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Some Questions for Episcopalians

Discussion in 'Episcopal/Anglicans DIR' started by Doodlebug02, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Doodlebug02

    Doodlebug02 Active Member

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    Hi everyone. I am relatively new to the Episcopal Church and I have some questions.


    1. Does the Episcopal Church consider the apocrypha to be part of scripture just as the rest of scripture or not?
    2. Does the Episcopal Church use the apocrypha in its readings at Mass or liturgy?
    3. Does the Episcopal Church hold Sacred Tradition to be equal to the Bible as Catholics do or not?
    4. How does the Episcopal Church justify having women bishops and priests when there were none in the early Church?
    5. For a former Roman Catholic who has been baptized and confirmed, could I still have an official reception ceremony of some sort in to the Episcopal Church should I choose to become a member?
    Anyway, that's all the questions that I have for now. Thanks!
     
  2. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    1) Some of the apocryphal writings are considered to be scripture. They are to be used for edification but not for formation of doctrine.
    2) Yes.
    3) Episcopal doctrine has a three-fold basis: Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.
    4) First of all, there were female church leaders in the early church. Second, Reason trumps Tradition in this case.
    5) The Episcopal Church recognizes RCC baptisms and confirmations, since it lies within the Apostolic Succession. You may be received as a communicant member upon evidence of such baptism and confirmation.
     
  3. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Good answers... I might add that for an EX-Catholic or member of another Trinitarian church to become a full member of the Anglican church, it is usual to be formally received into the church after instruction, at the same time as candidates for confirmation.

    The Anglican Church is noted for its emphasis on worship rather than Dogma.
    It is possible to hold fairly heretical views, like my self, and still be accepted .
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Quite right. The ECUSA states that it "points out, rather than dictates" doctrine.
     
  5. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    I demur with Sojourner that in the case of female priests and bishops that reason trumped scripture. At least officially, the church does not say that reason can trump scripture or tradition. Rather, Anglicans don't assume that tradition is 100% correct. They assume rather that the church's discernment of God is both incomplete and can be, at times, in error. So you'll find in the Anglican tradition a series of hard looks backward as they wrestle with the meaning of the gospel in the contemporary generation. Thus we have revisited such things as the role of dead saints in the "communion of saints", the nature of the Eucharist, the appropriacy of women in the episcopate, and, now, how homosexuality fits in our understanding of ethics and the life of the church. Ought we to regard it as "sinful" in some sense, what would that mean in light of what we think we know about it from contemporary science, or ought we to acknowledge it as part of God's specific design for certain persons, and thus not let homosexual basis stand as a barrier to fellowship in the church.

    Overall, I think this is a helpful perspective for the Christian community, to always be open to revision in light of the fact that we might have got it wrong. It certainly causes instability at times -- witness the fragmentation of the ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, both of which are risking excommunication from the broader Church of England for their policies. But on the whole, the church is well served by being open to critical second looks at previous decisions.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    My answer was somewhat perfunctory and cavalier. What I meant was that the three must always be used in conjunction with each other. In this case, Reason "trumps" Tradition in the sense that we don't bar women just because "we've always done it that way." When we look at both Scripture and Tradition in the light of Reason, we find that our current cultural standards not only allow for, but demand the inclusion of women in Holy Orders.
    Thanks for your expansion here.
     
  7. Doodlebug02

    Doodlebug02 Active Member

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    Ok, when I asked about the apocrypha, I was meaning to ask if the Episcopal Church accepts the same books as the Catholic Church as scripture?

    Also, I read on another thread here that the Episcopal Church believes in consubstantiation. I thought that Episcopalians were free to believe in whatever specific Eucharistic theology they wished so long as they believed in the Real Presence?
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Yes, but not to the same degree.

    Episcopalians do not attempt to pin down the doctrine so specifically. Most would agree that they lean more toward consubstantiation, although not to the degree, or with the specificity that Lutherans do. Episcopalians tend to remain open to possibilities, and to just let God be God, without having to explain everything so minutely.
     
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