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A New Chapter in the Worship and Culture Wars

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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

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  • Guest - Russell Phillips

    I am not sure that this is about culture wars and worship wars, so much as about the logical conclusion of decisions made and directions taken long ago.

    High Church Anglicans are hardly beholden to the Reformers for their theology or practice and it is difficult to find a reason why they have not long since followed Cardinal Newman to Rome - or indeed to Constantinople or Moscow.

    As for the Vatican, there are plenty of examples of such overtures in the past (the Uniate churches in Ukraine being a classic example).

    At the end of the day the Primacy of the Pope trumps all other considerations, whether it is priestly celibacy or the form of worship (the Roman Missal, Byzantine liturgy or the Book of Common Prayer).

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  • Guest - Joseph651

    The See of Peter is doing just as Jesus Christ commanded, to develop and build his Church in all nations througout the world. What other Church is following the words, and traditions of the Bible? I beleive it is called bringing the lost sheep back into the flock. There is only one True Church, all others are called SECTS for they follow mens opinions and not Gods teachings.

    There is no swimming involved, the Pope has built the BRIDGE, it is just a short walk to the House of God.

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  • I wasn't aware that either the Anglicans or the Roman Catholics subscribe to a literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic that would clearly define justification and sanctification (high morals), which has to precede any decisions a person would make about which religious group to belong to,

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  • Guest - Robert Biz.

    Although I do have a high regard for the Episcopalian style of worship,in converting over to Rome however, do they realize or have they forgotten, the anathema pronouncements from the Coucil of Trent. That not only dammed to hell Protestants,faith alone through grace alone, but the gospel itself.

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