Friday, January 29, 2010

Saint Charles Stuart I, King and Martyr

On Saturday 30th January 2010, we commemorate the 361st Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Charles the First of England, King and Martyr, who died for the preservation of the Apostolic Ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons in the Ecclesia Anglicana and of the Liturgy of the Church of England, ensuring by the witness of his virtuous life and the shedding of his blood the perpetuation of the Anglican expression of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Because Saint Charles was willing to die for the sake of the Anglican Church, the Church retained her Catholic constitution and her Apostolic Succession and did not lapse into protestant sectarianism.

Next year, 26th April 2011 marks the 350th Anniversary of the official Canonisation of Saint Charles, King and Martyr, by the Church of England. On 26th April 1661, the Convocations of Canterbury and York, meeting in joint session, adopted the State Service in honour of the Royal Martyr, which Service was henceforth incorporated into the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: in the Liturgy of 30th January, Charles I is declared 'Saint' and 'Martyr.' Saint Charles Stuart is thus the only Saint canonised by the Church of England after the Reformation.

May Traditional Anglicans forever remain grateful for the earthly witness and fidelity unto death, as well as for the heavenly patronage and intercession, of that blessed sovereign who gave the ultimate witness for the catholicity of Anglicanism and now wears a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Saint Charles indeed died to save the English Church - REMEMBER!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Catholicity of Anglicanism

That this Prayer Book was not regarded as abolishing the old religion is shown by the fact that, of 9400 Marian clergy, only about 200 refused to take the oath of supremacy and accept the new Prayer Book. Elizabeth indignantly refused to send a representative to the Council of Trent because England was summoned as a Protestant, and not as a Catholic, country. She said, in her letter to the Roman Catholic princes, 'that there was no new faith propagated in England; no new rerligion set up but that which was commended by our Savior, practised by the primitive Church, and approved by the Fathers of the best antiquity.'

Percy Dearmer, The Parson's Handbook (1899), Introduction, n. 20

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Journey Rome

I eagerly commend to your reading this excellent post by Christian Campbell regarding last evening's episode of The Journey Home on the Eternal Word Television Network. Mr Campbell adeptly corrects and discomfits two critical errors which were proffered as established fact on the programme, to wit:

1. Valid Apostolic Orders from undoubtedly valid Bishops in Apostolic Succession are invalid if they are conferred outside of communion with the See of Rome.

2. The Words of Our Lord, the Dominical Words of Institution and Consecration, do not validly consecrate the Blessed Sacrament if used in the Book of Common Prayer Canon of the Mass.

And I would add a third that needs roundly to be dispelled:

3. The reason for the offer of Anglicanorum Coetibus from Rome is merely because groups of Anglicans asked for it; there is no intrinsic catholicity or historical continuity in the Anglican Tradition as regarding the Liturgy, the Threefold Apostolic Ministry, of the substance of the sacramental system.

Theologically incorrect assertions such as these do not promote authentic Christian unity and ecumenism.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Saint Joseph

A splendid meditation from 'The Reverend Father-in-Law,' the Reverend Father Richard Price Baskwill of Saint Alban's Church, Joppa, Maryland. This beautiful piece makes an ideal reflection for this holy season, in which Saint Joseph is not always sufficiently considered. It is an utterly true perspective on the real vocation and ministry of the Patriarch of the Universal Church and the Guardian of the Holy Family.

When I was in seminary, we few Traditionalists used to joke that Jaroslav Pelikan's 'Joseph Through The Centuries' could have been written on a 3X5 index card! The Church in every age could use more 'Josephology' and certainly more devotion to the Foster-Father of Our Blessed Lord. We should be grateful to Pope John XXIII, who added Saint Joseph's name to the list of canonised saints commemorated in the Latin Gregorian Canon in 1962, which gesture goes some way in making remedy for the absence of proper devotion to Saint Joseph in previous centuries at different times.
Sancte Joseph, ora pro nobis.

