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Friday, February 02, 2007

39 Articles: A Confession for Anglicans?

William Tighe writes the following over at Pontifications: Read it all and see what do you think?

Historically, Anglican Erastianism took the form of, in England, the authority over the church of the Crown-in-Parliament and, more recently, by the Church of England’s slavish obsequiousness to bien-pensant public opinion, and, in America, the “social Erastianism” of deference to elite secular opinion and social consensus, spiced up at times by romantic Anglophilia and medievalism; and as elite opinion has moved away from Christian moral and social teaching in both countries (if at different speeds and in different ways), so Anglican bishops and clergy have found ways to “sanctify” its every stage and advance in a facilis descensus Averni that has led from the approval of contraception to that of routine remarriage after divorce and from priestesses to the sanctification of sodomy. A sad confirmation of the analysis of this essay can be found in the utter inability over the past three decades of “Continuing Anglican” bodies to arrive at a coherent and prescriptive consensus about what constitutes the “Anglican orthodoxy” that they profess, for the most part, to preserve — save by their clear if (for the most part) tacit repudiation of the distinctive views of the English Reformers and striving instead to embody a purported non-papal Western Catholicism, and one in which the 39 Articles seem more an embarrassment than an asset.

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