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Interesting find in the Anglican BCP


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#1 Jason H.

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:41 AM

So, I was browsing an old chat site that I used to go to when I was an Anglican/Episcopalian. And I came across someone who posted one of 39 Articles of Faith according to the Anglican/Episcopal body. It is article "XIX: Of the Church" which states:

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.



I find this rather shocking coming from such a progressive body of people. I also am curious as to how they define the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch as being in error.


-Ignatios (Jason H.)

#2 Benjamin Amis

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 08:17 PM

The Anglicans were hardly "progressive" at the writing of the Articles, at least not in the way they are today. Also, the Articles are no longer binding upon the Anglican Church.

While the Anglicans were writing these Articles, people like Zwingli were denying the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and proclaiming exegetical teachings in geneva gowns. The Anglicans still often wore the vestments of Rome, believed in Christ's Eucharistic presence, preserved an episcopacy and held faith in apostolic succession and celebrated a form of the Mass.

They still technically teach that they are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church...although I doubt, as a body, that they would fight too much about it.

#3 Christophoros

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:56 PM

III. Conclusion: The Six Communions

We conclude then that six communions are to reckoned as sharing the inheritance of the
ancient Catholic Church: in the East, the Orthodox, Armenian (Coptic, etc.), and
Assyrian; in the West, the Roman, Anglican (with the Old Catholic), and Swedish. They
are not all equally orthodox; for if they were, they would be agreed; and if they were
agreed, they would probably be united. But we cannot say that any of them has erred
from the faith or lost the succession. In all of them we find the same creed, the same
sacramental life centered in the altar, the same government by the successors of the
apostles.

They differ enormously in size. The Roman Communion is much larger than all the rest
put together. The Orthodox Communion is only second to it. The two other Eastern
communions are composed of remnants of churches which were once much larger, but
are important as representing Asiatic and African Christian traditions which differ
considerably from those of Europe. Each of these communions has its own contribution
to make to Christendom which cannot afford to do without any of them.

The Christian Faith: An Introduction to Dogmatic Theology, by Claude Beaufort Moss, SPCK, 1943, p. 279

#4 Jeremy Troy

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 07:47 PM

As a note, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church includes the "39 Article of Faith" in the "Historical Documents of the Church". In "An Outline of the Faith" section 11, "The Church", far less polemical language is used:

The Church

Q. What is the Church?
A. The Church is the community of the New Covenant.

Q. How is the Church described in the Bible?
A. The Church is described as the Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head and of which all baptized persons are members. It is called the People of God, the New Israel, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, and the pillar and ground of truth.

Q. How is the Church described in the creeds?
A. The Church is described as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

Q. Why is the Church described as one?
A. The Church is one, because it is one Body, under one Head, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q. Why is the Church described as holy?
A. The Church is holy, because the Holy Spirit dwells in it, consecrates its members, and guides them to do God's work.

Q. Why is the Church described as catholic?
A. The Church is catholic, because it proclaims the whole Faith to all people, to the end of time.

Q. Why is the Church described as apostolic?
A. The Church is apostolic, because it continues in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles and is sent to carry out Christ's mission to all people.

Q. What is the mission of the Church?
A. The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.

Q. How does the Church pursue its mission?
A. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love.

Q. Through whom does the Church carry out its mission?
A. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all its members.

Jeremy

#5 Father David Moser

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:04 PM

This whole thread seems to be a little beyond the scope of this forum. The focus here is not what Anglicans do or did believe or the Anglican idea, doctrine or teaching of the Church but rather on the Orthodox faith. Please bring this discussion around to some relationship with the Orthodox faith or it will, of necessity, be abandoned.

Fr David Moser

#6 Jeremy Troy

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 12:11 AM

Well, let's get back to the initial question of why the Anglicans/Episcopalians would believe the Orthodox Church to be in error. I think it would have to be the obvious reason that we do not profess the filioque while they do. After all, Anglicans have no problem whatsoever with the Quicunque Vult (the so-called "Creed of St. Athanasius"), which professes the following:

The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
...
He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Clearly, this would make not professing the filioque to be a grave error leading to damnation. Interestingly, the "Articles of Faith" of 1571/1662 list "Athanasius's Creed" as being among the creeds that are acceptable expressions of the Anglican faith. The 1801 "Articles", on the other hand, list only the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds.

It is important to remember that, although the "Articles" suggest that we Orthodox are in error, Episcopalians do believe us to be "members of the Holy Catholic Church". The following is from the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886/1888:

We, the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Council assembled as Bishops of the Church of God, do hereby solemnly declare to all whom it may concern, and especially to our fellow-Christians of the different Communions in this land, who, in their several spheres, have contended for the religion of Christ:

...

2. The we believe that all who have been duly baptized with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, are members of the Holy Catholic Church.

Jeremy

#7 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

The originating post quotes from the Anglican churches' Article XIX, "Of the Church:"

As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith,

and asked why the churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch were deemed to be "in error."

 

The "error" referred in the Article to is the Oriental and Egyptian churches' rejection of the Council of Chalcedon.  Note that the church of Constantinople is not mentioned.  So modern-day Chalcedonian congregations in, or associated with, the three cities mentioned are also not included among those that have "erred" in the language of the Article.  

 

What the Article deems to be the Roman church's "errors" are obviously not a rejection of Chalcedon, but the Reformation issues, some of which (their doctrine of the Papacy, their Aristotelian-style doctrine of Transubstantiation) some Anglicans would continue to see as "errors" at the present day.

 



#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:54 AM

Like Fr David, I cannot see that any of this has to do with the study of Orthodoxy through 'Patristic, Monastic & Liturgical Study'.



#9 Kosta

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:56 AM

While I disagree that the Anglicans had in mind the Oriental non-chalcedonians (why would Jerusalem be listed), it seems more likely its over the filioque, and our Orthodox belief concerning ecclesiology.  

 

The Anglicans listing the Athanasian creed is problematic. Not only for its usage of the fillioque but that it is a poor expression and possibly even a cacodox expression of the Trinity.  If i remember correctly it also avoids refering to the Virgin Mary as Theotokos. Its a western post Chalcedonian Creed which relegates the first three councils to the back seat. The overemphasis of Chalcedon while burying Ephesus has had repercussions within protestantism.



#10 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:30 AM

While I disagree that the Anglicans had in mind the Oriental non-chalcedonians (why would Jerusalem be listed), it seems more likely its over the filioque, and our Orthodox belief concerning ecclesiology.  

 

The Anglicans listing the Athanasian creed is problematic. Not only for its usage of the fillioque but that it is a poor expression and possibly even a cacodox expression of the Trinity.  If i remember correctly it also avoids refering to the Virgin Mary as Theotokos. Its a western post Chalcedonian Creed which relegates the first three councils to the back seat. The overemphasis of Chalcedon while burying Ephesus has had repercussions within protestantism.

 

My reading of the article was an attempt to account for the presence of Antioch, Jerusalem (which, on my reading, would have been deemed "Nestorian" by those who drew up the articles) and Alexandria (which, on my reading, the framers would have deemed "Monophysite") and the absence of Constantinople.  

 

My reading is non-traditional, however, so I won't be hurt if you reject it.  I'm not sure of it myself.  The traditional reading of the Article is this:  The churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, as well as that of Rome, all claim apostolic connections:  Peter, along with James the Lord's brother, were leaders of the Jerusalem church.  Antioch also claims a connection to Peter.  Alexandria claimed to have received the Gospel from Mark, a disciple of Peter.  Yet all these churches, at one time or another, had heterodox bishops:  Peter the Fuller in Antioch, Dioscoros in Alexandria, Sallustius in Jerusalem.  These churches who received the Gospel from the Apostles were not thereby protected from being ruled by erring hierarchs.  Hence it does not follow from the Roman church's traditional association with Peter that its bishops will always be free from error, either.  (Papal infallibility was not officially proclaimed until Vatican I, but it was claimed well before then.)  On this traditional reading, Constantinople is left out because it did not claim to have received the Gospel from Peter or anyone in Peter's generation.  Hence the three cities mentioned were produced by the Article's framers as historical evidence against Roman claims.  

 

In 1869 Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory VI sent a letter to the Archibald Campbell, Archbishop of Canterbury, which included the following:

On descending to the particulars of the contents of the [English] Prayer Book, and of the distinguished Confession of the Thirty-nine Articles attached to is,--since, in the perusal of them, both the statements concerning the eternal existence of the Holy Spirit...and those concerning the Divine Eucharist, and, further, those concerning the number of the sacraments, concerning Apostolical and eccleiastical tradition, the authority of the truly genuine Oecumenical Councils, the position and mutual relations of the Church on earth and that in heaven, and, moreover, the honor and reverence due from us to those who are the contemplative and active heroes of the faith--the adamantine martyra and ascetics--since, we say, these statements appeared to us to savor too much of novelty, and since that which is said on page 592 (Art. XIX.), 'As the churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith,' depriving, as it does, the Eastern Churches of soundness and perfection of faith...throws us into suspense, so that we doubt what we are to judge of the rule of Anglican Orthodoxy; we will, therefore, pray with our whole soul to the Author and Finisher of our salvation to enlighten the understanding of all with the light of His knowledge, and to make of all nations one speech, of the one faith, and of the one love and of the one hope of the Gospel...

The English Church's Convocation recommended that article XIX be explained to the Patriarch with the traditional explanation I have given above:  that the point was to deny that a bishopric's ancient Apostolic connection could guarantee inerrancy on the part of the see's bishops.

 

So, either by my new-fangled reading and the traditional one, Article XIX has nothing to do with the filioque. The filioque is slowly being phased out in Anglicanism anyhow.

 

The English version of Article VIII does, or once did, list the psalm Quicunque vult as a creed that should be accepted by believers because it can be proved from scripture.  You should be aware, though that the American version of Article VIII lists only the Nicene Creed and "that which is commonly called the Apostles' creed".  The American Episcopal Church has never used the Quicunque vult in public worship.



#11 Ryan

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

I have seen in at least one Orthodox publication (namely, the new Jordanville Psalter) a version of the Athanasian creed without the filioque. Is this a recent omission or is there a case to be made for this creed to have anciently been without the filioque?



#12 Kosta

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

OK, the above makes sense. It shows that apostolic churches erred in the course of their histories. Are the Anglicans then implying than no one knows for sure what the truth is?  I know Anglicanism tends to place Traditions on a second tier to the written word.

 

Not sure why the Jordanville prayerbook would have the athanasian creed in it. This creed is a thoroughly post-chalcedonian western creed. As an Orthodox creed its quite problematic. It downplays the monarchy of the Father, with which the opening article of the Nicene creed explicitly states. We see how in its Christology they omit the term Theotokos, surprisingly even "Virgin" is not used opting, 'of the essense of his mother'. 



#13 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

OK, the above makes sense. It shows that apostolic churches erred in the course of their histories. Are the Anglicans then implying than no one knows for sure what the truth is?  I know Anglicanism tends to place Traditions on a second tier to the written word.

 


I think the framers of the Articles thought that they knew the truth better than the Roman church did.

 

The Articles go on to discuss tradition:

 

Article XX.  Of the Authority of the Church.

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful, for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written...

Article XXXIV.  Of the Traditions of the Church.

It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word.  Whosoever, through his private judgement, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the Traditions and Ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly...

 

At the time the English church was being troubled by Puritans who wanted to take it in a more Calvinist direction, and the Articles were intended as a somewhat legal document anyhow.  Hence the emphasis on "power", "authority", and "law". 

 

As for present-day Anglicans, the Bible will indeed be the starting point for many of us.  The high-church theological tradition ("one God, two Testaments, three Creeds, four Councils, five Centuries") leans more toward excepting received traditions that are not "repugnant to the Word of God", while the low-church theological tradition tends to be more skeptical of received tradition, or at least received ceremonial tradition, that is not attested in Scripture.  Our avant-garde will be skeptical of everything including the Bible.  This approach can be a principled commitment to truth, but it is easily deformed into spiritual pride and contempt for one's neighbor, so those of us who take avant-garde positions (as I do on some issues) must try (alas, we often fail) to practice humility at the same time.

 

This creed is a thoroughly post-chalcedonian western creed.

 The Quicunque vult (which is really a psalm rather than a creed, though people have been calling it a "creed" for centuries) indeed very much within the traditions of Latin theology.  

