Saturday, April 14, 2007

Father Tony on Bishop Cox and the History of the Continuing Church

A very helpful and intriguing read...

The Rev. Tony Clavier
Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese of West Virginia
Priest-in-charge, St. Thomas a Becket Church, Morgantown, WV


The attempt to create a united church instead created fragmentation. After General Convention’s 1976 approval of the ordination of women and first reading of legislation to create a new Book of Common Prayer, traditionalists divided. Some remained within TEC as “The Evangelical and Catholic Mission”, a lobby whose heir is now “Forward in Faith America.” A few associated themselves with the Roman Catholic Church. Still others formed a body called “The Anglican Church in North America.” Despite the American precedent that it was possible to have a church without geographically resident bishops, the leaders of ACNA were determined to go ahead and elect bishops for their emerging dioceses and secure valid consecration for them.
The bishops-elect were James Mote of Denver, Dale Doren of Pittsburgh and Robert Morse of Oakland. All were Episcopal priests. Fr. Doren was an evangelical. They were divided in their ecclesiology, churchmanship and personal relationships.

As the date of their consecration drew near, it looked as if at least three bishops were willing to consecrate the bishops-elect. They were Charles Boynton, retired Suffragan of New York, Clarence Haden, Bishop of Northern California, Albert Chambers, retired Bishop of Springfield, Mark Pae, a Korean Anglican bishop and Francisco Pagtakhan, a missionary bishop of the Philippine Independent National Catholic Church which was in communion with the Episcopal Church.

At the last minute all but bishops Chambers and Pagtakhan dropped out. Most cited ill health. Bishop Mark Pae who was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury sent a letter stating that if he were able to be there, he would have joined in the laying on of hands. This letter was produced during the service as a symbol of participation. The lack of a physically present third bishop suggested to many that the consecrations were “irregular.” Bishop Doren was consecrated by two bishops and then became the third bishop in the remaining consecrations.

It is not clear whether Bishop Chambers was disciplined by the Episcopal Church for his participation. Within a year ACNA divided into three groups. Bishop Mote became a territorial bishop in the Anglican Catholic Church. Bishop Doren became the Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America and Bishop Morse the Archbishop of the non-geographical Diocese of Christ the King. All three ecclesial groups exist to this day.


At least one other jurisdiction pre-dates the “Denver Consecrations”. It was termed “The American Episcopal Church.” Its Orders were thought by many to be at least irregular. It was shunned by the post Denver churches. However the AEC demonstrated significant growth in the 1980s, as it absorbed smaller “continuing churches” and parishes and grew new ones. Beginning in 1985, the leadership of the Anglican Catholic Church began to show interest in merging with the American Episcopal Church. Those opposed to such a merger cited problems over Canon Law, the validity of Orders and other matters as obstacles to unity. On the other hand it was generally agreed that growing divisions among “continuing churches” hampered growth and stability and weakened the witness of those in exile from the Episcopal Church.
Despite considerable antipathy to a union between the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Catholic Church, negotiations continued and agreement was reached over Canon Law, territorial dioceses and theological and liturgical breadth. The matter of the validity of Episcopal Orders remained a sticking point.

Conditional Consecration

Both churches agreed that the way forward had to include conditional ordination and consecration for the bishops of the American Episcopal Church. Some who regarded the “Denver Consecrations” as irregular thought that the ACC bishops, who were in succession to the Denver bishops ought similarly to receive conditional ordination and consecration. It was therefore finally agreed upon that all the bishops should undergo conditional consecration. Each should be affirmed or re-elected to their original sees in accordance with the Constitution and Canons in use, that is those adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1958 amended to provide for a two-province jurisdiction.

The Primate of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, with the consent of his comprovincial bishops agreed to be chief consecrator. Bishop Robert Mercer CR served as Bishop of Matabeleland in the (Anglican) Province of Central Africa before retiring and moving to Canada to serve the “continuing” ACCC. Bishops Charles Boynton and Robert Mize agreed to be co-consecrators. Bishop Boynton was originally bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Puerto Rico. He later became Bishop Suffragan of New York Bishop Robert Mize served as Bishop of Damaraland –now Namibia- in the Province of Southern Africa before retiring to be an Assistant Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Both bishops were members of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops.

During the unity Synod of the merging churches, dioceses and parishes, on October 3rd. 1991, Bishops Mercer, Mize and Boynton conditionally ordained and consecrated the bishops participating in the merger. The service was conducted according to the Ordinal contained in the Book of Common Prayer, 1928 edition, in the presence of a large congregation and according to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church adopted by the Anglican Church in America.

Discipline and Censure

For a number of years before these consecrations, the American Episcopal Church had been in formal discussions with the Episcopal Church. Whether for this reason or not, no attempt was made by the Episcopal Church or its House of Bishops, to discipline or censure Bishops Mize and Boynton for their participation in these consecrations. Both remained members in good standing of the House of Bishops until their deaths at very advanced ages. Bishop Mize also remained an assistant bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin in good standing. Bishop Boynton resigned from the ministry of the Episcopal Church in 1991 but no notice was taken of his action by the Episcopal Church. Meanwhile the resigned Bishop of Dallas, Donald Davies was deposed by Presiding Bishop Edmund Browning when he formed a continuing church named the Episcopal Missionary Church.

