(National Catholic Register) - As 2010 gets under way, many in the Church are anxious to see how last year’s apostolic constitution inviting disaffected Anglicans into the Catholic Church will play out.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The Anglican exodus to the Catholic Church actually began about thirty years ago, with the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision established by Pope John Paul II. Those few pioneering spirits created the foundation and framework for the new Apostolic Constitution on Anglican Ordiariates decreed by Pope Benedict XVI last year (November 2009). Credible rumor has it that the first ordinaries will be installed within six months from now (sometime between April and September of 2010). Once this happens the mass exodus begins.
While the expectation is that more significant numbers of Anglicans in Britain, Africa and India will accept the offer outlined in Anglicanorum Coetibus, observers say that the decree will impact traditional Anglicans in the United States, as well.
The Traditional Anglican Communion includes approximately 400,000 Anglicans worldwide. The American province, known as the Anglican Church in America, includes approximately 5,200 communicants in four dioceses. Over the next few months, all of the provinces will be holding synods to put forward the question of how they will be responding to the apostolic constitution.
“The expectation is that our general synod will accept the Holy Father’s offer,” said Christian Campbell, senior warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Orlando, Fla., and a member of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Church in America’s Diocese of the Eastern United States. “It is not so much a question of whether or not we desire to avail ourselves of the offer — inasmuch as it is a direct and generous response to our appeal to the Holy See. The question now is how the apostolic constitution is to be implemented. We have practical concerns, and we are presently working with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to resolve any outstanding questions.”
Campbell said that the first Traditional Anglican Communion provinces will be entering the Catholic Church within the next six months.
One example of a parish that stands ready to enter en masse is suburban Philadelphia’s Church of the Good Shepherd, an “Anglo-Catholic” parish.
“We’ve been praying for this daily for two years,” said Bishop David Moyer of the Traditional Anglican Communion. Moyer was one of 38 bishops in the communion who signed a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and petitioned Pope Benedict XVI in October 2007 for a way for disaffected Anglicans to be united with Rome.
“The majority of our members will be on board with this,” said Father Aaron Bayles, assistant pastor at Good Shepherd. The parish has approximately 400 members who could come into the Catholic Church...
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First in line will be the provinces of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a denomination of some 400,000 members. We can then expect the Anglican Use parishes (already in full communion with Rome) to be incorporated together with them. This will be the primary foundation of the new Anglican "Rite" Catholicism. Once established we will start to see serious consideration from Forward in Faith, and we can also expect to see a second look from the recently formed Anglican Church in North America or at least some of it's member parishes and diocese. Simultaneously, we can expect the final remnants those still within The Episcopal Church USA to muster the courage to at least consider their options. We shouldn't expect a mass exodus of U.S. Episcopalians, because the majority of those who had any Catholic sense about them fled years ago. There are of course a few stragglers who have not yet been personally effected by the changes in the Anglican Communion, and may have found a modestly conservative parish for refuge, but their days are numbered. The Episcopal Church is currently engaged in a war of attrition, and it's the feminist lesbigay progressives who have the upper hand. What remains of the conservatives is scattered, demoralized and dwindling in numbers.
The Episcopal Church USA is not going to get any better. The same goes for the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Canada. It's over. The liberal feminist lesbigay innovations have now become part of the establishment and cannot be undone. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Conservative Episcopalians cannot rationally expect the situation to improve in The Episcopal Church USA. To expect that, or even hope for it at this point, is insanity -- by the very definition of the word. As time passes The Episcopal Church will only become more progressive (liberal) if that is even possible. It won't be long before militant feminism and acceptance of homosexuality will be required teaching in The Episcopal Church USA and those who refuse to conform to that will be considered "sinners" in need of repentance. Mark my words, that day will come.
Anglicanism might have died out completely this way, were it not for the intervention of Pope John Paul II with the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision, and Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Constitution for Anglican Ordinariates. Now the contrast has been made clear. There are two forms of Anglicanism: Protestant Anglicanism and Catholic Anglicanism. Of course Catholic Anglicanism (or Anglican Catholicism) is now fully embraced by the Holy See of Rome, while Protestant Anglicanism is the ward of the Archbishop of Canterbury. I realize there are many in the Protestant Anglican Communion who would like to consider themselves "catholic," but catholicity doesn't work that way. Participating in a catholic style liturgy isn't what makes you "catholic." Just because your priest wears vestments and mimics catholic ritual doesn't make you "catholic" either. Even being under the authority of a man who wears a pointed hat doesn't make you "catholic." What makes you "catholic" is fidelity to the historic theological and moral teachings of the Catholic Church. You don't have to always follow them perfectly, but you do have to try, and you can never ever change them to accommodate your sinful habits or unnatural lifestyle.