Monday, December 6, 2010

Calgary parish votes to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and join the Roman Catholic Church

For years I’ve suspected that many "Anglo-Catholics" or members of the Traditional Anglican Communion--especially the clergy--are really just closet Roman Catholics waiting to be accepted by the Vatican. I haven’t kept up with the activities of the Canadian branch of the TAC--the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada--in recent years, but it comes as no surprise to this blogger that a glance at Important Documents: Rome regarding Anglicans confirms my suspicions.

It does come as a surprise to this blogger to read that until November 2010, no congregation that was still with the Anglican Church of Canada had voted to join the Roman Catholic Church. As reported by Sean Myers of the Calgary Herald, November 30 and December 1, 2010:

A Calgary Anglican parish is the first in Canada to take up an invitation made by Pope Benedict XVI last year to return to the Roman Catholic fold. After nearly 10 months of research, meetings and soul searching, 90 per cent of the 70-member congregation at St. John the Evangelist in southeast Calgary have voted in favour of the shift. St. John the Evangelist has long been considered a traditionalist church, referring to itself on its website as a "centre of orthodox Anglo-Catholicism."

"This isn’t the Pope . . . poaching Anglicans," parish priest Father Lee Kenyon said Tuesday. "It’s the Pope actually responding to persistent requests from Anglicans for many, many years for full communion. But a communion which is united but not absorbed." The invitation, or Anglicanorum Coetibus, allows for the new converts to retain parts of their liturgy and traditions...

...Father Lee Kenyon said his parishioners at St. John's are not leaving out of anger.
"We didn't vote to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, we voted to accept the invitation of the Pope," said Kenyon, who will be ordained as a Catholic priest despite being married with two children.

Many elements of the conversion must still be negotiated -- including what will happen to the century-old church, which still belongs to the Anglican diocese. Kenyon said his training and ordination should take 12 weeks, but a bishop has to be named by the Vatican to complete his conversion...

...It’s believed that other Anglican parishes in Canada are also contemplating the Catholic offer. They would join with the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, which split from the Anglican Church of Canada more than 30 years ago. It has two parishes in Calgary that share the All Saints’ church in Calgary’s Renfrew neighbourhood.

An Anglican ordinariate is to be established by the Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Collins. It will help convert Anglican priests and ordain them as Catholics. Collins declined an interview request saying it is too early in the process to comment.

In England, five bishops, 50 priests and about 500 Anglican followers have formed an ordinariate that will ordain priests by June. No timeline has been set for Canada. Similar ordinariates are to be established in the United States and Australia.

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