Michael Nazir-Ali says he had ‘no choice’ but to leave Church of England
Former Church of England bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has defended his decision to join the Catholic Church.
Nazir-Ali was Bishop of Rochester for 15 years and a leading figure in Anglican evangelism, helping to found the Orthodox community of Gafcon.
Last week, he announced that he had joined the Catholic Ordinariate created by Pope Benedict to receive disillusioned Anglican clergy, including those who are married.
Nazir-Ali written in the Daily Mail that he “could never have imagined” at the time of his ordination 45 years ago that he would one day become a Catholic, but that he had been pressured into this decision after being “deeply saddened” by the developments in the Church of England.
He expressed frustration at the “endless self-laceration of Britain’s imperial past,” and the militant councils and synods of churches “each with a unique, often fashionable, agenda that ‘it’s about cultural correctness, “climate change”, identity politics, multiculturalism (which actually encourages communities to live separately) or critical theory on race, religion and gender – a neo theory. -marxist developed to create conflict by dividing people into victims and villains “.
He further argued that he had “no choice but to join the Catholic fold because the Church of England had become” shattered “into” a loose set of churches “, many of which have “contradictory interpretations of Christianity”.
“The values of the Church were all I believed in: helping others to come to the faith and to be formed by it, tolerance and freedom, the sanctity of the person, of marriage and the importance of family, ”he said.
“At the time, the Church celebrated and defended these values. It was neither reluctant, nor sorry, nor ashamed.”
He said the change was a “bittersweet moment” because of his regrets for the current Church of England, mixed with optimism about the opportunities he sees to defend human rights and defend persecuted Christians within the framework of the Catholic Church.
“I struggled with this for several years, but reluctantly realized I had no choice,” he said.
“Too often I have felt alone, at odds with the Church. Sometimes it’s better to have the wind at your back than to constantly struggle with it.
“It is a deeply personal decision. I move from one Church to another, in the fulfillment of my spiritual needs. It is not a ‘conversion’ from one religion to another.”
He added: “The Catholic Church has had its share of problems, but faith and values are the ones that I also have and feel eroded in the Church of England.