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Author Topic: Anglicans and Apostolic Succession?  (Read 1626 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timon
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« on: February 23, 2012, 11:19:42 AM »

Do you guys think the Anglican church has Apostolic succession and valid sacraments?
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 11:57:59 AM »

Do you guys think the Anglican church has Apostolic succession and valid sacraments?
I think that the Anglican Church believes it has apostolic succession and valid sacraments. The Roman Catholic Church is apparently certain that the Anglican Church does not.

As an Orthodox, I don't know if the Anglican church has Apostolic succession and valid sacraments. But I know that neither the AC or the RCC belongs to the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Many Anglican Churches wouldn't claim that they have sacraments in the Orthodox sense; for example, there are many Anglican churches that do not pretend to have the Real Presence in the Eucharist, seeing it rather as symbolic. Many would only claim two sacraments, and wouldn't have, for example, private confession. So, it is difficult as an outsider to say or generalise.

As a former Anglican, I can confirm unambiguously the following: Anglicanism--its complicated.
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 12:03:16 PM »

IMHO, it's kind of like the old saying, "we know where the Church is, what we don't know is where it isn't."
We don't know, really, if the Anglicans have "legitimate" Apostolic succession - an argument could probably be made either way. (Though, personally, based on some of their beliefs - always assuming that you can get them to agree on what it is- I would say not, since those beliefs have strayed so far away from Apostolic teachings.)
What we do know for sure is what Church does have Apostolic succession.

Why accept substitutes?  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 12:11:54 PM »

Im not gonna touch the sacrament issue. As far as succession, I believe in the way Orthodoxy looks at succession, the answer would be no. I think the RC would look at it as yes, but it is maybe imperfect?

Corrections plz?

PP
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 12:23:35 PM »

Im not gonna touch the sacrament issue. As far as succession, I believe in the way Orthodoxy looks at succession, the answer would be no. I think the RC would look at it as yes, but it is maybe imperfect?

Corrections plz?

PP
It is complicated. Pope Leo XIII in his bull Apostolicae Curae finally, and definitively (for Roman Catholics) ruled that Anglican Orders are not valid, for intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. See Catholic Encycl. article: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01644a.htm

However, due to the "Dutch touch" via Old Catholic or PNCC succession, many High Church Anglicans would claim that apostolic succession has been restored. http://anglocatholic.net/2012/01/28/apostolic-succession/

From an Orthodox perspective, it all seems a bit bemusing. Historically, there may be succession in Anglicanism, but ontologically, there may not be.
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 12:23:44 PM »

The reason I ask is because I am really struggling with the direction I am heading.  I went to the Ash Wednesday service at the Anglican Church I used to attend and I remembered how much I love it.  (Katherine, you may be familiar with it.  Its right around the corner from your parish... Its called The Advent)  I know that Anglicanism is complicated and messy.  Thats certainly one thing I dont like about it.  But the parish I went to is very "high church" and very Catholic in its teachings.  I am trying to figure out what is best for me and my family.  Currently, my wife is not involved in a Church and thats largely because I dont belong to a particular Church right now.  As a contract musician, I do a lot of work at big evangelical Churches, but I dont particularly want her to attend those. (although if she wanted to, I wouldnt prohibit it. but shes not really into rock n roll church either)

The reason I havent taken the next step with Orthodoxy is mainly because my wife is not on board at all.  Im afraid Orthodoxy is almost TOO big of a step for us (mainly her) right now and I cant imagine going on this journey without her.  I have been patient and have prayed for her a ton, but at some point I feel like I need to get us engaged somewhere.  She needs a home where she could still attend even if I were on the road for the weekend.

I dont know what to do.  Although I hate to word it this way, but the Anglican Church almost seems like a middle ground.  I thought that they had apostolic succession and valid sacraments, but I really dont know.  Thats certainly important to me.  I just dont know that Ill ever get my family  on board with being Orthodox or Catholic....

And I know you guys arent going to encourage that I become/stay Anglican.  I just wanted to share with you where I am coming from.
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 12:24:11 PM »

Im not gonna touch the sacrament issue. As far as succession, I believe in the way Orthodoxy looks at succession, the answer would be no. I think the RC would look at it as yes, but it is maybe imperfect?

Corrections plz?

PP

To follow up, Apostolic Succession is much more than a lineage chart: a bishop, who traces his ordination back to one of twelve original apostles, has to believe and act the same as the apostles and bishops who predate him. Now, since we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, there may be some refinements along the way but this must be done in Ecumenical Councils and not unilaterally by a particular local church. One must also consider the problem of schisms, where the body in schism cannot by definition do not anything as if it is part of the Church. With the Anglican Church, not only is she in schism, she has also made significant changes to doctrine and praxis as if she by herself constitutes the Body of Christ. There is a similar problem with the Roman Catholic Church as well, but going back to the Anglican Church, in addition to the manner by which the changes were made, there is the grave problems with the changes themselves. I am not going to enumerate them because I do not want to pour gasoline to the fire. Suffice it so say that the Anglicans themselves have identified these issues and are splitting even further.
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 12:27:39 PM »

The reason I ask is because I am really struggling with the direction I am heading.  I went to the Ash Wednesday service at the Anglican Church I used to attend and I remembered how much I love it.  (Katherine, you may be familiar with it.  Its right around the corner from your parish... Its called The Advent)  I know that Anglicanism is complicated and messy.  Thats certainly one thing I dont like about it.  But the parish I went to is very "high church" and very Catholic in its teachings.  I am trying to figure out what is best for me and my family.  Currently, my wife is not involved in a Church and thats largely because I dont belong to a particular Church right now.  As a contract musician, I do a lot of work at big evangelical Churches, but I dont particularly want her to attend those. (although if she wanted to, I wouldnt prohibit it. but shes not really into rock n roll church either)

The reason I havent taken the next step with Orthodoxy is mainly because my wife is not on board at all.  Im afraid Orthodoxy is almost TOO big of a step for us (mainly her) right now and I cant imagine going on this journey without her.  I have been patient and have prayed for her a ton, but at some point I feel like I need to get us engaged somewhere.  She needs a home where she could still attend even if I were on the road for the weekend.

I dont know what to do.  Although I hate to word it this way, but the Anglican Church almost seems like a middle ground.  I thought that they had apostolic succession and valid sacraments, but I really dont know.  Thats certainly important to me.  I just dont know that Ill ever get my family  on board with being Orthodox or Catholic....

And I know you guys arent going to encourage that I become/stay Anglican.  I just wanted to share with you where I am coming from.

Timon--Please read the following essay by an Anglican woman who ended up becoming the wife of an Orthodox priest.

http://www.frederica.com/facing-east-excerpt-1/
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 12:34:10 PM »

The reason I ask is because I am really struggling with the direction I am heading.  I went to the Ash Wednesday service at the Anglican Church I used to attend and I remembered how much I love it.  (Katherine, you may be familiar with it.  Its right around the corner from your parish... Its called The Advent)  I know that Anglicanism is complicated and messy.  Thats certainly one thing I dont like about it.  But the parish I went to is very "high church" and very Catholic in its teachings.  I am trying to figure out what is best for me and my family.  Currently, my wife is not involved in a Church and thats largely because I dont belong to a particular Church right now.  As a contract musician, I do a lot of work at big evangelical Churches, but I dont particularly want her to attend those. (although if she wanted to, I wouldnt prohibit it. but shes not really into rock n roll church either)

The reason I havent taken the next step with Orthodoxy is mainly because my wife is not on board at all.  Im afraid Orthodoxy is almost TOO big of a step for us (mainly her) right now and I cant imagine going on this journey without her.  I have been patient and have prayed for her a ton, but at some point I feel like I need to get us engaged somewhere.  She needs a home where she could still attend even if I were on the road for the weekend.

I dont know what to do.  Although I hate to word it this way, but the Anglican Church almost seems like a middle ground.  I thought that they had apostolic succession and valid sacraments, but I really dont know.  Thats certainly important to me.  I just dont know that Ill ever get my family  on board with being Orthodox or Catholic....

And I know you guys arent going to encourage that I become/stay Anglican.  I just wanted to share with you where I am coming from.
I can sympathise with you. I used to be Anglican and my wife continues to be Roman Catholic. So I did my journey to Orthodoxy alone.

I would encourage you to stay Anglican if you really think that it is the true Church. However, that you are here posting suggests that you have doubts. If that is indeed the case, I can speak from experience that you are just prolonging the agony by remaining Anglican. I felt spiritually homeless in Anglicanism for years until I made the journey to Orthodoxy. My wife eventually supported me because she understood how empty my spiritual homelessness was leaving me. Though she is not yet Orthodox (Lord have mercy), she didn't want me to feel spiritually empty.

I shall pray that God would give you wisdom to choose.
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 12:51:15 PM »

Well, its obvious that it isnt the same as the "original" church we find with the apostles.  But in the case of this parish, the worship somewhat resembles that of the Orthodox church.  Its not the divine liturgy, but the "style" is similar.  They do add musical accompaniment with the prayers and hymns, but personally that doesnt really bother me that much.  We still cross ourselves, use (a lot) of incense, chant, and the focal point of the whole service is the Eucharist.  To me, If I could know that the sacraments were valid, that Christ is truly present on the altar, then I would be comfortable "settling" (for lack of better word) there.

My buddy who is now an Anglican deacon was just like me.  He is the one who turned me on to Orthodoxy.  For him, it was ORthodoxy or nothing, but he told me that finally felt a peace about Anglicanism.  He knew that some things about Anglicanism would anger him at times, but he felt like that was where he needed to be to best serve God and his community.  

I feel a pull in both directions and I dont know what to do next.  I feel like I have been patient long enough and its time to do something.  It just doesnt feel right that we arent involved with a parish at all right now.



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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 12:53:39 PM »

And I appreciate the prayers Clemente!

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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 01:50:08 PM »

I'm sure I don't have to point out that style does not equal truth.

Listen, I can relate. I was Lutheran born and Lutheran bred, and when I died, I fully expected to be Lutheran dead. As we say around these here parts. That is, my whole family were Lutheran back to Bro. Martin his own self, and the Lutheran Church was a beloved and integral part of my family's faith, identity and culture. You can imagine the glad cries and jubilation that greeted my tentative announcement that I was attending an Orthodox Church. Not. I've been Orthodox ten years or so and my mother still will not discuss the subject with me.
I hate to be the one to tell you this (but you probably already know it anyway), the point is, not whether a faith community has a worship style that resonates with you or may have technical apostolic succession (if you squint and look at it sideways), or even if it looks Orthodox in many ways, it ain't.
That is, it is not the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, established by Christ.

The point is, not how the worship looks or whether you like it, it's whether it is the Church, where the Truth is found.

Accept no substitutes! Wink
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 02:18:27 PM »

I'm sure I don't have to point out that style does not equal truth.

Listen, I can relate. I was Lutheran born and Lutheran bred, and when I died, I fully expected to be Lutheran dead. As we say around these here parts. That is, my whole family were Lutheran back to Bro. Martin his own self, and the Lutheran Church was a beloved and integral part of my family's faith, identity and culture. You can imagine the glad cries and jubilation that greeted my tentative announcement that I was attending an Orthodox Church. Not. I've been Orthodox ten years or so and my mother still will not discuss the subject with me.
I hate to be the one to tell you this (but you probably already know it anyway), the point is, not whether a faith community has a worship style that resonates with you or may have technical apostolic succession (if you squint and look at it sideways), or even if it looks Orthodox in many ways, it ain't.
That is, it is not the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, established by Christ.

The point is, not how the worship looks or whether you like it, it's whether it is the Church, where the Truth is found.

Accept no substitutes! Wink

I understand that style doesnt equal truth.  And I just had a conversation with my mom yesterday (who is currently "church shopping" in the evangelical world) about how she needs to not pick a church because she likes the music or pastor.  Its so common to hear people say "well, I dont like this, or I dont like that."  I agree thats the wrong mentality and I did not mean to come across that way.  But, I do live the liturgy of the Orthodox church. I love the bells, incense, chants, etc.  I think what I was trying to say is that these Anglicans introduced me to Orthodoxy.  They often joke (but half way seriously) about if theyre going to take steps to become an Orthodox parish.  In fact, I dont know of any one Orthodox teaching they would reject. 

I guess I am having a hard time understanding (for right now anyways) why it would be so bad if this parish really does teach truth.  I know they are frustrated with the different things that go on in Anglicanism, but thats where they are for now. 

Like I said, I feel a pull in two different directions.  But I feel like whichever route I go, I will be ok.  I believe I will be saved and take part in the Kingdom of God.  So if I believe that, why not go the route that my family will be ok with?

