Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Closing the Circle

All things work to the good for those who love the Lord...

Romans 8:28

In a surprising move, Pope Benedict XVI today opened the door of the Roman Catholic Church to Anglicans. By doing so, Benedict seeks to mend a rift nearly five centuries old.

Henry VIII, in a fit of executive pique, created the Church of England when Pope Clement VII excommunicated him following his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn. I think of the whole historical drama as two CEOs in a power wrestle. There was a lot of spilled blood and suffering so that these two alpha males could each feel they had the last word.

But the last word has been a long time coming, and we don't quite have it yet. I've attended Anglican services, and they could easily pass for Catholic Mass. It shouldn't be too difficult to incorporate our separated brethren, and it's a shame it's taken so long. The next part of the conversation will come from the world's conservative Anglicans, who have appealed to Pope Benedict as they seek a spiritual home more in keeping with their values. It will be fascinating to see how they respond to Pope Benedict's welcome.

If Anglicans choose to close the centuries-old circle and come home to the Catholic Church, there is only one true last word: Amen.