Convocation Book 1606

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Truth, and Ethics' started by Dingle, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Dingle

    Dingle New Member

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    United States, East Coast
    I have been reading through “Bishop Overall’s Convocation Book - Government of Catholic Church and Kingdoms (1606)” which is linked on this forum. In my opinion, and based on the book, it seems that one of the fundamental, if not the fundamental difference between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church is the different view on government both Ecclesiastical and Temporal.

    My summary of the difference is this,

    The Convocation Book takes the stance that in the hierarchy of Government the temporal king is over the church in authority and therefore is justified in selecting, and deposing, Bishops and other Ecclesiastical authorities. This differs from the Roman Catholic view which places the Pope above kings and other temporal rulers in the hierarchy of Government, which in effect makes the Pope into a temporal ruler himself as he selects and deposes kings and other rulers. It seems that a consistent criticism of the Pope at that time was his usurping the role of a temporal ruler. Also, the Anglican view justifies King Henry VIII in his break from the Pope as he was essentially choosing his Bishops who would ecclesiastically rule over his people, and was only performing his duty in doing so.

    Thoughts on this? I know that both these views on Government clash with the modern view of Liberalism but for Elizabethan England (and probably most of Christian history) these were major issues. Understanding the difference between the Anglican Church and the RC Church in this way also makes the divide more governmental in nature instead of theological, which should lessen the emphasis or division between “Protestant” Anglicans vs. “Anglo-Catholics”.

    Anyways, I would love to hear what you all think on this.
  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't see those as the defining characteristics. For one, the Roman church has had many times when it was ruled by civil authorities; the most notable era is the 300-year period of Caesaropapism, when the European monarchs had a direct hand in naming the Popes:

    Then you have things like Emperor Constantine, and not the Pope, as convening and presiding over the Council of Nicea.

    Then you have many European Catholic nations which directly ruled their local branches of the Roman church. France especially told the Pope whom he would consecrate as bishops. This was a major feature of the Gallican churches in the 16-18th centuries.

    Even as recently as 1903, you had the Austrian monarch nullify the Papal elections:

    And conversely with Anglicanism, while the Church of England had been overseen by the civil authority (much like the Church of France has been under the French monarchs), in other parts of the world it has not. Today, a small minority of the Anglican Communion has direct ties to the civil authority.

    Definitely agree on this last point. Traditional churches (of any stripe) are all in common with each other much more than they are with 'modern Christianity' (of any stripe). Thus traditional Anglicans are opposed to modernist Roman Catholicism, but hand-in-hand with the Latin Mass Rc. ultra-traditionalists, although that would've been a mortal fight 500 years ago. Different eras set the parameters of conflict differently. 'Protestant Evangelical Anglicans' are closer to 'Anglo-Catholics' than they are to Joel Osteen 'evangelicals'.
    Dingle likes this.