Monday, February 19, 2007

Anglicans to Rejoin Roman Catholic Church?

I admit - I know far too little about the topic to comment intelligently. However, the idea of a reunion of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches is fascinating. With the mainline protestant churches suffering from declining participation and interest, and riven by conflict over gay rights and abortion - as well as female priests to some degree - the reunion of conservative protestants with the Roman Catholic Church seems to make sense.

I wonder what effect this would produce among Episcopalians, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and other protestant churches. In some cases, these internal conflicts are so great that dissolution or merger with the growing evangelical movement may be the only other choice, ultimately. It will be interesting indeed to follow this:

SENIOR Anglican and Catholic bishops will reportedly make a radical statement this year proposing reunifying their churches under the leadership of the Pope.

The proposals are revealed in a 42-page statement drawn up by an international commission of both churches which is co-chaired by the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, the Most Rev John Bathersby, The Times reported.

It urges Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore how their churches, split since the 16th century, could reunite under the "ministry of the Bishop of Rome", a reference to the Pope.

The report by the Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission, obtained by The Times, states: "The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome as universal primate is in accordance with Christ's will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth."

According to the report in The Times, it goes on to say: "We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist our Communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion."

The proposals are likely to be met with stiff resistance by lay members of both churches, with Anglicans unlikely to wish to return under Rome's banner and many Catholics unlikely to accept the reintegration, given some of the key differences between the faiths.

The report also urges Anglicans to start praying for the Pope, and Catholics are asked to publicly pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Times said.

1 comment:

John Salmon said...

Wonderful news, if it happens.

The resistance will come among Anglicans, many of whom are evangelicals, or liberals, and have no sympathy for Catholic theology.