Thursday, October 25, 2007

On the history of Anglicans seeking Catholic reunion
...everything with both Rome and Orthodoxy [which is essentially the non-papal Catholicism many Anglican Catholics have sought, neither ‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’/‘we’ve got the Pope and that’s what matters’ nor Protestant licence] is frozen, despite meaningless chatter that still goes on ... strong ties with certain mainline Protestant churches are based on a shared commitment to non-commitment, and a shared dogma that dogma is unimportant.

... [Since 1976] discussion between the Cantuarian crowd with both Rome and Orthodoxy has continued as pointless, albeit polite, chats. I could have added that the about face from both of these ancient communions (still divided from one another as the two One True Churches), westward to Porvoo, or, as is the case in the Untied States, toward the ELCA, has served to give the Canterbury Club a self-satisfied delusion that making nice with Protestantism is just as good as helping to heal the Great Schism in Catholic Christianity. ... it is because their new version of Sola Scriptura "as of any private interpretation (II Peter 1:20)," gives more wiggle room for claiming that one's wild ideas are based on the "sure foundation of God's word" than does a right interpretation informed by our Catholic Tradition, in which the Bible is the highest authority as it has been understood, always, everywhere and by all of the Church - "the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15)."

In 1978 Orthodox Archbishop Athenagoras remarked: “…the theological dialogue [between the Orthodox and the Anglicans] will continue, although now simply as an academic and informative exercise, and no longer as an ecclesial endeavor aiming at the union of the two churches."

To begin with, both of the two One True Churches teach that no schism can exist within the Church, but only schism from the Church. In a pure and perfected sense this is true, not as the ideal versus present experience that we find in Plato, but according to eschatology.

...the Coptic Churches were separated from the rest of the Body of Christ because of the perception of a heresy that never, in fact, existed: Monophysitism. If the doctrine had been taught, it would have been heresy; but, it was never taught. Here, as recognized by Rome in recent years, was something that, we most certainly have to point out, was schism.
Another more recent example is within the Roman Church: the row with the Society of St Pius X traditionalists, who are neither really under Rome nor in principle a separate church like the Old Catholics.

In the Middle East intercommunion between Melkites and Orthodox is a fact of life. The only division is the clergy don’t concelebrate.

I should add that the statements recognising Anglican orders were on one condition (nearly inconceivable considering not only Broad but Low Churchmen): if all of Anglicanism joined the Orthodox Church!
Because of the carnality of the old man of sin, our experience of the Church in this life (the Plato thing again) is less than ideal.

The One True Church has schism in it, some doctrinal, but more often matters of polity. The doctrinal differences, often misdiagnosed and exaggerated by young western converts to Orthodoxy, never really amount to a anything major; nothing like Monophysitism. Neither the Church of Rome, nor the Orthodox nor Traditional Anglicans are denying the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. Frankly, the biggest dividing issue is the whole matter of the Petrine See and the shifting dogmatic pronouncements about it, as well as the critique of those pronouncements. It really has never been about
filioque, or about theosis versus Anselmian atonement, or any other false and distracting non-issue. If it were, a few good theological discussions would have cleared it up by now, since men of goodwill are ready to learn together and from each other.

Sorry, but it is about that old man, in fact that old rascal, Adam.

There are no more half-Catholics than there are half-virgins.

Godwardness: Divine Liturgy (Mass), Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Visoki Decani (High Decani), western Kosovo
Sadly, as the result of the ethnic conflict in Kosovo [the Western-backed Albanian rebels trying to take the cradle of Serb civilisation], the monastery has become isolated, and is protected by Italian troops of the UN peacekeeping force. From what I understand, the only safe way in and out, at least for the monks, is in one of those armoured cars.
From Anglican Continuum, now in my blogroll. Don’t miss the side-by-side comparisons, translations and commentaries on each Sunday’s collect.

Larry (thanks for the mention) like other Catholic-minded born Protestants who know history points out that:
...my parents were and are orthodox enough to be wary of those Protestants who tended towards the exclusive and a-historical end of the spectrum. Luther I was told frequently growing up did not intend to break from Rome (though not in those exact words).
P.S. Russian choral church music sounds a lot like Choral Matins when I was a kid.

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