I like to think kindly of the better side of the churches and admit to being completely fascinated by their politics. Here then is the magisterial analysis of what many see as the Vaticans power grab for Anglican traditionalists, written by that great theologian of ecumenism Hans Kung, whose right to teach theology was revoked by JP2 because of Kung’s repeated criticisms of the then Pope’s “mediocre conservatism.”
“Clearly, the well-meaning Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was no match for cunning Vatican diplomacy. In his cosying up with the Vatican, he evidently did not recognise the consequences. Otherwise he would not have put his signature to the downplaying communique of the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster
As I wrote in 1967, “a resumption of ecclesial community between the Catholic church and the Anglican church” would be possible, when “the Church of England, on the one side, shall be given the guarantee that its current autochthonous and autonomous church order under the Primate of Canterbury will be preserved fully” and when, “on the other side, the Church of England shall recognise the existence of a pastoral primacy of Petrine ministry as the supreme authority for mediation and arbitration between the churches.” “In this way,” I expressed my hopes then, “out of the Roman imperium might emerge a Catholic commonwealth. But Pope Benedict is set upon restoring the Roman imperium.
As Im the last to want to feed the prejudices of the Protestant right, heres another side of the story from comedian Frank Skinner, a Catholic and Kung fan, who deplores the idea of an influx of sexual bigots into a church body that increasingly supports gays and women priests etc., whatever the Vatican may say
Now instead, it seems, a whole lot of bigoted reinforcements are arriving to galvanise those more unpalatable aspects of Roman Catholic doctrine.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London