Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We call them Anglican Roman Catholics

In an earlier blog post, the question was asked "What do we do with the Anglicans?". With the Ordinariate up and running, what then do we call these Anglicans who have taken the papal offer and now are with the Catholic Church?

It is grossly inaccurate to call them former Anglicans. They aren't and Anglicanorum coetibus does not intend them to be such. They are accurately called former members of the Church of England (CoE) or the Anglican Communion. But the word "Anglican" is larger than the CoE or the Anglican Communion itself.

They are definitely cannot be described as Anglo-Catholics anymore. That hyphenated word is now too small to describe them.

These people can be best called Anglican Roman Catholics. They are Anglican in particular tradition, Roman in the essentials that are shared by all and Catholic, in unity as God willed them to be.

The Rorate Caeli blog tags articles about the Ordinariate as Anglicans IN the Church. This is right!


  1. It will be interested to see how the language plays out. I suspect that you will see some variation as one goes from speaking British English to speaking American English or Australian English. Personally, I use and have seen used most often "Anglican Catholics," as distinct from "Anglo-Catholics," which is just variation of, a shortening of, "Anglican Roman Catholics." As always it will depend upon the context. I am sure that there will be other phrases used from time to time, such as "Ordinariate members."

  2. I agree that we could call them "Anglican Roman Catholics". Anglican because of their Liturgy and distinct theology, but Roman since traditionally, the Anglican Church is part of the Latin Church of the Christian West. "Anglican Catholics" seems to be tolerable. Although, I disagree on calling them "Ordinariates." Sounds more like the derogatory term "uniates" in referring to Greek Catholics and other Eastern Catholics.


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