Thinking Anglicans

Canterbury and Lourdes

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been participating in anniversary celebrations at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, at the invitation of the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, Monsignor Jacques Perrier. He preached this sermon at the International Mass there yesterday.

Stephen Bates in The Guardian Archbishop offers praise for St Bernadette – and Marx
Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Dr Rowan Williams becomes first Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Lourdes

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Pluralist
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To me the actual sermon is quite superstitious. It is in the realm of magic, and I think it is debased. This brings so much into a lack of credibility.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/09/archbishop-to-lourdes.html

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

I found the sermon deeply moving and I thank ++Rowan for it.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“To me the actual sermon is quite superstitious. It is in the realm of magic, and I think it is debased.”

How so? To me, religion is all about the mystical, supenatural, the unseen. It seems, and correct me if I’m wrong, that you define that as ‘superstitious’. If so, what is religion about for you? I found it, as Davis said, deeply moving.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

This is the same Archbishop who assents to the 39 articles which condemn the invocation of Saints.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

I, personally, thought Archbisop Rowan’s sermon at Lourdes to be quite inspirational, and I’m sorry that ‘Pluralist’ should find it ‘superstitious’ – perhaps true plurality would require more than one way of dealing with the place of Mary in the scheme of God’s plan of salvation for the world. Having said that, I realise that one of the tragedies of the Reformation was the denigration of the significance of God choosing a lowly woman to bring about what God has purposed for Christ’s incarnation. However, one cannot overlook the importance of Mary’s pivotal reaction to God’s invitation to become the… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

It seems to me that you can find the Archbishop’s sermon “superstitious…in the realm of magic, and…debased” only if you find Catholicism itself those three things.

JCF
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JCF

In my Anglican Via Media, I feel a distinct sense of ambivalence about this. On the one hand, I think the “Protestant Truth Society” (Must.Not.Write.Oxymoron!) are a bunch of nervous nelly party-poopers. There’s nothing wrong w/ venerating saints, or even trusting, in prayerful hope, for Divine healing through the waters. On the other hand, Mariolatry IS a danger, when we start using Vatican terms like “spotless”, to describe the mother of Our Lord. Mary is just another redeemed sinner like the rest of us, thank God (it’s through that redemption that we CAN venerate her as “Saint Mary”). [I don’t… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

RIW, “This is the same Archbishop who assents to the 39 articles which condemn the invocation of Saints.” The Articles don’t get it right in every instance, and in this they are certainly wrong. Besides, they were never anything more than a failed attempt by the illegitimate daughter of a sexually incontinent, gluttonous, adulterous usurper to bring about some kind of peace in her Kingdom. Do the Welsh even have to assent to them? Most of the rest of us don’t outside the Muvver Country. JCF, “Mary is just another redeemed sinner like the rest of us,” No, She is… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Thank you, JCF, for your excplicit account of your understanding of Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation for the world. I, like you, have problems with the ‘Immaculate Conception’ theory about Our Blessed Lady. If she were not fully human like the rest of us, then exactly how far back would you have to go to ensure that her conception was actually ‘without sin’? And how could Jesus have fully shared in our ‘sinful human nature’? No doubt the Roman Catholic Church would have had some private input into that particular nomenclature. However, I do think that the initial… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

This is the same Archbishop who assents to the 39 articles which condemn the invocation of Saints.

No. It condemns the Romish doctrine of the invocation of Satints. Read Tract 90.

SarahHP
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SarahHP

I can’t help noticing that all the comments posted so far have been from men. Interesting that most of you are so hung up on the sanctity of Mary only so long as she is a VIRGIN. I’m a mother of 4 children and a friend of many other non-virgin women, and I have no end of trouble with the idea that a true christian *must* believe that Jesus had to be born from a pure virgin who remained a virgin ever thereafter. To me Jesus’s divinity is proved by his normal, egg-and-sperm conception, made sacred by God the Father.… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“for the ‘perpetual’ bit of it, one cannot help wonder how this could have been preserved post partum. And what about the brothers and sisters of Jesus mentioned in the Scriptures?” Well, one can see it as preservation from the “taint” of sex, or one can see it as based on the idea that, having consented to be part of something so utterly fantastic, no less than God’s plan for the redemption of His Creation, sex just didn’t mean very much. And there is a very old tradition as to who Jesus’s brothers and sisters were, I see no reason… Read more »

jnwall
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jnwall

Well, whatever the 39 Articles say about the saints, GAFCON thinks its part of the true definition of Anglicanism and the basis for its future.

