March 23, 2017

January 15, 2011


ArchBishop Nichols’ (RC) Sermon at the Ordinariate ordinations - “Obedience to the Truth”

We reported briefly on the making as deacons of the three bishops who have transferred from the Church of England to the new Ordinariate set up by Benedict XVI (the Pope). Yesterday (Saturday) the three men were priested at a rather larger ceremony at Westminster Cathedral where ArchBishop Nichols preached the sermon, reflecting on the path taken more than 100 years prior by Newman.

It's pretty standard fare and will raise the hackles of many a protestant. But the last paragraph is particularly interesting because it serves to highlight how far from the Anglicanism of the 1662 and the 39 Articles Rome really is, and how far therefore these men have travelled from their original ordination vows.

The first to witness these wounds, the first, perhaps, to grasp their true significance, was Mary, Mother of Jesus. Standing at the foot of the cross she witnessed the inflicting of those wounds. Holding his dead body she must have been marked by the blood shed from them. Now she looks down on our new priests from the other side of this Cathedral crucifix above me. Mary always holds before us her Son, presenting him to us as our hope and salvation. Nowhere does she do so with more grace and elegance than in the image of Our Lady of Walsingham. As this Ordinariate, her Ordinariate, comes into being so may we entrust to her the work of bringing it to fulfilment.

Our Lady of Walsingham: pray for us.
Blessed John Henry Newman: pray for us.

Amen.

Now again, let's not act all surprised and shocked if we're protestants - this is all regular Roman Catholic material (and, of course, is far less of an issue for Anglicans in TEC where the 39 Articles are received as historical documents, not subscribed to as doctrine). But it is interesting that the very closing paragraph of a commissioning sermon ends up with Mariology and the benefits of superoragation which the saints may provide, which the Articles specifically proscribe,

 

Article XXII

Of Purgatory

The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

Now again, it's not like we're picking a new fight here. I for one am really grateful for the clarification all of this brings. Nichols himself provides helpful commentary earlier in the sermon as he draws upon words written by Benedict,

At Lambeth Palace, in September, Pope Benedict said: ‘In the figure of John Henry Newman we celebrate a churchman whose ecclesial vision was nurtured by his Anglican background and matured during his many years of ordained ministry in the Church of England. He can teach us the virtues that ecumenism demands: on the one hand, he was moved to follow his conscience, even at great personal cost; and on the other hand, the warmth of his continued friendship with his former colleagues led him to explore with them, in a truly eirenical spirit, the questions on which they differed, driven by a deep longing for unity in faith.’ (Lambeth Palace, 18 September 2010)

Then, speaking in Rome on 20 December, Pope Benedict reflected further on Cardinal Newman. He spoke these words. They are of relevance and hope for today:

‘The path of Newman’s conversions is a path of conscience – not a path of self-asserting subjectivity but, on the contrary, a path of obedience to the truth that was gradually opening up to him. His third conversion, to Catholicism, required him to give up almost everything that was dear and precious to him: possessions, profession, academic rank, family ties and many friends. The sacrifice demanded of him by obedience to the truth, by his conscience, went further still. Newman had always been aware of having a mission for England. But in the Catholic theology of his time, his voice could hardly make itself heard…

In January 1863 he wrote in his diary these distressing words: “As a Protestant, I felt my religion dreary, but not my life ‐ but, as a Catholic, my life dreary, not my religion”. He had not yet arrived at the hour when he would be an influential figure. In the humility and darkness of obedience, he had to wait until his message was taken up and understood. In support of the claim that Newman’s concept of conscience matched the modern subjective understanding, people often quote a letter in which he said – should he have to propose a toast – that he would drink first to conscience and then to the Pope. But in this statement, “conscience” does not signify the ultimately binding quality of subjective intuition. It is an expression of the accessibility and the binding force of truth: on this its primacy is based. The second toast can be dedicated to the Pope because it is his task to demand obedience to the truth.’ (December 20, 2010)

Newman, of course, is the archetype for the Ordinariate. That much is clear to everyone. His conversion was certainly one of integrity and good conscience and one that the Pope rightly notes meant a firm cut from the past. It was one "demanded of him by obedience to the truth" and we should make no mistake in recognising that the RC church is here claiming that Newman moved to the truth from what (by implication) was the relative untruth of Anglicanism. Rome, for Newman, was true in a way that Canterbury never could be and his conscience, bound further by the authority of the Pope himself, sealed this conviction concerning what the truth was.

And so the three former bishops, as did Newman before them, have moved to a place where the truth is very different. It is a place where sermons end not with Christ alone but with the invocation to saints. it is a place where Christ's sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass.

Of course, I believe they have made a terrible mistake (my readers won't be surprised by that one - I would go so far as to say it is a move that denies the Scriptural gospel), but we must remember it is a move made in good conscience and a degree of integrity that I am increasingly convinced it is difficult for such firm "Catholics" to hold while remaining in the Church of England. Finally, we also trust that our continuing conversation with them will maintain the same " warmth of continued friendship ... a truly eirenical spirit" that Benedict notes that Newman strove to maintain - not denying our clear differences but seeking to be gracious despite them.

 


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186 comments

Still trotting out the anti Catholic tripe I see. You don’t make Calvinist Anglicanism look very attractive Mr. Ould.

[1] Posted by via orthodoxy on 1-15-2011 at 10:55 PM · [top]

You know, it’s not “anti” Catholic to disagree with Roman Catholicism, it’s simply that we all hold different positions on this.
It’s not “tripe”, either, unless you’re dismissing as “tripe” the position held officially by the Church of England, Australia and countless other Anglican bodies around the world.
On the other hand, being clear about our differences without having to resort to words and sentiments like “tripe” is exactly the sort of virtue that Benedict, through Nichols, is holding out to all of us, whether Roman or Protestant - that was the thrust of this post and I’m somewhat dismayed that in your rush to criticise you failed to spot (read) it.

[2] Posted by David Ould on 1-15-2011 at 11:04 PM · [top]

RE: “anti Catholic tripe . . . “

Woah.

I’m not a Calvinist and I see nothing “anti Catholic” here—unless you mean “David doesn’t agree with various doctrines and dogmas of Rome and acknowledges such publicly.”

And if *that’s* “anti Catholic” then most Anglicans are.

When I read the above essay I see things stated that are pretty standard.  His central thesis is pretty unarguable: the sermon highlighs “how far from the Anglicanism of the 1662 and the 39 Articles Rome really is, and how far therefore these men have travelled from their original ordination vows.”

Yup—that’s true.  I expect Roman Catholics would *agree* with the above statement, would they not?

He then commends the integrity of those who have indeed travelled far from their original ordination vows for their moving to a church with whose doctrines and dogmas they can agree.

[3] Posted by Sarah on 1-15-2011 at 11:08 PM · [top]

[1] via orthodoxy

Still trotting out the anti Catholic tripe I see.

Could you please point out the ‘anti-Catholic tripe’ to me.  I examined the post diligently, but I must have missed it. 

carl

[4] Posted by carl on 1-15-2011 at 11:08 PM · [top]

I would point to CCC 1364 where it states the Holy Eucharist is where “the sacrifice of Christ made once and for all on the cross remains ever present.”  It is not the Catholic Church’s doctrine that “Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass” as you state.  It may seem like a fine point, but I think it’s quite important.

I will give you credit for not claiming that they worship the BVM.  I often wonder why if we’re surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses that somehow it’s so objectionable to ask for their prayers?

[5] Posted by Bill2 on 1-15-2011 at 11:36 PM · [top]

When I saw - (sic)  “it is a place where Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass.” it annoyed me. When I read the final paragraph and saw Catholics in italics I found it annoying. I consider the entire piece smarmy tripe. But that is only my opinion I suppose. I do think Mr. Ould should reflect more before he writes of things he knows little about.

[6] Posted by via orthodoxy on 1-15-2011 at 11:48 PM · [top]

[5] Bill2

I would point to CCC 1364 where it states the Holy Eucharist is where “the sacrifice of Christ made once and for all on the cross remains ever present.”  It is not the Catholic Church’s doctrine that “Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass” as you state.

I am failing to see a difference between what you say and the very orthodox Roman Catholic description of the Mass presented below.  Perhaps you could explain it to me?

When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.

Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of mannot once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priests command.
   
Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vice-gerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ: he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary.  No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another Christ.

Rev James O’Brien   Faith of Millions

  The Mass is re-presentation of the sacrifice at Calvary.  How is this different from offering it over and over and over again?

carl

[7] Posted by carl on 1-15-2011 at 11:55 PM · [top]

RE: “it annoyed me . . . ”  . . . “I found it annoying.”

Okay - -so we’ve established that it annoys you when people don’t believe RC doctrine and dogma and say it out loud.

???!!!???

So are you saying that Rome is really not that far at all from “the Anglicanism of the 1662 and the 39 Articles” [in which case a whole bunch of folks on both sides from that time will certainly wish someone had told them] or that the folks who have very appropriately converted to Rome have not really travelled all that far “from their original ordination vows”?

Also I wonder if the word “smarmy” was the one you meant to use.

[8] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2011 at 12:03 AM · [top]

Because in the Mass, as I have been told and directed to in the CCC (because I had the same question) is that they are participating in the single sacrifice on Calvary again and again.  As Peter seems to be intimating, the Roman Catholic Mass doesn’t recreate from scratch and sacrifice Christ over and over again.  It reconnects to that single sacrifice in a mystical way again and again.

I can’t speak for Fr. O’Brien.  The CCC is the authoritative theological document of the Roman Catholic Church.  The CCC doesn’t describe the Holy Eucharist as Fr. O’Brien does.  The priest does ask Christ to come to his (I guess it’s really Christ’s altar and not the priest’s in a grander sense.) altar and He does come, body, blood, and divinity.  How that all works to the n-th detail is beyond me.

I’m not the best person to ask, since I’m not Roman Catholic, to describe the nuances of their Eucharistic theology.  But I have had that discussion with local priests and RCIA catechists.  That’s what they told me and it’s consistent with what’s in the CCC.

Based on your link, the book you reference was published prior to the current CCC.  Without reading the entire section, it looks like Fr. O’Brien missed the mark a bit.  Just because someone is orthodox doesn’t mean he never makes a mistake in these things… unless he’s the pope. wink

[9] Posted by Bill2 on 1-16-2011 at 12:25 AM · [top]

Carl,
Rev. O’Brien doesn’t quite get it…
A re-run isn’t a remake of the film. 
The RC priest is presenting a rerun of the original (some how bringing the past into the present), he’s not doing a remake.

Attendance at the showing being mandatory, is a bigger problem (theologically) than reconciliation of the representation wording with the ‘once and for all’ sacrifice of our Lord.  The first time, the service was a ‘prequel’ after all…..

<blockquote> As this Ordinariate, her Ordinariate, comes into being so may we entrust to her the work of bringing it to fulfilment. ,/blockquote> is a ‘deal killer’ for those who seek Christ’s Church, and a tell-tale mark of one of the errors of Rome.

[10] Posted by Bo on 1-16-2011 at 12:34 AM · [top]

Bill2,
I think you posted while I was typing.  I think we said the same thing (in different words) about Communion in the Mass.  I hope so…

[11] Posted by Bo on 1-16-2011 at 12:37 AM · [top]

I don’t find it annoying that Peter points out that the RCC and official 39 Articles Anglicanism are pretty much two different birds.  They’re still miles apart and someone or both parties is/are going to have to admit they’re wrong on some seminal stuff if real unity is ever going to happen.

The larger point that “Anglo-Catholicism,” other than outer trappings isn’t really what official Anglicanism holds as doctrine is fine.  These guys couldn’t hold that “stretch” any longer and they left.  I think that’s an honest and laudable thing to do.  I wish all the deist, unitarian, agnostic clergy left TEC because they theoretically have to believe the Nicene Creed took a similar stand, then the five bishops and 238 priests that remain could rebuild their church.

There’s plenty of difference between the RCC and the official 39 Articles Anglicans without misrepresenting positions.

[12] Posted by Bill2 on 1-16-2011 at 12:42 AM · [top]

There’s ALL KINDS of anti-Catholicism in this post, being that it is riddled with misstatement of Catholic doctrine by one who should know better; e.g.,”...Christ’s sacrifice is repeated….”  The Catholic Church teaches no such thing.

[13] Posted by Father Bob on 1-16-2011 at 12:57 AM · [top]

Father Bob,
Many Roman Catholic priests taught that. Mr. Ould provided a link to one of the more famous of those priests.  The difference between a ‘repeat performance’ and a ‘rerun’ isn’t always made plain to the audience, one must look to the CCC and not your local ‘Trad Catholic’ to find the distinction…..

[14] Posted by Bo on 1-16-2011 at 01:08 AM · [top]

Dear friends in Christ,
Over the years I’ve met several Anglo-Catholic members of the CofE, and TEC.  Many of them have invoked the saints, venerated relics, images, etc. throughout their ministries - as do their parishioners.  I am genuinely interested in knowing whether many Anglican clergy hold all of the 39 Articles?  I know that Bl. J.H. Newman tried to provide an interpretation [in Tract 90] that would present them in a Catholic life… but I don’t believe that even he believed that he pulled it off successfully.  Finally, if one seeking ordination in part of the Anglican Communion had some sort of reservation or different intention when they were ordained - is that seen in Anglicanism as invalidating their ordination?  Thank you for putting up with my questions.

[15] Posted by Pater, OSB on 1-16-2011 at 04:15 AM · [top]

As a Catholic, I say this post troubles me. I can accept that people disagree with Catholic theologicial positions. However… it is only fair to represent Catholic teaching truthfully and I don’t think this article did that.

If you want to know what the Church teaches then you have to look at the official teaching documents, not what individual priests write. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the most obvious example.

[16] Posted by kailash on 1-16-2011 at 05:22 AM · [top]

When I left the Orthodox Church as a priest to become Anglican I subscribed to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion as Doctrine, which is why I am disconnected from so many both within and without the Communion.

[17] Posted by RMBruton on 1-16-2011 at 06:18 AM · [top]

In defence of Rev James O’Brien’s exposition in 7 above, he does make the point that the priest offers “again the same sacrifice”. The word “again” here does not mean “afresh”. The Catholic understanding of Christ’s sacrifice is that it is not merely a historical event (historical events can have only subsequent effects): but that it is an eternal reality. Hence while humanly speaking it may be natural to say that at Mass the sacrifice is made present “again” or “re-presented”, theologically all celebrations of the Holy Eucharist are one. Whilst humanly speaking the priest offers the sacrifice “again”, in reality he is participating in and re-presenting one timeless sacrifice. This oneness provides the metaphysical basis for the term “communion”: the faithful at all times and in all places are united to the one single diachronic sacrifice of Christ.

So, the repetition is purely from the human viewpoint, not the theological reality.

As to the question in #7, “How is this different from offering it over and over and over again?”, I hope that I have clarified a little. However, for the benefit of those whose first language may not be English, the phrase “over and over again” is one that tends not to be used in contexts where consideration of the feelings of others, or preservation of an atmosphere of respect, are of significant concern. For example, “Christians often say the Lord’s Prayer” is neutral; “Christians say the Lord’s Prayer over and over again” is pejorative.

[18] Posted by CPKS on 1-16-2011 at 09:49 AM · [top]

Father O’Brien’s quote (from a book that received both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur) is rather stark in its language (which is why I like to use it) but it does accurately represent the CCC.  There is no error contained within.  Roman Catholics will not repudiate it.  In fact they did not repudiate it when I first posted it on this thread.  I do find it interesting that David Ould is accused of ‘anti-Catholicism’ for presenting the Mass the way Roman Catholics present the Mass.  Is Father O’Brien also ‘anti-Catholic?’ 

carl

[19] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 09:52 AM · [top]

#19, I don’t know whether “stark” is quite the word! Fr O’Brien’s language and imagery are flowery, not to say OTT (and consequently misleading). I call into question the proposition that he “represents” the CCC in any way. O’Brien reads as if he were of much earlier vintage. The CCC was written by capable theologians, much more careful with their language. Now that we have the Catechism, I don’t see the benefit in citing elderly, less authoritative sources.

I don’t think David Ould betrays anti-catholicism when (and if) he accurately represents Catholic doctrine. I do think he betrays it when, for example, he cites the closing references to Our Blessed Lady in Abp. Nichols’s homily as “clarification” for which he is “grateful”. Even the most casual acquaintance with papal homilies would tell you that this is, in Catholic circles, absolutely standard stuff. There never was any need for “clarification” - so why the gratitude?

What is perhaps more significant is that in raising the issues of the Eucharist and of asking for the prayers of the saints, David Ould has very eirenically selected a couple of issues which, far from dividing Anglicans from Catholics, unite Catholics but divide Anglicans.

