THE TANDEM PROJECT
UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,
FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF
Separation of Religion or Belief & State
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Issue: Dialogue or Conversion – Roman Catholics & Anglicans
For: United Nations, Governments, Religions or Beliefs, Academia, NGOs, Media, Civil Society
Review: Vatican bidding to get Anglicans to join its fold, by Rachel Danadio and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, 21 October 20009. Article printed below.
“In recent decades, the
Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have sought to heal centuries
of division. Some feared the
This article in the New
The General Comment on Article 18 is a guide for respectful competition, peaceful cooperation and resolution of conflicts in matters relating to human rights and freedom of religion or belief.
Article 18: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 1981 U.N. Declaration: the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
1. 1 Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practices and teaching.
1. 2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice.
By RACHEL DONADIO and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
VATICAN CITY — in an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican said Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions.
Anglicans would be able “to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony,” Cardinal William J. Levada, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said at a news conference here.
It was unclear why the
The issue has long been close to the heart of Pope Benedict XVI, who for years has worked to build ties to those Anglicans who, like conservative Catholics, spurn the idea of female and gay priests.
Catholic and Anglican leaders sought on Tuesday to present the move as a joint effort to aid those seeking conversion. But it appeared that the Vatican had engineered it on its own, presenting it as a fait accompli to the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, only in recent weeks. Some Anglican and Catholic leaders expressed surprise, even shock, at the news.
The move could have the
deepest impact in
If entire parishes or even dioceses leave the Church of England for the Catholic Church, experts and church officials speculated, it could set off battles over ownership of church buildings and land.
Pope Benedict has said
that he will travel to
In recent decades, the
Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have sought to heal the centuries
of division. Some feared that the
The Very Rev. David
Richardson, the archbishop of
“I don’t see it as an affront to the Anglican Church, but I’m puzzled by what it means and by the timing of it,” he said. “I think some Anglicans will feel affronted.”
The decision creates a
formal universal structure to streamline conversions that had previously been
evaluated case by case. The
Under the new arrangement, the Catholic practice that has allowed married Anglican priests to convert and become Catholic priests would continue. (There have been very few such priests.) But only unmarried Anglican bishops or priests could become Catholic bishops.
Cardinal Levada acknowledged that accepting large numbers of married Anglican priests while forbidding Catholic priests to marry could pose problems for some Catholics. But he argued that the circumstances differed.
Under the new structure, former Anglicans who become Catholic could preserve some elements of Anglican worship, including hymns and other “intangible” elements, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, the Vatican’s deputy chief liturgical officer, said at the news conference.
Cardinal Levada said that the Vatican had acted in response to many requests from Anglicans since the Church of England ordained women in the 1990s, and, more recently, when it faced what he called “a very difficult question” — the ordination of openly gay clergy and the celebration of homosexual unions.
He said that 20 to 30
bishops and hundreds of other people had petitioned the
Bishop Martyn Minns, a leader of that group, welcomed the pope’s decision. “It demonstrates his conviction that the divisions in the Anglican Communion are very serious and these are not things that are going to get papered over,” he said.
However, both Bishop Minns
and Archbishop Robert Duncan, primate of the Anglican Church in
“I don’t want to be a Roman Catholic,” said Bishop Minns. “There was a Reformation, you remember.”
But he said that a flood could in fact develop if the Church of England did not allow traditionalists to opt out of a recent church decision that women could be consecrated as bishops.
Some said the move would
probably not win over traditionalist Anglicans in
“Why should any conservative break away from a church where the moral conservatives represent the overwhelming mass of opinion, such as in Nigeria?” said Philip Jenkins, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and an expert in the Catholic Church’s history in Africa and Asia.
The plan was announced at
simultaneous news conferences at the
Vatican bidding to get Anglicans to join its fold, by Rachel Danadio and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, 21 October 20009.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, at the Alliance of Civilizations Madrid Forum said; “never in our lifetime has there been a more desperate need for constructive and committed dialogue, among individuals, among communities, among cultures, among and between nations.”
Genuine dialogue on human rights and freedom of religion or belief calls for respectful discourse, discussion of taboos and clarity by persons of diverse beliefs. Inclusive dialogue includes people of theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The warning signs are clear, unless there is genuine dialogue ranging from religious fundamentalism to secular dogmatism; conflicts in the future will probably be even more deadly.
In 1968 the UN deferred work on an International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Religious Intolerance because of its complexity and sensitivity. Violence, suffering and discrimination based on religion or belief in many parts of the world is greater than ever. It is time for a UN Working Group to draft what they deferred in 1968, a comprehensive core international human rights treaty-a United Nations Convention on Freedom of Religion or Belief. United Nations History – Freedom of Religion or Belief
The challenge to religions or beliefs at all levels is awareness, understanding and acceptance of international human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief. Leaders, teachers and followers of all religions or beliefs, with governments, are keys to test the viability of inclusive and genuine dialogue in response to the UN Secretary General’s urgent call for constructive and committed dialogue.
The Tandem Project title, Separation of Religion or Belief and State (SOROBAS), reflects the far-reaching scope of UN General Comment 22 on Article 18, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4). The General Comment on Article 18 is a guide to international human rights law for peaceful cooperation, respectful competition and resolution of conflicts:
Surely one of the best hopes for humankind is to embrace a culture in which religions and other beliefs accept one another, in which wars and violence are not tolerated in the name of an exclusive right to truth, in which children are raised to solve conflicts with mediation, compassion and understanding.
The Tandem Project is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1986 to build understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity, and to prevent discrimination in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief. The Tandem Project has sponsored multiple conferences, curricula, reference materials and programs on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion - and 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations