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Telegraph: Hardline archbishops declare Anglican split [Not Quite]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 • 10:11 pm

Hold on:

Hardline Church leaders have formally declared the end of the worldwide Anglican Communion, saying they can no longer be associated with liberals who tolerate homosexual clergy.

The traditionalists dealt a serious blow to Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by claiming that he can no longer hold the Church together.
The formal pronouncement of the schism is contained in an 89-page document titled The Way, the Truth and the Life, which has been drawn up by conservative Anglicans ahead of the breakaway Gafcon summit next week and which has been seen by The Telegraph.

It is supported by the heads of key African churches including Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda.

Archbishop Peter Akinola, the primate of Nigeria, states in one section: “There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion.’’

Stand Firm is also in possession of this document, and while I haven’t scrutinized the entire thing, I think it’s accurate to say that those parts pertaining to the fractured nature of the communion are more descriptive than they are prescriptive. They state the obvious - granted, in unusually articulate and foreboding prose - but they do not go so far as to declare a schism as the Telegraph claims. The purpose of the document appears to be more to frame the discussions that will take place in Jerusalem, not to declare anything in the way of an official schism.

While further examination upon the release of this document may reveal something different, prudence requires that I warn everyone not to proceed from the assumption that this document declares - and thus GAFCON will open with - a declaration of an official schism.

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Canucks are in agreement with your reading of the doc Greg.

[1] Posted by Peter on 06-18-2008 at 10:57 PM • top

Where did you find the book Greg?

[2] Posted by bob+ on 06-18-2008 at 11:01 PM • top

This is gonna be an exciting week! Can’t wait until this time next week!

[3] Posted by TLDillon on 06-18-2008 at 11:44 PM • top

I’ve got a copy of it myself and while I’ve only taken a quick glance through it, Greg’s analysis seems to be spot-on.  The Telegraph has jumped the gun once again.

[4] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 06-19-2008 at 12:15 AM • top

A ODF form of the book is available from Episcopal Cafe
here. At the very bottonm of their slant on +Akinola not gettng into Jordon is a “pdf” link to download it!

[5] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 12:26 AM • top

oops! Typing in the Spirit again! That would be “Pdf” not Odf! It’s late.

[6] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 12:27 AM • top

What a shame.  And I was all ready to celebrate.  I guess I’ll store the bubbly back on the shelf until New Year’s Eve.  More dither, more talk.  Makes me look back on my Baptist roots and wonder why I became Anglican?  Baptists split much more quickly and over a lot less.  Why can’t we just admit that our “Communion” is dead and move on.  Canterbury isn’t going to save us.  Christ has already paid that price.  We need to quit looking to Canterbury and focus on the Lord Jesus.  I pray the Holy Spirit takes hold at GAFCon and a declaration is finally declared.  Patience isn’t one of my virtues.

[7] Posted by Donal Clair on 06-19-2008 at 01:18 AM • top

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, Donal!  Patience is a virtue, and you need to grow some!

[8] Posted by Cennydd on 06-19-2008 at 01:41 AM • top

Sorry, but my garden only has impatients in it.  How do I grow patience? LOL Sorry, bad joke.

Cennydd, I know what you mean. People have been critical of my impatience for years.  I’m just wired for action and I make no apologies.  It’s just the way I am. But look at iot this way,  I’m still here—I haven’t crossed the Tiber yet.

[9] Posted by Donal Clair on 06-19-2008 at 02:01 AM • top

But it says so in the Telegraph - surely?

[10] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-19-2008 at 03:32 AM • top

the Anglican Communion s at a crossroads; it ha[s] to decide, without further hesitation, which way to go.

There it is from early on in the document.

We’re headed on The WAY which is The TRUTH and The LIFE.  Jesus’ Way.  NOT our own wandering, human-determined, wayward, sinful, subjective, plastic, wind-blown, perdition-directed, easy path.  Jesus’ Way!

[11] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 06-19-2008 at 07:00 AM • top

#5,6—ODF=Orthodox Document Format

[12] Posted by Gator on 06-19-2008 at 07:09 AM • top

I am just terribly sad.  I have no doubt that this is the decision (and the right one) that is coming upon all of us but sad that Satan is winning a battle in the Anglican Communion.  I pray for all those whose souls are tied up by the deceit that many in the Northern, and other, Churches are promulgating.  Especially I pray for those whose minds, hearts and spirits are clouded by lack of understanding, inertia and habit, and are remaining in ECUSA, the CofC, Brazil, The Central American Churches, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.  The leadership of these churches will have much to account for when they face Jesus.  This is a time when we must all be on our knees in prayer, praying that in these times many hearts will be opened to His unestimable love and grace, and for those who are making these decisions at Gafcon.  Also we must be in prayer for the CofE which face particularly difficult choices.
May His grace and peace be upon all of us, those who are likely to be called out of the AC as we know it, and those who remain.


[13] Posted by Bill C on 06-19-2008 at 07:20 AM • top

Most learned posters here seem to find something in “there is no longer any hope” that I am missing.

[14] Posted by stevenanderson on 06-19-2008 at 07:52 AM • top

Bill C,  It is a season and event that gives us all BOTH sadness and joy.  SADNESS for the sins of silence, apathy and neglect that allowed Anglicanism to degenerate…for the personal and corporate promulgation of deceit,lust and death instead of truth, love, life.. and JOY that repentance and turning from and abandoning evil, returning to God, determining whole-heartedly to live in communion with Him in Spirit, Truth and holiness always brings.

[15] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 07:56 AM • top

Steve Anderson-
++Akinola is only stating the obvious- that since TEC’s schism with the rest of the Communion in 2003 (what did you think the “torn fabric” was?), the Communion has not continued, and will not be able to continue in the future, with all of its nominal constituency.  Orthodox Christianity cannot co-exist with a “make it up as you go along religion of the moment”.
Ever since TEC gave in to a couple hundred thousand political activists, the question has not been, “will there be a split?” but rather “who will split from whom?”  Those of us who are hopeful in this think that there is a possibility that the majority of the Communion will reach the conclusion that staying true to the orthodox faith outweighs their desire to remain in Communion with TEC- or, more specifically, with the couple dozen dioceses within TEC that have been the real drivers of heresy and schism both within TEC and the Communion.  There is even some distant hope still out there that the ABoC will succeed in turning around the “middle of the road” institutionalist bishops in TEC at Lambeth.
All that the quote says is that we can no longer pretend to be one Communion.  Something that has been true for the last 5 years.

[16] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-19-2008 at 08:05 AM • top

“There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Anglican Communion”
Translation:  From 1997-2008, pleas, warnings, patient listening, patient instruction, arguments, agreements, documents, meetings, conferences, seminars were given and have been ignored or countered with the most illogical tangeld answers.  However, there has been NO REPENTANCE. 

Instead, there has been disregard for agreements and unimpeded continuous escalation in implementing unscriptural agendas and blatant disrespect, desecration, blasphemy, heresy, apostasy, syncretism thrown in the face of Scriptural Traditional Christianity within the past decade.

It is time to let their consequences befall them.  They are responsible to God for how they receive and utilize His Word, Name and offices in His Church.  It is time to disregard them and to tearfully, prayerfully, but finally, commend and release them to Him.

[17] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 08:25 AM • top

#13. Actually, this is evidence that the devil isn’t going to win this one.

A GAFCON that dances around substantial issues, promotes continued “dialogue” and “listening”, encourages “tolerance” and “pastoral acts”, and notes that there are different opinions on Scriptural authority would be definite signs of the devil’s power of deception.

The moderate and liberal bishops would do well to have eyes that see and ears that hear.

[18] Posted by Ralph on 06-19-2008 at 08:25 AM • top

Correction, that is illogical ‘tangled’ answers.

[19] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 08:35 AM • top

#12 Gator,
Thanks that makes me feel a bit better! smile

[20] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 08:40 AM • top

What if the othodox provinces came up with their own covenant agreement? By signing on they would clearly separate themselves from those who couldn’t agree to the basics and would know who was and wasn’t part of the new orthodox communion (something which exists already, but isn’t yet clearly defined). All that would be needed beyond that is to establish a formal structure which could take place over time.

[21] Posted by venbede on 06-19-2008 at 09:33 AM • top

I’m intrigued (not surprised, I guess) about the stated desire to affirm not just the witness but the content of the 39 Articles according to their plain meaning as a standard of Anglican faith. Any ideas on where that will leave folks who are Anglo Catholic?

[22] Posted by driver8 on 06-19-2008 at 09:36 AM • top

Between a rock and a hard place?

[23] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 09:42 AM • top

Oscewicee (23)
Actually my hope is a renewal and restructure of the Continuum as a place for the Anglo Catholics.  But it will take a lot repentance and setting aside egos for that to happen and I think river crossings will increase before it all settles.

[24] Posted by Elizabeth on 06-19-2008 at 09:48 AM • top

I’m wondering what Cardinal Kaspar’s reaction will be.  Rome has always dealt with Canterbury, but if Canterbury is the instrument of communion between only the parts of the Anglican communion that are doctrinally furthest away from Rome, then I’m wondering if it might not be better for Rome to talk with Bishop Akinola and company directly.  I’d say that if the AC definitively fractures, it also means that the likelihood of TAC’s admission into communion with Rome is greater—there isn’t the fear on Rome’s part of losing Canterbury if Canterbury isn’t a point of unity within the AC. 

I think unity between Nigeria and Rome would be potentially far easier than unity between Canterbury and Rome.  I’m wondering if Cardinal Kaspar sees that, or if he will still pursue Canterbury.

[25] Posted by The Abbot on 06-19-2008 at 09:56 AM • top
[26] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-19-2008 at 09:57 AM • top

Why would a group that is affirming and defending the 39 Articles on one hand look for reconciliation with Rome on the other?  Has anyone seen any indication from Archbishop Akinola et. al. that alignment with Rome is something to be desired?  I haven’t.
Those bits in the 39 Articles about the repugnancy of transubstantiation and parading (?) the elements may not sit well with The Magisterium, to my way of thinking.

[27] Posted by The Pilgrim on 06-19-2008 at 10:15 AM • top

#27 The Pilgrim
I’m a bit baffled by your post! I know that for myself and all the priests that I have known and worshipped with believe in Transubstantiation. And I am curious if you can point to the specific section of the 39 Articles that states the “repugnancy”?

[28] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 10:33 AM • top

I think we Anglo-Catholics will find ourselves shunted to the side.  I don’t know how +Schofield, +Iker, +Ackerman and their people will fit in to the emerging GS dominated Anglicanism that certainly seems to be more aggressively evangelical protestant than anything many of us recognize as the Anglicanism we’ve known.

[29] Posted by evan miller on 06-19-2008 at 10:34 AM • top

#29 evan miller,
Being from the San Joaquin Anglican Diocese under Bishop Schofield and AB Venables, I can say that many of us do not worry ourselves about that sort of thing as we have much trust in God and as long as we are obedient to Him and His Word, He will work all the details out!

[30] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 10:38 AM • top

“This is gonna be an exciting week! Can’t wait until this time next week!”

ODC: This is not directed at you, but your comment reminded me of something my father (who died when I was young) used to say when, waiting for a birthday, or Christmas, or the end of school and summer vacation, when I’d say the same thing. He’d say, “Van, don’t wish your life away, live into the best of each moment, tomorrow will take care of itself.”

I have just had a friend (nearly lifelong to my wife). hit by a truck while riding a bike for exercise, crushing his helmet, but not killing him. At present vegetative, we all pray for better. I gave him the Last Rites. At 44 he has three beautiful children, a lovely family, a million friends…Gafcon and Lambeth are important, yes…The issues relate to the faith for which many have given their lives…But I want us to live into today with the people we love, and those we just meet. What I don’t want is to lose sight of the people for whom Christ died, and the purpose of it all, because of all the smoke and dust up. I want to cherish each moment I can spend with them. I don’t want to lose sight of those things that are also important as I fight in my way in this battle. I want to fight, but I don’t want to become so strident that I break relationships with people I love (and I know it may come to that because in some ways they are just as intolerant as I am).

I hope this makes sense, your comment just struck me, and as I said, this was not meant with any disrespect. I just feel too much is being invested in a fight, sometimes for fightings sake, rather than for Christ’s sake or that of our fellow human being, Christian or not. I am not making a judgment only expressing a feeling. In a way it is as though our message is “come unto to me all ye that travail and are heavy laden…and help me with my burden, take on my issues, and that defines you then as a Christian…” As opposed to the other side, “Come unto me all of you, agree with me or you are hateful, mean spirited, and unlikable, and not only that you are not really my friend, and neither is the horse you rode in on.” I wish there could be a cooling off period, but I know there can’t be. So, we shall see tomorrow.

Deep down we all know that soon, we all shall be called on to continue with Christ, or opt for the world, the flesh, and the devil, and the death of something we love, giving rise to the phoenix, the resurrection of that object of our love, as we are once again, I pray, reunited as the Body, rather than parts of the BODY. Why, though, must we continue to crucify Christ to get at each other?

