Thursday, October 22, 2009
Behind the ecumenical smiles, handshakes and documents, Rome never hid its intention of wanting Anglicans back to the fold...their fold!
Pope Benedict in an earth shaking move this week provided a special ecclesiastical structure, the Ordinariate, for disaffected Anglicans to join the Roman Church. Anglicans can now hold on to some of their distinctives and be Roman Catholics. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds as the Pope's plan is implemented.
There are many disconted Anglicans, these days, due in large part to the failure of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and his enablers to discipline the leadership of the American Episcopal Church for having consecrated a practising homosexual! Crossing the Tiber emerged as an option. Rowan William's sympathies, judging by his actions, are clearly on the side of those who are sympathetic to the homosexual cause. Is it any wonder that many Anglican bishops, especially from Africa, did not attend last year's Lambeth Conference as a sign of their disappointment of the Communion's direction?
In the midst of this disarray, the Holy Father saw an opportunity to draw Anglicans, especially from the Anglo Catholic mould. And he seized it! Isnt this sheep stealing? None of the Anglican primates, from regions which will be impacted by this latest move from the Roman Church, seem to think so.
Not one...yes, not one Primate from the Anglican Communion has responded to this challenge by highlighting Roman doctrinal confusion in the light of Biblical truth. And the reason is simple: the worldwide Anglican Communion in NOT disciplining an errant province, TEC, does not possess the substance to reveal the incompatibility of Roman beliefs and Biblical teaching. But here's the irony: the contemporary crisis of the Anglican Church has caused Anglicans in liberal dioceses to seek refuge in orthodox Roman parishes. Some of the Anglican reformers are probably rolling in their graves.
You gotta give Rome an A for audacity. Pope Benedict, saw an opportunity to attract Anglicans to Roman Church. And he made use of this opportunity!
So is this sheep stealing?
Bible believing Anglicans of the more reformed variety with roots in the 39 articles will view this Roman intiative as interference and sheep stealing. Traditional Anglican sacramentalists in liberal Anglican Provinces however will welcome the Ordinariate as an indirect rebuke to their ecclesiastical leaders.