Traditional Anglicans at the Vatican gates? Not so fast

February 2, 2009

Amid all the controversy over the Vatican’s handling of the return of four excommunicated ultra-traditionalist bishops, some newspapers are reporting that Pope Benedict is now preparing to welcome a far larger group into the Church — the 400,000-strong Traditional Anglican Communion. We noted speculation about this last June. The Italian daily La Stampa wrote today that this group would be accepted into the Roman Catholic Church by Easter. Its headline was “Goodbye Canterbury, Benedict Takes Back Even the Anglicans.”

But it doesn’t look like it’s going to be that way. The Vatican can wait, something it normally is very good at. The arguments I’m hearing here against such a move anytime soon are:

  • Large group conversions can be unwieldy and full of surprises.
  • After the controversy over the botched PR for the lifting of bans on the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) bishops, you can bet a lot more homework will be┬ádone on this one first.

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Feed my sheep!
Father John

Posted by Father John | Report as abusive

If the Roman Catholic Church won’t take TAC in, they will belong to no legitimate Christian religion and will be doomed to commingle with others of their mindset arguing about who can marry whom and whom and if it is still OK to stone sexual miscreants because the Bible tells them so.

A pox on all their houses!

Posted by Perry Primus | Report as abusive

If I close my eyes; hold my breath it won’t happen. I am amused to watch the hand wringing of a lot of Anglicans at the disintergration of the communion. The real news is not the TAC going to Rome; but that this will open an avenue for a larger number of disaffected Anglicans to dessert a sinking ship.

Posted by Peter Gallagher | Report as abusive

I’m so excited that Christians all over the world will once again be in communion with the successor of St. Peter. There is only one Faith, one Body and one God. I really pray that the SSPX, Anglicans, Lutherans and Orthodox Churches will come home to Rome, where the sit of St. Peter is.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

The Orthodox will not “return” to Rome; the Latins forget that when Rome split from the Church, she was alone against FOUR other patriarchates. Rome needs to abandon the idea of doctrinal development, which is antithetical to the patristic era, along with its erroneous “dogmas” of papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception. Only one church has kept the apostolic faith, unchanged and un-“developed”, and that is the Orthodox Church.

Posted by Joseph Rice | Report as abusive

It is a sad world indeed, and indicative of the loss of power of the seat of the pope, that he can be critisized for the duty of his commission – to spread the Word, and to practice FORGIVENESS and teach understanding. How can the world think it can critisize the actions of the one human ordained to be the voice of God on Earth? If his actions were those of an evil man, then his faith would be severely questioned…but it’s obvious that his choices in relation to his post, and his bringing back into the fold those that have been lost offends some. No where did I read or see that the pope believes the holocaust was a fabrication…rather it more appears that he is interested in saving the souls of those who think otherwise. How dare anyone critisize him for forgiveness and compassion.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

A former Catholic, I was disgusted with the sexual scandal in the RCC, but when I found the Episcopal Church I felt I had the fullness of the faith and loved how the liturgy was savored and how beautiful the Eucharist could be. But then when I found there was no authority, no discipline of the faith, when our dear gay friends had to demand a redefinition of marriage instead of accept a commitment ceremony, had to have a gay bishop who, not only divorced his wife, but left minor children, and then had to be “dried out” as an alcoholic, when I found out there were no standards left and when social causes superceded everything else, I was left with no faith at all. And since I now realize that our planet is like one grain of sand in a universe so grandeur and immense, I now even wonder what Jesus means “out there”, much less here. I will still live in peace as I keep my faith in a creator very personal now. Religion, for me, has become a soap opera to watch from a distance.

Posted by Travis Jacobs | Report as abusive

You won’t find any of that at an SSPX chapel. Just go one time. Your first impulse might be, “no, I’m done,’ but God is always trying to talk to us at those crucial moments, either of opportunity, or of temptation: say yes. Your presence in the Church is not optional. You are needed, and besides, you need the help of the sacraments. The Eucharist! My God, man, how can you live without it?

Posted by Jan Baker | Report as abusive

Jan, you missed my last comment about the universe. It is so vast and creation is so immense that this earth is a minute part of it. What do our religions mean to the other 99.999999% of the cosmos? Perhaps they do contain some truths and help us live together but I think it may be time for a new understanding of the Creator, the First Mover, That of Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought. Relating to the article again, it was in the Anglican liturgy that my deepest thoughts swelled about spirituality, the savoring of the liturgy, in magestic respectable language. I have been a RC seminarian. I came to know the inner circle of the clergy and knew bishops and priests. I found the laity more religious than them. And so, therefore, I think I have gone past that stage and understanding and get more pious now when I look at the stars in the sky and can truly wonder and be awed. It is a cleaner “altar” than the others I frequented in the past. In a set doctrine now I find rigidity, lack of patience, “pat answers” to contain inquisitiveness, intolerance and a failure to seek the wonder and awe which the Creator offers as temptation to expand the “Fab Three”: Faith, Hope and Love.

Posted by Travis Jacobs | Report as abusive