Since the consecration of the openly gay Bishop gene Robinson in 2003 and the blessing of same-sex marriages in the Anglican Church in Canada (ACC), there was no turning back. The wedge was set and hammered into the heart of the Anglican Communion across the U.S. and Canada. Now it’s open season.
It is now easier for disenchanted Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism. The new constitution will allow groups of disenchanted Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church while keeping some of its Anglican traditions—even some Anglican liturgy. This openness from Rome will allow the appointment of leaders and bishops to oversee former Anglican churches. It will even allow married Anglican priests to be ordained as Roman Catholic priests, except for bishops. Sorry bishops.
In response, Cardinal George said in a USCCB press release:
“Today the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has received word of the new Provision in the form of an apostolic constitution issued by the Holy See for the reception into full communion with the Catholic Church of groups from the Anglican tradition. The USCCB stands ready to collaborate in the implementation of that Provision in our country.
“This step by the Holy See is in response to a number of requests received in Rome from groups of Anglicans seeking corporate reunion. The application of the new Provision recognizes the desire of some Anglicans (Episcopalians) to live the Catholic faith in full, visible communion with the See of Peter, while at the same time retaining some elements of their traditions of liturgy, spirituality and ecclesial life which are consistent with the Catholic faith. full article…
Is this easy pathway the best for disenchanted Anglicans? It’s an easy way to stick it to the Episcopal Church and Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury but is the Roman Catholic Church the only place to turn to for protestants of the liturgical tradition? Traditional Anglicans have nowhere else left to turn to right now because the Lutheran Church (ELCA) has become as liberal as the Episcopal Church. But who wants to join a church that carries the name of an excommunicated Augustinian priest? Anglicans still have a choice. Pre-existing Lutherans don’t.
It’s nice that Rome is so open to receiving disenchanted Anglicans but I wonder why Pope Benedict is so eager? It almost seems like this is open season in the Roman Church…anything goes and everything is up for grabs. He is becoming as anxious and eager as evangelical protestants in receiving new converts. Evangelical churches, watch out. Rome is coming and competing with evangelicals in converting the converted. Pope Benedict really knows what he’s doing. He’d make evangelicals proud because he’s outdoing the evangelicals in evangelism in typical evangelical-style. It seems like the only church that isn’t doing much evangelism to Episcopalians is the Episcopal Church, which will be sliced and chopped apart. Oh, but we can’t forget about the other evangelical Anglican churches competing for disenchanted Anglicans (e.g., ACNA).
Is it going to be so easy for Anglicans to recognize the pope as their leader? The risk for the Roman Catholic Church is that it may even reopen the issue of celibacy in the priesthood. I wonder what deacons in the RCC think about this?
(Hat tip for video: Tim).