Page 4, 21st November 1980

21st November 1980
Page 4
Page 4, 21st November 1980 — Call for guidelines on baptism

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Locations: Rome


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Call for guidelines on baptism

IIECUMENISM is to be fruitful, those who participate in the activity must speak the truth as they see it with charity.

Dr Micklewright has posed various historical questions that require an answer: it is no service of the truth to pretend that they are irrelevant to the situation today. As a priest with many Anglican friends whom I admire and respect. I am extremely uneasy about the bland way in which our bishops seem prepared to accept all Church of England and indeed other non-Catholic Baptisms as being valid. It is true that if the sacrament of Baptism is administered with the pouring of water as required by the Book of Common Prayer such a Baptism would be recognised by us as valid, From what I can gather, the normal procedure among Anglicans today is NOT to follow the Prayer Book but to mark the child's forehead with the thumb which has been dipped in water: such t procedure cannot be regarded as a valid form of Baptism.

One hears that other Anglican clergy prefer to sprinkle the child with water: that too cannot be regarded as a valid form for Baptism.

I respectfully suggest that our norms for the validity of Baptism should be clearly explained and that until such a time as the Anglican authorities can clearly guarantee that their clergy arc loyal to the Prayer Book form of Baptism we should regard all Anglican Baptisms as ol very doubtful validity.

This is supremely basic and must be dealt with even before the matter of Anglican Orders.

Rev. T. Mead Orpington Kent GILLIAN HAWKIN'S invitation to me to join her in the one true fold, comes some thirty years too late. Nor do I apologise for describing Dr Micklewright's vies as virulent, which I take to mean poisonous, noxious, bitter. I presume that he is a convert. and the syndrome is a familiar one.

When I speak about AngloCatholics I do not mean 'high church, nor am I particularly concerned about those who arc content to be \comprehended under the Anglican unbrella.

I believe in freedom of opinion, even probably to the extent of tolerating both Kung and Lefebvre, but I am no admirer of the Anglican kind of comprehensiveness. If I were, I might still be an Anglican.

My sympathy and concern is for those who arc unwilling to he comprehended but. through no fault of their own, can not just submit to Rome.

The Rev R. W. Caterall comes close to understanding, but it is not just a question of celibacy.

There is a whole host of nonessential conditions that makes the call for individual submission simplistic and unrealistic.

In my youth I was a member of an Anglo Catholic Reunion Society whose motto was "In neces.sarus unites, in dubus libertaa, in omnibus caritas".

My plea is for just that, and I believe that, if that were the rule. Anglo-Catholics would not be condemned to the exile and misunderstanding they now suffer.

David McDonald Cheltenham IS DAVID MacDONALD really trying to tell us that the Reformation was just 'a little local difficulty' in his argument with Dr A. Micklewright about the Anstlo-Catholic position'?

History tells us that four centuries ago the Reformation movement swept through Germany, Switzerland. Holland. Scandinavia. and to a lesser extent other countries, in addition to our own, and people on both sides of the religious divide were put to death for their beliefs.

To suggest in the year 1980 that the Anglican church, still less the AngloCatholic wing of it, is the true continuation of the one founded on Peter and the apostles by Our Divine Lord (though to be fair the Church of England claims only to be part thereof) makes me think that if they can believe that, they cart believe anything.

NIaurice Mahoney I.ondon, WC2

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