Whether similar action will be taken in the case of Bishop Cox, until recently assistant bishop of Oklahoma, remains to be seen. He too is very old and served the Episcopal Church with quiet gentleness and pastoral care. One may only hope that the powers that be will follow the precedent set in the cases of bishops Mize and Boynton. The practice of deposing clergy rather than withdrawing their licenses seems to call into question the Episcopal Church’s own doctrine of the indelibility of Orders and its teaching that Orders are of the Church Catholic and not the possession of an individual denomination.

Palm Sunday, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

The New Translation of the Novus Ordo Missae


Isn't it fascinating how close some of the phrases and words are to the sublime and truly poetic version found in the Anglican Missal. Have the Roman Catholic authorities avoided using our superior Anglican Missal translations for the new English translation of the Novus Ordo simply because if they were to do so they might be perceived as lending credibility and legitimacy to our liturgical formulae, or even our liturgical patrimony vis-a-vis the Modern Roman Rite? They would have saved themselves much trouble and time by simply promulgating the Knott or Anglican Missals!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

or —Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord
Jesus Christ.

or —The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.

Brothers and sisters,
let us acknowledge our sins,that we may be ready to celebrate the sacred

I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I
have sinned greatly in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in
what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most
grievous fault. Therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and
Saints, and you my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May almighty God have mercy on us and lead us, with our sins forgiven, into eternal
life. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We
praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your
great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ,
Only-begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the
sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive
our prayer. You are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For
you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most
High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to N. Glory to you, O Lord.

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe in one God,the Father almighty, maker of heaven
and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the
Only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light
from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the
Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come
again in glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end. And
in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and
the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken
through the prophets. And one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one
baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look forward to the resurrection of the
dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Pray, brothers and sisters, that the sacrifice
which is mine and yours may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.

May the Lord accept the sacrifice from your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church. Amen.

The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.

Lift up your hearts.We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Taught by the Saviour’s command and formed by the word of God, we have the courage to say: Our Father …

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, sustained by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope, the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever.

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles, Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and be pleased to grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will. Amen.

The peace of the Lord be with you always. And with your spirit.

Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on
us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of
God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, you gave life to the world through your death. By this your most holy Body and Blood free me from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.

or —Lord Jesus Christ, may the receiving of your Body and Blood not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy let it be my protection in mind and body, and healing remedy.

Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the banquet of the Lamb. Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

May the Body of Christ keep me safe unto eternal life. May the
Blood of Christ keep me safe unto eternal life.The Body of Christ. Amen.

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Let us pray …Amen.The Lord be with you. And with your spirit. May almighty God bless you: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Go forth, the Mass is ended. Thanks be to God.

The Roman Canon:

To you, most merciful Father, we therefore humbly pray through Jesus Christ, your
Son, our Lord. We ask you to accept and bless these gifts, these offerings, these
holy and undefiled sacrifices, which we offer you first of all for your holy
Catholic Church. Be pleased to grant her peace, to guard, unite and govern
her throughout the whole world, together with your servant N. our Pope and N. our
Bishop, and all Bishops who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and
apostolic faith.

Remember, Lord, your servants N. and N. and all gathered
here, whose faith and devotion are known to you. For them we offer you this
sacrifice of praise and they offer it to you for themselves and all who are
theirs, for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and security, and
fulfilling their vows to you, the eternal God, living and true. In communion with
the whole Church, they venerate above all others the memory of the glorious
ever-virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, then of blessed
Joseph, husband of the Virgin, your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul,
Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and
Jude: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Laurence,
Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian and all your Saints: grant through
their merits and prayers that in all things we may be defended by the help of your
protection.Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Therefore, Lord, we pray: graciously accept this offering from us, your servants, and from your whole family: order our days in your peace, and command that we be delivered from eternal damnation and counted among the flock of those you have chosen. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We pray, O God: be pleased to bless, recognize, and approve this offering in every way: make it spiritual and acceptable, that it become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Who, on the day before he was to suffer took bread into his holy and venerable hands: with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.

In the same way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice into his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the Cup of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant; it will be poured out for you and for many [the word all will be changed before publication] for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.

The mystery of faith. We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection until you come in glory. or —When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again. or —Saviour of the world, save us, for by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.

Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed passion, the resurrection from the dead, and the glorious ascension into heaven of Christ, your Son, our Lord, we, your servants and your holy people, offer to your glorious majesty from your own generous gifts, the pure victim, the holy victim, the spotless victim, the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation. Be pleased to look upon them, with a serene and kindly gaze, and to accept them as you were pleased to accept the gifts of your just servant Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.

In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God, bid that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty, that all of us who receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son through this sharing at the altar may be filled with every grace and blessing from above. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Remember also, Lord, your servants N. and N. who have gone before
us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace. Grant them, O Lord, we
pray, and all who sleep in Christ, a place of refreshment, light and peace.Through
Christ our Lord. Amen.To us sinners also, your servants who hope in your abundant
mercies, graciously grant some share in the communion of your holy Apostles and
Martyrs: with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius,
Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia,
Anastasia, and all your saints, into whose company we beg you admit us, not
weighing our merits but granting us pardon, through Christ our Lord.Through
whom you constantly create all these good things, O Lord, you make them holy and
fill them with life, you bless them and bestow them on us.Through him, and with
him, and in him, to you, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy
Spirit, is all honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

De Civitate Dei

Please visit this superb blog co-written by Daniel Trout, a traditional Anglican seminarian and, Deo volente, future postulant and ordinand of the Anglican Province of America.

May 2024 Comprovincial Newsletter

The Comprovincial Newsletter for May 2024 -