Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
(Tim) With Bishop Gene Robinson on their left and the Traditional Anglican Communion on their right, are there any Anglicans left who still affirm the Biblical doctrine of the Reformation?
A friend on the advisory board of Touchstone magazine, an ecumenical venture I subscribe to, writes: "Were this ever to happen it would be huge." He's referring to the rumored creation of another personal prelature, following in the Opus Dei pattern, of about half a million Anglicans from the Traditional Anglican Communion. The deal goes something like this: The Traditional Anglicans promise full submission to the Pope in exchange for the Pope welcoming them into full communion while holding their submission in his own hip pocket.
And what, pray tell, does that full submission look like?
It's not pretty. Specifically, they signed the Catechism of the Roman Catholic church stating by their signatures: "We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, which we have signed, together with this letter as attesting to the faith we aspire to teach and hold."
Here then are a few excerpts from that Catechism indicating what they believe to be the most complete and authentic expression of the Christian faith at this time:
From the Catechism:
This: "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God.... The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."
This: "The Church is apostolic.... She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.... The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, ...subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."
This: "The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection.... We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ..."
This: "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect..."
This: "This sacrament (of Baptism) signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one 'can enter the kingdom of God.' ... The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are 'reborn of water and the Spirit.' ...The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.... By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin."
This: "Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice.... In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice... this sacrifice is truly propitiatory. Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.... ...As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God."
This: Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit
for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification,
for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of
eternal life. ...The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God
makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul
to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. ...No one can merit the initial grace which is at the
origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for
ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life,
as well as necessary temporal goods.
Hearing the howls of some of my dearest friends beforehand, still I must say I can't see how this is news. This step may well be unprecedented, historically. But theologically?
Not at all.
If Reformed Protestants have abandoned their opposition to Rome, why on earth would those my Dad gently referred to as "the smells and bells folks" stand against Mariolatry or hold on to justification by faith alone?
I'm just waiting for Emergents to get their personal prelature, too.