Shawn Tribe reports on moves from one of the Anglican ‘continuing’ churches to establish ‘sacramental unity’ with Rome.
I can’t keep up with all this. Traditional Anglicans are already welcome to establish ‘sacramental unity’ with Rome. It’s called being received into full communion with the Catholic Church a.k.a ‘becoming a Catholic.’
In a comment Fr. Newman points out that the head honcho of TAC is himself a former Catholic priest who went Anglican and got married, and that one of the main obstacles in receiving a group en bloc is that the marital situation of every individual would have to be examined, and most Anglican groups have abandoned any kind of traditional marriage discipline long ago, so many of their members will be in their second or third marriages.
However, by ‘sacramental union’ maybe TAC aren’t looking to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, but want their orders to recognized.
Not likely to happen. When you have priests who are married, more than once–and don’t they have some female priests? How can you come in union with Rome? And comming in union with Rome would include celebate MEN Priests.
No, the TAC does not have any female “priests”, but upholds the traditional catholic understanding of holy orders.Also, no, what’s being asked for is not just a recognition of orders, but actual full unity with the Catholic Church, i.e. we are asking to “become Catholic”, as you say.Except that we, humbly yet firmly, believe ourselves to already hold the orthodox-catholic faith, as Rome, and the Eastern Churches do. We seek unity with Rome out of our understanding that Christ calls the Church to be one, and because we believe in the ministry of the See of Peter.As far as I can tell, as a layman, this seeking of full unity with Rome indicates a complete acceptance of the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium of the Catholic Church, and of the primacy and jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome.It would also mean a willingness to submit to the discipline of the Catholic church in regard to reordination of our clergy, if it is deemed necessary, as well as addressing the situation of any clerics who have difficult personal histories (e.g. remarriage, etc.).At the same time, we are requesting permission to retain the traditional Anglican liturgy, a married priesthood (we have many celibate priests as well, I should say), and to have our own bishops, as do the Eastern Catholic churches in communion with Rome.Some of these provisions already exist in the Anglican Use parishes. A Pastoral Provision allows the ordination of former Episcopalian priests as Catholic priests, and allows parishes to be established that use the Anglican liturgy (with some adaptations). The problems are as follows:If you are already ordained in the Anglican Communion, you can become a married Catholic priest, but not if you were a seminarian.Also, since many catholic minded Anglican priests have already left the Anglican Communion, it isn’t as effective as it could be – the Pastoral Provision doesn’t allow Anglican priests who’ve joined continuing (traditionalist) groups to become Catholic through this provision.Establishment of parishes is subject to the approval of Latin-rite diocesan bishops; many such bishops are unwilling to give their consent for various reasons.The Anglican Use is only approved for the United States.What the TAC is doing should be understood within the broader context of various moves towards making the Anglican Use a worldwide option, opening it up people who’ve already left the Anglican Communion, and (hopefully) giving it its own structure, and some enduring existence.
Michael, thanks for your clarification. We should all hope and pray for positive steps forward