Telegraph: 100 US Anglican parishes convert to Roman Catholic Church

I understand that Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams may soon issue a document Romanorum coetibus which will create a safe haven in the very loose Anglican embrace where the editor and readers of The Tablet and NCR, at their request mind you, can keep their now traditional pottery cups, big puppets, out of tune guitars and the ICEL translation presently in use, as well as gain the long-desired free election of bishopesses.  All without the spirit-repressing domination of Rome!

But before that joyful event transpires, in The Telegraph we find a story that 100 Anglican parishes in the USA are set to swim the Tiber buoyed up by Benedict XVI’s provisions in Anglicanorum coetibus.

100 US Anglican parishes convert to Roman Catholic Church

By Simon Caldwell

About 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes across the United States have decided to convert en masse to the Roman Catholic Church, it emerged yesterday.

But the Vatican insisted that the move to create self-governing "personal ordinariates", which resemble dioceses in structure, came as a result of requests from at least 30 disaffected Anglican bishops around the world for "corporate reunion" with the Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church in America (ACA) will now enter the Catholic Church as a block, bringing in thousands of converts along with their own bishops, buildings and even a cathedral.

They will worship according to Anglican rubrics, and use the Book of Common Prayer, but they will be in communion with the Pope, recognising him as their leader.

The decision was taken by the House of Bishops of the ACA during a meeting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this week.

The bishops said in a brief statement afterwards that they had agreed to formally "request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States of America by the (Vatican’s) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith".



Read the rest there.

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  1. An American Mother says:

    And this is a GOOD thing.

    I’m sure there are details still to be worked out, but by and large you will find that these are ‘high churchers’ — good, orthodox (o.k., except for the little matter of Apostolicae Curae, but they’ve obviously declared their willingness to abandon that position), traditional in practice, hard workers for their parish.

    They will not countenance hootenannies in the sanctuary, mean short-haired priestesses, incompetent liturgical dancers, goofy ad libs during the liturgy, &c. And their music is beyond reproach.

  2. TJerome says:

    This is absolutely splendid news, indeed. Can anyone explain how they get around Apostolicae Curae? Were these bishops perhaps part of that group which may have been validly consecrated outside of England?

    An American Mother, I think my “catholic” pastor would fit in quite nicely with the church you described in your second paragraph.

  3. Flambeaux says:

    The bishops of the TAC have long said they will not let the question of Orders be a bar to full juridical communion. If Rome asks them to lay aside their episcopal dignity, they’ve repeatedly signalled that they will.

    That said, the terms of Anglicanorum coetibus indicate that they’ll retain pontifical privileges in their vesture and arms, even if they are only ordained priests after the cross the bridge so generously built by the Holy Father.

    Since many of them are married, they are well aware of what the cost of this move is, personally.

  4. uptoncp says:

    The ACA/TAC, of course, is Anglican in much the same way that the SSPX is Roman.

  5. MAJ Tony says:

    Makes you want to belt out a chorus of “The ‘A’ word.” Alas, it will have to wait.

  6. jlmorrell says:

    Obviously, they will assent to Apostolicae Curae and be ordained Catholic priests. But does anyone know if all these churches will have to be properly consecrated? What does the Church say about this?

  7. edwardo3 says:

    Welcome home!!! Anything we can do to help?

  8. Dr. Eric says:

    They said they’d wait until the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter to give time to deliberate the issue. I’m extremely happy that they kept their word and that there will be 100 new Catholic parishes. Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed Nomini tuo da gloriam.

  9. mpm says:

    Romanorum coetibus. Nice image that, Fr. Z!

    But, in a true spirit of ecumenical dissent, perhaps it should be Protestantium dissentiumque coetibus. Maybe we’ll get a “clean sweep”!

  10. DCtrad says:

    Does any one have a link to a visual of there liturgy etc.

    Is this the ACA/TAC group?

  11. An American Mother says:

    Consecration of the churches is not going to be a problem, except in California and Virginia.

    TEC (“The Episcopal Church”, f/k/a “The Episcopal Church U.S.A.”, f/k/a “The Protestant Episcopal Church in America”) has sued just about every departing parish for their buildings, endowments, and pension funds. Except for the two states mentioned above, which have rules for denominations that “divide”, headquarters is keeping the assets.

    I just wonder what they’re going to do with all those empty buildings, many of which are old and expensive to maintain. Some of the buildings are located on profitable commercial property . . . but most are not.

  12. An American Mother says:

    Correction — many of the ACA parishes have been out of TEC for a long time, either since the Affirmation of St. Louis in 1977 (a few) or the Concordat in 1991 (most). Those folks will bring their buildings with them. TEC did not start suing people until the more recent (but probably by no means the last) split, in 2003. And many of those churches are evangelical-leaning and we will not be seeing them anytime soon. They are aligning with the evangelical Anglican bishops in Africa and South America. Look for Forward in Faith North America (FiFNA) and perhaps the Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK) to be the next groups to stick a toe into the Tiber.

    Sorry, but I have been (thankfully) out of the loop since 2003, and I am losing track of the various splinter groups and the dates of their departures. It is so much more peaceful in a nice, quiet Catholic parish!

  13. Daniel A. says:

    So, given this news, when will these parishes actually be converted and their priests actually ordained? One of their parishes is near where my wife’s grandma lives, so I would love to at least give it a try once it is in communion (of course, I will not go so long as their sacraments are invalid.)

  14. Rachel says:

    I suppose it was the leadership of these groups that voted to swim the Tiber. I wonder what percentage of their congregations will follow them. Laypeople with less commitment to the faith may be less willing to do the thinking and mind-changing required. I’m not trying to be a downer, though, because either way this is wonderful news!

  15. mvhcpa says:

    Praise to God for this wonderful news! I honestly feel that we may start a “true ecumenical” snowball rolling here, sent on its way by The Pope of Christian Unity.

    We can only pray more Anglicans come in, then the SSPX become regularized, then (can we hope it) the “second lung” of the Church, the Orthodox, come back into the fold. I often thought that the Orthodox would be easier to get in than any Protestant ecclesial community–all we have to do is figure out how to remove a one-thousand-year-old political stick from their posteriors (of course, from their point of view, the stick is lodged in us, but either way the point/analogy holds).

    If the Orthodox come back in, just think of all that powerful prayerwork from our new Eastern brothers channelled correctly for Christian Unity–the dividing work of SATAN might be pushed back a bunch. If that is the case, then maybe even the Evangelical Protestants will ignore Chick Tracts and see how the One Holy Catholic Church embodies the real faith Jesus taught and get on board. With their evangelical faith and vitality, we might see a Renaissance of society.

    Of course, this is all exuberant babbling, but I refuse to dismiss it as IRRATIONAL exuberance. I liken the secular world today to be just like pagan (Roman) times–if that is true, maybe what we used to call “Christendom” can be reconverted today the same way it was converted the first time in Roman times.

    Michael Val
    (who really thinks that reunification with the Orthodox may be in our lifetimes!)

  16. This story from The Telegraph paints with an awfully broad brush. It is certainly our prayer that the entire ACA/TAC will avail itself of the Apostolic Constitution in short order, but it is much more likely that the migration will be an extended process. The Anglo-Catholic is the official “unofficial web site” of the TAC (if you know what I mean) and the authoritative source on Anglican developments in response to Anglicanorum Coetibus.

  17. FranzJosf says:

    I suggest that people actually read the Holy Father’s document. It will answer many questions. Their priests will have to be ordained by a Catholic Bishop. Some of their bishops, who become Catholic priests, will have the right to pontificals (bishop’s vestments and ceremonial), which is nothing new in the Church. Before Vatican II there were certain monsignors that had the right to pontificals, as did some deans and provosts of collegiate churches (which we don’t have in the USA).

  18. ljc says:

    Perhaps as part of the Pope’s response to the Apostolic visitation of religious orders in the US he and Rowan Williams will come up with a joint solution to the dissident Women’s orders called “Romanorum coetibus,” whereby all the orders which opposed the visitation and refused to fill out questionaires will become Anglican, under their very own womyn “bishop.” Of course they’d be allowed to bring some of their dissident Catholic heritage with them like the big puppets…

  19. albizzi says:

    It is logical that England converts to the true Catholic faith before Russia since the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary wasn’t made notwithstanding official claims.
    Here we have a foretaste of what will happen with the Orthodoxs once the Consecration will be performed.

