Category Archives: Protestantism

Lee on the American BCP

Presiding Bishop Alfred Lee

Bishop Alfred Lee

In an exchange of open letters regarding Bp. Cummin’s 1871 resignation from the Protestant Episcopal Church, Alfred Lee (then Presiding Bishop of PECUSA) admits the comprehensive nature of the American liturgy. Given Lee’s own “high church” credentials, this tacit endorsement is akin to the proverbial ‘horse’s mouth’, essentially agreeing with Dr. Smith that the American book owes a genius from the 1689 proposed revision. Lee’s apparent agreement with Smith lets the 1785 preface speak as a kind of commentary to the present-day American preface. The ecumenical goals of the 1689 revision has previously been written about here. Lee takes the case with Cummin’s that the American book is already inclusive of historical Dissent.
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Seven Bishops

seven bishopsBackground: In 1688 the growing crisis caused by James II, a Roman Catholic sovereign over the church of England, came to a head. James II, alongside his catholic clients, were using Indulgences granted to religious Dissent to divide Churchmen from their Presbyterian and Independent counterparts. Meanwhile, James was busy advancing the Papal Interest. However, seven Anglican bishops, galvanized by the political networks of London clergy, refused to read the King’s Declaration (an unusual request on the Crown. Normally, reading of injunctions were left to the lower clergy not Bishops). Instead, the Seven took opportunity to petition James II, explaining their intention to protect England’s constitution while uniting Protestant Dissent to the established Church. Of course, the Bishops were arrested, but their speedy trial ended with their declared innocence and subsequent release into jubilant crowds. The Petition became a high water mark for national Protestantism, resolved to halt the Romanist party and the Arbitrary Power of James II.
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Northerness Redux

elizabeth engraving

Elizabeth, the Occidental Star

Happily, the Most Reverend Peter Robinson, UECNA archbishop, recently wrote a piece titled Northerness, regarding the affinity of high church Lutheranism to Anglo-catholic worship. Robinson’s essay touches upon a subject I hope central to Anglican Rose, and this is the  possibility and emergence of a “Northern Catholicism”. Northern Catholicism is interchangeable with a concilar Protestantism in dialogue with the Augsburg Confession, so an inquiry into high church Lutheranism is surely welcomed.

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Basilikon Doron

James VI and Mary, Queen of Scots

Tudor and Stuart Catholicism is often shoved from center-stage by the cacaphony of Puritan agitation. As a result, the sixteenth and seventeenth century Religious Settlement is frequently portrayed as a compromise with Puritan minds, having scant theological or moral basis. Missed is the Crown’s timely intervention against religious fanaticism, particularly how royal family and marital ties shaped church conservatism. Personal affections for “catholic” cousins, uncles, and spouses among the nobility tempered church policy. The writings of James VI to his eldest son, Henry, effuse with this sentiment, “as a witness to my Son, both of the honest integrity of my heart, and of my fatherly affection and natural care” (McIlwain, p.5); generally privileging family, natural succession, and continuation of custom against factional advantage and religious radicalism. Basilikon Doron therefore anticipates a conservative element whereupon later Stuarts, such as Charles I and James II, would indulge secular or loyalist Roman catholics (1). Continue reading

Salisbury’s Orb

Normally I try to stay on topic, or follow some sort of theme, but last week Anglican Rose received a very nice plug from Fr. Anthony Chadwick who’s a chaplain in the Traditional Anglican Communion serving Normandy, France. Our Pax Dei page was used at Chadwick’s blog, As the Sun in its Orb (SarumUse), to bounce around questions regarding a ‘northern catholic’ identity. Chadwick broaches this subject by asking, “What is classical Anglicanism?”

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Prayers Abroad

Prayers at Sea (1717 engraving)

The Forms of Prayer given at the back of the 1662 BCP contain an echo of Anglican polity before Lambeth. They belong a time where the Kingdom of Great Britain had spread her branches far across the globe by merchant and colonial enterprise. With Navy crews and Company plantations naturally followed the rites of the English Church, which the Diocese of London regulated, keeping common order and uniting prayers of scattered communities. The Prayers for Use at Sea  hearken back to this era, evidencing the old jurisdiction before revolution.

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The Crown’s Style

King Henry VIII and Emperor Maximilian

The English Crown’s title, “King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.”, somewhat summed Anglican polity before the rise of the Quadrilateral and Lambeth Communion. Lambeth was a devolutionary answer to the crisis of Empire that resulted in creating a number of equally independent churches. Before Lambeth, Anglican churches weren’t based on popular sovereignty but royal Supremacy. This resulted in a communion with degrees and hierarchies– some nearer, some further– in the Church of England. And, because Anglican colonial government likewise centered on establishment, the style marked proximity to an ecclesiastical center. When Lambeth formed in 1887, it’s national character rejected the original regiment based on supremacy (1). Continue reading