Hi! Can you help me understand the Anglican Church?


You do well, Grasshopper. Maybe the story of Defensor FIdei will come up again, in detail.


I was raised Southern Baptist. In college (and even before) my readings in history drew me from the strictly protestant outlook, to a more historically based look at Western civilization. I was then and am now a fanatic book collector, in many many areas, so I started collecting. History, but most importantly writers and commentators: Chesterton (you will note my board name suggests that), Belloc, Lewis, Tolkien, Charles Williams, Arnold Lunn, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, and more. You will note, if these names are familiar to you, a mix of Anglicans and RCs. The Anglicans won.

I am not to be seen as a typical Anglican. But such a thing is hard to define, anyway, in any way useful.

As to your last question, I;m not sure. Likely some flavor of Orthodox.


Some do and some don’t. I don’t have much information about Anglicans in the United States, but the parent church, the Church of England, popularly known as the C of E, has historically been made up of three main groups, labeled Low Church (Protestant-Evangelical), High Church (Anglo-Catholic), and Broad Church (not so sure about this one, but basically the middle ground, I think).

Your account of the origin of the C of E is somewhat oversimplified. Only a generation previously, in 1485, England had emerged from 200 years of on-and-off civil war, the Wars of the Roses. Henry VIII was genuinely convinced he needed a male heir to succeed him, because any dispute between rival claimants to the throne could quickly trigger a renewed outbreak of war. The pope refused hiim the divorce he wanted only because the papacy at the time was under the thumb of the king of Spain.

There are plenty of Anglican blogs and other websites you can take a look at, if you’re interested. Here’s one particularly lively one, but there are many others.


As to your last question, I’m not sure. Likely some flavor of Orthodox.

Ah, okay. I was actually expecting you to say Orthodox, which leads me to my next though/question:

It seems that, if you became Orthodox, it wouldn’t be because you thought it was the “One True Church.” After all, you are Anglican now, and do not think the nature of the church works that way.

And yet, Anglicanism is closely related to Catholicism – culturally, in practice, and even theologically – as even your preference of authors suggests.

Now, help me make sense of this.


You do well also. Your detailed points are ones I make, over and over, over the years, whe detailed questions need such answers, as to Hank’s Great Matter, or the ground littered with rose petals when Hank Tudor managed to get his bum on the throne (that’s Hank VIII’s dad, there). Have we spoken before, say on the previous board incarnation, where I was GKC?


I believe in the one true Church, but not as limited to the RCC. It lies where apostolic succession is found. And is divided. One Church, still.

And, I know, as to Apostolicae Curae. Been a hobby for those 20 years, too.


Possibly, but I’ve had friendly dealings here with many people over the years, and I don’t remember all the names.


Ah, well. Maybe I influenced some of them. Nice to meet you.

Added details: Hank wanted a decree of nullity, not a divorce, technically.

The issue of Henry’s issue; need for a legitimate male heir, was paramount, yes. But he had definitely acquired an itch for la Boleyn. And the matter of the Pope and Charles V was likely decisive factor, but the questions Henry’s causa raised were not a slam dunk for him. Still his case was as good as was common at the time. Much better than some, who got their decrees. Much history involved, and history, as one says, is complicated.


There are many branches of Anglicanism also. Some are in communion with the C of E (Canterbury) and others aren’t. I have some in laws who are part of the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) which apparently isn’t in communion with Canterbury. They call themselves Charismatic. I’ve been to a few of their services…they resemble the OF Mass which a bunch of happy clappy songs. They do call their priests Fr. They have female deacons and some dioceses have female priests. The ACNA is against same sex marriage and ordaining those living that lifestyle (as far as I know).

In all honesty, I find them to be very “catholic” at first glance but they are staunchly “protestant” in theology…they adhere to the 39 articles of confession.


So why Eastern Orthodoxy over Western Catholicism, if the nature of the “one true church” (as limited to EITHER EOC or RCC) is not your view? Also considering Anglicanism is much more related to the latter.


Yep. Motley. I suspect even among the ACNA you will find some differences re: the Articles, which are another complicated bit of history. Iker’s group within the ACNA is likely to take a looser stance on them.

And other differences,in addition.


Also this thread has led me to a very interesting question…

So I just started another thread:

At least, I think it’s interesting. I’ve never thought about it before.


As I said, I’m not sure which way I’d have looked, given an alternate history in which Henry stayed Defensor Fidei, in its original sense. Maybe East. Maybe not. Lots of what if’s in that unknown 500 years.


My guess is, the Papacy and any developments that occurred following Trent. (I know this question wasn’t directed at me but I’ve asked it as well.)


thank you for the compliment! :wink:


Some Papal points, yes. Universal ordinary authority, and personal charism of infallibility, as properly defined at Vat1.


Just out of curiosity, what do you make of John 17:11? Christ’s prayer that we all be one?


Sounds like a good idea to me. Call an ecumenical council with representatives of all apostolic Churches (none of that ecclesial communities stuff), and let’s start talking about how we compromise ourselves out of division and into one whole. The Holy Father can chair it and take the minutes, schedule coffee breaks and so forth.


I would understand this from a “true church vs true church” perspective, like is Orthodoxy or Catholicism more correct on papal primacy – is communion with Rome necessary? etc.

But again, from an Anglican or Protestant perspective, it seems more of a practical question:

How does the Pope’s universal jurisdiction personally affect you? Why would that, in itself, be a sticking point? What other doctrines has papal primacy led to that the Orthodox reject (for example)? Etc.


How do we know what an apostolic church is?

Do other apostolic churches consider Anglican churches to be apostolic?

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