It is interesting to find out that the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have been in discussions for five years in trying to reach a common understanding and the purpose of a common unity. Not being aware of a specific appointment by the government of England to carry out such discussions, we can readily state that the 39 Articles which establishes the basic tenets of the Church, clearly is against such a situation. Such a rule is established in Article 21 which says:
Article 21: Of the Authority of General Councils
General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.
Though we are not in agreement with the 39 Articles of the Church of England, we are merely stating the impossibility of the discussion that has taken place between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. The Articles would require the complete submission of the Catholic Church to the Church of England whose head currently is Queen Elizabeth. In fact, there are many articles of the 39 Articles which go completely against Roman Catholicism and could never be bridged without everyone, including the government of England, acknowleding that the Catholic Church is now the state religion. The documents that are in existence as legal documents of the state, prevents the Roman Catholic Church from ever being the state religion, or that anyone who was of the Roman Catholic belief, ascending into the role as the king or queen of England. We are including the 39 Articles and the Bill of Rights by William of Orange which was written in 1689, on our website. Anyone who puruses those documents and particularly gives heed to the words that are in red, will readily agree that the Church of England can never be bound to the Roman Catholic Church. We feel that even though there is some type of unification obtained amongst the churches of Europe and Russia, as indicated in Rev. 17:15 -- "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." -- this is an historic and legal impossiblity in England. In fact, we should expect a reaction of the English people against such an ecumenical move. We feel that this could be one of those steps that would lead to the withdrawing of England out of the European Union. We know from appropriate prophecies that England MUST be separated from the EU. With this understanding we must state -- happy reading once again.
Churches Agree Pope Has Overall Authority
By Oliver Poole, May 13, 1999 BBC
THE Pope was recognised as the overall authority in the Christian world by an Anglican and Roman Catholic commission yesterday which described him as a "gift to be received by all the Churches".
Pope John Paul II: 'moral authority to unite
the Christian denominations'
Disagreement about the extent of the Pope's authority was one of the main causes of the English Reformation in the 16th century, and has been a constant stumbling block to the two Churches reuniting. However, yesterday's statement, released at Lambeth Palace - which is not binding - accepted that if a new united Church was created it would be the Bishop of Rome who would exercise a universal primacy.
Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, admitted that the text would be controversial but called for a debate in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches on its findings. He said: "In a world torn apart by violence and division, Christians need urgently to be able to speak with a common voice, confident of the authority of the gospel of peace."
The 43-page document, The Gift of Authority, has been produced by the 18-member Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, after five years of debate. The commission concluded that the Bishop of Rome had a "specific ministry concerning the discernment of truth" and accepted that only the Pope had the moral authority to unite the various Christian denominations.
However, it did not go as far as to confirm the Pope's infallibility. Instead, it said: "This form of authoritative teaching has no stronger guarantee from the Holy Spirit than have the solemn definitions of ecumenical councils." The document does not specifically address the issues that divide the two Churches, such as the place of the Virgin Mary and women's ministry.
In the new united Church decisions would be made by consensus through councils, not based solely on the opinion of one man. The document remained ambiguous about what would happen when no agreement could be reached. The document will be discussed when the Primates of the Anglican Communion meet the Presidents of the Catholic Bishops' Conference for the first time in Toronto next May.
The proposals are expected to shock many Anglicans, particularly on the evangelical wing of the Church, which remains wary of an extension of the Bishop of Rome's authority.
Mark Birchall, a member of the Church of England Evangelical council, said: "It speaks as if the Bishop of Rome has always been on the side of the angels while it is well known that for several centuries past the Bishop of Rome was certainly not."
Catholic traditionalists have also expressed concern about the new emphasis on the authority exercised by the entire Church at the expense of the Pope's sole infallibility. However, the authors of the document called on people to study the work in entirety before judging it. The Rt Rev Mark Santer, the Bishop of Birmingham and co-chairman of the body, said: "This is a serious piece of theological work and to understand our conclusions you have to follow how we got there. One faith was given by Christ and his apostles and what we are trying to do is rediscover that one common faith."
The Rt Rev Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and the other co-chairman, added: "The primacy of the Pope is a gift to be shared."