Rorate Caeli

Anglican "requests" to be discussed by Pope and Cardinals

This Friday, on the eve of the consistory for the creation of new Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, the Pope will host a meeting of all Cardinals who are in Rome (including the ones recently named and who will be created on Saturday) - just as he did on the eve of his first consistory and which he mentions in Summorum Pontificum ("having listened to the views of the Cardinal Fathers of the Consistory of 22 March 2006").

The general topic of the meeting, as several news outlets have revealed, will be "ecumenism", and there will certainly be a discussion on the Ravenna Document. However, Paolo Luigi Rodari reports today in Il Riformista that:

"Other than relations with the Orthodox, tomorrow's meeting will include a discussion dedicated to the Protestants and, in particular, to Anglicans. The Pontiff wishes that the many requests of return to the Catholic Church put forward in the last few months by exponents of Anglicanism be closely evaluated."
These "many requests" include Anglicans of the Anglican Communion (that is, in "communion" with Canterbury), but they are most probably related to the famous letter of the Traditional Anglican Communion (a part of the "Continuing movement" in Anglicanism) "to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union".

Rodari also mentions that the problem of liturgical abuses may be addressed, including the "disobedience in the application of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum" and also "the 'super-power' of the Episcopal Conferences and their ever-growing bureaucratization".

15 comments:

Stanislas said...

Even the Continuing Anglicans, despite their mostly Catholic teachings on the priesthood, lack an undisputedly valid apostolic succession. They are not directly like the Old Catholics in this matter. They will have to be re-ordained at least 'sub conditióne', at most absolutely, given the invalidity of all Anglican Communion rituals from 1548 until 1979. The American Episcopal rite from 1979 might be valid if conferred by an Old Catholic (wandering) bishop (Old Catholics are not Catholics and lack ordinary jurisdiction of course, many in the USA outside the Utrecht Union are invalidly or questionably ordained).....

But I do hugely respect the "Traditionalist Anglicans" who want to become "English Catholic" in full unity with the Apostolic See of Rome again. But I fear some among them may have a lack of theological orthodoxy. Like the bureaucrats in the Vatican appartus have lacked since 1965 ostensibly....

Anonymous said...

the TAC want to bring their disciplines and heirarchy intact in a union. this can never happen for obvious reasons. they think they are a valid apostolic church like the eastern orthodox churches. they are not. the anglo-catholic movement only leads protestants to catholicism and not to a new 'apostolic' church.

there is no future for the anglican use churches in america. they will all be absorbed into the greater roman rite.

they ought to adopt a catholic pre reformation rite such as the sarum for use in their liturgies and sacraments if they want a future distinctivness.

bottom line, i wouldn't hold your breath with these protestants.

Athelstane said...

I hope the Holy Father and the relevant dicasteries consider this request with charity. Whatever else can be said, the TAC recognizes that the truth is with Peter, not with Canterbury.

Of course, there are difficulties which will have be sorted out.

As I understand it, three of the American ACA/TEC bishops have been divorced and remarried (one retired, two currently serving, one of whom was originally a Catholic layman) and its primate, John Hepworth, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1968, laicized to marry in 1976, married, divorced, (became Anglican), received an annulment of his first marriage and remarried, (became an Anglican), served as a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia until, on the morrow of that church's decision to "ordain" women in 1992, he then joined the Australian Continuing Anglican Church, becoming a bishop in it in 1996, its diocesan bishop in 1998, and Primate of the TAC in 2002.

On he other hand, I have heard that all the TAC bishops are willing to give up their positions if that proves to be the price of full reunion. If so, that's an encouraging sign of their sincerity.

A sui generis Anglican rite is unlikely and imprudent. Perhaps the most that could be hoped for is a Personal Prelature or Apostolic Administration of soem kind, though even this would have to be hedged about with qualifications. All of the (properly qualified) priests (using the term broadly here) would need to be properly ordained, obviously, and some formation beforehand might be required as well.

I like the idea of permitting use of the Sarum Rite as a distinct usage if the converts desire it. The Knott Missal, sometimes used by Anglo-Catholics, might bear closer inspection as well, as it seems likely to require the least modification.

Michael said...

For the moment, I would be extremely happy to see any sort of pastoral provision for Anglicans. (And by "pastoral provision", I mean something global, not limited to the United States.) It would be a tremendous sign of goodwill, and be a step towards reconciling (hopefully in the longterm), large numbers of separated western Christians to the unity of the Catholic Church.

Moving beyond that basic desire, however, there are several specific things that I would plead for.

The first is a recognition that there is an Anglican ethos and theological patrimony that is not necessarily in conflict with Catholicism (on the other hand, for it to be genuine and legitimate, it must always be interpreted by the tradition and teaching authority of the Catholic Church), in much the same way that the Eastern Church has not one, but many respective theological traditions, all of which have validity, as long as they are subject to the whole (which is under the primacy of Peter).

