Post Brockton Continuing Anglicanism

Post-Brockton takes a bit of wading to get through it, but it is interesting in this barren post-ordinariate, post-everything, time. Outside State control like under the English Monarchy and Parliament, I don’t see how comprehensiveness can work.

Comments would be most welcome.

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16 Responses to Post Brockton Continuing Anglicanism

  1. Andrew says:

    “Outside State control like under the English Monarchy and Parliament, I don’t see how comprehensiveness can work”

    After reading that post, I am dizzy. I can see why it is much easier dealing with people rather than jurisdictions when it comes to unity.

    • Did you ever see The Fourth Protocol with Michael Cain and Pierce Brosnan? There’s a lovely line right at the end when Preston (Michael Cain) finds the English and Soviet secret service chiefs together, and says in his thick London accent:

      It’s just a game to you, isn’t it? You both don’t give a shit about anything except your lousy careers! It’s about time they put you in a fucking museum!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Yes, it does come off as “a game”…but not sure exactly what sort of game. At the most simple level, it seems so odd that they are unable to articulate even the basics for where their dogma comes from and what it is. Without that, something like SCOBA could never work.

        So if “the game” isn’t about belief, what next? That’s when it seems to get pretty sordid and petty really fast. Is “the game” then just about who is ordained a bishop? Who controls which priests? Who wears what vestments? Who has a what (few) buildings? Who gets to count whom as part of their (small) flock? Who controls a publishing house or on-line seminary? Seems more about appearances and prestige than anything else. They don’t appear to have a lot of money and they aren’t fighting over beautiful well-maintained cathedrals.

        What has been said before applies: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Maybe some public penance? O Come Holy Spirit and renew!

      • Before I get really depressed, does anyone see light outside of the Ordinariates, the “ordinary” RC Church and the canonical Orthodox? Is there anything good out there?

      • Michael Frost says:

        Here in USA, I’d add PNCC, LCMS, and others who witness for the best of historic Christianity, both tied to Rome and to the Reformation. Sadly, the persecution of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and others in Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East is something God uses to remind us of what Christianity stands for: steadfast faith, strong family, and a worshipping Church that brings people to Christ.

  2. ed pacht says:

    “Unclean, unclean, unclean! Avoid, keep away, don’t touch.”
    There’s a lot of that in the article, much of it from people I otherwise highly respect. Somehow hearing it makes me think of St. Francis kissing the wounds of lepers and walking through enemy lines to have a friendly conversation with the Sultan. Which approach would (did) Our Lord take, He who was scornfully called “Friend of sinners”?

    There’s a strange theory of contagion, a fear that the touch of something wrong will utterly undo the good we seek to do, and insistence on guarding our own purity even if it means cutting others off from the means of grace. If ordaining women is as serious a problem as I certainly believe it to be, is it necessary that we reject and keep at arms’ length those who are not doing the deed but yet fail to have the full degree of revulsion for it that we may have? Does it help to return them to a ‘purer’ practice and belief if we cast them aside for being less angry than we?

    I’m an Anglo-Catholic, fairly ‘advanced’ in the way such things used to be described. I would sincerely like others to have as definite opinions as I do. Having said that, I find myself extremely uncomfortable with the rigidity seen in much of the Continuum. Often I seem to see more fear than love, and that is troubling. (1 John 4:18) “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” What are we afraid of? Might it be that our fears (even if justified) may put us in a radical separation from God? (Rev. 21:8) “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” I wouldn’t want to get too literalistic, but, if our fears of contagion keep us from following our divine calling, we’d best be asking that question.

    • This aspect of Donatism makes me very afraid. It is found not only in traditionalist churches but also with the liberals in the “official” churches. It is sounding the death-knell of Christianity.

      Perhaps what is needed is for the “broader” churches to unite in some loose kind of federation or something of that kind, but even there, there is always someone to the left or the right to be excluded and declared impure.

      Has Christianity ever existed since the Ascension of Christ and Pentecost?

      • Michael Frost says:

        Has Christianity ever existed…Yes, but I think we often see it most clearly in the lives of individuals? Esp. in the martyrs. But also in so many others who live their lives out on a daily basis in a way that is different from the world, flesh, and devil (e.g., Mother Theresa). And sometimes in great ideas or movements (e.g., the gradual attenuation of absolute monarchy, the elimination of serfdom & slavery)?

      • Yes, you are right. Genius has always been the property of individual persons. Collective humanity is mindless, cruel and philistine. Of course individuals can be evil as we hear about when they are tried and punished for murder and other crimes. Sanctity is personal. Theologically, one can only be a person in relationship with the community in the image of the Trinity, but how is this relationship lived in the Church? There are periods when it is less daunting than during others.

  3. Dale says:

    I read the posting, and, unlike others here, fail to see the problem. The writer seems to be calling for a rebirth of comprehensive, broad Anglicanism in continuing Anglicanism that will ape the present Episcopal Church, with modernist liturgies, watered down theology, and women priests…everything except those nasty gay bishops. Terminology such as “petrified Anglo-Catholics” seems to say it all.

    Actually I am rather uplifted that such jurisdictions such as the ACC actually believe in Catholic Faith and Practice and are unwilling to abandon the ancient faith for bigness (one of the few things Americans really respect).

    • This whole thing has me at a disadvantage, since my view of what goes on in America is based on what I read, and therefore my view is distorted. For example, I find it very difficult to imagine what parish life is really like in the ACA, the APA, the ACC or others.

      Perhaps this whole thing could be approached differently. To heck with unity schemes! Let each jurisdiction ignore the existence of the others and just get on with parish life and set up monasteries. Solviev had hard words to say about ecumenism organised at the level of bishops and official entities, when real ecumenism is at the level of the people (at least in a Russian town in the 19th century when there there were Orthodox and RC Uniates in one town not really aware of the difference between the two).

      Through bitter experience, I have come to believe that until Christianity learns to live without the crutch of public authorities to make people fill the empty pews, and until we drop the contrived unity schemes, none of which ever work, Christianity has no future.

      Perhaps it is best to let each church go its own way and for all churches to tolerate other churches and leave them in peace. I quote from Soloviev (my translation from French):

      The schism of the Churches, namely, the breaking of the fraternal union of the faithful of the Churches of the East and the West comes precisely from this misconception, that each party separately recognises itself as constituting the whole Church, has attributed the fullness of the universal Church to itself. Hence the proud distance of the East, and also from thence the audacity of the proselytism of the West. “Only my Church is the true universal Church”, says the Orthodox East, “so I have nothing to do with the West. May they leaves me alone in peace”. This is an individualistic and defensive point of view. – “Only my Church is the true universal Church”, the Catholic West says, “which is why I need also to convert the Easterners to my way, the only way to the truth”. This is an ambitious and offensive opinion.

      But in truth, the universal Church does not know such exclusiveness, it resides in the East as in the West, it is in everything that gives holiness to East and West, it is everything that had united Christian nations from their infancy and under which they must unite again to reach the fullness of the age of Christ.

      Before demanding something of others, we must think about our own obligations in relation to universal Christianity.

      Perhaps some Churches are more ready for unity than others, but generally I have the impression we are all too spiritually sick to think we will see any revival of Christianity in our lifetimes. Perhaps our generation would do better to mourn the passing of what we have known and read about, and wait for the Kingdom we hope to see in just a few short years.

      • Stephen K says:

        You’ve added another name – Soloviev – to the list of thinkers I have to look into! Not so sure that, in our appreciation of the fact that genius is ultimately a property of individuals, that collective humanity is intrinsically cruel or mindless, since after all, collective humanity is composed of individuals acting – or acquiescing – together. There will always be a tension between what matters to us as individuals and what we can and ought to achieve as individuals and what we can and ought to on a collective or communal basis. Disputes often have their genesis in a clash of individual wills over what ought to prevail or apply collectively, and this seems to characterise religious disputes and inter-church and intra-church strife like the situation affecting all these mainline traditions.

        Having said that, I think the cause of “unity” is one of the problems in itself because it’s posited as a goal when perhaps it is better seen as a by-product (of the main cause, which is love). Instead of making issues of such things as organisational unity, membership, doctrinal integrity, imagine if people occupied themselves with the question of how to love and treat each other whatever they thought, religously speaking. We are too hung up about the branding and architecture of our religious affiliation and it is only natural that in that process we take our eyes off the primordial imperatives of agape and eucharistia, which seem to me to be able to operate in spite of our attempts to strangle them by definition and conditions.

        In other words, what does it really matter what other people do in their sacramental arrangements. Can’t one still love them or set about learning how to do so? What dire consequence would really ensue if instead of promulgating pracrices and theology as the exclusive truth, people gathered round others promulgating practices and theology as personal meaningfulness and preference? The cake might come out of the oven with unexpected flavours, but if Christ is truly what one says he is then surely his resurrection will live on!

        Most of us don’t have the energy, time or imagination to start our own personal religion, or church or call what we do our own religion or church, but I suspect deep down we sometimes get close to it without admitting it and spend much of our time grating and chafing with the pre-fabricated model we found ourselves with from birth or random accident (if not actual desperation). We may be people who love the ideas of church and religion but by golly they give us merry hell a lot of the time!

        Anyway, I’m off to read a little more of Soloviev!

    • Charles says:

      Hello Dale,
      I’m the author at Anglican Rose, but I’m not sure where I called anglo-catholic “petrified”. I don’t think it was said in the article on Post-Brockton? If it was, let me clarify…I likely meant the ACC’s ecumenicism was “petrified” rather than anglo-catholics per se. For example, TAC and FiF are both very dynamic in their relations with pan-Anglicanism whereas the ACC is comparatively isolationist. With the emergence of the recent ACA controversy, ACC is undisputedly the flagship of the continuum in the USA/Canada with historical broad churches like those in FACA now gathering around it.

      Fr. Chadwick is correct to think broad churchmanship is unstable, especially when contrary principles are seemingly fused together. However, comprehension at least bring together men of diverse churchmanship (for a time), but nothing more than a federation can result until differences, particularly over WO, are resolved. Right now people are forced to talk and consider the orthodoxy of their arguments. Meanwhile, the territorial principle suffers, but let’s not pretend canonical territories exist in America much less anywhere in the West? I see parallel provinces among conservatives as the best way forward, but the ACC raises too high a bar, and broad churches like ACA, APA, and UECNA won’t put up it for long. That’s the basic insight of the post, I think. Sincerely, Charles Bartlett

  4. ed pacht says:

    When I talk about unity and the absolute necessity to find it, I’m not talking about how this unity should be organized. Scripture really says little about that, and Tradition has evolved some discordant patterns. That has to follow from the unity of Christian brethren.

    The shame, the truly deplorable shame, is that Christians are divided at the Table of the Lord, that differences have led to the lack of full communion, and, so very often, over such trivial matters. When the people of God act like one church, cooperate as they serve the same Lord, and eat of the same spiritual food, the organizational divisions will wither away. It doesn’t really matter much at all, for example, if ACA and APA both have Dioceses of the Eastern US, covering basically the same area, if we are (as we now are) in full communion with each other, with an interchangeable ministry, and an attitude of cooperation. In any real sense, we are already one, any any organizational changes are no more than a reflection of that reality. Would that the same could come to be between ACA and ACC, for example. – structures can take care of themselves.

  5. Pingback: Suggestions for Anglo-Catholic Union | As the Sun in its Orb & New Goliards

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