okt 212009
 

I 1992/3 konverterte mange anglikanske prester til Den katolske Kirke, og Vatikanet (og kardinal Hume) var da villige til å gå svært langt for å gjøre denne overgangen smidig for dem, men de mange andre katolske biskopene i England ville ikke være med på dette. Derfor måtte alle disse prestene konvertere og forberede seg til katolsk ordinasjon individuelt, og møtte ofte lite hjelp og vennlighet. Men om man tålte en trøkk eller to, og ikke ikke ga seg, så ble man katolsk prest omsider – men man fikk ikke ta med seg noen av sine åndelige og liturgiske tradisjoner. (Leserne forstår kanskje at jeg delvis også snakker om meg egen konvertering og forberedelse til katolsk prestetjeneste 1994-99.) Men om den lokale katolske geistligheten klarte å stoppe pavens ønske om å være generøs i 1993, så skjer ikke det samme igjen i 2009. Slik skriver den engelske presten Fr Tim Finigan:

The Holy See has been working for years on this matter and has always been in favour of generous provision, in accordance with the historic attitude of the Holy See to include those whose traditions are not necessarily entirely Roman. In 1993 (after the ordination of women was approved in the Church of England), it was local Catholic Bishops who opposed any arrangements for corporate reunion, however, the radical liberal agenda at work in the Anglican Communion has so changed the landscape in the intervening period that even the most liberal of Catholic Bishops are no longer a priori opposed to such a corporate provision.

The process leading to the new Apostolic Constitution has been an extraordinarily complex, in-depth study, involving widespread consultation, and including communications with sitting Bishops of the Anglican Communion who were in favour of some such arrangement. The Holy See could not simply refuse to talk to such parties clamouring for full canonical union with the Catholic Church. Naturally the process of consultation involved the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, whose Secretary (Bishop Brian Farrell) is a Consultor of the CDF, and whose President (Cardinal Kasper) is one of the 15 Cardinal Members of the CDF. Some elements within the Pontifical Council were obviously not too happy with the whole notion of corporate reunion, however, in the end they were outvoted.

… … The arrangements offered by the Holy See are courageous and to be welcomed. They show yet again the determination of Pope Benedict XVI to promote unity within the Church without insisting on uniformity of rites or customs. The Holy See’s provision of the new arrangements is a historic landmark for genuine Christian Unity as envisaged by Vatican II understood genuinely as in continuity with the tradition of the Church.

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