Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, May 12th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments
Anglicans? Roman Catholic Church here. Yeah, I know you haven’t heard from us in a while. We’ve been pretty busy lately, what with electing our new pope and canonizing a couple of old ones. You know how things can slip away from you sometimes.
Anyway, we got something that we have to tell you. The two of us have had some great times in the past. Lord knows, you guys produced some fantastic hymns over the years and even we have to admit that the 1662 Book of Common Prayer kicks ass.
But here’s the deal. We thought long and hard about this and…well…this just isn’t working out and we’ve decided to see other churches:
Anglicanism in the United States is functionally incoherent as an ecclesiastical system, the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States concluded in a report released last month, as there is no normative voice for doctrine and discipline in the Episcopal Church of the USA.
It’s not you, it’s us.
In a paper entitled: “Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Seeking a Unified Moral Witness,” approved at the ARC-USA meeting held on 24-25 Feb 2014 at the Virginia Theological Seminary, the joint commission noted “how differently our two communions structure and exercise authority, not only with respect to moral teaching but all forms of teaching. Our teachings do differ in content, specificity, and detail.”
We’re just in a different place right now.
“The absence of an authoritative universal magisterium among the churches of the Anglican Communion marks a signal difference in the structure of teaching authority,” the statement said.
“Without such a universal teaching authority it is difficult to state definitively the teaching Anglicans hold on many specific matters, beyond the governing documents and prayer book of each particular church. This fact marks a signal difference in the structure of teaching authority from the Roman Catholic Church and helps to explain a significant tension in the relationship between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.”
Please don’t cry.
The paper focused its efforts on two issues: immigration/migration and same-sex relations. In examining same-sex unions, the joint statement said that “the teaching of the Episcopal Church on same-sex sexuality may be said to accept an unresolved tension between primary textual authorities on the one hand and local councils (both General Convention and diocesan conventions) on the other.”
“It is hard to see how our differences in moral theology and ecclesiology will be resolved, and it is not clear to many whether they should be,” the statement concluded.
We still like you. But only as a friend.