Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Here comes everybody!"

100 traditionalist Anglican parishes seek to join Catholic Church

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- About 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the United States have decided to join the Catholic Church as a group. Meeting in Orlando, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America voted to seek entry into the Catholic Church under the guidelines established in Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus" ("Groups of Anglicans"), said a March 3 statement. The Anglican Church in America is part of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a group of churches which separated from the worldwide Anglican Communion in 1991. The Traditional Anglican Communion claims 400,000 members worldwide. The request means the 100 Anglican Church in America parishes will ask for group reception into the Catholic Church in a "personal ordinariate," a structure similar to dioceses for former Anglicans who become Catholic. Churches under the personal ordinariate can retain their Anglican character and much of their liturgy and practices -- including married priests -- while being in communion with the Catholic Church. Archbishop John Hepworth of Australia, primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, and Father Christopher Phillips of Our Lady of the Atonement Parish, an Anglican-use Catholic church in San Antonio, attended the meeting, according to the statement. The Anglican Church in America is the third group of Anglican churches to respond positively to the Vatican's invitation.

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