Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rowan Williams fires a shot across Rome's bow

The Archbishop of Canterbury has effectively told Pope Benedict XVI where to put his proposed Anglican Ordinariate. In a speech in Rome the ABC told those assembled that there was no turning back on women's ordination and he challenged the Roman Catholic (and implicitly the Orthodox) doctrine excluding women from Holy Orders. In an uncharacteristically frank address Rowan Williams threw down the gauntlet and even briefly hinted at the question of whether there was any real point to continued dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion if there is no hope of bridging their differences.

Overall he attempted to assert that female ordination aside there were few points of significant doctrinal differences between the his communion and the Roman Church that should impede sacramental communion and reunion.

The British press is all over the story. However a few links are below (courtesy of Dr. Tighe).

The Times of London
The Guardian
The Daily Telegraph

I am going to take an educated guess that this is not going to go over well in the Vatican. Oh to be a fly on the wall when he meets the Pope in private.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Female ordination wouldn't be possible without a whole slew of other theological differences.

At least that would be true of a comparison of Anglicanism and Orthodoxy. Don't know how true it may be vis-a-vis the Catholics.

As we are meeting with two very well-informed Catholics tonight for supper, I'll ask.

Annie said...

there is so much variation within anglicanism, that this statement "at least that would be true of a comparison of anglicanism and orthodoxy" has almost no meaning.

Anonymous said...

In agreement with Annie, the Archbishop's very liberal views certainly don't reflect the faith of many Anglicans. So let him keep his far-left wackos, and let those closer to the True Faith come have real dialogue with Orthodoxy or RC.

Anonymous said...

Anastasia - this is fundamental to the Catholic position as well. The ordination/non-ordination of women is not some kind of cosmetic, inessential extra.

Michael said...

Earlier this year, the Orthodox Church in America came to the conclusion that its ecumenical efforts with Anglicans would be better invested in discussion with those Anglicans who actually show some regard for the historic Christian Faith, having come to realise that talks with ECUSA/TEC/whatever-it's-calling-itself-this-week were an exercise in futility. They were never going to rescind their changes.

At last, someone at top level in the Church of England has been honest enough to state that they have no intention of relinquishing those things that are the cause of their state of separation.

There are many Anglicans who, attached to their Anglican culture, also would like to see more historic Christianity taught and lived in the CofE. I think that now the time has come for them to decide which is more important to them: their Angican cultural heritage or their place within the life of the Church, the Body of Christ. If they chose the latter, they'll not find it where they are and they'll have to relinquish their mantra of "There's no place like Rome".

margaret said...

I think the creation of the Anglican Ordinariate has given Archbishop Williams a wee push out of his comfort zone. I can't make up my mind though whether stating that female ordination and the papacy are second order issues was telling the Romans where to stuff their Ordinariate or whether he's so far gone along the yellow brick road of contemporary Anglican thought that he actually believes himself. Either way I'm surprised he said it in Rome itself.

Phil said...

Williams appears to be hopelessly confused. In Catholic terms that I'm certain he understands - which makes his comments even more baffling - he's essentially asking why the Anglican Communion's commitment to eliminating sacraments should be an impediment to sacramental communion. Gobbledygook.

insidethemindoftim said...

Did you read this from a few days ago on how he is also claiming a Divine Mandate for tax hikes?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I thin you linked this post. I do recall reading something about that though over at T-19.