I suppose I just have had a lot of death surrounding me lately, and want to remember the joy that under girds our lives, not just the battles, the world, the flesh, and the devil..Though to be honest, a little more flesh would not be all that bad right now. smile

[31] Posted by FrVan on 06-19-2008 at 10:50 AM • top

#28. Here it is.

XVIII. Of the Lord’s Supper.
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

[32] Posted by Ralph on 06-19-2008 at 10:53 AM • top

I agree with ODC.  This is much too important a matter for us to be concerned about.  It will be sorted out by Someone who is in charge of everything!

[33] Posted by Cennydd on 06-19-2008 at 10:54 AM • top

There is no reason why you cannot continue to cherish each moment you can to spend with each beloved person you know and come in cnotact with no matter the decision that comes. That is what we as Christians are to do. But, God does and is separating th wheat from the chaff. He Himself said,

Matthew 10:21-25
  Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, [22] and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. [23] When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
  [24] “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. [25] It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.


Matthew 10:34-40
  “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. [35] For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. [36] And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. [37] Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [39] Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
  [40] “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.

[34] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 11:04 AM • top

Fr. Van, prayers for your friend and all who love or care for him and the wife and children who love and depend on him.

In a way it is as though our message is “come unto to me all ye that travail and are heavy laden…and help me with my burden, take on my issues, and that defines you then as a Christian…” As opposed to the other side, “Come unto me all of you, agree with me or you are hateful, mean spirited, and unlikable, and not only that you are not really my friend, and neither is the horse you rode in on.”

There ought to be a way of dealing with all this without chewing each other apart.

[35] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 11:05 AM • top

Well Raplph,
Thank you, but I guess this means that I am actually Roman Catholic at heart. Because I for one beleive it changes during consecration!

[36] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 11:06 AM • top

Anglicanism has had “parties” in it (not that kind, I’m being serious)for generations. Before the 39 Articles, Henry VIII, with his Latin Mass, believed in Transubstantiation. The influence of the Continental Reformers brought about the sense of Receptionism. Bloody Mary asserted Transubstantiation again, with the same grace as Henry. Elizabeth created the blending of it all, or the “Elizabethan Compromise,” a kind of Anglican sandwich, a type of a Dagwood, where you crush it all and swallow. A pleasing doctrine known as the “real presence.” The prayer at the administration of Holy Communion (Rite 1, 1928, and prior) is an example.

[37] Posted by FrVan on 06-19-2008 at 11:08 AM • top

Here are some of the elements of the 39 Articles that are DIRECTLY aimed at the “Romish” practrices in the English Church:
Article 22: 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.

Article 25: Of The Sacraments
Paragraph 4:
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about…

Article 28: Of The Lord’s Supper
paragraph 2:
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
Paragraph 4:
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

[38] Posted by The Pilgrim on 06-19-2008 at 11:09 AM • top

ODC: I agree. What I am saying though, is I should not be the one running headlong into the field with a sickle lopping off heads, God can accomplish the job of separating without my help. God knows that I don’t want the judgement on my head.

[39] Posted by FrVan on 06-19-2008 at 11:14 AM • top

Well, the new Pope got rid of purgatory (er, the doctrine, not the place) recently.  But I think he’ll be intransigent when it comes to transubstantiation.

[40] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 06-19-2008 at 11:19 AM • top

The Pilgrim ,
Thank you but I lean very much toward the Roman Catholic thinking in this. I do beleive that at the Last Supper with the Apostles, Christ’s instructions to both the lifting uup the bread and then the wine and blessed them and then said, “Do this in remberance of me” was an instruction to contiue to partake of the Holy Supper of His Body and Blood everytime we meet as Christians baptized in His death and risen gain in Him through His grace and our faith.
I take great issue with those articles becuase unlike the Bible they were written by human men. Where the Bible was the Word inspired through human men to write God’s teaching and instructions down and to record the events, healings, and miracles as well for our teaching and training.

[41] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 11:21 AM • top

The Pilgrim,

Certainly there are elements of the 39 Articles that a Catholic cannot assert; but as I read them, I find the distance between Archbishop Cranmer and the Pope to be a lot less than the distance of Archbishop Williams to the Pope.  A move toward the Anglican 39 articles, is, therefore, in my view, a move toward Rome because it is a move towards traditional catholic (small c) orthodoxy.  A half dozen or so of the articles differentiate the Anglican church from Rome, but more than thirty of them are beautiful statements of traditional Christian orthodoxy. I would say that if the Pope were to read the 39 Articles of Cranmer and, say, the 12 theses of Spong, he’d feel closer to communion with Cranmer than Spong. 

Why would Akinola move toward Rome?  Only because the Holy Spirit might so move him; the Holy Spirit always moves towards unity; Pentecost trumps Babel. I have no evidence that Akinola desires it; he might view Rome as being the whore of the Apocalypse, for all I know.  But I look at Nigeria with its adoption of Shar’ia law in its northern provinces and I think that Christians of all stripes ought to be looking at unity, the better to oppose the common foe.  Rome stands against both modernism and Islam; so does Akinola.  They do not precisely agree; but they are much more in agreement than disagreement. 

I think Akinola would look great in red, too grin.

[42] Posted by The Abbot on 06-19-2008 at 11:27 AM • top

Ditto FrVan! But as a priest you and those in Holy Orders are called to Ptoclaim the Gospel and tend to the flock that has been ientrusted to you and to seek the lost and bring them back into the fold of God’s Kingdom. That is I am sure a very difficult job which is why:
<blocquote>Matthew 5:19
  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

and Matthew 24:4-5
  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. [5] For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.</blockquote>

[43] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 11:32 AM • top

But I look at Nigeria with its adoption of Shar’ia law in its northern provinces and I think that Christians of all stripes ought to be looking at unity, the better to oppose the common foe.

I think so, too, Abbott. Not just because of Islam, but also because of the chaos of the secular culture that surrounds us.

[44] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 11:35 AM • top

Historical quibble with my previous post:  Cranmer’s 42 articles aren’t exactly the Anglican Church’s 39. Substitute Matthew Parker for Cranmer . . .

[45] Posted by The Abbot on 06-19-2008 at 11:35 AM • top

Not true.

[46] Posted by trooper on 06-19-2008 at 11:49 AM • top

#40—I think you are confusing Purgatory with Limbo, which was supposed to be a place for the souls of unbaptized babies.  B16 did away with Limbo fairly recently.

[47] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 12:15 PM • top

The Abbot,  Just for the record—for whatever it is worth, I can assure you, based upon my conversations with the man (not a close relationship, but several fairly incisive conversations under relaxed circumstances) that ++Akinola does NOT view the Bishop of Rome as the anti-Christ. Nor does he view the Roman Catholic Church as being in any way sinister or un-Christian. I think that he would agree with you that Anglican Churches of Africa have a LOT more in common with Rome than they do with 815… I am pretty sure that communion with Rome is nowhere on his radar right now. But he is well-aware that there is ample room for incisive common cause with Rome—on many levels and in many ways. I actually know Joe Ratzinger a LOT better than I know Peter Akinola. And I know for a fact that the current Bishop of Rome (Benedict XVI) would concur in this.

