Unity within Christian communities and the unity of all the churches will grow only as believers draw closer to Jesus and learn to be honest in examining if they are listening to the Holy Spirit or to their own preferences, Pope Francis told leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Published in Vatican

Anglican leaders in the Global South say the decision by the Church of England to allow clergy to bless same-sex unions has strengthened their resolve to reset, reform and renew the worldwide Communion.

Published in International

SHREWSBURY, England -- A former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II is to be received into the Catholic Church.

Published in International

INDIANAPOLIS - In a decision that could strain relations with the Catholic Church and within its own Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church in the United States has approved liturgical resources for the blessing of same-sex relationships.

The church's House of Bishops voted 111-41 July 9 in favour of provisional use of the resources until the next General Convention, held every three years. About 80 per cent of the church's House of Deputies gave their approval July 10.

Published in International

BURLINGTON, ONT. - It can be dangerous to say so, but there is no real proof that the Shroud of Turin is authentic. Even the Vatican has never pronounced itself on the authenticity of the world’s most famous piece of linen.

There’s no historical record of it before 1390. Skeptics ask what are the odds that for more than 1,000 years Christians ignored the existence of an image that accurately records Jesus’ likeness at the time of His crucifixion?

In the 14th century there was an enormous industry which produced, bought and sold relics. There were, of course, genuine relics. But the real thing could never possibly satisfy demand for ever more, and ever more dramatic, remembrances of holiness. A shroud somehow recovered from the empty tomb of Jesus — like all the vials of precious blood, and the many, many nails from Jesus’ cross — would surely have been a money maker.

Published in Features

Christians aiding refugees is nothing new. Christians taking the Canadian government to court so refugees won’t be denied medication, artificial limbs or rehabilitative therapy is.

Hospitality House Refugee Ministry in Winnipeg has launched a lawsuit on behalf of the Anglican diocese of Rupert’s Land claiming breach of contract against Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Hospitality House is trying to block government plans to strip down its health insurance plan for refugees.

Cuts to the Interim Federal Healthcare Program for refugees take effect June 30.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- One hour before the Mass at which he was to be ordained as a Catholic priest, Father Harry Entwistle, 72, was named by Pope Benedict XVI as the first head of the personal ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, a jurisdiction for former Anglicans in Australia.

Father Entwistle, who was ordained an Anglican priest in England in 1964, immigrated to Australia in 1988, joined the Traditional Anglican Communion in 2006 and was later named Australia's Western regional bishop. The Traditional Anglican Communion is a worldwide group of Anglicans that separated themselves from the Anglican Communion led by the archbishop of Canterbury.

Published in International

For 500 years the Anglican Church has made an indelible contribution to Christianity. Particularly in liturgy and music, Anglicans have offered up the best that human inspiration and expression could achieve. So it is sad to watch the worldwide Anglican Communion drift further into schism.

Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has announced his retirement at the end of 2012. The position of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican tradition is not comparable to the Pope in the Catholic Church; nevertheless the Archbishop remains primus inter pares, first among equals, in the Anglican hierarchy. 

Published in Guest Columns

ROME - Pentecost is a feast of unity, as the gift of the Holy Spirit makes possible the unity that the Lord Jesus desires for His Church. To preserve the unity of the Church is one of the first duties of the pastor. The flock is to be brought into the one sheepfold. Yet that remains a very difficult and delicate task. Two current examples, much discussed in Rome these days, point to different approaches.

Consider first the Anglicans. For the better part of 40 years there have been significant numbers of Anglicans looking Romeward, particularly after the unilateral decision in the Anglican Communion in the 1970s to ordain women, something never done by either the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. Many thought that such a unilateral rupture of common sacramental practice meant a definitive abandonment of the ecumenical path by the Anglican Communion, and therefore some measure should be adopted by Rome to make it easier for Anglicans to become Catholic while preserving something of their ecclesial communities and liturgical heritage. The Holy See took rather a different view. While provision was made for individual Anglican clergy, and individual Anglican lay people could always become Catholic in the normal fashion, there was no provision for groups to enter full communion together.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

SYDNEY - Australia's new personal ordinariate will be a "homecoming" for former Anglicans joining the Catholic Church later this year.

The ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, under the patronage of St. Augustine of Canterbury, will be established June 15 by the Vatican.

Holy Cross Church in Melbourne is the first church to be designated for the ordinariate.

Published in International

OSHAWA, Ont. - On the third Sunday of Easter inside the walls of St. Gregory’s Catholic Church 12 new brothers and sisters, all former Anglicans, were welcomed into the Roman Catholic faith.

“The Lord receives you into the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Vincent Nguyen, marking the end of each conversion as the converts knelt before the altar after taking their final steps as Anglicans. With gentle hands Nguyen placed the seal of the Lord on the converts who then rose as Catholics.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - Bishops in Ottawa and Victoria received two groups from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) into the Roman Catholic Church April 15, including two former ACCC bishops and about a half dozen clergy.

"Today, the Body of Christ is a little more healed, a little more unified," Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast told more than 700 people who packed St. Patrick's Basilica. "Today, after half a millennium, separated brethren are separated no more. We are brethren, rejoicing at the same banquet table. Hallelujah."

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - “I have never been in a church this big,” said one soon-to-be ex-Anglican priest to Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Basilica on Divine Mercy Sunday.

The occasion was a solemn Mass in the “Anglican Use” to receive some 40 members of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada into full communion with the Catholic Church. The several dozen new Catholics will form a quasi-parish that, while fully Catholic, will celebrate the Eucharist according to approved liturgical books which draw upon their Anglican heritage.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

When it comes to apologizing, Canadians need not be modest. Of course, we have competition because we live in a global village of apologies.

Australians have apologized to aboriginal peoples for having taken their land. Brits have apologized to half the world for colonialization. Canada has not only apologized for the experiment known as residential schools, but (at a cost of billions) has created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is currently parading around the country hearing tales of abuse from both those who suffered and from those who recognize the sound of a bandwagon passing by.

Published in Guest Columns

OTTAWA - On the Octave Sunday of Easter, two bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) — Bishop Peter Wilkinson in Victoria and Bishop Carl Reid in Ottawa — will lead their clergy and people into the Catholic Church.

Other congregations and fellowships across the country, part of the ACCC’s temporary Pro-Diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham, will follow on April 22 or dates soon to be announced. They will become Ordinariate parishes-in-waiting in their respective Roman Catholic dioceses, including groups in Edmonton, Oshawa, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Montreal and possibly Vancouver.

Victoria Bishop Richard Gagnon and Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast will receive the groups at special Masses. Afterwards, the bishops will provide spiritual oversight and priests to celebrate the Anglican Use liturgy for the new Catholics until their own priests are ordained and the parishes can join the American Ordinariate. 

Published in Canada
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