And with all that being said, on the other hand, I dont want to settle.  I want to be Orthodox.  This conversation could go on all day, and might not even get anywhere.  Just pray for me, if you would.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 02:20:46 PM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 02:57:44 PM »

the Church, where the Truth is found.
 They often joke (but half way seriously) about if theyre going to take steps to become an Orthodox parish.  In fact, I dont know of any one Orthodox teaching they would reject.  I guess I am having a hard time understanding (for right now anyways) why it would be so bad if this parish really does teach truth.  I know they are frustrated with the different things that go on in Anglicanism, but thats where they are for now. 
Maybe, but the faith community that they are part of has rejected practically all of the Orthodox teaching (i.e. Apostolic teaching). It's about unity. If your church does believe what the Orthodox Church teaches, what's to stop them from becoming Orthodox, rather than continue in communion, in unity with a church that teaches and believes the exact opposite?

Quote
Like I said, I feel a pull in two different directions.  But I feel like whichever route I go, I will be ok.  I believe I will be saved and take part in the Kingdom of God.  So if I believe that, why not go the route that my family will be ok with?
For me, (YMMV of course) it was about Truth. Where is the Church that Christ established to be found? Where is the Church that teaches the true apostolic Faith? That's where the rubber met the road. I could think of a whole long list of reasons not to become Orthodox - I could only think of one reason to become Orthodox: it was the True Church of Christ. "Lored, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Quote
And with all that being said, on the other hand, I dont want to settle.  I want to be Orthodox. 
Exactly.
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 03:10:28 PM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.

I guess I believe the Body of Christ could be in more than one place.  Is he in the Orthodox Church? Yes.  Is he in the Roman Catholic Church? I would say yes.  Is he in the Anglican Church? I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be.

People arent perfect, but God is.  People make mistakes, but God doesnt.  I have a hard time thinking that just because a Church got something wrong, or disagrees with another Church on something, that Christ wouldnt be present in that Church.  (Within reason, of course.  Im not including mormons or JW's here.  Im talking about trinitarian Christians.)

Now please understand as we continue this discussion... Im not really trying to argue or convince you guys of anything.  Im mainly just trying to sort out my own thoughts at the moment by discussing this topic.  I appreciate you guys helping me!
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2012, 03:25:42 PM »

According to St. Irenaus there are 3 marks of the Apostolic succession: line of ordinations from the Apostles, correct faith, unity with the rest of the Church.
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 04:29:08 PM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.

I guess I believe the Body of Christ could be in more than one place.  Is he in the Orthodox Church? Yes.  Is he in the Roman Catholic Church? I would say yes.  Is he in the Anglican Church? I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be.

People arent perfect, but God is.  People make mistakes, but God doesnt.  I have a hard time thinking that just because a Church got something wrong, or disagrees with another Church on something, that Christ wouldnt be present in that Church.  (Within reason, of course.  Im not including mormons or JW's here.  Im talking about trinitarian Christians.)

Now please understand as we continue this discussion... Im not really trying to argue or convince you guys of anything.  Im mainly just trying to sort out my own thoughts at the moment by discussing this topic.  I appreciate you guys helping me!

But why pick on the poor Mormons and JWs? And if you're only letting trinitarian Christians into the club, that leaves out a lot of folks, including oneness Pentecostals.
So where do you draw your line? Only trinitarian? What about the belief that the bread and wine is truly the Body and Blood? That would exclude a lot of Baptists and evangelicals from the Body.
I'm certainly not saying that the Holy Spirit could not be in other faith communities or that God is not working in individual Christians to bring them closer to Him. But how can it be one Body, when the various parts believe, teach and preach contradictory things and indeed things that were never a part of Apostolic teaching?
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2012, 05:05:48 PM »

According to St. Irenaus there are 3 marks of the Apostolic succession: line of ordinations from the Apostles, correct faith, unity with the rest of the Church.
Those three marks were very challenging for me as a continuing Anglican.

I suspect Timon that you could construct a line of ordination from the Apostles, given the multiple lines of succession now claimed by Anglicans. But what about the other two marks?

Does your parish have correct faith? What are the requirements for taking part in the Eucharist? Is communion open to all "Christians"? Such is not Early Church practice, when even catechumens were asked to leave. They required confession and asking forgiveness of sins from others before communion(see the Didache and I Cor 11.28-30). Are you required to fast before partaking?

Does you parish encourage fasting on Wednesday and Friday? According to the Didache, that is what Christians did. If your priest does not encourage fasting, how can you claim to have the correct faith?

Do you have unity with the Church? Well, no, you do not have unity within even the Anglican Church. The Anglican Communion is not in communion at all. Do you respect your bishop and feel unity with the other parishes under his authority? Do you all share the same faith?

The Fathers did not share the "branch theory" idea that the Church has many branches. Look at what Augustine wrote about the importance of being part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church:

Inasmuch, I repeat, as this is the case, we believe also in the Holy Church, [intending thereby] assuredly the Catholic. For both heretics and schismatics style their congregations churches. But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding God, do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we believe. Wherefore neither do the heretics belong to the Church catholic, which loves God; nor do the schismatics form a part of the same.” Augustine, On Faith and Creed, 10:21 (A.D. 393).

Assuming your parish is "orthodox" in faith and practice, at best it could be considered "schismatic" by the standards of the Fathers. 
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 12:35:55 AM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.

I guess I believe the Body of Christ could be in more than one place.  Is he in the Orthodox Church? Yes.  Is he in the Roman Catholic Church? I would say yes.  Is he in the Anglican Church? I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be.

People arent perfect, but God is.  People make mistakes, but God doesnt.  I have a hard time thinking that just because a Church got something wrong, or disagrees with another Church on something, that Christ wouldnt be present in that Church.  (Within reason, of course.  Im not including mormons or JW's here.  Im talking about trinitarian Christians.)

Now please understand as we continue this discussion... Im not really trying to argue or convince you guys of anything.  Im mainly just trying to sort out my own thoughts at the moment by discussing this topic.  I appreciate you guys helping me!

But why pick on the poor Mormons and JWs? And if you're only letting trinitarian Christians into the club, that leaves out a lot of folks, including oneness Pentecostals.
So where do you draw your line? Only trinitarian? What about the belief that the bread and wine is truly the Body and Blood? That would exclude a lot of Baptists and evangelicals from the Body.
I'm certainly not saying that the Holy Spirit could not be in other faith communities or that God is not working in individual Christians to bring them closer to Him. But how can it be one Body, when the various parts believe, teach and preach contradictory things and indeed things that were never a part of Apostolic teaching?

The Mormons and Jews were just an example.  And I agree with you.  Thats whats making this difficult for me.  I feel like I have found a place I can grow with my family in an Anglican church, but deep down I feel like it isnt right.  Everyone here is just confirming that, which is ok.  I know my wife isnt likely to ever be ok Orthodoxy.  It would be different if she was Catholic and had a Church home.  Or, if she had a protestant church home.  She doesnt have one at all, and I feel like that is somewhat my responsibility.  Would it be better for us to be Anglican now, and maybe become Orthodox later? Or would it be better to have nothing at all right now.  I think that question is why this is so hard.

Again, please excuse and forgive my rants....
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2012, 12:38:46 AM »

According to St. Irenaus there are 3 marks of the Apostolic succession: line of ordinations from the Apostles, correct faith, unity with the rest of the Church.
Those three marks were very challenging for me as a continuing Anglican.

I suspect Timon that you could construct a line of ordination from the Apostles, given the multiple lines of succession now claimed by Anglicans. But what about the other two marks?

Does your parish have correct faith? What are the requirements for taking part in the Eucharist? Is communion open to all "Christians"? Such is not Early Church practice, when even catechumens were asked to leave. They required confession and asking forgiveness of sins from others before communion(see the Didache and I Cor 11.28-30). Are you required to fast before partaking?

Does you parish encourage fasting on Wednesday and Friday? According to the Didache, that is what Christians did. If your priest does not encourage fasting, how can you claim to have the correct faith?

Do you have unity with the Church? Well, no, you do not have unity within even the Anglican Church. The Anglican Communion is not in communion at all. Do you respect your bishop and feel unity with the other parishes under his authority? Do you all share the same faith?

The Fathers did not share the "branch theory" idea that the Church has many branches. Look at what Augustine wrote about the importance of being part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church:

Inasmuch, I repeat, as this is the case, we believe also in the Holy Church, [intending thereby] assuredly the Catholic. For both heretics and schismatics style their congregations churches. But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding God, do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we believe. Wherefore neither do the heretics belong to the Church catholic, which loves God; nor do the schismatics form a part of the same.” Augustine, On Faith and Creed, 10:21 (A.D. 393).

Assuming your parish is "orthodox" in faith and practice, at best it could be considered "schismatic" by the standards of the Fathers. 


 This makes sense.  I honestly dont know how to respond.  But I didnt brush this off. 
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2012, 12:55:44 AM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.

I guess I believe the Body of Christ could be in more than one place.  Is he in the Orthodox Church? Yes.  Is he in the Roman Catholic Church? I would say yes.  Is he in the Anglican Church? I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be.

People arent perfect, but God is.  People make mistakes, but God doesnt.  I have a hard time thinking that just because a Church got something wrong, or disagrees with another Church on something, that Christ wouldnt be present in that Church.  (Within reason, of course.  Im not including mormons or JW's here.  Im talking about trinitarian Christians.)

Now please understand as we continue this discussion... Im not really trying to argue or convince you guys of anything.  Im mainly just trying to sort out my own thoughts at the moment by discussing this topic.  I appreciate you guys helping me!

But why pick on the poor Mormons and JWs? And if you're only letting trinitarian Christians into the club, that leaves out a lot of folks, including oneness Pentecostals.
So where do you draw your line? Only trinitarian? What about the belief that the bread and wine is truly the Body and Blood? That would exclude a lot of Baptists and evangelicals from the Body.
I'm certainly not saying that the Holy Spirit could not be in other faith communities or that God is not working in individual Christians to bring them closer to Him. But how can it be one Body, when the various parts believe, teach and preach contradictory things and indeed things that were never a part of Apostolic teaching?

The Mormons and Jews were just an example.  And I agree with you.  Thats whats making this difficult for me.  I feel like I have found a place I can grow with my family in an Anglican church, but deep down I feel like it isnt right.  Everyone here is just confirming that, which is ok.  I know my wife isnt likely to ever be ok Orthodoxy.  It would be different if she was Catholic and had a Church home.  Or, if she had a protestant church home.  She doesnt have one at all, and I feel like that is somewhat my responsibility.  Would it be better for us to be Anglican now, and maybe become Orthodox later? Or would it be better to have nothing at all right now.  I think that question is why this is so hard.

Again, please excuse and forgive my rants....

It's a complicated answer for a complicated question. If you believe Orthodoxy is the Catholic Church, then you are almost obligated to go to with Orthodoxy- that said, if you feel Anglicanism is the proper place, by all means stay Anglican. It is obvious you believe Orthodoxy to have a certain authority if you're even asking the question of whether or not we recognize the Anglican Succession, though I would say if you are in any way still committed to some form of Branch Theory then stay with the Anglican Church for now. Just because Anglicanism isn't THE CHURCH doesn't mean that you won't find something of value for if/when you become Orthodox later- at the very least providing your wife with a liturgical foundation- though, in that regard, if your wife has no foundation at all it might be easier in the long run just to skip straight to Orthodoxy, there's less to unlearn and the Byzantine Liturgy doesn't seem quite as alien if one is not attached to the Western liturgies.

Don't stress too much. Continue to study Orthodoxy and pray and fast, and if this Church is where you should be that is where you end up. As for where you go to church now- if St Paul could fill what lacking for those who had only the Baptism of John, how much more can the Church do for those who are already baptized into the Trinity?
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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2012, 12:40:22 PM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.

I guess I believe the Body of Christ could be in more than one place.  Is he in the Orthodox Church? Yes.  Is he in the Roman Catholic Church? I would say yes.  Is he in the Anglican Church? I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be.

People arent perfect, but God is.  People make mistakes, but God doesnt.  I have a hard time thinking that just because a Church got something wrong, or disagrees with another Church on something, that Christ wouldnt be present in that Church.  (Within reason, of course.  Im not including mormons or JW's here.  Im talking about trinitarian Christians.)

Now please understand as we continue this discussion... Im not really trying to argue or convince you guys of anything.  Im mainly just trying to sort out my own thoughts at the moment by discussing this topic.  I appreciate you guys helping me!

But why pick on the poor Mormons and JWs? And if you're only letting trinitarian Christians into the club, that leaves out a lot of folks, including oneness Pentecostals.
So where do you draw your line? Only trinitarian? What about the belief that the bread and wine is truly the Body and Blood? That would exclude a lot of Baptists and evangelicals from the Body.
I'm certainly not saying that the Holy Spirit could not be in other faith communities or that God is not working in individual Christians to bring them closer to Him. But how can it be one Body, when the various parts believe, teach and preach contradictory things and indeed things that were never a part of Apostolic teaching?

