Pope Benedict has just invited the Anglicans into true communion, that is, communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! This is probably the best news I have heard all year!
In a stunning move [last] Tuesday, the Holy Father issued a decree which created a provision allowing whole Anglican communities to become one with the Roman Catholic Church while retaining their own leadership and traditions. This move is unprecedented! In reality, it has been so long in coming, and I often wondered why acceptance of these willing communities was not done decades ago. Clearly, the progressive penchant for increasing “dialogue” and endlessly maintaining “diversity” made it impossible for them to switch sides, but now that barrier has been wiped away. It would seem that such willingness on the part of so many to rejoin the One True Church would be an opportunity of epic proportions for evangelization. Yet, it took a clear-thinking German Pope to reverse, in part, the damage that his countryman Martin Luther and King Henry VIII did to the unity of the Church almost 500 years ago.
It is said that as many as 50 Anglican bishops and their communities around the world have asked for union with the Roman Catholic Church. There is one group of traditionalist Anglicans who number between 400,000 and 500,000 members and are expected to be the first to take the leap. I pray that many more will walk through the doors that lead to full Catholic unity!
The real question is why anyone at all should stay in the Anglican Church. What is there to stay for? Anglicanism is basically committing doctrinal suicide, much the same way that England’s population is about to implode due to their excessively high abortion and contraception rates and their hedonistic culture. All of that culture rot, of course, is symbiotic with the Anglican rebellion against traditional morality which slid precipitously from Henry’s heresy to a homosexual hierarchy in a few short centuries. I am glad to see that some Anglicans are not taking it any more. Many have now realized that the only place they can find the unadulterated (no pun intended, Henry…) Truth is in the Church that Christ founded to be the “pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Tim 3:15) for all ages. Those who stand on the Rock of Peter have solid footing for answering all the most important issues of any day. The holy English martyrs must be rejoicing in heaven knowing that they did not shed their blood in vain!
In order to “manage expectations,” however, we have to let the Anglicans know that they will not enter a perfect Church by any means, just a True Church, but that is the reality of this human institution with a divine soul. They may meet some who are still mired in the relativistic morals they thought they had left back in London. They may meet others who work precisely against the teaching of Christ while remaining within our chanceries. They will find a Church that badly needs a leadership overhaul and a good scouring of the Temple, but more important than any other consideration is that they will be in Christ’s Church and they will now strengthen us in our fight for the Truth! We can only be overjoyed at their entrance. Their orthodoxy will amplify the voice of traditional Catholics hopefully enough to drown out the voices of dissent with our ranks. May the entrance of the faithful Anglicans serve as example of authentic faith to all who belong to our Lord!
Now I have a request for all faithful Catholics who love unity. Whenever we hear of those from the Anglican Communion returning to the Church that Christ founded, please seek them out and give them a hero’s welcome! I have already written to the community of Anglican nuns in Maryland that recently embraced the Ancient Faith, and it was such a joy to do so! Let us thank them and tell them how inspiring their journey is to us who were born into this Church. Their entrance into full communion reminds us of the precious gift we have been given in the authentic Catholic Faith. Let us also assure them that they are welcome in the Church to which Christ promised the very keys of the Kingdom of Heaven!