(ACNS) Anglican-Catholic relations rest, in part, on Pope’s successor

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The future of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations is, in part, down to who will succeed Pope Benedict, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.

Responding to today’s surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Very Revd David Richardson said the implications for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations in the long term “will depend on who is elected to succeed him.”

However, Dean Richardson, who is also Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said that other relationships continue despite the change in leadership.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

15 Comments
Posted February 12, 2013 at 6:30 am

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1. Robert Lundy wrote:

“Although the international media has made much of small groups of Anglicans in several countries choosing to join the Roman Catholic Church, in actual fact there continues to be much mutual respect, co-operation and collaboration between the two Churches.”

An awkward sentence that smells of insecurity

February 12, 8:07 am | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:

I suspect that the efforts of the papacy will go much more towards a rapprochement with Eastern Orthodoxy.  I also hope that a future pope will be outspoken in defence of persecution of Christians in Muslim lands.

February 12, 9:30 am | [comment link]
3. Adam 12 wrote:

I would think that women bishops in the CofE would be a major setback in relations and a further spur for Anglo-Catholics to align with the Ordinariate.

February 12, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
4. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Relations with the Romans and the Orthodox depend solely on the Anglican Communion and whether or not it will abandon the Faith once delivered and the Tradition of the Church Universal.  So far, the Anglicans in their prior ABC and branches in England, Canada, and the EcUSA seem hell-bent on destroying the relations.  Their desire to export their errors is their own problem.

February 12, 5:31 pm | [comment link]
5. MichaelA wrote:

I would be surprised if the identity of the Pope makes much difference at all.  Really, in practical terms, why should anything change much? 

We saw all the media hoo-haa about the establishment of the Ordinariate (‘tanks on the lawn of Lambeth Palace’ etc) but in the end it was just a media storm in a tea-cup.

The RC church will keep doing what it is doing, and the Anglican churches will keep doing what they are doing, and the tiny areas where their interests overlap (ecumenical commissions, ordinariate etc) will continue to be, well, tiny.

February 12, 5:33 pm | [comment link]
6. Ralph wrote:

When a Bishop of Rome revokes Apostolicae Curae, I’ll believe that there’s some hope for “Anglican-Roman Catholic relations.”

When a Bishop of Rome allows other Christians to receive communion when visiting a Roman Catholic parish for some reason (e.g., a funeral mass), I’ll believe that there’s some hope for “Anglican-Roman Catholic relations.”

Seeing the Bishop of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury concelebrating mass at Canterbury and at St. Peter’s would give me some hope for “Anglican-Roman Catholic relations.”

Until then, all that “much mutual respect, co-operation and collaboration between the two Churches” is merely rhetoric to me.

February 12, 7:26 pm | [comment link]
7. Charles52 wrote:

MichaelA -

Ecclesiology and other aspects of theology separate us, Catholics and Anglicans, but I’m not sure that what unites us, or at least constitute common interests, is so “tiny”.  Pax Ralph, there is a great deal to be said for what we share, which is a heart for the Lord Jesus. I’ve seen that heart in any number of commenters who have a true affection and respect for Pope Benedict that echoes that of faithful Catholics. C.S. Lewis, think, noted that those who live at the heart of their Faith are closer than they are to those who flit about the fringes of their churches.

This isn’t some bid for kum-bah-yah sentimentalism. Differences are real and they matter. But they aren’t the whole story, by a long shot. If I’ve heard correctly, your Abp. Jensen and Cardinal Pell have a good working relationship. Our local Catholic bishop and the Anglican bishop Iker have worked well together as folks go from one church to the other.

Again, not an ounce of sentimentality intended, but something is better than nothing, and we do have the opportunity to express some charity, which certainly pleases the Lord. That may matter more as the official ecumenism falls apart.

February 12, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
8. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

In other words, Ralph, you want the (Roman) Catholic Church to become Anglican: to adopt an Anglican view of Anglican Orders, to adopt a “divided church” Anglican ecclesiology, and to adopt a contemporary Anglican attitude towards “sacramental sharing.”

Fat chance of that, thank God!

February 12, 11:28 pm | [comment link]
9. MichaelA wrote:

Charles52, good point. 

I was concentrating too much about the official relations at the highest level, which is only a small part of relations - making the same mistake as the journalist I suppose!  But there this much broader level you speak of, which is more important.

You are quite right also about Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Jensen.  They do have a very good working relationship and often double-team against secular initiatives which are damaging to the gospel.

Good to hear about +Iker and the RC bishop also.

February 13, 4:30 am | [comment link]
10. Cennydd13 wrote:

#3, #4, and #6:  You’re right in every respect.

February 13, 1:12 pm | [comment link]
11. Ralph wrote:

#7, Muslims also share “a heart for the Lord Jesus” with Christians.

However, I look forward to a time, probably not in my lifetime, when all believing Christians can share much, much more than that.

The Roman Catholic Church can get very Pharisaic sometimes.

Anglicans recognize the validity of the Holy Orders of Roman Catholics. Anglicans allow Roman Catholics to receive communion. (I don’t know how the concelebration thing would play in Peoria.)

February 13, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
12. Charles52 wrote:

#7, Muslims also share “a heart for the Lord Jesus” with Christians.

Well, no. The Muslim “Jesus” is a prophet who was not crucified, much less resurrected. Their Jesus is not the Incarnate Son of God, the Crucified and Risen Lord of all.

February 13, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
13. Ralph wrote:

Well, yes, #11. The traditional Muslim understanding of Jesus is clearly defective, as is the Roman Catholic Church’s traditional understanding of the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Ordination.

However, throughout the world, Muslims are starting to have personal experiences with the risen Lord Jesus, through shattering dreams and visions. At Mere Anglicanism, Bp. Michael Nazir-Ali told the group about that.

See:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/07/05/is-jesus-christ-reaching-out-to-muslims-through-their-dreams/

If I were Bishop of Rome, and if Jesus were to come to me in dreams and visions, to tell me that hundreds of years of non-Biblical Pharisaic dogma and doctrine (things that I believed and taught as God’s Rottweiler) are false, I suspect I would also retire into seclusion.

February 14, 9:00 am | [comment link]
14. Charles52 wrote:

Apparently, Ralph, you think of Catholics and Muslims in the same category. To which I make no reply, except that if Muslims are accepting Jesus, then they are now Christians.

And to note that the pope’s retirement has nothing to do with purported questioning of the Catholic Faith.  There are no reports of dreams at all.

Apparently, you think Catholics should accept Anglican views on ordination, ecclesiology, and theology. In other words, we should become Anglicans. I don’t fault you for this: believers all feel this way. I would be perfectly happy if everyone reading this became Roman Catholic.

But that is not going to happen. Since that’s the case, perhaps we can cooperate and fellowship to the degree we can. I’ve always thought something is better than nothing, but perhaps you think it has to be all or nothing? I can share a great deal with a protestant as a fellow Christian. Must it all be 16th century polemics?

February 14, 9:49 am | [comment link]
15. driver8 wrote:

It may be worth saying that until about 40 years ago Anglican eucharistic discipline was more or less identical to the current RC practice (at least when the canons were followed). Perhaps we have discovered something essential that our Anglican forebears did not understand but it is a little forgetful to imagine that the way we are now, is the way that we have always been. And if such a view counts as a defect then it has most unfortunate implications for Anglican Eucharistic practice until, well, sometime in the 60s or early 70s.

February 14, 1:17 pm | [comment link]


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