Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The sagacity of Cranmer reminds me of Cranmer

In a post on the latest publication of detail about the Personal Ordinariate, or Anglican enclave within the Roman church, Cranmer writes some sensible words to keep us in the middle of the via media:

"And Cranmer finds it bizarre that there are some who are positively wetting themselves with infantile exuberance over the supposed creation of an Anglican branch of the Catholic Church: in case they hadn’t noticed, there has been one since AD597. And even before Pope Gregory despatched Augustine to Kent, there is evidence of Christianity in England from the late second century. England has seen eighteen hundred years of catholic Christianity, from the Ecclesia Anglorum, through the Ecclesia Anglicana to the Ecclesia Angliae. The Church in England and the Church of England have been the geographic, cultural, legal, theological, spiritual and ecclesiological cornerstone of English identity before, through and since the Reformation.

"The doctrinal history of the Church of England asserts that it is both Catholic and Reformed; Apostolic and Evangelical; Prophetic and Protestant. The Prayer Book states: ‘Whosoever will be saved, it is necessary above all things that he hold the catholic faith...’. Anglicanism is a worldwide universal communion, and repudiates some of the claims of Rome, not least its soteriology, ecclesiology, its unique claim to catholicity and and its understanding of authority. Unless salvation has ceased to be by faith; unless church governance has ceased to be synodical; unless infallible moral authority has indeed been imparted by God to one man, the doctrinal claims of the Church of England, founded on natural law through tradition, reason and experience, have as much validity now as they had four centuries ago. And let it not be forgotten that when Richard Hooker wrote The Laws Of Ecclesiastical Polity, Pope Clement VIII said of the book: "It has in it such seeds of eternity that it will abide until the last fire shall consume all learning." "


The Rev. Robert K. Leopold said...

Greetings Peter,

I have been an occasional reader of your blog and enjoy much of what you have to say. Thank you from the other side of the world for your words and for your faith.

I am writing, however, to ask where you found the quote of Clement VIII in regards to Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. Can you offer me any help? I would love to be able to substantiate this claim to some spirited [read: at-times-mean-spirited, often when spirits are are involved] R.C. brothers in Christ.

Thanks so much in advance.

Yours in Christ,

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bob
The words in my posting are cited from "Cranmer"'s blog ... a search on the internet has not yielded to me where/when/how Clement said them, but does yield that they are uniformly cited in Anglican lectionary material about Hooker!