POLL: Does Anglicanism consider the Eucharistic food itself to really be or have Christ's body?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by rakovsky, Mar 24, 2016.

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Do you affirm the Articles of Religion on the issue of the real presence in Eucharist bread?

Poll closed Dec 18, 2018.
  1. I'm Anglican and my answer is "Yes."

    85.7%
  2. I'm Anglican and my answer is "No, I have a disagreement with it."

    14.3%
  3. I'm Anglican and my answer is "Other"

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    Well, that Priest doesn't appear to interpret loyalty to inheritance in the same way that you do, nor to interpret inspiration and guidance as meaning that he has to subscribe to everything contained within the Articles. Also, if you look at Fr Russell Dewhurst's comments in the same article, he says "the 39 articles are not the basis of Orthodxy in the Church of England in any meaningful way - they are not ever mentioned in most theological colleges and few clergy have even read them. if you want a standard of orthodoxy, try the Nicene Creed which the clergy have to recite at least every week" Of course this is just his perspective and he may not be right - but, clearly not all C of E clergy do hold the Articles in high regard - yet it is an Anglican Church!
     
  2. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    Christina, according to the webpage I cited, in order to become a COE priest, he had to declare "I ... declare my belief in the faith... to which the historic formularies of the Church of England [that say Transubstantiation is repugnant] bear witness..."

    Imagine if Anglicans were asked to declare their " belief in the faith to which the Council of Trent bears witness." Of course, Anglicans would object that they do not share the faith of the Council of Trent because it answers many questions of faith in ways that they disagree with.

    My point is that in making this kind of declaration, the declarant announces that he shares the teachings in those Articles. To argue otherwise would be like a Catholic priest saying that he doesn't have to accept certain councils if all he did was announce that he "believes the faith that these particular councils witness to."
     
  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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  4. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    Hello, Philip.
    I discussed some essays from that site earlier on the thread.

    Peace.
     
  5. Hungarus

    Hungarus New Member

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    Perhaps parish communities. But no autonomous ecclesiastical province (member church) of the Anglican Communion.
     
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  6. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    As Hungarus said its just an error on the local level. Just as there are individual Roman Catholic parishes with liturgical abuse and disbelieve many doctrines which Rome professes to teach. It is a case of discipline, which no church in the West employs today, I'm sorry to say.
     
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  7. Hungarus

    Hungarus New Member

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  8. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    You may find this interesting is you haven't already seen it.
    https://www.churchofengland.org/media/36015/eucharist.pdf
     
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  9. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    Dear Christina,
    Yes, it's interesting. It says about the Catholic church document, In One Bread, on relations with Anglicans::
    The first question I would raise about this, is what does "real presence" mean to the authors?
    Does it simply mean "a real and true communion with Christ through rituals/sacraments" whereby the bread is for believers in effect his body?
    Or does it mean that Christ is really/objectively present in the food itself?

    Next, it adds:
    But in rejecting Transubstantiation in the Articles, haven't Anglican divines at least sometimes ruled out Transubstantiation as one of the modes of that presence?

    It follows this up by saying about an Anglican-Lutheran common statement:
    Is it the Anglican position that Christ's body is itself "in and under" the form of bread?
    Or is this like saying that American financial value is in effect exchanged "under the [symbolic] form" of green paper bills?


    After all, if you rule out Transubstantiation yet still teach that Christ's body is itself present directly and objectively in and "under" the form of bread, haven't you given a teaching on the "mode of the presence"?

    I remember one Anglican source earlier in this thread objecting to such an idea as the body being under the species of bread, so I am not sure how representative the Porvoo statement is. Also, Robin Jordan writes in Making Sense of Our Anglican Heritage:
    http://theheritageanglicannetwork.blogspot.com/2011_06_01_archive.html

    Later, the document you cited, "The Eucharist, Sacrament of Unity", objects to RCs restricting Anglicans from normal communion serve exceptional circumstances:
    In fact, the RC church does give communion to non-RCs in their Church community, which includes Ukrainian Catholics and Greek Catholics under the pope. The RC position is that the Catholics form a single body or communion and that its visible church is that communion, commensurate with the extent to which it practices normal ritual Communion.
    The EO position is similar in regards to practicing communion within their own "communion"/community, except that they are not united under a single pontiff.
    Didn't the Anglicans also used to practice what is called "Closed Communion", restricting Communion to their own church community?

    Next, the document "The Eucharist, Sacrament of Unity" complains that RCs give communion to Orthodox, but that "As we point out in paragraph 49, the Orthodox do not completely fulfil either of the two criteria required by OBOB for eucharistic sharing." Paragraph 49 says:
    I am perfectly happy with exploring this.
    It's true that the Orthodox are not in communion with the Pope. We do not recognize him as our Supreme leader, and it is the RCs, rather than the EOs who have taken the most generous steps in extending communion - ie. they extend it to us, rather than we to them.
    I agree that there could be a lack of consistency in the reasoning by the RCs in (1): RCs announce that the Pope is the head of the whole church, and extend communion to those (eg. Anglicans) who accept Papal Supremacy, but make some special exception for EOs who do not.
    Maybe the RCs would respond that it is not Reason #1 alone that excludes the Anglicans, but it is Reason #1 in combination with Reason #2.
    But like I said, I am not arguing on behalf of reason #1 to justify the RC position, as the Anglicans are right that EOs do not accept Papal Supremacy either.

    As for reason (2) above, my first question would be why the authors claim that EOs reject (A) Transubstantiation and teach only (B) the belief of Jesus' body being in the food in spirit mode alone? I can list Orthodox church fathers and modern theologians who taught (A) and others who taught (B). The EO Church does not have a unanimous position on which is correct.

    In addition, to correctly weigh the Document's assertion that Anglicans like EOs believe in the "real presence", one must ask what they mean by this phrase. For example, do they mean that the "mode" does not matter like the document asserted earlier and that even Receptionists believe in the "real presence" like Anglican74 asserted earlier in the thread?
     
  10. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Transubstantiation was not defined as an ancient doctrine of the Church. It began tobe expressed and discussed as a term in the period following the great schism of 1054. The Fourth Lateran Council 1215 and the Council of Trent 1551 are perhaps the clearest expression of the doctrine.

    That the Thirty Nine Articles took a position on it in 1563 may be taken as a clear statement against too narrow a definition of the way God acts within and without the body of the Church.

    The resulting doctrine broadly referred to as 'Real Presence' allows us to accept the words of Jesus, and the witness of Paul (1 Cor 10) without needing to define too closely the way in which God acts, simply to acknowledge the mystery that God acts in the blessed sacrament.

    I don't see this is being broadly opposed to the EO position which I take it has always allowed to the ineffability of the mystery of the presence of Christ in the most holy sacrament of the Altar. I see the Eastern Church as largely silent on the doctrine of Transubstantiation. None the less I think the elaborate ritual and the clear absolute centrality of the liturgy of the Eucharist within the Eastern Church, and the accompanied underlined sense of holiness surrounding the sacrament proclaims loudly the holiness of the presence of Christ. We Anglicans can be given to much understatement and our liturgy, which by orthodox standards may be described as minimalist, can sometimes fail to proclaim an appropriate sense of any mystery, let alone the profoundness of the mystery we proclaim.

    We have much to learn.

     
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  11. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    Philip,

    You write:
    "I see the Eastern Church as largely silent on the doctrine of Transubstantiation."

    The truth is, Orthodox writers have openly supported at times either Transubstantiation or else belief that the body is directly present in spirit mode in the bread. Overall therefore I see the EOs as allowing both positions. To give an example of where the EOs in a major way have openly supported the former, take for example the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672. Decree 17 says:
    (Note: here I am not citing you this to instruct you that Transubstantiation is correct or to tell you how Anglicans believe, but to show that the EOs are not simply silent on the question, this being a case where a regional EO council supported Transubstantiation.)

    You write:
    "Transubstantiation was not defined as an ancient doctrine of the Church. It began tobe expressed and discussed as a term in the period following the great schism of 1054."

    What do you make of the 5th c. statement by St. Cyril of Alexandria:

    "We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakable faith, that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ … draw inner strength by receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice."
    Source: St. Cyril of Alexandria, "Catecheses," 22, 9; "Myst." 4; d. 444 A.D.

    You write:
    "That the Thirty Nine Articles took a position on it in 1563 may be taken as a clear statement against too narrow a definition of the way God acts within and without the body of the Church."
    I sympathize with your idea that making Transubstantiation the only accepted teaching is too narrow a definition.
    On the other hand, do you see see Article 28's rejection of Transubstantiation as a possible definition as the same thing "as a clear statement against too narrow a definition" that makes Transubstantiation the only definition?

    For those like myself who think that the RC definition is too narrow, do you recommend rejecting Transubstantiation, and if so why?

    Next, you write:

    "The resulting doctrine broadly referred to as 'Real Presence' allows us to accept the words of Jesus, and the witness of Paul (1 Cor 10) without needing to define too closely the way in which God acts, simply to acknowledge the mystery that God acts in the blessed sacrament."

    In other words, you are saying that the RC Church teaches only Transubstantation, whereas the Anglican Church teaches real presence, by which you mean simply acknowledging the mystery that God works in the ritual? I think you have in mind something more specific than just that though.

    You write:

    "I don't see this is being broadly opposed to the EO position which I take it has always allowed to the ineffability of the mystery of the presence of Christ in the most holy sacrament of the Altar."

    I am glad that you like the EO church and its liturgy. But what EO writing has led you to think that we only say that the ineffability of the holy mystery leaves the question of whether Christ is objectively and directly in the bread to be ineffable as well? During the EO liturgy, the priest asks for a "change" by the Spirit to make the bread to be body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    This seems very Anglican to me.

    My point here was that there was an important concern to draw a distinction between the Roman Church, and the Church of England, and since the doctrine had been so recently promulgated at Trent, it is entirely reasonable to assume that the purpose of the statement was to distance the articles from the formulations of the Council of Trent.

    Yes, I probably do, for me, but I don't know everything, and I am very happy to listen and learn from the experience of others. The wisdom of the east has been to not be too dogmatic on the issue, and I think Anglicanism has probably followed this tradition.

    Good call. I am not well read on the EO. I have relied on the things I have heard from others in the EO tradition, both priest and lay.

    http://www.anglicancommunion.org/media/103818/The-Church-of-the-Triune-God.pdf
    I feel that this is an important document, and way more significant that the Moscow Agreement which to some extent glossed on theology. The Cyprus agreement is not easy reading at round 120 pages, but it does fill me with hope that we are striving to fulfil our Lords prayer that we may all be one.
     
  13. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I recall at one stage having the privilege of sitting in a room with Archbishop Stillianos (I think that is how it was spelt) and he spoke of the table set at the doorway of heaven, where we eat with Saints and Angels and all the Church. At one stage he began to say 'When I was speaking with Chrysostom this morning' and several in the room laughed, but I do get it. We are all called to be living icons, to live our lives as windows into heaven, that others may discern something of the wonder and the mystery of the one who has called us into being, and into a new life, through the ministrations of his Son.

    If you read the account of the council in Acts 15, you get the feeling that James took control, as first among equals. He did not Lord it over the council, but having listened was able to speak for all the Council. As the Church developed, that role of Primacy seemed to shift to the seat of Empire - namely Rome, and it would seem at the time of the Nicene Council and The First Council of Constantinople that was the role of Primacy. As by that time Constantinople had become the 'New Rome' and the seat of Empire, there where those who thought that the role should pass to the Patriarch of Constantinople, however I don;t think that happened. Over time the nature of the exercise of Primacy appears to have changed and gathered a sense of authority more like a commander in chief and less like a first among equals. I suspect that there is no real distance between EO and COE on this subject.

    I would like to see a greater focus on that which unites us. Lets hope we can agree on Article 1.
     
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  14. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    It sounds like you had a nice talk with the Archbishop.
    Regarding the role of the pope, from the Anglican pov, as I understand it, the king, not the pope is considered the head of the church, so that the king is the arbp of Canterbury's direct and full superior.

    Henry viii argued that this was true as a matter of principle. I am not sure if the Episcopal Church USA ascribes to itself though or considers the US government it's superior.

    The EO would consider the Pope to be the head of the COE, but not unconditionally. The EOS would say that if the pope were a heretic who enforced heresy on the COE or if the Pope gave the COE permission to leave it's rule, the COE could leave it's place under the pope.

    The EOS do not consider the pope to be their head however, but equal to their patriarchs.
     
  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    On the enthronement of Queen Elizabeth I her title was assigned to be the governor of the Church, because the head of the Church was Christ. She was to have a qualified precedence, like the Tsar in Russia, the Emperor in Byzantium, the Emperor in the Holy Roman Empire, or Constantine/Theodosius in the Roman Empire.

    None of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion have that relationship with the civil government, being entirely separated from them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
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  16. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    I don't remember the Tsar being called the ruler of the Russian church and am not even sure if the Byzantine emperors had that title either.

    Didn't Henry viii take the view that even if the pope's theology were fine, the pope was not the supreme earthly authority of the English church, but rather that he was?

    Is the Anglican position that even if the pope's theology were fine, the highest authority on earth of the COE should be the king or queen, not the pope?


     
  17. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Tsar appointed bishops, priests and abbots, and was the highest superior in the Church to whom all final authority did delegate. This was the same in the Byzantine Empire. In fact the Russian Tsar took this policy from Byzantium, in trying to pretend to be a third Rome.

    The title of the Byzantine ruler was Imperator. Under that title he had the authority to appoint bishops, priests and abbots, and all final controversies and Church Councils were called and ruled by him.

    It starts all the way from Nicea I, which was convened by the order of Constantine and where he sat in the central pride of place, surrounded by all the bishops. His role at Nicea I was similar to that of a Pope convening the RC councils today.

    Henry VIII was an aberration in church history. When Bloody Mary died and Elizabeth ascended, her title was modified from the head to the governor, because the head of the Church was and is Christ.
     
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  18. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    As I remember, Henry viii had a major dispute with the pope, apart from issues of papal heresies, that Henry, not the pope was the highest authority on earth for the COE. Are you suggesting that the COE has since reversed course and, apart from the other disputed issues with Rome like purgatory, in an ideal situation, the pope should be the highest authority on earth for the national churches in the West, like the COE and Church of France?

    I would be interested to see any EO writings that would explicitly teach as you do that the patriarch was not the highest authority in Moscow or Constantinople for EOs.
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The CoE pretty quickly fixed the mistake caused by Henry, in changing his title from head to governor. However this has nothing to do with the authority of the Pope, which continues to remain null and void.

    Think of it this way. Who appoints the Patriarch? Currently it is the Muslims who are in charge of Istanbul and the See of Constantinople.

    Whoever is in charge of the See of Constantinople is the superior. Currently the Muslims don't exercise as much control over the See and the Patriarch as they used to perhaps a century ago, but basically from the Fall of Byzantium in the 1450s down to the 1900s they had a very close influence on the choices and the appointments the Patriarch has made. Perhaps they still do, I don't keep up with the latest as much as before.

    As for EO writings -- the fact is, this doctrine is highly embarrassing to them. No one wants to admit that they're being controlled by Muslims. That's why some have pretended that the Russian Church is of equal parity with Constantinople (which it isn't).

    But even in Russia the Patriarchate was controlled by the Tsar -- this is another embarrassing doctrine as no one wants to admit that a secular power once ruled the church. I don't have an EO book for you which argues in favor of this (again, I don't keep up with this anymore). But all you have to do is study the history of the Russian Church to see the Tsar exercising his power, or the Sultan of Istanbul exercising his control over the Patriarch of the East.

    History is where you need to go. Some EO theologians will try to argue against it.

    Btw, there are some EO writers who would like to make Putin the new head of the Russian Church, because they like his ideology.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  20. rakovsky

    rakovsky Active Member

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    Yes, this does have to do with the Pope's authority regardless of whether it is void due to his theological mistakes.
    The overall question at hand is what is the ideal relationship of the pope to the national churches regardless of any heresies.

    Henry took the position that the correct relationship of the pope to the church of England was not as the COE'S supreme authority on earth, but rather such status should belong to the English crown. What is the position of the COE on that question, regardless of whether the current pope is excommunicate due to heresy?