Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Abp Cranmer, a blogger of erudition, has a reaction to the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, which is about where we've come down on it.

Cranmer thinks there is an awful lot of fuss being made over the Anglicanorum Coetibus. It will be more honoured in the breach than in the observing, for those in the observing will be so few and far between that the breaches will attract far more attention than a few women priests ever did.

And there is more pleasure in its reading and contemplation than there will ever be in its practice and application. If ‘Ut Unum Sint’ made anything clear, it is that unity is unattainable this side of glory, if only because of the infinite theological variety of Christian nature: God loves symphony, not singularity. The only True Church is the Church Invisible - the 'communion of the saints'. Christ may have prayed that believers might be one, might be united in Him, but an awful lot rests on what we mean and understand by ‘one’ and ‘united’.

Not to mention ‘Catholic’.

And Cranmer finds it bizarre that there are some who are positively wetting themselves with infantile exuberance over the supposed creation of an Anglican branch of the Catholic Church: in case they hadn’t noticed, there has been one since AD597.....

. The doctrinal history of the Church of England asserts that it is both Catholic and Reformed; Apostolic and Evangelical; Prophetic and Protestant. The Prayer Book states: ‘Whosoever will be saved, it is necessary above all things that he hold the catholic faith...’.

Anglicanism is a worldwide universal communion, and repudiates some of the claims of Rome, not least its soteriology, ecclesiology, its unique claim to catholicity and and its understanding of authority. Unless salvation has ceased to be by faith; unless church governance has ceased to be synodical; unless infallible moral authority has indeed been imparted by God to one man, the doctrinal claims of the Church of England, founded on natural law through tradition, reason and experience, have as much validity now as they had four centuries ago.

What he said.

1 comment:

Beaverbrook said...

His Grace is a man I can follow. Smart as they come.