Tag Archives: lectures

On Anglican Ethos, part 2 : an audio lecture

What it is about Anglican patrimony that gives it distinctiveness? What about it has made the Anglican Church unique, while still a strong, if troubled, member of the Catholic family of churches? The answer for many is, what makes Anglicanism unique is called the “Anglican ethos.” Anglican ethos is a term that refers to how the feel and senseor “culture”—of Anglican life emerges from our tradition of liturgy, parish life, sacraments and monastic tradition.

Father Thomas Fraser, rector at Saint Paul’s, Riverside (near Chicago) for 40 years, provides the second half of his lecture that addresses those questions in an accessible and authoritative presentation that is 53 minutes long.

In this time of confusion about Anglicanism in England, the United States, and elsewhere, it can be difficult to see what makes us, in a healthy sense, “us.” In addition to the outline begun in Part 1, where he stressed the importance of The Book of Common Prayer as the Anglican Regula, in Part 2 Father Fraser outlines the five basic characteristics of Anglican uniqueness. The characterics are 1. Catholic theology, 2. an Evangelical spirit (that is, the Evangelical Counsels), 3. a Patristic foundation, 4. a Search After Truth and Quality of Life, and 5. Intellectual Openness and Individual Freedom.

Listen to Part 1 of “Anglican Ethos” here.

See also:

What does ‘Regula’ Mean?
What is ‘English Spirituality’?

 

 

On Anglican Ethos, part 1 : an audio lecture

What it is about Anglican patrimony that gives it distinctiveness? What is it about it has made the Anglican Church unique, while still a strong, if troubled, member of the Catholic family of churches?

Father Thomas Fraser, the now retired rector of Saint Paul’s, Riverside (near Chicago) after 42 years, provides a lecture that addresses those questions in an accessible and authoritative presentation that is 52 minutes long. In this time of confusion about Anglicanism in England, the United States, and elsewhere, it can be difficult to see what makes us, in a healthy sense, “us.” Father Fraser provides a historical overview of what is called “the Anglican ethos,” as well as what it means for us, today.

“Anglican ethos” is a term that refers to how the feel and senseor “culture”—of Anglican life emerges from our tradition of liturgy, parish life, sacraments and monastic tradition. The Book of Common Prayer is absolutely crucial to this ethos, this “less tangible patrimony.” To understand it correctly, the Prayer Book must seen not as a collection of worship services, but rather as a Regula—or pattern, framework of corporate life that orders the threefold prayer life of Office-Mass-Devotion. This is the heart of what gives Anglicanism its ethos, its distinctive characteristics and quality. As Father Fraser says, “Regula is what forms our life. . . . No other western Church has as its liturgy its Regula.

In the course of his lecture, which is taken from a recent Adult Theology Class (a five-semester course taught for 35 years at St Paul’s, Riverside and mandatory for full membership in the parish), Father Fraser also describes how it was Martin Thornton who gave language and vocabulary to what older generations of Anglicans understood to be the Anglican ethos. It was well understood, he says, often implicitly. But not until Martin Thornton came along, particularly with his classic English Spirituality, was the general sense of our identity explicitly demonstrated to be consonant with, and a continuation of, Benedictinism. Father Fraser also describes how Anglicanism, seen broadly with the Book of Common Prayer as its foundation, is Catholic in its doctrine, practice and imagination.

Enjoy this lecture, study it, and share and discuss in your home parish. Listen to Part 2 here.

On Apostolicae Curae and Anglican Orders

Father Thomas Fraser, rector of St Paul’s Parish for 38 years [now 42 years], offers this important perspective on the status today of the Papal encyclical Apostolicae Curae and its claim (always disputed by Anglicanism) that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void”. This perspective is explained in two parts, over two audio MP3 files, above.

In Part I, he retraces key points in history, going all the way back to King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, and continuing through the Oxford Movement and the Irish Potato Famine, including the important figures of Cardinal Manning and of course Pope Leo XIII. These points of history are crucial for a full understanding of the question of validity of Anglican Orders. Father Fraser argues that Apostolicae Curae is not theologically rooted, but rather politically rooted.

In Part II, Father Fraser’s narrative continues into the mid to later 20th century. He touches on key attitudes and beliefs on this question held by major players in the Western Church, including Pope Paul VI, as well as Harry Smythe, director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. We see just how close Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism had progressed toward unity in the 1970s. He further reminds us that the laying on of hands by Old Catholic bishops at the ordination of Anglican bishops essentially removes any residue of doubt that Anglican orders today are valid. Although it must be pointed out, Anglicanism has always understood the validity of its orders to be secure.