We Never Lost Our Catholicism image

We Never Lost Our Catholicism

The Archbishop of Westminster said recently that the Reformation in England was over. Cranmer, as he often does, provided a robust response, which is well worth reading:

Archbishop Vincent said that ‘English people were rediscovering their ancient Catholic “voice”’. The thing is, we never lost it. The Church of England is Catholic. We recite the Nicene Creed without hesitation: ‘We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.’ We pray in our intercessions: ‘Loving God, hear us as we pray for your holy Catholic Church’.

The point was reiterated by the Archbishop of York during last week’s Inauguration:

The Church of England is part of the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds; which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons…

The Archbishop of Canterbury responded:

I, Justin Portal Welby, do so affirm, and accordingly declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness..

The Archbishop of Burundi blessed Archbishop Justin with:

Que Dieu l’Esprit Saint vous accorde sagesse et discernement pour ouvrir à toutes et à tous les richesses de la Foi catholique.

The Church of England is part of a Worldwide (‘ecumenical’) Communion in which the Catholic Christian tradition is enriched and complemented by the spiritual and theological insights of the Reformation. They are not distinct and separate: they inform and enrich one another. The Catholic tradition in England heeds and remembers the Reformation protest, and the Reformation attends to and observes the Catholic tradition. Whatever the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster may preach, pronounce or believe, the Reformation in England is not at an end.

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