Friday, January 30, 2009

Are Rumors About Rome Welcoming Anglicans Legit?

I posted on this yesterday. We have been down this road before with TAC (Traditional Anglican Communion) with statements that never quite came to fruition. But as I said I sense there is something more here. Caution should be taken because as early as last December Rome seemed cool to the idea. See here. I think watching the Italian and UK press might show signs of what is up the next few days.

First what is TAC. First it is NOT in communion what is traditionally know as the Anglican Communion which has the Archbishop of Canterbury as it head. They basically scooted out some time ago. I think the Wilki page gives a good overview. They represent a lot of Anglo Catholics but of course many more Anglo Catholics stayed within the communion.

MCJ examines this latest news at REALISM. which is a good read.

There are some issues here if this come to be. What are we Catholics going to do with these married Bishops? I am not sure what the Catholic viewpoint is at the Vatican but I suspect the issues is will there be FUTURE Married Bishops (Bishops to Come) in such a communion or to be more precise personal prelature . Will the future clergy of this personal prelature be married? I suspect Rome will be open to accommodation on these topics but it will not want to the Latin rite practice of celibate Clergy in jeopardy to send the wrong signal.Clerical celibacy will continue to the the norm in the Latin Rite.

This is why, though if this happens the media will not get the difference and blur it, that these new creature or personal prelature is not going to be like Eastern rite Catholics (that are its own Church in communion with Rome) that have married Clergy but celibate Bishops. One does not see a lot Roman Catholics making the switch to the Eastern rite to become priests. First a Roman Catholic does become a Eastern rite (I know this term is offensive to some) Catholic like one would become just another member of another parish. There are some rules to this. Further the Eastern Churches have a whole different sort of Spirituality that someone raised in the more Western Latin Rite finds foreign. Plus there are all sort of cultural issues.

Here a Traditional Anglican Prelature would be different. In a sense I think it is far far easier culture and Spiritual wise to make the jump from Roman Catholic Liturgy and spirituality to Anglican. In fact there is not much difference at all which is part of the problem. Many people might see moving from their Mass to an Anglican Liturgy as a vast improvement.

This brings up problems especially in the UK. Catholic Bishops will not be thrilled as they are facing a Vocation crisis if people that wish to be Priests and married just jump into the Anglican Prelature.We would see a similar problem here in the USA.

How these problems are solved I don't know. It can't be "Church" like the Eastern rite but there is going to have to be some similar provisions in Canon Law

In the end I have to think as to the Celibacy Question as to future Priests they would be required to be celibate. If not well the basically this new creature will effectively end celibacy in the Latin rite. I have to think if TAC is so willing to make the jump they know this.

Also let me add another problem to the mix. What about the faithful in the pews marriages? What if they were divorced and remarried? I am not sure at how this all worked out as to TAC.

But still despite all this REALISM there seems reason for hope and that something might be up. As MCJ's post REALISM shows Pope Benedict has a huge interest in Anglicans as we saw when he on the behalf of Pope John Paul the II made their thoughts known to huge number of people at the famous Plano meeting.

See the warm letter of greeting and encouragement from then-Cardinal Ratzinger to the 2003 Plano Conference.

Also there has been something in the wind. A well known UK Priest Blogger today at his post Benedict's Ecumenism says in part:

The Pope's ecumenical strategy, most especially for those who have been at the cutting edge of ecumenical dialogue over the last forty years, seems strange, almost incomprehensible. It is liberal, in the sense of being generous. It is based on a clear statement of Catholic doctrine, it is almost triumphalistic in that sense. It is almost the antithesis of what has been understood in ecumenism.
His ecumenism is very much "you-come-in-ism", a clear welcome into the Catholic Church, with flexible structures then established to ensure both communion with the Church but also a continuation of individual customs, modes of worship. I suspect the unity offered to various traditional groups, and possibly to TAC, is a sign to the Orthodox world of the possibility of unity and pluralism.
Having spoken to one of my parishioners, an Anglican clergyman friend says, there 250 English Anglican clergy who want to become Catholics, they have been told by the Bishop of Ebbsfleet to do nothing until Rome speaks later this year. Mmmmm!
I think one of the reasons for delay with the apointment of a new Archbishop of Westminster is finding someone who will be open to new "Benedictine" (or a proper VII) understanding of ecumenism


I would be watching de cura animarum blog very closely over the next few months. He is a Anglo Catholic Priest in the UK currently in the Church of England and seems in tune with what is going on .He currently has a post that is worth viewing Prelature for Anglicans: An Open Discussion

One other blog post that is a must see on this is over at NLM called Traditional Anglican Communion to be Received as Personal Prelature? The comments are what the must read section and raise the problems but also the wonderful possibilities.

In the end if this is true this will be a vehicle for Anglicans worldwide to Cross the Tiber. Last year I was dubious this would happen. But perhaps Pope Benedict now sees as the Anglican breakup as unavoidable and is now putting measures in action.

Also see Anglo Catholic Church of England Priest blogger onetimothyfour and his post Rome, SSPX and the TAC


Carlos Echevarria said...

First off great pic on your blog of Benedict XVI with that hat he likes to wear!

I remember over the Christmas break this issue arising, as I saw an intervies on EWTN, with a Bishop I believe, who ironically had started out as one who did NOT want communion with Rome, to the point of being enlighted, as to his desire to be within the scope of the Holy See, without nuances!!!

BTW, off topic, and like most I have a rational understanding of the Pope's moves with the SP X, but the manner in which it was undertaken has proven to be a PR nightmare.

And let's be honest, him being German, and JP2 having aided the Jews, like his best friend, engered more confidence from Israel and world Jewry.

Like Pamela Geller said, we need to unite w/ our Jewish brothers and sisters against the advance of the world wide caliphate of Islamo Fascism.

The Hamas rhetoric was over the top, especially in light of the fact they murder Christians and re institued Crucifiction a couple days prior to Operation Cast Lead...

James H said...

Thanks Yeah I think I will stick with this pic

I agree that this is a PR nighmare but I think that was unadvoidable

As to Hamas I guess what we must keep in mind that was just one Cardianal that has a history of making controversal statements. The whole Gaza is a concentration camp thing.

I do hope that the Pope trips to Israel is on this year. It is very much needed to clam things down