They’re like the Anglicans.
I can remember when I was an Anglican seminarian and found myself debating women’s ordination with a female theology student.
I said, “But women’s ordination will present a serious obstacle in the path to unity with Catholics.”
“Good God!” she exclaimed, “I don’t want to be a Catholic! What on earth do we want unity with them for?”
Whenever one of these documents from the ecumenicists came back to the Church of England General Synod it was invariably shot down–not by the Catholics, but by the Anglicans. When I was a priest in the Church of England the ARCIC folks came back all warm and fuzzy with a document about Eucharist, Ministry and Church. Oh, there was so much agreement! There were so many “points of convergence.” Then when it went to the CofE General Synod for approval it crashed and burned. Both the liberals who hate the Catholic Church for being so conservative and the Evangelicals who hate the Catholic Church for being Catholic shot it full of holes and it died a quiet and dignified death.
The worst thing about this document is the recommendation that Catholics and Lutherans perhaps should begin receiving communion together. “It suggests that the expansion of opportunities for Catholics and Lutherans to receive Holy Communion together would be a sign of the agreements already reached and the distance traveled.”
When speaking about inter communion I often say being in communion with the Catholic Church is like being married. You either are or you are not. If you are you can make love together if you are not you shouldn’t. To do so is either fornication or adultery.
To extend the analogy, for Lutherans and Catholics to start sharing communion before full unity has been achieved is a bit like saying, “Bob and Sally have had a wonderful vacation together, so they should wind up their fun time by jumping in the sack together.”
In other words, “Let’s celebrate full communion while we do not have full communion.”
Once we cut through all the obfuscation, diplomatic double talk and intellectual mumbo jumbo that’s what it comes down to.
One final note: I can remember as an Anglican reading in the gospel that Christ called for their to be one flock and one shepherd.
I asked myself what I could do to help promote church unity and I realized that there was one, solid, sure and positive thing I, as one Christian, could do to bring about church unity.
I could become a Catholic.
So I did.