Monday, May 10, 2010

Anglican Patrimony from the Perspective of an Orthodox Priest

May 6, 2010

Fr. John Guy Winfrey, the parish priest of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, MI, and a former parishioner of the Anglo-Catholic St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Ft. Worth, has written to offer the following piece as a guest contribution to The Anglo-Catholic. While in his own personal journey, sensing a vocation to the priesthood, Fr. Winfrey (at least at the time) saw Orthodoxy as the only viable choice for the exercise of a Catholic ministry, it is obvious that he still draws strength from his Anglican Catholic formation in the Faith. He writes expressing his hope that the personal ordinariates to be erected under Anglicanorum Coetibus may be able to achieve in the Catholic Church what Orthodoxy has been able to accomplish (giving proper place to the Anglo-Catholic tradition) and he is hopeful that “[i]t may truly be, at the end of the day, that the Holy Father is indeed the principle of unity within the Church.”

And so I’ve been thinking about what I truly miss about the sort of Anglicanism that I knew and loved so deeply. It seems obvious that it no longer exists, but that’s not really the point… and I do think that there is a point somewhere that should reveal itself by the end of this post.

First I suppose I ought to say what sort of Anglican I was since there seem to be a multitude of varieties, especially nowadays. I was an old-fashioned Anglo-Catholic, or perhaps even more pointed, an Anglo-Papalist. I “read, marked, learned and inwardly digested” Rev. Dr. Francis Hall’s ten volume series on Dogmatic Theology (and I still treasure my copy of these volumes). I studied and mastered Ritual Notes, 8th and 11th editions, and later began to learn Fortescue’s Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described and other books that are referenced and footnoted in Ritual Notes. My heart treasured the 1940 Hymnal–which is arguably the best hymnal ever published. The simple Gregorian settings to the propers and ordinary of the Mass still give me great peace. It ought to be clear that I was not the ordinary sort of Episcopalian one finds in the U.S. It is true that as a child the parishes that I attended were certainly more from the mainstream of American Anglicanism, yet it was when I joined St. Timothy’s as a young adult that I was actually “formed” into my current spiritual shape.
the rest-don't miss!


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