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An Analysis of Anglican Concepts of the Papal Magisterium from the First Through the Tenth Lambeth Conference
by Burns K. Seeley
In the preceding chapters, we have analyzed on a chronological basis Anglican concepts relating to the papal magisterium which were presented by both individual scholars and individual Lambeth Conferences. Also within the framework of the period covered by each chapter, we have noted some of the interrelationships of these concepts. But so far no attempt has been made to evaluate the concepts, and their various interrelationships, in their total perspective. Nor has any attempt been made to evaluate their implications with respect to the question of Anglican-Roman Catholic unity. Therefore, it is with these ends in mind that the present chapter is written.
1. Conceptual Development
Throughout the course of the thesis, we have noticed various stages of development of scholarly ideas relating to the papal magisterium. The first signs of this were seen among the concepts presented in the late nineteenth century about Peter and his relationship to the apostolic college and to the Church at large.
Earlier, it was believed that Peter had no divinely appointed authority over either the Apostles or the Church. This view was clearly held by Edward Pusey in his work on Church councils (1857).  This, incidentally, was not only a typically Anglo-Catholic premise but, as would be expected, was shared by other schools of Anglican thought as well.
Edward Benson (1897), continuing in the same vein, held that Christ made all the Apostles equal in honor and power,  thus denying a divinely given Petrine primacy of authority. This was also essentially the same position assumed by Darwell Stone (1900).  Moreover, in 1912, Edward Denny wrote that Christ appointed no visible head over either the Apostles or the Church militant. 
In contrast to the above views, Charles Gore in 1888 stated that, due to Christs promise in Matthew 16:17-19, Peter became at least for a short while, the leader or spokesman of the apostolic college.  This position, however, was not believed to represent an authority over the Apostles, but only a primacy of honor. Thus Gore also maintained the essential equality of all the Apostles. William Bright (1896), as well, subscribed to a Petrine primacy of honor.  He said that Peter was the spokesman or mouthpiece of the Apostles sharing with John a leadership in the Church at large.
F.W. Puller (1900) called Peter first among equals because he was the first to confess Christs messiahship.  For this act of faith, our Lord was said to have appointed him the leader of the apostolic band. But this was not held to be a primacy of jurisdiction, since the other Apostles were equally foundations of the Church.
Francis Hall (1908) believed that Christ granted Peter a leadership within the apostolic college which was only a personal leadership among equals,  which meant that it was not transferable to his successors in Rome or elsewhere. Here too was a primacy of honor.
N. P. Williams (1918) maintained that although Peter was the divinely appointed leader or primate of the Apostles, he was not their sovereign.  However, in contrast to the above scholars, Williams also stated that this primacy of honor was transmitted to the Bishops of Rome.
During the Malines Conversations (1921-1925), Armitage Robinson declared that Peter was chosen by Christ to exercise a primacy of leadership among the Twelve. He was their chief spokesman and leader, but not their ruler.  This was held also by Henry Edward Symonds in 1939,  and as late as 1943 Claude Beaufort Moss wrote that Peter was first among the Apostles, but he had no right to command. 
Thus far we have noted among the authors cited two levels concerning Peters place among the Apostles. In the first, he was considered to be no more than their equal in every respect. This concept, without modification, remained from 1857 through 1912 and was not to reappear.
In the second level, lasting until 1943, there was a modification rather than a denial of the earlier view. Here it was held that Christ granted Peter a primacy of honor, meaning that he was the one who took the initiative among the Apostles, being their chief spokesman as well. However, he was not thought to be their ruler, nor was he placed as ruler over the entire Church. Another important aspect of this primacy (not subscribed to by Williams) was that it was only personal, that is, it was not intended by Christ to be passed on to Petrine successors.
In 1917, the beginning of still another level of Petrine development appeared in which a primacy among equals was not stressed. At this time, T.A. Lacey held that the dominical command in Luke 22:31-33 directing Peter to strengthen the brethren was quite likely limited to Peter alone.  Whether, however, this unique authority was thought to involve a primacy of governing or of teaching was not made clear from the context of Laceys work. Nevertheless, it appeared to indicate a belief in more than a primacy of honor, that is to say, a primacy among equals. On the other hand, the author was confident that there was no New Testament evidence to the effect that Peters successors were to inherit his distinctive prerogatives.
By 1926, C.H. Turner discerned evidence in the New Testament pointing to the fact that Peter was more than the honorary leader and spokesman of the Apostles. By the express words of Christ, the Apostle was granted a place of unique authority, whether in relation to the other Apostles or to the Christian community as a whole.  Yet Turner was silent about the nature of this authority. But this observation, coupled with that of Lacey, represented a definite break with the earlier insistence that Jesus made no essential distinction between the Apostles regarding their authority and responsibilities. Furthermore, Turner called Peter the chief of the Apostles, which is patient of meaning their ruler. As with Lacey, however, Turner was not convinced that the Bishops of Rome wee the divinely designated successors of Peter.
Frederick Grant, in 1965, adhered to a view of Petrine primacy similar to that of Lacey and Turner. But at the same time this authority was explicitly stated to be over the Apostles and the whole Church. He wrote that Peter was granted a permanent office of leadership and responsibility over both.  He asserted too that the New Testament gave no hint that Petrine successors were to inherit this office. Although it is not entirely clear in his essay, Eugene Fairweather (1967) may also have held essentially the same concept of Petrine primacy. 
