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Kasper pours cold water

Cardinal pours cold water on union with rebel Anglican group is the headline in the Catholic Herald.

One of the Vatican’s most senior cardinals has dismissed the idea that a breakaway group of Anglicans might be received into the Catholic Church en masse – despite Benedict XVI’s personal support for such a move.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, told The Catholic Herald: “It’s not our policy to bring that many Anglicans to Rome.”
The cardinal’s comments refer to the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), a rebel group which claims to represent 400,000 people. Its bishops sent a letter to Rome last month requesting “full, corporate and sacramental union”.
But the bishops did not send their letter to Cardinal Kasper. Instead they addressed it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), where, it is understood, they expected a warmer reception…

Read the whole article here.

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Pluralist
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I suspect that the Pope, never mind the wider Roman Catholic leadership, are in two minds about this. They probably view the Traditional Anglican Communion like they view the episcopi vagantes, if not identically, that is to say that they recognise the orders, and some liturgical practices, but regard the clerical leadership as illicit. Pope Benedict probably respects Rowan Williams a lot, but mainline Anglicanism considerably less so, whereas he has a high regard for Orthodoxy and would like to make real moves, including with effect on the papacy, to try and move the Orthodox closer. The view that finds… Read more »

Curtis
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Curtis

Oops, don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

TAC is the Anglican equivalent of the Lefebvrists, and hardly likely to be viewed any more warmly by the Vatican than the Society of St Pius X is. It seems unlikely that they have 400,000 faithful, if their presence in the UK is anything to go by – a couple of hundred people sounds more likely.

Eamonn
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Eamonn

Even if such a move were likely, it would be unwelcome to liberal Catholics. Incorporation of married clergy from TAC might call the celibacy rule in question, but it would put back the ordination of women in the RC church forever.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

TAC is headed by an ex Catholic priest who is twice married divorcee. The press claimed 300 members in Ireland, but TAC admitted less than 30. No wonder the Vatican are cautious.

Robert Leduc
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Robert Leduc

The good Cardinal’s concerns are misplaced. TAC are not Anglicans.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Cardinal Kasper is nobody’s fool — IMHO, Fr Mark is absolutely correct — this group does indeed manifest the Lefebvrist mindset & Kasper is not going to get involved with that (& I do believe that Eamonn is also correct — Kasper would be sensitive to the concerns of liberal Catholics — unlike perhaps, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).

Bob In PA
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Bob In PA

If TAC wants to join Rome why not just do what Steenson and Lipscomb have done. My father left Roman Catholicism and became and Episcopalian certainly these folks can leave TAC and become Roman Catholics? Ah, there is a catch isn’t there?? You can just pick and choose which Roman rules you’re going to play by and which ones you want to be able to disregard. No, Kaspar and Benedict don’t seem to be in a negotiating mood.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

No the Tac are not Lefebvrist…they are liberals ( despite all their birettas and incense), and I know people are going to say I am a one issue person…riddled with re-married divorcees.

Mark Wharton
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Mark Wharton

what on earth is a “Liberal Catholic” one either accepts the universal faith or not; it is not pick and choose!

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Wrong, Mark. That’s simply your opinion. Liberals will continue to think and interpret – you carry on accepting unthinkingly, but don’t expect others to follow you in depositing their brain on the church step!

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Gee I think a liberal catholic believer is any number of things along the liberal or progressive spectrums of method, hermeneutics, discernment, and the multiple levels of religious and ethical allegiance in daily life. One obvious touchstone is probably a strong commitment to empirical hypothesis testing. How odd that anybody should be so startled at these ideas – that a whole reasonable range of method, hermeneutics and discernments apply to understanding what some conservative realignment posters evidently like to simplistically tag, the universal faith. Much about our current knowledge would surprise, puzzle, or even dismay believers in past centuries. So… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

RobertIan W: Archbishop Lefebvre himself was not harsh when it came to sexual ethics. He started his movement to continue the traditional liturgical forms and spirituality. It was not the RC tradition to maintain an unrealistically hard doctrine on sexual ethics: that is something that has only come in during recent years in the RC Church, and was very much emphasised by John Paul II.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“what on earth is a “Liberal Catholic” one either accepts the universal faith or not; it is not pick and choose!” You can’t make yourself believe anything. You can make a conscious decision to stick with the teachings of your church. You can try to change them from within. Or you can hope that some aspects will be something the church will eventually change its teachings on. But no-one says you can or have to believe with heart and mind absolutely everything just because the church tells you to. Or did you go through the prescribed beliefs of all possible… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

A liberal catholic? Hmmm. How about ‘A western-rite Christian who believes in the Real Presence, in the ‘ex opere operato’ efficacity of the Sacraments, the historic threefold ministry etc etc, but can no more absolutise the Magisterium any more than they will absolutise Scripture’? Thus it is possible to be a conservative liberal catholic! ‘Quod ubique, quod semper’ may have worked in the (very) early Church as a definition of catholicism, but doesn’t hold good permanently! The anathematising of Luther in C16 sits ill with the Joint Declaration of 1999, so even ‘The Universal Faith’ shifts over the centuries. What… Read more »

AlaninLondon
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AlaninLondon

Mark – After over 20 years as an Anglican hospital Chaplain both in Liverpool and in London ‘picking’ and ‘choosing’ is what most Roman Catholics I have met do. Most of them were happy to see an Anglican Chaplain on the wards and to engage me in conversation. Most did not accept papal infalibility, the ban on contraception, or understand why they could not receive communion from me, nor why the churches remained divided. They were far more concerned with the issue of child abuse than homosexuality. Most were happy to see the celibacy rule abolished and a great many… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Of course there is such as liberal Catholic. You can be such from either direction: a Catholic who, looking at the depth of the Greek based concepts, realise that they clash with each other in an apophatic sense, and that you then appear (at least on the surface) to be liberal. Alternatively you can be liberal, and indeed be selective according to what stands the tests of reasoning and reasonableness. There is another way too, that if you believe in grace in one sense of another, then the actual details of belief are not so critical. There are several ways… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Robert Ian Williams, you are a one issue person!

There, glad that’s over.

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

“After over 20 years as an Anglican hospital Chaplain both in Liverpool and in London ‘picking’ and ‘choosing’ is what most Roman Catholics I have met do. Most of them were happy to see an Anglican Chaplain on the wards and to engage me in conversation. Most did not accept papal infalibility, the ban on contraception, or understand why they could not receive communion from me, nor why the churches remained divided.” (AlaninLondon) Before I went to seminary, I was visiting in hospital a former RC, a man who had once been a Christian Brother, had become laicized to raise… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Gee, and I thought that catholicism and liberal thought of academia went hand in hand over the centuries.

‘Gotta stop thinking so much.

Malcolm+
Guest

Alan’s comment reminds me of an observation.\ The typical North American (and possibly UK) Roman Catholic desires a church with catholic liturgy, catholic sacraments, catholic church order, they believe their clergy should be allowed to marry, they are okay with the ordination of women and they don’t want to listen to the pope on certain issues. What are Anglicans? We have catholic liturgy, catholic sacraments and catholic church order, our clergy can marry, we ordain women and we don’t have to listen to the pope. Ergo, QED, the typical North American (and possibly UK) Roman Catholic IS an Anglican but… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Response to Comments…..Archbishop Lefebvre kept the line on sexual ethics as do the Society of St Pius X….although I pray they will reconcile to Rome. Yes there is much confusion amongst British lay Catholics, but look at the wishy washy episcopate and the lack of coherent teaching in the schools for the past thirty years. Yes, the same fault line exists, but the promise to Peter remains. The house on the rock is lashed by the storm, but will not go under. I apologise if I sound one issue Martin( my fellow Welshman), but if certain persons are asserting they… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The marriage analogy is puzzling, indeed. It comes up so often, especially triggered by Canterbury’s remarks to similar effect. But if we are joined, it is by Jesus as Risen Lord of whose body we are all made members by baptism and by the following that baptism empowers us – even lures us – into. Can that be severed by anybody but God the Holy Spirit? Note that conservative realignment leaders are campaigning on two fronts simultaneously. The realignment campaign first seeks to have one sort of believer party separated from another. Repeat, shake well, use smaller and smaller containers,… Read more »

MRG
Guest
MRG

They really ought to consider it. Allowing conservative Anglo-Catholics to go over to Rome would raise the IQ of both Churches.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Is MRG a code for Doctor Paisley…..?

God generally chooses the thick not the psuedo-intellectuals.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Robert Ian Williams: “God generally chooses the thick not the psuedo-intellectuals.” I think reasoned discussion rather than unquestioning obedience to the indefensible is a hallmark of the Anglican tradition. Many of us on here, I suspect, are concerned to keep it that way. We have a lot to offer worldwide Christianity if we can maintain that tradition – there are plenty of refugees from the more authoritarian churches who have found a home in Anglicanism.