Thinking Anglicans

Catholic Anglicans critique CofE-Methodist proposals

The CofE General Synod in York will debate the latest stage of the current proposals this weekend. The most recent document under consideration is GS 2135. The earlier document is GS 2086.

Today, both Anglican Catholic Future and Forward in Faith have issued statements.

A Statement by Anglican Catholic Future on the Forthcoming Discussion in Synod of Mission and Ministry in Covenant

…This further report comes before General Synod this week (as paper GS 2135). Anglican Catholic Future is glad to see that it picks up–or seems to pick up–a range of concerns raised in 2018 including:

  1. whether a partial development such as this–with interchangeability of ministry between two churches that remain distinct–aids or hinders the goal of full visible unity (section A1);
  2.  whether the change in ecclesial life of the Methodist Church proposed in MMiCconstitutes a recognisable form of the historic episcopate (section B);
  3. the relation between Eucharistic presidency and episcopal ordination (section A3).

The working group has done important work in relation to the first of those questions, concerning the unity of the churches, which we welcome. When it comes to the other two questions that caused concern in early 2018, however, the document placed before Synod this week is far more problematic…

Forward in Faith – The Anglican-Methodist Proposals

Forward in Faith welcomes the statement by Anglican Catholic Future about the latest Anglican-Methodist report.

In our own February 2018 statement, we noted questions about whether the proposals would lead to unity, and whether the office of ‘President-bishop’ (to be held for one year only) could be recognized as a ‘local adaption’ of the historic episcopate of the catholic Church. We are grateful to note some progress with regard to the question of unity, but our question as to whether what is proposed is in fact episcopacy remains.

Our third and greatest concern was about the proposal to set aside the requirement that those who minister as priests in the Church of England should have been episcopally ordained to the office of priest. In response to this concern, which was shared by others, the General Synod asked the Faith and Order Commission to ‘explore and elucidate further the relationship between episcopal ordination and eucharistic presidency’. That the Commission has not attempted to offer such an elucidation is a deep disappointment…

14
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
5 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
Stanley MonkhouseRichardDavid RowettDoug ChaplinAndrew Davison Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

I’m not sure why these two Catholic groups are expressing an opinion on proposals affecting the CofE when they themselves are protected in a separate bubble untainted by the wider church. Evangelical clergy, on the other hand, don’t believe in priestly ordination so can hardly object if other protestants join their ranks. I was present at General Synod when Michael Ramsey’s proposals failed to effect Anglican/Methodist unity. Once again the CofE is trying to square an impossible circle which cannot satisfy everyone. Over 50 years I’ve watched English Methodism seriously decline, whilst the CofE has changed into a smaller evangelical… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Has the CoE EVER been catholic in the way that the catholic groups think it has? Are some of them still hankering after union with Rome? I remind myself that even the “cathollc” flying bishops are merely laymen in the eyes of the Vatican. When I took my present post one of the parishes had passed resolutions A and B and so, to cover options for the future, I enrolled as “a Priest of the Society of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda”, for which I was eligible, having been ordained by the Bishop of Derby in 2006/7. (The parish in… Read more »

David Rowett
Guest
David Rowett

I sympathise with some of what Stanley says, and acknowledge the absolute invalidity of my orders in the sight of Rome – one reason I’d find crossing the Tiber self-indulgent is because I would feel to be betraying all those who have come to me for absolution or for whom I’ve presided at the altar – how else would I understand the clear implication of Apostolicæ Curæ that everything priestly I’ve offered is no more than a dollies’ tea party? But equally, I’d find it hard to take on an ultramontane gesture of, ‘Well, we’re not sure about you but… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

David writes “were I a Methodist presbyter, I’d find the status of ‘bearable anomaly’ downright rude”. So would I. So I say let’s welcome each other now and work out as we go along. This has everything to do with grace, and nothing to do with Methodist childhood nostalgia – some of it was good (bible, hymns, community) but some was manipulative, such as when aged 13 or so I was lectured by the Minister on several occasions on tribal and family loyalty when he learnt of my attending CoE confirmation classes.

Richard
Guest
Richard

It is not true that you would not have been eligible to register as a priest of the Society had you been ordained a few years later. The requirement regarding ordination is “I have been ordained to the priesthood by a male bishop standing in the historic apostolic succession of bishops at whose episcopal ordination a male bishop presided.”

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Not what I was told then – or perhaps not what I understood from what I was told. Anyhoo, water under the proverbial. I still detect the lingering odour of drying taint.

Sam Jones
Guest
Sam Jones

I see no point in putting time and effort into this. The Methodist church in the UK is in terminal decline. It consists largely of pensioners most of whom will have died by the time any merger takes effect. I have no issue with Anglican and Methodist churches sharing buildings or holding joint services but this can be done locally as LEP’s.

Russell Dewhurst
Guest
Russell Dewhurst

I think it would be unwise in the extreme for the Synod to commit to legislation until a solid, detailed consensus on both theology and important practicalities can be worked out. The present proposals would change very significantly how many of us could worship or serve in the C of E. The very good questions committed to the commission by last year’s Synod have not been addressed.

If the church goes down this road unprepared, and it falls at the final hurdle (as I think it will), it will set true progress on unity back by decades.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

I’m surprised the Methodists want anything to do with the CofE at the moment.

Doug Chaplin
Guest
Doug Chaplin

I find the commentary from Anglican Catholic Future decidedly more coherent than the MMiC report. I should note also that I have Methodist friends and colleagues who think the proposals equally compromise Methodist polity and doctrine. And as far as I can see this is without raising the even more difficult issue that Conference regularly permits probationer ministers to preside at Holy Communion before they are ordained by Conference. Lay presidency is accepted within normal Methodist experience, even if it is blurred by the way probationers dress as if ordained. It is hard to see the MMiC proposals as doing… Read more »