At what point did Luther’s teachings transgress the bounds of ‘Catholic’ orthodoxy? This question, which fascinated some older scholars, rests on an assumption unacceptable to modern historians: namely, that there exists an eternal standard of ‘Catholic’ truth independent of name and place against which Luther can be judged. … As late as the mid-sixteenth century there were those, even within the papal curia, who believed that a core of Catholic truth could be extracted from Luther’s message. (Cameron, The European Reformation, 119)
The first edition [of the Book of Common Prayer], of 1549…found an unfortunate…ally in the Catholic bishop Stephen Gardiner, who, though confined to the Tower, produced a work arguing, among other things, that the book was compatible with Catholic belief in the real presence in the eucharist. (Bagchi and Steinmetz, The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology, 169)
QVO and I are having an interesting conversation on his blog over the question as to whether a Protestant can consider himself a Sedevacantist Catholic justifiably as well. It would mean that the Popes in the 16t century had to be legitimately guilty of heresy and the Protestant main body was accurately carrying Catholic truth in comparison to the Pope in order for the argument to uphold but indeed radical evidence can be found that Catholic orthodoxy has been sufficiently retained in many sects of Anglicanism today as well as to some extent in Lutheranism. Keeping in mind the amount of Catholic monastic groups that held competing theologies in the High Middle Ages leading up to the Protestant Reformation as well and a sufficient and legitimate case can be made that many Reformers held to quite orthodox truths when they split up from the Papacy throughout the 16th century. Luther could have been said to have died a Catholic. Anglicans didn’t have their XXXIX Articles from the start nor did corruption in doctrine persist until quite a bit later in the Anglican reformation. Regardless, the claim that Anglican Catholics are equivalent to Sedevacantist Catholics is perfectly legitimate. The Pope’s heresy was his abuse of authority in the High Middle Ages. Digest that, QVO.