The Archbishop’s Steering Committee

Who’s directing whom?

Ruth Gledhill of The Times of London gets to the heart of the matter in the communique from the Anglican Primates meeting in Tanzania. Despite the gooey language, the Anglican Communion has rapped the knuckles of the Episcopal Church and called for action. Gledhill’s article includes the whole communique.

I have to hand it to them, the Anglicans have a genius for holding things together. They are like a group of sailors bailing desperately on a leaky boat. Is it that, or is it like one of those slapstick films where the old guy has one foot on the dock and one foot on a boat that’s drifting away? I hope for their sake they can hang on long enough for some new alliances to be made and for some sort of new worldwide Anglican identity to emerge.

What this will be only the Shadow knows. I predict that it will be a loose-knit alliance of independent denominations and geographical provinces that share nothing but a liturgical history and a charming appreciation of English culture. Their understanding of what Christianity really is, and how it is to be lived in the 21st century will range from rootin’ tootin’ fundamentalism to decadent neo-paganism.

May the best man win.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09356738924839809045 Andrew

    Good pic.Makes the point well.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15692229876291491107 Mark

    I tried to work out where this was going, but I think I got it wrong.If I may add one thing to your prophecy: I pray the Anglo-Catholics do the right thing (even as Parishes), and just all come home.

  • Anonymous

    “I hope . . .they can hang on long enough for some new alliances to be made and for some sort of new worldwide Anglican identity to emerge.”Why? To what end?”that share nothing but a liturgical history and a charming appreciation of English culture”These are called historical societies or Daughters of the American Revolution or the Hibernian Society or the Sons of Italy, or the Left-Handed Step-Fathers of Denmark Saturday Night Bowling Society. Let them go, and let them call themselves what they are but let them not represent Christianity to the world. It would only breathe further contempt on the Faith. The Holy Spirit will lead the believers home if the Church shines Her light brightly enough.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    I hope they hang on so that new alliances can be made among those Anglican who really do hold to the historic faith. If some new alliances can be made, some of these groups might be able to be reconciled to the Catholic faith.

  • Anonymous

    “some of these groups might be able to be reconciled to the Catholic faith.”But isn’t it the experience of the Church and especially of our time that individual persons and, once in a while, families are reconciled, but almost never are groups reconciled? Even in family conversions, if they are adults, some are left behind. Protestant “groups” are so conditioned to (and so devoted to) individual thinking and individual interpretation of the Faith and of Scripture that any group that votes by majority, for example, will, from force of habit if nothing else, splinter into more groups, while individuals respond to the call of the Spirit. And even among those, how many will be immediately willing to sit at the feet of the Apostles and Shepherds of the Church and be TAUGHT what is true. There was a saying that went around in the Episcopal church years ago: God has no as grandchildren. IOWs, we come to Christ as individuals, our faith and our response to the Spirit must be our own, freely chosen. It can not be inherited. But it happened at Pentecost, I guess it can happen again. Who am I to limit the power of the Holy Spirit?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Yes, it is unlikely that a province, a continuing denomination or even a parish will come to Rome and keep everyone. However, there are some heartening examples of good pastors leading a large number of their flock into the church with them. This has happened enough times from within Anglicanism (and even from a Pentecostal Church in the experience of convert Alex Jones)to make it necessary to facilitate such moves wherever they may take place.

  • Anonymous

    As a convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism, I wonder if we have some sort of pastoral obligation here. Difficult as it may be for the TEC hierarchy to admit, individual Episcopalians are jumping ship every week. Do we have an obligation to provide information and counseling for those Anglicans whose doctrines might lead them Rome’s way? I understand that the overwhelming identification in Anglicanism is cultural rather than doctrinal, but there are a few in every parish. Those few orthodox dogmatics will not be happy in the Protestant Evangelical churches or the Eastern Orthodox churches, but they might find peace in the Catholic Church. How best to make them aware of our help?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04252460282602144024 craig

    Anonymous said: “…Do we have an obligation to provide information and counseling for those Anglicans whose doctrines might lead them Rome’s way? … How best to make them aware of our help?”Point them to the Catechism, first and foremost. Encourage them to give it a patient reading, and its wonderful coherence will sink in to them (and reveal the points of incoherence within Anglicanism besides).Explain, explain, explain. Give the whys and wherefores. without using “Rome says so” as a reason, because they are not ready to accept that as Rome’s role. Argue from Scripture and Tradition and reason.Beyond that, encourage them to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, although Anglo-Catholics will be most likely to “get” this. You might wait a while for some of the Catechism to sink in before suggesting adoration to low-church evangelicals.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Do we have an obligation? Indeed we do. It’s called evangelization. This includes not only preaching the gospel to the unbaptized, but preaching the fullness of the faith to our separated brethren with respect for their traditions, admiration for their gifts and zeal, and love for their souls. There are many resources out there–books of conversion stories, books that explain the Catholic faith in a friendly way etc.May I modestly suggest a visit to my website to investigate some of these resources?

  • Anonymous

    “not only preaching the gospel to the unbaptized, but preaching the fullness of the faith to our separated brethren”and if you must, use words.


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