On the 39-Articles and the ACCC and the TAC

Someone knowledgeable about the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada and the Traditional Anglican Communion sent me this:


The Status of the XXXIX Articles in the TAC

The  Constitution of the ACCC specifically stated that it maintains the ‘Doctrine’ set forth in the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, but this was inconsistent with other provisions of the Constitution. e.g., the Constitution provides that as a Province or “member Church” of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the ACCC has no legislative authority to determine matters of doctrine.

Matters of doctrine were to be dealt with according to the Victoria Concordat. The Victoria Concordat confirms that no Province or member Church can determine matters of doctrine.  The Concordat does not mention the Articles of Religion in its Fundamental Declarations.  On the contrary it affirms the “doctrinal principles” set out in the Affirmation of St. Louis. Not only does the Affirmation of Saint Louis not mention the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, it repudiates certain of the Articles in its doctrinal position on the number of sacraments, etc.

Therefore the Articles of Religion as the “doctrine” of the ACCC are ultra vires TAC Provinces and therefore of no force or effect.

The tradition of having the newly ordained “assent” to the Articles is a vestige of the practice of the Church of England. There was no legal requirement for it, and improper to ask an ordinand to assent to something that is contrary to the doctrine of the Church as expressed in the Concordat and the Affirmation of Saint Louis.


Well, it is as I had understood it:  the College of Bishops of the TAC determines doctrine.  Now I guess the parting of the ways for Hepworth and the bishops that followed him and those remaining in the TAC was whether adopting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) by the College of Bishops was legitimate in light of the Concordat and the Affirmation of St. Louis.

Interesting.  Thanks everyone for carrying on a civil discussion about this.

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3 Responses to On the 39-Articles and the ACCC and the TAC

  1. Pingback: On the 39-Articles and the ACCC and the TAC | Catholic Canada

  2. EPMS says:

    The Affirmation of St Louis states that the church should be “generally governed by a Holy Synod of three branches” and should require “the concurrence of all branches of the Synod for decisions in all matters,” with “extraordinary majorities” being required for all “matters of importance.” One could argue that the acceptance of the primacy of the Pope was a departure from the “Principles of Doctrine” as expressed in the Affirmation and as such required a wider mandate.

  3. Doug+ says:

    Have I missed it, or has no one made reference to Tract 90 in reference to the 39 Articles (i.e. Blessed John Henry Newman’s attempt to reconcile the Articles with the Council of Trent)? Many of us clung to that for years in Anglican ministry. I recall a particular Anglo Catholic cleric years ago who related having to sign his assent to the Articles prior to his ordination. He said that he crossed his fingers, muttered “Tract 90”, and signed. (I believe that he is now a Catholic priest).

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