Comments: Anglican Communion leaders welcome new Pope

Greg Venables, Anglican bishop of Argentina and former Southern Cone primate, is quoted at Stand Firm as having posted on facebook that "He [Cardinal Bergoglio] called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the church needs us as Anglicans".

The source of the quote is here

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 12:19am GMT

My great hope for the new Pontiff lies in his choice of the venerable name of 'Francis' - of Assisi. This would appear to be a sign of the office-holder's willingness to care for the marginalised, the lepers - the poor and the marginalised of our world.

Pope Francis' obvious tendency towards simplicity of life must surely help the Vatican Curia to become a simpler, more Christlike, model of leadership. That, in itself, will be good for the Body of Christ.

Let's hope that ++Justin and +++Francis get on well together in their future relationship - in ways transcending those of hierarchical supremacy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 8:44am GMT

Of course - 'Francis' might refer to Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits with Ignatius Loyola. Cardinal Bergoglio is not exactly universally loved in Argentina, and is not liberal at all in his attitude to gay issues.

Posted by Stephen Morgan at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 2:15pm GMT

A lovely testimony to Christian goodness from a young Muslim. Touching piece - be warned !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 6:39pm GMT

The link for the ACNS press release appears to be broken, although the ACNS main page has a link under news stories to the press release.

Stephen Morgan, my wife also thought of Francis Xavier, but commentators on American news service CNN said they felt if he was referencing Francis Xavier, he would have used both names. He does indeed have his critics in Argentina, many over his relationship to the military junta that ruled Argentina from the mid-1970s to the early-to-mid 1980s. Although he later issued a formal apology to the Argentinian people over how he and the RCC handled itself during that period.
Regarding gay people, women, etc., he seems to be standard orthodox RCC. If that RCC orthodoxy will ever change is anyone's guess.
If the name "Francis" does refer to "Assisi", dare we hope he's more interested in spirituality than hierarchy? Renewing Jesus' message of love and reconciliation rather than being a Rottweiler for the RCC's interpretation of God?

Posted by peterpi - Peter Gross at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 7:51pm GMT

Important on these occasions both to be gracious and not to be sycophantic. Of the 'official' Anglican comments, Morgan's best strikes that critical balance.

Posted by John at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 7:57pm GMT

I am hoping for a profound renewal.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 8:22pm GMT

I welcome him to attend to Rome and leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 15 March 2013 at 4:48am GMT

I think the official title is Pope Francis --not Francis I. One should not expect much change on substantive issues.

The Roman Catholic church is in a deep crisis world wide because of the criminal the activity of child molestation, and the subsequent cover up by the hierarchy. The Vatican is on he same page at the U.N. with Islamist States in curtailing the rights of women. It has made a negative impact on the HIV-AID epidemic because of the position of the church on the use of condoms. At the same time is has issued a crack-down on female religious communities--the R.C. group most vocal about Catholic social teaching. And yet we read here that some Anglicans are up beat because the new pope is alleged to have made positive comments about the mechanism for welcoming ultra-conservative Anglicans into the Roman Catholic fold. I'm so pleased that the Roman and Anglican hierarchies have their respective priorities straight.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 15 March 2013 at 2:58pm GMT

Well, turning round any ship in as dire trouble as the Catholic Church is going to take a lot of time as well as a lot of effort. One man in one place is not going to be able to do it. Realistically, all the Cardinals currently have very conservative views on sexuality and gender roles. But if any change is to be made, then anything with gets the church closer to any of the core gospel values will be movement in the right direction. I imagine God welcomes anything done right, even in a context where much is done wrong. Francis is clearly indicating that he is trying to get some things nearer Gospel values, and that must be a positive whatever else he and the church may have done wrong or be doing wrong.

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Friday, 15 March 2013 at 4:12pm GMT

My only consolation is the comments on TA about the appointment of the AB of C were nearly ( though not quite ) as ungenerous as many of these about the new Pope

Posted by Ian at Friday, 15 March 2013 at 9:44pm GMT

First ACNS link now repaired, and the ACNS article has been expanded to include numerous more quotes from around the Communion.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 15 March 2013 at 11:14pm GMT

Contrary to Rod Gillis, what I read here (at the start of this thread) is that Pope Francis is reported as having said that he considers the Ordinariate to be 'quite unnecessary'. If that does indeed reflect his views (and he wasn't just telling Greg Venables what he wanted to hear) then I find it encouraging.
I'm sure it won't be high on his agenda (or shouldn't be, given the seriousness of some of the matters in his in-tray) but, when he does find time to speak to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, and they tell him that they weren't consulted, didn't want to have the Ordinariate foisted upon them, and that it is causing significant damage to both churches, I hope that he will have the courage and wisdom to suppress what +++Benedict so unwisely erected.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Saturday, 16 March 2013 at 12:50am GMT

Oh dear, Malcolm! just when we thought there was going to be a little bit of peace around the C.of E

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 16 March 2013 at 10:00am GMT

@ Malcolm Dixon, that's all well and fine Malcolm, it would have been much less of an ecumenical slight, after years of ARCIC Dialogue, if the views that Francis allegedly has, had prevailed over the actual views of Benedict. But at the end of the day, Rome, with or without the Prayer Humble Access, is a good place for ultra conservative Anglicans. I wish Greg Venables and his pals in the southern Cone had gone there. Instead they have become a refugee camp for Canadian conservatives, meddled in the Anglican Church of Canada, and blocked the election of the former Canadian GS General Secretary as a bishop in South America.

