Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 16 April 2016

Bosco Peters The End of Confirmation?

Giles Fraser The Guardian We cannot fix people’s grief, only sit with them, in their darkness

Jemima Thackray Church Times Poor sent empty away

Kelvin Holdsworth Apologies have consequences too

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Father Ron SmithPerry ButlerJohn U.K.Kennedy FraserRobin Recent comment authors
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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

It’s once more into the breach with Kevin Holdsworth’s insightful article.

“How long will it be before we realise that we’ve got a bigger problem with the Episcopate in the Anglican Communion than we have with LGBT people …” That!

Richard
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Richard

“The End of Confirmation” seems to be a dead link.

[It’s a server problem. Bosco Peters does know. – ed]

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

Thank you, Kelvin.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Sorry about the misprint, i.e it’s Kelvin Holdsworth

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Kelvin is really insightful.

I’m hoping that this latest sermon from ++Justin at ACC-16 is a sincere game changer. If so, I would suspect that the insightful push back from Kelvin and others contributed. Of course, if it’s just pretty words and no more…

http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2016/04/new-calls-for-new-times-archbishop-welbys-presidential-address-to-acc-16.aspx

Pam
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Pam

Grief is intense sorrow and an experience of loneliness. Giles Fraser’s point about human contact being needed is right. But that contact may need to be very gentle and unobtrusive and words are unable to fix it.

Susannah Clark
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“How long will it be before we realise that we’ve got a bigger problem with the Episcopate in the Anglican Communion than we have with LGBT people…”

Yes, that.

A pretty spectacular point.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

It’s 29 years since the infamous ‘Higton’ motion and hardly a year has gone by without some sort of apology to LBGT people. Words are cheap in the Church of England.

Peter Owen
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The link to Bosco Peters’ article is working again.

Susannah Clark
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With regard to baptism and confirmation, the two rites seem quite felicitous and complementary. I remember back in the day, when I was basically a fundamentalist, I took the view that adult baptism after coming to faith was the way to approach baptism with integrity. I thought you had to be ‘born again’ first, before your baptism could have any meaning. That was 1980. However, a friend arranged for me to talk through the whole principle with Dick Lucas and, in a shared hour, he opened my eyes and changed my view 180 degrees, about the appropriateness of infant baptism.… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Kelvin Holdsworth’s piece is superb, and points out the ludicrous vacillation of Justin Welby perfectly. And one of the comments absolutely nails it: Welby isn’t sorry about the persecution of LGBT people in the slightest, he’s sorry about being made to feel bad about it. He’d be perfectly happy (or, perhaps more charitably, perfectly indifferent) for the persecution to continue, so long as the LGBT people suffered in silence and didn’t tug at Welby’s barely visible conscience. Apology and repentance means changing your behaviour so as not to continue the behaviour you are repenting of; Welby hasn’t changed his attitude… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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I’m not at all sure that I could agree with ‘Interested Observer’s’ put-down of the ABC on this issue. after all, he did actually make a public apology for the Church’s homophobic record! However, as most people here are saying, that apology must bear fruit if it is to be considered real. This must surely mean some disciplinary action against those Anglican Provinces that continue to aid and abet the criminalisation of LGBTQI people in their home territories. This would mean that the GAFCON Provinces would have no advantage in perpetuating sexism and homophobia while yet insisting on protestations of… Read more »

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Susannah: I am afraid history and theology don’t really support that view. There was no confirmation in the early Church, just one unified rite that centred on the water baptism. There were anointings and hand layings but no one tied them to the gift of the Spirit. Confirmation develops by accident in the west (never in the East) and only really emerges by that name in the middle ages. There is only one baptism, so infant baptism is just as much baptism as adult baptism. As such, it is complete of itself and no further rite is needed before one… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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Charles, I believe we receive grace and the Spirit at baptism as infants (or when we get baptised, if not as infants). I also believe there is only one baptism: the baptism Jesus said he had to undergo, referring to his death and resurrection. Within that profundity, and frankly mystery, the work and grace of God may operate in many and diverse ways. And the experience, and opening of our hearts, to that baptism… may come in waves through our lives. For example, many people testify to the experience of blessing following laying on of hands, sometimes described as feeling… Read more »

Robin
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Robin

> There was no confirmation in the early Church, just one unified rite that centred on the water baptism. The Scriptures are full of ambiguities and unanswered questions, but it is absolutely clear that Confirmation, as a separate rite which completes water baptism, is of apostolic institution. I can’t think of any Scriptural passage more straightforward and explicit than Acts 8, 14-17: > 14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the… Read more »

Kennedy Fraser
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Kennedy Fraser

Canon 25 of the Scottish Episcopal Church says:

The Sacrament of Baptism is the full rite of initiation into the Church, and no further sacramental rite
shall be required of any person seeking admission to Holy Communion.

We also have a number of amendments to Canons coming to Synod for second reading removing the requirement for confirmation for several roles within the church eg. to a be a Vestry (PCC) member, a member of General Synod, Lay Reader.

The only role which still requires a confirmed person is for ordination – which I don’t quite understand.

John U.K.
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John U.K.

This link, (which I posted earlier on Bosco Peters’ thread)in the pages before and after that which appears gives an excellent summary of the separation of Confirmation from Baptism in the West.

http://tinyurl.com/zjhcp2x

the book quoted is Liturgy for Living 2000 by Louis Weil & Charles P. Price

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

On holiday here in Bogota where the Cathedral has a notice saying the first communion is for 9 to 13 yr old and Confirmation for 14 to 18 yr olds both preceded by catechesis. Here last year I attended the Sunday Mass where a group of adults were confirmed.

Father Ron Smith
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Surely, Confirmation is really asking God to strengthen the power of the Holy Spirit already bestowed in Baptism. At least, that’s my understanding and, I think, the understanding of the Church Catholic. Confirmation preparation should help the baptised to more fully understand the commitment made at one’s baptism, so that one might make a better informed commitment as a disciple of Christ. Prior reception of the Eucharist can often help in the process of understanding