Saturday, January 16, 2016
Anglicanism: What pushes people too far?
Interesting how women's ordination didn't break up the Anglican Communion but same-sex marriage seems to be starting to. (But the Episcopalians haven't been excommunicated, just handed a time-out from meetings by a group that arguably has no right to.) Both hit close to home but WO is a theological matter most Anglicans converted to. Sexuality of course is more primal, as God made it; ultimate our survival as a species depends on it (what marriage is for). So much so that dioceses have quit the Episcopal Church, which logically the Anglo-Catholic dioceses should have done after it ordained women and the Anglican Communion sided with the Episcopalians. The dioceses should have formed their own church, a Continuum with more clout, taking the hits of the lawsuits from the Episcopal Church, if they didn't want to convert to Catholicism. Believing in Anglicanism's true-church claim, a lot of Anglo-Catholics thought WO would blow over, a failed experiment. (A priest, to me, in the early '80s: "Only a few liberal parishes do it." You still can't be in communion with that.) Indeed, the high-church/low-church conflict 150 years ago, the advent of Anglo-Catholicism and its ritualism, should have split Anglicanism in two, and did create splinter churches outside the Communion (the Reformed Episcopal Church: episcopacy minus a Catholic-like true-church claim for oneself, opting for pan-Protestantism): not a matter of style but two completely incompatible theologies (soteriologies, ecclesiologies, and sacramentologies: Christ's saving work all in the past and a feeling of being saved, or the Catholic system minus the Pope?), only remaining together in England because of being a state church. They did both appeal to the ancient church, which Modernists, Catholic and Anglican, don't, rather rationalizing to get what they want.