Matthew Alderman reminds me of the move by Venezualans allied with—if not directed by—Hugo Chavez to create a Bolivarian church. Apparently its actual name is "Santa Iglesia Católica Reformada de Venezuela Rito Anglicano."
Most disturbing is the combination of these two statements:
"Organized along Anglican principles"and
"Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic clergy have consecrated three priests as bishops"As far as I know, all the Anglican Churches still require Bishops to perform ordinations. Hopefully that doesn't mean there's a Roman Catholic bishop involved. As the Get Religion folks would point out, there's a lot of information lacking there... what exactly are "Anglican principles". The Anglican church proper recognizes the supremacy of the sovereign (and so in it's democratic polity does the Episcopal Church recognize the sovereignty of the people). Is this Church democratic? Subordinate to the state? "Revolutionary" and ruled by a cabal? What about other Anglican principles... do we have the Thirty-nine Articles? Hooker's three-legged stool?
Here's the AP write-up, including comments from a Venezualan Cardinal.
Here's another from El Nuevo Herald.
Some excerpts and comments:
"A former Roman Catholic priest, Jon Jen Siu Garcia, was elected coadjutor, and noted to the Venezuelan press that his mission is to 'liberate people from capitalist values.'So sexual immorality is part of the history here. Why am I not surprised?
"...among the founders of the church are bishops who have arrived from Miami and several Latin American nations, such as Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica.
"Among other religious organizations, Miami's own Catholic Apostolic Church served as a model for the newly established church in Venezuela.
"Lückert [a Catholic Church spokesman] also denounced the ''scandalous'' pasts of the Venezuelan priests who will be ordained as the new bishops of the reformist Catholic church. One, he said, ''lived scandalously with a woman'' and they have a son. Another had left his ministry to get married a long time ago, Lückert said."
"Lückert warned Chávez that the creation of this movement 'is a terrible political error' that could have an electoral cost.The journalist in me recognizes a great quote when I see one... that's a great quote.
"'It never occurred to Fidel to make such a blunder,' Lückert said."
Photo of Hugo Chavez from Agência Brasil under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Brazil License.