On Anglican / Catholic relations

John L. Allen Jr. writes about Anglican and Catholic relations over at Crux.

ROME – Anyone looking at the Vatican’s official news bulletin on Tuesday would have seen two items: A declaration detailing a retreat being hosted this week by Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury for South Sudan’s political leadership, and an updated set of norms for “personal ordinariates”, meaning structures for former Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

At first glance, the only thing the two developments may seem to have in common with one another is the word “Anglican.” In reality, there’s a deeper bond between the two storylines.


The background is that in 2007, the Vatican received a petition from a group called the Traditional Anglican Communion, which had broken with Canterbury over issues such as women priests and bishops and gay clergy, for a form of “corporate communion” with Rome. In effect, Anglicanorum coetibus was Rome’s response.


All this brings us back to this week’s retreat, which is confirmation, if any were needed, that rumors of the death of Catholic/Anglican relations after Anglicanorum coetibus were greatly exaggerated.

Go on over and read the whole thing.  Interesting take.

However, as much as I like seeing him give credit to the Traditional  Anglican Communion, it was not the only group petitioning Rome for unity.  There was Forward in Faith in the UK, and groups from the United States as well.

3 thoughts on “On Anglican / Catholic relations

  1. Actually, I was rather surprised not to see an entry on this blog a month or so ago regarding the promulgation of the revised Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith mentioned in this article.

    Most of the new norms don’t really change much. A few articles contain a few explicit provisions that did not appear in the previous edition, but all of those provisions conform to the respective canons of the Codex Juris Canonici (Code of Canon Law) or what was implicit in the previous edition and thus don’t really change anything.

    However, Article 15 pertaining to the Divine Worship liturgy is new, and it makes the following explicit provisions.

    >> 1. Public celebration of the Divine Worship liturgy is generally restricted to the ordinariates.

    >> 2. However, a priest of an ordinariate can celebrate the Divine Worship liturgy anywhere (a) publicly, with the pastor’s consent, and (b) in any mass without a congregation.

    >> 3. Any priest of a diocese or a (non-ordinariate) religious order may celebrate the Divine Worship liturgy for ordinariate members who request it, and also may concelebrate in any Divine Worship liturgy.

    This also is not really novel, but the explicit statement does provide clarity that previously did not exist.



    • Norm, we do actually have a post coming down the pipes on the revised norms, but it should be pointed out that the new norms, while signed on March 19th, were not publicized until just a few days ago.


      • Christopher,

        Your comment regarding publication — or, more precisely in canonical terms, promulgation — is true. I first saw the new complementary norms and an Explanatory Note in the Vatican Information Service (VIS) Bulletin of the 9th of April — the day when the Vatican actually promulgated the new Complementary Norms via publication thereof in L’Osservatore Romano. In the Catholic Church, a new law does not take effect until the legislator promulgates it in one way or another.

        I’m just surprised that you all did not publish an initial post stating that the Vatican had promulgated a revision of the Complementary Norms, with a link thereto, as soon as you became aware of them. Getting such news out quickly makes this blog more valuable as a source of information about the ordinariates.



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