Vatican Opens Door to Anglicans

Post Author: Bill Pratt

Pope Benedict XVI has decided to make it easier for Anglicans who have become disaffected with liberalism in their communion to join the Roman Catholic Church.  Below is a quote from a Wall Street Journal article:

Pope Benedict XVI introduced a fast track for Anglicans seeking to join Roman Catholicism, a move paving the way for conservative Anglicans frustrated by their church’s blessing of homosexuality in the priesthood and same-sex unions to enter the Catholic fold.

The Vatican on Tuesday announced plans to create a special set of canon laws, known as an “Apostolic Constitution,” to allow Anglican faithful, priests and bishops to enter into full communion with the Vatican without having to give up a large part of their liturgical and spiritual traditions.

The Christian world appears to be organizing itself into two general camps: traditional, orthodox Christianity built around the early creeds of the church; and liberal Christianity which denies many of the doctrines taught in the creeds.  It will be interesting to see how many Anglicans take the Pope up on his offer.

What do you think?  If you had a choice between staying in a liberal denomination which was denying essential doctrines of the faith, or joining the Roman Catholic Church, which way would you go?

  • Bill, as an Episcopalian, I find myself right in the middle of this mess, and find it a very live question. Indeed, one of my favorite Bible study leaders has made exactly the Roman choice, although unofficially, meaning that by simply attending an RC parish and being involved in it while not formally joining, he reserves his right to disagree with them.
    I cannot take his road, nor the Holy Father’s offer. I describe my faith as something of “reformation Anglican” which means, at least to me, that I understand my faith through the leading and teaching of the English reformers. Nothing they wrote is canonical, Cranmer et. al. are as subject to error as any man; but I find a humility and Scriptural/Holy Spirit focus in their work that draws me greatly. I think the pontiff’s offer is largely to retain something of the outward style of Anglicanism, while losing what was gained in the reformation, Grace alone, Faith alone, Christ alone; imputed righteousness, and all the rest, including an ecclesiology that is at heart collegial rather than monarchical.
    Too, I find the practice of Anglican worship to be the greatest setting for the Gem of the Gospel that I have encountered, that form most able to display the Gospel, and the glory, the holiness and majesty of God, and His condescension, pity, grace and love displayed in the Incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
    With all that said, we have gone horribly wrong. I find it important to remember that the wonderful setting of the jewel is not itself the “pearl of great price” – no matter how grand, it is only the setting. The day may come (I think for us Episcopalians, it may have already come) when we must choose to sell one, to keep the other. We shall keep the pearl, and cast the setting away, or we shall keep and worship the setting, empty though it may be.
    For my part, I have after a many year struggle, joined with a Bible teaching Methodist church. I morn what has been lost, but rejoice every time I hear about the power of God to redeem fallen mankind from our sin, so that we may be reunited to the God who loves us.
    Thanks for the opportunity to vent! This has been a tough decade for us.

    R. Eric Sawyer

  • Bill Pratt

    Thanks for your comment. I wish you the best and I am glad you have found a Bible believing church.

    God bless,