[48] Posted by bluenarrative on 06-19-2008 at 12:20 PM • top

For the Holy Spirit to move the ancient and recent behemoths into unity, there will have to a humble willingness be some sacrifice of superfluities and extraneous inessentials by all.  It may take more fire and heat and more lopping, sifting, shaking and stirring, and more time, but may it happen.

[49] Posted by Floridian on 06-19-2008 at 12:23 PM • top

Correction -
For the Holy Spirit to move the ancient and recent behemoths into unity, there will have to be a humble willingness by some and the sacrifice of superfluities and extraneous inessentials by all. 

It may take more fire and heat and more lopping, sifting, shaking and stirring, and more time, but may it happen.

[50] Posted by Floridian on 06-19-2008 at 12:29 PM • top

In Newark (#47)  Your phrase “did away with” does not quite express the current official line of the magisterium on the issue of “Limbo,” not that it means much… “Limbo” was NEVER anything more than a bit of speculation; one of many possible ways to deal with some thorny theology that had people in the late Middle Ages somewhat perplexed and confused… Rome’s doctine of Purgatory (which is a bit more nuanced and supple than some Protestants want to believe) is considered to be Dogma…

I am, in some ways, perhaps, just about as Protestant as one can be and still remain an Anglican. (Okay, okay—I am actually a bit of a hybrid, I suppose: simultaneously evangelical,in the ancient sense of the word, AND catholic.) ...But, I find the doctine of Purgatory to make a LOT of sense—and to be rather comforting. C. S. Lewis felt the same way, and I don’t think that too many people would question HIS Protestant credentials.

[51] Posted by bluenarrative on 06-19-2008 at 12:31 PM • top

#51—Thanks for your correction—I knew my statement wasn’t quite right.  And I completely agree with you about Purgatory, and also C.S. Lewis.  The Article doesn’t condemn Purgatory itself—just the “Romish” take on it, which in the 16th century,, with the sale and abuse of indulgences, was truly repugnant.

[52] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 12:57 PM • top

There are millions of Christians who believe that “it changes” during consecration, but do not believe that transubstantiation is the mechanism that brings about that change.
I am Orthodox, and there is no space for transubstantiation in Orthodox theology (I am tired of typing that name!) Also, the Lutherans believe that “it changes,” but they do not believe in transubstantiation either.

[53] Posted by The Pilgrim on 06-19-2008 at 12:58 PM • top

The Pilgrim,
Sorry to hear that!

[54] Posted by TLDillon on 06-19-2008 at 01:11 PM • top

The Pilgrim (#53)  I think it is largely a matter of semantics and the inherant limitations of language. I am perfectly comfortable with both the Orthodox take on the Eucharist, as well as the with Luther’s (somewhat fuzzy)notion of consubstantiation. I don’t think that it is really an either/or situation. I simply do not think that ANYBODY has ever used language to adequately (or sufficiently) describe the inner workings of any sacrament.

Actually, as far as any of this goes, I find that your phrase—“It changes”—seems to be to be a VERY USEFUL and a rather SUCCINCT way of describing the mystery of the Eucharist… I’ll let properly qualified theologians and professional semanticists argue about definitions and language. “It changes” sounds about right to me!  smile

[55] Posted by bluenarrative on 06-19-2008 at 01:18 PM • top


Thanks.  I didn’t really suppose Akinola was anti-Catholic, I was really just kidding.  And I think you’re correct on all counts on Ratzinger and Akinola.  Have you really met them both?  That’s pretty neat.

[56] Posted by The Abbot on 06-19-2008 at 01:28 PM • top

In re “it changing”: after decades of meditating on the Holy Eucharist from every point of view I could (and can) think of, I’ve come to the conclusion that the important question is not what it is, but what it does.
(Are we dealing with the issue of what the meaning of “is” is?)
Dumb Sheep

[57] Posted by dumb sheep on 06-19-2008 at 01:37 PM • top

“It changes” sounds about right to me”

Actually, that’s more of an Orthodox position than a Catholic one.

[58] Posted by The Pilgrim on 06-19-2008 at 01:56 PM • top

To all of those Anglo-Catholics who are worried about the “Protestant” tone of the 39 Articles: I can think of many, many, many very High Anglo-Catholics who have never had a serious problem with the Articles.

As far as it goes (and, yes, the Articles are a HUMAN document, not an addendum to Scripture), Article #28 is largely DESCRIPTIVE—and not really particularly doctrinal.

Very few Roman Catholic theologians that I know (and I know quite a few) would contend that the doctrine of transubstantiation can be easily or definitively derived from Scripture. They would also point out that the doctrine has ALWAYS been cached in decidedly fuzzy languge—precisely because the Eucharist is, first and foremost, an immense MYSTERY that we are invited to participate in, but cannot ever really understand, in our present world.

Article #14 and Article #28 are primarily concerned with abuse of the sacraments, as well as with some of the genuinely awful theological thinking that was going on at the time of the Reformation.

I will not go into a lengthy explication of Elizabethan English here—there are several very good histories of the Articles that explain the language quite clearly. But, it IS important to understand that—despite superficial similarities to modern English and almost identical vocabularies—the language of the Articles in several instances means something VERY different from our modern understanding of such words. Indeed, in some instances, the denotations of various Elizabethan words are almost the exact opposite of how these same words are used in the modern world.

Anglo-Catholics should relax. NOBODY at GAFCON wants to “shunt aside” ANY orthodox Anglo-Catholic…

There may not be any prominent Anglo-Catholics listed as authors of the documents, but everybody should remember that a number of the people who have OVERSEEN and APPROVED of the production (as well as the content) of this text are well-placed within the Anglo-catholic tradition… Bishop Robert Duncan, for instance…

[59] Posted by bluenarrative on 06-19-2008 at 01:57 PM • top

By the midnineteenth century, concerns began to arise that the Church of England was no longer ruled by the plain sense of Scripture and its classic formularies. One challenge came from John Henry Newman and the Tractarians, who reinterpreted the Articles in a Roman direction.

I think you’ll find that the text is not especially enamored of the classic ways in which “catholic” Anglicans have tried to reinterpret the 39 Articles.

[60] Posted by driver8 on 06-19-2008 at 02:34 PM • top

Indeed you’ll note that according to the text nineteenth century Anglican church life was scarred by two novelties. The rise of the Tractarians and the appearance of Liberalism.

[61] Posted by driver8 on 06-19-2008 at 02:37 PM • top

Some of us happen to believe the Tractarians were a blessing to the church, providing needed correction.

[62] Posted by evan miller on 06-19-2008 at 02:40 PM • top

“Actually, that’s more of an Orthodox position than a Catholic one.”

I thought “Catholic” and “Orthodox” came from the same root word, meaning the same thing?

[63] Posted by FrVan on 06-19-2008 at 03:27 PM • top

The substance of this part of the discussion is whether or not the consecrated “host” becomes the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ regardless of how it happens.

(Matthew 26:26-27) “Take and eat, this is My Body.” The RCC understands that Jesus meant this literally ... as did the earliest Christians.  In the Gospel of John 6: 53-66 , Jesus was very explicit. When many of His followers left Him because they found the idea so repulsive, Jesus did not pursue them and say, “Hey, this is a symbolic statement.”  It was a difficult idea (on so many levels) then and it is now.

Transubstantiation is about what happens, not how it happens.  It is a Mystery. (From the RCC point of view.)

[64] Posted by interested observer on 06-19-2008 at 03:30 PM • top

Bible says right there: “Take and eat, this is transubstantiated to become My Body.”  Seems clear to me.

[65] Posted by Chazaq on 06-19-2008 at 03:42 PM • top

Chazaq of course you’re right - now I think of it, doesn’t Jesus say “eat this in remembrance that I’m elsewhere.”

[66] Posted by driver8 on 06-19-2008 at 04:35 PM • top

It is interesting to watch some of the banter back and forth here. From some of the postings it appears as though many have never taken the time to thoughtfully read all of the Articles of Religion. There are many available good commentaries on the Articles, so there is really no reason for someone to not be able to understand them in their plain and intended meaning. I have felt that for along time that no one was taking enough notice of really how different ritualists and evangelicals really were. I still prefer High, Broad and Low; but that isn’t in vogue anymore. If there is to be a formal “split” in the Communion, then I think we need to address the fact that Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics have very different Weltanschauungs from one another. This isn’t even to speak to the issue of women in the ministry ( Yes, I am not trying to turn this into a debate on that, that is a wholly another topic being dealt with elsewhere). As an evangelical, in a more decidedly nineteenth century sense, I sometimes have to cringe at the stuff that passes for evangelicalism in contemporary Anglicanism, but there is very little that I can do about that. Do any of you recall when they changed the recipe for Coca Cola? If there had been no public uproar the New Coke would have become what everyone would have referred to as Coke and the Old Coke would slip into oblivion to be forgotten. I feel that much the same thing has happened and is happening to Evangelicalism. The term is being co-opted by anyone who isn’t more demonstrably ritualistic, so it is losing its intended meaning. We are very far from being out of the woods yet. Do yourselves a favor and read the Articles if you cannot square with them perhaps you never were Anglican to begin with.

[67] Posted by RMBruton on 06-19-2008 at 05:12 PM • top

#67 I more or less agree with you - if the Articles become a test of faith as the text seems to want - then catholic Anglicans will need to find a home elsewhere. On the other hand the reduction of real Anglicanism to the Articles - or to the theologies that predominated in the Church of England between 1550 - 1620 is, of course, precisely what catholic Anglicans have disputed since the 1620s.

[68] Posted by driver8 on 06-19-2008 at 05:30 PM • top

I really wonder how many classical Evangelicals there are and how are they spread-out? Has Anglican Comprehensiveness become indistinguishable from ecclesiastical multi-culturalism? You know what scripture says about houses divided unto themselves. Cheer up saints its going to get worse.

[69] Posted by RMBruton on 06-19-2008 at 05:45 PM • top

In the Mere Christians section of his address at GAFCon (on SFIF and T19) Bishop Duncan states that classical Anglicanism is all three, Catholic, Evangelical and Charismatic. 

I believe this whole-heartedly.  The Church should be and must be all three.

[70] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 06:25 PM • top

I thought “Catholic” and “Orthodox” came from the same root word, meaning the same thing?

Father Van, sometimes your humor is too subtle.  I was 2 sentences into a response to that before I realized that, of course, you would know both the roots, the meanings, of both words. (And if I am wrong about that, please consult a dictionary, or someone will think you were ordained in THIS diocese.)

[71] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-19-2008 at 06:27 PM • top

OK, Fr. Van and TJMcMahon…would one of you kindly share the secrets, er, roots, etc of Catholic and Orthodox?

[72] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 06:32 PM • top

It is time to face it, folks. The Anglican schism is de facto. Denial will only delay orderly realignments.

[73] Posted by Alice Linsley on 06-19-2008 at 06:41 PM • top


Its original meaning of “general” or “universal” has taken on a variety of applications in the course of Christian history. First used by St. Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 35-107) (Letter to the Smyrneans, 8, 2), it is now mainly used in five recognized senses: 1. the Catholic Church as distinct from Christian ecclesiastical bodies that do not recognize the papal primacy; 2. the Catholic faith as the belief of the universal body of the faithful, namely that which is believed “everywhere, always, and by all” (Vincentian Canon); 3. orthodoxy as distinguished from what is heretical or schismatical; 4. the undivided Church before the Eastern Schism of 1054; thereafter the Eastern Church has called itself orthodox, in contrast with those Christian bodies which did not accept the definitions of Ephesus and Chalcedon on the divinity of Christ.

In general, today the term “Catholic” refers to those Christians who profess a continued tradition of faith and worship and who hold to the Apostolic succession of bishops and priests since the time of Christ. (Etym. Latin catholicus, universal; Greek katholikos, universal.)

Right belief as compared with heterodoxy or heresy. The term is used in the East to identify those churches (not united with Rome) which accepted the ancient councils, notably Ephesus and Chalcedon, and which call themselves “the holy, orthodox, catholic, Eastern Church.” In the West the word is sometimes used to describe a justifiable concern for sound doctrine in the Catholic faith. (Etym. Greek orthos, right + doksa, opinion: orthodoksa, having the right opinion.)

[74] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-19-2008 at 06:47 PM • top

My own favorite reference is the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (which I bought for a quarter from a college library when they purged their collection of books considered too Christian).  One needs such reference material when arguing with the heterodox and the heretic, as there is nothing they dislike more than having their words defined.

[75] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-19-2008 at 06:49 PM • top



How is it that people are asking me about Latin and Greek roots for words, and you can drop that one with not so much as a “by your leave?”

[76] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-19-2008 at 07:09 PM • top

Thanks, TJMcMahon, for the definitions and the dictionary recommendation.

MP, Bishop Duncan’s GAFCON address, the Mere Christian section onward gives a comprehensive definition of Anglicanism.

[77] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 08:10 PM • top

RMB, Duncan’s address deals with all that multiculturalism stuff too.

[78] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 08:13 PM • top

#70 That’s great - that IMO rules out adopting the 39 Articles as a test of faith. That doesn’t, of course, mean they can’t have some kind of authority. It similarly means that the sacramental stream of Anglicanism is not necessarily a falling away from Reformed purity in the way that The Way, the Truth and the Life might seem to suggest.

I know the GAFCON folks are growing together and learning what God is calling them to be so I don’t expect them to have fully worked out solutions to theological and practical problems that have bedeviled Anglicanism since the early Seventeenth century.

[79] Posted by driver8 on 06-19-2008 at 08:16 PM • top

Mad Potter, why must our definitions always fit *your* parameters?

[80] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 08:26 PM • top

They are short…

Looked at the OED lately? grin

[81] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 08:31 PM • top

Oxford English Dictionary… which is the definitive lexicon of the English language, as spoken and written worldwide…

[82] Posted by bluenarrative on 06-19-2008 at 08:41 PM • top

I don’t know why anyon should give you grief over citing Latin or Greek terms. For anyone unfamiliar with German, Weltanschauung = Worldview. I’d still like to know what the blazes happened to High, Broad and Low? I’ll have to read Bp. Duncan’s statements regarding ecclesiastical multiculturalism.

[83] Posted by RMBruton on 06-19-2008 at 08:52 PM • top

I’ve never heard Webster’s called the “big dick” before - maybe a regionalism? Check out the OED (I see bluenarrative has explained the acronym) next time you’re in a good library. Your Webster’s dictionary definition is a useful-ish definition for a general audience not interested in details but simply wanting a peg to hang the word on. Do you really think that is the essence of Anglicanism? The Church of England could revert to blue paint and samhain celebrations, but it, and any churches foolish enough to still be associated with it in that case, would continue to be “Anglicanism” for you? It seems, then, that you don’t expect much, or get much, from Anglicanism?

[84] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 09:12 PM • top

MP—I think that for most of us here, Anglicanism is a world-wide Christian denomination founded in England which proclaims the lordship of Christ, and the supremacy of Holy Scripture, which should be read with the Church Fathers and human reason (not emotion or experience) as guides.  Its common worship can be found in the 1662 BCP, and its most important confessional statement in the Thirty-Nine Articles.

While the ancient see of Canterbury is dear to most Anglicans, and is a focus of unity for them, Canterbury does not occupy the place in Anglican theology that Rome does for Roman Catholics. (And since you seem to think that the Continuing Churches are not Anglican, what do you think they are?)

[85] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 09:42 PM • top

Mad Potter, I understand what you are saying, but it seems unlikely, now, that we could agree on one definition? hasn’t the debate become “what is Anglicanism”? There are people here who are far more articulate than I and more concise speakers. Anglicanism has never been apart from the Church of England, where it originated, but it seems that it is possible to think of it now as apart from, or as transcendant/not bound by the Church of England. To define our faith simply by the “Church of England” has to be the shallowest of definitions? (No offense intended to the Church of England, but we are talking about faith, not geography.) To me Anglicanism is orthodox, Christian, liturgical worship. But I honestly have a hard time putting into a few words what Anglicanism is. If it meant less, perhaps I could. And I wonder if you’re not asking something too minimalist? What is Catholicism?

[86] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 09:45 PM • top

See, In Newark is a lot better at this than me!

[87] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 09:46 PM • top

By the way, the OED defines Anglicanism as “adherence to the
DOCTRINE AND DISCIPLINE of the reformed Church of England.”

[88] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 09:55 PM • top

MP—You asked what we conservatives meant, and I think I told you.  I don’t know which Webster’s you quoted in part (there are many editions of Webster’s, and I’d be interested in what the other parts were) or which publication by the Oxford University Press you went to (and whether you quoted their defintion in part or completely).  I can tell you that the OED is normally considered the most authoritative.

The OED always prints significant quotations using the word in question.  For Anglicanism, it lists four examples, including one by John Henry Newman.  They are too long for me to reproduce here, but I can tell you that not one of them says anything about Canterbury,and two emphasize Anglicanism’s adherence to the catholic faith of the ancient church.

[89] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 10:07 PM • top

MP—see again my post #98, which is supported by the OED’s definition of Anglicanism as having to do with doctrine, rather than communion with Canterbury.  It is the definition that I always use, and which I believe most posters on SF use.

Exactly what is it about my post 98 that you don’t understand?

[90] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 10:21 PM • top

MP—re: “the other parts related to England”—do you mean what it says about the doctrine and discipline of the reformed Church of England? 

The doctrine and discipline of the CofE are found in the 1662 BCP, the 39 Articles, and the Ordinal.  This has to do with following the substance of Anglicanism, not who one is in communion with.

To be fair, the OED was completed in 1933, when no one had envisaged the possibility of a branch of the Communion blatantly casting away so much Anglican doctrine, and openly defying the decision of the Lambeth Convention, while the ABC refused to do anything to discipline it, to the dismay of the majority of the Communion.

[91] Posted by In Newark on 06-19-2008 at 10:34 PM • top

MP, Check out the comprehensive definition in The Way, the Truth and the Life.  And my post just now under it.

Canterbury and Lambeth have become at least temporarily invalid and compromised with the actions of the ABC, the invitations to Lambeth, the betrayal of the mind and processes of the wider Communion and with the full steam ahead agenda of TEC, with last week’s mock-wedding in London. 

A decade is long enough to give to argument, pleading and process - continuously thwarted and disregarded process. 

The Church, Christianity and Anglicanism are not dependent on Canterbury or the Western Provinces for either its definition or its spiritual means. 

In this decade, though, it may well be considered as the opposite of their example.

[92] Posted by Theodora on 06-20-2008 at 05:42 AM • top

RMB, pardon me, I had been reading both The Way, the Truth and the Life and Duncan’s address.  Multiculturalism is addressed in the WTL, section 4 or 5, I believe.  This resource covers the pertinent issues quite well and, as Duncan and TWL say, lay a preliminary foundation for a stable cohesive global Anglican future.

[93] Posted by Theodora on 06-20-2008 at 05:54 AM • top

MP - It seems to me you are being intentionally and purposefully obtuse (in other words, acting as a ‘troll’, your understanding are bound and confined and circular and limited in scope (see John 3v3).
Our conversation is concluded.  I refer you to The Way, the Truth and the Life and to Bob Duncan’s GAFCON address and commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to birth (James 1:26), build (Acts 20:32), convert (Romans 10:17) wash (Ephesians 5:26), sanctify and sustain you and all creation.(Hebrews 1:3).

