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Banning is Not Too Strong of a Word to Use for Quincy’s Action re the 2019 Book of Common Prayer

In my post on the ACNA’s 2019 Book of Common Prayer, I made mention that the Diocese of Quincy had banned its use (as had Anglican Ink.)  There has been some push back to that, from VirtueOnline and Robin Jordan, that this is not what they have done.

Although I’ll betray my Thomistic intellectual background in saying this, I think the Diocese’s actions need to be understood in conjunction with the purpose of the 2019 Book or any other Book of Common Prayer.  The title page of the 2019 Book (earlier Books are similar) reads as follows:

The Book of Common Prayer
Administration of the Sacraments
Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church
According to the Use of the Anglican Church in North America
Together with
the New Coverdale Psalter

Although the Book can and is used for private devotions, the principal purpose of any Book of Common Prayer is its use in church, when the people of God are gathered together.  Using the word “ban” for the prohibition of its use in public worship is not too strong.  Anglicanism (on this side of the Atlantic at least) has avoided things like the prohibited books Index of Roman Catholicism; to require that “ban” prohibit its use at all goes beyond what Anglican and Episcopal churches have traditionally required of their parishioners.  (And, of course, there are many non-Prayer Book resources for private devotions as well…)  It’s worth observing that they have, in effect, banned the use of the 1662 and 1928 Books as well, but no one seems ruffled by this.

As Tertullian used to say, every choice implies a rejection.

Within the ACNA system, the Diocese is completely within its prerogative to ban its use in public worship.  Whether this is wise is an different topic altogether; that’s a different debate.



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