[20] Posted by CPKS on 1-16-2011 at 11:19 AM · [top]

Carl,
(in response to your 19, although there is a bit at the end that is more general- but I don’t know what may have transpired, if anything, while I was writing it)
It seems you are interpreting the Catholic Catechism through the lens of your personal interpretation of one passage of Fr. O’Brien’s book, as opposed to interpreting Fr. O’Brien’s book through the lens of the Catechism, which would be the viewpoint of any Catholic reader.  I can only refer you to what CPKS has to say in #18, which seems to me to be a most accurate reading, and certainly completely consistent with what I was taught as a young Anglo Catholic growing up in the most Catholic wing of pre-1970’s TEC.
  Much of the controversy revolves around the specific translation and interpretation of the Greek “anamnesis” which we commonly (and in the BCP) translate as “remembrance,” but has a deeper meaning than “recollect”.  Something, perhaps, more like, “make real in the present time.”  The concept of the Real Presence comes from this.  Real Presence (in the Catholic understanding of Real Presence) is based on the “Catholic” understanding of the word “anamnesis.”  Seems to me I have written this same post once or twice before, so I am not going to type all this out, but would refer you to Gregory Dix: <u>The Shape of the Liturgy</u> p. 160 ff.  Dix, much to the surprise of many a Catholic seminarian (who, like Nashotah seminarians, were often required to read him), was an Anglican, although of a decidedly Catholic bent.
(more generally…..)
  Seems however, that the argument over whether or not Anglo Catholics are “real Anglicans” and whether our theology is acceptable in light of the 39 Articles is rather academic.  We are no longer canonically acceptable in any of the Western Churches of the Communion (although the ACNA is recognized by the majority of the world’s Anglicans, it is not a member of the Communion in its own right), and so I can’t see that you need trouble yourselves about us at this point.  If I were you, I would be much more concerned with the so-called affirming catholics, who are no more “catholic” than is John Spong or Kevin Thew Forrester, but who are introducing all manner of strange doctrine, and who under their leaders Rowan Williams and Frank Griswold, have effectively seized power in the Anglican Communion.

[21] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2011 at 11:20 AM · [top]

I have a massive quibble with a specific trend in some of the comments here and I hereby protest.

There is this general belief, it appears, among some that only quoting from the CCC “counts” as what the RCs believe.

No quotes from various bishops or theologians may apply as examples at all. 

Now I could see a valid complaint if we were quoting from someone like Joan Chittister and claiming that what she says actually represents what RCs believe.  There are anomalies, of course.

And I have noticed that Matt in particular has been scrupulously posting quotes from the CCC in his posts and I do appreciate that level of integrity and carefulness.

But can you not all see that demanding that Protestants *only quote* from the CCC as representative of actual RC doctrine and dogma is equivalent to my demanding that non-Anglicans *only quote* from the 1979 BCP to describe TECusa doctrine and dogma?

It is manifestly unfair.  It’s like making the claim that praxis is not a valid place to perceive and discover theological belief. 

Of course, there’s a case to be made that TECusa doctrine and dogma is not “officially changed” without formal changes to the BCP.  But come on, man!  We can at least acknowledge that the doctrine and dogma of TECusa is changed *at least* by the representations of its current leaders.

If we’re not allowed to quote any bishops or theologians of the RCs than I demand that nobody quote any bishops or theologians of TECusa.

[22] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2011 at 12:24 PM · [top]

“it is a place where Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass.”

“What are we going to do today, Brain?”
“Today, Pinky, we are going to kill God all over again!”

Probably I don’t know what I’m talking about, because I’m only a poor benighted Romanist who was baptised, confirmed, communicated and lived all her life in this faith (my granny taught me to pray the rosary as she taught me to read - yes, you may all be horrified at this wickedness and gasp aloud right now).

But I never knew we were re-sacrificing Christ over and over and over again at every Mass; I was foolish enough to believe the nuns when they taught me in Religious Education classes that there was only one sacrifice at Calvary and the Mass participated in that sacrifice not merely as a memorial but through the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ when the offerings of bread and wine were changed through the Words of Institution which are the Words of Christ, and the invocation of the Holy Ghost.

I am so glad you clarified this for me!  Who knows what other mistaken beliefs I mistakenly believe, mistakenly thinking I know all about them just because I’m that person?  Please continue to enlighten me on such matters as what it really means to be Irish and to be a woman, for starters!

[23] Posted by Martha on 1-16-2011 at 12:56 PM · [top]

#22, I think that’s a little extreme. Like you, I greatly appreciate the care with which Matt quotes Catholic doctrine, and hasten to acknowledge this.

Nobody is saying that everything outside the CCC should be suppressed, or making any “demands” at all. I would say that Fr O’Brien’s book waxes rather over-paradoxical, and that it is not (for that reason) especially helpful, particularly as apologetics. I am not, I think, being “manifestly unfair” in voicing this opinion and expressing the advice that the CCC is a more helpful source.

I would also caution that the CCC is not being recommended as a guide to “what the RCs believe”, but rather what is official Catholic doctrine, or “what the RCs ought to believe”. I wish there were no difference, but there we are!

(I do think that some sort of defence can be mounted of everything O’Brien says in the passage quoted, although the passage about Christ’s “humble obedience to the priest’s command” is about as misleading (and I would say repugnantly misleading) as it is possible to get, this side of orthodoxy. Had I been wielding the blue pencil, that would have been a hoc obstat, if not the occasion of a little “re-education” in the grim dungeons of the CDF.)

[24] Posted by CPKS on 1-16-2011 at 12:58 PM · [top]

RE: “I would also caution that the CCC is not being recommended as a guide to “what the RCs believe”, but rather what is official Catholic doctrine, or “what the RCs ought to believe”.”

Well sure and I accept that corrected nuance to what I said—of course I’d say the same thing about the 1979 BCP for Episcopal leaders.  But we all know that’s not true—the vast majority of the national leaders don’t believe or promote the theology of the 1979 BCP.

RE: “Nobody is saying that everything outside the CCC should be suppressed, or making any “demands” at all.”

Right—but every time a specific bishop or theologian is quoted, if it essentially makes strikingly revealing the stark differences between RCs and Prots—and the commenters here for some reason prefer *not to have that stark difference revealed on a particular thread*—then it is declared that that writer/bishop/theologian doesn’t really represent the Church’s teaching and that *only* the CCC does that.

So at the end of the day—the practical effect of that is, one should quote only from the CCC no matter how many bishops, clergy, theologians, or informed leading laypeople say something else.  That’s basically the practical result of the points made in some of these comments because no statements from others are counted if they don’t quite correlate with what some of the commenters prefer to be stated about RC doctrine and dogma.

BUT THE POINT IS . . . it’s rather obvious that masses of RCs believe things that are rather strikingly different from thingies stated in the CCC.

And the other point is . . . and the one that David Ould made pretty clear—is this: “wow, yes it’s true, based on this sermon it’s manifestly clear that Prots and RCs don’t believe the same things at all, and it’s manifestly clear that these guys should have converted, and one wonders how other AngloCatholics *who believe the same things* [and not all of them do] are able to remain within the AC and keep their ordination vows.”

That’s David’s point and it seems pretty obvious and it doesn’t appear to be at all “anti-Catholic.”

And if David has gotten some point of RC doctrine and dogma actually wrong—[despite the clear words of numerous bishops, clergy, theologians, and learned leading laypeople saying things that are rather strikingly similar to what David said that RCs believe] that *still* doesn’t mean he’s “anti-Catholic” any more than a non-Anglican getting something that Anglicans believe wrong being “anti-Anglican.”  Or than a non-Southern-Baptist getting something wrong that Southern Baptists believe makes the non-Southern-Baptist “anti-Southern Baptist.”

[25] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2011 at 01:26 PM · [top]

“There is this general belief, it appears, among some that only quoting from the CCC “counts” as what the RCs believe.”

I don’t think that is true.  I do think there is a call to remember that even the most orthodox of Catholics sometimes express Catholic beliefs very awkwardly and can confuse our Protestant companions.  When such confusion arises it is best to turn to an authoratative teaching source so we can bring light to statements that are at best murky. 

It is consistent Catholic doctrine that Christ is not sacrificeda anew over and over again.  That there is ONE sacrifice which is made present to us in an ubloody manner at the Mass. 

I hope I do not add to any confusion by saying that during the Mass we are made one with eternity and that for that time even the curtain between heaven and us is lifted.  Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper.”  does a much better job of articulating this and it has pretty pictures too.

I am concerned for those Anglo Catholics who do believe in much of what is “Catholic” doctrine but who can not agree to that which is unique to ‘RC” (I know there are Eastern Rites but I use RC for simplicity sake) such as The Immaculate Conception.  How are these people to be welcomed and nourished in the Anglican Church if Calvinist/Reformed beliefs are to be given supreme place there?  How much further can Anglicanism be divided?  Will the division amongst the orthodox Anglicans mean the heterodox will alone present a unified voice?  At what point is a division necessary to maintain Gospel integrity?  I know it is not my business.  But it hurts me to see so much rancor amongst those who should be allieing(sp) against a common enemy.

[26] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-16-2011 at 01:32 PM · [top]

PS.  Disagreement with Catholic doctrine especially when expressed as mildly as it is here is not Anti Catholic.  Go to some secular forums with a religious section and you will soon discover anti Catholicism which would do Jack Chick proud.  Why I should by rights already feel the fires of hell licking at my heels according to many. 

I for one also find the ignorance and scandal of Catholcs in Name Only such as Pelosi more of a concern than the discovery that our Reformed companions are not Catholic.  We are damaged more by the enemy within than by those who have made their own peace and departed from us.

[27] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-16-2011 at 01:39 PM · [top]

My point of course was that David Ould can hardly be accused of ‘anti-Catholicism’ if his statement about the Mass is consistent with similar RC representations - like say Fr O’Brien’s.  There was no reason to read his statement as a willful misrepresentation intended to somehow create a false negative impression of RC dogma.  Certainly I did not flinch at that statement on the Mass, and I attempt to scrupulously represent RC positions. 

Nor was there any reason to accuse David of writing about things he doesn’t know.  I know RC doctrine better than 99% of the RCs with whom I interact, and David Ould knows it better than I do.  I have personally watched him interact one-on-one with apologetically-capable RCs.  To accuse him of ignorance is simply .. ignorant.

carl

[28] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 01:45 PM · [top]

Spiky Anglo-Catholic that I am, disagreement among friends does not strike me as anti-Catholic. Paula is quite correct, if you want red-blooded anti-Catholic vitriol stroll over to the Episcopal Cafe, etc. Episcopalian Revisionists hate revealed religion, be it real faith oriented toward either Rome or evangelical/Reformed expressions. Though I may disagree with evangelical Anglicans on certain issues, it never occurs to me that you all do not truly love & serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The same goes without saying for our brothers and sisters in communion with the successor of Peter.

Wish I could say the same for TEC ‘leadership’, but alas I cannot. I for one, honor those choosing the Ordinariates in the UK and eventually here in North America. If TEC doesn’t change its direction, I may be a catholic Episcopalian forced to look into the Ordinariate more diligently.

[29] Posted by jaybird in Springfield on 1-16-2011 at 02:27 PM · [top]

I do wonder how many folks posting here will be taking the swim across the Tiber?  Or, will they perhaps be standing on one shore to prevent their friends from taking the plunge.  I only ask, because one fairly vanilla-flavored RC Sermon by an RC Archbishop sure stirred up a lot of heat from folks who I suspect will be doing the latter rather than the former.

[30] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-16-2011 at 02:32 PM · [top]

RE: “Or, will they perhaps be standing on one shore to prevent their friends from taking the plunge.”

If somebody truly believes that Rome is the One True Church, then I encourage them to convert, Capt. Deacon Warren.  I’ve certainly seen the embarrassment of people returning from Rome claiming—astonishingly to me—that they had no idea that the church they were joining believed all these things.  I find that mind boggling but it is clearly true.  That cannot be helpful to either “side” of the church.

Kendall just posted recently an example of such a thing—again, mindboggling:
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/34087
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/34088

RE: “How are these people to be welcomed and nourished in the Anglican Church if Calvinist/Reformed beliefs are to be given supreme place there?

Paula—I think that is a valid question.  I sincerely am for the “via media” [see Elizabeth I and Hooker, not Schori for what I mean by that] within Anglicanism.  I’m not angry with AngloCatholics nor do I wish for them all to depart Anglicanism by any stretch, but I do distinguish between what some call “AngloPapalists” and “AngloCatholics.”  The former really appear to be folks who believe just as Rome does, and I think it is harmful to them to be within Anglicanism. 

RE: “and it has pretty pictures too. . . . “

The Hahn book may be perfect for us!  ; > )

[31] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2011 at 02:56 PM · [top]

Will the division amongst the orthodox Anglicans mean the heterodox will alone present a unified voice?

Not to worry, Paula, even as they celebrate their victory in TEC, the heterodox are already beginning to go at one another.  We are already seeing a huge rift between the HoB and the “all laity, all the time” crowd, between the bean counters and the “who cares what it costs, it is social justice” bunch, and the social democrats and the “PB rules all” party.  I suspect even the Continuing Churches will long outlive TEC, Ordinariate notwithstanding.

[32] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2011 at 03:05 PM · [top]

btw.  It is interesting that Scott Hahn has been recommended as a credible source for this discussion on the Mass.  He is a RC apologist with no formal standing in the RC church.  Why should I listen to Scott Hahn and not Father O’Brien?  Why should I read Fr O’Brien through the lens of Scott Hahn? 

carl

[33] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 03:10 PM · [top]

I mentioned Scott Hahn in the narrow concept of understanding how during the Mass the curtain between Heaven and us is open.  Not on every nuance of the Mass.

[34] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-16-2011 at 03:14 PM · [top]

[34] Paula Loughlin

I mentioned Scott Hahn in the narrow concept of understanding how during the Mass the curtain between Heaven and us is open.

And what standing does Scott Hahn possess that allows him to aid my understanding of even this narrow concept?  I quote Fr O’Brien and am told “Well, he is confusing and perhaps outdated.  Read Scott Hahn instead.”  If I can’t reference Fr O’Brien as an example of RC belief, why can you reference Scott Hahn?

carl

[35] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 03:27 PM · [top]

As a long-time supporter of this site, a place claiming to uphold “Traditional Anglicanism in America”, I can truly say that THIS post is a HUGE turn-off for Anglo-Catholics like me. It gets harder and harder to associate with those who claim to hold the truth and yet (in a sense) speak against a One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, reunited under the Chair of Peter.
I find it dis-tasteful, and a little offensive.

[36] Posted by texaspiper on 1-16-2011 at 03:37 PM · [top]

I suggest for all of you “The Fathers Know Best” by Jimmy Aiken.

[37] Posted by texaspiper on 1-16-2011 at 03:39 PM · [top]

Jimmy Akin is yet one more RC apologist with no formal standing in the RCC.  Why should I listen to him?  What authority does he possess that I should trust his representations of RC dogma?  Why is he more credible than Fr O’Brien who had official standing in the RCC?

carl

[38] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 03:45 PM · [top]

RE: ” . . . and yet (in a sense) speak against a One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, reunited under the Chair of Peter.”

Goodness me—I hope it’s much more than merely “in a sense.”  I have no interest whatsoever in being a part of any kind of church “reunited under the Chair of Peter.”

RE: “It gets harder and harder to associate with those . . . “

Well, actually, from your comments since 2009, it has been very challenging from the beginning, TexasPiper.  ;  >)

But there is no need to quibble over these things.  My question is . . . why have you not converted to Rome, since you desire so intensely to be a part of an entity “reunited under the Chair of Peter.”

[39] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2011 at 03:49 PM · [top]

#38- Being a Catechist (Like Patrick Madrid & Jimmy Akin) is a “calling” in the Roman Church. Lay members learn the nitty & gritty aspects of the faith and teach it to others. They are given authority by the church when they appointed as “catechists”. You don’t have to be a priest to have authority & teach the Christian Faith. Maybe if Anglicanism had more of them, we would be better off! smile

#39 All in due time, Sarah. The ordinariate is just one of many important and life changing things that will happen in the coming years; leading to the reunification of all Christians to the full truth found in the Holy Catholic Church. The real qestion that needs to be asked is how can you ( or I), as Anglicans remain spiritually sound as a part of a broken “Communion”? How is it that we, as seekers of the truth in Christ, can remain in a church body that has time after time failed to preach the truth? One that has failed to acknowledge the truths which it does not understand? The Reformation was good for Christendom. It shocked the church into a new age of realization. However, we made a mistake by separating from the One True Church. It’s time to go back home. The ordinaraite is an incredible and valiant step towards full unity. MY time has not yet come, but it will be soon!

[40] Posted by texaspiper on 1-16-2011 at 04:02 PM · [top]

Carl,  I find it interesting that the passage you posted from Father O’Brien’s book is one populary used by anti Catholics (I mean that in the subdued opposed to our doctrine sense not the Jack Chick sense) yet I never see any other part of his book used.  That makes it very hard for me to answer to the context of his book. 

I can only repeat that he writes awkwardly on this matter and does not clearly convey consistent Catholic teaching.  That there is enough evidence from authoratative sources which explain the teaching much better.  There are some lay authors who explain things clearly and whose explanations may help one understand official Catholic teaching.  Does it mean they have authority?  No it does not.  It means just what I wrote that they are good at explaining doctrine.

I don’t want to turn this post into yet another debate about what the Church teaches.  The Papal Encyclical Mediator Dei (On the Sacred Liturgy) sections 67-71 discuss the Sacrifice of the Mass in good detail and in clear terms.  The entire text can be found here
http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/p12media.htm

[41] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-16-2011 at 04:16 PM · [top]

#41 I Love EWTN. I listen to them in my truck every day. They are an awesome witness to the Truth of the Catholic Faith in Christ!

[42] Posted by texaspiper on 1-16-2011 at 04:20 PM · [top]

Carl, your comments at 38 are rather obviously disingenuous. Scott Hahn is very likely to be closer to the CCC—all you have to do is compare what he writes and what the CCC says if you are wondering why anyone should trust him as oppossed to the priest you quote. This is why Rome has a teaching Magisterium—we know where to look and by what standard other teachings are measured. Perhaps someone else here could explain to everyone the role of the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur whenh it comes to books. I suspect there’s misunderstanding there as well. Dave

[43] Posted by DavidSh on 1-16-2011 at 04:57 PM · [top]

How ought one to relate with the Anglicans who believe more or less the same thing? If some Anglicans hold beliefs that one considers to deny the Gospel is one obliged to separate from them too.

[44] Posted by driver8 on 1-16-2011 at 04:58 PM · [top]

Well, this will be my last comment on this matter:

http://drboli.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/on-this-day-in-history-24/

As ever, I am in total agreement with the estimable Dr. Boli grin

[45] Posted by Martha on 1-16-2011 at 05:35 PM · [top]

[43] DavidSh

all you have to do is compare what he writes and what the CCC says if you are wondering why anyone should trust him as oppossed to the priest you quote.

Yes, I did that.  I took my copy of the CCC off the shelf and read the relevant section.

your comments at 38 are rather obviously disingenuous.

Nice.  I have posted over 4300 comments on this site.  Not one has been disingenuous.  My opinions on the RCC are well-known around here.  I have never made a secret of them.  I have stood alone on threads because of them.  Nevertheless, I have avoided any arguments about the truth or falsehood of the Mass, and focused on two issues:

1.  David Ould’s alleged (and undefined) ‘anti-Catholicism.’

2.  The issue that Sarah raised about RCs demanding the right to screen RC sources. 

I quoted Fr O’Brien because his doctrinally orthodox statement was consistent with David Ould’s description of the Mass.  It seems axiomatic to me that David can’t be accused of ‘anti-Catholcism’ if this is the case.  I was told ‘No,No,No! Read Scott Hahn instead.”  Which seemed to be exactly what Sarah was talking about.  So I asked “Who is Scott Hahn (or Jimmy Akin for that matter)?”  Is he qualitatively or positionally different from Fr O’Brien?  No, he simply makes the case the way you want it to be made.  That isn’t much of a reason for me to prefer one over the other.

carl

[46] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 06:05 PM · [top]

Carl,  I did not tell you to read Scott Hahn re: the nature of the sacrifice of the mass.  That was the subject brought up from your posting Father O’Brien’s material. 

You have been told over and over again that Catholic teaching is that Christ is not newly sacrificed in the mass but that the same sacrifice is made present to us in an unbloody manner. Yet you insist on using a poorly worded section of one priest’s book as your authority and to prove your belief about Catholic teaching.  It does not fly. 

It would be enough for you to write that you do not believe the mass is a sacrifice that would be a genuine objection to Catholic teaching.  Your trying to prove the nature of that Sacrifice is in contradiction to Church doctrine goes from being a valid disagreement to a potentially antagonistic one.

We have a magesterium and if questions arise over a point of doctrine the official teaching gets final say.  It does not matter if a misunderstanding arose out of a reading of a Catholic who unfortunately phrased things badly.  I am sorry you refuse to see things that way but that is the truth of the matter.

[47] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-16-2011 at 06:42 PM · [top]

RE: “All in due time, Sarah.”

Yes, of course—when it is convenient for you to convert to the actual One True Church, I am sure you will do so.

RE: “The real qestion that needs to be asked is how can you ( or I), as Anglicans remain spiritually sound as a part of a broken “Communion”? How is it that we, as seekers of the truth in Christ, can remain in a church body that has time after time failed to preach the truth? One that has failed to acknowledge the truths which it does not understand?”

None of which has anything whatsoever to do with the RC church’s claims about itself.  The two questions are separate matters from what those claims.

It is possible, for instance, that the answers to your questions are: “we must trust in Jesus” and “perhaps we must remain in exile.”  There is no reason why the answers must be “obviously in light of these stunning questions, Rome is the One True Church”—unless, of course, one has already determined such a thing beforehand, and then thrown up one’s hands in exasperation with one’s current entity.

Of course, we’ll know you actually *believe* that Rome is the One True Church when you submit to her.  Until then . . . it’s all smoke.

[48] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2011 at 06:53 PM · [top]

#46, David Ould stated that Catholics teach that “Christ’s sacrifice in [sc. is] repeated many times at the altar”.

This is not consistent either with Catholic doctrine or with what Fr O’Brien says. What Fr O’Brien says is consistent with the statement “Christ’s sacrifice is re-presented many times at the altar”. However, Fr O’Brien is far from clear, and what he implies at one point needs to be corrected by what he says at another point. Which makes Fr O’Brien’s writing a bad choice if a productive dialogue is wanted (or, an excellent choice if an unproductive dialogue is wanted).

[49] Posted by CPKS on 1-16-2011 at 07:18 PM · [top]

[47] Paula Loughlin

You have been told over and over again that Catholic teaching is that Christ is not newly sacrificed in the mass

You do not need to tell me that.  I know that already.  I specifically said so on this very thread. Let me repeat what I said.

The Mass is re-presentation of the sacrifice at Calvary.

That statement is completely consistent with [1366] of the CCC.  When I asked ...

The Mass is re-presentation of the sacrifice at Calvary.  How is this different from offering it over and over and over again?

... the point was to differentiate between re-presentation and presenting something repeatedly.  That was the whole purpose of using Fr O’Brien’s quote.  He kept using that wonderful word ‘again’ and that is what connected the quote to David’s statement of ‘repeated many times.’

I have never said and do not believe that the RCC teaches Christ is re-sacrificed in the Mass.  What I have said is that David Ould’s statement is consistent with Fr O’Brien’s statement, and both are consistent with a correct understanding of RC doctrine.  Hence, the charge of ‘anti-Catholicism’ falls.  These continuous assertions that Fr O’Brien’s quote is ‘not clear’ or ‘requires correction’ or constitutes a ‘bad choice’ do not impress me.  I have no trouble understanding what he says.  I doubt very much whether he thought he required correction.  Rather I think he is just a little too clear for modern RC taste.

carl

[50] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 07:48 PM · [top]

#50, O’Brien’s use of the word “again” does not entitle you to assert (more than once) that he justifies the choice of Ould’s “sacrifice ... repeated” instead of “re-presented”.

There is a world of difference between “enacted again” and “presented again”. Appealing to the word “again” to assert some kind of equivalence is not going to stand up to common sense, let alone intelligent analysis.

I must thank you for highlighting Ould’s infelicitous choice of words “repeated many times”. Again we see the use of an intensifier on “repeated” - not “over and over again”, as you have done - subtler than that - but nevertheless an intensifier which seems to require, in the context, some kind of explanation. We all know that religious ceremonies are conducted at regular intervals. Why is it necessary to say they are “repeated many times” unless there is something irregular being alleged.

If you are so certain that Mr Ould was attempting to convey the concept of regular, religious observance of a ceremony of re-presenting Christ’s eternal sacrifice, could you explain why it was appropriate for Mr Ould to add those words “many times”? Could Mr Ould himself?

[51] Posted by CPKS on 1-16-2011 at 08:31 PM · [top]

“it is a place where Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass.”

As a Catholic I don’t think that Christ’s sacrifice can ever be ‘repeated’. His sacrifice was a single action at a point in time and space. However the Mass takes us back to that single sacrifice in a mystical yet utterly real way.

I don’t mind people disagreeing with Catholic teaching, but at least be fair about what it actually is. The Church does not teach that the Mass repeates Christ’s sacrifice - to repeat is to do an action again. If I repeat a test for example, then I am doing the test anew. Christ’s sacrifice is not done anew every Mass and the Church does not teach that it is.

[52] Posted by kailash on 1-16-2011 at 08:43 PM · [top]

Y’know, I don’t know about anyone else on this blog, but I don’t seem to be having a problem with being ‘spiritually sound’ as an Anglican Christian; must have something to do with the teaching I’ve experienced during the years since TEC deserted me.  Good sound theology can work wonders for one’s spirits, and for that, I thank my bishop and my priest….and all of the other faithful clergy whom I’m proud to number among my friends.

[53] Posted by cennydd13 on 1-16-2011 at 08:47 PM · [top]

[51] CPKS

Fr O’Brien says…

When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man.

... and you fall all over yourself read him charitably.  I could read this and say he was asserting a new sacrifice of Christ.  I will not because I know that is not what he intended.  Yet David Ould says ...

it is a place where Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass.

.. and immediately nefarious motives are imputed to him.  Why does he not deserve the same charitable reading?  I read David’s statement and saw exactly what I expected to see - the re-presentation of Calvary performed over and over and over again.  It is the exact same image that Fr O’Brien used.  So how does it justify a charge of ‘anti-Catholicism?’ 

Perhaps that point should be emphasized.  I am not arguing about the doctrine of the Mass.  I am defending David from a spurious charge.  If Fr O’Brien can use the imagery, then David can use the imagery.  I will let the reader decide if there is some significant difference between:

it is a place where Christ’s sacrifice in repeated many times at the altar of Mass.

and

When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man.

Because I see no significant difference at all.

If you are so certain that Mr Ould was attempting to convey the concept of regular, religious observance of a ceremony of re-presenting Christ’s eternal sacrifice, could you explain why it was appropriate for Mr Ould to add those words “many times”?

I am certain of it.  I am as certain of it as I am certain that Fr O’Brien did not intend to teach a re-sacrifice.  I am certain of it because I know what he knows, and I know he would not make such a basic mistake.  Why did he use the words ‘repeated many times?’  Because Hypothetical Fr Greg will re-present the sacrifice on Monday, and then again on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday, and repeat doing so many times for as long as he functions as a priest.  That is the charitable reading of the text.

carl

[54] Posted by carl on 1-16-2011 at 09:10 PM · [top]

Carl, my apologies.  I was under the impression that you were asserting that Christ is re-sacrifed at each Mass.

[55] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-16-2011 at 09:14 PM · [top]

#48- Sarah, I uphold the Anglican view that the Church, catholic is comprised of Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as Roman Catholicism. However, I also uphold the quasi-Newmanian view that supreme truth is with the Church Established by Christ on the Chair of Peter.
However, I also believe in a non-celibate priesthood. Hence my reservations in conversion at this time.

[56] Posted by texaspiper on 1-16-2011 at 11:23 PM · [top]

Texas Piper,
The Celibate Priesthood is a Latin Thing, not a Communion with Rome Thing.  And it has been so for centuries.  You need not wait for the Ordinariate to have non celibate priests in communion with Rome.  Hie the to Eastern Rites if that’s your only issue.

[57] Posted by Bo on 1-16-2011 at 11:50 PM · [top]

I find it odd, in light of our Lord’s words recorded in Scripture, how readily some dismiss the Catholic doctrine that the sacrifice of Calvary is made present in the Eucharist.  After all, isn’t it just maybe possible that in the Institution narratives Christ is saying that the Sacrifice of Calvary is somehow made present in the Upper Room on Holy Thursday, when He states:  “...for this is my blood of the covenant which is [not “will be”] poured out for the forgiveness of sins.”  (Matt. 26:28.)  “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.”  (Mark 14:24.)  “This is my body which is given for you….This chalice which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”  (Luke 22:20.) If the Sacrifice of Calvary can be made present in the Upper Room on Holy Thursday, why can’t it be made present on Christian altars in the year 2011, especially since Christ commands his ministers to “Do this in remembrance of me.”  (luke 22:19)?

If the Catholic Church is “guilty” of anything here, it is taking the words of Christ “too literally” (like it does with Luke 16:18, John 20:23, etc.).

[58] Posted by slcath on 1-16-2011 at 11:50 PM · [top]

Ah, the particular tastes of Pius XII continue to institutionalize the Marian observances.  In the biography of him I read not too long ago, the author was making the point that Pius felt very strongly about trying to integrate the veneration of Mary as highly within the church heiarchy as possible.  Of course the practice is as old as the Church, but official recognition and promotion (especially during the post-war years apparently) peaked as did his papacy.  I was suprised to learn that these things happened so recently.

Then again, Infallibility of the Magisterium and Pope speaking as one wasn’t official until Vatican I I believe in the 1870’s?  Good to keep these things in perspective.

KTF!...mrb

[59] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 1-16-2011 at 11:55 PM · [top]

#57- That’s all fine & dandy, but the issue is that I am not an Eastern Rite Christian. I am an Anglican, and wish to retain my Anglican identity. The ordinariate is tempeting, but non-celibacy would have to be permitted for me to swim the river.

[60] Posted by texaspiper on 1-17-2011 at 01:12 AM · [top]

Re this Fr. OBrien,
Within every theology there are ways of emphasizing certain aspects of the theology in ways that if taken too far wind up misstating the theology.  At one point there was a bit too much of this “power of the priest” thing.  (I tend to think that that era in Catholicism stressed the Divinity of Christ over the humanity; the next one since VII overcompensated in the other direction.  The image of the priesthood in Catholicism tends to follow which side of the divine/human Christ we are emphasizing at the time.)
So caught up in his enthusiasm for the wonders of the priesthood,  Fr.Obrien became careless in his language. As people have shown here, it can be understood in an orthodox fashion,  and those reviewing for the imprimatur were used to this sort of language at the time. 
To my ear, it sounds over the top, as someone said, and so close to misstating doctrine that it makes me quite uncomfortable.  But I believe that this is the sort of thing about which, if it were pointed out to Fr. OBrien, he would have said, “Well, of course, I didn’t mean *that*.”  Can’t prove it though. 
I feel as if you are judging Catholicism by a popular work of a sort, that if one chose something equivalent from the Protestant side,  one might also find things said that while not exactly wrong,  are overstated to the point that they are almost wrong.  Could you find no such writings in the past 100 years which were once popular?
Susan Peterson

[61] Posted by eulogos on 1-17-2011 at 01:20 AM · [top]

I am not sure why Mr. Ould wrote this.  These man became Catholic,  they heard a Catholic sermon from a Catholic bishop.  What is remarkable about this?  That was my reaction to reading Mr. Ould’s remarks.

The person you most upset , the first commenter, is, I believe, an Anglo-Catholic.  And the truth is that there is nothing in this sermon which these men did not already believe as Anglicans.  Furthermore, I was taught the doctrines behind everything in this sermon as an Anglican, by my baptismal sponsor,  and the Sacrifice of the Mass as well. Those Anglicans who still believe what I was taught as an Anglican,  yet cannot accept those last bits of doctrine taught by the Church in communion with the See of Peter,  are in a terrible place right now. There is supposed to be a place for them in ACNA, but when you tell them not only that you disagree with their beliefs, but that by believing them they reject the gospel, that doesn’t seem to be much room.  I think that is why you got the reaction you did from Via Orthodoxy.

Susan Peterson

[62] Posted by eulogos on 1-17-2011 at 01:39 AM · [top]

Those Anglicans who still believe what I was taught as an Anglican,  yet cannot accept those last bits of doctrine taught by the Church in communion with the See of Peter,  are in a terrible place right now. There is supposed to be a place for them in ACNA, but when you tell them not only that you disagree with their beliefs, but that by believing them they reject the gospel, that doesn’t seem to be much room.  I think that is why you got the reaction you did from Via Orthodoxy.

I’m an Anglo-Catholic and I think this is well-said.  It certainly reflects my experience reading this site.

I would also add that I find the caution against appealing to the CCC as a final authority a little ridiculous.  Praxis doesn’t seem to be at issue unless the goal is to point out that not all priests teach what the Church teaches accurately, which might be worth saying but is hardly news.  A centralized teaching authority allows for the error to be corrected.  If any given priest is at odds with the catechism, he’s wrong.  Period.

So in terms of making an argument about Catholic teaching, in that case, adducing a RC writer who disagrees with the CCC—and I don’t think that’s what we have here, but if we did—gets you nowhere except into an endless loop of “if s/he disagrees with the CCC, s/he is in error.”  At the very least, it’s a highly ineffective way to argue.  And the comparison with Anglicanism holds no water, as there is no mechanism for definitively making such a claim in Anglicanism. 

Point being, if you want to address what the RCC teaches with any credibility, addressing yourself to official documents is your only option.  To do otherwise suggests a serious misunderstanding of RC teaching authority, which does not bode well for an accurate understanding of RC teaching.

[63] Posted by AnnieV on 1-17-2011 at 06:20 AM · [top]

This is the first opportunity I’ve had to read the thread. Unless I’m missing something (entirely possible) I tend to agree with those who are arguing that we need to assess a given faith by its officially stated doctrines rather than by the words of even its orthodox practitioners.

I have heard some very orthodox protestants say things in sermons and in interviews that don’t quite jive with the confessions to which they adhere. I think that were they queried they would probably re-phrase but no human being is able to adhere with inerrant consistency to any standard.

I just think it safest and most respectful to debate officially stated doctrines.

With regard to Mary, there are a number of texts that we could examine for debate with Roman Catholics and, I suppose, Anglo Catholics…for me this is one of the most troublesome:

“2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes,39 for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.”

Given that this is official doctrine, I am not at all surprised to read the sermon originally posted. All of these men are now Roman Catholic. I would be shocked—and hold them in less regard—if they did not conform to and adhere to Roman Catholic teaching.

I know that some Anglicans also hold this view and it may indeed be that Rome is a better place for them. But at least for American Anglicans, they cannot be charged with violating their ordination vows since the adherence to the Articles is not required.

[64] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-17-2011 at 07:28 AM · [top]

I’m not angry with AngloCatholics nor do I wish for them all to depart Anglicanism by any stretch,

I do feel better now, thanks….....I guess it was getting a little warm in the kitchen there…..

[65] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-17-2011 at 07:50 AM · [top]

I do have a question for Roman Catholics regarding the mass.

I understand that according to the CCC the mass does not represent a “re-sacrifice” of Christ but a repeated presentation of the once and for all sacrifice.

