'spectful and 'spectable questions...]

charles said...

Hello Semi-Hookerian,

This is EXACTLY the context people should read the Whole Church prayers and those petitions which mention peace and concord. The hope was a Free General Council to seal rifts much along the lines Constance did about a hundred fifty years earlier. Actually, the Protestants came very close to such a council via Charles V and Pope Julius III, but hardliners on both sides ruined it. The hope persevered, but mid-way into Trent it turns inward, and this represents the second phase of confessionalism where national churches become more distinct and catholicism is increasingly jettisoned. Unfortunately, the second phase is often identified with confessionalism proper, and the earlier period, 1526-1555, is neglected. The 39 Articles and English standards are unique as belonging to that earlier period and resisting moves toward confessional hardening. Anyway the prayers for peace and concord harken back to the hope for a western general council amongst Christendom, reconciling both Rome and Protestant churches. It's is not hippy-Beatles kind of 'peace' but one based on Christ's single baptism, faith, and body that is being asked for. A great book on this subject is by Patterson, James I and the Reunion of Christendom.