"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

Wednesday 13 April 2011



The Ordinariate Portal is grateful to Fr Aidan Nichols OP for the opportunity to publish these transcripts of his address to the Anglicanorum Coetibus conference in Canada.


When Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto invited me to come to Canada in March 2011, so as to speak at a conference he had organized on Anglicanorum coetibus for prospective members of the proposed Canadian Ordinariate, he asked me to address three questions: the theological context of the document, its place in the wider vision of Pope Benedict, and the topic of the Liturgy.  This 3-part article revisits the substance of what I said on that occasion, and reworks it into a fuller whole.[1]

Part One: The theological context of the Ordinariates

In connexion with Anglicanorum coetibus, what, to my mind, the term ‘theological context’ principally means is its historical-theological context.  To be sure, a formal ecclesiological account of the Apostolic Constitution could no doubt be provided, taking its inspiration from the document’s preamble with its doctrinal meditation on the nature of the Church (and notably the Church’s unity) and making particular reference to the case of ‘those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner’ (Anglicanorum coetibus, Introduction).  But to put living flesh on the skeletal canonico-ecclesiological structure the text lays out, it is necessary, I believe, to think through theologically the issues raised by the historical background.

Dr Sheridan Gilley, formerly Reader in Church History in the University of Durham, somewhere describes the Anglican Church as a Noah’s Ark where all kinds of weird and wonderful species of Christian belief have come on board.  The point could perhaps be made more gently than a comparison with an ocean-going menagerie.  Certainly there is a variety of currents in the theological history of Anglicanism and it is necessary to discern among them.  That was the aim of my 1992 study The Panther and the Hind. A Theological History of Anglicanism, in whose conclusion I floated the notion of an Anglican ‘Uniate’ Church drawn from particular elements within the wider Anglican patrimony.[2] In the interpretation of the history of Anglican theology which is there laid out – and, as in the present essay, I confined myself almost entirely to the Church of England, which is not only more familiar to me but crucial for Anglicanism at large – I distinguished between three basic currents.  There is a Catholic stream; there is a Protestant stream; and there is a stream which is enthusiastic for neither Catholicism nor Protestantism as such and which I generally labelled ‘Latitudinarian’.

The Catholic element has its origin in the early history of the Henrician Reformation, and what it proposes is, fundamentally, Catholicism without the Pope.  When Henry VIII died, the Sarum Liturgy and much of the doctrinal and devotional structure of Catholicism remained intact.  But at the same time it is impossible not to notice the diminutions that structure had suffered: the suppression of the monasteries and the other Religious houses, the dismantling of the great Marian shrines, such as Walsingham, and the destruction of their images; and a certain opening to Lutheran ideas, notably in the later 1530s.  In a moment we shall look at the subsequent history of the Catholic element in Anglican origins, since for obvious reasons that is the ‘stream’ which most interests candidates for an Ordinariate.

The Protestant current begins similarly in the early history of the Henrician Reform, since, even apart from the factors just mentioned, already indicative of Protestant influence as they are, Thomas Cranmer, Henry’s choice as archbishop of Canterbury, was personally a convinced and thorough Protestant in doctrine.  Essentially, Cranmer looked to Strasbourg but even when he became archbishop (with the pope’s sanction) he concealed both his views and his wife.  After the short reign of a minor, Edward VI, when Cranmer was given his head and a full-blown Protestantism introduced, and the even briefer Catholic counter-reaction under Mary I, the same inclination to the Continental Reformers would continue in the strongly Calvinist theology of the Elizabethan church and in the challenge of the Puritans to what the latter considered its as yet insufficiently reformed polity and worship.  Under Elizabeth, ecclesiastical sympathies went out to the Continental Reformed churches, just as the political sympathies of the governing elite were given to the Protestant powers.  If the seventeenth century tells, for the Church of England, a significantly different story, the Protestant stream re-emerges in powerful form in its later eighteenth successor, when the Evangelical Revival rediscovers a full-blooded doctrine of the Atonement as the basis of a pacified God’s free grace to sinners.  Today, that strand is represented by the current tendency of the Church of England to give ecumenical priority to relations with the North European Lutheran and Lutheran-Evangelical churches (hence the Porvoo and Meissen Agreements), the influence of Neo-Calvinist theology, and the way in which Evangelicals are now at parish level the strongest party in the Church.  Where Evangelical Anglicans are manifestly indebted to the chief theological masters of the sixteenth century European Reformation, they are often described as exemplifying ‘magisterial Protestantism’.  Anglicanism has had many classically Protestant Churchmen (one need only look to the Anglican Church of Australia archdiocese of Sydney today), and they are to be differentiated from the liberal Protestants who will (eventually) come into view in the section that follows in this essay, which has as its subject the Latitudinarians.

