Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Canadian developments

Updated Tuesday evening

In Ontario, the civil court has ruled that church buildings must be shared pending the outcome of litigation.

Canadian Press Breakaway Anglicans to share churches with diocese, Ont. judge rules

Hamilton Spectator Anglican churches awarded joint custody

Toronto Globe & Mail Diocese, parishes to share churches

The Anglican Network in Canada issued a press release, which appears on the sydneyanglicans site, Parishioners disappointed by court decision.

Earlier, in Alberta the Diocese of Athabasca passed resolutions supporting Canadian breakaway churches. The Anglican Journal reported that:

The archbishop of Athabasca has issued a letter confirming his diocese’s commitment to the Canadian church and the Anglican Communion after its synod passed motions supporting churches that have left the Anglican Church of Canada and criticizing bishops who have gone to court over property issues…

Updates about Niagara
The Diocese of Niagara has issued this press release (PDF).

The court decision is available here (PDF).

The Anglican Church of Canada also has a press release.

The Anglican Journal has Churches must share buildings with Niagara diocese, court rules.

And there is a later Canadian Press report Breakaway Niagara Anglican churches consider appealing order to share with diocese.

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Categorised as: Canada

"Who or which or why or what" is the archdiocese of Athabasca?

Evidence of the extent to which things are flying out of control, Matt Kennedy, commenting at Stand Firm on the Canadian court decision, says "The parishioners are not being asked to share their buildings with Christians but with false teachers. It is as if the court ordered them to share their building with the Watchtower Society or the Hari Krishnas."

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 1:48pm BST

Athabasca is a small Diocese (by numbers) in the northern part of Alberta. I think it is a member of the "Council of the North" which means it is financially assisted by the Anglican Church of Canada.

Posted by: Charles Nurse on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 2:30pm BST

Why, then, has Father Kennedy not renounced his orders in the Episcopal Church or at least sought to be transferred canonically to another diocese/province? Honestly. If he has, I certainly apologize, and I would fully understand his actions, based on what he appears to believe. But it is beyond hypocrisy for him to remain in any church he obviously considers to be in the same camp as one being run by false teachers more closely related to the Hari Krishnas than to orthodox Christianity.

And, to be frank, it is getting increasingly tiresome hearing some complain that ongoing efforts to steal diocesan and provincial properties are being opposed in court. No doubt it is part of their ostensibly being oppressed by those who disagree with them and who are unwilling to sit idly by and simply watch their attempted theft unfold. (Of course, it is all propaganda and spin, but it is tiresome nonetheless.) Theirs must indeed be a very nuanced understanding of the Ten Commandments - rather odd, considering the absolute certainty with which they approach much less transparent biblical texts.

Posted by: christopher+ on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 2:33pm BST


I wholeheartedly agree. That is my main criticism of the conservatives who are trying to claim parish property. Unlike previous Anglicans who have left -- who basically left as they were, started their own parishes and established their own churches, resulting in such groups as Anglican Province of America and the Anglican Province of Christ the King -- they are in trying to claim they can take parish property with them. That displays what amounts to a Congregationalist understanding of the Church, something which is historically wholly incompatible with Anglicanism (being based as it is on the historic episcopate and apostolic succession).

The implications of and issues surrounding an entire diocese leaving, such as San Joaquin, are different, since historically the fundamental unit of the church was the *diocese*, not the parish. But at least in Anglican thought and according to principles of catholicity, individual parishes cannot leave as an institution, since their existence is dependent on the diocese.

Thus while I would rather conservatives stay put and remain in the church together with us, if some decide there really is no other way except to leave, then to be truly theologically consistent they must leave parish property behind and start over (just as previous generations of Anglican dissidents have done). Otherwise, those claiming "orthodoxy" are trying to have their cake and eat it, too, and what sympathy I feel is stretched to the breaking point.

Posted by: Walsingham on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 4:18pm BST

Hmmm isn't all this trash talk mention of other world faiths soooooo typical? Fr MK has found a typical manner of modeling Jesus love to Hindu believers, I guess. I might be tempted to surmise that if Father MK is hanging around it is because he has been solemnly told that the realigned shall inherit the earth and that this must include his local parish buildings and assets, by God's revealed will.

Ah for the old Anglican days, when queer folks and women were properly subservient and submissive, just as God wishes them to be in relation to their exclusively straight and married and baby-making betters.

How much realignment mileage are we supposed to get, from nostalgia about how invisible and sumibssive and inferior queer folks are supposed to be to believers like Fr MK?

Is that realignment oil shale bottomless?

What to do?

Shrug it off?

Breathe deeply and go into seizures about queer folks ruining society by wanting to be serious in work and love?

A hunger for huge - and hugely realigned? - dominion over other people has taken conservative believers by storm. Maybe the lexicon of strict presuppositions no longer carries sufficient exclusive sacred force to always win the day for the people who pledge that lexicon?

Our new conservatives cannot rest content with realigning their own lives according to strict or closed presuppositions. Now we see them driven to seek outsiders, targets, even godless enemies. Then having found their marks, they narrate the good news as a daily edition of trash talk.

If you hang around, say, StandFirm very long, you will find Fr MK ping-ponging between claims that such outsiders are a dire threat suggesting self-righteous counterforce – and - claims that such outsiders are immeasurably insignificant hell-fodder whose indignance at being trash talked puzzles him.

On work teams in USA, such militant conservative believers quite often create such tension and difficulty beneath the surfaces of all our work goals and tasks. Then truly the rest of the staff take every opportunity to avoid them and maintain the most superficial of contacts and exchanges. So we all lose, and this virulent or militant conservatism still fails to make us and the rest of the planet over, in its curiously self-regarding image.

Whatever this realignment is, it is not the Imago Dei writ large in society or in Anglican church life.

Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 4:21pm BST

"Constructive dialogue?" Surely this is new territory for the church in Nigeria.

Posted by: Canon G on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 5:29pm BST

The decision is an interesting read. It deconstructs the schismatic argument, it affirms that the title to the property lies with the diocese (unambiguously in two cases, an balance of evidence in the third). Finally, it awards costs to the plaintiffs.

My limited experience suggests that costs are not usually awarded in such a case, and that when they are, it is usually a slap - here a slap at the respondents.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 6:44pm BST

Father Kennedy and his wife have both renounced their orders in TEC and gone to the Anglican Church of Kenya for "refuge."

Of course, they haven't left Albany, and have somehow decided that church property there belongs to +Nzimbi. I take it that geography was not their strong suite in school...

And neither was "Christian" charity or humility, apparently. Of course, when you have a direct line to God, I guess you don't need either...

Posted by: Doxy on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 7:08pm BST

A very moderate decision. Reading it, it sounds like if the diocese had asked the court to give the dissidents the boot, Madam Justice Milanetti might have done just that. But instead the Diocese is being reasonable and taking a course that would lead to either reconciliation or a more amicable parting. Given how the justice stated her take on the merits of their claim, I think the dissidents would be wise to start negotiating a purchase of the property (especially in the case of St. Hilda's and Good Shepherd, the are several other Anglican churches nearby, and the diocese might be willing to sell).

As to Athabasca, while it is a Council of the North diocese, it is also in the Alberta oil sands (about half my parish has moved there for the abundant employment and triple-digit hourly wages). I'm not sure that they get much financial support from the national church, except for some of the congregations on isolated reserves. It is the Conservative heartland of Canada, Stephen Harper's base, and my sense of the diocese (from parishioners who have gone and returned, and from clergy I have dealt with on marriage preparation) is that it is fairly conservative and evangelical, with a lot of Alpha churches.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Tuesday, 6 May 2008 at 7:14pm BST


Did Father Kennedy and Mother Kennedy really renounce their orders, or did they just say they were leaving for another diocese/province without asking for a canonical transfer? I ask only because I honestly do not know. Weren't they in the Diocese of Central New York?

