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15 Anglican bishops: Some among us will seek communion with Rome

Catholic World News - August 02, 2010

Expressing their deep distress at the prospect of the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England, 15 Anglo-Catholic bishops have told their clergy that some among them will seek communion with the Holy See.

“Whatever happens in the Synod, there are some Anglo Catholics, including in our own number, who are already looking at, indeed are resolved to join the Ordinariate as the place where they can find a home in which to live and proclaim their Christian faith, in communion with the Holy Father, yet retaining something of the blessings they have known and experienced in the Anglican tradition,” they write. “Of course the Ordinariate is a new thing, and not all of us are trailblazers or can imagine what it might be like. Some will undoubtedly want to wait and see how that initiative develops before making a decision. Yet others will make their individual submission and find their future as Roman Catholics.”

They continue:

A number will remain, perhaps even reluctantly because of personal circumstances, family loyalties, even financial necessity, but with a deep sense of unease about the long term future, an unease that is surely well founded. There are faithful Catholic clergy and lay people, though deeply opposed to the likely Synodical decision who cannot currently imagine themselves being anywhere else but within the Church of England. They wonder how they can stay, yet cannot imagine leaving their much loved church and parish. They do not want to be forced out of the Church they love and will persevere where they are, whatever the theological or ecclesiological ambiguities, and seek God's blessing on all they do …

We are all bishops united in our belief that the Church of England is mistaken in its actions. However, we must be honest and say we are not united as to how we should respond to these developments.

Nevertheless we are clear that each of the possibilities we have outlined has its own integrity and is to be honoured. We are resolved to respect the decisions made by laity, bishops, priests and deacons of our integrity, and call on you to do the same. It would be a sad and destructive thing indeed if we allowed our happiness and wondering to drift into unguarded or uncharitable criticism of those who in good conscience take a different path from our own. We must assume the best motives in one another, and where there are partings let them be with tears and the best wishes of Godspeed.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: PhilipJPSmith5522 - Aug. 04, 2010 2:07 AM ET USA

    Assuming the best motives does not necessarily imply that one accepts the beliefs, decisions, and actions of one so motivated. It does however leave open a channel of communication, a bridge across the Tiber that can be used by those who want to come home, and a bridge that can be used by the Supreme Pontiff to reach out to those who don't yet know that they have the necessary Grace to make the journey.

  • Posted by: raymondfrice9926 - Aug. 03, 2010 8:10 AM ET USA

    why don't they just follow in the footsteps of theit founder, King Henry 8th and start their own church???

  • Posted by: jtuturic3013 - Aug. 03, 2010 5:37 AM ET USA

    It is encouraging to hear that some Anglican bishops may soon join Rome. What prevents more of them from coming home, however, is the wishy-washyness of certain thinking like "We must assume the best motives in one another ..." One should respect the freedom of others to choose. Tacking on imprudent statements, unfortunately, only muddies the waters. Perhaps, as more bishops move over to Rome, their statements to the bishops left behind will be a resolute "yes" for Rome and for God.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 02, 2010 10:40 PM ET USA

    What took you so long to figure this out?

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