Author Topic: Help me to understand Anglicanism  (Read 22454 times)

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Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2007, 01:08:52 PM »
ALL HAIL HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II THE SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND!!!

 ::)  ::)  ::)

I thought better of you Path of Solitude.

Anglicanism is not a joke however much as it does invoke our laughter.

A very ascetic and holy Serbian Abbess told me that Anglicianism has a very strong demonic spirit, stronger and more demonic actually than the papist one. She told me and the others that we should both fear and hate it. That is the geniune Christian attitude towards it- not laughter.

Do you know anything about how many people the Anglicans hanged for just being poor during their reformation? Do you know anything about the plantations of Ulster and Munster? The fire bombing of Dresden? The massacres that followed the Indian mutitany? Do you know how utterly riddled with satanic Freemasonary it is?

No. This is a serious matter.

Theophan.



Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2007, 01:18:54 PM »
...Serbian Abbess...

Do you know anything about how many people the Anglicans hanged for just being poor during their reformation? Do you know anything about the plantations of Ulster and Munster? The fire bombing of Dresden? The massacres that followed the Indian mutitany? Do you know how utterly riddled with satanic Freemasonary it is?

Thank God that you've found an ecclesiastical / national group that doesn't have any ties to any acts unbecoming of Christians. 

Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2007, 04:18:42 PM »

Anglicanism is not a joke however much as it does invoke our laughter.

Sigh.  I know from encounters in the past on the E-cafe that you dislike the English and by extension the Anglican Churches.  I don't know why, though you are in Ireland the last I knew, so a guess could be the wars and abuses of the past. I read history and know of the ill as well as the good that peoples can do.  Would you be willing to tell us why you have such dislike of the Anglican Churches please?  If you prefer to not, then I understand and apologize for asking.

Quote
A very ascetic and holy Serbian Abbess told me that Anglicianism has a very strong demonic spirit, stronger and more demonic actually than the papist one. She told me and the others that we should both fear and hate it. That is the geniune Christian attitude towards it- not laughter.

So you would fear and hate the Anglican Communion?  Is that what a follower if Jesus is supposed to do?  Hate others?  :(   One might think that a better thing to do would be neither hatred nor laughter but charity.  One wonders just what real things the Abbess knew about any real Anglicans or whether it was hearsay and rumour.

How does one witness Christianity to those one has decided to hate?

Quote
Do you know anything about how many people the Anglicans hanged for just being poor during their reformation? Do you know anything about the plantations of Ulster and Munster? The fire bombing of Dresden? The massacres that followed the Indian mutitany?

In this you are lumping all these deeds under the 'umbrella' of a Church.  Dresden was not done on the orders of the Archbishop of Canterbury.   Nor was it only RAF who did it.  The man in command of such bombing has been denounced by many. 

Such deeds are a shame and a blot and they are in the past. They are also not limited to one country or Church.   How much will the deeds of past centuries get in the way of dealing with real living Human Beings today?  I can try to apologize for the works of the past, though I had no part of them, nor as far as I know did any of my ancestors.

I am sorry for all of the evils done in the name of Christianity let alone any part of the Anglican Communion.  Such deeds can be remembered as What Not To Do.

Just to be accurate, the Anglican Communion is mostly not the Church of England either.  The members of the Communion are in many parts of the world and the "average Anglican" is now a married woman with children in Africa.  To look at a photo of the Primates of the member Churches is to see how much is it not "English"
http://www.anglicancommunion.org/_userfiles/Image/full/acns3945f.jpg

I am sorry that there is such animosity. I wish I knew how to atone or heal it. 

Ebor
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2007, 05:25:17 PM »
The English have brutally occupied my fatherland. We have suffered over 800 years of bloody occupation...However my Godfather is english, and very proud to be english. I have no problemn with him or his pride( lack of patriotism is a sin). He hates more Anglicanism more than I have the strength too but that is probably a product of his love for England which I dont have.To really love the English is to hate Anglicanism. He approves of my hatred for the "Church of Ireland" because they lobby the free state to allow doctors (funny how most abortion doctors are jewish) to murder Irish childern while they are still in their mothers womb. Dont the Anglicans in the USA support not only abortion but homosexuality?

However it wasnt me who said that but a very Spiritual person. The demonic spirit of Anglicanism should be hated and feared.

I dont hate Anglicans. I hate Anglicanism. Though of course unrepentent Anglicans go to hell when they die which is something for you to think about. I fear its demonic spirit because I am basically not a nice person who is easily tempted by this world. What I wrote was addressed to Path of Solitude who is a Christian (though a heretical one), not to you who are an "Anglican" i.e. an English individual.

Theophan.

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Those taighs who stand in Moscows shoes we will watch them as they
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Knowing that they had to win
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2007, 06:05:22 PM »
The English have brutally occupied my fatherland. We have suffered over 800 years of bloody occupation

Thank you for clarifying some of the source of your feelings.  It helps to understand another person even a little bit.

History is full of one group attacking another, of wars and conquest and evil.  Ireland before the 1200's was not immune to this, nor any other country that I know of.  And the Republic of Ireland has not been "occupied" since the 1920's and I know of the Easter Rising and the other struggles from centuries before that.  I also know of Ulster/Northern Ireland and the troubles there.

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lack of patriotism is a sin

 ???  a sin? based on what please?

Quote
. He hates more Anglicanism more than I have the strength too but that is probably a product of his love for England which I dont have.To really love the English is to hate Anglicanism.

Not knowing the cause or background for such feelings, it is not a topic of conversation without the gentleman himself present.  But it is unfortunate that he has them. 

I'm sorry, I do not follow how how the Church of England is not part of England or how to love the one is to hate the other.   How is "love" associated with hatred please?  And may I ask what personal experience, if any, you have had with any faithful Christian who belongs to one of the members of the Anglican communion?   

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He approves of my hatred for the "Church of Ireland" because they lobby the free state to allow doctors (funny how most abortion doctors are jewish) to murder Irish childern while they are still in their mothers womb. Dont the Anglicans in the USA support not only abortion but homosexuality?

There is no "The Anglicans" there are millions of individuals who each have their own faults and virtues and causes.  There are Episcopalian Pro-Life groups and persons who may be homosexual are still Human Beings, so in that sense they should be treated with respect.    I do not understand what a remark about "Jewish doctors" has to do with the subject at hand.  On what would such a comment as "most" be based in reality?

Quote
However it wasnt me who said that but a very Spiritual person. The demonic spirit of Anglicanism should be hated and feared.

And I will disagree that Anglicanism is "demonic".    All persons are given to sin and temptation. 

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I dont hate Anglicans. I hate Anglicanism.

I am sorry that you have such feelings. 

Quote
Though of course unrepentent Anglicans go to hell when they die which is something for you to think about.

 :(  And you know this how?

Quote
What I wrote was addressed to Path of Solitude who is a Christian (though a heretical one), not to you who are an "Anglican" i.e. an English individual.

I'm sorry, but you are mistaken.  I live in the United States and my ancestors were Scots, German, Cherokee and a few others.  "Anglican" does not mean "English" for most of the world.  But it *does* mean member of a Christian Church. 

I apologize if anything that I have written has upset you.  I hope that you may find some peace.

With respect,

Ebor
I am sorry that you have troubles
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2007, 06:29:55 PM »
I have peace.

The peace of Jesus Christ who came to bring to earth the sword of division.

I know that unrepentent Anglicians go to hell until the last Judgement because the Church teaches me so.

I am sad that you cant see why we hate and fear the demonic spirit of Anglicanism.

I hope that one day you will become a True Orthodox Christian.

Theophan.

Offline prodromas

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2007, 06:54:13 PM »
I have peace.

The peace of Jesus Christ who came to bring to earth the sword of division.

I know that unrepentent Anglicians go to hell until the last Judgement because the Church teaches me so.

I am sad that you cant see why we hate and fear the demonic spirit of Anglicanism.

I hope that one day you will become a True Orthodox Christian.

Theophan.


Silly me I thought the church stated that no one knows who goes to Hell except for God? Please GOCTheophan what is the demonic spirit of Anglicanism? These ignorant ad hominems against a fellow follower of Christ (or anyone for that matter) are uncalled for and hurtful especially when Ebor shows you nothing but Christian charity and all you show Ebor back are hurtful and ignorant words.
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #52 on: December 06, 2007, 07:24:47 PM »
Christ said that without Baptism that you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Christ said that without the Eucharist you have no Life in you.

Thats for starters.

My postition is a liberbal and conjectural.

Love for Ebor is telling him the truth that he will descend to hades after his soul is seperated from his body to await judgement because he does not have the Grace of Baptism neither has he been joined to the Body of Christ. He probably stands a better chance of ultimate Salvation than members of OCA who have none at all but still lets face it...what are the chances of his repentence? What are the chances of his being able to embrace the Truth when faced with it and not cling to the demons of Anglicanism unto the Ages? He has had access to the Truth and he has rejected it.

Theophan.




You are being placed on post moderation for repeated personal attacks.  You will still be able to post, but your posts will be reviewed before being permitted on the board.

This is not because of your theological stand, or your jurisdiction.  It's not because you're "Anti-Ecumenist" or "Traditionalist" or anything like that.  It's because you are disrespecting human beings with the manner of your speech.  You have other "traditionalist" brethren who are able to post their true feelings here without being hateful.

If you feel this is in error, please PM me.

- Cleveland, Global Moderator
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 07:49:46 PM by cleveland »

Offline prodromas

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #53 on: December 06, 2007, 07:27:46 PM »
Judgment is only for God not God and GOCTheophan so you don't have the slightest clue what will happen to Ebor after death. I'm sure Ebor has a better chance then me because Ebor holds to the greatest commandment of the Lord which is Love thy neighbor.
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #54 on: December 06, 2007, 07:33:56 PM »
Silly me I thought the church stated that no one knows who goes to Hell except for God?

What Fathers say this?

The Church and the Bible are quite clear on what type of people will be damned.

Theophan.

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2007, 07:42:08 PM »
Judgment is only for God not God and GOCTheophan so you don't have the slightest clue what will happen to Ebor after death. I'm sure Ebor has a better chance then me because Ebor holds to the greatest commandment of the Lord which is Love thy neighbor.

He belongs to a "Church" that supports women in their "chioce" to have jewish doctors rip out their unborn babies before they are even born?

Thats Love?

