While Anglican Rose is typically preoccupied with questions of Anglican worship, I felt cluing friends on a recent week-long internet debate important. As North American Anglicans grope to find a conservative orthodox center vis-a-vis TEC, two poles emerge: those belonging to the 1977 St. Louis Affirmation and those from the 2008 GAFCON conference. My interest is seing one of these two poles become not only a safe ‘harbor’ but a core of gravity that upholds classical formulas of worship, faith, and order– namely, the Prayer Book, Articles, and canons (/ordinal). While much is problematic regarding ACNA#2, the Continuing (St. Louis) churches also remain elusive– the flagship of which is the ACC.
In a recent essay by AB Haverland, the Archbishop verified something I wrote a month ago (or so) regarding apparent rejection by the ACC of the Elizabethan Settlement (Days of Orthodoxy). ACC canons evidently are forged upon late-Tractarian prejudices against the English Reformation. The extreme marginalization of the historic Settlement was a rather shocking admission on the part of AB Haverland. Not all agree. Fr. Hart at the Continuum blog remains proverbially optimistic, hoping historic Anglicanism can thrive as an ‘ethos’ within a broad Catholic church. But the problem is an ‘ethos’ can be very subjective, as it is ultimately left to private minds to uphold. Somewhere down the road ethos must meet ‘subscription’ if a resurgent Anglicanism is to ever achieve coherence, accountability, and transparency. Otherwise, ‘Anglicanism’ becomes a kind of sponge word much like the often abused ‘catholic’.
Here is a great debate:
Humility of an Un-magisterium by the Rev. Hart
What are the Formularies of the Anglican Catholic Church by the Most Rev. Haverland
More Thoughts on the Affirmation of St. Louis by Death Brendon
Thoughts on St. Louis by the Rt. Rev. Robinson
The Anglican Way and Authority by Mark Talley
Fending off the School-Yard Bully by the Rev. Hart
More on Anglican Catholic Church Formulae by the Most Rev. Haverland
Re: Thirty-nine Articles and Ordinariate commentary by the Rev. Hart
Another Reply respecting Henry VIII by the Most Rev. Haverland
The Affirmation is Where We Begin, by the Most Rev. Haverland
It must be said the ACC contains many priests and lay people of protestant mindset. However, justification for Settlement Anglicanism cannot be based upon ACC C&C’s. Rather, it is found in the ACC’s 1981 synodal resolution that recognized and permitted the continuation of de facto central churchmanship, characterized later by the Bp. Charles Doren and early UECNA members. It would be fantastic if someone dug up this “lost” resolution. That said, while the ACC might tolerate a strict apprehension of the prayer book, there is nothing in the C&C to stop an ACC priest from teaching the physical eating of the body of Christ, distributing the sacrament in one kind, celebrating a Tridentine High Mass, processing in church with monstrance in hand, or teaching articles from the RCC catechism, etc.. This is the real short-sightedness, if not tragedy, of the C&C in attempt to be pan-catholic rather than specifically Anglican.
For more on this debate, see all posts on the “St. Louis Affirmation“