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Questions from an Anglican.

bwallace23350

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Hello. This is my first post. I am an Anglican of the high church variety. My question is, if Anglicanism ever had intercommunion with the Orthodox would the Anglican general confession and absolution be considered valid or would private confession have to become a regular feature in Anglicanism. I agree with what Father Jonah said that we need to get rid of fake women priests and calvanism. I hope one day that the task set up in the early 1900's cna resume and eventually intercommunion can be reached with our churches
 

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I'm going to answer your question without answering your question: it won't happen, so don't worry about it. We came close with Anglican-Orthodox dialogue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but then the Anglican Communion took a hard theologically progressive turn and it was abandoned. There's still constructive dialogue, facilitated by groups like the St. Sergius and St. Alban Fellowship, but it's not going to go beyond that ever again. And Orthodoxy is becoming increasingly hostile to the Western Rite, so you're also unlikely to see dissenting traditional Anglican bodies being grandfathered into the Orthodox Church as the Catholics have done over the past few years.

Hypothetically-speaking, had it happened back in the day, I can't imagine joint communion not necessitating mutual recognition of each other's sacraments, confession included.
 

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I'm going to answer your question without answering your question: it won't happen, so don't worry about it. We came close with Anglican-Orthodox dialogue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but then the Anglican Communion took a hard theologically progressive turn and it was abandoned. There's still constructive dialogue, facilitated by groups like the St. Sergius and St. Alban Fellowship, but it's not going to go beyond that ever again. And Orthodoxy is becoming increasingly hostile to the Western Rite, so you're also unlikely to see dissenting traditional Anglican bodies being grandfathered into the Orthodox Church as the Catholics have done over the past few years.

Hypothetically-speaking, had it happened back in the day, I can't imagine joint communion not necessitating mutual recognition of each other's sacraments, confession included.
I have a lot of love and respect for the Orthodox. I don't see a lot of positive in the culture coming Christianities way so maybe jsut maybe real dialogue can be restored and with Christ all things are possible.
 

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It did happen in the diaspora in the early 20th century.

The Greek Archiocese of America encouraged Greeks that found themselves in communities with no Orthodox church to seek an Episcopal church, stating that their Sacraments were valid. At one point a petition was received signed by thousands of Episcopal clergy stating that they favored a mutual recognition of Orders. There is a section about this venture in The History of the Greek Archdiocese.

Women's Ordination ended that economia.
 

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Private confession would still be necessary.
 

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I agree with what Father Jonah said that we need to get rid of fake women priests
Sorry to interrupt briefly: so do many of us Baptists (though we don't use the word priest). We never have women preachers in the Baptist church I attend, nor did I in the one I pastored years ago.
 

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It’s a Sacrament, and because a general confession isn’t enough. It’s too easy to be vague, lazy, and complacent. That doesn’t stop many faithful from being just that, but we don’t lower the standard accordingly.
 

Opus118

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Hello. This is my first post. I am an Anglican of the high church variety. My question is, if Anglicanism ever had intercommunion with the Orthodox would the Anglican general confession and absolution be considered valid or would private confession have to become a regular feature in Anglicanism. I agree with what Father Jonah said that we need to get rid of fake women priests and calvanism. I hope one day that the task set up in the early 1900's cna resume and eventually intercommunion can be reached with our churches
I do not know if this will interest you, but there was some discussion about this conference here (somewhere - the search function isn't perfect).

“In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton - Anglican and Orthodox Identity, Ministry and Mission in the 21th Century,” the Anglican-Orthodox Conference featured discussions and addresses by representatives of Nashotah House and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

 

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It’s a Sacrament, and because a general confession isn’t enough. It’s too easy to be vague, lazy, and complacent. That doesn’t stop many faithful from being just that, but we don’t lower the standard accordingly.
So is Armenian general confession not enough. From looking at past threads on this board most people seem to agree that is ok
 

bwallace23350

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St. Rafael ( Hawaweeny), when a bishop a century ago, interacted with the Episcopalians. He admired & respected them but came to conclusions that unfortunately, barred communion.

see:http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/hawaweeny.aspx
Yes we ahve some theological differences. With conservative Anglicanism reforming itself I wish the dialogue that was broke off in the 70's could renew. With the help of Christ I do believe that eventually we could reach intercommunion. With what is coming for us in the West we will all need to band together some.
 
