Seitz on catholic anglicanism
On T19 recently I came across this comment from Seitz of the ACI, a comment which seems mistaken:
Anglicans are Christians in a Communion (hence ACI). They are not national churches where one uses a retinal scanner to get into a new ‘Christian’ zones. And neither is the Communion a collection of the like-minded in Provinces which are inventing a new kind of Anglicanism—even for very pressing reasons. If it comes to that, the Communion is over anywhere. It may come to that. Some may want it to come to that. Others are wanting to do everything possible to prevent the fracture of anglicanism whilst maintaining things like ‘CA Principles’ (e.g.).
The Anglican Communion to which Seitz refers is not a church; this is not how it was envisaged at its inception, and nothing in its history to this day indicates that over time it became a church. Whatever communion exists in the Anglican Communion, it is not the same communion as that celebrated and enacted in the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Eucharist.
To my limited knowledge, nobody is ordained simply into the Anglican Communion as a deacon, priest, or bishop or simply baptized into it as laity: "you're a Communionite". Nobody celebrates simply on the Anglican Communion's behalf, save in a derivative sense. At the moment, it cannot be done; there is no causally accessible path.
Indeed, there may be said to be a communion associated with membership in the Anglican Communion, but "communion" in this sense is derivative from a prior relation established in the dominical sacraments as practiced in Christian churches.
Thus, as the Anglican Communion is not a church, if what were known as national churches are not really churches after all, then there are no Anglican churches anywhere. What then of our orders? Our sacraments? All irregular, all the time? Or maybe he would suggest there are in fact many more Anglican churches than anyone ever realized, each diocese being an Anglican church unto itself whether it knew itself to be that or not? Maybe--who can tell? He just seeems to be making this stuff up. Or better: it seems a peculiar service to render expedience, a new liturgy if you will: the ad hoc ministration.
But seriously, his ecclesiological fantasies are supposed to express a normative notion of catholicity? Who buys this rather private notion of "catholic anglicanism"? Foisting this patent absurdity on our divines does them no service. Surely, foisting it on the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Anglican Communion is no service either.