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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For Real This Time?

Yet another story has appeared raising the possibility that the Traditional Anglican Communion, a worldwide Anglo-Catholic organization of disaffected Anglicans who fled the Anglican Church, will be admitted into the Holy Catholic Church, as they formally requested two years ago.

I'm not holding my breath, stories similar to this one have appeared in the past only to be discredited later on. One significant difference, however, between this report and others is it appears in a Catholic journal, the Record, which serves Catholics in Western Australia. Excerpts:
History may be in the making. It appears Rome is on the brink of welcoming close to half a million members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into membership of the Roman Catholic Church, writes Anthony Barich. Such a move would be the most historic development in Anglican-Catholic relations in the last 500 years...

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood...

The TAC’s case appeared to take a significant step forwards in October 2008 when it is understood that the CDF decided not to recommend the creation of a distinct Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church – as is the case with the Eastern Catholic Churches - but a personal prelature, a semi-autonomous group with its own clergy and laity.

Opus Dei was the first organisation in the Catholic Church to be recognised as a personal prelature, a new juridical form in the life of the Church. A personal prelature is something like a global diocese without boundaries, headed by its own bishop and with its own membership and clergy.

Because no such juridical form of life in the Church had existed before, the development and recognition of a personal prelature took Opus Dei and Church officials decades to achieve.

An announcement could be made soon after Easter this year. It is understood that Pope Benedict XVI, who has taken a personal interest in the matter, has linked the issue to the year of St Paul, the greatest missionary in the history of the Church.
Seems promising but I'm from Missouri when it comes to the TAC's Roman aspirations; let us wait and see. Still, it would be splendid if it were true.

UPDATE (you knew this was coming, didn't you?): From Catholic Online via Fr. Robert Hart at The Continuum:
By Deacon Keith Fournier
1/29/2009

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – UPDATED: Catholic Online promised to update our readers on this extraordinary story. So, we now pass this on: The National Catholic Register cites a "Vatican Source" as saying that "nothing's been decided" by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Reports abound that the Congregation has recommended the creation of a personal prelature as the vehicle through which to receive the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Register contends that an official at the Congregation spoke with their correspondent Edward Pentin today saying,“It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.” We set forth our original story below believing that the sources reporting this exciting news and the history of the dialogue support its accuracy.
(Thanks to William Tighe.)

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