Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Dr Nigel Zimmermann


Ever since the emergence of the independent Church of England in the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church has treated its orders as invalid. This practice was affirmed in 1896 by Leo XIII who for the first time published authoritative reasons for the practice. He has been widely misunderstood, not least in the formal response of the English Archbishops (1897). The Anglican formularies, especially the service of Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, show a determination on the part of the English Reformers to abandon what they regarded as the erroneous doctrines of the Church of Rome. A “receptionist” theology of the Eucharist emerged within Anglicanism which was taught and deepened by the Classic Anglican theologians. The first Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) claimed that its agreement on all important doctrinal matters with respect to Holy Orders and the Eucharist gave rise to a new context for a favourable re-evaluation of Anglican Orders by the Catholic Church. This re-evaluation never happened. Close attention to the ARCIC documents reveals that the agreement was not as complete as was believed. The new Anglican liturgical books show a determination to preserve the core elements of Anglicanism which have always distinguished it from Catholicism. There is no new context which will allow the Catholic Church to recognise the validity of Anglican Orders.

Included in

Philosophy Commons