Monday 17 June 2013

Anglican/ Roman Catholic Leaders meeting.

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Rome last week to meet the Pope. This meeting was criticised by a writer in the Catholic Herald in an article which has in one place (at least) been described as sour and ungracious.

As an Anglican priest I find myself in sympathy with the Catholic Herald. Why should the Catholic Church seek to embrace as a partner one so troubled, confused and disruptive; one in which many members do not show much enthusiasm for union.

The Anglican Church, in several countries, has openly endorsed civil partnerships for its bishops, (which many of us think in England was to facilitate the appointment of one particular anxious candidate); is determined to appoint women as bishops, despite knowing it will displease the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and hinder closer ties with those Churches, and Anglican bishops are actively campaigning for those divisive issues.

Successive Popes have warned that such actions would erect insuperable barriers to unity with the Catholic Church, in which case any serious talk about unity is pointless.

We had the shameful quote from one prominent headline catching bishop recently who called anyone who spoke against same sex marriage as comparable to a supporter of apartheid or slavery.In other words you are not supposed to have an opinion if it differs from his. In the same outburst, he suggested tradition should be a factor in arriving at decisions (not on the Bible alone but a mix with tradition) Tradition would certainly not support what some members of the Church of England favour.

Church union should be the earnest desire of all Christians, indeed the hostility between Churches is the greatest obstacle to the spread of the gospel. We cannot hope for any closer bonding if we have such divisive statements made

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