Casting doubt on media reports, a Vatican official familiar with the possibility of hundreds of thousands of Traditional Anglicans potentially entering the Catholic Church, has described as the scenario as “unlikely.”
Speaking to SIR News, Msgr. Marc Langham, an official at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said “indiscretions” and “media rumors that do not correspond to the truth” have surrounded the reporting of the Catholic Church’s relations with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), a group which has broken away from the Anglican Communion based in Canterbury.
“We have not been informed that this is going to happen; maybe the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is more informed but we have not received any update,” he said. “All we know is what we have read on newspapers and on some blogs.”
“What is on the Internet and in the press seems quite strange. It seems to me to be very unlikely,” he continued.
This is unlikely because “conversion is a personal process and a group of so many people could hardly be accepted,” he argued.
He also criticized the TAC’s reported membership of 500,000 as an “overestimation,” saying it is a “very small group.”
Msgr. Langham added that TAC bishops are married and its leading archbishop has been married twice. “Therefore he is not in the position to be accepted as a bishop.”
According to SIR, he also noted that TAC members are not in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
“They are not true Anglicans,” he argued. “They are not recognized by the Anglican Communion. Accordingly, we do not know what their status is.”
The TAC’s admission into the Catholic Church will raise “difficulties” for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion, “which is why we must be very cautious and prudent,” he said.
Earlier reports had indicated that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has recommended that the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) be given a personal prelature if talks between the TAC and the Vatican succeed. An announcement reportedly could be made after Easter this year.