How is the Queen of England Not the Head of the American Episcopal Church?


#1

If the Queen of England says “in order to remain in communion with the Archbishop of Cantebury” you must do “this”, wouldn’t it mean that in order to stay in the Anglican community, a parish must do “this”?

If the Anglican Communion is defined by being in communion with the Archbishop of Cantebury, and his policies are dependent upon the Queen/King of England, then isn’t it logical to assume that one can only be in communion with Archbishop of Cantebury based on one’s agreement with the policies of the Queen/King of England?


#2

The Episcopal church is basically independent of England. When America went independent, they didn’t want anything to do with British royalty anymore.


#3

So, there’s no “Anglican Communion”? Is that what you’re saying?


#4

There is a worldwide Anglican Communion. Made up of 38 totally independent jurisdictions, mainly national level Churches, like the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of South Africa, the Anglican Church of New Zealand. You get the idea. In communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, as Primate of the Anglican Communion (that is, toothless figurehead). He wears two hats: the Primate of the Church of England, and the senior bishop of the Anglican Communion (remember, toothless figurehead). Think of the Communion as a sort of an analog of the British Commonwelath, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, as sort of an analog of the Queen, with respect to the Commonwealth. No real authority in either position, just a voluntary association, with an honorary figurehead.

By act of Parliment (Elizabeth I’s, that is) the British Sovereign is head of the Church of England. Which is one (the original) of those 38 independent jurisdictions. As the Episcopal Church is, in the USA. The Queen is NOT the head of the Anglican Communion, only of the Church of England. When that act of Parliment was passed, there was no Anglican Communion.

Answering this same question was the first post I ever made on the net, maybe 8-9 years ago, on a RC board. I have lost count of how many times I’ve answered it since.

GKC


#5

You didn’t answer it then, and you didn’t answer it now.

Once again, does the Queen/King of England make policy for the Anglican Church?

If not, then he/she is not the head of said church.

If so, then he/she is head of said “communion”.

That is, if the Queen/King of England makes policy for the Anglican Church, the he/she is the Head of the Anglican Church.

If, in order to remain in the Anglican Communion, a parish most follow the policies of the Archbishop of Cantebury, then that parish must also follow the policies as laid out by the Queen/King of England.

If a parish doesn’t have to follow the policies of the Archbishop of Cantebury to remain in communion with him, then there are no real “policies”, and parishes are able to do as they please.


#6

Sure I did, now. I will agree you didn’t understand it, and may not yet. And you read it, then, 8-9 years ago? I’m amazed. Wasn’t Walt a caution?

Once again, does the Queen/King of England make policy for the Anglican Church?

No, no more than she/he does for Great Britain, of which she/he is the consitutional monarch. You must have seen her? Crown and all? Sitting enthroned, opening Parliment? Reading the speech written for her by the ruling party?

BTW, I assume by “Anglican Church” you mean “Church of England”. As I said, the British Soveriegn has NO formal role in any other Anglican jurisdiction. Remember, 38 independent Churches.

If not, then he/she is not the head of said church.

Of courseshe/he is. Says so in the Act of Supremacy, January 1559. Still on the books. Supreme Governor, she’s called. Henry liked Supreme Head (see Supreme Head Act, 1535), but that was dropped in 1559.

If so, then he/she is head of said “communion”.

That is, if the Queen/King of England makes policy for the Anglican Church, the he/she is the Head of the Anglican Church.

Premise is invalid, so is conclusion.

If, in order to remain in the Anglican Communion, a parish most follow the policies of the Archbishop of Cantebury, then that parish must also follow the policies as laid out by the Queen/King of England.

Same again

If a parish doesn’t have to follow the policies of the Archbishop of Cantebury to remain in communion with him, then there are no real “policies”, and parishes are able to do as they please.

Bingo. I think you’re making progress.

By the way, the Archbishop doesn’t decide who is in communion with the See of Canterbury, meaning is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion (which is what the term means). That’s done by a vote of the primates (Remember those 38 independent jurisidictions?) All +Cantaur can do is decline to invite a jurisidiction to his decennial get-together at Lambeth. And they’ll miss out on some good port.

In your kindness, you attribute far too much of the structure of the RCC to the Anglican Communion. Doesn’t work like that.

GKC

Anglicanus Catholicus


#7

I gather the Anglican Communion really isn’t a “communion” at all, but more of a “social get together”, light on theology and heavy on the refreshments.

So, if the Queen says “all bishops must be homosexuals”, and no one agrees, what happens?


#8

Not completely, but you’re getting close. As I said in that post 8-9 years ago, the Anglican world is organised mainly at the diocesan level. Above that, it’s mainly politics and persausion. And money. Never forget money.

So, if the Queen says “all bishops must be homosexuals”, and no one agrees, what happens?

Nothing. Sort of like if the Archbishop of Canterbury said “No bishops may be homosexuals”. BTW, both statements by the respective figureheads are unlikely.

Anglicanism is hard to understand, from the outside, and not always worth making the effort to do so. But if you try, you need a guide and a scorecard. Hard to understand, sometimes hard to be, too. That’s why I’m an Anglican (I hesitate to do this to you) who isn’t in communion with Canterbury.

GKC


#9

!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!??!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!!?!!?!?!??!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?

Is that even possible?!??!!??!?


#10

A whole lot of blogs will get set up, a cottage indutry of feverishly produced newsletters will be published, and the issue wlll be dragged on for years with still more Anglican Communion clergy forming new “Conitinuing Anglican” denominations or going Catholic or Orthodox.

But honestly, such a what if question is a bit loaded.


#11

How can you ask, when I’m right here in front of you?

Yes.

Anglicanism is not defined by communion with Canterbury. The Anglican Communion is so defined. Anglicanism generically is defined by following the Anglican formularies, using the Anglican liturgies, and possessing the Anglican lines of apostolic succession (don’t get me started on Apostolicae Curae, it’s too late at night), in the episcopacy.

I’m one of a group of Anglicans who separated from the official Communion (mainly, in the US, from ECUSA), about 35 years ago, over the beginning of the process now clearer visible, wherein official Anglicanism went off the rails (you know, females in collars/mitres, gay agenda, stuff like that). Collectively this group is referred to as the Anglican Continuum, Continuing Anglicans, or, less formally, traditional Anglicans. Think of us as schismatic schismatics.

Told you you’d need a score card. I almost didn’t do it to you.

Wanna know about the Reformed Episcopal Church, dating from the 1850s?

There, I did it again.

GKC


#12

I had overlooked the first part. But I’d just call the question unlikely.

GKC


#13

This is enough to make my [Catholic] head spin!!!

So, Anglicanism isn’t defined by a particular “head”, but by some sort of “formularies”, liturgies, and lines of succession?

That being the case, then if those “formularies”, liturgies, and lines of succession are accepted by the Bishop of Rome as a legitimate rite, then wouldn’t all Anglicans who fallow as such be within the [C]atholic Church? The only “Anglicans” outside of the [C]atholic Church would be those that put themselves outside of it…correct?

Well, thanks for now, I’ll read you answers in the morning…


#14

Try living in it.

So, Anglicanism isn’t defined by a particular “head”, but by some sort of “formularies”, liturgies, and lines of succession?

I forgot the bit about gin and tonic. But I did mention the port. Formularies. Think Book of Common Prayer, Ordinals, stuff like that.

That being the case, then if those “formularies”, liturgies, and lines of succession are accepted by the Bishop of Rome as a legitimate rite, then wouldn’t all Anglicans who fallow as such be within the [C]atholic Church?

There are so many ways to reply to this. For us Anglo-Catholics, yes, we are in the Catholic Church. But not Roman, i.e. not in communion with the bishp of Rome, patriarch of the West ( I wish Benedict hadn’t decided not to use that title).

But the crux of the matter is the lines of succession. Rome doesn’t recognise Anglican orders. It’s a long story. So, to Rome, we are a species of protestant. In short, if Rome were to accept the orders, we’d be schismatic, in her eyes. Like the Old Catholics or the PNCC.

The only “Anglicans” outside of the [C]atholic Church would be those that put themselves outside of it…correct?

Hmm. Not sure I know how to respond to that. Anglicans don’t generally accept the supremacy (primacy is another matter), of the Pope, so… Except for this little bunch known as Anglo-Papalists…(Ha! Made you jump.)

Well, thanks for now, I’ll read you answers in the morning…

I’m uncertain that I made much sense, here.

GKC


#15

GKC - how tired are you? I thought for sure the “Blog and newsletter” bit would evince a chuckle from ya!

Simple


#16

Anglicanism is hard to understand, from the outside, and not always worth making the effort to do so. But if you try, you need a guide and a scorecard. Hard to understand, sometimes hard to be, too. That’s why I’m an Anglican (I hesitate to do this to you) who isn’t in communion with Canterbury.

GKC

The American Revolution.
On the other hand, during the American War Between the States, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the North, & in the South, remained in communion with one another.
Mind you, the fact that General Lee (may he rest in peace) was also an “Anglican not in union with Canterbury” was attempted to be used as a talking point when the South approached England for its help…but I:p digress…


#17

I was so tired I forgot to show how amused I really was. That was not only funny, but true.

The part about the continuing Contining fraction was not only funny and true, but sad.

GKC

*posterus traditus Anglicanus *


#18

Another and related historical point. After the Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church in America, which had no resident bishops at the time, received the episcopacy and apostolic succession, not from the Church of England (bit of a political dust-up there), but from Anglican bishops who were not in communion with Canterbury: the Nonjuroring bishops, in Scotland. One of whom was a former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Someone wrap Hammer’s head in duct tape, quick.

GKC


#19

Wait, you haven’t even gotten into High Church, Low Church, Broad Church yet.

Plus there’s the Archbishop of York, the Oxford Movement, and my personal favourite (just because of the name) the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.


#20

Although nominally the monarch is the head of the Church of England, AFAIK I know she doesn’t interfere in the running of it - just as even though the Queen has to accept various laws and the appointment of a prime minister, she rubber-stamps all of them.
I know there is a Private Member’s Bill in the works to get rid of the anomaly that a monarch (or heir) can’t marry a Catholic.


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