Just as there are debates over the definition over who is truly Catholic—and I hold to the view that unless you are officially in communion with the Bishop of Rome you are not Catholic—there are debates about how one defines Anglican.
Thus, those of us who have crossed the jurisdictional boundary—the Tiber—can by definition no longer be Anglican in any way. We are “Roman Catholics” full stop.
Yet, I bet you that on a given Sunday in most Ordinariate and Anglican Use parishes you’ll see more Anglican patrimony not only preserved in the odd concert accompanying a special Evensong, but displayed all week.
And can Continuing Anglicans really refer to themselves as Anglicans if they are not part of Canterbury? What is the Anglican in Anglican mean? Is is an adjective? Is it a noun?
To the end of his life St. Paul said, “I am a Jew.” He meant of course a completed Jew, a fulfilled Jew, a Jew as he is meant to be, that’s to say, a Jew in Christ, but a Jew all the same. I hope to be able to say, “I am an Anglican, a completed Anglican, a fulfilled Anglican, an Anglican in full and visible communion with the universal primate of the universal church, but an Anglican all the same.”
Fr. Aidan Nichols, an ex-Anglican now a Dominican theologian, has written: “Anglo-Catholics are beyond a doubt as to doctrine, worship and devotion a displaced part of Catholic Christendom. And it is as such a part that I shall be now quoting from some of their lay spokesmen.” The time has come for us to stop being displaced persons.
His dream did come true. We Anglican Use Catholics are completed Anglicans.