Fr Robert Mercer: Anglicans Tend to Know Little About Anglicanism…

Fr. Robert Mercer, CM, writes in the Edmonton Update:

Anglicans tend to know little about Anglicanism. How many are aware that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s coat of arms displays the pallium? How many know what a pallium is? It is a Y shaped vestment, woven from lamb’s wool, marked with crosses, worn by the archbishops of ancient, important or primatial dioceses. It hangs down back and front from the shoulders like a yoke over the chasuble. It is conferred on archbishops by the Pope and indicates the strong bond between himself and them. But the Archbishop of Canterbury is not in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Quite so. The arms of Canterbury therefore lie!

But as I say, the majority of Anglicans are ignorant of this lie. I myself am not offended. The lie is a reminder of what once was. The first Archbishop of Canterbury was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great in 597 (when he brought with him the consecration prayer which we of the Ordinariate use at the eucharist). The lie I see as an expression of hope, or if not of hope, as an expression of what ought to be. The Archbishop of Canterbury ought to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome. The church should be one: bishops should express such unity by being in communion with all other bishops. They are, after all, supposed to be the ministers of unity. And a universal church needs a universal primate, president, presiding servant. Who can this possibly be if not the Bishop of Rome? The Eastern Orthodox recognize this and one Russian has added, “What use is primacy without jurisdiction?” What does the Archbishop of Canterbury do to foster unity? He advocates policies which drive the two churches further and further apart, the ordination of women, gay marriages, and he is evasive about the human right to life.

Then again, how many Anglicans know that off and on for some four hundred years there have been some modest attempts at Anglican Roman Catholic rapprochement? Admittedly such attempts have been more off than on. But Canon Bernard Pawley of St Paul’s cathedral in London and his wife Margaret have published a history of these attempts, Canterbury and Rome Through Four Centuries…

Read the full article in this month’s Update.

HT (and source) Stephen Cavanaugh


10 thoughts on “Fr Robert Mercer: Anglicans Tend to Know Little About Anglicanism…

      1. Instead of obtruding trollish and pointless questions, often impertinent to the matter of the posting and thread, why don’t you undertake some serious (i.e., non-Wikipedia based) research on your own? For example, concerning the details of Henry VIII’s “great matter” the two best sources, which give somewhat different evaluations of the possibility that Henry could have got his marriage annulled are the relevant portions of J. J. Sacaribrick’s magisterial biography, *Henry VIII* (1968) and *The Matrimonial Trials of Henry VIII* (1976) by H. A. Kelly. Kelly, who was trained as a Canon Lawyer before leaving the Jesuits, considers all three of Henry’s marriage annulments from a canonical and legal standpoint. Both authors agree that the nature of the arguments that Henry insisted that his advocates make on his behalf ensured that his case would fail in Rome, regardless of the political circumstances; Scarisbrick suggests that if Henry had allowed his advocates to make a different argument he might, just possibly, have got his way, while Kelly pretty effectively (IMO) demonstrates that the “alternative” argument would not have got very far, either.

  1. “the then Pope’s cousin, Catherine of Aragon”

    Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici and Catherine of Aragon were cousins? Not in this universe.

    1. In his universe, there’s a “Good God” and a “Bad God” and logic = non-logic. Also, I’m a Nazi.

      Hey, everyone, I’m a Nazi, according to some guy. Please don’t call the Internet Police and send me to the Internet Hague for being called a Nazi. So I’ll be sent to Internet Jail. For the Internet Crime of being a Nazi, according to some guy.

      How did we even get from “Fr Robert Mercer: Anglicans Tend to Know Little About Anglicanism” to “Pope is cousin of Catherine of Aragon! This non-information is relevant somehow!”

      I blame the liberals for this. And the atheists. This is all some godless conspiracy.

  2. Being EO, can’t say I agree with the following statement: “And a universal church needs a universal primate, president, presiding servant. Who can this possibly be if not the Bishop of Rome? The Eastern Orthodox recognize this and one Russian has added, “What use is primacy without jurisdiction?”

    First, any “one” Russian (or Greek, etc.) can have whatever (flawed) opinion he wants; there isn’ anything authoritative about it. Second, the EO ecclesiastic structure has “worked” at preserving dogma and worship. EOs have historically been most unwilling to sacrifice orthodoxy (in all those unique areas of RC dogma like indulgences, purgatory, super-treasury of merit, annulments, etc.) and compound that error by then also allowing a Western authoritative dominance. That wasn’t the model for the apostles at Jerusalem. And, as our good Lutheran, Reformed, and Anglican brothers know all too well, it hasn’t preserved Rome from substituting reason and logic (scholasticism) for the Gospel.

    Finally, the good father knows that what Rome claims for primacy and infallibility is most assuredly NOT a mere “president, presiding servant”. All one has to do is read the RC CCC and their respective canon law (both Eastern & Latin) to see one has an “emperor, authoritative dictator”. But IF Rome were to officially, formally, and with finality dogmatically limit the papacy to a mere “president, presiding servant”, one subject to the oversight of Ecumenical Councils, this EO would gladly accept Rome’s change in position. But we all know that ain’t ever going to happen. 🙂

    1. Wasn’t caesaropapism the realm of Eastern Orthodox folk? The reason why EO churches can’t convene an Ecumenical Council- without the Emperor (or even a Tsar), who exactly convenes it? Russia? The Ecumenical Patriarch? From what I understand, no one does anything without an Ecumenical Council- okay, that I can respect- but to some degree; I understand that the EO is not some pristine form of Christianity that is devoid of any schism or disagreements or disputes- I wonder if any Ecumenical Council prevented groups like Old Calendarists and Old Believers from forming? Not to say that form of government flowing from the primacy of the Pope has prevented people from leaving- but it’s usually the heretic or schismatic who leaves first when being told they are in error.

      Certainly, the existence of an Imperial Church (That is, with an Earthly Emperor) never existed in Jerusalem immediately after Pentecost, and the conditions in Jerusalem were not the same after the destruction of the Temple, nor are they the same 1,000 years ago, or even now, in 2012- they may not even be the same next year or ten years from now (For example, Jerusalem may be destroyed by Iran.) So what exactly is the rule that states we must do as what the Church in Jerusalem did/does/will do? Do you have to wait for some secular, “Orthodox Emperor” to settle all matters?

      On the contrary, there was little “Everyone is equal and democratic” sentiment even in Scripture when describing the role of Peter: When describing the Apostles, the Gospels writers often chose not to list them individually by name or even write something like “the followers of Jesus” but rather wrote “Peter and his companions”. Clearly, one does not describe a group of followers of another man as “Peter and his companions” unless Peter is the leader. (Luke 9:32, Mark 16:7, Acts 3:37) And even Christ kept singling him out- I mean, if for example, any other Apostle is so special beyond him being called as one of the first bishops, why didn’t Scripture explicitly say “You are Philip/Andrew/Thomas/Andew/etc. and upon this (these?) Rock(s), I will build my Church, etc.”?

      I mean, if Scripture didn’t contradict it EXPLICITLY, clearly it MUST allow the possibility of Peter (and his successors) of being the first- and if they are the first (or having primacy)- doesn’t that mean they’d have the greatest responsibility among all other bishops rather than the least or just the same amount of responsibility? I mean, if all Apostles were of equal importance with Peter (and so his successors), Scripture, more specifically, The Acts, the Epistles, and the Gospels HAVE to say so, right?

      Scripture’s job is to be crystal clear about things like that, right?

      I call medieval shenanigans on meddling emperors and opportunistic Eastern churchmen in denying the doctrine of Petrine Primacy.

    2. pfft. I listed Andrew twice there, but you know what I mean. I was thinking of him because he is the older brother of Peter. I wonder how it must have felt for him to see his little brother be chosen for something great? I bet it’s different from how his successors viewed Peter’s successors. I couldn’t imagine St. Andrew telling St. Peter that he’s going to hell for assuming to be everyone’s leader.

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