There are many assumptions about Anglicans. Some are correct, but some are not. Here are few things to know.
Orthodox Anglican and the Roman Catholic Church
The Orthodox Anglican Liturgy and that of the Roman Catholic Church are very similar, in some cases identical. The Orthodox Anglican Church has great respect for the Roman Catholic Church but the OAC is self-governing and receives no direction from the Holy See. There are some major differences:
- The OAC practices open communion, anyone baptized by water may take communion
- Priest in the OAC do not swear an oath of celibacy. Many – if not most – priests of the OAC are happily married family men.
- We do not believe in Papal infallibility
- Transubstantiation vs. consubstantiation. The Roman Catholic Church asserts that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are the literal Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox Anglican Church asserts that the bread and wine remain bread and wine, however the spiritual presence of Jesus Christ inhabit both.
Many do not understand or may be offended by our reverence to the Saints. It has even been said by some that Anglicans pray “to” the Saints. We do not pray to the Saints but ask that they intercede on our behalf. If you asked someone to pray for you or for a loved one of course they probably would. That is what we Anglicans are asking of the Saints. We believe they are not dead people but more alive and closer to God. We are simply asking them to intercede with God on our behalf.
Part of the second commandment, “Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image”. Do Anglicans break that commandment? Do you have family pictures in your home? Photos of loved ones that you love and in many cases wish you could be more like? I am sure the answer is yes. To Anglicans that is what the statues are, images of ones we hold close to our hearts and wish to imitate in holiness. They are God’s family “photos” in God’s house.
Ordination of Women
The Orthodox Anglican Church has always affirmed and recognized the dignity of women as leaders among parishioners, teachers and spiritual leaders. So why ordain only Godly men to Holy Orders? At the Last Supper, when Christ instituted the priesthood, he could have chosen to have women present. But he had only twelve men to be “fathers” to the family of the faithful.