5 September 2008

An Anglo-Papalist Liturgist in the time of King James II

As I wrote the penultimate post, revealing that I titivate Dr Cranmer's Consecration Prayer, my mind went back to the figure of the Revd Edward Stephens, who died in 1706; who believed that 'the dignity of the Church of Rome, and the authority of the Bishop of Rome, as the chief patriarch in the Kingdom of Christ, I do heartily embrace, and am resolved, by the grace of God, to assert against all schismatical acts whatsoever' (although he was a less extreme papalist than the Master of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, the probable author of A Proposal for Catholic Reunion in 1704). Stephens also was a titivator, and a great believer in Daily Mass, and the writer of a pamphlet called The Cranmerian Liturgy, Or, The subtilty of the Serpent in corrupting the True English Liturgy, by Cranmer and a Faction of Calvinists. He rather neatly wrote of the Prayer Book as 'hug'd [by the Cof E] like a Bastard Child by a silly abused husband'. What a superb blogger he would have made.

As well as a liturgy to be used privately (rather Eastern in style), he produced one for public use which owed a lot to the book of 1549. In this he sharpened up Cranmer's English by writing 'who made there by his own oblation ...' (a modification made easier by the fact that the English word 'one' had not yet universally acquired the pronunciation wun). He justified his divergences from the Book which he had, by his oath of canonical obedience, promised to use, with the words 'we must obey God rather than Man, and prefer the Authority of the Catholick Church before that of any particular Church whatever'; a very typical and topical Catholic Anglican observation.


The admirable game of making Cranmer's texts less heterodox continued in the Scotch Liturgy of 1764. As well as incorporating Stephens's emendation 'own', 1764 omitted the word 'there', so that the Sacrifice of Christ was not limited to his Crucifixion. We papalists have been around, with our correcting pencils, for quite a time.

5 comments:

The Welsh Jacobite said...

Another notable Anglo-Papalist (or more accurately Cambro-Papalist) is Godfrey Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester.

There is some evidence that he ingeniously avoided the ban on Anglican rites during the Great Rebellion by using Roman ones.

It is often claimed that Goodman crossed the Tiber towards the end of his life, but the words of his will which a protestant or Roman Catholic might so easily take as evidence of this have an ambiguity that will not be lost on an Anglo-Papalist:

"And here I do profess that as I have lived so I die, most constant in all the Articles of our Christian Faith, and in all the Doctrine of God's Holy Catholick and Apostolick Church, whereof I do acknowledge the Church of Rome to be the Mother Church; and I do verily believe that no other Church hath any Salvation in it, but only so far as it concurs with the Faith of the Church of Rome."

Fr. Robert Hart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr. Robert Hart said...

prefer the Authority of the Catholick Church before that of any particular Church whatever'

To dissent once again, the church of Rome is also "a particular Church," and in that light, I too prefer the authority of the Catholic Church. I prefer it over the Church of Rome. "Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est."

Wm Riley said...

Fr. Hunwicke,

Excellent posts on the Mass! I enjoy reading your blog.

Fr. Hart,

Rome is the particular Church with which all other churches must agree. It is clear from the Fathers (Peter speaks through Leo, ect ad infinitum), nice try but your position is Protestant.

Regards,

Will Riley

BillyD said...

"Rome is the particular Church with which all other churches must agree. It is clear from the Fathers (Peter speaks through Leo, ect ad infinitum), nice try but your position is Protestant."

Really? It's downright tame compared to statements about the Church of Rome I've read and heard from Eastern Orthodox Christians. Since they do not agree with Rome, are they also Protestants?