Friday, June 03, 2011


Three from Virtue Online: 
Submitted by David W. Virtue in Victoria, BC 
June 2, 2011

While respecting the orthodoxy, validity, and independence of every Anglican ecclesial jurisdiction, full and visible communion should exist between all Anglican Christians who uphold and maintain the following Twelve Articles.

1. The Divine Inspiration and inerrancy of the canonical Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and their supreme, final and binding authority in all matters of faith and morals;

2. The sufficiency of the three Creeds as the symbols of the Catholic religion;

3. The authority of the Dogmatic Definitions of the undisputed Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church as the true expression of the orthodox Christian faith;

4. The necessity of the two sacraments of the Gospel: Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist;

5. The truth of the Doctrines of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist;

6. The Divine institution and Apostolic foundation of the Five Sacraments of the Christian Life: Confirmation, Penance, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Holy Unction;

7. The Divine institution and Apostolic foundation of the Three-fold sacred Ministry of the Orders of Bishop, Priest, and deacon, and the Apostolic Succession;

8. The necessity of restricting the conferral of the Three Orders of the sacred Ministry to men;

9. The sanctity of human life, Christian marriage, and the family;

10. The expectation of the Lord's Second Coming and the establishing of His kingdom;

11. The acceptance of the 1769 Standard Text of the 1611 Authorized Version of the Holy Bible as the official Anglican translation of the Holy Scriptures;

12. The acceptance of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England as the foundation of the Anglican liturgy.

VICTORIA, BC: Anglo-Catholic Leader Rejects Papal Ordinariate Offer 
Anglicanorum coetibus means the end of being Anglican, says ACA Presiding Bishop
By David W. Virtue in Victoria, BC
 June 1, 2011

If traditionalist Anglicans accept Rome's offer of the Anglican coetibus in order to enter the Roman Catholic Church, they will cease to be Anglican. "The way is open for all who seek that path. There are no barriers. It would be more honest for those so inclined to simply walk into the nearest Roman Catholic Church and begin a process of conversion," said the Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America.

Addressing the Congress of Traditionalist Anglicans meeting here, Marsh stated that for Anglicans the path is clear. "We are Anglican because God has called us to this place. While we certainly pray for the unity of God's church, (see John 17), true unity is spiritual not political. "God's people are truly unified when they can affirm, as Jesus did, that God the Father and Jesus are one. That is all He asked. No less a theologian than Richard Hooker wrote that God's church is one when all affirm that God the Father and God the Son are indeed one. That is unity. That is unity with an Anglican emphasis. That is unity with a Christian emphasis.

"Where then is the gift of Anglicanorum coetibus? It is here. It means a 'group of Anglicans' or 'a gathering of Anglicans.' Well here we are. We have come together to celebrate our particular journey as the Anglican Continuum. We are bound together in a common heritage. We are bound by a fierce devotion to Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer. It is our way and God has called us here.

"Our history has included many attempts to draw us all together. There have been trial mergers, inter-communion arrangements and schemes of absorption that fill our improbable story. There has been a fair amount of sheep stealing and empire building. The cast of characters has included the saintly prelate and the thief, the godly bishop and the criminal. What a story. One wonders how we could have possibly survived thirty-five years. God has allowed it to happen."

Apostolic Constitution

Marsh explained that traditionalist Anglicans might have gone their merry way except for the gift of the Anglicanorum Coetibus that arrived 18 months ago. "It has been called a great gift. And it is. It is a great gift to the Anglican world because it has asked us to look at ourselves and to decide, with God's help, whether we are truly Anglican or not. Anglicanorum coetibus has demanded that we consider whether the Anglican world is worth preserving - or whether it might be better folded into the welcoming arms of the Roman Catholic Church. Which will it be? What makes us Anglican? Can we define Anglicanism with the Scholastic specificity that might define the Roman Catholic Church? Search as we might, it is simply not there. We are not a confessional faith. We resist being pinned down, wriggling on a wall. We like the mysteries that exist in the theological cracks; the mysteries of which only God knows the answers. There is no ready formula; Anglicanism is not an 'easy' branch of Christianity."