For the record, though: I would not have wished for them to leave by any means. I have simply been baffled by their not renouncing their orders or at least requesting canonical transfers when at least Father Kennedy apparently has such terrible things to say about his fellow Anglicans in North America.

Posted by: christopher+ on Wednesday, 7 May 2008 at 1:18am BST


I just found recent news online indicating that Father Kennedy is another of those parish priests attempting to transfer control of his Episcopal parish's property and assets to another province, in this case Kenya. I would be willing to bet the Episcopal Bishop of Central New York would have granted Father Kennedy and his wife canonical transfers to another place, if they had asked for them. But that, of course, would have got in the way of their strategy of attempting to take parish property with them. I might have admired Father Kennedy's integrity in leaving the Episcopal Church in keeping with his convictions, were it not for his crass attempt to steal Episcopal Church property in the process. Seems he's just like all the others. Too bad.

Posted by: christopher+ on Wednesday, 7 May 2008 at 1:43am BST

Pity the Canadian lady judge was not in Virginia.

Very perceptive judge and she sees clearly the implication of what could happen if the breakaways win. Very telling remark that one of the breakaway clergy had antagonised many of the original congregation.

However she thinks that marriage is a sacrament for Anglicans..not according to the 39 articles.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 7 May 2008 at 8:01pm BST

@Robert Ian Williams:

The Thirty-Nine Articles do not say that marriage is not a sacrament (though the archaic wording is confusing to the modern reader). They say what definitively, incontrovertibly *is* a sacrament -- baptism and the Eucharist -- just as the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral does. The fact that an Anglican marriage requires a priest bespeaks its sacramental nature; the fact that the priest invokes the Trinity as part of the marriage also implies that nature as well.

There are other sacraments implied in the formularies, such as the Quadrilateral: since the historic episcopate is therein defined as essential to our understanding of the faith, then the sacrament of Holy Orders is thus necessary, even though we don't explicitly say so. Hard to see how the historic episcopate could exist with them, at any rate.

The additional point is that any ritual action the Church takes is in some sense sacramental. What the Thirty-Nine Articles do is simply state what *must* be regarded as a sacrament.

In a similar way, the Catholic "seven sacraments" do not limit the number of sacraments to seven, but rather define what definitely *is* a sacrament from their point of view. Indeed all seven sacraments are present in Anglicanism, only we don't seek to make them binding on other Christians.

Posted by: Walsingham on Thursday, 8 May 2008 at 9:38am BST

Dear Walsingham,

Have you read Article 25 ? Corrupt following of the Apostles...not to be counted as sacraments of the Gospel

Canon A5 says Cof E doctrine based IN PART ON articles.

Indeed unction missing from aNGLICANISM FOR 350 YEARS.

AS FOR lAMBETH QUADRILATERAL NOTE THE USE OF THE WORD HISTORIC INSTEAD OF apostolic. That was purposefully chosen so as not to antagonise the evangelicals.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 8 May 2008 at 8:57pm BST

@Robert Ian Williams:

Er, yes, I *have* read the Articles. ;-) That's why I said "the archaic wording is confusing to the modern reader", that is, the meaning of the words used has changed in subtle, but important ways. In particular the word "corrupt" did not have quite the pejorative meaning then that it does now. In this case it simply means that those other sacraments are creations of the Church later on, not that they aren't sacraments at all. Read the wording carefully: It says "not sacraments *of the Gospel*", not "not sacraments".

What the text of Article XXV actually is trying to say is simply that the rites of marriage, unction, holy orders, etc. must not be counted as being *required* by the Gospels, in that they are not established by Jesus Himself as such. That does not mean they are not actually sacraments.

The wording of the Quadrilateral updates the language and makes it more understandable: "The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself -- Baptism and the Supper of the Lord -- ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him". In other words, it is not an exclusionary definition, but rather a basic foundation.

Thus we speak of the two "Great Sacraments", but also of "lesser sacraments". They're still sacraments, just not the ones Christ made mandatory.

