Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
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The Anglican Church did not exist then. But when later established it gradually adopted Protestant principles, and is a Protestant Church.
I myself was brought up as an Anglican, and in the firm belief that I was a Protestant. An Anglican paper. The English Churchman is subtitled A Protestant Family Journal, The King of England is an Anglican, and in his coronation oath uses the words, "I solemnly and sincerely profess, etc., that I am a faithful Protestant."
Some Anglicans do; some do not. In any case, if a stray child wandered into some home and declared that it was a member of the family, it would not avail much if the whole family declared that it was no relative at all. And despite the claims of a few Anglicans, not only Catholics, but practically everyone knows that the Church of England is not a part of the Catholic Church, and that it is as Protestant as the Plymouth Brethren. Catch an Anglican off his guard, whoever he may be, and his own Church never enters his head when asked to direct someone to a Catholic Church. The oath taken by the King of England is as un-Catholic a formula as could well be conceived, and it definitely declares Anglicanism to be a Protestant sect cut off from, and distinct from, the Catholic Church.
If you have any respect for the law of England you must regard the King as head of the Anglican Church. The law says that he is, and to deny it is disloyal. As an Anglican I always accepted the King as head of the Anglican Church. As a Catholic, I still look upon him as head of that Church. Every loyal subject must do so. In the Book of Common Prayer, prior to the Articles, you will read the profession of the King, "Being supreme governor of the Church which is committed to our care." By law the very Bishops of the Anglican Church are subject to him in things spiritual as well as in things temporal. A man is loyal if he respects the laws of his country. We Catholics admit that the King is head of the Church of England, and we are loyal in doing so. But whether the Anglican Church is the true Church of Christ is another question. That we deny, and no law asks us to admit it. Nor could any valid law demand such an admission.
It is the Catholic Church, a Church which has its headquarters at Rome, subjection to the Bishop of Rome being the test of true Catholicity. Anglicans, or at least some of them, would like to pretend that we have the Roman form of Catholicity, and that they have the English form. But this is mere pretense. The Catholic Church is international. The Church of England is national, its authority being vested, not in a successor of the Apostles, but in a successor of Henry VIII.
The differences are legion. Firstly, there is all the difference between a Church established by Henry VIII., King of England, and that established so carefully by Christ. Secondly, the Anglican Church is still subject to parliament; is national in character; is chaotic in doctrine and discipline; has no valid orders; rejects the Mass, and the obligation of Confession. But why continue! All is summed up in the fundamental difference that the Catholic Church is the true Church, whilst the Church of England is a man-made substitute Church.
If you mean by the English Catholic Church that Catholic Church in England which is under the jurisdiction of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, there is no difference. But if you mean the Church of England I can only reply that that Church is not Catholic at all.
Other Protestant Churches are doing as much as the Church of England in this matter, yet you will not admit that they are Catholic because of that. But apart from that, what does the word Catholic really mean in its technical Christian sense? It does not refer to area alone. To be really Catholic a Church must have originated with Christ; must have existed in all ages since Christ; must be suitable for all nations and be ever expanding amongst them; must possess all the doctrine of Christ; and must ever retain all its members within the same unity of authoritative discipline. The Church of England fails in all these requirements. In origin, it was by British law established, and remains subject to the crown of England. In time, it dates from the 16th century, and therefore has certainly not existed in all ages since Christ. Nor is the Church of England adapted to all peoples. If a man seriously accepts the Church of England Prayer Book, he has to accept the King of England as the supreme head and governor of the Anglican Church. How could you ask a Frenchman to accept the President of France as his civil ruler, yet the decisions of the British parliament as his rule of faith? If we turn to facts, we find no trace of a truly Catholic expansive principle in Anglicanism. In spite of its belated and isolated missionary efforts since the 18th century, some hundreds of years after its establishment, it is not even attempting to convert all peoples. I have never met any body of Italian Anglicans, or Spanish, or German, or French, or Austrian Anglicans. No European nation accepts your Church except the British. Why does the Church of England make no effort for these peoples? Have they not the right to the truth taught by Christ? Or is it because the Catholic Church is quite all right for them? Yet if this be the case, why does the Church of England plant missions in newer lands where the Catholic Church already exists? The fact that it neglects other European countries shows that it has not a truly Catholic spirit, whilst the fact that it does set up isolated missions in opposition to already existing Catholic missions shows that it is not really conscious of being part of the Catholic Church at all. But let us turn from origin, time, and extent, to doctrine. Catholic doctrine demands that all members of the Church accept the same truths. Otherwise it cannot be a question of the same religion everywhere. Now the Church of England does not accept all the doctrines of Christ It terms many of them fables and blasphemies. Nor only that. In such part of Christian doctrine as it does accept, Anglicanism is a house of confusion. Bishop Barnes and Lord Halifax claim to belong to the same Church, yet would cheerfully excommunicate each other as heretics. A low-church missionary will establish a Church in Papua which can scarcely be recognized as being of the same religion as that established by a high-church man in Fiji. Finally, I need scarcely speak of unity in discipline. There is hardly any such unity within the Anglican Church in practice, and whilst some Anglicans claim unity with the Catholic Church, that Church denies any such bond. So great is the difference between the Church of England and the Catholic Church that we can safely say that, if the Anglican Church be the true Church, then the Catholic Church is certainly wrong, and vice-versa.
