Reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's line in Brideshead Revisited about the 1920s English Catholic Church being four factions trying to blackguard each other. From R.A. on Facebook.
For myself, hopeless as you consider it, I am not ashamed still to take my stand upon the Fathers, and do not mean to budge. …The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. It is a ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now, as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as you know, a process of development in Apostolic truth as time goes on, such development does not supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes them.Each side has its good and bad points; both were orthodox.
— John Henry Newman, Letter to Pusey (1866)
I see much danger of an English Catholicism, of which Newman is the highest type. It is the old Anglican, patristic, literary, Oxford tone transplanted into the Church. It takes the line of deprecating exaggerations, foreign devotions, Ultramontanism, anti-national sympathies. In one word, it is worldly Catholicism, and it will have the worldly on its side, and will deceive many.
— Henry Edward Manning to George Chetwynd Talbot, 25 February 1866
Newman was a great man, smart so he was misunderstood ("too Catholic for the Anglicans; too liberal for the Catholics"): logic and orthodoxy made him a Catholic; making him a cardinal showed he was a man of the church and St. Pius X later defended him.
Although Newman was originally an Evangelical Anglican (as I believe Fr. Frederick William Faber of the second faction was), and the Tractarians had their differences with the old high churchmen (the old ones thought the Tractarians were wrong for not putting their movement under their bishops' control), here he sounds like a continuation of the old high churchmen. High churchmanship including Anglo-Catholicism was originally about a Catholic-like high view of the church's origins and authority, not exactly the sacraments (high for Protestants but still Protestant: no to transubstantiation, per the Articles of Religion), nor ceremonial nor devotions. As Episcopal Fr. Mitchican explains, its branch theory was more a triangle with Protestant Anglicanism at the top, with all the pluses of the ancient churches (Catholicism and Orthodoxy) but the best because it was "reformed." The realization that Anglicanism was man-made, not the continuation of the medieval church, of course led Newman, Manning, and others into the church. Anglo-Catholicism started in 1833 as a defense of Protestant Anglicanism's Catholic claims, set off by an effect of Catholic emancipation (the government wanted to close four Anglican dioceses in Catholic Ireland; Keble objected in his sermon "National Apostasy"), so it was against the Catholic Church. Then after Newman's conversion in 1845 (been to his home in Littlemore where Blessed Dominic Barberi brought him into the church), the generation or two after the Tractarians became what their Anglican enemies thought, would-be Catholics (Anglo-Papalism, which really got going by the 1890s?) imitating the things Faber and Manning liked: "aping" the church.
Ritualism had an earlier, mid- to late-1800s Gothic phase; the Gothic Revival in architecture from the early 1800s (the Catholic convert Pugin), part of the Romantic reaction to the Industrial Revolution that Anglo-Catholicism partly was, so you had Directorium Anglicanum (the Book of Common Prayer with Sarum ceremonial per the BCP's Ornaments Rubric).
Old high church was wonderfully conservative; Newman's theory (still only a theory) of the development of doctrine (I believe it) was trying to persuade them. They really thought the Pope was a dangerous innovator, like John Spong, General Synod, or General Convention now. Orthodoxy (underneath the traditional liturgy and ethnic folklore, Anglicanish credal correctness and little else) including its Western Rite experiment appeals to them now, but Orthodoxy has sold out on contraception, unthinkable to the original high churchmen and Tractarians.
There was a class difference. High and dry appealed to intellectuals (converts from Oxford); Italian ultramontane devotions to the masses, which most Catholics in England were, so the church and its upper-class lefty, social-justice Anglican imitators (the ritualist slum priests) used them, the ritualists first trying to bring a "national Catholicism" to the masses alienated from God by the "Enlightenment" and Industrial Revolution (and, we'd say, the "Reformation," which was evil), then frankly wanting to be Catholics but to be received in their orders.
No can do, rightly said Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae: in the mid-1500s doctrine and practice were broken, showing Protestant intent, so an Anglican claim of apostolic succession since is belief in magic. Also no to the Old Catholic Dutch touch: ordinations in Anglican contexts are Anglican, not Catholic, and anyway, the participating schismatic Catholic bishops weren't using the Roman ordinal. (New ELCA bishops have that line of succession from the Episcopalians; of course we don't recognize them.)
The Episcopalians now? Liberal high church, another mutation of the old high churchmanship, still identifying first with Anglicanism. The anti-Romanism led to an early identification with Modernism, so liberal high church has been around for at least 100 years, alongside Anglo-Papalism. Some conservative Protestant Anglicans blame Newman and the other Tractarians for opening a Pandora's box of disobeying not only their bishops but the Book of Common Prayer including the Articles of Religion, just like the "Enlightenment" and liberal Protestants started doing to the Bible, so liberal high church is only logical based on that. The Episcopalians high-churched from the '30s to the '60s for fashion's sake, then Sixties ecumenism (Vatican II) and Sixties anti-WASPness (exoticism and turning on the old America) accelerated that. It's not Catholic liberalism: it's as credally orthodox, as sacramentally high, and almost as liturgically conservative as we traditionalists are; ecclesiologically they're Protestants: fallible church per Articles XIX and XXI. Unlike Catholic liberalism, the trappings of the church, including Manning's Italianate style, birettas and all, are fun, but ultimately the church comes second to private judgment, "self-evident" modern truths about "gender" and sexuality.
American Anglo-Catholics, not the "fashion" high churchmen, were a different mix: old high church theologically and Prayer Bookish but in Manning's Catholic garb. Whence the Continuum.
These two Catholic factions don't seem to line up with rival Catholic churchmanships now, Vatican II having muddled things. Maybe in another historical irony, traditionalists, the people who favored Manning and Faber, now sound more like Newman, while today's ultramontanists (note: ultramontanism isn't all of Catholicism, just a school of thought in it; as Fr. Hunwicke writes, Vatican I actually put a lid on them, as "define" means "to limit") are the long low-church Novus Ordo neocons (EWTN) including the "Evangelicals," the now-waning charismatics. (Reminds me of Fr. Andrew Phillips, an Englishman in ROCOR, about well-meaning people in his church: if you're trying to eat the same thing for breakfast as your clergy, you're doing it wrong.)
After years of going along with Catholic liberals on liturgy in the name of obedience, telling trads to give up their practice and become charismatics, the neocons have been slowly high-churching since the end of the '80s; the New Liturgical Movement, the Reform of the Reform, something more Manning-like.
Me? Some from both. Mass-and-office and high and dry about the papacy from Newman; old-school Italian church garb through Manning and Faber, but devotions, etc., a little toned down and in their proper theological place à la Newman's school. The Pope's office shares in the church's charism of infallibility; it was never about his person, about whom ordinary Catholics rightly cared little.