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Archive for the ‘Protestantism’ Category

A well-connected Rome source reports that Forward in Faith, the umbrella group for conservative Anglo-Catholics in the C of E, is talking to the Vatican about corporate union. Here’s the odd thing about the rumour: it claims that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna is meeting with Bishop John Broadhurst of Fulham at the suggestion of the Holy Father.

The model for the move to Rome could be the proposed reception of the Traditional Anglican Communion into the Catholic Church. But Broadhurst has very firmly denied that Forward in Faith is throwing in its lot with the TAC, a rebel Anglican group that has already submitted to the Magisterium. [I assume that should read “has already made a submission”?? Or did I miss something??]

Now, if there’s one thing I know about Bishop Broadhurst is that he’s a wily old fox. He blows hot and cold on the subject of Rome, perhaps because he was baptised a Roman Catholic. I’m sure he wouldn’t dream of joining the TAC in any shape or form – but he’ll be jolly interested in the details of any deal it does with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

But why involve the Archbishop of Vienna, Count Christoph Maria Michael Hugo Damian Peter Adalbert von Schönborn? (OK, so he doesn’t use his aristocratic title, but what a cool name.) I don’t know. Perhaps it was just a suggestion that Vienna and Fulham should meet. But my source is close enough to high-level figures in the curia for me to be sure that there’s something significant going on.

As there should be. For crying out loud, there is no future at all for theologically literate Anglo-Catholic opponents of women bishops in the Church of England. Some of the gutless ones can stick their fingers in their ears and pretend not to hear the resounding, overwhelming support for women bishops coming from the Church’s ruling elite; they can build their own Wendy House “jurisidiction” that allows them to keep on claiming their stipend inside a liberal Protestant denomination.

The more honest ones face a simple choice: where do they go next? If they can’t stand Catholics, they can become Eastern Orthodox. They can found or join an independent Anglican Church (there are hundreds out there). [How is that option any different than staying??] Or they can seek union with the See of Peter, reasonably confident that the power of the trad-hating RC “Magic Circle” is waning and that the Pope is on their side.

Source: Forward in Faith ‘in talks with Vatican’

Far be it for me to comment but …

The above illustrates the deep devisions even within those who would consider themselves of the same party. One wonders if the cult of personality has something to do with it?!

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The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the Anglican church may have to accept a “two-tier” or “two-track” communion for believers to remain united while in disagreement over matters such as gay clergy.

He wrote on his website on Monday that there are “two styles of being Anglican” and both sides should work together to maintain the church, WA Today reported.

In the formal response to the move this month by the Episcopal Church, the US branch of the Anglican Communion, to welcome gay bishops and blessing same sex couples, the Los Angeles Times quotes Archbishop Williams saying that those who remain part of the communion’s “covenantal structure,” would take one path and another with “fewer formal expectations” for those who value autonomy.

“It helps to be clear about these possible futures, however much we think them less than ideal, and to speak about them not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication but plainly as what they are, two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out,” Williams wrote.

For those within the Communion who disagree, he says, paraphrasing Matthew’s lines about heretics, “there is no threat of being cast into outer darkness, existing relationships will not be destroyed that easily.”

The Episcopal church in the US caused an uproar among some Anglicans in 2003 by consecrating the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Williams has struggled since to keep the communion unified, the WA Today report said.

Source: Two paths for Anglicans: Williams

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An unprecedented inquiry into alleged misconduct of Anglican bishop Michael Hough could cost the Australian Anglican Church nearly a third of its financial reserves, a report said.

An independent investigator, Sydney lawyer Geoff Kelly, is set to probe into claims of bullying and harassment by the Ballarat diocese bishop against clergy and laypeople, according to The Age. It will cost an estimated $400,000.

Depending on his findings, the Episcopal Standards Commission will set up a tribunal with power to depose the bishop, also unprecedented in Australian history, which could cost another $350,000, the report adds.

The Anglican Church of Australia’s reserves were $2.5 million, said national treasurer John McKenzie.

The complaints from 13 past and present clergy and several senior laypeople have not been made public. In a report by the newspaper in January about the complaints, Ballarat Cathedral Council member Euan Thompson described the bishop as “a difficult, obnoxious, prickly person who has poor people skills and an abrasive manner.”

Hough had responded that the complainants were a small group of malcontents.

Yesterday, asked if he would resign to save the investigation costs, Bishop Hough told The Age: “I’m not sure why I would go. Whatever garbage went on at the synod, our business is preaching the gospel and building the church, and I’m an integral part of it. There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on.”

“I don’t have time to muck around with this. I’m too busy on God’s business,” he said.

Ballarat finance committee chairman Vernon Robson said the conflict had been divisive and had created uncertainty, and that “in the interest of all the parties,” the investigation should proceed. He added the church is making “the necessary resources available.”

Source: Costly inquiry into “bully” bishop

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Among modern Lutheran and Reformed churches adherence to the Athanasian Creed is prescribed by the earlier confessional documents, but the creed does not receive much attention outside of occasional use – especially on Trinity Sunday.

Source: Wiki: Athanasian Creed

In the middle of Mass yesterday – Trinity Sunday – my mind drifted to a past life. I remembered a discussion in the vestry at the parish I did some practical work concerning the use of the Athanasian Creed on Trinity Sunday (cf quote above). The discussion was not about the Creed itself but rather the individual’s1 change of the terminology within the Creed. He changed, as one may expect, the word “catholic” to “Christian” on the grounds of theological sensibilities. I suspect it was more on the grounds of the same cultural sensibilities that finally convinced us to leave. Yet it did remind me that one time in my life I said a slightly changed version of the Quicumque vult on Trinity Sunday.

But much more! It illustrates a theological point: it is the object of the faith that saves. There are many things we may have faith in. I believe that my football team will win today but do not hold great hope in that faith (or my football team). Yet to be saved (in an eternal sense of the word) one needs to cling or hold the Catholic faith, especially concerning the Godhead.

BTW: Before anyone says anything – yes, it is part of the Office of Prime on Sundays in the 1960 Breviarium Romanum (ie pre-LOTH). So it is part of the prayer life of those who use, for example, the Anglican Breviary, as I did for many years.

So here it is (in its ICET incarnation):

Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith.
Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.
For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another.
But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.
What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.
Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.
The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite.
Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.
Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit: And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.
Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.
As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.
Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.
And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.
Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.
It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.
For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is both God and man.
He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother — existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.
Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.
He is united because God has taken humanity into himself; he does not transform deity into humanity.
He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.
For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.
He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life, those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith.
One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.

Footnote:

1 The person was more than an average clergy-person but a lecture at the theological college.

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Just because it is interesting in a historical sense:

‘Why are so many Lutheran pastors becoming Roman Catholic?’
from EPISTOLAE OBSCURORUM VIRORUM

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