Thursday, 12 August 2010

An Anglican future in the Catholic Church

Following on from Fr Ivan's post here yesterday, I wanted to bring your attention to an excellent article in August's New Directions (the monthly journal of Forward in Faith). The article, entitled An Anglican future in the Catholic Church, is by the English Dominican, Fr Aidan Nichols OP. Fr Nichols is a great friend of our constituency and has been involved with Forward in Faith from the outset. He contributed to the work that produced Consecrated Women?, the response of Forward in Faith to the idea of Women Bishops in the Church of England.

Fr Nichols's latest book, The Realm, provides a thoughtful insight into the future evangelisation of England. His Catholicism is not, in any way, what might be perceived by some as 'foreign', but instinctively English. Needless to say, he holds Anglo-Catholics in high regard and sees their role in any future evangelisation of this nation as pivotal.

In an earlier book, The Panther and the Hind, first published in 1993, Fr Nichols seeks to explore the history of Anglicanism. In his conclusion he attempts to draw up a plan which integrates Anglicanism into the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Here is an excerpt:

"An Anglican [...] community might be relatively small in numbers, yet, provided with its own canonical structure, liturgical books, parishes, and means of priestly formation, it would enrich Roman Catholicism with its own theological patrimony, and - in the atmosphere of ecumenial detente which holds good in the West, though not, alas, the East - fulfil the role of 'bridge-Church' between Canterbury and Rome".
Sound familiar? It should.

You can tell from this that Fr Nichols is a man who knows his stuff and is worth taking into consideration as we think about where we are. Do take time to read his article in New Directions which can be found online here.

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