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Theologians urge change in Catholic rejection of Anglican ordination

December 16, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: A group of Catholic and Anglican theologians has called for the reconsideration of the ruling by Pope Leo XIII that Anglican ordinations are “absolutely null and utterly void.”

The “Malines Conversations Group,” an informal association of theologians, said that the statement by Pope Leo, issued in Apostolicae Curae, reflects an outdated approach to ecumenical relations, and “does not accord with the reality into which the Spirit has led us now.” The group presented its report on December 15 at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Bishop Brian Farrell, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, welcomed the report, while noting the informal status of the Malines Conversations Group. He said: “From the Catholic point of view, it is a question of finding the theological and canonical language that would better reflect what we do in practice, which is to acknowledge a genuine ministry in other churches.”

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