Sunday, September 19, 2010

A parallel

Groups of Anglicans such as the Traditional Anglican Communion - not to mention other bodies like the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church - are seeking to be in full communion with an ancient see. (In contrast with the Roman Catholic Church's nomenclatural philosophy, I claim no proprietary right to "Anglican" for those of us in what the Continuum - we hope affectionately - call the Canterbury Communion). Taking Newman as their inspiration, they have been able to do so on relatively advantageous and congenial terms(we are talking about the Roman Curia here - though heavy hermeneutics have already begun on the passages relating to future married men in the priesthood). In the coverage of the topic, tribute has been paid to those pioneering co-religionists who "went over" prior to the bull, for whom the decision, which as any of us who has made one like it can attest, is not easy at the best of times, was decidedly less so.

I came to Anglicanism through Old Catholicism. While I continue to appreciate the formation I received in the latter and respect its (now quietly burgeoning) ministry, Utrecht has, rightly or wrongly, given up on North American bodies for the time being, despite close calls in Toronto and New Westminster, which were nail-biters for Ultrajectine-minded Anglicans (a particularly identifiable demographic in the United States). At BCP services, I hum my way through the filioque, I celebrate the Immaculate Conception and Assumption as edifying mysteries rather than mandatory dogmatic definitions, and I believe in the sacramental sufficiency of general absolution (even though I personally find private reconciliation necessary to my spiritual ben esse). But longing for something with, well, a congregation, I joined the Anglican Church of Canada, the only church in Canada in full communion with the Union of Utrecht (apart from an Aglipayan congregation meeting in an Anglican church in Montreal).

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