But, and this is where I get caught up, it does seem to represent a re-application of the benefits of that one sacrifice. So, for example, a faithful Catholic attending mass and receiving the elements would be, I think, justified in understanding himself going “back to the cross” to receive, over and over again, the saving benefits of Jesus’ one sacrifice.

Would that be a correct articulation?

If so, I think there is a real point of difference—for most evangelicals the salvific benefits of the atonement are fully and completely conveyed once through the instrument of faith. He or she is from that moment “justified” not only because of Christ’s imputed righteousness but also because ALL of the eternal consequences of his or her sins, the stain, have been dealt with. The sinner is washed clean once and for all.

Since the eternal consequences of future sins are already taken away, there is no need to repeat the application of the sacrifice.

There is, of course, temporal or relational consequences to sin but that is dealt with through repentance…there is no lasting stain to be atoned for via the mass or purgatory.

So, at least as I understand it, the core issue with the Catholic doctrine of the representation of Christ’s sacrifice is not that the sacrifice is being repeated but that the application of the benefits must be reapplied over and over again.

[66] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-17-2011 at 08:03 AM · [top]

RE: “However, I also uphold the quasi-Newmanian view that supreme truth is with the Church Established by Christ on the Chair of Peter.”

Right—and just as soon as it is convenient for you, you’ll hustle right on over to the One True Church. 

Such commitment and integrity!

RE: “I am not sure why Mr. Ould wrote this.”

Because he wished to highlight “how far from the Anglicanism of the 1662 and the 39 Articles Rome really is, and how far therefore these men have travelled from their original ordination vows.”

Surely that is a legitimate subject to address in light of what is going on in Anglicanism and in light of what all of us acknowledge is *history*.  Are we to simply tug our forelock at the history of it all without ever mentioning any of the minor points of interest to Anglicans, even if they are *extremely mild* sort-of possibly analytical criticisms???

RE: “And the truth is that there is nothing in this sermon which these men did not already believe as Anglicans.”

Right—hence the thesis of David’s extremely gently worded post.

RE: “There is supposed to be a place for them in ACNA, but when you tell them not only that you disagree with their beliefs, but that by believing them they reject the gospel, that doesn’t seem to be much room.”

Where did David say they had rejected the gospel?  I do not see that.  But honestly, if you accept the truth of the RC church’s breathtaking and universal claims about itself there is no other option of integrity.

RE: “Praxis doesn’t seem to be at issue unless the goal is to point out that not all priests teach what the Church teaches accurately, which might be worth saying but is hardly news.”

Er . . . and one might say the exact same thing for Anglicans and Episcopalians—like most of our bishops.

RE: “And the comparison with Anglicanism holds no water, as there is no mechanism for definitively making such a claim in Anglicanism.”

Incorrect.  The official doctrine is in the BCP—and that is canonical as well.  So within TEC, then, I suppose we can all be agreed that none of TECusa’s detractors will quote from anything other than the 1979 BCP because what our bishops say clearly has no “official standing.” And within the COE we are only allowed to quote from the 1662 BCP.  That is, frankly, as ridiculous an idea as it would be to never be allowed to quote from RC leaders in order to make a point, even if the point is “how can you possibly say that David Ould is “anti-Catholic” by what he wrote”

RE: “Point being, if you want to address what the RCC teaches with any credibility, addressing yourself to official documents is your only option.”

But Carl—who mentioned the RC leader in question—did not wish to address what the RCC teaches.  He wished to address whether it is reasonable to charge David Ould with being “anti-Catholic” when the RC leader that Carl quoted said something rather similar, only with far more florid language.

That’s the only point.

Is David Ould “anti-Catholic”?  If you’re going to say that, then we need to go ahead and simply write it into the rules that any time someone expresses a foundational disagreement with Rome they are intrinsically “anti-Catholic.”  And at that point I’m going to call all those who disagree with Anglican theology, “anti-Anglicans.”  And all those who disagree with me, “vicious anti-Sarah haters.”

[67] Posted by Sarah on 1-17-2011 at 09:09 AM · [top]

I’ve been following this thread closely. I’ve read and re-read David’s original post. To be fair, I truly don’t see it as “anti-Catholic.” David clearly doesn’t believe the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church, but that doesn’t make him - or his post - anti-Catholic. He obviously has strong convictions about Roman vs. Anglican beliefs and teaching, to which he’s entitled. There really doesn’t seem to be anything in his post that indicates a purely emotional gut reaction against things Roman.

[68] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 09:53 AM · [top]

I think, Matt, that the Roman Catholic view of what happens in the Mass, at the Eucharist, is pretty much he same as what we say in the prayer after Communion from the BCP. We are being “fed with the spiritual food of the Body and Blood” of Christ, and we ask for strength and courage to go out into the world and do God’s will. I think it’s basically the same idea as the Catholics have of the benefits of the Eucharist.

[69] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 10:00 AM · [top]

Well, no Nellie, it is not quite the same at all. There are key and core differences. Have you read the CCC on this?

[70] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-17-2011 at 10:03 AM · [top]

Sarah, I’m not one of those ‘vicious anti-Sarah haters,’ and I applaud you for having the courage to stand up for your beliefs….even if we disagree on certain points.  I left TEC with my bishop, ++John-David Schofield, for the ACNA, and I’m glad I did.  You chose to stay within TEC and fight the good fight, and that’s OK.  Keep on fighting!

[71] Posted by cennydd13 on 1-17-2011 at 10:55 AM · [top]

I have read the CCC, Matt, and I do think that there is a similarity in what the RCC and Anglicans see as the effects of the Eucharist. The CCC does empahsize repeatedly that the Eucharist is a memorial, a re-presenting, of Christ’s one sacrifice on the Cross.

[72] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 01:17 PM · [top]

Matt #66 This from the CCC may at least partially answer your question regarding the specific benefits of Holy Communion vis a vis sins.

1393 Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is “given up for us,” and the blood we drink “shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.” For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:

  For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.230

1394 As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins.231 By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:

  Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world. . . . Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God.232

[73] Posted by Already Gone on 1-17-2011 at 02:14 PM · [top]

Hi Nellie,

It doesn’t sound like you’ve understood what you read in the ccc very well.

Thanks Already Gone.

[74] Posted by Anne Kennedy on 1-17-2011 at 02:54 PM · [top]

Sorry, that was me, Matt, not Anne.

[75] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-17-2011 at 03:38 PM · [top]

Matt, Yes I agree with your articulation.
THis is from Fr. Wm Most.
“Since the Mass has the same external sign, and the same interior dispositions on the part of Christ, we rightly call it a sacrifice, the continuation of Calvary. It does not need to earn redemption all over - that was done once for all (Hebrews 9:28) by His death. But since the Holiness of God loves everything that is good, and in good order, it pleases Him to have titles or reasons in place for what He will give (cf. Summa I. 19. 5. c). So it pleases Him to have the Mass provide the title for the distribution of what was once for all earned on Calvary.”

[76] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-17-2011 at 04:30 PM · [top]

Matt - I’m no theologian so please don’t regard what I say as having any official authority. But what I think is that Christ’s sacrifice saved us. It opened the Gates of Heaven and meant that we could see the Face of God.

Mass means that I can receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Like it in the Upper Room I can be nourished by God. The Eucharist is a way for me to receive God’s grace. It is medicine for the soul if you will. It is the supreme prayer.

My salvation does not come incrementally, dripped out by each Eucharist I participate in, but I am not static. Sin separates me from God and there are days when I fall short. Christ’s salvation is there for me but whether I can accept it some days is another thing. The Eucharist strengthens me for the spiritual battle of me wrestling with my own sinful desires and temptations.

I’m not perfect, I’m always going to fall short and thus I’m always going to need forgiveness and spiritual ‘medicine’ to help me be spiritually healthy. Jesus said that he would always be with us, and I trust that to be true in a literal way. His Body and Blood is my ‘remedy’ for my sinfulness because it fills me with his grace.

[77] Posted by kailash on 1-17-2011 at 04:42 PM · [top]

Matt - I have been taught what the EUcharist is since I was 6 years old and in first grade in Most Holy Redeemer School in New York City. I understood what I read in the CCC very well indeed. I have been through Catholic schools through college, and have had catechism, Bible history, Church history, and various theology courses, including apologetics. Perhaps I’m not understanding where it is that you and I differ on this.

[78] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 08:22 PM · [top]

It occurred to me earlier this afternoon that no one on here is going to change anyone else’s mind or opinion. Theologians have been discussing these things for a couple of millennia. In any case, the whole thing started with the “defection” of the three bishops, which, like leaving for ACNA, seems to be a bit of a sore point for some, a puzzlement for others, simply a matter of disagreement or disapproval for others, or in some cases, worthy of respect by still others.

[79] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 08:30 PM · [top]

Hi Nellie,

It is this statement that I find baffling for one who has read her catechism:

“I think, Matt, that the Roman Catholic view of what happens in the Mass, at the Eucharist, is pretty much he same as what we say in the prayer after Communion from the BCP.”

Certainly all Christians share some common principles with regard to the Eucharist but what Anglicans have traditionally said about it—even in the latest BCP—and what Rome teaches are not “pretty much the same”

[80] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-17-2011 at 08:37 PM · [top]

Early Church

We should approach the Holy Sacrifice with great decorum, with proper piety, so as to merit us more of God’s benevolence, to cleanse one’s soul and to receive eternal blessings, of which may we all be worthy by the grace and love for mankind of our Lord Jesus Christ
[Chrysostom in an homily on the Epiphany]

[81] Posted by Mark Carroll on 1-17-2011 at 09:08 PM · [top]

Underneath all the elegance and excitement, the fact remains that these three departing Anglican bishops, now Roman Catholic priests, were quite content to be affiliated for many years with the Church of England which has practicing ‘gay’ clergy with spousal benefits for their same-sex partners.  It was not until they faced the threat of women bishops that they bailed to join a sect of Christianity that has covertly tolerated homosexual clergy and covered up for those who harmed children.

[82] Posted by St. Nikao on 1-17-2011 at 09:26 PM · [top]

I don’t know about all Christian sharing some common principles about the Eucharist. I do know Rome teaches Christ is really present in the sacrament by means of transubstantiation, that the Lutherans (at least up until the ‘80s) believe in the Real Presence but through consubstantiation, and that Anglicans also believe the Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. I know that Rome considers the Mass a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, a sort of re-enactment. (I believe an earlier commenter compared this to the Passover meal that the Jews have as a reminder of the first Passover, although I think that’s only a loose comparison.) The Church doesn’t teach that Christ literally dies again and we are saved again over and over. It does teach that we are spiritually nourished by His Body and Blood - that we receive grace and strength to do His will - just as the BCP prayer after Communion says. The CCC does specifically say that Christ’s one sacrifice on the Cross was what brought us salvation, that that sacrifice initself is sufficient. I don’t see where that’s any different from the anglican position.

[83] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 09:29 PM · [top]

Has there been any indication as to the reason why these three men have been ordained as Roman Catholic priests?

In other words, what functions/role will they now perform in the RCC?

[84] Posted by MichaelA on 1-17-2011 at 09:31 PM · [top]

You make a good point, St. Nikao. Int he interests of accuracy, I think we shoudl distinguish between chaste, non-practicing homosexuals and those who marry same-sex partners (TEC) or who take advantage of their postion to molest children and adolescents (RCC).

[85] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 09:33 PM · [top]

I don’t know what role they will fill - parish priests, teachers, or whatever - but I do know that they will not be ordained bishops because they are married, and neither the RCC nor the Orthodox Church have married bishops.

[86] Posted by Nellie on 1-17-2011 at 09:35 PM · [top]

#84: they were ordained because they asked to be. All three have made statements about their reasons and all three have been pretty forthcoming on the Internet.

The roles that they will perform are to be defined by their Ordinary, Fr Keith Newton. The Ordinariate in E&W will, in mechanical terms, function I think very much like the non-territorial province for which the Anglo-Catholics vainly petitioned the General Synod, except that it will be functioning in concert and cooperation with the Catholic bishops of E&W - meaning that the Ordinary may call for help from the territorial bishops and their clergy, and vice versa. I’m guessing that they will have their hands very full indeed with the following tasks:

1) setting up the legal and organizational structure of the Ordinariate;
2) setting up the Sacramentary of the Ordinariate;
3) catechizing and instructing the clergy and laity of the Ordinariate;
4) finding somewhere to worship;
5) finding somewhere to sleep; and
6) finding something to eat!

[87] Posted by CPKS on 1-17-2011 at 09:46 PM · [top]

#66: this is an excellent and taxing question, and one that really deserves a slower-moving, more peaceful thread. I think you are mostly right, but I’m not quite happy with the phrase “applying the benefits” of Christ’s sacrifice. Forgive me if, rather than quoting the CCC at you, I take a first personal stab at it, in the hope that it will be judged consistent with true belief and helpfully expressed.

As I see it, Christ’s sacrifice is something that was fore-ordained before the creation and is of a scale that makes it impious to imply that its “benefits” can be “applied”: indeed, it is the (fulfilled) precondition of salvation for all men, Abraham, the most blessed Virgin, and (we hope and trust) you and me.

I think however that you have hit upon a central difference between Catholic and Protestant belief, namely, whether it is possible for us sinners to participate in the sacrifice of Christ. Catholics believe that it is possible: that we can join our wills to that of Christ and so share in his death and resurrection as brothers by adoption, by virtue of God’s grace.

If we can understand “sacrifice” as an offering to God of what we (thereby) acknowledge is already God’s, then our participation in the Holy Eucharist is an offering of our whole selves in memory and celebration (anamnesis) of Christ’s offering of his whole self.

This is something that Catholics believe we were commanded to do, in memory of Our Lord, “over and over again”.

[88] Posted by CPKS on 1-17-2011 at 10:14 PM · [top]

#83, Nellie,
You must define homosexual correctly and carefully (as having conditioned sexual/emotional response to persons of same-sex) and be sure the person is not ‘gay’ (a person claiming the conditioned response as his/her identity and who wants the ‘gay’ lifestyle/behavior to be normalized and accepted and is unrepentant and unwilling to face the fact/reality of such things Scripture’s proscriptions, CDC reports and dangers inherrent in homosexual practice.  The presence of same-sex sexual feelings is a symptom, an abnormal response that can be a strong and uncontrollable obsessive/compulsive behavior as we have observed with Davis MacAyalla on his visit to the US and with priests who, being shifted from one diocese to another, kept on repeating their abuse.

Same-sex attraction is treatable and can be changed if the person is willing and willing to be honest.  Robert L. Spitzer, M.D. of Columbia University played a central role in eliminating homosexuality as a mental disorder at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973.

Spitzer studied 200 people who professed a change from a homosexual to heterosexual orientation. His conclusions were presented to the APA established homosexuals may change their homosexual lifestyle when they realize they have the freedom to act and the will to do so.

The presentation was made at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, May 9th, 2001 in New Orleans, and was titled Clinical Issues and Ethical Concerns Regarding Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation.

[89] Posted by St. Nikao on 1-18-2011 at 07:12 AM · [top]

Exactly, St. Nikao. I suppose “gay” is what I mean by “practicing homosexual.” I mean onw who thinks it’s normal, who wants to have everyone else think it’s normal, and who lives the lfiestyle. I knew of a Roman Catholic priest who was homosexual, and was a member of Courage, a support group for thse with the tendency who want to live chaste lives. (I think it’s a Catholic group, but I’m not sure if it is or if it’s non-denominational.)

[90] Posted by Nellie on 1-18-2011 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Yes Courage is a Catholic group which adheres to Catholic teaching, though I don’t suppse that precludes its approach being used by other churches.  “Dignity” the organization that gets all the press as being “Catholic” homosexual is a dissident organization.

[91] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-18-2011 at 10:47 AM · [top]

I just discovered this thread and have not attempted to read all the comments, so I will restrict myself to the homily and David Ould’s article.  David points us particularly to the concluding paragraph of the homily as evidence of “how far therefore these men have travelled from their original ordination vows.”  What precisely do we find in this last paragraph?  We find (1) reference to the heavenly witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the eternal sacrifice of her Son and (2) invocation of the saints.  There is nothing particularly “Roman” about either of these beliefs/practices, as both can be amply supported by patristic testimony.  Anglo-Catholics have uncontroversially revered the Theotokos as intercessor and invoked the saints for decades, perhaps for over a century.  Are Anglo-Catholic priests therefore guilty of violating their ordination vows?  Clearly the Church of England decided long ago that they are not, which can only mean that the Church of England does not treat the 39 Articles as infallible dogmatic statements.

[92] Posted by FrKimel on 1-18-2011 at 11:39 AM · [top]

FrKimel—I think you should have read the comments.

; > )

[93] Posted by Sarah on 1-18-2011 at 11:44 AM · [top]

To tell the truth, Sarah, I did quickly glance through the comments and found a lot of discussion about eucharistic sacrifice and homosexuality, neither of which has anything to do with Mr Ould’s original article.  My point is a simple one:  the three former Anglican bishops did not have to travel to Rome to revere the Blessed Virgin or invoke the saints.  Anglo-Catholics have been doing that for a good while now.  The horse has already bolted, and the Church of England has not seen a compelling theological reason to attempt to shut the stable door.  Mr. Ould may wish that the CoE treated the 39 Articles like the Missouri Synod Lutherans treat their confessional documents, but the simple fact is, it hasn’t done so for a very long time now.  If one wants to ask why it hasn’t done so, here is my guess:  at its best, the Church of England has always known that the ecumenical witness and practice of the undivided Church always trumps a document composed in the polemical heat of 16th century disputation.

[94] Posted by FrKimel on 1-18-2011 at 12:08 PM · [top]

RE: “I did quickly glance through the comments . . . “

Okay.

RE: “at its best, the Church of England has always known that the ecumenical witness and practice of the undivided Church always trumps a document composed in the polemical heat of 16th century disputation. . . . “

Of course, of course.

[95] Posted by Sarah on 1-18-2011 at 12:16 PM · [top]

Of course the truth is that the 39 Articles are to be interpreted in England alongside subsequent Parliamentary legislation and judgments of ecclesiastical courts. One might perhaps regret - though in fact the Articles themselves enshrine the theological authority of the Crown to act in precisely this manner.

[96] Posted by driver8 on 1-18-2011 at 12:31 PM · [top]

Nellie- I’m with you 0
Matt- I don’t quite see the point in arguing views of the Mass from Anglican/Roman perspectives. As far as I am concerned, anything we profess to believe has been received from the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The great heresy of Protestantism can be accurately described as “cafeteria Christianity”; where believers pick and choose what doctrines of the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church that they want to believe. From one protestant denomination to another there is a huge variety of beliefs. That’s why I find it difficult to relate to those who openly and proudly profess to be Protestant…

[97] Posted by texaspiper on 1-18-2011 at 04:10 PM · [top]

Texas Piper wrote:

“As far as I am concerned, anything we profess to believe has been received from the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”

No doubt you do. However, the actual situation is that Rome derived its beliefs from us!

“The great heresy of Protestantism can be accurately described as “cafeteria Christianity”; where believers pick and choose what doctrines of the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church that they want to believe.”

Cafeteria Christianity describes the RCC to a ‘T’ – picking and choosing the beliefs of the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church that it wants to believe.

“From one protestant denomination to another there is a huge variety of beliefs. That’s why I find it difficult to relate to those who openly and proudly profess to be Protestant…”

No, there is actually very little variety of belief in Protestantism, and rarely about significant things. More importantly, the vast majority of protestants are able to share the sacrament of the last supper with each other, whereas the vast majority of ‘catholics’ cannot. That is why protestants are united and catholics are disunited.

I hope these little clarifications assist!

[98] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 04:23 PM · [top]

CPKS at #88 wrote:

“I think however that you have hit upon a central difference between Catholic and Protestant belief, namely, whether it is possible for us sinners to participate in the sacrifice of Christ. Catholics believe that it is possible: that we can join our wills to that of Christ and so share in his death and resurrection as brothers by adoption, by virtue of God’s grace.”

As a protestant, I don’t particularly have a problem with that - after all, the scriptures say that we share in his sacrifice. However, if I recall correctly, they say that such sharing occurs through the cross at all times, i.e. it is never connected explicitly with the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, but happens at all times. Would you agree?

“If we can understand “sacrifice” as an offering to God of what we (thereby) acknowledge is already God’s, then our participation in the Holy Eucharist is an offering of our whole selves in memory and celebration (anamnesis) of Christ’s offering of his whole self.”

This is where I have a difficulty - wasn’t Christ’s work upon the cross carried out as part of his unique HIGH-priestly ministry? How then can we share in it? The apostles teach us in scripture that all christians are priests, but they never suggest that we are High priests. There is only one High priest in the new covenant - Jesus - just as there was only one high priest in the Old Covenant. The significance of this is that whilst priests could offer sacrifices of various types under the Old Covenant which removed particular impediments to the believer’s relationship with God, only the High priest could offer the one sacrifice that atoned for the sins of all the people. In other words, is there a danger that the RC view trespasses on Christ’s unique High-priestly function?

Sorry that was a bit long-winded, but hopefully my query is clear!

[99] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 04:32 PM · [top]

More importantly, the vast majority of protestants are able to share the sacrament of the last supper with each other, whereas the vast majority of ‘catholics’ cannot.

Well, Michael, since the Roman Catholic Church (which is in communion with itself) comprises over 50% of all the Christians on the earth, I am at a loss to understand how your statement can even be considered rational.
As to whether Catholics or Protestants are more “in tune” with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”, well, we will all find out on the Last Day.  Strikes me, again, that within Anglicanism this has become academic.  Anglican Churches (or more precisely, those in communion with Canterbury) worldwide have been remarkably successful in ridding themselves of anything and anyone definably Catholic.  Which has brought the Communion under the rule of the affirming “catholics” who are affirming of almost anything, and catholic in name only. Anglicans who have been disparaging Catholicism now have what they wished for- a Catholic-free Anglicanism.  Good luck with that.
Perhaps, however, a more appropriate approach than triumphalism would be to take the course shown by ++Akinola, +Venables, ++Orombi or +Jensen, who seem to maintain a certain degree of respect for the likes of +Iker and +Ackerman or even those English fellows swimming the Tiber as I write this.

[100] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-18-2011 at 05:38 PM · [top]

Michael, given our disagreements in the past, I hesitate to do this, but must ask if you’re serious when you say

No, there is actually very little variety of belief in Protestantism, and rarely about significant things.

  ...and if you are serious, I must wonder what all the talk on this site has been about for the last 6 or 7 years. You must make sure that all those different denominations of American protestantism in particular hear the good news! Finally they can all start worshipping together!

[101] Posted by DavidSh on 1-18-2011 at 05:44 PM · [top]

tjmcmahon,

Well, Michael, since the Roman Catholic Church (which is in communion with itself) comprises over 50% of all the Christians on the earth, I am at a loss to understand how your statement can even be considered rational.

What is irrational about it? For over a thousand years, the RCC has not had communion with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, nor with the Oriental Orthodox Churches; For over 1500 years the EOC and the OCC have not had communion with each other.

That is millions of christians all over the world who have no sacramental unity, except with themselves. What sort of “unity” is that?

The RCC may comprise 50% of all Christians in the world, IF you include those who are purely nominal. But so what? None of those Christians have communion with any other church.

I was responding to an allegation that protestants are disunited. Why am I not entitled to point out that most protestants have sacramental unity with each other, whereas most ‘catholics’ (using that word in the sense used by some others on this thread) do not?

“Perhaps, however, a more appropriate approach than triumphalism would be to take the course shown by ++Akinola, +Venables, ++Orombi or +Jensen, who seem to maintain a certain degree of respect for the likes of +Iker and +Ackerman or even those English fellows swimming the Tiber as I write this.”

Who are you accusing of ‘triumphalism’? Seriously, the only persons on this thread that could be described as ‘triumphalist’ are those who are apologists for Rome.

Also, in your post you seem to be conflating support for “the likes of +Iker and +Ackerman” with support for Rome – I find that rather curious.

Nor do I see any meaningful comparison between Bishop Iker and ex-bishop Broadhurst. One has remained true to his ordination vows, the other has abandoned them. I know +Broadhurst can point to great problems in the Church of England which forced him to leave, but then, so could +Iker. But that didn’t lead him to abandon Anglicanism.

The same could be said for many other faithful Christians in the Church of England who fight to reform that church from within, and who have not felt led to abandon the CofE for another church (the RCC) which saw fit to move away from us in the 16th century.

[102] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 06:24 PM · [top]

DavidSh wrote:

You must make sure that all those different denominations of American protestantism in particular hear the good news! Finally they can all start worshipping together!

As a protestant, I can walk into most of those American protestant churches, and join in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper with them, simply by virtue of the fact that I am a communicant member of my own church.

Obviously, when I go to any of their churches, I worship under the direction of the leaders of their congregation. They almost certainly use different forms of service to me - so what? What has that go to do with true unity, when we can take the sacrament together?

On the other hand, a member of the RCC cannot walk into an Eastern Orthodox Church and join in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with them, even though he and the EOC worshippers are both part of the true church of Christ. Nor can a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church walk into an Oriental Orthodox Church and take the sacrament with them.

I didn’t raise the issue of unity - texaspiper did. But once it is raised, I am entitled to ask: Who has the true unity?

[103] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 06:39 PM · [top]

#102 ‘which saw fit to move away from us in the 16th century’

That’s preposterous.  The Orthodox and Rome can dispute who left whom.  But England clearly separated itself from the Church, according to the understanding of Church which everyone had before that time, including everyone in England.    To say otherwise is roughly analogous to Texas seceding from the other 49 states and saying those states left them because it thought they had strayed from the original principles of the United States.  They can assert that their reasons are good ones,  but they really can’t deny that it is they who have separated.  If you really think otherwise it is the most amazing piece of self delusion I have heard of in a long time!

Susan Peterson

[104] Posted by eulogos on 1-18-2011 at 07:04 PM · [top]

Fr.Kimel, #92,  Could you take a look at the other thread on the ordinations,  the one which starts “Reports and Photos”?  There is some patristics being argued there which I thought you might be able to contribute an informed comment to. 
Thanks,
Susan Peterson

[105] Posted by eulogos on 1-18-2011 at 07:07 PM · [top]

But Michael, what kind of unity are we talking about here, when all these different churches make statements to differentiate themselves from that church down the road or the one in the next town? Are you not familiar with American fundamentalism—if you are, you must have some idea of what I’m talking about, but I wonder if you do know. My parents are lifelong Baptists. They wouldn’t take Communion in a Christian Reformed Church, an Episcopal church and probably not in a Methodist church. I know you’re not this way, but if there’s so much supposed unity, why are there people like my parents who refuse such fellowship? And again, the elephant in the room is the current divison in Anglicanism, where there doesn’t seem to be much sacramental unity—or at the least the doctrinal divison is fracturing whatever sacramental unity exists.

[106] Posted by DavidSh on 1-18-2011 at 07:37 PM · [top]

Sorry, but I don’t see this “unity” among Protestants. Maybe they can receive Communion in each other’s churches, although I’m not sure that’s true in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. The churches that believe that one receives the Body and Blood of Christ tend to not want people receiving who don’t believe that, who think it’s jsut bread and wine. But there are some other serious major obstacles to “unity” between some Protestants and true Christians - followers of Christ. A case in point: There was an article in our local newspaper on Saturday by one of the Methodist ministers in town. She wrote defending women’s right to abortion, and cited Biblical passages used by proi-life people, giving them her own perverted interpretations. She actually said that in answer to the question “What would Jesus do?”, Christ would walk beside a woman through a line of protessters at a clinic. She said the UMC has joined the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice to keep abortion legal. (Oops! Come to think of it, TEC is also a member!) I don’t know how to post a link, but I’ll just copy the URL for the article: http://thedailystar.com/columns/x71341623/Making-abortion-illegal-doesnt-mean-there-wont-be-any-more

[107] Posted by Nellie on 1-18-2011 at 07:51 PM · [top]

[107] Nellie

Sorry, but I don’t see this “unity” among Protestants.

I can name no less than seven different types of self-identified Roman Catholics.  I can even put names to the types.

1.  Jeff.  He is a Fenneyite, and tells me I am gong to Hell.
2.  Scott.  He calls me a separated brother.
3.  Greg.  He calls me a brother, and is now a priest.
4.  Martin.  The Typical American Catholic.  He knows almost nothing beyond the Mass.  Admits to using condoms.
5.  Rod.  He is the eclectic who believes pretty much what he wants, and doesn’t attend Mass.
6.  George. He’s really a Buddhist.
7.  Paul.  He is an agnostic at best.

All of them call themselves Roman Catholic, and there are significant doctrinal differences between them.  And I have not even mentioned the liberal RC Nuns at the “Spirituality Center” north of town or the open practice of Marian worship in some parts of the world.  So here is where the qualifications will start.  It will be claimed that some of these groups aren’t real Roman Catholics.  Doctrinal requirements will be used to screen them.  And I would agree.  A Buddhist is not a Catholic no matter what he calls himself.  An Atheist is not a Catholic not matter what he calls himself. 

Of course, if Catholics can use doctrine to screen some of their less agreeable elements, then so can Protestants.  I will kick Liberal Protestants out the door just like you will kick liberal Catholics out the door.  And doing so will dramatically reduce the scope of disagreement among Protestants.  And I will still find areas of disagreement among Catholics on significant doctrines.  Is it Partim-Partim or Material Sufficiency?  Define the list of mortal sins.  What does EENS mean?  Catholics disagree amongst themselves just like Protestants disagree.

What are the major areas of Protestant disagreement?

1.  Justification. (Monergism vs Synergism)
2.  Communion. (Spiritual presence vs memorial vs Consubstantiation)
3.  Eschatology.  (Amillenial/premillenial/Dispensational)
4.  Church Government. (Congregational/presbyterian/Hierarchical)
5.  Baptism. (Credo/Paedo)
6.  Spiritual Gifts (Cessationist/Non-cessationist)

You start reaching for differences after that list.  On the essentials - The nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of Scripture, the person and work of Christ - there is remarkable and broad agreement.

carl

[108] Posted by carl on 1-18-2011 at 08:45 PM · [top]

1.  Jeff.  He is a Fenneyite, and tells me I am gong to Hell.
2.  Scott.  He calls me a separated brother.
3.  Greg.  He calls me a brother, and is now a priest.
4.  Martin.  The Typical American Catholic.  He knows almost nothing beyond the Mass.  Admits to using condoms.
5.  Rod.  He is the eclectic who believes pretty much what he wants, and doesn’t attend Mass.
6.  George. He’s really a Buddhist.
7.  Paul.  He is an agnostic at best.

C’mon Carl, you can do better than that.  In TEC (which is just one little tiny fraction of 1% of world wide Protestantism), all but #2 and #3 would be bishops by now.  2 and 3 would be out of consideration for the episcopate for using the word “brother” which is not gender neutral.

[109] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-18-2011 at 09:05 PM · [top]

[109] tjmcmahon

all but #2 and #3 would be bishops by now.

You think a reactionary fundamentalist like my friend Jeff who believes in such a gauche concept like Hell could ever be a Bishop in TEC?  Inconceivable!  I think you mean #1 through #3.

Seriously though, it’s interesting you would make the cut at the point.  All three of those guys have one thing in common.  They are all serious Catholics who know Catholic doctrine.  They don’t just go to Mass.  They know why they go to Mass.  They can even put up nominal resistance while I pound their silly RC arguments in to the grou… I mean .. they can all intelligently discuss religion with me.  wink  Kind of ironic that you would label them out-of bounds for TEC.

carl

[110] Posted by carl on 1-18-2011 at 09:17 PM · [top]

Carl, I don’t get the point of your comment. I was not comparing unity among Protestants to unity among Catholics. I was commenting on #103, and should have indicated that. My point was that maybe most Protestants can receive Communion in each other’s churches, but there’s plenty of lack of unity of belief other than that. Does Schori, for example, believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus? What about the Muslim/Episcopalian woman priest in Washington? Do you include Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses in the term “Protestant”? Do you believe a fundamentalist Christian has the same view of the nature of Scripture as some other denominations do that don’t take every word of the Bible literally?
I don’t get your point about the various not-really-Catholics you cite. Of course there are individual “Catholics” who don’t believe what Rome teaches. I don’t know what that has to do with anything in this discussion.
I don’t see that any of this has anything to do with the original post.

[111] Posted by Nellie on 1-18-2011 at 09:26 PM · [top]

[111] Nellie Didn’t you write this statement?

But there are some other serious major obstacles to “unity” between some Protestants and true Christians - followers of Christ. A case in point: There was an article in our local newspaper on Saturday by one of the Methodist ministers in town. She wrote defending women’s right to abortion, and cited Biblical passages used by proi-life people, giving them her own perverted interpretations. She actually said that in answer to the question “What would Jesus do?”, Christ would walk beside a woman through a line of protessters at a clinic. She said the UMC has joined the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice to keep abortion legal.

You introduced Liberal Protestantism into a discussion about unity among Protestants by this statement.  I don’t consider liberal Protestants to be Protestant and more than you find some of the Catholic types I listed to be Catholic.  Their existence has nothing to do with Protestant unity.  I introduced the discussion about Catholic unity to demonstrate that Catholics are not unified under the very standard they apply to accuse Protestants of disunity.

carl

[112] Posted by carl on 1-18-2011 at 09:36 PM · [top]

As a protestant, I can walk into most of those American protestant churches, and join in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper with them, simply by virtue of the fact that I am a communicant member of my own church.

I just erased a very long response.  It is much easier just to say that I am sometimes quite thankful to have been born and raised an Anglo Catholic.

[113] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-18-2011 at 09:42 PM · [top]

Thanks for the clarification. However, the Methodist minister I cited is not standing alone. According to her, and according to other things I’ve read, the UMC has the same position she does on abortion. That’s a whole church, not an individual. You cite individuals. I would submit that the Assembly of God, the Missouri Synod Lutherans, and the Southern Baptists, to name a few Proitestant denominations,  are very different from the UMC.

...Catholics are not unified under the very standard they apply to accuse Protestants of disunity.

Exactly who are “they”? The loony left Cahtolics? Rome itself?
This discussion is silly, I think. Obviously there’s plenty of disagreement among Protestant denominations, including about the nature of the Eucharist. It just doesn’t make sense to deny that. In any case, so what? I still don’t know what this has to do with the original post.

[114] Posted by Nellie on 1-18-2011 at 09:52 PM · [top]

Nellie at #114,

You seem to have lost the thread of this discussion. It started at #97 when texaspiper wrote:

“As far as I am concerned, anything we profess to believe has been received from the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The great heresy of Protestantism can be accurately described as “cafeteria Christianity”; where believers pick and choose what doctrines of the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church that they want to believe. From one protestant denomination to another there is a huge variety of beliefs. That’s why I find it difficult to relate to those who openly and proudly profess to be Protestant…”

He is entitled to his opinion, as protestants are entitled to theirs. And we are also entitled to point out that we don’t agree with any of the assumptions in his post:

•  We don’t agree that we receive “anything we profess to believe” from the Roman Catholic Church; in fact, we believe that we are the true heirs of medieval Christianity;

•  We don’t agree that Protestantism is “cafeteria Christianity”, in fact that is precisely what we accuse Rome of;

•  We don’t agree that there is a “huge variety of beliefs” in Protestantism as compared to Catholicism (note that texaspiper was making a comparison, albeit unstated);

•  We don’t have any problem with “openly and proudly professing to be Protestant”, nor indeed to be openly and proudly professing to be catholic (in the true sense of the word) and (in my case) Anglican.

Don’t go blaming me, or Carl, or anyone else for stating what we believe. Texaspiper started this discussion, and we are entitled to state our position in response.

[115] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 10:15 PM · [top]

Nellie,

As I visited another parishioner in the hospital this week, I was reminded that the consecreted host given to the dying, the despondent, the desparate, communicates its own sacramental meaning in ways that the words of wise theologians of any denominational stripe can only hope to scratch the surface of.

All we really need to know is that our Lord and Savior commanded us to “do this in remembrance of me”.  That remembrance, which is made present in the Host, is of some very mystical importance to Christians of true faith who always seem to sense the ultimate importance of this very very special Sacrament.

What truly moves me is when people of all denominational strips, at the moment of their apprehension of their death, take the Sacrament in their hands in an act of reverence that seems to come from some deep inner instinct.

[116] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-18-2011 at 10:16 PM · [top]

No, there is actually very little variety of belief in Protestantism, and rarely about significant things.

Like whether matrimony, anointing of the sick, confession of sin and ordination are sacraments, whether baptism is salvific, whether there is a real presence, who may be admitted to communion, whether bishops are of God or of Man, whether creeds may be recited or even required of belief, whether handling venomous reptiles is a mark of election, TULIP Calvinism versus Arminianism versus semi-Pelagianism, and whether the wine of the NT and the Lord’s Supper is wine as commonly understood or unfermented grape juice.

[117] Posted by Ed the Roman on 1-18-2011 at 10:25 PM · [top]

That is why protestants are united and catholics are disunited.

Amidst our quick rehearsal of Reformation and Counter-Reformation, thanks for the laugh.

[118] Posted by driver8 on 1-18-2011 at 10:36 PM · [top]

Ed the Roman at #117

Thank you for proving Carl’s point, in spades.

[119] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 10:38 PM · [top]

Eulogos wrote at #104,

“That’s preposterous.  The Orthodox and Rome can dispute who left whom.  But England clearly separated itself from the Church, according to the understanding of Church which everyone had before that time, including everyone in England.  To say otherwise is roughly analogous to Texas seceding from the other 49 states and saying those states left them because it thought they had strayed from the original principles of the United States.  They can assert that their reasons are good ones,  but they really can’t deny that it is they who have separated.  If you really think otherwise it is the most amazing piece of self delusion I have heard of in a long time!”

If so, it is a self-delusion that has been shared by all protestants since the 16th century. What you are demonstrating is how little many Roman Catholics know about Anglicanism, and about Protestantism.

I defy you to read through the works of the 16th century reformers (Anglican or otherwise), and find ANY concession that they were separating from the church. Whether Luther, Bucer, Cranmer, Ridley, Calvin, Jewel, Hooker or anyone else, they all held to the view that they were being faithful to the church.

In relation to the See of Rome, they hoped (to varying degrees) that it would also reform itself. However, by the time of the Council of Trent (1564) most took the view that the See of Rome had failed to do so, and would not do so. Even those (such as Hooker) who still held out hope of a reconciliation required reformation in Rome in order for that to occur.

As for “the understanding of Church which everyone had before that time”, that is clearly not the case. Most people understood that the Papacy and the Church were not the same thing. When England formally denied the Papal assertion of a right to intervene in English affairs in 1533, it wasn’t separating from the church, it was just putting the Pope in his place.

Nor was England an innovator – it was only denying the assertion of Papal powers which were relatively recent, and in so doing it was following in the footsteps of many German states, much of Bohemia and the kingdom of Sweden. Movements were already afoot to achieve the same in every other country in Europe.

So yes, our view is that we did not separate from the Church, we are part of it and always have been. However Rome has chosen to separate itself from us.

[120] Posted by MichaelA on 1-18-2011 at 10:40 PM · [top]

[114] Nellie

Obviously there’s plenty of disagreement among Protestant denominations

Yes, there is significant doctrinal disagreement among Protestants in different Organizations.  There is also significant agreement.  Likewise there is significant doctrinal disagreement within this temporal organization called the Roman Catholic Church.  The fact that Rome is united in a single organization does not impress me as a sign of true unity.  The Anglican Church is more than ample proof that organizational unity means less than nothing in terms of doctrinal unity and faithfulness.  I do not need to be organizationally united with a Baptist to be spiritually united with a Baptist in faith.  We share the same Gospel.  That is why MichaelA emphasized the ability to partake of Communion in a Protestant church.  The Common Gospel makes for a Common Table.  Where you see schism, we do not.  We see different churches, but one Church.

I do hope that clarifies why I responded to you the way I did. 

carl

[121] Posted by carl on 1-18-2011 at 10:42 PM · [top]

At least historically in England, some Protestants (namely Anglicans) did see such as schism and declined to share Communion with those who refused to conform.

[122] Posted by driver8 on 1-18-2011 at 10:53 PM · [top]

“Organizational unity” among Anglicans? Excuse me, but I must have missed something. You mena like what we’re seeing with the primates’ meeting in Dublin - that organizational unity? Rome has a very clear “organizational unity.” What some individual Catholics believe is irrelevant. It’s the magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church, that is relevant.  Rome has the authority to say, “No, same-sex amrriage is immoral and not in accordance with Scripture.” Rome has the authority to excommunicate those who might perform same-sex marriages. Rome has a very definite postion on abortion, stem-cells, euthanasia, etc. Rome has a lot of very strong postitions. Everyone who wishes to be a true Roman Catholic has to conform to these teachings. Some things may be gray areas, but there are some very definite must-believes and must-not-do’s. Obviously not everyone who calls himself a “Catholic” really is, by the RC Church’s definition. I can call myself a red-hot mama, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m a grandmother of seven with one boob.

[123] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 02:10 AM · [top]

Nellie,
The ‘paper unity’ of the Anglican Communion centred on Canterbury is foundering, much like that of the Roman Communion during the year of the three popes.  The ‘real unity’ of the ‘real church’ is harmed not a whit. 

I’d pay more attention to claims based on ‘paper unity’ if ‘paper unity’ meant that bishops enforced the paperwork.  As it is, the ‘paper claim’ is worth less than the trees felled to produce it.

[124] Posted by Bo on 1-19-2011 at 02:27 AM · [top]

Indeed!

[125] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 02:35 AM · [top]

Nellie, I find your #123 confusing. First you write:

“Organizational unity” among Anglicans? Excuse me, but I must have missed something. You mena like what we’re seeing with the primates’ meeting in Dublin - that organizational unity?

You seem to be under the impression that Carl, or I or someone else has argued that “organizational unity” is a hallmark of Anglicanism. But I can’t see where anyone has suggested that. Could you clarify what you are responding to, please?

You then appear to suggest that Primates failing to attend (“boycotting”, if you like) the Primates meeting in Dublin is a bad thing. Is that really what you believe, that unity is more important than truth? So for example, if a Pope taught something that was clearly wrong, you don’t think anyone in the RCC should speak out against it?

If that is your belief, then of course you are entitled to it, but I want nothing to do with it. I would rather be true to the gospel.

You then write:

Rome has a lot of very strong postitions. Everyone who wishes to be a true Roman Catholic has to conform to these teachings.

So what? Every church has a lot of very strong positions. Are you suggesting that Rome’s “very strong positions” have kept it from sin?

At present we are faced with a situation where a few provinces in the Anglican Church have some rank liberals in their hierarchy, notably TEC, ACiC and CofE. The other provinces are in the process of disciplining them, in the same way that BXVI is dealing with similar problems in the RCC. It would be extremely hypocritical of you to suggest that there is a significant difference between the two situations - unless of course you deny that the RCC has any problems. Do you deny that?

[126] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 02:56 AM · [top]

Hmmm, I can now see that the words “extremely hypocritical” in my last post #126 were quite unwarranted. My apologies to Nellie and everyone else.

[127] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 03:04 AM · [top]

[123] Nellie

OK, so Unity is now defined as agreement on right doctrine under the authority of a temporal Magisterium that binds the conscience.  Let’s leave aside the fact that the Magisterium ‘wanders a bit’ over time in what it authoritatively teaches.  (That’s why there are Feeneyites after all.  They know what the RCC used to teach.)  Replace the words ‘temporal Magisterium’ with ‘Scripture’ and you have a very Protestant definition of Unity.  That’s really the difference between Protestant and Catholic.  What a Catholic presumes about the Magisterium, a Protestant presumes about Scripture.  Yes, we have disagreements.  So do you.  Those ‘gray areas’ you referred to are just as serious as any disagreement between two Protestants.  If those doctrinal disagreements don’t affect the unity of Catholics, then you can’t very well say doctrinal disagreements between Protestants affect the unity of Protestants.

carl

[128] Posted by carl on 1-19-2011 at 08:13 AM · [top]

James Boswell famously asked Dr. Johnson about the Thirty-Nine Articles: “Is it necessary, sir, to believe all the thirty-nine articles?”  Dr. Johnson responds: “Why, sir, that is a question which has been much agitated. Some have thought it necessary that they should all be believed; others have considered them to be only articles of peace, that is to say, you are not to preach against them.”

As then, as now: Anglicans never were and never are of one mind about the Thirty-Nine Articles.

[129] Posted by Matthew N. on 1-19-2011 at 08:42 AM · [top]

If Protestantism is as doctrinally united as is Catholicism, one wonders why there is no normative Catechism of the Protestant Church(es) comparable to the 756-page Catechism of the Catholic Church to which the members of the Anglican Ordinariate are subscribing.

I doubt that if such a catechism were produced, and received the sign-off by representatives of the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church, and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, it would total more than about a page and a half in length.

[130] Posted by slcath on 1-19-2011 at 09:47 AM · [top]

Silver Lake,
You say that as if it were a bad thing. 

Anthansasius’ creedal definition of the Catholic Faith is “And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons,nor dividing the Substance.” One sentence, with a page and a half of ‘explanatory notes’.  The Southern Baptist ‘Faith and Message’ puts it “The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.”.  Anglican Article I puts ” And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”.  Sufficient adherence to the creedal definition of the faith is already present in the ‘official statements’ of all the Christian Churches, and significantly lacking in the confessional statements from the ‘pretenders’.

[131] Posted by Bo on 1-19-2011 at 12:40 PM · [top]

Hi Silver Lake Catholic

Thomas Oden and JI Packer—evangelical scholars from very divergent traditions put this together…its a pretty good summary of the unity of evangelical catholic faith:
http://books.google.com/books?id=RustYh6trHAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=packer+and+oden&source=bl&ots=bxHuOCwebL&sig=zeREHt7r4mavA-XvXtSz4iiXPRU&hl=en&ei=WSI3Te2YCoL58AbW2_2MBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f;=false

[132] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-19-2011 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Besides the Heidelberg and the several Westminster Catechisms that are used by many evangelicals, there are also the Chicago Statements signed by theologians and teachers across the evangelical spectrum that stand as a united witness:
Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy
Chicago Statement of Biblical Application
Chicago Statement of Biblical Hermeneutics

[133] Posted by St. Nikao on 1-19-2011 at 02:16 PM · [top]

Silver Lake Catholic,

756 pages of catechism, and yet when I discuss practical belief with Roman Catholics, very few seem to believe the same things! That is a classic.

Perhaps you would have done better with a few pages less?!

[134] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 05:50 PM · [top]

MichaelA, you state:  “756 pages of catechism, and yet when I discuss practical belief with Roman Catholics, very few seem to believe the same things!”

Here’s where the 756 pages of Catechism become important: According to John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum the Catechism is a “sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.”  What this means is that insofar as your Roman Catholic discussion partners do not accept the teachings of the Catechism, they do not accept the Catholic Faith, and are therefore not in complete communion with the Catholic Church.  The 756 pages means that they, and you, and I, can know what the Catholic Faith is.  Each is free to accept or reject the Catholic Faith.  But at least we know what it is.

[135] Posted by slcath on 1-19-2011 at 06:13 PM · [top]

SLC,

You’d make a good Presbyterian!

[136] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 06:38 PM · [top]

MichaelA (134) - Silver Lake Catholic said it perfectly, in a nutshell.
With regard to your comment(126), please read again my comment (123). I won’t repeat everything here. I will say that I was responding to Carl’s mention of organizationsl unity. I think the Anglican Communion has no real organizational unity at this point. As for doctrine, there’s a whole lot of dissent on that. Some priests and bishops in TEC don’t even accept the bodily resurrection of Christ; it’s not just the sexual issues that are in question. As for Protestant churches in general, please refer to (130). I echo that.
Where on earth did you get the idea that I think it’s a bad thing that the 10 primates are not going to Dublin? That’s the exact opposite of what I think. I think they have to stay away from this useless exercise that will accomplish nothing but to give the heretics another chance to thumb their noses at the conservatives. It will give legitmacy to Schori and Canada. TEC will again get away with egregiously ignoring - with defying - the moratorium. I used the primates’ meeting in my post to point out the fact that there is indeed very little unity in the Communion at the moment.
Please read this slowly and carefully and try to understand: Rome does have strong positions. Those in the Church are not without sin. Isn’t that simple? Let me elaborate: The RC Church as an institution has strong poitions on matters of faith and morals, and it has the power to enforce those poitions. It can stop people from teaching false doctrine while claiming to be Catholic. (Look up Matthew Fox, an American Jesuit theologian.)It excommunicates people, defrocks priests, etc. Okay. Now: The Church is made up of human beings. Human beings are not perfect. Human beings sin. Sometimes priests sin, bishops sin, nuns sin. Can you grasp this? I have been one of the most vocal critics of the handling of the sex abuse scandal. (I read yesterday, by the way, that the RC Church has actually had the least number of incidents of abuse per capita among churches, something which was a surprise to me; but consider the number of Catholics there are in comparison to other denominations.)
The fact is, MichaelA, if you want to remain Episcopalian, do so; if you want to go to some other part of the Anglican Communion, do so; but respect the decision of the 3 bishops who chose Rome.

[137] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 07:32 PM · [top]

Carl(128), you don’;t know a lot about the Catholic Church. The “gray” areas to which I referred are not major doctrinal areas. If I had to give an example of what I mean by that, I guess I’d say things like the married priesthood, which the Church has had before and may very well have again; St. Peter was married. I don’t mean things like the Resurrection,the Real Presence, same-sex marriage, abortion - those things are not gray areas at all. If a Catholic bishop married his male lover after divorcing his wife, he’d be toast; if 2 gay bishops were married by another bishop, they’d all be gone.
I understand what you’re saying, Carl, about the Magisterium and Scripture.
The fact is that doctrinal differences obviously do affect the unity of the Anglican Church. Isn’t that one of the main topics, if not the main topic on this whole blog?
In the RC Church, my point is that individual Catholics may disagree with other and with Church teaching, and individual parishes may be more or less liberal, but there is a point beyond which they cannot go and still be considered Catholic by the Church itself. Huge chunks of the Church don’t go their merry way calmly ignoring Church teaching, as TEC is doing with the Anglican Communion.

[138] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 07:47 PM · [top]

[138] Nellie

you don’t know a lot about the Catholic Church.

Yes, actually I do. 

carl

[139] Posted by carl on 1-19-2011 at 08:01 PM · [top]

Carl(126) Sorry - I forgot to respond to your comment about my hypocrisy - which youd did graciously modify. You said:

At present we are faced with a situation where a few provinces in the Anglican Church have some rank liberals in their hierarchy, notably TEC, ACiC and CofE. The other provinces are in the process of disciplining them, in the same way that BXVI is dealing with similar problems in the RCC. It would be extremely hypocritical of you to suggest that there is a significant difference between the two situations - unless of course you deny that the RCC has any problems. Do you deny that?

Really? How are the other provinces disciplining them? It seems to me no one is disciplining them. They just keep doing more and more in-your-face things to tell the other provinces where they can go, so to speak. The 10 primates who are refusing to go to Dublin are taking a stand, but of themselves, they’re powerless to do anything to stop TEC et. al. from doing whatever they want. Benedict XVI doesn’t situations similar ours to deal with at the moment; you don’t see whole dioceses ignoring Rome and getting away with it, much less whole countries. The fact is, that if there were similar things going on, Benedict has the structures to deall with it. That’s a fact. We dfon’t have a very effective way to deal with it. So yes, I think there is a significant difference in the way Rome would handle a situation like ours. I think it’s unrealistic and inaccurate to say otherwise, whether you love, like, or despise the Roman Catholic Church.

[140] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 08:01 PM · [top]

[140] Nellie

Carl(126) Sorry - I forgot to respond to your comment about my hypocrisy

I didn’t write [126] and I didn’t call you a hypocrite.

carl

[141] Posted by carl on 1-19-2011 at 08:04 PM · [top]

Carl(139) - I don’t think you do. I think you think you do, from talking with your ignorant, ungrounded, Catholic-in-name-only friends, and maybe from some things you’ve pickerd up from the media. If you can seriously think that Rome would not handle this crisis entirely differently, you clearly don’t know anything about the RC Church.

