Thursday, October 22, 2009

Has Rowan Williams made mistakes?

I'm not - as said in an earlier post - sure what will become of the opening of Rome to Anglicans. I think for some fully formed Anglican entities they will very speedily be absorbed as they may already wish to be.

For the rest of us we may see realities stretch and evolve over decades of slow accretion to Rome, parish by parish as negotiations over assets proceed and the pathway gets 'opened up' as it were.

Which leads to two sets of interventions Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, may come to regret.

Number one is his expression of support for dissenting dioceses and parishes within the US Episcopal Church to a) secede and b) take their property with them. This is already being used to put pressure on for the churches moving to Rome to take their assets with them. The boot is now well and truly on the other foot and we can fully enter into TEC's pain.

Number two is Rowan Williams' articulation of a Catholic decision making. The idea that a Province should indefinitely not move forward or even articulate their views (of course the two are in reality interlinked - if TEC espouses a pro LGBT position it cannot indefinitely fail to move on such convictions as this would be unjust, ludicrous and illogical).

Of course Roman Catholics already act under this and it their ecclesiastical modus operandi - never move until we all move. Rowan Williams has articulated Roman Catholicism (so far as I can see) and articulated that the Anglican Communion mimic it in so far as it is able. And many Anglicans may be so convinced by this articulation of Catholic Universalism that they go the whole hog and move over to Rome - did the Reformers wait till their Reform was adopted by the entire Western Church? Self evidently not, no matter how good their ideas may have been they were not endorsed by the Church Catholic, either of the time or since.

From what I can see the Church of England is becoming progressively narrower in its internal life and I can see that a narrow church will lead increasing numbers to see little disadvantage to joining with Rome. For England, a progressive ecclesiastical reality appears to have been taken away from us whatever option we take.

No comments:

Post a Comment