For a few years now I have been a regular reader of A Conservative Blog For Peace. Run by another amiable young fogey, (Serge) it is frequently an interesting read. (Generally, he is of the more classical Alan Watkins variety YF, while I suppose I would be more of an Andrew Greeley type of foge. Does that make me some sort of neo-foge? Not sure…)
Serge and I seem to travel in the same circles. Our interests in Orthodoxy & Catholocism (Eastern and Western in both respectively), Anglicans, Continuing Anglicans, Anglican Use, and social thought. I really can’t think of any other blogger out there who would mention Kyriopascha… (My goal is to retire by Kyriopascha 2035, should I be allowed to stuble along that far in life.) I do more lurking, whereas he does more writing… Whenever I “discover” a “new” blog, I usually find something he has thoughtfully written in the combox. To me he is kinda like Kilroy wherever I wander, he was already there.
And when and wherever I go and find his writing, I take care to check out his perspective. Two ex-westerners, (him Anglican, yours truly Latin) who studied Russian and traveled East (he Russian Orthodoxy, me to Babba’s Greek Catholic Church.) To set the record straight, he actually can read and write Russian. Me? 10 years from my last college class, I was struggling to remember the word for dog. (собака if you were wondering…)
I generally appreciate the more concilatory approach he has to Catholics and things Catholic. And his fondness for Anglicanism shines through with a certain tenderness regularly… But most recently on this blog, a comment was made I thought rather interesting…
“That said, if your Episcopal parish (or parish and diocese if you’re lucky) holds the full faith I wouldn’t tell you to hastily leave. Salus animarum lex suprema as St Thomas Aquinas said and if you’ve got that in a TEC parish so be it.”
I was left scratching my head a bit.
I am just not sure where in Episcopalianism a Catholic or Orthodox can point to “the full faith.” I am left trying to reconcile how an OC can consider staying in TEC – even in the most seemingly catholicesque/orthodox environs.
No amount of form can make up for deficiency in theology. No amount of “right-sounding theology” can make up for absense of form.
An Evangelical friend of mine who went unto become Catholic had been at a cross-roads in his liturgical odyssey…. Knowing Evangelicalism didn’t have it, he eventrually started to look at Methodists and Lutherans, wondering if they couldn’t be the answer… quickly dismmised…
Then it kinda came down to Anglicans and Catholics for him.
He ryely made the comment, “I knew any church that got me would have a heck of a time keeping my ‘almost heathen [tail]’ in line. I can’t be bothered having to deal with a church that I in turn have to keep from being almost heathen!”
Now don’t get me wrong… Its not all smooth sailing in the RCC, we grant that. Walk into your average parish on any given sunday, and you very well are as likely as not to at least catch something that isn’t quite in line with what has actually been proscribed. But when push comes to shove, with reference to church documents, councils and the magisterium, many (most) abuses can be called on the carpet for what they are – abuses and aberrations NOT up for discussion.
In today’s Anglicanism, its all up for a vote.
And that isn’t even taking into account the difficulties of “Apostolicae Curae” or the general Orthodox concern about the grace of their two or seven) mysteries.
It also does not take into account that in the parishes that seem untouched to date (fewer and fewer) how viable and sustainable that sustainable that situation. With the decline in ordinations, the writing is on the wall – in the years to come what few ordinands there will be, will not be possesed of the “Y” chromosome.
But without intending insult or injury my gravest reservation is this: Can honest historical/patristic/Scriptural assesments of even the more classical and reportedly “orthodox” forms of Anglicanism, in its history, in its liturgy, in its “comprehensive models” of theology and teaching, be seen as having fidelity and continuity to the early Church? From this side of the Tiber, in my cozy little Byzantine encampment, I simply don’t believe so.
To the erstwhile Episcopalian in the US who may be fortunate to enjoy some degree of tranquility in his or her parochial life while blisffully ignoring the actions of his or her co-religionists, or even hoping for an amicable arrangement to be reached trans-AC allowing for special relations with the more conservative voices coming from the Global South…. I must gently offer good luck and less gently suggest “wake up.”
To those that are in the last bastions of piety and praxis in PECUSA that resembles our Catholic faith… I say make the transition now. For the fulllness of the faith and good of your children. The writing is on the wall. No amount of semblance of orthopraxis today will protect you situation tomorrow.
This entry was posted on Monday, August 6th, 2007 at 5:41 am and is filed under Catholic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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