Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reunion UNDER Rome on Reformation Day

Thoughts about why reunion under the bishop of Rome isn't the truly catholic way forward at Fr. Chris' blog (today and throughout the week).

It's Halloween

Our parish newsletter featured an article of Fr. Chris' take on Halloween. If you'd like a copy, just email me.

There've been some newsworthy blips on the Halloween scene detailed at his personal blog. Synopsis:

Get your candy exorcised, but don't expect a Roman priest to do it for you.

Speaking of that, Happy Reformation Day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jubilate Deo!

Somehow I just cannot get enough of these boys' singing! The luscious scenery ain't hurting, either!

Shamelessly crossposted at my personal blog.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

John Chrysostom on Family Devotion

Let us take all this to heart, then, dearly beloved, and on returning home let us serve a double meal, one of food and the other of sacred reading; while the husband reads what has been said, let the wife learn and the children listen, and let not even servants be deprived of the chance to listen. Turn your house into a church; you are, in fact, even responsible for the salvation both of the children and of the servants. Just as we are accountable for you, so too each of you is accountable for your servant, your wife, your child.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 6 on Genesis, in
St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, p. 105 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Anglicans reject Pope offer

KENYA: Anglicans reject Pope offer
October 23, 2009

Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala says it is a question of faith

The head of Kenya's Anglican Church, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, has rejected the Pope's offer to allow disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.

He told the BBC it would not be easy for African Anglicans to enter into full communion with Catholics.

Earlier this week, the Vatican said groups of Anglicans could join but maintain a distinct religious identity.

There are splits among Anglicans worldwide over homosexuality and the ordination of women.

Causes of discord in the worldwide Anglican communion have included the election of an openly gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The Vatican said the new rules followed requests from Anglicans wanting to join while retaining their liturgical heritage.

However, Archbishop Wabukala told the BBC's Network Africa programme there was "no possibility" of his becoming a Catholic.

"The Protestant family understands faith in different ways, for example, the idea of the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper, the interpretation of ministry," he said.

He said his fellow African Anglican bishops were "deeply evangelical".

Ugandan Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi has also said Pope Benedict's measure was not called for in the African Anglican Church, which he said had successfully resisted liberalism from Western countries.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Nearly 40 Congregations Join the Anglican Church in North America

In just three months, the Anglican Church in North America has welcomed 39 new congregations. When the Anglican Church in North America officially launched in late June, it included 703 churches in the United States and Canada. Today, there are 742 congregations affiliated with the Anglican Church.

A number of the new congregations are recent church plants, like St. Barnabas in Covington, Kentucky. According to Fr. Christopher Peterson (picture at right - Ed.), who leads St. Barnabas, the young church held its first worship service on June 7. Just a few months into their life, St. Barnabas has already benefited greatly from its relationship with other Anglican Church in North America congregations in Kentucky, said Peterson. He and other members of the launch team have also been amazed by the way God has sent people to St. Barnabas. “It is not like we have found a lot of people, but that people have found us. It is astounding,” said Peterson.

More information about St. Barnabas is available online at

Calling together new congregations is a key goal for The Anglican Church in North America. “We are convinced that the Good News of Jesus Christ and the transforming power of His love offer life-change wherever they are preached. Vibrant, multiplying local congregations are both the primary tool to fulfill that important evangelical task and the natural result of our friends and neighbors responding to the Gospel,” said Archbishop Duncan.

Formed in June of 2009, the Anglican Church in North America unites 742 Anglican congregations into a single Anglican Province. The church’s mission is to reach North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Per the recent statements from Rome

Is best taken from Anglican Divine, Bp. Jeremy Taylor (sometimes known as the "Shakespeare of Divines" for his poetic style of expression):
"What can be supposed wanting in our Church in order to salvation? We have the Word of God, the Faith of the Apostles, the Creeds of the Primitive Church, the Articles of the four first General Councils, a holy liturgy, excellent prayers, perfect sacraments, faith and repentance, the Ten Commandments, and the sermons of Christ, and all the precepts and counsels of the Gospels. We … require and strictly exact the severity of a holy life. … We communicate often, our priests absolve the penitent. Our Bishops ordain priests, and confirm baptised persons, and bless their people and intercede for them. And what could here, be wanting to salvation?”

- Jeremy Taylor, Bp. of Down & Connor (1613-1667)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Striving with Spong is over

John Shelby Spong, the former Episcopal Bishop of Newark, has fired his latest philippic at those who hold the Scriptural, catholic, orthodox position on the normativity of heterosexual monogamous lifelong couplings. Fr. Chris has some things to say over at his personal blog.

But here's how it ends:
To be honest, Spong's problems go much deeper than his disregard for the Scripture's teaching on homosexual behavior. His big problem is with God Almighty. Spong casts scorn on the whole notion of theism, and has such an unnuanced fundamentalist materialist bent to his mindset that he's incapable of making any sense of the Resurrection or Ascension (much less the Incarnation).

And because of that, he is to be
pitied. Because, one thing is sure - the striving is over. The battle is won, and there's no need to argue about it. Rather, it's time to simply proclaim the dogma and live into that truth. So here's some help to do just that.

Woodley Ensemble - The Strife is O'er (Palestrina)

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apostolic Constitution for Unity with the See of Rome

From the See of Rome, the Vatican:

With the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.

In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony. In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has prepared this provision, said: "We have been trying to meet the requests for full communion that have come to us from Anglicans in different parts of the world in recent years in a uniform and equitable way. With this proposal the Church wants to respond to the legitimate aspirations of these Anglican groups for full and visible unity with the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter."

These Personal Ordinariates will be formed, as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for the members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world. "Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey," Cardinal Levada said.

The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. "The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans," Cardinal Levada went on to say: "They have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion."

According to Levada: "It is the hope of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (4:5). Our communion is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith."

Background information

Since the sixteenth century, when King Henry VIII declared the Church in England independent of Papal Authority, the Church of England has created its own doctrinal confessions, liturgical books, and pastoral practices, often incorporating ideas from the Reformation on the European continent. The expansion of the British Empire, together with Anglican missionary work, eventually gave rise to a world-wide Anglican Communion.

Throughout the more than 450 years of its history the question of the reunification of Anglicans and Catholics has never been far from mind. In the mid-nineteenth century the Oxford Movement (in England) saw a rekindling of interest in the Catholic aspects of Anglicanism. In the early twentieth century Cardinal Mercier of Belgium entered into well publicized conversations with Anglicans to explore the possibility of union with the Catholic Church under the banner of an Anglicanism "reunited but not absorbed".

At the Second Vatican Council hope for union was further nourished when the Decree on Ecumenism (n. 13), referring to communions separated from the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation, stated that: "Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place."

Since the Council, Anglican-Roman Catholic relations have created a much improved climate of mutual understanding and cooperation. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) produced a series of doctrinal statements over the years in the hope of creating the basis for full and visible unity. For many in both communions, the ARCIC statements provided a vehicle in which a common expression of faith could be recognized. It is in this framework that this new provision should be seen.

In the years since the Council, some Anglicans have abandoned the tradition of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. More recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality—already clearly stated in the ARCIC document "Life in Christ"—by the ordination of openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. At the same time, as the Anglican Communion faces these new and difficult challenges, the Catholic Church remains fully committed to continuing ecumenical engagement with the Anglican Communion, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

In the meantime, many individual Anglicans have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Sometimes there have been groups of Anglicans who have entered while preserving some "corporate" structure. Examples of this include, the Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, and some individual parishes in the United States which maintained an Anglican identity when entering the Catholic Church under a "pastoral provision" adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II in 1982. In these cases, the Catholic Church has frequently dispensed from the requirement of celibacy to allow those married Anglican clergy who desire to continue ministerial service as Catholic priests to be ordained in the Catholic Church.

In the light of these developments, the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution can be seen as another step toward the realization the aspiration for full, visible union in the Church of Christ, one of the principal goals of the ecumenical movement.


And from the See of Canterbury:

Joint Statement by The Archbishop of Westminster and The Archbishop of Canterbury

mardi 20 octobre 2009

Today's announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

With God's grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England's House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.

+ Vincent + Rowan

As our Forward in Faith brethren pray, Ut unum sint!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Setting of This is the Feast

New setting for "This is the Feast" from Alleluia! -- a brand new setting for the communion mass, performed by The Braeded Chord.

Alleluia! is filled with memorable melodies and beautiful instrumentation set to upbeat rhythms. While it is fully scored for acoustic instruments-- piano, guitar, flute, and violin, it easily translates to contemporary instruments like drum, bass, and electric guitar (lead sheets available), as this recording demonstrates. Alleluia! bridges the gap between ancient tradition and modern worship.

While I appreciate its upbeat tempo, I'd like to hear the whole service. Also, it strikes me that with the writing duo's natural harmonies, something might be lost in trying to sing this in unison. Since I haven't seen the lead, I don't know how well this is compensated for, but I try to eschew service music that can only be performed by skilled singers / harmonists.

(Nothing wrong with uber-complicated introits, sequences, offertories, etc., but I think the modern church music trend runs the danger of the Medieval & baroque choral tradition of taking singing away from the people through needless complexity.)

(I'm also unrepentantly satisfied with the two - count'em, TWO - settings of this hymn already in the 1982 Hymnal /1979 LBW.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This is the teaching blog of St. Stephen Anglican Church. For now, we're the only Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) parish in Louisville, KY. We are members of the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, a Forward in Faith movement.

We invite all persons who seek to know God to come find - and be found by - Him in our service of worship. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord in our worship (music, liturgy, and ceremonial actions) and in our teaching (especially our preaching).

Come be fed by the fullness of the catholic faith as we have received it through the English-speaking church.