THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: According to the Vatican, any hope the Church of England had at ecumenical reunion with the Roman Catholic Church was shattered last night by the decision of the English synod to consecrate women bishops within the national church....
(Telegraph) - The Vatican has criticised a decision by the Church of England that paves the way for the future ordination of women bishops.It would appear that it's over. Liberal modernism within the western Anglican churches has smashed any hope of ecumenical reunion with Rome. Thanks to female priests and bishops, the Roman Catholic Church can NEVER be reunited with the Church of England, the Episcopal Church USA, the Anglican Church of Canada, or any other Anglican body that engages in this practice. As of this year, the ordination of women carries an automatic excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church, both for the woman who is "ordained" and for the person(s) responsible for the "ordination."
Officials said that the announcement was a "step backward" for reconciliation between the two faiths that split nearly 500 years ago.
The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said it had learnt of the Church of England's decision "with regret", and warned that it would have "consequences for future dialogue, which until now has been very fruitful".
"This decision is a breach with the apostolic tradition maintained by all Churches from the first millennium, and for that reason it is a further obstacle for reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England."
Vatican insiders said that Pope Benedict had been kept fully informed of the proceedings at the Synod and his opposition to female clergy is well known.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has invited the council head Cardinal Walter Kasper to present the Roman Catholic Church's position at the next Lambeth Conference at the end of July.
The decision to pave the way for female bishops has led to fears that thousands of Church of England traditionalists will leave the faith and convert to Catholicism....
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This decision by the Church of England sends a clear signal to the Roman Catholic Church that Anglicanism is choosing Protestantism over Catholicism for it's religious identity. This is a decision the Vatican asked for recently, to be finalized at the Lambeth Conference. It is clear that the western Anglicans from England and North America have chosen to be identified as Protestant, by the actions and decisions they have made regarding female priests and bishops, along with the decisions to ordain and consecrate practicing homosexuals as well as bless gay-marriages. All of these actions are clearly the marks of a liberal Protestant denomination, having no relation to the apostolic and catholic faith whatsoever. Those few Anglo-Catholics within these national organizations are effectively in exile, and they can either chose to affiliate with Eastern Anglicans in the third-world, or they can seek refuge in Rome as either Roman Catholics, or Anglican Catholics under the Pastoral Provision.
As for Anglicans in the Eastern third-world, the jury is still out. Will they chose to remain within the apostolic and catholic faith by keeping the traditions of the apostolic fathers, or will they eventually go the way of liberal Protestantism as their sister churches did in England and North America? That is now the dominant question to be decided at this next Lambeth Conference.
Whatever decisions are made, the path ahead for Rome has now been clarified thanks to the decision of the English synod last night. Ecumenical reconciliation with the Church of England, and the North American Anglican churches, is no longer possible. These are now fully Protestant churches regardless of what they say about themselves. Rome will refocus it's ecumenical dialog with the Eastern third-world Anglicans, and those few remaining Anglo-Catholics seeking refuge from the Protestant Church of England, the Protestant Episcopal Church USA, and the Protestant Anglican Church of Canada. In these regions we might soon expect to see an expanded form of the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision, and perhaps even the creation of a full Anglican Rite within the Roman Catholic Church. Thus the rebirth of Anglican Catholicism (in full union with Rome) is about to become reality in the western world to compete with, and eventually rival, the Protestant Anglican bodies of these regions.