Comments: Anglican resources for the Papal visit

'The Pope’s visit is a significant step on the road to Christian unity.'

It is nothing of the sort. Why spin it with such hype ? It was not designed or intended to do that.

It begs the question of what is Christian unity ? Something inner and spiritual rather than take-over bids ?

The RC and Church of England denominations have great need of understanding and unity within themselves at present. Joseph Ratzinger, Rowan Williams and other church leaders need to start listening.

As the song says 'Perhaps they never will.'

We have to be prepared for that eventuality.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 7:39pm BST

I was living in Rome in 2002 and enjoyed the exhibit, though I did ask Stephen Platten, who had been largely responsible for setting up the exhibit I believe and was at that time Dean of Norwich why there weren't any pictures of women priests. He replied that there was one of a woman bishop (one!) and indeed after a careful search I found it (I think) though all the figures in the photo were so small it was hard to tell if it was really a woman.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 7:55pm BST

Perhaps the very next step in inter-Church discussions ought to be that of instigating a joint study on Gender & Sexuality in the Churches.
While Pope Benedict 16 might be the current Pontiff, he may not truly represent the heart and mind of the Roman Catholic Church in the present century.

For this visit to have any lasting benefit for both Communions, it must in some way address the basic differences in anthropolgical understanding of the complementarity of women and men in the Body of Christ and in its ministry in the world.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 1:26am BST

The Bishop of Rome should not be received in Great Britain as a Head of State. He is simply another bishop who happens to head the Church of Rome. I'm disappointed that the Queen will be receiving him and that British taxpayers must foot the bill for this visit.

Posted by pete at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 2:31am BST

I wish he'd stay away, on both religious and ethical grounds. Obviously he could come and see his 'flock', why not, but don't pretend to involve anyone else.

As a little protest, I imagine a radio interview before he comes.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/09/pope-interviewed.html

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 3:40am BST

"The Archbishop of Canterbury is not only Primate of the Church of England, he is also President of the world-wide Anglican Communion."

Ahem. ???

Posted by Nom de Plume at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 4:26am BST

Nom de Plume
My goodness, it does indeed say that on page
http://anglicancentre.churchinsight.com/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=204383

I don't remember that the original 2002 exhibition - which I did see once - said that. But I guess it must have, as this is simply a copy of it.

My understanding has been that this dubious formulation - which certainly was used during the Carey years - was consciously abandoned by Lambeth Palace staff when Williams became archbishop.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 7:40am BST

ummm 'President of the Anglican Communion' - I don't much like that either. President is an elected office, isn't it? And as far as I know there isn't that office in the Anglican Communion and no one was elected....

Posted by Sara MacVane at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 9:24am BST

"The Bishop of Rome should not be received in Great Britain as a Head of State. He is simply another bishop who happens to head the Church of Rome. I'm disappointed that the Queen will be receiving him and that British taxpayers must foot the bill for this visit." - pete.

Why should he not be received as a Head of State? He is one. He is the HoS of Vatican City State, an independent state with which the UK has diplomatic relations.

I *am* disappointed at the level of costs that are likely to fall on the UK taxpayer and I think that the pastoral side of his visit will be divisive. I would much rather he stayed away. However, if he comes he should be received as international diplomatic protocol demands.

Posted by RPNewark at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 9:55am BST

I agree entirely with Laurence's observation. This oh-so-common 'Anglican cringe' to popes reinforces their arrogant and mean-spirited world-view. I also greatly hope that a serious attempt will be made to arrest this particular Pope, an accessory before and after the fact to countless heinous crimes.

As for 'Christian unity' (not excluding many Quakers!), intercommunion is so obviously the way to go and is of course practised by many RC priests, generally on the Continent and the US and not negligibly in Britain.

Posted by john at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 10:00am BST

Will the Pope be allowed to wear a mitre?

Posted by Brant-in-LA at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 3:18pm BST

No mention of women priests, divorce, contraception and other key issues. How can one have honest dialogue when these important issues are left out in presentations about Anglicanism.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 9:27pm BST

You know, when the Pope visits the US, it is not incumbent on TEC to have any response. Not being an established church has its good side.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 12:20am BST

Given that the Vatican is indeed a sovereign nation, and most governments appoint ambassadors to the Holy See, I think it quite proper that the Pope be received as the Head of State he is.

I also think that RCC clergy and religious ought to be required to register as agents of a foreign government.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 12:29am BST

Worse, Sara. "President" implies some kind of centralised structure of governance with some form of authority over the whole. It seems to me that the Vatican isn't entirely certain how to relate to a communion of autonomous churches, so for the sake of shorthand they just ignore the reality, eg, that there are 4 Anglican churches in the UK (ok, 3 and a half). They would prefer to deal with a centralised authority, so they treat the ABC as if he were one, and the CofE as thought it were the Anglican Communion, or the only bit that counts. It's easier.

They are all concerned about the C of E talking (endlessly) about having women bishops (some day, maybe) but ignore the fact that there are perfectly good (indeed, very good) women bishops already in New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada, and a few other Provinces have made the necessary provisions but just haven't yet got 'round to consecrating any women as bishops.

And why are they so upset, anyway, if Anglican Orders are "Absolutely null and utterly void"?

Posted by Nom de Plume at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:38am BST

Because Anglicanism is summed up in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, RIW. (Bible, Creeds, Sacraments, Episcopate Locally-Adapted)

It's ROME who has ADDED these "issues" ("Opposition To") you've mentioned.

They're not our problem.

They're yours.

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:38am BST

I find this presentation, to RCs, of the Anglican Church simply smarmy. None of the really interesting departures has been underlined, or even really, mentioned: ordination of women, involvement of the laity in church government, independence of provinces of the communion, election of bishops (in some provinces) etc. It seems a presentation calculated to suggest that we are not fundamentally different from RCs, though we've kept up our cathedral choral tradition better. Pretty, but not useful.

Posted by John Thorp at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:57am BST

I think that if the Pope is to have an official welcome from the Church of England, he should have to shake hands with some of her senior female clerics - with or without mitres.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 11:08am BST

"Why should he not be received as a Head of State? He is one. He is the HoS of Vatican City State, an independent state with which the UK has diplomatic relations."

I don't dispute that reality. I only suggest it shouldn't be so. In fact, he should be arrested as soon as he sets foot on UK soil for knowingly allowing and covering up child abuse.

Posted by pete at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:20pm BST

There is an excellent article here:
http://www.newstatesman.com/law-and-reform/2010/09/vatican-rights-state-italy
about the legal sham that allows the Vatican to be treated as a state.

Posted by junius at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 3:45pm BST

The ultimate resource

http://www.amazon.co.uk/FAN-PACK-BENEDICT-LIFESIZE-CARDBOARD/dp/B003CRKSN2

Posted by John Roch at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 4:11pm BST

Yes Junius, though that view is disputed, see also http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/sep/08/religion-vatican-statehood-immunity

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 6:55pm BST

The Vatican acts like a Church when it suits itself, and a State when that's convenient. It's high time they picked one.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 11:21pm BST

I think Bill has hit on the truth of the matter. The Pope has to make up his own mind as to whether he is a representative of the Church or the World. If Statehood in his reason and excuse for visiting England, then his claim to spiritual headship is only as valid as that of the Queen of England, in her headship of the C.of E.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 10 September 2010 at 6:57am BST

JCF.. I am saying that the Anglican Communion has moved on with these developments..but the presentations don't seem to want to acknowledge them. So my statement that true dialogue cannot occur, is quite relevant.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Saturday, 11 September 2010 at 11:52pm BST
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