Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pope Francis and the Anglican ordinariates

According to Archbishop Gregory Venables, the  former Primiate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, then Cardinal Bergoglio and now Pope Francis told him over lunch that the Ordinariate "is unnecessary" and that Cardinal Bergoglio "valued Anglicans in the Church Universal"

We agree with the Pope.  The Ordinariate is unnecessary if only had Anglicans stuck to Scripture and Tradition. Unfortunately the Anglican Communion introduced many innovations to its life as a church that are not consistent with the Apostolic tradition preserved by the Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental churches. That many distressed Anglicans petitioned Rome to be let in as whole communities while preserving their Anglican heritage, was the main reason why Pope Benedict XVI decided to promulgate Anglicanorum coetibus.

We also agree with the Pope that we value Anglicans in the Universal Church. The Catholic Church has valued and continues to value the Anglican Communion that the Second Vatican Council declared that it "occupies a special place" even if separated, in the life of the Church.

The troubles facing the Anglican Communion are of great concern to the Church and to the popes.

We have to place the then Cardinal Bergoglio's statements in their proper context. The Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of South America is one of the traditionalist provinces of the Anglican Communion.  It shares many theological positions with the Catholic Church and has worked closely on pro life and human rights issues in Argentina and most recently against the Argentine government's decision to legalize same sex unions.

In contrast some Anglican churches in Europe and North America have given the green light to bless same sex unions in church.

If Cardinal Bergoglio had been an archbishop in North America then he would have had a different point of view.

Now as Pope Francis, we are confident that he will support the three Anglican ordinariates in their evangelical witness.