|Blessed John Henry Newman|
(Catholic Culture) - Writing in the Guardian-- a paper that has given heavy coverage to protesters during the papal visit—Andrew Brown writes that the Pope’s address to the nation’s political leaders was a historic event:'The Catholic Knight' agrees with columnist Andrew Brown insofar that the pope's political address does indeed mark the end of the British Empire, British supremacy and the British national religion formally known as "Anglicanism." In regards to the empire and supremacy, the events of the 20th century should make that obvious. In regards to the British national religion of "Anglicanism" the events of the last few decades should make that painfully obvious. The Church of England is stagnant, having abandoned all remnant of apostolic authority, if indeed it ever had any to begin with. British Christianity has declined under Anglicanism so severely that Islam now threatens to become the nation's top religion. The Anglican Communion has become nothing more than a disheveled affiliation of disorganized member-churches united in nothing more than name. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the great right-hand-man of the queen's national religion, has become as impotent as the queen herself, if indeed either the archbishop, or the queen, had any significant power to begin with in the modern world. In every way, the United Kingdom has become spiritually and socially bankrupt. The religion of King Henry VIII, and his daughter Queen Elizabeth I, has left the nation that was once "Mary's Dowry" in ruins. So it is fitting that the modern Queen Elizabeth II should bear the name of her predecessor who essentially created what is today known as "Anglicanism." Under Queen Elizabeth I Anglicanism was born, and under Queen Elizabeth II it has died. The latter should not be blamed though, as the poison of Anglicanism's demise was administered 500 years ago. It just took five centuries to fully run it's course. Anglicanism is spiritually dead. That's not some declaration on my part, but a simple statement of the obvious. The stench of the evidence has been wafting for decades. All that remains now is to bury the rotting corpse. Pope Benedict XVI did not do that in his recent trip to England. He left that job to the British people. Nor did he come to England to state the obvious. Everyone knows that Anglicanism is spiritually dead, and to make such an obvious statement is beneath the office of the papacy.
This was the end of the British Empire. In all the four centuries from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II, England has been defined as a Protestant nation.Brown recognizes the significance of the fact that Pope Benedict based his thoughts on the example of St. Thomas More: a man who had defied the king in loyalty to his faith. He notes, too, that the British Empire arose soon after the Reformation:
Rebellion against the pope was the foundational act of English power. And now the power is gone, and perhaps the rebellion has gone, too.read full story here
Instead he came to England to shine a light in the darkness and point the way toward a much brighter future. The Holy Father did this with the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman, the 19th century Anglican pastor who returned to the Catholic Church, became a Catholic priest and was eventually elevated by Pope Leo XIII to the office of cardinal-deacon even though Newman was neither a bishop nor a resident of Rome. The current pontiff's actions have much greater significance than the mainstream news media would care to admit. Blessed John Newman was an Anglican who became Catholic, his conversion was eventually rewarded with much favor and dignity, putting him on the path to sainthood. Newman was certainly not the first Anglican to become Catholic, but his conversion is very high profile, and in his conversion, elevation and later beatification, the pope has pointed the way home for all Anglicans. The Holy Father's address to the Catholic bishops at Oscott College ended with the following statement...
Once again Pope Benedict XVI has demanded "generous" implementation of the Apostolic Constitution he created for Anglican converts nearly a year ago. Sadly, some Catholic bishops in the U.K. have expressed reluctance toward it's implementation for fear of what may become of ecumenical relations with the Church of England. The Holy Father has made it clear however, that Anglicanorum Coetibus is a "prophetic" gesture of true ecumenism.
That being said, it stands to reason that what follows is the Vatican's implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus, as the English bishops cannot act on their own. So I think it's reasonable to say that something is coming on this - something very soon - and the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman is a sign marking the beginning of Anglican Catholicism.