Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Schori: Traditionalists are "Donatists"!

The Episcopal Church's new Presiding "Bishop", Katharine Schori -- fresh from praising "Mother Jesus" and stating homosexuality is a "gift" -- exposed her grasp of doctrinal theology afresh by accusing traditional Christians of Donatism.

Traditional Episcopalians apparently asked the bishopess not to consecrate bishops, as they do not believe a woman can hold the office of bishop; hence, all her ordinations would be invalid. Kate said she would try to handle this "pastorally" -- then promised to educate the entire church about the “heresy of Donatism. The actor in a sacramental act, the validity of the sacramental act is not dependent on the holiness or qualities of the actor.”

Donatism is, of course, one of the heresies from which St. Augustine of Hippo delivered us. Donatists believed the validity of sacraments depended upon the holiness of the celebrant, a dangerous view to be sure. (Specifically, they denied the validity of sacraments celebrated by priests who had denied Christ during the Diocletian persecutions, then had been reconciled to the Church.)

These traditional Anglicans are not Donatists -- they are Christians.

As I wrote earlier, they are merely guided by the scholastic view that sacraments require valid "form, matter, and intention." The proper matter for ordination has never been a female Christian, even one sound in her theology...much less Ms. Jefferts Schori.

No less an Anglican theological heavyweight than C.S. Lewis wrote in his essay "Priestesses in the Church" that a church with female priests could scarcely be recognized as Christian. Female ordination, he wrote, "would make us [Anglicans] much more rational but not near so much like a Church." Further, any rationalization of women's ordination "is an argument not in favour of Christian priestesses but against Christianity."

Now those who follow this inspiring writer's lead in his own communion are called heretics. Nor dare we consider this a new development. Recall, it was the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, who nearly 20 years ago called opposition to women's ordination "a most serious heresy." Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

What future could conservatives, or moderates, who respect the Church's history have in a denomination that would allow such a individuals -- regarded as "moderate" and "conservative," respectively -- any position, much less one of (arch)episcopal leadership? Why would a traditional Christian, who holds to the Christian paradosis on female ordination, remain in a Communion that recognizes this woman's authority, even in some unheard of "associate" membership?

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" -- Isaiah 5:20.


Blogger Inquisitor Generalis said...

When Ms. Schori goes to Hell, she'll be glad she was never a real bishop, as real bishops suffer the most in that environment.

5:05 PM  

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