Anglo-Catholicism at the Cafe

My latest post is up at the Cafe. Since so many folks over there recently have been talking about Anglican identity and the Covenant, I thought I’d put in my two cent’s worth.

(And as often occurs in the newspaper and group-blog world, the headline is not mine…)

2 thoughts on “Anglo-Catholicism at the Cafe

  1. The young fogey

    IMO you’re probably the best writer on that site. I used to think what defined a Catholic compared to Protestants was belief in the complete Real Presence but while that’s essential I say the dividing line is, as you know, ‘Fallible or infallible church?’ Classic Anglo-Catholics (including American ACs) believe in a refined denominationalism in which the consensus of the ancient churches is their magisterium: the branch theory. (Different for Anglo-Papalists, nearly unknown among Episcopalians: they hold Rome is the true church but come up with reasons for staying outside, from being on the downlow to the fact in my view that everything Thomas Day has written about RC life is true. In England where most of them are, they’re modern Roman Rite.)

    Today’s controversial issues are only symptoms of this big divide. The conservative Protestants in your communion happen to agree with us but on whose authority? Under your system their beliefs have no more authority than the other side’s. In a fallible denomination everything’s up for a vote, up for grabs.

    (Intercommunion with the Methodists has shredded the Quadrilateral, no?)

    At the end of the day the question isn’t whether we are “authentic” Anglo-Catholics or Anglicans. The question is whether we are authentic Christians.

    But a Catholic says can one be an authentic Christian if one’s private judgement, decisions and actions about doctrine and discipline put one outside the church, if one is in schism or heresy, even if on most issues one shares our beliefs and practices?

    ACism is dead in the Episcopal Church. What does business as ACism there is either sacramental/liturgical mildly liberal Protestantism or ritualist congregationalism removed from Catholic/Tractarian views of church authority. (Or ironically semi-congregational polity made many AC parishes possible and not the high ecclesiology of the Oxford Movement.)

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