Down Under we see things differently.
Thanks, Peter, for giving us this link to the inspirational article from "Ship of Fools". Our one-time Pakeha Archbishop of ACANZP has always been a good preacher. His catholic sympathies have been derived initially from his time at Oxford University and his connection with the Anglican nuns at Fairacres.No doubt Archbishop David's understanding of catholic spirituality will stand him (and hopefully the Anglican Communion) in good stead during his term as our 'Man in Rome'. I bet he gets on well with Pope francis!
Interesting review. Just one comment:those present were "Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Anglicans."Protestants...and Anglicans?! Jinkies, Cranmer is rolling in his grave, maybe even JH Newman is! :)
Did your alma mater, Chris, not teach you that some Anglicans see the Anglican church as neither protestant nor catholic since it is both!?
Chris, did it not occur to you that, in the present understanding of church-personship, some Anglicans may not consider themselves to be primarily 'protestant'? We have to ask ourselves, what are we continuing to 'protest' against? Maybe Gafcon?
Ummm - genuinely interested, Chris: does the word "protestant" occur anywhere in our church's formularies in reference to our church? ["Catholic", of course, occurs regularly - so half of Peter's point at least is clear] And anyone who knows a little about Newman's burial history will get the joke.BlessingsBosco
Looks like we have the front runner for a successor to FrancisRhys
Er, Bosco, I don't think my point has anything to do with the formularies.It is crystal clear in the history of the Church of England that a significant pivot in its history was when it joined the 'protest' against the Roman excesses and errors of catholic Christianity. The Church of England and all it descendants are thoroughly protestant and if we were not we should be joined back to Rome forthwith). Rightly does the formal name of TEC include the word 'Protestant.'My point heads in another direction: the Church of England and its descendants are rightly also deemed 'catholic' as well as protestant.
Er, Ron, as long as we Anglicans claim 'catholic' character but continue to refuse to come under the authority of Rome, then we are continuing our protest against the Roman version of Western Catholicism!!
Hi Rhys,An interesting thought :)
Bosco, as a subject of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, you know perfectly well that at her coronation, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, whose mission was extended by Letters Patent to her southern realms and dominions, your Queen swore an oath to uphold "the true Profession of the Gospel and the Protestant Reformed Religion Established by Law". If the Church has since been secretly admitted as a Uniate body of the RCC or as an autocephalous member of the Orthodox Communion, will you please inform Her Majesty post-haste.Your Obedient Servant,Martin G. Selwyn, First Commissar to the Court of St James
Ummm - I take it from the learned responses to my genuine question (it is not a word I have actually searched for) that the answer is - no, the word protestant does not occur anywhere in our formularies, but the word catholic does.[By Peter's definition the Orthodox would also be classified as protestant - as they too have a history of 'protest' against the Roman excesses and errors] BlessingsBosco
Hi BoscoYours was a genuine question and the likely answer is 'No'.But do you concede that there is, in fact, an honourable history to the adjective 'protestant' or even with capital P 'Protestant' being used of the Anglican church, whether we are talking about the forebear, the C of E, or the progeny, e.g. ACANZP, for the reasons that (a) Martin adduces: in formal language about the C of E, we can find 'Protestant'; (b) Chris and I adduce: that the CofE took a decisive turn during the Protestant Reformation; (c) protestant remains descriptive of our life.It is a great thing to be joined by the Eastern Orthodox in that protesting life!
Yes, I’m perfectly happy to do some conceding, noting however how slowly others here are willing to do so. If protestant includes Orthodox I see no issue whatsoever. I think such terms can be remarkably slippery in their understanding: catholic, orthodox, charismatic, protestant, and, Oh yes, evangelical – so that those who say these words may mean quite the opposite of those who hear them. If we clearly understand ourselves as catholic in our formularies, and if we are Protestant via England’s Coronation Oath Act of 1688 applied to us apparently through Queen Victoria’s confused Letters Patent who am I to suggest otherwise?BlessingsBosco
I should like to point out that an exhaustive study (by computer) of the text of my BHS and Nestle-Aland has failed find the words 'Trinity' or 'Trinitarian' (or their Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek equivalents). I therefore conclude that the Trinity is not part of biblical doctrine.Martinos Sophistes
I should like to point out that an exhaustive study (by computer) of the text of my BHS and Nestle-Aland has failed find the words 'biblical' (or its Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek equivalents). I therefore conclude that being biblical is not part of biblical doctrine.I should further like to point out that an exhaustive study (by computer) of google on Scotland’s King James VI being England's and Ireland’s King James I means, logically, that England’s Queen Elizabeth II is not New Zealand’s Queen Elizabeth II as suggested, but our Queen Elizabeth I – hence we are not subjects in this island nation of Her Majesty Elizabeth II as suggested but of Her Majesty Elizabeth I.Thus maintaining the approach that all silly subjects be debated heatedly and all interesting subjects be debated sillily.Bosco
"I therefore conclude that the Trinity is not part of biblical doctrine." - commenter -I do not see any explicit doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible - except that which had been deduced by the biblical 'scholars' post-biblically. Even the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics have different opinions on the filioque clause.
Hello EveryoneI think we have established that the Protestant character of the Anglican Church is not dependent in the word actually being used in our official documentation.It is a fair description of the ongoing character of our church, especially when we ask why the catholic aspect of our character does not lead us to reunite with Rome. The only conclusion I draw from that failure to reunite is that we value our ongoing Protest against Rome!
I am not as convinced that what is asserted has so been established, but have no need to confute it. Just as many people happily continue calling the Anglican Church in these lands “the Church of England”, and the majority of Anglicans wouldn’t have an iota of a clue what it is actually called, so it is interesting to me in this discussion if protestant is, as the thread has contended, a description of what we are against, and catholic clearly is what we are for – I have not noticed previously, but we have certainly established now that we define ourselves by what we are for and make no formal mention of the definition people here want to hold - of what we are against.Another question now comes to mind: are our dioceses still dependent on the Letters Patent of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England (as per the understanding of the first name in the paragraph above), or are we in a position of self-determination where we define our own dioceses here? And if the latter, does Martin G. Selwyn’s contention that we have inherited our Protestant character through that Supreme Governor’s seventeenth century oath transmitted to us half way around the globe through the former lose its validity?Bosco
Dear Bosco,Are you for or against our church coming under the authority of the Bishop of Rome as the legitimate, historically authentic primes inter pares among all bishops in the Western world?I am against the claim of Rome to primacy and thus I happily remain within the Protestant Anglican Communion which continues that particular protest from the 16th century to this day.Are you also against that claim?
Hi MartinI am editing your comment below in a couple of places where it is unnecessarily having a dig at another ..."No sarcasm now: I should like to point out that an exhaustive study (by actual reading over many, many years in these languages) of the text of my BHS and Nestle-Aland has never failed to find d'bar-elohim, koh amar YHWH, logos tou theou / kuriou, he graphe, hai graphai, ta biblia and many related terms; and anyone who doesn't see this (even in translation) doesn't know how to read.I imagined readers would recall that Calvin in his Institutes defended the use of the term 'Trinity' (trinitas) against critics on the grounds that while the term is not found in the text of Scripture (our 'formularies', if you like), the doctrine is certainly there, and 'Trinity' is convenient shorthand - though in truth 'Triunity' would be a better word. The "post-biblical 'scholars'" who articulated the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity whom Ron Smith cages with speech marks were merely the brightest names of the early church: Athanasius, Augustine, and the Cappadocian Fathers, and at their best were do nothing other than synthetic Bible study (following the principle that the 16th century Reformers would call 'the analogy of faith'). Scholars they definitely were.As for the Eastern Orthodox, I have *never* heard any of them describe themselves as 'protestant' in any sense, since they insist (rightly) that they pre-existed the claims of the Papacy and Rome. They know what 'Protestant' means historically and they don't accept it. The word 'Protestant' has taken on unhappy overtones in recent decades, probably because of 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland. but it is hard to settle on an alternative. I can't imagine many Catholics and Orthodox being happy about the widespread use of 'Christian' today to mean 'Protestant', but human beings will always argue about terms - to the point of raising red herrings about words in church formularies. Martinus Malleus Maleficarumsubject of Elizabeth II, nondum (absit omen!) George VII "
Maybe a little o/t here, but I see from the online British press that Peter Hitchens, recently on QandA before a howling mob in Sydney, was also recently in Christchurch and had some thoughts (not to be fulfilled) about the cathedral:http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/Martinus Expurgatus
I might just be able to work that article, Martin, into a forthcoming post!
I would look forward to your fearless ruminations. It does seem to me that if America continues to retreat into itself, as it has done so ruinously under Obama, then coming to terms with a relentlessly expansionist China will be the question of the coming decade for the Pacific.Of course, it all has to do with demography as well. China is beginning to relax its one child policy which has proved precarious for its future, while Japan still stumbles. Mark Steyn has a great new piece on this, on a nation that, having lost interest in reproduction, has now lost interest in sex.Oh my, you might even begin to suspect there was some connection between the two! For these Catholics on to something?Marto Polo
Hi all, just returned to this ( am not a good commenter!)Pretty much all I would have said has been said better than I could, just to note that in my understanding (and the Creedal one) the word 'catholic' is not an issue - it refers to all in the universal church, and I would not want to move Anglicans out from being a subset of that (as all protestants are)! But note the article didn't say 'catholic', but 'Roman Catholic' - and that is something clearly Anglicans are not. But, very much in line with what Peter has well said, for very clear historical reasons I would have expected Anglicanism to be understood as a group under the wider tag of protestant (which is a very broad description in itself, let it be noted!). This is something I have most recently been influenced towards Peter, not by my alma mater, but by discussion in POT!By the way, Peter, I am fast learning that the fact that some see the Anglican church in this way or that is no less reason to be shocked by it :)
Hi RonI am removing the last sentence of your comment below as it contains a slur against GAFCON which is not fair given the many things it has clearly said it is "for" even if there are also some things it is "against.""incidentally, has anyone here noticed the word' protestant' occurring in any of the Creeds - our basic statement of Faith?I agree with Bosco. It is more important to define our Faith by what we are FOR, rather than what we are against. I, for instance, am FOR the understanding Christ as 'Redeemer of "all who look to him for salvation".. "
You may be right, Peter, in curbing my remark about the negativity of Gafcon on certain matters that have separated them out from the rest of our Anglican Communion. I should have mentioned that they are very much in favour of the 39 Articles - even to the point where they mention that even our Mother Church of England seems not to be taking too much notice of them nowadays. In rejecting what they might call post-modernism, they may be looking back to pre-enlightenment. But is that really helping to bring people into the realm of the Gospel in today's world?I've just looked at the speech given by the archbishop of Kenya, Chair of FCA/Gafcon to the ACNA diocese of South Carolina. It does seem a little nostalgic, clinging to past glories of 19th century colonial evangelisation. Today is a different world, with new understandings of humanity and the need of justice for all people.
"Today is a different world, with new understandings of humanity and the need of justice for all people."O brave new world that has such people in't!I don't need justice, I need mercy.I do not need the 'justice of the secular city', I need the dikaiosune tou theou.The 'new understandings of humanity' are precisely the rejection of God and the imago dei.Nothing very new about them at all. Peter's sometime friend Karl (not Carl) summed them all up in his 'Theses on Feuerbach'.Martin Epsilon
Not sure what to make of your question, Peter, as I find the very idea of “coming under the authority” of a “primus inter pares” oxymoronic. Do you seriously regard our church as being “under the authority” of the Archbishop of Canterbury, surely our Communion’s primus inter pares? [And do you actually think that Rome has less claim to primus inter pares than Canterbury “under whose authority” you happily continue?] And do you really understand our province as “coming under the authority” of our three primuses inter pares? (ah, the Trinity again!)Here’s a good post-Sunday service parish quiz, Peter – to be asked individually and randomly, without people helping each other, or hearing each other’s answers: get the average Anglican congregant to give the name of the current Archbishop of Canterbury “under whose authority” they are; get the average Anglican congregant to give the names of the three current primates of our province “under whose authority” they are; get the average Anglican congregant to give the name of the current pope. Publish your results online.:-)BlessingsBosco
Hi BoscoYou appear to have assiduously not answered my question. Let me put it another way.Many Anglican clergy here in our church, myself included, take seriously our declarations on receiving a licence, namely that we acknowledge the authority of our General Synod over our ministry; also that we acknowledge the authority of our local diocesan over our ministries, providing that authority concerns 'lawful' things.An alternative prospect for a priest in the church of God is to seek to come under the authority of the pontiff, the Bishop of Rome/the Vicar of Christ. Currently, for reasons of disagreement over doctrines I do not believe in, and a style of leadership and governance I do not find congenial, I am unwilling to come under that authority. I choose to remain under the authority of our General Synod and my dicoesan bishop.Hence my question to you:Are you willing to accept the authority of the Bishop of Rome over your ministry?
