WHAT THE BAN ON CRUCIFIXES MEANS FOR BRITAIN BARRISTER NEIL ADDISON ON THE STUNNING EUROPEAN COURT RULING PAGE 12
November 13 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Rome opens arms to world’s Anglicans Vatican releases details of sweeping provision for Anglican groups seeking full communion
BY ANNA ARCO
THE VATICAN has released an eagerly awaited document outlining the Pope’s provision for Anglican groups wishing to enter into full communion with Rome.
The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (“On groups of Anglicans”) was published on Monday, two weeks after the Vatican announced a new provision for Anglican communities that wish to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their Anglican identity.
The document, which introduces a new legal structure called a Personal Ordinariate, was accompanied by a set of complementary norms, clarifying some of the points outlined.
As expected, Anglicanorum coetibus did not revise the discipline of priestly celibacy – an issue that was hotly debated when the Apostolic Constitution was first announced. Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified last week that priestly celibacy would be observed in an ordinariate, but that married men could be ordained on a case-by-case basis.
A day before the document’s publication, Pope Benedict XVI strongly affirmed the Church’s commitment to priestly celibacy during a Mass in Brescia, Pope Paul VI’s birthplace.
Surprising aspects of the document include the provision that married former Anglican bishops can serve as the ordinary, or head of an ordinariate, take part in bishops’ conference meetings and be able to keep the episcopal insignia – for example, their crosier and mitre. Former Anglican clergymen entering the Catholic priesthood in the ordinariate would be allowed to take secular jobs, providing them with a means of supporting
ARCHBISHOP NICHOLS: ‘Clearly there is much reflection to be done by all concerned’
themselves. Cardinal Levada said the provision “opens a new avenue for the promotion of Christian unity while, at the same time, granting legitimate diversity in the expression of our common faith”.
Speaking on the day the document was published, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, who is one of the Church of England’s “flying bishops” who minister to Anglicans who do not accept women priests, said that traditionalists have been given what they asked for “handsomely”.
He said that any transition would be difficult and it was a time for prayer and discernment.
“If we’ re open-hearted and imaginative enough to accept the offer and realise
that it will be an untidy transition, but that the ministry is not about that, then the difficulties can be overcome,” he said.
Bishop Burnham has chosen February 22 as the day for his priests and faithful to make their “initial” decision about the offer. The day falls after the Church of England’s General Synod session.
He said: “If Catholics could throw open the doors of their churches on that day and pray together with Anglicans in front of the Blessed Sacrament or have Forty Hours, I think we could see some amazing things.”
In a statement on Monday, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said: “I welcome the publication of the Apostolic Constitu-
PHOTO: JAMES BRADLEY
CARDINAL LEVADA: ‘Constitution opens a new avenue for the promotion of Christian unity’ CANON ROBIN WARD: ‘This is a remarkable endorsement of the Catholic Movement’
tion and the complementary norms. This now makes clear the provision made by the Holy See and enables those who have made requests to the Holy See to study it in detail.
“It is important to remember that this is a response to requests made to the Holy See by Anglicans and former Anglicans from across the world. It is not a provision specifically for England and Wales and clearly there is much reflection to be done by all concerned.”
The Rt Rev Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford and chairman of the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity, said: “It will now be for those who have requested and at this point feel impelled to seek full communion with the Roman Catholic Church to
study the Apostolic Constitution carefully in the near future and to consider their options.”
He stressed that the Apostolic Constitution did not deflect from the Church of England’s “longstanding commitment to seeking the unity of all the churches, including the Roman Catholic Church”.
Canon Robin Ward, the principal of St Stephen’s House, an Anglican theological college and a Permanent Private Hall at Oxford University, said: “The Apostolic Constitution establishes just the sort of jurisdiction which traditionalist Anglicans have asked of the Church of England and not received, and in doing so it has also resolved the ecumenical aspiration to complete the work of ARCIC in visible unity
which those who asked for the jurisdiction said they wanted.
“It is difficult to see how a refusal to accept this could leave traditionalist Anglicans with any ecumenical aspirations at all in the future.
“The respect given to the idea of Anglican patrimony, and the resolve to preserve it in the future for those who value it as a contribution to the whole Catholic Church, is a remarkable endorsement of the real value of the Catholic Movement in the Church of England, which could not have happened without the ecumenical imperative laid down by the Second Vatican Council.”
The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham and chairman of Forward in Faith International, the main
organisation for conservative Anglo-Catholics, said Anglicanorum coetibus was “extremely impressive”.
He added that Rome had offered “exactly what the Church of England has refused”.
He said: “For some of us I suspect our bluff is called! This is both an exciting and dangerous time for Christianity in this country. Those who take up this offer will need to enter into negotiation with the Church of England about access to parish churches and many other matters.”
Personal ordinariates will be led by an ordinary, who can be a celibate bishop or a priest who may be married. The ordinary may also be a former Anglican bishop who is married and has been ordained a Catholic priest.
Fr Benjamin Earl OP, a canon lawyer, explained the role of the ordinary.
He said: “The ordinary has ‘vicarious’ authority rather than ‘proper’ authority, which means he won’t govern in his own name (as a diocesan bishop or military ordinary would), but in the name of the Holy Father. The ordinary is appointed ad nutum Sanctae sedis (literally ‘on the nod of the Holy See’): unsurprisingly, there will be close supervision of these new structures.”
A personal ordinariate can cover an area as large as the territory covered by a bishops’ conference, though some bishops’ conferences might have more than one ordinariate. The document establishes that an ordinariate will have a governing council which will take the place of the council of priests and the college of consulters, which is the cathedral chapter in many dioceses in England and Wales. The governing council would consist of at least six priests.
Stephen Parkinson, director of Forward in Faith UK, said he had not expected the clause which allows former Anglican clergy to take up secular work as well as being ordained in the Catholic Church. He said this aspect of the provision could solve problems for Anglican clergy considering taking up the offer.
He said: “Priests of the ordinariate might be ministering to a congregation that is not large enough to support them. They might be starting from scratch, without a church building and would have to find a way to beg, buy, borrow a building. But this might open a number of doors for people.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is due to meet Pope Benedict at the Vatican on November 21.
Editorial comment: Page 13
Middlesbrough diocese could face biggest ever compensation claim
BY STAFF REPORTER
MIDDLESBROUGH diocese could be facing a massive compensation bill after a high court judge ruled it liable for running a former East Yorkshire children’s home at the centre of an abuse scandal spanning 30 years.
Hawkesworth QC, sitting in Leeds, decided last week that responsibility for running St William’s Community Home in Market Weighton fell on
the diocese rather than the De La Salle Brothers.
His judgment paves the way for up to 142 alleged victims of sexual and physical abuse to seek compensation in what would be the biggest ever abuse claim against the Catholic Church in England.
But the diocese could yet appeal against the decision, according to its financial secretary, Dr Jim Whiston.
Dr Whiston confirmed that the diocese had been given
leave to appeal and had until the end of January to decide whether to do so.
He rejected reports that the diocese could be facing a total bill of £8 million once legal costs had been added to the costs of compensation, but conceded that the potential figure was “significant”.
Dr Whiston added that the bishops and the trustees of the diocese were very disappointed with the decision.
“We understand our legal advisors are considering an
appeal and we therefore intend to make no further comment at this time,” he said.
The case centres around the alleged systematic abuse of boys between 10 and 16 from 1960 to 1992. About 70 per cent of the claims involve sexual abuse, including rape.
Although the De La Salle Brothers were in senior positions, Judge Hawkesworth found that they were not employed by the lay order and it was the diocese that had the power to appoint staff.
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Children’s author Film star revives takes road to Rome Welsh Passion play
BY BRIGITTE ISTIM
THE BEST-SELLING children’s author G P Taylor has announced that he intends to become a Catholic while launching a scathing attack on the Church of England.
Writing in the Yorkshire Post the “ex-vicar, ex-policeman and exorcist” said the Anglican Church had “sunk into a liberal pit that was no earthly use and offered no
hope, no love and no grace”. He complained that bishops spent more time speaking about issues like climate change than offering moral guidance and inspiration to “rank and file” believers.
Mr Taylor, born in Scarborough, has had a variety of careers. Before joining the police and becoming an Anglican vicar he worked in the music industry promoting bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Shadowmancer, Mr Taylor’s first book, was a huge success, topping the British book sales chart for 15 weeks in 2003.
BY ED WEST
WELSH-BORN Hollywood actor Michael Sheen is to revive the tradition of Passion plays in his home town.
The Frost/Nixon star, who has also played Tony Blair in The Queen and football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United, will revive the South
Wales town’s Passion play in 2011, with the poet Owen Sheers. It is part of the programme by the newly created National Theatre for Wales, which will be based in Cardiff.
Mr Sheen, 40, has previously recalled how his ear-
liest memory was seeing the Passion plays in Port Talbot.
He will play former prime minister Tony Blair for the third time in an upcoming film called The Special Relationship.
MISS: HOW TO DEBATE WITH HITCHENS AND FRY PAGE 9
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