I’m still laughing having read a news report this morning that the Pope has made it easy for disaffected Anglicans to become Catholics while retaining their “Anglican perks” (they called it their “Anglican heritage”).
If I wanted to write a satirical piece about the religion free market I couldn’t possibly do a funnier job. If it wasn’t for the fact that these guys (yes, they’re men) are actually serious then I would file it in the Chuckle-for-the-Day bin.
If these tradition-bound church leaders ever want to be relevant in today’s world, they need to have a good look at some of these stupid rules and the associated game playing.
Assuming that The Times is reporting accurately, here are a couple of the decisions and rules that have been made.
Married Anglican clergy will be allowed to train for the priesthood in seminaries set up within the new Anglican “Ordinariates” (whatever that is) as long as their marital status is not “irregular”.
There is no change to the Vatican’s line on priestly celibacy. But former Catholic priest who left the church to marry and subsequently became Anglican clergy will not be permitted to return to Catholicism under these new rules.
Sounds like some sort of industrial relations rule that forbids a worker who takes a voluntary redundancy payment from ever returning to work at the same place or working for the competition. (We’ll teach the selfish bugger!) Where is the love, the compassion, the understanding in this? It’s just a measure to protect the Vatican’s belief in its own importance and power.
A spokesman for one of the dissident Anglican groups was quoted in The Times as saying that he thought the offer from Rome was “extremely generous”. Interpretation: “Sounds like a good deal to me – I’ll come out ahead on this. Better take it before the price goes up.”
What next? A free set of steak knives if you swap codes before Christmas? Convert one of your children for free if both you and your wife change providers.
This whole travesty looks to me like one of those deals you see offered by a telecommunications company trying to lure dissatisfied customers from a competitor, providing ways for them to retain their privileges and achieve compatibility between technologies.
Now, having written this, I’ve stopped laughing and feel a bit sad. This nonsense shows what formalised, institutional religion can do to you.