Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shall We Go To Rome?

QUOTE: The Anglo-Papalist Ordinariate

This news is indeed fascinating and compelling, and will undoubtedly be equally fascinating to watch unfold in the days and weeks ahead. But it must be said that we should very much doubt that many in the orthodox Continuing Anglican movement will avail themselves of this new constitutional structure in the Roman Communion, as our priests and people are generally not inclined or disposed to accept the Papal Claims and Dogmas and have no affinity with Papalism. We should confidently assert that most of our Continuing Churchmen repudiate the I Vatican Council of 1870 and so find no overwhelming attraction to this new offer. Papal Infallibility and Papal Universal Jurisdiction, combined with Rome's rejection of the validity of Anglican Orders and its assertion of the de fide and salvific character of the Marian Dogmas, is altogether a situation most Traditional Anglicans will find simply too difficult to accept. Assuredly, for most Continuing Churchmen, the observance of the creation of the new body will be intriguing, but academic, detached and remote, and likely nothing more. We shall be 'observers and by-standers' during the process to come.

In the meantime, we await with hopeful expectation what yet may come from dialogue with the Orthodox Church in America and what relationship may yet emerge between Eastern Orthodox Christians and us, the original Catholics of the Anglican Rite. (The Reverend Canon Chandler Holder Jones, SSC, October 21, 2009)


Canon Jones’ writings can be found at the blog “Philorthodox,” and his comments above represent the Anglo-Catholic sentiments of a significant number of us. While we are surely pleased to see this move on behalf of the Vatican, at the same time we fail to see how this invitation resolves some of the core issues that have divided us all along. Classical Anglo Catholics came into resurgence with the Oxford movement. Within that movement some were very inclined to Rome’s perspective, while others were much more attuned to England’s faith before the great Schism between east and west. Blazing the path for the Roman leaning Anglicans was Fr. John Newman, and leading the way for first millennium (Orthodox) leaning Anglicans was Keble and Pusey. Since then, Anglo Catholics have come in two flavors Roman and Orthodox.

The point made by canon Jones is that for many Anglo-Catholics, Byzantium is much closer to us in doctrine and conviction than the Vatican, hence, that is the only place where true unity can be found, and going to the Vatican would be a compromise. First millennium minded Anglo-Catholics find serious problems with the Roman doctrines of supererogation, purgatory, and the required celibacy of priests, not to mention the dogmas of Vatican 1 regarding the blessed virgin Mary, Papal infallibility, and the like. These dogmatic disagreements do not exist between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy. Surely many will flock to Rome, and since they believe as Rome does they should go, but as for the rest of us, we will wait on Byzantium.

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