Saint Matthew 2. 13-15
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

It struck me that we have not always given due attention to the crucial role that Joseph played in the drama of our salvation. Specifically, his example can serve as a model for men who are called to the ministry of marriage and fatherhood. For example, the brief descriptions given in Matthew’s Gospel of the flight to Egypt call up images of a man who is dutifully and faithfully carrying out tasks which were absolutely essential to the survival of the Holy Family, but were so natural and routine as to go unmentioned. Some things which I imagine that Joseph would have done might have been these:

Planned the route.
Arranged for food and drink to be available for Mary.
Obtained the donkey.
Planned water and forage for the donkey.
Observed the condition of the road, the donkey’s footing and Mary’s balance.
Monitored Mary and the Child’s condition and arranged for rest stops when needed.
Provided security against thieves.
Made a plan for inclement weather.
Found suitable shelter for overnight.
And, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Joseph had to clean up after the donkey – somebody had to do it!

These are all examples of paternal duty, responsibly fulfilled. They show Joseph as an example for all married men, as well as revealing the role of the most mundane tasks in our journey of faith.

May Joseph be our model as we fulfill our ministries to our families.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Anglican Communion Succession of the Anglican Province of America

The Anglican Succession from the Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Norman Spencer Binstead, 3rd Bishop of the Missionary District of the Philippines of the Protestant Episcopal Church and 357th Bishop of the American Succession,

Robert Franklin Wilner, Bishop Suffragan of the Missionary District of the Philippines of the Protestant Episcopal Church and 403rd Bishop of the American Succession, and

Harry Sherbourne Kennedy, 4th American Missionary Bishop of Honolulu and 444th Bishop of the American Succession, on 7th April 1948 consecrated according to the Anglican rite

Isabelo de los Reyes, Junior as Supreme Bishop (Obispo Maximo) of the Philippine Independent Church, who on 8th September 1957 consecrated

Francisco J. Pagtakhan de Jesus, Bishop Secretary for Missions and Ecumenical Affairs and sometime Bishop of Oriental and Occidental Negros Island, an official representative of the Philippine Independent Church,

who, with Sergio Mondala and Lope Rosete, Bishops of the IFI, on 26th September 1981 at the Church of Jesus the Nazarene in San Diego, California
consecrated sub conditione according to the Anglican rite,

Walter Howard Grundorf to the Sacred Order of Bishops.

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente is a body with Anglican Orders considered a sister Church of the Anglican Communion. Organised on 3rd August 1902, the Philippine Independent Church officially separated from the Roman Catholic Church in protest of both the Vatican and the Spanish government. Gregorio Aglipay was elected the first Pontifex Maximus of the Church shortly after its organisation. This Church initially lacked the Historic Episcopate, although it maintained the title and administrative office of Bishop for its chief ministers, and lapsed into unitarianism at a stage before its renewal and resulting alliance with Anglicanism. In 1946, led by the reforming Supreme Bishop Isabelo de los Reyes, Junior, the IFI renounced unitarianism, declared its acceptance of the theology of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and issued its Declaration of the Faith and Articles of Religion, which are Trinitarian, orthodox, and Anglican. The Philippine Church received Anglican Orders from the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1948 and consequently entered into full sacramental communion with the Episcopal Church in the USA in 1961, the Church of England in 1963, and the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht in 1965. The 1981 San Diego consecrations were, simultaneously, the elevation of Bishops Robert Q. Kennaugh, F. Ogden Miller, and G. Wayne Craig to the newly-formed Episcopate of the Holy Catholic Church, Anglican Rite Jurisdiction of the Americas, sponsored by the IFI, and the regularisation of the Episcopate of the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Episcopal Church of North America. The Bishops conditionally consecrated were: Anthony FM Clavier, Walter H. Grundorf, G. Raymond Hanlan, Walter Hollis Adams, Frank H. Benning, and John M. Hamers.

The Anglican Succession from the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Provinces of Central and Southern Africa

On 3rd October 1991, at the Conference on Anglican Unity held at Deerfield Beach, Florida,

Robert William Stanley Mercer, CR, sometime 4th Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Matabeleland in the Province of Central Africa and 3rd Bishop Ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada,

Robert Herbert Mize, Junior, sometime 6th Bishop Ordinary of Damaraland (now the Diocese of Namibia) in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, sometime Assistant Bishop of Matabeleland and Assistant Bishop of San Joaquin,

and Charles Francis Boynton, sometime Bishop Suffragan of New York and 3rd Missionary Bishop of Puerto Rico, the 442nd Bishop of the American Succession,

consecrated sub conditione the Most Reverend Walter Howard Grundorf to the Sacred Order of Bishops.

On 1st and 2nd October 1991, successively, Bishop CF Boynton, in anticipation of conditional consecration, ordained sub conditione Bishop Grundorf to the Sacred Order of Deacons and to the Sacred Order of Priests according to the Anglican rite.

Bishop Boynton was consecrated 2nd January 1944 as Missionary Bishop Coadjutor of Puerto Rico by Charles Blaney Colmore, 2nd Missionary Bishop of Puerto Rico and 266th Bishop of the American Succession, Benjamin Franklin Price Ivins, 7th Bishop of Milwaukee and 343rd Bishop of the American Succession, Wallace John Gardner, 6th Bishop of New Jersey and 395th Bishop of the American Succession, and Spence Burton, SSJE, Bishop Suffragan of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and later Bishop Ordinary of Nassau, 416th Bishop of the American Succession.

Bishop Mize was consecrated in 1960 by Joost de Blank, sometime Bishop Suffragan of Stepney and Archbishop of Cape Town of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. Archbishop De Blank was consecrated to the Episcopate by His Grace The Most Reverend the Lord Archbishop Geoffrey Francis Fisher, 99th Archbishop of Canterbury in the line of Saint Augustine and Primate of All England.

Bishop Mercer, chief consecrator for the 1991 Deerfield Beach conditional rite, was consecrated to the Sacred Order of Bishops in 1978 by Donald Seymour Arden, Archbishop of Central Africa and Bishop Ordinary of Southern Malawi, John Paul Burrough, Bishop Ordinary of Masonaland (Harare), Shannon Mallory, Bishop Ordinary of Botswana, Patrick Murindagomo, Bishop Suffragan of Harare, and George Swartz, Bishop Suffragan of Cape Town and later Bishop Ordinary of Kimberley and Kuruman. Bishop Mercer served as the Bishop Ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.

On Thursday 3rd October 1991, eleven Bishops of the uniting Anglican Church in America were given conditional consecration to the Episcopate by three prelates whose Orders stem from the Anglican Communion, and therefore are unquestioned. The consecrations were supplied in order to effect the merger of the American Episcopal Church (organised in 1968) and the majority of the Anglican Catholic Church (organised in 1979) into one orthodox traditional Anglican jurisdiction for the United States of America. The chief consecrator was Robert WS Mercer, CR of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, former Bishop of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe of the Anglican Province of Central Africa. Assisting him were Robert Mize, formerly Bishop of Damaraland of the Province of Southern Africa, and Charles Boynton, former ECUSA Bishop of Puerto Rico and Bishop Suffragan of New York. Bishop Mize participated with the approval of the traditionalist Episcopal Synod of America, of which he was a member. Bishop Boynton participated as a Bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church. The three Bishops, who were all consecrated by Bishops of Provinces of the Anglican Communion, and none of whom had ever been acted against or placed under discipline by his Church, were asked to confer conditional consecration when it became apparent that external questions about the regularity of the Orders of the American Episcopal Church (the original name of the Anglican Province of America) – and doubts of some within the Anglican Communion about Continuing Church Orders generally – called for further action. Bishops Mercer, Mize, and Boynton presided over a service attended by 300 Unity Conference participants, who witnessed the questions, laying-on-of-hands and other ceremonies as directed by the 1928 American Prayer Book Ordinal.

The Bishops who received conditional consecration were: Anthony FM Clavier, Bishop Primus of the American Episcopal Church and Bishop Ordinary of the Eastern United States, Mark G. Holliday, Bishop Ordinary of the Western United States, William Millsaps, Bishop Ordinary of the Southwestern United States, Walter H. Grundorf, Bishop Suffragan of the Eastern United States, G. Raymond Hanlan, Bishop Suffragan of the Eastern United States, and Norman Stewart, Assistant Bishop of the Eastern United States, Louis Wahl Falk, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church and Bishop Ordinary of the Missouri Valley, Bruce Chamberlain, Bishop Ordinary of New England, Robin Connors, Assistant Bishop to the Metropolitan, and Robert Wilkes, Bishop Suffragan of the Pacific Southwest. Samuel Prakash, Junior, Commissary to the Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of India, also received consecration.

Before receiving conditional consecration to the Episcopate, three of the Bishops of the American Episcopal Church, Bishops Clavier, Grundorf, and Hanlan, who had not received ordination as Deacons and Priests in the regular Anglican succession, received conditional ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood. These services, which took place on Tuesday 1st October and Wednesday 2nd October at Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Deerfield Beach, Florida, were celebrated by Bishop Boynton. It was considered prudent, for the sake of Anglicans worldwide, in order to assure the whole Anglican Communion of regularity in the proceedings, to have the three Bishops submit to conditional ordination to the Holy Orders of Deacon and Priest on the two successive days previous to their conditional episcopal consecration.

In statements read by Bishop Boynton before each ordination, he clearly stated that the rites were conditional, and, like Bishop Mercer, would later explain the conditional ordinations, indicating they were not meant to cast doubt but to ask God to make complete anything which human frailty had left incomplete, and to offer tender consciences the ‘balm of certainty.’ At the 1st October Mass Bishop Boynton said in part: ‘That this Order of Deacons is necessary in the Church, we testify well enough simply by our presence here today and by what we do. It may well be, as the highest Office and Order includes the lower; we have no cause to doubt it. Even so, there is about the diaconate the characteristic that given the focus of its duties upon helping God’s people and assisting His priests, the centrality of service to all Christian Ministry is made all the more clear. Here lies the basis of our esteem for this Office: it shows us Jesus who came not to be served but to serve. Thus it is appropriate that we start the process of unification and healing with this service.’ On 2nd October, Bishop Boynton said before the Mass of conditional ordination to the Priesthood: ‘If it be true, and I think it is, that offering sacrifice is central to the duty and office of a priest, and if it be true, as I know it is, that central to sacrifice is the turning over to God of that which is offered, then what we do today shows forth those truths to the fullest. These men have come to turn over to God that which has been the subject of dispute among men – and themselves with it. That is a priestly act. Such an act of oblation, writ large by the hand of Him who was God and man, lies at the centre of our faith and of our worship. To give us entry into the eternal reality of that oblation is why priesthood was bestowed upon the Church by her Lord, and made essential to her being. Into the offering of this oblation priests are admitted, however unworthy we may be, and for it their Office is to be held in high esteem. A great Martyr of the Church, Thomas Becket, following the same short road as these men now follow, thus gave himself over to the use of his heavenly Master. Like Thomas, they seek to show forth the glory of God. No human pomp or pretension could ever do so as brightly as the act of humility and love which brings them here today.’

Finally, on the morning of 3rd October at the Howard Johnson Resort on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, the Unity Conference’s headquarters, all eleven Bishops listed above received consecration sub conditione to the Episcopate. Bishop Mercer made clear the consecrations were conditional rather than ab initio in his sermon. Complete printed copies of the statements of 1st and 2nd October were given to the press immediately after the conditional consecration service. The 3rd October statement was read verbatim as printed in this report. No conditional sacramental form of words was used at the actual moment of the laying-on-of-hands in the liturgy, the words to which begin, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Bishop in the Church of God’ as the Ordinal does not provide a conditional form for episcopal consecration as it does for Holy Baptism. Therefore, the whole formula of consecration was used as found in the Book of Common Prayer. Thus, the apostolic hierarchy of the Anglican Church in America and the Anglican Province of America was constituted by the bestowal of the grace of sacramental consecration to the Episcopate by three Anglican Communion Bishops of undoubted and unquestionable validity and succession. Today, the Anglican Province of America, reorganised in 1995 and heir of the Deerfield Beach Unity Conference, enjoys full sacramental communion with the Anglican Church of India, the Anglican Church in the Philippines, the Anglican Church in the Fiji Islands, the Reformed Episcopal Church, the Traditional Anglican Communion, Forward in Faith North America, and all orthodox Dioceses and Provinces of the Anglican Communion. (Adapted from The Christian Challenge, December 1991).

45th Anniversary of Saint Barnabas Atlanta

What a sheer joy to celebrate today the 45th Anniversary of   Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral, Atlanta, Georgia!