The Latitudinarian element in Anglicanism took its rise chiefly from the internal disputes of the Reformers.  Such disagreements led to their putting a high value on the useful notion – useful, that is, for the purposes of peaceful co-existence – of adiaphora or ‘things indifferent’.  The wearing or non-wearing of liturgical vestments, for example, often figured in this category which proved in time remarkably elastic, and could extend to doctrines as well as practices. It is more important, argued Latitudinarians, to concentrate on Christian essentials, especially in the light of the rational evaluation of religion.  Here a great deal depends on what the word ‘rational’ is held to mean: a topic to which I will return when speaking of Pope Benedict’s own theological vision in Part Two of this article.  The seventeenth century Cambridge Platonists described reason as ‘the candle of the Lord’, and defined it in terms of openness to divine truth (and such a definition is, of course, theologically speaking, very encouraging).  In the eighteenth century, by contrast, deistically inclined Latitudinarians were rationalistic, with a closed concept of reason which was defined over against that understanding of the world made available in cultural tradition (and for such a concept of reason it is difficult indeed for the kind of thinking that belongs to divine revelation, transmitted via tradition, to get underway).  As the nineteenth century merged into the twentieth, the Latitudinarian stream changed its character yet again.  From being ‘Broad Church’ – hot on neither Catholicism nor Protestantism – it morphed into becoming, via Anglican Modernism, the mind-set of what we now call ‘theological liberalism’, currently the greatest enemy (within the Church) of Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics alike.  In terms of theological method, what was seen in the seventeenth century as the Anglican ‘threefold cord’ of Scripture, Tradition and reason (sometimes called the ‘three-legged stool’), now mutated into something rather different, a trio of Scripture, Tradition and contemporary experience.  I shall return to this mutation in connexion with Pope Benedict’s own thought but can at least note here how it is the source of many of the problems of the Anglican Communion today owing to the claim that contemporary experience mandates us, requires us, to alter the reading of Scripture found in Tradition in such matters as the ordination of women and sexual ethics.  Here, appeal to experience not only displaces reason but trumps Scripture and Tradition.

I cannot claim that distinguishing thus between the three streams represents some sort of highly original work of analysis on my part.  It is a fairly obvious kind of grid to place over the data.  Sorting out the various movements in Anglican theological history is, indeed, relatively easy in principle though in practice it may not always be easy to place squarely this or that figure: for example, the late Elizabethan Richard Hooker whose Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity has often been hailed as the quintessentially Anglican theological treatise has been claimed as their own by all three of Catholics, Protestants and Latitudinarians.[3] Still, this sort of broad categorization remains serviceable, not least in the perspective of Anglicanorum coetibus.

So conceived, the ‘Noah’s Ark’ quality of Anglicanism makes it difficult to give a blanket endorsement to the Anglican tradition in a comprehensive way, since too many internal contradictions lie within.  That is not just a problem for the Pope of Rome.  Anyone with even a mildly developed sense of logic would feel the same.  So when the 1981 Final Report of the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC I) declared in its twenty-second paragraph, ‘Anglicans are entitled to assurance that acknowledgement of the universal primacy would not involve the suppression of theological, liturgical and other traditions which they value or the imposition of wholly alien traditions’, we have to ask, Well, which Anglican traditions, specifically, do you have in mind?  This is one important sense in which we need to focus our lens when seeking to understand what is involved in Anglicanorum coetibus III which speaks of the maintenance of ‘the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church’.  With which of the theological sub-traditions of Anglicanism are we supposed to be working when we consider that same liturgical, spiritual and pastoral inheritance?

