Apostolic Succession and elitism?

I was having a conversation with my husband about why I was reluctant to take communion at our Anglican home church anymore. I explained to him that I believed Jesus is actually present in the Eucharist, but because our church doesn’t believe that, I felt unable to partake. He was confused and wanted to know if I thought Jesus was only present in some churches. I said, and here’s the rub, that I thought Jesus was likely more present in churches which had apostolic succession. Don’t even know if that’s right, so forgive and help my ignorance.

Then he said ‘So if I go to Uganda to reach the lost, I can’t give them ‘proper’ communion as a lay man?’ To which I said ‘No, I don’t suppose you can’. Which then got the response that it was elitist.

Help! What do I say to that??

Isnt that why we are supposed to evangelize them?

peace
steve

Since you are still an Anglican, how that can’t make you an elitist?

The truth sometimes brings out any response you can imagine. Jesus is insistent that his IS his body and this IS his blood. The disciples that could not believe as such left him in John 6 :66 I believe. Jesus is truth.

Mary.

The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church has a valid Eucharist due to apostolic succession. (The laying on of hands to ordain a priest.) I am not certain about the Anglicans, and do not know how to unravel what I read about it.

I do believe that Christians who sincerely believe they are receiving the Lord…, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, will receive grace, even though it is not a valid Eucharist due to invalid ordination.

It has nothing to do with elitism, although some do not know how to explain it charitably.

I must remember to pray for the unity of all Christians every day!

My answer would be to read again and prayfully consider the ACTIONS of Jesus when HE instituted HIS Church.

Did Jesus just say the words “I will build my Church” and go on HIS own merry way?

NO HE DID NOT DO THAT!

HE said the words and then what did HE do?

John 20
20:21 Therefore, he said to them again: “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them. And he said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. 20:23 Those whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and those whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

Who did HE breathe on HIS POWER and AUTHORITY do DO THIS?

HIS Disciples! THE First Bishops!

Can I claim to have the Authority of JESUS to forgive sins or RETAIN them?

Has someone who HAS received Jesus authority passed it onto ME?

By the way the last supper was ALSO an “elitist” event. Only 12 invited!

“That’s elite” sounds like one of those Screwtape-ish terms to deflect whether or not something is actually true. I might respond something like, “Whether or not it’s considered elitist, I can only follow it if it’s true.”

It sounds elitist, sure, but is it really? Does salvation belong only to the Baptized, or the called? Yes? Is that elitist too?

There are two principles at work with Apostolic authority. First, this is what we received from our Lord. He breathed on the Twelve. Not on all of His disciple received this. These were a certain elect, but should not be considered the elite.

Secondly, Christ calls all who would follow Him to be last, not first. Indeed, those first Twelve that He called, He told them specifically that if they would be first, they must be last. To receive Apostolic authority is to receive a call to serve. We are all called to serve, but the “higher up” the Apostolic hierarchy you go, the greater you are called to service.

Elitism suggests special treatment, special privileges, or perhaps even domination. Yes, sure, the special treatment priests and bishops and popes have is that they are expected to give of themselves more in the service of others than all the rest of us. So, I guess in a weird, counter-intuitive sense that is elitist. It is the elitism of servitude.

Put in a more concrete way, a priest, for example, must attend to the spiritual needs of his parish. If a parishioner comes comes to him while he is eating dinner, with a request to hear his confession, the priest must oblige immediately. If a priest is woken at 3am and called to a hospital to administer last rights, he must attend to it immediately. There is an expectation that, given the gifts of the Ordinary Office, he will respond by giving those gifts back to the Faithful he is caring for.

Your husband, if he were woken at 3am with a request to administer last rights (leaving aside the question of whether he actually has the power to do this, which he doesn’t), has no responsibility to attend to that. He has not received the gift to do so, so he is not expected to share that gift. If he just said sorry, and rolled over and went back to sleep, he wouldn’t be held accountable for that. If a priest did that, he’d be committing a serious violation to his vocation.

