Wednesday, January 02, 2008

This is a fine piece from Father Robert Hart at "The Continuum"

To it's contents I can only give a hearty "Well said!"

Swim the Tiber without me
I would like to address some of my dear Anglo-Catholic brethren. Not so much the learned ones who appreciate their Anglican heritage, but the effeminate fussy ones whose inferiority complex toward the Italian Mission (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church) is quite inexplicable. Don't misunderstand. Roman Catholicism is not the enemy; it is a valid way of being Catholic, better than Protestantism in terms of the sacraments, but defective compared to your own heritage. At the end of the day, if you cannot see the truth of your Anglican heritage, I pity you. Therefore, I am nailing to the door a few theses of my own.
1. An Anglican is fully Catholic by the standards of the Scriptures and the Patristic period.
2. Our orders have been preserved without defect, with all of the charisms and power Christ has granted through his apostles to his Church.
3. Our doctrine is better and more pure than that of Rome.
4. Newman was not all there, as in, not quite right in the head.
5. Newman's theory of Doctrinal Development is as dangerous as the Pentecostalist notion of "Progressive revelation."
6. The Pope is not infallible.
7. The Pope does not have Universal Jurisdiction.
8. The Pope is the bishop of Peter's See, but so is the Patriarch of Antioch.
9. The service of Holy Communion is a perfectly valid Mass or Eucharist.
10. Our Anglican fathers were not Calvinists or Lutherans.
11. "Protestant" is not the opposite of "Catholic."
12. Some Catholics are Protestant Catholics.
13. We do not need doctrines like "the merits of the saints" or a concept of Purgatory as "temporal punishment."
14. When the Articles say that "The Romish doctrine of Purgatory is a fond thing," this does not mean that we are supposed to be fond of it.
15. At the end of the day, if it is not in the Bible, it REALLY cannot be necessary for salvation.
16. Point 15 is classic Catholic teaching.
17. You should not care what the Roman See thinks of your status as a true church.
So, if you must swim the Tiber, do it quickly. Otherwise, learn to appreciate the wisdom of the Anglican Way.


Anonymous said...

"14. When the Articles say that 'The Romish doctrine of Purgatory is a fond thing,' this does not mean that we are supposed to be fond of it."

The best one-line refutation of Newman's Tract XC I have ever heard!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I appreciate the trackback link, and have no idea why it disappeared after about 24 hours. Drop me an e-mail if you will.

Unknown said...

Father Hart's list is excellent except for one point. When he says in number 8 that the Pope is the bishop of Peter's see he is simply mistaken. Littledale in the 19th century completely demolished the Roman church's claim to have been founded by the apostle Peter in his book "The Petrine Claims." He was seconded in the last century by Michael Grant in his biography of St Peter. Grant presented the facts and reasons to believe that Peter was never in Rome at all. Liturgically the most ancient feast was that of Peter's chair in Antioch with an additional feast of Peter's chair in Rome being added which some papist realized the inplications of the same.

Littledale's book and Puller's "The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome" are two that every Anglican should know intimately. They will both help us from making idiots of ourselves by playing papist while refusing to drown ourselves in the Tiber.

Anonymous said...

Historically, the Eastern Church accepted Rome as THE See of Peter, not because Peter was ever the head of the Church of Rome, but rather because his bodily relics rested whole and intact, buried in Rome.

The East always wondered why Rome tended to hold strongly to orthodoxy when the other Patriarchates, considered individually, tended to have a worse records.

The logically explanation was that the bodily relics of St. Peter, leader of the Twelve, had a mystical (though not irresistible) influence on the Christians of Old Roman.

This explains why the East typically addressed Rome as the Petrine See and with such flowery, Byzantine tropes of praise.

Unknown said...

But the fact remains that the Byzantines could be mistaken. Rome was only orthodox for a time and almost only for the period that it suited their own needs and brought them prestige and power.

I have tried a couple of times to import those marvelous little lines which will give you a lint to a couple of webpages which I would like folk to at least look at. It hasn't worked so I am simply going to ask you to enter 'St Peter's Bones & Jerusalem' in a Google search and look at a couple of the top items which show. One should be from a writer from the University of the Holy Land. Go and read them and give me your reaction.

Anonymous said...


Valid points.

My only point was to explain (1) that he East did accept, correctly or not, the traditional view that both Peter and Paul met their earthly demise in or near Rome; (2) that the East thought the proximity of Peter and Paul's relics to Rome was the mystical explanation for Rome's excellent record for orthodoxy (until the Great Schism, of course), but (3) the East did not think Rome's claim to be THE Petrine See made it infallible.

As to whether Peter or Paul's remains actual rest in or about Rome is a question that does not exercise me much for the above reason. But, as a "conservative," I tend to give a rebuttal presumption of accuracy to the Undivided Church even on inconsequential matters. I will have to investigate your "bones" leads further!