Monday, March 23, 2009

The One and the Many: a catholic clue to the Anglican future from a Catholic with a future

Hat-tip to Ruth Gledhill, from a post speculating about the future of up-and-coming Catholic theologian Dr Paul McPartlan.

Paul McPartlan has published a fascinating contribution to consideration of an Anglican Covenant (also here), grounding it's plausibility into the history of the undivided church, current attempts to reunite the church (with special attention to Catholic-Orthodox and Catholic-Anglican dialogues), and, especially, Apostolic Canon 34:

'The bishops of every nation (or region) ought to know who is the first one among them, and to esteem him as their head, and notto do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage theaffairs that belong to his own diocese and the territorysubject to it. But let him (i.e. the first one) not do anything without the consent of all the other(bishops); for it is by this means that there will be unanimity, and God willbe glorified through Christ in the Holy Spirit.'

McPartlan offers a constructive appreciation of the Primates as important to the being of the Anglican Communion, a reminder that 'authority' is not necessarily 'judicial' authority or 'external' authority, and that no church should organise itself in such a manner as to be independent of the greater church (ACANZP take note, please)!

Please read what he has to say.

Here is a question for my 'new Calvinist' sympathetic readers: is the new Calvinism, which definitely has strengths in areas such as cultural critique, capable of providing a contribution to 'the church as communion' dialogue such as McPartlan, Williams, and Zizioulas make?

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