Thursday March 4, 2010

U.S. Traditionalist Anglican Group Votes to Enter Catholic Church

By Patrick B. Craine

ORLANDO, Florida, March 4, 2010 ( – The Anglican Church in America (ACA), the U.S. branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), announced yesterday that they will seek communion with the Roman Catholic Church under new Vatican guidelines released in the fall.

The TAC and Forward in Faith are part of a movement of Anglicans seeking a more Biblical and traditional Christianity than what has come to be espoused within the Global Anglican Communion. They have reacted in particular against the Communion’s decision to ordain women as priests and bishops, as well as the approval of homosexual activity, such as the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of homosexual unions.

The ACA’s House of Bishops met this week in Orlando with the Primate of the TAC, Archbishop John Hepworth. They were also joined by representatives from Forward in Faith UK and from “Anglican Use” Catholic parishes, the latter who have already united with Rome under previous pastoral provisions.

“At this meeting, the decision was made formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States of America by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” a press release reads.

Anglicanorum coetibus was released in November, as promised by the Vatican in October. The Constitution provides for the mass entrance of groups of Anglicans through the creation of personal ordinariates that would allow them to preserve much of their Anglican tradition.

The Vatican constitution was a response, in particular, to a request from the ACA’s umbrella group, the Traditional Anglican Communion, for such a means of corporate entrance into the Church.

The TAC branch in the UK, with approximately 20 parishes, was the first to accept the Vatican’s offer, doing so within days of the Constitution’s release. In the middle of February, the Australian branch of Forward in Faith, another traditionalist group of Anglicans, formally thanked the Vatican and called for the establishment of an ordinariate in Australia.

There are four ACA dioceses across the US, with approximately 100 parishes.

See related coverage:

First Group of “Traditionalist” Anglicans in Britain Votes to Enter Catholic Church

Traditional Anglican Communion “On the Same Page” as Vatican on Life and Family: Canadian TAC Head

Anglicans to be Brought Back to “Full Visible Unity” with Catholic Church: Surprise Vatican Announcement