22 December 2009


New ARCIC is to discuss: "fundamental questions concerning the Church - local Church and universal Church - understood as Communion, and on the way in which the local and the universal Church can, in communion, discern just moral teaching".

How very admirable. It facilitates a discussion on the very topical question of the relationship between local and universal, which is not only relevant to the problems of the Anglican Communion and the problems between the Anglcan Communion and the RC Church, but was also the subject of that rather acrimonious spat between Ratzinger and Kasper not long before the Conclave. Although there is something a trifle surreal about using ARCIC to get involved in a difference of opinion between a reigning pontiff and one of his senior Cardinals!

And it enables frank discussion to take place about ethical questions which some Anglican provinces have deemed to be within the power of their provincial Autonomy to decide.

I recall, perhaps as long ago as the 1980s, writing an article arguing that, if Rome had any sense, she would require ARCIC, instead of picking over sixteenth century disagreements that comparatively few people care about, to engage with the newly emerging areas of disagreement, particularly 'life' issues and sexual matters.

Apparently I do get listened to in the end. Or is it just Great Minds ...


rev'd up said...

I'm reminded of Mark Twain who said:

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"

The young fogey said...

Why do I suspect that an ARCIC statement on just moral teaching will stick to saying things like global poverty and land mines are bad?

Considering that, as Fr Michael Gollop put it, the Anglicans are (logically but still) kicking out the people who believe the Catholic faith and at the same time persisting in pretending to want union, regarding things like ARCIC Pope Benedict ought to tell Dr Williams to... (you can imagine the rest).

All I care about in this are the parts of the patrimony that are agreeable to Catholicism being kept alive in Rome and Orthodoxy and respecting the Anglicans' right to govern themselves (you want women bishops and gay weddings, you've got them) and their property rights... and that when everything's done my semi-conservative friends who are still Anglican have somewhere to go to church, respecting their freedom.

The rest of it, from Lambeth to General Synod to indaba, can go to hell with Cranmer and the other heretics.

(Yes, I know we don't know where Cranmer ended up. I was being rhetorical.)