Comments: Affirming Catholicism response to Report of the Women Bishops Revision Committee

Hats off to Affirming Catholicism! They are to be commended for their courage and integrity. They are on the road to the future. The problem with the Catholic Church on the issues of women's ordinations to priesthood and episcopate is that they have been stuck in Trent for too many centuries. This has rendered the majority of the hierarchy dysfunctional. They are unable to provide even one sound theological argument as to why women should not be admitted to the priesthood and episcopate. It is one of the many reasons why the Latin Rite Church is imploding. I have seen people post comments about Rome's numbers increasing. This is deceptive as most of these numbers are from poor third world countries. Once educated and able to think for themselves, many do not remain Roman Catholics because their are just too many problems. The numbers of vocations to the priesthood are now so small that there are not enough to provide the sacraments. Anglicans are the leaders in facing and embracing the future as far as women's roles in the Church. The American Episcopal Church has been the shinning light on the path to the future. Rome can use these experiences to learn how to tackle these vital issues. The imperial model of the Latin Rite Church is mainly a cult thing that has no bearing on the early Church or the real teachings of Jesus. The men in Rome wish to live as princes and therefore are stuck in Trent. We are seeing the final days before this system collapses from its' own corruption and failure to reform and continue the reforms that started with Vatican II. Most Catholics are growing impatient with the life styles of the hierarchy, including the backward thinking Benedict. We look to you wonderful and insightful Anglicans for the light on the path to the future. You are providing a way to free ourselves from the mud that has kept us stuck in Trent. It's time to move forward and groups like Affirming Catholicism help to negotiate the road not taken.

Posted by Chris Smith at Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 4:49pm BST

To be clear Affirming Catholicism is an Anglican organization. Here is a a quote from their website

"We are a movement of inspiration and hope in the Anglican Communion, seeking to bring together and strengthen lay and ordained people who recognise the positive, inclusive and joyful currents in the Catholic tradition of Christianity.

We are working to make the Catholic element within Anglicanism a positive force for the Gospel and a model for effective mission today.

As reformed and reforming Catholics, we seek to renew the universal Church by including those with different perspectives and bearing witness in the world to Christ’s healing and reconciling love."

Posted by brimcmike at Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 8:46pm BST

"We recognise with sadness that many traditionalist Catholics do not believe that the provision for those who disagree is adequate to their needs. For those many Catholics in the Church of England who affirm the ordained ministry of women, though, this is good news – and we encourage the General Synod to move forward in working with these proposals."

- Jonathan Clark, Affirming Catholics -

Well said, Jonathan! However, much as the 'denying catholics' (denying, that is, the place of women in the ministry of the Church) are encouraged, in the proposed legislation to ordain women bishops, to 'live with' the new arrangements; they seem to be saying that this will not satisfy their need to ignore what the rest of us Anglo-Catholics around the world see as God's call upon women to become leaders in God's Church.

One wonders whether the attempt at appeasement is worth the while - especially when they continue to deny the place of women in the sanctuary as either priests or bishops. To apply any measure of accommodation is surely to court the prospect of a continuing division in the structures and ministry of the future Church of England.

Tactics employed by F.i.F. leadership so far - with their undercover approaches to Rome - give a very clear signal of on-going dis-satisfaction of vociferous opponents of women's ministry that will only further undermine the 'unity in diversity' model of Church that has been the Anglican genius.

For the die-hards, there is only one source of unity that will satisfy their stringent desire for what they see as 'catholic order'; and that is organic union with the Roman Catholic Church. The proposed legislation, then, will challenge them as to where their true loyalty lies - with the Church of their ordination, or a conscience-salving swim across the Tiber. It is their choice, after all.

If they think that joining an 'ordinariate' will give them all they want, they must realise that their continuing relationship to their mother Church will be thereby null and void. They will be answerable only to the Magisterium of Rome.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 11:56pm BST
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