Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Outreach to Anglicans was considered in 1990s, English cardinal discloses

November 03, 2009

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, has confirmed that an invitation to Anglican clerics to enter the Catholic Church, similar to the proposal unveiled by the Vatican in October, had been considered as early as the 1990s. The cardinal said that the proposal was sidelined at that time, suggesting that it was regarded as too ambitious. But he disclosed that the idea had the support of the then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

"Matters have moved on since then," Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said, and the repreated requests from Anglicans seeking incorporation into the Catholic clergy had prompted the new Vatican move. Nevertheless the cardinal-- who was regarded as unsympathetic toward the Anglo-Catholic initiative during his years as England's ranking Catholic prelate-- emphasized that "this response of Pope Benedict is no reflection or comment on the Anglician communion as a whole or of our ongoing ecumenical relationship with them." He said that despite setbacks, the Catholic Church should pursue efforts to reach a full corporate reunion with the worldwide Anglican communion.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Nov. 03, 2009 6:55 PM ET USA

    Interesting how some of these Anglicans are acting in response to this invitation. In fact, some are downright stuffy and ungracious. If I were invited to come into someone's home I certainly don't think I would say things like, "No, thanks, I have a home of my own." At a minimum I might say something along the line of "Thanks for the invitation and, God willing, perhaps we could at least visit from time to time." But then, I'm already home in Rome so what do I know?