Ordination, Donatism, and ex opere operato

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by PotterMcKinney, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    Bear with me for a moment or a few, as I describe to you a train of thought that has me a little confused.

    Firstly, defining some terms: I am assuming that ordination is efficacious in the sense that the ordained is given the Holy Spirit through laying on of hands and therefore given the authority by God to perform their respective duties. I define Donatism as, essentially, the belief condemned by Article 26. Finally, I am using ex opere operato in the sense meant by the reformers, meaning that the performance of a sacrament is efficacious regardless of the disposition and faith of the communicant, not in the sense meant by the Roman Catholic Church today, which is IIRC consonant with the Protestant view.

    I ran into a problem considering the finer points of ordination: does anti-Donatism require acceptance of an ex opere operato view of ordination? I ask only because it seems it is only through such an understanding that anti-Donatism could be maintained by allowing wicked people to be ordained despite their lack of faith and disposition. I am most likely thinking too much about this, and the answer is probably simple or obvious, but this appears to my tired mind (high school student at the end of senior year, I am by nature tired :p ) to be an important dilemma. Thank you, and God bless.
     
  2. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to answer your question just now, but I wanted to say that I am glad to see a high-schooler that is thinking about Donatism. The handful of your peers at my parish are lucky to make it through the 20 minute sermon. The deeper aspects of Christianity are a mystery that they do not have a desire to probe. Our one catechumen has a lot of questions though - mostly because his mother was taking him to some fun, trendy evangelical church and he is barely able to speak our Anglican language.

    I ran into that same issue with a co-worker today. I work at a Christian day school affiliated with the Quakers. One of the staff was talking to me about my church, Anglicanism, and the Bible. I had to continually search for a least common denominator or translation to get her to absorb anything I was saying because we don't speak the same way about Christianity.
     
  3. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

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    As a long time Quaker I am sorry to hear that.
     
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  4. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    Thank you, though it is God's gift to put me in the way of thinking about these questions, and all acquired knowledge on such topics are on loan from God. Really, I came to Christianity (early on, Roman Catholicism though) for the intellectual content and rigor, but I stayed because of Jesus.

    It is sad that there really is a lack of understanding Anglicans about the mysteries of the "faith once entrusted to the saints," not even mentioning those who come from churches and denominations with little regard for Christian history with the theological language and such. I'm not saying everyone should become theologians, as that is a matter of divine vocation, but people are missing basic things, perhaps especially in some Episcopal churches. I feel like a revival akin to Martin Luther's is necessary for bringing back the one, holy, catholic, apostolic faith. But, that's some talk a little too big, perhaps prideful, for a catechumen who has spent 16 out of 17 years of his life as an atheist, but it's my observation :p. I'll let the Luthers and Wesleys among us figure that out for now until I can feel like I really know what I'm talking about.