Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swim the Tiber? I Don't Think So!

In light of the recent development on the ecumenical front in which (as Ruth Gledhill puts it) "the Holy See ... [has] set up an Apostolic Constitution to provide Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans and former Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church," I'm re-posting a piece I first put up back in March 2008.

There's an interesting posting over at "The Continuum" that offers a very brief apologia for "the wisdom of the Anglican Way" directed primarily at those who, for many reasons, struggle with the possibility of leaving the Anglican/Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church.

Here's how Fr. Hart summarizes the reasons for sticking with the Anglican Way rather than swimming the Tiber:

  1. An Anglican is fully Catholic by the standards of the Scriptures and the Patristic period.
  2. Our orders have been preserved without defect, with all of the charisms and power Christ has granted through his apostles to his Church.
  3. Our doctrine is better and more pure than that of Rome.
  4. Newman was not all there, and his later criticism of Anglicanism is neither accurate nor wholly rational.
  5. Newman's theory of Doctrinal Development is as dangerous as the Pentecostalist notion of "Progressive revelation."
  6. The Pope is not infallible.
  7. The Pope does not have Universal Jurisdiction.
  8. The Pope is the bishop of Peter's See, but so is the Patriarch of Antioch.
  9. The service of Holy Communion is a perfectly valid Mass or Eucharist.
  10. Our Anglican fathers were not Calvinists or Lutherans.
  11. "Protestant" is not the opposite of "Catholic."
  12. Some Catholics are Protestant Catholics.
  13. We do not need doctrines like "the merits of the saints" or a concept of Purgatory as "temporal punishment."
  14. When the Articles say that "The Romish doctrine of Purgatory is a fond thing," this does not mean that we are supposed to be fond of it.
  15. At the end of the day, if it is not in the Bible, it REALLY cannot be necessary for salvation.
  16. Point 15 is classic Catholic teaching.
  17. You should not care what the Roman See thinks of your status as a true church.


Joe Rawls said...

Very good. I swam the Thames in 1980 and have not looked back, despite all the craziness.

Bryan Owen said...

I'm grateful you made the journey over to this side, Joe. If anything, the Episcopal Church needs more folks like you!

Christopher said...

Excellent. Be careful about dismissing the influences of the Calvinists and Lutherans on us, however. That simply is not true. The 39 Articles reflect sometimes to a "t" the words of the Augsburg Confession. Lutherans are not Protestants in theology. In fact, if you dig into their Christology, their Cyrillites. A.M. Allchin's work is a bridge between this sort of hyper-catholicism that dismisses Reformation thinking altogether and maintaining a reformed catholic stance.

Christopher Trottier said...

I really don't know what to think of all this.

I came to Anglicanism from a Pentecostal upbringing. What attracted me was the stability of thought and tradition. I am not one to throw my brain away when I enter church.

At the same time, it seems like modern Anglicanism tries to be all things to all people. And that will never work.