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Conservative Anglican group moving toward union with Rome

January 29, 2010

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth, the head of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), has reported substantial progress toward the goal of entering into communion with the Holy See. The Australian prelate reported that he would soon meet with officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and then with the Anglican bishops who have joined him in a petition to be accepted into the Catholic Church.

Under the terms of Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, Archbishop Hepworth observed, Anglicans now have the opportunity to become Catholics while maintaining their identity. “The ball is in our court,” he said. “We asked for this and this is what we got.”

“This becoming Anglican Catholics, not Roman Catholics,” the archbishop continued. He noted that the Pope’s policy allowed for the Anglican bishops entering the Catholic Church to retain “those revered traditions of spirituality, liturgy, discipline and theology that constitute the cherished and centuries-old heritage of Angli­can communities throughout the world.”

Archbishop Hepworth recognized that some Anglicans object to the Vatican’s demand that all the bishops and priests of the TAC must be conditionally re-ordained, in light of the Catholic stand that Anglican orders are invalid. TAC members may contest that stand, Hepworth said, but should recognize that “we ourselves moved beyond the Anglican Communion in order to ensure the validity of sacramental life. Rome is now seeking the same assurance.”


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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jan. 30, 2010 3:28 PM ET USA

    So Hepworth has the idea that they will not be "Roman" but "Anglican". If his dignity demands it, let him be. It should be obvious to all that going forward "Anglican" cannot simultaneously refer both to Christians in complete communion with the Bishop of Rome, and those who are not.