I just visited an Anglican Forum, which includes Anglicans from England, Europe in general and the US.
There appeared to be much disunity among them, rather regarding the Eucharist being truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ or just taken by faith and and more just a symbol. They also had much conflict with Crucifixes vs. plain crosses. Some making statements that Catholics, no mention of Orthodox and icons, that Catholics use them as idols. It seems that many believe in the 39 Articles in the BCP, even though some Anglicans on CAF refute them, I assume they are Anglo Catholics.
Some posters attribute Purgatory, prayers to the saints and even Confession as not part of the early Apostolic Church but invented by the corrupt Catholic Church even though the Orthodox an Apostolic Church accepts Confession, prayers to the saints etc. as part of the early faith. I understand that the Orthodox don’t accept Purgatory per se, some accept Toll Houses, which although difficult for at least me to understand, is similar to Purgatory or a cleansing period before entering into Heaven, Orthodox please correct me on this.
There were a wide variety of different beliefs from these Anglicans and I saw very little unity in belief, most rejected 7 Sacraments, although some did and others called them Rites. As I recall Jesus breathed upon the Apostles and gave them the authority to forgive sins in His Name and said that they would receive the Holy Spirit, which is Conformation and a Sacrament.
Maybe an Anglican on CAF can explain why there is such a wide difference in beliefs/ theology within the Anglican Communion, when the Church Christ founded was one in belief and faith.
At one time I was a member from birth to a teenager in a Low church parish and then a member in an Anglo Catholic parish, so I have had experiences within what I would consider a Protestant understanding of the church and a Catholic understanding of it.
One poster posted how the liturgy was celebrated in his low church and mentioned “the minister”, then referred to a more High church liturgy and used the term “priest”. It makes one wonder do some Anglicans, as in my former days in a low church, we called the Rector a minister or as in my Anglo Catholic days a priest. I don’t believe these titles are interchangeable, except when referring to all clergy, i.e. Bishops, priests, deacons. Either one is a priest or he is not.
It was very confusing to me and there was little charity towards other posters many times, of course, we find that within CAF, however, within the Catholic Church there is only one faith for all, even if some Catholics feel they can reject what they don’t agree with and maintain they are Catholic, my understanding is they would be considered Cafeteria Catholics.
One poster was from a continuing Anglican church and it seemed his input was not accepted as valid as those who belong to the Anglican Communion.
Are there any Anglicans who can explain the wide divide within their church and the differences are acceptable within the beliefs of the Anglican Communion. Please understand that within the Catholic Church, one may have different opinions, but if they are not part of the doctrine of the Church, they are not acceptable.
Also strange, almost every objection to the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church was only mentioned maybe twice and they believe what the Church teaches, except in very few instances and some of those are the explanations of the Eucharist, Filioque etc. where the Orthodox accept many beliefs in a more sense of mystery, not defining many beliefs as in the Catholic Church.
After reading many of the threads on that forum I really felt the Anglican Communion is far from the Apostolic Church, whether Catholic or Orthodox, neither have changed their original beliefs, i.e. women priests, women bishops, abortion etc.
These questions regarding the Anglican belief system is not to be taken as uncharitable, just feeling very confused over what was stated in that forum and would like feedback from other Anglicans and their personal beliefs of what their church actually believes and what doctrines cannot be changed to meet individual/societies preferences.
Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary