(Catholic Online) - Damien Thompson of the Daily Telegraph and the Catholic Herald of London is one of the most accurate journalists covering the unfolding events in the Anglican Communion.It remains to be seen what kind of unity the FOCA (Fellowship Of Confessing Anglicans) group will be able to muster in the months and years ahead, but clearly what remains of the Anglican Communion will be found there, not in Canterbury. In many ways, the development in the Anglican Communion over the last couple decades has simply reaffirmed what many Roman Catholics suspected all along. Anglicanism is really a Protestant denomination, that merely longs to return to it's Catholic roots. So it would appear that Pope Benedict XVI is now poised to give some Anglicans the opportunity to do just that.
In his daily report entitled “Holy Smoke”, published online for Wednesday, July 23, he wrote the following:
“A senior Vatican Cardinal visiting the Lambeth Conference has delivered an incredible rebuff to its 650 Anglican bishops, telling them they are heading towards "spiritual Alzheimer's" and "ecclesial Parkinson's".
“The comments by Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, must count as one of the rudest things a Vatican prelate has said to Anglicans since the dawn of the ecumenical era.
“It can mean only one thing: Rome - and therefore the Pope - has given up on the Anglican Communion....
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Should Pope Benedict XVI in the months ahead, expand the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision to worldwide status, the long-term effect will be historic. The following years and decades will be marked by the continued fracture and splinter of the Anglican Communion, along side the continued growth and expansion of the Anglican Use within the Catholic Church. Anglicanism will decrease, while the Anglican-Use increases. Within a century we may be looking at a world upside-down from what it is now, with the larger Anglican body being within the Catholic Church.
The best hope of preserving Anglican customs and liturgical characteristics can now be found within the Roman Catholic Church. Within Roman Catholicism, under the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision, the customs and characteristics of Anglican worship can now be preserved forever. There is no greater guardian of historic tradition than the Roman Catholic Church. Once incorporated under the pope, former members of the ECUSA, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Church of England can look forward to practicing Anglican-Catholicism in peace, without fear of the latest progressive innovation. Anglican-Catholics will be able to bring their message of the gospel to the world with the full backing of the Apostolic See of Rome.
The first order of business for Anglican-Catholics is the restoration of reverence and solemnity to the English liturgy of the mass. Anglican-Catholics can lead the way by showing other English-speaking Catholics how to do it right. Lord knows, we are in desperate need of such guidance and example.
Sadly, the Anglican Communion is nearly dead now. But in hope we can shout; "long live the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision!"