Wednesday, 26 September 2012

A fond thing, vainly invented

The Anglican Church was more-or-less invented on the order of King Henry VIII, who had his own reasons for wanting to break away from the Roman Catholic Church.  Of course it is based on the Northern European protestant tradition.

His reasons were not the same as mine would have been (although I'm glad to say that I was never a Catholic).  I don't think there is any evidence that he considered it to be one of the greatest forces for evil in the world, so we differ on that topic too.

In order to make it perfectly clear how the Anglican and Catholic doctrines differed, the 39 Articles of Religion represent a final settlement after a few earlier attempts.  They could be found in the 1662 Prayer Book and have been slightly modified and updated by successive generations.  Although they are not intended as a complete statement of the Anglican faith, but to set out the differences from the Catholic position, I think they cover virtually every significant factor in the myth of christianity.

Whether you believe in what they say or not, it is possible to admire the language contained.  One of my favorite phrases comes in Article 22

The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

You have to delight in such an expression don't you!

I think it might be instructive to go through them and generate 39 Articles of Disbelief.

Perhaps it could become the regular weekly feature on Wednesdays, to replace the Amazing Hitchslap Index series that ended a few months ago.

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