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An Analysis of Anglican Concepts of the Papal Magisterium from the First Through the Tenth Lambeth Conference



by Burns K. Seeley

Views of papal authority paralleling those held by Trevor Jalland were also present during the years 1948-1968. Therefore, we will see in this chapter a continuation of the trend in Anglican scholarship in which the papacy was described in terms more closely resembling the doctrine of the papacy held by Roman Catholicism.

We will also see a remarkable contrast between the attitudes of the Ninth (1958) and Tenth (1968) Lambeth Conferences towards the papacy. Unlike the former, the 1968 Conference, influenced by the Vatican II doctrine of episcopal collegiality, proposed a re-examination of the question of papal authority by all concerned with the unity of the Body of Christ.

1.  Cyril Garbett

On the eve of the definition of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1950, an address on the nature of the Church’s magisterium was delivered by Cyril Garbett (1875-1955), the Archbishop of York. [1] Educated at Oxford, Garbett was ordained to the priesthood in 1901, becoming successively Bishop of Southwark (1919), Bishop of Winchester (1942), and Archbishop of York (1942). He was also the author of the following books: Secularism and Christian Unity (1929) , A Call to Christians (1935) , and The Claims of the Church of England (1947).

In his address, the archbishop, referring to the doctrine of papal infallibility, stated that there was nothing in Scripture or in the writings of the Fathers or in the practice of the early Church to indicate that even the holiest and wisest of men was infallible in matters of faith. [2]

Actually, Garbett was objecting to the concept of human infallibility rather than to papal infallibility in particular. Yet he himself implicitly believed in the concept when he next spoke of the binding authority of doctrine received by the general consent of the faithful.

The early Church knew of no infallible authority except Our Lord Himself; to formulate the doctrines which were essential to the faith it appealed to the Scriptures, to the witness of the different Churches, to the action of the great councils, and to the consent of the faithful to their decisions. The Orthodox Churches of today know of no infallible authority which has the right to impose new dogmas. They do not believe that new dogmas can be made, though they hold that if a genuine Ecumenical Council could be called it would be capable of giving a new definition to an existing dogma, but even then it would not be binding until it was accepted by the general consent of the faithful. [3]

The basic problem between the Church of Rome and Anglicans holding the above views was not whether human beings under certain conditions and circumstances possessed doctrinal infallibility. Rather it was which human or humans possessed this gift under certain conditions and circumstances. Moreover, the efficacy of doctrinal infallibility was not really held by either group to be derived from human sanctity and wisdom, but from Christ’s promise to guide the Church into all truth by the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

Garbett again insisted that the Church had no infallible human organ, but only the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit.

How, then, is the Church to distinguish between truth and error if it has no infallible organ which can do so ? Our Church believes most firmly that the Holy Spirit will guide it into all truth; he will speak through its scholars and theologians, and will help them to discover how far the new views agree with the Scriptures, with the teaching of the Fathers, and with reason; he will guide the sacred synods of the Church if they have to pronounce upon those views; and he will lead the whole body of the faithful, both clergy and laity, to form a right opinion upon them. Our Church thus follows the methods adopted by the Church of the early centuries (…). [4]

Here also it is clear that at least implicitly the archbishop believed in the infallibility of the consensus of the faithful, which in this instance was thought to be exercised by the Anglican faithful independently of the rest of Christianity. For some reason, however, Garbett failed to see that the real difference between the position stated above and that held by the Church of Rome was the means by which the Holy Spirit ultimately guided the Church to perceive doctrinal truth.

Apparently Garbett thought that Roman Catholicism believed in the ontological infallibility of the pope, whereas he did not. Nor did he believe in the personal infallibility of the faithful. Instead, he held that they were guided or assisted by the Holy Spirit into recognizing the truth. But we have noted earlier in the thesis that Roman Catholicism also did not believe in the personal infallibility of the Bishop of Rome. Instead there was the belief that under certain conditions and circumstances he was infallibly assisted by the Holy Spirit into perceiving the truth of some aspect of faith or morals.

2.  Report on Catholicity

In 1952, a report prepared by Anglican scholars on the catholicity of the Church was presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher. [5] Among the contributors was A.M. Ramseu who was destined to succeed Fisher as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1961.

It was recognized that the papacy rendered an invaluable service to the Church in the area of doctrine during the second through the sixth centuries. Protestant reformers were accused of ignoring the fact that the papacy “was potentially too valuable an institution to be sacrificed for the sins of the Borgia and Medici Popes.” [6]

Some central institution such as the papacy was held to be more than just a convenience for the Church and it was pointed out that before the Reformation the papacy was the central institution of the Western Church, and that prior to the twelfth century, it provided a great doctrinal service to the entire Church.

Yet signs have multiplied in recent years, that whenever it can (…) give a deliberate lead to all Christendom, outside as well as inside its own allegiance, on a matter of vital Christian interest, the Papacy can still command the attention and to a large extent secure the following of all Christians, and that it is the only Christian institution which can do so. It is at the head of a full half of Christendom, and that half, moreover, which shows no signs of diminished vitality and coherence (…). Above all, it has never wavered its adherence to the central Christian truths of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Redemption: for its mighty witness to these all orthodox Christians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have had cause to be deeply grateful. [7]

In spite of this remarkable attestation to the fidelity and leadership of the See of Peter, the scholars rejected the Church of Rome’s theological explanation of these facts. Nevertheless, they maintained that the papacy should not be lightly regarded. With its deep roots in Church history and its worthiness of European veneration and gratitude, to hold it in small esteem was to blind oneself “to the profounder realities of what is meant by ‘the universal Church.’” [8]

Since a central institution for the Christian Church was believed to be more than just a convenience, it must have been thought to be a necessity which meant that it was a part of the divine constitution of the Church. And since the papacy was alone thought to be able to fulfill this role in the present, as a part of the divine constitution of the Church, it must always have been the Church’s central institution. It is significant also that no other institution, such as the universal episcopate, was suggested by the scholars as a possible alternative to the papacy.

3.  The Ninth Lambeth Conference (1958)

The Ninth Lambeth Conference convened in 1958 under the presidency of Geoffrey Fisher who also chaired the previous conference ten years earlier. As was true of earlier conferences, the Ninth Conference commented on Christian marriage. The bishops said that procreation was not the sole purpose of Matrimony, since also implicit in the marital bond was the relationship of love between the spouses which had its sacramental expression in sexual union. [9] Both procreation and the relationship of love were held to be the chief purposes of Christian marriage, illumining one another and also forming the focal points of a well formed family life.

The prelates concluded from this observation that methods of family planning which were agreed upon by the spouses in Christian conscience were licit.

Because these two great purposes of Christian marriage illumine each other and form the focal points of constructive home life, we believe that family planning, in such ways as are mutually acceptable to husband and wife in Christian conscience, and secure from the corruptions of sensuality and selfishness, is a right and important factor in Christian family life. [10]

It is certainly true that two of the chief purposes of Matrimony are procreation and the provision of a divinely ordained framework within which mutual love, having its sacramental expression in sexual union, could be fostered between the spouses. But it does necessarily follow from a recognition of either of these purposes that mutually acceptable family planning techniques formed in Christian conscience are a right factor in family life. The mere recognition of the second purpose, for example, tells us nothing about the licitness of either family planning itself or its techniques.

The bishops in fact arbitrarily maintained that since sexual union was a possible expression of a couple’s mutual love, it could always be employed for that purpose even though the reproductive end of both the sexual act and Matrimony was ignored. Actually the prelates’ implicit approval of family planning and their explicit approval of mutually acceptable techniques of family planning were based upon their understanding of the purpose or purposes of the sex act rather than upon the second mentioned purpose of Matrimony.

Since the conference concluded that the sacramental expression of a married couple’s love for one another could legitimately be separated from its procreative purpose, the door was left open for contraceptive practices. This was implied in the conference encyclical.

There are many lands today where population is increasing so fast that the survival of the young and old is threatened. (…) In such countries population control has become a necessity. Abortion and infanticide are to be condemned, but methods of control, medically endorsed and morally acceptable, may help the people of these lands so to plan family life that children may be born without a likelihood of starvation. [11]

It will be recalled that contraception was first endorsed by the 1930 Conference.

With respect to ecumenism, the conference encyclical stressed the necessity of healing the breach existing between the Anglican Communion and the Church of Rome. A conference resolution welcomed recently granted permission by Rome for Roman Catholics to hold theological discussions and to cooperate with other Christians in defending fundamental Christian principles and the natural law. The resolution expressed the hope that such permission would be widely used so that Christian understanding and fellowship might be fostered. It was also hoped that Anglicans would avail themselves of this new opportunity to promote charitable relations between the two Communions. [12]

A committee report dealing with Roman Catholicism noted that the new permission granted Roman Catholics was accompanied by a statement renewing the earlier insistence that there could be no genuine Christian unity without submission to the papacy. But the report also maintained that, in spite of this position, the official Roman Catholic recognition of the ecumenical movement along with the accompanying permission for Roman Catholic participation in it were welcome gains in the cause of Church unity. The committee suggested that contact with Roman Catholics be made whenever possible, even on personal and unofficial levels. Efforts were also to be made to promote mutual scholarship in fields such as patristics.

The resolution encouraging theological talks between the two traditions was written in the same spirit as a resolution of the 1930 Conference. The latter expressed gratitude for the Malines Conversations as a means of removing error and misunderstanding. These represented the collective mind of the Anglican episcopate in a way that unadopted committee reports did not. The resolutions were evidence of a growing desire within Anglicanism for reunion with Roman Catholicism based upon doctrinal truth.

This desire was undoubtedly further fostered by the resolutions themselves, and by recent Anglican scholarship which reflected a greater appreciation of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the papacy. It is also safe to assume that Jalland’s views in the matter were generally known and respected by not a few Anglican bishops, since they were presented in the well-known Bampton Lectures at Oxford in 1942, as well as being published in book form.

The endorsement by the 1958 Conference of contraceptive practices paralleled a similar endorsement by the 1930 Conference. These contrasted with the teaching of the early undivided Catholic Church which was the doctrinal norm of both Anglo-Catholicism and Roman Catholicism.

4.  Eric Lionel Mascall

During the same year as the 1958 Conference, a book was published written by Eric Lionel Mascall which dealt with some of the theological difficulties contained in the ecumenical movement. Among those included was the question of the papacy. [13]

Born in 1905, Mascall has been professor of historical theology at King’s College, University of London, since 1962 and dean of the theology faculty since 1968. Also in 1968, he was a lecturer at The Catholic University in the United States.

Mascall was educated at Cambridge and the theological college in Fly. Ordained in 1932, he was lecturer in theology at Christ Church from 1946-1962. Among his other publications are Corpus Christi (1953), Via Media (1956), and Theology and History (1962).

In his book on ecumenism, Mascall observed that too often Anglicans either completely ignored the See of Rome and the papacy or dismissed them “with a few airy and superficial generalizations.” [14] The author held that English Church history alone demanded their greater appreciation. It was noted, for example, that it was due to the endeavors of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) that the Roman monk Augustine (d. 604) became the first Archbishop of Canterbury and evangelized the people of Kent. Moreover, it was recalled that before the English Reformation the Ecclesia Anglicana was in communion with the Roman pontiff for over a thousand years.

Mascall suggested that since the historic episcopate was a legitimate development from the apostolic college, the papacy might also be a legitimate development from the primacy granted to Peter by Christ. [15]

Peter was said to be the rock upon which Jesus said he would build his Church. This was held to be the plain meaning of Matthew 16:17-19. [16] The author was also impressed by the unanimity voiced in the early Church to the effect that the Church’s primacy was located in the See of Peter.

He was impressed too by the fact that during this period there was a readiness to connect the Roman primacy with the Matthean text.

Mascall asserted that Anglicans who believed that the primacy given Peter ceased upon his death differed little from Protestants who held that the apostolate ceased upon the death of the last Apostle.

The suggestion that the primacy became extinct with the death of Peter seems to me to exemplify that puzzling readiness to see the New Testament Church as different in essential structure from the Church of all succeeding ages which we have seen to be exemplified also in the common Protestant thesis that the Apostolate became extinct with the death of the last of the Twelve who were called by Jesus. [17]

In other words, Mascall was stating that if both the apostolate and the primacy connected with Peter belonged to the Church’s constitution, then Christ must have made provision for the continuance of both after the death of the Apostles.

The author had no difficulty in believing that Peter’s divinely bestowed primacy was one of authority over both the Apostles and the Church. Moreover, it was held that this primacy was transferred to Peter’s successors, the Bishops of Rome. [18] Yet, it was also maintained that the nature of papal primacy was not precisely that taught by the Church of Rome.

Before examining Mascall’s concept of papal primacy, we would do well to note what he thought was the Roman Catholic position.

The primacy involves the absolute supremacy in governing and teaching the Church which is commonly claimed by the popes and expounded by Roman Catholic theologians at the present day. [19]

It can be seen that this reflected the same understanding of Rome’s doctrine as that expressed by Edward Denny and N.P. Williams. However, the description of the papacy as an absolute supremacy did not in fact conform with Roman Catholic terminology. Too often the term absolute supremacy conveyed the idea of dictatorial powers whereby the pope might arbitrarily bind his followers to doctrines having no basis in either Scripture or apostolic tradition. [20] Its use did not readily lend itself to the actual Roman Catholic teaching that the pope was only the chief teacher and guardian of the faith, bound to teach solely in conformance to Scripture and apostolic tradition.

It will be recalled that Vatican I taught that the bishops in communion with the Roman pontiff shared in the responsibility of teaching and guiding the Church. This was true because they were the successors of the Apostles. They were not regarded as the pope’s vicars. Thus we see that although the pope held the primacy, or even the supremacy, he was not, as the term absolute supremacy suggested, the absolute ruler of the Church. [21]

Mascall claimed that what he believed was the modern Roman Catholic position on the papacy was actually the result of an unwarranted development of ancient doctrine.

It is only by treating words with violence that it can be held that the position claimed and occupied by the Pope in the Roman Church today is identical in essence with the position accorded to him in the early Church. [22]

This, of course, was a correct conclusion, if in fact the modern Church of Rome taught the absolute supremacy of the papacy.

The proper view of papal primacy as taught by the early Church was held to be a primacy which expressed the general mind of the Church, that is, the consensus of the universal historic episcopate.

If it was accepted that the Pope, as inheriting the primacy of Peter, was simply the divinely appointed Head of the episcopal college, the divinely constituted organ and mouthpiece of the universal apostolic episcopate, we could, I think, admit that there was a genuine continuity with the position of the Papacy in the primitive and undivided Church (…). [23]

As with Jalland, this concept of papal primacy was something other than Gallicanism. It was a primacy which could not perfectly function in today’s divided Christianity. Only when the universal episcopate was reunited could the papacy find its proper place. [24]

Our study has shown, however, that from at least as early as Pope Victor in the second century through the Chalcedonian Council in the fifth century, the popes were commonly held to have a primacy essentially identical to that claimed by the modern papacy. In matters of doctrine, for example, the popes as the Church’s ultimate arbiters were subject not to the consensus of the universal episcopate, but to Scripture and to apostolic tradition. But if disagreement or uncertainty arose among them, they were in the last analysis subject to the doctrinal judgment of the papacy.

We have seen that Mascall accepted the Roman Catholic doctrine that the Bishop of Rome had a divinely authorized primacy of authority over the Church inherited from Peter. He argued, however, that the alleged claim of the modern papacy for an absolute supremacy was other than the primacy recognized by the early Church. The latter was thought to mean that the papacy was only the organ and mouthpiece of the universal episcopate. This, in effect, was not more than a primacy of honor. [25]

5.  The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Although it was not altogether absent during the First Vatican Council, the concept of episcopal authority was not stressed. During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), however, this was not the case. Here the nature of the episcopate and its relationship to the papacy were dealt with in detail. This teaching was also destined to have a profound effect upon Anglican scholarship and upon the Tenth Lambeth Conference (1968).

In its development of the doctrine of the episcopate, Vatican II faced a twofold task. In the first place it was thought necessary in the light of Scripture and ancient tradition to demonstrate that as successors of the Apostles bishops possessed a genuine authority of their own. Too often in the past, as we have observed, it was believed that Rome taught that the Church’s bishops were mere vicars of the Bishop of Rome. In the second place, in keeping with the Vatican I teaching on papal primacy, it was thought necessary to determine the proper relationship existing between the bishops and the successor of Peter.

The council declared that the bishops, the divinely authorized successors of the Apostles, together with the pope, the divinely authorized successor of Peter, fed and governed the Church. [26] Upon their consecration, bishops were said to receive the fullness of the power of the high priesthood. [27] In addition to the office of sanctifying, episcopal consecration was also held to confer the offices of teaching and governing.

The reception of the fullness of the power of Christ’s high priesthood, the council maintained, enabled a bishop to validly administer all of the Church’s sacraments which took their effect ex opere operato. Yet he was not to do so without papal approval.

It was stressed that the teaching and governing offices of a bishop could only be properly exercised when the prelate was in hierarchical communion with the episcopal college and with its head, the Bishop of Rome. Consecration itself was said to give a bishop the virtual capacity to exercise these offices, but not their actual realization. This latter could not be without the requisite canonical or juridical determination by the hierarchical authority under the pope. [28]

The council noted that the New Testament depicted Peter and the other Apostles constituting one apostolic college. In a similar manner the pope and the bishops were said to be joined together in one episcopal college. This similarity was not meant to imply that there was a transmission of the extraordinary power of the Apostles to their successors, nor that there was an equality between the head and the members of the episcopal college. It was intended only to demonstrate the proportionality existing between the relationship of Peter to the other Apostles and that of the pope to the bishops. [29]

The council stated that in ancient times duly established bishops throughout the world were in communion with one another and with the papacy in a bond of charity, unity and peace. At times, in order to settle common issues of importance, councils (including ecumenical councils) were held and the bishops’ opinions were prudently considered.

The ancient practice of several bishops taking part in the consecration of a bishop-elect was cited as an example of episcopal collegiality. Here also the new bishop was said to have gained hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college.

With respect to papal primacy, Vatican II upheld the doctrines of Vatican I. It was asserted that the episcopal college had no authority apart from its head, the Roman pontiff, who had the full primacy over both the Church’s pastors and the faithful. As the Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the pope was held to enjoy over the Church supreme, full and universal power which he was always free to exercise. [30]

The episcopal college in union with its head was also said to share in the supreme and full power over the Catholic Church. [31] But this could be exercised only with the consent of the pope, since he was the successor of Peter who alone was the rock and the sole bearer of the keys. The bearing of the keys was not equated with the power of binding and loosing which Christ gave to all the Apostles. Instead it signified that Peter and his successors were alone the chief authorities in the Church militant. Here we see echoed Jalland’s understanding of the power of the keys with respect to Petrine authority.

The bishops who faithfully acknowledge the primacy and pre-eminence of their head were held to exercise in a due manner their own authority for the benefit of the faithful committed to them and for the good of the whole Church.

It was declared that the episcopal college exercised the supreme power in the universal Church in a solemn manner when meeting in an ecumenical council. Still a council was never considered ecumenical unless it received papal confirmation, or was at least accepted by the papacy as ecumenical. It was also held that the same supreme power could be exercised by the episcopal college dispersed throughout the world in union with its head, or when the head freely accepted or approved the united action of the scattered bishops.

As the successor of Peter, the pope was declared the abiding and visible principle and foundation of unity of the whole Church, that is, of both the bishops and the faithful. Similarly, individual bishops were described as the visible principle and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches. In fraternal union with their head, the college of bishops was held to represent the entire Catholic Church.

The council noted that individual members of the episcopal college did not exercise universal jurisdiction over the Church. Yet each by divine command was required to be solicitous for the welfare of the whole Church, that is, to promote and to safeguard the faith and discipline of the universal Church. Examples of this solicitude were stated to be when each bishop governed his own particular Church well, and when in cooperation with his fellow bishops and with the pope each helped in the task of world evangelization.

Bishops were said to be authentic teachers endowed with the authority of Christ to teach all nations. In particular they were to teach the faith, and the ways that it was to be put into practice, to those committed to their charge. Since in matters of faith and of morals the episcopal college was held to speak in Christ’s name, the faithful were obliged to accept their doctrine and to adhere to it with a religious assent. This assent was said to be owed especially to the authentic magisterium of the pope even when he did not speak ex cathedra.

It was stated that individual bishops did not possess the prerogative of infallibility. Nevertheless, they were said to proclaim Church doctrine infallibly when they maintained the bond of unity with one another and with their head, and when they genuinely taught in the areas of faith or morals and concurred on a position to be held definitively. [32] This was seen to be true particularly in ecumenical councils where the bishops were the teachers and judges for the entire Church and whose definitions of doctrine were binding upon the faithful.

Here we see clearly that the Church of Rome was not as oblivious as many Anglican scholars thought to the genuine role assigned to the episcopate in settling matters of doctrine for the whole Church.

Vatican II declared that the Church’s infallibility granted by Christ extended as far as the limits of the deposit of Revelation. The pope was said to possess this infallibility in virtue of his office as chief teacher and shepherd of the Church, and with it he confirmed his brethren in their faith. This infallibility was said to also dwell in the college of bishops when they exercised their supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. Repeating the teaching of Vatican I, the council asserted that papal definitions of faith or morals were irreformable in themselves. Consequently they did not depend upon the consent of the Church. [33]

The council held that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, governed their respective Churches as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, even though the exercise of their power was ultimately subjected to papal jurisdiction. Its proper exercise was said to include the right and the responsibility before Christ to make laws for the faithful committed to their care and to pass judgment upon them. Individual bishops were also to regulate matters concerning the order of worship and the apostolate.

It was asserted that the bishops’ pastoral office, that is, the habitual and daily care of the faithful in their charge, was entrusted to them completely. It was explicitly stated that since bishops, as successors of the Apostles, enjoyed an authority proper to them, they were not to be regarded as vicars of the Roman pontiff. [34] The council maintained that the bishops’ power was not destroyed by the universal and supreme power of the papacy. Rather it was strengthened, affirmed and vindicated by the latter.

Many Anglicans, especially Anglo-Catholics, held views on the episcopate similar to the doctrine of Vatican II. These would readily endorse the concept that the members of the historic episcopate were the divinely authorized successors of the Apostles. They would also agree that besides the responsibility bishops had for their own Churches they were also to be solicitous for the welfare of the whole Church. In addition, these Anglicans would accept the doctrine that bishops upon consecration received the plenitude of the power of Christ’s high priesthood, accompanied by the gift of supernatural grace enabling them to be the Church’s chief teachers and pastors.

A larger number of Anglicans would allow that the episcopal offices of teaching and governing could not in the Anglican Communion be exercised without proper juridical or canonical determination and hierarchical communion with the college of Anglican bishops. But with the exception of a very few, Anglicans would not concede that hierarchical communion with the papacy was necessary in order to exercise these offices properly.

We have noted that Vatican II did not portray the papacy as an authority opposed to the episcopal college. At the same time the council upheld the doctrines taught by Vatican I. Papal primacy was not conceived as a hindering force to the full exercise of episcopal power. Rather it was thought to be a stabilizing power for the benefit of the bishops, both as individuals and as a college. It was especially noted that the doctrine of papal infallibility guaranteed doctrinal stability to the college of bishops enabling them to fulfill effectively their responsibility as teachers of Catholic doctrine.

Vatican II clearly dispelled many misconceptions harbored by non-Roman Catholics about the nature of papal authority. The pope was not held as an absolute monarch with the bishops as his suffragans. Both the pope and the bishops were held to have genuine authority and power entrusted to them by Christ so that they might administer the sacraments and teach and govern the Church. Within the college of bishops, the Roman pontiff as head and his episcopal brethren as members, were seen to be complementary and cooperating forces for the welfare of the whole Church.

6.  Frederick C. Grant

During Vatican II, Frederick C. Grant, an official Anglican observer at the council, wrote Rome and Reunion, a book dealing with the place of Roman Catholicism in the reunion of Christianity. 35 An American scholar and educator, Grant was born in 1891 and received his theological education at Nashotah House (Wisconsin) and Western Theological Seminary, Chicago. Priested in 1913, he served as president of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Chicago, from 1927-1938. In 1938, he became president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, remaining in that post until 1959. He was at the Vatican Council as an official observer from 1962-1963. In addition to Rome and Reunion, he also wrote Roman Hellenism and the New Testament (1961), Ancient Roman Religions (1957), and Hellenistic Religions (1953).

In Rome and Reunion, Grant stated that Pope Leo I was the first to become the Bishop of Bishops in the West. He was also said to be the first to “set forth clearly the principle of papal primacy, appealing, with the exegesis of his own day, to the traditional (Petrine) texts.” [36]

It was noted that Leo assumed that these passages referred to Peter’s successors, as well as to Peter. In so doing, the pope was said to have ignored the fact that Paul, rather than Peter, claimed the responsibility for the care of all the Churches. [37] Leo’s theory was said to be “basically political and practical in its origin and presuppositions, (and) opened a way that lead (…) to 1870 and the decree of Papal Infallibility, and beyond.” [38]

Prior to Leo’s time, the author believed that Cyprian’s doctrine of a ‘collegial episcopate exercising oligarchial rule over the Church.” [39] was dominant in the West.

It was held that one of the chief reasons for the rise in the West of papal supremacy was the fact that Leo filled the political vacuum created when the emperor and his court moved to Constantinople. The fact that the Bishop of Rome was only patriarch in the West also was thought to have contributed to the increasing authority of the papacy in that area of the world.

Grant maintained that the Patriarch of Constantinople was the acknowledged head of the Church in the East. However, he was not believed to have enjoyed as much prominence as the Bishop of Rome due to his proximity to the power and influence of the imperial court, and because of the presence in the Orient of a great number of theological disputes.

Another key factor contributing to the newer doctrine of papal primacy was thought to be Leo’s leadership in the fight for orthodoxy as, for example, at Chalcedon where his voice was heeded.

It was noted too that as early as the second century the Church of Rome adopted the correct theological positions which it continued to do through all the theological crises of the early Church. [40] This also was held to have contributed to the papal claims of Leo and his successors.

Although the Church of Rome even prior to Leo’s time played a decisive role in the development of the Church’s doctrine, the author asserted that none of the first seven ecumenical councils acknowledged a papal supremacy.

In a clarification of his belief the Leo was the first to “set forth clearly the principles of papal primacy,” [41] Grant said that the pope’s predecessors in the fourth and fifth centuries prepared the way for his doctrine. Nevertheless, Grant added, it remained for the theological and historical circumstances during Leo’s reign for the doctrine to be taught for the first time.” [42]

The author found no support for Leo’s claims among any of the Fathers. Augustine, for instance, was said to have given no hint in his references to the Roman pontiff that the latter was considered “the pre-eminent figure in the religious life of Christians, let alone the decisive figure in dogmatic pronouncements.” [43]

It was observed that Augustine wrote that if the bishops at Rome who had recently decided the validity of a bishop’s consecration were not good judges, their decision could be reversed by a plenary council of the whole Church. [44] It was concluded, therefore, that Augustine taught that a plenary council, not the papacy, was the Church’s supreme court in doctrinal matters. [45]

Grant maintained that the Petrine texts in the New Testament did not support the Roman Catholic claims for papal primacy. Nor did he believe that there were any conclusive evidence that Peter ever saw Rome, even though I Clement and Ignatius’ Epistle to the Romans suggested the possibility that he died there. [46]

Even Irenaeus’ claim that Peter, together with Paul, consecrated Linus as the first Bishop of Rome was not thought to be completely reliable, since the early lists of bishops were “fragmentary, incomplete, and questionable.” [47]

Grant also asserted that the Roman see’s location in the imperial capital accounted for its right to adjudicate differences within the Church, even those arising within the East. It was pointed out that since civil differences were ultimately settled at Rome, it was logical that ecclesiastical cases should be also. [48]

It was also thought that the Church of Rome’s strategic location in the empire accounted for the reason that apostolic tradition was centered there and why it enjoyed an extraordinarily close relationship with other Churches. Grant held that it was not until later centuries that the prestige of the Roman see was interpreted as a specially conferred divine privilege. [49]

Above all, the author believed that it was the outstanding leadership of Leo and his successors in difficult times which in fact made them the Church’s primates.

The pragmatic demonstration of papal superiority or primacy, coupled with sound judgment and heroic determination, did more to establish the papal “claims” than dozens of theological arguments. (…) The use and interpretation of Petrine texts found in the New Testament was only a rationalization (…). [50]

This pragmatic primacy was said to be the result of a natural course of development in Church history rather than a development of the Church’s constitution. [51]

In the foregoing presentation it has been seen that Grant found no basis in Scripture, in the Fathers, or in the early ecumenical councils to the effect that the popes enjoyed a primacy over the Church by divine right. The de facto primacy exercised by the popes beginning with Leo was thought to be principally the result of being in the right location under a fortuitous set of circumstances. This primacy, however, was said to have clashed with the earlier belief in the primacy of the episcopal college held by men like Cyprian and Augustine.

Although a recent writer about papal authority, Grant represented the older more conservative school in Anglicanism which failed to detect in the early Church any evidence of a primacy of the papacy by divine right. Consequently, Grant’s views represented an implicit denial of the more developed Anglican outlook of scholars like Jalland and Mascall which regarded the popes as the inheritors of Peter’s divinely appointed primacy. Nevertheless, in the last analysis, we saw that even these men regarded the papacy as subject to the authority of the universal episcopate.

Grant believed that Cyprian taught that the collegial episcopate exercised the primacy in the Church, rather than the papacy. It was this position which was said to be dominant in the West prior to the reign of Pope Leo. Yet, we have noticed more than once that at least before his differences with Pope Stephen over heretical Baptism, Cyprian clearly believed in the primacy of the See of Peter upon which the Church was founded. If afterwards he actually changed his mind in favor of the primacy of the episcopal college, it was not an all-encompassing college. Rather it was one definitely limited to bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome, as opposed to one for example which included Novationist bishops.

It will be recalled also that Jalland maintained that belief in primacy by divine right was held by the Church in North Africa from at least the time of Tertullian. [52]

Certain factors should be taken into consideration regarding Grant’s reference to the statement attributed to Augustine that a plenary council of the whole Church was superior to the bishops of Rome. The specific case to which Augustine referred was that of Caecilian, Bishop of Carthage (died c.345) whom the Donatists claimed was not properly consecrated because of the weak character of his consecrator. In order to settle the question, the emperor requested Pope Miltiades (d.314), three Gallican bishops, and fifteen bishops from Italy to hear the case at Rome.

This in effect was a regional council of bishops. It was not the pope acting alone, judging the case of Caecilian in an ex cathedra manner as the chief teacher and pastor of all Christians. Augustine too specifically spoke of the collective judgment of the regional bishops gathered at Rome. Therefore, he was not asserting that a general council was superior to the doctrinal judgment of the papacy. He was of course correct in maintaining that if the bishops at Rome were poor judges there still remained a general council which could decide the matter.

Note also that it was not held that a general council was the final court in the Church. We have seen earlier that Augustine definitely believed in the magisterial primacy of the papacy. [53]

It is significant that Vatican II reflected Augustine’s doctrine of the Church’s magisterium. The saint and the council held that the magisterium was focused on both the episcopal college and on the Roman pontiff, the latter being the head of the college and the Church’s chief arbiter. In this relationship the bishops were not thought of as vicars of the pope. Rather as successors of the Apostles they had a genuine doctrinal role to play as teachers and arbiters of the faith.

With respect to Pope Leo, we discovered earlier in the thesis that he was not the first to teach the doctrine of papal primacy. At least as early as the third century, both Tertullian and Firmilian revealed that the papacy of their day taught it. [54] The fact that Clement in the first century and Victor in the second actually exercised a primacy suggests also that the doctrine may have been explicitly taught right from the time of the first Bishop of Rome.

A close examination of the early undivided Church before Leo’s reign reveals, as Grant said, a “collegial episcopate exercising oligarchical rule over the Church.” [55] However, the same period also bears witness to the complementary primatial rule of the papacy.

7.  Bernard C. Pawley

After Vatican II, a book of essays by several Anglican observers to the council was published. [56] The introductory essay was written by the editor, Bernard C. Pawley, who was also the first representative in Rome of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Born in 1911, and an Oxford graduate, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1936, serving for over twenty years in the parish ministry. From 1960-1965, Pawley was the representative of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York at the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. In 1966, he was appointed the vice-chairman of the Archbishops’ Commission for Roman Catholic Relations. In addition to his essay, Pawley also wrote several articles and two books dealing with Roman Catholicism. The latter are entitled Looking at the Vatican Council (1962) and Anglican-Roman Relations (1964).

In his essay, Pawley commended the authors of the council’s Constitution on the Church [57] for dispelling misconceptions about the nature of papal primacy. He was especially pleased to learn that papal infallibility was not held to be the prerogative of the Roman pontiff as a private person, but only when he spoke officially and under certain carefully defined circumstances. Nevertheless, Pawley said that this doctrine, as well as others peculiar to the Church of Rome, could not be made acceptable to the rest of Christianity even with further clarifications. [58]

Instead, the author urged a thorough re-examination, by both Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic scholars, of teaching about the papacy.

In the case of the treatment of the papacy in the Constitution on the Church the point has emerged even more clearly that the difficulties attaching to this doctrine cannot be resolved without profound and mutual re-examination of the Scriptures in the light of modern knowledge, and in the context of patristic understanding of them. The knowledge that there are many Roman Catholic scholars who are not only willing but anxious to begin such an objective re-examination of fundamental beliefs is progress indeed. [59]

Actually, a mutual re-examination might yield the result that the doctrine contained in the Constitution on the Church concurred with both Scripture and patristic writings. Consequently, Pawley was premature in ruling out this possibility. As a matter of fact, we have noticed in our study a steady movement among Anglican scholars towards the Roman Catholic position on the papacy, some of whom completely accepted it.

We have seen that the council’s doctrine on episcopal collegiality did not make the Roman Catholic doctrine of the papacy any more credible to Pawley. The same conclusion can be said to apply as well to Grant.

8.  Eugene Fairweather

Another contributor to Pawley’s book was Eugene Fairweather of the Anglican Church of Canada. Educated at McGill University, Trinity College, Toronto, and Union Theological Seminary, New York, Fairweather was ordained priest in 1944. Since 1949, he has been professor of theology at Trinity College. He is the author of Episcopacy and Reunion (1953), The Voice of the Church: The Ecumenical Council (1962), and The Oxford Movement (1964).

