Vatican row delays Anglo-Catholic text

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A row has broken out behind the Vatican walls over the "confusion" surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's opening to disaffected Anglicans, according to a papal biographer.

Andrea Tornielli, the biographer of several modern Popes including Pope Benedict, said that just over a week after its existence was revealed by the Vatican, the text of the Apostolic Constitution laying down the conditions for the creation of a new "Anglo-Catholic" section of the Church was still not ready for publication.

This was not because of translation problems but "something more serious", Mr Tornielli said. There was still debate behind the scenes over priestly celibacy, the "most sensitive point for public opinion".

Read it all.

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

13 Comments
Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Brad M wrote:

I figured that there might be different treatment for future priests.  If this is the case then I wonder if it will be a deal-stopper.

October 30, 7:07 am | [comment link]
2. Franz wrote:

Well, I expected a provision for already ordained priests along the following lines:  Married priests can come over and become priests in the Catholic Church, but those who are not married, or who become unmarried (by death or divorce) may not marry.  I would have also expected a provision that future priests would be celibate. 

After all, the invitation appears to be a way to smooth the path to becoming Catholic, not simply to provide a new umbrella for Anglicanism (in North America, at least, there is ACNA for that).  And priestly celibacy has been a discipline of the Catholic Church in the West for so long, I would not expect that to be dropped precipitiously.

October 30, 7:36 am | [comment link]
3. the roman wrote:

“It was left unclear however whether Anglican seminarians who were either married or who wished to get married before being ordained would also be admitted to the Catholic Church.

This doesn’t make any sense. They’d be admitted as a single/married lay person to begin with and if they’re yet to be ordained in the CoE or TEC they’d be eligible for the Catholic priesthood if single and not eligible if already married. As I understand it the Pastoral Provision only applies to those already ordained in the CoE or TEC, not their seminarians.

October 30, 7:49 am | [comment link]
4. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Which, in itself, raises the question as to whether the original Pastoral Provision was such a good idea. It might have been better simply to absorb married clergy into the permanent diaconate.

After all, if the accepted wisdom remains that Anglican orders cannot be recognized, then there’s no justification for treating ordained Anglicans who convert as anything other than single/married lay persons and acting accordingly.

October 30, 7:57 am | [comment link]
5. francis wrote:

What happens in the Eastern Rite churches??  This is not rocket science.

October 30, 8:31 am | [comment link]
6. Chris Molter wrote:

I find it hard to believe that this question wasn’t already settled before the announcement of the new Apostolic Constitution was made.

October 30, 8:33 am | [comment link]
7. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

It seems that the Pope has stirred up more than one hornet’s nest. Will the final version of the ‘constitution’ be so weak as to be useless?

October 30, 10:17 am | [comment link]
8. m+ wrote:

The National Catholic Register reports the same material without all the added bias.  See: http://www.ncregister.com/daily/celibacy_issue_holds_up_apostilic_constitution/
Note the difference in length between the two versions.  The Times has an axe to grind and it shows.

October 30, 10:33 am | [comment link]
9. Paula Loughlin wrote:

I think that in the United States, Eastern Rite priests may not be married.  I wonder if this constitution will lead to a change in that as well?

October 30, 12:39 pm | [comment link]
10. m+ wrote:

I think that in the United States, Eastern Rite priests may not be married.

I toured an RCC eastern rite parish in 2004 and the priest giving the tour talked about his wife. Things may have changed since then but I do believe eastern rite catholics can marry, if and only if they are priests.

October 30, 3:15 pm | [comment link]
11. CPKS wrote:

#10, you are (or your post is) extremely confused. Eastern rite Catholics can marry if and only if they are not ordained (whether as deacon, priest or bishop). Eastern rite Catholic lay people can in fact legitimately marry. The subtle difference is that in the eastern rites, a married person may be ordained.

Fear not, these things haven’t changed since your 2004 tour, haven’t changed for a thousand years and never will.

October 30, 8:11 pm | [comment link]
12. m+ wrote:

you are (or your post is) extremely confused.

whoops. guilty as charged.  I think you (#11) thoroughly clarified the matter.

October 30, 9:20 pm | [comment link]
13. CPKS wrote:

Soli Deo honor et gloria. God bless!

October 31, 5:39 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): 40 Years Ago Yesterday: The Birth of the Internet

Previous entry (below): Ross Clark: Cohabiting couples can’t have their cake and eat it

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)