[94] Posted by Theodora on 06-20-2008 at 06:18 AM • top

It sounds to me like Mad Potter and others obsessed with Canterbury are worshiping England, not Christ.

[95] Posted by AndrewA on 06-20-2008 at 06:27 AM • top

It sounds to me like Mad Potter and others obsessed with Canterbury are worshiping England, not Christ.

Yes.  I wonder how Athanasius and Origen would reply to “Schism is worse than heresy.”


[96] Posted by The Pilgrim on 06-20-2008 at 07:14 AM • top

I don’t know why people like Mad Potter bang on about Canterbury.  Half of the Church of England is in the Archdiocese of York.

[97] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-20-2008 at 08:27 AM • top

Mad Potter, we have told you again and again, some more eloquently than others, what we mean by Anglican. You obviously want us to say something else. You keep insisting on tying the definition of Anglicanism to Canterbury and we keep telling you that it is the doctrine and worship that make us Anglican. Canterbury has historically been a part of it, but at the moment it is not clear whether or not it will continue to be so, as I’m sure you are aware. This is in fact, one of the great issues as Canterbury gives the appearance of leaning toward novelty and “newfangledness.” A dictionary definition of “Anglicanism” (and I don’t think it is ever not capitalized) is about as useful as any other sound bite on a complex subject - i.e., not much.

[98] Posted by oscewicee on 06-20-2008 at 08:47 AM • top

Mad Potter, it is demeaning to use the words “+Big Bob” and “+Big Pete” when you refer to two of the most faithful Churchmen of Christ’s Church.  They certainly don’t regard themselves as “big,” and neither should any of US.  WE don’t, but evidently the reappraisers DO.

[99] Posted by Cennydd on 06-20-2008 at 08:57 AM • top

#119, So you refuse to set for us a better example and thereby heap burning coals upon our heads. Thank you for your charity in descending to our level.

As fresh as a blushing June bride.

[100] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 06-20-2008 at 09:25 AM • top

Actually, I need to step in here and say that calling folks “Big Bob” or “Big Pete” is actually, in my opinion, not demeaning at all [though of course it may be intended so].

We do call people down for vulgarity or name calling that is more than a “nickname” [see comment policy posts] . . . but we certainly are not going to be policing nicknames on this site.  I can’t really read people’s hearts and determine if a nickname is supposed to be “demeaning” or simply a love-tap from the opponent [on either side].

In the sports world, nicknames are honors—even if they have a double meaning—for example a bunch of folks call Roger Federer “TMF” or “The Mighty Federer” which is actually an ironic term not always meant to be utterly factual [even though he is quite mighty].

Secondly—just to clarify further—even were we to police nicknames—which we’re not—we wouldn’t do so nearly as forcefully with revisionists as with conservatives.  We’ve always allowed revisionists more leeway on the hate speech than we have conservatives [although not on the off-topics, which rile up not only all the SF Bloggers, but also the Commenatrix, no end].

Thirdly, while it’s highly likely that Mad Potter *means* his nicknames to be “demeaning” I couldn’t really care less what MP says or thinks about the two people in question—and as has been consistently pointed out on this blog—when revisionists attempt to insult, the five SF Bloggers smile. 

For what Episcopal progressive activists value, in general, we do not.  And what we value, in general they do not.  So when progressives try to call names . . . it’s a bit like Pol calling someone else a fascist Marxist dictator—the words fall dull and void upon my ears and I chortle.  You can pretty much call me anything you like elsewhere in the blogosphere—and I’ll and most conservatives will know it’s most likely not true, and not really give a flying fig about it.  ; > )

[101] Posted by Sarah on 06-20-2008 at 09:32 AM • top

tjmcmahon: Thanks for picking up the ball and running with it when I fumbled by going off line. In which diocese are you?

[102] Posted by FrVan on 06-20-2008 at 09:49 AM • top

I am not asking you to include Canterbury, but that is the traditional definition.

No, MP, that is the superficial, secular definition. As I have said about three times now.

you are listing options for consideration in the definition after things shake out….

Where did I do that? I said orthodox Christian and liturgical worship - and if I had been less tired, I would have added the Book of Common Prayer. These are not options, they are necessities. To *you*, granted, they may be optional, but I never said they were.

Is communion with the Church of England how you define Anglican

I could as easily - and perhaps more logically - ask, will the Church of England remain Anglican?

If you get a new world wide church that fits you, that is what you wish of, that is made up of folks that mostly used to be Anglican, do you care if they do or don’t call themselves “Anglican”?

I don’t care to have a church that “fits” me - I want a church that fits itself to God. And I ardently hope that the Anglican Communion will continue to strive to do so. I also hope that in those places where it has quite deliberately turned away from doing so, it will return.

I think it would help you if you realized that there is no *one* reasserting position. We are not homogeneous - so toss out that notion ASAP, please. I think it would also help if you realize that we are talking about things that matter deeply to us, not about things that merely “fit” or “suit” us. You are having a lark, it seems, like you would in a discussion over beer with your PhD friends. It’s not a lark to us.

[103] Posted by oscewicee on 06-20-2008 at 09:57 AM • top

RE: ” I am making a point by using a nickname for the good bishops….that we should be respectful.”

Not certain what you mean—what you deem to be “disrespectful” to the “good bishops” I don’t give a rip about.  What you deem to be “respectful” for your allies I don’t give a rip about.

Carry on using whatever nicknames you wish—you won’t be making any sort of point other than that you want to use nicknames for your theological opponents, which again troubles me no more than a gentle breeze on a sunny day.

[104] Posted by Sarah on 06-20-2008 at 09:59 AM • top

MP—I don’t think there will ever be a definition of Anglicanism that excludes England.  Anglicanism began in England, and all of us on the conservative end—yes, even and especially “Big Pete”—abide by the theology of Cranmer’s Prayer Book, and hold dear the theological heritage of the English Reformers, the Caroline Divines, and their successors. 

You are looking for a final schism,  a complete divorce.  Most of us, including the participants in GAFCON, don’t want to go that far.  However, given the intransigence of TEC,and the ABC’s duplicity, we feel we need something more on the order of a temporary separation, with a firm hope of reconciliation at some point.

Let me give you an example from the Roman Catholic church.  When Vatican II came along, a priest in the RC Archdiocese of Newark founded his own, separatist chapel where he could say the Tridentine Mass, to which he was devoted.  The chapel flourished, filled with devout Catholics who were willing to risk schism in order to follow the traditional Catholic order.  After the founding priest died, the chapel was reconciled with the Archdiocese, which gave them special protections.  So the separation was ended, and in the meantime the RC church is beginning to restore, at least partially, the more traditional aspects of Catholic worship.

[105] Posted by In Newark on 06-20-2008 at 10:04 AM • top
[106] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 06-20-2008 at 10:16 AM • top

Mad Potter, do you believe that revisionists are more monolithic? I wish you luck.

[107] Posted by oscewicee on 06-20-2008 at 12:28 PM • top

MP—I have the distinct impression that you won’t be satisfied with any definition we proffer until our definition matches your definition.  Ain’t gonna happen.

You still haven’t answered my question—if the Continuing Churches aren’t Anglican, what are they?  Does Bishop McPherson think they aren’t Anglican?

Another thing—you dismiss the OED definition because it was .finished in 1933, and then try to insist that the definition in newer dictionaries is the “traditional definition.”  That won’t wash.  Tradition comes from past practices, not something that’s hot off the press.

  The OED was compiled by an enormous team of distinguished scholars, first in the mid-19th century, and then revised again in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.
There is also an appendix from the 1970’s It
is currently undergoing its third revision, and has something like 20 volumes,  If any of your Ph.D. friends are specialists in the humanities, they will inform you that the OED is THE authoritative dictionary of the English language.  It doesn’t always get American usage right, and of course it doesn’t cover new words and usage from the last 20 years—but if you want to know how a word has been used over the course of the development of the English language, that’s where you go—not to a common one-volume dictionary comprised of short hand definitions.

The full name of the OED is The Oxford English Dictionary based on Historical Principles .  For each word, the compilers tried to find the earliest English reference, and then other significant references through history.  For each reference, the OED quotes at least a full sentence containing that word, so that there is no doubt about the context.  Interestingly, the very first reference for Anglicanism that the OED doesn’t occur until 1846.

I should add that many of the compilers of the OED were members of the Church of England, and were intimately acquainted with its history.

[108] Posted by In Newark on 06-20-2008 at 12:53 PM • top

MP—Just saw your post #131.  You may, of course, be right.
Of course, in the 1970’s, most people thought the RC church would never restore the Tridentine Mass.  And how many people in 1054 (the year of the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches) that 950 years later, Rome and Constantinople would be talking to each other, and trying to find common ground.

[109] Posted by In Newark on 06-20-2008 at 01:01 PM • top

While Gafcon may indeed be claiming an end to the AC as we know it, I have some rare footage of the PB, in formal attire, and some of the American bishops, practicing for Lambeth. I hope I don’t anger the powers that be. They were caught on film at 815 on a janitors cell phone. Please consider this my attempt at as a palace, oops, I mean palate cleanser:

[110] Posted by FrVan on 06-20-2008 at 03:40 PM • top

MP—I gave you a DICTIONARY definition in post 98.  I gave you my own, fuller definition in post 95, and you said “I have almost no idea of what that means,”  thereby betraying your almost complete ignorance of what Anglicanism is.  This probably isn’t your fault—TEC is, alas, filled with progressive priests who preach whatever appeals to them, proclaiming that it is the essence of Anglicanism, while at the same time openly rejecting Cranmer’s BCP, which has been the foundational document for almost all Anglican theology over the last 450 years.

Ok, you want more?  The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s dictionary (which is online) defines Anglicanism as relating to the Church of England, or an international church connected with it .  Please note that “connected with” is a much broader term than “in communion with”.  Wikipedia says: The great majority of Anglicans are members of churches belonging to the Anglican Communion. However, there are a great variety of non-affiliated Anglican churches, most notably the Continuing Anglican Churches.

I will try to get to the rest of your post later.

[111] Posted by In Newark on 06-20-2008 at 04:06 PM • top

In Newark, I’m just curious - why do you continue to play MP’s silly game with him?  You already nailed it in your post #133, that he won’t admit that any definition has even been offered until he sees his own.  You are having a dialogue with a wooden post.

[112] Posted by CarolynP on 06-20-2008 at 04:31 PM • top

I agree that one can be Anglican, and not a member of the AC. Anglicanism is a christian expression, a background, a theology, (now theologies), an order, a shared history, not an institution necessarily, though one can be Anglican and belong to an institution.

[113] Posted by FrVan on 06-20-2008 at 04:36 PM • top

Carolyn P—Actually, I don’t know.  You’re probably right, and perhaps I should stop.

[114] Posted by In Newark on 06-20-2008 at 04:54 PM • top

#139: I should have added, one can be Anglican and in an institution, at least I know many who should….smile

[115] Posted by FrVan on 06-20-2008 at 04:56 PM • top

Remember, this all started in post 75 with the statement “as there is nothing they dislike more than having their words defined”. I responded with “tjmcmahon…so how come it is so hard to get a definition of “Anglican” out of you conservatives? That definition is shifting as we speak.” This goes back to an earlier thread where I had a similar lack of luck trying to get a short concise definition for Anglican.

Oh dear, I see that from now on, I must check the computer at midnight for unanswered questions from MP. Of course, any of several people have offered definitions of “Anglican.”  Unfortunately, none of these has satisfied MP, and he has posted quite a few (I have not counted how many) messages objecting to the various definitions.  Which only goes to prove my point- “there is nothing they dislike more than having their words defined.”  One can see how much he dislikes it by reading his posts.
  However, as I seem to be the one responsible for tying up all this blog space, I suppose it is incumbent on me to come up with a working definition.  My own definition would be:

Churches in communion with Canterbury and those churches not in communion with Canterbury who maintain the use of one of the traditional liturgies of the Communion.

That is overly succinct, but I am not going to transcribe the entire 1/2 page definition of “Anglicanism” found in my Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Such “working definitions” leave out the beauty of Evensong, the wonder of Holy Communion, the poetry of Thomas Ken.  And I would argue that those things (among many others) are what truly defines Anglicanism.  I don’t imagine that my definition will satisfy Mr. or Ms. Potter any more than the others offered. It is unfortunate that some people reject the idea that the church is sometimes complicated, and requires thorough study and some real effort.  Try to explain the Real Presence in one sentence.
  The working definition I have offered would encompass the current Anglican Communion, continuing Anglican Churches, the REC, and I am sure other similar churches in other parts of the world.  The Methodists have (by contrast) moved away from the Anglican liturgical practice, and would no longer be considered Anglican.  The Archbishop of Canterbury has himself used such a definition in some of his letters and speeches, acknowledging that the continuing Churches are indeed Anglican, even if not in direct communion with him.  He has also stressed the point that, although some bishops consecrations may be irregular, he considers those under those bishops (whether CANA or New Hampshire) to be Anglicans in communion with his see.

[116] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-20-2008 at 07:09 PM • top

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