Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Archbishop Vincent Nichols

10/22/2009 (5 years ago)

The Catholic Herald (UK) (www.catholicherald.co.uk/)

Pope Benedict is ready to allow the breadth of the expressions of Catholic life to find their place in the Church.

(Archbishop Vincent Nichols) 'The Apostolic Constitution is the response of Pope Benedict to the approaches which have been made to the Holy See by groups of Anglicans'.

(Archbishop Vincent Nichols) 'The Apostolic Constitution is the response of Pope Benedict to the approaches which have been made to the Holy See by groups of Anglicans'.

Highlights

By Archbishop Vincent Nichols

The Catholic Herald (UK) (www.catholicherald.co.uk/)

10/22/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe


LONDON (UK Catholic Herald) - The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution has come as a surprise. So, too, has the generosity of its measures. It is important to understand its context as well as its content.

The Apostolic Constitution is the response of Pope Benedict to the approaches which have been made to the Holy See by groups of Anglicans, in different parts of the world, asking for full visible communion within the Catholic Church. It is, then, a response, not an initiative, by the Holy See. It is a response designed to establish a provision which will be equitable and uniform in whatever part of the world it may be taken up.

It has a particular purpose: to permit those who wish to live their faith in full visible union with the See of Peter to do so while also preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. So this is a response to those who have declared that they share the common Catholic faith and accept the Pope's ministry as something Christ willed for the Church.

In the words of Cardinal Levada: "For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion." As Archbishop Rowan Williams and I said in our joint statement: "The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church."

Much work now opens up, not only for those who hold such faith and will have to consider carefully the formal response of the Holy See, but also for the Catholic community. In approaching this work, some important perspectives have to be kept in mind.

First, this response does not alter our determined and continuing dedication to the pathway of mutual commitment and cooperation between the Church of England and the Catholic Church in this country. The foundations of all the joint work in ARCIC and the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission make clear the path we follow together. An Anglo-Catholic tradition will continue to be a part of the Church of England, nurtured by those who cherish this tradition while not ready to accept the current jurisdiction of the Holy See.

We also need to appreciate what this moment makes clear about the mind of Pope Benedict XVI. I believe this is another illustration of his desire to achieve reconciliation with those who are estranged from the Catholic Church and who show a willingness to be reconciled. This desire is clearly one of the priorities of his pontificate.

As he has written: "In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognise in a love, which presses 'to the end' (cf John 13.1) - in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen ... So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and in various ways, always) the Church's real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small." (Letter to Bishops, March 10 2009). Reconciliation, then, is a part of the proclamation of the Gospel.

Pope Benedict, we have to remember, is also ready to allow the breadth of the expressions of Catholic life to find their place in the Church. In that same letter he wrote: "But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas?"

The Holy Father clearly believes that legitimate diversity does not threaten the unity of the Church, a unity which is essentially of faith, expressed in visible communion and in the witness of life lived in conformity to the call of the Gospel. While this Apostolic Constitution establishes a single framework for the universal Church, clearly much detail will have to be established locally. Alongside the Constitution there will have to be agreements about the way forward and the practical steps by which Personal Ordinariates, if and when they are established, will be an integral part of the Catholic community, working in close unity with the dioceses of England and Wales. These matters are now to be considered both locally and in close consultation with the Holy See.

This is an extraordinary moment. It is a challenge and an opportunity on many fronts. I salute the courage and generosity of Pope Benedict who has again shown an open and loving heart, just as one would expect of a Holy Father.



Comments


More Europe

French locals not happy about King Salman of Saudi Arabia's three-week Riviera vacation Watch

Image of King Salman visits the Riviera Beach in France together with 1,000 of his entourage.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman was scheduled to arrive in France Friday for a holiday trip at the Riviera Beach. The King was expected to arrive together with 1,000 of his entourage. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - King Salman's visit was ... continue reading


Islamic State may use store-bought drones to launch terror attacks at British sporting events Watch

Image of ISIS could easily get its hands on cheap drones, with more than 127,000 being bought and sold on online auction site eBay in the last year alone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drones, unmanned aerial devices that can now be commercially purchased by civilians, may be used by Islamist State for terrorist attacks at British sporting events. The sick terror group would use the devices to drop explosives on to playing fields, and use the ... continue reading


New financial rules reveal Vatican had a billion euros off the books Watch

Image of The statements were prepared by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, the Vatican's budget management office.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Holy See reports €1 billion in net assets never before reported, and in a consolidated form. This was part of the revelations that came under new reporting procedures more in line with international accounting standards. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Romans lose hope for city, fear mayor is too weak to conquer political scandals Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Arrests of powerful political figures in Rome continuously add up. After discoveries of corruption and mafia linkages, Romans feel more burdened over their falling apart home. Although the current mayor proved to be free from any criminal accusations linked to ... continue reading


Horrific female genital mutilation becomes shocking factor in many areas of England Watch

Image of Despite there being a lot of cases against FGM in England, there have been no prosecutions.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to mass immigration, female genital mutilation (FGM) has made its way to the United Kingdom. Female genital mutilation is the practice of cutting off a girl's clitoris and labia before stitching up the vulva. According to recent reports, this damaging practice is ... continue reading


Quran manuscript, at 1,500 years old, may be the oldest one discovered to date Watch

Image of The leaves of parchment date back to A.D. 568 and A.D. 645.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After initiating radiocarbon dating, measuring the age of the parchments organic materials, researchers are confident they have found the oldest surviving copies of the Quran. University of Birmingham scholars in the United Kingdom say the parchment was produced within ... continue reading


Prince George turns two! Take a look at some of our favorite moments from the royal toddler's life Watch

Image of Prince George in December 2014.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Prince George, the firstborn of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, turned two recently and reportedly celebrated with a private tea party at his home in Norfolk. The young, cheeky prince has been in the media spotlight ever since the announcement of Kate's pregnancy. ... continue reading


Shocking footage of horrifying MH17 airplane crash captures HUMAN BODIES falling from the sky (VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amateur video, shot with a mobile phone, was released over the Internet revealing horrifying and disturbing moments from the MH17 crash in a Ukrainian field. The video was shot by a traumatized couple who witnessed the victims fall from the sky. The shakey footage ... continue reading


Islamic State suspected of using Bosnia-Herzegovina village to train terrorists Watch

Image of Militant Islam was little known to Bosnia's mostly secular Muslim population until the 1990s Balkans wars, when Arab mercenaries turned up to help the outgunned Bosnian Muslims fend off Serb attacks

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A quaint village in mainland Europe is feared to have become entrenched by the dreaded terrorist group Islamic State. Osve, in Bosnia-Hercegovina, is believed to being used to train jihadist terrorists. Everyone there is "ready to respond to the summons to jihad (holy ... continue reading


GRUESOME DISCOVERY: Medical experiments carried out against 86 Jews found in French laboratory Watch

Image of SS captain and chairman of the Reich University in the city, August Hirt, is the man behind the grisly collection.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One of the most heinous chapters of the Twentieth century came into sharp focus when the discovery of the remains of 86 Jews - used as medical experiments by Nazi scientists were found at a laboratory in eastern France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 86 Jews ... 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, Exodus 32:15-24, 30-34
15 Moses turned and came down the mountain with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
19 At Horeb they made a calf, bowed low before cast ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 27th, 2015 Image

St. Pantaleon
July 27: St Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. ... 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