In practice, however, in the context of the Ordinariates, this problem is somewhat more malleable than at first it might seem.  Almost exclusively, those who are seeking communion with the Holy See are what we can call the heirs of the Oxford Movement, rather than a cross-section of Anglicanism as a whole.  This makes things easier, though not altogether plain sailing.  After all, the Oxford fathers (I mean Keble, Pusey, Newman, and their epigones), did not see themselves as initiating something entirely new.  Rather, they saw themselves as building on the Catholic element in Anglicanism from the beginning of its continuous life under Elizabeth I.  And this is where we have to revert to the history of that element, which initially I cut off with the death of Henry VIII.  Looking back at the Elizabethan settlement, such Anglicans could find signs of Catholicity in features of the Prayer Book, notably its calendar, lectionary, and collects, so often taken (with adaptations) from the Sarum Missal, and the Ordinal with its important preface which committed the Church to continuing the three orders of bishop, priest and deacon.

It is arguable that a clearly defined Catholic party first emerges with James I and William Laud, who became an influential bishop in James’s reign.  There is a famous conversation with James’s minister the Duke of Buckingham where Laud was asked to run his finger down a list of prominent clerics and write by the side of their names either the letter ‘P’ or the letter ‘O’ – ‘Puritan’ or ‘Orthodox’.[4] In the succeeding reign, that of James’s son, Charles I, amid an emerging emphasis on the importance of a ceremonial appropriate to a sacramental religion, the ‘Orthodox’ or Catholicising party embarked on daring measures: notably the 1637 imposition on Scotland of a more Catholic edition of Cranmer’s Prayer Book and the marginalization of Puritanism by invoking the juridical powers of episcopal courts.  The once popular Calvinist doctrine of grace was edged out in favour of a theology that looked towards the Fathers not simply for apologetic reasons – to argue that the Fathers took the same view of Scriptural teaching as had the Reformers (this was the position of such Elizabethan apologists for Anglicanism as John Jewel[5]) – but for their own sake, as expressions of Tradition valuable in and of themselves.  Here lie the seeds of the notion of Anglicanism as a reformed Catholicism, equidistant between radical Protestantism and Rome.[6]

As history shows, all this grossly underestimated the influence of Puritans – who were radical Protestants – in the Church, in Parliament and in the country at large.  The succeeding Puritan reaction led to the Civil War, and if, with the Restoration of the monarchy, the High Church party recovered its confidence, it was soon to be rudely shaken by the 1688 Revolution, which entailed loss of its most principled members, the Non-Jurors, and the coming of kings who, so far from being Catholicising, were initially Calvinist (William III) and subsequently Lutheran (George I and George II).  Recent scholarship, however, has stressed the continued existence of an active High Church element in the Church of England during the ‘long eighteenth century’ which separates 1688 from the breakdown of the Anglican Church-State in the course of the Whig reforms of the 1820s.[7]

What, then, made the Oxford Movement special and allows us to date Anglo-Catholicism in the proper sense of the word from the time of Keble, Pusey, and Newman?   Tractarianism was a new sort of animal, which aroused nervousness in the old High Church school, and the reason is, I believe, its concern to work out the idea of the Church of England as a Catholic Church or the Catholic Church in England in a principled, systematic way.  It used the seventeenth century divines and the old High-and-Dry Churchmen wherever they were serviceable but it was not willing to be confined by their limits.   Unlike them it started to manifest a distinct hostility to the Reformation as such.  The early Tractarian Hurrell Froude declared, ‘The Reformation was a limb badly set; it must be broken again in order to be righted’.[8] Typical of the willingness of the Tractarians to speak the hitherto unspeakable was William George Ward’s book The Ideal of a Christian Church which argued that the Church-type represented by the Church of Rome should be the norm for Anglicans, and Newman’s Tract XC which argued there was nothing in the Thirty Nine Articles that could not be rendered compatible with the teaching of the Council of Trent.  The Tractarians – and this links them to the Anglo-Catholics of the next and succeeding generations up to, but excluding, recent times – aimed not to be merely a party contributing something to the richness of Anglican comprehensiveness.  Rather, they sought to take over the Church as a whole, to render it consistently Catholic albeit in an English way.  Listen to how revolutionary the programme of the 1923 Anglo-Catholic Congress sounds.  ‘We cannot be content to be for ever a mere section of a Church, part of which, with equal recognition from authority, contradicts our teaching and decries our claim.’[9] The same conviction was voiced by an Anglo-Catholic spokesman writing in 1933 in preparation for the centenary of the start of the Oxford Movement which fell that year.  Herbert Scott, author of a landmark study of the Eastern churches and the Papacy, declared that the Catholic movement in the Church of England ‘can never be content until “Tractarianism” and “Tractarianism” only has the recognition from authority’.[10] And Scott cited as expressing the exact opposite of Anglo-Catholic aims some words of Bishop A. C. Headlam of Gloucester, who had written in the Church Times the year previous to the 1923 congress:  ‘I always hold that both for Modernists and for Anglo-Catholics there should be reasonable freedom of interpretation of the formulas of the Church, and just as I think that with a little Christian charity we can find room for the Modernists in the Church of England, so I think that probably we can find room in exactly the same way for the people who call themselves at present Anglo-Catholics’.[11] What Headlam was proposing – the status of a tolerated minority – was precisely the contrary of how Anglo-Catholics themselves intended to proceed.

Newman had predicted that the adoption of a non-negotiable imperative to catholicize the Church of England would turn out to be the Achilles’ heel of those heirs of the Oxford fathers who remained in the Church of England.  It would never be possible to gain the National Church as a whole for the Catholic cause.  Accordingly, that cause – as understood by Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics, though not by the old High Churchmen, was doomed to ultimate frustration.  What Newman did not see was that the seal on that frustration would come with the abandonment of the apostolic shape of the ministry: that is, with the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate.  But he divined correctly that, as he put it in his lectures on the ‘difficulties felt by Anglicans’, the natural outcome, or, in his words, the ‘legitimate issue’, of the movement of 1833 would be union with the Holy See.[12]

This brings me conveniently enough to the topic of such union.  Interest in unionism, it may be said, does not begin with the Traditional Anglican Communion or with Forward in Faith or indeed with the twentieth century ecumenical movement.  Although the evidence comes mainly from private papers, such as reports sent back to Paris by French ambassadors or the correspondence of James I with his son, there can be little doubt that some sort of feelers were put out by the Stuart kings about possible terms of reunion, and by the court of Rome to them.  As two modern Anglican commentators, a husband and wife team, put it, writing in the 1970s, ‘The Stuart monarchs never completely lost sight of the ideal of the one Church, whose unity should be restored, nor did the popes resign hope that the English, through their sovereign, should be drawn back into the papal fold’.[13] As to the early Stuarts: in a rare public expression, James I, in his initial speech before Parliament in 1603 declared, ‘I acknowledge the church of Rome to be our mother church although defiled with some infirmities and corruptions’.[14] Even apart from the disaster of the Gunpowder Plot which naturally enough further hardened attitudes to Catholics, James would soon realize that the political realities of being king of England could never allow what we today would call organic reunion.  Though the Act of Supremacy had in theory placed the monarchy in a position of dominance over the Church (it was by virtue of the Act of Supremacy that Mary Tudor had restored the Sarum Liturgy and communion with Rome), the growing confidence and accelerating Protestantism of Parliament under Elizabeth set clear limits to the royal power.  So when in 1623 James confided in his son on the issue, he made it plain he was only expressing a personal and (by implication) impracticable wish.  ‘As for myself, if that were the question, I would with all my heart give my consent that the Bishop of Rome should have the first seat.  I being a Western king, would go with the patriarch of the West.  And for his temporal principality over the Signiory of Rome, I do not quarrel with it neither; let him, in God’s name, be primus episcopus inter omnes episcopos et princeps episcoporum, so it be no otherwise but as St Peter was princeps apostolorum.’[15] After Prince Charles became king, envoys were exchanged with the court of Rome.  Some of Charles’s ministers appear to have presented an improbably rosy view of future prospects.  In 1635 the queen’s chaplain reported to Rome with greater realism: ‘That the king and several of his ministry were far from being adverse to an union; that it was an undertaking of the most dangerous consequence, on account of the many and severe edicts that were in force against the Roman Catholic religion: that those who were most favourably inclined to the Catholic cause were frequently obliged to give proofs of their zeal to the contrary for fear of notice: in which case it was difficult to form a just idea of their real sentiments seeing they found themselves under a necessity of varying from themselves and acting incoherently.  For instance , when there was any pressing occasion for money, the King was obliged, contrary to his inclination, to let the laws loose against the Roman Catholics, otherwise the puritanical House of Commons would make no progress in the money bills, for the government not being arbitrary, but extraordinary, levies would not be granted without the people’s consent.  That the Bishops in like manner (though several of them were disposed to enter into a correspondence with Rome) when their temporalities were threatened by the puritanical members (as they had been frequently of late) went into the same persecuting method: that such a conduct as this had so much of contradiction in it, that it was altogether unintelligible to those who were not perfectly acquainted with the infirmities of human nature, and particularly with the irresolution of these islanders.’[16] The discretion of Charles I’s bishops was prudent.  So much is shown by the terms of impeachment of the martyred archbishop, William Laud, ‘England’s Cyprian’.  Charges against him included ‘wishing to establish a new religion’, ‘corresponding with Rome’ and ‘treating with the Pope’s men in England’.[17]

After the Restoration, secret clauses in the Treaty of Dover, made between Charles II and Louis XIV, spoke of the king’s possible reconciliation with Rome; a memoir of 1672 from Louis’s chief minister Colbert suggests this would have involved a settlement conceding quasi-patriarchal status to the archbishop of Canterbury, along with a vernacular liturgy, communion under both kinds, and a married clergy.  Had this plan become publicly known, the scale of resistance mounted by popular nationalistic Protestantism can only be imagined.  Some idea of it is offered by the 1678 ‘Popish Plot’ which took so many innocent people to their deaths.  ‘[T]he unfortunate House of Stuart’, commented the Anglo-Papalist L. F. Simmonds in his The Church of England and the Holy See. What do English Divines Say?, ‘had always to pay the price of the iniquities of the House of Tudor’.[18] Still, these initiatives, or perhaps one should say, aspirations, managed to express, despite or because of their politically unfeasible character, a tendency, an instinct, an impetus, among more Catholic-minded Anglicans towards the universal centre of unity in Peter’s see.

A full account of unionism would have to include the foundation in the 1850s of the Association for the Promotion of the Unity of Christendom by the Leicestershire squire and Anglican convert to Rome, Ambrose Phillips de Lisle,[19] and the 1920s Malines Conversations, held between various High Churchmen and Belgian and French Roman Catholics.[20] More telling for the future we are facing now, I think, was the way in which in the 1930s the peak of Anglo-Catholicism coincided so dramatically with the peak of Anglo-Papalism and, furthermore, the nature of Anglo-Papalist attitudes at that heady time.[21] It is generally agreed that the 1933 Congress forms the high-water mark of the Anglo-Catholic movement in England; it is less well known that 350 priests signed in 1932 a manifesto identifying as the inevitable end of the Catholic Revival the corporate return of the English Church to communion with the Holy See which they held to be the aim for which all Anglo-Catholics ought to strive.  Then in 1933 The Committee for Promoting the Church Unity Octave, an Anglo-Papalist body, stated the same objective in even more uncompromising language and received the signed support of over 760 priests.  The 1932 manifesto gave as the principal reason for the urgency of reunion the fragility of Catholic orthodoxy in the Anglo-Catholic movement under the influence of Modernism – thus ‘Liberal Catholicism’, the forerunner of  present-day ‘Affirming Catholicism’, liturgically decorous but doctrinally debilitated.  In the view of its drafters, the idea of a non-papal ‘Northern Catholicism’ had proved inherently unstable, owing to the lack of any clear doctrinal authority for such a Northern Catholic body.[22] In The Church of England and the Holy See. What are we to Say?, two Anglo-Papalist co-authors, Henry Fynes-Clinton and Robert Corbould, asked accordingly, ‘Is the Catholic Movement to regenerate the Church in England, to unify and restore her, or to end in a welter of confusion and be destroyed by a final acceptance of protestant negation or of modernist rationalism undermining the historic faith of Christianity?  Do not these tendencies to disruption all point to the need of a controlling authority?’  And they went on, ‘A purely national episcopate or an elected Assembly are exposed to the influences of those very vagaries for which control is needed.  Nationalist interests and the pressure of other powerful religious bodies within the country are apt, as our experience teaches, to deflect a national church from the straight path of loyalty to the mind and discipline of the Church Universal.’  And they concluded, ‘It becomes increasingly evident that for health in the body ecclesiastic the fresher air and wider intercourse of a supra-national organisation is essential’.[23] These writers foresaw only two eventual possibilities: in their words, ‘on the one hand a group of “historic churches” with perhaps a federation of Protestant sects or a multitude of heterogeneous bodies [compare the Porvoo and Meissen Agreements of the 1990s, already mentioned]; and on the other hand standing apart the great Church owing obedience to Rome’.[24] And in his 1935 book, Catholic Reunion. An Anglican Plea for a Uniate Patriarchate of Canterbury and for an Anglican Ultramontanism, ‘Father Clement’, alias the barrister-clergyman James Tait Plowden-Wardlaw argued to the same end, proposing to drop from the Church of England Protestants and Modernists and, moreover, to recognize the Latin church in England as the other bearer, along with Anglo-Catholicism, of the Catholic tradition.  Plowden-Wardlaw wrote, ‘[W]e must abandon wholly and utterly the High-Church denial of the continuity of the present Latin Church in England with the pre-Reformation Church of England.  With the facts of history before us it is astounding impertinence to look upon the Roman Church in England as schismatic.  Continuity is not a simple idea. It is an exceedingly complex idea, for there is a legal continuity which may or may not coincide with spiritual continuity.  No competent lawyer could be found to deny the legal continuity of the present State Church of England with the pre-Reformation Church.  But this legal continuity is discounted by the fact that it is in the power of Crown and Parliament to give legal continuity to whom they will.  It was to the Calvinists in Scotland that the dominant party eventually gave this coveted legal continuity; and to-morrow a disgruntled Parliament might give it to the Modern Churchmen’s Union and their adherents, a case by no means impossible… [And he concluded: ] Let us then abandon any approach to the subject which looks upon those faithful Catholics of the Latin rite as schismatics in this country.  Let us rather thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their noble stand for 400 years, and salute them as brothers of the Latin rite, and faithful sons of the Apostolic See’.[25] Mgr Andrew Burnham, the former bishop of Ebbsfleet, calls this the broken jar theory.  In the English Reformation the beautiful jar of the Catholic Church was shattered in our native island.  Two shards of Catholicity remained, the recusants and the Catholicising party in the Church of England.  (It seems a reasonable conjecture that in Elizabeth’s reign, ‘Church papists’, among whom Shakespeare can probably be counted, would have provided nourishing soil for Catholic shoots to reappear in the Established Church under the Stuart dynasty.)

I am nearing my conclusion on the historical-theological background of Anglicanorum coetibus, and you may see where it is heading.  Anglicanorum coetibus represents the logical outcome when the High Church party reinvents itself in Tractarianism as a Catholic movement which of its nature, cannot consent to be a mere tolerated minority, but essentially aims to take over the entire Church.   The rupturing of the apostolic succession by the ordination of women rendered that outcome impossible.  From that moment onwards, classical Anglo-Catholics had to decide, Would they be an ecclesiola, a ‘little church’, within a body now theologically alien to them though culturally familiar, or would they become an ecclesiola within a body that was culturally unfamiliar to them but theologically congruent?  Let us call the latter sort of ecclesiola an ‘Ordinariate’.  As we have seen, the difficulty of maintaining firm doctrinal standards, even within the Catholic movement itself, made Anglo-Catholics who were open to union with the Holy See look to that quarter for, so to speak, ecclesial salvation.  Let us call then the resultant ecclesiola an Ordinariate whose members will profess in the words of Anglicanorum coetibus I, 5 that the (1992) ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith’.  The notion that the post-Reformation Roman Catholic community in England constitutes with Catholic Anglicans of an orthodox outlook the two shards of a broken jar completes the picture: this will be an Ordinariate, whose members not only profess the Catholic faith as understood at Rome, but do so in canonical unity with the dioceses of Latin Catholics maintaining, however, as their shard-character qualifies them to do, those ‘liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions proper to the Anglican Communion’ (Anglicanorum coetibus III) – that is, those traditions seen in an Anglo-Catholic perspective, in the perspective, namely, that was set by the Oxford Movement.

[1] I take this opportunity to thank Archbishop Collins for the wonderfully hospitable welcome he gave me in Toronto, and the kindness shown by the clergy, seminarians, and people of the archdiocese, as well as by visiting Anglicans of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.

[2] A. Nichols, O. P., The Panther and the Hind. A Theological History of Anglicanism (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1992), pp. 177-180.   I echoed this suggestion in some subsequent articles: ‘Canterbury and Rome’, The Month (August 1992), pp. 306-310; (more allusively) ‘Homeless Anglicans’, The Tablet for 7 August 1999, and (more fully) ‘Anglican Uniatism: a Personal View’ originally published in Anglican Embers. Quarterly Journal of the Anglican Use Society I. 7 (2005), pp. 171-195; reprinted, with modifications, in New Blackfriars 87. 1010 (2006), pp. 337-356, which version was in turn re-printed, unchanged, in The Messenger of the Catholic League 292 (2010), pp. 55-76. Extracts were published in New Directions 8. 124 (August 2005), p. 17, and 8. 125 (September 2005), pp. 13-14.

[3] K. Hylson-Smith, High Churchmanship in the Church of England. From the Sixteenth to the Late Twentieth Century (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1993), p. 10.

[4] Treated as the key-moment in the construction of a Catholic identity for the Church of England in D. MacCulloch, ‘The Myth of the English Reformation’, Journal of British Studies 30 (1991), pp. 1-19.

[5] In his Apologie of the Church of England, on which see G. Jenkins, John Jewel and the English National Church: the Dilemmas of an Erastian Reformer (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).

[6] See J. Davies, The Caroline Captivity of the Church. Charles I and the Remoulding of Anglicanism, 1625-1641 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).

[7] P. Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship 1760-1857 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

[8] J. Keble and J. H. Newman (ed.), The Remains of the late Reverend Richard Hurrell Froude, I (London: Rivington, 1838), p. 433.

[9] Cited in S. Herbert Scott, Modernism in Anglo-Catholicism (London: Council for Promoting Catholic Unity, 1933), p. 15.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Church Times, for 14 July 1922, cited ibid.

[12] J. H. Newman, Lectures on Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching. Considered in Twelve Lectures addressed in 1850 to the Party of the Movement of 1833 (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908), p. 1.

[13] B. Pawley and M. Pawley, Rome and Canterbury through Four Centuries. A Study of the relations between the Church of Rome and the Anglican Churches, 1530-1973 (London: Mowbray: 1974), p. 29.

[14] Cited ibid., p. 25.

[15] Ibid.

[16] J. Berington (ed.), Memoirs of Gregorio Panzani, giving an account of his agency in England in the Years 1634, 1635, 1636 (Farnborough: Gregg, 1970 [London: Robinson and Faulder, 1793]), pp. 186-187.

[17] B. Pawley and M. Pawley, Rome and Canterbury through Four Centuries, op. cit., p. 38.

[18] L. F. Simmonds, The Church of England and the Holy See. What do English Divines Say? (London: Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 1933), p. 22.

[19] M. Pawley, Faith and Family. The Life and Circle of Ambrose Phillips de Lisle (Norwich: Canterbury Press, pp. 291-302, 311-318.

[20] J. A. Dick, The Malines Conversations (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1989).

[21] See, for a survey, M. Yelton, Anglican Papalism. An Illustrated History, 1900-1960 (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2005), pp. 20-64.

[22] Compare N. P. Williams and C. Harris (eds.), Northern Catholicism. Centenary Studies in the Oxford and Parallel Movements (London: Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, 1933).

[23] H. Fynes-Clinton and R. Corbould, The Church of England and the Holy See. What are we to Say? (London: Council for Promoting Catholic Unity, 1933), p. 5

[24] Ibid.

[25] J. T. Plowden-Wardlaw, Catholic Reunion. An Anglican Plea for a Uniate Patriarchate of Canterbury and for an Anglican Ultramontanism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1935), pp. 44-45.


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