The Loss of Sacrality

Father Jeffrey Steel has some interesting thoughts on the women bishops General Synod debate, and what it has to say about our approach to the Eucharist.

In light of this element of Eucharistic catholicity, it is my understanding that the July vote at General Synod did not once reflect theologically on this issue and simply ignored it and is doing nothing short of ‘reducing our catholicity to a group of religious parliamentarians who are now dominated by and structured on the liberal principles of absolute tolerance in which all authority is now subject to the democracy of the individual opinion.’

The result of this, if not corrected, could very well be devastating to the community. The Eucharist cannot be separated from the apostolicity of the Church as that was given by God through his Son Jesus in the choosing and creating the apostolic ministry and priesthood. I was recently described as an impossibilist as far as my views changing with regards to order. My question is, how can anyone not be an impossibilist with regards to something as sacred and sacramental as the priesthood of Christ’s Church which was given and established by our Lord Jesus himself? Could it not also be argued in the case of a ‘possibilist‘ that any other of the sacraments of Jesus can be changed so long as the democracy of the individual opinion ruled it so? This is a serious question and reflection for consideration.

The current debate in the Forward in Faith camp seems to be that the underlying issue is not whether women can be bishops, but whether the church can actually change doctrine and practice through synodical government. Are we truly listening to the Spirit or are we just creating a new, ungodly source of authority? If the evidence of the Episcopal Church in the USA is anything to go by, the answer is the latter.

3 Comments on “The Loss of Sacrality

  1. Peter: ‘whether the church can actually change doctrine and practice through synodical government.’

    ‘change’ is an interesting word.  If it were replaced with ‘develop’ – we would have exactly what the early Councils of the Church were doing – synodical government at work minus, of course, the laity.

    I guess we are left with the question – what is the difference between ‘develop’ and ‘change’?  This is the heart of the matter. 

  2. There’s a difference isn’t there though between change and develop. To develop something is to add to that which is before, but not to change or contradict that which is before. To change is to alter that which was before.

    I think many of us see having women bishops as altering the truth, not developing it.

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