Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Affirmation of Saint Louis (1977)

Please visit this new web log and register your reaffirmation of orthodox catholic Anglicanism as expressed by the Affirmation of Saint Louis!

God bless you!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Blessed Christ-Mass!

A blessed and happy Christ-Mass to all!

Please be assured of my prayers for every soul that reads this web log. Thank you all for making the year of grace 2009 such a delightful year in which to blog.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, our Incarnate God and new-born King, fill you all with joy and pour out His abundant blessings upon you as we celebrate the great Christ-Mass solemnity.

And remember, let us keep the MASS in Christmas...

God bless you!

The Anglican Sacramental System

Dear N.,

You raise an excellent point and one which we Anglo-Catholics always need carefully to consider - which is that we do not have any difference with either the Papal Communion or the Eastern Orthodox regarding the essential nature and substance of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, contrary to what Mr George Will asserts in his article. There has always seemed to be some confusion and misunderstanding about this fact on both the Roman and Anglican sides of the debate. Our differences with Rome regarding the Seven Sacraments are almost entirely disciplinary, and not dogmatic, in origin. You are right - we do not in any essential way disagree with the Tradition of the Undivided Church on the Sacraments, a Tradition that both Catholic Churches, Roman and Anglican, share. Our theological language of expression and elucidation may differ, but we possess in common the supernatural economy of grace that is the sacramental life.

For example, we do not dogmatically impose the medieval scholastic Aristotelian theory of transubstantiation on the revealed mystery of the Real Objective Presence, although Rome does. We do believe in the Real Substantial Presence of Our Lord under the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist without attempting to explain how the Lord is substantially present. We affirm the Eucharistic Sacrifice, again without dogmatising about it, and in the same manner we accept Baptismal Regeneration, the Seal of the Spirit in Confirmation, the grace and ontological character of Ordination, the gift of Absolution, the unction of the Holy Ghost in Anointing of the sick and the indissoluble sacramental bond of Matrimony, all without imposing any more dogmatic teaching on them than that which is required by the Holy Scriptures and the Church of the First Millennium. Our differences with the Roman Communion lie in the disciplinary arena, in the purview of canon law and the administration of the sacraments.

Other examples are: that we allow married men to be ordained priests and bishops, and bishops and priests to marry after ordination. We extend Eucharistic hospitality to all the validly confirmed, not merely to those in communion with a particular apostolic See. We anoint the sick, those may have a serious and recurring illness, or even those with spiritual and emotional illnesses, and we do not restrict Unction to the critically ill or dying. We offer a true and plenary sacramental Absolution at Mass after general confession, not limiting the intention to confer sacramental absolution solely within the forum of auricular confession. We do not allow priests to celebrate Mass alone. We do not have legislated in canon law fasting requirements before Holy Communion. But then, in some ways, we are stricter than Roman Church in our discipline, too, for example, in that we canonically forbid the marriage of a baptised Christian to an unbaptised person. But these rules, important and vital as they are, are all ancillary and disciplinary in nature and do not touch the substance of the Sacramental System. Other Apostolic Churches have yet other systems and organisations of discipline in sacramental administration.

Some ill-informed persons, inside and outside of Anglicanism, claim orthodox Anglicans only believe in two sacraments, reading as they do Article of Religion XXV incorrectly, because the Church makes the necessary distinction between two dominical sacraments whose sacramental form and matter are instituted directly by Our Lord in the Holy Gospel and whose reception is generally necessary to salvation, Baptism and the Eucharist (BCP 581), and the five minor, lesser or ecclesiastical sacraments, which were instituted by God in the Old Covenant or at Creation and have their renewed New Testament sacramental form and matter in the order of divine grace from the Apostles by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These five lesser sacraments are true sacraments and true covenantal means of grace, genuine objective channels and gifts of grace, but are not necessary for the salvation of all people. In truth, formal Roman Cathoic theology makes this indispensable distinction (in specie as opposed in genere) in the sacramental order, but some Roman Catholics are unaware of the bifurcation. Again, in categorising the sacraments in this way, we are simply following Holy and Apostolic Tradition.

Friday, December 18, 2009

II Corinthians 5.21

Our Lord Jesus Christ was 'made sin' or 'became sin' for us, because He assumed our sin in His own soul and body on the Cross for our redemption: 'who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the Tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness' (I St Peter 2.24). On the Cross, there is a divine exchange in which Our Lord willingly takes on Himself our sin in satisfactory and real atonement, offering His life for our sake, that we may be joined to Him and in Him in his perfect and all-sufficient act of obedience, worship and love rendered to the Father: in turn, through Christ our Priest and Mediator, we are given the righteousness of Christ as real gift, which is not merely imputed to us for Christ's sake, but is imparted and infused in us by divine grace, especially through the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.

Christ, the immaculate and all-sinless One (Hebrews 4.15), the Lamb without spot or blemish (I St Peter 1.19), offers Himself for us and offers us in Himself to His Father in self-oblation, the unique self-donation of His perfect will united in love to the Father's will. Through Christ we have access to the Father through the one Spirit (Ephesians 2.18).

We 'put on Christ' as God's own purchased possession, His children, in Baptism (Galatians 3) and Holy Communion (I Corinthians 10.16-17) and made one with Him, that He may dwell in us and we in Him (St John 6.53-58). The Person and Work, and the merits and atonement, of Our Lord are conveyed and applied to us through the Sacramental System of the Church. In Christ, we become the righteousness of God, that is, we are made right with and acceptable to God through the merits and perfect righteousness of Our Lord. Our justification in Christ is a free gift of unearned and undeserved grace, the infused energy of the Spirit, whereby we become partakers of the divine nature (II St Peter 1.4), partakers of the life and communion of the Holy Trinity, and are adopted as children of God and sons of grace through the Holy Spirit and the divine sonship of Jesus Christ (Romans 8.1-17). We become filii in Filio, sons in the Son. We become the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12) through union with Christ's Body - offered on the Cross, glorified in the Resurrection and Ascension, present in the Sacraments, and extended in the Church.

The Orthodox Study Bible puts it this way:

How was Christ made to be sin for us? He, the incarnate Son of God, voluntarily assumed the consequences of our sin — corruption and death — without sinning Himself. And He submitted to unjust suffering because of the sinful passions of men and of angels. This means salvation is far more than forgiveness of sins. It is new life: our reconciliation to God (vv. 18-20) and our becoming new creatures (v. 17), participants in the very righteousness of God (v. 21). This means our salvation is not just juridical, (the static, legal pronouncement of a judge), but personal and relational (the dynamic, sacrificial love of a father for his child).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Consecration of Archbishop Matthew Parker

Today is exactly the 450th Anniversary of the consecration of His Grace Matthew Parker as Archbishop of Canterbury, at 6am on Sunday 17th December 1559 in the chapel of Lambeth Palace in London. This consecration gave rise to the post-reformation Anglican hierarchy, and every Anglican bishop, priest and deacon alive today traces his Holy Orders to this act in which the Apostolic Succession was secured, preserved and transmitted for the Anglican part of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. The consecrating bishops were William Barlow, Bishop of Bath and Wells, John Scory, Bishop of Chichester, Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, and John Hodgkins, Bishop Suffragan of Bedford. Bishop Barlow and Bishop Hodgkins had been consecrated according to the Latin Sarum Pontifical; Bishop Scory and Bishop Coverdale had been consecrated according to the Edwardine Anglican Ordinal of 1550. All four recited the ancient form of consecration, Accipe Spiritum Sanctum, at the laying on hands. Through them and their sacramental action, the Apostolic Ministry was assured for the Church of England and her daughter Churches for posterity.

Let us thank Our Blessed Lord for the inestimable benefit of our Anglican heritage and for the divine gift of Apostolic Orders in the Anglican succession!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Photographs of an 'Anglican Patrimony'

The Very Reverend Craig Edward Young SSC - RIP

Of your Christian charity, pray for the repose of the priestly soul of Father Craig Young SSC, formerly Rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Columbia, South Carolina, who entered eternal life yesterday, 14th December 2009.

He was a dear friend, a truly excellent priest and an absolute stalwart of the Anglican and Catholic Faith. His life was utterly devoted to the Catholic Tradition of the Anglican Church. 'No desertion, no surrender' is his everlasting testimony.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Monday, December 14, 2009

'High Church'

By Father A. Appleton Packard, OHC, 1951.

'MY FAMILY and I were always "low to medium" Churchmen. But when Christ Church became "high" we moved to another parish.' A woman told me that not long ago. It is typical of the business of 'low and high Church' which mystifies outsiders and insiders within the Anglican Church. I have been asked: 'Are there two Anglican Churches in America, the high and the low?' Some people used to say that the Protestant Episcopal Church was 'the High branch' of the Methodist Episcopal! In this paper we present what 'High Church' really means, give something of its history, with the opposite 'Low Church.' Then we consider the degeneration to which a fine term has arrived, and challenge the position many take that these High Church practices are innovations in the Anglican Communion of which the American Church is part. But let me emphasise strongly that Low and High are both fundamentally at unity within Anglicanism. There is only truly one genuine Anglicanism, no matter what differences appear among its parishes.

