Anglo-Catholic: Does It Really Exist?
I used to think so. I've read about the Oxford Movement and it's effect on the Anglican Communion. I've always attended "high-church" Episcopal services and always believed in the catholic teaching from an Anglican perspective. But with all that is going on in the Episcopal Church and in the greater Anglican Communion, I am starting to realize that it's all an illusion. There is no Anglican perspective to Catholicity. After all, John Henry Newman saw the futility of the Oxford Movement that he was so much a part of that he eventually became Catholic. He was even one of the Catholic Church's best cardinals! There is such a wide variance of beliefs within ECUSA and the Anglican Communion that one can't even express what the church as a whole believes. There is no central authority to keep heretical provinces/bishops/priests in check. ECUSA has became a Unitarian mess with no stated theology that can be uniformly professed and greater Anglicanism is split by different provinces with beliefs completely opposite of one another.
Since the topic of Anglicanism's Catholicity has been a recent debate amongst the religious blog-o-sphere, I couldn't help thinking about "Jews for Jesus." Why not just be Christian? They want to remain Jewish and still proclaim Jesus Christ as their savior. It's impossible. You can't be Jewish and Christian at the same time. Just as in the same way you can't be Anglo-Catholic. If you want to be Catholic, be a Catholic! When I think about my reasons of not becoming a Catholic I am at a loss. I believe in all the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Why am I not Catholic? One might say, "It's because of the Pope." To which I would respond, what's wrong with the Pope?! Now, if I had asked the question in the middle ages or even in the 16th century I would be able to understand not being Catholic because of the Pope...Kind of.
Sure the Catholic Church has had corrupt popes, but there has always been someone to counter it and get them back on track. When looking at the history of the Catholic Church and all that it has gone through and realizing that it is still going strong, you can't help but to believe that the hand of God is at work there. And look at the beginnings of the Anglican Church. Why did it break away? Honestly! Because Henry VIII was so pompous and full of conceit that he didn't want to accept that the Pope wouldn't let him divorce his wife and get married again. Where is the validity in that? "Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God." This applies to King's as well.
This is a confusing time in my life right now. The thought of leaving my church in one denomination for a different denomination is scary. But do I want to stay in a church that's validity is questionable because I am comfortable or do I want to be in a church that I am certain is upholding and teaching the One True Catholic and Apostolic Faith?
Maybe I will finally add Catholic to the "Irish and Dangerous" title....