Anglicans And Catholics To Reunite, Reaction And News Roundup

St. Thomas More

I will be updating this post as often as I can throughout the day [Last update at 10:01pm CDT].  I’ll be reporting on reactions and news concerning this groundbreaking development that came from the Vatican this morning.  The Vatican issued a note explaining a new provision in an upcoming Apostolic Constitution that will allow for a structure to be in place to receive Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic Church.  Basically a corporate reunion!

To read the full text of this announcement from the Vatican click here.

To read the full text of the joint press release of the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, click here.

Reaction and news from around the world [all emphasis mine]:

Last Update of the day at 10:01pm CDT (Earlier updates further down this post)

Ruth Gledhill of the Times of London.  Offers a brief history of what transpired the last couple of years between Anglo-Catholics, and those inside the Vatican, both faithful and dissident Catholics.

Rome has parked its tanks on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn [Interesting choice of words, but nonetheless accurate in my opinion] after manoeuvres undertaken by up to fifty bishops and begun two years ago by an Australian archbishop, John Hepworth [The leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion].”

“In England, negotiations with the Vatican have been led by two of the “flying bishops” — the AngloCatholics sanctioned to provide pastoral care for opponents of the ordination of women as priests. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Right Rev Andrew Burnham, and the Bishop of Richborough, the Right Rev Keith Newton, visited Rome at Easter last year for talks with Cardinal Levada.”

“Then in July last year Cardinal Levada wrote to Archbishop Hepworth assuring him and his flock “of the serious attention which the Congregation gives to the prospect of corporate unity” and promising that “as soon as the Congregation is in a position to respond more definitively concerning the proposals you have sent, we will inform you”.”

“Later that month, the by now desperate flying bishops appealed again to Rome for help. The General Synod of the Church of England had voted to consecrate women bishops without providing statutory protection for traditionalists.”

“At the start of this year Vatican sources began predicting that the announcement of some form of accommodation for Anglicans was close. But it never came, and less optimistic Anglicans assumed the whole thing was no more than a puff of grey smoke.”

They dismissed the hopes of the traditionalists too soon. The reason for the delay was twofold.”

“Within the Vatican City’s frescoed ceilings and marbled corridors, in the Curia itself and in particular in the College of Cardinals, there were — and there remain — deep divisions about the appropriate response to Anglicans and former Anglicans seeking some form of corporate unity [And whom may they be?  The answer follows next...].”

“The liberals, among them Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who at the time was Archbishop of Westminster, were reluctant to open the door wide to the traditionalists, partly because of their “more Roman than the Romans” style of churchmanship [I don't think it was because of this, in my opinion, these traditional Catholics actually practiced the faith more accurately than what Damian Thompson refers to as Tablistas or Sandalistas], but also for fear of upsetting Anglicans and the Church of England in particular.”

“The Orthodox Church, with which the Pope is also desperate to achieve unity, does not demand a celibate priesthood although its bishops cannot marry. Celibacy is a requirement that is becoming increasingly hard to justify [Miss Gledhill is showing her true colors of being at odds with Church teaching, but her article is pretty solid and good enough to peruse].”

“He was clearly “in charge” at the joint press conference at the Catholic Church’s Eccleston Square administrative offices yesterday, at one point interrupting to answer a question addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He appears to have no compunctions about unsettling a few Anglicans [Why should he?  At the risk of losing souls to Satan, he did what was most prudent].”

Many Catholics believe that their churches and cathedrals were “stolen” [Nice use of quotations.  Anti-Catholicism is a slow death isn't it?] from them at the Reformation and want them back.

Although the established status of the Church of England means this could never be a straightforward process, Rome’s new move undercuts all that by allowing for unity to evolve upwards organically [Stroke of genius by His Holiness.  By providing the structural mechanism, Anglicans seeking reunion with Rome need to be proactive to move this process, not be pulled by the Vatican], from the grass roots, as forseen by an ecumenical report produced a few years ago.

Every church leader speaks about unity, but they all want it on their terms. Pope Benedict XVI is the first since the Reformation who seems to have hit on a realistic way of turning the clock back by moving it forwards [Well said].

As evangelicals defect in one direction and traditionalists in the other, and disestablishment beckons with the reform of the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury faces being left with a dwindling number of liberals in the centre struggling to maintain a heritage of ancient, Grade I listed churches [Give them back to their rightful owners, but please don't turn them into museums-- which sadly may happen anyways if they revert back to the Catholic Church].

Church-sharing already takes place between Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, the Orthodox and others. The Catholic Church could, through its new Anglican ordinariate, find itself repossessing its churches, almost by default [Again, they were Catholic first, then ripped away from us by the dastardly King Henry VIII].

“It was left to the National Secular Society to say publicly what many Anglicans would only admit privately. “This is a mortal blow to Anglicanism which will inevitably lead to disestablishment as the Church shrinks yet further and become increasingly irrelevant,”

Rowan Williams has failed dismally in his ambitions to avoid schism. His refusal to take a principled moral stand against bigotry [There's that anti-Catholicism rearing its ugly head, but from the Secularists this time] has left his Church in tatters.”

To read the entire article by Ruth Gledhill click here.

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Update 9:24pm CDT

Father Dwight Longenecker on Inside Catholic.  Father Longenecker, a former Anglican now Catholic and priest, wrote a concise article over at the great Catholic website, InsideCatholic.  Especially his thoughts concerning property and buildings.

“For mainstream Anglicans, the right thing would be for the Anglican Communion worldwide to face this challenge squarely and put their own provisions in place for Anglo-Catholics to leave and take their buildings and resources with them [In a perfect world this would happen, but we can't rule out how charity works through others]. The Anglicans across the world should realize that their communion is shrinking and look at things from a practical point of view. They already have too many buildings and staff members to maintain. What would be the point of having a great Anglo-Catholic church if there is nobody there to fill the pews? In English cities, there are plenty of Anglican churches that could very easily be handed over.”

“The Anglicans should be realistic and set up the procedures for an Anglican-Use Roman Catholic parish in every town. That would solve their problem of the troublesome Anglo-Catholics and free them to then turn the Anglican Church into the Politically Correct Church of Christ. While this would be the sensible and Christian way forward, it is unlikely to happen. Instead, be prepared for more property battles as disaffected Anglicans attempt to leave and take their assets with them.”

“What are the wider implications of this move? First of all, the Holy Father has effectively closed down the Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenical discussions [In my opinion they have been ineffective for quite a long time now].”

Pundits are already wondering whether this same model might assist the Society of St. Pius X to come into full communion, and once the Eastern Orthodox see it working well, they too might find ways to reunite with the ancient See of Rome.”

“Finally, what are the implications for the Catholic Church herself at the beginning of the new millennium? Not only is this Apostolic Constitution a rebuff to the old style of ecumenical discussions, it is a rebuff to liberal Catholics [A bold statement, again, I disagree with using a political prism on Catholics].”

To read the entire article by Father Longenecker at InsideCatholic click here.

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Update 8:43pm CDT

Patrick Archbold of the Creative Minority Report.  Patrick Archbold dissects Michael Sean Winters of America magazines hand-wringing.  I personally can’t wait to read Father Richard McBrien’s response, I hope those two don’t get an aneurysm over this.

“The dependably silly Michael Sean Winters over at America Magazine is doing backflips [Among other things.] to avoid reality and worries about the future with all these anti-gay misogynist Anglos entering the church.”

Responding to Michael Sean Winters laughable claim that this all resulted from 40 years of ecumenical dialogue,

Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that this is the death knell of the kind of ecumenism that has followed the council. This is a move to a new (yet older) type of ecumenism, one that says “convert [Amen!].” Want proof? Cardinal Kasper (our head ecumenist) was no where near this announcement today and was relegated to complaining in advance in comments he made a week ago. That is proof.”

To read this great article by Patrick Archbold click here.

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Update 8:33pm CDT

Father Dwight Longenecker has some interesting thoughts on all this.

So what will the Anglican response be? Worldwide we may see whole Anglican provinces come into full communion. They will be small ones like the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea for instance. More likely we will see several of the Anglican splinter groups come into full communion en bloc [Now that would be very momentous to see!]. Many of these groups in the United States, for instance, already have their own buildings and clergy, and could come over very easily [On the other hand we may see many court battles, especially in the United States since, sadly, we Americans are very litiguous.  That and High Priestess Katharine Jefferts Schori has shown any amount of Christian charity towards those that do own their buildings and are leaving the Episcopal Church over here in America.]. Next you will see particular congregations vote to leave the Episcopal church or Anglican Church. Then there will be a fight for the buildings. It will be better for these groups of people to leave quietly and work with the Catholics in their area to find a suitable building and maintain their worship.

