Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dawkins on Anglicans and Catholics

Thanks to Church Mouse for bringing this article by Richard Dawkins to my attention. He gives a characteristically brutal evaluation of the motives and methods of the Vatican in making overtures to the traditionalist catholic end of the C of E. In many ways it's a fairly predictable rant, but I noticed a couple of interesting points:

  1. how (relatively) well the Church of England and especially Abp Rowan Williams come out of the piece.
  2. that the criterion applied to the two churches is that of Jesus - an unlikely standard for Dawkins to appeal to: "The Anglican church has at least a few shreds of decency, traces of kindness and humanity with which Jesus himself might have connected"
He is also clear that this is an act of "poaching" by the Vatican and encourages Abp Rowan to make a reciprocal offer. It is interesting to speculate how such as offer would have gone down.

Meanwhile, the offer from Rome seems to have been well-received by a good number of my catholic colleagues. What I can't get my head round is why converting to Roman Catholicism is so much more attractive if there's some form of association of ex-Anglican priests than it was before. They will still be lay people in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, and will still need to be re-ordained.

I'm sure it makes more sense for those from an Anglo-Catholic tradition, but if I believed the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and saw membership of that Church as fulfilment of my vocation, I'd be a member already. But then, I nearly became a Methodist when I was 20...

1 comment:

Emma said...

I like the new vicar pic on your profile, Mike!