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The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Catholic orthodoxy and Anglo-catholicism, a word about intercommunion between the English and the Orthodox Churches

by J Joseph Overbeck


Without undoubted Apostolical Succession and lawful priesthood there can be no claim to Catholicity. Christ charged his Apostles to teach and to administer the Sacraments. The Apostles consecrated Bishops to do the same. The Bishops ordained Priests and Deacons to assist them in this their work. No others were ever considered by the Church as competent to fulfil this task. Sacerdotal power is from God, not from man. If any one holds all the doctrines of the Church, but depends on an unlawful and invalid Episcopate, his belief cannot supply nor make good the invalidity of Ordination. There will be no Consecration of the Eucharist, no Absolution, &c., since the pretended priest is nothing but a layman.

These general principles will be found correct by every so called Anglo-Catholic. Let us now go a step farther and examine, whether Catholic Unit// can subsist without Formal Intercommunion between the branches of the Church.

An invisible Intercommunion amounts, in its significance, exactly to an invisible Church. But inasmuch as a visible Church has been founded by Christ, a visible Intercommunion is so materially necessary to the Catholic Commonwealth, that an attempt to deny or destroy it would be tantamount to apostasy from Catholicity. Even the wish to have Intercommunion established, but refusing to adopt the proper means, would b© an imperfect velleity and sinful indifference.

Let us impress this truth as deeply as possible on our minds, that Insulation is Death, that a limb not connected with the body, not taking part in its functions, not co-operating with the whole, is lifeless. You do not delay with gangrene—a moment lost, perhaps all is lost. With the immortal soul on the brink of eternity there is a pcriculum in mora. If the bulk of the Catholic Church denies you admittance, there must be some strong reason not to be slighted.

Let us now view the Anglican Church, and examine whether an Intercommunion between the same and the Orthodox Catholic Church is possible and practicable.

First of all, what is the Anglican Church? The definition is more than difficult. For if I say, it is that Christian Denomination, the basis of which is the Bible, the Prayer-book, and the Thirty-nine Articles, at once the Evangelical party will rise and cry: "The Bible, and the Bible only is our foundation. We disapprove a great deal of what the Prayer-book retained from Popery. No Ritualism, no Sacerdotalism! No sham of Apostolical Succession! We all are priests. There is no Hierarchy divino jure, clergymen and laymen are not essentially different, there is only a distinction for order's sake. Our Intercommunion extends to Christendom at large, and needs no formal verdict." Now the Evangelicals form the majority of the English Church; and they neither miss nor want a formal Intercommunion with the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Another party in the English Church, almost as strong as the Evangelicals, and daily gaining a greater ascendency, are the Broad- Churchmen. Their belief is like the rainbow, many-coloured, hazy, shaded, clouded, changing according to the temporary taste and fashion. While the Evangelicals are trampling on the Mitre and Crosier, attacking Baptismal Regeneration, Confession, and Ileal Presence, but fighting for the Bible and its Plenary Inspiration, the Broad-Churchmen pitifully smile at the Evangelical war against Popish trifles, concentrate their force against the Bible, and do not accept but a few "truths sifted from amongst a heap of rubbish hitherto considered as sacred relics." But, in the end, Broad-Churchism evaporates in Pilate's saying: "What is truth?!" WeU, what is truth? I ask you. They shrug their shoulders and point to the light of Scientific Researches, shining forth from Preadamite human skeletons, from the vertebral knot of an ape's skull, from the extent of physical and ethnographical studies. Well then let us live to see Christianity crumbling down under the hammer of such powerful miners! They have already, by their watery arguments, quenched " the fire that never shall be quenched," changing eternal punishment into temporal correction. Judas Iscariot, nay, Satan (provided they admit his real existence), will be saved one day. They will be able, I expect, to wield the Cyclopean hammer, forging thunders more effectual than those of the Vatican, in order to smash the Church to pieces. They will be able, I expect, to climb and force, with Titanic bravery, the pinnacles of heaven in order to dethrone the good old Christian God, and to replace him by their weak sentimental phantom of a Deity moulded out of goodness without holiness and justice, a Deity encompassed by a Magna Charta of human rights, versus divine usurpations, a Deity of "limited liability." Broad-Churchism strikes at the very root of Christianity. And do you think, after this, that Broad-Churchmen really care a bit for Intercommunion between the Orthodox and English Churches? They like to be left alone; they have no wish to be bothered in their state of perfect ease and comfort; and if they do wish for any Intercommunion at all, it is not with Christians only, not with Jews and Mahommedans only, but with Parsees, Hindoos, and Zulu-Kaffers (as soon as properly educated). Why should we intrude upon Churchmen who consider it the greatest glory of the English Church, that she is so spacious as to accommodate all shades of religious opinions; that she is not so narrow-minded as to exclude any new

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