The Mormons and Jews were just an example.  And I agree with you.  Thats whats making this difficult for me.  I feel like I have found a place I can grow with my family in an Anglican church, but deep down I feel like it isnt right.  Everyone here is just confirming that, which is ok.  I know my wife isnt likely to ever be ok Orthodoxy.  It would be different if she was Catholic and had a Church home.  Or, if she had a protestant church home.  She doesnt have one at all, and I feel like that is somewhat my responsibility.  Would it be better for us to be Anglican now, and maybe become Orthodox later? Or would it be better to have nothing at all right now.  I think that question is why this is so hard.

Again, please excuse and forgive my rants....

It's a complicated answer for a complicated question. If you believe Orthodoxy is the Catholic Church, then you are almost obligated to go to with Orthodoxy- that said, if you feel Anglicanism is the proper place, by all means stay Anglican. It is obvious you believe Orthodoxy to have a certain authority if you're even asking the question of whether or not we recognize the Anglican Succession, though I would say if you are in any way still committed to some form of Branch Theory then stay with the Anglican Church for now. Just because Anglicanism isn't THE CHURCH doesn't mean that you won't find something of value for if/when you become Orthodox later- at the very least providing your wife with a liturgical foundation- though, in that regard, if your wife has no foundation at all it might be easier in the long run just to skip straight to Orthodoxy, there's less to unlearn and the Byzantine Liturgy doesn't seem quite as alien if one is not attached to the Western liturgies.

Don't stress too much. Continue to study Orthodoxy and pray and fast, and if this Church is where you should be that is where you end up. As for where you go to church now- if St Paul could fill what lacking for those who had only the Baptism of John, how much more can the Church do for those who are already baptized into the Trinity?

Thanks for this.  Regarding my wife, we grew up in the same protestant church.  She doesnt see any reason to not be a protestant still.  However, she doesnt really attend church anywhere at the moment.  I work a lot on Sundays like ive said and I want her to have a place she can go even when I cant.  The Anglican church I mentioned, she likes it fine and I feel like she could make some friends there.  Shes just not comfortable at all right now joining a non-reformed church.  If the Anglican church had valid sacraments and apostolic succession, then I would be ok going there because at least we would have somewhere to commune.   But it seems like that is not the case.

I will continue to pray and ask God for guidance in what I should do.  I would love it if you guys would join me in my prayers!
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2012, 12:52:51 PM »

Also, if anyone has time, Id like to get your opinion on this.  This is just something I stumbled across and would like to know where this priest is wrong. 

http://www.askthepriest.org/askthepriest/2007/11/holy-orders-and.html
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2012, 01:26:31 PM »

According to St. Irenaus there are 3 marks of the Apostolic succession: line of ordinations from the Apostles, correct faith, unity with the rest of the Church.
Those three marks were very challenging for me as a continuing Anglican.

I suspect Timon that you could construct a line of ordination from the Apostles, given the multiple lines of succession now claimed by Anglicans. But what about the other two marks?

Does your parish have correct faith? What are the requirements for taking part in the Eucharist? Is communion open to all "Christians"? Such is not Early Church practice, when even catechumens were asked to leave. They required confession and asking forgiveness of sins from others before communion(see the Didache and I Cor 11.28-30). Are you required to fast before partaking?

Does you parish encourage fasting on Wednesday and Friday? According to the Didache, that is what Christians did. If your priest does not encourage fasting, how can you claim to have the correct faith?

Do you have unity with the Church? Well, no, you do not have unity within even the Anglican Church. The Anglican Communion is not in communion at all. Do you respect your bishop and feel unity with the other parishes under his authority? Do you all share the same faith?

...Assuming your parish is "orthodox" in faith and practice, at best it could be considered "schismatic" by the standards of the Fathers. 


this is the best answer.



Honestly it's only by redefining apostolic succession that the Anglicans even have the most tenuous of claims. As I think the priest in the article admits. And on the basis of apostolic teachings and unity, they don't even come close.
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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2012, 02:10:57 PM »

The article does not mention bishops that were removed from the episcopate for being in schism. Its not just a historic line, but a historic line that is in agreement with the Body of Christ as a whole.
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« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2012, 04:48:09 PM »

Listen, I can relate. I was Lutheran born and Lutheran bred, and when I died, I fully expected to be Lutheran dead.

