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As a Catholic, the Church of England’s troubles sadden me

And we should not think we are immune from such problems

By on Monday, 26 November 2012

Vote on female bishops

Whatever a Catholic’s views on the matter, it has been a sad spectacle watching the Church of England falling into increasing disunity, this time over the question of women bishops. Once you allow the principle of female ordination, you can’t, as someone remarked, then try to impose a stained-glass ceiling. I feel sorry for those women priests who, with sincerity, see the problem as one of continued inequality with men; I feel sorry for those who voted against women bishops on the grounds that this development is unscriptural; I also feel sorry for those who voted against the motion because they believe provision for conscientious objectors is not good enough; and I feel sorry for Justin Welby, future Archbishop of Canterbury, who is soon to enter this minefield. It is all a mess and does not serve the vigorous Christian witness that this country desperately needs.

Yet there is still – from a Catholic perspective – good news. I attended the Towards Advent festivities at Westminster Cathedral Hall on Saturday and stopped at the Ordinariate stall. A young priest there, who told me he was once an Anglican curate, gave me some literature on the Ordinariate and we both agreed that the best thing to do is to pray for Anglicans, distressed by this latest Synod vote, to “come home”. The Gospel for yesterday, the Feast of Christ the King, John 18, 33-37, quotes Jesus’ answer to Pilate: “I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” Thus I pray that those Anglicans who are seeking the truth and who are currently at a loss within their own Communion find it within the Catholic Church.

In Memorare, the newsletter of the Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which I was handed at the stall, there is a reflection by Fr Christopher Colvin, Rector of St James’, Spanish Place. He writes that “When the General Synod of the Church of England agreed to the proposal to ordain women to its priesthood [in 1992], the decision was for many of us a watershed.” At that time Fr Colvin was part of a small group which met with the Catholic hierarchy to try to find a way forward to move into full communion. He writes that “it was fortuitous that the Catechism of the Catholic Church was published at this time”; it was to form the basis of discussions that took place over a period of two years. Finally he, along with 36 others, was received into full communion just after Easter 1996. “What was unusual about our reception was that we made the attempt to stay together as Catholics…while maintaining as close relations as possible with those who had chosen to remain Anglican”, he says.

Fr Colvin likes to think that Pope Benedict’s initiative in creating the Ordinariate for groups of Anglicans coming into full communion within the Church “is building on what we tried to do… in the 1990s.” Thank God this is in place for others who might decide that now is the time for them to join with their fellows. The newsletter reminds us, in a message from the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton, that they need funds to continue their special apostolate within the Church: “”We have received much good will and a warm welcome from our fellow Catholics, but now we need significant financial help to ensure we are able to grow and flourish.” I shall put my money where my pen is and make a regular donation.

With these reflections in mind, we in the Church still need to be vigilant. A fellow parishioner and friend, who recently attended a meeting organised by members of the National Board of Catholic Women and our bishop, Peter Doyle of Northampton, tells me that at the end of the day (the Bishop had left by this stage) people were asked to put up their hands if they thought “the Catholic Church would one day ordain women priests.” Apparently many hands immediately shot up.

  • Joseph Golightly

    Is the Holy Spirit or the devil at work?

  • gabriel_syme

     it has been a sad spectacle watching the Church of England falling into increasing disunity

    Speak for yourself, I find it a laugh-a-minute.

    Pass the popcorn!

  • candylin

    i agree the rubicon was crossed when the ordination of women was done in the nienties,however i feel very sorry for those who now find themselves in isolation in their church and hear nothing but the defending of rights to pursue  what is a sacrement not a right and this is the truth.

  • Katie

    One can take a Schadenfreude-ish approach to this sorry mess but our smiles will not last for long. We all know that a ‘national religion’ or a national church can only be, in the last instance, an arm of the state, and thus to some extent pagan. But listening to the Commons question with the 2nd Commissioner gave me a heavy heart. They (the atheists, the ultra feminists who want power and authority in the Church, not service, and the Vicars of Bray) will sooner or later come for the Catholic Church in England. Didn’t Yvette (plausibly a future Prime Minister) say on Question Time that she backed ‘freedom of worship’ (with the clear inference that all the outreach stuff like schools, charities etc should be supervised by the state)? Next step: how can Catholics be allowed to run schools using public money, or teach their own children when (if?) they teach what is contrary to majority opinion and human rights law in the country? Of course there should be equality for women in secular life, but Christianity is not a state religion in the sense that its ecclesiology and doctrines have ever been arrived at democratically.

  • Deodatus

    A thoughtful and sensitive article.  As a former Anglican, who years ago realised he must seek full communion in the Catholic Church, I feel deep sorrow for the Church of England which, once it lost its communion with the Catholic Church and became a pawn of secular politics, became a sect at war with itself as it sought a coherent identity.  Long before the ordination of women, I was worried by liturgical and theological confusions encouraged by an increasingly populist ‘you can do what you like’ – believe what you like’ spirit.  But I do remain thankful for the treasures of Anglo-Catholicism which were part my early formation, treasures which alas have increasingly struggled in vain to keep their worth within the cacophony of strident conflict and the desiccation of isolation ….. and I pray God’s help and light for this sorry orphan and those who still seek succour under her wings.

  • Deodatus

    A good point. Sacramental Grace has nothing to do with mortally perceived ‘rights’.  

  • josephmatte

    As an ex-Anglican, I really struggle to understand why those with a Catholic notion of priesthood choose to remain Anglican. And yes, I agree we Catholics cannot afford to be complacent.

  • Josephmatte

    As an ex-Anglican, I struggle to understand why those with a Catholic notion of priesthood remain Anglican

  • Josephmatte

    As an ex Anglican, I struggle to understand why those with a Catholic understanding of priesthood choose to remain Anglican.

  • frater sejunctus

    But the C of E has been deeply divided, and about major articles of faith and matters of practice, since at least the end of the 16th century.

  • Lazylyn

    “… the Commons question…..gave me a heavy heart.” Agree. I was dismayed also by the quality of the Synod debate before the vote. I followed it live  for a while waiting for a speaker to give some theological argument ( for or against ! ) But none came. It was  all about power and equality , however ‘nice’ people tried to be. 

  • Charles Martel

    Yes, pass the popcorn (for the Americans; personally I find it like less tempting than eating polystyrene). But seriously, who really cares what the Anglicans are doing? This is the sect that stole our churches, monasteries and lands! And if this influences loonies within the Catholic Church, then so be it! English Catholics are willing and ready to give their blood for the Faith, as their forefathers did. Bring it on.

  • NewMeena

    Surely that is mainly because the C of E is a tolerant Church and does not presume, like the Roman Catholic Church, to know all the answers, which are sometimes given by God Himself, through the person of the Pope (so Catholics believe).

  • teigitur

    For once you are not totally incorrect. They lack a single unifying figure , like The Bishop of Rome.Their “tolerance”, which is just disunity, liberalism, and deference to moderism,is proving their downfall. The more liberal the section of Anglicanism(i.e. USA) the quicker the meltdown.

  • Cradleanglican

    What a display of intolerance and lack of Christian charity is being displayed in these columns and elsewhere in the Catholic Church in England and Wales

  • MCarroll


    What you state is theologically incorrect and I am not just saying this in the Catholic sense. There are solid evangelical and Pentecostal groups that would disagree with you.

    Firstly, Gods ways are not mans ways, and secondly when Jesus said that we have to love one another he was also talking about tough love. Therefore when someone is in error it is a loving action to tell them that they are wrong. In this specific case the most loving way to treat someone is by telling them what they need to hear to gain their salvation.

