Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anglican Options in the UK

The continuing echo of late antiquity in the modern world is of interest to me. This comes to mind in light of the announcement from the Vatican that it will allow Anglicans to convert while "preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage". I note that there is an alternative that looks back further than the reformation.

The document British Orthodox Heritage Resurgance starts with the paragraph:
For a thousand years, from AD37-45 to AD1054-66, the people living in the British Isles believed and worshipped God as an integral part of the undivided Orthodox Church. That Church was governed world wide by five Patriarchs, those of Constantinople (the Ecumenical Patriarch), Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. The Church in the British Isles was a local expression of the common Christian Faith held throughout the world. The great saints of the British Isles such as Saint Aidan, Saint David, Saint Patrick, Saint Alban, Saint Chad, Saint Cuthbert, Saint Boniface, Saint Dunstan etc., were all members of that Orthodox Catholic Church in the British Isles which continued for a thousand years.
AD 1054 is, of course, the year of the so-called Great Schism, one of a series of events that lead to the remarkable variety of christian liturgy and doctrine that exists today. While I don't mean to comment on the historicity of the document, I do like the living offering of the pentarchy as a model for modern church government and self-description. Can't we just go back to the Middle Ages?

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