Letter to the Editor
Clarity in Anglican Doctrine
Thank you for your editorial ‘Matters Indifferent’ on Michael Nazir Ali’s move to Rome and the feeble response from the Gafcon leaders. I wish to commend your courage, insight and clarity, whilst self-designated shepherds maintain the silence of the lambs.
You reported that MNA (as you call him) explained that one of the attractions of the Roman Catholic church for him is the clarity of its teaching. Has this gentleman, in all his years as a Bishop, never considered the clarity of Anglican doctrine, especially in relation to the Roman Catholic church?
How much clarity does the fellow need? Look at these sentences from the XXXIX Articles of Religion:
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration, as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
The sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.
It appears MNA has ignored the clear warnings of the XXXIX Articles in his pursuit of clarity.