Orthodox Bishop to Anglicans: you are doomed if you don’t stop

Remember what Card. Dias told the assembled Anglican leadership at Lambeth in 2008.  He said that their course indicates they are heading towards "spiritual Alzheimer’s" and "ecclesial Parkinson’s"

Now here is another warning.

This comes by of His Hermeuticalness, Fr. Finigan.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk is Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations. Recently he gave an address to the Annual Nicean Club Dinner at Lambeth Palace in which he politely but firmly pointed out that the dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Anglicans,

"is doomed to closure if the unrestrained liberalization of Christian values continues in many communities of the Anglican world."

He referred particularly to the impact on this dialogue of the proposed ordination of women Bishops:

We have studied the preparatory documents for the decision on female episcopate and were struck by the conviction expressed in them that even if the female episcopate were introduced, ecumenical contacts with the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches would not come to an end. What made the authors of these documents so certain?

He also referred to the ordination in the USA of Jim Robertson, an openly homosexual Bishop, leading to the suspension of contact with the Episcopalian Church, and to the rupture of relations with the Church of Sweden in 2005 as a result of the ordination of the lesbian Eva Brunne as "Bishop" of Stockholm.

Metropolitan Hilarion rightly analysed the differences within Christianity as being between traditional Christians and Christians of a liberal trend. Significantly, he referred to a growing co-operation between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church with the aim of restoring a Christian soul to Europe:

We are not alone in our concern for the preservation of Christian values. Liberal tendencies in Protestant and Anglican communities present a challenge to those Christians and churches that have remained faithful to Gospel principles in doctrine, church order and morality. Certainly, we seek and find allies in opposing the destruction of the very essence of Christianity. One of the major tasks in our inter-Christian work today is to unite the efforts of Christians for building a system of solidarity on the basis of Gospel morality in Europe and throughout the world. Our positions are shared by the Roman Catholic Church, with which we have held numerous meetings and conferences. Together we are considering the possibility of establishing an Orthodox-Catholic alliance in Europe for defending the traditional values of Christianity. The primary aim of this alliance would be to restore a Christian soul to Europe. We should be engaged in common defence of Christian values against secularism and relativism.

From a Catholic point of view, it could be said that the close relationship of the Orthodox Church with Anglicanism, a relationship whose history Metropolitan Hilarion recalled warmly, was perhaps partly inspired by a resistance to closer links with the Roman Catholic Church. Now that it is apparent that the Anglican Communion is wantonly abandoning much of what is recognised as traditional Christianity in both sacramental and moral matters, it is very much to be welcomed that the Orthodox Church is discovering that the Roman Catholic Church is a true ally on many central questions. We have much to learn from the Orthodox Church too, in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Pope Benedict has helped that rapprochement significantly.

 

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

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34 Responses to Orthodox Bishop to Anglicans: you are doomed if you don’t stop

  1. Mariefra says:

    As a Catholic, I support the ‘rules’ of the Church reflected by Christ’s teachings and as spread by the disciples. The Church follows the Word of God and the Word tells us the path to salvation is narrow. Narrow does not allow for liberal interpretation of the Word as is reflected in our world today. If we are to follow Christ, we must abide by His teachings and parables. Today, the world looks for a quick fix, short-cuts and try to make the path fit their wants. I am a Catholic, because our teachings ARE on that narrow path and they do not bend to the world’s demands. In Revelations 22:19, it is written “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this ‘prophecy’, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”. All who serve our Lord, are reminded that we cannot change what has been written to appease or include others who do not follow His Word. Blessings and peace who all who read and understand this.

  2. Marcin says:

    Papa Benedict most definitely intrigues the Orthodox hierarchy, they respect him. I don’t think however they are convinced that he really stands for the entire Catholic Church, as in “Popes come and Popes go”.

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

  4. Tradster says:

    “Liberal tendencies in Protestant and Anglican communities”. Aren’t Anglicans considered Protestants anymore?

  5. Tradster — Many Anglicans like to insist that they aren’t Protestants per se (and there’s some historical argument for this). Basically, giving them their own category avoids argument without necessarily accepting their terms.

    Apparently some variants of the Church of Christ denomination also claim not to be Protestant. So it avoids rabbit holes if you call them Evangelicals instead.

    * Neither group agrees with Luther, Calvin, et al on certain points and doesn’t feel part of the Protestant “movement”, so that apparently is why they claim not to be Protestant. It’s an ideological point for them as well as a buzzword thing.

