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
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."
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.
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