An Anglican Priest

"Protestant and Reformed according to the principles of the ancient Catholic Church." Bishop John Cosin (d. 1672)

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Location: United States

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am an Anglican.

I am a Catholic Christian. I believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior. I believe in the teachings of the Nicene Creed. I believe in the Christological teachings of the ancient and undivided Church: I believe in the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. I believe that the Word and Sacrament are to be kept together and not torn asunder. I believe that the historic Books of Common Prayer teach the Catholic Faith in worship.

I am not an Anglo-Papalist nor Anglo-Romanist; while I have read the works of Benedict and John Paul I do not long for the shores of Rome. While I've studied the theology of Thomas Aquinas I do not desire to force his views on others as dogma. If there is ever to be a union with the Roman Catholic Church it must be a union based on honesty: Rome has erred.

I am a Protestant (or Reformed) Catholic, as the Anglican divines of old used the terms together--this is based on the obvious assertion that Roman has erred. I do not and cannot hold Purgatory, nor Indulgences, nor pious beliefs about the Blessed Virgin Mary to be things "necessary to salvation." They are demonstrably late additions to the thinking of the Western Church and had no place in the East, therefore they are not "Catholic" and it is right to protest against teaching them as such. Those who wish to impose such things on Anglicans as "the teachings of the Church" really mean the Roman Church, not the ancient Catholic Church. I believe the Articles of Religion to be a concise and accurate statement of where Anglican teaching differs from the teachings of the Church of Rome and the (ana)Baptists.

I am not an Anglo-Calvinist: His teachings may be interesting and he may be right on many things, he cannot be taken as the last word on theology. His ideas need to be compared to the belief and practice of ancient Christendom (just in the same way the beliefs and practices of Rome do as well). However, Anglicans can read him and judge for themselves what they may agree or disagree with him on. They cannot read his teachings and pronounce something he has said as "this is the teaching of the Church" unless it has backing from the Scriptures what the Fathers concluded from those same Scriptures. Likewise, I am not an Anglo-Lutheran either, but likewise one can read Luther profitably yet critically in the same way one may read Aquinas or Calvin. That being said, it must be realized that the theology of the Anglican Reformation is a manner of thought that desired to bring both Calvinists and Lutherans to the same table based upon the truths of the ancient Catholic Faith. Being a son of the Western Church and the Anglican Reformation I am most definitely Pauline and also a bit Augustinian.

I am definitely not an Anglo-Baptist--the Prayer Book and the Articles have addressed those issues, and those within Anglicanism who desire to "rethink" the practice of infant Baptism should try and find a liturgical Baptist church.

I am an Anglican. I will always try and uphold the principles of the Anglican Reformation because I believe them to be Christian and true, a correct middle way between the error of deleting from the Christian Faith and the error of obscuring this same faith with superfluous and heretical additions. If I were the last priest on earth with the moniker "Anglican" I would gather a few together each Sunday to preach the gospel and celebrate the Eucharist. For the sake of conscience I could do nothing less nor nothing more.

8 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

Father Derrick, you are on one fine roll. As much as we have had and will probably continue to have very miner disagreements, this is a manifesto with which I throughly agree. Indeed, I am with you in every single word.

I do not know what caused you to write it, but I am glad that it happened and I hope that the same thorn pricks you again and again.

God bless!

6:08 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Amen, Father! This is a fine statement, and one that I can fully endorse myself. May God continue to bless you ministry.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Tracy H said...

Thanks you so much Father. I really needed to hear somebody say that.

11:38 PM  
OpenID Prairie Words said...

Proof positive the Holy Spirit blogs. I expect the readers and the Occasional Christian will be lead here often.

God Bless

3:32 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

I'm assuming that:
"If I were the last priest on earth...I would gather a few together each Sunday to preach the gospel and celebrate the Eucharist... I could do nothing less nor nothing more."

Is a wee bit of a hyperbole. Feast days have been held since the ecumenical councils as normative. Daily communion was never excepted as far as I understand even if it wasn't normative across all traditions.

10:42 AM  
Blogger welshmann said...

AC+:

Revisionist anything is bad news. I'm not an Anglican--just a visiting Baptist--but when I ask a question of an Anglican, I hope to get a proper Anglican answer. The same goes for a Lutheran, a Presbyterian, Democrat, vegetarian...you get the idea. I don't think you or any other Christian writer can serve the cause of Christ by muddying the theological waters. So keep being clearly, unambiguously Anglican. And keep posting!

welshmann

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A splendid description of the Anglican Way. Thanks.

-Mark

11:01 PM  
Blogger Fr. Aidan's Pulpit said...

Hi Father, I was surfing the web trying to find out if Frank Westcott's book Catholic Principles has been republished and stumbled onto your site. I'm glad I stumbled in. I've added you to my favorites and will check back from time to time. If you know if the Westcott books been republished please let me know. Thanks, Fr Aidan Hix fraidanhix@yahoo.com

3:35 PM  

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