Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Odd Couple

Article XIX:Of the Church.
THE visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.

Once again this week I was subjected to the oft repeated claim that only two churches have any integrity, validity, catholic standing, and all that. Against the backdrop of current news that highlights the "realignment" within the Anglican Communion-those other Anglicans who don't always share our convictions-the following was in an e-mail from a long time friend:

"The only two churches that have enough past to be taken seriously in the future do not show the slightest interest in any such realignment."

This friend long ago became a member of the Orthodox Church, and his sentence is about those exclusive and unique (?) institutions we may call the Two One True Churches. That is, the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church (with its other Catholic churches under the Pope). Indeed, we love and honor both of them, which is more than they usually say for each other. In our ecclesiology there is room for them both as part of the Church in its fullness, unlike the respective ecclesiology of each of them concerning the other (let alone everybody else). If the Two One True Churches were no longer twain but one, then they might have some credibility to their exclusivist claim. Their mutual exclusion still bears witness to the fact that they too have erred at different times, and have yet to work out their differences.

Nonetheless, I cannot blame these churches for the fact that many of their members have a wrongheaded notion of Anglicanism. They confuse Anglicanism with the "Anglican Communion," and along with us they notice it suffers from a corrupted polity and heretical doctrines. Like us, they have no desire to be part of that structure, or to be contaminated by its errors. Therefore, I contributed my own thoughts to the e-mail stream:

"It is almost impossible to find traces of Anglicanism in the Anglican Communion. The mantle was discarded and taken up just over thirty years ago. The best the Anglican Communion can come up with is the GAFCON statement; but we (in the Continuum) still abide by The Affirmation of St. Louis (1977), which merely asserted Traditional Christianity.

"It is my experience with conservative Episcopalians and with realigned Anglicans (of the sort who mistake Stand Firm for something Anglican) that even the most 'conservative' of them (or even the most 'orthodox' by their standard) do not recognize quotations of, or allusions to, classic Anglican formularies. They think the Articles are Calvinism (which the Calvinists of the time did not, hence their consistent opposition), they think Baptismal Regeneration is debatable, they think Apostolic Succession is optional, etc. These things are debatable in the large world of ecumenical Christian relations, but they are settled matters in Anglican formularies, leaving no room for that kind of 'comprehensiveness.' I have even found self-proclaimed Anglicans who are surprised to hear that Anglicanism has always defined itself as both Catholic and Protestant (which means these folks have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the patrimony they claim for themselves). Frankly, these 'conservatives' have no roots at all.

"How can they understand the Anglican mind if they draw a complete blank when I remind them that the sacraments of baptism and communion 'are generally necessary to salvation' (Catechism, and Offices of Instruction)? Or, if they argue against the priestly power to absolve sins (the Ordinal-rather explicit about that I might add)? I have seen other examples, and they are astonishing. The treatment of women's 'ordination' as as a 'secondary issue' requires treating at least one sacrament 'generally necessary to salvation' as secondary.

"The result of this rootless 'conservatism' is that much of what I write on The Continuum blog is designed to convert Anglicans to Anglicanism"

Nonetheless, I can put up with only so much, especially from friends. To say that only the Two One True Churches "have enough past to be taken seriously in the future," is simply wrong. First of all, what is required to be taken seriously is fidelity to the true doctrine of Christ as revealed in Scripture, and as taught and defended in the Tradition, and the Sacraments. The first part of Article XIX makes this clear by defining the Visible Church as "a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same." Indeed, what else is there?

If what gives credibility is simple continuity of an institution recognized by a distinctive name, then to call ourselves Anglicans, especially as Anglicans of the Continuing Church, is unimpressive. This gives us only a brief time in which we can look back on a past of our own. That weakness coupled with smaller numbers than the Two One Trues, must provide a constant source of amusement to them. They are so ancient, and so big. We are so young and, compared to their millions upon millions, so small. They know that when we finally "get it," we will take their advice: "When you get to the fork in the road, take it." Somehow, the purity of the word of God preached in our churches, and the sacraments no matter how duly administered, only makes it easier for them to deride us. Just who do we think we are? At least the many Protestant denominations out there don't think of themselves as really Catholic, at least not like the great big Odd Couple of east and west (don't forget to fill out your Form 1054 by April 15th).

First of all, to meet the Odd Couple on its own terms, the Church of England is ancient, and our Anglican Patrimony, in terms of a claim to a past, beats the Russian Orthodox Church hands down. After the ancient Celtic Church of the Britons (which was established in the First Century) worked out a mutual polity with the Church of the Angles (English) at the Council of Whitby (664 AD), they formed into one Ecclesia Anglicana at the Council of Hertford (673 AD). But, is even that claim to the past, impressive as it is, what matters most?

We hold to our Article XIX. Regarding the Visible Church, other than the genuine ministry of God's word and sacraments, what do we need in order to be part of the Body of Christ? These two things, God's word and the sacraments, in a congregation of faithful Christians, contain all the antiquity necessary in every meaningful way, of the whole Church. We have the past that truly matters: Our church was not born in the 7th century, and certainly not in the 16th century. It was born on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came on the Apostles and other disciples that had gathered in the upper room, and were at that moment in the temple at prayer. Our Church was born in Jerusalem that very day, and it spread out from there to many nations.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

Article XIX implicitly acknowledges that the undesirable possibility of schism within the Body has occurred, which is a possbility anticipated by St Paul, (I Cor 12:25).

Moreover, that such schism has occurred within the Church is the perennial and DOGMATIC teaching of the Orthodox Church, regardless what the "Pendalion" (or Rudder) or any contemporary Orthodox might say to the contrary -- see Basil of Ceasarea's discussion of the Sacraments in Bettenson's "Later Christian Fathers," which position was, for Orthodox, ecumenically adopted at the Quintisext Council.

Canon Tallis said...

Superb post!

But it again reminds me of just how many Anglicans in the Continuum don't get it and define their own Catholicism and ours by how closely they can imitate the very worst of Rome. If we are going to recover our patrimony, we need to take the Book of Common Prayer and the classical prayer book tradition seriously, expecting every parish and mission among us to maintain the public recitation of the daily offices and the celebration of the Eucharist on every day for which there are propers or the rubrics even hint that a celebration would be appropriate if a congregation can be gathered.

At the same time we need to make every effort to shed that false tradition which the Puritan minded have tried so hard to attach to Anglicanism. When every parish in the Continuum is recognizeably Anglican our case will be largely made in the world. In the meantime we should also acknowledge that the only person to whom we have to prove our Catholicism is God. Buy the same is true of the bishop of Rome.

I think this one is going to be read to the church.

Canon Tallis said...

One more thing! I would like to ask you to refer to the Church of Rome and the churches of the Roman obedience as The Roman Church rather than calling them as I would never do, "The Catholic Church." As long as we are as Catholic as they and perhaps more so, I think we should be careful of ever surrendering to them that title.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Another fine post as always, Father.

I am a part of the "realigners" and at least in my parochial level, there are many encouraging signs--serious engagement of the 39articles, return to the real prayer book, discussion groups that are reading Jewell and Hooker. The real problem that such encouraging movement will of necessity lead to is eventually recognizing the error of women's ordination. This will create a problem that is as much pastoral as theological. Like mandatory clerical celibacy in the RC church, we have trapped ourselves. how do we now extricate ourselves from this trap?

While I always come here for your solid teaching, my concerns with state of the Continuum are that it reminds me somewhat of the Old Calender Eastern Orthodox. With its ever greater fragementation, who is real? who is to be trusted?

With Deepest Respect,


Anonymous said...

Let me add my voice to the chorus of praise for this article. Judging from what I read on other blogs related, to some degree or other, to the Continuum, it takes a degree of courage on Fr Hart's part to publish such a thing. For too long the Continuum has be held hostage to the false notions that Anglicanism is just Tridentinism minus the pope, or EO speaking Cranmerese English. Fr Hart and all who have responded so far know better.

I have come to love this blog simply because it is a safe haven from false versions of faux-Anglicanism as well as from
"broad American evangelicalism" which tries to act like Calvinism.
There is such blogs, but nobody reading here knows of them and I ain't telling there names.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Canon Tallis:

With slick editing I have revisited that portion to say more clearly what I meant the first time.


I understand how it appears, and to be "robust if polite" about it, my recent actions are because I don't see it the same way. I believe there is one center of gravity that was born in 1978, from which and around which are satellites.

Anonymous said...

Gosh...where to start!

What does it mean to say that the Anglican Catholic Church as 'room in our ecclesiology' for the CC and the Orthodox?? If they are in error, as you say, how can your church have room for them?

You speak derisivley of Ang Comm types' and their 'comprehensiviness'....and yet your Anglican CC is the same when you have 'room in your ecclesiology' for the CC and the Orthodox, which, according to you, have erred. You sound like 'Bishop' Schori when she entreats those churches considering leaving TEC that (we have room for a wide range of beliefs in TEC)...

You state the the 'mutual exclusiveness'...bears witness that both have erred...actually, it bears witness that ONE has erred (and you know that I'll say it's the Orthodox that have!).

Your claim to belong to the ancient Celtic Church and/or the Church of the Angles is laughable, considering that the Celtic/Angle Churches were seeded by Christianity brought in with the ROMAN armies and, therefore, would be tied to the pope (who did excersize universal jurisdiction at that time...but that is another arguement). This myth that the ancient Celtic/English Churches were 'on their own' is perpetuated in an attempt to justify independence from the pope.

I do like what you say about the fake conservatives in the can cut to the chase and discover them as liberals when you ask their views on sex (remarriage, contraception, celibate religious, etc.)...those issues make them come out of the closet fast!

You say you 'love and honor' both of the 'Two One True Churches'...but the reality is that I sense a definite anti CC attitide on this blog...they way some take ugly shots shows that there is no love and respect towards it. If you really honored it, you would attempt to be a part of it's synods, etc..afterall, you do admit that the Bishop of Rome was a heavyweight in Christian antiquity....studying his encylicals, etc. would show that you really accept him as such, even if you won't accept his primacy.

Midland Agrarian: The CC is not 'trapped' into the celibate priesthood, as such is a discipline and not a dogma. It can be changed, modified, etc and has been and will continue to be.

Cannon Tallis:
You cannot change the name of any organization save for your own. My Church calls itself the Catholic Church, you may like it or not, you may claim to be part of it or not...but your going on and on about it reveals your Catholic insecurity.

By the way, does your Anglican CC use a (complete) canon of the OT? Or the one used by other Anglicans..the canon without the Dueterocanonicals....just wondering. Thanks.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


On this blog CC means "Continuing Church." RCC means Roman Catholic Church. So, you need to write out fully "Catholic Church." Once you do that, however, we will take it to mean the Church named in the Creeds, and so we will apply it to ourselves. However, "Roman Catholic Church" is a term that your fellow Catholics of the papist persuasion "Latin Rite" use for themselves quite openly (i.e. Byzantine Catholics, also papist, call the "Latin Rite" Catholics "Roman Catholics"), and so your dislike of the term is, as far as I can tell, unique. "Roman" should mean, to you, Petrine.

Frankly, the terms Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and even Episcopal Church (used by some Anglicans, including the CC body, the United Episcopal Church) all can be taken the wrong way. After all, if we say Orthodox Church we do not mean to call ourselves unorthodox, or if we say Episcopal we do not claim that only Anglicans have genuine bishops. But, the name "Catholic Church" is a name that is in the two major creeds. Therefore, it is problematic for us in a way that the other two names never could be.

I do not expect you to agree with the official position of Anglicanism that we have inherited the mantle of Ecclesia Anglicana, including the full heritage of the Celtic Briton Christians. But, you could be more polite and refrain from using the word "laughable." I assure you that no matter what degree of arrogance has been instilled in you by your teachers, you are not in the same league as the Anglican scholars (J.B. Lightfoot for example). You are not in a position to say what is "laughable." So, in future if I am on my comment shift I might reject a comment with such an insulting word; it is robust, which is fine, but it is not polite.

Roman soldiers did not bring Christianity to Briton, because it was already in Briton when Christians were persecuted by the Empire. Constantine's mother, St. Helena, was a British Christian (which makes his official Toleration very easy to understand).

Now, your argument has already been answered by me (as usual), and I refer you to an older post called "Hooker on unity with Rome."I see no reason to repeat it, but rather to provide the link below. (New readers might want to catch up on these older posts anyway.)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I forgot to answer this question:

By the way, does your Anglican CC use a (complete) canon of the OT? Or the one used by other Anglicans..the canon without the Dueterocanonicals....just wondering. Thanks.

Article VI lists these books among the scripture, only adding the caveat that they will not be useful in debates with Lutherans and Calvinists, and that, as taught by Saint Jerome and by Saint Athanasius, they do not by themselves establish doctrine (so i take these words to mean: "But yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine"). They were in all the Anglican Bibles, and lessons from them form part of the Lectionaries of the Book of Common Prayer

Anonymous said...

I think the Church of England (and related communions) hath also sinned, and not just in the events leading up to the foundation of the Continuum. I think we are in danger of interpreting 'hath sinned' in relation to the Churches named in the Article as meaning 'is and remains fatally doctrinally flawed and we should be prepared to remain the last faithful Catholic Christian on earth rather than seek communion with them'. There would have been no need for the Oxford Movement if Anglicanism hadn't gone off the rails, and given that the Church of England was in communion with the Church of Rome until the schisms occurred in the 16th century, it was hardly immune to the sin of which it accused Rome. I think we are in danger if we consider that our particular corner of the Anglican Continuum (which, if I read Fr Hart's reply to Richard aright, means the ACC(OTC) and the small Anglican bodies it regards as fit to be in communion with itself) as the sole repository of the whole Truth.

Richard: From my side of the fence (TAC), your position as a 'realigner' is not tenable. That said, if you're still reading, I only came to that realisation myself within the last couple of years. (Even dear Fr Hart admits that it took him until 1997 to jump the fence.) It's very hard to make people see that the ordination of women is not possible when they shut you out of any discussion in which you raise the issue. Don't be afraid of the Continuum. It's small because people like you don't join it, although I'm sure you'd be welcome.

Canon Tallis would like to see a return to, inter alia, public recitation of the daily offices. Many years ago I took the trouble to dip into the BCP and read a few rubrics, and I thought to myself, 'With all the unemployment that's around, and with all the retired people, wouldn't it be just wonderful for Morning and Evening Prayer to be said in public daily?' After all, if the office isn't being recited in public, how can you be sure that the priest is saying it?

Diane, it's not really my place to say, and I speak only on my own behalf, but I'm beginning to find your shrill and carping tone offensive. I've said it before: I've heard it all before and I wasn't impressed then. You clearly do know some things, but you don't have the sense to know where you've come to the limits of your worthwhile knowledge.

There, I think I've made enough enemies for one day, but perhaps a couple of friends as well.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The word in the Article is "erred." That "all have sinned" is a given.

poetreader said...


it is an admirable thing to love your church. It is an admirable thing to be a loyal member of it. There is so much to admire in you that I strongly hate being continually annoyed -- but it is not an admirable thing to repeat the same assertions over and over again in almost the same words. It is not an admirable thing to call others and their opinions laughable and to give the impression that you think it stupid of us not to succumb to your great wisdom. No one has called you stupid or thrown any kind of insults in your direction, although I have to say that you've given occasions that surely tempt a person to do so.

The fact that you hold an opinion other than ours is obvious and recognized and your sincerity in your view is respected, but I wish you could realize how little you really understand the things of which you speak, and I'm not being dismissive of the Roman Catholic views. There is more to them, however, than what you are apparently able to discuss. There is a depth that I haven't heard you to express. I recognize that there are reasons for the positions your church takes, and, theough I'm unable to accept those views, I recognize that minds stronger than mine have been thinking about them. I've seen little more than surface statements here, and those shallow statements have continually interrupted effort to discuss substantial issues of concern to us here.

You see, there are reasons for our beliefs. There are implications of those beliefs. In the search for an ever deeper appreciation of truth these depths need to be explored, chewed on, and mulled over. Further a sincere search for the truth in Bible and Tradition, seasoned with prayer, can ultimately lead no place but to the Truth of Christ, If you are actually correct (a possibility I do not currently see), that quest will lead us there -- unless, perchance you raise so many negative reactions that it becomes harder to go that way.

In short, though you are welcome here, I would suggest that you back off in your vain quest to force us into changing our minds, and try to find ways to reach out in friendship, as your Pope indeed does.

Finally, this is an Anglican board. If you find our commitment to Anglicanism and our presentation of those things in which we disagree with Rome to be offensive or insulting (how do I say this gently?) - you don't have to read this blog at all. You really aren't who it's addressed to.

Again, you are welcome, but we would appreciate a little more consideration from our guests. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Oops. I, too, erred (and that I have sinned is also given). Erred--well, the black rubric was a pretty mighty error, and before that, the prohibition in the otherwise excellent 1549 against elevating the host was pretty erroneous, too. It may have been aimed at the correction of a greater mischief, but like many measures aimed at correcting mischief, it created a mischief of its own. Are not half the heresies misguided attempts at correcting earlier heresies? We have our skeletons. Let's not deny them.

D. Straw said...

Fr. Hart:
I have to ask. When you say, "I believe there is one center of gravity that was born in 1978, from which and around which are satellites."

Do you mean the ACC is the center of gravity? Or, does this include the other St. Louis jurisdictions that trace their lineage to 1978 which are listed to the right on the main page of your blog? (Although, I know the APA's lineage is slightly different)

Anonymous said...

I generally ignore "Diane"
but she has touched on an issue I am rather fond of. RC's seem to think they are playing some kind of trump on the matter of the OT Canon when they point out that Protestants generally use the shorter OT Canon of the Biblia Hebraica. This shows ignorance that Anglicans, as defined by the Articles and by the original Authorized Version, use the full Canon (as demonstated by our lectionaries). Now my question for Diane is: By what authority did the Council of Trent remove I and II Esdras and the Prayer of Manasses (contained in our Authorized Version) from the Tridentine Canon? Why is that Canon any less a novelty than the
Canon set forth by Trent?

And from another angle, was Cardinal Cajetan in error when he advocated the shorter 39 book canon at the Council of Trent? The RC scholar John J. Collins give a long list of church fathers from the western church (including, inter alia, that Infallible One, Pope Gregory the Great!) who supported St Jerome in preferring the shorter Hebrew Canon. Were they in error?

Anonymous said...

"before that, the prohibition in the otherwise excellent 1549 against elevating the host was pretty erroneous"

Diane, the ceremony of elevation the consecrated Bread and Wine is late mediaeval. In fact the Carthusians to this day to not elevate the Blood, just the Body. (After all, folks cant see the Wine enclosed in a chalice.)

The rubric in the 1549 liturgy is content to say "the wordes before rehearsed are to be saied, turning still to the Altar, without any elauacion, or shewing the Sacrament to the people." No doctrinal reason is given, and do not overlook the retention of the term "Altar," a hot-button word for Protestants.

Line for line and pound for pound, the Missale Romanum contains far more objectionable matter than any Anglican Prayer Book. Shall we discuss Indulgences?

The Midland Agrarian said...

I would have given my right arm for a continuing parish nearby a few years ago. To my knowledge there is not one within 100 miles of here.

Maybe I am naive, but I am hoping and praying for the realigners and the Continuum to grow closer together in the one Truth.

I am aware that clerical celibacy is not dogma or doctrine, but it cannot be changed by Rome without enormous political fallout

Anonymous said...


