Τρίτη, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2016

AD CONFIRMA FRATRES

Michael Seraphim
Of Known Cause
Many things have been spoken of the Great Schism and efforts have not ceased to heal it.
The ailment being dire and chronic, although the spirit is willing, a great deal of the remedy depends on initiatives within the West itself. But God in His Goodness has not cast away His flock but has left for Himself a remnant by Grace.

Roman supremacy remains the cause of schism, not only within the Universal Communion but also within the West itself. Such a wasting plague as has wasted the Church of God must be absolutely extirpated and anathematized from the Divine Household for all generations. To restore the Church of the West to both internal unity and to Ecumenical Unity, there must be a return to Apostolic Ecclesiology.
From the Beginning
There is a Western church that has preserved the form of Catholic Ecclesiology. This was the Church founded by Aristobulus who was ordained by Paul to be Bishop in the extremity of the West. The Anglican church, although not without defects, is a communion of free churches led by the archbishop of Canterbury as first-among-equals.
Attend that Paul was the Primate and Father of the West. Before Martyrdom, he Ordained Linus as Bishop to whom later succeeded Cletus. After the Martyrdom of Cletus without a successor, the Patriarch of the East came to Rome and Ordained Clement as Bishop. As Patriarch of the West, Paul Ordained Western Bishops, among whom was Aristobulus, the forefather of the present day Anglican church.
The Anglican church has been facing problems with departures from Christian tradition rooted in a radical change of outlook in its history, itself an unfortunate effect of an excess of reaction to ecclesiastical subjugation. On the other hand the Latin church is still grounded in Christian tradition but its ecclesiology itself is the cause of disunity in the West.
If their respective weaknesses may be discarded and their respective strengths joined, a communion of the Anglican and the Latin churches in the West may become the embryo of a restored Church of the West. In respect to such a God-pleasing labor, an examination of the necessary conditions may be briefly outlined, as well as what actions may be taken to achieve them.


From Without

In my opinion, the first and foremost necessary labor belongs to the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. It belongs to her to set forth an Ecumenical formulation of Catholic Ecclesiology as the foundation upon which subsequent works are to be done. It is also necessary to safeguard this Life-Giving Doctrine with anathema against the ecclesiological heresy of supremacy.
As importantly, the Church will bless the world if she anathematizes ontological Filioque as a heresy that cuts one off not only from the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, but also from the boundaries of Christendom. This would have support from the Fourth Synod of Constantinople in 879-880 and the Synod of Blachernae of 1285.
Lastly, it belongs to the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church to anathematize unleavened bread, prohibition against married Priesthood, purgatory and the Immaculate Conception. These things became exacerbations of enmity and schism, and because of this they might become occasions for division again in the future.
Again, only of slightly less importance would be to anathematize Barlaamism. This is not occasioned by a desire to prevail, but strictly because the matter is Theological. This would have support from the Fifth Synod of Constantinople which convened in a series of Synods from 1341 to 1351.
From Within
There are several necessary conditions for a restored Church of the West on the parts of both the Anglican and the Latin churches, which are the two historical actors with main, essential and indispensable roles in the labor. The Latin church must follow Anglican ecclesiology so that the Roman pontiff may become a true builder of bridges which connect level planes and not of a pyramid to sit on.
Within the context of the West, the Latin churches of Europe will become truly autonomous with the church of Rome as first-among-equals, each within their own metropolitan jurisdictions. Only then will there be a place for the Anglican church to be united as an autonomous member into this Western communion. This will be a good beginning of a good labor well-pleasing to God.
When synodality has thus been restored to a restored Western communion, it will provide the structure for the restoration of tradition in the Anglican church. Synodality requires that all hold to the same thing and that none walks in his own way apart from the whole. This will be a healing of the cause and effect of historical internal Western schism, namely supremacy as cause and abandonment of tradition as effect.
Two Are Better than One
The Church of Britain has always held a special place in the Western Communion. It is no coincidence that God gave Great Britain a global empire since all the powers that be are ordained of God, although human weaknesses will always abuse good gifts. It was throughout the British dominion that the Anglican church has raised up churches all over the world.
It stands to reason then, and not disdaining Divine Providence and Ecclesiastical precedents, that the two Western churches of global extend, namely the Latin church and the Anglican church, should jointly-preside in the Western communion as first-equal-to-second and second-equal-to-first. The worth of the Anglican church is made more illustrious because she has preserved the form of Ancient Ecclesiology.
Let Aristobulus be second to Paul in the West. Yea, let Aristobulus be Paul to Paul, while Paul will be Paul to Peter in the Universal Communion. I say, that the archbishops of Rome and Canterbury ought to jointly-preside among the equal and autonomous churches of the West. For the testimony of two is strong, and together they will withstand, and they will help each other when stumbled.
A Threefold Cord Is not Broken
When by the Grace and Mercy of God and to the Universal rejoicing of His One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church this will come to pass, this Western communion will be ready for reunion into the Universal Catholic Church. As Rome and Canterbury can together strengthen their brethren in the West, so together Constantinople and Rome will strengthen the Church of God throughout the Oikumene.
Thus protected on both sides by Constantinople in the Ecumenical Communion and by Canterbury in the Western Communion, Rome will not stumble where she best serves. In her proper place, serving as a living reminder against transgression for all generations, she will become a confirmation in the Ecumenical Communion of Orthodox Catholic Churches.
On a practical note, this will mean a merge of all Ecumenical and Western Dioceses in the Diaspora under the Joint-Jurisdiction of Constantinople and Rome. In the West itself this means that Dioceses and Metropoles will merge previous Latin and Anglican dioceses and metropoles, each united into the other according to geographical territory and functioning according to Eucharistic Ecclesiology.
A Good Labor and Reward
An Anglican-Latin Western union in the form of Orthodox Ecclesiology, headed by the joint-primacy of the archbishops of Rome and Canterbury among equal and autonomous churches in the West, must be a means to an end, namely reunion as a Catholic member into the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.
For this purpose, the model in the West itself should be a return to the historical Patriarchate of the West within the Canonical territory of the Patriarchate of the West. Member churches of the previous Anglican and Latin communions situated outside of the West should be encouraged to unite into the Orthodox Church under Ecumenical Jurisdiction.
While the priority will be for extra-territorial member churches to be united into the Orthodox Church, those unready will be administered under the joint-jurisdiction of Rome and Canterbury. When reunion of the West into the Ecumenical Communion has been achieved, then the whole Diaspora will be administered under the Joint-Jurisdiction of Constantinople and Rome.
This Western communion will also be ready for reunion into the Orthodox Church when Christian tradition has been strengthened and confirmed within itself, synodality being the crucial part as well as mechanism that enables this. The Orthodox Church will greatly facilitate this if, from beginning to end, she appoints Bishops to guide the Western communion according to Apostolic Tradition.
Invoking the Intercession of the Most-Holy Mother of God and of all the Saints, may the Lord save His People and Bless His Inheritance. Amen.