We represent Protestantism in the Church?

Came across this article by R. Jared Staudt just now at Catholic World Report about how Protestantism has affected the Catholic Church and Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Ordinariates were used as an example, complete with a picture of Bishop Steven Lopes celebrating the Eucharist.

The Church has now officially accepted a Protestant patrimony within the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict’s groundbreaking Anglicanorum Coetibus allows an “Anglican patrimony” to be preserved within the Catholic Church. The Anglican Use ritual which has arisen since, Divine Worship: The Missal(2015), draws upon the Book of Common Prayer authored by the Catholic priest and bishop turned Protestant, Thomas Cranmer (who secretly married after coming under the influence of Protestants on the mainland). Cranmer was executed for heresy by Queen Mary. Ironically, the incorporation of an Anglican liturgical patrimony has been seen by many as a return to a more traditional liturgy.

The English Dominican, Fr. Aidan Nichols, speaks of how the Anglican ordinariates represent a recovery of lost experience on both sides. Nichols explains “the tendency of the Church of England, despite its Reformation origins, somehow never quite to be able to put behind it its Catholic past. Hence the sporadic, not continuous, and never definitive yet always unmistakable, resurgence of something of a Catholic ethos in the Church by law established, an ethos expressed in worship, in literature, in theology.” If Catholics are to re-evangelize England, Nicholas argues the Church must represent the nation and needs Anglo-Catholics to “represent its own missing centuries” of English history. This claim is true not only of England, but for reunion with Protestants more generally—the Church must present “herself as the natural form of the spirituality of our country, historically considered.” I would explain this more broadly as meaning the natural development and fulfillment of any legitimate spiritual, theological, and pastoral insights of the last five hundred years.

Protestant patrimony.  Ugh.

Anglo-Catholics never considered themselves Protestant, did they?

I remember many Catholics telling us how amazed they were at how catholic our liturgy, our beliefs and everything else about us what before we entered the Catholic Church and how.  Our patrimony preserved much that was lost in the Catholic Church in liturgical reforms after the Second Vatican Council that went perhaps a bit further than the Council fathers intended.

More from the article:

We can look at Protestantism from two sides. First, its rejection of the central role of mediation in Christianity—the mediation of the authority of the Magisterium, the physical mediation of the sacraments, the mediation of the prayer of the saints and Our Lady, and even the role of our own nature and free will in salvation. This aspect of Protestantism we must reject, even as Catholics have been tempted to follow these trends the last five hundred years.

All of those things listed we rejected also, before we came into the Catholic Church.

So, we’re not bringing anything “alien” or “bad” with us when we bring in our Anglican patrimony.


2 thoughts on “We represent Protestantism in the Church?

  1. “Our patrimony preserved much that was lost in the Catholic Church in liturgical reforms after the Second Vatican Council” — in fact, the patrimony also preserved many things that were lost before the Council as well, either shortly before (e.g. many First Vespers suppressed in 1955 in the First Bugninite Liturgicide under Pius XII, restored under Divine Worship, which do not even exist in the traditional Roman Rite today as restored by Summorum Pontificum), or long before (e.g. the importance of lay participation in and celebration of the Divine Office — cf. also the widespread love and prominence of the Little Office of the BVM in pre-schism medieval England).


  2. It is very perplexing to read of influence by Anglo-Catholics and Pentecostals on the Catholic Church, in the same article! The photo illustration for example is misleading as it does not portray the ad orientem posture of Ordinariate celebration, the ordination liturgy being uniquely taken from the Ordinary Form. I look forward to reading a calm and detailed rebuttal of the idea that much Protestant Anglican heritage came in with the Ordinariate, by someone well versed in the process undertaken to incorporate our (Sarum-derived, pre-Trent) English Catholic patrimony.


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