Friday, April 27, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I enjoy movies and TV shows about espionage and high-level political brinksmanship. Recently this has ranged from TV fare such as The West Wing and 24 to films like The Good Shepherd and Breach. One of the standard quantum leaps that the writers for such efforts rely on is "intelligence chatter." They never explain what the source of such "chatter" (aka "traffic") is, and rarely what the specific content is, but it certainly moves the plot along. (I guess if they told us they'd have to kill us.)

Over the past week or so there's been a spike in "intelligence chatter" in the Anglican-Episcopal universe. From the sources I have been able to tap, along with those that have just fallen in my lap, I am reasonably well assured that a sub-group of some five dioceses within the Anglican Communion Network have cooked up a plan to hold hands and jump off the slowly-sinking ship that is the Episcopal Church and swim to . . . well, here's where the intelligence gets sketchy--OK, non-existent.

In order to protect the guilty (and my reputation, should I be wrong), I won't divulge the names of the five dioceses in question (except to say that my own is one of them). But if you are any sort of savant about contemporary ecclesiastical politics, you can probably guess them. In any case, I expect to know more--a great deal more--in less than a week's time. Whether I will be in a position to honorably pass on what I learn in a venue such as this remains to be seen.

I don't expect I'll cause any tsunamis by predicting that I'm probably not going to like the details when I hear them. In the most charitable construction, a move of this sort represents a 'Plan B' in response to last month's resounding rejection of the Primates' Pastoral Council/Primatial Vicar plan by the House of Bishops. A more jaded exegesis sees it as the most radical fringe of the Network exploiting the HOB's ill-advised actions by making a run for something more like they would have wanted in the first place anyway.

Yet, I continue to believe that the course of action that is at the same time most honorable and most fruitful in the long run is to lend enthusiastic support to the PC/PV plan, to cooperate with it in every way--and, of course, to lean heavily on the "Windsor Bishops" to do the same. The voices of respected "reasserters" like Canon Neal Michell of Dallas and the scholars of the Anglican Communion Institute have, I am pleased to say, lined up squarely behind my own!

Most tragically, the initiative that I anticipate hearing about officially next week represents just one more level of fragmentation among conservative Anglicans in America. Our adversaries are going to glut themselves on the news and then ask for seconds. It seems that we just can't hang together. So we're going to hang separately.

One of these days I'll get so depressed by reality that I'll indulge myself and write about my fantasy for a true Anglican Rite in communion with the See of Rome (not just the Anglican Use that is available now.)

27 comments:

Anam Cara said...

Did it ever occur to you that the Anglicans left Rome for a reason? If you are searching for home, I humbly suggest you look a little farther east.

The Antiochian Archdiocese already has a Western Rite in place. There are a good many Orthodox clergy who have come from the Episcopal Church. You might want to investigate their reasons for choosing Orthodoxy.

At the web site below, you can ask questions of converts from various faiths why they made the change, what made them believe that Orthodoxy is the best way. Half of those are now clergy and the other half are lay. It can never hurt to ask.

http://www.antiochian.org/missions/investigating_orthodoxy.htm

Invicta Veritas said...

Well, I have heard rumors, too. One of them (to put it bluntly) is that Abp. Venables of the Southern Cone is "calling the shots" for San Joaquin, along the lines of "get ready, get set ..." (cf. last year's diocesan convention) and "... go;" and that, due to the CA legal situation, SJ will be the first diocese to secede.

(I would, by the way, guess that the 5 dioceses are SJ, Fort Worth, Quincy, Springfield and [possibly] South Carolina. I have never thought it likely, or even possible, that dioceses that purport to ordain women and those that don't will be able to hold together for very long. South Carolina -- and, for all that I know, Mark Lawrence [alas!] are committed to WO, whereas I hear that Beckwith of Springfield, like Herzog of Albany before he swam a certain river, began to eschew that practice which they both for so long favored, to the detriment of their dioceses. Herzog and Bena, in jumping ship in Albany, seem to have left a diocese in the doldrums behind them, so I doubt it will go anywhere or do anything quickly; Western Kansas appears to be quietly spurning the authority of its "reasserting" bishop; and as for Dallas, Central Florida and the rest, well, I have as much expectations of real action from them as I do of my clock striking thirteen; but we shall see.)

But where to go? There was that curious meeting last September 6th in Newark, NJ, between the RC Archbishop of Newark, John Myers, who is the "Ecclesiastical Delegate" for the Anglican Use Roman Catholics, on the one hand, and +Ackerman, +Iker, +Schofield and +Herzog. Well, we know now why Herzog was there, but what about the others? It would appear that +Clarence Pope kept a safe-full of documents relating to those conversations of ca. 1976-1980 with Rome that eventuated in the promulgation of the Pastoral Provision, but which were much more ambitious than that in their scope; and that among these documents were some interesting, detailed and favorable comments by one Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger -- and that these documents, or copies of them, were literally "on the table" at that meeting. There is some well-founded thought that a document has been on the pope's desk for some months, awaiting resolution, that would transform, or at least greatly widen the scope of, the "Pastoral Provision" if it ever sees the light of day (but cf. the fabled Motu Proprio that is supposed to "liberate" the old Tridentine Mass: it has been on the pope's desk for well over a year without a final resolution, but now we are told to watch May 6th). So will it be, for the Forward-in-Faith bishops, a case of "heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to Rome we go, with a steady gait and a cheerful noise, heigh-ho, heigh-ho?" Such a denouement would make some hearts glad, but others sad; and as "anam cara" has said, there is also the Orthodox option.

So many choices, and now so little time ...

bls said...

I hate to mention it, but most Episcopalians don't view the Church as a "sinking ship." In fact, most of us eagerly look forward to the future and believe that our best days are definitely ahead of us. Why don't "reasserters" simply bite the bullet and accept that you're already where you're supposed to be, stop worrying about being "insulated" from TEC (whatever that means), and join us in the effort to spread the Gospel in the modern world?

I know it seems too simple, but it just might work....

;-)

Thomas Abel said...

Substitute Bryan (as in Monty Python's "The Life of Bryan") for Christ, bls, and you've got your theme song, "Always look on the bright sde of life ...," as the curtains fall.

bls said...

Which curtains are falling, Thomas? What makes you think so?

Because perhaps 10% of the memberships may or may not leave? Because TEC is "apostate" and has a female Presiding Bishop? Because it's decided to stick to its guns on the welcoming of gay people?

If we are booted out of the Anglican Communion, well, so be it. We'll find other worldwide ecumenical partners, and will in any case continue working relationships in mission with others all of the globe.

So what curtains are falling - other than the main curtain that affects everybody in the West, i.e., declining church membership? Why do you think TEC would be particularly doomed in this regard? I think, rather, that we are in a better position than most.

And the people I know simple go about their business; nothing's changed at the parish level from 2003, except that the buildings are getting still older and harder to care for. We're still talking about the same things: how to do good in our neighborhoods and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. We're about the same as we were 4 years ago, and personally I know many people who are quite encouraged about what's happening on the ground these days.

What curtains?

Randy Muller said...

Re 'worrying about being "insulated" from TEC...'

The words and actions of TEC in General Convention and in the words from various TEC leaders are, simply put, embarrassing and wrong.

For example, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she believes that it has become a vocation for the Episcopal Church "to keep questions of human sexuality in conversation", and that it could take 50 years for the debate over homosexuality to be resolved. She is not admitting the possibility that she or TEC is wrong about this. They are just plowing forward, ever speaking and never listening.

I realize that they are not embarrassing to a majority of Bishops nor to a majority at General Convention. I don't know if they are embarassing to a majority of Episcopal churchgoers. It doesn't really matter.

