Thursday 12 July 2007

The Bishop of Rome is a Roman Catholic! No surprise there then.

The recent comments by the Bishop of Rome about how only RCism is the true church seems to have kicked up some debate on Ship of Fools.

I don't see what the fuss is about as this has always been the Church of Rome's attitude to Protestants. It is wrong and a shame of course but nothing new.

Of course since I am an Anglican and not a Protestant you might want to know why I am commenting on it, but of course Rome denies the validity of our orders with the 19th century document Apostolicae Curae. (The reposonse to which is the document Saepius Officio from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York)

There are those who claim the the RCs are the closest denomination to us are we should look for reunification with them, who will no doubt be disappointed with this news. Those who would prefer corporate reunion with Protestant denominations will no doubt use this to further those aims (such as unification with the Methodists)

In reality of course as a Reformed Catholic denomination, our closest denomination is the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, with whom, unsurprisingly as they are a Reformed Catholic denomination too, we are in full communion/have full intercommunion.

The interesting thing of that fact is that until the Old Catholics started ordaining women Rome considered their orders "Valid but Illicit" (I have no idea what their view is now.)

Now since Old Catholic bishops take part in the ordination of Anglican bishops (and vice versa) and we have a fully interchangeable ordained ministry between the two of us. Even if Apostolicae Curae was valid (which of course it is not) Apostolic succession would have returned. Since Apostolicae Curae is wrong and therefore the Anglican Communion has always has valid order this is irrelevant in real life, but could be an interesting theoretical debate.

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