Ideal Characteristics of Anglo-Catholicism

To follow up from my previous article, I give some ideas about what I would like to see in Anglo-Catholicism as expressed in the Continuing Churches and how things could be in the future.

Rather than a revival of the kind of Anglicanism that was founded on the English Reformation and fettered to the State down to matters of ritual and interpretation of the Prayer Book, we need to have a broader vision, one of Catholicism without any qualifying adjective. This kind of Catholicism would be as understood over the first millennium and by the more pastorally-minded of Eastern Orthodox priests and bishops. There needs to be a profound sense of not founding a new church, but of rediscovering the living Tradition.

Wanting to reject all ecclesial development since the first three centuries of Church history is not a good idea. There were many healthy developments in the middle ages in spite of the presence also of some corruptions and accretions. One capital task for us all is learning to understand the Orthodox and helping them to learn to understand us. We have got to get beyond the notion of “conversion” to the “true Church” to an attitude of whole-hearted hospitality and welcoming of diversity in matters of liturgical traditional and culture.

As in all Catholic and Orthodox Churches the integrity of the priesthood and episcopate needs to be carefully safeguarded without falling into excesses of Donatism. Ordination is not “defiled” by its being conferred by the “wrong” bishop. It is valid or it is not valid. There need to be clear guidelines for conditional ordinations when they are judged to be necessary or appropriate. There needs to be a programme of education to combat neo-Donatism.

The legitimacy of the Church does not depend on approval by Rome or a canonical Orthodox authority, but on the integrity of its creedal orthodoxy and the integrity of its Episcopate. There needs to be a considerable amount of thought about the role of the bishop in the Church. The Church consists of human beings who are sinful through weakness, but steps need to be taken when weakness becomes a permanent state of evil, arrogance, pride, ambition and delinquency. Bishops need to be accountable to their priests and lay faithful so that an evil or unfit man can be removed with the minimum of damage to the Church as a whole.

The Affirmation of Saint Louis is an excellent basis of doctrine. There are also the agreed statements of a couple of decades ago between the Union of Utrecht and representatives of Orthodoxy. There is also the Declaration of Utrecht from 1889 to state a clear position concerning the definition and exercise of “papal infallibility” in the Roman Catholic Church. Like Old Catholics, Anglo-Catholics need to be aware of the unacceptable developments in Roman Catholicism to be encouraged to rediscover the older ecclesiology and basis of the Church. The emphasis should be on the idea of belonging to the universal Church of the whole of its history.

Anglo-Catholicism needs to be dedicated to the following orientations:

–         Theological study based on the Scriptures and Fathers of the Church, and all the noted theologians ever since.

–         The reform of excessive clericalism, a synodal method of government and subsidiarity. There needs also to be a healthy detachment from secular politics or the temptation to worldly power. The mission of the Church also is essentially religious and spiritual.

–         Commitment to union with other Churches of like theological convictions and with the Catholic Priesthood. Union is more through human contact and bonds of friendship than negotiations between bishops. It needs to be a work of the whole Church.

I see no tendency in the Anglican-Catholic to compromise on the essentials of the Sacramental integrity of the Church or traditional doctrine, for example giving in to temptations of liberalism or unhealthy forms of esoteric religion. For this, the Anglican Continuum should be praised. This puts Continuing Anglicans into a unique position in relation to Rome and the Western Orthodox vicariates. Even if conversion and absorption are out of the question, the duty remains to resume the dialogue when the current polemics will have abated.

The marriage of the clergy should be maintained as presently. Divorce and remarriage in the clergy is a real problem. Institutional procedures for annulments should be carefully researched and conducted according to acceptable canonical norms.

It would be fitting in the Anglo-Catholic world that churches should be appointed and liturgies celebrated in an “English” manner, avoiding the excesses of baroque Roman Catholicism. I would encourage more use of the Sarum or northern French liturgical rites and traditions rather than counter-reformation Roman Catholic custom. The resources are available and a printing house could easily publish the necessary books. The language of the people would normally be used, archaic English for English-speakers, but without excluding the possibility of reviving the liturgy in Latin, especially when sung. Some parishes in the ACA offer Mass in Latin for former Roman Catholics who prefer it.

