Address by the Rt. Rev. Paul C. Hewett, SSC, to the Synod of the Diocese of the Holy Cross, at the Pro-Cathedral Church of the Epiphany, Columbia , SC
April 30, 2010
From the Anglican Association to THE SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF THE HOLY CROSS on the feast of St Catherine of Sienna –teacher of the faith and patron of Europe, April 30 th , 2010.
Greetings in the name of the Risen Christ.
It is with great pleasure that Committee of the Anglican Association of the United Kingdom , extend to you our fraternal friendship and best wishes. We have been following with great interest the developments within the traditional Anglican movements in North America , the closer co operation that has brought about the new Province of the A.C.N.A and your part as Catholic Anglicans within this. We have been especially appreciative of the invitations you have extended to Canon Geoffrey Neal for several years to participate in your meetings, together with Canon Arthur Middleton, who joined you in 2008, all of which has been important in keeping us informed.
We have been especially appreciative to Bishop Paul in the support he has given to us and the interests we share together in maintaining our Anglican patrimony especially the traditions embodied in the Book of Common Prayer, which have been under assault for many years.
For a generation we are aware that you have been using the model of conciliar governance; you have been promoting the riches of our patrimony and have been fostering healthy relationships between Evangelicals and Catholics. You have made steady progress in knitting together traditional, orthodox Anglican jurisdictions in North America .
It is our earnest hope that this collaboration may be fruitful and productive in the years ahead as we move forward in the faith we share.
The Anglican Association wishes to convey its greetings and assur ance of support for you and all traditional orthodox Anglican jurisdictions in North America .
We thank God for this shared witness and pray his continued blessing upon the great cause he has placed before us.
Faithfully yours in Christ, Anthony Kilmister.
Once again we are grateful for Anthony Kilmister's encouragement. He is a past President of the Prayer Book Society in the Church of England and now he looks after the Anglican Association, a think tank in England which has given itself three tasks: promoting our patrimony, encouraging cooperation between evangelicals and catholics, and laying out what conciliar governance means for the Church. We are glad to again have Father Geoffrey Neal with us from England , and his wife, Jenny. Father Geoffrey is part of the Anglican Association and has been active in the formation and development of Forward in Faith , United Kingdom . He is now Forward in Faith's Dean of the Ouse Valley .
We welcome our new clergy and those now licensed to serve in the Diocese: Father Bill Knapp and his wife, Linda, from the Diocese of Quincy, now living near Christ Church in Southern Pines. In his absence, we welcome Father Timothy Gahles of High Bridge , New Jersey , a chaplain at a retirement home. Father Timothy and has wife are at this moment preparing for their sixth child. We welcome Deacon Nicholas Reddick of Mobile , Alabama . And we welcome as our honoured guest, Father James Hiles of St. Paul 's, Brockton , Massachusetts , where a beautiful new parish hall was dedicated last September, during a Festival of Faith rally.
Let us now remember before the throne of Grace our Father in God departed since the last Synod, Bishop Stanton Patrick Archibold Murphy, SSC, and our beloved departed clergy, Canon Craig Edward Young, SSC, Archdeacon Lee Herbert, and Deacon Dennis Allen Boan. May they go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service, in God's heavenly Kingdom. Amen.
May we at this time thank our host parish, the Pro Cathedral Church of the Epiphany, and the Anglican Church Women here, for their superb work putting this Synod together. We also owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who serves on our committees, boards, chaplaincies, ministries, and the ACW, and to everyone who took the time and spent the money to come to this holy Synod.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father,
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is gathering His people, and the Anglican Communion is re-aligning. Traditional, orthodox Anglicans are working together around the world, and are communicating more with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and believing Lutherans and evangelicals. As traditional, orthodox Anglicans, God is calling us to uphold and spread three things for the rest of the Body: (i) our patrimony, (ii) convergence among believing Christians and (iii) conciliar governance. It is our vocation to uphold and spread these three things. As we do so, we make the Church more resurrectional. The Holy Spirit is raising up and renewing what has been disintegrated and decayed. Our way of upholding and spreading the Gospel grows out of our patrimony, the ministry of convergence and conciliar governance. God gathers His people the way a muscle contracts, so that it can extent outward and do vital things.
(i) First, regarding our patrimony, Bishop Robert Harvey has just written an important book for us, To the Isles Afar Off . He names Britain as the first nation in the world to become officially Christian. Our Lady's mother, St. Anne, was born and raised in Brittany , just south of Britain . Those who went to Britain in the early first century were our Lady's uncle and protector, St. Joseph of Arimathea, consecrated as the apostle to the British by St. Philip. Others who went to Britain were St. Peter's father-in-law Aristobulus and his brother Barnabas, and possibly our Lord, and Sts. Peter and Paul, and St. Simon the Apostle. There were, two hundred years before the Empire became officially Christian, “royal British converts as leaders of the Church in Rome .” (p. 8) “The first baptized Christians in Rome appear to have come from Britain .” (p. 138) The fourth century Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena were both British. We are a Church so steeped in its first centuries with the orthodoxy of the East that H. A. Hodges called Anglicanism an outbreak of Orthodoxy in the West. Later we would have the Book of Common Prayer as a Benedictine way of life, blending the Western with the Eastern.
Our magnificent patrimony is a balanced synthesis of Scripture, Tradition and reason. We interpret the Scriptures through the Fathers and the consensus of the first millennium. We begin our theological reasoning as did the eastern Fathers, with the Incarnation. The riches of our heritage have given rise to a sublime musical tradition.
Herbert Howell's rhapsodies for organ, written in the early 20 th century, are mystical masterpieces. Great music like this only comes from a profound orthodoxy.
ii. As regards convergence, we are seeing powerful centripetal forces at work to reveal the essential unity of Christ's Body. This is because the Holy Spirit is always stirring the pot, as it where, to fulfil the Father's plan to unite all things in Christ. St. Paul says in Ephesians 1:10 “that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” All our parishes are now affiliates of both Forward in Faith , United Kingdom , and Forward in Faith, North America .
We are also part of the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas , along with the Anglican Church in America , the Anglican Province of America, the Episcopal Missionary Church, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Mission in America . We meet next week in Columbus , Ohio . We are in full communion with one another and hold ourselves accountable to one another for common disciplines, missionary strategies and seminary training. We are now using Nashotah House in Wisconsin and the various seminaries of the Reformed Episcopal Church. One thing we are doing to help the new province, the Anglican Church in North America , the ACNA, is to magnify and promote the ministry of deaconesses and biblical ministries for women. The Federation is now a Ministry Partner of the new Province, with seat and voice at all meetings.
The ACNA is now in ecumenical partnership with the Orthodox Church in America , the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod and various Roman Catholic dioceses. The part of Forward in Faith, North America which is in the ACNA is called the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, with Bishop William Ilgenfritz. It is growing. The ACNA will be meeting this June in Amesbury , Massachusetts , and is committed at that meeting to begin a process of studying the ordination of women. Forward in Faith and all traditional orthodox dioceses in ACNA will always teach and witness to catholic order in the Church, so that now, more and more people are seeing how all the issues before us are connected.
There is now a growing cooperation in the United Kingdom between Forward in Faith and the evangelicals, through something that came out of GAFCON called the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, with the good work of Chris Sugden and Paul Perkin and the Anglican Association and many others. This is the kind of hard work that Pope Benedict XVI wants us to engage in, not only in England but throughout the Global South. Rome has graciously responded to those Anglicans who made specific request for full communion through the Apostolic Ordinariates. But for the vast majority of orthodox Anglicans, some 35 million of us, the Pope is encouraging us to complete the re-alignment and clean up our act. We can then approach Rome as the Greeks and Russians do, with the consensus of the first millennium as the model for fully restored relations. And there is much we can do as Anglicans to help Rome in its contact with the Greeks.
Meanwhile, Forward in Faith in England is continuing to work for a new free province in the Church of England. There is still ground to fight for, and the vast majority of Forward in Faith is going to fight this to the finish. As always in October, we will be represented there with the Australians, Norwegians and Swedes.
This September a delegation from the Mission Province in Sweden is coming to visit the two seminaries of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, in Fort Wayne , Indiana and St. Louis . The Missouri Synod has been supporting the Mission Province and orthodox Lutherans in the Baltic republics. This has caused us to open up new communication with the Missouri Synod. Two Anglican priests and I spent three days with them in January at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne . They have opened their seminaries to us, and are set for full theological rapport with us as Anglicans.
The reason we have, on these walls of the Pro-Cathedral, the particular flags that you see, is that these represent the countries we work with. England , Wales , Sweden and Norway . Through our contact with the Nordic Catholic Church in Norway , we have increasing contact with those who oversee them, the Polish National Catholic Church in the United States .
After Jesus' Resurrection, when Peter and several disciples went fishing, a mysterious figure on the beach asked whether they had caught anything. He told them to cast the net onto the starboard side of the boat. Then they took 153 fish. John said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So must we say, in reviewing the amazing centripetal forces that are bringing believing Christians together, in general, and our Anglican community in particular, “It is the Lord.” No man could begin to engineer all this. “It is the Lord,” the risen Lord, making us more resurrectional, by the Holy Ghost.
(iii). And now, regarding conciliar governance. The Orthodox have always governed themselves through conciliarity, and Rome is looking for a stronger dose of this. We have been governing ourselves this way for the past generation and more. Conciliarity means that no matter of faith or morals is ever put on an agenda because those matters have been resolved by the Scriptures and the ecumenical councils. That's why our business meetings are so short. What we emphasize is what the Russians call sobornost , the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. We gather for show and tell, to share what the Lord is doing in our part of the vineyard. We hold ourselves accountable to Scripture, and tradition, as made explicit in the ecumenical councils. We hold ourselves accountable to the rest of the Body, in heaven and on earth. We will never do anything that breaks the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, the unity of the Body. And so we will not lapse into the juridical governance and the wrangling and the lengthy meetings of our former obedience. Fr. Kevin Donlon, a theologian in the Anglican Mission in America , has worked tirelessly at the GAFCON in Jerusalem , and in England , and in this country, to ensure that conciliar language and practice is employed in today's realigning structures.
Patrimony, convergence and conciliarity: all three have a vital, transforming effect on the rest of the Body, and on the surrounding culture. In 1951, H. Richard Niebuhr wrote a book called Christ and Culture , describing five modalities of how Christ can relate to culture. As Anglicans, the modality we have tended towards throughout our history has been Christ as the transformer of culture. Christ converts and transforms man in his society. This is a positive and hopeful attitude toward culture. “History is the story of God's mighty deeds and of man's responses to them ... (We are) aware of the power of the Lord to transform all things by lifting them up to himself...(and we see) the present permeation of all life by the gospel...Transformation occurs when humility and service supplant self-assertion and self-glorification” p. 195, 217, 227 Christ as the transformer of culture is based on three theological convictions: (i) the goodness of creation, with the fall distinguished from it, (ii) the Incarnation as the beginning of the new creation and (iii) history as a dramatic interaction between God and man. Among those who have embraced this modality have been St. John , in his Gospel, St. Paul , St. Augustine , John Calvin, John Wesley, F. D. Maurice and Arthur Michael Ramsey.
Of the remaining four modalities, or zones in which we might live, is (i) Christ against the culture. The Church rejects culture's claims, and leaves the world behind. History shows us a rising Church and a falling civilization. Among the many who have lived in this zone are St. John in his first Epistle, and St. Benedict. Today we have the Amish, and the multitudes living in the Egyptian desert, and growing communities of counter-cultural Christians.
There is (ii), the Christ of culture. Christ is culture's friend, and the two agree. The Church affirms what is best in culture, and Christ is the enobler of its institutions. History is the record of the spirit's encounter not so much with sin as with nature. Examples of this are Abelard, Thomas Jefferson and culture protestantism.
(iii) The third modality is the medieval synthesis, Christ above culture, embodied in the Gothic cathedral. Christ enters into life from above. History is “a period of preparation under law, reason, Gospel and church for an ultimate communion of the soul with God.” p. 195. St. Thomas Aquinas is this mode's most well-known representative.
