Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Apostolic Constitution On The Anglicans Is Out

In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately. The Apostolic See has responded favorably to such petitions. Indeed, the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches, could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.

The Church, a people gathered into the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, as “a sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all people.” Every division among the baptized in Jesus Christ wounds that which the Church is and that for which the Church exists; in fact, “such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages that most holy cause, the preaching the Gospel to every creature.” Precisely for this reason, before shedding his blood for the salvation of the world, the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father for the unity of his disciples.

It is the Holy Spirit, the principle of unity, which establishes the Church as a communion. He is the principle of the unity of the faithful in the teaching of the Apostles, in the breaking of the bread and in prayer. The Church, however, analogous to the mystery of the Incarnate Word, is not only an invisible spiritual communion, but is also visible;in fact, “the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, the visible society and the spiritual community, the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches, are not to be thought of as two realities. On the contrary, they form one complex reality formed from a two-fold element, human and divine.” The communion of the baptized in the teaching of the Apostles and in the breaking of the eucharistic bread is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety, of the celebration of all of the sacraments instituted by Christ, and of the governance of the College of Bishops united with its head, the Roman Pontiff.

It's right here.

For those wondering about the doctrinal issues:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate.

Sounds simple enough, I suppose. May God be praised for bringing these separated members back to the One Fold.


Roisin said...

I feel like C.S. Lewis would be ALL about this :)

Throwback said...

I was wondering about that myself. He was what, 65 maybe, when he died. Had he lived another decade or two, I think he would have swum the Tiber way before this. Granted, I think he would have applauded this new set-up anyway.

Chants a Lot said...

This is good news, not only for Anglicans who are ready to come into full communion, but for those of us who have already left Canterbury for Rome. But there will be a struggle. Despite the fact that the Holy Father implemented this with an Apostolic Constitution (which should send a message to the bishops that he is very serious about this), there will be, I predict, some firm resistance from priests and bishops who don't want these personal parishes encroaching on their territory. That is exactly what has happened in many dioceses with those who wished to erect personal parishes for the celebration of the EF. Actually, I think this is the very reason that the Constitution prohibits cradle Catholics from becoming members of these Anglican Use personal parishes (unless a member of their family is an Anglican-to-Catholic convert). The Holy Father threw a bone to the liberal episcopal establishment in the United States, who didn't want to see their members leaving in droves to form or join parishes erected under the Constitution. Maybe I'm just cynical, and I hope I'm wrong.

As for C. S. Lewis and whether he would have become Catholic, I highly recommend Joseph Pearce's book "C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church." It's well written, and worth the time. I won't spoil it by telling Pearce's conclusion about whether Lewis would have become Catholic.

Roisin said...

I will definitely have to read Pearce's book, so thank you for the recommendation. Lewis is a favourite author of mine and a source of constant conversation between me and my father. We've generally thought that had Lewis lived a bit longer, he would have converted.

But yes, Throwback, either way I think he would have been happy and intrigued by this new development.

Throwback said...

While it's true that cradle Catholics can't become "members," you really can't enforce where folks go on Sundays and where they send their money. I know plenty of Latin Riters that go to the Eastern Catholic churches where they are to escape from the lunacy at their home parish.

They haven't formally switched rites or anything, but they are Eastern in everything but registry.

I'll have to check out the Pearce book. Thanks for the rec.

Chants a Lot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chants a Lot said...

My comments about cradle Catholics not being able to join these parishes were in the wake of comments by a cradle Catholic friend who is disappointed that, whether or not he could attend Mass at such a parish, he would never be able to register there. I guess he would prefer that his escape from lunacy be formal and complete.

Chants a Lot said...

One additional comment. Even if one cannot join or, due to distance or other considerations, cannot even attend Mass on a regular basis at a parish of the new ordinariate, that does not mean that the wealth of the Anglican patrimony must remain unknown to other Latin rite Catholics. If a pastor is open to it, and his musicians are aware of what is available, it is a simple matter to incorporate good Anglican Music into an OF Mass. (It can also be done at an EF Mass, but according to the rubrics any vernacular texts are limited to before Mass begins and the recessional). There are many good Anglican hymns, many of which are in the public domain. Simplified Anglican Chant can be used to sing the responsorial psalm and the communion antiphon, and traditional polyphony in English can be sung by the choir. And all of this would accord with the Church's desire that Gregorian Chant be given pride of place, as much of this music is of the same character as chant. In fact, the Anglican Use Gradual sets all of the English Propers to traditional Gregorian Chant. We do all of this at my Latin rite parish, and it works really well. An individual or group could also incorporate the Anglican prayers now approved by the Holy See in the Book of Divine Worship into their daily prayers and devotions. The Order for Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, especially Rite 1, are quite beautiful. And finally, Mass according to the Book of Divine Worship can be celebrated at any parish on occasion (although this might require the local ordinary's permission - I haven't checked on this). This might be way too much information, but maybe one of your myriads of readers will find it useful.

Throwback said...

Good post, there. For myself, I'm really trying to make the Anglican Use parish in Arlington next time I'm in the roundabout thereof.