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Why are Anglicans anti-Catholic?

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Daniel:
I have a vague understanding of the Anglican "branch hypothesis". If I've got this right, the Anglicans believe that the Church has three branches (the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox). All three branches are legitimate, and no branch has jurisdiction over any other branch (hence the Anglicans do not submit to the Pope, and do not believe themselves to be schismatic for doing so).

But what I'm wondering is, if they believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a legitimate branch, then why are they anti-Catholic? Do they believe that the Roman Church fell into heresy or something?

And what is their position towards the Orthodox?

Christina_S:
I've worked as an Anglican church musician since 2016, so maybe I can provide a small answer (I'm in Canada, so that's my perspective, in contrast with Anglicans living in England or other places).

Many Anglicans are rather progressive when it comes to gender politics, anti-racism, and anti-capitalism. They are strongly anti-Rome in their scope: there should be no such thing as a pope, though many were quite giddy over Pope Francis' remarks on same-sex unions last fall. Some pastors manage to give edifying sermons that still interpret Scripture in a fairly traditional way. However, I did hear one about the parable of the talents in which the pastoress said there's no way the master symbolizes a loving God since he didn't give his servants any specific instructions when he gave them the talents and he issued a punishment too severe on the one who buried his talent. Then there was her homily on the parable of the ten virgins, in which she highlighted the problem of gender inequality in biblical times and how there's no way a loving God would leave women out in the dark where they would face assault or other dangers.

They're such a mixed bag, between the high church ones and the super low church, almost Pentecostal, group. But from what I've seen, their acceptance of gay marriage (even among clergy), LGBTQXYZ, contraception, divorce, women's ordination, ad-libbed liturgy, and more puts them at odds with the Roman Catholic Church, whom they view as stuck in the bad old times.

aquinas138:
The problem is that there is not any particular Anglican position on anything. Virtually any belief is tolerated, so it is very misleading when talking about "the" Anglican position. Anti-Roman Catholicism is pretty well entrenched in England, and it goes back to the Reformation and, I believe, stems primarily from centuries of political machinations since the reign of Henry VIII. Doctrinally committed Anglicans, which are much rarer than in centuries past, would say that Roman doctrines like papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception are errors, if not heresy. But again, it's hard to say what any current Anglican would say—they just know they aren't Roman Catholics.

As for the Orthodox, the Anglicans have actually always had good relations with them, but there has always been the problem that the Anglicans do not have a coherent set of dogmatics that all Anglicans believe, which is a problem for the Orthodox and theological dialogue. The Orthodox condemn the "branch theory" because, in the Orthodox judgment, the Anglican and Catholic Churches do not believe the same things as the Orthodox Church, and so they cannot really be branches of the same tree. This seems pretty close to the traditional Catholic understanding of the problem with the "branch theory," for analogous reasons.

Prayerful:

--- Quote from: aquinas138 on March 01, 2021, 11:55:34 AM ---The problem is that there is not any particular Anglican position on anything. Virtually any belief is tolerated, so it is very misleading when talking about "the" Anglican position. Anti-Roman Catholicism is pretty well entrenched in England, and it goes back to the Reformation and, I believe, stems primarily from centuries of political machinations since the reign of Henry VIII. Doctrinally committed Anglicans, which are much rarer than in centuries past, would say that Roman doctrines like papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception are errors, if not heresy. But again, it's hard to say what any current Anglican would say—they just know they aren't Roman Catholics.

As for the Orthodox, the Anglicans have actually always had good relations with them, but there has always been the problem that the Anglicans do not have a coherent set of dogmatics that all Anglicans believe, which is a problem for the Orthodox and theological dialogue. The Orthodox condemn the "branch theory" because, in the Orthodox judgment, the Anglican and Catholic Churches do not believe the same things as the Orthodox Church, and so they cannot really be branches of the same tree. This seems pretty close to the traditional Catholic understanding of the problem with the "branch theory," for analogous reasons.

--- End quote ---

I'd say Anglo-Catholicism could become a thing when after the mid-nineteenth century strict laws regulating Divine Service were loosened or repealed. The sort of thing sound in the Ritual of the Altar of 1870 with a mix of Latin and English could earlier have at least resulted in a clergyman losing his living. A question to ponder is who is in better standing: a priest with the usual Pauline orders offering TLM or an Anglo-Catholic priest with more traditional orders via 'Dutch touch?'

christulsa:
I once visited a high Anglican church here in Tulsa, to check out the beautiful church and grounds, talked to the priest about Anglicanism vs Catholicism, told him I prayed they would return to union with Rome one day.   It was funny, he made a statement “We’re more Catholic than most Catholic parishes in Tulsa” which I couldn’t disagree with.  He also said “we’re pre-Vatican II here” (this was before I became a trad and got what he meant).  Ever since that day I appreciate the high Anglicans, especially for their stance on abortion, homosexuality, women priests, etc.  I expect more to keep converting to the Catholic Faith.

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