Liturgy needs to be given its importance like in the mind of the Eastern Orthodox and monastic traditions of the east and the west. Liturgy expresses what we believe as Christians and how we build our relationship with God and our fellow Christians in the Church. Through beauty and communication with all the five senses, the liturgy has the power to evangelise the whole person.

A vital dimension of Anglo-Catholicism and the Old Catholic idea is the primacy of the conscience, not merely obedience to an authority. The right conscience needs to be formed by empathy for other people and through education, especially in the family. A correct understanding of magisterium would be instructing, guiding and teaching, rather than imposing a spiritually totalitarian regime in which the screws are tightened always in the same direction – until something breaks.

Many of these ideas may seem to have little to do with Anglicanism but rather to a wide vision of Catholicism without any restricting or qualifying adjectives. The term Anglican Patrimony has been discussed a considerable amount over the past few years in the context of the Ordinariate. It is discussed in a different way in a continuing Anglican context, often in conflictual terms. As I mentioned in my previous article, separation of the “churchmanships” of comprehensive Anglicanism into a number of communions seems inevitable, given the separation from the Anglican Communion and the Establishment. Anglo-Catholicism should see no shame in putting the Thirty-Nine Articles, Black Rubrics and other historical accretions from the English Reformation into a museum and appealing to Catholicism.

Freed from the fetters, I am sure the restoration of bonds of mutual friendship and fellowship in prayer can be brought about even if communicatio in sacris is still a few years down the road. To a large extent, we are responsible for building up our own hope in the future.

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22 Responses to Ideal Characteristics of Anglo-Catholicism

  1. Michael Frost says:

    Fr. Anthony, I found this section most interesting:

    ” The legitimacy of the Church does not depend on approval by Rome or a canonical Orthodox authority, but on the integrity of its creedal orthodoxy and the integrity of its Episcopate. There needs to be a considerable amount of thought about the role of the bishop in the Church. The Church consists of human beings who are sinful through weakness, but steps need to be taken when weakness becomes a permanent state of evil, arrogance, pride, ambition and delinquency. Bishops need to be accountable to their priests and lay faithful so that an evil or unfit man can be removed with the minimum of damage to the Church as a whole.”

    You sound almost exactly like Philip Melanchthon circa 1530 in the Augsburg Confession and his thoughts on “the eternal Church” in his Loci Communes! For example, in the Confession see Art. VII–The Church (preaching the pure gospel and properly administering the sacraments), VIII–What the Church is? (filled with sinners but whose sacraments are efficacious even though her clergy sin), XXVIII–The Power of Bishops (to preach the Gospel, forgive sins, administer sacraments, without entangling themselves in temporal power, neglecting their duties, or imposing burdensome requirements and ensnaring consciences). And sometimes in your discussions about the state of the world and Church, you sound a lot like Luther in the 1510s?

    If only there were some viable High Church Lutheranism left? Makes me wonder if the remnant withing continuing Anglicanism–that remains after those inclined to Rome have left and those that remain can’t move to Constantinople–shouldn’t be working to heal the Anglican conundrum about whether it is more Reformed or Lutheran? Achieve some final, concrete agreement on binding dogma, promulgate same, and stick to it! I’ve never seen much of an impediment between the 39 Articles and the Augsburg Confession. Wittenberg has survived nearly 500 years as a stable theological system. It just often lacks for evangelical fervor, unity, and missionary activity, and has often fallen prey to the State, but as long as there is an Augsburg Confession and Apology, there will always be Lutheranism.

  2. ed pacht says:

    Many of these ideas may seem to have little to do with Anglicanism but rather to a wide vision of Catholicism without any restricting or qualifying adjectives.

    Hear, hear!
    It’s not our difference we need to be celebrating, but our efforts to be simply Christian, in the most historic sense we can discover. What differences or distinctives we evidence are not the essence of who we are, but merely a by-product of our history and our life together. That which legitimately distinguishes us from other Catholic Christians is cultural, and as such enriching to the totality of the Church. That which makes us into something essentially distinct is more likely to be an impediment to following Our Lord. Are we more like Rome or the Eastern Church? Are we more like Lutherans or Calvinists? Are we more aligned with Catholics or Protestants? Are any of these questions relevant? I don’t think so. How well do we succeed in following Scripture and the Traditions handed down by an undivided Church? I think that is the primary question. How fervent is our love for Christians of other sorts? If we fail on that, we simply fail. What have we to offer the whole Church out of the life we have lived together? Important, but a very weak third place.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Ed, Interesting but two thoughts. First, the devil is always in the details. What does the fervency of our love for other Christians mean in real world practice? Open communion? Non-denominationalism? Are we to just worship together as a nation (e.g., the CofE) or culture (e.g., just as a small group of Albanian Orthodox at their local church in USA)?

