(Thanks to Jim Herrick for the most awesome title for this post.)

I posted a day or so ago about the Traditional Anglican Communion and their petition to the Holy See for full sacramental and corporate communion.

Salt and Light out of Canada has produced a video report on the subject, complete with interviews of key members of the TAC hierarchy. (h/t: Shrine of the Holy Whapping.)

It seems that the TAC, as a body, wants to effect something akin to the Union of Brest, wherein the Traditional Anglicans would become the first “uniate” Western Rite in Catholic History. It would be the first reunification of a suri juris church (with a distinct hierarchy and rite) since the return of the Syro-Malankaras of the Indian Antiochian rite in 1930, and the largest (with 400,000 members) since the Ge’ez of Ethiopia in 1846.

Even more earth shattering is the prospect of a married Catholic episcopacy. The primate of the TAC is angeling for a reunion based in part on this prospect, which would seem out of step with the Apostolic Churches whose dogma and custom the TAC was founded to preserve in their Anglican expression. However, in submitting the petition to Rome, the TAC has effectively surrendered itself to the pastoral judgment of the Holy Father. One bishop has said that, if resignation is the only way to effect union, then he (and presumably others) will resign.

While the news is exciting and encouraging, don’t expect a quick turnaround from Rome. If it happens, it will probably take years of negotiation. Questions beyond celibacy have already come up; How will the ritual change? Will the TAC accept a theological correction to the Book of Common Prayer? Will they be brought in under the “Pastoral Provision” or set up as a true autonomous rite? What will the nature of the “Pastoral Provision” be post-unification-is it a separate rite under the jurisdiction of the Latin bishops, or a (very) altered form of the Latin Rite?  If they can’t keep their own bishops, will others be appointed to them? How will a completely separate Anglican Rite be recieved by the congregations’ Latin Rite neighbors? Etc., etc..

Any thoughts?

WAC

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