Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas 2019

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Let us keep CHRIST in Christmas... and MASS in Christmas! Please join us at Saint Barnabas Dunwoody. A blessed and joyful Christmas to you all - God bless you!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Anglican Joint Synods 2020

Charlottesville Men’s Retreat

The men of All Saints Church, Charlottesville, Virginia, held a retreat the weekend of Advent II, December 6-8, 2019. Led by the Right Rev. Chandler Jones, the retreat consisted of the Daily Offices, periods of silence and reflection, and four talks on the vice of acedia and its counterpart virtues. They spent two nights at a farm in the Shenandoah Valley, and the beauty of the land proved to be a perfect spot for fellowship and meditation on the rich content of the presentations. 

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Advent Sunday 2019

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Episcopal Consecration of Bishop Robert Herbert Mize

This linked recording is the 27th November 1960 film clip that shows Bishop Robert Herbert Mize being consecrated by Archbishop Joost de Blank of Cape Town as Bishop of Damaraland. Bishop Mize would serve as co-consecrator for Bishop Walter Grundorf on 3rd October 1991, who in turn would serve as my chief consecrator on 18th September 2010... APA history in the making.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Day

O MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SAINT BARNABAS DUNWOODY: Holy Mass will be celebrated on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday 28th November, at 10am!

Friday, November 08, 2019

Apostolic Order and Tradition

Apostolic Succession: Photographs of the episcopal consecration of Bishop Charles Francis Boynton as Coadjutor of Puerto Rico on 2nd January 1944. Bishop Boynton would serve as a co-consecrator for Bishop Grundorf of the Eastern United States on 3rd October 1991. Bishop Grundorf would serve as my chief consecrator on 18th September 2010. Splendid pictures! On this Feast of All Anglican Saints, we are reminded that the Apostolic Succession and Tradition live on in the Continuing Church.

Monday, November 04, 2019

The Bestowal of the American Episcopate

For Anglicans in the United States, the month of November provides a commemoration of unique importance which reinforces what we celebrate on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, the great celebrations of the Church Triumphant in Heaven and the Church Expectant in Paradise. During this time, we remember our link with the historic Catholic Church of the ages and the Communion of Saints, and our Apostolic lineage in Holy Order and orthodox worship, forged by the consecration of Bishop Samuel Seabury. On 14th November 1784, the Church in the USA received its first bishop from the Non-Juring Scottish Church, at that time the small persecuted remnant of faithful Anglicans in Scotland. Bishop Seabury was consecrated for the American Church as Bishop of Connecticut by Bishops Robert Kilgour, Bishop of Aberdeen and Primus of Scotland, Arthur Petrie, Bishop of Ross and Moray, and John Skinner, Coadjutor of Aberdeen, in Longacre near what is today Saint Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen. 

Bishop Seabury also introduced the Scottish Eucharistic Liturgy into the American version of the Book of Common Prayer. The Scottish Mass developed along the lines of the 1549 English Mass, with a renewed emphasis on the Real Objective Presence, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and the role of the Holy Ghost in the Eucharistic Consecration, in iterations of 1637, 1718, and 1764, ultimately incorporated into the 1789 American Prayer Book. Hence, the Apostolic Succession of the American Church and her Liturgy are splendidly Scottish in origin! 

To this very day, the Continuing Church in America uninterruptedly maintains the episcopal succession received from Bishop Seabury and the Eucharistic Rite of the Scottish Church now enshrined the 1928 Prayer Book. Let us render unto Almighty God our thanks and praise for the inestimable gifts provided for our Church in His mercy and providence. 

A wonderful meditation from the Anglican Breviary...

The English Colonists who settled in Virginia brought with them priests to minister in the new land, and from this beginning the ministrations of the Anglican Church spread somewhat throughout all the original thirteen colonies. But the Revolutionary War drove many of the faithful and their priests from the said Colonies, and caused the Church to be hated because of its connection with the English Crown, and its buildings and estates to be confiscated or stolen. In which time of need there was no bishop to shepherd the scattered flock, because no diocesan organisation had been set up in the new land; and the bestowal of the episcopate thereto seemed more unlikely than ever before, since it involved an oath of allegiance to the British Crown which no American could take. 

