March 22, 2017

October 21, 2009

Kendall Harmon’s Comments on Vatican Announcement

From here.

Let us not kid ourselves. Rome put a lot into ecumencial conversations with Anglicans because they believe that more internal mechanisms and persuasions were possible. Now, in their judgment, they are not. They don’t see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering. At this level, it represents a shout which one wonders if any Anglicans will hear

Read the whole thing…

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The whole thing is well worth reading and I think he makes powerful observations.

[1] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-21-2009 at 09:33 AM · [top]


And I believe what I posted yesterday is related, if not as detailed and articulate as Dr. Harmon’s statements: 

“Maybe I can write this script:

1. The Pope swings wide the doors and gathers what traditional Anglicans he can;

2. Williams continues to cater to revisionists and the AC implodes;

3. The Pope and co., now a little bigger than they were before, tire of the AC’s nonsense and open prayerful ecumenical dialogues with ACNA and GAFCON.

4.  I’m sure our Orthodox brethren can fit in there somewhere.

5.  Personally, WO is no loss to me”.

I am glad that someone with the good Rev. Canon Dr.‘s clout said what he did about this being an indictment of the AB of C’s “leadership”.  I agree with that too and I said that in about three places on various blogs yesterday. 

And, based on the terse, inane, pointless statement issued by TEC, I’d say they understand as well that yesterday was something of a momentous day that ALSO indicted their recent “theological” innovations. 

God bless the Holy Father and his intelligence and guts…

And thanks to the erudite Dr. Harmon.  He’s not wrong…

[2] Posted by Passing By on 10-21-2009 at 09:36 AM · [top]

Excellent and articulate analysis from Kendall.  He rarely speaks but when he does, it’s powerful and compelling.

Thanks for posting this, Greg.

[3] Posted by Sarah on 10-21-2009 at 09:41 AM · [top]

This is the largest ecumenical event of the last century. In that it happens during a Anglican trainwreck is beside the point which is “one catholic, apostolic church”. Nothing on this earth is more important.

[4] Posted by ctowles on 10-21-2009 at 11:03 AM · [top]

Sarah, for some reason I don’t think the subject of “one catholic, apostolic church” has ever resonated with the revisionists of TEC. Their entire premise has been based with “Out with the Old, and in with the New”. That’s a great plan except there is no “New”. There is only “Truth” and they have elected to discard that.

[5] Posted by Laytone on 10-21-2009 at 11:09 AM · [top]

BD, I think you are wrong in claiming that RW “caters” to the revisionists. That seems to me to be a retrenched version of the older (and indefensible) claim that he is a revisionist himself. I think in fact that he is the most threatened by the move, because it is a direct attack on his stated goal of holding the church together. He most likely needs the ACs to keep his own church from devolving in the same manner that ECUSA has.

[6] Posted by C. Wingate on 10-21-2009 at 11:54 AM · [top]

Thank you for calling this to our attention, Greg.  Kendall Harmon is right on the money with his remarks. The best I have read anywhere.

Rowan Williams has failed as a leader in upholding apostolic Christianity.  He has done nothing for persecuted Anglicans who are affirming that faith.  He has certainly advanced the cause of their persecutors and contributed greatly to Anglican fracture and disintegration. 

Thanks be to God for this act of grace by Rome.

[7] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 10-21-2009 at 01:05 PM · [top]

The issue is definitely the stability and future of the CoE. If the Anglo-catholics bolt in sufficient numbers, the battle for the CoE will be lost. The evangelicals are hopelessly compromised by the “open evangelicals.”

Secondarily, if or perhaps when the mother church degenerates into irrelevancy (like the Church of Sweden), what will the Global South be? If the next ABC is a Giles Frasier type, forget about the AC.

[8] Posted by robroy on 10-21-2009 at 01:20 PM · [top]

#6- I personally don’t believe ++Rowan is a pure revisionist, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that calling Rowan a revisionist is “indefensible.” One has only to look at “The Body’s Grace” which remains the only serious theological attempt ever made in support of same sex relationships.

