frgavin on December 17th, 2010

By David W. Virtue

According to Britain’s ambassador to the Vatican, he warned that the Pope’s invitation to Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism pushed relations between the churches to their lowest point in 150 years. It puts Archbishop Rowan Williams in an “impossible position”.

Francis Campbell also feared a backlash against UK Catholics after the offer to those opposed to women bishops. His fears are detailed in the latest US embassy cables released by Wikileaks.

The comments were made after Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams met Vatican officials last year.

Not so, says the Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, a former TEC priest, seminary president and now a bishop with the Anglican Mission in the Americas.

In an e-mail to Virtueonline, Rodgers wrote, “Actually the damage took place on Rome’s part in the 16th Century when Trent codified the theological rejection of the biblical doctrines of grace clearly held by Anglicans and then made theological repentance seemingly impossible in the 19th Century by Rome’s declaring itself infallible and by adding the Marian dogmas as binding. Everything subsequent has been attempting to deal with those fateful actions.

“The damage is not one-sided. In many Provinces Anglicans have moved away from the Anglican affirmation of the biblical Gospel found so well stated in the Anglican Formularies. The Anglican Communion is amorphous and lacks both a clear commitment to the Formularies and needs a primatial Council with the authority to discipline wayward Provinces and Dioceses.

“For Anglicans the cure is ‘ad fontes’ theologically (Jerusalem Declaration with its embrace of the Anglican Formularies) and the reformation of the Anglican Communion into the form of a Council with proper discipline. It is for Rome to tell us what their way forward could and ought to be.”

Has the Pope’s response to the Anglican request to return home, for that is what it seems to this writer, “damaged” anything? The truth of the matter is ARCIC talks, which have gone on for more than 40 years, have achieved little or nothing. Ecumenical dialogue has been essentially destroyed by the impossibility of agreement over many teachings and practices in the Anglican world that are clearly apostate.

Rome and Canterbury have been separated by serious doctrinal issues for more than 500 years. Despite all the best efforts of ecumenists, those doctrinal bridges have never been crossed.

The authority of scripture verses papal authority, the nature of the sacraments, Mary, the nature of the church and other doctrines make it clear the Reformation is still very much alive.


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