Monday, January 31, 2011

The Eucharistic Presence

Our Lord's proclamation of the truth of the Real Objective Presence in Saint John chapter 6 is certainly not symbolical or metaphorical, and He is not speaking in figurative terms, as the context of the Scripture makes clear. In our day, when a significant percentage of American Roman Catholics do not believe in the Real Objective Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and probably an even greater percentage of Anglicans (at least of the evangelical variety) doubt and struggle with this divine truth, I think it is better to emphasise the corporeal and incarnational dimension of the Eucharistic Presence rather than place emphasis on the more symbolic or representative aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery: one can never affirm or assert too strongly the fact that the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus Christ, a Divine Thing, the glorified Body and Blood of Christ under the consecrated elements of bread and wine, so that the fullness of Our Lord's human nature, as well as His Divinity, is present in the form of the sacred species, in an abiding and permanent way after Consecration. We should reject as contrary to Holy Tradition the doctrine of memorialism, which makes the Eucharist a mere mental psychological act of remembrance devoid of presence and grace, and the doctrine of virtualism, which holds that only the believing faithful receive the subjective grace or power of the Body and Blood through the elements, but not the Thing Itself objectively present in the elements. Historically, Anglicanism has, at sundry times, been confused by these two insufficient doctrines on the Eucharistic Presence, and it is up to us to clarify the biblical and patristic truth for our own tradition.

Since the Reformation, Anglicans have insisted, with the consensus of the early Fathers, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Saint Theodore of Mopsuestia and Saint Theophylact especially amongst them, that the materiality of the Bread and Wine remains in its original physical state after Eucharistic Consecration, but that to it is joined by Consecration the supernatural totality of the Incarnate God-Man, by a 'hypostatic union,' a Personal Union extending the Incarnation, a sacramental unity of the outward and visible sign with the Divine Thing, Our Lord, Who is signified and contained in the sign. The Holy Ghost, through the Consecration of the Mass, effects a sacramental change, an ontological change, in the forms of bread and wine on a supernatural metaphysical level, so that the outward forms become the Spirit-filled Body and Blood of Christ in an 'immaterial' but essential manner. The Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist are the Body and Blood of His mighty Resurrection and glorious Ascension, a spiritual Body vivified by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 15.44). The afore-described doctrine is plainly laid out in the Prayer Book Catechism, the Prayer Book Offices of Instruction and in the Prayer Book Eucharistic Liturgy, as well as Articles of Religion XXVIII and XXIX. All communicants receive the outward and visible Sign and the Thing Signified; only the faithful receive the Benefit or virtue of the Sacrament, as the wicked receive not benefit but condemnation (I Corinthians 11.27-29). We do indeed need to be careful about Eucharistic language, so as to avoid on one hand a monophysiticism wherein the elements are believed to be destroyed and absorbed into Christ, and a Nestorianism often found in Calvinism and 'reformed' protestantism on the other, wherein the sign is divorced and entirely separated from the Divine Reality.

Saint Irenaeus says, 'in the Eucharist there is an earthly thing and an heavenly thing,' hence, the outward signs of Bread and Wine and the Thing Signified, the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Other Fathers describe the Eucharist as the prolongation of the Incarnation, a Mystery like an iron thrust into the fire - the iron does not lose its own properties or reality, but it takes on the reality and properties of the fire. Both remain complete in themselves and yet are perfectly united, and each takes on the property of the other: True God and True Man in the Incarnation, earthly elements and the Person of Christ in the Eucharist. The consecrated Elements are not destroyed, but elevated, not replaced, but perfected into a new Thing. Grace builds upon nature, and does not destroy, but perfects, nature. Our Lord is incarnated in the sacramental species, mystically present. I say all of this to concur with what many authors basically teach about the Real Presence, while carefully governing how we would assert that same truth in language consistent with the Scriptures and Fathers. Eucharistic miracles are just that, miracles, like the Real Presence itself, beyond our intellectual explanation and understanding.

That there is 1. a supernatural, glorified, metaphysical yet corporeal (of a Body) Presence of Our Lord's Incarnate Person in the Eucharist, the Risen and Exalted Lord, and 2. a Change in the Eucharistic Elements upon Consecration, is beyond doubt for all Catholic Christians; but as Anglicans we believe we cannot attempt dogmatically to define the exact manner of the Presence or the process of how the Presence comes about at Mass without adding to the Catholic Faith. We cannot rationally explain the inexplicable or define the indefinable. The Real Presence is Mystical - the ultimate Holy Mystery. The Presence is more real than that found in our own material physical plane, but it is not material and physical as understood in the limited field of our empirical experience.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saint Charles, King and Martyr

On 30th January 1649, Saint Charles Stuart I of England was martyred - he died to save the English Church, the English Liturgy and the English Succession of Apostolic Faith and Order. Let us gratefully REMEMBER before Almighty God the witness, life and sacrifice of England's Martyr King.

BLESSED Lord, in whose sight the death of thy Saints is precious; We magnify thy name for the abundant grace bestowed upon our martyred Sovereign Charles; by which he was enabled so cheerfully to follow the steps of his blessed Master and Saviour, in a constant meek suffering of all barbarous indignities, and at last resisting unto blood; and even then, according to the same pattern, praying for his murderers. Let his memory, O Lord, be ever blessed among us, that we may follow the example of his courage and constancy, his meekness and patience, and great charity. And grant, that this our land may be freed from the vengeance of his righteous blood, and thy mercy glorified in the forgiveness of our sins, and all for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

Saint Charles, King and Martyr, pray for us!

Monday, January 24, 2011

To Life!

In commemoration of today's March for Life and for the restoration of reverence for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death in our country and culture...

O MERCIFUL Father, whose face the angels of thy little ones do always behold in heaven; Grant us stedfastly to believe that these thy children hath been taken into the safe keeping of thine eternal love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and merciful Father, who dost grant to children an abundant entrance into thy kingdom; Grant us grace so to conform our lives to their innocency and perfect faith, that at length, united with them, we may stand in thy presence in fulness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, whose most dear Son did take little children into his arms and bless them; Give us grace, we beseech thee, to entrust the souls of these children to thy neverfailing care and love, and bring us all to thy heavenly kingdom; through the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the Mission Society of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda

We write as bishops within the Church of England, who seek both to maintain and promote its Catholic heritage, believing that this demands maintaining the ministry of bishops, priests and deacons in a manner consistent with the tradition of the Church, East and West. We address all those, ordained and lay, who look to us at this time for pastoral guidance.

In July 2010 the General Synod of the Church of England took yet another decisive step in the direction of enacting legislation that would make it possible for women to be admitted to the episcopate. At the same time General Synod declined to make any appropriate provision that would satisfy the consciences of those of us who cannot accept that such ordinations would be a legitimate development in the life of the Church. Some have already decided that they can no longer remain within the Church of England. We genuinely wish them Godspeed as, heeding the call of conscience, they embark on a new episode in their Christian discipleship. We, too, in similar obedience to conscience, seek, if at all possible, to remain faithful members of the Church of England and undertake to support all who seek to do likewise.

Even at this late hour we are seeking a way forward that would enable us with integrity to retain such membership. We are passionate in our commitment to the mission of the Church of England and urgently seek a settlement through which we would be free to play our part to the fullest measure. We believe this could be done by the formation of a society within the Church of England, overseen by bishops committed to our viewpoint. Such bishops would need, of course, the necessary ordinary jurisdiction that would enable them to be the true pastors of their people and to be guarantors of the sacramental assurance on which we all depend for our authentic sharing within the Body of Christ. Given that our parishes are also constituent parts of local dioceses we also understand that some way would have to be identified for sharing jurisdiction with the diocesan bishop. We understand it to be something of this nature that our archbishops were trying to achieve in their ill-fated amendment at the July meeting of the General Synod. That amendment, though narrowly defeated in the House of Clergy, was widely supported elsewhere in the Synod and, indeed, a majority of members supported it. It might well be that a revisiting of the archbishops’ proposals, with some further development of them, could still help our Church to find a way forward that enabled us all to remain faithful members of it.

To this end we have set about forming ‘The Society’. It is under the patronage of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda. Two of our number, the Bishops of Blackburn and of Gibraltar in Europe, have agreed to serve as episcopal protectors of The Society. The Bishop of Beverley will be the co-ordinating bishop. We are still in the process of giving more substance to its constitution. It may well be that the latter cannot be finally resolved until we know whether or not the House of Bishops and then the General Synod will be prepared to build further on our initiative. You can find more details as to our thinking by visiting The Society’s website. Many have already enrolled as prospective members of The Society and we now encourage all who support us to do so. We need to discover whether such a way forward commands the support of those who look to us for guidance. If that were to be so then it would be good to demonstrate to the wider Church just how many of its members need such provision in order to remain faithful members of it.

We do not want to build up false hopes. Every attempt we have made so far to persuade the Church of England to make the kind of provision that would enable us in good conscience to remain within its fellowship has been thwarted. We feel, nevertheless, duty bound, once again to seek a way out of the impasse that otherwise would make it impossible for many of us to remain faithful members of our Church. We recognise the huge change of heart that would need to happen for us to succeed. We ask you to pray fervently that such a change of heart might take place and encourage you to support us by enrolling in The Society.

+ Nicholas Blackburn
+ John Cicestr
+ Geoffrey Gibraltar
+Martyn Beverley
+John Burnley
+Peter Edmonton
+Mark Horsham
+John Plymouth
+Anthony Pontefract
+Martin Whitby
+Lindsay Urwin
+Robert Ladds

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Preface of the Anglican Ordinal


IT is evident unto all men, diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church,—Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Which Offices were evermore had in such reverend estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by public Prayer, with Imposition of Hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful Authority. And therefore, to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed in this Church, no man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon, in this Church, or suffered to execute any of the said Functions, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto, according to the Form hereafter following, or hath had Episcopal Consecration or Ordination.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sinlessness of Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, is free from all sin, original and actual, because of his Virginal Conception and Birth by the operation of the Holy Ghost in the womb of Blessed Mary. Our Lord is completely free from original sin because original or ancestral sin is transmitted by normal human procreation and reproduction: the mortality and corruption of our wounded nature, alienated and separated from God, is passed from generation to generation by sexual reproduction and by birth into a corrupted and fallen world. By the Holy Ghost, Christ is given a totally new and renovated human nature in the virginal womb of Mary, for there is no sexual reproduction or generation in His human conception and birth. The Fathers of the Church refer to Mary as the New Garden of Eden - in the first garden, man was created free from sin, innocent, and capable of natural communion with God. Only because of the Fall of Man did the human race lose this natural state of union with God and the capacity for growth into the divine likeness, for God-likeness, theosis. Mary is the New Eve, a Virgin, who gives birth to the New Adam, the New Man, Who assumes human nature without the consequences or effect or power of sin.

Jesus Christ is the New Creation, Who was given a newly-created human nature without human seed. Thus, Christ re-creates, re-forms, re-generates, restores and renews human nature through His Virginal Conception, a Conception free from sin because there is no human father. Human nature was given a radically new start in Our Lady's body. Our Lord is truly, fully and completely human, but His humanity is like that of Adam in the original creation, pure, innocent, free from corruption, mortality, death and evil. It is precisely because Our Lord is the New Man, the Second Man, the Second Adam Who is the Lord from Heaven, that we can be saved: he imparts His new humanity, His new Manhood to us in the Sacraments. The Hypostatic Union, the union of the Person of God the Son to His perfect human nature, is Christ's gift of Himself to us in the Church and Sacraments - the Body of Christ in heaven, the Body of Christ in the Church, and the Body of Christ in the Sacraments are one and the same Body. In Baptism, we are plunged into His saving human nature and made one with His immaculate and all-holy Body; we are made members of His new humanity by being joined to Him in His Incarnation, Life, Death and Resurrection. In the Eucharist, the new life of grace, the Life of Christ's Human Nature in us, is nourished and replenished by His own Body and Blood, the substance of His new humanity. What is mystically infused into us at Baptism is empowered and intensified through Eucharistic Communion. And through union with Christ's human nature, we are united to and partake of His divine nature. We become by grace what God is by nature - God becomes Man so that Man may become God. 'Only what God assumed does He redeem' says the Church Fathers: so Our Lord assumed a true human body, mind, will and soul, perfectly human and totally like our own, with the exception of sin. The Blessed Virgin Mary did not transmit any sin, original or actual, to Our Lord because she did not conceive Him and give birth to Him in the natural way, but miraculously, supernaturally, through an act in which her Virginity was preserved before, during and after His miraculous conception and birth. The Virginal Conception and Birth are necessary for our salvation, for without these acts Our Lord would have inherited the original sin common to fallen humanity. But through the Virgin Birth, Christ offers to the whole of mankind that which by nature he cannot have, a human nature free from sin and united to God.

Our Lord's Baptism, as Blessed Lancelot Andrewes says, following the Fathers, is not a Baptism in which Christ is forgiven of sins, for Christ is perfectly sinless, but a Baptism in which Christ Himself hallows the water of our Baptism. He is baptised to identify Himself with sinful humanity as man's sole Redeemer, to show that He is truly human; He is baptised to manifest and reveal Himself as the Eternal Son of God in human flesh, the God Incarnate in true human nature; He is baptised to set the pattern for the Christian Sacrament of Holy Baptism; and He is baptised to reveal the Holy Trinity, the Father speaks, the Spirit descends in the form of a dove, and the Son stands in our human nature, anointed by the Holy Ghost in His human nature as the Messiah. Our Lord sanctifies the water for our own Baptism; it does not sanctify Him. Our Lord was baptised 'to fulfill all righteousness' and to become the model for our own Baptism into Him.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles

‘Those who once worshipped the stars are now led by a star to worship thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to follow thee, the Orient on High.’ This beautiful prayer from the ancient Byzantine rite refers to the wondrous mystery of our orthodox faith which we celebrate on 6th January, the Epiphany, or as the Prayer Book describes it, the Manifestationof Christ to the Gentiles. This feast declares the self-revelation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ, the eternal Sonof God, the only-begotten Word of the Father. Jesus is the Light of the world; He is the Life and Light of men (St John 8.12, St John 12.36, St John 1.9). The Catholic Creed professes Him ‘Light of Light.’ Jesus Christ, the Lord of the universe, of Jews, of Gentiles, of all creation, shines upon a world darkened by death and sin. He comes to set the world alight with the brilliance of His divine power, presence and resurrection.

What is the significance of the title of this feast as provided in the Book of Common Prayer? The Jewish Messiah of Israel, the Promised One of the elect covenant people, reveals Himself as the universal Saviour of the whole human race, the redeemer of creation and Head and Author of the new created order and the new redeemed human family, the Church. He shows the Gentiles, those races and nations originally outside the covenant, that they are now called to the fullness of divine life and salvation. Some contemporary Christians are tempted simply to think of Our Lord as though He were Himself a Gentile – but not so – it is as the Jewish Messiah that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Davidic Priest-King, the fulfillment, completion and personification of Israel, comes to bring the Gentiles into communion with God in the fellowship of the one Body (Ephesians 2.11-22).

The word epiphano in the koinetic Greek means ‘to shine forth, manifest, reveal, illuminate, cast light upon.’ From it, we garner the English term ‘Epiphany.’

In the Sacred Scriptures and according to the Holy and Apostolic Tradition, there are at least three principal Epiphanies or manifestations of the Lord Jesus as the Eternal and Incarnate Word. Our Prayer Book liturgy will dwell on each in the weeks to come:

1. Specifically, on the Feast of the Epiphany itself, we celebrate on 6th January the Visit of the Magi (St Matthew 2.1-12). The number of three Magi is not identified in the New Testament; rather, the key number is only given by Tradition. Magi, or the Wise Men, were Persian astrologers and students of the sky, observers of natural phenomena and rulers of the people. They are the representatives of the Gentile world who come to adore the new-born King of all men. The three royal Sages from the East, Melchior, Balthasar and Gaspar in Tradition, manifest the three major races of man; they represent the whole of mankind, European, African, Asian. The ethne or Gentile nations, personified in the wise men, come to obey and worship their Lord and the King of all. Saint Hilary of Poitiers, an eminent Church Father of the West, interprets the holy gifts offered to Christ by the Three Kings:

  • Gold: for the honour of royalty, gold shows forth Christ as King of the Universe and of the Gentiles.
  • Frankincense: incense is always used in the Old and New Testaments in the worship of the Most High God, representing Deity, Divinity.
  • Myrrh: a spice used for burial, it symbolises the Death, Burial and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Who is King, God and Sacrifice: Our Lord is the crucified and risen God, the Messiah-King.

2. The Baptism of Christ – Our Own Baptism: In the Epiphany of His Baptism, Christ is manifested, revealed as the Messiah, and anointed with the Holy Ghost in His humanity as the Incarnate Son. In being baptised, the God-Man also sanctifies the water of our own Baptism into Him. Christian Baptism is our Illumination in the Eternal Son.Christ’s Baptism is, as well, the first pivotal manifestation of God as Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Voice is that of the Father, the Son is baptised and revealed in His human nature, and the Spirit is seen as the dove descending on Christ (St Matthew 3.13-17, St Mark 1.9-12, St Matthew 28.16-20).

3. Cana of Galilee – the Eucharistic Sign: The Epiphany of Our Lord’s first miracle is recorded in Saint John’s Gospel (St John 2.1-11). Christ turns water into wine, which miracle or sign is an icon, image, of the august marvel and sacramental Sign of the Holy Eucharist, wherein Christ continually transforms bread and wine into His most precious Body and Blood. The Real Objective Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is an everlasting Epiphany, one which enlightens and nourishes us and makes us One Body and Blood with Him. ‘This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

There are, in fact, many Epiphanies of Jesus Christ in salvation history, and especially today. The Holy Catholic Church of Christ is the great Sacrament of the Lord and perpetually manifests Him in creation. The Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, is His epiphany still. All Seven Sacraments of the Church are a continual epiphany of Christ, a signification and manifestation of His power and grace. In the Church, we mystically join with the Magi and worship the new-born King, our Priest and Messiah. We unite ourselves with them in offering our lives to the true God. Our Blessed Lord has epiphanied Himself to mankind so that we, joined to Him, may manifest, presence, reveal our Saviour to others. The Christian vocation of one who has put on Christ (Galatians 3.27) is to shine forth the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4.6), to radiate in a benighted world with the divine Sun of Righteousness.

We are summoned to enlighten the whole of this cosmos with the divine light of the love of Christ. Jesus is the Light, and like Saint John the Baptist, we must ‘bear witness of the Light’ (St John 1.7). We are called to epiphany Jesus to the world in which we live and to the people we encounter. Baptised, Confirmed, Eucharistic, fully-initiated and illuminated Christians are the modern epiphanies of Christ, conformed to His Image and made in His glorious likeness by grace. We are the ultimate Epiphany of Christ. As filii in Filio, the sons in the Son, let us resolve to epiphany the Epiphany, and epiphanise the Lord!

May the Lord of glory, Jesus, the bright Splendour of the Father, bless you and all you love during this holy Epiphany season!


Monday, January 03, 2011

A Continuing Anglican Manifesto

In light of recent news, from the reception of three Church of England bishops into the Roman Communion, to the apparent return of an Anglican priest to our fellowship from the Roman Church, let us begin this New Year of grace and of our salvation 2011 with a meditation on the nature of 'more, not mere Anglicanism'. What is it exactly that Continuing Anglicans really believe, and what has compelled them to remain so immovable in their commitments and beliefs?
Please note that this reflection expresses my personal views on matters ecclesiastical, and that it is not intended to be a comprehensive statement on all things ecclesial, but rather, a specific review addressing some particular issues in orthodox Anglicanism currenty challenged by non-Anglican writers in the blogosphere...
  • We believe that of all vocations offered by the Lord to man, the gift of the sacramental hierarchical priesthood is most sacred and precious.
  • We believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given the Anglican Church, of His mercy and goodness, the one priesthood of His Church, by unbroken Apostolic Succession of Faith and Order.
  • We believe the Ecclesia Anglicana possesses the fullness of the Catholic Faith of the ancient undivided Church of the first millennium, and to be, in essence, Western Orthodoxy.
  • We love and cherish our Anglican heritage because we affirm it is, in a special way and proven so to be by historical, theological and supernatural evidence, a true Church of the Apostles and Fathers.
  • We affirm that Anglicanism, as represented in the Continuing Churches, lives still, a pure form of historical yet renewed catholicism.
  • We believe our distinctive branch of the One Church faithfully preserves and employs the divine Scriptures, the ancient and universal Creeds, the seven holy Sacraments and Christ’s male threefold Apostolic Ministry, and utilises of all liturgical rites in Christendom the most sublime in the Book of Common Prayer.
  • We believe Anglicanism has no faith or order of her own, only the faith and order of the Undivided Church as shared by all orthodox Christians in the first thousand years of our corporate history.
  • We believe that the Anglican Liturgy, our teaching office, and the historic Anglican formularies entirely match the criteria required by the Canon of Saint Vincent of Lerins for orthodoxy: our faith and practice are based on the universal and ancient Tradition of the Church and catholic consent.
  • We believe the Anglican Church extends the divine Life of Christ to all men in the beauty of holiness.
  • We believe ours is a Church faithful to the Great, Holy and Apostolic Tradition, by which Spirit-guided Tradition the Holy Scriptures are rightly understood and interpreted.
  • We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and the prolongation and extension of the Incarnation, and we trust God has called us as Anglicans to share in bringing salvation to mankind, and to participate in Christ’s action of making men holy.
  • We are totally committed to the orthodox dogmas of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, to the depositum fidei which is transmitted and treasured by the genuine Anglican Tradition.
  • We believe the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is Jesus Christ Himself, His objectively-present and abiding Body and Blood under the converted form of bread and wine, given for the remission of sins and eternal life; that the Mass is the sacramental re-presentation of Calvary; that grace is objectively conveyed in the sacraments; that the grace of sacramental absolution is given through the priesthood; and that prayer for the faithful departed is fruitful and powerful.
  • We believe that in Anglicanism Our Lord Jesus Christ perpetually exercises the sacramental gifts, mission and authority of His priesthood, through the preaching of the Word of God written and the ministration of the Holy Sacraments.
  • We believe the dominical Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion are generally necessary for the salvation of all men; that the five other sacraments are true means of grace; that the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God and contain all things required as necessary for eternal salvation through the faith and grace of Jesus Christ; and that nothing should be required as an Article of the Faith or necessary unto salvation but that which may be proved by the Holy Scriptures.
  • We believe Christ continues in His Church, in persona Christi capitis, the priestly office and work of offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice and administering the True Body and Blood of Our Lord to the faithful, baptising and confirming men into His Body, blessing, witnessing marriages, absolving the penitent, anointing the sick, catechising the young and old alike, ministering pastorally to the faithful, and teaching, sanctifying, and governing the people of God in the local parish and in each Diocese and Province.
  • We believe we possess full sacramental communion with the One Catholic and Apostolic Church of the ages, and the gift of the orthodox and historic Anglican episcopate, wherein nothing is lacking for the full living of the Faith of the Church.
  • We believe the absolute axiom of catholic ecclesiology and theology which dictates that the Clergy rightly and canonically function when in communion with the episcopos, who sits in the Apostles’ chair, succeeding in the Apostolic line and commission, and, as St Ignatius of Antioch states, functioning as the ‘image of God the Father.’
  • We agree with St Ignatius, who describes the microcosm or fullness of God’s Church as the local Eucharistic assembly, with the bishop, the father-in-God, celebrating the holy mysteries at the family Table, surrounded by his priests and deacons who assist him, and by the whole people of God, who, in communion with him, join with him in mystically offering the Lord’s Sacrifice: the Church is a Communion of Eucharistic Communions.
  • We believe the Church is God’s Family, the household of the faith and the household of God, the Bride of Christ, and the Ark and unique home and sphere of grace and salvation, the dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost Who sanctifies the Church and her members.
  • We believe in justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and in the necessary cooperation and correspondence with grace in the believer through the operation of the Holy Ghost for sanctification and salvation.
  • We believe that the sole Head of the Universal Church is her Divine Head, the Lord Jesus, and that the Church is totus Christus, Head and members together in One Body.
  • We believe that all Bishops are true Successors of the Holy Apostles, possess the Power of the Keys to bind and loose, transmit by the laying-on-of-hands that same ordination conferred by Our Lord on the Apostles, and receive from Our Lord equal spiritual power, as did the Twelve, by His institution and commission.
  • We believe the Church is the Divine Society, the divinely-appointed steward of the mysteries of God, bound in unity by the Apostolic Succession of doctrine and ministry.
  • We believe the Anglican Church to be a duly-constituted jurisdiction of that Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head and all baptised persons are the members, a graced vineyard of the Lord in which we may labour for the Kingdom of God and the spread of the Gospel of Christ.
  • We are the original 'Catholics of the Anglican Rite', in union with Holy Mother Church through her Anglican expression, whereby nothing needful for grace and truth is deficient.
  • We believe in the Communion of Saints, the Church Triumphant, Expectant and Militant, and in the due honour and efficacious prayers, virtues and examples of Our Lady Saint Mary, the Mother of God, and of all the whole company of Heaven.
God bless you!

May 2024 Comprovincial Newsletter

The Comprovincial Newsletter for May 2024 -