Ad hominem removed.  - Cleveland, Global Moderator

Theophan.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 08:07:18 PM by cleveland »

Offline prodromas

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2007, 07:45:37 PM »
Again GOC if you could please look at your accusations and see that it is the individuals that do these terrible deeds not Ebor and next please give me some sources to see the validity of these statements. Next on the fathers there opinions do not make dogma and secondly they are talking about what happens you do not know what is in Ebor's heart to damn him to hell.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 08:25:24 PM by cleveland »
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline pathofsolitude

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2007, 08:05:48 PM »
I would like to highly commend GOCTheophan for his spiritual/mystical insight into Anglicanism. We truly "do not fight against flesh and blood but against the powers of the air."

Btw Theophan, I didnt mean for my remark about the Queen to be a joke, but only a realization of the absurdity of having a secular monarch as the head of their church. None of my derogative comments get through the moderation system.
The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2007, 08:05:49 PM »
you do not know what is in Ebor's heart to damn him to hell.

Where was I damning him to hell?

Are you seriously saying that Baptism is not necessary to rise through the toll houses?

Theophan.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 08:25:11 PM by cleveland »

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2007, 08:14:50 PM »
Are you seriously saying that Baptism is not necessary to rise through the toll houses?

I was unaware the toll houses were anything more than theologoumena.
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2007, 08:18:40 PM »
Ebor's worthy baptism seems to have borne a lot greater fruit of charity than yours has, GOCTheophan.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2007, 08:38:19 PM »
What Fathers say this?

The Church and the Bible are quite clear on what type of people will be damned.

Theophan.

From the writings of Abba Dorotheos:

A certain elder heard that one brother had fallen into lust, said, "Oh!  He did evil."  At once appeared before him an angel holding the soul of the brother who sinned, and said "The one you have judged has died!  Where do you direct therefore that I take him, to paradise or to hell?"  In other words, it was as if the angel said to him "Since you are the judge of the just and the sinners, tell me, what do you direct for this soul?  Do you give it grace or condemnation?"

At these words the holy elder trembled.  He fell immediately with his face at the feet of the angel and wished forgiveness.  And (the angel) replied to him: "There, God has shown you how serious it is to judge.  Don't do it again."

- Abba Dorotheos, "Works of Asceticism", "Etoimasia", Monastery of St. John the Forerunner Karea, Athens 1991.
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Offline pathofsolitude

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2007, 09:40:30 PM »
From the writings of Abba Dorotheos:

A certain elder heard that one brother had fallen into lust, said, "Oh!  He did evil."  At once appeared before him an angel holding the soul of the brother who sinned, and said "The one you have judged has died!  Where do you direct therefore that I take him, to paradise or to hell?"  In other words, it was as if the angel said to him "Since you are the judge of the just and the sinners, tell me, what do you direct for this soul?  Do you give it grace or condemnation?"

At these words the holy elder trembled.  He fell immediately with his face at the feet of the angel and wished forgiveness.  And (the angel) replied to him: "There, God has shown you how serious it is to judge.  Don't do it again."

- Abba Dorotheos, "Works of Asceticism", "Etoimasia", Monastery of St. John the Forerunner Karea, Athens 1991.

I think GOCTheophan is merely pointing out the general principle that there is "No Salvation Outside The Orthodox Church" which historically excludes Roman Catholics and Anglicans. I dont think he is trying to set himself up as a *judge* over any individual soul.

Cleveland- if we take your above quote literally then we could never acknowledge that an individual is in sin. Scripture commands us to acknowledge that a brother is in sin, firstly to correct him or to take the situation to authorities, and secondly so that we know to stay away from him. My take of the quote is that the abba did more than acknowledge that one is in sin and rather crossed the line into trying to function as judge over a soul. Thats a crucial distinction.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 09:40:46 PM by ytterbiumanalyst »
The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2007, 10:57:40 PM »
He probably stands a better chance of ultimate Salvation than members of OCA who have none at all but still lets face it...what are the chances of his repentence? What are the chances of his being able to embrace the Truth when faced with it and not cling to the demons of Anglicanism unto the Ages? He has had access to the Truth and he has rejected it.

Theophan.



Just to set the context for everyone else: I don't agree with the principles of the OCA, which is why after graduating from an OCA Seminary, I joined the GOC. I am in the same Church as GOCTheophan, although different dioceses, for full disclosure. And in addition, I consider Theophan a friend, because on a personal level, I get along with him well and we have good discussions.

That being said...

The statements I have bolded are not teachings of the GOC, and are in my personal opinion, presumptuous at best, heretical at worst.

No one can say where the Spirit of God is.  Sacramentally, yes, it can be defined. But not charismatically. And Christ can save whom he wills.

I furthermore do not agree with Ebor's choice to remain an Anglican, after so many years of seeing that communion deteriorate. I don't understand it. However, I know Ebor. I met Ebor and Ebor's spouse in person. They have integrity. They are prayerful people. Ebor does not deserve this level of personal attack. Despite our disagreements, I think Ebor and I can agree in principles such as: integrity, an eirinic spirit, backing up our beliefs with facts, no hysteria, etc. And I would encourage you to participate as well in this way.

So my friend Theophan, my brother and co-religionist, I entreat you to please, for the love of God, stop posting this way on this forum. Leave the judgment to God, and instead bring people over to our God-pleasing fight against modernism by witnessing the truth in charity.

Anastasios
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 12:27:38 AM by Anastasios »
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #64 on: December 07, 2007, 12:21:51 AM »
beautifully stated anastasios
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline trifecta

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #65 on: December 07, 2007, 06:46:32 AM »
Ebor,

Greetings once again!  Wow,  a lot has happened since my last posting!


Ultimate is not the same as only.  And it is clear since there are writings and teachings in other Churches that more then the Bible is used.  But we've gone over this already. Please forgive me, but I'm not sure why you would keep on the subject of Sola Scriptura when it doesn't apply to Anglicans (that being the subject of the thread.)  I'm not going to change and say that it does.  :)


Sorry, I didn't mean to focus on this.  My Anglican friend oddly holds the Hooker 3-legged stool position, yet at the same time, he doesn't like when I deny sola scriptura.   So, that may explain part of my repetition on this topic.  I'll drop it.  I'll also drop discussion about what most Protestants believe.  I must disagree with Prodromas that I do not have an understanding of the "diversity of Protestantism."  On the contrary, having gone to many different types of Protestant services, I think I have a better understanding than many Protestants, frankly.  Its kind of like who knows more about America: one who has live there his whole life or a long-term immigrant? 

Nevertheless, I do think Prodromas has a point in that the topic of this thread is to understand more about what Anglicans believe, which is what I want to know.   You know, discussions sometimes go a bit astray.  Hope you
are not offended; that wasn't my intent.    I'll try to stick to the topic (but make no guarantees :)).

I have more questions . . . so, if you please:

I know the Church of England uses the term "Vicar" to describe priests--or it is bishops?  But when I was attending the Episcopal Church (now an Anglican Church), I don't think they used that title.  As I'm sure you know, Orthodox are not thrilled with the term "Vicar of Christ" as Rome uses it.  How do Anglicans mean by the use the "V word"?

Also, how is Anglo-Catholic different from High Church Anglican?  (I have an idea, but I trust your opinion about this more than mine!)

Thanks!
born Catholic, became a Protestant, now and hereafter an Orthodox Christian

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #66 on: December 07, 2007, 07:16:47 AM »
As I'm sure you know, Orthodox are not thrilled with the term "Vicar of Christ" as Rome uses it.  How do Anglicans mean by the use the "V word"?
A "Vicar" in the Church of England was originally a priest supplied to a parish Church by a monastery. This priest acted on behalf of (i.e. "Vicariously for")  the monastery.
In modern England, the word "vicar" was retained and is mostly used in urban areas, while "rector" is used in rural areas.
Also, it should be noted that the Russian Orthodox Church also uses the term "Vicar" ("викарий") to describe what is called an "Auxilary Bishop" in the Greek Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 07:17:34 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2007, 10:05:28 AM »
From the writings of Abba Dorotheos:

A certain elder heard that one brother had fallen into lust, said, "Oh!  He did evil."  At once appeared before him an angel holding the soul of the brother who sinned, and said "The one you have judged has died!  Where do you direct therefore that I take him, to paradise or to hell?"  In other words, it was as if the angel said to him "Since you are the judge of the just and the sinners, tell me, what do you direct for this soul?  Do you give it grace or condemnation?"

At these words the holy elder trembled.  He fell immediately with his face at the feet of the angel and wished forgiveness.  And (the angel) replied to him: "There, God has shown you how serious it is to judge.  Don't do it again."

- Abba Dorotheos, "Works of Asceticism", "Etoimasia", Monastery of St. John the Forerunner Karea, Athens 1991.

"Several brothers once visited Abba Agathon, for they had been informed that he was possessed of great spiritual discretion. And wishing to test him, to see if he would become angry, they said: "Are you Agathon? We have heard about you that you are debauched and proud." He replied, "Yes, it is so." They said to him once more, "Are you Agathon the loose-tongued lover of slander?" "I am he," he responded. And the visitors spoke to him a third time, "You are Agathon, the heretic?" To this, he answered, "I am not a heretic." After this answer, they asked him to explain: "Why, when we called you so many things, did you admit them, while you would not, however, endure the accusation that you were a heretic?" And the Abba said to them: "The first things I accepted since they were beneficial for my soul; but not the accusation that I am a heretic, since heresy is separation from God." On hearing this reply, the visitors marvelled at the spiritual discretion of the Abba and departed, benefitted in soul."
- Abba Agathon, Desert Father
[ The Evergetinos: A Complete Text ,
Translatored by Hm. Patapios &
Bp. Auxentios, CTOS:
Etna, CA, 1999; Bk. II, Vol. I,
Hypothesis II, p.44]
"Heresy separates every man from the Church."
- Seventh Holy Ecumenical Council
[Mansi, Vol. xii, col. 1022cd;
Praktika, Vol. II, p. 733a (First Session)]
"The universal [catholic] Church is a great paradise...and should anyone be found in the Church ailing with heretical error from the teaching of the serpent...then he is cast out of this paradise, even as Adam was cast out from the paradise [of old]."
- St. John Chrysostom
[PG 59:545CD]
"'There is one Lord, one Faith, one baptism' [Eph. 4:5], and this is what we believe with all our soul, with all our heart, and with all our mind, that there is salvation in none other than in Jesus Christ the Nazerene [cf. Acts 4:10-12]. And this is what we piously believe and follow. And we recognize that works without true doctrine are not accepted by God, neither is true doctrine without works accepted by God. For what profit is it, to know well the doctrines concerning God, and yet to be a vile fornicator? And again, what profit is it, to be nobly temperate, and an impious blasphemer? A most precious possession therefore is the knowledge of doctrines: also there is need of a wakeful soul, since there are many that make spoil through philosophy and vain deceit. The Greeks on the one hand draw men away by their smooth tongue, for honey droppeth from a harlot's lips: whereas they of the Circumcision deceive those who come to them by means of the Divine Scriptures, which they miserably misinterpret though studying them from childhood to all age, and growing old in ignorance. But the children of heretics, by their good words and smooth tongue, deceive the hearts of the innocent, disguising with the name of Christ as it were with honey the poisoned arrows of their impious doctrines: concerning all of whom together the Lord saith, Take heed lest any man mislead you. This is the reason for the teaching of the Creed and for expositions upon it."
- St. Cyril, Archbishop Of Jerusalem
[ Catechetical Lectures - Lecture 4:
On Ten Points Of Doctrine]
"I therefore, yet not I, but the love of Jesus Christ, entreat you that ye use Christian nourishment only, and abstain from herbage of a different kind; I mean heresy. For heretics mix up Jesus Christ with their own poison, speaking things which are unworthy of credit, like those who administer a deadly drug in sweet wine, which he who is ignorant of does greedily take, with a fatal pleasure leading to his own death."
- St. Ignatius the Godbearer, Hieromartyr of Antioch
[ Epistle to the Trallians ]
"Just as the fishermen hide the hook with bait and covertly hook the fish, similarly, the crafty allies of the heresies cover their evil teachings and corrupt understanding with pietism and hook the more simple, bringing them to spiritual death"
- St. Isidore of Pelusium
[Letter to Timothy the Reader,
Patrologia Graeca 78, 252C]
"In The Spiritual Meadow of St. John Moschus, we read:
"Once a monk called Theophan came to see the great elder Kyriakos..." (He tells the elder that in his country he is in contact with Nestorians whereupon) "the elder begins to try to convince the monk of his error and to pray that he abandon that fatal heresy and join himself to the holy catholic and apostolic Church."
"'It is impossible to be saved ('without right belief).'" (The monk is interested and the elder offers him his cell saying:)
"'I have hope that God in His mercy will reveal the truth to you.'"
"And leaving the monk in his cave, the elder set out for the Dead Sea, praying for the monk as he went. And indeed the next day about the ninth hour the monk sees someone, strange in appearance, who says to him, 'Come and find out the truth.' And taking him he leads him to a gloomy, stinking place emitting flames and shows him Nestorius and Theodore (of Mopsuestia), Eutyches and Apollonarius, Evagrius and Didymus, Dioscorus and Severus, Arius and Origen, and others. And pointing at them he says to the monk, 'That is the place prepared for heretics and those who taught falsely about the Mother of God and those who follow their teachings. If you do not want to taste the same punishment turn to the holy catholic and apostolic Church to which the elder who is instructing you belongs. I tell you: even though a man be adorned with all the works of charity, but does not have right belief he will find himself in that place.'
"With these words the monk came to himself. When the elder returned the monk told him everything that he had seen and in a short time joined himself to the holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Staying in the monastery of Kalamon he lived with the elder for some years and died in peace.""
-St. John Moscus
[ Spiritual Meadow ; cited in
"Commentary on the Latest
Recommendations of the 'Joint Commision
For Theological Dialogue Between
the Orthodox And Oriental Churches'",
Orthodox Life , vol. 42, no. 3 (May-June 1991),
pp. 5-18.; quotation appears on p. 17]
Anyone That Would Be Saved Must Depart From Heresy and Join the True Orthodox Church:
"One might say much more against this detestable and antichristian heresy...But...in order that our words may not be too many, it will be well to content ourselves with the divine Scripture, and that we all obey the precept which it has been given us both in regard to other heresies, and especially respecting this. That precept is as follows; `Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of them, and be ye separate, that bear the vessels of the Lord' This may suffice to instruct us all, so that if any one has been deceived by them, he may go out from them, as out of Sodom, and not return again unto them, lest he suffer the fate of Lot's wife; and if any one has continued from the beginning pure from this impious thing, heresy, he may glory in Christ and say, `We have not stretched out our hands to a strange god; neither have we worshipped the works of our own hands, nor served the creature more than Thee, the God that hast created all things through Thy word, the Only-Begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom to Thee the Father together with the same Word in the Holy Spirit be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen."
- St. Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria
[ History of the Arians , 80]
"Abba Theodore used to say, "If thou hast affection for a man, and it happeneth that he fall into temptation, stretch out thy hand to him, and lift him up therefrom, but if he fall into heresy, and will not be persuaded by thee to return, cut him off from thee immediately, lest, if thou tarry long with him, thou be drawn unto him, and thou sink down into the uttermost depths."
- Abba Theodore, Desert Father
[ Sayings of the Desert Fathers , 315]
If We Are In Communion With Heretics, We Likewise Will Perish:
"As for all those who pretend to confess sound Orthodox Faith, but are in communion with people who hold a different opinion, if they are forewarned and still remain stubborn, you must not only not be in communion with them, but you must not even call them brothers."
- St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesaria in Cappodocia
(*Patrologia Orientalis*, Vol. 17, p. 303)
"Another thing the blessed man taught and insisted upon with all was never on any occasion whatsoever to associate with heretics and, above all, never to take the Holy Communion with them, 'even if', the blessed man said, 'you remain without communicating all your life, if through stress of circumstances you cannot find a community of the catholic Church. For if, having legally married a wife in this world of the flesh, we are forbidden by God and by the laws to desert her and be united to another woman, even though we have to spend a long time separated from her in a distant country, and shall incur punishment if we violate our vows, how then shall we, who have been joined to God through the Orthodox faith and the catholic Church -- as the apostle says: "I espoused you to one husband that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2) -- how shall we escape from sharing in that punishment which in the world to come awaits heretics, if we defile the orthodox and holy faith by adulterous communion with heretics?'
For 'communion', he said, 'has been so called because he who has "communion" has things in common and agrees with those with whom he has "communion". Therefore I implore you earnestly, children, never to go near the oratories of the heretics in order to communicate there.'"
-St. John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria (7th Century AD)
[ Three Byzantine Saints , "The Life of Saint John the Almsgiver",
Translators: Elizabeth Dawes & Norman H. Baynes,
St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood: 1977; p. 251]
"With all our strength let us beware lest we receive Communion from or give it to heretics. 'Give not what is holy to the dogs,' says the Lord. 'Neither cast ye your pearls before swine', lest we become partakers in their dishonour and condemnation."
- St. John of Damascus [ An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith , IV, 13]
"Even if one should give away all his possessions in the world, and yet be in communion with heresy, he cannot be a friend of God, but is rather an enemy."
- St. Theodore the Studite
(PG 99, 1205)
"Chrysostomos loudly declares not only heretics, but also those who have communion with them, to be enemies of God."
- St. Theodore the Studite
[ Epistle to Abbot Theophilus ]
"Guard yourselves from soul-destroying heresy, communion with which is alienation from Christ."
-St. Theodore the Studite
[P.G. 99.1216.]
"The heretics were totally shipwrecked with regard to the Faith; but as for the others, even if in their thinking they did not founder, nevertheless, because of their communion with heresy they are perishing."
- St. Theodore the Studite
[Patrologia Graeca 99, 1164]
We Must Abandon Bishops That Are Heretics Or Are In Communion With Them:
"As we walk the unerring and life-bringing path, let us pluck out the eye that scandalizes us, not the physical eye, but the noetic one. For example, if a bishop ... who is the eyes of the Church conduct himself in an evil manner and scandalize the people, he must be plucked out. For it is more profitable to gather without him in a house of prayer, than to be cast together with him into the gehenna of fire together with Annas and Caiaphas."
- Saint Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria
(Migne PG 26, 1257 C)
"Do not err, my brethren. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And if those that corrupt mere human families are condemned to death, how much more shall those suffer everlasting punishment who endeavour to corrupt the Church of Christ, for which the Lord Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, endured the Cross, and submitted to death! Whosoever, "being waxen fat," and "become gross," sets at nought His doctrine, shall go into gehenna. In like manner, every one that has received from God the power of distinguishing, and yet follows an unskillful shepherd, and receives a false opinion for the truth, shall be punished. "What communion hath light with darkness? or Christ with Belial? Or what portion hath he that believeth with an infidel? or the temple of God with idols? "And in like manner say I, what communion hath truth with falsehood? or righteousness with unrighteousness? or true doctrine with that which is false? For this end did the Lord suffer the ointment to be poured upon His head, that His Church might breathe forth immortality. For saith [the Scripture], "Thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore have the virgins loved Thee; they have drawn Thee; at the odour of Thine ointments we will run after Thee." Let no one be anointed with the bad odour of the doctrine of [the prince of] this world; let not the holy Church of God be led captive by his subtlety, as was the first woman. Why do we not, as gifted with reason, act wisely? When we had received from Christ, and had grafted in us the faculty of judging concerning God, why do we fall headlong into ignorance? and why, through a careless neglect of acknowledging the gift which we have received, do we foolishly perish?"
- St. Ignatius the Godbearer, Hieromartyr of Antioch
[ Epistle to the Ephesians ]
"How then does Paul say, 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves'? (Heb. 13:17) After having said before, 'Whose faith follow, considering the end of their life' (Heb. 13:7), he then said, 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves'. What then (you say), when he is wicked, should we obey? Wicked? In what sense? If indeed in regard to matters of the Faith, flee and avoid him; not only if he be a man, but even if he be an angel come down from Heaven; but if in regard to his life, be not overly-curious."
-St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (4th Century AD)
[ Homily Thirty-Four on the Epistle to the Hebrews ]
"Is the shepherd a heretic? Then he is a wolf! You must flee from him; do not be deceived to approach him even if he appears gentle and tame. Flee from communion and conversation with him even as you would flee from a poisonous snake."
- St. Photius the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople
[ Homily Fifteen , 10]
Numbers And Official Titles Do Not Matter,
Only the Sound Confession of the Orthodox Faith;
Those Who Remain True Cannot Be Condemned,
But Rather Receive Salvation:
"'That thou mayest know,' he says, 'how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.' Not like that Jewish house. For it is this that maintains the Faith and the preaching of the Word. For the truth is the pillar and the ground of the Church."
- St. John Chrysostom
Homily XI on the First Epistle to St. Timothy, commenting on verse 3:15
"They that are of the Church of Christ are they that are of the truth; and they that are not of the truth are not of the Church of Christ...for we are reminded that we are to distinguish Christianity not by persons, who have ecclesiastical titles*, but by the truth and by the exactness of the Faith." *[e.g. 'Patriarch of Constantinople', etc.]
- St. Gregory Palamas, Archbishop and Wonderworker of Thessalonika
[ Collected Works , II, 627, pp.10-16]
Even if false hierarchs, while being in heresy, "will succeed in deceiving and enticing a certain number of ignorant ones and in gathering even a considerable number of followers, then they are outside the sacred walls of the Church just the same. But even if very few remain in Orthodoxy and piety, they are in the Church, and the authority and the protection of the ecclesiastical institution resides in them. And if they should suffer for true piety, then this will undoubtedly contribute to their eternal glory and salvation of their souls."
- St. Nicephorus the Confessor [ PG 100, 844D]
"I exhort you, therefore, not to faint in your afflictions, but to be revived by God's love, and to add daily to your zeal knowing that in you ought to be preserved that remnant of true religion which the Lord will find when He cometh on the earth. Even if bishops are driven from their Churches, be not dismayed. If traitors have arisen from among the very clergy themselves, let not this undermine your confidence in God. We are saved not by names, but by mind and purpose, and genuine love toward our Creator. Bethink you how in the attack against our Lord, high priests and scribes and elders devised the plot, and how few of the people were found really receiving the word. Remember that it is not the multitude who are being saved, but the elect of God. Be not then affrighted at the great multitude of the people who are carried hither and thither by winds like the waters of the sea. If but one would be saved, like Lot at Sodom, he ought to abide in right judgment, keeping his hope in Christ unshaken, for the Lord will not forsake His holy ones. Salute all the brethren in Christ from me. Pray earnestly for my miserable soul."
-St. Basil the Great
[ Epistle CCLVII,
To the Monks Harassed by Arians ]
"It is your prerogative to prefer the drowned multitude to Noah who was saved; but as for me, allow me to run to the Ark along with the few." "One who is well-pleasing to God is to be preferred over myriads who are invested with presumption."
- Saint Theodore the Studite
[PG 99, 1081C; PG 99, 1084A]
"Let us not raise a stumbling-block for the Church of God which, according to the teaching of the Saints, is made up of even three Orthodox, so that we may not be condemned according to the Lord's verdict."
- Saint Theodore the Studite
[ Epistle to Abbot Theophilus , PG 99, 1049C.]
"When Saint Hypatius understood what opinions Nestorius held, immediately, in the Church of the Apostles, he erased his name from the diptychs, so that it should no longer be pronounced at the Oblation. [This was before Nestorius' condemnation by the Third Ecumenical Council.] "When Bishop Eulalius learned of this, he was anxious about the outcome of the affair. And seeing that it had been noised abroad, Nestorius also ordered him to reprimand Hypatius. For Nestorius was still powerful in the city. Bishop Eulalius spoke thus to Hypatius: Why have you erased his name without understanding what the consequences would be? Saint Hypatius replied: From the time that I learned that he said unrighteous things about the Lord, I have no longer been in communion with him and I do not commemorate his name; for he is not a bishop. Then the bishop, in anger, said: Be off with you! Make amends for what you have done, for I shall take measures against you. Saint Hypatius replied: Do as you wish. As for me, I have decided to suffer anything, and it is with this in mind that I have done this."
- From the Life of Saint Hypatius (Sources Chretiennes, No.177, pp. 210-214)
"Of old the anathema was fearful and something to be avoided when it was imposed by the preachers of piety upon those who were guilty of impiety. But ever since the daring and insolent mindlessness of the pernicious contrary to every divine and human law and contrary to every way of thinking, both Greek and barbarian, became so insanely arrogant as to turn the anathema, which they deserved, back on the proponents of Orthodoxy, and as they bickered, in their barbarian frenzy, to accomplish their ecclesiastical transgression, then that fearful and last extremity of all penalties became degraded into a myth and a joke, or rather it became even desirable to the pious. Certainly, it is not the utterly presumptuous opinion of the enemies of truth that makes penalties (especially ecclesiastical penalties) fearful, but rather the culpability of those who are condemned; for guiltlessness changes their punishments into a mockery, and turns their condemnations back upon them, and results in undefiled crowns and immortal glory, rather than condemnation, for him who is castigated by them. Therefore, all the pious and holy prefer to be reviled myriads of times by those who are alienated from Christ rather than, with splendid acclamations, to have communion with their Christ-hating and God-hating villainies."
- St. Photius the Great
[Letter to Ignatius, Metropolitan of Claudiopolis,
PG 102, 833 A-C]
"For a long span of time, every heretical council and every assembly of the Iconoclasts anathematized us (and not only us, but our father and our uncle also men who were confessors of Christ and the lustre of the hierarchy); but by anathematizing us, they caused that we be raised, though unwilling, to the archiepiscopal throne. Therefore let those who, together with the former, have irrationally strayed from the Master's commandments and have thrown wide open the gate of all iniquity, anathematize us even now so that they may raise us, though faltering, from earth to the Heavenly Kingdom."
- St. Photius the Great
[Letter Sixty-four to Gregory,
the deacon and archivist,
PG 102, 877 B-C]
To Deviate A 'little' Or ' A Lot' In Regard To The Faith Is Equally Sin Unto Death
"The fact that we do not become indignant over small matters is the cause of all our calamities; and because slight errors escape fitting correction, greater ones creep in. As in a body, a neglect of wounds generates fever, infection and death; so in the soul, slight evils overlooked open the door to graver ones . . . But if a proper rebuke had at first been given to those who attempted to depart from the divine sayings and change some small matter, such a pestilence would not have been generated, nor such a storm have seized upon the Church; for he that overturns even that which is minor in the sound Faith, will cause ruin in all."
-St. John Chrysostom
[Homily One on the Epistle to the Galatians]
"To sin in respect of the dogmas whether in small or great is the same thing; for the law of God is disregarded in either case."
- St. Tarasius of Constantinople
[1st Act of the 7th Holy Ecumenical Council;
cited in The Pedalion {The Rudder},
tr. D. Cummings, p.775]
"It is incumbent upon everyone to observe the letter of all that is common to all, and, above all, the points touching the Faith, where to deviate a little is to commit a sin unto death."
- St. Photius the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople
[ Epistle to Pope Nicholas of Rome ;
cited in The Rudder ,
D. Cummings translation,
pp. 775-776]
Everyone Is Called To This Struggle;
One Cannot Simply Be 'Orthodox In One's Heart', While Apostatizing by Silence Outwardly
"Not only if one possesses rank or knowledge is one obliged to strive to speak and to teach the doctrines of Orthodoxy, but even if one be a disciple in rank, one is obliged to speak the truth boldly and openly."
-Saint Theodore the Studite
[ Letter Two (Book Two) to Monastics ,
(PG 99, 1120 B)]
"It is a commandment of the Lord that we should not be silent when the Faith is in peril. So, when it is a matter of the Faith, one cannot say, 'Who am I? A priest, a ruler, a soldier, a farmer, a poor man? I have no say or concern in this matter.' Alas! The stones shall cry out, and you remain silent and unconcerned?"
- Saint Theodore the Studite
[ Epistle Eighty-One ,
(PG 99, 1321 AB)]
"Many people were being irrational by trying to convince the martyr to deny Christ with his words only, and keep his faith in his soul, in his inner disposition, claiming that God does not pay attention to our words but to our disposition. However, Gordios the Martyr was rigid in his belief and replied, "The tongue, which is created by Christ, cannot bear to utter anything against Him... Do not deceive yourselves, God cannot be mocked, He judges us according to our own mouth, He justifies us by our words, and by our words, He convicts us".
- St. Basil the Great
[ Homily on Gordius, the Martyr ]
There Can No Peace or Common God With Those of Another Faith; To Allege This Is Heresy
St. Gregory of Nyssa writes in regard of peace with heresy that "better is a laudable war than a peace which severs a man from God." "For disagreement over piety is better than emotional concord."
-St. Gregory of Nyssa
Oration 2.82 (In Defense of his Flight to Pontus; PG 35:488C);
and Oration 6.11 (First Eirenic; PG 35:736AB):
"Live in peace not only with your friends but with your enemies; but only with your personal enemies and not with the enemies of God."
- St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves (+1074)
"Beware, my son, of heretics and all their talking, for our land too, has become filled with them! If anyone will save his soul, it will be only through life in the Orthodox Faith. For there is no better faith, than our Holy Orthodox Faith. My son, it is not meet to praise another's faith. Whoever praises an alien faith is like a detractor of his own Orthodox Faith. If anyone should praise his own and another's faith, then he is a man of dual faith and is close to heresy. If anyone should say to you: "your faith and our faith is from God", you, my son, should reply: "Heretic! do you consider God to be of two faiths? Don't you hear what the Scriptures say: "One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism" (Eph. 4,5). Thus, my son, beware of such people and always stand up for your Faith. Do not fraternize with them, but avoid them and pursue your own Faith with good deeds!" "My son, even if there would be the need for you to die for your holy Faith, dare to embrace death! Thus the Saints died for their Faith, and now they are alive in Christ."
- St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves Lavra (+1074)
[From his "Testament" to the Great Prince
Izyaslav of Kiev (1054-1068) whom the Papists
attempted to convert to their delusion
[I.P. Yeremin, "The Literary Heritage of Theodosius
of the Kiev Caves Lavra", TODRL,
1947, vol. 5, p. 171-172.]

Theophan.

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2007, 10:06:25 AM »
TO JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE

 

If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

I Peter 4.18.

 

     “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7.1) – we all know this very important commandment of the Lord. We know what it means: to express condemnation of a person with hatred or derision. And we know, if we are honest with ourselves, that we very often sin against it… However, the word “judge” has many meanings in the English language; and there is a tendency to use the commandment not to judge in this sense as an excuse for inaction, as a stick with which to suppress dissident opinions, and even, sometimes, as an argument in favour of ecumenism. Let us look at these different meanings.

 

     First, it is important not to confuse judging in the sense of passionate condemnation with rebuking or reproving. Blessed Theophylact writes: “He forbids condemning others, but not reproving others. A reproof is for another’s benefit, but condemnation expresses only derision and scorn. You may also understand that the Lord is speaking of one who, despite his own great sins, condemns others who have lesser sins of which God will be the judge.”[1]

 

     To reprove with meekness, and without passionate condemnation or hypocrisy, is a very difficult art. But a vital one. The clergy especially have to rebuke. As the Apostle Paul says to Timothy: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (I Timothy 5.20), “in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves” (II Timothy 2.25). But ordinary Christians, too, must sometimes employ rebukes. Parents must reprove their children, spiritual fathers have to reprove their children, brothers in the Church must reprove each other when they see each other going wrong. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness” (Galatians 6.1). If we did not exhort and reprove each other as the Gospel commands (I Thessalonians 4.18; Hebrews 12.5; Ephesians 5.11), our communities would very soon lose grace. Well-directed reproof is the wine that the Good Samaritan poured into the wounds of the man attacked by robbers, the salt that keeps the body of the Church from corrupting.

 

     We may refrain from reproving others for good or bad reasons. Good reasons include: fear of hypocrisy out of a consciousness of one’s own great sinfulness; fear of mistakes out of insufficient knowledge of the person; and fear of one’s own fallen nature, which is constantly ready to add the sinful element of derision or scorn to the sinless element of reproof. But there are bad reasons, too: fear of losing the other person’s favour – in other words, man-pleasing or social cowardice; and simple indifference to the other person’s salvation – in other words, lack of love. Man-pleasing is a particularly widespread and dangerous vice in our times, as has been recently pointed out by his Grace, Bishop Photius of Marathon.[2]Indifference to the salvation of others is perhaps the most characteristic vice of our time, in accordance with the word of the Lord: “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold” (Matthew 24.12).

 

     Secondly, we must not confuse judging in the sense of condemnation with discernment of the truth about a person or situation. The Apostle Paul uses the word “judge” in the sense of “discern” when he says: “He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (I Corinthians 2.15). Discernment, the gift of seeing the difference between good and evil in men and situations, is another vital gift, without which salvation is impossible.

 

     Now discernment is acquired, above all, by examination of oneself and one’s own sins rather than those of others. And preoccupation with the sins of others may lead to pharisaism, blindness to one’s own sins and therefore to the opposite of true discernment. Nevertheless, fear of pharisaism should never be used as an excuse to refuse to see the evil that is in front of one’s eyes and that necessitates action from us.

 

     Thirdly, “judging” as sinful condemnation must be distinguished from “judging” as “executing justice” or “following the judgement of a properly qualified judge”, whether ecclesiastical or secular. This confusion is often made by ecumenists, who accuse the Orthodox of “judging” when we are simply following the judgements of the Lord and His Holy Church. We are supposedly not allowed to “judge” heretics and apostates when it is not a question of personal, sinful condemnation, but of loyalty and obedience to the decrees of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

 

*

 

     Particular attention should be made to the “refusal to judge” argument in the context of ecumenism.

 

     Now ecumenism can be described as the refusal to accept the judgement of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church on the heretics of all ages. We see how the contemporary ecumenists of World Orthodoxy have trampled on the judgements of the Church on the heretics of the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, such as the Nestorians and Monophysites, as well as on the heretics of the second millennium of Church history, the Roman Catholics and Protestants. If a True Orthodox Christian says that, for example, the Anglicans are heretics and outside the Church, or that the Anglicans will go to hell after death if they do not repent, he as often as not receives the reply: “Don’t judge”. The more extreme ecumenists say that everyone, even the heretics, will be saved; while the more moderate ones, and even some “moderate traditionalists” such as the Cyprianites, are simply agnostic, saying that we do not know who will be saved, it is up to God alone to judge.

 

     So the question arises: What do we know for certain? Can we make judgements about the salvation or damnation of those outside the Church? And if so in what sense of the word “judge”?

 

     Before proceeding further, it is necessary to deal with the objection that we should not even be discussing this question, because, as the Fathers say, we must concentrate on our own sins rather than the sins of others.

 

     In the context of personal asceticism, this is perfectly true. In that context, to wonder whether our neighbour will be saved or not is at best a distraction, at worst a serious temptation. However, the context of this discussion in not personal, but dogmatic. As is well-known, the ecumenists often assert that it would be unjust of God and contrary to His merciful loving-kindness to condemn those outside the Church. And from this they deduce the idea that there is salvation outside the Church and even, in more contemporary forms of the heresy, that everybody will be saved. This false idea must be refuted for the sake of the defence of Orthodoxy. And so it is legitimate to discuss the question of the salvation of those outside the Church in this context.

 

     Now two different meanings of the words “salvation” and “hell” in English need to be distinguished. Sometimes we mean by “salvation” the deliverance of the soul from hell – that is, hades - immediately after death, at the “particular judgement” of the individual soul. At other times, however, we mean “final” salvation, that is, salvation from gehenna - at the Last Judgement of all souls. Now it is obvious that a person who is delivered to hades after his death is in very great danger of being cast into gehenna at the Last Judgement. Nevertheless, there is a difference between being in hades and being in gehenna. Thus we know from Holy Tradition and the Lives of the Saints that some people in hades have been saved through the prayers of the Church; but we also know that nobody who is cast into gehenna will ever escape from it. Cases of deliverance from hades are doubtless rare; and in themselves they are not enough to create a dogma of the faith. Nevertheless, they indicate the possibility, if nothing more, that a person who is in hades will not be cast into gehenna at the Last Judgement and the General Resurrection.

 

     In this sense we can agree with the “moderate traditionalists” – and indeed, with all the Holy Fathers of the Church – that we do not know who will be saved. We know neither whether we who are in the Church will be saved, nor even whether those who die outside the Church will be saved at the Last Judgement. For it is possible even for one who is in hades to be saved from it and therefore also from the eternal fire.

 

     Therefore: 1. We cannot say with certainty that all those who die outside the True Faith and the True Church will be condemned to the eternal fire of gehenna.

 

     We shall call this, not a dogma of faith, for faith apprehends only certainties (Hebrews 11.1), but a postulate of hope. And therefore the salvation of those outside the Church is a permissible object of love – that love which “hopeth all things” (I Corinthians 13.7)

 

     However, this is not the end of the story. Some things about salvation we do know for certain, including the following: 2. We can say with certainty that all those who die outside the True Faith and the True Church will be sent to hades after death.

 

     The proof of this second statement is found in the completely categorical words of the Lord Himself: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Unless a man is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” (John 3.5). And again: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Unless ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6.53). Here the Lord is emphasizing that the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Divine Eucharist are an absolutely necessary condition of entrance into the Kingdom of God. It is impossible for a man who has not been baptized to enter Paradise, because he remains in original sin, burdened with all his personal sins and without the purification and enlightenment that comes from baptism alone. He has not been born again in the womb of the Church; he has not been buried with Christ, and so cannot be resurrected with Christ.

 

     Another absolutely necessary condition of entrance into the Kingdom of God is the true faith: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16.16). So both true faith and true baptism are necessary. But neither of these are possessed by heretics, pagans and unbelievers. For heretics by definition do not have the true faith. And the Holy Church teaches us that they do not have grace-filled sacraments either.

 

     This point is proved by two canons. The first is the 46th of the Holy Apostles: “We order that a bishop or presbyter that recognized the baptism or sacrifice of heretics be defrocked. For ‘what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?’” The second is the 1st of the Council of Carthage (of St. Cyprian): “We declare that no one can possibly be baptized outside the Catholic (i.e. the Orthodox) Church, there being but one baptism, and this existing only in the Catholic Church.”

 

     To these scriptural and canonical witnesses we may add the witness of Holy Tradition, in the form of the experience of Blessed Theodora, who, after passing through the toll-houses and being returned to her body, was told by the angels: "Those who believe in the Holy Trinity and take as frequently as possible the Holy Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, our Saviour's body and Blood - such people can rise to heaven directly, with no hindrances, and the holy angels defend them, and the holy saints of God pray for their salvation, since they have lived righteously. No one, however, takes care of wicked and depraved heretics, who do nothing useful during their lives, and live in disbelief and heresy. The angels can say nothing in their defence... [Only those] enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment [that is, the toll-houses]. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss."[3]

 

     Someone may argue: “Even if an unbaptized person cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven, that does not mean that he is in hell.” To this we reply: “There are only two places a soul can go to after death: heaven or hell (hades). So if he is not in heaven, he must be in hell. There is no third possibility, since the Orthodox do not believe like the Latins in purgatory or any such place.”

 

*

 

     It will be useful to test these conclusions by reference to an article by Archimandrite (Metropolitan) Philaret of blessed memory entitled “Will the Heterodox be Saved?”[4]There is nothing in this article that contradicts the two propositions asserted above. However, the metropolitan introduces some valuable nuances into the argument, as follows:

 

     1. The metropolitan writes: “What should one say of those outside the Church, who do not belong to her? Another apostle provides us with an idea: ‘For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do ye not judge them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But then that are without God judgeth’ (I Corinthians 5.12-13). God ‘will have mercy on whom He will have mercy’ (Romans 9.18). It is necessary to mention only one thing: that to ‘lead a perfectly righteous life,’ as the questioner expressed it, means to live according to the commandments of the Beatitudes – which is beyond the power of one, outside the Orthodox Church, without the help of grace which is concealed within it.”

 

     It is not quite clear what the metropolitan is saying precisely here. One possible interpretation is: rather than say that the heterodox will not be saved, which is beyond our knowledge, for “those who are outside [the Church] God will judge”, it is better to say essentially the same thing in a more positive, less “judgemental” way: that the grace which enables us to fulfil the commandments of God is given to people only in the Orthodox Church.

 

     Whether or not this is a correct interpretation of the metropolitan’s words, it will be useful to examine more closely what the passage from I Corinthians 5 that he quotes really means by looking at it in its wider context.

 

     “It is reported continuously,” writes the apostle, “that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you…” (5. 1-2).

 

     We can draw two immediate conclusions: (1) this was not a matter of faith, but of morality, and (2) the Corinthians were “looking through their fingers”, as the Russian expression goes, at the fornication of their brother; they neither rebuked him nor excommunicated him, as the canons required. The apostle, far from praising them for their “refusal to judge”, reproved them for being “puffed up” – that is, proud. This again shows that the “refusal to judge” may proceed, not from humility, but from its opposite…

 

     “For I verily,” continues the apostle, “although absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” (5. 3-7).

 

     We can now draw a third conclusion: (3) the context of this passage is not the rightness or wrongness of “judging” sinners in the sense of censuring or criticizing them, but rather the rightness or wrongness of “judging” them in the sense of bringing them to trial. In the case of a sinners within the Church, the apostle declares that it is necessary to excommunicate him and deliver him to bodily punishment at the hands of Satan for the sake of his salvation through Christ in the Day of Judgement. The setting is a parish or diocesan assembly at which the apostle is not present but at which he presides in spirit. The Corinthians are rebuked once again for pride, “glorying”, because they complacently considered that they could not be infected by the bad example of their sinning brother. But the leaven of sin infects the whole lump, the whole church community, if it is not cast out by the judgement of the community – that is, through the judgement of a properly convened ecclesiastical court. Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us in order to cast out sin from our souls and bodies, and do we then with such vainglorious complacency allow sin to come back into our lives?!

 

     The importance of this passage is shown, as Archbishop Averky points out, by its being placed in the liturgy of Holy and Great Saturday. It teaches that we who are about to receive the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of our sins must take special care to cleanse ourselves of all sin, not only personally, but in the community as a whole. It also shows the danger that comes if we do not judge the sinners within our own ranks – the word “judge” being used here in the triple sense of “discern” their sin, “reprove” their sin, and “pass judgement” formally on their sin.

 

     However, continues the apostle, it is quite a different matter with people who sin against us from outside the Church. “For what have I to do with judging those who are outside? Do ye not judge those that are inside?” (5.12-13). Or, as Bishop Theophan puts it: “We ourselves judge our own sinners here, and through that, by disposing them to repentance, deliver them from the judgement of God. But the pagans do not have a mediating corrective court: what awaits them without mediation is the judgement of God.”[5]

 

     Nor, says the apostle, should we take such sinners to a civil court. For “does any of you dare, if he has something against another person, to go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints [the Christians]? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (6.1-2). Or, as Bishop Theophan puts it: “Having spoken about the inner Church court in spiritual matters, the apostle wishes that everyday matters also should be examined by the Christians themselves without taking them to pagan courts… If court justice is necessary, then they must seek it before righteous people – the holy Christians… The Christians are holy, and by their example of faith and love they will be the accusers of the impious world at the Judgement of Christ, so are they really unworthy now to examine their own affairs that are of little importance?” (p. 146)

 

     We may conclude that this passage is not relevant to the question whether it is right or wrong to say that heretics go to hell. For the context is not sins against the faith, but moral sins, and the “judging” in question is not passionate condemnation, but the taking of a sinner to trial in an ecclesiastical or civil court. Moreover, the only kind of “judging” that the apostle is explicitly condemning is the taking of pagans to trial in a civil court.

 

     2. The metropolitan continues: “In attempting to answer this question [can the heterodox be saved?], it is necessary, first of all, to recall that in His Gospel the Lord Jesus Christ Himself mentions but one state of the human soul which unfailingly leads to perdition – i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12.1-32). The same text makes it clear that even blasphemy against the Son of Man – i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God Himself may be forgiven men, as it may be uttered in error or in ignorance and, subsequently may be covered by conversion and repentance (an example of such a converted and repentant blasphemer is the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 26.11 and I Timothy 1.13.) If, however, a man opposes the Truth which he clearly apprehends by his reason and conscience, he becomes blind and commits spiritual suicide, for he thereby likens himself to the devil, who believes in God and dreads Him, yet hates, blasphemes and opposes Him.

 

     “Thus, man’s refusal to accept the Divine Truth and his opposition thereto makes him a son of damnation. Accordingly, in sending His disciples to preach, the Lord told them: ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned’ (Mark 16.16), for the latter heard the Lord’s Truth and was called upon to accept it, yet refused, thereby inheriting the damnation of those who ‘believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (II Thessalonians 2.12).

 

     “The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matthew 18.17) and of the Apostle Paul (Galatians 1.8-9), threatening them with eternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self-evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be considered renegades or heretics – i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth… They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord ‘Who will have all men to be saved’ (I Timothy 2.4), and ‘Who enlightens every man born into the world’ (John 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation in His own way.”

 

     Confusion may be caused by the holy metropolitan’s unusual and somewhat paradoxical definition of the word “heretic”, which is much narrower than the usual definition. The usual definition is very simple: a heretic is a person who believes a heretical teaching, that is, a teaching contrary to the Orthodox Faith – regardless of whether he was brought up in the truth or not, or has consciously renounced Orthodoxy or not. “Sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members of other non-Orthodox confessions” are heretics, according to this definition. They are not as guilty as those who have known the truth but have personally and consciously renounced it, who are not only heretics but also apostates (renegades). But they are nevertheless in error, heterodox rather than Orthodox, and therefore cannot receive the sanctification that comes from the knowledge of the truth (John 17.18).

 

     However, this difference in the definition of the word “heretic” does not affect the validity of the metropolitan’s main point, which may be formulated as follows:

 

     3. We may be certain that at the Last Judgement the lot of those who have known the truth but have consciously rejected it will be worse than those who have remained in error out of ignorance.

 

     This third major conclusion of ours in no way contradicts the first two. All heretics in the usual sense of the word will go to hell (hades) after death because they do not know the truth and have not received the baptism by water and the Spirit that alone, according to the Lord’s infallible word, delivers a soul from hades and brings it into the Kingdom of Heaven. However, those who have been brought up in error and have never been confronted with the truth, and therefore never rejected the truth personally and consciously, are much more likely to attract the mercy of God at the Last Judgement, and so be delivered from the eternal fire, than those who, having known the truth and been baptized in it, have consciously rejected it.

 

     Some may interpret the metropolitan’s words to mean that “sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members of other non-Orthodox confessions” can be saved in the sense that they can go to Paradise immediately after death. But the metropolitan does not say that (and if he had said that, we would be forced to come to the conclusion that he, the author of the renowned 1983 anathema against ecumenism, was an ecumenist!). Rather, he is speaking about salvation at the Last Judgement, a different matter, about which we can say much less with certainty...

 

*

 

     Finally, it may be useful to say a few more words about the word “ignorance” in this context. Ignorance - real, involuntary ignorance - is certainly grounds for clemency according to God's justice, as it is according to man's. The Lord cried out on the Cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23.24); and one of those who were forgiven declared: "I obtained mercy because I acted in ignorance” (I Timothy 1.13; cf. Acts 3.17, 17.30). For our Great High Priest is truly One "Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way" (Hebrews 5.2).

 

     However, there is also such a thing as wilful, voluntary ignorance. Thus St. Paul says of those who do not believe in the one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, that "they are without excuse" (Romans 1.20), for they deny the evidence from creation which is accessible to everyone. Again, St. Peter says: "This they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men" (II Peter 3.5-7). Again, claiming knowledge when one has none counts as wilful ignorance. For, as Christ said to the Pharisees: "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth" (John 9.41).

 

     Wilful ignorance is very close to conscious resistance to the truth, which receives the greatest condemnation according to the Word of God. Thus those who accept the Antichrist will do so "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (II Thessalonians 2.10). Wilful ignorance is therefore the same as the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which we have already discussed. Metropolitan Philaret’s definition of this sin is essentially the same as that of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who in turn follows the definition of the Seventh Ecumenical Council: “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, or 'sin unto death', according to the explanation of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (VIII, 75), is a conscious, hardened opposition to the truth, 'because the Spirit is truth' (I John 5.6).”[6]Another similar, but somewhat broader definition is given by St. Ambrose of Milan: all heretics and schismatics are blasphemers against the Holy Spirit insofar as they deny the Spirit and Truth that is in the True Church.[7]

 

     Wilful ignorance can be of various degrees. There is the wilful ignorance that refuses to believe even when the truth is staring you in the face – this is the most serious kind, the kind practised by the Pharisees and the heresiarchs. But a man can also be said to be wilfully ignorant if he does not take the steps that are necessary in order to discover the truth – this is less serious, but still blameworthy, and is characteristic of many of those who followed the Pharisees and the heresiarchs. Thus we read: "That servant who knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and he to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12.47-48). To which the words of St. Theophylact of Bulgariaare a fitting commentary: "Here some will object, saying: 'He who knows the will of his Lord, but does not do it, is deservedly punished. But why is the ignorant punished?' Because when he might have known he did not wish to do so, but was the cause of his own ignorance through sloth."[8]

 

     Or, as St. Cyril of Alexandriaputs it: "How can he who did not know it be guilty? The reason is, because he did not want to know it, although it was in his power to learn."[9]To whom does this distinction apply? St. Cyril applies it to false teachers and parents, on the one hand, and those who follow them, on the other. In other words, the blind leaders will receive a greater condemnation than the blind followers - which is not to say, however, that they will not both fall into the pit (Matthew 15.14). For, as Bishop Nicholas Velimirovich writes: "Are the people at fault if godless elders and false prophets lead them onto foreign paths? The people are not at fault to as great an extent as their elders and the false prophets, but they are at fault to some extent. For God gave to the people also to know the right path, both through their conscience and through the preaching of the word of God, so that people should not blindly have followed their blind guides, who led them by false paths that alienated them from God and His Laws."[10]

 

     The ecumenists often bring up the example of the Hindus and Buddhists and others who have lived their whole lives in non-Christian communities. Can they be said to be wilfully ignorant of the truth? Of course, only God knows the degree of ignorance in any particular case. However, even if the heathen have more excuse than the Christians who deny Christ, they cannot be said to be completely innocent; for no one is completely deprived of the knowledge of the One God. Thus St. Jeromewrites: "Ours and every other race of men knows God naturally. There are no peoples who do not recognise their Creator naturally.”[11]And St. John Chrysostom writes: "From the beginning God placed the knowledge of Himself in men, but the pagans awarded this knowledge to sticks and stones, doing wrong to the truth to the extent that they were able."[12]And the same Father writes: "One way of coming to the knowledge of God is that which is provided by the whole of creation; and another, no less significant, is that which is offered by conscience, the whole of which we have expounded upon at greater length, showing how you have a self-taught knowledge of what is good and what is not so good, and how conscience urges all this upon you from within. Two teachers, then, are given you from the beginning: creation and conscience. Neither of them has a voice to speak out; yet they teach men in silence."[13]

 

     Many have abandoned the darkness of idolatry by following creation and conscience alone. Thus St. Barbara heeded the voice of creation, rejected her father's idols and believed in the One Creator of heaven and earth even before she had heard of Christ. And she heeded the voice of her conscience, which recoiled from those "most odious works of witchcrafts, and wicked sacrifices; and also those merciless murderers of children and devourers of man's flesh, and the feasts of blood, with their priests out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents, that killed with their own hands souls destitute of help" (Wisdom of Solomon 12.4-6). But her father, who had the same witnesses to the truth as she, rejected it – and killed her.[14]

 

     Thus there is a light that "enlightens every man who comes into the world" (John 1.9). And if there are some who reject that light, abusing that freewill which God will never deprive them of, this is not His fault, but theirs. As St. John Chrysostom says, "If there are some who choose to close the eyes of their mind and do not want to receive the rays of that light, their darkness comes not from the nature of the light, but from their own darkness in voluntarily depriving themselves of that gift."[15]If the Light of Christ enlightens everyone, then there is no one who cannot come to the True Faith, however unpromising his situation. If a man follows the teachers that are given to everyone, creation and conscience, then the Providence of God, with Whom "all things are possible" (Matthew 19.26), will lead him to the teacher that is given at the beginning only to a few - "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the Truth" (I Timothy 3.15). For "it is not possible," writes St. John Chrysostom, "that one who is living rightly and freed from the passions should ever be overlooked. But even if he happens to be in error, God will quickly draw him over to the truth."[16]Again, St. John Cassian says: "When God sees in us some beginnings of good will, He at once enlightens it, urging it on towards salvation."[17]

 

     This leads us to draw the following further conclusions: 4. The Providence of God is able to bring anyone in any situation to the True Faith and the True Church, providing he loves the truth. Therefore 5. Although we cannot declare with certainty that those who die in unbelief or heresy will be damned forever, neither can we declare that they will be saved because of their ignorance; for they may be alienated from God "through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Ephesians 4.18), and not simply through the ignorance that is caused by external circumstances.

 

     For the Orthodox do not believe in the Roman Catholic concept of “invincible ignorance”. No ignorance that is truly ignorance is invincible – that is, cannot be conquered by the Almighty Providence of God. The only ignorance that God cannot and will not conquer – because to do so would be to violate the free will of man – is the ignorance that is wilful and artificial, being created by man himself through his stubborn refusal to learn the truth.

 

November 1/14, 2007.

[1]The Explanation of Blessed Theophylact of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, House Springs, Missouri: Chrysostom Press, 1992, p. 63.

[2] “Prosopolatreia: I Nosos Tou Ierou Imon Agonos”, I Foni tis Orthodoxias, July-August, 2007, pp. 16-17 (in Greek).

[3]Quoted by David Ritchie, "The 'Near-Death Experience'", Orthodox Life, vol. 45, no. 4, July-August, 1995, pp. 22-23.

[4] Metropolitan Philaret, “Will the Heterodox be Saved?”, Orthodox Life, vol. 34, no. 6, November-December, 1984, pp. 33-36.

[5] Bishop Theophan, Tolkovanie Poslanij Sv. Apostola Pavla, Moscow, 1911, 2002, pp. 145-146.

[6]Metropolitan Anthony, "The Church's Teaching about the Holy Spirit", Orthodox Life, vol. 27, no. 3, May-June, 1977, p. 23.

[7] St. Ambrose, On Repentance, II, 24. Cf. St. Augustine, Homily 21 on the New Testament, 28.

[8]St. Theophylact, Explanation of the Gospel according to St. Luke 12.47-48.

[9]St. Cyril, Homily 93 on Luke. Translated by Payne Smith, Studion Publishers, 1983, p. 376.

[10]Bishop Nicholas, The Prologue from Ochrid, Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 1986, vol. II, p. 149.

[11]St. Jerome, Treatise on Psalm 95.

[12]St. Chrysostom, Homily 3 on Romans, 2.

[13]St. Chrysostom, First Homily on Hannah, 3.

[14]The Lives of the Women Martyrs, Buena Vista: Holy Apostles Convent, 1991, pp. 528-542.

[15]St. Chrysostom, Homily 8 on John.

[16]St. Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Matthew, 1.

[17]St. Cassian, Conferences, XIII, 8.


Offline Anastasios

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #69 on: December 07, 2007, 10:55:22 AM »
who wrote the last article?
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #70 on: December 07, 2007, 11:36:54 AM »
A "Vicar" in the Church of England was originally a priest supplied to a parish Church by a monastery. This priest acted on behalf of (i.e. "Vicariously for")  the monastery.
In modern England, the word "vicar" was retained and is mostly used in urban areas, while "rector" is used in rural areas.

In the Episcopal Church, on the other hand, it has a somewhat more specific usage, although related to the one George described in England.  The rector is the priest in charge of a church, whether parish or mission.  The diocesan bishop, however, is the rector for all the missions in the diocese.  Since he cannot be at all the missions simultaneously, he appoints a vicar to act for him at each mission church (again, look at George's description of the relation to the word vicariously).  Looking at whether a church has a rector or vicar, then, tells you if its a parish or mission church.
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #71 on: December 07, 2007, 11:48:53 AM »
In modern England, the word "vicar" was retained and is mostly used in urban areas, while "rector" is used in rural areas.

Though not always.  ;)

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #72 on: December 07, 2007, 11:55:22 AM »
who wrote the last article?

http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/209/-judge-or-not-judge/

Reader Vladimir Moss.

I would recommend his writings in general though I do have minor points of disagreement with some of them, especially I would recommend his book of the Mystery of the Church to Path of Solitude as it might clear up some of his misunderstandings.

Theophan.

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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #73 on: December 07, 2007, 01:23:52 PM »
As I think Keble and Ebor have explained, originally in England the difference between a rector and a vicar was to do with how he was paid - a rector was paid by the parish. Now the terms are interchangeable there but the distinction remains in the Episcopal Church. The bishop has the final say but a parish hires the rector and pays him; a vicar serves entirely at the pleasure of the bishop and is paid by him (like a Roman Catholic priest). There's also the position of 'priest-in-charge' in both England and America which is like a vicar but canonically a little different.

'The Vicar of Dibley' was middle-brow and sweet like a good-natured American sit-com, a soft-sell of women priests (after that was approved in England in the early 1990s) and the creation of one of the acidic wits behind 'Absolutely Fabulous', English comedienne Dawn French, who also played the part. Except for the odd witty remark, the Revd Geraldine Granger wasn't much like the 'AbFab' girls: she was like Cathy Guisewite's cartoon character in a collar (loving food, worrying about her weight, having crushes on good-looking guys).

Quote
Also, how is Anglo-Catholic different from High Church Anglican?  (I have an idea, but I trust your opinion about this more than mine!)

The two categories overlap but aren't the same.

High Church has meant different things over the centuries. From the 1600s to the mid-1800s it meant somebody who strongly backed both the monarchy/government and the authority of bishops connected to that, with a belief that the Anglican Church was the only legitimate (canonical) church in England. Along with that often were Catholic beliefs or something approaching them about the sacraments like the Eucharist. (Baptismal regeneration is orthodox Anglicanism just like Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism and unlike much of Protestantism.) In this period it didn't really mean ceremonial (there was the odd revival - Lancelot Andrewes used incense).

(In the confusing edits piled upon edits in the Book of Common Prayer in the 1500s and 1600s, there remains a rubric calling for the retention of much mediaeval Catholic ceremonial but it was wiped out in the 1500s, contradicted by later instructions IIRC in the same book.)

Then came Anglo-Catholicism in the mid-1800s, like the old High Churchmen steeped in the Church Fathers (so there was a big intellectual fascination with Orthodoxy), stressing doctrine in common with Rome and Orthodoxy, but again at first not about ceremonial. They worshipped just like other Anglicans.

The 'second wave' of Anglo-Catholics in the mid-late 1800s started bringing back Catholic ceremonial, first trying to re-enact mediaeval English forms, then copying then-current Roman Catholic forms from Europe (including going beyond ceremonial and using RC texts instead of the Book of Common Prayer).

The old High Churchmen who wouldn't go as far as the Anglo-Catholics either in doctrine or ceremony became known as Central Church: concerned with doctrine and authority, and liturgical, but Protestant.

Meanwhile High Church became identified with Catholic ceremonial by the 1900s but there were also non-Anglo-Catholics who did lots of liturgical ceremony. This happened a lot with Central Churchmen in the US.

(For example Washington, DC's National Cathedral has elaborate ceremonies done with military precision but is not Anglo-Catholic.)

Now, since the 1960s, you can find liberals in doctrine (Broad Church) who are high ceremonially.

So put another way all Anglo-Catholics are High Church but not all High Churchmen are Anglo-Catholics.

One thing I've realised is the key difference between Catholics of any kind and all Protestants, conservative and liberal, is the former believe in an infallible church and the latter don't. (Roman Catholics believe the papal office is infallible on some things; Orthodox believe the Orthodox communion with its seven or nine councils is infallible.) I'd say Anglo-Catholics do but most define it in a branch-theory, Vincentian-canon way (that is, what the Romans and the Orthodox have in common), accepting the seven councils commonly held by Orthodoxy as infallible; the latter don't even when they're High Church, holding the creeds and believing the same or similar things about bishops and sacraments as Catholics.

Because Anglo-Catholicism includes holding things in common with Rome and the Eastern churches I'd say ACs don't have women priests. Some Anglicans disagree, having them and claiming to be AC.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 04:44:16 PM by The young fogey »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #74 on: December 07, 2007, 08:06:29 PM »
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #75 on: December 08, 2007, 12:01:07 PM »
Cleveland- if we take your above quote literally then we could never acknowledge that an individual is in sin. Scripture commands us to acknowledge that a brother is in sin, firstly to correct him or to take the situation to authorities, and secondly so that we know to stay away from him.

No, if you take the quote literally, you come up with the conclusion you draw below:

My take of the quote is that the abba did more than acknowledge that one is in sin and rather crossed the line into trying to function as judge over a soul. Thats a crucial distinction.

Most of us don't acknowledge the sin, we pass judgment as well.  Acknowledging the sin is saying "you're outside the Church, even though we have preached to you, and we strongly believe that there is no salvation outside the Church."  Stating that someone "will go to hell," as a few people here and elsewhere do from time to time, is passing judgment.  Even if one states that "if you don't do X, you'll go to hell" or "if you do Y, you'll go to hell," there is still judgment implied in the sentence, since one's final destination regardless of one's actions on this Earth is ultimately decided on by the Judge - our Lord.  So I can tell you that killing millions of people is a terrible act, and that killing even one person puts one's salvation in jeopardy, I shouldn't tell you that people who kill millions will go to hell - I don't know that.

(Personally, I hope the Lord is merciful on the mass-murderer, for my sins might be as numerous, even if they are of a different nature.)
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Offline GiC

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #76 on: December 08, 2007, 05:00:35 PM »
Who cares?

I don't particularly; but quoted articles should be given proper citations, as it was posted one could have assumed that he wrote it, that is plagiarism and could potentially subject not only the poster but also the site to civil liabilities.
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2007, 08:02:12 PM »
Ebor,

Greetings once again!  Wow,  a lot has happened since my last posting!

I apologize for being away for a while.  I'm in the last week of a college class (yes, older folk can go back to college  ;D) and that and life with kids have taken up my time.

[qipte]
Sorry, I didn't mean to focus on this.  My Anglican friend oddly holds the Hooker 3-legged stool position, yet at the same time, he doesn't like when I deny sola scriptura.   So, that may explain part of my repetition on this topic.  I'll drop it.  I'll also drop discussion about what most Protestants believe.  I must disagree with Prodromas that I do not have an understanding of the "diversity of Protestantism."  On the contrary, having gone to many different types of Protestant services, I think I have a better understanding than many Protestants, frankly.  Its kind of like who knows more about America: one who has live there his whole life or a long-term immigrant? 
[/quote]

Thank you for the explaination; it helps in understanding.    However, to answer your last sentence, in a thing that has much variation (America or the Protestant Churches) a life-long or long time resident may well understand a particular area better then an immigrant, depending on how "long-term" is defined.  For example, I have been away from Montana for many years, but it is still 'home' and I understand the place, the situations and the people there.  When in other threads there has been discussion of EO in Montana and going to services, I know the distances and how getting around there is different from the coasts or in large metropolitan areas.

Quote
Nevertheless, I do think Prodromas has a point in that the topic of this thread is to understand more about what Anglicans believe, which is what I want to know.   You know, discussions sometimes go a bit astray.  Hope you
are not offended; that wasn't my intent.    I'll try to stick to the topic (but make no guarantees :)).

I'm not offended at all!  Threads wander about and sometimes a 'jog' in the trail can lead to other discussions.  Now if we were to suddenly start talking about say... polar bears, or deep sea diving that might be a wee bit off topic.  :D

Quote
I know the Church of England uses the term "Vicar" to describe priests--or it is bishops?  But when I was attending the Episcopal Church (now an Anglican Church), I don't think they used that title.  As I'm sure you know, Orthodox are not thrilled with the term "Vicar of Christ" as Rome uses it.  How do Anglicans mean by the use the "V word"?

Also, how is Anglo-Catholic different from High Church Anglican?  (I have an idea, but I trust your opinion about this more than mine!)


The Young Fogey and OzGeorge and Veniamin covered this pretty well. 

By all means, though, if you would like to continue the discussion, let's do so.  :)

Ebor
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Offline trifecta

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #78 on: December 17, 2007, 06:16:18 AM »
Greetings, Ebor.  A couple of more questions.
Thanks for your willingness to answer.

1) What does Anglican in America mean?  Until the recent split, I thought
all American Anglicans were Episcopalians. 

2) What is your take on that split?

3) Why did the head of the Anglican Church in England criticize America
recently?  In a related matter, who is the head of the Anglican Church?
The Archbishop of Canterbury?  I thought the queen (of England) was the head of the
church, but not for American Anglicans.   Is the queen the head of the church in
the British Empire (Canada, Australia, etc.)?

4) What is the difference between High-Church Anglicans and Low-Church Anglicans?
Don't Low-Church Anglicans use the Book of Common Prayer as well?


Thanks again.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 06:16:56 AM by trifecta »
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #79 on: December 18, 2007, 05:20:55 PM »
If it's OK, I'll answer a bit of this right now and then the rest later as I have a lot happening at the moment and a short time to be here.  I *will* address all of your questions given some breathing space, I promise, but some of them like number 2 need more time to write about clearly and number 1 is complicated, too.


4B) Don't Low-Church Anglicans use the Book of Common Prayer as well?


The Book of Common Prayer is part of the "bones" or skeleton/structure of the Anglican Communion.  All Anglican Churches have the BCP but with variations for their own national/cultural things.  I don't have copies of all of the ones in the world (recall there are Anglican's all around the world and most of them are neither English nor American) but I do have several like the New Zealand, the Scottish, the Church of England (including the historical ones) and the American one (ditto). 

The same basic liturgy, services of various sorts (Morning, Noon, Evening Prayer; Compline; Eucharists, Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, Churching/Thanksgiving for a birth/adoption (a varying one), ordinations/consecrations and others along with prayers and psalms and more.  But there will be differences such as who is listed in the Kalendar: there are the saints that everyone venerates and then there are the more local ones for each Anglican Church.  The NZ BCP has some parts in Maori or other local southern Pacific languages (if you're interested I can go get it off the shelf) for example as well as rites/services that apply to that culture (I'd have to look it up but one that I recall relates to customs after a death.)  The standard American BCP is all in English but iirc it can be gotten in other languages.

So the BCP is used by all as the basic plan and it can be plain or more ceremonial according to the parish custom.  There are other books that we use too.  I'll explain about them if you like, but I have to hare off *immediately*.

Ebor
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 05:21:39 PM by Ebor »
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Offline Keble

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #80 on: December 21, 2007, 01:11:48 PM »
1) What does Anglican in America mean?  Until the recent split, I thought all American Anglicans were Episcopalians.

The short form: The Episcopal Church is still the only church in the USA that is part of the Anglican communion. But there are a lot of splinters that call themselves Anglican and which can, in some sense, be so characterized.

The long version:

The first big Anglican split-off was the Methodists. The break-off of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the 1800s was more or less in reaction to the Oxford Movement gradually making liturgy more Catholic. Then things stabilized until the 1960s and especially the 1970s, when ordination of women and the new BCP brought about the departure of a bunch of different groups. None of these took any sitting bishops, and those that took retired bishops tended to take only one or two. So there is some cause for considering them defective in that sense. There are a lot of them.

Are they Anglican? Well, they claim to be continuing an Anglican tradition which they see the communion churches as having abandoned. Is their spitting off legitimately Anglican? That is highly arguable.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2007, 10:50:30 AM »
The ironic thing is that if Thomas Cranmer were brought in to see the Episcopal Church leadership today, he might not even recognize it as Christian, let alone Anglican.

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #82 on: December 25, 2007, 02:22:24 PM »
I must admit, there is something attractive about Anglicanism.  There is a great appreciation for tradition, and the Church does not require people to accept those Catholic and Orthodox doctrines with which I personally struggle.  Of course, what matters is what is actually true, not what is most appealing.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land

Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #83 on: December 27, 2007, 11:37:59 PM »
I must admit, there is something attractive about Anglicanism.  There is a great appreciation for tradition, and the Church does not require people to accept those Catholic and Orthodox doctrines with which I personally struggle.  Of course, what matters is what is actually true, not what is most appealing.

Sometimes a thing can be appealing *and* true.  :) 

Quote
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land

A wonderful song that sounds very fine with a Boys Choir.  :)

Ebor
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #84 on: December 27, 2007, 11:59:41 PM »
Greetings, Ebor.  A couple of more questions.
Thanks for your willingness to answer.

To quote Dr. Hattori on Iron Chef "Always a pleasure"  ;)
I'll address 4A for now if that's OK.  I think it might be useful to break the questions down into portions.

Quote
4) What is the difference between High-Church Anglicans and Low-Church Anglicans?

One of the differences is with praxis.  The "Low Church" will be simpler, with less ritual.  The order of service from the BCP will be the same in structure, but there won't be incense or "Sacring Bells" rung at the consecration of the Bread and Wine and things like that.  The Psalm will be read rather then chanted or sung.  It will still be reverent, the priest and congregation are there to worship, but more plain.  Sometimes this could be due to the size of the parish or where it is.  I can tell you that out in Montana things will likely not be as fancy or "high" as in might be found in a parish in a big city.  Partly this may be due to the history of the parish (founded by a circuit riding bishop, some of them in former saloons or that sort of thing) or to way things have come about over time. 

But high, low or central they still have their roots in Anglicanism. On this I'm writing of what I know from my experiences.  How this is defined in other countries' Anglican Churches may differ.  As a side note, I can tell you that I have a book on the Anglican Church in Japan. Some parishes are in a "western" style while others are in traditional Japanese design with  tatami mats and a raised area.  How "high" and "low" apply there, I don't know, but it shows how Anglicans have adopted some local things as they spread around the globe.

Ebor
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2008, 08:52:21 AM »
There remains great beauty in Anglicanism. I attended choral evensong on Christmas Day at Salisbury Cathedral in England last week. They had feathered angels suspended in the air along the nave. I could have sworn they were singing too.


Offline FrChris

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2008, 02:46:23 PM »
^^Hmm...let's see:

You just come back from the UK....and then this happens just a few days later:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=505497&in_page_id=1770

Quote
Ambulance service receives emergency call every 8 seconds as Binge Britain welcomes in 2008

(Warning...there are some photos of young women that are covered, but the article may still be difficult to explain reading while at the workplace)

Coincidence....or conspiracy, lubeltri ?  ;)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2008, 02:46:54 PM by FrChris »
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2008, 04:17:12 PM »
 ;)

Good thing I got out on Monday afternoon! I was back in Boston by 9pm (and promptly went to bed; ever endure a plane landing with a sinus infection?).

Such a surprise---I thought I had drunk the place dry in the week I spent there. Guess I was wrong.  ;)

Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #88 on: January 03, 2008, 11:24:44 AM »
There remains great beauty in Anglicanism. I attended choral evensong on Christmas Day at Salisbury Cathedral in England last week. They had feathered angels suspended in the air along the nave. I could have sworn they were singing too.

How fortunate you were to be able to do that!  Someday I hope to visit England. I should dearly like to see Salisbury and Canterbury and York as well as other places and things.

Ebor
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Help me to understand Anglicanism
« Reply #89 on: January 03, 2008, 11:37:36 AM »
1b) Until the recent split, I thought all American Anglicans were Episcopalians.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "recent split".  For the moment, ECUSA is still part of the Anglican Communion, but there is a lot going on and I don't know what the end will be.  One of the events coming up that is very important is the bishops getting together for the Lambeth Conference which is to happen in July. Here's some info on that:
http://www.lambethconference.org/ 

Quote
2) What is your take on that split? 

Once I understand what your question referred to, I'll be more able to answer this one.

Quote
3a) Why did the head of the Anglican Church in England criticize America
recently? 

Which particular one have you read and do you mean the Episcopal Church or America the country? (I apologize for being a bit thick at the moment.  I just want to know more clearly what should be addressed) There has been a good bit of turmoil and goings-on between Canterbury (as well as many of the other members of the Communion) for some time.

Quote
In a related matter, who is the head of the Anglican Church?
The Archbishop of Canterbury?  I thought the queen (of England) was the head of the
church, but not for American Anglicans.   Is the queen the head of the church in
the British Empire (Canada, Australia, etc.)?

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of the Church of England and the "First among equals" of all of the Primates of the Anglican Communion. He is much like the situation of the EP re the EO Churches in that regard.  Recall that the Communion is made up of a number of national or regional Churches.   Her Majesty doesn't really have any power and not much influence on Church matters that I know of either in England or any of the members of the Commonwealth.  Canada, Australis etc all have their own Archbishops.

I'm sorry I couldn't give you more info in this one.  I want to be clear on what to write about.

Ebor
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 11:39:28 AM by Ebor »
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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