Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

[What it means to be] In Communion
Anglican Philosopher ^ | 1/25/2007

Posted on 01/16/2007 5:44:34 PM PST by sionnsar

Much has been said with regard to whether one person, sect, or group is in communion with another. The Anglican Church of Canada is boasting that it is finally in full communion with the Lutherans. The conservatives within the Anglican Communion are claiming that they are in impaired communion with (pick one), Michael Ingham, the entire diocese of New Westminster, the entire Anglican Church of Canada, all of the primates who are part of churches doing naughty things, and so on, and so on. The liberals, on the other hand, normally claim that communion is not broken or impaired because we have enough in common that we are all still in communion with each other.

There seem to be two meanings of the words “in communion.” The first is the most obvious, and that is that the people or groups in question literally can gather around the same table, given institutional rules and practices. Thus, Anglicans are not in full communion with Roman Catholics, because we cannot share their table. We are in communion with Lutherans, though. And so far, all Anglicans in the Communion are in communion with each other (by definition, I guess).

The second meaning is more tricky, and it is the communion which transcends institutional structures. Those who claim that they cannot take communion with liberals are claiming that there is a deeper meaning to being in communion than simply to being allowed to share the same table. The question for me is what the meaning of this deeper sense of communion is. I tend to think of it as the communion of saints - that all who are in the Body are in communion with each other because we are in communion with Christ. Because of institutional squabbles, and the fact that the Body of Christ is not a visible body, this does not correspond to those who are in institutional communion with one another.

The difficult question is what the relationship should be between the true communion and the institutional communion.I’ve been trying to work this one out for ages without the benefit of having time to read all of the materials that would make my attempt easier. So far, I can’t seem to generate an answer. That I cannot take communion with a like-minded Roman Catholic but can with an Anglican who appears to not even be a believer is puzzling to me. Perhaps, however, that’s just the effect of the brokenness we experience in this life.

TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Orthodox Christian
[No doubt there will be MUCH discussion and debate on this... --sionnsar]
1 posted on 01/16/2007 5:44:35 PM PST by sionnsar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ahadams2; Way4Him; Peach; Zippo44; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; ..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
More Anglican articles here.

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 01/16/2007 5:45:26 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sionnsar

You knew I'd comment! The author left out the primary element, indeed the only element that really means anything, to "communion" and that is that our bishops believe the exact same things. The rest of it is either institutionalism or theological fuzzy cuddliness!

3 posted on 01/16/2007 5:57:52 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sionnsar

"The difficult question is what the relationship should be between the true communion and the institutional communion."

I think I might have phrased this a bit differently, given the prior paragraphs. "It seems that many Anglicans have difficulty with what the relationship should be...etc" would seem to be what the author was heading for. For myself, the question is only which comes first and that would be clarity about whether one is in communion with Christ. The institutional communion should then follow. The muddle comes when one puts the institutional cart first which is what has happened in global Anglicanism.

4 posted on 01/17/2007 4:01:20 AM PST by BelegStrongbow ( Ecce Pactum, id cape aut id relinque)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | 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