Anglican Jonathan Baker Giving "Mass" In St. John Lateran. Photo: Life Site News

Anglicans Violate Catholic Law and Celebrate “Mass” in the Main Altar of the Pope’s Cathedral

Another Christian confession that is not in communion with the Pope will also use the Cathedral of Saint John Lateran next May when the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II celebrates his «mass» there.

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 04.20.2023).- On Tuesday, April 18, a group of 30 Anglican clergymen (the Christian Confession separated from Rome after the refusal of the Pope to the declaration of nullity [of the marriage] between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon), held an Anglican “Mass” in the main altar of the Cathedral of Rome, the Holy Father’s See, who is Pope, in fact, because he is Bishop of Rome. 

The celebrant “Bishop” was Johnathan Baker, Anglican pastor of Fulham since 2013. A source consulted by ZENIT confirmed that the Anglican clergy and this “Bishop” are in Rome on a spiritual retreat. The group is staying in the Venerable English College, a Catholic Seminary for English-speaking students from the United Kingdom. 

According to a 2020 rule of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity “other Christian communities can be offered the use of a church” if the diocesan Bishop discerns “that it will not cause scandal or confusion to the faithful.” However, the same rule points out that if it entails the Cathedral, a particular discernment is in order. 

For its part, the Ecumenical Board of Directors allows a place of worship to other communities when they lack such a place. However, Anglicans have their own place of worship in Rome. 

Moreover, the person of Bishop Baker elicits perplexity due to the fact that he was a self-confessed Freemason (he himself revealed it in 2011: “I have been an active member for many years and continue being so”). He is also divorced and remarried and has become a “Bishop.”

On the Roman afternoon of Thursday, April 20, the Chapter of Saint John Lateran Cathedral issued a press release stating:

“The Lateran Chapter, in the person of His Excellency Monsignor Guerino Di Tora, the Chapterhouse Vicar, expressed his profound regret for what occurred last Tuesday, April 18, in the interior of the Basilica of Saint John in Rome. In fact, a group of some 50 presbyters, accompanied by their Bishop, all belonging to the Anglican Communion, celebrated in the main altar of Rome’s Cathedral, contravening the canonical rules. Monsignor Di Tora also explained that the lamentable episode was due to a defect in communication.” 

According to I-MEDIA, another Christian Confession, which is not in communion with the Pope, will also use Saint John Lateran Cathedral next May when Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II will celebrate his “Mass” there. 

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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