Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Is There Real Common Ground?

Dr Peter Toon over at The Prayer Book Society questions whether there is any common ground between the Continuum and the Anglican Communion Network beyond agreement that the views on sexual conduct adopted by ECUSA are sinful. Yet he proposes a formal dialogue between the two.

I just wonder whether there is any point in this, and welcome your thoughts.

In particular, there is an ACN bishop out there who, I hope, is a regular reader of this blog and with whom I have raised this question. I would be particularly interested in hearing his thoughts, even if he wishes to comment anonymously.

Read it all here:


poetreader said...

Bluntly, if the Continuum and the Network can't talk to each other and seek earnestly for ways to work together, we might as well hang it up and stop pretending to be what've been claiming. There certainly are some prominent differences that make it difficult (and, to human eyes, nearly impossible) to do so, the most divisive of them. of course, being the presence of female 'clergy'. But the Lord has not given us permission to maintain separate establishments. His prayer is 'that they may all be one'. We and the Network do hold in common (in opposition to the establishment of ECUSA) a commitment to the doctrine of the Creeds and to the authority of the Scriptures as interpreted in the Catholic tradition. We have far more in common than divides us, and are under divine orders to find ways to serve Him together.
Some of the differences are vast, but failure to grapple with them demonstrates a failure to take Our Lord's expressed will seriously.


Fr Matthew Kirby said...

To be even more blunt, while there is nothing wrong with the Continuum and the Network talking or working together where common action is possible, the Lord has not given permission for orthodox, Catholic Christians to be in communion with deliberate schismatics or with heretics until they repent of their schism &/or heresy (Mt. 18.15-18, 1 Cor. 11.19, Rev. 2.12-29). Until the ACN unreservedly repudiates any and all deviation from that Faith believed always, everywhere and by all in the Catholic Chnurch, and thus declares ordination of women to the priesthood invalid, they stand in self-exclusion from the Church of the Ages. They are under divine orders to remedy this situation.

We DO have an obligation to work towards unity with these people, but only in much the same way we have an obligation to work together with evangelical Protestants in general, that is, by restoring them to the fulness of Catholic Truth through patient teaching and dialogue.

The primary ecumenical focus of the Continuum, at least among those committed to the "non-cafeteria" Catholicism of the Affirmation of St Louis, must be towards the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. There is, on both a theoretical and practical level, more hope in the medium term for progress toward eliminating "separate establishments" here than elsewhere. The common ground that makes this possible is unreserved acceptance of Holy Tradition.