Read full document

Bible

Page 1 of 4
ANGLICANISM is the catholic faith as expressed through the Church of England. An Anglican is a member of the Anglican Church, or more properly the Anglican Communion.  The word “Anglican” derives from the word “Anglo” as in "Anglo-Saxon" and means "English." The Anglican Church originally was the Church of England and indeed the Anglican Church began in England.  Today, many centuries later, The Anglican Communion is made up of 38 Provinces that include 77 million members in 164 countries.  It is the third largest Christian church, right after Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. "Anglicanism" is the beliefs and practices of the Anglican Communion. Although considered Protestant by many, the Anglican Communion identifies itself with the catholic faiths.  In fact, many refer to the Anglican faith as being reformed Catholicism, while others call it Biblican Catholicism.  But, whatever the definition, Anglicanism is a hybrid between the Catholic and Protestant faiths. In the summer of 2006 the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams identified three things that, when held together, make Anglicanism distinct from other Christian denominations and contribute to the essential character of our church.   Other denominations share one or two of these qualities.  What makes Anglicanism unique is the balanced presence of all three. They are: A reformed commitment to the priority of the Bible for deciding doctrine.   A catholic loyalty to the sacraments and the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons.  A habit of cultural sensitivity and intellectual flexibility that does not seek to close down unexpected questions too quickly.  In conjunction with this definition is the principle set down by one of the church's theologians, explaining that Anglicanism is a "three-legged stool."  One leg is Scripture; the second is Tradition; the third is Reason.  Scripture has priority, trumping the other two when stating dogma.  But, the Traditions of the unified Church, when...