Independent: A warm welcome from the Pope sows Anglican unease

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Benedict XVI will today greet Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, for the first time since the Vatican announced the creation of a canonical structure to receive groups of Anglican converts en masse.

The pair will hold a private meeting at the Vatican at a delicate time for relations between the churches. Last month, Pope Benedict unveiled a special structure to allow traditionalist Anglican ministers, including married ones, and lay people to join the Catholic Church. The decree, for the first time in history, allows the creation of "personal ordinariates" in which Anglo-Catholics can preserve their traditions but in communion with the Pope. Anglo-Catholic leaders have generally welcomed the move as an act of generosity. But it has caused unease within parts of the Church of England because some clergy fear it could further undermine the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

18 Comments
Posted November 21, 2009 at 7:03 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. RMBruton wrote:

For the story behind the story, perhaps Dr. Williams is, himself, applying in-person? I still have heard of no one who has actually begun the process to cross the Tiber based on the “Apostolic Constitution”.

November 21, 8:34 am | [comment link]
2. Dan Crawford wrote:

I don’t understand how the Pope’s action further “undermines” the Anglican Communion. TEC, the C of E, and the A of C have already successfully torpedoed the ship and the Pope sent lifeboats. Media stories about the Anglican Communion suggest that somehow outside forces have done it in - quite the contrary.

November 21, 9:06 am | [comment link]
3. Marie Blocher wrote:

“Media stories about the Anglican Communion suggest that somehow outside forces have done it in - quite the contrary. “

When a house is built with basic structural deficiencies, then any small breeze may cause it to collapse. And I guess one could describe the small breeze as an “outside force” but it hardly be the main cause of the collapse.

November 21, 9:26 am | [comment link]
4. RMBruton wrote:

Rather than making a trip to visit Herr Benedict I’d prefer that Dr. Williams would pay a visit to Buckingham Palace to offer his resignation on the grounds that he was returning to Wales in order to take-up fly-fishing.

November 21, 9:39 am | [comment link]
5. Grandmother wrote:

You beat me to it #2.  What he is saying is probably, “Leave me alone, I want to do it all by myself”...

Grandmother

November 21, 9:52 am | [comment link]
6. seitz wrote:

A very different account of affairs from the Independent than one sees on US blogs.

November 21, 10:38 am | [comment link]
7. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Inappropriate comment deleted by elf.

November 21, 10:44 am | [comment link]
8. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

You’re right, Dr. Seitz. Simon Caldwell of the Independent thinks that the Roman initiative has the USA in its crosshairs rather than Britain. The blogs are of the view that U.S. interest in the initiative is highly wary, in comparison to the U.K. where it is more welcome.

November 21, 11:01 am | [comment link]
9. RMBruton wrote:

Br_er Rabbit,
I agree, those in North America are discussing Rome’s initiative to death, but almost no one is going to take them up on it. Some Brits are toying with it a bit more, but that may just be the typical English waffling, for which they are notorious.

Slightly edited by elf.

November 21, 11:10 am | [comment link]
10. frreed wrote:

No, what the “ritualists” want is a church that is “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.  Such a church is under attack from two directions. That would be primarily from the revisionists of TEC.  The second attack comes from those who throw around terms like “ritualist”

November 21, 11:17 am | [comment link]
11. RMBruton wrote:

frreed,
So, you’re saying that they don’t use rituals and place greater significance on them than others?

Please don’t take this thread off topic.

November 21, 11:23 am | [comment link]
12. seitz wrote:

The Independent probably has the ‘Scott Hahn’ factor in view, and the perception that evangelicals in the US are leaning in the RC direction, or are sympathetic to the idea of ‘church’ and a conservative Pope. There is also the Reno, Marshall, Wilken, Huetter, Hahn factor: theological leaders becoming RCs. The UK does not have counterparts here (in Scotland where I lived, you have a sizeable RC church, but it is aging and is not growing; it is smaller proportionally of course in England, where you have an Anglican established church). The Steenson example cited is intriguing, but would be consistent with the Hahn factor, viz., is there a way to encourage ‘conversion’ that is less ‘punitive.’ I suppose we may have some sense of the accuracy of this take when the Pope and RDW emerge from their talk. Much blog talk sees this as a referendum on RDW. Caldwell offers a different take.

November 21, 12:10 pm | [comment link]
13. The young fogey wrote:

My old friend Fr Steenson ‘humiliated’? Not so much. He knew he’d be reordained. Them’s the rules.

Simon Caldwell of The Independent thinks that the Roman initiative has the USA in its crosshairs rather than Britain.

No. Ex-Episcopalians are not interested in becoming Roman Catholics (Fr Steenson is an exception - all of the Americans who wanted to do that did a long time ago). English Anglo-Catholics are. This one’s for them.

It doesn’t ‘undermine the Anglican Communion’; it’s a sensible invitation to Anglo-Catholics (who asked Rome for this) and leaves the liberal Protestants and conservative Protestants in Anglicanism to duke it out among themselves.

November 21, 12:56 pm | [comment link]
14. Ross wrote:

#13 The young fogey says:

It doesn’t ‘undermine the Anglican Communion’; it’s a sensible invitation to Anglo-Catholics (who asked Rome for this) and leaves the liberal Protestants and conservative Protestants in Anglicanism to duke it out among themselves.

...and the liberal Anglo-Catholics as well, since I doubt many of us are likely to take Rome’s offer.

November 21, 1:49 pm | [comment link]
15. Branford wrote:

Young fogey - I know several, my family included, ex-Episcopalians who have gladly become RCs, so don’t speak so for all of us “exes” - many are very interested in Rome.

November 21, 2:21 pm | [comment link]
16. Stefano wrote:

The Steenson incident is a new angle with respect to the Popes’ offer of sanctuary. There are also other episcopal Bishops who have transfered to Rome and I have trouble thinking of them as ‘not ordained’. Perhaps the issue is in the New World. Oh and by the way;judging from anecdotal conversations, I think there are more than an ‘exceptional few’ that regard Rome as a favourable destination…

November 21, 2:51 pm | [comment link]
17. Richard Yale wrote:

#9:

“Kinder, Gentler Anschluss”

While this may take the thread off topic, I would like to express that Nazi allusions are morally odious.

The elf agrees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin’s_law 

November 21, 2:53 pm | [comment link]
18. rob k wrote:

No. 14 - Ross - I think that YF would answer you you that liberal ACs are in fact, at least partly, “Protestant”.  And, I would agree with him in part.

November 21, 7:22 pm | [comment link]
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