B16 Rides in to the Rescue!

The UK’s Independent newspaper has this article which is also featured in the Daily Telegraph. Both articles give the ridiculous impression that Pope Benedict is one hundred percent behind Rowan Williams and is actually shunning any converts to Catholicism. From their tone you would think B16 had abandoned World Youth Day and chartered a jet to fly direct to Canterbury to solve the Anglican crisis himself.

All this is based on a letter from the Vatican to the Anglican bishops assembling for the Lambeth Conference. Apparently the letter asks them to avoid schism and to seek a mature way forward. A letter from the Pope always appears on the table at Lambeth. It’s always phrased in a diplomatic, cordial and respectful way. That’s what Popes do. That’s what diplomats do.

Fr Jeffrey Steel quotes Damian Thompson and so gives the Anglo Catholic take on the whole thing. He and Damian expose it for the shallow media spin that it is. The speculation continues that the Vatican is working on a positive response to the appeal from the Traditional Anglican Communion, and is devising a blueprint for group receptions of Anglicans worldwide.

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  • Father I also think Pope Benedicts comments to the Ecmenical Gathering in New York Come to play too”Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called “prophetic actions” that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of “local options”. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia – communion with the Church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:18-23).http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/april/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080418_incontro-ecumenico_en.htmlMany of Us thought that perhaps was aimed at the US Anglican Church perhaps in a special way

  • As I have said in another comment, the notion that the Church rubs her palms gleefully expecting mass corporate defections from the Angican Church, or that she is somehow engaged in competition with them–or with any other Christian Protestant group–is to misunderstand the Church altogether. The Pope will do no such thing. That the Church is in sympathy with the traditional Anglicans goes without saying.