William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Metropolitan Jonah Demonstrates True Ecumenism


Metropolitan Jonah's Speech to the inaugural convention of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA)

Hat tip to Dr. Tighe

This is what true ecumenism looks like. That said, I harbor no illusions about the likelihood of the ACNA coming to Orthodoxy as a corporate body. There are too many low church Evangelical types for whom accepting Orthodoxy would mean renouncing most of their Protestant theological heritage. But I do have some hopes that we might welcome some of the Anglo-Catholics into the Church.

19 comments:

Fr. Carlos said...

Thank you for posting this video. The fact is that there are many Anglicans in the new ACNA who see themselves as Western Orthodox (myself included). It is my hope and prayer that this call to unity turns ut to be a reality. I am part of ACNA- but, it is difficult to say what will finally happen regarding women's ordination and the other points that Met Jonah said would have to be agreed upon by all. Unless the Lord intervenes powerfully and visibly- there may be a huge departure by many Anglicans to the OCA. My hope is that they are prepared to accept such an exodus.

Sophocles said...

Excellent talk. Just curious, John, if you know if Pastor Rick Warren was in the audience listening to the talk and if so if he had any comment on +Jonah's talk?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Fr. Carlos,,
Thanks for stopping by. I don't see the ACNA abandoning W/O and I can't see most of the Anglo-Catholics enduring it for long. I am not sure who you are referring to as "they" in hooping they are prepared to accept a major exodus. If you are referring to the OCA; I think that as long as the conditions His Beatitude outlined are met, the OCA would be quite welcoming. At present we have no provision for a Western Rite but a number of people in the know have suggested that +Jonah is quite friendly to the idea. And of course the Antiochian Archdiocese does have a viable Western Rite. A union of the OCA and the Antiochians (both are fully Orthodox) seems increasingly likely thought it will probably take a few years to sort it all out.

Yours in ICXC
John

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Sophocles,
I honestly don't know if he was there or not. If he was I have heard nothing about his reaction. I think he spoke a couple of days earlier so I am guessing he had returned to his home.

Yours in ICXC
John

rightwingprof said...

Excellent! Thanks for posting this!

Michael said...

I wondee whether anybody in the know would like to share some thoughts here. So far, it is a case of liberal Anglicans accusing OCA of dishonesty, with the only defence from the Orthodox side coming from people removed from the North American situation and so unable to comment with any knowledge.

For what it's worth, I am encouraged to see Fr Carlos's comments here and suspect that he is not alone.

rightwingprof said...

Michael, I had never heard of shipoffools.com, but I read through the comments. Apparently, one must be approved for registration, so we'll see what happens.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Michael,
Having read through the comments posted there, I think I am going to follow the example of Metropolitan +Jonah and pass on the dialogue. These people have embraced beliefs that are from an Orthodox POV beyond the pale. I don't think there is anything I could say over there that would change the tenor of the discussion. Most of the non-Orthodox on that thread are the sort of people with whom "dialogue" is more or less pointless.

Dialogue requires a certain minimal level of commonality. Given that these are people defending a church that is institutionally apostate and who are apparently undisturbed by their being in communion with a "bishop" who has denied everything in the Creed after the words "I believe" I think it would be easier to dialogue with Muslims. At least they actually believe in something.

Thanks for the link though. It's frequently amusing to see what the liturgical Unitarians are up to.

In ICXC
John

John (Ad Orientem) said...

RighWingProf,
Ship of Fools...
I missed that. Sill laughing...

Yours,
John

Pete said...

I had some doubts when I first heard that Metropolitan Jonah had given this speech. But after watching the video, I am very much impressed - both with +Jonah and with the audience's receptiveness. "Speaking the truth in love" is spot-on. May God bless this undertaking!

becket said...

As far as so called women deaconesses and priestesses are concerned there will be no compromise whatsoever. For unity to happen, they have to go!. No arrangements or compromise! Great speech. God Bless Met Jonah!

The Ochlophobist said...

Where is the video to be found?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Och,
The source for the embedded video is
http://blip.tv/file/2290895/

Yours,
John

Fr. J. said...

I find it intriguing that so many Orthodox can be so ecumenical toward a body with WO, Sola Scriptura, the 39 articles, sacrifice of the mass doubters, odd evangelicals of every sort, etc while being altogether abusive toward the Catholic Church.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Fr. J,
I am not sure you listened to his speech. He told them that all of the things you (rightly) point to need to go. And in fairness I don't think many people in the ACNA or in the Orthodox Church are under any illusions about bring them all in. It's not happening.

But there is a sizable group of Anglo-Catholics in there who are not happy with W/O and the various other Protestant baggage. Many realize this is not going away and are looking for somewhere else to go. What Met. +Jonah did was to remind them of an often overlooked alternative.

It's also worth noting that for all their theological baggage in the ACNA, they have not dogmatized anything we consider heretical. Unfortunatly that can not be said of the Roman Church which presents huge barriers to future reconciliation.

Under the mercy,
John

Fr. J. said...

"It's also worth noting that for all their theological baggage in the ACNA, they have not dogmatized anything we consider heretical."

