Due to an ongoing health crisis in the family, blogging will be 'on and off' as time and circumstances permit for the foreseeable future. I also beg your indulgence if I am slow in responding to emails. New posts will appear below this notice.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quote of the day...

...I do ask that Anglicans recognize when they have changed Anglican doctrine, and my argument runs thus

Major Premise: Changing the doctrine on the ordination of women is a departure from “biblically faithful, traditional Anglicanism.” Call it what you will, but the decision to ordain women was an innovation and a departure from the received teaching of Anglicanism on the Sacrament of Orders.

Minor Premise: Changing the doctrine on the marriage of homosexual persons is a departure from “biblically faithful, traditional Anglicanism.” Call it what you will, but the decision to marry homosexual persons is an innovation and a departure from the received teaching of Anglicanism on the Sacrament of Marriage.

Conclusion: Those Anglicans who accept the ordination of women have no standing to reject the marriage of homosexual persons.

Both decisions are radical innovations in Christian doctrine, totally rejected as unbiblical and untraditional by the vast majority of Christians of every time and place (including almost all Anglicans until this generation), and those who accept the first change cannot give a coherent argument from Scripture or Tradition for rejecting the second change. Either doctrine can be changed by majority vote of the General Convention, or it cannot. The doctrine on the ordination of women was changed by majority vote, and even the party of resistance in TEC (represented by Nashotah and Trinity) accepts the legitimacy of that change; on what basis, then, is a change on homosexual marriage by majority vote rejected by those who accepted the first change?

The only possible answer is, We approved of the first change, but we don’t approve of the second change. And that is simply the Will to Power, not an argument about the proper role of authority in the Church. To provide an adequate rejection of homosexual marriage (which I believe must be done by faithful Christians), it is also necessary to admit that the ordination of women was an illegitimate innovation in the life of the Church. And that’s not a Catholic argument; that’s just the operation of right reason and ruthless honesty.

-Fr Jay Scott Newman (Roman Catholic)

From a wide ranging discussion at T-19.

5 comments:

Visibilium said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but Fr. Jay isn't really addressing the issue meaningfully.

Obviously, Anglicans see a difference in kind between the two changes. In Anglicanism, the Bible trumps tradition. Homosexuality involves a Biblical prohibition, and female ordination involves reason's trumping an incidental aspect of tradition.

I'm not saying the Anglicans are right; I don't have a dog in this fight. As it stands, Fr. Jay is simply viewing the issue from a Vatican perspective in which the Bible and tradition share the limelight. I don't see any sparklingly new insights.

Anam Cara said...

Rather than get drawn into the fray at T19, I wrote directly to Fr. Jay. My letter to him is given here in part:

You said,
Conclusion: Those Anglicans who accept the ordination of women have no standing to reject the marriage of homosexual persons.

I can explain to you from my own experience why that it not necessarily true.

I was an Episcopalian. When WO came about (1978-79), I did not agree. I could give you Biblical reasons not to accept WO. However, I could also see how those who pushed for it could justify their beliefs. This happens when each person calls the Bible the ultimate authority and each interprets it for himself - often coming to differing conclusions.
(As precious Betty See was having a hard time understanding:
47. Phil wrote:
But Betty, those who have ripped the Communion apart (claim to) read Scripture differently than do we. What authority breaks the tie?
48. Betty See wrote:
Phil, The Word of God as proclaimed in Scripture.)

I never took communion from a woman celebrant, but I did not forbid my children to as I realized that I might be wrong about WO. But my conscious would not allow me to receive.

However, when the charges against Bishop Righter for ordaining a practicing homosexual man as a priest were dismissed in 1996, I realized that while I had not left the Episcopal Church, it had left me. I knew I was not wrong about sodomy.

It may be that there are others like me who humbly would say that for WO, they couldn't be certain based on Scripture alone, but that sodomy is clear. It may be that there are those who saw in Scripture and accepted the other side justifying WO and who also see that Scripture is clear on sodomy.

These are both valid reasons from a Protestant viewpoint to have accepted one and not the other.

I solved my problem of being "homeless" for 5 years by becoming Orthodox. I'm sorry, I just couldn't buy some of the doctrines of Rome that were not "Biblically faithful, traditional Orthodoxy"
Sorry, I couldn't resist. : )

Scott said...

I'm just going to say the obvious: homosexuality is a moral issue, being a woman isn't.

Steve Hayes said...

Homosexuality is an anthropoliogical issue. Forinication (between people of whatever sex or gender) is a moral issue. But Homosexual marriage is a doctrinal issue, and perhaps an ontological one.

A synod can no more decide that a woman can be a priest, or that two persons of the same sex can be married than it can decide that a cat is a clam or a dog is a duck.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Father Newman's point is that Bible and Tradition as a single Christological reality speak with one voice on both issues. He wants Episcopalians in particular, and Anglicans in general, to examine the inherent contradiction of permitting the one but not the other.