Canadian Bishops on CWOB

I’ve been away from the computer for a while or, at least not in the blogging Anglican circles. I was alerted to an interesting news item by a friend of the blog. Looking back on the various sites that I frequent, I find it interesting that none of them has made mention of the recent meeting of the Canadian House of Bishops. At their just concluded meeting they “unanimously reaffirmed that the sacrament of the holy Eucharist is to be given only to those baptized in the Christian faith.”

Read more about it here.

Needless to say, I applaud the bishops for their decision. There is a logic to our sacramental rites that moves from Baptism to Eucharist. If anything, this was greatly enhanced by the 1979 Prayer Book. The new elevation of Baptism is an innovation, but I think a positive one. Any movement to degrade the position of Baptism is a clear step away from both the logic and theology of the Christian Church throughout the ages, and a big step away from the direction our prayer book leads.

I can only hope the American House of Bishops will issue a similar statement.

10 Replies to “Canadian Bishops on CWOB”

  1. Just for chuckles, how do you check up on people to tell if they’ve been baptised? Do you have some sort of iPhone app? Same thing with “valid consecration”: how do you know if you’re just eating wafers and diluted wine or if someone’s been “validly consecrated” and you’ve got someone who’s just dressed up in weird clothes?
    Religion is so odd.

  2. iPhone app? Gosh, no. In our parish we’ve mounted a spectral Luminositor by the altar rail and when a validly baptized person or consecrated element comes near it glows really brightly when we look at it with our astral eye.

  3. In my days as a Greek Orthodox seminarian, I once attended Vespers at a somewhat worrying new Antiochian Western Rite parish, where one of the new converts confidently informed me that he could see an “aura” around me because I had Orthodox baptism. I forebore to tell him that I had been baptized a Roman Catholic, of course.

    Of course, he was a harmless madman, but such people are sometimes at the forefront of liturgical technology. I’m sure it’s just a matter of squinting a bit or wearing special lenses, and the rest of us will soon be able to detect the baptismal aura. Probably it changes colours depending on the denomination.

  4. I suppose that answers the question about whether or not Anglican Canadians must wash before supper.

    An elevation of Baptism should be followed by a similar elevation of the Eucharist. Sacramental disparity is a sign of an unbalanced church. It happens in churches where the number of people being baptized (either as infants from growth within, or from conversion for those of “riper years”) and that the Eucharist is celebrated on a regular basis. In places where either falls by the side (Baptist churches with their semiannual Lord’s Supper or Episcopal Churches where almost no one gets baptized, despite weekly communion), the church begins to misunderstand the nature of the Gospel of the ministry that flows from it.

  5. The sentence that concerns me is this :’It acknowledged that “open table” is already being practised in some parts of Canada and that the practice “arises out of a deep concern to express Christian hospitality.”‘. If the bishops don’t take action to stop it then the net effect will be de facto endorsement.

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