Monday, June 19, 2006

Lex orandi, lex credendi
Charley Wingate on the idiocy of liturgical revision, how making church childish doesn’t work and the anomaly of kids who agree with liberal church workers, a greying lot

As I answered this person yesterday in a private message-board:
At church this morning, a good friend of mine who serves as a cantor talked about theology a bit and I mentioned to her that I was an Episcopalian. We briefly talked about General Convention and how the effects may even split the Anglican Communion even more.

She also made a point that Roman Catholicism is still basically one big unit, despite some issues, the church with its orthodoxy is till somewhat a united body, rather than the Anglicans who are split into many splinter groups.
What Roman Catholicism has going for it are 1) the magisterium, which points to 2) a well-defined theology on paper, like the Lutherans. In practice it is just as crazy and divided as the Anglican Communion and often low liturgically too.
I guess my question would be is this:

1) Were we once a large united body as one Anglican community throughout the world sort of like Roman Catholicism is?
Sort of. It was more like a mildly Protestant version of the Orthodox communion. Anglicanism is really a collection of independent dioceses voluntarily associated. Before ‘the end of the world’ in the 20th century all had very basic credal orthodoxy in common and most shared the BCP (Protestant but Christian and implicitly Catholic liturgically). So except the very high and the very low — the Broad Churchmen hadn’t taken over yet — you had worldwide (in the British Empire and its breakaways like the US) a shared faith and a shared liturgy.
2) If so, what caused the initial split and was the issue of women being ordained a very big factor here in our own country?
My theory is that without state coercion the Elizabethan compromise that created Anglicanism doesn’t work and so the four brands of churchmanship — Catholic, Central, Low and Broad — naturally fly apart.

To be more specific, the problems pre-date the attempted ordination of women. Credal orthodoxy was fatally compromised at the Pike trial in the US in the 1960s — he was acquitted (but had the integrity to quit), which meant you could be an Anglican bishop and no longer Christian in your theology. (As recently as the 1920s an Episcopal bishop was deposed for denying the creeds are literally true.)

Fr Chandler Holder Jones brings up this item:

Union with Methodists?
My comment

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