Come now, John, you are a more astute thinker than that. If they have not dogmatized error, it is only because they have no mechanism to do so. But, surely no Orthodox Church would find the 39 Articles in keeping with the ancient faith. And, WO, if it is a practice accepted, it is a teaching accepted. It is unreasonable to think this practice somehow not dogmatized. Of course if you mean by "dogmatized" something taught ex cathedra, then there is much that is not dogmatized or in the present state of the Orthodoxy dogmatizable, so there is no reason to think Orthodoxy will not come around on Catholic teaching.

My point is that if you too narrowly define what is dogmatic teaching such that essential Anglican teaching is not dogma, then one has to admit that the Orthodox Church is also lean on dogma precisely in the areas where East and West differ.

You cant have it both ways, John.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Fr J,
Again I have to ask, have you watched the video? Met. +Jonah pulled no punches and made it quite clear that the Protestant baggage needs to go as a precondition for any communion. And as I noted earlier; I doubt that either he or anyone else in that room expects the ACNA to become Western Orthodox.

Your point about their not possessing any means for dogmatizing their heretical beliefs is certainly true, but moot. It still leaves at least the Anglo-Catholics in a much better position as ecumenical partners than those who have formally proclaimed heresy as dogma and anathematized the Orthodox.

And indeed there are a whole bunch of Anglo-Catholics who are refusing to be in communion with some of the other parts of the ACNA over W/O and other heretical nonsense. You refer to essential Anglican teaching. But in truth there is no such thing and really hasn't been any since the Elizabethan Compromise. High Church Anglo-Catholics mostly reject the 39 articles and Calvinism. They accept and adhere to the seven OEcumenical Councils.

Are there points of difference? Yes. But they are points that can be overcome. Many High Churchmen are quick to agree that the Filioque was illegitimately added to the Creed and have no issue with its being removed. There are some points on original sin justification and grace where clarification is needed. But again I don't see any insurmountable barriers here.

Of course we aren't going to get the whole ACNA to become Orthodox. But the Anglo-Catholics are extremely close to us. It would be silly not to talk to them.

In ICXC
John

Fr. Carlos said...

Dear John and Fr. J,

Although I do not pretend to be "THE" Anglo-catholic representative for ACNA, I do believe that my position is fairly standard amongst Anglo-catholics.

Most of us do not see the faith of the English reformation as the fullenss of the faith, in fact, we see portions of it as heretical(i.e. the black rubric and its non- corporal presence in the Eucharist). Even fewer of see the faith of the medieval papacy as our own (indulgences, purgatory, treasury of merit, mandatory celibacy of priests, etc..).

We do however see the faith of the first millenia as our own. England was Orthodox before it was Roman, and long before it was Protestant. It is that Orthodox faith that we Anglo-catholics call our own. I believe this makes us Orthodox with a big "O".

Nevertheless, we also know that The Anglican Communion will never be completely Orthodox. So, the question that most of us face is- how do we come into Orthodoxy without throwing the people in our congregations to the wind? Do we strive for some kind of re-unification or just go to the Orthodox church? If we just go- many who are in our churches and Orthodox will not follow- they see orthodoxy as a faith restricted to certain nations (Russia, Greece, etc...) and totally foreign to them.

That is what keeps many of the Anglo-catholic clergy back- at least that is my situation.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Fr. Carlos,
I am deeply sympathetic to your situation. I have long argued that Orthodoxy must move beyond its ethnic jurisdictions and take its evangelical mission seriously. Many people (including myself) have no real problem with the Byzantine Rite. But there are certainly some for whom it would be an impediment to conversion.

A viable Western Rite is an absolute necessity. Currently this exists almost exclusively in the Antiochian Archdiocese (AOANA). However I have been told by a number of people that Metropolitan +Jonah is also very receptive to the idea of the Western Rite.

My own take is that if you are Orthodox in faith then you need to be in the Orthodox Church. If you can bring others with you that is a good thing, but you need to save your own soul first. I am not sure which continuing jurisdiction you are under, but if your bishop shares your affinity for Orthodoxy, I suggest making some direct contacts to find out what exactly needs to be done to bring you all in.

I wish to imply no disrespect to any of the other Orthodox jurisdictions, but I believe your best bet is to work with either the Antiochians (AOANA) or the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The Antiochians have an up and running Western Rite and that is where I would generally suggest you go. But I have to concede that there are some issues in their archdiocese, totally unrelated to any of what we are talking about right now, that may be a distraction. So you might want to to talk to someone in the OCA. It's a judgment call.

My very respectful suggestion is that you contact the local bishop either in the AOANA or the OCA, or if your bishop is contemplating a corporate move into Orthodoxy; you might want to have him contact Metropolitan +Jonah directly. Due to the issues I mentioned earlier I would not contact the office Metropolitan +Phillip (AOANA) at this time.

If I can be of any help at all or you have any questions please feel free to contact me by email (jec1ny@yahoo.com). In the meantime please be assured of my fervent prayers for you and yours as you struggle with what I know from personal experience is a very weighty decision.

Yours under the mercy,
John