Marsh noted that Anglicanism does have a guideline. "Scripture is primary. Then we would add the Creeds and we accept the old saw of 'Scripture, Traditional and Reason' that is part of it. The Book of Common Prayer is a better guide still. It is saturated with Scripture. Thomas Cranmer saw to that. As E.W. Benson, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in 1890: "Read your Bible and your Prayer Book. We are convinced that our Prayer Book is the true interpreter of Holy Scripture."

Anglican theologian, Henry R. McAdoo added, "In other words, liturgy with its declared doctrinal content is part of the air breathed by the worshipping and serving community" of Anglicans.

"As Continuing Anglicans we also have the Affirmation of St. Louis and we have the Articles of Religion. We could add more documents such as Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral which attempted to define (however broadly) the essence of Anglicanism." Marsh believes Anglicanism cannot be pinned down with Scholastic particularity. "It is elusive. It is a little like jazz. The Anglican way - the way of our hearts and minds - leads us to God; gently, often mysteriously, and for those who pick up the mantle of true Anglicanism - fiercely and relentlessly. God has called us to be Anglicans."

Traditional Anglican Communion

The Presiding Bishop said the 2007 Portsmouth, England, meeting of the Traditional Anglican Communion (of which the ACA is the American branch) known as the "Portsmouth Petition" -- petitioning corporate union with the Holy See -- is misunderstood.

Marsh stated that several statements in the petition for inter-communion would have meant full, visible communion with absorption.

"There was that oft-quoted statement about the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church being the most complete statement of Catholic faith and that 'we aspire to teach it.' Aspiring to teach something does not mean that it is embraced fully and completely.

"Several months after Anglicanorum coetibus was published, many of us received a form letter from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Those of us who received that letter also received official copies of The Apostolic constitution as well as the Complementary Norms and an additional commentary. These documents were regarded as a 'definitive' response by the Holy See. This definitive response referenced the catechism as the central document around which reunion with Rome could come to pass. There was no mention of Scripture, the Book of Common Prayer or other Anglican documents. The way and manner of Anglicanism was ignored, misunderstood or misrepresented by those who drafted these documents," continued Marsh.

"We are Anglicans and our path is very clear."

Marsh acknowledged that there might be a dozen Continuing Anglican jurisdictions that exist in separation and in limited contact with each other. "Are they dry bones in the valley, scattered and alone? Shall these dry bones live? Only God Knows. The scattered tribes of Israel also lived in isolation. They too existed without mutual cooperation. The question Ezekiel asked is as pertinent today as it was when it was written - can we pull together? Can we share our gifts? Can we help each other? It is only through love that we recognize, offer and receive our mutual gifts. Can these bones live?"

VICTORIA, BC: Anglican Catholic Church Re-affirms 1977 Affirmation of St Louis
Anglican leader rips TEC for being "sub-Anglican" and "sub-Catholic"

By David W. Virtue in Victoria, BC
June 2, 2011

The Metropolitan of the Anglican Catholic Church, the Most Rev. Mark Haverland ripped the Episcopal Church (TEC) at a Congress of Traditional Anglicans. He argued that by accepting a new liturgy, radically different from any historic Book of Common Prayer, TEC has proved to be sub-Anglican. They have done so by claiming to have the authority to alter Holy Orders by the so-called ordination of women as priests. By adopting a pro-abortion policy, the Episcopal Church has proved to be indifferent to natural law and to the lives of helpless unborn children.

"From this bundle of erroneous decisions flows everything that has since happened in the Episcopal Church," stated the Continuing Church leader.

"All the recent errors are merely elaborations of principles established in 1976, of which the chief error is the implicit claim that Anglicans have authority to alter doctrine and moral teaching," he said.

Anglicans quite correctly deny that the Bishop of Rome has the authority to add doctrines, but at least popes confine themselves to defining new developments of doctrine at the rate of about one per century. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church do not merely add new doctrines, but also change existing ones. Far from limiting themselves to one per century, they come up with a new enormity every year according to Haverland.

