Tag: Anglicanism

David Virtue Interviews Fr. Bausch

David Virtue Interviews Fr. Bausch

Canon Lawrence D. Bausch to Lead Forward in Faith North America

By David W. Virtue, DD
April 23, 2017

Recently, Forward in Faith North America elected the Rev. Canon Lawrence D. Bausch of Ocean Beach, California, as its new president. Canon Bausch succeeds the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, who had served as FiFNA’s president since 2005.

At their beginning in 1989 as the Episcopal Synod of America, their mission as Catholic Anglicans centered on preserving catholicity within existing church structures.

Canon Bausch resigned from the ministry of the Episcopal Church in September 2006, and was received as a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Argentina, in the Anglican Province of the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.

VOL interviewed Canon Bausch as part of the ongoing realignment both in North America and the wider Anglican Communion and we asked him how he saw the future of FIFNA, its goals and aspirations within the Anglican Communion.

VOL: Canon Bausch, how do you understand your mission in these post-TEC, new ACNA days?

BAUSCH: Our primary mission is to teach, practice and proclaim the fullness of our Catholic inheritance for Anglicans, regardless of jurisdictional identity. Historically speaking, we see ourselves as a part of a new “Oxford Movement”. After my election, I said that our mission was now responding to a different parable than when we began. Originally, we were like those who had found the “pearl of great value’, and who were to protect and preserve it with all of our resources. Now, we are within the parable of the talents, whose mission is to utilize and witness to the value of this gift we have been entrusted with.

VOL: Where do your members come from today?

BAUSCH: We have members from the ACNA, TEC and Continuum. Our elected Council also come from all three.

VOL: For the moment the ACNA allows for the Ordination of women to the priesthood though the matter is far from settled How does the situation of your members and leaders within it differ from the days in The Episcopal Church?

BAUSCH: When the ACNA came into being under the authorization of the GAFCON Primates, the participants, most of whom had been a part of the Common Cause Round Table, agreed that we would allow each Diocese to have its own policy on Women’s Ordination (to) the Priesthood, while the Episcopate would be male only. We also agreed that a Task Force would be assigned to do an extensive study of Holy Orders, including the matter of Women’s Ordination. This had never been done in TEC. The assumption going in was that we cannot exist as a Church permanently with “impaired communion” in which not all clergy were universally recognized. This entire good-faith enterprise has been a true blessing for all within the ACNA.

VOL: The ACNA is completing its study of Holy Orders this year. What is your hope or expectation for the outcome of this effort?

BAUSCH: Our expectation is that this thorough study, much of which is already available on the ACNA website, will confirm our position as Biblical, historical and theologically coherent. Our hope is that this will be received by the College of Bishops favorably, and will be commended for study in every Diocese. Then, we hope (and pray) for the wisdom to see how best to alter our practice and come into conformity with our historic position. We recognize that the implementation of such a change will require time, with great pastoral sensitivity and care.

VOL: How does your message and appeal for the fullness of Catholic faith and practice within Anglicanism, address or speak to the particulars of people in TEC, the Continuing Churches, and the ACNA (and perhaps the wider Anglican Communion)?

BAUSCH: By not taking a position on jurisdictional membership, we want to be able to offer tools which can help any and all of our members to fulfill our mission in their particular context. For example, at our upcoming July Assembly, we will be giving the participants an opportunity to attend one of two workshops, one on Anglo-Catholic Church Planting and the other on Church Re-vitalization. Regarding the wider Anglican Communion, our members have a variety of international connections and shared ministries, in addition to our participation in GAFCON. For example, I went by invitation of the bishop to do two weeks of teaching for priests in Anglo-Catholic practice and teaching in the Diocese of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

VOL: FIFNA operates across North America within a number of Anglican churches, including the Reformed Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in North America, the Diocese of the Holy Cross, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Province of America, the Anglican Church in America, and the Episcopal Church (United States). However, FIFNA is not a diocese of the ACNA, which is predominantly evangelical in theology and ethos. Clearly there are tensions there. How do you think you can resolve them? Do you see a time when FIFNA would be a full partner (diocese) in the ACNA?

