As a follow up to my last post and comments, here is an excerpt from an article in the Sept./Oct. 1999 Touchstone Magazine entitled “Common Prayer, Common Faith” by Louis R. Tarsitano:
It cannot be stated strongly enough that the intention of the original Reformers, whatever has become of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions that look back to them, was the conservation of the pre-medieval understanding of authority, of the scriptural doctrine of the Fathers and the undivided Church, of the local use of the common prayer in a language understandable to the people of the Church, and of spiritual communion based on one baptism into the one Body of Jesus Christ. From the beginning of the Reformation, some national churches were more successful than others in pursuing this goal of conservation. And it is worth noting that the precise cause of the appalling division among today’s non-Roman Christians in the West is the abandonment in subsequent generations of the Reformers’ traditional religion, elevating “protest” and “diversity” to ends in themselves.
Nevertheless, an exhibit remains of the Reformers’ true intentions, an embodiment of the reformed Catholic faith that they struggled to recover, not out of malice toward Rome, but for a greater love of God, of the truth of Holy Scripture, and of the faith and practice of the undivided Church. It is the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, which has become in over 150 different languages and local editions the chief formulary of some sixty to seventy million Anglicans in national churches around the world.
The entire article can be found at The Continuum.