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    Speaking as a former Anglican :-D Suburbanbanshee is right.

    The ‘higher’ variety of Anglican will try to sell you on the idea that they’re “really” Catholic, except for that little kerfuffle with Hank, which they try to ignore. I believed it for years . . . .

  7. MargaretC says:

    And then there’s the idea that Anglicans are “both Catholic and reformed”. I bought into that for years, myself.

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    Well, Margaret, at least we’re here now. :-D

    I wish we could rescue the honest believers that are left. “Will the last Christian out of the Episcopal Church please bring the crucifix?”

  9. Marcin says:

    The ‘higher’ variety of Anglican will try to sell you on the idea that they’re “really” Catholic, except for that little kerfuffle with Hank, which they try to ignore.

    I understand it – it’s quite embarrassing a story ;)

  10. Hans says:

    Together we are considering the possibility of establishing an Orthodox-Catholic alliance in Europe for defending the traditional values of Christianity.

    I read that sentence and just had to stop and say, “Wow.”

    .

    There are two broad camps of practicing Anglicans, Tradster: “High Church” and “Low Church”. High Church Anglicans tend toward the liturgical, often think of themselves as some sort of “Via media Catholics, and are (as has been pointed out from time to time hereabouts) sometimes more liturgical than some Catholics. Low Church Anglicans tend toward the Evangelical, are mostly non-liturgical or even anti-liturgical, and think of themselves as some sort of Protestant.

    Of course, in England these days most Anglicans seem to be of the “default” sort; they aren’t anything else, including practicing, so they’re Anglicans by default. Though I suppose the same could be said of many Catholics I know.

  11. nanetteclaret says:

    Just a little point of clarification, it was Gene Robinson, not “Jim Robertson,” who was appointed the first divorced and openly homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Tradster,

    Some Anglicans proudly consider themselves Protestants, and believe it or not, some Anglicans think they are “true Catholics”. This is particularly the case in England, where some Anglicans have maintained a more “Anglo-Catholic” stance. However, of course, they are Protestants.

    Many British Anglicans have actually never or rarely been to Church, but consider themselves British and patriotic belonging to the National Church. This idea has been passing away in the younger generations, who do not make that connection between patriotism and Anglicanism. Catholics in England are and have been considered “outsiders” and “not quite English”.

    Hopefully, through the intercession of John Henry Cardinal Newman, these attitudes will change.

  13. chironomo says:

    So what exactly is the difference between those “liberal christians” within the Protestant ranks, and those “liberal christians” who call themselves Catholics? They seem to believe the same things on most points, and the only real difference I can find is that one group calls themselves Protestant and one group calls themselves Catholic. If the Good Bishop is admonishing the Anglicans for these positions, is he not also admonishing those within the Catholic Church who hold the same views? It would seem that he might be implying that true unity with Rome won’t be possible until Rome cleans up it’s own house as well…

  14. walker217 says:

    One can’t be a Catholic priest in a protestant church……take it from one who knows first hand.

  15. Robert of Rome says:

    For what it’s worth, the Sunday, 12 September issue of L’Osservatore Romano published an article (p. 6) reporting on Metropolitan Hilarion’s remarks as represented by Fr. Finigan. According to the Vatican daily newspaper, prior to his address to the Nicean Club, the Metropolitan met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and made the same points directly to him.

  16. Sid says:

    Actually, there’s High Church, Broad Church, and Low Church. The Low are evangelical Protestants. The Broad, aka “Latitudinarian”, are Liberal, and have run the Anglican Communion since the “Un-glorious”
    Revolution of 1688. The High look back to the Caroline Divines of the 17th C, especially William Laud. In the past, the High called their position “Via Media”, i.e, Catholic in worship, in bishops, and in priesthood; and Arminian Protestant in theology. “Catholic” really only entered the vocabulary with the Oxford Movement of the 19th C.

    Today, some “Anglo-Catholics” in the USA are Catholic in dogmatic theology (except for Church authority) and Liberal in moral theology. Many are really Liberal in all theology with Catholic appearance on Sunday morning, Broad Church shopping at a Catholic haberdashery. And a few, more in England than in the US, are Catholic in everything but the Papacy. It is in this last group that we’ll see coming to the Ordinariate.

  17. AnAmericanMother says:

    Good catch, nanetteclaret.

    Is “Jim Robertson” a evangelical preacher?

    Vicki (what were his parents thinking?) Gene Robinson would be so peeved that his name wasn’t mentioned . . . as a friend of a friend who served on committees with him observed, “it’s all about Gene”. Another Gene, GA governor Eugene Talmadge (a/k/a “Gene Tammage”) used to say that he didn’t care what the newspapers said about him so long as they spelled his name right!

  18. Steve K. says:

    Sid – “Today, some “Anglo-Catholics” in the USA are Catholic in dogmatic theology (except for Church authority) and Liberal in moral theology. Many are really Liberal in all theology with Catholic appearance on Sunday morning, Broad Church shopping at a Catholic haberdashery”

    Unfortunately that describes a great deal of American Catholics, too.

  19. Fr. Basil says:

    During the Episcopal General Convention in 1976, the then Bishop (now Archbishop) Dmitri (Royster) of the Orthodox Church in America was invited to address the Episcopal Bishops over the issue of Filioque. There was in those days a movement to drop it from the Creed to assist rapproachment with the Orthodox.

    Unfortunately, the night before, the canon permitting ordination of women as priests and bishops passed.

    His Grace went up to address the Episcopal bishops and simply said, “What’s the point in discussing this matter now? What would it accomplish? All you have done is put up yet another obstacle towards restoration of union between our churches.”

  20. asperges says:

    From a Catholic point of view, it could be said that the close relationship of the Orthodox Church with Anglicanism, .. was perhaps partly inspired by a resistance to closer links with the Roman Catholic Church.

    The cosying up of Anglicans to the Orthodox and seemingly vice versa has always annoyed me. The Orthodox know full well they are dealing with a Church of invalid orders yet continue to meddle and give credence of some some sort to Anglican validity (in a loose sort of way). Meanwhile, relations with the Catholic Church have been distant and obstructive. Yet we are the natural allies.

    Now that they have inevitably been led down a blind ally, perhaps they will become a bit more constructive.

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Sid – Today, some “Anglo-Catholics” in the USA are Catholic in dogmatic theology (except for Church authority) and Liberal in moral theology.

    Can you say “Smoky Mary’s”?

    Many are really Liberal in all theology with Catholic appearance on Sunday morning, Broad Church shopping at a Catholic haberdashery.

    Sounds like what our former ECUSA parish turned into when a new rector showed up.

    And a few, more in England than in the US, are Catholic in everything but the Papacy. It is in this last group that we’ll see coming to the Ordinariate.

    Our Saviour, Virginia-Highlands. My dear formerly Methodist husband’s first experience of the Episcopal Church, in 1977. Holy water, incense, birettas, abounding genuflexions, and a sermon on Purgatory by the more-Roman-than-Rome rector, Fr. Roy Pettway (may he rest in peace). I thought husband’s head was going to explode. Yet, here he is, all safe and sound, a good Irish Catholic boy.

  22. RichardT says:

    “we are considering the possibility of establishing an Orthodox-Catholic alliance in Europe”

    That could be very interesting. I wonder what form it would take, and how deep it would be.

  23. RichardT says:

    As for contrasting Anglicans and Protestants, the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity does it in their “Norms for Ecumenism”:

    “people of different liturgical traditions — Catholic, Eastern, Anglican and Protestant” (para 117).

    Amusingly it gives a very cliched contrast between the attributes of the different bodies:

    “the mystical tradition of the Christian East … the worship and piety of Anglicans … and the diverse forms of Protestant spirituality”

  24. becket1 says:

    Quote: “we are considering the possibility of establishing an Orthodox-Catholic alliance in Europe”

    That could be very interesting. I wonder what form it would take, and how deep it would be.

    Well the first thing Rome needs to do is to get rid of their liberal priests and bishops, and replace them with conservative clergy. Do away permanently with the Joan Chittisters, and liberal so called “Catholic” theologians of the church. Only then can there be any form of alliance with the Orthodox Churches.

  25. New Sister says:

    @ asperges: “The Orthodox know full well they are dealing with a Church of invalid orders yet continue to meddle and give credence of some some sort to Anglican validity (in a loose sort of way)”

    Not as loose as you think. A Bishop once mentioned a difficult problem (theologically) resulting from this alliance: some Orthodox had apparently ordained some Anglican clergy? I shudder to think of it… it reminds me of the Dr. Suess (sp?) story about the “Sneeches on the Beaches” (which ones had stars on their bellies; which ones didn’t…)

  26. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Yes, some Orthodox bishops have ordained Anglican clergy.

    It is amazing how obsessed Anglicans are with the bloodline of their “apostolic succession”.

  27. rtmp723 says:

    And that is were is gets way messy with Anglican orders. There is an independent Anglican Church a half mile away from my house that is a part of The Traditional Roman Catholic Church–Anglican Rite that has a valid bishop, and I have met some Episcopal priests that are valid. But the problem is some are valid and some aren’t. The easiest to exclude would be all female priests, and all priests ‘ordained’ by female bishops. Most Episcopal priests are invalid, but once you are in Europe it gets way confusing due to Orthodox and Old Catholic Bishops performing ordinations.

  28. DHippolito says:

    …it is very much to be welcomed that the Orthodox Church is discovering that the Roman Catholic Church is a true ally on many central questions.

    Frankly, I wish an Orthodox metropolitan or bishop would say the same thing to Catholic prelates regarding Islam.

    Somehow, I don’t the the Orthodox Church considers Islam as “a true ally on many central questions.”

  29. DHippolito says:

    Frankly, I wish the good metropolitan — or someone like him — would say the same thing to Catholic prelates (especially in the Vatican) regarding Islam.

    …it is very much to be welcomed that the Orthodox Church is discovering that the Roman Catholic Church is a true ally on many central questions.

    Somehow, I don’t the the Orthodox Church considers Islam to be “a true ally on many central questions.”

  30. Gail F says:

    rtmp: No Anglican orders are valid. Leo XIII had this investigated and concluded that, whatever the succession of ordination (or whatever the proper term is), Anglicans had invalidated their orders because they changed the intention of what was meant by ordination, as well as of other sacraments. Proper intention is a requirement for validity. So even if an Anglican cleric was ordained by an unbroken line of men that goes back to a valid Catholic bishop, he was not really ordained.

    Some former Anglican clergy talk about a sort of semi-ordination, using different terms than that of course, meaning that they believe God’s grace was with them at the time and in their ministry. I would never argue with that, I am sure many good and holy men have been “ordained” by the Anglicans and have served God well in the best way they know how. But they still aren’t priests.

  31. rtmp723 says:

    That only stands if they are using the Anglican Ordinal. However in more resent years Old Catholics and Orthodox and have using their valid rite of ordination upon Anglican men.

  32. rtmp723 says:

    Anglicans know they have invalid rites as a whole and are a little nutty to bring it back. It was after LEO XIII issued that, that the Old Catholics joined the Anglican Communion and ordained many many men for them. All of the priests and bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion which is now joining the Catholic church have valid orders because of this.

  33. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “Metropolitan Hilarion rightly analysed the differences within Christianity as being between traditional Christians and Christians of a liberal trend.” I recall a English friend under the Patriarch of Moscow, some 25 years ago, now, telling me a priest had said something to this effect, and had meant he saw this split as going right through (so to put it) ‘self-describing’ Christianity, whether ‘Protestant’, ‘Anglican’, ‘Catholic’, or ‘Orthodox’ (I don’t know about the ‘non-Chalcedonians’).

    I think, practically speaking, any formal attempts of Churches (or ‘ecclesial communities’, or however best to describe the ‘full scope’) or less formal attempts of various “traditional” or (let us say) ‘anti-culture-of-death Trinitarian Incarnational’ Christians are inescapably faced by this and are going to have to find out how to ‘tackle’ it.

    And I suspect a dangerously large number of “Christians of a liberal trend” across the ‘ecclesial spectrum’ are doggedly determined to impose their notions on the Churches (aut al.) of which they are formally members, redefining ‘Christianity’ into a ‘(post)Modernist culture-of-death-ianity’ to which they will have every knee bow.

    Insofar as they get the cooperation of statist ‘democracies’, a lot of people may get the chance to pray they may be graciously sustained as Pope St. Martin I and St. Maximus Confessor were under Constans II.

  34. dominic1955 says:

    That’s not necessarily true. I don’t think it can be clearly said if any of the TAC or similar groups have valid orders aside from those who were Catholic priests who left the Church. They MIGHT have valid Orders IF they really were ordained by a validly consecrated bishop but that’s a big if. It’s going to be a mess to sort this out.

    I rather like the ecumenical technique of some of the Eastern Orthodox bishops, they don’t pull punches yet are very charitable in it. I wish we’d be more pointed in our talks with folks like the Anglicans (under Rowan) and all the other groups.

    We’ve been far to kissy-faced with the Protestants (especially the mainline groups) when they have done practically nothing but dig themselves deeper and deeper into complete liberal nonsense. I’m glad we straight up told those Presbyterians who introduced that ridiculous “baptismal formula” that it was invalid. We need to do more of that sort of thing.