Damian Thompson, the witty religion columnist for the UK Telegraph, wrote the following piece satirizing a fictional but all-too-likely response by the liberal publication The Tablet (think: “Hey what would the saner elements of St. Cronan’s write if they had the chance?”) to the Pope’s recent bold initiative towards Anglicans:
Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer special arrangements for conservative Anglicans is a bold gesture that is intended to address a very real pastoral need on the part of members of that Communion who are unable to accept its progressive teaching on homosexuality and the ministry of women. The Archbishop of Canterbury has stated that this is not an aggressive move on the part of Rome. Other commentators may feel otherwise, particularly considering the inappropriately short notice the Bishops of England and Wales were given of this controversial decision, which undermines the occasionally troubled yet undeniably rewarding ecumenical dialogue undertaken by ARCIC. This dialogue between the Churches is entering a new, even more fruitful phase as the two Communions unite to halt global warming through joint parish initiatives; it is therefore mystifying that the all-male Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should have chosen to issue this declaration in the sensitive weeks ahead of the Copenhagen Summit – unless, of course, the CDF (never the most enlightened of dicasteries) is trying to distract attention from the fate of the planet by flagging up the plight of a few Christians who share climate change deniers’ determination to preserve a vanished past. We therefore hope that ordinary Catholics will join with mainstream Anglican justice and peace activists to dialogue with so-called “traditionalists” hoping to take advantage of this crazy plan of Ratzinger’s, and, if they fail to see the error of their ways, drive them out of the village with flaming torches and pitchforks.
I can just visualize the editorial meeting…