Saturday, 24 October 2009

Early Anglican Responses

The Bishop of Chichester's speech at the Forward in Faith Conference is worth a listen. Some ex-Anglican (now Catholic) blogs are expressing disappointment, but as the Bishop says, these are "very early days", and we shouldn't expect a mass movement of Anglo-Catholics to Rome, certainly not at this stage. The full text of the provision has not been seen yet! People need time to catch their breath. One of the problems for Catholic Anglicans is that some arrangement is "on the table" to allow them greater freedom under the Anglican umbrella. As the Bishop says, it is not enough, but neither does he think the Vatican's response is enough, but then, as he says, he has not seen all the details.
However discussions continue (and quite a few Anglicans are no doubt on the net, sending emails and phoning each other), it has to be said that The Roman Catholic Church is not going to change those dogmas defined either by Council or by the Popes as "infallible". Some non-Catholics think that certain dogmas are negotiable. They are not. having said that, it is important to understand them correctly. One of the least well-understood is precisely that of Papal Infallibility. A good bit of history, as well as theology, is needed for a balanced and mature grasp of what it means. We have to shove aside much anti-Catholic propaganda and many half-truths. What many Anglicans need are good, well-informed Catholic friends who can answer questions. Above all they need space and our prayers.

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