[Church Society] May 1, 2006--Trade names sometimes stick, for instance, no matter who may be the manufacturer of a vacuum cleaner, it is still used to ‘Hoover’ the sitting room. In addition, so many deceptions have been used in marketing that the law demands that packaging exhibits an accurate description of the contents and where they were made. Oh that this could be extended to ecclesiology!
Demonstrating the accuracy of the adage, that ‘history is written by the victors’, the origins of Catholicism have been quietly and conveniently forgotten by the writers of popular Church histories, so that the label ‘Anglo-Catholic’ obscures the true nature of the contents and where they were made.
Countless Anglicans have been misled and the Gospel of salvation fatally obscured by the popular expressions of Anglo-Catholicism. Thus the vast majority of Anglican lay people believe to some degree that the alleged Prayer of Consecration or Eucharistic Prayer ‘does’ something to the bread and wine, that because of that prayer Christ is somehow present in or under the bread and wine.. The bread thus prayed over is commonly called the sacrament. It is not the bread that is the sacrament any more than water is the sacrament in baptism. The sacrament is the action performed with them, i.e. pouring or eating and drinking.
The fruits of Anglo-Catholicism have been frequently criticised and condemned from Scripture over the last one hundred and fifty years, but still it flourishes. A fresh approach might be to highlight the little known fact that its roots are thoroughly dishonest and to lay the axe to those roots.