The situation with the members of the Anglican Church who want to join the Catholic Church is very interesting to Ukrainian Catholics. There are individuals, parishes, priests and even bishops of the Anglican Church who have petitioned Rome to be accepted as members of the Catholic Church. The Holy Father has given them a very generous offer. They can come over in groups, form their own parishes and even Ordinariates (Dioceses or Eparchies); they can keep their own customs, traditions and even their own married priests and bishops. Some suggest that thousands will come over.
There are many reasons for these disaffected Anglicans wanting to leave the Anglican Church. Amongst them are the ordination of women priests and bishops and the ordination of actively homosexual clergy. They also refuse to accept the modern liberal moral agenda of the Anglican Church.
This exit from the Anglican Church comes from the perception that Anglican leaders have done nothing to listen to their people. Just recently an Anglican parish in Calgary, Canada voted to join the Catholic Church. A few years ago over 40 Anglican parishes in Canada left the Anglican Church and formed a structure on their own which has become independent from the Anglican one. It is from these kinds of parishes that most of the new Catholics will come. Some call all this a “reverse protestant reformation”.
The Anglican Church that these people are leaving, has largely rejected traditional church teaching and has accepted a faith that fits in with today’s liberal, cultural mores.
Recently, one long-life Anglican said, “It seems to me to be such a mistake to water down our core principles so greatly that we are not actually required to believe anything”. Long ago, some churches started to bless the marriage of same sex couples, allow abortions, bless euthanasia and approve of pre-marital sex. Some people are now saying that this is too much.
It is most interesting that we in the Ukrainian Catholic Church are also pressured by some of our faithful to allow and bless all kinds of practices which are not traditionally ours. Our church is called “old fashioned”, “out of date” and “not democratic” amongst other things. Do people actually think that we should follow that which is currently popular in modern society?
The recent action by Anglicans in Australia and around the world, points out that there certainly is a need to be faithful to the Church which was instituted by Jesus Christ Himself. This Church needs to adhere to the plan that God had for His people from the very beginning!