FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

SYNODOS
(Part 123)

RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX UNIONS - 13


January 16, 2016

Well, it has finally happened. I salute the African Anglican bishops for standing for Biblical truth, as against the errors of the North American churches, especially the Episcopal Church (Anglicans in the USA). The Anglican Communion however stopped short of expelling the Episcopal Church. I suppose this is to avoid a schism. I suppose they desire to bring the Episcopal Church back to Biblical truth. No way that is going to happen. The schism will happen, sooner or later. The Episcopal Church is firm in its embrace of homosexuality, and considers the conservatives as the ones in error. Talk about spiritual blindness and diabolical influence!

But the Anglicans themselves are not facing the whole truth. They were former Catholics who broke away from the Catholic Church in 1535 because King Henry VIII wanted a divorce which the Church would not give him, aside from political considerations (securing his Tudor dynasty) and even greed (grabbing the wealth of the Catholic Church). Why do they persist in being in a Church founded by an immoral king rather than the Church founded by Christ the King himself? The traditionalist or conservative Anglicans would do better not trying to reform their Church (it is already too late) but leaving it to return to the Catholic Church. Just saying.

What is happening now to the Anglican Communion is the very same danger facing the Roman Catholic Church. Such divisions are already there, especially in the Church in America and Europe. Liberals are already well-entrenched in parishes and chanceries, and their ranks include bishops. That was what the fight at the Synod was all about. The liberals, mainly composed of western bishops (not all western bishops of course as there are some really holy conservatives among them), wanted to accommodate irregular unions--live-ins, divorced and remarried, and same-sex. The cover was mercy and compassion. It was false mercy, accommodating the sin. If our Church moves forward on this, we enter the slippery slope which has led the Anglicans to where they are now. It will take some time, but we will face the same.

On a related matter, our Catholic Church is very strong in its desire for Christian unity, thus its work of ecumenism. This was fine when the disagreements were about theological issues or Biblical interpretations or pastoral practices (for example, the meaning of justification by faith, primacy of the pope, liturgical approaches, etc.). There were really things to dialogue on. But if the disagreement (deep disagreement, with diametrically opposing views) is on human sexuality and morality, we just cannot accept what is in violation of Christ’s clear teaching and the two-millennia-old belief and practices of our Church. There can be no compromise on Biblical truth. There can never be unity between white and black (no pun intended about the West and Africa).

I have a radical thought (or call it a desire). I have half-jokingly said this before. Let us do a fair swap: the Anglicans get our liberal Catholics and we get their conservative Anglicans. Everyone happy. The problem is that our liberals will not leave, for they want to take Christ’s Church. The evil one, through them, of course wants to destroy our Church.

Pope Benedict XVI actually made a move already, with the establishment of a personal ordinariate for Anglicans who joined the Catholic Church but preserved elements of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony. This was via the Anglicanorum Coetibus last November 2009. Though bold, our Church was still treading softly and carefully, one reason being our ecumenical thrust. Well, why not go all out. Anyway, with the deep rift (let me correct that; it is an unbridgeable chasm) with regards to beliefs on human sexuality and especially homosexuality, it is unrealistic to think we can work toward Christian unity. So we are just expending too much time and energy that is better expended elsewhere. So just invite Anglicans outright. Join the one, true Church that Jesus established. Now that is true mercy.

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Episcopal Church USA suspended from Anglican communion

January 14, 2016

The Protestant Episcopal Church in the US has been suspended from the worldwide Anglican communion.

The primates of the Anglican world, meeting this week in Canterbury, England, voted to suspend the Episcopal Church for three years, because of its decision to approve same-sex unions. "The traditional doctrine of the church, in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union," the prelates said. 

The decision to suspend the Episcopal Church was made in a January 14 vote, and leaked to the public in advance of a scheduled Friday press conference at which the move was to be announced.

The Episcopal Church was not expelled from the Anglican communion, but barred from voting in international gatherings for a three-year period. During that term, the leaders of the American branch are encouraged to reflect on their role.

The suspension illustrates the deep divisions within the worldwide Anglican communion, which have arisen primarily over issues involving human sexuality. African bishops, who preside over the most vigorous communities in the Anglican world, have strongly objected to the acceptance of homosexuality, and of female priests and bishops, in the English and American branches. These divisions were further dramatized when (according to a report in the Daily Telegraph), 15 of the 38 Anglican bishops participating in this week's meeting declined to participate in a joint prayer service. 

This week's meeting was called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, in a bid to preserve the fractured unity of the Anglican communion. 

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CBCP Gives Recognition to CFC- FFL

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