WOW...such hostility and nearly sensored due to the word 'laughable'...very sensitive group ya'll have here. But you can't have it both ways...ya'll will need to jump on Poetreader for such as he, too, uses the word (in his comments on the Hooker post)! So much for his 'good manners' on both sides.

Alas, my posts aren't about me, so please don't make yours about me either...scholarly language can't veil the insults directed toward me, nor can they hide the fact that,in fact, there is no love or respect for my Church, despite insistance that there is.

Midland Agrarian is on to something ragarding fragmentation and trust...this lack of surety and schism is the result of not accepting a pope working in union with the bishops.

Regarding the name of my Church: don't miss my point: I said, you can't rename something that is not yours. You can call yourselves Catholic, you can call your church issue is what you call an institiution that already has a name for itself. My Church calls itself the Catholic Church and your attempts to rename it are futile. That Catholics will call themselves Roman Catholic doesn't even enter into this equation...some (including priests) just don't know a putdown when they hear it or are simply uneducated about the term. You will never look at a sign for a Catholic Church and see it called a 'Roman Catholic Church' is always called 'St. such and such Catholic Church'. The term 'latin-rite Catholic' only comes up when speaking about or with the eastern Catholic Churches.

Regarding Hooker:
That he said (he implies doctrinal error, not just bad behavior) error occured within the Church (versus saying that the Catholic Church had fallen, as other protesters said) still refutes Jesus' promise that His Church will be guided by the Holy Spirit (and therefore, can't err in a doctrinal way)...his
statement can't be correct unless he's willing to say that he knows more than Christ.

I'm the first to say that some within the Catholic Church have erred, but to say that the Church erred as an institution (in an official way on matters of doctrine/dogma) flys in the face of Scripture. Even to say Jesus' Church erred but was self-correcting (which is your position), still says that His Church erred, and that simply can't be....this point, more than any other, shows the impossible position that ya'll have put yourself in. Please respond to this.

Regarding the Celctic Church and how Christianity established itself there...if not from the Roman legion (with it's ties to the pope), how do ya'll say it came? And please don't try to pass off that tired old myth of the Egyptian-Coptic connection as fact.

I'm not sure if you are disputing the Roman army seedlings of christianity, the existance of a connection to the pope or just disputing that it was connected to the papacy, just not the type of papacy I understand it to be. In the Hooker post comments, Fr. Hart comments: "no acknowledgment of Rome as possessing Primacy" at Whitby....that would have been a given and needed not be a topic of the councils of Whitby/Hertford. Enlighten me...please...this is the crux of my post. reading the comments from the Hooker post, I see that Poetreader is employing his usual MO...'gently' insinuating that those who disagree with him don't know anything and aren't qualified to participate on the blog, but are still 'most welcome'! He is consistant.

I really have an interest in hearing how groups such as this one justify separation from the's hard to get answers in this type of format...everyone piling on, objecting to perceived slights, etc. If there is an authoritative member of your group that would not mind answering questions of mine via email (at a very slow pace, since we are all busy), I would prefer that...this way, I can delve into topics in a way that is impossible here....please make yourself known to me at

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Midland Agrarian:

Anywhere near Lancaster, Erie or Philipsburg? That's just from looking at the ACC website; and the other jurisdictions have websites too.

The realigning Anglicans have my sympathy, and I mean that sincerely. Bp. Schofield, Bp. Iker and Bp. Ackerman are good men and true. Frankly, I think Bp. Bob Duncan is a very decent and honorable man. But, the only way to arrive at some kind of unity would be if they completely purged from their ranks women's "ordination" in a way even more radical than I see among the FiF/NA bishops (the first three I mentioned). And, probably there are a few problems that would remain even then, all stemming from the revisionism in TEC. Pulling up all the weeds could take years.

Would we consider having theological discourse with them about the things that divide us? I certainly think that no one could say no.

John A. Hollister said...

Richard, the Midland Agrarian, wrote of the Realigners' "eventually recognizing the error of women's ordination. This will create a problem that is as much pastoral as theological. Like mandatory clerical celibacy in the RC church, we have trapped ourselves. how do we now extricate ourselves from this trap?"

I cannot claim any particular wisdom, but this is a question to which I have given some thought over the years. So if one who will not be involved in the process may offer some suggestions, here goes:

1. The first step is to recognize that women's ordination is an aberration and, moreover, is one that is unacceptable. Richard seems to believe this change in perspective will eventually come about.

2. The second step is to assess the reasons upon which any particular church group bases its new understanding that women's ordination is improvident:

a. Is it merely saying that this is problematic for ecumenical reasons, i.e., it wishes to forge relationships with others who reject that innovation? Or

b. Has it come to accept that, as the whole of the Church Catholic has always accepted, women's ordination is an oxymoron, i.e., is impossible?

How a given body proceeds from this point will depend very much on how it answers these two sub-questions.

3. Regardless of a particular body's reasons for altering its stance on women's ordination, if must make just and appropriate provisions for those women it has permitted to assume the semblance of Holy Orders and who will now be deprived of those functions, however improper was their initial being thrust into them.

This must include provisions for their and their families' livelihoods but also must provide them with some suitable work that will make use of their learning, training, and experience. Academic pursuits, social work, development of curricula and Christian education materials, growth and direction of women's organizations, church publishing, and many other possibilities exist that do not include celebration of the Mysteries or public preaching in the Church.

To deprive these worthy women of legitimate outlets for the use of their hard-won talents would be cruelty to them and abysmally poor stewardship for the Church.

Nor can a body purge itself of its sin of the faux ordinations of women by perpetrating uncharitableness towards those same women; that would compound, not cure, the problem.

4. If the body concerned in fact answers "Yes" to Question 2.a, then it must face the problems its prior acceptance of women's ordination have wrought on its overall Sacramental integrity. It should make arrangements to have Bishops who are untainted by the novelty (and that does NOT mean Bishops who have remained in communion with Lambeth) "redo" sub conditione all of that body's current Bishops' confirmations, diaconal ordinations, priestly ordinations, and episcopal consecrations that took place after 1976 (or, being conservative in the interests of safety, after 1970).

Most such bodies will probably reject turning to any of the unquestioned Continuing Churches for this assistance. That, however, still leaves other possibilities such as the one surviving Old Catholic Church that is unquestionably legitimate (i.e., the Polish National Catholic Church), the various canonnical Eastern Orthodox bodies, or, perhaps, the historic Oriental Orthodox ones.

Once the Orders of that body's Bishops have been placed beyond cavail, those same Bishops should proceed through all of their subordinate clergy, doing the same thing. A two-day clericus or a Diocesan or Provincial Synod would suffice, with those who needed it being, in a body but seriatim, conditionally confirmed and "deked" one day and priested the next.

As these Sacraments can regularly be conferred by a single Bishop, this could be done in each of that body's dioceses during a special diocesan synod or convention.

Anything less than this top-to-bottom reestablishment of unquestioned Orders cannot be guaranteed to erase the stains left by the errant practice. And anything less cannot adequately express repentence, a firm purpose of amendment, and recompense for the harm previously done.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...


Calling the official position of Anglicanism "laughable" is rude. I could say also that it betrays lack of serious learning, as well as independence of thought since the pope himself does not find our position "laughable." Modern discourse does not allow the Lutheran attitude of ad hominem attack with a snarl, which Lutheran approach you use.

The Anglican position, as stated in the Article, maintains faith in the Infallibility of the Universal Church. It does not say the Church hath erred, but that the "church of Rome" hath erred. The Church of Rome is just that, one Diocese or See and the churches of that immediate Diocese. The pope is the Bishop of Rome, a Diocesan Ordinary. Everything that his See claims for itself stems from that office as perceived by them (the See of Peter).

E.J. Bicknell explains Article XIX as follows: "The latter section justifies the breach with Rome by denying her infallibility. As she has erred in the past, so she may err again at the Council of Trent. The allusion is to such events as the acceptance of by Pope Liberius of an Arian creed, the acquittal of Pelagius by Pope Zosimus and the lapse of Pope Honorius into Monothelitism."

The problem is that you consider the fallibility of the one church of Rome to be a denial of the Infallibility of the Universal Church. But, along with the Orthodox, we believe in the Infallibility of the Church ("I believe one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" - the Creed), and refuse to assign that Infallibility to one and only one See. In the above historical examples, as provided by Bicknell, you have the further problem of self-contradiction, since the Church of Rome considers the actions and doctrine of every Ecumenical Council to have been Infallible. That is because, long before the 1870 doctrine of Papal Infallibility, and the earlier unwritten notion of Roman infallibility (via conciliar process limited to the west), the Church of Rome consented to Ecumenical Conciliar authority that outranked the Church of Rome, and that condemned heresy on a papal level. Rome consented to this as Infallible, a proper operation of the Church in accord with John 16:13.

The Anglican Article does not contradict the teaching, as it was at that time, of the Church of Rome. Rather, with full Catholic authority the English Reformers explained why their own people need not fear whatever may emerge from the ongoing Council of Trent (this Article dates from 1553). As for papal infallibility, that idea was not yet known to anyone; and it only complicated matters when it was invented in 1870.

As for the Church of the Celtic Britons, it was not established by Roman Legions. It was, rather, persecuted by Roman Legions until the Edict of Milan by the son of a British Christian, the Emperor Constantine. The Church of the Britons was established long before Rome's army had any significant number of Christians in it. It is very mysterious, and the Britons had claimed an association to their origin with Joseph of Arimathea.

At the Council of Whitby the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the Pope's man, was never invoked to settle anything. Questions of polity were settled to the satisfaction of Celts and Angles as a result of teaching and clarification. The Celts accepted the superior dating of Easter and of the rest of the Church year, etc., because they were persuaded, not because they were told to. Universal Primacy was not an issue because the idea itself was not brought up at the Councils of Whitby and Hertford. No one said to the Celts, "this is right because the pope says so." Rather, at Whitby, the Britons were persuaded by the English that their practices had diverged from what the apostles handed down due to years without much contact outside of their island, and that they should correct these things. This paved the way for unity at Hertford.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

BTW, in the above, by "Lutheran" I refer to the man himself. Luther called his opponents by insulting names (e.g. "blockheads").

Anonymous said...

Just an aside, (as I happen to be studying Roman persecution of Christianity in Celtic Albion:

In Roman Albion, the illegality of Christianity was the official position in line with orders from Rome. But, enforcement was often lax or token. For examaple, in the late Thrid and Early Fourth Centuries, (Ceasar) Constantinus razed a few Christian churches, but mainly to make a show of obedience. Perhaps because he had taken, Helen, a Christrian, as his concubine. In any case, his son and future Emporer grew up in England and held a quite favorable view of the Faith, as witnessed by the Edict of Milan, despite his Father's "official" opposition.

We do know that by 150 A.D., the Celtic tribe called "the British" by the Romans had converted as a whole due to the evangelization of St Aristobulus the Apostle to the British, who is still officially commentated in Eastern Orthodox sanctorals. Also, at the Council of Nicea, two "British" bishops were given seats of honor (next to Constantine himself) because the British peoples were considered the first nation ("ethnos") to have wholly converted to Christianity.

In any event, whoever and however Christianity first reached Celtic Albion, the evangelization of "England" -- the Anglo-Saxons, Jutes, Danes, etc. -- had to start all over again because our brutish, barbarian, invading Germanic ancestors by and large not have anything to do with the Christianized Romano-Celtics or their missionaries.

D. Straw said...

Another try at my question:

Fr. Hart:
I have to ask. When you say, "I believe there is one center of gravity that was born in 1978, from which and around which are satellites."

Do you mean the ACC is the center of gravity? Or, does this include the other St. Louis jurisdictions that trace their lineage to 1978 which are listed to the right on the main page of your blog? (Although, I know the APA's lineage is slightly different)

Oh...And Diane. I don't think I can add anymore to your comments than my more eloquent friends here have. Other than to say I think the problem is that you have us confused with another blog:

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,

Let me in all charity respond to some of the observations you made in your most recent response to Diane.

"Calling the official position of Anglicanism "laughable" is rude."

I will grant you that it was rude. Her observation that this site betrays an uncharitable and marginally offensive anti-Catholic current is spot on, however. That said, I doubt you and others here intent to offend. But you slink all to easily into misrepresentation of history and of Roman beliefs. I shall attempt to demonstrate this a bit further as I parse your post in the order that you wrote it.

"The Anglican position, as stated in the Article, maintains faith in the Infallibility of the Universal Church."

I find this statement and interpretation of the Article quite interesting and, in fact, rather encouraging. About a year ago I had a long but rather testy private exchange (for which testiness I assume my share of responsibility) here with one of your number who flatly and insistently denied the infallibility of the Church. I attempted to cite Orthodox sources, but was brushed off with an assertion of superior knowledge of Eastern theology. Puzzled, I web searched the matter and indeed did find an Australian Orthodox theologian (a Protestant convert)denying the Church's infallibility. Significantly perhaps, he did so in a critique to a book by an Orthodox archbishop which positively affirmed it!

"E.J. Bicknell explains Article XIX as follows: "The latter section justifies the breach with Rome by denying her infallibility. As she has erred in the past, so she may err again at the Council of Trent. The allusion is to such events as the acceptance of by Pope Liberius of an Arian creed, the acquittal of Pelagius by Pope Zosimus and the lapse of Pope Honorius into Monothelitism.""

The fact that Bicknell alludes (as you do implicitly) to these three historical episodes demonstrates an underlying misunderstanding of what Rome claims for itself and, for that matter, for the Church as a whole.

The Arian creed Liberius "accepted" was not in error in a theological sense. It was merely ambiguous and incomplete (from an orthodox standpoint) and was passable of orthodox interpretation. Liberius may have committed an "error in judgment" in not rejecting it on these grounds, but Rome does NOT claim that its bishop invariably exercises infallible "judgment". Infallibility is restricted to what the Pope (or the Church) actually teaches in concrete positive terms.

Similarly, whether Pelagius was a heretic or not is not an issue which engages the Church's (or Rome's) infallibility. The Church might be infallible in condemning specific propositions in matters of faith or morals, but whether or not a given heretical proposition is positively held by an individual is a strictly factual issue to be determined solely on the basis of testimony and material evidence and is, as such, inherently fallible.

Finally, to say that Honorius lapsed into Monotheletism is a polemical canard. He never affirmed that Christ had two wills. In two letters to the Patriarch of Constantinople he merely expressed the view that the controversy was best left unsettled for the peace of the Church. He was roundly condemned afterward for so giving cover to heresy, but how does failure to positively proclaim and define a doctrine constitute a disproof of infallibility? Had Honorius actually taught or proclaimed Monotheletism as definitely true, then perhaps the example might have some merit.

I would invite all fair-minded members of this list to review Vatican I's definition of the Pope's authority to teach infallibly on behalf of the Church, and then try to demonstrate how Bicknell's examples apply.

What really puzzles me about this line of argument is that it takes Catholics for ignorant idiots, and blithely assumes that learned Catholics have somehow never heard of these examples or have never chosen to respond to them.

"The problem is that you consider the fallibility of the one church of Rome to be a denial of the Infallibility of the Universal Church."

I very much doubt Diane or any Catholic considers this a denial, as the bishop of Rome is merely one of the organs through which the Church's infallibility can be expressed.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

889 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

"But, along with the Orthodox, we believe in the Infallibility of the Church ("I believe one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" - the Creed), and refuse to assign that Infallibility to one and only one See."

Rome doesn't either. Infallibility properly belongs to the Church as a whole. However, Catholics believe that the bishop of Rome, as president of the college of bishops, can speak authoritatively FOR the Church and express ITS understanding. Significantly, in almost 2,000 years no Pope has ever proclaimed a doctrine at odds with the beliefs of the bulk of the bishops in communion with him. This idea that the Pope might actually try to define a doctrine at odds with the views of the episcopate just strikes Catholics as bizarre. If only an ecumenical council can teach authoritatively, then the Church has no ordinary means of doing so, and its infallible teaching has been limited to the doctrinal content of whatever number of Ecumenical Councils Anglicans have chosen to recognize. The Christological definitions are important, but are these really all Christians can trust as having been taught to them infallibly?

"In the above historical examples, as provided by Bicknell, you have the further problem of self-contradiction, since the Church of Rome considers the actions and doctrine of every Ecumenical Council to have been Infallible. That is because, long before the 1870 doctrine of Papal Infallibility, and the earlier unwritten notion of Roman infallibility (via conciliar process limited to the west), the Church of Rome consented to Ecumenical Conciliar authority that outranked the Church of Rome, and that condemned heresy on a papal level."

A council that does not involve the participation (either directly or through legates) of the bishop of Rome, or his explicit receptions of its canons is, by definition, not an "ecumenical" council. So it is somewhat arch to suggest that Catholics believe the authority of an EC "outranks" that of the Church of Rome. The two necessarily operate symphoniously.

I have no problem with Anglicans disagreeing with typically Roman (or Orthodox) beliefs. I normally assume that Anglicans are so in good faith. It is a touch arrogant, however, for Anglicans to attempt to "demonstrate" that Rome is "wrong" by its own canons and epistemology, particularly when so little real effort is made to understand or represent fairly what Rome actually teaches.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart,
Your statement about accepting the duetercanonicals as Scripture but not as establishing doctrine is very telling...helps you to not accept the doctine of purgatory and prayer for the dead...the councils that verified that the DC books are part of Scripture did not give the caveat that you subscribe to...they are in the canon...period! say St. Jerome and Athanasius support your stance...their stance is not supported by the councils...good thing Jerome did what he was told and included them in his least he knew the value of authority....same with Athanasius. Goodness! This stance clearly shows your 'pick-n-choose' mentality, which is the hallmark of protestantism...whatever supports your personal viewpoint is accepted and what does not, is not the end, you are your own authority, which is why you can make the statement that B16 will 'guide me right' despite his error and that my church is in error, but yet is still Catholic.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Father Robert Hart said: Anywhere near Lancaster, Erie or Philipsburg?

ACC church in Erie is the nearest at about 100 miles from me. Someday I would like to get up that way for a visit.

Anonymous said...

Rereading my post, I note with some embarrassment that I seem to have implied that Honorius wrote twice to the Patriarch of Constantinople arguing against Christ having both a human and a divine will. This is, of course, not what he wrote. I hope my observations, if they survive moderation, will be taken as intended.

Anonymous said...

D. Straw,

If memory serves:

1977: The St. Louis Affirmation.

1978: The Denver Consecrations

1979: The Dallas Convention

* * * * * * *

Hence, I think Fr. Hart is saying that the Continuum is based on the 1978 "Chambers Succession" continued at the Denver Consecration, which includes the ACC, APCK and UEC (and arguably others), as the 1979 Dallas Convention failed to produce the unity imagined at the St. Louis Convention.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that neither "Diane" nor the more learned and elegant "michael de verteuil" has answered my modest little query regarding the OT Canon. If it was wrong, for Puritan Protestantism to remove 14 or 15 books from the Canon, then what justifies the Post-Tridentine Church from removing 3? I am unable to see any difference in principle.

Also (from another perspective) I would like to share the following from a Jesuit scholar, Fr John J. Collins.

"Even at the time of the Reformtion, several [Roman] Catholic scholars expressed views that were close to those of the Reformers on the subject of the canon. Cardinal Ximines, who published the Complutensian Polyglot in 1514/17, stated in the Preface that books printed in Greek, but not available in Hebrew, were received by the Church for edification rather than for the establishment of doctrine. Erasmus accepted the authority of the Church in approving the additional [sic, nota bene] books, but added that 'it is of great importance to know in what spirit the Church approves a thing. It surely does not wish Judith, Tobit, and Wisdom to have the same weight as the Penteteuch.' Later, as an exposition of the Creed in 1533, he distinguished between those books that it would be impious to doubt and those that have been received into ecclesiastical use. ...The most famous Catholic proponent of the shorter Canon was Cardinal Cajetan, the papal legate before whose tribunal Luther was summoned to appear at Augsburg in 1518, and a staunch foe of the Reformers.... He acknowledged that Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees can be called "canonical" but insisted they stood outside th ancient canon ..."

Fr Collins also mentions Pope Gregory the Great, John Damascene, Hugh of St Victor, Nicholas of Lyra as tending toward the shorter Canon. In this they were following St Jerome. The exponents of the longer canon were following St Augustine (hardly Jerome's equal as a Scripture scholar). Fr Collins notes the arbitary exclusion of I & II Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh (surely the most valuable book in the so-called Apocrypha) but has no exlanation for it. Perhaps Diane can shed light, or the polymath Michael de Verteuil can banish error and confusion.

See "The Parallel Apocrypha" for Fr Collins essay, which alone is worth the price of the book, published by OUP.

Fr. Gregory Mashburn said...


Your suggestion, as to an answer for Fr. Hart, is certainly appreciated. I, though, would definitely be interested in hearing an answer to the question from Fr. Hart himself. If the answer is that the ACC is the centre of gravity, then we certainly have a problem. If the answer if that the ACC, APCK, and UECNA are the centre of gravity, then we can at least, on a personal level, have some greater sense of agreement on the matter.

Fr. Greg

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Michaël de Verteuil:

First of all, my essential point in answering Diane was to clarify the meaning of our Article XIX. The statement that Rome has erred is not a rejection of the Infallibility of the Universal Church, and the reading of history which Bicknell provides demonstrates that Rome needed the assistance of the Universal Church no less than other particular churches.

The answers that you have provided do not justify your statement that we have "an underlying misunderstanding of what Rome claims for itself and, for that matter, for the Church as a whole." We understand it well enough, but do not find the answers sufficient to satisfy our objection.

The popes in the Arian and Monothelitism controversies at least dropped the ball, if nothing else, and failed to banish strange doctrines. This is not "the Petrine Charism" that was trumpeted at Vatican I. The seriousness of this in the case of Honorious has to do with the anathema of an Ecumenical Council. In short, the pope allowed a serious heresy, which is in itself unacceptable for any bishop. True, it was a matter of neglect, and of failing to perceive the question. But, it is also true that it was officially condemned as heresy in the infallible conciliar record.

If the pope is an organ of Infallibility, then it is very problematic that his position needed to be corrected by the true voice of the Universal church, an Ecumenical Council. And, this does show that the Council can be said to have "outranked" the See of Rome, having used its authority to correct it. We all know that Roman Legates were at the Councils, but so what? The whole Church was supposed to be represented at the Councils, and all the Patriarchs had either their own people there, or were at times present themselves.

As for Papal Infallibility, that became relevant to Article XIX in 1870; but, in 1553 it was not relevant. That is because Rome did not yet assert any such thing, nor was anyone thinking about an idea whose time had not yet come.


Fr. Wells has answered very well. Our position is in keeping with ideas that had always been quite acceptable in the Catholic Tradition. We do not pick and choose, because our Articles, our Lectionary and our Bibles themselves contain these books, and the definition given them is no different from what the Church of Rome itself had accepted before Trent.

Fr. Gregory Mashburn:

The entire tradition that is so well defended in the Affirmation of St. Louis provides a force that holds us all together. I have said that I write quite often with the intention of converting Anglicans to Anglicanism.

However, I know better than to consider such nonsense as the claim that there are over 40 jurisdictions, etc. We know who belongs to the family, and it is not just any guy who starts a church in his garage and gets someone to call him bishop. This blog lists and names recognized jurisdictions.

In my experience the unity is quite real.

Anonymous said...

LKW: Ezra's 4 books are called Esdras 1, 2, 3 and 4 and they are also called Ezra, Nehemiah, Esdras 1 and Esdras 2 depending on who you talk to....the last 2 are not might be confused with the Esdras 1 and 2 being 'out', but this refers to Esdras 3rd and 4th books, actually, which are definitely not part of the OT canon.

And, yes I am aware that some did not support the DC in the OT canon...again, the councils with papal cooperation, state othewise. My personal thought is this: the Jewish rabbis restated their OT canon at Jamnia, leaving out the DC books...that has no bearing on us Christians, as no council of rabbis has any authority after Pentacost. Protestants say, "the Catholics accept OT books that even the Jews themselves do not!"....I say, these are people who deny Christ. Why would you follow their lead in anything? Simply put, they (Jews) are in error. So, to answer your question "by what authority did they remove Esdras 1 and 2??" By the same authority that they included Revelation, Hebrews, etc in the the authority that God gave them and the successor of Peter when he gave him the keys.

What is duplicitiuous is to have Anglicans say that they accept the DC books as Scriptural but then say, 'but they teach no doctrine'! That is truly unbelievable....picking and choosing, like I said earlier. There is no caveat that states 'they teach no doctrine' that was anything other than personal, erroneous opinions of some church fathers. If you accept the DCs in the canon, than you have to accept that prayer for the dead is scriptural.

Fr. Hart,

Aren't you rude by calling the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church "The Odd Couple"?? Yes, you have a double standard when it comes to stop carping about my word 'laughable' when your own people use it (I'm sure you don't threaten to censure them) and you are rude about my church.

I did not say that the 'legion' founded the point was said that with the influx of Roman legions into the isle, with them came their religions, among them, Christianity. It was most definetly a Roman Christianity that seeded the English Church. What evidence do you have for Joseph of Arimithea being in Britain?

Regarding Whitby, etc...clearly, the English Church was attached to a Church that had the pope at it's head...the british bishops attending Arles, Rimini, and Nicea are examples...(Constantine called Nicea after 'consulting with the clergy' which most definetly included the Bishop of Rome...Pope Sylvester's cooperation in calling it was affirmed at the 6th Council). There is an instance of a British deacon asking for papal assistance in combatting heresy.

That the 'pope's man' Archbishop of Canterbury did not jump in at Whitby or Hertford to show or exert authority does not mean he or the pope doesn't have just shows that when bishops can come to understandings on their own, they do. The pope will use his authority when he deems neccessary.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart, regarding the papal legates:
So what??

