Our friend, William Tighe, alerted me to this, but now The Australian has a story on the possibility of the appointment of an openly gay cleric to the position of Bishop of Southwark. While reportedly “celibate” he has nailed his colours to the mast by being in an officially registered “civil union” with a man. If appointed, this will have two effects: it will widen the cracks already apparent in the Anglican Communion, and it will be another nail in the coffin for the ecumenical endeavour between the Church of England and the Holy See (nb. I state it this way deliberately – distinguishing this relationship from the relationship of the Catholic Church and Anglicans in general).
There was a time when ecumenism between the Catholic Church and the protestant communities was all about healing the rifts of the 16th Century (that was what the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was all about). However, these days issues such as the ordination of women and morality (eg. abortion and homosexuality) are just as divisive, if not more. I don’t have a crystal ball, but the overall effect of the new issues seems to be that the ecumenical scene is being totally reconfigured before our eyes. While Anglicanorum Coetibus can be seen as a reaction to the new situation, while the bilateral dialogues continue on the old “heal-the-rift-of-the-16th-century” model. As a result, the dialogues seem to be missing the real contemporary issues (as important as the 16th Century issues may continue to be between those communions that neither ordain women nor approve of the new morality).