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Monday, June 20, 2005

++Rowan Williams to the ACC

Here is a portion of the address to the ACC in Nottingham, England from the ABC ++Rowan Williams. I put it here for the insights of Fr. Alexander Schmemann. You can read all of it HERE.


The Russian Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann distinguishes the Church from a sect very simply by saying that a sect is always transforming itself into an ‘agency’, committed to a succession of causes, and he says, ‘it easily mobilizes people against and not for’, creates typically for itself a modern sense of pervasive guilt for not being radical enough (The Journals of Fr Alexander Schmemann, p.203). But the Church is just life in the new world which is the old one transfigured in Christ’s light. The Church does not have to be defined by its activism, justified by its good causes. ‘Dead end of the world with its “progress.” Dead end of religion with its laws and therapeutics. Christ has taken us out of both these dead ends. The Church eternally celebrates it, and people as eternally reject it and are deaf to it’ (p.292). So if we ask what we need to be heard saying, perhaps it is this - that the new world is a reality here in the Church, not by our activism and our anxious struggles to keep up with an agenda, but in the gift of presence in the Eucharist and in every moment when we meet our Father through Jesus.

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

Societas Sanctae Crucis

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