Monday, October 31, 2011

Episcopalians move to 'rehabilitate' Pelagius

The Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.

Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.

Resolution R11-7 before the convention states in part:

“Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition;”

“And whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition.”
Read the rest here.

HT: T-19


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Only the Anglicans...

Fr Theodore said...

Pelagius was wrong; but the excesses of those who wrote against him were just as bad and do need to be repudiated by the West. The East joined in condemning Pelagius, but upheld the Apostolic and Patristic teaching that we do cooperate with God's grace in working out our salvation in fear and trembling -- something the heirs of the original anti-Pelagians came to deny by the notion of "total depravity."

It is telling that St. John Cassian the Roman, who challenged St. Augustine's doctrine of grace/salvation is venerated by the East as a Father of the Church, but is not even an official "saint" of the Roman Church. If the Eastern Fathers agreed that Pelagius was too optimistic, they also percieved that St. Augustine, in his zeal, was too pessimistic.

But the real issue, IMHO, is that this is a thinly veiled, local attempt to overrule an ancient regional council in order to bolster the denial of the corruption of human nature through the fall, along the lines of the apostate Matthew Fox and his ilk. Its real intention is to further the jettisoning of Christian morality, and the need for struggle against the passions and submission to the demands of the Gospel.

Deacon Jeremiah said...

This reads like an April Fools' Day piece or an article from the Onion.

The young fogey said...

Here's what I think will go down.

The mainline will apostatize like its Unitarian offspring did but more subtly. Like this.

They'll have synod/convention votes officially making belief in the creeds optional. No drama; no telling Grandma she can't believe in Jesus anymore.

But they won't be Christian anymore.

But the change has been gradual and a long time coming: discreet unbelief since the 'Enlightenment' ramped up in the '60s.

(America's deist founding fathers were Episcopalians.)

If I put my money on a mainline church going out of business it'd be the Reformed Church in America, the old Dutch Reformed Church.

But I recently read that if the stats remain as they are, the Episcopalians will be kaput in a quarter-century. (In my town they closed three years ago after a century here, since the town began.) Sayonara. When your church's reason to exist was to give the king of England an annulment he didn't deserve, you never had a future.

But somebody reminded me of mainline mergers.

So the Episcopal Church as such will go away but that doesn't mean St Giles-on-the-Green with its Lessons and Carols at Christmas is doomed.

As the mainline shrinks and gets more liberal it'll all merge together like the Church of South India in 1947 and the Episcopal/ELCA Lutheran merger now, under a vague Swedishy idea of the apostolic succession/episcopate (nice to have, thinking it makes them just like Rome and the Orthodox, but they won't claim it's essential).

I don't care much. I'm not angry. It's what it is. I have only two things to say: freedom of religion and property rights. They have the right to govern themselves.

But let's cut the crap and drop the ecumenical talks.

So if the mainline agrees with everything in secular culture, why's it dying? The kids aren't in the habit of churchgoing; they cut out the middleman and stay home.

Visibilium said...

St. Pelagius? St. Origen will be next.

C. Wingate said...

People getting upset about the proposed resolution in Atlanta are way behind the times, considering some of the people added to the church calendar at the last GC.

JC Fremont said...

The mainline is dying because no one has ever needed a church to tell them how to be secular. End of story.

The young fogey said...


Joseph said...

i think the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be the first of the old "mainline" to go. their numbers are pathetically small compared to just 20 years ago. their southern churches are breaking away and going "independent."

but i agree with the gist of the comments here.

beowulf2k8 said...

"Pelagius was wrong; " (Fr Theodore)

Says who? Some Manichean retard who converted to Catholicism only because his mother arranged a marriage to a WEALTHY Catholic woman, and he said "kaching!" and realized he had a chance at becoming a bishop due to this newfound wealth that would be his if only he converted.

Augustine's writings show that when Pelagius said man has the ability to "not sin" he meant "avoid sin." Augustine is inconsistent, most of the time twisting it as if Pelagius meant live a sinless life, but sometimes admitting he simply mean avoid sin. Augustine condemns himself by his inconsistency and shows himself to be a liar. Besides that, those 9 years he spent as a Manichean clearly tainted him and he carried his Manicheanism back with him when he fake converted, as Julian of Eclanum so aptly proved.

Why is it that Julian and Pelagius' writings were burned? Because the heretic Agustine could not compete in the marketplace of ideas without using the power of the state to eliminate the competition. Like all losers and iditos, he restorted to bullying.