Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Cardinal Newman
I am not doubting the Jesuit influence in these events.
I said that many Anglicans saw the sad state of their church and left because they really thought Rome was the only place left. The Oxford Movement attempted to remove the Protestant identity from ANglicanism but because it blamed Protestantism for liberalism. While this is not true...some Anglicans really believed it. Newman did. And sure...Jesuits were always attempting to bring Protestants to Rome. But some Protestants went to Rome and didnt need the Jesuits help.
This is happening today. I have one friend that converted to Rome and now writes for a Roman Catholic apologist group. He was sincere and genuine(and wrong I think).
Here are some things that happened to the Anglican church leading up to and at the time of the Oxford Movement. It is from my web site.
Two factors that helped contribute to the rise of liberalism in the Protestant Churches were: 1) German Lutheran Pietism. German Lutheran Pietism was a movement that placed experience, feelings, and emotions above scripture.
2) Rationalistic Apologetic from the 18th century that was constructed to defend scripture that eventually led to Deism. All the Protestant Traditions were feeling, or would feel, the impact of the above developments that attempted to undermine the Christian Faith.
In the 1730’s the first books appear that question the literal interpretation of the Bible. Then in 1791 riots erupted in Birmingham against the Anglo-Unitarian scientist Joseph Priestly. In 1839 Charles Lyell published the work Elements of Geology. This work formed the basis for modern earth science. Lyell rejected the literal reading of Genesis. Charles Darwin, an Anglican, published his Origin of the Species in 1859 and in 1863 Bishop J.W. Colenso of Natal, who supported a modernistic approach to Scripture, is tried and convicted of heresy by the English Bishops. It was in this climate that the Oxford Movement came to fruition in the Anglican Church.
The Oxford Movement was a movement that attempted to remove the Protestant identity from the Church of England. The movement also took place in the 1800's.
The persons in the Oxford Movement blamed the Protestant Reformation for the decline in Orthodoxy and believed a return to a more Romanist or Midieval Christianity was the solution. Rev. Paul Zahl in his book The Protestant Face of Anglicanism writes on page 47, The Oxford Movement opposed the Reformation tradition root and branch and saw it as the seedbed of secularism and liberalism.
The Oxford Movement resulted in some prominent Anglican clergy departing the Church of England and actually returning to the Roman Catholic Church. The elements that desired a Romanist form of Christianity but that did not want to submit to the Papacy remained in the Anglican Church and were referred to as “Anglo-Catholics.”
Paul Zahl given as excellent summary of the impact that Anglo-Catholicism had on the Anglican Faith when he writes, Gradually, Anglo-Catholic liturgy and Anglo-Catholic surfaces became the general rule within the Church of England…. Although the foundations of Anglicanism, that is the 1662 Prayer Book, the Edwardian Homilies, and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, were definitely Protestant, the Articles were increasingly neglected, the Homilies almost entirely forgotten, and the Prayer Book twisted and torn by practical usage contrary to its original letter and spirit. The Protestant Face of Anglicanism page 48-49.
Anglo-Catholicism was not a simple call to a more structured liturgy or a more orderly or “high churchmanship” as some would have us believe.
Anglo-Catholicism sought to actually undo the very Protestant Elements that formed the foundation of the Reformation. It was the systematic removal of or re-interpretation of the key Protestant elements of the Anglican faith where Anglo-Catholicism jettisoned or re-defined the very core teachings of the Gospel of Grace.
The teaching of justification by grace alone through faith alone was one of the first doctrines to take a major hit.
The Lord’s Supper was no longer a feeding of the Body and Blood of Christ in a heavenly and spiritual manner but was turned back into transubstantiation The idolatry that taught that Christ’s death was actually re-presented in the Lord’s Supper.
Eucharistic adoration was being practiced again and doctrines such as purgatory and prayers to Mary and the Saints were being practiced.
The greatest threat posed by the Oxford Movement was the promotion of Pelagianism into the Anglican Faith.
Anglo-Catholicism’s desire for the Anglican Church would be, in practical terms, a Roman Catholic Church without the Pope.