I am most interested to imagine what will happen in England. I doubt very much whether we will see whole congregations of Anglo Catholics coming over. Damien Thompson is very enthusiastic, but Anglicans love their buildings. I doubt if the Anglican Church will release any of their property, and without the beautiful church will Anglicans step out on their own? I doubt it [And they are beautiful churches, albeit they were first Catholic before they were Anglican to begin with]. However, I may be wrong. What if the Anglican Church were to respond in kind and say, “You know, we have too many churches already. In each major town we are going to hand over one church to the ‘Anglican Use’ Catholics [Now that would be a great act of charity].”

To read the rest of this article by Father Longenecker click here.

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Update 8:12pm CDT

Dr. Edward Peters, from a Canon Lawyers perspective. Great insight from a Canon lawyers point of view.

“An “apostolic constitution” is the form of document used by the Holy See to make the most significant canonical and disciplinary provisions for the Church. It is not, then, a simple “decree” (1983 CIC 29 etc), say, or an “instruction” (1983 CIC 34).”

“The establishment of a “personal ordinariate” will be something of an innovation in modern canon law, although this ordinariate is apparently going to be similar to “personal arch/dioceses” such as those used for the military (1983 CIC 368 and ap. con. Spirituali militum), or to personal prelatures (1983 CIC 294-297), with Opus Dei being the only example thereof to date. One wonders, though, why both of these structures were apparently found to be inadequate for the reception of Anglicans, and why a third way was invented? We’ll have to see. [I am no Canon lawyer, but my thinking is that the Personal Ordinariate is exactly like the Military Ordinariate, just the prefix name has been changed to make a distinction of the type of function each Ordinariate does.]

“In any case, the idea of a “personal ordinariate” is another sign of the (I think) inevitable trend away from purely territorial jurisdictional units in the Roman Church and toward greater use of personal jurisdiction [This 'may' be so, but I believe this may be a one time instance.  I can only speculate that the Personal Ordinariate may be take up by the Lutheran ecclesiastical communities in Germany in a later date if it were to occur and then it stops there.]. This trend has been evident in western canon law at least since the late 1960s (see, e.g., 1967 Synod of Bishops, “Principles Guiding the Revision of Canon Law”, no. 8) and is reflected in the 1983 Code (e.g., 1983 CIC 372, 518).”

“Lastly, it strikes me as a bit odd that CDF is, at present, the lead dicastery in this matter [Probably because Papa Bene wants to make clear this is a juridical ruling and not a liturgical ruling]. Provisions for “particular churches” usually come from the Congregation for Bishops (ap. con. Pastor bonus 75-76), not CDF. While theological issues (and there are some here, of course) are better addressed by doctrinal experts in CDF, organizational issues (which are numerous here) seem better left to administrative experts in the Cong. for Bishops. But, I’m sure someone has already thought of that.”

To read up on the Spirituali Militum Curae Apostolic Constitution click here (sorry, no English document available).

To read the complete text of this article by Dr. Edward Peters click here.

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Update 7:55pm CDT

National ‘Catholic’ Reporter Goes Bonkers.  Here is what the National ‘Catholic’ Reporter reports on this mornings glorious announcement,

“Pope okays new structures to absorb disgruntled Anglican conservatives[Yes, that is all dissident Catholics view those that love the liturgy, they view the world through a political lense as opposed to a Catholic lense.  Sad.]

Here are Father Zuhlsdorf hilarious reaction to the above two statements by the National ‘Catholic’ Reporter,

“This isn’t a tweet, it’s a twit!”

“How conflicted the editors of the NCR[eporter] must be!”

“After all, they think like liberal Anglicans.”

“Hey, NCR!”

“I hear there are going to be even more empty pews ready for you in Anglican churches!”

To read this particular blog posting by Father Zuhsldorf on the National ‘Catholic’ Reporter’s response click here.