Part of this distinctive Anglican ethos is the vocation to a married priesthood. This is why a one-generation solution will not work. Anglicanism certainly has monastics and other religious, and bishops could certainly be chosen from them. But most of those of us who have grown up since boyhood feeling a call to the Anglican priesthood have also felt an accompanying call to married life, unlike Roman Catholics who grow up with the understanding that one either marries or becomes a priest, not both. To require millions of potential converts to embrace clerical celibacy in the second generation would be almost impossible, and would do tremendous damage to those Christian communities. If I had the opportunity, I would beg the Pope and the Cardinals to move to expand the Pastoral Provision in such a way that it was possible for a new generation of men to grow up, and marry and be ordained as priests.

As far as an ecclesia sui juris is concerned, even if that might not be appropriate now, rites have emerged and disappeared over the history of the church. I see no reason why an Anglican body in communion with Rome might not develop from an Apostolic Administration, to a Personal Prelature, to a full fledged Anglican Catholic Church in full communion with the See of Rome.

Jesu mery, Mary pray.

Anonymous said...

Nothing of the Anglican tradition is valid. This is in accord with the teachings of past popes for the last 400 years, and explained in greater detail by Pope Leo XIII.
No Anglican sacraments are valid, and their ordinations are likewise. All clergy if they wish to return to the Catholic Church must be re-ordained. And I also think it is policy that all faithful must be re-Baptised.
The 400,000 traditional Anglicans who see full union with the Pope and the Catholic Church must be told in no uncertain terms what they must accept, and must correct before allowing re-union.

Anonymous said...

If these traditional Anglicans want union with Rome, but to keep their Protestant prayerbooks and services intact, then the Roman Catholic answer should be an unequivocalble "NO"

dcs said...

No Anglican sacraments are valid, and their ordinations are likewise. All clergy if they wish to return to the Catholic Church must be re-ordained. And I also think it is policy that all faithful must be re-Baptised.

I think you will find a reading of the Catholic teaching on baptism and matrimony extremely helpful.

Anonymous said...

I think these Protestants should stay where they are.
The Anglican/Episcopal Church is such a wreck, why open the Roman Catholic Church to more trouble. We have our own disasters to clean up since Vatican II when we tried to be more like the Protestants.
If they actually do wish to convert, they should be absorbed into the Roman Catholic Faith, and leave their Protestant baggage behind.

Michael said...

I know that I haven't commented here before this post, but I have to say that I'm hurt to see people expressing such strongly worded opinions about Anglicanism in anonymous posts. If you want to discuss something like that, you should at least identify yourself somehow. And if you don't want to discuss it, I wish you'd keep it to yourself.

I've had so many experiences reading blogs recently where people reacted in an incredibly negative sense to the TAC's desire, often without knowing anything whatsoever about the TAC. On the other hand, most of those (conservative, orthodox, traditionalist) Catholics I've spoken to who are familiar with the TAC are very excited about it, even if they have concerns.

A lot of this boils down to how much you trust the Holy Father. We have been forthright in placing the future of our church in his hands. We look to the Vatican to provide us, if at all possible, with an option that will allow us hope and a future, the ability to be Catholics in full communion with the Holy See, while still retaining our Anglican spirituality. The Vatican has, in the past, been quite upfront about its desire that Anglicans should return to the unity of the church while loosing nothing of the spiritual tradition proper to the Anglican Communion. We trust the Pope to make the right decision. Rather than knock our intention, I'd ask for your prayers, both for us and for the Holy Father.

And if you must condemn us, please at least let me address you by name.

Franzjosf said...

Michael: Yes, I believe that some here don't know about the Traditional Anglican Communion, which is of course vastly different from the American Episcopal Church. From all I've read, the clergy of the TAC believe all that is held and taught by the Holy Roman Church. The big difficulty is validity of orders and married clergy, because most of these clergy and faithful have been born into the Latin Rite and her discipline. From what I have seen, there worship is a mixture of Roman and Sarum traditions, using hieratic English. It certainly looks very Catholic.

From a traditional Catholic persepctive, everyone on Earth becomes Catholic at Baptism, even if unknown to themselves and the heretical minister that baptizes them, and is born into a Rite. Then, these protestants incur automatic excommunication for adhering to an heretical or schismatic sect. As far as I can tell, the TAC is not heretical, but it is schismatic because it has set up a parallel hierarchy on the geographical territory of Latin Rite ordinaries. So the problems to be overcome are disciplary (celibacy) and canonical (legal), not doctrinal.

Now, I have heard that the priests and bishops have be ordained and consecrated (at least 'conditionally')with valid Old Catholic bishops participating. If that be true, their orders are valid. (But I have not been able to confirm that rumor.)

Not being a canonist, I can't tell the status of confirmations. All sacraments to valid must have proper matter, form, and intent (to do what the Church does). Perhaps 'intent' is the problem here, but maybe not if the confirming bishop intended to comfirm them in the Church of Jesus Christ.

If I am correctly informed, then, the difficulties boil down to
1) celibacy
2) canonical structure
3) perhaps confirming the faithful
4) validity of orders, the abovementioned rumor is not true.

A difficult, but not impossible set of obstacles. I very much hope that this Ecumenism of Return will work out.

Claud said...

I have to agree with Michael that some of the comments here are plain off base.

Certain sectors of Anglicanism (Anglo-Catholics) have preserved certain aspects of the Catholic faith that we have all but forgotten. These are not the heretics of the Episcopal Church USA, these are people who left that body in the 1970s when women's ordination was being foisted on them.

They have a greater appreciation for Latin than is found in most parishes today. And their English liturgies are far more Catholic than anything found in the Novus Ordo--hieratic language, ad orientem, incense, etc. They kept great English hymnody while we were suffering through Haugen and Haas.

I am one Catholic who finds it utterly and totally insupportable that an Anglican body has more love for *our* faith than we ourselves do.

So if the TAC and other Anglo-Catholic splinter groups can be accommodated under the Supreme Pontiff, then by all means I will welcome them with open arms. Moreover, I expect them to be a key force in rediscovering how English is *supposed* to be done within the Church.

And a revival of the Sarum Rite wouldn't be a bad thing either IMHO!

Stanislas said...

I hugely respect the TAC members and faithful for their pro-Roman sincerity and their liturgical splendour, but there is nó such thing as an orthodox Catholic and yet 'Anglican' spirituality. If you mean Elizabethan English in a Sarum Rite Mass, that might do it, but 'Anglican' spirituality has been Protestant and anti-Papal in the past, continuously. Of course some elements like Evensong could be retained, but only after investigations for their orthodoxy and the elimination of all Protestant remnants.

Again, I do not believe the TAC Holy Orders and clerics are all validly ordained. Some, ordained in a Catholic rite (e.g. Byzantine or ancient Roman Rite), are, but those ordained by Anglican 'bishops' to the 'priestric' before 1979 or afterwards by Anglican Communion 'bishops' consecrated before 1979 or in their succession, are outright invalid. And even the more catholic Episcopal Common Book of Prayer for the ordination of a bishop may call the bishophood 'high priesthood', but it also is quite messy concerning clear definition of form and matter.

I fear Rome's ecumenism might blow up the whole thing of valid apostolic succession in case of a reconciliation (sedevacantists believe "New Modern Rome" does not have valid Latin Rite Holy Orders presently anyway), or that the TAC offer might be turned down as not to offend "our sisters and brothers in the more liberal Anglican Communion whom we dialogue with" (Kasper style response...)

Anonymous said...

IT NEEDS TO BE SAID THAT ANGLICANS BE IT INDIVIDUALS, PARISHES OR WHOLE DIOCESE MUST IMMEDIATELY BE ACCEPTED INTO FULL COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY FATHER, THE PATRIARCH OF ROME & THE WEST. CATHOLICS MUST NEVER DO WHAT WAS DONE TO AN ANGLICAN PRELATE (BISHOP) WISHING TO ENTER THE LATIN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE ARCHBISHOP OF NEW ORLEANS AND A COTERIE OF LIBERAL REACTIONARY PRIESTS (IN COUNCIL????) THAT SO FEARED AN ORTHODOX/TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN BISHOP THAT THE FEABLE ARCHBISHOP OF NEW ORLEANS AND THE GANG OF NOVUS ORDINARIAN PRIESTS REFUSED AND HUMILIATED THAT ANGLICAN BISHOP WHO WANTED TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND REUNITE WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.HOPEFULLY THE HOLY FATHER WILL PROVIDE THESE TRADITIONAL CATHOLICS (OVER 1000 PRIESTS & 400.000 ANGLO-CATHOLICS PROTECTION FROM THE ABUSIVE LIBERAL CATHOLICS BISHOPS, SOMETHING LIKE AN ANGLICAN-CATHOLIC RITE OR PERSONNAL PRELATURE LIKE OPUS DEI.THESE MILLIONS OF TRADITIONAL/ORTHODOX ANGLICANS IN NO WAY WILL SUBMIT TO ABUSIVE LEFTIST/MODERNITY DRIVEN CATHOLIC PRELATES LIKE MAHONEY OR BROWN THAN THEY WILL TO THE HEAD PRIESTESS THAT NOW MANIPULATES AND CONTROLES THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH USA.THE PAULINE/BUGNINI/MASONIC NOVUS ORDINARIANS WILL ATTEMPT TO STOP THESE TENS OF THOUSAND OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS ENTERING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH JUST AS THEY HAVE BEEN DISOBEDIENT AND REBELLIOUS TOWARD THE HOLY FATHER IN REGARDS TO IMPLEMENTING THE MOTU PROPRIO SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM AND THE LIBERATION OF THE 1700 YEAR OLD LATIN LITURGY (MASS).REGULARIZATION AND REORDINATION OF RETURNING ANGLICANS IS A SIMPLE ENOUGH PROCESS TO VALIDATE THEIR PRIESTHOOD.-----SHALOM

Johannim said...

After 400 years of suffering and separation 400.000 Anglicans their priests and bishops are seeking full communion with the Catholic church and the see of Peter. Althought because of the making of the Anglican priesthood invalid by the new ordination in the Anglican church 400 yrs ago and as recently as the 1970's ALL Anglican priests and their Bishops will need to be re-ordained in the universal church. I hope we are not so narrow and reactionary to refuse these brethren communion.I only hope and I do believe the Holy Father will accept these Orthodox Catholics into communion with the church. If it takes a personal papal prelature or other mechanism these Anglican priest and their Bishops should be re-ordained and re-consecrated Catholic Bishops and Priests of the (Anglican-usage-rite)within the Catholic church.It behooves Catholics to realize that a 1000 Traditional Anglican priests and a score of equally Orthodox Anglican Bishops are sorely needed in todays post vatican 2 church. The reactionary liberal clerics should not be allowed to refuse these people as was insultingly done by the archbishop of new orleans and his so-called priests council a few years ago.This was an insult to almost half a million Anglicans and their good Bishops, an insult committed by an aging and 60's mindset reationary liberal clergy in new orleans.

JOHN said...

FOR THE MANY CATHOLICS WHO ARE VOMITING BILE AGAINST HALF A MILLION ANGLICANS RECIEVING FULL COMMUNION WITH ROME, BARE THIS IN MIND AND SMARTEN UP AND SHOW SOMETHING CALLED CHRISTIAN CHARITY.THE DIVINE LITURGY USED BY ANGLO-CATHOLICS FROM THE ANGLICAN BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER IS ALMOST DIRECTLY TRANSLATED FROM THE HOLY MASS AS IT WAS IN ENGLAND , SCOTLAND & WALES PRIOR TO THE DEGRENERATES HENRY & ELIZEBETH TUDOR AND HERETICS LIKE BISHOP CRANMER. IT WAS THE CALVINIST EDWARD 6TH THAT CORRUPTED AND PROTESTANTIZED THE ORDINATION OF PRIESTS AND BISHOPS & IT WAS HIS ACT THAT INVALIDATED ANGLICAN ORDERS. SINCE ANGLO-CATHOLICS (HIGH CHURCH) ANGLICANS ALSO BELIEVE THAT WHICH ROMAN CATHOLICS BELIEVE VIS A VIS THE SACRAMENTS (PARTICULARLY) TRANSUBSTANTIATION, WELL SOME OF YOU COCKY CATHOLICS THINK ABOUT IT....IT WOULD BE WITHIN THE HOLY FATHERS AUTHORITY TO ALLOW AN ANGLICAN RITE AFTER 500 YRS OF SEPARATION WITH A MARRIED CLERGY AND A MASS THAT COMES VERY CLOSE TO RESEMBLING THE VERY ANCIENT AND VENERABLE "SARUM RITE" DIVINE LITURGY PRACTISED IN ALL OF THE BRITISH ISLES PRIOR TO THE DEFORMATION OF PROTESTANTISM IN 16TH CENTURY IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND. TO THE CARDINAL KASPAR TYPES OF "DON'T CONVERT THEM" POST VAT 2 JACKASSES WHO WOULD RATHER DIALOGUE WITH AN APOSTATE LIKE THE PRESENT ARCHLAYMAN OF CANTERBURY THAT TRUELY ORTHODOX ANGLICANS GET RID OF HIM AND OTHER CUMBYYA HERETICS THAT STILL INFEST THE VATICAN WITH THEIR SO-CALLED "PROGRESSIVE-SECULAR REATIONARY FORM OF KISS MY ASS ECUMENICISM.THAT CRAP NEEDS TO BE SHOVED IN THE BUSTBIN OF HISTORY ALONG WITH THE LEFTIST KNEE JERK CARDINAL HANGERS-ON LIKE KASPAR.BTW A MARRIED ANGLO-CATHOLIC RITE WOULD PROBABLY RESEMBLE THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS IN COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY FATHER AND DAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YES THEY TOO HAVE A MARRIED CLERGY.