1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. We are holding our 2022 Angel Ministry Drive now. Please consider signing up, or if you have any questions about being an Angel, use our staff application form. The world needs more prayer now, and it is a great way to help other members of the forums. :) To Apply...click here

Article: What Catholics Must Understand about Anglicanism

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by VincentIII, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

    78
    +47
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    I found this article some time ago when I first considered moving from Catholicism to Anglicanism. It's written by a Roman Catholic priest.

    What Catholics Must Understand about Anglicanism

    All of his points are of course open to debate, but the most questionable to me is his assertion about Anglicanism being English to its core. That isn't what I've experienced at the Anglican churches in my area. I didn't get any hint of fixation on English identity. It does make sense that the roots of the Anglican Church would be England-centric, but the Anglicanism I've seen is local at the in-person Church level, and global at the online discussion level. Maybe the author is referencing the experience he had when he lived in England. Perhaps some of the Anglican churches in England are more nationalistic.

    I'd also point out that the Roman Catholic Church was heavily Euro-centric for most of its existence, particularly focused on Italy.

    What's your reaction to the article?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  2. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

    +49,090
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Fr. Longenecker is a convert to the RCC. And a great addition to the Catholic Church. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +32,327
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    Fr. Longenecker's article is simplistic and, in many places, deficient. But the part about Anglicanism being English to its core strikes me as almost silly.

    Well, yes, we could concede that the Church of England, being the historic Catholic church in England and the established church in law, probably can be described as "English to the core," and why not? LOL

    But the claim, if meant to include the USA, just doesn't hold up. If anything, Anglicanism in America is English to the extent that our founding fathers were English and our Constitutional documents were derived from English law and history since "the colonies" had been originally been English. And if that's the case, we might as well say the Americans as a whole are "English to the core" which hardly anyone would buy as an argument.
    .................................................................
    By the way, Vincent, I have never seen an English flag displayed in an Episcopal or Anglican church in the United States. I wonder if what you've seen is a church flag, the flag of the Anglican jurisdiction to which that parish belongs. Most Anglican jurisdictions in the US have the cross of St. George as the main feature of their flags. But if not, what you reported would still be a rare thing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  4. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +3,827
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I agree with you, VincentIII, about the issue of England-centrism. It's true that Anglican Christianity grew out of the Christianity that was practiced in the British Isles, and the worship and prayers and theology and stories of early Christians in Britain have helped to shape what modern Anglicans do. But, as Fr. Longenecker himself noted, Anglican Christianity has spread throughout the world, and the newer countries in the Anglican Communion have made their own contributions to Anglican Christianity, informed by their own separate cultures. The Episcopal Church in the US, for example, has developed in its own way, and is making the rest of the Anglican Communion uncomfortable; the Church of Nigeria has also developed in its own way, and is also making the Anglican Communion uncomfortable, in a different direction. Neither church is a carbon copy of the Church of England. Much as the Catholic Church is not merely Italian, the Anglican Communion is not merely English.

    I have never worshipped in a Church of England parish in the UK, so I can't comment on the Church of England's Englishness in its home country. Perhaps one of our UK forum members can speak from their experiences.

    Fr. Longenecker is correct that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not the counterpart of the Pope. It's the closest we have, I suppose, but we do not have any strong central authority that functions the same way that the Pope does for the Catholic Church. Fr. Longenecker is also correct that the issue of authority is one of the biggest differences between Anglican and Catholic Christianity.

    From my point of view as an Anglican, I think that the Catholic Church is mistaken on this issue of authority -- which is one of the biggest reasons why I am not Catholic. I think that the teaching office of the Catholic Church claims for itself an infallibility it does not possess and an authority it does not have the right to wield. I agree with something like 90% of Catholic teaching, but this issue of authority is in that remaining 10%, and it's a really important difference between the Catholic and Anglican approaches to Christianity.

