Thinking Anglicans

women bishops: more articles and many letters

In The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s Pastoral Letter – September 2010, Bishop Andrew Burnham writes about Electing a New General Synod.

The full text is copied below the fold.

In last week’s Church Times Simon Killwick wrote about Why sacramental assurance matters.

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory is mine!” Anglicans, especially Catholic An­glicans, find “blessed assurance” and a “foretaste of glory” in the sacraments of the Church. After the General Synod debate on women bishops, Stephen Barney wrote asking for an explanation of the doctrine of sacra­mental assurance (Letters, 16 July). Others have questioned whether sacra­mental assurance is an Anglican doctrine.

I would like to try to explain it, and to show that it is an Anglican doctrine. The doctrine of the Church of England is to be found particularly in “the Thirty-nine Articles of Reli­gion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal”, according to Canon A5; I will refer to these sources, among others…

Last week’s Church Times (30 July) also carried a large number of letters to the editor on the subject. See Women bishops, sacramental assurance, the mitre: debates continue.

Letters from the three previous weeks are available here (23 July) and over here (16 July) and here (9 July) .

Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s September letter

Electing a new General Synod

IN MY August Pastoral Letter, I said that I should continue to reflect on current issues in the September letter. Normally one looks for a different, and unrelated topic, but these are not normal times. We have seen the dissolution of the 2005–2010 General Synod and with it the dispersion of its ‘Catholic Group in General Synod’, one of the informal groupings in the Synod. New elections will take place shortly and the 2010–2015 General Synod will be inaugurated by the Queen in November. As happens every five years, there will be an inaugural meeting of the new ‘Catholic Group’ and people will be counting up how many are in the Group, bishops, clergy and laity, and what kind of line they will be taking. That much is predictable and the pattern for it long-established. The officers of the ‘Catholic Group’ will already be in place (provided they have managed themselves to be elected to the Synod) and the Chairman will already have a sense of the direction in which he will want to lead the Group.

Until the July 2010 vote, the second catastrophic vote for Anglo-catholics in three years, there was a division of opinion. One section wanted, on principle, to vote down the women bishops’ legislation completely, on the grounds that Catholic Faith and Order does not traditionally admit women to holy orders and the Church of England has no more competence to change the tradition than it has to change the bible, the creeds, or the sacraments. This section still sees its duty to witness to the Catholic Faith, as the Church of England has received it, and not to give up until the ‘final approval’ vote is lost in 2012 (if, indeed, it is lost). The ‘final approval’ vote on women bishops will need a two-thirds majority in each of the three houses of Synod and it is possible, of course, that it will not clear this hurdle in all three houses. (One projection is that it might fail in the house of laity).

The second section of opinion, broadly that of Forward in Faith, was that women bishops are inevitable sooner or later, because of the admission of women to the orders of deacon and priest, and that what is needed is a proper framework, proper provision, for those who maintain the historic and traditional view. The sooner the better. Forward in Faith favoured a free province, but three separate dioceses would amount to that, and that was firmly defeated in July. The archbishops’ amendment also might have permitted some sort of framework to be built on statutory transfer of jurisdiction. That was narrowly lost on a vote of houses. (It is hard to build a Catholic ecclesiology, incidentally, on a system which allows priests and deacons to vote down the attempts of archbishops and bishops in areas of Faith and Order. Are the procedures of General Synod in any sense ‘Catholic’?) What is apparently on offer, intended to meet the needs of this section of opinion, is a ‘code of practice’. Bishops and all who exercise patronage would agree to behave honourably and try to both respect people’s needs and their deeply-held beliefs.

Following the July 2010 vote, this second section of opinion has had to do some fresh thinking. Forward in Faith assemblies have chanted, as ‘the response to the psalm’, ‘A code of practice will not do’. Anglo-catholics are programmed then to reject a code of practice and it is important to understand why. For one thing, codes of practice are advisory and not mandatory. Discretion, discernment, goodwill, and good sense are all necessary for codes of practice to work. Catholic orders and sacraments cannot depend on discretion, discernment, goodwill, and good sense. Indeed a major characteristic of Catholic orders and sacraments is that they exist regardless of any of these things, even if some of these things are necessary for them to be of benefit to the faithful. Whatever it is, the Eucharist, celebrated by someone not in the historic succession, or not using the right elements or words, and not having the right intention, is not a Catholic sacrament. The same is true of Absolution, Confirmation, Ordination, and the Blessing of Oils. The argument here is not about the sex of the celebrant. Anglo-catholics (unlike many in the Church of England) have exactly the same problem with non-conformist ministers and lay presidents as they do with women clergy. What we need, we say, is ‘sacramental certainty’, a matter which the Chairman of the Catholic Group, Canon Simon Killwick, explained lucidly in the Church Times of 30 July 2010. That means that, in sacraments, God is doing something which does not depend on our response, though it invites our response. It happens, as they say, ex opera operato, just because it happens. To think otherwise is not what the Catholic Faith teaches. A code of practice won’t do!