Martin Luther brings us to (iv), Christ and culture in paradox. The two kingdoms, ecclesiastical and civil, are held together in tension. We “hope for a justification which lies beyond history.” (p. 45) “History is the time of struggle between faith and unbelief.” p. 195.
As Father James Hiles, who is with us today, has said, our culture is “anesthetized by the good life to be secular.” Because of this, we can go against our culture, we can attempt to get above it, we can live in struggle and paradox with it, or we can seek to transform it. Our default position as Anglicans is the latter. We offer ourselves to our Lord as salt, light and leaven. We seek to uphold and spread our patrimony, the ministry of convergence and conciliarity, all of which have a transforming effect on the rest of the Body, and on the culture. Our mission is not first and foremost to save the culture, but to reveal the Kingdom. But as we do that there is always transformation around us, and a new offspring won for the Church. If the culture collapses, our fall-back position may have to be the Christ against culture mode. There came a time when Noah had to close the door of the ark.
Uphold and spread, spread and uphold: patrimony, convergence and conciliarity. Upholding means protecting, first from Gnosticism and moral rot, the internal enemy, and then from Islam and the external enemy: terrorist attack and the demographics of nihilism. On this subject, Father Mark Korbitz will share his insights tonight.
We must face the possibilities of disaster and economic collapse. The research Father Chip Angell has done in this area is important for us all. We have to be prepared for the worst. The veneer of civilization is very thin, and a collapse in the not distant future is a possibility. The reason for collapse is always the same. As Solzhenitsyn used to say, “Men have forgotten God.” Forgetting God brings moral collapse, and failure of the economy is a symptom of that.
We are not only to uphold the deposit of faith, but spread it, in Kingdom thinking, planning, living. In the great re-alignment in this country, dioceses like ours have been the scouts, and the jurisdictions now coming out, the wagon trains. Dioceses like Fort Worth are out, but have asked for prayer, because of the legal obstacles set up against them. Through all this, we have been Joshua and Caleb's reconnaissance party. The time to enter the promised land is nearly upon us, after some 34 years in the wilderness. We have seen what can happen in a metropolis with the Anglican Fellowship of the Delaware Valley . We have seen what can happen on a university campus with St. Theodore's Chapel and the C. S. Lewis Society, and our cooperation there with the Anglican Mission in America . We have seen what can happen in a state with the Spartanburg Clericus hosted by Bishop Farmer. To further the work in this region I have moved my base to Columbia . This Pro-Cathedral is the center of gravity of our Diocese.
Uphold and spread. Spreading the Gospel and sharing our Anglican way challenges the rest of the Body. It challenges the culture. It challenges Islam. The challenge, as Father Hiles says, is to “Wake up – to earnestly grasp the light of Christ with both hands and to carry it heartily into the world and its darkness.”
Our forbears, the Patrons and Patronesses of Europe, did this: St. Benedict of Nursia, Sixth Century Father of Western monasticism and Father of Christian Europe, named Patron of Europe by Paul VI. John Paul II named two more Patrons of Europe: the brothers Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the Ninth Century Apostles to the Slavs. John Paul II also named three saints as Patronesses of Europe: St. Catherine of Siena (Fourteenth Century), whose heavenly birthday we celebrate today, St. Bridget of Vadstena, Sweden, (Fourteenth Century) and from the Twentieth Century, Edith Stein of Germany, whose religious name was St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
We rejoice daily in the priceless intercession of Our Lady, the Queen of Saints and the Queen of Victory, under whose patronage we evermore place our Diocese. She who stood at the foot of her Son's Cross is now enthroned in glory to help us and all Christians with the mission her Son has entrusted to us, to be, as St. Ignatius of Antioch says, “the Church that presides in love.” The Father's love of the Son, and the Son's love of the Father, and the Holy Spirit's gift of this love to the faithful, is revealed to us in the Eucharist, the ultimate icon of patrimony, convergence and conciliarity.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph. 3: 20 – 21)