There have been two characteristics Pope Benedict XVI has shown that have impressed me since he took over.
His unapologitic defense of the truth of Catholicism.
His evangelism to welcome individuals and groups to embrace that truth.
He is not the rock star that John Paul II was but he knows what the way the truth and the light is, and welcomes all to it.
And today he throws open the doors to the Anglicans:
The Note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith specifies that the Apostolic Constitution “provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy” but that Bishops will have to be unmarried men, in accord with the historic tradition of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. However, the possibility is left open for the Ordinary to be a priest rather than a Bishop.
Creative Minority reports has the full official document.
The Anchoress is delighted:
This is very big. If this reconnection is well-facilitated, we may see the entire African arm of the Church of England (which is currently its most vibrantly-growing branch) cross the Tiber, and that will be a very interesting development, especially as Catholics are exposed to the Anglican-use liturgy, which will remind many of everything they loved about the Latin mass, but in the glorious language of the Anglican liturgy. This may do accelerate the already-growing movement within the Catholic church to correct some of the liturgical excesses and errors we’ve seen in the last 40 years.
As I said earlier, as secularism and evangelical atheism gain in influence and power, we may well see the a new unity among Christians, ut unum sint, (that they all may be one).
The curt Jester is also happy but not as wordy.
Thanks be to God this time it is the Traditional Anglican Communion coming to full communion with the Church. Te Deum!!!
Fr Phillip Nori is pleased and Damion Thompson is impressed:
this is clearly a historic gesture by Pope Benedict which will encourage thousands of disaffected Anglicans to become Roman Catholics.
in fact he is so impressed that one post is just not enough!
The Archbishop of Canterbury is unlikely to be pleased, though he was vigorously concealing any displeasure at a press conference this morning. (There was a lot of spin about this decision “arising out of dialogue”.) The truth is that Rome has given up on the Anglican Communion. With one announcement, the Pope has given conservative Anglicans a protected route to union with Rome – and promised that, even once they are members of the Catholic Church, they will be offered a permanent structure that allows them to retain an Anglican ethos.
Thousands of Anglicans who reject women bishops and priests and liberal teaching on homosexuality are certain to avail themselves of this provision. Within a few years, there will probably be “Anglican ethos” Catholic parishes in England and Wales (and one wonders how many conservative cradle Catholics will gratefully start attending Mass there).
I guess Rowan Williams is more like the Master that he thought, he is foiled again by the good guy.
Hey oh brothers of the Lutheran faith you guys are welcome too.
You know one of the few advantages of the awful times that we now live in is the fact that truth stands out even brighter because it contrasts so much with the BS we are shoveled. The Truth of Christ, via the Church can’t help but contrast brightly and those who wish the light will be drawn to it. Henry VIII must be rolling in his grave, but this is consistent with the acts of the Apostles:
This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number (who went out) without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'” Acts 15:23-29
This is as historic as it gets.
To paraphrase Robert Stacy, just because we don’t know what God is doing doesn’t mean God doesn’t know what he is doing.
Update: Cripes, at least the Master wasn’t a whiner.
I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this; I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage, and we await the text of the Apostolic Constitution itself and its code of practice in the coming weeks. But I thought I should let you know the main points of the response I am making in our local English context– in full consultation with Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales – in the hope of avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation.
Update 2: Welcome Anchoress readers, take a peek around. Learn why you should schedule lunch meetings at Linguini’s and the quickest way to change teenage plans, Learn how to understand the NRCC, Read why local policy on illegal immigration is an insult, find out what Judaism has to do with breast cancer. And discover why my very catholic mother considered a seeing eye dog the most memorable part of the Passion of the Christ.
Update 3: Read Fr. Z’s take on all of this because it hints at the nitty gritty which I will now explain.
As I’ve said before the only reason to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular is because it is true. The primary duty of the church it to keep people from burning bottom line Saveing souls.
That’s what’s it’s all about from the Latin Mass to every other move, it’s about saving souls. Unlike our liberal friends who use the Church to further causes even if it involves sin, this pope is all about using the Truth of the Gospel and the Church for the cause Jesus designed it for:
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you Matthew 28:19-20a
Keeping this in mind is how you grow the church, remember the quote from acts, the apostles didn’t mind playing with form, but they didn’t compromise on sin.
The world is very lucky to have the pope we have.
Update 4: The BBC covers it.
The Right Reverend Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, said in a statement on his website: “Now is not a time for sudden decision or general public discussion.”
He and colleague Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough, said in a joint statement, “We have chosen 22nd February… to be an appropriate day for priests and people to make an initial decision as to whether they wish to respond positively to and explore further the initiative of the Apostolic Constitution.”
I’ll wager the BBC is burning over it. (no pun intended)