That means that Anglo-catholics who are standing for election for the General Synod, or voting in General Synod elections, are standing, or voting, to defeat the women bishops’ legislation. It is hard to see how, in terms of process, any provision whatsoever could be made now – following the severe set-back in York in July – which allowed women bishops to be consecrated and, at the same time, traditional Anglo-catholics conscientiously to remain in the Church of England. But it ain’t over until it’s over. No-one in November 1992, when the final approval for women priests took place, could have guessed that a few months later the House of Bishops would cobble together the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993, with its promise of a permanent and honoured place for those who could not accept the development.

Some of you will now be asking why I am picking at the carcase rather than just declaring it dead and moving on to embrace the offer of Pope Benedict XVI to Anglicans in Anglicanorum cœtibus. The Pope’s offer is not a bargain basement sale. It isn’t ‘clearance’ or ‘end of roll’ or ‘while stocks last’. Nor is it a rescue plan for shipwrecked Anglo-catholics. It is a way of pursuing the ecumenical journey to which we have been committed for a very long time and it must be considered in its own right. That I propose to do in a third Pastoral Letter in October, the third in a series of letters. Meanwhile I think we continue to pray, reflect, and rest, and, of course, ponder and reflect during the visit of the Pope to England later in September, what we should now do, each one of us. Most of all, as the Holy Father comes among us as the leader of the Christian family, we pray for the coming of the Kingdom and the triumph of the Gospel over the forces of evil and indifference.

May God bless you as you faithfully serve him and his Church.

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Anne Peat
11 years ago

And a lot more letters in this week’s Church Times, several of them pointing out that ‘sacramental assurance’ doesn’t mean much in relation to the RC Church since they say Anglican orders ( as well as the orders of the non-conformist churches the Bp of Ebbsfleet mentions) are null and void in RC official view – so the sacraments are invalid anyway.

Caelius Spinator
Caelius Spinator
11 years ago

Indeed, if you follow the arguments of sacramental assurance given by Father Killwick precisely, a lay person should not receive the sacramental ministry of anyone. The XXXIX Articles is only valid if it is considered to have conciliar authority for the Universal Church, which it does proclaim by speaking of the errors of the Churches of Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria. Thus, the Church of England can receive innovations just as fully and with all of the usual caveats as anyone else. The continued focus of the women’s ordination discussion on an issue of competence of reception in sensu strictu… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
11 years ago

‘Whatever it is, the Eucharist, celebrated by someone not in the historic succession, or not using the right elements or words, and not having the right intention, is not a Catholic sacrament.’ No, Andrew it is a Church of England sacrament, and none the worse for it. You won’t find any of this stuff in the BCP and formularies of the C of E., and to call your personal, subjective theology borrow from another denomination ‘Catholic’ is up to you really, but a bit ‘Alice-in Wonderland’ to me. To me, it comes close to posturing and mumbo-jumbo Beleive it if… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
11 years ago

‘“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory is mine!” Anglicans, especially Catholic Anglicans, find “blessed assurance” and a “foretaste of glory” in the sacraments of the Church.’

Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse ?!

The whole point of this hymn is surely, of inner experience, beyond all externals, and not dependent upon them. Isn’t that the point of Romans ?

Perhaps you’re looking the wrong place for your blessed Assurance !

An old Church Union leaflet was called,

‘Nothing happens ? You need conversion !’

Makes you think …

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
11 years ago

How can bishops be so vital, when within the UK we have two established churches – one of which has bishops, and one does not ? I believe the Queen is Govenor of both.

No ‘sacramental assurance’ in Scotland then ? I have never heard this term before this year, and find it totally unnecessary and meaningless. I understand it is intended to manipulate my feelings.

