THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Before ecumenical relations between Catholics and Anglicans can continue, the Anglican bishops must make a choice. Specifically in question; are they Catholic or Protestant? For nearly five centuries, Anglicans have tried to walk a fine balance in between both worlds, but what Anglicans view as a virtue, the Vatican sees as an impediment to ecumenical relations. Either you're one or the other, but you can't be both. Either your roots are planted in the Apostolic fathers, or else in the Reformation fathers.
If their roots are planted in the Apostolic fathers, then there are some standards of the Apostolic faith Anglicans would be expected to uphold. Especially if eventual reunion between Catholics and Anglicans is ever to occur. Ultimately, it is Anglican dabbling into Protestant ideology that has allowed them to embrace the anti-apostolic notions of female clergy and homosexuality. The deposit of faith left by the apostles clearly prohibits such things, and all churches grounded in this deposit (such as Catholicism & Eastern Orthodoxy) fully understand that. If Anglicanism is to be considered "catholic" in any sense at all, then it must affirm its grounding in this deposit of faith, and thus bring an end to female ordination and their embrace of homosexuality.
If their roots are planted in the Reformation fathers, then it would appear that anything goes, and reunion with Catholicism is totally impossible. The best Anglicans and Catholics could hope for is a general non-binding agreement on some moral and social issues, but nothing of any real significance.
So which shall it be? The Vatican has made it clear that it will begin to adjust it's ecumenical dialog accordingly after this year's upcoming Lambeth conference...
(The Catholic Herald) - The Vatican has said that the time has come for the Anglican Church to choose between Protestantism and the ancient churches of Rome and Orthodoxy.The Catholic Knight has a prediction. At Lambeth, the Anglican bishops will once again, as they do with everything else, try to come up with a politically correct statement that says a whole lot of nothing. They'll try to come up with a statement that appeases the Vatican, and simultaneously allows them to continue to dabble in Protestantism at their discretion. Rome has made it clear though. It will accept nothing but an unequivocal choice. If no clear decision is made at Lambeth, then a clear decision has been made, and it is to pursue Protestantism. At that point, the Vatican will probably regard Anglicanism as a Protestant denomination, and adjust its ecumenical dialog accordingly.
Speaking on the day that the Archbishop of Canterbury met Benedict XVI in Rome, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council of Christian Unity, said it was time for Anglicanism to "clarify its identity".
He told the Catholic Herald: "Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?
"Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox - or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions."
He said he hoped that the Lambeth conference, an event which brings the worldwide Anglican Communion together every 10 years, would be the deciding moment for Anglicanism....
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The Anglican bishops can pussyfoot around at Lambeth all they want this year, but Rome will not play that game. Anglo-Catholics should take note. According to Rome, this year is the moment of truth. Anglo-Catholics may want to take a hard look at the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision (AUPP) in the Catholic Church, or at least the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), should events in Lambeth not go well this year.