I love our church. I got lots of emails and questions this week about the impact of the Pope’s offer to Anglicans on our little church in Arlington. I love that Restoration people are thoughtful, well-informed, and curious. These are interesting days to be following Jesus and committed to a local church.
Bottom line for us, we will not be ‘going back to Rome’. I have deep respect for the Catholic church and for the ways they have revered and contended for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). But in the quotable words of our great bishop, Martyn Minns, “I don’t want to be a Roman Catholic… There was a Reformation, you remember.”
Bishop Minns also said, ““It demonstrates his (the Pope’s) conviction that the divisions in the Anglican Communion are very serious and these are not things that are going to get papered over,”
The worldwide Anglican Communion is currently very divided by issues of Biblical authority, Trinitarian Theology, and sexual ethics. The Catholic church has generously offered a harbor for orthodox Anglicans who want to embrace the Pope’s authority and leave the morass of Anglican conflict.
Restoration will not be taking the Pope’s kind offer. In the division and conflicts, we hold unflinchingly to the inerrancy of Scripture– its complete trustworthiness and authority for every area of our life. As a community, we will continue to wrestle with how we live in faithfulness to it. I long for the day when Jesus comes back and restores all things– including the unity of his church. Until that day, we will wait expectantly and we will work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God (2 Cor 5:11)
Here is the official CANA statement
CANA: Vatican Move Recognizes Reality of Anglican Divide
Bishop Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), issued the following response to the newly approved church provision, announced by the Vatican this week, that allows Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.
“The Vatican is opening a door for Anglicans who sense a call to be part of the Church of Rome to join that body and still maintain Anglican traditions. This move by the Catholic Church recognizes the reality of the divide within the Anglican Communion and affirms the decision to create a new North American province that embraces biblical truth. While we welcome the positive response from the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the Vatican’s provision, we urge Lambeth Palace to move swiftly to fully endorse the efforts of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the Anglican Church in North America to keep the Anglican family together,” said Bishop Minns.
“Rome is reminding Anglicans that our historic, orthodox faith is more important than culture and more important than geography. CANA itself bears witness to the fact that God’s church is made up of believers across the globe. The centrality of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture are the unwavering bonds that have drawn CANA churches and others within the Anglican Church in North America together. Our continued prayer is for Anglicans across the world to be able to stay faithful to orthodox beliefs,” Minns concluded.
The church provision, known as an Apostolic Constitution, allowing Anglicans to join the Catholic Church was announced by Cardinal William Levada. An Apostolic Constitution is the highest level of decree that the Pope can issue and underscores the historic nature of this action.