The article attempts to explore the implications for ecumenism of what the author, an American Episcopal priest, evidently regards as the mistaken approach taken by those setting up (what he refers to as) the Roman Catholic Ordinariates.
In the course of his argument he makes the following statement:
"Instead, the Ordinariate represents the increasing tendency within modern Christianity to rest content with those who see things the same way as us. It is an approach that allows for some exceptions in Roman Catholic practice, but not in any actual development that acknowledges for the rest of the Roman Catholic Church that these Anglican practices may be a enriching to the whole. The Ordinariate merely winks at some Anglican peculiarities for the purpose of drawing together those who are like-minded on other things. It is not grounded in Christian ecclesiology, but rather is a path to draw together like minds. The Christian Gospel, of course, is about reconciling diverse minds and groups in a unified body."Well, up to a point. The author, like the Church in which he serves, fails to recognise that there are limits to legitimate diversity, and makes a clear attempt to alter the historical record. The ARCIC process, which he for the most part praises, proceeded on the basis of recognising those elements in traditional Christian doctrine, ecclesiology and moral theology which the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church had in common, and aimed to build upon them. The major problem with this approach was, of course, that half way through the process of dialogue, one side moved the goalposts. What had been held in common in terms of the apostolic ministry and certain matters of Christian ethics rapidly became sources of fresh disunity, not only between Rome and Canterbury, but also within the Anglican Communion itself, as traditional and scriptural understandings were questioned and rapidly overthrown, mostly not after a process of considered theological discussion and discernment, but as a result of overtly political lobbying and less than scrupulous manoeuvrings within synodical bodies, and - as we know well - of a pattern of unrestrained provincial unilateralism.
The rest, as they say, is history; but it is against this background of ecumenical irresponsibility on the part of the Anglican provinces that Anglicanorum Coetibus must be seen and judged.
And we should not forget that.