But, lest the Church become extinct through loss of Catholic order, in Connecticut ten priests, out of the fourteen who still remained after the war, gathered secretly at Woodbury on Lady Day 1783, and took counsel as to the election and consecration of a bishop. Which same, they determined, must needs be not only a man of godliness and learning, but ready to suffer humiliations in England and persecutions on his return home. And the choice fell on Samuel Seabury, priest of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and a man of strong conviction as to Catholic order.

Some sixty years before this, namely, in 1722, the Puritan Colony of Connecticut had been unbelievably stirred up by an event of great import. For it was then that the Rector of Yale College, the chief seat of learning in that Colony, and other Puritan ministers, in the presence of George Pigot, priest of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, whose presence had been procured to represent the Church, did publicly, according to the latter's report to his superiors of that venerable Society, declare themselves in this wise, namely, that they no longer could keep out of the Communion of the Catholic Church. These men, after they had been ordained Anglican priests in England, returned to foster the Church in New England, and their self-sacrifice and courage was blessed with many converts. 

Of these was one Samuel Seabury, father of the aforesaid Samuel Seabury who was elected in 1783, by priests brought up in this great tradition, to be the first bishop of the American Church. The same, when he finally arrived in England, found many difficulties. For one thing, an Act of Parliament was required to dispense with the oath to the Crown; but at last, after twelve months of waiting, there was introduced into Parliament an Act to empower the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to consecrate as bishops persons being subjects or citizens of countries out of his Majesty's Dominions. Later, when this act was finally passed, it led to the extension of the English Church throughout the world. 

Meanwhile the poverty of resources, and the prospect of interminable delay, moved the Bishop-Elect of Connecticut to seek consecration at the hands of the Catholic remainder of the Church of Scotland (as certain of the faithful there called themselves), for this course had been previously agreed upon in case his consecration was blocked in England. In Aberdeen, therefore, on November 14th 1784, he was consecrated by the Primus, Robert Kilgour, Bishop of Aberdeen, assisted by two other bishops, in the sight alone, as they said, of those known to be supporters of the old and persecuted Faith. With them he signed a Concordat, the tenor of which was: that they would maintain the Common Faith once delivered to the Saints, and they believed the Church to be the Mystical Body of Christ; and that they held the Eucharist to be the principal Bond of Union among Christians, as well as the most solemn Act of Worship, for which reason there should be as little variance in this matter as possible. 

And hence the newly consecrated bishop was asked to endeavour to have the Rite of the Scottish Church used as the basis of the new American liturgy. On his return to America he suffered many trials, but from his example the clergy of the Middle and Southern States took courage, and in 1786 sent two of their number, William White, Bishop-Elect of Pennsylvania, and Samuel Provoost, Bishop-Elect of New York, to be consecrated under the new Act of Parliament. In the Convention of 1789, Bishop Seabury united with them to authorise the general ecclesiastical constitution of the American Church; and after the Archbishop of Canterbury had consecrated a third bishop, James Madison of Virginia, he joined with these three other bishops in the consecration of John Claggett as Bishop of Maryland. Thus by the bestowal of the episcopate on Samuel Seabury was finally founded the Church in the United States of America

God bless you!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Intercession of the Saints

Concerning a recent controversy on the Litany of the Saints, for the Anglican Joint Synods (G4) Continuing Churches, the controversy is settled: we affirm the dogmatic authority of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, which affirm the advocation of saints. But beyond this, our canon law authorises the Anglican Missal as a received liturgical text - and the Missal includes the historic western Litany of the Saints, which is especially used at the Easter Vigil, Lex orandi, lex credendi. The controversy also points to the fact that there are now, in truth, three Anglicanisms: These are, (1) the First Millennium Consensus, or Anglo-Catholicism, now mostly found in Continuing Churches, (2) Liberalism, now found in the Lambeth Canterbury Communion, and (3) Evangelicalism, mostly found in those bodies adhering to GAFCON. The Elizabethan Settlement has for all practical purposes collapsed and has ceased to exist, if it ever factually existed in the first place.

by Father Wesley Walker

All Saints and All Souls

The Feast of All Saints, All Saints' Day, is Friday 1st November: Holy Communion 
will be celebrated at Noon and 7pm for the Feast. 
The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, All Souls' Day, is Saturday 2nd November: 
The Requiem Mass will be celebrated at Noon that day.

On Sacramental Intention

The only necessary intention for the validity of the sacraments is the ritually-manifested liturgical intention of the Church, the objective intention of the Church located and expressed in her rite. 

It is normative for Catholic theology that when a valid minister employs a valid liturgical rite for the celebration of a sacrament, it is valid on the presumption in favour of the celebrant that he intends to do what the rite does, what the Church generally does, for otherwise he would not use the liturgy as provided by the Church. 

Heretical persons who may interiorly reject baptismal rejection or even publicly preach against the grace of baptism validly baptise because they use the Church’s matter and form for baptism; the same must apply to ordination, as attested to by Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Robert Bellarmine. The only defect of intention that can render a sacrament invalid is the intention not to administer a sacrament at all, however it may be understood. It is always sufficient for validity simply to intend to do what Christ does, or what Christians do, or what the Christian religion does in a sacramental act. If the Church’s matter and form are used, the necessary general intention is presumed to be present. This is the historic understanding of sacramental intention in the Western Church.

The necessary intention for a valid ordination is, simply, 'generally to do what the Church does.' 

This is not to intend what the Church intends, but to do what the Church does, i.e., ordain. This general intention suffices, even if the minister and the subject hold to an heretical doctrine of the sacrament being conferred. So long as one intends seriously to perform and receive the rite of ordination, that is, seriously to perform the Christian rite however understood, the intention is valid for the administration of the sacrament. 

So long as one merely intends to do what Our Lord Jesus Christ or the true Church do in Ordination (even in opposition to the Catholic Church's actual doctrine), such an ordination is valid, even if heretical views are maintained on ordination itself. 

Heretical views on the sacrament of order do not invalidate ordination, just as heretical views on baptism do not invalidate baptism. This position is precisely the position Saint Augustine of Hippo took against the Donatist schism, and it has been the general and authoritative teaching of the Western Church since the fourth century. Saint Thomas Aquinas echoes this teaching in the Summa Theologica, Supplement, Question 38, Second Article. 

Cardinal Robert Bellarmine defends this very point in his On the Sacraments In General I.21. He writes, ‘It is not necessary to intend what the Roman Church does, but what the true Church (whichever it may be) does, or what Christ instituted, or what Christians do; for all these come to the same thing. It is sufficient if a minister intends to do what is done by a particular Church, even a false one which he believes to be the true Church, even if he intends not to do what the Roman Church does, but is intending to do what the universal Church does. The minister's error about the Church does not take away the efficacy of the sacrament.’ He summarises intention thus: ‘if one intends to perform the ceremony which the Church performs, that is enough.’

Those who dissent from the Catholic Church can validly baptise and ordain, even if they hold doctrines on these very sacraments themselves at odds with the Church, as long as the Church's basic rule on baptism and order is preserved. The necessary intention for the sacraments is only ‘the intention of doing what the Church does or of doing what Christ wanted to be done - of doing what Christ wanted (quod voluit Christus).’

It is the rite that matters, not the internal belief or error of the celebrant. Sacramental intention is usually understood as external or exterior intention, which is manifested ritually, in the liturgical rite used for the administration of the sacrament. Internal intention or personal intention are not usually brought into the discussion because it is impossible to determine in any given case what the personal or interior intention of the minister of a sacrament is. If the sacraments depend on the personal orthodoxy or right belief or interior disposition of the minister, no sacrament could ever be held to have a moral certainty of validity, as one could never determine such a needful state in the mind or heart of the bishop or priest in question. 

Sacraments are by nature ecclesial, ecclesiastical, and this is particularly the case with ordination. Sacraments belong to the Holy Catholic Church. What matters is the Church's intention. The necessary intention of the Church, and of the minister who functions publicly as the agent, officer, and representative of the Church, is put forward in the Church's official rite, the matter and form, used for the conferral of the sacrament. As long as the proper matter and form of ordination remain, prayer with the laying-on-of-hands for the conferral of the particular order, with the intention to ordain a baptised man as a bishop, priest, or deacon, even changes to the rite of ordination do not and cannot void the sacrament on the basis of defective intention.

On the Validity of Anglican Orders

Why did Pope Leo XIII declare Anglican orders "absolutely null and utterly void" in his 1896 papal bull Apostolicae curae?...

