Thursday, March 09, 2006

Anglo-Catholics Unwelcome in the Continuum?

I have long argued those who embrace the Affirmation of St. Louis -- with its acceptance of the faith "especially as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church" -- will never again be welcome within mainstream Anglicanism. The conservative Rev. Peter Toon at the Prayer Book Society Blog makes my point for me:
The problem is obviously with the Seventh Council where the topic is no longer The Trinity or The Person of Christ but icons and images; the veneration of icons was approved and given a theological foundation...If The Articles are authoritative then the doctrine of the Seventh Council and the Council of Trent on icons and images cannot be regarded as part of the Reformed Catholicism of the Anglican Way (see Article XXII and the Homily “On the Peril of Idolatry”, Article XXXV).
Note how he subtly equates the Seven Councils with the medival Roman Council of Trent. But the seven councils are not his only objection to the High Church Continuum:
Secondly, there is commitment in The Affirmation to seven sacraments...This is specifically rejected by The Articles (see XXV), which teach that there are two real, dominical Sacraments and five commonly called sacraments (in the medieval Church and into the 16th century). It is also rejected by the content of The Book of Common Prayer in any of its authorized editions, for here again there are only two Sacraments together with other rites that were previously in Roman Catholic dress called sacraments (e.g. Confirmation and Holy Matrimony).
In other words, even those sensitive to the High Church Continuum's critique of ECUSA's apostasy do not want to be in communion with them until Anglo-Catholics become good Protestants.

My AC friends, you can squeeze forever into the Via Media -- buffeted by Tooniacs, Zwinglians, and Episcopal Charismatics -- and remain theological outsiders in your own church. Or you can embrace the Church that embraces you. Bishop Charles Grafton saw the path ahead in his own day. Western Rite Orthodoxy is where you belong. Please come home.


Blogger Eric said...

I was not aware that Anglicans considered the Articles to be authoritative. Who among them does?

2:29 PM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Every group that adopted them. They are the founding document of the Continuum, although they would be most associated with the ACC and APCK.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Oh, sorry, I wrote about the Affirmation. Who considers the Articles authoritative? Evidently, the dread Rev. Peter Toon. Honestly, there is a contingent within ECUSA but now primarily outside (CEC, CEEC, etc.) that accepts most or all of them. Not, of course, counting the REC and presumably those portions of the Anglican world now in communion with the REC.

5:32 PM  

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