Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Bishop Chislett on the TAC and Rome
The Continuum ^ | 2/10/2006 | Albion Land

Posted on 02/13/2006 6:08:44 PM PST by sionnsar

At the inaugural meeting of the PATMOS HOUSE COMMUNITY on 23rd August last year, I concluded my address with these words: “ . . . at this point in the disintegration of world Anglicanism, for ‘fair dinkum Anglo-Catholics like us', the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (and its parent body, the “Traditional Anglican Communion”), though small, is an entirely satisfactory regrouping of Anglicans to which we can belong, especially in the light of current conversations which many hope will lead to the TAC's becoming an “Anglican Rite Church” in full communion with the Holy See of Rome.”

Are we in cloud cuckoo land? Could this really come about? Surely we are overstating things!

I want to remind you of a few facts. There have been Christ-centred, Bible-believing, Gospel-driven, Catholic-minded Anglicans ever since the split in the 1530s who have prayed and worked for the reunion of all Christians (including the Church of England) with the Holy See of St Peter. These “papalist Anglicans” have been hated and despised by just about everyone simultaneously (including, strange as it may seem, other Anglo-Catholics). But through the centuries they prayed, and prayed and prayed.

In the early 20th Century these Anglicans played a major role in significant ecumenical discussion, and, indeed, with Abbé Paul Couturier, the establishment of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, believing such unity to be the will of Jesus for his Church. Following Vatican II it seemed that their prayers were being answered as the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) began to produce agreed statements as part of the journey to the reunion of Rome and Canterbury. Most Anglicans - even those who didn't really approve - were coming to accept that reunion was inevitable.

Then various member Churches of the Anglican Communion began to create NEW obstacles to unity. No longer content to accept the authority of Holy Scripture, or the Faith and Order of Catholic Christendom to which historic Anglican formularies had committed us, bishops around the world began to play fast and loose with just about every Christian doctrine, from the divinity of Christ to the Gospel itself, to Christian marriage, to the Holy Spirit's role in Confirmation.

With the purported ordination of women to the priesthood - and in some places the episcopate - arose the need for all clergy who were true Anglican Catholics to insulate themselves ecclesially, ensuring that they and their people were in receipt of valid sacraments.

Most recently, same-sex marriage has come to the fore as the issue most likely to end the Anglican Communion as we have known it.

Throughout this process, first world Anglicans desiring to proclaim the Gospel and maintain the Catholic Faith have had to regroup. Wherever possible this has been “just inside” existing Anglican structures (the use of “flying bishops” in England, and the adoption of parishes in the USA by “offshore” third world bishops). In many places, however, because of the intransigence and cruelty of liberal bishops, orthodox Anglican Catholics have had to regroup “just outside” existing Anglican structures into “continuing” Anglican Churches. At the international level the Traditional Anglican Communion is the largest of these bodies.

For 13 years, leaders of the TAC have expressed a desire to establish a relationship with Rome with a view to being “united but not absorbed” (Pope Paul VI's vision), believing that what became impossible for the Anglican Communion as a whole could be achieved by those Anglicans who remained demonstrably orthodox.

We have been encouraged by the response of many Roman Catholic leaders at various levels.
But on both the Anglican side and the Roman Catholic side there are others who are extremely unkind towards us. Nowhere is this more hurtful than when liberal Anglican and liberal Roman Catholic authorities collude to discredit us, presumably to try and maintain the Anglican status quo at all cost!

It will obviously take time and patience for the TAC as a community (together with other Anglican groups who might become part of the process) to make what John Paul II called the “arduous journey” to Christian unity. But because we are Catholic Christians who believe in the Petrine unity of the Church, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will gently and prayerfully persist, determined to overcome the obstacles before us.

Father Joseph Wilson, a Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, USA, and a keen observer of Anglican affairs, has written about these things. I conclude with his reflections as published in The Messenger.

“. . . Ecumenical dialogue [i.e. between Rome and Anglicanism] is entering a more realistic phase. As the two churches diverged more and more, the “official dialogue” proceeded and issued optimistic statements; if the official communiques were to be believed, it seemed as though the two churches were growing steadily closer as doctrinal and moral differences between them multiplied.

