Anglican Communion, Ecclesial issues

Anglicans must choose…

Now the majority of my friends and family who would classify themselves as Anglican would have significant difficulty with what Cardinal Kasper has said. But before we jump too quickly to assumptions or we become defensive, it might be a good idea to listen to what the Cardinal says and then decide. I for one agree with many things that the Cardinal mentions. Call me crazy….

Anglicans must choose between Protestantism and tradition, says Vatican
By Anna Arco
6 May 2008

Cardinal Kasper delivers his Newman lecture in Oxford

Vatican has said that the time has come for the Anglican Church to
choose between Protestantism and the ancient churches of Rome and

Speaking on the day that the Archbishop of Canterbury met Benedict XVI
in Rome, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical
Council of Christian Unity, said it was time for Anglicanism to
“clarify its identity”.

He told the Catholic Herald: “Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?

“Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic
and Orthodox – or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the
16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must
clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain
difficult decisions.”

He said he hoped that the Lambeth conference, an event which brings the
worldwide Anglican Communion together every 10 years, would be the
deciding moment for Anglicanism.

Cardinal Kasper, who has been asked to speak at the Lambeth Conference
by the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “We hope that certain
fundamental questions will be clarified at the conference so that
dialogue will be possible.

“We shall work and pray that it is possible, but I think that it is not
sustainable to keep pushing decision-making back because it only
extends the crisis.”

His comments will be interpreted as an attempt by Rome to put pressure
on the Church of England not to proceed with the ordination women
bishops or to sanction gay partnerships, both serious obstacles to

They have come at an extremely sensitive time for the Anglican
Communion, as between different factions in the church are
beginning to show ahead of the conference in July.

Dr Rowan Williams faces rebellion from conservative and liberal Anglicans over homosexuality and women bishops.

The Rt Rev Gene Robinson, the Anglican bishop of New Hampshire, whose
attempts to enter into a civil union with his gay partner have angered
conservative Anglicans, plans to attend the public events of the
conference despite the fact that he has not been invited by Dr

On the other side of the spectrum, rebel conservative bishops, headed
by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, dismayed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury’s refusal to condemn homosexuality outright, plan a rival
conference in the Holy Land in June.

Ecumenical dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion ground to a
halt in 2006. Cardinal Kasper said at the time that a decision by the
Church of England to consecrate women bishops would lead to “a serious
and long lasting chill”.

But last month the Church of England’s Legislative Drafting Group
published a report preparing the ground for women bishops, who are
already ordained in several Anglican provinces.


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