Sunday, July 29, 2007

Anglicans for Life

Go give Anglicans for Life a look through and pray about becoming a member and supporting this very important cause that promotes life as humans created in the image of God. May God give his world a heart for the unborn and those for whom the secular world views as less valuable.

Garden Party at the Clergy House

Yesterday we had a beautiful day in Durham and were able to get away from the very wet weather for a few hours and had our Garden Party. We were able to raise a good amount of money and we are thankful to all who worked so hard to make it the success that it was. There were a number of good pictures that we were able to get off and you can see those on our church web site that is now up and running and just about fully complete. We hope to have a big cookout before the summer is over with a few "American" twists put on it. One thing that we are going to supply is a bit of "hunch punch"!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Summer Cookout

At the ordination we had a lot of friends come over for a cookout! It was great fun and I put a few of the pictures up here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

RooT: Religious of orthodox Tradition

Here is the new site from RooT that should be most useful to those in the Catholic Tradition that was announced by FiF today. Give them a visit and pass on the details to others.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Parish Church Website

One of our members and I are building a website for our parish church. It is nowhere near finished yet but we are under way. I toss it out here for any comments or suggestions. It is a free domain so we are only able to do so much with it at this point. Brandon parish.

++Sentamu, ++Armagh, Scholasticus and the Doctrine of the Church

I have great respect for my Archbishop but I tend to disagree with some recent comments. I also count John Scholasticus as a dear friend though we differ on the issues at hand--possibly more than I had imagined but maybe not. I pray that what is written below is true and accurate of my views and understanding of the current debates.
With the recent comments coming from the Abp of York and hence the comments on my entry below “The Looming of Daftness,” I thought I would make a few observations on the nature of ecclesiology that I find to be the underlying issue between Anglicans. In many ways, I sense that the comments made my ++Sentamu, ++Armagh and Scholasticus (see comment below in 'Looming of Daftness') show the foundational difference between a historical view of the Church and the post-modern analysis. Allow me to illustrate. The doctrine of the Church that I am espousing is a doctrine where the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is ONE house with many rooms. The Catholic Faith is the phrase given that separates schismatics and heretics as the Church founded upon the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. The Church was built upon the same Rock, all Apostles professed the same faith, all received the same Sacraments, all performed the same devotions, and thereby all were members of the One Holy House we call the Church. A house is built upon one foundation though it has many rooms with many stones, yet it is but one house. Though the Church contains many members they are one body because they all agree in one faith. There is one faith, one hope one baptism, one Lord which was delivered to the saints. Therefore the Church believes one truth coming from the Apostles’ doctrine, being delivered by all the Apostles, being professors of the same faith and being members of the same Church, built upon their authority. This is unity of faith. We are called by the Apostles to be of one mind, whatsoever the numbers of persons in the House, however different we may be, we continually grow into one body. Charity is of a uniting nature and we therefore endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The other view that I find problematic seems to consist of a neighbourhood of houses rather than one house. So, there are new foundations being built, with new “Apostolic” teaching being delivered that is contradictory to the faith once received. These many houses are being structured differently with different materials creating a neighbourhood where some houses do not even come close to convey what we understand a house to be. The existence of the Church in this view does not seem to rest on the one foundation from the first collection in the Apostles’ teaching where constant and perpetual accession, uninterrupted, continuing in an actual existence in the one object of faith, because it is no longer being built upon the one faith as delivered and received. This is why so many feel so strongly about changing the doctrine of the Church’s teaching on sexuality to be such an important issue. TEC is challenging the Bride and Groom metaphor that defines the nature of God’s redeeming love.

Marriage is a theological foundation of Church teaching because of what it sacramentally symbolizes concerning the nature of the relationship between God and his people. We find this metaphor of marriage to be the final consummation of God’s kingdom where we will find ourselves feasting at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Therefore, the existence of the Church—though some rooms in the one house may lose their lights and power—defines the one House built upon the foundation of the Apostles and it is this house that will remain. The Church of Christ is the House of Christ and this house has been built upon the Rock and what has been built will not fall. This has been propounded and upheld in every age of Christianity and shall be so unto the end of the world. It is this doctrine that I believe when I confess each week that I believe in the Church.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pictures in the Parish: St. John the Evangelist

Tonight Fr. Peter and I took some pictures in the parish for the web site I am working on with Karen who worships with us at St. Catherine's in New Brancepeth. CLICK ON THE PICTURE AT IT WILL ENLARGE.

The Looming of Daftness

I read the Telegraph on the interview with the AB of York and I humbly come away scratching my head with utter disappointment in its tone and what appears to be an absence of clear thinking. His words seem to undermine Windsor and the theology behind the Covenant and I am confused as to why he would make such statements in the fragile situation we find ourselves in. Ecclesiologically, I have a number of issues with these statements and some of them seem a bit daft to be honest.

If the Covenant and Windsor (the only games in town in my opinion) are not given the freedom to take their course without making threatening comments from the Mother Church then it is dead in the water before it even begins. This sort of thing seems to be a dare to the GS Primates to take the step of boycotting Lambeth 08 if they want to be out of the Communion. It has complete disregard for the process that we have entered. It's the American church doing the harm, not these GS leaders. Does this come as an authoritative threat or is it simply ++Sentamu's personal opinion? A threat that strong towards the American church for its 2003 actions has never been made. This is not to even mention the recent ridiculous statement by the Abp of Armagh who said that schism is worse than heresy. What does that say about the Church Councils and the authority given them to determine heresy? Why then doesn't the Abp of Armagh rejoin Rome if that is his opinion because if he really believed it then he would be in sin to remain an Anglican? Maybe the next headline will read "The Abp of Armagh enrolls in RCIA classes to reunite the Anglican Church in Ireland with Rome."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Settling into Parish Life

It has been about five or so days since I blogged anything and much longer since I blogged anything of any great worth. I have been quite busy settling into my parish life in Durham and into our new home etc. It is nice to be back to the task of preparing sermons, visiting the sick, taking the Blessed Sacrament to the sick, celebrating the liturgy of the Church, working on a new parish web site and all the rest that goes along with parish life in the Church of England.

I am continuing to work and write on my dissertation and I have much to do over the next two months. My days have been long and the nights short but I will eventually get there. I really look forward to Tuesdays, my day off, where I sleep in a bit that day and enjoy a nice English breakfast. This next week I will plan on posting some stuff on Eucharistic presence in Andrewes' thought. Hopefully that will bring more traffic and comments along.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Christ Reigning in Culture: Poland's Righteousness

The recent news out of Poland is amazing! What a contrast from us in our western materialistic worldview! This sort of law that Poland has put into place will transform their culture. O, how I pray for such a resurrection of the Faith in our land!

Polish parliamentarians have voted to ban trading on Roman Catholic feast days after complaints that foreign supermarkets, such as British-owned Tesco, are ignoring the religious needs of workers - writes Jonathan Luxmoore for ENI.

"The forcing of work, especially from women who fulfil a key family role, is negatively evaluated by most of society, while the payments offered for working on feast days aren't satisfactory," Stanislaw Szwed, a member of Poland's governing Law and Justice Party, which sponsored the bill, told members of parliament during a 6 July 2007 debate.

Under the new law, trading is to be banned on 12 days each year, including Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, the feast of the Assumption, and All Saints Day, as well as at Christmas, and on New Year's Day and Poland's national Constitution and Independence days. The law will not apply to restaurants, hotels and petrol stations, or to small shops with single owners.

The decision follows complaints about low pay and excessive hours among Tesco's 25 000 Polish employees, some of whom have also objected to being denied Sundays off. A British-based spokesperson for the company, Monika Kosinska, told Ecumenical News International that all Tesco employees had the right to choose their working hours. "We treat people fairly and offer them attractive benefits and development opportunities," Kosinska said. "Each employee's working schedule is tailored to the individual, and where there are specific requests we respect them, such as not working night shifts or on certain days," she added.

With six million customers weekly, Tesco operates 280 supermarkets in Poland and plans to open a further 50 stores in the country. Among recent advertisements, the company reductions for items, such as televisions, bicycles and MP3 players, "most often bought as presents" for children receiving their first communion.

[With grateful acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches]

Monday, July 16, 2007

We Need this Video for a FiF UK Video for Vocations

Take Jesus to the Streets and "Come, follow Me!"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is Pope Benedict XVI Turning the Clock Back?

See this Article.
I really do not see what all the fuss is about concerning the Pope's recent statements. He is simply restating the Catholic Church's teachings. Why this has so many from other religions and Protestants acting all surprised and offended is irrational to me and seems to be juvenile behaviour at best. This shows how far our culture has gone down the road of relativism and its denial of any absolute truth claims. Thankfully, the present Pope has not been sucked into this vacuum we call post-modern culture. What would anyone expect from the Pope but to say that the Catholic Faith is the only true faith and that the sacramental ministry of the Catholic Church is what all Christians are called to embrace? There is something lacking in that the present visible Church is not unified. (Read John 17.) The Holy Father is simply being faithful as the chief pastor of the Roman Church and her faith claims as well as the faith claims of the Christian religion. Jesus did say that 'He was the only way, the truth, the life,' and if conversion is called upon from all creation to the one true LORD then we would expect Benedict XVI to call his flock to the same belief.

As far as the reforms of the Mass are concerned, it is my opinion that these reforms are in desperate need of happening. I know someone very close to me who attended my Anglo-Catholic parish here in England and found it to be more of what they understood Catholic worship to be than what they are finding in some American Roman Catholic churches. Maybe the Pope is simply calling upon the Roman Church to be what it claims to be, Catholic! Before people jump too quickly to believe everything the media states--which is frequently biased against the Catholic Church--ought to read the document for themselves. You can find it right here.

From the statement:

Third Question: Why was the expression "subsists in" adopted instead of the simple word "is"?

Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are "numerous elements of sanctification and of truth" which are found outside her structure, but which "as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity".

"It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Zenit Interview on Rome's Clarification on THE Church

Read it all.
Q: Could you outline the major points that the document addresses?

Father Di Noia: There really are two main points, and then some minor points.

