Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Anglicanism's charm

Anglicanism is charming to me for three reasons: they don't hate old-fashioned high church (here I'll include their classic music and classic English) like Catholic liberals do and they're more flexible liturgically than our trads (it's not my way or the highway), and their semi-congregationalism can be a hedge against liberalism. It's why some conservatives are still Episcopalians, believe it or not. But the "Reformation" was still evil.
The break with Rome in England was complex and initially was schismatic and not heretical. Whatever Henry VIII's faults he was not a protestant unlike Cranmer and Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I.
I know. Henry appointed Protestant-minded clergy who would do his bidding and when he needed Protestant allies in Europe but they couldn't practice their Protestantism. Anglicanism didn't really become Protestant until Henry died and Protestant regents ruled for his underage son, Edward VI. I lived in England nearly 30 years ago; largely anti-religious but if you're a believing Catholic it's obvious it was once ours.
Just now a High Church clergyman called to be bishop of Sheffield has had to resign because he has received so much hatemail from the liberal, woman-priesty side of the Church of England. They loathe the High Church wing so much.
Has he? I used to slightly know him; all I can say is "wish you were Catholic."

There's conservative high church and liberal high church in the Church of England and Episcopal Church. Conservative high church has existed for many years thanks to semi-congregationalism but obviously has no future in those churches and anyway doesn't make sense; doctrinally you are who you are in communion with. (Sometimes it's would-be Roman Catholicism; sometimes it's a rival Catholicism.) Liberal high church is virtually unknown to Roman Catholics; it's not like Catholic liberals. In Anglicanism you can find clergy who are lesbians but believe the creeds and love medieval liturgy. This alterna-Catholicism is becoming a house style of Episcopalianism, formerly the Sunday holding pen for religiously indifferent preppies and/or Masons.

It's not the church but I get it.

The trouble with gestures such as lending St. Peter's in the Vatican to the Anglicans for Evensong (a fine service; culturally it beats most of the Novus Ordo parishes) is they see it as validation for remaining outside the church. What have 50 years of these gestures really done? They keep moving away from us.


  1. How is denying the dogma of Papal Primacy not a heretical act? Henry was a protestant. He made himself a semi-pope in England and protested Roman primacy. If he was a Catholic he would not have broke communion with Peter. He's a heretic.

    The recent nonsense from Rome (joint evensong and the Pope visiting the Anglican parish) makes me sad. The Anglicans are not worth our time other than converting them to the Church.

  2. "Henry was a protestant."

    On this reductio ad absurdum reasoning, then so was Mark of Ephesus, and so were Archbishops of Utrecht from 1723 to 1853.

  3. "In Anglicanism you can find clergy who are lesbians but believe the creeds and love medieval liturgy."

    You bet. In Cambridge I used to see this stuff all the time. I remember going to evensong in Gonville and Caius College Chapel: it was a special vespers according to the Roman books in the 15th century, led by a priestess.


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