A roaring success

walsingham pilgrimage 2014

Last night was another moment in life that reminded me I need to trust God more and worry less. I had not been at all certain our local Called to be One event would attract interest. Sunday evening worship not being the best attended, so I feared a poor turnout.

But with minutes to go people were pouring into Saint Anselm’s and, best of all, there were lots of new faces to swell our own number. Interested people came to us from the wider deanery to hear about our vision and we had Anglicans as well as Catholics in attendance. It was a roaring success. Choral Evensong & Benediction sung beautifully by the choir (one visitor thought we had hired them in!) and a talk about the purpose of the Ordinariate as regards the mission of the Catholic Church. Here is the talk I gave which was very well received- thank goodness!

People picture the Catholic Church as rigid. Yet in reality it is incredibly diverse; it has different Rites, Antiocheon and Armenian, and even variety within the Latin Rite, Dominicans differ from Jesuits. And historically there has been diversity between local Churches in different countries. Because the Catholic church isn’t ONE  church so much as  MANY united by the papacy. Each having developed unique charisms- cultural and spiritual gifts to be treasured- that it might speak at a local as well as universal level. Which is why it’s dumb when they label us Roman Catholics. We are not, they live in Italy. We are English Catholics. And tonight I want to consider what that means…

But this isn’t an easy task because English Catholicism lost so much of its cultural identity during the reformation. Prior to that the Catholic faith had defined what it meant to be English. The great Cathedrals and Norman and Saxon churches were built. Oxford and Cambridge founded. Schools and Hospitals built and art, music and architecture of the highest standard produced. Many things people now assume were ever Anglican were, in truth, Catholic in origin and inspiration. 

To be English was to be Catholic. And English Catholicism had a fine reputation the world over. Consider our patron St Anselm’s contribution to philosophy from his seat in Canterbury. Or the architecture of the fine English Cathedrals. History tells us then – authentic English Catholicism was imbued with high culture. A thirst for liturgical, academic, cultural and spiritual excellence. 

But then comes the reformation and the “English Way” was decimated. What was distinct about English Catholicism, from say French or Spanish Catholicism, was smashed to pieces by Henry VIII-like a vase thrown to the ground. A helpful image that suggests any quest to rediscover English Catholicism is a task in relocating those separated pieces and bringing them back to the whole. A work of unity- in other words.

When gluing a pot back together you need the base. If that is lost it spells disaster. And the base of the “English Way” was held together at great cost by the recusants- those who remained faithful throughout. These brave souls delivered to us the corner stone for they looked forward to a day when restoration might be possible. A day when sectarianism began to die out. Our day? Are we the ones they looked to in their hope for restored unity? 

But despite handing us the base much went missing. A persecuted church could not maintain its life or culture. And outward looking zeal became, for reasons of self preservation, inward looking. Priests who once spoke for all England becoming chaplains of gathered congregations. A ghetto mentality grew up which can still inhabit Catholics today. But that is not reflective of the historic “English Catholicism” which existed to evangelise this nation and not just a subset within it. 

And alongside loss of outward looking mindsets came loss of customs. Things that defined English Catholics could not be sustained once resources were taken. Catholicism was pushed to the very margins -remember this remains the longest single persecution of any one religious group in history. And it stayed on the margins therefore right up until the 19th Century.

So Catholicism survived -just- but the English way did not fare so well. And when revival came in the 19th Century, the English way continued to suffer, because, during this period of greater freedom, Catholics came to rely heavily on support from overseas. 

We reach a point in history when immigration brings large numbers of Catholics to our shores. They deliver much needed strength for Catholicism in general, on the global level, but could not restore the English Way for they had their own history and culture. We might say a new handle for the broken vase was created. One of of huge value which must remain forever but one that doesn’t reflect- how could it- that authentic English way.

Does that really matter? YES Because wherever the Gospel has truly flourished- it has learnt to reflect the culture it impacts. Something still missing in England where Catholicism is still often viewed as foreign. There is a reformation hangover. Consider how cheeky Anglicans jokingly refer to Catholicism as “The Italian Mission to the Irish”. 

To the man in the street Catholicism is ‘other’ a view the establishment encourages. Why else do Cathedral guide books claim the Archbishop of Canterbury the 104th successor of Augustine not the 37th of Cramner? And in Liverpool “Paddy’s wigwam” tells us the Catholic Cathedral is just not English in the way crumpets and Marmite are! So without losing our global and multicultural flavour we must eradicate this xenophobic view of Catholicism.

We must find a better way of speaking to the English in their own language and culture.  Not to gather those who wish to remain Anglican but to those interested in lived out unity. And to the very many non Church goers who, despite lacking faith, have a cultural and English memory. 

England needs reminding that Catholicism is not foreign. So where to find aspects of English Spirituality lost at the reformation? Where to locate those things the English associate with God? Harvest festivals. Choral Evensong. Village pews filled with hassocks. The answer is, of course, the Church of England. For the heirs of the reformers kept hold of so many of our Catholic customs. 

Anglicanism absorbed, within her broken body, fragments of the rock from which she was hewn. The recusants retained their Catholicism but lost the English Way – whilst Anglicans retained aspects of the English Way but lost their Catholicism. If you doubt that recall the spleandour of the Royal Wedding. So many aspects of the liturgy were manifestly Catholic in origin. Yet it was so quintessentially English! And until people believe a Catholic could officiate such weddings we have work to do for it would suggest we remain marginalised and not at the centre. 

At the reformation the majority of English, being good natured cowards like myself, became victims of circumstance. Sucked into a Church rejecting the Pope but carrying on regardless. Pope Benedict understood this, hence he established the Ordinariate. Choosing very English patrons for it. Our Lady of Walsingham- whose Shrine had been the jewel of pre reformation England. And Blessed John Henry Newman, an Oxford scholar who came to see the need for unity. “To be steeped in history”, said Newman, “is to cease to be Protestant.” The message England still needs. 

By establishing the Ordinariate Pope Benedict gave a shot in the arm to the rebuilding of authentic English Catholicism. He reached out to Anglicans who retained aspects of the pre-reformation way. That is he picked up a broken fragment of what Henry once smashed in the hope of restoring it to its rightful base. 

His hope that the Catholic church in England might be helped in its mission because the Ordinariate can deliver a very English flavour. We speak to those raised on Mattins culturally. Building a door into the Catholic church so much easier for Englishmen to open. Hence the CDF proclaimed us ‘on the front row of ecumenism’. We can help recall a nation to its historic faith using its own rites and language. At least that is the hope. 

It was for the evangelisation of England then that the Ordinariate was established. At present a fragile shoot -it needs support- but it with huge potential for the future. Many Catholics have long been about the conversion of England. We come to do our bit.  For we are another part of the broken vase- the first wave of reformers coming home as groups together- that we might be One. 

So at Saint Anselm’s much has changed in three years. We remain a normative parish because we were called to be one and not two. We are not a subset within the church or a ghetto on its margin. We are a church like any other in the deanery to which all are welcome and wanted no matter their own culture or story. All in England can work for its conversion. But we are also about the building up of an English Catholic Way. Quite deliberately. 

The introduction of altar rails, carved altar, big six candles, a fine choir and choral tradition; these things would be at home in any English Cathedral. Because the Ordinariate is the next step in the ecumenical journey. We exist to witness to English spirituality with confidence. The England formed by Catholic faith. Our purpose to point people behind and beyond the reformation. To that very point of realisation, where Newman noted, one must cease to be protestant. For how can there be authentic lived out unity unless we undo the separation which the reformation caused? 

The Ordinariate can challenge people. Hence Pope Benedict when he came to England to establish it warned us of the need to be prophetic. Stones may well be hurled by those not really wanting an end to division, or else wanting it on protestant terms. They may come from those not wanting to see Catholicism reflect the English way because they are so wed to their own way of doing things or favoured political agenda.  But I ask you to support it and work with it and to be patient with us. For it is robustly Catholic body concerned, at its heart, about the needs of ‘those out there” not “those in here”.  Our very purpose being a “Call to be One”

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36 thoughts on “A roaring success

  1. I think before you start on this you need to define what you mean by ‘Catholic’.

    As I understand it, ‘catholic’ means ‘universal’. In the phrase, ‘one holy catholic and apostolic Church’, the ‘catholic’ is there to point out that the one Church exists in all times and places: that all local churches are in fact merely parts of the same, universal Church.

    Therefore, anyone who is part of the universal Church — the people of God, the body of Christ — is part of this Church Catholic and is, therefore, properly called a Catholic.

    This includes Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Brethren (inclusive and exclusive), Methodists, Coptic, Orthodox (Greek, Russian, Syrian, etc) and so on and so forth. All are part of the universal Church and so all are Catholics, and the ones who are English are therefore English Catholics.

    That’s why I use the term ‘Roman Catholic’ to distinguish that branch of the universal Church which thinks that supreme theological authority rests in the bishop of Rome, from those branches which don’t.

    To claim that ‘English Catholic’ is the term which refers to those English people who follow the Bishop of Rome suggests that you think that those who do not — all those English Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc — are not in fact Catholic, ie, are not part of the one holy universal Church.

    You seem effectively, by using that term, to be saying that an English Methodist is not, in fact, part of the Body of Christ.

    Do you really mean to say that? Or do we have a different definition of ‘Catholic’ and are at cross-purposes?

    Perhaps you should write an article explaining what you mean by the word ‘Catholic’, to reassure Baptists, Presbyterians etc that you are not saying they are not proper Christians.

    Because that is what you could be interpreted as saying, though I am sure it cannot be what you mean.

    1. If you read the Catechism of the Catholic church all is revealed:

      The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. With the Orthodox churches, this communion is so profound that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist. CC838

      Thus validly baptized Protestants are regarded as true Christian brothers and sisters who are in imperfect relationship with the Church. The nature of the imperfections is as varied as Protestantism itself. The idea at work is that the faith is an incarnational thing, not just a “spiritual” (disembodied) thing. Thus, it is possible to be out of union with the Church “bodily” (structurally, sacramentally, liturgically), yet still have a spiritual unity with the Church. Likewise, it is possible to be “bodily” united to the Church yet cease to be in communion with her spiritually (as an apostate Catholic is if he keeps going to Communion yet rejects the creed or continues unrepentant in grave sin). The latter form of disunity with Church is more serious than the former.

      1. Thus validly baptized Protestants are regarded as true Christian brothers and sisters who are in imperfect relationship with the Church

        Okay, well on that point we must disagree then. And I hope you understand not why I have and will continue to use the term ‘Roman Catholic’ as a mark that I do not accept your church’s claim to be able to define who is and is not fully part of the one Catholic Church.

        It is not ‘dumb’ to so describe you; rather, it is a fully thought-through expression of disagreement with your fundamental dogma.

        1. No I do not understand the term Roman at all. I went to Norwich Cathedral School and Cambridge University, have lived in England all my life. I am an English Catholic and you are an Anglican and therefore an English protestant. Surely the very definition of Protestant is one who broke from the Catholic church?

          1. Surely the very definition of Protestant is one who broke from the Catholic church?

            No, the definition of a Protestant is one who broke from that part of the Church which regards the Bishop of Rome as supreme authority. A Protestant is still fully part of the Catholic (ie, universal) Church.

            If you have a better way to refer to your denomination than ‘Roman’ then please suggest it, but to use the term ‘Catholic’ to refer to your denomination, with the implication therefore that other denominations are ‘not Catholic’, would be to implicitly accept your claim that Protestants are not fully part of the Body of Christ, and that I will not do.

          2. How about you use “Anglican” as I did in my post and we get “Catholic” as we manifestly are. And please do explain how, if you are truly Catholic, you have a synod enabled to change catholic order without the consensus of others? Sounds terribly liberal and Protestant to me…

    2. From what I have learned of Catholic teaching, it seems to me that you are wrong in stating that local churches are parts of the Catholic Church. The true teaching is that the Catholic Church subsists in each local church. For this to be so the local church must hold fast to the Catholic Faith, and remain in communion with all other local churches, above all the Church of Rome.

  2. Some of my best friends belong to the Baptist church, I would never dream of making them join the Catholic Church, and in the same way they would never force us to join their Church. I love them dearly, we respect each others faith and churches and take an interest in the two different churches, but we would never argue or fall out over it! They were very supportive to us on our journey into the Ordinariate and Catholic church.

  3. How about you use “Anglican” as I did in my post and we get “Catholic” as we manifestly are.

    For two reasons:

    (1) you are Catholic, but so are Anglicans; as I said, the problem is that to use ‘Catholic’ to identify your denomination is to accept that other denominations are ‘not Catholic’ and that is the very point I dispute.

    (2) There are not only two groups! To use ‘Anglican’ excludes Baptists, Methodists, Brethren, Presbysterians, etc etc etc.

