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No to papal primacy. (England).

London--Evangelical members of the Church of England (Anglican) have written Cardinal Ratzinger denouncing the remarks of the senior Church of England Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, claiming that Anglicans are ready to accept the "need of a universal primacy."

The evangelical group, the Church Society, told the Cardinal that this error is the result of the false ecumenical document The Gift of Authority, 1998 written by Anglican and Catholic theologians (see C.I., July/August 1999, p. 20).

This report of the ecumenical Anglican-Catholic International Committee (ARCIC) claimed that there was "sufficient agreement" on universal primacy for Anglicans to accept it. Says the Church Society: "We, as reformed Anglicans, cannot and will not accept the role of the Pope as set out in The Gift of Authority. It is entirely inconsistent with the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura which remains the official doctrinal position of the Church of England. We believe that the views of Anglicans are being seriously misrepresented in ecumenical dialogue."

The Church Society thanked the Cardinal for the 2000 declaration Dominus Jesus "which seems to us refreshingly honest when compared to the ARCIC reports. We do not believe that anything is to be gained by pretending that we agree when we do not" (The Catholic Herald, Nov. 16, 2001).

Dominus Jesus restated a number of beliefs Catholics must hold, thereby upsetting certain Anglicans who had convinced themselves otherwise. Among them: Anglicans are not part of the (Catholic) Church but essentially a Protestant ecclesial community, and Anglican priestly orders are invalid.

In the past, Catholic Insight has been critical of Catholic ecumenical theologians such as the late Canadian Father Jean-Marie Tillard of Ottawa. He seemed to concentrate on selected Anglican beliefs at the expense of the Anglican pastoral ministry which in its approval of major moral errors such as contraception, divorce, abortion and homosexuality, was and is directly opposed to Catholic teaching (see Tillard, C.I., Jan/Feb 2001, p. 25).

The Church Society now draws attention to doctrinal misrepresentation as well. Evangelical Anglicans constitute perhaps one third of the Church of England.
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:345
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