Affirming Catholicism

Affirming Catholicism, sometimes referred to as AffCath, is a movement operating in several provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the United States. In the US, the movement is known as Affirming Anglican Catholicism (AAC). The movement represents a liberal strand of Anglo-Catholicism and is particularly noted for holding that Anglo-Catholic belief and practice is compatible with the ordination of women. It also generally supports ordination into the threefold ministry (bishops, priests, deacons) regardless of gender or sexual orientation.[1]

The movement was formalised on 9 June 1990 at St Alban's Church, Holborn, in London by a number of Anglo-Catholic clergy in the Diocese of London who had been marginalised within, or expelled from, existing Anglo-Catholic groups because of their support for women's ordination to the priesthood. It developed a theological stance which was staunchly liberal in matters of inclusivity but traditionally Catholic in matters of liturgy and the centrality and theology of the sacraments whilst believing that traditional restrictions on who may receive them should be re-examined.

In North America, AAC has ties with the Society of Catholic Priests; in the UK, AffCath is a partner organisation of Inclusive Church.[2]

Membership and supportEdit

Prominent supporters include Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury; as well as Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans and former bishop suffragan-designate of Reading; both of whom have served on the executive committee of British and Irish Affirming Catholicism. In North America, bishops involved in AAC include Frank Griswold, former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; Andrew Hutchison, former primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; and Victoria Matthews, a bishop in Canada and New Zealand.


The president of Affirming Catholicism is a bishop who acts as a figurehead for the movement.[3]


Affirming Catholicism is governed by a board of directors and headed by a chairperson.[3]

  • 1996 to ? John B. Gaskell
  • 2004–2007: Richard Jenkins[5]
  • 2008–2012: Jonathan Clark[6]
  • 2012–2018: Rosemarie Mallett
  • 2018–present: Hannah Cleugh

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kelvin Randall (2005). Evangelicals Etcetera: Conflict and Conviction in the Church of England's Parties. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 42. ISBN 0-7546-5215-7.
  2. ^ Inclusive Church — About Archived March 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 5 April 2015)
  3. ^ a b "Our Organisation". About Us. Affirming Catholicism. Archived from the original on 5 August 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "New President of Aff Cath Announced". Latest News. Affirming Catholicism. 20 December 2014. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "The Revd Richard Jenkins". Biographies. Gospel Imprint. Retrieved 17 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Affirming Catholicism New Chair" (PDF). News letter. Affirming Catholicism. 30 September 2012. Archived from the original (pdf) on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit