Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Anglicans Suffer from Spiritual Alzheimers and Ecclesial Parkinson

Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Evangelisation, addressed the Lambeth Conference on July 22.

He said, "Much is spoken today of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. By analogy, their symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer's. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson's."

Cardinal Dias' remarks directly reference the Anglican Communion which departed from the apostolic tradition in the late 1970s when the Americans ordained women as priests. The first woman ordained canonically by Bishop Paul Moore of New York was Ellen Barrett, publically known to be a lesbian.

Then in November 2003, the Americans further broke with apostolic tradition in consecrating as bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, also publically known to be homosexual. Robinson divorced his wife, and in June of this year entered into a civil partnership.

The Anglican Church of Canada has pursued the same "disorderly" path as the Episcopal Church USA.

Cardinal Dias is from Bombay, India. He dislikes having his photograph taken and once said to reporters, "If you want pictures of me, I prefer you take them while I'm praying, not while I'm talking. People on their knees are more eloquent. Humanity needs witness of faith, not orators."

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