Sunday, 17 October 2010

What of "authority"? Part I

Apologies, firstly, for not having 'blogged' for a while - to be brutally frank, I don't have much time to write comparably lengthy or as comprehensively researched blogposts as some others and its sometimes difficult enough to find time to read those let alone offer a contribution to present discussions. However, there are various topics which I think require a proferred reflection, particularly on some issues it might help to clarify for those who fundamentally are in search of the Truth.

I have taken a particular interest in the Ordinariate concept and development and particularly the vast array of perceptions and approaches that many eminent bloggers have made and continue to make. In the initial wake of the Papal pronouncement of Anglicanorum Cœtibus many took to scrutinising the finer detail contained in the accompanying published "Norms", these containing the Canonical details for the Ordinariates. Over the past year, as discussion about the inconsistencies contained within those Norms has dissipated (becoming essentially futile without input from the authors, except anecdotal confirmation that there exist inconsistencies), and perhaps in part due to the undeniable, though as yet unquantifiable, success of the Papal Visit to Britain, there has been an air of euphoria on some particular blogs enthusing about the expected Ordinariates. I have to admit that my initial negativity about the Ordinariates, borne more from a revulsion at the exaggerated interpretations of those inconsistent Canonical "Norms" (which it has to be said, carried a proviso for local alteration), has somewhat been appeased by the more appreciably measured commentary now abounding, predicting a more realistic take-up of the Ordinariate.

I've also found it interesting to note the internal struggles that have emerged over the past year, particularly within the Traditional Anglican Communion, and the perceptible dichotomy arising concerning the future of individuals and congregations. This was to be expected, even if initial reports were that there would be wholsale take-up of the Papal offer by the TAC, I was not so persuaded and am still sceptical about what the actual result will be. Similarly, as I predicted, the Anglo-Catholic approach within the CofE has been divisive, the poor result of General Synod having failed to unite the dissenters into a cohesive whole, but rather begin to expose the fractures within.

It appears to me that the reason for all this "confusion" (though one is tempted to say "chaos") is to due to the fact that the fundamental question at stake here is being largely ignored. Many have written about the "question of Authority" as if the Catholic Faith hinges principally on this one point of interpretation, as if it itself, i.e. the Faith, is, can be and ought to be determined by the answer to this question! The point is however, that the Catholic Faith exists, it has being, in and of itself without being subject to the determination of anyone particular person of authority on earth, but rather of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself... "Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum vero de Deo vero..." begotten not made! There is a single deposit of faith "delivered once for all to the saints" (cf letter of Jude 1:3) this is the message and promise of salvation, this is Jesus Christ. Thus the question people ought to be asking is, where is the Catholic Faith? Where is to be found this "single deposit"?

1 comment:

Father Ed Bakker.SSM said...

Blessings Jerome +,
Dont apologize for the lack of writing , I think we as clergy are tempted far too often to get involved in deep theological debates and the work that we are set out to do suffers.
I agree with your comments and we must try to set our priorities.
Enjoyed reading your post.
Blessings from down under,
Father Ed Bakker SSM