It is remarkable that debates about sexual morality (i.e., contraception, gay marriage, gay ordination, etc.) have so climaxed that some Anglicans are now considering mass conversion to Roman Catholicism. All they’ve needed is an invitation, that and the promise to be able to worship as their custom dictates, which is not insignificant thing for many so-called conservative Episcopalians. The offer came last November at the peak (thus far) of Anglican debates over homosexuality when the Pope removed the last apparent barrier to conscience and made it clear that aspiring Anglican converts no longer need to “do as the Romans do” even though they would come over to Rome.
To us, this seems like a strange but potent use of the “culture wars” and the “worship wars” uniquely combined for sheep-stealing purposes. And in today’s WSJ online “what are they doing now” article, we see that this is precisely the case. Those helping converts swim to shore on the Roman side of the Tiber river are quick to point out that being “angry about Gene Robinson” is not a sufficient reason for converting, but that seems to be the key factor nonetheless, especially when taking into account that “Anglican Use” Books of Common Prayer have now been officially revised by the Vatican and approved for special use. The upshot is that “conservatives” can now have their ethics and keep their worship too.
While this is certainly not “the end of the Reformation,” or even the end of Anglicanism, it is one more sad testimony that Gospel-doctrine is far from many Christians’ minds and that the direction- and pace-setting agenda of modern Christianity (even of the Roman Catholic stripe) continues to be morality and worship-style.
-Ryan Glomsrud, Executive Editor, Modern Reformation