George Clifford
11 years ago

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration, an event at which Christians have traditionally believed that God revealed Jesus identity as God-human to the disciples and, through their retelling of the incident, to the Church. None of the disciples present at the Transfiguration could have predicted what was about to happen or Jesus’ identity. When the Church holds too tightly to past practices and beliefs we foreclose the possibility of God continuing to do a new thing in our midst, insisting that new wine fit into old wineskins. The New Testament passages that seem to preclude the ordination of women… Read more »

john
john
11 years ago

Traditionalists really ought to read John Barton’s letter of 23 July, which should give them great encouragement – as it does me, on their behalf.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
11 years ago

Hard to see why many Anglo-Catholics will get elected to the Ninth Synod, if this is their manifesto.

Rebecca
Rebecca
11 years ago

I thought sacramental assurance included the ordination of women….

drdanfee
drdanfee
11 years ago

I dunno, as a contemporary citizen and Anglican believer in a typical western democracy, I innately find the very notion of sacramental assurance – decoded common sensically as: for, by, and through men only, thence to women delegated – to be well nigh repugnant to empirically informed and rational concepts of personhood. Little to no gender/sex/sexual orientation science confirms that being female-ish innately connotes, let alone categorically determines, that you cannot be used by God in this particular way. It’s an old notion, no doubt; and its time is vexed with increasing hard layers of great difficulty, piled high and… Read more »

Geoff McL.
11 years ago

Surely it is not sacramental assurance as such but the doctrine that it is incumbent on gender that Anglicans cannot be expected to swallow.

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

The PEV of Ebbsfleet needs to move to his next Epistle fairly smartly. If he is really expecting the next General Synod to continue his employment as a Flying Bishop, he might well need to update his air-worthiness certificate – which will carry the injunction that he either acknowledges that the Church he serves ordains women as Bishops, and requires all it’s servants to accept that fact (abandoning it’s non-catholic ethos of a two-tier episcopate); or they need to whole-heartedly embrace the Church body that refuses to admit women into the clerical role. I suspect that Rome will not extend… Read more »

Samuel
Samuel
11 years ago

‘…the Church of England has no more competence to change the tradition than it has to change the bible, the creeds, or the sacraments.’ Bishop of Ebbsfleet

If so, then was sacramental assurance not lost at the reformation when the Church of England rewrote the liturgy in the vernacular and cut itself off from Rome? This is the Roman view, and seems more defensible than Bishop Andrew’s apologetic.

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

I, too, believe in the efficacy of Christ’s sacraments at the hands of his priests and bishops in the apostolic succession. That includes women priests and bishops, and the bishops who ordained them.

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” It’s a pretty hymn, but bad theology. The point is, ***we belong to Jesus***, not that he is “mine”. O_o ***** “It is sometimes objected that Article XXVI says that the “un­worthiness of ministers” does not hinder the effect of the sacrament. If we read the Article in full, however, we see that the unworthiness referred to is not an issue about holy orders, but serious moral unworthiness: “wicked­ness”.” Come on, this is sophistry. “Pretending to be a priest when you’re not” would certainly fall under the “wickedness” clause. Ergo, a fake-because-she’s-female priest’s sacraments WOULD… Read more »

magistra
11 years ago

I wish those who argue for sacramental assurance could at least be consistent in saying whether it it is based on objective actions or not. Simon Killwick says it is a genealogical matter: was each person in the line back to the apostles ordained by the correct procedure? I do not agree with that view, but at least it can potentially be known. Andrew Burnham, however, says that a sacrament celebrated without the right intention is not valid, something that intrinsically can never be known by anyone except the celebrant. On Killwick’s view a male bishop who is in a… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Rosemary Hannah
11 years ago

The whole ‘assurance’ thing strikes me as deeply mistaken – Jesus is about risk and commitment not assurance. He offers edginess, not systems. He is not a comfortable person, in the modern sense of comfort anyhow.

chenier1
chenier1
11 years ago

‘the Holy Father comes among us as the leader of the Christian family’ Well, no he does not. Families don’t have leaders; the assumption that they do is a remarkable reflection of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s way of looking at the world. For him this is all about power, and, in particular, patriarchial power. If he believes that Benedict does indeed lead all Christians, whether they like it or not, then he should not be a member of the Church of England; that’s the home for those of us who have noticed that the Reformation, as well as the Resurrection,… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
11 years ago

Sam , they didn’t just translate the liturgy, they tore out the sacrificial heart of the Mass. It became a communion service ( tagged on to Morning prayer) celebrated about four times a year. There was no reservation and adoration of the eucharistic elements. They banned prayers for the dead and to the Saints.The sacrament of holy anointing fior the sick was donme away with. However what the letters did not pick up, was how Canon Killwick de-churched those provinces of the Anglo Communion who have women bishops. This shows how dangerous it would have been to give FIF their… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

R.I.W., exhilarating as it may be to pontificate – as an ex-Anglican turned R.C. – on the problems of our sacramental theology; the fact that the Anglican Tradition has grown with the passage of time while R.C theologians of the present day (at least within the static confines `of the Vatican Magisterium) are more interested in resiling to pre-enlightenment doctrinal paradigms (resisting new revelation) – seems to have escaped your notice. As a priest of the Anglican Tradition, Robert, I can assure you that Prayers for the Dead, the Sacrament of Anointing and ínvocation of Prayers` of The Saints is… Read more »

Malcolm+
11 years ago

From the FiF perspective, the call for “sacramental assurance” actually makes sense.

Except . . .

Their objection is not just to female bishops, but to any bishop who doesn’t oppose female bishops. Thus, no matter how technically pure the sequence of male-on-male ordinations from the apostles to the present, a particular thought crime is enough to invalidate the sacraments.

In this respect, the FiF and their fellow travellers are Donatists, pure and simple.

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

Fr Ron, RIW comes at this from just such a “sacramental assurance” perspective. Yes, the 39 Articles officially “did away with” Eucharistic adoration and Prayers for the Dead (in the CofE at the time of their promulgation). [As far as “the sacrificial heart of the Mass”, we’ve always had “our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving”—not to mention Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary!—but I guess that just isn’t up to Vatican snuff, as it were.] The fact that millions of Anglicans over hundreds of years have ignored the 39 Articles regarding these (and other) issues doesn’t matter. All that matters is that… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“All that matters is that there was a {horrors!} gap, and therefore, sacramental assurance was lost.”

Well, *I’d* have a problem with Anglicanism were that the case. Fortunately, there *was* no gap, and there were RC scholars who had no doubts that Anglican Orders were valid before Leo XII mucked it up with Apostolicae Curae.

Hector
Hector
11 years ago

RIW is simply recycling the Pope’s talking points from ‘Apostolicae Curae’ from the beginning of last century. It’s true that the 39 Articles are excessively Protestant, and I would personally not agree with a number of them (the ones denying purgatory, transubstantiation, and benediction of the sacrament). Having said that, the 39 articles aren’t considered to be infallible, and there have always been plenty of Anglicans who dissented from them. As early as the 17th century, they weren’t considered infallible. There were Anglican pacifists and Anglican socialists, in spite of what Articles 37 and 38 say, and by the same… Read more »

Findlay
Findlay
11 years ago

Gosh. Is it not time that those who seek “assurance” in whatever form, just go to wherever they find that “assurance”. Navel gazing about what is or is not the “real deal” is a major distraction. If you can’t accept women giving you communion (because they are not “proper priests/bishops” or “safe”) then go joing the RC Church. Remember the RC church doesn’t even recognise Anglican bishops as “real”. Take what you need from Rome if it matters so much to you. The good thing about Christianity is that there are many forms within major established traditions. Each can find… Read more »

Columba Gilliss
Columba Gilliss
11 years ago

I am a woman priest in the US and do value sacramental assurance. I do not receive Communion in church that did not keep the apostolic succession. I am not the only one. I can understand that there are women and men who cannot accept me as a priest and have been willing to honor them — rather like what Paul says about the brethren who were troubled by meat purchased in the public market. What I can’t follow is the Donatist assumption that any bishop who ordains women has somehow lost his validity.
Columba Gilliss

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

@Bill Dilworth: I wasn’t talking about Anglican orders, per se.

However, if said orders really DEPENDED on an unbroken line from the 12 apostles, there really isn’t any historical evidence that even the RC or EO lines are 100% gap-free.

Assurance in anything less than our saving Lord Christ—Big Enough to bridge any gap!—is a fool’s errand, IMHO.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

Columba
“What I can’t follow is the Donatist assumption that any bishop who ordains women has somehow lost his validity.”

If it comes from the Anglo-Catholics it’s clearly appalling theology.

But if comes from the Evangelicals it makes sense, because they aren’t interested in apostolic succession or the validity of sacraments and they are not saying that women can’t be priests, but that according to St Paul they shouldn’t be.
Therefore, a bishop who doesn’t object to women priests isn’t a proper bible believing bishop and has succumbed to false teachings.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

The only ‘sacramental assurance’ we have, about the validity of the Eucharist and any other sacraments of the Church, is that which may be discerned from the Word of Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. To believe that Rome only is capable of true discernment is to say that all other strands of Christian Tradition are null and void – something that the Orthodox Tradition, at least, would strongly challenge. Likewise the Celtic`origin of British Christian Tradition stands against the idea`of Roman claims to exclusive validity of sacramental order. The political influence of the Papacy throughout its history cannot… Read more »

David Bieler
David Bieler
11 years ago

There is a certain irony that our Anglo-Catholic writer has chosen to cite a hymn that (at least in my experience) is largely popular here in the States as an anti-sacramental, anti-liturgical statement. The first line says it all for these people – “Jesus is my blessed assurance.” (I think JCF has misread the text.) No sacraments, no ordained clergy, and certainly no bishops are required by the people who regard this hymn as nearly creedal. I also find it interesting, that while professing to being Anglican, some of these folks insist on referring to the Roman Catholic Bishop of… Read more »

Hector
Hector
11 years ago

Columba Giliss, I’d just like to add that I do believe women can be validly ordained as priests and bishops. I think it’s overall a good thing that we have women clergy nowadays- though I am troubled and saddened by the fact that it’s made relations more strained with Rome and the Orthodox, and wish we had done it differently somehow. But I’ve received the sacraments of baptism, holy eucharist, and confession from a woman priest, and my experience tells me that women can in fact be priests. I don’t want to confuse the ideas of sacramental assurance with the… Read more »

chenier1
chenier1
11 years ago

We live in a Universe in which the observable matter is spread over a space at least 92 billion light years across, with probably more than 100 billion galaxies, which range from dwarfs, with as few as ten million stars, up to giants, with a trillion stars. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, has between 200 and 400 billion stars. God brought it all into being. This is God’s living creation; and, as the universe expands, God’s living creation continues to grow, in all its magnificence. I really don’t think we need worry too much about the capability of God… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

@JCF “I wasn’t talking about Anglican orders, per se.” Maybe not, but RIW is, I think. “However, if said orders really DEPENDED on an unbroken line from the 12 apostles, there really isn’t any historical evidence that even the RC or EO lines are 100% gap-free.” No, but then again there’s no unassailable historical evidence that OLJC lived, either; we depend on Scripture and Tradition for our knowledge of him. I don’t have any more trouble believing that there’s an unbroken chain of ordinations going back to the Churches founded by the apostles than I do believing that there’s an… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

@ David Bieler: “some of these folks insist on referring to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Rome as “the Holy Father.” I assume here the US they would be AINO, Anglicans in Name Only.”

I wouldn’t read too much into the title. Even the news media uses religious honorifics (calling the Pope “the Holy Father” or the Pope, the Dalai Lama and the Ecumenical Patriarch “His Holiness,” for example). I don’t doubt that there are people who sail under an Anglican flag of convenience, but you can’t necessarily tell them from anybody else based on honorifics alone.

John Roch
John Roch
11 years ago

@David Bieler on Sunday, 8 August 2010 at 10:22pm BST

The first line says it all for these people – “Jesus is my blessed assurance.” (I think JCF
has misread the text.)

Meanwhile, the rest of us take it that JCF (JCF on Saturday, 7 August 2010 at 1:06am BST) is using the first line of Fanny Crosby’s well-known words of 1873

http://nethymnal.org/htm/b/l/e/blesseda.htm

JDR

Findlay
Findlay
11 years ago

Chenier1: you hit the nail on the head. spot on. Thank you for articulating my views so precisely and better than I could have myself!

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

I’m surprised by the mechanical understanding of “succession” in some posts because a more dynamic understanding is very old news. Just for example, important ground was overturned in the “Baptism, Eucharist, Ministry” WCC Faith and Order Paper in the early 1980s. One needs to read the whole document but instance; Ministry IV (B) Succession of the Apostolic Ministry # 37 “In churches which practice the succession through the episcopate, it is increasingly recognized that a continuity in apostolic faith, worship, mission has been preserved in churches which have not retained the form of historic episcopate. This recognition finds additional support… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“I’m surprised by the mechanical understanding of “succession” in some posts because a more dynamic understanding is very old news.”

Just because one does not embrace the “more dynamic understanding” does not mean that one has not heard of it.

David Bieler
David Bieler
11 years ago

@John Roch I’m sorry if I was misunderstood. I was trying to express what I believe the sentence is meant to convey. I didn’t mean to imply that the line as quoted in the essay was in error. The problem with the sentence is whether the antecedent of the possessive pronoun “mine” is “Jesus” (JCF’s reading) or “Blessed assurance” (my reading). I think a close reading of the entire text supports the interpretation that Jesus is the blessed assurance rather that Jesus is possessed by the writer. I will admit that requires reading this line is a way that most… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
11 years ago

Yes, yes, it has emerged clearly of late just how the C of E and indeed anglican communion would fare much better without ‘bishops’.

I would love to see their discontinuation (I’m holding my breath) in favour of an exercise of episkope with greater integrity, and modern clout. Also the ridiculous idea of ‘sucession’ and historic this and that. Poetic yes –but pushed to far by high church groups to the point of absurdity and beyond. Almost as dysfunctional as ‘papal’ infallibility.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Bill posted “Just because one does not embrace the ‘more dynamic understanding’ does not mean that one has not heard of it” Correct, it certainly doesn’t; but it does seem reasonable to expect that a conversation about succession would occur in the light of what is a major ecumenical breakthrough. I don’t think the options are limited to “embracing” or not embracing. Options might also include reading one’s understanding of succession “in the light of”, or “against the questions raised by” for example. Indeed,carrying on the discussion without any reference to major theological developments puts us in the same place… Read more »

Hector
Hector
11 years ago

Bill Dilworth, Yeah, I’ve referred to the Pope as ‘the Holy Father’ before when I want to show respect. It doesn’t necessarily mean much. Rod Gillis, That ‘more modern’ understanding is the one embraced by the Reformation, and it’s a deeply false one. I’m well aware that apostolic succession is a politically incorrect idea in our rationalistic, democratic, liberal, modern age. So much the worse for the modern age. That’s precisely why we need the apostolic succession now more than ever, to remind us that there is something higher, truer, and better than the culture of the world. The church… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“I would love to see their discontinuation (I’m holding my breath) in favour of an exercise of episkope with greater integrity, and modern clout”

Why? Were you so impressed with the results the last time that the CofE ditched bishops in favor of something more modern, under Cromwell?

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Here is a great story from Episcopal News online, re the consecration of a new bishop and what we in Canada would call First Nations spirituality.
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81803_123953_ENG_HTM.htm

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“I don’t believe Lutheran pastors can validly celebrate the Eucharist, since they don’t have apostolic succession”

Well, they do since the Concordat, don’t they?

“and don’t believe in transubstantiation”

But neither do a majority of Anglican clergy. Or Anglicans, for that matter.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Well Hector, at least we understand each other. We in Canada are in full Communion with (ELCA) Lutherans. They do not have what you understand to be “apostolic succession”, and have never claimed to have it. But their pastors are inter-changeable with ours, their bishops co-consecrate with ours. But hey, you want to run to an increasingly parochial untenable intellectual ‘Masada”, fill your boots.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Hector posted “I’m skipping church at my local parish this weekend and traveling quite a distance to go in a different city: partly because I want to go to a sufficiently Anglo-Catholic parish that recognizes the Assumption of Our Lady” August 15th is on the calendar of the Canadian Church as the “falling asleep of the BVM”, falling asleep being a good New Testament term for dying in the faith. Interesting, my female friends tell me that putting women on a pedestal often goes hand in hand with refusing to recognize them as equals.

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

Ah, it’s the Summer Silly Season, and time for nitpicking! 😉 “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!” says the hymn. IMHO, it’s conveying the belief that “Jesus is Mine” IS the Blessed Assurance. I don’t mean to imply that the hymn-writer thought she possessed Jesus . . . but that is what she said. [And a lot of soteriological confessions do seem to have a rather possessive tone. I think it’s something all Christians have to watch out for: e.g., making faith in Christ into a (saving) work. It’s pure GRACE (from Christ) which saves, not our action, even merely mental,… Read more »

Hector
Hector
11 years ago

Bill Dilworth, Anglicans don’t explicitly _disbelieve_ in transubstantiation either, not unless you take the 39 Articles as infallible. There are plenty of Anglicans who do believe in transubstantiation (there are churches I’ve been to which practice eucharistic adoration and the like). Lutherans _explicitly_ hold to consubstantiation, as far as I know. That said, I try to avoid Episcopal parishes which are on the low-church or super-liberal ends of the spectrum. In my experience a fair number of Anglican priests, including women priests, who may not explicitly embrace the RC terminology about transubstantiation, still believe that it’s really the Body and… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

“I don’t believe Lutheran pastors can validly celebrate the Eucharist, since they don’t have apostolic succession.”

The Church of Sweden which is pretty Lutheran although its Priests have always been referred to as Priests, believes it does have apostolic succession (though only through one 16th century bishop).

The Idea of Transsubstantiation d a t e s from Lateran IV in 1215. Luther said: à la bonheur!

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