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Reviewing Anglican Catholicism

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

I find myself quite surprised that my book on Anglican Catholicism has been reviewed on Amazon. Two reviews have been very kind and encouraging. One review takes me to task for using Anglican Catholicism in the title when, perhaps, I should have used "The Anglican Catholic Church". My reviewer is a self-described Anglo-Catholic in the Episcopal Church of the USA and one, I assume, that likes to refer to himself as an Anglican Catholic.

When I was on Facebook, I was a member of a group called "Anglican Catholicism" which had members who thought themselves as such but held to the diverse beliefs of ECUSA or the CofE. This included people who accept the confusion of sexual identity within the sacraments and even one man who claimed that the Quicunque Vult was Satanic in origin! I think I stand by my decision not to dabble in Facebook.

On the other side, "Anglican Catholic" is a term used by the Anglican Ordinariate for their members. These are people who are in communion with the Pope and who reject the validity of their former priests in the Anglican lineage. The fact of the matter is that they are Roman Catholics because they are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. 

As I said in my book, the principles of Anglican Catholicism lie in the authority of the Church of the First Millennium with a magisterium built on Scripture, Tradition and Reason in that order of importance, in the standard of worship being the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and liturgies that conform to it, and in the valid Apostolic Succession of Anglican Orders. The Affirmation of St Louis is a precis of this. Agree with these, and you have a claim to being an Anglican Catholic.

My opinion is quite clear. Anyone who accepts the heresies of ECUSA and the CofE denies their right to the term because they equivocate on what it means to be Catholic. There are no female Catholic priests. There are no Catholic spouses of the same sex. That's just how it is. Nor is an Anglican Catholic properly in communion with Rome. People can choose what they like to believe but labels are exclusive not inclusive otherwise they are utterly meaningless. A label makes a discrimination.

Discrimination is a word feared by the Liberal because it always means a discrimination into an oppressor and an oppressed. This is because many Liberals today subscribe to Marxist Critical Theory rather than the language of the Love of God. Their talk is of rights, power, privilege and entitlement never of the love of God that we find in the Bible nor of His promise of Eternal life unless it is all reinterpreted through their Marxist lens.

Discrimination proper involves the simple task of telling one thing from another and treating them with the appropriate action. Discrimination is not always a discrimination against, but Marxist philosophy will always make it so. Women are different from men: they are both deserving of respect and love by virtue of their humanity, but their physical differences to which Science bears witness and their spiritual differences to which Holy Scripture bears witness means that they cannot be treated interchangeably. Their differences must be respected in order to give them the full dignity of being human.

And so the same with Anglican Catholicism. One cannot be an Anglican Catholic if one believes that women can be ordained priest and thus disrespect her God-given difference to be a woman. This has political ramifications for any communion that does.

I had rather hoped that my book would be clear on this point, but my reviewer didn't think that it was a book for him in mind. His opinion is perfectly valid and I'm flattered that he took the trouble not only to buy a copy but to read it and review it. I do believe, however, that the title is correct as it stands and if this offends people, well, that's unfortunate but perhaps necessary. We could all do with being offended sometimes: it reminds us what we truly believe... such as the perfectly Orthodox Christian Creed known as the Quicunque Vult.

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