Thursday, November 12, 2009

Uniate dreams

Dan Martins in Confessions of a Carioca writes appreciatively of Benedict's offer, and concludes with this dream:

"What I, in my fantasies, would like to see—I may as well come out and say it—is a true Anglican Rite Church, alongside the Maronites, Melkites, Ukranians, etc., an Anglican Uniatism. In such a church, the gem that is the Anglican tradition could be allowed to shine in all its comprehensive glory, not just temporarily and partially, but indefinitely, until the Spirit works to bring all the strands of Christianity into fruitful unity. This would include permanent permission to retain a married priesthood. Yet, this church would be anchored firmly to deferential communion with the Roman Pontiff exercising his Petrine ministry of fostering unity among all the faithful in Christ, and thus be protected from evolving in ways that compromise the integrity of the faith. Now, I understand the technical reasoning behind the decision not to move in such a direction, that Anglicanism is a spinoff from the Latin Rite that needs to be reunited with its parent, and not, properly speaking, an ancient church with a patriarchate of its own. That is a completely coherent response. But it is also a failure of imagination, and possibly a deficit in the cardinal virtue of fortitude. The potential harvest of Christian unity is incredibly rich at this moment. But reaping that harvest demands not just a bold stroke like Anglicanorum Coetibus. It demands a leap of faith.

Your Holiness, carpe diem!"

I agree, Dan, such a dream would be worth exploring ... especially since earlier in your post you express the hope that evangelical Anglicans might be part of any substantive Anglican movement towards greater union with Rome. My additional dream is that Eastern Orthodoxy would make a simultaneous mover westwards. However I note Bosco Peters' point that the eastern Uniate churches are currently a stumbling block in the way of such movement.

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