Maggi Dawn—Don’t turn to Rome in anger

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's not all that unusual for practising Christians to change denominations, as faith inevitably shifts as the experience of life disturbs our ideas. I count among my own friends a Brethren minister who became an Anglican, an Anglican who became a Catholic, and a Catholic who became a Baptist. None of them changed denomination in protest at anything, but because they simply discovered that their life and thought fitted better in a different context.

Although it's entirely possible to move informally between protestant denominations, many do so only after considerable soul searching, and – as observed in Tony Blair's rather public spiritual journey – a protestant can normally only become a Catholic through formal conversion. But the personal ordinariates announced last week by Pope Benedict XVI are a rather different animal, in that they represent an invitation to Anglicans who feel beleaguered by changes in Anglican practice to relocate under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic church while retaining features of their Anglican heritage. Many have welcomed this as a move of gracious generosity by the pope, while the more cynical see it as a proselytising move. Either way, the process is likely to open up at least as many complexities as it resolves.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

9 Comments
Posted October 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Phil wrote:

The author is making a key category error - one I and others have also tended to make since this story broke.  She represents the Vatican’s proposal as “an invitation to Anglicans who feel beleaguered by changes in Anglican practice.”  But the whole offer was prompted by the overtures of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which hasn’t been associated with Canterbury for some time (if ever, in some cases).  TAC not only isn’t “beleaguered” by alterations of faith and practice in that Communion, it has no contact with them at all.

I’m not saying there aren’t Anglo-Papalists in the CoE who might also salivate over this opportunity, given the impending dissolution of sacramental assurance by Canterbury; but, we should remain clear that the Vatican is responding to a question by a Continuing Anglican group, not proselytizing the mainline Anglican Communion out of the clear blue sky.

October 28, 5:20 pm | [comment link]
2. francis wrote:

Maggi just doesn’t get it.

October 28, 5:45 pm | [comment link]
3. MarkP wrote:

“the whole offer was prompted by the overtures of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which hasn’t been associated with Canterbury for some time…. we should remain clear that the Vatican is responding to a question by a Continuing Anglican group, not proselytizing the mainline Anglican Communion out of the clear blue sky. “

Well, that explains the joint press conference of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury! I wonder why all the press didn’t come from the HQ of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

October 28, 7:24 pm | [comment link]
4. Phil wrote:

Obviously, MarkP, the whole thing reflects negatively on the Anglican Communion, as the steady stream of articles documented on this blog make clear.  Canterbury had to try to get in front of that reaction, whether he was principally involved or not.

That seems obvious.  I’m not sure why you felt the need for sarcasm.

October 28, 9:29 pm | [comment link]
5. Irenaeus wrote:

“Don’t turn to Rome in anger”

Wise advice. Those who convert in anger may find that the problem has come with them.

October 28, 10:45 pm | [comment link]
6. fatherlee wrote:

This is nothing short of relativism and pluralism in the context of “denominationalism.”

October 29, 12:46 am | [comment link]
7. azusa wrote:

“But anyone who moves from one church to another out of unresolved anger – over women priests, or gay priests, or anything else – then they are almost certain to take their discontent with them, and cause just as much disruption in their new home as their old.”
When in doubt, attack the other’s motives, along with the suggestion that they are psychologically unbalanced in some way (which *I* could never be!).
The therapeutic approach to religious truth is not helpful. Does it not occur to Maggi Dawn that unease (or even anger) over changes in Anglican Communion life could be stirred in part by the sense that these changes are unfaithful to the Gospel? or that large areas of ‘Western’ Anglicanism are rejecting its biblical heritage? or that there has been a signal failure of leadership?
Maggi Dawn sounds like another subjectivist religious relativist from the evangelical stable.

October 29, 4:28 am | [comment link]
8. tired wrote:

So, abandonment of significant elements of the catholic faith are mere changes in practice... is there a need to read further?

rolleyes

October 29, 8:46 am | [comment link]
9. Sherri2 wrote:

I’m with tired. “Mere changes in practice” didn’t get us here. And if there are those who take up the pope’s offer, I doubt it will be out of mere anger. It will be out of a desire to return to faith. She writes as if it’s all about folks getting put out with liturgical dance or something. Quite shallow.

October 29, 12:21 pm | [comment link]
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