Monday, November 9, 2009

Apostolic Constitution: married ex-Anglican bishops may keep insignia of episcopal office

From the London Telegraph-

I’m going to analyse the Constitution in detail later, but let me draw your attention to an intriguing detail which demonstrates just how far Rome is prepared to go to make special provisions for ex-Anglicans. Married ex-Anglican bishops will not be ordained Catholic bishops – but, if they become Ordinaries, they will be able to join Bishops’ Conferences with the status of retired bishops, and may be allowed to use “the insignia of the episcopal office”. This is from the Norms:

§1. A married former Anglican Bishop is eligible to be appointed Ordinary. In such a case he is to be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church and then exercises pastoral and sacramental ministry within the Ordinariate with full jurisdictional authority.

§2. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate may be called upon to assist the Ordinary in the administration of the Ordinariate.

§3. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate may be invited to participate in the meetings of the Bishops’ Conference of the respective territory, with the equivalent status of a retired bishop.

§4. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate and who has not been ordained as a bishop in the Catholic Church, may request permission from the Holy See to use the insignia of the episcopal office.

I’m also very struck by the Constitution’s insistence on the “treasures” of Anglicanism, which it values very highly and wishes to see brought into the fulness of the Church. The Constitution is a very big deal indeed.

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