Friday, October 26, 2007

Anglicans swimming the Tiber

~Diogenesis has this very funny article on Off the Record about the suspicion over Anglicans converting:
Catholic News Service has an unsigned article about three Anglican parishes in Ireland that have asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. For the most part the piece is factual and objective, if somewhat stiff. Then we come upon the following paragraph:
Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials have expressed their hope that the Anglican Communion would find a structure able to keep Anglicans united [my emphasis] while strengthening the faith and doctrinal heritage they share with the Roman Catholic Church in order to continue moving Roman Catholics and Anglicans toward full unity.
Get the drift? We're supposed to view the three Romeward bound parishes as acting contrary to the "hope" of Pope Benedict and the Vatican. Rather than celebrate the move, Catholics (presumably) should feel chagrined that the converts jumped the gun instead of waiting until the Anglican Communion is reconciled en bloc.

It's no secret that many progressivist Catholics feel ill-at-ease in a Church they find too old-fashioned and peer wistfully across the fence into the Anglican pasture, where gays may safely graze and women wear chasubles. These Catholics are dismayed by Anglican conversions, both because the converts prize in the Catholic Church those very characteristics the progressivists want to throw overboard, and because these new brethren raise the number of orthodox Catholics against whom the libs will have to do battle. The headline of the Irish Independent article on the same story -- "300 Anglicans Defect to Rome" -- betrays the same consternation. So they're "defectors" now?

During and after World War II, Leftists in Britain and America were enthusiastic about welcoming refugees from Hitler's Germany and distinctly unenthusiastic about receiving refugees from Soviet persecution: refugees who cherished all the wrong things about their adopted country. By the same token, the frigid welcome accorded Anglicans fleeing the territory of Bishops Robinson and Jefferts Schori is due to the fact that many of their new hosts share more kinship with Gene and Katharine than with Benedict, and want to import the most divisive of their Anglican innovations into the Catholic household. Small wonder they prefer the newcomers had not converted in the first place, but stayed put in order to -- what's the line? -- right, right: to help "keep Anglicans united."

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