This year my family had opportunity to attend the UECNA’s 2014 General Convention. There was an anticipation this Convention would have a tremendous bearing upon the future of the continuing church. Anglican Rose has taken liberty to infer several ideas not neccesarily shared by Bp. Robinson.
2013 Predictions. In an earlier essay called “Post-Brockton“, I offered a few predictions regarding the ultimate failure of the ACC’s staunch non-involvement policy, namely, forbidding unity with Anglican churches which are in communion with other churches that ordain women, or “double non-involvement”. Of course, the ACC was targeting ACNA and FACA-related bodies like the APA, DHC, and especially the REC(1). I also predicted the APA and UECNA would grow restless of any hard isolationist policy, sooner or later breaking from it in favor of a larger unity with North American churches besides ACC. While much remains to be seen, the UECNA has apparently left the ACC-orbit. Continue reading
Since 1977 personality conflict has stereotyped division in the continuing movement (1). Ironically, complicating ecclesiastical fragmentation in the Continuum has been the keeping of rigid geographic dioceses. Thankfully, this prejudice is beginning to erode as extra mural Anglicans are consciously redefining dioceses in ‘relational’ rather than geographic terms– allowing congregations to align themselves to like-minded Bishops . Last August, the APA–DMA standing committee voted to postpone reunion with ACA. Some worry the APA-ACA merger process might be derailed. But, we ask, “why not let DMA remain a relatively independent diocese while the rest of the APA/ACA press forward, permitting a non-geographic option?” This may be a last ditch solution, but it could also preserve a broad church identity while the rest of APA rushes toward a more rigid ‘anglo-catholic’ identity.
His Rt. Rev. Lordship Peter Robinson
Congratulations! Recently, the Anglican Bible & Book Society (ABBS) received Bishop Peter Robinson as their episcopal Patron. Bishop Robinson has been a long-time favorite at this blog, and my wife and I traveled to Arizona to be confirmed by his Grace prior to our marriage in 2010. It’s our humble opinion that Mr. Robinson is perhaps the best learned Anglican bishop in North America. His writings have been an enormous help in locating the true boundaries of Anglican belief. His essays may be found at Old High Churchman. Continue reading
The Ark’s Procession
I’ve been reading Barbara Gent and Betty Sturges’ handbook for Altar Guilds, published in 1982. The handbook partly deals with the history of the Sacristan and how it’s changed since the Victorian era. Until now, I haven’t pondered the orthodoxy of women serving at the Altar. Instead, I assumed anything that involved folding or cleaning linen was ‘servile’ or ‘housekeeping’– thus, no overthrow of male headship. But male headship has its limits, and it does not answer why altar service was first targeted by early feminists. Until I read Gent’s guide, I had no idea how recent an innovative were women-led Altar Guilds. The phenomena of female ordination might be blamed upon the loss of the Altar (or even sanctuary) as a focal point for public worship?
Lady of the Snows
This post is the last of a four-part series on the future of the Continuing movement and it potential impact on North American Anglicanism. The earlier commentary can be read at “Continuing Politics” under AR’s Scriptorium.
Otherwise known as the World Consultation, the Anglican futures conference held in Brockton, MA in 2011 may have been the most important event to hit the Continuing Anglican movement since the 1998 REC-APA unity talks. While the precise consequence of the Brockton conference is elusive, two possible outcomes that impact North American Anglicanism seem immanent. ”Post-Brockton” not only can unite the majority of the continuum, but it also risks cutting ties with ACNA (more specifically the REC-FiFNA coalition inside ACNA). Some of these contours have already been examined in the earlier yet equally lengthy article: the Bartonville Factor.
Despite appearances to the contrary, Anglican Rose acknowledges the good of the St. Louis Affirmation. The Affirmation was a needed antidote to the 1970’s civil rights mania infecting the church, correcting the tide of feminism by appeal to Tradition. However, when the Affirmation is taken in a ‘confessional’ sense, it narrows churchmanship on strict anglo-catholic lines (1). Against this insertion of “old catholic” doctrine, the main of continuing churches have kept a broad ethos. Yet, the Affirmation is hardly a solution to illicit Anglican comprehension since the Accord generates its own set of disagreements. A shorter version of the Affirmation better represents the broad orthodoxy (historically characteristic) of the continuing movement. Continue reading
The other day I ran across the updated website of the ACC. I was very surprised, especially by FAQ links that staked out the ACC’s position on the English Reformation and therefore Anglican formularies. At first glance, it appeared to defend the Elizabethan Settlement, even calling the ACC a “reformed Catholic church”. Nonetheless, I kept myself fastened to the ground and asked if the new webpages represented a retraction of the ACC’s Athens Statement; in other words, was ACC finally approving the the basic theology of the Settlement period? What follows is a comparison of the content of the new website to the older Athens Statement, and maybe from there a sober evaluation can be had. Readers will find the ACC’s identity hinges upon a theory of doctrinal development between the Settlement and Tractarianism, ultimately justifying the ACC’s current theological position (which we will call ‘Stahlism’). Continue reading
Easter Eve’s renewed popularity might be caused by a renewed interest in sacramentals for Anglican ritual– the paschal candle, holy fire, the blessing of the font, sacred salt, distribution of lesser candles, burning of palms, use of incense, etc.. The Easter Eve service I last attended was packed with sacramentals, and, as each sacramental was blessed, the priest waved a stylus and incanted prayers, making the ceremony resemble wizardry. “Superstition” is a term often used by English Reformers against the abuses of Papistry but also, occasionally, overly-scrupulous Puritanism. My interest is with the former, namely, how Roman sacramentology agrees with medieval alchemy when it believes an ordinary substance (be it a palm leaf, candle, or charism oil) is magically transformed into divine essence through an infusion of invisible spirit. This post is a compendium to another, the St. Louis Affirmation, building upon a workable enumeration of Sacraments. Continue reading
Earlier posts mentioned “ministry partnership” as an example of a third relationship for Anglican churches that neither wish “full-communion” nor strict a “non-involvement” with ACNA or like jurisdictions. Is it possible for Continuers to cooperate with ‘orthodox’ parishes, dioceses, and (sub)provinces who have ties to Canterbury yet themselves resist the ordering of women as priests and bishops, as Affirmation’s preamble suggests? The question sadly becomes polarized between two extremes (“full merger” or “ecclesiastical abstinence”) while graded possibilities exist with ACNA and even some TEC. Ministry partnership is used today among pro-unity continuers (i.e., FACA aligned churches like EMC, APA, ACA, and DHC) who are open to helping ACNA. However, what duties accompany Ministry Partnership (MP) is murky. This post is an attempt to define MP status by looking at ACNA (and related) documents.
I am very proud to present several facsimiles by Mr. Stephen Cooper (below). These facsimiles are about pamphlet-size, yet offer a vital apologetic against the ecclesiastical isolationism of the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), enshrined by their constitution and canons by men of dubious opinions like Andrew Stahl (1). Most of these writings date back to the 1990’s, providing an interpretation of the Affirmation of St. Louis common among a majority both before and after the 1977 Congress, namely, those “middle-of-the-road” Episcopalians who identified with a church simultaneously “protestant” and “catholic”. Mr Cooper tells us something of the “old-ACA” as coming from earlier jurisdictions like AEC and AECNA. Cooper also provides something of a gravity against the unstable vertigo of Clavier’s broad churchmanship. From Cooper we get a feel for what once counted as authentic ‘continuing epsicopalianism’. Continue reading
The history of the Continuum has been marked by on-and-off ecumenicism with “orthodox” parts of TEC, these being dioceses and parishes that have more or less suppressed women’s ordination. In the course of this ecumenicism two opinions emerge. The first opinion recognizes various degrees WO has been accepted, holding out a possibility that certain quarters of realignment Anglicanism might reverse ordinations into priesthood or even diaconate. The second is certain that wrong intent and compromise of sacramental integrity automatically nullifies every charism for Holy Orders, making extreme disassociation with respect to neo-Anglicanism necessary. Since the receding of FACA, the latter opinion has made headway among Continuing churches, justifying de facto policies of strict non-involvement (1). Non-involvement has direct bearing upon the future of North American Anglicanism, hindering what might be dubbed “solidarity” with faithful parts struggling in Lambeth.