    And please do explain how, if you are truly Catholic, you have a synod enabled to change catholic order without the consensus of others? Sounds terribly liberal and Protestant to me…

    Again, you imply that Protestants are not part of the Catholic (ie, universal) Church. But again, this is to claim that your denomination has the authority to decree who is and is not part of the Body of Christ, and this is exactly where I disagree with you. Only God can see who is and is not part of the Church Catholic.

    It is precisely your setting up of ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ as mutually exclusive categories that I object to as it proceeds from your premise that those who do not accept the authority of the Bishop of Rome are not properly Christian.

    1. Fine you are welcome to that view. It is however not one that I can agree with. Indeed I find it incredible that you suggest I set up the exclusive categories of “Catholic” and “Protestant” when you are a child of Luther and I a child of Peter!

      1. Fine you are welcome to that view. It is however not one that I can agree with.

        I suspected we were not going to agree, but it is often useful to isolate the precise point of disagreement.

        Indeed I find it incredible that you suggest I set up the exclusive categories of “Catholic” and “Protestant” when you are a child of Luther and I a child of Peter!

        I think the only possible response to that is 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.

        1. S. Your queen (sorry our queen) at her ordination promises to uphold the Protestant religion. The Elizabethan settlement tried to bring all people into the church but the catholics never had a chance and those who attempted to follow the regional faith were denied it until the 1830s. The Oxford movement attempted to take the Church of England back but it was never a rip roaring success and indeed Newman saw the problems and decided to loin the original church of this land. There are still many anti catholic laws in this country e.g. the monarch cannot become a catholic (in your terms Roman) etc. If you feel that this is wrong, then you need to go to websites e.g. Wikipedia, dictionaries and local authorities who when marking the (Roman) Catholic church will call it “Catholic Church” I would think that 99% of Anglicans would not call themselves Catholic. Don’t have a picture of the Holy Father, pray for him etc but then not want to be in FULL communion with him!

          1. The Catholic Church doesn’t believe herself to be one of many denominations of equal claim but the historic Church founded on the Apostles reaching out to separated brethren and those in other cclesial communities. A belief I share.

          2. I recently asked a group of Anglicans about the two boards above the holy table in their historic church – the Ten Commandments and the Creed, as the word Catholick appeared in the latter. They were rather taken aback and dumbfounded. Only one of about six had some sort of clue about the word. The others admitted they said the word in church but, but as they considered themselves Protestants and not Catholic, they were at a loss. Telling, isn’t it.

  4. Hello Fr Ed,
    Your ” called to be one homily”, was refreshing. As I was reading it, I could feel myself in your congregation of yesterday. It reminded me of the High School History class session of Reformation in England. You must have had a good time.

  5. Fr – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Go and find yourself a few decent books on the reformation and read them please!
    The old Henry VIII was bad and ruined everything line is so wide of the mark.
    It was a political rather than religious decision and our church holds much blame for failing to grant at the time what was a perfectly reasonable annulment. If Henry had been a continental and not Northern European monarch it would have been nodded through and non of this would ever have happened.

    1. I have read plenty thanks. I heartily recommend Duffy’s “the stripping of the altars” to you.

      In it he explains how the young Henry encouraged the use of rood screens to ensure sacred space was maintained. The old Henry would later order their removal and insist the Royal Coat of arms was placed over the altar. You can still see them in some parishes. How does this square with your claim that little changed in the spiritual landscape? Perhaps, and I say this in all charity, the problem isn’t my lack of history but the agenda of those who taught it to you?

    2. Anybody wishing to understand the intracacies of Henry VIII’s quest for an annulment of his first marriage should read *The Matrimonial Trials of Henry VIII* by Henry Ansgar Kelly (1976; reprinted 2004). The book discusses the legal and canonical issues underlying all three of Henry’s matrimonial annulments; Kelly is a Medieval Historian and Canon Law specialist. Put briefly, Kelly demonstrates that Henry’s entire argument in favor of his getting his first marriage annulled was an argument that the “Law of God” barred a man from marrying his deceased brother’s widow, whether or not that previous marriage had been consummated, and that, consequently, no pope had any authority to grant a dispensation to allow such a marriage. He also shows that such an argument was simply a “non-starter” in both established Catholic theology and Canon Law, and that Henry had no chance whatsoever to get his marriage annulled on that basis.

      J. J. Scarisbrick, in his monumental biography of Henry VIII (1968) claims that if Henry had allowed another argument to be made for an annullment, one that would allege a technical defect in the papal dispensation but set aside arguments from “theological theory,” a strategy which Cardinal Wolsey wante to pursue, he might just possibly have succeeded, but Kelly deminstrates pretty conclusively in his book that even had such an argument been advanced it would not have gone very far: Henry VII and Ferdinand of Aragon, in seeking the dispensation from Julius II which they eventually obtained, took great care to “plug all canonical gaps” in advance.

      As to the Reformation itself, those who advise reading “a few decent books” should first follow their own advice. Not only are there the books of Eamon Duffy, but also the fine book *English Reformations* by Christopher Haigh (a historian who characterizes himself as an “Anglican agnostic” in the book’s foreward), published by Oxford in 1993, who demonstrates how generally unpopular the whole Reformation process was at a popular leval (except for a small minority of committed Protestants) well into the 1580s.

      1. Well, yes, but Kelly demonstrates how (rather comically) Henry got Parliament to pass statutes after his two subsequent annulments (from Anne Boleyn in 1536 and from Anne of Cleves in 1540) in each case altering English marriage Law (for now English Canon Law, as well as secular law, was a matter for Parliament to alter or determine) retrospectively rationalizing the grounds on which these annulments had been granted.

  6. Regarding the definition of the word ‘Catholic’ I think that most people would immediately think of those Christians in full communion with the pope,by far the largest body of Christians.
    Of course the Catholic Church,as most people understand the term, recognises all the validly baptised as being part of the Catholic Church – yet not in communion with the centre. –
    There is,however, another problem,not all of those other Christians wish to be identified in the first instance as ‘Catholics’
    It should not be considered demeaning to call Baptists ‘Baptists’ and Anglicans ‘Anglicans’ or even Catholics ‘Catholics’.

    1. It strikes me that the REAL problem debating with Anglicans is that defining anything at all is akin to nailing jelly to a tree. Where we Catholics have a catechism and magesterium and set answers there is just fogginess and opinion. Statements with no clarity or authority beyond the person offering them.

      A word therefore means whatever any individual wants it to mean. Catholic meaning one thing to the low churchman and something quite different to the next parish along. And even doctrines may or may not be believed according to whim. Indeed the only common bond I can find is bound by State not belief. How can that, in itself, be Catholic? It is anarchic and self defining.

      1. Obedience to authority and acceptance of set answers are not necessarily good.
        As an example of this, take the principle (as I understand it) of English law that superior orders are no defence.
        Maybe some of the current problems in the Roman Catholic Church have arisen because much education beyond the age of 16 has for many years been in part concerned to prevent young people accepting without question the teaching of authority (of all kinds), and to make them wary of set answers.

  7. The Catholic Church doesn’t believe herself to be one of many denominations of equal claim but the historic Church founded on the Apostles reaching out to separated brethren and those in other cclesial communities. A belief I share.

    Though you must realise that that is a very tendentious belief.

    After all, the Roman denomination only includes the successor bishop (even if one accepts that ‘succession’ works that way) to one of the Apostles, Peter (perhaps instead of ‘Roman’ you would prefer it is we called your denomination ‘Petrine Catholics, actually?) whereas the successors to the rest of the Apostles are Orthodox Patriarchs. So if what you want is the ‘historic Church founded on the Apostles’ surely you should be Orthodox? They have the better claim to all Apostles except one.

    1. You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church. which Jesus did and all the apostles were united in their membership of it. The eastern schism not being of their day.

      1. The eastern schism not being of their day.

        Indeed; the point being that when the schism did happen, it wasn’t a case of the eastern part ‘breaking away’ from the western, which was the obvious ‘successor church’ (in the way that you could argue that during the Reformation the various Lutheran, Anglican, Zwinglian, Anabaptist etc churches did ‘break away’ from the Roman church); rather, it was a split down the middle and both eastern and western parts had equally strong claims to be the continuing successor of the united church.

        1. I like the illustration of a river which meets raised ground (i.e. dogmatic differences) and splits into two streams. Both streams come from the same source and hopefully one day will come together. In that sense all those coming from the original source are the successors of Peter, or in the East of another apostle. As an Anglican, I am in communion with St Peter, it’s my Roman Catholic friends who refuse to allow me to share in communion. They are always welcome at my altar.

          1. Your altar? Interesting concept….

            For Anglicans, sharing holy communion is a way of growing together in unity. For the Catholic Church, sharing in eucharistic communion = ecclesial communion. “Ecclesial” means “church.” So communion in this sense takes on an expression of church unity. In what does ecclesial communion consist? Vatican II’s document Constitution on the Church sees four bonds: professed faith, sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and fellowship.

            As Anglicans and Catholics are still working out issues relating to authority (ecclesiastical government), the mutual recognition of ministry (sacraments), and our fellowship is sporadic at best, from the Catholic Church’s point of view, it’s not yet “honest” for us to invoke together the consummate sign of unity in faith and life.

        2. The idea of an “invisible church” of which all visible churches or “ecclesial communities” form parts is an invention of the Reformation, and is wholly alien to the Church Fathers, East and West. Hence, both the Roman Catholic Church (or “papal communion”) and the Orthodox Church (or “Orthodox communion”) – as well as the Oriental Orthodox churches (or communion) think of themselves as that visible body, the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,” faith in which is professed in the Nicene Creed. (The Anglican “branch theory” is a refinement of this Protestant ecclesiology.) Hence, there is no reason for these pre-Reformation church communions to accept it.

          Anglicans might wish to acquaint themselves with the book *Schism in the Early Church* (1953) by the late Anglican Church Historian S. L. Greenslade, who admits openly that the idea of the Church as one visible and indivisible body was the universally-embraced ecclesiology of all pre-Reformation church communions, but goes on to add that Anglicans, like all other Protestants must nevertheless reject it, as it makes any coherent justification of the English Reformation impossible.

  8. Is it really more important that people be Catholic Christians in communion with the See of Peter, or that they be Christians as opposed to atheists? If the latter – and I sincerely hope that is the case – can we not just accept that we are all Christians, of whatever variety?

  9. An interesting debate. Thank you gentlemen! I have always understood that the word ‘catholic’ meant ‘universal’. I am just off to find a dictionary!!

    1. The word “catholic,” meaning “general” or “universal” was a term used occasionally in classical philosophical discourse, but in this sense of “universal” as regards the Church it was first employed by St. Augustine in his controversial writings against the Donatists (the “Catholic Church” being spread universally through the world, while the Donatist Church is confined to one little corner of it, North Africa). As used previously, from the time of St. Ignatius of Antioch onwards in ecclesiastical discourse, it meant something rather different. As used in the phrase, the “Catholic Church,” “Catholic” was an adjective from the Greek phrase kath’holon or kata ten holon, “according to the whole,” meaning (for those who so employed it) that Church which professes the Christian Faith “in its wholeness” (or fulness), that is, not distorted by heretical additions (or subtractions). Certainly, as used by none of these Church Fathers, including St. Augustine, does it denote some sort of invisible body including all “true Christians” or all members of varying churches, sects, or denominations professing “basic Christianity.” Rather, they used it to single out one, and one only, visible and sacramentally-united communion, their own, as “the Catholic Church” – and, as Greenslade demonstrates, dissident groups such as the Marcionites, the Novatianists, the Donatists, and numerous others, each one of them thought of itself, and itself alone, as “the Church,” and not the Church the bishops of which formulated our Nicene (or Niceano-Constantinopolitan) Creed, in which they staked their claim to be “the Church.”

      Dom Gregory Dix once pointed out that there are numerous Greek versions of that Creed in which, instead of reading “eis mian aghian catholiken kai apostoliken ecclesian” (“in one holy catholic and apostolic church”) the word “mian” (“one”) is replaced by “monen” (“one only” or “only one”).

  10. When people want to attack and criticise the Catholic church then they apparently know exactly who we are. They never seem to get us confused with Anglicans or anyone else. Atheists and others have a clear concept of who Catholics are. If someone asks for the direction to the local Catholic church they don’t get pointed toward the Anglicans, Baptists or Quakers. The world is constantly attacking the church and therefore the devil himself knows exactly who the Catholics are. It’s the visable body in unity with the Pope. Even when I was an atheist who knew nothing about Christian doctrine I knew who Catholics were.

  11. Catherine makes a good point. Just about everyone in general conversation knows the meaning of “Catholic” (with a capital C). It is only when trying to justify their Protestant stance, that they have difficulty with the word.

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