The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Here come the Anglicans

The big news, still unfolding: 

The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict is setting up special provision for Anglicans, including married clergy, who want to convert to Rome together, preserving aspects of Anglican liturgy. They will be given their own pastoral supervision, according to this press release from the Vatican:


In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony.”

More on this very important story later. But this is clearly a historic gesture by Pope Benedict which will encourage thousands of disaffected Anglicans to become Roman Catholics.


More here.  And I’ll post more as the story continues to break.  

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Gen X Revert

posted October 20, 2009 at 7:02 am

This is good news, but over 20 years too late. Anglicans asked for this type of thing decades ago and were rebuffed by some in the Vatican.

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posted October 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

[Posted in much the same form in comments in another article, but applicable here, I believe.]
In re: married Anglican priests converting and being ordained in the Roman Catholic Church:
I guess I understand the _what_ of the Church’s plan, but I don’t fully understand the _why_. Once these married men convert, are they not in the same situation as any other non-ordained Catholic layman? And as such, shouldn’t they be barred from receiving priestly orders? It just feels as though these men have said, in effect, “I’ll only convert if I’m allowed to be ordained.” And the Church, in effect, said, “It’s more important for us to add members to our ranks than to support universal (in the Latin rite) priestly celibacy.” Given the fact that these (new) Catholic men are married, wouldn’t the permanent diaconate be a better “fit?”
In a parallel hypothetical, what if a married man threatened to leave the Catholic Church unless he were allowed to be ordained? What is the meaningful difference? In the one case, a man refuses full communion by remaining outside the Church, and in the other case a man refuses full communion by exiting the Church. In both cases, the “sticking point” is ineligibility to be ordained a priest.
Put another way, what is the underlying _principle_, applicable to all, that governs here? I can’t quite see one, which makes these ordinations seem expedient, rather than principled.
Mind you, I support this initiative, because I am a loyal son of the Church. I must confess, however, that I don’t fully understand _why_ Holy Mother Church has put this in place, hence my questions.
Thanks again for any insight.

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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 20, 2009 at 8:53 am

More details and links here and this from John Allen:
According to a Vatican “note” released this morning, former Anglican clergy who are married may serve as priests in the new ordinariates, but they may not be ordained as bishops. Seminarians for the new ordinariates must be trained alongside other Catholic seminarians, though they may have separate houses of formation.

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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 20, 2009 at 8:57 am

Sorry, I entered too quickly. It’s a good question. Will married men within the Anglican Use be able to become ordained as priests, as they would have, otherwise? Does anyone know?

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posted October 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm

There is a lot of dust around this unsurprising announcement. Let me add some more points:

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