Religious Intelligence: Rebuff for Vatican offer to Anglicans

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A mass exodus of overseas Anglo-Catholics in response to last week’s announcement of a proposed Anglican enclave within the Roman Catholic Church is unlikely, a review of the Communion by The Church of England Newspaper finds.

While overseas leaders acknowledge that individual Anglicans may take advantage of the provisions of the proposed Apostolic Constitution for the creation of “Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church,” no diocese or province is set to quit the Anglican Communion for Rome.

In jurisdictions where traditional Anglo-Catholics predominate: the Provinces of Central Africa, Tanzania, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the West Indies; the Australian dioceses of The Murray and Ballarat and the US dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin---individuals may take up the Vatican’s offer, but no institution is likely to follow. Nor is the offer likely to divide North American conservatives into rival Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical camps, its leaders tell CEN.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

Posted October 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Brian from T19 wrote:

I think it is too early to tell.  The problem will be that married bishops can not come over as bishops.

October 27, 3:14 pm | [comment link]
2. Sarah wrote:

Hmmm . . . looks as if the ABC needs more help than I had thought.

October 27, 3:23 pm | [comment link]
3. Intercessor wrote:

The migration cannot happen without a period of discernment and there is not a detailed structure yet released to be in discernment about!
Of what value is there to release this ill-informed opinion piece if not only for propaganda? Follow the source and you will find who is in fear.

October 27, 4:06 pm | [comment link]
4. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

I agree with Intercessor (#3).  We’ll see.  There may be some surprises forthcoming, especially in England itself, where the threat of the imposition of women bishops is very much a live issue.  Some FiF and SSC priests and congregations are going to be tempted, to say the least.

It’s also interesting that many leaders in the AC seem to dismiss the TAC as an insignificant group that’s not really Anglican.  With up to some 400,000 members worldwide, the Traditional Anglican Communion, the group that’s pushed hard and long for some such provision, is no miniscule sect.

Here in the US, the place that immediately comes to mind is that great bastion of Anglo-papalism near Philadelphia, Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA.  Isn’t the rector, David Moyer, a TAC bishop?  Yes, I know the parish is still technically in TEC, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see that marvelous parish accept the offer.

David Handy+

October 27, 4:33 pm | [comment link]
5. Intercessor wrote:

Fr. Handy states:

It’s also interesting that many leaders in the AC seem to dismiss the TAC as an insignificant group that’s not really Anglican. With up to some 400,000 members worldwide…

This maybe close to the real TEC number today right now after the rolls have been scrubbed. Food for thought….

October 27, 5:04 pm | [comment link]
6. Words Matter wrote:

With nearly 30 years experience in the U.S. with the Pastoral Provision, it’s reasonable to say this has been a lot of noise about what is likely to be few souls. 

Except for the TAC, of course, and even their membership is thought to be less than 400,000; again, it’s reasonable to suppose a fair number of those folks won’t make the move. It amazes me, though, since their House of Bishops has literally signed off on The Catechism of the Catholic Church and openly sought Communion with Rome. It’s not like they’ve made a secret of their intentions.

October 27, 5:11 pm | [comment link]
7. Dan Crawford wrote:

“Nor is the offer likely to divide North American conservatives into rival Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical camps, its leaders tell CEN.” I pray no such division comes about, but I have little confidence.

October 27, 5:44 pm | [comment link]
8. Ross wrote:

Will it actually be possible for individuals to “take advantage of the provisions of the proposed Apostolic Constitution”?  I suppose we won’t know the details of the Apostolic Constitution until it’s released, but it sounded to me as though it were meant precisely for bodies of former Anglicans who wanted to move over as a body.

Individuals, of course, have always been free to convert to Roman Catholicism; they don’t need any special provision or constitution to do so.

October 27, 5:45 pm | [comment link]
9. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

It’s also interesting that many leaders in the AC seem to dismiss the TAC as an insignificant group that’s not really Anglican.

I understand at least three reasons why this might be true: 1) The AC leaders are inwardly focused on their own problems (and ecumenical issues with major partners) and are thus poorly informed about extra-communion Anglicans; 2) The AC leaders see no need to provide publicity for what are, to them, competing groups better left forgotten; and 3) They just don’t care.

What I don’t understand is why Religious Intelligence and George Conger would not include TAC, Continuing Churches, etc, in their purview. Is it because they are not considered relevant to Anglican issues? Or am I misjudging them from too small a slice of their output?

October 27, 6:03 pm | [comment link]
10. Monksgate wrote:

I wonder how this idea of a “mass exodus” has crept into the reportage.  Something tells me Rome doesn’t expect “floods” of converts at all.

October 27, 7:43 pm | [comment link]
11. George Conger wrote:

Here’s a help in reading this story.

“A mass exodus of overseas Anglicans ” .... this means the story from a London based newspaper is about the church outside of England.

“... a review of the communion by the” CEN finds.  This means the article looks at the churches of the Anglican Communion—-and doesn’t look at TAC.

October 27, 9:23 pm | [comment link]
12. Irenaeus wrote:

Rebuff for Vatican offer to Anglicans

The headline does justice neither to the Vatican nor to Fr. Conger’s article. Rome responded to an urgent plea from the TAC and sought to accommodate the TAC and others similarly inclined. It didn’t exactly make an offer to us: it announced terms under which those wished could join the RCC while retaining some of their Anglican patrimony. Those of us who weren’t hankering for such an offer didn’t “spurn” it by going about with our lives.

October 27, 11:45 pm | [comment link]
13. Irenaeus wrote:

If most Anglo-Catholics will remain with us, I rejoice. But I hope Abp. Williams will wake up to the grievous damage he has done over the past several years to protect ECUSA and its Canadian counterpart. His dithering and gamesmanship have sowed despair among the orthodox. The world won’t wait for Rowan, nor should it. Will he provide brave, godly leadership before it’s too late?

October 27, 11:53 pm | [comment link]
14. austin wrote:

The Catholic and Anglican churches in Central Africa could very easily merge—and should, to consolidate their witness and resources.  Theology and worship styles are very similar, and there is a fair bit of unofficial intercommunion at the individual level.  Catholics worship at the shrine of Bernard Mizeki in Zimbabwe, for example. In Northern Malawi many clergy use Roman formularies.

Decades ago there were attempts at a rapprochement, led by Bishop Mercer of Matabeleland (now TAC).  Women are not ordained in the Province.

October 28, 11:08 am | [comment link]
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