Quite right, old chap - he never really answers our objections to Anglicanism; he just snipes at our beliefs instead.
First of all, Serge, there aren't enough hours in the day for me to object to every last remark you make-- and when it comes to having to argue with you and Linus at the same time, well, I have a job to hold down, and a family to support....
Second, again you are putting rude speech into my mouth. "Hicks" is your word, not mine.
I do not intend to snipe at Orthodoxy's beliefs; presenting a contrast by way of an Anglican viewpoint shouldn't be construed as me throwing down a gauntlet for yet another theological fight to the death. I do
find it irritating that every time I say something, it seems necessary to mount a full-scale assault on it. And it is giving me major problems in believing what I am being told here about Orthodoxy, because I continually get the sense that people are taking up positions in order to oppose me (as a Protestant/Anglican), rather than because these positions represent a position well-accepted in Orthodoxy and representative of its core tenets. Elsewhere I have been in an argument on the same subject-- twice-- where Orthodox people have been willing to argue against the sense of conciliar canons (not to mention the very scripture cited in these canons) so that they could oppose me. If Anglicans are prone seeing things as excessively akin, Orthodox seem to me to be prone towards the overreaction of seeing things as excessively unlike.
The whole progress of the "trans/cons" topic illustrates this. True Thomian transsubstantiation is very much a minority position in the Episcopal Church, and a lot of the people I have heard use the word really meant it in the more general sense of any
kind of change of the elements into the Body and Blood, without any reference to the language "accidents" and "substance". I have never heard a modern Episcopalian express a strictly memorialist position (not counting radio preachers, the last time I was directly exposed to this was back when I was a Presbyterian), and most of the modern theologians I've read have tended not to take "real presence" as strong enough. Almost to a man they view the Thomian theory as a kind of intellectual stunt that doesn't sit well in the mouths of people are not not ordinarily Aristotleans.
Dragging out the dead isn't going to help. Reassessment is Anglican; demanding that everything past be taken as dogma is not. Orthodoxy does apply a review process to the church fathers too-- Cyprian is well-liked, Augustine is not, and then there's things that Origen said-- but in Anglicanism the process continues. People do go astray, and they do in Orthodoxy too, only they either were put into schism, or became unchurched, or (in more modern times) went over to the competition. As a layman this puts me into situations where I cannot make ideal choices. I cannot do more to Spong and stay in my church than try to rebut him, and pray, and refuse his sacraments. I do these things already (or did, back when he wasn't retired). My power over loose cannon priests is similarly limited (I'm not on the vestry, for one thing).
Bailing out of the Episcopal Church altogether is just as problematic. Churches that aren't Anglican won't do, and most especially not trying to hide inside of Orthodox churches. The "continuing churches" all have severe polity problems, and I don't think any of them has managed to bring three bishops wih them, retired or not. The AMiA takes the "flying bishops" idea to a level that makes the American Orthodox polity issue seem rather tame.
The Anglican thing to do (it seems to me) is to stay where I am and do what I can to bring things back into line. In this I have accepted the idea that the visible church does not perfectly realize the church as a whole.
My biggest problem here, though, is that it seems to me that these attacks on Anglicanism are having the result of making me doubt that you, Serge, are representing Orthodoxy accurately. Everything else
I've read indicates that Orthodox and mainstream Anglican views on trans/cons are extremely close, and even (in some respects) motivated by the same considerations. I've seen Episcopal converts to Orthodoxy argue differently, but considering how many of these used to be Anglo-Catholics it's impossible for me to take seriously the implication they are wont to make that they themselves took a low view of the sacrament.
And what other people are saying here, when I leave out the part where they tell me what I believe, is along the same lines. You seem to be the only one trying to push the Thomist theory as Orthodox, and everyone else I'm reading says this isn't so. And they say it isn't so along lines that parallel modern Anglican theologians doubting that it is so.