Why Go Anglo-Catholic?

As far as I can tell Anglo-Catholics share pretty much the same beliefs as Catholics, and call themselves Catholics. Why do they choose to do this? If they want to be Catholic why don’t they just become Catholics, rather than remaining in the Church of England and acting like Catholics?

Good question. I can’t answer personally but I think it stems from King Henry VIII’s view that the King should be head of the state and head of state religion as well. So I don’t think they accept the authority of the pope.

A more generic way to look at it that Anglo-Catholics, and Anglicans in general, don’t affirm all the dogma that is de fide for Roman Catholics, Papal issues included. Sort of like the Orthodox.

The Church of England, by the way, is only a portion of Anglicanism, though it’s where it started.


Anglicanus Catholicus

Since I was an Anglo Catholic before converting I believe it is an “authority” issue. My experience in the Episcopal church was people wanted to (in all charity) enjoy the catholic traditions, but didn’t want anyone over them in matters of faith.

Once you accept what the bible says when Jesus spoke to Simon "thou are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church. What so ever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven. He also gave Peter the Keys and asked him to feed his sheep. From this scripture it sure sounds to me that Peter was given the authority over the Church and as the apostles handed down their authority to celebrate Mass, forgive sins etc. Peters authority over the Church was also handed down.

This is way the Holy Spirit reveals a better understanding of dogma and doctrine to this day.

In my former parish there were many who just really wanted to do “it” their way. I understand that it is difficult to submit to authority, but I personally found freedom submitting to Peter. I know many here will argue about the interpretation of the above verses, and that is fine because we all have free will.

People will also say look at the scandals in the Church, will let me say that if you really research you can find many scandals in the Episcopal church and any other denomination. Why is it that the Catholic Church appears to be the only Church that the media and others listen to. Of course they don’t agree with the Church, they love to attack it, isn’t it because the Catholic Church speaks in some way for all of Christianity?

We are the most hated Church from what I observe. As our Lord said you will be persecuted for my sake. Not an exact quote. Well I don’t see any other church really being persecuted as we are.

Human nature is what it is and many people don’t accept any authority, whether it is on the job or the laws of the land. I just wish that if people would pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them to the truth and listen to the answer they might come into the Church. If they believe they are being led elsewhere maybe God has plans for them to serve Him in ways we are not aware of to bring others to Christ. My heart goes out to Anglo Catholics more because I was in their position at one time and it always bothered me when someone would ask what faith I belonged to and something always stopped me from saying Catholic as I knew in my heart and soul that I was misrepresenting myself. If I said that I was Catholic the person who assume I belonged to the Church of Rome.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Because we don’t want to be Catholic. I dont say it that way to be flip or stupid I say it because its the truth. Yes, for most of us its because there are issues of dogma that we can’t agree with (and I really dont want to cherry pick my beliefs, thats why I could never be Roman Catholic) but, like most things in the Anglican Church it really does depend on the person.
Another problem is that there is a huge difference between ritual and belief. Anglo-Catholics will be very Roman Catholic in their Ritual but not always in their belief (and I know that those two things ought to go together but for some people they don’t). My mother for example loves the ritual of a high Anglo-Catholic Mass but she is so Calvinist in the rest of her theology (also I know its really weird but just trust me :p).

For me, I’m anglo-catholic because I can’t be Roman Catholic but I love the Roman Catholic Church and I’m sure there are people like me out there.

I hope that helps


Becca, hopefully one day you’ll come to the fullness of Catholic expression in the Catholic Church in union with the Bishop of Rome. :thumbsup:

Well, I’ve heard Anglo-Catholics say that they were part of the Catholic Church. I’m not sure if you believe this as well, but that is more specificly what I mean. Why do they choose to say this, when the Catholic Church insists that they are not part of the Church?
If you love the Church so much, why don’t you become part of it? If you have such theological differences, how can you say you love it?

Yep. I’m sort of like that too.

The distinction you make, about ritual and doctrine, can be thought of as that between the concept of High Church, and Anglo-Catholic. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, and, as you say, they should correlate (and often do) too often they don’t. Anglo-Catholic refers best to doctrine, and traces its roots to the Tractarians and the Oxford movement, and High Church more to the Ritualist movement that started about 12-15 years later, in the Church of England.


Anglicanus Catholicus

I know this isn’t addressed to me, so ignore it if you wish.

On that point, of Catholic or not, we differ from the RCC. And on others.


The Orthodox call themselves Catholic as well.

“Catholic” applies well beyond those in communion with the Roman Bishop.

I point I raise, from time to time.


I think many people remain in the church they grew up in because that is where they first found God. I grew up Catholic. I have considered other churches but feel that the fullness of doctrinal truth is in the Catholic church and that it goes back to the apostles and has true sacraments. Also, this is the tradition I grew up in so it is comfortable to me (even though I lived thru the Vatican II years). I imagine that others feel the same about the church they grew up in or first attended.

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