A couple of days ago, I posted on the reaction to the Vatican’s invitation to conservative Anglicans who disagreed with the Episcopal Church’s policy on gay and female clergy. Here’s more blogosphere feedback.
A press release from Voice of the Faithful asks, IS THE ANGLICAN COMMUNITY GOING TO SOLVE THE PRIEST SHORTAGE? Voice of the Faithful is a progressive group of Catholics who coincidentally are holding their annual convention this weekend on Long Island.
Susan Russell (recent past president of Integrity USA) links to an NPR audio and quotes Jim Naughton:
I think for Episcopalians, what we need to do in the wake of this announcement is to continue going out there and saying, look, we do offer very traditional liturgy, beautiful music, a style of worship that many people like. But we are a democratically governed church. We think men and women are equal at the altar, and we respect the dignity of gay and lesbian Christians. If that makes us outcasts, I think that that’s a status that we embrace happily. So if what we’re talking about here are people offering alternatives, I think Episcopalians offer that alternative to their Catholic brothers and sisters.
Is Pope Benedict’s action dynamite under the logjam of stalled ecumenical discussions? This is the question posted on America, the American Catholic Weekly. In another post on the same blog, noted Lutheran theologian Martin Marty is quoted:
Bypassing forty years of Anglican-Roman Catholic conversations-cum-negotiations and blindsiding Archbishop Rowan Williams, the head of the seventy-million-member Anglican Communion, Vatican officials announced that they were taking steps to receive Anglican (in the United States, Episcopal) clergy through conversion into the Roman Catholic priesthood. Headlines had it that Rome wanted to “lure,” “attract,” “bid for” or “woo” priests and congregations to make the drastic move, while the Vatican front man, as he fished for Anglicans, said he was not fishing for Anglicans….
And, a third post on the same blog suggests that the fine print over the acceptance of married Anglican priests into the Catholic church needs some clarification.
One Anglican cleric who blogs as Madpriest, dismisses the Anglicans who are receptive to the Pope’s invitation as “The Dying Gasps of Anglican Misogyny.”
Religion writer Julia Duin at the Washington Post raises lots of questions:
And which elements of the Anglican liturgy will these converts will be allowed to retain? Anglicans have multiple versions (1662, 1928, 1979 to name a few) of their Book of Common Prayer. Will they have to accept Roman Catholic theology on transubstantiation (the bread and wine really becoming the body and blood of Christ), on papal infallibility, on the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven, not to mention the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary was born without sin?
Finally, Minnesota blogger, progressive Catholic Michael Bayly, dares to speak that which must not be spoken. In a post entitled Keeping All the Queens Under One Roof, Bayly suggests that there is a subtext of closeted and repressed gay clergy in both the Anglican communion and the Catholic communion.
We’re not supposed to talk about this aspect of the drama in the Vatican. But there is as much an overlap of closeted gay priests and bishops with liturgical and theological orthodoxy as there is of closeted gay politicians finding ways to oppress other gays who are out and open.
Bayly quotes Chris Dierckes:
If personal experience and lifelong immersion in a sub-culture is any form of persuasive evidence, I can tell you that conservative Anglo-Catholicism — at the clerical level — is totally dominated by gay men. Mostly repressed. What used to be called when I was in seminary, the pink mafia. And the thing that is the initial trigger for this decision is the upcoming very likely to happen decision to ordain women as bishops in the Church of England (there have already been women priests there for about 15 years or so). Which has a certain irony in this case. If these Anglo-Catholics join the Roman Communion they can join up with very conservative Roman Catholic groups like Regnum Christi and The Legionaries of Christ, also totally dominated by closeted gay fellows. You don’t need to be Sigmund Freud to see the awesome tragic humor in a bunch of non-wife-having grown men wearing pink dresses (and in the Pope’s case super expensive fabulous Prada shoes!!!) telling everybody else they shouldn’t be gay.