Page 8, 11th August 1978

11th August 1978
Page 8
Page 8, 11th August 1978 — Anglo-Catholics and road to unity
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Organisations: Anglican Church
Locations: Canterbury, Rome

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Anglo-Catholics and road to unity

May I thank Dr Amphlett Micklewright (July 28) for replying to my letter of June 30, and for expressing a certain sympathy with my remarks. I entirely agree with him that there is certainly no purpose to be served in continuing to hurl brickbats derived from old controversies.

No one would wish us to let goodwill blind us to the existing problems between Roman Catholics and Anglicans, but I could not agree that they "lie in the amorphous character of the Church of England" entirely.

Dr Micklewright does not appear to be well-informed about the strength and influence of AngloCatholicism if hebelievesit is only to be found in urban areas and seaside resorts.

I. too, have read Sir Henry Slessor's pamphlet denigrating the Church of England, but the more recent pamphlets, "Anglicans and Roman Catholics" (Richard L. Stewart) and "Anglican Orders, A. Way Forward" (Edward Yarnold, S .1), both published by the C T S. pursue a far more enlightened outlook.

Dr Micklewright is also inaccurate in stating that "when the practices of AngloCatholics were tested in the law courts, the general run of decisions went against them". Furthermore, of the few devisions given against Anglo-Catholics, in the latter of the last century, many of the practices are now commonplace in the vast majority of Anglican ch urches.

No one is attempting to ignore the gulf which exists between Rome and Canterbury "in the interests of a somewhat vague attempt to overcome past quarrels in this century" but, instead of trying with such determination to perpetuate that gulf and deepen it, Dr Micklewright would do well to heed the wise words of Cardinal Hume (in your same edition in which his own letter was published) in which he stresses that, "he would not dismiss all Anglican Orders as 'null and void' " and goes on to state: "Apostolicae Curse should be given careful reconsideration in line with historial and theological truth as it is accepted today." It is also encouraging to observe (in your same edition) the moving description by Mr Patrick O'Donovan in his Charterhouse Chronicle of the celebration of the Eucharist in Canterbury Cathedral, attended by the Lambeth Conference Bishops, in which he observes: "They were asserting their claim to be Catholic, in the most powerful possi ble way ... It was not a challenge to Rome, but certainly an assertion that they were equal and parallel".

Mr O'Donovan concludes by saying he will genuinely pray that the Holy Wisdom will be with them and we "all ought to do the same — for both loving and selfish reasons". Let us follow that excellent advice . . . with a particular emphasis on unity in the not too distant future.

.. E. Jackson-Stevens

Glastonbury, Somerset.




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