Wednesday, January 20, 2016

America's new quasi-official Anglicans

Day 3 of the Chair of Unity Octave has another intention dear to me, the submission of Anglicans to the church. As regular readers know, I was born an Episcopalian because my dad left the church (he came back in the end; unlike me he liked Vatican II). Thanks to that "accident" I learned traditional liturgical forms at the same time the American Catholic Church was dumping them. The culture through which I express the faith that Msgr. Murray taught me. Anglicanism is really only the Reformed faith with bishops but there's always been something to it, in spite of themselves; why Anglo-Catholicism (both the rival true-church claim and what its detractors feared, trying for a "reconciliation with honor" with the church) existed. (In fact Anglo-Papalists started the Chair of Unity Octave.) Why Vatican II gave it a nod.

In this turbulent ecclesiastical scene (often under a cover of English manners), with its high churchmen trying to be Catholic on their terms, not the church's (the Episcopalians love our culture including our traditional liturgy), people resembling conservative Presbyterians, and of course the headline-grabbing liberals chasing every secular lead in mores (yet next to nobody goes to their churches: Fr. Longenecker, an ex-Evangelical Anglican priest, understands why not; Catholic Modernism's self-refuting too), today I'll give the Anglican Church in North America the spotlight, America's new quasi-official Anglicans, not entirely in the Anglican Communion (England's strange Reformed church spread through the British Empire) but many member churches (the conservative African Evangelical Anglicans) recognize them, not the liberal Episcopalians anymore, so who knows? There's a lot to like: enthusiastic about the faith in the creeds, loving Jesus, and still close to the church on sexual matters (what are now considered Catholic issues used to be generally Christian ones). Looking at them in action, having lost their aversion to many Catholic trappings (indirect Anglo-Catholic influence; the Episcopalians' last three A-C dioceses are now in ACNA), you see "separated brethren." Nice that we're not trying to kill each other anymore, and believe me, when they got started in England, they went after us. But today you can see their claim to be "Catholic and Reformed" in action. Being Protestants, they have women clergy, like the Episcopalians they came from. (So what are the A-C dioceses doing there? I guess these A-Cs are pushing a rival truth claim, of which they consider themselves the authentic spokesmen: the spiritual sons of Charles Grafton and others.)

So what's the story? Any chance of them coming into the church? Not any time soon. Same issues as in the 16th century (the church and its sacraments actually giving grace vs. salvation by feeling you're saved, the church, etc. being only trappings). Plus the women clergy. (And they're surprised the Episcopalians also voted for gay marriage?)

Video: Archbishop Foley Beach.


  1. Great post.

    [W]hat are now considered Catholic issues used to be generally Christian ones.

    This is. I believe, why my very Reformed Presbyterian parents have respect for the religion I converted to and don't entirely write off the Church.

    1. Meant *This is,* -- period should be a comma


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