Project Canterbury

Report of the Conference at Bucarest

from
June 1st to June 8th, 1935,
between the

Rumanian Commission on Relations with the Anglican Communion

and the

Church of England Delegation Appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Circulated to Members of the Convocation by permission of His Grace the President.

Press and Publications Board of the Church Assembly, Church House, Westminster, S.W.I,
May, 1936.

[15pp pamphlet]


INTRODUCTORY LETTER.

THE OLD PALACE,
LINCOLN.
May 9th, 1936.

MY LORD ARCHBISHOP,

I send to you herewith the Report of the Conference held at Bucarest from June 1st to June 8th, 1935, between the Rumanian Commission on Relations with the Anglican Communion and the Church of England Delegation appointed by yourself to confer with the Church of Rumania.

Owing to delays caused by illness and death among the Rumanian Bishops it was only in March of this year that this joint Report could be considered by the Holy Synod of Rumania. After careful discussion the Holy Synod unanimously approved the Report, and, in so doing, recognised the validity of Anglican Orders.

In submitting the Report to Your Grace, I desire to acknowledge, on behalf of my fellow-delegates and myself; the fairness and openmindedness with which our Rumanian colleagues, at point after point, met our difficulties, such as they were, and the spirit of warm friendship which grew up between us by the end of the Conference.

I am,
Your Grace,
Yours very sincerely and dutifully,

NUGENT LINCOLN:
Chairman of the Delegation.

HIS GRACE
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,
LAMBETH PALACE, S.E.I.


MEMBERS OF THE RUMANIAN COMMISSION PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE

1. The Right Rev. Lucian, Bishop of Roman.
2. The Right Rev. Vasile, Bishop of Caransebes.
3 The Right Rev. Tit Simedrea, Bishop of Targovista.
4. The Rev. Archimandrite Iuliu Scriban.
5. The Rev. Protopresbyter Professor Vasile Gheorghiu, Dean of the Theological Faculty of Czernautz.
6. The Rev. Protopresbyter Ioan Mihalcescu, Dean of the Theological Faculty of Bucarest.
7. The Rev. Professor Petre Vintilescu.
8. The Rev. Protopresbyter Gala Galaction.
9. The Rev. Protopresbyter Haralambie Roventa.
10. Professor Dr. V. G. Ispir.
11. Professor Dr. V. Loichita.
12. Prohssor Dr. Teodor M. Popescu.
Chairman: The Right Rev. Lucian, Bishop of Roman.
Correspondent: The Right Rev. Bishop Tit Simedrea.
Secretary: Professor V. G. Ispir.

MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND DELEGATION

1. The Right Rev. Dr. F. C. Nugent Hicks, Bishop of Lincoln.
2. The Right Rev. Harold Buxton, Bishop of Gibraltar.
3. The Right Rev. Staunton Batty, Bishop of Fulham.
4. The Very Rev. H. N. Bate, Dean of York.
5. The Rev. Dr. J. A. Douglas, Hon. Canon of Southwark and Hon. General Secretary of the Church of England Council on Foreign Relations.
6. The Rev. Dr. A. J. Macdonald.
7. The Rev. J. H. Sharp, Canon of Malta.
8. The Rev. Philip Usher.
Assessors:
9. His Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. J. A. F. Gregg, Archbishop of Dublin.
10. The Rev. Professor Dr. Frank Gavin of the American Episcopal Church, Member of the Council of Ecclesiastical Relations of the American Episcopal Church.
Chairman: The Right Rev. The Bishop of Lincoln.
Correspondent: Canon J. A. Douglas.
Secretary: The Rev. Philip Usher.


REPORT

Report of the Conference held from Saturday, June 1st, to Saturday, June 8th, 1935, in the Patriarchal Palace of Bucarest, between the Commission of the Rumanian Church upon Relations with the Anglican Communion and the Church of England Delegation appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to confer with the same.

We, the Members of the aforesaid Rumanian Commission and Church of England Delegation, report to the Holy Synod of the Church of Rumania, and to His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as follows:

I
SCOPE OF THE CONFERENCE

ACCORDING to the tenor of the correspondence between His Beatitude the Rumanian Patriarch and His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, the scope of the Conference was in general the consideration of the statements exchanged between the Orthodox Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of 1930 and the Committee on Unity of that Conference, which statements were declared by the whole body of the Lambeth Conference to be sufficient and were recommended by the Orthodox Delegation to the authorities of the Orthodox autokephalous Churches [see Lambeth Conference 1930, (S.P.C.K.), pp. 138-40 [1] and p. 49, Resolution 33 (C), [2] as also the Report of the Metropolitan Nectarie of the Bukovina to the Holy Synod of Rumania]. [3]

II
METHOD OF THE CONFERENCE

Papers were read as follows, discussions ensuing after the reading of each pair of papers.

I. On the Apostolic Succession and the Validity of Anglican Ordinations from the Historical Point of View.
By the Dean of York and by Professor Dr. Teodor M. Popescu.

2. The Necessity of the Priesthood and its Sacramental Character.
By Prof. the Rev. Dr. I. Mihalcescu and by Canon J. A. Douglas.

3. The Holy Eucharist and its Sacrificial Character.
By the Bishop of Lincoln and the Rev. Prof. Dr. Petre Vintilescu.

4. Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, the Prayer Book and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.
By the Rev. Dr. A. J. Macdonald and Prof. Dr. V. Loichita.

5. The Holy Sacraments and Church Offices.
By the Rev. the Archimandrite J. Scriban and by the Dean of York.

6. The Process of the Justification of Man (Rom. iii, 20, 21).
By Professor the Rev. Dr. Frank Gavin and by the Rev. Professor V. Gheorghiu.

7. Christian Life and the Stimulus of Oecumenicity.
By the Archbishop of Dublin and by Professor Vasile Ispir.

III
THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES

In answer to an enquiry of the Rumanian Commission the Anglican Delegation stated that:

"The Doctrine of the Anglican Church is authoritatively expressed in the Book of Common Prayer, and that the meaning of the XXXIX Articles must be interpreted in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer" [See Lambeth Conference 1930, p. 139]

and that therefore the XXXIX Articles are to be regarded as a document secondary to the Book of Common Prayer.

IV
THE HOLY EUCHARIST

A statement was submitted by the Rumanian Commission to the Anglican Delegation, concerning the Holy Eucharist and was accepted unanimously by the latter in the following form:

1. At the Last Supper, our Lord Jesus Christ anticipated the sacrifice of His death by giving Himself to the Apostles in the form of bread blessed by Him as meat and in the form of wine blessed by Him as drink.

2. The sacrifice offered ([prosenechtheisa]) by our Lord on Calvary was offered once for all, expiates the sins as well of the living as of the dead, and reconciles us with God. Our Lord Jesus Christ does not need to sacrifice Himself again.

3. The sacrifice on Calvary is perpetually presented in the Holy Eucharist in a bloodless fashion ([anaimaktos]) under the form (Rumanian, sub chipul) of bread and wine through the consecrating priest and through the work of the Holy Ghost in order that the fruits of the sacrifice of the Cross may be partaken of by those who offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, by those for whom it is offered, and by those who receive worthily the Body and Blood of the Lord.

4. In the Eucharist the bread and wine become by consecration ([metabole]) the Body and Blood of our Lord. How? This is a mystery.

5. The Eucharistic bread and wine remain the Body and Blood of our Lord as long as these Eucharistic elements exist.

6. Those who receive the Eucharistic bread and wine truly partake of the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

V
HOLY SCRIPTURE AND HOLY TRADITION

The Conference considered the following statement [4] agreed unanimously at its session at Lambeth in 1931 by the Orthodox and Anglican members of the Joint Doctrinal Commission appointed in pursuance of the recommendation of the Orthodox Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of 1930 and of the Lambeth Conference of 1930 [see Lambeth Conference 1930, Resolution 33 (b), p. 48].

"Everything necessary for salvation can be founded upon Holy Scripture as completed, explained, interpreted, and understood in the Holy Tradition, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit residing in the Church.

"We agree that by Holy Tradition we mean the truths which came down from our Lord and the Apostles through the Fathers, which are confessed unanimously and continuously in the Undivided Church and are taught by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

"We agree that nothing contained in Tradition is contrary to the Scriptures. Though these two may be logically defined and distinguished, yet they cannot be separated from each other nor from the Church."

The Rumanian Commission agreed unanimously that if the above statement is amended to read as follows, it will be sufficient:

"The Revelation of God is transmitted through the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition. [The words italicised constitute the amendments by addition or alteration.] "Everything necessary for salvation can be founded upon Holy Scripture, as completed, explained, interpreted and understood in the Holy Tradition, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit residing in the Church. We agree that by Holy Tradition we mean the truths which come down from our Lord and the Apostles and have been defined by the Holy Councils or are taught by the Fathers, [The words italicised constitute the amendments by addition or alteration] which are confessed unanimously and continuously in the Undivided Church and are taught by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

"We agree that nothing contained in Tradition is contrary to the Scriptures. Though these two may be logically defined and distinguished, yet they cannot be separated from each other nor from the Church."

The Anglican Delegation concurred unanimously with the Rumanian recommendation.

VI
DIVINE MYSTERIES

The Conference compared the two statements upon the Sacraments made respectively and unanimously by the Orthodox and Anglican members of the Joint Doctrinal Commission at its session of October 1931, namely:

(a) by the Orthodox:
"We accept that the two of the seven Sacraments—namely Baptism and the Holy Eucharist—the first as introducing us into the Church, the second as uniting us with Christ, are pre-eminent among the others. But we do not think that the other five are of secondary importance as Sacraments, neither that they are unnecessary to the spiritual life of the Christian and consequently to his salvation. These also, as the two first are Holy Services of Divine foundation in which through an outward visible sign the invisible grace of Christ is conveyed.''

(b) by the Anglicans:
"The number of the Sacraments has never been authoritatively fixed either by tradition from the Apostles or any decision of an Oecumenical Council. We recognise that the two Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist are pre-eminent above the rest. As regards other Sacraments, while the Eastern Orthodox Church uses the term mysterion also of Ordination, Penance, Confirmation or Chrism, Marriage, and the Anointing of the Sick; in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England the word Sacrament is only used of the two Sacraments Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, inasmuch as these only have an outward visible sign ordained by Christ Himself and are held to be generally, that is universally, necessary for salvation. But it is recognised also in the Anglican Communion that in other Rites there is an outward and visible sign and an inward spiritual grace, and in that sense they may be considered to have the character of Sacraments and are commonly called Sacraments."

While hesitating to revise the above Anglican statement and while considering that before a final and complete agreement is reached, a further Conference is desirable, the Anglican Delegation agreed unanimously to recommend for consideration the following formula:

"We agree that Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, the first as introducing us into the Church, the second as uniting us with Christ and through Him with the Invisible Church, are pre-eminent among the Divine Mysteries. We agree that because Holy Scripture and Tradition witness to their origin, Confirmation, Absolution, the Marriage Blessing, Holy Orders and the Unction of the Sick are also Mysteries in which, an outward visible sign being administered, an inward spiritual grace is received."

The Rumanian Commission agreed to recommend this formula to the Holy Synod of Rumania for consideration.

VII
JUSTIFICATION

The Orthodox Commission and the Anglican Delegation agreed unanimously upon the following statement:

"By the redeeming action of our Lord Jesus Christ, manking has become reconciled to God. Man partakes of the redeeming grace through faith and good works, and reaches through the working of the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, sanctification by means of the Church and the Holy Sacraments."

VIII
THE VALIDITY OF ANGLICAN ORDERS

The Rumanian Commission made the following Declaration.

"Having considered the conclusions of the papers on the Apostolic Succession, Holy Orders, Holy Eucharist, Holy Mysteries in general, and Tradition and Justification,

"And having considered the declarations of the Anglican Delegation on these questions, which declarations are in accordance with the Doctrine of the Orthodox Church,

"The Rumanian Orthodox Commission unanimously recommends the Holy Synod (of the Rumanian Orthodox Church) to recognise the validity of Anglican Orders."

The Anglican Delegation received the Declaration with due acknowledgement.

IX
CONCLUSION

In the strictest interpretation of the Rumanian invitation, the purpose of the Anglican Delegation was to elucidate the statements [6] interchanged between the Orthodox Delegation of 1930 and the Anglican Bishops with whom it conferred, in order that the Rumanian Commission might be able to advise the Holy Synod of Rumania as to whether it should declare that subject to the agreement of all the sister Orthodox autokephalous Churches, it is prepared to accept Anglican Ordinations.

As the result of the Conference, the Rumanian Commission has decided unanimously to recommend the Rumanian Holy Synod to accept the validity of Anglican Orders.

It should be noted, further, that in the course of the Conference, important agreements were reached between the Rumanian Commission and the Anglican Delegation, not only

(a) upon the doctrine and significance of the Sacred Ministry, but also

(b) upon the doctrine and significance of the Holy Eucharist,

(c) upon the doctrine and significance of Holy Tradition, and

(d) upon Justification.

Moreover, a preliminary agreement was also reached upon the nature and character as Holy Mysteries of Confirmation, Absolution, the Marriage Blessing and the Unction of the Sick.

By these agreements, we believe that a solid basis has been prepared for further discussions whereby full dogmatic agreement may be affirmed between the Orthodox and the Anglican Communions. And to that end, we are agreed that it is desirable that further Conferences should be held between representatives of the Church of Rumania and the Church of England, with or without assessors from the other Orthodox autokephalous Churches and from the other churches and provinces of the Anglican Communion.

But whether or not the agreements reached in this Conference upon the Holy Eucharist, upon Holy Tradition, upon the other Divine Mysteries and upon Justification be implemented in all their details, we are of opinion that by the decision of the Rumanian Commission in regard to the acceptance of Anglican Ordinations as valid from the Orthodox point of view, this Conference has prepared a solid foundation for dogmatic agreement between the Orthodox and Anglican Churches.

In saying this, however, we are well aware that this expectation is provisional, in the first instance upon the acceptance of the Rumanian Commission’s recommendations by the Holy Synod of the Church of Rumania and ultimately of the other Orthodox autokephalous Churches which have not yet replied to the invitation issued in 1922 by the Oecumenical Patriarch.

Finally, the Church of England Delegation and its assessors desire to express their warm sense not only of the thoroughness of the investigation of the Rumanian Commission but also of its deep spiritual and Christian goodwill. And in so doing, they desire to acknowledge the singular and gracious kindness and brotherly hospitality accorded to them by His Beatitude the Patriarch of Rumania.

Episcopul + LUCIAN TRITEAUN AL ROMANUL
Chairman of the Rumanian Commission.

+NUGENT LINCOLN
Chairman of the Anglican Commission.

Aluereul + TIT SIMEDREA TARGOVISTEANUL
JOHN A. DOUGLAS
Correspondents.

Dr. V. G. ISPIR
PHILIP USHER
Secretaries.


APPENDIX A

A RESUME OF THE DISCUSSIONS
July 15th-18th, 1930

BETWEEN THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA WITH THE OTHER ORTHODOX REPRESENTATIVES AND BISHOPS OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION AT LAMBETH PALACE

I. It was agreed that a Joint Commission of Orthodox and Anglicans should be appointed for the consideration of questions of Doctrine.

2. It was agreed by the Anglican Bishops that the "Terms of Intercommunion suggested between the Church of England and the Churches in Communion with her and the Eastern Orthodox Church," published under the auspices of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Eastern Churches Committee in 1921, though not officially communicated to the different Provinces of the Anglican Communion, are not inconsistent with the mind and doctrine of the Anglican Church.

3. It was agreed by the Orthodox Delegation that the suggested " Terms of Intercommunion," though they had not yet been officially considered, would form a useful basis of discussion with certain modifications.

4. It was stated by the Anglican Bishops that in questions of faith the authentic decision would be given in the Anglican Communion by the whole body of Bishops without, however, excluding the co-operation of clergy and laity during the discussions.

5. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation that the final authority in matters of Doctrine in the Orthodox Church lies with the whole body of Bishops in Synod, without excluding the expression of opinion by clergymen and laymen.

6. It was stated by the Anglican Bishops that in the Anglican Communion the Bishop has jurisdiction in questions of discipline through his own court in the first instance, with due provision for appeal to the Provincial Court or a similar body.

7. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation that in the Orthodox Church spiritual causes are tried in spiritual courts, sentence being given in the case of a Bishop by a court of Bishops, in the case of other clergymen by the Bishop through his own court.

8. It was stated by the Anglican Bishops that in the Anglican Communion Ordination is not merely the appointment of a man into a particular post, but that in Ordination a special charisma is given to the person Ordained, proper to the Order, and that the nature of the special gift is indicated in the words of Ordination, and that in this sense Ordination is a mysterion.

9. It was stated by the Anglican Bishops that the Preface to the Ordinal declares "that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of ministers in Christ's Church; Bishops, Priests, and Deacons," and that to preserve unbroken succession the rules regarding Ordination have been framed "to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed, in the Church of England."

10. The Orthodox Delegation stated that they were satisfied with regard to the maintenance of the Apostolic Succession in the Anglican Church in so far as the Anglican Bishops have already accepted Ordination as a mysterion, and have declared that the Doctrine of the Anglican Church is authoritatively expressed in the Book of Common Prayer, and that the meaning of the XXXIX Articles must be interpreted in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer.

11. It was stated by the Anglican Bishops that in the Sacrament of the Eucharist "the Body and Blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper," and that " the Body of Christ is given, taken and eaten in the Supper only after an heavenly and spiritual manner," and that after Communion the consecrated elements remaining are regarded sacramentally as the Body and Blood of Christ; further, that the Anglican Church teaches the doctrine of Eucharistic Sacrifice as explained in the Answer of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Pope Leo XIII on Anglican Ordinations; and also that in the offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice the Anglican Church prays that "by the merits and death of Thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in His blood, we and all Thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of His passion," as including the whole company of faithful people, living and departed.

12. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation that the explanation of Anglican Doctrine thus made with regard to the Eucharistic Sacrifice was agreeable to the Orthodox Doctrine, if an explanation were to be set out with all clearness.

13. It was stated by the Anglican Bishops that in different parts of the Anglican Communion, Anglican Clergy, at the request of Orthodox Clergy, provide sacramental ministrations to Orthodox laity, who are out of reach of their own Church's ministrations; that such clergy always desire to keep the Orthodox to whom they minister faithful to the Orthodox Church and are ready to teach them the Orthodox faith and to notify Orthodox Bishops or priests of persons thus receiving their ministration or instruction.

14. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation that the whole question of arrangements in such circumstances is to come up for discussion at the forthcoming Synod of the whole Orthodox Church.

15. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation that it is the practice of the whole Orthodox Church not to re-baptise after Anglican Baptism.

16. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation that in its forthcoming Pro-Synod the Orthodox Church would probably not object to recognising the Baptism of children and their instruction from Orthodox books by Anglican clergy, or to marriage, or any other rites being performed by Anglican clergy (in cases of need and where no Orthodox priest is available), provided that all persons baptised or married are properly registered as Orthodox, and their names notified as soon as possible to the competent Orthodox authority.

17. It was stated by the Orthodox Delegation with regard to the Holy Eucharist that, pending a formal decision by the whole Orthodox Church and therefore without giving the practice official sanction, for which it has no authority, it is of opinion that the practice of the Orthodox receiving Holy Communion from Anglican priests in case of need and where no Orthodox priest was available, might continue, provided that an Orthodox authority did not prohibit such a practice.

+ ARCHBISHOP OF THYATEIRA, G.
A. C. GLOUCESTR:


APPENDIX B.

RESOLUTION 33 (c) OF LAMBETH CONFERENCE, 1930

The Conference not having been summoned as a Synod to issue any statement professing to define doctrine is therefore unable to issue such a formal statement on the subjects referred to in the Resume of the discussions between the Patriarch of Alexandria with the other Orthodox Representatives and Bishops of the Anglican Communion, but records its acceptance of the statements of the Anglican Bishops contained therein as a sufficient account of the teaching and practice of the Church of England and of the Churches in communion with it, in relation to those subjects.


NOTES

[1] See Appendix A.

[2] See Appendix B.

[3] See Christian East, Spring 1931, Vol. XII, No. I, pp. 6-26.

[4] See Report of the Joint Doctrinal Commission appointed by the Oecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury for Consultation on the Points of Agreement and Difference between the Anglican and the Eastern Orthodox Churches (S.P.C.K. 1932), p. 12.

[5] See Report of the Joint Doctrinal Commission appointed by the Oecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury for Consultation on the Points of Agreement and Difference between the Anglican and the Eastern Orthodox Churches (S.P.C.K. 1932), pp. 14, 15.

[6] See Appendix A.


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