HOW did 'High Church' originate? Back of 'high Church' lay a trio of nicknames dealing with 'flying!' 'High-flyer,' 'High-flying', or 'High-flown' Churchmen characterised persons and groups within our Mother Church of England in the last quarter of the seventeenth and first of the eighteenth centuries. Read it in the history of that period and see what was going on. In 1680 the earliest reference is to English clergy who held deep-seated loyalty to Crown and Church. Someone depicted 'the honest Divines (clerics) of the Church of England who for their Conscience and Obedience are Branded for High-Flyers.' Partisan lines were drawn by the next year so low men called their opponents 'tories, . . . high-flown churchmen.' These Churchmen were guilty of strong opinions and feelings supporting claims of authority in Church and State. A 'high-flyer or high-flier' had lofty or 'high-flown' notions on questions of government, especially church government. In the last year of the 1600s an opponent said 'the High-Flyers talk and act as if they thought the Kingdom of God was nothing else but Circumstance and Ceremony.' That sounds like a modern gibe. Such accusers forget that care for outward things is essential for upholding State and Church as God's instruments. In religion, a high valuation is set upon everything dealing with the approach to the Divine Majesty. A good answer came in 1718: 'I am afraid Saint Peter and Saint Paul will scarce escape being censured for Tories and High-Flyers.' Conversions from lower to higher Churchmanship were steady. In 1814 a man 'from a sullen sectarian . . . turned a flaming highflyer for the "supreme dominion of the Church."' As late as 1897 a distinguished writer in England remarked upon the 'great mortification to the high-flying Anglican who cannot bring himself to believe that there can be two Churches within the realm at one and the same time.' Only too true. This double word 'high-flying' was used up to the end of Victoria's reign.

Soon after 'high-flyer' appeared, human nature being what it is, as it is more natural to use one word in popular speech where two are correct (as in Roman Catholic), 'fly' dropped out, and 'high' remained as equal in meaning. We may define the High Churchman as a member of the Anglican Communion throughout the world holding opinions which give a high place to the authority of the Episcopate, Priesthood and Sacraments. Generally he emphasises those points of doctrine, discipline, ritual and ceremonial by which the Anglican Church is distinct from protestantism such as Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries it meant those who believed that Episcopacy — governing by Bishops of Apostolic Succession — is of the law of God. They opposed any compromise with protestantism on differences in Church government. And High Church in religion was practically the same then as Tory —royalist conservative in politics. At first a hostile nickname, after the later invention of opposite 'Low Churchman,' it began to be accepted for its own sake.

Apparently High Church was taken from 'High Churchman,' the personal emphasis being first in time. A writer of 1744 dealt with 'those of the Clergy who began now (1700-1702) to be called the High-Church (party), set up a complaint all over England of the want of Convocations.' This refers to the government's suppression of the ancient law-making bodies of the Church which were silenced for a century and a half. A Church historian wrote of 'those men who began now (1704) to be called the high church party' — a couple of years one way or the other made no difference. A bold spirit of 1704 recorded: 'I venture, for it's a Venture at this Time, to own the name of an High-Church-Man. No man thinks it a Disparagement to be High, that is Zealous, in any good thing.' Add this of 1708: 'A High-Church Clergyman is a Holy Man in his Conversation' — praise indeed! By 1710 it was asserted: 'Several of the High Church are for a Union between the Church of England and the Church of Rome.' A decade later Italy was named 'that Seat of High-Churchship'(!). Our Anglican Bishops at Lambeth in 1920 reminded us that there could be no Church unity without the Roman Church of the West. While High or Catholic-minded Churchmen in Anglicanism always stress what is held in common with Rome (and succeed year by year in breaking down blind prejudice against her), they claim that this great Church of ours is fully Catholic in and of itself. She too is universal, holding identical Faith, Ministry, Sacraments and Tradition with Roman Catholics. Yet we hold them without the additions and distortions they sanction.

Since 1833, when British clergy led by John Keble began the Oxford Movement at that University (not to be confused with Buchmanite Oxford Groups), the name High Church was used of this Catholic Revival within the Anglican Church. J. H. Newman and E. B. Pusey were its leaders. It was dubbed Puseyism, and often Tractarianism because of ninety famous tracts spread widely to propagate its principles. The opinions of newer High Churchmen were close to those of the earlier men of the same nickname, although closer to the pre-reformation Church in ceremonial observances. They have long since grown away from conservative loyalty to royalty and outmoded political views. Archbishop Tait of Canterbury wrote in 1882: '. . . powerfully had the early teaching of Newman represented English High Churchmanship as the best barrier against the Church of Rome.' In 1845 Newman did go to Rome, and a trickle of others have done so; nevertheless an equal if not greater group join us from there. The true position of this part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as Catholic but not Roman is the strongest one in Christendom.


What about 'Low Church?' This means an Anglican Churchman holding opinions giving a low place to the authority of Episcopate, Priesthood, Sacraments and Church organisation. The word was invented as opposing 'High Churchman,' and came into use during the early part of the eighteenth century as equal to Latitudinarianism. This mouth-filling word meant wide latitudes in religious belief. A writer of 1708 'shows the first rise of that party which were afterwards called Latitudinarians, and are at this day our Low-Churchmen.' Later it fell into disuse, but was revived in the 1800s when High Churchmen obtained new currency as applied to those of the Oxford Movement. Low Churchman has usually been equivalent to Evangelical — emphasis on the saving Gospel of Christ — and was used but rarely of Broad Churchmen. A common quip ran: 'Low Church lazy; Broad Church hazy; High Church crazy.' Many would prefer to be crazy about or in love with Our Lord and everything His Church stands for, than be guilty of laziness in thought and activity, or haziness in doctrine and devotion!

'Having the Imputation of Fanaticism and Low-Church fixt upon them' was a description of 1702. Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe fame remarked in 1703: 'We have had it Printed with an Assurance I have wondered at, That the moderate Members of the Church of England, call'd Low Church Men, are worse than the Dissenters.' Low Churchmen have been the Church's left-wingers, the High being in middle and on right, who held out hands to protestantism as High Churchmen did to Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. A Bishop noted in 1715: 'All of the clergy that treated the Dissenters with temper and moderation . . . were called Low Churchmen.' In 1704 someone wrote: 'They, the Low-Church, profess themselves ready to joyn with the Dissenters in Confederacy against the High-Church.' Yet in 1710 Joseph Addison declared: 'The Terms High-Church and Low-Church, as commonly used, do not so much denote a Principle, as they distinguish a Party.' Few deserved a remark the same year: 'He ... is known to be so wretched a low Churchman, as to dispute all the Articles of the Christian Faith.' In a satire of 1715 a supposed Frenchwoman Mrs. Centlivre fears: 'If dese plaguey Low-Church get de Day, — dey vill make it Treason for any one to send der Children to France.' A Continental tour education was to be denied by those afraid of infection from Romanism. Even in 1841 the Earl of Shaftesbury shows that 'The Low Church, as they are called, will believe and will preach too, that Popery is encouraged and promoted.'

Low Churchmanship is inclined to be fearful with an inferiority complex, claiming High Churchmen are selling us out to the Pope. It has never been true. Instead, the growingly healthy spiritual condition of the nearly 40,000,000 Anglicans in our eleven widespread Churches is due, under God, to the truths emphasized by old 'high and dry' Churchmen. These were succeeded in the last century by the newer ones whose zeal and love reawakened Anglicanism to the glories of her Apostolic and Catholic —not narrowly Roman — heritage. The conviction of this paper is that Low Churchmanship is an undeveloped Churchmanship. Most of the Low Churchman's dislikes of High Church can be removed by explanation, reading, and the converted lives of those thousands in the Anglican Church who take her seriously as the best current exponent of Christianity.

Yet the Catholic-minded Churchman must balance in his thinking and observances the Evangelical Good News of the Cross of mankind's Saviour, and personal devotion to Him — all within the Body of Christ, His Church. It is far more than a matter of names. It is a question of objective truth. This is advancing. More Churchpeople every year thank God that from a lower perspective they have responded to the call to go up higher into nearer contact with Jesus Christ by all the spiritual opportunities available in this Church and her treasured Book of Common Prayer.


Having seen a bit of the history and meaning of 'high and low Church', we should recognise that a noble term High Church has degenerated in most quarters into nonsense. When asked: 'What does High Church mean?' a good if facetious answer is: 'Anything that we are not used to at our parish.' Ceremonial is often adopted by well-meaning parsons and parishioners for no theological reasons. The absence or presence of ceremonial — externals of worship — is not always the fruit of theological understanding. Frequently it results from ignorance.

There are many 'local rites' which do not make sense, are out of proportion, and possess no liturgical basis in authorised and widely-accepted standards of public worship. You find them everywhere. I do not plead for uniformity, but for omitting wonderful oddities which become harmful by drawing attention to molehills instead of mountains, causing concentration on minor matters where major ones need constant emphasis. Look at the solemnities concerning money collections in Anglican Churches. That is one place where simplicity could be inculcated. There is no rhyme or reason to them. To this 'high church' has descended. The essence of the word, as applied unthinkingly to cover these 'processionals' and so on, means no more nor less than what one is brought up to. If I am not accustomed to candles on the altar, two are 'high.' If two was my limit, six are 'sky-high.' I challenge any accusation that these are minute matters with which we should be ashamed to deal. For they, not basic, true doctrines, occupy most people's minds in our churches to the driving out of really important affairs.

We in the Order of the Holy Cross are frank to admit that we emphasize the High rather than Low side. But what we and any real High Churchman should be concerned with, is the welfare of the whole Church, not of any part or party within it. To overemphasise just what distinguishes you from your ecclesiastical neighbour is to run the danger of developing a sectarian attitude. Catholicism itself means wholeness, universality. Let us pray, think, work, in terms of our common Faith, all of it, our common Worship, all of it, and our common Love as members of the whole Body of the whole Christ.

The real High Churchman is one who has tremendous personal devotion to Our Lord through His own Catholic and Apostolic Church of which Anglicanism is an integral part. What makes many of us sick and tired is the Episcopalian who loves colours, incense, lights, crossings, vestments, 'that beautiful service,' yet has no appreciation of the necessity for discipline. The right sense of proportion is illustrated by a dear old man of low upbringing making a careful, humble Confession, then asking the confessor to give him advice on using the sign of the cross! This priest gladly reassured him about not being 'ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified' by this outward symbol of our Salvation. That is the true emphasis. Most Anglicans are inclined to start from the outside in, from lesser to greater. Take care of your penitence in Confession. Prepare carefully before and give humble thanks after Holy Communion. Make fasting Communions. Observe the Prayer Book fasting and abstinence days. Worship regularly at least Sunday by Sunday, 'on the Lord's Day, in the Lord's House, at the Lord's Service' — Holy Communion. The Book of Common Prayer has all the essentials there from High Mass to the Seven Sacraments. Study, know, use it.

One more thing. That Prayer Book on its title page refers to the Church's 'rites and ceremonies.' This enables us to correct a misnomer. Beyond being named Puseyites, Tractarians, Romanisers, — 'Ritualist' has often been flung at High Churchmen. 'Ceremonialist' is what was meant. As Webster's Collegiate Dictionary puts it: 'A rite is a prescribed form of conducting a ceremony especially a religious one; a ritual for a religious service.' This means the printed authorised form.

Ritual is a form of conducting worship; ceremonial a code of ceremonies observed, or a book containing ceremonial forms. Ritual may in the plural stand for a ceremonial act, as performing the last rites. Properly a ritualist is one attached to, skilled in, an advocate of, ritual. Ceremonial applies only to things, ceremonies to persons and things. Ceremonies are the series of acts, often symbolical, prescribed by the rite, namely the authority, custom, law in these fields. For example, in Confirmation, the Book of Common Prayer describes this sacramental rite. The ceremonies include the actions of the ministers and people. Let us distinguish correctly between the two. After all, the Prayer Book does.


One of the best histories of the Church of England is by H. O. Wakeman. In his chapter The Ascendancy of Latitudinarianism (see translation above), he tells how in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries 'lethargy, like a malarious fog, crept up the body of the Church and laid its cold hand upon her heart.' Low and Broad Churchmen were in power. After those decades of indifferent Churchmanship, the 'low' cries out: 'Why these innovations the new Rector makes? Why imitate the Roman Catholics — can't we be true to ourselves? Hasn't something new been added? Didn't we get along well without them for four hundred years since the glorious reformation, when Roman corruptions and Papal superstitions were thrown out by enlightened protestants?'

The real High Churchman replies: 'Innovations? But — are they?' A very extreme protestant of the nineteenth century, the Rev'd Dr J. E. Riddle, provides ammunition to spike the guns of his fellow Low Churchmen. Is it Prayers for the Dead? American experiences in two World Wars softened thousands of hearts into gladly praying for the souls of loved ones. The late Bishop Brown of 'low' Virginia was responsible for the effective conclusion of the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church in the Eucharist, asking God 'to grant them (the faithful departed) continual growth in Thy love and service.' Dr. Riddle in his Manual of Christian Antiquities objects strenuously to such prayers, but acknowledges in the same breath that they have been a Christian custom for seventeen hundred years, and even earlier. Is it the Sign of the Cross? He admits: 'The practice of marking the body with the sign of the cross at the Celebration of the Lord's Supper is unquestionably one of the most remote antiquity in the Christian Church. It has generally been supposed to be of Apostolic origin.' Innovated — when nineteen hundred years' use sanctifies it? Is it Daily Celebration of the Holy Communion? See the directions of the Prayer Book. While in the 1700s it was celebrated only three or four times a year, we could do much better than at present. I was in a parish on Epiphany where no Mass was planned.

Hear Dr. Riddle again: 'A daily Celebration seems to have been recommended, and to a certain extent practised, in the ancient Church. It is probably to this that allusion is made in Acts 2.42-46.' Get out your New Testament and look up these passages. Is it Elevation of the Host? 'A practice of this kind,' our low Church author states, 'seems to have existed in the Eastern Churches as early perhaps as the fourth century.' Is it Incense? Riddle tells us: 'Its use in worship was mentioned by Saint Hippolytus who died in 230, Saint Ephrem Syrus (d. 374), Saint Basil the Great (d. 379), and Saint Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), as in use during and before their time.' Is it Vestments? Riddle quotes Eusebius and Epiphanius, fourth century Church historians, about Apostolic vestments. He adds: 'It can hardly be supposed that ministers of the different degrees or orders in the hierarchy which existed in the second and third centuries were not distinguished by different vestments in the discharge of their offices in the congregation.' Twelve to eighteen hundred years old! Innovations! The real innovators are the so-called reformers who deny the ancient doctrines and usages of Christ's Church.

'High-flier, High-Churchman, Puseyite, Tractarian, Ritualist, Romaniser, Anglo-Catholic' — all these names have been used. But anyone who is of real significance receives a lot of nicknames and still lives to tell the tale. Look at the numerous names for the Blessed Sacramental Feast: Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist, Mass, and so on. The service most important to Christian worship, with all its inclusive power, draws them like a magnet. I dare compare it with millions who for generations in Anglicanism are numbered among those who have stood stiffly for the whole Faith for the whole world. It is one thing to admit intellectual acceptance of that Apostolic Faith. It is another — and much harder — to take it out of the study into missions, slums, foreign parts, and over the earth. It is time that we became increasingly loyal to the entire Truth of Christ in His Church for which fully-developed Anglicanism stands. Let us not be afraid of name-calling, ridicule, misunderstanding. Catholicism is always costly, disciplinary, sacrificial, ever-loving.

The present (1951) Archbishop of Canterbury, leading prelate of our Communion, proclaims with no uncertain voice regarding Anglicans: 'We have no doctrine of our own. We only possess the Catholic doctrines of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic creeds, and those creeds we hold without addition or diminution. We stand firm on that rock.' To this, the real, converted high churchman shouts a fervid 'Amen.' And he dares to practise, in discipline, devotion, and reverent rites and ceremonies, the doctrines he believes with all that is in him.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Mailli Katherine Lillian Jones

My dear friends:

Praised be Jesus Christ!

On 6th December 2009, the Second Sunday in Advent and the Feast of Saint Nicholas, at 2.43pm in beautiful cool Dunwoody, Georgia, my beloved wife Megan gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl, 6 pounds 14 ounces, 19 and one-half inches long.

Our daughter has been given the name Mailli Katherine Lillian Jones. 'Mailli' is a Cornish variant for 'Mary', the Name of Our Blessed Lady, Mother of God, in whose honour we have named her and to whose protection and intercession we commend her. Mailli's maternal great-grandfather's family is from Delabole, Cornwall, so we have chosen to celebrate our Cornish heritage and the ancient Catholic Faith of the Cornish people. Katherine is her mother's middle name, and Lillian is the name of my wonderful 91 year old grandmother. We praise and thank Almighty God for His mercy and grace in providing a safe and joyful delivery for Megan and Mailli. Please be assured of our deepest and most profound gratitude for your prayers, and of our prayers for you all.

May the Lord bless and keep you!


Friday, November 27, 2009

The Roman Church as seen by the Anglican Church

By Archbishop Methodios Fouyas, 1972.

Much of the Anglican writing concerning the Roman Church can be found in the works of the seventeenth-century Anglican divines. John Cosin (1594-1672), speaking of the agreements and disagreements between Anglicans and Romans, says that the Bishop of Rome could be acknowledged to be the Patriarch of the West, but not by divine right.1

William Laud (1573-1645), says: 'The Roman patriarch, by ecclesiastical constitutions, might perhaps have a primacy of order'; but he is equal to the other patriarchs.2 Isaac Barrow (1630-1677), on the other hand, says that there is not one Canon of the Catholic Church directly declaring the authority of the Pope; nor any mention made of him, except thrice [twice] accidentally; once upon occasion of declaring the authority of the Alexandrine Bishop, the other upon occasion of assigning to the Bishop of Constantinople the second place of honour, and equal privileges with him.'3 Elsewhere Barrow says that the order fixed among the great Sees of the Christian Church followed the greatness, splendour and opulency of the cities. Amongst the other Anglican Divines, John Bramhall (1594-1663), Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715) and George Hickes (1642-1715) plainly deny any universal authority of the Pope.4 James Ussher is reputed to have called the Pope 'Antichrist',6 and, although he denied the authorship of this remark, it remains as an indication of Anglican feelings towards Rome during the seventeenth century. Marco Antonio de Dominis (the former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Spalato who from 1617 to 1622 was in the Church of England) calls the Pope 'Pharaoh' and 'Antichrist'.6

The Roman Church did a great deal towards establishing Christianity firmly in England. It sent St. Augustine, who with his missionaries converted the south-east of England. The Church of England was united with Rome until the Reformation. St. Gregory, Pope of Rome, has always been regarded as the Apostle and founder of the Church of England. The Anglican Church, says Puller,7 recognizes that 'the Local Roman Church, over which St. Gregory presided as being its Bishop, is our Mother Church, for which we should naturally wish to feel a filial reverence and gratitude'. But in later times the Popes became tyrannical, so that this filial feeling has in fact almost disappeared. However, when Anglicans speak about the foundation of their Church they like to acknowledge that the Roman Church in the time of Pope Gregory was a loving Mother.

Amongst the Tractarians the Church of Rome was recognized as a true Church. Some of them were attracted by the great Church of the West, others and especially William Palmer (of Worcester College, Oxford) said that Rome is 'an unsound and corrupt Branch of the Christian Church' or that 'the Church of Rome is a corrupt Church, but still a part of the Church of Christ in spite of its glaring imperfections'.8

In favour of Rome were W. G. Ward,9 Froude,10 Pusey, and Newman. Keble maintained neutrality towards Rome.11 More recently, Archbishop Garbett wrote that the Church of England, in accepting the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, acknowledged advantages in the existence of a higher spiritual power. But since the Reformation, the promulgation of the decree of Papal infallibility has further widened the breach with Rome.12 Like Villain, Garbett 13 thinks that the Church of England is inspired
more often and more directly by Platonic philosophy, and especially the Eastern Fathers of the Church.

The new doctrinal definitions of the Roman Church 14 are thought by Anglicans to be innovations, which are not grounded on Scripture nor on the tradition of the Early Church. On this point E. L. Mascall insists that modern Christianity must go back to its origins. The claim, characteristic of his book,15 is that both Byzantium and Rome, as well as the Reformation, have been unfaithful to the ancient Tradition. The dialogue between the Churches should be based on Patristic thought. On Roman Catholic ecclesiology, Mascall says 'Rome must abandon juridical ecclesiology and make it sacramental'.

It is indisputable, as Anglicans admit, that the Roman Church represents half of Christendom and that for long it was characterized by strong discipline and uniformity. It still has great boldness in proclaiming what it considers to be the Gospel and is unwilling to compromise on what seem to it to be essential truths. The zeal and sacrifice which it consecrates to the service of the one Lord in every corner of the world are well-known. Anglicans believe, however, that they must raise their positive protest against the methods of the Roman Church in interpreting truth.

1 P. E. More-F. L. Cross, Anglicanism (London, 1957), p. 55.
2 op. cit., p. 57.
3 op. cit., pp. 61, cf. p. 65.
4 op. cit., pp. 65-9.
5 op. cit., p. 69.
6 op. cit., p. 74.
7 Puller, op. cit., pp. 3-4, cf. also Cyril Garbett, The Claims of the Church of England, p. 23. A different view has been expressed, however, for example: 'Great Britain owes much more than most are willing to acknowledge to the Eastern Church. Rome may have been the stepmother of the Church of England, but assuredly the Orthodox East was her mother.' A. Lowndes, Vindication of Anglican Orders, Vol. ii, p. 545.
8 Cf. William Palmer, Treatise on the Church of Christ, 3rd. ed., vol. I, Part I, chapter xi; H. P. Liddon, Life of Pusey, ii, 295; see also F. Oakeley, Historical Notes on the Tractarian Movement (1865), p. 36 ff.
9 Wilfrid Ward, W. G. Ward and the Oxford Movement.
10 Froude's Remains, Part I, vol. i (1838), pp. 306-8.
11 John Keble, Letters of Spiritual Counsel, ed. by R. F. Wilson (1870), pp. 78-9.
12 Garbett, op. cit., pp. 18-19. The Tractarians generally rejected the supreme authority of the Pope. They accepted a primacy, but not his authority over his brethren.
13 Op. cit., p. 34. See Villain, Unity, pp. 137-8: 'The Platonic characteristic of the Caroline Divines (Lancelot Andrewes, Jeremy Taylor, William Laud, Simon Wilson [sic], John Donne, to mention only the most important) comes from the fact that they draw largely on the Greek Fathers'.
14 'The Immaculate Conception of Mary', wrote Gore in The Anglo-Catholic Movement Today (1925), p. 31, 'is a (supposed) fact of history which has no basis in historical evidence at all'. Similarly, the dogma of the Papal supremacy and infallibility is plainly contrary to the facts of history. It was never part of the Eastern tradition of the Church.
15 The Recovery of Unity, p. 232.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Thoughts on the 'Roman Offer'

A few more developed reflections on ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS.

My apologies for being in abstentia on the weblog recently!

I pray that the new Apostolic Constitution will bear much fruit in the lives and ministries of Anglicans who have long desired to enter into full communion with the Roman Church. I have a number of brother priests in the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC), especially in the United Kingdom, who may avail themselves of this provision. The Constitution does seem to offer a partial recognition of those beautiful traditions of Anglo-Catholicism which have contributed much to the wider Catholic world. It is reassuring to know that the Bishop of Rome honours elements of our patrimony, including our ethos of worship, prayer, liturgy, spiritual formation, pastoralia, and yes, married deacons and priests.

I also pray that the Successor of Saints Peter and Paul at Rome will make it possible for ordination to be, in certain circumstances, administered sub conditione for Anglican priests who become Roman Rite Catholics of the Anglican Ordinariate. The official Vatican commentary was, frankly, disheartening. Several priests I have known personally, all former Anglicans, were each and every one conditionally confirmed and ordained by Latin Rite bishops. I hope that that pattern might continue, as the question of absolute ordination continues to be a major stumbling-block of conscience for many. The denial of Anglican Orders, and of the validity of the Masses, Absolutions and other sacraments Anglican priests have celebrated, is too much for some to bear. For those souls, such a denial presents and constitutes a practical rejection of the objective reality and spiritual efficacy of their entire previous ecclesiastical being. Although this assertion may seem boorishly repetitive and even borderline obsessive to some of our Roman Catholic friends, the issue is decisive, paramount for many Anglicans. Yes, it really is about Orders - for many. And the consideration of Orders does not in itself yet touch upon the equally critical and decisive matters of dogmatic theology:

There are many Anglicans who still locate the essence of the Anglican Tradition in the ecumenical consensus of the Undivided Church of the First Millennium and who therefore cannot accept the dogmatic decrees of Apostolicae Curae, Ineffabilis Deus, Munificentissimus Deus, and the I Vatican Council, decrees maintained unchanged in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Those Anglicans who, as a matter de fide and of informed conscience, cannot accept the distinctives of the Papal Dogmas as currently defined and promulgated will not be able to embrace the new Constitution's offer and provision. And Rome would certainly have it so, and rightly so. The Ordinariate is not merely about the male character of the Apostolic Ministry or the traditional Christian teaching on Holy Matrimony - it is, rather, about one's full, unconditional and unreserved acceptance of the totality of Roman Catholic doctrinal and dogmatic teaching. Anglicans who cannot without reservation accept the Papal Claims in toto should not join the new Ordinariate.

The Malines Conversations of the 1920s between Anglicanism and Rome professed the desire for a 'Church of England united not absorbed.' But now, I confess I am disconcerted with the possibility that we shall have just the opposite: a greatly loved and esteemed part of the Anglican Tradition, a part valued and treasured for its contribution to the full Catholic life of Anglicanism, absorbed, converted, not united. An authentic orthodox ecumenism, leading to full communion and mutual recognition of equal sister Churches in the ancient Catholic Faith, should and must continue. Let us pray that avenues for such a rich and potentially fruitful dialogue between traditional Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics will open or remain open subsequent to the Constitution's implementation.

Our jurisdiction, the Anglican Province of America (APA), although in communion with the Traditional Anglican Communion, is not a Anglo-Papalist body and will therefore almost certainly not choose to be received into communion with the Roman Church on the basis of the new provision. But we Catholics of the Anglican Rite shall indeed pray for those who do and shall strive to maintain the closest relationships possible with those clergy and laity who will decide to become Catholics of the Roman Rite, as well as with those who are already Roman Rite Catholics. These are indeed compelling days.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Here is the official documentation for the creation of Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans who shall enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

And, to me, this is most significant statement found in the documentation's theological commentary:

'The ordination of ministers coming from Anglicanism will be absolute, on the basis of the Bull Apostolicae curae of Leo XIII of September 13, 1896.'

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Annual Seminarians' Support Sunday 2009

5th November 2009

Dearly Beloved in Jesus Christ,

The Bishop has designated Sunday 6th December 2009, the Second Sunday in Advent, as the third Annual Seminarians' Support Sunday for the entire Diocese of the Eastern United States. 'Bible Sunday' is a most appropriate day of the year on which to solicit prayerful financial support for those of our Diocese who have offered themselves for the Sacred Ministry of the Church. We request that all parish priests please place a notice regarding this important collection in the Sunday bulletin that day and please also make a special announcement at the time of Sunday notices in which parishioners might be encouraged to give generously to this vital cause: the future of our Church.

Monies collected that day may be sent from all parishes and missions to the Diocesan Treasurer for the Diocesan Seminarian Fund: please forward any collections received to Mr DJ Fulton at Saint Barnabas Anglican Church, 4795 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338.

We, of course, gladly leave it to the good offices and discretion of our parish clergy and vestries to decide how much of the total parish Bible Sunday offering received on 6th December may be applied to the Diocesan Seminarian Fund. We hope that many of our parishes might be willing to give a significant percentage of the day's offering, or even the entire day's collection, to the work of forming and training the future clergy of the Diocese of the Eastern United States.

We trust that the Annual Seminarians' Support Sunday has become a welcome and encouraged annual tradition throughout our Diocese and we look forward to everyone's active participation in this great work.