A fourth level of thought regarding Petrine authority appeared in 1944 in Trevor Jallands book, sustained by Eric Mascall in 1958 in his work on Christian unity. It was Jallands belief that Peter received a divinely ordained leadership over the Apostles, as well as an administrative, legislative and magisterial primacy over the whole Church whose decisions were subject to no further review.  The author believed, too, that the evidence of the early Church suggested that the Bishops of Rome were heirs of Peters primatial authority.  E.L. Mascall believed that Peter exercised a divinely granted primacy of authority over both the Apostles and the Church which was transmitted to his successors in the Roman See. 
Ostensibly, the views of these two scholars paralleled the doctrine of the Church of Rome. But when they described the nature of papal primacy, it was said to be subject to the final judgment of the universal episcopate.
The development of Anglican concepts of Petrine authority outlined above began with a stress on the complete equality of all the Apostles. This was followed by a group of scholars who made a distinction within this equality. Peter was said to have a divinely bestowed primacy of honor, meaning that he was selected to take the initiative, to be the leader among equals, to be the mouthpiece and representative of the apostolic college. However, with the exception of Williams, this primacy was not held to be transmitted to Peters episcopal successors.
The primacy of honor concept was further developed by others who thought that it was actually more than a primacy among equals since Peter was given a unique authority, rather than honor, among the Apostles. Some of the scholars in this group explicitly stated that this was an authority over both the Apostles and the Church at large. Nevertheless, it was also maintained that Peters primacy was not transferable.
In the fourth level of development, Peter was said to have a primacy of authority over both the apostolic college and the entire Church which was inherited by the papacy.
It would be difficult to characterize the latter two levels as logical developments of the concepts contained in the former two. In fact, they reveal something essentially different since a Petrine authority over the Apostles is completely opposed to a primacy of honor among equals. Furthermore, the fourth level was not a logical development from the third, inasmuch as the former claimed that Peters primacy was transmitted to the papacy and the latter denied that this was so. We see then, instead of an orderly, logical development of concepts about Petrine authority, one which evolved in a more radical and disconnected manner. But the most important aspect of the overall development was its movement in a direction more closely approximating the Roman Catholic doctrine of Church authority.
B. The Papacy
The majority of the above authors cited in our study perceived no direct relationship between the divinely appointed primacy of Peter and the primacy enjoyed by the Bishops of Rome in the early Church. These men tended to attribute to the papacy only an ecclesiastically bestowed primacy of honor which was due principally to the fact that the Roman see was the only one visited by two Apostles, and also due the secular greatness of Rome. As in the case of the belief in a Petrine primacy of honor, that of the pope was thought to consist of a primacy of leadership among equals not dissimilar to that exercised by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Communion.
There were also a few authors who viewed the papacy in terms which more closely resembled the doctrine of the Church of Rome. But in contrast to the development of Petrine authority noted above, it is more difficult to detect a chronological evolution of one level of papal concepts followed by another. There was in fact only one principal level, that of the ecclesiastically bestowed primacy of honor, with little or no development within it. But this level was occasionally interspersed with the concept of a divinely bestowed primacy of honor.
In this third Irenicon sp? (1870), Pusey maintained that the early papacy enjoyed a limited jurisdiction over the Church. This was at most the right only of supervision or care of the whole, to see that things done contrary to the canons were corrected.  It was not believed to include a primacy of ordinary jurisdiction, nor was it thought to include an inherent right to be an appeals tribunal.  It was also subject to the authority of ecumenical councils.  We see here no more than a primacy of honor, which apparently was only ecclesiastically authorized.
Gore (1888) noted a papal primacy of honor in the early centuries derived from canon three of the Council of Constantinople (381) and from canon twenty-eight of the council of Chalcedon (381). These attributed a primacy to the Roman see because of its relationship with the former imperial capital.  Gore said that there was no consentient witness in the early Church to the effect that the popes were the heirs of Peters primacy of honor.  He also wrote that the Churchs magisterial primacy lay not in the papacy, but in ecumenical councils whose decisions became binding after confirming by the Church at large. Gores views were generally to prevail for at least the next fifty years.
In 1896, Bright declared that the early popes enjoyed a primacy of honor stemming from canon three of Constantinople. He did not believe that there was any evidence in the early Church supporting the Roman Catholic belief in the inherent primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church.  The proceedings of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, in particular, were thought to demonstrate sufficiently that the popes had no magisterial primacy over the Church. 
Benson (1897) was unable to detect any support for a belief in a papal primacy of jurisdiction in the writings of Cyprian.  But he did believe that the Roman see possessed a primacy of honor because of its location in the chief city of the civilized world. Moreover, Benson noted that some regional Churches in ancient times attributed a certain primacy of honor to the see due to their belief that the Church of Rome founded by Peter and that his successors sat upon his throne. 
Puller (1900) believed that the papacy in the early Church took precedence over the episcopal college because of the secular greatness of the city of Rome.  The association of Peter and Paul with the Roman see was thought to be only a secondary consideration.  For these reasons, the papacy was said to have only a primacy of honor, rather than one of authority. Furthermore, Puller declared that there was no divine guarantee that the Church of Rome would always be faithful, nor that the Roman pontiff would always teach the true faith. 
Hall (1908) contended that the Vatican I claims for papal primacy could not be supported by the doctrine of the early undivided Church.  He wrote that it was the consent of the whole Church, not that of the papal magisterium, which was the ultimate judge of doctrinal truth.  The Bishops of Rome, as compared for example with the Bishops of Antioch, were held to be the successors of Peter par excellence but not because of the inheritance of any unique Petrine privileges. Rather it was historical circumstances during the period of the early undivided Church which contributed to the rise in papal power. Consequently, the papacy assumed in effect a primacy of honor. 
According to Denny (1912), the ultimate doctrinal voice in the Church was that of the episcopal college, especially when convened in ecumenical councils. He also wrote that the history of Christian antiquity did not substantiate the later Roman Catholic claims for a divinely authorized primacy of the papal magisterium. As bishops of the imperial capital, the pope was regarded as first in honor and influence. But there was thought to be no basic difference between him and the other patriarchs. 
Lacey (1917) said that by the end of the second century, the papacy had assumed an authority which was more than episcopal and not less than apostolic. He doubted, however, that such an authority was inherited from Peter noting, for example, that such a belief was not universally received by the early Church.  On the other hand, Lacey observed that from very early times a tradition existed which attributed to the Church of Rome an exceptional dignity and authority. He also said that there was a principalitas connected with the chair of Peter in Rome. But he thought that these may have indicted that Rome was only the most conspicuous example of that preference for Churches of apostolic foundation which Tertullian evinces, or of that inevitable leadership of the greater Churches which created the patriarchates. 
Only Williams (1918) among the above mentioned scholars believed that the papacy inherited a divinely authorized primacy of honor from Peter.  He was the first to state the conviction that whatever Peter was to the apostolic college and to the universal Church, the Bishop of Rome was to episcopal college and to the entire Church.
At the Malines Conversations, B.J. Kidd (1923, 1925) said that, in the early Church, the Roman pontiffs enjoyed a primacy among the other bishops since the Roman Church alone was founded by the two chief Apostles, Peter and Paul.  In addition, the papacy due to historical circumstances acquired a primacy or leadership in the Church, becoming a visible center of unity.  But the claim for a papal primacy based upon the constitution of the Church was believed to be unsubstantiated. The magisterial primacy of the Church was said to be confined not to the papacy alone, nor to the papacy together with the Roman Catholic episcopate, rather it was thought to include the entire historic episcopate. 
In his essays on the Petrine primacy, Turner (1926) stated that the papal claim to be the sole heir of Peters primacy over the Apostles and the Church did not appear until the fourth century. Moreover, the content of this claim was held to include all and more than that revealed in the Scripture. 
Symonds (1939) concluded that the Roman see could legitimately claim a primacy of honorary leadership due to Peters presence and martyrdom there, but that there was no basis for the claim of a divinely authorized primacy of authority. The author thought that Pauls connection with Rome was in part responsible for the prominence of the see.  Symonds asserted too that the magisterial primacy in the early Church resided in the entire college of bishops. He said that it was the bishops decision in ecumenical councils, rather than those of the papacy, which were regarded as incontrovertible. 
According to Moss (1943), the Roman see in the early Church enjoyed only a primacy of honor which was conferred by ecumenical councils. This was held to be due principally to the secular greatness of the city of Rome. Other important factors were thought to include the presence of the tombs of Peter and Paul and the fact that the see maintained itself free of the theological controversies which raged in the East.  Moss declared that outside of Italy, the early Church never acknowledged the papal claim of supremacy. He also maintained that the doctrine of papal infallibility was not known prior to the Middle Ages. 
Grant (1965) believed that Leo I was the first to teach clearly that the Bishop of Rome was the divinely authorized inheritor of Peters primacy and was therefore the Vicar of Christ possessing primatial supremacy over the Church.  This doctrine was said to be a break with the earlier Cyprianic theory of ecclesiology which dominated the Church. Cyprian was said to teach that the episcopal college alone exercised both juridical and magisterial primacy over the entire Church.
Fairweather (1967) also adhered to the primacy of the episcopate. He found no convincing evidence to support the Roman Catholic belief that the pope inherited primatial authority from Peter. 
Jalland (1944) who attributed to Peter, as holder of the keys, an administrative, legislative and magisterial primacy, cautiously concluded that the evidence of the early Church indicated, if not guaranteed, that the popes were the heirs of Peter (and Paul). Yet when Jalland described the magisterial authority of the papacy, it was seen to be less than that assigned to Peter. The pope, as the final doctrinal judge, was held to be subject to the prior infallible judgment of the universal apostolic episcopate.  Thus, the magisterial primacy actually resided in the episcopate and not in the papacy. As opposed to Peter, the pope really was not thought to be the final arbiter in the Church beyond whom there lay no appeal. Although this was not explicitly stated. He was in fact only regarded as the Churchs chief mouthpiece or spokesman. 
In 1958, Mascall declared that Peters primatial authority over the Church was transmitted to the Bishops of Rome. Nevertheless, the authors description of papal primacy in the early Church was not that of a genuine primacy of authority. The evidence of this period was said to indicate that the pope was simply the divinely appointed Head of the episcopal college, the divinely constituted organ and mouthpiece of the universal apostolic episcopate. 
Actually, the papal concepts of Jalland and Mascall did not differ in essence from Williams understanding of the papacy. What the first two authors appeared to describe as divinely authorized primacy of authority inherited from Peter, turned out to be only a divinely authorized primacy of honor. The pope was depicted as no more than the chief spokesman of the episcopal college, and consequently of the whole Church.
The only basic difference between the concepts of Williams, Jalland and Mascall, and those of the other authors noted, was that the first three believed that the papal primacy of honor was divinely bestowed; while the others held that it was conferred by the Church. Both points of view concurred in denying to the papacy a primacy of ultimate authority over the episcopate and the universal Church. Both were also within the tolerated bounds of traditional Anglican doctrine in the matter. 
At this point we will make a few remarks about the concepts of Petrine and papal authority expressed by Spencer Jones and S. Herbert Scott. In light of their uniqueness, it has seemed best to consider them separately.
With respect to Petrine primacy, Jones (1902) was convinced that Jesus presented the keys to Peter alone, signifying that the latter was to become the Churchs chief teacher and guardian of the faith.  Jones also wrote that, according to the witness of the early undivided Church, Peters primacy was transmitted to the Bishops of Rome.  It was concluded therefore that the claims made by the Roman Catholic Church for papal primacy were amply supported by Scripture, the Fathers and the early Church councils. 
Scott (1928) asserted that the early Church believed in a divinely conferred Petrine primacy of authority inherited by the Roman pontiffs.  This office was said to include the primacy of the Churchs magisterium by means of which the content of the Catholic faith was authoritatively declared. Therefore the popes were described as the judges of last resort or of final appeal.  The early Church was also said to regard communion with the Church of Rome as necessary because it was the guarantor of certitude in matters of doctrine. 
The most striking aspect of the work of Jones and Scott is the revelation of a conviction that both Scripture and ancient tradition completely supported the Roman Catholic position on the papacy and that consequently it was to be preferred to that of traditional Anglicanism. Whatever their reasons, these men did not allow themselves in their research to be completely guided by Anglican doctrine in the matter.
It would be natural, on the other hand, to expect Anglican scholars to approach the problem of papal primacy from within the context of traditional Anglican teaching. Anglo-Catholic scholars, for example, would be expected to bolster the Anglican position against the modern papacy by an appeal to Scripture and to the teaching of the early undivided Church.
Such an approach to the papal question would, for example, partially explain Jallands conclusions. It will be recalled that with the exception of the testimony of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, the scholars examination of Scripture and ancient tradition repeatedly revealed support for the Roman Catholic doctrine of the papacy. And even in the case of Ephesus and Chalcedon Jalland said it was not clear whether they owed their authority as ecumenical councils to the fact that they expressed the will of emperors or that they were subsequently confirmed by the papacy.  Yet in the last analysis, Jalland opted for a primacy of the universal historic episcopate which was of course a tenable Anglican position.
In contrast to the other scholars cited in this study, Jones and Scott appeared to differ not only in their conclusions but also in their underlying presuppositions regarding the papacy. They seemed to operate from a premise which left open the possibility that the Roman Catholic position might be correct. A similar premise was evident also in the 1968 Lambeth Conference committee report stating that the question of the papacy required deep reflection and joint study by all concerned. 
2. Anglo-Catholic Scholarship and the Conference
It would be difficult indeed to state with precision just how much the scholarly concepts analyzed in this thesis influenced the Lambeth Conferences. As a matter of fact, no conference went so far as to accept explicitly the view presented by most scholars that the early papacy at least enjoyed an ecclesiastically bestowed primacy of honor. On the other hand, it can be reasonably assumed that the refusal of the conferences to acknowledge a divinely authorized primacy of authority was due in part to the influence of Anglo-Catholic scholarship upon Anglo-Catholic bishops.
It seems likely that the lack of explicit support by Lambeth for even a papal primacy of honor was due more to the combined view of the Evangelical and Latitudinarian bishops than to that of the minority Anglo-Catholics. These latter would naturally be more inclined to accept the point of view of the scholars of their own party.
It will be recalled that in the course of Lambeth Conference history, the 1897 Conference was the first to show signs of a noticeable change in attitude towards the Church of Rome. From this point onwards, the conferences, either in their committee reports or in the encyclical letters and resolutions, openly spoke of the desirability of an eventual reunion with Roman Catholicism.
There can be no doubt that the commitment to ecumenism displayed by the first three conferences, culminating in the Lambeth Quadrilaterial of 1888, formed the underlying basis for the new outlook towards Rome. Nevertheless within the context of the conferences themselves, the Church of Rome was definitely not considered in an ecumenical light. It is not improbable, therefore, that the new outlook was more directly attributable to the developing Anglo-Catholic scholarship on the papacy which increasingly noted that Roman Catholic claims were not entirely without merit.
Bishops (mostly Anglo-Catholics), impressed by this scholarship, would be expected to look more favorably upon Roman Catholicism. Consequently, they would also be expected to be the ones who initiated the proposals for eventual reunion with the Church of Rome. Proposals which ecumenically inclined Evangelical and Latitudinarian bishops could only awkwardly reject.
It will be recalled that in 1897 a conference committee report advocated continued research in the areas dividing Anglicans and Roman Catholics so that ultimately reunion might be achieved. A committee report of the 1908 Conference spoke of a reunited Church which included the great Latin Church of the West. A resolution of the same conference declared the necessity for the reunification of all Christendom which, of course, would include Roman Catholicism. A committee report of the 1920 Conference proclaimed the willingness of Anglicans to discuss with Roman Catholics the conditions of reunion. With reference to the Malines Conversations, a resolution of the 1930 Conference stated the need for full discussions between Anglicans and Roman Catholics so that error and misunderstanding might be removed. A 1958 Conference resolution welcomed permission granted by Rome for participation with Anglicans in theological discussions. A resolution of the 1968 Conference proposed the establishment of a permanent joint commission of Anglicans and Roman Catholics to discuss reunion matters. The conference also urged that the papal question be resolved by careful study under the guardiance of the Holy Spirit.
