21 October 2009

Yay! Church politics.

My good friend Moff posted on teh Facebook about this story. Here's how it begins:

Vatican Bidding to Get Anglicans to Join Its Fold

Published: October 20, 2009

VATICAN CITY — In an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican said Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions.

This has been the cause of much hand-wringing in Anglican circles, and in the press. My opinion (as expressed in a Facebook comment), while not particularly noteworthy, seemed wordy enough to merit reproduction on the blog. So here it is, FWIW:

Speaking as a (remarkably) piss-poor Anglican, I say: whatevs. Bottom line: moves like this will cause some people pain, with which I sympathize. It will cause other people to rejoice, with which I also sympathize. And when people are unhappy with what's going on in their corner of the Church, they will do one of three things: suffer on where they are, find a different portion of the Body which suits them better (a possibility which this move enables for some), or get fed up with the whole thing and leave. And through it all, the Church remains one (and many), holy (and embedded), catholic (and particular) and apostolic (and welcoming - occasionally).

So when stuff like this - or a schism or an ecumenical agreement - happens, I just try to pray with the horrified and rejoice with the rejoicing. The church will still be about individuals and communities and their relationships with God. These high-level structural changes are the equivalent of, say, urban planning. It certainly influences the kind of life that's lived by the individuals, families, and communities affected - but ultimately the life is lived by those communities and families, wherever they are.

Actually, the subversive in me is kind of excited by the prospect of lots more married Catholic priests. Harbinger of further change in the world's most inertial human organization?

(Note: credit belongs to LeRon Shults for the parenthetical counterpoints to the creedal marks of the Church - one/many, holy/embedded, etc.)

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