That was a bit of a joke, there, in the title. For church nerds.
The Roman Catholic church has made an overture and invitation to ‘conservative’ Anglicans (read: the more ‘orthodox’ Anglo-Catholics) to join the Roman Catholic church. Those people who have serious concerns about the Anglican Church’s position to ordain women as priests and bishops, to ordain homosexuals as priests and bishops, and to accept (and in some cases, to bless) “same-sex unions”.
The Anglican Church’s official position on this is that the Anglican Church “approves” of the move. Individual Anglicans have always been “allowed” to convert to Roman Catholicism…but this is a welcoming of all kinds of stuff, except homosexuals, homosexual unions, and the ordination as priests and bishops of women. What I find interesting is that the RC Church is agreeing to ordain Anglican priests as RC priests, even if they’re married. I find *that* interesting. Very interesting.
The Eastern Rite churches still in full communion with Rome have married priests…priestly celibacy is an ongoing discussion in the RC church (spurred on, I suspect, by the fact that fewer and fewer people want to be priests if it means they must be celibate and/or cannot get married). I guess I’m a little peevish because the RC church is offering to “ordain Anglican ministers”. That pisses me off, actually. The Anglican church has Apostolic Succession, which means that Anglican priests and bishops are ordained by bishops and archbishops who have been ordained by a succession of bishops who can trace their apostolic lineage right back to the original apostles. So first of all, according to ME, there is no NEED to do so.
Of course, the RC church doesn’t recognise the Anglican church as being in any sort of communion, since the splitting of the factions, first in the eleventh century, then in the seventeenth century when Old Hank got pissy with the Pope in Rome. Sure, Anglicans don’t believe that the Archbishop of Canterbury (the canonical leader of the Anglican church) has a red phone line to God, but there are differences that run a lot deeper.
I think it’s wonderful that the Roman Catholic church is making this overture, for those people who feel their very souls are in danger because of the Anglican Church’s willingness (and eagerness, in some cases) to ordain women as priests and bishops, and to ordain gay folk as priests and bishops, and, in some cases, to bless “same-sex unions”.
Ultimately, who benefits from this invitation? Well, the Roman Catholic church gets more priests. Disaffected Anglicans who demand less tolerance and more divisiveness, I guess.
Look, I have no problem with Anglicans wanting to move over to a more conservative form of worship. I’m firmly ensconced in the “High Church” on the more ‘orthodox’ side of the Anglican couch myself. What bothers me about this move is that it seems like the nasty old uncle with pockets full of pre-licked hard candies covered in cat hair and bits of fluff opening up the door to his musty old bachelor suite for his much younger nieces and nephews. Not in a kind of cool way like in The Magician’s Nephew, either. This old codger gets his nieces and nephews in the house, tells them to sit nicely on the ancient settee, and then proceeds to get the nephews to fix up all the baseboards and wiring that’s gone wonky, while the nieces prepare to remain in a perpetual state either of virginity or of pregnancy. There’s a certain patronising patting of the head done on the part of the old Uncle that really picks my panties.
Regardless of what you think of religion in general, or of Christianity in general, this is an interesting move, politically speaking.