Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

One thing for sure: they're not Catholic

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 02, 2003

Once again the Guardian deserves credit for publishing a truly eye-opening report on the Anglican crisis.

This time the insight comes from the Archbishop of Canterbury himself. After admitting that things are "messy" in the Church of England these days, Archbishop Williams says:

If you're not going to be a Roman Catholic, with clear universal visible tests for unity, you're going to be involved in some degree of structural complexity - and I'm assuming that as Anglicans we have enough theological reservations about the (Roman Catholic) model of visible unity to make it worth our while exploring how 'structural complexity' can witness to the supernatural character of the church.

In other words, these days Anglicans don't know what they believe or who they are, but they know what they are not: They're not Catholics.

A question: If the only thing that Anglicans know for sure is that they don't want to be Catholics, what is the basis for continued ecumenical discussions?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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