That’s One Way to Undo the English Reformation

Evidently things are coming to a head in the centre of the Anglican Communion with secret talks between bishops in the Church of England and the Vatican over a "Plan B" in a church facing the ordination of women bishops and expanding the role of open homosexuals.

Senior Church of England bishops have held secret talks with Vatican officials to discuss the crisis in the Anglican communion over gays and women bishops. 

They met senior advisers of the Pope in an attempt to build closer ties with the Roman Catholic Church, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not told of the talks and the disclosure will be a fresh blow to his efforts to prevent a major split in the Church of England.

In highly confidential discussions, a group of conservative bishops expressed their dismay at the liberal direction of the Church of England and their fear for its future.

I have two comments on this issue.

  1. The Vatican is being more "proactive" than I thought they would be when I wrote Think Before You Convert back in 2004.  Then again, I was focused more on the situation on this side of the Atlantic, where people’s affiliation is more fluid.  From the Vatican’s standpoint, this is a situation that’s too good to pass up, although their own church already "on the ground" in the U.K. is too liberal to take full advantage of it.
  2. I still think that Anglicanism is compromised from the start in opposing women bishops owing to the headship of the monarch, the "Lady and Governor" of the church.

But the weight of the possiblities cannot be underestimated.  It could lead to the practical undoing of the English Reformation, which would be Roman Catholicism’s greatest victory in Europe in a very long time.

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