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Yes we ahve some theological differences. With conservative Anglicanism reforming itself I wish the dialogue that was broke off in the 70's could renew. With the help of Christ I do believe that eventually we could reach intercommunion. With what is coming for us in the West we will all need to band together some.
I wish there was another individual with insight & influence akin to C.S. Lewis around.
 

bwallace23350

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We do seem to have a dearth of influential thinkers right now.
 

Mor Ephrem

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So is Armenian general confession not enough. From looking at past threads on this board most people seem to agree that is ok
Do Anglicans only have general confession? Or does private confession to a priest also exist? What is the history of the practice of confession in Anglicanism?
 

JTLoganville

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Private confession exists in theory but (as with Lutherans) it has been neglected.

1979 Book of Common Prayer "Reconciliation of a Penitent"

https://www.bcponline.org/PastoralOffices/reconciliation.html

From the next page:

Concerning the Rite


The ministry of reconciliation, which has been committed by Christ to his
Church, is exercised through the care each Christian has for others,
through the common prayer of Christians assembled for public worship,
and through the priesthood of Christ and his ministers declaring
absolution.


The Reconciliation of a Penitent is available for all who desire it. It is not
restricted to times of sickness. Confessions may be heard anytime and
anywhere.


Two equivalent forms of service are provided here to meet the needs of
penitents. The absolution in these services may be pronounced only by a
bishop or priest. Another Christian may be asked to hear a confession,
but it must be made clear to the penitent that absolution will not be
pronounced; instead, a declaration of forgiveness is provided.


When a confession is heard in a church building, the confessor may sit
inside the altar rails or in a place set aside to give greater privacy, and the
penitent kneels nearby. If preferred, the confessor and penitent may sit
face to face for a spiritual conference leading to absolution or a
declaration of forgiveness.


When the penitent has confessed all serious sins troubling the conscience
and has given evidence of due contrition, the priest gives such counsel
and encouragement as are needed and pronounces the absolution. Before
giving absolution, the priest may assign to the penitent a psalm, prayer,
or hymn to be said, or something to be done, as a sign of penitence and
act of thanksgiving.


The content of a confession is not normally a matter of subsequent
discussion. The secrecy of a confession is morally absolute for the
confessor, and must under no circumstances be broken.
 

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Do Anglicans only have general confession? Or does private confession to a priest also exist? What is the history of the practice of confession in Anglicanism?
My understanding is the Anglican position on private confession has historically been summed up in this aphorism - “All may, some should, none must.” No edition of the Book of Common Prayer before the second half of the 20th century contained a rite for private confession, save as an option within the Visitation of the Sick.
 

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Do Anglicans only have general confession? Or does private confession to a priest also exist? What is the history of the practice of confession in Anglicanism?
From my understanding is that we find that the general confession is sufficient. Private confession was for those who could not quite their conscious and needed to here the absolution one on one.
 

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As for the history of private confession it is getting to be more of a common occurrence, especially in the time of Lent. I would not even know how to do a private confession. Do I confess everything? I am nearly 36 that is a lot of stuff.Some of it I would just assume I had probably done like slandering someone or such, especially when I was in high school.
 

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There’s an examination before confession in the prayer books, and you can confess categorically (i.e.: “I have been profane in my speech” vs. a list of every single time you ever cussed). And the first time, yes, you confess everything; it’s referred to as a lifetime confession. After that, start from your most recent confession and go from there, adding anything that slipped through the cracks last time.
 

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There was an excellent paper presented a decade ago to the Lutheran ministerial Oratory, The Society of the Holy Trinity titled "The Office of the Keys and Confession and its Relationship to the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness" which concluded that Lutheran (and Episcopal) practice of offering a "General Confession" had severely undermined the catholic and apostolic practice of Confession as an individual Sacrament.

Definitely good reading:

http://www.societyholytrinity.org/oldsite/2008gr-lehrke.htm
 

bwallace23350

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There was an excellent paper presented a decade ago to the Lutheran ministerial Oratory, The Society of the Holy Trinity titled "The Office of the Keys and Confession and its Relationship to the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness" which concluded that Lutheran (and Episcopal) practice of offering a "General Confession" had severely undermined the catholic and apostolic practice of Confession as an individual Sacrament.

