ACC Makeover

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

Common Prayer Day

Common Prayer  Initiative 2012

Unfortunately, St. Bartholomew’s Day has come and gone. With it’s passing so has the 1662 BCP’s 350th anniversary.  However, the occasional use of the 1662 BCP for recalling the historical roots of local/ national liturgies, like the American 1789 or Scottish 1764, has hopefully just begun.  At a time when Anglicans suffer ecclesiastical diaspora and devolution, reaffirming the normalcy of historical standards, especially the 1662 sealed book, is crucial. The following post at River Thames attempts to address some of the unnecessary confusion between 1549 and 1662 prayer book ‘streams’ , basically chalking such up as a difference between a local “Use” vs. a fully endowed “Rite”. Of course, Papist clergy turn the relation upside down, placing the Roman Rite on top. The article at River Thames may be read here.

On Superstition

Alchemist’s Workshop

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

Northerness Redux

elizabeth engraving

Elizabeth, the Occidental Star

Happily, the Most Reverend Peter Robinson, UECNA archbishop, recently wrote a piece titled Northerness, regarding the affinity of high church Lutheranism to Anglo-catholic worship. Robinson’s essay touches upon a subject I hope central to Anglican Rose, and this is the  possibility and emergence of a “Northern Catholicism”. Northern Catholicism is interchangeable with a concilar Protestantism in dialogue with the Augsburg Confession, so an inquiry into high church Lutheranism is surely welcomed.

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Ministry Partnership

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.

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Mr. Stephen Cooper

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

Basilikon Doron

James VI and Mary, Queen of Scots

Tudor and Stuart Catholicism is often shoved from center-stage by the cacaphony of Puritan agitation. As a result, the sixteenth and seventeenth century Religious Settlement is frequently portrayed as a compromise with Puritan minds, having scant theological or moral basis. Missed is the Crown’s timely intervention against religious fanaticism, particularly how royal family and marital ties shaped church conservatism. Personal affections for “catholic” cousins, uncles, and spouses among the nobility tempered church policy. The writings of James VI to his eldest son, Henry, effuse with this sentiment, “as a witness to my Son, both of the honest integrity of my heart, and of my fatherly affection and natural care” (McIlwain, p.5); generally privileging family, natural succession, and continuation of custom against factional advantage and religious radicalism. Basilikon Doron therefore anticipates a conservative element whereupon later Stuarts, such as Charles I and James II, would indulge secular or loyalist Roman catholics (1). Continue reading

Salisbury’s Orb

Normally I try to stay on topic, or follow some sort of theme, but last week Anglican Rose received a very nice plug from Fr. Anthony Chadwick who’s a chaplain in the Traditional Anglican Communion serving Normandy, France. Our Pax Dei page was used at Chadwick’s blog, As the Sun in its Orb (SarumUse), to bounce around questions regarding a ‘northern catholic’ identity. Chadwick broaches this subject by asking, “What is classical Anglicanism?”

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Section V

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.
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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