Anglo-Catholicism | Wikipedia audio article

By | September 8, 2019


Anglo-Catholicism, Anglican Catholicism, or
Catholic Anglicanism comprises people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise
the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches.The term Anglo-Catholic
was coined in the early 19th century, although movements emphasising the Catholic nature
of Anglicanism had already existed. Particularly influential in the history of Anglo-Catholicism
were the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century and later the leaders of the Oxford
Movement, which began at the University of Oxford in 1833 and ushered in a period of
Anglican history known as the “Catholic Revival”.A minority of Anglo-Catholics, sometimes called
Anglican Papalists, consider themselves under papal supremacy even though they are not in
communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Such Anglo-Catholics, especially in England,
often celebrate Mass according to the contemporary Roman Catholic rite and are concerned with
seeking reunion with the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, members of the personal ordinariates
for former Anglicans created by Pope Benedict XVI are sometimes unofficially referred to
as “Anglican Catholics”.==History==
Following the passing of the Act of Supremacy and Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Catholic
Church, the Church of England continued to adhere to traditional Catholic teachings and
did not initially make any alterations to doctrine. The Ten Articles were published
in 1536 and constitute the first official Anglican articles of faith. The articles for
the most part concurred with the teachings of the Church in England as they had been
prior to the Protestant Reformation and defended, among other things, the Real Presence of Christ
in the Eucharist, the sacrament of Confession, the honouring and invocation of Christian
saints and prayer for the dead. Belief in purgatory, however, was made non-essential.
This was followed by the Institution of the Christian Man (also called The Bishops’ Book)
in 1537, a combined effort by numerous clergy and theologians which—though not strongly
Protestant in its inclinations—showed a slight move towards Reformed positions. The
Bishops’ Book was unpopular with conservative sections of the Church, and quickly grew to
be disliked by Henry VIII as well. The Six Articles, released two years later, moved
away from all Reformed ideas and strongly affirmed Catholic positions regarding matters
such as transubstantiation and Mass for the dead. The King’s Book, the official article
of religion written by Henry in 1543, likewise expressed Catholic sacramental theology and
encouraged prayer for the dead.A major shift in Anglican doctrine came in the reign of
Henry’s son, Edward VI, who repealed the Six Articles and under whose rule the Church of
England became more identifiably Protestant. Though the Church’s practices and approach
to the sacraments became strongly influenced by those of continental reformers, it nevertheless
retained episcopal church structure. The Church of England was then briefly reunited with
the Roman Catholic Church under Mary, before separating again under Elizabeth I. The Elizabethan
Religious Settlement was an attempt to end the religious divisions among Christians in
England, and is often seen as an important event in Anglican history, ultimately laying
the foundations for the “via media” concept of Anglicanism.The nature of early Anglicanism
was to be of great importance to the Anglo-Catholics of the 19th century, who would argue that
their beliefs and practices were common during this period and were inoffensive to the earliest
members of the Church of England.===Caroline Divines===
The Caroline Divines were a group of influential Anglican theologians active in the 17th century
who opposed Calvinism and Puritanism and stressed the importance of episcopal polity, apostolic
succession and the sacraments. The Caroline Divines also favoured elaborate liturgy (in
some cases favouring the liturgy of the pre-Reformation church) and aesthetics. Their influence saw
a revival in the use of images and statues in churches.The leaders of the Anglo-Catholic
revival in the 19th century would draw heavily from the works of the Caroline Divines.===Oxford Movement===
The modern Anglo-Catholic movement began with the Oxford Movement in the Victorian era,
sometimes termed “Tractarianism”. In the early 19th century, various factors
caused misgivings among English church people, including the decline of church life and the
spread of unconventional practices in the Church of England. The British government’s
action in 1833 of beginning a reduction in the number of Church of Ireland bishoprics
and archbishoprics inspired a sermon from John Keble in the University Church in Oxford
on the subject of “National Apostasy”. This sermon marked the inception of what became
known as the Oxford Movement. The principal objective of the Oxford Movement
was the defence of the Church of England as a divinely-founded institution, of the doctrine
of apostolic succession and of the Book of Common Prayer as a “rule of faith”. The key
idea was that Anglicanism was not a Protestant denomination but a branch of the historic
Catholic Church, along with the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches.