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Allsaintstide is approaching!
Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God our Saviour Jesus Christ, pray for us.
All holy Angels and Archangels and all holy orders of blessed spirits, pray for us.
All holy Patriarchs, and Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, and Virgins, and all the blessed company of heaven, pray for us.
(Anglican Litany of 1544)

Please join us at Saint Barnabas Dunwoody for All Saints' Day, Friday 1st November, at Noon and 7pm, and for the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, All Souls' Day, Saturday 2nd November, at Noon. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Men's Retreat Day at Saint Thomas Alto

All gentlemen are invited to a men's day retreat at Saint Thomas the Apostle Anglican Church in Alto, Georgia, 1636 Mud Creek Road, Alto, Georgia 30510, Saturday 26th October. We shall begin at Saint Thomas at 9am with Morning Prayer and Holy Communion and finish in the later afternoon with Evening Prayer. We plan a picnic lunch on the grounds in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. The theme will be the Saints as men of prayer. Please plan to join us...

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Anniversary of Episcopal Consecration

Please remember me in your prayers. 18th September, Ember Wednesday, is the ninth anniversary of my Consecration to the Sacred Order of Bishops in 
Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 
God bless you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

SAINT BARNABAS DUNWOODY GEORGIA: Holy Communion will be celebrated on Thursday 15th August at 7pm for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are planning a fun informal social gathering in Harvey Hall after Mass, so please bring along your favourite foods and drinks and join us for the celebration!

O God, who this day didst take to thyself blessed Mary, the ever-Virgin Mother of thine only-begotten Son: grant that we who celebrate her glory may be aided by her prayers, and may come to share her heavenly and eternal joys. Through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Sacramentalists Podcast

Crisis about the Real Objective Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

Anglican Catholics believe... The Eucharist is different from all other Sacraments, in that all other Sacraments convey or communicate the grace or life of Christ to those who receive them, but in the Blessed Sacrament, we do not only receive grace - but Christ Himself. Jesus Christ is the Blessed Sacrament, for It is His Most Blessed Body and Blood, present really, truly, and objectively in and under the outward form and elements of Bread and Wine (I Corinthians 10.16-17). The Eucharist is the Lord Jesus, True God and True Man, the whole and entire Person of Christ, present in a heavenly, supernatural, glorified manner, truly present under the forms of the Sacrament. Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in His glorified Body and Blood, the Resurrection-Body (I Corinthians 15.44), given to us as heavenly food and drink, as spiritual nourishment for our souls and bodies, to unite us with Himself in His own incarnate human life.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Chad Jones to Lead Continuing Anglican Diocese

DEUS Synod Recap and Review at Earth and Altar

By Fr. Sean McDermott

Here at Earth & Altar, the DEUS Synod was busy and fruitful.
We had been appointed to give the plenary talks along with all of our usual duties in the services
and meetings.
Fr. Glenn spent the early part of the week on the Board of Examining Chaplains;
Fr. Mark passed his final exams for the priesthood; and I, well, I just drank a lot of good coffee.

This diocesan Synod was especially important because we elected a Bishop Coadjutor.
We only did one vote, a great sign of unity, and Bishop Chad Jones is our first Coadjutor
Bishop ever elected in the APA. Right after the election, we gave our plenary talks as well.
Over the whole week, we all sensed a great spirit of charity--
this was quite a blessing giving the important election.
I am very proud to be part of the APA: DEUS, and I look forward to the future of our province....

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Earth & Altar

Welcome to Earth & Altar

This site is dedicated to the Anglican way of life. We seek to connect our common life with common prayer in order to offer our whole lives as a living sacrifice to God. Through curated resources, articles, blogs, and podcasts, we hope to bring corporate formation to the Anglican Province of America and beyond. 

Anglican Instructed Mass | Complete Video

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bishop Coadjutor

Please pray for me - the Diocese of the Eastern United States of the Anglican Province of America elected me Bishop Coadjutor on Thursday 18th July 2019 - God bless you all.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Synod 2019

The Synod of the Diocese of the Eastern United States of the Anglican Province of America will gather from Monday 15th July until Friday 19th July 2019 in Orlando, Florida. This year the Synod is sponsored by Saint Alban's Cathedral, Oviedo, Florida. At this impending Synod, we shall experience a very rare and momentous event, the election of a Bishop Coadjutor for the Diocese. A Bishop Coadjutor is literally a Bishop 'Co-Assistant,' one who supports and assists the Bishop Ordinary and shares his Apostolic jurisdiction. A Coadjutor possesses right of succession to the Bishop Ordinary upon the latter's retirement.
Please pray for our imminent Coadjutor election, that this process may be a peaceful and unifying milestone in the life of our Church, and that God the Holy Ghost will, in His grace and mercy, powerfully lead and guide the Diocese in the choice of its future chief shepherd, teacher, and leader.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Saint Barnabas Dunwoody - 40th Anniversary

The 40th Anniversary Mass of Saint Barnabas Anglican Church, Dunwoody, Georgia, 23rd June 2019.

