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Apostolic Succession, Transubstantiation, and the Eucharist

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by Look Homeward Anglican, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Crandaddy

    Crandaddy Classical Theist

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    Well, I can't cite any commandment along the lines of "thou shalt ordain and consecrate only men to the offices of deacon, priest, and bishop," but the twelve that he did select to be apostles were all men. And it seems to have been understood from the beginning that only men were to be counted among the apostles and their successors. As evidence for this, consider Acts 1:21-26. It doesn't appear that any women were even considered to replace Judas among the remaining eleven. Why should these things be if women were just as eligible as men?

    It depends on what you mean by playing it safe. True, Christians often have not been overly concerned with preserving their own lives in the face of mortal danger, and we rightly honor them for that. But I would say that when it comes to preserving the essentials of sound doctrine and holy tradition we should play it very safe indeed. As the Body and Blood of Christ, Himself, the Blessed Sacrament is the holiest object that we are able to perceive with our physical senses, and the utmost care should be taken to ensure that valid consecration of the Holy Gifts occurs wherever the Eucharist is celebrated. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have always been acutely attentive to this, and I believe Anglicans should as well.

    I fail to see how my theology is revisionist. Is it because I question whether the consecrated elements actually, biologically become human flesh and blood in the fullest, most literal sense? What I take to be essential to the traditional understanding of the Eucharist is that the consecrated elements really and truly become the Body and Blood of Christ, and I take this to necessarily entail that metaphysical alteration of the consecrated substances occurs. However, I don't see how it necessarily entails that they become the biological substances of human flesh and blood. In fact, I have an idea (still pretty inchoate at the moment, admittedly, but I'm working on it) of how the consecrated elements might really and truly be the Body and Blood of Christ, while remaining, in a sense, bread and wine.
     
  2. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    The twelve were all men - they had to be for the same reason there had to be exactly twelve of them. But there are other apostles beyond that.

    At no time in the NT is there any hint of the priestly function being reserved for the twelve.

    Doesn't seem that way to me.

    The 12 redefine Israel. There has to be exactly twelve of them and they have to be male for that symbolic language to function.

    We need to be right, not safe. Denying thd calling of women if it's genuine would be as bad or wosrse than affirming it if it's not.

    Those who denied Jesus and stuck to what they "knew" were playing it safe.
     
  3. Crandaddy

    Crandaddy Classical Theist

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    No, but is there any hint of the priestly function being conferred upon women, whether in the NT or in the earliest Church traditions? If there is, I don't know of it.

    Certainly we would not want to deny any genuine callings. But in order to determine whether a calling is in fact genuine, I believe we must test it against the Holy Tradition that has been passed on to us. The fact remains (from what I can see, anyway) that not once in the entire history of the Church until Florence Li Tim-Oi in 1944 has any woman been given holy orders. Now, this would seem to indicate one of two things: 1) that the early Christians and apostles and the Church Fathers were a bunch of misogynists, or 2) that there might be some good reason for why only men have ever been given holy orders. Perhaps it is because since our Lord, the celebrant of the first Eucharist, is a man, so too should his priestly representatives on earth be men.
     
  4. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    There isn't a hint of priestly function being conferred on anyone specific in the NT. The only named figure who does that is Jesus.

    From their writings we know at least some of them certainly were.


    Nastly theology follows if you follow that route to its conclusion. I'm told it's also a novel argument - not one ever used in early tradition.
     
  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    You are correct.There is none.

    Again, correct. The main argument in favor of women's ordination is "I was called by God (so you have to take my word for it)." With no other doctrine or policy in the church is that a sufficient determiner of what's right and wrong.

    Very true, but wait until you see the retorts.
     
  6. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    that might be the most commonly voiced in North America, but it's not the main argument.

    The main argument is that scripture, while it has nothing to say about who should fulfil the cultic priestly function has plenty to say about women in leadership.
     
  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    It is the most common argument, which is why I called it the "main" argument. Which argument is the most persuasive or deceitful one is of course something else; that's a matter of personal opinion. I'm sure that you would prefer to think that there's a scriptural argument or at least something more convincing or scholarly, but this is the main argument. At least you recognize that it's not a very good one.

