We have $161,449 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Anglicanism... and Anglicanism Lite

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Jul 28, 2009

 Back in the 1980s, when Coca-Cola executives made the colossal blunder of changing their secret formula without adequately testing the market, the maladroit pairing of "new" and "classic" Coke prompted some whimsical musings from a writer at the Wall Street Journal, who made the light-hearted suggestion that Catholicism might try the same sort of marketing techniques. The Church might  offer a "new" Catholicism, with guitars and liturgical dance, the writer suggested. Then keep the traditionalists happy with "classic" Catholicism: plenty of Latin and incense. Lackadaisical Catholics might enjoy "Catholicism Lite," and proponents of liberation theology would swing toward "Catholicism Free." 

The Journal column was a joke, and a good one. (I'm sorry that the column appeared before the internet era, and I can't provide a link. Maybe some enterprising reader can help us?) 

The Church of England, on the other hand-- permission to speak freely?-- risks becoming nothing more than a joke, and no longer even a good one. Believe me, I enjoy a joke, and my Anglican brothers have provided me with plenty over the years. But there's no fun to be had shooting fish in a barrel. Silly Anglicans, pompous Anglicans, fussy and illogical Anglicans: all of these have been legitimate objects of fun for Catholics since the time of Henry VIII. But utterly absurd Anglicans? Anglican leaders who make no pretense at logic? They're no fun at all, and I protest!

A full generation has passed since another wag, at National Review, observed that the remarkable thing about Anglican statements of faith was that they were couched in language so vague that no one, from Pope Paul VI to Mao Xedong, could say with any certainty that he disagreed. Now we've moved beyond that level of incongruity, approaching the limits of the absurd.

Today's headlines bring the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury foresees a two-track future for the Anglican communion.  Anglicanism and Anglicanism Lite, so to speak. But the implied comparison with popular beverages does not hold up. Bud and Bud Lite are recognizably products of the same brewery. The tastes are similar; the marketing campaigns are coordinated. Consumers of each product are looking for the same thing: the taste of beer. 

With the Anglican communion, on the other hand, the "consumers" of the two different types of Anglican religion are looking for radically different things. No; more than that: the two types of Anglicans want to eliminate each other! Since the difference is most evident on the question of homosexuality, we could say that one "track" envisioned by the Druid Archbishop sees homosexual unions as an abomination, while the other sees them as a sacrament. 

An abomination, a sacrament. A toxin, an antitoxin. The Christ, the Antichrist. You can choose sides, and cheer for your favorite. But really, folks, don't claim to be on the same team. Or, if you must, don't ask me to take you seriously anymore. 


An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($161,449 to go):
$200,000.00 $38,550.72
81% 19%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod Continues 21 hours ago
Why Pope Francis cannot win on sexual abuse 22 hours ago
A secret plot to control the Synod? No; it's not secret at all. October 8
What about Catholic affirmation for those in false marriages? October 8
Free eBook: Pope Francis' Catechesis on the Family October 7

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5