Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Pope Benedict Makes A Wise Move For Unity With Anglicans
Many news agencies around the world have picked up on today's press release from the Vatican concerning the Anglican Church today. So far the official Apostolic Constitution that explains what exactly the Vatican is going to allow has yet to be released. That however has not kept these news agencies and private blogs from forming their own opinions about the issue. The official press release is found here on the Vatican website. I recommend reading that instead of these crazy news articles. From what the press release says, this action will not be much different from what has happened in the past with smaller groups of Anglicans coming into communion with Rome. The press release tells us that an Apostolic Constitution will allow a certain structure to be put in place for Anglican clergy and their churches to come into full communion with Rome.
The release reads, "this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony." So it appears that everything will still run through Rome, though there will be a structure provided for them so they can use their liturgies and so forth. We also see that none of the heretical teachings will be accepted, such as the ordination of women, etc, since obviously the Church can never change such teachings. So all the Anglican clergy will have to submit to every teaching the Catholic Church teaches. Also not everything that they entertain in their Anglicanism will be retained, only that which falls in line with Catholicism. The release stated, "Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church." There are some reports trying to use this information to disrupt relations with such groups as the SSPX who the Vatican is also trying to work with for full communion. I doubt this move will be of any consequence to these talks that are about to begin with them. Pope John Paul II did a similar move on a much smaller scale back in 1982. I await the new Apostolic Constitution that will explain this proposed Anglican structure.