My Week of Anglicans

You know how these things happen; you hear a new or unusual word one day, and suddenly it crops up everywhere in the space of a few days.  In a similar way, it seems the Anglican Church has been cropping up everywhere over the last week or so in the various activities I’ve been involved in; I started reading Blessed John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua; then suddenly I’ve had cause to visit an Anglican Church, to talk to a Reverend, and I bumped into an old friend whose life has been influenced substantially by the Anglican Church in recent times.  It’s all given me cause to think more than usual about the reasons for the split (can is be called schism?) between our Churches.

I often think that Anglicans and Protestants are perhaps better versed in their arguments against the Catholic Church than Catholics are versed in their arguments against Anglicans and Protestants – and I wonder how well equipped the ordinary Catholic is to face an Anglican in verbal battle.  I would love to see more opportunity for apologetics classes/courses/discussion groups in our parishes and dioceses – and I think that this is especially important here in New Zealand with our mixed bag of religions and sects.

Anyway, I’ve written about this today because I’ve just found another addition to the sudden ‘Anglican awareness week’ that seems to be going on; an article about a young Protestant boy and a miracle that resulted from his recitation of the Hail Mary;

Interesting that a friend of mine had a similar experience as a result of an argument surrounding the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I often wonder if mending relations between Churches is in large part a case of getting facts straight (consider the work of St Francis de Sales).  If so, what can we do to forward this cause – especially in this Christmas season.


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    Comments: 2

    1. John Jensen December 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      In a way, one doesn’t make arguments against Anglicans and Protestants – except on specific issues where there is real heresy. The problem with being an Anglican, or another form of Protestant, is principally the matter of lacking something – lacking the fulness of the faith – not just ‘faith’ as in doctrines to believe, but the whole faith – fulness of the Sacraments, of the Body of Christ in unimpaired form, of the teaching ministry of the Church.

      I try to give arguments for the Church rather than against whatever group the person belongs to. I thank God for the good that He gave me in the Reformed Church. That it wasn’t enough – and that, indeed, the specifically anti-Catholic things in it I need to oppose – is simply to say that God wanted me to have His Son in wholeness.


    2. Leo XIII December 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Hello Inkling,

      To answer your question heresy is one of two types of schism from the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

      “The first has its source in heresy or joined with it, the second, which most theologians designate absolutely as schism, is the rupture of the bond of subordination without an accompanying persistent error, directly opposed to a definite dogma.”

      Although schism is more properly used for the second as technically to be a Church particular you need a Bishop (as a diocese is a Church in itself), where the Protestants are “ecclesial communities” who do not have Bishops with Apostolic Succession. Please note that although Anglicans have “bishops” they do not have Apostolic Succession as Anglican Orders were declared null and void by Papal Bull by Pope Leo XIII (a mere formality at that stage).

      Although I would say the Protestants have a number of arguments against the Catholic Church- as being “protest-ants” they naturally have a defensive stance against the faith that has been around for 2000. Although I would say these arguments are quite shallow, only able to convince the most uninformed Catholics (which sadly is a large number here). Few Protestants actually have any real understanding of Catholic teaching and as Scott Hahn would say their objections are based on second and third hand accounts- basically they are fighting strawmen.

      Sadly the Anglican Church in New Zealand is looking at approving openly gay clergy in relationships- The Anglican Communion seems to want to rip itself apart. Have you noticed the dissenters in the Catholic Church want many of the same things Anglicans have such as women clergy, married clergy, contraception, doctrinal plurality etc quite unbelievable when you look at what it has done to the Anglicans.

      Anglican liturgy is based on a form of the Catholic Mass and is quite beautiful with a good tradition of Church music. I was most disappointed Bishop Dunn turned down a group of former Anglicans in Auckland Diocese who wanted to form a community to have the Anglican Use Mass approved by Rome for Anglican communities who converted in the 1980’s.

      Ultimately there is no “Anglican Faith”, only multiple theological beliefs bound in one Church structure and the cracks are beginning to show are various opposing factions tear their churches apart, as Christ said “A house divided in on itself will fall”