Image by Eustaquio Santimano via FlickrI have just had a small spat (my first) on twitter following my comment that the three Anglican Bishops who are submitting to re-ordination to the Roman Priesthood are denying their existing Priesthood, conferred on them by Catholic Bishops in the Anglican Communion. I have apparently forgotten to read what they have said about that complex issue before making such a sweeping statement.
It is a difficult position for for me as I am very much aware of the issues involved and have lived with the tensions for year now. I guess I am angry because for those who have been ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England, and who adhere to Catholic teachings, the notion of being re-ordained is just not an option, well not in my opinion anyhow.
For years some of us have longed for reunification of some sort with the Roman Church but we would never compromise on Priestly orders as the Roman's demanded, and we were very clear that our clergy would never submit to re-ordination. This was, at one time, an absolute position almost a badge of honour and proof positive that you were a true Anglican Catholic. I don't think the arguments have changed!
What has changed is the utter lack of tolerance shown by sections of the Anglican Communion to the Catholic section, those who did not accept the ordination of women to the Priesthood. We failed to accommodate them and they have been boxed into a terrible corner, and finally have had to submit to Rome!
In fact both sides have been horrid and there's nothing for any side to crow about, many of us are guilty of intolerance in this sordid matter.
My prayers are with these men as they submit to Rome, a church I love and pray for, but a church I am, sadly, not part of. I understand their need to argue their position and convince themselves and others that there is no fudge, or slight of hand, but I cannot agree. We must allow them their brush with the reality of the situation they have been put in. I must remain staunchly Anglican, and Catholic.