Vatican City, Oct 20, 2009 / 03:11 am
In a Vatican press conference today, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, announced that an Apostolic Constitution has been prepared in response to “many requests” from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful wanting to enter into full communion with the Church.
The Apostolic Constitution, which Cardinal Levada said “provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon,” will be a “single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application.”
The new canonical structure will allow former Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Church while “preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony,” said Cardinal Levada. Addressing the status of married clergy, the cardinal said that married Anglican clergy would be allowed to be ordained as Catholic priests just as takes place in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Similarly, following the same tradition, those priests will not be allowed to be ordained bishops.
These ‘Personal Ordinariates’ will be formed, “as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world,” the cardinal prefect said.