History shows that the Catholic Church was in England before the time of Henry VIII. To-day we have the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church, in addition, of course, to many others. The Anglican Church was unheard of, until Henry VIII. determined to establish it. Previously, he had been as subject to the Pope as I am. The Church which history records as being in England before Henry corresponds exactly with the Catholic Church in England to-day under the Archbishop of Westminster. Anglicanism is the intruder.
Henry gave no Church back to England. To give back is to restore what was possessed before. But nothing like the Anglican Church had previously existed in England. You cannot term Henry's action the removing of foreign matter from an eye. Rather he removed the eye, and filled up the cavity with foreign matter. The Catholic Church was suppressed, and a new Church of England was created.
Historians use the word reformation to designate the religious changes of the 16th century, but the radical change cannot be called reform. The Church of England began with a new constitution altogether, with Caesar as supreme in the things which should belong to God. Before the Reformation the Mass was the very centre and essence of religion, yet before very long it was banished and ridiculed. The new religion meant a change in both worship and discipline.
Never. The Catholic Church, subject to the Bishop of Rome, has the same constitution as that given her by Christ when He said to St. Peter, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my Church." She has the same foundation as the one and only Church in England until the substitution of himself by Henry VIII. as the foundation stone of the Church of England. The Anglican Church came into existence by a complete change of constitution which every previous Archbishop of Canterbury from the time of Augustine would have rejected with horror.
Your statement is erroneous, and in any case you cannot claim that the present Church of England has any connection with the Church which was in England prior to the coming of St. Augustine. Let us put it this way. There are two sets of Bishops in England to-day. There are the Bishops of the Church of England, and the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church—if you like such a phrase. The Anglican Bishops are not subject to the Pope—the Catholic Bishops are. Now in the year 1500—we need not go back to the pre-Augustine Church, though the same thing was true then—there was but one set of Bishops in England. Which of the two sets of Bishops now corresponds with the one set of Bishops then? If we can solve that, we shall be able to find the intruder.Without dwelling upon probable traditions concerning the sending of missionaries by Pope Eleutherius about the year 170 A.D., it is certain that the very first elements of Christianity came to England from the Continent, where all true Christians were subject to the Pope. In 314 A.D., English Bishops were present at the Council of Aries, in Gaul. This was over 200 years before St. Augustine set foot in England. Now every Bishop of the Council of Aries was in communion with Rome. The Council was held under authority from Pope Sylvester, who sent his legates, and who received from the assembled Bishops this greeting, "In the unity of our mother the Catholic Church, we salute thee, most glorious Pope, with the reverence due." No Anglican Bishops to-day would be invited to sit in Council with the Bishops of Italy, Spain, France, Africa, Germany, and other regions, as those early English Bishops did at the Council of Aries. Something has gone wrong somewhere!In 596 Pope Gregory sent St. Augustine to England, giving him authority over all the Bishops already in England. They must all have been Roman Catholics for the Bishop of Rome to use such words as these: "We give you no authority over the Bishops of Gaul. But as for all the Bishops of Britain, we commit them to your care, that the unlearned may be taught, the weak strengthened by persuasion, the perverse corrected by authority."In 735 the Venerable Bede wrote, "The Pope bears pontifical power over the whole world." St. Anselm of Canterbury wrote, in the 11th century, "It is certain that he who does not obey the Roman Pontiff is disobedient to the Apostle Peter, nor is he of that flock given to Peter by God." In 1154 a member of the Church in England at that time was elected Pope. His name was Nicholas Breakspeare. You cannot imagine a member of the Anglican Hierarchy to-day being elected Pope! In 1170 St. Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote, "Who doubts that the Roman Church is the head of all Churches, and the source of doctrine." In 1208, Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote, "Pope Alexander, possessing plenitude of power, gave back this Archbishopric to Thomas independently of the royal assent." This was the one set of Bishops in England before the reformation, and the Catholic Bishops in England to-day are their corresponding Bishops. Where were the Anglican Bishops before the reformation? They did not exist. Or take this simple reasoning. St. Thomas More was beheaded because he refused to give up the old religion. Then whatever religion he was clinging to, was the old religion. But he was clinging to what you would call the Roman Catholic religion, refusing the oath of supremacy which Henry VIII. claimed over the new Church of his own creation. If this new Church of England was the same as the old Church in England, St. Thomas More was a fool indeed to lose his life. Yet he was an exceedingly good and wise man.
He has no link with them either by jurisdiction or by Holy Orders. He merely retains the name without the reality, and owes his position to the crown. All the privileges once granted to the Archbishops of Canterbury by Rome are now granted to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. If the present Archbishop of Canterbury were converted to the Catholic Church, and wished to exercise priestly functions in that Church, he would have to be ordained as if he had never claimed to be a cleric of any description previously.
There have been Anglican Bishops continuously since the Reformation, but valid Orders have not been continuously handed on. Henry VIII began the Church of England in 1534. The Bishops who submitted to him were validly consecrated, and validity lasted until 1550. But in that year, under Edward VI, a great effort was made to protestantize still more the Church of England both in doctrine and in practice. The form of Ordination was deliberately changed, all reference to priesthood in the true Christian sense of the word being eliminated. This defective form, utterly useless for the true ordination of priests, remained unchanged until 1662 - 112 years later. Then the mistake was realized and the form was corrected. But the correction was too late, for those with correct Orders had died, and only those who had been invalidly consecrated remained to hand on their pretended Orders. Not a few Anglicans have tried to make sure of Orders by re-ordination at the hands of schismatical Bishops. The Anglican Bishop Knox, writing in the National Review for September, 1925, said correctly, "The Pope refused absolutely to recognize our Anglican Orders on the ground that our Church does not ordain priests to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass. In spite of attempts made by our Archbishop to conceal this defect, the Pope from his point of view was unquestionably right. It is true that certain priests of the Church of England offer so-called Masses, but as they were not ordained by the Church with the intention that they should offer the Body and Blood of Christ to the Father, the Sacrament of their Ordination is for this purpose a failure. The Prayer Book and Ordinal are simply un-Catholic, since they show no sign of fulfilling the most important of all Catholic functions."
Firstly, there is no such thing as a united Orthodox Church. Nor can the admissions of one or two sections of that Church be quoted as the universal judgment of the Greek Church.Secondly, the Greek Bishops do not claim infallibility. They may say, "This is our opinion," but they cannot add, "And our opinion is certainly true." In other words, the admissions of some isolated Greek Patriarchs prove nothing.Thirdly, such opinion as some Patriarchs may have expressed was based upon defective information. They could judge only upon the information given them. But the true facts were not put before them. High-Church men submitted an exposition of the case against which Anglican newspapers in England protested strongly as being a most distorted view of Church of England principles. The verdict of a misinformed Greek Bishop cannot avail against the verdict of a well-informed Anglican Bishop, such as Bishop Knox.
