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Poor Pope Benedict!

2009 December 2
by Gordon Reid

I’m sorry for the Pope, who has been so misunderstood by the press recently.

He has been accused of insulting the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion by not consulting Rowan about his offer of a special dispensation for the so-called “Traditional Anglican Communion” to become Roman Catholics while carrying on some of their liturgical and moral habits (their Prayer Book and married priests mainly). These people are not in communion with Canterbury; in fact, their leader – a divorced ex-Roman Catholic – has been quite rude about the real Anglican Church. So why on earth should the Pope consult with Canterbury about letting them become Roman Catholics?

Meanwhile, as I predicted, Anglo-Catholics in the USA and England have been finding that this offer is not really for them. The UK Anglo-Papalists don’t want to use an Anglican rite and often don’t want to leave their present church building and congregation. Others, less Papalist, are affronted by the requirement that they would have to be ordained, as though they had never been priests before. And of course the married Bishops have to face the fact that, even after reordination as RC priests, they would still be allowed to dress as Bishops, but would no more be regarded by Rome as Bishops than they are at the moment.

If an Anglican becomes convinced that the RC claims are true – that the Pope has universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, East as well as West – and that the Church of England and all the Churches in communion with the Church of England are wrong to deny this (as well as many other peculiarly Roman doctrines and moral stances) then he or she can become a Roman Catholic tomorrow and go to their local RC church. It’s not difficult – many do it every week – just as many RC’s have joined Anglican churches with no fuss or bother.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009

    I agree, Father. I keep seeing articles that say things like “Archbishop Rowan Williams is concerned about some of his people going over to the Roman Catholic Church.” It’s a stretch to call actual Anglicans “the Archbishop of Canterbury’s people” in the first place, let alone members of “The Traditional Anglican Communion,” who are actually out of communion with +Cantuar. I don’t get why he’s even involved. There won’t be a mass Anglican exodus, and individuals will continue to swim the Tiber here and there in the usual way.

  2. Sacristan permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I can’t believe many Catholics would be concerned or interested about Anglicans coming into the Catholic Church. Catholics usually view High Anglicans as wanting all the trappings of the Church, but not the REAl thing.

    • December 7, 2009

      I suppose that’s one way of looking at it, but only if you believe the Roman Church to be the real thing. Sadly, Anglicans who become RC’s miss the beauty of their own traditional services when confronted by the liturgical banality of many RC parishes. But I’m glad to see the Pope is trying to do something about that. I can’t wait to see him celebrate the Anglican Use rite!

  3. Tom permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I recall that Pope John Paul 2 ordained 6 Anglican priests who were married and welcomed them into the RC Church. We are all one in the Church through our common baptism sharing in the death of Christ. We are all sons and daughters of God being His adopted children.

    It is in the Eucharist that we are fed by Christ, His Sacred Body and His Precious Blood. I think that we, Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics, are in communion with Him through the sharing of Himself.

    I would rather have all Anglo-Catholics, bishops, priests, and laity, join the RC Church and unite to be one as Christ wants in the NT. It would be a joy to Him that our sundered brothers and sisters were back in the fold and under His Vicar and sharing in the fruits of His labors.

    I am sure that His Holiness would be happy to see all Anglo-Catholics back in the Church. You are all under his paternal care and in his prayers as you are all baptized in Christ.

    Pray hard that you will one day be re-united with Rome and sharing in the life of His Church

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