[142] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 08:04 PM · [top]

OOps! My (141) was meant tobe addressed to MichaelA(126). Sorry, Carl!

[143] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 08:08 PM · [top]

Nellie wrote at #137,

1. “MichaelA (134) - Silver Lake Catholic said it perfectly, in a nutshell.”

Said what? That there is wide variety of belief among Roman Catholics? I agree entirely.

2. “With regard to your comment(126), please read again my comment (123). I won’t repeat everything here. I will say that I was responding to Carl’s mention of organizationsl unity.”

I have read it, and that is why I wrote what I did. I do not find your posts or your ideas clear, at all. After your explanation, I am even more confused.

3. “I think the Anglican Communion has no real organizational unity at this point.”

Depending on how you define “organizational unity”, that may be true, or not. But so what? Definitions are elastic - what practical point are you drawing from this?

4. “As for doctrine, there’s a whole lot of dissent on that. Some priests and bishops in TEC don’t even accept the bodily resurrection of Christ; it’s not just the sexual issues that are in question.”

There are Roman Catholics who do the same. And despite your strident claims, most of them are NOT disciplined. What is your point, please?

5. “As for Protestant churches in general, please refer to (130). I echo that.”

You seem to think #130 made some useful or challenging point. I found it almost entirely irrelevant. I suppose we will just have to disagree.

6. “I think they have to stay away from this useless exercise that will accomplish nothing but to give the heretics another chance to thumb their noses at the conservatives. It will give legitmacy to Schori and Canada. TEC will again get away with egregiously ignoring - with defying - the moratorium. I used the primates’ meeting in my post to point out the fact that there is indeed very little unity in the Communion at the moment.”

Your posts continue to be very confused. The majority (I should add, the vast majority) of Anglican believers are united and orthodox. A very small number of western *leaders* are either heretical or tolerating heresy. On the other hand, there are a large number of orthodox leaders who are clearly opposed to heresy but divided as to whether they should attend the Primates meeting or not.

That hardly amounts to “little unity”.

I gather that you do not agree with the (presumed) decision of some orthodox primates to attend the primates meeting. YOU have decided that by doing this they are “giving legitimacy to Schori and Canada”. Whether or not you are correct, the fact is that many of those primates do not see it that way, but see themselves as using the Primates meeting to witness to the apostates. Yes, you may be right and they may be wrong. I tend to side with you, but I do NOT side with your arrogant condemnation of them, and I do not agree that it provides a foundation for your opportunistic attack on the Anglican Communion.

7. “Please read this slowly and carefully and try to understand: … Can you grasp this? …”

There is no need to be rude. You need to consider whether the failure of others to understand your meaning may be due to your own failure to express yourself clearly, rather than the mental failings of your readers.

8. “The RC Church as an institution has strong poitions on matters of faith and morals, and it has the power to enforce those poitions. It can stop people from teaching false doctrine while claiming to be Catholic. (Look up Matthew Fox, an American Jesuit theologian.)It excommunicates people, defrocks priests, etc.”

Yes, occasionally it does (very occasionally). Usually it doesn’t (like every church, I might add).

To take just one example, large numbers of Roman Catholics believe that John Paul II was an anti-pope. So far as I am aware, NONE of them have been excommunicated, de-frocked etc. (and No, Marcel Lefebvre was not excommunicated for that reason, but for consecrating a bishop without papal permission).

And I am still at a loss as to what your point is.

9. “The fact is, MichaelA, if you want to remain Episcopalian, do so; if you want to go to some other part of the Anglican Communion, do so; but respect the decision of the 3 bishops who chose Rome.”

Excuse me – where have I not “respected” their decision? Kindly tell me what you are referring to.

[144] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 08:19 PM · [top]

Nellie wrote:

“The 10 primates who are refusing to go to Dublin are taking a stand, but of themselves, they’re powerless to do anything to stop TEC et. al. from doing whatever they want.”

Of course they are. Anyone can call themselves “Anglican” if they want, just as anyone can call themselves “Catholic”. The only sanction that any christian or church has against those who are apostate is to withdraw from communion with them. In fact, most Anglican provinces have already cut communion with TEC and this is an on-going process.

Compare an analagous situation: JPII excommunicated ++Lefebvre and others, and effectively inhibited the Society of St. Pius X. How much practical effect did that have on their operations? Arguably very little. If anything, sedevacantism seems to be even more influential today than it was 20 years ago.

There is not actually that much difference between the churches, however difficult it is for RCs to accept that.

If the Anglican process is too slow for you (not that it has been slow, by the standards of any church), or doesn’t seem right, then there is a simple solution - don’t be Anglican.

[145] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 08:33 PM · [top]

Given Michael and Carl’s opinion in particular about Protestant unity versus Catholic “unity” (their parentheses), I’d be curious what they think of any or all of the following statements:
1.Protestantism has always had more visible AND invisible unity than Catholicism.
2. The “break” of the Reformation has nothing to do with the current so-called divisons in Protestantism—they are unrelated.
3.Sacraments are valid in all Protestant churches, despite what they believe or even whether they use the term sacrament.
4. Bishop Spong and VGR have as much right to be called
Protestants as Jimmy Swaggart or Dr. Gene Scott.
5. There was never any visible unity, historically, in Christianity. Hence the reason why so-called Protestant
divisons are not a problem.
6. When a Protestant body splits (like my parents’ Baptist congregation did a few years ago), there is little or no scandal presented to the secular world.
7.The Catholic church is not seen as “united” by the secular world, while Protestantism is.
8. There is more heresy from and in Catholicism than from any branch of Protestantism.
9. There is no binding authority for Carl or anyone else to say that KJS or VGR is not a true Protestant, but that’s OK, since they each claim their mandate from the Bible.
These obviously appear to have varying sentiments, but since I’d rather just read opinions than argue, any comments would be appreciated. Dave

[146] Posted by DavidSh on 1-19-2011 at 08:40 PM · [top]

Nellie wrote at #142,

I think you think you do, from talking with your ignorant, ungrounded, Catholic-in-name-only friends, and maybe from some things you’ve pickerd up from the media.

Are you always this nice to people who hold different views to you? Yes, some of them may well be “ignorant” or “ungrounded” compared to you, I couldn’t say. But no, most could not be called “Catholic-in-name-only”.

It should hardly come as a surprise that there is variety of belief on many issues among Roman Catholics. Actually, a simple way of showing that is just look at an RC blog. I don’t see this as offensive by the way - it just shows that RCs are the same as the rest of us.

“If you can seriously think that Rome would not handle this crisis entirely differently, you clearly don’t know anything about the RC Church.”

I have never suggested otherwise. Not even hinted at it. Will you please stop putting words in my mouth?

[147] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 08:42 PM · [top]

large numbers of Roman Catholics believe that John Paul II was an anti-pope.

Please give us the numbers on this one, Michael. I’d be especially interested in the percentage in relation to the entire Catholic church. (I assume you’re referring to the SSPX crowd.)

[148] Posted by DavidSh on 1-19-2011 at 08:48 PM · [top]

MichaelA:
1. Silver Lake Catholic said no such thing. You twist people’s words to say what you want them to say.
2. That may possibly be because you can’t read very well, or maybe because you’re so opinionated you are unable to read in an unbiased manner.
3.Not worth wasting words on.
4. Not Roman Catholic bishops. This is an excample of why I think you can’t read very well. I have said repeatedly that you will find individulas Catholics, and even priests, who dissent from core Church teaching; but priests and Bishops can’t go around publicly teaching heresy. What part of the difference between indiuvidual and institutionalized dissent don’t you understand? Schori wouldn’t last a month in the RC.
5. Okay, good idea.
6. Where on earth do you come up with this stuff? Yet another example of either your inability to read well or your tendency to twist people’s words - indeed put words in their mouth. My “arrogant condemnation” of the primates who are going? When did I say any such thing? I said I think the primates who are not going are doing the right thing, and that to go gives Schori et al. legitimacy. I didn’t condemn, nore do I condemn, the primates who are going. Hopefully they’re following their ocnsciences. I don’t think they’re doing the right hing, and I think a little more - excuse the espression - unity among the conservatives might be helpful. Yes, I have decided that it’s wrong to go - anytime one voices an opinion obviously one has decided on that opinion. It sure seems to me that you have plenty of opinions! Having an opinion is not quite the same as arrogantly condemning someone who doesn’t share that opinion. Not only can’t you read,  you don’t knwio how to use language carefully. My “opportunistic attack on the Anglican Communion”? What on earth are you talking about???? I’m a member of the Anglican Communion.
7. In this case, I don’t think so. As for being rude, calling someone a hypocrite because she expresses an opinion you don’tlike or don’t understnad (if you understood it you wouldn’t have called me a hypocrite because you would not have seen any gorunds for that)is nopt exactly polite.
8. Where do you come up with this crap? “Large numbers of Roman Catholics believe that John Paul II was an anti-pope”????? Are you serious???? The man is about to be beatified - the step before canonization (sainthood). Where on earth do you get this stuff! You must have read somewhere about some lunatic fringe in the Church who said something liek this. I will repeat for the umpteenth time - of course there are induividuals, and priests, and even abishopor two who say or do things noat in keeping with Church teaching. (Look up Rembert Weakland, a bisshop of Milwaukee.) Rome does not excommunicate every individual Catholic who says or thinks something opposed to Church teaching. Do you think they have a modern-day version fo the Spanish Inquisition out there? By the way, I highly doubt that the Church would excommunicate someone for saying something about a Pope. Look up excommunication on a Catholic site.
9. I’m not saying you haven’t respected their decision. I’m just saying that each of us has to make our own decision about what we believe and how we live that faith.
Now I’m going to go and do something constructive - relax with a glass of wine and some cheese and enjoy the rest of my evening with some TV, a crossword, and a sudoku or two. God bless and good night!

[149] Posted by Nellie on 1-19-2011 at 08:58 PM · [top]

MichaelA, I’ll take the liberty of fixing your statement, “large numbers of those who have separated from the Church believe that John Paul II was an anti Christ”  No matter the appearance of their practice or the general orthodoxy of their beliefs if they are not in union with the See of Peter they are not RC or even Eastern Rite.

[150] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-19-2011 at 09:01 PM · [top]

Paula at #150,

I don’t have a problem with that. I think its a good answer. What I do have a problem with is some of the wild claims that have been made on this thread.

[151] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 09:09 PM · [top]

Nellie,
Your posts are rapidly becoming a torrent of personal abuse, and in some cases the abuse seems to be used to cover up your unwillingness to respond to points that I have made.

I will respond to whatever points of substance I can find:

1. Silver Lake Catholic said no such thing. You twist people’s words to say what you want them to say.

My apologies for using irony. I would have thought it was clear what I meant. Obviously not.

“4. Not Roman Catholic bishops. This is an excample of why I think you can’t read very well. I have said repeatedly that you will find individulas Catholics, and even priests, who dissent from core Church teaching; but priests and Bishops can’t go around publicly teaching heresy. What part of the difference between indiuvidual and institutionalized dissent don’t you understand?”

Really, like Marcel Lefebvre? If you are going to debate me, then please respond to points that I have already made.

“I didn’t condemn, nore do I condemn, the primates who are going. Hopefully they’re following their ocnsciences. I don’t think they’re doing the right hing, and I think a little more - excuse the espression - unity among the conservatives might be helpful.”

Thank you.

“7. In this case, I don’t think so. As for being rude, calling someone a hypocrite because she expresses an opinion you don’tlike or don’t understnad (if you understood it you wouldn’t have called me a hypocrite because you would not have seen any gorunds for that)is nopt exactly polite.”

Please read my #127, which followed immediately after the “hypocrite” comment.

“8. Where do you come up with this crap? “Large numbers of Roman Catholics believe that John Paul II was an anti-pope”?????”

A number of Roman Catholic commentators believe that sedevacantist belief is increasing in the RC church, and are concerned at it. Might they be wrong? Certainly. Do you know that they are wrong? If so, I would be interested to know the basis for your knowledge.

“Are you serious???? The man is about to be beatified - the step before canonization (sainthood).”

Which has precisely what relevance to my point?

“Rome does not excommunicate every individual Catholic who says or thinks something opposed to Church teaching. Do you think they have a modern-day version fo the Spanish Inquisition out there? By the way, I highly doubt that the Church would excommunicate someone for saying something about a Pope. Look up excommunication on a Catholic site.”

I am well aware of that. You were the one who made a wild statement that Rome excommunicates dissenters and that this somehow showed Rome’s superior response to heresy. I pointed out the truth that in fact such action is very rarely taken.

“9. I’m not saying you haven’t respected their decision.”

Please read the last sentence in your #136.

[152] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 09:30 PM · [top]

Hi Nellie,

Your posts have become increasingly personal and insulting. That will not be permitted to continue. I do not want to remove your posting privileges but I will if I must. This is your one warning.

[153] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-19-2011 at 09:37 PM · [top]

DavidSh at #146,

I think they are good questions, so I am happy to throw some ‘opinions’ back at them.

1.Protestantism has always had more visible AND invisible unity than Catholicism.

I am going to evade this one (at least initially) with another question: What do you mean by “Catholicism”? i.e. does it include just the Roman Catholic Church, or does it also include the Eastern Catholics, the Old Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, and all of the myriad other churches that describe themselves as “catholic” in one form or other?

As you can probably guess, my response on at least the ‘visible unity’ part could vary significantly, depending on your answer.

2. The “break” of the Reformation has nothing to do with the current so-called divisons in Protestantism—they are unrelated.

Everything is related, to some degree. But I will nastily riposte by asking why you chose to start at the Reformation? Why not go back to the Chalcedonian controversy (when the Oriental Orthodox split off) or the Great Schism (when the eastern and western churches split) or the Council of Constance (when the western church tried to maintain outward ‘unity’ via terror)?!

3.Sacraments are valid in all Protestant churches, despite what they believe or even whether they use the term sacrament.

Sacraments are valid in ANY church to the extent that they are consistent with apostolic teaching!

4. Bishop Spong and VGR have as much right to be called Protestants as Jimmy Swaggart or Dr. Gene Scott.

In a sense that is true. Just as anyone baptised and confirmed a Roman Catholic has the right to call themselves that in a certain sense, regardless of how they behave or what they believe.

5. There was never any visible unity, historically, in Christianity. 

No, however, I agree that there was never any visible unity in the sense now used by the Roman Catholic Church. The early church was conciliar and this continued into the patristic period.

Hence the reason why so-called Protestant
divisons are not a problem.

Why just the “protestant divisions”? Why not the “catholic divisions” as well? Anyway, the short answer is that divisions are often a problem, but sometimes division is unavoidable.

“6. When a Protestant body splits (like my parents’ Baptist congregation did a few years ago), there is little or no scandal presented to the secular world.”

About the same as when a catholic or orthodox congregation splits or has some scandal. The secular world ALWAYS gets to know about these things. Everyone in my area knows about a particular RC priest who drives people away from his church (and apparently with good reason), and there was a local Greek Orthodox priest a few years ago who was notorious for being “on the take” and for having screaming arguments with his parishioners. Then there is the fight within the Assyrian Orthodox church in Sydney which made it into the courts, and the recent scandal in the Coptic church. Plus, there are plenty of protestant spats as well.

The secular church doesn’t miss any of these things, even if church people sometimes try to delude themselves otherwise… (note I wrote “church people” in general - this is not a dig at any particular church)

7.The Catholic church is not seen as “united” by the secular world, while Protestantism is.

I don’t think the secular world gives a hoot whether churches are united. It does care whether they live according to what they believe. That is an issue where RCs, Protestants and everyone else have problems.

8. There is more heresy from and in Catholicism than from any branch of Protestantism.

So you want to do a survey of every branch of Catholicism, and every branch of Protestantism to count up the heresies?! I hope you’ve got several months free…

9. There is no binding authority for Carl or anyone else to say that KJS or VGR is not a true Protestant, but that’s OK, since they each claim their mandate from the Bible.

Of course there is. The binding authority is the scriptures. KJS and VGR can “claim” anything they like, just as Hitler “claimed” to have the support of the RC and Lutheran churches. Claims aren’t the same thing as actual authority.

Carl might want to throw in his answers as well.

[154] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 09:42 PM · [top]

DavidSH at #148 wrote:

Please give us the numbers on this one, Michael. I’d be especially interested in the percentage in relation to the entire Catholic church. (I assume you’re referring to the SSPX crowd.)

I have no idea as to numbers in the entire Catholic church. I know for a fact that there are quite a few in Australia (in Sydney, to be precise!), and I have heard several comments by RCs that it is increasing.

I think it would depend also on whether you just restrict it to those who believe JPII was not a real Pope, or extend it to those who say, “he was a Pope but there was something lacking”.

Mel Gibson is supposed to be a sedeprivationist. But then, he originally came from Sydney, so perhaps there is a connection there. We do seem to be a fertile breeding ground for traditionalist catholics!

[155] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2011 at 10:04 PM · [top]

[154] MichaelA

Carl might want to throw in his answers as well.

Yeah, that’s probably not conducive to this discussion.  When I first read those questions, my eyes fell immediately upon this one.

8. There is more heresy from and in Catholicism than from any branch of Protestantism.

Yes, I could answer that question in spades (and hearts and diamonds and especially clubs) but does anyone here really want to argue about whether the RCC is a seething mass of idolatry and false religion?  No, they don’t.  I tried to engage Nellie on a very limited point and by and large have maintained the self-discipline necessary to avoid turning this thread into a general Protestant-RC Apologetic fight.  In general, I think the difference here is that RCs think that a visible authority is necessary to define unity.  To me, that is nothing more than the Israelites’ demand for a King.

Besides, I am little more than your shield-bearer, and you really don’t need me to do even that.  wink

carl

[156] Posted by carl on 1-19-2011 at 10:06 PM · [top]

#155 MichaelA

We do seem to be a fertile breeding ground for traditionalist catholics!

And for traditionalist Anglicans from what I hear!

[157] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 1-19-2011 at 10:33 PM · [top]

#156 You’re a long way from Royal Supremacy then?

[158] Posted by driver8 on 1-19-2011 at 11:29 PM · [top]

[158] driver8

You’re a long way from Royal Supremacy then?

We Americans are constitutionally incapable of accepting the idea of a state-run church. As it were.

carl

[159] Posted by carl on 1-19-2011 at 11:46 PM · [top]

RE: “and by and large have maintained the self-discipline necessary to avoid turning this thread into a general Protestant-RC Apologetic fight.”

And may I just say how grateful I and I’m sure many others are that this latest commenter named “Carl” has been so immensely self-disciplined?

But I would like to point out that StandFirm frowns upon commenters sweeping in and signing themselves under other long-term SF commenters.  Obviously, this latest “Carl” is not the Carl with whom we have become familiar over the long years of his commenture and attempts to steal others’ blog commenter identities will be met with severe blunt trauma in the form of banishments.

[160] Posted by Sarah on 1-20-2011 at 12:37 AM · [top]

Someone has privately corrected me - Mel Gibson was not born in Sydney, but is a native New Yorker. My apologies to everyone (especially New Yorkers).

At least he wasn’t born in New Zealand like Russell Crowe (who is an Anglican).

[161] Posted by MichaelA on 1-20-2011 at 12:48 AM · [top]

“I don’t think the secular world gives a hoot whether churches are united” I’m not surprised you believe this Michael. I don’t know numbers on this, but it would seem to me that the amount of disagreeing amongst Christians has always been a problem for those looking at it from the outside, along with the issue of hypocrisy, and yes, belief—which has been something strived for and not always adhered to as well as it should (just think of St. Thomas!).
  Thanks for your honesty about not knowing the numbers for the SSPX crowd. According to what Fr. Neuhaus wrote a few years ago, their numbers (at least in the U.S.) are not large. The number of dissenters is larger, and I’m sure Fr. N. thought they were the bigger problem in the Catholic church. I think even there though that dissenters are nowhere near as strong as they were 20 or 30 years ago. The seminaries with the most growth are also the most orthodox.

[162] Posted by DavidSh on 1-20-2011 at 03:43 PM · [top]

Just to be clear: both the SSPX and the liberal “spirit of Vatican 2” types are dissenters, just from different directions. That was probably already evident, but I like to be exact when I can.

[163] Posted by DavidSh on 1-20-2011 at 03:48 PM · [top]

(153)Matt,
In response to your comment, I would like to say in my defense that I have called no one names or said anything personal, other than my remark that a commenter was either not able to read very well or was extremely biased, since he seemed to be misinterpreting much of what I posted - so egregiously that it seemed that that must be the case. As for insults, I think being called a hypocrite (as I was) might be considered personal and insulting. (To be fair, he later apologized.) I was also accused of “arrogantly condemning” the conservative primates who are going to Dublin - soon after I was accused of being wrong in condemning the 10 primates who are not going to Dublin. That’s one example of why I made the reading remark. I really felt that there was a sneering tone to a couple of commenters’ responses to me. Posssibly I was responding in kind. I will be extremely careful in the future to say nothing that might be construed as personal, but I would appreciate the same consideration.

[164] Posted by Nellie on 1-20-2011 at 09:27 PM · [top]

Paula Laughlin:

I know it is not my business. But it hurts me to see so much rancor amongst those who should be allieing(sp) against a common enemy.

Oh, it ain’t half as bad as all that!  Getting along with Calvinists is actually quite easy, if you know what you’re doing.

In fact, I can’t help wondering what it would be like if Cousin Carl agreed to help surviving Anglo-Catholics combat heresy in the Episcopal Church . . .


Carl:  First of all, you need to get your own house in order.  All of this popery has to go!  Remember, it’s not “the Mass.”  It’s the Lord’s Supper.  Say it with me.

Anglo-Catholic: I can certainly appreciate your point of view.


Car:  As for those birettas.  No grown man worthy of the name would ever be caught dead with one of those things on his head.  What’s wrong with you people?

A-C:  We would be most unwise if we failed to note an occasional need for improvement on our part.


Carl:  And enough about Mary and the saints already!  The clergy should be preaching about total depravity and limited atonement.  And no more rosaries!

A-C:  I feel that my horizons have been broadened considerably as a result of this conversation.


Carl:  Would there be anything wrong with dusting off the Bible and finding out what it actually says?  I can help you with that but I’m not putting up with any back talk.

A-C:  The frank and forthright manner in which you’ve stated your case is most commendable.


Carl:  You’re all circling the drain over here, High and Low alike.  You need to return to Reformation principles before it‘s too late.

A-C:  That observation is as timely as it is relevant.


Carl:  So does this mean you’re ready to cut out all the weird stuff and get back to basics?

A-C:  Not a chance.  Let’s hurry along now or we’ll be late for the first sitting at brunch.


Carl:  Oh, yeah.  You’re right.

A-C:  Of course I am.


NEXT:  Carl goes on pilgrimage to Walsingham to see if he can put a stop to some of that nonsense. LOL

[165] Posted by episcopalienated on 1-20-2011 at 11:30 PM · [top]

[165] episcopalienated

Oh, you are so going to get it when I figure out some way to respond to this.

carl

[166] Posted by carl on 1-20-2011 at 11:49 PM · [top]

[165] episcopalienated

Where have you been anyways?

carl

[167] Posted by carl on 1-20-2011 at 11:52 PM · [top]

carl:

Where have you been anyways?

I was browbeaten into blog fasting again, just like Greg Griffith.  Only I think he may be out until Ground Hog day.

He’s a very pious fellow, you know.

- episcopalienated

Still dedicated to being an Anglo-crypto-Calvinist and a Protestant-proto-Papist at the same time.  I’m part of the “extraordinariate.”

And I know exactly what I’m doing!

[168] Posted by episcopalienated on 1-21-2011 at 12:05 AM · [top]

And if there are any more cat fights on this thread, I’m launching a song dedication that only MichaelA and I are likely to enjoy!

[169] Posted by episcopalienated on 1-21-2011 at 12:14 AM · [top]

[169] episcopalienated

Well, I can see why MichaelA would enjoy that.  It’s very consistent with the Revivialist Pentacostal Calvinism that the Sydney enclave is so known for.  A trumpet and a saxophone no less.  Sarah would be scandalized.  I assume they had tambourines off screen and that a liturgical dance quickly followed? 

carl

[170] Posted by carl on 1-21-2011 at 12:32 AM · [top]

blog-fasting    /fæst, fɑst/  Show Spelled
[fast, fahst]  Show IPA

–verb (used without object)

1. to abstain from writing comments in on StandFirm. 
See having a life

2. a substitute for actual fasting.  E.g., “He offered a vow to blog-fast during Advent, in lieu of regular fasting.” 
See buffet

3. an excuse offered when a favored Anglo Catholic friend offers when he meanders back on SFIF after a particularly long hiatus. 
See a likely story

[171] Posted by J Eppinga on 1-21-2011 at 07:04 AM · [top]

Thanks fellows!

[172] Posted by Bo on 1-21-2011 at 08:59 AM · [top]

episcopalienated, Thanks for your levity!

[173] Posted by DavidSh on 1-21-2011 at 10:38 AM · [top]

How nice of Episcopalienated at #169 to not only give us pentcostal music, but BAD pentecostal music! Truly, our cup runneth over.

I was in Christ Church College Oxford a fortnight ago. Didn’t hear the choir unfortunately, but they had a nice CD of it playing in the merchandise shop ;0)

What Anglican music needs is something that can draw evangelicals and anglo-catholics together. I suggest this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7wc55oXWf8.

(NB, the anglo-catholics are the ones with more decoration on their pieces of wood)

[174] Posted by MichaelA on 1-23-2011 at 07:32 PM · [top]

MichaelA:

Hmmm!  I still think that snappy Pentecostal number is the best one I’ve come across since this bunch of Lutherans discovered Christmas music.

While we’re on the subject, do try to remember that being unduly influenced by the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie can lead to unforeseen consequences.  Like a deep-seated longing to return to Christ Church, Oxford, and never leave.

Then again, just having more disposable income and a nicer collection of CDs isn’t always a bad thing.  That’s the Broad Church view, anyway.

Thanks for the new link.  If you want to put ideas in someone’s head, using a wooden board isn’t the worst way to go about it.

Cousin Carl knows how to do it with a Louisville slugger.  I think he has what it takes for a monastic vocation (OK . . . except for that whole “wife and kids” thing) and part of me wishes we could get him off to Nashotah House for the work-study program.

But I know that Katherine Ragsdale will be handing out Bible tracts down at the Cambridge bus station before that happens.

Oh, well!  Let’s keep hope alive a bit longer and see how things turn out in both cases. LOL

[175] Posted by episcopalienated on 1-24-2011 at 10:19 AM · [top]

“I think he has what it takes for a monastic vocation (OK . . . except for that whole “wife and kids” thing)...”
I don’t know, Irish and British monasteries in the dark ages sometimes had married couples in them. But they were all either wiped out by the Vikings or subsumed into the medieval orders (the monasteries, not the married couples).

I can just see Carl in the scriptorium putting finishing touches to the Book of Kells in gold leaf paint, or out in the fields dipping sheep.

[176] Posted by MichaelA on 1-24-2011 at 05:07 PM · [top]

[176] MichaelA

Awww!  And here I thought I was gonna get to apply a Louisville Slugger to one of them there Anglo-Catholic seminaries.

carl

[177] Posted by carl on 1-24-2011 at 07:53 PM · [top]

carl:

And here I thought I was gonna get to apply a Louisville Slugger to one of them there Anglo-Catholic seminaries.

Young man, this thread is about the Ordinariate, not major league baseball.  Could we please get back on topic?


Two desperate Anglicans mull over one alternative to going in a Romeward direction.


Anglo-Catholic:  Did you just make another long distance call from my phone?

Dilettante Churchman:  Yes, and I’ve got great news!  The Calvinists in Geneva have agreed to create a High Church Ordinariate of their own to attract Anglo-Catholics.  That ought to put a stick in Rome’s spokes!

AC:  Are you sure about that?  They haven’t exactly warmed up to us in the past.  And how many of us could accept all five points of . . .

DC:  Forget “points” and think outside the box for once.  All we have to do is create an “Historical Documents” section in the Anglican Missal and stick the Westminster Confession in there.  Nobody reads that far back anyway.  What difference is it going to make?

AC:  But what about actually saying Mass?  They certainly aren’t going to let us do that.

DC:  Yes, they will!  We just have to remember to throw in the phrase “commonly called” and they’ll be satisfied.  Here’s how it works.  Some guy asks you where you’re going on Sunday morning and you say:  “I’m going to what was once commonly called the Mass.”  That’s all there is to it.  I’m telling you, these guys are bending over backwards!

AC:  Are we going to have our own Anglican Use parishes?

DC:  Absolutely!  They’re going to put us in enclaves.  They don’t want us running around loose anyway, and according to an actuarial study their theologians did, we’ll all be gone in fifty years.  But this is a propaganda coup they can’t afford to pass up in the meantime.  And we don’t have to become Roman Catholics.

AC:  But we don’t believe all the same things they do.

DC:  Good Lord, we’re Anglicans!  Who knows what we believe?  And how do we know John Calvin wasn’t right about all that stuff?  Would you be willing to argue with the guy?

AC:  I suppose not.  But we’ve always tried to keep an equal distance between Rome and Geneva.

DC:  Yeah, well, that’s no longer an option unless being stuck in a black hole with Mrs. Schori & Co. is your idea of a good time.  And with this bunch, at least you don’t go down on the floor a bishop and come back up a deacon, if you’re lucky enough to do that much.

AC:  What about a presbyteral form of government?  How do we reconcile ourselves to that?

DC:  What’s to reconcile, Nimrod?  They aren’t going to let us tell the rest of them what to do, but we still get to do things our way as long as we stay on the reservation.  What do you think the Romans are going to do for us, let us pick the next pope?

AC:  I see what you mean.  But how will they react if our way of doing things catches on and some of their members are attracted to at least a moderate form of Anglo-Catholicism?  Won’t they feel resentful?

DC:  Listen, if these people were ever going to be impressed by what’s inside a Wippell’s catalogue, it would have happened by now.  But suppose you’re right.  Worst case scenario, they get stuck with a divided Anglo-Calvinist Communion that might have a shelf life of 100 years.  But that’s their problem, not ours.  We’ll be dead long before things hit the fan.

AC:  OK . . . let’s do it.  Now, why don’t we recite the Te Deum Laudamus in thanksgiving for our deliverance?

DC:  Oh, there’s one little thing I forgot to mention.  No more Latin.  How do you feel about the 23rd Psalm? LOL

[178] Posted by episcopalienated on 1-24-2011 at 11:43 PM · [top]

No, you can’t take the Latin - even St. Thomas in NYC uses it…

You just can’t take away the ‘native tongue’ of the C part of the AC.

Please say you’re joshing about that bit….

[179] Posted by Bo on 1-25-2011 at 12:09 AM · [top]

Epsicopalienated

All we have to do is create an “Historical Documents” section in the Anglican Missal and stick the Westminster Confession in there.  Nobody reads that far back anyway.

No no no no no no no!  You have overlooked the requirement of Catechism.  You must be examined by the Committee for Reformed Evangelism and the Enforcement of Proselytization.  You won’t slip by that easily.  The Lie Detectors will trip you up for sure.

No more Latin.

Nah.  We’re OK with Latin.  RC Sproul can’t write a book without using it.  I swear that he has a “Latin Word per Page” Density requirement.

carl

[180] Posted by carl on 1-25-2011 at 12:12 AM · [top]

All we have to do is create an “Historical Documents” section in the Anglican Missal and stick the Westminster Confession in there.  Nobody reads that far back anyway.  What difference is it going to make?

“He said WHAT???!!!

Uh-oh.  Now you’ve done it, Episcopalianated. 

On the other hand, this place ain’t no Puritanboard.  You could probably get away with a statement like that over here.

[181] Posted by J Eppinga on 1-25-2011 at 01:04 AM · [top]

#178, brilliant

Forget the lie detectors, just pick a name that fits in, and no-one will question you. Something with the words “reformed” and “presbyterian” in it, plus any other words you like. If some other church has already got the particular combination you want (which is highly likely the first time around), just shift the words till you get something original.

“Reformed Anglican Prebyterian Catholic Reformed Apostolic Assembly Church” would do nicely.

AND THEN, tell all the other churches with “presbyterian” and “reformed” in their names that their understanding of the doctrine of predestination is weak as water. It doesn’t matter what you actually believe, just tell them that and they won’t bother you again.

[182] Posted by MichaelA on 1-25-2011 at 01:06 AM · [top]

#178 - that is utterly brilliant, it has been ages since I’ve seen anything that comes close in the general Anglican humor department.

[183] Posted by Wilf on 1-25-2011 at 01:38 AM · [top]

Tee hee . . .

“Yes, and I’ve got great news!  The Calvinists in Geneva have agreed to create a High Church Ordinariate of their own to attract Anglo-Catholics.  That ought to put a stick in Rome’s spokes!”

I think we should call it “The Reformed Ordinariate.”

[184] Posted by Sarah on 1-25-2011 at 09:27 AM · [top]

I think I’ve just been blinded by a flash of genius.  You owe me some sunglasses Episcopalienated.

[185] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 1-25-2011 at 01:20 PM · [top]

“Reformed Anglican Prebyterian Catholic Reformed Apostolic Assembly Church” would do nicely.

That dog would never hunt. 

First of all, the acronym is all wrong - RAPCRAAC ??!  It sounds like rap music and crack cocaine.  You would never be able to attract any waspy suburbanites as the other Presbyterian denominations do, with an acronym like that. 

Second, I can’t decide if it’s Presbyterians who are out-of-the-closet Pentacostals (inferred from word, “Apostolic”) or Anglo-Catholics who are out-of-the-closet Five-Pointers.  Lots of confusion there. 

Third, there is the perplexing question about the RPW.  I mean, I haven’t met a Presbyterian yet who can cite examples of worship that positively conform to the RPW;  it’s sort of an exercise in pointing to something and asserting that it doesn’t conform to the RPW.  I’m pretty sure that the Anglo-Catholics would make the top of the list of Reformed cautionary tales. 

Fourth, what’s an Anglo-Catholic??  Is that a band spearheading the next British Rock Invasion?  (Yeah, yeah, I know what an AC is, but most Presbies out there don’t). 

Lastly, there may be a niche there for burnt-out Presbyterians who are regarded as too Romish to serve as elders, but not enough Romish for Rome.  On the other hand, they’ll take one look at the “Anglo Catholic,” in the title, do their due-Google-diligence, ask one of RC Sproul’s minions about it, and then stay away for fear that it’s just a halfway house to Rome. 

raspberry

[186] Posted by J Eppinga on 1-26-2011 at 07:38 AM · [top]

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