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Vol 11 Issue 36 Whitsun - Trinity I A.D.


This Koinonia comes as a combined issue as our church gathers for
its annual synod in Casper Wyoming. Our heartfelt thanks to Bish-
ops Kinner and Dean and the Church of the Holy Family for hosting
this year’s synod.
Grateful to the Lord for the blessings to our church.
Great stories to read...Anglicanism in China by Fr Boyd, the History
of Litchford Cathedral by Rev. Patrick Comerford, the courageus
stand of our youngest priest Fr. Steve Macias for life, the reflections
of Bishop Ken Kinner on the power and continued work of the Holy
Spirit, and the reflection on the Holy Eucharist by Fr. Jason Rice.
As we thank and pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we thank all the
Bishops, Priests, Deacons of the Diocese and Province of Holy Cath-
olic Church Anglican Rite.
Our heartfelt congratulations to John Becker, the new deacon in the
service of God’s kingdom. And a shout out to all the clergy spouses
for their dedication and support to their spouses as ministers of His
Kingdom Bishop Leo & Holly Michael

Congratulations and welcome Fr. Steve Macias and the
Congregation of St. Paul’s Anglican Church and Canter-
bury Christin School, Los Altos, CA
Holy Trinity Anglican Seminary welcomes
Join the Morning

Holy Trinity Anglican Seminary (HTAS) is
and Evening Prayer
owned and administrated by the Holy Catho-
lic Church Anglican Rite of the diocese of Holy Wake up with God. You can join the prayer
Trinity and Great Plains. It’s location in Kansas conference in the rhythm of daily morn-
City, mid-America makes travel easy to meet the ing and evening prayer. We have dedicated
campus schedule. It forms part of a long tradition clergy and postulants faithfully hosting the
of the Holy Catholic Church of Anglican Rite and continues this import- prayer call daily at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm
ant work of evangelization of the Kingdom of Christ in the United States central time. Ask your clergy for the phone
of America and beyond its mission territories. number. Evening Prayer on Face Book
With the advancement of communications, Holy Trinity Angli-
can Seminary will offer online and on campus training for its students.
Holy Trinity Anglican Seminary firmly believes that Good Formation
will ensure FRUITFUL Ministry. Keeping in mind the Great Commis-
sion of the Lord, HTAS will train its candidates in strong Scriptural foun-
dation, Sacramental worship in the Apostolic Tradition as enunciated in
the conservative Anglican Tradition. With qualified faculty and commit-
ment to the cause of priestly formation, Holy Trinity Anglican Seminary
is set to impart the traditional Anglican orthodoxy even in the emerging
social and pastoral challenges. The seminary will also offer courses for In the Koinonia masthead, the circle with the cross in the center symbol-
lay students as well. izes the paten and the diverse elements which form a whole. The Mosa-
The Seminary primarily serves the Holy Catholic Church An- ic represents the great cloud of witnesses and the church tradition. The red
glican Rite while students belonging to other denominations are wel- in the letters represents the blood of Christ with the font comprised of indi-
come to participate in our program of study and reflection. The Holy vidual pieces of letters that are not joined until the blood unifies them. Koi-
nonia is the official publication of the Anglican Province of the Holy Cath-
Trinity Anglican Seminary will soon be accredited with a view to confer- olic Church-Anglican Rite (HCCAR) aka Anglican Rite Catholic Church.
ring the Bachelor’s Degree in Theology. It is published quarterly at St. James Anglican Church, 8107 S. Holmes
Holy Catholic Church pays special attention to the forma- Road, Kansas City, MO 64131. Phone: 816.361.7242 Fax: 816.361.2144.
tion of her ministers. Church directives require that candidate to the Editors: The Rt. Rev. Leo Michael & Holly Michael, Koinonia header: Phil
priesthood undergo a minimum of three years devoted to an intense and Gilbreath; email: or visit us on the web
at: Cover picture: Atop the hill above Rainbow
specifically priestly formation. These directives are implemented at this
Falls, a Celtic Cross rises 57 feet into the air - the Prayer Book Cross over-
seminary, with particular emphasis on the Anglican traditions of the looking Drakes Bay in San Francisco,USA: First Missionary Prayer uttered
Holy Catholic Church. out of the Anglican Prayer Book. Photo by Bishop Leo Michael

Koinonia 2
“I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of Life.”
See what the Lord is creating!
Rt. Rev. Ken Kinner HCCAR

he Church is alive and growing in Dura Europos and Diatessaron fragment show that the ‘true’ Four
at the far eastern edge of the Roman Empire be- Gospels are believed and taught. The believers illustrate
fore 230 A.D. The design of the baptistry guides Jesus, Himself, and Scriptural stories in art forms to
a man or woman’s entrance into the Divine Mystery, by help teach the seekers understand the Truth!
baptism: “having first rehearsed all these things,” with The Lord’s Supper – Eucharist in the late 1st
immersion or pouring of water over the candidate, “In Century - not at Dura Europos records a cup of wine
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy first in the sacred meal. {see Luke 22:1-39}. The Church
Ghost.” (The baptismal rite dates from the late 1st Cen- is requiring belief and baptism before Communion. The
tury.) The house church is adapted also for a teaching account from the Didache also speaks: “after you are
area and a Eucharistic celebration. The wall paintings filled give thanks - - - an indication that the first Chris-

Koinonia 3
tians, Messianic Jews, were still celebrating the com- out the Church. Here is a continuation of the faith and
plete Passover Meal in imitation of the Last Supper. It is practice indicated earlier. The Greek language is firmly
likely that the language spoken was Aramaic. ‘Maran in place in the Church around the Mediterranean re-
atha’ - “ Come Lord Jesus” is an Aramaic word. The gion . The “Kyrie eleison” has become a standard prayer
description of the rite, witnesses the range of the Faith to Father, Son and Holy Ghost to have mercy on the
from Creation to the Church. We find a sug-
perfect love that Jesus gestion that “:Holy, Holy,
has for all of His people. Holy “ an act of praise {
There is a strong empha- Isaiah 6,} is now offered
sis on penitence and be- before the consecration.
ing reconciled with ‘his A new element is the
fellow’. ‘epiclesis’, a prayer in-
By the 2nd Cen- voking the Holy Spir-
tury account of Justin it to bless the oblation.
Martyr, c. 150 A.D. not {This ‘invocation’ is
at Dura Europos, in the used to this day in the
Greek language, we see 1928 Book of Common
the same moral require- Prayer and in Orthodoxy
ments, the same devo- it is the basic element in
tion: “ glory to the Father the consecration of the
of all things, through the bread and wine becom-
name of his Son and of ing the Body and Blood
the Holy Ghost”. There is of Jesus Christ.
reference to the continu-
ing Apostolic ministry In the 3rd Century – 250
around the “president” A.D. we learn of the
bishop and “deacon”. careful arrangement of
The scriptural words the physical appoint-
of Jesus, blessing the ments in Christian
bread and wine at The worship. The place of
Last Supper, are nec- the bishop, now with his
essary elements in the presbyters and deacons,
Sacrament. Communi- each fulfilling specific
cants bring an oblation ministries, also recog-
of bread and wine to be nizes the ministry of the
prepared by a deacon and consecrated by the president. lay people both in worship and in corporate life. The
In addition to succeeding the Apostles and consecrat- three Order Apostolic Ministry is now firmly place,
ing the Eucharistic elements, the president has great re- The eastward orientation of the altar. the clergy and the
sponsibility ministering to orphans, widows, the sick, laity in worship. “Give praise to God who ascends above
the imprisoned and strangers. “In all our meals we bless the highest heavens to the east.” { Ezekiel 43:1-4, Mat-
the maker of all things” implies that the people are living thew 24:27}
in common, in a Christian community. Finally, there is A solemn offering of this Faith in the One, Holy,
a grand overview of why Sunday has become the Sab- Catholic and Apostolic Church, obediently continues
bath for Christians. There is a warning about demons that which the Holy Spirit brought into being amongst
imitating the faith in the rites of Mithras, the religion the first disciples of Jesus Christ.
of much of the Roman Army. The president {bishop} In these early documents we find the formation
defends the Faith against paganism . of the Apostolic Ministry and the formation of the rite
In c. 225 A.D. from Hippolytus, we have our of the Eucharist. In the Holy Catholic Church – Angli-
first actual outline of the Eucharistic celebration, while can Rite we are faithful inheritors of this Truth.
not at Dura Europos, it does parallel the rite through-

Koinonia 4
Part One of a Three-Part Series on the History of the Anglican Church in China
By the Ven. Rev. Dr. Wm. Boyd, II, Ph.D. (HCCAR)

Tang Taizong, First
Emperor of the Tang Dy-
nasty, writing the name
of the East Syriac Church
that he licensed to preach
the Gospel and person-
ally sponsored finan-
cially, 636AD, Chang’An
(Modern Xi’an), Shanxi
Province, China.

Ancient Christianity in East Asia

hrist prophesied to His Apostles, “Many will come from the East and the West and sit down with
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.” When Christ gave His “Great Commission”
and sent the Apostles into the world, He sent with them the seeds of the Church, His Body, into all
the corners of the universe, bringing the “Kingdom Within” into a state of visible incarnation, a phys-
ical and spiritual unity that would change the course of reality. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in
earth. Go ye therefore into all the earth and teach men whatsoever I have commanded you, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and lo, I will be with you, even until the end of the world!”
St. Luke tells us that as the Apostles stared into heaven at His Ascension, angels exhorted them to do as He had
commanded, and they went into Jerusalem to await the coming of the “Paraclete” that Christ had promised
to send from the Father, the Holy Spirit, Who would lead and guide into all truth. When the Spirit of God fell
Koinonia 5
them in tongues of fire, with the sound of rushing wind, in India, it is claimed that both St. Thomas and St. Bar-
giving them the gift of speech in many languages and tholemew made a mission to China. There may even
the power to preach in the midst of the Holy City, we see be a record of this mythic journey in the “Later Book
that, immediately the Church spread all over the world. of the Han”, a chronicle of the Emperor Wu of the Han
Present at the first great conversion to the Church were Dynasty. It tells the tale of Emperor Wu hosting an old
Europeans, Africans and Asians. The Apostles spoke man from the West, claiming that a man on a “frame”
their languages and men gathered from the East and remade the world. Regardless, St. Thomas returned to
West heard St. Peter’s sermon. Later, St. Peter would re- his Church and was martyred in India, but not before he
affirm this truth when He saw the Spirit upon the Ro- started seven seats of episcopal authority (continued up
man household that until the 16th cen-
spoke in the tongues tury, when abu-
of the Spirit, and he sive Portuguese
would remind the colonizers made
Jewish believers that the indigenous
“I perceive that God church resist by
is no respecter of per- appealing to var-
sons, but of the East ious synods in
and West all those the Middle East),
who fear Him and all of which still
work righteousness survive up into
are accepted in Him.” the present. His
Churches sprang up all body was later
over the world with- taken by one of
in the first generation the Patriarchs of
of Christian believers. the Church of the
In the East, Armenia, East to Babylon,
Edessa, Babylon, Cte- cementing the
siphon, Socotra, and authority of the
Kerala were all shining Persian Church
beacons of the Holy over the Indian
Spirit’s flame. Church and mak-
ing it possible
7th Century Chinese Icon of Christ as Pantocrator, from the East Syriac manuscripts discovered in 1907 by through later mil-
Stein and Pelliot in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China
itary conquest for pieces of the holy body of St. Thomas
The Gospel of Thomas to make their way into the West. The Roman Catholic
The Gospel of Thomas, long quoted in early fa-
and Greek Orthodox Churches now venerate his parti-
thers, was recovered in both Iraq and Egypt around the
tioned relics.
turn of the last century, a part of a long-forgotten Gnos-
tic repository, the Nag Hammadi. This text exposits the Hidden Tradition
apostolic ministry of St. Thomas Dydimus, the “Doubt- The history of Christianity in the Far East comes
er” who famously confirmed Christ’s physical resur- down to us as a hidden tradition. A bronze mirror from
rection, and tells the story of his successful ministry the Eastern Han Dynasty, dated roughly 300AD, is in-
to India and the conversion of Emperor Gondopheres. scribed with a Christian verse – “Mirror made to show
This Indian Emperor is a confirmed historical figure in the likeness of the Divine face, to those who worship
Hellenic North India, one of the remnants of Alexander the One True God, Holy Mary has proven the Incar-
the Great’s mythic conquest of the East, and he is central nation of the Son, He has appeared as the King of the
to the narrative of this text. In the epic saga of the In- World, and those who believe in Him will live again.”
dian Orthodox Church, the Mar Thoma Kali Margum, A rocky outcropping in Eastern China is carved with
a song that takes more than a whole day to sing and scenes in the style of the Sui or Jin Dynasty that locals
recounts the history of all the generations of the Church claim are the Life of Buddha, but that better fit a narra-

Koinonia 6
eral, An Lushan. Even though the revolt was put down
by a Nestorian General, Aluohan, this disloyalty by for-
eign troops led to the official persecution of Christian-
ity, which resulted in Christians moving south or west,
into the colonial frontiers, where their presence could
still be tolerated, far from central authority. The Met-
ropolitanate of China probably continued up until the
14th century, under various guises, in the South and in
the Mongolian lands. But by the arrival of the Roman
Catholic Franciscan Mission under Archbishop John de
Monte Corvino in the late 1200’s, it was already fading
and greatly challenged by the arrival of a few witty west-
erners. By the time of Mateo Ricci’s arrival in the late
1500’s, the memory of the Syriac Christians was present
only in a few places where they signed their rice with
the sign of the cross before eating and worshipped the
“King of Light”, and then explosively remembered by
the rediscovery of the “Nestorian Stele” in Xi’An by a
Franciscan brother and his Chinese converts.
(Clockwise: Funeral Cross, 8th or 9th Century, Putien City,
Fujian, China, 8th Century Funeral Cross, Putien City, Fujian
Province, China, East Syriac Funerary Cross for a woman named
“Elizabeth” (possible sister of the Metropolitan of Hangzhou, Mar
Gewargiz of China), 8th century, Putien City, Fujian, China., 8th
Century Church roof tile, Xi’An City, Shanxi Province, China)
tive of the Life of Christ. Many graves in Xuzhou are
inscribed with a sacrificial lamb, a basket of five fish and
five round loaves, and with a wheel almost identical to
the ones used by Roman Christians at the same time to
secretly write out the name of Christ. By the 600’s, there
is already a well-established history of Eastern Chris-
tians in China. Missions were officially sanctioned by
the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, a peasant leader
and strategist who claimed ancestry from the founder of
Taoism, Lao Zi. His great-grandson employed Persian
Christians as generals and almost paid for it with his life
due to the revolt of one of his ambitious foreign gen-

The Significance of Ancient East Asian
Christianity to the West
This stele would capture the imagination of the
west, creating a strange convergence of philosophy, the-
9th Century Icon of Palm Sunday Communion, Xinjiang Province, China
ology, exoticism and hysteria that resulted in the intense

Koinonia 7
interest of many 17th century minds in the struc-
ture of the Chinese state. This fascination resulted
in an idealized Confucianism, the tea-drinking
craze, the adoption of abstract symbols in math-
ematics, and the birth of secular ideas that would
become the Enlightenment. Athanasius Kirscher,
François Quesnay, Joseph-Anna-Marie de Moyriac
de Mailla, Jean-Baptiste Du Halde, Gottfried Leib-
niz, Blaise Pascal, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau,
John Locke, Oliver Goldsmith and Adam Smith
were all profoundly involved in this new world of
ideas, made popular by how the translation of the
Nestorian Stone led to an examination of Chinese
values exposited by missionary Jesuits, who argu-
ably did as much translating back into Latin, Italian
and French as they did into Chinese. With the trans-
lation of the 12th century Chinese luminary, Zhu
Xi, into French by Fr. François Quesnay, “Histoire
Générale de la Chine” created an appreciation for
a secular state based upon the cultivation of com-
mon virtues and competition, a meritocracy, and a
free market based upon the Chinese Taoist concept
of “Wu Wei” (the government doing nothing) was
born. Thus, the modern world of “conservatism”
was born in a radical departure from the theory St. Alopen, patron of our mission chapel, teaching the Scriptures to
of Christian Empire and the Divine Right to Rule Tang Wu Zong, Second Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. ’s.
that was the central feature of Western civilization silkworms from Nestorian Monks who had brought them
from the time of Constantine, using a Christian from the East. From this gift, the Byzantine Roman Em-
document proclaiming the Chinese sponsorship of pire received an immense boon, founding a silk-making
a mission of the Syriac Church as a bridge. These tradition that economically stabilized Greek textile pro-
are the origins of a secular ideology with which duction, and a liturgical vestment legacy that is now con-
Orthodoxy constantly struggles and has developed sidered quintessentially Orthodox. This account predates
philosophical reactions to, but which understands the Chinese accounts and inscriptions by over seventy
little about within its own context. Much of what years.3
the Orthodox have identified as the cultural ethos An ancient synodal history of the Assyrian Church
that alienates Orthodoxy from Western Christiani- of the East, called the “Chronicle of Seert”, recounts how
ty - the pragmatism, materialism and moralism that Emperor Heraclius officially received the Catholicos-Pa-
is often perceived as an insidious de-personalizing triarch Mar Yashuayab II. The Catholicos demonstrated
and secularizing force – was nascent within the En- his Orthodoxy to both the Roman Emperor and accom-
lightenment, but is actually Chinese in origin!2 panying bishops through statement of faith and answer to
questions, and concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with both
2. The Church of the East in China Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople and Patriarch John
Mar Alopen and the Argument for II of Antioch in 627AD.4 Upon returning from this mon-
an Orthodox Presence in the Tang umental occasion of unification between East and West,
Dynasty the Catholicos ordained missionaries to establish a work
The first canonical documentation we have among Christian Persian traders and merchants in China.
of Christian missions in China is not from China, Mar Yashuayab's name is inscribed at the top of the Nesto-
but from the Byzantine record of Procopius, which rian Stele, which should rightfully be called the "Orthodox
states that in 551AD Justinian received a gift of Stele" in light of the communion it represents, as "The Bo-

Koinonia 8
of the defeat of Persian armies, both of which the Byz-
antines had no knowledge. The Emperor’s wisdom was
Byzantium’s lament, for unbeknownst to both Emperor
and missionary, Heraclius was long-dead and the Byz-
antine Empire would face a dark and uncertain future
as it tried to hold back the black tide of Islamic terror.
The Chinese record states:
In the Seventh Year of the reign, The Duke of Xi,
Li Dafu, introduced the emissary of New Rome
with the representative of the Persians, and this
embassy was received as representative of their
emperor, Heraclius. Gifts were brought by the
Persians from Polin, and lions, sheep, medicines
and other delights were received in our court.”
Then, again, “In May, the King of Polin sent his
emissary, Master of Monks, 'Da De’ (Great Virtue,
transliteration of Sanskrit word, “bhadanta”, and
used to mean “bishop” in the Christian context),
to represent the empire of New Rome and call
upon the Chinese Empire, and he was sent to stay
with the Persian monks. 6
Thus, the communion between the Syriac and Byzan-
tine Churches at this time seems to be a forgone con-
clusion. They worked with one another and used the
St. Alopen moving to Luoyang to establish his new mission and pre-existing structure of the East Syriac Church.
school in the 660’s. Later, probably due to the fall of the Persian Em-
pire to the Muslims, the official name of the Christian
To-Li (Patriarch) of Fulin."
The "Nestorian Stele" describes the arrival of the faith in China was changed from "Persian Religion" to
missionary Mar Alopen, who received official sanction "Roman Luminous Religion" (using the name for Rome
from the second Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, Taizong, associated with Constantinople, "Fulin" or "Polin"7).
While many scholars have refused to see this as any-
for the promulgation of the new faith.
thing other than a misnomer, it is significant in that it
The official account states: "They brought books and
images of the holy things and taught men to worship
the Creator, so that virtue could enter into the Flow-
ery Kingdom and bless the reign of righteous emper-
The account continues with a description of the mis-
sion until 781AD, 145 years later, when the mission
was officially prohibited in 845AD along with Bud-
dhism, Manichaeism and the first Islamic mission
and then pushed underground by persecution.
Just a few years after the arrival of Mar Alopen,
China received a delegation of missionaries from the
court of Heraclius, the last of the great Byzantine Em-
perors, with the intent of a two-pronged attack against
the Muslim Kalifate. The Emperor did not entertain
ideas of such a far-flung confederation and had news of
both a massive Muslim attack upon the Chinese border, Lady Wenji, wife of the Great Khan, Christian benefactores and
leader of the Christian community in the Mongolian Court in
which the Chinese had successfully deflected, and also the Yuan Dynasty, 14th century, Beijing China.

Koinonia 9
stresses continuity with the West and is reinforced by gave communion to both Pope and King of England in
the lack of anything "Nestorian" in the all of the Chris- the 14th century, and who also praised the Byzantine
tian manuscripts that we have today. The Emperor's Emperor that “With the sight of the Christian king, fa-
edict said: tigue hath vanished and exhaustion hath departed, for
The religion of the book that the Persians have I was exceedingly anxious to see your kingdom, that
spread here comes from Rome, and this has long been which may our Lord establish.”10 These heart-felt com-
known and accepted in China. Because of their love of plements show that easterners saw no contradiction be-
building temples, and because we desire clarity of name tween their position as apostolic heirs of the Church in
for their institutions, we must correct an error that has the East and of the doctrinal and canonical importance
been propagated through our ignorance. Henceforth, of the Byzantine Empire. There is, however, increasing

This 8th century Tang Dynasty bronze
icon and bread paten was found on
the Silk Road in China’s border with
Kyrgyzstan. This painting depicts the
process of how we are saved in Christ’s
Work: the crucifixion, resurrection
and ascension. It also describes the
process surrounding our personal
faith - Simon Peter, not firm in his
faith, pretended not to recognize Je-
sus; two Magi coming to worship
Christ, recognizing Him as Lord and
God, and Daniel’s unwavering faith,
standing before the hungry lions as
a faithful witness to God’s goodness.
This ancient icon from Church of the
East fully expresses the most import-
ant Christian doctrines of salvation,
the Gospel of Christ, and reveals the
personal process of faith we all must
strive to embody!
in both capitals and in all the temples built by the Per- documentation of the tragedy of a ravenous political
sians, their name must be changed to “Temple of the Islam disconnecting the fledging communion that
Romans.” All officials must respect this proclamation. had grown between the Churches after the Council
The proclamation here ends.8 of Chalcedon and a realization of a balanced, Antio-
As Samuel Hugh Moffett's conclusive work, chian-Constantinopolitan approach. This is highly
"History of Asian Christianity" argues, and Philip P. Jen- important for the Chinese mission because Mar Ye-
kin’s “The Lost History of Christianity” confirms, there shuayab II established it through his ordinations and
was a long struggle for a restored and sustained commu- consecrations, and his name is commemorated on
nion between Byzantium and Babylon, greatly affecting the “Nestorian Stele.” The “flow” of Apostolic Tra-
the identity of Asian Christianity, which saw no contra- dition therefore came through him and his disciple,
diction in being both indigenous and also friends with Mar Alopen, who are both technically the canonical
Byzantium. Over three-hundred Double-headed Ea- and Apostolic Enlighteners of China. The Jingjiao Ste-
gles, Greek Crosses, and Angel medals9 were uncovered le in Xi’An should be considered a binding canonical
in Northern Chinese graves, showing strong cultural document, issued by one of China’s most important
ties to Eastern Rome. This is also shown in the later visit emperors, establishing the East Syriac Church as the
of the Northern-China born Rabban Bar Sauma, who Church of the Chinese state. This view is reinforced
by the fact that a delegation of Byzantine Bishop (大
Koinonia 10
秦高僧) and his attendants, in 641AD, officially
received at court in 647AD as ambassadors for
the long-dead Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius,
recognized and submitted to this primacy. The
official documentation for this is found in the
“Tortoise Oracle Record Bureau” (冊府元龜) of
Wang Qinruo (王欽若) in the Song Dynasty and
is incontrovertible. 11
The Chinese Church was started by Ar-
amaic-speaking, culturally-Persian, non-Greek
ethnicity Christians (although they also were al-
most certainly not "Assyrian" ethnically). At this
point in Asian history, they were in better contact A Tang Dynasty 唐三彩 representation of an East Syriac Chris-
with the West than previously acknowledged, in tian bishop, possibly St. Alopen or St. Jingjing, with a mitre
communion officially, and they were not con- remarkably like the Western Tradition, in liturgical green silks
sidered to be a sect of marginalized heretics by with descending Dove. 7th century, Luoyang, China.
Chalcedonian Christians.12The fact that later East especially since it also reflects the desires of the Church
of the East today, having worked hard to reestablish this
understanding through their "Common Christological
Statement" and their continued dialogues with the East-
ern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.15 China,
if anything, proves that this restoration can happen, and
that it might provide the cultural impetus and theater

