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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Tiff

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 01, 2003

Vision Book Cover Prints

The U.K. Telegraph reports that the Holy See has decided that the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is a dead end.

Top level unity talks between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have collapsed after the consecration of Anglicanism's first openly homosexual bishop.

In a bitter blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Vatican is preparing to suspend the talks following a final meeting in the New Year. ...

Dr Williams was personally warned by the Pope and other cardinals that the issue of homosexuality would jeopardise relations when he visited the Vatican in October. The Vatican, which is unequivocally opposed to homosexual activity, has indicated in recent weeks that its representatives could no longer share a platform with Bishop Griswold.

It's not quite accurate to characterize ARCIC as "top level unity talks" -- the participants were not ranking ecclesiastics nor was unification seriously contemplated by either party -- but its collapse is interesting all the same. Like balloons twisted into diverse animal shapes to delight different children, the many Anglicanisms of Dr. Williams change according to the audience and the occasion. He told Vatican Radio that the Anglican teaching on homosexuality was the same as the Catholic Church's, yet could find no grounds for rebuking the Robinson consecration apart from lapses in the process of deliberation. It seems that he stretched the ecclesiological rubber past the breaking point.

For the short term.

I suspect the Archbishop of Canterbury will make some kind of verbal concession in the near future, that Cardinal Kasper will do the same, and that after an exchange of candy and flowers ARCIC will be back in business with a rousing statement of ecumenical accord (deploring homelessness or asking for Third World debt remission) within a year.

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