VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the official Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenical dialogue continues, questions have arisen regarding the potential impact on the dialogue of Roman Catholics or Anglicans who switch communities.
While Anglicans — especially Anglican bishops or priests — becoming Roman Catholic after disagreeing with their community’s stands on ordaining women or openly gay men has made news, the movement of Catholic priests and laity to Anglicanism seldom makes headlines.
Bishop John Flack, head of the Anglican Center in Rome, said he meets people moving in both directions, yet the ecumenical dialogue has not explored the implications of their movement.
"We are not talking about huge numbers in either direction, but it is perhaps a constant trickle," he told Catholic News Service Nov. 9.
Among those changing denominations, the Roman Catholics generally say they long to breathe the "free air" of the Anglican Communion, with Catholic priests usually saying they plan to marry, the bishop said. The Anglicans usually say they have had enough of the "woolly thinking" of their leadership, he added.
"Anglicans who become Roman Catholic generally become very conservative Roman Catholics, while Roman Catholics who become Anglican tend to become very liberal Anglicans," he said. [Source]
The last paragraph is not exactly a surprise.
Hear hear! The two-way stream that is so advantageous to us is something that I was just thinking about after some of the latest comments made by Bishop Gene Robinson…
Sounds like a fair trade to me.
My priest in San Antonio is a convert from Anglicanism. He is as solid as a rock – even with the birth control issue (and he’s married, so he practices what he preaches).
I wonder, are there many converts from Catholicism to Anglicanism that have “studied” themselves into Anglicanism. I mean, to the point that they truly believe that is the One True Church?
How about vice versa?
I once spent a summer in a CPE program at an Episcopal Hospital. The head chaplain and program director was an episcopal priest – he was nice enough (I believe Newman – or am I thinking of Fr. Rutler? – would have said, “gentlemanly” which is the greatest virtue in the Worldwide Anglican Communion) but I remember an “ecumenical” lunch discussion were the issue of former episcopalian priests becoming “Roman Catholic” (for you know, that the Anglicans consider themselves Catholic as well) to which the chaplain responded, “you can have them!” Thank you sir, don’t mind if we do. And likewise, any Catholic priest wants to swim the Thames, it would be unfortunate for one to leave the fullness of the Truth, but better that than that he lead faithful Catholics astray.
The RCs get the better end of the deal, even if (I suspect the contrary) the numbers favored the Anglicans. “I’ll trade Arius, Marcion, and an option of three Gnostics for one Chrysostom”
A Very Fair Trade
Sounds good to me. Both sides get what we want. Better yet, with a constant influx of heretics, the Anglican Communion will continue to destroy itself from within, leading to more of their orthodox folks coming to Rome. 🙂
Aye. Catholics are getting thoroughbreds for mules. 🙂