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Who let them in?


The Vatican today announced a new arrangement under which Anglicans may enter the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions, including married priests and the use of at least some parts of the Book of Common Prayer. (It isn't clear from the Vatican news release whether this means only that already married Anglican priests will be welcome, or that future priests and candidates for the priesthood will be free to marry -- probably the former.)

This is a big deal. First and foremost, it is a reflection of the continued crackup of the Anglican Communion, the worldwide association of churches with roots in the Church of England, which was created after King Henry VIII declared himself the head of the church. (As Protestant kids in Northern Ireland used to spraypaint on Belfast city walls: "One Bible, One crown, No pope in our town.") 

In an attempt at face-saving, Rowan Williams, the Hamlet-like archbishop of Canterbury, said the new express conversion (as George Costanza would say) wasn't a "commentary on Anglican problems" over the ordination of gays and women as bishops. It's lucky he doesn't claim to be infallible, because this is a holy whopper.

But if the "poping" of conservative Anglo-Catholics eases tensions in the Anglican Communion, it is likely to exacerbate them in their new spiritual home. Many Roman Catholic liberals will be aghast at this development, because they too believe in opening ordination to gays and women. And even some moderate Catholics are likely to grouse over the fact that cradle Catholics can't become priests and be married, but Anglican arrivistes can. (Married former Episcopal priests in the United States have been allowed to switch teams for some time, through the creation of an "Anglican Use" -- a church within a church.)

One group of Roman Catholics, which comprises liberals and conservatives on issues of sexuality, will be happy about this development. They are the Catholics (and I'm one of them) who abhor the tone-deaf language of the post-Vatican II Mass in English. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer is one of the wonders of the English language. Asked what he missed most about his former church, an Anglican-priest-turned Catholic supposedly replied: "The Mass in English."

After today's announcement, I suspect a lot of cradle Catholics in other countries will be sneaking off to "Anglican Use" parishes on Sundays.


-- Michael McGough

 

Comments () | Archives (4)

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Sabrina

Are you kidding me? I was raised Roman Catholic, joined the Anglican/Episcopal church in 1988, and said goodbye to both because both churches are full of it! Both have some deep seated issues, and more than a little corruption in their ranks. People need to just face the fact that you do NOT have to join an organization or go to church to love God.

RabidinL.A.

Right ON, Sabrina! The catholic church is the most hypocritical institution on the face of the planet and has always engaged in torture, coerced confessions, witch hunts, enslavement, mass mind-control, mass murder and genocide, all on a global scale. Their evil knows no boundaries nor limits. They continue their modern day torture in the form of pedophilia, of which all practitioners' mothers should have chosen pro-choice, but which is forbidden by this church. So it's acceptable to it that hundreds of pedophile priests have raped and tortured thousands of victims as demonstrated in their hiding and protection of these monsters. While this same "church" castigates their victims, telling them THEY have sinned. Using "sin" and guilt as its pet weapons. Forget love and compassion, justice and honesty.
To me, it is laughable that anyone actually lets some unknown individual, seated in his regalia thousands of miles away, tell them what they can or cannot do, actively participating in world politics interfering in such private issues as abortion, to name one. Issues which are personal and private which have no business in either politics or religion.
Tax the buzzards, it's only right. If they can participate in politics and make campaign contributions they are in a taxable position. I gloat over the howling explosion that would cause, however imaginary. Hit them where it hurts, their greed also knows no boundaries nor limits.

Stephen

I have a big problem with religions that put their priority on enriching the church over the beliefs of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church is by far the wealthiest church in the world. Would Christ approve of amassing billions in wealth while people are starving and dying? The Catholic Church and those like it, will become a thing of the past unless their words and deeds mirror christian beliefs.

Jim

Please explain how you consider abortion to be a private issue.?
Abortion is not a purely private action. They require the assistance not only of doctors and nurses, but of the entire hospital staff.
Both technical knowledge, and the conscience of others are intimately involved.
Therapeutic abortion a personal decision. a personal point of view ? Not by any stretch of the imagination.


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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