Statement of Archbishop Thomas Collins
on the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada
With regard to the public discussion concerning the process for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada, I would like to make the following statement:
Canada is a vast country, and widely scattered across it are small groups of Anglicans who have expressed an interest in entering full communion with the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus. As Delegate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, I have asked certain priests in different regions of Canada to serve as "mentor priests", to work with these small groups of Anglicans in their geographical area. These mentor priests have been asked as their first task to visit the communities, to get to know them, to respond to any questions, and to get a sense of the number of people who are interested.
Certainly, the experience of pastoral relationships and ecclesial structures such as those of the ACCC must be honoured with respect and gratitude. But the ACCC is not the only grouping of Anglicans in Canada. A fruitful implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus requires that all groups of former Anglicans be equal within the new ecclesial structure, and each individual Anglican considering entering full communion with the Catholic Church through Anglicanorum Coetibus be fully informed and freely decide whether or not to proceed.
I realize that there are complicated corporate and legal issues relating to property which must be resolved if ACCC parishes seek to be part of an ordinariate in Canada. But those challenges can surely be overcome. The key reality is that Anglicanorum Coetibus offers a fresh beginning, a sign of hope, for any group of Anglicans who freely decide to be received into the Catholic Church, accepting the faith articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and forming within the Catholic Church communities in which some elements of the distinctive Anglican patrimony flourish and enrich the whole Church.
For more information on the process of implementing Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada, please refer to the article on that subject which has been on the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto for several months (www: archtoronto.org).
May 14, 2011
May 14, 2011