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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Nonjurors: The Repudiationof Erastianism and The Recovery of Sacrifice

Following the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, the Church of England suffered a notable schism, as several prominent bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury among them, with hundreds of the lower clergy, refused to take an oath of allegiance to William as King, regarding the ousted, but not abdicated King James II as their lawful leige. These clergy were deposed, and other clergy appointed to their place, which led many of the laity to also go into schism to follow the men they regarded as their rightful pastors. Because they refused to take the oath, they became known as Nonjurors. 

The Nonjurors would go on to recover even more of the Catholic theology and practice in liturgy that had been lost, at least de facto, in the Church of England, and to draw inspiration not only from their own Catholic heritage but from the heritage of the Eastern Church. Read about them and the link they provided from the old Church Papists and Prayer Book Catholics to the Oxford Movement in our issue from Lent 2011:


  1. Loved reading about the Non-Jurors' history and hoe they tried to restore the Church of Englands to its proper place Catholic.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the article, Matthew. There isn't a great deal published about them, but over the course of a year or so I was able to find some information. I expect that the bibliography will be the most valuable part of the article!