Sunday, August 21, 2011

ACC Metropolitan’s Address to the Canadian Church Congress, Victoria, BC, 2011


Archbishop Haverland (pictured with the APCK's Archbishop James Provence) gave the keynote address


Address by the Most Reverend Mark Haverland
Your Grace Archbishop Provence, Your Grace Archbishop Robinson, My Lords Bishop, Venerable, Very Reverend, and Reverend Fathers, Ladies and Gentlemen.
We are not born Christian.  We are made Christian, by baptism.  I was made a Christian, the child of God and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, in an Episcopal church in Niles, Ohio, when I was three months old.  I lived within the Church of my baptism until January 1, 1977, the effective date of decisions made by the 1976 Minneapolis General Convention.  By accepting a new liturgy radically different from any historic Book of Common Prayer the Episcopal Church proved itself to be sub-Anglican.  By claiming authority to alter Holy Orders by the so-called ordination of women as priests, the Episcopal Church proved itself to be sub-Catholic.  By adopting a pro-abortion policy the Episcopal Church proved itself indifferent to the 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.  All the recent errors are merely elaborations of principles established in 1976, of which the chief error, thefons et origo, is the implicit claim that Anglicans have authority to alter doctrine and moral teaching.  Anglicans quite correctly deny that the Bishop of Rome has authority to add doctrines.  But at least the 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; and, far from limiting themselves to one per century, they seem to come up with a new enormity every year. 
In Canada, as most of you know better than I, the situation was not quite the same as in the U.S.  The Prayer Book was not abandoned in Canada so clearly or decisively as in the U.S.  General Synod’s embrace in 1975 of women’s ordination was not combined here with an all-fronts abandonment of Catholic faith, worship, and morality.  Nonetheless, for those with eyes to see – including notably Carmino de Catanzaro and Roland Palmer – 1975 was the Canadian point of no return.  
And so it was that 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 those points most in question at that time in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Church of Canada:  namely, the male character of Holy Order – all Holy Order including the diaconate; the desirability of retaining the Prayer Book liturgical tradition; and the sanctity of unborn life and the importance of traditional Christian morality in general.  These principles were enshrined in the Affirmation of Saint Louis, which my own Church in turn has wisely embedded in its formularies and Constitution. 
I believe that the importance of the Affirmation of Saint Louis cannot easily be overstated.  In recent decades the decay of our former ecclesial homes has progressed so that more and more clergy and laymen have left them, by joining non-Anglican churches, by staying at home of a Sunday, or more recently by joining one of the soi-disant Anglican bodies which I call neo-Anglican.  The largest of the neo-Anglican bodies is the Anglican Church of North America, led by Archbishop Robert Duncan.  Others include the Anglican Mission in America, ‘AMiA’.  I cannot call such groups ‘Anglican’ simpliciter because they have in various ways accepted the central error of the 1970s:  the claim to authority to alter doctrine.  But my views on the neo-Anglicans are published and are readily available, and I will not repeat them now in detail.
What I would like to do today is to consider the importance of the Affirmation by examining a phrase near its end.  In the final section of the Affirmation the claim is made that, ‘We do nothing new.’  What does this phrase mean?  In what sense is it true?  In what sense might it be misleading?
As someone brought up in the Canterbury Communion and the Episcopal Church, I can say on the basis of personal experience that some things about the Anglican Catholic Church - and I might make bold to add also some things about the Province of Christ the King and the UECNA, with which the ACC is in full communion – some things about us all are certainly different.  What is different is that within our Churches there is great 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 from Latitudinarianism into 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.  Now some people might take the assertion that ‘we do nothing new’ to be falsified by the very fact that one important strand of Anglican tradition has been excised.  We note this possibility, are not moved by it, and so may proceed.
Another important sense in which the Affirmation has done something new is in its crystal clarity concerning a number matters which could once excite debate among Anglicans and which still can excite debate among some who profess and call themselves Anglican.  Consider, for example this simple assertion:  
The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Penance and Unction of the Sick, [are] objective and effective signs of the presence and saving activity of Christ our Lord among His people and [are] His covenanted means for conveying His Grace.  
Or, again, consider this assertion:  the ‘received Tradition of the Church’ is ‘especially…defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils’.  The clear, simple, unambiguous assertion of seven Sacraments and seven Councils is different, at least in the sense that it would have met contradiction or heavy qualification in many Anglican quarters prior to the Affirmation.  But for us ‘seven and seven’ are principles and premises to be celebrated, explored, taught, applied, and elaborated, and are not propositions for debate or for equivocation.  In short, while we enjoy classical Anglican generosity concerning matters indifferent, and seek to emphasize the common deposit of the Faith rather than multiply items to impose on tender consciences, nonetheless we define the essentials more carefully than many Anglicans once did.  We do not permit every opinion once tolerated among self-described Anglicans, but rather place ourselves squarely and firmly in the center of Catholic and Orthodox Christendom.  If asserting ‘seven and seven’ is in some sense an Anglican novelty, we are, again, not concerned.  ‘Seven and seven’ unites us to the great mass of Christians, East and West, living and dead, and we are not interested in recapitulating older intramural Anglican debates on these subjects.
It is at this point that we may move on from the sense in which we are somewhat different in look and feel and so come to the sense in which our heart is not new, but rather is the same as classical Anglicanism at its best.  On this point we may return to that phrase the ‘received Tradition of the Church’.  The Affirmation does nothing new in essence because its greater clarity and renovated orthodoxy are clear implications of the classical Anglican commitment to Scripture as the source of all necessary doctrine and to patristic tradition as the essential interpretive lens through which Scripture is to be read.  The Affirmation asserts that ‘all Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae must be interpreted’ so as to be consistent with the Affirmation itself, including its assertions concerning seven Councils, seven Sacraments, the male character of Holy Orders, the three Creeds, and so forth.  That is to say, the Affirmation in effect provides, not a new body of doctrine, but rather an interpretive lens for viewing the doctrines of the Bible and of the Patristic corpus which all classical Anglicans affirm.  But where Hooker and Andrewes might speak of four Councils and tended to draw a kind of limit in the fifth century, the Affirmation effectively extends the Patristic consensus into the eighth century and the Second Council of Nicaea.  
In this broadening of the limits of the patristic era – or perhaps in this greater definition concerning those limits - the Affirmation is also itself a major ecumenical advance towards the great Churches of Rome and the East, as I have already suggested.  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 of 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 the great Catholic and Orthodox Churches.  The classical Hookerian and Anglican principles of consensus and Patristic authority are more truly understood and applied by the Affirmation than by the older Anglican Churches, which all too often embraced doctrinal ambiguity and neglected the living Catholic consensus of East and West, which consensus does certainly extend to Nicaea II.
In brief, then, insofar as the Affirmation does something new, that something is consistent with basic and classic Anglican principles.  We have an orthodoxy and catholicity that are somewhat new in their authoritative clarity, while also being quite consistent with Anglican theological method and principles.  What is new provides an answer to the distortions that were at work in the official, Canterbury Communion in the 1970s.  What is new also brings us into a deeper unity of faith with the great Churches of the East and West.  And what is new does no violence to anything truly valuable in our tradition.
As my topic is the Affirmation I would like to conclude with a brief comment on an abuse of that document currently being made by some Anglo-Papalists.  At the beginning of its final section, the Affirmation says that we ‘should actively seek’ full communion ‘with all other Apostolic and Catholic Churches, provided that agreement in the essentials of Faith and Order first be reached.’  This statement of aspiration has sophistically been read as justifying – as requiring, even - submission to Rome under the terms opened by Anglicanorum coetibus.  This reading erases the Affirmation’s reference to prior agreement in essentials.  And this reading is sophistry because nothing has changed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology or in Roman understanding of the Petrine Office, since 1977.  If James Orin Mote and Carmino de Catanzaro and Roland Palmer and Robert Sherwood Morse and those others who wrote and then approved the Affirmation could not simply become Roman Catholics in 1977, then there is no reason why they or any other person committed to the Continuing Church now should become Roman Catholic. 
The text from the Affirmation which I have just read to you does not refer particularly to Rome, but rather speaks of ‘other Apostolic and Catholic Churches’.  It refers to Churches in the plural and it refers to ‘other Apostolic and Catholic Churches’ so as clearly to assert that Continuing Anglicans now, and other Anglicans earlier, also belong to an Apostolic and Catholic Church.  But 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 plain text itself as to seem disingenuous.  And that is yet another reason for us to admire the Affirmation and to rejoice in the sound foundation it provides us all.
Thank you very much for your attention. 
+Mark Haverland


The Most Reverend Mark Haverland, Ph.D. Archbishop and Metropolitan 
Anglican Catholic Church

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just read this the other day on the ACC site, and I was confirmed in my mind why this is the best Anglican church around. I know this is not an ACC web site, but I am happily and unashamedly convinced that her vision is the finest Anglicanism has to offer, and the most robustly catholic expression in our time. May Archbishop Haverland Episcopal leadership be preserved for a long time.

Steven
ACC Layman
Church of the Holy Guardian Angels
Florida

Fr. Robert Hart said...

A comment followed the above that I had to decline. I will explain why to the person who made it:

Your comment crossed the line ("robust, if polite") by opening with "Rubbish!" and then tearing into the person who made the first comment. Your point was valid, however, as part of a discussion, and I invite you to make it again without the frontal assault on your brother in Christ.

Jack Miller said...

Having read this talk that the AB gave, I take it that the following is a good summation of the obstacles to unification with Rome. And if these issues could be rectified then Church unity could occur? Would that be a fair reading?

And this reading is sophistry because nothing has changed in Roman Catholic ecclesiology or in Roman understanding of the Petrine Office, since 1977...

... 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.


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.


I'm not sure what is included in the essentials of Faith and Order. Does the last section of the quotes summarize those essentials? Are there any other doctrinal questions that would need to be resolved? If so, then which ones?

Nice to see the two AB's together.

Thanks,
Jack

Fr. Wells said...

I am truly grateful that like Steven Augustine the ACC is my ecclesiastical home. My admiration for Abp Haverland is surely as large as Steven's. But it does the Archbishop no honor nor the ACC any credit to engage in invidious comparisons. The tragedy of our broken condition is that good bishops, clergy and parishes are easy to find in ALL segments of the Continuum, in REC and in the neo-Anglican bodies. Yes, tragic, because it seems well-nigh impossible to bring all these good people together.

Abp Haverland has said more than once that the uniqueness of the ACC lies in the fact that it has never been dominated by any one strong personality.For all its imperfections, it is simply a body of faithful people.
Perhaps God will use the ACC has an agent of unity for traditional and orthodox Anglicanism.

Anonymous said...

There is a deep wound that cuts across all the Continuing Churches that recognise the Affirmation of St Louis. It is a wound that needs excising gently and with vision, a vision that has one aim, unity of these separated brethren. However! To achieve this, it also needs Bishops to forgive each other for the separation that they have helped to perpetuate through their own ambitions.

We can praise our own individual Archbishops and Bishops as much as we like, but therein lies the cause of the Division of this part of the Church Catholic.

The ACC plays a small but important role in this process, and must allow God to work in the other jurisdictions to do the same.

I firmly believe that the vast majority of the members of each Continuing Church would welcome a unified Continumm grounded firmly in the Affirmation of St Louis. To achieve this with Gods help, first we must cleanse and heal the wound, and not being a betting man, I would say that most church going ordinary souls don't even know why there is so much confusion between us.
Please note, I am not on the attack,just tired of the division we share, that seems to go nowhere but further into the abyss.

Fr Chris

Derril said...

I second the sentiments of Steven and Fr. Chris. I rejoice that our branch of the Church has a clear vision and, in our Archbishop, someone who tirelessly voices that vision. I see him, along with his predecessor AB John-Charles, as someone who works for reunion within the Continuum and beyond - working to gently excise wounds within the Church.

Unknown said...

I'm with Fr. Christ on this one. Tooting our own horn as Steven did, only leads to more division. I've never met Archbishop Haverland. From all I hear he's a very good Bishop. However, he's not my Bishop, and probably never will be. This process of unity between the three churches will go forward, but at a slow pace. As I've heard in other quarters, there probably are a few more funerals that need to take place before full unity is achieved.

There are also slight differences in the way the three churches govern themselves. Its not as simply as just having everyone be absorbed into the ACC. In fact, that may not be desirable. The UECNA is still a low church. We use the '28 Prayer Book service exclusively. This is not so in the ACC and the APCK, who are more Anglo-Catholic. And there it is, that old tiss about polity that gets in the way always.

We have to learn to walk together apart before we can walk together as one church. Intercommunion is a wonderful first step, but its just that, the first step. I, personally, would love to be able to go into any Continuing Church, or Pseudo-Continuing church (like the church headquartered 20 miles north of me) and have communion with them. I would love to be able to call said church 20 miles north of me and ask if one of my friends there, who is currently a Deacon, can cover for me when I have to work on Sunday. But that can't happen because of politics.

We have a long way to go, but if we use the Affirmation as a unifying document, I think we will eventually achieve the unity we are seeking.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. Steve wrote:

We use the '28 Prayer Book service exclusively. This is not so in the ACC and the APCK, who are more Anglo-Catholic.

I want to clarify the facts that are summarized in that one line. The ACC and the APCK most certainly use the 1928 BCP (in the United States that is). The Anglo-Catholics in those jurisdictions add the embellishment of the Missal, yes (and we have in the ACC whole parishes that are not Anglo-Catholic). But, even then, the text of the service in the Missal is straight from the 1928 BCP, with the minor propers added, as well as optional prayers that can be added at the celebrant's discretion. Again, I must stress that if we can embellish a service with hymns, and it is still a BCP service, that this is not different in principle.

That is not to argue that the Missal needs to be used everywhere. I would never argue that. But, let us begin by understanding one another, that we are all committed to the doctrine and practice of the Book of Common Prayer tradition.

Anonymous said...

Brethren,

I carefully read the responses to my initial post, and I think the tone of my words were sorely misunderstood (due to my own lack of care, I dare say)--

I have been in the ACC for 10 years now. I have tried to follow other continuing bodies and their fight for growth and fidelity to Anglican principles. My comments were not suggesting no other continuing bodies are not faithful or in close step with us in the ACC. I meant to say that the ACC (including those who are like-minded not in the ACC) represents in my thinking the most consistent and faithful expression of authentic Anglo-Catholicism. I get it, there are those who violently reject what the ACC stands for, and call us inauthentic Anglicans -- I get all that. But my words were not meant as a put down to anyone who shares our principles. I welcome the unity among APCK and UECNA, and feel hopeful that we will gain more sacramental fellowship with other Catholic Anglicans as the years go on. It is the ACC's explicit Anglo-Catholic commitment that gives me great cause for rejoicing. That's all I meant to say.

In Jesus,
Steven
ACC Layman

Brian said...

May Archbishop Haverland Episcopal leadership be preserved for a long time.

A sevenfold amen to this! Archbishop Haverland's leadership, insight and witness would be of great benefit to the Church in any age, but it is a special blessing during these challenging times.

Anonymous said...

OK, the first comment may, perhaps, not be "rubbish" as it is a closely held position by the author. It is not the author here, it is the position. Concepts which expouse superiority (nee the One "Two True Churches") and fly in the face of Christian charity, belong in the circular file of approbation. There are those of us who are just as "true" to the faith as those within the first author's selected preference and it is our unity which all should seek. Thank you Fr, Wells + for your, more gracious, comments.

Verumi

AFS1970 said...

Anyone who did not say the church they were going too was the best would worry me just a bit. I however did not take Steven's words to be any sort of challenge or disrespect for any other church. I am happy for you that you have found a good home. May we all be so fortunate.

As for the BCP vs Misal, without rehashing that long debate, I think the point was that the UECNA uses it exclusively, which the ACC & APCK use it but not exclusively. This was simply one example where accommodation will need to be reached before any actual merger could take place. The most sensible would be for the UECNA to agree that the others could still augment by missal use as they see fit.

No problem is impossible to solve, yet there are some that will be easier to solve than others. Just wait until unity extends to the wider continuum, because more players on the team will bring up more issues.

Relationships are already interwoven to the point that we are more like a family pretzel than a family tree. However I for one would rather have a pretzel on my table than a tree, so I think we are closer to a good place than a bad place in regards to overall unity.

Brian said...

Perhaps "Verumi" needs a brisk walk and some fresh air. Petulance hardly advances the discussion.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Brian:

Verumi has toned down his remark, enough to make a point we could notice over the tone.

I might as well say that I chose to enter the ACC after years in the Continuing Church. Archbishop Haverland's leadership was one very important reason why. He represents the next generation of bishops, the ones who will help us achieve unity, who have no personal axes to grind, no personal ambition to satisfy. Also, I know both Archbishop Provence and Archbishop Robinson. I believe we have every reason to hope for the best, especially now that the ACA and other TAC churches are not promoting Roman fever.

Canon Tallis said...

Again, and thankfully as usual, Fathers Hart and Wells have added glory and charity to the Continuum both by what they have written and how they have written it. I thank God for what they are doing and how they are doing it every day.

Like, I believe, most others, I dream of the day when the whole of the Continuum will be one if for no other reason that it will make our evangelism that much more effective, but I believe that will only come when certain among us cease being so ashamed of Anglicanism. They may not realize that such is how they come across to others and I know that they do not mean to offend, but it has happened and will continue to happen as long as they are intend on getting their way at the expense of unity. But that was predictable from the beginning from both the personalities and attitudes bishops Mote and Morse.

I am glad Steven Augustine is happy with his parish, but the raw joy with which certain priests and bishops of the ACC express when they manage to drive away more prayer book minded Anglicans from their parishes when there were no other continuum parishes in the area. It disgraces all of us and I wish we could all put such behavior permanently behind us.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Let me say in defense of Bp. Mote, that although I object to partisan Anglo-Catholicism, he is remembered as a man of personal sanctity and charity. And, Abp. Morse had a ministry most people know nothing about; I speak of his personal evangelism as a chaplain at the University of California, Berkeley.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart, For the sake of the Continuum as a whole I have no desire to hang the bloody sheets in public, but I knew both personally - and not only them but those around them whom they used to create the ACC and the APCK. I also understand the desire of all of us to wrap our founders with the aura of something resembling sainthood. That may have been possible in earlier generations, but it is a great deal more chancy in times such as ours. There were issues on which both of these men were certainly and without question on the right side and there well may have been no Continuum without them and their efforts.

But on the other hand future historians may have access to documents and other things which are certainly going to greatly embarrass Anglicans. We just may be forced to face the fact that save for their personal ambitions and other failings the Continuum might well have remained united with the result that it would probably be twice or three times the size and much more capable of extended and continuous growth.

The real heroes of the Continuum are the bishops and priests who have had to pick up the pieces and repair the damage created by their personal rivalry and animosity. Those of us who love classical Anglicanism who range from Steve to Verumi need to face that until we stop playing Church and get much more serious about the "doctrine, discipline and worship . . ."of the English Reformation and the traditional, classical, orthodox prayer books or for all our efforts we may not be leaving it to descendents and theirs.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Archbishop Haverland has sent me this via email:

"James Orin Mote built a Continuing Church parish of over 300 members, with Monday through Saturday Mass attendance averaging over 200 (that's 200 NOT including Sundays). The sick and the shut-in in the parish received Holy Communion as often as was their custom when well. That is, if a parishioner attended Mass once a week when well, he was brought HC once a week when shut-in. If he attended a daily Mass when well, he was brought HC daily. The level of pastoral care was unrivalled, and I do not know of a larger or more flourishing Continuing Church parish.

"Moreover, Bishop Mote's work with the pro-life movement, including several incarcerations, brought his name before a national audience. I still meet people who never have heard of the Continuing Church but he speak of Bishop Mote with warm admiration. He was a man of heroic virtue and sanctity.

"The notion that Bishop Mote was personally ambitious was absurd. He was Acting Metropolitan of the ACC two or three times, and always with great relief receded into the background as soon as he could. He did not like being a bishop, and would gladly have remained what he always was at heart: a brilliant parish priest.

"Bishop Mote also was a firm and convinced Anglican Catholic. He often said he could never be a Roman Catholic, because of the Roman Church's multiplication of non-Biblical dogmas."
*****

Archbishop Haverland's testimony above is consistent with everything else I have heard.

When I hear from the people who knew him, I get the picture of a man who is remembered not with a desire to make a saint of a founder. I run into something more personal, individual memories of a man who actually struck them as a saint.

I have no trouble believing the accuracy of their personal memories at all, while at the same time believing firmly that we ought to be about the work of preserving and teaching the "'doctrine, discipline and worship . . .' of the English Reformation and the traditional, classical, orthodox prayer books." I don't see that as a self-contradiction.