Yes. It is an infallible decision concerning a secondary object connected with and necessary for the defence of revealed dogma. We have to accept the decision, not from a motive of divine faith, but because of the infallible authority of the Church. The question was submitted to a thorough and even sympathetic consideration, the Pope knowing that if Anglican Orders could be admitted as valid the road to re-union would be much easier. But the evidence compelled the Pope to declare them invalid. Pope Leo XIII. definitely adopted the decision of die appointed Commission, and published the condemnation with his own infallible authority to support it. No Anglican clergyman could officiate in the Catholic Church without being ordained by a Catholic Bishop.
I am afraid I would have to ask you to tell me what you believe to be the teaching of the Anglican Church. Anglicans hold all kinds of conflicting beliefs. Dr. Gore writes a book on Church of England doctrine, and Bishop Barnes flatly contradicts it I have a dozen Anglican books on Church of England doctrine, and all explain it differently. Anglican teachings, however, do contradict those of Christ.
All Anglicans at least accept an Erastian Church subject to political and parliamentary authority in England, and throughout the world they deny the necessity of submission to the lawful authority of the successor of St. Peter, the present Bishop of Rome. Again, half the members of the Anglican Church say that they believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and half say that they do not. Now Christ said, "Hear the Church." If the Anglican Church were the true Church, which half must men hear? As a teaching Church Anglicanism fails, and is compelled to tolerate such men as Bishop Barnes, who openly deny the explicit doctrines of Christ.
You recite the same Creed, but you do not believe in it in the true Catholic sense. Catholics recite and accept the Apostles' Creed in practice. Anglicans recite it. All Anglicans say, "I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord." Many Anglicans do not believe that He is truly the Son of God. All Anglicans say, "Born of the Virgin Mary." Many deny the Virginity of Mary. All Anglicans say, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church." But none of them joins it, or if he does, he ceases to be an Anglican. All Anglicans say, "I believe in the Communion of the Saints," but few dare enter into communication with the Saints. All say, "I believe in the forgiveness of sins," but the vast majority ignore the Sacrament of Confession. Anglicans may recite the Creed, but most Anglicans certainly do not realize what the words imply.
He preaches the doctrine of the Church of England as he understands it, and being in good faith, no fault probably attaches to him. But the real question is, "Are the doctrines of the Church of England anti-Christian?" The reply is, "Not in every single matter. Various groups within the Anglican Church have kept some parts of Christ's teaching intact. But in many things all Anglicans reject certain doctrines without warrant. The present Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury is, of course, a heretic and a schismatic objectively. Catholic Bishops throughout the world will enter into no official relations whatever with those Anglican Bishops who have appeared on the scene only since the 16th century."
Why should they have to do so, if the Anglican Church is right, and has ever been right? But, even so, Anglo-Catholics are not passing to Catholic ways. The Catholic way is obedience to the God-given authority of the Catholic Church, and Anglo-Catholics are as far off from that as ever.
They imitate many of our external practices. But even this attempt is in defiance of their own Bishops. Nor does their imitation of Catholic worship make them Catholics. If some stranger were my double in appearance, that would not make him my blood brother. The only way to be a Catholic is to be one. We went from God by disobedience, and the one way back is by obedience. Obedience is the very essence of religion, and it is obedience to the Catholic Church in belief and practice which makes a man a Catholic.
The Clergy of that Church wish to adopt the titles and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, but not the obligations of Catholics. No Requiem Mass was really celebrated. A service was held, and called a Requiem Mass. At the Synod held shortly after this event Bishop D'Arcy Irvine protested most strongly against the whole affair. Here are his words, as reported in the Daily Guardian, October 13th, 1930, "Requiem Masses are in direct contrariety to the plain and emphatic statements both of the Articles and also of the devotional language of the Book of Common Prayer. They are repugnant to Anglican theology; they are repugnant to Anglican authority; they are repugnant to the Anglican Liturgy and worship. From the fable, or deceit, or folly—from the practice and doctrine of Requiem Masses may God preserve the Church of England. From cover to cover the Book of Common Prayer has no place for Requiem Masses."
I presume you are High Church because you think it right, and not Low Church because you think that wrong. If you think them equally right there is no reason why you should insist that you are High Church rather than Low Church. You could not defend your own position without criticizing the position you cannot accept.
Had he left the Catholic Church in order to become a better man himself, and in order to make his people better, you might have a case. But he did not.
