Daily Archives: October 21, 2009

Bishop Iker: Response to Vatican announcement of “personal ordinariates” for Anglicans

I have read with great interest various reports concerning today’s announcement from top officials in the Vatican about some new provisions being made whereby Anglicans may enter into full communion with the Holy See. For some time now I have understood that high-level discussions about this were taking place in Rome and that an announcement along these lines would be made before the end of the year. As today’s announcement indicates, a new Apostolic Constitution is soon to be released which will spell out Pope Benedict XVI’s response to Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Many Anglo-Catholics will welcome this development as a very generous and welcoming offer that enhances the Pastoral Provision that has been in place for several years for those seeking reunion with Rome. Other Anglicans who desire full communion with the See of Peter would prefer some sort of recognition of the validity of Anglican orders and the provision for inter-communion between Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, - Anglican: Primary Source, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

ACNA Responds to Vatican 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.

While we believe that this provision will not be utilized by the great majority of the Anglican Church in North America’s bishops, priests, dioceses and congregations, we will surely bless those who are drawn to participate in this momentous offer.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Pope’s Anglican Move May Prompt ”˜Flood’ of Converts, Group Says

The Church of England may see a “flood” of traditionalist members moving to the Roman Catholic Church following an offer by Pope Benedict XVI to welcome Anglican priests and worshippers, a religious group said.

The Vatican said yesterday it has set up a special structure to integrate Anglicans and enable the faith’s married priests to become Catholic clerics.

“It could well be a flood, provided the terms and conditions are favorable,” said Stephen Parkinson, director of the Anglican traditionalist group Forward in Faith. As many as 1,000 priests could convert, he said today in a telephone interview. “We haven’t seen the fine print yet.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

Anglican Network in Canada Responds to Vatican Announcement

Today, the Roman Catholic Church released an “Apostolic Constitution” offering a way for some orthodox Anglicans to enter into a full communion relationship with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving some aspects of their Anglican heritage. This action recognizes how deeply broken the Anglican Communion has become as a result of the abandonment by some Anglican leaders of historic Christian teaching and discipline. Like the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church in North America ”“ of which ANiC is a part ”“ has also provided a means for those within North America to remain faithful Anglicans.
“We are encouraged to see the Archbishop of Canterbury working with the Vatican to make accommodate these Anglicans,” said the Right Reverend Donald Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada. “We urge him to do the same for us by joining with the Anglican Primates who have already officially recognized and endorsed the Anglican Church in North America.”

The Most Reverend Robert Duncan, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America also responded, saying in part, “We”¦ thank God for the partnership that orthodox Anglicans have long enjoyed with the Roman Catholic Church”¦ While our historic differences over church governance, dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and the nature of Holy Orders continue to be points of prayerful dialogue, we look forward to an ever deepening partnership with the Catholic Church throughout the world.” [See Archbishop Duncan’s full statement here.]

“While we can’t know the full significance of the Vatican’s move until we have fully reviewed and considered the content of their ”˜Apostolic Constitution’,” adds Bishop Harvey, “the three questions I am most interested in seeing answered are:

1. “Will the Roman Catholic Church require Anglican priests who choose this option to be re-ordained?

2. “Will people who accept this invitation have to subscribe to Roman Catholic dogmas to which the Anglican Formularies are diametrically opposed ”“ such as “Papal Infallibility”, the “Immaculate Conception” and Transubstantiation?

3. “Will Anglican priests ”“ especially married ones ”“ choosing to accept the Roman Catholic Church’s invitation have equal status with existing Roman Catholic clergy and will their ministry be interchangeable and welcomed in Roman Catholic parishes?”

After hearing the news today, an ANiC priest wrote Bishop Harvey: “As for me and my house, we will remain ever faithful to the authority and primacy of the Holy Scriptures and the Faith and Order of the undivided Catholic Church. I need not become a Roman Catholic to be a Catholic Christian. As an Anglican, I am a Catholic Christian.”

“A quote from the English reformer John Jewel (1522-1571) sums up where I believe we in ANiC stand,” says Bishop Harvey. “Jewel said: “We have returned to the Apostles and the old Catholic Fathers. We have planted no new religion but only preserved the old that was undoubtedly founded and used by the Apostles of Christ and other holy Fathers of the Primitive Church.””

Today, ANiC numbers 32 parishes with 3500 Canadians in church on an average Sunday. Members of the Anglican Network in Canada are committed to remaining faithful to Holy Scripture and established Anglican doctrine and to ensuring that orthodox Canadian Anglicans are able to remain in full communion with their Anglican brothers and sisters around the world.

Posted in Uncategorized

Kendall Harmon: Comments on the Latest Move from Rome

I have a slew of emails and telephone calls asking what I think of this latest development. Herewith a few thoughts for starters.

(1) It represents a huge indictment of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many people question Rome’s motivations, but I believe Rome, which has been watching Anglican developments like a hawk in recent years, wanted Anglicanism globally to succeed. Their response to the Windsor Report, for example, was quite favorable. This move to me shows they do not believe the Anglican moment in history to help global Christianity can take place sufficiently under Rowan Williams.

(2) It represents a sweeping judgment on Anglicanism in particular. Rome believes, as John 17 says, that the world may know the gospel if Christians are one as Jesus and the Father are one. Such a unity is only possible through a church with catholic order and evangelical faith. Rome has watched global Anglicanism evolve and has seen the Instruments of Unity be used repeatedly, over a period of time, and they have judged that Anglicanism itself is not and will not work for the cause of real global Catholicism going forward.

(3) It repesents a judgment that the real story going forward is between Rome and the East. Do not underestimate the significance of the fact that in this present unusual “arrangement,” if I may call it that, Rome has drawn the line at Episcopal celibacy. That is a gesture Eastward, among many other things.

(4) It represents a sense that only an external action will have any benefit to Anglicanism going forward. Let us not kid ourselves. Rome put a lot into ecumencial conversations with Anglicans because they believed that more internal mechanisms and persuasions were possible. Now, in their judgment, they are not. They don’t see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering. At this level, it represents a shout which one wonders if any Anglicans will hear–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Kendall Harmon: I Ask Your Prayers for the Annual Anglican Digest Board meeting Today

I have been travelling and am in Northwest Arkansas for the Anglican Digest Annual Board meeting. Please pray for us–many thanks.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC)

John Allen (NC Reporter): Vatican reveals plan to welcome disaffected Anglicans

Blog readers take note–John Allen is one of the very best and well sourced reporters on the Vatican–KSH.

In a move with potentially sweeping implications for relations between the Catholic church and some 80 million Anglicans worldwide, the Vatican has announced the creation of new ecclesiastical structures to absorb disaffected Anglicans wishing to become Catholics. The structures will allow those Anglicans to hold onto their distinctive spiritual practices, including the ordination of married former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests.

Those structures would be open to members of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the main American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. American Episcopalians are said to number some 2.2 million.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Damian Thompson: Lambeth Palace 'implacably opposed' to Pope's Anglican plans

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.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Timothy Bradshaw: Pope’s move will harm dialogue and weaken Church of England

Pope Benedict’s sudden move is bound to have a negative impact on ecumenical dialogue between the two communions. It may attract some of the Catholic wing and perhaps some evangelicals, although they tend to prefer the option of Orthodoxy with its pattern of local bishops without the centralised control structure.

Anything that weakens the Church of England, at a time of real embattlement with radically secularist agendas now under way, must ultimately be a bad thing for the nation from a Christian perspective.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Q&A: what happens to the Catholic Church and Church of England after Rome decision?

What has happened? Pope Benedict XVI has approved an apostolic constitution, or decree, under which traditionalist Anglicans dismayed by women priests and bishops will be given “personal ordinariates”. These will allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their Anglican identity.

What does it mean? It is a severe blow to hopes for a negotiated Anglican-Roman Catholic unity settlement and a setback to Dr Williams’s attempts to maintain the unity of the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop did not see this coming, in spite of well-publicised pleas to Rome for help by leaders of traditional Anglican groups. The deal was done by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and not the body responsible for ecumenism, the Council for Christian Unity. It thus undercuts decades of dialogue.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Globe and Mail Editorial: An embrace that divides

Economist Albert O. Hirschman wrote that members of organizations in decline can choose either to leave or use their voices to call for change; their loyalty to the institution may affect the extent to which they do one or the other. Vocal conservative Anglicans have secured a viable exit while maintaining loyalty to their old traditions. In the face of an inflexible hierarchy, liberal Catholic voices have had little effect; the grudging loyalty of those who remain is in jeopardy. The Vatican announcement will make the Catholic Church more conservative and the Anglican church more liberal. Is that what ecumenism is meant to accomplish?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

WSJ: Vatican in Bold Bid to Attract Anglicans

The Vatican said it will make it far easier for disgruntled Anglicans to convert to Catholicism, in one of Rome’s most sweeping gestures to a Protestant church since the Reformation.

A newly created set of canon laws, known as an “Apostolic Constitution,” will clear the way for entire congregations of Anglican faithful to join the Catholic Church. That represents a potentially serious threat to the already fragile world-wide communion of national Anglican churches, which has about 77 million members globally.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

USA Today–Vatican makes Anglicans an offer: Come back to the church

“When people hear the word ‘Anglican,’ they assume it might affect us, but we are largely spectators. I don’t expect it to have as much impact in the USA as in England,” said James Naughton, canon for communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C.

But the Rev. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, saw the Vatican announcement as a global event, “maybe one of Benedict’s biggest moves.

“Rome is trying to find a structural solution to an unbearable pastoral problem,” Harmon said. Vatican leaders “clearly feel that if they don’t intervene now, it will get worse. Their motive is the reunification of Christianity. If Anglicanism wasn’t going to provide a catholic solution, the worldwide church would fracture even more.”

Still, Harmon said, he doesn’t expect to see any “snap moves” ”” particularly because most traditionalist bishops in the USA are married.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

From The Episcopal Church on the recent statement from the Vatican

From here:

We have received the Vatican’s statement and the joint statement signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster. We are in dialogue with the Archbishop’s office and will, in the coming days, continue to explore the full implications of this in our ecumenical relations.

The announcement reflects what the Roman Catholic Church, through its acceptance of Anglican rite parishes, has been doing for some years more informally.

We in the Episcopal Church continue to look to the Holy Spirit, who guides us in understanding of what it means to be the Church in the Anglican Tradition.

We continue to remain in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church through participation in the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Consultation (ARCIC) and the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the USA (ARC-USA).

The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and works together with other Provinces and with our ecumenical and interfaith partners to promote God’s reign on earth.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Guardian: Roman Catholic church to receive Anglicans

Thousands of Anglicans could defect to the Roman Catholic church after the pope today approved a new global institution to receive them.

It will be the first time since the Reformation in the 16th century that entire Protestant communities have reunited with Rome. The first group likely to take advantage of the new rules is the Traditional Anglican Community (TAC), which broke off from the rest of the community in 1991 and claims to have more than 500,000 members worldwide.

Other groups unhappy with developments in the Anglican Communion are also expected to accept the invitation from the Vatican. Traditionalists, including thousands in the Church of England, have long threatened to defect to Rome over issues such as the ordination of women and gay people.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic