Archive for the ‘Anglicanism’ Category

From the News section in the CANA website. The following letter was sent to the Anglican District of Virginia in 2003, following the crisis in ECUSA sparked by the consecration of a practising homosexual bishop:

October 9, 2003

From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

The Vatican, on behalf of Pope John Paul II

I hasten to assure you of my heartfelt prayers for all those taking part in this convocation.  The significance of your meeting is sensed far beyond Plano, and even in this City from which Saint Augustine of Canterbury was sent to confirm and strengthen the preaching of Christ¹s Gospel in England.  Nor can I fail to recall that barely 120 years later, Saint Boniface brought that same Christian faith from England to my own forebears in Germany.

The lives of these saints show us how in the Church of Christ there is a unity in truth and a communion of grace which transcend the borders of any nation.  With this in mind, I pray in particular that God¹s will may be done by all those who seek that unity in the truth, the gift of Christ himself.

With fraternal regards, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger



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Tiny glimpses of Augustine’s ecclesiology, its relationship to authority, discipline and the sacraments. Some ideas to think on. Is the Reformation really a triumph of Augustine’s soteriology over his ecclesiology. I’m not so sure. Anglican articles XIX, XXIII, XXVI, XXXIV and XXI make me doubt it, though I could be wrong. From Chadwick, Augustine. 78-79. I’ve emphasized things that caught my attention, amongst other things, notice the close relationship between the practice of the sacraments and the church’s catholicity.:

[…] the parables of the kingdom (Matt. 13) taught the in the Lord’s field both wheat and tares should be left until the harvest of the last judgement. Therefore, no scandal could ever be sufficient ground to introduce division and to leave the one Church. […]

Amoung the signs of a true believer Augustine specified that he would always love the Church, warts and all […] the errors of individual bishops could not bring pollution on a community or upon episcopal succession. The grace of God did not depend for its efficacy on the personal sanctity of the individual minister, but on whether he did what God commanded to be done and thereby showed himself aware that in his sacramental action the whole Church is acting. For every act of the Church is catholic, universal. The sacrament is Christ’s, not the minister’s personal property, and salvation is always and throughout the work of God, not of man. Therefore a sacrament of baptism bestowed by an orthodox but schismatic priest must on no account be repeated. Baptism has stamped the soul with a decisive once-for-all seal, just as Christ died once-for-all to redeem. Admittedly, baptism given in schism could not be fully a means of grace until the recipient had been reconciled to the Church.

Apostolic succession mattered to the African Catholics too, for it was the external form that helped to safeguard the sacred tradition of apostolic teaching and sacraments. [Augustine] normally understood the “rock” to be Peter’s confession of faith in Christ the Son of God; and “we Christians believe not in Peter but in Him in whom Peter believed”.

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Why Lago is an Anglican

I have been wanting to write an article like this for a long time. But Newman beat me to it. Good for him! He clearly articulates why I am an “Anglican”, and continue to serve, worship, be instructed and corrected within its structure. I am not uncritical of anglicanism (even consevative forms of it). However, as all churches are deeply flawed and sinful, Anglicanism for me still stands out as a real attempt at establishing a wider, biblically-faithful Church, centered and united not only by a common Faith, but also on a common worship and inter-congregational relationships.

Go and see why Newman is an Anglican.

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Interesting quote on Reformed Catholicism, from Paul Avis’ new book: Beyond the Reformation? Authority, Primacy and Unity in the Conciliar Tradition.

The issue of catholic authority has recently become a growing interest for me (particularily as an Anglican), as it indeed seems like the earliest way of dealing with disputes across the wider church. It seems to me to be a wiser, more Biblical way of dealing with difficult issues, rather than the monarchical system in Roman Catholicism or the every-man-for-himself (or every local church for itself, or every charismatic leader for himself) tendency within evangelicalism.

Check it out here.

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John Rodgers, in the AMiA’s Women Ordination study, ends with this appendix. Simply superb.

1. Scripture as the Church’s Book: The Rule of Faith (Art. 8.)
It is foreign to the nature of the Scripture and a right understanding of it to interpret it as if it were not first addressed to, kept by, treasured and interpreted by the Church. In one sense it is the Church’s book. Interpretation of Scripture is not essentially an individualistic act but a communal act done in, by and for the Church. That being the case, we understand the Rule of aith held and confessed by the Church initially guides biblical interpretation.

Keeping this ecclesiastical character of interpretation in mind, we note that there are certain assumptions one brings to the act of interpretation:

a. We assume that the Christian faith is unique for it rests on God’s redemptive, revealing work in Christ, given to a particular chosen people in and through historical events, including events that are sometimes miraculous.

b. We assume that the Scriptures are “the Word of God written, that is, the inspired, faithful, authoritative canonical writings given by God to the Church.

c. We assume that the Church’s Rule of Faith, found in its formularies, is a faithful interpretation of Scripture and our interpretation is guided by the Rule of Faith.

d. These assumptions will be tested in the very act of reflecting upon, and interpreting the texts.

2. Scripture as God’s Word written: The authority of Scripture (Art. 20)
Since Holy Scripture is God’s Word written, it bears His authority; and we read it to hear Him in order to know, trust and obey Him. Proper interpretation of Holy Scripture is a sacred responsibility. Scripture’s authority (or God speaking through Scripture) in the Church is supreme and it norms all lesser norms or formularies that have subordinate authority in the Church. This is the Anglican meaning of “Sola Scriptura.” Scripture is alone on its level, but it is not isolated from lesser authorities. This relatedness to lesser explanatory norms is the meaning of “Scriptura Suprema” with reference to Holy Scripture.

3. All Scripture is God-breathed: Canonical interpretation (Arts. 2, 7, 20)
“All of Scripture is inspired and profitable for teaching…” (2 Tim.3: 16-17) There is a central message in Scripture concerning God’s salvation of sinful man. Seen in that context, all of Scripture has its part to play. Canonical interpretation consists in letting all of the pertinent passages in the Canon speak to any given issue. While there is variety in terminology and development in Scripture, there is no contradiction; instead there is an underlying harmony.

This is due to the fact that Scripture, unlike any other writing, has dual authorship. While being written by and in the words of men who have been chosen and inspired by God, it is at the same time the very Word of the One God. His mind, speaking through the many human authors, forms and assures us of its unity and coherence. It is, therefore, “not lawful to so expound one part of Scripture as to be repugnant to another.”

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Gregory Venables is Archbishop of the Diocese of Argentina, and Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

Greetings once again from the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America where we are thanking God that Bishop Don Harvey is now a part of this Province. As such he remains in active Episcopal ministry within the Anglican Communion.

He is of course already a well known and much loved colleague and we are thrilled to have this opportunity of walking even more closely together and to continue to learn from one another. We are glad to welcome him as a member of our Episcopal team and to assign him to work among you as your father in God. We are equally delighted to receive Bishop Malcolm Harding as our co-worker. He too is a man whose very being iscentred around the gospel and whom the Lord has used for the salvation of many.

Please honour and look after these two precious brothers nd their families. It is also good to be able to say that these steps we have taken are fully supported by a significant number of other orthodox Anglican provinces. There is no need for any to walk alone or step outside the Anglican family.

And let us remember that one of our main motives behind the unusual decisions we have had to take is the responsibility we have to ensure that the church is unhindered with regard to the mission that Jesus Himself has commanded us to accomplish.

This must continue to be your priority in the far north of the Americas. We do indeed cover the very ends of the earth. Let me also be clear regarding the nature of the division which has led to these out of the ordinary moves. It is a severance resulting from a determined abandoning of the one true historic faith delivered to the saints. This reality alone makes it clear that it is not schism.

Schism is a sinful parting over secondary issues. This separation is basic and fundamental and means that we are divided at the most essential point of the Christian faith. The sin here is not one of schism but of false teaching which is not at its root about human sexuality but about the very nature of truth itself.

When we talk about the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ we are not referring to something liquid or amorphous. Christianity is specific, definable and unchanging. We are not at liberty to deconstruct or rewrite it. If Jesus was the Son of God yesterday then so He is today and will be forever. This is about the foundational certainty of our very existence and is not something we can amend to suit our circumstances or personal opinions and preferences.

Holy Scripture which is the source of our creeds is revealed and ageless truth. It was not written out of human knowledge or wisdom but inspired by the Spirit of God. Jesus died not to establish and preserve institutional franchises but for our sins so we could come into a right relationship with God our Father and Creator.

Structural norms cannot be equated to the eternal gospel which determines our eternal destiny. These are sad but significant days. It has been heartbreaking to recognize that we have reached such a crucial and critical point in
the life of the Anglican Communion.

What has been perpetrated has indeed torn the fabric of our communion at its deepest level. We recognize this tragedy with profound grief and love for all those involved and affected. We judge no one but cannot and will not deny the eternal truth which has purchased our redemption.

As we prepare once again to celebrate Advent let us look back with gratitude to God for the coming of His Son into this beautiful but troubled world. And let us look forward with awe and joy to the day of His return and all that that

And may God grant us grace that we might be found faithful both now and at that time.

Your brother in Christ,

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This looks good!

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