Thinking Anglicans

Some Anglican Communion Questions

Three Questions on Communion issues were asked at the recent General Synod. All received written replies only.

Q75, The Revd Canon Giles Goddard (Southwark) to ask the Chairman of the House of Bishops:

Q. Given that Anglican membership of ecumenical bodies no longer represents the width of opinion currently held by loyal Anglicans, will the House of Bishops review the value of the Church of England’s continued participation in such bodies or the value of any agreements that might come from them.

The Bishop of Guildford to reply as Chairman of the Council for Christian Unity:

A. The agenda of the House of Bishops is set by its Standing Committee. I am not aware of any expressed intention on the part of the Standing Committee to put the Church of England’s participation in international bilateral dialogues between the Anglican Communion and other Christian world communions on the agenda of the House.

Q76, The Revd Canon Giles Goddard (Southwark) to ask the Chairman of the House of Bishops:

Q. Given the significance of the proposed Anglican Covenant, why has the House of Bishops not sought to impose a requirement of a two-thirds majority for its final approval?

The Archbishop of York to reply as Chairman of the House’s Standing Committee:

A. The adoption of the Anglican Communion Covenant will be Article 7 and 8 business, which means that it will require the approval of at least half of all diocesan synods, and that the Convocations and/or House of Laity can also claim a reference. It will also be open to 25 members to require that votes in General Synod are taken by Houses. Given these safeguards the House was not persuaded that there was a need to impose additional hurdles.

Q77, The Reverend Brian Lewis (Chelmsford) to ask the Chairman of the House of Bishops:

Q. Has the House of Bishops considered the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pentecost message to the Anglican Communion, and the impact it has had and is likely to have on the work of those organizations of the Anglican Communion directly affected by it and to which the Church of England contributes members and support?

The Archbishop of York to reply as Chairman of the House’s Standing Committee:

A. The Archbishop of Canterbury briefed the House, at its May meeting, about developments in the Anglican Communion before the issue of his Pentecost letter later that month. He indicated the approach he intended to take in respect of upholding the Communion’s agreed moratoria and the consequences for those Churches in breach of them for participation at member level in Communion bodies in the ecumenical and faith & order fields.

42
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
42 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
JeremyBill DilworthMarkBrunsonJerry HannonDavid da Silva Cornell Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

The type of answer by this bishop is frustrating to lay people everywhere. This Anglican bishop sounds like the garden variety Roman Catholic bishop that Vatican II Catholics encounter just about everywhere. Unless I am reading this incorrectly, and if I am I apologize for my lack of understanding, but these types of comments represent a certain elitism and “set apartness” from the average lay person or as we say the rest of, The People of God. Radical reform in all of the hierarchy systems in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions should be a front burner issue. It… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The innate yet unavoidable contradiction that still vigorously operates at the very heart of Rowan Williams leadership in favor of global communion-wide covenanting is that its policing/punishment claims to be necessary global support for inviting a range of real Anglican people to the tables for healthy understandings across our differences; while in fact the new covenant will serve to punish and push out, mainly Anglican types who dare to change in their beliefs/understandings of the current hot button target people of the moment (you know, those pesky queer folks, and still, women) – whose changes are preached to be the… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest

Chris Smith: “Radical reform in all of the hierarchy systems in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions should be a front burner issue. It isn’t working and this perhaps more than any argument is why representation in these bodies will be greatly enhanced when women and glbt persons are admitted to the episcopate.” Spot on, Chris: you are exactly right. Maybe a generation change will be required too: organisations run almost entirely by men age 50+ are unlikely to be able to cope adequately with the rapid pace of social change experienced in recent decades, I suppose. The churches… Read more »

William Moorhead
Guest

A number of us Americans enjoy from time to time watching “Prime Minister’s Questions,” which are telecast in the US on the C-SPAN cable TV channels.

It’s all beginning to make sense….

(At least American politicians have the decency to stand in front of the microphones and lie like rugs.)

Scot Peterson
Guest
Scot Peterson

Just wanted to say how much I agree with Chris Smith and Fr. Mark…

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Chris Smith: “Radical reform in all of the hierarchy systems in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions should be a front burner issue.

The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

Set up by God, really? Care to show us where?

Fr John
Guest
Fr John

I cannot believe that such opinions are still held in any chuch as written by Robert Ian Williams. He must be joking, has he never heard of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that challenges, guides the Body of Christ to proclaim the Gospel, and serve His children in every age. Certainly not static, dull and self opiniated

Let the churches listen to, and obey the Holy Spirit. As we pray ‘Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as in Heaven.

Fr John (Scotland)

Prior Aelred
Guest

Robert Ian Williams — surely you know that the current method of appointment of bishops in the RCC is a recent innovation & NOT something that has been in place for 2000 years!

