Thursday, December 06, 2007


Has anybody paid attention to the Anglican/Roman Catholic buzz of late? One of the "continuing churches" that formed from the Episcopal Church (which we call T(p)ECusa or TCGC, if you'll recall) when that denomination started ordaining women to the presbyterate in the late 1970s has petitioned the CDF (that's Inquisition to you guys) for entry en masse to the Roman Church.

You can find some late details on this request by the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) here at Britain's Catholic Herald. Many of you will already know that Anglican priests who wish to become Roman Catholics may usually take advantage of "the pastoral option," and be ordained as RCC priests soon after renouncing their Anglican Orders. (This is interesting to folks because the Vatican doesn't mind that many of these men are married.) And of course, any Anglican lay person is free to just hook up at their local Roman Catholic parish.

I think the reason for making the broad request is that the bishops of the TEC would like to be ordained (or "conditionally ordained") as bishops and retain oversight in their parishes - this wouldn't happen if they renounced their orders and entered the Roman Catholic Church as laymen.

h/t: de cura animarum


Charles Everson said...

"The Pastoral Provision."

+ simonas said...

Maybe I should become an Anglican priest and then hop over the Tiber? :-)

Anonymous said...

There's less than zero chance that TAC will come over to Rome as a whole church. First, they need to stop misrepresenting their membership numbers to all and sundry -- that 400k number has been chuckled over among Indies and Continuing folks for years. Second, Rome has never to my knowledge consecrated married Anglicans as bishops. The TAC bishops will have to settle for being simple priests, which I suspect they don't want to do. Third, some of TAC's bishops have been divorced and remarried, even multiple times, which would be a serious, serious problem for Rome.

Anyhow, the pastoral provision is less interesting than it seems. The Eastern-rite churches in communion with Rome almost all have married priests. Rome sees the celibate priesthood as discipline, not doctrine.

Bobby J. Kennedy said...

As interesting as the talks between the Holy See and TAC are, I am more interested in what is happening between East and West. The stuff with TAC is important mind you, but it gives me goose bumps thinking about the possibility of a church council (in our life time!) where dialog on the major reasons for division can take place. I may be way to optimisitc, but I don't have a hopeful escatology for nothing! ;)