Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Pope Benedict XVI paves way for thousands of disaffected Anglicans to cross over to Rome

Pope Benedict XVI has paved the way for thousands of Anglicans who are disillusioned by the church’s stance on female clergy and homosexuality to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The historic move will allow groups of Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Holy See while allowing them to retain some of their traditions, and could see married Church of England clergy ordained as Catholic priests.

It has dealt a serious blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has tried to keep traditionalists in the fold despite their bitter disputes with liberals over the direction of the Anglican Communion, although he denied it was an “act of aggression”.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said: “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.”

In recent decades thousands of conservative priests and parishioners in England, America and Australia have left the 80 million-strong Anglican Communion in protest at the ordination of women and openly homosexual clergy, which they say go against scripture and church tradition. In England, more than 400 clergy resigned when women priests were introduced in the 1990s. Read more
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