Affirming Catholicism is a movement operating in several provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. In the US, the movement is known as Affirming Anglican Catholicism or 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.
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.
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/Irish Affirming Catholicism in recent years. In North America, bishops involved in AAC include Frank Griswold, former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA; Andrew Hutchison, former Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; and Victoria Matthews, a former Canadian bishop and former bishop in New Zealand.