Monday, November 9, 2009

The Vatican Releases the Document Detailing How Anglicans Can Come Into the Church

The Vatican has finally released the document - ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS.
They also released:
-Complimentary Norms
-Commentary
-Press Release, which says:

On October 20, 2009, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, announced a new provision responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church.

The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus which is published today introduces a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow the above mentioned groups to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. At the same time, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is publishing a set of Complementary Norms which will guide the implementation of this provision.

This Apostolic Constitution opens a new avenue for the promotion of Christian unity while, at the same time, granting legitimate diversity in the expression of our common faith. It represents not an initiative on the part of the Holy See, but a generous response from the Holy Father to the legitimate aspirations of these Anglican groups. The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church.

The possibility envisioned by the Apostolic Constitution for some married clergy within the Personal Ordinariates does not signify any change in the Church’s discipline of clerical celibacy. According to the Second Vatican Council, priestly celibacy is a sign and a stimulus for pastoral charity and radiantly proclaims the reign of God (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1579).
UPDATE #1 - 10:51am, Monday Nov 9
Some commentary on the new document:
-John Allen has some of the details and highlights of the document.
-Damian Thompson, as usual with anything in the UK, is all over it.  Here are two of his posts:
1 - Married ex-Anglican Bishops, who cannot be ordained Catholic Bishops, will still be able to keep the "insignia of the episcopal office"
2 - Other comments from Thompson.

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