Furthermore, despite some orthodox sounding words from His Grace, one could legitimately see his actions as “catering to the revisionists”, when one looks at his jettisoning of the Dar Es Salaam settlement, the universal invitation, save one, to Lambeth, the re-invitation of the Presiding Bishop and the American church back onto the structures of the Anglican Communion (the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and renewed presence on the ACC) and either incredible parlimentary ignorance or willing complicitness in torpedoing the only part of the Anglican Covenant that provided any sort of discipline.

For the record, I believe that ++Rowan is far more orthodox in his Christology than many Bishops and Priests in the TEC- he affirms the Virgin birth and the Resurrection, however, he is also what he himself refers to as “a hairy Lefty”, and I am afraid it his Hairy Leftedness that governs his actions regarding same-sex issues in the Anglican Communion. 

His sense of social justice gets in the way of his ability to see that VGR and same-sex marriage are not the prime issue, just symptoms of a fundamental rejection of Scriptural and Traditional Christianity.

[9] Posted by billqs on 10-21-2009 at 01:25 PM · [top]

If only we had this headline, too:

“Pope speaks out against Mariolatry”

I would be signing up.

[10] Posted by robroy on 10-21-2009 at 02:10 PM · [top]

Billqs, I appreciate your position, so let me say that by a revisionist I mean someone who looks upon the duty of the church as being conforming it to doctrinal innovations. His personal theology is in many ways definitely liberal, but it seems to me that he has largely kept to it as a personal view and not that of the church. Indeed, the revisionists have complained over and over that he does this. You have to look at the consequences: he is having a hard time keeping the CofE tearing itself apart (what with the liberal rebellion within its ranks), and losing the AC voice would most likely be devastating.

Also, to agree with your thesis I would have to agree that “Scriptural and Traditional Christianity” is a seamless thing. The fact that we are even presented with the situation shows that this isn’t so, and that people of principle—because they approach scripture with different principles, among other reasons—reject in in pieces and not in toto. Presentation of all doctrine as a straight up-or-down vote is one of the forces that keeps Protestantism going as a separate tradition, because only a very few people are willing to reject all of it and still call themselves Christians. Most differences are with respect to particular points and do not propagate to other issues, and therefore the people who have such partial dissent—which is to say, the vast, overwhelming majority of Protestants, not to mention Rome and Constantinople vis a vis each other—are going to choose an ecclesiological milieu which doesn’t misrepresent their theological agreement.

[11] Posted by C. Wingate on 10-21-2009 at 03:08 PM · [top]

That is fair enough (as per the quote below), but some of us would beg to differ: the clear teaching of Scripture is that “the church” is composed of all faithful christians everywhere, regardless of whether they are “of Cephas or of Apollos”, i.e. of which denomination they belong to. So, having everyone join one particular denomination (the Roman Catholic Church) will not accomplish anything towards the unity that our Lord speaks of in John 17. True unity must be unity of spirit and of faith.

Rome believes, as John 17 says, that the world may know the gospel if Christians are one as Jesus and the Father are one. Such a unity is only possible through a church with catholic order and evangelical faith.

[12] Posted by MichaelA on 10-21-2009 at 05:01 PM · [top]

This has probably been mentioned already but there is an important point to notice in how this Apostolic Constitution is being enacted.  The ecclesial office from which this Constitution is being worked out is through the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine and Faith of the Roman Curia and NOT the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  What I am interpreting this to mean is that this “offer” reflects some sort of change in teaching not merely a ecumenical negotiation.  Are we not, hence, seeing a HUGE concession by Rome here of some sort?  The nature of that concession - if it is that - has not yet been revealed but my guess is we haven’t yet heard the biggest news yet.  If all that sounds like wild speculation - it just may be - but remember, an Apostolic Constitution IS an amendment to Roman Canon Law.

[13] Posted by DTerwilliger on 10-21-2009 at 05:04 PM · [top]

What we and most Anglicans tend to forget is that there are some well defined theological concepts expressed in the 39 articles that, if truly believed and followed, would preclude anyone from jumping the Tiber.  The Vaticans manouvre is purely a political power play exercised at an extremely vulnerable moment for the Church of England and the whole Anglican communion.  It presupposes that reform within the Anglican communion can not be achieved within the historical theological precepts of that communion.  There are those of us that believe reform is possible despite the forces working against it. It may require a split within the Anglican communion (currently occuring anyway), but it does not require yielding to a false set of non-scriptural theological concepts.

