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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

Exit ARCIC, enter IARCCUM

by Christopher A. Ferrara

This column has commented more than once on the ridiculous doings of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), that congress of babblers which, over the past forty years, has been trying to negotiate some sort of corporate reunion between the Roman Catholic Church, founded by God Incarnate, and the Anglican Church, founded by Henry VIII.

Henry’s corpse of "church" has been decomposing at an alarming rate since Vatican II, but the Vatican’s ecumenical "specialists" went on and on palavering with this ecclesial corpse in the hope of achieving "ecumenical progress." The result? The Anglicans have embraced abortion, the "ordination" of women as priests and the "consecration" of flaming homosexuals as "bishops."

Well, it seems the Vatican may finally be ready to give ARCIC the heave-ho. According to a report by Telegraph.co.uk (December 1, 2003), "top level unity talks between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have collapsed after the consecration of Anglicanism’s first openly homosexual bishop [Gene Robinson]. In a bitter blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Vatican is preparing to suspend the talks following a final meeting in the New Year."

The report notes that Vatican officials "have also complained that negotiations with the worldwide Anglican Church have become impossible because it lacks a leader with the authority to enforce agreements." Hel-LO! It took them forty years to figure that out?

The report further observes that "the indefinite suspension of the talks shelves an historic process begun in the 1960s by Pope Paul VI and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Michael Ramsey." ARCIC, notes the Telegraph, "had produced a series of reports trying to resolve the doctrinal differences between the churches since the Reformation." That’s a howler. How about a "series of reports" trying to resolve the difference between black and white? The "historic process," as any sensible Catholic can see, was nothing but an inexcusable waste of precious time. What a farce the whole thing has been.

And to think that it took the "consecration" of a homosexual bishop to get the Vatican finally to admit that ARCIC is a farce. The Anglicans’ acceptance of contraception, abortion and even the "ordination" of women were apparently no impediment to the "historic process."

Does the apparent collapse of ARCIC mean an end to the folly of "Anglican-Catholic dialogue"? Not quite yet. ARCIC, you see, "was due to be superseded by the International Anglican/Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), set up by the Vatican and Dr. Williams’s predecessor, Dr. George Carey." But the start-up of IARCCUM has been put on hold while "the Archbishop of Canterbury," Rowan Williams  —  who has been shunned as a liberal heretic by 350 Anglican parishes  —  figures out how to keep the Anglican "Church" from completely going to pieces, as the Anglicans who still believe in something vote with their feet.

So the "historic process" may yet continue. God help us if it does. And God help the Anglicans who continue to fritter away their time on earth with "ecumenical dialogue," instead of returning to the one true Church which is the only possible ark of their salvation.