Briefing tomorrow in Rome about Anglicans and the Church

This is from the Bolletino:


Si informano i giornalisti accreditati che domani, martedì 20 ottobre 2009, alle ore 11.00, nell’Aula Giovanni Paolo II della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, si terrà un briefing su un tema attinente ai rapporti con gli Anglicani, cui parteciperanno l’ Card. William Joseph Levada, Prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede e S.E. Mons. Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Segretario della Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti.

So… in sum…

There will be a briefing tomorrow.  Featured is the topic of relations of the Holy See with "Anglicans".

The main speakers will be the Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Card. Levada and the fomer Sotto-Segretario of the same CDF, now Secretary of the Cong. for Divine Worship H.E. Augustine DiNoia, OP.

This all makes sense if…if… this is to announce that there will be a reunion of Traditional Anglicans with the Catholic Church.  This would be in the bailiwick of the CDF.   And Archbp. DiNoia would have been involved when he was at the CDF.

However, a group of Traditional Anglicans would also no doubt have the Anglican Use for their liturgy, and therefore having the English speaking Secretary who had been at the CDF, rather than the Spanish speaking Prefect of the CDW makes perfect sense.

So… I suspect this is about the reunion of the so-called Traditional Anglicans.


Damian Thompson has this.

And this, from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office:


(not for publication)

You are invited to a press conference with Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster) and Archbishop Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) on Tuesday 20 October at 1000. The press conference will take place at 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX.

(Yes, I know it says “not for publication”, but it wasn’t me [Damian, that is…] they invited, so tough.)

I cannot believe that the two press conferences are not directly related.

Neither can I.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Father Zuhlsdorf,

    There may be more to that than you suspect.

    I wish I could say more.

    In the meantime enjoy the news from here until the end of this year!

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  2. Cantuale says:

    We have to hope that card. Kasper will be away tomorrow, may be on a ecumenical trip. He said a couple of days ago he was against this kind of “mass reunion”, for him that could be charged of “proselitism”.

  3. Bill Haley says:

    What is the difference, practically speaking, between the Secretary and the Prefect of a given Congregation?

  4. Cantuale says:

    I, personally, would like to suspect something more, as titothenorman… but don’t dare to say it.

  5. patrick_f says:

    An Anglican use, or “Anglican Rite” would make perfect sense. Remembering that they dont celebrate the 1962 missal (since the reformation happened WAY before), one could say that there is a cultural preservation here, that makes it inherently anglican.

    It would also be a boon for the rest of the English speaking world. Now you have a bridge to having the Extraordinary form in the vernacular. I know I might be ruffling feathers there, but, why not? It would make it truly “Vatican II” and all that stuff for the spirit of the council crowd. Then they would have little left to complain about.

  6. Tito Edwards says:


    It won’t be an Anglican Rite. Think of it as an Anglican Use (not identical, but similar), but on a global scale instead of only being in the United States.

    In JMJ,


  7. patrick_f says:

    OH I am with you tito. I was using the term “rite” simply in the descriptive sense, likening it to Greek catholics maintaining the Divine Liturgy in the form that the are accustomed. One could call that a “Use” of the mass. I was thinking in broad terms, very broad terms, since I tend to see the mass, no matter what Rite, as having the same form, and thus one simply has different “Uses”.

  8. Tito Edwards says:


    I agree. Many of my friends like to mock me in jest and refer to my parish as an Anglican Rite instead of the correct term, Anglican Use of the Roman Rite parish.

    Now this is just speculation on my part, but imagine a form of the personal prelature, like Opus Dei, amalgamated with the Anglican Use.

    The bigger question is, all the Anglican Use parishes, those that attend them, and those Anglicans that want to enter into Union with Rome need to get together ASAP and establish a standard or a uniform way to celebrate liturgy, rites, etc. as Catholics who celebrate the Anglican liturgy soon. Very soon.

    Will they use the 1928, or the 1979 book of common prayer?

    How much to do they want to retain from both?

    What kind of language do they want to use? Modern English or older English?

    These are the kind of questions that need to be asked.

    Because all Anglicans seeking union with Rome will need to “buckle up” and prepare for a whirlwind of activity concerning liturgical practice before the year is out!

    Personally, I like the Book of Divine Liturgy that is currently being utilized by Anglican Use parishes in America. We may need to start that as a base and go from there.

    But someone needs to start organizing a conference and begin sending out invitations to professional liturgists with a background in the extraordinary form, ordinary form, and older books of common prayer and do the hard work that is needed to welcome back our prodigal brothers and sisters in Christ.

  9. sarumuse says:

    I don’t have any independent information, but if this is the “big one”, please pray for us in the TAC. Our faith is totally Catholic, including Papal infallibility and the Marian dogmas. Our Bishops have been to a big effort, and we have waited in silence for two years. Our Bishops have offered to resign if their matrimonial status is an obstacle.

    Many questions – I know. The Holy Father has the answers. Pray for us.

    Fr. Anthony

  10. Jack Hughes says:

    lets hope

  11. Tito Edwards says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by the big one.

    It may be a series of announcements, not just a big one.

    But there will be ‘something’ done.

    In my opinion, whatever form it takes, the TAC will ultimately be satisfied with whatever comes out of the Vatican from here until roughly the end of this year.

  12. pseudomodo says:

    I don’t mind using the terminology of Anglican Rite. There are other ‘rites’ in the western church like Ambrosian, Braga, Dominican etc.

    That being said, some like EWTN think of Anglican usage not as a rite per se but as being synonomous with Extraordinary form and Ordinary form.

    I think it is more atune to a separate rite like Ambrosian, Braga, Dominican etc.

  13. Dauphin says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce that the “Archbishop of Canterbury” objected to the dialogue, and the Vatican refused to accept the TAC into the Catholic Church.

    Converts have been refused before in the name of ecumenism.

  14. Thomas S says:

    Am I reading this correctly when I say the inclusion of Mr. Rowan Williams seems to dampen the hopes that the press conference will be related to a TAC reunion with Rome? It would seem odd to include Williams in such an announcement.

    Or am I missing something?

  15. JosephMary says:

    I have very much enjoyed the Anglican Use when visiting Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio. If this would be a means of bringing in the traditional Anglican communion, well I would vote for it!

  16. Dauphin says:

    Does anyone remember that talk about the “flying bishop” of Ebbsfleet bringing his flock to Rome?:

    Maybe this has something to do with it.

  17. kgurries says:

    It seems very likely to be news regarding the TAC. I suppose that the London press conference will give Rowan Williams an opportunity to “clarify” that the news does not directly impact him or the Church of England.

  18. Thomas S says:

    On second thought, it makes all the sense in the world that Williams’ press conference indicates a TAC reunion with Rome.


    For some reason I overlooked the independent nature of the Williams/Nichols press conference from what will happen in the Vatican. I’m not sure I see the need for Archbishop Nichols holding the hand of the Archdruid during his damage control though.

  19. BLC says:

    Another story on this one…

    “Galeazzi also claimed that the Traditionalist Anglicans have already signed a document of adherence to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and have symbolically deposited it at a Marian shrine in England.

    “Once reunited with Rome, they may keep most of the Liturgical celebrations according to their tradition, which is closer to the Tridentine Mass,” La Stampa explained, adding that they would also “keep their married clergy but not married bishops.”

    The Italian Vatican reporter also noted that since the Anglican priestly ordination is not valid, those who want to remain priests within the Catholic Church would have to be ordained, most likely after passing a theological exam. “

  20. stephenocist says:

    Given the second press conference in London, I’d be looking for news in that part of the world rather than from Australia. Whatever the news tomorrow, pray now.

  21. This would be good indeed, if we do have a substantial body of Anglicans who are ready to join to the Catholic Church. But my question is, do we have a basis for assuming this will happen? Do we have enough of a Traditional Anglican movement which is inclined towards Rome for the right reasons?

    I ask this because I do not know(and not to say Fr. Z is wrong here).

