Saturday, May 17, 2014

If you haven’t already done so, please scroll down to the “Help our Host” post, and to the “AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT” post.,

I’ve gotten used to seeing the same announcements from TEC every time there is a “significant event” – same-sex “marriage” is authorized in yet another diocese, a gay bishop takes a trip to lower Mesopotamia, or a committee decides that there needs to be a meeting convened to appoint a commission to consider updating the BCP.

I’ve also gotten used to announcements regarding ARCIC – the ” Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission”, which is supposed to be seeking unity between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church. (Please don’t hurt yourselves laughing, Fuinseoig and Ed the R.)

The latest news from ARCIC is now out, and it can hardly be called “news”. I don’t know is there’s such a word as “olds” or not, but that’s the category we’re dealing with. I read it and I’ve got nothing. I can’t understand how people who claim to be of sound mind and reasonable education can possibly think that a church which has sustained a male-only clergy, denied the legitimacy of same-sex relationships and maintained the faith as handed down from the fathers can come to terms with the “we’re inclusive, we’ll do it all” creature that is the current embodiment of the old-line members (TEC, CofE) of the Anglican Communion:

(Vatican Radio) As the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission meeting continues its work in Durban, South Africa, the head of Rome’s Anglican Centre says he expects “significant progress” at the 10 day meeting. Archbishop David Moxon, who serves as the Anglican co-chair of the ARCIC III talks that run from May 12th to 20th, also told Vatican Radio that new collaboration in mission has brought the dialogue to “the verge of something quite new which will bear real fruit.”

The theme for this fourth phase of the current ARCIC talks is to explore the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how, together, they come to discern correct ethical teaching. Just before his departure for Durban, Archbishop Moxon sat down with Philippa Hitchen to talk about the goals of the meeting and his own hopes for the future of Anglican-Catholic relations.

Archbishop Moxon says he hopes the 10-day encounter will design the shape of the next ARCIC report which is half way towards completion. The report, he says, will be about 3 things: what we do have in common and why, what we don’t yet hold in common but can see potential for agreement, and where we do disagree and can’t see potential for agreement. On all three levels, Archbishop Moxon says he expects significant progress at this meeting. Alongside that, he adds the report will be looking at Receptive Ecumenism which is a method of approaching each other in collaboration and mutual learning and support, like for example the recently established Global Freedom Network which is a good example of this methodology.

The Anglican co-chair goes onto say that the report unlikely to be completed for another 3 or 4 years but at the end he says “I would think that it will be a document that not only ecumenists are interested in…but (it) will contain a shared theology on the way we make ethical decisions, a shared theology on joint mission, a kind of manual even for mutual collaboration on the ground at home.”

Asked about recent comments from a former Archbishop of Canterbury about the lack of progress that ARCIC has achieved over the past 40 years, Archbishop Moxon replies that his words are “a challenge that we should take seriously.” But he argues that the recently restarted network IARCUUM showcases all the progress that has been achieved – “and that is 80% agreement on core doctrine which no-one out on the street would think has been accomplished!

We have an agreement on the Eucharist, we have an agreement on Baptism, we have an agreement on the priesthood, essentially, and we have agreement on the Church as communion – these are things that didn’t exist 30 years ago. We can co-preside at each other’s weddings, we can share ecumenical Liturgies of the Word, Ash Wednesday liturgies – impossible 40 years ago. So God walks through history a decade at a stride and you can’t measure this in a year at a time.”
Archbishop Moxon adds that “we’re on the verge of something quite new which will bear real fruit and that is joint collaboration in mission” which will start to drive ecumenism. Key to this development, he says, is Pope Francis’ homily at St Paul’s Outside the Walls last January during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, during which he said we must walk together now as if unity was a reality….”I think that’s opened the door to a whole new way of understanding each other” Archbishop Moxon concludes.

I’ve got nothing on this. Really. There’s no way to fisk something which, by it’s very nature, is completely and totally nonsensical.
Fortunately, Albert Einstein can do the heavy lifting for me. As the renowned genius said,

” Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
That describes ARCIC perfectly.

Bill (not IB)

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