Saturday, 12 December 2009

Archbishop Rowan Williams and "Theological Eccentricity"

According to an interview in the Telegraph today (Saturday 12th), Archbishop Rowan Williams considers the possibility of Anglo-Catholics accepting union with Rome under the terms offered by Pope Benedict as "Theologically eccentric". He is confident that only a few will take up the offer since most Anglo-Catholics, he says, do not believe the Pope is infallible.
With all due respect, it seems to me that there is a great deal of "theological eccentricity" sheltering under the Anglican umbrella. The good Archbishop should be used to it by now.
As for his views on ARCIC, it seems to me that most people will be asking, "why bother?" Recent statements by some Anglicans suggest that any further discussion is pointless at this stage. The Archbishop seems to suggest that such discussions are really for the benefit of Roman Catholics. Considering that a great many Anglicans will not only reject agreed statements (as they already have done) but are indifferent towards ARCIC, I wonder if we might spend more time praying together, studying the Scriptures and trying to cooperate on those issues we can act on together.
Whilst ecumenical discussions have born fruit between Catholics and Lutherans, discussion with Anglicans seems to bear little or rather bitter fruit. Perhaps the Archbishop is thinking that if we keep on talking Roman Catholics will eventually agree with him, but since there are Anglicans who disagree with him, Catholics would then have to start a dialogue with them - and so on.
This is not the path to unity.


  1. Didn't Vassula say, in the late eighties, that the Lord would do the bending of the unity branches, and not man, as and when the time was ripe? Maybe she was only speaking of Orthodox and Roman Catholic though?

  2. In the TLIG messages we are told that the keys to unity are "humility and love". Vassula knows that discussion alone produces little fruit. Respect for each other, expressing our love for each other, praying together in acceptance of each other - all of this is important. Recognising God working in and through each other and, in spite of "problems" working in and throuh different "traditions". All this is a prerequisite to unity which is a gift of God and, as you say, will come in God's time.
    Thanks for your comment