22 October 2009

"Lions and Tigers and Bears and former Anglicans becoming Roman Catholic, oh my!"

Lots of ink, and plenty of digital code, has been spent on the actions by the Vatican to reach out to some former Anglicans and allow them a way to become Roman Catholic.  Is this a big deal, or not?  Is this a major historical moment, or a move of pastoral and ecclesial care for a few (very few, it seems) people without a denominational home?  Is this a way to get a toe in the door in favor of doing away with the celibate Roman priesthood?  Is this a move by the Pope to drive a wedge into the Anglican Communion?  Time will tell.

I tend to agree with Diana Butler Bass, who is not so surprised by the move and who blogged about it at her BeliefNet blog. "Vatican Woos Conservative Anglicans: This is News?"

Here were my  responses to this announcement....[warning!  humor!  warning! attempts at humor! warning!]
~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

My first response, was (warning, lame attempt at humor!):

Apropos of some people thinking the Pope has to invite us to Rome...

(I love Audrey Hepburn!)

My second response was an image I lifted from Wikipedia along with this comment:  Are some of the lines on this image now coming together?  Some thinkers have been writing about "post-denominationalism"...is this move by the Vatican one of the major first moves of that process, or is this event not much at all?  ... hard to know.

Third... response was that I was left a bit confused that the Archbishop of Canterbury seemed surprised and amazingly restrained in his response to the Vatican announcement in the video that I've posted below.  Watch it, and then think what he REALLY wanted to say, he gives some hints, I think.


Anonymous said...

Forgive me, I'm not Catholic or Anglican. Why is it that the Pope "doesn't" need to invite conservative Anglicans to Rome?

Seems to me to make a lot of sense; the Anglican Communion is bleeding members, especially here in the South. It's a smart move by the Catholics to try to grab them up before they can breakaway or join African Episcopal bodies.

Another thought, too: why be Anglican and not Catholic? The divide that created your church was not theological - has that much changed in the intervening years (other than who gets to wear the collar)?

Peter Carey said...

Much of my post was my (quite lame) attempt at humor...(check the warning I noted at the top). [Of course, the "pope does need to invite people into the church"]

As for the Anglican question about its theological roots - there is actually great debate on that point, but many (most) would argue that the Anglican church has roots in Elizabeth's work for compromise (The Elizabethan Compromise), and Hooker and Cranmer and the rest as much as it also (clearly) has roots in Henry VII's desire and narcissism.