5,200 Expected to Enter Communion With Church
ORLANDO, Florida, MARCH 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The leaders of the Anglican Church in America of the Traditional Anglican Communion responded to Benedict XVI's invitation to enter full communion with the Catholic Church.Fr. Phillips is a regular blogger and checking in on his blog, he writes:
The apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus," published in November, offered a way for groups of Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church through the establishment of personal ordinariates, a new type of canonical structure.
In this way, they would be able to retain some elements of their liturgical and spiritual traditions while being unified under the Pope.
On Wednesday, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America announced that they met in Orlando "together with our Primate and the Reverend Christopher Phillips of the 'Anglican Use' Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement (San Antonio, Texas) and others."
"At this meeting," the communiqué continued, "the decision was made formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus' in the United States of America by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."
The Anglican Church in America (ACA), which has some 5,200 members in 100 congregations, is distinct from the Episcopal Church. As such, it is not part of the Anglican Communion that has as its principal primate the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Rather, the ACA was created in 1991 when members of the Anglican Catholic Church and the American Episcopal Church came together in an attempt to unify through the formation of a new church.
The current president of the ACA House of Bishops is Archbishop Louis Falk.
The Traditional Anglican Communion, which has some 400,000 members worldwide, has as its primate Archbishop John Hepworth of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.
The leaders of this communion sent a letter to the Holy See in October 2007 to request full unity with the Catholic Church. They declared their adherence to Catholic doctrine, but expressed the desire to retain some distinct Anglican traditions.
The letter was received by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which responded in July 2008 with the promise to consider this possibility.
The next year, on Oct. 20, 2009, the congregation's prefect, Cardinal William Levada, announced Benedict XVI's intention to create a way for these Anglican groups to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. A few days later, on Nov. 9, "Anglicanorum Coetibus" was published.
Just a few hours ago I returned from meeting with the members of the House of Bishops, Anglican Church in America. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them, and we spoke extensively about the implementation of the Holy Father's Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus. It was immediately evident that our common hope should become a common effort, and so the request being made to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is a joint request.Indeed.
Of course, our situation in the Anglican Use is somewhat different from that of the ACA. Our clergy and parishes are ready to act immediately because we are already in communion with the Holy See, whereas the Anglican bishops have a process to follow to reach that point with their parishes. For some of them, it will happen quickly; for others it will take longer. But we all agreed that having an Ordinariate "up and running" will allow them to enter it when each one is ready.
Entering into this closer relationship between the ACA and the Anglican Use parishes is a welcome gift from God. We've needed to get know one another as we prepare to become a "blended family" in the Ordinariate. I'm looking forward to having more occasions to be together with them. And let's all pray for the speedy implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus.
Here is video of an Anglican-use Catholic Mass at Our Lady of the Atonement. Catholics looking for a more traditional and reserved liturgy while traveling will be glad to know that they can assist at such a liturgy.
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!