Anglo-Catholicism

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Anglo-Catholicism is a branch of High Church Anglicanism that emphasizes the Catholic heritage of Anglicanism. It considers itself catholic, but separate from the Roman Catholic Church, and not under the authority of the Bishop of Rome: nonetheless, there is a small minority of Anglo-Catholics who believe themselves to be under papal authority, even if they are not in communion with the RCC. These individuals are referred to as Anglican Papalists.

This branch of Anglicanism emphasizes the practices that King Henry VIII kept after separation from Rome, including the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist through means of transubstantiation, veneration and intercession of saints, Mariology, and the traditional Sacrament of Penance through personal Confession of sins. Some Anglo-Catholic parishes offer Eucharistic adoration. However, Purgatory is an optional belief in Anglo-Catholicism. Anglo-Catholic worship services are referred to as Mass, as in the RCC, and are celebrated in much the same way, complete with crucifixes, incense, bells, and vestments.

Except for a small branch of liberal Anglo-Catholics, the priesthood is limited to celibate men, homosexual activity is considered a sin, and Confirmation is required to partake of the Eucharist. This is contrary to the Episcopal Church in the United States. Even though Anglo-Catholics share many practices with Roman Catholics, they are not considered in full communion with Rome, and from the perspective of the RCC, all Anglican holy orders have been deemed invalid through the apostolicae curae papal bull issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1896. However, a small group, the Anglican Ordinariate, is in full communion with Rome and is parishes under this banner have a special Anglican rite approved by the Vatican and emphasize the Anglican heritage of the parishes.