As for the term "historic episcopate", it implies the apostolic succession and Holy Orders. The "historic" in the term *is* the succession going back to the Apostles, and the "historic episcopate" is that body of bishops who have valid Holy Orders. Who is in the historic episcopate is of course a matter of debate (e.g. the Roman Catholics don't recognize our orders, but recognize those of the Orthodox). But the choice of term had nothing to do with evangelicals. Catholics use it, too.

Posted by: Walsingham on Friday, 9 May 2008 at 1:11pm BST

"In this case it simply means that those other sacraments are creations of the Church later on, not that they aren't sacraments at all."

Exactly. There is a huge credibility gap for conservative Evangelicals. On the one hand they claim to be "orthodox" and practice "traditional Christianity", yet they specifically reject many of the beliefs and practices of traditional Christianity, and espouse others that certainly cannot be called "orthodox". It is quite amusing, actually, how people can condemn others for "radical innovations" when their own beliefs were, in their day, far more radical and innovative than anything being proposed today. They might be right in opposing these new ideas, but to claim that the foundational premises of Evangelicalism, which when first proposed brought about a radical redefinition of the faith, are somehow "traditional, orthodox Christianity" is self deception at its finest.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 9 May 2008 at 5:45pm BST

@Ford Elms:

I would add that reading the Tracts wouldn't hurt, particularly Tract XC. They explain quite well the catholic underpinnings of Anglicanism, which never disappeared, not even when the evangelical wing of Anglicanism was at its zenith under Edward VI (though our Roman friends will no doubt see that a bit differently).

I'll restate what I've mentioned before: The primary weakness in the arguments of the conservatives who want to take parishes with them is simply that they have a Congregationalist view of the structure of the Church, which is incompatible with Anglicanism, based as it is on the historic episcopate. This is also why the Virginia division statute is almost certainly unconstitutional, in that it imposes a Congregationalist church polity on the Episcopal Church. Meanwhile in jurisdictions where secular law does not interfere with church polity, I'm certain that dissident parishes (of either political pole) are going to find they've put themselves and others through a lot of legal trouble for nothing, when the honest thing to do (as unfortunate and sad as it would be) is to just leave and start over.

I also find it disturbing how many bishops are willing to go poaching on each other's territory. Athabasca should quite frankly just butt out. (And yes, robroy, I'd happily concede that ++Katherine is overstepping her bounds on more than one occasion for the sam reason.)

Posted by: Walsingham on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 12:32am BST

Dear Walsingham,

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Show me an official declartaion of tHae Church of England that calls marriage a sacrament.

Such a designation is Missing from:


Common Worship

Canon Law

Since 2000 it has been a union of convenience which can be dissolved by divorce, with the words, " Until death us deaprt2 preserved for cultural reasons.

As for historic.it wa s a compromise ..no Evangelical would have designated the episcopate as an Apostolic order, as they do not believe the bishops are the successors of the Apostles. Interstingluy neither Cranmer,Hooker, Laud or Juxon regarded this either, and they all believed in the validity of no episcopal ordinations in lands where there was no episcopacy.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 7:03am BST

"Until death us depart"

In the Church of Sweden we have never had those words before 1986, indeed it was Chapters who adjucated on marriaged (when "hindrances", such as Emperor Louis the Pious' 7 forbidden Degrees of 892, for instance) and divorce until the Absolutist State took over in 1687 (and damaged the standing of women and children).

We always have said: "for Need and Lust", that is "for richer, for poorer".

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 9:17am BST

Ford., tract 90! John Henry Newman later renounced his writing of it, when he became a Catholic.

By the way ,where did Unction disappear to for three hundred plus years?

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 12:22pm BST

@Robert Ian Williams:

The possibility of divorce doesn't say anything about the sacramental nature of a marriage. The Orthodox permit re-marriage as well, but I don't think you'll find an Orthodox Christian who doesn't think marriage is sacramental in nature. Sacraments can be renounced and revoked.

Something also doesn't need to be "called a sacrament" to actually be one. Like I said above, everything the Church does is in some sense sacramental. The only thing the Articles and Quadrilateral do is define what a church *must* do to be considered Christian -- baptism and the Eucharist. Other than that, there are no blanket definitions of what is and is not a sacrament. The Orthodox don't have any such straightforward definitions, either.

The sacramental nature of an act in the Church is best spotted by who does it, what is required and how it is performed. If the Trinity or Holy Spirit are invoked, then that act has a sacramental nature, particularly if a priest is involved. I think it's also worth noting what the Canons of the Episcopal Church say (Canon 18 Sec. 2 (b)):

"That both parties understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical
and spiritual union of a man and a woman, entered into within
the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and
will, and with intent that it be lifelong."

In the Catechism of the Episcopal Church ("What other sacramental rites evolved in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?"), which is in the BCP, marriage is listed as such a "sacramental rite". It's a sacrament, all right -- a rite that invokes God's grace. Which is all a sacrament really is.

As for the episcopate, I don't know where you get the idea that there was ever any sort of compromise on the issue. It has never been the case in Anglican history (aside from the interregnum under Cromwell) that the episcopacy has been understood as not involving Holy Orders. The hypothetical exercise "Christians in places without bishops" is just as common in Roman Catholicism as it is in Anglicanism and is hardly unique to ++Cranmer or Hooker+. Generally the attitude was (and is) that they would concede that grace could be granted without bishops, but as soon as a bishop in the succession was available, it is necessary to have them in the Church as a guarantor of the Church's means of grace.

Posted by: Walsingham on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 3:14pm BST

Please address the question where ibn it official formularies does the Church of England describes marriage as a sacrament.

As a Catholic I fully respect the teaching of my Church that the Church of England is a Church of the refornmation, having lost the apostolic succession.

Where was unction in your "Catholic" Church of England for three centuries?

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 7:58pm BST

Ouuu, my, my. Patten, patten, who's got the patten?

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 10:41pm BST

RIW - those other five "commonly called sacraments." That wold seem to call them sacraments - while making a distinction that even Mr. Ratzinger would make between the dominical sacraments and the rest.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 5:08am BST

@Robert Ian Williams:

I already pointed out where it says so (including in the Thirty-Nine Articles), and Malcolm+ reiterated it. I also pointed to the liturgy (invocation of the Holy Spirit) and requirements of the rites, which show their sacramental nature. That is all the proof you need.

Article XXV says:

"Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God."

It says they are "commonly called" sacraments. It does not say anywhere that they are *not* sacraments. It *does* say they are not "Sacraments of the Gospel", i.e. no *dominical* sacraments, which says nothing about their actual sacramental nature.

Additionally, in various ARCIC reports, the Anglican position on marriage (to take that as an example) was repeatedly described as "sacramental" but "of a different nature from the Eucharist". See for example §62 here:


Posted by: Walsingham on Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 4:29pm BST

Walsingham...you still don't explain why unction was missing from Anglicanism for 300 years...as for ARCIC , it isn't worth the paper it's written on...deliberately ambiguous , and that's why its going nowhere.

Show me the rite for unction of the sick in 1662 or PECUSA-BCP 1789.Er... I don't think so.

If you can't..... don't bother replying

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 9:02pm BST

@Robert Ian Williams:

Show where the Church of England has ever denied that unction is a sacrament. You have made the claim, so you have to prove it. Malcolm+ and I have done all that is necessary to explain Anglican teachings on the sacraments. The Articles just don't say what you claim they do, as anyone who examines the text can see. I even quoted the relevant bits verbatim.

ARCIC just so happens to be the official statement of two churches on their respective positions. You can't deny basic facts and formal statements of churches when they are inconvenient to your position.

I might add that your sneer at ARCIC is what's called an "appeal to ridicule", which is a logical fallacy. The ARCIC statements are official statements endorsed by the Anglican Consultative Council, so it's hardly as if they just made stuff up.

I also note you've given up on matrimony and are clinging to unction as your fallback position. There is no Anglican formulary denying its sacramental nature. The fact that it was generally not used in Anglicanism for a period says nothing about whether Anglicans regarded it as a sacrament any more than Anglicans deny the existence of other sacraments aside from the two Great Sacraments. The historic Anglican view is similar to that of the Orthodox:

"The Orthodox Church has never formally determined a particular number of Sacraments. In addition to the Eucharist she accepts the above six Mysteries as major Sacraments because they involve the entire community and most important are closely relation to the Eucharist. There are many other Blessings and Special Services which complete the major Sacraments, and which reflect the Church's presence throughout the lives of her people."

Thus Anglicans have always accepted that unction is a sacrament even if we didn't always make use of it. That's the part you seem incapable of understanding.

I'll decide when to bother replying, thanks.

Posted by: Walsingham on Monday, 12 May 2008 at 12:25am BST

"where did Unction disappear to for three hundred plus years?"

Into the morass into which much was cast after the depredations of Henry, the Calvinizing exile of the English reformers under Mary, and the repression of Cromwell. Just because we were led astray is no reason not to return. The English reformation, like the reformation everywhere else, was a necessary evil with more evil than necessary. That the English Church was more conservative than most in her reforming efforts in no way means that She didn't make mistakes. Abandoning sacraments like Unction, loss of an epiclesis in the Mass, receptionism, all these and more are examples. So is closing the monsateries, but thanks be to God we recognized the error of THAT.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 12 May 2008 at 5:48pm BST

Walsingham and Malcom X

ARCIC is theologians playing with words and the Church of England bishops are frightened to death about putting recent statements to a vote.

I believe a church that has lost a sacrament like unction instituted by Our Lord is a very dubious one, to entrust ones soul to its care. Think of the millions of Englishmen and women, who have been robbed of its spiritual grace and consolation, because it was sidelined as a corruption.

As one Anglican Reformer commented , " take away you stinking oily hands."

As for marriage the ball is in your court. Show me a Church of England formulary which describes marriage unequivocally as a sacrament.

My orthodox catechism claims seven sacraments.

However write to the incumbents of the dissenting Canadian parishes and findout whether they believe if marriage is a sacrament and concur with the judge.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 12 May 2008 at 7:02pm BST

@Robert Ian Williams:

Show me a current binding Anglican formulary. Hint: There isn't one. (The Articles themselves are "of historical interest" and non-binding.) So how am I supposed to show a formulary "proving" marriage is a sacrament, when no general formulary exists? You're just moving the goalposts. (But I bet you knew that already, which is why you're probably just trolling.)

Meanwhile ARCIC's statement on matrimony (did you bother to read it? apparently not) doesn't mince words, and is endorsed by the ACC, which is as official a statement as there is on the subject. Your continuing attempt to cast doubt on it is pointless and silly. Read the text. It says all you need to know. (But I bet you knew that already, which is why you're probably just trolling.)

*You* made the claim that matrimony in Anglicanism is not considered a sacrament. It's *your* responsibility to back up that claim. Thus far, you fail it. (But I bet you knew that already, which is why you're probably just trolling.)

Your "belief" regarding the history of Anglicanism is irrelevant. The Church of England *temporarily* did not have an official liturgy for unction. So? They ministered to the sick throughout (the only element missing was the actual use of oil, which was restored later on) and never once denied its sacramental nature. On the contrary, it's even listed in Article XXV as being "commonly called a sacrament".

It's entertaining that you keep ignoring that all the requirements for the definition of a sacrament are fulfilled by the C of E marriage liturgy. That definition is based on "outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace", i.e. anything that sanctifies. There is NO NEED to define specific additional sacraments on that basis, which you fail to understand. There is NO NEED for a formulary to define lists of sacraments, because everything the Church does in ritual form is sacramental, particularly when God's grace is invoked (as it is in both unction and matrimony).

