Saturday, October 24, 2009

Korean Anglican Reply to Rome's Initiative

Checking some of the blogs here in Korea to see the response to the recent proposal from Rome was an interesting experience. An Anglican Priest in Seoul had a very fair an honest appraisal of what it will mean to the Anglicans in Korea. I have sumarized some of the points he makes in the paragraphs below.

He feels that a great deal of the problem is that the Church of England has been stalling in their response to woman priests and bishops, which brought this whole thing to a head. Anglicanism in Hong Kong has had women priests from 1944 and the Church has still not made an official decision.

It is true that many Anglican clergymen move over to Catholicism but there are many more Catholic Priests going over to Anglicanism because of celibacy and the whole idea of woman priests which they favor; many Catholic woman have entered Anglicanism precisely because of Catholicism's stand on woman priests.

This proposal from Rome has been in the works for a long time. TAC (Traditional Anglican Communion) have been asking Rome for many years to be accepted. The head of the TAC who was a Catholic Priest became Anglican and is now leaving for Rome: Archbishop John Hepworth, the twice-married and divorced Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, what will be his future ?

The Anglican Priest makes very clear that this is not something new in Catholicism but there is a history of this way of dealing with other religious groups. This happened with the Eastern Churches that wanted to enter Roman Catholicism. There are groups who follow the Anglican Rite and have accepted Catholic teaching,who are following the Anglican Use Rite in their parishes.

The Anglican Church in England is the Established Church; the only one in the whole world that has that relationship with the country it is in. The Church in England has tried to be the Church of all the citizens and this has been one of the problems: lack of any identity.

This Roman initiative is in a way good coming out of evil. Those who have been dissenting about woman priests, bishops and homosexual marriages will now have the chance to leave and that should enable the Anglican Community throughout the world to go on with its way.

"We should not try to hold on to those that are leaving . It is sad to see them go. We have been scarred but they are doing what they think they should and we can go on doing what we think we should. We are thankful that they have found a home in the bosom of Catholicism."

He finishes the blog with a statement in which he says Anglicanism is clearly a gift of God. Anglicanism has accepted women priests and acknowledges homosexual marriages. The Anglican Church should continue doing things in the Anglican way, have respect and patience for other ways of seeing things; this is the message given to other religious groups with their traditional ways of looking at things This is the Anglican way.

He finishes saying this is his own private opinion and is open to any corrections. I thought it was a very fair appraisal, looked at from an Anglican perspective. It is hard for me to understand the reasoning behind all of this and that is precisely why I am a Catholic and he remains an Anglican.