 

In our dialog with your folk, you will find discussions of the filioque and tradition.  Your lot have basically won on the filioque.  It is slowly being phased out.  Concerning tradition, here is an excerpt from the Dublin Agreed Statement of 1984:

Paradosis - Tradition

47. Looked at from outside, the two Churches appear to be very different in their attitude to tradition, the Anglicans allowing a great variety of attitude and teaching, the Orthodox being strongly attached to the definitions and the structures of the tradition, especially to those established in the Ecumenical Councils and by the Church Fathers.

48. Nevertheless within the freedom existing in the Anglican Communion there is a commitment and responsibility to the tradition, and a conviction that there are elements in the tradition, for instance the historic Creeds and the Chalcedonian definition, of permanent validity. On the Orthodox side, there exists freedom and understanding of tradition as the constant action of the Holy Spirit in the Church, an unceasing presence of the revelation of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit, ever present, here and now. Tradition is always open, ready to embrace the present and accept the future.

49. The Anglicans share this understanding of tradition. Tradition, with Scripture as the normative factor within it (see Moscow Agreed Statement, Section III), is that which maintains our Christian identity, which develops and nurtures our Christian obedience, and makes our Christian witness effective in the power of the Holy Spirit.

50. The tradition of the Church flows from the Father's gift of his Son 'for the life of the world', through the sojourning of the Holy Spirit in the world to be a constant witness to the truth (John 15.26). The Church draws its life and being from this same movement of the Father's love; that is to say, the Church too lives 'for the life of the world'. Its tradition is the living force and inexhaustible source of its mission to the world.

 Of course the statement that "within the freedom existing in the Anglican Communion there is a commitment and responsibility to the tradition" describes us at our best.  We are no more often at our best than your folk are. :)

#14 David James

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:52 AM

OK, the above makes sense. It shows that apostolic churches erred in the course of their histories. Are the Anglicans then implying than no one knows for sure what the truth is?  I know Anglicanism tends to place Traditions on a second tier to the written word.

 

Not sure why the Jordanville prayerbook would have the athanasian creed in it. This creed is a thoroughly post-chalcedonian western creed. As an Orthodox creed its quite problematic. It downplays the monarchy of the Father, with which the opening article of the Nicene creed explicitly states. We see how in its Christology they omit the term Theotokos, surprisingly even "Virgin" is not used opting, 'of the essense of his mother'. 

 

FYI, the Athanasian Creed is typically included in Church Slavonic editions of the Psalter and in Greek editions of the Great Horologion. That is why it is in the new Jordanville Psalter.



#15 Ryan

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

FYI, the Athanasian Creed is typically included in Church Slavonic editions of the Psalter and in Greek editions of the Great Horologion. That is why it is in the new Jordanville Psalter.

 

Hi David- Would you have any information on the history of this creed's inclusion in Orthodox texts? Did some editors simply take the Western text and remove the filioque, or is there an actual textual transmission that never had it?



#16 Kosta

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:17 AM

This would interest me as well. From what I can see, this creed is a reaction towards the Visigoth rule of Gaul and Hispania starting in the late 5th century. The Visigoths were Arians so this creed with anathemas attached would have been popular in that locale. In the early 8th century when the muslim moors captured Hispania from the goths , this creed got a new lease on life. This may explain why the oldest surviving copies of this creed come from this period.

#17 David James

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:55 AM

Hi David- Would you have any information on the history of this creed's inclusion in Orthodox texts? Did some editors simply take the Western text and remove the filioque, or is there an actual textual transmission that never had it?

Ryan:

 

I don't have specific information on the history of the Athanasian Creed's inclusion in Orthodox texts. That would be a good topic for a Ph.D. dissertation. However, it is definitely is included in the majority of printed Church Slavonic psalters I consulted while translating "A Psalter for Prayer" and I am told it is also usually included in most printed texts of the Greek Horologion. Whether this practice goes back to the first printed editions and to earlier manuscript editions, I cannot say. However, it is also included in the famous catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow. In the face of such an overwhelming witness for the acceptance of the Orthodoxy of the Athanasian Creed, it would be dubious to propose otherwise, IMO.






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