OTTAWA, APRIL 19, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In Canada on Divine Mercy Sunday two former Anglican bishops, Peter Wilkinson and Carl Reid were received, together with members of their congregations, into full communion with the Catholic Church.
This was done in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which provides a structure for welcoming Anglicans into the Catholic Church. The ceremonies of reception will be held at special Masses, one in Ottawa, the nation’s capital; the other in Victoria on Canada’s west coast, Vatican Radio reported.
“We’ve tried to respond to a request from a certain group of Anglicans, who wish for full communion now,” said Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa. He said that they had begun talking about this several years.
“And we also realize that we have to continue to work for the full unity of the Church in whatever way Christ would like that to be, however He wants to bring it about with the remaining Anglicans.”
Archbishop Prendergast put the event into a larger, ecumenical context: “I think anything that will strengthen unity among Christians is going to be a positive sign for others. One of the great scandals, of course, in our world is that there are so many Christians who believe in Jesus Christ and all that He has brought to us and yet that we go about it in such different ways. Our disunity is a countersign to the evangelisation of our world, and I think anything that will bring us closer together that recognises unity in diversity is going to be rich blessing for us and a help to evangelisation.”
“April 15, 2012 is a date for us to remember for posterity, the day of our individual and collective reception into the Catholic Church,” said the Right Reverend Carl Reid, Auxiliary Bishop of the Pro-Diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham, in a press release issued by the Archdiocese of Ottawa.
“And not only us from the Annunciation, but also from several other parishes and fellowships across the country,” he added. “Initially, we shall be a ‘sodality,’ which would best be described as a ‘parish in waiting.’”
“I am honoured to receive members of the Anglican Catholic Church into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church,” said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.
In late February, the Right Reverend Bishop Wilkinson, Diocesan Bishop of the Pro-Diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham met with Msgr. Steenson, the Ordinary of the Ordinariate in the United States. Msgr. Steenson agrees that all of the Canadian sodalities, present and future, should be gathered as parishes into a Canadian Deanery of the American Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.