The Scylla is starry-eyed but vacuous talk of impending unity. A good example of that is the article today by Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent for the London Times, entitled "Churches back plan to unite under Pope," the churches in question being the Anglican and Catholic. Such vacuity has necessitated almost immediate "clarifications" from the principals. One hears the air seeping from the balloon; one has heard it all too often before. Wishful thinking never dies; it just gets pricked when it becomes too puffed up. This sort of ecumenism might just be, in the words of the redoubtable Dr. William Tighe, no more than a matter of "jobs for the ecumenical boys." The trial balloons collapse every time, but the industry keeps on floating them. How else to keep the gravy train going in the form of conferences and expense accounts?
By contrast, said Dr. Tighe has recently posted a very sagacious article at Pontifications about the Thirty-Nine Articles as a basis for intra-Anglican unity today. To make a long story short, not much basis there if there ever was. The article has justifiably attracted the attention of prominent English clerics, Catholic and Anglican. That is timely because today is also the day when the Anglican primates' powwow in Tanzania has issued its final communiqué. That document, while honestly facing up to the centrifugal forces within the Anglican Communion, concludes with a vague proposal to find another mechanism for preventing schism. No mention of the Thirty-Nine Articles or anything later—save the bureaucratic "Windsor Report"—that might serve the same purpose. Well, at least such world-weary temporizing is further from Scylla than vacuous unrealism.
But then there's Charybdis. I note that Perry Robinson has replied at length, as co-author at Energetic Procession, to my criticism of him in my post Ecclesiological Heckling. One of his many statements was to repeat an old Orthodox slogan: "Better to live under the Muslims than to wear the cardinal's hat." And this from a man who is outdone by no Christian blogger in opposing Western dhimmitude in face of today's jihadism—rightly, I might add. The rest of Perry's post is written in pretty much the same spirit. What can I say, save res ipsa loquitur and Kyrie, eleison?
In the combox to that post, however, there is a more calmly argued if no less uncompromising rejection of Catholicism also made in response to my prior post. It comes from somebody who calls himself "Fr. Patrick" and who is quite clearly Orthodox. Although he evidently desires partial anonymity, I would not be at all surprised if he turns out to be an American-Orthodox cleric and intellectual well-known in ecumenical circles. Both the style and the quality of argumentation are familiar to me as being of that level. Fr. Patrick's argument is as far from Charybdis as the Anglican primates' communiqué is from Scylla: not as far as we need to be, but further than we see all too often. It calls for a reply.
In support of my criticism of Perry's use of the Vincentian Canon, Brandon of Siris wrote in my combox that St. Vincent of Lerins