George Carey is Cross

Poor George Carey. I always felt the poor man was out of his depth. I remember after he steered the Church of England to its decision to ordain women priests. Then JP2 handed down the decision that ‘the Catholic Church does not have the authority to ordain women as priests, and this is to be held definitively by all the faithful.” Carey stammered in public that ‘He would need to seek further clarification.” The Pope’s statement was perfectly clear. What was unclear was the Church of England’s decision and subsequent legislation for ‘flying bishops’ and ‘no go areas’ for women priests etc.

Now (even though he’s retired and is supposed to keep a dignified silence) he weighs in with his thoughts on the Personal Ordinariate. This article reports his dismay at the proposals and his anger that the Holy Father is ‘wooing’ Anglicans.

First of all this is not what happened at all. The Vatican made it clear that it was responding to repeated and long term requests from Anglo Catholics for a way to come into full communion with the Church. Nobody went out trying to convert Anglicans. They came knocking.
Let us imagine this scenario. The Methodists are a breakaway group from the Anglican Church. So let’s say a group of disaffected Methodists came to Lambeth Palace repeatedly over the years and asked for a way that they might come back onto full communion with the Anglicans and achieve corporate, visible unity.
Not only would the Anglican Church be interested in this proposal, but they would have a duty to try to achieve some sort of unity with the Methodists if possible since all Christians are supposed to be working for Church unity.
The problem with George Carey is that he really doesn’t understand Catholicism. He still ‘needs further clarification.’

  • the Egyptian

    He looks like something is quite stuck where it doesn't belong, doesn't he. Maybe more fiber ;>)

  • Fr Longenecker

    He always looks like that, poor chap.

  • JM

    Your comments are beneath you. I agree with your overall sentiment, but given Carey's book "A TAle of Two Churches" (IVP), I think we can say he gets Catholicism fairly well. I'd argue what he does NOT get is American paganism, since almost any port would merit consideration after a church ordains homosexual clergy approvingly. But Carey overall has been a friend of orthodoxy, so throwing mud seems a bit petty, even if he did start the fight.

  • Kiran

    I am sorry. I have absolutely no sympathy for Lord Carey. The man was one of the many presiders over the demise of Anglicanism. In many respects, he is like his successor. He dillies and dallies. Don't get me wrong. He might be a nice chap and all, but then again, so is Rowan Williams, whom I met before crossing the tiber. As one of my friends remarked, niceness isn't a virtue. So, what exactly does Lord Carey (It is so nice that English Bishops are ennobled thereby solving the problem of how to address them) think these Anglicans should do? I mean, it is not even as if (as was the case in Pusey's time), there is a place where orthodox High Anglicans fit, where their views are respected. They are merely second-class citizens. The case of orthodox High Anglicans is in that respect quite different from that of evangelicals. That is probably why Carey can't really understand them. On the other hand, I think the Catholic Church is where they belong in many ways. I converted six years ago, and have never looked back. And funnily enough, it is as a Catholic that I have discovered some of the greatest Anglican writers, from Johnson to Keble to Mascall, not to mention Newman, Manning, and Knox.

  • flyingvic

    If I understand Lord Carey correctly (and I fully accept that my understanding in many areas is open to doubt!) then this blog is missing the point. As the good Father well knows, there have been on-going conversations for at least two decades, supplemented by mechanisms put in place by Rome and Canterbury working together, discreetly to ease the path of those whose conscience tells them it is time to convert. Those "knocking on the door" have always found someone ready and willing to open it. Given, therefore, that this apparatus is both in place and well-established, it is not surprising that Lord Carey – however much you patronise him – is annoyed at Rome's (effectively) unilateral and very public invitation.Is Pope Benedict saying that everything since Vatican II has been a mistake?

  • JM

    "Lord Carey (It is so nice that English Bishops are ennobled thereby solving the problem of how to address them) "Get over it. Catholics address the Pope as "Your Holiness."

  • Kiran

    JM, the problem in this case is that Anglicans recognize the primacy of the Pope, and Catholics do not recognize the validity of Anglican orders. "Anglican Bishop X" is rather cumbersome. Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with referring to an Anglican Bishop as "His Lordship" (though I will not refer to Jefferts Schori as "your Ladyship." or "your Excellency" If pushed, I might refer to her as "her Lordship") I think if I refer to my local Anglican Bishop as "your Lordship," he might be a tad annoyed. I suspect he is a republican.

  • JM

    Got it. Makes sense.