Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who is an Anglican these days? (1)

'Anglican at least means those who follow the formularies and are part of the Anglican Communion – or we are back at Humpty Dumpty defining a word to mean whatever he wants it to mean.'

These words in a comment by Bosco Peters here raise the very interesting question of who is an Anglican these days.

In my understanding there are at least three categories of people and churches to which they belong claiming to be Anglican.

(1) People belonging to chuches which are member churches of the Anglican Communion (most of which churches have the word 'Anglican' in their name, some of which have the word 'Episcopal', and one of which is simply 'the Church of England.'

(2) People belonging to churches which form the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), a network which is not formally part of the Anglican Communion but which is a complicated entity inasmuch as (2.1) some churches which are part of the network are under the jurisdiction of bishops who are bishops of a member church of the Communion, and (2.2) Archbishop Bob Duncan, presiding bishop of the network, is routinely invited to meetings of Anglican bishops such as GAFCON and Global South conferences.

(3) People belonging to churches in one geographical area which are under the jurisdiction of bishops who are bishops of a member church of the Anglican Communion in another geographical area where that jurisdiction has not been approved by the member church of the Communion in the first geographical area. (Maori Anglicans in Australia are under the jurisdiction of Maori bishops of ACANZP but this is in an approved arrangement with the bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia; whereas members of the AMiA [recently firewalled off from ACNA, though still in some association with ACNA] in the USA are overseen by the Anglican Church of Rwanda in an arrangement not approved by TEC).

But there is also a fourth category of Anglican claimants to consider, namely those claiming to be Anglican (or, on closer inspection, may not claim to be Anglican!) who do not fit any of the three categories above. In mind here are (4.1) members of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA), a now long-standing offshoot of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa - I think, but am not certain, that members of CESA would describe themselves as Anglicans, (4.2) members of various other churches around the world which use the word 'Anglican' or 'Episcopal' or the phrase 'Church of England' in their name, and (4.3) members of the new Anglican Ordinariate in the Roman Catholic Church: what will they describe themselves as?!

A final note, referring back to the cited comment above: I do not think that considering the possibility that all in these four categories may appropriately claim to be Anglican takes us to Humpty-Dumpty or 'Anglican' meaning anything at all. None in these four categories would consider themselves to be Presbyterians. All would claim a common heritage or background or point of origin in the evolving, spreading life of the Church of England. However actual consideration of the possibility will be my concern in my next post or posts on the matter.

If there is a fifth, sixth, etc category, please let me know :)

21 comments:

Kurt said...

I think that we should make a distinction between members of the Anglican Communion (those churches in communion with the See of Canterbury) and churches which are Anglican in history or orientation. The TEC, ACANZP, ACofC, etc. are members of the Anglican Communion. The ACNA is not, but I would argue, is nonetheless “Anglican” in terms of basic theology (as is, for example, the Reformed Episcopal Church, as well—
even though it has serious Calvinist flaws). As I have written time and time again, I have no objection to the churches of “The Anglican Continuum” having Associate Member status in the Anglican Communion if they are willing to practice inter-communion. Members of the ACNA and REC already are permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament at American Episcopal altars. If they agreed to be reciprocal, I would have not problem with an Associate status for them.

Kurt Hill
In Brooklyn, NY
(Which is about to get another foot of snow!)

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Kurt!
At issue in the matter is (at least) the question of the roles 'basic theological shape' and 'communion with Canterbury' play in defining who is right to claim to be an Anglican.

Anonymous said...

RE: "I have no objection to the churches of “The Anglican Continuum” having Associate Member status in the Anglican Communion if they are willing to practice inter-communion."

Of course, if you're defining "inter-communion" as the clergy of one being welcome to preside in the other, we don't have "inter-communion" within the Provinces of the Anglican Communion either.

But as Peter has pointed out, I'm fairly confident now that we don't have an "Anglican Communion" any longer, since there's no longer shared Eucharistic fellowship.

I think it will be interesting to watch how the differing groupings which acknowledge Eucharistic fellowship with one another will all develop/coalesce/etc in the coming decade.


Sarah



Sarah

Kurt said...

“Of course, if you're defining "inter-communion" as the clergy of one being welcome to preside in the other, we don't have "inter-communion" within the Provinces of the Anglican Communion either.”—Sarah

No, Sarah, I’m specifically defining it as reciprocal Table Fellowship; receiving the Holy Communion together, at each other’s Altars, Holy Tables, Lord’s Boards, (whatever). For me, this is a minimum requirement. Full inter-communion would include recognition of clergy orders; Table Fellowship is a more limited goal.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

But Kurt that understanding of inter-communion only deepens the mystery of definition: (at least here Down Under) I have shared inter-communion = eucharistic fellowship at tables of Presbyterians, Methodists, etc, all of whom are welcome without further ado to receive communion at Anglican tables/altars. Yet they would not be best please, I am sure, to then be tagged with 'associate' or other status as real, putative, or potential Anglicans!

Kurt said...

“Yet they [Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.] would not be best please, I am sure, to then be tagged with 'associate' or other status as real, putative, or potential Anglicans!”—Fr. Carrell

Yes, but they don’t SELF-DESCRIBE as “Anglicans,” do they? I’m talking about folks that consider themselves to be Anglicans, but who are not in communion with Canterbury. I’m not opposed to the Anglican Communion granting these people Associate Member status if, IF Table Fellowship as I have described is practiced by them. You see, they would have to allow us to receive Holy Communion at their services, too. Many of them today do not. That would have to change for me to support their "Associate" status.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Kurt for
(1) Information I was not aware of, that some ACNA congregations do not welcome TEC folk to the communion table;
(2) Helpful pointers to definition of 'Anglican': shape of theology, self-description as Anglican rather than as something else.
Appreciated!

Doug Chaplin said...

Interesting discussion.

I wonder what Bosco means by "following the formularies"?

I think, for example, that my now rather old series on the 39 articles suggested that no-one group does that comprehensively if those are defined on their own as the formularies, and virtually all provinces have developed contemporary liturgies which replace (to all intents and purposes) the 1662 BCP, even if they ever followed it.

A lack of clarity about formulae or magisterium is one of the reasons we're where we currently are.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Of course, if you're defining "inter-communion" as the clergy of one being welcome to preside in the other, we don't have "inter-communion" within the Provinces of the Anglican Communion either.

Could you further define or explain what you mean here, because as far as I know, the clergy of many Anglican Communion provinces are welcome to preside in other Anglican Communion provinces, always with the permission of the relevant diocesan ordinary.

Prior to the ordination of women there was pretty much universal inter-communion in the AC.

Peter Carrell said...

I would be interested in Bosco's answer ...

Speaking for myself, I see that to claim to be (a) Anglican (in some general sense), (b) Anglican in the specific sense of being a member of (e.g.) ACANZP = a member church of the Anglican Communion would be undermined if I explicitly refused to follow formularies, say, by resolutely denying that the doctrine of Christ is explained through the 39A (that would undermine (a)), and by never using any approved prayer book but always using a Presbyterian one instead (that would undermine (b)).

But I take part of your point to be that there are many Anglicans around the globe who might say something like 'Hey, I have no problem with 33.5 of the 39A; and I really like most of the liturgies in our approved prayer books, but I never use the form on p. XYZ -that one must have sneaked in when everyone was having a snooze after lunch' .... and the trick in defining who are Anglicans these days would be to include rather than exclude such Anglicans! After all, you and I might be among their number :)

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

For me, it is simple, Anglicans are the members of the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion. The rest, if they are clinging to the name Anglican in their nomenclature, are wannabes. Yes, they are various brands of Christian, and many have identifiable strands of ancestral Anglican DNA, but are no longer Anglicans in the pure sense of the species.

Father Ron Smith said...

Category 2 of your list, Peter, would seem to fall short of what Canterbury presently considers to be 'Anglican', and I'm not sure that being out of Communion with Canterbury allows them the categoric distinction of being considered 'truly' Anglican.

Kurt said...

“For me, it is simple, Anglicans are the members of the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion. The rest, if they are clinging to the name Anglican in their nomenclature, are wannabes.”—David

I disagree. Since the late 18th century the term “Anglican” has come to refer not only to the Church of England, but also to churches that derive their basic history and doctrines from the CofE. Remember, both the Episcopal Church of Scotland (the Non-Jurors) and the American Episcopal Church were for decades not in communion with Canterbury. See for example “The American Church and the Formation of the Anglican Communion, 1823-1853”, By Robert S. Bosher, Ph.D.Evanston, Illinois: Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, 1962.http://anglicanhistory.org/academic/bosher1962.pdf

The ACNA is not a member church (not even an Associate Member) of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It should not pretend that it is. Neither is the REC, or a multitude of other legitimate denominations in the so-called Anglican Continuum. Their basic theology, their basic liturgical practice, and certainly their basic self-definition and understanding is Anglican in the broadest sense of the term. They are not mainline or mainstream Anglican; they are theological and liturgical sectarians. They should be a part of the Anglican Communion in some way, but for the most part, their self-righteousness keeps them from even seeking this outcome.

I would like to see all denominations that consider themselves to be Anglican united (after some manner) in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Associate Member status is one way to do that; but that requires, at the very least, a willingness to accept full, reciprocal Table Fellowship.

Sadly, I think that the Anglican Communion may be an idea whose time has, alas, passed.

Kurt Hill
In Brooklyn, NY
(Where we just had 8 inches of new snow fall last nite)

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Since the late 18th century the term “Anglican” has come to refer not only to the Church of England, but also to churches that derive their basic history and doctrines from the CofE.

Then we shall be one church less in the AC and the Anglican world Kurt, because most of the Episcopalians of Scotland with whom I am familiar will not submit that they are anything less than a reformed and episcopally lead continuation of the historic Christian church founded by the saints of the celtic era which severed its relationship with the Roman church in the 16th Century, residing within the borders of Scotland, equal to the CoE within her own borders of England, and that they derive nothing from her.

liturgy said...

The formularies is a term used in the Anglican Church here for the agreed collection of texts that express the beliefs and (liturgical) practices of the Anglican Church here.

This is what Anglican clergy promise and sign they believe, will teach, and will follow in leading services. This is clear in our Constitution, and the Act of Parliament relevant to our denomination.

I am honoured to have part of my comment form the basis for this extensive discussion. The quote was from my response to Peter in his using "Anglican" (in scare quotes) for a service which adheres to the formularies in a church fully member of the Anglican Communion, and his use of Anglican (no scare quotes) for those who are not.

I continue to maintain that the word will lose any meaning unless Anglican at least means those who follow the formularies and are part of the Anglican Communion – or we are back at Humpty Dumpty defining a word to mean whatever he wants it to mean.

Blessings

Bosco
www.liturgy.co.nz

Paul Powers said...

Kurt: It's possible that individual bishops or rectors in the ACNA have issued a ban on members of the TEC or the ACofC receiving communion at their altars, but there's certainly no ACNA-wide ban. It's also possible that a ban has been directed against certain specific individuals. I personally believe that baptized Christians shouldn't be barred from the altar rail unless there's a very good reason.

I also think that it's a waste of time for the ACNA to worry about being invited to join the Anglican Communion, and even more of a waste of time to try to get the Episcopal Church or the ACofC kicked out. Instead, both the ACNA and the Episcopal Church (and the Canadian Church) need to concentrate their efforts on bringing the Gospel to the "un-churched" without really worrying about what the other side is doing. I believe this is what is happening here in Fort Worth. People on both sides are concerned about the property lawsuits, which stem from a good faith dispute (on both sides) over property rights, but I don't get the impression that it's the major focus of attention on either side.

I also think it's premature to talk about any sort of reconciliation. Too many bruised feelings on both sides, and getting people at the table too early can cause more harm than good.

David: Your definition of "Anglican" reminds me of the Roman Catholic definition of Catholicism: to be Catholic you must be Roman Catholic. As for the Scottish Episcopal Church deriving from the C of E, that's not quite accurate. The Scottish BCP is an adaptation of the English BCP, and unless I'm mistaken, their episcopal orders are traced through the English Church as well.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Incorrect on both parts Paul.

Yes, there are elements of the Scottish Prayerbook that are borrowed from the English prayerbook, but the fundamental Scottish liturgy has been a part of the Scottish church from her celtic foundation.

Scotland never lost her episcopal line, even in the days surrounding the English Civil War. One step to maintain her episcopacy, even after the office of bishop was abolished in the Church of Scotland by the presbyterians, was the ordination of college bishops, bishops without jurisdiction, so that the line was preserved until the Scottish Episcopal Church became separate from the Church of Scotland.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Not satisfied with doubts I did not remember correctly the history of the Scottish Episcopalians, I asked an online friend, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdworth, Provost (Dean) of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, Scotland. I share his most learned answer;

"Well, you are certainly correct in that the Scottish Church is not a daughter of the English Church. Indeed, there were Christians organising in Scotland before the great mission from Rome to the Angles in England so there will always be some who refer to the C of E as our dear younger sister.

Our episcopal line is indeed ancient though it cannot be looked at without acknowledging some confusion at the Reformation. Notwithstanding that, our bishops now are the successors of those Bishops who occupied Scottish sees at the time of the Reformation in 1560.

I think that the answer about liturgy is perhaps not quite as clear as you are hoping for. The prayer books of 1912 and 1929 are very obviously derived in most part from the English Book of Common Prayer. However the significant thing which the Scottish Church has preserved and which is distinctive in them is the Scottish Communion Office.

And the particularly distinctive bauble which we polish up and offer to the rest of the Anglican world is the preservation of a double epiclesis in our Eucharistic prayers which comes from looking over our shoulders not merely at England or Rome but significantly futher East."


Father K has mentioned that you could look at the SEC's relationship to the Anglican Communion as like the Eastern Catholic (Uniate) churches' relationship to Rome. I believe that the Church of Ireland and the Church in Wales might also object to the idea that they are daughters of the CoE.

Paul Powers said...

I suppose it's a matter of opinion whether the 1929 Scottish BCP merely has elements of the 1662 English BCP, or is a wholesale adaptation of it (as was the 1928 US American BCP).

It's a shame that you weren't around to tell the Scottish Episcopalians in the 17th Century that they never lost their episcopal line. It would have spared them the cost of sending three priests to London to be consecrated as bishops in 1610, and four others to London to be consecrated around 1660 in order to restore the episcopacy in their country.

http://www.scotland.anglican.org/index.php/about/history_chapter/4_episcopacy_and_presbyterianism/

Paul Powers said...

David: I think our last messages were cross-posted (or perhaps I forgot to hit "reload" before I posted.

I agree that it would be inaccurate to describe the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of Ireland, or the Church in Wales (or the Episcopal Church, for that matter) as "daughters" of the Church of England because that implies a subservient relationship that does not exist. In fact, I didn't use that term in my previous posts. I also don't think there is any dispute that the Scottish Episcopal Church sees herself as the successor to the ancient Scottish Church (as does the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland). However, what I challenged, and still disagree with, is your assertion that the Scottish Episcopal Church derives "nothing" from the C of E. It is through the C of E that the SEC was able to clear up what Father K describes as the confusion about the Scottish episcopate during the Reformation. And it is through the C of E that the Scottish Episcopalians derived their BCP, which might be described as based on the English prayerbook with some important changes, especially their communion office, which is based in part on the Eastern Church's Liturgy of St. James, and in turn is the basis for the Rite I Eucharist in the Episcopal Church's 1979 BCP (and of the Communion Service in the previous US American prayerbooks).

Getting back to the original topic of this thread, one could argue that it is because of the episcopate and the BCP that the SEC is Anglican and the Kirk is not.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Yes Paul, I returned to write about that very subject because I found Father Kelvin's remark about confusion during the Reformation too ambiguous, so I began more research on the matter and found the London consecrations on those two occasions in the 1600s about which you write.

The college ordinations of bishops-at-large that I mentioned before to preserve the line occurred during the troublesome Jacobite period, after the fall of the Commonwealth, in the 1700s.

But you can see from Father Kelvin's comment, that in spite of beholding to the CoE for their current line of apostolic succession, the SEC firmly assert that they are not a daughter of the CoE, but an ancient church that predates her, an older sister. Prior to the Reformation, the Scottish liturgy was based on the Salisbury Rite. And with the exception of a diocese created by Charles I, the other six dioceses are the successor dioceses of the ancient Catholic Church in Scotland, with the current Roman Church dioceses in Scotland having been erected by the Vatican in the late 1800s.