Friday, June 14, 2019

40 Years of Saint Barnabas Dunwoody

Celebrating 40 Years! Please join us Sunday, June 23, 2019 for our 40th Anniversary celebration. There will be one service of Holy Communion at 10:00 AM followed by a luncheon.
(9:00 & 11:00 services will be canceled for combined service)

Saturday, June 08, 2019

23 Years of Diaconate

On Saturday 8th June 1996, I was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons by Archbishop John T. Cahoon, Jr of the Anglican Catholic Church Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States at Saint Anne's Church, Charlotte Hall, Maryland. These photographs were finally rediscovered after 23 years! Please pray for me and for my ongoing ministry of diakonia, service. God bless you!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Holy Week and Easter Week 2019 at Saint Barnabas Dunwoody

Monday in Holy Week, 15th April
Tuesday in Holy Week, 16th April
and Wednesday in Holy Week, 17th April
Holy Communion, 12 Noon

Maundy Thursday, 18th April
Sung Holy Communion, 
Stripping of the Altar, and Watch before 
the Altar of Repose, 7pm

Good Friday, 19th April
The Solemn Liturgy, 9.30am 
Three Hours’ Devotion, 12 Noon to 3pm
Sacramental Confessions, 5pm-6pm
Stations of the Cross, 7pm

Easter Even, 20th April
Easter Egg Hunt, 11am
Easter Flower Ministry, 9am-2pm
Sacramental Confessions, 6pm-7pm
Sung Holy Communion of the Easter Vigil, 8pm

Easter Day, 21st April
Sung Holy Communion, 9am
Sung Holy Communion and Confirmations, 11am

Monday, March 04, 2019

Ash Wednesday at Saint Barnabas

SAINT BARNABAS DUNWOODY: Holy Communion with the Penitential Office and the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes will be celebrated on the First Day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, 6th March, 
at 8am, Noon, and 7pm.

Sermon for Sexagesima, Bishop Chandler Jones

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Epiphany Sermon 2019

Article XXVIII and the Continuing Churches

The Affirmation of Saint Louis (1977) is the foundational document of the Continuing Church.  The Affirmation distinguishes the Continuing Churches from earlier Anglican bodies, such as the Episcopal Church prior to 1976, which were vaguer and deliberately more ‘comprehensive’ in their doctrine and moral teaching than are the Continuing Churches.  The Affirmation also distinguishes the Continuing Churches from neo-Anglican bodies (such as the Anglican Church of North America, ACNA) and from modernist Anglican bodies (such as the Episcopal Church after 1976).  The Affirmation is the foundation of and is embraced by the 2017 agreement of the so-called G-4 Churches (Anglican Church in America, Anglican Catholic Church, Anglican Province of America, and Diocese of the Holy Cross) to establish full communion (communio in sacris) amongst themselves.
The Affirmation states its doctrinal catholicity in a form more detailed than in earlier Anglican formularies.  It then asserts that ‘In affirming these principles, we recognize that all Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae must be interpreted in accordance with them.’  That is to say, the Affirmationestablishes itself as an interpretative lens for viewing, and as an hermeneutical principle for understanding, ‘all Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae’.
The relationship between the Affirmation and these earlier statements and formulae might usefully be understood as analogous to the relationship between the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds.  The Nicene Creed is later and fuller than the Apostles’ Creed.  The Nicene Creed deals with questions and heresies that arose after the Apostles’ Creed.  The Nicene Creed does not invalidate the Apostles’ Creed, but it establishes a clarifying lens through which the Apostles’ Creed is read and interpreted.
‘Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae’ in this respect means peculiarly or uniquely Anglican statements and formulae.  Such Anglican statements and formulae are contrasted with universal or Catholic statements of faith, such as the Creeds, and universal liturgical formulae, including common forms such as the Gloria in excelsis, the Te Deum, and other Catholic and doctrinally-rich prayers and hymns.  Examples of Anglican liturgical formulae include most notably the historic Book of Common Prayer, in its various editions.  Anglican statements of faith include notably the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and the Tudor Homilies.  The Affirmation, therefore, asserts that these particularly Anglican formularies are not the interpretative lens through which we view the wider, Catholic formularies of the Church.  Neither are peculiarly Anglican statements and formulae a kind of Occam’s razor to limit and circumscribe what may be concluded from those wider and more universal formularies.  The reverse is true:  the universal and Catholic limit and define the possible meanings of the peculiarly Anglican.
That is to say, the universal tradition of the Undivided Church of the first millennium is primary and limits and governs the reception and interpretation of peculiarly Anglican statements of faith and liturgical formulae.  Many Anglicans have always believed this to be the case.  The Affirmation explicitly and officially requires this.