[14] Posted by athan-asi-us on 10-21-2009 at 10:15 PM · [top]

Are we not, hence, seeing a HUGE concession by Rome here of some sort?—#13

I see no huge concession. Rome has made a serious, good-faith effort to accommodate the TAC and others similarly inclined without causing needless problems for itself on other fronts.

—Surely the Vatican doesn’t want to leave itself more exposed to demands for autonomy or liturgical diversity.

—Nor does Rome have much incentive to conduct a searching review of its own doctrine and practice with a view to maximum inclusion of Anglican tradition. Beggars can’t be choosers, and those knocking most insistently knocking on the pope’s door feel an urgent need for a safe harbor.

I’m confident that Pope Benedict XVI would be willing to go further under other circumstances—notably, if the Anglican Communion were stable, demanded of its members serious commitment to Nicene orthodoxy, and showed itself reasonably respectful of catholic tradition (e.g., as Rome may well have viewed it in the era of Abp. Michael Ramsey). But those are not the facts confronting him or us.

[15] Posted by Irenaeus on 10-21-2009 at 10:31 PM · [top]

The Vatican’s manoeuvre is purely a political power play exercised at an extremely vulnerable moment for the Church of England and the whole Anglican communion.  It presupposes that reform within the Anglican communion can not be achieved within the historical theological precepts of that communion.—#14

I disagree on both counts. I see no evidence of Rome acting opportunistically. It’s responding to some Anglo-Catholics’ desperate pleas for a safe harbor—a place where they will not again face internal betrayal. The Anglican Communion, as it stands under the misleadership of Abp. Rowan Williams, does not offer that degree of safety and certainty. On the contrary, Williams has over the past 6 years acted as Betrayer-in-Chief.

Anglicans could, with the right leadership, make the Anglican Communion vibrantly orthodox in a way that honored our Anglo-Catholic, evangelical, and charismatic traditions. Abp. Duncan knows the way, as do many others, here and abroad. But we cannot achieve such a realignment with Abp. Williams calling the shots (much less with his staff acting as outright whores for ECUSA and its allies). Nor can we achieve with so many orthodox Global South leaders effectively coopted by Williams’ promises and processes.

Losing the Anglo-Catholics would, from my own standpoint, be disastrous (and for me the last couple of days have been grim). But the possibility of a mass departure might—just might—now build a fire under the Archweasel of Canterbury. If he’s honest with himself, he’ll recognize his own role in bringing matters to this pass. He’ll also recognize that without fundamental changes in his own policies, he may well go down in history as the greatest leadership failure in the history of the Anglican Communion. He can yet insist that the Church of England adopt real protections for Anglo-Catholics. He can yet recognize ACNA. He can yet permit the Primates to meet, freely evaluate ECUSA’s defiance of the Windsor Report, and take appropriate action. I’m not holding my breath on that score. But Williams will at least adjust the trim of his sails.

[16] Posted by Irenaeus on 10-21-2009 at 11:24 PM · [top]

I wonder if it’s entirely possible that rank and file Roman Catholics are not very happy about this development, no not at all. Not just the liberal Catholics, mind you - and they do exist, but the conservative Catholics who are of the mind that if one is going to become a Roman Catholic then for God’s sake, become a Roman Catholic. 

The idea that Anglican Catholics are going to get a full seat in Roman Catholic governance is naive, anymore than 19th century Native Americans got a say in the local state governments where their reservations were relocated.  It’s almost like Rome is taking the Anglo Catholics and creating a reservation for them where they can be quarantined off from everybody else.  Just saying.

On the other hand, this decision crumbles the idea that I was taught when I became an Episcopalian that The Episcopal Church is the “bridge” church between Roman Catholics and Protestants.  That’s dead in the water.  This new experiment for Anglo Catholics worldwide becomes the new bridge church and TEC is out of a job.

What this action does is proposition the idea to separate the traditionalists from what I might call orthodox Anglo Catholics like Michael Nazir-Ali and to a certain extent even Bishops Iker and Ackerman - there are differences within the orthodox Anglo Catholic movement, make no mistake about it.  The most traditional of Episcopal Anglo Catholics (even like Iker and Ackerman) are still broader than the rank and file continuing Anglo Catholics who have been out of the Episcopal Church for at least one generation, if not more.  Culturally and even theologically, it’s not a good fit. And that knowledge reveals a flexibility in ministry that is suspect by many rank and file traditionalists.  It in fact, it divides the orthodox Anglo Catholics from the Traditionalists.  They are not the same, no, not at all.

What this decision does do is strengthen the evangelicals in both the CoE and in the ACNA.  Some of the ACNA members who are traditionalists may either move into this hybrid experiment or just drift off without fanfare.  But that leaves the evangelical majority strengthened, which could prove fascinating as we align evangelicals together in an eccumenical fashion with other denominations, perhaps bringing them back into the Anglican fold.

Without the traditionalist voice - either in England or the U.S., then evangelicals are freer to move forward in areas of breaking down the old silos of organization and while biblically orthodox, become more flexible in how that biblical faith is expressed to a unchurched world.  By taking the traditionalists out of the picture, it lowers the boom on the remaining Anglo Catholics (in TEC and in ACNA) and, ironically perhaps, strengthening both the progressives and evangelicals in the Anglican Communion. 

After all, that’s where the crux of this struggle has been all along.


[17] Posted by BabyBlue on 10-22-2009 at 12:34 AM · [top]

There seems to be a common subtext among many Anglican commentators that I think needs clarification.  There seems to be a presumption that the pope is strategizing, poaching, scheming, politicking, luring, wooing, etc.  This seems to fit nicely with a 16th Century Anglican view of all things papal, or maybe just the jaundiced view of those who have been through ecclesiastical hell for the past 6 years.  Either way, I dont think this sentiment is justified.  The pope is RESPONDING to requests.  If not for the requests, he would not being making such an offer.  Perhaps some would prefer that he make such an offer only to those particular Anglican bodies that made the requests.  But, that would hardly be fair, would it?

[18] Posted by Fr.J. on 10-22-2009 at 01:29 AM · [top]

The idea that Anglican Catholics are going to get a full seat in Roman Catholic governance is naive, anymore than 19th century Native Americans got a say in the local state governments where their reservations were relocated.  It’s almost like Rome is taking the Anglo Catholics and creating a reservation for them where they can be quarantined off from everybody else.  Just saying.

Are you kidding?  This is exactly what the TAC asked for.  They were asking for a personal prelature and they got a personal ordinariate so that their current bishops could still act as ordinaries.  There is some masterful canonical creativity in this set up—all of which is an accommodation to their REQUESTS.

[19] Posted by Fr.J. on 10-22-2009 at 01:38 AM · [top]

I’m not in the ‘schemer’ party.

I think the Pope is doing all he can within the strictures of his own province/church/canons to ‘make it easy’ on those who are fleeing a church they think has gone completely mad.

I couldn’t accept the offer (unresolvable theological differences), but I do recognize that it is the best offer that the Bishop of Rome can make to those who are being driven to distraction by the Church they grew up in, and that has benefited from having them on the inside.

I hope it nudges the ABC and the CoE into better protection for those who refuse the ‘innovations’ that make co-existance for the Anglo-Catholics so difficult.

Guess that makes me a ‘schemer wannabe’ - hoping that the Pope’s offer benefits the Anglicans…...

[20] Posted by Bo on 10-22-2009 at 02:10 AM · [top]

bb writes, “What this decision does do is strengthen the evangelicals in both the CoE and in the ACNA.”

I found this quote by John Richardson, a true evangelical (as opposed to the “open evangelical” Fulcrum types):

...the Conservative Evangelicals are left high and dry. They have no friend in Rome, and they have few friends amongst their own bishops. Of course, they may feel they have enough of a friend in Jesus, and in soteriological terms that is true. But in ecclesio-political terms it may only be enough to sustain them as an isolated and beleaguered minority.

Definitely read the entire essay. It is clear that this will significantly change the power play in the CoE for the worse. Our good friend, Pageantmaster, frequently states that the CoE isn’t the TEO. Well, it soon will be. Just as the revisionists were celebrating the recent “resignation” of Bishop Ackerman here, Giles Fraser, Colin Coward, etc., are partying up the soon to be exiting of the traditional Anglo-catholics.