A 1968 Conference committee report was the first Lambeth Conference document to make even an oblique reference to the Anglo-Catholic stress on a papal primacy of honor. It noted that within the Anglican college of bishops the Archbishop of Canterbury enjoyed as its president a primacy of honor, instead of a primacy of jurisdiction. The report also stated that it was evident that a similar presidency would be needed in a universal college of bishops. Then, as if to suggest the appropriateness of the Bishop of Rome for this role, the papacy was depicted as a historical reality whose developing role requires deep reflection and joint study by all concerned for the unity of the whole Body of Christ. 
As can be seen, the evidence cited above suggests a significant influence of Anglo-Catholic scholarship in shaping the ecumenical outlook of the Anglican episcopate.
Still, the wider ecumenical outreach of the Lambeth Conferences should also be kept in mind. Actually, the more recent conferences tended to play down the importance attributed to the historic episcopate by Anglo-Catholicism in favor of a more Protestant ecclesiology.
Even though provision was made for an episcopate in every unity proposal endorsed by these conferences, the emphasis was on an essential equality of episcopal and non-episcopal forms of ministry. This contrasted with the earlier conferences which stressed the uniqueness of the historic episcopate.
As far as prospective Anglican-Roman Catholic unity is concerned, the tendency to de-emphasize this uniqueness can only be viewed as a step in the wrong direction. Even if Anglicanism as a whole increasingly acknowledged at least a papal primacy of honor, under the present circumstances there would be an inclination to view the pope as only the Churchs chief administrative officer, rather than as its principal high priest.
Our study has revealed numerous occasions in which the Roman Catholic doctrine of the papal magisterium was misinterpreted by Anglican scholars. This indicates that a great many Anglican bishops, clergy and laity were consequently misinformed in the matter. But in the interests of ecumenism alone, it is vital that these misinterpretations and misunderstandings no longer prevail.
It should be carefully realized, for example, that the Church of Rome never taught that the pope was the source of Christian doctrine, only that he was the final judge of what is orthodox. Nor was it ever held that the task of discovering the content of Revelation was exclusively the prerogative of the Roman pontiff. Rather it was said to be the collective responsibility of the entire Roman Catholic episcopate.
One of the chief difficulties for many of the Anglican scholars, including Mascall,  was the belief that Roman Catholicism taught an absolute sovereignty of the papacy over the Church, thereby reducing bishops to papal suffragans. Hopefully, the Vatican II doctrine of episcopal collegiality has forever removed this false and unnecessary stumbling block to Christian unity.
Our research also detected a general misinterpretation of the nature of the popes infallibility. Too often it was thought that the pope was held by Rome to be the passive agent of God for communicating revealed truth in a definitive manner. However, the Vatican I teaching of papal infallibility did not imply the lack of the free exercise of the popes will when defining doctrine in harmony with the deposit of faith. The Vatican II development of episcopal collegiality should also serve to dispel the notion that only the pope exercised doctrinal infallibility.
The effect of these and other misunderstandings about the Roman Catholic position on the primacy of the papal magisterium, was to attack that which in reality did not exist as far as Roman Catholic doctrine was concerned. But in contrast to the past, the cordial, communicative and ecumenical age in which we now live should result in the eventual clarification of these matters.
4. Need for Re-evaluation
Certainly, as Bernard Pawley observed, a general Anglican awareness of authentic Roman Catholic doctrine about the papacy would not in itself effect unity between the two traditions.  But it would provide a sound basis for an Anglican re-evaluation of the scriptural, patristic and conciliar texts pertaining to the matter. When it is understood for instance, that the pope is not said to exercise an absolute supremacy in the Church, nor is he held to be a divine oracle, then ancient writings supporting these conclusions need no longer be used as proof against Roman Catholic claims.
Inasmuch as the witness of Scripture is vastly more important to Anglicans as a whole than that of ancient tradition, it is hoped that Anglican scholarship regarding the Petrine office will be even further developed along the lines of the research of Jones and Jalland. Serious attention should also be given to the question of whether the New Testament at least leaves open the possibility of inheritors of Petrine authority.
Since Anglicanism holds a particularly high regard for the first four ecumenical councils, every effort should be made to re-evaluate their understanding of the papacy. This applies especially to the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Conciliar texts, manifesting the magisterial authority of the episcopate, should be balanced with other texts indicting an episcopal acknowledgment of the magisterial primacy of the papacy. In addition, extra-conciliar writings relating to these councils should be carefully reexamined, such as the correspondence between Pope Celestine and Cyril of Alexandria.
As a rule, the scholars cited in our study completely overlooked certain key patristic passages supporting the Roman Catholic position on the papal magisterium. Therefore, Anglicans must take these into account in order to obtain a fuller view of the Fathers understanding of Church authority. This task would apply especially to Anglo-Catholics who place a high value on patristic doctrine.
Among the passages requiring special scrutiny are those found in Cyprians Epistle 59, Jeromes Epistle 15 and Augustines Epistle 186, all of which express belief in the primacy of the papal magisterium.
In the case of Tertullian, statements made as a Montanist rejecting papal primacy should be evaluated in light of the fact that during this period he rejected the Catholic doctrine of episcopal authority as well. Also statements about the papacy made by Cyprian and Firmilian as rigorists should be examined in light of their views on Baptism. It should not appear strange that these two, denying the Catholic doctrine of the sacrament proclaimed by Pope Stephen, questioned also his magisterial claims.
The attitude of the early Eastern Church towards the papacy can to a large extent be measured by the attitude of the early ecumenical councils, since they were principally attended by eastern bishops. Consequently, the proclamation by the Chalcedonian bishops of Leo I as their head, possessing the voice of Peter and charged by Christ with the custody of the Church, should be regarded as representative eastern doctrine. Clearly, therefore, the acknowledgment by I Constantinople and Chalcedon of a primacy of honor for the Roman see should not be regarded as evidence of a lack of belief in a divinely authorized papal primacy of authority. As we saw earlier, the two concepts are not at all contradictory.
