So, last week, I named a few Anglican issues bubbling away.
I noticed another one during the week: the validity of Anglican orders (from a Roman perspective).
E.g. here and here. (With the 19th century "bull" background here).
Isn't this a bit of a complicated matter? I mean, the validity of Anglican orders is the validity of the orders as ordered by God, not as validated by the Roman Catholic church ... isn't it?
And, while I appreciate that a Roman recognition of Anglican orders would open doors to greater unity between our churches (something I am keen on), what would such recognition mean in practice? Would it mean recognising the validity of men in the priesthood but not women? Would it mean Anglican priests could be appointed to vacant positions in Roman Catholic parishes? Could it mean that Catholics were permitted to receive communion when at an Anglican service? And vice versa? At an ecumenical service when Anglicans and Catholics join together for special occasions such as Ash Wednesday?
Obviously some important work needs to take place at a theological-conceptual level; and the dratted Papal Bull on the nullity and voidness of Anglican orders needs some deft footwork to get around it, etc. But I think I am more interested in the actuality on the ground of some changes in practice, whatever the carefully formulated subtleties we move forward on at a high but some what theoretical level are ...
Postscript, relating to last week's post: picking up again the brouhaha over a greater Communion say in the choosing of the next ABC, my fervent wish is that WE DO NOT HAVE A ROTATING PRESIDENCY.
Again: the only way to recognise (or cultivate) a "multi-polar reality" in Anglicanism is, not to try to shuffle a single pole from Canterbury around the planet, but to engage one's own regional pole in substantive ways.
As many will know, the Primate of Parador, the Archbishop of El Diablo, is one of those who agitates with an anti-imperialist rationale for a rotated primacy in the Anglican Communion. But so long as Parador has such thin relations with other Latin American Anglicans, what regional pole exactly could the Communion recognise by having its leader there?
A Roman Catholic friend of mine holds an opinion of Anglican orders that I believe to be very common. Here, I will put words in his mouth, but I am not putting thoughts in his head.
"Years ago, I realised, with a sinking feeling in my heart, that Leo's bull is a mess, and that Anglican orders are valid in every sense that matters. So, as you observe, I do get along with our mutual Anglican friends. But I also find Leo's blunder to be very helpful in keeping some of Anglicanism's unwholesome qualities out of the Catholic Church. So I hope that the error remains officially uncorrected.
"Leo got the facts wrong, but he got the mythos right. There *is* a difference too deep to bridge. It's not what he said it was, true, but nobody doubts that it"s real.
Your people-- many of them anyway-- believe in made-up religion. In fact they *only* believe in religion that they have made up.
"They make up Instruments of Communion and new sorts of marriage because they think those would be good ideas. Maybe the ideas are good. But Catholics just can't do that.
"I don't follow the pope because the papacy is a well-designed, fit-for-purpose institution that meets the needs of today. It's painfully obvious that it's not! I follow the pope because he is Peter, and Jesus Christ entrusted the Church to him.
"To put my soul in the hands of a religion, I have to believe those hands are directly from God. I can respect and even admire the creations of a very distinguished committee or the resolutions of a huge majority of the right people. But I know that I will never entrust my soul to any of it.
"These days, Catholicism is getting too Anglican. This tries my faith. I want it to stop.
"So I can see perfectly well that Anglican priests are priests. But I would prefer that popes remain confused about this for at least a while longer."
With regard to the rules on inter Communion, Dear Bishop Peter; many people on both sides of the fence (Anglican/R.C.) in my own experience have practised Inter-Communion, without obtaining - sometimes without seeking - express permission. I suspect many Roman Catholics treat this rule in a similar way to the Roman rule on contraception. Some Catholics I know personally wonder what all the fuss is about - especially when they enter an Anglican church like SMAA, Christchurch.
Regarding the subject of Primacy: the very thought of leadership where authority is not shared must surely raise questions of 'who, amongst Christians, can truly claim absolute AUTHORITY?'
Even Pope Francis is seeking to initiate a more diverse (synodical?) way of government in his own ecclesial community. At this point in the history of ecumenical striving for unity under the Lordship of Christ - rather than one or another sectarian leader, is it not incumbent upon us Anglicans to 'Look to Him, the Author and Protector of our Faith' for inspiration and the Leadership of the Holy Spirit in our allotted places of ministry?
Jesus, after all, was 'The Word Incarnate', bringing new life to the religious situation of his own day. He, Himself, was the 'Fulfilment of The Law' for the Jewish people, and the sole Inaugurator of 'The New Commandment' for ALL His followers. Surely there has been sufficient instruction given over the past 2,000 years - through a proper discernment of The Word of God and Sacramental Worship - to help each one of us find our place in the local Church community - taking note of the past, but also, by the gift of the Holy Spirit - looking to the future with earnest expectation of the Salvation and Redemption that Christ has already promised 'to those who love God and their neighbour'.
Empire building is what the schismatics are all about (We are right and You are wrong! - exclusion rather than inclusion - and that gives rise to dissention and a loss of faith. We are told that Faith, Hope and Love abide 'but the greatest of these is LOVE' (not power, self-promotion, or self-righteousness). I well remember the Holy Week antiphon that holds the key to how God presences God's-Self among the Faithful: "Where Charity and Love abide: there is God!" (God have mercy on me; a sinner!)
Post a Comment