exception to Dr Richard Lawes’s comments (Letter, January 22), claiming that I am “lambasting the Pope’s initiative” as regards the proposed Anglican ordinariate. I have never expressed such an opinion, but simply pointed out that Anglo-Catholicism is not the mainstream of the Anglican patrimony, and is largely an invention of the 19th century, with much of its liturgical ornaments actually appropriated from Catholicism.
If Dr Lawes read my pamphlet on the subject of the Anglican Use liturgy, he would also see that I do not question the orthodoxy of the Anglican Use Mass, as its integrity is preserved by its use of the Roman Canon instead of Cranmer’s eucharistic prayers. But I do raise legitimate questions about other Cranmerian phrases and prayers which are retained within the Use. For instance, the use of the phrase “In sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto everlasting life” is totally inappropriate in the context of a Requiem. Likewise, I point out how the Use uses Cranmer’s further Protestantised version of the prayer of humble access and not his 1549 original.
I have been informed that the Holy See is working on a revision of the Anglican Use’s Book of Divine Worship and it is quite legitimate for Catholics to critique it. The Anglican Use attracted less than a 10th of one per cent of American Anglicans, and is today mainly attended by cradle Catholics.
Although I may be wrong, I think that the response from Anglicans here will be equally restrained. How any well-informed Catholic can be so enamoured of prayers written by a man who died despising the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Pope and the Catholic Faith is a mystery to me.
Yours faithfully, ROBERT IAN WILLIAMS Bangor is y Coed, Wrexham