Among the eastern Fathers, John Chrysostoms belief in Peters primacy and connection with Rome should be carefully noted. Also Cyril of Alexandrias request to Pope Celestine for a judgment concerning the easterner Nestorius, as well as Cyrils willingness to act as the popes representative in the execution of the decree of excommunication need further Anglican attention.
The early Church practice in both the East and the West of seeking definitive papal decisions in doctrinal matters merits Anglican re-evaluation as well. Can this be best explained in terms of the secular greatness of Rome and the fact that it contained the tombs of Peter and Paul? Or does it seem more likely that confidence was placed in such judgments because the popes were thought to be the divinely authorized inheritors of Peters primacy?
Anglican re-assessments of the papal magisterium, in light of the Scripture and the tradition of the early undivided Church, should yield optimum results if they are aided by prayer and are ecumenically motivated. This latter need consists of no more than a charitable desire to agree with the Roman Catholic position as much as the canons of sound scholarship will permit.
Modern Anglican scholarship has already significantly advanced in the field of Petrine primacy. Much work remains, however, when it comes to the primacy of the papacy itself. That undertaken in the past was based in part on a misunderstanding of the Roman Catholic doctrine in the matter. It is suspected as well that much of this was not completely motivated along ecumenical lines. That is to say, that much of it was apparently pursued more in the interests of defending traditional Anglican concepts of Church authority, than as a means of promoting Anglican-Roman Catholic unity.
5. The Anglican Magisterium
Although Anglicanism rejects the Roman Catholic understanding of the Churchs magisterium, it nevertheless believes that the Church has authority in doctrinal matters. Article XX of the Thirty-nine Articles, for instance, declares that the Church has authority in matters of faith. Furthermore, the article says that the Church is forbidden to teach contrary to scriptural revelation. This implies the presence of a divinely appointed means for perceiving orthodox doctrine with infallible certainty. It is unthinkable that our Lord forbade the Church to teach falsely and at the same time provided no means to prevent it from doing so.  Nevertheless, the Anglican Communion has never officially recognized the existence of any such means.
There are, however, differing Anglican opinions in the matter. Some state that it is the voice of the enlightened Christian conscience which determines orthodoxy. Some say it is reason alone. Others say it is the consensus of the universal historic episcopate, and still others claim it is the consensus of the clergy and laity of the entire Church. But the absence of a unanimously recognized means for ascertaining doctrinal truth has resulted in confusion and uncertainty in matters of faith and morals. This situation, particularly noticeable in the Lambeth Conferences, has had a direct bearing upon the ecumenical movement and upon the lives of individual Anglicans.
With respect to Church unity proposals, for example, the Lambeth hesitancy to maintain consistently the necessity of episcopal ordination for non-episcopally ordained clergy falls short of the Anglo-Catholic insistence in the matter. On the other hand, the Anglo-Catholic position was never categorically denied by the conferences. Yet this ambivalence reflects a lack of official Anglican certainty in an area touching upon faith. In addition, if the 1968 Lambeth Conference recommendation to enter into full intercommunion with the Church of South India come to pass, the resulting recognition of the orders of the non-episcopally ordained clergy of that Church will create grave problems of conscience for many Anglo-Catholics.
The most striking example of Anglican doctrinal uncertainty was evidenced by the 1930 Conferences reversal of earlier Lambeth condemnations of contraception. Not only was a matter of morals involved, but also one of faith, since it touched upon the child-begetting aspects of Matrimony.
Uncertainty was also reflected in Lambeth statements concerning the nature of the matrimonial bond. The 1888 Conference for example indicated that it tolerated those who believed that the bond was intrinsically indissoluble, as well as those who believed that it was only ideally indissoluble.  But in practice this approach to the problem not only did not reveal the mind of Christ in the matter, it also created canonical ambiguity and a general tolerance for remarriage after divorce which troubled many Anglican consciences.
Lambeth Conferences are of course not definitive bodies, but this very fact points up the need for a divinely authorized definitive voice within Anglicanism, which it at present lacks. Until the question of the necessity of the historic episcopate for the well-being of the Church is resolved with infallible certainty, Anglicanism faces the prospect of Church mergers incompatible with Gods will. This also applies to the question of the nature of the sacrament of Matrimony, including its moral aspects.
6. The Whole Church
In the course of this thesis, we repeatedly noted that both Scripture and ancient tradition supported the Roman Catholic doctrine of the magisterial primacy of the papacy, which included the tenet that solemnly proclaimed papal definitions were infallible. We saw too that Scripture and ancient tradition supported the belief that the universal episcopate defines doctrine infallibly only when it concurs with its head, the Bishop of Rome.
Most of the scholars cited in our study, however, believed in the magisterial primacy of the universal episcopate, that is, the universal apostolic or historic episcopate. Consequently, the teaching of the papacy was held to be subject to episcopal approbation.
It is also important to realize that, from the point of view of the scholars, the universal episcopate was not limited to the bishops in communion with the See of Rome. It was also thought to include Anglican, Orthodox and Old Catholic bishops as well as others.
Some of the scholars believed that the doctrinal voice of the universal episcopate was not actually definitive until it was received by the whole Church, that is, by the whole people of God. Thus in the final analysis, the Churchs ultimate doctrinal arbiter was really the whole people of God, rather than the universal episcopate.  Nevertheless, stress was still generally placed upon the magisterial primacy of the Churchs bishops in the sense that they were the Churchs chief doctrinal spokesmen.
In any case, whether it was the consensus of the universal episcopate as some thought, or that of all the faithful, these were believed to be the equivalent of the infallible consensus of the whole or Catholic Church. Most Anglo-Catholics, however, had a different concept of the whole Church than that held by Roman Catholicism. Therefore, this must be known before the identity of either the universal episcopate or the people of God can be ascertained.
Anglo-Catholics commonly held that since the eleventh century schism between the East and the West the whole Church principally consisted of the Anglican, Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches. This was because these, in contrast to other ecclesiastical traditions, retained the historic episcopate and the faith of the early undivided Church. Therefore, as noted above, the universal episcopate was limited chiefly to the bishops from these three traditions, and the whole people of God were primarily the Anglican, Orthodox and Roman Catholic faithful. Accordingly, only that was to be received as Catholic which all three branches received in common.  Since, for example, the doctrine of papal infallibility was not received by all, that is, by the whole Church, it could not be said to be Catholic doctrine.
This view of the whole Church, on Anglo-Catholic terms alone, suffers from at least one serious defect, namely that it is not received by Roman Catholicism. Therefore, it cannot be said to be a Catholic doctrine received by all the branches of the whole Church.
There is also a problem with the Anglo-Catholic concept of the early undivided Church, that is, the whole or Catholic Church of the first eleven centuries. As a rule, it was equated with the totality of regional Churches acknowledging the orthodoxy of the first four (five, six, seven) ecumenical councils. This view could mean one of two things. It could indicate that the reception of the councils determined the orthodoxy of the regional Churches and consequently the membership of the whole Church. Or it could indicate only a statement of fact to the effect that these Churches, i.e., the whole Church, judged the councils to be ecumenical and therefore orthodox.
The former possibility, however, counters the Anglo-Catholic belief that it was the whole Church which determined the ecumenicity of the councils. The latter possibility leaves unexplained why these Churches, and not others such as those of the Monophysites and Nestorians, were considered the constituent members of the whole Catholic Church. It also does not explain why the bishops or the laity of certain Churches were thought more qualified to determine Catholic orthodoxy than others.
Actually, it appears that the Anglo-Catholic concept of the whole or Catholic Church rested basically upon a preconceived understanding of the limits of Catholic doctrine. Those Churches which collectively received this body of doctrine were then regarded as integral parts of the whole Church.
In spite of these difficulties, the Anglo-Catholic belief that only what the whole Church received was to be regarded as Catholic truth was clearly derived from the Fathers. This was especially taught by Vincent of Lerins (died c. 450) in his Commonitorium, and by Augustine in his De Baptismo. Vincent asserted that only that was to be received as true which was believed everywhere, always and by all in the Catholic Church. He also wrote that the one faith was that confessed by the whole Church.
In the Catholic Church itself we must take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly catholic as the very force and meaning of the word show, which comprehends everything almost universally. And we shall observe this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is plain that our holy ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself we eagerly follow the interpretations and decisions of all, or certainly nearly all, priests and teachers alike. 
In the course of our research, it was found that either Vincent himself or his test for Catholic doctrine reproduced above, or both, were favorably cited by Pusey,  Gore,  Bright,  Jones,  Hall,  Kidd,  and Symonds. 
Augustine held that the custom of not rebaptizing heretics and schismatics was an apostolic practice because it was preserved throughout the whole Church.  He also equated a decision of a general council with the unanimous authority of the whole Church. 
We have already noted that Denny, Symonds and Jalland referred to Augustines understanding of how doctrine held by the whole Church was to be perceived. But it is significant that his concept of the whole Church per se was not dealt with.
In view of the Anglo-Catholic predilection for the patristic term whole Church, especially as employed by Augustine and Vincent, it would be particularly helpful to know what these Fathers meant by it. The resultant information could shed new light on Anglo-Catholic ecclesiology by providing a clearer insight into the nature of the Catholic Church.
In connection with our analysis of Dennys book, we discovered that Augustine held the popes, as the successors of Peter in Rome, to be the final doctrinal arbiters of the Church. This made clear when we saw that the saint concurred with Pope Innocents assertion that the Roman pontiffs were divinely authorized to settle matters of doctrine for the Churches of the whole world.
Inasmuch as Augustine believed in the divinely bestowed primacy of papal magisterium, it logically followed that he limited the whole, or Catholic, Church to those Churches accepting this primacy, that is, to those in communion with the Roman see. From his point of view, severing communion with the Bishop of Rome was tantamount to separating from the fullness of the Catholic Church. 
When Augustine wrote that a doctrine was orthodox, if it was confirmed by the unanimous authority of the whole Church in a general council,  he had in mind those bishops in communion with, and concurring with, the Bishop of Rome. By their confirmation, the bishops of the whole Church in union with their head perceived the content of Catholic truth on some point or points.
Clues to an understanding of the whole Church similar to Augustines are found in Vincents Commonitorium. In one place the author noted that the successors of Peter and Paul in Rome had always defended the integrity of the faith which they once for all received.  He also declared that when the Churchs bishops opposed the novel practice of rebaptizing heretics and schismatics, Pope Stephen acted with his colleagues, but even so before them opposed it. It was furthermore maintained that Stephen wished to surpass the other bishops in his devotion to the faith because he surpassed them by the authority of his see. 
These statements are at least capable of supporting a belief in the divinely authorized primacy of the papal magisterium and, therefore, a belief that the whole Church was limited to those Churches in communion with the Roman see. Additional evidence of this nature is contained in chapter 32 where Pope Sixtus III and Celestine were cited as examples of persons who had crushed and extinguished all profane heresies.
In the case of Sixtus, it was pointed out that he had written a letter to John, Bishop of Antioch,  telling him that he was not to tolerate any error in his Church since it would be an addition to the ancient faith. Here we see that Sixtus intervention into the doctrinal affairs of an eastern patriarch met with Vincents approval. The latter gave no indication that Sixtus was doing anything novel or unjustifiable. Thus it is reasonable to assume that Vincent believed that the pope had the authority to do so.
What is even more striking is that, in the very same letter cited by Vincent, Sixtus gave John a clear account of his authority.
From the outcome of this affair you have learned what it means to be in agreement with us. The blessed Apostle Peter in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of him whom the Master Himself instructed first among the Apostles? ( ) He had not to search among the writings and writers; he received the original and direct faith which can admit of no dispute, in which we must always meditate and in which we must always abide, so that following the Apostles with a pure affection, we may be counted apostolical. 
Here is found an explicit claim of magisterial primacy and infallibility. The reason that it was not quoted by Vincent can best be explained by the fact that it was irrelevant to his argument. He was not trying to prove the primacy of the papacy. He sought only, by the examples of Sixtus and Celestine, to demonstrate that the popes had always defended the faith of the whole Church. But it would have been inconsistent for him to have cited Sixtus letter in this respect, if in fact he thought the pope also taught in the same letter a novel doctrine about the papal magisterium.
With respect to Celestine, Vincent wrote of his chastisement of a bishop from Gaul for failing to rebuke doctrinal novelty. In this instance too it would have been inconsistent to praise a popes defense of Catholic truth (which he believed the popes had always done), if Vincent had actually rejected Celestines claim of magisterial primacy so clearly evidenced three years earlier at the Council of Ephesus. 
All of the available evidence points to the fact that Vincent accepted the doctrinal primacy of the papacy as part of the Catholic faith. Therefore, with Augustine, he must have held at least implicitly that communion with the Bishop of Rome was necessary in order to be incorporated within the fullness of the Catholic Church on earth, that is, within the whole Church. This Church, consequently, consisted solely of those Churches in communion with the See of Peter.
It was this Church that Vincent had in mind when he wrote that in the Catholic Church only that was to be received which was believed everywhere, always and by all. And it was this Church, the whole Church, which was said to confess one faith.
Vincent and Augustine both believed that the whole Church consisted solely of those Churches in communion with the Roman see. Anglo-Catholics would agree that this was the de facto situation during the first eleven centuries. But they would not agree with these Fathers that severing communion with the papacy was the equivalent of severing communion with the whole, or Catholic, Church.
Significantly, however, there is an absence of evidence indicating a conscious Anglo-Catholic disagreement with the two Fathers over the concept of the whole Church. Actually, everything points to a desire to concur with them in the matter. The absence of evidence to the contrary supports this, as does the appeal of Anglo-Catholics to the Vincentian and Augustinian doctrine that only what the whole Church held was to be accounted Catholic. It is not likely that they would appeal to it, if they did not intend to mean by it what its authors meant. Moreover, the general Anglo-Catholic desire to concur with patristic teaching indicates that there was no intentional deviation from the teaching of the two Fathers.
It would be highly desirable, therefore, in the interests of Catholic truth, that Anglo-Catholics thoroughly reexamine the ecclesiology of Vincent and Augustine. A general Anglo-Catholic awareness that these two men in particular considered the Catholic or whole Church limited to those Churches accepting the primacy of the papal magisterium, and which were also in communion with the Roman see, could also greatly further the cause of Anglican-Roman unity.
7. Anglo-Catholicism and Ecumenism
At present, Anglo-Catholicism is deeply concerned about the ecumenical posture assumed by Anglicanism in general. This is particularly true with respect to the endorsement of schemes and plans of unity which fail to advocate ordination for presbyters (and deacons) by members of the historic episcopate. 
These schemes and plans of course imply a lack of belief in the absolute necessity of the historic episcopate for the welfare of the Catholic Church. Consequently, more than a few Anglo-Catholics are considering not joining their fellow Anglicans should unity occur on this non-Catholic basis. Some contemplate the possibility of remaining as Continuing Anglicans, whereby Anglican doctrine, discipline and worship would be retained. Others desire unity with the Roman Catholic Communion. And still others prefer to unite with the Orthodox.
As long as Anglicans are divided over the nature of the episcopate, the fragmentation of the various regional Churches of the Anglican Communion into Anglo-Catholic and non-Anglo-Catholic camps appears inevitable. It is hoped, however, that the fragmentation of Anglo-Catholicism itself can be partly avoided by a complete re-examination of the magisterial relationship of the historic episcopate to the papacy during the early centuries of the Church. It is equally important that the results of this labor be compared with the Roman Catholic doctrine in the matter, especially that contained in the two Vatican Councils.
In this chapter, we have examined in depth the Anglo-Catholic understanding of the papal magisterium, noting in the process a continuous movement in the direction of the Roman Catholic doctrine. Yet we have also observed the existence of barriers which prevented this doctrines ultimate acceptance. Quite often these barriers were due to a genuine misunderstanding of some aspects of the Roman Catholic doctrine itself and they were also often due to a misunderstanding of the teaching of the early undivided Church. It is evident therefore that a vital need exists for a thorough Anglo-Catholic re-evaluation of the magisterial authority of the papacy.
Footnotes Chapter II
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