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Author Topic: Anglicans are Protestants?  (Read 1577 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« on: March 17, 2012, 10:04:25 PM »

One of my fellow Catholic posters (Wyatt, if I remember rightly) recently commented that Anglicans are Protestants. At that time, I wasn't much inclined to start a discussion about whether they are or aren't; but I changed my mind when I read the blog post Pro and Con testantism. Anyone else interested in discussing/debating it?

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The Reformers of the 16th century used the word "Protestant" to declare that they believed in the Scriptures, and that they sought to be more Catholic than the Papists who obscured the Scriptures, failed to proclaim their meaning, and hid the Gospel under centuries of superstitious rubble.

and

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The current Pope, Benedict XVI, the noblest German of them all, whose works I have long respected since the days when we called him Cardinal Ratzinger, is one of the finest Protestants to be published in modern times. Clearly he favors the Gospel and the Scripture just as we do (I wish I could say the same about his rather large denomination). Because he is such a Protestant, it is not easy to be more Catholic than he is.
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 10:20:31 PM »

they broke off from the Catholic Church and the supreme pontiff of Rome, no?
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 10:36:24 PM »

For most of my life I thought they were protestant since they broke away from the Pope, but I know a priest who would consider Anglicans to more Catholic than anything.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 10:36:53 PM by Gamliel » Logged
Peter J
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 10:51:59 PM »

For most of my life I thought they were protestant since they broke away from the Pope, but I know a priest who would consider Anglicans to more Catholic than anything.

I was thinking about also providing a link to Two heads are better than one, from the same blog. Your post just provided a nice lead-in.  Smiley

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In a recent conversation behind the scenes, via email, a very sincere fellow has been trying to convince me that Anglicanism is a "two-headed monster." It is the same old worn-out argument that the Elizabethan Settlement (as if they understood it) was flawed from the start, because, golly gee whiz, you just can't be both Catholic and Protestant.
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 08:33:15 AM »

They are.
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 09:07:22 AM »

Although they don't seem to protest about much at all.

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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 09:32:25 AM »

Anglicans as too cool to be Protestants.
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 11:32:28 AM »

The Anglican "Articles of Religion" are plainly Protestant, and many Anglicans even follow them. The Anglicans who ignore them have a choose-your-own-adventure attitude which can also, perhaps, be traced to Protestantism.
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 01:54:02 PM »

Don't most Anglicans follow sola scriptura these days? That is clearly a protestant doctrine.
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 02:03:07 PM »

The Anglican "Articles of Religion" are plainly Protestant, and many Anglicans even follow them. The Anglicans who ignore them have a choose-your-own-adventure attitude which can also, perhaps, be traced to Protestantism.

Exactly.
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 02:03:27 PM »

Don't most Anglicans follow sola scriptura these days? That is clearly a protestant doctrine.

I thought they did that stool thing?
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 02:34:48 PM »

There are all kinds of people in the Anglican Church, Protestants, Anglo-Catholics, even Anglo-Papalists or whatever.
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Peter J
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 02:38:06 PM »

So it seems that most are in agreement with Fr. Hart's conclusion. But I'd also like to ask, more specifically, what everyone thinks of his etymological argument -- to me, it seems a bit contrived.

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One of our critics, urging us to fore swear our Anglican patrimony and denounce our Fathers in favor of the Tiberian path, asked the hypothetical question: "what are you protesting?" My answer is, "I protest the Gospel." I certainly do not contest it. You see ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dogs and cats, Jews and Greeks, pro means you are for it, and con means you are against it. To protest something in law was to sign a declaration of affirmation, that you were for the matter in a given document, or that you verified it, whatever the matter may be. I am for the Gospel, and for the Testaments of Scripture. This is pro-testamentism.
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 02:46:53 PM »

Don't most Anglicans follow sola scriptura these days?

Traditionally no, but possibly yes since you said "most ... these days".
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 05:35:31 PM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation, but I would consider them to be Protestant because they hold beliefs that are both unique to and common throughout Protestantism, sola scriptura being an example.
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2012, 07:12:20 PM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation

Well, the fact that they aren't in communion with Rome is a product of the reformation.
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2012, 08:13:17 PM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation
Well, the fact that they aren't in communion with Rome is a product of the reformation.

Not really, England could have cut communion with Rome without accepting Protestant beliefs, which were not the reason for the schism and didn't find their way into their teaching until after communion had already been broken. The king wanted a divorce and the archbishop chose giving the king his way over maintaining communion with Rome. The real theological differences didn't come until afterward, more political than anything.
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 10:45:49 PM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation
Well, the fact that they aren't in communion with Rome is a product of the reformation.

Not really, England could have cut communion with Rome without accepting Protestant beliefs, which were not the reason for the schism and didn't find their way into their teaching until after communion had already been broken. The king wanted a divorce and the archbishop chose giving the king his way over maintaining communion with Rome. The real theological differences didn't come until afterward, more political than anything.

what does that say though, that there was schism from the Roman See for such a trivial (and immoral) reason? Surely such an act could not have been ordained by God.
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2012, 09:17:56 AM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation
Well, the fact that they aren't in communion with Rome is a product of the reformation.
Not really, England could have cut communion with Rome without accepting Protestant beliefs, which were not the reason for the schism and didn't find their way into their teaching until after communion had already been broken. The king wanted a divorce and the archbishop chose giving the king his way over maintaining communion with Rome. The real theological differences didn't come until afterward, more political than anything.
what does that say though, that there was schism from the Roman See for such a trivial (and immoral) reason? Surely such an act could not have been ordained by God.

I'm not defending the schism or the reasons for it, just saying it really wasn't formed in the same manner as or on the same theological foundations of the reformation, even though the theology did find its way in relatively quickly once the schism was made.
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 09:33:39 AM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation
Well, the fact that they aren't in communion with Rome is a product of the reformation.

Not really, England could have cut communion with Rome without accepting Protestant beliefs, which were not the reason for the schism and didn't find their way into their teaching until after communion had already been broken. The king wanted a divorce and the archbishop chose giving the king his way over maintaining communion with Rome. The real theological differences didn't come until afterward, more political than anything.

If you look hard enough you could probably find political motivations in any of the Protestant movements. While King Henry VIII may have been doubtful in his sincerity, his breaking away was certainly justified in Protestant terms and I have no reason to doubt that Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Cromwell, etc. were sincere in their Protestant convictions, and such people were really the ones who guided the direction of the English church. The Protestants were waiting for a chance to pounce and Henry VIII happened to be the one who gave them that chance.
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2012, 09:44:27 AM »

Historically, Anglicanism is not a product of the reformation
Well, the fact that they aren't in communion with Rome is a product of the reformation.

Not really, England could have cut communion with Rome without accepting Protestant beliefs, which were not the reason for the schism and didn't find their way into their teaching until after communion had already been broken. The king wanted a divorce and the archbishop chose giving the king his way over maintaining communion with Rome. The real theological differences didn't come until afterward, more political than anything.

I should have worded my last post a little different. Yes, Henry was the reason for the initial break between Rome and Canterbury; but the fact that full communion wasn't reestablished was largely due to the Reformation -- and to some extent the Counter-Reformation. (In fact, communion was reestablished, briefly, during the reign of Bloody Mary, a.k.a. Mary the Good, right?)
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2012, 10:07:10 AM »

Interestingly in the oath taken by the sovereign at the Coronation we have:
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Archbishop: Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?
(http://www.royal.gov.uk/royaleventsandceremonies/coronation/coronation.aspx)
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 05:33:37 PM »

There are all kinds of people in the Anglican Church, Protestants, Anglo-Catholics, even Anglo-Papalists or whatever.

Yep (and I say this as an Anglican)
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2012, 10:14:31 PM »

For most of my life I thought they were protestant since they broke away from the Pope, but I know a priest who would consider Anglicans to more Catholic than anything.

I was thinking about also providing a link to Two heads are better than one, from the same blog. Your post just provided a nice lead-in.  Smiley

Quote
In a recent conversation behind the scenes, via email, a very sincere fellow has been trying to convince me that Anglicanism is a "two-headed monster." It is the same old worn-out argument that the Elizabethan Settlement (as if they understood it) was flawed from the start, because, golly gee whiz, you just can't be both Catholic and Protestant.

P.S. To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical of Fr. Hart's assertion that one can be both Protestant and Catholic (not to be confused with the idea that the Anglican Communion contains some who and Protestant and some who are Catholic).
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 08:56:55 AM »

For most of my life I thought they were protestant since they broke away from the Pope, but I know a priest who would consider Anglicans to more Catholic than anything.

I was thinking about also providing a link to Two heads are better than one, from the same blog. Your post just provided a nice lead-in.  Smiley

Quote
In a recent conversation behind the scenes, via email, a very sincere fellow has been trying to convince me that Anglicanism is a "two-headed monster." It is the same old worn-out argument that the Elizabethan Settlement (as if they understood it) was flawed from the start, because, golly gee whiz, you just can't be both Catholic and Protestant.

P.S. To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical of Fr. Hart's assertion that one can be both Protestant and Catholic (not to be confused with the idea that the Anglican Communion contains some who and Protestant and some who are Catholic).

As the terms are used by him, and by many others in the classical Anglican tradition, I think one CAN be both (I consider myself such).  One can be reformed Catholic and patristically Protestant (ie protesting the medieval Roman deviations from the ancient catholic consensus).  Of course, many others are NON-patristically Protestant, in which case it would be incorrect to call such folks 'Catholic'.  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2012, 01:31:10 PM »

For most of my life I thought they were protestant since they broke away from the Pope, but I know a priest who would consider Anglicans to more Catholic than anything.

I was thinking about also providing a link to Two heads are better than one, from the same blog. Your post just provided a nice lead-in.  Smiley

Quote
In a recent conversation behind the scenes, via email, a very sincere fellow has been trying to convince me that Anglicanism is a "two-headed monster." It is the same old worn-out argument that the Elizabethan Settlement (as if they understood it) was flawed from the start, because, golly gee whiz, you just can't be both Catholic and Protestant.

P.S. To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical of Fr. Hart's assertion that one can be both Protestant and Catholic (not to be confused with the idea that the Anglican Communion contains some who and Protestant and some who are Catholic).

As the terms are used by him, and by many others in the classical Anglican tradition, I think one CAN be both (I consider myself such).  One can be reformed Catholic and patristically Protestant (ie protesting the medieval Roman deviations from the ancient catholic consensus).  Of course, many others are NON-patristically Protestant, in which case it would be incorrect to call such folks 'Catholic'.  Grin

The way I think of "Catholic" and "Protestant" may be partially force of habit -- heck, for the first couple decades of my life, I understood "Catholic" to mean strictly the Roman Communion. But consider this: don't Anglicans themselves, by using the terms "high church" and "low church", imply that you can't be both?
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« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2012, 01:45:15 PM »


The way I think of "Catholic" and "Protestant" may be partially force of habit -- heck, for the first couple decades of my life, I understood "Catholic" to mean strictly the Roman Communion. But consider this: don't Anglicans themselves, by using the terms "high church" and "low church", imply that you can't be both?

Again, I guess that depends on how one defines those two terms.  There are certainly those low church Anglo-Calvinists who would probably agree with that (and some Anglo-Catholics, especially Anglo-Papalists, from the other end would agree with that as well.)
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