October 20, AD 2009, New Developments: Vatican Announces Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans! To read more on this click here.
Updates at the bottom of the post ? (‘nothing’s been decided’ & ‘unlikely’)
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is reportedly recommending that the Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) be offered the status of personal prelature. The Traditional Anglican Communion is a group of approximately 400,000 Anglican’s that have broken away from the Anglican Communion seeking to preserve their Anglo-Catholic traditions. They formerly requested entry into the Catholic Church in 2007. These reports are emanating from an Australian Catholic weekly called The Record.
Due to the unprecedented volume of traffic it can be difficult to access The Record website. I can only surmise this is because of the excitement that this bit of news must be generating among Traditional Anglicans as well as faithful Catholics and various observers from Canterbury.
Again, this has just been reported within the last two hours (1:50am Central Standard Time). Here is the following posted information from The Record:
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.
The TAC is a growing global community of approximately 400,000 members that took the historic step in 2007 of seeking full corporate and sacramental communion with the Catholic Church – a move that, if fulfilled, will be the biggest development in Catholic-Anglican relations since the English Reformation under King Henry VIII. TAC members split from the Canterbury-based Anglican Communion headed by Archbishop Rowan Williams over issues such as its ordination of women priests and episcopal consecrations of women and practising homosexuals.
The TAC’s case appeared to take a significant step forwards in October 2008 when it is understood that the CDF decided not to recommend the creation of a distinct Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church – as is the case with the Eastern Catholic Churches – but a personal prelature, a semi-autonomous group with its own clergy and laity.
Opus Dei was the first organisation in the Catholic Church to be recognised as a personal prelature, a new juridical form in the life of the Church. A personal prelature is something like a global diocese without boundaries, headed by its own bishop and with its own membership and clergy.
An announcement could be made soon after Easter this year. It is understood that Pope Benedict XVI, who has taken a personal interest in the matter, has linked the issue to the year of St Paul, the greatest missionary in the history of the Church. The Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls could feature prominently in such an announcement for its traditional and historical links to Anglicanism. Prior to the English Reformation it was the official Church of the Knights of the Garter.
The TAC’s Primate, Adelaide-based Archbishop John Hepworth, told The Record he has also informed the Holy See he wants to bring all the TAC’s bishops to Rome for the beatification of Cardinal Henry Newman, also an Anglican convert to the Catholic Church, as a celebration of Anglican-Catholic unity.
If this information is accurate, this is an incredible turn of events coming from the Vatican. First the motu proprio freeing the Tridentine Mass, the overtures to S.S.P.X., and now granting the Traditional Anglican Communion the status of a personal prelature, which only Opus Dei occupies thus far. With the Catholic Church change occurs over centuries, but with the Venerable Pope Benedict XVI he has dramatically altered the landscape of the Catholic Church within three short years.
What does this mean for traditionalists (High Anglicans) in the Canterbury based Anglican Communion? Possibly protection from heterodoxical bishops by entering the Catholic Church as a personal prelature or simply entering the Traditional Anglican Communion. This is going to create shockwaves all the way to Canterbury and the rest of the Anglican Communion throughout the world. It will definitely make the prelates of England and Wales cringe in fear to the thought of hundred’s of thousands of Anglicans entering their realm and bolstering the numbers of faithful and dedicated Catholics. It will also certainly create havoc for Katherine Jefferts Schori and her bishops in keeping The Episcopal Communion together here in the United States.
Right now this is joyous news that I am just beginning to digest, if this is correct news.
(Biretta Tip: Creative Minority Report)
Updated (1-29-2009 AD, 3:05pm CST): The National Catholic Register’s correspondent, Edward Pentin, was told by a CDF official that “nothings’ been decided.”
‘Said the official, “It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.” ‘
Tom McFeely, the National Catholic Register reporter, has titled his posting ‘Anglican Rumors Denied’. Insinuating this isn’t true. Though the CDF official hasn’t state as such, only that nothing’s been decided.
Updated (2-3-2009 AD, 12:00pm CST): The Catholic News Agency is now reporting a Vatican official stating that the scenario described above for the entry of the Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) into the Catholic Church as ‘unlikely‘.
Keep in mind that the T.A.C. may still get entry into the Church, but under a different formula, corporately or individually.
Also keep in mind that my posting is based on a rumor and not an official Vatican statement. Though prayers and patience will go a long way for the T.A.C.