Reformation as restoration of corrupted catholicism

Behind the ad fontes approach of the Protestant Reformers was the desire to restore true Biblical and catholic Christianity:

“But this contest in the Church of England is not usefully described as Catholic versus Protestant, unless one means by “catholic” those persistences of an earlier Christian world that most Protestants retained, such as creeds, sacraments, and reverence for the church fathers. After all, Reformed Protestants continued to regard themselves as “catholic,” albeit not Roman or papist. Diarmaid MacCulloch makes this point with reference to Cranmer when he says of the archbishop that to define him “as a Reformed Catholic is to define all the great continental reformers in the same way: for they too sought to build up a Catholic Church anew on the same foundations of Bible, creeds, and the great councils of the early church,” Wallace, “Via Media? A Paradigm Shift” in Anglican and Episcopal History 72, no. 1 (2002), p13.

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