Thank you for your magnanimous and loving support of the Board of Examining Chaplains and the Vocations Ministry of the Diocese.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, the coming King we celebrate in the approaching Advent, bless your thoughtfulness and generosity!

In Christ and Our Lady,

The Reverend Canon Chandler (Chad) Holder Jones SSC
Examining Chaplains' Chairman and Vocations Director

Monday, October 26, 2009

The APA Statement on the Vatican Announcement

APA Statement on the Vatican Announcement of October 20, 2009

From the Office of the Presiding Bishop,
The Most Rev. Walter H. Grundorf, D.D.
October 26, 2009

The Anglican Province of America (APA) welcomes with hopeful interest the Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church. It has opened a way for persons who are currently Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while retaining elements of Anglican liturgy, spirituality, theology, discipline and ethos. This remarkable decision demonstrates on the part of the Roman Communion a recognition of the integral virtues of historic Anglicanism. These characteristics can serve to be a gift to the wider Catholic and Apostolic Church. The new structure proposed by the Roman Communion is a fruit of the prayer and labor of faithful souls who for over a century have devoted themselves to such a form of reconciliation. While many in the Continuing Anglican movement may not avail themselves of this new ecclesiastical structure, the APA awaits with anticipation more information, which will give it a greater opportunity for consideration and reflection.

Our Province remains grateful to Almighty God for the positive relationships which have existed and continue to exist between the Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions. Traditional Anglicans possess in common with the Roman Communion the essentials of the Catholic Faith, including the canonical Scriptures, the universal Creeds, the Seven Sacraments, the male character of the Apostolic Ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, and traditional Christian teaching and doctrine concerning Holy Matrimony. We share what Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey called in 1966 a Faith “founded on the Gospel and on the ancient common Tradition.”

Our differences over the role and authority of the papal office, the infallibility and universal jurisdiction of the Pope as defined in the decrees of the I Vatican Council of 1870, the 1854 and 1950 dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary, the validity of Anglican Orders and Apostolicae Curae will require further intensive and deliberate dialogue. Nevertheless, we anticipate a deepening relationship and collaboration with the Roman Catholic Church as a result of the new Apostolic Constitution about to be promulgated, a Constitution we are eager to read, evaluate and prayerfully consider.

We commit ourselves to fervent prayer for all those who will follow the path now created by the See of Rome, as we pledge to continue our prayer and work with Roman Catholics everywhere for the visible unity of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


The mysterious manifestations of the Logos found throughout the Old Testament are real manifestations of Christ, Christophanies. In all of these phenomena, in which the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Word, God the Son appears to the faithful or is active in creation, the pre-existent Logos is pre-incarnate, revealed in mystic forms and apparitions and signs before He assumes flesh of the Blessed Virgin and is made true Man. We see the Divine Logos in Genesis 1 and 2 in the Creation of the world, in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2 and 3, as Melchizedek in Genesis 14, at the oaks of Mamre with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18, in the Burning Bush before Moses in Exodus 3, in the Cloud and Pillar of Fire before the children of Israel in Exodus 13, as the Rock which followed the Israelites in Romans 10, as the Finger of God giving the Law in Exodus 19 and 20, and as the King of Glory in Isaiah 6, as the Angel of the Lord throughout the Old Testament, just to take a few examples.

But in all of these, although Christ the Word is truly revealed and manifested to His people, He appears only in types, figures, images and symbolic apparitions, the shadow of good things to come. Yes, Jesus is throughout the Old Testament, for the Old Testament is ultimately about, and authored by, Jesus Christ, the Word. He is the Lawgiver, the Lord of the Covenants, the Inspiration of the Prophets, the Visionary showing forth the age of salvation. He is the true Ark of the Covenant, the authentic Manna from heaven, the genuine Rod of Aaron, the sure Mercies of David, the Wisdom of Solomon, the One whose Glory appears in the Tabernacle and the Temple. Saint Augustine of Hippo instructs us that the Israelites were proto-Christians who fed on Our Lord in mystical communion, a foretaste of the Eucharist, because they had the supernatural virtue of faith in Christ before His Incarnation. Christ was in the faithful of Old Covenant leading them to the fullness of revelation.

In truth, we have no authoritative basis in Scripture on which to assert the theological premiss that Our Lord, because of His divine consubstantiality with the Father and the deification of His human nature in the Incarnation and Resurrection, actually appeared to the Israelites or others in the period before the Incarnation in His actual human nature. The Fathers of the Church, such as Saint Athanasius, Saint Chrysostom and Saint Gregory Nanzianzus, revel in the mystery of the Old Testament appearances of the Logos, but they never claim He was present there in His human nature born of Mary. For them, locating the historical moment, event and reality of the Incarnation in time and space is all -important, for the Incarnation is God's in-breaking into the created order. God forever becomes Immanuel in the precise moment of the Incarnation.

This raises an absolutely vital point of orthodox Christology: the communcatio idiomatum, the 'communication of idioms' or 'sharing of properties' in the Hypostatic Union of Our Lord''s Person. According to the Council of Chalcedon, in the One Person of Christ, the human nature shares the attributes and properties of divine nature while the divine nature undergoes a true participation in human nature - and this happens with no confusion, fusion, separation or change in the two natures of Christ. Therefore, Christ's human nature was deified or divinised, transformed to partake of the life of the Godhead and to share in the glory, perfection and immortality of the Divine Word. Christ's flesh becomes divine, inhabited by the fullness of God, 'in-Godded.' So just as God truly lived, suffered, was crucified, died and rose again, so in Christ Man lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the glory of heaven and forever participates in the communion of the Holy Trinity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Anglo-Papalist Ordinariate

The new 'ordinariate' for Anglican Papalists today erected by the CDF offers the greatest hope to those currently of the Anglican obedience who desire to enter into full communion with the See of Rome, and is undoubtedly a fruit of the prayers, longings and labours of many holy and faithful souls who for over a century and a half have devoted themselves to this cause. It is undoubtedly the fulfillment of the highest aspirations and deepest desires of a not inconsiderable number of Anglo-Papalists since the heady days of the Catholic Revival. Let us certainly pray for those who will seek to enter the Roman Communion by the path which has now been paved for them by Pope Benedict XVI. In terms of ecumenical activity, the establishment of the ordinariate may be the most momentous event since the sixteenth century Reformation.

This news is indeed fascinating and compelling, and will undoubtedly be equally fascinating to watch unfold in the days and weeks ahead. But it must be said that we should very much doubt that many in the orthodox Continuing Anglican movement will avail themselves of this new constitutional structure in the Roman Communion, as our priests and people are generally not inclined or disposed to accept the Papal Claims and Dogmas and have no affinity with Papalism. We should confidently assert that most of our Continuing Churchmen repudiate the I Vatican Council of 1870 and so find no overwhelming attraction to this new offer. Papal Infallibility and Papal Universal Jurisdiction, combined with Rome's rejection of the validity of Anglican Orders and its assertion of the de fide and salvific character of the Marian Dogmas, is altogether a situation most Traditional Anglicans will find simply too difficult to accept. Assuredly, for most Continuing Churchmen, the observance of the creation of the new body will be intriguing, but academic, detached and remote, and likely nothing more. We shall be 'observers and by-standers' during the process to come.

In the meantime, we await with hopeful expectation what yet may come from dialogue with the Orthodox Church in America and what relationship may yet emerge between Eastern Orthodox Christians and us, the original Catholics of the Anglican Rite.

In short, as riveting as it is, the new Anglo-Papalist entity will not affect most Continuing Anglican jurisdictions in any direct way, save the Traditional Anglican Communion. But in all love and charity let us pray fervently for those who will now swim the Tiber in this fashion and wish them well in their journey of faith, love, hope and conscience.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Notes on Holy Order

It could be argued that Pope Leo XIII was partially prophetic in his declaration of September 1896, in that Holy Orders now conferred in several provinces of the Lambeth Anglican Communion are in many places invalid due to the invalidity of ministers of episcopal consecration and priestly ordination - that is, women who purport to be bishops or men purportedly consecrated to the episcopate by women. In those cases Apostolicae Curae is undoubtedly correct, but not for the reasons identified by the Roman Pontiff. It is not the defect of intention or form, but defect of minister, which renders such ordinations invalid. Subsequent to 1896, all of the world's Anglican bishops, from 1932 in England and 1946 in the USA, have received episcopal consecration in a line from the Old Catholic Churches of the Utrecht Union, which are held by Rome to be undoubtedly valid.

The infusion of Old Catholic Orders, coupled with the use of the 1662 Anglican Ordinal (which Ordinal was not condemned by Apostolicae Curae but in fact was rather asserted by Leo XIII rightly to acknowledge each Order being conferred in each ordination rite), created a situation never envisioned by Leo in the nineteenth century. We should remember it was the 1550 Edwardine Ordinal, not the 1662, which was claimed to have a defect of form. Every living validly-ordained Anglican bishop and priest now possesses Orders from a source that Rome is compelled, at least theoretically, to recognise as valid.

In our own case, Bishop Grundorf was initially consecrated by bishops of the English Matthew Old Catholic line in 1976 before he was conditionally consecrated by Anglican Communion bishops in 1991, thus settling this issue for us permanently. But Apostolicae Curae, it has been said rightly by others, is the second Galileo case, and presents a neo-scholastic theology riddled with inconsistent leaps of logic and largely devoid of patristic sacramental theology, as was amply demonstrated by the Archbishops of England in their Responsio of 1897, Saepius Officio. I for one have moral certainty that Anglican Orders have always been valid since the Reformation: Accipe Spiritum Sanctum!

Even if Apostolicae Curae were correct in its claim of defective form and intention for the Anglican Ordinal, Apostolic Succession undoubtedly was restored with Old Catholic co-consecration, even if the sacramental form utilised by the Old Catholics is not the one identified by Pius XII in 1947. But, of course, I hold Leo XIII was misled and misinformed by some members of his commission and was incorrect in his judgement of 1896. Four of the eight theologians of the 1896 commission held Anglican Orders were valid, but they were ignored principally in favour of Cardinal Vaughn of Westminster, who proposed to the Pope that the condemnation of Anglican Orders would lead to a mass exodus of Anglo-Catholics from the Church of England into the Roman fold. He too was incorrect and misjudged the situation.

All that being said, the position of the APA, the Anglican Church in America, the Anglican Province of Christ the King and some other Continuing Churches regarding validity of Orders is that of Saint Augustine of Hippo: where valid matter, form, minister, intention and subject are unquestionably found, the ordination in question is valid. This means that as long as male bishops consecrated by male bishops in an unbroken succession ordain male priests and deacons or consecrate other male bishops, using the laying on of hands and prayer for the gift of Holy Orders in a recognisable ordination rite, the Orders are always valid. Thus, we receive in Orders male bishops, priests and deacons from the Episcopal Church or other Lambeth Anglican Communion churches, so long as it can be substantiated that their ordaining prelates were male, consecrated by males.

The 1979 American rite, although certainly leaving much to be desired, is essentially a valid ordination rite and is accepted as valid by the APA, for the 1979rite contains the necessary essentials of ordination.

Usually only in cases where the ordaining bishop's succession is in doubt does the APA require ordination sub conditione. Sacramental intention is actually the simplest of all the necessary requirements for valid ordination, for the only necessary intention is 'generally to do what the Church does,' that is, to ordain bishops, priests and deacons as the Church has always done. One does not have to intend what the Church intends, but merely to do what the Church does.

A bishop may have in his mind and heart an heretical or schismatical intention or understanding of the sacraments, even of Orders, or may belong to a communion or sect that holds officially to false doctrine, even concerning the sacraments, and still validly ordain, so long as he intends seriously to perform the rite as practised by Christians or as instituted by Our Lord. As long as one intends in a general way to ordain according to the mind of Christ, or the New Testament Church, or the true Church, or God's will, the ordination is valid.

This is because the intention necessary for valid ordination is expressed ritually, exteriorly, in the rite itself - and thus ordination is always valid when a valid rite is used. A valid bishop and subject and a valid rite effect a valid ordination. The problem now is that under Mrs Jefferts-Schori 'bishops' are ordained who are not bishops for lack of a valid minister of consecration. So we must do our homework to ensure that the ordaining bishop in every case is in fact a bishop.

Most Continuing Churches follow the historically Augustinian-Western approach to this subject. I should deem the practice of some other Continuing Churches, the Polish National Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy to be Cyprianic in origin.

It is indeed difficult to know exactly how far an ecclesial body has to go into heresy, even heresy regarding Holy Order, before its sacramental intention, the ritual ecclesiastical intention of a Church as a corporate body, is rendered null and void. The Anglican precedent would maintain that such a corruption would have to be of the most extreme and severe kind. The Arians presumably had valid orders, as do Nestorians and Monophysites today, but, of course, their heterodoxies are Christological and not directly sacramental. The Episcopal Church presents an almost unique situation of being a Church having had Apostolic Succession that has introduced a heresy targeting specifically Holy Orders (and, by relation, Christian anthropology in general, as we have seen with the homosexualism and deconstruction of Matrimony crises). There are few examples of this particular kind of error in history of which I am aware, for most sects that strayed over time from orthodoxy as far as TEC eventually abandoned altogether even the semblance of Holy Order - I think of the Montanists, Albigensians, Cathari, and other sects of a gnostic orientation. Such abandonment of Order is now inevitable for the Episcopal Church. TEC will follow suit and has initiated the process of eliminating the Catholic priesthood one ordination at a time.

Even the protestantising 'heresies' of Archbishop Cranmer and his associates, which are said to have denied the mediatorial-sacrificial character of the priesthood and in some cases even sacramental grace in ordination, did not destroy the valid intention of the Church of England, for the Preface to the Ordinal and the Anglican Rite themselves ensured the necessary transmission and preservation of the essentials of Holy Order by establishing the intention of the whole Church. What matters is the intention of a Church openly declared and expressed in the liturgical rite and action of ordination.

The private opinions of Archbishop Cranmer and friends did not eradicate the necessary intention because the rites used were and are valid. In such a case heretical opinions may exist subjectively - but the valid rite confects objectively. Otherwise no one could ever know or have any assurance or guarantee whatever that any sacraments at any time were valid, and that state would thwart the very purpose for which the sacraments were instituted: the efficaciousness of the sacraments is given by Our Lord through the covenantal signs of grace, not through the personalised or interior beliefs of the celebrant. Thus when the sacrament is celebrated according to the Church's rite with the Church's mandated essentials as given by Our Lord and the Apostles, the sacrament is valid.

If we go too far in our requirements concerning sacramental form and intention in ordination we may fall into Leo XIII's trap, but we must maintain the irreducible minimum of what is actually required by the Church for the valid conferral of the Church's own Apostolic Ministry. Even the Episcopal Church and the 1979 rite officially intend to continue both the Apostolic Ministry of bishops, priests and deacons as received by the historic Catholic Church, and the transmission of the grace of Holy Order. But in practice a defect of ministers and subjects breaks the succession in many places.

I would assert that to lose the grace of ordination a Church must so corrupt an ordination rite that one of the essential requirements for validity has been eliminated. Where the sacraments are concerned, the Church always takes the safer course and requires a certitude for the validity of sacraments - it would not be permissible for the Church to risk the loss of sacramental assurance and grace for the People of God by allowing doubtful Orders and sacraments to be administered in her communion. Orders are presumed valid when the proper form, matter, minister and subject are present - for then you have intention with them. When one of these necessary elements is in doubt, the only solution is conditional ordination.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Notes on Christology

Our Redemption is achieved in Our Lord Jesus Christ because in the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, God the Word, the only-begotten Son of God, assumed true and integral human nature of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was made true Man. 'Only that which God assumes does He redeem.' If Our Lord had not assumed a true human nature identical to our own and taken upon Himself true human flesh and spirit, He could not have saved us or redeemed us, for what He came to heal, restore, repair, divinise and transform was our own very nature, the reality of our humanity. Had He not become true Man in every aspect and way, sin being the sole exception, He could not have united the substance of our humanity to the substance of His divinity and thus raise our human nature into perfect communion with God.

Thus Christ took upon Himself a true, created, physical, material and natural humanity. 'God became Man so that man may become God.' In the Incarnation, Our Lord fully restores the Image and Likeness of God in man, which had been marred and injured by Adam's transgression; through Christ's human nature in the Church and Sacraments, we receive Him - and thus our own human natures, united to His in the Mystical Body of the Church through Baptism and in the Sacramental Body in the Eucharist, are replenished and nourished with divine life through the Holy Ghost. In this mysterious gift, we are enabled both to grow in holiness, virtue and love and to allow the Likeness to God to be entirely recreated in us personally. Our human members become the members of Christ the Man in His Body, of which He is the Head.

At the Annunciation, the miraculous and virginal Conception of Our Lord, the Logos or Word recreated human nature in the womb of the Blessed Mother by the Holy Ghost and assumed from Mary a perfect, sinless, immaculate and complete human nature, a human body, mind, spirit and soul. God put on flesh and took human nature into the Godhead by His hypostatic union: in the One Divine Person of God the Son exists from the instant of the Annunciation and forever two perfect, distinct and united natures, divine and human. The human nature assumed by Christ was created directly by Him in the body of Mary without human intervention or seed, no human father, so that the humanity of Our Lord is the New Creation. Our Lord is called the New Adam, the Second Adam and Lord from heaven (I Corinthians 15) because God the Son became truly human and united perfectly with His divine nature a completely renovated and restored human nature.

Our Lord's human nature was not pre-existent, but fashioned by God in the mystery of the Incarnation. By the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, Our Lady conceived a human nature to which Our Lord was inseparably and instantly united and one which is identical to our own. In this union, Our Lord's divine nature was not changed and our human nature in Him was made whole and returned to its original state.

Notice the Church teaches that Our Lord assumed human nature, an 'impersonal' human existence composite of body and soul like our own, but not a human person. This is because Our Lord Jesus Christ is not a God-possessed man, a human personality in which the Logos dwells as in a temple. Our Lord is not merely a saint or God-inhabited human person, but is God made flesh, God made Man. The one and only Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Word, the Eternal Son of God, not a human person united to a Divine Person. The belief that Jesus of Nazareth is a distinct human person indwelt by another distinct person, the Divine Logos, is the heresy attributed to Nestorius of Constantinople and condemned by Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in AD 431. Nestorianism professes there are two persons in Our Lord joined in a moral union: Jesus the man and Christ the Divine Word. Nestorians often use the heretical phrase 'two persons in one personality' to describe a Word-Man Christology at odds with the Gospel and the Catholic Faith. Jesus is not two persons in one organism, but One Person with two natures, of one nature with the Father in His Deity and of one nature with us in His humanity.

The divine and human natures are united in the One Person of Our Lord without 'confusion, change, division or separation.'

The Orthodox teaching is that Our Lord is One Person in two natures, human and divine, as taught by the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon AD 451. There is one 'Who' (the Word) and two 'Whats' (divine and human natures) in the Person of Our Blessed Saviour. Monophysitism, condemned by Chalcedon, teaches the opposite error of Nestorianism, to wit, that Our Lord has only one nature which is divine. The term Monophysite means 'one nature' (mono phusis). Monophysites hold that Christ's human nature was absorbed by his divine, as the heresiarch Eutyches proclaimed, 'like a drop of water in the ocean'. This heterodox doctrine denies the true humanity of Our Lord as Nestorianism denies the true divinity of the Incarnate Logos.

Thus the womb of Our Lady is the new Garden of Eden, Paradise, and Our Lord is the New Adam, whose human nature is the recreation of human nature free of original and actual sin, untainted by corruption and free from mortality, concupiscence and the consequences of the Fall of man. Christ the New Man, sinless and Virgin-born, possesses a human nature, not of Adam's line, but of His own, given to Him by the Holy Ghost through the Mother of God. The Blessed Virgin Mary is one through whom the human race has been offered the gift of a regenerated human nature liberated from sin, for from her Christ's new human nature presents us with the total renewal of human life, like that of Adam before the Fall, yes, but even higher.

For in Christ, the substance of our mortal flesh has been deified and united to the Godhead in perfect communion and union. Our Lord raises human nature to a level never experienced by or realised in Adam, for in Christ, our human nature is shared by 'One of the Holy Trinity' and thus is inserted into the perichoresis, the mutual indwelling and communal life and love, of the Holy Trinity. Christ our God takes from us our humanity, with its loss of original justice and grace, and communion with God, and likeness to God, and gives us His humanity, effused with the fullness of divinity, in return - a divine exchange of love and grace. This human nature of Christ, the substance of our own humanity freed from sin, glorified by divine life, and full of the Holy Ghost, is communicated and applied to us in the Sacraments.

In Christ, from the moment of the Incarnation, exists the perfect union, personal union, of the One Divine Person of the Son and His regenerated human nature. God is forever Man in Jesus Christ and remains such for all eternity. But the human nature is indeed a created human nature, that is, a human nature generated and truly born from our nature - there were Monophysite heretics in the fourth and fifth centuries that held that Christ possesses an uncreated or heavenly human nature, heavenly flesh not derived of created human nature, but that error is based on a Gnostic denial that God truly took human flesh, was truly conceived and truly born in every we are but with the exemption of sin (Hebrews 4).

The Docetists and other early quasi-Christian Gnostics held Our Lord was but a phantom, an apparition, a heavenly being devoid of material flesh and blood who only appeared (dokeo) to be human, but did not possess a truly material physical human nature. Several early Gnostic heretical movements asserted Christ was truly divine but that He lacked a true and consubstantial human nature with us: such error vitiates the purpose and reality of the Incarnation. The Orthodox Catholic Faith maintains that Christ is consubstantial with us concerning His Manhood and consubstantial with the Father concerning His Deity (Athanasian Creed). Jesus Christ is like us, therefore, in every way. He is Very God and Very Man. In Him, both natures exist distinctly, without fusion, mixture and confusion, and yet are inseparable and interpenetrate each other. As the ancient Fathers describe the mystery, the Son's divine nature divinises His human nature 'like iron in the fire.' The iron and the fire remain distinct from each other, but each takes on the property of the other. Truly we can say therefore that God was born, performed miracles, hungered, thirsted, suffered, was crucified, died, was buried and rose again. And the humanity of that God-Man is now divine, resplendent with the glory and life of God.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Validity of Anglican Orders

By the Reverend William J. Alberts

IT is a not unusual experience for an Anglican, entering a Roman Catholic Church, to find, prominently displayed in a tract case, some pamphlet attacking the validity of Anglican Orders. In fact, this is one of the favorite topics of Roman authors.
Controversy is frequently unpleasant and always a possible source of that vicious lack of charity which every Christian ought to try to avoid. Nevertheless, necessity is laid upon us to try to present our answer to the charges which Roman Catholics make against the validity of our Orders, and consequently against the Catholic heritage of our beloved Church and the validity of our Sacraments.

Let it be stated at once that this article will not be exhaustive, nor will it be able within its brief compass to give detailed references. All it will attempt is a statement of the main Roman Catholic objections to the validity of our orders and to indicate a brief reply to them.

According to generally accepted Catholic practice no sacraments are valid in which there is a defect of matter, form, or intention. By 'matter' is meant some external thing which is used in conjunction with the administration of a particular sacrament. An example of such matter would be the water used in Holy Baptism. By 'form' is meant the words which give signification to the use to which the matter is being put. An example of 'form' would be the words 'John, I baptize thee, in the Name, etc.,' at Baptism. By 'intention' is meant that in conferring a sacrament the minister must have at least a virtual intention of doing what the Church does. Any supposed sacramental rite which was deficient in one or more of these three requisites would be invalid and would lack the assurance which Catholic Sacraments give: that they are the very means by which God bestows upon His children the particular grace for which the Sacrament was instituted.

The guarantor of sacramental grace is, humanly speaking, the Episcopate: no Bishop, no Church, no Sacraments, no divinely assured salvation. It is therefore of utmost importance that we be assured that our orders of ministers are valid, that is to say, that they are the same which our Lord gave to the Apostles and which the Apostles transmitted to other fit men to be the means of continuing in union with the divine Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Nobody questions that the Church in England was a valid Catholic Church up to the reign of our supposed founder, Henry VIII. This king was a staunch Catholic. His vigorous attack against the errors of Luther earned for him the title 'Defender of the Faith' bestowed upon him by a grateful pope. This title is still the proud possession of every monarch in England.

Henry got into matrimonial difficulties, the ramifications of which we cannot now discuss. Suffice it to say that he wanted a papal annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon which had yielded no living male issue. Since no woman had ever successfully inherited the English throne, and since Henry's own father's title had been none too secure, he was anxious for a male heir.

The Roman Catholic, and even some secular, history books make it out to appear that Henry's desire to get rid of Catherine was his lust for Anne Boleyn. Without attempting to defend Henry's doubtless none too pure intentions, let it be said, for the sake of justice, that the first time the question of an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon arose the much maligned Anne Boleyn was a child seven years old.

Political considerations — and not the high ideals of Papacy — made such an annulment difficult. Henry, never the world's most patient citizen, was aided in his dilemma by Cranmer who suggested that the matter of the legality of the marriage to Catherine might well be settled by the English authorities without recourse to Rome. Henry acted upon this advice, had his marriage annulled, and declared that 'The Bishop of Rome hath no more power in England than any other foreign bishop.'

Thus was the breach with Rome begun. Be it noted that the same Bishops, Priests and Deacons who were in union with the Papacy the day preceding the break with Rome continued their offices after the break. There was practically no exception to this fact. Mass and other sacramental rites were continued as formerly; Henry VIII never heard Mass in English in his life; and he burned men at the stake for denying the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist.

Henry was succeeded by his son Edward VI. He was a mere boy at the time of his accession to the throne and he was guided by two protectors whose sympathies were definitely on the side of the Reformation. Under Edward VI, and guided doubtless by Cranmer who was now Archbishop, there was put forth in 1549 the first English Prayer Book. One year later appeared an Ordinal — a book which set forth the matter, form and intention in making additions to the ministry.

On September 13, 1896, Pope Leo XIII issued a now famous Bull called Apostolicae Curae in which he declared Anglican Orders invalid due to alleged defects in this and subsequent ordinals. To the arguments of Leo XIII we will now address ourselves.
Anglican Orders, says Leo XIII, are defective because they do not employ the proper matter and form. He admits that the 'matter' is variable and that the laying on of hands alone is at least permissibly valid in itself, so long as the 'form' sufficiently sets forth that the reason for using such laying on of hands is to make a true Priest or Bishop in the Catholic Church.

At the time of the split between England and Rome, ordination to the Priesthood was accompanied by presentation of the Chalice and Paten, and by anointing the hands of the ordinand. The first Ordinal of Edward VI omitted the anointing, but continued the
transmission of the instruments and bestowed also a Bible. The second Prayer Book, issued in 1552, dropped the transmission of the instruments and simply continued the giving of the Bible after the laying on of hands, the Bishop saying as he delivered the Holy Scriptures: 'Take thou authority to preach the Word of God, and to minister the Holy Sacraments in this congregation, where thou shalt be appointed.'

It is interesting to notice that when Anglican Orders were first attacked in the 17th century by English Romanists, their invalidity was asserted on two counts:

1. That there was no tradition of the instruments which was then held to be the real 'matter' of the Sacrament of Holy Orders; and

2. a denial of the orders of Archbishop Parker, from whom, in the reign of Elizabeth in 1559, subsequent English orders were derived.

It is perhaps indicative of the desperation of those who attacked Anglican Orders at that time that this alleged invalidity of Parker's orders was based upon what was called the Nag's Head Fable. In this incredible story, which was solemnly told as true by Romanist propagandists, Parker was party to a mock ceremony which happened at Nag's Head Tavern. It seems that the third cousin of the wife of somebody's brother had a friend who had heard from a friend who had heard from somebody who knew the man who did it that he looked through a keyhole and saw one of the supposed consecrators of Parker place a Bible on his head and that was all the ceremony there was. This story was, as I have said, accepted and used despite the fulness of the records of Parker's consecration by Bishops Barlow, Scory, Coverdale and Hodgkins, all of whom, it is explicitly stated, laid their hands upon his head and repeated the words of consecration.

Since we have mentioned the consecration of Parker, let it here be said that Romanists frequently center their attacks upon that event. They have, of course, abandoned the Nag's Head Fable since one of their able historians, Lingard, showed it to be completely untrue. But they now attempt to deny the validity of Parker's consecration on the ground that there is no record of Barlow's consecration, and that Barlow was Parker's chief consecrator. Into the details of this we cannot now go. Suffice it to say that there were many records of unquestioned Bishops which we do not now have. But even if the unlikely were true and Barlow were not consecrated, it is good Roman Catholic doctrine that all the assistant Bishops in consecration act as co-consecrators, so that were one invalid, the consecration's validity would be assured by the others. It is perhaps worth mentioning too, that Cardinal Pole, who was sent to England during the reign of Mary Tudor who reconciled England to the Papal obedience, accepted Barlow's consecration without question.

However, we must return to the matter and form of the first Ordinal. It is with the 'form' that we now concern ourselves. The 'form,' you will recall, is the words which determine what is being done. The Ordinal of 1550 prescribed that the Bishop shall place his hands upon the ordinand's head and say 'Receive the Holy Ghost, whose sins thou dost forgive they are forgiven ; and whose sins thou dost retain they are retained ; and be thou a faithful dispenser of the word of God and of His holy Sacraments. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.'

This form, says Leo XIII, is defective because the words 'Receive the Holy Ghost' certainly do not in the least definitely express the Sacred Order of Priesthood, or its grace and power, which is chiefly the power 'of consecrating and of offering the true body and blood of the Lord . . .' (Council of Trent, Session XXII d. Sacr. Ord. Can 1).

Furthermore, says Leo XIII, Anglicans themselves recognized that this form was defective, and in 1662 they added 'For the office and work of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed to thee by the imposition of our hands' in a vain attempt to make the form valid.

To anyone not conversant with the facts, and to an Anglican layman reading these impressive words in a two-penny tract such pronouncements might cause some heart searching. But whether the Pope or an angel from heaven utters them, they are simply not historically true. There is no mention of the priestly function of offering 'The sacrifice of Masses' in any unquestionable Catholic ordination forms prior to the ninth century — possibly even later than this. And as far as making a specific mention of the office to which the man is to be ordained, there are not fewer than nine references to this in the ordination of priests in the 1550 Ordinal.

The addition of the words 'For the office and work of a Priest, etc.,' in 1662 was not made because Anglicans recognized a defect in their previous form, but was inserted against the Presbyterians who maintained that there was no essential difference between the office of Presbyter and that of a Bishop. In inserting the words 'for the office and work of a Priest' and 'for the office and work of a Bishop' the Church of England was affirming her belief in the validity of her Catholic orders and their difference from the Presbyterian form of the ministry.

More serious, and certainly more convincing to the average layman, is the pointed omission of the function of offering the sacrifice of Masses in the Anglican Rite. Let it be at once admitted that this is a fact. There is no mention of the 'sacrifice of Masses.' This was a deliberate omission for two reasons at least.

First, because Cranmer and others who worked with him in the compilation of the Ordinal were determined to avoid the dangerous medieval conception which seemed to consider every Mass as another immolation of our Lord. In this sense they denied the sacrifice of Masses — and be it noted Rome officially does too. That the Mass itself is a repleading of the 'one oblation of Himself once offered' upon the Cross and that this offering is a 'full perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world' ought to be, it seems to us, clear to anyone who can read English and who takes the trouble to read the Canon of
the first English Prayer Book — or of the later ones.

The second reason for the omission of the function of sacrifice is that English Bishops desired to emphasize the other functions of the priestly office which were gravely neglected. Surely a priest of the Catholic Church is as much bound to be a shepherd of souls as he is to offer sacrifice. If we take the Lord's own words as our criterion, and take those very words which Roman Catholics so love to use in connection with their defence of Papal Infallibility, i.e., 'Feed my sheep,' the pastoral office was one of the duties Jesus laid upon the Apostle Peter.

Roman Catholics argue that if a man gave authority to a steward to act for him and sign checks and then later give him power to act for him, without specifically mentioning the function of signing checks which he had hitherto enjoyed and exercised as a prerogative of his office, it would be pretty conclusive evidence that he was rescinding the power of the steward to sign his checks. Likewise they argue, the failure of the Anglican Ordinal to mention specifically the power to sacrifice proves that it never was intended to bestow it. But such a conclusion by no means follows. What is nearer to historical facts is that the man who gave his steward power to act for him and to sign checks found that the said steward was neglecting the other duties just to sign checks. So, in order to remind him that he was not doing his full job merely by being a check signer, he emphasizes that the steward has power to act for him in all matters. The emphasis is on the 'all' matters and the plain inference is that the steward should stir about some of his father's other business.

It should be borne in mind that prior to the 9th century no sacramentary contained the anointing of the hands; the transmission of the instruments; the words 'Offer sacrifice for the quick and the dead' or 'whose sins thou dost forgive,' etc. If because of the omission of any of these Anglican Orders are invalid, then no orders in Christendom, including those possessed by Rome, are valid either.

We come now to the next matter which must occupy our attention. It is the assertion of Leo XIII that the formulators of the Ordinal had no intention of perpetuating Catholic Orders or Sacraments. I have already dealt with the claim that they did not intend to make sacrificing priests, I shall now deal with the general intention of the Ordinal to continue the Catholic orders.

Rome makes much of the fact that Cranmer and others who shared his opinions had a prejudice against the Roman Catholic conceptions of a sacrificing priesthood. In this they are doubtless correct. But as the Reverend Doctor Felix L. Cirlot has so ably demonstrated in his monumental work Apostolic Succession and Anglicanism , the private opinions of Cranmer, or even the public opinions of Cranmer and his followers do not commit the Anglican Church to such views.

As a matter of fact it is good Roman Catholic doctrine that the private opinions of a minister, however erroneous they may be, cannot affect the validity of any sacrament he administers. So long as he acts as the official representative of the Church and uses her formularies, then by that very fact he intends what the Church intends.

The importance of this is vital. Since nobody can ever see into another's mind and determine with what intention he administers any sacrament, it is most essential that the recipient have an objective assurance that he receives a valid ministration of the Church. It is the Church's official formularies which supply this assurance. Lex orandi, lex credendi — 'the rule of prayer sets forth what is believed.' If the validity of a sacrament depended upon the private opinion of the celebrant, or upon his personal orthodoxy, how could one ever be sure he was receiving a valid sacrament?

As Dr. Cirlot points out in the above mentioned work, the only way Rome can establish her case against Anglicanism is by deciding quite gratuitously that every doubtful or ambiguous word or phrase in the Anglican Formularies be interpreted in the most Protestant way and as though that way represented the mind of the whole Anglican Communion rather than of a small but powerful minority within it in 1550.

This kind of argument may establish a Roman Catholic case, but it hardly establishes a sufficient ground of truth to cause any Anglican priest to doubt the validity of his Orders, or for any Anglican communicant to become concerned about the Sacraments received from such Anglican priests. Moreover, the matter of what the Church officially intended to do is set forth in the Preface to the Ordinal of 1550. It is significant that nowhere in the Bull of Leo XIII which condemned Anglican Orders is any mention made of the intention there set forth. We refer our readers to the text of the Preface to the Ordinal as it appeared in 1550, and as it has appeared in every Anglican Prayer Book since then, down to the present day.

It would be difficult, we think, to find a more explicit statement of intention than that. This, whatever the private opinions of Cranmer, is the official intention of the Church. It sets forth what the Church of England believes about Holy Orders and what it requires for them. Only by adopting the querulous prerogative of Humpty-Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland and making words mean 'anything I want them to mean' can this plain statement be explained away.

Two minor points I should like to note in conclusion: there is now a tendency on the part of some Roman writers to deny jurisdiction to bishops not in communion with Rome. Let me dispose of this by pointing out that there never was a time in the Church's history when the universal jurisdiction of Rome was accepted. See Waddington History at the Church p. 234. where it is pointed out that in the Pontificate of Alexander II (1061) a constitution was drawn up under which 'No Bishop in the Catholic Church was permitted to exercise his functions until confirmed by the Holy See.' This is by way of reaction from previous confirmation of the Emperor who appointed Popes, Bishops, etc. So Henry VIII in taking back the right to appoint was only rescinding a Papal action of llth century.

The last point is the sly Roman reference to the 39 Articles and their supposed denials of Catholic truths. The articles appeared in 1562. The decisions of the Council of Trent which set forth the present Roman Catholic official position concerning the Eucharist were not officially accepted and confirmed until 1564. To attempt to use the Articles as denying doctrine which even Rome did not officially accept until two years after the Articles appeared is a feat of logical legerdemain worthy of those Indian fakirs who throw a rope into the air, climb up on it and then they and the rope disappear. Nobody has ever seen this done. But everyone will admit it is a good trick — if it can be done. But so far as this Anglican is concerned, until he sees it, and until he sees a better case for Rome than has yet been produced, he won't believe it!

May 2024 Comprovincial Newsletter

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