Pope: Anglicans, Liturgy, Welcome! UPDATED

As I and others guessed yesterday, the announcements coming out of Rome and London today are big but not all that surprising. Damian Thompson has the first threadbare report:

The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict is setting up special provision for Anglicans, including married clergy, who want to convert to Rome together, preserving aspects of Anglican liturgy. They will be given their own pastoral supervision, according to this press release from the Vatican:

“In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony.”

This is very big. If this reconnection is well-facilitated, we may see the entire African arm of the Church of England (which is currently its most vibrantly-growing branch) cross the Tiber, and that will be a very interesting development, especially as Catholics are exposed to the Anglican-use liturgy, which will remind many of everything they loved about the Latin mass, but in the glorious language of the Anglican liturgy. This may accelerate the already-growing movement within the Catholic church to correct some of the liturgical excesses and errors we’ve seen in the last 40 years.

As I said earlier, as secularism and evangelical atheism gain in influence and power, we may well see the a new unity among Christians, ut unum sint, (that they all may be one). I have written before about the coming “schism” which will manifest itself here in America with the creation of an American Catholic Church:

…which will look quite a lot like the Church of England or the Anglican church – rites, rituals, “sacraments” etc, [plus female priests, gay marriage, divorce and a more pro-choice stance] and it will even have the imprimatur of the government insofar as it may – and it will be a church that the majority flock to; it will be seen by many as the “victory” over that stuffy old, stubborn Church of Rome. People will go on Oprah and say “I always loved God but I never felt accepted, but this enlightened American Catholic Church tells me what I need to hear, that God loves me and that divorce, abortion and all that stuff doesn’t matter as long as I am a good person, and I AM a good person, Oprah, I AM, and now I am accepted, and (weep, weep) I feel like God finally makes sense in the world!”

“That’s right,” Oprah will declare, “there is no sin, except the sinfulness of not loving the self! God doesn’t make junk!”


It would not surprise me at all to see Christians eventually forced underground.
That, paradoxically, will be a time of great strength and growth, as distinctions are made between the churches that teach the era throughout the faith, and those that teach the faith throughout the age.

Then again, Brian Saint-Paul says atheists are facing a schism of their own.

Instalanche! Thanks, Glenn! Updates below:

UPDATE I:
Forbes (Via AP’s Nicole Winfield):

Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
The new church structure, called Personal Ordinariates, will be units of faithful within the local Catholic Church headed by former Anglican prelates who will provide spiritual care for Anglicans who wish to become Catholic.

“Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” [Cardinal William] Levada said. “At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey.”

. . .the Vatican’s archbishop of Westminster and Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the global Anglican church, issued a joint statement, saying the decision “brings an end to a period of uncertainty” for Anglicans wishing to join the Catholic Church. The statement said the decision in fact could not have happened had there not been such fruitful dialogue between the two.

“The ongoing official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation,” the joint statement said.

Damian Thompson notes that the Archbishop of Canterbury seems less than pleased

Joint Statement of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

UPDATE II: The indispensable John Allen (via equally indispensable New Advent has numbers and more details on how things will work: Vatican Revelas Plan to Welcome Disaffected Anglicans:

In a move with potentially sweeping implications for relations between the Catholic church and some 80 million Anglicans worldwide, the Vatican has announced the creation of new ecclesiastical structures to absorb disaffected Anglicans wishing to become Catholics. The structures will allow those Anglicans to hold onto their distinctive spiritual practices, including the ordination of married former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests. . . . the main American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. American Episcopalians are said to number some 2.2 million.

today’s move creates the possibility that bishops’ conferences around the world can create personal ordinariates, a special structure that’s tantamount to a non-territorial diocese, to accept Anglicans under the leadership of a former Anglican minister who would be designated a bishop.

. . .former Anglican clergy who are married may serve as priests in the new ordinariates, but they may not be ordained as bishops. Seminarians for the new ordinariates must be trained alongside other Catholic seminarians, though they may have separate houses of formation.

The details will be presented in a new apostolic constitution from Pope Benedict XVI, expected to be issued shortly. Popes issue apostolic constitutions in order to amend the church’s Code of Canon Law, in this case to create new legal structures.

The Vatican note described the new “personal ordinariates” as similar to the structures created throughout the world to provide pastoral care for members of the military and their families. The structures are in effect separate dioceses, presided over by a bishop and with their own priests, seminarians, and faithful.

You’ll want to read it all.

UPDATE III:
America Magazine’s Austen Ivereigh:

By creating a parallel jurisdiction which helps to safeguard their identity as Anglicans, Pope Benedict has dealt with many of their key fears — and allowed for a corridor to Rome which thousands will go through over the next few years, leading to a gradual diminution of the Anglo-Catholic element in worldwide Anglicanism.

The experience of the new emigres will be closely watched by other Anglicans — and will strongly affect the prospects of long-term Anglican-Catholic unification. History is being made.

UPDATE IV: Interesting question that is popping up in email: does this mean that men who cross the Tiber via this method will also be able to be ordained, even after they marry? That would make it “rubber to the road” time for a lot of young Catholic men who have said, “I’d be a priest, if only priests could marry…” As one correspondent writes: I was wondering the same thing. The Eastern churches can [they must be married before ordination -admin], but they have a history Anglicans don’t. But this appears to be a pretty generous provision, so who knows?

Another correspondent -an “in the know” priest- says “apparently the answer is ‘yes.’”

UPDATE V:

Creative Minority Report continual updates and notes:

While this move is clearly in response to the TAC, it is not limited to it. This allows for any group of Anglicans who seek unity, whether Episcopalians or other Anglicans, to come into unity intact. This is potentially much much bigger than just the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Ruth Gledhill: UK Times Online: has more on the reaction of the Archbishop of Canterbury: Pope unity move ‘not act of proselytism or aggression’ says Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams says in the letter however that this should not be regarded as an act of proselytism or aggression by Rome.

He admits he only knew of this at a very late stage, which just goes to show he doesn’t read the newspapers as we all wrote last year that traditionalists were in talks with Rome about doing something like this. The flying bishops confess as much in their statement.

Damian is so excited, he’s written even more, and sort of addresses the question in update IV:

The Pope is now offering Anglicans worldwide “corporate reunion” on terms that will delight Anglo-Catholics. In theory, they can have their own married priests, parishes and bishops – and they will be free of liturgical interference by liberal Catholic bishops who are unsympathetic to their conservative stance.

There is even the possibility that married Anglican laymen could be accepted for ordination on a case-by-case basis – a remarkable concession.

Michael Sean Winters:

The most important point to stress is that the Vatican is responding to a request from others who wish to join the Catholic Church. They are not merely going out to pick some low-hanging Anglican fruit or, as Cardinal Walter Kasper put it, “We are not fishing in the Anglican lake.” . . .But, I worry, too, that some of these newcomers will also be nostalgists, anti-feminists, and anti-gay bigots.


Get Religion
notes this has been in the works for far longer than recent ordinations may indicate.

A joyful statement: by some Anglican Bishops and other reactions

Deacon Keith Fournier: waxes lyrical

Also:
DaTechGuy has a good round up
Fr. Z: Very “Inside Baseball” and instructive
Reuters: Pope makes it easier for Anglicans to convert
Midwest Conservative Journal
American Papist
Fr. Dwight Longnecker
Deacon Greg: Has A statement from Fr. George Rutler

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  • saveliberty

    This is very good news.

  • http://thecatholiclibertarian.blogspot.com amcalabrese

    I live in London now and the Church we have been attending, while an older Catholic church (it was once the church for a priestly order, before becomeing a diocesian church). One of the priests, just ordained, is a former Anglican and you can see that the influence of the high Anglican rite in the Mass there.

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  • pabarge

    Just what the world needs … more papists willing to say insulting things about Protestants.

    Apparently the anchoress needs more company in that department.

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  • cathyf

    The Vatican note described the new “personal ordinariates” as similar to the structures created throughout the world to provide pastoral care for members of the military and their families.

    Actually, it sounds a lot more like we are setting up a new “eastern” rite — but of course with people who are based in the west.

  • jan

    pabarge – you got one thing right – the world needs more papists. But you should have stopped there. I defy you to find anything insulting that our hostess has said about protestants. She’s a whole lot more tolerant than most of us who comment here.

  • norris hall

    I think this is an excellent move. By opening itself up to married priests the Catholic church will have taken a small step towards acceptance of married clergy.
    If nothing else, the Catholic Church will grow accustom to the idea of having married priests and it will become harder to justify celibacy in the church as a whole.
    Also, since Anglicans are not as strongly opposed to abortion and divorce or to the concept of “Mary Mother of God”, I wonder if the Catholic Church will begin to allow exceptions to some of their more cherished beliefs.
    Accepting Anglicans into the fold will be a two way street, I believe

  • dymphna

    Good news…I guess.

  • Amy P.

    I see nothing insulting in this post regarding Protestants, and I was raised Lutheran before my conversion.

  • Everwyck

    How exactly does this differ from the Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II in 1980?

  • Judith L

    As a former Episcopalian who has not gone to Rome, I find this intriguing. Certainly, worshiping with Anglo-Catholic liturgy has great appeal.

  • http://www.walsingham-church.org/ Houston cakkers

    This has been going on for nearly 30 years…Texas (God bles her) has several such Anglican usage parishes.

  • Joe

    I doubt the U.S. Catholic Church will have a schism, but you never know.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Regarding the American Catholic Church – I agree that it’s coming and it’s going to be a very good thing for Catholics faithful to the Magisterium. The Church needs to be purged in a big way. But I believe that the membership of the A.C.C. is going to follow roughly the same pattern as the blue/red division that you see on the political maps. The far-left, the ‘disenfranchised’ or fringe, or whatever you want to call the folks who identify more with a label than with just being a person of faith, are not that many in number, I think. Most of us just want to be ‘home,’ and ‘home’ is the traditional Church, faithful to Rome.

    I know I’m not saying this very well, but I’m all for the schism. Bring it on and lets get it over with.

    As for scoffers who don’t believe Christians will be pushed underground…like that’s never happened before? Dang fools.

  • Bender

    It does sound a little like the establishment of a new rite, but it also sounds a little like a “halfway house,” that is intended to bridge the gap and is not intended to have large numbers remain in the separate rite. I don’t know. More info needed.

    I do think that this will be an occasion for the “progressives” to battle for a married priesthood throughout the Church. But it probably will also be an occasion for the Magisterium to take a look and finally declare that the reasons for a celibate priesthood are deeply theological and not merely a matter of discipline, backed up by centuries of Tradition indicating the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    True, they have said for years in recent history that the Church could lift the restriction at any time, but they have said that knowing that there was zero possibility of that actually happening. If the Church were to seriously consider a married priesthood, I suspect that they would start realizing and saying that they really could not, and that the Sacrament of Matrimony is incompatible with the Sacrament of Holy Orders as a matter of dogmatic theology, and not merely historical practice.

  • Bender

    One thing I’m sure that they will not allow is for those who are now “Roman” Catholic to switch to this new structure so that they can then be ordained as Catholic married priests.

  • Jim Hicks

    This is news is indeed an answer to prayer!

  • Russ

    ut unum sint, (that they all may be one).

    John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

    I attend a Vineyard Christian Fellowship, so am probably on the opposite end of the Christian spectrum from you, but wanted to comment that unity will become very important. This sign of unity, I believe, is a start of great things to come. Somehow, we must get past our differences and focus on Christ in order to find unity within or in spite of, those differences.

    PS. Please do not feed the Troll.

  • Don

    <>
    This statement confuses “Church” with Latin Rite. The Catholic Church does not have a ban on married priests – the Latin Rite (aka Roman Catholic rite) does not allow married priests. The Maronite rite, Ukrainian rite, Syrian rite etc. all do allow married priests. These are all Catholics, all in full communion under the See of Peter. Please remember that although Latin rite Catholics are the vast majority of the Church, we are not the only Catholic rite out there and we are not alone the Church. Ergo, the issue of married priests (not bishops) is not an issue of dogmatic theology, since if married priests are a normal practice in some rites it cannot be incompatible with Catholic dogma.

