I think it’s the false syllogistic logic that I find so odious. It goes like this: “Charles I was an Anglican. Anglican sacraments are invalid. Therefore Charles I was…what?” I’ve left the conclusion blank because that can be all manner of things; an “invalid” Sovereign because his coronation order was “invalid;” an “invalid” Christian because the Church of England has “invalid” sacraments; a bastard because the marriage of his parents was “invalid,” &c, &c. And it only makes sense in a logic which I reject. “Pulex” is basing his whole argument on authority, and an authority that has no divine, evangelical or traditional basis. So Leo XIII can condemn Anglican orders retrospectively, against the better judgement of his advisers, and that just confirms Papist arrogance against the national church afresh. But is that authoritative declaration sufficient to hold a belief? “I believe because I was told,” has a bit of a Nazi ring to it! If Roman Catholics could try to understand that you can have Catholic beliefs, and hold them fast and sincerely, without recourse to the wit or whim of a foreign dictator, then that might be something positive. Otherwise their whole position is compromised by their conformism, their innate insecurity, the need to feel “apart” (how old is that? Because I can’t see that it is much older than Thomas Becket or the Road to Canossa), and the kind of emotional pressure that comes of someone more powerful (like a bully) saying: “if you don’t believe this, you will go to hell. Now say it! SAY IT!!!”What do they suppose the Church of England would be like had it been “restored” to the allegiance of Rome, say, after 1603? Robert Parsons SJ wrote a treatise on that in the 1590’s (I’ve never read it), and Kingsley Amis broached that subject in The Alteration. What would its character be like? I can’t personally see that it would have had much success. Imagine rubbishy “Tridentine” liturgy being imposed in place of the Prayer Book. Imagine that in Westminster Abbey, which would no doubt have been gutted by now.
I think the if the Church of Rome had replaced the Established church in the 17th century it would be no different than the modern CofE now, except that all the churches and cathedrals would be ruined and the choral tradition dead.
How seriously need one take one who is so cowardly that he will not even identify himself? Or who self identifies as a flea?