Syriac bishop, Mar Isaac of Nineveh (reposed
700AD), is venerated by the Eastern Orthodox
Church as a saint should also strengthen the
claim that once canonical communion was estab-
lished and recognized, it was never officially bro-
ken.13 It was liturgical and ecclesial development
on the part of the Byzantine Church that made
eventual mutual recognition impossible. Timo-
thy +Kallistos Ware, Bishop of Diokleia, states in
his famous work, “The Orthodox Church”, that
“The separation [between the Byzantine Church Bronze Syriac crosses buried with soldiers in Yuan Dynasty,
and the Church of the East] occurred for histori- China. There have been over three thousand of these crosses found
cal rather than doctrinal reasons – more through in Northern Chinese burial grounds, and if there was any doubt
about their Christian meaning, some of them have Double-Head-
a lack of mutual contact than because of direct ed Eagles (the Emblem of Eastern Rome) at their hearts! Hong
theological controversy…”14 This is a vital point, Kong University Museum Collection, Hong Kong, China.
Koinonia 11
for such an important recognition of the shared legacy India: Chaldean Syrian Church of the East in India, 1968), pg 884
5 Later Book of the Han, Vol 2, Chapter 19
of the Eastern Churches! 6 My translation of the original text, published as “The Christian Gospel Mirror of the
The Decline of the Eastern Church in China 帝。圣母玛利亚目证了耶稣基督是上帝的独生子,他有帝王一般的显赫。凡立志信
After the Tang Dynasty began persecuting able at, last accessed August 1st, 2017.
Christianity, the Church of the East moved its center 7 Prof. M.M. Ninan, Acts of the Apostle Thomas: The Story of the Thomas Churches,
(San Jose, CA: Global Publishers, 2011) pgs 37 & 88
of activity from the capital and surrounding centers in 8Zhang Duomo, Xin De Magazine, 432nd Edition, No. 36, reports on three documented
Christian finds recognized by China Archeology Association. “On August 1st, 2002, the
Central China to the south east coast of Fujian, which People’s Daily reporter Li Hang wrote, ‘Chinese Economic Association and Theology
was a newly opened trading port and a Chinese colo- Professor Wang Weipan, has successfully argued that the stone carvings of Xuzhou from
the Eastern Han dynasty fit Biblical and Christian narratives, and that they are evidence
ny amidst Vietnamese, Hmong and Thai tribes. This of early Chinese interaction with the Gospel. If accurate, this would prove transmission
port was frequented by Islamic traders and settlers, who of the Christian story by the year 87AD. On December 22nd, 2005, the China Daily
reported that ‘Jiangsu Xuzhou archeologist had discovered a ‘Han Dynasty Catholic
were subjugating South East Asia, Indochina, and In- Gospel Inscribed Bronze Mirror’, this was reported again in greater detail on June 23rd,
2009, in the Shanghai periodical, “Wen Hui” (Literary Collections). If true, this would
dia, and the Arabic and Aramaic-speaking Christians push back the establishment of Christianity in China back to the first century and
became facilitators of the trade between the Muslim extend known Christian history in China by over 500 years.” Original Chinese available
at, last accessed August 1st,
seafarers and the Chinese producers of fine silks, China, 2017.
spices, precious stones, cloisonné, wood carvings, metal 9 Christian Gerlach, Wu-Wei in Europe: A Study of Eurasian Economic Thought,
March 2005 (London, England: London School of Economics, Department of Economic
working and jade. In this less evangelistic and threaten- History, Diss), pgs 3-33
10 Michael Keevak, “The Story of the Stele: China’s Nestorian Monument and Its Recep-
ing mode, the Christian Faith was useful to the Chinese tion in the West, 1625-1916” (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2008), 61-87
and was tolerated as a foreign religion, and it contin- 11Procopius, On the Wars, Internet Medieval Sourcebook, Procopius: the Roman Silk
Industry c. 550. Available at:
ued to have small bodies of Chinese believers sustain- Accessed August 1st, 2017
ing a diminished presence in Hangzhou, Shenzhou, and 12 S.G. Mgr Addai Scher, Histoire Nestorienne Inédite: Chronique de Séert. Seconde
Partie, Patrologia Orientalis, 13.4 (Paris, France: Firmin-Didot et Co Imprimeurs-Ed-
Guangzhou, holding on until the arrival of a new influx iteurs, 1919), pgs 557-558: E. A. Wallis Budge, The Book of Governors: the Historia
Monastica of Thomas, Bishop of Marga, A.D. 840, (edited from Syriac manuscripts in
of Christians during the Mongol occupation, calling the British museum and other libraries. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1893),
themselves “Yelikewen.” These Mongolian Nestorians pgs 123-127; and, Amri et Slibae De Maris, Patriarchis Nestorianorum Commentaria
(Romae: De Luigi, 1896), pg 50
did not appreciate the Chinese Christian tradition as it 1 P.Y. Saeki, The Nestorian Monument in China, (London, England: Society for Promot-
had developed in the Tang, and there was little commu- ing Christian Knowledge, 1928), pg 42
13 Oracle Bureau 971.10-15, Translation by the Author:王欽若, 《冊府元龜》 (九百七
nication between the two groups. Marco Polo reports 十一卷): 五月拂林国王遣大德僧新罗王并遣使来朝…七年正月奚王李大辅及新罗
that the Metropolitan bishop of Quanzhou, the last 国大首领献狮子二零羊二拂涅铁利越喜并遣使来朝。
seat of apostolic authority from the Tang, did not favor 14Wu Liwei, “Reflections on Jingjiao Studies, Questions and Problems”《关于景教研究
的问题意识与反思》,(Shanghai, China: Fudan Journal of Social Sciences, No. 5, 2011),
discussing Christian issues with the Mongolian Metro- Zhang Zhushan, Researches into “Folin” as a Name in Chinese History 《“拂菻”名称语
politan of the capital Khanbalik (called “Dadu” by the 源研究述评》, (Beijing, China: History Research Journal, No.5, 2009), Friedrich Hirth,
The Mystery of Fulin (Los Angeles, California: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Chinese and later renamed “Beijing”) 16. The two forms No. 33, 1913), pgs 193-208
15This is from “Miscellaneous Proclamations” of the Tang, Vol. 27, with translation by
of Far Eastern Christianity had been separated too long the Author. The original reads, 《唐会要‧大秦寺 》: “天宝 四载九月诏曰波斯 经教
and spoke substantially different languages. When the 出自 大秦传习而来久行中国。 爰初建寺因以为名将欲示人必修其本。 其两京 波斯
寺 宜改为 大秦寺 。 天下诸府郡置者亦准此.”
Ming Dynasty rose up to replace the Mongolian-led 16On permanent display at the Hong Kong University Museum, Hong Kong Island,
Yuan Dynasty, the leader of the rebellion, Ming Zhu Di, under the curatorship of Dr. Florian Knothe.
17 History of Rabban Barsawma, translated from Syriac by E.A. Wallis Budge, (Harrison
was a follower of a Buddhist-Manichean hybrid reli- & Sons, Ltd., St. Martin’s Lane, London, W.C. 2, 1928)
17Lin Yin, Fulin Monks: Did Some Christians Other Than Nestorians Enter China
gion called the “Order of the White Lotus.” He set out to During the Tang Period (Histoire et Tradition, Proche-Orient Chretien, No. 57, 2007),
eliminate all “non-Chinese religions”, not realizing the pgs 24-42
18The official reception of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in the Church of
irony of this position, and as a result Christianity disap- the East occurred in 544AD under Patriarch Mar Aba the Great, and is documented
pears from the Chinese record until the establishment in the East Syriac Synodikon, translated in J.B. Chabot, Synodicon Orientale (Paris,
France: Imprimerie Nationale, 1902), pgs 1-19 A full explanation of this reception is
of a Jesuit mission two hundred years later. Zhu Di had found in the important thesis by Rev. Ephraim Ashur Alkhas, Philosophical Terms and
Anthropology in the Christology of Mar Babai the Great and St. Maximus the Confessor
the Christian temples of South China torn apart and the (Berkeley, California: Thesis at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology,
Cross-carved stones of altars and graves were buried be- September 2015), pgs 46-47
20Met. +Hilarion (Alfeyev), “The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian”(Collegeville, MN:
neath new roads, only to be discovered in the 1950’s by Cistercian Publications, 2001), pgs 1-28
Communist soldiers as they rebuilt those same ancient 21 Timothy +Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Church (London, England: Penguin Books,
1997), pg 313
highways. 17 <>< 22 This declaration of Chalcedonian Christology was signed by H.H. John Paul II and
H.H. Mar Dinkha IV, available at
Footnotes cils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_11111994_assyrian-church_en.html for
1 Matthew 8:11, King James Version review, last accessed August 1st, 2017
2 Matthew 28:18, KJV
3Acts 10:34, KJV 23 Moffett, Vol. 1, pg 448
4 Hudra, Breviary of the Church of the East, Hymn for the Apostles of the East (Kerala,

