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The Catholic Religion: A Manual of Instruction for Members of the Anglican Communion Paperback – March, 1991

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Morehouse Group; Rev Sub edition (March 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819213276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819213273
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Staley gives us a fine guide to being both Anglican and Catholic, that is a part of the worldwide, historic and universal Church (not necessarily in the Roman Church). The book is essentially a concise catechism for the Anglican faithful. In his book he discusses many topics of value. For instance the first 70 pages are an introduction to the history of the faith. In these pages Staley demonstrates the importance of the church's orders: Bishop, Deacon, and Priest. He also stresses the essentiality of Apostolic Succession (through the Episcopate), as a guarantee against heresy and false teaching. He attempts to emphasize the genuine character of Anglican orders, by giving the English Church's history before being under Rome, while under Rome, and after breaking from Rome under Henry VIII. In these pages he explains the causes of Reformation, and the goals of Reformation in England, which overall were not meant to replace the Catholic faith, but simply bring it to a better state. In these chapters an Anglican slant is given to the faith, which I find refreshing. At times Staley seems a bit anti-Roman Catholic, but he was also living before Vatican II.
The last 120 pages deal with the faith of the Church in doctrine and practice. He has sections on the three creeds, the Trinity, the Incarnation (which Staley describes as, "the greatest honor and blessing our race has ever received"), and other important topics. Most of his ideas are firmly rooted in the Church Councils and Church Tradition. He discusses the Catholic view of the seven sacraments, including the Eucharist. Regarding the Eucharist, he takes a decidedly Anglican position when he reiterates the firm Anglican belief in the Real Presence, "without presuming to define the manner of [how the body and blood are present]".
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Format: Paperback
While the language may be a little bit outdated, Vernon Staley's book stands head and shoulders above the rest for basic instruction on the Anglican faith, from an anglo-catholic perspective. The language, while somewhat old-fashioned, is still very clear, and the author has brought this clarity to all the basic tenets of the faith, from the sacraments, to the Creeds, to Holy Scripture, and to the concept of the Holy Trinity, all the while making these sometimes-confusing subjects understandable to the average person. This is a "must-have" for anyone wanting to understand the faith.
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Format: Paperback
"Catholic Religion" makes many excellent points, the foremost being that "the opposite of Catholic is not Protestant, but *heretic*." Accordingly Staley provides a vision of Anglicanism and Episcopalianism in good Anglo-Catholic fashion with due reference to the historic Christian faith. Staley was reacting to what he and others in the "Oxford Movement" considered the hyper-protestant vision of the Church of England then ascendant in England with its "low church" banalities and disdain of history in favor of evangelical and puritan innovations. His work has remained in print all these years because because it meets a legitimate need within Anglicanism to remember that our faith must strive to be truly "catholic" (i.e. the faith of the historic church Jesus Christ established) and not something "new". His work effectively reminds us that every heretic begins their recruiting message by saying "I'm just trying to teach you something NEW that GOD HAS REVEALED TO ME."
Modern Episcopalians reading ONLY works from this school of thought will quickly lose the biblical and evangelical heritage that is also theirs in the classical Anglican statement, the 39 Articles. The Articles, you see, were written to maintain the "Catholic" religion and not simply express "new" and "Protestant" ideas. Both the Lutheran and Anglican reformations purposely sought not to "reinvent the wheel" doctrinally and ecclesiastically if at all possible in light of the truth of the Holy Scriptures. That is why both traditions, for example, affirm justification by faith alone through Christ alone and why the Articles and the Augsburg confession have such deep similiarities.
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Format: Paperback
The author never grows old or out-of-date,in this fine review of the catholic faith, as experienced in the Anglican ( Episcopal ) Church.

This Anglican Classic has been reprinted by Saint Paul Theological Seminary due to the world-wide demand.

Highly recommended by the Faculty of the College.
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This book is written for laymen, but most priests will find much of value in this great book. While the title speaks of "The Catholic Religion..." it is referring to the catholic faith of the Universal Church, and to Anglo-Catholicism in particular; it is not Roman in any sense at all.

It is very brief, to the point, and packed with information. I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in the catholic faith of the Universal Church, and Anglo-Catholic in particular.
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