It was argued that Anglicanism had preserved the historical apostolic succession of priests
and bishops and thus the Catholic sacraments. These ideas were promoted in a series of ninety
“Tracts for the Times”. The principal leaders of the Oxford Movement
were John Keble, John Henry Newman and Edward Bouverie Pusey. The movement gained influential
support, but it was also attacked by some bishops of the Church and by the latitudinarians
within the University of Oxford, who believed in conforming to official Church of England
practices but who felt that matters of doctrine, liturgical practice, and ecclesiastical organization
were of relatively little importance. Within the Oxford movement, there gradually arose
a much smaller group which tended towards submission to the supremacy of the Roman Catholic
Church. In 1845, the university censured a tract entitled Ideal of a Christian Church
and its author, the pro-Roman Catholic theologian W. G. Ward, on which basis was imputed the
moniker “Ideal Ward”. The year 1850 saw the victory of the Evangelical cleric George Cornelius
Gorham in a celebrated legal action against church authorities. Consequently, some Anglicans
of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship were received into the Roman Catholic Church, while others,
such as Mark Pattison, embraced Latitudinarian Anglicanism, and yet others, such James Anthony
Froude, became sceptics. The majority of adherents of the movement, however, remained in the
Church of England and, despite hostility in the press and in government, the movement
spread. Its liturgical practices were influential, as were its social achievements (including
its slum settlements) and its revival of male and female monasticism within Anglicanism.===Recent developments===
Since at least the 1970s, Anglo-Catholicism has been dividing into two distinct camps,
along a fault-line which can perhaps be traced back to Bishop Charles Gore’s work in the
19th century. The Oxford Movement had been inspired in the
first place by a rejection of liberalism and latitudinarianism in favour of the traditional
faith of the “Church Catholic”, defined by the teachings of the Church Fathers and the
common doctrines of the historical eastern and western Christian churches.
Because of the emphasis on upholding traditions, until the 1970s most Anglo-Catholics rejected
liberalising development such as the conferral of holy orders on women. Present-day “traditionalist”
Anglo-Catholics seek to maintain tradition and to keep Anglican doctrine in line with
that of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. They often ally themselves with
conservative Evangelicals to defend traditional teachings on sexual morality and women’s roles
in the Church. The main organisation in the Church of England that opposes the ordination
of women, Forward in Faith, is largely composed of Anglo-Catholics.
Gore’s work, however, bearing the mark of liberal Protestant higher criticism, paved
the way for an alternative form of Anglo-Catholicism influenced by liberal theology. Thus in recent
years, many Anglo-Catholics have accepted the ordination of women, the use of inclusive
language in Bible translations and the liturgy, and progressive attitudes towards homosexuality
and the blessing of same sex unions. Such Anglicans often refer to themselves as “Liberal
Catholics”. The more “progressive” or “liberal” style of Anglo-Catholicism is represented
by Affirming Catholicism and the Society of Catholic Priests.
A third strand of Anglican Catholicism criticises elements of both liberalism and conservatism,
drawing instead on the 20th century Roman Catholic Nouvelle Théologie, especially Henri
de Lubac. This movement rejected the dominance of Thomism and Neo-Scholasticism in Catholic
theology, and advocated instead for a “return to the sources” of the Christian faith (scripture
and the writings of the Church Fathers) while remaining open to dialogue with the contemporary
world on issues of theology. John Milbank and others within this strand have been instrumental
in the creation of the ecumenical (though predominantly Anglican and Roman Catholic)
movement known as Radical Orthodoxy. Some traditionalist Anglo-Catholics have left
official Anglicanism to form “continuing Anglican churches” such as those in the Anglican Catholic
Church and Traditional Anglican Communion. Others such as Ann Widdecombe have left Anglicanism
altogether for the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches, in the belief that liberal
doctrinal changes in the Anglican churches have gone too far.===Anglican ordinariates===In late 2009, in response to requests from
various groups of Anglicans around the world who were dissatisfied with liberalizing movements
within the Anglican Communion, Pope Benedict XVI issued the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum
Coetibus. This document invites groups of traditionalist Anglicans to form what are
termed “Anglican ordinariates” or “personal ordinariates” under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction
of the Holy See of the Catholic Church in Rome, while preserving elements of the liturgical,
musical, theological and other aspects of their Anglican patrimony. Under these terms,
regional groupings of Anglican Catholics may apply for reception by the Holy See under
the jurisdiction of an “ordinary” (i.e. a bishop or priest) appointed by Rome to oversee
the community. While being in a country or region which is part of the Latin Rite of
the Roman Catholic Church, these ordinaries will nonetheless retain aspects of the Anglican
patrimony, such as married priests and traditional English choral music and liturgy. Because
apostolic constitutions are the highest level of papal legislation and are not time-limited,
the invitation is open into the indefinite future.
Some have drawn parallels with the Eastern Catholic Churches. However, although there
are some commonalities, Anglican ordinariates are part of the Latin Church sui iuris within
the Catholic Church, as they had been before the breach with Rome following the reign of
Mary I of England, and their Anglican Use liturgy is a use (variation) of the Latin
Rite. The first Anglican ordinariate, known as the
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, was established on 15 January 2011 in the
United Kingdom. The second Anglican ordinariate, known as the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair
of Saint Peter, was established on 1 January 2012 in the United States. The already existing
Anglican Use parishes in the United States, which have existed since the 1980s, formed
a portion of the first American Anglican ordinariate. These parishes were already in communion with
Rome and use modified Anglican liturgies approved by the Holy See. They were joined by other
groups and parishes of Episcopalians and some other Anglicans. A third Anglican ordinariate,
known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, was established on
15 June 2012 in Australia.==Practices and beliefs=====Theology===
Historically, Anglo-Catholics have valued “highly the tradition of the early, undivided
Church, they saw its authority as co-extensive with Scripture. They re-emphasized the Church’s
institutional history and form. Anglo-Catholicism was emotionally intense, and yet drawn to
aspects of the pre-Reformation Church, including the revival of religious orders, the reintroduction
of the language and symbolism of the eucharistic sacrifice,” and “the revival of private confession.
Its spirituality was Evangelical, but High Church in content and form.” At the same time,
Anglo-Catholics held that “the Roman Catholic has corrupted the original ritualism; and
she [the Anglican Church] claims that the ritualism which she presents is a revival
in purity of the original ritualism of the Catholic Church.” The spirituality of Anglo-Catholics
is drawn largely from the teachings of the early Church, in addition to the Caroline
Divines. Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker, in 1572, published De Antiquitate
Britannicæ Ecclesiæ, which traced the roots of the Anglican Church, arguing “that the
early British Church differed from Roman Catholicism in key points and thus provided an alternative
model for patristic Christianity,” a view repeated by many Anglo-Catholics such as Charles
Chapman Grafton, Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. In addition, Anglo-Catholics
hold that the Anglican churches have maintained “catholicity and apostolicity.” In the same
vein, Anglo-Catholics emphasize the doctrines of apostolic succession and the threefold
order, holding that these were retained by the Anglican Church after it went through
the English Reformation.In agreement with the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox
Churches, Anglo-Catholics—along with Old-Catholics and Lutherans—generally appeal to the “canon”
(or rule) of St Vincent of Lerins: “What everywhere, what always, and what by all has been believed,
that is truly and properly Catholic.” The Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles make distinctions
between Anglican and Roman Catholic understandings of doctrine; in the eyes of Anglo-Catholics,
the Thirty-Nine Articles are Catholic, containing statements that profess the universal faith
of the early Church. As the Articles were intentionally written in such a way as to
be open to a range of interpretations, Anglo-Catholics have defended their practices and beliefs
as being consistent with the Thirty-Nine Articles. A recent trend in Anglo-Catholic thought related
to the Thirty-Nine Articles has included the New Perspective on Paul.
Anglo-Catholic priests often hear private confessions and anoint the sick, regarding
these practices as sacraments. The classic Anglican aphorism regarding private confession
is: “All may, some should, none must.” Anglo-Catholics also offer prayers for the departed and the
intercession of the saints; C. S. Lewis, often considered an Anglo-Catholic in his theological
sensibilities, was once quoted as stating that, Of course I pray for the dead. The action
is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological
case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive
if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age, the majority of those we love best are
dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable
to him? Anglicans of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship
also believe in the real objective presence of Christ in the Eucharist and understand
the way He is manifest in the sacrament to be a mystery of faith. Like the Eastern Orthodox,
Anglo-Catholics, with the exception of the minority of Anglican Papalists, reject the
Roman doctrines of the papal supremacy and papal infallibility, with Walter Herbert Stowe,
an Anglo-Catholic cleric, explaining the Anglican position on these issues:
Anglo-Catholics reject all these claims except that of Primacy on the following grounds:
(i) There is no evidence in Scripture or anywhere else that Christ conferred these powers upon
St. Peter; (2) there is no evidence that St. Peter claimed them for himself or his successors;
(3) there is strong contrary evidence that St. Peter erred in an important matter of
faith in Antioch, the eating together and social intercourse of Jewish and Gentile Christians
affecting the whole future of the Church and the Christian Religion, and this lapse was
so serious that St. Paul withstood him to the face; (4) he did not preside at the first
Council of the Church in Jerusalem and did not hand down the decision of the Council;
(5) he was Bishop of Antioch before he was bishop anywhere else, and, if the papal claims
are in any way true, the Bishop of Antioch has a better right to hold them; (6) that
St. Peter was ever in Rome is disputed, and the most that can be said for it is that it
is an interesting historical problem; (7) there is no evidence whatsoever that he conferred
such powers upon his successors-to-be in the See of Rome; (8) there was no primitive acceptance
of such claims, and there never has been universal acceptance in any later age. However, Anglo-Catholics
share with Roman Catholics a belief in the sacramental nature of the priesthood and in
the sacrificial character of the Mass. A minority of Anglo-Catholics also encourage priestly
celibacy. Most Anglo-Catholics, due to the silence of The Thirty-Nine Articles on the
issue, encourage devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but not all Anglo-Catholics adhere to
a high doctrine of Mariology; in England, her title of Our Lady of Walsingham is popular.===Liturgical practices===
Anglo-Catholics are often identified by their liturgical practices and ornaments. These
have traditionally been characterised by the “six points” of the later Catholic Revival’s
eucharistic practice: Eucharistic vestments.
Eastward-facing orientation of the priest at the altar instead of at the north side,
the traditional evangelical Anglican practice. Many Anglo-Catholics now prefer “facing the
people”. Unleavened bread for the Eucharist.
Mixing of water with the eucharistic wine. Incense and candles.Many other traditional
Catholic practices are observed within Anglo-Catholicism, including eucharistic adoration. Most of these
Anglo-Catholic “innovations” have since been accepted by Broad Church Anglicans, if not
by Evangelical or Low Church Anglicans. Various liturgical strands exist within Anglo-Catholicism: Some, such as the original members of the
Oxford Movement, use official Anglican liturgical texts such as the Book of Common Prayer.
Some use the modern Catholic rite of Mass. Some use the older “Tridentine” Catholic rite
of Mass, in English or Latin, or liturgies based on it, such as the English Missal or
Anglican Missal. Some occasionally use the mediaeval English
Sarum Rite, which is broadly similar to the Tridentine Mass, in English or Latin.Preferences
for Elizabethan English and modern English texts vary within the movement.
In the United States a group of Anglo-Catholics in the Episcopal Church published, under the
rubrics of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, the Anglican Service Book as “a traditional
language adaptation of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer together with the Psalter or Psalms
of David and additional devotions.” This book is based on the 1979 Book of Common Prayer
but includes offices and devotions in the traditional language of the 1928 Prayer Book
that are not in the 1979 edition. The book also draws from sources such as the Anglican
Missal. In some Anglo-Catholic churches, clergy are
referred to as Mother or Father, instead of Reverend.==See also==Anglican Breviary
Anglican devotional society Anglican sacraments
Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church Broad Church
Catholic societies of the Church of England Central Churchmanship
Evangelical Catholic High Church
High Church Lutheranism Liberal Anglo-Catholicism
List of Anglo-Catholic churches List of Anglo-Catholic churches in England
Liturgical Movement Neo-Lutheranism
Ritualism in the Church of England==Notes====References=====Footnotes======Bibliography=====Further reading====External links==
Anglo-Catholics: What they believe by Leonard Prestige (Project Canterbury)
Anglican Catholics in Lincoln Diocese Anglican Catholic Christianity Various links
and resources Society for Sacramental Mission (Anglo-Catholic
Mission) Anglican texts at Project Canterbury
Affirming Catholicism website Anglican Breviary
Anglican Religious Communities Anglo-Catholic Socialism website
A Guide to Solemn High Mass What is Anglo-Catholicism?
What is an Anglo-Catholic Parish? The Anglo-Catholic Vision
Forward in Faith website

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