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Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Sunday, August 17, 2003

An Anglican Patriarchate?

From this week's Catholic World News Weekly News Summary newsletter regarding current events in the Episcopal Church USA:

As things stand, when conservative Anglicans express an interest in returning to the Catholic fold, diocesan officials often act as if this was a problem rather than an opportunity. Policies seem designed to please the Anglican hierarchy, rather than to bring souls into the Catholic communion.

What would happen if the Catholic Church took the opposite tack, and began an aggressive campaign to encourage Anglicans to swim the Tiber? We could assure "Anglo-Catholics" that they would be able to continue using their own beautiful liturgy, under the terms of the existing "Anglican use." We could show respect for their traditions, and call public attention to the many Anglicans who
have joined our ranks, showing the vitality of the Catholic Church.

Or we could be even more ambitious. The Holy See could set up an Anglican patriarchate, to welcome all those members of the Church of England who wished to restore the long-broken ties to Rome. (That's not too different from the way in which many of the existing Eastern Catholic patriarchates were established.) Unrealistic? Maybe so; but we can dream, can't we?

Dream. Hope. Pray.

This Anglican Patriarchate sounds to me like a truly ecumenical solution. What I miss from my six years among the Anglicans is their aptly-described beautiful liturgy. It would be nice to have it fully Catholic again.

The "Anglican Use Liturgy" is already approved by the Vatican and in use in several Roman Catholic parishes in the U.S., one of them being Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.