Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Anglican? Don't like gay clergy? The Pope Wants You!

Interesting. The Catholic Church has announced that Anglicans can become Catholic en masse and still retain some Anglican traditions. Obviously the Anglican/Episcopalian schismlet over gay clergy will have some effect on this:

Cardinal Levada said the Vatican created the structure in response to many requests from Anglicans over the years since the Church of England first ordained women in the 1970s and more recently when it faced what he called “a very difficult question” — the ordination of openly gay clergy and the blessing of homosexual unions.

The American branch of the Anglican Communion, known as the Episcopal Church, has come close to schism over these issues. Disaffected conservatives in the United States announced in 2008 that they were organizing their own rival province of the church in North America.

In other words, many Anglicans may decide that debate over gays and women isn't worth it and join the Catholic fold. That's unfortunate, further polarization of religions is unlikely to be helpful to skeptics. It will be harder to engage in dialogue if people simply retreat to the safety of conclaves made up of homogeneous beliefs. Not that religion is a paragon of internal debate on these issues... but this doesn't help.

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