Rome, February 22nd, 1880.
A person who signs himself an ” Anglo-Catholic” has written and circulated a letter to the Rev. Dr. O’Bryen on the subject of the sermons preached by him in the Church of S. Andrea della Fratte on the two Sundays previous to Quinquagesima. “Anglo-Catholic” complains that Dr. O’Bryen “assumed that Henry VIII. of England was a Reformer, and that he constituted himself Head of the Church of that kingdom.”
“Anglo-Catholic” maintains that Henry VIII. “lived and died a member of Dr. O’Bryen’s communion,” and in proof of this assertion alleges the Act of Six Articles and the last will of the King in which money was left for masses for the repose of his soul. “Anglo-Catholic,” on parity of reasoning, may be also a Catholic, for he may attend mass and may bequeath, if he likes, any amount of money for the repose of his soul. The Catholic Church, however, will not admit the plea of “Anglo-Catholic,” and without submission to the See of Peter he can never become a Catholic, nor be acknowledged as such by Catholic priests or laymen.
The rest of “Anglo-Catholic’s “ letter is as silly as the beginning. He seems never to have read or understood the simplest Catechism, which would have taught him the Catholic doctrine of devotion to the B. Virgin and the Saints. And he is equally ignorant of ecclesiastical history. In fact “Anglo-Catholic” writes in the style of the vulgar controversialists, Messrs. Murphy and Maguire, and the other learned divines of Exeter Hall notoriety.
The above text was found on p.17, 28th February 1880 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .