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> An Episcopalian In A Catholic World, debating changes
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Herrerano 
Posted: 22-Apr-2005, 03:32 PM
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Hi all,

It?s very rare for me to be posting in this forum, but I felt compelled to start this thread since the light discussion of the new Pope was started in the General thread. I debated whether to place this in the Religion and Philosophy forum or the Christian forum. I am still debating that and wherever it appears will reflect my final decision.

To start with I want to clarify some subjunctive points so that later, hopefully, there will be no confusion. I am an Episcopalian, although at present a non-practicing one since I live in a country that is officially Roman Catholic and the nearest Episcopal church is almost two hundred miles east of me. My most formative years that were spent in the church however, were as part of a congregation of what Episcopalians refer to as Anglo-Catholics. That just means that congregation observes the liturgy of the Church (which for those of you who don?t know, is practically the same as the Roman Catholic liturgy) but in a very traditional form, usually including things like terminating mass with either the Regina Coeli or the Angelus .

Now, as I have said, Episcopal churches and fellow Episcopalians (usually fondly referred to by other Episcopalians as God?s frozen chosen) are rare and far away. Considering that church I have and am still considering converting to Roman Catholicism. There are some theological points I would still have to resolve, but that is something I am working on. But it leaves me a little sad and I will briefly try and explain why.

The Episcopal church has an interesting history. Originating as the Church of England there were some interesting occurrences within the church at various times. As most of you know who have been reading anything of Scottish history, the English Civil War (s) and the subsequent struggles to reinstate a Catholic king accounts for over a hundred years of Scottish history. What many people don?t realize is that there were a number of non-jurant Episcopalians in Scotland that sided with the Catholic cause. (Non-jurant means not having sworn an oath of allegiance to the head of the English Church.) One tenant of the Episcopal (and Anglican) religions is apostolic succession, meaning that Bishops are consecrated by other bishops in a continuous chain through time back to Peter, the very first Bishop consecrated by Our Lord. Besides being an interesting fact, that particular fact had some very influential consequences later in history. (It is interesting to note as well, that orders were issued to Cumberland?s victorious army at the battle of Culloden to round up the Jacobite priests, and of those captured, the Jesuits were sent to Rome and the non-jurant Episcopalians were executed for apostasy. Even the Duke of Cumberland didn?t want to irritate Rome too much).

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/timel...ne/11ecusa.html A timeline of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. Notice under the listing for 1784 where Samuel Seabury is consecrated Bishop by Scottish Bishops, and remember the history of the non-jurant Episcopal church in Scotland.

By the way, the link above came from this site: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/timeline/ Check it out for a timeline for the Anglican Communion. And even better, check out the guy that wrote that here: http://www.pathguy.com/index1.htm His webpage is very long, but worth reading all the way to the very bottom.

Well, there is the basics, comments are welcome. In reality my purpose here was to simply make a little comment and then go on and comment on the new Bishop of Rome and the direction of the Catholic Church, oh well, maybe next time.


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 22-Apr-2005, 08:00 PM
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Leo, I'm leaving for work in fifteen minutes, so haven't had time to check the websites you mentioned yet. As I understand it, you are concerned that the US church has broken the Apostolic Succession.

Forgive the ignorance of a Presbyterian, but isn't the consecration of a new bishop confirmed by the church's hierarchy? If so, wouldn't that solve the problem?

Incidentally, as bitter as the disputes between the Presbyterians and the Anglicans were, did you know that the Presbyterian Church still uses the Westminster Catechism?


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Herrerano 
Posted: 22-Apr-2005, 08:06 PM
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No, I don't have any fear that the Episcopal church has broken the apostolic succession. I just have a little sadness when I contemplate leaving it. On the other hand, In my case it is really a moot point since where I am located there is no episcopal church and if there were it would be descended in a different manner then the church in the states. Still though, it would be in the Anglican communion so that I suppose would count for something.
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