Last week I mentioned Canon Arthur Middleton’s address to the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans. The Canon was unable to attend so Bishop Keith Ackerman read it to the Congress. It clearly had quite an impression on Bishop Ackerman and on the Congress. Virtue Online has the whole text. Do go read it all. Kevin Kallsen has the video. The bullet points and conclusion follow:
Let the resolution of the Congress be in the restoration of the Anglican Mind
• To pursue the Anglican Way by upholding Canon A5 which states that the doctrine of the Anglican Communion is grounded in the Holy Scripture a divine inheritance and conveying life through its Sacraments--this as against the innovations of the liberals reflected in the pervasive humanism and apostasy in the Church and sometimes supported by politicians and the judges who use Equality Law to discriminate against orthodox Christians and persecute them.
• To assert the authoritative doctrinal character of our Anglican formularies as against the liberalism so often evident in the deliberations of the Synods.
• To recall Anglicans to the revival of neglected truth and 'principles of action which had been in the minds of our predecessors of the seventeenth century.' As the Oxford Fathers urged 'Stir up the gift of God that is in you.'
• To uphold and elucidate the doctrines of the Catholic Faith as Anglicans have received them and to work for the expression of such doctrine by the avoidance of the dumbing down effect of the language of 'political-correctness' in liturgy and biblical translations.
• To resist today's new insidious Erastianism, the interference of the Government in the affairs of the Church, whereby a government can dictate to the Church what its doctrine and morality should be as a result of various types of discriminatory law.
• To work for the unity in truth and holiness of all Christians and as Anglicans to bring our own characteristic contribution as our fathers have taught us, according to the Apostolic Doctrine and Polity of our Church.
• To bring recognition to the reality that the way of salvation is the partaking of the Body and Blood of our sacrificed Redeemer by means of the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist and. that the security for the due application of this is the Apostolic Commission. We cannot and do not accept therefore the innovation of women priests and women bishops since sacraments are from God and we cannot tamper with them. The sacraments must never be humanly manipulated on the basis of the politico-sociological arguments of the times and so-called 'human rights'.
• To be on our watch for all opportunities of inculcating a due sense of this inestimable privilege; to provide and circulate information, to familiarize the imaginations of people with the idea; to attempt to revive among Churchmen the practice of daily common prayer and the more frequent participation in the Eucharist.
In the spirit of John Henry Newman, the aim is not the seeking of our own well-being, or originality, or some new invention for the Church. Let our prayer be that God will give us sound judgement, patient thought, discrimination, a comprehensive mind, and abstinence from all private fancies and caprices and personal tastes. Let us seek only the standards of saintliness and service as the measure of our activities.
Let the secret for us lie in those words of Our Lord's High Priestly prayer, ' For their sakes I consecrate myself,' so uniting his humanity with God in the way of holiness that he may capture the reality of that life within the Blessed Trinity and be inspirated by the divine life he lives with Christ in the Holy Spirit. For it is only as we make our home in Him, as he made his home in the Father that we will be able to do anything.
There is the ultimate secret of power; the one sure way of doing good in our generation. We cannot anticipate or analyse the power of a pure and holy life; but there can be no doubt about its reality, and there seems no limit to its range. We can only know in part the laws and forces of the spiritual world; and it may be that every soul that is purified and given up to God and to His work releases or awakens energies of which we have no suspicion - energies viewless as the wind; but we can be sure of the result, and we may have glimpses sometimes of the process.
Surely, there is no power in the world so unerring or so irrepressible as the power of personal holiness. All else at times goes wrong, blunders, loses proportion, falls disastrously short of its aim, grows stiff or one-sided, or out of date - 'whether there be prophesies they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away'; but nothing mars or misleads the influence that issues from a pure and humble and unselfish character.
A man's gifts may lack opportunity, his efforts may be misunderstood and resisted; but the spiritual power of a consecrated will need no opportunity, and can enter where the doors are shut. By no fault of a man's own, his gifts may suggest to some the thoughts of criticism, comparison, competition; his self-consecration can do no harm in this way. Of gifts, some are best for long distances, some for objects close at hand or in direct contact; but personal holiness, determining, refining, characterising everything that a man says or does, will tell alike on those he may not know even by name, and on those who see him in the constant intimacy of his home."