Sorry I'm not on the Francis love train. Patriarchal religion, Anglican, Vatican, Evangelical,or otherwise, is a retrogressive cultural phenomena. It's so Anglican isn't it, unrequited love for the bishop of Rome.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 16 March 2013 at 11:50am GMT


With respect to your comments about the Ordinariate and Pope Francis' possible opinion about it, could I remind you that "the Ordinariate" is about far more than the Church of England and some of its erstwhile members.

It is widely believed that the primary purpose was not even related to the CofE or the Anglican COmmunion but to the TAC, which numbers well over a million (so I'm told) in Australia and India. What is happening (or not happening) in England (one of several ordinariates, not "the ordinariate" or even the primary ordinariate) is akin to a side-show, from the perspective of Rome. Or, for that matter, to most of the Anglican Communion. Or, I suspect, to the vast majority in the CofE.

England is not the centre of the universe; the CofE is not the centre of the Anglican Communion, and the Anglican Communion isn't really high on the list of things that the Church of Rome cares about.

Posted by John Holding at Saturday, 16 March 2013 at 6:17pm GMT

I seem to have touched a few nerves with my comments about the Ordinariate. I am aware that 'other ordinariates are available', but this website deals mainly with Anglican matters, and I was referring to the Ordinariate specifically erected 'for groups of Anglicans' (anglicanorum coetibus), as indeed was Cardinal Bergoglio, if his comments to +Venables have been correctly reported. I have seen the damage that this has done to several parishes in my diocese, and to the CofE generally through the well-publicised resignation of some of its bishops, and I resent it greatly. I have no problem with individuals following their consciences to another church, but an organised revolt, aided and abetted by the head of another church, is quite another matter. If the new Pope has said that this was 'quite unnecessary', then I think this worthy of comment, as apparently does the Church Times, which has 'Ordinariate in question' as a headline on its website.
I'm absolutely not on the 'Francis love train' either, still less any supporter of +Venables. In truth we currently know so little of +++Francis that we can only judge him by his earlier comments and actions, and this reported comment about the Ordinariate sounds hopeful to me.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Sunday, 17 March 2013 at 12:01am GMT

Malcolm, thanks for the elucidation of your original point.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 17 March 2013 at 5:45pm GMT

I find it completely impossible to understand that the Archbishop of Canterbury will not attend the seating of Pope Francis. This seems like an enormous blunder that strikes against the hope of Christian unity. Is there no way to petition Archbishop Welby to attend?

Posted by Fr Troy Beecham at Monday, 18 March 2013 at 4:17am GMT

John , the Vatican were completely duped by the numerical claims of the so called Traditional Anglican Communion ( in reality less than 30,000 worldwide..most of whom are in India) the spin of some Anglo Catholics in England.

I estimate the ordinariates at 1,330..UK
1,500..USA /canada
( note these are people lay and clerical and not parishes!)

Please also note over half the US figure are not former members of the Anglican communion but the TAC.The 150-200 component of this from canada, 75 per cent TAC.The Australian numbers derive 90 percent TAC. In the UK about 20 TAC joined...the number of the latter "denomination" never exceeding 100.

It is my view that the Ordinariate will never be allowed amongst developing world Anglicanism, as this would discourage celibate vocations in the mainstream.

Posted by robert ian williams at Monday, 18 March 2013 at 7:41am GMT

Fr. Troy, I am not quite sure where you are in the world, but you may have missed the fact that Justin Welby's own enthronement takes place this Thursday. I would imagine that is why he will not be at the Pope's enthronement. He has his own preparations, spiritual and practical, to attend to, before taking up the reins of his new role, just as the Pope is no doubt doing. It would be quite unreasonable to expect him to rush off to Rome two days beforehand instead, and I am sure the Catholic Church would understand and support this. It is in no way a snub, and I doubt it is seen as such. The Archbishop of York is going to be there with a delegation from the Church of England.

Posted by Anne at Monday, 18 March 2013 at 8:39am GMT

I haven't heard that the Pope is going to attend the seating of the ABC either, Fr Troy, so they are currently quits on that score! More seriously, I don't find it too shocking if both consider that dealing with pressing problems in their own jurisdiction takes precedence over ecumenical overtures at this early stage, and each will doubtless be properly represented at the other's installation.
I just hope that +++Francis doesn't choose the moment of the ABC's installation to pay homage to his own predecessor at Castel Gondolfo. I think that Benedict should have taken himself back to Germany to end his days in prayer, and not hung around the Vatican as a potential focus for dissent over any changes which +++Francis may make.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Monday, 18 March 2013 at 11:47am GMT

Perfectly understandable that neither will attend the others inauguration/installation since they are so close to each other. Very signifcant though is the news that the Ecumenical Patriach Bartholemew I will be attending +++Francis' inauguration mass!

From what I have seen in the press, +++Francis will be visiting +++Benedict 16 on Friday.

Reading some of the analysis of the Conclave, it seems like the group of Cardinals who are serious about reforming the Curia rallied around Bergoglio and blocked any attempts by the Italian/Curia block to elect their own candidate. I hope that +++Francis can rely upon the block that supported him in his work to reform the mess in Rome.

Posted by David C at Monday, 18 March 2013 at 3:30pm GMT
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