29 October 2007

More thoughts on the TAC request...

I’ve already posted something on the TAC initiative, in which they seek “full and corporate reunion” with the Catholic Church. There have been myriad stories in the media, which is absolutely the worst place to get accurate information. For instance, the story of how “300 Anglicans defect to Rome after row over women priests” really isn’t terribly accurate. The story made it sound as though the oil of confirmation was freshly dripping from their brows, but the truth of the matter is that they are simply part of TAC, and are not making any independent move towards the Catholic Church. In fact, on their website they claim, “We are a Catholic, Apostolic, Reformed and Protestant Church.” I can’t imagine what that means. How can one be “Catholic” and “Protestant” at the same time, without speaking nonsense?

I’ve been following the TAC thing on the blogs, too. I can’t make a whole lot of sense out of what I read – and again, perhaps blogs aren’t always the best source for sensible statements. But the following statement I read is far from unique:

Let's say it again: "united but not absorbed." The intention is not for we Anglicans in TAC to convert to Roman Catholicism, but to be IN COMMUNION with the Roman Catholic Church. There is a big difference.

In my previous post I expressed my concern that this might be representative of the understanding of many, if not most, of the TAC members. Comments such as this don’t assuage my concern. Mind you, I’m certainly not concerned that the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will somehow miss the nuances within the request. We’ve got some pretty brilliant minds who’ll be looking at this. But the attention being paid to this by the media and within Anglicanism does mean that if Rome is unable to respond favorably to the TAC letter, there will be another handy stick with which to beat the Church. “These nice people asked to come home, but nasty old Rome slammed the door…”

I could be totally wrong about this, but the more I read and study the TAC initiative, it isn’t clear to me that it’s so much a wanting to “come home,” but more a request to “take us as we are.” Fortunately for everyone, I’m not the one being asked, nor am I the one who will have any role in the ultimate decision. But the whole thing is definitely interesting.