SOUTH AFRICA: Traditionalist Anglicans Reject Ordinariate
Only individuals who convert to Rome may apply
By David W. Virtue
September 26, 2011
The Southern Africa Bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Michael Gill, says there will be no Ordinariate in Southern Africa, and that the only route open to those wishing to join the Roman Catholic Church would be that of individual conversion, requiring, “...in some cases going back to Baptism…”.
Following revelations that the vast majority of traditionalist Anglicans (Anglo-Catholics) around the world do not want unity with Rome, including the majority of the Anglican Church in America (ACA), Bishop Gill wrote VOL in an e-mail to clarify his church’s position.
“In September of 2010, I met face to face with Archbishop George Daniel of the Roman Catholic Church specifically to discuss Anglicanorum Coetibus. (He is one of the senior men in Anglican/Roman Catholic conversations in Southern Africa and is himself a convert from Anglicanism). I did this precisely because of the amount of speculation that was flying around as to the implementation of the document Anglicanorum Coetibus. It is not a document open to interpretation. It is what it is.
“It was made very clear from the outset that there would be no Ordinariate in Southern Africa, and that the only route open to those wishing to join the Roman Catholic Church would be that of individual conversion, requiring, and I quote, “...in some cases going back to Baptism…” I had not expected to hear anything different, having actually read Anglicanorum Coetibus.”
Bishop Gill said there was nothing uncharitable in the discussion with the archbishop, “it was simply the facts, honestly put, according to the document. I have reported on this meeting to my Diocesan Standing Committee. The matter will be raised when we next have a Synod. I think that puts our ‘not applying’ for an Ordinariate in perspective?
“That the Anglican Church in America has called on Archbishop John Hepworth to resign is the opinion of their Bishops and clergy meeting in their Synod. I do appreciate the pastoral tone of what could have been a far more hostile statement, but it does need to be said that Archbishop Hepworth has been making retire/resign noises for the past three years, citing a variety of reasons.
“Archbishop John Hepworth has exposed some of his deeper thoughts on Anglicanism in recent interviews and these are indeed cause for concern, as he has publically declared the Roman Church as his first love and alluded that his commitment to Anglicanism was never wholehearted. He is, sadly, no longer supplying any spiritual leadership to his Bishops or the people of the TAC, and the silence from the Office of the Primate has been deafening. Many of us have had almost no indication of life from that quarter for the past three years, let alone leadership. To resign or retire will have to be his decision, although I doubt it should be a difficult one, given his current circumstances. What is abundantly clear is that the time for new vision and drive in the Traditional Anglican Communion has come.”
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