The main point is to address the question of whether the Second Vatican Council changed the Church's teaching on the nature of the Church herself, and this document tries to clarify this point to say no -- it was a development, a deepening, but definitely not a kind of change in the sense of altering the way in which we think of the Church.

And the point is -- the fundamental point -- and this is the second thing, is how to interpret the expression of the Second Vatican Council, "Lumen Gentium," paragraph 8: "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church." It's this "subsists" that has caused a tremendous amount of questioning, and we're trying to address this.

Briefly, the point is, that instead of saying that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, the "subsists" is used to say the same thing [...] in order to make it clear that across the whole of history, and in the present, we are not in the state of having an imperfect Church that has yet to become the Church of Christ, but that the fullness of what Christ wanted the Church to be, he has established in the Catholic Church.

Then, of course, the other points, in order to explain how other Churches and ecclesial communities relate to this; the Vatican council did not want to exclude the possibility that there were in fact elements of ecclesial life -- valid sacraments or the means of grace. I mean, all of the Church/ecclesial communities that read the Scriptures, in that sense with faith, have a certain element of what Christ intended the Church to be.

Q: Why was it decided to have this document come out at this time?

Father Di Noia: That's an important question.

I suppose it has to do with the reaction to an earlier document, the famous " Dominus Iesus" that came out, if you recall, in 2000.

I remember that when I was working for the bishops' conference in the United States, and we had received advanced copies of this document, and I was asked to prepare the bishops for " Dominus Iesus," I said well, there is absolutely nothing new here, so the bishops will be fine with it. But as you know, the reaction to " Dominus Iesus" was extremely, let's say, contestative. I mean, it was a very difficult document.

What we saw was the people [...] didn't understand that not simply we had to speak of Christ as being the universal savior, but that the Church was the principle means by which the grace of Christ would be communicated to the world, and that, if you recall, created most of the controversy, certainly ecumenically.

So this was kind of a wake-up call. I'd say that "Dominus Iesus" was a wake-up call, that 30 years after Vatican II, people seemed to have forgotten something very essential that Vatican II taught. And so it was out of that moment that the cardinal members of the congregation -- and also other people, bishops and so on, raising questions about this -- the congregation decided to proceed with a clarification.

The document is called "Responses to [Some] Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church." It is a very narrow point, it's a relatively short document, as you know, and the commentary attached, so it's a very precise set of responses to questions that have arisen.

Q: How does this new document relate to previous documents speaking about the nature of the Church and ecumenism that have been released?

Father Di Noia: The response, the responses really, because there are a couple, do not add anything to the preceding teaching of the magisterium, but really are meant to recall and make more precise the authentic significance of the various doctrinal expressions used to speak about the Church in past magisterium.

See it's a very important point that -- experientially -- that when you go into a Catholic Church, essentially this document is reaffirming this point, this very fundamental point, that when you go into a Catholic Church and become a participant in the community there, with the round of Mass, and the sacrament of penance, and baptism, and confirmation, and everything else that goes on there, you will find everything that Christ intended the Church to be.

And even though there are divisions in Christianity, that does not mean that the Church does not exist perfectly. You see it's not that we have to repair or heal the divisions, we do have to seek the unity among all the different Christian communities that Christ willed, but the fact that not all Churches are in communion with the Sea of Peter does not mean that the Church is wounded to the effect that it no longer exists in its integrity.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In Vocation

I am presently thinking through a good design for our parish web site so that we can have a nice site for people who are looking for a parish church in the Catholic Tradition in Durham. This will hopefully be up and running in the near future. For the time, we have a site that has been up. I will be getting with the kind parishioner who put up our site so that we can update it and create something that will be helpful.

I am posting the picture of me in my parish church of St. John the Evangelist on my ordination evening after Evensong and Benediction.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Deacons with Bishop Tom

Here is a photo of the deacons with Bishop Tom after ordination on Sunday.

I am pictured to the left of the Bishop behind and to the right of +Tom's chaplain Canon Jon Bell. This photo followed our receiving of the licences for our parishes. You can see the link of the names on the diocesan website. The photo is taken in the Galilee Chapel directly behind the shrine of St. Bede.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ordination to Holy Orders

This is a quick note to just say thank you to all of you have been praying for my ordination into Holy Orders in the Church of England. All went very well yesterday in Durham Cathedral. The service was beautiful and the cathedral was packed. There will be pictures coming soon from the even once we get them all sorted. I am also waiting for a CD of pictures from the photographer who photographed the event itself. I will put those on here once I get them. Thank you all for praying for me and it is a wonderful privilege to serve Christ in his Church as a member of the clergy. Last evening we had evensong and benediction. It was a true blessing to have benediction as my first service in my parish. Father Andrew Collins Jones, CMP preached a wonderful homily on service in the Church and how we always remain deacon first and foremost. Following this service, we had a wonderful reception in the church hall and the ladies put out a wonderful spread of food and drink and the fellowship was sweet!

I look forward to blogging more about it in the future. Work starts today in the parish and ends with parish mass this evening. God bless to all of you and thank you for your faithful prayers!
    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

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