    You talk about tolerance, and tolerance is importance. However, followers of Christ never elevate political correctness above Church teaching which is based on scripture and the divine guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    It is interesting that you believe that the fullness of Church teaching is not in the Catholic Church which was created by Christ. You obviously believe that the fullness of church teaching is in the 40,000 denominations that were created by man since the reformation.

    Just out of interest which of these denominations do you believe the fullness of church teaching lies?

  • Popadopulous

    Until the CofE has a unified agreement in a common doctrine concerning faith instead of embracing a secular/political agenda, the likes of the fiasco that occurred last week will continue to plague its synods for the foreseeable future. There were those of us who left the CofE when the CofE left us 20 years ago. The liberalism that is endemic in the national church has brought about the travesty of creating priestesses; hypocritical priests who recite the creeds in public but privately don’t believe in them and many other clerics who regard the Eucharist as a form of elevenses.    

  • andHarry

     ‘ Bring it on.’

    The hammer loves the anvil. As a pentecostal I often pray ‘Lord, do not put me to the test, but deliver me from evil’.

  • rjt1

    I don’t believe that is typical but you do find some – how shall I say it – eccentrics in comboxes.

  • John Ross Martyn

    I am puzzled by the article, and many of the comments. A refusal to ordain women has at least two drawbacks. First, it promotes suspicions of misogyny. Secondly, it halves the number of people from whom priests can be recruited. Because of this, one would expect Roman Catholics to regret that women cannot be ordained, be apologetic that it is not possible, and envy Anglicans. They seem, however, to be pleased and proud that women cannot be ordained.

  • Parasum

    “As a Catholic, the Church of England’s troubles sadden meAnd we should not think we are immune from such problems.”

    ## Nice to find some who thinks like that. It makes a change from the usual cultish myopia that takes pleasure in the woes of other Christians. Martin Niemoller was another  who was more Christian than that.

    If the Synod vote had gone the other way, and those disappointed by the result had so much as expressed their regret – not done as the losers are doing now – they would have been told (a) to shut up (b) stop being misogynistic dinosaurs (c) get lost (d) leave (e) stop being so childish (f) that the rest of the country won’t tolerate their nonsense much longer (g) that the vote went against them, so they just have to accept it.

    But now that the shoe is on the other foot, all Hell is breaking loose. The C of E’s days as the Church of the nation made sense in 1829 – more or less – but with a Parliament made up of all sorts, peopled by many MPs who are not Christian (let alone Anglican) in even the most attenuated sense, it is at the mercy of those who care nothing for it, have not the foggiest understanding of any notion of Christianity, don’t see why they should bother with it, or would very happily see it extinguished.

    If it is to survive as anything better than a branch of society that gives sanction to whatever it is told it must want and approve, this cannot go on. It cannot continue to approve Royal adulterers & fornicators & perjurers who betray their spouses by breaking their solemn promises to them by committing adultery & breaking up the marriages of others than marrying their whores. The C of E had a teaching moment it could have exploited very effectively when the Prince of Wales & his bit on the side wanted to  be spliced. These people were allowed to commit sacrilege; & he is he is not even a Christian, but a multireligionist. The rot of today goes back to the C of E’s cowardice and human respect & fear of man rather than of God then. It has made its bed, and it is going to have to sleep in it. No wonder it is faithless – it saw nothing wrong in having atheists like Don Cupitt or deniers of the Resurrection or of the Deity of Christ like Maurice Wiles among its ordained clergy.

  • Parasum

     There shouldn’t be equality. Equality is an idol. What there should be, most definitely, is equity. They are entirely different things. Fulton Sheen makes this point in (IIRC) “The World’s First Love”.

    Unfortunately, people don’t think; they prefer slogans, because they are lazy. That does not make errors  (such as this confusion) true. People in this country distrust intelligence, and fail to exercise it themselves. The result, as anyone with any sense could have foreseen,is social chaos.

