Anders Wejryd also comments on how Swedish Lutherans, migrating to America, were encouraged to merge with Episcopal Church in the 18th century. Several early Lutheran parishes in the Northeast did, indeed become Episcopalian. We’ve come full circle today.
What does it mean for the various Protestant churches to be in “full communion” with one another, yet still be distinct, denominationally? Does the Church of Sweden now share all the doctrinal beliefs of the Anglican Communion? If not, what’s the relevance of “full communion”?
It is important to remember that the mainstream Lutherans and Episcopalians of previous centuries were radically different than their modernist successors today.
The modern Anglican churches remind me of the late mediaeval church: in theory they teach the ancient orthodox faith, but in practice they are poorly governed, and heresies have crept in as unofficial but widespread teaching.
To be in full communion typically means full altar and pulpit fellowship. Altar and pulpit fellowship means not only can each communion’s members can receive the sacraments of the other, but also priests can be shared as well. It does not necessarily mean full doctrinal agreement, only that differences are not considered church dividing.
It may be telling that confessional Lutheran and more traditional Anglican groups are not in communion with each other.
It is the new Christian Agnosticism, where heresies are accepted in the name of public relations. Where truth is just relative.
That’s not necessarily the case. To an extent it’s due to a willingness to divide revealed dogma from permissible theological opinion. Which is how, for example, Lutherans and Anglicans tend to view the Roman Marian dogmas.
Though some Continuing Anglicans are in contact and working with some Swedish Lutheran traditionalists.
Hmmm… trying to open a door that is not there to introduce a little jab…
As the archbishop points out, there really is no difference between Episcopalian/ Anglican and Lutheran in regards to historic catholic belief and practice. I would think that most Anglicans accept the Augsburg Confession and aside from vague language related to the Real Presence, most Lutherans have no problem with the 39 Articles.
While many Anglicans have no particular interest in the Articles, they not being any sense of a general confession for Anglicanism. What most Anglicans might think of the Augsburg Confession, I have not a clue.
Some of us Eastern Catholics view them that way too.
Nor the PNCC with either of them. (Although I believe there was some recentish talk about a possible full communion between the PNCC and a certain Anglican group in England, but I can’t remember it’s name.)
I believe the Provoo Communion of Anglican and Lutherans in Europe and the Called to Common Mission of Episcopalians & Lutherans in north America focuses on common beliefs and church structure. Since even Pope Benedict viewed the Augsburg Confession as a “catholic” expression of faith, I would assume Anglicans would also agree with the Confession as well. Is there a reluctance among Anglicans to subscribe to a formal set of beliefs?
Generally, it is not common. Nor is it prescribed, beyond the standard Creeds, generally. Certainly, the Articles are not such a set of beliefs.
Another comment from archbishop Wejryd was that Swedish Lutherans felt more at home with Episcopalians due to having a “king” [monarchy] involved.
The various groups of Lutherans migrating to America came from several different countries with different languages. I think Danes, Finns and Norwegians resented Swedes since Sweden had conquered each of their countries. And Scandinavians did not trust Germans. So all these Lutherans had nationalistic pride that tended to separate them form each other in the new World.
And the LCMS and the ACNA (not sure which direction they are headed) are in talks also.
I urge caution, on the LCMS’s part.
Which is not to say - if you will permit me, GKC - that there should not be such a common set of beliefs. Really I wish there were. I find myself agonisingly close to being Roman Catholic… I would give such thanks to God if He would give us a clear confession of faith by which I could recognise both justification by my unworthy faith and the faith of the Church of Rome. And I say that, not to cause offense or suggest relativism, but precisely because I long for the objective truth of the Gospel of Christ’s Church.