This manual is the outgrowth of notes I have used and refined over a decade for the instruction of adult inquirers at Saint Stephens Anglican Catholic Church in Athens, Georgia. The purpose of its publication now is to assist other clergy in the instruction of adults and to help the interested layman in his own studies.
I make for this manual no claim of originality. Originality is in any case no virtue in an effort of this sort. If I succeed in presenting the faith in clear and understandable terms, I will have succeeded in my goal. I have kept the critical apparatus here to a minimum, as it would litter the text without providing any real benefit to the general reader.
The now situation faced by the Anglican Catholic Church, in which Catholic Anglicanism has been liberated from the ambiguities and apparent compromises that attended our former ecclesiastical situations, calls for new catechetical and instructional materials. Vermon Staley's admirable handbook, The Catholic Religion, is now somewhat dated and is, for an American audience at least, sometimes excessively focused on English concerns and history: Furthermore, some older anglo-catholic writers seemed to feel the need to show that Catholic positions really secure within Anglican by constant reference to English authorities. Since these positions are canonically and officially secure within the anglican-caothlic Church, this somewhat defensive tone Is unnecessary for us. However, this book does not presume to present itself as a replacement for such older works.It only seeks to fill a niche opened by our current ecclesiastical circumstances.
When I cite the Book of Common Prayer here without further determination, I refer to the 1928 American edition.
I hope that this work is free of doctrinal error of any sort. My desire is only to help others to learn what our Church teaches. I will gladly stand corrected in any matter in which I am in error. I also will be glad hear from my readers thing that is unclear or that would bear more ample consideration.
I am grateful to the Right Reverend James Bromley and to many parishioners suggestions concerming earlier drafts of this work.
This book would not have been published without encouragement and surporrt of Jim Hudson, for which I am deeply grateful.