Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 16, 2009
Vatican sets rules for Anglicans joining with Rome
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY - Former Anglicans entering the Catholic Church can preserve some of their traditions in liturgy, married priests and internal decision-making, according to Pope Benedict's document on welcoming the former Anglicans.
The pope's apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (Groups of Anglicans) was published Nov. 9. As well, specific norms were provided to govern the establishment and governance of "personal ordinariates," structures similar to dioceses, for former Anglicans who become Catholic.
The text said there could be exemptions to the Church's celibacy rule to allow married former Anglican priests to be ordained as Catholic priests.
However, it emphasized that this would be done on a "case-by-case basis."
The pope will appoint the head of each ordinariate, although he will choose from a list of three candidates nominated by the jurisdiction's governing council, the norms said.
The apostolic constitution and the norms for implementing it repeatedly state a preference for celibacy for priests.
The ordinary may petition the pope for an exemption to allow married men to be ordained Catholic priests, it said.
The norms explicitly exclude the possibility of ordaining married Anglican priests who previously were ordained as Catholic priests as well as excluding Anglican priests who are in "irregular marriage situations," such as those who have been divorced and remarried.
Only celibate former Anglican bishops may be ordained Catholic bishops.
Unmarried men who want to be ordained "must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy."
According to the norms, new seminarians must be part of the personal ordinariate or be former Anglicans who have established full communion with the Catholic Church.
They may not be originally baptized Catholics who later became Anglicans or joined the personal ordinariate.
In order to join the personal ordinariate, former Anglican laypeople and religious "must manifest this desire in writing."
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