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Vatican signals there will be no enclave for former Anglican clergy in Rome

Vatican signals there will be no enclave for former Anglican clergy in Rome

Church of England Newspaper
http://www.churchnewspaper.com/
December 18, 2008

The Vatican will not create an enclave within the Roman Catholic Church for Anglicans opposed to women clergy and the 'gay agenda', Rome's La Civiltà Cattolica predicts.

In an October article entitled Catholic Anglican Relations after the Lambeth Conference (La Relazione tra Cattolici e Anglicani dopo la Conferenza di Lambeth) the semi-official Jesuit bi-weekly stated the "corporate unity" under discussion between the Vatican and traditionalist Anglicans "will not be a form of uniatism as this is unsuitable for uniting two realities which are too similar from a cultural point of view as indeed are Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholics."

"The Holy See, while sympathetic to the demands of these Anglo-Catholics" for corporate reunion, "is moving with discretion and prudence." Opposition to the ordination of women to the ordained ministry and to gay bishops and blessings "is not enough," the newspaper said. Anglo-Catholics should be motive not by a rejection of Anglicanism but by the "desire to join fully the Catholic Church," Fr. Paul Gamberini SJ wrote.

Anglican - Catholic relations have been in a downward spiral in recent years, prompting some traditionalists to quit the Anglican Communion for Rome. A number of Anglo-Catholic groups have also petitioned the Vatican to allow whole communities-parishes, religious orders, dioceses to be received en masse, and allowed to maintain their Anglican orders and liturgical forms.

A public acknowledgment of these behind the scenes negotiations cam on July 5 when the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) Cardinal William Levada responded to an Oct 2007 request for reunion from the bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC)-a 300,000 member group of "Continuing" Anglicans outside the structures of the Anglican Communion.

The cardinal assured TAC "of the serious attention which the Congregation gives to the prospect of corporate unity raised in that letter", and said that "as soon as the Congregation is in a position to respond more definitively concerning the proposals you have sent, we will inform you," as the "situation within the Anglican Communion in general has become markedly more complex."

Less than a week after Cardinal Levada wrote to the TAC bishops, 1333 Church of England bishops, priests and deacons signed an open letter protesting General Synod's decision to authorize women bishops. Should they quit the Church of England for the Roman Catholic Church, they would likely be welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church through the vehicle of the 1980 Pastoral Provision created by Pope John Paul II, which allowed married Anglican priests to be received as Catholic priests, Fr. Gamberini said.

La Civiltà Cattolica stated that after the Nov 4 1992 General Synod vote that "extended to women the ordained ministry, about one thousand pastors have abandoned the Anglican Communion of England: 480 of them have decided to be ordained priests in the Catholic Church, 90 of them are married. Some estimate that about half a million Anglo-Catholics have left the Anglican Communion in recent decades."

However, this infusion of Anglo-Catholics into the Roman Catholic Church would not necessarily lead to the creation of an Anglican uniate rite under papal oversight, Fr Gamberini said.

The Vatican was loathe to intervene, he added, citing Pope Benedict XVI's July 17 comment that he hoped "schisms and new breaks can be avoided, and that a responsible solution will be found" to the Anglican crisis.

While the Vatican has carved out an exception to its clerical celibacy rule for these former Anglican now Roman Catholic priests, it has yet to permit married ex-Anglican Roman Catholic bishops. Married ex-Anglican bishops functioning as Roman Catholic bishops would not be unprecedented, however. In December 1959, Pope John XXIII received a married ex-Anglican priest consecrated as a bishop of the schismatic Igreja Católica Apostólica Brasileira into the Roman Catholic Church.

Married with seven children, Bishop Salomão Barbosa Ferraz was not re-ordained upon his reception in the Catholic Church and upon being named Titular Bishop of Eleutherna on May 10, 1963 was not re-consecrated. Active at the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Ferraz appears to have been the only modern day married Roman Catholic bishop.

END

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