Yesterday, an Australian website that reports on the Roman Catholic Church posted that Vatican officials had decided to create a personal prelature arrangement (similar to how Opus Dei is organized) for the Traditional Anglican Communion. Today there's news that this may only be speculation.
History may be in the making. It appears Rome is on the brink of welcoming close to half a million members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into membership of the Roman Catholic Church, writes Anthony Barich. Such a move would be the most historic development in Anglican-Catholic relations in the last 500 years. But it may also be a prelude to a much greater influx of Anglicans waiting on the sidelines, pushed too far by the controversy surrounding the consecration of practising homosexual bishops, women clergy and a host of other issues.
It is understood that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed.
The TAC is a growing global community of approximately 400,000 members that took the historic step in 2007 of seeking full corporate and sacramental communion with the Catholic Church - a move that, if fulfilled, will be the biggest development in Catholic-Anglican relations since the English Reformation under King Henry VIII.
The Traditional Anglican Communion claims to be a world-wide organization of more than 400,000 members that represent the traditional anglo-catholic understanding of Anglican theology and liturgical practice. The Anglican Church in America is the branch or province in the US. The ACA has about 5200 members in something like 100 small parishes according to Wikipedia.
A number of people reacted skeptically to the news yesterday with good reason apparently.
Today there's a report on the Catholic Online International News page that this may have been a premature announcement - or even just a trial balloon by an Australian bishop associated with the cause for the beatification of Cardinal John Newman (an anglo-catholic priest who converted to Roman Catholicism.)
According to today's report, "no decision has been made."
The National Catholic Register cites a "Vatican Source" as saying that "nothing's been decided" by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Reports abound that the Congregation has recommended the creation of a personal prelature as the vehicle through which to receive the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Register contends that an official at the Congregation spoke with their correspondent Edward Pentin today saying,“It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.”