Fairweather wrote in his essay, “The Church,” that he detected in Vatican II not only a development of the doctrine of the episcopate found in Vatican I, but also a basic change. It was pointed out that Vatican I depicted bishops as only the chief shepherds of individual Churches, while the pope was described as the sole sovereign of the universal Church. [60] The author said that Vatican II also stressed the supreme jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff over the Church, but it added that the episcopal college in union with its head possessed a universal mission and authority. [61]

Fairweather thought that Vatican II did not successfully synthesize the twin authorities of the papacy and the episcopate. He held that the episcopate was integrated with the primacy of the papacy. But at the same time he thought there was a failure to integrate completely the papal primacy with the episcopate. [62] He maintained that the episcopal college was not free to act apart from its head, while the latter was free to act apart from the college. Consequently, the author believed that Peter was held by Vatican II to be something more than the head of the apostolic college, and that the pope was held to be something more than the head of the episcopal college. Fairweather concluded that if the above was thought to reflect the essential nature of papal primacy, then it seemed unlikely that “a robust and consistent doctrine of collegiality can ever be digested by Roman Catholic ecclesiology.” [63]

As can be seen, the author favored a view of Church authority which was essentially episcopal. As far as he could tell, there was no convincing evidence of even a papal primacy of honor over the Church derived from the Petrine office. [64]

Inasmuch as Vatican II was thought to have changed the earlier position on episcopal authority, it was believed that in the future the Church of Rome might further alter its doctrine; especially, since Vatican II did not preclude such a possibility.

The signs of the times point to a rethinking of the Roman primacy in the light of the principle of collegiality, rather than to the reverse. As time goes on, the evolving theology and practice of collegial episcopacy may well alter the context of the papal primacy so effectively and drastically that the primatial authority itself can no longer be conceived or exercised as it has been in recent centuries. At any rate, the way to such a development has not been blocked by Vatican II, whatever imperfections we may have detected in the Council’s synthesis of papacy and the episcopate. [65]

Thus, it was hoped that eventually the Church of Rome would adopt a view of ecclesiology resembling that held by Anglo-Catholics.

Actually, Vatican II did not basically alter the doctrine of the episcopate contained in Vatican I. Although it certainly developed it. In the first Council, bishops were said to teach and govern their own particular flocks. Adding to this, the second Council stressed that collectively, in union with their head, they shared in the supreme and full power over the entire Catholic Church as, for example, in an ecumenical council.[66] But it was also held that this power could only be exercised with the consent of the pope, since he alone was the successor of Peter, the bearer of the keys and the rock upon which the Church was built. [67]

This doctrine contained no logical inconsistency. To state that the bishops, subject to the primatial power of the pope, shared in the supreme and full power over the whole Church was not the same thing as saying that all had the same rank. This, however, Fairweather concluded when he wrote that Vatican II integrated the episcopate with the primacy of the papacy, and at the same time failed to integrate completely papal primacy with the episcopate.

In an army, for example, at least some generals might share with the commander-in-chief the responsibility of governing all the troops. Yet this need not mean that the commander-in-chief did not have the last word, or the primacy of authority or jurisdiction.

As we have seen, Fairweather believed in the primacy of the episcopal college. Yet this view countered the patristic and conciliar traditions of the early undivided Catholic Church as reflected, for instance, in the teaching of Cyprian, Innocent, Augustine, and the Council of Chalcedon. On the other hand, this should not be taken as evidence that there was no complementary doctrine in the early Church to the effect that the episcopal college shared with the pope in the ruling and feeding of the Church. The proceedings of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon clearly attested to such a belief by both bishops and popes.

9.  The Tenth Lambeth Conference (1968)

The president of the Tenth Lambeth Conference (1968) was Arthur Michael Ramsey. Born in 1904, he was educated at Cambridge and ordained priest in 1928. He was professor of divinity at Durham University (1940-1950) and Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge (1950-1952). He became Archbishop of York in 1956, being transferred to the See of Canterbury in 1961.

One of Ramsey’s better known books is The Gospel and the Catholic Church. [68] In it he held that in the early Church the papacy developed into a primacy of honor with the pope becoming the first among equals. Therefore he was open to the possibility of the Roman pontiff resuming this role when Christianity was reunited. In effect, such a primacy would “depend upon and express the organic authority of the Body” of Christ with its bishops, presbyters and laity. [69] This concept was similar to the views of Jalland and Mascall. Only here it appears that the pope was also the mouthpiece of the presbyters and laity.

During the 1968 Conference, a short message replaced the customary encyclical letter. Touching upon Church unity, it stressed the need of Christian renewal in order to achieve a reunited Church which was one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

In the resolutions, the conference fathers took note of the recently issued papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. They expressed their appreciation for the pope’s concern for the institution of marriage and for those engaged in it. But they did not agree with him that all methods of conception control, except either total abstinence from sexual intercourse or its limitation to infertile periods, were contrary to the will of God. The bishops then endorsed the 1958 Conference’s approval of contraception.

The position taken by these two conferences, and by that of 1930, represented a reversal of that assumed in 1908 and 1920. It also countered the consentient witness of the early undivided Catholic Church.

While it may not have been true in 1930, the bishops’ stand in 1968 reflected the doctrine of contemporary Anglicanism, thus calling into question the Anglo-Catholic belief that the doctrine of the Anglican Communion was that of the early undivided Catholic Church.

As a rule, Anglo-Catholic scholars restricted this commitment to early Church doctrine to what were usually described as matters of faith. But almost invariably no distinction was made between faith and morals. What is really more important as far as the question of contraception is concerned, as well as Anglicanism’s stand on marital indissolubility, is that the sacrament of Matrimony has been involved, and therefore a matter of faith in the strictest sense of the word.

Another resolution of the 1968 Conference recommended that under certain circumstances Anglican communicants be allowed to participate fully in the Eucharist of Churches with whom they were not in communion.

(…) under the general direction of the bishop, to meet special pastoral need, (…) (Anglican) communicants (are) (…) free to attend the Eucharist in other Churches holding the apostolic faith as contained in the Scriptures and summarized in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, and as conscience dictates to receive the sacrament, when they know they are welcome to do so. [70]

The reference to Churches holding to the faith as summarized in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds would apply to a great many not possessing the historic episcopate. It is significant that the absence of the historic episcopate was not considered a hindering factor, whereas disparity of faith was. Here was reflected the belief expressed in the Lambeth committee report of 1948 that the historic episcopate was not essential to the Church’s constitution. In the 1968 resolution, however, the direct implication was that clergy with or without ordination by members of the historic episcopate had equal sacramental powers with respect to the Eucharist.

The same outlook towards the historic episcopate and non-episcopal ordination was found in a resolution about the Church of South India. It was recommended that the Churches of the Anglican Communion seek full communion with the Church of South India even though some of the South Indian clergy were not episcopally ordained. [71] This contrasted with the 1930 Conference which stated that the full communion was impossible as long as non-episcopally ordained clergy remained in the Church of South India. [72] Also in 1948 the Lambeth bishops wanted to know how long the Church of South India intended to have such clergy, [73] therefore revealing the same attitude as expressed in 1930.

A 1968 resolution concerning the Roman Catholic Church welcomed the proposals contained in a committee report on the subject. The report recommended that a permanent joint commission of Roman Catholics and Anglicans be established [74] and that one of its functions be the consideration of theological difficulties to be overcome before intercommunion could be achieved.

This commission or its subcommissions should consider the question of intercommunion in the context of a true sharing in faith and the mutual recognition of ministry, and should also consider in the light of the new biblical scholarship the orders of both Churches and the theology of ministry which forms part of the theology of the Church and can only be considered as such. The hope for the future lies in a fresh and broader approach to the understanding of apostolic succession and of the priestly office. On this line we look for a new joint appraisal of Church orders. [75]

Here we see declared that not only must the two traditions overcome doctrinal differences but that it was also necessary that one another’s ministry be recognized. The latter undoubtedly was a reference to Apostolicae Curae, the encyclical of Leo XIII declaring Anglican orders to be invalid.

It is noteworthy that the solution to the difficulty was to be sought in the results of modern biblical scholarship rather than by the criteria employed by the encyclical. The crucial question from the Roman Catholic point of view was whether, in the sixteenth century, the reformed Church of England intended to retain a Catholic ministry in all its essentials. Leo concluded that it did not since it no longer taught that its ministry was endowed with the power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of Christ in the sacrifice of the Mass. Therefore Anglican orders were held to be invalid. [76]

Over the years, however, some Anglican bishops have had non-Anglican bishops with unquestioned orders as their co-consecrators. This raises the possibility that on this basis Rome might recognize as valid the orders of many, if not all, Anglican clergy. But instead of this approach, the Lambeth Conference recommended that of modern biblical scholarship.

To limit the criterion of valid orders to the latter has a definite drawback since Scripture does not provide developed insights into the nature of the Christian ministry, any more than it does into the nature of the Holy Trinity. The theology of the Trinity was not developed until post-biblical times. This was true also of the Church’s ministry. To revert to the Bible exclusively to determine valid orders would be similar to having Jews and Christians resorting exclusively to the Old Testament to resolve the problem of the Godhead. Thus, all of the insights of the New Testament, the Fathers, and the councils would be ignored.

The committee report dealing with Roman Catholicism cautioned that talks between Anglicans and Roman Catholics should be conducted in the context of conversations already being conducted between Anglicans and other Christians.

In them all we propose to hold fast the principles of Catholic truth as we have been given to understand them, though we realize that, in renewed obedience to the Holy Spirit, we must at all times be willing to go forward adventurously. [77]

It is not clear what this means, but the committee may have allowed the possibility that Anglicans did not always correctly understand Catholic truth. If so, it indicated a willingness to go to greater lengths to understand and, if possible, accept doctrinal positions other than those of Anglicanism (including those on the papacy) so that Catholic truth might actually be obtained.

The committee noted that Anglicans and Roman Catholics shared a common belief in the Holy Trinity which was taught in Scripture, the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, and in the Fathers of the early Church. The committee also recalled that the two Churches had one Baptism and that in many instances shared in a common heritage. At the same time, it recognized that substantial differences existed as well, many originating since the sixteenth century. Among these were doctrines concerning the unity and indefectibility of the Church, the Church’s magisterium, Petrine primacy, infallibility, Mariological definitions, and some moral problems. [78]

A conference resolution enforced the concept of collegiality, recommending that it should be a guiding principle in the interrelationship of Anglican provinces and in Anglican relations with other Churches in full communion with Anglicanism.

The resolution called attention in particular to the section of a committee report in which the principle of collegiality was underlined. It is present below.

The principle underlying collegiality is that the apostolic calling, responsibility, and authority are an inheritance given to the whole body or college of bishops. Every individual bishop has therefore a responsibility both as a member of this college and as chief pastor in his diocese . In the latter capacity he exercises direct oversight over the people committed to his charge. In the former he shares with his brother bishops throughout the world a concern for the well-being of the whole Church. [79]

This bears a striking resemblance to the doctrine of collegiality proclaimed by Vatican II. [80] Although of course references to hierarchical communion with the Roman pontiff are conspicuously absent. But the report continued by declaring that “Within the college of bishops it is evident that there must be a president,” [81] noting that at present, in Anglicanism, this position, a primacy of honor, was held by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Such a primacy was said to involve in a particular way the custody of all the Churches which was shared by all the bishops. Significantly, however, it was added that in wider context involving other Churches the primacy of the new episcopal college would assume a new character which would have to be worked out mutually. [82] This, at least, left open the possibility of adopting a papal primacy of jurisdiction.

The report noted that emphasis placed on collegiality by Vatican II greatly enhanced the status of Roman Catholic bishops, while at the same time leaving unaltered the Vatican I doctrine of papal infallibility and the papal primacy of jurisdiction. The report committee said that they were unable to accept this teaching as it was commonly understood. But it did “recognize the Papacy as a historic reality whose developing role requires deep reflection and joint study by all concerned for the unity of the whole Body of Christ.” [83]

The realization that Anglicans may have misunderstood the Roman Catholic doctrine of the papacy was the first statement of its kind to appear within the context of a Lambeth Conference. This also appeared to concur with the conference’s endorsement of the proposal for Anglicans to held fast to the principles of Catholic truth as they had been given to understand them, unless the Holy Spirit directed “to go forward adventurously.” [84]

The 1968 or Tenth Lambeth Conference was the first to be held after the Second Vatican Council. The response of Lambeth to the council was in general very positive. This was seen especially by the conference’s modified adoption of the principle of episcopal collegiality. Although the prelates’ belief in the validity of non-episcopal ordinations revealed the Anglicanism as a whole, unlike Roman Catholicism, did not regard the episcopal college as essential to the Church’s constitution.

During the 1958 Conference, Anglicans in general were urged to seek opportunities for resolving theological differences between themselves and Roman Catholics. The 1968 Conference carried this a step further by proposing the establishment of a permanent joint commission for this purpose.

The conference’s position on contraception was a repetition of that found in the Conference of 1920 and 1958. This, as we have seen, was a reversal of earlier conference stands as well as the teaching of the early undivided Church.

During the course of the present chapter, the scholarship examined revealed no further development of Anglican concepts of the papal magisterium. Eric Mascall’s views were essentially those of Trevor Jalland which were examined in the last chapter. Both men accepted the Roman Catholic premise that the pope, as Peter’s successor, was the divinely authorized primate and chief teacher of the Church. Unlike Roman Catholicism, however, they believed that in the last analysis the authority of the pope was dependent upon that of the college of bishops.

Grant, Pawley and Fairweather, all of whom were Vatican II observers, evidenced disappointment at the council’s retention of the Vatican I doctrine of papal primacy. As far as Fairweather was concerned, the Vatican II teaching on episcopal collegiality, although a welcome development, was somewhat inconsistent with the retention of the earlier stand on papal primacy. It was thought that a further development was needed whereby the papacy would be completely absorbed into the episcopal college on an essentially equal basis.

Pawley urged that a re-examination of the papal question be accomplished by both Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic scholars. This same recommendation, as we saw, was made by the Tenth Lambeth Conference suggesting the possibility of a cause and effect relationship between the scholar and the conference.

Grant was not adverse to a return to his understanding of early Church’s doctrine of papal primacy. This meant that he would be happy to accept the pope as primate of the Church as long as his primacy was no more than one of honor, that is, one merited by exemplary leadership in ecclesiastical affairs.

The willingness of the Tenth Lambeth Conference to have Anglicans enter into ecumenical dialogue with Roman Catholics on the highest level was obviously a giant step forward in resolving the division existing between them for over four centuries. However, in the area of Church authority, more than the question of the papacy needed resolving. There were also fundamental differences about the nature of the historic episcopate existing between Roman Catholics and many Anglicans.

It is true that in contemplating unity with Protestant Churches, Anglicans have always insisted upon the acceptance of the historic episcopate, largely due to Anglo-Catholic influence. But by the same token they have not insisted upon the acceptance of any one view of episcopacy. Consequently, there has been freedom to regard it as only an office, which means that bishops are held to be essentially no different than other types of ordained clergy.

The adoption of this attitude by members of both sides became apparent in the plan of unity between the Church of England and the English Methodist Church. Approved by the 1968 Lambeth Conference, there was no provisions for Methodist clergy to receive Anglican orders. [85] We see therefore that ecumenical dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics must deal with the question of episcopacy as well as with the papacy, including their interrelationship.

While Lambeth Conferences and Anglicanism as a whole were developing conciliatory approaches towards Protestantism, Anglo-Catholic scholarship in the field of ecclesiology was developing in a direction which more closely resembled Roman Catholicism. Here, the primacy of the episcopal college was upheld, but the pope was increasingly seen to be the divinely authorized head of the college and its chief teacher which meant that he was its representative figure and spokesman.

There were also within the Anglo-Catholic school men such as Jones and Scott who were well in advance of this development inasmuch as they completely accepted the Church of Rome’s position on the papacy.

Ironically, in an ecumenical age, the various Anglican points of view regarding Church authority presents at least the possibility of the fragmentation of the Anglican Communion. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to retain its cohesiveness in the course of its attempts to unite with non-episcopal, episcopal and papal-episcopal Churches.

Footnotes Chapter V

  1. Cyril Garbett, Authority in Doctrine, London, S.P.C.,., 1950, 15p.

  2. Ibid., p. 11.

  3. Ibid., p. 12.

  4. Ibid., p. 13.

  5. Catholicity: A Study in the Conflict of Christian Tradition in the West, Westminster, Dacre Press, 1952, 56 p.

  6. Ibid., p. 36.

  7. Ibid., p. 40.

  8. Ibid., p. 36.

  9. The Lambeth Conference, 1958, London, S.P.C.K., 1958, I, 22.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Ibid., I, 23.

  12. The permission referred to was contained in the Congregation of the Holy Office’s Instruction to Local Ordinaries on the Oecumenical Movement, December 1949.

  13. E.L. Mascall, The Recovery of Unity, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1958, xiii-242 p. An article by Mascall dealing specificially with the Lambeth Conference involvement in the ecumenical movement was published the following year. Cf. E.L. Mascall, “Lambeth and Unity,” Church Quarterly Review, Vol. 160, No. 1, 1959, p. 158-172.

  14. Mascall, The Recovery of Unity, p. 194.

  15. Ibid., p. 195.

  16. Ibid., p. 197.

  17. Ibid., p. 200.

  18. > Ibid., p. 201.

  19. Ibid., p. 197.

  20. Cf. p. 230 where the modern Roman see is portrayed as exercising “a draconic dogmatic and disciplinary dictatorship.”

  21. Cf. Collectio Lacensis VII, cols. 484, 486.

  22. Mascall, op. cit., p. 202f.

  23. Ibid., p. 208.

  24. Ibid., p. 196.

  25. For views of the papacy and the episcopate similar to those of Mascall, consult the following article by Derrick W. Allen and A. MacDonald Allchin, “Primacy and Collegiality: An Anglican View,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol. 21, 1965, p. 63-80.

  26. Cf. Constitution on the Church, Chapter 3, sec. 18 and 20. (Constitutiones, Decreta, Declarationes, p. 125f).

  27. Cf. Constitutiones, Decreta, Declarationes, p. 129f.

  28. Ibid. Cf. also the “Prefatory Note of Explanation.” (Constitutines, Decreta, Declarationes, p. 215-219.)

  29. Ibid.

  30. Cf. “Prefatory Note of Explanation.” (Constitutines, Decreta, Declarationes, p. 131-133.

  31. Ibid.

  32. Ibid., p. 137f.

  33. Ibid., p. 138-141.

  34. Ibid., p. 143-145.

  35. Frederick C. Grant, Rome and Reunion, New York, Oxford University Press, 1965, ix-196 p.

  36. Ibid., p. 39.

  37. Cf. II Corinthians 11:28.

  38. Grant, op. cit.

  39. Ibid., p. 42.

  40. Ibid., p. 45.

  41. Ibid., p. 39.

  42. Ibid., p. 46.

  43. Ibid.

  44. Cf. Augustine, Ep. 43, 19 (PL 33,169).

  45. Grant, op. cit p. 47.

  46. Ibid., p. 153f.

  47. Ibid., p. 155.

  48. Ibid., p. 157.

  49. Ibid., p. 156f.

  50. Ibid., p. 158.

  51. Ibid., p. 157.

  52. Cf. Jalland, The Church and the Papacy, London, S.P.C.K., 1944, p. 280.

  53. Cf. Augustine, Ep. 186 (PL 33,816); Innocent, Ep. 29 (PL 33,780).

  54. Cf. Tertullian, De Pudicitis 21 (CSEL 20,269); Firmilian 17 (CSEL 3,813).

  55. Grant, op. cit., p. 42.

  56. Bernard C. Pawley (ed.), The Second Vatican Council, London, Oxford University Press, 1967, vi-262 p.

  57. Lumen Gentium.

  58. Ibid., p. 18.

  59. Ibid., p. 19.

  60. Ibid., p. 76.

  61. Ibid.

  62. Ibid., p. 77. For a similar viewpoint, see Arthur A. Vogel’s article “The Second Vatican Council on the Nature of the Church and Ecumenism,” Anglican Theological Review, Vol. 49, No. 3, 1967, p. 243-262.

  63. Pawley, op. cit., p. 77.

  64. Ibid., p. 77n.

  65. Ibid., p. 77f. This view was also expressed by Bernard C. Pawley in an article entitled “An Important Reform,” Theology, Vol. 68, 1965, p. 141-144.

  66. Cf. Constitutiones, Decreta, Declarationes, III, 22.

  67. Ibid.

  68. Arthur Michael Ramsey, The Gospel and the Catholic Church, London , Longmans, (2nd ed.) 1956, xiv-230 p.

  69. Ibid., p. 228.

  70. The Lambeth Conference, 1968, London, S.P.C.K., 1968, p. 42.

  71. Ibid., p. 42f., cf. p. 129.

  72. Cf. The Lambeth Conference, 1930, p. 27.

  73. Cf. The Lambeth Conference, 1948, I, p. 46.

  74. The recommendation for the establishment of a permanent joint commission reflected a similar recommendation made the previous year at Malta by the Anglican-Roman Catholic Joint Prepatory Commission. Cf. “The Commission Report,” Herder Correspondence, Vol. 5, No. 12, December 1968, p. 374.

  75. The Lambeth Conference, 1968, p. 136.

  76. Apostolicae Curae, 1896 (AAS 96/97, 198 sq.)

  77. The Lambeth Conference, 1968, p. 136.

  78. Ibid., p. 135.

  79. Ibid., p. 137.

  80. The statement also reflects the thinking of E. L. Mascall in an article entitled “Collegiality, Reunion and Reform: I,” Theology, Vol. 69, 1966, p. 201-208.

  81. The Lambeth Conference, 1968, p. 137.

  82. Ibid., p. 138.

  83. Ibid.

  84. Ibid., p. 136, cf. p. 43.

  85. Ibid., p. 43, 130.

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