More good stuff from Third Mill Catholic. This time, it’s a response to Fr. Al Kimel (formerly known as The Pontificator).
The question at hand is the vexatious one of what it means to be catholic. Dr. Dunlap rightly argues that to play with Rome’s definition is to lose the game before it begins. Rather, we should seek and discuss the Anglican definition. And I agree with his:
Romanism and Byzantinism both make claims of ecclesial ultimacy. But
their respective claims are mutually exclusive, as the former insists
on papal supremacy and the latter on the received faith of the
ecumenical councils. Thus, despite whatever superficial similarities
Rome and Byzantium may have, they are different ways of understanding
what it means to be catholic. In contrast, Anglicanism has never made a
claim of ecclesial ultimacy, and so defines itself not as the Catholic Church, but rather as a catholic church, and thus recognizes the other two communions as legitimate branches of “the
one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.” Unlike Fr. Kimel, I see
this as Anglicanism’s greatest strength, not its weakness. And if it
survives the present struggles, then it will only be that much stronger.
see, believe it or not, I still believe in “common prayer catholicity,”
which, contrary to Al Kimel’s reductionism above, is more than just the
formal retention of ancient creeds and apostolic orders. Neither is my
position merely a “strategy,” failed or otherwise, for the orthodox to
stay put in TEC/Anglican Communion. I don’t need a reason or a strategy
to stay in TEC. Indeed, the burden of proof is STILL on those who
insist that I should leave! Rather Anglicanism is a way of being
catholic, or living into catholicity, that has proven itself very
effective and extremely resilient over the last nearly 500 years of
this independent Anglican experiment. I still believe that Anglicanism
is a movement of God. I may be wrong. But why should I give up on it
Our catholicity is not an enforced catholicity then, rather, it is a formed catholicity, formed by attentively immersing ourselves in the Western/Anglican liturgical way of life.