Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Anglican Congress: Ray Sutton’s Closing Sermon and Divisions

Kevin Kallsen has posted more videos from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans last week.

Bishop Ray Sutton’s sermon during the closing Solemn Mass stands out.

His call to focus on and preach the cross as a remedy for divisions among catholic Anglicans was timely.  He also noted that those who separate themselves from other catholic Christians usually fail in their quest for church purity, and then die out, even if they do have exemplary influence for a time.  He cited the Puritans (particularly the Separatists who fled to America) and the Non-Jurors as examples.  Another bad fruit of separatism is the tendency to “unchurch” others.

His warning about separatism was a needful counter-point (although I do not know if that is what Bp. Sutton intended) to an earlier sermon at the Congress from Mark Haverland, Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church.  I have been very hesitant to mention it.  Another attendee remarked to me that the less attention given to it the better, and I can hardly disagree.  But I think it fair to say it emphasized differences among us a bit much and not in a particularly winsome and inviting way.

I am glad to say Bishop Sutton’s sermon was far more representative of this Congress.  But both Haverland and he agree and are correct on one thing – dealing with the divisions among catholic Anglicans will require work and focus.

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