Tuesday, October 20, 2009


No longer must I head up these such posts with a question mark, for the Vatican has announced a new canonical structure to be formed to admit perhaps massive amounts of Anglicans into the ranks of the Catholic Church. Deo Gratias!

It was over two years ago when the Traditional Anglican Communion decided they must become Catholic, by presenting signed copies of the Catechism to Vatican officials, and still over a half year ago when you heard that massive overtures were coming from the Holy See.

There are a number of articles which have come out already, but I highlight just one right now. I am sure more are to come soon. My emphasis.

The Apostolic Constitution, which Cardinal Levada said “provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon”, will be a “single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application.”

The new canonical structure will allow former Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Church while “preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony,” said Cardinal Levada. He added that it will allow married former Anglican clergy to be ordained however, in common with Catholic and Orthodox Churches, married clergy will not be allowed to be ordained bishops.

These ‘Personal Ordinariates’ will be formed, “as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world”, the cardinal prefect said.

So, it will be a canonical structure somewhat different from that of Opus Dei. I think that makes more sense. So, as I understand (and until they publish the Constitution we won't really know more), this will be a non-geographical diocese attached to a country, as opposed to Opus Dei which has a similar structure to a global diocese. My guess is that parishes under the care of one of these Personal Ordinariates would also be subject to the local Bishop, as opposed to those parishes of Eastern Rites, who are subject to their Eparch. Essentially they will be of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. It will be interesting to see how inter-conversion works.

I hope we can see some of the US Anglican dioceses, or at least large, more traditionally-minded, groups of Anglicans come over under this structure.

This is a time to pray:
Almighty and eternal God,
you gather the scattered sheep
and watch over those you have gathered.

Look kindly on all who follow Jesus, your Son.

You have marked them with the seal of one baptism;
now make them one in the fullness of faith
and unite them in the bond of love.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
A partial indulgence. (Ench. Ind. 44)

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