Anglicans to consider opening communion to unbaptized

This is so absurd. What’s the point of calling it “communion” if it doesn’t reflect a communion of faith among those who receive?

Yet, if you can give it to a dog, why not to unbaptized humans? I don’t suppose the dog was baptized?

The Anglican Church in Canada is flooring the accelerator as they approach the cliff. They haven’t understood that when you try so hard to be inclusive, to the point of compromising on almost everything you supposedly stand for, you end up standing for virtually nothing and become irrelevant. That’s why they’re disappearing.

In an interview, Rev. Nicolosi noted the Church is losing 13,000 members a year and that those who remain now have an average age of 60. He estimates that just 500,000 Anglicans are left in Canada, down from 1.3 million only a few decades ago.

At that rate, there will be none left in Canada in 38 years. Personally, I don’t think they’ll last that long.

16 thoughts on “Anglicans to consider opening communion to unbaptized

  1. Anglicanism is suffering in “rurual” areas. Most are.

    But in the urban centres, they’re doing as okay as anyone else. I live in Edmonton, and am from the Winnipeg area. In both cities, there seems to be a vibrant Anglican community.

    Certainily mainline Protestantism has suffered (Catholicism isn’t donig fantastic either though). Some faith communities (think, United Church) really are history. Anglicanism isn’t. They have a more global dimension as well, compared to some of the other mainline Protestant traditinos, which means even if suffering in certain places, there’s great growth in others. This is pretty natural stuff.

    But I am going to return now to a critique I’ve made here before. God only knows when the last time this blog posted something about Jesus, and attempted to call persons into a relationship with him. But hey, it’s only Pope Benedict who has noted how an encounter with Jesus gives life a new horizon and decisive direction. You guys seem to have more important things.

  2. Everybody has a different charism. There are plenty of websites out there that provide sound Catholic teaching and invite people to encounter Christ. May God bless their ministry and make it extremely fruitful. They can probably do a much better job than me in that task.

    Sadly, there are very few people who are calling the crap by name and helping to clean it up, although the number is growing fast. This task is also vital because the rot prevents people from entering into a full relationship with Christ. Efforts at evangelization get undermined when clergy are abusing children, using porn, making frivolous lawsuits and spewing out misleading teaching.

    We need action on both fronts. This site focuses on the latter.

  3. Kelly, as usual, you are quite wrong in your assessments.

    Anglicanism is dying — at least mainline Anglicanism associated with the Church of England. It’s on the way to accepting gays into ordained ministries and women bishops are just around the corner. If you can’t see this, then you need to look again. The stats don’t lie either. Did you miss the stats that Steve quoted? And now they are on the way to shore up their numbers by allowing everyone into communion without any sort of formal initiation. If that’s not a desperate reaction to their plight and their future, then, frankly, nothing is.

    The greatest decline is in the urban centres. There might be one or two anamolies but if we scratch the surface, I’m sure we’d get the real reason why they are still floating for now.

    As for our orientation, we cover the news – both good and bad. This blog is all about Jesus because it is about His Truth. It might not be the “Jesus” you like to hear about, but then again, not all parts of the body do the same thing.

  4. I think the Anglican Church in Africa has much more staying power because it is much closer to the truth of the Gospel. But in Canada, its falling fast, like the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference standings 🙂

  5. Yes, but Steve, the Africans are not now the same group that Kelly is so infatuated with. They’ve essentially broken communion with + Rowan, the Rainbow, and company a couple of years ago. Mainline Anglicanism (not the more traditional groups in Africa and America mostly) is on the way out. You cited the stats for Canada. In Britain, it’s even more alarming. In our life time, the Church of Engl and has become and will become more a ghost of its former self, a stump of the government for tradition’s sake…but that’s about it. However, the new Anglican ordinariate united with the Catholic Church will end up being identified as the new “Church of England”, as is its rightful place. I can see this happening in our lifetimes.

  6. Steve, the problem is losing sight of the whole. The thing I don’t understand about a blog like this, is there seems to be no realization that having drawn a person into an encounter with Christ, really does, as the Pope notes, change things. A more informed position on abortion for example, is a consequence of having been transformed by the love of Christ.

    And John, how is clarifying someone’s views on the future of Anglicanism an example of “infatuation”?
    I look forward to your answer. What I said, I repeat, the two urban centres that I am familiar with have vibrant Anglican communities. What does this have to do with my “infatuation” with non-African Anglicans?

  7. Please don’t selectively quote the Holy Father. Yes, he has spoken of the importance of a personal encounter with Christ. But he has also spoken forcefully about the need to preach the truth without compromise, as opposed to “professional Catholics” who seem more interested in climbing the ladder of the hierarchy.

    I’m glad you raised the issue of abortion. How am I to help convince a convert of the horror of abortion when we have priests like Fr. Gravel undermining that position? And when the bishops of the country have been sending millions of dollars to pro-abort groups throughout the world?

    Don’t you see that the personal encounter can quickly become confused and hijacked by false teaching? We then end up with half-converts who are so confused they don’t know which side is up.

  8. And John, how is clarifying someone’s views on the future of Anglicanism an example of “infatuation”?
    I look forward to your answer. What I said, I repeat, the two urban centres that I am familiar with have vibrant Anglican communities. What does this have to do with my “infatuation” with non-African Anglicans?

    It’s an “infatuation” because there is no basis for believing that mainstream Anglicanism is thriving. If there is no basis, there must be something else. What is it, Kelly? Why don’t you tell us?

    “Several aging Winnipeg churches with dwindling congregations have been sold in recent years.”
    http://thecongress.ca/feeling-at-home-in-church/

    I would be very surprised indeed if you could find me one mainstream Anglican Church which has seen a rise in its attendance in the whole country…at least over a few years. It would completely betray the stat that Steve presented. And even if you did, it would only be a bizarre anamoly. Maybe the increase in numbers would be the goats and dogs they’re bringining in and counting them as new parishoners.

    We all know the reason too, don’t we? No kids, no future, no church.

    It’s contraception.

  9. Hi Steve,

    I’m not quoting the Pope selectively. Nor am I disputing his call (one was made quite recent I think) to preach forcefully the truth.

    But the truth is Jesus Christ.

    Having spent a fair bit of time reading Ratzinger’s work, I repeat that its a question of priority.

    There is a dramatic difference between the essential (the works of God which are accomplished through preaching and through the sacraments), and the secondary (something like humanizing civilization). The secondary isn’t unimportant, by no means, but it has to be a consequence of the first.

    Time spent “making” Christians is never wasted. Do that, and the secondary will be a consequence. And if you identify a void in leadership, then you should be working even harder to make people Christian, since others aren’t doing so effectively.

    John, you must know (or perhaps you don’t), that an attribution like my supposed “infatuation,” in order to be drawn from the impossibility of all alternatives, requires you to have identified all possible alternatives, and how each are impossible. Obviously, you haven’t done this, so perhaps the more reasonable approach would be to speak more carefully. And read more carefully. You’re answer to my question, depended on your perception that I viewed Anglicanism as thriving. Never said that.

    I’ll assume you non-response to this comment.

  10. I don’t think you should assume anything.

    You made it clear that the Anglican communities you witnessed were “vibrant Anglican communities”. You also tried to suggest that all of mainstream Anglicanism isn’t dying by citing your personal experience:

    Certainily mainline Protestantism has suffered (Catholicism isn’t donig fantastic either though). Some faith communities (think, United Church) really are history. Anglicanism isn’t. They have a more global dimension as well, compared to some of the other mainline Protestant traditinos, which means even if suffering in certain places, there’s great growth in others. This is pretty natural stuff.

    Both of your claims are substantially false, and certainly the one about mainline Anglicanism not being history or suffering is false on its face. We have to ask, therefore, what is your motiviation for doing so? I will tell you quite frankly that I don’t believe it’s an innocuous mistake either.

  11. Of course evangelization is of primary importance, but that doesn’t mean that everything else is irrelevant and that everybody should quit their day job to go work in the missions in Africa.

    The Body of Christ has many members playing complementary roles.

  12. Telling Kelly not to “Selectively quote the Holy Father?” He hasn’t at all from either encyclicals or the like. And Pacheco’s replies seem more personal or ad hominem vs academically debate-like near the end with Kelly. That’s a little bit unlike you both to call out a fellow Catholic internet blogger in this manner.

    Would you say that same things to your ultra-conservative and traditional contemporaries like Voris and others when they do it to further their finger pointing aims?

    Finally just remember, that generalities do allow for exceptions to the rule. There always is in anything in life, Anglican Church included.

  13. Steve,

    In his commentary on Gaudium et Spes, Ratzinger identifies human frailty as a great hamperer of human progress. True progress depends on recognizing this frailty, but also recognizing the salvation offered in Jesus Christ.

    It’s not the Church’s goal (in a primary sense) to get everyone on board regarding the abortion issue. Don’t read that as saying the issue is not important. But Jesus didn’t come because bad things were happening in the world. The Church’s goal (and your own since you share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly offices of Jesus) is to draw persons into a full participation of the sacraments. Working in adult formation, I can’t emphasize enough, how through drawing persons into the Church, a consequence is a certain credibility which is then attached to what the Church teaches. Most people don’t work the other way around. Most people don’t think, “Oh, because the Church is right about abortion, they must be about the Trinity as well.”

    That’s my critique of this blog. Talk about Jesus. Talk about encountering him in the sacraments.

    But it’s not a critique of you per se. You actually seem like an okay guy.

    _____

    John, I don’t mind you questioning my motives. But if you want to then take a further step and draw a conclusion, I’m going to call you to defend it.

    So I repeat. The charge of infatuation.

    An attribution like my supposed “infatuation,” in order to be drawn from the impossibility of all alternatives, requires you to have identified all possible alternatives, and how each are impossible. Obviously, you haven’t done this.

    So, what are all the possible alternatives, and why do each not apply in this case?

  14. Talking about Jesus is good. I’ll try to do more of it, even though I’m not particularly gifted for that.

    I think part of the reason why this site is not primarily about evangelization is because the intended audience is generally for devoted Catholics and Christians, not atheists, agnostics or members of other religions. This site seeks primarily to rally, empower and motivate faithful Catholics to instigate positive change in cleaning up the Church. That’s why we don’t do catechism on this site. Our readers generally know the Faith very well. When I have written more catechesis-type posts, they get very little viewership for that very reason.

  15. Kelly,

    #1 – This blog never started out to be about Church issues, but rather confronting the culture of death. Over the past 2 years, however, it is clear that the rot is in the Church, and so our pre-occupation has been with that…with somewhat positive results, if I do say so myself.

    Our focus is different. No ministry can hope to cover all angles of the Gospel the same way. I have limited time and my focus has to be limited to be effective. From time to time, I will post “an encounter” with Jesus. If you read this blog enough, you will see that. If you’re looking for daily encounters, there are blogs to go to. Vaya con Dios. I have had some pretty remarkable encounters with the Lord, but I choose to keep some of them personal.

    John, I don’t mind you questioning my motives. But if you want to then take a further step and draw a conclusion, I’m going to call you to defend it.

    So I repeat. The charge of infatuation.

    An attribution like my supposed “infatuation,” in order to be drawn from the impossibility of all alternatives, requires you to have identified all possible alternatives, and how each are impossible. Obviously, you haven’t done this.

    So, what are all the possible alternatives, and why do each not apply in this case?

    Tell us what concrete evidence you have that Anglicanism is not dying, and why you were trying to suggest that it’s all part of the normal “life cycle” of a religious community.

    Why don’t you come out and tell us the real reason why you were trying to deflect the reality of mainstream Anglicanism’s demise?

  16. Steve, it strikes me that getting people onboard regarding abortion, is the easy part.

    The difficult part, and the part that happens to be the essential (as opposed to the consequences of the essential), is to overcome that growing consciousness that persons have outgrown their relationship to a transcendent God. Ratzinger notes in “Feast of Faith,” in “Introduction to Christianity,” in “The God of Jesus Christ,” and a bunch of other works I would imagine, that such persons might reject a more metaphysical way of approach, might find themselves convinced by a modern scientific or technological worldview, or perhaps might have come to believe that the eternal cannot enter into the temporal. How do we overcome this?
    ______________________________________

    John you write:

    “Why don’t you come out and tell us the real reason why you were trying to deflect the reality of mainstream Anglicanism’s demise?”

    But you’ve already answered that for me. Supposedly I am “infatuated.”

    What you haven’t been able to do is defend this charge. I’ve already showed you how one would normally go about this. But it’s impossible for you, because it was an impossible charge to make.
    Instead of clarifying what you meant, or identifying carelessness in your speech, you persist.

    Take Steve as a more model conversant, and try again.

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