MANCHESTER, England - The leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion has announced his resignation.

Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury said in a March 16 statement that he would step down at the end of December. The archbishop, leader of the Church of England, plans to take a job as master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge, England, beginning in January.

Published in International

ROME - Remembering the common roots of the Christianity they share, Roman Catholics and Anglicans should renew their commitments to praying and working for Christian unity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The Pope and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, held an evening prayer service March 10 at Rome's Church of St. Gregory on the Caelian Hill, the church from which Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow monks to evangelize England in 597.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - In the days after the hoopla of the consistory for new cardinals left town, a smaller but more historic group of pilgrims was making its way to the tomb of the apostle Peter and the seat of his successor.

A pilgrimage of thanksgiving arrived from Britain — some 100 members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the new “diocese” set up for former Anglicans who are now Catholics, but with the special task of preserving their Anglican cultural and liturgical patrimony. Some two years after Pope Benedict XVI made it possible with his document Anglicanorum Coetibus, the new structure is established in Britain and more recently also in the United States. The arrival of new Catholics from Britain, small in number but fervent in faith, was experienced as a “homecoming” by them, and a tiny step toward healing the breach of the divisions of the 16th century.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

VATICAN CITY - For perhaps the first time ever, Anglican hymns, chants and prayers reverberated off the marble walls of St. Peter's Basilica as some members of the world's first ordinariate for former Anglicans celebrated their coming into the Catholic Church.

"Wonderful is not a strong enough word to express how we feel to be here," where the apostle Peter gave his life "and where his successors guarded the faith for generations," said Father Len Black in his homily.

Published in International

KITCHENER, ONT. - The new year meant a new beginning for a group of Anglicans from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

On Jan. 1, 12 individuals from that area were received as a community into full communion in the Roman Catholic Church during an Anglican Use-rite Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Hamilton. The liturgy was presided over by Bishop Douglas Crosby and celebrated by their former priest-mentor, now chaplain, Fr. William Foote. The group made a profession of faith and received the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.

Now known as the Sodality of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, under the oversight of the diocese of Hamilton initially, they become the second community of Canadian Anglicans to be so received, following St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, which entered the Church on Dec. 18.

Published in Canada

CALGARY - Inglewood is an old neighbourhood in Calgary, the sort of place where you find a church nestled between modest homes, rather than surrounded by a vast suburban parking lot. But something new is happening here, or something old becoming something new — or perhaps even something new becoming something old.

The parish of St. John the Evangelist used to be an Anglican parish, but just a week before Christmas the pastor, Fr. Lee Kenyon, his wife Elizabeth, and almost the entire congregation of about 75 souls were received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary received the group and graciously welcomed into his diocese a new parish. They call themselves an “Anglican Use” oparish, meaning that while fully Catholic and in communion with the bishop of Rome, they use a form of the liturgy more in keeping with their Anglican traditions.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

TORONTO - As hopeful Anglo-Catholic parishes across Canada completed two months of catechetical study Dec. 18, dreams of a Canadian Catholic ordinariate for ex-Anglicans are fading.
"We had hoped, of course, we would have our own Canadian ordinariate, but we realize our numbers may not warrant it," Bishop Carl Reid, Anglican Catholic Church of Canada auxiliary bishop, told The Catholic Register.

An American Anglican ordinariate will be inaugurated Jan. 1. About 2,000 former Episcopalians (as Anglicans are known in the United States) have asked to be received into the Catholic Church through provisions of the Anglicanorum Coetibus apostolic constitution.

The number of Canadian break-away Anglicans seeking a place in the Catholic Church has declined in the two years since Pope Benedict XVI issued Anglicanorum Coetibus, an apostolic constitution intended to provide for groups of Anglicans entering the Catholic Church but retaining significant elements of Anglican liturgy.

The main body that had been seeking union with the Catholic Church, the 28 parishes of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, split into two non-geographical dioceses Nov. 26. The pro-diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham contains parishes still engaged in the process for entering the Catholic Church. The remaining parishes in the diocese of Canada are taking a wait-and-see approach to the process, said Reid.
Substantial numbers of ACCC members have also left the Church as the prospect of joining a Catholic entity has taken shape.

"A number of our people who weren't clear when they joined us of our intention to seek unity — even though it is in our foundational documents, our constitution — when unity became not only a possibility but a reality they just sort of left," said Reid. "That reduced our numbers from what they were two years ago."

ACCC members in the pro-diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham understand that a handful of parishes, averaging between 20 and 30 members and spread across the country, can't justify a bishop and diocesan structure involved in an ordinariate, said Reid. They are waiting for word on just how they will be accommodated, he said.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, in charge of guiding the process in Canada, declined to comment.

"There are still some key details being worked out right now and, as you can imagine, this is a sensitive file," said archdiocese of Toronto spokesman Neil MacCarthy in an e-mail.

Among the issues being worked out are the final resting place of ACCC clergy. Where 67 Anglican priests in the United States have submitted dossiers seeking Catholic ordination and 35 have received a nulla osta, or initial approval, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, none of the Canadian Anglican clergy who have applied have heard back from Rome.

"We're clearly further behind in the process than the Americans and the Australians," said Reid.

Without clergy, Anglican parishes accepted into the Catholic Church can't function, said the bishop.

Despite difficulties and uncertainty, the Our Lady of Walsingham Anglican Catholics remain hopeful, Reid said.

"Our people fully understand the divine mandate expressed by our Lord in John 17 'That they may be one.' And that's what's driving this whole process," he said. "Our remaining people here at the Cathedral (of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa) are committed to the process and understand the importance from the perspective of what God's wish is, not what ours is."

Published in Canada
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