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Two interesting blog posts: on Rome and Anglicans, and on the 39 Articles

October 21, 2009

Tonight I thought I’d mention two interesting posts on what might seem totally unrelated matters.  First, regarding the big news of the day, on Rome’s announcement of the “personal ordinariate” for Anglicans who look Romeward:  Fr. Robert Hart has his perspective on this in his post on the Continuum blog, titled Thanks but No Thanks.  His analysis of what this provision means regarding Anglican orders is probably entirely correct, now that I have had time to think about it:

This is no surprise, and I have been trying to make clear for many years that no body of Anglicans is going to simply have their Orders recognized by Rome. Some call it Infallibility, and others call it stubbornness. I call it wrong; Rome is wrong about Anglican Orders, as has been proved over and over. No answer from Rome has ever refuted the apologetic work Saepius Officio (1897), and it is unlikely that Rome ever has actually wanted to. Instead they have acknowledged, one after another, the historical errors of Apostolicae Curae (1896), except for their inexplicable insistence about a defect of Intention that ought, really, to embarrass them (for reasons stated in my opening paragraph). On The Continuum we have posted, as well, a brief and excellent summary by E. J. Bicknell (published first in 1919) that makes short work, and a mangled corpse, of the Roman position, in a few words.

But, what does this mean in practice? It means, first of all, that Anglicans swimming the Tiber en masse will lose their bishops. Forget anything to the contrary, despite the empty assurance from these words: “Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.” Please note the word “appointed.” There will be no vote, and no court of appeals. In the pray, pay and obey Church your bishop will be appointed-maybe even someone with an Anglican past if you can find a celibate clergyman, and one hopes, a clergyman who is cream of the crop.

I’d definitely recommend reading this entire post by Fr. Hart.  Also, Bishop Peter Robinson of the UECNA has some thoughts on The Thirty-Nine Articles Today in his blog, The Old High Churchman.  His opening lines?

What is the proper role of the Thirty-nine Articles today?

Well, I am tempted to answer that question by saying “more than the Anglo-Papalists desire, and less than the Evangelicals want!”

If that intrigues you, read the rest of his post – an interesting perspective on the Articles for today from a bishop in the UECNA.

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