Nevertheless, presuming that there would be a large number of married clergy coming into the Roman fold, there is another issue that could also raise problems. Over at dotCommonweal, the Commonweal group blog, Kathleen Kaveny raises the issue of contraception and the Pill. She points out that:
In 1930, the Lambeth Conference declared that contraception was not always immoral, and could be used (for serious reason) to regulate the number of children that a married couple had. That declaration prompted a negative response from the Roman Catholic Church–the encyclical Casti Connubii, which declared that the use of contraception was never morally permissible. As most people know, that stance was reaffirmed by Humanae Vitae.
As far as I am aware, however, the morality of contraception under certain circumstances has been more or less a settled issue among Anglicans–even traditionally minded Anglicans. How will this change work out?
As she observes, most Roman Catholics nowadays would probably not follow Papal teaching on contraception. The main factor determining Catholic adherence to Humanae Vitae would appear to be economic as this story from the Philippines shows. But the Church largely turns a blind eye, it has no other choice, to these choices of its parishioners. With its clergy, however, it is much more rigorous. That rigor would also apply to the wives of clerics.
It’s true, of course, that many Roman Catholics make their own decisions about this matter, and come to their own private peace with God in the “internal forum” of their conscience. But the new influx of Anglicans will include people who will not be able to come to a purely private peace–the married members of the clergy, who will be required to follow Humanae Vitae no less than other married persons.
Are Anglican priests prepared to balance the demands of a big family with the demands of a big parish? What about the wife of the priest? I know a number of Anglican priests whose wives (and husbands, but that is not an issue here) work full-time to supplement the salary. Are wives willing not only to convert, but to convert on the matter of contraception? Are Roman Catholics willing not only to see, but to support financially and in other ways, married priests with six, seven, or eight children?
So I am not that certain that Rome's response to the various overtures it has received over the recent years will lead very far at all. Perhaps the independent Traditional Anglican Communion may join and perhaps a number of the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England may join but I could only see a handful in Australia. I think most of the Anglo-Catholic opposition here had already left to join the TAC. In this country the Anglican opposition on women's ordination and affirming LGBTQ people is driven by the evangelical and extremely low church Sydney Archdiocese. They will never go to Rome. And neither, I think, would most of the Africans. I get the impression the greater part of Africa's Anglicans are more evangelical than Anglo-Catholic. And in some places they also accept plural marriage/polygamy, at least as a temporary expedient, to prevent the dumping of surplus wives by converts. The notorious Archbishop Akinola in Nigeria has too much to lose both in terms of his faith and his own authority by swimming the Tiber.
I would like to see an Anglican rite in the Roman church but even more I would like to see full communion between the Roman and Anglican communions. It will happen eventually. And it should be pointed out that not all Anglo-Catholic Anglicans and not all evangelical Anglicans are opposed to ordination of women or even to the affirmation and ordination of LGBTQ people. Interestingly, I think the more the Anglican communion moves down that inclusive path, the more and more Catholic in the full sense it sounds and, I would assume, becomes. As an example here is a response to Cardinal Kasper on Women Bishops by Bishops Tom Wright and David Stancliffe. I know of Wright as a biblical scholar and I know he comes from the evangelical wing of the Church of England. I don't know his colleague but the piece was published on an evangelical Anglican website. But I was very impressed and kept thinking just how Catholic in tone this piece is, a superb piece of inclusive Catholic theology, in fact (even citing Greek Orthodox theologian Zizioulas). A far cry from Sydney!
And finally a couple of interesting pieces from the Guardian this past week. Austen Iveriegh argues that the Vatican move will actually have good results for Anglican - Roman Catholic relations while Maggi Dawn cautions Anglo-Catholics not to go rushing into the arms of Rome yet.
UPDATE From this post by Greg Kandra, it would appear that Rome might have been a bit too clever by half and this cleverness is putting a spanner in the works. It's all to do with celibacy. It seems that while Rome will accept and reordain current married Anglican clergy abut ny future clergy in the proposed Anglican rite will be expected to be celibate
So Rome is manouvering to minimise any possible upsets to its established order. I think this will likely put the kybosh on it all. Maybe the Traditional Anglican Communion might join but I think a mass movement from the C of E let alone any other Anglican church is unlikely.
But the desire for full communion is there and on both sides. It's very noticeable here in Australia where apart from Sydney, Anglicans are very similar to Roman Catholics and the two communions are roughly the same size and already collaborate in very many ways.
I think it will come eventually but probably after Rome and the East have restored communion. When that happens it will be a momentous event. Reconciliation with the East will have to mean major changes to the Roman outlook, changes that will make it easier, in the long run for Anglicans and episcopal Lutherans (and maybe even episcopal Methodists) to negotiate full communion too.