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This page last updated 1 September 2008
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 25 to 31 August 2008

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Ab urbe condita?

One reads with astonishment the first paragraph of this week's letter, that the Church of England is younger than 20 of the 100 oldest companies in the world.

While historians disagree about the exact beginning of the CofE, it is certainly in the latter part of the second century. Tertullian mentions Christians in Britain, and bishops from there attended synods in the fourth century. That church continues to exist down to our day.

Thus the Church of England antedates the oldest corporation listed in your site.

One is amazed that Anglicans Online, the best Anglican site on the Web, would make the egregious error of dating the founding of the Church of England to some event in the history of the Tudor monarchs. Anti-Anglican propaganda makes much of Henry VIII's purported founding of the CofE in order to divorce his wife, but as all Anglicans know, he founded nothing and never asked anyone for a divorce. Pius V's excommunication of Elizabeth I marks an important turning point, of course, but it does not mark the founding of the Church of England.

The Right Reverend Pierre Whalon
Bshop-in-Charge, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
25 August 2008

(Ed: We date the origins of the current administrative identity of the Church of England to its establishment during the reign of Elizabeth I, as noted on the Church of England website. We were talking about the longevity of human organizations, not the longevity of worship practices and holy places. Henry VIII died believing that he was a Roman Catholic.)

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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