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Catholic Church casts a wider net

October 27, 2009

So from what I gather the Catholic Church is welcoming more married Anglicans, and will allow a sort of Anglican church within the church. Huh?

I’m all for welcoming and including more people, but for an institution that is based on hundreds of years of tradition and is led by a conservative man who believes we should basically stick to our guns and not change based on pop culture, much less popular opinion, I find this news a little hard to swallow. This seems like nothing more than an attempt to fill our ranks with ever more conservative, homophobic, and gender-biased members. Aren’t these the people the Church is courting, those who are offended by the gay and women clergy and want to harken back to the good old days when gays stayed in the closet, and women stayed voiceless?

One bizarre aspect of the whole idea of allowing married Anglicans to become Catholic priests is that Catholics themselves are still unable to be married and serve as priests. As Andrew Sullivan points out, why should Anglicans get this special treatment, but not our own? I have always thought it strange that someone who is not married, nor can ever be, should be giving marital advice.

I have plenty of issues with the Church. I think some of the rules are stupid because they promote discrimination and preserve inequality. I have a problem with the fact that women are still treated unfairly. (How ridiculous that it was such a revelation to become an altar server like the boys, as if a girl couldn’t also carry the cross or wash away the priests’ iniquities. And why are we cutting our prospective priest pool in half by not allowing women to serve in that capacity?) But I also understand and respect tradition, and I hope for change. Ultimately, each church is its own entity, and its character reflects the communal mood of its members. We are the Church, as they say. There are very conservative Catholic churches, and fairly liberal ones. You get to decide which to attend or not. This is yet another reason to be annoyed by the Pope’s agenda. I don’t believe this move is geared towards the spiritual growth of the Church’s members, or potential members, but merely a political move to growth the ranks.

You know the joke that the Episcopal Church is “Catholic Lite.” What will these Anglo-Catholics be called?

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