One theme of Dr. Rowan’s address is that there is a Tradition that cannot be ignored. The Tradition that cannot be ignored is Catholic Orders. The Archbishop recognizes that women’s ordination is not a question that can be answered by opinion polls. He recognizes that women priests and bishops are an innovation. It remains to be seen if Dr. Williams also recognizes that this innovation is the result of and contributes to disorder in Anglicanism. Underlying the question is a biblical proposition that has deep and wide ranging implications. The Church has until the late 20th century refused to ordain women as priests because of Scripture and Tradition. Scripture and Tradition tell us that male and female, while equal in dignity and status, represent a God-established binary distinction. This binary distinction speaks of God and his People and of Christ and his Church. It speaks foremost of the nature of God’s love. This love, requiring unity yet distinction or “I-Thou”, is good, tender, just and eternal. In the Kingdom the distinction of male and female will continue, because it is eternal. Eternal verities are at stake here.One must give this woman a biretta tip for her courage. She has been courageous and sacrificial. I admire her for the display of integrity she brings to the seriousness of holy orders.
As an orthodox person who believes it is important to keep Scripture and Tradition in tension, I cannot in good conscience continue to function as a priest. There are many reasons. First, as Anglo-Catholics correctly maintain, there is no precedent for women priests or bishops in either the West or the East. Second, the Evangelical wing approves this practice on the basis of flawed exegesis of Scripture (a result of separating Scripture from Tradition and uncritical acceptance of ECUSA’s “enlightenment”). Third, ECUSA never submitted the question of women priests to the Anglican Communion for deliberation. As with the ordination of Gay and Lesbian clergy, it framed the issue as a matter of social justice and presented it as a fait accompli.Read it all at Pontifications.
As the Liturgy is to be central to the Church's life so it becomes central for the priest's life and ministry, making the faith of the Church its very source and datum. Such eschatological experience gives wholeness to his thinking and praying as it brings his mind and spirit into a living relationship with certain events, making him a constant witness and participant in these events, their saving, life-giving and transfiguring reality. What is disclosed is that the Church's faith cannot be divorced from her experience of these events, nor can they be known in their rational meaning outside the experience that reaveals their reality. For it brings one into direct encounter with living, saving and transforming Truth, beyond the limitations of a given 'situation' or 'Age' or culture. At the same time, in the spirit of the pastor he will lead his people away from philosophies and ideas that can only bring spiritual death, by bringing them into this direct and life-giving knowledge of the Truth in which they will be saved and transformed.
."Of those articles of doctrine and preaching, which are in the custody of the Church, some come to us in Scripture itself, some are conveyed to us by a continuous tradition in mystical depositories. Both have equal claims on our devotion and are received by all, at least by all who are in any respect Churchmen. For, should we attempt to supersede the usages which are not enjoined in Scripture as if unimportant, we should do most serious injury to Evangelical truth; nay, reduce it to a bare name. To take an obvious instance; which Apostle has taught us in Scripture to sign believers with the cross? Where does Scripture teach us to turn to the east in prayer? Which of the saints has left us recorded in Scripture the words of invocation at the consecration of the bread of the Eucharist, and of the cup of blessing? Thus we are not content with what Apostle or Evangelist has left on record, but we add other rites before and after it, as important to the celebration of the mystery, receiving them from a teaching distinct from Scripture. Moreover, we bless the water of baptism, and the oil for anointing, and also the candidate for baptism himself......After the example of Moses, the Apostles and Fathers who modelled the Churches, were accustomed to lodge their sacred doctrine in mystic forms, as being secretly and silently conveyed...This is the reason why there is a tradition of observances independent of Scripture, lest doctrines, being exposed to the world, should be so familiar as to be despised......We stand instead of kneeling at prayer on the Sunday; but all of us do not know the reason of this. Again, every time we kneel down and rise up, we show by our outward action, that sin has levelled us with the ground, and the loving mercy of our Creator has recalled us to heaven."For an excellent article on Tradition see Rather Not blog who points out many necessary issues for us in order to rightly understand what it is we should be explaining when we use the word Tradition. Thanks for the link RatherNot!
We should throw the epistle of James out of this school [i.e. Wittenburg], for it doesn't amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, 'Wait a moment! I'll oppose them and urge works alone.' This he did.Augstine saying things like the following:
We read in the books of the Maccabees [2 Macc. 12:43] that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the Catholic Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, where in the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at his altar the commendation of the dead has its place."and this on falling from grace:
If, however, being already regenerate and justified, he relapses of his own will into an evil life, assuredly he cannot say, "I have not received," because of his own free choice to evil he has lost the grace of God, that he had received. And if, stung with compunction by rebuke, he wholesomely bewails, and returns to similar good works, or even better, certainly here most manifestly appears the advantage of rebuke. But yet for rebuke by the agency of man to avail, whether it be of love or not, depends only upon God.Go give him a visit!
The Eucharist ever was, and by us is considered, both as a Sacrament, and as a Sacrifice. A Sacrifice is proper and applicable only to divine worship. The Sacrifice of Christ’s death did succeed to the Sacrifices of the Old Testament. The Sacrifice of Christ’s death is available for present, absent, living, dead, (yea, for them that are yet unborn.) When we say the dead, we mean it is available for the Apostles, Martyrs, and Confessors, and all (because we are all members of one body:) these no man will deny. In a word we hold with Saint Augustine in the very same chapter which the Cardinal citeth, as far as this Sacrifice of the flesh and blood, before Christ’s coming, by means of the likeness of the repayment that was promised; according to the suffering of Christ, by means of the true sacrifice of himself being handed over; after Christ’s coming [ascension], by means of the memorial celebrated in the Sacrament.quod Hujus Sacrificii Caro et Sanguis, ante adventum Christi, per victimas similitudinum promittebatur; in passione Christi, per ipsamm veritatem reddebatur; post adventum [leg. Ascensum] Christi, per Sacramentum memoriæ celebratur. (S. Aug. contra Faustum. lib. xx. cap 21. Op. tom. viii. col. 546 B.C.)
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
"That there need not such ado in complaining, if men did not delight rather to be treading mazes than to walk in the ways of peace."1.1 Introduction
For Andrewes, an authentic witness to the apostolic faith is not simply someone who is content to think more or less correctly. It is someone who, like him, has made deeply his own the experience of the Church. It is someone for whom theology is not a system of thought, an intellectual construction, but a progression in the experience of the mystery, the way of union with God in the communion of the Church. In this perspective, theology is for the understanding an ascetic way, a way of the cross, by which it empties itself of itself, of its own content, in order to be made transparent to the light of grace and adapted to contemplation of divine things. Theology is then for the service of the entire man on his way towards union with the personal God, the way of deification. It is this most profound experience of the Church that the theologian expresses in the Church and for the Church. Theology is then a service of the Church, and not an exercise of private reflection on God. 345It's so good to be Catholic! It is for this well of life that the Church is so desperately searching. This is the well-spring of life and where people really are living out their union with the Triune God. Compare this rich calling and the rediscovery of the writings in the Renaissance and the high Middle Ages that captured the mind of this saintly bishop to attending a conference on the 5-Points of Calvinism (yawn!)and tell me which one you would benefit more from. Again Lossky writes,
As for Andrewes, he forms a link between the two centuries. He was in fact one of the first Western theologians not simply to have read the Fathers. He truly re-established contact with them, essentially by his conception of theology, which he shared with them: theology understood as being at the service of the deification of man. It is in this sense that one can speak, in connection with his theology, of a veritable patristic renaissance. He integrated into his teaching the essence of what the Fathers had in common, because he shares with them the experience of relationship to the personal God as constituting the essential component of humanity. And this theocentrism, this 'theotropism' one might say, in man created after the image and likeness of God informs his whole understanding of the entirety of human existence. 345 346This is the difference between thinking about God and experiencing life in God.