Prayer book-onlyist Anglicans?!?

Fr. Jonathan over at The Conciliar Anglican has an article on being a 39-articles Catholic. It’s an interesting article which I don’t particularly agree with all the points of. I personally don’t think his theology is entirely sound and would avoid reading the blog at all costs. This one just struck me as Tract 90 is a huge part of my own church’s understanding of the 39 Articles of Confession. But I digress. He says in his article here that “Prayer Book Catholics” believe that the Book of Common Prayer is the “liturgy par excellence for Catholic worship and teaching the Catholic faith”. I agree the Book of Common Prayer is important and would also strenuously defend the Catholicity of the Book of Common Prayer–many Orthodox and Catholic Christians would do the same– however, I think a very important issue is missing. Specifically, if Anglo-Catholics begin proclaiming that the Book of Common Prayer is the “liturgy par excellence for Catholic worship” then which Book of Common Prayer are we referring to? The 1928 one? The Elizabethan one? The 1979 one? This I think is a problem with BCP-onlyist Anglicans. Are we not committing the same mistake as the KJV-onlyists? And what about branch theory? Are we saying now the Anglican faith is the only true faith? But did not many Anglicans depart from the original faith of the Anglican tradition completely neglecting its direct stemming from Orthodoxy and Catholicity? What do the more modern, Reformed and Evangelical Anglicans think about veneration of Mary, icons, or the saints? And yet, these are part of Anglican heritage until the Reformed came and stripped them down. I have a strong feeling that such BCP-onlyist Anglicans are actually refuting the Anglican faith. The earliest version of the BCP, King Henry VIII’s version, was from a man who was strongly Catholic who translated the then existing Catholic liturgy from Latin into English. It was the common prayers translated into English. It was as simple as that. It’s not the Book of Common Prayer because it was translated into the “common” language (English was not a common language back then), it was called the Book of Common Prayer because it was the common liturgical prayers of Catholicism and Orthodoxy at the time. By reverting to BCP-onlyism, a huge part of High Anglican theology is attacked–branch theory which asserts that the True Church exists in the branches of Western and Eastern Catholicism, Byzantine and Western Rite Orthodoxy (which include other BCP users), and to some extent High Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Assyrian Church of the East. Anglicans are the only ones of which who use the BCP and those Anglicans who have gone on to become Anglican Use parishes with the Catholics under the Personal Ordinariate and Anglicans who have gone on to become Western Rite Orthodox Christians. If we are to maintain branch theory and High Anglican theology, then BCP-onlyism must be rejected, repudiated, and heavily attacked. Not the BCP, but BCP-onlyism. I am not KJV-onlyist and attack the KJV-onlyist position when brought up but my own church uses the KJV regularly in its liturgy so I do not attack the KJV as a valid translation. I see its importance.

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About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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