Is "No Mow May" peak Yard Sign Calvinism?
Planted at last

Could the Anglicans and Copts enter communion with Rome?

Two stories over the last few weeks raise the intriguing possibility that not one but to schisms in the global Church could be at long last healed.

The first is the decades-long process of reconciliation between Rome and the Egyptian Coptic Church.  The Copts broke with rest of the Church back in 451 AD because of a disagreement over Christ's humane and divine natures.  Pope Paul VI opened negotiations in the 1970s which have since been continuing intermittently.  Apparently the Christology thing is now out of the way, and a few weeks ago the "Coptic Pope" visited Rom and participated in a Mass with Pope Francis and they also jointly recognized Egyptian Copts killed by Islamic terrorists as martyrs and saints.

This predictably ticked off Francis' usual critics because (they said) it implied that heretics could be martyrs, but of course that's missing the big picture - if one is seeking to have Copts brought back into communion with Rome, this is one of the steps to doing that.

Now combine this with the breakup of the Anglican Communion, and there's a very real (albeit slender) possibility of the Global South of the Anglican Church moving toward reuniting with the rest of the Catholic Church.

GAFCON is theologically very conservative, and the vast majority of Anglicans outside of England carry no particular animus towards Rome. 

It is important to recall that the Anglican Communion is distinctly different from the rest of Protestantism because it still maintains the Apostolic Succession and the ancient bishoprics of England.  Pope Benedict XVI has already created the framework for Anglican clergy and their denominations to enter into the Catholic Church as a group, and of course there are ample examples of "lost" churches of the East returning to communion with Rome.

It would be singularly remarkable if Pope Francis of all people facilitated the end of this ancient and acrimonious schism.

Naturally, there is plenty of room for skepticism, but if the last few years have shown us anything, it is just how fragile long-standing institutions and conventions can be.  In the space of a half-century, the Anglican Church went from a male-only clergy to ordaining lesbian priestesses and homosexual bishops.  Now they are blessing gay relationships.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit will move those Christians who still hold to God's word to come together at long last and present a united front against the Great Enemy.


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