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UK: Traditionalists wait for Vatican ruling

Traditionalists wait for Vatican ruling

The Church of England Newspaper
June 6, 2008

AN ANNOUNCEMENT on the Vatican 's relationship with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) may be made following the July 16-Aug 3 Lambeth Conference, sources in Rome tell The Church of England Newspaper.

Leaders of TAC, home to over 400,000 Anglo-Catholics who have left the Episcopal and Anglican churches over the past thirty years, have been in talks with the Vatican over creating an Anglican-rite enclave under the authority of the Bishop of Rome.

While the curia under Pope John Paul II had opposed attempts to bring Anglicans en masse into the Roman Catholic fold, under Benedict XVI the Vatican appears to have adopted a different line. Anglicans wishing to be received into the Catholic Church are welcome to do so, as individuals, rather than as part of a larger ecclesial body. The talks between TAC and Vatican , however, have focused on allowing whole groups to enter the Catholic Church while maintaining their own orders and liturgy.

The National Catholic Register reported that "discussions at the Vatican on devising a possible structure for [TAC] to come into communion with Rome are understood to be nearing completion." It added that during their May 5 meeting, Archbishop Rowan Williams asked Benedict that "any potential announcement be delayed until after the Lambeth Conference."

However, a spokesman for Dr Williams told CEN the report was untrue. The TAC issue "didn't come up with the Pope," a press spokesman for the Archbishop said.

The Rt Rev David Moyer, former president of Forward in Faith USA and a Bishop in TAC, also declined to comment on the negotiations with Rome , stating only that "We in the TAC are on our knees for something positive to happen.We remain very hopeful."

The Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt Rev Jack Iker -- who is currently in Rome on study leave -- told The Church of England Newspaper "conversations with TAC - and others-have taken place at high levels in the Vatican and that it is thought that the Pope is sympathetic to the dilemma of traditionalists in the Anglican way."

However, no formal dialogue exists between TAC and the Congregation for Promoting Christian Unity -- the Vatican agency tasked with ecumenical relations.

Speculation on a possible Anglican enclave within the Catholic Church comes amidst a tightening of views on women bishops within the Church of England. One traditionalist leader speculated that the

House of Bishops' decision to go ahead with women bishops without providing safeguards for those opposed, may have been predicated on the calculation that the Catholic Church would resolve the women clergy issue for the Church of England.

END

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