Friday, 20 November 2009

Rowan and Benedict

Stella Maris has posted what I think is both a realistic and a charitable comment on the remarks of Archbishop Rowan Williams at a conference in Rome: The Desperate Archbishop. I found it interesting to re-read my post on dialogue of yesterday after reading Stella Maris' post. The Times report of Archbishop Williams remarks, made at a conference on ecumenism at the Pontifical Gregorian University, is here.

The characterisation by the Times report of the proposal for Anglican Ordinariates as being a proposal for a "Church within a Church" betrays a particular line on this question. Ruth Gledhill's commentary in the Times of Thursday urges Archbishop Williams to show some backbone in facing up to Pope Benedict (I don't think I am misrepresenting her in saying this, but do check the original here). I did chuckle away to myself for quite a few minutes the first time I read this paragraph:
If Benedict XVI has displayed something of his rottweiler tendencies, cloaked in the most decorative of chasubles, Dr Williams now needs to unleash his inner bulldog.
The model that Ruth Gledhill thinks Dr Williams should follow? Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's "Reformation enforcer" (Ruth's words).
Holding his hands up in helpless resignation while Rome walks off with his traditionalists is not going to earn the Church of England the respect that it deserves and that was hard won by the likes of Cromwell.
Assuming the Times is reporting him accurately, though, I think Dr Williams is correct to say that Anglicanorum coetibus does not offer anything new from an ecclesiological point of view - Ordinariates already exist within the Catholic Church to cater for a specific pastoral situation (pastoral care of military personnel), and there is no recognition of Anglican orders or independent decision making on doctrinal belief and practice.


Patricius said...

Incidentally, I'm sure you noticed how Ms Gledhill's view of Thomas Cromwell draws upon a recently published novel rather than the facts!

Anonymous said...

Zero says
Although I believe it's an excellent novel...