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Those Surprising, Complicated Anglo-Catholics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 19 November 2009 08:30
If you are like me and get lost in the complex world of Anglo-Catholicism and the whole "will they or won't they enter the Catholic Church?" debate, you need to read this wonderful post from
the Churchmouse Campanologist. (What a great name for a blog!)

It is a summary of an interview with the witty and ever enlightening master of the Sub Tuum blog, Brother Stephen. Once Anglican, now a Catholic and a Cistercian monk.

Some highlights to give you the flavour:

Are there any (Anglo-Catholics)who swam the Thames, so to speak?

"In fact, many Anglo-Catholics are ex-Roman Catholics who crossed the Channel because they disagreed with Roman Catholic doctrine or wanted to escape the post-Vatican II Church for both liberal and conservative reasons."

How Catholic are Anglo-Catholics?

"Among traditional Anglo-Catholics, you will find those who believe in 3, 4, 7, 19, 20, and 21 councils as well as those who believe that no council taught infallibly. It is safe to say that traditional Anglo-Catholics generally believe in via media, 3 to 7 ecumenical councils, and lay government. Most traditional A-Cs get from a little to very queasy at the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and any form of devotion that is too ’sentimental’. Many hold an idea of the real presence that owes as much to Luther as to Trent. A confessional in the back of the church is often considered to be an important symbol, but few consider it necessary to be a regular penitent."

Sherry: It is funny in a stomach churning sort of way. I'd laugh but my mouth is too busy dropping. Back to the interview.

Tell me more.

"Essayist Florence King spoke well to another aspect of the Anglican mindset when she wrote, ‘I don’t care about church and state so long as the church and stateliness go hand in hand.’ Traditional Roman Catholics hoping for reinforcements need to understand that traditional Anglo-Catholics are conservative compared to other Anglicans, but that is a very different proposition than the ideological and social agenda held by many traditionalist Roman Catholics. Many, probably most, traditional Anglo-Catholics have no objection to things like women in the diaconate, contraception, remarriage, or suitably discreet same-sex relationships. There are certainly Anglo-Catholics who support the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life and who are vexed by the Robinson consecration, but these are generally not the parishes whose photos make their way around the Catholic blog circuit … The folks who agree with Catholic social teaching are more likely to be liturgically low-key modern rite people."

Whoa. As someone who spent two years in a standard issue Episcopalian parish on my way in, this is illuminating and disconcerting all at the same time. Obviously, the whole picture is way more complicated than I thought.

Read the whole thing.

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