Another Anglican Concession (1846 – 1917)

A. Theodore Wirgman, H.D., D.C.L., late Anglican Scholar of Magdalene College, Cambridge , author of The Constitutional Authority of Bishops in the Catholic Church admits that St. Cyprian understands a universalist relation between the See of Peter as source of unity and the whole network of churches in the world, rather than merely to North African and Southern Italy, or the West, as Dr. Kidd had claimed in his Roman Primacy. Wirgman writes:

“S. Cyprian tells Pope Cornelius of the schismatics of his diocese who ‘dare to set sail, and carry letters to the Chair of Peter and to the principal Church whence sacerdotal unity has taken its rise‘ (St. Cyprian, Ep. 54). We cannot well limit the meaning of unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est to the probably fact that the Bishop of North Africa and Italy traced their Apostolic succession to the Roman see. It implies that the Church of Rome is a centre of unity for the whole Church”.  (Chapter II, Note A, page. 90)

However, he ducks the incoming inference of this implying somewhat a foundation for the Papal claims by resolving:

“But it is not de fide that separation from the communion of the See of Rome involves separation from the communion and unity of the Catholic Church.”

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