US Prelates Ready to Welcome Anglicans

Affirm History of Ecumenical Dialogue

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 20, 2009 ( The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference is expressing support for a Vatican statement regarding Anglican groups that desire to enter the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, affirmed this in a statement today, after receiving word “of the new provision in the form of an apostolic constitution issued by the Holy See for the reception into full communion with the Catholic Church of groups from the Anglican tradition.”

The bishops’ conference “stands ready to collaborate in the implementation of that Provision in our country,” he stated.

The cardinal explained that “this step by the Holy See is in response to a number of requests received in Rome from groups of Anglicans seeking corporate reunion.”

“The application of the new Provision,” he continued, “recognizes the desire of some Anglicans (Episcopalians) to live the Catholic faith in full, visible communion with the See of Peter, while at the same time retaining some elements of their traditions of liturgy, spirituality and ecclesial life which are consistent with the Catholic faith.”

The prelate affirmed that this Provision, “at the service of the unity of the Church, calls us as well to join our voices to the priestly prayer of Jesus that ‘all may be one’ (John 17:21) as we seek a greater communion with all our brothers and sisters with whom we share Baptism.”

He recalled that the bishops’ conference has “engaged in ecumenical dialogue with the Episcopal Church, which is the historic province of the Anglican Communion in North America,” for the past 45 years.

Cardinal George continued, “The Catholic bishops of the United States remain committed to seeking deeper unity with the members of the Episcopal Church by means of theological dialogue and collaboration in activities that advance the mission of Christ and the welfare of society.”

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