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Update 7:39pm CDT

Tim Drake of the National Catholic Register. Mr. Drake interviewed a former Anglican clergyman now Catholic and priest Father Douglas Grandon.

“It’s a monumental and historical event,”

“I’m absolutely delighted. We’ve been hoping for this for a long time.”

“According to Father Grandon, while this move is something that Anglicans were hoping for for quite some time, particularly those in England, many were hesitant to come into the Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of certain dioceses that weren’t as faithful as they [I am grateful that I don't reside in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles or Rochester!], the Anglo-Catholics, themselves were.”

“Father Grandon found it interesting that the archbishop of Canterbury was not consulted about the move [In my opinion because the 'archbishop' of Canterbury would want to create a committee to study this proposal that would be dragged out until the end of time.  See Lambeth Confernce].”

“He said that the announcement was ‘made to him at a very late stage,’ which indicates that the Vatican wanted to be gracious to him, but that the Vatican recognizes the train wreck that Anglicanism [Father Grandon is very gracious and charitable in his assessment here.] is,”

The Episcopal Church has become tyrannical to those who’ve departed, and has taken a seriously anti-Christian turn theologically [A very incisive and correct analysis of the current situation],”

We’re talking about potentially hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people coming into the Church, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of Anglican clergy,”

To read the rest of Tim Drake’s article click here.

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Update 7:14pm CDT

Robert Duncan of VirtueOnline.  The Anglican Church in North America released a charitable and glowing report on this morning’s announcement.

We rejoice that the Holy See has opened this doorway, which represents another step in the growing cooperation and relationship between our Churches. This significant decision represents a recognition of the integrity of the Anglican tradition within the broader Christian church.”

To read the rest of this article by Robert Duncan click here.

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Update 6:52pm CDT

Damian Thompson reports on dissident Catholic newspaper unease.  The Tablet had the typical dissident response, complaining on how it distracts from efforts to battle global warming; No, I didn’t make that up!

” … the inappropriately short notice the Bishops of England and Wales were given of this controversial decision, which undermines the occasionally troubled yet undeniably rewarding ecumenical dialogue [Rewarding in that it continues to push off reunion.  Most dissident Catholics enjoy avoiding difficult issues, especially if it involves endless, pointless, meaningless dialogue.] undertaken by ARCIC. This dialogue between the Churches is entering a new, even more fruitful phase as the two Communions unite to halt global warming through joint parish initiatives [See, this is what dissident Catholics want to talk about, anything BUT reunion.]; it is therefore mystifying that the all-male Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [Can you read the disdain that this dissident Catholic has for authority and hierarchy through the prism of modern liberalism?] should have chosen to issue this declaration in the sensitive weeks ahead of the Copenhagen Summit [Please stop laughing they are deadly serious! LOL] – unless, of course, the CDF (never the most enlightened of dicasteries) is trying to distract attention from the fate of the planet by flagging up the plight of a few Christians who share climate change deniers’ determination to preserve a vanished past. We therefore hope that ordinary Catholics will join with mainstream Anglican justice and peace activists to dialogue with so-called “traditionalists” hoping to take advantage of this crazy plan of Ratzinger’s [Again with the disdain for authority by addressing Pope Benedict XVI by his former name.], and, if they fail to see the error of their ways, drive them out of the village with flaming torches and pitchforks [It pretty much writes itself, dissident Catholics will soon realize the Truth always prevails].”

To read the rest of this particular article click here.

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Update 6:35pm CDT

Damian Thompson reports on Back Room Wrangling: Interesting behind the scenes wrangling of the Spirit of Vatican II crowd doing their best to stall this latest development with Cardinal Kasper only able to sit and watch.

“This from a good source in Rome: apparently both Lambeth Palace and elements in the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity were “implacably opposed” to Pope Benedict XVI’s dramatic new arrangements for Anglicans. The source also reports speculation that Archbishop Rowan Williams put pressure on Vatican ecumenists to stop the Apostolic Constitution being issued. For all I know, he did persuade Cardinal Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council, that it wasn’t a good idea. But this particular portfolio was taken out of Kasper’s hands a long time ago; indeed, it looks as if the cardinal was simply “informed” what was happening by the CDF.”

The professional ecumenists on both sides had decades to get this right. They screwed it up. So now Pope Benedict has opened up another route to unity: a high-speed bypass ["Screwed it up are very kind words.  More like they led many away from the faith.  Like a famous saint once said, 'the road to Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops'].

To read this particular article by Damian Thompson click here

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Update 6:22pm CDT

Nick Squires, Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor:  Mr. Squires reports that Archbishop Joseph Di Noia, Secretary for the Congregation for Divine Worship, says that the number of Anglican “bishops ready to convert was closer to 50 [Wow!]“.

They would come from the United States, Australia, and the island nations of the Pacific, he said. [Can we dare say even an entire Episcopal diocese say like, Fort Worth!]

“The initiative was in response to years of lobbying by Anglicans who had become disenchanted with Anglican liberalism, a dissatisfaction which reached a crisis point in 2004 when the Episcopal Church in the United States ordained the first openly gay bishop [Now here I would strongly disagree with Mr. Squires.  This may have played a small part at best.], Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.”

“That move and other liberal shifts, such as a Canadian diocese’s willingness to bless same-sex unions, have been fiercely opposed by more conservative Anglicans, particularly in Africa.”

“But Vatican commentators described it as a blow to the Anglican Communion. “For people who harbor the vision of Anglican unity, this will be a great disappointment,” said Vatican analyst Francis X Rocca, of the Religion News Service.”

To read the rest of Nick Squires article click here.

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Update 6:07pm CDT

RORATE CÆLI: The author known as New Catholic cites the problems of “dialogue” that emanated from the misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council.  He now seems to relish what may be the final nail in the legitimacy of the See of Canterbury.

It was quite fitting that the successor of the usurpers of the extinguished see of Canterbury was present today as the news of the Apostolic Constitution [New Catholic isn't holding back here.] which will establish a full-fledged canonical structure for Anglicans within the Catholic Church was made public in simultaneous conferences in Rome and London. He was there to witness the burial of his own Communion.”

“Despite what the Archbishop of Westminster and the Anglican leader of Canterbury said in their diplomatic joint statement, it is obvious dialogue is dead [No matter how they both spin it, dialogue has been at best a disaster, at worst a degradation of the institution of the Catholic Church and her traditions.] – and has been dead since the unilateral and anti-Apostolic move of the Anglican Communion in favor of priestesses.”

“The Protestants will remain in the dying communities;”

“Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. (Lumen Gentium, 14) [Many people continue to fail to read the many good documents of Vatican II in detail.  They would be surprised that it contains nothing about electrical guitars, vernacular language, or liturgical dancing]

To read the rest click here.

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Update 1:42pm CDT

Deacon Keith Fournier of Catholic Online: ‘May They Be One’!  Deacon Fournier is besides himself, as he and all Christians should be, at this announcement.  Here are a snippet of the many words he used to describe this development,

“In an absolutely stunning announcement [Yeah!  There's the fire I've been waiting to hear from our clergy!] on the morning of October 20, 2009, the Holy See has, by Apostolic Constitution, provided the canonical vehicle for Anglican Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.”

“Many Anglican Christians have suffered from the ravages of their community from within brought about by moves away from Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Now,there is a way to the safe harbor of the Catholic Church.”

“This morning the Vatican offered a lifeline into the Ark of Peter for Anglican Christians who wish to avail themselves of the invitation.

“There is only one word for this historic announcement – extraordinary [Can you all just feel the excitement coming from the good Deacon?!]. The Apostolic Constitution signed by Pope Benedict XVI will dramatically affect the ecclesial landscape of the entire Christian world. It will also change Christian history going forward [It's barely sunk in, the dramatic announcement and all, but this has great ramifications for ecumenism, especially for our Orthodox brothers in Christ!]. To this observer, who has been writing about these events for a long time and holding firm to the hope of just such an opening while others dismissed it, this is only the beginning of an historic period of Church history, a new missionary age [Amen!].”

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Update 1:25pm CDT

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams: Isn’t too happy to say the least.  This is an internal memo to all bishops of the Anglican Communion,

“I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this;  I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage, and we await the text of the Apostolic Constitution itself and its code of practice in the coming weeks. But I thought I should let you know the main points of the response I am making in our local English context– in full consultation with Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales – in the hope of avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation.”

Damian Thompson had this to say to Mr. Rowan Williams reaction, “Good Lord, I’ve just seen the letter Dr Rowan Williams has sent to the bishops of the Anglican Communion. He sounds humiliated – and, I suspect, furious that the Vatican sprang the plans to welcome ex-Anglicans on him[.]”

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Update 12:52pm CDT

Father George Rutler:  Father Rutler is a well known Anglican convert to the Catholic Church and had some provocative words concerning the reaction from Canterbury,

“It is dramatic put down of  liberal Anglicanism and a total repudiation of the ordination of women, homosexual marriage [No one will say it, but Father Rutler speaks truth to power as every priest should] and the general neglect of doctrine in Anglicanism. It basically interprets Anglicanism as a spiritual pa[t]rimony based on ethnic tradition rather than substantial doctrine and makes clear that it is not an historic “church” but rather an “ecclesial community”‘ that strayed and now is invited to return to communion with the Pope as Successor of Peter.”

“The Vatican was careful to schedule simultaneously with the Vatican announcement,  press conference of the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and the deeply humiliated Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury [I'll be posting Canterbury's reaction immediately] to enable to enable the Anglicans to save some face by saying that this recognizes the spiritual patrimony of Anglicanism and that ecumenical dialogue goes ahead.”

The press, often uninformed and sensationalistic in matters of religion, will zoom in on the permission for married priests. [Will they ever.  They'll start yelling for wymyn priests as well not knowing the significance of this note.] They will miss the most important point: that this reiterates the Catholic Church’s insistence that Anglican Holy Orders are invalid, and perforce so is their Eucharist.

It remains to be seen how many Anglicans (Epscopalians in the USA) will be received into the Catholic Church under these provisions, but it is a final nail in the coffin of the rapidily disintegrating Anglicanism [And hopefully to the Spirit of Vatican II crowd as well as with 'Catholic' dissidents] at least in the West are will radically challenge Anglicans in other parts of the world.Perhaps most importantly, it sets a precedent for reunion with Orthodox churches whose Holy Orders the Catholic Church already recognizes as valid [Pray, pray, and pray some more so the two lungs of the Church can unite and battle our enemies together!].”

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Update 12:38pm CDT

The Traditional Anglican Communion:  Offered a very positive response with high praise for Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop John Hepworth is Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion and had this to say,

“We are profoundly moved by the generosity of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.”

“May I firstly state that this is an act of great goodness on the part of the Holy Father. He has dedicated his pontificate to the cause of unity. It more than matches the dreams we dared to include in our petition of two years ago.”

“While we await the full text of the Apostolic Constitution, we are also moved by the pastoral nature of the Notes issued today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. My fellow bishops have indeed signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church and made a statement about the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, reflecting the words of Pope John Paul II in his letter “Ut Unum Sint”.”

I have made a commitment to the Traditional Anglican Communion that the response of the Holy See will be taken to each of our National Synods. They have already endorsed our pathway. Now the Holy See challenges us to seek in the specific structures that are now available the “full, visible unity, especially Eucharistic communion”, for which we have long prayed and about which we have long dreamed. That process will begin at once. [They aren't wasting anytime at all!  Deo gratias!]

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Update 12:36pm CDT

Father Tim Finigan:  Father Finigan is cautiously optimistic, but still joyful over this development!

“I am pleased at the news and offer my warmest congratulations to all those Anglicans who have been longing for such an arrangement. I wonder whether the development of the “Anglican Use” ordinariates will help in the recovery of at least some elements of our distinctive English Sarum use that were lost at the Reformation alongside those that were preserved in the Church of England.”

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Update 12:30pm CDT

Damian Thompson of London’s Daily Telegraph: Speculates a case-by-case basis for married Anglican clergy.  Mr. Thompson also speculated that the announcement may have been delayed to wait for Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s retirement.  He is very enthused and much more,

“This is astonishing news. Pope Benedict XVI has created an entirely new Church structure for disaffected Anglicans that will allow them to worship together – using elements of Anglican liturgy – under the pastoral supervision of their own specially appointed bishop or senior priest.”