“Successive Archbishops of Canterbury and Presiding Bishops of the USA were ceremonially received by the Pope in Rome, all the while the official Anglican establishment in Britain and North America was getting loonier and loonier.

“Meanwhile, within the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Church of England, faithful traditionalist Anglicans were struggling to preserve their heritage, and continuing Anglicans, having left the official Anglican Communion to form their own bodies, were persevering against immense odds. With all of these, the Holy See certainly had more in common than with the Anglican Communion establishment with which it was dialoguing.

“But things have slowly been changing in the past few years. Bishops of continuing Anglican churches have been cordially received at Rome, and conversations quietly begun; and when those conversations encountered obstacles among some in the Roman Curia, those obstacles were overcome. Forward in Faith/UK, the traditionalist group in Britain, has been engaged in serious, cordial conversations with Rome.

“And Rome itself has said that it will no longer feel obligated to channel all of its Anglican conversations through the official channels of the Anglican Communion.

“And now there is reason to hope that we return to the Lord Jesus, who is, after all, the Point of it all. We return to the Lord Jesus, who prayed that we might be one. We return to the Lord Jesus and to his Gospel, remembering that the one thing needful is that we be faithful to him.
“. . . it seems that, after so long, there's not just a future to hope in, but to be optimistic about as well. Great things are about to happen, great things done by the Lord.”

This “. . . is a dialogue Anglicans began in good faith 39 years ago, and it is a dialogue that we [the TAC] are bound to continue, ‘that', as our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘they may be one, even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.' [St John 17:22b, 23]”

- The Rt Rev'd Peter Wilkinson, Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church in Canada.

Bishop David Chislett in The Messenger, Feb 10, 2006

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 02/13/2006 6:08:45 PM PST by sionnsar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NYer; Knitting A Conundrum; Salvation

Thought you ladies might be interested in this one.

Some very, very hopeful news!

2 posted on 02/13/2006 6:57:13 PM PST by markomalley (Vivat Iesus!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother


3 posted on 02/13/2006 7:04:13 PM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sionnsar; GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; livius; goldenstategirl; ..


4 posted on 02/13/2006 7:04:23 PM PST by narses (St Thomas says “lex injusta non obligat”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
All right!

A very, very good sign.

I can tell you from personal experience that there is not a dime's worth of theological difference between Catholics and an old-fashioned Anglo-Catholic. We explored this thoroughly with our new rector, who is a very learned man, and it became clear very quickly that the only matters on which we had any divergence from the Catholic Church were the validity of Anglican Orders and the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. As my husband said, "We can deal!"

Since the Anglican Orders have proved their invalidity by their fruits, and since most Anglo-Catholics are longing for Adult Leadership, I don't think either of those issues will prove to be a sticking point.

Dear Lord, hasten the day!

5 posted on 02/13/2006 7:09:32 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

Well, I grew up a High Church Anglican, and converted to Catholicism in college.

I can remember when the Anglican Church was thought to be one of the closest to the Catholic Church, and an appropriate partner for ecumenical dialogue. But over the years they moved further and further away from the Catholic Church and imposed more and more difficulties, as these commentaries note.

At the same time, oddly, the Catholic Church in America has moved closer to Evangelical Protestants, who used to think of the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon. No doubt some of them still do, but there has been a remarkable convergence nonetheless, on pro-life issues, morality, the importance of the Bible as an authority, and the primacy of Jesus as personal savior.

But I would hope that the Catholic Church can welcome in Anglo-Catholics, who still remain faithful to the ancient creeds and the Apostolic Succession. That is especially the case with married Anglican clergy, who might want to come into the Catholic Church but would need the dispensation accorded to Anglicans in order to become priests of the Catholic Church.

And I would hope that there might be room for Anglicans as a body in the Church, as there is for Eastern Rite Catholics who keep their liturgies and Metropolitans but are in full communion with the Church.

6 posted on 02/13/2006 7:41:28 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson