Père Hyacinthe Loyson, the Eglise Catholique Gallicane (1879-1893) and the Anglican Reform Mission
The part played by the Anglican Communion in the culture wars against the Roman Church is little known. After 1870, for approximately twenty-five years following the Vatican Council, Anglicans gave active support to Old Catholics dissidents who rejected papal infallibility. In the 1870s, Old Catholic congresses and Reunion conferences constituted anti-Roman Catholic alliances. The Anglican reform mission operated in Catholic heartlands in Europe and America. This thesis focuses on one remarkable reform project and the prominent Catholic dissident priest, Hyacinthe Loyson (1827-1912). Loyson was the most celebrated French preacher of the 1860s - the most prominent priest to leave the French Church in protest against the ultramontane strategies of the Vatican. His first uncomfortable Old Catholic ministry was as cure of Geneva 1873-74, on the fiercest battleground of the European Kulturkampf Well-known internationally for his eloquence, friendly with Stanley, Tait and Gladstone, he was the obvious choice as rector-missioner in Paris. Adroit manoeuvring by leaders of the Anglo-Continental Society [ACS] secured a declaration of support from the Lambeth conference of 1878. Tait arranged episcopal oversight by the Scottish Primus and the ACS promised funding. The Eglise Catholique Gallicane [ECG] opened in Paris in 1879. High Churchmen strenuously opposed this 'invasion' of the Paris Archdiocese. Loyson lacked the temperament and stamina to be a reform leader. He had married in 1872 and his wife, controversially, aspired to partnership in ministry. The episcopal oversight was too remote, Anglican organisation inadequate and suitable assistant priests in short supply. The ECG was never self-supporting, always dependent on Anglican subscriptions. The ACS leadership lost patience with the quarrelling and lack of progress and they pulled out in 1882. Tait and other leading churchmen refused to let the Paris mission die and it continued until 1893 when, disillusioned, Loyson handed it over to the Archdiocese of Utrecht.