A rebel lay community within the church of God

I’m in The Tablet this week at this link, reflecting on the status of the Anglican (and other) churches as defined by Rome.

(‘Orders’ means ordinations, ministers: deacons, priests and bishops.)

The non-recognition of Anglican orders by Rome (Letters, 7 January) I have always regarded not as any kind of insult but as a mere tautology: there is no logical reason why one organisation should recognise as members or leaders those enrolled in some other organisation by that other organisation’s own set of rules. The great act of generosity on the part of Rome is its recognition of any Trinitarian baptism, even one conducted by an unbaptised person, granting recognition even to new spontaneously self-generating Christian communities. On this basis, the Anglican communion is defined by Rome as a kind of rebel lay community, within the whole baptised people of God – a definition I rather relish.

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