Just in case you were not convinced already: the Church of England is Protestant. The sad story continues to be told as the Church of England has given the green light to to the “ordination” of women “bishops.” The claim of High Church Anglicans that Anglicanism has maintained apostolic succession evaporates with this decision. More than anything, this decision reveals that mainstream Anglicanism does not maintain the robust theology of the sacerdotal priesthood held by Rome and the East.
It is a sad day for the Church of England. Yet, this event may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many traditionalist Anglicans. Pope Benedict XVI never looked friendlier. Let’s pray for our Anglican friends.
Damian Thompson wrote up the story nicely:
Tonight the Church of England finally acknowledged something that has been obvious since 1992, when it decided to ordain women priests: that it remains, despite the Oxford Movement, and as John Henry Newman came to believe very firmly, a Protestant Church.
As such, it enjoys the freedom to follow the example of its Reformed counterparts in other countries and ordain women to the highest level of ministry, whatever it chooses to call it. (The fact that England’s established Church calls its senior presbyters “bishops” is a matter of historical accident: had circumstances been different in 1558, it might have gone the way of Scotland.)
Now that this freedom is to be fully exercised, what will happen to Anglo-Catholic traditionalists? Many will quietly, without ever admitting the fact, come to terms with their Protestant identity and stay in the C of E. Others will leave for breakaway Anglican denominations or join the Orthodox.
Those who are exploring the Roman option should not be hurried. It’s wrong to say that anyone forced out of Anglicanism cannot become a good Catholic: many great converts stayed in the C of E for as long as their consciences would permit them. But, once they were Catholics, they recognised that they were no longer Anglicans.
Read it all from Damian’s blog: Women bishops: now no one can deny that the Church of England is Protestant