  20. Ed the Roman says:

    Laudamus Dominum, et gratias agamus Eis.

    (sub correctionem)

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    This is very interesting. We appear to be in a time of realignments. This move will create and “English uniate” of sorts, which brings the dream of re-converting the English and parts of the British world to Catholicism at the expense of the schism of Henry VIII.

    On the other hand, I think that the Anglican Church under Rowan will have more trouble attracting our problem children. There are a couple of reasons for this:
    a) the Anglican church is rather explicitly English and all of our dissidents value their family traditions (or what they think of as family traditions, very superficially) and so on–it’s really one of the last things they let go of. Our dissidents, many of which are Irish, Polish, etc etc, will not be at home in the house of the English, even at this late date in history.
    b) the Anglican church, even the cracked crazy version, is still more high church than we are now, and all the things they do refer to that past. This will be foreign to most dissidents, at least American ones, and they will not accept it well.

    Rather our own dissidents, seething in resistance to the new translation, will probably try to suborn their local parishes to their views and their resistance to the translations, and when that fails as it will in some places, they will strike off on their own, joining/creating independent catholic churches with puppets and sand, which are their “bells and whistles.”

  22. catholicmidwest says:

    And of course, some of our dissidents will remain in the church, with bad attitudes and generally failing power, but the ability to cause local trouble. A sad thing.

  23. JimP says:

    the link you posted shows the investiture of the archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America. This is a group formed by dioceses which, for the most part, have recently broken with TEC.

    Generalizations are never wholly accurate, but the ACNA mostly comprises Anglicans who were willing to accept priestesses and female bishops (bishopettes?), but could not tolerate the consecration of openly homosexual bishops and same sex blessings.

    The ACA have not had female clergy, and use the 1928 BCP. I don’t have an A/V link to the liturgy, but their home page is

  24. asperges says:

    It is indeed wonderful news. In the UK however, things have gone very quiet. The initial fuss seems to have stopped.

    I think there is a mistake in the report about using the BCP unamended however.

    The BCP is beautiful English, certainly, but there is a little matter about various parts of it which could not possibly be used unaltered in a full Catholic sense. Indeed it was specifically written to deny such things as transubstantiation and other aspects of the Mass.

    “Cranmer’s Godly Order” can’t just be transferred over surely, lock, stock and barrel. Or is this something of a cruel paradox?

  25. hoipoloi says:

    Just before we all get too dewey-eyed about the use of “Anglican Rubrics” (when all we really mean is we like “Thee” and “Thou” instead of “you” and “yours”, together with the “beauty of holiness”, just remember this Anglican (Black) Rubric from the 1552 Prayer Book (for this, too, is part of the Anglican Patrimony):

    “It is hereby declared, That thereby no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal Presence of Christ’s natural Flesh and Blood.
    For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; (for that were Idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians;) and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ’s natural Body to be at one time in more places than one.”

    That’s the reality, no matter how you dress it up. Stinks of the heretic Calvin, doesn’t it? Thank God Ven JH Newman and Leo XIII weren’t taken in by the voices of “decorated protestantism” of their day. Keeble and his ilk then are no different from the likes of Messrs. Broadhurst, Barnes and Hepworth now (except Keeble was not an formal apostate, merely a schismatic, unlike the aforementioned – alright, Barnes is just a bad-tempered old g.i.t.).

    So what’s changed since? Not one iota.

    Come on over to the True Faith, by all means. But please, don’t try to “polish a turd” (as we say in the Army). Anything valuable and authentic that the “Anglican Patrimony” has to offer was originally taken from the Catholic Church anyway. Just come home to Peter and get on with being Catholic Christians in your local parishes.

    And, by the way, you’re very welcome…on the Holy Father’s terms, not yours!

  26. Dafyd says:


    I know the hoi polloi (hee) like to speculate on the English Prayer Book’s Black Rubric, but a few points are worth noting.

    1) The ACA bases their rites on the American 1928 BCP and the various Missals, none of which include the rubric.

    2) Those churches that use the Missal are essentially using the Ordinary and Canon of the BCP with the rubrics, ceremonial, and prayers of the Tridentine rite. Some even replace the Canon with the Gregorian canon in English.

