Misunderstanding the Separated Brethren
THERE arc ses era! errors in Messrs. Joyce and Lyon's letters: "Are we glossing over the ditterences'?-. and hi order that other obstacles to union may not be erected between Rome and Canterbury these errors need correcting. (I) Mr. Joyce says: "Many non-Catholics (Anglicans. Methodists. etc.) are not baptized and many more have gone through an extremely doubtful form of baptism." I cannot speak for the Methodists or the etcs., hut the. Anglican formularies arc quite definite that if a person is not baptized he is not to be considered a member of the Church, so how Mr. Joyce can conceive an unbaptized Anglican is rather puzzling as such a person would be a contradiction in tcrms! The formularies state: "Baptism is generally (i.e. in Tudor English universally) necessary to salvation".
Article XXVII states: "Baptism
is . a sign of profession and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened (qua Christioni a non Chriqiunis diseernantur) . . . they that receive Baptisms rightly are grafted into the Church . . ." Every candidate for Confirmation in the Church of England has to produce written evidence of Baptism: and every Ordinand has to produce evidence of both Baptism and Confirmation. There have been Baptisms both in the Anglican and Roman Church which, from a strictly legal point of view, are of doubtful 'validity'. (2) Article XXVIII asserts the spiritual character of the Presence of Christ in the Sacrament, which was also the aim of St. Thomas Aquinas in his teaching on the Eucharist. Berengar had taught in 1059 that the Presence was objective hut spiritual, but in stating Catholic orthodoxy Hereto gar fell under the condemnation of Pope Nicholas who taught the Transaccidentational heresy in that he held the body of Christ was "bruised by the teeth of the faithful."
It was such heretical teaching as this on the part of the local Church of Rome and her local Bishop which is condemned by Article XIX thus; "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." Pope Honorius fell into Monothelitism. Pope Liberius seemed to be incapable of distinguishing between Catholicism and Pelegianism. Pope Liberius accepted an Arian professionof faith, while Eugereus IV technically invalidated by Papal Decree the Orders of all his predecessors (and his own) by decreeing the essential matter of Orders was the porrectio ittstrumentorunt. Pius XII who was a better historian put that error right in 1947, The fact remains that the Churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch have all. at various times, fallen into heresy; as the Eastern Orthodox would be the first to admit, but these Churches are only local: the Orthodox Church has still remained intact.
The Article must not be read as a condemnation of the whole of the Eastern Orthodox Church nor of the Western Church united under Rome, This Article should be read along with Canon XXX
". . . so far NN as it from the purpose of the Church of England to forsake and reject the Churches of Italy, France, Spain. Ciermany. or any such like Churches" (i.c. National Churches). The Church of England merely recognizes the fact that loco/ Churches can fall into heresy.
The references to the "Bishop of Rome" are not attacks on the Papacy by the Church of England because the Church of England since the Reformation has not metle any prunouricement on the spiritual claims of the Pope. Even the most ultra-montane Roman Catholic Theologian wourd agree that the Pope, acting in his official capacity as a local Bishop of the Diocese of Rome. Archbishop of Italy or Patriarch of the West, is as capable of error as the Bishop of T.eeds or the Bishop of Woolwich. (3) No Anglican "attends" the XXXIX Articles to pray for the conversion of the Church of Rome. It is not a service!
(4) Nowhere is it stated that the Sovereign is 'Head of the Church of England'. Queen Elizabeth 1 altered 'Head' to 'Supreme Governour'. Let us be sure of our facts.
Mr. Joyce has a very distorted view of the /atorandi: lex credendi if he thinks that the Creed depends on the individual's beliefs. Mrs. Catholic O'Hara is just aS likely to have heretical ideas as Mrs, Anglican Brown when it comes to an interpretation of an article of the Christian Faith. but that is the reason the Creed is recited by Anglicans and Catholics every time they assemble for the Eucharist. for at the Mass the Body. not the in dividual. states the Faith. Mr. Joyce's view is, ironically. the extreme Protestant idea that the Christian Faith depends on what the individual holds. (Revd) JOHN SALTER 25 Mount Park Crescent, Ealing, W.5.
Having read the letter tram lames Joyce (22nd November). I must confess to being disappointed that your excellent newspaper gave such prominence to a letter wheel is full of unsubstantiated, and harmful. assertions. I. as an Anglican ordinand, would be anxious to learn from Mr. Joyce what he means by. -extremely doubtful form of baptism' . which "many" Anglicans have Vile through? Who knows. perhaps my own baptism is 'doubtful'! For the further enlightenment of this writer. perhaps your correspondent could give more details about the -people who are absolutely opposed to one-third of the Creed"? No Anglican would deny that the doctrine of transubstantiation is a source of contention. but to many of us the bread does not remain "merely a piece of bread". The term, -Real Presence" denotes something far deeper than does Mr. Joyce's jibe. Perhaps it is significant that the De Ecumenism°, drafted at the Vatican Council, declares that the Holy Spirit speaks through "separated brethren". Surely, Mr. Joyce —with his statement that nonCatholic beliefs are heresy—must disagree with the ;eve expressed in that document? Jack Theohald. St. Aidan's College,