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

Just read Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It gives me hope where so much of the churches reflected here, really makes me wonder / gets me down. Am I too old for all this churchy conflict stuff ?

David da Silva Cornell
Guest
David da Silva Cornell

“The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.” “Served us well”??? As a cradle RC, I suggest you seriously reconsider that statement in light of Bernard Cardinal Law et al. There are a great many RC children and former children who haven’t been at all well served by that hierarchy (do you not read the newspapers?) — not to mention, over the course of that nearly 2,000 years, untold numbers of (Roman) Catholic women, LGBTs, victims of the Inquisition, etc etc., and not… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.”

Yes indeed. Just ask the tens of thousands [if not more] of victims of priestly child abuse whose predatory abusers were shielded by said hierarchy.

Cal McMillan
Guest
Cal McMillan

“The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.” RIW

Well then, I guess there’s no more to be said. Thanks so much.

William Moorhead
Guest

Robert Ian Williams: “The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.”

Oh?

And on what planet would that be?

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

RIW: “The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.”

I’m tired of the Romans refusing to take responsibility for their own actions. They seem always ready to blame things in God. And as far as the hierarchy serving anyone well for 2000 years, there seems to be some differences of opinion on that. Of course if you are a Roman Catholic Prelate, the statement may very well be true.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Robert Ian Williams: “The Catholic hierarchy was set up by God and its not up for revision, thank you. It has served us well for nearly 2,000 years.” Oh, give us a break, RIW. You know nothing about that, and are obviously in denial about the evolution of the Roman structure. Aside from that, your suggestion of immutability (even if your incorrect statement was accurate) would be a denial of the Spirit moving through creation. Humanity is not fixed in its understanding of God’s plan for us in the year 50 AD, nor 100 AD, nor at any other time… Read more »

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

I believe the hierarchy system was set up by MAN and not by GOD as Robert Ian Williams suggests. God did not set up an imperial system that EXCLUDES and DISENFRANCHISES others. God does not operate this way. Any system that is set up by man is subject to CONSTANT change as was the case for the vast majority of the two thousand year history of Christianity. Mr. Williams imagines a Church hierarchy that is fantasy and not reality. We are talking about men who are fallible and at times corrupt. Read your history of the Church and especially the… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

These comments have wandered a long way from the content of the article, which was about the Anglican Communion stuff. Please confine all further comments to the topics of the article. Thank you.

Malcolm+
Guest

Ebor is being economical with the truth. The real reason they did not call for a supermajority on the Covenant is that they knew there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in Abuja that they’d ever get a 2/3 majority in each house.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Ecumenical dialogue between Rome and Anglicanism presupposes that Anglicans believe in the Apostolic Succession — am I right?

MarkBrunson
Guest

Well, Robert’s managed to distract you, again, with his mythological mumblings and magical thinking about Rome’s little playhouse. The issue is, as Chris Smith and Fr. Mark, the rampant power taken as their due by the episcopacy, and the inherently flawed way in which bishops are empowered to begin with. My suggestion is, as it was, strip them of all actual power and require their authority come from consent. It is imperfect, but less imperfect than a sort of warped view of medieval primogeniture and rule as currently practiced. A bishop that can win hearts and minds may actually be… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

Spirit of Vatican II: I didn’t think anyone really believed it. In any case, if it isn’t in the creed Anglicans don’t necessarily believe anything, and usually not the same things. A strength or a weakness depending on your point of view.

David da Silva Cornell
Guest
David da Silva Cornell

“Ecumenical dialogue between Rome and Anglicanism presupposes that Anglicans believe in the Apostolic Succession — am I right?” Whyever so? I mean, yes, based on the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, Anglicans hold to the historic episcopate, locally adapted, as a form of apostolic succession (although in ecumenical agreements, e.g., TEC’s with ELCA, the term “apostolic succession” is construed more broadly to cover continuity in the faith, with or without the historic episcopate). But Rome has plenty of ecumenical dialogue with partners who don’t have the historic episcopate (e.g., many Lutherans) or who have it but don’t understand it as of the “esse”… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Spirit of Vatican II: I didn’t think anyone really believed it.”

You thought wrong.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Well, Bill, I’m sure apostolic succession is key to the bishops’ self-esteem.

Whether it matters in any way to the rest of us is a question. It is a pleasant notion (or fiction). It does happen to be an organizing principle in Anglican churches. It may help Anglicans in claiming legitimacy.

But does sacramental validity depend on apostolic succession? No.

Does priestly ordination really depend on it? Does my confirmation really depend on it? I honestly don’t think God cares.

Does good preaching depend on apostolic succession? Don’t make me laugh.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“But does sacramental validity depend on apostolic succession? No.”

This entirely depends on who you ask. I don’t think that I’m alone in only receiving the sacraments from those I believe to be in the apostolic succession.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“This entirely depends on who you ask. I don’t think that I’m alone in only receiving the sacraments from those I believe to be in the apostolic succession.” – Bill Dillworth I would second Mr. Dillworth’s “motion.” To me apostolic succession is an essential element, regardless of how the various selection processes may have changed over the millennia, or other aspects that are more form over substance. I may have a personal preference regarding liturgical garb, or clerical garb, or how one addresses the deacon/priest/bishop, or whether (or when) incense is used, etc, but all of those are matters of… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Why is apostolic succession so important to you?

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Why is apostolic succession so important to you?”

I don’t mean to sound coy, but: because I think it’s the truth.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“To me apostolic succession is an essential element.”

I thought there were two elements to Holy Communion.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

I’m rather surprised by your question, and not accustomed to justifying for you, or anyone else, my beliefs. Nevertheless, I believe that the succession of designation from Jesus, to the Twelve, to Matthias, and on and on, is essential for the validity of sacraments, and is His ideal for the Church. That does not mean, in my belief, that redemption is only for those who participate in the Sacraments brought to believers by bishops and priests in the apostolic succession. Indeed, I believe – based upon what I know of their lives – that Mahatma Gandhi and the current Dalai… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“I’m rather surprised by your question, and not accustomed to justifying for you, or anyone else, my beliefs.”

That has been part of the failure of Christianity Triumphant. When no one questions us, we don’t question ourselves.

I understand your – and Bill Dilworth’s – position to be that you, personally, need this because you, personally, believe it. I don’t ask to attack but to understand. I’m still not sure I understand why such a succession ensure “validity” to a sacrament. However, insofar as I am able, I understand your devotion to this concept.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“I understand your – and Bill Dilworth’s – position to be that you, personally, need this because you, personally, believe it.” While this may or may not be a good armchair diagnosis of the dynamics of my belief, it is not my position. I do not claim to need this because I, personally, believe it. “I don’t ask to attack but to understand. I’m still not sure I understand why such a succession ensure “validity” to a sacrament” Sometimes it doesn’t. Baptism, for example, does not require a priest in valid orders for it to be valid; neither does matrimony.… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Bill, how does the quote from St. Ignatius support your position? As far as I can tell, it doesn’t touch on apostolic succession at all. “[B]elief in the apostolic position can reassure us of the validity of sacraments.” Is that what apostolic succession is really about? Reassurance? A margin of safety? If so, that seems to imply nervousness about sacramental validity in the first place. “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name” but one of them has to be in succession? “Do this in remembrance of me” but remember also to make sure that the right people have… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Bill, how does the quote from St. Ignatius support your position? As far as I can tell, it doesn’t touch on apostolic succession at all.” Jeremy, the question lies in just who is a bishop. Ignatius says you can’t set up church in the absence of a bishop – and bishop isn’t a self appointed or local office. “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name” but one of them has to be in succession? You seem to be assuming that this quote is about the sacraments, or that Christ’s sacramental presence is the only way that he is… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“Ignatius, though urging in the strongest terms the value of the monarchical episcopate as the bond of unity, knows nothing of an apostolical succession.”

Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons 1959) (rev. ed.) 42.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

Jeremy, I’m not really that concerned with providing historical prooftexts about the apostolic succession; check out Tracts for the Times, or any number of works written in the Anglican Communion on the subject.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Bill, it was you who started the proof-texting.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

Oh, and it would have been odd if Williston Walker, a Congregationalist, had found evidence of the apostolic succession in this or any other work.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Rather than try to rescue your view of Ignatius (and thus your original point), you attack Walker’s accuracy by reference to his denomination.

Interesting.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

(*sigh*) Jeremy, I wasn’t offering Ignatius as the *basis* of my belief about the Apostolic Succession. I was offering him as an example of the Church’s teaching on the role of the bishop as indispensable. I thought it followed logically that if the bishop is important, the fact that bishops are consecrated by other bishops, not manufactured out of thin air by whoever decides they want to be a bishop on their own. As long as we’re getting snitty about debate points, you addressed none of my earlier answers. If you are truly interested in learning the Church’s teaching about… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Bill, if you weren’t relying on Ignatius to support your position on apostolic succession, then why didn’t you say so in the first place, when I asked? It certainly looked as though you were supporting your first sentence, “valid sacraments depend on the succession,” with your next sentence, “As the apostolic father St. Ignatius says . . . .” As for your “logic” connecting the importance of the bishop to the principle of apostolic succession, any student of business organizations, or for that matter constitutional or military structure, could tell you that most organizations find it useful to have decision-making… Read more »