Admiral of Morality: Catholic News Service on Lambeth: "Time of reckoning for ecumenical dialogue"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Catholic News Service on Lambeth: "Time of reckoning for ecumenical dialogue"

The Catholic News Service (CNS), may be the oldest and biggest wire service specializing in religious matters. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which shapes policy and governance for the Roman church in America, created it in the 1920s.

As Lambeth 2008 gets closer (we are only 32 days out), we are bound to see quite a few stories about the Conference, from quite a few different perspectives.

CNS has run a piece with a headline baldly stating that this summer's Lambeth is "a time of reckoning" for Anglican-Roman dialogue. What are Episcopalians/Anglicans to make of this?

On the one hand, the piece presents the Roman view in somewhat usual fashion. The piece quotes "the Vatican" anonymously; and otherwise, revisits many events that Roman Catholics as a body, do not agree is possible—-women's ordination, women's consecration, +Robinson.

On the other, in a fine display of "schism" euphemisms, the piece makes clear that "splintering," "factions," and "new groups," do not improve dialogue. Hear, hear.

CNS's review of Lambeth itself, is given short shrift. They do say that, "Over the last 140 years, even without legislative authority, the Lambeth Conference has been the Anglicans' most effective unifying instrument." Ecce signum!

But there isn't much in the piece about the conference per se, other than that the Romans tend to view the idea of a strong Covenant as very good, and the notion of a strong, primal Archbishop of Canterbury, as even better. Tsk, tsk--do we really need bandwidth to understand that this is the Roman position? (No.)

The CNS piece gives the sense that many Romans are still somewhat miffed that Anglicans have the following: decentralized authority, public disagreements, women priests and bishops, openly gay clergy, and a dynamic theology.

Could be.

Perhaps we Anglicans, will have to keep meeting with the Romans to dialogue about this?

The CNS story is here.


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