Giving everyone in the Kingdom the same gifts as everyone else is not the way God works. It’s not how He worked in Judaism, and it’s not how He works in Christianity. His Kingdom is a hierarchy, and different offices possess different gifts, and the possession of those gifts is a demand upon the office holder to dispense those gifts to those they have authority over. It is a responsibility, not a privilege.

So, does he also think he is an “elitist” when he refers to some people in Uganda as “the lost”?

Anyway, it would be nice to know what exactly does he find problematic:

  1. is it that Anglicans do not have Real Presence while Catholics do?
  2. is it that priests have abilities that laymen lack?

In the first case, does he agree that the Pagans or Muslims have no Real Presence? Is that “elitism”? If that’s because they do not even claim that they have it, don’t Anglicans deny transubstantiation as well? If they do, why should they feel insulted when Catholics agree that transubstantiation does not happen for Anglican communion?

In the second case, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 does say that not everyone is going to have the same role in the Church. Also, Anglicans do seem to ordain their own ministers and bishops - is that also “elitism”?

Thus his argument does not seem to be any more compatible with Anglicanism, than with Catholicism.

And even if it is “elitist” - so what? Can he show anything wrong with such “elitism”?

Thank you all for your most helpful replies - you’ve given me much to think about and share with him. We’re both Anglicans by accident, really, refugees from the Reformed Baptist stable, attending an Anglican church because it is the nearest church to us geographically. I don’t think my husband has any great affiliation to the idea of Anglican Apostolic Succession - I rather think that he’s never considered the issue before now, and is speaking out of his lack of knowledge and surprise at something he’d never thought of.

=Eruvande;13033076]I was having a conversation with my husband about why I was reluctant to take communion at our Anglican home church anymore. I explained to him that I believed Jesus is actually present in the Eucharist, but because our church doesn’t believe that, I felt unable to partake. He was confused and wanted to know if I thought Jesus was only present in some churches. I said, and here’s the rub, that I thought Jesus was likely more present in churches which had apostolic succession. Don’t even know if that’s right, so forgive and help my ignorance.

Then he said ‘So if I go to Uganda to reach the lost, I can’t give them ‘proper’ communion as a lay man?’ To which I said ‘No, I don’t suppose you can’. Which then got the response that it was elitist.

Help! What do I say to that??

You are RIGHT:)

Lk. 22:17-19 "And having taken the chalice, he gave thanks, and said: Take, and divide it among you: [For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. **Do this for a commemoration of me. "

1st. Cor. 11: 23-30 " [23] For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink**, for the commemoration of me**. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. [30] Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep***" [spiritual death] ***[With God Like Powers and Authority] And FOR THEM do I sanctify myself, **that they also may be sanctified in truth. **20] And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me;

Mt. 28: 18-20 " Going therefore, teach YOU all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded YOU: and behold I am with YOU all days, even to the consummation of the world".

It is a serious error to presume that one can leave the CC and not have a God imposed penalty to pay. One God; One set of Faith beliefs and One true Church Eph. 4: 1-7

Heb. 6: 1-5 “Wherefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to things more perfect, not laying again the foundation of penance from dead works, and of faith towards God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and imposition of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. [4] For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, have tasted also the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, Have moreover tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come”

Explained by Douay Catholic Bible[4[/COLOR]] It is impossible: The meaning is, that it is impossible for such as have fallen after baptism, to be again baptized; and very hard for such as have apostatized from the faith, after having received many graces, to return again to the happy state from which they fell."

Catholic Holy Communion is:

From God the Father

OF God the Son

By God the Holy Spirit & is only possible by those God HAS Chosen to do this on His behalf.

John 15: 16 “You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” AMEN

Because God is One
God’s True Faith must also be limited to ONE
In and through the only Church He Founded, guides and protects.

