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Posts Tagged "Anglo-Catholics":

“Genuine question to my Anglo-Catholic friends”: Erika Baker

Genuine question to my Anglo-Catholic friends here:

I’m still mulling over the implications of provisions for Anglo-Catholics when women become bishops. And I understand that you are seeking to keep the Church of England together and that this will only be possible with fairly tight provisions that ensure you are not affected by any sacramental actions any woman bishop exercises.

So would this church unity you are seeking include any genuine recognition of each other’s actions?

For example would a new member in your parish have to be re-confirmed if he had been confirmed by a woman bishop? Or by a male bishop who has participated in the ordination of women?

Would the parish system as it stands still be valid and possible?
Would people have to indicate whether they are CoE or CoE/AC?
What level of unity would we actually have?

Or would we be two churches as remote from each other as the CoE and the Roman Catholics, who just happen to share a name?
What would all of this look like in practice?

  • Peter Bolton I think you have highlighted a very real question. Increasingly I am coming to believe that it is impossible to have a church which both does and does not have women bishops. I do not think that for long we could claim to be in the same church.
  • Erika Baker Peter, that is my worry too. I would regret that very much but I am struggling to see how it could really work in practice
  • Rosina Elston Cetainly not. Affirming Catholicism is inclusive. Our priest is a member of SSC which seems to be totally exclusive of women priests. Is that correct?
  • Peter Bolton But, Erika, some of us Conservative Anglo-Catholics are a bit fed up folk assuming that we are all like FinF.
    5 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
  • John Thompson-Vear There’re all separate groups, sharing some distinctions, but your local AC place might have no truck w FinF, eg.
  • Richard Haggis It’s very hard to believe that any of it matters much.
  • Erika Baker Peter, I can fully understand that. But you’re in the same boat that we are. In order to make this work we have to include those we find most remote from ourselves. And the question is whether that is possible. We could not have legislation and provisions that include you but not FiF – on what basis would we make those choices? Either inclusion is possible or it isn’t.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • John Thompson-Vear Confirmation issues are theological castles on the sky because they derive from the separation from baptism, which should be restored, even for infants.
    5 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
  • Rosina Elston So how do you define yourselves? You are certainly not mainstream Church of England; otherwise you would be under the dsicipline of the church and accept the decision to ordain women as priests.
  • Peter Bolton Mainstream Church of England? I would say mainstream is what the Church of England has been since Augustine landed on these shores – that is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
  • Peter Bolton That is how Anglo-Catholics have always defined themselves and so we see the modern CofE departing from the mainstream.
  • Peter Bolton I am mainstream, the rest of you are just a bit odd!
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Richard Haggis One lot of Pharisees drifting off from another!
  • Peter Bolton Why “Pharisees”, Richard?
  • Erika Baker That may well be true, Peter. But the point remains that you are not what is now becoming mainstream within the CoE. And for those of us who are it would be helpful to understand the difference between your views to those of FiF, for example. Having said that, I know FiF members who don’t seem to be far removed from you at all. Every grouping has raving lunatics amongst their members
  • John Thompson-Vear Post-Reformation settlement in these 2 provinces permits & encourages difference in unity – I don’t understand why such clear distinction & line-drawing is being required in this case?
  • Peter Bolton I think my problem with FinF is to do with behaviour not substance.
  • Richard Haggis I think I’m turning into a Quaker, I can’t see anything of the teaching of Jesus in all this
  • Peter Bolton I’m still not sure Pharisee was a good word.
  • Richard Haggis They weren’t bad people, nothing like as bad as painted in the Gospels, but consumed by rules
  • Erika Baker John, we don’t require any line drawing at all, those of you who need to have a certain level of isolation from women bishops do. And all I am trying to do is understand the extent of those lines and how they will impact on a daily basis.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton John, the difference here is that we can no longer recognise ministries – something which a divided CofE has always managed before. The Bishop WAS the Bishop – even if you hated him! – but in future there will be those who do not recognise the Bishop as Bishop. That, frankly is impossible.
