We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Evangelical Anglicans prove folly of sola scriptura heresy.

Another fracas is brewing in the CofE. This time the conflagration is between "evangelical" or "biblical" Anglicans and their liberal progressive brethren.

Having slept while several doctrinal adjustments were made during recent decades by various national progressive groups within the Anglican Communion, evangelicals in the CofE are only now waking up to the fact that they and all Anglicans are riding a downward spiral, a trajectory which those doctrinal adjustments determined but that people ignored for various reasons, perhaps because they convinced themselves there was something worth saving in the Anglican Communion or that all that was needed was some magic fairy dust which everyone could snort and thereby be oblivious to the cognitive dissonance created by loose play with divine revelation.

The question is, where have the evangelical Anglicans been while the Africans have been fighting the good fight?

A statement has been issued to the upper-ups in the CofE by some 89 ordained and lay evangelical leaders which amounts to "don't be changin' doctrine or there'll be schism". Truth be told, the marriage and sexuality horse has already left the Anglican barn.


The (c)atholic party within mainstream Anglicanism—i.e., the Anglo-catholics who remain in the CofE and who share many of the theological concerns of their evangelical brethren—seems resigned to hunker down behind a well defined wall. Many, of course, have already left for the Anglican Ordinariate. If there is a better opportunity for remnant Anglo-catholics to preserve the Anglican patrimony, it is definitely within the Ordinariate.

Meanwhile, evangelical Anglicans cling to a fiction that for them is their salvation. Sadly, they have not learned from their brethren of the Anglican continuing movement abroad—ACNA, ANiC, et al—that sola scriptura will not solve their ecclesiological difficulties. For one, the differing opinions within the continuing movement regarding the ordination of women. The continuing Anglican movement has only pushed back a few decades an inevitable encounter with the very problematic ideology which has led all of protestantism to the precipice. The Bible alone cannot provide the necessary authority which preserves the authority of the Bible. Only a magisterium can preserve the authority of the Bible. Anglicanism has no such authority. Neither has any protestant community.

The Bible tells me so.

Well, no. The Bible does not stand apart from the authority which Christ gave to one office within His Church to validly interpret Holy Scripture. The power that Christ gave to the Catholic Church, specifically to the Office of Peter, is intended for the faithful handing on (traditio) of His Gospel. Popes may not practice what they preach, but they cannot teach anything other than what the Faith always has been and ever shall be. The Holy Spirit will not let the Church err in faith and morals.

As the exchange in the combox at one blog fully reveals, the Bible can be made to mean just about anything, or nothing, depending on your bias. Therein lies the problem with the sola scriptura lie. As any Bible-knowing Catholic will tell you, the Bible is not the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). The Church is. The sola scriptura doctrine makes any protestant believer his or her own pope. How's that working for you evangelicals?

The Bible, divorced from the Holy Spirit protected Magisterium of the Catholic Church—the one Church that Christ promised to protect from error for all time—can be distorted and/or contorted to support or deny any position.

The Magisterium is given by Christ to the Church to ensure that error does not enter into the Church's teaching:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm
In Catholic circles, there are too many priests and prelates who act more like Episcopalians than Catholics. Despite what some demented cardinals might have thought at the Synod on the Family, Catholic doctrine is not up for a vote. Nor can it ever be. Consensus can only be achieved if those attempting to achieve it are firmly grounded in what Saint Vincent of Lerins described as quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus credituni est ("what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all"). Furthermore, no amount of clever manipulation of pastoral practice (regarding, e.g., adulterous unions) can undo the truth of Christ's teaching. Christian pastoral practice (orthopraxis) and orthodox doctrine go hand in hand. To put it another way: lex orandi lex credendi lex vivendi.

Sadly, evangelical protestants labour under the errant teaching of sola scriptura in an attempt to rescue themselves from theological chaos and, in the case of evangelical Anglicans in the UK, rescue themselves from schism.

A question of authority.

While the current disagreement is focussed on sexuality and marriage, Anglicans and other protestants have yet to realize that the subject matter really doesn't... matter. Once the Anglican Communion admitted into its thinking a democratization of doctrine, which began with Henry's attempt to make himself pope so he could then bless his illicit union with Anne Boleyn, correct interpretation of Holy Scripture was undone. Henry severed himself and all those who agreed with him from the Roman umbrella of protection from the reign of doctrinal error. Furthermore, one does not have to exhaust himself asking why he should follow any opinion other than his own when Scripture is emptied of authority and given to anyone who so desires it for whatever reason, however illegitimate a reason may very well be.

All matters of Church unity, or for that matter disunity, flow from the question of authority. If it is true that the Catholic Church, i.e., the conglomerate of 24 sui juris churches under the Catholic umbrella, is the Church to which Christ gave His promise of the Holy Spirit to protect her from error, then all Christians divided from the Roman Pontiff—the Bishop of Rome—come under the judgement of God for resisting communion with him. One cannot be in communion with Jesus Christ if he or she is not also in communion with the very Church Christ founded on Saint Peter. That Church is the Church of Rome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.