Definitely good reading:

http://www.societyholytrinity.org/oldsite/2008gr-lehrke.htm
That article seemed to back up the Anglican Perspective as I understood it.
 

bwallace23350

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There’s an examination before confession in the prayer books, and you can confess categorically (i.e.: “I have been profane in my speech” vs. a list of every single time you ever cussed). And the first time, yes, you confess everything; it’s referred to as a lifetime confession. After that, start from your most recent confession and go from there, adding anything that slipped through the cracks last time.
That is good to know. At my age I am sure I have hit all the normal categories.
 

Mor Ephrem

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From my understanding is that we find that the general confession is sufficient. Private confession was for those who could not quite their conscious and needed to here the absolution one on one.
See, I think this understanding is not compatible with Orthodoxy, even if I think general confession can be.
 

Mor Ephrem

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My understanding is the Anglican position on private confession has historically been summed up in this aphorism - “All may, some should, none must.” No edition of the Book of Common Prayer before the second half of the 20th century contained a rite for private confession, save as an option within the Visitation of the Sick.
Thanks, that is interesting. What was its purpose in Visitation of the Sick?
 

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Thanks, that is interesting. What was its purpose in Visitation of the Sick?
The 1662 Prayer Book reads thus
Here [after the profession of faith] shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Could you explain why if you think a general confession could be?
Private confession evolved from a more public form of confession (of which I regard general confession a socially distanced relative), and it had nothing to do with assuaging scruples. If that is how Anglicans view private confession, it is not orthodox. Private confession is public confession without the audience: it is confessing sins to the local pastor who represents the Church, accepting appropriate penance, and through the priestly prayer being restored to communion. It can assuage scruples, but that’s not its purpose and doesn’t always function that way for the scrupulous.
 

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Private confession evolved from a more public form of confession (of which I regard general confession a socially distanced relative), and it had nothing to do with assuaging scruples. If that is how Anglicans view private confession, it is not orthodox. Private confession is public confession without the audience: it is confessing sins to the local pastor who represents the Church, accepting appropriate penance, and through the priestly prayer being restored to communion. It can assuage scruples, but that’s not its purpose and doesn’t always function that way for the scrupulous.
It can be for evolving scruples as the 1662BCP said or it can be the main way you confess. I could go to confession regularly if I so wished or I can make use of the general confession. I think of my sins often during the week and look forward to the announcing of absolution after the general confession on Sunday. The way I think it is supposed to work is that you are supposed to think and repent of your sins and then come to the general confession and confess your sins outloud that way and then receive absolution.
 

Mor Ephrem

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The way I think it is supposed to work is that you are supposed to think and repent of your sins and then come to the general confession and confess your sins outloud that way and then receive absolution.
Sure, and I’m not arguing there is absolutely no place for that (I’ve made use of it myself). But it’s still not a best practice, and shouldn’t be the default practice. Where it has become a default practice, I’m not sure it is very helpful.
 

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I do wish our General Confession was more detailed like the Armenians but I do believe that my sins are forgiven during the absolution .
 

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Not specifically dealing with general confession: but since you are new to the discussion maybe you can take a look at this:

ANGLICAN-ORTHODOX DIALOGUE, The Dublin Agreed Statement 1984

The Archbishop of Canterbury called the first series of Anglican-Orthodox conversations a 'spiritual summer,' and the Moscow Agreed Statement of 1976 'its first fruits.' Since then the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission has met regularly to explore each other's faith and to seek co-operation in mission and service. Despite major setbacks, especially over the unresolved question of the ordination of women to the priesthood in some Anglican provinces, the conversations have continued with a greater freshness and liveliness in recent years, focusing particularly on the central importance of prayer and its consequences for Christian life. The Dublin Agreed Statement, the result of eight years of discussions, reflects the emphasis on prayer and spirituality. There are important agreements on the mystery of the Church on faith in the Trinity, on prayer and holiness, and on worship and tradition. The controversial filioque clause is examined further, and ways of reconciling age old differences in approach are suggested. In a quite different area, the Commission asks for clarification of statements about universal primacy made in the ARCIC Final Report. The concluding epilogue summarizes the progress made since 1973 and notes the points of agreement and disagreement that have emerged. The importance of this statement is clear, and this book helps personal and group study. 73pp

$6.00 Paper (Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press)
Always good to start with the official documents of inter-church discussions.
 
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