    What impresses me is the sheer Godlessness of the argument for the motion: God & Christ & the Holy Spirit are conspicuous by their absence from the case in favour of ordaining women as bishops. And the C of is supposed to be a Church ! Churches are supposed to be very keen on God – so why is a God a non-person in something that is supposed to depend wholly on His Will ? That He is, in itself is a very strong objection to the idea. If God has to be left out of a cause for it to be defended or proposed, that is a sign that it is a bad cause. A good cause has nothing to fear. To quote the Cure of Ars: “Do nothing that you cannot offer to God”. There is nothing at all to which that cannot be applied.

    The C of E desperately needs to tell the State to back off, & let it deal with matters of its constitution & governance in ways that are compatible with its faith (assuming it has any). If non-Anglicans don’t like Anglican doctrine – too bad.

    There is also the little detail that by ordaining women to the episcopate it would be saying it is a sect, & not part of the Church Catholic alongside Rome & Orthodoxy: it would be denying an article basic to its own self-understanding. But apparently all that, with all that it implies for Anglican belief in the Church, is to be sacrificed to these harpies (of both sexes or none).

  • gabriel_syme

    lack of Christian charity……in the Catholic Church in England and Wales

    You can add Scotland to your list! 

    Hoots Mon!

  • Parasum

     That’s pretty typical

  • scary goat

     John, we are pleased and proud to be following what Jesus taught and His example.  Fads and trends come and go, today’s current thinking will be tomorrow’s out-dated thinking.  Some things are just the way they are and we don’t want to change them.  I am a woman and I don’t want to be a man.  I consider myself equal (in my humanity) but I have a different role in life than men.  God created men and women.  Why bother doing that if we are all the same?  I’m sure God could have managed asexual beings if that was what He wanted.  Why are we not satisfied with our differences? Equality is not the same thing as sameness.

  • Parasum

     That however is in in the past – and we have to reckon with the present since we live in it, and can do something to affect it. “A house divided against itself cannot stand” – divisions between Christians merely help those who don’t want any kind of Christianity at all. Without these other Churches, *however* dismal they may be, each of the others would likely be weaker & less effective. Anglicanism is weakened by Catholic feebleness too – the state of each of the various Churches in this country affects the rest, for good or for evil.

    Living in the past, about which the living can do anything, however much they might regret and deplore what has been done, is pointless. All we can do, is decide how we live with the (very remote) consequences of acts centuries in the past. People can live resenting past evils & poisoning themselves; or they can leave such things to the mercy of God. Same applies to all the bad blood between Catholics & Anglicans or other Protestants. We can let the past go – or be trapped by it. Pretty well all parties have a lot to complain about – if Anglicans were so disposed (most of them not) they would have no difficulty finding a lot of Catholic evil-doing  to dredge up & accuse us of. In no time at all, apologists on both sides would be deep in an atrocity-swapping competition, rubbing salt into each other’s wounds in an effort to justify themselves. Which is not quite the behaviour Jesus encouraged. If we can’t leave the dead to God to worry about, how we can forgive the living (which is what we are told – not advised, told, as in commanded – to do) ? One day we may need the mercy we may feel tempted to deny to others – but the measure we give is the measure we will receive. Easy to say – but that is what the gospels say.

    “English Catholics are willing and ready to give their blood for the Faith, as their forefathers did.”

    ## But if they called to something else by God, that is what they have to do. Martyrdom would almost be easy – most Christians are called to something much harder: living as Christians each day. If we can’t live as Christians, what sort of martyrs would any of us be ? Given that a lot of Christians suffer greatly, this tendency of some people to try snatching at the martyr’s crown is in deplorable taste: & it speaks volumes :(

  • chiaramonti

    God is not a democracy. Neither is His kingdom of this world. Those who seek to pressurise the Church of England in to pursuing “equality” policies from a secular standpoint should remember what happened following the Gorham judgment in March 1850 when the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council reversed the decision of the Court of Arches and declared that it, a secular tribunal, had the final say on how doctrine should be interpreted. It led to, amongst others, Henry Edward Manning becoming a Catholic, declaring that the Church of England could no longer be considered as a guardian of the Apostolic tradition if a secular tribunal could detrmine the parameters of doctrine. In any event, looking at the worldwide Church, the advocates of female ordination are probably in a minority. So we can say, with Thomas More,’ that for every bishop of yours I have above one thousand who think on this subject as I do.’  Any Church that bows down to political pressure from the likes of Mrs. Balls should consider itself, for the future, a mere sect.

  • Parasum

    “Firstly, Gods ways are not mans ways, and secondly when Jesus said that
    we have to love one another he was also talking about tough love.
    Therefore when someone is in error it is a loving action to tell them
    that they are wrong. In this specific case the most loving way to treat
    someone is by telling them what they need to hear to gain their

    ## Talk of “tough love” seems never to be anything but a mask for behaving in a tough, and loveless, way. What Jesus meant, by love, He showed by being rejected & crucified – & He never said one word about “tough love”.

    “Firstly, Gods ways are not mans ways…”

    ## This is true, but cannot be taken from its context in Isaiah 55 without being made to mean what it does not mean. It is worth saying in context, but taken in itself out of its context it is dangerously ambigously. As applied to love,it could mean either

    1. God’s love is not in any way recognisable when compared with human love. It might be like a drop of cyanide compared with a Gruyere cheese: two things that have nothing in common. On this hypothesis, the way is opened to the  the idea that what in man would be called hate & evil, is what God means by love. If “[God's] ways are not [our] ways”, then what we would call fiendish cruelty might be what God calls love. On this hypothesis, Jesus could be sent by God to preach falsehoods in order to damn the entire human race. We call God good, but though we don’t realise it, God is what most people would think of as evil – God might even be God the Devil, as Nietzsche is said to have suggested. That is one possibility in those words.

    2. Alternatively, human love is not wholly unlike Divine Love. The difference is that between a child’s squiggly drawing of a circle that is clearly intended for a circle, and a circle in a book on geometry, which is unmistakably circular. The likeness is blurred, incomplete, defective in many ways, but not wholly unlike God’s Love; which is like all created loves, because it is their Unique Source & Living Pattern. It is fuller, greater, deeper, wider, more real, truer, far better in every way than they are – but however faint or inadequate or spoiled their likeness to it, the likeness,so far as it goes, is real & truthful & no deception.

    STM the second hypothesis is far worthier of both God & His creatures than the first, which is love in name, and not in reality. Such a god is the devil, plain & simple, & is wholly unworthy of respect. If God is not good in a way that is in some way recognisable to men, then, He is unknown & (so far) unknowable, which means Christianity has no business being called a revealed religion, & its claims are a waste of men’s time.

  • savvy


    I find it strange that an internal sacramental issue is being politicized and being argued in secular terms. Even stranger is non-Christians telling us what we should do. Ever more stranger is people talking about issues they do not understand.

  • Benedict Carter

    I feel no sorrow whatever “as a Catholic” for the (inevitable) demise of the Church of England. I don’t particularly feel any glee either; just a vast indifference at the heresies contained in that body playing themselves out in history. 

    The Martyrs of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and the contempt and other persecutions (politically, socially) which are not yet finished, that Catholics have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of this body, are avenged with the descent of this protestant, State body into total chaos and irrelevance. 

    May its demise bring its members to a new understanding. The Catholic Church, a forgiving Mother, waits them.

  • Benedict Carter

    It is based formally and officially on a rejection of the True Faith. Therefore any ]
    It is founded, as are all protestant bodies, formally and officially, on a rejection of the True Faith, and therefore its demise was assured from day one. Its survival this long is solely due to its formal ties to the State and to its control by Masonry (to be a Mason has been a sine qua non of being appointed to an Anglican bishopric for many, many decades). 

    Its modern descent into neo-paganism (viz. your final paragraph) makes it frankly an anti-Christian body. not simply anti-Catholic. 