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  8. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    It's the scriptural argument that convinces me - and many good biblical scholars such as Tom Wright. Plus my experience of women priests in practice, of course.

    It's not a good argument if its used to prove that we should have women priests. It is a good argument why we have to recheck our assumptions and cannot just "play-it-safe".

    Whether its the "main" argument depends on what you mean by "main", and where you are. It's not even the most common argument I hear here or used to hear in England.
     
  9. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you suggesting that the primates who allow women's ordination accept this individualism as their main or even a common argument?

    Are you suggesting that Bishop Wright and the rest who have made the argument in favor of women's ordination accept this argument as a main argument?

    Even ACNA allows women's ordination, pushing the authority down one level from where the Communion has it, at the primate level.

    BTW, how should the Communion treat organizations who deny that ordained priests are indeed priests?

     
  10. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    Including Sydney?
     
  11. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Which is as it should be, but what seems often to rule the debate is "God said. Take it from me." and it is used to override every other reservation. No scripture is necessary, no history, no tradition, no evidence of any sort. And it has been successfully employed by everyone from women who claim to have been called to the ministry at the same time as they found about this thing called Apostolic Succession right on up to the Presiding Bishop herself. There are slight variations, of course. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is moving among us revising his earlier mistakes, and sometimes God has repented of his past sexism, and sometimes it's just a personal revelation akin to prophesy.
     
  12. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    That might be the case in N America. It's not my experience in England or Australia.
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Why don't you go ahead and say that same thing for the third time? :doh:
     
  14. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    'cause I got the impression that you hadn't heard it. You continually speak as though N America were representative.
     
  15. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure what you are asking.

    Your primate, Convention or other national bodies should take action against Sydney. Obviously, one issue is the authority of others over a local bishop.
    With regard to Sydney priests, they are priests if your primate and province recognize them as such.

    In any case, there some bishops and priests throughout the Communion who shouldn't be bishops and priests.
    =====================

    My concern is that we have groups disagreeing over various issues and then leaving in schism. Some don't consider some of out priests to be priests at all.
    I can welcome those who will not ordain women as my fellow Anglicans. Ihave more trouble being in fellowship with those who would deny that our priests are really priests. Obviously, I am in Christian fellowship with these folks, but not in Anglican fellowship. In the end, they have chosen schism. We have many such groups in the US. Five Anglican bishops claim jurisdiction in the diocese in which I live.

    While I do not support the actions of GAFCON, at least they haven't left as yet. The next year (with the new ABC might be crucial. We should certainly know much by the next Lambeth meeting.


     
  16. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    It's just that Sydney don't recognise any priests as priests, including their own. As far as they're concerned they are presbyters - elders - and emphatically not priests in any sacradotal sense. Of course that's true of lots of evangelical
    Anglicans - its just more obvious with Sydney.

    That's pretty much impossible.

    Australia is a kind of federation of independent dioceses. The Prjmate has virtually no authority. The General Synod has to have any significant action ratified by the Diocesan Synods. Unless Sydney blatantly breached the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church of Australia in such a way as legal action could be taken there's not much scope. Even then it's unlikely anyone would try as Sydney is still way richer than the rest of the church.
     
  17. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    This sort of independence, and the same thing at the level of the communion, is I suspect the problem that is causing the issues with schism that Mark referred to. When adiaphora is defined too narrowly, that's the inevitable result. You cannot have a communion or a national Church, in the long term, where some believe, for example, women can be priests and some do not. You can't have some that believe in a different paradigm of marriage than others. This things cannot, practically, be held together in a group of people who are supposed to be "in communion" with each other. THere are plenty of other examples as well.

    People have thought they are being generous and inclusive with a narrow definition, but the result is not, in the end, any more inclusive - it's a lot more painful, full of private agendas, and makes real discussion and discernment on issues difficult or impossible.

    Back when women's ordination became an issue, those who opposed it - which had been the understanding of the church for almost 2000 years, not some faddish opinion - were told that there would always be a place for the traditional view, and that it was possible to remain in communion. THat is the soft soap those who advocated the change used, as well as saying those who disagreed were narrow, rigid, and uncharitable.

    Now only a short time later as Mark indicated, they are considered to be outside what is acceptable. Holding such an opinion is held up to be unacceptable and un-Anglican, and parishes and individuals and clergy are pointed towards the door.

    One wonders, if it had been made clear that would be the result, if congregations would have ultimately given in to the demand for tolerance and charity and being broad-minded on the issue? Because it almost seems like a rather neat bit of tactical out-maneuvering.

    All we seem to have in Anglicanism these days is a thousand popes, each in his own diocese or at the head of a national church. The idea that the Holy Spirit is discerned by the consensus of the whole body, and bishops and clergy and laity must all submit themselves to that, seems to have been utterly forgotten.
     
  18. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    It will probably go on for a long while here.

    But there has never been agreement about what a priest is; it's just that we could ignore that disagreement more easily.



    Narrow definition of what.

    I'm not sure that promise was ever made in England or Australia. When England adopted women's ordination the model was a period of discernment while both views would have to co-exist, but that timeframe wasn't intended to go on forever. "alternative pastoral oversight" was an interim measure to cover that. In Australia there never was even that concession; dioceses won't be forced to ordain women because Sydney can't be, but there's never been any promise of protection beyond that as far as I know.

    Of course other national churches are entitled to remain in Communion without women's ordination, and within any national church there may be dioceses that are allowed to (several in Australia), etc.




    The national body in Australia has always been weak. The dioceses were founded as largely independent and choose to form a very weak federation, and the tensions between dioceses have always been strong.
     
  19. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It seems that the primary break in Australia was/is over the ordination of women. The conservative, rich evangelical folks seem to have taken over in Sydney. In the reaching out to other "conservative" parishes in other denomination, Sydney seems to be forming a conservative, Protestant, non-chrismatic denomination in Australia.

    Given that Christianity seems to be in trouble within Australia, I am not sure that four distinctive churches is unreasonable: Catholic, conservative Protestant (Sydney), moderate Protestant (Uniting), and Protestant conservative charismatic (Hillsong and the non-denominational folks). Each of these groups has distinctives and seem to have a way to grow as Christian faith communities. The open question is plan of the non-Sydney Anglicans.

    I have been concerned about the future of non-evangelical, non-Charismatic Anglicanism. Obviously, so have many others.

    Curiously, in the US, ACNA (son of Sydney) has not yet banned the ordination of women. ACNA is at a cross-roads. It must decide whether to ban the ordination of Women. ACNA also must decide how sincere it is with regard its outreach to Anglo-Catholics.

    IMHO, TEC will survive and will grow in the next century along with its close partners ELCA and UMC. We understand that the key to is the Real Presence in the Eucharist, not social issues. ACNA has left. It will consolidate its positions. We shall see whether it can partner with conservative Lutherans and Presbyterians. Of course, in the US, there are many conservative alternatives to ACNA. Its distinctive may indeed be the lack of women clergy, if it takes that step.

     
  20. Reformed Catholic

    Reformed Catholic New Member

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    I think that that is an interesting perspective. Perhaps one way to support that view would be to say that Samuel was able to be a sacrificing priest without provable Apostolic succession back to Moses. However, I think that even though the Presbyterian Church etc likely has some type of spiritual real presence. Even Pope Benedict the 16th says that we should move beyond the issue of “validity” to a more ecumenical view where every time the baptized celebrate the Eucharist they are “caught up to heaven”

    Still, I have to say the evidence from eucharistic miracles would make me think twice about the Catholic view of the real presence. On another thread you mentioned a eucharistic miracle that was “ongoing” at your parish.

    Eucharistic Miracles in the Anglican Church

    Can you tell me a little bit more about that? Specifically, where your parish is, (what diocese of what church), and who witnessed the miracle and whether or not you know the blood type of the blood on the altar cloth?
     
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