      Second, these things matter in very specific and practical ways to the people involved, that are both real and immediate. What exactly are “the Traditions handed down by an undivided Chruch”? That gets at what is meant by “Tradition”. Or is it “tradition”? And “Church”? Or is it “church”? By acknowledging Rome, Constantinople, Wittenberg, and Geneva, you readily admit that there are competing comprehensive visions of the Church, its belief, and its expectations towards and for its members. We know these others because we are who we are and they are not who we are and vice versa. If it were easy to join together, we probably would’ve done so by now?

      Unfortunately, these communities have been mutually exclusive (so far). That is always the issue. [But we should also keep in mind that Christiandom has been “divided” on so many things and in so many ways…since almost the beginning. Whether it was the language of worship and scripture (Greek vs Latin), the date of Pascha (or is it Easter), how much of Judaism would be in Christianity (see Acts, Council of Jerusalem), liturgics (Roman vs Byzantine), schools of theology (Antiochian vs Alexandrian), specific dogma and doctrinal ideas (Catholic Orthodoxy (or is it Orthodox Catholicism) vs Oriental & Nestorian Orthodox), how much influence the State will have in and over the Church, and more. The Reformation happens after about 1,000 years of East and West having started becoming ontologically different? And “divisions” within communions aren’t unexpected (e.g., the respective national Anglican Communion, ELCA vs LCMS, SCOBA, etc.]

      • ed pacht says:

        What does the fervency of our love for other Christians mean in real world practice? Open communion? Non-denominationalism?

        Neither of those, but a deep love for those with whom we differ, not accepting separation as something that must be, but rather as a challenge to be overcome, a recognition that when there is a division the fault is seldom (perhaps never) all on one side, and deep humility.

        If it were easy to join together, we probably would’ve done so by now?

        A very obvious truism. Is the search for truth easy? Ever? Is it easy to take up our cross and follow Him? Do we ever really succeed? What I call for is the attitude that would make us strive to solve our differences, rather than to build the walls higher and higher. It’s all in the attitude.

        And, yes, there have always been divisions. Even during Jesus’ earthly ministry his disciples were often at odds. but it is a question as to what differences are mutually incompatible and what differences only seem so to . Our logic may see incompatibilities where God does not. In fact, isn’t that at the heart of the earliest Christian history, and of the 7 Councils? Monarchists opposed tritheists. The Church said that both were true in what they asserted, and false in what they denied. Likewise as between Nestorians and Monophysites. Both sides affirmed truth. Both sides denied the seemingly opposite truth. The Church affirmed both. Likewise Judaizers and Libertines with their seemingly incompatible views of the Law. SS. Paul & James and the Jerusalem Council would not take either side without the other, and we still struggle to balance grace and law. I don’t believe that there has ever been one party among Christians that had it entirely right, nor is that true today. We need each other, and we need to realize that others have seen things that we have not.

        Love and deep humility must lie behind all of our actions and attitudes or we risk coming before the Throne proud of our orthodoxy only to hear, “I never knew you.”

      • Stephen K says:

        I am entirely in sympathy with the sentiments ed pacht expresses here.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Ed, I doubt anyone could disagree very effectively with any you said, but you didn’t say anything overly specific. You had me humming The Beatles, “Love is All You Need” and “Come Together”. Though that didn’t end well for them? Your comments appear tied more to the invisible eternal Church rather than the visible institutional Church?

  3. Pingback: Suggestions for Anglo-Catholic Union « Fr Stephen Smuts

  4. Dale says:

    Dear Fr Anthony, I think that both of these articles dealing with Anglo-Catholicism are excellent. They outline, in a clear fashion, things that should be done. Although I have serious reservations with the Antiochian western rite vicariate, I do believe that their liturgical standards, at least as they exist in print, are very solid (Minus many of their Byzantinizations). Any future alignment of Anglo-Catholicism should have two liturgical Eucharistic traditions (which the Antiochians understood as well): the Roman (with a Sarum Use as well), and the Anglican Missal Use. One issue upon which I would respectfully disagree is the following statement:

    “It would be fitting in the Anglo-Catholic world that churches should be appointed and liturgies celebrated in an “English” manner, avoiding the excesses of baroque Roman Catholicism. I would encourage more use of the Sarum or northern French liturgical rites and traditions rather than counter-reformation Roman Catholic custom.”

    Not all Anglo-Catholics are of English origin (this is especially true in the Western Hemisphere) and for many of us, even those of British origin, our received liturgical tradition is in some ways an Anglican Use very much within a modified Tridentine tradition; the big six, altar cards etc. personally, I do not see why these two liturgical traditions cannot easily co-exist.

    One may try to see beyond simply the issue of Anglicans and Anglicanism as well. With the loss of the traditional liturgical traditions even within the PNCC, perhaps a future standard would be not only a home for Anglo-Catholics but Catholics from other, more Tridentine traditions, also looking for a home with traditional Faith and liturgy. Effectively a home for those wishing for a pre-Vatican I (One) Catholicism with the tradition of a married clergy.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Dale, Have you been abducted by aliens and replaced? You actually said something positive about Western Orthodoxy! 😉

      Having worshipped WO for 15 years I completely concur with your statement that our “liturgical standards…are very solid.”

    • Michael Frost says:

      Dale, I greatly appreciate your comment: “Although I have serious reservations with the Antiochian western rite vicariate, I do believe that their liturgical standards, at least as they exist in print, are very solid (Minus many of their Byzantinizations). Any future alignment of Anglo-Catholicism should have two liturgical Eucharistic traditions (which the Antiochians understood as well): the Roman (with a Sarum Use as well), and the Anglican Missal Use.”

      As regards our “Byzantinizations”, I think you have to keep in mind that the liturgy and eucharistic theology expressed in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is mainly that from the 1st-late 4th centuries. Thus it does NOT correspond at all well with either the scholastic Medieval theology that comes out of the Counter Reformation at Trent (our RC-derived Rite) or the Reformation-derived liturgy that was created over and against the Medieval Western liturgy (our Anglican-dervivced Rite). Thus, it is imperative that we do something to synchronize these somewhat disharmonious liturgies with our own liturgical tradition.

      Take the major modifications to the Anglican liturgy. Metropolitan Philip directed that the invocation of the Virgin Mary and saints be restored to the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ’s Church and the Patriarch directed the insertion of the pre-communion prayer, “I believe, O Lord, and I confess….” (into both liturgies). In addition, the eucharistic canon was subtly but significantly edited: “…vouchsafe to send down thy Holy Spirit upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may be changed into the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.”

      Without these changes, one would have two liturgies at odds with each other and neither corresponding that well with the Eastern on essential thoughts regarding liturgy and the eucharist. As it stands, these changes work to respectfully bring all 3 liturgies into a better harmony without destroying the inherent beauty of the 2 Western liturgies.

      • Dale says:

        Actually, I was mostly speaking about the bowdlerization of the Roman canon.

        Putting in the byzantine prayer before communion serves no purpose other than to bring the liturgy into closer usage of the Greek liturgy; it does not exist in earlier publications and is not used in any of the western rites under the Russians. The inclusion of Mary and the saints in the prayer for the whole state of Christ’s Church exists in the Anglican tradition in both the first BCP and other BCP’s in the Anglican communion.

        And the following:
        “As regards our “Byzantinizations”, I think you have to keep in mind that the liturgy and eucharistic theology expressed in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is mainly that from the 1st-late 4th centuries.”
        Is simply Byzantine mythology.

        But since your new Patriarch is fanatically opposed to any western rite usage at all, I think the question is a mote one anyway.

        The actual treatment of the western rite in Antioch is the real problem, not the temporarily and always changing liturgies used at this time, but one suspects, not for long.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, In our Antiochian Western Rite Tridentine-derived liturgy, I suspect you’re talking about this part of our canon:

        “And we beseech thee, O Lord, to send down thy Holy Spirit upon these offering, that he would make this bread the precious Body of thy Christ, and that which is in this Cup the precious Blood of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, transmuting them by thy Holy Spirit. R. AMEN. AMEN. AMEN. (Bell is rung thrice.)”

        The prayer before communion (“I believe, OLord, and I confess….”) reaffirms the unity of the eucharistic theology and the Eucharist between the 3 rites. I think the 1 key is in the phrase “Of thy Mystic Supper….” What we accept about the eucharist is not RC, Lutheran, or Reformed, and all 3 of these Communions might argue our theology is still not fully defined, if not somewhat still inchoate, and rather amorphous, so it is open to interpretation(s).

        Even with the additions and deletions in our 2 Western liturgies, they still don’t fully harmonize, since the Anglican was designed to refute or conflict with the RC, but now they are more in accord with our way of thinking. In my WR local church, we did the Anglican as high mass on Sundays/Holy Days/major festivals and the Tridentine as low mass on weekdays.

      • Dale says:

        Yes, Michael, that is the interpolation that I find unnecessary; but I also fail to understand the Byzantine prayer before communion being stuck in as well (has the Prayer of Humble Access, a wonderful expression of synergy as well as theosis, been stuck into the Greek liturgy of the Antiochians?). The sticking (no better word for this) in of an eastern descending epiclesis in our ancient Canon makes no sense; firstly, because our canon is unchanged from apostolic times, and secondly, even Cabasilas’s “Commentary on the Divine Liturgy” has no problem in accepting the orthodoxy of the Roman canon as is, and defends this position by, quite rightly, by accepting the prayer “Supplices te rogamus” as an ascending epiclesis (now the rite has two epiclesis!). Cabasilas’s proofs for his position are incontrovertible, even by Romans who accept the Words of Institution as the ‘moment’ of change, since, according to Cabasilas, the host and wine are not address in the canon as Body and Blood until AFTER the “Supplices.”

      • Dale says:

        Also, the twice repeated AMEN, AMEN, AMEN are recent additions as well. The older editions of both the Anglican Use as well as Roman rite in Antioch did not have these, the epiclesis was integrated into the canon of the mass. Every time a new edition of the rites is produced, there are more and more byzantinizations. Not a good sign.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I assume our bishops prefer to ensure that all the faithful personally confess the same prayer before communion to express the unity of faith/belief that is so critical to Orthodoxy. Which also goes for saying the N-C Creed. We may do some things differently, but we express the same faith/belief. (And it isn’t as if we weren’t aware as to the controversies of scholastic era in the Medieval Period, the arguments during the Reformation, or what Cranmer appeared to be doing with the liturgy and the underlying eucharistic theology in the West.)

        As Senn points out in his seminal work Christian Liturgy–Catholic & Evangelical (e.g., in Chpt. 7, The Real Presence & the Sacrifice of the Mass), Chrysostom and the Antiochians were champions of the consecratory force of both the words of institution and the epiclesis. Thus it is both undesireable and unnecessary to have any ambiguity about a proper epiclesis and its placement in regard to the words of institution? Given the importance of the Divine Liturgy, I can’t say I disagree with the bishops. Our theology of the real presence may be a bit ambiguous when compared to Rome, Wittenberg, and Geneva, so being even more ambiguous in the Liturgy would be counterproductive.

        I can’t stress enough the “Mystical Supper” theology that is clearly stated in the communicant’s profession. The Eucharist is a most holy, sacred mystery. Not one to be probed impetuously and perpetually by the West?

      • Dale says:

        Michael, you stated:

        “I assume our bishops prefer to ensure that all the faithful personally confess the same prayer before communion to express the unity of faith/belief that is so critical to Orthodoxy.”

        And in the end, it will be this mentality which will doom any rite other than the Byzantine within the Church of Byzantium.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, While I think I understand the concern and do know that American WR Orthodox will have to work very hard to preserve their patrimony, the mentality, i.e., making sure that the Church has a common eucharistic theology, is essential to the Church and to its faithful. (The lack of this is something that has come to haunt the Anglicans; they might have shared a liturgy, but they didn’t share a eucharistic theology.) Most Christians have some appreciation for thoughts like the rule of prayer is the rule of belief and vice versa. Thus isn’t some uniformity and consistency of prayer, esp. eucharistic prayer, both imperative and appropriate?

        Will be interesting to see what Rome does with the Ordinariate’s liturgy(ies). They just aren’t going to accept and use just anything. Not unlike how Anglicans would look over the liturgics of Old Catholics, PNCC, Philipine Independent Church, etc. to ensure they weren’t saying or doing something incompatible with Anglicanism before establishing inter-communion?

