Thoughts on Pope Benedict’s offer to traditional Anglicans

Vincent Chiarello writes:

I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that the subject of the pope’s offer to bring Anglicans into the Church, and its implications, did not receive any response, at least so far. I thought that at least a few of your usual respondents from the Sceptered Isle would have added to the thread, for the subject is far more important there than in many other parts of the world. I note, on the other hand, that the interpretation of “sola Scriptura,” still does attract attention, but, apparently, the pope’s decision to create a personal vicariate for Anglicans does not.

I lay no claim to specialization in Vaticanology, but what has been left out of this picture of Pope Benedicts XVI’s opening to “traditional” Anglicans is that the pontiff is, simultaneously, attempting to deal with bringing “traditional” Catholics, whose numbers grow each year, home, too. These are, indeed, two different scenarios, but the pope is, I believe, seeking one structural solution for both congregations. What the pontiff has set as the model for Anglicans who wish to “return to Rome,” is very much the canonical structure that the hierarchy and clergy of the Society of St. Pius X also have sought for several years. In short, there is a consistency in Benedict’s approach, although the assemblages, and problems involved, are different.

This week the Vatican was the site where representatives appointed by the pontiff met with bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. to seek common ground in resolving the problems that have faced the papacy and the “Trads” for more than two decades. I believe that the timing of the “opening” to the Anglicans outside, and the “opening” to the “Trads” within the Church, was not coincidental. I am reminded of the French proverb which claims that a coincidence is an event in which God chooses to remain anonymous.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 28, 2009 10:28 PM | Send

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