The lesson of Anglicanism: liberalism will tear you apart

Aug 14, 2017 by

by Fr Ed Tomlinson, Catholic Herald:

Highly political synods shattered Anglicanism’s fragile unity. Catholics should take note.

A former Anglican Chaplain to the Queen, the Revd Gavin Ashenden, is spearheading a revolt in the Church of England Synod over the thorny issue of homosexuality. Anglicans are talking openly about schism. Catholics the world over should be watching very carefully.

Anglicanism’s real problem has always been a theological schizophrenia – the result, perhaps, of it having formed to appease a lusty monarch rather than to preach a creed with clarity. Ask a hundred Anglicans what Anglicanism actually is and expect a hundred answers. The Church of England isn’t, really, one Church at all. It’s an Erastian umbrella organisation holding together, by virtue of the Crown, a huge range of competing theologies.

For most of the 20th Century this diversity was even viewed as its strength because, thanks to a shared pension board and the clever use of ambiguity in official statements, the three main factions within Anglicanism – which one wag labelled ‘high and crazy’, ‘broad and hazy’ and ‘low and lazy’ – were happy enough to rub along together despite their radically different set of beliefs. It seemed as if the Nicene Creed, a very loose application of the 39 articles and strong civic approval gave just enough common ground to hold the show together.

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