BAUSCH: FIFNA is not itself an ecclesial entity, and is not in itself within any jurisdiction. However, some of our members within the ACNA are within the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, which is comprised of FIFNA-member parishes and priests. The tensions you describe between some of our perspective and the ACNA are real, but not necessarily negative. At our Anglican best, we strive to see these as differences of emphasis rather than substance, and then continue to promote the understanding of our essential Catholic identity as particularly expressed such things as the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. It is also noteworthy that, in the production of the ACNA Catechism, there were FIFNA members involved.

VOL: There are former TEC Anglo-Catholic dioceses like Ft. Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin that are fully on board with the ACNA. Is that possible for FIFNA?

BAUSCH: FIFNA is a Ministry Partner with the ACNA, as is the AAC. So, unlike a Diocese, we are in, but not of it.

VOL: You have held an annual Assembly every year since your beginning. How does your upcoming one embody your change of focus?

BAUSCH: I have already mentioned the workshops we will be offering. Additionally, Bishop Ackerman and I will be monitoring a forum on the future for Anglo-Catholics, and hope that a good number of young clergy and members will participate. The theme of the Assembly itself, “Celebrating Christian Marriage, Family and Single Life”, should certainly appeal to all participants, regardless of jurisdiction.

VOL: Who do you target in seeking new members to FIFNA?

BAUSCH: I serve in the ACNA Diocese of Western Anglicans, where I am one of a very few Anglo-Catholic priests. However, I am very frequently asked to offer either teaching or mentoring by persons, often those who have come from an Evangelical background. They often are attracted to our Anglican history and order, but often know little about the richness of our Catholicity. This exemplifies the sort of person we see as our potential new members.

VOL: How can you attract secular Millennials to a movement like FIFNA? While there seems to be a groundswell by many evangelicals towards liturgically driven churches like Rome and a number of Orthodox Churches, how do you think you can get such persons interested. In short where is your future flock coming from?

BAUSCH: This is indeed the great challenge for all traditional Christians in our culture. Ultimately, our best hope will be in those Millennials who are already among us or coming our way. We can equip them for this work among their peers. I am quite taken with the teaching and influence of Charles Taylor in understanding our culture and challenges. Two books which have been inspired by his thought I have found to be quite helpful: “How (Not) To Be Secular”, by James K.A. Smith, and “How To survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith & Politics” by Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson. The other thing we need to be doing, in my opinion, is to get acquainted with young people, believers or not, and ask them to teach us so that we may understand them better. We won’t know how to offer what we have until we know them. Our Lord, and our ministry, are implicitly relational, and we ignore relationships to our discredit.

VOL: Thank you, Fr. Bausch

Anglican Way Institute presents “The Christian’s Responsibility in the Public Square”

Anglican Way Institute presents “The Christian’s Responsibility in the Public Square”

Registration is open for the Anglican Way Institute Summer Conference 2016 for young adults July 6-10, 2016.  The theme is  The Church and the State  “The Christian’s Responsibility in the Public Square” featuring world renown keynote speaker Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the Church’s great teachers address this most poignant topic of our time.

Bishop Nazir Ali’s topics Include:

  • Why Christians Should Be Involved in Public Life
  • Is the Relationship With the State Anglicanism’s Achilles’ Heel or Missionary Advantage?
  • Christ and Culture
  • Conformity and Dissent
  • A Future For Anglicanism?

To read more or to register go here.

Leaving home: The Future of the Faith in England

By Gavin Ashenden

The thought of leaving Canterbury, spiritually or emotionally, breaks my heart. I grew up there. I spent five years in the school built around its cloisters. I sang from its tower on Ascension days. I sat for hours at the entrance to the cloisters where Thomas a Becket was struck down for refusing the demands of the secular over the sacred. I took the Eucharist there in the bowels of its undercroft before dawn in the mists of winter. I was confirmed there when the saintly prophetic Michael Ramsey was Archbishop.

But Canterbury has sold its birthright. She planted the orthodox Gospel around the world so that scores of millions worship our adored Risen Christ, but has slid from under the obligations of the Apostolic faith she received, to a heterodox secularized shadow of that faith.

I often wonder how I could explain our present difficulties to St Augustine who came here to evangelise in 597. I think I would say that “just as you, blessed brother in Christ, are still struggling with the Arians, who are powerful in Eastern Europe at the moment, we are struggling with the new Arians. Just as you will overcome them by the 8th Century, we will too, by the power of the Spirit.