They are embarassing to me, and every time TEC makes some goofy statement or does some wrong action, I feel ashamed that my church would do such a thing. I feel excluded and marginalized (to use the favorite words of the social justice prophets in TEC).

I feel like I can't invite people to my church, because they, too, would be subjected to such a thing.

eulogos said...

I heard that Archbishop Myers is none too happy that rumors of this meeting have gotten abroad.

For what it is worth, I heard Nov 16th as a day some important papers related to an expanded Pastoral Provision would "land on the Pope's desk."

But as we all know, landing there and leaving there are two different things.

anam cara...Anglicans, you know, are Western Christians and traditionally part of the patriarchate of Rome. That matters to some of them. Others believe strongly in a theology of sin and atonement which is more western than eastern, and would not go to Orthodoxy for that reason.

You get some, we get some, and we all continue to pray for each other and hope that someday we all will be one, as Christ prayed for us. Right?

Susan Peterson

Anam Cara said...

Susan,
You are right. It is imperative that we all pray for the body of Christ and those in it no matter what name they call themselves - Episcopal, Baptist, Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, etc.

Although I would argue that traditionally, Rome was part of the larger, truely universal, catholic church. Given the changes in the Catholic Church over 2000 years, Anglicans may find themselves closer in doctine to Orthodoxy than Rome. Also, the Christians in Ireland remained Orthodox and resisted Rome as long as they could - long after other peoples went with the Roman Church and her changes made to the original teachings. So there were Western Orthodox much closer to our modern times than many realize.

Yes, I do pray that we will all be one. In fact, that very verse is one of the reasons I became Orthodox. After studying all the various forms of Christianity, I wondered how it was that we couldn't even say the Lord's Prayer together because some of us debt and some tresspass. Did God answer Jesus' request with "yes", "no" , or "not now"?

I decided to try to find out what the earliest church taught and was led to Orthodoxy which is teaching the same things it taught for almost 2000 years! No changes, no "revelations", no papal decrees. Just the same simple faith of the undivided Trinity.

I believe that if people would take the time to study what Orthodoxy teaches, they would be surprised at how, shall I say, "orthodox" it is. Too many think of it as a strange ethnic thing and don't/won't take the "trouble" to consider it.

TBW said...

Dan, I do not see the "sinking ship" you mention. Those leaving are really a tiny percentage of the church, though I do not want to diminish their importance.

Apparently Akinola has dumped Bob Duncan for Martyn Minns -- and if MM does not come up with the money and the congregations, he will probably be dumped for the next guy.

By far the great majority of Episcopal Churches are paying their bills, celebrating the Eucharist, feeding the poor, preaching the gospel and not worried about Schofield and Iker, Akinola and Kolini.

Charlie Chaplin had a recurring vision of playing the Crucified Christ on stage in a ballroom, only to have the crowd go about its businesss not even noticing. I am afraid that will be the experience of those bravely leaving their ecclesiastical home of TEC
Tom Woodward

Chip Johnson+, cj said...

"and will in any case continue working relationships in mission with others"

The main problem with this kind of thinking is that the mission of the Church is to present sinners to Christ and Christ to sinners...not the sin of the sinners, but the sinners - repentant and remorseful, working on amendment of life (change of habit), not some 'pie-in-the-sky' feel good social improvement goals.

Bring lost souls to the One who can save them, then meet their daily needs.

Remember the 'someone's' Prayer, 'Our Father...thy will be done...forgive us our sins...give us our daily bread...lead us not into temptation...deliver us from evil'?

Anonymous said...

Tom and bls: You must not be in our diocese. My wife is an orthodox clergy, but most don't know that about her and so assume she is liberal. She was told confidentially by the cathedral dean that 25% of his congregants and money left as a direct result of 2003, but publically the cathedral dean denies that 2003 had any effect.

Meanwhile the diocese continues to incur quarter million dollar deficits, defecting parishes, and declining membership. And our parish also has lost many of the younger families and givers who would have been the building blocks for the future.

For all of you "every thing's okay, its just a handful" folks, you might find this book an interesting read:
http://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Societies-Choose-Fail-Succeed/dp/0670033375

Note that most of these societies ignored the obvious signs of their own demise also.

Anonymous said...

More like 10 diocese, and they will take about 500 parishes in other diocese with them.

And, you still don't get it: this isn't Plan B; it is and has always been Plan A.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

bls said...

That doesn't really say very much to me, anonymous, because it's all "anonymous." Show me some hard facts and I'll listen; otherwise, I have no way of knowing whether anything you're saying is true or not.

As for chip johnson: what makes you think that "amednment of life" and "deliverance from evil" isn't on the agenda in TEC? It is, at every parish I've attended services at for the past 5 years. Anyway, that's certainly not the only "mission" of the Church; remember "doing unto to the least of these"? I really don't understand the desire to split "faith" from "works" this way; they are inseparable.

Sorry you can't invite your friends to Church, Randy; I know how you feel, though, because I definitely feel the same way in the other direction. I'd be terribly embarrassed to bring friends to many American churches.

bls said...

(Anyway, isn't it one of Our Lord's primary teachings that people need to worry about their own sins and failings, and not so much about what other people get up to?

And in any case, aren't all people sinners - and wouldn't it simply be, then, introducing people to Christ? Why the inordinate focus others' sins, when it goes without saying that we are all sinners?

I don't agree, in any case, that "meeting people's daily needs" is secondary to "amendment of life." In fact, this can't be true; starving people first need to be fed.)

commentariat said...

By far the great majority of Episcopal Churches are paying their bills, celebrating the Eucharist, feeding the poor, preaching the gospel and not worried about Schofield and Iker, Akinola and Kolini.

I can't speak for the part about paying their bills or celibrating the Eucharist or not worrying about traditionalists. But the part about feeding the poor and preaching the Gospel are absolute bunk. I came out of the barrio and can tell you, the ones who are feeding the poor and preaching the Gospel are the Salvation Army and the Roman Catholics. The Episcopalians are nowhere to be found. But thanks anywsy.

bls said...

But the part about feeding the poor and preaching the Gospel are absolute bunk. I came out of the barrio and can tell you, the ones who are feeding the poor and preaching the Gospel are the Salvation Army and the Roman Catholics. The Episcopalians are nowhere to be found. But thanks anywsy.

What you say may be true where you grew up, but we do feed the poor in my parish, through a variety of programs - and so do many other parishes all over my diocese, in some of the poorest cities in the Northeast. Other parishes have sister congregations in other parts of the world and do indeed help feed the poor through those relationships. One parish in this area keeps an orphanage in Cameroon going; another has built a school for the poor in India; another does work in Liberia (I think that's right).

Not to mention that many Episcopalians donate to - and work for - Episcopal Relief and Development, which does feed the poor and displaced all over the world.

Hardly "bunk."

commentariat said...

That's nice, bls, hope you've seen it for yourself because they say the same thing about feeding the poor where I grew up. What it actually means is they volunteer at St Vincent de Paul for 2 hours every three months. Oh yeah, and every three months or so they join in Habitat for Humanity with other churches here - *many* other churches - most of whose denominations were in on it long before the Episcopalians. And preach the Gospel? Whose Gospel? Don't make me laugh. If you weren't so busy sitting around congratulating each other on what great works you do, you'd see how far surpassed you are by others who are serious about Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Dan, if this is true, I am quite shocked you would post it while it is still at the "rumor" stage.

It seems the Network is totally unable to maintain "operational silence" and that its friends very often leak things prematurely.

I love the orthodox Anglican blogs, but it seems that they can do much damage sometimes.

--a concerned Anglican

Dan Martins said...

To Anonymous of 10:40 PM:
This is not a matter of the Network not being able to maintain "operational silence." It's not anything about the Network. That's the problem. I have supported the Network. I was a signatory to its initial charter. I did so believing that we were all pledging to act together, and in concert with whatever might pass for due authority within the Anglican Communion. If my "intel" is correct, what we're looking at is an end run around to organic processes that can, if we let them, lead to the goal of an orthodox Anglican province in America. I'm upset because some on my "side" are behaving rashly and foolishly.

William Tighe said...

If the goal is "an orthodox Anglican province in America" that's fine and good, but if by "orthodox" one means "a province that allows for the ordination of women" then I hope that true anglican catholics will outstrip the liberals in their zeal to trample this particular idol in the mud -- just like, I hope, the three FIF/NA bishops.

C.B. said...

Dan- I appreciate your candor stating forthrightly -"If my "intel" is correct, what we're looking at is an end run around to organic processes that can, if we let them, lead to the goal of an orthodox Anglican province in America. I'm upset because some on my "side" are behaving rashly and foolishly."

You say it is upsetting you because it is an "end run" around what would lead to new province in the U.S.. I assume that you then share the same goal. That has not been clear until now. And is at base, why there has been so much concern about the Primates PV Scheme - it's just a prelude leading to this goal, nothing more.

That said, the rashness and foolishness of the plan of some at this time, perhaps only points up the difficulties ahead for the governance so such a province. Often, the personalities that foment dissent, are not those needed to actually govern. It's best to know this now.

rob roy said...

The church has lost 115,000 in the past 7 or so years. CANA and AMiA is only 12,000. That means many of these conservative Anglicans are leaving to Rome, Eastern Orthodox, Non-denominational, etc. They ain't coming back. Time is critical. Rashness is called for. Even as we speak, in smoke filled rooms the TEc usurpers are planning to form an alternative Anglican Communion. In this way, they can live up to the preamble of the TEC. Father Dan, it is the orthodox, both here and in the GS that is about to be outflanked.

Anonymous said...

With permission of the writer, I have I attached is a copy of two letters recently sent to several bishops:

Rev. Dr. Marcus Leland Brown
HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST

1068 South Seventh Avenue #106, Avenal, California 93204 (559) 386-1770

20 April 2007
Dear Bishop:

Greetings and Prayers for Blessings in the name of Maran Eshoo M¢Shika(Our Lord Jesus Christ)!

By way of introduction, I am a missionary priest, former diocesan official and national committee member of the Assyrian Church of the East (The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East), and one of only a dozen American (Caucasian) clergy ever ordained in this ancient part of Eastern Christianity, who are also the last bastion of the Aramaic language of our Lord Jesus Christ. My bishop is Mar Aprim Khamis, Phoenix, Arizona (formerly the bishop of Bashra, Iraq) and we are under the leadership of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the East, (former bishop of Tehran, Iran, now in exile in Chicago, Illinois), the 120th successor to the Apostolic See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (Baghdad, Iraq).
It has been with great interest that I have watched the events within the Anglican Communion. Unfortunately, the results of various meetings have not seemed to produce the hoped for results, especially in The Episcopal Church, and even the recent primates meeting of the Anglican Communion that was just held in Tanzania.

In my study of Christian Churches, especially those that are apostolic in nature, it has revealed that the Assyrian Church and the Anglican Church, previous to the ordination of women and liberal issues that is, were the most alike in their traditions and liturgical celebrations. During World War I, and thereafter, our two Churches had many interactions, especially in the Middle East. Cordial relations continued until the ordination of women, and even our current Catholicos-Patriarch, Mar Dinkha IV, was enthroned at an Anglican Monastery in London, due to various hostile conflicts, even then, in the Middle East in 1976.

I have been in contact with various bishops and clergy within our Assyrian Church, concerning the Episcopal Church situation and it¢s conservative members dilemma, due to the myriad of issues that have come about and they are indeed open to the idea of an "Anglican Rite" within our Church.

I have also read a number of articles sent to me from Episcopal clergy, publications or the internet, concerning the talk of not only Anglican-Roman dialoge for full-communion, but others that relate to Episcopal clergy and congregations going to the Roman Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodoxy. It is a grave concern that the mega-structures of the Roman Catholic Church and/or the Eastern Orthodox Churches will merely cause a cessation of the particular gifting and ministry of the various clergy and congregations that are seeking to leave the Episcopal Church and these persons are probably not fully aware of the true consequences of such inclusions. On the other hand, the Assyrian Church is now so small in the Synod of Bishops, being just over a dozen world-wide, and the current Middle East issues, that dioceses, clergy and congregations will have a much bigger voice in their own destiny, as well as being able to embrace a theology that is so much closer to their own. Additionally, those that have experienced the Charismatic gifts would be allowed to do such, opposed to the Eastern Orthodox stand on this issue, or without adding schismatic and suspect, if not heretical, dogma thereto, concerning the Roman Church.

Episcopal bishops, priests and parishes coming to the Assyrian Church could open a door worldwide to other bishops, clergy and congregations of the Anglican Communion that are seeking a true Apostolic jurisdiction and conservative Christian Church, where they could continue ministry, within the proposed "Anglican Rite" within our ancient Church.



I am enclosing an edited letter to a colleague, which is indeed very rudimentary, but also very explanatory in nature concerning some of the differences concerning our Assyrian Church and the Roman Church. Parts of such may be beneficial to you and also to whomever you may wish to share such information. It is my belief that you should indeed share this information with your fellow conservative bishops, priests and congregations, especially before they take any drastic moves that would entangle them with the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches or Oriental Orthodox Churches.

It is my hope and prayer that the congregations under your pastoral care, as well as other conservative bishops and congregations in the Episcopal Church, are given a opportunity to view this material, and know that there is another way to preserve their faith, their dignity and continue in the ministry that was ordained by our Lord Jesus Christ.

For our part, in the Assyrian Church, we have been praying for a viable means to reach the American population with this pure and holy doctrine of Ancient Christianity. Yet, due to the ethnic prominence in the Assyrian Church, that has been difficult in the Americas. There are only two American (Caucasian) priests left in the entire Assyrian Church worldwide, including myself. An "Anglican Rite" within our Church, would indeed serve the needs of both, our Mother Church and the congregations that are received into this ancient Apostolic jurisdiction. There is so much potential here for the Kingdom of God, worldwide, and for mutual benefit, that I hope you will prayerfully consider this communique and share such with your fellow conservative colleagues and congregations.

I will also be glad to supply any documentation, information, source materials and items that may be deemed necessary concerning the Assyrian Church or myself, if so desired. "Allaha barach loc" (God bless you!)

I remain your servant in the love of Christ,

Rev. Fr. Marcus Brown, D.D., Ph.D., DAPA

Missionary Priest and Pastoral Psychologist

HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST

Enclosures

January 9, 2007

Dear Colleague:

THE HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST, is part of the Original Christian Church that goes all the way back to Jesus Christ, Himself, and His disciples! Literally to 33 A.D. Not just some group that was came up in the last few years, decades, or even recent centuries, as Protestantism or various independent churches.

Yes, it is a Catholic Church, but not Roman, but older and therefore before the Roman Church, without the doctrines the Roman Church added to the Apostolic Christianity of the early centuries. There are only five major communions of Catholicism, including the Roman Church and its subordinates, and they (Rome) are only one of the five. They are; Rome {Roman Catholic}, Constantinople {Eastern Orthodox}, Alexandria {Oriental Orthodox} Jerusalem (primarily absorbed) and Seleucia-Ctesiphon {Assyrian Church of the East}. And all legitimate Churches of Apostolic succession, and their dependent churches and/or jurisdictions, are in communion with one of these five ancient Sees of Christianity. Yet these primary jurisdictions do hold very different doctrines and dogmas. Our Church IS the original Church of Jesus Christ and His Apostles outside of Jerusalem, with the least amount of change from the beginning.

If you do not hold the same belief system about worship, how could you walk together? In this case scenario presented it would mean that your congregations were able to accept the formal worship of our liturgical church, church seasons, church calendar, church teachings, church tradition, our hierarchy, sacraments, saints, exclusion of women and homosexuals from ordained ministry, etc., as we continue to conform to Holy Scripture.

I know that you accept the teaching of the Word, the Gifts and Manifestations of the Spirit, the Fruits of the Spirit, the ministry of the Body, the Praise of the Believers and all the other primary aspects of the Bible. Unfortunately, the Orthodox Churches do not accept the Gifts and Manifestations of the Charismatic movement as authentic in nature. The Roman Church has allowed the Charismatic gifts, as you know, but unfortunately, they have also added a number of other doctrines that are not Apostolic in nature, which many Christians can not accept. To my knowledge, the Assyrian Church is the only Apostolic jurisdiction that holds pristine Apostolic doctrine and has accepted the manifestations of the Holy Spirit as a valid expression of the Christian Faith today also.

The theology of our Church is indeed very simple and pristine compared to most ancient churches and generally holds those teachings that were universally accepted as the doctrines of the Apostles and the first early Church councils. (There is also a book called "The Marganitha," {The Pearl}, written in 1250 AD, by Mar Odishoo, which is a brief summary of the main teachings of this early Christian Church.) As well as many volumes that have been penned before and after, naturally.

The Assyrian Church (The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East) is the continuation of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His Holy Apostles and their Disciples too, on and on, until the very present time. It is the first and original Christian Church established outside of the Roman Empire in 33 AD,. in the region known as Persia. It still holds the Apostolic teachings and continues to celebrate the liturgy in the original Aramaic tongue of the Lord Jesus and the Apostles, and is the last bastion of the language.

Now to a very brief explanation of the difference between the Assyrians and the Romans, which are both indeed Catholic ("Universal") Churches. The Assyrian Church started in 33 AD as a Christian Church with services and all other aspects, in the open, and continued the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The Roman Church did not come into the open (above ground) until approximately 249 AD and was the last of the five major branches. In time, due to the situation and status of Rome, it became a center and grew in political power. As it¢s power grew so did it¢s tendency to formulate new doctrine and try to impose such on other parts of the Christian Church. Power and politics are basically what caused the church splits in the early centuries of Christianity.

But our Church, "as I told you before, and I tell you again"- as St. Paul states- did NOT add such things as:

Papal Infallibility

Papal Supremacy

Dormition (Bodily Assumption of Mary)

Purgatory

Indulgences

Celibacy

Statues

Icons

Mary, Queen of Heaven

Mary, Co-Redemptrix

Mary, Mother of us all

Mandatory Confession

and a host of lesser know doctrines, too, including;

Closed Communion

Marriage only before ordination for Roman Permanent Deacons and Eastern Rite Deacons

Prohibition of remarriage of widower clergy (Roman Deacons and Eastern Rite Clergy)

Most all of the above doctrines of the ROMAN Catholic Church were added after 1,000 AD, and the Apostles knew nothing about them, at all!

I hope that gives you some insight as to the basic difference between the Assyrian Church of the East and the Roman Catholic Church.

May the blessing of the Lord be with you,

Rev. Dr. Marcus Brown

Missionary Priest and Pastoral Psychologist

HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST

Randy Muller said...

Fr. Dan wrote two weeks ago: "In any case, I expect to know more--a great deal more--in less than a week's time. Whether I will be in a position to honorably pass on what I learn in a venue such as this remains to be seen."

Any news you can share?

christians of the east said...

I back up the assyrian church of the east for staying so close with the word of God and not trying to add doctrines of men ect....

propheticfire/ D. gansmann said...
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propheticfire/ D. gansmann said...
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