Thinking Anglicans

Paul Vallely lecture

The full text of the recent lecture given by Paul Vallely to the London Newman Association can be found here.

The title of this lecture was On being an English Catholic: from minority to mainstream – and back again? English Catholicism 1951 – 2008.

Paul explained this title in his Church Times column of 4 April, I am English Catholic, not Roman. The previous week’s article, to which he refers, is This does not violate a deep taboo. That article is germane to the debates here concerning the embryology bill.


  • robert ian williams says:

    The Catholic Church actually gave birth to Englishness. Her mission to these islands pre-dated the formation of England. However you can’t wrap the Gospel in either the Italian or British flag…that is the meaning of the word Catholic. It was the English apostate heretics of the sixteenth century who invented the term
    “Roman Catholic”.

    I am a Welsh Catholic and you can only truly own the name Catholic if you recognise the successor of St Peter, now currently on tour in the USA.

  • Pluralist says:

    Interesting that there is such a spirit of independence. In recent times with my rather free floating nature (though actually I stay in places in a more sticky fashion) I’ve become so frustrated with the national Church of England and the nonsense around the Anglican Communion that I have sniffed around at independent Catholicism. This is the line that developed out of the Old Catholics and Arnold Harris Mathew and then Wedgewood and Leadbeater – who all received a bad press from Anglicans. Leadbeater went off to Australia, but there was something quite English in all of that, and developed a line of liberal Catholicism.

    I didn’t mention them last night but I was in a local church group where the discussion leader introduced ideas of liberal Christianity and some of this was put down to Englishness by some contributors. Some folks there still reckon that Anglicanism is that mixture of differences and moderation as a culture, but I just see it as becoming increasingly sectarian and, evidenced by some of the machinations in the region, nationally and internationally, that far too much is becoming sclerotic.

  • JCF says:

    “I am a Welsh Catholic and you can only truly own the name Catholic if you recognise the successor of St Peter, now currently on tour in the USA.”

    Well, that’s the problem w/ those submissive to the BofR: they think they “own” the name!

  • John Omani says:

    Robert Ian Williams,

    I think those members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church under the juristiction of the successor of St Andrew at Constantinople would have some choice words about your pompous remarks, as well as those ‘apostate heretics’ who are regular readers here.

    One may recognise the Bishop of Rome as the successor to one of the sees of St Peter (the other being the see of Antioch), without believing that he has any claim to be supreme infallible ruler over Christendom or Vicarius Christi.

    It is unfortunate that arrogance is one of the most common side-effects of reactionary Roman Catholicism (especially true for converts).

  • RE Vicarius Christi

    Mind that from Constantine until at least Knut the Great it was the Emperor/King who was Vicarius Christi in the World/Creation.

  • Malcolm+ says:

    I am quite happy to recognize the Benedict as Bishop of Rome, as Primate of Italy and as Patriarch of the West.

    But that is all.

  • This thread is about the content of the lecture, not about the claims of the RC Church in general. Comments accordingly please.

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