The Oxford Movement began in 1833 with the infamous sermon, "National Apostasy," offered by Keble in response to the reduction of Irish archbishoprcis by Parliament. Eight years later, one of the defining documents of the Movement was published. In 1841, the tract, "Remarks on Certain Passages in the Thirty-Nine Articles," or "Tract 90" was published by John Henry Newman. This was by far the most controversial of the Tracts because within its pages, Newman contended that the theological statements in the Articles, "were not directed against the authorized creed of Roman Catholics, but only against popular errors and exaggerations" (Wikipedia article). This tract broke the ties between Hackney divines and other High Churchmen with Newman.
However destructive and controversial this tract was in 1841, it is much more so today. For, in 1841, clergy and laity knew that Newman's ideas were innovative and contrary to the clear teaching of the Church of England and the Holy Scriptures. Nowadays, most Anglican parishioners have never heard of much less actually read the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. The folly of Tract 90 is that it tries to reconcile two conflicting views of the Christian faith and what the catholic faith actualy is. Newman throws around the word "Catholic" throughout all of his writings, when in fact, he is referring to Romanism. The Reformation was not about abandoning the catholic faith, but restoring the Church to the purity of that faith. "[T]he Reformation debate was not one between self-designated Catholics and Protestants; it was a debate about where the Catholic Church was to be found" (Rowan Williams), as Archbishop Williams describes in this quote, the Reformation was not a debate between "CAtholics" and "Protestants" but between two groups of people who equally claimed the title "catholic" for their view of the Church (obviously, I'd say that the Protestant side was right or else I'd be Roman). The Roman defined the "catholic faith" as the faith as it had been given to the Church by Christ and written about in Scriptures, and developed through Tradition. To be a part of the faith, one must be in communion with a valid bishop ordained by bishops in communion with the See of Rome. Protestants meanwhile said that the catholic faith was the faith, "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) this excluded medieval accretions to the faith. "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same" (Article XIX).
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