Tract 90 is a marvelous essay in special pleading that shows that whatever the Articles meant in 1563 they had ceased to mean that by 1841.

God knows what they mean now; thats what makes FoCA’s embrace of them so delightful.

Pluralist
Guest

To respond: My view is that when Jesus was born it was an ordinary birth by an ordinary mother. Just as the birth narratives are myth after the event of Jesus, so is all this stuff about “Elizabeth recognises Mary as bearing within her the hope and desire of all nations”. Rowan Williams and others might like to live inside “This story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth is in many ways a very strange one” but I find it distorting of who we are as people, and indeed this whole story is a dead-weight to seeing the equality and potential… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Strange how invocation of Saints and veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary was missing from Anglicnaism for 300 years and most ANGLICANS NEVER PRAY TO HER.

The point is …if prayer to Mary is not Anglican doctrine..why aen’t Anglican mainstream turning on Rowan like they do on Gene.

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

JCF parenthesises: “[I don’t for a second believe that illiterate Bernadette heard WHATEVER she saw, call herself “the Immaculate Conception” (Oh-so-conveniently backing up that dogma “infallibly” proclaimed just 4 years previously. Yeah, right.)]” Yeah, right indeed. Any standard work about Lourdes will tell you that the parish priest, Fr Peyramale, was absolutely gobsmacked by Bernadette’s response. He had been mightily irritated by the nutty kid and her “lady”, and had sarcastically told her to ask the lady’s name. When she said, in dialect, that the lady had said, “Que soy era immaculada concepciou”, Peyramale had been amazed, and had asked… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

Re-read what I said, Ford: “Mary is just another redeemed sinner like the rest of us, thank God (it’s through that redemption that we CAN venerate her as “Saint Mary”).” As you see, I DON’T condemn venerating Mary (or the rest of the saints). Far from it. But if any of you were left scratching your head at what I said . . . then Congratulations! You got it! Like MOST of the Christian faith, it’s a *paradox*, people. Humans, all of us, are fallen. Are sinners… …and yet in Christ, ALL are redeemed. All are capable of being “saints”,… Read more »

whb
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whb

“On the other hand, Mariolatry IS a danger, when we start using Vatican terms like “spotless”, to describe the mother of Our Lord. “ You might just want to listen to a well known English Carol that is sung around Anglican/Episcopal University Chapels, Churches, and Cathedrals during Advent and Christmastide during Lessons and Carols – “A Spotless Rose” – I don’t think its a Vatican thing. Actually I think its a Herbert Howells thing based upon a medieval English Prose. And one could also describe you as spotless as soon as you came out of the baptismal font – assuming… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

“But nuthin’ happen to her, without being redeemed by Christ. An act of redemption that, by the Will of God, happened IN history, on Calvary’s hill.”

Even those who believe in the Immaculate Conception believe that the BVM was preserved from sin by the Redemption of Christ, even though it came before: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/Teachings/marya2.htm

BillyD
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BillyD

‘”My view is that when Jesus was born it was an ordinary birth by an ordinary mother. Just as the birth narratives are myth after the event of Jesus, so is all this stuff about “Elizabeth recognises Mary as bearing within her the hope and desire of all nations”.’ The present topic aside, this seems to me to reflect an impoverished view of the purpose and power of myth. But I digress… ‘It’s a sort of alternative science and alternative history, but Williams will call it all a “story” – until he gets challenged. Its realism does not stand up,… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

As a former RC, and the product of 17 years of Roman Catholic education, by the time I finished my third year of college I came to regard Mariolatry as disturbing and an impediment to a deeper relationship with Christ. It was one of the reasons, though not the primary, that I became an Episcopalian in 1976. As to this matter of Lourdes, or Fatima, or wherever it was supposed to be in Mexico that the Blessed Mother of our Lord also appeared, I have — probably for close to forty years — felt that it was POSSIBLE that Mary… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“Any standard work about Lourdes will tell you that the parish priest, Fr Peyramale, was absolutely gobsmacked by Bernadette’s response.” I’m familiar w/ the standard (Vatican) works, Alan. I just don’t believe them (The BVM hadn’t had 1800 years already to clear this up?). Nope, sorry! ;-/ [I find it interesting that, contra JH Newman’s “Development of Doctrine”, Rome finds it necessary increase TESTS of doctrinal loyalty, precisely when it’s being challenged on other fronts. Kinda like B16’s prediction of a smaller, more CONTROLLED RCC?] Whatever. I favor closer AC-RCC relations, because Rome needs us so badly—it’s kind of our… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

I should think most theologs nowadays would be able to discern the difference between ‘mariolatry’ and a decent ‘mariology’. If not, the future Church is doomed to superstition.
I’m very happy to caller her ‘Blessed’ – in accord with the Magnificat.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

This comment from Ron Smith on Lourdes was on the finace posting: “These extracts from the ACNS site are evidence of the generic catholicity of the Anglican Mother Church’s relationship to the apostolic tradition. “ Generic …yes to a group which arose in Anglicanisnm in the nineteenth century. Mainstrean Anglicanism had no prayers to the BVM or any other Saint. Non of the non-jurors are Archbishop Laud ever prayed to her. Those are the plain facts, and if Church Society were as active as they used to be , they would have formally criticised the pilgrimage….however they only have two… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

“As to this matter of Lourdes, or Fatima, or wherever it was supposed to be in Mexico that the Blessed Mother of our Lord also appeared…” OL of Guadalupe supposedly appeared to Juan Diego at the Hill of Tepeyac, now part of the Mexico City metropolitan area. “I have — probably for close to forty years — felt that it was POSSIBLE that Mary was revealed to people in those places.” Me too, and like you I’m not convinced. But I’m not terribly bothered by those who do find them convincing or appealing. I’ve been to two of the shrines… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

Pluralist, “if I am Catholic in any sense then it is very lightly so.” I guess what I’m getting at is: what is religion for you? I get the impression, and correct me if I’m wrong, that you are not at all comfortable with the supernatural or the mystical. Now, I have no problem with that, but if you take the supernatural and the mystical out of religion, what have you got? If Jesus was nothing more than an ordinary man walking around first century Palestine with a fluffy message of “be nice to each other”, then what’s the point… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

JCF, “I DON’T condemn venerating Mary” I didn’t say you did. “Is Mary “more special” than the rest of us?” More special than we are now? Yes. More special than we will be? No. “But nuthin’ happen to her, without being redeemed by Christ.” But that’s the point of veneration of Mary, as I said, she is who she is because He is who He is. Our veneration of her is merely recognition that she is the one, regardless of how many others Gabriel went to that night who said ‘no’, and we can’t know that, who said ‘yes’. She… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

“Non of the non-jurors are Archbishop Laud ever prayed to her.”

Your knowledge of the private thoughts and actions of long-dead ecclesiastics seems formidable.

BillyD
Guest
BillyD

Speaking of Archbishop Laud, I found a reference to him in a book of Anglican prayers entitled _Give Us Grace_, in connection with a book written by a layman named Anthony Stafford. The Archbishop licensed and defended the book in the face of protestant criticism; its detractors were bothered both by the subject matter (its title was _The Female Glory, or the Life and Death of Our Blessed Lady, the Holy Virgin Mary, God’s Own Immaculate Mother_) and its exalted language in praising the BVM. It seems to speak of belief in the Immaculate Conception. And excerpt can be found… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“It’ll happen to all of us, she just got there first as “family priveledge”, so to speak. I think, given your last bit, we’re probably saying the same things, just that you are more uncomfortable about coming too close to RC dogma concerning her.” Quite possibly, Ford. I just find that, the more misogynistic Rome behaves towards women (and by extension, LGBTs), the more they EXALT Mary in a way that I don’t think she would appreciate, past or (Queen of Heaven) present! [If “spotless” just means “grace received at baptism”, whb, then fine. But only IF an adult baptizand… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Some people are so worried about acknowledging anything other than Jesus that they just end up looking petty and mean. Jesus never denied there were angels, or prophets, matriarchs or patriarchs, God the Father or Holy Spirit. Nor did Jesus see the need to claim to be all of them. Nor to denounce them. In fact Jesus was quite protective of them e.g Look at Matthew 23 where Jesus said “Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

“But only IF an adult baptizand could immediately follow their baptism with hours and hours of the wildest SEX ever, w/ their spouse, and thereby remain no less spotless!”

But…what would the rest of the folks at the Easter Vigil think of that?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Mainstrean Anglicanism had no prayers to the BVM or any other Saint.” – Robert Ian Williams. Robert, your scarlet slip is showing again. however, when you were an Anglican (before you so recently ‘crossed the Tiber’) your Anglicanism was obviously of the ‘protestant’ variety. You should read some of the history of the Early Christian Church in England – before the episode of the iconoclasts. There you will discover that devotion to Our Lady was alive and well before, and in, Edward the Confessor – not to mention the Saints of England – Hilda, Julian, Chad, etc. Like most RC… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Billy D …the non-jurors tried to effect a union with orthodoxy..but this fell down over the issue of transubstantiation and the invocation of Saints. The non-jurors represented the highest and best of seventeenth century High churchmen.

I remember seeing Archbishop Laud’s statue at Walsingham Anglican shrine.

Laud believed in the validity of non episcopal orders outside England, regarded the sacrifice of the mass as an abominationa and wrote agisnts the invocation of saints.

Anglo-catholic continuity,preceding the late nineteenth century is a complete myth.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Anglo-catholic continuity,preceding the late nineteenth century is a complete myth.”

Continuity? What continuity? We are talking about revival of things that had been lost through error.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

The point is Ron ..is that when I was an Anglican i was loyal to the historic postion of the Anglican Church as “reformed ” in 1559. The spiritual heritage of the pre-reformation Church is not yours , it is that of the English Catholics, who despite the Protestant take over, at great personal cost maintained the true Church in England and Wales. For three hundred years there was no Marian devotion or invocation , prayers for the dead, requiem Masses,chasubles, even unction in the Church of England. Your faith is in essence a nineteenth century aberration, which you have… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Your faith is in essence a nineteenth century aberration, which you have further tailored to 21st century liberalism.. you obviously like the haberdashery and a make up religion to follow. I believe on judgement day it will prove of no benefit.”

So, at the end, that’s ALL you’re about RIW?

Depart with you then, and be no more about us poor benighted “Thinking Anglicans”!

Lord have mercy…

BillyD
Guest
BillyD

“I believe on judgement day it will prove of no benefit.”

Are you speaking ex cathedra here, or simply exercising your ordinary magisterium here?

Whatever. I’ll be sure to save a spot for you in the afterlife.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Your faith is in essence a nineteenth century aberration,”

And I thought that it was only the rabid consevos on this site who rubbish the faith of those they don’t agree with.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Robert Ian Williams, I do applaud you for coming our of your newly-inhabited RC Closet at last, I hope everyone on this site will now recognise you as the latest product of conversion from Ecclesia Anglicana into the Church of Rome. No doubt, your move was prompted by what you have come to regard as a defective position in your former discipleship. Has this actually been renounced formally, by the way, and did you have to be ‘re-baptized’? This is no idle question, I really want to know what is the process of moving from one ‘defective’ branch of the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I believe on judgement day it will prove of no benefit.” Extra ecclesiam nulla salus? Really? You don’t even hear cradle Romans saying stuff like that any more. But, in the bad old days when locally we hated each other based on RC/Prot split, there used locally to be a saying about how converts tend to be more vehement in their condemnations than those born in a particular denomination. I won’t use the exact phrase, it’s not exactly politically correct. But this highlights the danger of adopting a religious position, not because you like what it teaches, but because you… Read more »

BobinSwPA
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BobinSwPA

I’m probably closest to Pluralist on my thoughts about Mary. I think it’s important that whatever we feel, each of us is entitled to our own understanding of what the gospels tell of us Mary. Each of us like Bernadette are seeking God and being called into our own personal relationship with God. Each relationship is unique/personal. BTW I love the Spotless Rose by H. Howells. There is one I believe by Joubert also? What I get out of Rowans+++ sermon is, this is his personal take on Lourdes, Bernadette, saints and revelations, not yours or mine. Sarah…. I’ve always… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Ron This is a balanced and tolerant blog and I have never hidden my loyalties. I think it does us all well to explore the issue of authority. that was very critical to my conversion. Hopefully evangelicals will be able to pick up on that, and liberals will be helped by insights. in fact I have found them very helpful. If I didn’t believe in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church , I think I would be liberal. As for Anglo-Catholicism I never believed in it as an Anglican, and I find it still as unconvincing now. The issue of… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Robert Ian Williams : “As for Anglo-Catholicism I never believed in it as an Anglican, and I find it still as unconvincing now. The issue of continuity is key and you seem to skate over the 300 gap between the Reformation and the Oxford movement. I am aafraid that continuity is the eseence of validity.” (your spelling) I’m afraid, Robert, you will have to do better than that – especially when you allow yourself to consider ‘where was the continuity maintained when the papacy was held in two rival cities – Avignon and Rome?’ Who was the real contender for… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Ford,

I don’t hate ANGLICANS ..MOST OF MY FAMILY ARE OF THAT PERSAUSION.

Of course non Catholics may be ” saved through no fault of their own”….but that is if their ignorance is not culpable. That is official Catholic teaching.

As for my reference to Ron, I was referring to the fact that in eternity he may find ne was never actually an ordained priest.

I say may, not because I doubt Apostolicae Curae, but he may have got a supplementary ordiantion elsewhere ,as several Anglo-catholics have done.

Pluralist
Guest

Come on. There is space for the other, otherwise it’s like me walking away from commenting at Fulcrum knowingly as an outsider. Increasingly I’ve come to a view that my faith position is rooted in the nineteenth century insight. I used to think that was limited, naff and in need of updating. It is updated, but the nineteenth century realised the value of synthesis and that kind of liberalism, and also what limitations they faced when theology was joined with other disciplines like history and science. So I’m one with Ernst Troeltsch and James Martineau. As for what Ford Elms… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RIW
“Of course non Catholics may be ” saved through no fault of their own”….but that is if their ignorance is not culpable”

Ignorance is defined as culpable if those who persist in it KNOW themselves to be wrong.
As those who adhere to other faiths of other strands of Christian faith do so because they truly believe they are right, they are saved even according to Catholic doctrine (says my Jesuit friend).

And your other sentence should read:
“I was referring to MY BELIEF that in eternity he may find ne was never actually an ordained priest”

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“That is official Catholic teaching.” I think you’ll find that’s official ROMAN teaching, which does not equate with Catholic, unless you are claiming that all those Christians in communion with the See of Constantinople are not catholic Christians, which would come as a surprise to them, I imagine. And, I didn’t express myself clearly. I doubt you actually hate any individual people, but you obvious have some strong feelings about the communion you left to join Rome. I was less than accurate out of hotheadedness. I apologize. I don’t feel you hate me personally, or anyone else here. But you… Read more »

bob in swpa
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bob in swpa

Ford: Earlier you asked what more is there if Jesus were just an ordinary man. Although I don’t believe Jesus was/is ordinary, progressive and orthodox christians can find much in common. Jesus provides a blue print of “the way.” As I see it, Jesus is a model for the kingdom of God (and I believe He was saying that it is possible in the hear and now and beyond). You might want to read a little JD Crossan or M Borg. Although, I don’t subscribe to everything they put out there, they did change my opinion on me getting heaven.… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Dear EriKa a Jesuit friend is sadly no guarantee of orthodoxy. The authentic Catholic teaching is that the ignorance could be caused by the person in question rejecting insights of truth given them, or not searching for the truth with the gracess given.

i.e. I’m comfortable as an Anglican…

By the standards of your friend , the only people in Hell would be well informed Catholics…yet he is almost certainly a Universalist. I shall pray for him.

As for Tract 90 , Newman later repudiated it, as a genuine interpretation of the 39 articles.