The Anglican Paradigm

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If you have been following the Synod on the Family taking place in Rome you no doubt have noticed that a number of bishops and cardinals are advocating for what has been called “decentralization.” The Pope himself has suggested that there might be a need for decentralization, even of the papacy.  Under decentralization, authority over “pastoral” matters would be left to bishops and bishop conferences around the world. What kind of matters might be in play?  Specifically, the bishops and cardinals promoting decentralization are interested in having authority on issues concerning the Church’s position on sexuality, specifically the response to active homosexuality and access to the Eucharist for those not in a state of grace.

So you should be wondering … is decentralization a good thing or a bad thing?

The answer is clear.  Decentralization is a bad thing, a really, really bad thing.  If fully implemented it could well be the end of the Catholic faith as we know it.

How can I say such a thing with certainty?  Simple. Because we have already seen a unified faith torn asunder by the tragic results of decentralization and the division it engenders.

It’s called the Anglican Church.

You remember the old Anglican Church, it was born of Henry the Eighth’s desire to get rid of his wife so that he could marry Anne Boleyn.  From its founding in the early 16th century, the Anglicans by and large accepted the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, but differed on governance and the authority of the Pope.

In the first half of the twentieth century, however, the Anglicans began to gradually decentralize the recognized leadership of the faith.  Decentralization led to disorder and factions, as “traditional” congregations were pitted against “liberal” ones, polarizing and confusing the faithful. Traditions and disciplines were tossed out in some Anglican communities.  The results?  Disunity.  Hostility. Absence of agreement on doctrine.  Large scale flight of the faithful.  Today, the African bishops in the Anglican Church are decidedly conservative and traditional.  The bishops of Europe and the United States are so liberal as to barely resemble their African counterparts.

Does any of this sound familiar?  How can decentralization cause injury to our Holy Catholic Church?

Here are just a couple of examples, there are many others.  For instance, in a decentralized structure a bishop in one diocese could decide to permit persons not in a state of grace to receive the Eucharist without fear of committing mortal sin, while a bishop in another diocese follows the traditional Church’s teaching and prohibits such reception of the Eucharist.  A second example would occur if one bishop decides that it is pastoral to perform blessings of homosexual unions, while a bishop in a different diocese refuses to permit such blessings.  The confusion engendered by these examples would necessarily weaken the authority of the Church.

Our Church is catholic, that is, universal. The truth does not change depending upon the identity of who currently is the bishop or cardinal.  The truth of our faith is rooted in the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed to us by the teachings of the Apostles and sacred scripture. Our Church, the bride of Christ, has always proclaimed the truth with one voice.  To suggest that matters of faith and morals are dependent upon a bishop or location is an affront to the mission of the Church.

We are not sheep.  We are Catholic.  We are the Church.  Speak the truth boldly in love.

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3 Responses to The Anglican Paradigm

  1. Lee Surkin says:

    “I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.” » Charles Dickens

    Honesty – Truth – Lies – Quotes

    “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.” » Mark Twain

    We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often ‘Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.’ – Scott Peck

    “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” » Oscar Wilde

    Honesty, Truth and Lies Quotes

    “There is nothing true anywhere, The true is nowhere to be seen; If you say you see the true, This seeing is not the true one.” » Abraham Lincoln Kickvick.com

    “I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.” » Charles Dickens

    Honesty – Truth – Lies – Quotes

    “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.” » Mark Twain

    We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often ‘Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.’ – Scott Peck

    “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” » Oscar Wilde

    Honesty, Truth and Lies Quotes

    “There is nothing true anywhere, The true is nowhere to be seen; If you say you see the true, This seeing is not the true one.” » Abraham Lincoln Kickvick.com

    “I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.” Charles Dickens
    Not speaking up against pure evil is equal to co-operating with it! If you walk and talk with God, you will never miss the direction to your divine future. Be bold and offer your heart to be led by God.
    Don’t let FEAR conquer you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sue kimler says:

      One more quote…
      “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”>Jesus Christ

  2. Jeff Kline says:

    Today is the feast of Pope St. John Paul II. Below is an excerpt from his homily delivered at Victory Square in Warsaw on June 2, 1979; his first visit to Poland as Pope
    TO SET THE EARTH ON FIRE
    “Have we not the right…to think that one must come to the very place, to this land, on this route, to read again the witness of His cross and His resurrection? But if we accept all that I have dated to affirm in this moment, how many great duties and obligations arise? Are we capable of them?….
    The Church brought Christ, the key to understanding that great and fundamental reality that is man. For man cannot be fully understood without Christ. Or rather man is incapable of understanding himself fully without Christ. He cannot understand who he is, nor what his true dignity is, nor what his vocation is, nor what his final end is. He cannot understand any of this without Christ.
    Therefore Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, any longitude or latitude of geography. The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man…. The history of the nation is above all the history of people. And the history of each person unfolds in Jesus Christ. In Him it becomes the history of salvation. The history of the nation deseves to be adequately appraised in the light of its contribution to the development of man and humanity, to intellect, heart and conscience. This is the deepest stream of culture. It is culture’s firmest support, its core, its strength….
    If we reject this key to understanding our nation, we lay ourselves open to a substantial misunderstanding. We no longer understand ourselves….
    All that I embrace in thought and in my heart during this Eucharist and I include it in this unique most holy scrifice of Christ on Victory Square. And I cry…from all the depths of this Millenium…
    Let Your Spirit descend.
    Let Your Spirit descend, and renew the face of the earth, the face of this land.
    Amen.”
    And the million or so Poles responded repeatedly “We want God!”.

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