The Pope and Archbishop show
Female and gay bishops - bad.
Peace in Israel - good.
Materialism - bad.
Talking – good.
This is the content of mind-blowing Vatican Declaration signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope. By all standards, whether one agrees with them or not, they are considered to be two of the most formidable theologians to hold either office. One might have therefore hoped for insights into the nature of koinonia, ecumenism, soteriology, the atonement, or ecclesiology. Not a bit of it. One is fed instead on superficial statements of the blindingly obvious, as though this were the intellectual and spiritual level upon which we all live. His Grace wonders why these men had to meet at all to draw up such a patronising document.
In his greeting to the Pope, the Archbishop said: ’I have been heartened by the way in which from the very beginning of your ministry as Bishop of Rome, you have stressed the importance of ecumenism in your own ministry. If the Good News of Jesus Christ is to be fully proclaimed to a needy world, then the reconciliation of all Christians in the truth and love of God is a vital element for our witness..
The Pope’s love for ecumenism did indeed begin with his ministry. Let us not forget that this is the man, as Cardinal Ratzinger, who wrote the document Dominus Iesus, which stated that the Church of England, where the apostolic succession of bishops from the time of St. Peter is disputed by Rome, and churches without bishops, are not considered ‘proper’ churches. They suffer from ‘defects’, simply reiterating that its holy order were ‘null and void’. That doesn’t sound very ecumenical to Cranmer. Rome will not budge on doctrine, not least because it is Semper Eadem. It is, however, reported to be reconsidering the use of condoms. Condoms and a Papal calendar - His Holiness is clearly trying to appeal to the masses…