I think I have written before that my favourite one word definition of the Anglican church is "accommodation". Benedict's offer to Anglicans to leave our accommodation for his, in a Personal Ordinariate, is generous. But I have observed in several posts that it may not lead to many takers; its real significance lying in the fact that it demonstrates that where there is a will, a way can be found. My consequential question to the Anglican world at large is whether we are doing enough, measured by the clever and generous spirit of Benedict's approach, to accommodate the manifest differences among us.
Nevertheless I need to acknowledge two challenges concerning Anglican accommodation of Anglicans. One challenge was highlighted by a commenter here a week or so ago.
Challenge one is the threat that if we welcome certain guests to our hotel, others will leave. This challenge, at least to an extent, is being faced in North America and in the Church of England. Putting it a bit crudely, in the former, Liberal agenda supporters in, Conservative agenda supporters out; and vice versa; in the latter, Women bishops in, Against women bishops out; Against women bishops in, Supporters of women bishops out.
Challenge two is what "rules" lead to some guests not being welcome if they will not observe them, or to some guests being shown the door if they break them. The commenter's point was that historically the Anglican church has been most unaccommodating to certain groups: the Methodists is perhaps the best known and most significant example; closer to home in Aotearoa New Zealand, an example is the prophet Ratana and his followers who were nearly accommodated by our church, then not, and today the Ratana church is one of the stronger churches in respect of Maori affiliation.
Then, heading in a slightly different direction, but 'on topic' with Benedict's offer. There is a view abroad that an 'Anglican' is someone in Communion with the See of Canterbury. Claimants to the descriptor 'Anglican' who are not in such communion, according to this view, are not Anglicans. If this is so - it is not necessarily my own view - then Anglicans may leave the Communion for a Personal Ordinariate, but once within that fold, they will not be Anglicans. If they are not 'Roman Catholics' in the sense of ordinary members of the Roman Catholic Church worshiping in normal Catholic parishes, what are they?