Anglican Church

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Related to Anglican Church: Church of England, Episcopal Church

Anglican Church

Anglican Church: see England, Church of; Anglican Communion.
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Anglican Church

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The word "Anglican" means "of England"; the Anglican Church is also known as the Church of England, but it now exists worldwide.

Although Angelicans claim apostolic succession, an unbroken line of apostles going back to Peter, Anglicans officially broke away from Rome in 1536. They were one of the many—and sometimes violent—reform movements following Martin Luther's posting of his Ninety-five Theses, the event that marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

As with most historical stories, there is a simple view, popularly accepted, and a more complex one that, perhaps, tells the real story.

The popular perception, especially in the United States, is that King Henry VIII wanted a divorce and the Pope wouldn't grant it. So he simply declared the Church of England separate from Rome and dissolved the monasteries and abbeys. Anglicans still considered themselves to be the true church, but, following the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church division of 1054, they now existed with a distinct identity.

As with most history, there is a more complex story. A careful reading of the historical record shows a series of disputes between Henry VIII and Rome throughout his reign. The divorce issue was simply one of many disagreements, some religious and some political, that split Rome and England.

What holds the Anglican Church together is not necessarily its English identity, although members do celebrate their tradition. The church finds its identity in the Bible, in their Articles of Religion, and especially in the Book of Common Prayer, first produced in 1549. Here the Latin liturgy of Rome was altered, simplified, and translated into English. The revision of 1662 has become the basis for most modern Anglican liturgy, so that the words and "feel" of worship are familiar to Anglicans no matter where they worship around the world.

In July 2002 the British government announced the appointment of the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth and Archbishop of Wales, to the position of 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Anglican Church. The Reverend Williams is an outspoken liberal, questioning traditional church views on all kinds of hot-button issues such as gay rights, women's rights, and the church's history concerning rights in general. He also happens to be the first archbishop to wear a beard. On the evening of July 24th he was both lauded by the BBC and ridiculed, along with the whole Anglican Church and most participants of English religious society, by Pat Robertson on the 700 Club television show.

It's not easy being archbishop. Reverend Williams responded simply by asking people to pray.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a statement earlier this week, the Bishop of Colombo, Dhiloraj Canagasabey said he was glad that many Anglican churches had their normal Eucharist services with police and army protection wherever that was possible.
Holy Cross Anglican Church is affiliated with the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the Anglican Church in North America.
Primates from the provinces of the Anglican Church of Brazil, the Anglican Church of the Central Region of America (LARCA), The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church of Mexico were all in attendance along with other clergy and lay representatives.
(South Africa is a prominent exception, and the Anglican churches there have for the most part supported Robinson's consecration.) Hence many Africans have a more literal interpretation of the Bible, which they sky condemns homosexuality.
The Essentials Network has acted now--after a decade of struggle within the structures of the Anglican Church of Canada--because three dioceses have endorsed same-sex blessings, after General Synod declared in 2007 that such blessings, being a matter of doctrine, are not a matter for individual dioceses to approve.
Keble's sermon was a protest against secular government interfering in things spiritual: was the Anglican Church a divinely established institution, or merely a department of government?
Both the Anglican Church in Canada, where one of its dioceses (New Westminster) has approved same sex blessings, and the Episcopal Church in the United States, which elected a gay bishop, are embroiled in a protracted conflict with some provinces in the Anglican Communion over the place of homosexuals in the church.
Meanwhile, in all three countries, the United States, England, and Canada, the Anglican churches are declining rapidly.
For instance, the 2001 national census reported that about two million Canadians identified themselves as Anglican, but the Anglican Church of Canada's 2001 figures show that there are 212,577 people identified as regular givers out of a total of 641,845 people on parish rolls.
In the last 30 years the Anglican Church in Canada has lost over 267,000 members of its approximately one million membership in 1969.

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