Comments: Communiqué from Iarccum Summit

I know both David Hamid and Don Bolen and am also forward enough to consider myself a friend of both, nonetheless, the conversation and twinning of bishops remains "boy-talk", and so interests me (and maybe others) less and less. Women matter, guys, their ideas, their brains, their faith, their piety, and the eons of control over them by the other half, however sanctimoniously worded.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 12:54pm BST

"For example, in areas such as health, especially women’s health, where one church might provide the resources and the other would deliver them.”

There is no gall like mind numbing gall!

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 1:58pm BST

A most welcome development.

Posted by Clive Sweeting at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 2:48pm BST

There is so much negativity and cynicism regularly expressed on Thinking Anglicans. These conversations of the past week should be a cause of rejoicing for us all. Deo Gratias. The Spirit is at work here and not in the barbs of the single issue obsessives and the permanently embittered.I rejoice in my Anglicanism and do not agree on all matters with Rome by any means but I can only see the events of the past week as positive

Posted by Michael at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 3:08pm BST

For those of us working in France it is encouraging to see the developments. Centuries old divisions begin to come into perspective when one sees the rich mission field and the possibilities for common work. The effort to find common ground around the Offices may also begin to bear fruit.

Posted by cseitz at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 3:41pm BST

@ Michael, "The Spirit is at work here and not in the barbs of the single issue obsessives and the permanently embittered." Yours could be interpreted as a rather cynical and negative assessment of those voices that choose not to leave their critical thinking at the church door.

Justice is often about a kind of "obsession" for a reversal of roles i.e. hungering, thirsting, for justice for all. If that causes upset as the boys process down the aisle in full medieval overlord regalia, so be it.

What is important is a balancing of values. Ecumenism is important. The accomplishments of ecumenical dialogue should be celebrated by all means. That does not obviate the need for critical attention to other values such as gender equality.

One can be in solidarity with the official leadership of a patriarchal institution, or one can be in solidarity with the members of that institution which patriarchy seeks to marginalize. One must decide.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 7:42pm BST

I appreciate, Christopher (cseitz), your welcome to the initiative taken by Rome towards a deeper fellowship with Anglicans.

My only regret - expressed by others here and in other places on the internet - is that women seem to have been completely left outside of the equation. Granted that a woman bishop appearing as a fellow bishop in Rome might have seemed a breach of the Vatican protocol - possibly cutting short the current movement towards reconciliation.

However, as Rome has still not repealed the edict 'Apostolicae Curae' - despite the signs and symbols displayed in Rome recently which suggested the contrary - the introduction of a woman bishop, to be included as an Anglican part of the pairing of bishops for mission, might well have generated a conscious response from Pope Francis that could have opened up, in Rome, the possibility of a new outlook on the full equality of male of female in ministry.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 9:26pm BST

Paradoxical I know, but isn't the absence of women bishops at least some sort of acknowledgement that our male bishops are treated as more than lay people? If Anglican orders are 'null and void', then neither a male nor a female bishop is in holy orders so both should be treated with the same indifference. In practice therefore the Vatican seems to ignore Apostolicae Curae, which is surely a step forward. I know the present teaching on women's ordination is frustrating and infuriating to Anglican women (ordained or not), but it is equally so to the very many Roman Catholic women who campaign and pray for change. If we insist on our Anglican self-righteousness we are in danger of ignoring our solidarity with our sisters and brothers across the Tiber.

Posted by David Emmott at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 3:03pm BST

I'd like to refer Michael to the post on the GAFCON meeting and ask who was doing the obsessing on the single issue in the communique? For the C of E bishops attending this was a show of solidarity and expression of opinion for which there is absolutely no personal cost. They can obsess for a day, get on a plane and forget about it until the next official discussion on the, for them, abstract topic 'sexuality'. Tomorrow, however, is World Mental Health Day, a reminder that for many people, whether in Durham or Dar es Salaam the conflict between Christian and LGBT identities is a very real (often dangerously so) and very personal matter and not just one of partisan ideology.

Posted by Andrew at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 4:51pm BST

"Paradoxical I know, but isn't the absence of women bishops at least some sort of acknowledgement that our male bishops are treated as more than lay people?"

I don't think that is a safe conclusion.

I'm pretty certain that the Anglican Communion sent very few female bishops to Iarccum in the first place. I've tried unsuccessfully to find a delegate list, so I can't be certain, but I did some digging on Google and think I am right. So I think we should blame the absence of women on the Anglicans and not draw any conclusions about Catholic acceptance.

Posted by Kate at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 10:07pm BST

As welcome as ecumenical unity is, I must say I have to agree with Rod Gillis about the phrase where "women's health" is mentioned. There's nothing quite so disempowering as having not much say in how one's own health is going to be "managed"!

Posted by Pam at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 10:07pm BST

I have been looking in vain to find a list of the 19 pairs of bishops. Could anyone out there in Thinking Anglicans land let us know who all of them are please?

Posted by Paul Richardson at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 9:13am BST

Can anybody confirm whether Bishop Hamid's homily at the RC Vigil Mass was given after the Gospel & before the Creed, or after the distribution of communion?

If the former, that would be unlawful for a lay person...

Posted by Matt at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 10:33am BST

@Paul Richardson, the list of paired bishops can be found at the end of the article from Anglican Journal.

http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/anglican-and-roman-catholic-bishops-sent-out-for-united-mission

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 4:45pm BST

@Paul Richardson

The Anglican Communion News Service lists the 19 pairs in this article.

http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2016/10/anglican-and-roman-catholic-bishops-sent-out-for-united-mission.aspx

They are from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Central Africa, England, France, Ghana and West Africa, Hong Kong and China, India, Ireland, Middle East and Horn of Africa, Melanesia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sri Lanka and USA.

This seems to be a worldwide thing, but for people in the UK who recently voted against rule from Brussels, it is ironic if the Archbishop of Canterbury is seeking to entangle us again with Rome.

Posted by T Pott at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 5:22pm BST

Matt's question and comment (at 10.33 am BST 10 October), if serious, shows how out of touch the Church [CofE and/or RC] can be at times with the real world. It's reminiscent of the old question about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. One can imagine the dismissive answer Christ would have given to the question had he been asked it by one of the Pharisees.

Posted by David Lamming at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 7:51pm BST

Apostolicae Curae keeps getting mentioned, but I have to say that I don't recall the name of that Encyclical (it is NOT an edict: it's a letter) being mentioned by anyone from the Vatican itself in many a long year.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 9:36pm BST

@David Lamming. I was being half-serious, and as only half-serious I will take your Pharisaical comment in the friendly spirit in which it was no doubt intended.

Both the Church of England and the Latin rite of the Catholic Church have laws about the preaching of sermons/homilies. The Catholic laws are rather more tightly drafted than the CofE ones and restrict a homily (properly so called, in the customary position in the liturgy) to Bishops Priests and Deacons. A friend who examines RC seminarians on Canon Law regularly uses this issue as an easy exam question.

As a (fellow) lawyer, my personal view is that I admire being in an ordered Church where there are clear rules as to what is and isn't permissible. If a particular law is felt to be silly or Pharisaical, there are ways and means to seek to have it changed. Ignoring it, particularly if it *has* been ignored here (I don't know) at a prestigious gathering of Bishops, only serves to confuse Fr Smith in Blackacre parish as to what the law is, which I consider unhelpful.

@Daniel Berry. The last reference to it in a public Vatican-issued document that I can find was November 2009.

Posted by Matt at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 10:07am BST

@Daniel Berry: I think Matt's correct of the most recent citation of Apostolicae Curae. More telling, I think, is that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger reaffirmed it in his position as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1998.

By the way, Apostolicae Curae has it's own Wikipedia article. Can't say whether that's good, bad, or indifferent, but there it is.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 2:40pm BST

Matt, it was performed at a Church of England altar so I would argue that it was, in fact, a Church of England rite even if it mostly followed Catholic tradition in form by special dispensation.

(I don't know but I suspect that somewhere on the Statute books or in Canon law, there might well still be some legacy prohibition against Catholic rites within Church of England consecrated buildings anyway?)