    3) The Black Rubric smells of Presbyterianism because it was inserted in Cranmer’s very, very Protestant and Reformed BCP of 1552. It was not present in the 1559 Elizabethan Prayer Book, and it was only inserted in the 1662, post-Restoration, as a last minute bone to appease the Puritans (foolish mistake, methinks). The bishops certainly didn’t want it there.

    4) As for Anglican Patrimony. . .Read the Prayer of Humble Access. Heck, I’ll put it here for free. “We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.”

    It’s very strong Eucharistic language. We’ll set aside Anglican hymnody, much of which has been co-opted by RCs. I even saw several Wesley hymns in one hymnal.

    5) In point of fact, Benedict XVI’s own writings on the Eucharist sound a lot more like Keble or Lancelot Andrewes, who in turn sound like Thomas Aquinas, than they do, say, Lanfranc or Luther (yes, that Luther), who were both terribly materialistic in their understanding of the Real Presence. See for yourself! :)

  27. johapin says:

    Just curious, but don’t the Anglicans use the King James Version in their readings? Is there any concern about this?

  28. An American Mother says:

    Hoi polloi,

    Let’s put it this way — I was an Episcopalian for 48 years or so, and the so-called “Black Rubric” never surfaced in all that time. I read about it in my English history classes in college, but never in church. You will find something similar to it in the XXXIX, but the fact is that the High-Churchers (our family among them) quite successfully ignored the XXXIX all our lives. In fact, the XXXIX were relegated to the back of the BCP as “historical documents”.

    One of the things about the Anglicans that is very difficult for outsiders to understand is that it is not and has never been a “church”. It is at least three churches, perhaps as many as five, coexisting under the first Elizabeth’s political peace plan. She threw some bones to the Puritans, and some bones to the Catholics, but each set ignored the other’s bones and retreated to their own dens (or parishes) to gnaw their bones in peace and quiet.

    And that coexistence plan worked fairly well until the far left radicals decided to introduce first ‘inclusive’, then ‘feminist’ and then ‘gay’ politics into the church. That made the whole political settlement fall apart, and the various entities within the Anglican Communion are migrating. Evangelicals to the LCMS or various Anglican low-church splinter groups, High-churchers to the Catholic Church, where they would have been years ago but for inertia, tradition and, let us be quite blunt, what passes for liturgy and music – shudder – in many Catholic parishes.

    The muddled Broad-churchers will stay where they are, because they don’t know much about theology and messy things like that, and don’t much care. Let us have peace at any price, they say. I suppose they’ll have it sooner or later. Ubi solitudinem facient pacem appellant.

    Dafyd, thanks for the Prayer of Humble Access, you beat me to it. Anglican hymnody is a bit variable, but much of it is strongly Catholic. And Chuck & Jack were always Anglicans, you know – they never intended to start a new denomination – and were fairly Catholic, at least by modern standards.

  29. An American Mother says:


    The Episcopal Church (USA) hasn’t used the KJV for 25-30 years to my personal knowledge. A few old mossbacks of lay readers would insist on the KJV at Christmas, but otherwise most parishes use the NRSV. Some rotten translations, Isaiah 7:14 among them, and generally awkward and politically correct.

    The NAB of course is nothing to write home about. The Douay-Rheims is very close to the KJV and probably would be perfectly acceptable to most crossover Anglicans.

  30. An American Mother says:


    The AU parishes are already using an altered BCP. If you go to one of their websites, say Atonement in San Antonio, they have the entire Order of Mass printed out. The most noticeable difference is of course at the Consecration.

    I am not too keen on the amendments, not because they were not necessary (they were) but simply because whoever perpetrated the translation made absolutely NO effort at a seamless join — the modern English is an obvious patch job. What needs to happen is a revision of the revision by someone with a good understanding of 17th century English and sound poetic sense.

  31. Tom Ryan says:

    Saw this article in my doctor’s office.

    Sometimes the anti-Catholic bigots get more right than our own diocesan papers:

  32. Dafyd says:

    The ACA and the TAC would, I’d imagine, rely on the Authorized Version (KJV) as their liturgical text. As a liturgical text, it’s quite fine, despite its errors, just as the Vulgate is just fine despite its various eccentricities — horned Moses, anyone?

    For English texts, one really cannot beat the classic Prayer Book translation of the Magnificat. I nearly well up chanting it at Evensong. (Whoops! I’ve tipped my hand.)

    Just a snippet: “My soul doth magnify the Lord * And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior / For He hath regarded * the lowliness of His handmaiden. / For behold from henceforth * all generations will call me blessed.”

    Compare that to the Divine Office:
    My soul glorifies the Lord, *
    my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
    He looks on his servant in her lowliness; *
    henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

    The BCP’s actually a more accurate translation of the Greek, complete with a nice “behold!” for “idou!”

  33. Tom in NY says:

    Don’t forget Douay-Reims was translated from the Vulgate of that day rather than the originals. It appears the AV committees used the originals (as best known then), DR (thirty years before the committees), the Vulgate and Tyndale as resources. Challoner updated the DR to the English of his day, the middle 18th century.
    When Rome quotes Scripture in English, it often uses the Catholic RSV.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  34. catholicmidwest says:

    Actually, this is very exciting news. I am American, my family on both sides having been here since the early 1600s, but my family’s origin is nearly 100% British. There aren’t so many British-American Catholics, and the emphasis is always on some other group in the Church–the food, the traditions, the saintly origins. Don’t get me wrong–I really love my Italian and Polish brothers and sisters in the Church, but it would be nice……

    The English have an ancient history as Catholics, having been the dowry of Mary for well nigh fifteen hundred years. So-called “Celtic Catholicism”–the faddish kind–has rather little to do with real British Catholicism, which had great saints and monasteries, heroic stories that were true and many martyrs. The Churches used to be among the most beautiful in Europe until they were stripped.

    The English language can be lovely and poetic if it’s used correctly. In the Church it’s either used as a weapon or as a vulgarity. I’m all for using the Latin or using a faithful, decently specific and poetic version of English (and with real English–the adult serious variety instead of Mac-speak–these don’t have to be mutually exclusive properties!)

  35. catholicmidwest says:

    Actually, there are many authentic roman rites that were used in Britain before the reformation, and their existence and properties are well-known to Anglicans especially interested in liturgy. They were said in Latin. Among them, there is the Sarum rite, which has been technically preserved because of its organic quality and venerable age. It doesn’t contain the perversions of Cranmer. It could be used in time by the incoming Anglicans, since it is an ancestor of what they use now. Its rubrics and properties have been meticulously preserved in fine detail.

    Below is one said at Oxford for Candlemas in 1997. Because of the Sarum’s venerable character (Quo Primum of 1570) , it hasn’t been (and can’t be) abrogated and so is licit, even under Catholic auspices, if I understand correctly.

  36. catholicmidwest says:

    And honestly, given the tenor of people coming from Anglicanism, I think it might be much faster and easier, if they want a vernacular translation of the Sarum, to get a good one. In the Latin Rite, we have all kinds of difficulty because of the diverse nature of the population that’s practiced it in the 18th-21st centuries.

  37. Dave N. says:

    I would like to see an article explaining in detail how/if the issue of divorce and re-marriage within the congregations is being dealt with.

  38. JimP says:

    I find that referring to the Anglican liturgical heritage as a turd is at best uncharitable.

    Davyd and An American Mother,
    thank you for your comments and for posting the Prayer of Humble Access. Let me also offer the Collect for Purity, which opens the liturgy for Holy Communion.

    ALMIGHTY God, unto whom
    all hearts are open, all desires known,
    and from whom no secrets are hid;
    Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
    by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit,
    that we may perfectly love thee,
    and worthily magnify thy holy Name;
    through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Readers might also compare form C of the Novus Ordo Penitential Rite to the General Confession from the 1928 BCP:

    ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men;
    We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness,
    Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed,
    By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty,
    Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.
    We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
    The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable.
    Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
    For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past;
    And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life,
    To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Cranmer may well have been Calvinist, but I don’t think that that taint shows in the liturgy, with the exception of the Black Rubric, and that is certainly not present in the 1928 BCP used by the ACA. The continuing Anglican priests that I know, including one from ACA, have no doubt that after consecration, the bread and wine become the body and blood of our Lord, whether or not they would use the term “transubstantiation.”

    Regarding hymnody, I think that the 1940 hymnal can hold to be at least as catholic (or Catholic) as Gather Comprehensive, and much better musically.

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