Anglican church

Anglican Church . Church established in England after the act of supremacy in 1534 , proclaimed by Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church within his kingdom. In the following centuries Anglicanism spread throughout the British empire. It adheres to the principles of the Articles of Religion and the Holy Bible. The traditions of the Anglican church are celebrated through the Book of Common Prayer, which was first transcribed from Latin to English in 1549 .


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  • 1 Origin of the name
  • 2 Origin
  • 3 History
  • 4 Anglican doctrine
    • 1 Evolution
    • 2 Lambetll Quadrilateral
  • 5 Organization of the Anglican Church
  • 6 Source

Name’s origin

The word “Anglican” means “from England”. The Anglican Church became the official name of the Church of England.


The Anglicanism emerged in England after the Act of Supremacy in 1534 , proclaimed by Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church within his realm. In the following centuries Anglicanism spread throughout the British empire. The Anglican communion comprises some 25 independent national churches, united by communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury . Almost half of the world’s Anglicans live in the British Isles.


Henry VIII, King of England, asked Pope Clement VIII to annul the marriage with his legitimate wife, Catherine of Aragon , to marry Ana Bolena . The Pope refused based on the command of Christ: “What God joined, let not man separate” (Mk 10,9). The king, obstinate in his purpose of divorce, forced the separation of the church in England from communion with Rome in the year 1534 . He declared himself the sole and supreme head of the English church. Before his rise to power, speaking of the Anglican church was like speaking of the French or Spanish church. In other words, he was referring to the Catholic Church located in that country, in communion with the Pope .

The Pope refused to grant Henry VIII the divorce he was asking for. The king responded by ordering four statutes against the Pope and in November of 1534 , are self-proclaimed “Supreme Head of the Church of England” after enacting the law “The Act of Supremacy”. This law allowed him to require his subjects an oath affirming that the Pope had no jurisdiction in England.. The ministry of preaching and administering the sacraments was left to the clergy, but the powers of ecclesiastical jurisdiction remained in the hands of the king. The bishops were forced to submit to the king. Bishop John Fisher preferred martyrdom before breaking the unity of the Church. Almost all the other bishops yielded to the king. Hereafter the bishops were chosen by the king and remained under his authority even in spiritual matters. Those who remained faithful to their Catholic faith were fiercely persecuted, producing numerous martyrs, one of the most famous, the great friend of Saint John Fisher, Saint Thomas More.

Queen Mary revoked the “Act of Supremacy” but was later restored by Queen Elizabeth. In 1640 , when Archbishop Laud tried to introduce some reform canons to achieve the spiritual independence of the church, the House of Commons, indignant, passed a unanimous resolution stating that the clergy had no power to make any canon or constitutions of any kind. type in matters of doctrine, discipline or other nature, without the consent of Parliament. (Resolution, December 16, 1640).
In 1789 the US Episcopal Church was segregated .

Until 1833 , the crown exercised jurisdiction over the church through the Court of Delegates. In that year the court was abolished and power was transferred to the King’s Council. The statutes (2 and 3 William IV, xcii) expressly state that their decisions are final. This court does not profess, theoretically, to decide on articles of faith, but history shows that in fact it does. In 1850 , for example, Lord Gorham rejected the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Despite the objection of its bishop, the crown defended its proposal.

In 1904 a royal commission was assigned to investigate complaints against ecclesiastical discipline; and in July 1906 a report was published declaring that the laws of public worship had never been uniformly observed and recommending the formation of a court which, while exercising royal jurisdiction, should accept episcopal authority in matters of doctrine or liturgy.

Outside of England and Wales , modern Anglicanism is independent of the state. But even in those countries, the government of the church is not only in the hands of the episcopate. They lead synods in which the laity have great power to change doctrine.

Anglican doctrine

Theologically, Anglicanism must be distinguished from the reform that began Luther and Calvin . Henry VIII was strongly anti-Protestant and kept most of the elements of Tradition, so that – regardless of the recognition of the pope as head of the Church – the first Anglicanism was not very different from Roman Catholicism. However, an increasing number of Church of England leaders showed much sympathy for the thinking of the mainland reformers, especially Calvin.


Consequently, Anglicanism gradually evolved into a mix in which some elements of the Catholic tradition were preserved along with an appreciation for some aspects of the Protestant Reformation. As such, Anglicanism has been defined as a middle way. The Anglican communion has also been characterized by the “comprehensiveness” with which a fairly wide diversity of doctrines and disciplines was tolerated, once the acceptance of the fundamental elements of Christianity had been established.

Lambetll ring

These fundamental elements reached their classic expression in the so-called Lambetll Quadrilateral ( 1888 ), drawn up by the Lambeth Conference, the gathering of delegates from the entire Anglican communion, which began in 1867 and convened every ten years thereafter. According to the Quadrilateral, there are four necessary elements to Christianity: faith in Scripture as the Word of God, profession of ancient creeds; celebration of baptism and the eucharist as the two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ; and the historical episcopate.

Anglican Church Organization

The organization of the Anglican Church closely resembles that of the Catholic Church. At the time of the schism, Henry VIII proclaimed himself head of the Anglican Church; although the authority of the sovereign in matters of the Church, even within his own domain, was greatly reduced. A certain honorific preeminence is recognized to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the hierarchy of the Anglican order there are three degrees of Divine institution, episcopate, priesthood and diaconate. The head of the Church is occupied by the archbishops, among whom there are some who have the title of primates, being at the head of the ecclesiastical province and being able to call a provincial assembly or convocation. Underneath, the bishops direct a diocese assisted by a chancellor or vicar general. If the diocese is large enough there are suffragans or auxiliary bishops. There are also boards and deans of cathedrals, diocesan assemblies, archdeacons, deans, and pastors. Currently the Anglican Church has 15 ecclesiastical provinces, which comprise 216 dioceses. 33 dioceses do not belong to any province, of which 24 recognize to some extent the Archbishop of Canterbury, two the Archbishop of York, three the primacy ofCanada , 4 to the primacy of Australia . There are also 42 suffragan bishops.


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