5-6-2008: (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.
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 CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Behold the price of liberalism and the portrait of a failure - Rowan Williams - the Archbishop of Canterbury. Though my criticism may seem a little harsh, it is warranted, and I think a good number of our Anglican separated brethren would have a hard time arguing with that.
6-30-2008: (London Telegraph) - The Archbishop of Canterbury has been sidelined by a new orthodox movement which claims to represent almost half of the world's 80 million Anglicans.
Leaders of the organisation, that styles itself as a fellowship of confessing Anglicans, said Dr Rowan Williams would just be "recognised for his historic role" as the head of the worldwide Communion.
They added that in the "post-colonial reality" of a Church dominated by traditionalists in developing countries rather than England, he would no longer be the sole leader.
Organisers of the movement, which was formally announced at the end of the Gafcon summit in Jerusalem, also failed to mention the Archbishop of Canterbury in their declaration of the 14 central tenets....
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The good Archbishop can redeem himself though. Not all hope is lost. But to do so would require him to take up action that so far has been out of character for him.
Like it or not, this particular archbishop finds himself at the focal point of English Christian history. The crossroads of England's Protestant past, and her Catholic future, intersect right beneath his feet. He alone will choose the fate of English Christianity. One way or another, Great Britain will be Catholic again. The only question that remains now is, will the Church of England play a role in that, or will she silently fade into the scrapheap of failed ideas and forgotten history? One way or another Anglicanism will once again find it's home within the universal Catholic Church centered in Rome. The only question is, will the Archbishop of Canterbury play a role in that, or will he simply be replaced by a group of conservative primates who are more willing to do his job for him?
The pieces are already in place for the creation of an Anglican Rite within the Roman Catholic Church. A successful test-run has already been in play for 25 years in the form of the 'Anglican-Use Pastoral Provision.' Some 400,000 members of the 'Traditional Anglican Communion' (T.A.C.) have already petitioned Rome for entry into the Catholic Church. Rome is ready. Anglo-Catholics are ready. The only person who isn't ready is Rowan Williams, the presiding Archbishop of Canterbury.
To be fair, we can't place all the blame on his shoulders. The crisis the Anglican Communion finds itself in today is the product of 30 years of Liberalism run amok. It wasn't just this Archbishop who was responsible, nor the Archbishop before him, but rather what we have is a collective blame on the Anglican bishops of the western world as a whole, along with those who served as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Liberal relativism doesn't work. It's failed everywhere it has been tried, and the Anglican church's failure is in conforming to secular trends, instead of challenging them. Had Anglicanism retained it's form and structure from the 1950s and early 60s, it would already be reunited with Rome by now. That didn't happen. Anglicans sought to push the envelope, so to speak, challenging time honored Christian traditions, to see how much of the secular world they could push into the Christian church. It began subtly with the acceptance of artificial birth control in the early part of the 20th century. Then in the 1960s and 70s, more radical changes entered the Anglican Communion. Women were ordained priests. The Book of Common Prayer was altered to accommodate liberal innovations. All of this later gave rise to the acceptance of homosexuality. Openly gay men were ordained priests as well. Then as women ascended to the episcopacy in North America, it wasn't long before a homosexual man was consecrated a bishop as well. This was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and as if that was not enough, insult was added to injury with the acceptance of "gay marriage" within North American Anglicanism.
The most egregious of these innovations (gay-marriage and homosexual ordination) happened under Rowan William's watch, and so now the poor fellow finds himself the man the whole Catholic and Orthodox world will be watching for the next 36 days. (Lucky him!) He finds himself in this undesirable position mainly because of his own lack of action, which adds to the litany of problems leading up to this historic Lambeth Conference in July. You see, the Archbishop of Canterbury has basically one power, outside of his own diocese, which makes him the "head" of the worldwide Anglican Communion. That power is simply the right to determine which national churches are in communion with him, and which are not. To exercise this power, all he would theoretically have to do is publicly dissociate himself from a particular national Anglican church, or even a diocese within that national Anglican church. What makes Rowan Williams negligence so damning is the fact that he already had the legal justification to do what needed to be done to stop this crisis from occurring. The 1998 Lambeth Conference, the last one to be held, came out with an official position on homosexuality. It stated that homosexuality is not in accord with God's will, and that while the Anglican Communion offers sympathy to those who suffer from homosexual inclination (or temptation), it cannot condone the activity. That was all Archbishop Williams needed. When the Episcopal Church USA decided to consecrate an openly gay bishop, Archbishop Williams should have acted quickly. He should have publicly dissociated himself from the Episcopal Church USA, citing the 1998 Lambeth Conference as his reason, until it repented of this action and removed the openly gay bishop from office. That did not happen. Instead, Archbishop Williams called for calm and patience. Five years past, with continual pleas for intervention from the majority of the Anglican world. The Archbishop of Canterbury offered virtually no action. In the face of such overwhelming negligence, it is no wonder why the Anglican primates of the third-world decided to take matters into their own hands at the GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem last week.
Archbishop Williams has just one last chance to save his reputation in history, and heal the internal schism already torn into the fabric of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He must be bold. He must be brave. He must act like a friend of his, who happens to occupy the Apostolic See of Rome, and intervene as a true leader, not as a mere negotiator. He must be brazenly uncharacteristic of the Rowan Williams we have all come to know. These extraordinary circumstances, which he helped create, must stir him to become an extraordinary leader, or else he's finished. Not just him; but every Archbishop of Canterbury that succeeds him will be effectively neutered of any real Anglican authority.
How can he do it? The answer is simple. He must submit, then take over. By that I mean, he must submit to the will of the third-world bishops at GAFCON, and join them in their cause. He must champion their message, then publicly declare his own dissociation from the Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada, effectively putting them outside the Anglican Communion. Then once he has the majority of the Anglican Communion cheering him on, he must take the reins of power and announce a new direction for the Anglican Communion. It must be a direction of bringing the authentic gospel back to the western world, and restoring long shattered ties with the Apostolic See of Rome. If he does that at Lambeth, he will go down in the newspapers as a controversial figure, but history books will eventually write of him as the hero who saved English Catholicism. Failure to act in this way, may gain him some mercy in the press, but relegate him to a weak and impotent loser by historical standards. The choice now is his. Let us watch and see what happens.