Thursday, 12 April 2007

Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam

The current trials and tribulations within the Anglican Communion have understandably attracted a good deal of interest in and comment from the Catholic blogosphere and from those Anglicans on its fringes seen by the Romans as ripe conversion fruit. There's been a good deal of discussion on the Roman claims that it and it alone is 'the one holy catholic and apostolic Church' and I attempted to pull together some of the threads in one such discussion in my posting of 28 March entitled Roman Claims.

Now another rather different take on this with which I fully concur emerges in Fr Anthony Chadwick's always thought provoking site, In medio stat virtus. The piece in question is entitled Divided yet but one in Christ draws on an equally thoughtful piece in Daniel Mitsui's fascinatingly eclectric blog site which he calls The Lion and the Cardinal and which is well worth visiting. However in the context of the present posting, please follow the link Divided but yet one in Christ and thence to Daniel Mitsui's piece entitled Permanent Scars.


Fr. Dwight Longenecker said...

Both bloggers seem too pessimistic, however allowance can be made as both are trying to thrive and survive in Europe. In Europe the faith is indeed in crisis. In the USA less so, in the developing world definitely less so. I recommend philip Jenkins' book The Next Christendom which shows how the faith is growing and thriving in the developing world.

But even in Europe, neither blogger mentioned the new ecclesial movements which are bringing Catholicism back to life slowly but surely.

Finally, the Anglican priest living in France takes a position on ecclesiology identical to fundamentalist Baptists. They say, "The invisible church is really what matters. The divisions we will always have with us. What is important is for you to choose a local congregation that suits you." Does the good father really mean to be quite so Protestant? But then, if one is not Catholic is there any other alternative?

Fr. Anthony said...

Yes, Father, there is an alternative to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism - in fact two that I can think of - moderate Anglicanism or Orthodoxy. There is even a third, ive it up altogether and think about other things in life!

Anonymous said...

Anglicanism is Protestantism with chasubles and Eastern Orthodoxy is just old fashioned Protestantism

Stephen Wikner said...

I have published the previous comment by 'anonymous' because I am reluctant to act as censor. However I give notice that I reserve the right to review this libertarian stance.

Needless to say, unless the writer is trying to pull someone's leg, I'm afraid he or she is going to have to produce some pretty ingenious arguments to support these thin contentions.

What he/she says about Anglicanism might just get by as a rather feeble and one dimensional point of view but I'm afraid that line of escape won't cover the remarks about Orthodoxy.

Fr. Anthony said...

"Anglicanism is Protestantism with chasubles and Eastern Orthodoxy is just old fashioned Protestantism".

This response is not "ad hominem", since I have no knowledge about "anonymous". However, the quote shows a moronic attitude, the idea of a deeply prejudiced and "formatted" person.

The idea is always the same, anything other than Roman Catholicism (and I surmise that "Roman Catholicism" is a particularly narrow concept and "position" held by "Anonymous") is worthless. Therefore this would legitimise proselytism.

I hope and pray that Pope Benedict XVI will fight against this re-emergence of totalitarian ideology within the Church. So far, he has promoted Vatican II and the cause of ecumenism.

At any rate, the TAC is in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church and not with fundamentalist sectarians.

Fr. Anthony

Fr. Dwight Longenecker said...

I had to chuckle at anonymous' comment because I suspect he or she was deliberately trying to needle Fr. Anthony. If so, he succeeded.

The comment was crude to be sure, but like most broad statements, isn't there some truth to it? After all, how does the Anglican claim to be Catholic when he (in order to be an Anglican) must deny all of the essentials of Catholicism? He may not, as a faithful Anglican, hold to transubstantiation, may not submit to Peter, and must abhor the Marian dogmas.

When I was on the road to Rome, and was trying to claim Catholic credentials a Catholic monk asked me very sweetly, "What specifically is there about Anglicanism that is Catholic?" All I could come up with was that we worshipped in a Catholic fashion, enjoyed Catholic spirituality and thought ourselves Catholic.

He pointed out that, as a Catholic, he defined Catholicism rather differently than I did, and that the main essential for him was being in full communion with the successor of Peter. The rest, he suggested, was form, not content.

I guess anonymous' comment about the Orthodox being old fashioned Protestants is indefensible, but then when you compare the reaction of Greeks to the Pope with the Presbyterians of Northern Ireland or the fundamentalists of the American deep South it makes you think twice. Their shared cry of 'No Pope Here!' causes one to think that perhaps anonymous has, at least, somewhat of a point--despite his comically high rhetoric.