The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Anglican Church in America struggles with identity and commitment to unity with the Church of Rome

Mary Ann Mueller has written an article to discuss the recent posts from the Anglican Church in America and TAC Primate Archbishop John Hepworth's communique.
TAC Archbishop: "We are seeking unity with the Holy See. That is why we exist."


By Mary Ann Mueller, Special Correspondent
February 8, 2011

Things are not as they seem or as some of the leadership in the Anglican Church in America would like them to seem.

Over the weekend, the depth of the identity crisis facing the American branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion -- the Anglican Church in America -- filtered to Archbishop John Hepworth, the guiding force behind the TAC's overtures to the Vatican to attain full Eucharistic unity with the Holy See. The Australian-based TAC Primate has taken the bull by the horns by issuing a statement designed to clarify some of the misunderstanding swirling around the American church.

"I deeply regret the action that has been precipitated by the three bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion in the United States," Archbishop Hepworth wrote in his Statement on the Situation in the Anglican Church in America.

"They find themselves unable to accept the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, and unable to support the unanimous decisions of the College of Bishops of the TAC to 'come into the fullness of Catholic Communion'," the Archbishop continues in his two-page missive written on TAC letterhead.

"This need not and should not be the case," he emphatically stated

The three ACA bishops Archbishop Hepworth is referring to are: Bishop Brian Marsh, Diocese of the Northeast; Bishop Stephen Strawn, Diocese of the Missouri Valley; and Bishop Daren Williams, Diocese of the West.

"Because the TAC is a homogenous global church which has this document (Anglicanorum Coetibus) at its heart," the Archbishop explained. The Traditional Anglican Church's policy is unity with the Holy See."

After their episcopal TAC/ACA consecrations, the three above named ACA bishops had a change of mind and a change of heart. They have decided not to follow through on their original promise to foster unity with the Catholic Church. Instead, they have actively sought to lead the ACA further away from complete unity with the Catholic Church and deeper into the on-going Anglican Continuum. They have also seemingly issued erroneous statements, through their respective chancellors, concerning their brother bishops -- Louis Falk and Louis Campese, and their continued episcopal status within the ACA.

Archbishop Hepworth is dismayed that the American church is in so much unnecessary turmoil right now. He feels he has been betrayed by his own bishops...

Read the rest of Mary Ann's story at Virtue Online.

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