It is strange that we have now heard an Anglican Canon (Canon Alan Willr'nson, March 15) expressing anAlety over the Agreed Statement on the Ministry. It seems to strike a note of discord in the midst of the almost general anthem of praise.
In fact, several Catholics have even more fundamental anxieties and claim that ehile the Agreed Statement is a perfectly acceptable Anglican document, it cannot be considered Catholic. If you would like to read Professor Knowles and Christopher Derrick among others, they have written in the present issue of Faith. If you cannot obtain it from your bookshop, perhaps readers could write to me direct enclose ing 18p and I would be-pleased to send them a copy.
Rev. James Tolhurst The Presbytery..
141 Central Hill, SE19.
Bishop Clark says the origins of the Church of England go back to Apostolic times, As Eneland did not exist before the 8th or 9th century AD, the first body called The Church or England by Law Established did not come into existence before le34. was abolished in 1554, abolished again in 1801, and has been continually mucked about by its Master, Parliament. ever since. while only a tiny handful or its members credit it with any Apostolic origin. and a large number or them ruriously re,sere such a suggeetion, it would he nice to know how Bishop Clark comes to be so sure about the matter.
The Rev. Samuel Wesley, a prominent Anglican clergyman
of whom Bishop Clark seems painfully ignorant. was unable to believe in any Apostolic Succession in ihe Church of England, and I think Samuel knew a lot more about the Church of England than Bishop Clark ever will, even if he joins it. One has to be horn and bred in these esoteric societies to really understard them.
Our martyrs Very consistently refused to call the chief officials. or superintendents, of the "Church of England" bishops at lilt — always "pseudo-bishops", or "the pretended bishops". or "the revelling wolves'', and they had a far more intimate knowledge or these gentry than Bishop Clark has, either.
A. J. Brooker 341 St John St, EC1
When I read on the front page of your issue of March 15, the re-ported statement of a Catholic bishop, no less, that "the two Churches trace their origin to apostolic times," I thought my eyes must he deceiving me.
That has been the claim of the Church of England, and hitherto always hotly contested by Rome. If the Anglicans are correct, should not all our postReformation catechetical textbooks on this point be consigned to the dustbin?
The term "political U-turn" has been bandied about in the recent General Election campaign, but it pales into insignificance compared to our Church's theological U-turn on Anglicanism. Enough is enough!
M. Mahoney 15 Buckingham Street,