regarding the Roman Nature of the Anglican Church
Bishops, Regular Clergy, and Faithful of the Anglican Rite Roman
Catholic Church, greetings and Apostolic Blessings.
Rome, there would be no Anglican Church. Saint Augustine of
Canterbury was sent to England in the Sixth Century by Pope Saint
Gregory the Great with a mission of building the Church in that
Anglican Church proper, having been thus founded by Saint Augustine
of Canterbury, naturally evolved as part of the Roman Church, while
retaining and developing its own customs, still within the framework
of the Roman Church. In A.D. 597, Pope Saint Gregory the Great
authorized special liturgy for the English people be developed by
Saint Augustine of Canterbury. (2)
political break with Rome by Henry VIII occurred in 1529 over the
matter of divorce and annulment. However, while the Anglican Bishops
were forcibly cut from communion with Rome, the mass remained the
same Latin mass as had been used before. (3)
1592, the Book of Common Prayer, in English, is revised to suit
Protestants, with the doctrine of the Real Presence removed, as well
as vestments, holy oil, the sign of the Cross at Confirmation, the
reserved Sacrament, and prayers for the departed. However, when Mary
Tudor ascended to the throne, 1553, succeeding Edward VI, the
connection to Rome was again restored. However, it had become clear
that the Protestant influence had thoroughly taken root in England.
When Elizabeth I, a staunch Protestant, became Queen upon the death
of Mary Tudor, the break from Rome for religious reasons was carried
out, and the Anglican Church went into doctrinal schism. (4)
and after the reign of Elizabeth I, the Protestant influence has been
felt within the Anglican Church, even to the present day. While many
Catholics, generally referred to as Anglo-Catholics, remain present
within the various jurisdictions of the worldwide Anglican Church,
even in some cases at Anglo-Catholic parishes professing Catholic
doctrine, they are largely discriminated against. Attempts are made
to suppress Anglo-Catholics.
6. At many
Anglican parishes and within many Anglican dioceses, this suppression
takes the form of catering to vocal low-church Protestants who
criticize their ecclesiastical leaders and other parishioners who
profess Catholic doctrine and seek Catholic worship in the Anglican
tradition. The result of this is to bring worship and catechesis to
the least common denominator, watering down the Faith of the Ages to
suit the heretical whims of low-church Protestants within the Church.
The Catholics are forced to suppress their views and further suffer
by not receiving the fullness of the liturgical and catechetical life
of the Church. The Catholics within such parishes or dioceses are
often left feeling disenchanted, offended, and as second class
citizens whose needs are insignificant to the other parishioners and
to the clergy.
low-church Protestants may be welcomed in Christian brotherhood,
clergy and faithful alike fail in their duty to God and to his Holy
Church when they uphold, adopt, or profess heresies. They need not
openly adopt said heresy, but may nevertheless be guilty of its
promulgation by not opposing it. (5)
8. One of
the greatest strengths of the Anglican tradition is that there is
ability for variation in worship. This tradition is strengthened by
the fact that Pope Saint Gregory the Great charged Saint Augustine of
Canterbury with the task of developing new liturgy for the Anglican
Church. Yet, any such variation of change made must in all cases be
consistent in fact and in spirit with the doctrine of the Church and
must never imply or promote doctrinal changes. The liturgical changes
within the Protestant Reformation were made to promote a break with
Rome, the true heritage of the Anglican Church, and to imply changes
in doctrine to be consistent with Protestant thought. Such liturgy
cannot be permitted or tolerated within any Anglican jurisdiction
professing the Catholic Faith.
1560, "An Apology for the Church of England" was written by
John Jewel, in which Rome is declared to be the schismatic force, not
England. In 1563, the Thirty-Nine Articles were drafted as a
statement of the new Protestant doctrine of the Church of England.
Rome was viewed as the enemy, then, by the Protestants. Fear and
dislike of Rome is a byproduct of the Protestant Reformation and its
influence on the Anglican Church. It is not and cannot be a product
of the Anglican Church simply being different, as the Anglican Church
was founded by Rome. As such, the history, doctrine, and traditions
of the Anglican Church cannot exist, cannot function, and cannot be
explained or understood outside of the context of Rome.
claim to be Anglican and take offense at Rome is both to deny one's
own heritage and 	to profess a steadfastly Protestant
viewpoint. To claim to be Anglican and Catholic (or Anglo-Catholic)
while denying Roman heritage is either to be not Catholic at all or
at the very least not to have a thorough understanding of one's own
heritage, history, and tradition.
11. It is
incumbent upon all Catholic clergy of the Anglican Rite to impress
the history and doctrine of the Church upon all the faithful. The
simple truth must be promulgated that to be Anglican is to be Roman.
The history of the two cannot be separated if one is going to profess
the Catholic Faith.
further problem that stems from procedural changes beginning in the
Protestant Reformation is that of a Parish Vestry or a Parish Council
taking upon itself far more authority than it is due. Far too often
the laity of a parish, organized often in the form of a Parish
Council or a Vestry, seeks to be the ultimate authority in the
parish, usurping the authority of the clergy and often mistreating them.
13. In the
Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, it must be remembered that the
authority of the Vestry or Parish Council is limited to an advisory
or operational role only. (6) Furthermore, as the principal authority
in a parish is vested in the Rector, a parish need not have lay
officers. (7) In this way, the Church keeps with the historic nature
of its organization.
Church is and has always been organized from the top down. Jesus
Christ gave the authority to the Apostles at the first Pentecost. The
Apostles gave authority to the Bishops. The Bishops have passed their
Apostolic authority down through the ages to the present day through
unbroken Apostolic succession. Bishops ordain priests and deacons,
and commission to the Minor Orders in order to carry out the
functions of the Church's ministry.
Church is not a grass-roots organization in which the laity gives
authority to the Rector, who gives authority to the Bishop, and so
forth. To assume that it is organized in such a fashion is an affront
to the Church and ultimately to Jesus Christ himself, who established
the Church in a particular way.
clergy who wish to usurp the positions of higher authorities within
the Church, as well as those members of the laity who seek to usurp
the rightful position of the clergy commit the sin of pride. If such
usurpations continue, it breeds an atmosphere of discontentment and
instability within a parish, a diocese, or even the Church as a
whole, rather than a prayerful, peaceful atmosphere that is intended.
clergy and faithful who seek to impose their own will in matters of
liturgy, doctrine, and ecclesiastical law and practice in
contravention of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and higher
ecclesiastical authority, lay no claim to call themselves Catholic.
This individual arrogance is one of the largest impediments to
Christian unity today, even unity within the Anglican Church.
Therefore, all members of the clergy and faithful are exhorted to
keep the Catholic Faith in all matters of life, upholding the
doctrine, and never forgetting the completeness of our Anglican
heritage. This heritage includes, as a matter of historical fact, the
heritage of the Roman Church. This heritage is not merely a point of
history, but rather an inseparable aspect of the spiritual nature of
our Church. Only the Protestants seek to deny this. To be Anglican is
to be Roman. Without Rome, there is no Anglican Church.
+Rutherford c.p.p. I
at the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham
Fourth Sunday after Easter
Advent Catholic Encyclopedia;
St. Augustine of Canterbury.
4.25.; 2010 Anglo-Catholic
Book of Common Prayer.
Ways of Being an Accessory to the Sin of Another.
276, Sec. 5, Code of Particular Canon Law.
276, Sec. 1, Code of Particular Canon Law.