The Orthodox accept seven sacraments, but do not *limit* them to that number, which is why I brought them up. In the same way, Anglicans say there are at least two sacraments, but do not *limit* them to that number. (But I bet you knew that already, which is why you're probably just trolling.)

The inescapable conclusion: you're either unable to read, or...trolling.

Posted by: Walsingham on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 at 12:43am BST

Walsingham..go to the Canadian breakaway parishes and ask whether thy see marriage as a sacrament or not. Doctor Packer of the diocese of Canada ( Southern Cone )would not agree, and he is described as one of the most brillaint theologians within Anglicanism.

The 39 articles represent the doctrinal basis of the Church of England ( see Canon A5) and are not just historical documents. They are also highly valued by the Canadiab break aways.

They stil require assent, which in my dictionary means a agreement.

The ACC has no standing in revisisng the formularies of the Church of England...ARCIC is not de fide for Anglicans. Its decisons and " agreements" made by theologians in abstract.

It has no future and will be eventually be rejected by the Church of England General Synod, particularly in the area of authority and Mary.

How you take the phrase " commonly called sacraments " out of context is incredible.


Temporarily ...Four hundred years is a heck of a temporalily. Thank God for men like St Edmund Campion who gave their libves to bring a faithful remnant the oil.

The "only " element missing, Walsingham was the command of the Lord as expressed by St James in the infallible Scriptures....oil is essential to the sacrament and millions of souls were robbed of its graces.

Your attitude to validity and sacraments is equivocal and rather like a parson in his sermon quoting our Lord and saying , "I think he was right when he said this!"

Its like a Salvation army officer saying, "We don't have baptism but we dedicate under the banner...its like baptism without the water!"


Interstingly you hide behind the name of the shrine of our Lady.....destroyed by "good King Hal" and only restored in the nineteenth century by enthusiasts, defying their bishops.

Show me a prayer from Cranmmer, Parker, Whitgift, Laud , Juxon , invoking the Holy Mother of God...yet another oversight?

Interstingly Anglo-Catholics have atatues of Laud and Charles the first at the Anglican shrine...but neither man ever prayed to a saint or even prayed for the dead.

Pre-Oxford movement High Church theology was firmly Protestant.Anglo-Catholicism has no real continuity with the seventeenth century divines let alone the pre-Reformation Church.

Sorry I had to demolish you, but the comtroversy is of your making. You are in my prayers.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 at 10:25pm BST

Since when are Church of England canons binding on all Anglicans? (They sure aren't on me as an Episcopalian.)

Since when do individual Anglican historical figures speak for the entirety of Anglicans, any more than Hans Küng or Thomas Aquinas speak for all Roman Catholics?

Since when is it mandatory for a Catholic to pray to saints?

Since when do I subscribe to your mechanical definition of sacraments?

Since when do I care what Roman Catholic thinks continuity is? (I'd be rather more open to what the Orthodox have to say about it.)

Since when does "Walsingham" refer only to a shrine? You're the Welshman. Read your British history. (You fail it.)

BTW from years of Usenet discussions, claiming victory in a discussion is the perfect sign that you are 1) trolling and 2) fail it.


Posted by: Walsingham on Wednesday, 14 May 2008 at 5:19pm BST

What does trolling mean?

The only other Walsingham I know is the head of the Elizabethan secret service, who co-ordinated the hunting down of Catholic priests.

Its so sad how little liberals, Anglo-catholic traditionalists and evangelicals wihin TEC know of the origin of the Church they derive from.

Please forgive the typos in the last entry,and God Bless you in your life pilgrimage. You are obviously searching and a deep thinking person.

Romans chapter 8,v28

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 15 May 2008 at 6:27am BST


For the time being I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

"Its so sad how little liberals, Anglo-catholic traditionalists and evangelicals wihin TEC know of the origin of the Church they derive from."

It is sad how a non-Anglican thinks he can tell Anglicans what they believe or how their church works. I don't even fit within any of the categories you just listed (which is probably why you *still* don't understand the basis of my argument).

