Saturday, August 27, 2016


We are in possession of a small paperback entitled:
"C.S. Lewis, Christian Reunion and Other Essays,
Edited and with a preface by Walter Hooper, 1990"

Hooper is the long time custodian of Lewis's works,
and was his amanuensis in 1963, the year he died.
Hooper describes the first essay in the book,
written in 1944 as a result of Lewis's radio
broadcasts, to someone who was interested in
possible reconciliation between Canterbury
and Rome.

As Hooper recounts in his preface. it was the
only piece Lewis wrote on the subject of
Christian reunion, and was never published.
Hooper then goes on to describe the efforts
of a joint commission from 1970 to 1987,
which was killed by Pope John Paul II in 1989.

"The difficulty that remains, and which becomes.
sharper as it becomes narrower, is our disagreement
about the seat and nature of doctrinal Authority.
The real reason, I take it, why you cannot be in
communion with us is not your disagreement
with this or that particular Protestant doctrine,
so much as the absence of any real 'Doctrine',
in your sense of the word, at all.  It is, you feel,
like asking a man to say he agrees not with a
speaker but with a debating society.

And the real reason why I cannot be in
communion with you is not my disagreement
with this or that Roman doctrine, but that to
accept your Church means, not to accept a
given body of doctrine, but to accept in
advance any Doctrine your Church hereafter
produces.  It is like being asked to agree not
only what a man has said but to what he­­­'s
going to say."

C.S. Lewis

So we Anglicans (and Episcopalians) have
the Thirty-nine Articles of Faith, which we
do not rewrite, but cheerfully reinterpret.
Whereas the RCs simply abandon doctrines
that no longer work, even if the popes had
promulgated them as the direct word of God.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fancy Clothes

Members and followers of Anglican Evangelicals
may have noticed reference to, and sometimes
postings from, a variety of independent churches
describing themselves as Anglican or Episcopal.

None of these are in the Anglican Communion,
nor are they in fellowship with one another,
except belonging to a loose-knit federation
that doesn't meet or accomplish anything.

They should all be considered Anglo-Catholic,
inasmuch as their worship service, Holy Eucharist,
is very similar to a Catholic mass, in which
only priests in clerical collars officiate.

The reform strain, or low church worship of
Anglicanism seems to have vanished, gone
since the aborted attempt by the Anglican
Communion to achieve recognition by the Vatican.

These little independent sects sponsor a
hierarchy that rivals the Vatican in titles.
Many bishops are consecrated; often
all their parish clerical heads are bishops.

What really distinguishes the Anglican churches
are the fancy clothes that clergy like to wear.
Some of these outfits rival the flowing robes
once worn by the early bishops.

All the priests are called Father.
Ordination of women is not permitted as a
practice of most independent Anglican groups.
A few may be found in free Episcopal churches.

The guiding principles of the independents
are adherence to the traditional orthodoxy of
the Thirty-nine Articles of Faith, and
rejection of the heresies of The Episcopal Church.

Caught in  the maelstrom of contemporary culture,
independent Anglican and Episcopal churches
may have to give up their local quirks and
find in unity the strength to survive.