Fed-up Anglicans? That’s how the New York Times puts it. But the comments on Rod Dreher’s Beliefnet blog are choicet:
News from the Vatican today makes it easier for fed-up Anglicans to convert to Catholicism without leaving everything behind. Excerpt:
The comments on his blog are interesting:
Simon / October 20, 2009 12:45 PM
The Anglican Use has been a North American experiment. It provides for Episcopal/Anglican parishes to come into the Roman Catholic Church with their existing priests under the local Catholic bishop.
What Rome has announced today is much broader. It would create separate ecclesiastical jurisdictions for the Anglican converts under separate bishops (probably Anglican converts themselves, provided that they are unmarried). It will apply worldwide.
This is a fairly radical move by Pope Benedict, a move long sought by Anglicans who were interested in Catholicism but wary of the liturgical deviations and doctrinal softness they might find on the ground in the UK and elsewhere. Because the Church of England isn’t a Church of independent apostolic origin (like the Eastern Catholic Churches) but historically an offshoot of the Roman Church, it had been widely speculated that the move announced today would never happen. Benedict continues to surprise.
Chris Jones / October 20, 2009 12:55 PM
How does this differ from "Anglican Use"?
In two ways: it is world-wide, rather than peculiar to the United States; and the new Anglicans-become-Catholics will have their own ecclesiastical authority from among their own previously-Anglican ranks. They will not be under the jurisdiction of the local Latin-rite Catholic bishop.
The "ecclesiastical authority" will be either a bishop (if the previously-Anglican bishop is unmarried) or a senior priest (if married). Married priests becoming Catholic under this provision may be ordained as Catholic priests while remaining married, but married bishops will not be ordained as bishops (I presume that married bishops may receive priests’ orders under the provision, but I don’t know that). This grants an exception to the general rule of celibacy for Latin-rite priests, but maintains the Church’s custom (which (as you know) exists in both East and West) that bishops are to be celibate.
lancelot lamar / October 20, 2009 1:17 PM
Once again, Rowan Williams proves he was a most unfortunate choice to be AB of C. He is dilatory when decisiveness is needed, waffling when firmness is needed, and conciliatory when confrontation is needed. Benedict is cannily eating his lunch here, and all Williams can do is thank him. This kind of pathetic leadership is why the Anglican communion is on the rocks.
Boz / October 20, 2009 2:23 PM
Interesting news. I attended an Anglican Use parish in Houston for many years and have mixed feelings about this–more to do with the culture that seems to exist in these places than with the Anglican inheritance in Christianity.
What is the future of these priests and their ordinariate? What will the next generation of priests look like? Will they be married? Where will their children worship? How does one (lay Catholics, seminarians) "enter" this diocese? This was my big question when I attended the AU place in Houston and they were raising money for a Church building–what’s the future here? Has Rome created a diocese within the Roman Rite with married priests in perpetuity?
Appalachian Profs / October 20, 2009 2:35 PM
"…the new Anglicans-become-Catholics will have their own ecclesiastical authority from among their own previously-Anglican ranks. They will not be under the jurisdiction of the local Latin-rite Catholic bishop."
Translation: By episcopal fiat, they are safeguarded from lousy music. Direct me to the nearest branch.
James / October 20, 2009 2:59 PM
If this thing gets off the ground, Roman-rite bishops will be under tremendous pressure to speed up the ongoing process of liturgical re-sacralization in their dioceses.
Why sing "Gather Us In" when you can sing "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" down the street?
Davis / October 20, 2009 3:04 PM
Seems like a win-win for Canterbury. Send the dissidents packing and let the Anglicans get on with the business of being Anglicans instead of faux-Catholics or faux-Evangelicals. If you want to exclude women and gays from the priesthood and the bishops, scamper off to the Vatican and let us move ahead with the business of being Anglicans.