    If they come because they think the Catholic teaching is true, I think this is the right reason and a good thing. But if they come just because they think the Anglican church is wrong, I think that is joining for the wrong reasons, and could do harm to the Church if they have the wrong conception of what the Church is supposed to be.

    I hope I am merely being pessimistic without basis here.

  22. Jordanes says:

    Some have suggested that this might rather be about a reversal of Apostolicae Curae. I would find that unlikely
    for many reasons, not least of which is that there have been absolutely no rumors about such a move — not even the faintest hint — and big moves at the Vatican are always rumored about with some intensity for a good while beforehand. However, we all know that the TAC has been talking with the CDF about what they need to do to be received into the Church. We should expect there to be something in the works regarding the TAC, at some point in time. We have no reason to expect a reversal/clarification of AC (especially with the Anglicans moving further and further from Christianity and entrenching themselves on women’s ordination and ordination of homosexuals).

  23. Jordanes says:

    Arnobius said: If they come because they think the Catholic teaching is true, I think this is the right reason and a good thing. But if they come just because they think the Anglican church is wrong, I think that is joining for the wrong reasons, and could do harm to the Church if they have the wrong conception of what the Church is supposed to be.

    The Traditional Anglican Communion does seem to be converting for the right reasons. They’ve formally expressed their adherence to the doctrines taught in the Catechism, have acknowledged Petrine Primacy, and have said they will accept whatever the Holy See tells them is necessary for them to be admitted into the Church, including the resignation of their married bishops and the (re-)ordination of their priests and bishops.

  24. tewter says:

    If things turn out as Father Z may suspect, it might have a positive influence on the SSPX discussions.

    Arnobius of Sicca is concerned that Anglicans returning to the Church might be because they think their church is wrong. I don’t think Rome would go for that. I believe the Catholic Church would accept only those who are convinced of Church teachings and want to be in the one, true Church. We’ll see tomorrow, won’t we. I pray for unity.

  25. @ Jordanes

    You seem to know more of it than I do. I would think the attitude you describe indeed sounds like the right one to have.

  26. becket1 says:

    If it is true. Here is some psyc up music for all.


  27. becket1 says:

    Maybe Queen Elizabeth 2 is converting. That may explain why Rowan will be present. Or if were lucky, maybe Rowan will put the final smack down on the Episcopal Church USA and re-unite the whole COE back with Rome, and hand the deed of Canterbury Cathedral to Archbishop Nichols. Who knows, but it is good to dream a little.

  28. BLC says:


    ‘Father John Zuhlsdorf, whose ever informative, theologically solid, and usually very accurate blog entitled “What Does the Prayer Really Say”, offered the following insightful thoughts…”

  29. BLC says:

    Argh, that was meant to read, Father, your blog got a mention in the reporting on this!

  30. Irenaeus says:

    “Maybe Queen Elizabeth 2 is converting. That may explain why Rowan will be present. Or if were lucky, maybe Rowan will put the final smack down on the Episcopal Church USA and re-unite the whole COE back with Rome, and hand the deed of Canterbury Cathedral to Archbishop Nichols. Who knows, but it is good to dream a little.”

    Such dreaming is the stuff that advances the Kingdom of God on earth.

  31. Warren says:

    At times like this, I’m glad to be a simple layman. I get to pray. One can only imagine the intense prayer, thought and consultation that has gone on among our shepherds regarding such an important matter, if indeed the event is about a TAC in-coming. Those shouldering the responsibility for discerning the right course of action surely merit our prayers. Regardless of the content of tomorrow’s/today’s announcement, may the God of mercy extend His grace to those who guide the flock of Christ, especially our beloved Holy Father Benedict XVI. In Jesus’ Name.

  32. Joseph says:

    I think I am missing something big about this whole thing. If there are Anglicans who recognise the truth of the Church (infallibility, dogmas, etc.) then why won’t they convert individually or without hanging onto their Use? Do they just like the olde-fashionede English? I am a convert and I had to make sacrifices – why can’t they just convert individually, accepting that they will lose some of their old ways? If they accept that the Church is the true Church of Christ, isn’t there therefore a moral onus on them to convert?