I think you are being unfair, Peter. I have not assiduously not answered your question – just taken it seriously and pointed out the difficulties of your question.In answer to your original question, then: would I be in favour of our church accepting the Bishop of Rome as primus inter pares among all bishops in the Western world if the papacy was reformed to act in the manner that we currently have the Archbishop of Canterbury acting in relation to the Anglican Communion (ie. actually as "primus inter pares" following your question, and avoiding your oxymoronic “coming under the authority” of)? I think so, yes.You know well my commitment to the promises I have made, so the current answer to your brand new question is clear in my life and ministry as I stand with you in our commitment.Now, to be fair, is the time for you to answer the questions I asked you which you appear to have assiduously not answered.BlessingsBosco
Hi BoscoI asked a straightforward question (or set of two questions) which you responded to with a series of questions, seeing fishhooks re Anglicanism when the question was about Roman primacy. So, while I am sorry that you have experienced my word 'assiduous' as unfair, I have my own pain to deal with re your not initially answering the question.I thank you for the answer you have now given to my reworked question.Your questions can be answered, as below: my responses in CAPS"Not sure what to make of your question, Peter, as I find the very idea of “coming under the authority” of a “primus inter pares” oxymoronic. Do you seriously regard our church as being “under the authority” of the Archbishop of Canterbury, surely our Communion’s primus inter pares? NO[And do you actually think that Rome has less claim to primus inter pares than Canterbury “under whose authority” you happily continue?] NOAnd do you really understand our province as “coming under the authority” of our three primuses inter pares? (ah, the Trinity again!) YES (to the extent that the authority we explicitly come under, General Synod and our local diocesan, are under their authority ... ultimately, perhaps, expressed when, say, a disciplinary hearing worked its way through the life of our church).Here’s a good post-Sunday service parish quiz, Peter – to be asked individually and randomly, without people helping each other, or hearing each other’s answers: get the average Anglican congregant to give the name of the current Archbishop of Canterbury “under whose authority” they are; WELBY (as people are finding out; but WILLIAMS might still be given as an answer; incidentally, I suspect the average Anglican here DOES think they are under the authority of the ABC!)get the average Anglican congregant to give the names of the three current primates of our province “under whose authority” they are; UNLIKELY to know names, also, I suggest, unlikely to think they are under their authority ... the laity, as you know, often think that the highest authority in the church is that of the local vicar).get the average Anglican congregant to give the name of the current pope. Publish your results online. FRANCIS - he is getting a lot of press these days!"
If I may add to this interesting and sometimes ridiculous debate in similar fashion, has anyone noticed the generous ecumenical gesture whereby the next-but-two Supreme Governor of the Church of England has been named after the Pope? People participating in Bosco's quiz may correctly give the Pope's name as Francis, but his original Christian name is Jorge.
Regarding, Peter, your question of Bosco - concerning his possible allegiance to Pope Francis; a very similar question occurs to me on the situation of Gafcon, vis-a-vis their allegiance to Canterbury.Gafcon Provinces are traditionally linked to Canterbury (while Bosco is not linked to Rome). Why then do you think that Gafcon is entitled to ignore its link with Canterbury, TEC and the AC of C., while yet claiming to represent 'Orthodox Anglicanism'? Now getting back to the remarks about Anglicans and Protestants being together at Bishop David's Mass in Rome; I would suggest, on the above evidence I have given here, that any Gafcon prelate in attendance might have been described as 'Protestant' rather than 'Anglican'.
Hi RonMy question to Bosco does not not concern his 'possible allegiance' to Pope Francis but concerns the grounds for his not being aligned with the Pope.GAFCON has a principled disagreement as to whether it is necessary to be linked with the ABC in order to be an orthodox Anglican. Such principled disagreement is intellectually logical when the starting point is Protestant ...
Canterbury just happened to be where Augustine, the Pope’s delegate, pitched up - though the local Christians were not actually very impressed by either the man, his fons, or his locale.England just happened to spawn an empire, which planted daughter then sister churches around the globe - and Canterbury retained some kind of focus; one might even term it “moral authority”. Yet, lose that sense of moral authority, and ...?! Even more pointedly, lose the sense of geographical authority, and ...?! Game on!
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