  • Bender

    Since the Faith is neither a matter of opinion nor mere arbitrary subjective belief, it is difficult to see how “the Catholic Church will begin to allow exceptions . . .”

    The Church cannot “begin to allow exceptions” because it is not our Church — it is His Church. We do not have the authority to change the Faith willy-nilly as we please.

    [And of course, the Church did not seek these folks out;; she is responding to people who sought her out, precisely because they want the church's "stubborn" attachment to its "more cherished beliefs" -admin]

  • Bender

    Simply because something has been allowed does not mean that it is not a matter of dogmatic theology, e.g. Moses and divorce.

  • Maureen

    Re: FYI about married priests

    Keep in mind that we’re talking the East’s custom of “married men being ordained as priests”, not “priests being allowed to marry and stay priests”, which has never been the custom. (There’s an exception in the East for “married priest with tiny kids whose wife dies” being allowed to remarry for the kids’ sake, and that’s it.)

    [Apparently this is a point that is going to have to be reiterated over and over again -admin]

  • dry valleys

    “It would not surprise me at all to see Christians eventually forced underground.”

    It would certainly surprise me, I don’t think I’m the stuff great persecutors are made of & nor are any of the people I pal around with!

    But we need to dwell on that thing you touched on. If the nones steadily rise in power & influence, if more people announce their lack of faith, I can think of one big change.

    I would say that, the culture of America being what it is, many people feel obliged to call themselves Christians in public when they do not actually hold religious beliefs, or some unthinkingly cling to what their fathers & grandfathers believe without genuinely holding convictions of their own.

    If they withered away, you might be left with about 20% of the population but you’d know they were the hardcore faithful & so would everyone else. You’d see fewer fair-weather types, which from some perspectives is a matter of improvement.

    Now I was thinking about this, & my version has become a bit garbled. I think it was better a few hours ago. But I have conveyed the essential truth ;)

    With regards to the arguments of Norris Hall. As the Anglicans who have gone to Rome are the most right-wing elements in the Church of England, they have more in common with the Catholics than with most of their co-religionists. If anything they will firm up conservatives, who are already strengthened by the right-wing stance of their African brethren.

    A lot of churches in England, especially in London, are noting a surge in worshippers thanks to recently arrived African migrants. It is not something I look upon kindly. But it explains why there are so many pro-immigration conservatives (the fact that it makes businessmen money being the other main reason).

  • http://theglobalnewsportal.blogspot.com/ Joseph Marshall

    “It would not surprise me at all to see Christians eventually forced underground.”

    You’re losing your balance again, Anchoress. Hot Air is correct that the number of people, young people particularly, who profess indifference to the issue of religion is the fastest growing segment of the population. But it’s not because some group or other is actively seeking their membership.

    Frankly, Christians, and particularly conservative Christians, should look at themselves more carefully in the mirror and ask whether they are offering any more to the rest of America than Intelligent Design, protests in front of Abortion clinics, fusses over not being able to put Christmas creches on the Statehouse lawn, and wailing and gnashing of teeth over removal of carvings of the Ten Commandments from the county courthouse. As well as constant express or implied assertions that they are the “real” America, a la Sarah Palin.

    Insofar as Christian outreach has had a face in this country lately, I have just described that face in the paragraph above.

    Now I know better and I know very well what Christians actually have to offer to anyone open to questioning the worth of our ordinary life. But I had a de facto secular upbringing and I had to spend years reading on my own when young through all sorts of other alternatives to even find that out.

    I’m also 57 years old. Think about it.

    In all those 57 years, no Christian denomination ever spoke directly to me about what I thought, as a secular, about my life. When I was a secular myself, none ever engaged my point of view on equal terms and as if they took it seriously.

    Most of the Christians I have encountered have either taken the attitude that because I live in a “Christian” country I should have absorbed all that by osmosis. Or they have emphatically drawn a line between “we” and “thee”, often projecting Roman Legion/Catacomb Christian fantasies on all of “thee”.

    And here you go again.

    Common sense should tell you something very important about those atheist billboards: they have nothing to sell. They are merely the decorative vanity ads of some rich man with an atheist bee in his bonnet and nothing sensible to say to anybody about it. The best they can do is appeal to other atheists to become more politically active.

    Just compare them to the latest Calvin Klein ad, and you will see exactly what I mean. CK is selling the illusion that beauty, toe curling sex, and entertaining adventure are just a designer label away. Mr. Rich Atheist has nothing to sell whatever.

    The only true appeal that these billboards can have beyond atheists who have already is among those who are put off by the contemporary public face of Christian outreach. That’s it.

  • mrp

    Hmmm…

    The announcement comes less than a week after the conclusion of the month-long St. Therese relics tour. After 300,000 Brits attended the expositions, which included an 18-hour stay at the Anglican York Minster.

  • garrett

    If an American Catholic church schisms from Rome, so be it. Many of our less faithfull will go there, to slowly and comfortably divest themselves of religion. within a generation, it will go the way of mainline protestant Churches; small memberships, confused message. If you look at vibrant Catholic parishes, in the main they are conservative, promote the Sacrament of pennace more vigoruously, are robustly pro-life. etc.

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  • Elaine

    I think this is great news. The Traditional Anglicans who are interested in jumping the Tiber are for the most part more traditional/conservative than a lot of Catholics… plus they do have a beautiful liturgy that maintained much of what was lost in the Novus Ordo Mass (which I have nothing against, as long as it’s done reverently).

    I pray that the next stop on the “B16 reunion tour” will be Constantinople or Moscow :-)

    As for the possibility of an “American Catholic Church”: what REAL evidence do we have that such a schism is planned or imminent, outside of decades of speculation by disgruntled Catholic laity (on both sides of the spectrum)? Has Cardinal Mahony been conducting secret talks with Archbishop Williams regarding turning liberal Episcopalian, or something like that?

    I can see where it has the potential to happen, but outside of blogger and editorialist rants and wishful/dreadful thinking, I don’t see it actually happening. Whereas this development with Traditional Anglicans has been in the works for years.

  • Wolfwood

    Uh…both extremes may need a reality check.

    1. Global Anglicanism is fractured into three main parts: Progressives, Evangelicals, and Anglo-Catholics. This move will get most (not all) of the Anglo-Catholics over to Rome, yet will have virtually no effect (at least in the near future) on Progressives or Evangelicals. The Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics tended to form common cause against the ravages of the Progressives, but it was always an uneasy alliance as the Evangelicals very definitely have no interest in union with Rome. Some parts of the developing world are Anglo-Catholic, but most of them are Evangelical.

    2. The two-way street isn’t going to have anything to do with married priests or anything like that. This isn’t a merger; it’s a peaceful takeover by Rome of the Anglo-Catholics (who, as noted above, have no interest whatsoever in undermining the Roman Rite). The people affected by this are those who are already intellectually Catholic but want to keep aspects of their Anglican identity as well (and those aspects tend to be on the more, not less, traditional side). This is basically like re-incorporating the Church of England as it was at the time of Henry VIII, not the Church of England and Episcopal Church of today.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Elaine, I think there is sufficient anecdotal evidence that renegade behavior is beyond the wishful thinking stage. In addition, I believe that the acts of defiance are going to be initially isolated, but they will take root and eventually they will combine forces, however strong they may be. Then we will have a schism.

  • soylent green

    As professing Christians, we have a temporal duty to work for the reunification of the Church. Thus, part of me is brightened by this important pronouncement. But as an Anglican who worships in an a high Anglo-Catholic Church, however, I’m more profoundly saddened that anything at the fact the Episcopal Church (TEC) has sunk to such a nadir that this Vatican’s invitation has some passing allure.

    The point of the Oxford Movement was to lift the entire Anglican church, en mass (if you will forgive the pun) out of error in order that it would acknowledge its innate catholicity as a branch of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Then we could reach out to Rome together in alliance and, dare I say, full and equal communion. After all, the official Vatican policy is that Anglican orders are invalid and un-apostolic, and that our eucharists are, likewise, a nullity.

    I’d think more of the See of Rome if it first accepted the validity of Anglicanism, rather than cherrypicking at Anglicans who suffer at the hands of the secular progressive movement. offering some temporary, passing assurance that our liturgy will be respected in the years to come. I still have a hard time considering a Church that inflicted Vatican II on itself.

    [I am not sure I see any "cherrypicking" going on here. As you see in the links quoting both Fr. George Rutler and Fr. Dwight Longecker, this in no way changes the Roman church's view as to the validity of Holy Orders (and thus Communion); they're all still considered invalid, and none of this rescinds Apostolicae Curae. As to whether or not VCII was a "self-affliction," well, the Holy Spirit moves in all sorts of ways. I've always said on this blog that sometimes certain things have to happen, in order that other things may occur. You might say VCII AND the continual movement of the Anglican establishment away from all that came before...brought this about. -admin]

  • Andrew B

    As a former Episcopalian/current Anglican, this news both saddens and cheers me. Saddens me, as it hastens the coming outright schism in Anglicanism, yet it cheers me for the same reason. It is like receiving a diagnosis of cancer–it is shocking, but at least it makes clear a course of action.

    I have grieved for 30 years as the Episcopal Church left me. It has been like watching an old, dear friend go into a severe midlife crisis, complete with an ear-piercing, a red convertable and a new girlfriend (or, more accurately, boyfriend.)

    I don’t know what will come of all this, but I think it is right and necessary. Regardless of the wishes of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Communion is hopelessly broken. I am glad that Rome is there to welcome in some of us shepherdless sheep.

  • pabarge

    Jan: “I defy you to find anything insulting that our hostess has said about protestants”.

    I heard her with my own ears make them herself on the Ed Morrissey internet-radio show. Find the archives and do the research yourself.

    It was bigotry at its finest and its still on the record for anyone who wants to do the leg work.

  • Martha

    “I pray that the next stop on the “B16 reunion tour” will be Constantinople or Moscow”

    Don’t count on that, however, we (the Orthodox) are happy to welcome all who seek the True Faith ;)
    Why settle?

    [I am a big fan of Archbishop Helarion! -admin]

  • Lawoski

    In the weeks/months ahead, it will be interesting to see who (and how many) take advantage of the Anglican ordinariates. Here are two individuals in the public eye that might be worth watching

    1) the Queen of England. If she does take advantage of it, I think she will have to abdicate (due to an act of Parliament that requires the monarch to be a member of the CoE). In this context, it will be interesting to see if/ whether / how the British Parliament responds.

    2) Alberto Cutie (the telegenic former Miami Catholic priest who became an Episcopalian after his affair became public).

    [I doubt very much that QEII would do it, but then one can never tell; she has recently been said to be "appalled" by the CofE's movement, and supposedly has been an advocate for several years, now, of the repeal of the Acts of Settlement. I can't remember where I read it, but I seem to recall reading that William was inclined to crossing the Tiber, but I could be mistaken. It IS interesting, though, that the queen is said to be expecting to have Benedict stay at Buckingham Palace when he goes there in 2010, but who knows? As to Alberto Cutie, well, that will be interesting. One never knows, does one? -admin]

  • http://thesheepfold.typepad.com The Sheepcat

    Very big and very welcome news, but I’m more than surprised at your speculation that “the entire African arm of the Church of England” might cross the Tiber. To do so, the African Anglican bishops would need to sign on to everything that the Catholic Church teaches, and in all the discussions of realignment within the Anglican Communion I’ve seen little sign of readiness for that on their part. What’s your source, please?

  • http://powip.com Bob Reed

    Anchoress, I’m a bit confused.
    Do you belive that this development will hasten a schism amongst Catholics in America, provide another avenie for some of the potential schismatics to pursue, or stave off such a schism altogether?

    My personal belief has been that many folks desiring a more progressive form of Christianity have already migrated away from the Rome, to protestant sects that are more tolerant of gays, abortion, and the ordination of women; am I completely mistaken?

    That said, this is a marvelous development that should lead to a greater unity among Christians.

    All the best

  • geekWithA.45

    All your flock are belong to us.
    ;)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Pabarge, unfortunately, your ears aren’t here to testify as to what they heard for you. So why don’t you do some legwork, give us some links, before you start throwing around accusations?

    You really can’t demand we believe you just because your claim your heard something with your very own ears (are you in the habit of borrowing other people’s ears? Who else’s ears do you hear with?) and not provide so much as a quote. Here, on this blog, the Anchoress has never expressed bigotry towards anybody.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Joseph, all I can say is, you’ve obviously met a completely different sort of Christians than I have. I’ve met many in my life (and I’m 56—think about it!) and have found most of them to be kind, helpful, accepting and more than willing to explain their faith to me.

    And I’ve found much more in Christ than simply being anti-abortion, or Christmas, or the things you mention.

    Oh, yes, and the Christians I’ve met have also very accepting of my handicapped son, which many, supposedly “spiritual” (not Christian) folk, rarely are.

    Maybe you really haven’t been searching, or maybe you just found what you wanted to find, in order to reinforce your own views? Or, maybe you found something, but it disturbed you, or you couldn’t accept it.

    Whatever happened, it’s your experience, not a universal one.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Due to the current upheaval in the Episcopal Church, a lot Anglican/Episcopalians have been making tracks for the Catholic and Orthodox churches, long before this.

    As for reconciliation between Russia and Constantinople, or any other branch of the Orthodox Church—well, anything’s possible, but I honestly don’t see it happening any time soon. There are broad, deep differences between the denominations, that go way beyond the question of married priesthood.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    HEY! I just thought of something…what do you suppose will be the status of Fr. Cutie, the Miami priest who left the Church to join the Episcopalians and get married? Do you think he will be allowed to be a Catholic priest again? I’m serious! :)

    Sometimes it gets waaayyy too hot in here…

    Hey, Rhinestone, you are almost as smart as Bender. I’ll cheer for you, too.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, thanks for the compliment, Cheerleader! :)

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  • http://theglobalnewsportal.blogspot.com/ Joseph Marshall

    “And I’ve found much more in Christ than simply being anti-abortion, or Christmas, or the things you mention.”

    Of course there is. But Christians are, frankly, not doing a very good job of explaining it to America and Americans. If you are not Christian, what you commonly read about Christians and, particularly conservative Christians, is exactly what I’ve described. It is not very flattering, but all those things are real, they are the usual things Christians “go public” about, and they are what set the tone of the secular response to Christians.

    This is not about “being kind” or accepting me personally. It is about exactly what is meant by the words “Christian apologetics”–not just an explanation of Christian beliefs, but an active presentation, comparison with other beliefs, and defense of them as better beliefs.

    The most popular and widely known Catholic apologist, [even among non-Christians] G.K. Chesterton started writing in 1902 and died in 1937. The most popular and widely known Anglican apologist, [even among non-Christians] C.S. Lewis, converted in 1931 and died in 1963.

    As far as I know, other Protestants in America have no apologists of such stature. And I would be astonished if anybody here would recognize very many names associated the discipline today.

    Both these men were British, and 1963 is a long time ago. What distinguishes them is the great degree to which they took non-Christian beliefs seriously.

    The Anchoress apparently believes that the growing secularity of American life is a coordinated movement that is deliberately anti-theistic and anti-Christian in the same way that Christopher Hitchens is anti-theistic and anti-Christian. I think many if not most conservative Christians believe this, too.

    This belief of a coordinated “culture of death” to use the Anchoress’ terms, is simply not the case. Americans who are secular are largely secular by default and not by choice. And the growth of indifference to any religion or religious questions is an uncoordinated drift of attitudes in an intellectual vacuum and not a “movement”.

    Probably the most telling thing you can say about the situation is that I don’t really have to explain who Christopher Hitchens is, and that he is also British.

    The second most telling thing is that most ordinary “secular-by-default” Americans would likely be completely bewildered by contents of this blog post and comment thread.


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