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TAC Sees New Pope As Sign Of Hope For Ties With Holy See
Prydain ^ | 5/01/2005 | Will / Auburn Faber Traycik

Posted on 05/01/2005 4:16:36 PM PDT by sionnsar

From The Christian Challenge, we have this article about the Traditional Anglican Communion and the Pope:

TAC Sees New Pope As Sign Of Hope For Ties With Holy See
Choice Of Ratzinger Buoys Orthodox Anglicans Generally

By Auburn Faber Traycik
The Christian Challenge
April 30, 2005

Archbishop John Hepworth, head of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the largest international Continuing Anglican fellowship, says the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope “fills us with hope” for progress toward Christian unity, particularly with the Roman Catholic Church.

The selection of the new Pope Benedict XVI came shortly after TAC leaders from Australia and the U.S. - in Rome for previously planned meetings - were able to spend time in silent prayer at the bier of the late Pope John Paul II.

The new pontiff has already made clear his primary concern for restoring full Christian unity, telling cardinals on the day after his election that he would spare no energies in that endeavor. He acknowledged that this would require more than "good sentiments," but rather "concrete acts that enter souls and move consciences."

As well, in the homily at his April 24 inaugural Mass at St. Peter's in Rome, Pope Benedict greeted "with great affection...all those who have been reborn in the sacrament of Baptism but are not yet in full communion with us.” (He also greeted Jewish “brothers and whom we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage," and has indicated his aim of continuing "open and sincere" dialogue with those of other faiths.)

The new Pope is said to have a keen interest in orthodox/conservative Anglicans (even if, a few years ago, he famously included the Anglican Church among "deficient" Christian denominations). Well remembered, for example, was Cardinal Ratzinger’s message of support to the huge gathering of conservative U.S. Episcopalians who met in Dallas in the wake of the 2003 General Convention’s approval of an actively homosexual bishop and same-sex blessings.

As well, in welcoming the election of Benedict XVI, the traditionalist Forward in Faith, United Kingdom, said April 19 that "Joseph Ratzinger has proved himself to be a friend of Catholic Anglicans. In meetings with him, the leadership of Forward in Faith has found him to be a man of great human warmth and breadth of understanding. His manifest enthusiasm for reconciliation with the Orthodox and Ancient Oriental Churches has encouraged us to hope that he will, in his pontificate, continue to long for the corporate reunion of all Christians who hold
to the faith, order and morals of the undivided church."

The Australian-based Archbishop Hepworth, whose communion has actively sought reunion with Rome for nearly a decade, described the new pontiff in a public statement as someone “who already speaks to the world of faith as `one with authority.’ He is already a hero of the young, who are the most ardent defenders of the faith in our age. His writings on ecumenism – and on the Sacred Liturgy and on so much else – already make him our companion. He is intimate with the worlds of Lutheranism and Anglicanism.” .

Moreover, Pope Benedict is “very aware” of the TAC, “knows some of us in person, and has generously corresponded with others of us,” wrote Archbishop Hepworth, who shepherds several hundred thousand orthodox Anglicans in a dozen or more countries around the world, including several in which English is not the native language. With him in Rome were Archbishop Louis Falk, head of the TAC’s Anglican Church in America, and the Rt. Rev. David Moyer, newly consecrated ACA Bishop for the Armed Forces (which actually involves an international ministry). The leaders hope that the TAC might one day become an Anglican church in communion with the Holy See, one that would retain an Anglican liturgy and a married clergy.

On April 24, London’s Sunday Times confirmed that links already exist between Pope Benedict and the TAC. It said that details of the association had emerged from discussions with cardinals about the election of Ratzinger, whom the story said did not want to be elected Pope, and did not think he would be.

Likewise, a commentary around the same time in the Weekend Australian opined that, as far as Anglicans go, Benedict’s interest in church reunification was not aimed primarily at “official” Anglicans. nor did it signal a softening on subjects like women’s ordination.

“What is more likely,” the commentary said, “is that the Traditional Anglicans, the opponents of women’s ordination whose global head is an Australian, Archbishop John Hepworth, will soon be reconciled with Rome.” The Sunday Times article asserted that some 400-500 Church of England parishes might join the new arrangement in that case.

NEVERTHELESS, IT IS EVIDENT THAT ROME still maintains significant and substantive relations with the establishment Anglican Communion. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams attended Pope John Paul’s funeral and Pope Benedict’s inaugural Mass. And on April 25, he exchanged cordial personal greetings with Benedict in an audience granted to Christian and non-Christian religious leaders who had come to Rome for the Pope's inauguration. On that occasion, Archbishop
Williams extended an invitation to the pontiff to visit England “whenever that is possible.”

(The Archbishop’s entourage in Rome, incidentally, included West Indies Archbishop Drexel Gomez, chairman of the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Ecumenical Relations, but surprisingly also included two liberal-leaning prelates of the U.S. Episcopal Church -- recently suspended by Anglican primates – though neither of the representatives was ECUSA’s presiding bishop.)

Williams was clearly buoyed as well by the renewed hopes that Benedict seemingly offered for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations. In his official statement, the Archbishop wished the new pontiff “every blessing in the immense responsibilities” he was undertaking and said he looked forward to working with him “to promote shared understanding between our churches in the service of the Gospel and the goal of Christian unity.”

It will be difficult, however, to revive substantive dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion. Those talks were seriously harmed and finally lapsed in the face of redefinitions of historic holy order and sexual morality in official Anglicanism, and because of the Communion’s inability–so far– to put its house in order. Indeed, it is the potential for expanded relations with traditional Anglicans like those in the TAC that presently seems to offer more of the hope that used to surround the longtime work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC).

TAC leaders are well aware, however, that it will be a complex and delicate task to achieve the full and visible unity with Rome that they seek. Even the precise path that would lead the TAC to its desired destination is still under discussion, TCC learned.

Nonetheless, the TAC sees this quest for Christian unity as fundamental to its existence, in obedience to Christ’s own prayer for the faithful to be as one.

That quest includes other orthodox Anglicans, first and foremost. In accordance with the 1977 Affirmation of St. Louis--the manifesto of much of the Continuing Church movement--the TAC has declared that it is in the communion of Eucharistic fellowship with all faithful Anglicans.

“Thus, we have offered separate shelter to existing Anglican communities and joined them to us only when they could no longer bear the burdens imposed on them by the apostasy of those in whose power they found themselves. Where such dire circumstances do not exist, we strive to maintain fellowship in Christ with sister Anglican provinces,” Hepworth wrote in an Eastertide pastoral letter to his far-flung flock.

“And from the beginning, we have also sought unity with the Holy See,” he added.

In the church led by the successor of Peter, to whom God gave a "mandate to protect and nourish his flock,” and to whom “bishops of the undivided church have looked for guidance and...authentic teaching, we confess that the One Church of Christ finds its fullest subsistence, even as we recognize that same One Church of Christ as truly subsisting in our own community life and witness,” Hepworth wrote--in what is apparently a rare if not unprecedented statement from any Anglican

And even without a formal unity agreement, the “experience” of unity in Christ between the two communions is felt in a number of ways, Hepworth observed, albeit not yet in eucharistic sharing. Encouraging, too, he noted, was the invitation of Pope John Paul II in the encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, to reflect with him on new and unifying ways that the Pope could exercise his role in future.

For now, “we must celebrate and practice the unity that we share,” Hepworth told TAC members. “In common prayer and true conversion of life, in joint social action, in listening to each other as we teach the faith, and in bearing one another’s burdens, we can begin to make present in the life of our own Communion the depth and breadth of unity that is ours in the Body of Christ.”

In the ongoing search for unity, TAC bishops “remain open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit...the instrument and author of all unity,” the Archbishop wrote. “It may be that we are called to be instruments for healing the divisions and suffering that mark the Anglican Communion of today. Indeed, many a prophet was sent repeatedly to a people from whom he would rather have escaped. And Jesus told Peter that he would indeed by led to a place from which he would shrink. Perhaps, for example, it is our task to restore the hopes of ARCIC, even though our dreams might then be delayed, and others reap our sowing long after we are gone.

“But perhaps our prayers will be answered in the ways that we dream, rather than ways that we fear, and at least in our own community, we will discover the fullest answer of the High Priestly Prayer, with our bishops, priests and people who form their churches, all gathered one day around the altar with the one whose ministry is to feed the lambs and sheep of Christ, and to confirm his brethren in that unity for which Christ so ardently prayed to the Father, who loved...and sent Him.”

Sources included Zenit, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Weekend Australian, The Australian, Ecumenical News International
Permission to circulate the foregoing electronically is granted, provided that there are no changes in the headings or text, and this notice is included. To learn more about THE CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE, the only hardcopy publication providing independent, comprehensive coverage of the global Anglican spectrum from the orthodox viewpoint, please go to:


One thing seems certain to me: if anyone is indeed able to continue the work of the ARCIC, it will be the TAC. The Anglican Communion will never be able to carry the ARCIC much further than it has already, due to the differing positions on women's ordination and the lack of ecclesiastical discipline in other areas. The TAC, on the other hand, does not have those problems.

TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: angpost6

1 posted on 05/01/2005 4:16:38 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; St. Johann Tetzel; AnalogReigns; GatorGirl; KateatRFM; Alkhin; Peanut Gallery; tellw; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 05/01/2005 4:17:15 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar

I would personally find an Anglican Rite, especially one that uses traditional anglo catholic liturgy such as mass "ad orientem", using altar rails, no EMHCs, etc, as a way to help restor traditional in the current Latin Rite, and give suffering Catholics an option, but I have a few questions.

Would TAC members be willing to accept the Council of Trent, would they be willig to accept Vatican I, would they be willing to accept Humane Vitae?

3 posted on 05/01/2005 5:41:50 PM PDT by RFT1
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To: RFT1

I don't know if we have any ACA/TAC members on the ping list, but if we do I hope they'll respond.

4 posted on 05/01/2005 5:59:13 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: RFT1
Would TAC members be willing to accept the Council of Trent, would they be willig to accept Vatican I, would they be willing to accept Humane Vitae?

It would be nice if we could get all current Catholics to accept these magisterial teachings (although a lot of them are probably just too poorly catechized to know what they are).

5 posted on 05/01/2005 6:34:06 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam

No disagreement there. But all adult converts are asked before they are brought in, "Do you believe as the church believes". Again, I wish clergy had more guts to preach the truth.

6 posted on 05/01/2005 6:39:33 PM PDT by RFT1
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To: sionnsar

Would TAC members be okay with employing the Anglican Use Liturgy approved by the Holy See in 1980?

7 posted on 05/01/2005 10:04:33 PM PDT by hispanichoosier
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To: hispanichoosier

I'm afraid I don't know.

8 posted on 05/02/2005 4:01:00 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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