The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Analyzing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' speech in Rome

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has a concise analysis of the main points of the speech that Rowan Williams gave in Rome this past week.
Now having had the chance to read the whole of the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech in Rome last week I am even more flummoxed. As far as I can make out the whole speech can be paraphrased thus:

1. The ARCIC talks have worked. We've made a lot of progress and we agree on all the basics.
2. We agree on the creed and the main points of the Christian faith.
3. Women's ordination really isn't such a big deal. We got used to it. You could too.
4. The way we get on is that we all agree to differ. We're good with that. It works. You should try it.
5. Sometimes we have to make a compromise and so we have flying bishops and 'impaired communion.' That works too. It's not so bad. You should try it.
6. Things are going fine. We don't know why you guys are still so uptight about women priests and bishops. I'm sure you'll probably have them one day too, and until then, lets have full communion and you can recognize our orders and we can all do things the Anglican way.

What I can't get my head around is that Rowan Williams really seems to believe this. Let's take his points one by one.

1. Has ARCIC been a success? Well it has helped to clear up some misunderstandings and there has been substantial agreement on many things, but the problem is, the 'agreement' is only between the few Anglo Catholic scholars who were involved in ARCIC...

Read Fr. Longenecker's full analysis at Standing on My Head.

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