Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Battle of Truro Has Begun

The ACNA parish of Truro playing nice with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has long been an issue in the background.  Now it has become an issue front and center in ACNA with the formation of the Truro Institute, “A School of Peace and Reconciliation”.

Excuse me.  I had to go vomit there.  For we know what “peace and reconciliation” looks like in The Episcopal Church.  And look further at the mission of the Truro Institute -- to “work with seminarians and other young people to seed our respective denominations with a new generation of peace makers.”

Thanks, but no thanks.  The last thing the Anglican Church in North American needs is to be seeded with “peace makers” from The Episcopal Church.

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, to his credit, has wasted no time in issuing a frank statement about this school:

I have only recently been made aware of the “Truro Institute,” described as “A School of Peace and Reconciliation” which is proposed to be jointly led by Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

The idea of a School of Peace and Reconciliation is to be commended. I would welcome the opening of centers with this focus around the Anglican Church in North America if they promote Biblical reconciliation.  Unfortunately, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has not been reconciled with the revealed Word of God, and is therefore not an appropriate partner for such a project. Their leadership continues to promote teaching and practice that is contrary to Scripture —teaching that, if followed, would keep people from an eternal inheritance in the Kingdom of God, teaching that has torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion, and teaching that remains a scandal in the Anglican Communion to this day. Therefore, until there is repentance by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, there can be no true Gospel partnership with them.

Bishop Guernsey and I had both made this clear to the leadership of Truro. I have been amazed at the godly counsel, patience, and goodness of Bishop Guernsey in these discussions. I am disappointed that they have not just ignored, but defied our counsel. In doing so they have entered into a legal relationship with the Episcopal Church that makes them unequally yoked. It requires the permission of the Episcopal bishop for me to visit, and it creates an Episcopal Diocese of Virginia center of ministry with a required on-campus presence of one of their bishops. The decision to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in this way is not in harmony with the Bible’s instruction in dealing with false teachers, and it denigrates the costly sacrifice of the many congregations who had their buildings and assets taken by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

It is ironic to begin a “Peace and Reconciliation” center when you are not at peace with your own bishop and archbishop. Truro has been a leader in the renewal of North American Anglicanism, giving a robust defense of the Gospel, and refusing to peddle any counterfeit. It is my hope that they will uphold that heritage, resist counterfeit versions of “reconciliation,” and fulfill their calling among the leading congregations of the Anglican Church in North America.

A good statement indeed that sets forth just how serious a situation this is.  But further measures will surely be necessary and that probably soon lest the Provincial Assembly this summer become that much more *interesting*.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Queen’s Maundy

Today, The Queen once again celebrated the wonderful English tradition of the Sovereign distributing the Maundy.  This year it occurred at Leicester Cathedral.  The Daily Mail has the usual abundance of photos and some interesting history.

The 90-year-old monarch traditionally hands two purses - one white and one red - to each person during the service. The red purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating the Centenary of the House of Windsor and a 50p coin commemorating Sir Isaac Newton. 

The white purse will contain uniquely minted Maundy coins, equating in pence to her age, as Her Majesty prepares to celebrate her 91st birthday on April 21. The coins, a ceremonial gift from the Sovereign, are legal tender but recipients normally prefer to retain them as a keepsake.

I imagine they do!  I’ve wondered what a special occasion it must be for those few who get to receive the Maundy.

The first monarch to take part in a Maundy Thursday service was King John, of Magna Carta and Robin Hood fame, who distributed gifts of clothes and money to the poor in Knaresborough in 1210. John was also the first to present the poor with silver coins and is recorded as having done so in Rochester in 1213. 

There’s much more interesting history at the link.  Do go read and gaze for yourself.  And have blessed Maundy Thursday.

Monday, April 10, 2017

When I First Knew Something Was Wrong With Pope Francis

By now traditional Catholics know too well that Pope Francis is dreadful in too many ways.  Not to brag – one would rather be wrong about such things – but I knew very early on there was something wrong with him.  How?

His first Easter Vigil was less than three weeks after he became Pope.  It would have been logical that he’d just go with Benedict’s excellent liturgy.  Instead, Francis shortened it.

Francis processed into a darkened and silent Saint Peter's Basilica at the start of the service, in which the faithful recall the period between Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil service that usually follows - when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled - was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.

The Vatican has said these provisions were in keeping with Francis' aim to not have his Masses go on too long.

Thus, early on, Francis showed his utter lack of sound priorities.  The Easter Vigil is not a service one cuts short.  For one thing, part of the drama of it is its deliberate pace.  In the primitive church, it could go all night.  And so early in his papacy didn’t he have better things to do than chop up the Easter Vigil?

But Francis rushes in and starts undoing the excellent liturgy of the best liturgical Pope of our lifetimes. 

Yes, it was then that I already knew something was wrong with Francis.

I pray my Roman Catholic friends have a blessed Holy Week and Easter anyway.