Some of the criticism of the new Apostolic Constitution has been bitter. Liberal critics have attacked Pope Benedict for undermining ecumenical discussions. They say he has pulled the plug and insulted the Anglicans.
Why doesn’t anyone point out that the Anglicans have been sabotaging the ecumenical effort since the mid 1970s. When the Episcopal Church of the USA was voting for women priests the Catholic Church said diplomatically, “Please don’t do this as it will present a new obstacle on the path to Christian Unity.” They went ahead. The list goes on. Virtually every five years since then there has been another scandal, another crisis vote, another issue and Holy Mother church has endured another slap in the face from the Anglicans.
Time and again the Catholic ecumenical partners have gone back for another dialogue, another meeting, and another conference. Time and again the Catholics partners have spoken clearly and passionately about Christian unity and over and over again the Anglicans have disregarded the Catholic position and done the thing anyway.
Now when Rome responds with a new initiative it is Rome who is blamed for being difficult??
Can somebody help me here? Am I missing something? While the Anglicans continue to muddle and moan and talk and debate their own conflicts the Holy See comes up with an astounding, positive and creative way forward for Catholic-minded Anglicans.
I hope and pray that the Church of England and Episcopal Church will finally use some, compassion and common sense. They should ‘let my people go.’ Williams and Schori–let the Anglo Catholics take advantage of this offer. Bid them farewell (or even good riddance if you must) but let them go, and why not work out an agreement whereby they can continue to worship in their churches. You own them if you must, but lease them to the Anglo Catholics. You won’t be wanting all those church buildings. Often those Anglo Catholic Churches are in the bad part of town anyway. You don’t want to worship there. Let them have ‘em, and if they can’t have those, then let them have some other buildings you don’t want. Count up the cost of the lawsuits, the time, the expense the hard feelings, and cut your losses.