The Church of England's Thirty Nine Articles of Religion
by Michael Roll
(July 11, 2004)
I am still in a state of shock after reading the editorial in The Daily Telegraph on 10th July 2004 about enforcing Thomas Cranmer's Thirty-nine Articles of Religion that were officially adopted by the Church of England in 1564. Every Anglo-Catholic priest has sworn before "God" that he, and now I presume she, will incorporate these outrageous assertions that no intellectual has believed in for over 100 years.
Apparently it has been decided to activate the ecclesiastical court for heresy in a desperate attempt to root out all the clergy that the Telegraph calls "liberals" - defined in the dictionary as open-minded, not rigorous, unprejudiced, directed to general broadening of the mind, favouring moderate democratic reforms.
Half the Church of England clergy openly follow the former Bishop of Durham, Dr. David Jenkins, and the rest privately agree with what this top academic said. In the 1980s, Dr. Jenkins made it very clear that Church of England priests no longer believe in the supernatural Catholic (all-embracing) doctrines and dogmas that were invented at the Council of Nicaea in 325 of the Christian era together with the 39 Articles: that a book has divine authority, dead bodies leaping out of graves on a mythical Judgement Day, a virgin giving birth to the creator of the universe 2,000 years ago, and, worst of all, that everything we have done wrong on Earth is going to be forgiven just as long as we believe what the priests are teaching etc.
Please see the letter that the Bishop of Salisbury, Dr. John Baker, wrote to me on 3rd March 1983:
"And I would entirely agree that there is no hope for the Churches unless they try to get back to what their Founder taught."
He means Jesus, not St. Paul.
When I met the scientist Ronald Pearson in 1988, he was deeply shocked when I told him that the Church of England priests no longer believe what they are paid to pump into their congregations. I could see that he did not believe me. Therefore, I introduced him to a local Church of England vicar. This vicar confirmed to Ron that everything that Thomas Paine and Arthur Findlay had written about the Christian religion was true. This vicar had first made contact with me following one of my local radio broadcasts. I asked him when he found out that Christianity was a gigantic hoax on the human race. He answered:
"We all do at theological college."
He also told me that every Anglo-Catholic vicar has a great deal of autonomy - personal freedom - unlike the Roman Catholic priests.
Reactivating the ecclesiastical court for heresy tells me that this autonomy is coming to an end in the Anglo-Catholic Church, and with it the Christian religion, as the Bishop of Salisbury made clear to me in 1983.
NB: The Daily Telegraph actually picked out one of the 39 Articles that supported "materialism"! The truth is always stranger than fiction.
Related material on this site:
Christ will not return, says Dr Jenkins - an article published in The Daily Telegraph (December 14, 1993)
"The Calling of a Cuckoo" - by Dr. David Jenkins, the former Bishop of Durham (2003)
The Suppression of Knowledge - Letter from Dr John Baker, the Bishop of Salisbury, to Michael Roll (March 3, 1983)
Articles published in the Daily Telegraph:
"One third of clergy do not believe in the Resurrection" (July 31, 2002)
"Clergy could face heresy charges in new tribunals" (July 20, 2002)
No priest believes in what they are selling! - E-mail from Michael Roll to Dene Jones (August 13, 2002)
No Book Has Divine Authority - by Michael Roll
Related material on other sites:
No heresy (if that's OK) - Daily Telegraph (July 10, 2004)
"(...) The Synod is to debate setting up new tribunals that will punish clergymen guilty of heresy. They are deemed necessary because the current consistory court system is too cumbersome and hardly ever used.
These days, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Church of England does not stand for anything much beyond a benign Leftism. (...) But at least it enjoys a clear legal and liturgical identity, based on the 39 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer.
Although we don't hear much of them now, the Articles are reassuringly unambiguous to laymen - and full of common sense. Article 1 begins: "There is only one living and true God". Article 35 rules that churches must be kept clean, and 38 even propounds that the Church upholds private property - which may come as a surprise to those clergymen who never miss an opportunity to condemn what they call "materialism".
(...) it says in the Preface to the Prayer Book: "It has always been the wisdom of the Church of England, ever since the first compiling of her publick liturgy, to keep the meane between the two extreams." "
Read the full editorial on the Daily Telegraph site.
Synod rejects rules preventing teaching of homosexual 'heresy' - Daily Telegraph (July 11, 2004)
In this article, Elizabeth Day writes:
"An attempt by the Archbishop of Canterbury to introduce disciplinary powers to prevent heretical teaching on homosexuality within the Church of England was rebuffed yesterday.
At the meeting of the Church's General Synod in York, draft rules, supported by Dr Rowan Williams, that would have forced clergy to adhere to orthodox doctrine were rejected by four votes.
During a one-and-a-half hour debate, Dr Williams told Synod members that he believed that the proposed measure could "serve the integrity and credibility of the Church" and guard against "un-Christian" teachings, such as racism. Other controversial topics, such as homosexuality, would also have been covered by the rules.
"Certain things are incompatible with Christian profession," Dr Williams said. "I don't think we ought to let ourselves forget that. It's 20-something years, I think, since the world alliance of reformed Churches declared a theological justification of apartheid as heresy. It would be, I think, a very incredible and inadequate Christian Church that did not have the resource to say something like that."
The General Synod, however, snubbed the archbishop, with many members expressing concern over the inflexibility of the proposed legislation in a Church that prided itself on discussion and diversity.
There were also concerns that the legislation would prove too expensive to enforce - an individual case could cost up to £100,000 to pursue.
The rejection of the proposals means that Anglican clerics remain subject to the 1963 Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure. The Measure, which led to consistory court cases involving adulterous vicars, is deemed by many to be expensive and cumbersome. Indeed, doctrinal matters have never been successfully prosecuted under it."
the full article on the Daily Telegraph site.