Anglican Catholic Church of Canada seeks unity

By  Canadian Catholic News
  • March 19, 2010
{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada College of Bishops has sent a formal letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome asking that the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus be implemented in Canada.

Released last November by the Vatican, the Apostolic Constitution opened the door for Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony. In asking that a personal ordinariate be established in Canada, the Anglican Catholic Church is following similar requests from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The Apostolic Constitution provides for a structure of personal ordinariates similar to military ordinariates for groups of Anglicans who accept both the ministry of the Pope as the successor to Peter and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The letter, dated March 12 and signed by Bishop Peter Wilkinson and Suffragan (Auxiliary) Bishops Carl Reid and Craig Botterill, asks permission to set up a governing council that can provide Pope Benedict XVI with a “terna” or list for the appointment of the first Ordinary. Under the constitution, an Ordinary could be a married Catholic priest. Wilkinson is a celibate religious, while Reid and Botterill are married.

 Wilkinson, who doesn’t know how long the process will take, said the letter was sent with a sense of great joy. “It means we are getting closer to our goal, which is full communion with the See of Peter.”

He described the constitution as part of a greater plan for Christian unity. “Benedict is the Pope of ecumenism,” he said. “I think this is part of his larger plan in regards to restoring unity from parts that were broken off, Anglicans and Lutherans, and also the big question of Orthodoxy.”

The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada is part of the worldwide Traditional Anglican Communion. It has 64 licensed clergy and three active bishops serving about 1,000 people in 28 parishes and missions scattered across the country.

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