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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

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Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

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Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

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Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Apostolic Succession Re-Invented by Chuck Collins

Apostolic Succession Re-invented

By Chuck Collins

Protestants are the “Lutheran rebellion whose evil virus goes wandering about in almost all nations,” wrote Pope Leo XIII in his August 1, 1897 encyclical “Militantis Ecclesiae.”  Leo was one of the longest reigning popes. He promoted the rosary (he was called the “Rosary Pope”), embraced the concept of Mary as mediatrix (co-mediator with Jesus between God and humans), and issued a famous encyclical on modernism. Pertinent to Anglicans was his famous papal bull “Apostolicae curae” (1896) in which he declared Anglican ordinations to be “absolutely null and utterly void.” 

Anglicans and most Protestants hold to an understanding of “Apostolic Succession” as the succession of apostolic teaching as St. Paul directed to Timothy (2 Tim 2:2). This important “passing-on” is symbolised by the laying on of hands at ordinations. The church always veers into trouble when the symbol is given priority over the thing symbolised. Apostolic succession was reinvented by the 1830s-40s Oxford Movement “to be approached joyfully and expectantly as a definite instrument, or rather the appointed means of spiritual blessing” (John Henry Newman). Apostolic succession was always valued by Anglicans in terms of historic continuity, but the Tractarians and later Anglo-catholics added their particular view that special grace is imparted in ordination (“priestly character” or an ontological change).

There is no unbroken line of ordained bishops and priests traceable back to St. Peter. This is simply confusing the symbol for the thing symbolised. The succession the Bible teaches is the succession of catholic teaching and apostolic faith once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This is what we affirm when we say, “We believe in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”

“Cranmer did not believe that the apostles passed down the Holy Spirit through an unbroken line of holy bishops like a pipeline. No, for Cranmer, the author of the founding formularies of Anglicanism, apostolic succession meant the passing down of apostolic teaching—each generation of the church is to receive, witness to and pass on the Bible and its message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone”.

— Ashley Null, Divine Allurement

 

Used by permission.

Center for Reformation Anglicanism:  www.anglicanism.info

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