Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Responses Varied as Vatican Offers Plan Details

From the Living Church-

Since Oct. 20, when the Vatican announced its plan to welcome Anglicans into its fold, most responses have followed this pattern: Anglicans most directly affected by the plan have expressed gratitude. Others have used the occasion to criticize their fellow Anglicans or the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican has now released the full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, which explains in detail how Anglicans will be welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church.

The constitution includes these details:

• “A Personal Ordinariate is entrusted to the pastoral care of an Ordinary appointed by the Roman Pontiff.

• “Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders … Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy.

• “The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff … for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case-by-case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.”

One of the warmest responses to the plan has come from the Rt. Rev. John Fulham, chairman of Forward in Faith–United Kingdom.

“Today all the accompanying papers have been published and they are extremely impressive,” Bishop Fulham said in a statement on Nov. 9. “What Rome has done is offer exactly what the Church of England has refused. … For some of us I suspect our bluff is called! This is both an exciting and dangerous time for Christianity in this country.”

The Global Anglican Future Conference/Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans primates council praised the Vatican’s plan briefly in a statement issued by its chairman, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria.

“We believe that this offer is a gracious one and reflects the same commitment to the historic apostolic faith, moral teaching and global mission that we proclaimed in the Jerusalem Declaration on the Global Anglican Future and for this we are profoundly grateful,” the primates said.

More here-


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