Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Anglican and Catholic

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From time to time, I sneak a peek at the Rector's copy of The Living Church, the Episcopal Church's last weekly independent news magazine. I was delighted to find the editorial below on page 24 of this week's issue about going back to their roots. I say good for them, and good for us.

When the Board of Directors of the Living Church Foundation met recently in Albuquerque, N.M., it spent some time discussing the role of this magazine in a rapidly changing Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. Members of the board felt this would be a good time to clarify the role and purpose of THE LIVING CHURCH. In so doing, the board felt it should return to its roots and re-emphasize its historic mission.

The Articles of Incorporation of the foundation, publisher of this magazine, state that its purpose is "the publication and distribution of literature in the interest of the Christian religion, and specifically of the Protestant Episcopal Church according to what is commonly known as the Catholic conception thereof..." That document, written nearly 80 years ago, also acknowledges that such publication and distribution includes "conducting and maintenance of a printing and publishing business..."

Readers may notice that beginning with this issue we have attempted to explain our purpose in two statements. One is found on the cover immediately underneath the masthead, or name of the publication. Gone is the familiar "An independent weekly serving Episcopalians." In its place is this description: "An independent weekly supporting catholic Anglicanism." This does not represent a change in our focus, but rather it broadens what has been our position all along.

THE LIVING CHURCH has always served Episcopalians and will continue to attempt to do so, but it has always served other Anglicans as well. For many years this magazine has contained news and articles about other Anglican churches, because we believe the Anglican Communion is important. We have long emphasized the importance of Episcopalians being Anglicans, and now is a good time for us to re-emphasize it.

The second statement that has been rewritten is found at the top of Page 3. It clarifies the historic mission of the Living Church Foundation. We are committed to the Anglican and catholic concept of the church as an incarnational and sacramental body. We value our Anglican heritage and take seriously our role as catholic Christians. We attempt to nourish Anglican faith, piety and practice within The Episcopal Church. Again, this represents no change in our policy. Rather it is simply time that we said so.

By the way, that is not a photo of the Board of Directors of the Living Church (if only). It is the photo taken outside of St Paul's Cathedral, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, after the consecration of Bishop R. H. Weller in 1900. The picture, dubbed the "Fond du Lac Circus," was published in The Living Church and created controversy in southern low church parishes who had never seen such pomp and circumstance. I have the picture hanging in my office.


Anonymous said...

Word. I especially affirm the appearence of the guy standing in the far right of the picture.

Fr Timothy Matkin said...

Blessed Tikhon, pray for us.