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 5:32pm BST

@ Marshall Scott: Sorry--I should have known that Ratz would have been unable to resist throwing A.C. out there somewhere in the same spirit in which he issued Dominus Iesus, a throwback to much of the worst of the period stretching from the Counter-Reformation to the eve of Vatican II.

But the caliber of A. C doesn't begin to match the scholarship of the Answer by the Archbishops, "Saepius Officio."

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 10:54pm BST

50 years ago Fr John Jay Hughes wrote an account of how AC came to be written, based on original Vatican documents. It demonstrated that the papal commission looking into Anglican orders was manipulated, principally by Cardinal Merry del Val, at the behest of the RC hierarchy in England. It still needs to be read by anyone interested in the issue. As in so many "theological" matters, the final word was had by the ecclesiastical politicians. The wrong one, but the convenient one.

Posted by cryptogram at Wednesday, 12 October 2016 at 12:21pm BST

As an aside. I recall Francis upon election saying -- or it being said of him -- that he was opposed to the so called Ordinariate.

This 2-by-2 idea may be a way of his pushing back against that and chiefly that.

As Ray Brown once said to Brevard Childs "Dear Bard: your enemies are not my enemies."

Posted by cseitz at Thursday, 13 October 2016 at 2:44pm BST

Thank you, Daniel (Berry) for the link to the response of the Church of England's Archbishops Temple & Maclagan - "Saepius Officio" - to the declaration "Apostolicae Curae" issued by Pope Leo XIII, in 1896.

I wonder how many Anglican clergy have read this enlightening and robust response to the Pope's accusation of the non-validity of Anglican Orders and Eucharistic Ritual? It certainly gives a clear definition of what the Archbishops understood about the Real Presence - of Christ in the Eucharist.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 13 October 2016 at 9:13pm BST

@Father Ron Smith

On various threads you have suggested I am in the wrong church for believing in lay celebration of the Eucharist. Apostolicae Curae makes interesting reading and, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, ALL Anglican Eucharists are lay celebrated because of a defect in ordination. What is also clear is that the Church of England intentionally withdrew from the sacrificial connotations of priesthood to which I object. So oddly, I find my personal views largely supported by the Catholic Church, albeit what they see as defects, I see as improvements.

In Saepius Officio, the English Archbishops take issue with the Catholic interpretation of the ordinal, justifying their position on the basis that neither specie of the rite is securely grounded in Scriptural precedent. That is, the Archbishops successfully argue that the ordinal is a manmade and artificial rite. That was manifestly not their intent, but that was nonetheless their achievement, though they recognised it not.

Moreover, as I understand it present day Catholic teaching is that anyone who does not fully accept Apostolicae Curae is not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Nor is there any likelihood of the Catholic Church changing their position having in recent years ordained members of the Ordinariate: the Catholic Church staunchly believes that re-ordination is sacrilegious and will absolutely not admit to any error in performing these ordinations by recanting Apostolicae Curae. The Catholic Church also sees a deliberate intent by Anglican churches to establish a qualitatively different ordination than that recognised by the Catholic Church. In their eyes the ordination of women reaffirms that intent to be different. That is, the ordination of women and of gay men and lesbian women does not make reunification more difficult as many try to claim, but simply highlight why reunification was already impossible.

Posted by Kate at Friday, 14 October 2016 at 4:19am BST

@ Kate, "Moreover, as I understand it present day Catholic teaching is that anyone who does not fully accept Apostolicae Curae is not in full communion with the Catholic Church."

This is something of a an amateurish and naive reading of things given the "pilgrim pairings" of Anglican and R.C. bishops. Clearly Rome is attempting to sidestep its own Pio nono dogmatism without actually recanting the same.

As long as the "pairs of bishops" are men the message is, pay no attention to Apostolic Curiae. Not in full communion, quite rightly; but "absolutely null and void" given the pairings? Hardly!

Male hierarchy is alive and well in both churches. Nothing in recent events supports your point of view.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 15 October 2016 at 5:58am BST

Rod, I don't think you grasp how diplomacy works. Working together in small ways comes long before recognition of status. And indeed, the Northern Ireland peace process was concluded without Sinn Fein ever recognising the status of the Queen. The "pilgrim pairings" suggests no diminution of Apostolicae Curae nor any indication that it might be reviewed.

In Catholic eyes, Anglican presbyters are not priests, nor are Anglican bishops, bishops. That doesn't mean Catholics don't recognise Anglican bishops hold a prominent position within Anglican churches. They clearly do. So the pairings represent that prominence only, I suggest, not a recognition of episcopal status.

Posted by Kate at Saturday, 15 October 2016 at 12:21pm BST

@ Kate, "I don't think you grasp how diplomacy works." I think I do; but more to the point I think the hierarchies of both churches, most times anyway, grasp very well how diplomacy works.

Your statements are very categorical, and do not reflect a clear grasp as to how gestures chosen with care and nuance, specifically, the choice of pairing bishops, which are signs of unity for both churches, with the commissioning of the pairings by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pontiff, each the focus of unity in their respective Communions, clearly challenges your opinion that the pairings, "...represent ...prominence only, ...not a recognition of episcopal status."

The ground has shifted immensely since the sectarian polemics of yesteryear. One can compare the climate dating from, for instance, the Syllabus Errorum through to the First Vatican Council with developments that have occurred as a result of the Second Vatican Council.

We ought to celebrate the achievements of Iarccum but with a critical appraisal. The absence of women bishops is extremely problematic; but then some no doubt will argue that "diplomacy" required it.I won't be surprised if some female Anglican bishops would argue that way. In fact, the absence of women bishops is evidence enough that it is not merely a matter of "prominence".

Anyone commenting on ecumenism and Roman Catholicism must be conversant with the text of The Decree on Ecumenism: Unitatis Redintegratio. (see link). The Decree maps out both what is hopeful but what may also be the foreseeable limits to ecumenical accomplishment going forward. In that regard one can "read" the gesture of pairings as a kind of progressive reflection on paragraph 22 of Unitatis Redintegratio, analogous perhaps to the way in which the document, The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable is a progressive reflection on, Nostra Aetate.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 15 October 2016 at 10:49pm BST

Taken from Unitatis Redintegratio:

"However, it is evident that, when individuals wish for full Catholic communion, their preparation and reconciliation is an undertaking which of its nature is distinct from ecumenical action. But there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God."

Reintegration is separate from ecumenism. This is further evidence that the "pilgrim pairings" represent no stepping back from Apostolicae Curae. Indeed, if you read further the text shows that the Catholic Church recognises shared communion with Orthodoxy in a way it doesn't with Anglicanism.

There can be no doubt. The Edwardian Anglican rites were defective if the Catholic Church is the arbiter of right and wrong in such matters. Thus, again in Catholic eyes, Apostolic Succession which they see as essential was broken so present day ordinations are likewise invalid. But if the Catholic Church accepted that non-authorised rites of ordination may be used, where would the boundaries then lie? That becomes a problem too for Anglican churches.

For people like me it is not a problem because I don't believe rites are a form of ritualistic magic in which form matters. For me it is intent. Does the candidate exclusively dedicate his or her life to God, forsaking family ties, forsaking career and putting aside all personal ambition etc, for so long as s/he shall live? If yes, then the individual has reached a consecrated status. If not, then no rite can remedy the deficit.

For those, however, who see the form of the rite as important and who attach importance to the laying on of hands in unbroken succession, it is a very big deal. And since there aren't many people with my views reach senior positions within the Catholic hierarchy, I don't predict any chance of change in the short term.

That's a shame. I wish we could move to a purposeful rather than ritualistic understanding of ordination. But that's going to take years even in Anglicanism because the Anglo-Catholics will block progress every step of the way. But it is a change which is necessary, I believe, before we can achieve worldwide reunification of the Church.

Posted by Kate at Sunday, 16 October 2016 at 1:46pm BST

" I wish we could move to a purposeful rather than ritualistic understanding of ordination. But that's going to take years even in Anglicanism because the Anglo-Catholics will block progress every step of the way. But it is a change which is necessary, I believe, before we can achieve worldwide reunification of the Church." - Kate -

Dear Kate, here. yet again, you persist in your misunderstanding of what priestly or episcopal ordination is all about.

When Jesus laid his hands on the Apostles, he set them apart for the tasks that would fall to their lot. Church Tradition has decreed that one of those tasks is to preside at the Eucharist. n.b. it is only one of the tasks of Mission, but a specific task - and gifting - of the Holy spirit) nevertheless, and was not given to everyone in the Church. Saint Paul speaks, for instance, of gifts (plural) not all of which are given to everyone.

Saint Paul's writing of the 'priesthood of all believers', is something slightly different, having nothing to do with sacerdotal ministry, but rather; more to do with 'representing Christ' as a member of the Body of Christ, The Church.

This is where the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, like your good self; has mistaken the specific gift of the sacerdotal priesthood - to include the laity - but not women, you will notice!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 16 October 2016 at 9:49pm BST

I've been following the discussions in this thread, and I find myself half and half... which means as usual I believe in embracing diverse views, accommodating both, and praying for love and grace to affirm our unity in Christ.

As a catholic Anglican, I believe in the Presence in the sacraments, and indeed in transubstantiation. And I believe in the call of certain people - not all - to the ministry of the priesthood. For this reason, my ideal is for Eucharist to be led and celebrated by a priest.

Having said that, I also believe - in a different sense - in the 'priesthood of all believers'. Wherever we go, and whoever we are, we can act as intermediaries in the world. In addition, as a 'charismatic', I believe in quite informal expressions of worship, including eucharist shared in homes, and if a priest is not available, I believe that a lay person can reasonably preside over the eucharist as a seemly contingency, because in any case I believe it is God who sanctifies the elements. But in normal circumstances I believe that role pertains to the ordained priest.

Priests are not higher or better than lay Christians. They simply have a calling to a role, that is recognised by the Church. We all have calling and vocation.

But I do not believe we are all called to be ordained as priests in a priestly role within the life of the Church. It would be kind of weird if we were all called to identical roles. Rather, God continuously calls us into being and becoming... becoming the whole of who God has always known us to be, and who we were created to be. It is a lifelong process.

For me, there is no conflict between the calling of some to be ordained priests, and the calling of everyone to belong to the priesthood of believers in the wider sense of the Church ministering to the world in daily life.

I appreciate that people hold differing views, but - rather than division - I prefer to found and build ourselves on the unity we all have in Jesus Christ. If Anglicans, Catholic, Baptist or Orthodox are in communion with Christ, we are in communion with each other, like it or not. Even if we hold different beliefs about a wide range of things.

To God be the glory.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Monday, 17 October 2016 at 9:38am BST

"[presiding at the Eucharist] is only one of the tasks of Mission, but a specific task - and gifting - of the Holy spirit) nevertheless, and was not given to everyone"

So the gift of the Spirit isn't a gift from the Lord sent by Jesus but something in your power as a priest to give or withhold. That's not Anglicanism and never will be.

Nor does Anglicanism have a "sacerdotal priesthood".

Posted by Kate at Monday, 17 October 2016 at 11:50am BST

@kate, there is no logical connection between the out of context citation and whatever point you are trying to make.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 17 October 2016 at 5:51pm BST

"I appreciate that people hold differing views, but - rather than division - I prefer to found and build ourselves on the unity we all have in Jesus Christ. If Anglicans, Catholic, Baptist or Orthodox are in communion with Christ, we are in communion with each other, like it or not. Even if we hold different beliefs about a wide range of things."

Exactly. Which means accepting a common baptism and that Eucharist is valid no matter who presides and regardless of the rite... And accept that rites for ordination etc are irrelevant. That's where union lies but we both know that the world isn't ready.

Posted by Kate at Monday, 17 October 2016 at 7:33pm BST

"So the gift of the Spirit isn't a gift from the Lord sent by Jesus but something in your power as a priest to give or withhold. That's not Anglicanism and never will be. Nor does Anglicanism have a "sacerdotal priesthood".

- Kate -

I'm sorry Kate, I just can't let this pass for want of a response.

The only 'power' in the exercise of priesthood, is that which is given by Christ through the Holy Spirit. e.g.: One of the gifts bestowed upon the Apostles by Jesus in the Upper Room after his resurrection was this "Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted. Whose soever sins you retain, they are retained".

Now, I'm not saying that may not apply to every Christian. However, it certainly does apply to the ordained in the Apostolic Tradition.

Ordained clergy are no 'better' than anyone else. However, they have been called and equipped to "do the work of an Apostle"; just one of the spiritual gifts of the Church that Saint Paul enumerates in ! Corinthians, 12, 13 & 14. The other gifts are just as important "for the good of the Whole Body".

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 18 October 2016 at 12:41am BST

In so many places Jesus says that he is the sole avenue for the forgiveness of sins that John 20:23 cannot mean what you claim. Many commentaries address this and the correct meaning is that the Apostles were charged with revealing to the world that faith in Christ Jesus has the power to forgive sins if we repent.

Even if one were to read John 20:23 as the actual power to forgive sins bring imparted, there is zero evidence that the power to further delegate that authority was granted. There is no evidence that Apostolic Succession imparts any authority. Moreover, Peter was not the only Apostle present but only his followers believe in Apostolic succession. The majority of Apostles didn't form that view which suggests Peter's followers got it wrong.

You are articulating a true Catholic view of priesthood. That's fine, for a Catholic. But it is not an Anglican view and we went through a Reformation to separate ourselves from such views which to many Anglicans are sacrilege.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 18 October 2016 at 2:56pm BST

The following items, just a few among the many that may be referenced, may be of interest.

(1) From the Canadian BCP (1962), Form of Confession and Absolution, the priest shall absolve, "Our Lord Jesus Christ who hath left power to his church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him: Of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences.And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins in the name of the Father, The of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (p. 582).


(2) From the Canadian B.A.S. Introduction to The Reconciliation of a Penitent. "The absolution in these services may be pronounced only by a bishop or priest." (p.366)

(3) From one of the early ARCIC agreed statements on Ministry and Ordination:"Authority to pronounce God's forgiveness of sin, given to bishops and presbyters at their ordination, is
exercised by them to bring Christians to a closer communion with God and with their fellow
men through Christ and to assure them of God's continuing love and mercy." (see link).

https://iarccum.org/archive/ARCIC/ARCIC-85.pdf


A proper evaluation and appreciation of the most recent events between Anglican and Roman Catholic churches can only be had by a thorough and contextual reading of agreed ecumenical statements together with the full appreciation of Anglican liturgical texts in use.


Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 18 October 2016 at 10:44pm BST

"You are articulating a true Catholic view of priesthood. That's fine, for a Catholic. But it is not an Anglican view and we went through a Reformation to separate ourselves from such views which to many Anglicans are sacrilege." - Kate -

Rubbish! The Reformation was not instigated to distance the Church in England from universal 'catholic' principles. You need to read a little more Church history!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 10:39am BST

The Iarccum document is very interesting, thank you. There are several noteworthy passages but four stood out for me.

1. Although "priestly language" is used to describe ministers, ministers are not priests. Indeed the document recognises that every baptised Christian is a member of this priesthood.

2. Nothing suggests that the rite of ordination is more than the Church recognising and blessing something which has already happened.

3. Ministers don't forgive sins, but merely pronounce that God has forgiven sins. Moreover it isn't said to an individual but addressed to all communicants. That is entirely in accordance with Anglican tenets.

4. Nothing in the text when it is read carefully suggests that a minister needs to be ordained to preside over the Eucharist. (References to ordained Ministry become simply ministry when talking of the Eucharist.) Indeed the document also recognises that ordination can occur without any investment of the central Church.

All rather Anglican.

But not only is Apostolicae Curae referenced directly (if not by name), para 10 makes plain that ordained ministers are required to live in accordance with Scripture which, read by a Catholic, means that ordained ministers cannot be married or female or gay. Indeed the document is clear that when it comes to the conduct of ordained ministers that pastoral accommodation (eg remarriage after divorce) is simply not possible.

As to the Canadian wording, the minister absolves sins which strictly means only that the Church has forgiven the sins as transgressions against the Church. It is embodying "as we forgive those who trespass against us". It is a collective act of forgiveness by the congregation against the sins of all present. Then it calls upon God to Himself forgive the sins embodying "forgive us our trespasses". I would regard it as extremely poor drafting for public worship since it risks the congregation thinking the minister has forgiven their sins and I therefore think the wording should not be used but at the level of a strict reading it doesn't disagree with Anglican beliefs.

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 11:18am BST

"Rubbish! The Reformation was not instigated to distance the Church in England from universal 'catholic' principles. You need to read a little more Church history!"
Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 10:39am

http://www.stjohnse15.co.uk/fabric/martyrs.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Clitherow

Is that the sort of church history you mean? Christians of both denominations died horribly because the English Reformation did separate the Church of England from Catholic traditions. We dishonour their faith and martyrdom if we suggest that there was, in fact, no challenge to principles.

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 1:01pm BST

@ Kate, your rejoinders suggest that you have only a cursory understanding of the various documents which are the legacy and "paper trail" of nuanced ecumenical work done over a long period of time. Am I wrong in concluding that this is the first time you may have read some of these documents?

The ARCIC statement # 10 references the "apostolic faith" in general. It does not occur to you, I gather, that the reference, coming in an agreed statement, may actually be a positive step forward in getting past the rhetoric of a previous century. However,Apostolic Curae was flagged sometime ago in ARCIC "elucidations" as something that needs to be re-visited in the light of contemporary ecumenical developments
(which you would know if you were conversant with the ARCIC library). What appear to be deliberate and carefully planned, the "pilgrim pairings" are what is known as a "diplomatic work around" (to use your preferred term). In any event there is virtually no chance it supports your views on ordination and lay presidency, which is what you really seem to want to talk about.

You write, "Nothing in the text when it is read carefully suggests that a minister needs to be ordained to preside over the Eucharist." To use a text developed by Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians with your take away on it is risible.

Your comment on the Canadian texts attempts to obscure the very clarification that the texts assert as official liturgies of the province to which I belong--texts I have used frequently.

I live in an Anglican Communion which, warts and all, has a shape that one may point to in, for instance, liturgical texts and agreed upon ecumenical statements.

Fanciful thinly resourced views such as yours are quite helpful, however, in that they provide an opportunity for discussion about sources and resources, shining a light on the great amount of work and expertise required to continue the work of ecumenical dialogue--something the rest of us ought to be grateful for.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 3:50pm BST

"You write, "Nothing in the text when it is read carefully suggests that a minister needs to be ordained to preside over the Eucharist." To use a text developed by Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians with your take away on it is risible."

So where does the document say that a minister must be ordained to preside over the Eucharist? Can you please quote the bit because I really don't believe it is in there.

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 11:05am BST

@ Kate, The ARCIC statements assume all the variables of the two traditions. It is somewhat puzzling you would ask this question given that both Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism have ordinations rites, an ordered ministry, Eucharistic liturgies and the like. The ARCIC statements, each with a particular focus on a particular aspect of the issue, must be read in conjunction with one another. Surely you must know this.

To cut to the chase, note the following regarding the ARCIC statement on the Eucharist (see link).

See also Lambeth 1988 on the matter.


"We affirm that only a validly ordained priest can be the minister who, in the person of Christ, brings into being the sacrament of the Eucharist and offers sacramentally the redemptive sacrifice of Christ which God offers us."

http://stpaulsparish.org/education/documents/004_ARCIC_euch.pdf

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 1:36pm BST

Quick follow up, folks interested in this issue and the documents pertaining to the same, may find the IARCCUM site with its archives, useful.

https://iarccum.org/

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 5:01pm BST

You are walking the same ground as GAFCON as presuming that ARCIC statements or Lambeth declarations represent settled Anglican doctrine. They don't. The CofE House of Bishops paper "the Eucharist: sacrament of unity" presents some significant criticisms of ARCIC statements on the Eucharist in terms of the Roman Catholic interpretation of things. I presume other provinces do too. Similarly Lambeth 1988 Resolution I also expresses reservations about the then most recent ARCIC statements.

I cannot, however, find your quotation in any of the Lambeth 1988 Resolutions. Which one are you quoting from please?

What is in Lambeth 1988 though is a recognition of Eucharistic unity with the Lutheran Church which as I understand it doesn't entirely preclude lay presidency. As you are aware in Anglicanism the Diocese of Sydney have also been advocates of lay presidency.

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 5:13pm BST

Dear Kate,

Did you realise that, although the archbishop of Sydney has a 'low-Church' understanding of priesthood he would never ordain women priests?

Despite all your protestations - coming from your own understandings of the Anglican Churches around the world - you just have to accept that the necessity for the Ordination of priests is a fact guaranteed in the various constitutions.

The role of 'ministers', of course, can include licensed lay-people, but that is something different from 'priesthood'. The 'priesthood of the laity' can be licensed but this is not considered to be the rite of ordination.

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary cites the word 'ordination' to mean: "The action of ordaining someone in(to) holy orders" - a practice common to the Church of England.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 9:35pm BST

@ Kate, The Lambeth Resolution under consideration here is Lambeth 1988 Resolution 8 Note item 1. (see link for the entire text)

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/document-library/lambeth-conference/1988/resolution-8-anglican-roman-catholic-international-commission-(arcic)?author=Lambeth+Conference&year=1988

Of course there are criticisms of ARCIC. I have offered some here myself. One can note the views of then Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey on ARCIC at one point, or go back as far as the Nottingham Statement in 1977 for that matter, if memory serves me correctly. But criticism does not undercut either the significance or the progress of the enterprise.

And no, I'm not taking the approach to Lambeth that some GAFCON chaps have taken. Let's stay away from misdirection shall we.

Now, there may be a case ( not compelling in my view) to be made for lay presidency in some circumstances. You have given one example in the outlier controversy from Australia. Interestingly here in Canada we are in full communion with the Lutheran Church with mutual recognition of orders. Yet, the Lutheran move to consider a form of lay presidency in some circumstances has met with great concern on the part of the Canadian House of Bishops.

http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/bishops-respond-to-authorized-lay-ministry

So, argue for it if you wish; but arguments based on a contrary reading of ARCIC documents and their subject matter is pointless.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 10:17pm BST

Kate said: 'You are articulating a true Catholic view of priesthood. That's fine, for a Catholic. But it is not an Anglican view and we went through a Reformation to separate ourselves from such views which to many Anglicans are sacrilege.'

That's a bit like saying that 52% of Britons (well, those voting) voted for Brexit and therefore the views and conscience of the other 48% are of no account. The Church of England after the 'reformation' is the same church that existed before; a significant minority if not even a majority of those who found themselves now described as 'protestants', [a] had no choice in the matter, and [b] didn't believe that an act of parliament could change their faith.

A very large proportion of present-day Anglicans, myself included, regard ourselves as Catholics, not Protestants. That is not to say we dismiss all the insights of the reformation, but understand them in the context of the Catholic and Apostolic faith which has evolved in the Church for centuries.

Posted by David Emmott at Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 10:58pm BST

Using the Brexit analogy, you seem to be arguing that after the UK leaves the EU, pro-Europeans should continue to see themselves as European Citizens and expect others to adopt new European directives when they come out.

Posted by Kate at Saturday, 22 October 2016 at 12:29pm BST

"We dishonour their faith and martyrdom if we suggest that there was, in fact, no challenge to principles."

Oh brother (sister): it's not "whoever shed the most blood, wins". Everyone knows that BOTH (all) sides of the Reformation nobly died, and abominably slayed.

If the "blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church", I would suggest that unbending certitude is the sheath of the slaying sword. See the PARADOX already, and compromise!

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 23 October 2016 at 6:31am BST

'Using the Brexit analogy, you seem to be arguing that after the UK leaves the EU, pro-Europeans should continue to see themselves as European Citizens and expect others to adopt new European directives when they come out.'

No Kate, should the UK leave the EU (and it's not settled yet) many of us will be distressed as doubtless many loyal Catholics in the C of E were in the 16th century. One response would be to move to another EU country and apply for citizenship, but apart from the practical difficulties, many of us would be torn because we love living here. The best we can do is to stay and fight for the closest possible ties (cultural as well as political) with our fellow-Europeans. The analogy with the Reformation is that we (sadly) accept the division but work for its healing and seek to maintain our Catholic identity as much as possible. We love the C of E but we hate the rift with our fellow-Christians.

Posted by David Emmott at Sunday, 23 October 2016 at 10:55pm BST
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