Considering I have (and have read) shelves full of English and church history books, if there's anyone who's read up on his Anglican history, it's me. :-P

You apparently equate the Church of England with all Anglicans. That is the main source of your error. I don't care what the C of E says or does: its actions aren't binding on the rest of the Anglican Communion. Once upon a time ECUSA was part of the C of E; once upon a time, Anglican understanding of the sacraments evolved and changed. (Then again, so did Rome's.) So what?

Nor do I care what happened in the past, certainly not when compared to Rome (y'all've deviated from apostolic tradition yerselves, not least at the First Vatican Council, so it's a good case of "pot, meet kettle"). I *do* know what Anglicanism is about *today*, and I also know what Roman Catholicism is about *today*, and that matters to me far more.

Everything else is water under the bridge. Interesting? Yeah, but not terribly relevant to your original claim, which made an erroneous claim about Anglicanism today, not historically.

I gather you think "tradition" is solely defined by Rome. Sorry, I don't buy that for an instant. (Like I said, I'm rather more open to what the Orthodox have to say on the subject. Or the Old Catholics.)

As to "Walsingham", you finally got it. As I hinted before, it's a deliberately (and deliciously) two-sided name -- and neatly expresses the extremes of Anglican history, which is why I like to use it. If you really want to categorize me, think bleeding-heart broad church all-directions ecumenist, which come to think of it isn't a category.

John 17:21.

Posted by: Walsingham on Thursday, 15 May 2008 at 2:07pm BST

Dear Walsingham,

I have enjoyed our exchange. I was brought up an Anglican and was formed by the Evangelical tradition. On discovery that the early Church was Catholic, and discovering that both justification by faith alone and Scripture alone were unorthodox I converted to Catholicism. I was never taken in by the claims of Anglo-Catholicism, and to me the Petrine claims are fundamental.

My prayer is that you go back more to the Bible and prayer, than secondary sources. May God lead you to His truth.


Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 15 May 2008 at 5:38pm BST

Dear Robert,

The early Church *was* Catholic. The worldwide Church today still *is* Catholic. The mistake is when one or the other part of the Church tries to claim it's got all the cards, or that its version of history is the only right one. That way lies madness. And any part of the Church that acts against the words in John 17 is not working in the fullness of God's will. Every part of the Church has to say its mea culpas before proceeding.

The claims of the Anglo-Catholics are true in the sense that they did in fact return Anglicanism closer to its roots, which is really all they were getting at in all that fancy language. Earlier Anglicans such as Cranmer quite rightly criticized the excesses of Rome and the ever-greater claims of the Papacy (which reached their zenith -- or nadir -- at the First Vatican).

Meanwhile Anglicans did a lot of things that were wrong, such as the dissolution of the monasteries (yes, including Walsingham) or the persecution of Roman Catholics. There is plenty of blame to go around.

In other words, both Rome and Anglicanism left the true path at some point and are groping their way back (and sometimes veering off again). Schism does not protect truth; it destroys it. Only when the schism is healed can the path be truly restored and the full meaning of the word "catholic" realized.

The Petrine claims *are* fundamental. But Rome still manages to horribly overstate the case (I can't buy the idea that Pope Alexander VI was remotely capable of ex cathedra) and to turn a bond of familial love and respect into a centralized monarchical juridical institution. The modern Papacy has little to do with that of Gregory the Great, whose role then was more like ++Rowan Cantaur's than Benedict's. Which is why I call on Anglicans and Roman Catholics to get closer together, meet in the middle, and each side has to admit their error (and in turn join with Orthodoxy and perhaps even many Lutherans) and bring their best to the table.

Thus I respectfully reject your prayer for me to be led to His Truth. My God lead US to His truth. Because none of us has it by ourselves: the fullness of Truth is to be found in the sum of all God's children.

Posted by: Walsingham on Thursday, 15 May 2008 at 10:11pm BST
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