Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Canadian Anglicans will hold discussions this spring about whether baptism is necessary for taking part in communion — questioning a requirement of Christianity that has existed for 2,000 years.
“Official teaching is you have to be baptized first. But a number of clergy across the country feel strongly about this as an issue and many have approached their bishops about allowing for an ‘open table’ in which all could take communion,” said Archdeacon Paul Feheley, who is the principal secretary to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, head of the Anglican Church of Canada.
It will be discussed when the House of Bishops meet in April, but not as an official topic, he said.
The idea — already rejected as a dangerous step by more orthodox Anglicans — was raised in an article this week in the AnglicanJournal.com in which an Ontario church pastor argues that removing the requirement of baptism would help stop the decline in the number of Anglicans attending services.