Koinonia 12
HCCAR China Report have found favor in the sight of these leaders, who know
our motivation to be true and law-abiding, and who
Easter Week, 4/2/18 have felt the power of the Holy Spirit expressed through
The Ven. Rev. Dr. Wm. Boyd our meek and unassuming ways. Rather than trying to
St. Alopen the Enlightener of China Anglican Church undermine the local Christians, we have merely offered
(HCCAR) Shanghai, China help and reinforcement, allowing them to be fully cath-
Dearly Beloved, Christ is Risen! He is Risen olic and Christian in the Chinese context. Hopefully,
Indeed! We are overjoyed to report to all of you, our as we continue to develop relationships with those in
church family, on our progress authority, we will be able to part-
in China at this first Easter with- ner with the Chinese Catholic
in the communion of the Holy Church, and help it to re-establish
Catholic Church Anglican Rite! a fully catholic faith and tradition
Over the last six months, that is not impeded by the require-
we have experienced many forc- ments of a liberal-leaning Pope or
es of opposition and destruction the spirit of Vatican II revisionism.
here in Shanghai. God be praised The “fields are truly ripe unto
that we have been able to survive harvest, but the laborers are few.”
and thrive in the midst of the In early March we met with 14 lo-
many undermining and opposi- cal church leaders, all who wish to
tional forces that have conspired be catechized in the Anglocatholic
to rip apart our nascent community! Since we began Faith and who desire to, at some point, receive Holy Or-
serious discussion with Bp. Leo about joining as a par- ders! The fervent desire and the sacrifice of their faith,
ish and a missionary diocese, we have had attacks from which, contrary to many places, does not bring advan-
the other “Anglican” groups (the ACNA, the Anglican tage, money or power, is palpable and profound. God
Church of Hong Kong and Macau, the Archdiocese of has chosen to rise up fervent inheritors of the Catholic
Singapore and South East Asia), the Roman Catholics Church in the East, even as the West is falling into ig-
and the Russian Orthodox, who all have tried their best norance, heresy and apostasy. The future of the Church
to heap scorn upon our tradition- here is bright, even though the
al faith, our validity, and upon our difficulties are many, and we are
doctrinal stands. We have heard raptly and expectantly looking
of bishops within these commu- forward to what God will do as
nions calling their faithful, one the Bishops of the Holy Catho-
by one, and warning them that lic Anglican Rite discern God’s
our pure Anglocatholicism is he- purpose and continue to help us
retical, our orders are invalid, and by offering their presence and
that they will be excommunicat- expertise here in liturgy and cat-
ed for attending our services or echetical classes over the next
even speaking with us. Thankfully, year! Please prayerfully consider if God may be calling
many of the good people in the hinterlands, who have you to come and join us here in China for a short-term
been overlooked and abused by these bishops, have tak- mission trip, so that you can impart your experience in
en the news of the disturbance related to us as a sign the True Faith to the spiritually needy Chinese!
that we are allies, and have conversely begun to reach We praise God for all of you and commemorate
out to us! you all daily! We praise God your faithfulness to the
As I have published short tracts in Chinese Scriptures, the Tradition, and the Fathers, and we cov-
about our Anglocatholic inheritance, I have received et your prayers for peace, safety and fruitful ministry!
many favorable responses and affirmations that they are May God quickly bring us all back together, and may
being circulated far and wide, in both the North and the the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite be increased
South. This effectiveness has prompted the many harsh and expanded around the world, as God rises up a faith-
rebukes, politically motivated and untrue letters, and ful generation to do His Will and preach His Gospel!
complaints against us have reached even higher politi- Amen! ( Above meetings: photos intentionally blurred)
cal ears in the Chinese Government. God be praised, we
Koinonia 13
For a Pro-Life Generation
The Rev. Steve Macias, - HCCAR, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Los Altos, CA

my story. I put my name in for student body president
hen the faithful gathered in St. Louis forty and claimed the newspaper space. My statement started
years ago, they penned a statement to guide with, “My name is Steve…” but it then transitioned into
the next generation on matters of faith and a succinct presentation of the gospel.
morals. Published in 1977, the Affirmation of St. Louis I doubted they would print it, but there it was
enshrined the sanctity of human life as a nonnegotiable word-for-word one week lat-
just four years after the Roe er in the school’s newspaper.
v. Wade decision was hand- Then I got a phone call. It was
ed down by the United the school’s director for stu-
States Supreme Court. In dent life and she wanted to
these past forty years, mil- talk to me about my student
lions of precious children government candidacy. I be-
have been lost to abor- gan to form an apology for
tion. I am a survivor of this the statement, when I heard
abortion holocaust. Back her say, “Steve, this has nev-
in 1990, my then sixteen- er happened before, but you
year-old mother discov- are the only person who put
ered she was pregnant with in his name for student body
her boyfriend’s child. Faced president.” I was stunned. Our
with immediate rejection campus is one of the largest in
from her single-father, Northern California with over
coupled with the end of her twenty thousand students and
high school career and the yet I had won the top spot by
prospect of building a life default, by accident, and yet
with a boy she barely knew; perhaps by providence.
my mother had become the The campus quad was
very emotionally compel- open to all sorts of off-cam-
ling sort of case that the legalization of elective abortion pus groups and regularly attracted leftist weirdos, so I
was built around. Yet she chose life. But my mother did was surprised when I was engaged by two gentlemen
more than make some generic political statement, she claiming to be pro-life Christians. I proudly explained
chose me. Her choice taught me that we can always find that I voted for pro-life candidates. And they asked,
the strength do what’s morally right, regardless of the “but what are you doing about it?” They asked me to
circumstances. meet with them and they showed me a video of an abor-
After I graduated high school, something my tion that brought me to tears, I asked, “what can I do?”
mother was never able to do, I went off to college with They explained that they had a pro-life display that they
the idea of going into the ministry. Even as a recent- would like to bring to campus and that as the student
ly converted 18-year-old, I recognized that God was body president I could help them get the permission
calling me to serve him as a pastor. I started a campus to set it up there in the quad. So I did. I put it before
ministry and began to have weekly meetings. I quickly my board amongst the myriad of other speakers and ta-
discovered that the school newspaper was a good way to bles to be hosted on the school’s Constitution Day. Lit-
recruit and put in an notice about our group. The next tle did I know that this “display” came in a semi-truck
week, there we were right next to an article explaining with metal barricades and stood up fifteen feet tall. I
the upcoming student government elections. At our avoided the display and went to class, only my phone
school, student government candidates were given space would not stop ringing. I recognized the number as a
to make a statement before the election - the higher the school phone and stepped out to take it. It was the Vice
office, the more space you got. While I wasn’t interested President of the School, “Steve, I need you in my office
in student government, I came up with a plan to share right now.” I knew exactly what he wanted to talk about.
Koinonia 14
As I prepared to apologize, this administrator began overcome when we are faithful to him above all things.
lambasting the pro-life group downstairs. “They cannot The Story as printed in Center for
stay here, Steve, I need you to ask them to leave,” he said.
HIs harsh criticisms had emboldened me to say, “I’m
Bio-Ethical Reform Newsletter
not going to tell them to leave.” So the group stayed.
I got several reports that day - three women who
chalked up another victory against another repressive
were pregnant saw that display and told the pro-life
college for attempting to ban CBR’s Genocide Aware-
group they had changed their mind about an abortion.
ness Project (GAP) campaign. Our friends at Sanctity of
In other words, three children were saved from their
Human Life Network (SOHLNET http://www.sohlnet.
imminent deaths. But when I returned to campus, the
org) in Sacramento brought CBR’s Genocide Awareness
campus LGBT group had set up a table in the middle of
Project (compact version) to Sacramento City College
the same quad. On the front their table they had made
on September 16-17. Steve Macias, the student govern-
a sign that read, “Recall Steve Macias.” The campus ad-
ment president, was instrumental in having the school
ministration then empowered this small campus group
host GAP.
to foist a sham recall election against me without regard
for the campus’s election rules. I contacted the Alliance
Defending Freedom’s (ADF) legal team and the recall
election results were then invalidated. The campus then
chose to remove me without an election and the ADF
sent a cease-and-desist letter, the school’s action was
revoked. Then a group inside the student government
voted to impeach me, but I was reinstated by the school
as the student body president anyway. It was a major
victory for pro-life speech on a college campus and I
flew all around the country telling my story on the ra-
dio, at dinners, and for conferences. Sacramento City College’s ASB president faced a recall effort for
From this I was offered a job working with Stu- refusing administrators’ demands that he shut down the GAP
display which was drawing throngs of students. Many Christian
dents for Life of America. They wanted me to recruit students boldly came right out of the crowd to defend the pro-life
and train college kids to take a stand for life on their position
own campuses. I was assigned the West Coast region
Macias is a 19-year-old Christian student. In
and for three years I travelled from campus to campus
spite of the fact that the student government voted
in California, Arizona, and Nevada training students
unanimously to permit the GAP display, opposition
and helping to form dozens of pro-life student clubs.
quickly arose on day one. World Net Daily reported:
My school administration’s ham-fisted attempt to sup-
But Macias told WND Sacramento City College
press one pro-life display had multiplied immediately
vice president of student affairs Michael Poindex-
into a national news story and then allowed me to help
ter and ASG faculty adviser Lee Weathers-Miguel
recruit a new generation of pro-life leaders.
pulled him out of class and demanded that he tell
Today, the tide is turning on the issue of abor-
the pro-life group to leave campus, even though
tion. As of 2016, the Barna Group reported that the ma-
the school grounds are open to the public.
jority of millenials now think abortion should be ille-
‘I said, “I can’t tell them to leave. They have every
gal in all or most circumstances. The prophetic voice
right to be here.”’
of the Congress of St. Louis serves as a reminder to the
He said the administrators responded, ‘Go out
timeless value of the continuing Anglican tradition.
there and tell them to move their display some-
This same prophetic voice on moral issues is now prov-
where off campus or turn their signs around.
ing the be the rock and refuge upon which my gener-
Tell them this isn’t OK.’
ation desperately wants to cling. Through my mother
Macias responded, ‘I can’t tell them to do any of
I learned that God will always give us the strength to
that. They have every right to be here, and it’s not
do what’s morally right, regardless of the circumstances.
my place to tell them what to do with their dis-
And through my mother the church, I am learning the
same thing. God is faithful and grants us the strength to
Koinonia 15
appointed with the continued and relentless attempt to
punish him by now seeking to impeach him from offi
ce. Pray for this young pro-life hero. His courageous
stand has surely saved the lives of babies.
SOHLNET reports on their website about one of
the babies saved by GAP. A pregnant woman who was
considering aborting her baby saw the GAP display;
while there, she listened to the testimony of Jose, a
youth pastor and former SOHLNET board member.
She decided to not have the abortion. Praise God!
(Source Center for Bio-Ethical Reform)
He said school officials also told him he should
have invited a pro-abortion group to the event. From the Affirmation of St. Louis
Poindexter also confronted Macias about his faith, the The conscience, as the inherent knowledge of right and wrong,
ADF’s letter to the school explained. cannot stand alone as a sovereign arbiter of morals. Every Chris-
‘I don’t see anything in the Bible that says you should tian is obligated to form his conscience by the Divine Moral Law
and the Mind of Christ as revealed in Holy Scriptures, and by
do what you’re doing,’ Poindexter told Macias, ac-
the teaching and Tradition of the Church. We hold that when the
cording to the letter, adding, ‘What does your God Christian conscience is thus properly informed and ruled, it must
think about what you’re doing?’ http://www.wnd. affirm the following moral principles:
Individual Responsibility
The administrators retaliated by assisting angry All people, individually and collectively, are responsible to their
students and an off-campus group, Queer-Straight Al- Creator for their acts, motives, thoughts and words, since “we
liance, in organizing a recall campaign of Macias. The must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . .”
campaign violated numerous rules of the school con-
Sanctity of Human Life
stitution. This was more than ironic because GAP was Every human being, from the time of his conception, is a creature
held as part of the school’s Constitution Day on Sep- and child of God, made in His image and likeness, an infinitely
tember 17. precious soul; and that the unjustifiable or inexcusable taking of
When SOHLNET informed CBR’s executive life is always sinful.
director Gregg Cunningham on October 16 about the
Man’s Duty to God
recall, he contacted ADF and got them on the case right All people are bound by the dictates of the Natural Law and by
away. This top-notch religious liberty legal alliance sent the revealed Will of God, insofar as they can discern them.
a cease and desist letter to the administrators on Nov. 5
Family Life The
The God-given sacramental bond in marriage between one man
letter challenged school administrators regarding their and one woman is God’s loving provision for procreation and
actions against Macias: First Amendment retaliation, family life, and sexual activity is to be practiced only within the
deprivation of due process and equal protection, multi- bonds of Holy Matrimony.
ple violations of the state’s Brown Act and conspiracy.”
Man as Sinner
We recognize that man, as inheritor of original sin, is “very far
When the school was forced to stop the recall on gone from original righteousness,” and as a rebel against God’s
November 12, ADF issued a press release which includ- authority is liable to His righteous judgment.
ed these statements: “‘Respecting people’s First Amend-
Man and God’s Grace
ment rights is worthy of praise, not punishment,’said We recognize, too, that God loves His children and particular-
ADF Litigation Staff Counsel David Hacker. ‘The recall ly has shown it forth in the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus
election against Steve was wrongly motivated and fl Christ, and that man cannot be saved by any effort of his own,
awed. The entire process against him began because he but by the Grace of God, through repentance and acceptance of
stood up for the free speech rights of a pro-life group.’” God’s forgiveness.
Christian’s Duty to be Moral We believe, therefore, it is the duty of the Church and her mem-
aspx?cid=5126. Although ADF and CBR are pleased bers to bear witness to Christian Morality, to follow it in their
that the school reinstated Steve as president, we are dis- lives, and to reject the false standards of the world.

Koinonia 16

onsidering many arguments concerning the Eu- sides. The Roman Church, in my opinion, takes too
charist, both Roman, and Protestant, I have found much liberty, and in a sense, strains at a gnat, inferring
that trying to over define or under define some- meanings that the Fathers never intended. The Protes-
thing that is undefinable has led to serious errors on both tants, rather than dealing with the subject and the clear
words of Christ, chose to simply reject the doctrine of said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When
the Eucharist all together. Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it,
As far as our belief as Anglicans, we absolutely he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and
teach and believe that the Eucharist is a partaking of the if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was
Body and Blood of Christ in a very real sense. The prob- before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh prof-
lem arises when we try to define what is undefinable. iteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are
The Fathers speak loud and clear as do the Scriptures spirit, and they are life.”
about the Eucharist being a communion with the Body In this Jesus clearly explains how we are to view the doc-
and Blood of Christ with Paul giving stern warnings trine of the Eucharist. “63 It is the spirit that quickeneth;
about not discerning the presence of Christ in the Holy the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto
Eucharist. But in the scriptures and the writings of the you, they are spirit, and they are life.” This should dic-
Fathers this reality is spoken of as a great mystery. It is tate our understanding of the presence of Christ in ele-
a holy mystery. ments of the consecrated bread and wine.
I will briefly present what I believe is the proper Now I will quote several writings of the Church
teaching and understanding of this great mystery using Fathers beginning with the Didache.
certain scripture passag- “You gave food and drink
es and then follow up “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat to men for enjoyment, that
with some quotes from they might give thanks to
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His
a few of the writings of you. But to us you free-
the Apostolic Fathers. blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever ly gave spiritual food and
However, I know such eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal drink and life eternal
a brief address on this life. And I will raise him up on the last day. through your Servant.”
matter will fall short and For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is This teaches the clear spir-
I ask for patience and drink indeed. 56 Whoever eats My flesh and itual understanding of the
forgiveness because any Eucharist.
drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him
attempt by me falls short Now some quotes by a
of doing our Lord justice Jn 6:53-56 few of the Fathers,
on this topic. “For the bread, which is
To begin with, produced from the earth,
Jesus in John chapter 6 gives what I believe, a discourse when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer
by our Lord on the meaning of Eucharistic theology common bread, but the Eucharist – consisting of TWO
and his presence in the future establishment of the Holy realities, earthly and heavenly.” Irenaeus.
Communion, or Lord’s Supper. I will provide several “The vine produces wine, as the Word produces
verses for context. But the key verse is verse 63. blood. And both of them drink health to men: wine for
“The Jews therefore strove among themselves, the body; blood for the spirit.” Clement of Alexandria.
saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Notice the mention of blood and spirit, which I believe
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, is referring a spiritual application.
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his And again, Clement of Alexandria, “To drink
blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, the blood of Jesus is to become partakers in the Lords
and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise immortality….As wine is blended with water, so is the
him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, Spirit with man….And the mixture of both – of the wa-
and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, ter and Word – is called the Eucharist, renowned and
and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 glorious grace.” Again I believe he is making the con-
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Fa- nection of the spiritual application.
ther: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 And finally this quote by Irenaeus which I saved for last
This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as which I have found to be oddly overlooked by many Ro-
your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth man Catholics.
of this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he “Those who have become acquainted with the
in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many secondary (i.e., under Christ) constitutions of the apos-
therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, tles, are aware that the Lord instituted a new oblation
Koinonia 18
in the new covenant, according to [the declaration of] is undefinable. It is Holy. It is a mystery. As Jesus said,
Malachi the prophet. For, from the rising of the sun it is the Spirit that quickeneth….the words that I speak
even to the setting my name has been glorified among unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”
the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my Therefore, we can without any doubt maintain that the
name, and a pure sacrifice; (Malachi 1:11) as John also bread after consecration IS the Body of Christ, and the
declares in the Apocalypse: The incense is the prayers wine IS the Blood of Christ as St. Irenaeus also says in
of the saints. Then again, Paul exhorts us to present another place, “The wine and bread having received the
our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, Word of God, become the Eucharist, which is the body
which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1) And and blood of Christ.” Some describe it as a hypostat-
again, Let us offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the ic union, that under the form of bread and wine is the
fruit of the lips. (Hebrews Body and Blood of Christ. There
13:15) Now those oblations are many ways to try to define
“ Twas Chst the word that spake it
are not according to the law, this mystery, but all fall short. It
The same took bread & break it
the handwriting of which And as the Word did make it is quite simply a mystery but no
the Lord took away from the So I believe & take it” less a reality.
midst by cancelling it; (Co- Queen Elizabeth Bodleian MS Rawl D. 947 (c. 1620s), f. 86v: So, in the end we do affirm the
lossians 2:14) but they are *** Real Presence of the Body and
according to the Spirit, for we We do not presume to come to this thy Table (O Blood of Christ in the Holy Eu-
must worship God in spir- merciful Lord) trusting in our own righteousness, charist. It is one thing to teach
it and in truth. (John 4:24). but in thy manifold and great mercies. We be not the doctrines of the Holy Eu-
And therefore, the oblation worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under charist using Scripture and the
of the Eucharist is not a car- thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose prop- words of the Fathers. But we
erty is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore,
nal one, but a spiritual; and should not dare to presume to
gracious Lord, so to eat the Flesh of thy dear Son
in this respect it is pure. For Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, in these holy try to define it in human terms,
we make an oblation to God Mysteries, that we may continually dwell in him, or understand how it happens as
of the bread and the cup of and he in us, that our sinful bodies may be made Rome and others have attempted
blessing, giving Him thanks clean by his Body, and our souls washed through to do. To do so is to fall into the
in that He has commanded his most precious Blood. Amen. (1548 BCP) condemning words of or Lord,
the earth to bring forth these *** “Ye blind guides, which strain
fruits for our nourishment. ...Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
And then, when we have per- flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Matt. 23:24. We must by faith
fected the oblation, we invoke blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean simply believe the clear words of
the Holy Spirit, that He may by his Body, and our souls washed through his our Lord “This is my Body.” We
most precious Blood, and that we may evermore
exhibit this sacrifice, both the have the testimony of the Holy
dwell in him, and he in us. Amen. (1928 BCP)
bread the body of Christ, and Scriptures and in the Apostolic
the cup the blood of Christ, Church Fathers. We can trust
in order that the receivers of both and rest on both their testi-
these antitypes may obtain remission of sins and life monies with confidence. There is a quote I recently read
eternal. Those persons, then, who perform these obla- by St. Gregory of Nyssa, which I believe is very applica-
tions in remembrance of the Lord, do not fall in with ble in this discussion. “Let those who pretend that God’s
Jewish views, but, performing the service after a spiritu- nature is within their comprehension explain their own
al manner, they shall be called sons of wisdom.” nature.” Deuteronomy 29:29 states, “The secret things
I could quote more but for the sake of brevity I belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which
will not. Yes, we do believe the partaking of the Eucha- are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever,
rist is the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ. that we may do all the words of this law.” Let us not try
We do not deny in any sense the very real presence of to define or put into a box the secret things of God. We
Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We affirm the teachings do not have to know how something happens, or is. All
of the Fathers which clearly state the reality of the real we need do is believe God by faith, believe in His holy
presence of Christ. What we rather do not do nor should Word, and the teachings of His Apostles that have been
do is to strain at a gnat and try to define something that handed down to us.<><
Koinonia 19
Working with original materials where pos-
sible or creating fine new imitations and additions,
Scott’s sculptors replaced almost all the 113 figures on
the west front. The architectural historian, Sir Nikolaus
Pevsner, dates them to 1876-1884, ‘replacing cement or
stucco statues of 1820-1822.’ Most of the statues were
produced locally from the Bridgeman workshop nearby
in Quonian’s Lane. The only exceptions were a likeness
of Queen Victoria on the main façade, by her sculptor
daughter Princess Louise, and those around the cen-
tral doorway by Mary Grant (1831-1908). A mediaeval
carving of Christ in Glory remains in place in the cano-
py over the doorway.

Linking Christmas and Easter
Visitors viewing the west front seem to pay less
attention to the figures around the central doorway by
Mary Grant. These include her sculpture of the Virgin
Mary, who supports her lifelike infant gently. The Christ
Pilgrimage Visit to Litchfield Cathedral Child has one arm raised in blessing. Behind them stand
Rev. Canon Patrick Comerford
the two Marys who visit the tomb on Easter morning:
The figures on the West Door of Lichfield Cathedral, carved by the Victorian sculptor
Mary Grant, link Christmas and Easter, the Incarnation and the Resurrection (Pho-
on the left is Saint Mary Magdalene, holding ointment;
to the right the ‘other Mary’ (Matthew 28: 1) or Mary

tograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)
the Mother of James (Mark 16: 1, Luke 24: 10).
efore Lent began this year, I paid one of my In her composition of the figures at the West
regular visits to Lichfield and Lichfield Cathe- Door of Lichfield Cathedral, Mary Grant links the Vir-
dral in Staffordshire, in the English Midlands. gin Mary and the Christ Child with the two women
I am a life-long regular visitor to Lichfield, who visit the grave at Easter morning; the porch of the
which played a formative role in shaping my Anglican- West Door becomes symbolic of both the cave of birth
ism and my spirituality. at Christmas and the grave of death at Easter; the In-
The cathedral dates back to Saint Chad, who carnation leads us on to the Resurrection, Christmas
had a large following, founded his monastery at Li- invites us to move towards Easter.
chfield. There he was abbot and bishop and he was Mary Grant was once described as ‘one of the
credited with converting the Kingdom of Mercia to busiest of lady-sculptors.’ She was born in 1831 in Kil-
Christianity. When he died in AD 672, he was pro- graston, Perthshire, into a distinguished family. Her
claimed a saint, and people reported miracles at his grandfather was Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of
tomb in Lichfield. Elgin, who pilfered the Parthenon Marbles from the
The ornate west front of Lichfield Cathedral in- Acropolis in Athens and sold them to the British Mu-
cludes a remarkable number of ornate carved figures of seum in London. Her aunt, Mary Anne Grant, and her
apostles, saints and English kings and queens. It is an uncle, Sir Francis Grant, were artists too. Sir Francis
almost over-powering statement in art and sculpture was a successful portrait painter and became President
that the Communion of Saints is made up of all strands of the Royal Academy and a trustee of the National Por-
of humanity. trait Gallery.
This carved west front was the vision of the Sculpture was a profession that required a de-
Gothic revival architect Sir George Gilbert Scott gree of physical strength; on the other hand, her aristo-
(1811-1878). He was influenced and inspired by AWN cratic and artistic background probably were advantag-
Pugin, and his pupils included George Edmund Street. es for a woman seeking to work in what was virtually an
Scott restored the west front in the 19th century, 100 all-male preserve in the Victorian era.
years after most of the statues on the west front were Mary Grant studied in Florence, Rome and Par-
removed and the stonework covered with Roman ce- is before she set up a studio in London in the late 1860s.
Koinonia 20
Her work includes a por-
trait of Queen Victoria
for India and a bronze
bust of the Irish politi-
cian Charles Stewart Par-
nell for the Royal Acade-
my in London. Her other
works include the screen
of Winchester Cathedral
and the marble reredos
in Saint Mary’s Cathe-
dral, Edinburgh. She
never married and died
in Chelsea on 20 Febru-
ary 1908. Top:The Virgin Mary stands with the Christ Child in the centre of
the west door of Lichfield Cathedral Below: Mary Magdalene

A place of pilgrimage
Lichfield and Lichfield Cathedral have been a
place of pilgrimage and retreat
for me since I was a teenager.
As a 19-year-old, I found myself
– by accident or coincidence –
visiting the chapel of the Hos- The West Front of Lichfield Cathedral was redesigned by Sir George Gil-
bert Scott in the 19th century Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford,
pital of Saint John the Baptist 2018)
without the Barrs.
Saint John’s Hospital and pilgrims ate and slept in a long mediaeval hall, with
was established in 1135 and pro- an undercroft below.
vided hospitality for mediaeval For 300 years or more, Saint John’s provided
pilgrims who travelled from far hospitality for travellers and pilgrims, while local people
and wide to Lichfield to visit the used the chapel as a place of worship. These neighbours
cathedral and the tomb of Saint were served by a chaplain, and in turn they endowed
Chad. When the city gates of Lichfield were closed at 9 the hospital and built a chantry chapel. These benefac-
p.m. every night, pilgrims who arrived later had to stay tors included William de Juvenis, still remembered each
at the Hospital of Saint John Baptist without the Barrs – year with a red rose on the Feast of the Nativity of Saint
the ‘barrs’ being the city gates John Baptist (24 June).
Saint John’s Hospital was established in 1135 by By the mid-15th century, the ditch and ramparts
Bishop Roger de Clinton (1129-1148). It was built be- around Lichfield had fallen into disuse and the gates re-
side to the Culstrubbe Gate, one of the four gates erect- mained open at night for late arriving pilgrims. Times
ed on the perimeter of Lichfield, at what is now Saint were changing, and when William Smyth became Bish-
John Street. Saint John’s provided overnight accommo- op of Lichfield in 1492, he put Saint John’s to new uses,
dation for pilgrims for several hundred years while it re-founding the priory in 1495 as a hospital for aged
was a house of the Augustinian Friars. men and as a free grammar school.
In many mediaeval towns in England, the fri- New statutes provided for a Master who was a
aries, convents and religious foundations often stood priest appointed by the Bishop of Lichfield. The hospital
side-by-side, providing the surrounding communities was to house ‘13 honest poor men upon whom the in-
with the equivalent of hospitals, hostels, and places of conveniences of old age and poverty, without any fault
hospitality and welcome. of their own, had fallen.’ They were to receive seven
In the 13th century, the Augustinian communi- pence a week, they were to be honest and devout, and
ty at Saint John’s consisted of a prior, brothers and sis- they were to attend prayers every day.
ters, with a chapel and community buildings. Travellers The canons’ and pilgrims’ hall was enlarged to

Koinonia 21
Saints in a row … on the ornate west front of Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

added to the old building. This new ‘almshouse,’ with In 1929, the almsmen’s rooms at Saint John’s
its row of eight chimneys, provided each almsman or were rearranged to overlook the court or quadrangle,
resident with his own room and fireplace. giving them more light and modern heating and sani-
Many of these religious houses came to an end in tation. The Master’s House was renovated in 1958, new
the 16th century, with the Reformation and the Dissolu- flats were added in the mid-1960s, and the inner quad-
tion of the monastic houses. The estates often enriched rangle was completed with a new building. In the 1960s
political supporters of the Tudor dynasty, but their loss too, for the first time, married couples were allowed to
also deprived many people of access to health care and take up residence in the hospital.
education. But the changes introduced by Bishop Smyth After Lichfield Theological College in the Ca-
a generation earlier ensured the survival of Saint John’s thedral Close closed in 1976, new accommodation was
as a hospital or almshouse and as a school.
The grammar school was separated from the
hospital in 1692, but the school continued to use the
chapel, and the schoolboys included literary figures
such as Joseph Addison, Elias Ashmole, Samuel John-
son and David Garrick. Edward Maynard rebuilt the
Master’s Hall once again in 1720 to keep up with mod-
ern Georgian architectural tastes, and the stone tablet
above the doorway dates from this period.
By the early 19th century, Saint John’s must have
had the character and the problems described by An-
thony Trollope in his novels, including The Warden and
Barchester Towers. In 1829, a north aisle was added to provided in what became the Hospital of Saint John’s
the chapel and a new three-bay arcade was built. In an- within the Close. At the beginning of 21st century, the
other major restoration in 1870-1871, the Master, Phil- 1495 east wing of Saint John’s was renovated, enlarged
ip Hayman Dod (1810-1883), repaired and renovated and updated. Recent work on building 18 new apart-
the chapel, raising the walls of the nave, building a new ments was delayed briefly when the skeletal remains
roof, and adding buttresses outside and a stone bell-cote of 50 mediaeval pilgrims – adults and children– were
and bell. found in shallow graves.
Koinonia 22
Catholic tradition ing, daily experience. I often refer to it as my ‘self-de-
Since the Tractarian Revival, the chapel of Saint fining existential moment.’ On my regular return visits
John’s has stood in the Catholic tradition of Anglican- to Lichfield, I continue to visit both the chapel and the
ism, and it has shaped my own Anglicanism and spir- cathedral.
ituality. When I was a 19-year-old, attracted by the The chapel continues to provide daily and week-
distinctive row of eight Tudor chimneys fronting Saint ly services, and regularly draws a congregation of res-
John Street, I walked into the hospital one summer af- idents and visitors, and the grounds offer an oasis of
ternoon in 1971. Accidentally, I stepped into the chapel peace and calm in the heart of the cathedral city.
and soon felt filled with the light and the love of God. John Piper’s magnificent stained glass depicting
‘Christ in Majesty,’ was placed in the east window of the
chapel in 1984. It too provides an appropriate focus for
Lent and Easter. Christ has his arms outstretched, as
if he is the Crucified Christ, with the cross of the Di-
ocese of Lichfield behind his shoulder. But this is the
Risen Christ, his eyes are opened, he is surrounded by
the symbols of the four evangelists, and the two angels
with trumpets are proclaiming the joy and triumph of
the Resurrection.
When morning light streams this window, it re-
minds us that not only Lent but our whole life is lived in
the joyful hope and expectation of the Resurrection.
At the time, I had no idea of how to respond,
and so found myself sitting in the choir stalls at Choral Revd Canon Professor Patrick Comerford is Priest in Charge of
Evensong in Lichfield Cathedral. Later, a residentiary the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes in the Church of
canon asked whether a young man like me was consid- Ireland, and Canon Precentor of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick
ering coming to church because I was thinking of ordi- LeftThe choir stalls in Lichfield Cathedral after Choral Evensong on a recent eve-
ning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018) Opp page: The Master’s House at Saint
nation. John’s Hospital (All Photographs: Patrick Comerford)
That afternoon is a sensation that remains a liv-
The colourful triptych that forms the reredos in the Lady Chapel in Lichfield Cathedral tells the full
Christmas story (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Koinonia 23
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