Skip to comments.+John Hepworth [TAC], on TEC and Departing Parishes
Posted on 01/16/2007 5:27:41 PM PST by sionnsar
Main Entry: pri'mate
Etymology: Middle English primat, from Old French, from Medieval Latin primat-, primas archbishop, from Latin, leader, from primus
Date: 13th century
1 often capitalized : a bishop who has precedence in a province, group of provinces, or a nation
2 archaic : one first in authority or rank : LEADER
3 [New Latin Primates, from Latin, plural of primat-, primas] : any of an order (Primates) of mammals comprising humans, apes, monkeys, and related forms (as lemurs and tarsiers)
-pri'mate-ship \-*ship\ noun
--pri-ma'tial \pr*-*m*-sh*l\ adjective
Our hearts and our prayers are with the former members of the Episcopal Church from Virginia and other places - as they begin to "walk apart".
We understand their experience that is at once painful and joyful. Joyful, because there can only be joy for those who walk in His ways. Painful, because being forced by the power of conscience to follow the way of Jesus and separate themselves from a church that has chosen the way of sinfulness, involves the risk of leaving family and history and much-loved places. It involves leaving good people who are still confused and not yet driven by their consciences to this point. It involves, above all, leaving in the knowledge that others have done the wrong, and we are paying the price. In the Crucified Christ, we gaze at the one who has already paid the price, and he was without fault.
Our feelings for those now walking apart are intense, because we began walking this way thirty years ago, and it has been a long time in the wilderness. For Anglicans in the Catholic tradition (who until then were in beautiful balance with Anglicans of the Evangelical tradition, producing an Anglicanism that was a true Communion, with a dynamism that took the Faith to the furthest corners of the world), the point at which conscience broke was the ordination of women to the Priesthood. Catholic Order could not be stretched that far, for we could not be party to Sacramental and Eucharistic schism against the pleading of those who led the Catholic and Orthodox churches of East and West.
We grieved then, and still grieve, that our fellow Anglicans little understood the cause of our reluctant decision to walk apart, and that in many places they embraced this first wave of Anglican gender revolution with enthusiasm. We understood that we were following the demands of the Gospel and the practice of the undivided Church (to which all Anglicans once appealed) in upholding the great doctrines of Creation, Incarnation and Redemption, each of which is challenged by the ordination of women.
Separation in the Church can never be justified by the sinfulness of a minister, even a chief minister. Each of us sins and cries out for redemption. We have in our turn struggled to understand those who seem to be now separating because of the unworthiness of fallen human nature to be immersed in the work of God. But we recognise that we are now dealing with much more than sinful ministers. In the Episcopal Church, and elsewhere in the Anglican world, those very same doctrines, of the Father in Creation and the Son of God in Redemption, are denied by those who deny the power of God's will in human creation, and the even greater power of God's will in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus, his Son. "Mother Jesus" and "Gay marriage" offend the mind of God with just the same intensity as "gender is irrelevant" offends His creating Spirit. The ancient Church, and Jesus himself, would have us walk apart from those who teach evil about God and Salvation. We have noted with joy the steadfast leadership of the Province of Nigeria, the Diocese of Sydney, and the Anglican Mission in America, in upholding as biblical the discipline of East and West on ordination, as well as the related biblical discipline of gender relationships in marriage and morality.
There is now a great company of those who walk apart but who continue to cherish their identity as Anglican Christians. In the impoverished townships of Africa, in the persecuted Anglican communities of India and Pakistan, in the prophetic fragments of Christianity in Asia, in Australia and the Pacific nations, and throughout the American continent, there are now thousands of Anglican communities that have heard the Gospel imperative to "walk apart". That they do not walk together surprises none of us people do not walk together after they have suffered devastation. They must be gathered by shepherds who know and love their sheep. That is our next challenge. May God give us strength, especially to those just joining the walking. May He make the rough places smooth for them, and every mountain and hill in their pathway be made low.
+John Hepworth, Primate, Traditional Anglican Communion
From The Messenger
Good stuff, S.
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