Thinking Anglicans

IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 4

Updated

The timetable for Week 2 of these hearings has been published today.

The transcript of today’s (Thursday week 1) hearing is now published here.

Video recordings of today are now available here.

List of documents adduced today.

Witness statements

Discussion paper by Colin Perkins

Church Times IICSA: Canon Bursell renews plea to Parliament to render seal of confession obsolete

Law & Religion UK IICSA: Some more legal views (includes links to more of today’s documents)

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Richard
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Richard

Canon Bursell told the Inquiry that there are two sacraments: baptism and marriage. I feel that the Inquiry shouldn’t take all that he says as Gospel.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

That is pretty standard evangelical theology, following Article XXV. I know there are other readings of Article XXV, but Canon Bursell’s take on it is a valid Anglican stance.

T Pott
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T Pott

Article xxv refers specifically to Baptism and Holy Communion. Canon Bursell (bottom of page 19) said the two sacraments are baptism, because Christ was baptised, and marriage because He was present at the Wedding at Cana.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Well, that is odd.

T Pott
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T Pott

Astonishing. Canon Bursell is both a priest and a barrister. I was unaware that the status of Holy Communion as a sacrament had ever been questioned, yet Canon Bursell has given the impression marriage is more of a sacrament than it. He is giving his own view, presumably, but as an expert witness should give a view at least arguably Anglican. His argument was that Marriage is undoubtedly a sacrament because of Christ’s presence at Cana. Yet as a priest he must know, surely, that Christ was present at the Last Supper; and as a barrister see that this fact… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

I think it is fairly clear that some of the questioners at the Inquiry are not church people (although one has to admire their mastery of their brief) and that fact must add considerable weight to your point – will they be misled by what purports to be ‘expert’ evidence.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Agreed. I’ve heard the same logic from numerous evangelical or fundamentalist ministers.

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

I don’t think it is theologically sound so far as the wedding at Cana is concerned. We discussed this recently on another TA thread. Isn’t the real point point Mary saying to the servants “Do whatever he tells you” – and she is saying the same to us. The water into wine was afterwards and secondary, as the first manifestation of Christ’s divinity.

Richard
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Richard

No, it’s not. Baptism and Holy Communion, yes; baptism and marriage?!

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

At my high church confirmation classes, now more than 60 years ago, we were taught seven sacraments, with emphasis, of course, that our forthcoming Confirmation was definitely one of them. So it was Article XXV (although never mentioned!), plus the other five “Commonly called Sacraments”.

Robin Ward
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Robin Ward

Rupert Bursell’s testimony is just bizarre in places: saying that the two Anglican sacraments are Baptism and Marriage, and that Newman became a Roman Catholic after making a joke confession in an Anglican church. Is this the best we can do as an ‘authority’ on the Seal?

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

I would have thought ‘shameful’ rather than ‘the best we can do’. But, as to ‘authority’, he was speaking against the seal (it used to be called sanctity) of the the confessional.

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

Being astonished by Rupert Bursell’s preposterous assertion, but not knowing anything about him, I looked him up in Crockford and was even more astonished to find that he had his priestly formation at the august institution now headed by Canon Ward. What went wrong there? He can’t have been listening, surely? More seriously, how on earth did he come to be selected by the Inquiry as an expert witness on this matter? Did the CofE itself nominate him? Or did he just get confused himself in his witness statement? Either way, the Inquiry needs to be told in no uncertain… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

I wonder whether abolition of the seal would be compatible with the freedom of religion principle in the European Convention on Human Rights?