Is the Pope poaching Anglican clergy?

It is a story that will not just wane. A year ago, having moved to London from Glasgow, together with my catholic neighbours, i went to the local church for a Sunday service expecting not more than just a sermon.

Being the only blackman in the 300 seater cathedral, i got the chance to shake hands with the presiding priest who i came to know as Fr. Steven. Now that was lame! Having been brought up in a conservative parish deep in Uganda where i grew up, i knew Steven as a name that belonged to protestants. You see, we were made to believe then, that some names belonged to given religions and if you had to be a true catholic, it was wise to avoid them. (names)

Fr. Steven was smart, loving and caring. He had delivered his sermon with such precision and competence that i wondered if it was because he was white or just a question of being one of those talented preachers.

Turns out, Fr. Steven was indeed a talented former Anglican Reverand married with 3 children. Now, that was even odder! Curious and shaken, i asked to know if it was even legal for a married person to say mass. Having missed out on joining Kitabi Seminary to train as a priest myself, i had more reasons to demand answers.

You see, my parents had passed away when i was a young kid–just 1 year old. Fr. Celil Mbura, the then vocations priest at my local parish in Uganda had ruled that because they (my parents) had passed away without wedding in the church, i had no moral right to join a seminary later on become a priest.

But here was a married man, with kids and a wife who was seriously delivering goods and serving the holy communion. I was confused. I asked Fr. Steven about it and he told me there is no law that bars married people from becoming priests. In fact his interpretation of the rule was that a priest is not allowed to marry. Meaning any married person could become a priest but no priest would marry and still serve. Even more confusing but i understood it. I cursed the day i was denied access to priesthood and swore never to forgive Fr. Celil Mbura.

But that is a story for another day.

Today, the world is awash with a new story. Rome or The Vatican as we know it appears to have got this one right. With the Anglicans confused over whether their church should ordain and consecrate women Bishops, Rome appears to have found a way of winning back those it feels can be won. The rule book will not matter as long as the interpretation suits the interest of The Vatican.

The situation is so serious that the Archbishop of Canterbury has  had to express his concerns to the Pope over the way His Highness is welcoming disaffected Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church.

In the private meeting at the Vatican with Benedict XVI, Dr Rowan Williams made clear he had been put in an ‘awkward position’ because he had been given so little warning about the proposals to entice Anglicans to Rome by letting them keep many of their traditions.

But he insisted that the tone of the meeting had been ‘very friendly’, and relations between the two Churches were still strong. The Vatican also described the meeting as ‘cordial’.

Some Church of England leaders have accused the Vatican of discourtesy in failing to consult Dr Williams. The Archbishop was distressed when the proposals were sprung on him last month with barely two weeks’ notice.

Many believe the Pope is deliberately trying to poach Anglicans dismayed at the liberal drift of their own Church, undermining years of efforts to improve relations between the denominations.

A smart move of course given the circumstances.

The Vatican says its invitation came in response to pleas from Anglicans unhappy about the imminent consecration of women bishops

But should the Pope have consulted the Anglican church? Of course the Pope should not have consulted the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Me thinks the choice is purely a personal decision of the individual anglicans based on the terms offered by the catholic church!!!!

The Archbishop of Canterbury had his say when he allowed women priests. That was when he lost many anglicans support and any decsions they take has absolutely nothing to do with him now.

So I say back off and keep out, the irretrievable damage has been done and you and the anglican church are the losers

You tell me!

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Author: ellyakanga

I am Eleneus Akanga. Welcome to my blog about my experience as a Rwandan journalist and all that comes with the trade in East Africa. It's been a great journey so far but very challenging at times. Join me, let's get cracking! ellyakanga@usa.com

2 thoughts on “Is the Pope poaching Anglican clergy?”

  1. That is a good story, i read the whole of it, actually re-read it coz its interesting to read and the other fact that its written by a person i am also morally obliged to read his writings made it more interesting! ha.

    I think The rift between the Anglican Church is a healthy one coz by this many mistakes will be corrected.

    It is very interesting that you related the story on your personnal experinece, JUST REMEMBER HOW Fr. Celil Mbura DENIED YOU A CHANCE TO BECOME A PRIEST! I like it when you say that you will NEVER FORGIVE him! Just as you were denied a chance of becoming a priest just because you were a helpless orphan who only had hopes in God and wished to do His work inform of Priesthood, is the same way many well deserving womwn were denied access to Priest hood. Since you didn ot reffer yourself to the Bible (Which shd have been your reference, i am also not going to do so) but would rather tell you that that was a stereotype and discrimination that was against women in old times which deserves to change.

    what would you support between women priests and guys priests ? That has been a major source of rift and it deserved a mention in your article.

    Since you said that you swore not to forgive Fr. Mbura (hope you forgive him 2dy as failure means you2 wd neva be forgiven), you shd’nt’ve dare to tell the The Archbishop of Canterbury to backoff but rather would tell Write discouraging the maltipractices in Anglican church (which i believe are many and the church needs to change) like the way of baptism, guy priesthood, e.t.c. Thank God some Anglican priests can defect to Catholic church lest you would never have experinced such preachings as from Fr. Steven. God bless. Hope NEXT TIME YOU’LL USE THE BIBLE AS YOUR REFERENCE.

  2. Thanks Mugume for that insightful comment. You do realise that i deliberately chose not to quote the bible. As a Christian and a Catholic one for that matter, i have always chosen to stay clear of any argument that requires me to question the bible. Because much as i find it very interesting to read, it is loaded with such write ups that are subject to challenge if we were to think critically. But hey, that would be sac rage and a cardinal sin for that matter. Pathetic isn’t it?
    I do agree that the decision by the Anglican church to deny women priesthood if looked at in the sense of gay bishops becomes even more plausible and something that deserved a note in this.
    Thanks for appreciating and your contribution. Keep reading bruv.

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