  • Peter Bolton For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
  • Erika Baker Well, thank God that it is God’s grace and not our righteousness that opens up the kingdom of heaven
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Just one point of clarification on your original question, Erika: Nobody really holds the “tainted hands” theory. It has NEVER been something that any member of FinF or any other Anglo-Catholic has actually believed so, a validly ordained (male) bishop is able to validly Confirm, Ordain and Consecrate etc. He IS a valid Bishop the question is not whether his Sacraments are valid but whether we are in full Communion with him.
  • Erika Baker Peter, now that I understand that fully I struggle with the whole concept even more. How can we be part of the same church and not in full Communion with each other? What does church unity mean, if it does not mean that?
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton I totally agree. I think that is why it has been impossible to draw up legislation that will work for all.
  • Erika Baker How can I meaningfully be in full Communion with the Methodists and the Baptists and the Lutheran Protestants yet not with priests and bishops in my own church?
    5 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Erika Baker It’s not so much the legislation I’m worried about right now but the underlying theology. What does church unity mean if it does not mean being in full Communion with each other?
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton I would not claim to be in anything like full Communion with the above!
  • Peter Bolton I agree completely. We have two very different visions of what it is to be “Church”. Honestly and very sadly, we have to say that we are not the same.
  • Erika Baker And yet, Peter, I was born, baptised and confirmed a Lutheran Protestant and no-one has ever suggested that I must “convert” to being an Anglican. Even Reader ministry would have been open to me without any formal steps that bring me into full Communion with the CoE.
  • Peter Bolton I think the CofE is in full Communion with (some?) Lutheran Churches. I’m vague on that one!
  • John Thompson-Vear I have to go now, but I maintain that living together well in times ahead would be a lot easier than many think for all – & I point out that I have offered insight here without necessarily presuming to venture my own position! Best wishes, J
    4 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker But you, a CoE priest, are not, because they have women priests and bishops
  • Erika Baker Thanks for stopping by, John!
  • Rosina Elston I remember my parents’ shock when they moved to Chichester from Leicester when they heard a ‘traditional’ exclusive Anglo-catholic incumbent declare that he didn’t think that Salvation Army or Quakers are Christians! You cannot have Church Unity with people like that unless you conform to their view of the church. Such exclusive people should recognise where their spiritual home lies. A lay personwouldhave joined the RC Church long ago. I cannot understand why the clergy have been given special favours on this.
  • Erika Baker Rosina, apart from the bizarre PEV scheme there have not been any special favours until now. These people are as much CoE as you or I. And the church we just about still have has accomplished the miracle of containing us all
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton So, Erika, we talk of broken or incomplete Communion.
  • Erika Baker Yes, but within the same church!
  • Richard Haggis If you don’t turn up at the altar, you’re not in communion, there is no communion without communion
  • Peter Bolton Catholic Theology is happy to talk about a Communion existing between all the Baptised whose unity is in Christ.
  • Erika Baker But Rome won’t even give me Holy Communion
  • Peter Bolton (Quakers and the Sally Bash do not have Baptism but even with them I would acknowledge a communion in faith.)
  • Richard Haggis I just take it, and don’t tell ’em
  • Peter Bolton No, in Catholic Theology Holy Communion is an expression of an already existing fullness of Communion. Same is true in Orthodox Theology too. Again that used to be the way most Anglican Theologians would have seen it in the past.
  • Erika Baker Peter, I think that some of this confusion is down to the fact that we use the same term to mean a large variety of different things. Unity and Communion being the worst offenders in this particular conversation
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Richard – don’t you think you are lying by doing so?
  • Richard Haggis Nope, their rules bore me
  • Peter Bolton But you are claiming a union which does not exist. You are claiming that you are the same as they are when you are not.
  • Rosina Elston It has not contained it at all. I do not go to my local church because our priest will never invite a woman to celebrate the Eucharist. He came in without saying this openly. I am very sore about this deceit and the complaints from exclusive people about being excluded! Exclusive is as exclusive does. Don’t complain when you find you are not accepted by those whom you exclude. A black slave might have to serve water to her master, but that did not prevent her from spitting into it beforehand. We are all human; gender dscrimination has become an instrument of oppression.
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Shelley Huston Whose meal is it anyhow? Funny how we try to narrow somebody else’s guest list.
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Richard Haggis I have never given communion to anyone assuming that they were the same as me!
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker Peter, I take it too and many Catholic priests have given it to me knowing I am not Catholic. We are indeed claiming that we are the same as them. They just don’t know it. God does
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Richard Haggis But I do tend to assume they have a good reason for wanting to share, and that’s good enough for me
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Rosina Elston Is it ‘sharing’ if only a certain kind of person can carve the joint?
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Richard Haggis I wouldn’t insist on carving at someone else’s table
  • Peter Bolton What a strange analogy we have going on here!
  • Peter Bolton Fine, for the Protestant Tendency Eucharist is about sharing. For the Catholic Tendency it is Sacrifice. Please don’t ask me why some Catholic Priests have no knowledge of their own theology!
  • Erika Baker I think the Catholic priests I am referring to are very sound on their theology. They just do not believe that it excludes me
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Sorry, that should read “Catholic Theology”. They may well have their own theology – and that’s the point!
  • Elizabeth Wickens ‘No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine’ (John 15:4). In a recent sermon at my church it was said that this whole problem has arisen because of the compromise agreed to when the first women were ordained priests. God’s values cannot be compromised, as Christ teaches us. If the dissenting minority were to submit graciously to the majority vote, we wouldn’t need to agonise about this matter. The ABC was far too soft allowing himself to be bullied over the Jeffrey John affair, though admittedly in that case the opposition weren’t in such a minority as in this recent case.
  • Peter Bolton I do just what to come back on the “guest list” point that Rosina made: Indeed, everyone is welcome.
  • Erika Baker Leaving their own troubles with their own church aside fora moment, I am not bound by their theology. It doesn’t matter what they think they’re celebrating, the Sacrament is valid even if the Minister is in error:-) And so I feel perfectly free to take Communion in Catholic churches. Because it’s between me and God. And only He decides whether the sacrament is valid or not.
    4 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Peter Bolton This is not about validity but Communion.
  • Erika Baker I can leave the Communion decision to God t oo
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Then why are we spening so much time on the question here?
  • Erika Baker For my part, I am in Communion with every Christian on the planet. If they do not wish to be in Communion with me, that is up to them. It does not change the fact that they are part of the same body of Christ
    4 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Erika Baker Because the WB question is the same. You may not be in Communion with WBs but they are in Communion with you.
  • Erika Baker We do not exclude anyone. That is the point
  • Erika Baker The isolation required is isolation you need from us. It is not isolation we need from you
  • Peter Bolton It is not a matter of “wishing” it. Of course Catholics and Orthodox long for Communion with other Christians and most especially with each other but it just ISN’T a reality. We are in the world of reality here not wishes.
  • Richard Haggis You’re not even in anything as real as Narnia!
  • Erika Baker The reality is unknowable and lies with God. The reality we have on earth are the different theologies of the different churches. And they are, ultimately, nothing but faith. You believe that we are not in Communion, we simply believe that we are. And in this limbo we will be stuck until we no longer see through the glass darkly
    4 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Peter Bolton I’m not sure that your last but one point is entirely true, Erika. If the numbers had been reversed (as a few decades ago they were) those in favour of women priests were the ones wanting to move away from the mainstream. Communion is not something you take – it is something you have. It is those moving away from the fulness of our Communion who are isolating us.
  • Richard Haggis How can communion be “full” when people look at it, and really don’t much want to join it?
  • Erika Baker That depends on your definition of full Communion. For inclusive people, Communion is never restricted to particular groups of people whatever their number.
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker And that you can restrict who you are in Communion with is as much an act of faith as my thinking that we are all together, like it or not
  • Peter Bolton And, Erika, I would say that that is an entirely novel way of doing ecclesiology.
  • Erika Baker It’s not about ecclesiology. It’s not about church admin, if you like. It’s the reality of my faith. That I will take with me in whatever part of the Christian community I should find myself. I fully accept that the human church adminy part of it needs boundaries.
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker But for me, they will always ever be human boundaries set by people for other people or for themselves. Before God there are no boundaries of that kind
    4 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Peter Bolton The Theology of belonging IS ecclesiology in my book.
  • Richard Haggis John the Baptist never belonged, and he’s a saint, with TWO feast days
  • Erika Baker But we don’t get to decide who belongs, God does. And as we can’t know his thoughts with 100% certainty, all our theology is tentative.
    4 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Peter Bolton But have we just once more come up against Protestantism: Faith is what is inside ME V Catholicism: Faith is what the Church has!
  • Richard Haggis Empty pews and a history of covering child abuse?
  • Peter Bolton I think John the Baptist belonged to Israel -to the Children of Abraham.
  • Erika Baker We are all part of the body of Christ. We are all one church. And all our faith together, the right bits, the wrong bits and the muddled bits make up the faith of the church
    4 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Richard Haggis That’s a pretty wide definition of belonging then, not needing to be disciples of Christ at all, I can go along with that
  • Peter Bolton Whatever you bind on earth….
  • Richard Haggis Don’t, I’m still hoping the senna will work …
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker Once the faith of the church included that witches were evil and did not belong. Once it included that blacks were not equal to whites. Now it still includes in some churches that gay people are intrinsically ordered to an objective evil. That doesn’t mean it’s true. It means it’s what current thinking is. Some churches have discerend that women can be priests, others have not yet. They might never. None of that is evidence of any objective truth
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Whenever did the Church teach that blacks were not equal to whites?
  • Erika Baker Peter, I am bound. You might not know it. The Pope might not know it. It doesn’t change the fact.
  • Erika Baker Did you never come across some of the great sermons in support of slavery?
  • Erika Baker I must dig those links out, they make fascinating reading
  • Richard Haggis It was the law in Christian countries throughout the slavery period – and into Apartheid in recent times!
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Ultimately, the difference between us Erika, is your belief in progress and my belief in a once and for all revelation.
  • Erika Baker I think even Roman Catholic history indicates that they change their theology, if only very very slowly. We believe in continued revelation not in some kind of purely secular progress. And even those of us who believe in a once and for all revelation often believe that we are still in the process of interpreting that and that while God doesn’t change, our insights about him do.
    4 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
  • Richard Haggis Matthew Parker believed in the doctrine of “things indifferent, adiaphora”, where we disagree is how much we lump under that umbrella
  • Elizabeth Harper Sadly Peter the Church did at one stage teach that blacks were not equal to whites – its most recent form being the aprtheid church policy in Sth Africa. The reasoning (based on flawed logic in my opinion) was that Gen 9:25-27 stated that Hamites i.e. black people were cursed and to be slaves. We now believe that this interpretation is a complete misunderstanding of the passage. But that is the problem with revelation it needs interpreting by flawed human beings and so we can never be sure that our interpretation is God’s understanding of the revelation. Our own sinfulness (individual and corporate for the church can sin and get things wrong too) means we must always accept we might be wrong – all of us on all sides.
    4 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Erika Baker Elizabeth, welcome!!!!
  • Peter Bolton Perhaps by “The Church” we mean different things.
  • Richard Haggis Don’t we just mean what we want it to mean? “Of course The Church didn’t denigrate black people” (when it did), “Of course The Church accepts women bishops” (when it doesn’t, yet)
  • Erika Baker You’ve lost me now, Peter. In what respect are we meaning different things by “the church” here?
  • Peter Bolton Not sure what you are getting at, Richard. Of course we all come to our own judgements of what truth is but I still have to be convinced that the Church officially taught that blacks are inferior to whites – whatever some nasty individuals may have thought. A sermon by me does not, thank God, constitute the Church’s teaching..
  • Peter Bolton Again, I believe in a “given-ness” which other contributors seem to deny.
  • Erika Baker I’ll dig around, Peter, and maybe Elizabeth Harper can come back with some evidence.
    In the meantime, though, you picked one of several examples I gave for change in the church. That alone, even if I should have got it wrong, does not change the principle that all churches have mechanisms for discernment and that this discernment develops over time.
    3 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton Just one question to be asked of theologoumena: is this what the church has believed at all times and in all places? If the answer is no then it is a heresy 🙂:-)
  • Peter Bolton And with that I must away to the Hospital for a long wait and a short appointment 🙂:-) Do carry on without me and enjoy!
    3 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker It does discover that it continues to believe the same it has believed before but that it recognises that this belief can be widened to include more people than it had previously thought. A bit like St Paul realising that gentiles could be included. It did not change anything about Christianity, it just made it apparent that the scope was wider than had been believed.
