There is much talk about the possibility of reunion between the Traditional Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church. Corporate reunion seems very difficult to imagine. There are so many technicalities and difficulties. What seems more possible is for an increasing number of Anglican laypeople, priests and bishops to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.

On the other hand, the recent events in Kansas City with a continuing Anglican Church shows us one of the ways that whole groups might come into the Catholic Church. St James was a small parish in the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite. This is one of over 100 of the ‘continuing’ Anglican churches. These are churches that have broken away from the Anglican Communion over the years and formed their own churches. Some have only one congregation, others have a handful, still others claim hundreds.

The parish of St James in Kansas City, Missouri decided that they wanted to explore the possibility of withdrawing from the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite and come into full communion with the Catholic Church. In May the bishop locked them out of their buildings and seized all their assets. You can read the story here. Their rector was out of a job, out of a home, and had to turn somewhere to make a living. He returned to Texas. 

Those who wanted to become Catholic turned to a local Catholic priest, Ernie Davis, who is himself a former Episcopal priest, ordained under the pastoral provision. Fr Davis who blogs here, welcomed them to St Therese parish in the Diocese of Kansas City. They have now started the Our Lady of Hope Society–with a website and a blog — a society which fosters Anglican Rite worship within the Catholic Church, and Fr Davis is planning to offer an Anglican Rite Mass within St Therese parish to accommodate them. Fr Davis says with the shrinking number of priests it is difficult to see how they would have their own parish. Instead their desire to maintain their Anglican traditions will be provided for within the mass schedule of the Catholic parish of St Therese where they have found refuge.

I hope some sort of corporate reunion with TAC works out, but I think the scenario (and others like it) from Kansas City is more likely to be what happens.