continuity

Term used in a general sense by theologians to designate the successive existence of the Church from its foundation by Jesus Christ to the present day without a change in its dogma or hierarchical constitution. Specifically, it was a theory advanced by the High-Church Anglicans in the 19th century when they claimed communion with the Holy See on the grounds that their Church was identical with the pre-Reformation Church in England, hence with the Catholic Church. The absurdity of this claim is only too apparent, and never was it exposed more forcibly than by Cardinal Bourne at the thirteenth centenary of York.

New Catholic Dictionary

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