Login
Vol I No. 1
From the Quarterly

FiFNA and the Seventh Council

by The Editors

The Rev. Edward Rix

Between 2005 and 2006 a small controversy arose over passages in a draft of a statement of agreed principles between members of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN), the forerunner of the Anglican Church in North America, and the Common Cause Partnership, which is an affiliation of Anglican groups from within and without the Episcopal Church (The American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Mission in America, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Anglican Province of America, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and Forward in Faith North America).  The controversy had primarily to do with Anglican identity: many believed that certain of the passages in the statement, if averred, would move those making the statement into a confessional stance which exceeded the historical norms and requisites of the Anglican churches. Chiefly controversial among those statements was an adherence to the authority of the first seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church, a position advocated by a small party of High Church/Anglo-Catholic Anglicans for a century[1], endorsed by the Continuing Anglican signatories of the 1977 Affirmation of St. Louis[2], embraced with qualification by the Anglican Mission in America[3], and even advocated by certain leaders of the Reformed Episcopal Church.[4] After a year of consideration the Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partnership, endorsed by the General Council of the Anglican Communion Network, gave a nuanced endorsement of the Seventh Council:

5) Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided Church, we affirm the teaching of the first four Councils, and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh Councils in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures.[5]

Jump ahead six years and a matter which had seemingly been settled comes again to the fore with the approval this past July of Forward in Faith North America’s (FiFNA) revised “Declaration of Common Faith and Purpose”, which declaration is required to be signed by individual members of that organization.  Several changes in the declaration have proved controversial, prompting criticism from fellow Anglicans of the Low Church/Evangelical Party.[6]

The concern of this article, however, is to address just one of the declarative statements of the new FiFNA document:

8. I believe all Seven Councils are ecumenical and catholic on the basis of the received tradition of the ancient Undivided Church of East and West.

The debates have been fairly low-key, yet not without significance. FiFNA, an association previously characterized by a membership of Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals since its founding in 1989 as the Episcopal Synod of America (itself a child of the older Evangelical and Catholic Mission founded in 1976) seems now to favor the Anglo-Catholic Party to the exclusion of a High Church-Low Church comprehensiveness.  It is of that comprehensiveness, a basic ‘mere’ Anglicanism, that questions arise.  What has been the historic Anglican attitude toward early Church Councils in general and the Seventh Council in particular?  If the above mentioned changes represent a shift in attitude, what are the causes and the aims of this change?  Answers to this latter question are beyond the scope of this writing and are perhaps best addressed by the leadership of FiFNA. As to the former, a body of conclusive evidence amply demonstrates that FiFNA in 2013, as did the Affirmation of St. Louis in 1977, now demand of its members that they aver a teaching that no Anglican jurisdiction or divine thought necessary in the hundreds of years of our history as a Reformed Catholic Church.

Let us begin with a brief overview of the Councils in General and the Seventh in Particular. The early councils of the Church were convened by various Byzantine Roman Emperors in order that disputed questions of doctrine be settled to the advancement of true religion, intending that the decrees of the councils be binding throughout the entire Empire.  Thus the First Council (Nicea, 325) addressed Arianism and decreed that Father and the Son were of ‘one substance’ as the Creed associated with the council states; the Second Council (Constantinople, 381) addressed Arianism and Macedonianism, decreed the eternal Sonship of Christ, the full, equal divinity of the Holy Ghost with the Father and the Son, and revised the Creed of 325 to reflect this; the Third Council (Ephesus, 431) addressed Nestorianism and Pelagianism, reaffirmed the creedal statements of the first two councils, and decreed the Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God/Theotokos; the Fourth Council (Chalcedon, 451) addressed Eutychianism (monophysitism) and decreed that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man; the Fifth Council (Constantinople II, 553) addressed lingering Nestorianism on the basis of the decrees of the Third and Fourth Councils in an attempt to reconcile those churches who had not agreed to the decrees of the Fourth Council; the Sixth Council (Constantinople III, 680-681) addressed Monothelitism and Monoenergism on the basis of the decrees of the Fourth Council, and again was an attempt to reconcile the ‘Non-Chalcedonian’ churches; the Seventh Council (Nicea II, 787) reiterated the decrees of the earlier Councils and addressed the Iconoclastic Controversy, decreeing that that the veneration of holy images (amongst other practices) was not only theologically justifiable, but necessary.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Seventh Council for political reasons, lack of understanding of the Greek language and the absence of a culture of iconography was discountenanced in the Latin West,[ST1]  all later generations have come to respect its teaching on the nature of icons as sound: Though Christ in his Godhead is uncircumscribed or incomprehensible (to use the term of the Quicumque Vult) yet as incarnate and as a man, he was seen and handled by men[7], and his manhood, entirely circumscribed or comprehensible, therefore could be piously represented in images.  And that these images are to be venerated with an honor (proskunesis) entirely distinct from that worship due only to God (latreia) is recognized by all as a sound teaching against idolatry. The teaching is that the wanton destruction of images meant to give glory to God through His Church is prohibited, the use of such for teaching and devotional purposes is permitted, and the temptation to idolatry is to be guarded against.[8] The actual theology of the Seventh Council has never been questioned. Controversy arises however from the wording of the Council’s decree: the veneration of images, as well as the Cross and the Gospel book is not simply permitted but necessary. This generally becomes the basis of argument against adherence to the decrees of the Seventh Council on the part of Reformed Christians. The Council’s Terminus (definition of doctrine) specifically states:

…we decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images…are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways…[9]

And to make the matter entirely clear, the following anathemas (“let him be set apart/declared accursed”) are added:

  1. If anyone does not confess that Christ our God can be represented in his humanity, let him be anathema.
  2. If anyone does not accept representation in art of evangelical scenes, let him be anathema.
  3. If anyone does not salute such representations as standing for the Lord and his saints, let him be anathema.[10]

Of course these decrees are honored without exception in the churches of the East. For an Eastern Orthodox Christian a church would simply not be a church in any proper sense without icons or an iconostasis nor would one enter the homes of the Orthodox faithful without finding the typical icons of the Theotokos and Christ Child and St. Nicholas (the patron of children and families).  It would, however, be exceptional amongst Western Christians to demand that one must use icons to pray, that one must, on pain of damnation, have icons in a church.  This is, in effect, what the decrees of the Seventh Council demand, apart from any ‘Christological clarifications.’  One might argue that many canons from many Councils are read with a subjective eye and that qualifications are made for injunctions which seem to be bound to historical circumstances which no longer apply to our age.[11]But this is really to miss the fundamental point.  To accept a council as universal binds one to it. It is the primary teaching of a Council that it be accepted by all Christians, at all times, in all parts of the Church, and by a similar measure, it makes those who refuse its decrees in toto less than orthodox.[12]  The ‘house-keeping’ canons of the first four Councils might equally be viewed as less-binding on the faithful, but not the primary, doctrinal statements of these Councils (or the Fifth and Sixth for that matter).  The Seventh Council is acceptable to Western Christians insofar as it is a reiteration of the decrees of the previous Councils, and has a generally sound teaching on icons and against iconoclasm.  But it is unacceptable in a demand that most Western Christians cannot accept: the doctrine that one must worship with icons.

Some will argue that the Church of Rome accepts the decrees of all Seven Councils as authoritative.  However, the position of Rome is perhaps much more nuanced than this.  For starters, the Roman Church rejected the teaching of the Seventh Council for many centuries on the basis of an erroneous reading of its decrees.  With few having the ability to read Greek, imperfect Latin translations of the Council’s decrees were interpreted as advocating idolatry, an interpretation foreign to the Council itself.  And at the time the Roman Church was codifying a doctrine more or less in keeping with the Seventh Council at the Council of Trent[13],it was purposefully and in response to the legitimate criticisms of the Reformers, simplifying its liturgy in the Tridentine Mass[14], with the officially sanctioned music that accompanied it[15] and with a simplified style of ecclesiastical architecture, the “stile severo” characterized by whitewashed walls (the ‘chiesa bianca’) and a conspicuous lack of iconography or representational art.[16] While Trent endorsed the iconography theology of the Seventh Council, in many quarters the popular enactment of its religious dogmas actually ran counter to the Seventh Council’s admonition that one must worship with icons.  Finally it must be understood that the Roman Church endorses twenty-one Councils as ecumenical, far more than any other Christian body. Given this, its adherence to the first Seven, in and of itself, is hardly a convincing argument.

So what has been the position, historically, of the Reformed Catholic Church of England and its daughter churches to the Councils of the Church?  The Articles of Religion (1571) state:

General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of Holy Scripture.[17]

Clearly, Councils were understood by the Anglican Reformers to be fallible. The same Reformers placed themselves, the Church and its Councils, of necessity, under the judgment of the Word of God Written of which nothing may be required to be believed as an article of the Faith, or thought requisite or necessary to salvation, unless it be read therein or proved thereby.[18]  The Formularies (The Book of Common Prayer, The Ordinal and the Thirty-Nine Articles) do not address any one Council with specificity, nor do they enumerate which canons or which decrees of which Councils are to be accepted as authoritative.  Another early Anglican authority, the so-called Second Book of Homilies of 1563[19], in An Homily Against Peril of Idolatry And Superfluous Decking of Churches[20], argues for the complete abandonment of images and statues in churches on the basis that:

The primitive Church, which is specially to be followed as most incorrupt and pure, had publicly in churches neither idols of the Gentiles nor any other images, as things directly forbidden by God’s Word.[21]

A qualification, inserted at the command of the Queen herself, is made that “the images themselves are not simply forbidden in the New Testament without such occasion and danger” of their being abused as idols.[22]

The benefit of hindsight might allow us to judge this Reformed reaction to the overtly superstitious and probably idolatrous veneration of images of the Medieval as equally extreme and probably iconoclastic but it nevertheless shows that Anglican Reformers would not, in any wise, have regarded the decrees of the Seventh Ecumenical Council as binding upon Anglicans.  Their fundamental argument was that Scripture nowhere compels the use of images in worship and explicitly warns against their abuse and that the early Church equally offers no encouragement to their use, the culture of iconography being a late patristic development, primarily of the Eastern Church.

That reference to Scripture as the final arbiter in matters doctrinal is the same principle that would move later Anglican divines, when speaking of the Councils, to extreme caution and qualification when making reference to their authority.  In a now oft-quoted passage and one of the first references by an Anglican divine on the Seventh Council, Richard Field (1561-1616), Dean of Gloucester and close associate of Richard Hooker wrote:

…therefore it is not to be marveled at if Gregory [the Great] profess that he honoureth the first four Councils as the Four Gospels; and that whosoever admitteth them not, though he seem to be a stone elect and precious, yet he lieth beside the foundation and out of the building. Of this sort there are only six; the First (Nicea I) defining the Son of God to be coessential, coeternal and coequal with the Father. The Second (Constantinople I, 391) defining that the Holy Ghost is truly God, coessential, coeternal and coequal with the Father and the Son. The Third (Ephesus 431), the unity of Christ’s person. The Fourth (Chalcedon 451), the distinction and diversity of His natures, in and after the personal union. The Fifth (Constantinople II, 553), condemning some remains of Nestorianism, more fully explaining things stumbled at in the Council of Chalcedon…. And the Sixth (Constantinople III, 680-1), defining and clearing the distinction of operations, actions, powers and wills in Christ, according to the diversity of His natures. These were all the lawful General Councils (lawful I say both in their beginning, and proceeding, and continuance) that ever were holden in the Christian Church touching matters of faith.

For the Seventh, which is Nicea II, was not called about any question of faith, but of manners; in which our adversaries confess that there may be something inconveniently prescribed, and so as to be the occasion of great and grievous evils; and surely that is our conceit of the Seventh General Council, Nicea II; for howsoever it condemn the religious adoration and worshipping of pictures and seem to allow no other use of them but that which is historical, yet in permitting men by outward signs of reverence and respect towards the pictures of saints to express their love towards them, and the desire they have of enjoying their happy society, and in condemning so bitterly such as upon dislike of abuses wished there might be no pictures in the Church at all, it may seem to have given some occasion and have opened up the way unto that grow idolatry which afterwards entered into the Church.[23]

As Peter Toon wrote in 2006 “what is clear is that…he had a great respect for the first Four Councils, highly regarded the next two, and was cautious about the Seventh.”[24]  Indeed Field held as a principle of Councils in general that:

Neither is it necessary for us expressly to believe whatsoever the Council hath concluded, though it be true, unless by some other means it appear unto us to be true, and we be convinced of it in some other sort than by the bare determination of the Council only.[25]

Field’s understanding was generally in harmony with the principle authorities of his day.  No less than James I himself averred:

I reverence and admit the Four First General Councils as Catholic and Orthodox. And the said Four General Councils are acknowledged by our Acts of Parliament, and received for orthodox by our Church.[26]

And perhaps most famous among all Anglican metrics of the locus of authority is Bishop Lancelot Andrewes’ (1555-1626) statement in his sermon before the King at Greenwich on April 13, 1613, that, for the Church of England:

One Canon related to us in writing by God, two Testaments, three Creeds, four General Councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers three centuries before Constantine and the two after Constantine, establish the rule of our religion.[27]

The most that could be said historically and with any certainty of the attitude of the Reformed Catholic Church of England and its daughter churches toward the Seven Ecumenical Councils is that they accepted the dogma of the first four Councils as foundational, had a very high regard for the Fifth and Sixth Councils but viewed their dogmatic statements as less foundational and more derivative of those of the first four, and were very cautious of the Seventh as a Council offering little by way of foundational teaching (howsoever its teaching on icons, derived from the decrees of the earlier councils, might be sound) but requiring of the faithful that which Scripture clearly did not: the compulsory use of icons in worship and Church building.  To this day neither the Church of England nor any constituent member Church of the Anglican Communion has ever required the acceptance of the first seven Ecumenical Councils as requisite of either its clerical or general membership.  For that matter it has never required a specific oath of adherence to any of the Ecumenical Councils as it has historically understood its Reformed Formularies to enshrine the orthodox teaching of the Councils that is consonant with the clear teaching of the Word of God Written.  It is not without irony that the new membership requirements of Forward in Faith North America do not require its members to assent to the teaching of the Prayer Book, Ordinal and Articles of Religion, the very things that have historically defined Anglican faith and practice.  In fact the new FiFNA membership declaration would, of an age, be more readily ascribed to by a member of one of the churches in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople, notwithstanding that, from an Eastern perspective, it offers a doctrine of the Episcopate that is a little too vague, is probably short on sacraments (in only insisting on seven), and offer a more restrictive practice on divorce and remarriage than has been historically witnessed in the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

One would hope that the leadership of FiFNA would recognize the restrictive and fundamentally ‘un-Anglican’ move it makes in requiring an unqualified adherence to all seven Councils in its members.  A more nuanced, more qualified declaration, such as the Common Cause Partnership and the Anglican Communion Network asked of their members in 2007 would seem better, if such a declaration is even necessary.  It would give a justifiably Anglican position to its membership qualifications and go some way to restoring a comprehensive High/Low, Anglo Catholic/Evangelical character to an organization that was historically peopled by Churchmen of both these parties.


[1]The only major argument ever presented for an Anglican acceptance of the authority of the Seventh Council was made by Claude Beaufort Moss in The Church of England and the Seventh Council (London: Faith Press, 1957).  See especially his account of Church of England attitudes toward the Council from pages 32 to 41: He offers much documentary evidence from the Articles of Religion and the Homilies that the Seventh Council, if not specifically dismissed by the Reformed Formularies, is certainly inconsistent with much of their doctrinal content.  By way of support from the Anglican Divines, he can only extrapolate from inferences in the writings of a few (Field, Ken, Beveridge).  In most cases the writings of the authors to whom he refers could just as easily, and probably more accurately, be used contra his position.

[2]The Affirmation of St. Louis famously claims among the “essential principles of evangelical Truth and apostolic Order” the “received Tradition of the Church and its teachings as set forth by “the ancient catholic bishops and doctors,” and especially as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church, to the exclusion of all errors, ancient and modern.” Oddly enough, as a Continuing Anglican church, it makes no such claims, inter alia, for the Book of Common Prayer, The Ordinal or the Articles of Religion. Many of the Continuing groups tracing their lineage to the 1977 St. Louis meeting do not require subscription to the Affirmation amongst its members or clergy.

[3]In 2006 the annual subscription made by clergy of the AMIA read in part “I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God and to contain all things necessary to salvation. I further affirm the Catholic Creeds, the dogmatic definitions of the General Councils of the undivided Church…” Its Solemn Declaration of Principles at the same time stated “With the ancient Church we affirm the three Ecumenical Creeds: the Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed and Athanasius’ Creed, and the dogmatic definitions of the first seven general councils (the last three being seen as the workings-out of the first four).”  The successor of the AMIA, the Anglican Society of Mission and Apostolic Works, currently has the same statements in its clergy subscription and Solemn Declaration (http:www.theamia.org/assets/solemn-declaration-of-principles.pdf).

[4]The Rt. Rev. Ray R. Sutton was then and continues now, to be an advocate for the acceptance of the Seventh Council. 

[5]http://anglicanchurch.net/?/main/page/about-acna. While it is self-evident that the Fifth and Sixth Councils offer comment and clarification on the decrees of earlier Councils, it would, in fact, be difficult to say this of the Seventh Council wherein the decrees of the earlier Councils vis a vis the nature of Christ are simply reiterated as precursor to its decrees regarding icons/images. See Norman P. Tanner, ed. Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1990) pp. 133-156.

[6]Specifically “I accept the two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself—Baptism and the Supper of the Lord—ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him” was changed to “I recognize the seven Sacraments of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church—Baptism and the Supper of the Lord—ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him, Confirmation, Matrimony, Ordination, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction of the Sick”; “I believe that, in the Sacrament and mystery of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the Body and Blood in the outward and visible sign of Bread and Wine. (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-29, John 6:32-71)” was added; and “I believe all Seven Councils are ecumenical and catholic on the basis of the received Tradition of the ancient Undivided Church of East and West” was added.  Among other changes, these have proven the most controversial.  For the previous statement see: www.fifna.org/sites/default/files/Declaration_2010.pdf. For the July, 2013 statement see:  http://www.fifna.org/sites/default/files/files/DECLARATION%20FINAL%20JULY%202013(1).pdf. For examples of criticism of the change see:  http://anglicansablaze.blogspot.com/2013/07/forward-in-faith-north-america-rejects.html and http://livingtext.blogspot.com/2013/07/fifna-vs-anglicanism.html. For defenses of the change see:http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=17840#.UjIC4yLD_IU , http://www.fifna.org/node/131 and http://toalltheworld.blogspot.com/2013/08/fifna-anglicanism-and-seventh.html.

[7]  1 St. John 1:1.

[8]See Tanner, op. cit., pp. 133-135.

[9]Tanner, p. 135-136. The stress is ours.

[10]Tanner, p. 137.

[11] Dr. Robert Munday does so in his defense of FiFNA’s recent action cited above (FIFNA, Anglicanism, and the Seventh Ecumenical Council): “The Seventh Council also forbade clergy from serving more than one parish simultaneously; it forbade women from serving as housekeepers in a bishop’s residence or monastery; and it forbade the establishment of “double monasteries”–monasteries of both men and women.  Do we follow these injunctions today?  And if we do not, does it mean that we are rejecting the Seventh Council?  The fact is that a number of the Seven Councils issued canons containing details that we do not follow today, but instead, temper in light of the other sources that contribute to our theological understanding.  It does not mean that we are rejecting the Councils.” We would also add that its decrees forbid clergy from wearing perfume: I doubt that any Christian, Eastern or Western, is about to demand of his priest that he forgo his daily dose of Old Spice, though many would apply that old Anglican wisdom on private confession similarly: all may, none must, some do, others should!

[12]Thus the estimation on the part of Eastern Churches of those who do not accept the decrees of the Seventh Council as less than orthodox or the similar estimation, historically,  of Eastern and Western Christians of those who would not accept the decrees of the Fourth Council (the ‘Non-Chalcedonian’ churches of Oriental Orthodoxy).

[13]See the decrees of Session 25 of the Council of Trent, 1563 in Tanner, op. cit. Vol. II, pp. 774ff.

[14] As hard as it may be for contemporary Christians to conceive, the Tridentine Mass was, in fact, an effort toward rational harmony and simplification of liturgy in accord with the Council’s admonition that the liturgy be intelligible and understood of the people so as to provoke an emotional response.

[15] Again, we might have difficulty in considering the music of such as Palestrina as simple, but every effort was made to musically embellish only those elements of the Mass that used few, simple and oft-repeated words like the Kyrie, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei.  Longer sections that required a clear, rational understanding and assent, such as the Credo and Gloria, were imbued with more straight-forward melody and far less polyphony so as to be more readily understood.

[16] A style of Counter Reformation church building almost completely lost to history and memory owing to these early churches having been later ‘buried’ under layers of Baroque adornment.  No original examples remain but of those later embellished the most notable are the Gesù and the Chiesa Nuova in Rome.  St. Phillip Neri had explicitly intended the Chiesa Nuova to have plain, whitewashed walls. These two churches, in their initial simplicity, represented the purest ideals of the Counter Reformation in the very epicenter of Roman thought and influence.  See Peter Murray, The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance (New York: Schocken, 1975) p. 243.

[17]Article XXI, which was omitted in the 1801 American version of the Articles as being “of a local and civil nature… provided for, as to the remaining parts of it, in other Articles.” The 1979 Prayer Book included it in its full form in its “Historical Documents” section but as having no doctrinal authority.

[18]The essential doctrine of Article VI (Of The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation).

[19] The Homilies derive their canonical authority from the Royal injunctions which ordered their regular reading in the parishes of the Church of England and a derivative theological authority from their being enumerated in Article XXXV and individually referenced in certain of the other Articles of Religion.  While the point is debatable, some have given them the authority of a Formulary.  See W.K. Lowther-Clarke, “The Homilies” in Theology, No. 26 (1933), pp. 47-51.

[20]John Griffiths, The Two Books of Homilies, (Oxford: University Press, 1858) pp. 167-272. Bishop John Jewel is generally considered to be its author. C.B. Moss (op. cit. pp.33-34) considers the Homily to be “…thoroughly iconoclastic….(an) astonishing example of Puritan invective…(which) shows clearly the ideal of the Calvinist party which was dominant in the Church of England during the reign of Elizabeth I:” an ironic characterization given Bishop Jewel’s opposition to John Knox and the advanced Calvinists during his 1555 exile in Frankfurt and his fervent opposition to the Roman and Puritan parties whilst Bishop of Salisbury.  See John Booty, John Jewel as Apologist of the Church of England (London: S.P.C.K., 1963), pp. 204-205.

[21] Griffiths, p. 220.

[22] Ibid, p. 213.  See J.T. Tomlinson The Prayer Book, Articles and Homilies: Some Forgotten Facts in Their History which may Decide their Interpretation (London: Elliot Stock, 1897), p. 247-248.

[23]Richard Field, Of the Church as quoted in P.E. Moore and F.L. Cross ed. Anglicanism: The Thought and Practice of the Church of England, Illustrated from the Religious Literature of the Seventeenth Century (London, S.P.C.K., 1962) pp. 152-153.

[24]Email of August 2, 2006.

[25] Field, op. cit., p. 152.  How one could conclude, as does the author/s of the current Wikipedia article on Richard Field, that he was “at the forefront of the argument that Anglicanism should accept the decrees of the first seven ecumenical councils as binding” defies the reason of anyone who actually reads Field. Even C.B. Moss was critical of Field’s approach to the Seventh Council: see Moss, op. cit., p. 36.  For the Wikipedia article see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Field_(theologian).

[26]James I, A Premonition to All Most Mighty Monarchs, Kings, Free Princes, and States of Christendom, in More and Cross, op. cit., p. 3.

[27] Lancelot Andrewes, Concio Latine Habita, Coram Regia Maiestate, XIII Aprilis, A.D. MDCXIII. in Aula Grenvici; Quo tempore, cum Lectissima Sua Conjuge, discessurus jam erat Gener Regis, Serenissimus Potentissimusque Princeps Fridericus Comes Palatinus ad Rhenum (A Latin Sermon preached before the King’s Majesty, April 13, 1613, in the Hall at Greenwich, at the time when the King’s Son in Law, the Most Serene and Powerful Prince Frederick, Palatine Count of the Rhine was now to depart with his most dear Consort.) in Opuscula Quaedam Posthuma (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1862) p. 91.The translation is ours.  The Latin text reads: “Nobis Canon unus in Scripta relatus a Deo, Duo Testamenta, Tria Symbola, Quatuor Priora Concilia, Quinque saecula, Patrumque per ea series, trecentos ante Constantinum anos, ducentos a Constantino, regulam nobis Religionis figunt.”