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Wednesday, October 21, 2009



I am glad I no longer subscribe to AOL and send them money. AOL news is blatantly anti-Catholic and regularly misrepresent Catholicism in an ugly way with their misleading headlines, etc. They were obsessed with the Father Cutie thing so I am not surprised they are focused on married priests. It is interesting to see journalists scramble to put a negative spin on this. Now, what do you think the spin would be from the media if it were the Anglicans paving the way for Catholics to come into communion with them?

Dan Deeny

Yes, of course Carl, you are right and this is a good article. But "poach" creates interest and controversy, and therefore readers. Journalists need controversy to sell newspapers and television time. Thus, they sometimes create controversy, doubt, and problems.


On the charge of "poaching," I like Diogenes' observation that "the 'poaching' metaphor is an odd choice of images when the 'rabbits' in question have been pleading, sometimes for decades, to jump into the hunter's game bag."



The term "poaching" in British parlance can also have a more benign connotation, such as in football (aka "soccer") in which a team can be said to "poach" a goal against the run of play. So the author might or might not have intended to portray the welcoming of Anglicans more in terms of friendly rivalry than anything underhanded.

Sandra Miesel

The Yahoo news headline yesterday referred to Rome "luring" Anglicans. But the largest traditional Anglican community had approached Rome first, asking for accomodation.

Carl E. Olson

Thanks, Kevin, for that information. That might be the case, as you note, but there have also been references (here in the U.S. and in British newspapers) to "fishing" (see this BBC piece) and "stealing sheep," which suggests the poaching reference is of the less benign sort. And some American papers are using "poaching" in the way I identified in my post (see this Chicago Tribune blog post).

NW Clerk

I felt sorry reading some Traditional Anglican comboxes in which commentators asked if they would be forced to accept such "unacceptable" dogmas as papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception. No comment on my part is necessary........


The poaching or stealing is from the Anglican perspective. The Catholic perspective is too radical to print. They believe Pope Benedict is the only legitimate shepherd. It is so much easier to view it as a territorial dispute. When you look at it as a fight between good and evil, between false teachers and true prophets then it makes sense. It is much easier to report on the church equivalent of the Pepsi challenge than to talk about saving the remnant of a formerly impressive fallen church.


That is a bold move but beware of the Catholic Church. I used to be Catholic but then I stopped practicing after I found out some disturbing truth. Some say the papacy is the antichrist. They changed the ten commandments which is the Law of God, the Pope claims to be a god, they have killed innocent people for centuries like the Spanish Inquisition and supporting the Nazis, and the priests have molested a lot of children. Jesus would not approve of any of these, it is not Christian, that is evil hiding behind religion. People really need to open their eyes. I know I did!!!

Stephen Sparrow

When it comes to stuff written by Ruth Gledhill, well if your blood pressure is a little on the low side go ahead and read it ;-)



As much as I think you are probably joking or attempting to derail the thread, I'll play along long enough to suggest you check out this link for the responses to your "disturbing truths":


I have seen this same post from Amy on three different Catholic blogs. I consider the comment troll material and not worth a response.


I've commented on the matter here. I take it that many Ignatius Insight readers will disagree with me, but there is critical commentary out there that isn't quite the fish in a barrel that Carl likes to provide, and you may be interested in reading it.

Yes, some people are talking a lot about married priests. But you don't need to act as if you didn't already know that journalists latch on to insignificant details or twisted facts, or as if they only do this to Catholics. Why not read more interesting commentary? Wouldn't that be more edifying?


Hello Evan,

I read the commentary. Thanks for the link. "Rome makes ecumenical work with Protestants more difficult." Probably so. But you will forgive some of us for thinking that you can't resuscitate a corpse. And a corpse is what ARCIC is now.

What prospect was there that ARCIC could achieve anything further, doctrinally? As the Anglican communion fragments rapidly, it becomes hard to even know what the Anglican position is - so how can we even dialogue with it? For that matter, how much interest really remains among Anglicans for rapprochement (on any terms) with the Catholic Church?

Jack G.

About the married priests issue... doesn't the "epochal" nature of this decision all depend on whether the new structure will allow for married men who are *not* Anglican clergy to become seminarians?


Just a point on comment about married priest and Eastern Rites. I know of at least one Eastern rite that specifically will not ordain married men in the UNited States, even though their tradition allows it and they do so outside the U.S. Why? Because Roman Rite bishops kicked up such a fuss about it, because the bishops were afraid men would as you said "stay Catholic, go East" and be ordained. Then the Eastern Rites might become more than just a small ethic conclave and become wide spread.


Athelstane, thanks for the comments. I agree that in many ways ecumenical dialogue hasn't been very successful, and I'm with Carl in his comments elsewhere that perpetual talking isn't the goal. So at least I can respect that the CDF is doing something.

That said, a lot of the response on this- both supportive and opposing- seems to act as if "the Vatican" as one voice is doing this, and I'm not convinced that that's the case. Ed Peters brought up the question on his blog of why the CDF is handling this rather than the Congregation for Bishops. There's also the question of how this affects the PCPCU's work. While I wouldn't want to assert that there's some sort of dispute or silencing going on inside the Vatican, this move reads easily as a Ratzinger-Levada-CDF fast track, and with many Anglo-Catholics and others who are "more Catholic than the pope", that headline is just dandy... and the work of Kasper and others just gets left to the side. This characterization of the work of the Vatican isn't wrong, per se. But it's certainly a weighted account of things.

On ARCIC, I don't think one can dismiss the hope for constructive work simply because there is a current crisis. It's not as if there are churches out there who lack their share. I also don't know whether the question should simply be whether Protestant dialogue partners are interested in rapprochement with Catholics... presumably Catholics need to be interested in rapprochement with Protestants as well. And I think the answer to both questions is, yes, the interest is there. And what needs to be worked towards in fulfillment of this interest is a mutual recognition of orders and sacraments, the way that there's already a recognition of baptism. On this point, I see the Protestants (not just Anglicans, others as well) getting more done than the Catholics.

Gabriel Austin

Why in all the comments are there no references to the man who is the most famous for having swum the Tiber, John Henry Newman.
He appears to be not much liked in the Anglican community because he told the truth about that community's lack of apostolic authority. He was indeed rather brutal about that community's subservience to the English government.

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