Thursday, 29 October 2009

Lord Carey on the Roman Cat(holic) Among the Anglican Pigeons

In "Cause for Sadness and Celebration" for The Washington Post, Lord Carey, erstwhile and most recent Archbishop of Canterbury, gives his take on Pope Benedict's offer of a Roman Catholic 'Apostolic Constitution' for "Anglicans wishing to flee their own troubled shores."

I enjoy the way Lord Carey thinks and expresses himself. This on why we have this complicated Anglican predicament:
Historically, we have been a Church formed and shaped from a 'troika' of three traditions - evangelical, high church and liberal. Many evangelicals are now hiving off to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and refusing to have anything to do with the rest of the church. If Anglo-Catholics are wooed by Rome we could see the Church of England becoming a mainly liberal church, espousing little more than tolerance and liberality in all things; a kind of green party at prayer. Yes, the troika we have inherited has been, at times, a wild group of horses but, for myself, I would rather have that, than what we are likely to have if distinctive groups go their separate ways.

We do indeed live in uncertain times but I remain quite convinced that Anglicanism stands for something that is not quite caught by other traditions and, with respect, not even by Rome. That is to say, Catholic and Reformed. This has sometimes been put in the Latin tag: 'Ecclesia reformata et semper reformanda' (the Church reformed and constantly in need of reform). In faithful continuity to the past and yet open to all that God wishes to reveal to us through the fundamental sources of our faith, namely, the scriptures.
Our mess is a fine one, indeed.

All here.