‘Anglicans do need to sit up and take seriously the “papal dimension”. We need to grow out of our habit of seeing the pope as the distinguished proprietor of a rival firm, and instead begin to realise the fact that there must be the focus and sign of Christian unity. There will be no unity without the pope. Are we prepared not just to accept this grudgingly, but to reconsider whether after all the papacy might be part of God’s gift of episcope to his church? The Anglican evangelical John de Satgé has done just that in his Peter and the Single Church (reviewed for St Mary’s [Bourne Street] by E.L. Mascall):
“The renewal of the Roman Catholic Church at the springs of its own integrity has passed the point where the historic Protestant reproach of betraying the gospel message loses all force. In an earlier book I suggested that when that happened, two questions demanded a positive answer before the heirs of the Reformation followed the obvious course of seeking full communion with Rome. Have the claims which Rome makes for herself come to look inherently likely? And if so, can you see them being fulfilled in the Roman obedience as it is now developing? To both questions I now return the answer Yes.”
And while no one would wish Anglicans to spend more time in navel-contemplation than they have over the last generation, a critical look at our own church as it exists today might help us appreciate our need to be grafted back into our parent stem’.
from an article in Tracts for Our Times 1833-1983, 1983
by Hugh Moore, Vicar of St Alphage, Burnt Oak, London
Fr Lee Kenyon