The Vatican has said that the time has come for the Anglican Church to choose between Protestantism and the ancient churches of Rome and Orthodoxy.
Speaking on the day that the Archbishop of Canterbury met Benedict XVI in Rome, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council of Christian Unity, said it was time for Anglicanism to "clarify its identity".
He told the Catholic Herald: "Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?
"Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox – or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions."
It’s been "put on the back burner" because of the more pressing controversies over homosexual prelates and clergy, but the Evangelical vs. Anglo-Catholic divide is right up there as one of those "contradictions" that Anglicans have to deal with on a daily basis. Anglicanism is in reality a hybrid of both; it can and has gone in both directions over the years, but the emphasis of one or the other is a source of disunity.
In the case of the Shi’ites from Iran, we see the Vatican attempting to apply pressure at an opponent’s weak point in order to gain advantage. Cardinal Kasper is doing exactly the same thing with the Anglicans, taking advantage of their current chaotic situation to force Anglicans that just might "swim the Tiber" (like the TAC) to make their move. It’s something to keep in mind in any current "dialogue" with the Vatican.