By WILLIAM JOHNSTONE
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
William Johnstone explains how he overcame his initial misgivings about Pope Benedict XVI’s historic offer to groups of Anglicans
When the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus was first announced I had a few reservations. I was sceptical about the idea of group reception into the Church. My experience as a former Anglican clergyman has convinced me that it is not possible to sugar the pill of conversion. It is a process that involves giving up familiar things for the sake of the truth.
I also wondered if this was an option for the majority of Anglo-Catholics that I knew. The High Church wing of the Church of England has become more Roman in recent years. Many clergy have used Catholic liturgies for the whole of their ministry. It would be ironic if converting to Rome meant adopting Anglican forms of worship for the first time.
Quite recently, I happened to read some of the original Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) documents. This gave me a new understanding of the ordinariate and a conviction that it is a profoundly ecumenical gesture...
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