Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When compromise trumps apostolic tradition

When compromise trumps apostolic tradition
True since a certain archbishop went off the reservation to give his king an annulment. Fisking George Weigel.
No challenge facing Benedict in Britain, however, will be greater than the challenge of re-framing the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue, which is on the verge of de facto extinction.
The formal talks are worthless; let them die. As Patriarch Jeremias of Constantinople wrote to the Lutherans in Tübingen, let all future correspondence by only for friendship’s sake (like the vicars my age and older who read me and get my cultural references). Beyond that as Charley says ecumenism’s accomplishment has been teaching/clearing up misunderstandings; the Catholic and Protestant sides understand each other well now and are no longer trying to kill each other. But yes, formal talks are a waste of time.
The death of that once-promising dialogue would have been unimaginable 40 years ago.
No. Reunion war’n’t never gonna happen.
Then, in the aftermath of Vatican II, it seemed possible that Canterbury and Rome might be reconciled, with full ecclesiastical communion restored.
Well, the operative word seems seemed. Just like the stupid media and stupid or malicious Modernists were going around to the parishes, convents and schools saying everything could change now, just like Protestants. As Consuelo the maid says on ‘Family Guy’ in her gentle, iron-willed way, ‘No, no, noooooo’.
That great hope began to run aground in the mid-1980s, when the Church of England faced the question of whether it could call women to holy orders (a practice already under way in other member communities of the worldwide Anglican Communion).

John Paul and Willebrands made quite clear to Runcie that the bright hope of ecclesial reconciliation would be severely damaged were the Church of England to engage in a practice that the Catholic Church (and the Orthodox churches) believed was unauthorized by apostolic tradition, and in fact contradicted that tradition.
Yes, that sucker-punched me at the time. ‘You were wrong. We’re Protestants. F*ck you.’ Then I grew up and learnt that what with Erastianism and a fallible church, blaming the girls makes no sense. They’re being consistent (Anglican); I wasn’t (trying to defend something that wasn’t really Anglican).

‘I’m a cricket man and when the umpire says I’m out, I’m out.’
(Another possible character for this blog, reflecting its spirit: the Bishop 60 Years Ago.)
While admirably candid, Dr. Runcie’s attempt to explain why the Church of England believed it could proceed to the ordination of women demonstrated that Anglicanism and Catholicism were living in two distinct universes of discourse, one theological, the other sociological.
A punto, compare. Esattamente. One’s Catholic; the other’s Protestant.
For Runcie advanced no theological arguments as to why apostolic tradition could be understood to authorize the innovation he and many of his Anglican colleagues proposed; rather, he cited the expanding roles of women in society as the crucial issue. Sociological trends, Runcie’s letter implied, trumped apostolic tradition — which was not, of course, something the Catholic Church could accept.
Right. Our approach: ‘I can’t. I’m only the Pope.’ And among the people, for the most part, except in Protestant countries, the matter just doesn’t come up.
The same issue recently re-emerged in the Church of England’s debate over the ordination of women as bishops.
That horse’s run out of the barn. (About 450 years ago actually; only you’re seeing more of the effects now.) Again they’re only being internally consistent.

Flying bishops don’t make sense: you’re still in a Protestant church. And:
Elements of sanctity, intelligence, and beauty have been nurtured in the Anglican Communion for more than four centuries by the work of the Holy Spirit, who distributes gifts freely, and not only within the confines of the Catholic Church. Thus there have been great Anglican theologians and noble Anglican martyrs in the Anglican Communion, which has also given the world a splendid patrimony of liturgical music and a powerful example of the majesty of the English language as a vehicle of worship. None of this has had much, if anything, to with a “tradition of compromise.”
Right. The Tractarians thought they were in the one true church like we do; the notion of begging radical Protestants to tolerate them they would have rightly seen as unmanly nonsense.

The Holy Father will be there for a state visit, to beatify Newman and perhaps unofficially to rally the troops coming into the ordinariate once it starts in a couple of years.

Via Dr Tighe.

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