But our Arians have assaulted the apostolic faith not by a full on assault on the Holy Trinity, but by a sideways undermining of it. Jesus has become less than the 2nd person of the Trinity because he has been reduced by claiming he suffered from cultural ignorance; he is thought to be captive to a 1st century culture with its misogyny and restricted sexual ethics. Our heretics have decided that Jesus did not come to reveal the Father, because they have adopted a new secular and essentially Marxist idea, that gender is an oppressive cultural construct. And they join that idea to a second piece of Marxism, that ‘equality’ is the most important social value to strive after. The masculinity of the Father, and that of the Son, are for them unwelcome cultural constraints. The revelation of a hierarchy of glory inverted by love became an anathema to them, because they worship equality.

So they overthrew 2,000 years of apostolic teaching, and ordained women into the place of the Bishop and priest, the representatives of the risen Christ at the Eucharist, saying that gender was of no consequence in the narrative of salvation.

They relentlessly attacked St Paul for teaching us the mystery of the interdependence of man and women in a hierarchy of love and service.

As it happens this coincided with a secular assault on fatherhood. But being spiritually not very aware, they took some pride in joining forces with the secular gender wars, where feminists moved from defending the abuse of women to attacking the role of men. Astonishingly, instead of modeling their Christian femininity on Mary, and honouring the gift of joining in the privilege of co-creating in Motherhood, they repudiated their own motherhood. They joined forces with the feminists and supported the holocaust of abortion – mothers killing their own babies. 57 million in America. 7 million here. Many of the of the new so called Christian women priests describe themselves as feminists, assaulting the masculine and defending the right of women to murder their children.

This is of course was a turning away from the natural order of creation, – in just the way that St Paul described in his letter to the Romans. And you will guess what came next. With the increase of idolatry- the worshipping of the human will and appteties, human relations began to be twisted out of shape. It won’t surprise you that one form of narcissism led to another. The egalitarians attacked the creation ordinance of marriage where men and women come together in mutual dependence under God to create children, and celebrated instead the sterile coupling of men with men and women with women. And where faithful Christians stood up in the public market place to give witness to your Word, the new women priests and their supporters, for whom this sexual narcissism was part of their allegiance to egalitarianism, celebrated the jailing and fining of the faithful as the just punishment for what they called ‘bigotry’.

Your successor as Archbishop stood in the House of Lords to praise the couplings of the homosexuals. It didn’t matter to him that they were biologically sterile and pursued romantic and sexual values that Holy Scripture warned against. He claimed rather that were emotionally fruitful. He even chose to ignore the secular evidence that these relationships consisted of greater domestic violence between women partners, greater promiscuity between male partners and greater social instability for both.

And so the place where you brought the Gospel, and the Church that inherited the Gospel has betrayed not only you, not only those who held office after you, but the Christ in whose name you came. They give him nominal acknowledgement , of course- how could they not, but they deny His invitation to sexual purity and distort His representation of the Father, and prefer the teaching of social Marxism to obedience to the Gospels.

And I think St Augustine might then say, “but are there no orthodox bishops left you could turn to?”

And the answer would be “Yes, many. All round the world there are faithful Archbishops and bishops faithful to what Canterbury planted in their cultures and hearts. They are called the Global Anglican Fellowship.”

“So then” he would reply, “your question is not where, but when – you re-align your allegiance to my successors?”

And that is the question.

We have yet to hear what the Gafcon Primates decided after they met to pray and wait on the Holy Spirit in London this month.

Our cultural circumstances are very close to those in America. We know that where TEC pursued relativism and secularism, it found only spiritual and institutional corruption.

We know that under Archbishop Foley Beach the ACNA has continued to plant Churches, convert the lost and longing to the faith, and reconcile the catholic, evangelical and charismatic charisms. It has kept the historic and apostolic teaching about gender and sexuality. It has resisted the spirit of the age. It flourishes.

We know too that the General Synod of the Church of England has worked assiduously hard to contain and diminish the influence and convictions of those who have kept the orthodox faith.

The spiritual health of the Church of England is a matter of discernment. But since its character as an established Church acts as a kind of chaplaincy to a determinedly secular society, how long can it survive in that role and retain its fidelity to the Gospels? Instinctively, those who place public prestige before obedience to the faith of the saints and the martyrs, will of course adapt their ethics to make them congenial to the culture on whose pleasure they wait. And so they have:– feminism has reconfigured the Church and secularism has redefined marriage – and the leaders of the C of E welcome both.

In a recent BBC radio programme, a leading voice for Anglican feminism, complained about the repressive patriarchal structures of the Church. They inhibited her being both a mother and a parish priest. She called upon the Church to redefine its expectations of parish clergy, so they could be mothers as well. The possibility that a priest ought to be the father in God to a parish full time, over years of service, was foreign to her feminist priorities. So the Church was supposed to adapt its pastoral practice to her demands to be both a woman ‘priest’ and a mother.

What might the leaders of the Global Anglican Fellowship do?

They might establish the parallel jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in England (or/and Europe). ACE.

They would provide bishops who held the orthodox faith of the Church to those Anglicans who had refused to bow the knee to the new Baal of egalitarianism. These bishops would care for their clergy and confirm their people – not into the Church of England, but into the orthodox Anglicanism of the majority of worldwide Anglicans.

In America, where the legal issues of who held the rights to the property of the Churches, 7 million dollars has been spend by TEC grabbing back churches where they could – ejecting their faithful congregations, and in some cases, selling them on as mosques.

In England, where the legal issues are very different, the orthodox clergy and people who give their allegiance to ACE will remain quietly in their livings, continue to pay their voluntary quotas to cover their stipends, but to withdraw anything more than that in protest against the imposition of the new heterodoxy.

The financial health of the Church of England, unlike its spiritual health is a matter of fact, not discernment. It is a matter of accounts and demographics. The average age of congregations is now 65. Many dioceses are close to cash flow failure. The Diocese of Truro, its bishop laments, has less than 5 years viability ahead of it. A diocese in the middle of England recently took out a bank loan to pay its stipends for the current month. The Diocese of Southwark is kept afloat only by evangelicals who astonishingly have not yet lost faith with a hierarchy that continually appoints gay clergy in partnerships to prominent positions of responsibility.

In the General Synod of July 2008 the progressive majority implacably refused the pleadings of the evangelical and catholic laity (mainly women as it happened) to be allowed to remain in the C of E with guaranteed orthodox episcopal oversight. The Catholics were given a fragile deal that depends on ‘trust’ and there is still no bishop whose view of gender mirrors that of the Apostle Paul amongst the evangelicals; and when finally one is announced, his hands will be tied by the concept of collegial responsibility to his heterodox colleagues.

Very well then, let the Anglican Primates give the orthodox Anglican faithful the orthodox bishops the General Synod refused to give. Let the clergy remain in their parishes for the next 5-7 years at least. And when the biblically and apostolically faithful congregations and clergy give their money to support their new bishops, and promote orthodox Anglicanism instead, it will not to come as much of a surprise.

As the structures of the C of E collapse under the pressure of aging and bankruptcy, those who have kept the faith can offer to ease the crumbling diocesan finances by taking 100 year leases on their parish Churches.

Why now? When I came back to Christ in the mid 1970’s and discovered to my surprise that the Holy Spirit was calling me to be a priest, I was enthused and inspired by the slow quiet beginnings of a charismatic renewal that appeared to be able to bring together both the evangelical and the catholic streams of the Church to re-evangelise the nation and to refresh and renew the Body of Christ.

In the last 40 years, what has happened instead, is that the Church of England turned its back on the Spirit and the Scriptures and gave herself to the new secularism. It has preferred egalitarianism to evangelism; it has chosen the struggle for gender parity to the struggle for the Gospel purity.

I had hoped that we might continue the struggle to renew and revive her, but the moment she reconfigured the apostolic structure of the episcopate to appease the demands for a Church that reflects social Marxism in preference to the patterns of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, the game was up. The next domino to fall will be the acceptance and then the promotion of gay marriage.

It is time for that revivified Anglicanism the Holy Spirit sought to give birth to 40 years ago, as he constantly brings an obedient Church to new birth. But the birth can only take place in conformity to the Scripture and faithful tradition; and it needs orthodox bishops.

Gafcon Primates – over to you.

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