  • nytor

    “we in the Church still need to be vigilant…people were asked to put up their hands if they thought “the Catholic Church would one day ordain women priests.” Apparently many hands immediately shot up.”

    I despair of these enemies within. Are these people just very poorly catechised? The Church’s teaching on the impossibility of the ordination of women is definitive and must be assented to by anyone claiming to be a Catholic as it forms part of the deposit of faith. If people who claim to be Catholic believe otherwise they must be taught the truth. They must abjure their erroneous beliefs. What is wrong with them? Where do they get these ideas? I think in that Anglicanism has a lot to answer for, for it has shown these dissenters a model to which they now aspire.

  • nytor

    There is nothing to regret. We adhere to the definitive Church teaching the subject. To “regret” it would be to suggest, even implicitly, that it should be changed. No, I do not regret it!

  • nytor

    “There were those of us who left the CofE when the CofE left us 20 years ago”

    I was one of them, and maybe there will be more now, so perhaps this whole issue will produce a good result in that sense.

    You must remember – many English Catholics have at one point or another been Anglicans. I do not look at Anglicanism just as a Catholic, but as a former Anglican who sees it sinking more and more into heresy. Can I bring myself to have sympathy for it? No. These liberals were determined to stamp out the opposing viewpoint 20 years ago and they are even more determined now.

  • Benedict Carter

    No, Nytor, they are “New Catholics”, which means the same as “New Soviet Man”, who had been engineered to have no soul within him. The New Catholic is the same, and the engineering has been done by the same people. 

  • nytor

    No, it’s because it is an organ of state and so in order to carry everyone with it it failed to strongly believe in anything.

  • Benedict Carter

    We cannot ever regret Christ’s Will. To do so is to give up being a Christian.

  • nytor

    “will sooner or later come for the Catholic Church in England”

    They’re already coming. Look at the adoption agencies. They may one day even try to insist on the (necessarily impossible and invalid) ordination of women. Let them try. We must be prepared to resist them with all that we have.

  • nytor

    You’re right, there was no theological discussion whatsoever.

  • Tyrone Beiron

    The recent Anglican synod seemed more like a democratic exercise in currency of policy and interest than an extension of the bishops’ discernment of the Holy Spirit’s work. The drawing of lots by the Apostles in choosing the replacement for Judas Iscariot is not the same as the discernment of the early church councils, where populist ideals were not allowed to influence church life and rules without clear signs revealed to the Apostles (e.g. cleanliness of all foods, baptism of the gentiles, etc.). God’s Holy Spirit seemed less at work at these politically charged synods than those under the influence of lobby groups. If the Catholic hierarchy was once criticised for its politicking in temporal affairs in Europe, at least these did not find its way into church doctrine, although some modern revisionists may argue that extreme clericalism may be such an instance. At least we can say that today’s we can witness a Catholic Church that is striving to be ever more true to its mission and faithful to the original mandate of Christ. Oh, and about women’s “right” to be ordained bishops/overseers, everyone who had said “What would Jesus do?” when throwing stones at church rules seem now to have ignored what Jesus had already done. Perhaps in God’s perspective, the Divine mind does not limit gender in terms of “human rights”, but considers each sex to have a specific function and role in spiritual life: women is as much community and tabernacle (as Mary, a prototype of Church is), and men is subordinate (thus “sub-ordained”) to freely curb his freedoms in order to love and serve the community/tabernacle, which is the Body of Christ. It is in this mystical relationship that the order of Melchizedek is founded on and elaborated by Paul and other writers, such as that of the author of Hebrews. Christian ordained episkopos (bishops) are not just priests (who were later ordained by them as helpers or elders), but are in fact the successors of the Apostolic Tradition, a priesthood that is not by lineage but by mystery, and instituted directly by God, not even through Moses (the Levitical priesthood). So, it is hardly about what men or women with a modern mind thinks about gender rights. That is a modern perspective, alien to the Divine mind, which has already endowed women and men with full salvific roles fulfilled in the Gospel of Christ.

