Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Constitution for Anglican 'Catholics' Published

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has issued an Apostolic Constitution on the establishment of the Personal Ordinariates for the Anglicans wishing to join the Catholic church.

The Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, which was published on November 9, 2009, introduces a canonical structure that provides for the corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow the Anglican groups to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican Spiritual and liturgical patrimony.

According to a press release from the Apostolic Nunciature in Kenya, also published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is publishing a set of complementary Norms which will guide the implementation of the new provision responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world wishing to join the Catholic Church, that was announced by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on October 20, 2009.

The Constitution opens a new avenue for the promotion of Christian unity while, at the same time, granting legitimate diversity in the expression of our common faith, affirmed the statement, adding that the provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church.

However, the Apostolic Constitution does not change or alter the church law on celibacy for Catholic priests

“The possibility envisioned by the Apostolic Constitution for some married clergy within the personal Ordinariates does not signify any change in the Church’s discipline of clerical celibacy,” stated the Holy father's press statement.

According to the Second Vatican Council, priestly celibacy is a sign and a stimulus for the pastoral charity and radiantly proclaims the reign of God (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1579)

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