Response to "The Anglo-Catholic"

The following is a response to “Doc+” on The Anglo-Catholic blog…

I think dear Father it is somewhat of an exaggeration to suggest that you (esp. the TAC) are the continuation of the Catholic Church that existed between the 2ndC and the mid-16thC in the British Isles?!

For one that means bypassing the Reformation and the separation of the Church in England from the Holy See and the creation of the Church of England – which actually is what makes you Anglicans and secondly, ignores the development of Anglican Patrimony for the past 450 years which, it is claimed, you are bringing and offering to Rome?!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains indeed, the same Faith as that “which has been believed everywhere and by all” as well some additions from the 19thC. Of course, it is debatable as to whether or not those additions are “innovations” or formalisation of what was already widely believed. However, the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception, Papal Infallibility and (much less so) the Assumption, cannot reasonably be said to have been believed “everywhere and by all” in consideration of the Great Schism and our Orthodox brethren’s understanding of some of these issues; i.e. not believed by the whole Church Catholic.

By the same token neither can recent Councils called “Ecumenical” be regarded as such by those of us who believe the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church does not consist solely of the Roman Communion but also of the Eastern Catholicate and others besides. Rome’s own teaching is somewhat confused on this point – since VCII teaching that salvation is possible outside the (Roman) Catholic Church and recent pronouncements such as “Dominus Iesus” further define the salvific efficacy of those Communions not at present in Communion with Rome.

While I wholeheartedly appreciate that many Anglicans are giving up the fight for continuity of traditional “Anglicanism” and hot-footing it to Rome… Wholesale denial of their previous beliefs and teachings does not persuade me to believe that it is true “unity” but indeed conversion that we are witnessing.

The questions remain; what is Anglican Patrimony and why, if salvation depended upon it, did people not previously convert to Rome? What was it about being Anglo-Catholic that meant holding out to the last as a group before finally submitting or surrendering? The answer to that question I think, will provide an answer to the first regarding Anglican Patrimony.

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