Classic Anglicanism always described itself as a "via media," a "middle way" between the Protestantism of Geneva and the Catholicism of Rome. Anglicans claimed to be the authentic Catholic Church of England, that little dispute in the 16th century over papal supremacy being merely an "unfortunate incident" - so very English and polite. Sadly, the "via media" proved to be untrue for some of the greatest minds the Anglican Church ever produced, and a succession of brilliant converts - Newman, Chesterton, Knox, Benson and Muggeridge, to name but a few - found that the true Catholic Church of England was the Church the martyrs died for, in union with Peter.
However, even until comparatively recently, while the Anglican Church held to the ancient creeds of the Church, the possibility of eventual union with Rome could still be prayed for, and worked towards.
All that is now, tragically, a thing of the past; we have all seen on our television screens the implosion of the Anglican Communion over its abandonment of the traditional morality of Christendom for the
last two thousand years.
The Anglican Church is now completely divided - split here in the United States into at least three distinct groups. Large groups of the Anglican Church in Africa will have no contact whatsoever with the Episcopal Church in America.
First with its unilateral decision to ordain women and then with the consecration of an openly homosexual man as a bishop, the U.S. Episcopal Church signaled that the "via media" was over, and the Anglican Church had decided to join the mainstream of other Protestant churches who were rejecting the consistent witness of Scripture and tradition over ordination and sexual morality for the "zeitgeist" of contemporary culture, whatever it may be.
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