"In 1977 both Canadian and U.S. Churchmen gathered in St. Louis in a great Congress to affirm orthodox Anglican faith and practice, with particular emphasis on the male character of Holy Orders - all Holy Order including the diaconate; the desirability of retaining the Prayer Book liturgical tradition; and the sanctity of unborn life and traditional Christian morality." Haverland indicated that his own church has enshrined these principles in its formularies and constitution.

Haverland said the chaos that has ensued over the decades has led to a decay of our former ecclesial homes and that more and more clergy and laymen have left by joining non-Anglican churches, by staying at home on Sunday or, more recently by joining one of the soi-distant Anglican Anglican bodies.

"The importance of the Affirmation is in the final section which claims that, 'We do nothing new.' It means we have doctrinal seriousness and there is no tolerance for the rejection of basic creedal orthodoxy. We have no party inclined towards what in Anglican history developed Latitudinarianism in Church deism, Modernism and then the various theological pathologies of recent decades. To put the difference briefly, the 'Broad and Hazy' party has been excluded from the Affirmation churches. The Affirmation explicitly embraces Councils which Rome and the Orthodox also enthusiastically and explicitly accept as part of 'the received Tradition of the Church'. In a sense the Affirmation may extend and clarify the content of the received Tradition, but it does so in a way that is entirely consistent with Anglican principles and with the living consensus of all great Catholic and Orthodox Churches."


"Anyone who joins an Ordinariate under Anglicanorum coetibus must consent to the Roman position that Anglican orders are invalid, that our Episcopal sacraments are null, and that we are not and never have been an Apostolic and Catholic Church. While not requiring any admission of subjective fault, Rome does require all Anglican converts to accept that objectively they have belonged to a schismatic and defective 'ecclesial body'.

"The Affirmation text does not require conversion to Rome because there has been no movement by Rome towards agreement with us in the essentials of Faith and Order. In fact the Affirmation also necessarily implies that no submission to Rome is permissible until Rome alters its rejection of our orders and of the fullness of our apostolicity and catholicity. The attempt to convert the text of the thoroughly Anglican and non-papalist Affirmation into justification for the current batch of Anglo-Papalist conversions is so misleading and so contrary to the pain text itself as to seem disingenuous. That is yet another reason for us to admire the Affirmation and to rejoice in the sound foundation it provides for us all."

Haverland said his church the Anglican Catholic Church and the Province of Christ the King and the UECNA are in full communion, while acknowledging that some things about us all are certainly very different



Timothy said...

Fr. Hart: Could you comment on the omission or even a reference to the 39 articles in this statement?

Fr. Steve said...

I asked it on Virtue Online, and I'll ask it here. Why are the 39 Articles absent from that list? Why are they absent from the discussions?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

How can the Articles can be considered absent wherever we find a clear affirmation of the Book of Common Prayer?

George said...

This is good stuff. I am glad to hear that much of the Continuum is talking unity and inter-communion in real terms, but they are not rushing things.

Daniel Stoddart said...

While much of this is fine and acceptable to me, #6 isn't something I can get behind at all, as claiming that confirmation, penance, and unction are of "Apostolic foundation" is quite overreaching since they are medieval developments.

Fr. Steve said...

Fr. Hart,

Its because so many simply ignore them or write them off. They should be included because to be a Priest, one of the things you promise is adhere to them.

I do think its nice that they go back to the 1662 BCP, instead of just to the 1928 American BCP.

Fr.James Chantler said...

I encourage you to visit The Prayer Book Society Of Canada web site.Look for The Solemn Declaration Of 1893 in the prefix and recall the status of the BCP Canada 1962 for Continuing Churchmen as defined in the Affirmation Of St.Louis.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


While much of this is fine and acceptable to me, #6 isn't something I can get behind at all, as claiming that confirmation, penance, and unction are of "Apostolic foundation" is quite overreaching since they are medieval developments.

Medieval developments my left hind leg! You seem to know neither the Scriptures nor Church History.

Confirmation is from the Book of Acts. Penance is simply the key word for confession and absolution (John 20:23). "Unction" or anointing is from the Epistle of James-5:14f.

That the Church has always so interpreted Scripture and so practiced is proved by the writings of the Fathers in the earliest centuries.

AFS1970 said...

Glad to see these posted here also. I will repeat my comments from VOL:

This is a good basis, however I wonder why #7 & #8 need to be different points? I would think that they are really the same thing, and by separating them, it seems to allow future innovation by changing one while keeping the other.

#11, I think is interesting because of the recent discussion about the new prayer book being tested in the REC. It uses a newer translation of the Bible, which would seem to exclude the REC from eventual unity. Granted that goes beyond the scope of unifying the continuing churches, but it is food for thought, especially when compared to #12.

#12 seems almost the opposite, in that it allows for too much wiggle room. While the Affirmation is very strict in listing the 1928 & 1962 books as the only books, this seems to allow anything as long as it has roots in the 1662 book. I bet that someone intent on making such claims could even say that the 1979 TEC book uses 1662 as it's foundation.

Daniel Stoddart said...

I'm afraid my comment was in the context of the aforementioned 12 articles put forth by this Congress you copied above. I'm also aware-- very aware-- of the biblical data here. I mention this because what this article is driving at is something more than mere anointing with oil and prayer e.g. James 5:14ff. What they want is to make Extreme Unction a part of their platform, no?

I also find it rather odd to blame the omission of the Articles on the assumption that they are part of the BCP. Although the Articles are certainly *bound* with the Prayer Book, I don't think I buy that line of reasoning, since what the Congress is doing here is outlining principles of communion.

I agree with the above commenters that without the Articles, this platform is a total show stopper.

Fr. Wells said...

Perhaps I am reading too hastily and overlooking information already furnished, but we need a little more context for the "Manifesto" of twelve points. This document was plainly written by someone (or maybe even a committee) skilled in theology and precise expression. But who wrote it, who has subscribed to it, and what is its intended purpose?

I was delighted to see the word "inerrancy" in the first point, relating to Scripture. "Divine institution and Apostolic foundation" of the five minor sacraments should present no difficulty to those who understand the Spirit's role in the Apostolic Church. I wish "sanctity of human life" had been spelled out "from the moment of conception until natural death." "Establishing of His kingdom" really should be "manifestation of His kingdom," since the kingdom was established firmly at Our Lord's ascenson. (We are not premillenialists, are we?) I am glad to see 1662 BCP mentioned, but I wish 1547 and 1637 were mentioned also.

But it's a good document and I hope all present at the Canada meeting subscribed to it cheerfully.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Wycliff wrote:

What they want is to make Extreme Unction a part of their platform, no?

No. The answer, as you say, is no. That particular "corrupt following of the Apostles" is not consistent with our practice of anointing the sick for healing.

Although the Articles are certainly *bound* with the Prayer Book, I don't think I buy that line of reasoning...

More than that. They are in the Table of Contents, which may sound technical; but only the contents of the book can be in the table thereof. It is more than mere reasoning. It is a simple matter of fact.

AFS1970 wrote:

While the Affirmation is very strict in listing the 1928 & 1962 books as the only books...

I cannot agree with that. These two were the only books mentioned in the Affirmation of St, Louis in 1977 for one very basic and simple reason. The St. Louis Congress was a gathering of American Episcopalians and Canadian Anglicans. They hoped that the Church of England would not succumb to the same illness. Can we doubt for one minute that, if the C of E or the C of Australia, was faced with women "priests" in 1977, we would not had English and Australian Anglicans there as well, and that the 1662 would not have been likewise identified and Affirmed?

...this seems to allow anything as long as it has roots in the 1662 book...

I cannot understand the objection. No doubt the 79ers saw their book as Biblical. Some of the people who made it were Reformed and Evangelical. They were not all "liberals." Nonetheless, the 1662 BCP is sound and orthodox; it was the triumph of the Caroline Divines over the Puritans once and for all (which is why modern Anglo-Catholics amaze me when they fail to see that).

But, even the claim to be Biblical creates "wiggle room." Anything can be misinterpreted and misused. I believe that acknowledgement of the 1662 BCP as an international standard is a step forward that makes up for a deficiency in the Affirmation of St. Louis.

AFS1970 said...

I must agree with Fr. Wells in that we do not know enough about the source of this standard. All we really have to go on is that it was posted on VOL as part of their coverage of his meeting, but there is no authorship listed. Still it is a good start.

I can see how not listing the 1662 BCP may have been a minor problem with the Affirmation, but an understandable one considering that the proposal that would become the 1979 book was a major issue at the time. That being said, in order to subscribe to these 12 statements the affirmation churches would need to alter the affirmation and in some cases their canons. Not impossible but certainly not automatic.

However my main problem is not in allowing older BCP's. It is still in saying that anything with a foundation in those older books is allowed. Being that the 1979 book is a major point for the St. Louis churches and those descended from them any basis for inter-communion that allows it would seem to be a deal breaker to me. I think this will lead to only a small number of continuing churches being able to adopt this standard. Getting together a small amount of Anglicans is clearly not the goal here.

charles said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

Frere says the Title Page provides the official content of the BCP. The 1928, for example says, "the book of common prayer and administration of the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies of the church according to the use of PECUSA together with the psalter". That is the BCP proper. Whatever is attached inside is basically ancillary. Thus, the status of the 39 Articles, if not for synodal approval in 1801, would be much like the table of affinities in the 1662.

This is why I am always suspicious of folks who affirm the BCP but in the same breath omit the Articles of Religion. If it was so obvious that the BCP necessarily includes the 39, then why did the historical form of subscription to Anglican standards treat the two separately? A: because the 39 was not a formal part of the prayer book.

I understand your argument for canonical endorsement of the Reformation Settlement stands upon reception through the BCP as normative, but I believe it is not necessarily so, and must be clarified by either provincial or diocesan canons. I would urge this clarification by our bishops, formally adopting declarations like the 1893. I think the 12 articles listed above is a great start, and such requires no endorsement by national synod. This kind of sub-standard can exist as a clarification of the St. Louis Affirmation (where needed) on the diocese as basic unit of the church. Bishops have always had this freedom to clarify, btw, 'asterisk' or otherwise.

Sincerely, Charles

Fr. Wells said...

It is like butting one's head against a stone wall to continue trying to convince certain people that the Articles of Religion are really and truly a part of our 1928 Book of Common Prayer. But I will simply cite page 601 in Dr Massey Shepherd's "Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary." He wrote:

"Inasmuch as the Articles are but one part of the Prayer Book, it is important to remember that the doctrine of the Anglican communion is enshrined in the Prayer Book as a whole."

Fr.James A. Chantler said...

(from the BCP Canada 1962)


IN the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

WE, the Bishops, together with the Delegates from the Clergy and Laity of the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada, now assembled in the first General Synod, hereby make the following Solemn Declaration:

WE declare this Church to be, and desire that it shall continue, in full communion with the Church of England throughout the world, as an integral portion of the One Body of Christ composed of Churches which, united under the One Divine Head and in the fellowship of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, hold the One Faith revealed in Holy Writ, and defined in the Creeds as maintained by the undivided primitive Church in the undisputed Ecumenical Councils; receive the same Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as containing all things necessary to salvation; teach the same Word of God; partake of the same Divinely ordained Sacraments, through the ministry of the same Apostolic Orders; and worship One God and Father through the same Lord Jesus Christ, by the same Holy and Divine Spirit who is given to them that believe to guide them into all truth.

And we are determined by the help of God to hold and maintain the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded in his Holy Word, and as the Church of England hath received and set forth the same in 'The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the Church of England; together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches; and the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons'; and in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion; and to transmit the same unimpaired to our posterity.

Fr.James A. Chantler said...


(from the Affirmation of St.Louis)


Prayer Book -- The Standard of Worship

In the continuing Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer is (and remains) one work in two editions: The Canadian Book of 1962 and the American Book of 1928. Each is fully and equally authoritative. No other standard for worship exists.

Certain Variances Permitted

For liturgical use, only the Book of Common Prayer and service books conforming to and incorporating it shall be used

charles said...

"We are not a confessional faith. We resist being pinned down, wriggling on a wall. We like the mysteries that exist in the theological cracks; the mysteries of which only God knows the answers. There is no ready formula; Anglicanism is not an 'easy' branch of Christianity"

I have to ask what was the subscription of Elizabeth, James, and Charles I? Without subscription declaring 'norms' in the church, I wonder what would have become of Anglicanism during our formative/ restorative years, properly understood as the Settlement? Just a quick reminder, here's the 1584 Three Articles, also ratified in 1604. Yes, Anglicanism does have a 'jazz' but within certain boundaries that daresay are more narrow than just Western Creed. It seems like in all quarters we are still struggling with the "broad and hazy", at least, if we take Bp. Marsh's remarks seriously. The Twelve Articles and the apparent call of ACA clergy for greater visible unity is very positive, and I hope further elaborated upon at Boston. Thank you Fr. Hart for getting the Victoria Congress to us.

BTW. Why don't you link the 1893 Solemn Declaration on the top of your blog in your pages/home section (alongside the Layman's Guide)?

Fr. Robert Hart said...


As I understand the words, "We are not a confessional faith," Bp. Marsh is reminding us that Anglicanism is not built simply on some written statement by a few men in one time and one place (e.g. The Westminster Confession). I would not bother to make the same remark because, when given due consideration, no church body claims to be built on a single Confession. It tends to become a straw man argument.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the point that Bp. Marsh was making. It is that Anglicanism is not built on what a few men, not even the English Reformers, put together; it is built on the Whole Faith of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. Whereas all reformers intended to do this, Anglicanism alone retained all the essentials.

Fr. Wells said...

As I read Bp Marsh's statement "We are not a confessional Church....." I believe he is contrasting our distinctive theological method with that of Rome, which has written down almost everything in a massive Catechism (a splendid scholarly achievement, by the way). The same thing has been said many times to draw out our differences with the Lutheran and Reformed Churches, which put great stock on their own excellent Confessions and Catechisms.

(We are entitled to disagree with the theologies contained in the Roman or Lutheran or Reformed documents. But we cannot deny their clarity, precision, or thoroughness. Even when they are wrong, they are wrong in a splendid manner. So I take envious delight in the CCC, the Book of Concord and the Three Forms of Unity.)

I wish someone would research and write a history of how Anglicans have looked upon our Articles of Religion. This has ranged from the billy-club use of Abp Whitgift to the disdain of Bishop Seabury to the contempt of modern Anglo-catholics and Revisionists to the unrealistic desire in some quarters to revive the Articles as a Presbyterian-type Confessional test.

All that being said, I must confess my own uneasiness with Bp Marsh's statement. Yes, we are not a Confessional Church. But neither are the Baptists, the Society of Friends or the Unitarians. So wherein are we different from Baptists, Quakers and Unitarians? The statement "we are not a confessional Church" carries an obligation to say just what sort of Church we actually are are and where can an inquiring mind uncover the boundary between what is Anglican doctrine and what is not.

charles said...

Fr. Wells and Hart,

The APA has a solemn declaration very much the same as the 1893 Canadian but adapted to American circumstances. It is part of the APA's C&C, but differs from the earlier Solemn Declaration, naturally, by maintaining the 1801 Articles along with "the spirit of the Affirmation of St. Louis 1977". It's a great model of the rest of the Continuum, I believe, perhaps for the future. We'll see if the upcoming Boston conference desires any clarifications along these lines, 12 Articles or otherwise, etc.

Sincerely, Charles

Anonymous said...

This seems like the right place, among such theologically-gifted-trained-minded Anglicans, to set this down: []

Seems like the St. Louis and the Victoria meetings were both also trying to state exactly is Traditional Anglican Patrimony and theology and to define its absolutes or essentials.

Do you agree with any part of Mr. Jordan's criteria?