Dear Potential Convert,
Nearly five hundred years ago, good King Henry VIII, in the spirit of Martin Luther and the Europe-wide revolt against the corruption of the Bishop of Rome, created the Church of England, or Anglicanism, in other countries known as the Episcopal Church. In doing so he rejected the idea of the church as a temporal power that could dictate the policies of Kings and nation States.
Since those days the principal culture of the Church of England has been toleration and very little real religion. Baking cakes has been a major preoccupation, and the Church has enfolded within an ample bosom all manner of interpretations of the Gospel. Within any large-sized town you may find Anglican churches catering to a gamut of beliefs, from born-again Christians to high Catholics and Masses replete with censers and responses. This has been our tradition since the catholic Queen Mary burnt a number of our martyrs to death for their beliefs.
Recently, in recognition of the changes in public opinion and modern perceptions of human rights, the Church of England has reached out to women as priests and bishops and also to homosexuals and transvestites, welcoming them into the Church. This has caused offense, it has to be acknowledged, to those who believe that only men, for some reason, can be priests and bishops, and that homosexuals are akin to perverted devils. Our church believes that homosexuality is a part of the human condition, dictated by nature, not choice, and that homosexuals are deserving of God's blessing and inclusion.
Some while ago the Catholic Church invited dissident Anglicans to bolt from the Church of England and seek shelter under the wings of the Papacy in protest against the inclusivity of the Anglican community. No sooner had the Pope made his opportunist coup than the Catholic Church became mired in one of the greatest scandals of organized religion since the Catholic granting of indulgencies, a fundraising activity that raised huge sums for the automatic “remission of sins”.
To those who are modern in outlook and who are beginning to coming to understand that:
– the Catholic Church cares more for welfare of its hierarchy than for the welfare of little children in its care;
–the hierarchy of the current Catholic Church is in fact reactionary, out of touch, defensive and intolerant of anyone who disagrees with its received dogma;
– an unmarried (but not necessarily celibate) clergy encourages into its ranks people who suppress their natural sexual instincts and who find themselves stimulated by proximity to small boys. The fact that this has been going on for centuries and was probably even more egregious in the Middle Ages is no comfort;
– the male-dominated Catholic Church is obsessed with the fate of unborn children and appears indifferent to those already born and alive. This policy ignores the interests and wishes of all women, who bear the main burden of child-rearing, but more particularly the poorest women who have no access to family planning.
– the Church should keep its nose out of politics and concentrate on the morals and ethics of its adherents;
then I encourage you to try the good old C of E. If you feel that the Catholic Church, in spite of its long history, its art, its condemnation of war and capital punishment, and its more humane activities, has nevertheless lost its way,
P.S: See our recruitment advertisement and take advantage of our Special Offer to New Members.
6 April 2010