Skip to comments.Upside the Head [Benedict XVI & The Anglican Communion]
Posted on 04/24/2005 2:20:14 PM PDT by sionnsar
Attention Rowan Williams. Does Benedict XVI have to draw you a picture?
The new Pope has established links with a faction of discontented Anglican traditionalists seeking to form their own church affiliated to the Vatican.
Benedict XVI, whose inaugural mass as Bishop of Rome today is expected to be attended by half a million people, has held meetings with representatives of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), according to Archbishop John Hepworth, the groups primate.
The TAC represents more than 400,000 Anglicans around the world who have either left their church or are protesting against its liberal policies. It is estimated that 400-500 Church of England parishes may support the group in the long term.
We are looking at a church which would retain an Anglican liturgy, Anglican spirituality and a married clergy, said Hepworth, a serving Anglican bishop in Adelaide, Australia. We dream of this happening soon. One such community exists in America but so far there are only 14 parishes.
Any hint of a pact between the TAC and Benedict who has maintained his interest in the group over the past 10 years would alarm Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and undermine his efforts to maintain the unity of Anglicanism amid squabbles over whether to ordain female bishops or homosexual priests.
And well it might alarm Dr. Williams, observes William Tighe.
This report is to be taken with the utmost seriousness. I know from serveral persons (on both the Catholic and the Anglican sides) that when these conversations between the Vatican and the TAC began in 1995, they were sidelined by professional ecumenists in Rome because of the damage that they would do to Rome/Canterbury relations. When an attempt was made to restart them, they encountered similar problems. Two cardinals in particular did a great deal to overcome this roadblock, and both of them have indicated their strong support for an Anglican-Rite Catholic Church in communion with Rome. One of these cardinals is now pope and depending on the length of his pontificate, the other cardinal may well be pope after him.
This is an interesting move on Benedict's part. Although the problems of the Anglicans are not a priority with him, nor should they be, the letter written by then-Cardinal Ratzinger to the American Anglican Council's Plano conference in 2003 as well as the fact that Benedict is apparently willing to bypass my gracious lord of Canterbury altogether clearly indicate where the new Pope's sympathies lie. Whether any kind of unity results from all this remains to be seen. But it appears that the bargaining position of western Anglican liberals just took a torpedo amidships.
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