Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Feeling Papish?

The Vatican, ever helpful, has decided to make it easier for individuals, parishes, and perhaps even (crossed-Cardinal's-Fingers) dioceses to convert the Roman Catholicism.
A new canonical entity will allow groups of Anglicans “to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony,” Cardinal William Levada, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said at a news conference here. (Source)

I can understand how the Vatican could see an opportunity here. There are some Anglican Churches that really don't like the overall move towards women bishops and allowing gay clergy, in particular. And really, is Anglican liturgy that different from the Roman Way? So why not simply take whole congregations lock-stock-and-barrel if they are willing to swear allegiance to the Holy See?

These congregations will get to keep their (married) clergy (presumably after they've been re-ordained) and their liturgies. However, they probably won't get to keep their buildings since these usually belong to the (Anglican/Episcopal) Diocese and not to the parish, per se.

Hard not to be cynical about this. Seems a bit opportunistic. Then again, we've been taking Roman Catholic refugees for a long time, too. But never whole parishes as far as I know.



movabletype said...

I have the impression that this has more to do with the internal politics of the Church of England than anything else, and has very little application in North America.


Daniel said...

It's hard to say how this will effect the conservative Anglican church in North America. I think there is potential for damage in places like the American South and Africa to be impacted. Places are are almost all very conservative.