[21] Posted by robroy on 10-22-2009 at 03:28 AM · [top]

BB, as far as being the “bridge church”, I think this fails to ratify it to the degree that the people to whom this is directed represent a small, self-contained party that has always stood looking over the gate, as it were. OTOH it does ratify it in a big way, because once again Rome is in essence relying on us to form Christians for it.

[22] Posted by C. Wingate on 10-22-2009 at 05:41 AM · [top]

I tend to agree with Irenaeus on this more than Baby Blue.  This new structure is a response to some Continuing groups, notably the TAC in Australia particularly.  These folks have already declared that they accept all Roman doctrine, as people must do when they join the Roman Communion.  The key will be to see how many ACs in the English Church decide that they, also, accept all Roman doctrine.  This is not a “bridge” church in anything other than a better liturgy.  It is Roman Catholicism.  In all honesty and righteousness, only people who accept all Roman doctrine should consider this option.  I’m sure the Pope would agree with me.  It remains to be seen whether large numbers of American Anglo-Catholics, whether the few still officially ECUSA or those in ACNA, are interested.

[23] Posted by Katherine on 10-22-2009 at 06:35 AM · [top]

We do not know the details of the offer, but if a substantial number of CoE Anglo-catholics accept it, then ultimately reasserters throughout the AC will be weakened.  Sure, reasserters within the CoE may become more ‘evangelical’ and less Anglo-catholic, but reasserters in the CoE will be a smaller, weaker pool overall - an easier target for the reappraisers.  If this comes to pass, then the CoE will be likely to follow TEC, and the splintering in the AC will become more severe.

[24] Posted by tired on 10-22-2009 at 07:51 AM · [top]

robroy, your quote from John Richardson makes me think that the evangelicals must now be feeling much as the Anglo-Catholics have done for some time (left “high and dry”). I think evangelicals and AngloCatholics, in the present crisis, have more in common with each other than either has with the revisionists or, very likely, Rome. And I say that as an AngloCatholic, who remains “Anglo” for a variety of reasons. I know that this is the premise of ACNA - and I hope they make it work.

[25] Posted by oscewicee on 10-22-2009 at 08:09 AM · [top]

I find it very interesting, all the “motives” being assigned to the Holy Father’s offer.  Of course according to many here, he is deluded, as is most of the Roman Church.  But…........

Did it ever occur to anyone that He, of all people is concerned with the souls of the people?  Wrong as he seems to some, he is providing for Christians (and they are) to get their children out of churches where they are being taught all manner of things.  Ascribing ulterior motives to his work is not the best way to handle the situation.

Which is worse, orthodox bishops who allow entire congregations to function as if they were in a liberal diocese, and stay?  Or Popes who offer a way out?
Which is worse, believing something that is perhaps not entirely clear, or actually embracing something that is clearly forbidden in the Bible?

I am reminded of the story about the rising waters of a flood when the guy prays for deliverence direct from God.
And the perishes because he refuses to accept the various ways, boat, helicopter because “My God will deliver me”.
Then when he drowns, he asks God why he didn’t do anything.
God says, I sent you a boat, I sent you a helicopter, etc. what more did you want?

Liberals are accusing him of “poaching”, I think not, it just might be the rowboat, of course its a personal choice.

Grannie Gloria

[26] Posted by Grandmother on 10-22-2009 at 08:37 AM · [top]

#11. C. Wingate,

His personal theology is in many ways definitely liberal, but it seems to me that he has largely kept to it as a personal view and not that of the church.

That is like saying that there can be “values free” psychotherapy. Some of his “slip ups” like the ACC vote are his personal views taking over. He is a double minded man.

[27] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-22-2009 at 04:28 PM · [top]

Rev. Dale, I have to say that your simile escapes me. And it should be recalled that we are all double-minded, not to mention fallible. RW has made his share of slips, no matter what you think his intentions are; he has done things that I think he ought not to have done. But the only way he can be fit into the kind of liberal power play that is like unto the ECUSA establishment is through crazy conspiracy-mongering. 815 does not like his approach, has baldly flouted it at every possibility, and has loudly complained whenever they couldn’t flout it or when he didn’t act in their favor. What he wants for the church is to keep it as whole and unriven as possible; not everything he does furthers that cause, but his lapses of judgement are not signs of some other agenda that is more truly his.

[28] Posted by C. Wingate on 10-22-2009 at 04:40 PM · [top]

the AB could do all these things but the likelihood is about as good,in my opinion, as the likelihood of Tec repenting and turning from their wayward ways

[29] Posted by ewart-touzot on 10-22-2009 at 04:43 PM · [top]

#28. C. Wingate,

Rev. Dale, I have to say that your simile escapes me

Research in Psychotherapy suggests that there is value transference in the therapy process. The therapist is trained to keep his/her values to him/herself and usually believes that this is done. In fact, at the conclusion of the therapeutic process, it has been demonstrated that the patient/client has taken on many of the values of the therapist. I hope you can now see my point about the ABC. Yes, we are all double minded to some extent but we are not all Hegelian.

[30] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-22-2009 at 04:50 PM · [top]

“These folks have already declared that they accept all Roman doctrine.”  They may well have done, Katherine, but they still have a divorced, twice-married, former RC priest as their primate.

[31] Posted by Lapinbizarre on 10-22-2009 at 05:17 PM · [top]

Since I have not seen the entire “contract” from the Vatican (if it is out and I missed it, someone please send me the link), I cannot say that I would take His Holiness up on the offer.  However, if the choice is heresy and no belief in anything scriptural (I have compared the current National TEC doctrine as the Peace Corp in a collar) to some things God and I might work out privately, I would have to evaluate the option.  Rome has its challenges, and they are not perfect (or infallible - gotta work on that one)—but they are still defining SIN and not calling it “God’s will”.  Referencing KH’s comments on the “(3) It repesents a judgment that the real story going forward is between Rome and the East. Do not underestimate the significance of the fact that in this present unusual “arrangement,” if I may call it that, Rome has drawn the line at Episcopal celibacy. That is a gesture Eastward, among many other things.”

Could this be a way to remove the celibate priesthood without taking a definitive action?

As a move forward to Christian Unity - this seems to be a great step forward.  Working together for GOD’s kingdom, not the fiefdom of a specific bishop (or PB), seems like a good thing.  Please recall the parts where we agree. 
We believe in one God,
  the Father, the Almighty,
  maker of heaven and earth,
  of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
  the only Son of God,
  eternally begotten of the Father,
  God from God, Light from Light,
  true God from true God,
  begotten, not made,
  of one Being with the Father.
  Through him all things were made.
  For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
  he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
  and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
  he suffered death and was buried.
  On the third day he rose again
  in accordance with the Scriptures;
  he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
  and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
  who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
  With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
  He has spoken through the Prophets.
  We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
  We look for the resurrection of the dead,
  and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

I am finding it hard to reconcile a National Church that doesn’t seem to believe this AT ALL, with my local Anglo-Catholic Congregation that believes this with our whole heart.

I will pray for all of us, as we discern God’s perfect path for all us.
I know several of my RC, Methodist, Baptist, and Non-denominational Christian friends are praying for us to have the wisdom to discern what God wants for US, and for patience to work with our brothers and sisters as we all struggle with the decisions before us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.

[32] Posted by donnacory on 10-22-2009 at 08:26 PM · [top]

“Without the traditionalist voice - either in England or the U.S., then evangelicals are freer to move forward in areas of breaking down the old silos of organization and while biblically orthodox, become more flexible in how that biblical faith is expressed to a unchurched world.  By taking the traditionalists out of the picture, it lowers the boom on the remaining Anglo Catholics (in TEC and in ACNA) and, ironically perhaps, strengthening both the progressives and evangelicals in the Anglican Communion.”

Unfortunately, BB, without that theological diversity, we really don’t have Anglicanism, I’m afraid. And it’s all too likely that Anglican evangelicals “becom[ing] more flexible in how that biblical faith is expressed to the unchurched world” will end up looking remarkably like non-denominational evangelicals, particularly here in the U.S. Some of us evangelicals on the Canterbury or liturgical trail came to the conclusion long ago that “the old silos of organization” really are far more important than we held them to be when we were non-denominational evangelicals—not, of course, that they are above the gospel, but that the gospel and the organization—the Church—really are inextricably linked (cue Michael Ramsey here).

[33] Posted by Ralph Webb on 10-22-2009 at 11:18 PM · [top]

#17 I wonder in terms of participation in Catholic governance, if the personal ordinaries will be part of the local (provincial, one might say, in Anglican terms) Conference of Bishops or perhaps directly responsible to the Pope?

[34] Posted by driver8 on 10-23-2009 at 12:13 AM · [top]

In not sure the reservation analogy quite works - since the Pope is offering more or less exactly what the folks petitioning him asked for. Thus, presumably no one is being force marched into Communion with the Pope etc.

Doubtless the former Anglicans will be a tiny minority in the global RC Church. But for those who apparently wanted it - they will have what they want - communion with the Pope, their own (once married) ministers, their own ordinaries, their own liturgy and in some way their own seminary training. For those who don’t desire such it’s not, of course, terribly attractive.

[35] Posted by driver8 on 10-23-2009 at 12:24 AM · [top]

My totally wild guesses FWLIW:

1. In the US (that is TEC and ACNA) this will make little difference in the short term. I imagine the personal ties within ACNA are robust enough to hold all but the most fervent anglo-papalist. Plus unwillingness of even the most anglo-catholic dioceses in (or likely to be in) ACNA to make formal commitments to the RC teaching on marriage and contraception will keep them within the Anglican fold. (Even though I know that the RC disciplines are in fact widely abused or ignored in the US RC church).

2. In the UK I imagine perhaps a couple of bishops and perhaps some 100s of clergy will depart the COE for full communion with the Pope. This will further diminish the already marginal place that anglo-catholics hold within the COE and increase the influence of the “progressive” party at General Synod and in the COE HOB.

[36] Posted by driver8 on 10-23-2009 at 12:50 AM · [top]

Agree # 36.  As a member of ACNA I am happy and thankful to be where I am, as most everyone is, I would imagine.  We needed faithful leadership and God has provided us with that “more than we could have desired or prayed for.”  I imagine those in the C of E and in Australia will be the most grateful for this provision for them.

[37] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 10-23-2009 at 12:57 PM · [top]

As usual, I agree with driver8’s assessment (#36) of the probable outcomes of this decision in the short term, especially for the CoE and Australia.  But the long term consequences are much more intriguing, and less clear.  In particular,

I think Kendall’s point about the significant implications of this creative proposal in revealing a gesture toward drawing the line at episcopal celibacy instead of priestly celibacy is very important.  It not only displays an implicitly irenic gesture toward the Eastern Christian tradition, but a genuinely pastoral recognition that the mandatory clerical celibacy that goes back to the centralizing reforms of Pope Gregory VII in the 11th century is a secondary matter and less important that welcoming back to the fold of St. Peter some long-estanged sheep that had been wandering off by themselves for a long time.

Let me echo what Sarah said way back in her #2.  I too applaud Kendall’s decision to break his self-imposed silence and venture one of his all-too-rare personal comments of any substance over at T19.  I wish he’d do it more often.  In fact, I wish he’d expanded his brief comments at some length.  His tantalizing hints cry out for fuller amplification.  I think he’s right on target.

David Handy+

[38] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 10-23-2009 at 01:50 PM · [top]


[39] Posted by AndrewA on 10-23-2009 at 01:54 PM · [top]

Why do we need to make new irenic gestures towards the East re married priests?  There have been Eastern Rite Catholic churches in communion with Rome for a LONG time.  This is well understood, even to the point of being resented by some Easterners.

Ralph Webb, is theological diversity itself a desideratum?  Is the unity of truth not even on Anglicanism’s radar?  Can Marian alcoves (like the one in the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Luke in Orlando - that place looks more Catholic than St. James across the street) be pious and idolatrous at the same time in the same church?

[40] Posted by Ed the Roman on 10-24-2009 at 07:23 AM · [top]

News from the Vatican (dated 10/31/09) on the upcoming Apostolic Constitution can be found at:〈=en

[41] Posted by slcath on 10-31-2009 at 10:23 AM · [top]

There is an update: Married laypersons may be able to be ordained under the Pope’s offer.  That’s pretty big news.  Perhaps the Anglicans who have already swum the Tiber have impressed Benedict XVI and the RC Bishops.

Hat tip: Transfigurations

[42] Posted by Theodora on 11-1-2009 at 06:21 PM · [top]

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