But you weren't, right?
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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2012, 05:07:50 PM »

Listen, I can relate. I was Lutheran born and Lutheran bred, and when I died, I fully expected to be Lutheran dead.

But you weren't, right?

Indeed not. I am not speaking to you from beyond the grave. (it was a saying of my grandfather's)
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2012, 05:19:58 PM »

Listen, I can relate. I was Lutheran born and Lutheran bred, and when I died, I fully expected to be Lutheran dead.

But you weren't, right?

Indeed not. I am not speaking to you from beyond the grave. (it was a saying of my grandfather's)

Well that's load off my mind.
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2012, 05:56:12 PM »

The reason I havent taken the next step with Orthodoxy is mainly because my wife is not on board at all.  Im afraid Orthodoxy is almost TOO big of a step for us (mainly her) right now and I cant imagine going on this journey without her.  I have been patient and have prayed for her a ton, but at some point I feel like I need to get us engaged somewhere.  She needs a home where she could still attend even if I were on the road for the weekend.

I appreciate your concern, but ultimately you must follow your conscience and go to the church you really believe in, even if your wife is not ready to join you there.  When I got married, I was an active, life-long Episcopalian, and my wife was a not-so-active Methodist.  She started attending our parish, and after six years she decided to become an Episcopalian.  Nine years later, though, I knew it was time for me to leave Anglicanism behind, either for Rome or Orthodoxy.  I eventually became Orthodox, and she has become even more active in her Episcopal parish.  Do I miss the days when we attended church together?  Sure, but not enough to go back for that reason alone.  I only go to an Episcopal church for the occasional wedding, baptism, or funeral.  If you become Orthodox, the example you set might encourage your wife to investigate Orthodoxy.  But she might not, and you should be prepared to accept that, too.  I will keep you both in my prayers.
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2012, 06:06:36 PM »

^ I would add the question, "Where is the body of Christ?" You believe that it is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, then that is where you should be.

I guess I believe the Body of Christ could be in more than one place.  Is he in the Orthodox Church? Yes.  Is he in the Roman Catholic Church? I would say yes.  Is he in the Anglican Church? I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be.

People arent perfect, but God is.  People make mistakes, but God doesnt.  I have a hard time thinking that just because a Church got something wrong, or disagrees with another Church on something, that Christ wouldnt be present in that Church.  (Within reason, of course.  Im not including mormons or JW's here.  Im talking about trinitarian Christians.)

Now please understand as we continue this discussion... Im not really trying to argue or convince you guys of anything.  Im mainly just trying to sort out my own thoughts at the moment by discussing this topic.  I appreciate you guys helping me!

But why pick on the poor Mormons and JWs? And if you're only letting trinitarian Christians into the club, that leaves out a lot of folks, including oneness Pentecostals.
So where do you draw your line?

That's a question I've wondered about a lot in my own life. For a while I thought it was just the Roman Communion and the Eastern Orthodox. Then I thought it was just the Roman Communion, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the PNCC (i.e. all Churches that are recognized by the Pope). Now I'm not even sure of that.
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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2012, 06:09:36 PM »

Im not gonna touch the sacrament issue. As far as succession, I believe in the way Orthodoxy looks at succession, the answer would be no. I think the RC would look at it as yes, but it is maybe imperfect?

Corrections plz?

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It is complicated. Pope Leo XIII in his bull Apostolicae Curae finally, and definitively (for Roman Catholics) ruled that Anglican Orders are not valid, for intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. See Catholic Encycl. article: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01644a.htm

Also worth noting that Anglicans generally reject Pope Leo's assertion. This came up in an interesting way recently. The following quote is from Archbishop John Hepworth of the TAC, one of the leading proponents of the "Ordinariates":

Quote
We signed the Catechism as ‘the most complete and authentic expres­sion and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time’.

“We did that to put our commit­ment beyond dispute, but we did not have to agree to Apostolicae Curae [which declares Anglican orders ab­solutely null and utterly void], be­cause that is not in the Cate­chism.”  [!]

as quoted on WDTPRS. The [!] is one of Fr. Z's comments-in-red -- and I'm pretty sure I know why he put it there.
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