  • nytor

    They’re not showing charity to the Anglo-Catholics (from whose ranks many of us were drawn) are they?

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    THE RUST  is falling away in some big christian churches not just in one. Why should we bewail?

  • savvy


    I think Parasum, means that we need to be more charitable in explaining these issues. Do not hope for someone else’s demise, but patiently point out what brought them to the current state of adopting politics for theology, since they are not able to make up their mind on theology.

    The Catholic church despite its faults has strong theological arguments in its favour. A Magisterium to make sure the tyranny of the majority cannot vote away scripture and tradition for the latest fashion.

  • Albert Cooper

    So true ! There are enemys within the Roman Catholic Church who seek “Modernism” to update the chuch to the modern world….seeking excuses in sin…Married Priests…Female Priests…Pro Contraception…Abortion in certain circumstances….The sacrament of Penance obsolete…..Lack of respect to the Blessed Sacrament….Denial of the Traditional Mass….

  • Peter

    “I think in that Anglicanism has a lot to answer for, for it has shown these dissenters a model to which they now aspire.”

    Don’t blame Anglicanism.

    Such dissenters would exist without Anglicanism, as we see in Austria.

    Instead of being the problem, Anglicanism is in fact the solution, because it offers a natural home for those Catholics who wish to see women priests.

    People ought to be allowed to follow their conscience, and we cannot judge otherwise, and so we encourage all dissenters to put words into action and join the Church of England.

  • Peter

    Contrary to what many believe, the CoE is not in meltdown.  Its rejection of women bishops shows its vibrant diversity, and so long as Britain has a monarchy it will never be disestablished.

    The CoE is here to stay as a permanent feature of Britain, and will continue to adapt its version of Christianity to the changes in British society so as to remain relevant and up to date.  Sooner or later women bishops will be approved and then, who knows, a female Archbishop of Cantebury.  

    This is all well and good but it is nothing to do with Roman Catholicism, except for the consolation of knowing that those Roman Catholics who dissent from Church teaching have in the CoE a natural home to go to.  They should be encouraged with great force to do so.


  • Alan

    Like all “traditionalists” of your type, you pick and choose which Church teachings to regard as authoritative.  Ecumenism has been an obligation on us for half-a-century, but you choose to ignore that.  I respect your right to do so, but please don’t lecture others when they question teachings which you regard as authoritative.

  • Yorkshire Catholic

    I think Anglicanism cannot escape the charge that it has shown you can have a church (of sorts) without having doctrinal cohesion.

    As for the idea that “Anglicanism is in fact the solution, because it offers a natural home for those Catholics who wish to see women priests.”

    That’s not a solution, it’s a receptacle. And your wording is blurry. There might be lots of perfectly orthodox Catholics who, in principle, would like to see women priests but accept the teaching of the church that it is for ever impossible. The ones who exit into Anglicanism (and out of a firm doctrinal milieu) are by definition no longer Catholics, even if one avoids harsher words.

    The root problem is that with no Sunday schools and little doctrinal content in sermons, many regular church-goers know little or nothing about their faith. Sermons in my parish church go on and on about love and being kind and little else.

  • candylin

     yes i agree we must pray for our seperated  brothers and sisters the holy sprirt will do the rest but we must pray .

  • Master Baker

    I care for my Christian brothers and sisters both ordained and lay and regardless of their denomination but I beleive the CofE has reached a point in its existence where it has to question how many ingredients you can change yet keep the the cake the same. When the Cake being baked is of the Soul Saving variety perhaps its best to keep using the recipe that has been handed down for generations! Seriously though, I wish them peace but suggest this reminder in a humble and sincere manner: When they started, it was to accomodate a persons earthly needs and it divided a nation, to continue accomodating earthly needs rather than spiritual ones it seems likely that division will continue.