Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!


What the Church of England once said
March 1, 2015, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The sagacious Fr Hunwicke, on his blog “Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment”, has pointed out the following Articles agreed by the Convocation of Canterbury, meeting under the presidency of the Bishop of London (the Archbishop Reginald Pole having just died), on 25th February 1559, at the start of the reign of the first Elizabeth:

(1) That in the Sacrament of the Altar, by virtue of the words of Christ duly spoken by the priest, is present realiter, under the kinds of bread and wine, the natural Body of Christ, conceived of the Virgin Mary, and also his natural Blood.
(2) That after the consecration there remains not the substance of bread and wine, nor any other substance, but the substance of God and Man.
(3) That in the Mass is offered the true Body of Christ, and his true Blood, a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead.
(4) That to Peter the Apostle, and his lawful successors in the Apostolic See, as Christ’s Vicars, is given the supreme power of feeding and ruling the Church of Christ Militant, and confirming their brethren.
(5) That the authority of handling and defining concerning the things belonging to faith, sacraments, and discipline ecclesiastical, hath hitherto ever belonged, and ought to belong, only to the pastors of the Church; whom the Holy Ghost for this purpose hath set in the Church; and not to laymen.

Fr Hunwicke notes that, “The first four Articles, on Eucharist and Primacy, undoubtedly nailed some very dangerous colours to the mast but they were not, when they were passed, actually contrary to Statute law as it stood at that moment. But to deny the competence of the Crown in Parliament to order ecclesiastical matters ran contrary to all the assumptions of all the years since 1533.” I wonder where the Church stands today?

I find it curious that politicians who denounce the Bishops when they speak about “politics” (e.g. about our obligations to the poor), and bid them stick to religion, still manage to ignore them when they speak about theology and morality (e.g. about the nature of Christian marriage).

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