The Tablet understands that the issue has been raised directly with the Pope in recent months, who in turn asked for the question to be considered by Vatican officials. While there is no sign that Apostolicae Curae will be overturned, for several decades Rome has been moving away from the language used by Leo XIII and towards a recognition of the fruits of Anglican ministry. It is already a very different approach to the one found in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1998 document, Professio Fidei, which claimed the teaching on Anglican orders was one of the “truths connected to revelation” and was to be held definitively.
The shift draws on the teaching of Vatican II, which recognised the “significant elements” that build up the Church outside of the “visible boundaries” of the Catholic Church, and on the many agreed statements on doctrine that have emerged from the formal dialogues between Anglican and Catholic theologians since the council.
“This issue causes hurt, and the Anglicans are diffident about raising it,” one Church source told The Tablet. “It’s a wound in the relations between the Churches and it would be great if a small step could be taken to healing the wound particularly as Pope Francis in practice recognises Anglican bishops through his joint initiatives with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
As Churches pray for Christian unity, a re-appraisal of the Catholic position on Anglican orders is once again on the agenda. I understand it has been raised directly with Pope Francis. #25January #ChristianUnity https://t.co/gEZCVACNeR
— Christopher Lamb (@ctrlamb) January 25, 2022