Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

6/7/2008 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Is a Vatican decision on a full-communion request from the Traditional Anglican Communion coming after the upcoming Lambeth Conference?

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/7/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Europe


WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) – In October of 2007 the College of Bishops for the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) unanimously decided to seek communion with the Roman Catholic Church and dispatched a letter to the Vatican verbalizing their request.

According to Bishop John Hepworth, Primate of the TAC, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith received the official letter cordially when it was presented.

On Friday, David Virtue reported on Virtueonline.com that the Church of England Newspaper learned from Rome that decision concerning the TAC might come sometime after the Lambeth Conference, which will be held July 16 – August 3, 2008.

Speculation has been that the decision to wait until after the conference came from the recent talks held between the Holy Father and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. The Archbishop, however, has stated clearly that the issue of the TAC did not even come up in their conversation.

While the letter has been delivered from the Traditional Anglican Communion, no formal dialog currently exists between the TAC and the Congregation for Promoting Christian Unity – one of the main ecumenical arms of the Church. Further, no actual response from the Vatican to the TAC has been confirmed, leaving many to suspect that the TAC may be getting ahead of itself on how quickly such a request will be acted upon.

The imminence of a decision by Rome has been heralded on more than one occasion since last October underscoring the success with which the TAC is moving forward. These previous rumors and news articles circulating the web and diocesan newspapers did not prove accurate.

Various interpretations exist as to how this union would work out, but the basic request from the TAC involves full communion while maintaining their structure and liturgies as Anglo-Catholics.

One major sticking point for many who have reviewed the initiative is the request for “sui juris” (lit: “of one’s own right”) classification, which means that the bishops would maintain their authority and rights of their churches.

Those who have been watching this process unfold from the Catholic side indicate that the idea of maintaining the current polity and leaders of the Traditional Anglican Communion would be an unusual concession for many reasons, not the least of which is the issue of married bishops. “While a married priesthood is not unknown in the Church,” one priest commented, “a married Episcopate is not found in either Orthodoxy or the Catholic Church.”

In surveying of a number of blogs, even those within the Traditional Anglican Communion are not exactly clear on the process or end result. Some indicated that they would not be “absorbed but united” with the Church, so they really wouldn’t be converting to the Roman Catholic Faith.

Still others see a fully formed Anglican Rite quite similar to the Eastern Rite Byzantines or Melkites. While yet another set of voices still take issue with some essential Catholic doctrines and dogmas, indicating that they are not yet sure about the whole idea of full communion.

The Traditional Anglican Communion was formed in 1990 by twelve groups from the “Continuing Church Movement” of separated Anglicans, with Archbishop Louis Falk, of the Anglican Church in America, elected as the first primate. Archbishop John Hepworth, of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, succeeded him as Primate in 2002. Currently, the Communion has over 400,000 members.

Those churches, which currently constitute the TAC, include:
• The Anglican Church in Southern Africa - Traditional Rite
• The Church of Umzi Wase Tiyopia (Africa)
• The Continuing Anglican Church in Zambia
• The Anglican Church in America
• The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada
• The Missionary Diocese of Central America
• The Missionary Diocese of Puerto Rico
• The Anglican Church of India
• The Orthodox Church of Pakistan
• The Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai (Japan)
• The Anglican Catholic Church of Australia
• The Church of Torres Strait (Australia)
• The Traditional Anglican Church (England)
• The Church of Ireland - Traditional Rite

This is only a small number of those denominations that currently exist and claim an Anglican heritage yet no official connection to the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Anglican Communion.

The Messenger Journal of the Traditional Anglican Communion published a letter sent to TAC people and Roman Catholics in several countries, which also contained excerpts from their letter from Rome:

Seventeen years ago, just after a group of Anglican refugees had banded together as the “Traditional Anglican Communion”, its leaders met in Rome to talk unity with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

On 9th October last I returned to Rome with Bishops Mercer and Wilkinson… This time we met with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body appointed by the Holy See to receive applications for “Corporate Reunion” from churches that are not in Communion with the Holy See.

This time, we carried to the Holy See a letter signed by the Bishops and Vicars General of the Traditional Anglican Communion in the venerable church of Saint Agatha in Portsmouth, England, where we had just completed a powerful Plenary Meeting.

The letter rehearses the long and frustrating history of attempts to unite (in the words of Paul VI) the “church of Rome and the church of Canterbury”. It dwells on the reaction of those who dreamed that at last Anglicans were to become “Anglican Catholics” as the Anglican Communion took step after step to distance itself from the unity that had been promised.

(From the letter to Rome)
On Communion:
“a worldwide community of Anglican Christians has united under the name “The Traditional Anglican Communion” for three main purposes:
To identify, reaffirm and consolidate in its community the elements… conduct that mark the Church of Christ…
To seek as a body full and visible communion, particularly eucharistic communion, in Christ, with the Roman Catholic Church..
To achieve such communion while maintaining those revered traditions… that constitute the cherished and centuries-old heritage of Anglican communities throughout the world
On acceptance of the ministry of the bishop of Rome:
We accept the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, which is a ministry of teaching and discerning the faith and a “perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity” and understand this ministry is essential to the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

On acceptance of the catholic faith

“We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church…”

And their appeal to the Church

“Driven by these realizations, which we must now in good conscience bring to the attention of the Holy See, we seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment. We seek the guidance of the Holy See as to the fulfillment of these our desires and those of the churches in which we have been called to serve.”

Anglican-Roman unity is not a new idea. In 1966 Archbishop Michael Ramsey met with Pope Paul VI to begin dialog at the Basilica of St. Paul Beyond the Walls. As a sign of the desire for unity the Pope took his papal ring and put it on the finger of Michael Ramsey. He also called the Anglican Communion “our dear sister church” and talked of Anglicanism being “united not absorbed.”

The 1968 Lambeth Conference affirmed the Archbishop’s actions and the work of the new Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission. In the years since, however, the Anglican Communion has moved too far afield in women’s ordination and other issues for the work of unity to continue.

The TAC may be picking up where earlier Anglicans have left off.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Europe

Millions displaced from homes due to natural disasters Watch

Image of Last year, seasonal floods caused significant displacements in sub-Saharan Africa, notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan, countries also affected by conflict and drought.

By Laura Onita, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to natural disasters last year and the numbers uprooted could increase as urban populations grow, a refugee agency said on Wednesday. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The majority were in Asia, where 19 million ... continue reading


Pope Francis invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet with him Watch

Image of It's not yet known how Chinese President Xi Jinping will respond to Pope Francis' request for a special meeting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has reportedly invited the President of China, Xi Jinping to meet with him, either in the Vatican or Beijing. The pontiff wants to speak to the president in order to build a lasting global peace, which the Pope says is engaged in a "piecemeal" ... continue reading


Marriage and Holiness: Pope Marries Twenty Couples on the Exaltation of the Cross Watch

Image of One of the twenty couples who exchanged their vows in the presence of Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Much of the Press, including circles of the Catholic Press, focused on the unique path which some of the couples followed to the Sacrament of Marriage; even though they had all arrived at the Altar, offering their love to the Source of all true Love, for ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Impassioned Plea for an End to War: What Does it Matter to Me? Watch

Image of Pope Francis walks inside the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia September 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

By Catholic Online

With this - What does it matter to me?-  in their hearts, the merchants of war perhaps have made a great deal of money, but their corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry.  That - What does it matter to me?- prevents the tears.  Cain did not ... continue reading


SOLVED AT LAST: DNA testing nails Polish emigre as JACK THE RIPPER! Watch

Image of Aaron Kosminski, inset, a hopelessly insane Polish immigrant - unable to care for himself and left in the care of relatives - was able to successfully evade justice as the dreaded Jack the Ripper of 19th Century London.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

London's most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper or "Springheel Jack" slashed and killed five prostitutes in the Whitechapel district in the 1880s. Never caught, countless theories sprung up over his identity through the 100-plus years. Some postulations ... continue reading


Rare U.S. coin discovered in Britain could fetch well above a million dollars at auction Watch

Image of Amateur treasure hunter, 42-year-old John Stoner had just begun to search a field in Nottinghamshire, England when he made a most remarkable discovery --

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Amateur treasure hunter, 42-year-old John Stoner had just begun to search a field in Nottinghamshire, England when he made a most remarkable discovery. He uncovered a 350-year-old threepenny coin, used by America's Pilgrim Fathers. The rare coin is expected to ... continue reading


What is this mysterious ring in the Danish countryside and from whence did it come? Watch

Image of The Viking forts found so far in Denmark all match this particular style, which may mirror earlier Roman camps used in England.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists working in Denmark have discovered a distinctive ring-shaped Viking fortress, which is thought by some historians to have been used to launch an invasion of England. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fortress was found on Zealand, a Danish ... continue reading


Pope Francis Reminds Us the Church is Our Mother Watch

Image of St. Peters

By Pope Francis

The Church is our mother because she has delivered us in Baptism. Whenever a child is baptized, he becomes a son of the Church, from that day, he is in the Church which cares for him as a caring mother, she makes us grow in faith and shows us, with the power of ... continue reading


Where can they go? A million Ukrainians have fled their war-torn country Watch

Image of Ukrainian refugees at a Russian train station.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations has reported that the conflict in Ukraine, which began back in February 2014, has uprooted more than a million people, with even further mass displacement feared as fighting continues. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The total includes ... continue reading


Archaeologists find a very different type of 'treasure' - a 2,000-year-old toilet seat Watch

Image of Discovered at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accustomed to finding priceless coins, artwork and historical artifacts, archaeologists in Great Britain have found an altogether different type of treasure - one that was desperately needed in ancient times - a wooden toilet seat, believed to be 2,000 years ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter