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THE OLD CATHOLIC UNION CREEDS.

THE OLD CATHOLIC UNION CREEDS.

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THE FOURTEEN THESES OF THE OLD CATHOLIC UNION CONFERENCE AT BONN. A.D. 1874........

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THE OLD CATHOLIC AGREEMENT ON THE FILIOQUE CONTROVERSY. A.D. 1875.......

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THE FOURTEEN THESES OF THE OLD CATHOLIC UNION

CONFERENCE AT BONN.

A.D. 1874.

[This interesting document deserves a place at the end of this volume as the first attempt to formularize the doctrinal consensus of Old Catholics, Greeks, and Anglo-Catholics, who acknowledge, besides the Holy Scriptures, the binding and perpetual authority of the ancient Catholic tradition before the separation between the East and the West. The object of this Consensus-Formula is to prepare the way, not for an absorptive or organic union, but for a confederation or intercommunion of Churches, on the basis of union in essentials and freedom in non-essentials. It involves a protest against some of the mediæval innovations of Romanism, and is so far an approach to Protestantism; but Protestantism goes beyond the ecumenical catholicity to the inspired fountain-head of the Apostolic Church.

A conference of divines friendly to the reunion of Christendom was called by Dr. Döllinger, of Munich (in behalf of a Christian Union Committee of the Old Catholic Congress), and held in the University at Bonn, Sept. 14-16, 1874. It consisted of about forty members-namely, 1. Old Catholics: Dr. DÖLLINGER (who presided with great ability), Bishop REINKENS, Drs. REUSCH, Langen, Knoodt, Lutterbeck, MICHAUD, and others. 2. Orthodox Russians and Greeks: Joh. Janyschew, Rector of the Ecclesiastical Academy of St. Petersburg, ALEXANDER KIREJEW, THEODOR VON SUKHOTIN, ARSENIUS TATCHALOFF, Professor Ruossis, of Athens. 3. English Episcopalians: Bishop EDWARD HAROLD BROWNE, of Winchester, Dean J. S. Howson, of Chester, Dr. HENRY PARRY LIDDON, Canon of St. Paul's, EDWARD S. TALBOT, Warden of Keble College, Oxford, Professor E. B. MAYOR, of Cambridge, Canon WM. CONWAY, of Westminster, G. E. BROADE, British Chaplain at Düsseldorf, and others. 4. American (High Church) Episcopalians: Bishop Joux B. KERFOOT, of Pittsburg, Rev. Dr. WM. CHAUNCEY LANGDON, of Geneva, Rev. Dr. ROBERT J. NEVIN, Rector of the American Episcopal Church, Rome; Rev. H. F. HARTMANN, Rev. GEO. F. ARNOLD, and Rev. E. A. RENOUF. Besides, there were present as invited guests, without taking an active part in the transactions, several Lutheran and Evangelical theologians and ministers from Germany and Denmark, as Professors LANGE, KRAFFT, CAMPHAUSEN, of Bonn, Rev. VON GERLACII, of Frankfort-on-the-Main, Dr. WOLFF, of Rotweil, Rev. G. SCHMIDT, of Schlangen, Rev. J. V. BLOCH, of Copenhagen, and Rev. J. MOMILLAN, a Congregational minister from West Burton. The proceedings were held in English and German.

The text is taken from the official Report of the Conference, edited by Prof. Dr. REUSCH in the name of Dr. Döllinger. The titles of the Articles we have supplied. The Theses were originally drawn up in English, and translated after the Conference by the editor, and revised and approved by Dr. Döllinger. The English text, therefore, is the authentic text.

The first and preliminary Thesis which was agreed upon, but not included in the fourteen, refers to the vexed question of the double procession of the Holy Spirit, which was the chief cause of the separation of the Greek and Latin Churches. It makes an important concession to the Greeks concerning the legal aspect of the question of the filioque, but leaves the dogmatic question to future conferences. It is as follows:

'We agree that the way in which the "Filioque" was inserted in the Nicene Creed was illegal, and that, with a view to future peace and unity, it is much to be desired that the whole Church should set itself seriously to consider whether the Creed could possibly be restored to its primitive form, without sacrifice of any true doctrine expressed in the present Western form.'

'Wir geben zu, dass die Art und Weise, in welcher das Filioque in das Nicenische Glaubensbekenntniss eingeschoben wurde, ungesetzlich war, und dass es im Interesse des Friedens und der Einigkeit sehr wünschenswerth ist, dass die ganze Kirche es ernstlich in Erwägung ziehe, ob vielleicht die ursprüngliche Form des Glaubensbekenntnisses wiederhergestellt werden könne ohne Aufopferung irgend einer wahren in der gegenwärtigen westlichen Form ausgedrückten Lehre.']

1 Bericht über die am 14, 15, und 16 September zu Bonn gehaltenen Unions-Conferenzen, im Auftrage des Vorsitzenden Dr. VON DÖLLINGER, herausgegeben von Dr. F. HEINRICH REUSCH, Prof. der Theologie. Bonn, 1874. Compare also several communications on the Conference in the Deutsche Merkur (the organ of the Old Catholics) for 1874, No. 38–40; in the Churchman of Hartford, Conn. Oct. 10, 1874; and the New York Observer, Oct. 8, 1874.

ART. I.

[The Canon and the Apocrypha.] We agree that the apocryphal or deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament are not of the

ART. I.

[Der Canon und die Apokryphen.]

Wir stimmen überein, dass die apokryphischen oder deuterokanonischen Bücher des Alten Testa

same canonicity as the books con-ments nicht dieselbe Kanonicität tained in the Hebrew Canon.

haben, wie die im hebräischen Kanon enthaltenen Bücher.

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[The Original Text and Translations of the [Der Urtext und die Uebersetzungen der

Bible.]

We agree that no translation

Bibel.]

Wir stimmen überein, dass keine

of Holy Scripture can claim an Uebersetzung der heil. Schrift eine authority superior to that of the höhere Auctorität beanspruchen original text. kann, als der Grundtext.

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[Gebrauch der Bibel in der Landessprache.] Wir stimmen überein, dass das Lesen der heil. Schrift in der

[Use of the Bible in the Vernacular Tongues.] We agree that the reading of Holy Scripture in the vulgar tongue can not be lawfully for- Volkssprache nicht auf rechtmäs

bidden.

sige Weise verboten werden kann.

ART. IV.

[Liturgy in the Vernacular Tongues.]

We agree that, in general, it is

ART. IV.

[Gottesdienst in der Landessprache.] Wir stimmen überein, dass es more fitting, and in accordance IM ALLGEMEINEN angemessener und with the spirit of the Church, dem Geiste der Kirche entsprechthat the Liturgy should be in the ender ist, dass die Liturgie in tongue understood by the peo- der von dem Volke verstandenen Sprache gebraucht werde.

ple.

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[Justification by Faith working by Love.] [Rechtfertigung durch den in der Liebe thäti

We agree that Faith working

gen Glauben.]

Wir stimmen überein, dass der

by Love, not Faith without Love, durch die Liebe wirksame Glaube,

is the means and condition of man's nicht der Glaube ohne die Liebe, justification before God. das Mittel und die Bedingung der Rechtfertigung des Menschen vor Gott ist.

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ART. VII.
[Veberverdienstliche Werke.]

Wir stimmen überein, dass die

We agree that the doctrine of 'opera supererogationis' and of Lehre von den 'opera supererogaa 'thesaurus meritorum sancto- tionis, und von einem 'thesaurus rum,' i. e., that the overflowing meritorum sanctorum, d. i. die merits of the Saints can be trans- Lehre, dass die überfliessenden ferred to others, either by the Verdienste der Heiligen, sei es rulers of the Church, or by the durch die kirchlichen Oberen, sei authors of the good works them- es durch die Vollbringer der guten selves, is untenable. Werke selbst, auf Andere übertragen werden können, unhaltbar ist.

ART. VIII.

[Number of Sacraments.]

ART. VIII.

[Zahl der Sacramente.]

1. We acknowledge that the 1. Wir erkennen an, dass die Zahl number of sacraments was fixed der Sacramente erst im zwölften at seven, first in the twelfth cent- Jahrhundert auf sieben festgesetzt ury, and then was received into und dann in die allgemeine Lehre the general teaching of the Church, der Kirche aufgenommen wurde, not as a tradition coming down und zwar nicht als eine von den

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