This morning William Cardinal Levada announced at the Vatican that Pope Benedict XVI has introduced a canonical structure in an upcoming Apostolic Constitution that allows for corporate reunion with Anglicans by establishing Personal Ordinariates.
A Personal Ordinariate would be similar to Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for the members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world.
Here are the highlights from this mornings announcement:
- It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy.
- Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
- The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop.
- The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony.
- These Personal Ordinariates will be formed, as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates.
Cardinal Levada has stated: