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The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism describe people, groups, ideas, customs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise continuity with Catholic tradition. Since the Reformation there have always been Anglicans who identify closely with Catholic thought and practice. However, the concept of Anglo-Catholicism as a distinct sub-group appeared in the Church of England during the Victorian era, under the influence of the Oxford Movement or "Tractarians".

Anglo-Catholic people and churches are often identified as such by their outward behaviour and appearance. Anglo-Catholics have adopted many Catholic practices such as ritualism and the use of vestments, incense and candles in the liturgy, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Some Anglo-Catholics (and some Anglicans in general) also use Orthodox icons and prayers. Ritualism in particular was a source of controversy in the nineteenth century, particularly in England, where Parliament was called on to legislate against certain ritualist practices. However, many Anglo-Catholic "innovations" (or, rather, revivals of dormant practices) have since become accepted by many mainstream Anglicans.

What Anglo-Catholics believe is highly debated even among people who identify themselves as such. The Thirty-Nine Articles make distinctions between Anglican and Roman Catholic doctrine; but the Articles have never been regarded with much favour by Anglo-Catholic writers, and because they were purposely written in such a way as to be open to a wide range of interpretation, Anglo-Catholics have been able to defend Catholic practices and beliefs as consistent with the Articles. Anglo-Catholic priests often hear personal confessions and anoint the sick, regarding these practices (as do Roman Catholics) as sacraments; whereas more Protestant-minded Anglicans gererally think of them as merely optional rites.

Anglo-Catholics share with Roman Catholics a belief in the sacramental nature of the priesthood, and the sacrificial character of the Mass; many encourage priestly celibacy, and until the 1970s almost all rejected the possibility of women's taking Holy Orders. In recent years, though, many Anglo-Catholics have accepted the ordination of women and other aspects of "liberalism" such as the use of modern and inclusive language in Bible translations and the liturgy. While the nineteenth-century Anglo-Catholic movement began partly as a reaction to liberalism, secularism and Evangelicalism in the Church of England, the movement's heirs in the modern church are far more diverse and in some respects more inclusive.

Most of the groups making up the Continuing Anglican Movement are regarded, and regard themselves, as Anglo-Catholic.

In the Anglican Communion, three terms are generally used to denote the parish's style of worship: High Church, Low Church, and Broad Church or Latitudinarian. The High Church is Anglo-Catholic. The Low Church is Protestant, emphasizing the primacy of scripture, salvation by grace through faith alone, and a liturgy based upon the Book of Common Prayer but less ceremonial than Anglo-Catholics prefer. The term Broad Church today is taken to mean something in-between.

Some Anglo-Catholics consider themselves under Papal supremecy even though they are not in full Communion with Rome. Some Anglo-Catholics wish for reconciliation with the Holy See.

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