  33. PhilipNeri says:

    Just announced: “In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony.”

    Good job all around!!!

    Fr. Philip, OP

  34. Pistor says:

    Te Deum Laudamus… Te Dominum Confitemur…..

  35. nhaggin says:

    Fr. Philip: Link, please? :)

    Joseph: in general, when an entire church or ecclesiastical community desires union with Rome, particularly if, like the Traditional Anglicans, they have a well-developed liturgy, some accommodation for their clergy and rites is made. Even in the case of corporate union of one of the Eastern churches, there would be administrative overhead; while there probably exists a corresponding sui iuris ritual church, one may assume their clergy are validly ordained, and merging them with the Catholic clergy would be an entire project in itself.

  36. Tom in NY says:

    As Rev. P. Neri said, it’s official. I caught the announcement on, in English and Italian, in the “news” section.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  37. Jordanes says:

    Well, this morning’s wonderful news does have something to do with the Traditional Anglican Communion, as Father Zuhlsdorf suspected — but it’s not just about the TAC, but about any and all Anglicans seeking to reunite with the Catholic Church.

    What a gloriously beautiful morning it is!

  38. mpm says:

    While we still do not have the text of the Apostolic Constitution, I think it is relevant that this is a new juridical vehicle called a “Personal Ordinariate”, rather than a Personal Prelature. The latter, as members of Opus Dei have explained, is not of itself a “particular Church” or diocese. It would appear that the new structure is intended to be a “particular Church”, hence the word “Ordinariate”, which is a term that focuses on jurisdiction under Canon Law.

    I get the impression that there may be one or more of these, also, so that there might be various Ordinaries (celibate bishops, or married/unmarried priests, as the announcement says), depending on the needs of the group(s) to whom it is applied.

    Be that as it may, a Te Deum or two is certainly in order.

    (And, we might want to say a prayer of thanks to/for Pope John Paul II, whose promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law laid the groundwork for these new sorts of jurisdictional incorporation, of which even the SSPX may be taking advantage.)

  39. Bryan says:

    Te Deum most certainly.

    What beautiful news.

    Lots of folks, it seems, have been praying hard. While the enemy is concentrating on one side…here’s a gobsmack to the other side of his head while he wasn’t looking.

    I can imagine the conversation in Hades right now…”HOW DID YOU MISS THIS? YOU LET THIS SLIP THROUGH?”

    Union with Peter is NOT in the best interests of Satan. It is within the embrace of His Church that we have the greatest assurance of union with Him.

    “St. Michael the Archangel…be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.”

    Things move slowly, but with measured steps. First the Anglicans who desire unity…then the SSPX (with many prayers)…


    We live in exciting times.

  40. Owre Pope sent forth from Ytalie
    A law of grace and courtesie
    So God for Anglicans wrought mervlusly
    And Episcopalians may calle and crie:

    Deo gratias!
    Deo gratias, Anglicani,
    Redde, pro historia!

    Now gratious God, He save owre Pope,
    His peple, and alle who share owre hope.
    Gefe him longe lyfe, and shepe home brynge,
    That we with merth may savely synge:

    Deo gratias!
    Deo gratias, Anglicani,
    Redde, pro historia!

  41. paladin says:

    I realize that aspects of this have been in the works, for some time… but I am literally agog, here, and I can hardly dare to hope that I’m reading what I’m reading! Is this seriously what I think it is: a full reconciliation with a core part of the Anglican Ecclesial Community? Somebody pinch me…!

    Fr. Anthony wrote:

    Our Bishops have offered to resign if their matrimonial status is an obstacle.

    I almost dropped my teeth, when I read that! Give up your livelihood and your family’s support, just like that, for the sake of God? That’s the sort of example that’s sorely needed, and which should make some of our own shepherds very humble, right now! Well done.

  42. Tito Edwards says:

    Well it seems that they did it.

    My sources told me it would happen along these lines, but I was told not release this information that I received back in June because of what happened to the news leak with TAC.

    Believe me I was chomping at the bit, but now I’m quite happy with this piece of news.

    Deo gtratias!

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