Douthat on Anglicans, Catholics, and Ecumenism

Great stuff on Anglicanism and Catholicism and ecumenicity. This is a brilliant article. Perhaps the best I've read on the whole Anglican-Catholic ordinariate development so far:

At the same time, the more ecumenically minded denominations have lost believers to more assertive faiths — Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, Mormonism and even Islam — or seen them drift into agnosticism and apathy.

Nobody is more aware of this erosion than Benedict. So the pope is going back to basics — touting the particular witness of Catholicism even when he’s addressing universal subjects, and seeking converts more than common ground.

Along the way, he’s courting both ends of the theological spectrum. In his encyclicals, Benedict has addressed a range of issues — social justice, environmental protection, even erotic love — that are close to the hearts of secular liberals and lukewarm, progressive-minded Christians. But instead of stopping at a place of broad agreement, he has pushed further, trying to persuade his more liberal readers that many of their beliefs actually depend on the West’s Catholic heritage, and make sense only when grounded in a serious religious faith.

Comments

Drew said…
I read the article. So ultimately, this author is hoping that some kind of Anglican-Roman Catholic reunion will result in broad, aggressive evangelism among the Muslims? Or rather, that this is what Pope Benedict is hoping to accomplish? I'm not sure I see that happening, and if it does, I'm also not sure it would be successful on any kind of large scale. And lowering the barriers for Anglican to feel more uncomfortable in the conversion does not alter the fact that there are still fundamental differences between Rome & Canberbury that should give pause to those considering conversion as a result of less-than-theological issues, however important these issues may be. What is your take on the Pope's pronouncement?
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Drew,

The reason I very much liked this article is because I think he is right: Cantuar and Rome are offering two fundamentally different models of leadership. Or maybe, one is offering leadership and the other is not. The perpetual round of ecumenical meetings that has been going on for decades is the style of the ABC. The bold move to say, ok, we'll meet you half way and respect your traditions, but you still have to become Catholic--that is the same sort of bold leadership the pope has shown us with regards to Islam.

Why hasn't the ABC baptized any Muslims lately? Or if he has, has it been kept under wraps to make sure that Muslims of the UK don't get upset? Compare that to the pope's clear statements in both word and sacrament regarding Islam.

Regarding this particular move (the ordinariates) I think it is really a sort of post-modernization of church structures through de-territorialization. But that is already common here in the ME where one is used to having a number of Catholic bishops over any given city.

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