    3 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Peter Bolton SO! Who makes that judgement? A local Synod or the Universal Church?
  • Erika Baker Back to where were a week or so ago! The CoE together with numerous churches around the world believes that it can make that discernment (women priests, I take it is what you are referring to now) for itself. Just like it can have a group looking into revising its view of Civil Partnerships without having to wait for Rome to discover that gay people are not objectively disordered.
  • Erika Baker It’s all a widening of the circle, all keeping the core completely intact but realising that the revelation has more scope than initially believed
  • Erika Baker Which is, going back to my earlier point, why we can be in Communion with those who have smaller cirlces but t they cannot be in Communion with us.
  • June Butler As I see it from outside the Church of England, (and perhaps it’s none of my business, and I shouldn’t speak out) the vote was a slap in the face not just to women priests, but to all women, not acknowledging them as fully human. Think about the petti…See More
    2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
  • Elizabeth Harper The “racist” reading of Genesis 9 given above was official Catholic and Protestant teaching of the meaning of that verse back in the 16th and 17th century. The problem with “what the church has always and everywhere believed” is that there is almost no…See More
    2 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Erika Baker Yes, June, the Universal Church argument only ever seems to be something that people who move away from Rome and the Orthodox church have to worry about, never something that those churches should be concerned about. But since I don’t believe in the Universal Church as an administrative body anyway I cannot get too worked up about this argument.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Elizabeth Harper Similarly Church History evidence suggests women were in leadership in the early Church and it was only in the 3rd or 4th century that women were excluded, for a variety of reasons, so that women leadership is also not an everywhere and at all times pa…See More
    2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
  • Richard Haggis If we shout loud enough, and stamp hard enough, we can make what we agree with true at all times and in all places. (Gospel of Saint Alice in Wonderland.)
    2 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker Elizabeth, I agree about leadership and women but that’s an argument against the evangelical headship view not against the Anglo-Catholic view that women cannot be priests.
  • Erika Baker And I accept that the “administrative body” was tongue in cheek
  • Elizabeth Harper Erika, I’m not so sure that this is an argument only for evangelicals. Those early women leaders, presided at Eucharist and had the same function and status (ontology) of the men, and were put in place by the apostles in succession, ergo they were prie…See More
    2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
  • Erika Baker Elizabeth, is there actual evidence for this? Because if there is, I don’t understand how the view that this did not happen or that female priests are not possible can be so widespread and rigid.
  • Richard Haggis Karen-Jo Torjesen “When Women Were Priests” I found pretty convincing, and I’ve seen “Theodora, Episcopa” in the mosaic in Rome, that’s not made up.
  • Elizabeth Harper The problem is that there is not nearly as much evidence of anything in the early church as we would like and selective readings and promotion of certain aspects of church history means that we are only rediscovering things by fresh examinations of the…See More
  • Peter Bolton This thread has ranged a bit too far for me to catch up except that I would like to note Richard’s masterful display of his knowledge of English literature.
  • Peter Bolton As predicted the wait was long and the appointment short. I now have a headache.
  • Elizabeth Harper Every sympathy Peter, it is very frustrating
  • Peter Bolton All agree that women had leadership roles of some sort in the early church – I would suggest that any evidence that they were ever seen as priests is extraordinarily shaky. But the telling evidence is that if ever it did happen it did come to an end universally.
  • Erika Baker Peter, there were only 12 comments since you left! 
    Sorry about the headache. That’s not good at all
  • Erika Baker It calls for an early glass of Merlot
  • Peter Bolton Just one more annoying question: If Christianity changes so much as the sceptics say, how can we talk about Christianity at all. Where is this core which holds together?
  • Erika Baker It doesn’t change much at all, that’s my point. It just expands. The core is always the same. Including gentiles didn’t change Christianity, Christ was still the core that held it together. Allowing black people into leadership positions didn’t change …See More
  • Peter Bolton I guess my question was aimed more at Elizabeth and Richard. I think your argument has great force, Erika. My difficulty with what you say is whether local churches can act alone. But I don’t want to repeat myself.