They hold first place at the councils as evident by signing docs "presiding over this holy and universal synod" versus the representatives of the other patriarchs signed "receiving this holy and universal synod and agreeing all it has judged and written and defining I have signed". The legates actually presided over and directed the councils...(at Chalcedon, the council acknowledged Leo thru his legates as the 'head over the members' know the other one, "Peter has spoken thru Leo", at the 8th Council, there were no objections when papal legates announced they were to act as presidents of that council, at Ephesus, no objections to the legates announcing that the pope, as Peter's successor, was the 'head of the whole faith', at other minor councils, the pope is called the 'head', 'chief', etc.)

Papal legates presided over all eastern councils where there was no latin presence to speak of.

Carlos said...

I really have an interest in hearing how groups such as this one justify separation from the pope...

...because the Roman See acquired and accumulated power (perhaps not initially intentional) that there was no precedence for and t'was not universally accepted... Ask Cerularius... I'm sure he'd agree...

Fr. Robert Hart said...


You don't get it. The books of the "Apocrypha" are part of the scriptures as described in the Anglican Article (despite the foolish way that some people refuse to read it for what it says), and they are contained in the Lectionary. That they are not the books that reveal the major doctrines of the Church (e.g. prophecies of the Messiah, and promises of salvation, etc.) is an old view of ancient Fathers of the Church, and was the prevailing Catholic view until the Council of Trent. When the Article was written, it was still the prevailing Catholic view.

Neil Simon's title "The Odd Couple" was an obvious pun and oxymoron rolled into one. I used it that same way to highlight my original phrase "the Two One True Churches." Considering the provocation ("the only two churches with enough past to be taken seriously...") my response was quite mild.

Your view of Roman authority in the 7th century is very much out of keeping with those times.

I have no evidence that Joseph was actually in Briton. What we do know, however, is that the Christians in Brition stated it as historical fact and truly believed it. It is one of those things that ancient Catholic tradition teaches.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Diane wrote:

evident by signing docs "presiding over this holy and universal synod" versus the representatives of the other patriarchs signed "receiving this holy and universal synod and agreeing all it has judged and written and defining I have signed".

That is the second time you have come up with something completely fictitious about the Ecumenical Councils. Read the records themselves and throw away whatever book you've been getting your propaganda from.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

To the person who suggested we all read the Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism, I would as soon recommend The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, or The Two Babylons. There were plenty of bad people in England and in Rome too, but B.S. is B.S. (meaning, of course, Bachelor of Science-as a euphemism).

Anonymous said...

Diane, doesn't the word 'deuterocanonical' imply a kind of secondary canonical status?

And where did Fr Hart ever say we shouldn't pray for the departed?

You 'really have an interest in hearing how groups such as this one justify separation from the pope':

I am torn between two answers:

1. Why? With all the glories of the Catholic Faith out there to be explored, why waste your time on such a question?

2. Because Pius V excommunicated us.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

2. Because Pius V excommunicated us.

For the "sin" of failing to murder the queen.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks, lets get real. P5 not only excommunicated us, prior to which England as a whole was in full-communion with Rome, he effectively put a hit QE I and sanctioned the attempted conquest of the Realm!

But the "Protestant Wind" has blown across the channel a sufficient number of times for me to make a sound judgment as to where God stands on this issue. ;-)

Anonymous said...

The Armada was defeated. Jesuits are now more of a danger to the Pope than to the Queen. The excommunication, however, stands, fortified by the Leonine Bullsxxt of 1996. Let us not dwell too much on old injuries except to the extent that they are still operative.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


Anonymous said...

Oops. 1896. It's probably a coprolite by now.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Diane wrote:

Your statement about accepting the duetercanonicals as Scripture but not as establishing doctrine is very telling...helps you to not accept the doctine of purgatory and prayer for the dead..

And Sandra McColl wrote:

And where did Fr Hart ever say we shouldn't pray for the departed?

Thank you Sandra for reminding me that I had forgotten this bit.

From the Book of Common Prayer:

"O GOD, whose mercies cannot be numbered; Accept our prayers on behalf of the soul of thy servant departed, and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."


"And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service..."


Fr Matthew Kirby said...


I do not agree that the 4 coeditors of this weblog display an anti-RC bias. Some commenters have said things about the RCC I believe have been over-critical and unbalanced. However, where the weblog has published posts criticising the RCC or its apologists it has mainly been as a defensive response to Anti-Anglican RC arguments. And I have written a number of posts defending a nuanced "Anglo-Papist/Papalist" position. Search the 'blog and you will see.

The problem I have with your posts, Diane, is not tone. It is level of knowledge. I am truly astonished that you talk about our purported rejection of prayer for the dead. This is simply gobsmacking as a misconception. And we do not say the Deuterocanon does not teach doctrine, but it is taught in the Articles that they cannot be used on their own to prove dogma. (It should also be noted that the Articles are not binding in the ACC, however. And the Homilies to which the Articles refer sometimes quote the deuterocanonical books as the word of God.) Surely you are aware that a number of influential EO bishops, catechisms and theologians have taken the same basic view?

This kind of thing in itself is sufficient to demonstrate you know very little about our beliefs. This means we are often talking past each other. Another thing I don't understand is why your posts here display an ignorance not shown in other fora (assuming you are the same Diane often seen contributing to RC/EO/Ecumenical sites). While the triumphalist tone is similar, the coherence and accuracy of the content is inferior. Please, bring your "best game" to us, so to speak. I truly think that if you studied the classical Anglican Catholic position and arguments as you have studied the EO ones that it would improve your understanding and clarify and perhaps even soften your presentation. I am not claiming it would change your mind about us, but at least you would not be accusing us of things we haven't done or thought. And I am not trying to insult you by using the term "triumphalist", by the way. It doesn't offend me at all that you are absolutely sure that the RCC simply is the Catholic Church and everybody else schismatic and heretical, and argue from this position. But, please, don't try to disgree with us over things where we actually agree! At least get a better idea of what we do teach.

Oh, and by the way, Pope Honorius did in fact explicitly teach Christ had "one will" (though not in a letter addressed to the whole Church), and forebade both the phrases "one energy" and "two energies", one of which is orthodox. So, he pronounced at least one material heresy in an official letter to a fellow (but heretical) patriarch, designed to confirm his theological position. There are various ways of denying this contradicts Vatican I. Of course, if he was a heretic when he wrote it, it could be argued using certain uncondemned and traditional RC theological opinions that he had "un-poped" himself, and that the later conciliar condemnation was arecognition and certification of that unintended self-excommunication. I will say no more on this point lest I annoy everybody at once. :-)