Great Britain: Anglicans still against the primacy of the pope

Source: FSSPX News


During its upcoming General Synod, which starts on February 9, the Church of England (Anglican) is due to discuss the universal primacy of the pope and papal infallibility on certain questions of faith. According to the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, this proposal for debate, coming from a combined Anglican-Catholic commission has little chance of being accepted.

With the aim of promoting the unity of Christians, representatives of different Protestant churches have let it be known that in certain circumstances they would be ready to accept, as spokesman, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. On this assumption, the Anglicans would accept the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, on condition that the pope yielded a large part of his power to the bishops and the local churches.

On this point, the Reverend David Phillips, a member of the Anglican Synod and secretary general of the Church Society, deserves credit for his frank and unequivocal statement: “We reject universal primacy even if the papacy is reformed”, emphasizing that he had no desire whatsoever to be linked to the Roman Catholic Church.

According to The Daily Telegraph, observers consider even more difficult the eventual confirmation of papal infallibility in questions of faith and morals. The great majority of the Anglican bishops, including the primate, Rowan Williams, “Archbishop” of Canterbury (recently very warmly received by John Paul II), are fundamentally opposed to it.

At the origin of this debate is a report dating from 1999, entitled The gift of authority. It was written by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), which has, for several years, been studying the possibility of a greater unity between the two Churches.