Generally, I am known for writing on issues of theology; but, we have from Monday's news also the real life consequences of good or bad polity to consider. Earlier, I pointed out that Rome has not earned the right to expect trust. I have been criticized heavily as meaner than Mean Mr. Mustard himself (who "always shouts out something obscene"). I would have preferred to see evidence that my critics know how to think rather than merely reacting with undue emotion. Warning my fellow Anglicans of the danger has brought on my head the charge often leveled at watchmen on the wall; but this is not about who can be nice and sound sweet (if not sugar-coated), and appeal to warm and fuzzy emotions. This is about the life or death of what we have sought to Continue since the big 1977 meeting in St. Louis. What kind of Christianity will we provide for our children, and, in general, to the next generation?
In matters of simple polity, Rome's very thick bureaucracy stands between all Tiber Swimmers and the kind intentions of the Pope himself; and that bureaucracy shows no signs of mortality, let alone a speedy demise. The new Constitution reaffirms it on every level, and offers nothing to Anglicans who are accustomed to having a voice in the administration of parish business affairs, election of bishops, and matters that pertain to the pastoral care and education of their own children.
The sight of Cardinal William Levada presenting the news, on October 20, would have been ironic in a humorous way, if only this whole thing were not so very serious. His reputation in the United States is very bad, inasmuch as he shielded and reassigned priests who sexually abused boys; as did Cardinal Bernard Law. We have many reasons for saying to Anglicans who are Purgatory-bent on the Tiber, you are trusting a huge bureaucracy that has yet to set its own house in order. But, the most glaring reason of all, as to why such trust is misplaced, is that some of the same people who let the wolves loose on Catholic children (children who were Catholic by any proper standard), are still active in the system. Furthermore, even after the enablers are dead and gone, in spite of the Pope's most sincere desire to clean up the system, there remains evidence that Rome's inner corruption is yet unreformed, rather than signs of a better day ahead. The bureaucracy with all of its secrecy and corruption is, in many practical ways, unchanged.
Archbishop John Hepworth of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) claimed that the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome, has promised that married men from among the Roman Catholics in the "Ordinariate churches" may be ordained in the future. The Constitution says the opposite. About the issue of married clergy, we see now that nothing other than the same old Pastoral Provisions will be offered. Anglican Church in America (ACA) websites have been telling their people that what Rome offers is inter-communion: But the Constitution offers no such thing; rather, it lays down the conditions for "conversion." Those conditions are unacceptable to to anyone who has true Anglican convictions. And, will the Traditional Anglican Church (the TAC church) in England now have to vote to back out of their recent vote to accept whatever this Constitution was going to say? Do they even now grasp what it does, in fact, say?
We, on this blog, saw clearly from the first day of the announcement on October 20. I feel like John Wayne in McClintock.
Someone ought to say, I told'ya so; but I won't; I won't...Like hell I won't.