Tuesday, January 16, 2007

TAC Orders

In the paper sent to the TAC, it is noted that there is a variety of opinion in the ACC on the Orders of the TAC. I have argued that TAC Orders are valid and that all contrary claims are based on false reasoning. The supplementary paper in which I did this, with some modifications, is here. I should note that this paper has no imprimatur or approval whatsoever from any hierarch in the ACC. I should also note that it contains three very short "stories" which are all intended to be amusing, but are also fictional. Only the last one is claimed to represent reality indirectly. The names used were deliberately light-hearted and are not intended to offend any member of another Church.

It is just my opinion, but I think that for reconciliation between the TAC and the ACC three things have to happen, even if they take time:
  1. The TAC should throw down the gauntlet to those clinging onto the Anglican Communion and its present compromises, especially Forward in Faith and dioceses and provinces claiming to be orthodox but retaining communion with heterodox jurisdictions, including Canterbury. They should challenge them to cleanly break with heresy and leave the "Communion" or admit they are not willing to put their Catholic principles into practice, rather than encouraging them to remain incoherent and inconsistent by being in full communion with them.
  2. The TAC should admit that Deerfield Beach was a schismatic act and counterproductive, however well intentioned, and that the ACC's doubts about Archbishop Clavier were proven to be prescient and fair.
  3. The ACC should admit that the TAC has valid Orders and is not significantly different to itself in doctrine.

While the divisions among Continuing Anglicans are sad and frustrating, they are not reasons to lose hope. In each significant jurisdiction there is still good evangelistic and charity work being done, God is being worshipped and his people edified spiritually.

It should also be remembered that a large part of the reason the Continuers did not remain united is that, having established the original "Anglican Church in North America" without the normal authorisation and assistance "from above" due to the cowardice, indecision and sloth of most other "orthodox" hierarchs outside and inside ECUSA, they began in an isolation neither splendid nor chosen. (And this is also part of why the orthodox have progressively lost each battle within the Anglican Communion.) Thus, without the matrix of inter-Church relationships and mutually stabilising influences usual for Catholic jurisdictions and having begun in voluntary association (though in a way perceived as obligatory under Ecumenical Canon Law, which says that if the people find themselves under a heretical bishop or archbishop they must repudiate him and place themeselves under the jurisdiction of an orthodox bishop), it was all too easy for "every man to do what was right in his own eyes" (cf. Judges 17.6). Disputes that should never have been dividing became so.

However, it is also true that not all Continuers were willing to comply with the Affirmation of St Louis' solid commitment to Holy Tradition, and that some who have come out of the Anglican Communion did so over one issue where they happen to agree with the Catholic Faith. So, there are some groups that have formed and some other individuals who are not commited to Anglican Catholicism but "cafeteria Catholicism" and who thus confuse perceptions and make traditionalist Anglicans look even more divided than they are.


ACC Member said...

"Judge not, lest ye be judged." One of those quotes from the Bible worth keeping in mind always. None of us are perfect, but we should strive to keep that goal in mind. Nowhere in the Bible do I recollect Christ teaching that we should only forgive after making the other party sign an acknowledgmetn of their past mistakes. He taught us simply to forgive. Nor did Christ teach us that His Father, God, only forgave us if we signed a statement admitting to our guilt.Perhaps the ACC and TAC, withour either party admitting guilt could just forgive and start anew. After all, that is what God does when he forgives us. He simply wipes our slate clean!!! We sinful human beings will undoubetedly mess up more times, but he always forgives us, because he is a loving God who gave his only Son to redeem us. And after communion is hopefully someday soon achieved, if either party messes up, I hope and pray that the other side follows Christ's example and forgives and welcomes them back with open arms.

ACC Member said...

My above statement is ofcourse based on the asssumption that noone has breached the essentials of the catholic faith of the undivided church. If either party breached the essentials of the catholic faith, then, a schism might not only be justified, but necessary.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

The proposal sounds fair enough. If the TAC has a n quible, then let them make a counter-offer and then we can get on with it.

Indeed, I see no reason why the ACC, TAC, and APCK (who would surely follow suit) should be reunited in one communion by this Friday.

Really, its is that easy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the good Archbishop's comments, but with some reservations, raised by the 39 Articles. When Hepworth came to us from Rome, he seems to have failed to leave popish doctrine behind!

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with that? ;)

A happy Anglo-Papalist.

poetreader said...

I agree with DeathBredon completely here (and that doesn't happen often!)I see no reason whatever beyond the pettiness that we so easily fall into that these three jurisdictions at least should not already be unitied.

As for the two anonymi. If we can share the same Lord, the same apostolic order, and the same sacraments, in unified acceptance of the Creeds and of the traditional way of understanding them, what excyuse do we have for maintaining disunity, even while we argue about all these other things?


Warwickensis said...

Absolutely Ed!

As a Papalist myself, I find the Holy Father's traditional role a prominent part of my faith. This is not true for some of my dearest friends with whom I disagree, but whom I freely accept as being part of my understanding of Catholicism.

I'm far from convinced that the differences between the Anglo-Catholic (and I do include Papalists in that umbrella term since I am not talking about ecclesiology) are enough to warrant different and ever fragmenting denominations.

As Ed says, we have the Catholic Faith to hold onto, there is the Affirmation of St Louis, there is the veneration of Our Lady the Blessed Virgin, there is the Divine Office, and while there might be differences in our understanding of the Divine Liturgy, we recognise the Objective presence of Our Lord at Mass. Are these not enough for us to say "Yes, we are the same body of believers", or must we wittle our denominations down into a myriad of singletons each saying "I am the One True Church"?

Hmm, I've come across that phrase before somewhere!

Anonymous said...

It would appear that there is a gulf twixt pulpit and pew.

Warwickensis said...

That's right Salome, the gulf is the pupit steps upon which many stumble going up, or coming down. In the end our stumbling always results in a downward motion.