Monday, February 22, 2016

The north end, the Lutheran claim about the Eucharist, and more


  • Archbishop Peter Robinson: The view from the north end. Right; the Catholic ceremonial I love isn't really Anglican. A bare commemoration ("the sacrifice is of thanks and praise given by Christians") with church in the round, like Catholic liberals minus the guitars, is what the framers did, going beyond the Lutherans. Luther proposed doing this but never did, being inconsistent plus willing to bait and switch. Once the king was really on their side, Cranmer and his pals were upfront about being Protestants. Bare commemoration is not really Anglican either. Zwinglian Memorialism gets as much stick as Transubstantiation in the Articles of Religion. Which, according to Michael Davies, still make it clear that the Reformed religion doesn't believe in Christ's sacrifice made present on an altar, the elements completely changed, the Sacrament literally giving the grace it signifies. Also from Davies: when Protestants use realistic-sounding language about the Eucharist being Christ's body and blood, they don't mean what we mean. Pictured: the Communion service as Anglicanism's framers made it, not nearly as conservative as the Lutherans but still too Catholic for the Puritans.
  • One of our Lutheran close cousins: Luther did not bait and switch. He restored the Communion doctrine as it had been in the late 5th century. Take a look at what Gelasius wrote then, when he was Pope; it's the Lutheran doctrine exactly. Luther from the first set out to restore the catholic doctrine as it had existed in the first five centuries, and on the Communion, that was exactly what he accomplished. We truly receive Christ's Body and Blood. Gelasius, in 490, actually used the then well-established doctrine of the sacramental union of the Body and Blood with the elements to explain the then-controversial doctrine of the hypostatic union. As Christ is true God and true man, but one Christ, so the Communion is true Body and Blood and true bread and wine, but one Sacrament, neither confusing the natures nor dividing the substance. The Roman transubstantiation loses sight of the reality of bread and wine; the Zwinglians lose sight of the reality of Body and Blood; the High Calvinists (Cranmer, et al., following Bucer and the late followers of Melanchthon) recognizing the reality of bread and wine and the reality of Body and Blood but considering them separate. The sacramental union is not the same as the hypostatic union, but it is analogous to it. Luther never set out to separate from Rome. Rome kicked him out at the end of 1520, and he refused to back down, holding that he was teaching the catholic faith. The Augsburg Confession in 1530 was the Lutherans' effort to reach out to Rome, to show that they were good Catholics. In fact, many high-ranking Catholics agreed that there was nothing in the Augsburg Confession that a good Catholic could not believe, and there are some prominent Catholics now who say that. But at that time, Rome would not bend, and the opportunity for reconciliation passed. But this wasn't bait and switch at all. On the position of the celebrant, Luther wrote that it would be desirable for the celebrant to face west, but that, because of the way the churches of the time were built, this was impractical; so until churches had been built for celebration facing. Pope Gelasius interpreted the only way he can be in our teachings: the Sacrament has the true "accidents," outward manifestations, of bread and wine, and in fact remains the Sacrament only as long as they are there. The essence (substance), however, is no longer those things. If the church got the Eucharist wrong after the 400s, the Jews are right that Jesus was a fraud.
  • As part of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is encouraging governments, particularly Catholic politicians, to suspend the death penalty for the year, an impressive example of mercy; something he can say. But it's being reported as a change in our teachings, of course, a distortion of the old seamless garment going back to Cardinal Bernardin: "'thou shalt not kill' is an absolute." (The old Prayer Book: thou shalt do no murder. Different.) We can spare the lives of the guilty in capital offenses but don't have to. There he goes again, seemingly getting his cues from the secular world, but, like him or not, he seems to have a quality of great men in that nobody owns him. But that's irrelevant to his job, which most people don't understand. His job is limited to defending our teachings, which allow the death-penalty option.
  • Pope Francis may well be trying to melt down the Catholic Church. The thing is, it can't be done! His reign is a cakewalk to me because unlike Paul VI or even John Paul II, as Elena Maria Vidal wrote, he's leaving us alone to be Catholic at the traditional Mass, etc. Like St. Clement's, Philadelphia, 30 years ago under the benign neglect of a Protestant Episcopal bishop, Lyman Ogilby, who like many such with extreme Anglo-Catholic parishes in his diocese was "hands off" because he didn't know what to do with them. The system's semi-congregationalism helped. So I can just filter out the crap and continue indefinitely this way in the church, even without a Pope Benedict the Great.
  • The 74th anniversary of Japanese internment in America during World War II. The Democrats who suckered us into the war, in order to help the USSR win (Joe McCarthy was right), scapegoated not only innocent immigrants (number of spying and sabotage incidents in heavily Japanese Hawaii, where internment was impossible: zero) but born Americans because of their race (including Pat Morita and George Takei, then children). Opposed: J. Edgar Hoover, proud that his FBI could stop any spies and sabotage without it and because he was enough of an old-school gentleman to have a sense of decency about these things. Yet our elite venerates Roosevelt.
  • Ten little-known facts about the movie Christine. Scott Baio was considered to play Arnie Cunningham and Brooke Shields was considered for Leigh Cabot. No. Scott Baio wasn't badass enough and you needed relative unknowns as the leads, because the car is the star. But Kevin Bacon would have worked. The movie's arguably a black comedy played straight, not really scary (taken seriously, it's Carrie for men) and poking fun at nostalgia and at men and their cars, but Christine's every put-upon kid's best friend, the Santa Muerte of cars, besides being sexy. By the way, my car's AM radio, from the factory in July 1957, only picks up a news station and an evangelical one (she's Protestant?). It doesn't start blasting pop hits when she runs over my enemies. That's annoying; I paid for that option.

18 comments:

  1. Concerning this:

    "Luther proposed doing this but never did, being inconsistent plus willing to bait and switch"

    ALL of Luther's "liturgical reforms" (the "Formula Missae" and the more radical "Deutsche Messe" of 1526) were merely proposals, or even suggestions, on his part, subsequently implemented (sometimes combining bits of both proposed rites, and sometimes with additional alterations) by princes or city councillors who had embraced Lutheranism and who requested one or another of Luther's colleagues or followers to draft such "Church Orders" for them. Likewise with his "proposal" for celebration facing the people (which can be found in his proposed "Deutsche Messe," where he writes "but for the real Mass among true Christians, the altar should not remain in its current form and the priest should always face the people - as, we can undoubtedly assume, Christ did during the Last Supper. Well, all this will come to pass in time."

    A few small states and cities that embraced Lutheranism in the 1520s did embrace the practice, and a few new Lutheran church buildings were built in such a way as to require it, but the practice of celebrating "facing the people," since it was from the beginning a standard feature of early Reformed communion services (in Zwingli's Zurich, Bucer's Strassburg [despite Bucer's ambiguous "concordat" with the Lutherans in 1536] and, later, Calvin's Geneva, and since a standard Reformed criticism of the Lutherans was that communion services "stank of popery," soon fell into disfavor among Lutherans, and was later taken by them as a token of "crypto-Calvinist" views. So I don't think that to characterize Luther or his followers as practicing "bait and switich" is really fair.

    As to the response of your Lutheran friend above, it is a cogent objection, but (1) is there any real evidence as to what Pope Gelasius meant by "substance" in his remark about the substance of bread and wine remaining in the Eucharist, such that it necessarily contradicts the Thomistic formulation? (One of the great objections to "homoousios" in the Greek-speaking East in the Fourth Century was that it had been a favorite term of the Sabellians and used by them to deny the existence of a trinity or binity of persons in the godhead.) And (2) one may respond with something of a "tu quoque," given the Lutheran belief - never "dogmatized" among them, but reflected in their practice - that the "sacramental union" (viz., of the bread and wine with Christ's Body and Blood) ceases after the reception of communion and the end of the service, and the elements thereupon revert to being "mere" bread and wine - a notion absolutely unknown to all the Church Fathers and contradicted by their manner of treating the consecrated eucharistic elements.

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  2. If it wasn't for you yanks we would have been invaded by the Japanese . But Australia has well and truly paid our debt by fighting with USA in Korea Vietnam Iraq and Afghanistan. Time we stopped being sucker punched .

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    1. Matthias, 125,000+ Americans died to save the British Empire in the 1914-1918 War, half a million died in the repeat called World War II. Time we stopped being sucker punched to save your Empire.

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    2. Read your history mate our AIf trained your aef. Second we had 323000 volunters of which 610000 died and 155000 casualties returned home. As for the empire two things again outside average american worldview: 1. We stopped trusting Pommie generals,instead we trusted yank ones!
      2. The empire died with ww2,
      3.you arrived in the nick of time but for your edufication look up canadian general currie and then John Monash -
      Tootle pip old boy or as we say ooroo,

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    3. My feelings on this issue are strong and mixed. I'm an unapologetic America Firster, commonly called an isolationist. We should not be drafting boys and sending them to die for the mother country, let alone the USSR (the true story of World War II), which was evil.

      A thought I picked up in my reading: did the British Empire really go away or did its capital shift from Westminster to Washington, with open control of its colonies replaced by indirect? In other words, the Anglosphere IS the British Empire; the special relationship, MacMillan's fond notion of Britain as the revered elder statesman advising our president (more likely the president tells them what to do). The U.S. Navy does exactly what the Royal Navy (in which my late rector served) used to do. That's what the Rhodes Group, now the CFR, was about. The British elite knew the empire had peaked so they made plans with our elite to transfer to American control, before World War I! Even though there was a naval arms race between the countries as recently as the '20s, World War I began the shift, which was accelerated by the Depression (a broke Britain spun off its white colonies such as Canada and Australia first) and World War II (after which a broke Britain spun off its non-white colonies such as India and the African ones). Britain can stand up to Europe, be it German- or Russian-led (Germany is Western Europe's natural leader, offset by the Russian empire), because it's an American protectorate.

      That said, after more than two centuries of American independence we are still family. Over here, "the royal family" needs no additional adjective; it ONLY means the Windsors. Even rap stars defer to them on their royal visits, minding their manners like the most loyal subjects. By the way, our Loyalists were right in the American Revolution.

      Our government should not have gotten us into World War II, but the American volunteers in the RAF's Eagle Squadron, flying Spitfires alongside the Commonwealth boys vs. the Luftwaffe, were heroes (why some of our older Air Force generals in the Cold War had RAF pilot's wings on their uniforms). We should have made a deal with imperial Japan as we did with Red China decades later; Pearl Harbor was a setup in which we were ultimately to blame for killing a few thousand of our own sailors. But defending Australia as MacArthur did, because Britain couldn't anymore, was honorable, and something Australians have never forgotten. Like I said, family.

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    4. Matthias, please explain what the hell my father, as a seventeen year-old, was doing in the jungles of New Guinea fighting to save the British Empire? Why the hell did any American die to save the British Empire in 1917-1918? Why did half a million Americans die to save England and keep Stalin to occupy Central and Eastern Europe safe in the repeat performance in 1942-1945?

      I don't give a damn about your "volunteers" it was your damn Empire, not ours, and we were used, and you have the audacity to write crap such as: "Time we stopped being sucker punched."

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    5. Serge thank you for your excellent piece and it shows you know your history. Despite being a federation since 1901 Australia still followed England-as61000 dead on Gallipoli and the western front testify to. One thing though ,our PrimeMinister Hughes ensured that our Australian Imperial Force-note the empire moniker when it should have been "Expeditionary "- was not subjected to British military discipline hence no one being shot at dawn. Sadly our leaders now defer to -no disrespect- the USA as evidenced by Marines being based in Darwin in our Northern territory .Ironic given that Darwin was bombed by the same force that bombed pearl harbour and was bombed well over 80 times during the war. one footnote-the archbishop of Melbourne-Daniel mannix strongly opposed conscription in WW1 and this helped ensure a NO vote winning twice in two referendums. For further reading see LES CARLYON'S book THE GREAT WAR

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    6. I have noticed that Matthias has not bothered to answer what any American was doing fighting for the British Empire.

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    7. Dale your AEF was in France fighting to stop the prussian military machine from invading what remained of it and also fighting alongside british and Dominion i.e Kiwis aussies canadian forces. Your blokes were fighting supposedly under your own commander ...Pershing. all commonwealth forces were regarded as british but i can tell you speaking to some ww1 veterans 40 years ago they resented that. in ww2 many of these soldiers resented churchill being where he was as they blamed him for gallipoli. read i dare you the history of our Prime minister john joseph curtin and how he stopped churchill from sending two divisions to Burma. you sound like La Roche .

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    8. The Prussian military machine invading France wasn't America's problem; Dale's right here. The white British colonies entered World War I basically as parts of Britain; Australia, Canada, etc. weren't independent (dominions) until 1931. If I recall rightly, Gallipoli was the first time Australian generals commanded Australian soldiers, so it's more complicated than blaming Churchill and Britain, but this tragedy, in an immoral war, is huge in Australians' memory; Aussies are fun-loving and so will joke around about anything — except that. It is a milestone in the country's strong and thus love/hate relationship with its mother. World War I is also bigger in the British consciousness than the American of course because they lost so many of their young men.

      World War I was entangling alliances (having literal cousins in charge of Britain, Germany, and Russia was supposed to prevent such a war) plus the U.S. government's motive to enter. Not only was there some attachment to Britain to exploit (but you mustn't overemphasize that; our relationship, like Australia's, was love/hate, maybe even more so, Americans still fearing Britain as a threat to their independence) but American liberals such as Wilson saw the war as an opportunity for a kind of "nation-building," tearing down what's left of medieval Europe with its kings to remake it in America's "Enlightenment" image, "Liberty Enlightening the World" (the Statue of Liberty's real name). That and the secret agreement of Britain's and America's elites to transfer power.

      In World War II we (that gentleman, MacArthur) defended Australia as family, not that Australians aren't brave, but relatively there aren't that many of them, and they live on a resource-poor big island and thus couldn't mass-produce weapons like we could.

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  3. I've now seen twice Anglicans using leavened bread for the Eucharist. (the other time was on the Free Church of England's Facebook) What is the history behind Anglicans using leavened bread? Is it a modern low-church development or is a historical norm? My experience as an Anglican was also with the unleavened host.

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    1. I'm pretty sure it's a historical norm that Anglicanism's framers adopted to show a break with Catholicism (while claiming continuity with its episcopate — yes, it's contradictory). Unleavened wafers were one of the things Anglo-Catholics copied from us in the 1800s that most other Anglicans adopted.

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    2. The divergence goes right back to 1559; the rubric in the 1559 BCP orders the use of "common" (leavened) bread, but the "Elizabethan Injunctions" issued that same year orders the use of unleavened wafers. It seems that the use of leavened bread was adopted within less than a decade almost everywhere, except in the Chapel Royal, a few cathedrals, Westminster Abbey (where it was still customary in the 18th Century) and in a few parishes with "old-fashioned" ("Catholic-hankering?") clergy. By James I reign it persisted only in the Abbey and two or three cathedrals; I don't know about the Chapel Royal.

      Most Lutherans, by contrast, except in a few regions of Germany and in regions where Reformed Christianity was the dominant form of Christianity (e.g., the Netherlands and North America) maintained the use of wafers even when abandoning the use of Catholic vestments in the 18th Century.

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    3. I'm not totally against the idea for the Western Church.

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    4. Of course it's possible; it's a matter of culture, not doctrine (the error of the Orthodox is they confuse culture and politics with doctrine, so their Western Rite experiment technically uses leavened bread; they think we're frauds). Fine as long as you make sure either there are no crumbs or that the priest eats every crumb, since every consecrated particle is Christ. That said, the West has a history of heretics, that is, many Protestants, insisting on leavened loaves specifically to symbolically break with Catholic teaching, plus radically changing a rite is something we normally don't, and shouldn't, do. So in the Roman Rite let's keep the wafers but a safe leavened option would be fine with me.

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  4. Hey dale just saw your post. You sound like one angry man. But for the record our volunteers realised that they were being suckered punched by the "Mother Country " and acted accordingly- A british officer was remonstrating with an Australian private for failing to salute him. The Australian patted him on the shoulder and said "nevermind ,you can tell your motherafter the war that you saw a real bloody soldier". My comment was about our First AIF and the work they did. Dont really care a stuff about the Empire - i am an Australian nationalist first and foremost and wish we could get out of ANZUS and stop getting involved in the South China sea.Perhaps our parliamentary election will see more Australian firsts elected ,especially as Chinese businesses are buying up farms.Or if you think like la Roche -british people living in Shanghai. Dominus Vobiscum .

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  5. Matthias, no, not at all angry, but a bit fed up with your Empire. We save it twice, let's face it the Germans had already won the Great War when we were suckered into winning it for you, and a repeat in 1942. That is fine and dandy perhaps, but when people like you can only snicker about it...well, it is simply not nice.

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  6. Dale not snickering especially if you realise that in ww1 there was only4 million aussies and nearky 10% went to fight and61000 died so that Haig could get the glory. We should have stayed out but.....
    then in Ww2 general perceval surrendered singapore. I reckon if you read THE GREAT WAR by les carlyon you will see the general australian attitude of sorrow not snicker unless it is at the Poms.
    Here is to the memory of the irish rebels as well as the doughboys and the Anzacs. I do know that as a result of Ww1 40000 british soldiers joined the Catholic church which says a lot about the established church. Thanks for the yarn

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