God Bless you my friend!:thumbsup:

Patrick**

You are correct. One way to answer this is look at what Anglicans actually teach

From the 39 articles (emphasis mine)

XXVIII. Of the Lord’s Supper.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.[/FONT]

The highlighted text shows what Anglicans believe and teach about the Eucharist. It is NOT the real presence of Jesus .

THAT is one of the reasons why the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize Anglican orders to be valid. Apostolicae Curae - Papal Encyclicals Online Anglican orders are considered Null & Void

Anglican Orders

Looking at this another way, Can I receive communion in an Anglican church?

=steve b;13036750]You are correct. One way to answer this is look at what Anglicans actually teach

From the 39 articles (emphasis mine)

XXVIII. Of the Lord’s Supper.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.[/FONT]

The highlighted text shows what Anglicans believe and teach about the Eucharist. It is NOT the real presence of Jesus .

THAT is one of the reasons why the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize Anglican orders to be valid. Apostolicae Curae - Papal Encyclicals Online Anglican orders are considered Null & Void

Anglican Orders

Looking at this another way, Can I receive communion in an Anglican church?

Nicely done Steve, thanks

You are right. Although Jesus is present in all Christian communities, He is present in a unique and special way in the Eucharist, Holy Communion, which is only found in Church’s that have legitimate Apostolic Succession, that is Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches.

Truth verses a false sentimental sense of justice

Actually, the Catholic Church’s position is very humble, and the position,
“that we (some man made Protestant denomination) are just as worthy as anyone else,
SO we also have the right to make Jesus just as present as can be found in any Christian Church
(consecrate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ)
is actually a sinfully proud position to take. To see that consider the following.

Let’s examine what it means to be an elitist.
An elitist claims to have bragging rights, that he is somehow better than others.
A person can only brag about what he has in himself, what he himself has accomplished, i.e., what he has in regards to his own nature. He cannot rightfully brag about what God has freely and mercifully given to him.

If the Protestant claims that he is “just as good as anyone else” he is claiming that no one is better than he is, that is the best, or at least tied for the best. While he might claim that “he has the right” the good Catholic – I do not defend the actions of Catholics who act contrary to Catholic teaching – on the other hand, with his head bowed to God, believes that no one has the right in and of himself, to be an ordained a priest and to consecrate, to change, the bread and the wine.

If a Catholic layman presents himself to the bishop and demands ordination, the bishop would rightly deny his request for the simple reason that no one has the right to demand it. Catholics believe that only by the free gift of God’s grace can a person be made worthy to be a priest. By our own human nature we are sinners. It is only by sharing in what God in His mercy gives to us so that we “become partakers of the divine nature” 2 Peter 1:4, that we have anything that is good. So, for the Catholic, there is nothing to brag about but God and His goodness.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6
“Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant …”

Ordination is not about power, but about service. It is important to note, that according to Catholic theology, a person who becomes a priest, or a bishop, or even the Pope, is not free to do as he wishes, but is only free to do what God wants the priest or bishop to do. If he does anything to the contrary to God’s will that is a sin for which he will be punished.

Now, if a person claims that all positions in the church are given to everyone in a ubiquitous manner and that everyone is equal in teaching or leading (contrary to 1 Corinthians 12:28-30) then this would mean that the person who teaches that Jesus is truly present in Holy Communion has the same validity as the person who teaches the contrary. The consequences of that would mean that either the Truth is irrelevant or that it is unknowable.

But Jesus teaches :
**John 14:6
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’ ” **

Jesus, who is he Truth, cannot be relegated to being irrelevant. Nor is it plausible to accept that he failed in providing us a way of knowing the truth. Therefore, the position that there is no hierarchy in leadership is false.

See more on the importance of Truth at

defendingthebride.com/mc/truth.html

I suggest that you begin your discussion with your husband with the subject that you hopefully have in common, and which will lead to a greater understanding on why your position is correct. That subject is the importance of Truth, and why subjective Relativism is wrong.

Please consider the links that are provided in the series of posts that are made in this thread on Relativism:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=963711

See more on the Biblical case for Hierarchy at
defendingthebride.com/ch/hand.html#5

See more on the Biblical case for Apostolic Succession at
defendingthebride.com/ch/hand.html

.

Unfortunately sincerity of believe can not make something which is not into something else. No matter how sincere I am, I have no ability to transub ordinary bread into our Lord. No matter how sincere one believes that bread is our Lord, but when it is not, no amount of wishing can make it happen. Female priests and priests with no proper authority, no matter how sincere despite saying all the right words, have the power to transub bread into our Lord. The laity, no matter how sincere they are believing that bread is our Lord, would be caused to be deluded.

That is not to say that one can not received grace from God directly. God is not limited to the Sacraments. Baptism of desire is evidence that one can receive grace in another way. I have not come across Eucharist by desire. For baptism it may be that the person desiring baptism near death could not physically get it. Such as the Good Thief. For the Eucharist, it is available in the Catholic Church. If one sincerely believes it, he or she would make the effort to receive it, and not merely wishing/believing a piece of bread or cracker is the Lord. But why stop at bread or crackers? That bun or piece of chocolate can if according to this logic can be believed to be the Lord if all one need is sincerity. Unfortunately the Church nor the Bible ever taught transubstantiation by sincerity. By doing so, one may be caused to commit idolatry of plain bread and biscuits and what not… So why put oneself in doubt? Get the real thing.

I understand what you are saying. I was trying to say that in spite of the lack of the Real Presence, sincere Christians will receive grace from the Lord. I was not saying that the Real Presence was there.

I hope and pray for the unity and understanding of all believers.

St. Ignatius of Antionch, who died about 110 A.D., said, "You should regard that Eucharist as valid which is celebrated either by the bishop or by someone he authorizes. ( 8:1To the Smyrnaeans,)

Even earlier, St Jude said, “Woe to them! For they … perish in Korah’s rebellion” (Jude 11). In the Old Testament, Korah and his company perished when they complained about the supposed elitism of Moses and Aaron and tried to offer those sacrifices, specifically incense, which only the Aaronic priests, Aaron and his descendants, were authorized to do (Numbers 16). In a Christian context, what can St. Jude mean but that lay Christians should not try to offer the Christian sacrifice, the Eucharist, which only ordained Christian priests are authorized to do?

It is not elitist to recognized that within the Body of Christ “all the members do not have the same function.” St. Paul said, “For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us …” (Romans 12:4-6; also see 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11)

=ericc;13048719]Unfortunately sincerity of believe can not make something which is not into something else. No matter how sincere I am, I have no ability to transub ordinary bread into our Lord. No matter how sincere one believes that bread is our Lord, but when it is not, no amount of wishing can make it happen. Female priests and priests with no proper authority, no matter how sincere despite saying all the right words, have the power to transub bread into our Lord. The laity, no matter how sincere they are believing that bread is our Lord, would be caused to be deluded.

That is not to say that one can not received grace from God directly. God is not limited to the Sacraments. Baptism of desire is evidence that one can receive grace in another way. I have not come across Eucharist by desire. For baptism it may be that the person desiring baptism near death could not physically get it. Such as the Good Thief. For the Eucharist, it is available in the Catholic Church. If one sincerely believes it, he or she would make the effort to receive it, and not merely wishing/believing a piece of bread or cracker is the Lord. But why stop at bread or crackers? That bun or piece of chocolate can if according to this logic can be believed to be the Lord if all one need is sincerity. Unfortunately the Church nor the Bible ever taught transubstantiation by sincerity. By doing so, one may be caused to commit idolatry of plain bread and biscuits and what not… So why put oneself in doubt? Get the real thing.

FOR THE SAKE OF DISCUSSION:

There IS a “communion of desire” Spiritual Communion" and it has 3 levels of Offered Grace.

God Bless you,

Patrick

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