You have said it. Henry was not going to be told even by the Pope to keep God's law, so he rebelled, and his rebellion was the genesis of Anglicanism. It began in disobedience, even as all the world's troubles began in the cry of Satan, "I will not serve." When men refused to obey God, they found everything else refusing to obey them, even their own passions. And when Anglicanism refused to obey the Catholic Church, it lost the power to secure obedience even from its own clergy.
The Protestant flag of what liberty? You are dealing with a very dangerous word. There is no absolute liberty. Liberty always implies relative restriction. If I am free from truth, I am subject to error; if free from virtue, subject to vice. When science proved the world round, it took away my liberty to believe it to be flat. But I do not want to be free to believe it flat. When God revealed His law, that revelation took away my liberty to do what that law forbade. When He revealed a definite religion, He took away my liberty to belong to any religion I might wish. His law takes away the liberty of divorce and re-marriage. Good old England gives her subjects the liberty to have it. But that is the liberty of the devil and refusal of submission to God. A man can be free from God and be the servant of Satan, or be free from Satan and be the servant of God. Choose which liberty you will have. But quite a lot of England's liberty is liberty from the law of God. I am of purely English descent, and there is no national prejudice in what I say. But if my own mother commits murder, I refuse to be so blinded by my love for her as to deny that it is a crime.
England has progressed materially, but no argument can be deduced from that. God gives temporal benefits to good and bad alike. Spiritual blessings are the real blessings. England is rapidly drifting to irreligion altogether, and the Book you say she has opened to her people is being torn to shreds and ridiculed by Englishmen in a way which Catholic reverence for the Word of God could never tolerate.
Christian conditions are rapidly fading in England as a result of Protestantism. Protestantism gave men so-called liberty to think for themselves, and men have interpreted it as license to think whatever they please.
Englishmen left the Catholic Church originally through fear for their property and their lives. Not many desired to share the fate of St. Thomas More, and dear old Henry VIII. had the delightful habit of confiscating all the possessions of those who would not transfer their allegiance from the Pope to himself. Four hundred years have dimmed the memory of these things, and no real thought is given to the matter by the average Englishman. But those who can and do think are rapidly giving up Protestantism, and becoming either Agnostics or Catholics. Unfortunately there is no particular prejudice against becoming an Agnostic, whilst there is still a strong lingering prejudice against becoming a Catholic. Also to become a Catholic requires more thinking than to become an Agnostic, and thinking is too much like hard work on such an unimportant matter as the rights of God over mankind.
Certainly. (1) It is a national Church. (2) It has no Apostolic succession. (3) It has no spiritual authority. (4) It omits much Biblical teaching. (5) It is chaotic and contradictory in so much as it does retain. (6) It has produced no Saints of its own. There are many other reasons, but you ask for six.
Since the Anglican Church is a contradiction of the Catholic Church, it could not possibly be equally as right. If one of the two is right, the other must be wrong. Meantime, the Anglican Church is not based upon Scripture. It is based upon the revolt of Henry VIII. from the Catholic Church. Later on interpretations were read into Scripture to suit the Church he founded. That is a matter of history. Many other non-Catholic churches have been originally based upon peculiar misinterpretations of Scripture, and it would be possible to build up hundreds of other churches upon further such misinterpretations. The Catholic Church, however, whilst in full accord with the true sense of Scripture, is not built upon it She existed before a line of the New Testament was written. Her members wrote the New Testament, and she tells us what they really meant when they wrote them. She is built upon the historical Person of Christ, and proves her divine commission by her continued possession of the attributes Christ conferred upon her. Now that the Gospels are written they confirm her claims when rightly interpreted—but that is all H not a Ifns of the New Testament had ever been written, the Catholic Church would still be here.
For the sake of argument, let us suppose that to be true. But that does not make the Anglican Church true. If they are just as learned as Catholic priests, so also Catholic priests are just as learned as they. So too, they are just as good. And if the learning and character of Anglican ministers make the Anglican Church true, so the learning and character of Catholic priests would make the Catholic Church true. You are forced to the conclusion that the Anglican Church is the only true Church, and that the Catholic Church is also the only true Church. But you cannot have two only true churches.