    For those who disagree with me, and who view Rome as the true central teaching authority of the church, I'm glad that Pope Benedict provided an easy way for former Anglicans to follow their consciences and become part of the Catholic Church. I wish those converts joy and the fullness of God's love as they continue in their Christian walk.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  5. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +3,827
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    Yes, I wondered about that. The Episcopal Church's flag contains the crosses of St George and St Andrew, acknowledging our historic debt to the churches in England and Scotland, respectively, but it's not simply a flag of England or a Union Jack.
     
  6. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +4,221
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I would like to see some real numbers related to Pope Benedict's "lifeline." Perhaps, the so-called lifeline is more than than an empty gesture, but it doesn't seem to measure up in my experience. I know a whole lot more Catholics who have become Anglicans than Anglicans who have become Catholic. We nearly serve as a Catholic refugee camp.

    So far as some of the other statements, in my parish English roots may be deducted from some of our peculiar Anglican vocabulary I suppose, but not much beyond that. As for flags. we don't have a flag of any variety in our nave. We eschew nationalism entirely.

    I view the variation in churchmanship a strength, not a weakness. While I prefer worship in a high church/Anglo-Catholic style, I hold it to be a good thing that there are alternatives for those that prefer something different.

    Some of the other statements about the nature of Anglicanism and its divide are unfortunately true, and a sad statement that we have been unable to reconcile differences and worship together without separating.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  7. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

    +49,090
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
  8. Incendiary Minds

    Incendiary Minds New Member

    74
    +35
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Celibate
    Personally, after I am vaccinated and it is deemed safe to do so, I would like to visit an Episcopalian church. I think that my only problem will be that during my time as an Orthodox Christian, I grew used to not having instruments and instrumental music played in church. I am very devoted to Slavonic chant especially Russian or Serbian. Thank you for your forum here.
     
  9. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

    78
    +47
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    Ah, I see. It probably was the church flag. I'll edit the original post.
     
  10. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

    78
    +47
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    The Anglican Church too has a fine musical tradition. I hear you about that beautiful Slavonic chant though. Regardless of which of the catholic Churches I end up in, Slavonic chant will feature prominently in my CD collection.
     
  11. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +17,290
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    He gets some things wrong. (He says that bishops in particular places have "complete authority" and fails to recognise the importance of synodical governance, for example).

    As for the ordinariate, I have heard from people who are in a better position to know than most would be, that the RCC has no intention of that having a sustainable existence beyond a single generation. It was a waypoint to make the jump easier, but I fully expect it to fizzle, not least because the numbers taking it up are so small.

    As for English identity... I think I've posted here before about the problem Anglican churches in some places have, where we don't have critical mass in our own contexts and draw heavily on thinking and resources from overseas communities, primarily English and American. That does create some problems for us in how we relate to our own contexts and communities. But I think to claim that we're "English to the core" would be heavily overstating the case.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +32,327
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I believe that's right. The RCC's intention was to ease these converts into Roman Catholicism. Various EO jurisdictions have a history of doing it that way, too.

    However, the RCC definitely led the Anglicans who were interested in the proposal to think that the Ordinariate would be something like a new and permanent rite such, for example, as the Catholic Church already has with its Uniate jurisdictions. And they were promised that they could keep their Anglican liturgy or the lion's share of it.

    None of that came to pass, and more than a few of those people who made the move later wrote back to old friends to say how bitterly deceived and marginalized they felt.

    As you noted, the numbers of Anglicans making the jump were few. This fact, along with the change of Popes, might have affected the RCC's thinking as well.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  13. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +17,290
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    Exactly. I remember in the early heady days, there was talk of Ordinariate seminaries, of Ordinariate priests being allowed to marry (after ordination), and so on. What's actually resulted is nothing like that.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  14. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

    +3,506
    United States
    Generic Orthodox Christian
    Celibate
    Very nice post.

    However, I would think the Archdiocese of Sydney and several other churches in GAFCON are surely very comfortable with the direction the Church of Nigeria is developing in?
     
  15. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

    +3,506
    United States
    Generic Orthodox Christian
    Celibate
    Which ones? Are you thinking of the Romanian Orthodox Western Rite in France, or the Polish Orthodox Western Rite in Portugal, where there were schisms, and those parishes which remained converted to the Byzantine Rite?.

    There was talk of Byzantinizing the ROCOR Western Rite after Archbishop Jerome Shaw did a mass ordination on Corpus Christie and was removed from the Vicarate, with Metropolitan Hilarion personally taking over, but since then, nothing has happened and things in the ROCOR Western Rite seem stable, with a new missal. The Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate is also very stable.

    In the US, there is the Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism and some Episcopalian parishes have used “Rite III” as its nicknamed, the open-ended Order for Holy Communion, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and there are videos on this of youtube, and I support it, because to me Anglo Catholicism has always represented a willingness to refer to a multitude of source for inspiration in achieving or experiencing liturgical beauty. I would love to visit an Episcopal Church or other Anglican church that was celebrating the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

    This also, in the case of the ECUSA, could be pastorally useful for people who want things the Orthodox cannot provide, for example, an Eastern Rite marriage not in accordiance with EO canons on matrimony (gay, or one of the participants remarried more than two times previously, or a remarriage without the controversial penitential character of EO marriage services where one of the spouses-to-be is divorced or in some dioceses, widowed).
     
  16. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +17,290
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    Yes and no, from what I can tell. They are fellow travellers on particular issues, but I think would part ways on other issues. I am not aware, for example (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that Nigeria is allowing or pushing for diaconal or lay presidency at the Eucharist.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  17. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

    +3,506
    United States
    Generic Orthodox Christian
    Celibate
    I don’t think any of the more high church members in GAFCON are pushing for that.
     
  18. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +3,827
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    Yes, the churches in GAFCON have found common ground on some issues that are important to them. Similarly, there are some churches (such as Scotland, Canada, and -- I have just learned -- Brazil) that agree with the American church on some issues that are important to us.

    At the same time, each of our national churches has been shaped by our engagement with the national cultures we find ourselves in, leading to differences in priorities and, in some cases, differences in beliefs. None of us is an exact copy of each other, or of England.

    I think that that diversity is a strength. Right now, it's straining the Communion, yes, but overall it's a strength. For example, and setting aside for the moment the controversies over gender and sexuality: There are some national churches in the Communion that, from what I can tell, are being very intentional about social justice issues, issues surrounding ethnic diversity, land ownership, wealth inequality, and violence. I wish our American church were more like that; these other national churches are bringing a perspective, rooted in their history, that we in the US could learn from.
     
  19. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    +885
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    This is a really good point that holds true at both ends of the spectrum. Cafeteria Catholics are quite comfortable slipping into the Episcopal Church. The folks that were catechized in the Baltimore catechism, or are just tired of poor liturgy but don't feel any affinity for TLM, tend to acclimate quickly to the Continuing Churches (when they can find one).
     
  20. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

    965
    +138
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    This was pretty much my exact reaction. Anglicanism and trying to understand its various nuances is quite confusing, even for the lifelong Anglican. Thus, I understand why Fr. Longenecker took this approach, but he really oversimplifies Anglicanism in a way that could lead to misrepresentation.

    Given that this article appears to be eleven years old, it is possible his perspective might be a bit different if he were to write a similar article in 2021. First, the three camps of Anglo-Catholic, evangelical, and liberal (I prefer the term progressive) are quite deficient in describing the various camps of Anglicanism. For example, there are progressive camps which are mainline, Spong-like, Anglo-Catholic, evangelical, broad, low, high, and everything in between. Often, even the various progressive camps do not see eye-to-eye with one another. Furthermore, what does "evangelical" mean to the author? Does it mean Anglicans who hold steadfast to a protestant interpretation of the 39 Articles and their authority, Prayer Book Anglicans, charismatic Anglicans, "Baptisty" Anglicans, Reformed Catholics, Anglicans who hold traditionalist views on women's ordination and marriage, politically conservative Anglicans, or something else entirely?

    In other ways he overstates the so-called "war" between the camps. I am not going to pretend the traditionalist and progressive views within the larger Anglican community can be reconciled. That said, I am certainly not at "war" and neither is my own tiny continuing Anglican Catholic province at war with what the author calls evangelical Anglicans (whatever that term may mean). I do agree with the author that it is unfortunate, sinful, and sad just how fractured Continuing Anglicanism is, yet many Continuing provinces are on better terms than they have been in quite some time, while others are seeking and achieving greater unity within the continuum and outside of it (Polish National Catholic Church). Furthermore, my own tiny province reaches out to other Continuing Anglican provinces, even those *gasp* who are more protestant (or low church) leaning in their worship and theological orientation. It just isn't a big controversy for many of us if we have a different Mariology than one another, as we are very much united on the essentials of faith and catholic Christianity (if one defines catholicism as what Christians have always believed in all times and places). I am not trying to downplay places where we disagree; however, we are hardly at each others throats! Furthermore, throughout the Anglican Communion, traditional minded Anglo-Catholics and traditional minded evangelicals are often allies and on the same page on issues such as women's ordination and marriage.

    Additionally, are disagreements in themselves unusual in the course of early Christianity? Like Anglicanism, the early centuries of Christianity were quite messy and mass agreement and conformity of worship did not exist. In fact, it was impossible for the pope to exert a high degree of jurisdictional authority throughout Christendom (and outside of Italy) until the latter part of the Middle Ages. Thus, the churches spread throughout the various European kingdoms largely acted autonomously and independently, regardless of whether they thought the pope had jurisdiction or not. Additionally, monarch's and powerful lords often exercised the highest degree of authority over these more localized churches. The church in the British Isles exercised a high degree of autonomy for centuries (regardless of whether the pope claimed jurisdiction or not, he could not exercise it) and sent bishops to council (or synod) by the 4th century and evidence of organization and bishops date to the Third century. Furthermore, Irish monasticism had a profound influence on what is referred to as Celtic Christianity and the Celtic monastic institution also greatly influenced mission activity to the European continent, the transmission of learning, and even the organizational structure and learning that developed into the university system in later centuries.

    I recount this incredibly simplified history to show the question of Anglicanism, what it is, and its "validity" as an independent branch of Catholicism is much more complicated than a 16th century monarch desiring a divorce and establishing himself as a "caesaro- papalist" head of the Church in England. However, even the idea of "caesaro-papalism" was not an idea dreamed up by Henry VIII and actually has its roots in Byzantium.

    Another issue which struck me as deficient at best and maybe grossly inaccurate at worst was his description of traditional Anglo-Catholicism. I am sure his description of traditional Anglo-Catholics as simply being Roman Catholics in all ways with the exception of the papacy might be accurate for a very small amount of Anglo-Catholics; however, Anglo-Catholic theology and practice is much more complex than a desire to copy Roman Catholic theology and practice. Anglo-Catholicism is far from being a monolithic force and is actually quite nuanced in both theology and worship.

    Yet another issue I have with the author is his description of the Ordinariate as simply being a life-line to disheartened Anglicans. Maybe the author hoped this would be the case, but many Anglicans who have joined the Ordinariate have found it to be far more Roman Catholic than Anglican in heritage and many have found the problems Rome is experiencing as being even more perilous than what we are experiencing in Anglicanism. Furthermore, how can the author even begin to suggest that this was not an attempt to pillage traditionalist Anglo-Catholics and keep a straight face? Ordinariate Catholics use the term Anglo-Catholic to describe themselves, calling themselves "true" or "real" Anglo-Catholics. Yikes.

    Lastly, the author does acknowledge the strife and disagreement rampant in Catholicism, but he downplays this strife by stating they have the authority and true teaching of the Church. Would the author feel so confident to make these claims today? Rather than creating the divisions in the Roman Catholic Church, Francis's tenure as pope has simply brought these issues to the forefront of the Catholic Church, they are not new and they have been festering for quite some time. I don't say this with any sense of satisfaction, far from it, yet to leave the mess of Anglicanism for the mess of Rome is simply changing one mess for another and not really solving any of the real issues plaguing both of our traditions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
Loading...