“The Archbishop of Canterbury is unlikely to be pleased, though he was vigorously concealing any displeasure at a press conference this morning. (There was a lot of spin about this decision “arising out of dialogue”.) The truth is that Rome has given up on the Anglican Communion. With one announcement, the Pope has given conservative Anglicans a protected route to union with Rome – and promised that, even once they are members of the Catholic Church, they will be offered a permanent structure that allows them to retain an Anglican ethos.”

“Thousands of Anglicans who reject women bishops and priests and liberal teaching on homosexuality are certain to avail themselves of this provision. Within a few years, there will probably be “Anglican ethos” Catholic parishes in England and Wales (and one wonders how many conservative cradle Catholics will gratefully start attending Mass there).”

“The Vatican would not use the phrase, but this is very close to the setting up of a “Church within a Church [I disagree here with Mr. Thompson, it can be speculated, but I doubt the Vatican was thinking along these lines]. Yet that is not as unusual as it might seem: Eastern-rite Catholics have their own liturgy and church structures, and in America a small number of ex-Anglicans use service books that borrow from the Book of Common Prayer.”

“This is a decision of supreme boldness and generosity by Pope Benedict XVI, comparable to his liberation of the Traditional Latin Mass. The implications of this announcement will take a long time to sink in, but I suspect that this will be a day of rejoicing for conservative Anglo-Catholics and their Roman Catholic friends all over the world [Indeed!].”

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Update 12:29pm CDT

Father John Zuhlsdorf: Because of the new category, though similar to Military Ordinariates, Personal Ordinariates should be kept in mind when thinking of the Society of Saint Pius X, or S.S.P.X., as Father Z states,

“This could be important down the line also for SSPXers.”

_._

(Biretta Tips: PewSitter.com and Creative Minority Report)

_._

To read my previous entry from earlier this morning on this topic click here.

18 Responses to Anglicans And Catholics To Reunite, Reaction And News Roundup

  • Does this action reverse Apostolicae Curae?

  • A brilliant stroke on the part of Pope Benedict. He has the mental agility and energy of a prelate half his age. Disaffected Anglicans now have a home and the powers that be in the Anglican Church have a major problem. To all of our Anglican brothers and sisters who will be joining us I say that we are overjoyed to have you!

  • Might I just add that this is what Ecumenism is supposed to be about: Conversion into the Catholic Church, and not the other way around (i.e., Catholics mutating into Protestants)?

  • e.,

    In addition to what you said, Ecumenism is about conversion, not dialogue that continues without resolution.

  • Tito: I was having problems earlier at the website. Would you kindly remove the first instance of my comments above since it’s merely a duplicate?

    Also, would you happen to know if in that ordinariate in the Anglican ultimately means that a person can actually be married and yet become a priest in that rite (for lack of a better word)?

    Thanks!

  • e.,

    Yes, I read the Note that was released early this morning the same way.

    Married men can now become priests in the Catholic Church, but only within the Anglican Personal Ordinariate. Very similar to Easter Catholic Rites.

    But they may not become priests in the Latin Rite, which encompasses the vast majority of Catholics worldwide.

    I’m sure once the mainstream media gets to reading the details they’ll begin to make hay about this pretty soon.

    Take note though, only unmarried priests can become bishop within the Anglican Personal Ordinariate, just as in the Easter Catholic Rites and the Easter Orthodox Churches.

  • Tito:

    Thanks for the info!

    I’m just wondering if a person who is seeking to become a priest and yet at the same time be married, alls he need do is pursue such vocation but within that same Anglican Personal Ordinariate which you mention; in other words, will this be at long last that loophole for those married but yet feel a calling to serve the Lord in the priesthood.

    Here is The Wall Street Journal scoop:

    Vatican Opens Door for Anglican Converts

    ROME — Pope Benedict XVI introduced a fast track for Anglicans seeking to join Roman Catholicism, paving the way for conservative Anglicans frustrated by their church’s blessing of same-sex unions and homosexuality in the priesthood to enter the Catholic fold.

    The Vatican on Tuesday announced plans to create a special set of canon laws, known as an “Apostolic Constitution,” to allow Anglican faithful, priests and bishops to enter into full communion with the Vatican without having to give up a large part of their liturgical and spiritual traditions.

    With the measures, Pope Benedict is attempting to reclaim ground lost by the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century when King Henry VIII defied papal authority to found the Church of England. The move clears the way for entire congregations of Anglicans to join the Catholic Church and makes it easier for married Anglican priests to convert without embracing Catholicism’s traditional code of priestly celibacy…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125604916994796545.html?mod=rss_Today's_Most_Popular

  • e.,

    As much as the mainstream media hypes that the solution to a declining pool of priests is to allow married people to pursue this vocation, it won’t be anything more than a trickle.

    We all know that families that practice and teach the faith to their children, ie, foster vocations, in addition to participating in orthodox Catholic parishes will create large pools of seminarians.

    As evident in the Lincoln and Omaha dioceses of Nebraska.

    Allowing married men and wymyn priests is a band-ade at best.

  • Tito:

    Obviously, woman priests is clearly forbidden and should never be allowed — ever.

    However, allowing married priests is more of a disciplinary rather than a doctrinal matter; I don’t see how such a thing can actually even be considered subversive.

    In fact, even Fr. Corapi admitted as much in his Catechism of the Catholic Church series on EWTN.

  • e.,

    I know that it is a discipline and not doctrinal.

    I agree with you completely on this point. You may have misread my comment on this, but to be clear, I believe you and I are on the same page.

    I’m fine with allowing married priests. Especially how it will be set up in the upcoming provision in the Apostolic Constitution.

    …and I looove Father Corapi!

  • I got to see Fr. Corapi in Buffalo this past August on Our Lady’s feast. He is wonderful. A true son of the Church.

    I prefer that the Latin Rite keep the celibacy discipline. We are at a point right now where experience is teaching us that when we are orthodox we grow and when we are hetrodox we wane.

    Even though the Pope could lift this I think it diminishes the priest’s efficacy if he has to worry about the formation and protection, etc. of children of his own flesh – it is actually a freedom to be able to care for all the children in his parish.

    Nevertheless, whatever the Pope decides is fine by me. I think everyone except the Holy Spirit underestimated our German Shepherd. He rocks.

  • AK,

    I agree 100%.

    Celibacy needs to be kept for many apparent reasons, one of the most basic is he has dedicated his life to Christ. Adding a good wife would only shorten his time on earth.

  • Fr. Grandon is a distant relative of mine by marriage, whom I met for the first time when he had just become Catholic and had gone from being an Episcopal priest to a Catholic layperson. Great guy with a really interesting conversion story.

    On another blog I read that Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, retired Episcopal bishop of Quincy, Illinois (its cathedral, however, is in Peoria), was more or less stripped of his episcopal status by the “High Priestess” referred to above… he also is a great guy, good friends with Bishops Myers and Jenky, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump the Tiber now. Since he’s married and has kids he wouldn’t be able to be a bishop anymore, but given how he’s been treated by his own denomination of late, he’d probably have little to lose if he did convert.

  • Also, maybe I’m getting WAY ahead of everyone here… but could this approach to ecumenism be carried even beyond the boundaries of the Anglican or Orthodox churches? Could we someday (probably centuries from now, if ever) have a Lutheran Rite or Baptist Rite or Pentecostal/Charismatic Rite that combine their distinctive styles of worship with the sacraments, doctrines and teaching authority of the Church?

  • Elaine,

    I briefly touched on that in the next posting.

    In my opinion, I could possibly see something for the Lutherans in a Personal Ordiniate.

    But after them, there are no vestiges of any signs of an apostolic church. Maybe the Methodists, but that is stretching it a bit.

    But again, it’s strictly my opinion.

  • Tito:

    No disrespect; however, if you actually felt that way about married priests, then why did you put it up there with woman priests which, in fact, can never be allowed as it directly goes against Christian doctrine itself?

    Also, I don’t think there could ever be rites that would cater to such Protestant sects as the Baptists who clearly do not hold the same Christian beliefs that we do, like the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Ironically, it is folks like the Lutherans who we have more in common (relatively-speaking, of course) in comparison with those sects who are far more heretical in degree.

    Yet, I do greatly appreciate the fact that you are keeping us apprised of such news. Keep it up.

    Adding a good wife would only shorten his time on earth.

    This reminds of precisely what Saint/Sir Thomas More once said as regarding marriage; that is, once a man is married, he can never be free of worry!

  • e.,

    Now your reading into things way to much.

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