Category Archives: St. Louis Affirmation

Connecticut Concordate

His Grace, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Seabury

The Connecticut Concord was signed Nov. 14 1784 by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Seabury as a condition to his elevation to the episcopate while in Aberdeen Scotland.  The Concordant established several points for the primitive source of doctrine, certain manners regarding territorial integrity,  and perpetual goodwill between churches. However, the Concordate’s principle article had the Connecticut church adopt, as far as possible, the communion office belonging to the first prayer book of Edward VI, it being most agreeable with primitive pattern.  It’s from this Concordant that the  American High Church party, starting with the New Englanders, as well as later traditionalist Anglicans, would make the  1549 BCP a moniker.

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Hardwick on Method

After a fairly long post on the recent Brockton Consultation, the question remains by what doctrinal standard shall the Continuing movement rally itself? Will it be a strict or nominal reading of the St. Louis Affirmation? What will be the status of the 39 Articles? Some traditionalists mistrust the Thirty-Nine Articles because they believe the Settlement too inclusive of Puritanism and therefore unstable. Hardwick’s historical method instructs the proper reading of Articles precluding these worries.   Continue reading

Bartonville Factor

A recent APA Logo

* AR usually avoids news items, but this event will likely have consequences in North American Anglicanism that will last for some time.

The World Consultation of Continuing Anglican Churches, held Nov. 3-5th 2011, in Brockton MA, recently provided a showcase of ‘lesser’ St. Louis jurisdictions in North America. In attendance were ACA, APA, and DHC. Surprisingly, two of the ‘big three’ churches (PCK, UEC) were absent. Mark Haverland, as the Archbishop of the ACC, represented the mainline of the  St. Louis Congress. The Consultation itself was hosted by the Anglican Church in America (ACA) which recently declined membership in the Roman Ordinariate allowing ACA’s anglo-papist wing to go their own way.  Continue reading

Parker’s Discipline

Archbishop Matthew Parker

The 1571 canon is frequently quoted without reference to the context of the Book of Discipline wherein it’s found. Introduced by Parker, and perhaps inscribed by Elizabeth herself, the canons passed the southern convocation of Canterbury and the Bishops of York added their signatures. However, it never gained ratification  from the Queen, or the entire realm, who preferred leaving normal church matters to the Archbishops. Consequently, the legal history of the canon is similar to the Book of Advertisements; mostly, they are diocesan and regional Articles, adopted by Canterbury and London with less impact elsewhere. But the canons provide the earliest terms of subscription prior to Whitgift’s three-articles.

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High Church POV

Although today’s United Episcopal Church has made great strides in unity with ACC, back in 1980 Bishop Doren was careful not to bind the UEC to the St. Louis Affirmation, allowing the “spirit” rather than “letter” to prevail.  Recently, the presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church outlined something resembling a Solemn Declaration. It must be said this was merely a passing comment by the UEC’s archbishop and not a formal intent. Nonetheless, what was outlined made the gist of a terrific solemn declaration, a genre of confessionalism that historically marks North American orthodox Anglicanism.

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Solemn Declarations

At the Continuum blog the Reverend Robert Hart believes the 39 Articles has implicit authority inside the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) by way of the 1893 Solemn Declaration, found in the 1962 Canadian BCP.  Though the ACC approves use of the Canadian prayer book, where contradictions arise the ACC’s highly adapted Solemn Declaration (see below) and unusual C&C trump.  Nonetheless, Fathers Hart and Wells have based their up-coming manuscript (The Laymen’s Guide) upon the very existence of the 1893 declaration at the front of the 1962 BCP.  While this is a questionable interpretation, Hart and Wells are both correct to focus upon Solemn Declarations as markers of Anglican orthodoxy.  Continue reading

Reversing Desuetude

Bp. Walter H. Frere 1907

Whenever deviancies from 39 Articles or Prayer Book are pressed, “desuetude” is plea invoked by liberal catholics to justify breaches against royal and ecclesiastical authority known during the Settlement, 1536-1662. In the past year, this argument has been heard from several quarters, and, whether TEC or ACC, it amounts to the same–i.e., the Settlement represents nothing binding.

Often those who appeal to ‘desuetude’ aren’t terribly specific about which ceremonies or doctrines have fallen to the wayside. Thus, the appeal to desuetude can generate substantial ambiguity. Last year, the term was used by Archbishop Haverland to beg the English Mass as celebrated in 1543 without answering questions on the theology pertaining to current Missal-use. More recently, the Reverend Fr. Wells propounded desuetude with respect to the 39 Articles, saying, “for the sake of the argument, I will yield the point and concede that the Articles are legally a dead issue among us, their canonical authority having fallen into desuetude.”

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the Rev. James P. Dees

Note: The Rt. Rev. James Dees (Statesville, NC)  left the Episcopal Church over  TEC’s escalating “leftism” in 1963 to form the Anglican Orthodox Church. The AOC was one of the earlier Continuing Anglican churches, part of the 1961-65 exodus. As the statement below indicates, Dees has proven himself a modern prophet anticipating later corruptions to faith and order such as recent homosexual blessings. The memory of Dees repeatedly persuades me why I am a Continuing Episcopalian, and how more outspoken men like Dees are needed in the Church today. There a number of  other things that might be said, but I hope to save them for comments below. This Statement is a transcript from a now out-of-print and very rare 1962 tract.

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Matthew 15:9

“They worship me in vain that teach doctrines and commandments of men: for you leave the commandments of God to keep your own traditions.” –Matt 15:9 (KJV 1769)

Matthew 15 has been a proof text used by iconoclasts to purge public worship of man-made ceremony and custom. Surprisingly, even Weslyan Methodists, who ought to known better by their 25 Articles, commended plain worship by this same verse, overturning ceremonies otherwise understood by Anglicans as  ‘laudable’ or ‘indifferent’. When iconoclasts believe ‘man-made worship’ is forbidden by the  second commandment rather than whether they server edification or “good order”, puritans loose touch with the older protestant idea of adiaphora, “It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word” (Article 34). Nor are puritans especially consistent when the prior biblical imperative is used .

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Lux Mundi

Bp. Charles Gore

Recently, at a local Episcopalian Church, I had the pleasure of sitting through an introductory class on ECUSA. The video was produced in the mid-eighties– before the consecration of homosexual bishops but well after after the ordination of women priests. What surprised me was how Anglo-Catholicism was so praised by ECUSA, especially the allure of sacramental mysticism. While I only may be guessing, I venture there’s at least two reasons for this–

First, the type of sacramentalism the video celebrated was truly a pantheistic sort, provocatively assigning nature and especially social justice (aka, alms?) the same kind of sacramental objectivity and virtue as the Supper and Baptism. No distinction was made between the nature of Christ’s sacraments and so-called church rites because ECUSA views its own prophetic voice and deeds (the alleged church and the related culture) as coextensive and equal to Christ. This solves an obvious hermeneutical problem of scripture being  the sufficient and final rule for faith. Continue reading

Anglican Formulae in the ACC

While Anglican Rose is typically preoccupied with questions of Anglican worship, I felt cluing friends on a recent week-long internet debate important.  As North American Anglicans grope to find a conservative orthodox center vis-a-vis TEC, two poles emerge: those belonging to the 1977  St. Louis Affirmation and those from the 2008 GAFCON conference. My interest is seing one of these two poles become not only a safe ‘harbor’  but a core of gravity that upholds classical formulas of worship, faith, and order– namely, the Prayer Book, Articles, and canons (/ordinal). While much is problematic regarding ACNA#2, the Continuing (St. Louis) churches also remain elusive– the flagship of which is the ACC.

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