        As an aside, I wish we had some data on which liturgy our WR parishes in USA tend to prefer to use on Sundays and sociological data within our WR to see where most of our members had come from and are coming from. In my local parish, the majority were formerly ECUSA (though many of these had originally been RC) but new commers tend to be evangelicals (who sometimes had been RC prior to that). Only a very few came to us straight from RCC and those that do tend to either have no prior use ever or no recent prior use of pre-Vatican II liturgy. Thus our local tradition of using the Anglican-derived liturgy as high mass on Sundays and Holy Days and the Tridentine-derived liturgy as low mass on weekdays makes sense to our parishioners.

      • Dale says:

        Hello Michael, whilst on paper the western rite within Orthodoxy would appear to be a perfect fit for both Anglo-Catholics and more moderate Roman Catholic traditionalists, history has simply proven that it does not work in practice. I think the main problem is not the converts to this experiment (although they, following normal byzantine practice, are the ones blamed), but a real defect within Byzantium itself. This is a denomination that purposely attempted to destroy all of the eastern liturgies as well (besides the well known historical examples of setting up competing Byzantine Patriarchs in the east against the older Syrian and Coptic communities) there was the example of a whole East Syriac diocese converting to Russian Orthodoxy in the last century, and although their tradition is far, far more ancient than that of imperial Byzantium, and although they had been promised the preservation of their rites and traditions, all was quickly Byzantinised. The same was done after the conversion of the Czech National Catholics to Byzantium as well. The wholesale byzantinisation of the numerous parishes with the Latin rite in the Philippines that is going on right now is another example.

        What I also find troublesome is that when all of these issues are presented to Byzantine Orthodoxy, and I do indeed quote all of my sources, all coming from Byzantine sources themselves, I am immediately and personal attacked as if all of this sordid history was simply my personal opinion. They are if anything, far, far, far worse than anything found amongst the Ordinariate group when it comes to silencing opposing facts.

        You failed to understand one of my contentions in this most recently exchange, if there needs to be liturgical modifications to bring the liturgies into alignment, that would also mean introducing traditions from the Roman rite into the Byzantine rite as used by Antioch, this has NEVER been done; hence, one is left with the overriding opinion that the Roman rite is considered inferior and in the end will simply be replaced with the Byzantine, which is what has indeed happened to the vast majority of western rite communities, even in North America.

        Finally, the fact that the new Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch is fanatically opposed to the western rite does not bode well.

        What is being used in the ROCOR, or is eventually going to be introduced into all of their “western rite” parishes, is a fundamentally Byzantine liturgy, including proskomedia and the use of Russian cubed shaped altars behind an ikonostasis with a bowdlerised Roman canon of the mass (Of course called the “Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy”!) stuck into it. it is in modern English.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I always find your comments most stimulating (esp. to my blood pressure 😉 ).

        As regards, “that would also mean introducing traditions from the Roman rite into the Byzantine rite as used by Antioch”–I’d love to see your specifics. I love the ancient Roman Rite. I’ll take mine well before the 9th century eucharistic debates and preferably before say Gregory the Great, if not also Leo the Great, Jerome, & Augustine. So where it was circa…AD 350.

        As regards–“what is being used in the ROCOR, or is eventually going to be introduced into all of their “western rite” parishes, is a fundamentally Byzantine liturgy”–my local ROCOR WR parish (established 2010) uses the Gallican Liturgy! May be the only one in USA? The priest is former ECUSA by way of the oft schismatic/irregular French Orthodox Church. They have been worshipping for some time at an ECUSA church (from 1969 so it has horrible “Stalinist” architecture, no windows, and construction materials, looks like concrete). The strangeness of the liturgy seems to be off putting to some visitors, myself included.

    • Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church? I have occasionally seen bits and pieces on the Web. It almost looks like a big joke. It somewhat reminds me of a so-called “Society of Pope Leo XIII” with a “Cardinal” David Bell. Certainly not my scene! 😉

      • ed pacht says:

        For the record, the Holy Catholic Church – Anglican Rite is indeed an offshoot of Continuing Anglicanism, in origin a breakoff from ACC. It is a small and rather eccentric body, riven by recent controversies. The Anglican Rite RCC in the other hand, has no connection with Continuing Anglicans and doesn’t seem to actually claim that it does, but identifies itself as an Old Catholic body, that is, insofar as it actually exists other than on paper.

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