Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anglicanism and invitation

It is curious to me that we Anglicans have a special invitation from the Pope to join the Roman Catholic Church under special governance arrangements. Quite by co-incidence, our Rector has been writing these past two weeks on 'what is Anglicanism':

... It is commonly held that the Anglican Church 'began' when King Henry VIII severed the Ecclesia Anglicana from the authority of the Pope. But by his politically motivated actions, Henry neither began a new church nor laid down principles of what the English church was to become. "Anglicanism is not a system;" nor has it ever "considered itself to be a sect or denomination originating in the sixteenth century, (but) continues without a break from the Ecclesia Anglicana founded by St Augustine." ... its 'genius' was to seek a synthesis between its unbroken catholic heritage (including things like 'apostolic succession,' adherence to the traditional creeds, and the authority of early church councils) and those urgent 'protesting' voices from continental Europe. ... under Elizabeth's reign, with the institution of the 1559 prayerbook, ... a ... via media began to emerge ... .
(no citation for the quote - may have been influenced from here.) It is clear even from this extract that the Anglican church is older than some may have thought and is catholic in attitude, and moreover, while anyone may be specially invited, the table is open without question to all baptized. No special permission or governance is required.

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