Category : Sacramental Theology

(ACI) Ephraim Radner–Same-Sex Marriage Is Still Wrong; And It’s Getting Wronger Every Day

The unexpectedly rapid civil acceptance of same-sex marriage in the West may lead one to imagine that the issue is somehow already settled. Whatever doubts one may have had, they have been swept away by the overwhelming flood of changed public opinion. Fait accompli. Traditional Christians must simply step aside now.

Such a judgment would be a mistake. Indeed, far from the matter being settled, at least form a Christian perspective it has hardly been engaged, despite claims to the contrary by proponents of same-sex marriage. What we have had instead is a bait-and-switch set of tactics, first seeking civil and religious recognition and affirmation somehow of same-sex attractions, then pressing for ordinations, then blessings of unions. What comes next? The question of a “slippery slope” is hardly a fallacy here, for in this case we have a historical track-record of legal advocacy and movement that stands as quite rational “evidence” for the slope’s existence.
All the while, most discussions claimed that “marriage” was never nor could be ever the issue at stake. But here we are: changes to “marriage canons” and Prayer Books are now in the works. At this stage the advocates of change are merciful enough to suggest “conscience clauses” for those who disagree.

“Disagree” how, exactly? What happened? Was a carefully developed argument offered, studied, engaged consultatively across lines of commitment and ecclesial fellowship, and then adopted by a kind of consensual accord? Of course not! Failure to persuade on the part of same-sex advocates has simply been reinterpreted as “legitimate decision in the face of minority dissent”.

What is key to remember is that no sustained argument or persuasive action has taken place on the matter of same-sex marriage.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Statement by Forward in Faith on The Church in Wales' Decision on Women Bishops

From here:

Forward in Faith regrets the decision of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to authorize the ordination of women as bishops without first agreeing arrangements for those who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive episcopal ministry from them.

We cannot see how a female bishop could be what a diocesan bishop should be ”“ a Father in God and a focus of unity for all within his diocese. This vote therefore makes the question of the provision of episcopal ministry for those who continue to uphold catholic faith and order in the Church in Wales even more pressing.

Experience in Wales and elsewhere does not give us confidence that the promised ”˜code of practice’ could offer the level of assurance that would encourage growth and flourishing ”“ so sorely needed in Wales ”“ or the degree of certainty that would remove the possibility of damaging and distracting disputes.

Our brothers and sisters in Credo Cymru will seek to enter into dialogue with the Welsh bishops. We can only hope that their representations will be met with the generosity of spirit that ought to be the hallmark of Christian episcopacy. Meanwhile, we continue to pray for and with our Welsh sisters and brothers, encouraging them to follow St David in being joyful and keeping the faith.

X JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, Chairman

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales, Women

(Anglican Ink) New Sydney archbishop will not authorize lay celebration of the Eucharist

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Star Tribune) Minnesota churches preparing for Same sex weddings by rewording parts of the service

Bishop Bruce Caldwell, who leads St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis, said the church set up a booth in Loring Park during the Pride Festival in June advertising that it would perform gay weddings. So far, about eight same-sex weddings are scheduled at the church, he said.

“These folks really do want to get married and commit their lives to one another in a faithful union before God,” Caldwell said.

John Green, a professor at the University of Akron in Ohio who has written extensively about politics and religion, said churches that recognize same-sex unions will adapt as time goes on.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Haligweorc) TEC Liturgical Chickens Coming Home to Roost

My crystal ball is telling me that Holy Women, Holy Men and the furor around it is emblematic of the liturgical issues that we will be dealing with in the next few decades. We are at the point where we must come to terms with the fact that we have inherited a prayer book with a greater catholic appearance but without catholic substance behind it. To put a finer point on it, we have a catholic-looking calendar of “saints” yet no shared theology of sainthood or sanctity. While a general consensus reigned that the appearance was sufficient, the lack of a coherent shared theology was not an issue. When we press upon it too hard””as occurred and is occurring in the transition from Lesser Feasts & Fasts into Holy Women, Holy Men into whatever will come next””we reap the fruits of a sort of potemkin ecumenism that collapses without common shared theology behind it.

Is there a catholic theology of sanctity in the Episcopal Church? Yes, in some places. Is there an inherently Episcopal theology of sanctity that proceeds naturally from the ’79 BCP that is in line with a classic Christian understanding? Without question! But is it known? No. Is there any common Episcopal understanding of sanctity? The arguments around the church especially as embodied in the discussions within the SCLM lead me to answer, no””I don’t think so.

The struggle of this current generation will be to wrestle with a liturgy that portrays a catholic appearance but lack a catholic substance behind it. It’s not that the substance can’t be there””it’s that it’s not.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Commentary, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Church of England) Top 10 facts about Christenings

The Church of England carries out more than 10,000 christenings per month each year for babies and infants. This figure is made up of approximately 7,000 christenings per month for babies under one year old, and 3000 christenings per month for children aged 1 – 12 years. Everyone is welcome to have a christening in their parish church.

Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about getting your baby or child christened.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Children, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Zenit) Pope Francis' Message to the German National Eucharistic Congress

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” With this question, in the face of many who misunderstood Jesus, who wanted selfishly to profit from him, St. Peter is the spokesman of his faithful followers. The disciples do not seek the worldly payoff of those who were satiated (cf. John 6:26) and who, nevertheless, worked for bread that does not last (cf. John 6:27). Of course, Peter too knows hunger; for a long time he was unable to find the bread that filled him. Then he met the man from Nazareth. He followed him. Now he knows his Master not only from hearsay. Being with him every day Peter has developed a trust without reservations. This is faith in Jesus; it is not without reason that Peter expects the longed for “life in abundance” from the Lord (cf. John 10:10).

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” We too, who belong to the Church today, pose this question. Even if it is more hesitant on our lips than on Peter’s, our answer, like that of the Apostle, can only be the person of Jesus. Yes, he lived 2000 years ago. But we can encounter him in our own time when we listen to his Word and are near to him in a special way in the Eucharist.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Eucharist, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(RNS) Major Baptism Agreement Signed by Catholic and Reformed Churches

Leaders of Catholic and Reformed churches have signed an agreement to recognize each other’s sacraments of baptism, a public step toward unity among groups that are often divided by doctrine.

“Baptism establishes the bond of unity existing among all who are part of Christ’s body and is therefore the sacramental basis for our efforts to move towards visible unity,” reads the “Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism.”

The document was signed, after seven years of discussion, at a worship service Tuesday (Jan. 29) at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, Texas, which opened the annual meeting of Christian Churches Together in the USA, an ecumenical network created in 2001.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Baptism, Baptists, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Mark Henninger: Alfred Hitchcock's Surprise Ending

[My friend] Tom asked whether on Saturday afternoon I would accompany him to celebrate a Mass in Hitchcock’s house.

I was dumbfounded, but of course said yes. On that Saturday, when we found Hitchcock asleep in the living room, Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed Tom’s hand, thanking him.

Tom said, “Hitch, this is Mark Henninger, a young priest from Cleveland.”

“Cleveland?” Hitchcock said. “Disgraceful!”

After we chatted for a while, we all crossed from the living room through a breezeway to his study, and there, with his wife, Alma, we celebrated a quiet Mass….
Weighing one’s life with its share of wounds suffered and inflicted in such a perspective, and seeking reconciliation with an experienced and forgiving God, strikes me as profoundly human. Hitchcock’s extraordinary reaction to receiving communion was the face of real humanity and religion, far away from headlines . . . or today’s filmmakers and biographers.

One of Hitchcock’s biographers, Donald Spoto, has written that Hitchcock let it be known that he “rejected suggestions that he allow a priest . . . to come for a visit, or celebrate a quiet, informal ritual at the house for his comfort.” That in the movie director’s final days he deliberately and successfully led outsiders to believe precisely the opposite of what happened is pure Hitchcock.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eucharist, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Gavin Dunbar–Reformed and Catholic

In a previous…[written piece] I sketched the ancient Catholic roots of Anglicanism, and its 16th and 17th century development under the influence of the Reformation, such that the 17th century opposition of Presbyterian and Episcopalian reflected differences not so much about Faith as Polity (form of church government), Order, and Liturgy. The 17th century division points in two ways. On the one hand, Anglicans may and do hold reformed or evangelical convictions substantially the same as those found in Protestant churches. On the other, Anglicans of all stripes accept as parameters certain distinctives of Liturgy and Order – including ordination of presbyters (priests) by a bishop in historic succession. Thus alongside (and sometimes, as in the case of John Wesley, mingled with) the reformed or evangelical legacy Anglicanism is shaped by “high” churchmanship as well ”“ “high” in its regard for the church, its
worship, and ministry.

There were impeccable precedents among the 16th century reformers for the high churchmanship of the 17thcentury. Cranmer’s reformed theological views were grounded in a extensive and careful study of the ancient Catholic Fathers; Calvin’s influential teaching promoted a high view of the Sacraments and the Church (on which he took the same view as the St. Cyprian, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, “outside the church is no salvation”); Archbishops of “Calvinist” views like John Whitgift (d. 1604) vigorously defended episcopacy against presbyterian criticisms; and the Prayer Book and the Cathedrals maintained the Catholic liturgical tradition in its essentials. To these the high churchmen of the 17th
century added a concern for the outward beauty of the liturgy, as well as reverence for catholic antiquity.
In the 19thcentury Anglo-Catholic revival, such “high church” views were sharpened further. Against secularizing, utilitarian views, it affirmed the divine institution of the Church, its ministry and sacraments. Its faith, worship, and ministry are not something to be reinvented according to human agendas or utility. There followed a revival of medieval ceremonial (to a greater or lesser extent) as a means to express the sacred nature of the priesthood and sacraments, and also a sympathetic engagement with medieval doctrine and devotion.

These were developments of permanent value to Anglicanism. Unfortunately Anglo-Catholics became embroiled in a narrow and often unhistorical and untheological polemic against the Reformation, with the result that Evangelicals (and indeed High Churchmen of the old school) came to regard it as a betrayal to popery. The hostility and suspicion that warfare engendered has lived on long since.

My own theological mentors were Anglo-Catholics and Anglican Evangelicals who had not abandoned their core convictions, but were determined to look beyond party warfare, and discerned a shared heritage of ancient catholic faith,
as articulated in the western church chiefly by Saint Augustine, but enriched by countless others, including the great theological tradition of the Eastern church. Within that common heritage, western Catholics and Evangelicals have
much to share and to learn from one another.

Outside Anglicanism, the same acknowledgement of common ground in doctrine and mission has animated the religious conservatives in the “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” movement. The Roman church, long a bastion of embattled polemic against other churches, has engaged sympathyetically with Christians outside its jurisdiction, including (explicitly) the churches that emerged from the Reformation, in which it acknowledges the presence of “elements of sanctification and truth”. In documents like the Papal Encyclical of John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint, the Roman Church, without giving up its historic claims, has committed itself to work for ecumenical reconciliation both theologically and
practically.

I do not take the Roman view of these matters as definitive: but they are suggestive. If we are secure in our identity as Anglicans, including our commitment to the legacy of Catholic Faith and Order as set forth in the 16th century Prayer Book and Articles of Religion, we can afford a generosity of spirit that looks beyond denominational or party lines.

I think this generosity of spirit is necessary to Christians both catholic and reformed. We do not commend one side by the disparagement of the other. Nor can we speak as if there are first- and second-class Christians. God bestows
the gifts of his grace in ways that confound our the boundaries of denomination, taste, and custom: it is surely a hint that we are meant to seek a deeper unity in the truth, both theologically and practically. God must give that unity, in and when he wills: it is not something we can fabricate or negotiate, nor do we have the right to surrender the distinctive of our patrimony – but it does mean that we are to acknowledge the unity that already exists, by learning from and
working with Christians who stand within the common inheritance we have received from our fathers in the faith.

—The Rev. Gavin Dunbar is rector of Saint John’s, Savannah, Georgia

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Church History, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Roman Catholic Diocese says Blended RC/Episcopal parish must hold separate services

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has told the nation’s only blended Catholic and Episcopal parish it must change its worship services so Catholics and non-Catholics meet in separate rooms for Holy Communion.

The parish, Church of the Holy Apostles, is led by Catholic and Episcopal co-pastors and has worshipped together for more than 30 years.

It’s an arrangement, parishioners say, that over the years has allowed families in mixed marriages to worship side by side and has helped build bonds that transcend denominational boundaries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Christian Century) Charles Hefling on the Communion of the Unbaptized–Who is communion for?

“This is the Lord’s Table. It is not Grace Church’s table. All are welcome to receive communion.”

It is not unusual to hear or read these or similar words””with the local parish or its denomination named””at a service of worship in which the Eucharist will be celebrated. Such an announcement reflects the practice commonly called “open communion.” To say that a church has an open communion policy has generally meant that persons who are not formally members of that church are nevertheless allowed or encouraged to share in the eucharistic meal.

Open communion in that sense is not universal, of course, and never has been. Some denominations as a matter of principle allow only their own members to commune and in practice take pains to ensure that the restriction is observed. But among churches of the Reformation, open communion has long been a custom widely accepted and fairly uncontroversial. Hence the invitation.

Lately, however, what is or might be meant by open communion has shifted….

It is imperative that we keep our terms clear and I have noted before it is curcial that we NOT call the increasingly common practice of TEC of inviting anyone no matter what their situation to communion open communion but instead communion of the unbaptized. With that said, read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Baptism, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things) Edward Peters–Fencing the Altar

The Eucharist is central to the identity, doctrines, and practices of the Catholic Church. As canon 897 of the Code of Canon Law puts it, “The most august sacrament is the Most Holy Eucharist in which Christ the Lord himself is contained, offered, and received and by which the Church continually lives and grows. The eucharistic sacrifice . . . is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life, which signifies and effects the unity of the People of God and brings about the building up of the body of Christ.”

Canon 898 adds: “The Christian faithful are to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in highest honor, taking an active part in the celebration of the most august sacrifice, receiving this sacrament most devoutly and frequently, and worshiping it with the highest adoration….”

Participation in Holy Communion is achieved by two related but distinct acts: the action of a member of the faithful in seeking Communion (reception) and the action of the minister in giving Communion (administration). These two actions are not only performed by different persons, they are governed by different canon laws. Virtually all confusion over Communion can be traced to the failure to keep these two actions distinct.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Eucharist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(ENS) Should confirmation be required?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

'Leaving in sorrow,' former Roman Catholics start new church in Hickory, N.C.

The first reading comes from the Book of Kings, with an angel nudging an exhausted and distraught Elijah, telling him to get up and leave.

The Rev. Tom Sanford and his congregation have done just that.

Sanford left the Catholic priesthood more than a quarter century ago. But now he’s back behind the altar. He’s pastor of a new spiritual community, born out of his frustration with what he believes is the philosophical backsliding of the Catholic Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Discussion on Communion of the Unbaptized in the Diocese of Connecticut

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

An Important Anglican Ink Article on the House of Bishops Communion w/o Baptism Discussion

The level of support for C029 when it was presented to the House of Bishops on 12 July 2012 was markedly different. The Rt. Rev. William Gregg, Assistant Bishop of North Carolina, was the first to rise and offered a strong statement of rejection of the resolution.

It was “not up to one denomination” to change the universal church’s teaching on baptism, Bishop Gregg said.

The Bishop of Southern Ohio, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, agreed the issue needed further study and urged defeat of the resolution….

The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, urged his colleagues not to refer the matter to committee but to vote for adoption. There were large numbers of non-baptized people in Europe, he noted, and by recognizing the need for pastoral sensitivity this permitted bishops to address local needs. Without this recognition the hands of bishops were tied, he said….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

New Text of Communion Without Baptism Resolution [C029] as Amended and Sent Back to HoD

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and
baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Resolution C029 on Communion for the Unbaptized Passes House of Deputies on a vote by orders

(It is very important that you read the previous thread on this as well as the comments there first). Here again is the full text–

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to appoint a special commission charged with conducting a study of the theology underlying access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in this Church and to recommend for consideration by the 78th General Convention any amendment to Title I, Canon 17, Section 7, of the Canons of General Convention that it deems appropriate; and be it further Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $30,000 for the implementation of this Resolution.
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

You can find a copy of it here. Please note that in the House of Deputies debate today there was an attempt at an amendment that failed. The vote totals as announced were–Lay Order 85 yes, No 16, divided 9; Clergy 70 Yes, No 24, Divided 16.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Whats Happening with the Communion of the UnBaptized?

Here is the latest from the committee–amended C029–

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to appoint a special commission charged with conducting a study of the theology underlying access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in this Church and to recommend for consideration by the 78th General Convention any amendment to Title I, Canon 17, Section 7, of the Canons of General Convention that it deems appropriate; and be it further Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $30,000 for the implementation of this Resolution.
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

You can find a copy of it here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AP) Episcopal bishops OK trial same sex blessing service; full church backs transgender ordination

Episcopal bishops have approved an official prayer that blesses same-sex unions.

Church leaders on Monday voted 111-41 in favor of the liturgy during the Episcopal General Convention in Indianapolis. The plan now goes to convention deputies for final approval.

Read it all and a longer version is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Diocese of Texas) William Treadwell on Communion w/o Baptism: Pastoral Theology vs. Doctrine

I am reminded of what I was taught by the Rev. Dr. Marion Hatchett: “never break a rubric unintentionally”. I think most priest have given communion to an unbaptized person. Hospitality and compassion may require it. But the doctrine of Baptism remains.

A personal example may be helpful. When I was ordained a priest, my father, an ordained Baptist minister, preached at my ordination. When the time came for the ordination, the Episcopal clergy gathered around to lay hands on my head along with the Bishop. My father remained in his seat, because there is no agreement between the Episcopal and Baptist churches on ordination. Just before the Bishop said the words of ordination he stopped, removed his hands from my head, and motioned for my father to come over and lay his hands on my head as well. This was contrary to the teaching of both the Episcopal and Baptist churches. This was poor doctrinal theology, but it was perfect pastoral theology. Bishop Patterson was a good bishop, and my dad was a good Baptist pastor. And yet, the doctrine remains.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology

TEC Gen. Con. 2012 Evangelism Commission rejects Communion of the Unbaptized outright

I consider this a moment of sanity and light–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

An Interesting Blog Post from July 2007–How widespread is Communion Without Baptism?

Read it all (and there are over 50 comments as well).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(ENS) ”˜Water first, or table?’ Committee hears ”˜open table’ testimony

(Please note the headline is ENS’ not mine, I intensely dislike the Open Table language and use Communion of the Unbaptized [or Communion without Baptism] instead–KSH).

Emma Grandhauser, from Minnesota, a member of convention’s official youth presence, testified that she didn’t attend church until she was six, and she was baptized at 13.
“I still remember my first Sunday in church at St. John the Evangelist in St. Paul,” she said. “It’s a church with their own open table policy.
“I was blown away by how welcoming the community was,” she said. “They didn’t just tell me about God’s love, they showed me that God’s love is for everyone….

But the Rev. Jason Wells, a deputy alternate from the Diocese of New Hampshire, said that to the unbaptized he offers a blessing at the altar rail “and prepares them for baptism, to make their first communion immediately after that. I don’t do that because there’s a canon on the books. I do it for the theological and biblical rationale. To remove this one line from our canons does not change what my practice would be in the church.”
He called the resolution’s language “confusing and somewhat self-defeating.”

Read it all.

Update: An Anglican Ink article on this may also be found there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Res. C040, Called "Open table" resolution, but really Communion for Unbaptized, Has Hearing Today

Word is there are a large number of speakers trying to address this matter. The hearing began at 7:30 est.

Make sure to be aware of the text of the resolution and go back also to reread this earlier blog thread on the subject.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Living Church) Challenging Confirmation at General Convention 2012

The subject of confirmation stirred passionate testimony July 5 before General Convention’s Education Committee. Clergy and laypeople addressed the committee on Resolutions A041, A042, A043 and A044, all of which address the nature of confirmation as a necessary step in becoming Episcopalian.

The Rev. Canon Robert Brooks, vice president of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, said the canons conflict with the Book of Common Prayer (1979), which describes Holy Baptism as full initiation into the Church. The resolutions seek to resolve that conflict, he said.

The Rev. Danielle Morris of the Diocese of Central Florida opposed the resolutions, saying confirmation helps create loyal members of the Church through education. She cited an example of a woman in her parish who wanted to serve on the vestry but had not been confirmed. “She said, ”˜I’ll go through the classes,’” Morris said. “By the time she ended those classes, she said, ”˜I had no idea. I’m an Episcopalian because I am now a part of all of that inheritance.’ She will be an Episcopalian for life.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Pope says being baptized means saying 'no' to a culture where truth does not matter

“Renouncing the glamour of Satan in today’s age means rejecting a culture where truth does not matter” and where “calumny and destruction” reign, he said. Christians reject “a culture that does not seek goodness, whose morality is really a mask to trick people and create destruction and confusion.”

“Against this culture in which falsehood presents itself as truth and information, against this culture that seeks only material well-being and denies God, we say, ‘no,'” the pope said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Baptism, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Second day of International Eucharistic Congress begins

The president of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress Archbishop Diarmuid Martin paid warm tribute to other Church leaders in Ireland today for the support they had shown him in his role as Archbishop of Dublin….

“Relations between the churches are extremely good here in Ireland,” Dr Martin said, “and the amount of personal support I have received from Archbishop John Neill (retired Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin), Archbishop Jackson (the current Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin) and the other church leaders has been astounding.”

He said: “We are doing things together. We are, literally, walking together.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Cardinal Ouellet–The Ecclesiology of Communion, 50 Years after the Opening of Vatican Council II

It is important to stress here that the ecclesiology of communion promoted by the Council takes its inspiration from the Eucharistic ecclesiology of the Orthodox, especially Afanassief, who is cited in the texts. The Council’s ecclesiology is thus of great ecumenical import. The intervention of John Zizioulas, the Metropolitan of Pergamon, at the 2005 Roman Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, testifies to this: “The ecclesiology of communion promoted by Vatican II and deepened further by eminent Roman Catholic theologians can make sense only if it derives from the eucharistic life of the Church. The Eucharist belongs not simply to the beneesse but to theesseof the Church. The whole life, word and structure of the Church iseucharistic in its very essence.” Walter Kasper agrees wholeheartedly and holds that “eucharistic ecclesiology has become one of the most important foundations of the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.”

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Eucharist, Ireland, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology