Fling wide the doors?
The Church of England's decision this week to ordain women as bishops is already stirring talk of a mass exodus "across the Tiber" to communion with Rome. Anglican Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet suggested a situation like the one that followed the decision to ordain women as priests in 1992, although he was at pains to point out that the many who left (or will leave) did so out of "keenness to pursue Catholic unity and truth" according to Zenit. Funny they didn't become Catholic before the ordination of women.
The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity also expressed disappointment with the decision, noting that it placed another roadblock on the path to unity. At the same time, Rome could have hardly expected the Anglicans to get rid of women priests as a condition for full communion anyway, so this is hardly anything new.
At any rate, one could hope that 50 years from now we're not still having this conversation.
Burnham is hoping for a clear path to Rome: "What we must humbly ask for now is for magnanimous gestures from our Catholic friends, especially from the Holy Father, who well understands our longing for unity, and from the hierarchy of England and Wales," Bishop Burnham said. "Most of all we ask for ways that allow us to bring our folk with us."
I wonder if the bishop will want to bring his wife along as well.