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Monday, October 19, 2009

This Could be Interesting (Even if We've Heard it Before)

Via Damian Thompson, via William Tighe (thank you, Professor) come two announcements, one from the Vatican:
We inform accredited journalists that tomorrow, Tuesday 20 October 2009, at 11am, in the John Paul II Hall of the Press Office of the Holy See, a briefing will be held on a theme pertaining to the relationship with the Anglicans, at which His Eminence Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and His Excellency Mgr Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will take part.
The other from the Archbishop of Canterbury:
You are invited to a press conference with Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster) and Archbishop Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) on Tuesday 20 October at 1000. The press conference will take place at 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX.
Thompson seems to think (as does Fr. Zulhsdorf) that these notices might might well presage the long-awaited announcement from the Vatican the Traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway Anglo-Catholic organization that two years ago petitioned Rome to be received en masse into the Holy Catholic Church, will at last be granted its wish. 

If the TAC is received into Mother Church, it is presumed the Vatican will make some provision for the them to continue worshiping in in the traditional Anglican form, via the establishment of a prelature or the expansion of the "Anglican Use" provision, established some years ago in the United States but which never really getting off the ground. However the TAC is accommodated though, it will be a complicated business: all their priests will have to be ordained since Anglican orders are not recognized by Rome. Many TAC priests are married, so too their bishops, further complicating matters. If, however, the Holy Father has indeed decided to welcome the TAC into Holy Church, the Vatican will, over time, sort it all out; they are good at that sort of thing.

I should also stress all the above is speculation. Rumors have surfaced countless times in the past about the imminent reception of Anglicans into the Catholic Church only to come to naught. So don't be too surprised if tomorrow's press conferences turn out instead to be announcements of an ecumenical cricket match between Rome and Canterbury.

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