Catholics and Anglicans

Recently, the Vatican announced that it would provide for a “personal ordinariate” for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church.

Is there anything new here? Not really. It simply provides a canonical structure for what was already allowed under the 1980 Pastoral Provision. Groups of Anglicans/Episcopalians who become Catholic can have parishes that use a modified Anglican liturgy; Anglican/Episcopalian priests who are married can receive a dispensation from celibacy and be ordained as Catholic priests after appropriate formation. There are currently seven such parishes in the United States, including Our Lady of Walsingham here in Houston. Each one is currently under the authority of the local ordinary (bishop of the diocese in which they serve). This will allow for them to have a common ordinary (priest or bishop).

Contrary to US News, this does not make it “easier” for Anglicans to convert. It isn’t hard for any baptized Christian to convert. All you have to do is profess the Creed and say, “‘I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

And there’s the catch. Anglican’s can’t just be against gay marriage or gay bishops and priests (plenty of those in the Catholic church) or ordination of women. They have to accept the whole package. They have to become Roman Catholics–though they will be able to have a Catholic priest as pastor who knows Anglican traditions and can celebrate a Catholicized version of the Anglican liturgy.

2 thoughts on “Catholics and Anglicans

  1. Well, while it may not be “easier” in the sense of having to accept all Catholicism, it is “easier” in the sense that they don’t have to deal with possibly antagonistic liberal Catholic bishops. They can by-pass them, and keep their liturgy and married priests to boot. This isn’t such a big issue in the US, I think, but it is in the UK.

    • And that might be the real story–the Vatican taking government out from under the local bishop. But the local bishops’ conference still has to agree on having the ordinariate, I believe.

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