Vincentian Canon?

Here is an interesting post at Whitehall:

The original article has made the rounds of the blogs. (Maybe this is the Anglican version of a chain post??) And this post deserves the honour of being the longest titled post.

Yet this thought is interesting:

And by the way, the Vincentian Canon is a non-starter. If to be catholic, as St. Vincent says, is “to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all,” the question instantly arises: by all of whom? Roman Catholics? Christians? If it is Roman Catholics, then the Orthodox are ruled out as “catholic” insofar as they do not as a body believe, for example, the universal ordinary jurisdiction nor the situated infallibility of the bishop of Rome, nor the Immaculate Conception of our Lady. And if we mean “…by all Christians…” then probably Southern Baptists and Nestorians are ruled in.

The Vincentian Canon sounds very good but does not stand up to itself (ie. it is not accepted by all, everywhere, and throughout history). Also, of course, it is written within a much larger context and that is often ignored.

Yet it is often seen as the corner stone of Anglican Catholicism (or should that be Catholic Anglicanism?). In fact it is enshrined in the The Affirmation of St. Louis as the definition of catholic faith. Yet (as pointed out above) the Canon leaves us with the question who the ‘all‘ are: Christians, Catholics (by what definition), faithful, etc.


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