The Vatican introduced on Tuesday a new church structure that will allow former Anglicans to enter "full communion" with the Catholic Church while preserving their Anglican traditions. Pope Benedict XVI has made the provision in response to the numerous requests he has received from Anglicans who are unhappy with the ordination of women and noncelibate gay bishops.
"Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey," noted Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, who announced the "Apostolic Constitution."
"Rome is reminding Anglicans that our historic, orthodox faith is more important than culture and more important than geography," Minns said in a statement Tuesday. He urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to follow suit and endorse the efforts of the ACNA and other orthodox groups forming within the global body, including the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in England.
While several key Anglican leaders have expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the new provision, the Rt. Rev. Donald Harvey, who is part of the orthodox ACNA, still has questions about the "full significance" of the move. He posed, "Will people who accept this invitation have to subscribe to Roman Catholic dogmas to which the Anglican Formularies are diametrically opposed – such as 'Papal Infallibility,' the 'Immaculate Conception' and Transubstantiation?"
Both the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury affirmed that they remain fully committed to continuing ecumenical dialogue.