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This page last updated 10 August 2009
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 27 July to 2 August 2009

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

No pencil-biting here

Another very interesting article. My hat's off to all the chaps who sit in front of the computer screen chewing on whatever has replaced the pencil and trying to come up with the next week's writeup. They must have gone through a whole lot of cyberpencil ends in order to come up with the Gorham episode, among other bits of Anglican apocrypha.

Looking back at that episode and the numerous others spanning the centuries in which one clergyman or another has played a key role, it is instructive to note that all these incidents make up part of the 'faith that we have received' and which we are enjoined to contend for. The sad bit is that there is so much contending in the Anglican Communion these days that we no longer even know what our faith is.

Obi Udeariry
St. Andrew's, Aladinma, Owerri
27 July 2009

Editor: Well, in this case it wasn't a chap, but rather a woman who wrote the letter. Whether it's a curse or a blessing, she carries far too much Anglican history in her head, so such letters require very little biting of pencils, cyber or lead. She's glad you found it interesting.


The substance of your editorial of 26 July 2009 seems to be that the present controversy over human sexuality in the Anglican Communion will ultimately prove to be of far less importance than the present heat, on all sides, would suggest. As evidence of this, you cite earlier disputes over vestments, etc. You also cite the earliest theological disputes of the Church Catholic.

While I expect this editorial to be popular, it is incorrect. The major early theological disputes of the church; those resolved by councils and creeds, came down to "Who is Jesus Christ?" There were (and always will be) those who cannot or will not accept that He is, in the incarnation, fully God, and fully man. They wish to make Him one or the other. But if this is done, there is "another Jesus", and we are still in our sins. Far from being the obscure concern of theologians and historians; this is a vital concern to every Christian as is the human sexuality debate; because it is not a debate centered in sexuality. It is a debate of the authority of Scripture; and Holy Tradition. If scripture and tradition may be redefined whenever they become bothersome to our culture; we, once again, have "another Gospel"; and, of necessity "another chuch."

These are the true issues; and they are foundational to our faith.

The Reverend Michael Henry
Kokomo, Indiana, USA
27 July 2009

Editor: The disputes after the Great Schism of 1054 that we referenced in our letter last week all prompted acrimonious argument, deep division, and occasionally schism. The point was to show that the current contention about sexuality has parallels in church history. But there will be those who elevate the matter of sexuality to a place of its own, a sort of St Sexuality Stylite. For those who view it as such, we suspect will be no example from church history that will be instructive.
      About the earlier disputes before 1054, whilst certainly a great many involved the nature of Our Lord, others had to do with the calculation of Easter, the veneration of icons, and the question of unleavened bread. (Bread! Icons! Vestments!)

Disputatious from birth

Just a quick note to tell you how much I look forward to your blog each week. Especially last week re: much ado about nothing. I tell folks we Anglicans were born fighting and have been fighting ever since, lose no sleep over this one, either. Trust me — no matter how much the 'orthodites' want folks to believe that the Episcopal Church is hemorrhaging members, it simply isn't true. God bless your ministry.

The Reverend Craig Sweeney
The Church of the Epiphany
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA
28 July 2009

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.



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