  • Erika Baker Elizabeth HarperRichard Haggis seems you are needed 🙂:-)
  • Elizabeth Harper Well I enjoyed being called a sceptic 🙂:). I agree in part with Erika, some of what is going on is expansion but I do think things change as well. But then my view is that this is what the revelation through Bible and Tradition shows. I read the Bible a…See More
    22 minutes ago · Edited · Like · 3
  • Erika Baker While they’re getting ready… my difficulty with your argument, Peter, is that the Universal church has not done anything together for centuries and is now so widespread and far apart that it is virtually unthinkable that it could ever again be an ent…See More
  • Peter Bolton Erika, ARCIC and similar dialogues have produced remarkable convergence – not least between Orthodoxy and Rome. (Even if the Russian Patriarchy is a little out of step at the moment).
  • Peter Bolton I do hope Elizabeth doesn’t read the Bible and drive at the same time. It’s no route map.
  • Elizabeth Harper Neither Peter is the Church a very good route map 🙂:-)
  • Erika Baker But, Peter, the Universal church must include all those churches who have since made their own discernment and moved away from Rome and the Orthodox church. It has to be more than the conservative spectrum. That Rome and the Orthodox might agree is all very nice but you cannot speak of a discernment of the Universal Church until every Christian church in the world signs up to it too.
  • Peter Bolton OK the above helps Elizabeth. I think I can go with most of that. I would perhaps want to say a bit more about revelation but we are not millions of miles apart.
  • Rosina Elston I’ve been away sorting out bedding/food for my hens. Lots of mud and relief from all this, but thank you for carrying on. We seem to have got down to fundamentals like the nature of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, and validating ‘truth’. I can’t see…See More
  • Erika Baker Now THERE’s something to celebrate! My most favourite evangelical friend and my newest and highly respected Anglo-Catholic friend are not very far apart! If we can do this…
  • Elizabeth Harper As to whether the Local Church can go alone. I would say look at the Prophets. They were often on the outside of the “Church” i.e. Temple and they were introducing revolutionary theology (God might be on the side of the Babylonians and not the Temple w…See More
    5 minutes ago · Edited · Like · 2
  • Peter Bolton “But, Peter…..”. Trouble is, Erika, as Ratzinger said of the cofE that it s not a Church in the proper sense but only a Ecclesial Community, I tend to think the same of churches which have given up episcopacy.
  • Erika Baker Peter, but if you go back to the last time your Universal Church made a discernment, you have to say that while those who have since split away may have erred but they may not have and they are still part of that group of Christians that have to agree …See More
  • Rosina Elston Why do you need all these definitions? Life doesn’t have definitions. When we think we have grasped a truth, something comes along to scupper that idea – this is the way of scientific/knowledge progression. Do you still believe the earth is the centre of the universe? If not, why not? because a Pope admitted it or because of the Maths?
    8 minutes ago · Like · 1
  • Elizabeth Harper The Church of the East has an episcopacy with claims as good as Catholicism and Orthodoxy to apostolic origin. What defines Church vs ecclesial community?
  • Erika Baker Rosina, quite. And when experience and psychology tell me that being gay is a perfectly normal minority variant of human sexuality that is no more or less healthy than being straight, why should I accept the authority of someone who insists that it is …See More
  • Peter Bolton If my memory serves me right, Ratzinger argues that valid sacraments are what characterises a Church.#
  • Rosina Elston And what of the Arian Church? I suppose that was written off so long ago, it’s supposed not to count, but Arian Christians were very influential in the east. We’re back to translations again – one half spoke Latin, and one Greek. We got the Roman concept of definitions and legal claptrap.
  • Erika Baker But if Ratzinger represents only one part of the Universal Church, why should his definition have automatic primacy over that of the Church of the East?
    And didn’t Elizabeth say earlier that they do have apostolic succession?
  • Peter Bolton I am not sure about Arians – I honestly did not know that there were any – but I am sure that non-Chalcedon Churches count.
  • Peter Bolton I am sure that most Eastern Chritians would agree. Certainly the Orthodox do. (Even the Russian Patriarch).
  • Rosina Elston He is only the Pope. Why should listen to him? He excommunicated a wonderful priest then had to re-communicate him. Isn’t that human fallibility? Why should we in England care what a Latin speaking Bavarian calls the turuth just because he is head of a foreign power? That is the English attitude to the Roman Church which has been around for a very long time.
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