The G-4 Churches believe the Eucharistic faith of the Catholic Churches, which is substantially that of the undivided Church of the first millennium.  This faith is authoritative, and Anglican statements concerning the Eucharist must be understood in a manner consistent with the faith found in the central tradition of the great Churches of the East and West and in the consensus of the first millennium.  Ambiguities and questions left by reading Anglican formularies are, for the G-4, defined and settled by looking to the faith of the wider Church.
It is in the light of this starting point that we understand Article XXVIII of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.  Many Catholic readers of Article XXVIII are disturbed by its repudiation of transubstantiation and by its assertion that ‘The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.’
Polish National Catholic participants in the inaugural session of the PNCC/G-4 dialogue, reflecting such concern, asked their G-4 interlocutors for a written clarification of our understanding of Article XXVIII.  We here offer the following clarifications.
First, Eucharistic adoration and Eucharistic reservation are present in the life of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.  Such adoration and reservation, therefore, meet the criteria of the Vincentian canon and as such enjoy the approbation of the Affirmation, whatever any Anglican statement might appear to say to the contrary.
Secondly, the Articles must be interpreted in their historical context, which to some extent modifies their meaning and relativizes their authority.  ‘Transubstantiation’ in a mid-16th century document antedating the Council of Trent, such as Article XXVIII, does not and cannot refer to Tridentine or modern Roman Catholic understandings of Transubstantiation.  Much less does or can Article XXVIII refer to understandings of the Real Presence which use other terminology such as ‘transelementation’ or ‘transformation’ common in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and in other Catholic Churches.  In short, Article XXVIII must be understood as a condemnation of popular but common medieval Western theological opinions, of crassly materialistic Eucharistic theories, and of errors often repudiated and corrected also by subsequent Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologians.  Article XXVIII should not be understood, much less accepted, as repudiating the central Eucharistic belief of the universal Church.
Thirdly, the language of Article XXVIII when understood in a strictly literal fashion does not mean what casual readers often conclude.  It is perfectly true, as Article XXVIII says, that ‘the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.’  On the contrary, the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ to be received in Holy Communion.  Holy Communion is the main and root reason for the institution of the Sacrament of the Altar:  to feed God’s people with the Body and Blood of the Lord and to constitute them, in the Eucharistic celebration and through their communion therein, as the royal, priestly people of God.  It does not follow, and Article XXVIII does not say, that the Sacrament may not be reserved, to extend and make easier the communion of the sick.  Nor does it follow, nor does the Article say, that Eucharistic adoration is inappropriate and not a logical and godly extension of the facts of the objective and salvific Real Presence of Jesus Christ, God the Son, in and through his sacramental Body and Blood.  The Article speaks only of the first and main reason for the institution of the Sacrament, not of its full meaning.  Again, the Article condemns medieval abuses in the Church, when non-communicating Masses became the norm and secondary meanings of the Eucharist became effectively primary.
Fourthly, we recall the Catholic principle, Lex orandi statuit legem credendi:  the rule of praying establishes the rule of belief.  In all of the G-4 Churches, missals that include the Feast of Corpus Christi are in use and the Eucharistic hymns attributed to Saint Thomas Aquinas are sung.  In 2019 an Ordo Kalendar was produced jointly for all of the G-4 Churches that includes this Feast.  In all of the G-4 Churches, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is offered.  In all of the G-4 Churches, Eucharistic reservation is practiced.  In all of the G-4 Churches, honor and worship and adoration are offered to our Lord really present in the tabernacles of the churches.  The actual practice of all of the G-4 Churches provides a clear and practical statement of the actual Eucharistic faith and doctrine present in the G-4.  This faith is not just that of the G-4 clergy present in dialogue with the PNCC, but is also that of our layfolk and clergy and parishes.

Pope Francis on Anglican Orders

Amongst other highly controversial statements today, Pope Francis writes, 'On the other hand, to be rigorous, let us recognise that a cl...