The Vatican just cut the price for Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.  Converts can keep some Anglican traditions and still become Catholics.  For instance, married Anglican priests can convert and become Catholic priests!

As the Anglican Church loses market share to the Catholic Church, what will they do? Traditional economics would imply some sort of price cut by the firm under attack.  If Catholics can allow married priests, surely Protestants can allow some confessions and indulgences (i.e. payments for absolution from sins) for Catholics wanting to move the other way.  Over-indulgences led to the Protestant Reformation but the Catholics Church’s aggressive move to get market share is going to lead to a price war and a reduction of product differentiation.  Of course, if there is very little switching as Protestants are very loyal to their faith, the Catholic Church will end up cannibalizing its own market – for instance, Catholic priests may demand the same marriage rights granted to their converted brethren.

Looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen.

Update: Thanks to all the commenters who helped to reveal my lack of knowledge on religious matters.  It seems that the potential for cannibalizing the Catholic market has been recognized. Here is today’s Times story Pope’s Offer Raises Idea of Marriage for Catholic Priests:

“The invitation also extends to married Anglican clergy. And so some have begun to wonder, even if the 82-year-old Benedict himself would never allow it, would more people in the Catholic Church begin to entertain the possibility of married Catholic priests?

“If you get used to the idea of your priests being married, then that changes the perception of the Catholic priesthood necessarily,” said Austen Ivereigh, a Catholic commentator in London and a former adviser to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster.

“We face the prospect in the future of going to a Catholic church in London and it being normal to find a married Catholic priest celebrating at the altar, with his wife sitting in the third pew and his children running up and down the aisle,” he said.”

There is also an arbitrage opportunity dismissed by the Catholic Church:

“Could a Catholic man convert to Anglicanism, be ordained as an Anglican priest, then rejoin the Catholic Church under the new Anglican rite? (The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, dismissed that idea as “a trick.”)”